Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jackson Vid

Here is Amber torturing Jackson with cold wet hair to wake him up.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jackson Dallin Koecher the First

This is me washing the head of Jackson.

The new and improved Koecher family.

Jackson right after he got off oxygen.

Amber and Jackson before before he was taken to the NICU. Amber had to stay and get stitched up. She was a real trooper.

Amber and I after the baby was born

Jackson weighing in at 8 lbs 2 0z

Amber right before the C Section started.

Me at 5:30 in the morning....

Amber at 5:30 in the morning, I think she handles it better than me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Balloons, Baby Shower, and a Limo

What do balloons, a baby shower, a black Cadillac limo, five police cars, and a pellet gun have in common? One exciting night!

Last Thursday some of Amber's friends through here a baby shower up here in Logan at our house. I, like any other self respecting man would do, graciously fled from the house! Well when the shower was near the end I came home. I hadn't eaten in an hour and a half so I needed nourishment, and I heard that there were plenty of snacks at shower.

Amy and Tycee, the party organizers, wanted a ride in my friend Creighton's limo, so I pulled some strings to get them a ride aka a quick text message. Creighton came over to our house about 9 pm to give us a ride in the limo that would soon be a night to remember. (That's a little foreshadowing for ya)

To decorate for the shower Amy and Tycee brought some balloons and tied them to the railing out side of our house. When we got married a friend gave me an air soft pellet gun, and I typically don't have much reason to use it except to scare off stray cats and to remind little brothers my dominance over them. So one could imagine that a pair of perfectly good, helium filled, star shaped balloons would be quite the tempting target.

As Creighton arrives I am standing pretty much point blank next to the balloons shooting them. Apparently they were super balloons because I couldn't get them to pop. I go down to the street to talk to Creighton and wait for the lady folk to come down. To pass the time as we waited I took aim at the balloons and fired away.

Chikchik BANG! Chikchik BANG! Chikchik BANG! Chikchik BANG! Chikchik BANG! Chikchik BANG! (I must have been pretty trigger happy or something)

Anywho... We go for a limo ride. It was great. Nothing like a ride in smooth Cadillac while jamming out to NSYNC. Good times.

On our way back to the house, all of a sudden red and blue lights come flashing at us from the rear. A COP! EVERYONE SCATTER! We pull over to the side of the road and as the officer comes to the car we wonder what we were doing wrong to get pulled over.

Two officers come up to the car, tell us to roll down all the windows, and then asks Creighton to get out of the car. Later an officer asks about anything illegal in the car, and I didn't realize that I still had the air soft gun. Soon they start asking about my gun and if I still had it. I did. Before I know it I am asked to get out of the car because I was the owner of the gun.

Luck wasn't with me that evening because when I stepped out of the car there were now five, count em, five police cars there and I had a pocket knife. So imagine this if you were a person driving by, one black limo, five police cars, two civilians and one of them with his hands on his head getting pat down by an officer. (that was me by the way) If that was you what would you assume?

To rap up, come to find out that a neighbor saw me shooting the gun and then saw us drive off in a black limo, and called the cops because they were concerned. We were let go after I told the officer my red neck story - We were at a baby shower shooting balloons with a gun that I got for a wedding present, does it get more redneck than that? Maybe if Amber had gone into labor in the car or something....

What a memorable night, baby shower, guns, cops, a pat down and one awesome limo!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Teach For America...not this year

Dear Admissions and Staffing Offices,

Third time's the charm? Not with Teach for America.

In the past six months I have applied to three different positions within Teach for America, one a public relations job, the other a marketing job, and finally now a teaching position. I believed in the mission of Teach for America so much that I just had to be a part of this amazing organization.

