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Horses, lady bugs and Idol thoughts

I have an embarrassing confession: I'm watching more and more American Idol.

That's right, I'm watching the season of the show that inflicted Clay Aiken and William Hung on America.

In season's past, I've watched only the first few shows. You know the ones, the recaps of the various city auditions where the horrible outnumber the mediocre and the stellar are rarely seen. Now that's good television.

But in the last few weeks I've actually caught myself watching the first few rounds of the competition. I haven't brought myself to vote for anyone yet, and I don't think I will. I'm having enough trouble admitting I watch the show.

I'm looking forward to spending part of my weekend at Pine Top. The three-day show out there is a triathlon of sorts for horses -- they'll spend Friday performing a series of movements in a ring, the Saturday clearing jumps on a closed course and Sunday riding over jumps and through ponds on Pine Tops acreage.

But what I'll be looking most forward to are the chicken salad sandwiches from the Thomson High School Bulldog Brigade Boosters. They run the concession stand during most of the shows, and I'm sure their business has only gone up since I've started hanging around Pine Top.

Speaking of hanging around, my house is being invaded on a daily basis. I'm being overrun by lady bugs, er, lady beetles, according to local Extension Agent Frank Watson.

From what I can tell, they are slipping in around the storm windows in my den and spend their time walking along the walls and ceiling. Frank blames the recent unseasonably warm weather.

Every now and then, the little buggers will drop from the ceiling and land.

I've taken to fighting them with a simple weapon: a plastic bottle. I've got dozens in there so far and add more every day.

But my battle has taught me one lesson: lady beetles stink. Really stink. I assume it is a defense stench, and it works. Don't believe me? Suck a few up in the vacuum cleaner.

You'll go looking for a plastic bottle too.

It's great when a little good news can come from a lot of pain. Just last week, police in Wichita, Kan., announced they'd caught a killer that had confounded them for 30 years. The BTK killer may turn out to be an unassuming family man who bound, tortured and killed on the side. Initial reports said it took the courage of his daughter to help catch him.

Closer to home, we can only hope someone locally finds similar courage to help catch whoever is responsible for killing Robin Reeves.

Let's give her family and friends the same opportunity to smile that folks in Kansas have this week.

All it takes is a phone call.



Web posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005











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