Friday, November 30, 2007

The Mist

I'm down in Orange County just off Santiago Canyon Road. Big mud slide story.

Not much rain right now, but I can't see more than twenty feet in front of me because there's a buttload of fog.

There's not a lot to truly fear, I'm a safe driver and I don't believe in things that go bump in the night.

I do know a hungry mountain lion can kill a man and some people live in remote areas because they really want to be left alone.

Still, seeing the movie "The Mist" last weekend isn't really helping my mood.

Gee. The fog is letting up, but now it's drizzling.

Bring it, Mother Nature. Show me what you got!
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Body Found

I just learned from the WLBT website that a body believed to be that of Latasha Norman has been found.

Jackson Police have taken Latasha's ex-boyfriend into custody.


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Another Dog Story?

Last night I covered the story of a dog who was killed by mountain lion. The dog was at home in the Duarte area.  The home borders the foothills.

It's a major concern for the residents of the area.  Heck, mountain lions can kill people.



The owner of the dog is understandably heartbroken over the loss of his pet. They were close companions and had been together for a number of years.

Animal Control can't come out and hunt for the mountain lion, but thay have made available a permit for the man to shoot the mountain lion if it returns.

I think it's a horrible situation. The man obviously should protect himself and his pets, but the mountain lion is only doing what nature intends for it to do.

I'm sorry for the man's loss and I hope he doesn't have to kill the mountain lion.



I bet you can guess what kept running through my mind the whole evening while I was working on this story.

(sigh)

Latasha Norman is still missing.

Say a prayer, write a letter, look around if you think it'll help.  Do whatever you can.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MISSING since 11/13: Latasha Norman

If you ask me to shoot and cut a 01:30 package, I can do that. If you ask me to find G26 and come up on transponder 1F, that's not a problem. If I get a call and someone wants to know why the Aurora edit system audio sounds distorted when feeding back to T.O.C., but monitors fine in the truck, I know exactly what's wrong and I can fix it.

That's me in a nutshell, I like being able to fix things. I don't know if that's just men in general, but I know it's a big part of who I am.

It's also a part of the reason why I work in news. When the career path decisions were being made, news seemed like a choice where the potential existed for helping "fix" things in the world.

in general, I've found that to be true (even if the potential isn't always reached).



We get a lot of criticism over the stories we cover.

From My Urban Report I learned Latasha Norman has been missing since November 13th. I don't know why the case hasn't gotten more national attention. I'm not really speculating on that. It's just that in light of the stories I've covered recently, it's frustrating to think that maybe we could help.



Monday night, before I had even heard of Latasha Norman, I covered a story about a missing dog.

Slow your roll, I'm not making a comparison and I'm not looking to stir up anything. I'm just scratching out my thoughts and trying to make some sense out of the things on my mind.

Athena had been missing since Sunday. Reporter Sharon Tay and I drove out to Ventura to interview her despondent owners.

They were nice people and it was difficult to see the pain they were suffering.



The story of the missing dog fully felt like a story that should have been covered. I know what it's like to lose a pet and I was sad right along with Sharon and Athena's owners.

After I got home that night, I came across the story of Latasha Norman.

Damn.

I can go to work and ask about the story. I think we might have covered it as a "reader" or a VOSOT (I don't know for sure). I can also ask people who I think are a lot smarter than me if there's anything we can do.

I believe I already know the answer and I believe we do what we can. It's frustrating, because as long as there's even one child missing, as long as there's a grieving parent with unanswered questions, it won't ever seem like we've done nearly enough.

Today, I'll move on to another story and the missing Latasha Norman will still be fresh in my mind. I mention her here and as I write, I can only imagine what her family and friends might be suffering. I'm interested in her story and I pray for her safe return.

I wish I could fix it.

That's all.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Sorry, but it was funny to me.

I've got a regular shift to face later today and tomorrow I'll be taking off to catch up with all the stuff I didn't get done over the last couple of weeks.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I'm already feeling the crunch.

The following video made me laugh. That was very welcome on a Monday morning.



Has anybody seen any of the sweeps stories we've aired this month? I'm just curious.


. . .also, if you happen to catch any of the CBS2/KCAL9 promo spots, any time you see a camera or photographer, that's me. I spent two days a couple of months back being the prop photographer for the promo shoot. I haven't seen one shot where you can actually recognize me, but I know I'm in there.

