Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hello Carrboro!

I have finally awakened from my 25 hours of being awake and thought I'd give my impressions of the concert. First I'd like to just talk about the crowd. It was mostly a "college" crowd, but there were a few older type people, but most were either creepy club guy who is always there and the regulars know him. The way past the hip prime guys. Usually the grad student type and then there was me, the slightly out of place guy that could be a narc, but seems to know the music.

The college kids where your typical music kids, a tee shirt with a slogan, maybe a local team name or the art school type. The only people to seem more out of place than me were the three girls I'm going to call the groupie whores. Semi attractive, but wearing very short black dress. You know the type, any short and you can see her who-ha. I kept wondering what were they trying to accomplice, maybe getting some sweet monkey love from the band? They vaguely knew the music so who knows.

Seeing Ted Leo and Pharmacist live I finally put finger on their sound. It's rockabilly meets punk. I know that is still a little vague, but that's the best I can do right now. They played a couple of songs of the new able before going into Me and Mia, the crowd favorite. The song I liked the best was Heart Problem off of Shaking the Sheets, it has a great energy and Ted and the guitarist never stopped moving, they were all over the stage.

Ted had one problem through out the beginning of the set. His shoe kept coming untied. He mentioned that he needs some non-hemp laces for his hemp shoes. Of course someone yells "Smoke'em!" He did a nice bit about the makers of hemp shoes always laughing about wanting to smoke the shoes as they make them. "I bet they laugh with every stitch, huh huh huh, stitch, huh huh huh. I bet when they ship them they laugh... Stoners... you gotta love them."

They played about half of the new album, a huge chunk of Shaking the Sheets and a smattering of other songs they even played one they have never played before "Old Soul." They rocked it out so hopefully they will continue to play it. One other note about the crowd, obviously people were yelling out songs they wanted to hear. I wanted to yell Since You Been Gone, but I thought I might have been run out on a rail by the crowd. One or two guys kept yelling Freebird. I know you are being "funny" but stop it, after the first time it is no longer funny. Ted even made a comment about the resurgence of people yelling Freebird.

They finished the set just after midnight and came back for an encore and played Timorous Me, Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead and what I believe as the Ballad of the Sin Eaters, which was a great song to end the show. Over all a lot of energy and a good time, my ears are still ringing, which is bad, but I'm glad I went.

Oh, yeah the picture above. I noticed an increase usage of picture phones at the concert. I did not "want to be that guy," so I did not use my phone, instead that is the artist rendering of what I though the concert was going to look like and I left it for The Wife. I forgot about the guitarist so I'm short one guy and about 2000 people. overall I prefer my picture of a crappy cell phone shot that I can't tell what the hell it is.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Are You Ready to Rock?

After Wednesdays fun, I thought it might have been a good idea on Thursday to let my eye get back to it's normal self. I pretty much stayed inside, did enough laundry for five people (how do we have some much clothing?), and was lazy. Today for the most part has followed that trend, I'm still doing laundry and cleaning the fish tanks.

Later on today, I will be heading out for some fun. The Wife is working late and I'm getting stur crazy and what is there for me to do? How about a concert! Hell yeah, Ted Leo + Pharmacists is playing at a college bar in Carrboro and I am so freaking there! I've heard of them for a few years from some guys at The Network, but it wasn't till I moved that I really started getting into Ted Leo. DJL got me Shaking the Sheets for the long journey to Raleigh. It was the second disk played and then it was the eight and last as arrived at my apartment.

They have a different sound that you do not hear on the radio. I do enjoy some of the main stream music, but it usually sounds flat and uninspired. I'm not saying everything is like that, but if I have to hear one more teen version of Emo complain about how hard his life is in the suburbs I'm going to punch someone with bangs! I'm looking at you Fallout Boy, AFI, All American Rejects and others!

I just purchased my ticket and ready too rock, I hate the wait, but it will be worth it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

OW My Eye!

No I did not do a remake of Rocky II. I am having an allergic reaction to North Carolina. The pollen here this week is off the charts. So my reporter and had a few moments and we decided to sit outside and wait for our interview. Well that's when it started, the sneezing and eye watering. We go in for the interview and my eye won't stop watering. We end the interview I go to the bathroom to wash my eye and I notice the big lump around my tear duct. I call the station and tell them I am having a nasty allergic reaction. They tell us to return and they want to see what's wrong. They see I can not see, and send me home.

By the time I get home I can't see and I want to scream, "Cut me Lou I can't see!" I take some meds and wash my eye. The medicine knocks me out and 8 hours later it is still swollen, but it is better. Not a fun way to spend the day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

March Madness 2: The Official End

Well, maybe it was karma by me having my picture taken with the Hoya mascot, but North Carolina chocked it hard than Mama Cass on a ham sandwich. In the final 5 minutes of regulation they did not make a basket. All they could do was hit free throws will Georgetown could not miss. With this lose I will not be heading to Atlanta this weekend. I'm actually a little upset, but I am happy at the same time. I do go back to my normal schedule but I can sleep in my own bed and see The Wife (she's happy about that).

