Norwegian Weddings

Here we are at the end of April, about to enter what has traditionally been the prime season for weddings in America. I was reminded of this fact when I received an e-mail this morning from a couple of members in California who are renewing their vows this coming weekend. Normally this isn't something I'd blog about, but the fact that they are doing it at this year's Norway Day, a huge event in San Francisco, makes it newsworthy. Well, that and the fact that the doting couple in question are Carl and Mary Beth Ingvoldstad!

If anyone is interested in attending the info I have says the renewal will be at 11 AM on Sunday, May 3rd on the main stage of Norway Day. Appropriate dress will be Bunads and there will be a kransekake tasting afterward. If you go, please send them a hearty congratulations from Sons of Norway!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a traditional Norwegian wedding, here's some interesting factoids:
  • The couple normally wear Bunads that represent the regions they are from.
  • The bride often wears a bridal crown that is decorated with small metal bangles that make a somewhat metallic musical sound as the bride moves.
  • This sound is supposed to ward off evil spirits who might do harm to the bride.
  • Historically the invitation was something done in person by a an individual designated the bedamann ("bidding man").
  • At the end of the ceremony the couple will exchange wedding bands and then kiss. The circular wedding bands are symbolic of endless love and the kiss represents the couple exchanging their souls.
  • After the ceremony there is a reception, but unlike modern receptions the celebration of old would last as much as a week!
  • Finally, at the couples new home, two small fir trees are planted on either side of the couples door as a symbol of the children to come.
If you are considering a Norwegian wedding for yourself, check out Viking magazine for retailers with all the traditional items you need. Also, check out the June 2001 issue of Viking, which was a wedding issue. Also, you can check out this website with a step-by-step guide to planning a wonderful, traditional Norwegian wedding.

What's in the Grab Bag?

I know, I know, you can't buy a grab bag without knowing what's in it, right? I'm the same way-- I've just got to know! So, here it is, my May Grab Bag revealed:

Since you're here, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, then head back over to The DigiChick and get your Grab Bag! Happy Thursday!!

Paul Nougaret obit-- Des. News 19 Apr 2009

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Today marks the 99th anniversary of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's death. A Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, Bjørnson is considered as one of "The Great Four" Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. He was also the author of the lyrics to Norway's National Anthem.

But even more important is the fact that "Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson" was the name first selected for Sons of Norway. However it was soon rejected on the realistic grounds that the American people would find it quite impossible to pronounce. "Sønner av Norge" was the name settled upon and the formal inception with the 18 founders was completed on 16 January 1895. Raise your hand if you knew that already.

Right under the wire!

It's 11:58 PM and I'm blogging today as promised! Ha ha!

Since it's so late, I'm just going to post one picture-- it's probably my favorite picture of our whole trip. The best thing about this picture is that the only thing I did to orchestrate the shot was say, "Hey, smile, guys!"-- the kids posed the way they are all by themselves! I think it could be an album cover or something!

There really isn't anything better than cousins. I'm so glad my kids have such great ones!

Oh, we miss these little people already!!

April Update

I can't believe we're already three weeks into April! Time just flies when you're busy!

Things are good here-- and I have so many, many pictures and adventures to share. I think I'm going to break my post up into a couple of sections, mainly so that you don't get completely sick of reading. And so that I'll have some motivation to blog again tomorrow.

First off, the first weekend in April, my brother, Jake, came to visit us. It's always so fun to have Jake around-- in fact, he's coming again this weekend. Hooray for brothers!

Thomas and Gordon have been practicing tuning into their inner Zen. Hopefully this means less fighting and more brotherly love.

I thought this picture of Jake and Neil was so cute. Sigh, look at Neilly's crazy long hair. More on that later...

The day after Jake left, Monday, April 6th, we all got in the car and drove to California! Wahoo! I was so ready for a vacation (and I'd take another one any time!) and there is just something about owning a mini-van that screams "ROAD TRIP"! It really was ideal-- we put the front passenger seat down for the mini DVD player, I sat next to Neil in the middle, and Thomas and Gordon had the back row to themselves. I stuffed a blue Ikea bag full of treats, coloring stuff, and DVDs, so we were prepared for the somewhat dismal drive across Nevada.

Good times.

Our first stop was Sparks, NV, where we ate dinner and spent the night at a hotel. The boys were so excited to swim and relax after a long day in the car! This was Neil's first time in a pool-- can you tell if he liked it or not?

On Tuesday, we drove the short distance from Reno to the Sacramento, CA area where I was born and where my mom's dad, my Poppa, still lives. The strangest thing about this part of our trip was driving to my grandpa's home in Elk Grove and seeing all of the familiar landmarks I used to look for as a child, but realizing that Chris and I don't share this part of my history. My family drove to Sacramento at least twice a year for the ten years I lived in Idaho Falls, but Chris and I had never been there together. Sad. It was so fun to go back and reminisce and I was reminded that I need to make the trip more frequently than every ten years!

