Saturday, December 24, 2005

Rehashing the Christmas Spirit

As I am sick, as is my wife, as both my children are, I have no will to write anything new until I feel better. I will though, bring back something I encountered on a traffic accident I shot last year...

From 12/31/04

This morning, I covered a pretty bad accident that happened in a predominantly African-American area of Cleveland. As I was covering this accident, I was standing near a graffiti covered bus shelter. As I was standing there, I started to read some of the words of wisdom written. This is the one that jumped out at me...

Santa Claus is a white-ass honkie bitch!!!

How can you argue with logic like that????

To everyone, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Who?? Me??

Last night the wife and myself went out for a date. We left the children at the grandparents and had a night of peace and quiet. We went out to a local restaurant for dinner and since it was a clear night with an almost full moon, it was quite chilly and I wore my embroidered work jacket. It has a small 3 and the call letters on the left side of the chest and a huge 3 with our call letters on the back.

As we're walking out into the foyer of the establishment, the manager asks, " you work for channel 3??"

My inner smart ass kicked in and I said, "What gave it away??"

Here's your sign...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Close To Home

I was hoping that my Friday overnight would be uneventful and pass quickly. Well, wishing that just perked up the ears of the news gods and they quickly kiboshed that idea. As I was driving down the main road from my house, I heard the tones from Bainbridge Township fire department go off on my scanner

"Bainbridge of a house on fire..8551 Tanglewood Trail...reports that it is fully engulfed."

I live six miles from Bainbridge and I have to pass through it to get to work. So I modestly floored it and drove cautiously over the unplowed roads. I got to the fire within five minutes. I got there before most of the fire and rescue vehicles. When I got out there were two firefighters, one cop, the assistant fire chief and me. The end condo was on fire. The last house in a unit of five.

The fire was just at the peak of the roof and it looked like it might be able to be doused pretty quickly. Well, that's when they discovered the only fire hydrant close enough was frozen solid. They had to call in other neighboring townships for water tankers and pumpers to get water flowing to fight it.

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The lack of water made the fire fighting tricky and the best that they could do is keep the fire spreading to the adjacent condo units. They were successful in that endeavor but the end unit was a loss. Everyone was evacuated but the family lost their dog in the blaze.

I owned the story from start to finish. No other station had the fire and flames. Actually, no other station showed up. Even had the live shot all to ourselves.

Here's a link to the package they did on it for the 6 o'clock news that evening. I'm not sure how long the link will be up so try to catch it if you can.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

And When I Awoke

Living in what is considered the snow belt of Ohio isn't easy. See, when the wind comes over Lake Erie in a certain direction, and the lake is warm enough, we get something called Lake Effect. Lake effect is a bitch and her name is well...bitch!! Ask the people of Erie, PA and Buffalo, NY what lake effect snow is and if they don't pummel you to death with the bloody stump that used to be your arm, then they'll tell you that it's a bitch, just like I did.

Well, seeing that I'm off on my weekends just made this more special. See, I didn't have to go out in the mess that is lake effect. I could sleep in and wake up to this

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Yes, this is two feet of snow. This is actually 2 feet of lake effect snow in one day. Up by the lake, did they get this much?? Noooo. See, lake effect passes over those towns close to the lake for about 6-7 miles and then drops it's load inland.

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And it's really beautiful. But it sucks having to walk around in it, drive in it, etc...

When is spring again?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Burning A Few Days

Well, it's December 1st and there is nothing like finding out you have unused vacation days left. So, when I found out that I had 2 single vacation days and one paid personal day to use, I scribbled down my wanted days off. So, I have a wonderful four day weekend to look forward to. I go back to work on Tuesday.


Lot's of Madden 2006 and GUN for the PS2 in my future. Oh....and be a father type authority figure to the kids also.

Priorities and all.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday Off To A Bad Start

I was woken up early this morning by my work cell phone going off. "We need you to head to Painesville. There's a fire at a trailer park and they're talking about removing a victim from the trailer."

"Ummm..uh...whazzit? Oh, OK", I stammered and tried unsucessfully to focus on the alarm clock. I tried to turn it off so it wouldn't wake my wife but wound up turning it on by accident. I get dressed in semi darkness and head downstairs. When I get downstairs to brush my teeth, I find I have mismatching socks. Great.

I get to the fire without incident and drive right up to the trailer. I shoot video and no one tries to stop me. I thought the trailer park was private property but no sign was around to be seen so I slipped in behind the fire trucks. I quickly fired off a few minutes of video and got out.

On the way back to the station, I stopped off at Taco Bell because at 1:00a.m. they're still open and a 7-layer burrito would be my lunch. So, on I go back towards Cleveland, pretty happy. I've got my fire video and my 7-layer burrito. Could life get any better??

Nope. That was about as good as my day would get.

I get back to the station, get out of my news unit and step into a pile of mud that had fallen off a previous news unit. Crap. Ok, well, I can live with that and I head into the building. I enter our photog lounge and get ready to ingest my video. I take my Mini-DV tape and put it in the machine...

And hear the groaning and creaking of gears and tape as they're stretched and pulled in opposite directions. A message pops up saying, "Deck in an unknown state."

What state? Delaware? I hit eject and it didn't want to give up the tape. I hit stop and then hit eject again and the machine finally relinquished it's death grip on the mini DV tape.

I slowly pulled the tape out of the slot and along with the case, came about three feet of tape out of the machine. Sadly, my tape was eaten by an apparantly hungrier tape deck.

That has to be the worst sound imaginable.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Christmas Story..Unfinished

Anyone recognize this house?? Granted, it's dark and the flash didn't work from all the way across the street. It's the house from A Christmas Story. The holiday cult classic starring Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley. Parts of the movie were shot here in Cleveland and this house was used as the setting for Ralphie's childhood.

The house was put up for sale on E-Bay and was purchased last year by a San Diego man. He wants to make it into a museum about the movie. He needs a lot of work to catch up and renovate it to the movie specs.

Here is the only other identifier that would make this house recognizable as the Christmas Story house.

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Yes, the leg lamp in the window. The Major Award, as it was called. That's the only thing that lets you know that this was the house.

We were there for a live shot in the morning to basically say there's a fund-raiser to help with the renovation of the house. Right now, the house is in desperate need of repairs. Believe me, it's old. Built in 1895, the house only has really two rooms that are somewhat refurbished. Bare wires hang out of the walls and the floors are unfinished and need carperting. Walls need painted and papered. A kitchen sink needs to be put in. And while the guy who owns the house was trying to cut a hole in the wall, he cut through the thermostat line.

This house was cold. And to make matters worse, we had five hits at this house to try and come up with things to show. We had to make do with the lamp and stills from the movie. Oh well, when you have to tap dance, right?? It's a shame that we didn't couldn't mention what one of the former cast members, Scott Schwartz who played Flick in the movie, did later in his career.

He did a little acting in porno movies...shhh.

The guy who bought the house also makes the leg lamps as a way to raise money for the refurbishment of the house. If anyone would like to take a look at his site and maybe order one of the lamps for the one that you love, hate or want to get even with, here is his web site. or you can contact Mr. Jones at

Also, you can visit his web page for the house at

Ok, the last thing I'm going to say is that we had a "leg" up on the competition that morning.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Impressing A Cat

Today we got our newest addition to the family Newshutr. He's a 6 year old Siamese named Buckley. We had just lost our oldest cat, Cleo, to lung cancer. She was 13 and my wife's cat. She had her before she met me. We had Cleo put down and were a two cat family.

They say things happen for a reason. Well, my wife went to work on the day we put Cleo down. The co-worker next to my wife asks her if she knows anyone who would be interested in a Siamese cat. Funny how things work, huh?

Anyways, my wife jumps on the offer and we were delivered a big Siamese cat.

But before we got the cat this morning, while my wife was at work, I was busy redding up (Cleaning for you non-Pittsburgh raised people). I dusted, vaccuumed, washed, folded, spindled and mutliated everything in sight.

All for a cat.

I actually stopped mid-vaccuum and realized what I was doing (this being four hours into the cleaning). I just had to laugh. But I was on a roll and I figured why stop now. Even my kids got into it.

And was Buckley impressed?? He sniffed everything, hissed and growled a few times and generally hid behind the futon for a long time. He did finally come out but it will take a little time for the cats to get to establish thier hierarchy.

Overall, I think he liked my efforts. I did get a Siamese meow and then a deep growl.

I think he appreciated it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Put Up or Shut up

I will hardly ever, repeat ever talk politics on this blog. I just wanted to post this..


Monday, November 14, 2005

The Lightning Live Shot

It was bad weather coming through our fair area of Cleveland a few days ago. Thunderstorms actually, which was a stunner because it's November and we usually get snow here about this time. A warm front came through and with the cold air made quite the storm and with it, a nice light show.

