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Thursday, December 18, 2008, 5:33 P.M.
In 21 hours and 27 minutes, the Cobb family will begin enjoying our 16-day weekend! Woo-hoo! I am very much looking forward to some unstructured time, of which we got an unexpected taste yesterday. To our surprise, school was canceled due to ice yesterday morning. It ended up being a sort of silly decision, because it wasn't really that slick. I even ran two miles safely (and did it in less than 19 minutes for the first time since I broke my leg). Even Abbi thought it was a silly—though welcome— decision to cancel school!

What's Up Picture Cutie Abbi
Sunday, December 14, 2008, 11:11 A.M.
This week was a bit of a yucky one because I missed two days of school due to a nasty flu. The flu is even more distressing when you have Crohn's disease. Luckily, I have a great nurse in Ed, a great chauffer in Dad, and a great substitute teacher in Mom. They all kept things going while I was ailing. I went back to work on Thursday, which was also the day I had a column appear in the Times-Mail. I've been asked to write an Everybody's Talkin' column once a month, and I think I'm going to enjoy it! Check out my first effort here. In other news, Ed's 7th grade basketball team won the Cutter Classic yesterday at The Quarry, BMS's gym. I wish I could post some of the great action pics, but I don't have permission from the students' parents to do so. I can, however, post a pic of their hands clutching their championship trophy! Congrats, Cutters!

What's Up Picture Ed coaching
What's Up Picture Championship trophy

Sunday, December 7, 2008, 5:21 P.M.
Yesterday morning, I was excited to wake up to the first sticking snow of the season! I immediately put on my running gear and ran four miles through the beautiful falling snow. It was fun to enjoy my longest run since I broke my leg, especially since the scenery was so gorgeous and peaceful! I was booked to perform at the Corydon Jamboree last night, and Mom wondered if the show would be canceled due to the weather. However, south of Palmyra, there was no snow or ice whatsoever! We had a lot of fun in Corydon, as usual! In other news, U. of E.'s athletics web site had a nice story about Sam posted last week. Check it out!

What's Up Picture Winter wonderland
What's Up Picture Jo & Jean Ann jammin'

Sunday, November 30, 2008, 2:10 P.M.
Christmastime is here, and JoKai.net is ready! (If you can't see the new layout, or if the site looks strange, delete your temporary internet files and refresh the page.) Here is some of the evidence of the decorating Mom and I did last week. I am proud of all four trees we finished—the Hackney Christmas tree, the Cobb Christmas tree, the Care Bear Christmas tree, and the Patriotic Christmas tree. At Mom and Dad's house, Ed, Dad, and Abbi watched football while we decorated, and we kept getting in their way! In other news, tomorrow is my half-birthday, and I'll be 29½. Ed says that rounds up to 30. Hmmmmmmm...


What's Up Picture Penguin decorations
What's Up Picture Patriotic tree


What's Up Picture Dad & Abbi helping

What's Up Picture Mom & Hackney tree

What's Up Picture Cobb tree

What's Up Picture Care Bear tree

Thursday, November 27, 2008, 10:42 A.M.
The Cobbs have something very exciting about which to be thankful this Thanksgiving: Sam will be playing golf and studying mechanical engineering at the University of Evansville next year! After a visit to the Purple Aces' campus and conversations with the golf coach, Jim Hamilton, Sam decided that U. of E. is the best fit for him. He signed his NCAA Letter of Intent last week. Because he is both #1 in his class academically and is a National Merit Semi-Finalist, most of his tuition will be paid by scholarship. He will also be receiving an athletic scholarship. U. of E. is an NCAA Division I school, so Sam will have the chance to travel to elite golf courses and play some other great athletes. We are so proud of him! Check out the awesome article about Sam that was in the Times-Mail on Monday. Way to go, Sam; and thanks to Jason Calhoun for all his help with Sam's golf career. In other news, I began Thanksgiving with a 3½-mile run with the Let's Go group. I'm so thankful my leg has healed! Have a great Thanksgiving!

