Thursday, November 26, 2009

Many Thanks To Give

As I sit and listen to the scanners that echo through the walls of the empty newsroom, I ponder over the number of blessings that graced my life. I remember the good things that bring a special feeling to my station logoed heart.

I’m thankful for the brave men & women of the United States Armed forces. You protect us while leaving your families behind for extended periods of time. Thank you. I always look forward to telling stories when you are reunited with with the ones you love. God Bless you all.

I’m thankful for my career in television. It’s a roller coaster of emotion but I enjoy going out to places and telling unique stories people don’t know about. Yeah I have to deal with the chaos and madness but when you get those memorable stories it’s worth it.

I’m thankful for my family, mostly for them understanding what I do. They know that I have to work long strange hours. Lord knows how many times I had to cancel family events because Pookie & Ray Ray decided they wanted to make the evening news.

Then there is my television family. The group that has to work said strange hours with me through the years. The group that works tirelessly to bring quality work to the masses of eyeballs watching the tube. It those that are at the asylum now and those that have dealt with its padded walls in the past.

Simply put, I am blessed and I have so much to be thankful for. Even you XRAY TED.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Death Valley Drop Zone

My mom once told me that you have to be open to doing new things in life.
Whether it’s going to some place new for vacation. Or ordering something different off the menu from your favorite restaurant. However, scaling down the wall of the ninth largest college stadium in the country? That’s a new one. First things first….

Using some creative techniques the local chapter of the Special Olympics decided to have a unique fundraising event this month. For $1000, you had the opportunity to rappel down the East Side of Tiger Stadium. I had to see this. People came from as far as Florida to take advantage of this once in a lifetime event. All we had to do was be patient. Wait for the right person to descend down the wall of Death Valley. As luck would have it we found a very good person who not only wanted to help the athletes but conquer her own fear as well. So after checking out the skyline I started thinking…
How often will I get a chance to do something like this. Granted I’m not going to swinging around like Spider Man but still a chance to scale down the wall, I had to take advantage of this.
After inking the standard waiver and a quick training session it was time for the big one. I get the final instructions and it was time tame the wall. I slowly climb over the edge absorbing the initial feeling of my feet dangling 150 feet in the air and I think to myself, how crazy yet cool is this. Then I look to my left to see a great view of the football field. Yeah it was worth it.

As my feet make their way back to Earth I realize that I have something else I can cross of my list of things to do.

Special thanks to the Nubian Princess for a great story and snapping the photos for the blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Day After Contest Day

Wednesday was a day I needed to clear my head. Man I wish it could have last longer. It was right before the Sportscenter Top 10, I was just putting on a freshly ironed shirt when, the Bat Phone started ringing. The desk was in need of some big time help. Turns out the cornucopia of chaos was about to ensue.

A fire was rearing its ugly head a historical church over in Scotlandville. The desk needed me to head over there. After throwing the big fuzzy in the car I made my way to the blaze. After capturing some of the action the Nubian Princess was dispatched my way to go live from the scene. Little did I know the breaking news gods were about to open the floodgates, the church fire was only the beginning.

The Turdpolisher was hanging out at Federal Court getting some plea deals on the air. Then there was Mad Dog Mercedes over in Tangi breaking the news of another ponzi scheme in play. Don’t think Bernie was involved with this one. C-Line & the Meeks were dealing with the folks over at the House that Huey built. Another team was sent to the Big Easy for a highly anticipated movie premier while the rest of the night crew was looking for an attorney emerged in controversy and a couple of peeps who got a nice wire transaction.

This is one of those days when it’s all said and done you sit down on the couch with your drink of choice and ask, “How in the world did we pull this day off”? If it was breaking news we were all over it. If it was advancing the story we handled it with style. Simply put, it was a great job by everyone today.