Now that would be something to put on You Tube.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Special Guest Appearances by Govenor Arnold and Angelyne

That might be a case of false advertising, but I'll get to that in a minute. It's been a long weekend-- heck, it's been a long week.

No rest for the weary, I knew I was going to be working on Sunday before I left work on Saturday.

Suh-weet! That's a lot of overtime. Hey, tis' the shopping season and with "sweeps" over next week, I'm not likely to see much OT until after the end of the year.



No complaints from me, it was an easy day and the "not being at home" part was the only difficult thing about it.

I got to put Kristine Lazar on TV a couple of times and I recorded a dub of a pool feed of our very own "Governator" touring the burned area.



He was here and I saw him. Honest.

Sorry, I don't have a shot of Arnold. It was the second most surreal moment of the day when I saw his SUV and entourage drive past right in front of me.

I'd feel better if I had a shot of him, but I'm sure you'll take my word for it that I saw him.

It was like a dream. There I was, just standing outside of the SAT truck. I didn't have my camera out and didn't really want to fall all over myself just to snap his picture (again), but he drove by smiled and silently mouthed his line: I'll be back.




Okay, that last part wasn't true. If it was, then that would have been the most surreal moment of the day. That was only surreal moment number two. Even more bizzare (bizzar"er") was Angelyne, pink Corvette and all, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

Sorry, I don't have that shot either. Tell you what, here's another picture of Kristine Lazar.

Angelyne was doing her thing near the checkpoint that leads to the incident command post. I was just driving in, didn't want to stop and really, this is Angelyn we're talking about.

It's not like I haven't gotten a shot of her before.



Uh-oh, look at the time.

It's the end of the day. Luckily, I've already packed away all the gear and I'm going to jet out of here as soon as I get the all clear from the station.

Maybe I'll be back out here tomorrow or maybe we'll be moved on to other bigger and better things.

Anything is possible.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Malibu Fires 2007: THE SEQUEL

Wow, didn't we just do this a coule of weeks ago? This is the view from Hawthorne as I was heading for the station this morning.



My phone rang just before 6:00am and I worked late last night. That means I didn't quite top off on sleep, but come on, we all know I'm a sucker for breaking news.

Big fire. Malibu. Dual path SNG needed. How soon can I get to the station?



Dual path satellite shots needed. Woo, that's twice as many buttons to push. I'm there, baby.

Wait a minute, it's a little more difficult than that to agree to come in.  It's a holiday weekend and I have my older two kids in town.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure they'll be coming back next month for Christmas and nothing makes a happier Christmas than an overtime fattened wallet.

Goodbye kids, drive safe.  See ya' at Christmas.



Drove to Studio City to get the SAT truck, then out to Corral Canyon Road where many of the firefighters were getting ready to go to work.



That was a good thing too, because the fire had already burned through this area, but there were still some hot spots and I can't, by any stretch of my imagination think that my pulling up to an open spot in this gas station was going to be a good idea for long, if at all.



It was kind of worth it to see David Goldstein and Freelance Photographer Ken Koeller prospecting for some liveshot gold.

I would have liked to have stayed in this area and seen some of the action unfold, but no, that wasn't going to happen.



I got sent a couple of miles away to the Command Post near the Malibu civic center to cover the press conferences.

Yup, that was a good plan.  Only problem, they weren't going to hold the pressers at the Command Post.



They decided to hold it about a mile away at Malibu Bluffs Park on the West side of PCH, across from Pepperdine University.



Apparently we had some technical difficulties.  Nobody had a microphone stand.  I know.  Lame.  Next fire, we'll try to do better.



My understanding of how this fire is burning is that we'll have more opportunities to get it right.  I'll be here to cover more pressers.  That's reporter Lonni Rivera and Staff Photographer Nick Mercado is also standing by.

Unless I get relieved by another SAT operator, I'll keep you posted.   If they do send me home, I think I'll try to sneak out with my lovely wife for a movie or maybe we'll just find a nice romantic spot near the ocean and watch the warm glow of people's property and possessions going up in smoke.

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We be burning!

Things are heating up in Malibu. Looks like we have another fire and I'm heading into work.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

Friday, November 23, 2007

. . .then the cops came in and arrested the hookers, the midget and. . .uh, OJ.