I was called out an hour before my live shot to a house fire. While my reporter and I were driving to the fire, the storm started. Lightning was streaking through the sky but there was minimal rain. High winds also were in abundance.

After driving around looking for the fire and not finding it, we found out we were sent to the wrong area and that we were about seven miles south of the fire. Oh well, no loss. The fire was a vacant house that some homeless were squatting in. Nothing one dead.

We had to hustle back to our live shot because it was the morning after Election Day. Luckily all I needed for a backdrop was a city shot because Cleveland had elected a new mayor. As we were driving to our location, the storm kicked up a notch and lightning criss-crossed the sky.

Of course I didn't put my mast up. I'm dumb, but I ain't stupid. Radar showed the storm moving out fast and the wind and clouds seemed to confirm it. There was talk about us heading back to the station and scrubbing the live. I said, I thought we could wait it out and my EP said told me it was my call.

I had set everything up and I thought we'd wait. And wait we did. We missed our first hit. But it had been about 20 minutes without rain or lightning and we were nearing our 5:30am hit. All I needed to do to get a signal was lift my dish. I had line of sight with my recieve horn so putting my mast in the air was not a problem and since the lightning had stopped.

I got a call just before out hit. Our EP wanted to know if we were going to come back. I told him that we were good to go. No lightning for about 25 minutes and clearing skies. I could even see the stars a little. Which was pretty good since the light from the city usually prevents you from seeing the stars.

My reporter and I set up and were waiting our cues. Then we were on. Our hit was going flawlessly. My reporter reaches her tag and a bolt of lightning shoots between two buildings in the distance. I saw it and puckered a sensitive part of my body. I wasn't the only one that saw it. Our anchors saw it also.

This caused a scene back at the station between one of our anchors and our EP. During the break, a shouting match ensued between them. Apparantly our female anchor was concerned for our safety and felt that our EP was forcing us to do the shot while lightning was about. All was explained that it was my call and we weren't forced to do the shot. We were given ample opportunity to kill the live shot. But given the weather conditions and the lack of lightning for 25 minutes, I felt we were in the clear.

It was the only lightning we saw the rest of the morning. But it scared the crap out of me.

Although, it's nice to know that there is concern for us out in the field.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Quick Update

My son Josh, is out of the hospital. They have him on so many medications for Asthma, it's ridiculous!!

Oh well, at least he's home and on the mend.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Annnnd Once Again...

My oldest son, Joshua, is in the hospital with pneumonia. This is getting ridiculous. The doctors are going to check his auto-immune system to figure out why this keeps happening. This shouldn't be happening to a 5 year old..

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Helloooooo Belgium

To the reader(s) of my blog in Belgium, let me say hello and give you my thanks for visiting my site. I posted earlier a few months ago that I guessed I was big in Belgium. Well, I just wanted to say that I appreciate your time here.

And the rest of Europe?? I'm a little dissapointed in you. You're gonna let Belgium get all the thanks??

C'mon...step it up.

Damn...Just Damn

This morning while I'm out with my partner in crime/reporter Jacque, she excitedly grabs my arm and says, "Guess what??? I'm going to New York City tomorrow and Friday!!"

"Great!", I reply. "Vacation??"

"Nope...for work.", she said.

"Why..??", I asked.

"I get to interview Donald Trump, some of the cast of Law & Order and Law & Order SVU!! I'm soooo excited!!"

"Wonderful. So, who's going with you to shoot??", I asked hopefully.

"Ummm..nobody. It's a junket thing. They supply the shooter....sorry", her voice lowered.

So, I sulked the rest of the morning. Yeah, I'm bitter that way.

Oooh...That Smell

This morning, I rolled out to the discovery of a body in a car. When I got to the scene, you could tell what happened. The car had been burned and with it, the body inside. On top of that, the smell of a recently doused fire. That wet smell added to the charred flesh smell is one odor that I would like to erase from my memory banks.

Car and body were in a high drug area and behind an abandoned house. Well, if you're gonna dance with the devil...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Putting Your Hands Where??

Yesterday morning, as I was preparing for our morning live shot, a woman passed by me. She stopped, turned around and said, "May I ask you a question?" She seemed "normal" enough, so I said, "Sure." I thought she'd ask me something related to the TV industry. Boy was I wrong..!!

WOMAN: "If a man comes up behind a woman and starts putting his hands, you know, in inappropriate areas, you think he wants something??"

ME: "Ummm..what?"

W: "If a guy, like you, comes up behind a woman and starts you know, touching a woman on her backside, do you think that he wants something.."

(insert sound of reporter running interference curling into a ball, burying her nose in her notepad and pretending to be busy)

M: "Oh..uh...well..."

W: "Now I'm just saying that they guy might want something. But does the woman..??"

M: "Geez, I dunno. I'm kinda busy here.."

W: "But wait a sec. He might get her all worked up...and she might just you know, want what he's dishing out.."

M: " Wow...I...Umm..look, I don't know what the circumstances are, but sure, I guess possibly. Look, I've got to get back to work. I'm wasting time here...."

W: "Now what if they're both crackheads?? Because they're sure to be crackheads doing this."

M: "Oh..well....sure. That GOES without saying. But then again, I'm just a white boy from the suburbs. What do I know from crackheads? Now if it was meth, and you were talking about tweakers, sure...I'd go along with what you're saying.

W:"See, I knew...."


(insert sound of reporter trying not to snort all over her notebook)

I quickly ran to the back of the truck and drug out my AC line. I headed back to the truck and mumbled under my breath to my reporter Jacque, "Thanks for riding shotgun there, partner."

(cue loud snort from Jaque)

Why me?? That's all I want to know. Why me??

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Umm...Forget Something??

I was out checking a car into a pole and a pedestrian struck when I hear East Cleveland come over on my scanner. "We need a supervisor here at 2082 Newbury ASAP!!!!", the voice said. East Cleveland isn't the best place to be in the dark, or the daytime for that matter. Lots of violent crime and drug activity.

Well, I call my desk and let them know about it. Our desk calls them and they deny anything going on. So, of course, the desk sends me to check it out. I get to the scene and see four cop cars outside this house. An officer is looking in the front lawn with his flashlight. Shooting or homicide, I think to myself.

I hop out of the car and shoot off the shoulder. The cop goes inside, so I go back to my car to get my tripod. I set it up and shoot b-roll. I get the usual shots when I see an officer exit the house and start to walk over to his car, which was right in front of me. "Fishing for something?", he asked. "Well, what's going on?", I asked him back. He made a motion of his finger across his throat and then points to my camera.

I shut the camera off and walk over to him and he tells me to wait it out. It's not a murder or a shooting, but there is interesting stuff going to come out of that house. I thank him and go back to man my camera.

He wasn't kidding. Out come officers carrying assault rifles, ammo boxes full to overflowing, sawed off shotguns, pistols and the most shocking thing....police uniforms. I take the camera off the tripod again and shoot off the shoulder.

It took them a while to get all the weapons out of the house. I was pushing the time envelope and it was about 20 minutes until our 5am show start. I ran back to my car and rushed away to get the tape back to the station.

Leaving my tripod on the sidewalk....

I get back, ingest the tape, load into a live truck and go out to do traffic pictures(slow morning). When I go to set up the tripod!! I break out into a cold sweat, realizing that I left it back at the scene. I spend a hellacious two hours on an overpass waiting for the show to end so I can go back to the scene and get my tripod.

The show ended and I tell the desk where I'm headed and why. I get to the former scene and where my tripod once was, is now naked concrete sidewalk.

My tripod is was gone. Oh great. Now I'm in it for about $8000. Yeah, life as I know it, will cease to exist when my supervisor gets in. I called the police station and asked if they might had brought it back with them. Their response, "This is the day shift...I have NO idea what the night shift does.." Wonderful.

Well, to make a long story short, that night I called the night shift and they said they had it.

WHEW!!! I just un-puckered my sphincter. Now I'm off to go get them some logo mugs, shirts, donuts and coffee.

I need to pay them back because they saved my ass big time!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The People I Encounter

Working in TV, you get to meet all types of people. Some interesting, some unique, some odd and some just as strange as the day is long. These following people are the odd and strange variety. Why are they odd and strange?? Because they decided to work in the wonderful world of television. Yes, I count myself as a member in the odd and strange club. NO GURLZ ALLOWD!!!

These two guys are from the Fox affiliate here in Cleveland. The man in the hat is Jimmy. He's a great photog and a really good guy. I've never known him not to have a smile on his face. His partner in crime, Dave, is their morning reporter. Two very good men to know. I'm always happy to see them when I get a chance. This picture was taken at a double murder. Notice the happy faces??