I learned a lot over the last two weeks and that is the key to my stay at JDOG-17. With the move here I am no longer #1 or at least second or third option. I'm technically option 11. I know I can do just about any job they throw at me, it's just that they have to trust me and these trips went a long way.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ay Ziggy Zoomba

I have a theory about Bowling Green State University Athletics. They are only allowed to have one good major athletic team a year. What do I mean my major? Here is my list:

  1. Football

  2. Men's Basketball

  3. Women's Basketball

  4. Hockey

  5. Soccer

For the last three years the most dominate team was the women's basketball team. For most people and some of our alumni, they don't care for women's basketball. I'll admit, I'm not a big fan, but my love for BG overrides that. Also if it was not for the Falcon teams of the mid-ninety's, I would probably not be in New Jersey this weekend. My sister shots the women's team every year and make a highlight tape for them. For three years I shot for her. The first year I did maybe 6 games. The second year I did 10 and 1 road game and my busy senior year I shot 8 games. I learned my craft because of them so I will always be a fan.

So this year BG was the best they have ever been. They won a first round game and then shocked people by beating Vanderbilt in the second round. BG was getting national attention. They were even getting consideration for beating Arizona St. Alas, the dream ended with ASU, they beat the falcons handily and BG's season is over. I want to just say thank you for your hard work and for taking our University to a level it has never seen in either basketball programs. You ladies will go down as legends and will always have a place in true falcons hearts. I thank coach Curt Miller for his coaching ability and for turning this team back into a winner. Also please stay at BG and I hope the athletic department will actually do the right thing and give you are raise and keep you as coach

March Madness 2: I'm too old for this...

I have a splitting headache and I feel queasy. For some strange reason I still feel the effects of peer pressure, so I went out with some people to the exciting town of Hoboken, NJ. It may not sound exciting, but it wasn't half bad. I'm in too much pain to go into detail so I'll bullet the trip to Hoboken
  • All night long I kept yelling the name HOBOKEN! It's fun to say and even more fun after 5 drinks
  • I threw up at the beginning of the night. I ate too much of a not so good pasta dinner and drank a thick beer too fast and the next thing I know I'm throwing up onto a DSW bag on the side of the street. So i left a little bit of myself in Hoboken.
  • Bars in Hoboken love Journey.
  • I can not drink as much as I use to in college... I need to remember this.
  • I think I texted everyone in my phone that I was in Hoboken.
  • At the end of the night the only thing open was a Dunken Donuts. I go in for a donut and a bathroom. Two guys follow me shortly after, one thought that Dunken Donuts was closed and started banging on the glass to let him in. Sports guy opened the door and we all laughed at the other guy.
  • One guy kept calling Hoboken Weboken or Hohaken.
  • I saw a lot of stereo typical Jersey types.
  • We had the same cabbie to and from Hoboken. At the end of the night, we started to call him Mr. Yow. As we leave the cab he asks, "Who is Mr. Yow?" We laugh and tell him he is Mr. Yow. It was funny when we were drunk.

There were other moments, but I'm too tired to think of them. I need to stay in my room tonight and that's what I'm going to do. I promise.

March Madness 2: Saturday

Every once in a while I have days where it is hard for me to function properly. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a great day where everything I do is gold and 1 being I almost kill myself getting out of bead, I'd say Saturday was a 4.5. I was stumbling around, I could not get things to work right, problems communicating, couldn't get my camera to work right and I was in a bad mood. I hate days like this it's even worse when I'm on the road. It makes it even worse when you work with someone and are on a dead line, I felt sorry for the sports guy, but hopefully Sunday is better. At least Saturday Night was fun.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

March Madness 2: Last Nights Dilemma

While watching the game in the TV compound and seeing Carolina losing by as much as 16 I started to think that they were going to losing I had a dilemma to consider. Do I want UNC to lose or win. You may be thinking, what are you talking about, the team you are covering could make it to the final four. Well look at it this way. I've beenaway for the better part of two weeks. The only days I have been home was Sunday where I slept all day, Monday where I went into work for a few hours and then Tuesday was the only real day I was at home all day, but The Wife had to work part of the day.

So if they lose I would get up the next morning edit a story, Sports Guy would change our flights and fly back that day. The bad would be that I'd loose all my hours on Sunday and I'd have to go back to my normal rotation on Monday and then I would not have a day off till Thursday.

If they win, I stay, do interviews, edit at least two packages, do live shots and be at the arena till late. Then work early Sunday and work the game at five and do a story and live shot at 11pm. The bad is I'm still here.

UNC did win and I am now staying. I'm tired and starting to get wornout, but I can handle it. I'm going to try and make today as easy as possible and be efficent.

Friday, March 23, 2007

March Madness 2: Song Girls

First let me say this. I love The Wife and I want to be with no one else.

The one thing I forgot about Carolina playing USC was the USC Song Girls. They are the USC cheerleaders and I will say this... they are the hottest cheerleaders EVER! So I'm sitting in the back waiting for the first game to end and we hear them walk by. How can I hear then, from all the GO USC chants and I can hear all the jaws dropping. I get risky and act like I need to be on the court and I make it. I'm looking for my reporter to find a seat and guess who I bump into the Song Girls. I am stopped by security to let USC on the court so I had to stand with them for a good two minutes. I pop off a few pictures and then walk around a bit.

It's almost halftime and I think the Tar heels are distracted by the Song Girls. Hopefully they come around and start playing better or I'll be home by Sunday.

March Madness 2: Game Day

It maybe the New York/New Jersey attitude that I am absorbing, but I'm already a little surly today. I spent most of my day in the hotel room trying to send video to the station. The problem is that the hotel signal is not that strong and people at the station can't wait for me to call and say it's finished so they corrupt the file and I have to resend it and that took most of the afternoon. It's not like I can go any where, the hotel is surrounded by interstate so there is nothing within a 2 mile radium. We get to the arena later than I wanted, had to walk all the way around for our live shot and go through two check points and always have to show our IDs along the way.

