Monday, December 26, 2005

The Adventure Begins

I’m blogging from a Chicago hotel… having trouble falling asleep as a great adventure awaits. Tomorrow (actually later this morning) my family will embark on a journey to the Philippines. Just getting there with my mom, my wife, our three kids, my sister, her husband and their baby, my cousin, her husband and their two kids is going to be challenging to say the least. We’re flying Chicago to Atlanta… Atlanta to LA… LA to Anchorage… Anchorage to Taipei… Taipei to Manilla… to meet up with my dad… and then a two hour van ride to my dad’s hometown.

I haven’t been back since I was 15 and to be honest, didn’t really appreciate it then… so I see this trip as one of discovering my roots… really finding out what it was like for my parents to grow up here, what it was like to leave and what it is about the life here that seems to be pulling my dad back.

I will be learning about people with whom I shared great grandparents and great great grandparents… about the culture… about the area.

I’m not sure what access I will have, but I’ll try to share my experiences with you, my friends and readers.

Thanks to our house sitters and “volunteer“ cleaners for showings, to Josh for dealing with fantasy football commissioner duties, to Bart for handling Airwaves managerial duties.

Ten Years Ago This Week…

As we were driving up to Chicago tonight, I realized that this is a significant week in my life. It was ten years ago this week that I did something to significantly change the course of my career and my life as documented in one of my first posts and a later one.

And eight years ago this week, I flew home to surprise my parents and spend a romantic day and a half with a girl who wouldn’t move across country with me… at least not then. This first visit was big for us because with the distance, it could have been easy enough for both of us to “move on” without the other.

Shannon and I were talking about this and I wondered aloud what might have happened to me. She thinks I’d still be in news in some big market. Maybe, but I think I’d be alone. Just a hunch. I looked back at my kids, laughing at a DVD they were watching and realized a different path would mean I wouldn’t have them and told her, “it wouldn’t have been worth it” because in the end... it just wouldn’t.

It is amazing where life takes you… and I am so thankful for the different experiences I’ve had and the gifts I have received, but especially for this family I have been blessed with.

Anatomy Of A Fantasy Football Championship

So it happened. I won my fantasy football Super Bowl. Always helps to be a little lucky. I fielded the best possible lineup meaning no players on my bench would have helped me score higher than 118. My opponent, Joel, wasn’t as lucky. On his bench were Kyle Boller (32), Julius Jones (32) and Terry Glenn (14) which would have brought him to 121. But Boller generally stinks, and Jones/Glenn were going up against the Panthers defense on the road… so he really can’t second guess his lineup.

I think only three or four people have ever won the WEEK Alumni (now Market 117) FFL, so I’m pretty proud of my accomplishment. Much of what I know about fantasy football, I learned from Marc Strauss and he always says, it’s not about draft night, but about the adjustments you make throughout the year.

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you know that was especially true for me this year.

I started off with a core of Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Chris Brown/Thomas Jones, Terell Owens and Steve Smith.

I had a specific draft strategy of targeting a high scoring team’s (Chiefs) QB/RB combo so in theory, I’d get 90% of their touchdowns. With the elimination of our flex position this year I took an elite WR (Owens) with my second pick and targeted Smith whose stock was down coming off a broken leg. I had hoped, with Holmes being so injury prone to pick up Larry Johnson in round six, but my brother beat me to him.

I traded Green and Jones for Culpepper and Roy Williams (to someone who needed a solid RB)… traded Roy Williams for Willie Parker (to someone who needed a bye week WR) and then traded Parker to my brother for Johnson (he needed a starting RB for depth). This was my third or fourth attempt to pry Johnson away... persistence pays off.

When Culpepper went down, I dropped him and picked up Warner.

Lost Holmes, which actually worked out fantasy wise as Johnson became a true #1 RB.

I still wasn’t sure if Warner was going to be my QB, so I traded Chris Brown, Chris Simms and Laveranues Coles (to someone who needed a RB) for Drew Bledsoe (he had Bulger), TJ Houshmandzadeh and an injured Fred Taylor (I could afford to wait on Taylor, all but one of his RBs were injured at the time).

But just after that trade, I thought Warner always has to throw cause the Cardinals are always losing and have no running game, but he is injury prone. But I thought if I can get his backup and upgrade my #2 RB spot I'll live with him. So I traded Bledsoe, Mewelde Moore and Steve Smith (to someone who lost McNabb and was down to Kyle Orton as his QB) for Steven Jackson, Josh McCown (Warner backup) and Larry Fitzgerald. I hated to lose Smith (this year’s #1 WR), but figured Fitzgerald was just notch below, but Jackson was a huge upgrade at RB.

In the end, it was Taylor, finally healthy with a great matchup vs. Houston and McCown, playing for Warner who I had anticipated would get hurt, that led me to the win.
For those of you who don’t play… this might not mean much, but I know several regular readers who can appreciate the effort.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Market 117 Fantasy Football Super Bowl

So it comes down to this for bragging rights...

Edgar's team
L. Johnson
F. Taylor
Steelers D/ST

Joel's team
J. Smith
Bengals D/ST

TV News For Dummies - Phone Calls

With all the jobs open here and this being a pretty good time of year to look (between sweeps... good not great cause of vacations) I thought I'd post this thought.

So you want to get an on-air job. You've put together a tape and sent a resume and cover letter. And now you wait. The ad says "no calls." But you wonder does "no calls" mean "NO CALLS?"

There are two schools of thought here...

The one that I think a lot of people want to believe in is you should call... the logic being if a news director is looking for a reporter... they're looking for someone who is aggressive and in your mind calling = being aggressive... even if it's just calling to "make sure your tape arrived."

Is this right? Yes and no.

I know there are news directors who will take the time to talk, they may or may not have watched your tape. Maybe they see it in the pile when you call and can tell you that... or maybe they keep a log of tapes that have come in. Maybe they're like Jim Garrott at 25 who is always keeping his eyes and ears open for talent.

I also know there are NDs who just don't want to deal. They're going to look at tapes and call the people they like... just that simple. Early on in my career, I called, but eventually I embraced that notion. News directors are busy... they're dealing with the newsroom and dealing with their bosses. I'm going to guess most don't feel like they have time to take a call from every single person who sent a tape. Some may even ask you if you can follow directions because it says "no calls."

Yes, there are slight differences between how you approach producing positions and on-air... but I really think if they like you, if they really like you, they'll call... and no amount of calling on your part is going to change their mind if they don't. Yes, I know someone can pull out the extreme example of someone getting a job through persistence, but bottom line is if your tape stinks, the great majority of NDs aren't going to hire you.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

So my oldest then asks me, "Daddy, what did you ask for from Santa?"

I told him I didn't ask for anything and that every day I have with my three kids is my gift.

I think he was hoping I would say something Mutant Ninja Turtles...

From The Mouths Of Babes

My four year old was playing with a toy phone his sister got for Christmas. For those of you who aren't convinced that kids pick up everything, I catch him yelling into the phone the following:

"You call every day. Take us off your list!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

House Update

A number of people have asked for new pics of the house, but something is wrong with the program I use to post. House is going well and we should move in sometime in February. Not in time for the Super Bowl, but maybe in time for Shannon to watch Olympic Figure skating in HD.

Appellate Court Orders Hearing In Former Anchors' Lawsuit

This is the latest on the battle between former WCIA anchors and Nexstar which also owns WMBD.

From AP story dated 12/16/2005

A state appellate court says a former husband-wife anchor team for a Champaign area television station should get a lower court hearing on their breach-of-contract lawsuit.
The 4th District Appellate court decision reverses a Champaign County judge's ruling granting summary judgment to Nexstar Broadcasting in the lawsuit brought by former WCIA-Channel 3 anchors Jerry Slabe and Marta Carreira-Slabe.
The couple were fired from WCIA more than five years ago after refusing to comply with Nexstar's edict that they increase the number of hours they worked.
The Slabes cited contracts signed in 1997 with previous station owner Midwest Television Inc., which sold WCIA to Nexstar in July 1999. Jerry Slabe said Friday that Nexstar was unwilling to negotiate a new agreement.
"It was never about the hours, it was always about the principle," Marta Carreira-Slabe added. "About them coming in and ... unilaterally changing the rules without regard for agreements or promises."
Messages left Friday at Irving, Texas-based Nexstar were not immediately returned.
Jerry Slabe, who had worked for WCIA since 1977, was working about 25 hours while his contract paid him $2,450 a week. Carreira-Slabe, who had worked at the station since 1986, made $935 a week for about 17 hours as part of a three-year contract.
Nexstar told the couple they'd be working longer hours beginning in January 2000. When the Slabes didn't report for their new hours, Nexstar placed them on administrative leave and eventually stopped paying them. They were fired in June 2000.
The appellate court ruled Nexstar's requirement that the Slabes significantly increase their working hours "was inconsistent with Jerry's and Marta's employment history and their reasonable expectations and was a violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing."
Carreira-Slabe said Nexstar has until Dec. 21 to ask the state Supreme Court to take up the appeal, but said the appellate decision is promising.

