Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ed Carpenter & Friends

First, a congratulations is in order for fellow Butler Bulldog, 2003 grad and IndyCar Series driver, Ed Carpenter for his fifth place finish in the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 driving for Vision Racing!

Ed had a great month after starting 10th (a best for him at Indy) and finishing fifth (also a best at Indy and matches his best IndyCar Series finish). He also picked up his first lead laps in an Indy car during the race. Ed also earned the AAA Safe Driver Award for his safe and clean driving all month long in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine.

Ed showed great determination during the race. After starting 10th, he dropped to 12th and then began his charge to the lead pack. He was running steadily between 4th and 6th when on his next to last pit stop, the car failed to engage into neutral and he stalled the engine coming into the pits. Ed’s crew ran a routine stop, got the car restarted and back into the race. However, he was relegated to 23rd.

Thanks to Ed’s grace under pressure, his perseverance, a great race strategy and some divine intervention, Ed was able to get back with the lead pack again and take fifth place on the day. It truly was a remarkable run for Ed and Vision Racing. Way to be a Bulldog out there, Ed!

Ed represented Butler well and we should be proud. His performance was the essence of The Butler Way.

Of course, I was cheering from Grandma and Grandpa Kaltenmark’s house in Wabash, Ind. where I will again cheer for him this weekend when he heads to The Milwaukee Mile (4 p.m. ET on ABC).

Yep, I’m headed north for the weekend again…my mom gets to join my dad for this race so that leaves me the odd dog out, thus, I needed a place to go and once again, my grandparents come to my aid.

I hope grandpa takes me to the hardware store again! That was fun.

Speaking of fun, I had the opportunity to make some new friends yesterday. Louis, a nearly two year-old basset hound came to campus to visit me and we went outside and had a great time. We were joined by Hoops, a year and a half year-old pit bull owned by former Butler guard, Mike Green (pictured).

Louis and Hoops did most of the running around while I observed, barked orders and guarded my bone, but it was still fun. Here’s a video of the adventure and a couple more can be found at BlueTube as well.

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Running around on the campus mall with Louis and Hoops reminded me of the good old days with my best bud, Kirby. You may remember Kirby moved away to Minnesota with his mom, Jessica Butler, after she graduated earlier this month.

Well, Kirby’s aunt had taken some pictures of us playing before he left and I had received them the night before I met Louis. So I was glad to see Louis and Hoops because by that point I was really missing Kirby.

Below are the pictures that Kirby’s aunt took of us...


Well, I think that's about all I know for the time being. I've been loving this great spring weather and lush green grass. It's a great time to be a dog in Indiana!

Blue II

P.S. Do you know what Ed Carpenter and I have in common? We'll both be featured on a DVD from Butler that could be coming to a mailbox near you sometime very soon. If you receive the Butler Magazine or Butler materials, then chances are you'll bet getting this DVD. Be sure to pop it open and throw it in the DVD player and give it a view. I think you are really going to like it. I'll have more about this little project in the near future.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Checking in with the Parents

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am spending the weekend with my Grandma and Grandpa Kaltenmark in Wabash, Ind. You see, my parents get into this Indy 500 thing...in addition to working at Butler University, my dad also works on a part-time basis for Vision Racing, so he's really busy on race day and my mom, well, she's busy tailgating and watching the race, so that kind of leaves me out. That's okay, grandma and grandpa have come to my rescue once again.

I skipped town with the grandparents on Friday so I decided to check in yesterday and send my parents an email to let them know what I had been up to while in Wabash. My grandpa helped me get the message below all typed up and sent...


Dear Mom & Dad,

I just want you to know that things are fine here at Grandma’s house. These old folks don’t play with me as much as I would like, but they try to make me happy from time to time. I am not confined to the living room, but I spend most of my time there.

Grandpa took me to the hardware store this morning so I could meet Chris Kramer’s (Purdue University) grandpa. People there were really impressed with me. One lady walked in and said, “That’s the dog I see on TV all the time.” She called me a movie star. A teenaged girl who works there said I was so ugly that I was cute. I don’t know where she got the ugly part.

Grandma & Papa went to some senior open houses this afternoon. One of his football players asked Papa if he had baby-sat for me recently. Papa said that I was at his house at that very moment. I wonder if some of those football guys will come see me later. I liked going to their practices with grandpa back in the fall.

