Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In a Funk


As you can tell from the lack of posting, I've been in a creative funk. I've been feeling tired and a little lazy and finally I figured out why. I was coming down with a head cold and of course it went into my ears. If you do not know genetics is not my friend and I inherited my dad's holes in his inner ear. That means every time I get a sinus infection or just a lot of fluid in my head it has a very good chance of going into my ear. When this happens it has the feeling of being drunk, but with out all the fun alcohol or lack of inhibition, which leaves a dizziness and a small case of queasiness. In all honesty being drunk is way better than having this condition.


So I am now home for the day because, well I can't drive. I needed this but at the same time it totally sucks. I can't go any where nor do anything other than lay around the house. Trust me I will try and enjoy that, but there is only so much of that I can do. Hopefully my ears will drain and I can get back to normal.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Longest Weekend: Part 1

The Father-in-law was honored at this past weekend's Ohio State game so we made a quick weekend drive to Columbus, that sounds like a nice easy weekend... Wrong!

It all started with a text message on Thursday afternoon, The Wife mentions that I could play golf on Friday afternoon, but we would have to leave after I get off work. To make this part of the story short, I could not get into the golf game, but we left that night any ways. When we first moved to North Carolina we would drive to Beckley, West Virginia because that is a nice cheap mid point. That was until I started to get off work at midnights. Instead of getting there around 1 or 2 like we use to, it's now 5AM. I was having problems driving that late, I was swerving all over the road and nodding off every once in a while. Last time I checked that's a bad thing to do while driving through the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia.

Friday we arose around 10AM so we got less than five hours of sleep. I drive till we get breakfast at the greatest breakfast place in West Virginia... Tudor's Biscuit World. If you have not had the wonderful biscuit sandwiches, then you need to drive to the closest store and buy one.

After the deliciousness in our bellies, The Wife drives as I get a quick nap so I can finish the drive. About an hour later I wake up and I see a blurry sign that looks familiar. With the signs for a shopping mall and the hills around it I swore I was in Huntington, WVa. I put my glasses on and ask The Wife where are we. She tells me just past the Huntington Mall. This would not be a bad thing if we were on our way to my parents, but we were going to Columbus and this is very bad. The sound on the GPS was down she missed to turn to head north on I-77, then missed the second option in Hurricane, WVa. I try and clear the fog in my head as The Wife panics because she thinks I am mad, I tell her to keep driving. I did not realize we were right by the interstate so we continue on WV Route 2. We followed Route 2 and the Ohio River for and hour till we hit the only bridge between Huntington and Parkersburg. With the time lost that negated the entire reason for leaving Thursday night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

History Merely Repeats Its Self

When did we flashback to 1973? If you do not know what I mean, then you have not been affected by the gas increase yet. Because of hurricane Ike hitting the Texas Gulf coast gas prices spike up to $4.79 we even heard that in Fayetteville it was over $5. Of course that lead to a rush to buy gas that was under four dollars. The Costco across the street from my station had lines 20 deep. We even hear reports that fights almost broke out.

I didn't think much about it till I was on my way home. My gas light came on and I had about 30 miles left. I start my way to Wake Forest while looking an open gas station. Every time I turned into a station the pumps were closed... out of gas. It wasn't just one or two, I tried 10 stations. I ended up driving 15 miles before I found a pump with gas.


I understand that some of the refineries are in the path of the hurricane and may slow down production, but it only accounts for 1/4 of our gas production. How can that increase the price at the pump that much, I mean a dollar increase or more? Even when Katrina hit gas did not spike this much and that was a devastating storm.


We need to do something about this. I don't care if it's hydrogen or freaking grease from deep fat fryer. I'm tired of the government allowing us to have this issue. Stop the gouging and find a new way to get us away from fossil fuels. I truthfully do not see an end to this problem, the gas and car companies are in bed together and are having a three way with Capital Hill. Didn't we learn anything from the 1973 gas lines? I guess not, in 15 years I will probably writing about this again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Awesome Shout Out

video

While I was out on the coast last Friday Raleigh was having a concert that featured the band Arrested Development. If you do not remember who they are this video will help you. For me they epitomize the 90s. They wore a lot of bright colored cloths had a funny beat, what more could you want.

As with most bands from my youth Arrested Development faded out of consciousness. Every once in a while you would hear Tennessee and it has to put a smile on your face. With my families trip to the Smoky's I kept bouncing around the newsroom singing Tennessee, then launch into Mr Wendal.

So with the knowledge of my constant reference to random Arrested Development lyrics, The Serge happened to find the lead singer Speech and asked him to give me a little "shout out." That was awesome, so now I got at least one good thing from covering that stupid storm.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Post Hanna Wrap Up

I have survived my first hurricane/tropical storm and I will say I don't ever want to do another one. We ended up working 15 hours and my body was sore. When the winds started getting about 45MPH you have problems standing up straight, you have to use a lot of energy just to stay standing. Add in there the running around, shooting and general crap I had to do, I was drained.

