Monday, February 2, 2009

Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together With You!

Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area is a working ranch and elk refuge located 15 miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon on 14,000 acres of land. Hundreds of people visit the ranch every day to take a sleigh ride through the elk, check out the visitor’s center and enjoy nature.

According to the Hardware Ranch Web site, www.hardwareranch.com, “The Wildlife Management Area promotes year round public access for watchable wildlife, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation”.

As an elk refuge, their Web site says 500 – 600 elk visit the refuge each winter.

Becca Moses, parks and recreation junior and snowmobile interpreter at the ranch, said there are no fences to keep elk on the refuge – they are free to come and go as they like. The elk come back for food, she said.

“They just hang around because we feed them,” Moses said. “We feed them enough, but not too much.”

The main activity offered at Hardware Ranch is the sleigh ride through the elk refuge.

“Most people who come here come for the sleigh rides,” Moses said.

Moses said while on sleigh rides, sleigh drivers educate their passengers on elk and other animals in the area. There are eight sleigh drivers employed by Hardware Ranch, four sleighs and five teams of horses, she said. The sleighs leave anytime a sleigh gets full, Moses said, which is about 20 people.

Hardware Ranch also has snowmobile and hiking trails. Moses said snowmobile rentals are not offered at the ranch, but snowmobiles are welcome in the area.

According to the Hardware Ranch Web site, there are 15 miles of streams for fishing that are open year round for anyone with fishing licenses.

Moses estimated that Hardware Ranch averaged 600-800 visitors a day during the winter. She also said that Saturday, Jan. 3 was the busiest day so far this season, with 1,300 visitors.

The Hardware Ranch is open four days a week. Saturday and Sunday the visitors center opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Monday and Friday it opens at 12 p.m. and closes at 5 p.m. The last sleigh ride leaves at 4:30 p.m. each day the ranch is open. Hardware Ranch is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For sleigh ride ticket purchases, only cash and check are accepted. No credit cards. Adults, ages 9 and older, are $5, and children ages 3-8 are $3. No reservations are required. For more information call the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area at 435-753-6168, or visit their Web site at www.hardwareranch.com.–kandice.crompton@aggiemail.usu.edu

Unemployed and strapped for cash? You're not alone!

By Kandice Crompton

January 22, 2009 Within a month of my 16th birthday I joined the ranks of employed Americans. The longest I've been without a job since then is two weeks. I worked 30 hours a week while I was in high school. I worked 40 hours a week my freshman year of college. Yet, for the last month I have been unemployed. No one will hire me.

My last day of work was Christmas Eve. I had to quit when I found out that the courses I was required to take this semester were only offered during my working hours. I started looking for a job immediately. I can't count the number of jobs I have applied for, from telephone call-centers, retail stores and cleaning centers. You know it's a bad sign when you can't even get a job at a call-center.

Several months ago, when I realized that with a new semester I may be needing a new job, I talked to a friend of mine, who, for the sake of his own job, we shall call Fred. Fred is a supervisor at a business that employees about 40 people. He is involved in hiring at this company and thought he would be able to swing some things my way. However, instead of helping me get a job, Fred has had to lay off seven employees in the last five weeks. According to him, his company may not even be hiring for the summer.

Other friends have had similar problems. A friend of mine employed at a restaurant has been affected by the sudden drop in people eating out. She says that not only have the numbers of customers dropped, but the tips as well. Another has, like me, had to move back in with her parents because of her inability to find a job. While I do feel bad for these other people, it makes me feel a bit better to know that I am not alone.

I didn't think the weak economy would hurt me this way. Sure, tuition would rise and textbook prices would remain high, but I have a scholarship to handle that. What I didn't expect was the sudden need to move back in with my parents to save on rent money. I didn't expect my spring break plans to change from a tropical cruise or beach vacation to possibly staying in a hostel in Boise. I especially didn't expect that my sushi intake would be cut so drastically.

If you too are jobless and basically cashless, know that you are not alone. Maybe we could start a support group, help each other through this difficult time. But if we do, we'll have to meet at my parents' house. I can only afford to drive my car to campus and back once a day.

Published at http://www.hardnewscafe.usu.edu/opinion/012209_jobless.html

My First Time

By Kandice Crompton

January 30, 2009 My first time was in Virginia. Arlington to be exact. I was nervous. I'd heard good things, but I'd also heard horror stories. My parents had warned me. I'd talked with them about it numerous times in the past, but they'd always quickly just said, "No, just don't do it."

