January 2010


I slept in today after a night out yesterday and didn’t do much until I had to go to work this evening. Saturday is usually a pretty chill night to work but the station was bustling tonight. The main news set underwent to renovation today with a partial redesign of the backdrops. That work went on through the day and up until just 10 minutes before we went on air. Everyone seems very fond of the new design. The more abstract background partially obscured with panes of frosted glass was replaced with a mural of the New Orleans skyline and flanked darker hued backdrops on the sides. We also debuted new on screen graphics for the show open and supers.In addition to the goings on here at the station, plenty is happening in Miami as well where the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl will be played in the coming week. With the exception of weather personnel, a majority of our talent is in Miami for live broadcasts. John and Nancy are there, the morning crew and all of our sports people.Tonight we did a special hour-long newscast largely comprised of feature stories and live hits from Miami. Shelley was in studio as usual. Shelley opened the show and eventually tossed to John and Nancy. Rob and Kim also appeared on the show and had packages. All three sports guys appeared live in Miami as well. Several of the pieces were about the city of Miami itself and the residents there. I can only assume that sort of exposition will continue as the week goes on. After the show ended, Travis asked me to stay a little while longer and hold down the assignment desk while he took care of something. I was able to leave for the night at 10:20. When I got home I watched the new episode of Caprica I missed a day or so ago. I saw the pilot months ago when it was put out on DVD. This, the second episode was even better. The series does look promising. I also started watching a movie and talked to Krystle on the phone before finally going to bed.

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Out and About

I took Friday of today to relax a bit and get some laundry done. Overall I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. This evening I heard from Andrey who was organizing a little outing this evening. The turnout was ultimately smaller than he anticipated. Andrey picked me up from home and we drove out to Tulane to pick up Romi.We went from there to La Thai this evening where they were having some event called SiP:PM. The restaurant basically converted to a club with a DJ for the evening. Defend New Orleans was sponsoring the event in some fashion. After an hour or so hanging out there we decided to check out Karma, a recurring party sponsored by a Tulane student organization at Nirvana. When we got to the door we learned there were already some 200 people there… quite a lot for the cramped location. Instead we went to the Ohm Lounge downtown which was comparatively deserted. They had a DJ spinning house music with only a couple patrons and two bartenders there. It was nice being able to stretch out and relax in their “VIP area.” We might have spent an entire hour here before moving on.Our last stop for the evening was Whiskey Blue. I bought a round of drinks and we retreated to one of the seating areas just outside the bar. We were there until around three I think. I took a cab home from the hotel and went to bed. The next place we stopped in to was Le Phare at the Loft 523 hotel. There was a decent but not overwhelming crowd there. It’s a lovely place with interesting, subtle décor and comfortable furniture. After getting drinks we relaxed on what I could only call beds they had situated down opposite the bar. ‘DJ Jive’ was spinning some sort of house music… I think.

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Friday and Saturday

I never ended up at the doctor’s office today although I intended on working today having already taken Wednesday off. I do not recall making the most of the free time either. I worked Saturday night, but I don’t remember much. Our intern named Brian was there for a few hours. I think I had five happiness for dinner.

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Argentine Tango

I took the day off yesterday to relax, catch up on TV watching and get some laundry done. I “accomplished” all those things. Today I went to the office and again didn’t have a great deal to do with no freshly released patient charts on my desk. Dad drove me down Canal Street at four so I could catch the uptown/downtown Tulane shuttle. I disembarked at the Reily Center so I could stop by and pickup a club sports pass for ballroom this semester.With that taken care of I went to the LBC for a while and worked on log entries. I went to the Hebert building for my history class around 5:30. This evening’s lecture covered the Indian wars and the Spanish-American War. Class was dismissed at around eight.After class I went to PJ’s on Willow to relax for a while before ballroom dancing this evening. There were about 50 people on hand for the first ballroom session of the semester. Turnout was half of last term but there was no club sports expo to advertise us.The first dance style we’re doing this term is argentine tango. I managed to stumble through the opening steps without stepping on any toes. Andrey and I left ballroom a couple minutes early to meet up with David and Patrick at the theater in Elmwood. Earlier in the evening I spoke with David and told me they were going to see a 10:05 showing of The Book of Eli. I didn’t want to show up late but between leaving a bit early and the trailers, we arrived in plenty of time.The film it self was pretty interesting. The plot demands that I not discuss the movie in any detail with someone who hasn’t seen it. I will say that I enjoyed the movie a great deal and I think it is a fine film. I have not walked out of a movie theater impressed in quite some time.After the movie I got a ride to the Boot and caught a cab home from there.