It was so fun to visit with Poppa and Sue and see their beautiful home. They have a gorgeous garden and a tree full of gigantic lemons, some which Sue was all too happy to donate to us.

Poppa and Sue also have a Wii, so I'm sure you can imagine how Thomas spent nearly the entire day.

Poppa and Neil seemed to really connect-- it was so cute to see them together.

Sue and I had time to catch up as well-- it was such a nice visit! She is such a sweet grandma! We hope to head out there again next year and possibly see Poppa and Sue if they visit Idaho any time soon.

I'm going to blog about the rest of our trip tomorrow, so let me fast forward a bit to our present. After too many comments about Neil's hair, and the fact that I just couldn't keep it out of his little eyes, I decided to take him to Great Clips to see what they could do. No, I am not comfortable cutting his baby hair myself.

Well, the trip was a success-- the girl cut off just enough, but not too much, and I made it out of there without balling. He does look old, though, doesn't he? Oh, but so cute!


And after:

More tomorrow (promise!) on our trip and what we've been up to!
Hiawatha Luncheon w/Ladies 20 Apr 2009—Jim’s Cafe
These are the people at the Luncheon who signed in----------
I hope everyone enjoyed it-- Comment of you did or Did not?-- Wally

Allred, Ken & Carma
Baldwin, Wally & Donnie
Bearnson, Jim & Rhea
Bearnson, Darrell & Peggy
Blackburn, Merlin & Geri
Blake, Jennifer
Burgess, Shirley
Finley, Cliff
Garber, Jim & Beth
Hilton, Marilyn
Kourinianos, Tony & Kay
Larson, David & Loretta
McCarrie, Archie
Morley, Judy
Neilsen, Tom & Clone
Packard, Debra
Petrulas, Dean
Reaveley, Don & Jean
Reaveley, Clyde & Betty
Segura, Helen

Karsk Part To: Norwegian Moonshine

As you may remember I posted about a concoction, named Karsk, which was moonshine and coffee. At the end of the post I asked if anyone had a story or information about Karsk or Norwegian moonshine. Well, in true-form Sons of Norway cultural guru Colin Thomsen came through with the info! Check it out below:

In Norway the sale of alcohol is tightly regulated compared to the US. On-sale drinks are taxed heavily – it’s not unusual to pay $10 US for a beer in a bar in Oslo – and everything stronger than 4.75% alcohol has to be purchased off-sale from state-run monopoly stores.

Norway’s alcohol policies have roots reaching deep into history. From as far back as the 1750s the Norwegian state or church has instituted various bans, controls and monopolies on the sale and distribution of beer, wine and spirits. Given the long tradition of governmental control, it’s no wonder that home-brewing and moonshine remain quietly popular in Norway today.

Current Norwegian laws allow private individuals to brew beer and make wine for their own personal use, but specifically outlaw the unlicensed distillation of “hjemmebrent”, ie, moonshine. Hjemmebrent is made from a mixture of fermented water, sugar and yeast that is gently heated to a temperature below the boiling point of water. Since alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water, the alcohol vapor is captured and allowed to condense in a separate pot. The resulting liquid is almost pure alcohol. Like all moonshine, hjemmebrent can be very dangerous to make – and drink – as even minor impurities can become poisonous after the distillation process. Nonetheless, hjemmebrent is a common feature of parties, holidays and get-togethers, and information for making the stuff is easy to find on the Internet.

Here are a few moonshining words in Norwegian:

brennevin – Brandy, or any hard liquor. Literally, “burned wine” referring to the distillation process. Related to the English word “brandy.”
gjæring – Fermentation
hjemmebrent – Moonshine, literally, “home-burned”
sats – Mash, the fermented mixture of water, yeast from which moonshine is distilled

Most people see through AZU's lies

Jacey, I have left the link to your page about Derek, but deleted the quote you left, because I do not want my website to become a battleground about the activity and state of mind of any one person, and because I believe people may want to click on the full statement that you were excerpting from Derek to see it in context, including his Disclaimer about not justifying what he did and “how wrong I was.”

My guess is that Derek did not include his own crime on the list because he does not consider what he did to be in the category of activity that does not deserve the Sex Offender designation.

Comment by David Giacalone — November 27, 2008 @ 8:16 am

Its no surprise people see through AZU's lies. The quote above is a case in point. Here we see "Jacey," who sounds a LOT like Logue-Hater, in the typical AZU tactic of following their targets around the internet. The link above is the Harvard University Law Blog, written in response to a personal attack and link to Wikisposure. But it only took a moment for the webmaster there to debunk Jacey's bunk. Jacey even gave them all the evidence to debunk her own argument, the complete screen shot of the statement Jacey quoted in her lame personal attack.

