A fly-by for a flyboy

Mike Wenger holding his nephew Mark
Photo courtesy of Sharri Wenger

Today has been a sad day. Today we celebrated the life life of Michael William Wenger, whose life was cut short Monday evening when his ultralight airplane crashed in a field. Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife, Pam; his sons, Justin, Matt, and Will; his parents, Bonnie and Bill; three brothers; two sisters; his maternal grandmother; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

More pictures lurk behind the cut.

May the Force be with you, Mr. Bradbury

In case you live under a rock and haven’t yet heard, Ray Bradbury, sci-fi author extraordinaire, has passed away at the age of 91.  Unless, of course, you subscribe to the following theory:

I thought that was pretty darn fantastic myself.

New year, new posts!

Hopefully I’ll be better about posting this year.  I had hoped to post more in 2011 than I did in 2010, but I’m not sure if I reached that goal or not and I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment, so let’s all just pretend I did and move on.  You heard me, move along!  Nothing to see here, folks!

Okay, I lied.  There’s plenty to see here!

I plan to make a few changes to the site in the coming weeks as my free time allows.  Now that I’m working again, free time is once more in limited supply.  Still, I’m happy to have my old job back after a rough couple of months at the end of 2011.  Things are looking up for me: I’ve submitted three pieces for inclusion in a fantasy anthology with my friends in the Alliance of Worldbuilders, I’m doing a final edit on The Lokana Chronicles with a goal of submitting it to as many places as possible this year, and I’m working on an anthology of poetry plucked from the pages of this here corner of the blogosphere.  I’d like to put together an anthology of short stories as well, but I’m not sure about that yet.

In the meantime, I’m going to begin posting links to works by other lovely authors.  Karma, you know.  Also, they’re some genuinely lovely people who I’d love to help out.  Maybe if I ever finish my edits, they’ll be able to do the same for me someday.

And that’s about all the news that’s fit to print.  Today, anyway.  Happy 2012!

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

What will they think of next?

So Greg was checking out the news on msnbc.com today and as I looked at the computer screen over his shoulder, I saw an article about a new drug being tested in clinical trials for use in the treatment of melanoma, which is one of the deadliest cancers out there.  New cancer research always catches my attention since I have so many relatives who have battled various forms of it (most notably breast cancer) and lost.  So I made the remark that I would have to check out the article later, and check it out I did.

The new treatment works by activating a person’s immune system to fight the cancer.  Some of the side effects can be nasty, such as autoimmune disorders, but it also lacks traditional chemotherapy side effects like nausea and hair loss, at least according to the article I read.  By the time I got around to checking it out, there was also an analysis article up that I looked at as well.  While it really only worked for 20-30% of patients who received it, the effects were dramatically better than other options for late-stage melanoma and the drug has the potential to be useful in fighting other cancers.  This news got me particularly excited, since I really worry about getting breast cancer at a young age like my mom did and not living to see my kids grow up.

Anyway, this was such exciting news to me that I just had to share it and I hope if you’ve stumbled into my little corner of the interwebs that you’ll take a minute and check out these two articles.  They’re awfully interesting and I can’t wait to see what medical science will come up with next.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this particular drug and its other potential uses.

Twenty days till June 25…

(c) 2010.  All rights reserved.

Justice

First off, I must apologize for my long absence.  I’ve been feeling alternately lazy and apathetic and have not been blogging like I hoped to be once all the wedding and moving stuff was done with.  Enter the holidays and my free time is down to none.  Also, I have no energy and am super tired lately.

However, I’ve been following the Kyle Deemer murder trial almost obsessively and am glad to report that justice has been served.  I guess I never really wrote about what inspired that poem, so I’ll cover it here because otherwise it won’t make any sense.  So last fall a classmate of mine and a friend of his were shot to death north of Marshalltown last fall.  The article I linked to above explains the rest.  The whole thing has really been bugging me lately; his trial started last week and they wrapped it up yesterday.  It took the jury less than two hours to convict him.  Now if only we had the death penalty.  I think a firing squad would do the job nicely and would be rather poetic justice.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately, but it’s mostly been letters and diary entries.  I’m participating in a journal exchange and so far, it’s been a lot of fun, although I seem to have trouble finding time to write with everything that’s going on lately.  I think I’ll make a copy of the journal when it’s all done because it’s a permanent exchange and I’d like to have a copy of what I’ve written.  I also joined the American Legion Auxiliary and am looking forward to getting involved in that.

