Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News Flash!

I was minding my own business.  Probably in a small funk, not mad or anything, just kind of disappointed because I wouldn't be working with a reporter and I wasn't out in my regular unit (#19) for the second day in a row.  I know, boo-hoo.  People have worse days at work.

My assignment was down in the San Pedro and I was slowly cruising in traffic on the 101 Freeway.

I heard a horn.  Joy.  We get that on occasion.  Random people just honking and waving at the news van.

I turn to look.  I'm friendly most of the time, but reserved.  Sure, it might be a wave and a smile or it just might be the middle finger salute.  Go figure, someone flipping off the news media?  How often could that happen?

Less often when the Lakers are winning (KCAL9 is the Lakers' channel.

It was two women (girls?).  They were driving a BMW (I noticed that much) and they zipped past me pretty quickly.

I didn't notice much about them.  The driver was a white female and blonde.  The passenger tanned skin and darker hair.  They seemed happy and I think I could hear music blasting from their radio.

Both seemed eager to be seen and were full of smiles and waves.

It's not too difficult to snap a cell phone picture while driving, but I never want to be in a position to have to explain why I rear ended a car while trying to do something else while driving.

Of the three (concentrate on the road, snap a cell phone picture and chew gum), I can do two and feel pretty safe.

Good thing I was out of gum.

Sorry I didn't get a clearer picture of the girls in the BMW.  They continued to try to get my attention for a couple of miles through the downtown interchange from the 101 to the 110 Freeway.  With the traffic, they never really pulled back up alongside where I could snap a clear picture.

It's not a big deal for me, but I know a lot of people would have liked to have seen the them.

They exited at Wilshire and I continued on to my assignment and here is where I buried the lead.

I probably should mention that the passenger in the BMW was flashing her boobs at me and then took off her top completely.  I think the driver might have been trying to flash me also.  I guess maybe she was chewing gum or something, but it seemed like she was having a difficult time splitting her attention between concentrating on the road and pointing out (cupping?) the passenger's boobs.

If I ever saw them again, I'm positive I'd be able to recognize and identify them.  Just don't ask me what their faces looked like.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Rita Garcia Round the Clock

Since I know that Rita Garcia's mom sometimes reads my blog, I figure it's a nice thing to feature her daughter in a post. Irene Garcia's little girl Rita has done a full turn of the clock reporting on the fans and fan-antics out in Glendale today.

I feel her pain, having worked more than a few double shifts myself lately.

Nice job, Ms. Garcia. Get some sleep and then come on back for those weekend newscasts.

Myself? I'm gonna see if I can dig up a copy of "Lethal Weapon" to watch on my much anticipated weekend.

I just keep hearing Danny Glover's line in my head.

"I'm too--"

Heck, you know what I'm saying.

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Pole Position

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to have your trucks in front of where Joel Fallon wants to put his trucks.

We're at the front of the line of media vehicles at Forest Lawn in Glendale.  The media is out in force to cover the fans doing it pilgrimage style at his alleged resting place.

What?  You didn't think he was really gone did you?

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Leathal Weapons

Working in news and having grown up in and near South Central Los Angeles, you would probably think I'd have been to Nickerson Gardens before. When you talk about "the projects" or low income housing, this is probably what you picture in your mind.

I'd never been there before yesterday.

Sure, I'm probably loosing what little street cred I've got (I'm not overly worried about it).

Really, I've been to similar neighborhoods and it's not as if I was shaking in my boots while I worked on a story about the new surveillance cameras being installed in the area.

My mind was more on the fact that Reporter Marc Coogan is scheduled to retire next week and this was probably the last chance he and I would get to work together.

The day kind of had a "Lethal Weapon" vibe to it, only due to my lack of sleep, I was the mentally unbalanced Mel Gibson character and Coogan was Danny Glover's Murtaugh.

I really wanted Coogan to say, "I'm too old for this $h!t", just once, but it turned out to be a short work day and really, only my mind works like that.

We cut a straight package for the noon newscast and I fully expected to head back to the station, but then the phone rang.

Long story short? I was sent to Palos Verdes to wait outside of the "Survivor" producer's home to roll video if the law came to take him away.

Now, strangely enough, I'd been to this neighborhood before. I've covered a couple of stories here and there on the Palos Verdes Penninsula. I'd also been out there on this particular story at least once.

I'd never seen him in person.

It's always interesting to me to see someone who may have murdered another human being just going about their regular routine (at least as regular as you're going to get with a few news cameras camped out on your sidewalk).