In short, Jacey was caught in a lie. For all the time the AZU/ PJers spent on Wikisposure, anyone with brain cells can see through their lies. Jacey likes to bitch and moan and throw out personal attacks and insults, but their accusations run hollow. If Jacey [jackassey] was caught in a lie once, VERY RECENTLY in fact, what does that say about the rest of AZU's claims?
Or wikisposure for that matter? Perverted Justice, and Absolute Zero United for that matter, has no credibility. Jacey was caught in a lie, and even gave up the very evidence needed to prove her lie. But what else do you expect from people who call people like Patty Wetterling and the Pope "pedo enablers?"

PS: Here's another example of people seeing through AZU lies, in this case, comments left regarding Petra Looney's tirade on ABC's 20/20 last year:

LaMontagne1982 (2 weeks ago)
I think the point is that concentual sex doesn't warrent the offender to be labeled as a sex offender. Additionally I think common sense shows which of these women has deeper mental problems...ku klux jan? Cmon....

christophmoses (2 weeks ago)
An organization with such laudable goals should not engage in harassment when it does nothing to protect children. Just makes you seem bizarre. "Ku Klux Jan"???

Yup. People see AZU for what it really is...

Today in History: Thor Heyerdahl

Today is a sad day that marks the 7th anniversary of the passing of Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer. Heyerdahl was most famous for his 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition that took him from across the Pacific Ocean to prove that it was possible for Pre-Columbian South Americans to have traveled to, and settled, Polynesia (it should be noted that Hyerdahl's thesis was recently given added support from chickens). A true adventurer; he once commented, "Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people."

Besides the Kon-Tiki expedition, Heyerdahl was also the driving force behind the Fatu Hiva and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) expeditions as well as the construction of the Ra, Ra II a Tigris reed-boats. All of which were done to prove the possibility of pan-oceanic migration and cross-cultural exchange in the Pre-Columbian world.

In the end, after all his expeditions and adventures, Thor Heyerdahl passed away quietly from a brain tumor at the age of 87. His impact on Norway and the entire world was such that the Norwegian government granted Heyerdahl the honor of a state funeral at the Oslo Cathedral.

Charles Lofley obit notice- Sun Advocate 14 Apr 2009

NFCA Mid Year Day 2

Today is gonna be a full day for sure. There are six different break-out sessions on a variety of topics, including reaching key influencers, social media and intellectual property. All of which sound very cool and I'm looking forward to it.

Make sure to follow along throughout the day via our Twitter feed! I'll post there throughout the day and try to squeeze in a recap later tonight.

AZU obsessions

Recently in one of AZU's typical tirades, Stitches implied I'm "obsessed" with them and I need to "leave them the F*** alone- waaaah!" Well out of boredom I just decided to tally the number of times AZU has posted about me in their comments board in comparison to the number of total posts made here by the anti-antis here. The numbers here are just posts where my name was explicitly stated in a comment by a member of AZU in a derisive manner, not counting those times I have posted, TSand, the Cunty Stitches, Valigator, or anyone else who defended me. This is merely AZU comments directed at me, starting from the Jan. 2, 2009 post to the April 16, 2009 comments.

Stitches77 [StitchCunt]: 80 times
Jeremy Static77 [StatiCunt]: 78 times
Logue Hater [counting his other variations of the Logue name]: 36 times
Jacey [Jackassey]: 23 times
Anonymous/ other posters [likely just the same people using different names]: 19 times
Goodgirl54301 [Bad Dog 13666]: 17 times
Someone using my name in fake pro-AZU comments: 13 times
[lacking] Carisma: 6 times
Alligator Treats: 3 times
Daydreamer Of Oz: 3 times
Rob Taylor-trash: 2 times, plus on two posts with a dozen comments at his pink-alerts porn site

Total number of posts attacking me: 280 posts!

Number of threads where I'm not mentioned: 5 [only one thread had over 20 total posts (30)]
Used as keyword once, used picture once.
One thread with someone posing as me supporting AZU, and around 30 edited posts.

By contrast, the TOTAL number of comments made here at this blog for the entire year of 2009 is 123, with no one AZU troll being singly targeted; of those, only 50 are my comments, many in response to comments by other anti-antis.

Stitches and Static each have more posts about ME than I have made about AZU in general ALL YEAR LONG! If anyone is obsessed, it is AZU, just by numbers alone. Don't get me started on the slander, libel, and false light comments prevalent at AZU. But it certainly does not look good for AZU does it?

NFCA Meeting: Opening Ceremonies/Image Mapping

I'm home now from the first day of the NFCA Mid-Year meeting and I'm bushed. Today's meetings included opening remarks from representatives of Sons of Norway, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catholic Aid Association as well as the election of new officers and an Identity Mapping session, followed by a lively reception for the attendees.