Home Sick Today

Spent most of the day in bed/on the couch except for getting my oldest from pre-school. The baby has been sick since Sunday and I've caught whatever it is has got him down. Sorry to Airwaves teammates... I meant to collect money tonight, but I just don't want to leave the house.

Looking To Leave

WPTZ Burlington VT/Plattsburgh NY has openings for a weekend sports anchor, a producer and a photographer. I don't generally do plugs for out of market positions, but I've got a couple of reasons.

One, when I was an anchor/reporter in Monterey, the weeknight 11PM producer was Kyle Grimes who is now the ND at WPTZ. He's a great guy and I'd work for him. I won't say that about lots of people.

Two, if you're into the outdoors, Burlington is a great market. It is a beautiful part of the country... lots of skiing etc. in the winter. My sister played soccer for the University of Vermont and got to visit a few times.

It isn't significantly bigger than Peoria in terms of market size (90), but it is nice scenery and the company owns many stations in larger markets and if you do well, there is opportunity to move.

Fantasy Super Bowl

For those of you following along, the Market 117 fantasy football league's Super Bowl is this coming weekend. I have made the finals and will play against Josh Simon's brother, Joel.

Something tells me the fantasy gods are conspiring against me. I have managed to lose daunte Culpepper, Priest Holmes and Terrell Owens for the year and last week lost Warner for the big game. Still I suppose you could look at it the other way... I made it, right? Steve Gehlbach's dynamic duo of Ladanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates came up empty.

So readers who play... I'll take input on QBs. I traded for Josh McCown right before the deadline knowing how brittle Warner can be. I've also got Jeff Garcia (although he may benched) and Charlie Frye (against Pittsburgh). I get one waiver pick and am considering the following: Rex Grossman (against my Packers), Todd Bouman (vs. Lions who... are the Lions), sage Rosenfels (if Ferrotte is out vs. Titans and their 29 passing TDs given up), Jamie Martin (if Fitzpatrick sits against the 49ers... hey its still the Rams) and Kyle Boller (against the Vikings who are desperate and may be tough).

Not a lot of good stuff out there and I have some ideas, but weigh in if you wish.

Big Changes At The Alois House

Congrats to John and Jolie Alois on quite a significant career month. John will be leaving WMBD next month for a video producer job at State Farm. Jolie has moved up to News Director at WHOI.

Like me, neither of them are from around here, but Central Illinois works out really well for the family situation and I'm glad to see good things happen for a great couple!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lots Of Jobs In Market 117

Sweeps is over... the holidays are here... and there are lots of TV news job openings in Market 117.

WEEK is looking for a reporter and a 5pm producer (BTW, Shannon is doing some fill in producing next week, but she's not giving up her job that pays in hugs and kisses).

WHOI has ads posted for a morning anchor, reporter and an executive producer.

WMBD is looking for a photographer and a reporter.

This is the kind of situation I would have jumped at while in college. This is a perfect roadtrip situation for someone in a smaller market or someone in a larger market who is either part time or doing more support work and wants to get full time experience.

A New Baby Batton

Congrats to Greg and Yvonne...

The Battons welcomed Justice Gregory Batton, into the world on Wednesday morning. He weighed 9 lb. 6 oz.

The On Air Goodbye

A nice goodbye from the News 25 nightside crew to Melissa Dunton whose last night was tonight. When I was at 31, a bunch of us would conspire to do a goodbye video for pretty much everyone who would leave. Unless you were on the Morning Mix in which case Mark would do a really nice video...

Loved Mac's line about the fear of working more when someone leaves... a joke of course because Mac and Mike will do whatever it takes to pick up the slack when needed. I've been told the crew is meeting up at the Basket Case tonight after the shows.

As previously mentioned, Melissa is moving on to a communications job at Cat.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Amanda Says Goodbye

After 11 years, Amanda Wozniak, news director at WHOI is leaving the Heart of Illinois! Amdana started there when she got out of ISU and worked her way up from producer to ND. her last day is Friday.

As the invite from Jolie Alois says: whether you’re a co-worker, friend, fellow board member, or even the competition… come help us say goodbye!

Where: Kelleher’s
Date: Saturday, December 10
Time: 7:30pm - ???

Hometeamer Follows The Yellow Brick Road

WEEK is also losing someone this week. Melissa Dunton is leaving 25 to work at Caterpillar. She'll be working in Aurora in the very near future.

Her going away party is Friday, December 9th, 10:00 at the "old" Old Chicago (riverfront).

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Timberwolves Game

Had dinner on Tuesday at the downtown Buca di Beppo. I was reminded by my wife today that I had eaten at one before (in Columbus) but I didn't remember that's what it was called.

If you ever get a chance, check this place out. It's a chain, but not so widespread that the food/service suffers. It's family syle Italian, so even a small order of a meal is a lot of food. But it's really good and a fun atmosphere.

Then we headed over to the Target Center to watch the Clippers and T-Wolves. A pretty good game, although only KG really showed up for Minnesota. he had 30, everyone else shot about 30% combined. Corey Maggette was awesome. If he were more consistent, he'd be an all-star. It would have been great if Shaun Livingston was playing, but he's been hurt and I didn't see him on the bench...

Could be because we were in the upper deck, although second row upper at the Target Center is actually a really good seat. Tried to scalp tickets, but none of the guys out front had seats together. But one was trying to convince us that we could by his separate seats and "we wouldn't have any problem sitting together." His mistake was telling us the game wasn't a sellout... so we bought them inside.

I do like NBA basketball. Not nearly as much as college, but growing up in Milwaukee, I do have an appreciation for the pro version. Problem is people just aren't as into it through most of the game. It got loud in the fourth quarter, but that was about it. I was actually most entertained by the contest at halftime. They had a big hoop and a range of basketballs from giant to mini. Five people got a chance to make designated layups, free throws, three pointers and half courters with prizes from a hat for just the layup, to use of a suite for the half courter with the mini ball. One guy won it and the crowd went nuts. Probably the loudest ovation of the evening.

Met my friend Catherine for drinks afterwards. Like me, she started out in news, but now does PR at the university. I think that helps when you know the other side.

I'm not a big fan of traveling for work. Tough on Shannon. Thankfully, this was only the second trip I've had to take in eighteen months.

Mall of America

Spent some time at the Mall of America on Monday night. It felt like my friend Brain and I made it pretty much around the whole mall in a couple of hours.

Odd things that struck me...

The first thing is the sign that says no guns allowed on the premises. You'd think this would be an obvious one, but I guess not.

Not sure how well the second sign works, but they have a rule that says no one under 16 on Fridays and Saturdays after 4, without a parent or guardian who is at least 21.

Lots of sporting goods/sporting apparel stores and multiple offerings of many of the same stores it seems... Gap, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works to name a few... which would make you get specific if you tell someone to meet you at a certain store.

There is a place where you can pay to take a nap... with relaxing lighting and music etc. There is also an oxygen bar. Yes, an oxygen bar. I was making fun of it as I walked by, but realize I've become one of those bottled water people. But at least I'll admit it.

Stopped by the Bose store. They have little living rooms set aside for people to check out the TVs/stereo systems. I watched a few minutes of the latest Star Wars. I was thinking of getting popcorn and taking off my shoes, but I thought that might be bad form...

The mall is a good tourist attraction with the amusement park and all the stuff for kids, but I've been told by locals that they'll try to steer clear, unless it's to take out of town friends.

Caught MNF at a place called Boston's near the hotel north of the city. Good pizza.

Back From Minne-sooo-tah

Spent the past few days in the Minneapolis area for work. as I don't blog about work, I thought I could at least write about what I did with my free time.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Getting The Band Back Together

Hey current and former newsies... take a break from shopping or whatever else you're doing on Friday night.

Kelleher's, 9:00 PM

Come catch up with Steve Scheuer and Eric and Beth Peterson who will be down from Chicago and join us for a drink.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanks For The Coverage

Just a quick thank you to WEEK, WHOI and WMBD radio for covering the Can Do 4:13 scholarship announcement today (if there were others, I didn't catch... thanks to you too... I wasn't out there today, this is just what I was told/saw on the news).

It's a great cause and we can use all the help/exposure we can get.

Tough Win For Airwaves

Great win tonight. Down 2-0, the Tuesday version of the Airwaves came back to win 5-3. Two goals from Mike, and one each from me, Jim and Kelli.

