Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Note From The Wife: Cheerleaders

From time to time The Wife will get upset about something and must vent about it. She has tried blogging on her own, but it was not her thing. So when ever she gets one of this rants, I'll let her use polkamonkey to vent. So with out further ado, here's The Wife

I have had it up to hear with cheerleaders/dance teams/Pepsi girls.
OK let me say what a huge sports fan I am. I come from a family of football players, my dad, my brothers, my cousins, and my uncles. I love to watch the game live or on TV. I grew up with cheerleaders toilet papering our house on the night before a big game. I even tried out to be one in high school. Well when I didn't make it, I decided I didn't like them anymore. They annoy me. I have had a strong hatred toward them since.
Now you see them everywhere. You go to a basketball game, they are there. You go to a hockey game, they are there. And dammit you go to a baseball game and they are there too. Why in the world do you need them at a baseball game.
I went with "The Husband" to a help with the NC State vs UNC baseball game tonight. Next thing I know there are these dancer girls on the dugouts shaking their thing. OK, I came to watch the game not the watch them. I just don't understand sports anymore. It's all about sex. And there not even trying to sell anything. OK I'm done, this subject upsets me.
By the way I forgot to tell you that since we moved hear I have become an UNC fan and "The Husband" is an NC State fan (we will always be OSU and BGSU fans). If you haven't heard, UNC kick some Wolfpack booty.

My Eyes! The Goggles Do Nothing!

This past week I varied my work out a little. I had been doing 30-50 minutes on the bike followed by at least a mile of walking and 2 and a half laps running. I decided to walk and run two miles then try and swam a few laps.

The run was good and I go change into my swim suit to only find out that open lap time doesn't always mean open lap time. Out of the 8 laps lanes only three were "open" most were taken up by water aerobics and kids learning to swim. I go back to the locker room and decide to check out the steam room. For five minutes I'm there by myself, then the old guys that play racquetball walk in. The first one was wearing a towel... no big deal, the others though... only wore a smile. I'm not use to locker rooms with old naked guys so I'm a little freaked out seeing old guys "special area." I try not to look, but when they stand around in front of you and their old man twigs and berries are in your face... it's kind of hard to avoid it. Then they want to strike up a conversation with me. I join in, but I don't want to look, because he's naked. I finally give up after 10 minutes and see if a lane is open. Thank the Lord above there is a lane open. I "attempt" to swim and give up from shear exhaustion (I had not swam laps since college) I give up after four laps. I go back in and the guys are now hanging out in the locker room... naked. One guy is standing there with his leg up on a bench. Fortunately I had a rear view and could only see his wrinkled "tuckus."

At what age do you just say screw it. I'm not wearing a towel, my wife won't let me eat dinner in my underwear so I'm walking around the gym naked while I talk to the young kids. I'm still very self conscious and could never do that. I give them credit for being able to be naked in front of strangers, but please for me... put some pants on, or at least underwear.

(I wanted a picture of this post, but let me warn you; do not look up naked old guy and the word gym in google image... bad... very bad)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lost: The Return of Patches O'Houlihan

I had stopped blogging Lost because King Tom was doing such a great job, I thought I give up and just let him be the King that he is. Well, I think King Tom has taken a break/vacation/time off, so I will try and carry on for him till he returns.

Over all this episode seemed kind of mixed bag for me. I think they did not have enough for the Sun baby story line nor the helicopter pilot story line so they jammed them together. I thought these flash backs were the second worst of this season for giving you insight and maybe a glimpse into the type of person they really are. I thought the worst was Paulo and Mandy, they died at the end and made everything pointless. The one important thing you did learn is that it's Sun's fault for what Jin became. The money she took lead to Jin becoming the kick ass ninja like hit man that he became. If she would never have done that maybe she would never have slept with baldie and had to try and leave Jin. I'll go through the bullet points and then do a final thought on the helicopter twist.
  • Ok let me get this straight, Patches O'Houlihan is really Wolverines brother? That's the only explaination I can think of.
  • Note to Hurly, don't tell the others that someone that fell out of the sky has a sat phone on them.
  • Note to everyone on the island, don't let Hurley near flare guns.
  • I think the writers watch Three Kings before they wrote this episode and though, "You know that was a cool trick with the valve in the chest thing, how can we do that and make it more bloody." Yeah I didn't need to see that.
  • OK, they have been on the island for 90 days. That's almost 30 days a season. If you use that then Sun should die in near the end of season 5. This season though I believe has more days in it. Jack, Kate and Sawyer were captured around 56 days and that was the end of season 2. Now we will be over 90 days maybe even 100 by the season finale. That would mean Sun should die around the last episode next year.
  • I kept expecting the Others to pop out and capture Sun ever 5 seconds. It was a little suspenseful, but the ending was a let down. I mean come on! A tape recorder, what is this 1978? You have industry grade Beta tapes, you can't find something better than a $2 cassette recorder? It wasn't even a mini tape, spend the extra money Ben!
  • Since Ecko died I'm creating a new list of losties I would not want to get into a fight with, Jin is now number one. He kicked the ass of a former Soviet Army guy! Patches O'Wolverine got the drop on Locke and Syid, but not Jin. Number two is Locke, just because he is crazy. Desmond and his flashbacks are third, Jack is fourth only because he has seemed changed since his return to camp, then Sawyer well I think Sawyer could grift me out of my money then fight me.
  • I'm waiting for the Charlie and Hurley become Laural and Hardy episode, they keep creeping closer and closer.
  • So sperm seem to like this island.
  • When Juliet was talking into the take recorder she mentioned Kate. Was that a hint that Kate might be pregnant? If so that will create an interesting plot line with the love triangle of convenience. It's most likely Sawyer's. Will Kate name the baby a name only used in old westerns or a Delicious fruit. I'm going with Calamity or Nectarine.

