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..