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This guy is Bob. Bob works for the ABC affiliate. I see Bob occasionally when I'm out and about. He's another great photog and great guy. His stories and his laugh are his signature. You can always find Bob in a crowd by his laugh. He's a grizzled veteran, as is Jimmy. I wish I knew as much as they've forgotten.

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This next character is Obie. Given name Obed. He's one of the reporters I work with in the morning. His trademark is his bow ties. He wears them every day except for one. That special day being April Fools Day. That day he wears a necktie. Obie is a very blessed man. I'm a very lucky man to know him. And even luckier to work with him. How many violin playing reporters do you know?? Check out the link to his site for his CD's and appearances. I think he knows just about everyone in the Cleveland area. One thing though. Never ask him about getting hit by a car when he was a kid. He'll tell you the story...over and over again.

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Since everyone else does it, I thought I'd put up the obligatory mast shot also. Although it looks like I put the mast up into tree branches, I didn't. I'd never do THAT...

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Day Filled with Celebrities

Today I had a great opportunity to cover a Battallion of Marines arriving home from Iraq. The Marines of the 3/25th Weapons Co. came home to the Cleveland area this morning. They lost 48 members while in Iraq. 16 at one time.

There at the hangar where the Marines would be dismissed and be swarmed over by their families, was a production company for NBC shooting stories for their show "Three Wishes". Amy Grant whom is the host was there. We were able to have her live on our morning broadcast. I'd met her three other times before when I worked at a Christian TV station in Pittsburgh and shot live performances of her singing. She actually said to me, "I've met you before, right??" I told her when and where. She got a big smile on her face and yours truly got a HUG!!!

Then when I got back to the station from Akron, our production staff was getting ready for their daily hour long show called Good Company. Their guests on the show were John Secada and Louie Anderson. I was able to meet them while they were in our Green Room.

And I just missed out on meeting Lawrence Juber yesterday. For those that don't know about him, he was the lead guitarist for WINGS for about three years.

All that and I didn't have my camera with me.

Gotta remember to carry it..

Friday, September 30, 2005

Dodging Orange Barrels

Yesterday here in beautiful downtown Cleveland, a cold front from Canada came through around 3:00am. It caused high winds. Our airport, which is not near downtown Cleveland, reported 40-45 mph winds.


Those winds were probably 60-65 mph. I was out in them. I'm not a small guy in anyone's eyes and I was getting pushed around pretty well. I went to a spot near our station that had a lot of orange onstruction barrels. I got there just in time to get video of a barrel rolling down the street, hit a curb and fly at least 9 feet in the air.

Behind me I heard metal scraping on concrete. I turn around to see a good sized bus shelter sliding down the sidewalk and stop when it made it to the grass. The wind bent the metal frame of the shelter.

Then I felt like I got shot. I was hit with a piece of flying debris. What it was, I have no idea. All I know is it hurt. The back of my left thigh now has a golfball sized bruise and it's very sore.

Ahh, well at least the weekend is here. And my birthday is Sunday plus the weather promises to be exceptional.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I Don't Even Know Who You Are Anymore...

I just got my gear back after it being used by other phtotgs from my station. Now, I know it's not "my gear". It's the station's and the company that I work for. But you do tend to form a bond with your gear. You get comfortable with it after using it daily. It sometimes becomes a part of you. You rely on it. I feel like that with my camera sometimes. It's your partner. Your wingman, as it were.

I was off for two weeks. I don't know where my camera has been, what it's seen, who has touched it. It's sort of like the Las Vegas slogan: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Well, I guess I can live with that. I'll need a little time to be reconciled with my camera. We'll be a little aloof with each other at first. I'll play coy, DVCAM will act a little shy. You know how it is when you meet someone again and they should tell you something but they're afraid.

I think that my camera was traumatized a little while I was off. I found it in engineering on a bench with a piece of tape on it saying "OK 9/23/05". What happened to it??? No note. No description. Nothing. Although, I found it with it's cover off and the wireless receiver holder removed and a new bracket attached.

This was her in happier days. Before surgery..

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We're getting new batteries, Sony's thin Lithium batteries and the new bracket lets us use the holder with the new batteries. Someone went and had the bracket attached on their own. That's just great. Just one problem. I don't have the new batteries yet. I do have the old Anton Bauer 3 pin batteries that work with the adapter that slides into the Sony "V" for their batteries. My wireless holder doesn't fit the AB adapter now. So, I can't use my reciever. Why?? I can't find the old adapter part that was taken off!!! Bastards!!!!

My camera and it's parts have been mutilated. The unmitigated horror. It's suffering and I along with it.

And, if that weren't enough, when I got to my locker, I found it unlocked. Now, I can forgive a lot of things. But leaving my locker unlocked, when you went and got the key and took my gear out to use it for the day and then didn't bother to lock it back up is just a slap in the face. I'm dusting for fingerprints later.

Then my stick mic was missing. I found it after a search lasting a half an hour. I found it sitting in a live truck. It was all by itself. Apparantly, it saw what happened to the camera and decided to hide. Poor little mic.

At least that's my theory.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm back Part II

Well, after two weeks straight of vacation...ya, right. Taking care of my wife whom had gall bladder surgery, running the kids everywhere, dealing with a virus on my desktop and doing a full restore, dealing with my mother-in-law and HER doting ways and a cranky lawn tractor, yeah, my vacation was enjoyable. All I needed was a root canal to make it even more enjoyable. Was supposed to go to the Outer Banks but thanks to the surgery, we had to cancel. Good thing too. Ophelia didn't go to a nunnery so we would have probably had to cut it short.

But, I'm going back to work on Monday. Actually it'll feel good to get away for a little bit. I was able to go to Pittsburgh last Saturday, Sunday and early Monday though. THAT was a great bit of stress relief. Got to watch the Steelers pound the Texans.

Not much to report news wise, as I've been out of the loop. I hope things get back to what I consider "normal" on Monday. You know...fires, accidents, murders, shootings, etc...

Hey, I can hope, can't I???

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm Back!!

Sorry for not posting more recently. I've been busy and my wife is having gall bladder surgery so I figured that with my time off on vacation, I'd have time to write a little while she recuperates. It's been quite busy here.

The day that started it off was the morning of the United Way Pancake Flip. Yeah, I know. You're all thinking it. Mega-excitement happy funfest for all.
(waiting for the sarcasm to die down..) I had just finished stringing cable when my second man gets a phone call. "Well, I'm outta here. Double shooting...probably fatal.", he said as he sped off.

Great. I was looking forward to a blissful time in the live truck. Oh well. So, I go set up quickly and made it in time for our hit. Then we settled down until our next hit. My reporter, Jacque and I made small talk. She flirts with me..shamelessly. Poor girl. It's just the cross I have to bear, I guess...

My cell rang and our producer informed us that our 5:30am hit was cancelled. Jacque says, "Wooo...easy morning!" My reply, "You just jinxed us.." And I was right. Not two minutes later, the desk calls and tells us to break down and head over to the double shooting. The one my partner, Barry, was sent out to. Seems as soon as Barry and our other morning reporter got to the scene, all the cops started bugging out with lights and sirens to a call for an officer needing assistance. That turned into an police involved shooting.

Jaque and I headed to the first scene and we're the only ones around, besides two officers and a woman in hysterics. Seems that a house was broken into by two people. The owner of the house, a big time marijuana dealer, was home with his girlfriend. The home owner shot one of the robbers and then the second robber shot the home owner. The girlfriend ran into a closet and hid. She called 911 from a closet.

Well, it was a typical crime scene here. Except for all people screaming at each other. Neighbors started fistfights behind the crime scene tape. And various threats of, "We're gonna get him...!!" Seems the neighborhood knew who shot the dealer. Apparantly, the dealer was a "nice" guy in the neighborhood. He was loved. He kept the kids away from the crack dealers and kept three elderly people with groceries when they didn't have enough money for food or medicine.

sorta nice guy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina's Remnants

Well here in N.E. Ohio, we're under a flood watch from Katrina. It's raining very hard here. She's no longer a tropical anything but just a low front bringing a lot of rain.

I'm gonna get soaking wet. No matter what you wear, no matter how much you prepare, you get wet. Or at least I do.

I'll be out in it telling everyone...."Look...It's raining!!!"

I'll let you all know how dry I kept...

I'm not looking forward to this morning....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quick Update

I apologize for not posting much, but my wife is in the hospital. She's been there for the past five days and they can't figure out what is wrong.

They thought it was her heart and a heart attack. But that came back negative. Then they looked for bloot clots in her lungs. That was negative also. Now they think she might have a hiatial hernia or an ulcer, or possibly a bad gall-bladder.

They're scoping her tomorrow to look at what is going on inside. I'll keep updated.

