Monday, March 09, 2009

"There's NO business like SNOW business..."

What a difference a week makes, eh? From the goodly amounts snow this time last week to highs pressing 80 today, we've had a major turn-around. Winter's not done yet, but with the sun getting higher each day, and the macro weather machines starting their seasonal shifts, the long deep cold spells start losing their potential.

I just have to start with my nephew and niece since my brother kindly forwarded some pics a few days ago. They've had quite the winter in Boston, especially the month of January, and Willie Boo and Ellie Sue had myriad opportunities to grow rosy cheeks and play in the frozen fluff.

And this pic was prrrrrrrrr-ecious!...

Can't you just imagine the conversational captions you could come up with for this one?


Well, the ship launched Sunday morning....kinda sorta. Started my temporary on-air work for WSOC 9 in Charlotte (Sundays only, AM/noon). News 14 is scheduled to have a major WSI computer upgrade with their weather system this coming week, which I have to believe will be what 9 has...I do have some fill-in work in April for N14 in the Triad region, so hopefully there will be little to no learning curve.

Even though I've been at this well into my second decade, the 'first time' at any station is always a litmus test of 'let's see how un-smooth we can make this...'! The set's different, the show players and remote controls look and feel different, and no matter how you prepare it's still always 'new' that first time.

Out of the gate I forgot to turn on my microphone. In the 'old days' there were audio operators who did mic checks before a show, but like so many other parts of the TV biz, people are being placed with machines, so the control room doesn't have as many people to watch all the more check lights in place. On my first long forecast, I didn't receive one single audio cue in my ear, and as I droned on and on I realized I needed to land the bird and sit back at the desk...I guess after all the years of doing this I very closely finished in the 3-minute time slot by 'sensing' it.

It all ironed itself out as the 2-hour show progressed, as I got comfortable with the booth folks and they got comfortable with me...the studio is state of the art robotics, too. Instead of camera operators, there is one computer operator who joysticks (new verb!) these monster HD rolling cameras into their postions as the show morphs along. It's really slick to see in operation, smooth and quiet.

It's been 3 years since I basically filled in in the same capacity at 9 as they continued a search for a full-timer. And once again I work with the same anchor I did then, Ann Marie O'Keefe, who is excellent and fun to interact with...the anchor interaction is something that is absent at News 14, something I enjoy and excel at and have missed over the years. I'll enjoy this little run while I have it through April.


I'm really letting the sawdust fly while I can...I should soon have pics of some very special flutes, and a new one from the last of this stunning board of Cocobolo I've had. Today I may get far enough along for my favorite part....the oil dipping! Nothing like watching beautiful grain come to life. Several of the flutes have turquoise inlays, which contrast beautifully with the darker woods I've selected. That's always good for the Soul to be productive, so am thankful I can do it.

Too, a red-letter day as The Black Yak is going to get her winter coat taken off today (if I can get her in)...will try and get before and after pics of her slimming transformation. Tomorrow she goes in for her annual dental work which should hopefully alleviate her killer breath. I'm pretty sure if she saw one she could drop a deer at 100 feet by breathing in its direction...

No comments: