Saturday, December 31, 2011


While putting the final touches of some good television at the asylum I start to think…

2011. My how the time flies. Even more reason to enjoy and reflect on moments that helped molded the past year. Some memories you want to forget about it. While others you relish. Those you hold on to. Those you will have a special place in your heart. Events where you kept eyes in the back of your head while walking backwards. Or the time you got to hang out with your favorite roller derby team for the whole season. Then there was the instance where you had to deal with all kinds of weather events. There was the return to an old haunt to go with the debut of another. You got to sit and listen to one incredibly strong young lady. But sadly had to say farewell to a couple of icons that left the business. Plus the day when you had a certain, “Holy crap did this just happen?”, moment. I’ll blog more about that one later. But the most important thing, I got to spend it with some from very good people inside and away from the walls of the asylum.

There was a lot that happened that made 2011 into 2011. So let’s sit back & enjoy some pictures, Happy New Year everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home For The Holidays

It’s no secret that I have a lot of admiration for the men and women of the Armed Forces. My grandpa served. My aunt served with her two daughter following suit. Those brave souls who were willing to make the sacrifice of being away from their loved ones and those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. Now after a nine year trek, the war in Iraq is coming to an end and our brave men & women are making their way home. Just in time for the holidays.

So it’s nothing for me to go and capture the emotion of loved ones with an insatiable anxiety to hold their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, & sisters in their arms once again. To the men & women who have served and those who are serving abroad, thank you for what you do. You have not only earned my respect but the respect of people living in the greatest country in the world.

Those of you have returned enjoy the return home and the love from your family and friends. Those of you still on active duty, my prayers for your safety and a speedy return are with you. God Bless you all and God Bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Rock Solid

In live television anything, and usually everything, can happen. No safety new, no reset button, no second take. Those in front of the lens have to develop and maintain a sense of calm and composure. Even though something out of the ordinary is going on during live television you have to just roll with the punches. It happens to everyone even to NBC’s Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams. Recapping the day’s events throughout the world a sudden an annoying sound just started to blare through the surround sound of viewer’s sets across the country. Was the lead guy caught off guard? Maybe. Did it stop him? No way. Just kept his cool and continued to present the news as if nothing was going on. Think about it, this dude has been through every kind of war zone, convention, and natural disaster that most wouldn’t dare go through. No wonder they’ve dominating the ratings for some time now.

If there is someone for the young and aspiring journalists to look towards, they may want to take a few notes from the guy who leads at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Than A Job

The life of a News Photographer is a unique one. One that can usual goes around in circles if you manage to do this long enough. Go to one place to shoot a scene and a few years later you will experience total recall of what happened that day. The same could be said for people. We met a lot of them while roaming around in a news unit with cameras ready to go at a moment’s notice. But it’s the people that we get attached to when we first meet them that have lasting impressions on us. It’s those events that affect our friends that can put emotional implants on our psyche. That’s what happened to my friend Rick Portier, known as The Turdpolisher in the photographer circles. Yesterday it seemed like another rash of random madness where we were hoping for a quiet lead in to the holiday weekend. It was anything but.

He got me into this whole blogging thing but sometimes you have to when to take a step back and let someone better tell of his experience to an awful event. After reading say a prayer for that family, that neighborhood, and the Polisher. They’ll appreciate it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

NOLA Peep Show

Now I know New Orleans is known for some of the antics on Bourbon Street. What antics are you talking about? Well, let’s just say that if you have a nice set of beads to throw you are bound to see some skin flashed for all the world to see. However Carnival season is still a few months away but that’s not stopping the tasteful peep show that my friends from the Galleria seem to have stumbled on.

First it looks like the fine people of PETA decided to take advantage of the nice South LA weather. Looks like they have set up shop somewhere on Canal Street near the French Quarter. No sign of any beads on the ground so it looks like there want some attention since there Super Bowl ad got pulled a few years ago. Don’t know what exactly there are protesting against but everyone as the right to free speech and the right to assemble. I can only imagine how this assignment was given out. Walk in, assignment editor see some random photographer & asks, “How would you like to miss the morning meeting?” It’s a no brainer for the photographer but I bet he was expecting something that would challenge his journalistic talent. Not to worry the day is still young.

Then there was the challenge that my buddy Toups had to handle. How to shoot the sky without showing that the sky is blue. Or in this case how to show a nude cleaning service without showing any nudity? I bet every photographer was begging to get this one. What to shoot? Do I use some foreground/background techniques? To macro or not? The answer to all of this better play it safe. Last thing you need is for the FCC to bring the hammer down on you since the infamous Wardrobe Malfunction.

Besides all of the madness that is Carnival will be here before you know it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Are Who???

Watching the events of the last 48 hours in Happy Valley has to be one of the most baffling things that I ever seen. A dark cloud has not only descended but has engulfed the college town that has touted itself as being above the rest of the landscape. A place that holds itself to a higher standard in terms of education, athletics, and moral fibers. So watching as a small group of idiots take it upon themselves to show solidarity by committing random acts of violence and destruction of property because the coach was unceremoniously dismissed from the university for his actions or lack there of in the wake of one of the most horrific scandals that went on for over a decade that affected an unknown number of children who did nothing wrong but show love to someone who betrayed their trust.

