Monday, July 31, 2006
The farm is absolutely beautiful. Soy is the main crop in the fields and they've got a guy that farms all of the land, which is well over 100 acres. I rolled down Saturday morning, Shawn rented a bobcat and eight of us spread all of the pit gravel he carted into the barn. It will eventually settle and turn into a very fine gravel with almost no dust at all. That's where the reception will be. It's freakin' nuts the work they are doing out there. The wedding is sure to not suck, unless it rains.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
I got to Concord Dad, Mom, Anna, Aunt Bibus, and Uncle Ben were just finishing eating dinner. Anna fixed me a plate of spaghetti(she makes pretty good sauce) and we all sat around chatted while I ate. We talked about all kinds of stuff, and as usual, it eventually went to talk about church, or church related things. We talked about how the church is always against certain things like living together before marriage, and how some churches will blatantly tell you not to do such things or you aren't welcome.
This is where I have a growing problem with churches(where I grew up, and still attend on a fairly regular basis.) I understand that they have to take a stand against some 'sins,' I just wish they wouldn't act like there are some that are sooooooo much worse than others. And then act like they are better than you and don't welcome and love you like they should. That pisses me right off.
Anyway, the birthday was good. I got dad a remote control for his television because his isn't working right and he yells at it all of the time. He's 53, which I guess isn't that old. Considering he should have died eight years ago after his big assed heart attack, he's a big fan of every day.
Oh, one other thing, I was sitting on the floor leaning against the wall in Anna's living room whilst Dad was opening presents and put a hold in the wall. It's an old house with old wallboard in leiu of drywall. I didn't realize that. Luckily Anna's got a good sense of humor about that stuff. Oops.
I generally enjoy Fridays. The work week is over and good times begin. Unfortunately, my Friday started with a standoff. One guy who just got out of prison for armed robbery, was wanted for another and decided to sit in a house for several hours whilst cops surrounded it. He eventually died of a gunshot wound and it's not yet known whether he did it, or a police officer. Luckily I got out of there shortly after lunch and was sent to the courthouse to meet up with Kate where she was covering the David Crespi sentencing. Crespi was extremely ill and killed his five year old twin daughters. Awful, awful story. Anyway, the newsroom made HEINOUS, HORRIBLE decisions Friday. Just a typical day of stupid thinking from management when the big boss is out of town. When the day starts with bad decisions, it's hard to turn it around. Anyway, thanks to Kate not sucking, we actually did alright with our coverage considering we only had one crew. However, because of several weird ways that our station works, hard work isn't always rewarded. We bust our ass for no apparent reason on a regular basis. Friday evening was one of those times and it really pissed me off. I don't get mad often, but I was pretty fired up after work Friday. Part of that was because I was hungry, and also because I was late to my Dad's birthday party at my sister's house in Concord.
On my way to Concord, I realized that we had just heard from a mother whose husband had killed their five year old twin girls. When she spoke, she talked about how much she still love her husband, and she did that all with a smile. Did I mention that he stabbed their five year old twin girls to death?
I quickly changed my mood and realized what a whiney little biatch I am on occasion.
It's weird how you lose touch with friends. Sometimes they move away, other times you just get to being busy so you never call send an email. Well, my old pal Brad moved away to Seattle with his girlfriend Kristy over a year ago. I met Brad in college, we were roommates for a few years. Worked together for a while, smoked tons of cigarettes and generally had a good time hanging out. Anyway, Brad and Kristy were back in town this week, she had several interviews up and down the Eastern Seaboard since they are trying to get back to this side of the country. We had dinner with Wes and Jay, two other friends that I hadn't seen in a while, either. Hell, Jay and I used to get a piece of cow ass on a regular basis, but even that's stopped. It needs to start again. Wes brought his pal Darrell along, too. It was great to see everyone. You know you have good friends when you haven't seen them in almost two years, but it felt like you saw them last week.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I left Cans, haha, Cans, and played softball. I meant to take some pictures there, but I forgot. We lost 7-4 to Thundercock Hammerpants in a big time pitchers duel. No runs scored after the second inning. That's almost unheard of in softball. We got done at 9:30, and I didn't feel like going home so I convinced the lady, who's afraid of cameras, to join myself and the rest of the Charlotte media for a regular Wednesday Media Night at The Gin Mill. It was a good crowd thanks to someone at WBTV who was having a birthday. Steve Crump was there, too. I told him that the free meal I got yesterday was better than the one he got. He's doing some food series all week long. Tomorrow he'll be at Captain Steve's which is a fine fish camp in East Charlotte. http://www.wbtv.com/news/topstories/3439486.html
I worked with Ashley for damn near three years. Ashley is funny, and was a very good photographer. She's moving to D.C., and said she needed to make something happen in her life. I envy her for that. It makes me realize I need to do the same thing. I can't be a photographer forever. Well, I suppose I could. Whilst salaries in the mid 30's are great, I need to go do something else. I need to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
Anyway, Ashley's going away party was at Cans yesterday evening. It's okay to laugh every time you say Cans. I do. In fact, I told everyone on the way out of work yesterday that I was going to Cans, then I chuckled.
