Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturdays are for Love

Yup and I'd love it if someone else had to do the weeding and pruning in my yard.



Okay, that's not really true.

I joke and complain about the amount of maintenance my yard takes, but I enjoy it. The time I spend outdoors working in the yard with Dellis is precious time considering our busy lives.

So, that's what my day is looking like. If you're in the neighborhood, I could use a beer.
--
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Friday, May 30, 2008

SANCTUARY!

Just like Victor Hugo wrote, I needed a safe haven to rest after work this afternoon.

Take note, I am painfully aware that nothing I did after work was contributing in the least to my efforts to take over the world. It's hasn't been a particularly difficult week, but I don't know, that might just mean I've become less aware of the daily grind.

Anyway, I'm just happy to be home and ready to take a moment to relax.



When I work a dayside shift on Fridays, it's a long drive home through downtown traffic. It doesn't matter what kind of day I've had at work, by the time I get home I'm just a little bit. . .on. . .EDGE.

Nothing a walk with the dog or a workout at the gym couldn't fix.



Yup. Either of those would have been better than what I actually did. After a quick snack, I crashed out on the couch for a nap (that's where I am in the first picture) There was one positive accomplishment I can claim. After I woke up, I finally got around to watching the special on "The Last Lecture" that Dellis TiVo'd a while back.

Very inspiring, but no real epiphany for me. I kept thinking Randy Pausch was preaching to the choir. Don't let that diminish the message and don't think that I wasn't impressed. I'm actually watching the full video of "The Last Lecture" over the internet as I type this post.

The question is probably rolling around right now. Am I being at all hypocritical?



Maybe.

I don't have a good answer. I also can't spend enough time to fully analyze things.

I'm up now. I'll probably be up late juggling two or more projects and there might also be a late night run on the treadmill.

If you don't have time to do three things, do whatever you need to do most and also try watching The Last Lecture. I'd be interested in knowing what you thought of it.

All I can tell you right now? I really needed that nap.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blondes at the Los Angeles Theatre (New and Improved)

Woo-hoo, Dellis and I are sitting in the Los Angeles Theatre waiting for a showing of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" sponsored by the LA Conservancy.

This is awesome. Sitting in a classic movie house beats the heck out of the neighborhood multi-suck.

----------------------

(NEW)

I'm on the way out the door to work, but I thought I'd add a few shots from my pocket camera.




I wasn't the only one snapping shots. There were a lot of flashes going on before the show started.



The LA Conservancy does a walking tour on Saturday mornings through the Historical Broadway Theatre District. I'm thinking it would be a cool little adventure.



The only problem is that the reservations are booked solid through August.



The "Last Remaining Seats" series runs on Wednesdays through June. I'm usually at work on Wednesday nights, but I'm going to try and work it out so i can catch a couple more of the showings.



Not a single news station was there last night.I understand. There were probably much more important stories that needed to be covered. Maybe even a shooting or a high speed chase.

Woo. Maybe even both.

Happy Thursday. I gotta go to work.

--
Sent (partially) from my BlackBerry

Go Lakers. . .no wait, come back!

Just a quick post before I head out with my lovely wife for a culturally (yawn!) enriching evening.

With all the death and destruction happening in the L.A. area this week, I was kind of surprised that we got a sports related assignment last night.



I found myself coaching from the sidelines of the Staples Center.  Not the Lakers, just Aurora.



Heck, even so, it was a nice switch from all the stories involving dead children.



Also, with the home team playing out of town, we really had an easy evening of it.

Gosh, I hadn't been to Staples in over a year, so it was interesting to see all the changes in the surrounding area.  The Nokia Theatre and the Laker Girls made for pretty interesting photo subject matter.

You'll notice the inside shots were taken with the Curve.  No still cameras allowed if I'm coming in to shoot video.  I've had that particular run-in with the Staples people before.