During the election portion of today's meeting the NFCA Fraternal Section elected a new slate of officers. I'm pleased to announce that Sons of Norway Fraternal Director Eivind Heiberg has been elected to the office of president of the NFCA Fraternal Section. Everyone in attendance was very excited with the results, so big congratulations to Eivind!

After the elections, there was an interesting presentation on the idea that in order to communicate effectively with individuals or groups you need to have an understanding of their respective personalities. As part of this discussion Thrivent Financial for Lutherans hosted an Identity Mapping session for the attendees.

This part of the evening was especially interesting to me because Image Mapping has the potential to be applied within a small group setting to facillitate more effective and fruitful communication. If you don't already see where I'm going with this, something like Image Mapping could be useful to a lodge in helping its board members communicate with one-another more effectively and improve performance and productivity, which is the foundation of a strong lodge and a strong future.

Just to give an example of this and how it works, tonight I learned that I was a Logical-Relationship-Action-Organized-Extrovert. What that means is that I am most comfortable in a work environment which is unstructured and creative while believing that there is a right answer to every question and that information is the key to that answer. It also means that I sometimes appear to be difficult to approach becuase I do not show emotions. People I work with, who know this information, are able to communicate more effectively with me. The reverse also applies when I know about their personality and communication style, too. Pretty helpful, don't you think? Imagine if a lodge board of directors were equipped with the same information about each other. Personally I think there'd be no limit to what they could accomplish.

If any officers are interested in learning more about it, don't hesitate to contact me and I can pass on some more information.

Ok, more to come tomorrow. Don't forget to check out our Twitter feed to get all the updates throughout the day!

Coming to you live from the NFCA Mid Year Meeting

This week is the National Fraternal Congress of America (NFCA)'s annual Fraternal and Communications mid-year meeting. I'm really looking forward to it because this year there is an emphasis on new media and social media. Some of the topics being discussed will include Is the Press Release Dead? and Questions About the Changing Media Landscape. I'm looking forward to hearing what the folks from Risdall McKinney Public Relations have to say about getting the story out in a changing media landscape. In addition, there will be panel discussions on everything from best communications practices to "keeping fraternals relevant."

These are all issues that fraternal organizations, like Sons of Norway, wrestle with on a daily basis. These things are also important for our lodges to know about because I believe the changing communications landscape is going to have a direct affect on how we recruit and retain members in the future.

That being so, I want to invite everyone to join me at this year's meeting. In a virtual sense, that is. Beginning later this afternoon I am going to use the Sons of Norway blog and Twitter accounts to share information and insights obtained from the experts. I encourage you to follow along because there will likely be some very useful information that can assist in your lodge's recruitment efforts.

To follow along you can check here for information. I'll be posting entries at least once a day from the event. Also, I encourage you to follow Sons of Norway on Twitter. I'll be posting a number of items there over the next three days. We also use the Twitter account to announce new blog posts as well as share interesting information. You can follow us one of two ways-either by setting up your own Twitter account, which is free and super-easy, or you can look on the right-hand side of the blog, just under the Sons of Norway logo, for our Twitter updates.

Alright, I'm off for now. Make sure to keep checking back between now and Saturday night for useful information about social media, lodge promotion, fraternal relevance and maybe even some recruiting tips as well!

Sons of Norway Goes Tweet Tweet Tweet...

Did you know that you can now follow Sons of Norway on Twitter? That's right, you sure can! It's not just for the Barack Obama, Ashton Kutcher or Thrivents of the world (we've got more subscribers than Thrivent, by the way). It's a great tool for keeping in touch with others and for sharing information. You can even do searches to see what people are saying about Sons of Norway.

I encourage you to check it out and subscribe to the Sons of Norway tweets. It's super easy and will help you stay informed about what's going on within the organization. In the future, we'll be using it to broadcast live info from events as well as give our members some insight into what it's like here at the HQ. In fact, later this afternoon there will be an announcement here about the twitter account. Make sure to check back and see what's happening--it'll be new, exciting and definitely worth your time!

Karsk: Have you ever tried it?

I love the web because there are always new and interesting things to learn about. Today was a great example of that. While surfing around the web and looking for something to write about, I found a wikipedia entry on something called Karsk. Apparently Karsk is a Norwegian word for coffee with liquor added to it. Well, actually, according to some enthusiasts, its coffee with "moonshine" in it.

I'm honestly not sure what's more intriguing to me--the fact that Norwegians have moonshine, the fact that they apparently mix said moonshine into their coffee or the fact that there are so-called "enthusiasts" who drink said moonshine/coffee mixture.

I spoke with the Fraternal Director who is from Norway and he told me that it is very common, especially in rural communities and northern Norway.