What's Up Picture Sam in a BNL match
What's Up Picture Sam at the 2008 Regional
What's Up Picture Let's Go Thanksgiving run

Sunday, November 23, 2008, 9:04 P.M.
In Spring 2006, on Season 5 of American Idol, one of our favorite contestants was Bucky Covington. When I saw that he was going to be at the Little Nashville Opry this season, I knew I had to get tickets—and great tickets they were! As Ed and I were getting ready to sit in our fourth row seats, Jim (one of the owners), asked us if we wanted to go backstage to meet Bucky. Um, YES! We didn't have our camera, so we used Ed's cell phone to get a picture of the meeting. Neat! The concert was high-energy and entertaining, so we ended up having an all-around fabulous evening! The day before, Ed did his annual exploding hydrogen demonstration. He uses a chemical reaction of zinc and hydrochloric acid to fill a balloon with hydrogen gas. Then he brings a flame near the balloon and—BOOM!—explosion. (The picture I got last year was a little better; just click here to check it out.) Also on Friday, we chaperoned a school dance and enjoyed a pick-up basketball game. (The picture to right made me laugh because I thought it looked like Mac was kidney-punching Chase.) To wrap up a great weekend, Ed and I ran a mile this morning, and Mom and I decorated our houses for the holidays! ♪ It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

What's Up Picture Ed, Jo, & Bucky Covington
What's Up Picture Ed's explosion
What's Up Picture Mac, Chase, & Sam

Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 6:32 P.M.
Two years ago today, I did something crazy. I joined some local runners, my new Let's Go buddies, on my very first serious training run. A few days before, I'd decided to see how far I could run without stopping, and made it 3/16ths of a mile. That's 18.75% of a mile. For some reason, I decided that 18.75% of a mile was good enough to sign up for a 13.1-mile race. Something told me I could do it, and that I'd be better for it. I did, and I was. Now, two years and one fractured fibula later, I'm still running. My new orthotics are rubbing blisters on my feet; but feet toughen up, so I run anyway. It's getting cold; but my body is adjusting, so I run anyway. Sometimes, running hurts; but it's not as bad as Crohn's, so I run anyway. I am thankful for running, even more so since the injury. It's good to be back! Happy run-iversary to me!

What's Up Picture Let's Go 10K, Mar. 2008
What's Up Picture Shamrock Run, Mar. 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 5:17 P.M.
I think Winter weather has arrived! Unlike most folks, I'm excited, mostly due to running. Everyone thinks cold weather running must be terrible, but there's nothing quite like running in crisp, cool air—especially when it's snowing lightly! I, too, used to despise Winter, particularly January, but have learned to appreciate it. (Click here to read my 2007 apology to January.) Fall turning to Winter also brings thoughts of Christmas, and Christmas Break! There are only 23 school days until our two week break. I can't believe we're more than a third done with the school year (36.6% done, to be exact). Because this is Sam's Senior year, he's been checking out colleges in which he's interested. He's got a pretty solid plan in place, but I want to wait to reveal it until he's sure that it's what he wants to do. In other news, last night, I sang at the Corydon Jamboree. My favorite part was when I got to sing "All of Me" to a gentleman who is leaving Indiana Winter for Florida this week. It was neat!

What's Up Picture Sam & Ed
What's Up Picture Jo singing in Corydon
What's Up Picture On the monitor in Corydon
Friday, November 14, 2008, 12:57 P.M.
Today was my last Remicade infusion! Hooray! I've been getting these treatments at the hospital on-an-off for over five years, so I'm glad to be done. Apparently, the Crohn's is getting better! My leg is as well, and I'm running two miles pretty regularly now. It healed at the perfect time, because I'm so enjoying the Fall colors. To the right is a picture of a Ginkgo (my favorite type of tree), that I took at IU in 2000.

What's Up Picture Ginkgo at IU in 2000
Monday, November 10, 2008, 9:08 P.M.
On Saturday, I went for a short morning run. While I was out, I was passed by a house. For real. By the time I'd finished my run, the house was nearly at its destination, so my pictures weren't great. At the Times-Mail web site, you can check out a pic (and a quote from me), at this link. There's a lot of controversy surrounding the move, so it's a pretty interesting read. Also on Saturday, I attended the 2009 Lawrence County Junior Miss program. There were a lot of talented contestants, and they put on a great show. As usual, I enjoyed seeing my LCJM Has-Been friends, and even got to see an Indiana's Jr. Miss friend! It's always great to hang out with Jr. Miss buddies. Victoria Weir was named the 2009 LCJM. She has an exciting year ahead of her! Read about her here! In other news, check out Freekibble, one of Mom's favorite sites, tomorrow. At this site, you answer trivia questions to donate food to puppies and kitties; and tomorrow, donations are doubled!