Soon, I hope to return to more camera captured mayhem.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What's Going On Recently

Sorry that I haven't posted much. I've been busy. We've had many funerals for the 16 local Marines killed in Iraq. Lots of sadness. Plus we've added a new reporter in the morning. So, we've got two reporters in the morning now and it makes things a little more busy.

Plus we've been down an editor for the week and I'm usually the one that fills in. Nothing interesting happens when you're inside editing. THAT SUCKS..

But, today I particpated in a promotion shoot for our morning show. Yep, I'm going to be in a promo spot. They actually are going to put my ugly mug on TV. Fools..!!

One month until my two weeks off. Not that I'm counting....

Monday, August 01, 2005

I'm Big in Belgium

Just a note to the overseas readers of my blog. Welcome and thanks for reading it. Apparantly, besides my own country, Belgium seems to like me. Thanks to Belgium..!!

Tribulations About Vacation

My wife and I try to take an annual trip to the Outer Banks. My wife went to school at the University of North Carolina. To tell you what a fan of North Carolina we are, that's where we spent our honeymoon. Yup, Chapel Hill.

But the honeymoon is another discussion entirely. Like I said earlier, we try to get to the Outer Banks every year. Well, as usual, we rented a house on the beach well in advance of our trip. I have two weeks off in a row and I plan on doing nothing except taking pictures, surfing the net occasionally and maybe getting a little inebriated after eating lots of seafood.

My wife asked her work for the same two weeks in a row off that I asked for. Shockingly, she was able to get both weeks off. Then this last week, everything fell apart. That line, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans...", never rang truer.

My wife's work tells her that because of a drop off of staffing, that she can't have the third week of September off. She can have the second week off that she requested though. That totally threw our plans into the proverbial toilet. We made the reservation for THAT third week.

Ok, no problem, right?? A frantic search of the web site showed the same house available the week earlier. We called the rental company and explained the problem. Well, no problem on their end. Just send another $260 for the change of date because the move of one week moved us from off-peak to peak season. This also will cost us an extra $600 in rental fees.

So, the wife and I get ready to send the $260 when she gets a call from her work explaining that she will not be able to take that second week off either. Oh Joy!!

I looked at my wife and said, "Well, I'll send you and the boys a postcard from the beach." That did not go over very well. So, we called the rental company, explained the situation and were told that we'd lose our original deposit unless we'd like them to try and sublet the place for the second week. We'd at least get SOME of our original deposit back. Well, some is better than none, so we told them to have at it.

Not 10 minutes later, my wife's work calls her and says, "We've made a big error. You can still have that second week off, but not the third. Sorry if that messed up your plans."

My wife and I are staring at each other opened mouthed while hearing this on the answering machine. What do we do now?? Pay an extra $860 for the first week, lose our deposit, try to get some of it back or just chuck it all and stay at home??

As we're contemplating those options, our phone rings once again. It's my wife's aunt. She lives in North Carolina and she's calling to see if we're available to come down and stay with her at their BEACH HOUSE in Nags Head the second week of September.

The timing of this was nothing but a miracle. My wife's aunt OWNS a house on the beach. They do lease it out on a time share, but on a very limited basis. They're going to be there the whole month and they thought we'd like to come down for a week.

Prayers answered. Just need to sublet the other beach house. Anyone interested??

I'm just waiting for phone to ring once again..

Friday, July 29, 2005

Strip Clubs and Leaky Pipes

Last Friday, I went out to a "gentleman's..." Nahh..can't say that with a straight face. I went to a titty bar with a buddy of mine. We went to toast the departure of a certain person we didn't like. Childish I know, but hey, when you get a chance to drink, do Jager shots and see boobies, you jump. Well, at least I did.

After about 11 or 12 beers, Jagermeister shots and numerous lap dances, we staggered back to my buddy's place after a great breakfast of steak and eggs. I fell asleep at around 4:30am on my buddy's couch. I was dreaming that I was in a bar hearing the Cantina song from Star Wars playing in the background when I realized, it was my cell phone. I woke up slowly and answered the phone. hangover at least! I never get hangovers, but there might be the first time. never know. Anyways...


Me: "Ummmm...whazz time is it??"

Wife: "It's six in the morning and you need to come home right away..."

Thus ending my blissful sleep and having to wake my buddy up out of his self induced coma so I could get my car and leave.

Oh, what joy it was when I got home. What a double joy it was to call a plumber on a SATURDAY which was double the service charge.

I'd have rather have gone back to looking at boobies and paying for lap dances. It was a lot cheaper...and much more fun.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Giant Rooster

I'd forgotten I'd written this. I wrote it a long time ago on so I decided to post it on my blog as well. Talk about one to remember...

" Well, it seemed like a normal day, morning live shot then head back for a too early lunch. When I get a call from the desk, "Ready for a little spot news?", she asked laughing. Well, sure..any type of spot news can make a day go along faster. The desk says, " E.65th and Bessemer Ave. A giant rooster is attacking cars.."

I smack my radio and make sure it's working right. I ask if I heard right, and all I get is "Yep." to my truck I head with thoughts of old Japaneese Godzilla movies running through my head. I can see it now, blood, gore, buildings on fire, tanks, army men getting killed and the putrid scent of singed feathers in the air. I get to the scene to find.....NOTHING.

But, on the adjoining street, I find a house on fire with fire trucks just pulling up. I call the desk and tell them no giant rooster, but a house fire. I go to shoot it and bump into two of Cleveland's finest. I tell the cops that I've never done any type of illegal drug and I'm not under the influence of any right now...but I have to ask this, "Did you guys get a call of a giant rooster attacking cars????" Fortunately, instead of hauling me in, they laugh real loud and say, "Yeah, but it wasn't a giant was a huge Rottweilier chasing cars. Some drunk coming home saw the dog and called it in as a giant rooster attacking cars."

Well, least I got a house fire out of the trip. Then later on that day, I get another assignment to drive out to Aurora, Ohio to the Sea World to shoot the newborn baby penguins. I ask the desk, "What's with all the bird stories..first the giant rooster, now penguins?!?!?!?" The reply..(and it's true).." Well Brian, I guess you're just having a foul day...."


Friday, July 15, 2005

Looking for a Mother

This morning I spent a good bit of time with my reporter and good buddy Vic. He's working the morning shift to fill in for our regular morning reporter, Obie. I really enjoy working with Vic. He's a funny guy, smart, a real quick wit and quite the trivia buff. Oh, and if he reads this, he's also a pretty good man, even though he's a liberal.

Anyways, this morning Vic and I were sent out to chase down the mother of one of the London terrorist bombers. The tip we got turned out to be a dead end. Apparantly she lives here in the Cleveland area and the bomber, Jermaine Maurice Lindsey, a Jamaican born Muslim convert visited her.

This is in itself very disturbing. He might have just been visiting his mother, working up to the final goodbye. But he also could have been meeting with other terrorists, doing recon, making plans for other attacks. It makes you wonder what else was he doing??? Here in Northeastern Ohio, we have a nuclear plant, many bridges, a major metropolitan area vulnerable. Just as many other cities are.

I don't plan on hiding in a hole, changing my life in anyway. But it makes one think and I keep my eyes open a little longer at people now.

Although, the Kinks may have said it best, "Paranoia will destroy ya.."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Elder Abuse (I wish...)

This morning my live shot was in Euclid, OH. The city was having a recall election on their mayor. Apparantly, he ignored a no vote on an issue and proceeded on a project despite the objections of the public. Seems kind of straight forward, right? We've all covered elections. Get b-roll of people going in, sound with voters (supporters and opposition) and b-roll inside the polling place.

My reporter and I asked for permission from the presiding election official for permission to enter the polling place and shoot some video. After a phone call to the county board of elections, our request was granted. The head offical goes inside and tells them that I've been allowed in.

As soon as I stepped into the polling area, you'd have thought the four horsemen of the apocalypse had walked in. An old man, a poll worker, starts screaming, "NO CAMERAS IN THE POLLING AREA !!!!!!!! GET OUT!!! NO CAMERAS...!!!"

This starts off a chorus of other harpies (old women poll workers) reciting his words. I'm trying to explain that the official got permission from the B.O.E. and that I was allowed in. This didn't phase him and he kept repeating and yelling, "NO CAMERAS!!!!"

Another old man gets on a cell phone, "I'M CALLING THE POLICE IF YOU DON'T GET OUT!!!" I told him to go ahead and I started to shoot b-roll. They all start howling at me to stop...

No way.

Finally, the election official comes out and starts telling the poll workers that I was allowed and that he got the permission from the head of the B.O.E. himself. This didn't phase the old man who kept yelling, "I DON'T CARE!! I DON'T CARE!! NO CAMERAS ALLOWED IN!! I DON'T CARE!!"

The official had had enough and yelled back, "HE'S ALLOWED TO BE IN HERE AND I DON'T GIVE A DAMN IF YOU CARE OR NOT!!!" That settled them all down, quick.