Am I the only person who didn't know about this already?

As you may have figured out already, I'm very intrigued by Norwegian cultural oddities (as evidenced by the strange Norwegian food posts of past). That being the case, I would love to hear from anyone who has tried Karsk. Do you have a story about it? How about a recipe? Do you know the difference between U.S. made moonshine and its Norwegian cousin? If so, leave a comment below because I want to hear all about it!

Sweet Site-- The Hybrid Chick!

I started out as a paper scrapper-- I even used some {gulp} Crayola markers on my first pages! Since then, my style has definitely evolved and I've fallen in love with crisp cardstock, funky homemade papers, stamps, stickers, and fancy markers that I won't let my kids go near. And, of course, I really fell in love with digi.

Unlike some digi girls, I can't get rid of my paper stuff. I love getting my hands dirty (sometimes literally!) way too much! So, imagine the thrill when I discovered HYBRID scrapping-- it's a mix of the best of the tangible paper and awesome (and reusable!) world of digital!

The Digichick has an AMAZING new site-- The Hybrid Chick where the incredible talented girls share ideas, tips, tricks and goodies! Check it out!

And since I'm into prizes lately, leave a comment here telling me what you love about The Hybrid Chick, and I'll have a perfectly printable prize just for you! ;)

Sons of Norway Summer Camps

Spring is here! The snow is (mostly) gone up here in Minneapolis and thoughts are beginning to turn towards making summer plans. For hundreds, maybe even thousands, of our members that means registering for one of a dozen different language and heritage summer camps that are sponsored by different Sons of Norway districts.

The camps are awesome. Each one is held in a beautiful location in the U.S., Canada or Norway and the scenery always adds to the campers' experience. Also, while each camp is a little different in ages of campers and size they all offer a strong emphasis on Norwegian Heritage and Culture. To learn more about them, visit the Sons of Norway website, or read more about them in Viking magazine.

Hiawatha Breakfast 6 April 2009

We had a good time at breakfast today. There were 12 of us there. The big topics were golf and the Guys & Gals Luncheon that is coming upon the 20th of April. At least that is what I heard. But then of course there are several of us that are there that cannot hear too well and it is a looooong table. If one guy is on one end trying to talk to someone on the other end there is usually a problem?
I hope we have a good crowd for the luncheon. Remember the address is 3900 So. 900 E. in Salt Lake.
The ones at breakfast were: Cliff Finley, Bob Wilde, Mike Orphanakis, Wally Baldwin, Don Reaveley, Mike Manousakis, John Barnett, Glen Davis, Tucker Lowe, Tom Neilsen, Ken Allred & Dean Petrulas.

Ray Kremers Obit Notice 4/3/2009

Norwegian Music on the Internet

Recently I was reading an article about Norwegian songstress Kristin Asbjørnsen when I noticed that she has a channel dedicated to her and other Norwegian musicians. I've been listening to it all morning and am really getting into it. I've been listening to Dadafon, Helene Bøksle and even Silje Nergaard's cover of Dream a Little Dream.

For those who haven't used it yet, is something of an online radio station in that it streams music to the listener, but it's more than a radio station because you can get fairly specific with the type of music you'd like the site to play for you. I highly reccomend it, especially if you are looking for a resource for Norwegian music.

Speaking of which, I also found out about (which translates to "listen"), a Norwegian website with links to a whole bunch of Norwegian terrestrial radio stations that also stream online. There's everything from NRK P1-P3 to Sami Radio to NRK Super, a station with programming for children.

And if that's not enough for your musical tastes, don't forget about the blog post we ran a few months back about Norwegian Musicians on Myspace.

And they say they're "only blogging" over at AZU

AZU trolls like to say they're "just blogging," but if you read their filth long enough, you'll see they are quite a violent bunch.

That said, if you wish to continue engaging Stitches and my other friends in the manner you have been, you should be prepared. You're on my radar now too; you haven't had to deal with me so you have no idea what I am capable of. Underestimate me at your own risk.

RIP Lunsford Foundation -- Foundation page closed with announcement -- Jessie's Rider's page down

Well, it's official! The Jessica Lunsford Foundation is off the air. As a side effect, Lunsford's thuggish posse, "Jessie's Riders," is disbanded as well. I guess the money train dried up with the foundation, so he'll have to find other ways to milk his daughter's death.

In case you're relatively new to this site and you wonder why I'm speaking about Lunsford on an anti-anti site, its because they're connected through Tracy Golden of WASP Ohio [since JML Foundation is gone, I had to use that Web Archive machine but luckily it is still accessible through them]:

WASP "Women Against Sexual Predators" A new and vibrant proactive subcommittee called WASP has been added to the Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation. For more information. Please contact Penny Verde at or call 1.888.4jmllaw

Sorry Lungsfull you can't get away THAT easily!

