Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Cluster

I knew it was coming.
The continued mass hysteria of Swine Flu that is plaguing Mexico and is spreading across the globe has brought back an old friend.
Yes, the dreaded Live Cluster is back with a vengeance.

As we enter Day 6 of the pig’s revenge, the leaders of the state must now encourage the people to be proactive in trying to curtail this strain of flu. The same stuff that your parents told you when you were young, wash your hands, cough and sneeze in the corner of your elbow, etc.
Unfortunately, the madness of pulling off live television has not change. Will the microphones work? Will the talent get out of the shot when it’s go time? Will the producer stop blowing up the cell during the conference? Who will get the first question in to the authorities? It’s all entertaining but the biggest question that looms.
How in the world did we pull this one off? That one is best left to ponder after you clock out and go to sleep. I hope that there won’t be any nightmares since the next cluster is right around the corner.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pre Filed Legislation

Is it back already? Is it time for the annual get together between the lawmakers and the lobbyists? Are the shenanigans at the House of Huey upon us once again? Moreover, will the Governor partake in the festivities? Yes, the chaos that is known as the Louisiana Legislative session is back. Only time, and the endless number of amendments, will determine if it is successful or just another trip to the circus.

Like my peers in the Phallus Place, I must serve the constituents of the Government Street District and the State of Louisiana during this three month span. I will do everything in my power to provide the leadership that our people deserve and demand. On that note, here are few of the bills that the Ways and Means To Make TV Interesting Committee have pre filed for the impending session.

SB 420 – Funds/Funding: This is an act that will allow the state to charge admission and/or use of the front steps, the courtyard, and other facilities for the use rallies, demonstrations, and other large gatherings.

Think about it. People are always upset about something and will have a rally on the steps to show their displeasure. All I’m saying is let’s make a block party out of it. Listen we charge $20 head with 300 people showing up and we make 6K in a little over an hour. We always good for 10 rallies during the session alone. Not to mention that people will get thirsty during the summer months and those steps will get hot. We’ll have the bottles of water ready to go for a modest price.

SB 468 – Funds/Funding: This is act that will provide services and equipment to hold an annual video game tournament.

The gamers owe me one for this. There are a ton of flat screens lining the halls of the Palace. Once the session ends we fire up the TV’s, hook up the PS3’s, and have the state’s largest Madden NFL Tournament. Everyone plays this game. They count down the seconds until the new one is released. However, we won’t just limit it to Madden. If you want to play Rock Band we can do that also. I work with the committee members on financial implications.

SB 711 – Healthcare: This an act to provide additional healthcare coverage to members of the working media.

We’ve all been there. You put in some long hours at the station and during that you get sore. Or you’re shooting some practice or game and a plastic clad player throws their momentum into your causing you bodily harm. This bill looks at placing masseuses at the station to work out the kinks from a long day of shooting. In addition, they may be used by the reporter after someone or something is working on what little sanity is left from a stressful day.

SB 5150 – Funds/Funding: This is an act to provide members of the Ways and Means To Make TV Interesting committee to get a pay raise.

I said last session that I could not vote myself a raise unless I could find a way for my peers on the Committee to get a raise also. Those first two bills I proposed should cover that. I know what your thinking, Senator are we in a money crisis right now? Yes, but here is the argument. I don’t see the Justice Committee chasing Pookey and Ray Ray after they cause some form of mischief 15 minutes before the show starts. I don’t see the Money Committee losing sleep while chasing a Cat 4 that’s about to pound into the coast during Hurricane Season. Simply put I think we earned one.

That’s all we have for now but rest assure we aren’t done. Myself, C-Mo, Sena-turd, and the rest of the committee will come up with more legislation to better help the fine people of the Government Street District and the great state of Louisiana, did you know?

Tough Road To Travel

It's no secret I love good stories. Fiction. Non Fiction. It doesn't matter as long as it grabs my attention. So while watching the Draft this weekend I was introduced to Michael Oher, an Offensive Lineman from Ole Miss. It was expected that he going to make a ton of money playing in the NFL but his journey from the streets to playing on Sundays is what fans are going to remember.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Staying Off The DL

Lately my time has been devoted to the monster known as the OT. Believe me it is draining. The endless number of requests of an assignment sheet that will have you traveling all over the place.
From baseball in St. Amant.

To dodging softballs in Zachary. Not to mention dealing with the improbable requests from the sports desk when things don't go according to plan.