I have a new trick I like to pull on Grandpa. I acted like I need to go potty. When we get outside I head straight for his car. Grandma thinks I’m homesick and miss my Mommy.

By the way my barking gets an immediate response from people around here. It is easy to get their attention and get what ever I want.

Hope you’re enjoying your time at the track. I’ll be watching the race tomorrow in hopes I can see you.

I’ll be home Monday morning.

Love,

Blue


So as you can see, staying with the grandparents is definitely all it's cracked up to be...treats, attention, car rides and getting really spoiled. It's a nice break from the normal routine.

I hope you will join me in watching the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 today. It airs live on ABC at 1 p.m. (ET) and it should be a great show. Remember to cheer on our driver, Ed Carpenter, driver of the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing car...it's bright yellow and easy to spot. He'll start 10th in his 5th Indy 500. Ed is a 2003 Butler grad and a good friend. Go Bulldog (Ed)!

Ladies and Gentlemen, START YOUR ENGINES!

Blue II

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Remembering my First Day on the Job

So today is a special day...May 20, 2004 was the first day that I got to go to Butler Unviersity and my new home. Thus, four years ago today I spent my first day on the job as official mascot.

I remember it well...

My dad came out to Frank and Jeane King's house in Lizton, Ind., also the site of Kong King Kennel, to pick me up. But before we left, Frank glued my ears back and in place, which is as much about aesthetics as it is about keeping dire and dust mites from making my ears a permanent residence. I wimpered through much of that process, even though it didn't hurt at all.
After that, my dad loaded me into a crate in the car and I cried and carried on all the way from Lizton to Indianapolis. However, I'm ashamed to say that the first campus I stopped at wasn't Butler's, but the University of Indianapolis'! Can you believe that?! I thought for a little while that they were going to try and make a Greyhound out of me! In reality, we stopped at UIndy to see my new, adopted mother who was a graduate student in the physical therapy program there. She couldn't wait to see me!

After we stopped to see mom and her classmates, it was off to God's Country, also known as 46th and Sunset, or the beautiful campus of Butler University. Once at BU, I got to check out my new office and colleagues, but at that age (around 7 weeks), I mostly slept and tried to bite just about everything due to teething. Here's a picture of me on that day...


After spending the afternoon on campus at Butler, I headed to my new home to check out my new digs. By this point, my seat in the car had gone from crate to dad's lap. This trend of "working the system" would continue.

At my new home, I immediately began potty training, testing the limits, eating, playing trying out my crate, and of course, more sleeping.

Here's a picture of my mom and I on that first night home and a shot of my enjoying my crate.

I was pretty much just one big wrinkle back then! Thankfully, I didn't grow into all of them!

Come bedtime, my dad vowed that I would not sleep in the bed. so he put me in a my crate, by the bed, and on the floor. That lasted all of maybe one hour thanks to my persistence and crying, barking and whatnot. Needless to say, I've been sleeping in the bed ever since.

Fast forward to today and I'm still coming to campus nearly every day, riding shot gun in the car and sleeping in the bed. Life is good.

Speaking of today, I got things started with my dad and Kyle down in Greenwood, Ind. at Westwood Elementary School. Kyle's nephews, Hunter and Kaylor and neice Autumn go there and they invited us to come by and read a book to the school and hand out my book marks.

Yesterday I got to take part in a video shoot for the Office of Admission which was being shot by YOUniversity.tv Here are a couple of my own videos from that shoot...

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Once the official video is up on YOUniversity.tv, I'll be sure to pass along a link.

Well, I'm looking forward to this weekend, and not just because of the holiday, but also because I get to spend it with my Grandma and Grandpa Kaltenmark up in Wabash, Ind. I'm sure it will be a great time...grandma will spoil me with attention, grandpa will take me on errands around town and I'll get to sleep in! I can't wait!

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to tune into the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday to cheer on 2003 Butler graduate, Ed Carpenter, in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing machine.

Blue II

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Graduation 2008

As I mentioned in my last post, I got to be a part of this year’s graduation ceremony…and I don’t mean just showing up because it’s a university event. No, thanks to Dr. Steven Vibbert, this year’s selected faculty speaker, I was actually an integral part of the program.

Dr. Vibbert is a professor in the Eugene Pulliam School of Journalism and specifically teaches undergraduate courses related to public relations. You may remember his name from my blog as Dr. Vibbert is the only professor that invites me to pay a visit to each one of his classes, every semester.

