Friday, November 06, 2009

Say Cheese

One of the things that annoy the living daylights out of me is a pile of unorganized pictures. I do not know what it is but this one thing will consume me till I have every picture in the house put into an album and the extras stored in some box far away from sight. The Wife on the other hand does not care and could have a mountain of pictures and it would not bother her. I know this has to be on my top 10 list of least manly thing about me, but hey, I like photos and organizing them so sue me. I'll take the hit to my man card.

While cleaning the house I found 9 packet of pictures sent to us from the Mother-in-Law. For the last three days all I have thought about were those pictures and where can they go. Luck was on my side, The Wife had two "brag books" lay around without photos so I went on a mission to fill them. Considering the combined photo capacity of the folders was 34, I did that real quick. Yet again, I have a bit of luck two 100 count photo albums. I start going through each packet and then I realized something, most of the photos are very similar.

I am not trying to make The Mother-in-Law feel bad here, but she loves taking pictures and will take at least 5 shots every time and then go to the local photo shop and print them all out in triplicate squared. To me this is insane and a waste of money and resources. Maybe it's my years in news where you get what you need and get out. These extra copies are a little much and I understand maybe having doubles but when you have 9 different pictures of Logan sleeping and then five copies of each, I can't handle that many photos. To me I have to put them somewhere and we don't have the space for that many copies. I may just start shipping some to family, but they may not want a picture of "Experience Columbus."

She means well and this is going to be one of those things I will have to deal with. So if anyone wants a few extra pictures of Logan and people you may not know just post a comment and I'll ship them out. I must get all these photographs put away... can't sleep till it is done!

Be Kind Rewind

I understand that I am getting older and I know this because I can now say back in my day and have a group of kids have their eyes glazes over and wish I would stop talking. I bring this up because I saw a job posting asking for a demo reel on VHS tape. I know this is not like asking for a reel on laser disc or film, but still... VHS? When I started in news nearly a decade ago the main way to show an employer you could use a camera was via VHS. I remember going to Wal-Mart and buying a 10 pack and dubbing my master reel over. I did this for every job I have ever received. Even here in Raleigh three years ago. DVDs were becoming easier to burn. I would have done DVDs, but The Network only had one DVD burner and it was just easier to make a VHS copy.

In that time though, you can put your reel on the web and the cost of DVDs and burners are cheaper. I seriously would have to go out and buy a converter so I can export my video to VHS. The job was in a small market and I know small markets do not advance as fast as other areas, but I just wonder what that station has to be like for the post to make a point in saying VHS. Technology is moving fast and equipment is getting cheaper. Hell, I create a webcast from my house. ON TV news, how far we have come, yet how little has changes.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nothing In This World Is Truely New

Yesterday I was sucked into another TV marathon, this time it was the 1980s mini-series V. The Sci Fi Network (sorry I refuse to use their new spelling) ran all the episodes back to back and then today they are showing the TV series. Why are they bringing back a mini series from 1983, we besides the fact that it's the Sci Fi Network. ABC is airing a remake of this classic series.

For those who do not remember the series, where is a quick recap. Aliens came to Earth offering peace and just wanted to hang and help out. In teh beginning everything is fine until it is found out that they are reptiles and they want to turn Earth into a giant Krogers. Yet, they have great PR and most people do not realize that the aliens are shipping humans out to eat. Finally a reistance is formed and finally end the reign of the aliens.

As a kid I remember this series with fondness and all my friends and I would play V. I even remember going to an Ironton version of Home Depot and acting like the showers were containment cubes used by the aliens. I was usually followed by my dad asking me what I was doing and to stop it. As I watched the original I was shocked that it actually held up fairly well for being 26 years old. There were moments like the alien babies that was a bad muppet or the bad special effects at the end where the half alien half human girl saves everyone and she starts to "glow and sparkle," but over all the show kept moving forward and did not have too many of those bad 80s 15 minute lulls where the plot never progressed. It was an enjoyable flashback to my youth. Also realizing the Beastmaster was the lead in the series made the watching more enjoyable.

Yet I kept thinking about the new version, maybe it was because there was a promo every break for it, I don't know I just kept wondering why must we remake everything. I've written about this in the past about the entertainment industries sudden lack of creativity. In the past year they have remade Transformers, GI Joe, Land of the Lost and others that I can not remember at this time. Where have all the original ideas gone? Has Hollywood really become so gun shy that if anything that does not involve toy sales or an older idea that was one popular it gets shot down?

As much I am wanting to see what they are going to "change" from the original I am not going to watch the new V. Just going to I can tell that the new version will only be V in name only. We have to stop watching this retread crap and clammer for something new. Who am I kidding, Candyland the movie will be number one. If they are going to continue this trend why can't they remake something cool like Airwolf or BJ and the Bear, now there's a concept I can't get enough of: a man and his monkey.

Just found out they are also remaking the Karate Kid with Will Smith's kid. Come on! Leave the classics alone, if you want to remake something do something that sucked and make it better. Hey Will Smith what about Made in America your kid can do that one over.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Work: Giving Up The Dream

It's been almost 11 months since NBC17 decided that they did not need my services any longer and I thought I'd try and give an update as to what is happening. For those not in the know I am still looking for work and taking as much money from Uncle Sam as I can. I've been trying the freelance thing and I have a couple clients but for the most part unemployment has been our biggest provider.

I've been living with the hope of two things, not to work in news and trying to stay in the Raleigh area. As time creeps on those options are starting to look like they are not going to happen. I think the market is too saturated with freelancers and I don't have a lot of connections so I'm playing with about a quarter of the deck. So I've started searching for news jobs and I've applied to 7 news/sports jobs in the country and all of them are out of the state. We hate this idea, but we have to start thinking about the extended future and how are we going to pay for everything. We are scrapping by and we can't continue this game of who gets the money this month. As much as I dread the news world I have to come to the realization that I am good at it. It takes a lot out of me and I'll have to work weekend nights probably, but at least it's work and I know how to do it.

The one small hope we have for staying here is that I have been a part of a group that won the bid to shoot a 20 DVD workout set. The original plan is to shoot and do prep for six weeks and I make a lot of money in that time. The amount is not enough to get us ahead, but we can get a lot closer to normal. Mortgage could be caught up and we could have a couple credit cards paid off. I'd lose unemployment for a couple of weeks, but it would be worth it. On top of that a clothing chain has an opening as a studio photographer. So I'd be taking photos of kids and families, the pay is VERY SMALL and it's only seasonal, but if I can get those two jobs and make it work with a few small freelance jobs I do already, we could turn a corner and start to see daylight and live in the area a little longer. Also if I did have to move it would make that transition a lot easier.

Who knows what's going to happen, I've just have to keep plugging along and hope something breaks soon. Maybe I can still get that baseball job or that local company that has an editor position open will call me back. This next month will be very tough and yet be helpful.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going A Little Too Far

This week started the North Carolina State Fair and The Wife and I are excited to go. We wanted to go this past Thursday, but rain and cold prevented us from going. One of the things about the fair I get a kick out of is what crappy food concoction will they create next. Most are things I have no desire to eat (deep fried Coke), but every once in a while they will hit a home (deep fried Twinkies). While on facebook, local company Burt's Bees mentioned the new craze at the state fair... chocolate cover bacon.

That made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Yes I love bacon and I also enjoy chocolate, but who thought up this travesty. It's can't be as simple as the Reese's commercials of yore. "You got peanut butter in my chocolate." This had to be some bored Carnie sitting there eating the rejected pig that did not get sold and looked at the chocolate and went, "What the hell." and poured chocolate over the bacon.

I do not see how those two tastes can EVER go together, and I'm the guy that likes mustard on his french fries, I actually enjoyed the deep fried twinkie and yet this I want no part of. I don't even think Homer Simpson would touch that, who am I kidding it was probably on an episode and I just can't remember.

