Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Shopping errr Buying

At my house, Shannon takes care of the gifts for everyone... I buy the gifts for her. Not fair I know, but she enjoys shopping... I enjoy buying. I don't look around... I make my list, I make a beeline for the item, and a beeline for the line and a beeline out the door.

I suppose I could go with her, but it would ruin her fun.

Some random thougts from my buying excursion yesterday...

I got rock star parking outside of Sears at Northwoods. The first spot. There's something special about getting that spot, isn't there? It's almost like I could rationalize looking around a little longer (even though it is against my nature) cause I had that spot.

And when I left, I was very excited for the person who was waiting... about to get my spot.

I dig the massage recliners at the mall... but people, if you're not going to put money in... you really shouldn't be sitting in em for ten or fifteen minutes. Just a pet peeve.

Home And Style TV

Former WMBD weekend anchor Donna Davis is the host and producer of a show out of Georgia called Home and Style. It's a women's magazine show on the America One network.

Thanks to WMBD's Amy Paul for the tip.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fantasy Super Bowls

My teams lived to play another week. The team Josh and I share won in convincing fashion. My other team held on to win thanks to a sub par night from the Bengals. Josh and I face the team in our league that has Tomlinson, while my other team goes up against Peyton Manning. But hey... anything can happen this time of year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Airwaves Win

Airwaves won 7-5 on Thursday night. I can't shake the injuries, even after sitting out four weeks. Not good.

Fantasy Playoffs

Oh I'm going to be sick. In one of my leagues, I left several players on the bench and they scored TDs...

I played Trent Green thinking KC would score at least two TDs tonight and with LJ going, I thought that would assure me of both. Turns out they were held to 3 FGs.

I'm up about 32 points facing Rudi Johnson and TJ Housh tomorrow night. Basically I can survive a combination of 200 yards and 2 TDs or 140 yards and 3 TDs from those two. And in a shootout with Indy, it'll be tough. Let's go Ocho Cinco.

In the other league, where I share a team with Josh, we're up by 20 points with Marvin Harrison going against Cincy kicker Shayne Graham. We're basically in the finals, but will face the Tomlinson lead team next week. Guh.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Karen Moves On

Congrats to WEEK assignment editor Karen Stecher. Karen is leaving the business for a job at Advanced Technology Services.

Fantasy Frustration

So the bright side to Sunday is it looks like I'll make the playoffs in two of the leauges I'm in.

In the third league, I'm up 17 going into Monday night... my opponent has the Bears defense and Bernard Berrian, so it looks like I'm done there. I would probably have won if Saints coach Sean Payton didn't call three plays inside the five for fullback Mike Karney... three plays that usually would have gone to my running back, Deuce Mcallister... thre plays that went for touchdowns.

The one I thought he had was called back on a false start... and at 23 up, I think I would have had a chance. Now, I can only watch from my reserved seat at BW3 as the Bears tee off on the Rams. Guhhh.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Snow Delays

The soccer programs I've been running at the Dragons Dome were going really well... till the snow hit. They're supposed to be figuring it out this weekend and we should know by Monday when we'll be back on track.

We're also starting adult leagues come January, so e-mail me if you're interested.

Marc's Having A Baby

Okay, his wife Lisa is...

And people across the country found out what they're having live on national televison this week. Marc works for ivillagelive which is syndicated in many major markets and on Bravo locally.

They're about six months pregnant and took part in various pregnancy related segments leading up to finding out the sex of their baby at the end of a recent show.

Click the link to find Thursday's episode.

A Rare Occurance

I never win contests. Never.

So I didn't expect to win when two girls in Bears gear asked me to enter my name in a drawing at Buffalo Wild Wings on Monday night. The contest was for "Best Seat in the House."

But when they drew a name at halftime... it was mine.

$40 in free food and a reserved seat for the Monday Night Bears/Rams game.

Good times.

New Gig For Gee

Belated congratulations to former WMBD producer and WCIA news director Jim Gee. Jim is now news director Southern Illinois University - Carbondale and WSIU-TV.

"Throughout my career, the part I've always enjoyed most is working with young professionals and students," Gee said. "It's important that students get a good start in journalism because there are so many pressures and changes going on in the industry."

WSIU was recently recognized for the state's top student newscast by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Keeping In Touch

Heard from three former MARKET 117ers this week. Ben Bailey sent an e-mail this week. He's doing well in Detroit and was reminsicing with Pat Dix about the good old days in Peoria. Ben worked at 25 when I was at 31, but we got to know each other covering many of the same stories.

