Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Camp Pics

Here are some of the few pics that I took during camp. I didn't take many
photos and I didn't put these in any order. Sorry - it's late.

^ Me and two of my campers: Michael and Jorge ^

^ Camp photo ^

Chilling out after camp

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Well, my elopement went as planned. I only have time to post one picture, though.

Hahaha! =D Gotcha! didn't I?! Probably not. But, regardless of whether or not you were fooled, I definitely have attention now. Time for an explanation.
While taking some messages to the fifth floor, I saw this lady (yes, the one in the picture) getting her wedding photos. That's when I got the idea. She was already getting her picture taken, so I could just get out my camera and ask to take one with her. I keep my camera in my suit pocket almost all the time. After delivering another message, I turned my steps back towards the hall where I had passed them. I was going to follow up on my idea. However, my boldness failed me at the crucial moment. I could feel the heat of embarrassment already. I ended up walking on by with nothing more than a thumbs up to the photographer. Half an hour later, some wise maxims came to me: "Quitters never win;" "If at first you don't succeed...;" and...and...well, there must have been some others. Emboldened by these words of wisdom, I left the office (I had to go to my other office downstairs anyway). This time I was determined to finish the job. They weren't on the fifth floor anymore, but I found them downstairs. You can probably imagine the rest. She, the bride (I don't know her name), was accompanied by two women that would make sure her dress, make-up, and everything looked just right. With intrepid stride and winning smile, I approached and made my request. The two women gave me some weird responses, but the bride was very nice, and, as you can see, I got my picture.

I hope you have enjoyed this epic saga. :-P

K. Todd

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Yesterday was a great day. I got to shadow Jett for most of the day.

In the morning we met with a Kenyan who's here getting his masters at OSU (Oklahoma State University). He is working to stop poverty and HIV/AIDS in Kenya. He is a very fervent in his mission. Just a year ago he was just working toward a better life for himself - which is quite a task in itself. In order to come to the U.S. for college he started a welding, woodworking, and etc. business with his brother. In the past year he has been consumed with this new mission of his. He gave me his contact info, so we'll see what comes of that.

Yes! that is me with Dick Armey! He is the former-Majority Leader in the U.S. Congress. He was the principal author of the Republican Contract With America. I heard him speak to the Republican Caucus. He is a very intelligent man with a good sense of humor. He spoke about promoting the conservative agenda and limited government. (And, no, I'm not bald in that picture.)

Finally, the gays and lesbians were at the capitol lobbying for their stuff. They had their tables set up on the fourth floor rotunda. I talked with one gay guy. For a lawyer and lobbyist he definitely didn't do a good job of supporting his cause. He didn't have much of a logical argument. Perhaps, he saw me as being young and naive and therefore not worthy of a carefully planned argument. I wasn't debating homosexuality from a public policy standpoint either. But, it was a very good discussion. I tried not to sound hateful. I wanted to be compassionate while simultaneously maintaining that homosexuality is morally wrong. He grew up in a Christian family. I don't know whether or not he is a Christian. I couldn't resist the urge to wash my hands and wipe my face after shaking hands with him. He needs prayer. They all need prayer.

Monday, May 01, 2006

His Excellency, President Paul Kagame

Okay, about His Excellency, President Paul Kagame...

We had the President of Rwanda here ate the capitol last week. I didn't get to meet Kagame because the Secret Service didn't want very many people to be around him. They just wanted to get him in and out safely, and not turn it into a "meet and greet."
Kagame is a very thin man, a year or two shy of 50. A very humble man and relatively young. His family, members of the minority tribe that experienced the brunt of the genocide, had fled the country late in the 1950's. He was later exiled for thirty years. After his exile he became a leader in the rebel faction that fought against the genocide. His tribe, the Tutsis, regained control of the country and ended the genocide in '94. Around 800,000 people (almost a tenth of the population) had been killed in the worst month of the war.

His speech at the capitol was good, but not extraordinary. He spoke about the "similarities" between Oklahoma and Rwanda. Stuff like:
  • Oklahmans, like Rwandans, have fought through their trials and remained loyal to their state
  • Oklahomans, like Rwandans, are a friendly and caring people
  • Oklahomans, like Rwandans, are overwhelmingly Christian
I'm not too sure about that last point. I mean, President Kagame did say that, has to wonder how true that is.