The above photo shows myself, Kris Cook, Ashley, former co-worker Scott Griffis, and Jim Travers.
Ashley will be sorely missed.
Wednesday morning was fan freaking tastic. I went to Morton's at Southpark for an interview with Klaus Fritsch who co-founded the resturant with Arnie Morton. This dude's a legend and was a blast to hang out with for an hour. He told me all about celebrites that come into Morton's, then he and the chef there fixed two filets, three shrimp cocktails, and the best crab cake that's ever been created and sent me away with it. 100 bucks of food. Klaus whips ass.
It was good to see Bill the other Tuesday. We used to have a group that would get together every Friday for breakfast that Bill was part of, but we all got old, married, had more kids, or skipped town. Bill decided a few months ago to scrap his shorts, t-shirt and flip flops for a tie every day whilst running his dental lab. He said it makes a big difference.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
You know those nights you don't plan on going anywhere? The ones where you just want to go home after work and do absolutely nothing? Well, I was having one of those nights, and so were my pals Jim Travers and Mark Campbell. Then Jim was called into the station to fix a weather camera. It also happened to be Monday night. I inquired about 10:30 to see if Jim was contemplating getting a beer. He pointed out that the Gin Mill was closed. I then pointed out that I enjoy using Mondays to go to places other than the Gin Mill. I was thinking Connolly's or RiRa. But the Travers mentioned the Double Door, which on Monday night whips serious ass.
The Double Door has been around since 1973 and they bill themselves as the best place for blues in Charlotte. Actually, the Double Door is the best place for a lot of things in Charlotte. It's the first place I really fell in love with live music. I saw the Drive-by Truckers there several times, including two of the best shows I've ever seen when they played with the now defunct Slobberbone. Those were great nights. I've seen Unknown Hinson there a few times, too. It's a great place for a date, too if you both happen to enjoy live music. Plus, the Monday night special is Busch cans for $1.75!!!
Every monday night, Les Moore runs a blues show with the Monday Night All-Stars. It's a diverse band that brings in a diverse crowd. They are a tight band that can literally get even the worse crowd in a dancing mood. Last night was the first time I'd been in probably five years, and I can't wait to go back.
Monday, July 24, 2006
So the lady and I decided to go to church on Sunday. Not because we wanted to get righteous, but because my old pal Chris Justice over at WCNC happens to be the senior pastor at Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe. This also happens to be the church my Dad and his family grew up in. So, we rolled over Sunday morning and were greeted lovingly by my Aunt Bibus(who's name is Elizabeth, but I couldn't pronounce that when I was little,) Aunt Agnes, cousin's Scott and Wayne, and second cousin Haley. Now, having grown up in church, a portion of that in the baptist church, I knew exactly what to expect. We were treated to only one classic southern baptist moment, and it came from the choir director who stopped in the middle of a hymn to give a little sermon. It went something like this.
"Our public schools are teaching children that they are good people at their core. Well, that's a lie straight from the pits of hell."
After a quick chuckle, we moved along and Chris gave his sermon. He's indeed a talented speaker as I expected.