I have friends, good friends, who attended Penn State. They describe State College a place like now other. A place of comradely. A place that is more like a family atmosphere. A place not like the one being displayed by a small number of simpletons with nothing better to do than to express their rage towards people who are there just to present the facts of an ongoing story.

So that what happens when things don't go your way? You get a bad burger, go flip a media van. Don't like that haircut, go flip a media van. Mid terms don't go your way, I know let's go flip a media van. I would recommend to the student body to and read the Grand Jury report one of the catalysts to the events of the last 48, before you decide to go an destroy anything else.
Because with the misplaced rage and chants of, "WE ARE PENN STATE!" To the rest of the country and the world yes you are. And it isn't the Happy Valley that my friends told me about.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ms. Mad Dog to You

Anyone who watches TV in the Big Raggedy knows the talent of one Cheryl Mercedes, better known by the moniker of "Mad Dog". When she first got here she was everything that the asylum needed. A tough, quality reporter who got the fact, told great stories, and didn't take crap from anyone. Willing to knock on doors and chase less than friendly moving companies from here all the way to the Big Easy. Yet she does have a gentle side. Until it's time go all Nancy Grace on you with an added roundhouse kick. Did I mention she;s got a 3rd degree black belt in the Martial Arts. Well today she got some well deserved recognition from the local group Women In Media for Broadcast Excellence. Looks like she has to make some room in that crowded trophy case of hers.

Congratulations Mad Dog. Glad you are on our side, did you know?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


There are certain perks to being a photographer. You get to see things that most aren’t privileged to. You are the first one called when it time to cover some ribbon cutting ceremony that starts in ten minutes on the other side of town. You get to go on week long road trips that involved a billion satellite shots for the rest of the network. Wait a minute this is sounds real depressing. But there are times when a chance meeting or a rare occurrence can net you some nice swag. Whether it’s a free meal at some election party where the race is over after the 1st half hour or a trip to whatever bowl game you get sent to cover. Actually got a nice bag from the National Championship Game in 2007.
Or in this case, Christmas has come early for Rick Portier, know to all as the Turdpolisher. He was doing a story on Mike the Tiger’s birthday when he just so happen to met the creator of the most famous product in Louisiana History, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Alright maybe not the most famous but certainly one of the more significant products in preventing a number of cases of swamp ass. I’ll have to let the Ol’ Polisher fill you in on that one. Nevertheless a momentous occasion because it isn’t often that the members of the photographer nation get stuff hand delivered to them in the newsroom. Well besides the wish list known as the assignment sheet. So, what’s in the box? What in the box?
Looks like a cap, a nice t-shirt, and a fine assortment of products from the makers of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Remember Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, if can handle photographers it can handle everyone.

Now that is some cool swag, did you know?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Remember The Fifth

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Yeah I know Hugo Weaving in the mask uttered the famous words from the movie but once the college football schedule for 2011 was released it meant only one thing in this part of the country...

LSU v. Alabama

It was hyped as the “BIGGEST GAME EVER!” since the last “BIGGEST GAME EVER!” Just think of all of the build up leading to this. The rivalry, the pageantry, the inside track to play for the National Championship in New Orleans, and the headaches that was going to go with it. Now we all know when big things like this happen there is going to be extended coverage to go with. This is one of those times I didn’t envy the Sports Crew to make the trip to The “Bear’s” hometown. I was content on doing the shift and watching the battle for SEC supremacy unfold from the comforts of home. Luck wasn’t with me on this one.

Instead, I got the assignment of manning the live camera from a local spot with well over a few hundred college kids who couldn’t afford to make the trip to Tuscaloosa, I mean they had to go somewhere. Did you see what they were charging for tickets to go this game? Wonder how many people took out loans to cover this one?

As the defensive struggle ensued, with all eyes (last count 22 million pairs of them) glued to the large screen the phone rings. I could barley hear the voice on the other end. All I heard was, “camera ….steady….you.” Guess they are coming to this shot and man were they ever. As soon as the light went on, the game winning field goal went through the uprights, and the madness started. Napkins were tossed into the sky, drinks flew through the air, and the college kids started screaming like banshees in a raging inferno. I was more impressed that the light didn’t get knocked over with the mass of humanity dancing the night away from one of the biggest wins in school history. However the live shot was even more interesting. Although I almost broke some dumb kid’s arm off for giving a “One Finger Salute”. Thank goodness no blood shed came about, just one big ass headache. That will teach me to pack the Aleve in the sling pouch next time. After all there are a few more of these on the horizon and they’ll probably be playing “Party Rock Anthem” at all of them, did you know?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Knowing Mo Isom

So what’s the deal? Why do I have four lights, three cameras, two lavaliere microphones, and one sportscaster in this picture? Well it isn’t often that you get to tell great stories of one’s success despite an number of personal struggles that you have to deal with before the age of 22.