When I was ready to leave, I went up and shook the hand of the official and thanked him for his help in the matter. Then, I went directly up to the old man, squeezed his hand hard enough during our handshake to get his attention,and said, "Thanks for protecting the Democratic process from that evil First Amendment..."

And as I left, I swear this is true, I hear the old guy ask, "When will it be on...??" I didn't answer but I did shoot a look in his direction.

I've never wanted to bitch slap someone so much in my life. I don't care if he was close to 70 years old, he needed it.

Old Fart...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Fuzzy Pink Terrorist

The other day, I did a live shot outside my station in the parking lot. This live consisted of a fuzy pink character named Slider. Slider is the Cleveland Indians mascot. The whole premise of our live that morning was to help promote Dollar Dog Day. Hot dogs at that days ballgame were $1.00.

Let me intoduce Slider:
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Slider is around 6 foot tall. When you have a grown man inside a goofy outfit, the man tends to become more animated. Hey it's his job, right???

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Well, we planned one of the hits to have Slider throwing hot dogs, fully wrapped in their foil packaging, at the camera. The shot started and Slider started to throw the hot dogs. Ok, throw isn't the right word. Rear back and throw at the speed of a Nolan Ryan fastball is more like it. I was pummelled with dozens of freshly cooked hot dogs, still warm...some hot.

Most of them bounced off the lens.

Some missed me entirely.

Some hit my hands.


And I came away with a slightly bleeding and swollen lip.

I love my job...ehhh.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Porn Show....Almost...!!

Did a live shot this morning. Just beauty shots for a Friday, trying to get the perfect sunrise over the city from an overlook. A car pulls about twenty feet behind me and a man and woman get out. Their ages had to be early 20's. They sit in the grass, him first, legs outstretched and then her, in his lap..

They knew I was there, in a clearly marked live truck, with the mast extened and my camera cabled out the back of the truck. My camera was faced away from them and towards the city. I guess they thought they were in the clear for a little huggin, touching and squeezing.

They didn't see the MAST CAMERA..

They didn't see it slowly swing over to their direction....

They certainly didn't hear me call back to the control room to let them know what was going on.

And lastly, I know they didn't hear the editing deck in the truck get up to speed when I pushed play and record...

They started off innocently enough. She sat in his lap..and he started kissing her back. Image hosted by Photobucket.comThen his hands went into her lap. She smiled brightly. He must have been well manicured.

Then she leaned back and they started kissing and playing tonsil hockey. Image hosted by They would stop every once in a while, when a jogger ran by. But went back to a lot of kissing.

Then her hands went behind her back and into his crotch.Image hosted by That's when this started to get interesting.

Yep...I'm a perv.

Anyways, Mr. Smooth decides to go back to kissing her back and get a handful. Image hosted by Can't say as I blame him. She has a nice body.

After a while of dialing in radio stations, they laid back and relaxed. Mr. Smooth starts to put the moves on big time and decided to do a little undercover work.Image hosted by His lady love didn't mind the previous PDA's but, this might have been too public. She stood up and helped him up. over.

However, the control room was enthralled as was I. I didn't have a beauty shot taken during that time. I did have the MAST CAM punched up feeding the station.

Ahh, too bad I didn't get to see "fireworks" early for the 4th. But, I'm sure Mr. Smooth was having a good time. And I was stuck at work..

Friday, June 24, 2005

Unnoticed Celebrity

I was surfing through the channels last night looking for something to hold my interest long enough for the Nyquil to take effect. I've got a cold and the weather is just as nice as it can be outside. Hooray.

Well, I stumbled on a program on CMT called Southern Rock. The program traced the history of some of the most famous southern rock bands and they highlighted Lynyrd Skynyrd. That opened up the memory floodgate of a chance encounter about ten years ago.

Admittedly, I'm not a big Skynyrd fan. I could only tell you a handful of their songs and really only name one or two of their band members. I certainly couldn't have told you by sight who they were. And that leads to where my story goes.

Back in 1995, I had just moved to Cleveland and had only been here a few weeks when I recieved an invitation in the mail to a World Premiere Screening of the movie 'Freebird'. A documentary on Lynyrd Skynyrd being premiered at the newly opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Well, I don't know how my name got on the A-List but I wasn't asking. My wife and I RSVP'ed and went to the RNRHOF for the event. We got there a little early and had looked around the hall. We were considered VIP's for some reason and were able to get into a secluded section. We found the bar and sat down at a table to have some wine and cheese. We sat there in a fog. Here we are in a movie premiere, invited as VIP's and we're like fish out of water.

My wife and I are waiting for someone to realize the error that was made by inviting us when a frail looking woman in a peasant dress, that screamed "Ultimate Flower Child", says hello and asks if she may sit with us. We said sure and we proceeded to have a little conversation with her. She was a very pleasant person who, through conversation, we learned had never been in Cleveland before. I asked her where she was from and she replied, Florida. In hindsight, this was a tipoff, but I'm not very smart.

Then a thin man with his hair pulled back in a pony tail and a very long, bushy beard walked up to the table and said, "Hi honey.." and sat down with us. I introduced myself and my wife and he did likewise. He said his name and I though he said "Artimus" Like I said, I'm not a fan of Skynyrd, so I didn't recognize this gentleman. We talked for a while about the HOF and he seemed really interested that I was in the news business and asked me a lot about being a videographer. Then things began to happen.

They let the general public in and the people lined up outside the ropes and started yelling "Artimus..!!" and "Mr. Pyle.." He grumbled something, got up and walked over to sign autographs. I looked at his wife and she said, "I'm glad you didn't ask him right off for his autograph. He just likes to be left alone at times.." I said to her, "Forgive my ignorance, but who is he??" She smiled and said, "You don't know?? Not real fans huh??"

"He's Artimus Pyle. He was the drummer for Skynyrd..", she told us. My wife and I looked at each other and then laughed. "Well, we like the music, but I never really paid attention to the members of the band too much..", I replied. She laughed also and said , "Well, thanks for not noticing and bugging him. He's had a rough time recently."

After he signed the autographs, Artimus came back and sat down with us again. I apologized for not recognizing him and he said it was just fine with him. He did ask if we wanted his autograph now that we knew and I told him only if he wanted to give it to us. He smiled and signed the poster that we were given as part of the VIP gift bag.

We talked a little more about the hall and music in general. My wife and I didn't want to make the conversation about him. I think he appreciated that because, he told us to sit with him and his wife in the theatre. So, when they called him and his wife over to enter the theatre, he told the Rock Hall people that we were with him. So, we got past everyone and were able to sit with the remaining members of Skynyrd and the Honkettes through the whole movie.

When the movie was showing, you could see the tears in his eyes. The footage that was shot in the plane before it crashed was particulalry chilling. He did wipe a few tears away. Just as I did. Just as everyone in the theatre did. When the movie was over and we all go to up to leave, Mr. Pyle thanked my wife with a kiss on the cheek and a hug for me.

It's one of those memories that you look back on and say, "Wow..did that really happen??" Now I can look back on it and see how stupid I was by not recognizing him but then again, if we had been a regular fan, we'd had probably behaved like one and made a complete asses out of ourselves fawning all over him and his celebrity.

Sometimes ignorance is truly bliss.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Different Meanings

Last night, I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about Boston firefighters. One of the firefighters made a comment while a fighting a church fire. He said, "This was a good fire..."

To a rgular person, "A Good Fire" could mean a nice cozy fire in a fireplace on a cold winters night. To the dad at home, a good fire could mean the grill is just right for a barbeque.

Now, to us as photogs, it means...

"Holy Shit...the flames I got!! The house was still burning when I got there. You could really feel the heat from across the street..."

Man...we live in a world of our own, don't we..??

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Scenic Route

This morning I was pulled off my live shot to "go chase the FBI". My assignment desk person said she'd heard Cleveland PD assisting the FBI around the Buckeye and Woodhill road areas. Those of you who are familiar with Cleveland should know this area. It's a wonderful place of trees, hummingbirds, deer in meadows and wild flowers...

Nahhh...actually it's pretty much a run down area. I drove there in about five minutes because rush hour was headed in not out. When I got to Woodhill and Buckeye I found....nothing. So, I drove around the side streets where I was treated to lovely images reminicent of the old Burma Shave signs. These were more modern versions though..

R.I.P. Lil' Marcus
E.120 Folk
Crip Land
Pimp Daddy R.I.P. Bro

Like Simon and Garfunkel sang, "The words of the prophet are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kalahari Waterpark Resort- A Review

Last weekend, myself, my wife and two boys took a mini-vacation to the newly constructed and newly opened Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, OH. I posted earlier that I was upset and needed a little time to calm down before writing about my experience there.