But the biggest hurdle is keeping the aches and pains away. I don't mind shooting sports but when you have to stay put for long periods of time, while lugging around your camera, and that will wear on you shoulder and back. Plus it's no secret that I'm not getting younger. In addition I can't afford being on the sideline especially with May Sweeps peeking around the corner.
For now I'll have to keep plenty of Advil in stock. And remind me to send a thank you note to the person who invented Icy Hot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Decade Of Legislation

Time – noun

1. the system of those sequential relations that any event has to other as past, present, or future
2. a particular period considered as distinct from other periods
3. a period with reference to personal experience of a specified kind

The year was 1999. April was in full swing. The highly anticipated Y2K fallout gained momentum. In addition, I had started working here at the Big Raggedy. I was lucky. While still in school, I was able to continue my career in television. Most people do not know is that the Big Raggedy is my second job. I actually started at the local Peacock doing studio production. I did shoot some video while running into crews from the Raggedy as well as the folks over on Highland. One of those run ins was at a rally over at Southern University. They were protesting about a chemical company not far from the campus disposing of Napalm. However, I got to talking with a reporter by the name of Meg Casper. She tells me that there is an opening over at the “ 9”. Its part time and you work weekends. The gears are rolling in my head. Instantly start weighing my options. I can go to school during the week, work the weekends, and continue building on the foundation that is my career. Opportunity knocked all I had to do was open the door.

That tip let to a resume tape. That tape led to an interview. That interview led to the hiring of some college kid who had no idea what he was getting into. However, opportunity knocked, I answered, and the rest is history.

As I look through my collection of press passes and photo albums, it is not just history but also some great memories. From shooting countless number of school board meetings to rolling on house fires in the nice part of town. GS would go wild when those came across the scanners. From chasing some of the worse criminals in town to chasing some of the worse storms in history. Its days without lunch that eventually led to sleepless nights. It is the news. Some of its good yet some of it is bad. For every ribbon cutting there was a wreck clogging up the road. For every feature story there was quality time at the courthouse. For every championship run, there was an election that would not end. In addition, of course there were the three month camp outs in the House the Huey erected. I could not resist.

However, it is not the stories that I shot or edited. It’s the people that I have met over the years. It’s the people that helped me grow not only as a professional but also as a person. It’s not just my blood family but my television family. It is Jen in Birmingham, Matt in the Mile High City, and Cyndi over in the Big Easy. It’s Julie, Victor, Marie, C-Line, Yoda, D-$$$, JV, Avery, Spike, the NP, KN, Cheryl, Meeks, and the Turdpolisher. Hell even XRAY TED played a part in all of this. The bonds we share will never be broken. Our friendships will be forged forever in time.

This is not a farewell address. Trust me I’m not going anywhere. Only God can make that call.

This is a note of gratitude. Thank you to everyone who has made me better. Thank you for the wonderful work we have done and will do. Most importantly thank you to all for simply putting up with the madness that I will sometimes bring to the table.

Moreover, if I didn’t mention you before please forgive me. It’s been ten years. There are just so many names to say but remember that I am the fortunate one. I am fortunate to be blessed with so many good people in my life.

So far, it’s been one crazy ride and I’m enjoying every second of it, did you know?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Art Imitating Life

I was cleaning up my locker when I stumbled across this.

Classic Peanuts comic strip Meeks gave to me.

Strange, didn't this happen before????

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The March To 2012

It's no secret that there is an abundance of talent here at the Big Raggedy. When we aren't chasing Pookey or getting thrown out of meetings because we keep those in question honest our sights turn to our training for the U.S. Olympic Team. I have no doubts that we'll be collecting some hardware in 2012. Think about it. We have C-Mo getting ready for Figure Skating, The Nubian Princess will handle the Equestrian, while Sweet Polly sidekicks the competition in the Martial Arts, which leaves the Turdpolisher getting Krusty ready for Freestyle Wrestling. Even our resident daredevil, Darin Erin, is joining our quest for worldwide domination. Leave it to her to not only to show off her talents on the balance beam but reunite with an old friend from the northeast. We should have enough to bring home the gold. Now to figure out how we're going to get everyone on the Wheaties box.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Will This Day End????