As I kept reading stories online about this new phenomenon I wonder what did they try and thought was not suitable. If chocolate cover bacon made it past, I'm guessing the list was pretty short. Carnies need to get a grip on reality here. I know it's the fair and everything has to be deep fried, covered in something or on a stick but please stop mixing things like bacon and chocolate.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Free Stuff

I was over at the kingdom of King Tom and he had an interesting post. Someone wanted him to review their product. In other words, he was about to get free stuff! I want free stuff! King Tom had written about a turkey cannon and you know what, I'll freaking review it. It's almost Thanksgiving and we might be buying a turkey.

I know the King is wildly more success than this blog, but still come one Aquafina, I've had people coming to my site wondering about your stock. Freaking sponsor me, The Wife loves to buy bottled water, why not give it too us. Mmmm Aquafina is delicious. Hey, I'm not above whoring myself out to the highest Internet bidder that wants to send me stuff. I'm looking at you snuggie and you too Old Spice ad that keeps popping up on facebook. Hey Bruce Campbell, I'll hawk Burn Notice for you, it's not like I've written about you or named my child's middle name after one of your characters. Come on people, send me free stuff so that I can support my child. Huggies, I have your new promotions guy right here. Who am I kidding the King will get that sweet sweet Huggies swag.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Things Stuck In My Head

For the last few months I've been trying to make a little money shooting recitals and one local dance studio has hired me to shoot a weekly track out camp recital. It's not that hard and it's not a lot of money, but there is one draw back, the music. I'm not talking your standard pop music I'm talking music designed for preteen girls. Here is the list of shows I have done, Hannah Montana, Spectacular, High School Musical, Princess Protection Program and The Cheetah Girls.

In a singular form I can handle 20 minutes of this music, but the problem is I've done multiple of each. If you click on the links above you can hear the music that is involved. It's very poppy and over the top and once it bores itself into your skull it won't leave, it's the ash borer of music. The biggest offender is The Cheetah Girls, it feels like every other time I shoot I walk into a studio with cheetah print all over the place. Cheetah Girls is Disney at it's evilest, it's basically diva training fro preteens. I think every eighth word has to be cheetah and there is always a whoo involved. I will finish my shoot and I will have one of their songs in my head for the next three hours. No matter how hard I try and force it out with better music or even sports radio, nothing works. The musical flu has to run its course and I hope there is not an out break sometime during the week.

I like the studio, but I don't know how many more Cheetah Girls shows I can handle. I never thought I'd want to hear more High School Musical. With a 2 month old, I know the music in my life is about to get worse and won't get better for a few years.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Job Search

For those not in the know, I've been out of work since December and to be honest I never thought that as we turn the calendar over to October that I would still be without a full time job. At worst I thought maybe I'd be in some kind of freelance rotation for companies, but that has not happened either.

I've applied to so many jobs that I ran out of DVDs and I've sent out over 60 emails with links to my demo reels on youtube. Out of that 60 I've had less than 90 hits per link and I know I'm about 1/3 of those because I click on it to add the link to emails. Part of me wonders if my cover letter is unimpressive or is it with this economy that I am "too experienced" and get over looked. In February I cold called a bunch of production companies and every single one would look at my resume and give that look of "holy crap, this guy has done a lot" and give me the ol' we are cutting back. So what and I to do in this situation?

I've got two new opportunities out there and one is with a local sports team and the other is at a large company that is know to be great to their employees. Also for the first time I have someone one the inside helping me out. To be honest, I just want a call back and maybe an interview. That way if I don't get the job at least I might have the chance to find out what I am doing wrong. My fear is that I will get the answer of I'm not doing anything wrong. That means I am done with video work, and have to find a new career.

I've seen the trend of hiring young to save money, but I wonder when that trend will level out. At some point in time quality has to be an issue. With this whole Internet low tech and the easier access to video everyone can do some kind of work. It seems that to most that just enough and that they can get by with that. Everything looks the same and has the feel of being homemade. When will the polished look come back? Will it ever? Maybe my thoughts of grandeur are false and I need to come to the realization that video is a dead art form and I need to find a new career.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~Leo J. Burke

I've not posted over the last couple of month because of a couple of reasons; I've been in a "down" mood because of the lack of a job and has caused problems all over the board and most of the time I would want to write it was very negative and dark that I would probably get phone calls from family and friends wanting me to put down the knife (I was just making a peanut butter sandwich... seriously). Then the other reason, my mind has been turned into a kind of puree or slurry which does not allow any form of thought to flow easily. What is this thing that has my brain in constant zombie mode? Lack of sleep.

For months before Logan was born I was told that I needed to get all the sleep in that I could. To those people, I hate you, you gave me the wrong advice. I needed to do the opposite and ween myself off of sleep. I'm the kind of person that needs 8 hours straight or I just don't function properly, and since the arrival of Logan, I do not get that 8 hours any more.

Also this kid can sense when I am about to enter REM sleep, 20 minutes after I hit my pillow he starts screaming. We have a system setup for feedings, I do anything prior to 2am and some how I now have the post 5:30am as well. Once the crying starts I get up, start the bottle warmer, change a diaper and then it's bottle time. If I am lucky he will be out in 30 minutes. Then there are the nights that he's up for an hour, then 5 minutes after I lay him down he's back up. One night I tried to stay up until he was hungry and that turned disastrous. I was up till almost 1am and he started crying at 1:50am. I get him a sleep and the next thing I know The Wife is waking me up and it's after 5 and I have to feed him, I finally end up falling asleep on the couch while he is asleep in the swing.

Maybe it's a good thing that I am currently unemployed, I'd be a wreck at any kind of job and I still can't figure out how I get some of my "freelance" stuff done. Logan is getting closer to sleeping longer hours but I think we are a few months away from getting him to sleep from 10-6.

The Wife and Logan are leaving for a week to see family in Ohio and maybe I can get some sleep and get myself back to a some what normal life. Maybe I will get a call back or even an interview. Yeah right, I start with the sleep and hope that another position somewhere opens up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unexpected Suprise

So much for the baby beard. 90 percent of you know what I'm talking about, but for the people who randomly came to the site Logan came early.

For the last few weeks people have been telling The Wife that she looked like her belly had dropped and she started to complain about her pelvic area. I thought she could go a little early, but on Monday July 13th at 3:30AM I wake up to The Wife leaning over me. Obviously I am a sleep and I have no idea what's going on, I thought see was leaving for work. "My muscus plug came out and my water broke. For weeks The Wife kept thinking up senerios about when her water was going to break. According to our baby classes, only 12 percent of all births begin with the water breaking. We had numerous friend with water breaks so law of averages were against this line of thinking. She needed to plan to have contractions and then maybe after a few hours her water breaking. Stupid classes making me look like a fool!

I get out of bed and we start to get the last items needed for the trip to the hospital. I'm calm when talking to The Wife, but inside I am freaking out that our son is coming a month early. We get on the road and we are making great time. So great of time The Wife lets me stop for a donut and a coffee. Mmmm donuts.

We get to the hospital at 4:30 and go up to the waiting area. The next hour and a half go by like a blur. The Wife is now on a gurney with an IV and a gown on. Around 5:00 we are told that it could be a while till we are scheduled, then at 6:00 we have a 7:15 time. Time started to slow down and we couldn't do anything, she's on a gurney and I'm internally freaking out. We talk and try to pass the time, but when you finally have the finish line in front of you, it feels so far away.

As we are given information, they mention the cathater will be put in a little bit. The Wife looks at me and ask, "where are they going to put that?" I explain that it's so she doesn't have to worry about going to the bathroom. Her eyes get the size of saucers and asks if this is done after the spinal tap. As a good husband I laughed for a good five minutes. She is always laughing at me when I get hurt and for some reason, seeing her worry of the cathater and not the giant hole about to be cut into her made me laugh. That was my pay back moment.

