Wednesday, December 14, 2005

•We have a new puppy!

This week we welcomed the cutest little puppy into the family. She was given to us by a family who had too many puppies.

She's looks kinda like the RCA logo dog, ya know, the one with a black spot over one eye that looks at the old fashioned record player. We named her Ariel.

I've already had people ask me if that is a reference to Ariel from the Little Mermaid. No. I've never even seen the Little Mermaid.

The name actually come from two references: Ariel, a character from Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Princess Ariel the Sorceress, a character from Thundarr the Barbarian.

•In other news, we went to two movies on Saturday: the new Harry Potter, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Both were excellent movies. I'm not going to waste time writing about why they're both worth seeing.

If you are reading this and you haven't seen either one of them yet, well, go see them!

•There's going to be lots of interesting Iowa political stuff to watch over the next month. I'm going to be working on getting some petition sigs for Mom this weekend. I keep watching the blogs and the news...there are some blogs that are pretty okay. The best one I've come across so far is Iowa Political Watch. It's a very thorough blog. The John Deeth Blog is also a solid place to find good info from time to time, especially the Iowa City viewpoint. Speaking of Iowa City, I'm going to be there Saturday to visit the guys.

•I'm starting to use bullet points in my blogs, just because it is annoying to some Iowa bloggers and I happen to like them. Maybe it's the news writer in me (Journalese really is an altogether different language from the Queen's English).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Aagh, I bumped into a cow on the way home tonight. Snow on the road...going about 40 mph. I saw it and could not stop.

I slid on the snowy road for several feet, and just barely bumped into the cow's rear end as it was trying to get out of the way. Miraculously, there was no visible damage to the cow, to me or to my vehicle. Whew. The cow immediately took off, running away into the ditch.

I'm thinking I really got lucky. I hope the cow is not injured. I called the cops and they're going to find it.

I drive this road so often and see so much wildlife, I always thought I'd hit a deer.

I was coming home from practice at the theater. I'm running lights for the Victorian Stroll Christmas play, and this was the final rehearsal before the show on Saturday. I'll have a full day on Saturday, as I get to take photos of all of the big events in Albia.

My Grandpa is doing much better now, recovering at the Monroe County Hospital from his heart surgery. Mom and Uncle Stephen brought him and Granny down from Mercy Hospital in Des Moines yesterday. He's looking pretty good, and he has his old sense of humor back.

Lots of big news going on around here. A good friend, Brad, visited me today at the office. He's back from Afghanistan for a brief leave. He has to go back there again in January.

I heard that the Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion release is now delayed until March. That's too bad. It was the one game I was really, really looking forward to getting this year. Oh well, I can wait.

A plumber is coming here tomorrow. We're finally going to get the three problems fixed. The issues of toilet flushing will be resolved once and for all!

That's it for now. Bye.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted on here.

Here's what happened: We went on vacation and dodged the hurricanes. It was a wonderful trip. Highlights included visiting the Hemingway House on Key West, swimming in the ocean off Pearl Island in the Bahamas, and of course, visiting J-Dub.

I don't think I would like to live in Jacksonville. Not really my kinda place, but I hope J-Dub is happy where ever he ends up.

Back at home it's now life as normal as it can be.

We went to the big dinner in DM for people of my political party. Lots of good speeches. We have a very strong party in Iowa. I don't like the venue. I'm not quite sure what the heck is the deal with that new events center area. It's kind of a hodge podge.

After the dinner, Mom hosted a little gathering. There was a good turnout, and it was nice to meet so many supportive people.

Things aren't all fine and dandy, however. My grandpa has to have open heart surgery next week. Everything sounds like he's going to be okay, but it's scary.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The autumn season is upon us in Iowa. Yesterday I mowed the lawn, and I was mulching leaves more than I was cutting grass. There were so many walnuts on the ground in some parts of the lawn, I was worried I may have dulled the mower blades. When you hit a ripe walnut with a lawn mower, it releases a wonderful aroma that brings back memories.

There is certainly a feast for the squirrels. By November, they'll have almost all of those walnuts stashed away somewhere.

I'll be away from a computer for a while starting tomorrow. We're going to a region of warm climate to visit my best buddy, J-Dub. I'll post about it when we get back.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I like to think I know a few things about newspapers (I've worked as news editor and photographer for an Iowa newspaper for nearly six years).

I really think there's something wrong about how a certain powerful Des Moines newspaper has represented my mom in their news article today. The photo they used of Mom in their article today was disappointing. That was an unfair representation of my mom's appearance.

Any moron with a camera and a printing press can take unflattering photos of people and publish them (just look at the National Enquirer), but I expected a higher standard from Iowa's largest newspaper.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Today was Homecoming in Albia, and it was a special day for the family. Mom was inducted into the Albia Community High School Wall of Fame during the Homecoming assembly. It's really cool to see Mom honored this way, and it made be feel really proud.

After the assembly, she rode in the parade in a cool convertible.

We all gathered and had lunch at Granny's. Her food is always so good, I almost get sick because I eat like a pig. I had home-made peach cobbler and it was still warm out of the oven. I poured a little half-n-half over the top. Mmm.

This evening, we went to the Rotary Hog Roast for supper, and I proceeded to stuff myself once again. But it was worth it, very delicious food. All in all, it was a really good day.

But it's not all good news around here. Tomorrow Steva and I will drive to Harlan to attend the funeral of a special friend of her family.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Greetings! This is Dien Judge, posting from rural Monroe County, east of Albia, Iowa.

I've been reading blogs for some time now, but I've always just been an observer. I like to visit the Iowa-related blogs at least once a week or so, and I just decided today that I should do this too! Why not? Apparently, they'll let anybody do this!

So here's my introduction: I'm Dien Judge, and my lovely wife's name is Steva Havick Judge. We've lived here on the old family farm for about seven years. It's a fun place to live.
No kids yet, but we're hoping someday.

We have a very special kitty named Midnight. He lives here with us in our comfy house. There are also some kitties that live outside. The main mama kitty is Smoky, and there's Striker, and Cataract Kitty. They live on the deck outside.

We have a big yard and this year we had a nice garden. We grew lots of radishes, spinach, onions, tomatoes, peppers and some other stuff (We had some sweet corn growing, but the raccoons helped themselves to it all!). We also have lots and lots of different and interesting flowers growing.

I'm the News Editor for the Albia Newspapers, a twin weekly in Albia. Been doin' that for five and a half years. It's an interesting job. I write a lot of the news stories that are in the paper, and I also take quite a few of the photos. Sometimes, if I'm feeling like I need to express my opinion in the paper, I'll write a column or an editorial. My duties at the newspaper have allowed me to meet some of the most interesting characters I have ever met in my life. Who would have thought all of these fascinating people lived right here in my own home town?

Anyway, no, I'm not going to be blogging about Albia news. You'll have to buy a newspaper for that. This is going to be my own personal space for me, my family and my friends. I hope you enjoy it.