Sunday, February 27, 2005

Overnite Photog

I read Lenslinger's story of morning show blues and yes, he has a point about all the crap that goes on. Myself, I volunteered to work the overnight shift and work on our morning shows. I felt that on some level, I owed it to the former photog that used to work it.

Steve was a great guy. He worked at our station for 21 years. He'd won numerous emmys. He was currently working the overnight shift. I was the 4am-12am shift, so we were partnered together. I grew to know him, or at least think I knew him.

He was a troubled man. He had a mariage that ended badly. He was depressed. He took medication for it. But he didn't always take it which caused mood swings. You never knew which guy was going to show up.

Things went downhill rapidly for him. I won't go into detail, but they ended in paranoia and despondancy. And with a single gunshot.

I think about him daily. I miss him. But, I volunteered to take his shift. I think that in some, slight way, I'm honoring his memory.

I miss you bud.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

De-Pantsed By an Audi (almost...)

Friday morning we were live for our morning show at Cleveland's I-X Center. If you've never had the chance to go to an event there, you need to go. The I-X Center, short for International Exposition Center, is a monster of a building. It was constructed during WWII and known as The Cleveland Tank Plant. In general, it built Sherman Tanks during the war.

Well, now it's a huge place for conventions. For the next two weeks it hosts the Cleveland Auto Show. That's why we were there. To shill for the auto makers.

Near the end of our show, we did a hit with Jerry Adams, the President of the Northeastern Ohio Car dealers Association. He drives up in a new 2005 Audi TT Roadster, which is going to be given away as a grand prize at the end of the auto show.

Well, I've said the IX center is HUGE. So huge that whenwe roll cable into it, after a while, the length of the run causes problems with radio IFB and we have to run a hard wire IFB from the reeler.

So, I'm running around tethered to the dong at the end of the reeler and my IFB piggybacked to my talent, our morning anchor, John.

So, we decide to do the last shot with John and Jerry in the car. They did a little five foot drive up to me as the shot began and the whole shot went smoothly.

Until...(you knew this was coming)

After the shot was over, John says, "Hey...let's do a burnout!!!" We all laughed because the inside of the IX center is carpeted for the show. Jerry says, "All we'd do is ruin a little carpet..." Then I said, "I've always been partial to a neutral drop..."

And the next thing I know, I hear VROOOOOOOOMM VROOOOOOOOMMM and the SOB slaps the shifter into first gear and takes off.....


I started screaming STOP STOP STOP STOP!!! While watching in slow motion as the cable on the floor starts to go farther away from me and then start to get taut.

Oh, did I mention, I had the IFB hard box clipped on my pocket??????

I see our talent frantically trying to undo himself from the IFB, but he's in trouble because he's got his seatbelt on.

Then it starts to pull on me...HARD. I did the stupidest thing I could think of. I leaned the opposite way to brace myself. Thank God I'm a big guy. I shifted about two feet before Jerry stopped the car. The IFB box clip bent to a 45 degree angle, made a SPROING noise and shot off my pocket about 7 feet in the air, ripping my IFB from my ear. It also pulled the talent's IFB out.

All I could do was see the headlines, "TV Cameraman's Jeans Ripped Off by Audi"

And you know what???? The jackass, Adams, never apologized for it.....!!

Good thing my jeans didn't rip off. I go commando.*

*Not really. Just wanted you to lose you lunch over the visual.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Candor of Children

This morning, I was not feeling good. Usually I will do my daily routine of shave, shower, etc.. But I didn't today. I just veg'ed in front of the TV and laptop. Not feeling well, I didn't do much of anything. My wife went into work for four hours to help out there, so I was alone with the kids.

My boys, being the kind, caring tykes they are, cuddled with me on the futon in the hopes of trying to make me feel better. And I admit it. Having your kids snuggle up with you while you're not feeling well, helps make me feel better anytime.


My wife comes home, and I announce my intention to get myself together by showering and shaving.

And my oldest says, "Yeah'd better shower. You're STINKY!"


AT least he's honest.

I Am The Harbinger Of Cable Modem Death

Well, yesterday I got my tax refund and I told the wife, " I AM GETTING A LAPTOP COMPUTER!!!(that is if it's ok with you, hon..)", I'm not suicidal.