Tonight's game was really what the adult leagues around here should be all about. No one trying to hurt anybody... no trash talking... just two teams who like to play. And our opponents were really good. They moved really well without the ball, and had several good ball handlers. Spanky pointed out which of them played for area high schools. When they went up two after five or six minutes, I thought they were going to kill us.

Great game in goal from Glenn. He stopped lots of shots and really made it tough for them to finish. He was the difference as I can honestly say they had more skilled players than we do.

Last thing... Kelli's dad came to the game tonight. Even though most of us are mid-20's-mid 30's, I think that's pretty cool.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fantasy Football - Trading Is Over

Okay... so I'm really into making trades and thankfully trade deadlines have passed in two of my leagues.

In the Market 117 (formerly WEEK) I made two big trades over the past two days. Needing a QB, I traded Chris Brown, Coles and Simms for Bledsoe, TJ Housh and Fred Taylor. Yes, it stung a little when Brown went for 2 TDs today.

But minutes later, I decided to go the rest of the way with Kurt Warner. So I traded Bledsoe, Mewelde and Steve Smith to the owner who lost McNabb (and was down to Orton) for Steven Jackson, Fitzgerald and McCown (in case Warner gets pulled or hurt). Of course Jackson stunk it up today, but I think long term he'll produce more than Brown. We'll see.

I also picked up Jackson in my auction league and gave up Galloway. Neither of them did anything to day so it was a wash. Long term though, I like RBs as they produce more consistently.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bradley Makes NCAA Soccer Tourney

Congratulations to Jim DeRose and the Bradley soccer team on making the NCAA tournament. Coach DeRose is building one of the top programs in the nation and coming from a soccer family I think that's terrific. I hope to reap the benefits to as many of the kids I have coming in this year have been attending his camps for the past several years.

Tough one for me to choose a team to root for come Friday though. I grew up on the east side of Milwaukee, a stones throw from Bradley's opponent, UWM, and would go to home games at Engelman.

Guys I played with and against played for them. My brother and sister spent time in Europe playing for their coach, Louis Bennett. Three kids from my high school are on their roster as they recruit heavily in what is a soccer hotbed.

Should be a great game.

Frankly They Just Couldn't Agree

Former WHOI and current KARE (Minneapolis, MN) main anchor Frank Vascellaro will be an anchor without a desk come December. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Frank Vascellaro will sign off on December 9th, after failing to reach agreement on a new contract.

He apparently is looking at radio, PR or going back to work as as a stockbroker. His wife, Amelia Santaniello, co-anchors the evening news across the street at Viacom O&O WCCO-4-CBS and has crept within a rating point of KARE at 10 p.m. KARE had a 13.3 - 23 share, WCCO a 12.2 - 22 share. Thanks to Newsblues for the numbers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Anchorman is on right now. "You stay classy San Diego. This is Ron Burgandy?"

Not a good movie, but it has more than it's share of stupid funny moments.

Someone Can't Sleep

My oldest is still awake. He's on the couch watching home improvemen shows with his mom. He's almost five. I can't believe how fast it has gone. What happened to that little guy who fit on my forearm when we brought him home?

He's really a sweet, sensitive kid. And pretty sharp too. The other day he wondered out loud what his baby brother's voice would sound like when he started talking. I feel like I'm going to blink and he'll be a teenager.

Shannon just commented that his nose is starting to look less like mine. Thank goodness.

Trading Deadline

Two of my fantasy football leagues have trading deadlines this weekend. In the Market 117 league, my team is in first place in the WMBD division (three divisions named after our three stations). But it is a hollow lead with three weeks left as I've lost Culpepper, Holmes and Owens.

My lineup the rest of the way looks like this:
Warner, Larry Johnson, Chris Brown, Steve Smith, Coles, Witten, Tynes, Steelers D/ST

Could probably play Mewelde for Brown if the match up is right.

Thinking about trading for a QB, but it's hard cause most of my depth is gone. A very deep team three weeks ago is now just a Steve Smith injury or Kurt Warner benching away from fantasy oblivion.

The team Bill and I share in Adam Nielsen's auction league is pretty mediocre. Lost Holmes, don't have Johnson. Hanging in sixth led by Joey Galloway. I'm throwing out a bunch of trades... we'll see if we can shake up our roster for one last run. We probably need a new draft strategy for next year, but I really think with this stuff, your first year is learning how the league works.

We're going to finish out like this:

Hasselbeck (or Bledsoe), Westbrook, Jamal Lewis, Galloway, Chambers, Gonzalez, Josh Brown, Ravens Def.

No trading deadline in the WMBD league... but we're in 6th out of 6 teams for points... tied for first in record.

Catching Up On Movies

Watched Oceans Twelve last night. It wasn't bad. Not usually a big fan of sequels. I really liked the new version of Oceans Eleven... just a lot of fun. One of those movies that I'd always get sucked into whenever it would come on. This one wasn't as clever. The whole Julia Roberts character "Tess' posing as Julia Roberts seemed to be a bit much. The Bruce Willis scene seemed forced. Matt Damon's character seemed to take a really odd turn from the first. Still worth seeing if you liked the first one.

Spanglish is next. Shannon and I have it TiVoed.

Airwaves Continue To Roll

The Tuesday version of the Airwaves continues to kick butt. The final score was 8-2. Kelli, Mike, Spanky, Bart, Jeff and I all scored.

Last month I posted about an outdoor game against a team with a couple of real clowns. We played them again tonight. One of their defenders made a good play on me right when I got in and we both laughed about it. I really do try to keep it friendly as we start. Then two of their guys starting talking smack to me. One of them was that same idiot who was hacking me all over the place and whining to the refs during the outdoor game.

I love when people talk trash and then can't do anything. You really can't make yourself look any dumber. I especially loved when Kelli stuck him tonight, took the ball and left him in the dust. What I loved even more is dropping three goals on them and staring him down as I went back to the line.

Play clean, don't be a jerk and we'll all have fun. Start acting like an ass and I'll make you look like one. This guy is never going to learn.

Converted Cheesehead?

As mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, WHOI's Monica Landeros is moving on to one of my favorite markets, Green Bay and a job at Packers' flagship station WLUK.

She says it'll be tough being a Bears fan, but I'm hoping to see her convert into cheesehead.

Green Bay is great... even if you're not a Packer fan, it does have that NFL thing going on. You can do some good networking that way, although it was probably better when the team was really good in the mid-90's. And it can be a good springboard if you want to keep moving. My friend Hazel went from there to New York a few years back. She and Nuzzo actually both started at the same station a few weeks apart.

Monica's going away party will be at Kelleher's on November 19th... around 9 or 10. Best of luck, Monica!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Moving On

Congrats to Blake Chenault who joins CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland as a general assignment reporter. Blake most recently worked at ABC affiliate WXYZ in Detroit and prior to that worked for NBC affiliate KXAS in Dallas and at one time was weekend anchor at WHOI.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Night Out... Just the Boys

Took my oldest to the symphony on saturday night. Not sure what I expected... I mean... he's four. But whatever... it was going to be good, solid quality time just the two of us.

It probably didn't help that he didn't have a nap. His eyes looked like big saucers as they began the first piece. He seemed fascinated by the sound and the motion of the bows (we sat closest to the violins). This didn't last long. At four, I'm guessing most kids need interaction. But really I just wanted him to see that music didn't have to involve four guys in colored spandex or a big dinosaur. When I was little, I went to the symphony fairly regularly for school trips. But by the second piece he was squirming and asking when we'd leave.

He clapped politely at all the right times, taking his cue from the crowd and as we left he said, "Daddy, I had fun."

So on the way home, I decided to take him to something he'd been wanting to do: we saw Chicken Little. It was actually pretty good and he loved every minute.

He on occassion asks me if we can do "something special together." I figure I need to now, before I blink and he's a teenager and wants to have nothing to do with me.

The Doc Is Back In

Congrats to Doc Watson on his new gig at WXCL.

From Steve Tarter's column:

Country changes
Speaking of WXCL-FM 104.9, the new morning man at the country station is B.J. Stone, moving over from his afternoon shift, to replace the departed Tom Kelly. Sue Parker stays on during middays, with Doc Watson taking over for Stone in the afternoon.
Watson, the former member of the 3D morning team on WMBD-AM 1470, is suddenly all over the dial. He filled in for Roger Monroe mornings on WOAM-AM 1350 last week while assisting WOAM's Dave Murphy on high school football coverage Saturday.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What I'm Watching

Just FYI:

First season of "24" on WGN
My Name Is Earl
The Office
The Apprentice

Of course our local news... and way too much football.

