Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fine Powder

We managed to find some snow to play in.

Twenty-five minutes after my tweet saying that it was snowing, the ground was covered in a fine coating of snow.

It thickened as we got the little one dressed for the occasion.

As you can see, she liked getting dressed a lot better than posing for pictures in the snow.

We tried catching snowflakes on our tongues.

But settled for just catching some memories.

Then I got creative.

Oh, and I got cold this time, confirming that it must be the humidity that contributes to that bone-chilling nature of Louisiana cold temperatures.

What Cold?

I was in Houston and missed the snow in Baton Rouge.

We got excited when the flakes began falling in NW Houston. It had been a few years since I had seen some snow, and it was the Li'l Crumbsnatcher's first time. I'm not sure she really knew what was happening, but she seemed to have a good time anyway.

Not much accumulated, but that was okay. We were happy with what we had. We were, that is, until the next morning, when the big set began beaming news reports of three inches of snow on the ground 20 minutes east of us.

As I watched the weather system slide eastward, I turned to the interweb for the scoop on the Cap City. Wouldn't you know it, two weeks after we move from Baton Rouge, they see some great snowfall. C'est la vie.

Now we're spending some time in Cleveland while the Mrs. undergoes some training for her new job. A winter storm warning is in effect begining at 4 p.m. EST for the area, so we may get some of that white stuff that caused such a ruckus last week. I'm looking forward to it, though it may keep me here at the hotel all day, rather than taking in the city.

L.C. and I went for a walk around the block earlier, and while it was cold, it didn't seem too bad. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the noon news to find that it was 23 degrees! My hands weren't even cold in my gloves! I've been on the sidewalk of a 3 a.m. crime scene in the upper 20's that felt colder than this. It must be the humidity in Louisiana, because the cold just seeps right through whatever clothing you happen to be wearing and settles right on your skin. It never mattered what kind of gloves I wore, because they would never keep my hands warm. Today I wore the same pair of gloves and they stayed warm the whole hour I was outside.

You can give me this kind of cold any time of the year.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thank you, Everyone

For some more than kind words about me, check out this post by Turdpolisher.

It's true, I have dropped the Deuce after spending nearly 6.5 years roaming the marbled hallways, mostly because I was lost. That place can be a maze!

It is with some sadness that I take my leave, because I believe the news dept. there has a chance of getting back on top in the ratings. The competition's grip is slipping, beginning with splitting up an anchor team that has dominated for decades.

Some of the recent hires at Channel 2 have the potential to take them to the top. The city also has great potential, and if it gets its act together, I may return in a few years.

I'd like to say thank you to all the great people I'm leaving behind. Many of you have taught me how to be a better journalist, while others have just been there for me and my family in our time of need. If I took the time to name names, I'd leave someone out, so I'll just say that if we talked at length, you were someone special.

Thank you all for a great ride.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big News

Well, Ike sloshed the Gulf of Mexico into my parent's home. The good news is that it was about five feet less than the storm surge from Rita. It also seems to have risen slowly, so it didn't do as much damage to well built houses. Mobile homes didn't fare as well; once the water came up, the pressboard that makes up the walls disintegrated.

As far as the town is concerned, its recovery is coming along faster, since most of the infrastructure is still standing and connected. Nearly all the powerlines had to be restrung after Rita, but they were still there after Ike. Mom and Dad are actually living there right now. They are back in their loft over the garage while working on getting the house back in shape.

As for me and the family, change is coming fast. The Mrs. just accepted a job in Houston, and we will be moving soon. I've turned in my resignation at the Deuce, though I don't have anything lined up at the moment. I have faith that I'll find something great. I think I need a break from news, though. I've stared into the abyss, and all that jazz, and things were beginning to get pretty dark for me. I feel an exhilaration at not knowing what's coming. The future is bright with possibility.

Those that know me personally know that this move has been coming for a long time. Little Lost Robot just happened to beat me to it. Maybe he and I can get together and find some work.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Again

Those left alive after Hurricane Audrey hit Cameron in 1957 thought they had seen the storm of their lives. They were wrong.

