Monday, December 31, 2007


I love to go and watch movies, but for a few months I haven't been able to go and watch, mixture of timing, crappy movies and money. Somehow over the holiday I got to see two movies and both were pretty good:

I Am Legend
I was not 100% wanting to see this movie, as most of you know I am not a fan of horror movies or anything that involves strange creatures that can jump out and make the audience jump. Yet, I wanted to see if Will Smith could pull off a movie on his own. In all honesty he did a pretty good job, for me the bench mark for a solo performance in a movie is Cast Away. Tom Hank's made me almost cry for a beach ball. I always thought he was the only actor who could pull off a movie where he is, well 90% of the movie. Will Smith, might make that list of actors who can pull of a movie solo. There is a touching moment that made everyone in the theater cry, all I will say it is like Wilson from Cast Away. I'd recommend seeing I Am Legend, be prepared to jump and if you don't like weird zombie type things, you may not like it. I'd give it a B

National Treasure: Book of Secrets
The Wife really liked the first one and it has grown on me the 80 trillion times it has been shown on USA. The premise is the Gates family name has been connected to the Lincoln assassination because of a piece of a diary. Ben Gates (Nick Cage) goes on a search to clear his family name and then finds himself on a quest to find the "City of Gold." The movie is over the top and full of little coincident that form a bigger picture that lead to treasure. Everything is a leap of faith and if you are watching this movie, then you know that you need to suspend reality and go with it.

The best part of the movie was not actually the movie. It was the Goofy short shown before the movie. I love the old Goofy shorts where Goofy tries to show you how to do something; like playing football, cooking, general things that are not that hard, but Goofy can't do it and makes a mess of it. This short was Goofy learning about HDTV. It was GREAT! They had a electronic store called Buy Stuff, which NO WAY looked like Best Buy. He buys the largest TV in the store, everything needed and tries to hook up the TV and surround sound. I hope Disney does more of these shorts in the future. Half the time they are better than the movie.

OK Back to National Treasure, besides the leap of faiths it was an OK movie and I enjoyed it. Was it great, well no, but I think this sequel was better than the original, except for one thing. They made it clear that there will be a sequel. I hate this more than anything else. I'm tired of the sequel, I understand why they do it, because idiots like me will go because I've seen the first few and must finish the series. We need more creativity in Hollywood, I want something new, not something recycled.

OK what's with all the Lord of the Rings Harry Potter rip offs coming out. I am sick of seeing elves and trolls in movie previews. Every one seems to be the exact same movie with a different cast. Someone finds a secret land and they have to save it. Out of the eight previews I think there were 4 movies just like the one I mentioned. maybe I need to give up hope for the movie industry.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finally theChristmas Trip Wrap

Christmas has come and come and everything has settled down, well almost, we still have the bowl game trip next weekend and Kim the sister in law is coming the weekend after that. To think about it, this is just the calm before the storm... CRAP!

Well, the trip was a good one, we only got to see about half of the people we wanted. Most were in Columbus and it's hard to see people because we were there during the week. The biggest thing I learned on this trip is the differences on how we act while in Columbus and Ironton. In Columbus we are always moving and if feels like we never stop moving. In Ironton we hardly did anything. Examples, Thursday in Columbus;I worked on a church project, drove to see Kim the sister in law in Hillard, saw a friend of The Wife because she was selling candles, met more of her friends for dinner, met my sister for desert and finally made it back to her parents house at 11. Saturday in Ironton; took some pictures of the town, met Tiffany for a couple of hours, helped The Dad put in a new dryer and ate dinner. It's just different areas and how things are done. It always amazes me that when in Ironton I can sit there and do nothing and enjoy it, but I always have to be moving in Columbus.

The Wife and I had a good Christmas over all, she liked all her gifts (a pearl necklace and a jewelry box) and I enjoyed mine (Brian Piccolo rookie card and the Simpsons Movie), we also did get the BCS Championship tickets and we are also still going to Mobile for the GMAC Bowl. We are in the second level of the end zone in the Superdome and we will be dead center 13 rows up in the west end zone with a Bowling Green flag.
Also I have made a gnome blog, I've called it Gnomadic Gnome. I've got enough pictures to get me to the bowl games and the bowl games will get me till February.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Nativity They Don't Want You to Know

Many years ago there was a gnome who was passing though a strange land. While settling in for a long nights sleep, there was a commotion a bright light came out of no where and a loud voice. "Shepards, do not be afraid." exclaimed a voice. "I come in peace."

"Excuse me," said the gnome "I'm not a Shepard."

"What?" said the voice as the light dimmed to reveal an angel. "You're not the Shepards in the field outside Bethlehem?"
"No, I am just a gnome, I think you are looking for those guys two fields over."

The angel sits down with a look of disgust and pulls out a map. "Where did I go wrong? I turned left at Babylon and then a right at Mesopotamia, did I make a wrong turn at Albuquerque?"

"Let me see that." said the gnome. "You came over Rome and didn't veer right, you kept on straight and missed those Shepard guys be a few miles."

"Thanks gnome, my name is Gabriel and I'm suppose to tell these Shepard guys about this big thing... Hey you wanna come?"

The gnome was a little skeptical, how did he know this was a real angel, I mean it had wings and a bright light around it, you just never know. "I don't know I had this cousin that followed a wizard, four hobbits and two humans and he nearly got himself killed at least a dozen times. How do I know this isn't going to be one of those kinds of travels."

"Don't worry," chuckled Gabriel, "it's not one of those kinds of quest. I don't get those cool assignments, we have a different guy for that, I just tell good stuff. I'm actually not for sure what's going on, something about a savior or something... I wasn't listening to what God was saying, my son this, his name is Jesus that, going to save the world... you know how it goes."

The gnome was overwhelmed and decided to go along and see what all the fuss was. After getting directions and looking at the map the gnome showed Gabriel where to find the shepards and found out he needed to go to Bethlehem. He also had a star to guide his way. As he walked towards the small town he saw some camels off to the left and they seemed to be heading his way.

As they approached he saw that there were three camels with three well dressed men. "Hey guys, where you heading." asked the gnome.

"We are following the star to find the one who shall save the Earth."

"Oh you mean that Jesus fellow" states the gnome

A look of shock over came the three men, "How do you know of the savior?"

The gnome told the men about his visit from Gabriel. The men were astounded by the story, they now know the star they follow leads them to the Messiah. "Little gnome, do you wish to join us to see the child?" Since he is going that way he though he could use a break from walking and hoped a ride.

They arrived in the town of Bethlehem and found a stable where the young savior was laying in a manger. The three men entered and the gnome followed behind, the three men gave gifts and the gnome was standing there with nothing to give, he looked around and finally found a buckeye in his pocket and presented it to the child.

A bright light came from the manger and baby Jesus arose in his golden diaper. "Thank you gnome, even though these wise men have brought me expensive gifts, you gave me the only thing you owned. A nut from a tree." All were amazed as the baby Jesus hovered over everyone. "Since you enjoy wondering the world, you shall never worry about money again, I shall provide what you need."
The gnome was shocked this was the greatest gift he has ever received, he can go places that he has dreamed about.