Josh Klingler, known at WMBD radio as Josh Kelly, is doing sports radio in KC and is the father of two six week old twins. Congrats, man! He's playing soccer again too. Josh played in college and spent one season with the Airwaves.

And thanks to Monica Landeros for keeping me in mind when she knows Packer tickets are up for grabs. She's in Green Bay now.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Movie Night

We actually spent the whole day on Saturday... all five of us... together. No activities... no commitments nothing. I think the next one will be sometime around 2010.

Took the kids to see "Happy Feet." I was pretty disappointed. It's like the filmmakers couldn't make up their minds... is it about being different or is it about saving the environment?

The best told stories are the simple ones and while it had entertaining moments, it fell short for me. My daughter fell asleep and that about said it all.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Indoor Season In Full Swing

"Game on."

Only one Airwaves entry to the Morton indoor league. Good start to the season with 12-0 and 4-1 wins. I'm coaching on Thursdays... and still dinged up... so I'm mostly out this session.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One Election Thought

No really exciting races around here. I will say that I enjoyed what looks to be a "no" vote for negative ads. These ads got out of hand this time around and I'm hoping it's not a trend... as I'm sure there were people who didn't want to vote for anyone... cause so many candidates were painted with horrible brushes.

Stay positive people!

Bad Sweeps Promo

It's sweeps. I get it. But I have a small gripe.

NBC was running a Deal or No Deal promo, where they gave away how far a woman was going to get. Why? A big part of the fun of watching mindless game shows is you don't know what's going to happen. Did some genius figure... well, we'll let people know she'll get this far with 1$1,000,000 still on the board... that'll get more people to watch.


It took away from my enjoyment of that episode.

A Tough Loss

I'm a little behind on posting. Congrats to the ICC women on a terrific season. The Lady Cougars lost 1-0 in the district title game on Saturday.

As I've written a little before, being a coach is in many ways like being a parent. And as happy as I was for my girls the past few games, I felt their pain on Saturday. I was tearing up on the way home after seeing two of the toughest girls I've known leave it all on the field and come off in tears.

But they gave Iowa Western its best game of the year and they can be proud that this is the best an ICC women's team has ever done.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another Big Win

ICC Women's Soccer won yesterday 2-0. Jenni Schoon scored two solid goals on passes from Brittany Lowell. A nice second half from Amanda LaGrow helped preserve the victory. The ladies move on to the district title game against Western Iowa, today at 2:00.

Thanks to the PJStar, WHOI and WMBD for coming out.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Blogoversary

This thing is two years old today.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One More Driving Gripe

So I'm approaching a two way stop and another car is coming to the stop sign from the opposite direction. They've got their signal on for a left turn, but it's pretty apparent that I'm closer to the stop sign, will stop first and have the right of way.

Realzing this, and apparently not wanting to stop or let someone go first... the person taps the breaks a good ten yards before the stop sign, then rolls on through with their left turn. And the funny part is part of me actually gets what they were going for.

Missing Home

As those of you who are regular readers know, I love sports and I miss being home this time of year. As I previously posted, my high school is in the final eight of the state soccer tournament... and they're in the final eight for football. Hopefully both teams do well.

Update: Soccer lost in the quarterfinals to Neenah, football lost to Riverside.

Halloween In A New Neighborhood

Halloween was fun, but I expect no less with kids five and under. The baby (he'll be two in January, but he's still the baby) went up to the first house. After the older two got their treats, the lady gave him one... and I yelled "what do you say?" He looked at her and said "more" then started crying when he realized it was limit one. He'll get it next year.

The older two had a great time. At the second house, we were offered a fire, hot dogs and chilli. Not in a bag, mind you... they were having a get together. Great offer, but we had to decline as the kids would have revolted if we had stopped at one house.

We went to several houses before my duaghter gave up and retired to the stroller.

Funny thing that struck me... parents tell kids "never take candy from strangers." Then Halloween comes. And by the way, there's nothing fun about "fun size" candy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

ICC Women Win Regional

Congrats to the ICC Women on a hard fought regional title game win. The ladies won 2-1 over Southwestern Illinois College.

After going down 1-0 in the second half, two of my former PCHS players led the comeback. Aimee St. Andre scored the equalizer on a beautiful header. Minutes later, her sister Chantal scored the game winner off a beautiful ball from Jenni Schoon.

Thanks to Donnie/WHOI and Rob/WMBD for their coverage of an exciting game.

Catching Up On Movies

Getting a chance to catch up on movies I missed in the theaters for the first time in a long time. This week I saw (on satellite) Criminal, Click and The Break-Up.

