Friday, March 27, 2009

Buffalo Wings

I love me some buffalo wings and with The Wife craving them or as she says Logan wants wings! I have been forced to go to Buffalo Wild Wings, which shall be known as B Dubs from here on out. The only problem is that the closest B Dubs is in Knightdale and that's a good 20 minute drive. If there was an actual road that went from Wake Forest to Knightdale it would be 10, but yet again that's another post. It's a journey to get over there and it better be a good time.

Well, on my birthday we had a dreadful experience. It was so bad, I actually got up and ordered old school style at the take out counter. From what we gathered, they sent a server home and chaos in sued and we were in no mans land. The young manager blamed his staff and flat out said they were bad. Something tells me he is new and doesn't understand that when you say that... I'm not coming back.


I sent off a email blasting the restaurant explaining what happened. The main manager called and wanted to say he was sorry and asked us to come back. We take him up on the offer for a free meal. Luckily it was the B Dubs of old, it was busy, but it seemed everything was going well. The manager was wonderful and we had a great time. Basketball, free wings and the fact I did not have to get up and get my own food and drink made it a good night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Know Him!

While watching and listening to the NCAA tournament I kept hearing names and those names kept sounding familiar. Come to find out, I actually sort of know them. With my three years working at ONN I got to meet a lot of the best in Ohio. As I am writing this I have seen two guys I had interviewed. BJ Raymond (Toledo St John) who is Xavier and Raymar Morgan (Canton McKinley) at Michigan St. I did a feature about BJ Raymond and followed St John as they advanced to the finals my last year. Raymar was part of a Canton McKinley bulldog team that dominated the state. He was a man playing against boys.

Then I also saw a story on the NFL Network about Jevon Ringer who went to Dayton Chaminade Julian. Javon is looking to make it in the NFL, but every time I see him all I can think about is the promo he did for us. He said "Hi, I'm Javon Ringer and you are watching SportsZone." He jumped and did a round house kick in front of the lens. All I kept thinking was, "Holy crap this guy came inches from kicking my camera, which was set up 5 feet off the ground. He later broke his leg his senior year, but he still has a chance to make it to the NFL.


That's the thing I miss, I will no longer be able to say "I know that kid, he almost kicked my camera" or "That guy dunked over my reporter (DeQuan Cook)." I will being able to do that. I know no one else cares, but for me it was always a perk of shooting high school and college sports.

Lucy is Learning

video

Back in February I was bored and did not have anything to do. How is that different than now... not much, but I have found ways to pass the time. One of them is training Lucy to come to the kitchen every time she hears Whoomp There it is by Tag Team. Go back to the original post to see why I am using that song.

Every time I gave her a treat I hit the button. It took a lot of time and a lot of Beggin' Strips and Scooby Snacks. Then a couple of weeks ago, Lucy was in the backyard and I decided to hit the button. She came bolting in looking for a treat. I have done my own Pavlov's dog.

So what am I suppose to do now? Should I use my new found powers of dog training for good... or EVIL!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cold Calling 3: Rise of the Machine

Even though this is my second post about cold calling, today was my third time out. There was a difference today, I did not go to production companies. Instead I headed out to dance studios and ninja schools around Wake Forest.
To be honest I got a better reception from most. One ninja school did quite understand what I was doing. He kept say he has someone who takes pictures, I finally gave up with that guy. I didn't get any work out today, but there seemed to be at least a chance they might think about calling to see if they want to think about using me.

Do I want to be that guy at recitals who seems out of place, if it brings me money... yeah! Hopefully I can get at least one of these places to call me back. At least that would be a start. Also I bought a website and hopefully I can get this thing off the ground in the next couple of days.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Age

This past Sunday The Wife and I went with another family to celebrate a couple of birthdays. As we sat down we noticed a note on the table. A woman was celebrating her 102 birthday. That is not a typo, I checked it... let me restate it 102! She was born in 1907, think about it, she was born before World War I. I'm not talking just being born, I mean she was 7 when it started and was 8 when the US entered. Then she was 32 when WWII started, she was almost my age when the war to end all wars started. Then she was 5 when the Titanic sank.