And now I think I’ll go back to munching on Bugles in an attempt to settle my tummy.  Happy Hump Day!

(c) 2009.  All rights reserved.

Cleanup

So today was an interesting day at work…

I spent all morning picking up shards of glass and still didn’t get it all. The office has been vacuumed four or five times and there’s still glass everywhere. Probably the only way to get rid of it all will be to replace the carpet. Frankly, it could use an update – we’ve been there five years now and no one really knows how old the carpet is. I meant to take my camera along with me to work this morning but forgot to grab it on my way out of the house, so no piccies, I’m afraid. I’m sure, though, that there are plenty to be found on the internet. Eldora looks much like Parkersburg did last year, except the houses are still standing.  By the way, “John” Sween?  That was my boss.  His name is Jim, not John.  The guy from Channel 5 stopped by this morning to apologize in person for getting his name wrong.

I have seen so much glass today that when I went upstairs just now to tuck Rachael in, I saw a piece of plastic from a package lying on the floor and thought it was glass.  Whoops. 🙂

There is lots more to write about, but my head is seriously killing me, so I think I will save posting about my weekend for later.  When my head doesn’t hurt.

Forty-seven days till September 26…

(c) 2009.  All rights reserved.

A little posty-post

Okay, because I have to get back to the wedding-music-picking-out, I’ll make this short, sweet, and to the point.  Or maybe not.  I don’t know.  Anyway, so I saw this clip on YouTube (yes, another one) and felt compelled to post it.  Breast cancer awareness is something that is very important to me because so many of the women in my family have been afflicted with it.  My mom died of it at 31, well before the age they recommend you begin getting mammograms.  As a result, I like to stay up-to-date on treatment options, new information about the disease, ways to prevent it, etc.  A friend of my mom’s sent me a link to this YouTube clip and because I don’t want anyone else to suffer like my mom did, I thought I would post it.  There is some very interesting information in the clip (it’s from a news broadcast) about inflammatory breast cancer, which apparently is a little-known but very dangerous form of breast cancer:

I regularly read Toddler Planet, a blog written by an IBC survivor.  For inspirational reading, I highly recommend it.  And by inspirational, I mean that it’s really inspiring to read about her daily struggles with the results of cancer, such as fatigue, and also about the joy she finds in everyday things, like watching her children grow.  It is one of the greatest blogs I read and I always look forward to new posts.  Check it out!

Fifty-six days till September 26…

(c) 2009.  All rights reserved.

If only…

If only I had that much energy today, or any day, really.  How nice that would be!

In case I didn’t make it obvious enough, I’m super tired today.  It was definitely one of your longer weekends.  Saturday was spent running errands and running around and then scrambling to put the house in order before the soon-to-be-in-laws arrived.  Then we all stayed up till sometime after midnight so we could go to the Easter vigil at church.  I was confirmed and had my first communion as a brand-new Catholic.  I think I like the grape juice and bread cubes the Presbyterians serve better than the cardboard wafers and wine.  At any rate, there was a reception after the service (which started at 8:15 p.m. and ended shortly before 11:00 p.m.) and then after indulging in cake and coffee and juice, we all went home and indulged in strawberry pie with cool whip, courtesy of Ginny.  Yummy!  Yesterday brought a way-too-early wake-up call at 7:00 a.m. to see what goodies the Easter bunny delivered and then a trip to Gladbrook before an even bigger trip to Elkader to visit Greg’s family.  By the time we got home and watched a movie and went to bed, it was somewhere around 10:30 p.m.  I’m functioning solely on caffeine today, and not very well at that.  Yeesh!  Hopefully it will kick in soon.

*sigh*  Too tired…Must catch Z’s…

I suppose I had better get back to work, since I have a desk full of it and the tax deadline is only two days away.  Hasta la vista…baby!