Congrats Melanie

Congrats to former WMBD radio reporter Melanie Gregg. Melanie has been working on the Buffalo mayoral campaign of New York State Senator Byron Brown. Brown recently won a four person race and will be that city's first African American mayor.

Let's Get Ready To Rumble

This summer I wrote about former WEEK director Chad Dillefeld and his switch from TV to wrestling promoter. His Heartland Wrestling Association is on the air. Here's the news release:

Cincinnati, OH--November 3, 2005-- The HeartlandWrestling Association announced 2 partnerships for theupcoming TV season. Adrenaline Nation TV is set to air the HWA's weeklytelevision show, "HWA Adrenaline", beginning November 12, 2005.

The HWA also has clearance on America One network tobe broadcast to there over 100 stations covering over20 million viewers across the country beginningSaturday night November 12th at midnight. A brand new episode of "HWA Adrenaline" will air everyweekend on and America One. "We are ecstatic to be partnering with AdrenalineNation TV and America One allowing wrestling fans the world over to experience the high octane, in yourface, heart pumping action that only the Heartland Wrestling Association can provide.

The size of the media player at Adrenaline Nation is one of thebiggest out there and will allow fans to watch theshow from the comfort of their home computer. AmericaOne covers the US via affiliate stations and reallygives us the TV penetration we need." stated Chad Dillefeld, HWA Executive Producer.

The debut episodes will air Saturday November 12th.The America One episode will air at midnight and willbe available through your local America One affiliate,check your local listings. The inaugural episode on Adrenaline Nation TV will be a 2-hour episode and will feature an expanded version of the America One showwith some classic matches from the HWA Video Library. The following weeks the HWA will receive 3 time slotsper week on Adrenaline Nation. Saturdays 8-10pm,Saturdays Midnight-2am and Sundays 5-7pm. HWA contentwill also be available via VOD on the site. AdrenalineNation TV is available free of charge to anyone with a broadband internet connection.

Through both of these networks we are planning future programming and marketing strategies that will further our stake in the wrestling market.

You can visit the HWA at

Adrenaline Nation TV is broadcast at

America One information available at

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Holmes Out For The Year

So I'm in three fantasy football leagues... and in all three my top player at the start of the year was Priest Holmes. Today it was announced he's going on injured reserve and is done for the year.

In the league I run, I'm covered with Larry Johnson and I'm going to pick him up in the second league. In the third one, another former 25er, Adam Nielsen has him and with few tradeable assets at my disposal, I'm pretty much screwed. This is the last time I pick the same "anchor" player in all three leagues.

Not only that, but I drafted Terrell Owens in two leagues. It's gonna be a rough stretch run.

No Place Like Home

Phil Luciano writes a column as his parents are putting his childhood house up for sale. Good topic that got lots of calls on Markely and Luciano on my way home today.

When I'm home in Milwaukee, I will on occasion drive by the house where I spent much of my childhood. My parents moved to their current home while I was in grade school, but I had really good memories of the first house. It was much smaller than the one we moved to, but it was one of those neighborhoods where everyone knew everyone and there were lots of kids.

Funny story about that house... when one of my cousins got to high school, she went to some kind of drinking party. After a while, she was thinking, I've been here before and her friends are like... whatever. But then she basically led them on a tour... she knew what kind of room was where and what etc. Turns out... it was my old house.

Airwaves Win

This indoor session the Airwaves have one team that plays Tuesdays and a second that plays on Thursdays. Season started last night.

We went down early 1-0 after some confusion in front of our goal and that was the score at halftime. I scored two in the second half and Trey added a third with a few minutes left to seal the deal. Props to Mike for setting up the second and third goals... and kudos to Bart and Jim for volunteering to play goal while Glen is away.

Thursday team opens their season tomorrow.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Reality Versus Fantasy

I'm in three fantasy football leagues. Let me just say that playing fantasy football is significantly easier... at least on the body... than playing real football.

My friend "EWD" graduated from Peoria Central and he and some buddies have been playing a Turkey Bowl for 15 or so years now. He invited me to play today.

Just a little background. I love football. But considering my size and the fact that there were no flag football leagues that I knew of growing up... I've maybe played half a dozen times. A few times in gym class in seventh grade and a few times when a bunch of WMBDers would get together.

This game is great. These guys give each other all sorts of crap, all in good fun of course. They have flags and real endzone markers and mini dry erase boards to draw up plays in the huddle.

I know football fairly well, but knowing it... and recognizing it while playing/being able to execute plays are two entirely different things. I gave a decent accounting of myself... had four or five good runs and scored a couple of touchdowns... but several times I found myself a little lost. Oh... and just like in soccer, I'm a huge defensive liability. For those of you who don't know me, my version of defense is outscoring the guy who is guarding me.

But whatever. It's a lot of fun. I'm kind of dinged up... sore knees, sore shoulder, sore hip. I'm guessing it'll be worse tomorrow and Monday. Just hope I'm okay to play soccer Tuesday night.

Congrats to my QB Emad Malouf... winner of the MVP trophy for the year!

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Reporter

Welcome to Jessica Wheeler... I'm assuming the newest reporter at WHOI. I say assuming because I'm just too lazy call one of the dozen people I know over there and ask. Maybe tomorrow.

It Must Be Sweeps

What the hell is wrong with some people? Just finished watching Dateline on Basically dateline worked with this group and posing as young boys they were able to lure alleged sexual predators to a house where reporter Chris Hansen was waiting. I can't believe the number of people who showed up.

Earlier this year, I wrote about my friend Steve who did the same story in Kansas City... so doing this story this way is nothing new. But it will get people to watch, won't it?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bye Bye Jeff

Jeff Melbourne (actualy he shared that his last name is actualy Nau) has shut down his Peoria TV Stations blog. While I didn't agree with a lot of what he wrote, I had great respect for the time and effort he put into his blog. Best of luck with what ever it is that'll be taking up your time in the future.

Big Market Move

Congratulations to former WHOI meteorologist Michael Kelting. He's moving from Green Bay to KRON in San Francisco.

Mayor Guilty On All Three Counts

Of course the lead tonight on all three of our stations was the guilty verdict for now former Pekin Mayor Lyn Howard.

Just a few thoughts:

This defense of is it or is it not a Pekin City credit card was weak at best... especially after he told investigators one thing and told the grand jury another. And then to blame it on the media... that they confused him. Take responsibility.

Seriously? Did people pay $100 for a steak dinner for this defense? How about aliens took over my body and made me gamble? Sheesh. Howard claimed all along that he wanted to do what's best for the city of Pekin. Really? Was this best for the city? I'm glad he had his day in court as everyone deserves, but this was a joke.

In an interview with WHOI, Howard said he may have had a gambling problem in the past. Wow... what a stunning revelation. Gamblers Anonymous says most compulsive gamblers will answer "yes" to at least seven of these twenty questions:

Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
Did gambling affect your reputation?
Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

I can tell you just from what Howard admitted to in the media, that he could answer "yes" to a bunch of these.

In an interview with WMBD's Lisa Miller, Pekin City Commissioner Bill Maddox said, “We need a person who is committed to the city of Pekin, knows something about municipal government and is willing to work for the betterment of all the citizens of the city.”

All I can say is... you had one, but certain groups decided their interests were more important than the city's and they were able to scare/con enough people into voting our gambling mayor into office. Good times, huh? Hey folks... when you're going to find someone to be a candidate, how about doing a little homework?

Both the defense and the prosecution agreed that there needs to be well defined policy for city credit cards. This is true. But I contend that people who hold public office need to take a common sense test too.

Finally... there are Howard supporters out there who continue to take shots at my father in law (the mayor before Howard if you're not familiar)... claiming conspiracy etc. You people are idiots. This clown made his own bed... and the legacy he will leave behind is one of stupidity.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Market 117 Is A Year Old Today

It was on this day last year that I started this blog.

I'd like to say thanks to the faithful readers. Without you, this would just be a personal diary... although in looking back, it has evolved from a TV related blog to more of a personal journal (when I'm not to lazy to post).

I know there are lots of different reasons people read... some for the TV thoughts, which I know have been rare in recent months... some because you know me and are amused by my sometimes inane ramblings... an some cause you're bored.

We'll see what year two brings...

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Owner and Steve

If only he knew what you and Michael have in common. Posted by Picasa

That's former WMBD photographer Steve Scheuer on the left with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Actually, Jerry is recruiting Steve to be the Bulls third point guard... but only if he can shed a couple pounds.

Congrats Monica

Congrats to Monica Landeros who will be leaving WHOI and going to WLUK in Green Bay (the Packers' flagship station no less).

Monica is also a blogger and a marathon runner for those of you who don't know. Best of luck in all three pursuits.

Hat tip to Bill Dennis.