In no particular order, I'm giving a very brief rundown of the controversy surrounding Lunsford:

1. The US Congressional SORNA committee hearing

This gave me the opportunity to approach Mark Lunsford. Explaining that my husband was on the registry for life for consensual sex as a teen. An ‘offense’ similar to the ‘offense’ his son would have faced if it were not for his intervention. Mr. Lunsford said that his son served ten days, on a plea to a felony offense. He said that he told the prosecuting attorney that he would “expose every sex offense case where they gave a lenient sentence to a true sex offender if they treated his son like one of those predators”. Thus, his son avoided registration. (Let us be clear, this is a good thing. No person should be forced to register for situations such as these.) I told him that I did not begrudge him his advocacy, that I was not sure I could live had one of my children suffered the same fate Jessica suffered...

I approached Mark Lunsford again about a comment I heard him make during his testimony that sounded as if he suggested that it was Okay for the wrong person to register if it meant saving the life of a child. I wanted him to know that it was most certainly not Okay, that my husband had lost his dignity and self worth because of wrongful registration and that it would never be Okay to register someone as a 'small sacrifice' for the greater good of potentially saving one child. He indicated that he did not believe that he had said something to that effect and that he did not mean for that to be my understanding. I know that others around me heard the same thing. -- see also

Mark Lunsford's computer had child porn on it, but thanks to his connections to John Walsh, got away with it. They used the Clinton defense, remember "I smoked but I never inhaled?" They said child porn was on the computer but not downloaded. Really? Well how did they get in the RECYCLE BIN? I'm a wiz enough at PCs to know you don't get files in the recycle bin from just looking at something, or you'd have a full recycle bin in an hour--trust me. But its all about who you know and who you blow. And John Walsh is a powerful man to blow. Which brings me back to his son's sex case:

2. Lunsford Jr. Gets off for a sex crime!

Note the "Please Find Jessica" T-shirt he's wearing IN COURT! Like father like son...
Anyways, as much as I'm an advocate of keeping Romeo and Juliet offenders off the registry, in this case, it was Lunsford's connections that got Joshua off the hook. In addition to the comment noted above, he told reporters it was not "some 37 year old pervert following a 10 year old kid around." But what's a small sacrifice to protect the children now, Lungsfull?

4. Misuse of Jessica Lunsford Foundation Funds

Lunsford used funds for plastic surgery; where else could he have gotten the money? Dirt druck drivers don't make that kind of money --

Initially, the money came easy. Lunsford received $50,000 in the 24 days after his daughter disappeared. Supporters held motorcycle rallies, races and festivals in Jessica's name.

But financial documents filed by the foundation show it remains a relatively small operation. In its first two years ending July 2007, the foundation received about $285,000 in donations. The organization's most recent assets were reported at $102,000.

The Internal Revenue Service records show growing signs of financial trouble. In the 2006 fiscal year, the latest figures available, contributions grew 10 percent while fundraising costs grew 170 percent. The bulk of the foundation's money went to pay salary and travel costs for Lunsford.

In the 2006 fiscal year, he earned $54,800, which is more than double his salary the previous year, records show. In addition, he received health insurance and charged the foundation for most of his expenses. In a recent interview at his parents' home in Homosassa, Lunsford deflected criticism, saying the board sets his salary.

It's not uncommon for foundation leaders to earn salaries — some make much more — but many smaller organizations often don't pay staff.

Lunsford couldn't clarify other questionable expenses in the documents without going through receipts, including a two-year travel bill totaling more than $40,000 and a one-year expense of nearly $14,000 for "entertainment." Amid this recent scrutiny, he acknowledged that he fired his treasurer and hired a professional accounting firm from Jacksonville.

The bookkeeping change meant Lunsford also couldn't explain why a number of big-ticket items weren't shown in the foundation's public tax forms. Among the known transactions missing:

• The $15,000 in early donations Lunsford used to buy a 2002 Chevy truck.

• The custom motorcycle with Jessica's image, worth an estimated $80,000, that was made by Santiago Chopper and donated to the foundation. (Lunsford said it was never donated, but Santiago owner Alan Bernard said the opposite.)

• A tour bus of undetermined value donated by a California company that now rests behind the home of Lunsford's parents in Homosassa.

By contrast, the financial records show relatively few dollars — about $10,000 in two years — provided direct assistance to child support groups, which is another tenet of the foundation's mission.

"We don't like a lot of the things (Lunsford's) doing," said Claudine Ryce, who manages a Florida nonprofit in the memory of her son Jimmy Ryce. "We don't think that's the way to fund the nonprofit."