"From now one gnome," Jesus states "when you travel, think of me and tell people what you have seen. Go forth and travel, I must not take care of Santa and his evil reindeer." With that Jesus shot out of the top of the stable to fight Santa for Christmas superiority.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

1/2 of the Trip

Well, so far we have survived and have made it to Ironton, which means I have access to the Internet. I know, I go to Columbus no access, I go to a small river town that has a tenth of the population and I have Internet... go figure. So far we have had a good trip, we left Raleigh at 9:30 on Wednesday night and made it to Beckley, WVa at 1:30am. That was a little rough considering my last assignment was to drive to Durham for an accident forcing me to be get off late.

We got up the next morning and we had a weird substance on our car it was white and cold, I think the locals called it snow. The Wife was happy to see it, I was not, I was afraid that the roads would be bad. It was just a light dusting and the roads were fine. We made it to Columbus and The Wife forgot that Ohio is gray for half the year. We have been spoiled with days where we actually get to see the sky.

While in Columbus we didn't get to see very many people, unfortunately, we only get two days per city and most of that was spent with family. It was a good trip none the less, we got out national title tickets and a few other presents. The Wife got a new coat, for some reason she gave her old one away. Then I got the awesomest present of all times a new garden gnome! He's all decked out in OSU gear, so that's cool. I may try and find a BGSU so I can have a set. I've decided that since he is so awesome he is going to be a traveling gnome (traveling so I don't get sued by travelosity). We are going to take pictures of him all over the place and I may create another blog for him. It'll just be pictures so I don't have to be that creative.

The one thing that I did not enjoy was the trip to Easton Mall, The Wife set up a dinner with a friend and they picked California Pizza inside the mall. I hate malls and I hate Easton this time of year. It took longer to get into a parking space than it took to get to the mall. It was just people everywhere. Stupid mall traffic.

In a few days I'll do an Ironton post after we see a couple of people and the new things that are in town and the fact the high school is gone.

*due to internet connection I will have to wait and do the pictures later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Music

I'm not a fan of the back-to-back random posts, but I kind of need to, this will be the last post for a few days. We are travelling back to Ohio and the earliest I may get to the Internet will be Friday. I also had a few musical things happen over the last few days and and I want to get them off my chest.
Can't Live Without
OK I mentioned my MP3 player in my last post, but this weekend it saved some lives. I had to do the weekend over night editing, I'm not a fan of having to go to work at 2AM so I usually am a little grumpy. I went to my bay turned the TV on to a station that did not have infomercials and put on the MP3 player. It stayed on till about 9AM, but after a one hour break I turned it back on for the drive home. I had been up for about 28 hours at that point so I went to bed, with the MP3 player going to drown out noise from the outside world. By the time I woke up I'd had the player on for 14 hours that day.

Sunday was the bad day, the associate producer was doing the show and she's not that bad, just young and new. I caught up to here a couple of times and that made the day go real long. I just kept to myself and listened to the sweet sounds playing from the set of small speakers. The MP3 player was on for another 8 hours. I love that little 2GB device, you saved me from going insane over the weekend.

What Am I Listening To?
I have never really liked country music, I'm not for sure why, but I've never liked the sound. I think it has something to do with the area where I grew up, it seemed like everyone listened to country and maybe it was my way of revolting, or it's the fact that I hate the twang in the singing. I will admit I do like the O Brother, Where Art Thou sound track and I like Johnny Cash, but that's pretty much it.
A few years ago while working in West Virginia, I had a reporter who kept trying to get me into country. The one band he kept pushing was Nickel Creek, a trio from southern California. It was OK, but I wasn't interested. I guess over the years, I have softened and come to find out, Nickel Creek is pretty good. The big thing for me is they don't sound "country," that fake twang added to a pop song it make it country. They have a more O Brother sound, but at the same time they add a little jazz sound and some rock. They actually covered songs by Pavement and Bob Dylan. I don't know many bands that would pull that off. So I have a new band to listen to, The Wife is shocked at this and I will still say "I don't like country music, well except for O Brother, Johnny Cash and Nickel Creek."

Black Hole
I was joking on the last post about Raleigh being a radio black hole. Well, I forgot about my home town. Wilson mentioned he bought Sirius Radio and loves listening to the 90s rock station. He mentioned that he is hearing songs that he had never heard of, the reason, we never heard them in southern Ohio. We didn't have a good radio station. They would play average songs that were popular everywhere and nothing else, add in some bad radio banter from a horrible DJ and lots of commercials. I know radio is a business, but how bad is it when good music is not allowed to the masses. Maybe if you played more music you would get more listeners, no one cares about the DJs play some good music.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Random December

I've been scatter brained, tired and well not in the mood to do anything other than play Madden on my Playstation 1 and read. I am so ready for a vacation and there is one on the way... WEEEEE! The only problem is that it is our Ohio Christmas Tour and there is not enough time to see everyone I want. Hopefully I will get recharged and feel like my old self, to get me feeling better here are some random tidbit's I've had.

Writer's Strike
If you did not realize there is a writer's strike in Hollywood and every TV show is suffering. The biggest thing is the writers want some royalties from DVD sales. To be honest they are not asking for that much, but the producers are being greedy and not giving an inch. This is going to start to suck for TV. If you like original creative programming it's about to stop, so no new Office and possible only 8 episodes of Lost. For me, I do not like this idea. If you are a fan of Deal or No Deal or any other type of "reality show," then you will be in heaven. I'm about ready to grab a large blunt object and go to town on some Hollywood heads. Get a deal done or I will gather a posse and start clubbing producers and writers like baby seals... WHO'S WITH ME!

Good Day?
I know there are ice storms in Oklahoma and mud slides in Oregon, but in North Carolina it's FREAKING AWESOME! We were in the 80s at one point. It was so warm for enough days that I actually got to go out and play a round of golf. Justice and I got a tee time at a pretty nice course. Normally, I would never be able to pay the course fees, but we had a coupon. We head to the first tee, Justice slices one into the woods... typical start. I on the other hand tee up and hit one down the left side of the fairway, my is that a good shot... wait, it's hooking. We hear a "DONK!" Justice looks at me, "Did you hit a house?" Yes I hit a house on a hole where it's very hard to hit a house. I am off to an awesome start. We bet the over/under on houses hit... today's number was three. I'm doing OK and then we get to a par 3, I pull out my 3 iron and whack a way. It's straight and by Jove, I think it's on the green. We walk up and we see what the picture to the left shows, I am 5 feet from the hole. I almost had a hole in one. I of course choke the next shot and get a par, but still, if that was a few feet shorter I'm buying drinks. I probably will ever get that close again.

When Do I Work?
At work we lost I think 9 editors, well maybe it's only two, but it feels like 9. This means if anyone knows how to edit, they are editing a lot more than normal. I've already pulled one weekend overnight and I edited once this week and it's currently 10:30pm and I get to go to work in 4 hours. I'm not happy, I'm not a fan of editing, I hate being in a tiny room attaching the same video to 6 half hour shows. That's why I like being a photographer, yes, I shot and edit every day, but it's always different, one day might be a meeting, then the next a meeting... crap I do have a repetitive job.

OK, I like Christmas music as much as the next guy... if that guy does not like Christmas music. Raleigh radio has decided that they need more than one channel of Christmas music it, they need three. Then every other station rotates a Christmas song at least one every four songs. I normally avoid the radio and listen to either sports or my lovely MP3 player, but The Wife on the other hand LOVES Christmas music, I can't get away from it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

People Who Have Visited This Site

Back in April I signed up for Google Analytics and if you don't know what it is, it's allows me to see how many people have come to the website, where they came from, and what they saw. I knew I had a few friends that checked out the page, but I always wondered what kind of a footprint I was leaving on the web. I tell you what I have some weird searches and places on this page.

