Saturday, September 30, 2006

Travel and family

It's 2:00AM and in 5 hours I am driving to Romulus, Michigan to visit my brother and his fiancee. Most of the J-Dog clan will be there and it will be a long day. I'm still tired from my day on Thursday, plus going to Cincinnati today did not make things better. So I really do not want to do any more traveling. Also I have created a little bit of drama within the family, which I can not expound on right now but hopefully within the next week or two I can. I just don't want to hear what everyone has to say about the issue. The Wife and I can handle it and everyone will have to deal. If it gets too bad I am going to refuse to stay overnight and just drive home. I'm too tired to type any more and I think The Wife is starting to wonder what I am doing.

Favorite Season Week 6

St. Xavier 30 Elder 15 If you want to see one of the biggest rivals in the state this is it. If you want to see a game in one of the most intimidating stadiums then you need to go to "The Pit" home of the Elder Panthers. This game sounds exciting and it could have been if St. X would not have I don't know been one of the best teams in the nation. Their only lose came in an overtime 3 point lose to #3 Lakeland High from Florida.

St X came out firing and went into the half with a 17 nothing lead. Elder started with the ball in the third and then had to punt. They never saw the ball again in the third quarter. St X drove 80 yards and took up 8:44 on the clock and scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Elder scored to make it interesting for about five minutes, but ST X is too good.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well Yesterday (Thursday) I had a chance to visit a couple of friends in Raleigh, NC for the day. I had a free plane ride so what the hell, I went down. The flight out was early (6:15AM) but hey I slept most of the way there. I arrive and had a good time, but that is not why I am writing this post. I've been to North Carolina twice via airplane and both times the return flight was a little bit of a problem.
In 2001 (pre-9-11) I had a job interview in Ashville, NC. I enjoyed the two day interview liked the station and was sent on my way back to Toledo with a 3 hour lay over in Atlanta. I get into Atlanta eat dinner wait around listen to my CD player and watched the time creep by. It's getting within an hour of my flight when I hear of the PA system that our plane may have a flat tire and they need to fix it and this may take an hour. Bum Bum Buuuuuuuuuuum!!! Dark clouds slowly start to creep around the airport and a nasty storm surges in. The one hour delay is now a two hour delay then three and then four hours. Flights are being cancelled left and right. Everyone panics, and hears of a flight going to Detroit and Delta will drive you to Toledo airport from there. We scurry over to the next terminal get on that flight. Ten minutes later it is cancelled. So we go back to the Toledo flight and some how get back on. I've now been at the Atlanta airport for eight hours. My flight was suppose to be back in Toledo at 7:30; I got back at 1:00am.
Yesterday I arrive at the Raleigh airport the prescribed two hours in advance for my 7:40 flight and wait till my flight is ready to board. Guess what? My plane is broken in Washington D.C. and they need to fix it. Guess what again? A storm front is moving in! Deja Vu all over again. They are cancelling flights again, but there is nothing going Close to Columbus except a flight in another airlines to Detroit. I decide to wait it out and avoid Detroit like its... well... Detroit. It's now almost 7:40 when we hear "We have found another plane for the flight to Columbus, we are doing security... blah blah blah... you will be boarding in 30 minutes. AWESOME!30 minutes later due to lighting we will not be boarding for another 20 minutes. DAMN IT! This goes on for the next two hours.
I was starting to go insane, I've been up since 3:30am and all I want to do is go home and sleep. "Attention passengers going to Columbus the new plane is smaller than the old one. We right now have 40 people with 36 seats. If 4 people do not come up and receive a voucher for $150 and fly out tomorrow we will bump the last 4 people to book their flight." DAMN IT! My ticket was bought just last we, I am so screwed. The next flight to Columbus is 1:00pm and I have to be at work at 1:00pm. Somehow the math is not working with that one, or I can flight to Dulles International at 6:00am and make a connecting flight to Columbus and "be home by 11:00" considering my luck I'm not doing that. I sit around for another hour and it's almost 10 now and I go and take that lovely picture up in the left corner. That's how bad it was getting. I started taking pictures of myself in the Raleigh airport bathroom!
Finally we get to board the plane, I call The Wife and tell her I should at the airport at midnight unless I get bumped. I walk-up near the ticket counter and I hear a guy mentioned that he got bumped and unless somehow there is another seat he has to wait till everyone boards and then find out if he has to fly out the next day. I feel sorry for him, but I just found out I'm on the plane. YES!We finally take off and we get to Columbus just before midnight. I've been up nearly a full day and I am exhausted. I call The Wife and get her voice mail. I call the house and there is no answer. I'm ready to call her cell again when she calls out of breath and tells me she is just now leaving the house and will be there in 10 minutes. FYI it takes longer than 10 minutes to get to the airport. 20 minutes later at 12:15 the next day she pulls up. She was sorry and wasn't for sure if we would actually be in on time. I was upset, but didn't care. I was almost home and wanted to see our bed. I think this is a bad trend for me. Maybe I should never flight out of North Carolina again.