I woke up Saturday morning and someone had cooked breakfast. Eggs, toast, and Fakin' Bacon.' The fakin' bacon' was actually damn good. Due to various circumstances over the years(mainly my affection for vegetarians) I've been exposed to several fake meat products and this is my new favorite, edging out the the Morningstar Grillers Prime.
I rolled back to the house and hung out for a little while and took a nap.
I woke up, called the lady and she told me she was cooking dinner. Oh, my!
I stopped by my pal William's coffee shop on the way over. It's in Mint Hill in a pretty good spot, but he told me business hasn't been terrific. I got a cup of Hawaiian Kona Coffee and it was very, very, very good.
We ate dinner, watched Shrek 2 despite my attempts to watch Team America: World Police, then watched the thunderstorms roll in. They were fun.
Saturday whipped ass.
Many of ya'll know that my dear friends Kate and Adam are getting married next year. When Kate has more than one beverage, she tends to get a little talkative. She'll say goofy stuff that embarasses Adam. Evidently in this picture, it's the other way around. I'm glad I was there to document it. It will likely never happen again.
I really thought I'd find time to post here on the weekends, and I may in the future, but I wasn't home much this past weekend.
It all began on Friday night with a trip to the Gin Mill. I really enjoy the Friday evenings after work. The week is over, and damn near everyone is in a good mood. As I left work, the senior nightside producer wasn't happy since everyone else got to leave work and drink beer. That made me less happy, but I was still able to stomach two or three pints of Ireland's Oldest Ale. At the Gin Mill, we are blessed with bartenders who have all become good friends through the years. We got a treat when our old bartender Melissa showed up(pictured above.) She's rather pregnant with her second child and decided to take some time away from bar life before she's deep in diapers. She was eating next door and dropped in to say hello on her way out.
Oh, if you've noticed the other picture up there alongside the extremely straight Jim Travers and Adam Shub, I've also become quite the homosexual. I realize I wear lots of Banana Republic, and even some Gap on occasion. However, I wasn't drinking Blue Moon, Zima or Coors Light, so I'm not sure what happened. I'm going to work on it this week. I may not shave for a few days to try and quell the faggotry that reared it's ugly head in that picture.
Mountain Island Lake on the Gaston-Mecklenburg Co. line has had a couple of drownings lately. Evidently some folks think it's a good idea to fish in the middle of a lake, take a break, then go for a swim. That actually seems like a fine idea to me, but I can swim. Evidently these folks can't, but tried their damndest. Bless their hearts. http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/headlines/?SecID=41&ArID=123923
So, on Friday I took a little trip to Gastonia to talk to the water rescue folks down there. Real good people who really feel terrible when they can't save someone's life. They are also really honking frustrated because both drownings could have been prevented VERY easily. They also have a SCAT Unit down at Gaston Rescue. They tell me it's their Structural Collapse and Terror unit. I told them to keep telling people that, and that I was cool and wouldn't say anything.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Several news photographers across the state have been on the blog scene for quite some time. Many are VERY talented writers and tell great stories about the things we do every day. Ken Corn over at our news partner WCNC has had a blog since last April. He writes about work, his child who's got some rather serious health issues, and about his house. He's rather uncensored which makes for good reading. He gives you more of an inside look at our field than I do if you want to find out what we actually do in a workday. If you happen to run into Ken out on the street, say hello and shake his hand. Just don't EVER mention that you used to be a home inspector.
Check out his blog. http://colonelcornscamera.blogspot.com It sucks much less than mine!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Big news out of Cleveland County today(it broke whilst at Bridge's.) Chris Craft and Indian Motorcycles are both building big plants in Kings Mountain bringing damn near 800 jobs between the two companies to an area that desparately needs the jobs. http://www.shelbystar.com/story.php?ID=3094
I'm happy for Cleveland County. Lots of good folks there, including Robert Owens who is aspiring to be a news photographer one day. He's almost got his GED and then he's on his way he hopes to college. Robert whips ass. He even wears his 6NEWS StormChaser badge around his neck. I wish I was excited about my job as Robert. Give him a wave if you're in King's Mountain. He'll be on his yellow bicycle with an AM radio strapped to the handlebars.