What's Up Picture Anah — 2008 LCJM
What's Up Picture LCJM Has-Beens + 2009
What's Up Picture Di & Jo
Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 6:58 P.M.
Hooray for Fall, my favorite season! After Mom and I took some new pics of Abbi for her web site, I decided to take some pictures of beautiful Fall colors. I was going to post a few here, but discovered that there were tons of them that I loved and wanted to share! Therefore, I made an entire Fall Scenes 2008 slideshow. It even includes scans of some interesting leaves I found. One of those leaves fell right into my hand! One of my favorite photos in the slideshow is of several pairs of shoes flung over power lines at sunset. Pretty! For more breathtaking Fall beauty, visit the Leaf Cam at VisitIndiana.com. Enjoy the color while it lasts!


What's Up Picture Abbi with long bangs
What's Up Picture Shoes on lines
Sunday, November 2, 2008, 7:59 P.M.
Welcome back to Standard Time! This was the perfect weekend to have an extra hour, because it was SO MUCH FUN! On Thursday, I met my Let's Go buddies for a costume run. As Supergirl, I wore a cape with my costume, and I felt like I was flying! Then on Halloween, I was booked to appear at the Little Nashville Opry. Everyone in the band dressed in costumes. My favorite costume was Mark's Frisch's Big Boy get-up. It was hard to sing without cracking up at all the funny costumes. The fun atmosphere helped produce an entertaining and enjoyable evening. Finally, I appeared at the Ross Country Jamboree last night. Jenny and Kim joined me for my favorite-ever performance of "Proud Mary." With the help of some awesome choreography, we had an absolute ball on that song, and it capped one of my favorite performing weekends of all time. Check out the JoKai.net Slideshows page for a slideshow from each weekend performance. The Nashville slideshow is cross listed in both the singing and holidays categories, and the RCJ slideshow is in the singing category. In other news, Punkin won the Sketchpad Halloween Contest! Congrats, Punkin!

What's Up Picture Costume run
What's Up Picture Supergirl
What's Up Picture Hot choreography
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 6:58 P.M.
I can't believe I haven't highlighted the pumpkin carving site! Every year, I suggest that everyone go carve a virtual pumpkin. My effort for this year is to the right. Click here to see the pumpkin I made last year, and here to see Mom's artistic pumpkin from 2005. Also, don't forget to vote in the Sketchpad Halloween Contest! Happy Halloween!

What's Up Picture Jo's virtual punkin
Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 4:24 P.M.
Happy Semi-Golden Anniversary, Ed! We are 28 (months) on the 28th!

Sunday, October 26, 2008, 11:41 A.M.
Yesterday, Ed, Mac, Mom, Dad, and I went to Huber Family Farm in Starlight, Indiana, to celebrate Dad's retirement. We ate a hearty meal at the restaurant, enjoyed the gift shop, and wound through a corn maze. Mac and I also enjoyed feeding duckies, and I forced him to partner with me on a teeter-totter. The weather was beautiful, as well—a perfect Fall day! Check out the photos in the slideshow. No one thought to bring one of our good cameras, so all the pics were taken with a cell phone and are a bit fuzzy. They still capture the fun, though! I think yesterday will end up being a 2008 Top 5 Day! Speaking of 2008, today is the 300th day of the year! Here is some more cool math I figured out this morning: Mac was born on the day I turned 5,400 days old (March 14, 1994). On the day he will turn 5,400 days old, I'll be 10,800 days old, and he'll be half my age. Guess what day that will happen? December 25, 2008—this Christmas!

What's Up Picture Jo & Mom hayriding
What's Up Picture A hungry duckie
What's Up Picture Jo with the punkins
Thursday, October 23, 2008, 4:56 P.M.
Books. As we say in this part of the nation, I'm eaten up with them! Last summer and this fall, I have been a Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com regular. Mom and I do a lot of book-switching with each other, as well. Over Fall Break, I organized my book shelves. This morning before school, I took a picture of my favorite book shelf and planned to put it on JoKai.net tonight. To my surprise, Bob Bridge posted a blog about books this afternoon as well! Anyway, I recently bought a book I have been wanting for years and years. The title is Lengthy by Syd Hoff, and it is a rare children's book about a l--o--n--g dog. I frequently borrowed Lengthy from the Bedford Public Library when I was a kid. It has a lot of sentimental value to me, so I'm thrilled to finally have my own copy. Also, I recently acquired another rare (and signed!) book, Memoirs of Elise by David Gurnee. It tells the story of a character from my favorite movie, Somewhere in Time. Incidentally, my favorite book is the book on which that movie was based, Bid Time Return, by Richard Matheson. They are all on that shelf! →

What's Up Picture Jo with Lengthy
What's Up Picture Jo's bookshelf (missing a book Mom has borrowed)

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 10:01 A.M.
Either my body is having a hard time adjusting to the reintroduction of aerobic exercise, or I'm getting sick. Achy joints and muscles, fatigue, and a snivel-y nose are symptoms of both root problems. I think it might be a combination of both since I've been walking/running and riding in a golf cart in this long weekend's varying cool-to-warm-and-back-to-cool-again temperatures. On Friday night, I sang outdoors, and I'm sure that didn't help. The Ross Country Jamboree band and I had an absolute ball that night though. My country singing began a year ago Tuesday when I sang in the Little Nashville Opry talent contest. It's been a fun year!