Everyone let me introduce you to LSU Senior Goal Keeper Mo Isom. A highly sought after recruit four years ago who has become the face of a program that is continuing to lay its foundation. She has captured all kinds of records during her time in school all while completing her degree in Mass Communications. Hey she wants to go into television nothing wrong with. But just as she has faced a tough curricular in the classroom as well as soccer balls flying towards her at insane speeds, yet she has also had to deal with issues off the field more than you know my friends. Yet she has somehow managed to keep her life in perspective. Always willing to think of others than herself. Willing to spread messages of her faith & beliefs to those who will listen. And taking on a number of her peers in competition more for letting athletes be human than for bragging rights.

When you hear her talk and you listen to her words you think to yourself this young lady is wiser than her years. After all when you go through what she has endured you tend to grow up really fast. Her passion for life is incredible not to mention she put shutout on you without breaking a sweat.

So when we sat her down for her interview, time flew by us. The words that made her tale were really good. You didn’t feel that an hour had slipped by us. Wish we could have used everything, this piece could have been ten minutes long. So we had to condense, that’s alright. You can read more of her words on her blog, trust me it’s a good read, did you know?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Necropolis City

Senator’s Log: October 31, 2011 – 9 pm. It was one year ago that the people from The 13th Gate opened their doors to me for a behind the scenes look to one of America’s Top Haunted Attractions. A lot of time, work, and energy go into making this place a success. The constant hands of the crew to maintain the look of the set from the endless wear and tear. The great talent from the performers to make the house live and breathe to attract an endless number of supporters.

However there is always the chance to raise the bar. A chance to feature a new way of bringing something to life. Or in this case something back from the dead.

Enter Necropolis 13. A life size New Orleans Cemetery complete with untold horrors and a sense of the undead. Powered by one’s innovation and a little Voodoo Magic, people who long left the realm of the living have come back to bring fear to the surface dwellers. Filled with priestess, fire dancers, and zombies it was worth the nearly two year wait for its completion. After all when you go all out you want it done right to keep the people coming back for more.

So after going through the new addition twice, I was more than impressed with it. There were time I was looking for the director to yell cut since it looks like a movie set. Only the zombies didn’t stop. Well not until they claimed as many victims as possible. Good thing I was able to get out intact, heard they had a craving for dark meat.

This haunting season is almost over but if you get a chance to come here it would be worth the trip to see this place in action.

Plus I hear that something else is being worked on. Will keep you posted on this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Cowboy From NOLA

I didn't know there were cowboys in NOLA? Then again not everyone can rock the hat like fellow photographer Bobby O'Shields while pulling off the "Bear" Bryant pose on the goal post. Patiently waiting to get going on tonight's assignment of premiere athletes playing a game of football. Hanging out with veteran sportscaster Ed Daniels through the good times on the road covering everything from High School to the Pros.

Wonder what's going through his as head a game time approaches? Does the hat make me a cultural icon now? Will Ed pick up the tab for dinner? Is my buddy NOLAN throwing that wild party I asked him not to have?

The game is all that's on his mind now. That and getting the highlights back to the shop for loyal viewer appreciation. Then it's on to the next set of sidelines to do it all again.

Time to saddle up and ride going to be nice journey this year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Think Pink

There are over 180,000 ladies diagnosed with invasive breast cancer a year. An average one woman will die from the disease every 15 minutes. This is the time to tell the ladies in our life to get check. Breast cancer can strike at anytime and early detection is a key asset along with better treatment. We owe this to the one we care about. Ladies we got your back with this fight. After all, the Senator is Pro Save The Ta-Ta's, did you know?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


It's Friday night. The lights are on. The cool air is all around you. It's time for high school football. The glitz, the glamor, the pageantry, and tradition of young players continuing their athletic careers for loyal fans & alumni. Not to mention get their highlights on the local football shows across the state. However there is something that no photographer, rookie or veteran wants to hear....


That's what usually happen when you have a player going full speed towards you while you are roaming along the sidelines. Yeah you have to keep your distance but it still happens. It's cool that you get mentioned on the highlights. But it's never a good feeling that you have to tell the engineers what happen. Think it's worse when they tell you the parts needed to fix the fancy cam are on back order.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beauty From Mother Nature

In our line of work it's not often that you get a chance to stop and smell the roses. Especially when all kinds of crazy from Mother Nature is rattling everything around you. Thankfully when the chaos was coming our way, I just finished a shift at the asylum. Looking at the phone had to make sure that I didn't miss any call from the desk. Turns out I didn't. That gave me a chance to look at things without having to pull out the rain gear for the fancy cam. There were some impressive sights but roaming along the net I found I couple that really stood out.
Like this one from Frank McMains. This one caught everyone's eye so much that our Weather Team had to flash this one all over the evening news. It's one thing to see lightning but when it completely takes over the picture, then it becomes memorable.

There was also this sight, by Chris Parent, that has made it's way across the social media network. It may never rain in Tiger Stadium but it made a nice foreground for a really cool light show.

