Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ink has been used on this

A sampler of my real-world stuff

Today's entry is a compilation of some of my favorite published writings that I put together for a prospective employer. Because virtually all of these are online, I thought you might enjoy them as well. They represent what I feel to be my best work in news, editorials, features and sports. You might already be familiar with some of these articles; but aren't all the cool kids?

A father renewed: Man has sons 21 years apart
(Appeared in The Daily Iberian on 6/16/02)

Having two children almost 21 years apart brings special meaning to Father's Day for Rodney Champagne.

"I rigged this up because Rod just turned 21," Champagne said Wednesday. "So by the time Hunter's old enough to play T-ball and catch, Rod's already old enough to drive me around to stop and get my beer, and I'll let him practice with his little brother while I sit down supervise and tell them what they're doing wrong."

This sense of humor marks the rapport between Rodney, a self-employed caterer and driver for ACME Trucks, and his wife Pam, a home health nurse for AAA, who recently welcomed their son Hunter into the world May 1. [...]

"We conceived the same week as the World Trade Center attack," she continued, "and I have a lot of friends who did so, too. It's just unbelievable."

Greatest crisis in the church

LAFAYETTE - Promising "to reach out to those who have been sexually abused as minors by anyone serving the Church," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Dallas voted 239-13 Friday to adopt a uniform code for handling abusive priests and assisting victims.

Edward O'Donnell, Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, discussed the actions of the bishops Monday at a press conference in Lafayette.

"I was not overly confident that we could accomplish a whole lot," O'Donnell read from a prepared statement, referring to the three-day event held in Dallas June 13-15. That span of time, he said, seemed insufficient to address "the greatest crisis the church has faced in (our) lifetime."

NFL players come together for youth

Stoked for victory, the 49ers take the field ready to capture the championship. The NFL stars on each side await a tough game, and the evenly matched squads promise a compelling battle. But this is no typical gridiron match.

There are 22 players on each side, and these 49ers are ready to take on a team called the Renegades. The NFL players are helping to call the shots rather than take them and the young boys lining up couldn't be happier. This was the vibe for Day 1 of the ninth annual Johnny Hector-Corey Raymond NFL Football Camp.

New Iberia Senior High played host Thursday to the 9- to 12-year-old portion of the two-day camp, which concludes today with the 13 to 18-year-old session. Free of charge, the camp attracted more than 100 young players and will amass an even larger number today.

Hornets stung by Beau Chene

FRANKLIN - Losing to Beau Chene 21-7 Friday night, the Franklin Hornets put out their second losing effort in as many weeks. For Franklin head coach Jerry Martin, however, calling the game any kind of effort at all was a stretch.

"That's the worst excuse for a football game I've ever seen in my life," a visibly angry Martin said following the rout. "My kids had no effort and no desire to win, so we lost."

The offense's single biggest blunder, Martin said, was "when (they) walked on the field."

NI native keeps spirit up despite illness

In the past, Kellie Couvillier has competed in the Miss Louisiana USA pageant. Today, she faces a much tougher competition.

Couvillier suffers from a network of disorders so complex and unique that it has led to extensive studies at Yale School of Medicine and has led her case to be called by some "the mystery of the 21st century." Simply explaining the daily ordeal can be difficult for Couvillier.

"There are no typical days, unfortunately," she said, though she easily summed up the worst aspect of her condition. "I spend most of my time in a fetal position, really hurting." Even so, she has not lost her amiability or spirit.

Acadia jurors OK contract to build jail

CROWLEY -- The Acadia Parish Police Jury signed a contract to construct a new parish jail Tuesday, thus ending four years of debate.

The Police Jury approved a $6,129,000 bid from Lewing Construction of Lake Charles to build the new Acadia Parish Correctional Center. Total cost of the project is $6.88 million.

Cajun brass 1, Cajun music 0

If the university truly cared about noise abatement, then they should address such diverse elements as traffic, construction and lawn mowers buzzing during classes. Why not shut down the massive heating and cooling units next to academic buildings while you’re at it? Or post signs on every sidewalk reminding students to zip their lips?

And say goodbye to those periodic block parties at the same intersection as well. Is it too late to cancel the rest of Lagniappe Week? That affects the ENTIRE campus! I have no doubt that the vast throng of students who traverse St. Mary and Rex each day would thank you for keeping their sanctuary quiet.

