Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Glorious Case of the Mondays

Sometimes my job sucks. Sometimes I think to myself that I should have stayed in music or worked at a bank or something. But days like Monday make up for about thirty of those days that suck. The fine folks from the Wachovia Championship along with the members of the Quail Hollow Club hosted Media Day which basically turns media covering the Wachovia Championship next month into members for a day. Keep in mind Quail Hollow is so exclusive they don't have a website. I don't think you can even join without them coming to you. The place is amazing. It's so nice to have people that understand media. If you treat us well, you'll get nothing but top notch coverage from us(much like the folks at Lowe's Motor Speedway.) The folks at the Wachovia Championship treat us better than our mothers treat us. Media Day is just the beginning.
Scott Griffis(who took all of these pictures,) Solarte, Tim Baier and myself made up our foursome. We didn't suck. The day started at 9:30 with a press conference, coffee and breakfast snacks. Shortly after ten we all hit the putting green and range to prepare for the 10:30 tee off for a captains choice tournament. Oh, we also got a gourmet box lunch to take with us on the course. One of the best chicken salad sandwiches I've ever had. After golf, we went back to the clubhouse for awards and cocktails. All of this free of charge. They even gave us a 15 dollar sleeve of golf balls and a hat. It's almost stupid how well they treat us, and in return I put every ounce of my working ability into making their tournament look good. Not that it needs my help.
Here's Scott G and I cruising up to the 16th green. You'll notice I'm adjusting the score, but only because I forgot to write down the eagle on 15 Scott put us in position to score with a sweet 5 iron up the hill. With absolutely zero pencil whipping, we finished in second place.
Here's Solarte congratulating me on the 4th after hitting one of my better drives of the day. Tim proceeded to get up and absolutely murder his tee shot a good 30 yards past mine. That last birdie on this hole got us to eight under par.
Here's a view from the 18th tee box. The last three holes at Quail were voted the three toughest finishing holes on the PGA Tour last year earning the nickname, "The Green Mile." Tim Baier was covering the Tarholes in New Jersey and couldn't get a flight in early enough to make the entire tournament. Wachovia staff made sure he could hit the course after the tourney to finish his round. I was lucky enough to head back out with him and we had the course to ourselves. It was amazing. The royalty treatment didn't stop. We decided to play "The Green Mile" from the tips(where the pros play.) It was terribly difficult and our scores reflected it. Back to the 16th where Solarte stoneybrooked a five iron to about eight feet. Scott G drained the birdie putt and started doing the appropriate birdie dance. Scott carried us on the back nine.

With our handicaps figured into the final score we ended up with a 58, just a few strokes behind the winning team. Hopefully Don Griffin doesn't go Action 9 on our asses.

Monday was quite possibly the best Monday I've ever had. I'm glad I don't actually work at a bank.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I've got a lot going on the next few weeks. The Lady and I are heading out of town this weekend. A couple of variables on a couple of dates throughout the next week are throwing some knuckle balls in our general direction. Baby Showers, a chance at Augusta Wednesday, care for the dog.......

And that's just this weekend. Back to Vegas I go in three weeks. I've got to make sure I've got everything taken care of for that trip. Two days after I return is another big date I've got to plan for.....

All of that and I'm looking at(and losing bids) on houses, Anna(my sister) really needs some help at her house, mom and dad could certainly use some help in their yard...

I must say I'm a bit stressed. This only happens about once a year. Not in a way that really affects my mood, but I'm just ready to get it out of the way so I can focus more on others.

Life is good, even when it's stressful.

Yorning For More

When I lived with Jenny way back in the day she'd listen to Pete Yorn. He didn't necessarily do much for me, but I didn't hate the guy either. I hadn't thought much about him again until they started playing one of his new tunes on Sirius. It didn't suck too bad. I noticed he was coming to Charlotte to play Amos' Sunday, made a call to Jenny and a few minutes later we had a group of eight going to the show. It was Jenny, Shawn, Christy, Pete, Travers, Campbell, The Lady, and myself.
There was a big crowd there. Almost as many people as there were to see Echo and the Bunnnymen last year. That's correct, I saw Echo and the Bunnymen and they actually whipped ass. Good people watching, too. Pete Yorn was fine. He didn't blow the place out, however I tend to prefer a band that will play as loud as they can and then double the volume. He didn't suck, but it was by no means one of my favorite shows. He probably could have gotten a free bowl of soup with that hat he put on for three or four songs.
Luckily the company we were with didn't suck. Tickets were 20 bucks. After the show, a few ladies were walking around with boxes of Pete Yorn's new CD. If you bought one, you got a bracelet to meet Pete Yorn and get his autograph on the $15 CD. So, if you spent $35 Sunday night, you got to mete Pete Yorn. That's weak. When I got home I was still kind of pissed about it. Not that I wanted to meet Pete Yorn, but they were charging you to get a bracelet that allowed you to meet him. Evidently spending $20 to see him wasn't enough. I decided to be a big dork and try to piss of some Pete yorn fans. It worked!
We had a great time anyway. I went to get a beverage during the show and Alexis from the Dolce Vita Wine Bar in North Davidson grabbed my ass. I'll just assume he was drunk. He told me Brian was there and I'll be damned if he wasn't. I certainly didn't expect to see Brian there, but it was good to see him, Paige, Alexis, and this random lady in the pink shirt.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Law Won

