Twilight Fever spreads through the newsroom….
January 19, 2009


Three down, only one to go.....

Three down, only one to go.....

As I previously mentioned, I have been a bit embarrassed to admit that I have been reading the Twilight book series by Stephanie Meyer…..but I’ve had others to admit they are similarly addicted….like Amber who wrote this: 

 Thank goodness, I am not the only one. My niece received these for Christmas and thinking nothing really of it I told her after she was done with the first to let me borrow it to read. I have always been a little bit of a vampire type person, meaning I like vampire stories but reading a 500+ page book DEFINITELY not a desire I could relate to. I started reading book one around Jan 3rd it was done by Jan 6ththen my niece wasn’t finished with New Moon and I could not wait so I bought the next 3 without even thinking twice. I couldn’t put the book down besides yes the normal desire to throw the book across the room when Edward left and a couple times in Jacob’s perspective in Breaking Dawn. I was a little embarrassed  with my infatuation with the series since it is a “young adult” novel. Wonderful work now I can not wait for more to come and waiting for the movies is like waiting for Edward to come back horrible and painful.”

 Yes, Amber, I know the pain of which you speak. And just so you know…this is not just a female phenomenon. A man with whom I work, has privately admitted his own little Twilight monkey on his back. He actually blames his wife…she had bought the book and horrors, shamelessly left it lying around, where he might pick it up. He did, and in his words,”There I was 150 pages later….” He, like me, has now finished the first three books…only Breaking Dawn remains. And he agrees with me that Bella is a tad irritating…seriously, if that girl’s heart doesn’t stop skipping beats and thumping wildly in her chest, I’m taking her personally to a cardiologist. But I digress. This guy’s  shame is complete at liking these books, thus asked that his name and job not be revealed. And there were some veiled threats about cold water, and  no more “caring and sharing” sessions, where we reveal our most appalling secrets to each other. This is one of his.  Yes, there will be those of you who tryto uncover his identity, but to no avail. It’s in the vault. Lockbox. And other Twilight confessions will be accepted here….and it might make you feel better, getting it off your chest, like getting that monkey off your back.

To Facebook or not to Facebook? And the Blue Screen of Death….
July 18, 2008

Lowells Facebook page...

Lowell's Facebook page...

Yesterday, WBAL-TV reporter Lowell Melser said to me, pretty much out of the blue…”Are you on Facebook? (and when I shook my head)…”You should be on Facebook“. And then then went on to list all the people  in the newsroom who are. It was a pretty good list, though many people are not, and a few(babies) are on My Space.

“Well, uhm…Why should I? What’s in is for me?”, I politely inquired.

Reporter Josh Davidsburg piped up, “It’s social networking”, as though he was speaking someone who was a little Facebook impaired…true enough I guess.

“Josh, I know what Facebook is, but still the question, what’s in it for me? I mean why should I?”

And here’s the thing. No one ever really fully answered that question. My son and daughter are on Facebook, that I know. And I know there are plenty of actual adults, not just teens and 20-somethings, who are also on Facebook. But can anyone explain to me what one actually does there? I mean, is it an easy way to keep up with people that you’d otherwise not see or communicate with? That would be pretty cool, though it also assumes the idea that people you know and want to communicate with, are also on Facebook. Would it enable me to stay in better contact with my taciturn emailer son? I don’t know, maybe. I hear he’d have to “friend” me….. I might really enjoy it…I mean, I heard a lady in the grocery line ahead of me say, “All this computer stuff, I just don’t fool with it.” I wanted to tell her that she was missing out on some things that might make her life better, that she really could do it, and should become computer literate. I remained mute, of course. Nothing worse than a tv person telling you should be doing. The audacity.

Sooooooo, I put it to you. Are you on Facebook? Do you like it? What do you get out of it, and is it worth my time and trouble? Take a lot of time?

Blue Screen of Death!

Blue Screen of Death!