Ok the most interesting thing about Helicopter girl (outside Patches O'Wolverine)was at the end. In a conversation Hurley mentions that he is part of Oceanic Flight 815. Her response what that it was impossible because they found the plane and there were no survivors. I immediately thought of the whole purgatory crap that people keep bringing up. I hope that is not true, I just would have to stop if that was the case. Then I started thinking, what if the Others had something to do with that. Think about it, they know all the info about the people on the island, what is stopping them from crashing a fake plane in the ocean somewhere. This way no one can find the island during the search and they can be left alone.

Final note is for the writers and producers of the show. This season has been the worst so far. I have come to the brink of no longer watching Lost three times this year, only to give it a "one more week" moment. I read an article in USA Today about how television shows seem to be unable to end shows, they either carry on to long or they lose viewers because they lose interest. I believe Lost is on that precipice, I think some answers need to be answered soon. I don't want every secret revealed, but I need to feel like I am getting closer to the finish line and all I seem to get is partial answers and with more questions added in. I hope in the last four episodes I get a little closer to understanding what the hell is going on. Also if you can bring back Patches O'Wolverine, please bring back Mr Ecko, I need my Jesus stick hook uo.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Up, Up and Away

One of the biggest problems with us trying to get back to Ohio is that we are too close to fly (the cost of a flight out ways the gas it would take) and at times it feels like we are too far away to drive (It seems like you have to be at the airport three days before your flight). So we are just going to have to suck it up and drive either 7 or 9 hours to see family... or do we.

Before I left Columbus I was forced into a press conference about a new airlines called Skybus. It's a new airline that is based out of Columbus and their big hook was flights as low as $10. Yeah right 10 bucks, what are they going to do strap us to the wing? They will never sell tickets for $10! Well, I was wrong, The Wife talked to someone back home and they are taking a flight to Seattle for $80 one way! I know it's $160 round trip, but hell, that seems pretty cheap to me. The Wife started to look around the website and found out they fly out of Greensboro (just over an hour away) and the price ranges from $10-$50 one way.

Lets do the math here a bit, lets say I get two $10 tickets round trip so that's $40 (plus tax) for the flight. With the Mazda I can do Greensboro for a half a tank so lets say $20-$35 (depending on how much they are gouging me at the pumps that week). If we go with the economy rental car for 5 days it will cost $60 (That's if we don't get a rental while we stay in Columbus and just have people come pick us up or drop us off). If we go to Ironton for a day that's one tank of gas at $35 and if we go to Dayton and back that's $60. Then we have the parking at Greensboro so that will be $50. Total cost of the flight and everything else is $265.

That may seem still a little high, but think about the gas we would use, I think it was four or five tanks of gas, but I usually have to get an oil change before or after, then there is the wear and tear on my car, if we can work day side We will usually get a hotel in Beckley, WVa for around 80 dollars so in the long run we would break even. Too bad for our trip to Ohio in June we are bringing back two of her nephews and a niece or we would fly out on this trip.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

You Say connoisseur I Say Wino

This weekend we have our first guest since we have moved to North Carolina. My sister and her husband are doing an east coast family trip and we were first leg of the trip that will lead them to Florida. Since The Wife and I really don't do that much we were scrambling for things to do. The Wife and I saw and ad for the Great Grapes, Wine, Arts and Food Festival, we just found out that my sister likes wine and thought it would be a good couple of hours. It started out fine, but I had one HUGE problem with the event. I shall call them wine sobs, I'm not talking Miles Raymond type people, because I would have enjoyed that... possibly. I'm talking about people who want to seem hip and cool and think wine is the way to impress people.

