552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

My Recent "Tweets"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

The conference has been keeping me pretty busy, but I thought I could take a minute or two to post some photos from our resort. The first photo on the left is the view from the hotel room patio (where I'm currently sitting as I type this). That's Cheyenne Mountain-- The same mountain that holds NORAD's operations/command center. The entrance is on the other side of the mountain.

You also can't see it on either picture, but you can also see the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun from our resort. At night it looks like a tiny Christmas tree lit up about halfway up the mountain.
By the way, this second photo is the view from the aptly titled "mountain view" dining room.
Not too shabby, huh?

Labels: , ,

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On The Road Again

It's been a long time since I've done any work-related travel. As a speech/debate coach, I used to travel nearly every weekend during the school year (mostly 5-6 hour drives), and flew a few times a year, either to tournaments or professional conferences. But once I started working in sports, those opportunities dwindled. Sure, I was driving around all the time to cover games, and occasionally, I'd have a long drive to a Super Bowl or to a college bowl game. But flying? TV stations are much too cheap to fly people anywhere. If you can't drive there in less than 16 hours, you're not going. They'll hire a freelancer to do it for you.

This afternoon, I leave for a conference in Colorado Springs. I'm kind of excited, because I've never been there before, but I'm also kind of anxious about it. I'll be spending a lot of time with some of my co-workers. They're people I like, but with whom I've never spent time with outside of work. I'm sure it'll be fine-- but I'll be spending about 10 hours in cars, airports, and airplanes with them today-- and that's a lot of facetime.

On the up-side, the resort where we're staying looks beautiful. Check it out here. Pretty fancy-schmancy, huh?

I just realized that I left my wireless card in my office-- so I don't know if I'll have much web access while I'm there (Do I want to pay outrageous resort fees just to be able to email?). Crap. I was about to promise pictures and random stories-- but now I'm not so sure. We'll see.

Labels: , ,

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to normal

For Cory and me, "normal" has been anything but.

Since we started dating... seven years, eight months, two weeks, and six days ago, we haven't been on the same schedule. At first, I worked nights and he worked days, which meant we had weekends to spend together. That lasted about a year. Then, after a three-month separation, we both worked nights-- but had different days off. He worked Monday through Friday-- I worked three weekdays and two weekend days. If we wanted to spend a day together, it took weeks of orchestrating to find a day that one of us could take off from work. And a weekend together? We managed that feat maybe once a year.

For four of those last six years, we worked together- on different floors of the same building.... but we got to take occasional dinners together, and saw each other often enough at work. Once we moved to Florida, we saw each other much less. Working at different places. Working on different schedules. We got married in April-- not because it was the month we wanted-- but because it was the only month during which we could both get time off. And we had to plan our honeymoon just a month in advance because we literally didn't know how many days we could get.

Since I started my new job, things have been much more 'normal.' We both get weekends off. To be honest, it's been a little weird. Don't get me wrong... it's been great. It's just that we've always had so much pressure to do things on those rare days off together... that now it's difficult to just "hang around."

Well, things are about to get much more normal. Or maybe much more weird. Or both. In a few weeks, Cory takes a new position, as website coordinator for his station. And with that new job comes a modest raise and a new schedule, from 7am until 4pm. "Normal" hours. Strikingly similar to the hours I work.

We're going to have a lot of time together. As I keep telling Cory, I hope we still like each other once we start spending time together!

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Swamp Creature

So, we went to Corkscrew Swamp on Sunday and made the long trek to see the Ghost Orchid. I have to say, it was a little disappointing. There was only one bloom (three buds) and it's so far away, you can't see it with the naked eye. I'm sure if we'd gotten to see it when it was in full bloom, it would have been more impressive.

The best I could do was take this uber-lame picture through the spotting scope. Pathetic, I know.

Still, it was pretty cool to see something so rare, kind of like the first time I saw the Giant Pandas when they were on loan to the Toledo Zoo. Except Pandas are much bigger. And cuter. And easier to see from a distance of 100 feet.
Corkscrew Swamp is one of the most popular birding spots in Florida-- but we only saw a handful of birds there on Sunday. We saw one alligator, which made Cory happy (though we saw two, if you count the dead one on the side of the highway that was being devoured by about 20 vultures. Come to think of it, that's where we saw the most birds of the day, too.

Really, the most interesting thing we saw at Corkscrew swamp was another form of flora, these beautiful wild hibiscus that were growing there.

Oh well. Hopefully, the orchid will bloom again next year-- and maybe we'll get a better look.

Labels: ,

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Only In Florida

Ripped from the headlines:

Police officer fired for demanding free coffee at Starbucks.

My favorite part? After he was accused, he insisted on taking a polygraph test. And he failed.


Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open, Sesame!

One of our stores is celebrating a Grand Opening tomorrow-- so I've spent most of the last two days at the store, helping them set up, decorating for the Grand Opening, and just generally doing my P.R. thing.

It's been a little bizarre. See, despite the giant sign that says "Opening Soon" and another sign that says "Grand Opening, Friday July 18th," about 50 people have just randomly wandered into the store thinking that we're already open. The signs are big (24" x 36"). They're on the doors. And they're hard to miss.

Two people even had started shopping and had picked out some items before anyone even spotted them.

So, we whisk them out of the store quickly. Or at least try to. One of the aforementioned women wanted to keep shopping.

About half the people that have tried to walk in have a decent excuse-- the area where the store is located has a very high Hispanic population, and lots of people who don't read or speak English. I said the words "manana" and "nueve" many, many times today (my New Year's resolution was to learn Spanish. I haven't gotten very far).

The other half of the people who have walked in (and often, had to walk around ladders and other equipment to get inside) have no excuse. They're just idiots.

I guess, the good news is that we should have plenty of customers when the store opens tomorrow morning at nueve oh-clock!


Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lordy, Lordy

For the last several years, I've worked in a very small, compartmentalized department at work. When I was teaching, I was part of a large department, but as forensics coach, my office was on the other end of campus, and I really only spent time with the other coach.

Working in television, I was part of a newsroom, but I was part of a two or three person sports department, usually located in a different area of the building than the newsroom.

Now, in my new world at the nonprofit, I'm once again part of a small three-person department. It's just me, the graphic artist, and the vice president of communication.

Honestly, it's one of my favorite parts of the job. I've become less and less social over the years, and it's nice to spend most of my time with the same three people.

Even better, We're all very close in age. Our graphic artist is about five months older than me, and our V.P. is only a year and a half older than me. Compare that to my last job, where our sports director was 10 years younger than me, and the other weekend anchor was about 15 years younger. Yikes.

It's really nice to work with people my own age. Sure, they both have kids and have different priorities in their lives, but we have a lot in common. Discovering gray hairs, for example. Or recently discovering that we can't bend over without making "argh" noises.

Well today, our V.P. turned 40. Our graphic artist gave her hell. The entire administrative headquarters was plastered with posters and flyers of our V.P. with the grim reaper. Black balloons filled her office. I tried to stay out of it as much as possible. After all, I hit the big four-oh in 17 months. I'd like it to pass without notice.

She took it very well. She called the posters "cute," laughed at her arrangement of black balloons, and dealt with the constant teasing about geritol, depends, and reading glasses. For what it's worth, she could probably pass for 30... which I'm sure helped, too.

Just the same, I checked a calendar the first chance I could. I turn 40 on a Sunday.



Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rain, Rain... Go Away

For the last two weeks, a rare Ghost Orchid has been in bloom at a nature preserve near here. It's about an hour drive from our house. We didn't make it to see the orchid last year, and it's starting to look like we might not get to see it this year, either.

My back is getting much better-- but seeing the orchid requires a two-mile hike. And let's face it... walking has never really been my strong suit. Last weekend, my back was still way too sore to try to handle a hike like that. "Next weekend," we kept saying. The orchid is expected to bloom for about 21 days total.

This weekend, my back feels pretty good. So, Cory and I said we'd go today. See, yesterday, one of his co-workers had a party and he wanted to drop by. Of course, it was one of those middle-of-the-day parties that just kind of messes with your whole schedule for the day.

As it turns out, I ended up doing a TV interview for work. And Cory ended up going to the party by himself. At 6:00 pm. So, we'd scheduled our entire day around an event that we didn't even both go to-- and we could have gone down to see the orchid that morning after all. Assuming we'd woken up early enough.

See, one thing we learned quickly about living here. If you want to do anything outdoors in the summer, you'd better plan to be over and done with it by about 3:15 in the afternoon, because that's when the thunderstorms start rolling in. It can be sunny and beautiful one minute, and rain cats and dogs the next. By the same token, it can be pouring at our house, but dry as a bone at the grocery store half a mile away. It's a crapshoot. But usually, it's raining wherever you want to be.

SO today, we got up early. It was overcast out-- but not miserable. By the time we got ready, found our binoculars and bugspray, and were out the door, it was about 10:30. Plenty of time.

Except it was sprinkling. And as we drove, the rain fell harder, and harder, and harder. We forged on, knowing that rain in our neck of the woods doesn't mean that there'd be a cloud in the sky at Corkscrew Swamp. But as we got closer, the clouds were thick and angry looking, and a steady rain continued to fall.

So, we turned around and went home.

As it turns out, had we waited until the afternoon, we'd have been fine. By about 2:30, the skies were still a dull gray, but no rain. Doesn't it just figure?


Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Friday, July 11, 2008

In case you're still not convinced...

The "Burn Notice" season premiere will be re-run four times Saturday afternoon... and it'll air again on Sunday morning.

We still haven't watched it yet. We're weeks behind on the TiVo, though I suspect we'll skip ahead to get to this.


Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm at work... so this will be a very brief post.

One of television's best shows comes back for a new season tonight. If you haven't seen "Burn Notice" yet, give it a try. The writing is good, the actors are talented, the plotline is compelling, the scenery is great, and it even has one of the funniest actors of our time in it, Bruce Campbell (remember "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.?" How about "Xena, Warrior Princess?" And last but not least, "Army of Darnkess.") Sure, it would be a great show without him, but he's really the icing on the cake.


Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The (Almost) Perfect Man

(Almost, because he's not my husband)

Regular readers of my little blog are probably familiar with my nauseating affection for former Rams/Seahawks Defensive End Grant Wistrom.

However, I'm not sure if I've ever waxed poetic about my fondness for Chiefs Tight End Tony Gonzalez.

First of all, the man's good-looking. I'm not going to pretend that I didn't notice. He's also one hell of a football player. Every year, I draft him for my fantasy football team, and every year, I get a lot of crap from people in my league saying that he's "too old" to draft. And yet, he's typically still one of the most productive players I have.

Finally, he's a nice guy. I got a chance to interview him once, and he didn't give off any of that "why the hell am I talking to you" air that a lot of pro athletes emit. And last week, he saved a life. When a man started choking near him in a restaurant, Tony jumped out of his chair and performed the Heimlich maneuver.

Interestingly enough, he's saved a life once before-- but more more indirectly. I vividly remember reporting the story during my first year working at KTVO. About eight years ago, during a road game, Tony crashed into a sideline photographer, knocking the photographer silly and sending him to the hospital. Tony (nice guy that he is) stayed by the photographer's side until they got him on the stretcher and off of the field. The photographer had a seizure while he was passed out, and doctors decided to perform a CT scan and MRI. It's a good thing they did... the tests revealed that the photographer had a brain tumor-- one that would never had been discovered if Tony Gonzalez hadn't crashed into him on the sideline. Crazy, huh?

Labels: ,

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Is there anybody out there? Probably not. I don't blame you. It's been more than a month since my last post. I blame a number of things.

1) Sciatica. About a month ago, I seriously messed up my back and tweaked my sciatic nerve. It hurt to sit upright. Thus, it hurt to sit at the computer.
2) Our computer. Slow, slow, slow. It literally took ten minutes to boot up. And the last thing I want to do after getting home from work is sit here for ten minutes just looking at the desktop.
3) My job. Part of the founding principle of this blog was that I always had a reason to bitch about something. And for the most part, I don't have much to bitch about anymore. Oh, sure... I can always find something to complain about. But for the most part, my job is pretty boring. A good kind of boring.

So, why blog now? Well, for starters, My back feels much better. I've started going to a chiropractor (big bucks... but I'd rather spend the money trying this than have some money-hungry orthopedic surgeon tell me I have to go under the knife). Yeah, it still hurts. But I've stopped carrying a pillow into the movie theater with me, which is nice.

As for the computer, we've made some improvements on that front, as well. About two weeks ago, our old computer crashed. It was trying to install updates when the power went out. And windows ceased to work. After borrowing a windows boot disk from work-- and several hours with my own personal I.T. staff (my dad), the computer worked again. But we considered it a wake-up call and started computer shopping. Two weeks later, we have a quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and (if you count our external hard drive), more than a terabyte of memory. I could damn near run a TV station off of this thing. Oh, and it boots up in about ten seconds. Oh, and we're now using Firefox for our internet browser. Bye-bye pop-ups!

Oh... and I have plenty to bitch about lately. After shelling out a hefty payment to my chiropractor... and buying our snazzy new computer... our air conditioner decided to crap out. Okay... it's not as bad as it sounds. We still have air conditioning (good, since it's been in the mid-90s every day), but the air handler in the attic is pumping out so much condensation that it fills the drain pan every other day. So, every other day, I have to climb up into our attic (did I mention my back?) with a freakin' turkey baster and empty the drain pan. Last night, I emptied 600 ounces of water. And it was still about half an inch deep.

The first estimate? $1950 for a new air handler. Oh, and our condenser is also 21 years old... so we'll have to get a new one of those eventually, too. And that's another $1600. Good times.

So I may not have reason to regularly bitch about my job (though today I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown), I've got plenty to whine about. Stay tuned!

Labels: , ,

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!
Graphics and photos hosted by Hello from Picasa hello from picasa