Friday, November 23, 2012

One Week Done

Much of my week was spent simply trying force myself to go to bed early in the evening. Having to get up at 2:30AM all week wasn't easy. My bed time was 6:30PM'ish (I never went to bed on time).
Still, You'll be happy to know, I did manage to get enough sleep so I wasn't nodding off in traffic.
The last couple of stories the first week weren't all that exciting for me. The Hostess bakery strike didn't cause me to rush out and stock up on Twinkies, but I still feel like the workers were in the right for not letting the company management pad their pockets while making claims they needed to cut wages and benefits to be viable (let alone profitable).
Hostess might be one of several companies who it seems would rather sacrifice their business before being realistic about how Obamacare is going to impact their bottom line.
Sorry, Hostess. I'm not buying it. Your workers deserved better and as your executives sail into the sunset with all the money from their mismanaged company, I hope they all someday suffer for their greed.
Hopefully, the company will be replaced in the industry with something that makes better sense and the workers will be able to survive the current complete loss of their jobs.
That's Barry. He he helped me get our reporter on TV that particular morning with a long cable run. He also picked up some Hostess products (Twinkies and Ding Dongs) for the live shot.
Hi, Barry. You did a great job.
Another cool morning assignment was the morning after the new Lakers coach was hired.
It might seem silly to be standing out in front of Staple Center way early in the morning when even the most hard core fan was likely asleep.
Hey, we do live shots. You know?
It was also a beautiful morning. Look at that gorgeous light. Bravo.
The fact is, I love putting people on TV. Plus, it also gives me a great opportunity to snap a few pictures. The variety and random nature of where I'll be on any given day is wonderful for the still photographer in me.
My week of early mornings is almost over. I made it to work on time every day and managed to go to bed every evening nearly on time.
It was a challenge for me, but I'll admit, I will miss the folks on the early morning shift. They have a unique perspective on what we do and I appreciated the opportunity to share their sunrise take on news.
I have a few more pictures to share and a couple more stories to tell about my second week of early AM shifts, but I need to get a little more sleep.
It's 1:00am and I'll need to get up for work soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cold Morning Light

It's been weeks since I last actually sat down to write up a proper blog post. Other forms of social media, while not nearly as satisfying, have become my primary method of staying in touch with people who find what I do for a living interesting.
Just an observation.
Maybe one or two weeks out of the year I have the opportunity to work an early AM morning shift.
Yeah, I must be out of my freaking mind.
As crazy as it might sound, I actually enjoy the experience. It just takes a different kind of news photographer to do that shift on a regular basis and I'm not that guy.
Anyway, if you were following the story about the possible assault and/or abduction that occurred overnight in the El Sereno area.
Sorry, if I'm a little sketchy on the details it's only because the victim and suspect seem to have completely disappeared.
The fact that nobody from the area has come forward to report anyone missing makes this case particularly troublesome for law enforcement.
I could tell you that the world is a dangerous place and I shudder to think what could have happened (could be happening) to the victim in this story.
In the cold of the morning as the sun was rising and giving gorgeous color to the landscape, I was ready with my camera and more concerned with making sure nothing went by unnoticed that we would need to put the story on the news.
I kept an eye out for the Public Information Officer while being ready to record video of anything the police were doing that would help us tell the story of what was happening.
I left the scene before anything conclusive was discovered. Clothes that matched the description of what the woman was wearing was found in the hills.
After the morning newscast, I was given another assignment and the search was finally called off late that day.
More questions than answers and the nagging fear that someone needed to be saved, but there were no heroes to come to her rescue.
I finished my shift, went home and went to sleep almost as soon as the sun went down. I'm going to be on the early shift for another week and if you ask me, when do I get used to it all?
The shift? Never.
The sadness in stories like this?  Yeah, same answer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Lions and Lambs