Then in between the 6pm live shot lunch and the 7pm shot I see the Georgetown mascot. So obviously I had to have my picture taken with him. It's been the best part of my day. I don't think it's going to get better for me, I tried to get court side for a few minutes, but they are very tight on security. So I'm stuck watching the games from a small monitor. I did also by a hat so I've got that going for me as well.

I'll try to do another post before I leave the arena.

March Madness 2: New York, New York

As I mentioned a group of 9 went as the locals say "into the city." the city being New York. I was pretty excited. i could see part of the skyline from the arena and it just looked huge from there. We pile into two taxis and head on in. We went through the Gum drop forest and drove through the Lincoln tunnel (Thank you the movie ELF). The first thing I noticed about New York was that it likes it's porn. For about five blocks that's all I saw and then a giant comic book store, I guess that makes sense.

We finally get to time square and all of the sudden it's day light. All I kept thinking was, "Wow this place could be awesome if there were some billboards." I means this with respect, but it looked like an ad agency warehouse blew up. the interesting thing was that almost everyone where were tourists. Acting silly taking pictures, looking around in awe, well looking like me. We try and go to the ESPNZone for some basketball and dinner, but there is a 3-5 hour wait. Yes I typed that correct HOUR wait. So we said screw that and went walking around. At one point in time I felt like I should start singing like I'm in a musical, the intern from Winston Salem agreed. I felt like if I started to sing everyone around would start dancing and a huge production number would start. It didn't happen. It was the only downer of the night.
I'm starving because it's getting closer to 9 and I have not eaten since noon. We finally find some place to eat, the Bond 45. For my first New York restaurant it was pretty kick ass. It seemed a little upscale, but the prices were not as high as I thought. I still paid 30 bucks for a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a coke, but it was Delicious. We sit and talk I get to know the guys from Winston Salem better, I met the producer from DC who was cool. The other guys were a little farther away so it was harder to hear them. I really liked the atmosphere of Bond 45, I felt like I was in New York and was expecting someone semi famous to walk in... like Screach or Wesley Snipes, but no one famous came in.

We finish up there and tried to find a bar with a TV. The ESPNZone was ridiculously packed and was not worth it. We found what we thought was an Irish bar, but it was only Irish in name and in drink. A strange mix of music was flowing. At one point it was Notorious BIG, then ABBA, Drop Kick Murphy's, Billy Ocean (yes Billy Ocean), Journey, then some hard core punk. I ignored the music the best I could and drink my reasonably priced Killian's and Smithwicks for the next three hours or so. I can't tell you how shocked I was the price of beer, 4 dollars for a pint was awesome. I can't find that in Raleigh or as a matter of fact Columbus. Pub with the name Pint in the title that's near Times Square, you were the best!

We watched Ohio State beat Tennessee in a close game, it was a weird mix of fans in our group. Three Tennessee grads and two guys that grew up in Ohio so it was a fun game to watch. Early on OSU was getting hammered and looked to be out of it by halftime. Then UT fell apart and made a bunch of bad shots. The game went to the wire and OSU won. The guys from UT took it well and I didn't cheer too loud because I know how they feel... I am a Bowling Green Alumni, I know how it feels to loose (Stupid fat punter).

Another fun moment was when intern Alissa (pronounced Ah-Lisa) started to ask where the MTV TRL studios where, we showed her the MTV logo and then the two of us started to jump around yelling "HEY TRL! Put me on TV! I love you Carson Daily!" Yes I'm a dork, but a fun dork.
The worst part of the night I thought were the taxi rides. To get to Manhattan it was just over $15 a person. As we tried to get back it was a lot more. We had asked for a taxi van to come and one was on the way, the drunkest of the group got tired of waiting and just jumped into some random taxis. The problem was that my driver did not know how to get to New Jersey. That's kind of a problem because that's where we are going. We finally arrive and this time I had to pay $25 dollars. I found out later it would have been about $11 if we waited for the van. Stupid drunk people.
I really liked New York, next time The Wife and I come into a huge amount of money we may come here, but we would have to come into a LARGE amount of money, just for cab fare.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

March Madness 2: Getting Better

After i finished my last post I called the banks and it looks like all the deductions have not cleared and then I called an hour ago and they are still in banking limbo, so Hooray me! I have money and I don't have to worry... as much.

I met up with sports guy and get lunch and we have the slowest service ever. It takes forever for our meal so we are now getting to the arena much later than I wanted. We walk into the media area and we basically forced our way into a spot and marked it off with tape and proclaimed that spot for JDOG-17! Wow I had a Civilization III flash back. We start getting video and sound from Southern California and we just worked our way from there.

The one big thing that happened to me was the creation of the "photographer sandwich," basically you have my head, my camera to the right of my head and then add someone else's camera to the left side of my head and you have a "photographer sandwich." You would think less and less media would be here at this point, but it's getting worse. For all of the interviews you have to fight your way into them. Sometimes it's civil some times it's a dog fight. Today was not that bad, but I do not like "photographer sandwiches."

I am done for the day and now the fun begins. We are getting ready to head to New York for a little dinner and fun. I've never been there before so I'm taking lots of pictures and lets hope I don't get mugged and will be able to show them to you either in the morning or in a drunken state.

Un -Locke-ing the Island

After reading King Tom's post about last night's Lost I though I should post my comments and maybe that will give me a little bounce back that I need to make this trip a good one.

