Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Search for the Perfect Christmas tree

As a follow up on the Holden Christmas tree, here is the story about the hunt for the perfect yule tide evergreen.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holden Christmas Tree

From left, Bill, Cathy, Sam, Rachael, Micah and Tim Holden pose in with their Christmas tree in their family room. Choosing and decorating a new tree each holiday season is a family tradition that the Holden family have taken part in for many years.
The Holden's are like family to us. Some of my earliest childhood memories come from time spent with them. I'm glad to see that they were recognized in the local newspaper for the amazing Christmas trees' they always get.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Doing something about school debt

Many universities are realizing the obscene amount of debt students are racking up as a result of going to university and thus have decided to do something about it. A recent article in the USA today describes how top tier colleges are attempting to ease the cost burden.

For example Harvard has followed the lead of many other fine academic institutions to reduce or eliminate the amount of loans a student can take out to attend university. In these fine institutions student loans have been replaced with a new way of financing the education of those who attend university.

Harvard encountered a decline in middle class student applications and decided to make it a more level playing field. Specifically, Harvard has recently began to allow students, who could not afford the opportunity to attend Harvard, the opportunity to attend without paying a penny in tuition based upon family income.

This is a step in the right direction, as it is one in which not only private institutions should adhere to but state schools should also heed the wisdom of helping those students prone to fall into a debt crisis.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Mark Mangino
The best coach this year for college football is finally getting the credit he deserves.

Good work Mangino...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Border "shirt" war

The Border war is pretty big news here and these shirts prove it.
Here is a picture of John Brown on the front of a Kansas shirt.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.This shirt is horrible! It is depicting the 1863 fire that some Missourians started in Lawrence. This fire killed over 100 people including women and children.
Shirt making fun of Mangino.


I remember going to my first football game at the University of Kansas. It was in the late 90's and many people at the school didn't even know we had a football team. The school was literally giving away tickets for the game at Memorial stadium. However, the stadium wasn't even half full and the Jayhawks lost by about 50 points.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED! I never thought I would see the Jayhawks on the front cover of Sports Illustrated, talking about a possible championship.

On top of that the Jayhawk catching the football on the cover is Kerry Meier from my home town of Pittsburg, KS.

It is a huge game this week against my current school, The University of Missouri. You better believe I am one of only 2 people in Columbia, Mo rooting for the Jayhawks....The other being my wife. ;) It should be a good game at Arrowhead on Saturday.

Rock chalk...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Free Taco

If your hungry go to taco bell today b/w 2pm and 5pm for a FREE TACO!!!

"Taco Bell pitched a softball during the World Series. On Tuesday, it will pay.

The official quick-service restaurant of Major League Baseball is offering everybody in America a free taco between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in their local time zones. The offer is good in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Supreme Court strips women of equal pay rights

This is an issue that we should all pay attention to in regards to equal rights. It is important to take action regarding equal rights and write to your congress woman/man and tell them that we are not putting up with this. A 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court means that this is not a unanimous decision and thus is not necessarily "good law". In essence, if we write to congress representatives they can take action to pass laws to prevent this from happening again.

Brigid McGuire

Issue date: 10/25/07
While some of us women were busy studying for midterms, editing research papers or just simply living our small lives here in Long Beach, the Supreme Court basically took away a woman's right to equal pay in the workplace.

According to an article in Ms. Magazine, Lily Ledbetter was stripped of her civil rights in the Supreme Court's Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Inc. 5-4 decision back in May, but nearly nobody noticed or cared.

The case tells how Ledbetter found out on the day of her retirement that she was getting paid 20 percent less then her male counterparts.

"Compared to those managers with similar experience, she was earning up to 40 percent less," the indictment read. This was after 19 years of service. Ledbetter was the only woman in her position.

Like any responsible woman, Ledbetter filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and stated that she was a victim of "pay discrimination."

She filed under Title VII, which covers discrimination in the workplace based on sex, race, national origin and religion. Things looked good in the beginning. Ledbetter won her lawsuit in Federal District Court and won a $3.6 million decision. Because of a faulty slanted appeal, she lost her award.

The Supreme Court changed its interpretation of the "180 days to file" provision to mean that a victim must file a complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the discriminatory salary dispute. Prior to the court shifting the rules, a victim could file a complaint within 180 days of every issued paycheck.

Now, with this six-month time limit, it gives the power to employers to pay women less and if keeps them quiet, they can get away with it.

I am sorry, but if Supreme Court Justices like Samuel Alito believe that six months is enough time to gather enough evidence to file a lawsuit, we're all in trouble.

