Sunday, September 30, 2007

When In Rome

Now that all of the work's done time enjoy some of the local flavor in this city. And do I know how to find flavor or what. I managed to find the second Dreamland BBQ in AL. The original is in Tuscaloosa which is a couple hours away. Since I can't climb Everest, Mt. McKinley will have to do. Last time I was there it was 2003 and ironically I had to shoot Southern and the Jaguar Nation.

Enough chat, time to eat. Trust me they taste as good as they look. May have to ask to cover the LSU v. Nick Saban, I mean, Tigers v. Crimson Tide. Looks like I'll be late getting back to the Big Raggedy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Duty Calls

First let me wish my mom Happy Birthday. I'm sorry I couldn't be there since the Bat Signal was flashed. Today I had to go to Mobile, AL. Last time I was here Steve Cap & I was chasing Hurricane Ivan. Instead I was needed to go get the Southern U. football game. All I was thinking is that the Jags had better win this one. Despite turning the ball over six times they won the game 21 to 2. Don't ask about the 2. Now I wasn't done just yet. I have to get the video back to the Big Raggedy. Now how to do it???? Sat Truck, not available. Go to Biloxi? Nah, don't feel like driving an hour after shooting a 4 hour game. Best solution, just e-mail it back. Why not. In the comforts of my hotel room I can edit and just send it to the server in the B.R. Hey, afterwards I might order some room service. Wonder if they have wings here????
This day was long but I was successful nonetheless. Only setback, there were no chicken wings. May have to pay Dreamland a visit.

Friday, September 28, 2007

25 Years Later

I had no idea the Free State had it that bad. That may explain some things. On this day 25 years ago, a train engineer was moving along through the town of Livingston. Just one problem, the guy was under the influence of alcohol. With this factor, the train he was operating and the cargo he was transporting was caught in accident of huge proportions.

According to the locals at the time the tank cars folded like an accordion. The chemicals inside busted into flames. The smoke towered over the tree lines. People had to be evacuated from the place they called home for days. Wayne Henderson was one of those affected. He witnessed some of the explosions going on. In his words, it looked like a bomb was dropped on them. Not only did he have to get himself out but he had to get his pregnant wife and 6 year old son out as well. The family headed to Denham Springs for a short time but the little bun in the oven was ready to come out. So off to Woman's Hospital and six days later a Wayne's little girl came into the world. With no way to let the rest of their family know the Henderson's were all right, WAFB was called in. With the continuous coverage going on it was nice to see some good news in a bad situation. I guess they were right, it's that dumb Channel 9 luck.

Fast forward to the present. Dumb Channel 9 luck hits paydirt again. The family wants to tell their story 25 years later. The archives are searched and not only is the video of the accident found but the video of Wayne Henderson with his family in the hospital is also found. Off to the Free State KN and went. Not only did we find Wayne but we found someone else as well....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Saving Sassy

After a brief recess, ya hear me D, nothing of interest is going on. Something that's on my mind was that cat in pipe story I did on Monday. It was a unique story but it wasn't the best animal rescue story I've shot.

That story involved me and Jennifer Hale. It was scary some of the things we were able to pull off during the time we worked together. Most of it involved countless hours at the Capital. Those were some days. We really had to make something out of nothing most of the time. There were time we had to make sense of a budget bill or catching heated moments on the House and Senate floor did you know? However one story stands alone.

Jennifer is an animal lover. Especially dogs. We were sent to St. Francisville to get Gov. Blanco, who was late no surprise there, talking to a bunch a Girl Scouts. I forget was going on with her administration at the time but after that we got interesting call from the Assignment Desk. "We need you to head to Clinton". "What's going on", I said. "You know that puppy that fell down the well that we didn't care about yesterday. We care about it today". So off to Clinton Hale and I went. After dialing a few numbers we find the farm house were the tragedy was taking place. Turns out that the mama dog had some puppies and one of them, Sassy, wandered off and fell into a hole in the family's back shed. The kids are worried. Their mom has called everyone trying to get some help. Us being LA's Animal Channel we made some calls no luck on our end. Some time later a couple of volunteer fire fighters came over and went to work. Using some contraption made of pvc pipe, glow sticks, and vice grips they went fishing for Sassy.