Here's a funny story, though. Representative Jett had invited Governor Brad Henry to give a speech at the cermony. You know, that's just protocol. But, Governor Brad, had other in-state stuff to do, so he said he wouldn't come. So, Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin was scheduled to do the honors. When the ceremony started, Mary Fallin was about five minutes late. But, she did arrive and her entrance was announced. We all rose and applauded. And, guess who jaunted in behind her? Yes, Governor Brad. He wasn't even announced, he just strode in behind the Lieutenant Governor. He never got to do anything except wave benevolently when he was introduced by Mary Fallin.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


So, it's past time for an update. Well, here's a photo blog.

The Oklahoma capitol dome

Me, Victoria, and Preston. Victoria is Preston's sister, she's four.
Preston works with Character First! Education. Victoria was here with her mom for awhile.
I'ts nice to have little kids around. There a lot of fun.

The 4th floor rotunda. It's rarely this empty.
Yours Truly after a hot day of work.

My messy bed (just thought you'd want to see it).

Fortunately, there's two beds in my room. Unfortunately, I don't have a roommate.
So, yeah, this is my bed. I even washed the sheets recently. Kudos to me!
(Do you like my Easter bunny?)

And finally, Me at the office. I'm sitting in Rep. Jett's chair and working at his desk.

I do need prayer. That's all I'll say. I know you all are praying for me. Thanks.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ok, So I'm Late

It's been a month and no post. Oops. Yes, I am alive and a lot's been happening. Let me give you the run-down.

At the capitol, I have two main projects that I'm working on. The first project has to do with the Native American tribes, and the other has to do with International business. Representative Jett wants to put together an advisory board of college professors to discuss how to better market OK globally. That's the international business project, however, I haven't worked on that much lately. I've been concentrating on getting the information that we need from all the NA tribes in OK. There are 39 tribes in OK - more than any other state. What Jett is trying to do is initiate a better relationship between the state government and the tribes. Each of the tribes is a separate nation, not all of the tribal "chiefs" go by that title. There are many different titles: President, Chairman/Chairperson (yes, there are some female tribal leaders), Mekko (pronounced Meeko), Principal Chief, CEO, etc. The information that Jett wants has to do with the "Chiefs" and the tribal councils. Last week I fininshed making contact with all the tribes (some of them didn't return my calls and so I had to call again, ocassionally several times). One tribe flat out that they didn't want to cooperate, but I expect that ther rest of them will work with us. This week I'll have to start designing binders for the information. The binders will be given to leaders of the NA caucus. So that's the main project that I've been working on. Helping Ms. Jo (Jett's legislative assistant), runing stuff between the House and Senate, looking up voter info, and shadowing Rep. Jett are a few of the other things I do.

Mr. Bedford, the head of Gov/Rel, left for Pennsylvania this Sunday. His home is up there and he went to fix it up and sell it. He will be gone for about a month. Pray that everything will go well for him and his family. Jonathan Jessup will have quite a job taking over some of Mr. Bedford's responsibilities with Gov/Rel on top of his law studies and his job in the finance department. You can pray for him, too. Pray for me to make the best use of my time everyday. Also pray that I will do well in my class work. Studying is boring, but educational. I'm learning a lot, but learning is work.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a picture of Jonathan Jessup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

highlights of my day

..."most republicans are rich. that's what the republican party is all about."

(chuckle). as i was going up the stairs at the capitol, i heard some lady telling this to a bunch of highschoolers. i thought it was funny.

YES! that's me next to a pillar of swirling chocolate. are you envious yet? well, you should be. this was part of a chocolate treat table set up in the House Lounge. the chocolate was from Bedre Chocolates (i think i'm supposed to italicize that). mrs. jo manning Jett's LA (legislative assistant) told me about the choco setup in the lounge. she had gone up to get some chocolate before me, and had come back with a small platter of fruits, a tiny choco treat, and a choco-dipped strawberry. so i went up expecting to get the same. fortunately for me...i was wrong. i had to walk past the house pages to get to the lounge. no sooner than i stepped into the lounge, a handful of chocolate candy bars was thrust in front of me. not cheap candy bars either. they were the know, you pay twelve bucks for at the mall. okay so maybe that's not true, but they were very good candy bars. i'm not finished yet though. next, the guy that gave me the candy bars offered me a few of the tiny chocolates. then he asked me if i liked peanuts. i said "sure." so he gave me a chocolate cookie (not a baked chocolate cookie, but a chocolate cookie) with peanuts in it. then he pointed me to the choco pillar and told me to dip some of the fruits they had into the bottom of the pillar and put it on my little platter. so i dipped some honeydew and a grape. and finally he told me to try some of their choco covered pringle-shaped chips. i was loaded up. i told the guy i'd be back to get a pic of the chocolate pillar. heh, then i had to walk back past the pages with my spoils =-D. needless to say, i had a great day.