Lets hope they aren't as concerned about cell phone photography.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back on "Crackberry"

Before you flame me, I'm not getting any kickback from anyone. My opinions are my own. I'm not trying to sell you on it, I've just been having fun with my new phone and it seems like some folks might value my opinion on it.

It's not like my new Blackberry "Curve" is ever going to drag me out of a burning building or be anything more than a really really good tool for helping me stay connected with the digital world.

If you're wondering, I don't consider it an iPod (or iPhone) killer. If you want to watch movies or TV, there are better solutions than a Blackberry.



I'm just enjoying everything more that I can do with it that I couldn't do easily (or at all) with my past cell phones. I've already added Blackberry versions of the applications that I use most on my computer and I'm able to access many of the services I use most often from icons or through simple email/text messages.

Plus, what I said before about not being an "iKiller", well let me just mention that I've loaded an 8gb microSD memory card into my Curve. It may not be able to play everything from my iPod, but I'm carrying a powerful lot of music in those eight gigs.

Plus, plus, we know Slingbox is working on a mobile client for Blackberry. So, squeeeel.



Hands down, the biggest leap forward for me is that I finally (AGAIN) have a phone with a camera built into it. I've used a cameraphone in the past and really missed it when I switched to a Blackberry which didn't have a camera.

Pffft, imagine living in a world where "beFrank" is only carrying three cameras at any given time (We're counting the broadcast video, DSLR, and pocket digital).



The applications available seem to have actually matured a bit. With me, the biggest problem with any mobile application was always the insane number of steps needed to just sign in and use them. That hasn't been a concern on any of the programs I've got on my phone right now.

Because I know you're curious, the mobile apps (all free) that I'm using are TwitterBerry, Facebook, New York Times, WorldMate Live, Viigo, Blackberry Wallet, GMail, Google Maps, JiveSlide and Beyond 411.

Also, I'm sure you've noticed that I'm Blogging with photos from my phone.



If you're at all thinking about it, for what it's worth, I like my "Curve" and RIM (They're the folks who make the Blackberry) deserves a pat on the back for putting together a solid piece of tech gear.

I'm going to work now.

Gee, if you were following me on Twitter, you'd probably already know that.



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Monday, May 26, 2008

Balancing the Scales

A 14 year old girl is brain dead tonight. She was the innocent victim of a shooting that resulted from an argument. The suspect was quickly caught and it's likely that justice will be done.

It might only be my opinion, but I don't think there could ever be anything close to justice for a crime like this. Even the maximum punishment is only going to take another life, nothing is ever going to bring back the life of the young victim.
--
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Brain Freeze!

The "snow" in Baldwin Park last week was more accurately hail. There's probably an even better term for it, but I'm just a small town country news photographer who is not accustomed to your fancy weather talk.

Also, your big city ways sometimes frighten me.



Not to be a grinch or anything, but I was very pleased to have been on a training mission on the "snow" day. I got to play in the snow, take a few pictures for the blog and didn't freeze anything off trying to shoot the story. It was magical, like a fairy tale. The kids and young adults of the neighborhood had a grand time pelting each other and the media with "snow balls".

Maybe you can see from the picture, the "snow" was pellet sized ice crystals. It didn't pack very well, unless you count the wallop it packed if you got hit by a slushy fistful of the stuff.

No, it didn't pack, but it could partially melt and form a very solid ball of ice.



I volunteered to stay in the van during our early liveshots. Things weren't too bad while the reporter introduced the story.



When the station came back to him after the package, most of the smaller kids were edged out of the way by teenagers and young adults.

We were kind of resigned to the fact that the neighborhood wasn't a kinder and gentler sort of place, but we had a story to put on the air.

It did sort of surprise me that a lot of the guys clowning through the reporter's tag weren't in the least bit concerned about the small kids they were trampling for a fleeting few seconds of facetime on TV.