It was interesting to watch them at first. They gathered in packs and moved around the wine booths sampling each wine and making annoying comments that only other snobs would know. Then they would call each wine by either a nickname or abbreviate the name. "Have you tried the Cab Sav (Cabernet Sauvignon)? It has good color, but the taste lingers too long. Excuse me can I have another taste of the Cab Sav?" At times they were getting rude I actually heard this comment.

Lady wine snob: "don't go to Wine B, they suck ass.
Lady wine snob" (directed towards me): Did you hear that?
Me: Oh yeah
Lady: Oh, (back to her phone) I told them to their face that their wine sucks ass.

Every booth I tried to go too I would get shoved out the way for friends of wine snobs, "Hey bill you have to try the sunset. No come here." The next thing you know seven people just push me out of the way. The other incident involved a pack of not so attractive college girls and their flirting with the pourer. They kept telling him that they wanted more to drink, but they were big buyers and they wanted more "cab sav." By this time every time I heard cab sav, it made me want to punch them in the face. Some how I was ready to order a bottle of wine The Wife like and they move in front and order 5 bottles. I know the guy was just trying to make a sale, so I don't blame him, the wine snobs only cared for their little sips of wine, how they can get more and figure out a way to make them sound smart to other wine snobs.

I like a little wine, I have no idea what to look for. All I know is if it taste good, well I might by it. I don't care for the color and all that. Truthfully I'd rather have a glass of Smithwick beer instead. Once we got away from the snobs and drunk college kids it was a nice event, decent music, good North Carolina BBQ, and wonderful weather I finally got into a groove and had a good time... I guess too good of a time, just call me a wino.

Much Better Place

Yesterday I was called into the news directors office to discuss what went wrong in Blackburg. Normally these meetings are painful and blame is placed mostly towards one person or towards a single incident. To my amazement everyone to blame and the meeting was to actually figure out how to make things better for when it because hurricane season making things better, what a novel idea.

Also I feel that I am making the turn from this event and starting to get back to my normal self. When I go through something that is very stressful it takes me a few days for the effects to go away. While at The Network it seemed like I could never make that turn and get to a "happy place," and I finally figured out why. Here in Raleigh, everyone on staff talked about it and is starting to move on. Then there is the key point I'm not going to work with Blondie for a few days and may not work with her for a few weeks. At The Network I had one reporter I did not like, and with such a small staff I would get maybe a day away and at times the next day I had to work with him. It just compounded things and I could not "breathe."

I've already shot a decent story and now it's my weekend and I get to relax and know that come money I'll probably work with the reporter who will be known as Boston and probably kick out a quick and decent package. After three years I am finally starting to feel happy multiple times a week. I don't know if I can handle this.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Media Whirlwind

Disclaimer: This post is going to be about my experiences at Blacksburg, Virginia I am very saddened by what happened, but being in the media I had to view this as work and I just hope noone will think that I am disrespecting the lives of the students and faculty lost on the Virginia Tech campus.

Monday morning was my first Monday of my new schedule (Mon- Fri. 3pm-midnight), I'm trying to get into better shape so I'm trying to go to the YMCA at least three times a week and Monday was the first day. I get to the Y and I jump on a bike and start my workout. The gym has TVs all over the place, I had my MP3 player, but I'd glance up to see what Murray or any other crappy day time TV shows have on. Near the end of my time on the bike I look up and see FOXNews has something about a shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech, I look on with interest trying to figure out if this is a real news story or if Fox is doing what Fox does best, over hype things. I see video of SWAT and people running around and start to wonder if this is a real story. I finish the bike and move on to other aspects of my current routine.

I hear nothing else of this till I finish my work out and call The Wife to see what we are doing for lunch. She asks if I have hear what is going on at Va Tech, I say yes and then she mention that at least 20 people are injured. OK this is real and getting bad, but I'm in Raleigh and can't do anything so I go ahead with Lunch.

We head to Remington Grill and have more the most part a really good lunch, with the new schedule this was the first time we ate together in about a week and a half. We are enjoying ourselves and then my work cell starts to ring. I'm thinking I'm getting called in early to do local reaxs to the shooting. It's the head assignment guy, "I need someone to go to Blacksburg, Virginia there are 21 dead, do you want to go." I'm now shocked that the death toll has jumped from 1 to 21. I ask The Wife, we worry about the money, but in the end I say yes. "I need you hear as soon as possible." I get off the phone we finish up lunch and the next 40 minutes are spent driving and then getting ready for a trip.