Technology Today

So here's a scene for you. In one window, I had my Market 117 fantasy league... but minimized so my son could play a game on PBS At the same time, he's talking to my brother on my cell phone.

And here... my parents wouldn't even let us have Atari.

How Come?

How come everyone in the NFL always thinks they're being interfered with?

Trick Or Treat

We went trick or treating earlier in the evening. Mr. E was Buzz Lightyear. He was so excited about going out this year. He'd run across lawns to get to doors. It's so neat to do this kind of stuff with someone who finds it so exciting.

I think this is why little kids have so much energy. Not much is all that boring yet. So much to learn and see and do.

Jamal Lewis Fumbles... Edgar Celebrates

That's two points for my defense.

It has actually been a good football weekend for me. I've won two games and have a chance to win a third.

In the Market 117 league, I started the night up 9 points. My opponent/brother has Pittsburgh's Willie Parker and I have the Steelers defense.

The team I share with Bill Fischer... we have the Baltimore defense and have already beaten the first place team.

The team Josh and I share... I think has already won.

So The Nice Thing Is...

You can track your fantasy team(s) while you're out. The bad thing is when you (me in this case) actually feel the need to do so. It is a sickness, I know. I'll be getting some help in the off season.

Remote Blogging

I'm out tonight... and this is my first post in a restaurant. Josh, the big boy and I are taking in Monday Night Football at the "new" Old Chicago. Another step in my evolution as a blogger.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Little Nuzzo

Not that the original is very big though, right?

Congrats to new mom, Aimee Nuzzo, on the arrival of Lily Katherine!

Limping Towards The Finish Line

This blog is about to celebrate its first anniversary, but as you can see, I'm limping towards the finish line.

I've just been so preoccupied with so many other things... health, house, work... organizing indoor soccer and my three fantasy football teams.

Still watching the news, still have odd thoughts to share... just don't feel like writing. I'll try today if it strikes me.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Soccer Season Ends

A belated congrats to both Airwaves teams. The Analog team finished on a high note winning 3-0 for their fourth win of the year.

The Digital team defeated the only team we had lost to 4-0 to essentially claim first place in the "B" league.

Co-ed indoor soccer starts up soon. Interested newsies can e-mail me.

Having A Good Day

Nothing earthshattering... just a day alone with my kids.

Shannon had a fundraiser this morning and is now off to Champaign for homecoming. So it's me and my three...

For anyone who thinks staying home is easy... it isn't. The second you have taken care of one, the second kid needs something and then the baby needs something and back to the first... and so on. No time for you... no time to get much done around the house. Days like this make me appreciate my wife even more.

Having a good day... played Candyland and catch.... the older two got to jump in piles of leaves. A decent lunch (subs) and now some cartoons. With the baby napping, I actually got a moment to document.

Now they're making funny faces in a mirror.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Stupid Software

I lost out in the last few seconds on a Dora costume for my little girl. As an E-bay novice, Shannon explained to me that despite having a good computer and a high speed connection, there is software out there that will bid in the last two seconds and win out every time.

So I'll be back bidding this afternoon... but as my friends know, I'm very competitive and hate to lose... so I needed to win something this morning.

Won the baby a Care Bear at WalMart... from one of those claw games. Cost me $2, so I came out ahead. It's a sickness... I know.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Family Has Gotta Eat

Thanks to WMBD's Brad Harding for his hospitality tonight. The Sandovals were shopping for Halloween costumes and stopped in to the Q Smokehouse Buffet for a little dinner.

Really good BBQ and a wide range of sides awaits you. Bring an appetite and a bib... you'll need both.

Gobble, Gobble

On our trip to California, my friend Cassady introduced me to Turkey bacon. Good times.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Long Time Listener...

I called in to the Greg and Dan show the other morning. With a name like "Edgar"... in a small town it's kind of like being named "Sting" or "Bono." (On a side note, when looking up names for our first, we found a book that listed "Edgar" as one of the names that is so far gone, it'll never come back.)

Anyway, they were talking about "guy" movies that when they come on, you just have to watch. And of course people called in with "Animal House" and "Tommy Boy" and "The Magnifient Seven"... all movies I would stop to watch.

I called in with two and set them up pretty good. I dropped "The Fujitive" and described what I liked about it... then out of left field shared one of my guilty pleasures: "Legally Blonde." Brought the bit to a screeching halt.

Greg called me after the show this morning... he described it as "radio gold." Cause apparently they got into another bit toward the end of today's show... related to looting... and if some kind of disaster happened in Peoria, where would you loot (this was a joke, to be clear). Someone called in and said they'd do Gander Mountain, but "if I was Edgar... Jeffery Alans."


Monday, October 10, 2005

Fantasy Musings

This was one of those weeks that will make me only do two leagues instead of three next year. I had five players that scored for me and against me depending on the league.

So far I'm 3-2 in one league, 1-4 in another and 3-2 in the third. Priest Holmes had his bye week this week, so I was happy to win just one game minus my anchor.

Money, Money, Money

Had an interesting conversation with a reporter out of LA. Yes, when you move on to the really big markets, you make considerably more money than in the smaller ones. But if money is what you're after, be warned that the real money is still reserved for the front line people and how many slots are there per station?

This person wasn't complaining about the money, just pointing out that people in other industries in the same market with the same level of education and experience will make a lot more. Not that money is everything, but just something to think about.

I think J school profs across the country tell kids, if you want to be rich, don't do this... and the ones that don't... should.

So You Think Your Lead Stinks

Of course while on vacation, I sampled the news in the various markets.

While it is true that there is more compelling news to cover in bigger markets, some days even the big boys and girls have to grin and bear it.

On the night we spent in Anaheim, the lead story was actress Lindsey Lohan was in a car accident that wasn't cause by paparazzi, although they had been harassing her moments before and of course were all over the accident shortly after.

This story had live shots and sidebars depending on the station. Blech.

Vacation Day 8

No pictures from the last day. We got up at 6 Pacific to get to the airport by 7:15 for an 8:45 flight. But something was wrong with our plane and after several delays, we ended up rebooking for a noon flight. Unfortunately that meant missing our early flight into Peoria. So instead of getting back at 5:30 or so, we got back at 9:45. Not a big deal if it was just the two of us, but with three kids it was pretty hard.

Still they did pretty well and it was a great vacation.

Vacation Day 7

Ice Cream Posted by Picasa

That's my girl with Rebecca Somach (her Godmother) enjoying some ice cream at Ghiradelli's in San Francisco. We spent the day with Rebecca and her husband Josh. For those of you who know them, they're doing well and getting ready to move into a home in Sacramento.

Had a lot of fun catching up, including spending time at Pier 39 and seeing the Blue Angels practice for a weekend air show over the San Francisco bay.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Vacation Day 6

Hey, what about me? Posted by Picasa

Spent the day with of our friends from our old station there. She's had two kids since we left. We miss it there, but realize that it is so expensive and not very realistic to live there had we both stayed in television. Still a great place to visit and it does feel like home.

We went to Cannery Row, stopped at one of our old haunts and drove past our old apartments. Of course, like any busy day with kids, it should end with a bath and of course the baby wanted in.

Vacation Day 5

Fairytale Posted by Picasa

Spent a day in Los Angeles. We actually did something I would have never considered having lived there and having worked for a film company... we did one of those Hollywood tours. You know the kind that takes you past stars homes and famous sites.

Recognize the place in the picture? Look closely at the fire escape on the left.

Anyway, it was kind of cheesy, but still fun... except for the occasional child meltdown.

Met some friends for dinner at the C&O Trattoria in Venice. Great place if you ever get a chance. Really good Italian food. You can eat indoors our outdoors... draw on the tablecloth... they have their own homemade wine... and you're just a stones throw from the beach.

Vacation Day 4

Disney Posted by Picasa

That's our youngest giving kisses to Snow White. Disneyland (or Disneyworld) really is the happiest place on earth. We had been to Florida a couple times in the past few years, but really even the older two were too young to get it.

This time it was like being there for the first time. Every ride, every attraction... seeing it through the eyes of toddlers makes it for lack of a better word, magical.

Vacation Day 3

Beach Posted by Picasa

After meeting some TV friends for breakfast at my favorite SD breakfast place, Konos, we took the kids to the beach.

That's my brother on the left. My oldest just loved the beach. Our girl wasn't as big a fan... especially once she got doused by a wave.

Vacation Day 2

Baptism Posted by Picasa

The main purpose of our vacation was for me, as Godfather, to attend the baptism of my first niece. Baptisms are a pretty big deal in our family.

Like us, my sister and her husband are struggling to figure out how many kids they want to have, but if baby J is an indication, they're all going to be pretty cute.