Obviously the number one country is the US (2220 visits) with most of those coming from Ohio (913) North Carolina (409) and Florida (141). I can understand the first two, but Florida is a little odd, it's about 60% returning and 40% are new. I do have a sister in Florida, but I don't think she would be the majority of those returning, who knows. I've actually had someone from every state except Maine, North Dakota and Wyoming. Why don't you like me you three remaining states? I haven't even made fun of you... till now. Maine, your lobster sucks. North Dakota, I thought you were part of Canada and finally Wyoming... the cowboy state or shall I say Brokeback state. Maybe that will get me a hit.

Not to quote a song, but I've been around the world I've been seen in 46 other countries the Canada and Uk are the biggest, but I love the random countries that make me go WHAT? I've had two hits from Croatia looking at my Ash album review... needless to say the left real quick. Then there was Estonia, I didn't even knew they had the Internet they didn't have a keyword and landed on the main page. Staying in the former Soviet block someone from Bulgaria searched for salivating and landed on the post about my free burritos. My favorite unusual country is Uganda, this person's key search was "husband stays out till 1:00am with another married woman" and got my Lost post about the killing of Mr Ecko, I don't think that is what they were looking for.

I love the keyword function on Analytics, it allows you see what people were looking for when they landed on your site, the biggest five are:
1. USC Song Girls- I took a picture during the NCAA and now, it's at number 1
2. Aquafina Stocks- I wrote as a joke, that Aquafina stock was going to rise because I drank so much water, little did I know that stock brokers were looking for tips on Google.
3. Fat Punter- A personal favorite and love the fact I'm getting hits for it.
4. Monkey Riding a Bike- OK the key on this is, with Google if you type money riding bike you get a video of a monkey riding a bike, but you add that "a" in there I'm the top of the second page. I don't think The Wife and I riding our bikes is as interesting
5. Mila Duno- She raced in the Indy 500 and mentioned she sounded like Charo, and now I get at least one hit a month for people looking for Miss Duno.

Even though, those are my top 5 hits, they usually are looking for something else and leave real quick. The one thing that got a few people to stay was Miss America falling down, the average time on here was almost four and a half minutes and they visited a total of 41 other pages. Then one guy loved the Snake Handler post so much he stayed on for 15 minutes. Maybe the kid from Utah is going to reference me in a school paper.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

This is Old North Carolina

The area of North Carolina I live in is called the Triangle, because of the three main cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Like most in the area, I am not originally from here, and I learn about the area little things make me laugh. I know Ohio has a lot of weird little towns (like Rudolph and their special Christmas stamps), but to me those Ohio towns are normal, because I grew up with them. Then I move here and laugh at all the little things the locals never thought of. Like Seymour Johnson Air Force Base near Morehead City.

Now the latest quirk is the town of Wendell. According to the towns website, it was founded by Granville County farmers looking for better soil. Once there and a school was build the people thought, hey maybe we should name the town. They asked the school teacher and he loved the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes and thought Wendell would be a fitting tribute to the man.

The story does not end there, a train track was laid near by and the porters on the train would yell out the towns name as they passed, but they said it a little different than Wendell, they yelled out WIN-DALE!!!!! So instead of correcting the porters and have then say win-doll they changed the name to win-dale.

I don't know why I love that story but I do. Everyone is calling the town by the original name and then, hey, lets change the way we say it, I like that porters style. You have won a place in my heart Wendell or should I type Win-dale.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bowl Games A Go Go

With Bowling Green going to the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama we thought we would make the 11 hour drive and to see the mighty Falcons take on Tulsa. Considering end zone seats are $15, how can we not? I've already ask following Monday off so we can drive back and then watch Ohio State play LSU at Shawn and Melissa's.

Yesterday, The Wife told me to call The Father-in-Law, I immediately thought the worst, I like The Father-in-Law, but when I need to call him, it's either bad or needs to pick my brain about TV stuff. I call him this morning and I was shocked to at what he wants. Since his is a former Ohio State football player (MVP of a Rose Bowl and captain of his team) he has season tickets and has a chance at bowl tickets. Since we are in the area he asked if we wanted them for Christmas... This was my response, "WHAT?!?!?! Umm Yeah, ummm The Wife and I are getting BCS Championship tickets?" I was shocked and happy, I was bouncing around the house while trying to stay calm.

This is an awesome Christmas present, I just booked a room in Biloxi and this will be great! The last time I was in New Orleans, I had to be driven around in a Humvee with the Ohio National Guard and the Superdome did not have the roof pealed off. There is so much to do, I want to see the Wal-Mart in Biloxi that I did live shots in front of and The Wife was born in New Orleans and maybe we can find the hospital, if it wasn't washed away. I want to see Bourbon street and flash someone. You know I will be blogging my ass off on this trip. I was giddy for the BG game and how a Championship game as well, priceless.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Finishing What I Started

At the beginning of the year I wanted to read 10 books this year. As I have said in the past, this is task for me is harder than most. I am a slow reader, it's not that I can't comprehend what I'm reading, it's just I read about 15 pages a half hour, I just read slow. So when I made this goal, I kept it realistic, I wanted to do 12, but I thought it might be a little ambitious so I gave my self a little grace room because I knew I'd start a book and put it down and not read for two or three weeks.

Last week, I finally reached my goal of 10 books, some were really good, some OK and a couple I didn't like and here is my book report on all ten books.

Eight Men Out- As a baseball fan I am ashamed to say that I never read this book prior to this year. I've watch the movie, but never read it. For those that do not know, this is the story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox. They were considered one of the best teams of that era, but the players of that time were poorly paid and were pretty much indentured servants. There was no such thing as free agency, who ever signed you, you were forced to play for them till they traded you or let you go. A lot of the key players on that team were approached by gamblers who offered them money in order to throw the World Series. Obviously, they were found out and over the next year they were thrown out of baseball.

The biggest thing I got out of this was how similar the Black Soxs and the current steroid controversy has developed. They always say history repeats itself and from reading Eight Men Out, it does not look good for baseball.

The Old Ball Game- Went back-to-back baseball books to start the year. This is the story of one of the first starts of baseball Christy Mathewson and his coach and also great player John McGraw. The two men were complete opposites, Christy was a college educated Christian, who did not drink nor swear. McGraw was a son of Irish immigrants, and was feared for his tactics on and off the field. He would do just about anything to win. Yet, these two opposites where best friends and helped create baseball as a national past time. The most interesting thing is how dominate Christy was and yet he has become a footnote in baseball and mostly known for figuring out that the 1919 Black Sox were throwing games. His stats as a pitcher were amazing and yet, because he played a hundred years ago, no one knows of him. I have a lot more respect of Christy, McGraw and the New York Giants.

Testament: A Soldiers Story of the Civil War- I already did a post on this book back in May so I won't rehash that, but if you want to click on the title to read what I said back then. This was a great book that gave me insight to how the average soldier when through the Civil War.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor- BRUUUUUUUUCE! One of my favorite actors is Bruce Campbell, if you don't know of Bruce, you probably have seen him, yet you never knew it. I learned of him through the great horror/comedy/cult film Bruce Campbell vs the Army of Darkness and from the TV show Brisco County Jr. He has flown under the radar of Hollywood his whole career, yet he has made a living out of it. Chins is his autobiography about his life growing up in Michigan, how he and Sam Ramni (Director of SpiderMan) use to make films as kids and his accent to B movie stardom.

I learn a lot about making movies on a shoe string budget and how hard it is to break into Hollywood. Mr Campbell did a superb job writing this book, I'd say it was the best book of the year. It was entertaining, informative and made me laugh out loud in public at least 4 times. A must read for any horror movie fans or anyone who likes movies.

Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way- I loved Chins, yet I was not as much of a fan of his next book. The biggest part for me was, I missed one key word on the cover.... novel. I was reading this book like it was non-fiction and when he started talking about Sandusky, Ohio I kept thinking, "Wait, I don't remember Sandusky having a Beef Carver Steakhouse?" Then things got absurd and that's when I saw that little word... novel.

It's a fictional story of Bruce Campbell trying to make it in an "A" movie starring Rene Zellweger and Richard Greer. Bruce plays Richard's sage butler, who give him advice on love. Bruce travels the country to find out about what "makes love." By the end of the book he is breaking onto the studio lot, getting arrested and is now a national security threat. I'm not saying this is a bad book, I was just in the mood for learning more about Ole Brucey.

Shadows of Ashland- The Wife and I were in a used book store when I found this one.. and yet again I missed one small word... novel. This is the story of a man who's dying mother is to find her long lost brother who left Toronto during the Great Depression to find work in America. After the mother dies a letter arrives from the brother, dated back in the 30s from Ashland, Kentucky.

I thought great a story that's from the Tri-State. I started reading and it was rally good, until the main character travels back in time to the 30s. That's when I figured out it was a novel. I trudged through this short book and I kind of wished I didn't. This book is not that good, it is some what accurate about Ashland, Ky, it's just to far fetched. I only paid four bucks so I can't complain too much.

Brian Piccolo: A Short Season-I've actually had this book for a few years, but it just sat on my shelf. This was a great book, about a man struggles yet he never lets it get to him. Brian Piccolo was a football player for the Chicago Bears who was diagnosed with cancer just as his career was starting to take off. The biggest thing I took from this was his resilience through his football career. Nobody ever wanted him, in high school he had to show his coaches he could play. After become one of the top high school running backs in Florida, nobody who give him a scholarship till Wake Forest had to. They wanted one of his good friends and he would not sign until they signed Brian. His Senior year he lead the nation in rushing and yet again, nobody wanted him. He went undrafted and was finally signed bu the Bears. He struggles on the prep squad and when he finally got a chance to play the Bears drafted Gayle Sayers. Once Sayers became injured, in comes Piccolo, yet something was wrong, come to find out... it was cancer.

With everything he went through, it never got to him. He never quit, he persevered and did it was a smile. If I could be half the man Brian Piccolo was I would consider myself lucky.

The Minors- This was another used book find and maybe I should stop looking for used books. This was a history of minor league baseball. It was very informative, but it felt like it was writ en as a college text book. I learn alot about how the minors were at times just as good as the majors, but the majors had a stronger base and forced the minors to a lower stature. The biggest problem was that the book was released in 1990 and some of his concept for the minors were off and well, now outdated. At the time Miami, Tampa, Denver and Phoenix did not have major league teams and a lot of his theories about what the minor leagues needed to do to survive revolved around those cities. I just felt like Neil Sullivan just hates the majors and used his book to vent those frustrations.

Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War- If you can't tell I like sports and Civil War history. When I bought Testament I almost bought Grand and Sherman instead, but I am glad I bought them both. I learned a lot about both men and how the north screwed things up and could have lost the war. For some reason nobody in the army really wanted Grant nor Sherman in command, some of that came from their past (Grant being drummed out for being drunk and Sherman for being crazy), yet they persisted and fought their way through the south and up the ranks till Grant was put in command of all the armies.

The biggest thing I learned was that Sherman was freaking crazy. He had a family history of crazy. In the beginnings of the war Sherman kept thinking the entire Confederate army was in front of him and finally he was relieved of duty and was sent home for 60 days. If it was not for his family connections he may never of had a chance to become the leader he was.

Grant through out the war wasn't to worried about promotions, yet he was driven and knew what had to be done to win the war. Once he was placed in charge of the Army of the Potomac, the men were marching after a victorious win and there was a crossroad ahead, left was to go back north, which the men had taken many a times and feared that was the road they would take again, then there was the road south and once the men headed south they cheered. No longer would they sit and wait, they were taking action. From that point till the battle of Richmond, the Army of the Potomac was always moving.

It was also interesting to learn more about Sherman's march to the see and then through the Carolinas. I did not realize this, but Sherman marched through Raleigh, I kept thinking I live here, he marched through this town, I've driven down the street where he paraded his men.

Biggest Brother-I love the mini-series Band of Brothers and this is the story of their leader Dick Winters. The book mirrors a lot of the book and series but with a little more in site to the man who started out as a lieutenant and ended up a major. Also you learn about what happened to him after the war. I thought it was interesting after he came home, he sat around his parents house for months trying to get use to normal life again. If you have watched the series or read the book Band of Brothers, you need to read Biggest Brother.

I have not stopped reading, I'm hopping to get another book in before January, but it's close to a 600 pages and it maybe the first one finished for next year.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Greatest Trilogy?

Yesterday was a lazy day, I was a little worn down and I slept most of the day or laid on the couch. As I was laying there I saw a commercial for the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, when the announcer guy said greatest trilogy of the decade. Hold on there splicky, aren't you guys for getting about some small trilogy called the Lord of the Rings? Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001 and if I am not mistaken that happens to be in this decade.

I liked the first Pirate movie, but they got worse as they went along. It was more about cool fight scenes and special effects. All three of the Ring movies were great. I know people complained about the length of the third, but it still was great. I would almost consider the Lord of the Ring trilogy the greatest of all times.

I know some one is saying "What about the Godfather?" Well the first two are unbelievably great, but the third was a let down and I would almost not even consider it part of the first two. Then you have Indiana Jones, the first and third were great, the second... a little cheese. Don't even get me started on Back to the Future.

So to call Pirates the greatest trilogy of the decade is just a horrible lie. Shame on you Disney and others involved in the movie, know your roll in the decade and don't you forget it!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Am I in the Right Bathroom?

The Wife is into making jewelry and she is getting pretty good at it. After we ate lunch today, she needed to go to the bead store so she can make my younger niece a necklace. We walked around and all of the sudden, I felt the "urge" to find a bathroom. I've thrown off my digestive system this week by eating bad. I walk down a hall way and there are two rooms; Dolls and Mails, I choose Mails. I walk into the stall and I see the picture to the left. "Wait, am I in the right bathroom?" I walk out of the stall and see a urinal, I then open the door and see a picture of a guy on the door. "I guess, I'm in the right bathroom," so I go head and do my business. Do you know how hard it is to have a punch of model type guys staring at you while you go? I know it's a bead store, but come on, husbands are forced to go there so much, they have a couch for us. Why not put a few women on the wall to balance it out. I don't want Johnny Depp looking at me while I'm "dropping it on the ones." (that was for you DCZ) Please local bead store, I know you are staffed by all women, but give me a hand here and take down some of the guys, especial the guy with the weird six pack on the left.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Weight Loss Challenge

I jumped on the scale a couple of days ago and to my surprise I was down to 277 pounds. For those of you knew to this site, I started a weight loss challenge and weighed 287.5. I am now down ten and a half pounds. I think I am starting to see it a little in my face. I'm on my way to crushing the competition... oh wait. I forgot something, I've been in one of my moods all week. Lethargic, apathetic, wanting to lay on the couch watch The Office Season 2 and each cookie dough. I've been bad eating at least two burritos... in one day and tonight I just had some chicken wings followed up by a brownie and ice cream. I've also did not exercise at all this week.