(c) 2009.  All rights reserved.

So proud!

I always knew Iowa rocked.  Yay Corn State!

So it seems that I never got around to posting anything yesterday.  Whoops.  Must have been the Class 3 Skull-Splitter messing with my head.  Or the actual work that I had yesterday.  They just kept piling it on!  I love days like that, where I have things to do.  It makes the time pass so much faster.  I really appreciate it when the work day flies by because frankly, I would much rather be at home.  It’s a lovely day outside and my boys will be home by 3:00.  The only thing missing is me!  How I wish I could cut out early.

In other news, a good friend of mine has been having rather a hard time lately.  She’s lost several relatives, all within a few months of each other, as well as a very good friend.  I called her the other night to chat and she had just found out that her uncle had passed away earlier that day from a massive heart attack.  I really hope things will start going better for her.  Maybe today’s news will cheer her up!  I hope so.

Spring is totally in the air today.  The sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the wind has finally calmed down, and there’s a lovely crispness in the air.  It’s beautiful!  And they’re discussing possible swearing over the weekend.  Apparently the meteorologists haven’t gotten the memo that says since it’s now April, it’s not allowed to swear anymore.  Swearing is only allowed in winter and since it is clearly not winter anymore, swearing is strictly and expressly forbidden.  The Great Kay has spoken.

*sigh*  I keep staring out the window and thinking of Time Enough for Drums.  I suppose I always think of it in the spring because it was springtime when I first read that book.  Also I think of it because there’s a lovely passage about Jem losing herself to the spell of John reading French and staring out the window into the inviting April day and getting scolded for daydreaming.  I love that book.

And now I suppose I’ll get back to searching the internet for work-related items of non-interest…

(c) 2009.  All rights reserved.

Missing

And the bad news keeps on coming.  One of my classmates was killed Friday night.  I still can’t believe it.  I really didn’t know him all that well and the first time I’d seen him since freshman year of college was last summer at our class reunion, but it’s still such a shock.  Okay, so that’s only four or five years (depending on the semester), but that’s still a long time.  Anyway…It’s hard to imagine a more terrible way to die than being run off the road and watching a loved one die before your eyes.  I don’t know who was shot first, but whoever went second…I don’t think I could handle that.  I guess I just can’t understand what on Earth would possess someone to take two good people’s lives like that.

So I spent the better part of the weekend trying not to think about it.  I didn’t hear about it till Saturday afternoon because apparently I’m too good to watch the news (sarcasm, folks).  That’s the great thing about being from a small town: no matter how far away you move, the rumor mill will track you down and reel your butt back in.  I heard the news from a friend who had heard it from another of our classmates who saw it on the news and then called her dad for more details.  Then of course I called another friend/classmate and she called two more…The group I linked to above had 40 members yesterday, 88 this morning, and 164 the last time I checked.  Bryce was a good guy and I can’t imagine what his family is going through.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and I can only hope that he is now at peace, in a place where such violence doesn’t exist.  Rest in peace, Bryce.  I’ll see you at that great big class reunion in the sky someday.

And now, a letter.

Dear Bryce,

I just wanted to let you know that the time we walked back to the dorm actually meant a lot to me.  I don’t remember what we said, just that the conversation was a bit stilted, but I suppose that’s just because we didn’t know each other well.  Still, it made me feel better just to talk to someone from home in a place where I didn’t know many people.  I don’t think we talked at the reunion last summer, but I remember you and Travis breaking up the fight and I’m sure that whichever girl you helped (because I don’t remember which one it was anymore) appreciated your assistance.

I always felt like a midget standing next to you because good Lord were you tall!  You were a big guy with a big heart (from what I hear) and I’m sure you’re a fine addition to the heavenly population.  It’s a shame your visit to this world lasted so short a time.

Yours truly,

Kay

Okay, time to think about something a little less depressing.  I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot today, and I still can’t believe that it’s really true.

Hmm…Something pleasant…Only 56 minutes left till magic time!  Woo!  I wanna go home now…

(c) 2008.  All rights reserved.