In 2005 Hurricane Rita made landfall on the western coast of Cameron Parish, bringing more damage than Audrey, but far less loss of life. Fifty years of technological advancement allowed the people of the parish to know exactly when the storm would arrive, helping them to leave well ahead of it. Many said they never thought they would see another storm like Audrey, and some of them left the lower part of the parish for good.

For those who made the choice to stay and rebuild, the hope was that it would be another 50 years or more before that kind of damage would be dealt again. They got three.

Hurricane Ike is currently gliding across the Gulf of Mexico on a collision course with Galveston Island, TX. The national media is focusing on the devastation that may come to the fourth largest city in the nation. What is being left out is that Cameron Parish is predicted to receive nearly the same amount of storm surge as it did three years ago; a tide high enough to submerge most of the buildings that survived the previous storm, and may take some of the homes built to the higher flood elevation after Rita.

The few people who remain there tonight are packing their lives once more into their vehicles. They will try to sleep tonight, and leave early in the morning. A 6' tide is expected tonight: one that will not recede. As those few sleep, a full complement of sheriff's deputies are patrolling the parish, watching the water to alert them should it reach a threatening level. As they lie in their beds, awaiting slumber that will prove fitful at most, they hope and pray that the predictions are wrong.

Please, God, let them be wrong.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gustav: Aftermath

It's been a week since the storm hit, and operations are returning to normal.

Last week, as I drove home, each night brought more and more signs of recovery. A full blackout the first night, then a couple of streets the second night, and so on, to where power outages in the metro area are now isolated, rather than widespread.

We got power late Friday night, as I had predicted, and cable came back Sunday night. After peering through the snow of my rabbit ears, the HD signal from cable never looked so good. I really need to get a decent antenna for this kind of situation.

Last week was a busy week, with my shortest day being only 10 hours or so on Friday. I got a break over the weekend, but I could use a few more days to recover.

I've been eating decently, but yesterday realized that I haven't had my post-storm MRE. It's become almost a tradition to have one after covering a storm in a hard-hit area, and BR was hard hit. I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for one.

My work e-mail was full, with over 70 storm related messages. I only got time to put them into a folder of their own, so I'll be going through them later, and maybe blogging the highlights.

As for work, we are S.N.A.F.U., per usual. It was good to just go out an do stories last week, without having so much oversight. Now we're back to being told what to do and how to do it.

My first story of the week is from Denham Springs, and the supply line there. I like the first half, but the second half suffers due to time constraints.

D.S. Depot

Now, it's a look forward to Ike. It looks like it could be just as bad as Rita in the Cameron and Lake Charles areas. Hopefully the storm surge predictions are artificially high, and they won't see 10' of surge...hopefully.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

G-day +1

It's Tuesday and I slept well. The coverage of the aftermath begins today.

I pick up my bedroll and make my way to a bathroom to brush my teeth. Unfortunately that route takes me through the newsroom, and being the first photog in sight tags me with the 9 a.m. presser being held by the Governor.

I make my way there and discover that my tripod has not made it there with me. The last place I remember seeing it was at LDWF the day before. Time to improvise. Thankfully the presser is set up next to a counter, which I put to great use to get a rock solid shot.

After the Governor leaves by helicopter, I get saddled with babysitting Mobile 31 and the GOHSEP, until the Governor returns from his helo tour of the southeast part of the state. I believe I have related the demise of Mobile 31, but it was revived to become a shadow of its former self. At any rate it carries me through the traffic to retrieve my sticks, then to a refueling near the station.

I can't believe how many people were on the roads today; many of whom had no business doing so. Lines formed at supermarkets and gas stations, which caused traffic jams on the nearby streets. All the traffic lights in town are out, and anyone who has driven in Baton Rouge knows that the drivers here don't know what to do if a signal isn't working right. They blow through dead lights and stop at flashing cautions.

Getting back to the GOHSEP, I find a working fiber line, which almost negates the need for my presence. So I settle in and grab a bit of Wi-Fi to update the blog.

Jindal just finished his briefest briefing of the storm, and he is going to be putting the whip to the power companies to get the people juiced quickly.

