Friday, November 30, 2007

Weight Loss Challenge

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

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Season

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

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why Do I watch This Crap

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007


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

J-Dog (how nice)
Our Church

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

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Time Flies

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ohio State vs Michigan

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Random Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Goo Goo Goo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 05, 2007

Weight Loss Challange

I made two New Years resolutions:

Read 10 Books

Loss 50 pounds

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

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

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Finally! My Halloween Update/ None Live Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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