Well, I think five days is enough of a calming down period, don't you??? Plus, I have to keep repeating the mantra:

To say that this place is huge is an understatement. It's honking big, plus they're still building onto the place. More rooms and water attractions are going up as I write this. The parking lot is large and long. I'd suggest the valet parking because if you have a lot of luggage, you sure don't want to be lugging it across the parking lot, up a wooden bridge across an entrance way and into the lobby. My advice, use the valet and bellman service offered.
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Checking in was a snap but remember to take the map they offer you. You'll need it.

The room we stayed in was fantastic. We had a family suite which had three beds plus a pull out sleeper sofa. The room also had a gas fireplace. Really good to have when you come into a room wet and the A/C has been on full blast. Nice and cozy. The room that we stayed in had two bathrooms, two sinks and most importantly, a door that separated the two rooms so a little privacy could be had for the frazzled parents and sleep could be had for the overtired children.

The waterpark itself is an indoor/outdoor one. The majority of the funto be had is inside the resort's water area. There is an indoor water roller coaster which is fun...well, looked fun when it was working, which wasn't often. There's a lazy river that winds around the indoor part. Relaxing to just float around on a tube.
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There's also the slides and indoor tower with huge waterbucket that dumps a lot of gallons on you every three minutes or so, if you choose to stand underneath it. Lots of climbing and water spraying devices to keep kids occupied for hours.
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Outside, there is a pool that is wonderful for those that just want to relax and float, tread water and maybe take the kiddies in to start to learn how to swim. It goes from 1 foot deep to the deepest at 4 feet. In the deep end is a large water fountain that my sons found enjoyable to float under. Attached to the outdoor pool is a medium sized "jacuzzi". The water is a little warmer than the pool, and it has multiple jets to produce bubbles. Plus a ledge to sit on and enjoy the warmth and sun yourself.

Another part of the pool is an above ground sprinkler area for the little ones to run around in and get wet.
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There are lots of chaise lounges and thatched umbrellas to sit around and sunbathe or people watch. (The propensity of hot women in revealing swimsuits was remarkable..) I did get a few dirty looks from my wife. So sue me.

There are two bars that serve cold drinks plus beer and alcohol at the pool. I gave in and had a frozen daquiri, just because I didn't feel like drinking a beer. There is also a walk in snack bar that serves light snacks such as hot dogs and such for a quick lunch when at poolside.

Inside the resort, there are numerous restaurants, kiosks, a candy store, a sushi stand (that wasn't open yet), a coffee shop, an art store and a couple of clothing stores. For the kids, there is an arcade that you can blow money on. A indoor nine hole miniature golf course is also inside which isn't all that impressive but you can learn to count to nine in Swahili. There's also a pottery area that kids and adults alike can paint pre-made pottery items and have them fired in a kiln. There are multiple activitites geared to kids on a daily basis and it can be quite a fun experience for the kids and parents as it does induce family activity.
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Inside the lobby, which I thought was the coolest was the glass booth that contained two lion cubs. You have the opportunity to have your picture taken with the cubs although it is for a nominal fee.

The one thing that I noticed is how friendly the staff is. They go above and beyond helpful. Their courtesy is welcome, especially to those who have screaming kids and need a smiling face once in a while.

The one thing I can say is that staying here is not cheap, but if it's for a family vacation, it's worth it. Especially if the kids have a good time.

Now, that I have reviewed most of what I consider important, and somewhat thorough, let me tell you of my experience. Remembering my mantra (see above...) the family and I had an enjoyable time although there were a few bumpy parts on the road to happiness.

The few problems we ran into, I believe were a part to have just opened recently. The first problem I ran into was that the in room internet access was non-existant. They charge you $9.95 for 24 hours but they were having major IT problems they said, so I had to settle for the lobby Wi-Fi but trying to get an access code from the desk and IT guy was like pulling teeth, even though they offer it for free. So, if you want to go wireless in the lobby, have at it.

The second problem which really made us mad was we didn't get our room cleaned until we complained about it. We had gone out to the pool early, came back at 11:30am. They were four rooms away and the supervisor asked when we would be out of the room so it could be cleaned. We told him we'd be showering and be out in an hour around 12:30pm. We left the room before 12:30pm and the cleaning lady was two rooms away. We came back from lunch around 2:00pm after playing a few games in the arcade. We entered and found the room the way we had left it, including the dishes from the room service order the night before.

We changed and went back to the pool again. This time, we returned to the room at 5:00pm and it still hadn't been touched. To make a longer story short, the room wasn't cleaned until we called twice and complained. Finally at 6:30pm it was cleaned.

Third, the phone system wasn't completly functional. We couldn't direct dial many of the services. Plus the quick dial buttons weren't functioning either.

Overall, we did have a good time at the waterpark. We just wish it had been a more organized and run a little better...

But, then again, there is the mantra...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Car vs Amish Buggy

Before I left for the mini vacation I'm on, I covered a really horrific accident. Out in Eastern Geauga County,Ohio there is a very large community of Amish. They are centered around the communities of Middlefiled and Huntsburg. They live in a peaceful existance with land and God. To a lesser extent, they have a tolerance for the modern life that surrounds them.

Cars for one are a danger to human and animal alike in the Amish community out here. Especially when people get impatient and just have to get to the store in a hurry. Damn the torpedoes and the Amish, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!

When a driver encounters an Amish buggy his first reaction is to try and get around the slow moving horse and cart. Sometimes people just don't have the proper tolerance and patience to wait for an opening and they try to pass without slowing down and giving the buggy proper space. To them, share the road is a joke.

Take the accident I covered two nights ago. A car driving westbound on a two lane road. A straight two lane road...A clear two lane road with no other traffic on it except an Amish buggy also traveling westbound. The driver was speeding. Well, speeding doesn't properly put it into perspective. As Mel Brooks put it in Spaceballs, "My GOD...they've gone PLAID!!" That's the speed he was going.

The car slammed into the Amish buggy literally destroying it. It was in splinters. Worse yet a family of nine were thrown out. Mother, father and seven children aged 2 months to 12 years old were all injured. I was on scene within fifteen minutes because I was at home and was called out to the accident from my house.

Three helicopters were called in and five ambulances were dispatched to the scene. It looked like a battle zone. The horse that was in the accident survived but was later destroyed. I was unfortunate to catch that on camera.

The driver of the car was finally charged with failing to maintain a safe distance. H's lucky he's not facing multiple vehicular homicide charges. The Amish family is incredibly lucky. I'm very happy that they're going to survive. It was one of the worst accidents I've ever seen..

Saturday, June 11, 2005

On a mini-vacation

The family and I are away on a mini vacation this weekend. I'm at the newly opened Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, OH. Will have pictures and a better review after I calm down. When a place opens for business to the public, you'd think that they'd pretty much have things in order.

Well....stay tuned.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Fire...A Multiple Homicide.

The past week and a half, here in Cleveland, the local news outlets here have been devoting their time to a house fire that killed eight children and one adult. The thing about it is, the fire has been ruled an act of arson. Thus making it the deadliest house fire in Cleveland's history. It also, sadder still, makes it the worst case of multiple homicide in the town's history.

The coverage was pretty much wall to wall. There was a mass public viewing for eight of the victims. five were open coffins, three closed. The funeral was the day after. The families had requested that the media be kept across the street, and of course, we complied. We actually worked with the city of Cleveland to help out with the families wishes. The families said recording devices were not allowed in the Public Hall where the service were held. We all agreed to that also. But when it was revealed there was a video camera in place by the city to provide video to the people attending the service, all the media outlets here asked for a feed. We were shocked when the families agreed to it.

Then it happend. It was my job to set up our station's live truck and run the cable into Public Hall to connect to the mult-box. Cleveland was having all kinds of problems with getting a video signal. Turns out they had a bad reeler. They asked the TV trucks if they had an extra reeler. Turns out, I was the only truck that had an extra. So, I gave ours to the city to use for the funeral. Then, it turns out their video signal for the two giant screens in the Hall had a double signal in it. They tried everything but couldn't get rid of it. They came to us again and asked if anyone had a video DA. Once again, I was the only one with a video DA. I went to the truck, got it and came back to the hall. I couldn't find the stagehand who wanted the DA, so I followed the cable from the mult-box into the hall. What I saw, stopped me in my tracks.

There were eight coffins in a row. Five of them open. All children. I wasn't prepared for it. I don't think that anyone could be. It was just sad. I was in shock. I've never seen so many coffins.

I hope to God I never see that many again in one place.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Photo Bloggers Unite 2- Television Is Furniture

Coming up with the description of how to describe myself as a piece of furniture. As much as I'd like to say I spent quality time thinking about this, I didn't really. I'd like to give my heartfelt thanks out to FTOJRLST, who took guesses at what he thought we might be. Describing me as a Burkline Recliner, warm, cozy, etc.. I have to ask myself, what the **** is he smoking?? Just kidding. I'm flattered but it's nowhere close to what I'd describe myself as.