We are next informed that they are takin her to the OR and I will be put in scrubs. Me being me I lean over and ask if she can call me JD or Turk from the TV show Scrubs. She gives me the wife look of death and then I get the ol' stink eye when I ask if she can call me The Todd. We are seperated for a few minutes as I scrub up. I walk into the OR and all I see is The Wife's head and a giant sheet. It is mentioned that I can look over if I want and as I mentioned in a previous blog I did not want to see that. After about 15 minutes of pushing and moving behind the curtain we hear, "there's the butt" followed by "I think he's sucking his toes?" Followed by a cry and I look over to The Wife and she is balling, I am tearing up as well and we see our son being taken past us to another room.

I'm allowed to follow and to be honest a new born baby is kind of discusting, they are slimey and covered in blood. I of course don't care and crack out the video camera and digital camera and shoot away. After a few minutes they have me put the camera down and I am now holding my son. It's strange yet awesome all rolled into one. I take him in to see The Wife and as I sit down I accidentally glanced past the curtain, all I saw was a giant hole and what appeared to be flesh. I duck down fast and shudder for a second. The Wife is crying even more now and she gets to see him for a few minutes.

Logan and I leave the OR and we go to the nursery for all the tests and everyone loves this kid. Look at that picture with all that blond hair. Watch out newborn girls, Logan is on the prowl. By this time, he has only cried once, when he first came out. He was vocal, but never did that typical cry you hear from babies. The other two newborns in the room are doing that, but Logan is quiet. He passes most of his test with flying colors and after 30 minutes I go back to see The Wife.

For having a giant hole cut into her, she is doing pretty well and it even surprised the nurses. She instantly saw Logan again and went into mother mode in .00000001 seconds. From that point on things have gone smoothly. I know I'm a week behind and I'll try and catch everyone up within the next few days

Monday, July 13, 2009

Complaint Department

I will try and make this as short an not complicated as I can, but I am going to try and not reveal some names so this might be tough to read.

A few days ago I was listening to a podcast of Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) and he interviewed ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd. I use to be a fan of Cowherd, but I thought he got a little too big for his britches and stopped listening. Yet, I thought what the heck, I'm going to listen to this podcast. To my surprise, he seemed to be less jerkish than on his radio show and was even candid. Simmons did a good job an even brought up the fact he helped crash a blog. Cowherd apologized and to be honest I was a little shocked that he appologized and he is now a fan of that site.

Oddly enough I read that site as well and when I saw a response to the interview I got pretty much what I thought. They were bitter and upset and complained about how hard it is to make money as a blog and it seemed they had a thing against Simmons starting out on an AOL server and now being a success. They also felt Cowherd was a little demeaning at times towards blogs I decided to send a email to the site and just mentioned they need to back up a little on Cowherd and that blogs have only been around a few years and ESPN (for some reason the bane to all sports bloggers) started out small.

I actually got a response and come to find out that the creator passed the assignment off to another writer because he was too close. A good move and I read this writers comments to me and he had valid points and I moved on.

While driving to a shoot for a webcast something dawned on me about the writer... he was 19. Wait, he was complaining about making money and he is 19 and in college? At 19 I was working summers at Bob Evans saving all the change in tips so I could do laundry for a few months. I understand the main writers are probably older and my have more expenses, but when you are in college and an intern at this site, should you be writing about how hard it is to make a living as a sports blogger? I'll back track this to the Simmons comments in the article, Simmons is about to turn 40 and should be in a position to be making very good money at ESPN. I'm just stunned that I never picked up on this kids age until a day later. I think you can make money as a blogger in this new age, will it be tough, yeah, but you need luck, a story that breaks big and quality work to keep the momentum of that big break. Maybe that website should not pass off an article like this to a 19 year old intern. Like I said the kid seemed nice and could do something in the future, but for this story, give it to an older writer.

Baby Beard

We are in the last month of the pregnancy and I feel like this is the playoffs and we need something else... baby beard. Friday morning is the last time I will shave until Logan finally comes. I mean hockey players do it for the Stanley Cup and this is kind of as big as the Stanley Cup so I might as well try and get as much luck as I can. The longest I have gone without shaving is about two weeks and it was driving me crazy. Hopefully this will get The Wife a little help in the pain department, if she sees me struggling through the itchy part of full beard then maybe she will think that she can get through this. Who am I kidding, she will yell at me for complaining about an itchy beard while she as a small person inside her. At least this way I can save money on razors and shaving cream.

I'm taking a picture every day that I remember. I already forgot on day two, but you can't tell any difference between day two and three so that really doesn't matter.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Final Baby Class

With Logan being breech we almost didn't go to the last class, but since we threw 80 buck down we might as well go. Fortunately we went because they talked about C-sections. I had one problem with the instructor on this part of the class. We told her that Logan is breech and that a c-section was scheduled and she starts by saying that almost all c-sections are caused by bad health and things that could have been avoided. Well, geez, that's for that up lifting and made us feel all warm and fuzzy because we now thing we caused this. The biggest problem with the instructor is she is very anti drugs, pro breast feeding and pro natural birth. During the epidural lecture she kept telling us about how she never had one and all the women in the class are not in pain, they are just pushing hard. Last time I checked the only people to yell that loud and much were tennis players. I don't mind giving her views, but at times it was a little much. Give us the information and we will decide. I'm having the Stadol, I don't know about The Wife, but I'll need something to take the edge off.

She then went on to mention other reasons for a c-section and we saw our two reasons; breech and placental eruption. The eruption part was from an earlier incident, but that is part of the reason they don't want to try and turn him around. I start feeling a little better, then they showed the video. I was like the scene from Alien where that creature ripped it's way out of that guys stomach. I have seen way too much from this class.

I'm happy the class is over, but I think someone needs to retake it. The Wife keeps asking me questions about contractions and I keep giving the answers. "When do we have to go to the hospital?" I answer, "When the contractions are about 5 minutes apart and you should be about 4 centimeters." Why am I the one that has to know this? I should be asking not her. I finally asked her why she can't remember this. While watching the movies all she kept thinking was let's go up stairs and have this thing now!

I hope for both our sakes he does not come early. I feel we will be one of "those" expecting parents, all crazy and clueless.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Defiance In The Womb

The Wife and I went in for a baby appointment today and we found out that Logan is still breech. What does that mean for us? The Wife now gets to have a C section sometime around August 4th. My first thought was great, we paid for those child birth classes for nothing. The Wife's thought was great, now I can't tell out friends what a natural child birth is like.

They told us there is a 5% chance that he will turn around and with The Wife having gestational Diabetes, a placenta up front and this being our first child, they don't want to mess with trying to move him around. To be honest I'm fine with that, now we will know pretty much when he will be born and can prepare for it. The Mother-in-Law now can book a flight and we can get the house cleaned and ready to go.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Revolution

I've been doing some work for a natural life science website that does a weekly webcast about the pharmacutial industry, I know it sounds hella awesome. Since the owner of the site has moved to Raleigh and the web presenter (I use that loosely) is a friend, we have been featuring different cities in each episode. This week being having Independence Day we thought it would be a great idea to do it at a Revolutionary war site.

Growing up in Ohio, I always thought of the Revolutionary War as happening in land far away, even the Civil War to an extent. As a few locations to shoot was mentioned, it finally dawned on me. The Revolutionary War happened close to where I live. Wake Forest is within an hour and a half of three locations that are registered sites.

We picked the Alston House or as it is known, the House in the Horseshoe. In the grand scheme of things it was not a major battle, it was barely a skirmish, but the house still has holes in it from the battle. Let me help you sink that in, these bullet holes are 227 years old. I'm not talking little paux marks I'm talking holes that go through a wall that then lead to another hole on the other side of the room.