Well, I went out and bought a Gateway laptop, that is just balls out fast, and a wireless router at Best Buy (i.e. Guy Heaven) and was so excited about my new purchase, I couldn't wait to get it home and set it up. I'm like a kids at Christmas when it comes to new electronics.

Ok, so I get home and immediately start to rewire my desktop to make room for the wireless router and tidy up a bit. Well, I disconnect everything, including my coax line from the wall. That was my CRITICAL error. Because my cable modem never worked after that. When I reattached my coax to the modem, I did not get a solid green light telling me that my cable was communicating with the modem.

It flashed in spite of me. Mocking me. Blinking. Taunting me.

So, I unplugged everything between the computer and the modem and the cable. Then I waited for it to reset. I still got the blinking light. So, I repeated the process. This time I sacrifices a small furry animal to the gods of computing to incure their blessings. The gods were not pleased. They frowned upon my feeble attempts of sacrific. Their denial forced me to take drastic measures.

I had to call tech support. I'd have rather eaten shards of broken glass. But I buckled..

And guess what. Tech support was of no help whatsoever. I know. You're stunned also. I kept at it though. I did everything they said to do. Unplug. Turn off. Wait. Reboot. Until I had called four times and was very angry. My afternoon turned into having a service call for Monday. MONDAY. I CAN'T go without the internet until Monday....ARE YOU NUTS??

So, I decided to eliminate by process. I first moved my cable modem to a different cable line and discovered the same problem with the flashing cable light. I went to a third hookup and same problem.

Well, it turns out that I must have fried my cable modem when I disconnected the coax the first time. I probably didn't ground myself properly and possibly fried the modem.

So, at 9:00p.m. last night, I headed to Best Buy again and bought a new cable modem.

This time, hooking it up, I made sure I grounded myself properly.

I understand that when it comes to cable modems, I'm Charles Manson.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Packzi Anonymous

Today is packzi day. Yes, packzi day. What is a packzi? Well, first it's pronounced punch-key. It's Polish in origin from what I can ascertain and BURRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP..

I'm SO sorry. I really beg your pardon. Excuse me for that. I usually don't go animal house on people reading this. Didn't mean to offend.

Anyways, a packzi is a Polish donut, deep fried. It's a heavy pastry that can be filled with a plethora of different fillings. They're ususally made the day before lent begins. It's to symbolize the using up of all that will be given up for lent. So, URRRRRRRRRRRRRPPPP....

Again, I'm sorry.

Well, this morning, I was sent to do a live shot at a bakery that was making the packzis. And I fought my hardest not to give in. I swear it wasn't easy. But, at my shot, I was very proud of myself. I did not have any. And believe me, these packzi pushing old ladies and their chief, the baker as he calls himself, did everything to turn me on to them.

"Would you like one?", a sweet little old lady asks. Oh sure, give a guy the first taste free. Next thing you know, you're in an alley, living in a cardboard box wondering where you're going to be able to score your next bite of packzi.

"Hey, look at him, poor guy, what happened to him??" "What, old crazy Jim over there?? He was a morning TV cameraman until he became a packzi addict. Don't make eye contact with him. He'll wanna talk shop with you!!!"

I've seen stronger men than I succumb to the temptation to the little grey haired harpies and their sweet offerings.

HA! Away foul temptresses!!!! And get thee gone with thy vile offerings of deep fried sweetness. Away I say!! I waited until I got back to the station to have one.



Anyone get a new refrigerator recently that I could have the box to??

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Death Pool

This morning, one of our morning producers, in passing conversation mentioned that she had the Pope in her death pool. I'm stunned. Who in their right mind would have the Pope in their death pool?? This is Robo-Pope. He doesn't give in. He gets shot at close range. Falls numerous times. Has parkinson's disease. This doesn't stop him. It's just the flu.

This man of God could get hit by a meteor from outer space and he'd shrug it off like water off a duck's back. And a little flu bug is gonna stop him?? Not likely.

Remember, this is a man who fought nazis in WWII. This is one tough man. A man like this doesn't die from an ailment. He passes by a death by misadventure. Going over a cliff with hookers in a convertable is the style that this man should leave this world.

Only if he weren't the Pope.