What WOULD I describe myself as??

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I think of myself as an Otoman. But a really expensive one. The one above costs $1,275. So, I'm basically someone who will support you, but it's gonna cost ya.

I asked my wife what she thought I'd be. Her reply, " A big OVERSTUFFED chair." So, it seems that FTOJRLST and my wife seem to be on the same wavelenghth.

How warped it that??

Here's the all the photog bloggers that are doing the show-n-tell today.

Be sure to check them out!


tv photog blog

newshutr's views


kazz's world

little lost robot


erin winking

colonel corn

Friday, May 20, 2005

Drill Sarge

I was out doing beauty shots for our morning show. Image hosted by It was a slow overnight. No spot news, plus a slow night before equaled a light-hearted morning show. I was sitting in my live truck after setting a shot, when I heard a man yelling...

"C'MON YOU MAGGOTS...RUN...RUN...RUN..!!" I looked out my window and see a man wearing makeup. Ok, so it's actually camo makeup but still...
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He's got about 30 people running towards the green field known as Mall B in downtown Cleveland. The people all run over and line up in three rows. He proceeds to make them do all kinds of exercises. Some I haven't seen since my football days. I remembered how painful they were and I felt pity on them.

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He made them jump in place, crab walk, run gassers, jump and roll, all the while screaming at them and calling them "Maggots..." I thought to myself that someone has exchanged the real world for their fantasy world.
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His harassment made me wonder what these poor people had done to deserve it. I wanted to go ask what their crime was, but he was running them so hard, that I couldn't find a person that could talk.

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I called out control room to let them know what I was seeing and they decided to use me as much as possible. The morning anchors were asking why these people were doing this, but since I couldn't find an available person to talk to, I couldn't answer their queries. So, our anchors took to calling the resident drill instructor, "Sarge..."

"Sarge" then made them run laps around a large mall walkway. As they ran by my live truck, I was able to shout out my questions...
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"Who are you?? Why are you doing this..?? Who's the Drill Instructor??"

They all looked at me with fear in their eyes. As if talking would get them more laps or a night in the box.

Finally, I walked up to the DI and asked him point blank, "Who the hell are you guys and why are you beating these poor people to death.."

He laughed and said, "I'm a trainer in the health club at the Key Tower. We do this intense training twice a year.." I didn't have the heart to tell him that our anchors were berating him on the air..

And then it hit me. These people are PAYING for this abuse....

I retired back to my truck and took this picture of the things that I abuse and abuse me..
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Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday the 13th...eee....eeeee...eeeeee

I woke up this morning forgetting it was Friday the 13th. Well, it came back at me like someone doing a fish slapping dance from Monty Python skit. It started when I got into work. I sat down to immediately get a call to go to a truck flipped ax. The accident was only about a 2 miles from the station, so I got there very quickly.

What the desk called a truck flipped ax turned into a car vs. semi. The car had pulled out in front of the oncoming truck. The semi swerved and the car plowed under the trailer and bounced out. When I got there, I came upon a group of firemen and EMS workers working to free the person in the car.Image hosted by

A stretcher was brought up but soon taken away. An EMS worker I know, made the motion of the finger across the throat telling me he was dead. I gave a thumbs up for the info. He shook his head and did the motion again and then added a thumb moment over his shoulder.

I got the message. Decapatation.

What a way to start the day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Photog Bloggers Unite

Oh I am so PISSED at!! I had finished my whole blog on the Photog Bloggers Unite. I hit publish and WHAM...It was vaporized into the nether world of the internet never to be seen again. About four hours of work down the G*ddamn drain.

Well, I had really good blog and a whole lot of pictures. Even for the way I write, I thought it was pretty good. Well, now I'm in a surly mood. I'm more than pissed now..

I wanna scream and physically throttle everyone of's people. Even if it's not their fault. If this had happened to the Pope's Blog, it would make him want to kick a baby.

So, everyone gets my abbreviated version. Sorry, I don't have the time to re-write everything...Damn..I'm royally pissed..!!

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I run a Sony DSR-500WS DVCAM.
I don't like it. It sucks in low light, but at least it's not MII like I first used when I got here at WKYC.

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I use a ElectroVoice RE50. Lectrosonic wireless TX and Lectrosonic Wireless Lav for my microphones.

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I drive a 2002 Ford Explorer XLS 4WD. It is known as Unit 20. It has 66000 miles on it. It is unmarked. It was supposed to be marked, but I lobbied for it not to be. We don't wrap our vehicles anyways. Just a small logo on the sides and back. It's also the undercover team's backup car when they think they've been made on surveilance.

I also drive Live Unit 1. I switch out of my Explorer half way through my shift because I work overnights and I do live shots for our morning show.
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This is our lockerroom. It's known as the batcave. We really don't hang out in it. It's just a place to transfer gear for those that don't take their gear home. Also, the part-timers use it when they work.

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This is our readyroom/photog lounge/human fishbowl. A lot of the guys don't like it because of the huge window that faces the newsroom. But at least it has some creature comforts. Wet Bar and jacuzzi are the "perks". Just kidding. It's more of a 7 person hot-tub.

I wish I'd been able to write as much as my fellow blogging photogs here. I had originally but for some reason, ate my homework.

Here's the all the photog bloggers that are doing the show-n-tell today.

Be sure to check them out!


tv photog blog

newshutr's views


kazz's world

little lost robot


erin winking

colonel corn

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Meeting Danny Trejo

Well, I got to meet movie actor Danny Trejo the other night. He was here in Cleveland for a couple of days to be a part in a movie being shot here. The name of the movie is Dreaming On Christmas. It looks to be pretty good. Danny is playing a subway train driver who is dressed like Santa Claus and sings Christmas carols to the riders. He only knows two songs and he doesn't know all the words, so as he puts it, "I get to mangle a few classics.."

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Danny Trejo is a class act all the way. He came in a day early to Cleveland to speak to some recovering addicts/alcoholics. He says that he wants to give a positive message to people that think they don't anything to add to life. He gives them hope, when they may have none. Danny knows from where they come from, as he felt he had no hope at one time. As he puts it, "I was enrolled in the San Quentin program."

The second that I met him, and he shook my hand and greeted me with, "Hi, I'm Danny Trejo, God Bless you, man.", I knew this is one man who speaks from the heart. He stuck around for me, even though I was running late and he was extremely tired from a long day of shooting.

In the era of Paris Hilton's and J. Lo's, Danny Trejo is about you, and not about himself. He's the guy that you'd have as your best friend.

It would be a nicer world if there were more men like Danny Trejo in it. I would have asked him to repeat the line from Anchorman, after Ron Burgundy tells San Diego to go "F" themselves, but there were little kids around.

He made them Honorary Spy Kids. He looked at me and said, "I'd make you an honorary Spy Kid, but you're WAY too big.."

Thanks, Danny.

Cedar Point Media Day, Part Duh

I almost forgot to tell this story. If I hadn't seem the commercial, it would have slipped my RF addled brain. While we were in between our live shots, myself, Obie (our interpid reporter) and Mike (great sat truck op/photog) were talking at the riser. Another reporter ambled by and intoduced herself to us. The name will be withheld because of the stupidity of the reporter. But she was a young reporter for a station in Youngstown, OH.

As we introduced ourselves, she had a hard time understanding the name of our reporter. His first name is Obed. It's a biblical name. Professionally for TV he does go by Obie. But this young lass could not wrap her mind around what his name was. She kept asking him to repeat it.

Obie: "It's name is really Obed, but everyone calls me Obie"
Lass: "Huh? Oh..O.B. as in the TAMPON!"

Now, the poor misguided lass, being a woman, could make that leap. I don't know if any NORMAL or SANE woman would make their synapses fire in that manner, but she did.

We could not stop laughing at his expense, of course. Even Kotex..err..Obie has to chuckle at it.

The only bad part, we have to keep him out of the rain now.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Cedar Point Media Day

Yesterday was Media Day at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. The debut of their new ride, Max Air was the focus. We arrived early in the morning and set up the sat truck and then set up for our morning live shots.
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We had a great time and everything was pretty normal and orderly. To spit in the face of the TV gods, we had no problems, unlike our morning competition up the dial, who couldn't get their shot on the bird.

There were lots of media there and it was great to see faces that I hadn't seen in a while. It's always neat to see the toys that the out of state stations have.

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Man, this is one sweet ride. It swings out and rotates the seats and constantly goes higher and higher. The best part, you do get weightless for a few seconds...

To see the video, visit here

We did our shots, and then rode the ride. It's a blast. You have to come here and ride it.