It's not often that I get to see the AM producer but twice in 24 hours was just ridiculous.
It all started during the early hours yesterday when the Bat Phone was ringing out of control. The voice on the other end gets a tip of a triple shooting out in Praireville. Crap. Spot news knows no boundaries and it sure as hell doesn't know when to clock out. So I load up the car and head out. After talking to the sheriff deputies working the case and it looks like a drug deal gone wrong. My question is when does a drug deal ever right? I should recommend that for an upcoming editorial. Enough of the sidetracks back to the reason why I'm here. Get the pictures, head back to the ranch, and then try to get some sleep. Only hitting two of of three at this point can't get back to bed. I'm going to be a zombie when I get back to the Raggedy.

So the regular shift starts and the assignments are dealt out. KN and I have to go to a City Council in Denham Springs regarding their animal shelter or the confusion surrounding their animal shelter. This meeting goes on and on and on. It turns out they need to amend an ordinance to bring the shelter to code and they have to go over every small detail to prevent another marathon get together on the subject. Seems like time is standing still for this. Already lagging from the early start I had to turn to a bag of Peanut M&M's and a Dr. Pepper for dinner. Nothing like the food of the News Gods to keep you going. The meeting is heading to the home stretch. Looks like a live shot is in the cards. Fortunately we had Big Moo deliver the truck to us and help fill the hole in the news. Raise the mast and beam back the captured emotion of the meeting. So far so good. Maybe, just maybe this day will end. I know I just jinxed myself.
Once I get back in town there's talk of a fire in progress. No big deal right, wrong. When it's the Brandywine Apartments then it's a big deal. For those who don't know this place is no stranger to us and local law enforcement. And since it's projecting an orange glow in the night sky sleep is going to have to wait little while longer.

At this point my contacts feel like shards of glass in my eyes. After rolling up to the scene I'm overcome with a sense of deja vu. I was here last year when there was a large fire and it looks like the same unit that was blazing away. Now factor in the financial troubles with the owners along some ticked off residents and things start to look a little hazy with this incident. I'll let the investigators handle that part while I continue the heavy lifting for team Streetbeat. A part of me hopes they use everything I shot but the rest of me is content with just getting some sleep.
Mission accomplished. Got some nice video for the AM show, the producer will be happy. After making the delivery I think about asking him not to call the Bat Phone but that won't happen. After all spot news never sleeps and unfortunately neither am I, did you know????

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's About Time

I was wondering when XRAY TED was going to contribute something. Well beside the usual foul venom that spews from that trap he calls a mouth.

He must have gotten his picture of Elle Mae framed. That would explain why he showed up for work. It's about time did you know?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beignets In The Big Easy

There is always something going on in New Orleans. The history, the culture, the nightlife, you name it they got. Try as they may the flood waters can't keep the Big Easy down. If you travel the world this city has to be high on your list of places to visit. Of course if you come then you must put in a visit to Cafe Du Monde. Nothing like some beignets and a cup of coffee to get the day started. Lucy Bustamante, famous news anchor of the North Rampart District, tells us that you must be ready to wear the powdered sugar like a badge of honor.

Got to Be The Shoes

It's not often that something will leave the peeps over at the Raggedy speechless. Looks I found something that accomplished that "feet", I couldn't resit.
With some clever P.R. work a pair of Shaquille O'Neal's shoes were dropped off at the station. The reason? Looks like the Big Aristotle has joined the Feed The Children organization. A non profit relief group that provides food, medicine, and other necessities to families around the globe. If that didn't get your attention the Big Catus will be heading to the area next week to continue the campaign against poverty.
A noble cause from one of basketball's greatest players. We'll keep you posted on the event but for now I'm still amazed how big these shoes are, did you know??????

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can't Help Some People

It's less than an hour until the late show and things appear to be calm. That is until we get bombarded by a caller who makes XRAY TED look like a choir boy.

Turns out the confused jackass claims that we are confusing him about what to do about the "worm" virus that is set to release itself upon computers across the world. My goodness he is cursing up a storm while belittling people who tried to help him before.

It's no secret that if you want to be a professional I will try to help you. If you want to be an idiot who calls the station after watching the idiot box then there's nothing I can do for you. Maybe he's just a little misguided, or a raging loon, but I try to help him while having him keep the swears to a minimum. I get him to the site. Tell where the links are to help him and I get from him is, "Now what do I do???" Lord give me strength. After going through the process again I tell him that he is going to have to take the steps to protect his computer. He goes off again then hangs up.

At least I tried to help. But it was at the expense of never getting back some wasted minutes of my life. Will I be nominated to be a Saint? Probably not. Will I lose sleep of this? Not likely. Just have to remember that you can't help some people.