Thursday, December 25, 2008

True Meaning of Christmas

It's been two years since I had the idea of writing out what I thought the true meaning of Christmas was. So to remember one of my favorite posts, I give you... the True Meaning of Chirstmas.

Baby Jesus was born with his golden diaper. He was sent here by his father on planet Krypton to save the world. The virgin Mary gave birth to baby Jesus in a manger and baby Jesus was surrounded by the animals and nearby Shepard. But then out of no where came the sinister Santa Claus mortal enemy of baby Jesus, you see Santa wanted the golden diaper so that he could rule the world. So Santa came down with his reindeer of death!

"HO HO HO! Someone has been naughty!"

With fast as lightning skills Santa strikes but the local Sheppard try to stop him. Santa seeing this adjust and throws his highly accurate Ninja stars made of coal and cuts down the Shepard.

Mary shrikes and fears for baby Jesus' life. "Don't you harm him!""Shut up woman!" As Santa shoves her aside. But what Santa did not know was that Baby Jesus was trained by Chuck Norris! Baby Jesus jumps up and scissor kicks Santa in the face!

"Take that fat man." Baby Jesus declares!

"I see you have learned from Chuck Norris, I alone can not take you, but what about my reindeer of death! On Danser, On Dancer, On Prancer, On Vixen, On Comet, On Cupid, On Donner, Oh Blitzen, On Laser, On Taser."

The Reindeer burst in and take action. Danser lands a vicious round house kick, and Baby Jesus staggers. Looks at the blood trickling down from the corner of his cheek, whips it off and exclaims. "Is that all you got."

Baby Jesus unleashes a series of blinding fast moves and starts taking out the reindeer. Comet gets a knee to the groin, Vixen takes a head butt. Laser charges in with a series of moves and Baby Jesus stops him with a single punch and then rips into his chest and pulls out his heart. Taser sees this and wants to avenge his brother death, but Baby Jesus hits him with a Fatality Move from Mortal Kombat.

The other reindeer sees the carnage and Donner yells "FORM Rudolph GO REINDEER FORCE!"

The other reindeer join together to create the greatest reindeer of them all Rudolph the Death Nosed Reindeer. Baby Jesus backs up and Rudolph starts ripping laser beams all around him. A few hit baby Jesus and he is stunned and looks like he might be finished.

"Ha Ha Ha your golden diaper is mine!" Santa evil laughs as baby Jesus hits the floor.

But then came the three wise men, Chuck Norris, Jack Bauer and Charles Bronson. The three wise men go into action, Chuck Norris round house kicks Rudolph, while Charles Bronson shots him with his .45 and Jack Bauer yells at Rudolph "DO AS I SAY!" And stabs Rudolph in the leg with his PDA of death.

Baby Jesus stands up and charges Santa and punches him in the face!

"You win baby Jesus you win! I will do what ever you say."

"Fine, you no longer will do evil and you shall live in the North Pole and once a year bring toys to good little boys and girls so that they will know of your shame. Also your reindeer may never take the form of Rudolph again."

"But what if it is foggy and I can not see my way to deliver the toys?" Wonders Santa.

"Fine if it is foggy then you can use the power of Rudolph." states baby Jesus.

"Yes master I will never forget this night and thank you for sparing my life."

There you have it the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ohio Round Trip

We are getting ready to hit the road for the lovely three city run in Ohio; Ironton, Columbus and Troy. With the whole lay off thing this trip has been a burden and a blessing all in one. The good thing was I didn't have to work Christmas Eve or Day so we decided to leave earlier. This will be the first time since I left ONN that I will have Christmas off, I don't have to go to a movie theater and ask people why a movie on Christmas or any other stupid news angle to fill time. I feel so excited, I'm like a normal person again!

We will have some internet black holes when we are in Columbus (I think that's hilarious, when we are in the biggest city on our trip we will be without internet), but I will try and do a trip blog. I may even try and figure out how to mobile blog and do that on the road.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Time Is It?

The clock on the computer currently reads 6:31AM and for most that know me, this is way to early for me to be up. The truth is, I've been up since 4:30AM. The scary part is, I'm not tired and I did get 5 hours sleep. With the "job change" my internal clock has been on the fritz, I've been going to bed early and waking up before 8:00. I don't know if I like this or not, I wish I could find some kind of middle ground that does not involve going to bed by 11 or getting up before 8.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nine Years in The Making

Almost 4 years ago to the day I pulled all my press passes off my living room wall and started organizing them in a picture frame. I love looking at it, it was a reminder to me of what I had done in those first 5 years. Today I sat down and put together a new press pass picture frame. I left the center unfinished, at first I tried to get them so there wasn't any empty space, then I thought of something, I'll leave gaps in the middle, to remind me I did not leave the news world on my terms. I would have at least wanted to have been in the business for 10 years, a decade, but I came up short by a year, 9 years of a career. I did a lot and I just want to list some of the things I was able to do. If it was not for my position as a photographer, I'd probably never get to do most of these things (In complete random order).

  • 2003-2005 Ohio football championship games

  • 2004-2006 Boys and Girls state championships- I love football more, but every year these games were played on my birthday. What a way to spend that day, working a 13 hour day in the Schottenstein Center with a bunch of other media people.

  • 2003 MAC Basketball Tournament- I was in West Virginia and the number two guy became ill and I had to do this tournament by myself. I learned how to manage my time.

  • Jessica Lynch Homecoming Parade- Saw my video on the Daily Show

  • 2002 MAC Football Championship- Toledo beat Marshall in Toledo.

  • Marshall at Troy- The first time I ever had to deal with 90 degree weather in October.

  • 7 Presidential visits- I only have four badges, I gave a few away. A great privilege, to see the President, but a pain in the ass to deal with. The Secret Service just had to have all media at these events 4 hours early.

  • Went to an event with Governor Bush.

  • Bowling Green at Ohio State- Took Shorty along and BG lost by 7. I took a lot of great pictures at this game.

  • 2005 Fiesta Bowl- My favorite Ohio News Network moments, too bad I had a sinus infection or this would have been the greatest moment. Funny side story, the bomb squad dog thought my camera was explosives; security loved that.

  • 3 Obama events- I even got to ride around with the traveling media, that's where I learned a lot of those guys at pretentious bastards. No offense, but to tell me to sit in the back of the bus was uncalled for. Still, I was 50 feet from our President-elect.

  • 2005 & 2006 Ohio Wrestling championships- This will sound strange but The Wife loved covering the wrestling championships with me. She would log everything and we spent the whole day together. It would kill my back, but quality time on the clock with The Wife is always great.

  • 2003-2005 Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds- It felt like every time I went to either park something strange or ridiculous would happen. Example 1: At the Indians I was dizzy and needed sugar and my battery in my wireless went out. I scurried over to the wireless and my sports director asked what I was doing. I said; "I'm out of juice." Some sports writer thought I said something about Jews. I almost got banned from Jacobs Field because I slipped back into my southern Ohio accent. Example 2, Chud and I were hungry and did not want to pay for the food the Red had for the media (I think it was chicken or maybe fish... couldn't tell) We ask the media info guy who was maybe a few months shy of 100; "You go up the stairs... rumnamnana then you humramanana. We turn and and say thank you and any time someone needed directions we would state; "Go up the stairs rumamahadana."

  • 2004-2006 Indianapolis 500- I loved going to the 500, well going the weeks before the actual race. It's impressive how large that track is and how fast these cars move. Favorite moment, asking Helio Castroneves for an interview, he gives us the sign for 1 minute, turns, and goes into the bathroom. He comes back out and give a great interview. I always wondered if he washed his hands. Favorite phrase: There's a window over Terra Haute. I said it once and almost got DJL to spit out his salad.

  • 2003 Motor City Bowl- GO BG!