PS Something is wrong with my firewall Internet dully-magiger and I can't put a picture up right now. Trust me I look tired and started to look a little disheveled.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Favorite Season Week 5

This week was a week of craptitude. It was raining and the four team's combined record was 3-13. With the best team being 2-2. Wow total quality was expected here! I hate central Ohio football.

Harvest Prep 24 Grandview 14
This game started out really slow. Run 2 yards, run 3 yards, pass goes incomplete, and then punt. Luckily it started to pick up near the end of the first quarter. Harvest Prep threw a bomb and took a 6 nothing lead. Grandview had an amazing run where the guy bounces off one of his own team mates, goes outside and scores. Two quality highlights for tonight show. Grandview is about to kick off with 9 seconds left in the 1st. I wasn't going to shoot the kick off but my better judgement got to me. Grandview kicks off it takes a weird bounce and next thing you know Harvest's return guy slips and fumbles the ball at the goal line and grandview recovers for the touchdown. Three highlights and I am gone to the next game.

Whetstone 42 Linden McKinley 14 Wow this game was not good. Every sloppy play from two teams that are not that disciplined. Whetstone was better, but that's not saying a lot. It just was not a fun game to watch. One small OK spot of this game was that McKinley has a Sophomore QB that has an arm on him. If he doesn't try to force the ball and look for his check downs he might turn out to be half descent.

Next week I get to shoot a good game of two undefeated teams, Cambridge and Dover. I guess one really bad week to get a fantastic game the next is a fair trade off.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Flash From the Past

Yesterday I was driving back from Cleveland after a long and bad day. "Mr. Right" and I were yelling at each other so I just wanted a quite drive back to the station. So I plugged in the ole MP3 player and just drove. While driving and listening as songs came on it made me think about the past. For me songs usually recall certain memories good and bad and I thought I'd share a few.
  • Dave Matthews Band, Crash- I have no idea why but it reminds me of an apartment in college where my friends Sarah and Hartman lived. Whenever, Shorty and I went over to there place it was generally a fun time. Oh the good old days
  • Stroke 9, Little Black Backpack- This reminds me of my friend Belle. I was living in Toledo and she was a producer at one of the other stations. I don't know why, but I always see us driving around in her minivan. She was 24 and I 25 and here we are driving around in this minivan.
  • Digable Planet, Rebirth of Cool- This goes all the way to high school. I had a friend named Mark and we both were driving around. He did not like rap, but this song had a great jazz beat and it just flowed.
  • The Killers, Mr Brightside- If I did not put one from The Wife she would probably beat me. She loves this song and she made a little pantomime for the verse. We are both dorks
  • O Brother Where Art Thou, Man of Constant Sorrow- A Great movie with some great old tyme music. Wilson, Radcliff, Joe and I can watch this movie ad nausea and this song always puts us in a good mood followed by us quoting the movie for hours on end. Yes we are losers.
  • Elastica, Connection- During my first year of college I went to an Ohio University branch in my home town. This song was pretty big in the Alt. Rock genre of the mid 90s. A couple of us would hang out, bowl, play pool and talk about this song.. Bwaaaaaah! Bwaaaaaaah!
  • Seven Nations, Crooked Jack- During the summers in college I worked at a Bob Evans and became friends with Nancy. She was a student at the University of Kentucky and I'd go down every once in a while. She had a friend Steph E. that was a huge fan of Celtic rock and they got me into Seven Nations. I use to have a blast driving down there and hanging out. One time I spent the night in an empty dorm room in an all girls dorm. Yes I spent the night in an all girls dorm and I was by myself. I was such a loser.
  • Weezer, Island in the Sun- While working in Toledo I worked a lot of strange hours. So I'd stay up late and play on-line games with my friend Wilson. Weezer's Green album was big and I would sit in this little "den" type room in my apartment listening to this album and play Illusia, while my neighbor the house DJ spun records and the walls would vibrate from the bass.
I don't know the connection our brain has with tastes, smell, and in this case sounds that brings these memories to surface, but when you are wanting to kick the person out of the car while drive 75MPH, it makes the trip a little less hellish.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In Way Over My Head