What happened was this Alston guy had a group of patriots and they were attacked by a group of loyalist called the Tories. Alston's group thought they were going to lose and ended up retreating into his house. After a few days Alston surrendered and that was that. Your never going to see a major motion picture made of this incident, but for me it was the greatest thing. I was walking around in a house during the founding of our nation. These guys fought to become what we are today. Did these guys push us over the edge and made us free? No, but at least they tried. If I were alive I probably would have had the same thing happen to me, it's just my luck (or I would have died of dysentery).

So for me this Independence Day weekend, I feel I have learned a little and feel a little closer to our founding fathers. It's not every day that you can stick your finger into a hole made from enemy fire that's over 200 years old.

If you are wondering why I did not post a picture of the holes... I forgot to take a picture, I have video of them so that my get posted later.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Baby Class Update

My sister Julie wanted an update about how baby class is going and all I have to say is I have seen too many breasts and vaja jays for my comfort. I keep hearing about how beautiful the birth of a child is and I want to know if these are the same people who enjoy crime scene photos. With TV shows like Baby Day and whatever else TLC shows, they usually blur out the lower region and truthfully that's fine with me. The class on the other hand shows it all. There's screaming, yelling, and a blood covered body sliding out of another person. It's like Alien, but with less death and toxic spit.

Coming from the TV world I sit in this class thinking how did the production crews get permission from these people to be in there. I had trouble getting people to talk about gas prices and these guys have a camera two feet away from the action. I can't get a digital camera two feet near The Wife before she starts freaking out. Yet after watching the carnage in the video The Wife leans over EVERY time and says that she wants to have the baby now. My reaction is why isn't this the 50s, I get to sit in a waiting room with 5 other dads and then the nurse comes out and says it's a boy. I get all excited and hand out cigars. I'm guessing it's going to be different when it's my kid, but freaking a man, do they need two solid weeks of showing me the delivery?

There has be one conversation I did giggle at for a few moments... episiotomies. This is where the doctors snip the region below the birth canal and the rectum. For most people my age, that region is know as the taint. I don't know why this turns me into a 13 year old boy, but it does. The Wife hates when I bring up the episiotomy, because she does not want it done and I giggle like a school boy. There was one point in the class where the instructor talked about rubbing some ointment around this area. The Wife leans over and gives me the best movie reference she has in months. "Can I just spray a little Pam down there?" Look at the above movie clip and you laugh as much as I did in the class.

This past week we had practice with dolls on how to waddle them and how to take their temperature. On the temperature there are two ways to do this, under the arm in rectally. The under the arm one seems pretty easy. Then we learned how to do the other and a collective groan went through the room. The instructor said the baby probably won't enjoy this. Really? The baby doesn't want something shoved into that orifice? I'm glad I'm past that stage and can just do an oral thermometer.

Finally, I felt bad for one guy in the class. We had to answer some questions and his was about warming up a bottle. He started out with the easy answer of running it under the faucet. Then he gave a wrong answer and said microwave. I thought four women in the class were about to get up and club him like a baby seal. He tried to recover by saying he was testing everyone but the damage was done, he's "that father" the one who is going to screw up his kid. To be honest, I would have probably said the same thing and looking around the room there were at least two others that would have said microwave. I'm glad we had the easy question about introducing your pets to the newborn (thank you Shawn, Melissa and magazine article in the doctors waiting area).

Next week will be just as fun, breast feeding and rehearsal for delivery. At least we're done with things coming out of vaginas.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Recital Work

This past weekend I shot my first long recital, I had to clarify that because I've shot three mini musical recitals. While shooting and editing what has been condensed down to a three hour program I have learned a few things and also I have some questions.

The biggest question that I kept asking was when does grace occur. When I say grace I mean the fluidity while dancing. The five year olds were cute, but they weren't really moving to the music. Instead they were just jumping up and down and doing what they thought they were taught. As the age of each group started to rise I started to notice that around middle school some people were starting to show signs of grace. Of course, others were flopping around like fish, grace is something that can't be taught. Trust me I am not graceful at all, and this is not a slight towards The Wife, but grace has not been her strong suit. I remember in first grade during music class the teacher had me stand up and sing a song. I was actually singing, it takes a few years of like to actually sing and not just say the words in a rythmic pattern. What is that age when grace starts to creep in? What is the age when you finally say yeah, maybe you need to do something else.

Then I started to wonder, do the parents of the ungraceful not see the fact their child has no rhythm or major skill at dancing. One girl looked to be in high school and you could tell she had no desire to be on that stage. The other two girls dancing with her, were not the best dancers but they were putting out a very admiral effort. The other was going through the motions. I kept imagining her inner dialog.

"Gosh, why am I still doing this... step ball change... I hate dance, like, I haven't wanted to dance for like three years... hop, pop, slide... I just want to go home and read Twilight for the fifteenth time... spin, drop, pepper grinder... Edward Cullen is so dreamy."

Then you had the kids that you could tell LOVED being on stage yet did not have any skill. For them I say keep dancing, I would be in this group, they are oblivious to everything, but they just gotta dance man!

There were many kids on stage that just did a great job and have some sort of skill, yet with those kids there is a subset, the divas. They believe they have skill and they believe they are the next big Broadway star. Even though they can be a little "over the top" to be honest those are the kids with the parents that will ALWAYS by a DVD and even though I hope my kid will never turn out that way. The more the merrier, keep buying my DVDs for $25 and help me make a living.

For the most part things for me went off with out a problem, except for one guy. I'm shooting a tap group and this guy walks up to me all angry asking for the manager. It takes me a few seconds to wonder what's going on and during that time I swear I smelled Bourbon. I tell him I think the back because there is a production going on. He keeps asking me questions and finally I had to tell him I am not connected with the company directly, I'm just freelance. He storms off, come to find out his child's name was left off the play bill. I hated it for that kid, but really, you had to interrupt me shooting your kid dancing? Maybe I don't understand parent logic because my kid is still baking, but couldn't that wait till oh I don't know afterwards? It's not like they told her she couldn't be on stage, it was a typo. Deal with it later, enjoy your kids performance. Be happy now and then rip someone a new one. If I was vindictive a certain name might get left off of the DVD, but I can't cause I need money.

Over all it was a good experience and hopefully enough people will like this DVD and maybe I can get a few more ordered before I jump the price up another ten dollars. Even better I get 20 more after the price increase.

Monday, June 29, 2009


As you can tell, I have not written much this month. I don't know what the deal is, I have ideas but not the motivation to do anything. Part of it is just from this lack of a job and part of it is the soon arriving Logan. I'm hoping to get motivated, and get back to my normal two to three a week average.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Deja Vu

I'm sitting at home playing Madden 04 (I only have a PS1... sorry, I'm not cool enough to upgrade) when I get a phone call and The Wife is having problems with the Mazda... guess what's wrong... the transmission, again. She gets stuck on a busy street, fortunately for us we have AAA and get a tow back to the auto shop.

This is getting ridiculous, if it wasn't free I would be going to another shop. For the first time in a while fortune looked upon me and it was not the transmission, but the coolant line in the transmission. It only took a day, but how many weeks will it be before something else goes wrong. I haven't gone two months this year with out having this thing at the shop. We are just under $2,000 away from having this thing paid off. I'm wishing it was now so we could save that 265 a month a buy something that doesn't suck as much. Even a used rental car can't be this much trouble.