Still, just walking around free as a bird and he might have killed his wife.

I'm not saying anything should be done to him. I believe in the legal process.

It's just that if I lived up here and there was maybe a killer in the area, I might want to see about getting one of those surveillance cameras installed.

You know?
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stakeout in RPV

Shakeout in DOC was the original title of this post. My "Incredible" cell phone keeps insisting it knows what's best when it comes to spell checking. Oh, well.

Outside of the Survivor producer's house.  They're coming to get him.  I don't know when, but it sounds like he's going to be taking a little trip down South of the border.

Innocent until proven-- you know what?  Never mind.  I'm not even going to pretend you haven't already decided.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Up, Up in the Air!

This is one of the main reasons why I love my job.  Let me just say, it was a very cool thing to ride in the Goodyear Blimp over the Lakers Parade today.


The pilot, John Conrad, did a great job keeping us safe and maneuvering the blimp around the skies above the parade route.  It didn't seem to me like it's an easy job and Jon had to be on top of things for nearly four hours.

The view was great and with so much time in the air, I was able to snap quite a few still shots without missing any of the parade action.

The parade marks the last of a long string of days where I'm on the clock for twelve or more hours.  Last week and the week before was all about the Lakers (also kind of the Celtics, but history and I only remember winners).

It's very cool that I'll be able to look back at this year and have shots of me at the NBA finals and cap it all off with my attendance at the Lakers Parade.

Okay, maybe I should say, " attendance over the Lakers Parade".

It doesn't matter.  Either way, just so long as people who attended remember seeing the Goodyear Blimp floating overhead.

You might not have been able to see me hanging out the window taking shots with my video camera (and occasionally my still camera), but I was there.  Not to be snooty, but I was a part of the action.

Even if I was just slightly above it all.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Wait a Minute...

...Goodrich doesn't have a blimp.

That's an old advertising line I can't get out of my head.

Oh, the humanity!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Okay, a lot of people think I'm just sour about the Lakers winning because I don't get to enjoy the parade.  I'll probably be working a long day that will start very early.

I'm still sitting in the SAT truck right now feeding post game interviews.

Most of the tv folks

But, hey, go Lakers, you know?

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Outsiders at the Game

Well, it should be all over soon.

I'm sitting in the SAT truck waiting for the end of the Lakers/Celtic game.

Either I'll be covering a parade on Monday or I won't.

Let's hope.

You know what I mean.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

SNG Payback

Don't know how many days this is going to last, but I'll be helping the Boston WBZ crew make it onto TV.

They did the same for us last week while I was in Boston.

It's only fair.

Still, go Lakers.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Operatically Challenged

Remember when I said I'd rest when I'm dead?  You know I was just kidding, right?

Dellis and I are getting ready to enjoy a performance of the opera "Orpheus & Euridice" by Ricky Ian Gordon.

LB Opera has a rep for creatively different venues and that's a big part of what made this a can't miss it kind of event.

So, at the rate I'm going, I may get to rest really soon.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Sleepless Man and Dream Wife

Was on the fence, but really glad I decided to accompany the Lovely Mrs. Frank to the Playboy Jazz Festival.

It's fun to go and see when traveling for news, but I'm happy to be home and I can turn to the person I love with a passion and know we both will remember the sights and sounds and experience.

Home is where the heart is I'm told.

I think they're right about that.

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Naturally 7 is up.  Great voices.  As tired as I am, I'm glad we came out.

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Playboy Jazz at the Bowl!

Just having a jazzy good time.  Wish you were here.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Too Cool!

This was my view for part of the game last night.

Not much without binoculars, but still pretty awesome.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Go Team!

I'm inside watching the game.  You see?  I can watch sports sober and still have fun.

What?  Not buying it?


How about now?

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Wicked Cool: The First Day.

I got up at 3:30am and was on the way to the airport by 4:00am.

I finally went off the clock at midnight.

Thank goodness for the mini-bar.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Hello Beantown!

After one semi-harrowing too small rental car ride later, we are safe at the Hyatt Hotel.

Not a bad view.  I hope I get to see it sometime again before I leave.

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Halfway There.

In Philadelphia, on the way to Boston.

Yeah, I should have paid better attention in geography class.

Go team!

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Back In Action!

My apologies for the randomness of this post, but I'm breaking in my new "Incredible" phone and getting used to its' quirks. It has a much better camera and I'm hoping it makes it easier to post quick updates if anything interesting should actually happen.