I don't know what's wrong, I've just been blah. I hope this weekend will help out. Saturday my plan is to sit around and not do anything important... maybe catch a movie, Sunday is a little busy, but I think I just need some down time and not worry about anything. Lets see if that happens.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving behind us, The Wife has turned towards Christmas. As you can see from the picture, we have put up the tree, we even have most of the shopping done (Thank you 20 hours of overtime check!) and have them wrapped under the tree. The Wife even got me to put of the outside lights.

In most parts of the country this is normal, but this year it feels very odd. I'm guessing because to day the high is in the 60s. I know most of the Ohio and northern readers are telling me to shut up and stop complaining. I'm not complaining... it's freaking awesome, but I am not in the "holiday spirit." Being in news I really don't like most holidays, why? because I have to work on those days and usually they are boring and you do the same story every year. So when a holiday approaches a get a little sense of dread.

As the holiday gets closer, The Wife gets all excited and the weather is more crisp and you have a chance for snow, I usually get a little more excited. Here in Raleigh, that's a little hard to do. It still feels like late September to me and how am I suppose to get excited about Christmas when internally I still think it's before Halloween. I guess this will have to be one of those things I will have to adjust to while living in the south.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why Do I watch This Crap

I generally hate reality shows, I think they are killing television. No long do we have creative writing, instead it's a weird bastardized game shows, that are not game shows, but "real life." Yet, I was drawn into a show reality show this season... America's Most Smartest Model. I thought the premise was great, make fun of models that think they are smart and it has Ben Stein, what could go wrong.
I watched the first episode and it was great, superficial people, trying to act like stars and most are real stupid. Even Ben was funny, he was fascinated with one contestant named Mandy Lynn, who use to do nude modeling and had the face lips and breast. It was great watching his reactions to her. I was hooked and I've watched every episode.

Then I get a bomb shell, Serg and I were working one night and he mentions Most Smartest and this ensued:

Serg: I use to know one of the contestant
Me (internal thought): He is so going to say Pickle
Me: Really, who?
Serg: Pickle

Serg use to live in LA and they worked out in the same gym. It's not like they spotted for each other or anything, more like a general nod and typical gym stuff. So now Pickle is my favorite, not only does Serg know him, he's off the wall ADD. He's one of the smartest models and yet he has total idiot moments. Also, he seemed to have an early edge in the show.

Well last night the Pickle was cast to sunder to no longer be on the show. I thought it was an awful choice, there were other people who performed worse, but you could tell it was a show decision to keep it more interesting, keep the drama going. One girl was a total disaster and has been in the bottom three for at least three shows, yet she is now improved enough to be one of the best, I don't think so. I can now tell that the least favorite character VJ will be the winner. I'll probably stop watching the show now. I was getting sucked into the world of reality, yet it pushed me away. I'll watch old episodes of The Office and 30 Rock off the DVR now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Since I worked night side on Thanksgiving I had to do the obligatory "the next day is black Fiday" story. Yet, there was twist to how Raleigh does this evilest of days. There's an outlet mall in Smithfield that opens it's doors at midnight.
As a lot of you know I hate people, I know it sounds odd to have a news person hate people, but when you get a large group together generally everyone act like idiots when there is a camera nearby. This makes my job a little harder... "put me on TV man, I want to give a shout out." I heard that 10 times last night.

I've been to these kinds of openings at Targets and Wal-Marts in the past, but the amount of people was ridiculous. Yankee Candle opened at 9:30 and there was a line 300 people deep, for a store that can only take 30 people in at a time. The Nike Store was double that, if not more. I don't understand why you want to leave your family in the middle of the day and go and wait outside a store for it to open just to get a decent deal. I don't like large crowds, I get a little claustrophobic and I get uncomfortable. To me I'd rather pay a little more and not deal with the crowd.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Last night when I walked in the door I noticed The Wife wrote down all the things she was thankful for on our message board:

J-Dog (how nice)
Our Church

A very nice list, so I decided to add my own list... with my usual sensibility:
The Wife
My new Cree LED flashlight (Everyone needs one of these things!)
Ham Sandwiches (running joke)
Puppies (Hinting to The Wife there)
Pumpkin Pie

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Time Flies

I don't know why, but I've been putting of this post. I've just not been in the mood, it might be the fact that I'm doing two blogs and the other one is taking up my creative energy or just plan laziness.
As of last week I have been in North Carolina for a full year. I am amazed at how different things are for The Wife and myself. Instead of doing a post that is a look back at the last year, I thought I'd just ell how things are different.

The biggest thing for me is that I am not working as much nor driving as much since I left The Network. The working less thing is great, I actually get to life a half way normal life. The driving is great, but I did catch myself complaining about driving to Chapel Hill which is 45 minutes away. At The Network that is a short drive, I felt like I was either going to the statehouse or driving 2 hours and I'd get out of work exhausted and tired, just from the driving. Now when I am tired it's because the desk drove me insane and didn't plan well and I had to go crazy to make things work.

Financially things are better, we don't have to work "as much" about paying bills. We are still paying for transgressions of the past (as I call it 2005), but once those are all cleared up we might actually be able to create this thing called a saaaviiiingsss aaaacccouuunt. Even though cost of living is a little higher here we have been able to make some wish choices and have almost similar expenses as we did in Columbus. It also helps when our heating bill is about $100 less, yes the air conditioning is worst, but our house is designed in a way so that the master bed and living room do not get direct sun light... SCORE!

I feel I am also in a slightly better working environment. I hear about a sports photographer opening at The Network and at first I kept thinking, why didn't they create that when I was still there, I might have stayed. Then I started to think about it more, and I realized I'd still be unhappy. Is the current job a bed of roses... no, it's news I have days where I want to kill someone or burn down Chapel Hill's police department, but overall it's better. I've got two really good reporters to work with, one is an old pro from Boston and knows how to make a story, the other is a young talented reporter who is great to work with. Even when I go to dayside I've got a great story teller there and an we just hired a new reporter who is great. Right there, I get a good story at least one a week, I think if I made a resume tape today it would be better than the one I sent here.

Do we miss our family and friends we left behind? Very much so, but we had to do this, The Wife needed away from her family and I needed to get my head on straight again and realize that even though news will probably be the end of me one day, I still enjoy doing it. Oh yeah and it's warmer here... it's suppose to be in the 70s tomorrow! Who would have thought it, 70s... in November!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ohio State vs Michigan

You would think living 9 hours away from Columbus that I would not have to deal with the Ohio State Michigan game... I was wrong. I did a post for the work blog, but I thought I'd put one here as well.

I was in The Wife's car trying to order a chicken taco at Taco Bell, when I kept hearing a car horn. I was wondering what’s going on, and I look in the rear view mirror and see a guy pointing to his hat… it’s a Michigan hat. “How did he know I’m from Ohio or the fact that I like Ohio State. Then I realized… I’m in The Wife’s car and she has a buckeye car flag and a Brutus the buckeye hanging from the rear view mirror.

