Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Entered Into The Records: 2008

2008 delivered a gauntlet of emotion. From a championship dream to sneaux in the most unlikely of places. You name it we at the Big Raggedy was somewhere bringing it to you. There were some highs and lows during the year. But the one constant was the dedication to our craft. As one book ends another begins. 2008 delivered some unforgettable moments and we expect nothing less from 2009.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Again

Alright, the lovely assignment editor informs me that they are at it again. Who is "they"? The folks at the Governor's Office. So I ask, "What time is it happening?" "Four, " she responds. Not again is running through my mind. Another late afternoon presser on an issue that affects everyone in the harsh economic times. Time to head to the Huey's Phallus Palace. Nothing new go to the fourth floor, stake a spot for the sticks, and plug into the audio. But the strange feeling creeps in the back of my head. Last two pressers called by the Gov., they didn't start on time, they took way too long, and the 5pm news wanted something. Just maybe things will be different. We can get a jump start to '09.
The clock on the phone says he is late. No surprise here. Trolling through the halls here I should have known better. The predecessor to the current Gov., was late in starting things as well. In fact the last governor that started things on time was a little over five years ago. And the only reason why he started on time was because he arrived to things 15 minutes early.
Time for the lens troopers to get rolling. Time wasn't on our side, got to find a way to make things visual & simple. Plus the beast was very hungry due to a lack of news thanks to some off days. No pressure.
I wonder if we should get the Gov.'s Office a watch that works. Or just have them call the press conferences earlier in the day. I'll have staff draft legislation and bring it to the next committee meeting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Gift of Laughter

It was that time. A time for reflection. I time for memories that will stand the test of time. It was time......for the annual blooper reel. After all of the collecting. The shooting. The constant watching of live shots. The casting. The writing. The re-casting. The rejection from the Nubian Princess for not including her. The scribing of ideas on a napkin in a Sushi restaurant. The re-writing. The asking of when we can watch it. The begging of the Nubian Princess to be the production. The late night shooting. The endless smack from XRAY TED saying it should be the Easter Tape. The in fights with the computers. Sneaking the Nubian Princess in the show without her knowing.

This was it. There was no going back now. All or nothing. Yeah your right enough of the puns.

It was time Meeks and I debut the reel to the entire world. Actually just the crazies in the Big Raggedy newsroom. It all came down to how they react.

I'm guessing they enjoyed it. A year's worth of work was worth it. All I can say is thank you guys. I'm so glad we have a sense of humor and can take pride in our hits while laughing at our misses on the tube.
Thank you Meeks for the writing and helping evolve this into a cult following. Thank you everyone for being a part of the show.
Not to worry I'll get a copy to everyone. And remember the camera is always rolling, did you know?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Time

Whew!!!! After a long stretch of madness and chaos in the streets Christmas Day was a welcomed relief. I really enjoy this time of year. The celebrate the holidays with family and friends. For me it's dishing out presents and seeing the smile on their face. As always got to take care of the Newsroom Angels. Some had to get their presents early since they were off. As for the rest the time to spread some joy.

After the presents were unwrapped, time to hit the music. A little Run DMC, some Nat King Cole, and whatever else Meeks could find on the Ipod. These are always some good times.

So from our family to yours......
....Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What's Up Ya'll.

Sorry about the lack of posting. There was way too much destruction and chaos to deal with while shooting at the asylum. You name the spot news and odds are I was capturing pictures for the evening news. But Christmas is right around the corner and maybe, just maybe Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Man will be front and center. I hope so. spot news on Christmas can really be a buzz kill.

In between the madness, my friend Meeks and I were able to get to work on the annual Christmas Reel. Sorry can't show it on the Forum but trust me a lot of work has gone into this one and the natives are getting restless. They want to see it bad. I might have to hand out some awards for this one.

But for now Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Not since the infamous turkey shoot has the political world been turned or side stepped on it's ear.
The people wearing the dark suits and shades are working overtime with this one. It appears that someone with a strong disposition with the outgoing President Bush decided to take it upon himself to fling his foreign footwear towards his head. Yes that is a shoe flying at the President. Having work a number of Presidential visits at Raggedy not in a million years didn't I think a journalist would become a security risk to the Leader of the Free World.

The one thing I have to ask is what was he thinking???? Who in their right mind would take off their shoes and hurl them at the 43rd President of the United States of America. Was he upset that they were the pair of Rockports he asked for were on back order? Or maybe he caught an overnight broadcast of Harrison Ford's Air Force One. It may take some convincing from Jack Bauer and CTU to find the true intentions of shoe hurler. Let's hope it's before the start of 24's seventh season.