After throwing four days worth of cloths into a suitcase and hoping I grabbed everything I start to the station. I find out I'm with Blondie, with that nickname I hope you can figure out why I call her this... it's not just because she is Blondie, news people I hope you figure out what I mean. I'm little worried about that and I know it's way to late to back out. I get my marching orders, Blondie arrives and we finally start towards Blacksburg after 2:30pm.

Not to make this long than it is I'll try to sum up some of the lesser points now with my favorite thing in the world... bullet points.
  • Takes at least 4 hours to get there. JDOG-17 wants us live at 6 if we can... do the math with out leaving time
  • We are not working for JDOG-17, we are working to the parent company who shall be known as Media Parent.
  • Our field producer is not going to be in Blacksburg (found that out at 9pm), field producer is back in North Carolina.
  • Our Sat Truck is old and our Sat Op is new at this (To be honest he did the best job he could considering... you did good T-Dog)
  • We have a station within Media Parent in Roanoke, who is all over the story, but can't do their stuff and do everything of the other stations in the group so that is why we are going

We arrive late and the chaos starts. it's 6:55 and we are told that Blondie needs to do a live shot at 7:01. Traffic is nuts with parents and incoming media, so somehow we find the building and work our way to the truck. I tell Blondie to get out and go I'll park the truck, because I'm not the camera for the live.

This is still within the first day and the amount of media there was staggering. At that moment it was near what I saw for Jessica Lynch. We luckily find out that there is a press conference being held at 8pm. At this point in the media room there are 49 other TV cameras and not a lot of room left. I find a small corner and wedge my tripod in it and roll on the presser. That raps up and we head to out sat truck at a local hospital. This is where we run into a major problem. Due to the fact I left so quick I did not grab any video before I left. and I assumed that we could get some from our affiliate... wrong. The people with the video were at the truck were the presser was. I had to feed back a story for 30 stations without any b-roll. It was track and a few sound bites... All the stations were not happy about that. The worst part of the night was the wind, it was gust up near 50MPH and was messing with the satellite causing breakup and total video drop out. At the end of the night I'm staggering around after the whirlwind I went through and another gust came through, pushing me backwards and my camera downward. My camera fell and hit the asphalt pretty hard. The only lucky break on the trip was that my camera was fine. The wireless was done for, but T-Dog had his so I swap with him.

We end the night and head to the hotel which is 30 minutes away. I get to bed at 1AM and set the alarm for 3:30AM. T-Dog had to do morning live shots so I had to drive him back to his truck. I get back to the hotel at almost 5 and can not go back to sleep.

There was another press at 8AM at hospital, we get there set up and then Blondie hears about another presser on campus. We rush over and find out that the amount of media quadrupled over night. I have never seen that many satellite trucks before, where were certain people that were overwhelmed by this. I seriously think if affected then too much and made things worse. We get into the alumni center and find out we can't get in... to many people. OK remember last night it was at least 49 cameras inside, there were that many outside that could not get in. Blondie just wants the info and goes to another room to watch while I sit and wait.

If you have not worked in news you may not realize how small the news business is. I met about 30 people that either I worked with, worked against or knew someone at our station. It's very strange, you are covering something so horrible then you see someone and get a little happy because you have not seen them in a few years. The presser ends and we get our marching orders to cover the convocation with the Governor of Virginia and well President Bush. Up till then I had not been on campus, my only contact was through the alumni center so I need to get some video of the buildings. Obviously that area is blocked off and I have to walk to Norris Hall where most of the killing occurred. It was a very surreal sight. It was very quite, I know it's a college campus and generally not noise but it was as if it was a vacuum and sound was unable to be heard. I find the building and start shooting. There are students on one end near a memorial and TV crews all around this giant field interviewing people. I get my shots and start the long trip back to the car.

We head over to Cassell Coliseum to get ready for the Convocation. People are already starting to line up for the 2PM event and it's not even 11 yet. We try to get interviews, but between some "hesitation" and the fact that all the students are in shock and have probably had 20 other crews ask them for interviews it takes a while. This is where it starts to get hard to do my job. On a lesser scale, back when I was working in Toledo, Bowling Green lost six students in a bus crash. As an alumni I was shocked what happened, the campus though was in a state of shock and sadness. With covering that story I know nothing is going to be easy, but I struggle and get everything done. By 1pm the crowd reaches over ten thousand, they were going to open up the football stadium for the over flow. Even though something awful has happened the campus, community and alumni base came together to help each other and to celebrate the lives of the 32 that have died.