I got mad in King's Mountain today. Just stupid work stuff, but I rarely get mad, unless it's due to carelessness courtesy of sincerely stupid people. Plus a storm was rolling in and lighting doesn't treat 42 feet long metal masts very nicely. I even slammed the door to my truck. I got over it in about 25 seconds. Tomorrow should be better.
Growing up, my grandfather used to make hushpuppies at their farm house in Hog Hill(Lincoln Co.) He'd take the cornmeal, drop it in hot grease and, as a child it was the greatest thing I ever tasted. He told me he invented them and they were called hushpuppies because he'd be cooking them and his dogs were whining, so he'd give them one and they would hush. I love Paw Paw.
Today I was supposed to go to Kings Mountain in Cleveland County. I have a rule when I go to Cleveland County, I must go to Bridges and eat barbecue. It's just something I have to do. It's good eating. Today I was approached by a lady in there who told me that despite bad reputations, most nursing homes are really nice and run by good people and we should do a story on it. I love my job.
So a dude was on this cell phone tower at Albemarle Rd. and W.T. Harris Blvd at 1:00 this morning working as a contractor for Sprint. Evidently cops showed up, told him to not to move. When told this, he allegedly moved and pulled out a weapon. At that point, a police officer shot him three times. He died at the scene. Seem fishy to you? It took the police department twelve hours to comment on it. Weird. http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=123826
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I eat many meals at Tavern on the Tracks. It's good food, and great people. Over the years, I've gotten to know some of the staff. Brent is a good friend of mine. They are trying to expand their catering business over there and we had a chat about advertising and stuff at what is quite possibly the greatest bar in the world, The Gin Mill. The pint was tasty, and a shot was even forced on me. It didn't suck either.
I grew up in Charlotte going to Charlotte O's(Orioles) games. Cal Ripken Sr. was the manager at one point and Billy Ripken played second base for what seemed like twenty years, but it actually was only two or three. Cal Jr. even played a few games. They played at Crockett Park off of South Blvd. I remember going there in my old O's t-shirt carrying my O's mini-bat. Unfortunately Crockett Park burned down several years ago. It was my first memory of long johns, or horse troughs.
Anyway, the Charlotte Knights came to town in the late 80's thanks to our friend George Shinn. He built a stadium near his house in Fort Mill and the team has lost money ever since. I hate that the team is losing money, but now they want taxpayers to fund a stadium uptown. I'm 100 percent against taxpayers funding it or any other sports stadium, but if it happens, and knowing Mecklenburg politicians, it will, it will have a lovely backdrop from Third Ward.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I hate my job three months out of the year simply due to the heat. I've got ways to deal with it. Well, one way. I drink a shit ton of water. Five or six litres a day at the very least. On days as hot as today and tomorrow, I throw at least one Gatorade per day.
Whenver I whine about stuff, I always try to think of someone that's got it much worse than I. Then I feel like an ass for whining about stuff. So, when Mercer did this story about firefighters in the heat, I really felt like an ass. It's 97 degrees outside, and these dudes roll out in full gear to save our whiny asses.
So when you walk outside and go, "Waaahhhhh, it's HOT!!!," think of our firefighters.
I went and looked at the inside of that house yesterday, and I like it a lot! It's going to need a ton of work, perhaps more than I can afford. I'll know all of that in the next couple of weeks. Looks to be significant termite damage around the rear of the house, and it's void of a kitchen. I mean, there's not even a sink or cabinets up in there, up in there. However, it could really be a great place for me to spend several years. Or even just two or three.
I felt pretty shitty about it most of yesterday. Still do.