The only thing that the Forum can confirm is that they were a size 1o. Thank goodness. If they were Shaq's size 22 we would have had an international catastrophe on our hands.

After watching the video I'll have to consult with the Schmuck Alert Justice League if any other action should be taken.

Man, What A Week.

Sorry about the lack of posting I was just getting some rest in. It was one roller coaster of a week at the Big Raggedy. As someone famous once said...


On Wednesday, the Nubian Princess and I had to go to the Free State of Livingston for a follow up to a story she did earlier. She introduced us to little Mia of Denham Springs. Besides the upcoming gifts from Santa, the big draw for Mia's attention were some inflatable Disney characters that lined the front yard. During the night someone decided to help themselves to the lovable characters. And to make things worse they also cut some of the cords to the yard lights. Fortunately some good people saw the first report and were able to help out in more ways than one. I'll let the NP fill ya'll in on a little funny side story that happened while we were there.

Thursday rolls around and it was quite interesting. It's starts at 7:30 in the morning. The neighbors next door wake me with some screams of excitement. As I open the blinds the only thing on my mind was if the rain had stopped and it did. Too bad there was some white blanket on the ground. Snow. Snow in south Louisiana. Too everyone else the thoughts of snow angels and snowball fights were in their heads. To those who work in TV, it was going to be a long day. With XRAY TED in his pj's drinking hot coco it was up to the rest of the lens jockeys to go and find good television. My quest took me back to the Free State to find a rare sighting of the Livingston Polar Bears. Truly an amazing sight to behold.

Friday and Saturday arrive and the sports department sends up the Bat Signal. It's the High School Football State Championships and the season finale of Sportsline. Two of the local teams made it the title games that means extended coverage. So Erin and I headed to the Big Easy to get the Cinderella team practicing for the game. It's sad that they ran into a storm the next day. After practice and some live shots it was time to get the second team in action. Too bad it was the late game and it never starts on time. However they pulled off another championship run ending a long exhausting season.

What a week. Lots of emotion from a gauntlet of people. Time to rest while I can Monday is right around the corner.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This Bothers Me

The Holidays will bring out the good in people. It's sad that the worse inside our society will also make an unwelcome appearance.

Early Tuesday morning some criminal scum decided to help themselves to the innocent. A couple of parents making an honest living has their lives turned upside down by a few jacks who want to things the easy way instead of the right way. They force their way in a home by gunpoint force dad on the ground, drag mom out of bed, then wave their guns in the faces of the four kids inside. They take what they can eventually finding mom's purse. She's pleads with them not to take the money she got from a loan. She tells them, "That's money for my kids Christmas". One responds, "My kids need Christmas too."

This really bothers me. The fact that they basically stole from kids. What's going to happen when those children wake up on Christmas and not have anything under the tree. How are the parents going to explain why Santa didn't bring them anything this year. To those kids Christmas will be just another day on the calender thanks to some selfish jack holes. That family deserves justice the Christmas Season and it can't come soon enough.

I would call them Grinches but even the Grinch had a heart.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back In Action

There is nothing like a week's vacation. No call outs. No deadlines. No XRAY TED. Just some time to relax and recharge. But all good things must come to an end. Last time I took a winter break I was able to ease back into things. Wasn't lucky this time around.

Since the economy will be one of the top stories for some time to come any talks of a possible layoffs in or around the viewing area will cause a stir in the newsroom. Turns out one of the major companies is going to have to downsize but they didn't say where. They have some local operations in the area but the possibility of the workers talking to us is pretty slim. So after getting some video of the business, while avoiding a couple near Schmuck Alerts, KN and I go find the local expert who can break down what this would mean. We get what we need and fill some time for the late show. Not a bad way to start the work week after some downtime. At least I didn't have to deal with the Pookster and his following.

Oh well it's good to back at the aslyum. And there's an added bonus, XRAY TED is off this week. Looks like I got an extra week of vacation, did you know???

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trouble With Da' Box

It was bad enough that my Alma Mada got beat in the biggest game of the year, on national television. But it seems that the cloud of stupidity is raining on the Blue and Gold. Well the halftime attraction anyway.

Hours before the Human Jukebox headed to the Big Easy, some members of the famed band decided to partake in some form of hazing, if that what you to ball it, by beating the crap out of some younger members to earn their keep. Hazing is nothing new, been around for years, but when it leaves two people in the hospital that's taking it a little to far.

I wish I could say this was the only incident that drew such attention. Remember the infamous Halftime Brawl with Prairie View some time ago.

What's worse is the judgement, or the lack thereof, is going to cast a shadow on the kids who are doing the right thing. And on a program that will cause parents to have second thoughts on sending their kids to the school.