  • 2006 & 2007 NCAA Basketball tournament- I covered UNC as they choked in the elite 8 and then the Final Four. The first year I had to cover the first two rounds by myself and mind you I had never shot a game or interview about UNC that year, big learning curve about the team for me. Favorite moment; yelling at Dan Dakich.

  • 2003 Memorial Golf Tournament- Most memorable thing was on the final day, I sat at 1 till the leaders past, ran to hole 2. Mind you I was carrying a 40 pound two piece camera, a 20 pound tripod, 20 pound back pack with water and tapes. I get the leaders and sit and bake in the sun on number 8. Then run up hill to number 9. I had an intern and she started caring the back pack and I was out of water. I run over to 11 and finally head back to 18. By the walk up hill on 18, the intern too the tripod as well. The sports director Moose thought I was going to die. I found out later he had the interns watch me and had them keep giving me Gatorade and water. I finished off 5 20 ounce Gatorade and 6 bottle of 24 ounces.

  • Virginia Tech Shootings- The only time I started to break down on a story.

  • 2005 MLB Home Run Derby- I saw Big Papi crank balls out of the park and into the river. The balls were literally flying in front of my face and I was in the upper upper left field.

  • 2006 Cleveland Cavalier playoffs- LeBron looked like he was older than me (he's 7 years younger) and I almost had flames burn my eyebrows off.

I also covered events like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a sniper running around West Virginia and then another on in Columbus. A hurricane off the Carolina coast and much much more. I had 9 eventful years and even though I did not go out on the terms I wanted, I still have all the great memories and they can never take those from me.

Really? An Empty Snack Bag?

I got an email from Shawn about how my former chief Barnard had found some items in my truck and Shawn had them. I kept wondering what was in the box and some of the items were things I wanted. Like a card from The Wife tell me how much she loved me and my Netflix DVDs I was going to return on the day of dread.

Then there were some items that made me wonder and all three are pictured to the left. First, a nearly empty bag of potato chips. Why would you put those in there and also he put them on the bottom so what little chips that were in there are now dust. Second, a hair brush... I know some male reporters have hair brushes, but I have short hair and don't even use a comb. Some reporter left it, so if you are missing a brush leave a comment or call me and I can return it. Finally a map of Wake, Durham and Orange counties... that the station gave me... two years ago... that are missing almost all of I-540 and the 64 bypass.

I have mixed feelings about this box, mainly because said chief never called to ask me if I wanted any of this. I know he hates confrontations, but come on man, I worked with you for two years at least call me and tell me you gave the box to Shawn. I feel like management thinks I have leprosy and they can get it if they call me. Reason #95 to get out of news.

Turning the Corner

Today was the best so far, I had an interview with a production house and it looks like I might get some freelance work. With the way the news industry is going, I think this is the best option. WUSA just announced they are going to the VJ/back back/embed/one man band system. In all honesty I thought it would be 2010 before major changes like this would become common, then again the economy sped up the process.

I had to think, do I want to continue on in news and circle the country a la Grapes of Wrath finding news work, or did I have to get out now and hope and pray that I find a company or decent amount of freelance work to make everything work. I'm thinking it's a combination of the two and I hope this works out. I would love the normalcy of the schedule and the ability to take my time on projects.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad Day

As the title suggest, today was not good. We got up and went to church and I had to keep talking about being laid off. I was hoping to just skate through, but somehow everyone knew I had been let go and wanted to talk about it and give me encouragement. The only problem... I didn't want to talk about it, that's all I have done since Tuesday.

I know they just found out, but after the tenth person I was getting numb and more depressed, it didn't help that the message was about hope. Regretfully I'm the kind of person who just wants to hide when I'm depressed, but I can't I've got to continue on and when I do this I run into people I know.

Hopefully this interview on Monday will make things a little better. I need some good news so I can stop talking about the bastards that let me go.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not So Negative Post

I know the last post was... well, a little bitter, but now I have some decent news. I've saved us some money for a few months. Thanks to the craptacular economy a lot of companies have plans for people like me. I just got an economic hardship deferment from my student loan. My car loan people said I was ahead on my payments and I don't have to pay till February and everything else will be put on the back end.