The Wife and I started to help out our churches new kids service. Originally I thought I was going to be doing a few skits and be a helper. Next thing I know I'm in charge of the third grade boys! I wasn't thrilled, but I had to deal. I get there and there is only 1 boy so The Wife and I combined her group (the third grade girls) and my boy. That's when everything started to get beyond my control. The girls basically were all over the place! I tried and did an OK job, but wow that was more than I expected. They would not listen and were all over the place. They are like polar bears, they seem so cute and nice and then they rip your face off. I was drained from dealing with them. Then everyone went to the gym/sanctuary and it was Kindergarten through 6th grade and it was pretty much what Dante described as the seventh layer of hades. I had a few parents come up to me and say things like, not use to this, or does this make you want to have kids? Well pretty much no. Maybe one day, but definitely not after tonight/

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Favorite Season

In Ohio we have four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Football. We in Ohio love all levels of football NFL, College and High School and the last one is where I'm going with this post. As I have stated in the past I grew up in the town of Ironton. We were known for two things the longest consecutive Memorial Day parade and football. Almost where ever I go and I say I grew up in Ironton I hear "Ironton huh, they got a good team." Because of the town's love for it's football I grew up knowing nothing else. I still love it, that's why I love my job every Friday and then also Saturdays during the playoffs. I get to see some of the states best teams on a regular basis. So every week I'm going to try and do a little wrap of what I shot. Since it is Week 4 I'm going to do a quick review of all the previous weeks in one big post

Week One
Ironton 24 Wheelersburg 21. Since I'm from Ironton I got to do this Marquee Match-up. Since I graduated Wheelersburg (The Burg) has become a big rival. How big? It's probably the second biggest behind the 100+ year rivalry with Portsmouth. It was a close game and Ironton won it in the final three minutes. T-I-G-E-R-S TIGERS! TIGERS! TIGERS!

Week Two
Toledo Central Catholic vs Hilliard Darby. I do not know the final score nor do I care. In the first quarter I was shooting one of the referees prostate awareness bracelet (a la Lance Armstrong, just light blue) when I whipped the camera back to the game as the play starts. I notice something was on the ground. Come to find out it was one of the refs. He had a massive heart attack and had to be revived with the paddles. I found out later he either died on the way or at the hospital. My condolences to his family. I will never be able to go to Hilliard Darby's stadium and feel good about being there.

Westerville South 42 Westerville North 7. I now live in the Ville and my niece and nephew both graduated from there. So it was interesting to see them destroy North the way they did. I do not have a lot of respect for Division I central Ohio teams (The largest teams in Ohio), but they could do some damage in the play offs. Go South.

Week Three.
Upper Arlington 17 Findlay 10. Ugly game that UA should have dominated and at the same time Findlay should not have lost. Upper was up early and allowed Findlay back in it. Upper looked like they were trying not too loose and Findlay could not get a break from turnovers. Findlay could be the best 0-3 and now 0-4 team in Ohio. I think they are out of the play offs, but could play spoiler the rest of the year. UA just needs to play the whole game and they will do descent this year... State champs? Not a chance.

Week Four (This week)
Beechcroft 14 Mifflin 7 (The last known score). This is how all games need to start. Beechcroft went 95 yards on the opening kickoff to score. Then Mifflin (I kid you not they are called the Punchers) scores on their first drive. Before the end of the first quarter Beechcroft's QB threw a "laser" and just past the defender and the score is now 14-6. I normally hate city league games because it's usually a lot of running and filled with penalties, but I liked the speed of this game.

Columbus St. Francis DeSales 35 New Albany 14. I walk in the gate see DeSales is about to score, get in position and they score a touchdown. "Wow I'm going to get a ton of highlights tonight!" Then nothing. I cursed myself. DeSales did get a could more TDs but not that interesting of a game.