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I don’t remember having any real work to do this afternoon at the doc’s office. I went to WVUE for four this evening. A lot of the script for the five o’clock news was late arriving, a source of mild frustration. I wasn’t in the mood for the leftover pizza from last night so I ordered sweet and sour chicken from Five Happiness instead. During the break between newscasts I wrote a “rest of” story regarding the rain and snow storms bombarding California. It was hard to write just 20 seconds of material when there was so much happening related to the bad weather there. There was flash flooding, mud slides, erosion of coastal cliffs, thousands without power and a 21 year-old man was killed in his sleep Monday when a huge tree was blown down and crushed his house. We also seemed to lack good video to put over the reading. I looked at available video on Pathfire and there was nothing particularly spectacular. We ended up airing aerial footage of vehicles driving through high water.I struggled with it for about an hour but I solicited some advice from Snell who again offered some good points. I did get the impression he was being too nice and holding back how he really felt. I didn’t like my first draft either.The nine o’clock news went well enough and my story made air. There were no major crimes on the scanners tonight although there was an apparent stabbing in the quarter. It was most curious because it was later remarked as a 103-F, a “fight.” Curious, to say the least. I quickly got a cab this evening. The driver was very polite and accommodating. I was a couple bucks short and I forgot to stop at an ATM on the way home. I talked to Krystle on the phone for a little while before bed.

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As this was Martin Luther King Jr. day, I didn’t go to the doctor’s office this morning as we were closed. Before leaving the house for my shift at Fox 8, I started a drive mirroring on my desktop. I have been meaning to make a full backup of my main drive which has Windows 7 and XP partitions on it. A backup drive should save me loads of time if something happens to my C drive.Printing the five o’clock news was not particularly hectic today. Unfortunately it was a violent day in New Orleans with a few shootings on the westbank. I wanted to get dinner from Italian Pie this evening but they weren’t answering the phone so I decided to try Domino’s “new recipe” pizza. I haven’t eaten their pizza in quite a while and for good reason. Their recent ads suckered me into giving them a try again. In short, their pizza sucks less than it used to but I still prefer Papa John’s by far.The nine o’clock news went fine and the scanners were quiet enough this evening. I got home around one.

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Jack is Back

I slept in this morning I and I don’t recall doing much in the afternoon outside of watching football. The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings played today. The Saints will face the winner of that game in the NFC championship next week. The game was essentially a blowout for Brett Favre and the Vikings. They won 34-3.I went to WVUE for five this evening. Our weekend newscast started an hour late at 10 PM tonight because Fox was airing a two hour 24 premiere special at eight. I’m a fan of the show myself although I certainly would have minded an earlier air time. I watched the first hour on the desk and then tuned it out because I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to the end of the second hour. The implications of the Vikings game dominated the newscast although we did run a story on the Haiti earthquake.The Final Play show went smoothly enough, although guess Jonathan Vilma barely arrived in time for air at 10:30. With that and the morning sports taping, I wasn’t able to leave for the evening until 11:20. After I got home I watched the second hour of the 24 premiere before bed.

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NFC Champions

It seemed like everyone at Fox was working today. Myself and the other two PM PA’s were called in for noon today. I slept in this morning and spent nearly all of my waking hours at the station. We did a pregame show from 2-5 and then a post game show after today’s Saints game. WVUE did a three hour pre-game show for the championship matchup at 5:40. I was at the station well before air time but it didn’t seem that me or the other desk personnel had any role in it. I suppose I was called in early just to help with the phones which weren’t that bad. What I saw of the pre-game show seemed to go pretty smoothly. There were only a couple minor hiccups. The broadcast differed from our previous shows in that we didn’t have anyone adjacent to the Superdome. Instead, Fox8 cosponsored a stage with Coors on South Rampart street at Girod. John and Nancy were positioned on a platform some distance from the stage. Bob Breck appeared on stage to introduce a couple of the musical acts. We also had reporters scattered around to cover the tailgating downtown. We went off the air at five and the FOX Sports pre-game show started. Without an actual newscast this evening, most of the newsroom staff was largely free to watch the game in its entirety. I know this log doesn’t need to document the game itself in detail. It won’t be forgotten anytime soon. I can say that it was like a lot of game, down to the wire… more so than usual. There were a good number of people in the newsroom to watch the game. Me and the other assignment desk folks, Mike, John and Nancy and the directors and producers were there. They had food brought in at five which was nice.The game was a see-saw of momentum changes. Neither team ever led by more than a touchdown. At the end of regulation the game was tied. The Saints won the coin toss for first overtime possession, kicked a field goal and won their first trip to the Super Bowl.Everyone at the station was “visibly elated” with the win, to put it mildly. I was ecstatic myself, in shock really. Immediately after the game ended we could see scores of people flood Bourbon Street which was looked nearly deserted seconds before. The police scanners lit up as well with various crowd control traffic. Overall however, things were pretty calm considering the insane number of people in the streets. Over the course of the evening there were no major crime incidents.About a half hour after the game ended and the trophy presentation took place, we began our own post game show with fan reactions, reports from downtown, at the dome, highlight clips, etc. It went for a good while too. We were on the air until 1:45 AM. I finally went home after we finished the broadcast at around two, finishing up a 14 hour workday.