How would a suspected victim even know that she is being paid less then her male co-workers? Does Alito expect an employer to send out a report with every employee's pay status to the entire company so everyone knows what everybody else is getting paid?

Unless that employer wants to start World War III, you can forget about that plan.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now the only woman on the Supreme Court, issued a dissent on the Ledbetter decision. She wrote, "This court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination ... Any annual pay decision not contested immediately (within 180 days), the Court affirms, becomes grandfathered, a fait accompli beyond the province of Title VII ever to repair."

This lost case is just another slap in the face at the women's movement in trying to gain an equal status with men in our patriarchal society. The Court is just telling women that if they get paid less than men, and they don't figure it out fast enough, then tough shit. Why should it even be a battle over who gets paid more? Excuse me for sounding like a communist, but remember the saying "Equal Pay for Equal Work?"

Being a victim of unequal treatment myself, I can tell you that it is one of the most humiliating experiences a person can go through. I worked for a major grocery store chain for three years, went through a six-month-long strike to save my job and was never given a promotion. Their first excuse was "she's too young," followed by "she's moving away to college so why waste the time." The final denial was, "Well, I did promise you that promotion, but now that the semester has started, it'll have to wait another 4 to 5 months."

After I heard that last sleazy excuse, I just walked out. If I knew what I know now, I would've taken it to the EEOC or my local union office. But after being beaten down for years, in the hope that I would eventually make $12 an hour, I had enough of the company and walked.

So my local college women, don't allow yourselves to be beaten down. Take control of your lives. Write to your local congresswoman/man and tell her or him that you want the Ledbetter ruling overturned.

Tell them it's because you want what is rightfully yours.

Brigid McGuire is a senior journalism major and the managing editor of Dig Magazine.
Daily 49er

Monday, October 22, 2007


Catching the mole...Yesterday Dennis finally was able to catch the culprit who was responsible for digging up his entire yard.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Great Uncle - the inventor

Here is a story about my grandfather's brother Marvin. He recently invented a "Chain Saw Caddie". Check out the story here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Julio Angel Ajaj Hernandez

I just got back from seeing Julio and Lisa's beautiful baby. Julito has greatly influenced many lives including mine. May the comforter be with the Hernandez and Ajaj families as we grieve the loss of this baby boy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First day of law school

I just finished my first class at Mizzou law school. Here is how the first day is commonly depicted. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In San Fran for 756*

Today was a day of seeing the amazing Redwoods of the West coast and being in San Francisco on the night that Barry Bonds broke the all time record of career home runs at 756!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New reflecting the old

This picture is a metaphor for life.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Joy and my heart's delight

As I was running in the woods the other day two verses kept on running through my mind.

Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Jeremiah 15:16

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart's delight,
for I bear your name,
O LORD God Almighty.

Largest Nachoes in the West!

On my father in laws last day in Vancouver we went on a sweet bike ride with Julio to Regent College and along the beach to Jericho Sailing club. At The Gallery we ate an 18 inch nacho and shared one beer. We found $20 on our way up to the restaurant which paid for our snack!


Granville Island
Low Tide at Locarno beach

Our Friends Jen and Greg are up in the Couve visiting us during our final few days in Canada. Above are a few pics of our time together.

Columbia Ice Fields

On top of the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper national Park in Alberta, Canada.

Lake Louise

We had a wonderful time in the Canadian Rockies with Tara's mom and dad. Here is a picture of all of us in front of Lake Louise.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Totally Dependent Video

Here at Regent College we hear a LOT about the importance of community. In early fall Regent hosts a retreat for all of the students and their families. Last year our friend Stacey made the most hilarious welcoming video that you can view below!

Friday, June 29, 2007

BC Strawberries

It's strawberry season here in BC. Tara went out to pick strawberries with our friends Stacey and Amy.

Our Canadian grandma made us some great strawberry pie! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jelly Fish

The Vancouver aquarium has a new exhibit with jelly fish. Here are some shots that we took while we were there.

Day at the Aquarium

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More good news

2 Corinthians 4 (NIV) 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The God of All Comfort

Here is some truth that has helped me during this crazy time.

1 Corinthians 1
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A story about my dad


Charlie Hensley

By J.T. Knoll

I was at home trying to come to terms with reading in this newspaper that my friend Charlie Hensley had died unexpectedly when his daughter, Shannon, called. When I got to the house an hour or so later, they'd just gotten the autopsy report that revealed he'd died from a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his heart. Though their clocks had stopped and sadness hung touchable in the air around them, they were finding some consolation in the fact that he'd died quickly - that he didn't suffer.