He’s also my dad’s favorite professor from his undergraduate days and it’s easy to see why, especially after I had the pleasure of hearing him “profess” to the graduating class of 2008 on Saturday.

Dr. Vibbert started his speech off with a very valid point. He said to the graduates, “Look around you right now and soak in the feeling that fills this field house. You know what that feeling is? It’s accomplishment. And now look at those around you—at your friends and family and at this proud faculty in their own very spiffy hats behind me, look at all the people who supported you—and who share your sense of accomplishment. Here’s the good part about accomplishment. It is a renewable resource. You’ve earned the good feeling—I’d say the good vibe—of this accomplishment, but you know that having done it once, you can do it again and again. You can achieve this feeling over and over, by doing things as you’ve done here at Butler—the Butler Way--and by sharing in the accomplishments of others as parents and friends in future years.”

I found that to be some great perspective, even from my point-of-view, which is affixed on four legs and about a foot and a half off the ground. However, the crux of his message was based on an acronym…an old trick he uses a lot in his classes.

He told the graduates to use the acronym BLUE to guide them. B for "be flexible," because "change is going to happen to you"; L for "let someone know they made a difference to you; U for "use the front-page test – if you're doing something you wouldn't want everyone to read about on the front page of your hometown newspaper, then don't do it"; and E for "enthusiasm," which they'll need to succeed.

He ended it with, “As I look back on the four points I’ve written: Be flexible; Let someone know they made a difference; Use the front page test; Enthusiasm matters…B.L.U.E. I see that they spell BLUE. I want you to remember BLUE, Butler Blue, to do things the right way—what is sometimes called the Butler Way.

Are these four points really part of what it means to be Butler Blue? Can they in some way connect you all, today and in the future? Are they worth remembering, as I think they are? How could I prove such a statement? How could I make your last class at Butler stay with you?

I have an idea—a friend of yours and mine whom I’ve asked to come to commencement just to make this call.”

This is the part where I made my grand entrance and found my spot on stage next to Dr. Vibbert and the podium, amid the cheers, laughter and clapping. It was quite fun.

Really, I was probably on display for a minute, but like Dr. Vibbert, I think it drove home the point and maybe made that one of the most memorable speeches in all of Butler’s 152 commencement exercises.

In all, the University conferred degrees on 877 students – 275 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 196 from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 185 from the College of Business Administration, 120 from the Jordan College of Fine Arts and 101 from the College of Education.

Dr. Susan Solomon, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was the keynote speaker. She was part of the group that won the 2007 Nobel Prize for their efforts "to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

I don’t really know anything about that, nor will I pretend to. When it comes to climates, I just know that I’m the sort of breed that pretty much has to live in a temperature controlled environment, thus, I need a very mild climate…i.e. indoors.

Anyway, Dr. Solomon got an Honorary Degree during the ceremony. I did not, however get an Honorary Degree. That’s okay, I’m probably only deserving of an “Ornery Degree.” I know…bad joke.

In other news, fellow Butler Bulldog and IndyCar Series driver, Ed Carpenter, did make the field for the Indianapolis 500 on the first day of qualifying this past Saturday. He will start the 92nd running from the 10th position. Go Ed!
Before I sign off on this post, I want to wish my good friend Kirby the best of luck in Minnesota. His mom graduated on Saturday so I have to bid farewell to my good friend. Thanks for leaving me your purple wading pool too, Kirby! I’ll put it to good use like I did my blue one last year.


Bye Kirby…I’ll never forget the great times we had together!


Blue II

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Hook Up!

This week has been pretty fruitful for me. For whatever reason, I’ve been getting the hook up! It all started on Monday when the department secretary for Political Science, Linda Cooley, brought me a bunch of new toys and a ton gourmet treats from Three Dog Bakery. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I don’t know what I did, but it was awesome! Linda’s a big fan. Thanks Linda!

One of the toys Linda brought me was a stuffed polar bear. It was by far my favorite toy of the lot. I pretty much destroyed it all week. Check out the pictures and video…


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Then on Wednesday, my good friend Arni Sribhen of IndyCar Series fame, hooked me up with some IndyCar swag, including a leash and a jersey. They’re perfect for this time of year…May in Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500.



Naturally, I’m rooting for 2003 Butler graduate, Ed Carpenter…driver of the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Go Bulldogs!