Tonight I'll be headed home. I know I can get there, because my wife and daughter already have. We have no power, but we also don't have any damage. I'm not supposed to report to work until Noon, so maybe I'll get to spend some time with them and the hum of the brand-new portable generator.

Gustav Strikes

After a night on the extra firm mattress that was the conference room floor, I woke with the light of day coming through the windows. It's G-day.

I pulled on my rain gear and left the station to meet up with the crew who had the sat truck. We left it with them in Dutchtown, and got it from them at the U.S.S. Kidd in Baton Rouge. Obviously I was dealing with a rookie, since the truck only had about a quarter-tank of fuel and all the cable connectors were wet. Not a good way to start the day.

After filling the truck, we were sent to the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, where the agents were staging for Search and Rescue operations. The got started earlier than they expected.

At the height of the storm, a man drove up to the entrance to the parking lot, which was blocked by a tree, felled by the wind. He leaped over the tree and yelled to the agents watching the storm's fury, "A tree fell on a house, and people are trapped!" The agents sprang into action grabbing hatchets and chainsaws and loading up into 4x4 pickups to help. Chris N. and Ken B. followed them to report. Unfortunately two of the three were crushed and killed by the 60' tall red oak that cut through the home like a knife.

I stayed with the truck and shot video of the wind whipped rain lashing the assembled trucks, trailers, Hummers and boats. The wind also did a number on the Christian Life Acadamy ball field next door, and dropped another tree that I was able to record.

When the guys got back they cut a package, then I pulled the truck into the shelter of the building to put the dish up and access the satellite. Cell phones and Nextel were next to useless, and I had to try three times to access, because the phone kept dropping the call as I was trying to raise the power.

As the wind died down to a dull roar, we ventured out into the nearby neighborhood to get some video of the damage. Through streets had been turned into dead ends and intersections became cul-de-sacs with the number of trees that had fallen. As I was driving, a tree fell right next to me, with the branches hitting the roof of the van.

We set up for our last live shot of the day in front of the house that had become the story of the storm. Crews were beginning to remove the tree to recover the couple pinned beneath it. These people had evacuated to Baton Rouge from Abbeville to escape the storm, but it found them anyway.

After getting back to the station, I headed home to assess the damage, if I could get there. Baton Rouge was in a blackout. The only lights visible outside of the downtown area were the lights of the vehicles on the roads. As I crested the overpass at 4-H Club Rd., I saw a welcome sight. Range Avenue had power, and the businesses near the interstate were a shining beacon in the darkness.

The darkness took over at the end of Range, and it was slow going as I worked my way down Hwy. 16. I managed to get a half-mile from my subdivision, but was finally stopped by a power pole blocking the road.

I turned around and headed back to the station, and my little spot of floor in the conference room, which I found two hours earlier than the night before.

G-day -1

Posted on G-day +1.

On G-day -1 I thought I might be headed to the coast, or at least somewhere directly in the path of the storm. Instead I was headed to the Livingston Parish OEP. We went live with an evacuation order for the lower parts of the parish and the locations of shelters for those that needed them. Then we went to one of the towns included in the order for another live shot. From there we tried to get to the edge of Lake Maurepas, but couldn't get there without going all the way around to I-55. We were then directed to Prarieville to do another live shot with people filling sandbags. We found one man there who had been going nonstop for 4-5 hours. He got there to fill his own bags, then began helping whoever showed up who couldn't do it themselves.

After that we made a quick stop at a local Golden Arches to change into our rain gear and grab a quick bite of hot food. I've really got to thank the people working there. They were in the middle of closing, and they unlocked the doors for us and dropped a last little bit of food. If you're on the corner of Airline and Highland, tell 'em the big guy from Channel 2 sent you.

Our last live shot of the night was from Dutchtown High, where the Red Cross had a shelter open. It was quite a long drive, and we didn't use the satellite once. I went home and took a shower, grabbed a sleeping bag and a pillow, and headed for the station to sleep, which was about 2 a.m.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

History Lesson

It's time.

Beginning tomorrow, I'll be heading into the teeth of the storm, wherever that may be. 'Polisher is already out ahead of it. I'm not envious, I had preparations to make at home first.