Somehow, I suspect that the noise disturbance was not the real issue at hand. How do I know? Because I was there. As I walked across campus from Griffin Hall to Martin Hall that day, I saw the Pine Leaf Boys doing their thing. Their volume wasn’t exactly at Festival International levels; in fact, I considered standing right by them to get a better listen. I would have even dropped change into their cup, had I not been bereft of change (a situation often shared by musicians and writers alike). As far as I was concerned, having a Cajun band there was a welcome change from the usual huckstering.

What is Louisiana smoking?

The ban would prevent smoking in public facilities including campuses, auditoriums, government buildings and busses. At last, a smart Louisiana law! The Lafayette Parish Consolidated Government has yet to consider it, though President Joey Durel has promised that it will. And before you smokers get too pissed, note that bars, hotel rooms, casinos, tobacco shops and alcohol-selling restaurants will not be covered by the ban. That’s not so bad, is it? You can exhale with relief now, just as long as you don’t do it downwind.

Maybe I'm biased because I don't smoke. Whether it was the stifling dead-ashtray odor of my house or simply watching my parents and relatives smoke, something ruined it for me very early on. Is there anything less cool than what your parents do? Thanks, mom and dad! You truly are the anti-drug.

The smoking debate is a peculiar one because of its political complexities. On one hand, you have (or should have) the right to ingest whatever you choose. On the other hand, you have the diabolical tobacco industry and its greed, lies and political clout. On the third hand, people have the right to breathe smoke-free air. So where is the line (or triangle) drawn?

Your guide to an empty stomach

Lately I’ve been thinking about this Mad Cow business. It’s amazing to think that meat could ever be bad for you!

Is the Mad Cow threat being overblown? It’s easy to think so, considering all the fear that’s been pumped into us like heroin over the past couple of years. And I surely do not follow the Official List of Scary Stuff put out hourly by the government. On the other hand, we’re talking about food here. Beef is a lot more common in our daily lives than terrorism. [...]

MCD goes by all sorts of different names: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, etc. Snore. If health officials really wanted to effectively warn people, they’d refer to it by one of its other names: scrapie! The term Mad Cow is unintentionally amusing; that brings to mind a picture of Elsie on crack. But who wouldn’t be afraid of something called scrapie in their body? Just a thought.

It strikes me as strange how so few people seem uptight about the domestic Mad Cow outbreak. The same people who burned their mail during the anthrax scare and who taped plastic sheeting all over their homes think that the idea of bugs in beef is sheer paranoia. But it’s no surprise that people do not want to give up their beef. Meat is one of the eight major legal American addictions, along with caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, Ritalin, money, guns and gasoline.

Adventures in acceleration

While it has received no attention in the media, the state of Louisiana has decided to throw out its driver education manual in favor of locally produced ones. Their reasoning is that each parish has its own unique driving conditions. As anyone who has driven through south Louisiana knows, that is just common sense. With that in mind, I have secured permission from the Department of Public Safety to reprint choice excerpts of the new Lafayette Parish Driver’s Manual. With these enlightening bits of information, the parish—and myself—both hope to publicize proper driving habits:

“Cell phone use: it is in every driver’s best interest to stay on a cell phone as often as possible when on the road. This way, when an accident inevitably happens, at least one of the conversational parties (depending on the injury) can gossip about the accident faster.

“Driving while intoxicated: acceptable between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sunday through Friday and all day Saturday. If you are under 18 with a learner’s permit or intermediate license, you may drive intoxicated only with an adult 21 years or older in the front passenger seat. [...]

“Work zone speed limits: being that road construction is a full-time hobby of the consolidated government, all drivers will from time to time see a reduced speed limit in work zones. This is a practical joke, of course. Drive faster than usual.”

I have to admit that I am impressed by how quickly and eagerly the motoring public has embraced the new rules.


Flamingo Jones said...


Ian McGibboney said...

Not that you had much competition.

Flamingo Jones said...

See, my intent was to beat the rush, you know. With writing like that, I figured you'd start drawing the crazy high comment numbers like all the big bloggers.

Ian McGibboney said...

I sure hope this isn't ominous.