Sunday, September 19, 1999

Early morning jog jump-starts a marathon workday

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Running on early: Gail Wells sometimes jogs at 4 a.m. I learned this when she sent me an e-mail at 6 a.m. from her office at Northern Kentucky University.

        Ms. Wells is the interim dean of Arts & Science. She also runs marathons: in Boston, Columbus, Chicago and California. Last April, she finished third in her age group in a run from Big Sur to Carmel, Calif.

        Usually she runs at the almost-normal hour of 5:30 a.m., but this week was especially hectic, so she rose at 4.

        “When the alarm went off, I was tempted to hit the snooze button, but once I got out on the road it was a terrific run — a wonderful, crisp, clear morning,” she explained, when I asked why she was sending me e-mail (on another subject) at such an ungodly hour. “As I ran I celebrated the morning and planned my day. I was ready to put in a 14-hour workday when I finished.”

        Fellow couch potatoes, let's hope our employers don't catch on.


        About “peasel”: It's a funny story, but still, people can't help cringing when they hear how Peaselburg got its name. Covington Assistant City Manager Tom Steidel, whose personality defines “jolly,” tells it like this:

        Peaselburg is the Covington neighborhood surrounding St. Augustine Church and school. It was founded many years ago by German families, some of whom kept geese. In German, the word for geese droppings is “peasel.”

        Thanks, Mr. Steidel.


        Sound off: My Thursday column criticized Refuting Evolution, the book passed out to students at Ryle High School by supporters of Answers in Genesis. Its tortuous effort to prove biblical creation gave me a headache, I said, even though I'm personally fascinated by the possibility of intelligent design.

        Some responses:

        “I'm so very glad you pointed out the muddled arguments (Answers in Genesis) makes up. ... I'll grant them the freedom to believe whatever they want as a group, but have been very troubled at their attempts to force this alternative view of creation into the national educational system.” — Ken Ralenkotter, Union

        “I believe in the existence of a Creator. I certainly wouldn't presume to tell her/him how to fill the universe with life. Evolution strikes me as an elegant, beautiful and resourceful way to do so.” — Tom Roberts, Mariemont

        “I'm so very concerned. I have a high school student in the Grant County school system, and they're confused enough, you know? I was very impressed with your article.” — Verla Patton, Dry Ridge, who plans to get a copy of the book to critique for herself.


        Crossing the radio: Churches are finding ever more creative ways to get out their message about abortion. Last year, two Florence churches along the same road decided to demonstrate their shared conviction by coordinating a display of 4,200 crosses. The number symbolizes how many abortions are performed in the United States each day.

        Last week, the youth group at St. Thomas Church in Fort Thomas put up the same display with a twist: A sign directing motorists to tune in their radios. With a device borrowed from Northern Kentucky Right to Life, the youths were able to record a repeating message about abortion, along with three hot line numbers for women to call. Motorists can hear the message by turning their AM dial to a spot near 570, says Patty Kues, an adult who helps lead the group.

        Items wanted: Send me your news and opinions about Northern Kentucky. These short collections will be a regular feature.

        Karen Samples is Kentucky columnist for The Enquirer. Her column appears Thursdays and Sundays. She can be reached at 578-5584, or by e-mail at