Friday, December 08, 2006

I always wanted an atomic dog.

Bow-wow-wow, yippee-yo, yippee-yay!

Would you believe the Navy let us take pictures of it's new top secret super stealth nuclear submarine? That's the submarine, right in the middle of the water. Can you see it?

Ha-ha, just kidding.

There is no super secret new stealth submarine (well, as far as I know). What we got is the Navy's USS Los Angeles' first trip to its' namesake city.

Driving from Hollywood to San Pedro through early rush hour yesterday, that first picture of the empty Harbor is all I thought I'd get.

Somewhere near 3:45pm I got the call. I knew what to expect. I hopped in my van jumped on the freeway and hit a solid wall of traffic congestion that didn't let up until I was halfway there.

Just before the traffic broke up I got another call to feed the station some tape for the 5:00pm newscast. It was just after 4:30pm and I hadn't even gotten there yet.

"Sure, I'll do what I can."

I made it to the Harbor and found the right pier (the one with the marching band, maybe?) and negotiated through two security checkpoints. No strip search this time, but they sure gave me the skunk eye for getting there late.

The soldier boys handling security looked like high school seniors. If high school seniors wore fatigues and carried guns and rifles. I'm used to being around people and guns, but when you put the two together I still worry about accidents. Even more when I'm in a rush.

No time to change the lens on my still camera. Crap, that means no full shots of the sub.

While I was there, I was eager to mention to one of the nuclear sub-mariners that I happen to wear a Casio "atomic" watch. It gets the time from the central atomic clock and sets itself. For some reason, I see a funny connection there.

I've been pointing out to anyone who'll listen since I got the watch, it's an "ATOMIC" watch. Okay, mostly I've said it to my lovely wife, Dellis (I don't think she ever found it funny).

It's probably better that I didn't have time to chat. People who keep us safe by skipping around underwater in nuclear powered submarines probably wouldn't get my sense of humor.

I quickly rolled a couple of minutes of b-roll of the sub and fed the tape back to the station. They had the footage for the 5:00pm show. I went back to cover more of the official ceremony, but got called with another assignment. Darn, and I never got the chance to get any more still shots of the sub.

The second assignment was a Christmas tree lighting in Watts. I was running late for that one too. You can't blame me, that's just the way life is in news.

Besides, I'm very accurate when it comes to timing. You see, I have an atomic watch.


Ruby said...

That first pic is beautiful.

beFrank said...

ruby - Is that you jellybean? I would have loved to just snap stills of the sunset over the harbor. Oh, well. Gotta pay the bills.