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Sunday, September 18, 2005, 9:52 A.M.
I'm in Parade Magazine this morning! Parade is that national magazine that comes with Sunday's Times-Mail. Six weeks ago, the "Ask Marilyn" column issued a challenge to devise the longest sentence possible (by letter-count), using no more than two of the same letter of the alphabet. I created "I thankfully divorce my mobster husband." It won! I also created 14 other such sentences, all of which were longer, but Marilyn thought the "mobster husband" sentence was most readable. Click here to see my winning sentence, the runners-up, and the dishonorable mentions! Also, check out the new countdown clock on my Fun Stuff page. Masters, here I come!

Saturday, September 17, 2005, 11:47 A.M.
I must be the bearer of bad news today: I was cut in the first round of American Idol's Chicago auditions. However, worry not; I'm not too upset about it. Of course I'm a little disappointed, but I understand that some really good singers don't make it through round one. I actually had a great time in Chicago, except for the painfully cold, wet, and windy weather. I hope to try Idol again next year. I made a "Jo's American Idol Auditions" page that has some of the pictures from the trip and a somewhat more in depth story of the adventure. I didn't get a lot of pictures, because most of the time I was too cold to get my camera! However, Mom took some photos, but they're kind of blurry because she was shivering so much! I added my audition link to the Fun Stuff page. Go check it out!

What's Up Picture Mom & I with our official American Idol wristbands
What's Up Picture Lake Michigan with the Chicago skyline in the background
Monday, September 12, 2005, 7:33 P.M.
My American Idol audition is in less than four days! I can hardly believe that. Mom and I are looking forward to spending some time in Chicago, even if most of it will be in and around Soldier Field. The Chicago weather forecast is looking just about perfect right now with some clouds, some sun, and temperatures in the low 70s. I'm ready to be an Idolitioner!

Saturday, September 10, 2005, 12:47 P.M.
OH MY GOSH. Ed and I had the most amazing time at the Lowen & Navarro concert hosted by Sylvia Payne in Indianapolis on Thursday night. The venue was the clubhouse of a gated community, so it was an intimate setting. There were only about 40 people there, and we had front row seats! A CD of the concert was made, and we have a signed copy. Afterwards, Ed and I talked to Eric Lowen. He's an amazing musician, and is quite an inspiration because he continues to play even though he suffers from ALS. We talked to him for about six or seven minutes, and it was truly a pleasure. Eric even offered to sing with me on American Idol if I make the Top 12! (Auditions: Six Days!) Then, we had our pictures taken with Eric. (See them at right, and click to enlarge.) Ed and I left Indianapolis thrilled with our latest Lowen & Navarro experience. Ed's going to try to get them to come to Bedford sometime. I encourage everyone to visit the Lowen & Navarro web site, buy their music, and attend their concerts. They are fabulous! In web site news, I added my students "PEMDAS" memory devices to the Fun Stuff page. Don't know what "PEMDAS" means? Go check it out! It's under the "Fun Stuff Inside JoKai.net" heading.

What's Up Picture Eric Lowen & Dan Navarro in Concert
What's Up Picture Eric Lowen & Jo at the Indy Concert
What's Up Picture Ed, Eric Lowen, & Jo at the Indy Concert
Monday, September 05, 2005, 3:13 P.M.
Happy Labor Day! What a beautiful weekend it's been! Whether watching golf or sunning, I've spent each day in the sun. It's been great! I especially enjoyed following my favorite team in the Sunday afternoon round of the 2005 Claude Akins Scramble at Otis Park. I dubbed them "The Billiard Team" because of their "stripes and solids" look. (See picture at right, and click it to enlarge the photo.) Today, I added the site JigZone to my Fun Stuff page. Check it out; it's pretty neat-o. Eleven days until Idol auditions!

What's Up Picture Dad, Bill, Steve, Jeff, Ed, and Sam in the Sunday afternoon round of the 2005 Claude Akins Scramble at Otis Park
Sunday, August 28, 2005, 7:12 P.M.
I have spent most of this weekend creating a new JoKai.net site titled Miss Hackney's Math Class. I created this site in an effort to make more connections with parents and students. Visit Miss Hackney's Math Class today!