Things didn't collapse into a full riot, but later, the police were called to calm some of the more foolish "snow going" morons. Several of them had grown bored tossing snow our way and had begun pelting passing cars on the busier cross street.

We avoided a repeat for the later liveshots by relocating to a quieter spot half a block away.

As I get older, I look back on the things I did as a child and I'm pretty sure I would have risked tossing a snowball or two at the news media if they had visited my neighborhood under similar circumstances. I think we're all on the same page with that. Maybe we could all agree that by the time you're, oh, I dunno, THIRTY, you should put the snowballs down, quit throwing up gang signs and try to be a better example.

I'd like to think it's possible, but the odds of it are probably not even as likely as a snowball's chance in Baldwin Park.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Darleeneisms

Good people in the world are sometimes difficult to find. Darleene of the blog "Darleeneisms" donated her birthday to the Union Station Foundation Adult Center.

What she did was get a group of friends and family together to feed people less fortunate. From my experience, that's not something just anybody would do.

I know it's a busy world we live in and there's always something important that requires our attention. It's just good to know that there are ordinary people willing to do out of the ordinary things for others.

Happy Birthday Darleene!
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cameraphone

I'm loving the new Blackberry Curve. Finally, I've got a phone that does just about everything I need it to do.

The "Shadow" is hanging in Santa Monica tonight coaching an Aurora Trainee.

Yeah, I know. Yaaaaaaawn!

At least I got out to the beach.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

What Evil Lurks. . .

Happy Wednesday people. The sun's up and another day filled with unlimited potential is throwing the question back at me and asking in a half-mocking way, "I dunno, what do you want to do?"

Well, I want to write. I'd like to dust off any one of the projects I have in various stages of development and spend a few days holed up in dark quiet room with just my laptop, a bag of Fatburgers and an ice bucket filled with bottles of Frugatti's Voluptuous Blonde.

Okay, we know that's not going to happen today, but if I had my druthers, by now I'd be done with my first burger and popping the cap on beer number two.

Hang on, I have no transition.



An upcoming auction at Bonhams & Butterfields of Marilyn Monroe memoribilia was the assignment yesterday.

Well, okay not my assignment. My assignment was to shadow my fellow photog Nick Mercado and coach him on the edit system.



Let me tell you, the shadow gig can be pretty easy if the shadowee is up to speed on the system and just needs someone there to answer questions if they hit a bump in the road.



Yesterday was easy. On an easy day, I can stand outside of the truck and just patiently nudge people (OMFG, JUST HIT CONTROL-Z!) in the right direction. It's also not unusual for me to have time to juggle tech support phone calls from other crews while I'm shadowing.

Can you hear me now?



This isn't exactly the career path I thought I'd chosen. No problem, (meh) I can handle it.

Speaking from experience, there are far worse assignments (hellooo, I.E., I'm looking at you!) and one of the biggest benefits I enjoy from the training gig is the opportunity to snap a few still pictures without having to juggle the video camera with my still camera.



It always feels great to be surrounded by photographic opportunities and actually have a moment to think about what I want to shoot. Covering a news story, we often have to follow the action and just get the shot. Composition, angles, sequencing, all that has to be second nature because we often don't have time to breathe, let alone think.

In a split second, we have to know what "is" the most important shot.



So, it's kind of nice to sometimes not have that pressure and still be able to witness the parts of our job that are a little less than ordinary. It's even icing on the cake when I can snap a picture and share it.

In the photo above, those are fishnet stockings. Fishnet stockings actually worn by Marilyn Monroe. A lot of people went through their day on Tuesday and didn't get to see that for themselves. That might not be the best example, but I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.

I'm going to work now. There's no telling where I might wind up today and I'm completely happy about that.

What?

What about world domination? Gee, I still intend to take over the world, but until that happens, this'll do.
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I'm still alive.

Half asleep, but I had to string a couple of words together or suffer writer's withdrawal.