Wrongful death / negligence lawsuit

On February 19, 2008, almost three years to the day after her kidnapping and murder, Jessica's father was represented by Jacksonville, Florida lawyers in a pre-trial brief filed against the Citrus County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.[19] After receiving notice of the pending suit, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy stated that he believed the case to be "baseless... There is only one person in the world that should be held responsible for Jessica Lunsford's death and that's John Couey."[20]

Following complaints and suggestions from Citrus County residents that the pending litigation was being pursued out of greed and that had he been a better father his child may still be alive[21], Mark Lunsford and Jacksonville-based attorneys Eric Block and Mark Gelman held a news conference in Jacksonville, where it was stated that the pending litigation was "not for the money... but for change." Lunsford stated that changes were needed in procedures and policies. It is alleged that Couey had Jessica Lunsford alive in the trailer while Citrus County officials visited the trailer, that police dogs indicated Jessica was being held in the direction of the trailer and were ignored, that Citrus County officials actively pursued Mark Lunsford's father as their prime suspect while evidence pointed elsewhere, and that had Citrus County officials followed up on an outstanding warrant issued by Georgia, that Citrus County officials could have entered Couey's residence and possibly saved the child. Such inactions or lack of follow-up is believed to have led to her death.[21][22][23]

On February 28th, 2008, Mark Lunsford made a phone appearance on the Bubba The Love Sponge Show to defend his viewpoints.

Controvery follows Lunsford everywhere! Sadly, she's just gone on to other ways of milking his dead kid for cash. And to think THIS is who AZU calls a "hero?" But then again, AZI gets off on child exploitation, so long as it involves their own exploitation.

And finally, his harassment of an ex-gf leads to a restraining order: [extrapolated from the Citrus County Chronicle]

7-2-2006 Florida: Woman seeks restraining order against [Mark] Lunsford: Mark Lunsford’s ex-girlfriend is seeking to get an order of protection against him, after she said in her petition he has made threats to her. .Mechelle D. Willis, 35, of Homosassa, signed a petition Monday seeking a protection order against Lunsford, 42, of Homosassa. In her injunction petition for protection against domestic violence, Willis says he has called her cell phone and left threats, and on Sunday, drove by her “cussing” at her and a friend. Lunsford was the father of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who was murdered last year; the man accused of killing her has pleaded not guilty to charges. “He has come by my house with about 15 bikers trying to scare me,” Willis wrote in the petition.

Willis states in the petition Lunsford drives by her home “all hours of the night,” flashing the lights of his truck, and that he has also appeared at a hair salon where she works. On Mother’s Day, she said she had to call the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office “because he was throwing my stuff outside.” When contacted about the incident, sheriff’s spokeswoman Gail Tierney said she could not find a report from May 14, though there was a follow-up report filed four days later for a traffic stop. No further information was available about that incident. [snip]

According to the petition, along with showing up at her home, Willis said on another occasion Lunsford, “tried to wreck me all the way down 44” when she was driving to work. And she said there was another confrontation when she met with a friend about “job information,” and Lunsford flashed his lights across the road. “My friend asked him what he wanted,” she stated in the petition. “Then a car pulled up, everyone was out of their cars, and they hit my friend with a board that had nails in it. He still has the marks on his back.”

Willis is seeking a protection order that would prohibit Lunsford from coming within 500 feet of her home or work. She also wants him to participate in treatment and counseling services. Willis, a mother of a 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, said the girl witnessed some of the incidents. ..more.. : by Dave Pieklik

Need I say more?

Norwegian Author Wins Prestigious Nordic Literary Prize

It was announced today that Norwegian writer Per Petterson has won the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for his 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv. Petterson beat out 11 other authors from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the most prestigious literary competition in the Nordic region.

Petterson exploded onto the international literary scene in 2007 when his novel Out Stealing Horses was released in English. The book won a number of prizes in Europe and America and was named one of the top 10 books of the year by the New York Times.

Jeg forbanner tidens elv (“I Curse the River of Time”) won’t be available in English until 2010, but was praised by the Nordic Council for its “poetic and quiet language” that “brings across just how difficult it is to say to each other those things we feel are the most important." You can read a summary of the novel and find a sample translation of a chapter here.

Jeg forbanner tidens elv has already won the 2008 Brage prize, a Norwegian award. In an interview in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published shortly after winning the Brage prize in December, Petterson described winning as “a very nice confirmation for me, because I hadn’t read any of the reviews” of the book. Petterson added that being nominated for the Nordic Council prize made him “stressed out. I thought, ‘oh no, now the reporters will be starting up again.’”

Petterson appeared bemused at a press conference today, not least because the Council had accidentally called the wrong Per Petterson before getting a hold of the author. According to Dagbladet, author and jury member Trude Marstein thought she had the right number when she called up a completely different Per Petterson and informed him he had just won the literary prize. When the man on the other end of the line replied, Marstein thought she didn’t recognize his voice. “Uff, I’m glad that at least he wasn’t an author,” said Marstein.