You remember Kate Barker leaving Charlotte USA a little more than a month ago to move back home to Portland, Maine. Lucky for us Adam Shub got to stick around until last Friday. We all celebrated his time here on his last media night at The Gin Mill a couple of weeks ago. Shub got started early at Rira's 10th birthday party. This picture was taken shortly after 11 p.m featuring Tim Baier, a glassy eyed Shub, Mark Campbell, and clueless Jim Travers.
It was also a return to The Gin Mill for television's own Kris Cook. He's been traveling the country shooting tape at NASCAR races. Here's his lovely wife Danielle pretending she misses him dearly the four or five nights a week he's on the road. It was good to see Cook again. The newsroom at the ole' one four isn't as fun as it once was.
Hey look!! It's Todd singing karaoke! He mixed it up last week. Typically he stays with older stuff, but he sang a new hip song that I can't remember. Todd's a crowd pleaser.
Travers sings karaoke twice a year, after he gets completely goober hammered at a Jimmy Buffet show and sometime around St. Patrick's Day. He always does the same song, I Useta Lover by The Saw Doctors. He whips its ass every time he sings it. Oh, speaking of Jim Travers, remember when he used to post pictures of he and Mark's parties on his website? Those were wonderful days. I hope maybe we'll get to see party pictures from Halloween which was more than five months ago.
The Lady and I talked early that morning to make sure we both wore gray shirts.
It sucks when people leave, even if it's for a good reason. I remember one day Adam and I were playing golf a long time ago. We talked about he and Kate and how badly he wants to provide a wonderful life for his family. We also talked about how tough that is to do on a television news salary. Damn if he didn't go and get into law school. Adam's a wonderfully unselfish dude. His number one priority is Kate. Whether it's ordering her a glass of wine, or moving to Maine, his happiness is directly related to Kate's. She's happy, and so is he.

Friday, March 09, 2007

It's Late, I Mean Early

It's 2:23 AM here in Charlotte, USA. I've been on the interweb for the last couple of hours on a great run of surfing. I got on MySpace to see if my pal Steve reviewed Zodiac via a blog update. That got me in one big MySpace chain reaction. I don't really do the MySpace thing, but I did create a page to redirect people to this blog. At first, I decided I was too cool for friends but I've relented and am happy to be your friend even though I do nothing to my page. MySpace is out of control. I've found old friends that are now married with kids, moved to Germany to design shoes, working for politicians on Crapital Hill and all sorts of exciting stuff. Then that leads to Google searches and you find other things out like one guy whose sister I took to the Prom one year was featured in a Washington Post story about interracial couples. Random and awesome! I see all of these friends and I'd love to get in touch with them. Then I started thinking about the friends I have here who I haven't called or seen in a while. Here's a few:
Jay - We used to get together for a steak every other Sunday back when I was eating steak on a regular basis. (By the way, I had my first steak in probably three or four months a couple of weeks ago at Sullivans for The Lady's dad's 60th birthday. My filet was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I used to. I'll probably feel differently about it next time I'm at Morton's.) I don't think I've seen Jay in four or five months.
Wes - He lives here in town. We've been friends since college. We tried to do lunch a few weeks ago near his office in the University area of town but a bomb threat in Southwest Charlotte ruined those plans. I don't think I've seen him since probably November.
The Wilson Family - I saw Brian and Mark at the Gin Mill the night Kate Barker left for Maine. That was probably six weeks ago. I should have seen them at the Unknown Hinson show a couple of weeks ago, but I had to sing at a funeral the next morning so I bitched out and didn't make the show. I've made no effort to see them in months. In fact, the last time I went over there was for a story January 17th! I happened to be doing a live shot outside Brian's store and went over and said Hello.
These are all good friends and I've no clue what they've been doing for the last few months. I suck. I'm sorry everyone. I really am. I miss my old friends.