For the last few weeks, I keep thinking that Locke has become unhinged after his little episode in the now blown up bunker. He's blown, up the only communication with the outside world, let Sayid and Kate get captured by the crazy Russian and he shoved a guy through sonic fence that causes ear bleeding and head explosions. Some how he had a master plan a crazy master plan, but a plan none the less. I believe if you watched the show with a semi-regularity that you realised that Locke does not want to leave the island, so he is now going to destroy everything that will allow the others freedom. It will be interesting to see how things will end up for him. Now on to the points:
  • What the hell is up with Kate? Who does she want Jake or Sawyer? I would almost bet money that if she got Jake away from the Others she would go back to Sawyer. She's crazy Jake, stay away.
  • What the hell happened to Russo? She just up and left everyone.
  • Sayid is the man! "You look like your mother." "My mother's dead." "No she's not." Finally someone tells her about her mom.
  • Locke has a messed up past! I can understand his craziness now. He was an orphan, his mother insane, his father stole his kidney, he lost his girlfriend due to his obsession with his father, got kicked out of the pot compound, and then his father shoved him out of an eight story window, he lives, but is paralyzed and then is on a horrible plane crash. That is a rough life.
  • So is Jake, Kate and Juliet the new love triangle since Anna Lucia did a little glug, glug, vroom vroom, tump, thump (I know she didn't hit anyone while drinking, but that is one of my favorite Krusty the Klown bits.)
  • Great line of the night. "So how do you get electricity" "He have two giant hamsters running on a giant wheel in our secret lair." I know Ben was being sarcastic, but still I could see it happening. think about They have a zoo, a weird smoke monster and other weird stuff so why not giant hamsters.
  • I've not been a fan of this seasons constant Other's plot lines, but tonight was almost worth all those fair to not so good episode.

March Madness 2: The electric-boogaloo

Due to some previous problems, I am going to do one of my random post for my first post of the new trip so let's get too it.

Hello New Jersey!
I am continuing on my journey with the North Carolina Tar heels, and last week I was in the exciting cities of Winston and Salem, so where did I land this time? East Rutherford, New Jersey. I know, I know you all wish you where in my shoes, and as a bonus we landed in Newark, it was thrilling! Seriously, could I not get New York, San Antonio or somewhere that's not East Rutherford? I can see my Manhattan from the lobby, so why don't we kick the NIT out of Madison Square Garden and we go there. I know of four things that came out of New Jersey, Bon Jovi, all the Kevin Smith movies, Bruce Springsteen and King Tom. So out of respect for the King I will leave Jersey alone... for now!

I Hate Banks
Over the last seven years TV has not been the best paying job. I've not helped by making some really bad job choices and poor money management, but The Wife and I have made a huge turn and we have seen daylight in our dark debt world. So with that said, the problem i am having now is that we have money, but nothing is clearing fast enough. The Sheraton Meadowlands (more on these guys later) charges you up from for the room. Well due to the fact that things from last weekend are still working their way through I did not have enough on my credit card for the room. We kept making payments every time something popped up so that we would not have this problem, but the credit card people are holding all transactions for up to three days. So now The Wife and I are playing Money's version of Russian Roulette. I had to use money from our bank account that is technically not there so I can get a room. We maybe overdrawn, but I get paid at midnight so is anything going to over lap and throw everything off and we get charged with large fees, or are we going to somehow slip through and be fine. I hate banks for holding money and causing these kinds of problems.

Hotel Cost
I know I am in the shadows of New York, but $187 a night for a hotel that is not that good really necessary? Also that is with the traveling media discount! For me I normally stay away from hotels that cost more than a hundred, I know a lot of times that means I get places like Howard Johnson's and Days Inn, but sometimes they are not all that bad. So when I pay this much I would think I'd get a pretty nice room, not so much. The room is decent, but I have had better for much less. Also the Internet it not free. I am paying $20 for access, if it was not for work I'd not get the Internet, but I have to feed out video at night so I kind of need it. So somehow Red Roof Inn Internet is free, but at the Sheraton where it's more expensive, you have to pay for it.
Also somehow my reporter got bumped up to a nicer room. He has a living room and a refrigerator and I have well, a bed. How am I drawing the low card on this trip.

What the Hell is on HBO
I have no idea what is on HBO right now, but I just watched a guy get disemboweled. It's 10am and I am not accustomed to this kind of violence this early. It's some kind of show about England in involves Mary the Queen of Scots. I was just typing and then the next thing I see is two guys cut open with people throwing their innereds onto a fire while they sort of watched, then they throw, I guess, an important character on a table and cut him open. I saw them open him up and there was his spleen. How are they getting away with this on at 10am. I know this must be an encore from last night, but damn! I normally like my disembowelings after a good lunch, not before.

Ok enough complaining, about the last day. I hope things will get better and I can be chipper.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Madness: The End?

This picture is the last one I'm taking in Winston Salem. I have just sent my four pieces of video and sound to the station for the sports show. I am breaking down and driving the almost two hour trip back to Fried Chicken Dr. It was fun, but a lot of work. Now I have to get ready and do it all over next week. I know I'll recoup, but a few beers and naps will be needed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March Madness: Pardon Me

General rule in tight location, do not blow gas when others are near by. Someone just ripped one and I thought I was about to pass out. Please people, hold it if you can. Does this need to be another man law?

March Madness: Sneaky Pete

For me to watch any of the games I have three options: 1. Watching from the compound which I have done.
2. Sneak onto the floor and sit at our unused station seat, but security is tight and I don't have the proper credentials... stupid terrorists!
3. Go to the main concourse and walk into a section and hope for the best.
4. Crowd around a small TV with 20 other media types.