I have to admit, the random adventure elements of my job have been more infrequent in recent years.

I find myself sitting and waiting for things to happen and feeling very frustrated when they don't.

It's nice to know I'm still a "go to" kind of guy when the big events need to be covered.

I can't say just yet where I'll be next week, but it should be interesting.

Don't worry, I will definitely keep you posted.

So, there you have it. A quick little post with a few pictures from the past week. Typing on the "Incredible" phone will take some practice. It's a little slower for me right now. I miss the Blackberry's physical keyboard and the as you type spelling correction of the "Incredible" can be a pain in the behind.

Still, I'm having fun with the technology.

It should work out pretty well for me in Boston at the game. What game?

Heh, heh. You know what game.

Sent from my HTC Incredible Phone!

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Playoff Magic

Susie Suh and I are covering the game tonight.    You know how happy this makes me?

I had time for one shot from the court.

That was one video shot.  I had no time to whip out a still camera.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but I agree.  A few years ago, I'd have gotten the video and a couple of stills.

In my defense, I have way too many pictures on my hard drive. I need to clear out some space before I snap very many more pictures.

Wait.  I think that's Magic Johnson driving into Staples.

And so it goes.

Sent from my HTC Incredible Phone!

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Things Suddenly Got Way More Interesting.

Eight megapixels in a cell phone?  It's a game changer.  I really dig the quality of the shots I can get out of my new "Incredible".  It's not a replacement for my 5DmkII, but it gets the job done and I don't have to drag the big camera around with me.

Okay, enough about that.

It was a mind-numbingly dull day at work.  It was after six, I'd already lunched and there wasn't a thing for me to shoot.  I was settling in for what I expected to be an uneventful evening.

Then I got sent out to pick up sound from Dana DeArmond.

The interview was for the story about the adult entertainment actor who murdered another man with a prop machette.

I'm not saying you should Google Dana DeArmond, I just think it might give an interesting bit of perspective to this post.  I'd spell it out, but it's kind of late for me and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep typing coherentzaly.

That's it.  Nighty-night, all.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened While I Was Chief.

When you last heard from me, I was trying to puzzle out the intricacies of my new Incredible cell phone.  No, I'm not being flattering, it's an "HTC Incredible" Google Android powered Verizon Wireless cell phone.

I just kind of like calling it Incredible.

I managed to get a pictures sent, but somehow lost the text and title from the post I was working on.  It wasn't the last post of the day that I lost.

No time to figure things out though, I had to switch gears and hop in a microwave truck to help out a crew that was experiencing some technical difficulties.

It seemed the crew that was covering the possible arrest of the Survivor producer at his home out on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

What can I say?


I got to bail on the desk duty which was very "zzzzzzz"!

Okay, staking out a guys home with the rest of the media circus isn't all that exciting, but you never know when someone might decide they aren't going to go quietly and things could get interesting.

They didn't, but still, you never know.

I made the drive to Palos Verdes and helped the crew working the story get on the air at 2:00pm.  I even hung out and kept an eye on the scene while they made a quick break run.

Sometimes the people in a neighborhood will feel some compassion for the media and invite us into their homes to, you know, freshen up.

Nobody was holding their breath for that kind of invitation.

Anyway, it was a great day to be out of the office and it didn't suck that it was a holiday and there was no traffic out on the roads.

I got to help save a live shot and that's always a nice feather in my cap.  It could have been a bigger deal if the story were bigger or if I had done something more cerebral than drive a van.

Heck, at least it got me out of the office.

After the crew came back, we swapped out trucks and I started heading back towards the station.  Just to punctuate what I was saying about how you never know when things might get interesting. . .

I saw smoke and flames as I drove along Anahiem street towards the 110 Freeway.  A small brush fire was burning in the nature preserve next to Harbor College and across from the oil refinery.

Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle!  I jumped out of the van and recorded what I could from the road side of the fence.  The fire department arrived and made short work of the blaze.

With the situation not likely to get out of hand (dang it) I drove the video back to the station and ended my day of chiefy chiefdom.

It's not that I mind sitting behind a desk, juggling schedules and tweaking the crew assign file, I just enjoy complaining about it and making it sem like it's less fun than working in the field.

Yeah, I know I don't sound convincing.

Come on, that's because that was a really cool fire.  I won't say, never, but you rarely get to see something like that from behind the desk.
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