My final hope was to apply for the teaching route. I had wanted to all along, but I had to wait for the application to come out for the 2010 year. I was so excited to be able to finally apply for the main corps, because I was hoping that someday I could take my own adventure of a two year commitment to teach. So I did ALL that was asked of me I jumped through the hoops, crossed all the "T's," answered all the questions openly and honestly, studied the mission of Teach for America, and anything else to give it my best shot. Then today, "Thanks, but not Thanks"

I find it hard to believe that I didn't rise to the top, and make it to the next round. I garuantee that if you would have taken the chance to interview me you would have seen how my personallity would have been perfect for teaching, how my experience acutally teaching qualified me, and you would have heard the innovative ideas I have that would have revolutionized engaging students in the classroom. In my spare time I actually think of better ways to teach people. In my spare time I watch people and take note of how they learn. In my spare time I make lesson plans that are highly interactive, fun, and educational. If I do all that in my spare time, imagine what I could have done for Teach for Amercia. Imagine what I could have done for those students.

I want to thank you for your time. I hope you had a chance to read this email. Feel free to contact me if you want.


Dallin Koecher
Public Relations Specialist

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

USU Grant Will Look at School Trust Lands

Utah State University has received a $750,000 grant for research on the best practices for managing school trust lands in Utah and around the country.

The Landgrant Education And Research Network (LEARN) project is designed to conduct research on the use of school trust lands granted to public institutions throughout the country by Congress. The project is spearheaded by the Center for the School of the Future in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

The study hopes to find ideas and insights on the use of school trust lands, and Rich West, executive director of the Center for the School of the Future, is optimistic about the outcome.

“We hope to learn more about the best practices for managing school and institutional trust lands,” West said. “We expect to find innovative and effective practices in many states that still have trust lands.”

In addition to the research, the grant money will be used to begin the process of educating institutions and schools on their trust holdings of land and funds.

The LEARN project has the potential to provide major improvements in the management of school trust lands throughout the nation. With a greater knowledge on the effective use of the granted land, schools will have more money to improve education and upgrade schools.
School trust lands were given to public schools as a way for them to supplement their costs through the sale, lease or use of the land.

“The funds will be used to conduct the research and analysis of data pertaining to the management of school and institutional trust lands,” West said.

Congress granted more than 140 million acres of school trust lands to public schools and millions more to universities across the nation. According to the School LAND Trust program Web site, Utah still has 3.3 million acres of school trust land. Each year these lands provide millions of dollars for Utah public schools.

According to West and the National Education Association, Utah and Utah State University are acknowledged leaders in effectively using school trust lands to generate added revenue for Utah schools. In the 2007-2008 school year, this program generated $25.3 million for school improvement projects.

Through misuse and poor management of the trust land, many states have all but lost most of this valuable resource. West and the center are eager to start the research and create a network of information on properly using the land before more it is lost.

“LEARN will research how the remaining school and university lands and funds are being administered and provide information and support pertaining to new and emerging promising practices,” said West.

Related links:
Center for the School of the Future
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Writer: Dallin Koecher, 435-797-1350, dallin.koecher@usu.eduContact: Rich West, 435-797-1994,
Orginally published in the Utah State Today Online magazine.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Koechers for the Cure

Logan, UT - On Saturday September 12, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held their annual "Walk to Cure Diabetes." This year's walk brought out many participants from all over the county and probably even farther. Whether it was the free food, the sunshine or the chance to show off team t-shirts that enticed participants out didn't matter because everyone was at least united in the cause to cure diabetes.

When we could be doing almost anything on a beautiful Saturday morning Amber and I decided we would do something that was more about helping others then about ourselves. The decision to joint the walk came when we both heard an add on the radio announcing the event. We both felt that we needed to start giving back to our community and take an active role in participating in local events.

Hundreds of people were in attendance for the walk. As the announcer went through the morning entertainment it became clear that most of the people there were seasoned 5k cure walkers. As for Amber and I it was our first walk...ever.

In the Greater Utah Chapter of JDRF there are five walks scheduled in the fall that extend from Orem to Boise, Idaho. We participated in the Cache County Willow park walk. The 5k started at the beautiful Willow Park in Logan and meandered it's way around the local neighborhood and on to the Logan River walk way. A person couldn't ask for a more inspiring place to take a walk for a good cause.