I picked option three today. Georgetown is taking on Boston College. This game does not have any direct interest to North Carolina so it's pretty much bonus. I go up and find an area that does not have seats and just stand up against the wall with five other people. To be honest it's weird to just watch a game. 90 percent of all sporting events I attend, I'm usually working so I can't just sit and watch the game. I took in about five minutes and came back down. I may go back up for the second half, it's getting to the point I'd rather be at home with a beer in hand watching the games on TV... well only if I got paid.

March Madness: Fatigue

Its the last day for me in Winston Salem and I am running at about half speed. After 5 days of this I can tell I am ready for some sleep. I've not worked horrible lon hours, but it's just the combination of being away from home, jamming all my work into a half of the time that it would normally take, and not really knowing what I need to get done.

I will trudge through today and hopefully get on the road by 1am maybe 2am at the latest. I'm hoping to seek up to court side for the first game today, if not in the media area at least to one of the upper levels and take a quick picture.

March Madness: Where Are you?

I stayed up late last night cleaning out the hard drive on my laptop so that I can record today's game and post. I've been asleep less than two hours and my work phone starts to ring. I wake up from the aether,

Me: Hello?
Producer: Where are you?
Me: Ummm, I don't know let me think. Uhhhh Winston Salem?
Producer: Oh, so your not editing today? Ok bye
Me: ok bye.

I normally work the weekend morning editing shift, but obviously the message that I'd not be there didn't get to everyone. Took me almost an hour to get back to sleep. With that I have less than an hour till check out. I probably should stay an extra night, but I need to save as much money as I can for the New Jersey hotel. I think that may cost a little more than this room. I hope it's better too.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's My Birthday and I'll Eat a Burrito if I Want Too

Today was a cold day, and the media compound was very quiet and pretty empty. I finished all my feeds and left the arena. It was almost 8pm and I was hungry.

For the last five months of living in Raleigh I have been deprived of one of my favorite things, Chipotle. I love Chipotle burritos, everywhere you go in Columbus, you can't be that far from a Chipotle. To my surprise driving around Raleigh/Research triangle I have only found one Chipotle. The problem with it is, that there is never a reason to go out that way. It's in your typical commercial stores that I can find a lot closer to Fried Chicken Dr.

Earlier in the week I spotted a Chipotle and was excited. So today while in the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial I decided I wanted Chipotle. To be honest I decided to take a "back way," which means I had no idea where I was going. It took me 45 minutes to find my beautiful bountiful burrito. It took forever to find, but man was it worth it. It was a great way to end a bland birthday. If I wasn't so full I'd go get another one

March Madness: Rain Rain Go Away

Last night the game didn't end until almost midnight so luckily I did not have to turn anything for a show that has already ended. I did have to send some sound for the morning show. By the time I finished it was 1 o'clock and I walk outside and it is pouring and it's no longer warm. A cold front has swept though and its bitter cold. I did not bring long sleeves so I'm a little cold. The worst part of the rainy night was the walk to my car with my very expensive equipment. I start back the way I have walked every time. i notice after walking for 5 minutes that the gate that is usually open is now closed. I have to go back the way I came and go around the fenced in area to get to the car. I am now soaked. I finally get back to the hotel around 1:30 and head to the bar. I order a double jack and coke and they guy forgot the coke. I drink my drink pay and find out that my one drink was 15 dollars. HOLY CRAP! I could have bought a bottle for 20! Note to self, the hotel is not that good, and over charges everything.

When I am done with today's fun I'll write about my birthday and what fun things that have happened.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March Madness: Pre Game

Here are the three fans of Eastern Kentucky University that are in Winston Salem. You got to love the dedication with these kids. One guy is saying number 1 while the other well he doesn't have enough fingers for go 16! This will be the last post of the day because all my work will begin.

Final note though. One of the room shad Duke verses Virginia Commonwealth and I noticed something. NO LIKES DUKE! I'm serious I've never seen a room of media people cheer for a team to lose. I wanted Duke to win just for another chance to travel. It looks like next week I will be back at JDOG 17.

March Madness: Last Year to This Year

Every year at this time I always have done basketball. In West Virginia it was the MAC tournament, at The Network it was three years of high school basketball. Now that I am here in the media hole waiting for UNC to take on Eastern Kentucky I thought I'd not the differences between The Network and this year.

The Network (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday):

  • Work my normal shift while trying to get all the equipment needed for the tournament. Usually one of those days I'm stuck at the statehouse waiting for the reporter to actually do something. I sit and stew for the day because I know I have stuff that has to get done.

  • One day is editing special stories for the news in between the games. Still trying to get equipment secured

  • Find and label 40 tapes for this week. You need at least three tapes per game: first half, second half and a post game tape. I also have to black two tapes for editing.

  • Usually get into some kind of an argument over securing the portable editors. The production crew wants one, but every year it is known that we need two to do the job right, yet every year they have to have one. We agree to share and that usually ends somewhere with a fight.

  • Multiple takes with management that have nothing to do with what I need. So more time is wasted there.

Game Days

  1. Get to the station around 8:00am, I pull an editor the size of a large steamer case into my car grab tapes and start my way over to the arena.

  2. I get into our room and start to set up my editor.

  3. Get a call from the other photographer as he is loading the other editor in his car and tells me my reporter is running late.

