Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Randomly Hot

It's been a while since I last posted. I have had a few ideas, but time and will have been against me. So to get the juices flowing I'll just do another lovely random thoughts:

Drop It Like It's Hot
I've complained once about the heat and that was premature, because we have hit triple digits. We are on our second straight 100+ day and we have one more to go, after that it's not much of a drop off, well will still be in the high 90s till next week. The thing that makes it worse is the humidity, it's making it feel like it's over 114. Right now at 9:19pm it's 88 degrees and it feels like 93. The only bright side of hurting my thumb is that I don't have to be outside much. I did have to go out and help run a live shot from the parking lot and it was unbearable. I was sweating the second I stepped outside. I'm trying to get back on an exercise routine and I thought, it ought to be cooler. As I mentioned a few lines up it is still warm. I got over two miles in, but I was drenched by the time I hit the first mile. My 16.9 ounces of water was not enough, I conserve so I have have some for the return trip. I get near the end and I think "Hey I'm going to try and job the last 1/3 of a mile." I get only two blocks and I had to stop. I know I'm out of shape, but the heat makes it worse. I at least get to the end of the street and then I have to walk the rest... up hill. I started to get dizzy as I reach the house. I knew it was going to get hot, but this is ridiculous.

Caged Photographer
Even though the thumb injury has me indoors, which is a plus. The negative is... that I am trapped indoors. I can't stand another three weeks of this, I have to move around and sitting in a poorly lit small room with nothing more than a computer is death for me. As the week moves on the more I get restless, Monday I can handle the day; by Wednesday at lunch I want to take a hammer to the monitor and by Friday, An hour into the shift I'm wanting to pound my thumb so that I can feel pain instead of the numbing tediousness and repetitiveness of news editing.

Also every week I have worked a different shift. Two weeks ago it was 9-6 then 11-8 the following week, 3-11:30 after that and this week is 9-6 again. In two weeks I get the joy of editing overnights midnight-8. I know that do not know what to do with me, but come on, make it a little more consistent than this. It's making my struggle even worse, I can't wait for my thumb to heal and I can get back on the road... even though it is a billion degrees outside.

Hitting a Bird
I know I just ranted about being stuck inside, this week has been a little different. I have started training on our satellite truck. For those not in TV there are two ways we can go live from a location: 1. is via a microwave truck, that's the one with the giant pole, it is only for local shoots within a general range of 20 miles or so. They are fairly easy to use and the station controls everything 2. is via satellite truck, a large dish on top of a large truck. You can go just anywhere with one of these, but it is very hard and expensive to use. Also you have to pay for time on bird (an insider name for a satellite) which can get expensive. There is a lot of training and things to remember with a satellite truck, luckily for me The Network did a lot of sat shots and I watched some of the best truck operators do their magic. I've got the basics down, well from the parking lot, but once I exit our gates I have to know how to take this dish and point it to a specific spot in the sky and the bird. It's like taking a marble and rolling it across a ballroom into a Dixie cup. I think I can do it away from the station, but we will see tomorrow. The biggest problem will be the math of figuring out the angles and other monitors in the truck.

I've been asked by some at the station why I am doing this training, it's going to cause me to work a lot more (I will be one of three people who can run the truck). Also I am not getting any extra pay and from what I've heard the company does not consider sat truck operators as anything more than glorified photographers. I'm doing this for job security, the area has a lot of locations where you can not use a microwave truck, so we are always going to need sat truck ops. Another reason is if they ever try and get rid of me or all the photographers, I will have something else to fall back on. There are numerous companies that do nothing but drive a satellite truck to a location and charge people lots of money to use their truck, I remember one year The Network used one of these trucks every weekend during football season. During Virginia Tech a third of the trucks were rentals.

PC Load Letter?
I've mentioned we bought a new computer and for the most part it has been great... except for one thing. The only DVD drive has never worked right. We called Hewlett Packard support and it started working... for three days. We picked up an external DVD burner drive as a back up and well, to have a second drive. We bought it at Best Buy and have a year warranty, but their stupid Geek Squad is constantly busy and everything takes over a week. The Wife finally beat me down and we took it Monday to be serviced. Of course they don't believe me that the drive isn't working. They try to play a couple CDs and DVDs and it doesn't work, what a shock. Luckily they are going to replace it for free and we are without a computer. Luckily I'm WORKing around this COMPUTER issue, I just hate not having all my music, pictures and games.


levy said...

You should have just gotten a Mac. You wouldn't have these silly problems.

J Dog said...

Yes a faulty drive only happens on PC and your iPod. Sorry Levy had to do it... at least it wasn't a joke about your mom.