Criminal is a remake of a 2000 Argentine film and is about a very intricate con. John C. Reilly, (who most people probably know from Boogie Nights or Talladega Nights) stars. George Clooney produced and it had an Oceans Eleven feel with out the glitz.

Shannon and I enjoyed Click, probably because we both didn't expect a lot. The message was a good one... and you could pretty easily catch the references to Scrooge and George Bailey. Without going Roger Ebert on you, I think the problem for me was I didn't know what kind of movie I was watching. Was it classic Adam Sandler or something that was supposed to make you think. I'm a big Sandler fan, but there was probably too much dog/stuffed duck humor that took away from the sentiment.

We watched The Break-Up last night. I think we had more expectation of this one. I thought many of the scenes just seemed to drag. And I got what they were trying to go for with the photos at the start setting up their relationship, but I think for me it was hard to be invested in their relationship with just that and they "how they met" scene. One of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, does a great job of set up, passage of time... could have been more like that.

Friday, October 27, 2006

MUHS Rolls On

My high school has made it to the round of 16 in soccer back home in Wisconsin. Marquette Univerisity High School is one of the top soccer programs in the nation, holding the national record for state titles. They've been WIAA champs five out of the last six years.

Currently they're ranked fifth in their region (Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin) and defeated the 12th ranked team tonight.

Go Hilltoppers!!!

Update: The Hilltoppers are going to state after a 5-1 win over Greenfield. They've had another great season that has included wins over Rockford Boylan, Gurnee Warren and Palatine Fremd, with the first two teams still alive in the IHSA tournament.

Napping At Work

Today Show ran a story on this. I've always found it funny that little kids hate taking naps at school or home. How great would it be if midway through the day, your boss said... okay... "have a snack, then lay on this little cot?"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Home Today

Shannon got all four wisdom teeth pulled today. She's in no shape to do anything, so I'm home on daddy patrol.

I feel so bad for her... she's freaked out enough about bad things happening to her teeth and she never had anisthetic before, but she made it through and is now resting.

On the way home, had to deal with two boneheads. First, as I'm driving on 74, some woman is on my butt, despite the 45 mph signs and all the construction. You can see she's getting impatient, even though there's no room in front of me. Finally on the bridge she passes me and gives me a dirty look. These are the people you wish would get pulled over. The extra 60 seconds you save are not worth hitting a worker.

We stop at Panera in EP on the way home. I'm in the parking lot and stop to turn into a space. There's a guy who just parked, talking on his cell phone as he slowly walks across my path. He even looks at me, then continues to walk, but now even slower. Now clearly, if I'm not going to blow through construction, I'm not in a hurry, but come on.

And then I pass him as I go in he's loudly swearing about something into the phone. I know they're a necessary evil in society today, but I can't stand cell phones... almost as much as I can't stand the self absorbed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Little Soccer Champs

So a couple of weeks ago, my wife gave our oldest a choice. We had a wedding in Milwaukee, but kids weren't invited to the reception, so he could either come up with us and stay with a sitter or as Shannon put it, see his uncles and aunt and all his cousins... or he could stay and play in his soccer championship. Even though I was the coach, taking part in the wedding as an usher and a reader was my priority.

He chose soccer.

So Saturday morning, before getting the tux on and all that comes with prepping for a wedding, we sat at the breakfast table wondering how he was doing. And we called to find out the great news. As we'd see on video later... he scored two goals to lead his team to a 2-0 win and the tournament title.

As a parent who coaches and played, it is so much fun for me to watch. The goals happend like this: on one, the opposing team's goalie made a save then started running towards the left side to get rid of it. In the video you can see my son anticipate and sprint towards where he thought the ball would end up. He controlled it, dribbled into the box, past the defenders and the goalie, then kicked it into an open net.

Later, he took a pass at midfield... dribbled around three defenders, but then it seems the ball was getting too far ahead... and headed out of bounds. The goalie comes out to pick it up, but at the last second, he cuts it back and it goes into the goal.

Clearly, like his father, he isn't able to shoot from more than five feet out, but hey... whatever works, right?

Field Trip

I took Friday off... had a wedding in Milwaukee this weekend. But before we took off, Shannon and I took part in a field trip for our oldest to one of the Pekin fire stations.

Boy the kids' eyes got big as the crew backed one of its vehicles in. They learned some basic fire safety, until a call came in and cut the tour short.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Up Late

Trying to catch up on a bunch of work...

Of course I have the TV on to keep me company... sucked into a horrible movie: Shocker.

It's your pretty basic horror/killer flick that takes a horrible turn at the end, but maybe gave birth to the concept for the Adam Sandler movie Click.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nightmares, Lunches And Waiting For The Bus

My head is killing me... right at the spot where I took that shot yesterday.