P.S. and yes, as you can tell, i did return and get my picture.

P.P.S this happened on the 22nd :-P

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Week

(random) hey, i just stumbled upon this quote a second ago: "There is no one alive who is youer than you" - Dr. Suess. i just thought it was neat.


Well, my great week started last Sunday. I went to church with the Novo Ministries group (only the coolest collection of people here at the TC). The Novo people go to various government housing projects and put on Bible clubs for the kids. After church, we went to Val's house and celebrated Amanda's birthday, played some games, went to evening service, and returned to the TC sometime after 7:30.

Monday - Thursday are my work days at the capitol. I really enjoyed this week, main reason being that the House actually accomplished somethings in session this week. I got to watch them pass a few bills on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was pretty cool. While there was no debate on any of the bills, there was one bill that the author received quite a bit of interrogating over. I think it had something to do with health insurance. There were only three reps questioning the author but...they certainly had a lot of questions. I think they were democrats, but I'm not sure. I do know that the author was a republican. Anyway, after they were through with their interrogation, the voting began and they (the three questioners) were quick to vote "Nay." Heh, they were also the only ones to vote negative. Two of them ended up changing their votes later. One changed his vote when the count was around 15 - 3. The other cracked at 48 - 2. So in the end the the tally was about 98 - 1 (a few reps weren't present during the vote).
I also got a glimpse of "the ugly side of politics" as my Rep. Jett put it. What happened was, another rep came into Jett's office to chat for a little bit. So they chatted for a while, and then Jett asked the rep (we'll call him "Rep. In The Know" or "ITK" for short) what he knew about another rep's trying to steal one of his (Jett's) bills. This other rep (we'll call him "Rep. Bully" or "Bully" for short) is the chairman of the committee that Jett's bill was going to be sent to. Because committee chairmen basically have the power to kill a bill even before it's heard in the committee. So, in the course of Jett's conversation with ITK, it became evident that Bully was trying to use his chairman power to get authorship credit for a bill he had not done any work on. In other words Bully's name would go on the bill as "Author," and Jett would be demoted to co-author. Yes it's a very mean thing to do. From what I have been able to gather, it is something that is done often between republicans and democrats. But, in this case, Bully was a republican seeking to steal a bill from another republican - Jett.

Oh boy! it's dinner time and i must go. (sigh) and i was supposed to tell you more about Rep. Jett. oh time...hopefully.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"See, honey, all they do is talk."