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Saints Win Divisional

I had the day off on Friday and did exactly nothing. This afternoon, I watched the Saints first playoff game versus the Arizona Cardinals. I was expecting a tighter contest but New Orleans rolled over the Cardinals 45-14. During the game I spent some time trying to fix a small Thinkpad I bought a couple months ago but I didn’t have any luck. I went into work this afternoon a bit later so I could watch the game in full at home before leaving tonight. When I arrived at the station at 6:45, our short post game show was already underway. This evening’s newscast featured some live Saints stuff and generally went off without incident. I left for the evening on time at 10. I think I finished watching Braveheart this evening. I saw the movie years ago but I rented to blu-ray.

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State of Play

I spent most of the workday at the office today updating the books and clearing old charts off my desk. We left for the day at six. This evening, I watched some TV including Monday’s episode of Hustle, a BBC show. I also watched State of Play and talked to Ami on the phone before heading to bed.

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Cabin Fever

I don’t recall anything extraordinary happening at the doctor’s office this afternoon. I ordered pizza for lunch and took the leftovers to the station for dinner later tonight. It was not quite as cold today but it was a violent night in New Orleans. There were seven shootings and three murders in a matter of hours. One of the incidents took place during our late newscast. When I started monitoring the scanners shortly after 10 I was expecting another major incident but this were quiet enough until I went home for the evening at 12:30. Travis was out at a scene in Marrero and got back to the station around 11.

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I had some mild symptoms over the weekend but I felt quite bad this morning with a sore throat and the sniffles. I don’t remember much from work at the doctor’s office this afternoon. I muddled through work at Fox 8 this evening. Dad was kind enough to bring me some Tylenol and a snack after we went off the air at six. I managed to get through the rest of the evening alright but I was glad to go home and to bed.

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I let a whole week go by without a log entry and I was debating how much time to put into catching up. I’ve decided to do a half-assed job.Last Tuesday, we had a bowl game to wait for prior to going on the air with the late news show finally finished around 11:45. As soon as I was done prompting I learned of a shooting that happened almost an hour before. I elected not to send anyone.On Friday, I received a Nintendo DSi that I purchased the day before. I really didn’t need it but was sufficiently curious about any potential improvements over the DS lite which I have been using frequently with a flash card to play old games with emulators. It’s a very incremental upgrade and not really worth the $170 I paid. It might prove to be more valuable in the future if the homebrew scene can make use of the increased CPU power and RAM. I will probably sell my Lite to offset my stupidity.I worked at the station Saturday and Sunday evening. I spent a good portion of Saturday evening hanging out with the sports photographer, Edwin who was editing a few things. He was following the Cardinals/Packers game with great interest because he and Rob would be flying to the winning team’s city the following morning. Obviously, Phoenix offers considerably better weather. Arizona pulled off a win with a turnover and touchdown in overtime. Edwin had the last laugh after some taunting from other folks in edit world.I went with Andrey and his little brother to Baton Rouge Sunday afternoon to go ice skating. I went with him last year for an evening outing that was pretty fun. I didn’t enjoy myself quite as much this time though. The Centroplex, which we went to last year was no longer open for public skating sessions. Instead, we went to a place called Leo’s Ice Skating & Hockey Complex. They had a full size rink that was nearly overflowing with little kids thanks to a couple birthday parties being held there. The session was well underway when we arrived. The ice was in need of resurfacing and it was littered with children. They were also permitting people to use plastic chairs as walkers on the ice, something I never saw skating on Colorado.After the skating session ended we went to find a place to eat. We ended up at Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse on Airline highway. I had the crawfish etoufee and Andrey and his brother both had hamburger steaks. My food was good and my sample of the hamburger steak was also quite good.Following dinner we drove back to New Orleans. Andrey dropped me off at WVUE for work this evening. Work was not particularly eventful. We had Jonathan Vilma in for Final Play this evening, a first in a couple weeks.

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Fiesta Bowl

I must have stayed up too late last night because I was terribly tired this morning and didn’t feel great through the day. I skipped lunch at the doctor’s office.By this afternoon I felt better. Preparation for the five o’clock news was more lively due to a big development in the Tim Whitmer ‘scandal’ with his resignation after not quite 30 years of service as Jefferson Parish CAO. The evening newscast was delayed this evening by the Fiesta Bowl which we were airing this evening. We had to wait for the football game and post game to show to end before we went on air. We finally did go on shortly after 11. That newscast went just fine. We certainly had enough time to prepare it and we only did a half-hour show.I wasn’t alone long for monitoring the scanners. I was fortunate to have another evening with no shootings or other calamities. I was late in getting to bed this evening. I watched yesterday’s Top Gear episode and found myself playing Nintendo until almost 4 AM.

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