The next few hours where the roughest for working conditions that I have had in a while and I want to get past it so here are some more bullet points:

  • None of the NBC sat trucks could get the feed because everyone was live, except one.
  • The truck we went to had problems getting us a feed and we almost missed it.
  • Blondie want to sit inside the truck so I could not monitor the laptop taking the feed and well, my hard drive filled and she never noticed the message saying hard drive full.
  • We get part of a copy from another station and almost caused them to miss their feed window.
  • The Sat Truck decided to not work and we missed 6 straight live shots
  • After that we had to move the truck for a 7pm live shot for the candlelight vigil. We had only 45 minutes to do it.
  • The local crew that had the 7pm shot treated us like jerks and would not help us break down... thanks guys.

By now it was 7:45, I've been up since 3:30am and had not eaten since 8AM. I am dragging and hoping I can deal with Blondie and get my story done. Well the scene was overwhelming. Just like the Convocation the entire Hokie nation showed up. There are memorials people crying and that's when I broke down. While working I need to keep myself separated from the story. You need to, if you don't you will either break down and go nuts because of all the horrible things we see or you can't do the story right. The point that I started to get emotional was a family showed up to a big VT sign and she just started to cry, it wasn't the kind of crying of I can't believe this happened here it was I'm crying because I just lost my child. I start shooting and I feel like crap. I need this for my story, but damn I am a vulture. Not that far away a guy is playing hymns and christian songs. I know them all from church, I start to tear up. I realize I am at the worst shooting event in American history. We interview a grandmother and granddaughter about why there are their, they start crying and fell more tears in my eyes.

The candle light vigil was amazing and the candles lit up the night. The most inspiring moment was when they started chanting HOKIES! HOKIES! HOKIES! Chill factor was off the charts. At campus is amazing, they take this tragedy and turned it inward and made them stronger.

We end the night and I get an amazing 5 hours of sleep. We arrive for the 9AM presser at 8AM just so we can get a spot. I get one of the last pieces of carpet and wait. While waiting I noticed some movement around the room, something is going on. Come to find out that there was a scare on campus, some suspicious person was spotted and they over reacted (with good reason) and send in SWAT. Turns out it was a false alarm and the campus lets out a giant sigh of relief. Then the stupidity of the day occur. They tell us the presser is delayed, but here is what happened this morning, well nothing it was a false alarm. "How many people were arrested?" was yelled by some reporter. The police chief answer was great "It was a false alarm and we don't arrest people for false alarms." What an idiot! Think before you speaks stupid reporter.

The presser finally starts after 10, they are going to give us a time line involving Cho Seoung-hui. They give the first incident in 2005, then another, then another, then he was committed, then the professor that warned the university. I look over to another photographer and we give each other a shocked look. Wow that kid was crazy for quit a while. Then the envelope that was sent to NBC was reviled. Virginia Tech can't fully be blames for this, they may have had pieces of the puzzle, but no one had the picture for that puzzle. His room mates could not believe it, we interviewed a student that had a high school class with him and never thought he'd do this. Everyone thought he was different and a strange, but never a killer. Another person that slip through the cracks.

We left last night at 9:30 and I got into bed at 2:30AM. I am drained and glad I have at least today off. Now I have to get back into the daily grind. If I do work Friday it will be tough with more information coming out, but that's what we do, do the story and wait for the next one to happen.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Not Again

Holy crap what is next too happen. Back in February I chipped my tooth, I got it fixed and everything is fine. Fast forward to this morning, The Wife and I have had a run of bad luck, our taxes are a mess (more on that tomorrow), the computer blows up, we have not seen each other that much for the last two weeks, so everything has just been off. I go to work this morning to help out the Sunday morning sports show. I grab a Pop Tart from the vending machine and as I take a bite I notice something felt weird. I freaking ripped the filling out of the tooth. Just what we need another bill, lucky for us I'm going to the dentist soon for a cleaning. Hopefully he will fix my tooth as well, but know me he can't do it then and I'll have to schedule an appointment and December will be the earliest they can see me. If anything else happens I going to punch someone. I'll probably break my hand and they will sue me, but that will be par for the course.

(This is not a picture of my tooth, it's not that bad, but feels like it.)

Saturday, April 14, 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.

Charles "Lady" Baldwin played from 1884-90 for Detroit (NL), Brooklyn, Buffalo (PL). 1017 innings, 33-41, 2.85 ERA

In 1886, his one outstanding ML season, the Detroit ace led the NL with seven shutouts, tied for the league lead with 42 wins and ranked secon in strikeouts (323). Teammates gave him his odd nickname because he didn't smoke, curse, or join then in drinking bouts.