Looking at all of this reminds me that I really need to get a decent still camera to capture timeless images, did you know?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


What can I say that hasn't been said about my buddy Chris Sasser. Father, husband, member of the Armed Forces, and Award Winning Photojournalist. Those are feats to be proud of. How about newest member of the blogging empire. That's right, the high ranking member of the Highland Road District has decided to follow the path laid down by the Lenslinger Institute and fired up Bars N' Tone, the newest source of reading material that gives another insight into the world of television news.

The chair & the rest of the Ways & Means To Make TV Interesting Committee would like to formally welcome you Senator Sasser to the blogosphere. Look forward to reading your work & becoming a follower, did you know?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gotta A Little Captain In Ya?

We all know how I love commercials and these Captain Morgan ads are pretty cool. This has got to be my favorite.

Monday, September 5, 2011

LEE - way

Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Louisiana knows that September is one of the more active months during our 5th Season. More storms that have made landfall in Boot happen during this month than any other. For the last last three years we've manage to keep clear of some of the unwelcome weather systems that plague region. That is until Tropical Depression 13 just popped out of nowhere and into the Gulf of Mexico. No long trek through the Eastern Atlantic was needed for this annoying cousin which would later be known as "Lee". You knew things were going to get a little crazy than usual, yeah I know hard to believe when you work at the asylum. Plans were being put into place for us to begin extended coverage. Nothing wall to wall, we didn't reach Def Com 4, saving that for something with a little more punch to it.

Nonetheless, teams from the Raggedy were put on alert then dispatched to areas that could reach our signal. As far west as Morgan City to Lake Maurepas in the East for the impending rainmaker. Sadly I didn't know that our resolve let alone our patience was going to tested by some. It was Sunday, the Free State of Livingston was our location. All that was asked of us was to seek and find areas that were being affected. The biggest problem was going to be the flood waters being pushed by the south east winds. Kiran & I would met up with our Sat Truck do a couple of live hits, shoot some pictures, feed back to the station & call it an evening. Or so we thought. Some of the townsfolk didn't like that we were there just doing our job. From the one asking if he like us to set up the wind machine to make it more dramatic, to another saying I was going to electrocute everyone by holding my mic close to get some sound of the water, to our personal favorite, "Y'all having fun? Get the hell outta my driveway!" guy. After we had set up everything for the late live shot. Don't get wrong there were some genuine concern from people & they were thankful that we were there. I'm guessing the rest must have a what little common sense & courtesy washed and blown away from the storm.

So after picking up our gear and heading to another nearby location, we got everything back in order. Thanks to Kiran picking up some of the editing, Randy re-dialing on the bird in sky, satellite lingo, & me lighting the shot for the late local news. We came, we saw, we adapted, then concurred. The only one unhappy with us were the frogs in the creek next to us. Guess there were still bitter about Budweiser pulling the ad campaign with their friends awhile ago. They'll get over it, I like the new ones better anyway. Once it was said and done it was time to hit the road then get what ever rest we can. Don't know when the next one is going to come knocking our backdoor. Better wring out the rain gear & get the storm funk out of the car.

Where did I put that bottle Febreze?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Get Well Governor

Just want to send some get well wishes to former LA Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco who is in a battle with a rare form of eye cancer. The Governor found out she had choroidal melanoma, a rare disease that affects one in six million people during a routine eye exam back in the early part of the summer. She recently got some radiation treatments and is responding well to them. According to her post on Caring Bridge she says her vision is improving and that she will eventually be well enough to resume normal activities.

Gov. Blanco, or "Mama" as she coined herself during her term in office, get well you are story for others fighting cancer to look towards. Take care mama.

Monday, August 29, 2011

8 - 29 - 05

The day will live always in infamy for those who live along the Gulf Coast. A she beast known as Katrina roaring ashore bringing death & destruction with her. Leaving misery and mayhem in her wake. Thousands displaced from the only place they knew as home. The wind brought the first punch, the water delivered a knockout blow. A region crippled with lack of any direction for its people to follow. What else could happen? How many lost their lives? Was this the end?

The Hell's floodgates was no match for the resolve and perseverance of the human spirit. Strangers who managed to come together and bring hope to those who lost it. In time the region was reborn. Most of the area was rebuilt. There was some relief. Sadly there was also one problem after another from the gift that kept on giving.

Now six years later...we reflect. We mourn. We never forget where we were that day that is forever etched in epic lore. Thankfully we also learn from the mistakes of that event. Putting together ideas and plans that will keep us from repeating the misfortunes of the past.

I look forward to the day when all is whole once again. For now I'll just keep on remembering the events of day and pray that I don't have to document something like that again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Still Shooting News & Blogging About

What’s up guys? Sorry for the self imposed hiatus from the blog. Things over at the Raggedy have been crazier than usual. Take last weekend for example we were all over the place chasing breaking news. Honestly I’m surprised that I can write this post. Sadly it’s only going to get wilder since fall is drawing near and the madness will just ramp up. Story wise I am trying to get a good one going, hopefully if things go well it will air in December.