The problems don't stop with the Mazda, the tank of a Honda is running fine, but can't pass state inspection, why? I need two tired, or so we did a few weeks ago. Now all four tires won't allow me to pass. I understand why we have these yearly inspections and for the most part they are good, expect when I have to replace something. The back two tires are on the boarder and if I find the wrong inspector I would fail yet again. What's the running price, $356 for the lowest tires they sell. Great more money pumped into the car that does not involve my gas tank.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baby Class

Last week we started out five week baby classes at the hospital and already I am learning way too much. First of all there are 12 pregnant ladies in one room, that can't be a good thing. That many hormones have to be some kind of health violation or fire code. Every thing started out OK till I heard the line "Husbands, you are going to learn somethings you may not wanted to know." Trust me, I did not need to hear most of them. Mostly the mucus plug and how it will come out and what it is, also what color it might be. This conversation took a good 20 minutes. At this time I sneak my cell phone out and text Shawn who has been covering a building explosion and wanted to know if he would trade. His answer was no. This is so bad that even though he has gone through this class he does not want to do it again and would rather deal with chaos or a police scene and a newsroom. I'm in trouble here.

We finally get away from that and go to breathing exercises, nothing bad here right? Wrong, I find out that men have kegels. I actually learned about them at an early age, from Night Court. There was an episode where Christine was taking a baby class and she went with everyone from court including Dan. The instructor mentioned kegels and that you need to do them and no one could tell you are doing them. "I'm doing them now... could anyone tell?" Dan raises his hand, looks at his watch and says "For about 20 minutes." Back to the class, we are lying on the floor breathing and the instructor starts at the head and works her way down the body. She gets to the kegels and I lean over and ask The Wife, do I have kegels? That's when I hear, OK guys even you have kegels, what do you think you use when you have a bowel movement. I'm done for the night. I keep thinking about the fact I have kegels.

This week was the one with the video. We watched as this head comes roaring out a small hole. Holy Crap that looks bad! The instructor keeps trying to convince everyone not to use an epidural. Hell, after watching that I want one. This class is suppose to be helpful, instead it driving me even further to the depths of crazy. I'm now terrified about the handling the baby class. Is it too late to return it?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Puppy Love

While driving home The Wife looked to the side of the road and gasped, "Were those puppies?" To me it looked like a group of sand bags. She insisted that they were puppies and we turn around. We get out and find an old coat and three very young puppies (to the left). With hormones set to full, The Wife goes crazy about people and then how we have to find a place for these puppies. We go back home and get a laundry basket and some old towels and found the closest shelter, 20 minutes away, in Louisburg in Franklin County (foreshadowing). We actually aimlessly drove around and tried to find a place closer but no one was able to give us a location. We couldn't even get a hold of the people in Louisburg.

After 20 minutes of this aimless circling Wake Forest we head north and finally get to the animal shelter. I found out why no one answered, the two workers were outside smoking. We get the guy to get up and walk over to the door for drop offs. The Wife is in tears by now, she has become attached to these lost puppies. I'm starting to think we are going to have four dogs. The shelter guy starts to take our info using as few words as possible and after I mentioned Wake Forest he says they can't take them. Even though they are closer they only take Franklin county dogs. We head back home, cancel an appointment with a pediatrician and after nine phone calls to local groups, that end in voice mail, we head out to the SPCA. We are half way there before we could get through and find out that they won't take these puppies. I'm almost to the point of understanding why the people just dropped them off. It should not be this hard to drop off a dog. We finally are told that the only place to take them was to the county animal shelter.

We started this trek at 2:00 and arrived at the shelter at 4:45. As I start to open the door of the car one of the shelters called me, Puppy Paws Rescue. The lady was very nice and my favorite part of the conversation with her was "People suck" when we told her how we found these girls. Come to find out she knows the shelter people well and wants us to pass along that they might be taking them in. This makes the two of us feel a whole lot better.

We walk into the shelter and everyone is nice and they laugh at the fact that Puppy Paws Rescue will be on their way later, seems to happen a lot. On the way home we find out that the three pups do not have the dreaded parvo and will be kept alive and hopefully some one will adopt them.

Just look at those cute little faces, how can you just dump them on the side of the road and hope for some one like us to find them. With the raging hormones The Wife was wanting to quarter the people involved. She also became very attached to them and we are almost considering fostering one of them till we can find a good owner.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hitting a Small White Ball

After yesterdays thought provoking moments I needed an escape and I decided to go golfing. Normally golfing would not be on top of my list to clear my mind, but while in Ohio I bought a $90 club for $40 and wanted to give it a try.

Holy crap is this new club working. Along with some tips I've been given over the last few months I hit the ball well. After four holes I had three double bogeys and a par. As a reference that would be like an average golfer shooting three birdies and a hole in one. I will admit that part of the reason I was doing so well was the course. Paschal Golf Course in Wake Forest is the farthest thing from the PGA you can get. When you hear municipal golf course this is that place. The only good thing is it's easy and cheap.

By the time I got to the eight hole I double boggied everything and was thinking I could do no wrong. The golf gods frowned upon me and the next thing I know I'm hitting trees and a creek. I finished the hole a par 4 with an 8. With my humility back I pulled the new drive back out for my last hole of the day. I swing back slowly, only did a partial back swing, kept my head down and did not move my feet and the next thing I see is my ball flying through the air and land 210 feet from where I was standing. I finished the par 5 last hole with a par. That is a new personal record for me. Now the trick will be going back out and doing that again. Usually after a day like this, I'll lose 10 balls and shot 8s on every hole.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What to Do?

For the first time since being let go I have a serious problem, do I go back into news. I kid you not in the same day I found two openings and I have no idea what to do. I'm not going into deal about either one, nor will I say what market or stations. One sounds cooler than the other, but do I want to go back to the belly of the beast.

One would involve an hour of travel and is only weekends. The other is mostly weekdays with random weekends. They have one thing in common... part time. I would lose my unemployment, but at least I could have a real job and not this Do some work for free and maybe something will happen gigs.

If I get the weekend gig, then I will have a harder time starting up a small production company. The weekend is when all the weddings and recitals happen. What little ground I have made into this business will be lost.

Why can't anything be easy with me. I always feel like have to make a decision of these natures. Do I want to go back into the industry that felt a nasty taste in my mouth or do I want to try and get this thing off the ground. I'd also lose my new favorite day, Sunday. No longer will I be able to go to church and then play ultimate Frisbee.

I just wish there was a giant billboard telling me which path is the best to take. No matter what happens from this point forward I will always be second guessing myself. If I go back into news, then I will wonder if my life would have been less complicated as I am standing on a beach being pounded by a hurricane. On the flip side, I will always wonder if I made the right choice by not going back to what I know.

Why can't real life be more like the board game.

Monday, June 01, 2009

It's like a Fiesta in My Mouth

During our Ohio round trip/baby shower we got to go to our favorite place in Columbus, Fiesta Jalisco. If you have not been there you need to. When God wanted Mexican food he created Fiesta Jalisco. When you walk in, it appears to be your run of the mill Mexican restaurant. That's where it stops being normal.

I don't know what they do to the chicken, but it taste like happy. On the day we went I had a craptastic day, my car died AGAIN, I had a horrible round of golf (it was so bad my brother at times was doing better than me). I order the ultimate burrito with chicken and my world changed. I don't know if it's laced with LSD or Ecstasy but I don't care. It's so good my in-laws loved it.

We have some great Mexican restaurants here, but nothing that can compare to Fiesta. I wish I could open a franchise down here. I'd gain 80 pounds, but I'd be happy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Day a Year Ironton Shines

Growing up in the town of Ironton, Ohio you will have a few things pound into your skull; Ironton football is the greatest thing in the area and you have to go to the Memorial Day Parade. I know what your thinking, really, a Memorial Day parade? Well there's a little history behind it. This year marked the 141st consecutive parade. That is not a typo, 141 straight years. No other town in the country can say that, since 1868 we have had this parade and this year there was an estimated crowd of about 30,000 and I was one of these people.

