Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pretty (hic!) Smooth

Silent Night

My best wishes for a happy holiday to all who take the time to follow along with my occasional rumblings.

Stay warm, enjoy the day and much love from me and mine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We were doing live shots in the snow about a week ago.  Lots of things have happened since hen, but I'm so wrapped up in little activities like preparing for the holidays that my normal lateness is turning into "super holiday lateness".

We got saved from a fate of liveshots from the drafty cold bridge (just past Gorman) to cover a big big-rig accident on he 5 near the 14.

Something like seven trucks were involved.  One truck jacknifed and six other truckers were gonna be late because of it.

Luckily nobody got hurt, but the trucks involved all suffered moderate to heavy damage.

The truck portion of the 5 was blocked, but "late" is a lot better than dead.  This accident happened just a couple of miles for where several people died when  a similar accident caused a fire.

That was one of the things I kept thinking about while I walked along the roadway in the rain.

We did a live shot for the 11pm newscast.  I got to go home at the end of the night instead of getting snowed in at the Flying J truck stop.  I got to walk along the freeway in the rain ( for some odd reason, I find this kind of fun).

Not a bad night.  Worse for the folks involved in the crash, but not bad at all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bitter Cold

It might not seem like any part of Southern California, but the light snow we got in the higher elevations we got last week is the closest we come to a winter snow storm.

Sure, it might pale in comparison to places where the snow actually covers the ground, but this is ours and it's still miserable for me to be standing around in it to do live shots.

The part of highway 5 near Gorman that routinely gets closed in snowy weather was once again the goto spot for me to bring a satellite truck and a bag packed with extra clothes (just in case I might be staying for a few days).

There were a couple of things I was happy about.

I was running the SAT truck and we weren't going to be hanging out on the bridge over the highway where the wind can pick up a man and send him flying to his death in front of oncoming traffic.

What?  Just because it hasn't happened, doesn't mean it couldn't.

I mean, with the way my luck went that night, I wouldn't have been surprised.

My little SAT truck that could, died on me.  Dish motor function malfunction and the only spot for a microwave shot from at area is the hated bridge.

Luckily we only did one live hit before the station pulled us for breaking news.

A big rig truck had caused a seven vehicle accident on the 5 near the 14.

Uh. . .wait, did I say, luckily?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Well, Blow Me Down!

I have never seen the kind of wind destruction in SoCal like we had in the last week.

Trees were tossed over like bowling pins all over the county.

I thought I'd really seen something impressive on the first night of the high winds.

A massive tree had been blown over in a Reseda neighborhood. Suzie Suh and I did live shots from the family's front yard for the late newscasts.

Maybe I was so impressed with the tree I'd found, but I had no idea the kind of damage that was being done everywhere else.

The next night I was with Juan Fernandez in Pasadena.

It was amazing.  Trees were down and streets were blocked all over the place.

It was the kind of damage you would expect after a hurricane or tornando and added to that, our unusually warm fall weather just suddenly went back to regular old cold.


I'm breaking out the thermals and doubling up on socks.

Yeah, and I'm also keeping an eye on the willow and eucalyptus trees at my house.  If 100 year old trees are toppling, I'm betting my bunch are just waiting for a good breeze to do some damage.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Week to Remember

I'm very grateful for the lack of greater violence during the eviction by LAPD of the Occupy LA protestors last week. It was an amazing news assignment. 

Not one I would have chosen, but one that I'm glad to have been involved with.  With a pregnant daughter on her last night in town, I would have been just as happy to skip the riot and been at home.

My total hours for the day clocked somewhere around twenty-three. Yeah, I know, ka-ching!

The only reason I wound up with so much overtime is that a lot of us were on the clock from early in the AM to cover the Conrad Murray sentencing.

If you were on that assignment, you got moved two blocks over from the criminal courts building to the LAPD headquarters directly across from the South lawn of City Hall.

Just a stone's throw from the middle of any potential mayhem.

Considering past protests (hi, Carl Stein), mayhem affecting me personally didn't seem far enough outside the realm of possibility.

I'd been running the satellite truck and didn't get pulled for any camera or ground crew assignment.  It made me feel a little sidelined, but there's always that bittersweet feeling when you might be avoiding getting hit in the head with a baton or have crap (figuratively and literally) hurled at you.

I did manage to snap a couple of still shots from the middle of the OLA encampment.

Not my best shots, but I'd left the big camera at home in the hopes my new smaller camera would be a suitable replacement.

It wasn't.

Then again, I'm just glad I had any sort of still camera with me. Can't say I'd trust my memory to recall the smaller details of the night.

Things moved slowly for the most part.  I was able to do some actual camera work from an overhead perch that I'm really better off saying less about.

My fellow Photogs probably still feel that I got off with an easy assignment compared to the crews who were live with handheld shots for several hours.

I think we were all potentially exposed to the dangers of the situation.

As grueling as things were for everyone that night.  By the time the sun came up the next morning, we were probably all just thankful that it never got worse than it did.

I'm still recovering from the week, but as always, I'm looking forward to the next big thing.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Some Joy

I've had many an adventure in the past few weeks. Stuff that even curled my toes a little (Occupy L.A., I'm looking at you). I've got a few minutes while waiting for my truck at the car wash, so here are some pictures that represent the most important assignment I've had in recent days.

I think I might have mentioned that my middle daughter and her husband are expecting their first child.

Early morning shifts, late nights and hella long days kept me pretty busy during her visit, but we were determined to set up "Studio Be" and get some shots of the very preggers Mrs. Francis.

I wish I had more time to say all of how I feel. There some events more important than others in life and this was one that will carry me through the darkest days of news.

I have to go, but I'm glad I got a chance to share a few shots. I'm pretty happy right now.
I hope it spreads a bit.