Knowing that Charlie and I shared a love of reading, his wife, Sheila, wanted me to see his collection of books - especially his poetry - so she and her children, Shannon, Nathan, and Caleb, along with their spouses, guided me from room to hallway to room; up the stairs and back down again to peruse row upon row of books. Stories about husband and father and his passion for words wrapped around us as we stood or sat in front of bookcases or pulled free an old hardback to touch and smell. I discovered I have many of the same books - or books by the same authors - but not nearly so many of them. It's without question the finest personal library I've ever come across.

I've never been one to have the kind of friends that email, phone or contact me to do things together on anything like a regular schedule, preferring instead to approach friendship as a string of serendipitous surprises wrapped around each day's coming and going.

Another way of describing this kind of friendship is "low maintenance". It will come as no surprise to anyone who knew Charlie that he was this kind of friend to me, as he was the personification of a low maintenance guy. That is, he was not emotionally needy, insecure, prone to over dramatization, stuck up, or in need of the latest expensive gadget to demonstrate his worth. Nor did he require continual reassurance that he was okay.

Put simply, he was secure, unselfish and easygoing. One of the most inquisitive men I've ever met. A joy to be around.

This was in no small part because of his easy smile and unrelenting sense of humor. Puns and jokes flowed from the man nonstop. If it was a groaner, all the better. (Sheila told me people asked her countless times over the years, "Does he behave this way at home?" to which she always replied with a smile, "Yes he does.") Being a scholar and wordsmith, he loved to play word games, many of which left those around him with dumbfounded looks on their faces as if to say, "What the heck is he talking about?" Some got the joke a day or two later, some never did. For example, he once said to me, "J.T., do you realize that if country music star Dolly Parton were to marry Tony Lama, the maker of high quality cowboy boots, she'd be a Dolly Lama."

Although he worked as a minister in the area for most of his life - beginning with his arrival in 1971 as a longhaired member of the Jesus movement and going on to be a founding member of the Open Door Fellowship Center, operate, with wife Sheila, Hosanna House Bookstore, and serve on the board of Birthright as well as offer pastoral care at Mt. Carmel Medical Center - Charlie and I didn't spend much time talking about religion.

Don't misunderstand, we talked plenty about God, Buddha, mysticism, grace, love, awe, transcendence and Jesus but he never once gave me the impression that his way of praising God or living a spiritual life was the right way to go. He put forth attraction rather than promotion. As Rev. Don Talent put it in his remarks at his funeral, "Charlie was willing to stand back and let God be God."

We also talked a lot about poetry and poets. Robert Bly, Maxine Kumin, Gary Snyder, Jo McDougall, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Donald Hall and many more. In fact, we ran across one another more at local poetry readings than in church seeing as how I'm Catholic and he was Christian.

Another poet we both appreciated was the Muslim mystic Rumi. I happened across this poem by him the day after Charlie's Funeral. Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. The child weaned from mother's milk now drinks wine and honey mixed. God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box, from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flower bed. As roses up from ground.

Sunflowers were Charlie's favorite flower. His daughter, Shannon, told me he kind of thought of them as having personalities. I can understand this, since, at sunrise, their faces turn towards the east and, over the course of the day, they move and track the sun across the sky. A good metaphor for Charlie. Only it wasn't his face that tracked the sun, it was his radiance and warmth that caused the faces of people (especially children if he was entertaining and teaching them with Gates the puppet) to light up, turn and track him.

Despite all the splendid memories I have of Charlie I still can't believe he's gone. Expect to see him sauntering out the student center at PSU with the Kansas City Star under his arm like I did most mornings as I arrived for work. Even more so since he's exactly my age.

Brings to mind an assertion by Thomas Merton, another writer we discussed from time to time, that we'd best remember we're all hanging on by a hairĊ and what's more we're twisting in the wind.