I didn't know what to expect. What if I couldn't do it? What if I got sick afterward? My roommate kept telling me it would be OK, that if I was anything like her I would like it a lot and wouldn't be able to get enough. She always wanted it, morning, afternoon and evening.
It turns out she was right. My first time trying sushi was amazing.

My parents don't understand. My dad could probably be convinced to come try it sometime, but my mom, who also doesn't understand my obsession with Indian food, would rather run naked through Wal*mart (her words, not mine) than try sushi.

That first time, the mix of fish, from salmon to albacore, shrimp and crab to yellowtail and squid amazed me. The brilliant combination of colors, bright red, yellow and orange of the fish, the green of the avocado, cucumber and seaweed, all mixed with the white rice and brown tempura created a pallet of colors that I felt was too beautiful to consider touching, let alone eating.

Once I took that first bite though, everything changed. The mix of salmon, rice, cream cheese and avocado all doused in soy sauce slid off the chopsticks and into my mouth like they belonged there. The following meal was heaven. My roommate was right. I would never stop eating sushi.

For me, eating sushi is not something you do quickly. It's not a meal you run and grab on your lunch break. Eating sushi is an event. The different courses must each be enjoyed for what they are. Each bite must be savored. Each roll must be appreciated for its beauty and complexity.

The ambiance is as important as the meal. That is not to say that nicer places make for a better meal. Rather, the better the place looks from the outside typically indirectly correlates with the quality of your experience.

I have found that there are certain things to look for in a sushi joint. If the people behind the counter speak English to each other rather than Japanese turn around and walk away. That is not to say that English speakers cannot make sushi, but that if you want the real experience, the Japanese chatter in the background is a must.

Another thing to consider is the fact that sushi cannot be enjoyed with just anyone. You must pick your company carefully, being sure you can spend more than an hour with them. Because if you're going to do it right, it will definitely be more than an hour long event. Once you think you have found comrades to enjoy sushi with however, you need to be sure their level of appreciation is the same as your own. There is nothing worse than planning a great evening out to find out your partner can finish in 15 minutes.

If you're like my mom and have spent your life steadfastly refusing to try one of God's greatest gifts to men and women, you may want to rethink that decision. If you've never had the nerve to try sushi, give me a call and i'll introduce you to your "first time". I'm not kidding ­ I'll even do it with strangers.

Published at http://www.hardnewscafe.usu.edu/artlife/features/013009_sushi.html

Monday, December 1, 2008

PR News: "Transparency" and "Speed and Volume"

Original article found at: http://prweekat10.prweekblogs.com/2008/11/21/pr-pros-looking-to-increased-transparency-and-speed-and-volume-in-2009-and-beyond/

I found it interesting to read this and see how PR professionals view the next year or two, in terms of how the profession will progress. It was also interesting to once again see the continuted impact that Twitter is expected to have the in the public relations world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reaching out to children in India

By Kandice Crompton

Published: Monday, November 10, 2008
Updated: Monday, November 10, 2008

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, leprosy is defined as “a chronic infectious disease that affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes.”

WHO estimates there were 212,802 cases of leprosy in the world at the beginning of 2008 and while many countries have eradicated the disease, nine countries, including India, still have a high rate of the disease.

Emily Bush, junior majoring in English as a second language, returned from India in Oct. after volunteering with Rising Star Outreach, RSO, a volunteer organization working to help those in India who have been afflicted with leprosy.

Bush said because of the caste system in Indian culture, lepers are considered untouchable. Doctors cannot treat leprosy patients or they are blacklisted.

According to their Web Site, www.risingstaroutreach.com, RSO is a three-part organization whose mission is “to help the leprosy colonies become thriving, self-sufficient communities.”

The first part of RSO is providing of micro loans to leprosy patients to start their own business. The other two parts, the parts Bush said she participated in, teaching the children and working with the mobile medical clinic.

Bush said RSO’s Children Campus currently has 180 children. She said 140 are children of leprosy afflicted parents and 40 are children from a nearby village. Because of the disease, Bush said this is the first time these children are able to get an education.

By mixing the lepers children with village children, Bush said they are hoping for things to only get better.

