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.