Vacation Day 1

Luggage Posted by Picasa

This is what it looks like to travel with three kids to California for a week. And this was how I packed our rental car before realizing that I still had to put the stroller in there.

We checked seven things... four bags and three car seats. Thankfully everything got to sunny San Diego with us.

Airwaves Split

Tough game for the Digital Airwaves soccer team. They played one of the better teams in our league and lost 5-1.

Analog Airwaves won its game 7-2. I sat to start, but scored about 30 seconds after entering the game. Scored another a few minutes later. Really balanced game offensively as Jose, Noe, Trey, Bart and Lesley all scored in the win.

Just a couple thoughts on our game. Playing against hacks and whiners brings out the worst in me. I'll admit it. Not that their whole team was like this (most of them were cool) just a couple of guys.

Anyway, after scoring the first goal, I get the ball on a break. The defender starts screaming about offsides and instead of trying to actually defend the play, he just takes my legs out from behind, coming no where near the ball.

Later after, they misplay the ball, Noe scores and he gets tangled up with the goalie. As he tries to get up, the goalie drops an elbow to his back like a pro wrestler.

When this kind of crap happens it really honks me off. And then I turn into Mr. Attitude... talking endless trash... egging the jerks on after we score. Just my way of venting my frustration at this mentality that says trying to hurt people in a rec league is okay. Translation: we all have jobs that we have to go to on Monday and shouldn't have to do it so banged up.

I am not a very good player. I've got a bum knee and carrying 20 pounds more than I should be. If you can't guard me without hacking just to hack, stay home. If you can't stand being scored on... freakin play better.

I'm Back

Back home... back blogging.

I've been gone on vacation to California and while I had internet access... just didn't think it was worth getting on here.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Yeah I Know

I've been ignoring the blog. We've been back in house mode... getting ready for our first open house tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Like A Proud Parent

Went to the ICC women's soccer game on Wednesday night. Three of the girls I used to coach are playing this year (two who graduated in the spring, one who played while I was a volunteer assistant).

It was just another game, I know, but I felt such a sense of pride seeing them out there.

Wamp - Public Restrooms

Luciano was talking a little bit about restrooms during his radio show this week. He and Markley were talking about people talking to you in the bathroom and which stall to pick among other things. Coincidentally, I was thinking about wamping about this, but just never got around to it.

Things I can't stand about public restrooms: why is it people can't lift up the seat when not using a urinal. Really? Is it that difficult. What are we, four? I guess I mean three cause my four year old lifts up the seat.

And cell phones. Really? Are there people who are so important that they can't answer nature's call without answering their cell phone? Finish your business. Then call them back. Sheesh.

Celebrating Anniversaries

This past week, Shannon and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. We had some friends watch the kids and snuck away to the frame of our new home to have dinner there.

Today, we'll be attending a party for her grandparents who are celebrating their 60th anniversary this month. Amazing.

FFL Update

So after winning all three games my first weekend, I lost all three, even though I was the second highest scoring team in two leagues. Went up against McNabb twice. It happens.

This week, in one of my leagues, I've gone with the big risk, big reward trade. I traded Thomas Jones and Trent Green for Daunte Culpepper and Roy Williams.

If Culpepper comes back close to what he was last year, it'll be a huge boost to my team. If not, I just got rid of my most productive back for nothing.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Universal Truths Of TV Markets

Jeff from the Peoria TV Stations blog and a poster from Champaign/Urbana have taken sides on which market is better, although later in the comment section Jeff seems to concede his take is more of being supportive of your home market. In another post, I see some people are weighing in on the comings (or lack of hirings) and goings.

Since college I've lived/worked in market #2, #33, #117, #125 (with access to watch stations in #6). Also got to semi-regularly watch #3 and #82 and sampled news from more than a dozen others because of travel for work. Just a few thoughts...

1. People think their market “plays bigger” than its market size. Some do. Some don't. But people generally like to think their's does.

2. The grass isn’t always greener and bigger isn't always better. You might get paid more. There might be a wider range of social options. But there are good and bad stations in bigger markets... and good and bad markets with bigger and smaller numbers.

3. A few people leave, everyone else thinks the sky is falling. But life goes on. See an old post of mine on the "circle of life" in local TV.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Celebration Time Come On

Congrats to the good folks at WJBC and all their alums. The station recently celebrated its 80th birthday. They are to the Twin Cities what 1470 is to this side of the market and maybe even more so as there is less of a television presence in Bloomington/Normal.

From Bill Flick's column

Those WJBC legends: If on the Bloomington Square tonight you see a "murderer's row" of such WJBC radio announcing alumni as, say, Ken Behrens, Marc Magliari and perhaps even Howard Packowitz, have your cameras positioned.
The gathering will be in honor of the 80th birthday of the legendary AM station, held at the Courthouse History Museum.
Tonight's event is invitation-only.
On Saturday, the station will host an open house for those of us who just listen to them talk into a microphone.
Also expected among alumni in a cavalcade of ex-wagging jaws and Sponsor Wheel spinners: Don Munson, Alan Sender, Stew Salowitz, Steve Vogel, Judy Markowitz, Lori Laughlin, Maggi Pratt, Adam Nielsen, Dick Luedke, Art Sechrest, Phil Supple, Dan Irvin and Don Newberg.
If that's not enough hot air to turn the courthouse's newly refurbished copper-top dome green again, it'll never happen.

Conflicted Football

As I've written before, this fantasy football season is one of much conflict. Today, one of my teams has Owens one has Westbrook and both my opponents have McNabb.

Home Team Makeover

Steve Tarter covers the new addition to WEEK's home team: WAOE. This isn't new territory as something similar took place with WMBD and WYZZ a few years back. I don't expect to see news on WAOE however.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Welcome Megan

I'm a little behind on this...

Welcome to WMBD's newest reporter, Megan Johnson. Megan (I assume) replaces Liza Danver who moved on to Evansville.

WMBD is still looking for another reporter to replace Kimberly Laburda.

Wamp - ATMs

In honor of Beth Peterson, I've decided to start a new category of posts - wamp.

Melanie Gregg, formerly of 1470, used to call it "taking over the world bank." What are people doing at the ATM that takes so freakin long? Why is this so hard for some people? I waited five minutes last night while someone was apparently attempting to try every transaction the machine offers. Five minutes isn't a big deal, but it is with three kids in the car.

And I'm not talking about people making a deposit. I'm talking about those with the confused look... like every trip to the ATM is a new adventure. Is it that they have no idea how much money is in there? Are they cross checking the braile to make sure it was done right? BTW braile at the drive up ATM is also scarry.

If I ruled the world (and I'm working on that) long ATMers would have stickers on their cars so the rest of us would know to go somewhere else.

Okay, done wamping.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

House Update

Framed Posted by Picasa

Shannon asked me for input on the cabinets. I said they need to be able to hold plates.

As you can see we've got windows and the roof is done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

FFL Week 1

All three of my fantasy teams won over the weekend. I'm guessing that isn't going to happen very often and this whole rooting for and against the same players cause you have them in one league, but your opponent has them in another is very conflicting and irritating.

Good play of the week: (tie) despite what all the experts said, I benched Chris Brown for Thomas Jones. Jones scored a TD, Brown did not. Bill and I benched Ahman Green in favor of Brian Westbrook under suspicion that my Packers were going to stink it up. I was right.

Bad play of the week: playing Trent Green instead of Brian Griese or Tim Rattay. Who could have known the Chiefs would have such and easy week?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Airwaves vs. Airwaves 2005

Team Photo 2005 Posted by Picasa

The two teams I manage played soccer today. The Analog team won 4-0, although I think if both teams were at full strength, it would have been closer. I scored two, Noe scored one and Bart scored another.

As many of us have gotten to really know each other over the course of the last few years of having two teams playing outdoor and indoor, this was the most fun of the intrasquad games. Lots of laughing and good natured ribbing.

Trey takes a shot. Posted by Picasa

Glen makes a save. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Marigold Festival Weekend

This is one of my wife's favorite weekends every year. Friday night downtown... Art in the Park... catching up with old friends. As we drove towards the courthouse last night, my oldest says "are we going to the farmer's market?" I told him, "No buddy, tonight it's the Marigold Festival. It's only the farmer's market on Thursdays... through next week."

Not being from here, it isn't the same for me. Growing up in Milwaukee, the big thing was Summerfest. Great music with the best local and regional bands as well as many big name national acts, although I think in recent years, the names haven't been as big. Lots of great food and drink... and lots of good memories. I think a few years back, people who had met there years before, were even getting married there.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Musings From Morton

A former MARKET 117er has started a blog and I just wanted to give it/him a plug.

Employees First

Markley and Luciano had one of the owners of CSE Software in Morton on their show on my way home. I read Phil's column earlier in the day and really like this story. In fact, I think former 19 and 31er Charlie Whiteman's wife, Cindy works for this company.