I did do a little tweaking to the place. I threw some of favorite pictures into the wallpaper factory. I’ll be changing it from time to time just to liven things up a bit. For now take care and thanks for stopping by The Senator’s Forum, did you know?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Potter Mania

I'll admit I'm a geek. But I must be the only on the planet who hasn't seen or read the adventures of the boy wizard known as Harry Potter. Shot a story involving Quidditch yes, seeing him go one on one with Voldemort no. That is until now. The first movie was on last night and I caught a few bits and pieces of it. I'll have to borrow the series from the Meeks while I'm away from the asylum. But for now this parady from SNL is going to have to do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ready For My Close Up

HD can be so overrated. The 720p, the HDMI, 1080 projection plasma. Think about it. Why else would fellow photographer Chris Sasser, of the Highland Road District, ditched the tapeless fancy cam with all the bells & whistles to go back to the ways of the old school. Yeah it's nice to have memory cards without the moving parts, a lens so strong you can macro flying bird poop on 120 shutter a mile away. Think I've been hanging around the Turdpolisher way too much lately. Anyhow it must be nice to hear the movement of a reel of film rolling for that Emmy Award winning shot for the masses to see. Most of us are way too you young to know that feeling but you can imagine the well dressed photographers of the past had some good times rolling around with this rig.

Guess that's why he got an inside look of a feature documentary being made on Saturday night at Death Valley.

The old school may be cool, but when we have to roam the streets filling time for the newscast we might want to keep our P2's on stand by. At least it was fun to be Hitchcock for a day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mattafact N Flow

While I never met KATV's Matt Johnson, I can feel the latest flow he's laying off his latest single. See he is a full time reporter and part time hip hop artist & entertainment mogul. Alright maybe he won't be challenging Diddy & Jay Z for control of the entertainment world but Mattafact can throw some serious rhymes when it come to the arena of television news.

Never scared to show skills on the mic as well as with a pen & pad. He's got more than the average street cred than most reporters in his field. Always breaking exclusives & dropping platinum singles before the day is done.

Don't know if his busy schedule will allow him to tour between sweeps months nor he and his peeps are going to get a collaboration project going with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, & Eminem. But if he can get them and Katy Perry, I'll make room on my IPod for it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let It Rain

Under normal circumstances a stray shower wouldn't be on my radar. However when we started the month with 16 out of 17 days with temperatures at 90 degrees and above, this is a welcomed sight. Gives us nice little break from the heat. Quite honestly can't remember it being this hot in a long time. And this is before the official start of summer.

With the rain comes a nice breeze, a drop in temperatures on the thermometer, and a chance to enjoy outside under the patio. Just hope no one does anything out of the ordinary. After all it's been some time since the area a little precipitation.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kiss & Tell

By now we have all witnessed the result from thousands of people who decided it would be a good idea to add insult to injury to a city who had to watch it's only pro franchise lose in the final game of a championship series then watch as some parts of the region be burned and looted. If that is how some fans were going to act when you lose the game I could only imagine what the reaction would be if the Canucks hoisted the Stanley Cup on Canadian soil.

Just when you think that nothing good could come from such destruction, a photographer documenting this event stumbles on to a couple lying on the ground with police and rioters all around them. What in the world could this be? Someone hurt? Someone in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is it a chance to capture something timeless? It's the photo circulating around the world. It's something of beauty spawning from something very ugly. Is it like the Kiss in Times Square? Maybe not. Is it iconic, without question. The story behind the moment of passion is also worth viewing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Repercussions & Consequences

I’m willing to bet that most people don’t think that there day would include being walked in front a c couple of television camera wearing a pair of handcuffs. But that’s the case with most accused criminals that wander into the range of the asylum. I’ve shot an endless number perp walks. Some smooth where they don’t say anything. Some are talkative where they cast the shadow of blame on someone else. And some are confrontational, where they want to get physical with you and the camera.

However, every time I shoot one of these I have to ask myself the same thing.

What thoughts run around in a person’s mind? Do they ponder along the line of right and wrong? Do they thing that their actions won’t lead to any consequences? Have they ever wondered if I do this act what lasting impression will be shown for all to see? All of the above is being probable being asked this guy’s conscience as WAFB’s own Kiran Chawla is firing away some direct and potent questions. The guy above, & his partner who’s currently in the hospital, are accused of killing a woman and leaving her daughter fighting for her life in Florida. Like most accused criminals the first thought is to flee the scene away from the local law enforcement. Find a safe haven until the heat wears off. So their race from the law brought them to West Baton Rouge. A deputy sees a traffic violation and decides to pull them over. But like most accused criminals they decide to flee from the long arm of the law. A high speed chase into a neighboring parish leads to their arrest. All of this because a couple of guys didn’t think their actions would catch up to them.

Bet they thought that justice wouldn’t catch up to them either let alone it being on the evening news.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Storms Coming

Just when I thought I was going to have a nice, easy day Mother Nature decides to crack her whip and start to get things jumping around the area. A quick cell of thunderstorms pop up on the radar, the weather guys monitors any & all alerts, and yours truly is out of the door looking for what ever I can find. To be honest with other areas in the country dealing with massive amounts of devastation , we are getting a lucky break with just lighting and some trees being knocked down. Besides with temperatures shattering weather records the last 72 hours the rain is a welcomed sight.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Bye, Ms. Jeanne

When most start their morning routine I’m willing to bet part of it was waking up, turning on the TV, and seeing the intelligent and beautiful Jeanne Burns recapping the news events from the night before. How she did it for over a decade I will never know. It takes a special person to get up before the sun peaks over the eastern horizon. Wouldn't suprise me most people had the alarms set to welcome her into their homes & hearts since she was pretty much family.