Right now, six people have been arrested with a seventh being sought. Hopefully everyone learns from such a dumb incident.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bayou Classic

In what has become an annual tradition spanning 35 years. Two proud and historical programs, Southern University & Grambling State, travel to the Big Easy to continue a rivalry spanning decades. A 60 minute event that causes rifts between family and friends. A game that turned names like Carmichael, Williams, Blount, and Robinson into legends of college football. Where winning can make or ruin an entire season.

This is the Bayou Classic, the 35th edition. The championship stakes are high but bragging rights are just as valuable. Winner goes to the championship game in Birmingham, AL. Loser has to hear the smack talk for 365 days. Not an easy thing to deal with.

But this is more than just a game. The attraction brings families back together, at least before kickoff anyway. For the Big Easy this means dollars. An instant way to help plug up any hole in the budget. For the fans pure entertainment. The Bands, the Greek shows, the parties. For us at the Raggedy, one more hurdle to clear.

I've dealt with the madness before. The crowds. The unnecessary people roaming the sidelines getting in front of my lens. And of course the endless number of TV time outs. For Erin this was her first experience. I know she covered the team this year but this game is a totally different beast. Not because of the national television exposure but the people who act as if they have never ventured out in the world before. I know it suppose to be a good time but when you work in the media we don't have time to party until the deadline is done.

So after dealing with the endless number of people, mainly the ones who had too much liquid refreshment, we were able to get the game and shoot post. Now the hard part. Getting the stuff back to BR. No Sat Truck so email was the only option. Just one problem...the Internet was down in the press box. No I'm not kidding. So after shooting a four hour game, hustling to get players for post, and dealing with the idiots who wouldn't leave us alone to shoot some stand ups all of our efforts would go up in smoke because someone didn't check to see if the connection to cyber space was working. Not this time. Erin managed to find a working connection. It's worth having good relationships you can count on in this business. We got the stuff edited and emailed back in time for the show. Whoo, that's over but the day continues. We still have to fight traffic back to the Big Raggedy and edit for the late show. Just another day at the office.
And as for the game, there were some big moments but things didn't go SU's way. There's always next year, did you know?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Watchful Eye

With the holiday season in full swing being away from family can be tough. Being thousands of miles away from home can be hard. Now imagine the place you call home with family and friends being under siege by an unknown threat.

That what's happening to some college students from Mumbai, India.

While enjoying the Thanksgiving traditions, the NP and I find one who's in contact with his family as well as keeping a watchful eye on the unknown.

Team Players

After working an overnight fire yesterday, thankfully no injuries or fatalities, I had a strange feeling that it was coming. My lovely assignment editor laid out the sheet and informed XRAY TED and myself that she needed someone to quote, "bite the bullet". That means one of us is going to the airport for the annual busiest travel day of the year story. This was a blessing in disguise, I needed to keep the adrenaline going if I was going to make it through the day.

So I load up the White Whale with the Nubian Princess and head to the Airport. Besides some of the check in people acting like they have never seen a camera things were relatively calm. No long lines, no screaming families, just calmness. Going to have really find something to make this interesting. The NP and I find some stuff and manage to fill some time with some help from the Turdpolisher. Thanks again Polisher.

As for XRAY TED, he had his hands full as well. Pretty busy on the day before Thanksgiving, did you know?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deja Vu

This all seems to familiar. The afternoon meeting ends. The producers start putting the shows together. An idea pops up about a local tie in to a national story. An anticipated movie based on a book is about to premiere across the nation. The hype has been built. The fans are dying to see it. And we want to go live for the late shows. Didn't I do this earlier in the year.
So I head out to the Rave Theatre to see what all of the fuss was about. And maybe get the name of this must see picture.
The name of the film is Twilight, based on books written by Stephenie Meyer. It's a romantic tale that somehow has incorporated vampires. A romantic tale involving vampires????? She must be on to something since this is causing the same amount of hysteria equaling that of a certain boy wizard.
After setting up the truck, I discover the fanfare has already begun. Hyped up teenagers started forming the lines at 4:30pm. The only thing on their mind, "Will there be any celebrities here for the movie?" Unfortunately they had to settle for Street Beat. They screamed anyway since they were able to stay past their curfew.
So as I sit on the cold concrete. Watching the teenage girls fight over who is next in line to get in to the movie. I begin to think, should I go ahead and pencil in July 21 to do this once again. The boy wizard has another movie on the horizon. And with the opening night success a sequel could be in the works for this one, did you know?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Contest Day

There is never a bad time to chill with the Nubian Princess. Unfortunately all the attention she's garnering has to deal with to words...Contest Day. A day when the Louisiana AP makes things a little more complicated while dealing with the daily news duties.
The reminder comes from the suits. The producers now are filled with ideas on how to spice up their show. The reporters will put in more legwork than usual. And the photographers will stock the run bags with another bottle of aspirin for the ensuing headaches to come.