In the six years that I've been working for the Deuce, I've covered Hurricane's Lili, Ivan (LA and AL aftermath), Katrina, and Rita, not to mention a few tropical storms in-between. Most of those were faced with a bit of trepidation, but that disappeared when I was in the thick of coverage.

Lili was my first, and I was scared sitting in Morgan City staring down a Cat. 5 storm. Luckily it weakened significantly before landfall. It was a good first storm.

Ivan found me in Buras, the southernmost tip of the boot. I spent 3 days there after it turned and hit the AL coast. A week later I was in Orange Beach covering the aftermath and the Gonzalez Jambalya Festival crew who was cooking free food for the workers and citizens.

Katrina was spent in Baton Rouge, because our management deemed the storm too dangerous to send us to New Orleans. I think it was a good play.

Rita hit home, literally. I missed out on the pre-storm trip to Cameron, and it was three days after the storm when I finally got to see the damage to my hometown.

This time it's different. I've got more on the line than I have in years past, and I really wish I could stay with my family. I can't ensure their saftey either way, but I want to be there for them, and hug them close when they're scared.

I can't do that from the inside of a sat truck, but you better believe that I will be doing everything to make sure that I stay safe to come home when the storm is gone.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Strong Finish

The Olympics are over, and I don't think I've ever watched the Games as much as I've watched the XXIX Olympic Summer Games.

I didn't watch much of the coverage on the extended networks, mainly because they weren't convenient for me, which leads to my first criticism of NBC's coverage: instead of showing us every match of the beach volleyball tournament the US teams played in, please show us some of the other sports. That's one of the great aspects of the Games; a chance to witness and learn about some of the less famous, but no less important, sports. A great match in table tennis is easily the rival of Federer/Nadal, except at a much faster pace. How about some archery highlights, and why only stills of the shooting? Was that some kind of anti-gun statement?

With all of that, I have seen some of the best athletic performances I can remember. Michael Phelps is just amazing to watch. Usain Bolt...yeah. The USA women's track team taking gold, silver, and bronze in one event. The men doing the same, with the bronze winner not just leaning, but diving for the finish line. That's giving it all you've got. The Women's Discus champion throwing for just 10 feet shorter than the men.

I've also been shown some of the heartbreak that comes when someone's focus isn't all that it could be, or they catch a bad break. Look at all the dropped batons in the relays. Some caused by a mishandling of the stick, but the team from Great Britain got caught up in the Jamaican's mess, lending to more of the crystalline clutter of shattered dreams littering the floor of the Olympic stadium.

The montage that concluded the telecast summed all of this up nicely, and I was brought to tears when I once more saw the feat of strength accomplished by the German weight lifter who lost his wife just before the Games.

I had to stop at this point, and now I've lost my focus, so I guess I'll end it here. My only wish is that we get a network soon that will broadcast the Games in 720p. 1080i just can't keep up with the action. I saw this for myself most clearly during the platform diving competitions. As the divers fell past the stands, everything would digitize. I checked it on the SD channel, and it was there as well, but harder to notice because of the lower resolution. My TV has a freeze frame feature that allowed me to check the image quality and remove the variable of LCD motion blur.

At any rate the Summer Games are in the book, and I'm looking forward to the Winter Games in 18 months.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WOW!

Heads up!
A kite surfer flies for free in Florida.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Big Boom

Besides being a rockin' song by Jonathan Coulton, it's what an unfortunate woman experienced Tuesday.

I guess her state of fortune depends on how you look at her situation. She got up, and went to the kitchen to fix her breakfast, but before she could get her first cup of coffee, she got an unwelcome wake-up.

When she turned on the stove, it ignited the natural gas that had filled her home, reducing it to a pile of rubble from which she escaped with only first-degree burns and her life.

I think I did a pretty good job on LM's standup, which you'll need to pay attention to for the full effect.

Big Boom

Gymnast-iness

What do these Olympic judges have against us?

As bad as the judging has been, and it has been horrific, I find many of the routines lacking. I'm not a gymnast and the only knowledge I have of the sport is what I've gleaned from years of watching Olympic telecasts. I only say this so you know the authority with which I speak.