  4. I get to my spot on the floor and start to shoot.

  5. I finish game #1 and then I go and shoot a stand up and send the other photographer to grab sound.

  6. Reporter finished the look live and I run to the truck that is up a set of stairs and feed.

  7. Get a little time to rest and watch most of the second game.

  8. After the second game I shoot post of that game and then run the tapes to edit.

  9. I then start to shoot the third game.

  10. Repeat the steps from 5-7.

  11. repeat all steps the next day

  12. Championship day either be at the arena doing look lives after each game or be an editor at the station for the games.

This Year (Monday)

Spend time with The Wife

This Year (Tuesday)

Travel day

This Year (Wednesday)

  1. Get to the arena and set up.

  2. Leave and have lunch

  3. come back and wait for interviews.

  4. Record interviews in lap top because I can't shoot the coach and key players interview.

  5. Go to the locker room and get some other players.

  6. Get practice video

  7. edit for the 6, 7 and 11pm

This Year (Game day)

  1. Clean up hard drive and lap top space.

  2. Shot live shots

  3. record games into my lap top, because I can't shoot them.

  4. Record Post game into my lap top.

  5. Go to locker room and get player sound.

  6. Edit something for the morning show.

I like this NCAA thing. I'm working a lot less, but getting almost the same hours. I love my new job

March Madness: Wednesday Retrospective

After my last post I got busy. By the time I got over to the media center it looked a little different. The picture to the left was taken during a down time. When everyone is working it's shoulder to shoulder. I also found out that when TV people get to one of these events, we are jerks! I walk in and the guy sitting kittycorner to me moved my chair and now I don't have one. So I stole the chair next to me. That guy didn't like it, but come to find out that we are ownedd by the same people so we worked that out. The guy that moved my chair was a thorn in my side all day long. Every time I left to do something he moved my chair and it would be taken. So I finally grabbed a chari swung it around and whacked the back of his seat. He felt it and noticed but did nothing. Also he kept backing up into me and I thought I was going to break a rib! Hopefully on Thursday that won't happen.

To be honest I worked hard while I was in the arena, but truthfully it wasn't that had of work. I cut two, one minute pieces of video and three thirty second interviews. The problem was everything happened at once. UNC did not give interviews until 4:30 and that lasted for a half and hour then they practiced at 5:15 till 5:45ish. Of course we have a 6 O'clock show I needed to get sound for and then I need to work on the 7pm show. I got everything done and it looked ok.

The really good part was The Wife got a chance to come over for part of the day. She mostly went shopping and then rested in my hotel room. I got done after 9pm so we went out for dinner and then went back to the hotel. It wasn't that exciting of a night, after we got back to the hotel, I had to do some work on the camera hard drive and clean out my laptop for one and a half games. Still, it's always good to see her.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March Madness: Set-up

Here is my new office. A lovely spacious location, without any real walls, I only have to share it with about 200 other media types. It was fairly painless set up, I did have a problem getting the converter to work with my laptop, but I shut eveything off reconnected then turned everything back on, problem solved. That was the only thing to go smoothly.

For some strange reason every event I go to while working, parking is always an issue. No one outside of the arena knows where I need to be. Today I was told "look for the Mountain Dew Lot" Well I kept following the signs and the next thing you know I am no longer near the arena. I turn around and jsut park next to the sat trucks. When I walk back out a guy stops me "Hey, which one are you?" I respond the white explorer and he then wants me to pay to park. I ask why and he says everyone has to pay. After about five minutes I find out that the media is parking on the exact opposite side of arena as the media entrance. Then the fun part, I was told to look for the Mountain Dew lot and the signs point me over here. His repsonse, "Oh you can't follow dem dar signs, they all wrong."

Then the next big problem, today parking is not a problem, no games going on. Tomorrow though I need a pass and someone didn't get one reserved. Now we either have to walk from the hotel or somehow call and figure out how to get a pass. I don't think it will be an issue, but as all things with tournements it usually will be.

I'm now attempting to find a disc golf course. The directions I had led me to someones house... oops google.

You Will Get a Bagel and Like It

I woke up about an hour earlier than I wanted too, you know why... free breakfast! It closes at 9:30 and I wanted to get over to the arena and pick up my credential. I head down and what do I see, well what you always get with a continental breakfast: Bagels, individual servings of cereal, pastries and not much else. I don't know what I expect, it's always the same, I'm not going to get bacon eggs and food you want for breakfast. I should have known better. Just remember Continental breakfast is another word for bagels with cereal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

You're Welcome Winston Salem

I finally arrived at the hotel today. It's not the best hotel, but not everything can be the Camelback Resort and Spa in Glendale, Az. As you can see it's your run of the mill hotel and that will do for what I need. I'm a little upset though it's suppose to be 80 tomorrow and the pool is closed.

After arriving I find out that my room is not ready so I make some calls and try to figure out what I am doing for the time I am here. I know I need to shoot press conferences and practice, but when and where? I call back to J-DOG 17 and I find out that UNC is not doing interviews until after 4 and practice is after 5. If you never worked in TV, that's a little late for the 5 and 5:30 or in the case of our station the 6 and 7 shows. If I finish by 5:15 I have to run to my laptop set up all the pool video, start cutting that down. Connect my firestore and dump in that video and either find a window to feed or hope the Internet connection is a good one and feed in my stuff. One problem with the Internet it takes forever to send, so If I did get something cut by 6, it may not get to the station by 7:30 or even 9! Pretty much, I'm just trying to get stuff in for the eleven.

After I check in I find my chief photographer who is running the satellite truck for our network. We go and eat a awesome steak dinner charges to said network, I love free steak. On the way back, we get adventurous and take the back roads and we find Old Salem. I immediately go, "Hey, where did they burn the witches?" I know that was Salem, Mass, but I thought it was funny, plus my chief was feeding this notion.