You take the average guy and send him to Las Vegas for a couple of days, if he's had a good time at all, he might have to come home with a good fib to keep himself out of trouble.



Not me.

I was on the road back from Las Vegas (Happy "be"lated Thanksgiving by the way) and it hit me that, well, gosh, I really didn't do anything on this trip.



That's not too big of a surprise. I never REALLY do anything when I'm away from home. On this particular trip I somehow managed to avoid having even one beer and didn't gamble at all.

Yeah, I could bore the Amish.



As far as the gambling goes, I feel like I beat the odds every day in real life, but I suck at games of chance.  It's possible that I'm not greedy enough to get any good at it. Plus, I have a slight tendency to be a little reckless at times (wouldn't blink at taking a hit on 19).



Not the best combination of survival skills to take with you to a town where a photog and his overtime is soon parted.  Still, I can't believe two nights in a row we passed the casinos and the bars and I didn't have one beer at the end of the day.



With my reputation, I don't think anyone is in the least surprised that I can go all the way to Las Vegas and not act like a college freshman on Spring break.



Being a creative minded guy, I didn't mind at all coming up with a couple of whopper stories to tell the guys.  Coming home completely empty handed might keep me from being in the running for the next out of town assignment.

Honest.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cool.

You know what's pretty cool?

I'm leaning against the side of the SAT truck. It's sitting on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the new Planet Hollywood hotel and casino.

The cool part? I'm parked facing the wrong way and had to make a big U-turn against traffic to park where I am.

They pay me good money to do stuff like this.

Don't nobody tell them I said it, but I'd almost do stuff like that for free.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

Better Safe.

Maybe I should go out and do something, but I'm too tired to actually go out. Even to take pictures. That's the downside to working an out of town assignment. Often the only way to enjoy the benefit of being somewhere cool is to give up some sleep time.

I'm not missing much. I've been here before and I'm not on the clock and needed until later today. I'm sleeping in and maybe I'll have a nice lunch when I finally do drag myself out of the room.



As I've mentioned, the Luxor people gave us a thumbs down on the satellite shot from the front of the hotel. They seemed to go through the motions, but we got denied at every level from the front desk to security to marketing (yes, marketing). I'm not really mad at them, but it did make my life a little more difficult. The plan was to drink and gamble too much, stagger from the casino to the parking lot, do the liveshot, then stagger back into the casino.

We've probably been super lucky in the past to have gotten the go ahead.

Can't set up on their property? Fair enough.

I scouted out a cheap motel across the street. It looked completely empty and I thought it might be shut down. There were lights on in the office, but the door was locked. Nobody answered when I rang the bell. It was an ok alternative, but I decided to look around a bit more before settling on it.


Photo by Marvin Stone

I scouted the area, but found my way back to the motel location. A truck or car was parked near the office and had its' lights on. I got out of the van, but hesitated. If someone was in the other vehicle, I couldn't see them and they didn't seem to care that I couldn't. The headlights stayed on.

It was dark. There wasn't anyone around. My spider sense was tingling.

I got back in the satellite truck and we did the liveshot from the Las Vegas sign. It was just one hit and there was no reason at all to make things complicated.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Safe. . .for the most part.

Got into town just past eight o'clock. Checked into the hotel (The Luxor) and was told it wasn't possible to use the lot out front for our liveshot.

We've done shots from there in the past. I turned my good natured charm up full and set my disarming wit to "kill", but they still turned us down.

Bummer.

Went looking for an alternate location and wound up in front of the "Welcome to (Fabulous) Las Vegas" sign at the South end of the strip.

There's a little more to the story. I'll try to post a few pictures when I get back to my room.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

25 MPH

Lots of traffic. At this rate I should be in Las Vegas by Friday.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. . .NOT (exactly)!

Dwelling on a missed assignment isn't really something that I would ever do. There's always going to be another opportunity to see or do something cool in my line of work. News happens every day and as I've said before, one of the coolest aspects of my job is never knowing where I'm going to end up when I go to work each day.



No, I didn't get to shoot behind the scenes at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. In a nice little twist of fate, I got to pitch in and edit the piece which will air tonight.



I'm sure it wasn't the same as being there, but if I'm going to cut a news story, then this sure beats "Holiday Travel" or a random homicide victim.



