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Getting a Jump on Holiday Shopping

Updated: 10/13/2009 - It seems the holiday shopping season is starting earlier than ever! I found some evidence on Yahoo! today. An article names the 10 Hottest Toys for 2009.

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The Sad Reality of Flu Season

Updated: 10/05/2009 - I made a call last week that's never fun for a reporter - no matter what the movies might have you think. It was to the family member of someone who'd lost their life. I spoke with the brother of a woman who had passed away a week earlier of complications from the H1N1 virus. Stephanie Alfrey was just 30-years old and had three young children at home. Her brother, Chris, says she went to the hospital not feeling well. Within days, it had progressed to double pneumonia. Seven days after entering the hospital, she was dead.

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What Did You Think of Letterman "Confession?"

Updated: 10/05/2009 - Knowing it was coming, I had to watch.

How would David Letterman work in the story of an alleged extortion plot and, subsequently, admit that he had sex with several female staff members?

We turned it up in the newsroom after the show and listened. I had my "Tweet deck" fire up on the keyword search "Letterman." It instantly lit up and I think I have to agree with the most common word I saw to describe what unfolded: awkward.

First off, if you're unfamiliar with the story, go ahead and read about it:

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Happy Coffee Day!

Updated: 10/05/2009 - September 29th may be my older brother's birthday but - and no offense here, big bro - I was more excited to see this is also National Coffee Day!

Through online searching, I've learned no one really knows how this day started. It seems coffee lovers picked a random day off the calendar and decided to celebrate. I'll raise a tall, skinny vanilla latte to that!

I was starting to get even more fired up when I saw several national chains were offering free coffee deals for people to show their java jubilation. I clicked on a few and noticed they were local articles. I went to the corporate web sites for those chains and didn't see it mentioned. Hmmm... So being the intrepid reporter I am, I picked up the phone and called our local locations. Alas, they had not heard of National Coffee Day. No deals here - though one manager did say she'd give me a cup of coffee I paid a visit.

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Happy Kitchen Accidents

Updated: 10/05/2009 - I had to laugh when a friend sent me a message today asking for my smoothie recipe.

Here it is - take whatever fruit you have lying around and put it in a blender with a splash of milk and a small scoop of frozen yogurt.
How much of each fruit? What's considered a splash? Could you define small scoop?

I have no idea. You see, most of what I cook has no recipe. Oh, I know baking has to be more scientific, so I'll follow directions for that. But for main courses, I tend to make things up as I go along.

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And Now, A Positive Sports Story...

Updated: 10/01/2009 - With so much focus this week on the squabbles between KU's football and basketball teams, it was refreshing to read the following article on Yahoo! today. If you liked the story about the softball players carrying the opposing player around the bases, this one will touch you, too. But it's more than just what the respectful gesture the student-athlete displayed, it's about what else the young man is going through. Sometimes, people make mistakes. The test of their character is in how they overcome them.

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Our Love/Hate with Technology

Updated: 09/25/2009 - And we thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier!!! As I write this, our newsroom computer program has decided to take a vacation. It's the system where we write our scripts, time our newscasts, auto-load our video and auto-enter the font information -- that's when you see the names and locations on the screen. There's nothing like a computer problem to make you realize the extent to which we depend on computers these days! For all those times you wonder why you need to learn the background on how something works, this is your reminder. Yes, a computer makes it easy to do, but you need to know how to physically do it for those times when the computer is not available to do it for you.

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Sober Reminders

Updated: 09/25/2009 - It's still not clear whether a K-State student's brush with alcohol poisoning was outright hazing or an individual not knowing his limits. Whichever it was, it certainly adds to the debate over the use of alcohol by college students. Is binge drinking a problem among college students? It depends who you ask. Tales of alcohol-fueled fun have been around as long as perhaps anyone can remember. Old friends laugh over the memories. It's the stuff of classic movies like "Animal House." It's just harmless fun, after all - kids blowing off steam. But families of two KU students who lost their lives this past spring might tell you otherwise. Both deaths were ruled alcohol-related. For them, binge drinking was anything but harmless.

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Seriously! It's Not Too Tough to Read Your Lips!

Updated: 09/25/2009 - We know we live in an age where everything may be on camera, but it seems like some people either forget or don't care. Take Chiefs Coach Todd Haley. Now, I know competition can get emotional and I know coaches have long been cussing out players, but I still have mixed emotions about the colorful sideline tirades I saw during Sunday's game. You didn't need audio to clearly make out the words Haley was using. Even my nephew, who's a high school freshman, commented on it. And that is what brings me to my mixed feelings. I am not so naive as to think kids don't know what these words are, but do we want the family to settle in for a Sunday afternoon, only to shield the kids' eyes and ears every time they show the sideline? The FCC has debated fining broadcasters for an expletive that's slipped out during an awards show. Does not being able to hear it make it okay?

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