I thought I’d have a little fun, I get to the window and ask the guy for a favor. “Hey, the guy behind me is a Michigan fan, tell him Tressel owns Michigan.” He laughs, the guy was trying to do something similar to me, but he couldn't understand him. I get my delicious taco and pull forward, keeping my speed to a slow roll I see the Michigan fan talk to the guy in the drive thru and then look towards me.. all I am thinking is “I got you last GO BUCKS!”

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Random Thoughts

I have a bunch of things I'd like to write about, but I have a post in mind for Tuesday so I want to get everything out of the way for then, so here is this months random thoughts:

MP3 Player
Just over a week ago, my MP3 player crapped out on me. I would turn it on, it would go to pick a language, I select English and then try and play a song... it shuts off and turns back on and goes back to the English page. The Wife was smart and bought a warranty, I go to Office Max, but they tell me to call a number. I call the number and they tell me that it is still under warranty with Sansa. Come to find out the 1 year warranty we bought is pointless, wonderful, that's 12 bucks we will never see.

I call Sansa and I have to download software updates, even though I had not loaded any new songs in two weeks. I ended up calling 8 times and going to the Sansa website about 20 times before they finally realized that my MP3 player was faulty. I now have to send it in and I will get a new one. I know they are try to save money by not dishing out new MP3 players every time someone like me calls, but still after the first 40 minutes of things not working... it might be the player not the software.

Weight Loss Update
I've been doing pretty good this week. Monday and Tuesday I walked and took my lunch to work. The other days I just ate a little better. I only had 2 regular Cokes (Coke Zero was not an option) 5 7-Ups (I was tired of water by Wednesday night) and zero sweet teas. With that I lost 7 pounds by Friday. I feel pretty good about that, I had someone who had not seen me in a week ask if I lost some weight. Of course I said I did and was a little happy.

I have everyone in the challenge worried, some think I can loose 7 or more every week. I'm still hoping for 2 a week.

Ultimate Frisbee
Not it's time to come a little clean, I ate horrible this weekend and gained 2 pounds back. The Wife was away doing a weekend sit and I was on call so my options for doing things were slim so I ordered a pizza and then today I ate a burrito. I was feeling guilty and upset when someone at lunch mentioned they were going to play ultimate Frisbee later.

I've been needing to socialize more and it was exercise so that sounded great. I arrive and I get a brief revue of what to do and all of the sudden everyone is running around. I did OK for my first time I made a few caught and broke up a couple of passes. The big thing is it's like soccer with a Frisbee, so you never stop going. I was winded 2 minutes in, but I kept playing, just not as fast, I'd lay back and hope that the other team turned it over and I'd be open or I'd stay back and play defense.

I am a big guy, but at times I have deceptive speed, I'm not track star, but someone would defend me and then I'd walk and then take off and get open, I also caught up to a couple of guys trying to catch the disk. I had fun, I hurt myself a few times and my chest is still burning from all the running I did. If asked I'll do it again, as long as it's not within the next week, well maybe two... I need to stop coughing up flem and what I think was a small cat.

New Blog
As much as I love writing here, I can't do it at work and regretfully a lot of good ideas come to me while at work. Even though about 20 or more people at work know about Hey Look a Monkey, I've not been confronted by management yet and I'd rather keep it that way so I don't log in and leave that trace.

With the new initiative at work, they want a lot of people to blog, so I decided to make a sports blog called, Hey Look, Yet Another Sports Blog (HL,YASB). I know some of you are not sports fans so I thought I could all my sports type post there. This blog is not going to rival Deadspin or well any decent sports blog, but for some reason I've had management actually make comments in a meeting about HL,YASP... and it was positive... I'm a little scared about that. I just want a creative writing outlet at work. I'm hoping it doesn't affect this blog, but if there is a small decrease that would be why.

I've had a Myspace page for a wile, but I never really did anything with it. Wilson, loves his page and uses it all the time. I just thought I have my blog and that's all I need. Well, The Wife's sister created a page, then her husband made one and two of their kids have one. So what did The Wife do... made a Myspace page. Then guess what happened, she is having me update my page. I now have a picture and she is wanting me to change the back ground and do everything else with it. I don't know about this. I've always heard the comment that anyone older than 30 should not have a Myspace page, but half the people at work have one and our consultants keep talking about it. I'm bad at keeping in touch and maybe this will help... probably not I'll give up on the Myspace page again.

Free Blog Advice
With my new blog, our consultants came in to give us advice about what I thought was going to be about making my blog better. I thought I'd hear, check for typos and make sure that everything makes sense and stop referring to the coach of Kansas as a manatee. I got none of that, but I did learn about how Google kind of works.

Have you ever notice when you search Google that Wikipedia is usually one of the first pages at the top? Well that's because they have authority. Authority, as I understood it, is the number of time people link to you. Wikipedia is nothing but links, most are within Wikipedia, but that still helps them with total number. The more times people link to you the more you move up in authority, I want to think of it as a popularity contest. Since I linked to HL,YASP I increased my authority there, plus I put in in my links group so yet again it increased.

The other thing I was told to link to as many blogs as I can. "It's like extending my hand to 'shaking' that sights hand," then they might read my blog because they will see that I linked to them and might like what I wrote and link back to me.

Within 15 minutes I was bored to death so I decided to have some fun. He kept saying "Google juice," he was using that instead of authority. After about 10th time hearing Google juice I said, "Have you tried the orange Google juice, it's delicious!" He didn't quite know what to do, I was just thrilled I messed with the consultant.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Goo Goo Goo

I believe Thursday at work Shawn and I were waiting for the assignments to be figured out and he mentions that Saturday he was going to go see James Best. I sprang up and this is the conversation that in sued:

ME: WHAT?!?!?!
Shawn: Yeah, he's going to be in Wake Forest.
ME: I know, I saw the fliers!
Shawn: You wanna go?
ME: Hell YEAH!

For those not sure who James Best is it's Rosco P. Coltrane! Yeah, you know it! As a child of the 80s that lived in Southern Ohio, I watched the Dukes of Hazard every week. I'm mean they're just good ol boys meaning no harm. Two guys driving around in a awesome car, running from the law and hanging with their hot cousin Daisy. What more could a pre-pubescent boy want.

Fortunately for The Wife she is on a weekend sit and is gone for the weekend, Melissa on the other hand ,was not so lucky. 9:30 the two of them arrive at Fried Chicken Drive and we head over. Shawn brought a toy version of the General Lee, I'm impressed and a little jealous (little hint to The Wife there). We left early because we thought there was going to be a huge line.

We get to downtown Wake Forest and what do we see, TWO FREAKING GENERAL LEES! Shawn and I are now giddy. I believe Melissa is enjoying our boyish freak out. I'm not for sure but I do not believe they were actual General Lees, but who the hell cares.

Shawn and I take turn in front of the General Lees, this was actually the second time I've had my picture taken in front of this legendary car. In Gatlinburg, Tennessee you can visit Cooter's place and he's got one sitting out front. I find out that Shawn has not been... ROAD TRIP #1.