The strangest moments of the night involved the hotel door we were using, because of the barometric presser and something about the inside temperature of the hotel the door was nearly impossible to open. I actually got my arm caught in the door, and it'd going to leave a big bruise. We finally were told do not use that door and we had to walk around the building. Walking around the building caused the one problem, down power lines. the other photographer out here actually got hit by the down line. Lucky for him, the line was not live. We finally wised up and walked the other way. The problem going around the other side of the hotel was the wind. It was worse and we were stopped in our tracks at least three times.

When we wrapped up at 4AM I need a shower, the blowing wind forced sand to embed in my face, I felt like Zao. I took a shower and the sand fell off of me, yet I still felt dirty. It took a second shower in the morning to start feeling clean. Then the other "fun" moment was everyone calling me. I don't mind a 8AM phone call unless I've been asleep less than 4 hours. The calls kept coming so I finally got up at noon.

I staggered over to the window and to my amazement, it was sunny and tons of people were on the beach, it was like nothing happened. The only way I could tell there was a big storm the previous night were the giant waves the surfers were riding. Of course, I had to do a story on how nice it was and finally we got to leave. I am so glad I am home, and not to make my sister Amy mad, I hope Ike goes south of here, no more hurricanes for me.

WHAT I LEARNED
Drunks love storms and news crews getting pounded by weather.
Wal-Mart rain suits are better than Eddie Bauer rain suits from Target.
People do not understand the concept of cameras need light.
Hotel lobbies make great make shift newsrooms.
Sand can hurt

BY THE NUMBERS
2 hats that are still wet
2 times I had steak
3 shirts I used that day
3 meals in the hotel
4 days at the coast
1 day of actual storm
5 packages shot
15 straight hours of work on storm day
10.5 hours of overtime
20 times I was asked why the station can't see the ocean. (If you want to see the reporter then you can't see the ocean, it's night time... too dark)
134 dollars a night for the room
100 times I wished I picked a different career
700 times I cursed the storm

BEST LINE OF THE NIGHT
Anchor: Is there any power outages? We can't see any lights behind you.

That's because we are standing in front of the ocean, unless Atlantis rises from behind us there won't be any lights.

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Wave

OK, it's starting to pick up and the wind is strong and we are getting a lot of rain. I am already on my second shirt and hat, my shoes are soaked, but holding up... I also love my Gortex socks. We have to do updates all night long so I'm going to be trying out for the new California Raisins after this is over.

So It Begins

OK, if you haven't figured it out yet, I left my adapter for the camera at home so there will be no pictures except when I use my phone. We have finished up the 6 and 7 shows and ate for the last time tonight. I am almost half way through my 12-16 hour day and I am getting tired. Not a good sign, but I might sneak out and get an energy drink later. The biggest thing right now is we only have wind and a little rain. The station wants us to somehow turn a package for 11, but the problem is no one is on the streets, we can't find them and it's dark. You need light for a camera to work, so I'm 90% screwed already. I'm changing into my lovely rain pants and I am heading out into the wind to do... well another crappy story. Hopefully I can do another update later in the night.

What the?

We go out to a shelter that allows animals, it was raining and starting too look bad. We get some good video and interviews and we leave the shelter to see a disturbing sight... sunshine. It had stopped raining and was now bright. Hanna needs to make up its mind, I'm tired of this; is it going to hit Wilmington, or South Carolina crap. Just get here so I can finish my job and go home.

Getting Wierd

I've had a lot of lap top issues and just got it fixed, and since my last post it's getting a little weird. The wind started picking up and the ocean is a little choppy. Then we did the 11pm live shot, lots more wind and bigger waves. I woke up this morning and the ocean is nothing but one giant white surf, the beach is almost under the water. I don't think Hanna will amount to much, but it's still strange to be sitting here waiting for a storm to come and cause damage. Why do we do this? I know people want to know what is going on, but this storm is not suppose to do much to the triangle. This isn't even in our coverage area, how do we do this story and have it matter everyone back home? The only thing I can see is that the station is spending a lot of money for something that they don't have to.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's So Aweful!!!

The coast is just awful, I mean the sunshine, the warm weather, the hurricane is still over a day away. My job is so hard right now. All kidding aside, why did we come this early? We already did every story you can do before a hurricane so what do we do for the next day and a half? Well, I'm getting pancakes. Then I might go and sit on the beach till we have to start our night shift. So tough, I don't think I can handle all this.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rock You Like A...

You see the graph to the left, that is hurricane Hannah, and if you can't tell... it's going to hit the Carolina coast. Guess who is going to cover the damn thing... this guy. I am not happy. I was not suppose to MAYBE leave until Thursday, but as usual that plan was thrown out the window and I am now hustling to get a suitcase packed. I'm going to try and do updates while I'm there, barring well, power outages that will not allow me to post.