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)...dumm...de...dum.

(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 me...it 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 www.wkyc.com, my station's website. I forgot my digital camera.)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Wife's Black Eyes

Well, today my wife looks like she went a full 15 with Muhammed Ali. She has two very swollen and bruised eyes. Her forehead is purple and painful.

Why?? She just doesn't listen...

NO...WAIT!!! That's a joke...come back. Sorry..just had to. I know tasteless joke. I never said I was PC..

Ok, well the REAL reason my wife has 2 black eyes and a bruised frontal lobe is that she had a procedure done to remedy her constant migraines. A local surgeon here is doing a study on migraine sufferers and my wife qualified for the study. She had botox shots 2 months ago to paralyze muscles that make migraines horrible. The injections helped but they wore off as the botox left her body. The next step was the surgery.

The actual surgery is akin to having a brow-lift. Now, it looks like I belted her good for burning my steak. Well, the one thing that saves me from that stigma of wife beater, are the drainage tubes that stick out of her scalp and the vaccuum vials that collect the blood that seep after this kind of surgery. She kinds looks like a pugilist-frankenstein monster.

It still makes me wince, though. Even after she has those tubes out, she'll have black eyes and the questions will begin. And I guess I'm a little sensitive to having people even THINK that I've hit my wife. I know I shouldn't jump to that conclusion that people are thinking what they're thinking. But, I'm 6'3", 280 lbs and I shave my head. I'm kind of an imposing figure. My wife is 5'5".

But then again, why should I care what they think..????

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Of Blood and Buzzards

Well, on my second day back to work from being totally incapacitated from the flu and bronchitis, I was given the assignment of covering the annual return of the buzzards to Hinckley, OH. The swallows have Capistrano. Daytona Beach has their college students. We have turkey buzards.

Basically what happens, is that every March 15th, the obsessed, the insane(read the media) and the naturalists show up to the Buzzard's Roost to see the "first" turkey buzzard show up from a long "migration".

(Psssssssst...little secret here. Some never leave. They have these great little nests built in rock ledges and decide that they'd really like to stay)

But we hearty fools go along with the guise. Plus, we get donuts and coffee and sometimes a really nice pair of cheap binoculars. It's all about the freebies.

Well, at 4 AM this morning, I show up at the Buzzard's Roost...alone. In a metropark teeming with dangerous animals (ie Deer). It's really peaceful. It's clear. And then it occurs to me, it's freaking cold. As of our air-time, it was 13 degrees. Plus, I forgot I was scheduled to do this, so I forgot to wear the long johns. Yeah...there was frost on the twig and berries.

Anyways, the day started off with my audio going completely to crap two minutes before my hit. Well, they floated me one package while I jury-rigged a concoction of hard wires back to the truck. My talkback guest was totally cool with this. But, it's frustrating. The perils of a one man band.

The control room is constantly calling on the IFB for bump shots. Look genuises back there, it's 5:30am. It's dark. There are only two people here...me and the metroparks PR person. WTF am I going to shoot???? The dark??? A dark tree?? A picnic bench?? I yell back into the mic about the obvious and get, "Oh yeah..sorry."

Well at 6:15 it's getting a little light and my second subject shows up. He's the naturalist who is the "official" buzzard spotter. Well, my talkback guy is holding the tip of his nose as he comes over. I think, runny nose. Nope...he's bleeding like a stuck pig from the tip of his nose. Seems he ran his gloved hand under his nose, and a edge of the velcro on it nipped the tip. Well, getting cut there, it will bleed profusely, because of the thinness of the skin and proximity of blood vessels near the skin. Plus it's cold and it's not clotting.

I run to the truck to get him some gauze and a band-aid for him, but no band-aids are in there...just my luck. Now, I have to shoot an interview with him while he's bleeding. Thank GOD for b-roll. I panned off him, up to the sky, the trees, the fire barrels and all this time, he's talking and turning his back to the camera. I try to get him turn around to face the camera. Well, he won't. So the contol room won't come back to me because all I have it the back of his head to show. I get crap for this after the shot is over. I snap zoom into the guy's face and get.."Oh..yuck" in my IFB.