But wait the story gets better. Close to news time we get a call from the station. Jennifer comes and tells me, "There are thinking about sending the Sat Truck our way". You're kidding me. This isn't Baby Jessica. Yeah its Sassy but it's not worth a sat shot. So, the firefighters manage to get Sassy out, yes!!!!! We shoot the reunion and haul tail back to the Big Raggedy. We slap something together for the early shows but it's the late show were we really put something nice together. Here's the story.

Story over right, not by a long shot. After the story ran, CNN calls the next day. They find out what we have and ask can you uplink it to us. They call back, "The newsroom loves the story. We're running it later today". My goodness Sassy is going to be on national television. The day after CBS calls and they wanted the story and ran it on the weekend. Is there nothing going on that week???? I guess we are LA's Animal Channel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I can't make this up.

I see our lovely assignment editor has turned on the Bat Signal. Time to go to work. I'm asked can I work during the day since we are really short handed photographer wise. I'm teamed up with the "Commodore" Jim Shannon. He works his sources looking for something to turn and he's not able to find something concrete for today. So later during the day, St. Amant Fire Dept. hips us to a cat with her head stuck in a pipe over the weekend. Say what???????
I'm not kidding. There's the photo. This has to be a first for me. I've shot plenty of animal rescue stories but this is a weird one. According to owners, Orion was chasing something. A lizard, a mouse, a bug, hell I don't know. But this isn't Orion's first near death experience. A year ago a horse kicked the feline thus causing one her legs to be broken. The vet, with no choice, had to amputate causing the cat to lose a leg and one his 9 lives. The mom is frantic, wondering what to do. The dad turns to soap & olive oil trying to ease poor Orion's head out. When that failed it was time to bring in the big guns.
Or in this case, the Jaws of Life. The Fire Dept. had to go in from the other side and spread the pipe to free the frustrated cat's head. I couldn't make this up if I tried. To recap, a cat with 3 legs got her head stuck in pipe causing mass hysteria in St. Amant with 7 lives left. Here's the story from LA's Animal Channel.

I need to get new a passport.

How cool is this. The Senator's Forum has gone international. I was doing a little tweaking to the site and I saw new comment to my last post. It's in a language that I didn't understand so with some help, I was told that it was Portuguese. And it looks like it came from Brazil. So what's up Brazil. Thanks for leaving a message on the blog. I hope you will continue to pay the Forum a visit from time to time.I heard of the beautiful sites this country had to offer. It's reputation precedes itself. If there was something that I had to do it would be to go to Carnival in Rio. From what I hear its just as big as Mardi Gras on Bourbon St.
Just look at this view.

Hello. I like this view also. Note to self get to the FIFA World Cup also.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today is what???

I walk into the news room and my lovely assignment editor asks me, "What day is this?" "I don't know", I replied. She responds, "Today is Constitution Day". "Huh?", I said. "Yeah, can you & Caroline go get some people's reactions to this?" Considering that I didn't know what else was coming my way we had to make this one quick. So off to Tiger Town but first some back story.

Now everyone knows when certain holidays are coming. You know when Labor Day is because you are looking for that 3 day weekend. You look forward to Halloween where for one night only you can dress up as something ridiculous and still fit in . You know when your church is packed that all of the C-M-E people are there. What? Yeah, C-M-E. Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter. Everyone shows up for those holidays. But what if I told you today was Constitution Day. You would ask "Senator what in the world are you talking about?" On this day, Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was adopted and later ratified by conventions of each state by the people. In 2004 it was declared that this day would give recognition to the Constitution. In fact every school that receives federal funding must teach students facts of the Constitution.

So we arrive at LSU, sorry Jaguar Nation, we had to make this one quick. We stalked our prey asking them the question of all questions, "Do you know what day this is?" Here's the story, I just wish I was there to put it together but hey there is always Boxing Day, do we celebrate that????

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Guess who's coming?