I'm not trying to write a scholarly thesis on the subject of good and evil here. Try to keep in mind, these are just random thoughts I'm stringing together in a way that might make some sort of sense.
On my first day back at work after my vacation, I was quickly reminded that people exist in this world who care very little about human life.
The wall in the photo above is part of a church. Members of the church confronted a female who was tagging the wall.
Suspects got out of a nearby car and opened fire on the church members. One man was killed. Police are still searching for the suspects.
I learned about all of this at a press conference held on the sidewalk outside of the church.
My station had a crew in the area most of the day, well into the night.
It's frustrating to know that there really isn't a solution to this sort of violence. Well, at least I don't believe there's any sort of permanent solution.
There have always been people who will take advantage of those who choose a non-violent path in life. That's the easy way. As long as you have the advantage in strength (physical or through weapons), you can choose to take from others.
There's always going to be people who choose the easy way.
It might seem like i'm down on society, but i'm not. Criminals get caught and they suffer the consequences for their actions. Not as often as I'd like, but it's not a war to be won. It's a war that we fight.
The important thing is to never give in.
We're not all soldiers who take up arms. We also fight by being those who have faith in the laws of our society. We also fight by being those who simply live without taking from others.
Sure, I always want more justice in the world. We can work on that. In the meantime, I'm content to live in a world of people of faith.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Did You Miss Me?

Lots going on in the background, but nothing that I was ready to post about on the blog. Mostly I was being hammered by long hours at work. I think since about the middle of summer, the amount of over-time falling into my lap was both lucrative and challenging.

It started out simply as an hour or two a day. Not every day. Just a lot of days.

Then I got a few special assignments that required me to work long double-shifts. Nothing back to back, but I started feeling as if I wasn't catching up on getting any rest.

Run down. No time to get anything done outside of work. Oddball hours made exercise in any sort of routine manner difficult and usually the first thing on the to-do list that got bumped.

Was there any dramatic "life falling apart" types of things going on? Nope. Just tired, very very tired and finding myself having to make conscious decisions to let some things go in order to keep up with the demands of my job.

It helps that I enjoy what I do for a living. If I hated working in news, well, maybe I'd put more effort into avoiding the extra hours. As it was (maybe as it is), I didn't mind volunteering or stepping up when he opportunity for an interesting assignment came my way.

The political conventions nearly killed me.

Sure, that's exaggeration, but truthfully, I've never worked as hard as I did in Tampa and Charlotte. My reporter (Dave Bryan) and I managed to get the job done, but we were pretty beat up after it was all over.

I got some rest and went back to my regular routine of having a routine that regularly gets changed. Some days I work nightshift and some days I work day shift. Some days I work at home before going into the station.

Mostly I just work.

I needed a break. I needed a vacation. I needed to have some time where I didn't have to "do" any of the things that I've been doing and as much as possible, cut myself some slack.

That was last week.

As things sometimes have a way of working themselves out, After a pretty cool start over the first weekend of my vacation, I got sick on Monday and was pretty much down for the count the rest of the week.

A lot of friends and family sent sympathy through Facebook and cell phones. Most felt it was sad that my vacation was wasted on being sick in bed.

Everyone was pretty wrong about that.

I spent my vacation doing exactly what I wanted to do.

Blissful, heavenly, nothing.

I mostly watched TV, got my level 84 Warrior finally to level 85 and read books and magazines until I was almost caught up on my reading (there's always more to read, thank goodness).

For the first time in quite a while, I was able to relax and not do anything. That's really all I needed.

Some people feel as if every day has to be filled with doing something. Well, I do a lot, but for me, just the act of doing something isn't enough of a purpose. I need a clear head and I need time to think. Even if I'm simply laying in bed and staring off into space, that's precious to me. In a life where I get to go and do and see more than most people, sometimes I want the opportunity to simply see and observe.

So, again, that was last week. This week, I'm heading back to work.

I'm rested. I'm ready. I'm looking forward to going out and covering the news.

Also, two days ago I bought a 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic motorcycle and that, my friends, is what we like to call, burying the lead.
Gotta go to work. Well talk about this later.