Well, before I make this any longer than necessary, one buzzard shows up at 8:43am like "magic". Almost like it was released from a cage in the woods..hmmmm.

Well, getting OT for birdwatching isn't all that bad...but I'll wear the long johns next year..and bring band-aids.

Friday, March 11, 2005

It Sucks Being Sick

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Seems like the fickle hand of fate came up from behind and bitch slapped me pretty hard. I've been blessed with bronchitis AND the flu.

Yes, I've been sick for about a week and I don't feel any better. I'm taking some kind of 'cillin and Tami-Flu plus drinking every type of juice known to man. I'm so stuffed up, my head is pounding so damn hard. My fever...102.1 yea!!!!!

I cough so much I make myself sick and have to throw up...which is another type of agony, because I haven't eaten anything and the dry heaves are so much fun...

I'm going back to bed..

Hope you all are well..

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cops and Their Sense of Humor

Well, when it snows here, our desk goes ape-shit. We have to cover every little god-dammed fender bender that comes over the scanner. Now, for me, that means morning rush-hour. And it's ever so lovely to fight traffic and rubber neckers to get to the scene, only to pull over and cause more of a backup in traffic.

Well, past week, we've had our share of snow and snow in the morning causes accidents. I was sent to a "pretty serious" accident according to my desk. I get there, fighting traffic all the way. It looks pretty minor. A mini-van that skidded off the highway into the plowed snow and knocked over an exit sign, breaking out a couple of the van's side windows.

I put the flashing strobe on my car and get out. Out comes the tripod and camera and I walk over to the accident. As I get there, a Cleveland officer winds his window down and starts yelling at me. I couldn't hear him over the passing cars, so I head over to hear what he wanted.

I get over and apologize to the officer that I couldn't hear him. He tells me no problem and then asks did I know this was a fatal ax?

"No!!! Really?? It doesn't look that serious.", I told him.

"Yeah", he says. "The body is in the back of the van...go look."

"Uhh..no thanks. I've seen my share of bodies.", I said grimacing.

"No really, go look. It's Ok. You can get close to the van.", I'm told.

He seemed really insistant on me going to see the body, so I apprehensively head over to the van and look in the back window.

And well, the cop was right. There was a body in the back or the van.

On a stretcher covered with a wrapping of XYZ funeral home.

The van was a mortician's hearse.

I look back at the cop and his partner and they're laughing. The one cop gets out and says to me, "I told you it was a fatal."

Everybody's a comedian!!!!!!!!!


The past week up here in Cleveland, we've endured a rough time. First off, we were supposed to get a HUGE winter storm. It was supposed to hit on a Monday and drop anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of snow on us. The weather guessers were all advising this.

Then there was a huge sound over the northeastern Ohio. The sky was going fall, they told us. Run around..be prepared.

They were wrong. The most that fell that night was two inches. The guessers were wrong. They caught hell for it. We all laughed at them. Some even APOLOGIZED on air for it.

Then the next day came. And without warning...WHAM. We got hit with around four inches of snow...during the evening rush hour. It snafued traffic and as I was out running errands, it took me an hour and a half to drive 15 miles. Lovely.

That night, it snowed again I awoke to a new 10 inches of snow outside my house. I live in the area of N.E. Ohio called the snow belt, and they didn't name it that for shits and giggles. Well, downtown Cleveland wasn't hit that bad, plus the ODOT crews got ahead of the curve. The roads were wet, making our live coverage of the morning traffic conditions a joke.

Then that morning, a line of squalls hit, dumping another 4 inches of snow on us. And making my drive home almost two hours long. Oh JOY!

That night, it squalled more. Another 3 inches of snow. My grand total outside my home was close to 23 inches of snow.

Man, I can't wait to retire to the Outer Banks!! I'll take a hurricane over snow any day.