I was standing in the House gallery on Monday afternoon, waiting to hear the State of the State address. The state representatives on the House floor, democrats and republicans, were cheerily greeting each other as they gathered in the chamber. It was the first day of session and they were happy to be together again. Those of us packed in the gallery were more than ready to hear the governor, but the state reps seemed unaware of us as they carried on their conversations. I had thought they would start right away. Finally, I looked at the program I had been given. Wow, it was going to be a while before the speech. There were a lot of formalities to get out of the way first. The roll had to be called. Then there were a few motions that I couldn't follow. After which, a motion would be made inviting the Senate to join the House in a Joint Session. A few more procedures, and the Lieutenant Governor gets to speak. Finally a committee would be drawn up to invite the governor to the session.
While I waited, I observed my representative. I had met him earlier. Shane Jett: about 5' 10", dark brown hair, grinning eyes, and cowboy boots. A man of poise, vigor, and clarity. An extreme extrovert. I watched him as he greeted his fellow reps. For a 'freshman' representative on his first term, he certainly gets around. Talking to Majority Leader Susan Winchester, laughing with Floor Leader Cargill, stepping up to the Speaker's box to converse with Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin, he stops and talks to everyone he meets, now and then clapping a brotherly hand on their shoulder. While I watched in fascination, a mother and walked up with her two children to peer over the railing before they left the gallery. Evidently she had given up on waiting to hear the governor's speech. Her son, who was probably nine years old, looked like he wanted to stay. After she told him that it was time to leave, and they were walking out of the gallery, she said "See honey all they do is talk." I chuckled at this hasty summary of legislative duties. However, as the week went on, I almost believed her.
Why? Because, in this first week they have done virtually nothing in session. There have been a few bills passed out of various committee meetings, but in session they have done nothing but…well…talk. Now, I’m sure that later on they will get very busy passing and debating bills but right now they seem preoccupied with “niceties.” For instance, I have heard them sing happy birthday to birthday people at least four times – and once a couple of reps sang in harmony. I have heard them pass resolutions recognizing certain people or sports teams for their triumphs. At times the House Floor has sounded more like a social parlor:
“The Chair recognizes Representative [A] for a [comment ].”
Representative A rises and thanks the Speaker and then proceeds to talk about how Representative B should wear some funny outfit to show his/her support for the OSU football team. Whereupon, Representative B gets the Speaker’s permission to give his/her response to Representative A. This repartee continues for some time (and it is moderately entertaining), and, from what I have noticed, tends to end when the reps begin to announce the committee meetings that will start after adjournment.
Of course, the committee meetings are much more productive, and I seriously doubt that they will continue in this fashion next week, but it is surprising to see it happen at all.
Anyway, I am really enjoying working for Representative Jett, and I’ll try to tell you more about him next time.

K. Todd

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Roll of Things

Alright, so I've been here for almost a week now. I'm doing pretty well. Getting back into the roll of things. Though I wish things rolled a little more my way. When I was at the OTC last fall, I spent the last month of my time working in maintenance. And, while this is not my cup of tea, I at least enjoyed a lot more freedom. No curfew. Didn't have to dress up (I do like dressing up most of the time). And I didn't have to ask if I wanted to go somewhere. But now that I'm back for Gov/Rel, I'm getting used to all the rules again. It's not that I hate the rules, but I just have to get used to them again.

I really am having a good time. Everybody was like, "Welcome Back Todd!!" I just drank it all in. Ahh, the illusion of popularity. Jay topped everyones greeting when he jumped me from behind with a bear hug. Yeah, I felt like the king.

So about internship...Mr Bedford, who started Gov/Rel, is back in charge (he was in D.C. working for Senator Coburn during my fall training. He's been reviewing the training with me, reading over bills for the '06 legislative session, looking up different representatives that I might work with, and revealing the mysteries of Microsoft Excel to me. Oh, and I'm sure my mom's glad that Mr. Bedford's got me waking up at 5:50 every morning for prayer. On monday I'm supposed to go to the capitol to get some practice at using the law library, hopefully meet my representative (probably Rep. Reynolds), and then watch the 'state of the state address.' Yup, I'm looking forward to it.

'Til next time.

K. Todd

Monday, January 30, 2006

Returning to Oklahoma

tonight's my last night at home for a while (four months). i said bye to my church today. (sigh)...all the people i'm going to miss, and yet, all my friends i'll see in oklahoma city...i guess i can't have my cake and eat it too. well, i suppose i'm ready. i have a lot of packing to do so that's all for now.

bye hoosier friends.

K. Todd

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why Blog?

Ok. That last post made me look more or less like a jack-in-the-box. Hey, what can I say? I was feeling happy. Now that I've settled down though, I want to declare my intentions for this blog.

First, this blog is here so that my friends and family can keep up with what's going down in my world (that is if I can keep this updated). Second, it's for me to air my thoughts, ideas, imaginations, ect. In other words, a place for me to clear my head. Third, it's to get me writing more. So anyway, if you're reading this (and I know you are), drop me a note.

K. Todd

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

hello www

oh yes! i now have my own blog...but will i use it?
i've never been much for typing. or writing.
well shoot, i'm just glad to have a spot of my own. hello world wide web!

hhmmm...i wonder if i can edit this post after i've published it.
that'd be a real bummer if i couldn't. well, here goes nothing.

K. Todd