Fun With the Media

I've been in the news business news for over seven years and ever since I have left Toledo I've covered some big news events, Jessica Lynch (I was one of the first photographers to cover the story), the West Virginia Sniper, the 2004 presidential elections from Ohio (insane!), Hurricane Katrina aftermath (I actually got to go into New Orleans within the first week via Humvee) covered the Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Notre Dame and I almost got hit by a tornado south of Lima. So I come to Raleigh and what do I have to deal with? The Duke Lacrosse trial.

This week has been crazy. The North Carolina's Attorney General threw out the charges against the players and then today was the first hearing on District Attorney for Durham County Mike Nifongs bar hearing. IF you do not know, he is having a hearing to see if he over stepped his boundary and also to see if he did a few things that were against the law like, not reporting information to the defense that I don't know would prove that they did not do it.

Since the entire case has received national attention this was big news, and multiple national crews came out to play; CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS were there and even Katie Curic was hanging around earlier in the week. The weird thing about national crew are that they come into town and every local officials fawns over then and network sometimes just steps all over them. Some even try to walk over the local stations. They forget what it is like to be a local, and my job is usually to bring them back to Earth. This time though almost all the crews were cool. One guy use to work here and I remember seeing one guy from another story.

For a large portion of the day we sat around and waited for something to happen and then BOOM Nifong is seen walking towards the building. Have you ever seen the video of sharks in a feeding frenzy? You know there is blood in the water and the sharks are fighting over the carcass. That's what it was like today. Someone sees him, everyone races over and pushes, shoves and jockies for position to the best shot, it can get ugly. Luckily I did not have to be in the frey. I was on the other corner and Chief was the one running into a wall. I hurried over to the door for the shot him walking into the building. The crowd kept getting larger and larger and larger till I had to put my hand out and stop another photographer from ramming as he walked backwards.

All is quiet till the current hearing is over, then the frey starts all over. I once again get luckily I am setting up the live shot. Nifong walks out and starts walking away, the crowd of 7-10 reporters and 15 still and video photographers move with him for the rest of the block. Once again, more shoving pushing and general ugliness. The strange thing though no one gets mad over all this. It's just part of the job and everyone just lives with it.

Everything winds down we finish up our live shots and that's where I get a little banged up. I grab the Chief's tripod from the leveler (A knob underneath the tripod head and in between the legs that allows to adjust the head of the tripod so it is well, level.) and attempt to hand it to him. For some reason he rushed to grab it and turned away from me. I did not let go fast enough and he closes the legs on my wrist and then my hand nearly touches the back of my arm. I wiggle free and nearly scream like a little girl. I believe I may have sprained my right wrist, which I use for everything (insert masturbation joke here). The sad thing is that I've sprained my wrist at least 5 times (insert masturbation joke here) so I know what I have to do, wrap it and pop a couple of Advil and try not to use my right hand for a few days (insert masturbation joke here).

So even though I was at a large media even I get injured hand off a tripod, holy crap am I injury prone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Late Night TV

For the past five months I have had to work the overnight weekend editing shifts. Due to some changes at JDOG-17 I have moved off this shift, but there is one thing I need to discuss. While I edit I just can't sit there. I need to have other things going on around me like my MP3 player and usually the TV. The one problem is that a lot of stations switch over to info-mercials around 1am. My favorite choice is Comedy Central, I get a nice selection of uncensored movies and comedy specials or worst case scenario I get an OK episode of MadTV.

While watching, I have noticed that the only commericals that air on Comedy Central at that time of night is Girls Gone Wild, penis growing pill and a genie trying to sell me a book that will help me pick up chicks. Gee I wonder who Comedy Central is targeting I say Wilson, single loner guys who have nothing else to do or stoners.

I understand that normal people are asleep, but I need to explain the penis growing pill ads. They never say words like penis, Johnson, junk, don or anything else that you may call your twig. Here is what they usually use

  • Male part of your body

  • "down there"

  • that special place

Who the hell is writing these ads, twelve year old kids? You can call your manhood a lot of things and not get in trouble with the FCC. The most annoying part is the acting scene when a guy sits down on the couch with his wife/girlfriend

Woman: What do you have there?

Guy: A male enhancement pill

Woman: Male enhancement, like growing some muscle? (grabs his chest)

Guy: No, I mean "male enhancement."

Woman: Oh, you mean down there?

I serious want to punch someone every time I hear that, I just want that scene to go like this:

Woman: What do you have there?

Man: A new male enhancement pill.

Woman: To help with your small penis.

Man: What? You think it's small? You said it was a good size.

Woman: Do you think it will work?

Man What the hell? Answer the question!