It's just a short behind the scenes look at an event with a lot of pretty women. It is sweeps. It won't stop the war on terror or help the homeless. It won't change the world, but. . .um. . .uh. . .you know, I had a point I was going to try to make, but I've forgotten what it was.

I'm going to be taking a satellite truck up to Las Vegas for the next couple of days to handle liveshots for this story and a couple others. There is probably a point to all this, but I'm just going to work and doing the job I've been given.

I really REALLY love my job.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. . .NOT!

The assignments I get are usually top drawer and usually way more interesting than the assignments I don't get.  I mention this because I got yanked off the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show events that we covered last week.

Why were we covering the events?  Shuh, don't ask me.  It's sweeps, CBS is the broadcaster for the show and to be perfectly honest, some assignments you just don't need to know why.



No big deal really for me not to cover the event.  See, there's a mature worldly sophisticated naturally matter-of-fact demeanor that some people develop.  Not me of course.  I don't have an ounce of smooth in me (but boy, I sure do admire guys who have that going for them).  Still, I'm not so far out of control that I'd be falling all over myself to get this assignment just because there's a slim chance that I'd see a few (dozen?) lingerie models in person.

Really not all that big of a deal, but the bragging rights with the guys would be huge.

Mute point, I didn't get the assignment (extra credit if you caught the reference).

I got pulled because I was tied up with training.  No still pictures of models for me.  That's why you get a beFrank artist's rendering of a Victoria's Secret lingerie model.  With 374 catalogs delivered to our house every other day, you'd think we'd have at least one Victoria's Secret catalog floating around.

No luck.  Here's all I had to work with for the purpose of posting.



Sorry.

It all comes down to the opportunity to photograph for myself what I mostly would only see on TV, on a calendar or in the pages of a magazine-- uh, catalog.

It's a new week and I'm hitting the streets tomorrow.  I'm hoping for an interesting day and something visual to share.

I'll keep you posted.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

It doesn't always have to make sense.

Breaking news? I'm not gonna lie, I love running out to cover a breaking story. I don't know too many news photographers who don't get a rush from getting a story on the air when it doesn't seem possible.

Everybody has a story of pulling a rabbit out of their hat and making it on air (maybe even for the top of the show) when common sense would say it can't happen.

Right.

That didn't happen on the night the story broke about the missing items from the Reagan Library.



We made it on air, but I didn't have anything to do with it. I was there. I'd gotten sent out as backup in a satellite truck just in case the photographer sent out before me couldn't link in the microwave signal.

I got the assignment at about 10:05pm on the night word was leaking out about the missing items. They wanted the story on the air for the 11:00pm newscast. I should also mention I had a trainee with me.

The (paraphrased) conversation went like this:
"Let me get this right. You want me to jump out of the microwave truck I'm in, hop into one of the sat trucks and drive out to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley?"

"Yes." "To put it (the story) on for the eleven (11:00pm newscast)?"
"Yes"
"Even though you have a crew on the way? Even though it's a slam dunk microwave shot?"

"Yes and yes."
"Isn't Lou Varella on standby for satellite?"
"We sent him as a second man to help another crew."
"You know how far Simi Valley is from here?"

"Yes."
"Am I missing something?"

"Nope."



Okay then. As long as I was reasonably sure I hadn't suddenly gone insane, nothing really more needed to be said. I made the swap and did the drive as quickly (and legally) as possible.

That put me at the gate to the library about five minutes to 11:00pm and the crew was already set and good to go. They did their liveshot and I helped wrap up cables.

If they hadn't been able to link in, I would have been ready to go in ten to fifteen minutes (probably closer to fifteen) and we still would have been in the 11:00pm newscast.

Even though it seemed like overkill, I can totally understand the decision to send me. They wanted to put this story on the air and they didn't want to take any chances.

I hope I never get to the point in my career where rushing out for a news story isn't fun anymore, but I can see that I'm a little older and probably less inclined to follow orders without question. As important as it is to me and as much of a thrill, I still want to do what makes sense more than I want to rush out for breaking news.

Most of the time.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Affected

We see a lot of the worst parts of life doing this job and I find I don't have to be very close to a story to be affected by it.