Then there is the biggie.. the mortgage, right now nothing is happening, but Kevin Martini said he is going to look into things and see if I can push some payments around. If I can get two months put onto the back end of this mortgage that will save us a huge amount of money that we can then use to pay COBRA and maybe get a few other bills down.

If you have been laid off or are to be, call your loan people early on, they want there money not your house or car. They will try and help, if you call when you are in serious trouble... ti might be tougher. Be proactive not reactive.

Insurance Hell

Because The Wife is 5 weeks pregnant we REALLY NEED insurance. Since I was laid off I am eligible for COBRA, but it's like $800 a month. Well, my income right now is under $300 a month right now. The Wife makes decent money, but if we do the COBRA then we can't pay the mortgage. I tried to go on line and find insurance that way and MAN is that a mess.

There is a thing called maternity insurance and I thought awesome, we can get cheaper better insurance. Then I read the fine print, it's only if you think you might become pregnant and if you are preggos... then your out of luck.

I kept searching and found people that will insure pregnant women... oh wait... no they won't. I just got off the phone with a guy who tired to convince me to NOT get his insurance. I explained to him that I don't want to pay the $800 dollars a month, I'd rather pay his $400. He didn't care, he kept talking about how much cheaper it will be with my current COBRA plan.

I tried to get the guy to say that they only want my money, but obviously that did not happen. I'm going to try and see if I can get Cobra just for The Wife and I go without. It's not a great plan, but it would save $500. I don't think it will work, but at least I can give it the ol' college try

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've added two more widgets to the blog, the first is a countdown to Baby Baker being born and the second is a list of videos that are on my resume DVD. I'm hoping to get any help from how ever I can get this out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Oh my gosh (that's for you mom), I got a lead! Thanks to Pete Nice I have a meeting about possibly maybe doing some freelance work in the future. I know it's not much, but it's better than what I'm doing right now. I don't think I can get paid for playing Madden '05 and cleaning the house.

My First Reason to Hate Facebook

Yesterday was a bad day, but facebook made it a little tougher. Yes I had a lot of people telling me they would pray and help out, but to see the status got to me a little. Before I go into this, if you are one of these people I am not mad at you, I'm mad at WNCN NBC17 for taking my job away. I kept seeing status updates that involved statements like "it's a sad day," or "rough day." I felt angry, they were the ones who kept their jobs. Come talk to me about a bad day with a pregnant wife and a mortgage with no local options for the field I was in. I'll stop there for now, this is going to be a long holiday.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I've had a bad feeling for a while about this job, but I took it as I was overly paranoid. I even had co workers tell me that. I mean even last night I had a bad feeling and it was mentioned that they would get laid off before me. Well, I walk into WNCN NBC17 also of and the news director walks me to GM's office and I have been laid off.

Of course I am running through the gambit of emotions, especially anger because I was lied to to get me into the building earlier. I called the news director Nannette out about this and she was upset that I called her deceitful for telling me I was needed for a special project. If you are going to fire me don't lie to me, be upfront about it. Telling me you had a special project was wrong. There is a history of this behavior so I shouldn't be too shocked. How can companies do this on the eve of holidays? I understand Media General is leaking money like a sieve (thank you print division) and things had to be done. Yet, did management take a cut, did they fire a few of the unneeded management? No they cut who they thought were expendable, I am that person.

So now I am thinking what the hell do I do. I mean I was about to post about The Wife being pregnant. She's now five weeks along and we have no insurance. We freaking bought a house in July. I am a man in a field that no long is needed. I have fallen the way of the dodo and do not know what to do. Do I up and move again? Do I try and stick it out in Raleigh and hope something works out? I don't know, I've gotten past my first step which was getting out of the fetal position on my kitchen floor. Next step... either grab a bottle of bourbon or go to the church office and work on a new resume tape.