We left Mi Casita and kept on gettin' it down Highway 74. We were in Unit 2, which has 125,000 miles on it. It's been a great Satellite truck for many years. It's made trips to Houston, Philadelphia, New York City, not to mention all of the trips to the Mecklenburg County Government Center. It's made funny noises from day 1, but when we left for Brunswick County it was making a funny noise. Just a noise, though. The buggy was performing well. Once we got to Rockingham, the clicking noise kept getting louder and louder. It was still driving pretty good. Eventually, you really couldn't hear anything but the noise until the a loud pop followed by billowing smoke from under the hood. We pulled off the highway in Lilesville around 9:45 and called for a tow. Brad Broders came to pick up Kate, then Rodney the tow truck driver got there about 11:30 to pick up Truck 2. Rodney and I had a good trip back. He drove about 65 or 70 miles an hour the entire way back since he says he has a free speeding pass all the way through Matthews. Rodney grew up in Mint Hill over near Hoods Crossroads before it was ever there. Rodney also has eleven children between the ages of five and 23. He was also a big fan of Kate. We got back to the station about 1 a.m. Got in bed around 2:30, which ironically is the same time a chinese person goes to the dentist.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Kate and I hopped in Unit 2, stopped at Eckerd's in Whiteville for some water and gatorade, and rolled towards Charlotte, USA. We decided to stop in beautiful Scotland County for some food. After surveying what Laurinburg had to offer, we decided on Mi Casita. The food didn't suck at all. In fact, I'd say it whipped ass. Plus, I got to say, "Frijoles Negros," to the waiter and not get dirty looks for it.
Kate and I took off to Brunswick Co. around noon Sunday. We listened to Duran Duran and Elvis virtually the entire way down. We get to the memorial service which is literally on the side of a country highway in the small town of Ash just south of Whiteville. There's was a tent set up on the side of the road for everyone that was there, probably about 75 people. Right before the thing started, a drunk driver was stopped right in front of the service and Scott Gardner's family. She had caused four accidents a mile or three down the road. They poured out an open Natural Light, and she could barely stand up as they arrested her. One of the damndest things I've ever seen. http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/local_news/?ArID=123630&SecID=2
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I wasn't able to fend off requests to make it out to the bachelor party. I rolled to the Gin Mill to start the evening off with a pint. It didn't suck. I then went two blocks northeast to a little place known as The Uptown Cabaret. I met the crew of nine out front as they were leaving and we pressed westward to The Paper Doll Lounge.
Some of you know this, most of you don't. I used to have a "problem" with strip clubs. I was 21, young, and stupid. I would meet my pal Jay every Friday night at 10:00 at the PDL. At midnight, I'd leave to go to work and See my good friend Brad on the way out as he was getting off of work. We'd give each other a high five and continue along with our evenings. So, you can imagine that the folks there get to know you. The bouncers, managers, bartenders, even a select dancer or three. Before last night, I hadn't been to the PDL in over a year. They didn't recognize me at first, but after a couple of minutes they remembered. It was good to see old friends. Phillip the bacholor had a freakin' blast, and so did we. They got him up on stage, marked him up with a Sharpie, whipped his ass with his own belt. It was good fun. And it was a true bachelor party, too. Phillip was the only one of us getting dances. The rest of us literally just hung out and drank beer. Just like any other bar, but with boobies around.
I'll post some pics later tonight. And no, they wouldn't let me take any pictures of the Bachelor Party, so nudity will not make it's debut on This Blog May or May Not Suck this weekend.
I'm off to Brunswick County with Kate to cover a memorial service for Scott Gardner, the teacher from Gastonia that was killed by a drunk driver a year ago. His family has been very good to us and Kate's a good writer, so chances are it will be a very, very good story. Look for it either at five or six. I'll have plenty of pictures by then.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
After lunch, Mom, Dad, Lee, Andrea, and my Aunt Nancy sat around and talked about baby stuff. I decided to get the eff out of there and go look at a couple of houses. I left the house and passed O'Neil's. It's a bar that's been in Mint Hill since I was a kid. I'd always thought about going in, but I never got around to it. I noticed my pal Don's car was in the parking lot. He's a guy I used to work with and he told me earlier in the week that he'd be bartending today, so I dropped in for a Miller High Life. Actually a very nice bar with not one, but TWO High Definition tv's which made for excellent race viewing.
I left there and drove to Matthews where I acquired my second cup of Dilworth Coffee of the day. It was wonderful. I continued onto a house around the corner on John St. I noticed a listing on the internet for this house, but I'd never seen a for sale sign out front. The house whips ass. It's old, big, hardwood floors. Pretty much exactly what I want, and it's really cheap, too. I hope it's not a misprint on the listing or anything. It will need a good bit of work on the outside. I haven't seen the inside yet, I hope to on Monday or Tuesday. It may need a good bit of work, too. Stay tuned.