As all parades you have things like all the little league teams, a bunch of pageant winners that should be on Tots and Tiaras, horses and old cars. Then there are a few of the "Ironton" things you can see in the parade. Every year the rider less horse rides by, our Civil War reenacters and the Shriners.

I love the Shriners in this parade, we have a group of hillbilly Shriners that look like they came straight from the "haller." Then the favorite of all, the El Hasa Oriental Band. Just watch the video above, most will not understand the fascination, but to those of us from the Ohio River Valley will know the draw. This years sword guy was not the best, but in years past at every symbol crash he would run up to a random lady and give a huge pelvic thrust. I even believe one year my grandmother was a recipient. It's great fun to watch and I wish I was the sword guy. I would so rock that sword and thrusts that they would have to retire the sword and pants. The things I remember from my childhood. this is high on the list.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In The Weeds of my Neighbors

After we come home after Christmas, we noticed some strange occurrences with one of our neighbors. There were a lot of bags on the curb and at first I just thought it was stuff from Christmas. After about two weeks of it sitting there I notices that it had a lot of cloths and house hold items. I started thinking, I had not seen my neighbors for a few weeks. Then the next day a crew came in and cleaned out the house. I don't know if the people left or if it was rented and they were evicted. For months now the house has sat empty and a small forest started popping up. When I last mowed my yard the grass was up to my waist.

The Wife has been freaking out over snakes and other things being in that yard. I was waiting for her to mention that she thinks chupacabra was in there. I was about to sit down and find out Wake Forest's policy on grass when I hear a large lawn mower. It was Denmark Properties out mowing the yard. I guess the neighbor on the other side complained finally.

I'm just trying to figure out what they are doing with this house. There is not a for sale sign anywhere and with the tall grass I guess they are not trying to rent it out either. I know everything involving the economy is bad, but it's not that expensive of a house and what's the point of sitting on it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Training

I might need some more work on putting the baby in the car seat.

The New Grill

I've either been busy, out of town or not in the mood to blog and I got chastised by family over this. I have a few hours that I should be doing house work before an afternoon shoot, but instead I'll bang out a couple of blogs, the first about the new awesomeness... I have a new grill.

As I wrote earlier this month, my grill met an ugly demise and I was a man without a grill. I no longer was a man, I must burn meat on an open flame! As I lay around in my no manliness I package arrives... what could it be? It's a new grill! My sister Julie shipped me a new and improved grill and I have my manhood back. I go out and get some charcoal and some tasty ground beef, thaw out some hot dogs and fire them up.

I hearken back to the day of cavemen huddle around the fire as they cook up some kind of puma or thunder cat. Nothing beats the smell, the sizzle and the heat from a grill. Oh happy day. For the first time using the grill I did all right, I under cooked the burgers a little, but that is expected with a new grill.

Then on the trip back to Ohio I get another surprise, the same sister brought me Fricker's sauce! Oh glorious rapture how do I miss me some Fricker's. For you non Western Ohioans, Fricker's is like BW3s on awesome! The wings are huge and when you get ten wings, you know you had ten. The hottest sauce is called Killer and it's not the hottest I have ever had, but it's the best. You feel the burn, but it's not going to give you an ulcer of the mouth. You will feel the pain later on, but at least you get to enjoy the meal without having a fire crew blast you in the face with a hose of water.

I pull some chicken out and slather the sauce on there for a few hours and it was heaven! We only used the hot sauce (saving the killer for that right occasion), but I felt like I was back in a smokey Fricker's after a hockey game or in Toledo with Shawn and Melissa after a long night. Hooray for grills and Frickers!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Open Letter to Boston Bruin Fans 3

So for two periods the Bruins played with more intensity than the Hurricanes, so what happened. Easy, I was not in the stands and the Canes go on a goal scoring spree in the third to win 4-1. I've told you, this team is on a mission, and the Bruins are falling on old habits of choking against an "inferior" opponent. You want me in that arena you NEED me in that arena for game 6.

Listen, to be honest I want the Canes to win, but because of the economy and my inability to find a good job, I can't buy tickets. I just want to have a night of fun and watch some hockey. I love hockey and being in the south this is the only option I have. If you can somehow win game 5 and send this game back to Raleigh I can be the difference. Think about this game, I was the two shots off the post. If I was there those would have gone in and you would have a two goal lead and the Hurricanes would have been a tropical depression.

Also this is for Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, if you were so unimpressed by the RBC Center then why did you not get me a press pass. Now you have to come back here and deal with the Marriott's Bar not having all the channels you want (Hello Bob-o it's called room service). To be honest, all of Boston should be blaming you for this lose and how ever game is do or die. You could have checked these here ebays and interwebs and learned how you could save your team. Now you may have to make a return trip. In all honesty I hope you don't have to come back.

Come on Bruins fans, don't you want your team to make it to the Eastern Conference finals? Like I said leave a comment on how I can get a hold of you and we'll work this out. If not, hey Washington Pittsburgh fans, you might want to start to thing ahead on this one and start to think about this ticket situation. I've given the stats I'm 0-20 for the home team when I am present, add in baseball and that rises to 2-65. The odds are on your side.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Open Letter to Boston Bruins Fan 2

Dear Bruins fan,

So you did not take me up on that offer and what happened, you lost in overtime to a team that kind of sucks in game 3s. This is what you get for not buying me tickets. I could have prevented that lose for you. Instead I am all giddy that the Canes have the advantage and all they have to do is win two games and most likely those will be home games. See you can redeem yourself by contacting me through the comments and I will be glad to go to the game.

You still have a chance to save your team, it's a lot like the show Lost, you have to have faith and with that faith you know that I can bring down the Canes. My motivation is simple, I want to see a freaking hockey game and I can't get any friends to go with me because they think I'm cursed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Facebook Friends

Back in August I mentioned that a co-worker got me into Facebook and to be honest it's an addictive creation that I can not stop using. Since I now have a lot of down time I seem to be on there a lot, but I started to notice a small annoying trend... people from high school popping up on Facebook.

It started when I added Wilson, we have been friends since high school so obviously I added him. Then slowly one by one people from the Huntington/Ironton have started to add me. The problem there is I was not popular in high school. I'd say I was a misfit among misfits. I never really fitted in any where. If you know me you might understand why. I've been judicious with the people I added. If you made my life a living hell I just click ignore. If you were actually a friend I of course would add them. Then there is the 90% left over, the ones that were indifferent to me or just ignored me.

What do you here, this Facebook thing gets complicated, what is the proper edict here. Every once in a while I'll look though the suggestion page and I am starting to get more and more people from home and I start to get a little anxious because I'm probably on there suggestion page as well. One day some one "friended" me and I contemplated it for most of the day. I'm serious, I should not have to think about things like this. Instead of worrying about Logan's birth I'm thinking should I add Jane Doe, she was cool for a while then started acting strange and was kind of jerkish.

I can't be the only person that thinks this, I mean someone made the above video so at least those guys know what I'm talking about.

A Gig

Yesterday morning I was getting dressed when my cell phone rang, I thought it was going to be a credit card company, but instead it was a local number. Who could it be?

Let's flash back Lost style to a few months ago, I cold called seven dance studios in the Wake Forest Rolesville metropolitan area. Everyone seemed to have a video person, but also no one seemed happy with their person. Flash forward again and it's one of the local dance studios, he is looking for a guy and wants to know my prices for a recital for late June (and possible one in Late May). We talk for a while and then he adds in there is a weekly track out drama camp and they could sell DVDs for that as well. Obviously the large scale production is the real money maker, but the week class could produce a couple hundred.