The Nordic Council prize brings Petterson not only greater renown, but also a monetary award of 350 000 Danish kroner – more than US $60,000. Later in the same press conference, Petterson described the prize as a great honor. “Everyone who has anything to do with literature knows that this is the absolute biggest thing.” Still, the he remains ambivalent. “I’ve been the goose laying the golden eggs for a few years now, but at some point it’s all going to end” he said.

Telenor Launches New Recycling Program

I just read today that Telenor, the Norwegian mobile phone giant, has launched a new mobile recycling program. It basically goes like this--for every phone you recycle through this program Telenor will give you 50 free SMSes and give the Red Cross funding to plant 25 trees in Asia.

I think this program sounds very cool on a number of levels and has good potential for success. Seriously, think about the fact that in this one program Telenor is offering a good-will incentive to its current customers, using philanthropy to make itself more attractive to potential customers and acting as an environmentally conscious global citizen. In corporate terms, it's got the potential to be a PR grand slam!

I think it would be very cool if Sprint or Verizon were to come up with a similar plan for U.S. customers. Well, if the Telenor program proves to be successful, I wouldn't be surprised if these American counterparts were soon to follow. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Peep, peep, peep

Well, hello there, bloggy friends! I know, it's been a while. Annoying! Let me catch you up to the ever-busy life at the Hansen home.

As I do every single year at this time, I bought some Peeps. I can't resist them-- they're just so... what's the word? Cute? I buy them every year and I eat one every year and, as with all of the years past, I am reminded that I don't actually like Peeps. They're kind of gross. Chris agrees and yet he, too, eats at least one from our yearly Peeps purchase. I'm sure I'll repeat this whole process again next Easter-- it's kind of a tradition.

The boys, on the other hand, love the Peeps. And anything else with sugar as the primary ingredient.

Speaking of the McChildren, they're just growing like little stinkweeds, especially Baby Neil. He'll be six months old on the 5th. Sigh-- let's take a quick moment of silence.

Neil is the best baby, at least for me. He is rolling-- kind of-- and smiling and cooing and generally being in love with his mother. He smells divine and is currently the only child of mine that doesn't talk back to me.

He does have sweet older brothers. Thomas and Gordon both love Neil terribly. They like to fight over who gets to sit next to his car seat in the van every single morning. I keep having to remind everyone that the van actually has enough seats for EIGHT people, so fighting over seats doesn't really make any sense.

When Gordon wants to hold Neil, he says, "I need some Neil Love." Cute!

Since it's still winter here, we've had to take the s'mores inside. Indoor S'mores-- YUM! Here's how you can make your own:

1-- Get some big marshmallows, Fudge Stripe Cookies, and something to roast with. We use metal kabab skewers.

2-- Roasting your Indoor S'more mallows should be done by an adult and with great caution. The mashmallows don't catch on fire, but that stove is HOT. Just place your marshmallow on the skewer and rotate it over a stover burner on high. The marshmallow will brown fairly quickly, and quite perfectly. Chris demonstrates.

3-- Place your perfectly browned marshie between two Fudge Stripe cookies and let it sit long enough to melt the chocolate. Yummy.

I'd still rather be at an actual campfire roasting marshmallows, even with the smoke, but until then, Indoor S'mores cures a bit of the Spring Fever quite nicely!

Oh, look! A Robot!

We went to Idaho Falls last weekend to celebrate Ann-Michelle's 26th birthday on the 28th and Jake's 23rd today with a big huge party. Earlier in the day, Gordon put boxes on his hands, my dad's boots on his feet, and a huge snowmobile helmet on his head to make quite the cute little robot. Silly kid!

The party was at Ann-Michelle's house on Saturday night. Can't beat a DeArton party!

Happy Birthday, Ann-Michelle! Now she's in her "late 20's"-- ha ha ha!

She had plenty of help blowing out the candles!

I decided to forgo the Rock Band and game playing for cuddling with my favorite human teddy bear. Aw.

The party continued on Sunday when we all gathered at my parents' place for a birthday dinner. We haven't all been together in a while, so we had to get some pictures. Six kids... sometimes I wonder why my mom is still sane! :)

Ann-Michelle, ME, Jake, Allison, Kristie & Caitlan

Jake's roommate came along, so we used the extra person to take a picture of all of us. This is my entire family-- and we've just started growing! :)

I have HUGE NEWS on the digital scrapping front: I've resigned my position from Pixel Gypsy Designs and my new shoppe at The Digichick opens tomorrow! Wahoo! The Digichick was one of my first stops when I started digi scrapping, so I am absolutely thrilled to be among the incredible designers there. Let's just hope I can keep up!

I also have a new design blog-- Elise's Pieces Designs where you can find some new free stuff right now!