I returned to the Gin Mill Wednesday night for my first media night in a while. The Lady is still battling a cold so I made a go of it with Tim Baier and eventually others from the station. I saw old friends there, too. It was great. I'll be getting out more in the near future and I'm dragging The Lady along with me. I haven't told her about this yet. The best part of my day is leaving work, heading to The Lady's domicile and sitting on the couch with she and the dog. Sometimes we watch television. Mainly it's just on King of the Hill for background noise whilst we talk about whatever it is that's going on. I love that part of the day, we have a blast. That won't stop, but we need to get out more. Luckily she's cool.
It's now 3:00. I'm not tired but I'm headed for bed anyway. Maybe I'll find a house today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Couple of Random Thoughts, Volume I

-I'm headed back to Las Vegas next month for my second NAB show. It's basically an enormous geekfest full of new toys that are absolutely amazing! I plan on spending at least two full days at the show with a couple of items on my agenda.
#1. Look at cool stuff, drool, take pictures, blog about said stuff.
#2. Meet a TON of people with a TON of different companies. I'm bored with work. I got to go to a bank robbery today. That's the most exciting thing I've done in a while. I don't know if it's because I'm working nights and we focus on different things or if I've just shot my share of bank robberies and car accidents. I think I'm pretty good at what I do. I don't get extra creative with my video, but I'll be damned if it's not steady, sequenced, white balanced and in focus. I used to challenge myself with efficiency. For example, how quickly can I shoot this story? Or how quickly can I edit this package, set up three lights and break down the truck? My efficiency has peaked leaving me no other forseeable challenges here in the newsroom. I know many other photographers who absolutely live and breathe shooting news. I don't. I enjoy it, but it's not my life. Sometimes I wish I had the fervor for shooting good tape that others do. The bossman has asked me in my last few reviews if I'd be interested in heading back to the other side of the camera, but I don't really want to. Several times I look at my reporter and think to myself, "I'm glad I'm not a reporter."
I don't know exactly what it is I want to do. I've considered funeral direction on more than one occasion. Dad did it when he was in college and funerals have never bothered me. I've enjoyed more funerals than I've hated. Weird.
Anyway, I'm not heading to Vegas to look for a new job, but perhaps to look for some direction on what to do next. I'm going to talk to people and pick their brains. Oh, I'll probably play some poker, too. I've already promised myself I wouldn't play blackjack after drinking a lot of beer this trip.

-I went to Phat Burrito one night a couple of weeks ago and ran into a gentleman who told me he had become homeless a couple of days before. He said his wife left him, took all of his stuff and hit the road for Wilmington. He looked at my satellite truck and asked if there was any work he could do for the station. I politely told him I couldn't hire him. I couldn't walk away from the man. He was 55 years old and had a look about him that was very sincere. This guy was my dad's age, was standing on Camden St. with blue jeans, a jacket and no clue where he was going to spend the night. I bought the guy a burrito and a sweet tea. I've always had a soft spot for homeless people. I guess it's the Paw Paw in me. I've met so many homeless men and women who were wonderful and sometimes happy people despite having no place to live. I often think of these folks when I feel sorry for myself. I haven't seen the guy from Phat Burrito since that night. I hope he's alright. More later this week...

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Colonel is Alive and Well

Many of you may have linked over to the Ken Corn's blog in in the past. Ken has always been good for an interesting read every week. Sometimes he talked about work, other times he focused on his family. Unfortunately some of his postings were evidently taken a bit too seriously in the last few weeks. Ken, being the laid back dude that it is decided to kill his original blog rather than upset anyone. Don't fret for Ken, though. He's not feeling sorry for himself. No, not at all. In fact, he's already started up a new blog with a new purpose. He's traveling to Kenya later with his church to document their mission trip and is currently raising a ton of cash to help offset the costs of his trip.

Ken's still getting it done on the newsgathering side. Last Friday whilst covering an old fashioned sunny afternoon murder in East Charlotte. I was scrambling to get a quick vo when when I saw the police captain giving interviews. I quickly dropped my tripod behind my truck so I wouldn't forget them and got the interview. I rolled out of there to get video of the victim's stolen car a few miles away and realized I had no sticks. They were still behind where my truck was parked. Oops. Luckily Ken was there and held my shaky Cartonis for safekeeping until I returned.

Go check out Ken's new blog, and if you have some spare change or even some spare hundreds, he can put it to good use.