As I write this, the little girl in the hospital bed is over a week past having had one of her legs amputated. That's the result of an accident caused by street racing drivers who hit her family's car.



Her name is Jasmine Aguirre and her family provided us with these pictures of her in the hospital just prior to her her surgery.

It wasn't my assignment. I didn't shoot it for the news and I didn't shoot the still shots from the hospital room. My only involvement in the story was to help the crew import the still images into the edit system.



We're witnesses to the pain and suffering of others in the course of our job. We shoot the interviews, edit the packages and do the liveshots, then we move on to the next story.

Maybe it's not our job to make sense of the events of the day, but it is difficult to bear witness to so much pain and suffering and not feel compelled to beg and plead for people to be more responsible for their actions.

It's just so frustrating, because this pain and suffering was so completely avoidable. Street racing? All it would have taken was a thought by the driver of the car who caused the accident. Just a simple thought to the possibility that his actions might affect someone outside of himself.

We cover these stories and all I can do is hope that putting it on TV might give someone that second thought to avoid hurting someone else.

Other people sometimes have a better view of the events we witness, but we see a lot in the course of our jobs. Maybe it's just me, but I think we're affected. A little bit at a time and too often not for the better, we're changed by being involved in the coverage of the news.

So, it goes with the territory.

All I can do, through all the hoopla and hype, is hope someone sees a glimpse of some of the worst parts of life and be moved enough to decide to behave a little better.

In that way we might avoid the kind of accidents that put little girls in hospitals.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Dust-up on the 5 Freeway

Did you see the story on the tunnel re-opening? The tunnel on the South bound 5 freeway where a dozen big rigs crashed and burned several weeks back.

I got called off a training day to take a satellite truck up there to put the story on TV.



Cal Trans must have been kind of proud of themselves for getting the tunnel opened up again so quickly. I say that because they were responsible for letting us go live from the South bound off-ramp just past the tunnel.

Call me a big dangerous kid, but i love playing on the freeway. There's just something illicit about it (on the rare occasion that it happens), that I find to be kind of "cool".



We were out there for about four hours and two liveshots. The first liveshot just had the tunnel in the background. Just before the second liveshot, they opened up the tunnel and the first big rigs came through.

We had walked up closer to get the shots of the first trucks coming out of the reopened tunnel.



Here's the interesting tid-bit that you probably didn't see as part of the story that aired.

We got caught up in a dust storm stirred up by the big trucks. The tunnel was full of a very fine sandy dust and the trucks coming through just whipped it all up in their wake and carried it out onto everyone hanging out on the freeway.



Yeah, as if Carl Stein hasn't had a bad enough year. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but the dust got blown out pretty quickly and everything settled down in time for our last liveshot.

At that point, we only had the rumble, noise and occasional deep "BRRRRRRT" from the horns of the big trucks as they zipped past us.

Just another day at the office.

CHP kicked us off the freeway right after our five o'clock liveshot because they really needed to open up the off-ramp.

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Strike Update

This is what I see every day when I go to work. I'm worried this is going to be what I see for a long time.

They're actually pretty well behaved for being on strike.  I've done stories on the UFW and I've seen images from strikes by the UAW, teamsters and from strikes held in other countries. 

These things can get extremely violent at times.  I've seen people get into fights and I've seen people crossing the picket line get hit with rotting fruit and garbage.



I'll find out today if the news writers will be also going out on strike. They had a vote last night and could join the picketeers on Monday.

It's one thing to face an annonymous crowd. Something else again to face people you know, work with and consider to be friends.



It would make me happy if they resolve their issues sooner rather than later.  The longer the strike lasts, the more likely it'll turn ugly.

I hope my friends take it easy on me with the rotting fruit and garbage.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

It's not even real. It's just a toy gun. I didn't see any reason to make it a "thing" and it was a cool liveshot. To each their own, but I don't like guns.

Two idiots were playing dress up like FBI agents and shaking folks down in Glendale. They got caught and now face some pretty serious charges.



On a scale of one to ridiculously asinine, this particular felony will likely put the dynamic duo behind bars for a spell. They might want to practice dressing more like convicted felons.

It's a pretty safe bet, first prize for "best law enforcement officer costume" is probably a serious butt whupping from their fellow prisoners.



It was quite a collection, but I've done this story where the weapons are real. In those cases there's usually a large amount of drugs on display in addition to the weapons.