On Thursday I went to the ground breaking ceremony for the new pharmacy building on campus. We were under a tent for the event, but it rained steadily all day and during the event so I got a little wet on that venture.

Later in the day I got to visit with the senior class at their champagne toast and class picture. That was a lot of fun and I enjoyed being in their class picture, primarilly because this is the first class that I've seen all the way through at Butler. In other words, they were freshmen when I was a freshman, so it was sentimental for me.

Unfortunately, graduation means that one of my best friends, Kirby, is going to be leaving. His mom, Jessica Butler, graduates tomorrow and she is moving back home to Minnesota, so that means Kirby won't be around anymore. That makes me very sad!

I guess that's kind of what graduation is all about...picking up and moving on. (Someone should have told my dad that because he graduated from Butler in 2002 and he's still there!) Sometimes graduation means leaving family and friends and going out in the world to practice what you've learned, but knowing that still doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye to my friend Kirby.

Tomorrow I get to go to commencement exercises at Hinkle Fieldhouse to see the class of 2008 graduate. I actually will play a special role in tomorrow's graduation ceremony, but I don't want to give away the surprise just yet, so I'll have to post sometime after with a recap of the events.

For now, I'm going to rest up and get ready for the big day.


Blue II

Friday, May 2, 2008

Go Green with Blue!

It's been another great spring week. I've continued to enjoy the spring weather, especially the cooler temps at the start of the week. Perfect bulldog weather!

With the end of classes and the start of finals, things have been relatively quiet on campus. Not as quiet as they are in the summer, but noticeably different than the normal hustle and bustle that the school year typically provides.

However, Tuesday was still a lively day as it began with the annual Campus Sweep event. Campus Sweep is an event held by the Staff Assembly for faculty and staff to join in together and help clean up the campus for the spring. That morning you can find employees sweeping side walks, washing windows and even spreading mulch. It's as much about comraderie and community as it is about cleaning the already beautiful campus.

This year's them was "Go Green with Blue!" so of course I was invited for the opening ceremonies, but not so much the cleaning up part. I tend to make more messes than I do clean them up. Nonetheless, I sported my event t-shirt and made an appearance.

I did help out with the cleaning a little bit...primarily in the role of supervisor. I saw Greg Lily of the facilities staff fire up that John Deere Gator and I helped myself to the passenger seat and off we went. It was just like riding the tractor and four-wheeler at grandma and grandpa's house!

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For more videos from the event, be sure to visit BlueTube at www.youtube.com/butlerblue2.

After that, we got to go to the annual faculty and staff picnic where I managed to score a few illegal table scraps. All told, I got enough pieces of grilled chicken to constitute a full breast, a cherry tomato, and a couple pieces of a cookie. Not bad for a dog who's not supposed to receive handouts. I've still got it baby...suckers!

Later that afternoon, my dad and I were out doing errands when we ran across senior Loren Snyder and his English Bulldog, Bella. She's a 5 year old bullie and you may remember that she and I didn't quite get along the first time we met.

Well, we worked out our differences and just had a great time out on the lawn on Tuesday. A special thanks to Bob Marcus who came along while we were playing and snapped some pictures. Check them out...



The layout of the pictures is to represent the nature of our playtime. Basically we would play for 20 seconds then rest for 2 minutes. We went on like that for quite a while until it was obvious we didn't know when to quit. But it was fun!

Fast forward to today and I got to go to another Office of Admission Early Resgistration event. I always like greeting those future bulldogs and begging for a piece of their breakfast, so that was fun too.

Next week should be a busy week with the Seniors participating in their last social events given that commencement is just around the corner. I'm sure there will be some fun stuff for me to get into.

Speaking of next week, be sure to check your mail boxes for a piece of mail from yours truly! That's right, many of the Butler family will receive a letter and envelope with my mug on it and a message from me. I talk about all the great stuff that's been going on around campus this year as well as ask for a little dough too. (There's also a cool window decal inside as well.)

So if you get that letter, be sure to send a check back in the return envelope that is provided! Don't worry, the money won't be spent on dog bones or anything like that...I let Dr. Fong and Trustees figure out where to spend that stuff. I just ask for it. I figure it's just like begging for food and as you read earlier from my faculty/staff picnic venture, I'm pretty good at that sort of thing.

Of course, you don't have to respond to the letter. You can give anytime at www.butler.edu/gifts. Tell 'em Blue II sent ya!

Thanks!

Blue II