Let me do the math here, if 200 parents buy a DVD at $25, I get $15 and the dance hall gets $10 that means I get $3000 for one night of shooting and a day and a half of editing. The weekly thing could have as few as 15 DVDs and on average I'd make $15 and the studio gets $5. I'm getting $175 a week average for two hours shoot and three hours editing. I still have multiple days open and at least we would have some kind of income coming in on a steady basis. If I get both productions and this weekly gig that means at the high end that's $6,000 for the big shows and about $875 from the weekly. That could help us out huge. That pays off a couple bills and gets us set up for when the baby comes so The Wife can take a few weeks off.

My goal is to get us to August because I might have another trick up my sleeve that could bring in some more money.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Some Assembly Required

This past Friday I was sitting at home enjoying the alone time. I started to walk from the office to the bedroom when I noticed the UPS man outside. We weren't expecting any packages and I started wondering what could it be. The UPS man emerged from the brown truck with a rather large box. Now I am really intrigued, what in the world is in that box? He finally struggled his way to the door and what do I see, a picture of a stroller on the box. Of course I am stunned and I want to head for the hills. This was the first present we have received and it had to be one of the largest ones. I am not faced with the fact that this kid is coming. I send a picture to The Wife and she is excited and now I have a project, putting this thing together.
We found out that my family bought the stroller and during that conversation that this will be my first of my test at my abilities to put things together. I must have had a mind meld with my dad because I started flashing back to my childhood, the bikes, Castle Grayskull, basketball hoops and other items from my childhood.

I waited till The Wife came home and she ripped open the box like it was Christmas and I finally get into the room to help take out the stroller. I decided against the traditional man thing and look at the directions. I kid you not the first eight pages were different languages telling me now to not use the stroller. I finally find the first page of the instructions and find the English portion.
The instructions are mostly pictures, and still I felt stupid trying to figure out what they mean. Then The Wife told me to turn the directions the other way. Within 15 minutes I finished putting the stroller together and now we have to figure out of if we actually did it right. Shawn and Melissa would let us use Nathan we had to find a substitute... George. George is going to be Logan's stuffed animal that he will always have. I was taught how to strap him in and how to put the car sit in the stroller. and we pushed George around in the stroller... it didn't collapse, WOO HOO!
It appears that I have passed my first test as a dad, I put something together and nothing bad happened. I wonder what will be the next big test.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Open Letter to Boston Bruins Fan

After last nights 3-0 shutout by the Carolina Hurricanes, you might have doubts starting to creep into your head. "Is this team good enough, we've seen collapses like this before. Is there any way to make the Canes lose." I have your answer, buy me tickets to the game. Why should you buy me tickets to the game? I have never seen the Hurricanes win a game, and generally after that game they go into a tale spin and the next thing you know they are losing 5-0 games back to back.

I am cursed when it comes to sports, it does not just occur with the Canes, it took me 10 years before I finally saw the Cincinnati Reds win a game. I use to live in Columbus and went to Blue Jackets games and it took me being away for two years before they could make it into the playoffs. The beginning of the year the Canes had won two home pre-season games and were 2-0 to start the season. Shawn and Melissa gave us their tickets for the Detroit game and they lost 3-1. That started a tale spin and Peter Laviolette was fired. After that I was banned by Shawn and Melissa, little did they know I made it to another game, this time against Toronto. The Hurricanes had just lost two games on the road by 10-2 and were looking to get a home win. Yet I was in the crowd and went down 4-0, they even tried to break the curse and tied the game! Then my karma over came them and lost 6-4.

It's not just this year, one year after the amazing cup run I moved to the Triangle and I am taken to about 5 Cane games and they lost everyone and ended up not making the playoffs. Last year I got to shoot about 4 games for my former employer and yet again, they lost all of those games and had no chance for the playoffs.

Lets take this one step further, it is known in my family that we can not gamble, we never win. My dad is retired and took up a part time job at a gas station. He has people coming in buying lottery tickets and every time they say, I've got a sure winner here. My dad tells them that he can jinks it by buying a ticket, and if he does it's a loser. We just can't win at games of chance, it's our way.

That's 11 games in three seasons. Try and find someone with those kinds of stats, factor in the Cincinnati Reds in ten years I was 2-65. Then the Blue Jackets in three years I was 0-9. I'm freaking 2-85 with professional baseball and hockey. Bruins fan I implore you to buy me two tickets, they don't even have to be good seats, I'll take rafter seats. As a fan you know how superstitious you can be, what better way than to bring the opposite of a rabbits foot. Of course if the Canes some how win, I can't be to blame, it's the curse.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I Need a Young and Old Priest

I had a nice start to my day on Saturday, took Lucy to the dog park and then went to Kohl's to get new shoes. I find the shoes, go to the car, turn the key... nothing. I have enough power to turn the radio, but not enough to start the car. Of course, the Mazda does not have jumper cables and no one in at Kohl's will help and no one in the parking lot with cables I walked over to Just Tires and finally ended up buying a new battery because the old one in there was the original. The guy walks it over to the car changes it over and I start the car... well, that's what I wanted to happen. All I got was a particle click and nothing.

Since Just Tires only installs batteries the guy was clueless as to what was wrong. I then try to use my cell phone and it is dead. I walk to the other side of the strip mall and buy a charger. Why didn't you use a store telephone? That's the problem, I only have two numbers memorized, The Wife cell phone and The Parents number. The Wife is at a women's treat and is hard to reach, so I had to get a charger. I finally got a hold of Eddie to take me home.

While at home I start trying to find a tow truck to get the car to the shop. I finally figured out that AAA's basic membership is cheaper than a tow. I get a membership card and call for a tow. I head over to the car and as I am waiting for the guy to show I get an idea. Why don't I try to restart the stupid thing? I get in, turn the key and it starts up without any hesitation. I am now frustrated beyond belief. I'm still going to use the tow truck, knowing my luck, if I leave it overnight it will get impounded.

The only good thing to come out of this was the tow to the house was exactly three miles, anymore and I would have had to pay a little. I'm just getting tired of this car, ever since I hit 75,000 miles it has started to fall apart. I only own $2,000 on it and if I had a joke I would be trading it in right now. Instead I have to continue to pay off this thing and hope to save money and maybe by an older car that is a little more reliable than this Mazda. I will no longer want to own a Mazda, I will probably switch over to a Honda or maybe a Jeep Cherokee. Sorry Mazda no more zoom zoom for me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Interesting Stats

For the last two years I have been using Google Analystics to keep track of how many views I have received and what they are looking at. In that two years span I have had 12,217 visitors, 17310 page views and out of that 12, 217 visitors 6,736 were new viewers. That means I am averaging about 16 people a day and 9 new people a day. That seems small but considering I don't go out and try to promote this site to get more "google juice," I consider that a success.

Just looking at the raw data is interesting, I've had three giant spikes the first was March 28 2008 when I was covering the NCAA basketball tournament. Some how I was getting a little love from blogger and ended up with my highest one day total of 233 visitors. The next biggest spike was December 19 2008 when shoptalk did a little story about how I was let go at NBC17. I had 187 people that day. July 22 2008 was a total anomaly with 101 views and I still can not figure out why I broke the 100 mark that day. Just looking at my daily averages I can tell when I take a break or when I have writers block. My numbers average around 20 a day, but they will slide after about three days of inactivity into single digits. I no longer get days of a zero, but I've had a couple of 1 and 2s. Then within a day of posting my numbers start to climb. If I actually wrote something everyday I wonder if I could push the average into the 30s and have it stay there.

Next is my favorite part of analytics... keyword search. Anytime someone uses a search engine and lands on my page I am notified what they used to land on my page. The straight up top five keywords/phrases are:
  1. Aquafina Stock
  2. Hey Look a Monkey
  3. Aquafina Stocks
  4. Mila Duno
  5. Fat Punter

Looking at that list you notice something, Aquafina is in the top five twice. So I went through the top 500 keywords and broke it down a little more and added up the numbers to get a better look how people land here.