Press Conference on a couple of guys who just walked up to a car and unloaded on the passenger



The trees should be obvious.  The city decided they want trees along the 105--


 


Tio.

I'm too fried.  Maybe after some sleep.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Another Horrific Story.

Well, yeah, if you're a cow. I was on my one news story of the month and somebody decided that the light feature on the fast food burger wars was the perfect story for me.

Triple meat, triple cheese and I could feel my arteries clogging as I enjoyed every last bite..

--
Sent from my BlackBerry

New Blackberry (woo-hoo!)

I'm finally back in the modern age. Cell phone with camera.
--
Sent from my BlackBerry

The Post about the Art Gallery Show

It is way too late at night for me to be sitting at my bar trying to get a post out about the Gallery Show.  I'm worn out  and I really need some rest, but I feel like I might be shortchanging the folks who follow my humble little if I don't post a couple of shots and let you know how the evening went.

It was awesome.  Really, really awesome.  I sold a few 8x10 shots and got some serious interest in the larger pieces.

It's great that people consider my work to be worth hanging up in their homes, but it was really just a wonderful time being out with Dellis and seeing a lot of friends, some family and some of my co-workers.


Photo by Angie Moriconi

The last time I did this, I was the only photographer from my station to participate.  This time, we represented with three more shutterbugs.  That's Dave Malkov, Mike McCormick, Jessica Ming and Lil' ol' Me."



Since the Gallery gets a percentage of any sales made, I hope to sell as many pieces as I can.  It's probably a little frustrating for people who know me to listen when I tell them, it's not at all about selling anything.



It really is more about spending an evening out with friends.  I'm not interested in shooting stills for money.  This wasn't an effort to drum up customers for a sideline business.



I figure, I'll never be rich doing what I do for a living, but I earn enough of a living that I don't have to try to make still photography into a secondary income.  Just the opposite, I can afford to support my still photography with my one and only day job.

The world could change and if I might need to ever reconsider the profit potential in still photography, I will.



Until then, I'll just keep shooting stills and enjoying the company of my friends and family.

It's getting late.  Well, I guess I'll see you in the morning.
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

From where I am.

It's getting close to time for me to shower and shave and get dressed for the gallery reception. Expect pictures later this evening. For now, I just wanted to drop a few words of wisdom before I have to "suit up".

I'm looking forward to the evening.


It's going to be a really nice night.


Okay, then.


Yup, that's about it.


I wish there something profound to add, but that's all I got. Heck, I don't even have a photo to drop in.

Goodnight, everybody!

(sigh)

Okay, let me just add one thing. It saddens me some that lately I've had a small twinge of anxiety floating over me each time I've sat down to write. Nothing too heavy, but still, my free time has been so short in recent months that I haven't been able to just relax and do the kind of writing I enjoy. There's always a number of other things needing to be done and many of them a higher priority than writing.

We (okay, me), I live in complicated times. I suppose I'll never have the freedom to do ALL the things I want to do. That's just the way of the world and I accept it. I'm fortunate, because there's enough time in my life to do a lot of the things I have to do and still many of the things I want to do.

I hope this is making some sort of sense. See, really, that's all I have time for.

By the way, tomorrow is the fourth year anniversary of my blog. I'm not stopping.

Woo-hoo!
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In the time available.

Pardon me, I'm still gathering my thoughts, but I have to just go with what I have so far.

There was an artist who used a picture of the 5th Avenue Theater in piece. I'm going nuts trying to remember what the guy's name was.

The internet is not helping me at all.



It's probably a little selfish and difficult to be nostalgic while covering a tragic story, but this was across the street from our location yesterday.

Okay. So, I've got a lot of fond memories of the 5th Avenue Theater from my childhood. I don't remember every movie I saw there, but I remember the last one was in the mid-seventies. It was "Three the Hard Way" and starred Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly and Jim Brown. It was directed by Gordon Parks and you know, I include Gordon Parks as one of my inspirations.