There’re times the Bat Signal would get sent up into the night sky. I would head out gather whatever the breaking news was happening, drive back to the asylum, and see her and the team putting the final pieces of the show together. She would look up and see me then say, “Sorry we had to wake you up.” I would tell her that’s alright. It’s part of the job. Once I was finish and say my good byes to everyone, she would always say, “Thank you handsome.” She was always kind to me; guess it was part of her personality that made her who she is.

Now after 14 years, she’s stepping away from the scanner traffic, the newsroom, and the anchor desk. Putting aside the daily grind of deadlines and proofreading scripts to concentrate on life outside of the world we call the asylum. Being there to enjoy time with her family at home while relishing her new, and probably important, role as mom. Jeanne you are truly a blessing. I’m glad I got the chance to met you and eventfully work with you during your time here. You can only be succeeded and never replaced.

So go ahead, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in tomorrow. You earned it Ms. Jeanne. And thanks for not killing me and the Meeks for the blooper reel we made for the show. Take care and don’t be a stranger to us.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flurricane 2011

As my lovely co-worker expressed to everyone, "Flurricane Season 2011 is officially underway." For those who don't live along the Gulf Coast or South Eastern part of the country, June 1st is the official start of hurricane season. Where small tropical waves turn into massive disturbances causing havoc for anything and anyone in their way. Everyone knows about the record season of 2005, where there were so many storms we ran out of names to call them.

If that weren't enough to deal with factor in that the waters of the Mississippi River as well as the other basins are still high and parts of the area are still flooded from the Spillways being opened. Granted the water will recede soon but this is the last thing the peeps of the Bayou State needed right now.

Better keep the boots ready, gotta feeling that we got a long six months in front of us.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paul Gates: Investigates

What can be said that hasn’t been said about famed television journalist Paul Gates? Witty. Tedious. Passionate. Funny. Entertaining. And yet he is considered one of the most feared personas in a career that spanned over three decades. He could work his way into any situation and manage to tell a good story for the evening news. He garnered a reputation where if he showed up to a place of business those inside would ask, “What’s going on? Why is Paul Gates here?” His award winning investigative pieces have brought change in some of the laws in Louisiana while landing a few people behind bars because their hands got caught in the cookie jar.

I remember one of my favorite stories with Paul was when we had to go the federal court building. One of those public officials was under the spotlight of the feds was there to be sentenced. It was suppose to be a simple get the info from the inside and grab a few pictures of the guy walking outside. Was there the chance of him talking to us? Highly doubtful. Was there a chance of his local posse getting wild and out with us? Most definitely. So I stand at the usual spot. Paul signals me that they are going to talk. And no sooner than the first question was asked he got to blaming Paul for everything that happened to him. It was his fault that he got caught. It was his fault that he was going to jail. So Paul being Paul just kept firing question after question at him. Then his group tried to create a wall around him trying to keep us at bay yet Paul kept his cool. He kept firing questions in his general direction with no response. Paul knew that some people weren’t going to happy with some of the stories that he helped put on the news but he knew that that he wasn’t going to win any popularity contests either. Especially with those who had to sit on the hot seat while the camera was rolling. One thing was certain someone was going to blow a gasket after Gates held them accountable.

Now, what was a great career has come to an end. Paul always graceful had to break the story that he was now battling the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Without question this was a sad day for everyone. You never think that certain things will happen to those you care about until it becomes reality. Sometimes breaking exclusives have to take a back seat one’s health & well being.

Paul, you are good friend & a good journalist. You helped paved the way for those investigative reporters who followed you and you kept all us photographers on our toes. We all knew to just keep rolling when the interview got started, never knew what other material we were going to get. Your wit and personality kept the place going. We knew we could count on you for a good laugh as well as some great journalism. The newsroom just won’t be the same without you my friend. God bless you and your family. Take care my friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boots Were Made For Walking

An event so nice they did it twice. It’s been one year since the inaugural outdoor music concert and things seem to be the norm. Or that’s the look everyone is going for. The hats, the boots, the booze, and the artists are all in tow. Look there’s Kenny Chesney dangling from some ski lift. He may want be careful never know what the peeps in Death Valley might do. Once again TEAM: Raggedy, L & yours truly, were relegated to capturing the festivities for a grand total of ten whole minutes. Guess the performers are getting real touchy with that copyright infringement thing, can’t say that I blame them.

I will say this seeing the set up is good and the show is probably one that you would enjoy. This leads me to saying yet again, “WE HAVE TO GET SOME GOOD TICKETS!”