Keep on Truckin'

Over the last two weeks I have been to Youngstown, Nordonia, Coply, Toledo, Harveysburg and Findlay, I travled about 1,5oo miles in those two weeks. In just over a year I have traveled nearly 35,000 miles and about 90,000 miles in the three years I have been at the network. With that many miles under my belt I can pretty much tell you how long it will take you to go anywhere in the state from Columbus. So here are the Top 5 Worst Drives and the Top 5 Worst Areas/Towns we don't go to often too list. All drives are based from Columbus.

Top 5 Worst Drives (Cities)

  1. Youngstown travel time 3 hours. I can not tell you how much I hate the drive to Youngstown. You keep driving and then you drive a little more. Then you realize you are in Akron and STILL HAVE 50 MINUTES TO GO. There is no reason anyone needs to go to Youngstown and the drive makes it worse. You feel drained after the drive. There is no real easy way to get there and the drive is always under construction. Maybe this will tell you how bad this drive is. From Columbus to Pittsburgh it is 3 hours. As is mentioned above it takes 3 hours to Youngstown. YOU STILL HAVE AN HOUR TO GO TO PITTSBURGH. I hate you Youngstown.
  2. Toledo travel time 2 and a half hours. Toledo is just a boring drive from Columbus. Flat and straight for most of the trip without a large amount of cities to stop in. I use to live in Toledo and I have this drive memories and I can tell you every stop and rest stop along the way. Corn and flat straight roads make this a bad drive
  3. Akron travel time 2 and a half hours. It's an okay drive, but you drive I-71 for ever then turn onto I-76 and you are there. It's just that I-71 sucks to be on, always under construction and not a lot too see. Most of Ohio north of I-70 is flat and nothing but corn and soybeans. It's not like I'm wishing for mountains and windy roads I just want a few curves to make it interesting. Also will this road ever be completely finished?
  4. Marietta travel time just over 2 hours. There is no easy way to get to Marietta from Columbus. It's either two long and straight interstates or a lot of smaller state routes that you can only go 55 MPH tops and not a lot of areas to pass slower cars. I've average about three trips to Marietta year and it mostly has to deal with flooding so sometimes the roads you have to take are flooded and now you have to find some back way in. I wish they would just build a road from Columbus to Marietta to shave 30 minutes of our time.
  5. Cleveland 2 and a half hours. "Wait a second J-Dog you it looks like Cleveland is a long drive than Marietta?" You are correct, but at least there is a direct route to Cleveland. Cleveland's problem is that it's on I-71 or as I like to call it construction hell. Also with Cleveland you think you are close and you notice you still have 30 more miles! You then get to the XI center and you feel you are close. Still you have 15 more miles holy crap does that make this drive long.
Top 5 Worst Areas/Smaller towns we don't go to very often.
  1. Ashtabula County over travel time 3 hours. If you want to find the longest drive from Columbus without actually leaving the state, well here it is Ashtabula County. We every go because it's an hour away from our Cleveland office. OK did you get that AN HOUR FROM CLEVELAND. I have never made the drive but everyone who has does not want to do it again.
  2. Williams County travel time over 3 hours. If you want that Ashtabula drive without all those messy interstates but miss seeing corn and soy beans then this is your drive. The only reason we would go here is if the Dum Dum Sucker factory burns down. If this means anything the closest TV market is Toledo and Ft. Wayne and neither wants to go to Williams County because of the drive.
  3. Van Wert travel time of 2 and a half hours. Corn Corn and more corn. This is just a long drive with nothing to see. When you hear, "You're going to Van Wert." You know that you will have a very long day. I need to get a picture of it but there is a sign on Rt 30 about 20 miles for Van Wert that says 7 miles till McDonalds then beneath that NEXT McDONALDS 70 MILES. That is not a typo 70 miles from McDonalds. It's a little decieving, you can drive into Van Wert and then go 5 miles and find a McDonalds, but damn the McDonalds is so far off the highway it's better to go another 50 miles!
  4. Oxford travel time of 2 hours and 10 minutes. It's like you have to go to Indiana without all that crossing of a stateline. I have never experienced this drive but the other photographers have and they say it is a long day.
  5. Steubenville travel time 2 and a half hours. Why can't Ohio sell off Steubenville? You drive to West Virginia and then go north for an half hour. Not only is it a long flat and straight drive it gets more and more depressing as you go. A huge steel area that is slowly dying. Nothign says welcome like dying steel mills.