An extra PKG, more creative writing, and of course more reporter presence for their story in the show. If there is way to put it on television it will either be dusted off or invented for this day. But it doesn't stop there.

Every "i" dotted and every "t" crossed. Content must be strong while the facts must be correct. Not to mention the execution, mostly dealing with technical issues, must be flawless. You pray the switcher and teleprompter works while your lights don't blow out during the shot.

Then it all comes to an end. You look over the shows and decide which is the best one for the AP to pass judgement on. You may win then again you may not. One things is for sure...they'll send newsrooms across the state into crisis I mean contest mode next year, did you know?

Darin' Erin

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." - Muhammad Ali

Strong words that describe one Erin Cofiell. Her journey to Big Raggedy included her college time in the Northeast and a stay over at the local "Peacock".

Now her drive has created some of the most anticipated television since Evel Knievel's attempt to jump the Grand Canyon. Ladies and gentlemen this is "Darin' Erin".

Willing to do more than just lug around a camera. Striving to ask more than just questions to local athletes. Erin is ready to go beyond the boundaries to bring the viewers a different look into the world of sports. As well as increase the station's health insurance policy.

So far Erin has challenged a star football and soccer goalie, keeping her record at .500. Her next challenge from what I hear has something to do with a hockey team. I know what you are thinking, "Hockey in south LA????" Yes it is true. I believe it is an underground sport where not paying out the bets is more brutal then being cross checked through the boards.

The series is quite entertaining and has lasted longer than Super Dave Osborne. Once the bruises heal I'm sure Erin will tackle the next challenge lying in wait. I wonder if she'll do this one?

What's This?

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been tucked away in the edit bay going through tons of stuff for this year's reel. I did manage to come out and enjoy some the cool weather that has paid the Raggedy a visit. While soaking some of the warmth of the sun I noticed this...
....small black balls have rained on the parking lot of the asylum. What could they be? Where did they come from?
Did we make the news gods angry by not bending time and space when asked by the producers after the meeting? Did a flock of birds ingest too much fiber enriched bird feed from the park and thought the BFR was mid air porto potty? Did XRAY TED open his mouth again?

Who knows? I'll get some answers but I've ruled out one conclusion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LA Animal Channel

Why hasn't the promo department start the campaign of the Big Raggedy being LA Animal Channel. Think about it there have been so many stories involving our furry and feathered friends. I remember XRAY TED chasing a goat a few yeas ago that made it to the national outlets. Then the Turdpolisher stumbled into the hunt forJo-Jo .

Now Tippy's story has come across our radar or rather the classifieds. There is always something about dogs. You can be gone for five minutes but when they see you they act like you've been gone for five days. I hope Tippy turns up soon and in good health.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Must Have For The Tool Box

After reading one of the latest writings of the Turdpolisher I had to make mention of another must have for any veteran photographer.

I'm talking good old duct tape and look it comes in new colors. Why is this a must have? Let's say you are at a press conference and the participants decide to hold it outside, no problem. But there is no podium. Mic stands are useless. Clipping a lav mic won't be effective since more than one person is going to talk. So the only logical course of action...take a light stand, whip out some duct tape, and voila. Instant podium. It may not look pretty but you just have to play the cards your're dealt.

So whether it's a securing cable across a busy floor during elections or creating a podium for a presser it's always good to have a roll of duct tape. Now to and get some more, did you know?

Election Sanity

With all of the campaigning. With all of the dollars spent on ads. The debates. The stumping for votes. It all comes down to whom the people think will best lead them this time.

For us however it's the wall to wall coverage during the night. Unfortunately it also mean dealing with the jacks who constantly invaded the designated media space.
It's bad enough you must stay on your island while the "supporters" get to roam around, mainly near the free bar. Then act like they own the place. You try to section off you equipment, the camera, the lights, etc., but somehow the supporters manage move the protective barrier and walk around with drinks in hand acting like they don't have a care in the world. All of this while your are trying to make the person who sold them to their ideas look good on the flashing box in the living room.

I try to keep my sanity. I try not to lose it with the constant bumping of my lights during the :30 live shot. I keep my mouth shut and focus on the task at hand while the mindless dribble spews from the mouths of the idiots who say, "Why do you need that?", "Does this have to be there?", or "I don't think that light will make it through the night."