Granted I’m not that big of a country music fan but I know a good time when I see it. Hopefully those who organize and promote the event can bring it back next year. If they can’t, then it’s probably a good thing we have some video to tell this story. More on this one later.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Imperfect Refelection

One thing that photographers can do is find something to amuse ourselves with. Granted it's the evening and the producers want live shots on the levee of the river. But that doesn't mean we can't take time to capture the moment of a once in a lifetime occurrence. At least it gives us a chance to polish up on our lighting techniques with subject that will be back lit in a few minutes. Although there isn't much I can do with ol' Derron "X RAY TED" Daquano. If I had an HMI, then maybe. However, what would you expect we're photographers no one wants to see us in front of the camera. Maybe the Turdpolisher but that's the exception to the rule.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Skate Like A Girl

Some will break your heart. Others will just break you in half. All live a fast life where left turns and hip checks are the way of the land. They are tough. They are quick. They are determined to knock out any obstacle, or any one, that would dare get in their way of total dominance of a flat track. There are sugar, they are spice, and they could probably kick your ass. It’s a good thing that I’m such a lovable character. I mean how else you think I could get this close to the ladies of Red Stick Roller Derby. Actually it was by chance. That and a tour of a famous house in Downtown B.R. got me access to a hidden gem in the Capital City.

Who knew three years ago that the ongoing revival of a sport, thought more of as entertainment during the 70’s and 80’s, would be enjoying success and while creating a loyal core of fans wanting lots of action from ladies dawning alter egos while wearing a pair of roller skates. The action is grueling. It is intense. It is fierce. It’s something right up my alley. You ask what the fixation between me and the Derby Ladies?

We all know my curiosity. I always feel that there is more than meets the eyes. So the five month trek began. From the Baton Rouge, to Lafayette, then Houston I followed them to see what made this revival of a sport so popular. Questions that can be answered best by those whose experience it. Questions like why do you do this? What do you do when the skates aren’t laced up?

It took awhile for all of this to come together and judging by all the reviews it was worth the energy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Water World

Looks can be deceiving. What would be just another normal image of the the sun slowly setting in the west is anything but. If you look closely the water is much higher than usual. Granted all of the melted snow from the Minnesota makes it's way down river but when some unwanted added rain in some areas was thrown into the mix then you an a once in a generation event continuing to brew.

Places all along the Mississippi are experiencing waters creeping into low lying areas. Levees are being pressured by strong waves and currents. Attractions are being turned into the streets of Venice, Italy. Looks like it's our turn to deal with this. From Vidalia, to Pointe Coupee, to Downtown B.R., and the Big Easy it's been nothing but water for as far as the eye can see.

How bad will it get down here? Who knows. Just have to be ready since the water knows no boundaries.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Edius 6-6-?

It's a common phase embedded in the vernacular of a person, "In with the new, out with the old." Change is always eminent but how it's handle is what defines most. There in lies the new upgrades to our new edit software at the asylum. I can honestly say the designers of this one is way to smart for their on good. Yeah there are a lot of new bells and whistles but figuring out they work is going to be the challenge. Compound the fact that we are also in a sweeps month with and endless line of things to do and this brings us to our current sitution.

Granted I haven't had this kind of change since when started phasing out the use of tapes and the old edit decks. We eventually got that hang of the non linar editing and benifits that it brought to our shop. Just going to need a little time, the instruction manual, and a lot of Aleve.

Monday, May 2, 2011


There are time in a person's life that you can remember every little of a certain moment in time. Sadly September 11th, 2001 is one of those days. A beautiful fall day, not a cloud in the sky. I was getting ready to head to work then breaking news from New York City. Little did we know someone fueled with so much hatred was willing to declare war on the innocent across our country. I couldn't believe this day was happening. I would think to myself that this is some horrible dream and that my waking up everything would be back to normal. The dream was reality. Once a name and face behind the attacks came to light, there was no way this deed was going unpunished.

Nearly a decade later, I was sitting in the news room. The phone rings, it's the boss. He asks are rolling on a clean feed of the President of the United States he going to make a major announcement. Phones start ringing, the wires start buzzing, the emails trying to confirm what the leader of the free world was going to say.

"I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. "

The second those words came out of the President's mouth, the country went into a euphoria of excitement and jubilation. Everything took a backseat to this announcement. A nation stood united as always hearing that the most most hated person on the planet was getting his due. It was yet another moment in our careers where we captured history. Another moment where you will remember where you where when it happen. This time I knew it wasn't a dream, I knew this was reality, I knew this was the resolve of the American Spirit.

" we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place." - President Barack Obama

We will always remember those who lost their lives on the fall day. We remember those who gave their lives and thank those who protect our country in the decade to follow. We will also remember their sacrfices helped bring some closure to a nation wounded on a horrific day in September a decade ago.

Justice was little late but she came through again. Just blessed and thankful I here to witness it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Suit Up

I have been on a number of crime scenes, listened to victims stand up to fight for the innocent, sat across the table from Governors while trying to explain themselves from the latest issues, looked in the eyes of convicted killers while they were being carted off to prison, and scaled the side of one the largest college football stadiums. I have done alot here at the asylum but nothing could prepare me for this assignment. It was Wednesday. Just got back from shooting another press conference the noon news when the desk informs me that I had a shoot to get. I ask whats the assignment and the only word that I could comprehend was hoarder. Yes hoarder.