Warning: Some of the pictures are intended for mature readers. So put the kids in the next room and enjoy yourself!!!!!
The studio was jammed packed for this. Someone of great importance must be coming to the Big Raggedy. When you have five cameras, a bunch of lights, boom mics, a studio crew, the 9pm anchor, the 9pm producer, and a reporter something big is happening. Who could it be? The Gov. - doubt it. The President - no Secret Service so that's out. So who could it be????? Try Terri Lynn & Whitney. Who? Terri Lynn & Whitney, from Playboy's "Girls of the SEC". Yes, they paid us a visit and the quote, "extra effort" kicked in. There was some buzz since March when Hue sent his photographers searching the South for some of the best ladies to grace the pages of his famous magazine.
I don't know how Half A Photog pulled this one off, and yes he's still alive. This will air on the 9pm news sometime next week. They might hit double digit viewers this time.
Now for what I came for. Nothing like a couple of autographs to add to nice collections of things I gathered while working here.
I hope she spells my name right. Ah, who cares she's in Playboy!!!!!!!!

Hello ladies. It's good to me be some days. Bless you Heff!!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is gonna be good.

There are rewards in this business. Extra days off, the occasional bonus in the paycheck, and beautiful women gracing the pages of Playboy coming to your station. Yes I said it. Beautiful women from the pages of Playboy are coming to the station!!!! Back in March, a story was done on how the world's most popular magazine was looking for potential ladies for the "Girls of the SEC" issue. A couple of ladies from LSU made the cut and are now in the current issue. There hasn't been this much excitement, at least for the guys, since the Saintsations payed us a visit a few years ago. The folks behind the 9pm show managed to get the girls for a interview that's gonna air later tonight. My plan of course is to get pictures and autographs with these beautiful ladies and plaster them all over the blog as much as possible.
So yes there are rewards in this business. And no I don't read Playboy for the articles.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It was how much????

Sorry I haven't been posting lately. There hasn't been anything going on in the Big Raggedy. With that said I figure I would go into the vault for something cool.

Now I know you have complained about the price of gas. Especially when it was hitting $3 a gallon at some point. Remember the old days when you could get gas for 27 cents. I know what you are thinking, "Senator, you weren't around when gas was less than a dollar, let alone 27 cents". Well I was around since it was earlier this year. I got a laugh out of it but the station owner he wasn't to happy. Check out what Ms. KN & I found.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Man it's quiet...

First off big thanks to Tyana and D-Money for watching the Bat Cave while I was out. I owe you guys one. Now to tonight. There isn't JACK going on. Ms. KN & I shot a story that's gonna air tomorrow and that's it. Pokkie & Ray Ray must be chillin with all the heat rollin around the B.R. Haven't heard much from Cletus & Billy Bob either.

So with nothing going on I thought I would take a trip down memory lane. It was Memorial Day weekend, 2oo5. I was planning on doing nothing when my phone rang. "Big Rob", it was the station. "I know you are suppose to be off but the weekend photographer isn't feeling well. Can you come in because we have to send him home". Great there goes my day. So I head on in to meet up with Cyndi Nguyen, former Big Raggedy reporter. She's now working in the Big Easy, more on that at another time. Quick check of the sheet, robbery near a Post Office, couple of other VO's to pick up. So I ask, "What's the PKG?" "Rob", Cyndi says, "Brace yourself. We're doing the Memorial Day Weekend travel story". I'm thinking to myself this has been done millions of times over. Talk to State Police, maybe couple of people at a gas station, a few shot of the interstate, and we fill 90 seconds of TV.

Not the case, turns out we we able to add our own little twist to this one. At the time, local law enforcement did a DWI checkpoint the night before. We weren't able to get to that one but I had shot one before and for some reason I held on to the tape. So we go and interview TFC. Johnnie Brown, with State Police, and there's one angle out of the way. Next we grab some shots of the interstate, story is starting to come together. We couldn't find any travelers at the gas stations for some reason. Turns out people weren't really traveling that far. No problem. Just stay focused Rob the story is going to be good. We head back to the station, and over the scanner --"10 East bound is being shut down to one lane". We get law enforcement in action. I head out there and a truck has lost it's load. State Troopers at work, traffic slowed down , and a good opportunity to get some more video for this story. But as I come back, it hits me. An idea for a cool stand up. "But Rob I don't want to do a stand up" she says. I reply, "Trust me, it's gonna be cool".

Here's the story, tell me what you think.