Woman: I'm just saying if this works, I'll be happier

That's how it needs to be done, but now I don't need to worry about seeing this commercial for a while. Hopefully they will hire someone who can actually say penis by the time I have to see it again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hall of Mediocrity

It's been a while and well, I've had a rough day and tomorrow looks to be a long day, I have to deal with the Duke Lacrosse trial thing all day, so I thought I'd do a Hall Of Mediocrity for the night.

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.

Danny Ainge played from 1979-1981 for the Toronto Blue Jays, 211 games, .220 BA, 2 HRs, 37RBI

A basketball star at Brigham Young, the fiery Ainge was a 6'4" infielder-outfielder with the Blue Jays. After Three Years of failing to hit major league pitching, he quit baseball to join the NBA Boston Celtics.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lots to Talk About

For most people Monday is the start of their week, for me, Monday is my Wednesday, which usually means it's not very exciting or filled with interesting tidbits that I would wish to share, but today for some strange reason everything seemed like I should write about it, so for the second straight post here is a little thing I like to call Random Items.

My Nose is Running A Marathon
Some of you may realize that my car is not yellow but silver. For the past few weeks, I thought I some how slept walked and painted my car yellow. The picture is not the best in the world, but my car is covered in pine pollen. This stuff is everywhere, our cars, windows, sidewalks, puddles of water, you name it, it has this yellow crap all over it. This pollen is too big for me to inhale it and make my allergies go haywire like it did not so long ago, but every other type of tree and plant is throwing off pollen and I feel like I'm going to die. I can't breath, I cough till my eyes and lungs hurt. My throat is sore to the point where I can not talk at times. It is insane, Ive been told that this is the worst season in recorded history for pollen in North Carolina, so of course it's my first year here. I've been on a cocktail of allergy medicine ranging from Claritin, Benadryl, Sudafed with pseudoephedrine, Sudafed with that other crap that's not as good as pseudoephedrine and Mucinex. One drug does not seem to be enough. Claritin gets me to the point where I can sort of breath, Mucinex will clean me up, but you can only take it once every 12 hours. I think I'm becoming immune to Sudafen. Benadryl works, but it has the tendency to make people drowsy, in my case "may cause drowsiness" means will knock you on your ass till it's out of your system. Hopefully with the nation wide cool down the trees will stop trying to create little sapling and go back to normal.

More Computer Fun

The new computer is up and running so The Wife and I thought it would be a good idea and see if some one can transfer all the files off the old computer onto the new one. We decided to try the Geek Squad at Best Buy, because we bought the computerfrom Best Buy. I walk in with old tower in hand. I go to the counter and the geek gives me the run down and I already know they are going to charge $156 dollars plus tax for the transfer, I except the large payment and then I'm told "It's going to be 3 to 5 days before we can get to your computer." WHAT, three to five days? I can get a new transmission put in my car within two days, why so long? Well I guess they are "really busy" and have a lot of people ahead of me. That's not a good enough answer, I mean what kind of staff do they have? One monkey with a mallet and a screw driver?

Thing about it this way, if one guy works on a computer and gets it done in an hour he theoretically can complete 6 in a given work day. Think about it some computers will take less than an hour while some will take more, that's a good average for a day, I would think it would be more, but I have been wrong before. They are open from 10am till 9pm so that's 11 hours and if you have 6 people on average per day that's about 36 computers per day, that means you would have 108-180 computers ahead of me and I don't think they would have that many computers at one time in their stock room. So I tell the guy to shove off.

I remember for some strange reason a computer shop in downtown Wake Forest I go there they tell me it can be done within two hours and will only cost me $50 and hour. Hell yeah! Even if they have a problem and go three hours that's still less than those other bastards! I drop off the computers, tell them which files to transfer and I'm on my way. Much later in the day I get a call (they forgot to inform me that there were other people ahead of me and that the two hours was the working time not actual finishing time) and come to find out that the problem with the computer was not the motherboard or the CPU but the hard drive itself. Since is was older and we were stupid and left it on for days on end the barrings gave out and everything is lost.

So what's the damage: over 3000 photos, over 4000 songs, all of The Wife's financial information for this year and a honeymoon video I made for The Wife. Part of the photos are lost forever, including all the pictures we took on our digital camera dating back to the honeymoon I think that's the worst blow to me. We also lost about 1/3 of our music collection. When we moved we thought we would be smart in selling a large portion of our CD collection, but burn the songs we like. I know that's sort of illegal, but we were saving space and in doing so we now have to go out and buy a lot of those songs now. The lesson we learned is we need to back everything up to a CD, flash drive or possibly to a new external hard drive for safe keeping.