Can't anyone stick a landing these days? The majority of the actual routines were spectacular, but it seems like no one can actually stand still at the end of them. Past champions have been decided by something so small as the twitch of a toe, but present day medalists have been outright spasming on the mats.

Which leads to the judging. How can you explain a person winning a medal after belly-flopping on the landing? Apparently you get extra points for landing on your face. I guess it adds a higher degree of difficulty.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reporting Olds

Edouard - the storm that missed.

While 'Polisher was dealing with his trials and tribulations, I was blissfully unaware of what the next 24 hours would bring me.

If I recall correctly, he gave me a ring around 6:30 p.m. I was headed home, he was headed to Cameron. During the second to last day of trial coverage, Mobile 30's generator developed a terminal problem. It only left for the shop the day before Edouard was scheduled to make landfall, so I knew I wouldn't be driving it down to the coast. I didn't question why we weren't sending a crew to Cameron: with no sat truck and Eddy just a tropical storm I didn't see a real need to cover it. The next morning I get a call from the desk and find out I will be headed over there as soon as I get to work. I'll be taking a laptop to FTP the story back, if we don't have time to drive it back.

Let's see, a three hour trip one way, leaving after 9 a.m., and the station wants two packages. Oh, the first is for the 5 p.m. show... it didn't make it.

We arrived at high noon, just after the contingent from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. We bagged some interviews from them, and I took a ride in a Blackhawk to see what happened on the West Side of the Calcasieu River. It was the fastest way to ensure that we got the video. After I get back on the ground, we found the cluster of three homes with damage, recorded a couple more interviews and decided what to do next.

It was 2 p.m. If the first story was going to make it back for five, we weren't driving it back. That meant that we were going to use FTP. My parents house was a known quantity in that it had power and a working internet connection. What it didn't have was bandwidth. I began trying to send the story at 3:40 p.m. Thanks to the super slow Cameron Communications connection, the FTP server wouldn't stay connected, and the story missed the five.

Eventually we ended up a block away at the Cameron Library parking lot. I found their Wi-Fi and stretched the laptop's power cable across the rain-soaked asphalt to the outdoor outlet. A few minutes later the story was in the station's computers and ready for the 6 p.m. show.

It should be noted that when we called and told the station that it didn't look like the story was going to make the six either, we were asked if we could go to a Starbucks. The nearest one might be an hour away, if it's still open, so it still wasn't going to make it. To let you know, Cameron doesn't even have a fast food chain restaurant, and people there don't really have the disposable income for expensive coffee. The other question was if any of the other stations still had a sat truck in the area, but the last left around one p.m.

They were there to report news...

Great Moments

The Olympics have begun, and already we've seen some great performances.

I wasn't hugely excited leading up to these games, but I think I'm catching the fever. I'm even thinking about loading up on caffeine and calling in sick. Do you think they'd notice if I didn't show up for a few days? I could take power naps during the commercial breaks and sleep through the local station's 30 min. highlight show. It's not in widescreen or HD, so why would I watch it?

I'd like to say that our athletes are making a great effort, with some having to overcome more than others, but in the spirit of the games, I'd also like to applaud the efforts of the other countries.

The Chinese male gymnasts were just awesome on the rings last night. I can't wait to see what they'll do in the finals. I've also seen some great swimming from the other countries in the women's events. These have been some really exciting competitions to watch.

The best so far has been the men's 4x100m relay. If you missed it, you missed a heck of a race.

I also appreciate the stories that I'm seeing from NBC. Thankfully they aren't just focusing on the Americans, because I know everyone at the games has a story worth telling. A perfect example is the story of the oldest female gymnast competing this year. She's 33 and won gold before any of her current competion were born!

Looks like this is gonna be an historic Summer Games.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trying Times

Nothing tries a photog's patience like trial coverage. The Ole 'Polisher touched on the subject last week.

I missed out on the first couple of days, but the remainder of the trail seems to be my lot in life this week; or maybe it should be 'lots of lives.' At least I have my handy-dandy notebook to keep me company.