Chief: Hey there's old Salem.

Me: (in my best Monty Python) Burn the witches, Buuuuuuurn'em!

Then we passed Salem University and I have dubbed them the Burning Witches. Now that nickname just screams, wow they must be tough, unlike the Big Blue.

I have the rest of the night to do what ever the hell I want, I don't think I'll get into too much trouble. I am some what on my own and can't go party with anyone. I may go over to Chief's room and play PlayStation or watch The Departed again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nothing in This World is Truly New

I know I've done a lot of sports post of late, so here is another. Maybe the next one before I head out to Winston Salem will be about the state of North Carolina ripping us off again.

I just finished reading Eight Men Out and while reading it kept creeping into my mind that the 1919 betting fix of the World Series is a lot like the steroid scandal that is attacking baseball right now. Back in the early 1900 betting took place very where including in the stands. Finally someone thought hey lets fix the world series. The White Sox can't loose! Well because ball players were indentured servants for the owners of the teams. Charles Cominsky was considered one of the worst, he payed his players less than any other team, yet his profits were increasing every year. Finally someone realized that took advantage and started to wheels rolling and next thing you know the mighty White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds.

Flash forward to the 1990s. Baseball was still suffering from the effects of a lockout. Baseball was slowly dying and no end was in sight. Next thing you know guys are hitting balls into the stratosphere and two guys Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were breaking Roger Maris single season home run record. Players were getting bigger and the ball went farther.

Here's where the two events start mirroring each other. Everyone knew that there was a problem with betting and 'roids, but MLB was trying to keep it quiet. Comisky was afraid of loosing his team and revenue, while Bud Selig was afraid of baseball loosing revenue and becoming irrelevant. 1920 the "Black Sox were taken to court and found not guilty, but Kenesaw Mountain Landis, finally stepped in and "rid" baseball of these bad players. Baseball increase its penalty of taking performance enhancing drugs.

With both cases it seems like no one is really being punished that needed to be, back in Black Sox era the gamblers were never really charged and escaped unscathed. Today the players that are the biggest culprits are either still playing or have gone into seclusion and will probably never have to face the public for bending the rules for personal gain.

It's amazing how two incidents almost a hundred years apart look a lot a like.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March Madness

I have been given an opportunity this week to travel with a college Basketball team while they are in the NCAA Tournament. I am really excited, but at the current time of 5:48PM I have no idea where I am going, when I am going and there may be a slight change my team could change. I am currently going to follow Duke, they are down this year, but a down year for them is a 10 lose season, unlike my alma mater that only won three conference games. The process for this trip is a little maddening. I won't know anything until they announce the brackets, then I have to call in and find who I'm following, call the reporter I'm going with, call the corporate travel lady for flights and hotels, then start packing.

I'll give updates throughout the night as I find things out. So hopefully with in an hour I'll at least know where the local teams are heading and then the fun begins.

6:03 Well found out the number 1 seeds in order of highest to lowest, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State and Kansas. UNC is in the east bracket so looks like they are going to play in Winston Salem.

6:13 Oh the Midwest is done and my hopes of Chicago are not going to happen. The interesting thing is Maryland is a 4 seed and Georgia Tech is a 10 seed. I think Duke will get a better seed than Tech, so I'm guess an eight seed, but maybe as high as a 7.

6:21 I know you want to know this my underwear is now packed. Duke gets the sixth seed... In Buffalo. Freaking Buffalo, that's the best place to spend my birthday, at least I can get some wings. Oh yeah they are playing Virginia Commonwealth University and if they win they may face Pittsburgh. I like my chances in the first game for a second game.

6:27 Well UNC is playing in Winston Salem on Thursday. Called my chief and he has no idea where I'm going. Time to pack warm just in case.

6:36 THE BIG BLUE X! Xavier made it in and they could play Ohio State in the second round. M Thomsen will like that BIG FREAKING BLUE X!

Me: Hey do you know where your going
M Justice: (laughing) Do You know where your going?
Me: Damn it, I'm going to Buffalo.
M Justice: (Laughing) Yep, have fun with that.
Me: At least I can get some Cubans and Wings.
M Justice: True.

7:08 Still haven't figured anything out yet. I hope this gets done before 9:00pm

7:17 Big Curveball was thrown, I'm now going to Winston Salem by myself. Our female sports anchor will travel back and forth, but I am getting everything on my own. Better location, not so awesome plan, but I've done it before while I was in West Virginia and did the MAC tournament in Cleveland.

7:26 Just told The Wife about the change, she was more worried about me missing bible study than being closer. SO now I get to save a huge amount on my credit card, no airplane.

7:49 Spent the last 20 minutes on the phone with our corparate travel person and nothing close was open. So I was stuck at an average hotel room on the other side of the city. I then call the Sundance Plaza the official media hotel and get a room. Note to self, do it yourself.

8:30 Finally got most of everything figured out. I have repacked for the warmer climate and I sort of have an idea of what needs to be done while I am at the Tourney. I will be trying to blog while I am there.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hall of Mediocrity

This past Christmas I received a great gift, The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference. It's filled with about every player who has played in the major leagues. The best thing I have found in The Ballplayers is the random guys that had very little impact on the game but they still put them in there.

Since it is spring training and baseball season is around the corner I thought on days that I am a little scatter brained or have nothing of interest to say I'll give you one of the guys I have found. If you know of one of these kinds of players with a weird background post a comment and I'll try to add them in.

Steve Baker played from 1978-79 and 82-83 for the Tigers, A's, Cardinals. 237 innings, 7-16 record, 5.13 ERA

With an explosive but uncontrolled fastball, Baker was 3-11 in parts of two seasons as a starter with the Tigers. He later returned to the ML as a reliever.

Not the same guy as related to me, but the Steve pictured above does have some something explosive, but you don't want to be around for that.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

That Road ain't Free

The Wife and I are trying to finish up our conversion to North Carolina we needed to get new license plates. We stand in line and finally get to the counter, we start the process and we forgot The Wife's title. We proceed with my car and get to the all important how much we owe time. "That will be 234 dollars." I handle this with my usual calm and cool. "WHAT THE HELL! 234 DOLLARS! WHY SO MUCH?" I'm informed that in the state of North Carolina has a tax for the privilege of driving on their roads.

Yes a tax for the privilege of driving on their litter filled roads. The privilege of some really bad back roads that are gravel. What is it with this state and taxes and fees? I know a lot of people move to North Carolina, but a fee of over 100 dollars and then the next year drops to 30 is exploiting new people. Maybe I'm just upset at having to shill out that much money to drive on some roads the day before were free. Stupid taxes for stupid things.

Lost is Back!

For some reason the Lost creators have decided to take a few episodes off in the middle to try and develop stories that no one cares about and loose views then come back with a vengeance for a couple of weeks before the climatic end of the season. Last week started the climb and this week was great. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the episode. What was going to happen, was Sayid going to snap, what the hell was Locke doing, just great.

I feel like I'm starting to get a feel for what happened on the island. I could be wrong, but it seems that there were two different groups on the island at the same time, the Dharma people and "the other/hostiles. My guess is that the hostiles wanted an utopia island and Dharma came along or visa versa and broke the piece. That's all for my theories for now, I might come back and add more after I re-watch this episode.

  • Sayid is awesome! He was in the zone and could do no wrong, too bad the other people around him screwed everything up.
  • Note to the island folk, DON'T LET LOCKE NEAR COMPUTERS! He goes nuts and things blow up, that two places now.
  • How stupid was Locke to blow up The Flame. What little chance they had to figure out a way off or what the hell Dahrma was is now lost.
  • That was a lot of beef in the freezer.
  • The crazy doctor that talked to Walt is back, oh wait she's been shot.
  • Patches O'Hullihan will now be called Patches O'Houlihanstelinovich, but I don't think we will be seeing seeing much more of him after next week.
  • So far since Desmond's flash sideways we have found in the jungle a tricycle, darts, and a pool table. What's next the bartender?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hall of Mediocrity

This past Christmas I received a great gift, The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference. It's filled with about every player who has played in the major leagues. The best thing I have found in The Ballplayers is the random guys that had very little impact on the game but they still put them in there.

Since it is spring training and baseball season is around the corner I thought on days that I am a little scatter brained or have nothing of interest to say I'll give you one of the guys I have found. If you know of one of these kinds of players with a weird background post a comment and I'll try to add them in.

Sam "Red" Crane played from 19-17 and 1920-22 for the A's, Senators, Reds, Dodgers. 174 games, .208 BA, 0 HR, 30 RBI

Crane was a light-hitting shortstop who continually impressed with brilliant play in the minors. He never won a permanent place until he was convicted of killing his girlfriend and her male companion in a hotel bar; he then secured a long-term position as a SS on the prison team.

There Goes the Neighborhood

After a long and frustration day The Wife and I go get some comfort food, or as most people call it Mexican food, we drove back a slightly different way and drove most of the two blocks of Fried Chicken Drive, I was on the phone with Mcriff and as I turned the corner I see something I hoped to never see on our block. A Confederate flag in the window of a house. I know some may say that I'm over reacting, but I've always associated this flag with a sense of racism and ignorance.

Growing up along the Ohio River I grew up with a sense that Ohio was the north and the peoples house I could see from my bedroom across the river were southerners. Maybe Wilson will correct me over this, but up until the late nineties, I very rarely saw the Confederate flag on a car from Ohio, it was always those Kentuckians. I actually new a girl and told me while she was going to The Ohio University Branch in Ironton she put a confederate flag on her car. He brother told her that Ohioans do not like to see that flag and will let you know it, and they did, she finally had to take it off her car.

I understand, to a point, that with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and the rise of country music to the main stream that the Confederate flag has grab its coat tails and took a ride with the popularity. To me it still wreaks of racism in this country and redneckism. I've even had a reporter and I discuss my hatred for the rebel flag and he took the stance of it was a sign of southern heritage and pride. I think there are other ways to show your pride if your from the south.

I don't know, I know I'm now in the south, but still I hate to see that flag flying here. I guess I have to get use to it. I'll just stop driving that way home so I won't have to see it.

If you randomly came to this post and disagree leave a comment, I'd like to hear your reasons.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hall of Mediocrity

This past Christmas I received a great gift, The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference. It's filled with about every player who has played in the major leagues. The best thing I have found in The Ballplayers is the random guys that had very little impact on the game but they still put them in there.

Since it is spring training and baseball season is around the corner I thought on days that I am a little scatter brained or have nothing of interest to say I'll give you one of the guys I have found. If you know of one of these kinds of players with a weird background post a comment and I'll try to add them in.

Sam Agnew played from 1913-19 for the Browns, Red Sox, Senators. 560 games, .204 BA, 2 HR, 98 RBI

Agnew was a Browns Regular for three seasons (1913-15) and led American League catchers in errors in two of those years because of a scatter gun arm. In 1915 he committed 39 errors