I rolled back to the house where we all had a big dinner then gave Lee and Andrea tons of stuff for their baby, who's already been named Joshua Lee Hauser.
I'm staving off calls to head out to a bachelor party. I'll let everyone know if I get dragged out.
I spent the previous two Saturdays in bed and doing absoutely nothing until 3:00 in the afternoon, and it was terrific. Today, unfortunately, I was roused from sleeping around 8:30. Getting up early sucks no matter the day, but Friday evening was worth getting up early today.
I decided to take advantage of this and go camera shopping. I left South Charlotte shortly before nine, headed to Matthews to get a steaming hot cup of Dilworth Coffee. It was glorious. It's also a summer Saturday and the Matthews Farmers Market was open. I took a walk down there and took at look at the organic produce, which looked great. It would have been even better if I enjoyed eating vegetables.
I walked back to the truck, drove to Circuit City and they didn't open until ten. After a brief yet profane outburst I continued to Mint Hill where I drove by a house for sale. It didn't do a lot for me. I then went home, changed clothes and headed to the YMCA. I got buff and shit and noticed there were no less than 600 kids at the pool on my way out.
I returned to Circuit City, walked in and my new digital camera was staring me at the face. After about thirty seconds of deep thought I bought a sweet ass Sony that was the display model. It's a little bruised and battered, but at the price I got it, I'd have been an asshole not to buy it.
I returned to the folks and my cousin Lee and his very pregnant wife are in town visiting. We ate a big assed lunch. After that, my dad passed out on the deck(see pic.)
Friday, July 14, 2006
You could be sitting at the house and WHAMO!!!!!! comes a rocket from six miles down the road. That's wack.
Charlotte has a terrific restaurant near Bank of America Stadium(where your Carolina Panthers whip people's asses) called The Coffee Cup. This morning I met an old friend there. I got there at 8:00, walked in and there were about 25 people inside. I was one of the two white people in there. This is typical, it's a black owned venue that has been around since the 50's, and part of the reason I enjoy going there. People say that Price's Chicken Coop is the best fried chicken in Charlotte, but you need to drive about a mile the Coffee Cup and try theirs. It's my personal favorite. I didn't get chicken and waffles, but I did get some cheese on my grits. Oh, my!
Update-3:47 pm -- I am a relatively healthy eater. Since my dad's had two heart attacks, my grandmother has three or four stents, my dad's parents both died young of heart problems, I figure eating well is the right thing to do. So when I eat two pieces of bacon, grits with cheese, and two eggs, I feel like shit. Today I feel horrible. I didn't even eat lunch.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
So, I reckon I'm old fashioned when it comes to a lot of things. I like old country music, old Hondas, old t-shirts, and I've always treated ladies in and old fashioned kind of way. I suppose I got it from my dad. I've never seen my mom open her door if he's there. He'll occasionally bring flowers to her for no apparent reason. I've always been that way, too. Any woman, I don't care if your absolutely gorgeous, or a fat, evil bitch whore. I'm opening the door for you. Thanks Dad.
I've also developed a habit of writing little letters someone I've been dating. I'll drop them off at random places at random times. I probably do this a little too often, but whenever it hits me, chances are I'll drop whatever the hell it is I'm doing and go take care of it. So, I did this tonight. I've been seeing this same lady for several weeks now(her face isn't shown to protect the innocent,) and I've left multiple notes on her car, her apartment saying what I reckon are goofy, sweet nothings, but damn if I don't feel it when I write them. I'm not editing myself anymore, I'm getting too old. Bald, too. Thanks, Dad!
I've been a fan of blogs for quite some time. I'm a nosy person, thus reading about one's personal life interests me greatly. I've thought for months about starting one, but have always convinced myself that pretty much everything I write would be stupid. I still think that's true, but after reading my pal Jeff Crum's blog yesterday, I decided it was time for me to actually write more often, and this would be a good place to do it. I'm not going to edit myself on this blog, I'm simply going to post whatever it is that I'm feeling. I'll try to keep it at raw as possible without being too offensive. Oh, and if you think it sucks, and chances are it will, please let me know!