The guilt phase passed surprisingly quickly; less than five days. So what is taking so long with the penalty phase? Admittedly the court lost half a day when one of the jurors became ill, but that person was healthy enough to return the next day. They worked through the weekend, leading to today's testimony, which looks like it will lead to tomorrow's testimony, since we are still dealing with defense witnesses.

In the meantime, I've been able to acquaint myself with some of the fine establishments offering edibles in the downtown area. Live Mike and I nibbled with 'Polisher the other day at Jobe's. Monday we munched at Downtown Seafood with former Deucer Brian Davies, who was fulfilling his civic (jury) duty. Today we noshed at the Grape Leaf Cafe. If this keeps up I'll need all the overtime I can get to pay my lunch tab.

My friends at the B-Quik are probably wondering what happened to me by now. I haven't been in for my daily drink in at least a week, and I'm sure their Fudge Round counts have been out of whack. If I get too strapped for cash, I found the snack machine on the 10th floor, where the best buy has got to be the fig bars. I almost went with the Oreo's, naturally, but at 2 ounces they are half the weight, and so twice the price, of the aforementioned fruit and cake.

I'll bet you didn't expect a lesson in photog economics when you found this post, but there they are. Truthfully, I didn't expect to find them either.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Burn Out

I'm feeling the burn. In the nearly 8 years since I first took up the heavy glass, I'm seriously thinking of trading in my press pass.

I think this has also been reflected in my blogging, or lack thereof. I just haven't had the heart to pour onto these pixelated pages. It could be the feeling that I'm swimming in quicksand in my current position. All I know is that I've pretty much hit a ceiling that seems quite solid. I've also found in myself more than the usual amount of bitterness towards the job. I don't like that.

I'm not expecting to feel like I did when I first started. Everything was fresh and new and I could revel in learning everything about how the job was done. I'm not finished learning; I wouldn't presume to think that I know everything. I just think that I'm not able to apply what I know to the fullest extent, due to certain circumstances beyond my control. I'm finding other branches of knowledge from which to pluck fruit, but those avenues are dead ends unless I can apply them to my daily work.

Through the twilight under the smoke a ray of light shone through today. KD just returned from the UNITY conference and made a point of telling me about her trip. It would seem that she brought a few stories along to go critiquing. She got good marks on her writing and the way the stories were put together, but what she wanted to pass on to myself, and the other photog who worked with her on one of them, was the way everyone who saw the stories raved about how well they were shot. It's nice to know that someone, other than your friends and family, notices and appreciates good work.

It also helps that this praise comes from a news director in Philadelphia, the fourth largest market in the country.

Monday, June 09, 2008

On Vacation

I know it may be hard for you regulars to notice, but the Mrs. and I took the Li'l CrumbSnatcher on a vacation to Orange Beach. Let's just say that she wasn't thrilled with her first experience with the Gulf. Apparently being knee-deep in clear saltwater can only end in tears at this stage.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

FTW!

I would be remiss if I didn't link this story from Nightline on Friday night. Seriously, a story about Oreos' dominance in the world? How could I pass THAT up?

Watch American Oreo v. British Biscuit.

Fast Talkin'

Higher gas prices are driving up the demand for more fuel efficient cars. We went to a dealer auction to find the scoop.

I would have liked about 15-30 more minutes to edit this one. I did it in about an hour but left out a sequence of shots on the second auctioneer nat break, due to time constraints. I really only needed a couple more minutes to put that sequence in, but the producer had the float button half-pressed.

Watch Fast Talkin'.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

100 Posts!

I finally made it! Since this is a milestone event, let me dedicate it to the Mother's. I was a little busy on Sunday to make a post, so here it is.

Thanks, Mom, helping make me the man I am today. I would also like to thank my wife for being a great Mom. Grandmothers are included here as well, either newly minted or well worn.

At this point the Li'l Crumbsnatcher would like to add her thoughts.

gjhvvvvvvvvvvvghvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvnvbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

I think that says it all.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Recent Stories

It's been a while since I posted any of my stories, so here are a couple from last week that shined up nicely.

First up is a great guy who's doing his duty for his country. One day he's molding our country's future leaders, and the next he's off defending our way of life.