New Shift

I started part of my new schedule today, 3-midnight. I will be honest it was a lot more work than being day side. We did a live shot and package for the 7pm show and then did a live and package for the 11pm. You have to realize, that normally the day side crews get from 9-6ish to get a story done for the 6 or 7pm shows. We did not start our story till almost 3:30. Lets just say we were in a little bit of a rush to get things done. My reporter actually lost track of time and did not realize that it was 6:30 and he was still writing. I get in there and crank out a short package within 15 minutes, feed back to the station and finish the set up for the live shot. It was very hectic for that last half an hour. Things calmed down for the late show, but still it was work.

While reading the above paragraph you might think I am complaining. For some strange reason to be honest that is not a complain, it was busy, but I enjoyed it. For so long at The Network, we really did not have deadlines or if we did they were always soft and could be pushed back. I think it made me a little lazy and complacent, I missed the rush of scrambling to get things done. Do I want this every day? Hell no, but it's nice to get that feeling back and know I can get things done when things are tight.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Random Items

It's been over a week since my last post so some may be asking, what happened? Well a lot of thing truthfully, but a lot of it was not worthy of a full post or I just did not have the gumption to write a post on a topic. So now I'll just do a group post I like to call Random items.

Office Space
Part of the problem of me not being able to post is the fact that we changed our office room around. It started with my reimbursement check I received from JDOG-17. If you remember back during the trip I talked about shifting some money around. Part of it was a check from the movers for damages to out TV stand and headboard. We go out and buy a computer desk. We spent the better part of three hours that night attempting to put it together. I hate putting together furniture, I always get confused with the manuals and the pictures that are never as helpful as they could be. So from Wednesday till Friday the office was a mess, the desk is in a new corner and everything had to be moved around to make things fit. I also installed new shelves, we got an idea from a magazine to use old hard back books as the selves to give it a more artsy look. They look pretty good, I've mostly use the selves for my Pez collection and other small collectibles.

Oh so Close
I was told a couple of weeks ago that I would be changing schedules which means I'll be moving off of the 2AM Saturday/Sunday deal. To make it even better I'm moving Monday thru Friday, the only not so good news is I'll be night side (3-midnight). I'm still happy, because I get weekends off, the only catch for this schedule is the fact I have to train a girl who has never edited news how to edit news. Truthfully, editing news is not that hard, but the tricky part is being fast and efficient. In an eight hour shift she will have to cut and or attach video for 5 half hours of news. You have to know what you are doing to get it done. She's doing ok, but has not gotten the speed down yet. So I need to spend another week watching and helping her find little tricks to get things done. I really want off this early mornings thing, I need her to pan out

Why Won't Saturday End?
Saturdays are currently my worst day. I don't sleep Friday nights so I generally go almost 24 hours with out sleep. I end my training shift a little disappointed with the fact I will spend one more week editing. I call my chief and give him an update. Find out that I needed to take a live truck to the shop. Well, the engineer who was suppose to help me was off. So I get to turn around and the chief will meet me there to take the truck in. There is an electrical problem and the windows will not roll up... and it rained all night Friday. The seat is soaked so my ass is now wet. On the way home The Wife tells me that the computer is not working (more on that below) right. Come to find out that it is dead. We then spend the next 5 hours looking for a new computer. I finally get to bed at 6pm. That's 33 hours without sleep. I hit the pillow and the next thing I know it's 1am and I need to get to work. I'm the kind of person that needs sleep. i know some people can go long lengths of time without sleep, but if I do it I can not function well. I'm still feeling the effects of not sleeping.

When Ctrl, Alt, Delete Won't Work
I mentioned above that out computer decided to die. It was expected. The computer is at least 6-8 years old. I got it from my friend Shorty after my first computer blew out a mother board. It was starting to act slow and I knew something was up. I call The Wife on the way home from work and she mentions that the computer needs a boot disk. Well since I did not buy the computer and I did an upgrade from Windows Millinuim to XP I did not have the proper boot disk. We try a couple of other disk, like a systems recovery disk and even the XP installation disk. We finally give up and decided to go out and by a new one. I would have normally waited, but since The Wife freelances, we need to keep track of the miles she drives and how much she gets paid, and with the computer we can keep a better track of everything.
What I learned from out trip is you just can't go out and just buy a computer anymore. We had to go through financing, programs, and then they will properly install everything (for a small fee of course). The process took about 5 hours and two Best Buys. I'm happy with our Hewett Packard computer and hopefully this one will not die a horrible death like the others. I have also learned that I need to buy portable hard drive or at least put everything on a CD as a back up.

Hopefully I will get back into form and start posting with more regularity.