I had a nightmare last night... that my son got off the bus and no one was here to meet him. Probably because that's my job today and it never is.

I was also in charge of lunch. We bought lunch meat and bread last night, but he also had me get some Lunchables. I was going to make him a sandwich, but he opted for that instead. I'm wondering if mom would approve.

He's very into school... he keeps asking me, "how many more minutes till the bus comes?" I was never the greatest student, but I never dreaded going to school like some kids... hope this attitude sticks with him.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Guys Night Out

Just me and my oldest tonight. After he woke up from a nap, we split a pizza at Mickie's, then went to Walmart for a few things. He was really good today, so I bought him a couple of new books and we spent some time reading when we got home.

Nights like these are so much fun... I know this time will go fast, so I'm trying to savor it.

0-3 In Fantasy

All three of my teams failed to perform this weekend.

Oh well, at least the Packers didn't lose (bye week).

Gordon Signs With Indiana

Regular readers of the blog know I'm a big fan of college hoops... specifically Marquette (my alma mater) and Illinois (got to know the Manual kids while covering them at 31, Shannon's alma mater).

From the Chicago Sun Times...

Ignoring the commitment Gordon gave to Weber last November after he was hired at
Indiana in March, new IU coach Kelvin Sampson, who preached integrity when he
was president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, put a
full-court press on the 6-4 guard, who is listed as the nation's No. 1 prospect
by recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons.
''To lose the nation's No. 1 prospect is
totally devastating to Illinois recruiting,'' Gibbons said. ''They had hoped to
sign Eric Gordon and [Simeon's] Derrick Rose at one time. Now Illinois has lost
them both. The impact is unfortunate because Bruce Weber is a good guy who does
things the right way. All he could do was hope [Gordon] would stick to his word.
So much for ethics.''
Among the tactics that raised eyebrows, Sampson hired
Jeff Meyer, who was the elder Gordon's coach at Liberty University, as an
assistant. Sampson, who was sanctioned for breaking NCAA rules at Oklahoma by
making myriad recruiting phone contacts, also hired Travis Steele, a coach for
the younger Gordon's AAU team, as a video coordinator.

It's disappointing as a fan... and probably hurts the team/coach's reputation more than it has an on the court impact (most expect Gordon to be off to the NBA after one year).

Analog Airwaves Finish Undefeated

I'll post a Digital score later... they play at 5:30.

Analog finished off the season with a 4-2 win over the Titans. With the win, Analog ends up in first place, going a perfect 8-0 on the year.

The game was tight early. Missing our starting two defenders hurt... having only one sub didn't help. Vito got things going with a shot from the left side that their keeper couldn't handle and the 1-0 lead held till halftime.

Early in the second, I got a good lead pass, cut it back then put one left footed in the left corner. I had another as did Jose before they got on the board twice.

Game was marred by bad sportsmanship. Midway through the second half, I get the ball in the midfield and send it up. The ball is maybe 15-20 yards away, when one of their women, wearing some kind of helmet/head gear just unloads with two arms and the helmet and tries to take my head off.

She tried to apologize, but to me that's kind of hollow. I mean, I don't condone hurting anyone at all, but if you're going to do something like that, at least pretend like you're going for the ball.

I laughed it all off and this apparently honked her off even more. If I understood her crazed rantings, I think she got hurt on my knee brace earlier in the game and she turned that into I tried to hurt her. So this was apparently her chance to get me back. What a psycho.

Funny, usually something like this would push me to play harder, but all I could think was my wife is out of town. If this woman had hit me square in the head with the headgear, and I had gotten knocked out... it would have been pretty scarry for my five year old who was watching on the sidelines. But if I have learned anything... I know that people like that just don't care.

So the psycho leaves the field at some point later, starts screaming and talking trash to another one of our players... until the ref blows the whistle, and tells her to knock it off. That was about right.

So all that aside, Analog finished off a great year, giving up only three goals on the season. With two more goals today (twenty on the year), I was able to raise $500 for the Pekin Pride Soccer Club. Thanks to P&W Builders for their support.

Indoor starts soon and while I'll still do the organizing, but injuries have really caught up to me and I'll be out for a while. I probably wouldn't have played the second half of this season if it weren't for the opportunity to raise money for the kids.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Just For Kicks

Coached my oldest son's Boys and Girls Club team in their first tournament game today.

I've written about them a little bit... and really saw the fruits of my labor in a few moments today. Some of them have really started to embrace the concept of passing and it's amazing how just one or two passes in bumble bee soccer really opens things up.