Time to leave all of the chaos behind and unwind from a long day. I got some sweet tea and a comfy couch waiting on me, did you know?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Last 72

It is unavoidable. There are days where you have to go and cover tragedies that have affected people in the area. However, the last three days seemed like a broken record of family’s dealing with death all why asking themselves why did this had to happen. I know its spot news and we have to have it but constantly going to the ends of the state, navigating through the bright lights, while trying not to trip over the yellow tape can wear down even the most seasoned photographer. Then there is the challenge of not upsetting the family even more. Some would rather you not be there while others just want to let out their pent up emotions. Either way you remain respectful, no need to make a bad situation even worse. Just get your pictures and what information you can and get out of there. When its all said and done, doesn’t hurt to say a little prayer for them.

Its been an emotional three days, thankfully the desk is letting me clear out my head today.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wakey Wakey

4:59 am Just getting into that good portion of sleep. That part where all of the worries of the previous day are long gone. The part where you are deep into your comfort zone not worrying about the troubles on the horizon. Then it happens....

5:00 am The phone rings. You hope its someone that dialed the wrong number but that's not the case. Its the office calling. The voice on the other end needs you go to a working fire. The bed wants you stay and finish sleeping. No luck there. So you throw on what you can find and hope the cold air wakes you up. No doubt the call is urgent, two alarm fire with entrapments in a neighborhood across town. The shop is probably thinking of dramatic pictures with flames & people being rescued from the raging inferno. You know that there is a fire station not far from the location and this thing will be out way before you get there. No matter, you're sure to get the firefighters putting out the last hot spot. The pictures won't win me any awards but you have to check things out just in case.

6:00 am Fire is out. Video is back in house. Time to head back home. You're thankful that its the weekend and you can rest up. Then you remember, you have to work elections today. Better get some sleep before the phone.....

.....never mind. Gotta go.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Been Said.....

Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers. -Aristotle

To all of our brave men and women who have served and are currently serving now thank you for all that you have have done. You are the reason that we are able to have the freedom and liberties we have today. You are the ones who make it possible for us to be here today.

To those who have served, those who are serving, and thoes who will serve thank you and God Bless you all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time & Tapes

There are some certainties about time. It usually flies when you are having fun. It will often drag while you are in a holding pattern. Time can heal most wounds however it can produce a ton of memories long forgotten.
Therefore, when I opened my locker and saw a bunch of old tapes sitting around I figure why not play a few to help pass the time before the next call to spot news duty. What I saw was some of the weirdest, strangest, intellectually, and entertains pieces of television through the decade. I see puppies being rescued, the debate to take a vacation, a band looking for a home, and golf clubs being stolen. There are volunteers giving up their holiday for strangers and ladies taking the fight to the bad guys. There are some good television stories in this box.
Better, start archiving this stuff to the computer before the tape machines go the way of the dinosaurs. Besides I needed to clean up my locker anyway.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tricks After Treats

You never know what can happen on Halloween, especially when the moon is full and unforeseen madness can run about on the streets of the Red Stick. It was after a small gathering of the peeps when it happened. A call comes into the newsroom the voice on the other asks what’s going on East Blvd...

As the wheels start to roll in my head I know that at this time of night, along with an extra hour of darkness, this couldn’t be good. Unfortunately, there’s no time to change out of my costume. I just hope I’m taken seriously at the mayhem since the rest of the masked ones are partying the night away. So as I pull up to the scene you would think that CSI had a location shoot.

I’m met with a long stretch of yellow tape, a bunch of markers with the alphabet, and more flashing lights than a Christmas display. Someone decided to fire off some rounds at one of the guys wearing the badge, not a good idea. Thankfully, he’s going to be all right. Too bad, I can’t say the same once the shooter is caught. While being hit with a blast of chilled air I got to thinking about the treats from earlier in the evening.

I was thinking about the Comic, the Cop, and the Champ strolling downtown hanging out with the masses. I was remembering how people would come up to guess who you were, complement the attire, and ask may I take a picture with you. To most Halloween is the second most anticipated holiday on the calendar year. Think about it for a minute. You don’t have to do much traveling. The relatives aren’t dying, no pun intended, to see you. The only requirement is to get a costume. It’s the only holiday where looking strange is completely normal. The time where oddities are accepted by all. The night where complete strangers all share similar views by being something that will catch someone’s eye. There is nothing like letting your imagination come out while having a fun time with the peeps. Halloween is a unique holiday, can’t wait to celebrate next year. Minus the after hour madness, did you know?