Then I thought about all the technology, she is 1 year older than the model T. She went from radio, to TV and now is in the Internet age. The minimum wage 22 cents and hour compared to the $5.25 now. There was only 144 miles of paved roads. 95 percent of births were at home. How about this nugget, there were only 45 states. She has been alive for 19 Presidents. Compared to the 7 in my life time. The five leading causes of death where;
  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea- Really... diarrhea?
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke

Then I started thinking, she's an African American woman and living in the south. The Civil was was over 42 years before. Most likely her grandmother was a slave. I just wonder what kind of hatred she had to endure. Then she was 61 when Martin Luther King Jr was killed, 61 years old! She lived a life time under strong racism. Then to have 40 more years of change and finally she was 101 when Obama became President. If I went back in time to 1907 and said. One day America will have a black President I would have been tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

She has seen more in her life time than I could ever fathom. I probably won't make it to that age, but just think about how much different things will be when I'm 66. I can't imagine going throw everything she has in her life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Complaining... again

I had a friend email me a guy who was looking for a production assistant and of course it's work so I sent in my resume, references, blah blah blah and yet again I had my hopes up. Not a lot though, once you had hope dashed to sunder a few dozen times you start guarding yourself.

I check my mail and I got a message. "Oh please be good." I stated as I opened the message. It was more of the same, except this time I at least got a response. The work was for only ten an hour and according to him below my skill level.

That got me thinking, how many of these jobs have I been "over qualified" for? With the way things are going, I don't care if I'm over qualified, I want to work and try to make a decent living. I just don't get it, don't they understand that I am applying for that job? I know it's below what I have done, but I don't care. I'm just getting tired of the rejection. Just once I'd like to get a freaking interview for a job that will actually get me work.

It's been three months and no end is in sight and I just don't know what to do. I'm afraid that I will have to open a TVjobs.com account and try and get back into news. That means we have to move, I don't want that, but with baby Logan on the way, I have very little options right now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cravings

One of the things I have always heard about pregnancy is that the woman gets strange cravings like ice cream and pickles or just instant cravings. The Wife is in denial over the cravings, yet I know the truth and here is a list of the foods she has craved:

  • Ice Cream- This has been the biggest one, I'm guessing at least 5 times.
  • Fish Sticks- I kid you not, why? I don't know be she sees a Long John Silver commercial and she wants fish sticks.
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Mexican Food- I don't mind this at all.
  • Jalapenos- Everything has to have them.
  • McDonald's Pancake Breakfast-One Saturday morning 15 minutes before they stopped serving breakfast I had to run out and get the Deluxe breakfast.
  • Pancakes- Totally different than the above, we had to stop at IHOP for pancakes today after the ultrasound.
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips- She keeps getting a bag for me and before I can get a chip it's gone.
  • Popsicles

There are a few that I can not remember, but she is reading this over my shoulder and the quote was "Mmmmmm Buffalo Wings!" Off to the closest BW3 in Knightdale a good 35 minutes away.

I am being forced to mention that most of these items are also things I crave. What can I say, Logan and I are in sync.

It's a Boy

We went this morning for the level two ultrasound and everything is looking good, the baby seems healthy and everything is good... oh yeah and we are having a boy. To be honest I would have been happy to have a girl, but this is awesome! The J Dog family name will live on for another generation. Then you have all the cool stuff I can do, play sports, teach him how to throw a knuckleball, spit, throw an elbow of the top ropes and all those other cool boy things.

Halloween will be a lot cooler. I'm now trying to find either a baby Wolverine outfit or how I can make my own Ash costume... chainsaw and all! The Wife is all happy as well, she now 100% feels like she is pregnant and is happy because we can go register at Baby's R Us and Target. I'm happy with that because I want to play with the scanner gun.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cold Calling

Tuesday it was decided that I would trudge out into the world and attempt to find gainful employment via one of the worst methods ever... the cold call.

I looked up production companies in the Raleigh area and just went around the city handing out resumes. Everything went as I thought it would... I got a job. If you believed that I have some swamp land you can buy. Every where I went it was the same answer, "We are not hiring right now." A few were nice enough to give me a few suggestions and even said they would keep me on file. A few places seemed annoyed that I was there and one place no one even came to the front desk when I came in. I just laid my resume and reel on the scanner at the front desk.

The one thing I had about doing this is the fact that 99.9% of the people are not looking for someone to hire. I'm just hoping that I can get lucky, but my track record has shown that luck is not on my side.

On Thursday I am trying the Cary, Morrisville, Apex and Chapel Hill areas. Hopefully I will not be in the minivan of doom by them.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Craigslist

Since my demise from news I have used craigslist the most to find jobs. Monster and Careerbuilder do not really have any TV jobs and TVjobs.com usually doesn't have too many decent market listings for photojournalists and I don't feel like paying for it. Most of the listings are not the best work in the world, but sometimes you find one that is not that bad, like this one;

Seeking reliable, enthusiastic, motivated, people wanting to work as sports
videographer for The ReelAthletes.com.

The ReelAthletes.com is a full service media production company that
provides professional video taping services for all sports.