They gave all their employees a $50 gas card to help with the recent spike in gas prices and will give any of them who want to help with the hurricane relief effort a paid week off to do so.

I know not all companies can afford to do such things, but lots of credit to companies that can and do.

Compelling Stories

Still watching a lot of the New Orleans coverage with great interest. Starting to watch localized coverage. If they post it online at, check out Melissa Dunton's story on the use of the word "refugee."

I had this thought earlier this week. I think some of the more compelling stories we'll hear will come out years from now... having to do with people who survived and decided to not just start over as many are doing, but leave behind their identities.

What happened was a horrible tragedy to be sure, but for some it could mean a "do over" on life.


Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world who still eats Mr. Goodbar candy bars. They're not always easy to find individually and they don't package them by themselves for Halloween.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Up On The Housetop

Roofless No More Posted by Picasa

A really good week at our future home. As you can see, our crew is making a lot of progress on the roof.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Let The Trash Talking Begin

It might just happen over e-mail, but this is the week when the two soccer teams I manage end up giving each other some good natured ribbing and share a little smack.

This Sunday, the Digital Airwaves (1-3) take on the Analog Airwaves (2-1). This is by far the game where we have the most fun, as you don't run into the stray "clown" who thinks the MLS scouts are at Bielfeldt looking for an enforcer. No matter what the teams records are, this game is always competitive and full of laughing and smiles.

FFL Recap

These fantasy football posts may just be for the people in my leagues and Eric Peterson, but whatever.

For the first time, I'm in three leagues... one I'm running (Market 117, formerly the WEEK alumni league), a second one where I'm sharing a team with Bill Fischer (league run by former 25er Adam Nielsen) and a third one where I'm sharing a team with Josh Simon (league run by current 31er Dave Tomlianovich).

Somehow, I've ended up with Priest Holmes on all three teams. If he goes down, it'll take some pretty shrewd moves to stay competitive. I've TO, Gonzo, M. Hasselbeck, Pennington, Wilkins and Ahman Green (although I think he's on his way down) on two teams.

My teams in the first two leagues are pretty good, but in the third, a six team league, I think we have a potential winner. In a league this small, you'll all get really good running backs, but Josh and I were able to draft three of the consensus top five/six receivers (Owens, Holt and J. Walker) as well as Tony Gonzalez. Leagues are rarely won on draft day, but I think Josh and I have a great start.

Anyway, this may be too much to keep track of, but I'm going to give it a shot... at least this year.

Ivra Bassett Checks In

Former WHOI reporter Ivra Bassett checks in via e-mail.

He is a marketing consultant with a company calledEdVenture Partners. They run on-site college internships for companies including some Fortune 100's.

Ivra now lives in sunny San Diego, where I'm actually headed next month.

I'll update him in the "Where Are They Now" section eventually.

Gehly On The Go

Talked to Steve Gehlbach last week. He is of course taking part in the Market 117 fantasy football league, but more importantly he's on the move. Steve and Christi have moved on from Knoxville to sunny Tampa where he's doing some freelance reporting. I would expect it is just a matter of time before he is full time at one of the stations there.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Joys Of Fatherhood

Sawing logs Posted by Picasa

What I wouldn't give for the baby to be sleeping as pictured. He's not. And as you can see by the post time it is about 4AM on my day off.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Looking For Liza

A number of people have been looking for Liza Danver via Google and ended up here. Looks like she ended up in Evansville. Congrats, Liza!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

What A Difference...

Now if I could just get my car back... Posted by Picasa

A couple of days makes. As you can see, I now have a place to park. But for those of you who hadn't heard... I've been car less for a week. When I got home from soccer on Sunday, I put it in park, then turned the key and pulled it out. But the car was still running. Apparently a part broke off... a part that needed to come from Mississippi. The guys who fix my car apparently received the wrong part from folks down there, but I'm guessing they have a lot other things on their minds, so I'm not in that big a hurry.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Home Sweet Construction Site

Second Floor Posted by Picasa

As you can see, the house is progressing nicely. This was from a few days ago and tomorrow you'll see how much they've done since then. Got a chance to meet the crew doing the framing... great bunch of guys.

More Second Floor Posted by Picasa

New Orleans Coverage

To be honest, I haven't been watching a lot of local news during my blogging hiatus. When I am watching news, it has been cable coverage of what's going on in New Orleans. Shannon has had it on a lot during the day.

Just watched a pretty powerful piece from former MARKET 117er Martin Savidge. His end track, under video of grief and desperation really summed it up for me:
This is not Iraq, this is not Somalia. This is home.

All this is still so unbelievable to me. So much of what we've been seeing are pictures of people in situations that, more often than not, I think viewers here are desensitized to... because it's usually happening somewhere else... somewhere far away.

I've only been to New Orleans once. It is a town steeped in tradition and history, shrouded in the mysterious... a place known for letting loose and embracing life. To see it like this is something I don't think we could have imagined, even when the warnings of Katrina were coming down. Damage to property was expected, but I'm seeing a spirited city broken and I wonder how they'll recover.

Sports Galore

I had the fantasy draft for the Market 117 Fantasy Football League. I think I did pretty well. Priest Holmes was my keeper, then grabbed Terrell Owens (high risk/high reward) with my second pick and Chris Brown in the third round.

Trent Green was my fourth pick. I have this theory I'm putting to the test this year. I know there are some who play this game who like to go for a QB/WR tandem... so if there is a TD toss between the two, you get 12 points for one touchdown. I'm going with Holmes/Green a QB/RB combo in what might be the highest scoring offense in the league. This way (provided they both, especially Holmes, stay healthy) whenever their offense scores (banking that Larry Johnson doesn't get too much red zone duty) either through the air or on the ground, I will get those points. We'll see how it works.

Picked up Steve Smith in round 5 and rounding out my starting lineup are TE Jason Witten, K Todd Peterson (Atlanta, indoors) and D/ST Pittsburgh.

I've got five starters who may have injury concerns, but if they're lucky healthwise, I should be in pretty good shape.

In soccer news... the Analog Airwaves won 2-1 over the weekend. I scored one early, then stupidly went 1 on 3. Somehow after getting by the defenders, I got tangled up with the goalie and went flying. The three of them either got in each others way or just misplayed the ball because it ended up with our other forward at the time, Lauren, who blasted it home for our second goal.

I ended up with a bruised up left thigh, a pulled right groin and sore ankles... but as those of you who have a passion for sports know, it hurts less when you win.

The Digital team went up 1-0 early, but ended up losing 4-1.

No games this weekend due to the holiday, but look for info on what, if I were a wrestling promoter like Chad Dillefeld or Vince McMahon, I would bill as "Clash of the Airwaves" coming September 11th.

I'm Back... Sort Of

Busy, busy, busy times... but as the former Beth Krug likes to say... good times.

My diet is over for the most part... I've stopped keeping track.

For those of you who know us, our current house has never looked better. Not even when we first moved in. We've replaced carpet and had the rest cleaned. We've painted (okay, Shannon has painted), changed light fixtures, moved dozens of boxes to storage, rearranged furniture and we've had two realtors show the house. Still need to do some things before an open house, but we've done so much. it'll kind of be sad to leave.

What else... met with my new athletic director and got to see the boys soccer team play.

My daughter took her first dance class.

A friend of mine from my small work group moved to a new job (congrats, Romeo).

We've got a family reunion this weekend, which is why I'm only sort of back.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Hello faithful readers...

We're pretty busy trying to get our house ready to show, plus I've got Can Do and prep for three fantasy leagues.

This all after the kids and work... and the blog takes a back seat.

I'll stop by if I get a break.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Auction Draft

I'm not exactly sure how Bill and I fared in yesterday's draft. We overspent to get Priest Holmes ($40 out of $100), but only spent $9 on QBs Hasselbeck, Pennington and Brooks.

We picked up Ahman Green for $12, although to be honest, I'm not sure how he's going to do this year. Brian Westbrook at $5 could be a steal.

Our receivers are okay, but we did pick up Tony Gonzalez. All in all, we felt pretty good, but being new to this style of drafting, we'll see how it pans out.

Diet Days 20 and 21

Day 20

breakfast - none

lunch - ham and cheese sandwich, fries, coke

dinner - cheese burger, hot dog, chips, potato salad, water, beer

Okay, so it took 20 days, but I finally gave in and had a burger. But we were at a friend's cookout and I love burgers off the grill.

Day 21

breakfast - none

lunch - turkey and cheese sandwich, chips, coke

dinner -

Airwaves Lose

The Analog team played a good game, but we just couldn't finish and lost 2-0. I'm old.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Fantasy Season Begins

I'm in three leagues this year after swearing I'd never do this. My first draft is today and it'll be a new experience for me as Bill Fischer and I are sharing a team in a league that does an auction style draft.