“We’re hoping these bonds grow and improve the community and India,” she said.

Bush said the Children’s Campus is located on 13 acres of land, and the new school opened in June. The children live in hostels on the land, one for the boys and one for the girls.

Bush said children range in age from 3 to 16 years old. The school is taught in English and the children are taught by local teachers, as well as volunteers.

“You have to try and give 180 kids as much love as you can everyday,” Bush said. “I’ve never seen any one who not only wanted love so much, but gave it so willingly. I learned more from them then I could have ever taught them.”

Karl Kirby, Bush’s brother-in-law, is the doctor for RSO this year, and travels with the mobile medical clinic to leprosy colonies in the state of Tamil Nadu. Bush said while there are 45 leprosy colonies in this state alone, the mobile medical clinic is only able to reach eight of them.

The mobile medical clinic visits each colony over two and a half weeks, bringing rice and food as well as medical care. Doctors treat wounds and change wrappings, and Bush says the volunteers help by washing the patients hands and feet for the doctors.

“More important than washing feet,” Bush said, “was not grimacing and being able to look them in eye. Look them in the eye, smile and show them love. The most important thing is to show these people love. They’ve been told for thousands of years they are untouchable.

Volunteers can come for short term, a month or less, or long term, which is any amount more than a month. Bush, who arrived in India in July and left in October, said many of the volunteers are students in their early 20s. During the summer, RSO has four sessions, each averaging about 15 short-term volunteers.

Bush encourages anyone that is interested to volunteer.

“The days are long and hard,” she said. “It will change your perspective on how well off Americans are. Leprosy is not a thing of the past.”

To learn more about how you can volunteer or sponsor a child, visit www.risingstaroutreach.com

–kandice.crompton@aggiemail.usu.edu

PR News: What is a Masters Worth?

Original Article: http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/175671/http//www.priceline.com

As I'm coming on graduation I've been trying to decide what to do come June. I had never really considered going to grad school before, but it is something that has been on my mind lately. Mostly I've been considering going to school online while I work full-time. This article really helped me to know that if I decide not to do that it won't drastically effect my career.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Burger Planet: Final Positioning Paper

Burger Planet prides itself on its self-proclaimed burger, fries, and drink. This quick service restaurant targets female customers, who have children, are between the ages of 30-49 and have an annual household income totaling less than $75,000. Recently, Burger Planet has seen a drop in visitation from this target consumer, due to the lack of “healthy choice” menu items. In order to reach out to the potential audience, Burger Planet will have to incorporate healthier choice items into their menu and inform the customers of the benefits of eating these healthy items.

Jayne Peterson, fitness guru, and president and CEO of Looking Glass, Inc., is going to be hired to help promote Burger Planet’s new healthy choices menu. Peterson became famous when she helped TV superstar, Opal Whitcomb, lose 75 pounds and keep it off. Peterson is committed to helping others make healthy choices, and recognizes that she shares a common goal with Burger Planet. She said, “The company [burger planet] believes in encouraging customers to live healthier, active lifestyles and I have spent my life trying to teach women that lesson."

Peterson started her career as an aerobics instructor, and then became a part of a series of work-out videos. It wasn’t until Peterson helped Whitcomb overcome weight problems that her name was known. By hiring Peterson, Burger Planet will benefit from the trust that people place in Opal Whitcomb and Jayne Peterson.

Burger Planet has redesigned their menu. They are now offering healthier menu items that can cater to any appetite and diet. The new menu items include fruit packages, gourmet salads, low-carb wraps, and more. Fruit packages come in five different varieties, all containing less than 150 calories. Fruit packages are offered as an alternative to french fries in all combo meals at no extra cost to the customer. They also recently introduced white meat chicken breasts, and a new line of gourmet salads that contain less than 300 calories.

Burger Planets goal should be to retain the quick-service they are known for while offering healthy, tasty menu options.

Customers visiting Burger Planet will be able to request a list of healthy alternatives with their meals. They have the option to request sandwiches without a bun, making their choice from the menu good for the Atkins and South Beach diets. Sandwiches can be served without a bun, or wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

In the United States, some 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and a study done in 2004 proves that customers who consume fast food twice a week gained approximately 10 more pounds in the 15-year period than participants who consumed fast food less than once per week. Besides the large number of adults who are overweight or obese, nearly 1 in 3 US children are overweight as well. Peterson is personally working with Burger Planet chefs to create the Burger Planet Smiley Meal, an adult-sized kid’s meal that offers healthy alternatives unique from other quick-service restaurants.