And on to the blue screen of death….it’s started showing up more and more often when I turn on my laptop at home. So far, I’ve been able to restart her (a Dell), and it goes away, but the fatal error thingie is kinda scary. And I didn’t do anything…..just closed all the windows I had opened and then gently closed it. Is my computer starting to breathe very shallowly….you know what I’m saying…is it…dying? Noooooooooo….I love it, and though it’s a few years old, surely it has some life left in it. Any ideas on what I should do to it?

  Anyway, it’s Friday()….there’s Artscape this weekend..always fun…and sweaty. Stay cool, be nice and come home safe. Cause we miss you….

Wild Weather=Wild Newsroom
June 5, 2008

Trees downed....Wow, it was quite a scene yesterday, and I’ll tell you…as many  severe weather situations as I’ve covered over the years, and that is quite a few, it never feels any less intense. When you hear the words…”tornado warning”…in the newsroom, it’s time to  get ready to go on the air…asap. Trucks are dispatched to wherever it’s thought the action and damage will be, and chief meterologist Tom Tasselmyer always hits the air first…if he’s in the house. I mean it’s his show, really. And I was so glad he was there yesterday. The man knows his weather, a master really…I’ve seen very few people over the years that could match him. My Mother in Birmingham feels the same way about a guy named James Spann…but you’d have a tough time convincing me he’s as good as Tom.

On the set, we simply try to provide extra information here and there, which until some comes in, isn’t all that much. So you try to give Tom a little breather, so he can swallow…seriously, the swallow is much underappreciated. When you have to talk endlessly, you will have a need to simply…swallow. But it’s hard to do on the air….but sometimes it will not be denied…gulp. Oh, and we ask Tom questions…like yesterday, we thought he was talking about a “train spotter”, who had seen a tornado. Hmmmm. Dunno what that is. So finally I ask…”What is a train spotter Tom?”. He laughs and said, “Oh, is that what it sounded like what I said? ” He meant a trained tornado spotter….big difference…we all had a laugh over that. 

crane rescueAnd then there was that huge crane down at  Sparrow’s Point , with two men trapped inside. There’s a situation that could have ended in tragedy, but it was so nice it did not. Both men were rescued far above the ground by those firefighters we all love so much. And we saw live on the air  a stretcher approach the first guy down, and he waves them off….”Aw, this is nothing fellows!”.  And applause here for Captain Roy Taylor and his mucho talented photog Mac Finney for their enormous contributions. They can get the pictures when a ground crew could never get there in time. It makes our coverage sooooo much better. With Tom in the weather center and Roy in the air, I have confidence that everything, though fly by the seat of your pants, will be OK.

Oh, and even better…when I got home, my power was on!! That unfortunately was not true for thousands of people around the state….such a bummer. When I flicked on a light switch and things worked as usual, it just makes one profoundly grateful. For the simple things.

A landslide of cake….
March 18, 2008

clownI hope clowns don’t creep you out…seriously, they do some people. There are those of us who are scared of clowns…not me, of course.  This little clown(head) was one of many, on top of a very big cake….again , one of many that come into the WBAL-TV newsroom. If someone wants to publicize something, it seems they  automatically think….”Send a cake. Wait a minute, make it a BIG cake.”

And they do. At least once or twice a week, sometimes more, cakes come cascading into the newsroom, a virtual landslide of cakes in every flavor, but most often innocuous vanilla…that publicize everything from golf tournaments to walks for charity to, in this case, the circus. Yes, the circus is in town….you can see over the clown’s head what the dates are.

cakeI have come to be almost immune to cake publicity…unless it is a very, very good cake. You know, real buttercream, not the fluffy stuff that most cakes sport. But I will give this one points for creative flair on top. Someone could take all the clown heads(creepy) and plastic balloon bunches and make one heck of a kid’s birthday cake.  I may go get them right now.

eaterBut for every person who doesn’t eat the cake, there are two, no make that three,  who will…here’s a happy person in search of a sugar fix right now!!  Let them eat cake…..