Sunday, August 21, 2005, 5:23 P.M.
It's a beautiful day! I have been sunning most of the day. However, I have returned to the air conditioning because the heat was killing me, even though I was in the pool. I learned this week that Poll Monkey won't meet my needs for my student project... but Survey Monkey will! Once again, I have created a silly survey on my Fun Stuff page to practice making surveys. Click here to take it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005, 7:37 P.M.
School has been going just wonderfully. I have over 100 students this year, and I'm enjoying getting to know every one of them. I've been trying jazz up a few of my lessons. I'd like to do a unit on graphing data using web polls. To do this, I've selected a program called Poll Monkey. I've created a test poll on my Fun Stuff page, or you can click here to take the poll!

Friday, August 12, 2005, 7:18 A.M.
Back to work today... I can't say I'm too terribly disappointed. It's been a fabulous summer (probably the best one yet), so I can't be upset. The last week and a half has been the best. I think the last days of summer are kind of like the last days of a person's life: summer's dying, so you've got to live it up! However, that didn't make waking up any easier this morning. Only 182 days to go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005, 10:15 A.M.
My 30 minutes on "Talk of the Town" at 1340 (WBIW) was most successful! Hopefully, it generated some more donations for CCFA. I enjoyed chatting with the host about Crohn's and skydiving. If you missed the show but would like to hear it, I have a tape. In web site news, I added a countdown clock (JavaScript from Dynamic Drive), to my Fun Stuff page. It's counting down to American Idol auditions!

Monday, August 08, 2005, 11:11 P.M.
Many of you will never believe this bit of news: I baked a cake today. Not just a plain cake, but baked Alaska. I'm told it was very tasty. I ate the cake, but couldn't have the ice cream, of course. (It causes Crohn's difficulties.) I used the snazzy Betty Crocker Bake 'N Fill Set I got from Lakeside. On the web site, I added The Snake Game to the Fun Stuff page.

Sunday, August 07, 2005, 2:52 P.M.
I've been doing a lot of web site work today, but about 90% of it is invisible. I moved several files to different locations, but all the files have been changed so that the URLs remain the same. In other words, you as a viewer are not affected by these changes at all. However, I did add two links to my Fun Stuff page. One is a funny clock that's only funny for about 10 seconds, and the other is a quiz about me. Have fun!

Saturday, August 06, 2005, 11:59 A.M.
St. Louis was amazing! My first trip to Missouri lasted only 22 hours, but I saw several historical and/or fun sites. The places I visited include the Gateway Arch, Union Station, the Hard Rock Cafe, a Cardinals Game at Busch Stadium, and the St. Louis Zoo. The Arch was visible from my 27th floor room at the Millennium Hotel. For some reason, I decided to take the trip to the top of the 630-feet tall Arch. It was actually pretty scary; you could feel the Arch swaying! I've added a link to my Fun Stuff page that shows some of the pictures from the trip. Click here to access that page.

What's Up Picture What a view! This is what I saw when I looked out my hotel window.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005, 6:47 P.M.
My classroom is ready for another year at BMS. I know I say this a lot lately, but I can't believe it's time for school to start! Where has the time gone? In other news, tune to 1340 (WBIW) on your AM dial at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, August 10. I will be on "Talk of the Town" to discuss my skydiving adventure that was part of my "I've Got Guts" fundraiser. Tomorrow, I leave for St. Louis! Missouri, here I come!

Friday, July 29, 2005, 9:31 A.M.
I have finished a most extensive list of outside links on the Fun Stuff page. Perhaps it's time for me to use the last two weeks of summer to do something a little more productive... like work on my Masters! However, I imagine a little sun is in order first. Can't waste a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 28, 2005, 3:12 P.M.
American Idol has posted audition dates! I was going to go to Memphis, but those auditions are on a Monday which would make me miss too many work days. So it looks like I'm Chicago bound once again on Friday, September 16!

Thursday, July 28, 2005, 1:53 P.M.
The entire site is new! After a fabulous trip to Paramount's Kings Island yesterday and a lot of time in today's beautiful sun, I have (nearly) finished my new domain site, JoKai.net. Now my three sites ("I've Got Guts," "My Skydiving Adventure," and "JoKai's Calendar Connection"), have a home instead of being seemingly spread out all over the Internet. I hope you enjoy them and the new JoKai.net!

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