If Burger Planet offers healthier choice items on their menu, they will be able to reach out to their target audience and therefore, bring in lost revenue. By involving Jayne Peterson into the plan and having her endorse the menu, the consumer will be more apt to eat at Burger Planet. The consumer has seen the great work Peterson has done with Opal Whitcomb and would want the same results.

PR News: Dow

Original Article found at :http://www.prblognews.com/

I had never thought of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a PR thing, but I have to say I think this guy is right. People look to the DJIA as a way to know how our economy is going. It's free advertising everyday, the Dow doesn't have to take out ad space to get in any newspaper in the country. It is mentioned on almost any nightly news program. For good or for bad, Dow was branded amazingly!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

PR News: Draft Sarah Palin

Original Article: http://www.slate.com/id/2198949/


Maybe it's just me, but I think Palin and McCain should have hired this guy to do their PR! It's amazing what the internet has done for PR, and the effect that blogs can have. Just a couple of months ago Sarah Palin was a nobody. Just one guys blog changed all that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Photoshop























For this image I adjusted the levels, and made the contrast a little bit more stark. I also darkened the background, and using the color replacing tool changed the flower from yellow to pink.





















For this image I used the lasso tool so that i was able to adjust the levels and saturation for hte colorful leaf seperately from the background leaves. I didn't want to change the photo too much, but i wanted the leaf to stand out more.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not Too Late to Dress Up!

Published: Friday, October 31, 2008
Updated: Friday, October 31, 2008


It is Halloween. A day of tricks, treats, scary movies and, of course, costumes. This is the one day of the year when you can pretend to be something or someone else. Although today is All Hallows Eve, it is not too late to dig through a closet or run to the D.I. and scrounge up a costume.

Courtney Hahne, junior in speech communications, said she has not yet planned her costume for this year, but suggests finding a group of friends and developing a theme.

“One year all my friends and I were female Disney characters. I was Tinkerbell,” Hahne said.

Instead of buying a costume, Hahne said she made her own.“I am not a good seamstress,” Hahne said, “but I just sewed green material to a shirt, gathered some green netty stuff and tacked it to the bottom for a skirt. Then I wore green leggings and cut them jaggedy at the bottom like Tinkerbell.”

Hahne also suggested taking something unique about an individual and making a costume out of it.

“One time I got my wisdom teeth out and I had chubby cheeks, so I dressed up as a chipmunk,” she said. “I just painted my face, made paper ears and wore all brown.”

Steve Nielson, senior MIS major, doesn’t plan on going all out for Halloween this year, but suggests making a costume out of a cardboard box.

“You can decorate it like a car, an outhouse or a robot and voila, perfect costume,” Nielson said.

Scott Stephenson, junior majoring in physics, has a different suggestion for a card board box.

“You could always do the kissing booth thing,” Stephenson said. “From what I’ve seen, you just get a box and attach some straps to it to go over your shoulders and write ‘kissing Booth’ on it.”

“Of course,” Stephenson added, “that one usually has an innuendo with it.”

Nielson has a warning for last-minute costume hunters.

“I would warn against wrapping yourself in toilet paper to be a mummy though. It’s harder than it seems,” he said.

Maren Donaldson, senior in exercise science, suggests making a mummy costume with a cut-up white sheet instead.

Another use for white sheets Donaldson and Hahne both suggested was a toga costume.

“One time my roommates and I dressed up as Greek gods,” Hahne said. “We got cheap gold gaudy jewelry from Wal-Mart.”

Bethany Madsen, junior marketing major, said she often finds great costumes at the D.I., as well as in her parent’s attic.

“We found a sweet ’70s dress at the D.I. and my friend decided to be a retro fairy,” Madsen said.

“We also found a little kid bee costume and adapted it so a friend could be a bee and my aunt once dressed in a gray sweatsuit and walked around with a bottle of water. When people asked her what she was she said she was cloudy with a chance of rain, and then she would squirt them.”

Other suggestions Madsen had for late planners included buying a red T-shirt and putting a white start on it to dress as Homestar Runner.

–kandice.crompton@aggiemail.usu.edu