Also Jim Kelly. Hi-yah!

Nothing newsworthy about any of that, but Thursday is almost here (Hellooo, Gallery Show?) and I've been up late/early making prints. I really want to squeeze a post in here before getting ready for work, even though lack of sleep is scattering brain cells.



It always seems like there's more to the story than we can tell in the time available. I'm finding that to be particularly true when I try to give a little insight into what we see and do through the course of a day.

In this post, I didn't get to say anything about the Director of the funeral home who talked to us. I didn't get to tell you about the drunken gang member who joined us for lunch. I didn't get to describe how it felt better to move our camera position so we'd have the news van between our liveshot and the street (just in case someone from the area really didn't like our coverage of the story).

Some much happens. Some of it you might find interesting. I'm just always out of time.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

What'd I Miss?

I'm standing out on Manchester Avenue near closed and "repurposed" movie theaters near and dear to my younger days.

We're following up on the Inglewood Police shooting of an unarmed suspect.

It's my first day back and I'm actually edit coaching more than picking up the camera myself. That's why I'm finding myself with a quiet moment of free time to use for a quick text post from my Blackberry.

We spoke to grieving family members and their pain was difficult to witness. It's horrible to lose a family member and there's so little we can say. Just offering our condolences never seems to justify our intrusion.

We're about to go live for our 11:00pm show. I'm back and it doesn't feel like I ever left.

That's kind of sad, isn't it.


--
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Twenty-one, so far.

Vacation: Day Three--

What? No, come on. It can't be Saturday. That would make this, like, vacation day eight. On Monday I have to go back to work. Woo, time flies when you're trying to cram as much into a week off as humanly possible.

Well, on to new business.

I'm expecting that a lot of new folks have been dropping in. Sorry about the lack of Broadcast News related postings. I'm on vacation, so you're getting extra helpings of personal life.



It's been a busy week for me. Even though I've been telling everybody I was taking it easy, that really hasn't been the case. Sadly, I also haven't been in an alcohol induced coma since Monday. Matter of fact. the week involved a lot less drinking than I even normally claim.

It would take me way too long to give all the details on my week off. I'll just hit the high point for now. Besides, I have to get something posted. I don't want to get "Skolnicked" when I get back to work on Monday.



I volunteered my photographic services and spent most of Friday helping out at the Pio Pico Middle School Black and White Ball. It's a middle school formal and almost the complete total opposite of vacation.

A couple of seventh grade helpers and I took photos of about a hundred eighth grade kids and printed them each a picture. Okay, so we ran out of time, but still printed most of them on site.

If we still owe you a picture, you can pick it up from Mrs. Magee's office on Monday.



Dellis thinks it was a difficult thing for me to give up a day from my desperately needed vacation. Nah. She needed me to be there. See, it works out well, because there was no place I would have rather been.

It's good to know that I can count on her for the same kind of support.

Also, Dellis and I celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary today. I don't know what the record is for being married, but we're going for it. Call the Guiness people.

Not the beer people, the world record book people.

Aw, heck, go ahead and call them both.
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Monday, May 05, 2008

Forty-seven, so far.

I'm taking a break from work today to celebrate my 47th birthday, Cinco de Mayo and absolutely anything else anyone would like to add.



The only down side right now, is that everyone else is at work until later.  So, for now, it's just me and the dog at home listening to my Herb Alpert record and dancing a conga line around the living room.



There are things in life that I want and don't have.  A home with a fireplace is really high on my list right now, but maybe that's just because the weather is overcast and cloudy.

There are things in life I want and will likely never have.  It doesn't mean that I'll stop working towards my goals (helloooo, world domination), it just means that I know to appreciate what I have right now.



Every day, I smile and laugh and enjoy all the blessings in my life.  I have family and friends who love me.  I can take a day, relax and enjoy.

Happy Birthday to me. . .

. . .also Cinco de Mayo.

Tequila!
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