We get inside and shockingly the line is not that long. Maybe people are coming later, but come on it's ROSCO! We get up front and find out there is a $5 fee to sign things and also they have photos for sale. Shawn gets his General Lee signed and Rosco dishes out this line: "I'm signing the back, because I never saw the front. Agoo Goo Goo. HE DID IT! HE DID THE Agoo goo goo. I can now die.

We wanted to have our picture taken with him, but you had to buy one of his paintings. Obviously, we did not have that kind of money. Art work is expensive and I don't have $2000 laying around. We did find some smaller prints and I thought I'd be real nice, till I found out they were $60. Ouch, that's a little much, I was hoping for something around $40.

While looking at the art work someone mentions Dukesfest. What? A giant Dukes of Hazard festival? ROAD TRIP #2!

We were there for a short time, but we enjoyed ourselves. Who knew something like this could happen in Wake Forest. Maybe next time they can bring Tom Wopat or Congressman Cooter.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Weight Loss Challange

I made two New Years resolutions:

Read 10 Books

Loss 50 pounds

So far I am on my tenth book and the 50 pounds... well, at one point in time I had lost 12. As of today I gained half that back, and at my last doctors appointment I had gained it all back. I'm not happy with myself, so when I hear about a wight loss challenge between Shawn and Serg, I thought I'd join in. The challenge is to see who can loss the most weight. Only one person is the winner and all the losers have to pay the winner the difference in weight loss $2 per pound. Lets say I lose 15 pounds and I win, Shawn losses 10 pounds so the difference is 5 pounds so I win 10 dollars. The winner can made a decent amount of cash because there is now 10 people involved.

At weigh in I was at 287.5 and three days later I'm at 286. I know I'm "big" that's why I joined in. I want to get in better shape. I need to get into better shape and this can help. My goal is to eat less, I'm no longer drinking soda and sweet tea, I'm limited to 1 Coke Zero every other day and I am going to walk at least 30 minutes Monday thru Friday. Today I already walked and hour and 15 minutes and I think I walked about 3 miles. I think I can do this, my thing is always motivation, If I don't have a goal in front of me I will never finish anything. My goal is for the next 8 weeks to lose as much weight as I can (and being healthy about it). I hope I can keep my addiction down and stay on track.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Finally! My Halloween Update/ None Live Blog

I know it's been a few days since Halloween ended and I also mentioned I'd try to live blog the Chapel Hill Halloween event. Well, there's a story there and allow me to share.

For the first time since I've been in North Carolina, the station planned ahead and we had a plan. I'm going to park my truck in the PRIVATE alley behind Spanky's, a local bar. We even got permission from the police to be there, even though it is a PRIVATE ALLEY (Can you sense the foreshadowing?). Then string cable to the top of the three story building and go live from there. With a large amount of drunken college students it's better to be away from them. It's like they are moths, once my lights go on, they flock to them and act like idiots. So this plan allows us to: 1, get a great over view shot of all the people and 2, keep the drunk kids away from us... great plan.

I park the truck, I get all the cable unwound from the reel, I climb the fire escape with the cable to the second floor and then use a hand over hand ladder to get to the roof. I tie off some rope drop it down to the fire escape landing, go back down tie the rope to the cable, climb back up the roof and then start pulling the cable up. As the cable is almost to my hands the owner of Spanky's tells me the police are not going to allow us to park in the alley, it's OK to be on the roof, but not parking there. I drop the cable back to the ground and call the station. Come to find out that even though they gave us permission, it doesn't matter now. They are kicking us out of our spot.

I kid you not this is the M.O. of the Chapel Hill police department. Not two months earlier I was at a street festival I was parked by the police right near where we wanted to go live. Two minutes before our live shot an officer yells at me to get out of here. I try to tell him that we are going live in two minutes and I am informed he does not care. The officer in charge (the one that placed us in our current spot) wants us gone. We have to kill our live shot and while I am packing up I have multiple people yelling at me to hurry up.

Back to Halloween, the station calls Chapel Hill PD and the chief is telling us to move to an ally right behind the one we are currently at. It's only and extra 100 ft if cable needed, but now I have to tape down that 100ft. I park the truck and go through the ordeal of getting the cable on the roof. 45 minutes later I am tapping down cable as the station constantly wants to know if I will be ready for the 7pm show. I keep screaming I don't know let me get finished. I'm down to the final 40ft of cable to be taped when Chapel Hill PD once again is yelling at me. This time I'm a fire hazard. If a fire happened behind me the truck could not get too it. Well, that's a lie, there is a pay lot 2 feet away and the truck could easily reach a fire from there.

I once again wind all my cable up, drop the mast and by now I have climbed and descended from that ladder 8 times. By now the station has sent someone and an intern out to give us a hand. Luckily for me I decided to double my dosage of the anti-anxiety pill, because I am starting to loss it. I move the truck to the end of the alley and start to raise the mast. A guy is standing there and wonders what I'm doing. Come to find out he is the owner of the parking spaces. Luckily, after seeing me and hearing my story he allows us to use one of his spots. I thank him repeatedly. I raise the mast and start pulling cable. It is decided at least for the 7pm show we will go from the street. The people that are out there now are not too drunk and won't be too much trouble. As I am running cable, help finally arrives. We use all 500 feet of cable to get it to the corner. It's nice to have help, but no one except me knows how to run a live truck. I go to the street corner hook up the camera call the guy who is at the truck. "Can you see me?" I yell at the phone. "Yes, but I can't hear anything." I go through a couple of steps and then have to run back to the truck, and oh yeah it's 6:50. I figure out the problem and then realize I have not tuned in the truck. I call the engineer and luckily I pointed the dish the right way, I dial in IFB so my reporter can hear the station and run back to my camera. I get there, make some adjustments and we go live.

By now I am soaking wet with sweet and thirsty as hell. I down three bottles of water and plan to figure out how to get to the roof. After 20 minutes we just decide to try getting to the roof. We find an extra 5 feet of slack and come to find out that we can almost get to the corner of the building, we are set for the 11.

The help leaves, the reporter and I go out get a couple interviews early so we don't have too many idiots ruining the shot. I'm thinking things are starting to turn our way. As the video loads we get some lunch at Qdoba. I get a call from some web producers that are at our truck I go over and meet them. As I am leading them back to Qdoba I notice two guys getting ready to climb the ladder at Spanky's. "Hey, we are set up on the right side so if you want to set up next to us that's cool." He gives me a look of confusion. "I'm with JDOG-17!" Then I hear something I never want to hear again "Damn it, they allowing media up here?" I then notice that he is not caring a camera, but a sniper riffle and his partner has a gully sack.

Now I have to put out this fire. I see the guy later on in the night and mention we just want to do a few shots at 11. He tells me he's been burned by the media in the past doesn't want us up there. I assure him that I don't want to show him, because he is not part of our story and we just want this over with. I think everything is fine. I finish up shooting and head back to the truck. I load in my new video as the reporter is almost done writing. It's almost 10 so I'm thinking it wise for me to take my tripod up top and get set for the 11. I don't think Mr Sniper and I understood each other earlier. As I set up my tripod NEXT TO THE CABLES STILL THERE FROM EARLIER. I hear him make a call complaining that we are up on the roof and he doesn't want us there. I thought nothing of it, it's too close to 11 for him to get anything done. 15 minutes later we find out that the chief was informed and called the bar owner and we are now kicked off the roof. The reporter happens to have the chief's number and calls him. She gets him to allow us to do a intro shot and our story, that's all.