Port Allen Principal

Next is a story about a woman who's waterfront wonderland is in danger of washing away.

Pierre Part Flooding

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spice of Life

This is too freaky. After covering a committee meeting the other day, I've been thinking about Dune a lot. They mentioned a cocktail called Sazerac, which caused me to think of the Kwisatz Haderach. After that, I've been getting flashes of the movie, which is my only exposure to the story.

Two days ago I read an article on Gamers With Jobs called 'Geekshy.' This comment came as a surprise.

Then I read a post today at Little Lost Robot and the title is a Dune reference.



Coincidence?



Probably...or someone is trying to tell me that I need to read those books.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Black 'Box

After faithful years of service, a mighty warrior has fallen.

In the early years of the 21st century, Microsoft made a bid for a share of the console video game market. The hardware of the day was mostly compact and unobtrusive. MS decided that they wanted to be seen, and brought to market a ginormous black box with massive controllers, all decorated with a large green jewel in the center that did nothing. It was so big that the manual warned that it could kill a child if it fell on them.

Naturally I wanted one.

Mine came to me from my wife-to-be, cementing her status a best girlfriend ever. A green glow shone over my carpet from the ring of light as I drove the streets of Project Gotham Racing and battled the Covenant as Master Chief John 117 in Halo.

Alas, the hours spent together grew shorter as more responsibilites weighed me down. One night in February, looking forward to staying up late, I pushed the power button to fire up the 'Box, but only found a splash screen.

The green glow had been replaced by an angry blinking red, and the welcome screen for the game to be played was gone. In it's place was a multi-lingual message to call Xbox Support and an error code.

Six years from it's build date, nearly to the day, my Xbox suffered a hard drive failure, making it a noisy, oversized paperweight. I couldn't believe it. All the hours I'd put into the current game were now lost, along with all the others I'd played and saved along the way. I had games on the shelf that I hadn't opened yet. The hard drive? Seriously? I've got a desktop that's over a decade old and it's hard drive is still spinning. The kicker? It will cost more to ship and fix than it would cost to purchase another.

So I got an Xbox 360.

CrumbSnatcher Christmas

It's our first Christmas together, and the first trip to see the big man is a resounding success.

Early Saturday morning, someday between turkey and presents...

After getting up, getting dressed, and getting her fed, we all head to the mall to snatch a snap with Santa. We find the early risers have already risen to block our way.

IMG_1413

Undeterred by the crowd, I settle into a long wait. Li'l CS is quite well behaved, but isn't too sure about the elf running around...I'm not either.

IMG_1414

Forty-five minutes later we get to the first helper, who provides a wishlist. Mmmmm, tasty.

IMG_1415

She then got to mail the remains directly to the North Pole via the magical mailbox. See the snow?

Wish List Mailing

Santa looked great. Some might even say Santastic, but those would be the people who came up with that marketing scheme.

Ho Ho Ho

The CrumbSnatcher quickly claimed him for her own, and got everything she asked for and more.

Who is This Guy?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Healthy Blogging

So it turns out that I'm neglecting my health when I don't blog. I know that I'm also neglecting you, dear readers. Work and the little one have been keeping me quite busy, but I've got a few seconds to spare with you, so I'll give you this link.

Blogging is Healthy.

Not much there that bloggers haven't already figured out about the benefits of blogging, but a quick and interesting read, nonetheless.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Busy Month

I know it's been a long time since the last post, but it's been a busy month. Jan. 7 was the BCS Championship, which was time well spent.

For the rest of that week, we were all training on our brand new Edius Non-linear Editing system, bought from the folks at Bit-central.

The 14th brought the inauguration of our new governor, Bobby Jindal.

The week after that we got our new P2 cameras.

This week our system went live.

So, until I can get you a real post, read this one from Little Lost Robot.

Sis, I think you will enjoy the picture.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bowl Bound

Today I'm headed for the Big Easy for our BCS National Championship coverage. Hopefully I'll be able to have a good time with the Ol 'Polisher and Senator Drewry while I'm down there. I'll have an update for all of you when I return.