Videographer needed must have 3ccd camera mini dv format and tripods please
detail your experience and equipment. Hourly earnings $15-$25 per hour Please
send contact information to set up interviews in Raleigh NC if interested.


Not a lot of money, but after looking at the website I could do this. I may only make $50 a gig, but it appears to be easy work. I apply and as usual I have not heard anything back.

That's not the main reason I'm posting. It's more of the idiots that post something insulting to the original poster:

Are you serious? You expect someone to provide their own equipment for $25
per hour, with no minimum guarantee? So a person is supposed to tie up their
entire day even if the event is two hours - meaning you will only make maximum
$50?????? You are NUTS!!!!!! Nothing professional about your organization
as anyone in the business knows a good videographer with equipment costs minimum
$300 per day. GET A LIFE and quit looking for slave labor!!!!!!! Craigslist is
becoming nothing more then bottom feeders using the high unemployment for their
gain!!!!!!


I did not change a thing from either post, the response guy needs to shut up in my opinion. While working in news I did not make $25 an hour. If he would have actually gone to the website he would have seen they are not looking for high end. I'm getting tired of the two extremes of craigslist; the guys who want you to work for nothing and the self righteous jerks that think every job should cost a minimum of $300 an hour/day/minute. I would love to make $50 for two hours of work that I can do in my sleep. I get three of those a week that's an electric bill. If one school has a couple of kids, and bang them out all at once then you have a car payment for The Wife.

I love the fact that $15 an hour is slave labor, last time I checked that's about 2.5 times minimum wage. I can't make that working at Kohl's... trust me I tried. I love how people throw that phrase around in situations like this. Would I like to make $300 a day... YEAH, but I'm going to take whatever I can that will not cost us more in the long run. Response guy needs to find out how good a $300 dollar a day job is and leave the one who are struggling to decide whether or not 15-25 and hour is good enough.

Monday, March 02, 2009

New Camera

I'm surprised I have not posted about this earlier in the week, but I got my new camera and wow, it's tiny!

I knew the Sony HRV-A1U was the smallest prosumer they made, but look at the picture to the left, it's barely bigger than my hand. Even though it is small, all the reviews (not on Sony's site) said it is small but high end and so far it's rockin like Dokken. The attached XLR mice box allows you to to get decent sound, but it also has a mini plug for the smaller wireless mics. Obviously it is light weight and in normal light it takes a great image.

The draw backs appear to be that everything has to be done through a menu, so if you want to change audio level you have to scroll through the menu. Also the DV tape is bottom loaded. So if you are needing a tape change and you are on a tripod... that's going to take a few seconds as you screw off the plate to get to the tape. It does not have a CCD, but a CMOS I've heard a lot of cons and some pros on this chip. The biggest thing it's more cost effective so that's a plus and you're not suppose to get the "Streaking" bright lights give the smaller cameras/ the P2 I was using at WNCN. As all smaller cameras, lower light sucks. It gets more grainy as the camera will bump up the gain to pull in more light. I knew that was going to happen, the smaller cameras just can't handle low light as well as a professional camera.

I like the camera so far, but I have to get the mind set of bigger is better out of my head. I remember seeing people with these small cameras at events thinking they need to leave this to professionals like me in other words a twelve grand camera. If I can get half way decent image with this thing, I should be able to blow away any small time crews. I just have to remind myself and anyone who asks it's not the size of the camera, but what you can get from it. I also have to remember I'm not shooting Ben Hur with this thing, it's weddings and kids doing things.

Still I am amazed at the size of this thing, Gilbert the Gnome is as long as this thing!
The camera in the last picture is a Canon XH A1 owned by Lifepointe Church.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Loaner

With the car in the shop for a week, the auto shop was nice enough to give us a loaner. I was worried about what they were going to give me. I kept flashing back to the movie The Mask and seeing a giant hoopty, little did I realize that a hoopty would be a lot better.

I go in and see the keys to a Chrysler and was thinking that the car off to the side was a Chrysler and that would be fine. No, that would be too nice. I'm directed over to the other side of the building and I see a blue Plymouth Voyager... from what has to be the mid 90s. It's the kind of mini van you see on the side of the highway broken down. The Wife immediately laughs at me knowing my hatred of minivans.

This thing has all the mediates of the mid 90s, AM/FM radio, tape deck, air bags, a horn, heat and power locks. I am stylin and profilin here, look out ladies I'm crusin in style. I keep thinking of the minivans The Dad use to get while working for EcoLabs. It was always a minivan so that he could get all his equipment in there. Of course that flashes me back to high school and I fall into a fetal position, and last time I check you can't drive from the floor boards. I can't wait for Wednesday to arrive.