Alas the results come in and the final live shot happens. Time go and edit for the early show then go home. Somehow I manage to keep my sanity for another election. I hope there's a bigger room and a cash bar next time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

An Unexpected Visitor

Ah crap. Looks like all of the ghost hunting has drawn an unexpected visitor to the Big Raggedy.
I wonder who he's after. Where did he come from????
Alright, you can't go around scaring people. That's not nice.
Your're lucky she didn't hit JACK!!!! Get out of here!!!!!!!!
Will you put Steve down. Team Streetbeat is going to have some explaining to do with this one.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Return to The 13th Gate

Halloween is just around the corner and the terror of another months of sweeps is slowing approaching. With that those thoughts in mind it is time to continue a new tradition at the Big Raggedy and make our appearance at the 13th Gate. It was time to face our fears while dealing with the untold terrors of what was beneath the FEMA blue roof.

Last year was a new experience. We broke all kinds of barriers. No one in the group got separated by the gruesome monsters and the good looking Senatorial Gentleman lived through the movie. Unfortunately there were some rewrites for this year's sequel.
Cheryl, our leader, for fear of being called by the spirits of the haunted cemetery decided make a dash with the Nubian Princess and get out of harms way. Joe L., the smartest one of the group mysteriously disappeared. Maybe trying to figure out which will keep you lost longer, The Bermuda Triangle or the Twilight Zone. You decide.
So C-Line, Brandon, and I are the only originals. Enter Hayes, Meeks, and Kacie. A new group of targets to satisfy the blood lust of the ghouls inside. Just like the brutal Hollywood Horror movie franchises we should have stopped at the last one.
A new group now braves the unknown of the Mummy's Tomb, the Haunted Crematory, and the Endless Hall of Mirrors. It's too bad they got me in the cemetery. I didn't see it coming but I survived, after all I do work at the Aslyum on Government Street. Next time I'll be ready if the Sweeps Month doesn't get me first.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Walking Into Death Valley

It is known throughout the football world. Ranked as one of the hardest places to play. A place so loud that it once caused a small earthquake. A virtual house of horrors for opposing teams. As for me the only question on my mind....
....has it been that long???? Has it been five years since I was on the sidelines of LSU's Tiger Stadium, know to most as Death Valley. Indeed it has. The last time I roamed this field was coincidentally against Georgia. I see not much has changed.
The fans come dressed in the usual attire. Purple and Gold preferably.
The place can cause you to lose your senses with high noise level.
And since the field and the stands are almost on the same level, it will do murder on you knees. Good thing I lost a few pounds. I don't know how XRAY TED has done it all of these years.
It was time for the big game. The one that could shift the balance of power back to LSU in hopes of contending for the division and conference championships. Georgia had other plans dealing the Tigers another father taking his son behind woodshed beating. This one hurts more since it was in front of the home crowd.
There is still some time left but things have turn around very quickly. The elephants loom in the horizon. I sense a disturbance in the Force, did you know?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where Are The Hard Hats???

Looks like we are getting some new gear. Because of a new federal law, starting in November anyone working on or near highways, including news crews, must wear federally approved safety vests. Since the travel stories are right around and it's a proven fact that people can't drive in this city you can't be too careful.

What do you know, looks like we have a model to showcase the new attire.

Turdpolisher and XRAY TED. I wonder how the reporters will look in these things?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Final Faceoff

As the media descended to the North Rampart District we all waited for the shot. Alas we were disappointed. All we got were the two Senatorial Candidates exchanging pleasantries before the final debate before the elections. That was for the cameras but I had feeling that it would be different if we weren't there. Maybe something like this.

Sen. Mary Landrieu: "Hello John".
Treasurer John Kennedy: "Hello Mary".

Landrieu:"How are the wife and kids?"
Kennedy: "They are fine. And how is your family?"
Landrieu:"They are doing well".

Landrieu: "So this is it"?
Kennedy:"Yes it is".

Landrieu:"You know I'm going to win".
Kennedy:"Not while I'm in the race".

Landrieu:"I will destroy you John".
Kennedy:"I will dethrone you Mary."

Landrieu: "You are a confused politician".
Kennedy: "You are 'Scary' Mary".

After all of the talking the gloves go off and the fists start flying. Fight Night at the Old 7Up Plant. I place a call to the Boxing Commission to have the fight sanctioned. Senator Drewry starts collecting money for the side bets. Then Dana White, of the UFC, comes out and has the Octogon enclose the two combatants while they wage war against each other in a five round battle for the seat in D.C. That's what should have happened. Instead we got the usual gibberish of what they were going to do when they got back to Nation's Capital. My version is much more entertaining, did you know?