What's Up Picture Jo riding at Otis
What's Up Picture Jo & Kim's choreography

Thursday, October 16, 2008, 4:37 P.M.
Happy Fall Break! My buddy Lisa sent me a super fun web site a few weeks ago: Yearbook Yourself! Three cheers for old school! Arm yourself with a photo, then enjoy watching yourself walk through yearbooks from 1950 to 2000. I added Yearbook Yourself to the Fun Stuff page. Ed made one for him, me, the boys, and each of the students in his homeroom. To the right, you can check out two of his creations. Mine looks eerily like one of Mom's real yearbook photos! In other news, my orthotics are here! These little inserts are supposed to make all the difference in my running. I walked two miles today, and ran the last quarter-mile. No pain! Between the orthotics and physical therapy, I think my leg is healed for good! And just in time: I LOVE Fall running! The temperature and humidity are just right, and the scenery is beautiful. Another exciting Fall event will be rehearsals for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a musical presented by LCCA and LTB. I am playing the role of "The Narrator," so I'll be pretty busy!

What's Up Picture Old-school Jo
What's Up Picture Old-school Ed
Monday, October 13, 2008, 7:04 P.M.
Fall Break is almost upon us! I'm jazzed! Tomorrow is conference day, Wednesday is a half-day, and Thursday and Friday are vacation days! To get yourself in the Fall spirit, don't forget to vote in the JoKai.net Sketchpad Halloween Contest! More Fall fun will be had on Friday: I'm joining the Ross Country Jamboree gang for an outdoor benefit in New Washington. Then, I get to sing at the Little Nashville Opry on Halloween night! The performers are going to wear costumes! I sang last weekend at the Corydon Jamboree, and had a blast there, as well. In other news, I'm having physical therapy for my leg and should be running in a few weeks!

What's Up Picture Jo singing in Corydon
What's Up Picture Jo & Mom going home
Thursday, October 9, 2008, 10:16 P.M.
As of tomorrow, Dad will have been employed by General Motors for 39 years, 4 months, and 1 day; and that day will be his last! He's retiring! Now he'll have more time for golf, yard work, computers, and watching Purdue sports. Congrats on your retirement, Dad! You can finally get all those "summer projects" and "winter projects" finished! Oh, and to all: Happy 10-09-08! I love mathematically significant dates.

What's Up Picture Dad gardening in 2004
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 12:34 P.M.
It's a beautiful Fall weekend! I've been able to spend lots of time outside this weekend, which has taken a toll on my allergies, but it's been worth it! Mom and I sat by the closed pool yesterday—me in the sun, and her in the shade since she's in a fancy broken-leg-boot. You can enjoy the outside weather from your computer by checking out the Leaf Cam at VisitIndiana.com. There's not a lot of color yet, but I'm sure there will be over the next few weeks. I enjoyed some early color last night on the drive to the Ross Country Jamboree, where I performed last night. My favorite song of the evening was "Proud Mary." Fun! In other news, I created a fun new Sketchpad sketch in one of my GSP classes—a Ferris Wheel! It's pretty fun!

What's Up Picture Jo singing at RCJ
What's Up Picture Ferris Wheel
Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 6:19 P.M.
Happy October—my favorite month! When I was in elementary school, I had a Halloween tradition. Every year, I would design and decorate four to six pumpkins using construction paper (as in, not real pumpkins). Each one had a different theme such as Cowboy Pumpkin, Geeky Pumpkin, Rock Star Pumpkin, etc. Iíd hang them on the wall in the living room, and each pumpkin had a little 3x5 card accompanying him or her. The rule was that everyone who wanted to participate could cast two votes. Voters could vote for two different pumpkins; or, if you had a pumpkin that was a special favorite, you could cast both of your votes for that pumpkin. The winning pumpkin reigned over the Pumpkin Vote the following October. It was a fun idea for a kid. However, the only trouble was that it was just Mom, Dad, and me in the house, and our visitors were few. I didnít want to make my Pumpkin Vote mobile because I didnít want to ruin the construction paper designs. So, there were only about 20 votes cast each year, but it was still a fun activity. I decided to do a variation of the pumpkin vote this year: the Sketchpad Halloween Contest! Using what Iíve learned in my Sketchpad courses, Iíve made four Halloween designs. You may view and play with all four, then cast your votes for your favorite(s). I donít know what the winning design will receive... probably just respect. Anyway, this was a fun way for me to practice my Sketchpad skills. Plus, now I can open my Halloween Contest to the whole world instead of just to my living room!