One of the most touching things for us as first timers to the world of diabetes fundraising was to hear the stories of young children who just found out they had the disease, and knowing forever more their lives will be changed.

Amber was diagnosed with type I diabetes just before her sweet 16 birthday. At the time it was very scary for her and her family as they faced a new challenge that none of them could have ever prepared for. Now eight years later with practice and education diabetes has become a part of her life that, with a little effort, she controls so it doesn't control her. It can be safely said that her ability to manage the disease through use of her pump and tester and other actions she takes has been greatly affected by research which was made possible by fundraisers like this.

According to their website JDRF was founded in 1970 and since then has provided our $1.3 billion for research for the disease. Now Amber and I join the fight to cure this disease so that one day others won't have to deal with the hundreds of pin pricks, changing sites, low and high blood sugar, and the constant vigilance it takes to manage the disease.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Editing photos

This picture was a little more complicated then the buttom pic. Here I had multiply layers to get what i wanted. Here I changed the levels and the hue staturation options to change the color of the "elephant" looking rock so it was more vibrate and obivious. Then I created another layer and kept the levels the same on the people. I didn't want there colors to be adjusted so that the rock still remained the most important element in the picture. Then I merge those two layers together so I could start working on the back ground rock. I lighten them up so it looks like they are more distant. Then just for fun I added a "paint knife" affect to the backround. Finally I just cropped the part I wanted. There you have it.

Here are some of my pictures that I have transformed with photoshop. In this pic I have just added another layer, changed it to black and white. Then I erased the out line of the black and what truck to bring the red up. It was pretty simple.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Facebook Frenzie

Facebook- the new gossip girl. I must say I have a facebook account and I check often, not religiously, but often. I think it's a great way to stay somewhat connected to my friends, especially those out of state. People's lives are constantly changing and so are their facebook pages so its very easy to be up to date on everyone. However i do think its a little crazy how fast things can spread using facebook, that's why I call it the new gossip girl. Info on a facebook page one day can be a disaster the next. For example a buddy of mine jokingly wrote on my wall saying that I was engaged, the next day people who I hardly talk to in person but are facebook friends where all in a hissy fit. That's when I realized that ANYONE could be looking at my profile at any moment, friends, family, acquaintances and probably strangers. From then on I have tried to keep all the information on the page viewer neutral so it doesn't matter who sees it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hidden Secrets and High Prices

The Internet sure has opened up a whole new bag of worms when it comes to privacy and the cost of instintaneous information. In an article about how popular search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN, record peoples searches the author shows deep concern for governmental spying. I agree with this person in part, I don't think access to those records should be easy to get, but I don't agree that access to peoples search history should be protected limitlessly. Just like anything that is considered private information a proper warrant for that information is just as good. I mean what's the difference between the courts getting your bank statements for a case? Doesn't a bank statement show what a person has been doing for the past few months to a year? Search engine histories are similiar.

Where I think the problem could be solved is if those popular search enginges just didn't keep track of that info. Granted the customer wouldn't have as tailored results but then again you can subpeona information that doesn't exsist.

The other article I read concerning the Internet was about companies like AT&T who may chage more for companies like Google and Yahoo, because they use more bandwidth then others. Once againg mixed feelings about this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Email me back nicely

The Internet has become a integral part of our daily lives. Most respectable news agencies have space for their readers/viewers to post comments for the whole world to see. It is very disturbing for me to read these comments that are rude insensitive and have no news, educational or social value. Most often times they are directed toward specific authors. To me it seems this kind of communication is actually hurting our society. One of the main problems, and perks, of the Internet is anonymity, which gives people a false since of being unaccountable. It makes me glad to see sites like the ones we read that are working to teach people Internet and email etiquette. Hopefully more people will read these articles and the same level of courtesy we expect in person will filter to cyberspace.