We finish up I drop the cable, and take my gear back to the truck. You would think my night would be over, and you would be wrong. Right as I was leaving the station I was told that I need to stay until the morning crew shows up. WHAT? I have to sit there till 3 or 4? I was told they were going to be in at 2 and be there before three. Great, now I'm sitting there with nothing to do. I read a little of my book, went walking around looking at all the interesting costumes.

I get a phone call after 2:30, it's the morning crew and they just left the station. "did you shoot them cleaning up the streets?" Guess what, the station forgot to tell me about that. I them grab my camera and run to the street as they are finishing up. I turn on the camera and nothing. The battery died, I had to run back and get a new one. I grabbed a few minutes of cleaning, the street sweepers were going round and round in the intersection so I grabbed enough video for the morning guys.

They finally arrive and I give them all my video and finally I get on the road to go home, it's now 4:00. I get home and don't get to bet till 5AM! The next thing I know is The Wife is calling me around 1 in the afternoon so I can get up and go to work. I did all that work for about 3 minutes of TV time. Next year I am taking Halloween off and enjoying it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Even though I just did a rant about Halloween costumes I actually like Halloween. It's fall and there is a nip in the air, you get to play dress up and act stupid. Well, for me that is a relative term. For all the years in Ohio and knowing people in Athens, Oh I never went to the Ohio University Halloween party. Am I bummed, not to much, I heard it's just wall to wall people and it's hard to get around.

With that said I will tonight get to experience Halloween in Chapel Hill. From what I heard it's Athens light; lots of drunk college students and drag queens, but just not as many. The only thing is I am not going over there for fun, I have to work it.

The one big thing with drunk people is they see a camera and they flock to it, add lights and triple the number of stupid drunk people. It's not very conducive for live TV news. I have heard that we have permission to be on a roof top, but I have to park in an alley, climb a ladder to the top and haul all the equipment up that way. in other works, a lot of work for a few minutes of TV.

If I can get my laptop WiFi to work I'll try and take a few pictures and try to post during the night.

*picture above is from OU and that's ol' Wilson and no that's not a mask.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Costumes

A few weeks ago I need a to find a lion tamer or Indiana Jones costume for a bit at church. Since it's near Halloween, I though how hard could it be to find this standard costume. After I went to my fifth store and travelling 60 miles I gave up. I have come to the realization that if you want to buy a ready to made costume you are limited to a small selection:

Slutty (insert something here)- First of all don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing hot women in near stripper out fits for Halloween, but for women that's almost it. I was talking to a guy and his comment was in New york all women dress like strippers and the guys like batman. Everything is very short and cut very low. The most prevalent ones seem to be slutty police, slutty fairy tale character and french maid you get the idea. They even have them for young girls. I understand that we objectify women and this only continues the... way we... look at those legs... HOOOT! What was I saying?

Pirate- Ever since the Pirates of the Caribbean movies pirates are VERY popular. The thing is all the costumes are pretty much the same costume, just slightly different. instead of a large hat it's a smaller hat and a black sash. Oooo with this one you get a sword. Come on who wants to walk around as a pirate. You are not Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom, You know if you go to a party at least one other person will dress the same as you and have the exact same costume or be very close.

Ninja- At The Network we use to joke about who was better pirates or ninjas. It was a running joke that seemed to all over the country because there are just as many ninja outfits. One store had 5 different ninja outfits. I'm still confused about that, how can you have five different black outfits? Which one do you want the one has throwing stars or the one with a bow staff. Do you really want to go out with a black mask on, you'll get hot and start to smell. Pick something else or make it yourself, it has to be less expensive that what these clowns are selling.

Horribly inappropriate costume that one guy will wear and thing it is AWESOME!!!!- Look at the picture to the left, you know he was thinking "Dude this will so rock! I know the chicks will come over and talk and wonder how I made it. Dude I'm going to get some much tail that I won't need this doll by 10! WOOOOOOOH KEG STAND! Other costumes I saw were: Giant Penis, Snake Charmer (can you guess where the snake was?), "poo poo" platter and Wilson's favorite breast inspector. Most of the guys who wear this costumes will be passed out by 11 or trying to hit on the ugly girl at the end of the night and will get shot down, well "except Wilson."

Movie Characters/Action hero- I lumped these into one because they are pretty much the same. A bad spiderman outfit is the same as a bad Napoleon Dynamite wig and glasses. These will usually be characters that are really popular or ones that are a little old. At times I thought of going to a party as Kip, I'd even save my gotee into his sweet 'stache, but that was last year. This would seem a little too dates, but the costume shops had a rack of nothing my Kip and Napoleon. One int resting costume I saw was Shaggy, for 40 bucks you get a green shirt, brown pants and a wig. I have all of those except the wig and I can buy that for 10 bucks in another isle.
Something Dead or evil- You know the usual suspects where: zombies, Frankenstein, Dracula and the devil. Wow it's time for scary movies and you have a giant gash in your neck, aaaah! No Nosferatu don't suck my blood. I guess it is tradition for the time of year.

Annoying Couple Costumes- Oh come on, Raggedy Ann and Andy? Ham and Eggs? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Most of the costumes I saw were so sugary sweet that I almost went into a diabetic coma. If you want to be cute you can do it, but don't by a costume make it something interesting. I knew a couple who showed up as a priest and a school girl. Close to horribly inappropriate, but funny in a good way.

I obviously did not find the costume I needed, I just went to target and bought a white button down shirt and wore a pair of cargo pants and boots. It just seems that these costume stores just crank out low end stuff and pigeon hole people into getting some they might not really want, but it kind of works for them. Seriously, unless you want to be a giant banana, a gorilla, or some form or animal you can usual make the costume and it will look better than the crap in the store. My favorite costume I created was 30's newspaper reporter. I bought a really ugly tie that did not match anything and a fedora, put a note card on it that said "press", put on a nice white shirt, black pants, nice shoes and grabbed a cigar and my 35mm camera. To sell it I usually yelled out "What a scoop!" and take a picture. Everyone knew what I was and I spent 40 bucks (35 on the fedora). People, you just need to be creative.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Can I Get That Filled at CVS?

I finished the second stage of my physical (I still have to go back and find out the results), I peed in a cup, they took some blood, lanced some moles and skin tags, you a fun day. My weight came up again, I actually gained 5 pounds in two weeks and the doctor was not happy. Neither was I, but I'm blaming my parents visit on that. They insisted on feeding us, what was I to say; "No mom, I would not like to go to the Carolina Ale House." "Mom and dad I don't want a tasty key lime pie." Also my addiction has started early, I already ate one pie... in 5 days.

The drugs she put me on has made a little bit of a difference, when I wake up I'm not exhausted. Instead, I'm a little groggy from the valerian root or the muscle relaxer. I'm told I need at least 30 minutes a day of walking, then she throws this out there:

Dr C. You just need to get out and walk. Do you have a dog.
Me NO, don't get me started I want a dog, but the install cost for us is too much.
DR. C. Well, you should get a dog, they make you get out and walk.

Did you read that, for medical reasons I need a dog. I couldn't convince my insurance to give me a Wii or a helper monkey, but I might have a chance with a dog. Think about it, if they give us money for a dog, it will help me stay healthy and I will not have future medical problems. See nearly fool proof, now I need to get the doctor to write it on her prescription notepad and then do a little fancy maneuvering with the paper work and BLAM free dog.