Of course I know Charlie wouldn't want me to take it so serious. If I mentioned Merton's "hanging on by a hair" quote to him he'd likely smile mischievously and tell me, as he did someone else recently when they pointed out the bald area where once he sported shoulder length hair, "You know God is said to know and count every hair on our heads, I'm just makin' it a little easier on Him."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Celebrating My Dad's Life

Charles Hensley
Charles Hensley, 58, of Pittsburg, KS died unexpectedly June 5, 2007 at his home.
Charles was born January 22, 1949 in Tulsa, Oklahoma the son of William P. and Alice Tamage Hensley. He came to Pittsburg in 1971. Charles attended area schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was a graduate of Tulsa Central in 1967. He attended Trinity Bible College and was a graduate from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor Degree in English Literature in 1999.
December 23, 1972, he married Sheila Johnston at the Methodist Church in McCune, KS. Charles worked as a minister most of his life and was one of the founding members of the Open Door Fellowship Center. Early in their married life, Charles and Sheila owned and operated Hosanna House Bookstore in Pittsburg, KS. Most recently he has served as a substitute teacher for the USD 250 school district.
Charles was a board member of Birthright, Inc. for 25 years, founding member of the 60 Plus fellowship group, and offered pastoral care at Mt. Carmel Hospital and throughout SE Kansas. He was known as a poet, puppeteer, a scholar, a student of theology, and was loved by children.
Living family members include his wife, Sheila of the home; mother Alice Hensley of Claremore, OK; daughter Dr. Shannon E. Hensley and husband Dennis Crouch of Columbia, MO; twin sons Caleb Thomas Hensley and wife Tara of Vancouver, BC and Nathan Stewart Hensley and wife Diana of Statesboro, GA; brother Robert Hensley and wife Elaine of Claremore, OK; and one granddaughter, Robin Hensley Crouch of Columbia, MO.
He was preceded in death by his father, William P. Hensley and his brother Thomas Hensley.
Funeral Services will be 10am Saturday, June 9, 2007 at the Countryside Christian Church with Reverends Kent Morgan, Jim Sukraw, and Don Talent officiating. Burial will follow at the McCune City Cemetery in McCune, KS. Family will receive friends from 7-8pm Friday, June 8, 2007 at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home in Pittsburg, KS; friends may call after 1pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions towards Birthright, Inc. of Pittsburg, KS; friends may drop off or mail memorials to Bath-Naylor Funeral Home 522 S. Broadway in Pittsburg, KS. E-mail condolences may be left at

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Otters holding hands

Here are the stars of the show at the Vancouver aquarium. We went and saw them this past weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Regent Graduation

Here are some pictures of Graduation

Gotta Love Those Canucks

It is an exciting time here in Vancouver (and in Canada) with the hockey playoffs here. The Vancouver Canucks won the first round of the playoffs in 7 games against the Dallas Stars. Now they are playing the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Bellow is a picture of how serious they take hockey.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The All Day Haircut

I finally had my mullet cutoff in North Vancouver in honor of earth day... Behind Tara and I you can see the city of Vancouver from Lonsdale quay. We took the Sea Bus and made a day of it.

Decent cheap sushi

For giant sushi rolls the size of your wrist check out Samurai Sushi in Vancouver. It is cheap and the rolls are massive!

Dairy prices in Canada are outrageous!

When I first went into a Canadian grocery store I immediately went to scope out the ice cream. I was shocked to see that ice cream (which I like so much) was more than twice the price I was used to paying. To see why dairy prices in Canada are outrageous click here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tv shows and movies

Here is an interesting place to find streaming TV shows and movies.

Our Neighborhood Eagle

Here is a picture taken of an eagle in a tree across the street from where we live!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pepe Le Pu

Rain was sprayed in the face by a skunk so Tara gave him a "special skunk odor removal" bath.His name may be Rain but he hates baths!

Monday, April 02, 2007

want your e-mails in paper form for free?

Hey, I've been using Gmail and I think you would really enjoy this new feature they announced. Check it out:

My Sis

My sister Shannon continues to set the bar in terms of academia for the family. Check out her bio on the Harvard web site.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Our Favourite Cinnamon Rolls/Buns in Vancouver, BC

Grounds for Coffee at 10th and Alma has amazing cinnamon rolls! A little pricy but worth it.

Vancouver, BC University of Kansas Alumni Association

Here are the members of the Kansas Jayhawk fan club in Vancouver, BC! #1 seed in the west.
Rock Chalk!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Snowshoeing on Mt. Seymour!

Tara and I made it to the top of Dog Mountain on Mount Seymour.

Go Hawks!

Rock chalk Jayhawk! Although Kevin Durant is probably one of the best players to ever play at Alan Field House, he had close to 30 points at half time, the Jayhawks pulled off the W in the 2nd half!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Plane Crash?

A couple weeks ago I was running my typical route with Rain along the Spanish Banks (a well known beach in Vancouver, BC) when I saw the nose of an airplane in the distance. I was worried and thought an airplane had crashed. However, when I got closer I saw that it was a movie set for the upcoming movie Passengers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Signs of Spring

Disc golf at Quilchena and flowers in Vancouver. Spring is coming!