What's Up Picture Punkin
What's Up Picture Arach
What's Up Picture Witchy
What's Up Picture Ghostie
Sunday, September 28, 2008, 8:37 P.M.
Here's a totally useless fact for you: I had braces put on my teeth 20 years ago today! It was 1988, and I was in the fourth grade, which was my favorite year in school. Speaking of school, Ed and I received our school pictures last week. It's become a bit of a tradition for me to post our school pics on JoKai.net. Eight hours after I had this year's school picture taken, I had bangs cut into my hair! (And there's another useless fact.) Last night, Ed and I went to his cousin Rob's wedding reception. Ed's sister, Stephenie, and her family attended. It was a treat to see them because they live in Indy, so we don't get to hang out very much. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the gorgeous weather both poolside (in my case), and at Otis (in Ed's case). I'm ultra-sunburned, which is kind of funny since it's late September. One of my favorite activities this weekend was running one block. My doctor told me I am allowed to give my leg little running tests every now and then. This afternoon, before I walked a mile, I thought, "If it doesn't hurt with one block to go, I'm running it." It didn't, so I did! I am pleased to report that I am pain-free. There is an awesome training season in my future this Winter! In other news, I have revamped the Geo Sketchpad Sketches page. I learned a little more about the coding of the sketches, which in turn helped me give them a more uniform look. Also, I added a new sketch—a dynamic number line! It's so cool. I can't wait to use it with my students this Spring. Check back later this week to see a fun Halloween surprise on which I'm working. Here's a hint: it's Sketchpad related!

What's Up Picture Jo, Ed, & Stephenie
What's Up Picture Jo's school pic
What's Up Picture Ed's school pic
What's Up Picture Dynamic number line

Thursday, September 25, 2008, 9:42 P.M.
Christmas is three months from today! Wow. That hardly seems possible. Just yesterday, we had Quarry Fest at BMS. To me, that always signifies the end of the "beginning" of the school year. It's full-steam ahead now. Abbi stopped by Quarry Fest, as usual, and posed for a photo. Things are finally getting to normal around Bedford, post ridiculous wind. Otis Park, an area that was hit particularly hard, is clear of all downed trees, as is most of Lawrence County. Check out the animated picture to the left that shows Dad in the wind during the Senior City. We won't soon forget that day! In web site news, if you're wondering where all the recent What's Up stuff went, check out Summer 2008 in the What's Up Archive, also linked at the bottom of the page. Finally, have you decided for whom you're going to vote for President? If not, check out this link! This Match-O-Matic survey asks you to choose between McCain's and Obama's quotes, without telling you who said what! Interesting!

What's Up Picture Abbi & Jo at Quarry Fest
What's Up Picture Sunset on #4
What's Up Picture It was windy!


Monday, September 22, 2008, 5:36 P.M.
Forever Gold had a blast at the Marshall Autumn Festival in Marshall, IL! The rain stayed away, and we performed for an audience of thousands—for real! For a small town, Marshall put on one heck of a festival that included games, food, vendor booths, a street dance, and lots of great entertainment. Check out the great pictures in the Forever Gold slideshows. Mom wasn't able to be the photographer due to her broken leg (which is going to require surgery), so Mac took over photography duties. He was also the band bodyguard. In other news, check out the article about Dad winning the Senior City in the nasty wind! We are very proud of him! Finally, I changed the JoKai.net layout to its Fall look. (If you can't see it, delete your temporary internet files and refresh the page.) The Fall layout is my favorite; enjoy it while it lasts! Bring on the cooler temperatures!


What's Up Picture Fallish atmosphere
What's Up Picture Jo petting some ponies


What's Up Picture Can do it with eyes closed!
What's Up Picture Uncle Stan
What's Up Picture Like husband, like wife
What's Up Picture Like uncle, like nephew
       
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