1. Monkey 219 hits- This is everything from polkamonkey, monkey basketball to monkey hitting guy in balls. With a blog name like mine I was bound to get a few hits like this, I never thought it would be the most I would receive.

2. Aquafina Stock 172- I just made a flippant subject line like about Aquafina stock was going up because I drank a lot of water on a scorcher of a day. Ever since then at least once a month get a hit from someone trying to find info on Aquafina. I love the internet for this, someone is trying to do research on stocks and instead they get me bitching about the weather and how I hate hippies. Also if you go to google and type aquafina stock I am the number one entry... I love you Al Gore, thanks for the interwebs.

3. USC Song Girls 72- All I did was take a picture of the song girls at a NCAA tournament game and I get a hit every three months.

4. Fat Punter 63- The bane of BGSU football fans and I write a post about the notorious moment and call it a curse because the program has never been the same. Yet again I am Google's top entry on fat punter. My goal is to make it so every Falcon fan thinks our program is cursed. I'm 63 views closer to my goal.

5. Milka Duno 48- I attempted to do a live blog for the 2007 Indy 500 and just made two comments about the Charoeaque Milka Duno and ever since she has been near the top of my keyword list.

6. Kate Winslet 37- I was going to stop at five till I kept seeing Kate pop up and you won't believe what most of the hits are for... Kate Winslet naked or topless. Instead they got me talking about how I enjoyed Finding Neverland and a quick remark about Titanic.

I enjoy writing this blog, I know I have no real presence on this thing called the world wide web, but hopefully two or three people enjoy my ramblings, that's all I can ask for

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend I Knew Ye Well

This weekend The Wife was craving bacon cheddar cheeseburgers and instead of paying the 4.99 a pound at the store I unfroze a pack of bacon and bought a pound of beef (2.90 a pound) and fired my little grill. We bought the grill the first spring down here in North Carolina. We were living on Fried Chicken Drive and couldn't go all out on a grill. To be honest it was big enough for the two of us and that was fine.

Add a couple of years and the fact it was not the greatest of grills, I started to notice some signs of aging. The legs were less stable and rust in strange places. As I was finishing up the bacon cheddar cheeseburgers the legs were getting a little more wobbling and as I pulled the last burger of the grill that bad leg gave out and the grill tumbled over, the grill is dead.

Oh all the memories we have, the steaks, burgers, hot dogs, corn and pork chops you have cooked up. I will miss you little grill. How soon can you be replaced? Well, if I can ever get some work I'd say that day, but I digress. As I picked up up after you cooled and tossed you into the garbage can I felt a little bit of me go with you. That might be because you were still a little hot and a small part of flesh went with you, but that's not the point. What is a man without a grill... nothing... little grill, you completed me. You complete me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe

With my weekly text message for a free movie from Red Box I was forced I mean asked to pick up Nights in Rodanthe. If your a guy you are going to hate it and if you are a woman you will probably like it, but that is not why I write. The movie is based in the outer banks area of North Carolina. We have visited and it is very nice, but also has a connection to Raleigh.

Richard Gere's character is a rich doctor from Raleigh and Daine Lane's character is from Nags Head, but is helping a friend with a beach house in Rodanthe. The people in Rodanthe and the outer banks are portrayed as salt of the Earth people which is so much different that the city folk of Raleigh... WHAT?

In the movie they mention that it is 200 miles distance from each other, but to be honest the two are not that much different. First the fact that it was trying to make Raleigh into a big time city is a little off. Yes it is progressive, but the Triangle is basically 10 mini metropolitan areas that have grown over the last 30 years. When you think of "big city" Raleigh ain't it. Don't get me wrong, that's why we love it here. It has a big city feel without well, the big city.

I understand what they were trying to do, but man, most of the outer banks is very commercialised and portions of it are not rustic. The further south you go (past Nags Head) it is more quaint, but the same kind of people are there as in Raleigh. Go ten miles out of Raleigh and you get more of "country pumpkin" than you will get in the OBX.

Maybe I'm being too cynical and I need to heed my own advice I give to The Wife while she complains about a scene. "It's just a movie." It's only because I live in this area that I notice these kinds of things.
One last thing, I know the only skyline shot of Raleigh is off of Saunders (I've shot it many a times), but why would you go that way to the OBX? US 70 through Garner hella suck and if you go around on the inner belt to US 264 you don't have to take the ferry, with the new bypass it's a whole lot faster... just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open Letter to Spring

Dear Spring

Where did you go? Did you pull a hammy and told summer to go on in? It's freaking hot already! Do you realize that I have warm blooded pregnant wife that was complaining when it was the 70 for three days. Tell me what it will take for you to come back and have summer go away for a few weeks longer. I'll hire a physical therapist to work out what ever injury you have.

Or is it worse? Did mother nature lay you off? I know the economy is bad, but how can she not have spring? You are so much better than winter. Without you it's be, well like it is now. Cold one day and way too warm the next. Give me her number and I'll give her a call and try to help you out. Or at least try and get hired, I'd be a good season; Winter, Jeremy, Summer and Fall. Who am I kidding you are the best at it.

Whatever it is, please come back and hang out till June. Just give us a little break before the hot head comes in and makes it miserable for me and my pregnant wife.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not the Pork!

As I am starting not hate the news, I've started to watch CNN a little bit more and I started to hear about this swine flu. Of course it's CNN so I zone in and out and only catch bits and pieces. I keep thinking nothing about it because it's in New York. As I get on here to write a new cover letter (not telling you why... can't jinks it... crap I may have said too much) I see on my WRAL and News and Observer RSS feeds a story... The swine flu in North Carolina.

What? How did that happen, then I started to remember, it's freaking North Carolina... Smithfield pork is here and that we have 900 business that deal with pork. We even have a pork council! First I had to deal with West Nile while in Toledo and now the swine flu. Why are we getting the flu from pigs? I read the story and mostly people are getting the flu because they were in Mexico. Then I read this douse of a line;

Although the the flu has been deadly in Mexico, it appears to be mild in
the United States, where 40 people have had confirmed cases.

Why is the US strain less deadly? So I go to where all people get "reliable information... Wikipedia. The entry for swine flu is well medical at best and does not tell me if I am going to die. I then type into google "Will I die from swine flu" and I find a story on that tells me:
Tamiflu, that have been shown to be effective, but they need to be taken within
days of the first symptoms

What are the freaking symptoms! The article is also telling me to not freak out. Too late for that, because you are making it sound like I'm in a bad episode of 24 and I have to go on a rampage to find this miracle drug or I might die because I don't knowwhat the symptoms are.

The same CBS article tells me not to travel to Mexico (Check), wash my hands and cover my mouth when I sneeze and cough. So is sneezing and coughing a symptom? Crap I'm going through allergies right now. Maybe it's the swine flu, I've had that for a month now. Am I allowed to play the game Pass the Pigs? I mean it has little pigs in it, how am I to know if they have the flu or not... I'm so going to turn into a swine zombie I know it.

Loaner 2: The Electric-Boogalo

With the Mazada getting it's third transmittion this year, I again get the loaner seen here. You can read the previous exploits here, but I have a new problem... this thing over heats. I was driving to a business meeting/ golf outing when I kept hearing a "bing" and looked down to see the temperature needle was pegging the hot. The one thing I learned in drivers ed was when your car over heats, but the heat on to suck the air out of the engine. If this was February, not a problem. The fact it's April and already in the 90s makes it a problem. Not only do I have the windows open on a hot day, I've got the heater blasting warm air all around.

It takes the mini-crap about five minutes to get back down to normal, but 45 seconds to get back to the red line. So far the worst has been driving around during rush hour traffic on Capitol. When it takes 10 minutes to get through a light, it gets very hot a muggy. By the time I get home I need a shower. The Mazda better get fixed soon and won't have to go to the shop for a long time.