I suppose the point to be made here is that the world is a dangerous place.



Maybe not so much in this case and that might be why I'm bothered more by these pictures after the fact.

Here in these photos, the threat is implied and even though I know the gun is fake and couldn't hurt me, it's still a disturbing image to see it being pointed at me by an obviously deranged reporter.



Just kidding.

Now, put the gun down and walk away from the liveshot.

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Just Two Words

It's funny, but I get picked on by people at the station when I don't post. By the way, I'm still alive. Even when the frequency of my posts are down to a trickle, life goes on.

As does the news (and training).




My latest trainee (meet Nick) was out of the game for almost a year and was starting from square one on the XD cameras and edit system.

I had my schedule shifted to dayside for most of this week, because it seems like I can get more done at work during the daytime hours.  It also means I get to see my lovely wife in the evening. Sounds like a win-win, but it has a major drawback.

I'm telling you, the drive home during rush hour kills me.  It's a twenty minute drive if I'm heading home after a night shift, but it's at least an hour's bumper to bumper drive if I work a day shift and leave work during rush hour.



So, I've been too tired to write the past few days and actually fell asleep at the keyboard last night.  That's even after I promised myself that I'd at least string two words together and kind of pretend like I was writing. I never got past downloading the shots of the day from my camera before morpheus came knocking at my door.

It's kind of strange for the year I've been having, but I've been out in the field more than I've written the last couple of weeks.  I'm still chewing on some of the experiences.

It's just an observation, but I forget sometimes how much sadness can be part of my day at work.  It's never very long before I'm reminded.

At least yesterday's assignment was pretty run of the mill with no emotional punch in the gut for me.



We had to set up a liveshot from inside our studio.  The cable run was somewhere between two and three hundred feet.  I wish I could narrow it down more than that, but I'm pretty suck at estimating distances.  The distance isn't all that important.  just know that it was around a few corner and had to be taped down.

I've never actually heard of a news station being sued for someone tripping over a loose cable laid out for a liveshot.  I'd hate to be the first person to let it happen.



We spent an hour after the liveshot trying to figure out a way to patch into the station rather make that cable run again.  Unfortunately, the  overtime put me right in the thick of the traffic monster.

Yikes.  I just looked at the time.  I'm glad I took a few minutes to write something this morning, but now I've got morning rush hour traffic to wade into.

Kind of dull right now, but at least the potential for excitement and adventure is always there.  I guess I still can't help feeling as if I'm missing out on something more than sleep.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sitting and Waiting

Okay, so you know I've been going to work, right? If I don't post anything it usually means one of two things. Either I'm super busy or just bored out of my mind.

I really really wish I were busy, but it's that second thing. One of my photog brothers is returning to work after recovering from open heart surgery. He's doing pretty well healthwise, but he's been out for a year and completely missed the roll out of the XD cameras. He's also starting from square one on learning the Aurora edit system.

I barely touched a camera all week (still or video). What's a blogger to do?

This morning I was up on one of my semi-regular sleepless nights and photos from an event I covered a few years back popped up in a photo widget on my desktop.



These are pictures from the 2002 Macy's Passport fundraiser and yes, that's the guy (Michael C. Hall) who plays "Dexter" on Showtime. Back then he was playing somebody else on "Six Feet Under".

My job was to hang out backstage and shoot interviews with celebs. It was kind of strange, because I remember shooting a couple of interviews, but we packed it all early for some reason.

I just remember having a real easy (like not working) time of it after we had gone to a lot of trouble to set everything up.



The female violinist is Miri Ben-Ari and I'll give five points to anyone who can tell me the guy's name.



This is actress Jennifer Finnigan and I had to check Getty Images to get her name because as we all know, I suck at remembering celebrity names. You might think I'd write them down or something. Especially after they actually let me take their picture.



A lot of interesting things were going on backstage. None of it ever made air, but I can't complain.

This was my first duopoly shoot. My station was owned by CBS, but we hadn't merged operations yet, so I still considered myself to be KCAL.



I hadn't seen any of these pictures in quite a while. I'm glad they popped up. In part because I really didn't want to face anyone on Monday and not have at least tried to find something to blog about, but mainly because I like reminding myself that my job is still pretty cool.

Well, at least it used to be.

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