I've seen the show and it's one thing to see on an HD screen yet something else when you are up close and personal with it. Man how things got to this point I have no idea. The owner is blessed that family and the kindness of strangers are willing to help her. Don't think the trailer is salvageable. Hope I don't have to shoot this story again, don't know how those guy at A&E do this all the time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harry Potter & The Cup of Quidditch

In this installment of the World's Most Popular Wizard, Harry Potter knew that if he's going to find victory against the evil Voldemort he was going to need some help. With Hermione & the rest of Gryffindor dealing the Ravenclaw house, Harry has no choice but to turn the Academy of Quidditch. Young high school students with a simple dream of becoming renown spell casters while learning the magical game.

This is the closest I have been to J.K. Rowling's creation. Outside of that live shot a few years ago when the final book was released at midnight. I have not turned one page nor looked at one scene from the famous franchise. Although everyone keeps telling me that it's a good read. One of these days when I have some free time I'll give the story a try. Maybe when I get courthouse duty.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3 Alarm 3 Doors Down

It's one thing to be in the newsroom with one ear on the scanner while shuffling through a number of emails that have stockpiled into your mailbox. Then all of a sudden things really start getting crazy. First responders are mobilizing, mass chaos is ensuing, and you're listening for the location to grab some pictures for your next show. The voice starts to rattle off your next destination for the next hour and you say, "That a few blocks from our station." Such the case with the members of the French Quarter District down in New Orleans. You talk about being in the right place at the right time. It doesn't happen often but when it does, it makes for some good television.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Front Of The Lens

It's no secret that photographers like their role behind the scenes. There's the occasional instance where we must lift off our cloak of anonymity to go in front of the lens. Take WLEX's Rob Cook for example. What was suppose to be another day of following the University of Kentucky basketball team turned into one incredible act by an ordinary citizen.

"The people inside were kicking the doors, the couldn't get them open, they were screaming for help,"

The help that was needed resulted from an accident that happen within eye shot of him. A car hits a retaining wall. The impact then starts a fire with the people trapped inside. Instead of reaching for his camera or waiting for help to arrive, he rushed over and did what he could to get the people out. What could have been a traffic fatality turned into a noble act of heroism from a guy who was only in town to follow the TV market's basketball team. I salute you Mr. Cook. Your story is much bigger than whoever cuts down the nets this weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bracket Busted

Another year, another chance of hope that I will win our annual March Madness office pool. You carefully do all the scouting you can on the elite teams invited to take place in one of the most watched sporting events of the year. You tell yourself this is it. You're already making plans on how the prize money will be spent, then reality hits.

The teams you pick are into free fall. The upsets are all over the place. And you can't help but notice because that phone app you downloaded just won't be quiet.

After all that you promise yourself that you aren't doing this again next year. You can't put yourself through this kind of torture. Then that voice in the back of your head reminds you there's always next year. Better start researching now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mystery of the Modern Historical Wiki

Normally when the Ways & Means to Make Television Interesting Committee is summoned to the Capitol there are going to long days in our future. After all we’re the committee that keeps everyone on their best behavior. However when the unusual, the weird, and the quirky decides to stroll through the halls of the rotunda then action must take place. There was no question that members of the Government Street & Highland Road districts would dwell into this latest mystery. And to think this is before we are called back into session, did you know?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Madness Comes Early

Senator’s Log: February 19th and 20th, 2011. Saturday afternoon. The time warp of destruction and despair was just getting started. The scanners were just revving up what would be a very busy 48 hours. The spot news flood gates were coming open with the tide of human despair flowing onto the streets of The Big Raggedy. More flashing lights, an endless supply of crime tape, and the fancy cam with the fuzzy mic right in the middle of things. It started with a fire that turned into a homicide, a drowning in the outskirts of the area, a shooting near an upscale shopping staple, a fire that claimed the life of a resident, and an argument that ended with one losing their life. You know it was crazy when you see familiar faces of law enforcement hours after working a previous incident. Just glad things are somewhat getting quiet. Some want it just to be calm for a day, I’ll settle for a few hours.

To the person who coined the phrase, “If it bleeds it leads,” you my friend are a certified wacko. I really need a feature story to shot in the worst way. Good thing I have one in the works more on that in a later entry.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Matt vs. Food

Those who have loyally waken up with us in the morning know of the adventures that one Matt Williams will brave for the devoted following. Tackling just about every challenge our fearless anchor is willing to do it all. Now with a new sweeps book in full swing he is in competition with his latest adversary… FOOD! Yes, food. Taking a page from the Turdpolisher’s Quest for the Best Burger in the area, Matt now puts his will and his stomach in the line of fire for more of the best cuisines and food challenges that the staff can find. His latest challenge, Hot Sauce. Legend has it that this unique concoction is so powerful it has made grown men wallow in misery leaving them shells of their former self. Will our hero make through the hot sauce challenge? Will he be ready to go for another round of pig out spots in South LA? Good thing the company’s health insurance plans have been updated. Not to worry Matt got the Cardiologist on line 2 for you.