The Market 117 draft will be next Saturday night and my last league drafts on Labor Day. We'll see how it goes, but the inherent problem is that ineveitably you'll end up with different players in each of the leagues and you'll end up rooting for and against them as some will be owned by opponents in the different leagues. This may be the first and last time I attempt this.

Can Do

The Can Do 4:13 Scholarship Fund is dedicated to providing $1,000 scholarships to the 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and the current 2004-2005 fourth grade classes at Peoria, IL's Irving Primary School. The "Can Do Kids" have been challenged to graduate from high school. They will receive the $1,000 Can Do 4:13 Scholarship once they enroll at an accredited post secondary education institution. Examples of those institutions might include a university, college, technical training school, junior or business college, or even cosmetology school.

As some of you know, I do some volunteer publicity work for the Can Do 4:13. Our big event for the year is next Saturday, so if you're looking for a good cause, and/or a reason to go for a scenic walk on the 27th... join us at Tower Park in Peoria Heights next week at 9AM. The walk will take place along Grandview Drive.

Thanks to Kevin Harlan, Brent Lonteen, Krystal Morris, Kirby Matthews and everyone at WMBD for stepping up and sponsoring the event. These are some really great kids and they got a chance to be part of a promo you may have seen recently (and got a tour of the station afterwards). Thanks also to Jim McComb Chevrolet for giving the kids chance to be on live this morning and used some of their morning Sell Down Saturday segment on WEEK to give the walk a free plug.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Market 117 Fantasy Football League

Hey newsies, e-mail me if you're interested in joining the Market 117 Fantasy Football League. It looks like we've got ten teams so far, but as commissioner, I'll go as high as 16.

Working Without Prompter

WMBD apparently had the wrong show in prompter for the first several stories. It was fixed by the time they got to the Vioxx story. Amy handled it really well. First of all she realized after reading the first sentence that the wrong show was loaded. She worked well from scripts for the next bunch.

This is one of those things that for an anchor is actually a good thing once in a while. Of course you always want the right show loaded, but having to deal with a little on the job adversity keeps you on your toes and ready to deal should the prompter go down in the middle of a show or something.

Good Bye... Heart Of Illinois

As Jeff's blog has been reporting since Wednesday, Jill Wunrow is leaving WHOI. A tipster sent me an e-mail on this yesterday and I found out tonight what her future plans are, but I'll let that be official before I share that (or Jill, while we've only met once, if you'd like to e-mail me that it is cool to share, you can do that via the address up top).

Update: Jill is moving back to Wisconsin to be the weekend sports anchor at WSAW in Wausau. Like me, she's a big Packers fan and she'll live one of my dreams, to cover the green and gold. It is too bad it didn't work out the way she had hoped here, but this is a great move for her. Congrats, Jill!

Diet Days 18 and 19

day 18

breakfast - bagel, water

lunch - lasagna, water

dinner - chicken nuggets, fries, coke

day 19

breakfast - doughnut, water

lunch - chicken parm sandwich, onion rings, coke

dinner - pizza, water

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Lot Of Progress In A Couple Of Days

Shannon on the basement stairs Posted by Picasa

Our pile of dirt which became a basement recently is looking a lot more like a house as you can see. That wall behind Shannon will one day be home to a plasma HDTV in plenty of time for football season next year.

More progress Posted by Picasa

Diet Day 17

breakfast - grapes, corn flakes, water

lunch - turkey sandwich, chips, coke

dinner - BBQ, Sweet and Sour, Teriyaki chicken, two kinds of rice, fries, garlic bread, fortune cookie, coke... and I'm still hungry...

Some Days...

Number Three Posted by Picasa

are just a little rougher than others.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Looking Forward To Sunday

Sunday marks my return to the soccer field. I played a couple of times indoor and scrimmaged a few times while I coached this spring/summer, but for the most part I've been staying off my bum wheel.

But I love this time of year and I love this league. I started the Airwaves in 2000 when I was still anchoring weekends at 25. I had barely touched a ball in five years at that point. I quote/paraphrase Jonathan Ahl once a year when talking about this... "it's like being a kid again." Jon and I are the only two who have played all six years and for the past three seasons we've fielded two teams.

We play for fun and the rules I put forth that first year were simple: have fun, no one yells at anyone for making a mistake, and don't get hurt. It's that third one people have had trouble with :)

This league is perfect for my limited abilities. I'm not in good shape, what skill I once had has for the most part left me, and don't shoot particularly hard or well. But the field is so small and I can still change directions faster than most, that I will still score in bunches. My plan this year is to play as a sub when needed and from what I heard of our first game, that might not be very often.

Most of the teams/people in the league are pretty cool which makes it fun. There are a couple of clowns who seem to think hurting/hacking others is the way to handle getting beat, but they are in the minority.

Man Cannot Lose Weight By Diet Alone

I lost 13 pounds over the holidays last year. I was down to 147. The difference was I was riding an exercise bike 60 minutes a day. And I all but cut out carbs.

I'm going to guess those who know me (who read this thing) are wondering why I think I need to lose weight. Cause to be honest, you're not going to look at me and say boy, he could stand to lose a few.

But 160-163 is what I'm back up to... and at my height, it's not a good weight. I could feel the difference at 147. It's not like I'm one of those people who really believes in the BMI... that would tell me I need to be at 130 to be in the mid range of normal.

Anyway, I'd like to improve my diet and get into the 140s... it is a slow process as you can tell if you've been following along.

Diet Day 16

breakfast - plain bagel, water

lunch - grilled chicken, rice, breadstick (okay... and a couple of cheese sticks)

dinner - french toast, sausage, bacon, hash browns

Progress With The House

Progress Posted by Picasa

Many people have been asking about the house and there wasn't much going on the past few weeks. Monday, however... we have progress. That wood is a wall that separates a couple areas of our basement.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Should we all really think hard about car pooling? $2.75 a gallon? Really?

If the bus was a realistic option for me (like in high school) I'd consider it.

Small, Small World

Home this weekend. Scott Friedman, the weekend anchor at WTMJ is solid. Good reporter, good anchor. He and I also played soccer together in middle school. It may be a few years, but I think if he hangs here, one day he'll be the main guy.

Diet Day 15

breakfast - grapes, plain bagel, water

lunch - Fiesta's Speedy Gonzales, cheese quesadilla, coke

dinner - pizza, water

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Diet Day 14

breakfast - sausage and pancakes

lunch - split Chicken crispers, fries, garlic bread

dinner - 2 chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Monicals pizza

At least the earlier part of the week was good. Back on the wagon tomorrow.

I Survived The Wiggles

The Wiggles Posted by Picasa

I survived my third Wiggles concert. Actually it is fun for me to see how the kids react. I fear however that I'm doomed to have their music in my head this whole week.

Airwaves Split A Pair

A 50-50 night for the Airwaves.

The Analog team won it's first game of the year, 3-0 behind two goals from Spanky, one from Noe Perez and a shutout from Glenn Woodard. Everyone I talked to was impressed with our newcomers.

The Digital team lost a close one, 2-1. Joe Boley scored off a corner kick from Adam Smith. Bill reports they had their chances and already look to having a much better season than last year. They drop to 1-1.

We shuffled some players around and added a bunch as most of the women who played with us the past few years have either decided not to come out or they've moved out of the area. We added speed, experience and youth to the Digital team and I think it's paying off.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Wiggly World

We're off to see the Wiggles tomorrow. This will be the third time. If you don't know the Wiggles, google them. It's funny cause you'll get a bunch of parents who will really get into it, or at least get into their kids getting into it (that's us). And then you'll see parents who have that look. The, OMG am I really here look.

Diet Days 12 and 13

Day 12

breakfast - none

lunch - 1/2 a calzone at Hoops

dinner - steak kabobs, broccoli/pasta salad

Day 13

breakfast - banana, sausage biscuit, hash brown, OJ, water

lunch - ribs and rice

dinner - leftover ribs and rice

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's A Family Thing

Start em young. Posted by Picasa

My sister has my niece all decked out in the preseason.

Diet Day 11

breakfast - banana, apple wheat bagel, water

lunch - turkey, lettuce, cheese on white (no mayo) with deli chips and a coke

dinner - vege pizza, coke

Really struggling to give up the soda when kids are interrupting my sleep so regularly.

And So It Begins

I don't usually watch pre-season football, but the Packers were on tonight. Only usually watch until the first team comes out... caught some of the rookie QB too.

Really looking forward to the WEEK and WMBD fantasy leagues and the unmentionable weekly pick one game a week adventure.