Plus, we all snagged a cool MaxAir Media Day embroidered sweatshirt.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Making a Movie

Last night, a friend of mine calls me and tells me that an independent film is being shot locally and that I should come down and get a few shots of it in production. The name of the movie is Dreaming On Christmas and it looks like it's going to be a pretty good little movie. I call my EP and tell them, and they're thrilled because it has a local angle.

I go over to shoot it and I'm told, if I want, I can get an interview with Nick Mancuso. At first, in my mind, I asked myself who?? Then I remembered the name from the movie Under Siege and various TV shows. I tell the Exec. Producer, Gil, "Sure!! Love to!!!"

I really have no idea what to ask but, I'm able to rattle a few questions off about the movie business and acting. Turns out, he's a really nice and down to earth guy. He listened to my questions and then took the time to give a useable sound bite to my nonsense questions.

Then, Gil, the EP of the movie, tells me that soon, Danny Trejo of From Dusk Till Dawn, Spy Kids, Con Air and recently Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy fame is going to be in for a night of shooting.

I'm looking forward to meeting and interviewing him.

A little bit of Hollywood in Cleveland.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

County Hospital

Friday morning. I'm live in front of Metro Hospital with my reporter, Obie and our other photog Derek. Derek is in the truck we're using for the live shot. We're live in front of the emergency entrance to the hospital because the TB clinic at said hospital diagnosed a person with TB.

We do our first hit, and head back to our truck. A Hospital cop shows up and just wants to shoot the breeze with us. Pretty nice guy too. We chatted for a few minutes and then the cop leaves. As soon as he leaves, the crazy guy heads to us, of course.



He then proceeds to light up a cigarette.

We look at him and ask, "Well, why not stop smoking??"


And he wonders why his lungs hurt and why they won't help him.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Been Busy

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy and my son, Joshua was back in the hospital again. He's coming home today, and it's a good thing too. His little brother, Joseph is bugging the heck out of me asking when Josh is coming home. So, in the world of domesticity, everything is getting back on track.

Work has been work. The usual assortment of shootings, fires and car accidents. Ah, the life of being an overnight videographer.

We have one really interesting story going on, here in the city of Cleveland. Seems a councilman was arrested for DUI on early Monday morning in the Warehouse District of Cleveland. He was pulled over, field tested, failed the test,he refused a breathalyzer, demanded another field test, and started swinging when he was told no more field sobriety tests were being given.

I was dispatched to check out a possible stabbing near the Warehouse district and drove by three police cars that had surrounded a Red BMW.

Traffic stops in the Wareouse District are common and seeing three police vehicles around a car is not uncommon, so I paid no attention to it.

I should have. Turns out it was the councilman and I had just missed seeing him get all mouthy and start swinging.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Guess What's Cooking

Well, this will be the last post from the vacation dept. I start back to work tonight. Anyways, this involves my son Joshua again. He woke up at around 5:30am this morning saying he'd wet himself a little. So, my wife gets out of bed and gives him a new pair and washes his wet underwear out in the sink and places it on the air conditioner to dry them out.

Well, about the time we need to leave and pack everything in the car, my wife checks the underwear and it's still a little damp. So my wife puts the underwear in the microwave for 20 seconds to try and dry them out a little....

Fast forward an hour when we're in the car driving home.

My wife screams, out of the blue..."OH MY GOD!!! I LEFT HIS UNDERWEAR IN THE MICROWAVE!!!"

I'll spare you all the conversation about who was going to call the hotel back and let them know WHY there would be a pair of Spongebob underwear in the microwave.

My wife had a hard time telling the woman on the phone about it, but she did.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Hush Yo' Mouf

Well, since I'm on vaco, I thought I'd share at least one little nugget of how things have gone thus far. I am currently staying in a Best Western Resort in Lancaster, PA. It is really nice and the Wi-Fi works great here.

Ok, back to the nugget. After driving a looooong time and dealing with the kids becoming bored out their skulls, the wife and I decided to stop and have the kids get out and stretch their legs at a miniature golf course. A fun time was had by all..(I even got a hole in one!)

Well, on the way back to the hotel, the boys decided to start their crying, whining battle of 'He's Touching Me!!' And while this is going on, my navigator/wife tells me to stay in the current lane I'm in and next thing you know, I miss the turn because the wife was wrong. Thus adding to the stress of the moment.

I mumbled in exhaustion and frustration "F*@%!"

And Joshua (4) asks, "Did daddy make a wrong turn??"

Wife: "Why do you ask that??"

Joshua: "Because daddy said "F^@#".

The wife and I were laughing so hard, we almost missed the turn around.

See, I normally don't speak like that but I'm modeling my vocabulary after Lenslinger and his cavernous mastery of all words written and spoken. So, if anyone is to blame, it's him...or is it, it is he??

Who the F*%^ knows???

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

On Vacation

I'm on vacation this week and not a moment too soon. I'm headed with the family to Strasburg, PA to take the kids to a huge railroad museum. The kids are nuts about trains. Plus I get to go back to my home state of Pennsylvania.

My wife was featured on a CNN story about a doctor who does surgery for migraine sufferers. She's the victim on the table while surgery is being performed. What some people will do to be on TV.

Have a good rest of the week.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Son

My son is out of the hospital finally. He has been diagnosed with strep reisistant pneumonia. He has something called a PICC Line inserted in his right arm. It's a long IV line that goes to a central artery so that it can get medication into the body faster.

He'll have this line in his arm for three weeks and need to have daily infusions of medication.

The doctors hemmed and hawed for four days debating whether to put in a chest tube.

But, my son is home finally. But he's pissed at me big time.

What is my sin?? I left his woobie at the hospital by accident.

Yes, my son's security blanket. And I forgot it when we were discharged...

I feel like a totally horrible parent for forgetting it. It really made me sad. That's the kind of thing you save for them in their memory box.

Well, I can't now...unless the housekeeping staff at the hospital cared enough to save it...


I cannot stand the wrath of a four year old....

I am such a horrible father.....

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Please Pray

My oldest son, Joshua, is in the hospital. He's got pneumonia and a whole lot of fluid around his right lung.

They might have to insert a needle for a culture. This may lead to a chest tube.

He's scared. I'm scared. My wife is a RN so she's taking it all in stride.

Please keep my son in your prayers for a few days.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Stuck in Editing

This week, I'm stuck in editing for the morning show. Both of our part-time editors are off on vacation or unavailable to work this week, so I'm the back-up plan.

Scary, huh?

So, probably no stories of fires, accidents or multiple murders unless I get called out this week.

Hmmm....(insert Muzak)

(whistles softly).


(taps fingers..)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sugar Rushes and Toys

Well, Easter Sunday is here. As my 4 year old put it as he ran into our bedroom this morning, "Hey mommy and daddy, guess what??!! It's 6:02, it's Easter and Jesus is risen....let's go downstairs..!"

Well, downstairs there were two easter baskets for two little boys. The baskets filled with toys and candy did not last very long at all. Now, there are chocolate covered faces and sticky fingers touching everything. Yes, candy in the morning. Why?? Because my wife thinks giving kids candy in the morning and then going back to bed and leaving the kids to me is hilariously funny.

Ha freakin' Ha..

Plus, the house is a mess. It's been unseasonably cold here the past week. Where is should be in the 50's, it's been in the upper 30's. The kids can't expell too much energy inside. I'd let them in the back playroom, but it's been too cold. The result: Our living room has thrown up with toys. It's a no-mans land of toys. You dare not walk barefoot across the room for fear of impaling the sole of your foot on a misplaced Transformer part. Trust hurts.

Plus, I awoke (ok..was awoken too early) to a sight that makes me wanna cry. No, not my wife without makeup. It's the site of seeing garbage strewn all over my driveway. Great. Just great. A morning of picking up garbage.

Is 8:30 in the morning too early to drink?????

Friday, March 25, 2005

12 Car Pileup

Oh the joys of Northeastern Ohio in the spring. Yes, when the freezing mix of rain and snow, form on overpasses and bridges. Yesterday the call came over of a huge pile-up on one of our major side streets. It passes over Conrail tracks so the bridge is prone in bad weather to freeze over. Well, it happened..and this is the result.

Six people were injured in this accident. But the shocker was when the tow trucks started pulling the cars away from the pile.

Do you see the red car under the green van??

When they pulled out the red car, it was wedged under the Green Econoline van. In their haste to clear the scene, they pulled without looking and ruptured the twin gas tanks. A river of gasoline poured out from the tanks onto the roadway. At that moment, a firefigheter I know came walking up the bridge and I yelled over to him to get a couple of buckets..

"Why'd you need buckets??", he asked as he turned around to get them.

"Because", I replied, "That's $2.19 a gallon leaking out...."

Ehhh....Guess you had to be there.

(All picures are from, my station's website. I forgot my digital camera.)