It is a lot of fun. I make sure the kids get a lot of positive reinforcement, lots of high fives and answer all their questions. I tie shoes in the middle of the field and make sure they're having fun.

My son scored the first two goals. He's been playing really well all year, and even better as of late. He finished up indoor at Mossville with six goals in two games.

So here's where the struggle starts for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I have great passion for the game. And as much as I stress fun... I work hard to make sure I don't even hint at becoming like this guy's father.

But here's the thing. After I got up from a rare nap this afternoon, my son says to me: "daddy, if I clean up the front room, can we practice soccer in there?" He wanted to do more after dinner too... and right before bed.

So what do I do. The season is over next week. I don't want to push him this young. I really don't. But am I failing him if I don't nurture his passion... find him more places to play? I don't know.

Lonteen To Sell Peoria

A story in the Journal Star today covers how WMBD news director Brent Lonteen has been offered the job of Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau director.

Having worked and lived with Brent, I can tell you that you'd be hard pressed to find someone who loves this area more.

If he accepts it, this will be a great challenge and one I think he'll do well with, although to be fair it is unchartered territory and there will be a tough learning curve coming from television.

Update: heard through the grapevine that the move was announced to 31 staffers.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fantasy Football

Having trouble keeping up with three fantasy teams... 4-1 in the MARKET 117 league... 3-2 in another, 2-3 in a third.

Larry Johnson is on all three of my teams, so you can imagine, in addition to being scared for the guys health, that my season looked to be over for a few moments.

Three teams is really a challenge... thankfully I'm only co-owner of the third.

Red Eye

Caught the movie Red Eye recently. I think if she does more thrillers, I could definitely switch from being an "Ashley Judd in peril movie" guy to a "Rachel McAdams in danger movie" guy.

Just a thought...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blogger Challenges HOI

Scott Janz posts about coverage of the recent Dagit/Smith commercial confrontations.

He writes, "C’mon HOI you can do better than that."

Generally speaking, I think all three stations are pretty fair when it comes to political coverage, but Scott seems to feel that WEEK gave him a more balanced take.

Tebben For Mayor

So my father in law has thrown his hat back into the political ring. As locals read and saw in the news this past week, Dave Tebben announced he's again going to run for the post of Pekin mayor.

Frank Mackaman has done a great job since taking over for Lyn Howard, but isn't planning on running in April. I of course have mixed feelings about this. As I've written in the past, from a truly selfish standpoint, I like having him around with more free time. My father in law is a great guy and I enjoy spending time with him.

On the other hand, this type of service truly suits him. He loves this place and has worked hard to help it grow. As a reporter covering him (before I even knew he had a daughter I'd end up marrying) I was so impressed with his demeanor and attitude... the way he worked with a wide range of people. Agree or disagree with him, but he is truly someone who does his homework, thinks critically about the issues and casts votes he feels are in this town's best interests.

The opportunity for him to run for a state office has been there, but he continues to make Pekin his priority and I will support him in every way I can.

Truth Test

At my station in California, one of our anchors did an election time feature called Truth Test or something like that... centered around truth in political ads.

I was thinking about this the other day after being bombarded by ads in the governor's race... read Jonathan Ahl's post... said better than I could have.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Who Are The Clowns?

So Josh, Shannon and I were talking about this over dinner. Who are the clowns at the networks who have started messing with the scheduling of certain shows. Those of you with TiVo know what I mean... scheduling a show from 8:00 to 9:01 so that depending on your DVR system, it screws up or makes it challenging to record the next show you want to record.

Is this how they're trying to compete now? We're going to have Gray's Anatomy run over two minutes and maybe mess up you getting ER, for example. This, as my friend Brett likes to say, is bush league.

This isn't like what TBS used to do, having everything start at five minutes after the hour... that was there thing.

This feels like a cheap way to get people not to watch other shows. Weak. Knock it off.

Just produce good shows... we'll decide what we watch.

New Anchor At WMBD

Welcome to Catherine Cambra, the new weekend anchor at WMBD. Catherine replaces Meg Johnson who moved to the FOX 43 News at 9.

Catherine is originally from Hawaii, but has reported in the Bangor, Maine market.

Ivan Drago Is Real

My dad is a big boxing fan and likes that I have satellite so he can watch when he and my mom come to visit as they did this weekend. Usually I'll watch for a few minutes, but I actually watched a whole fight on Saturday.

For those of you haven't seen him, Nikolai Valuev is almost straight out of Rocky IV. He's 7 feet tall and 320 some pounds. He is a mountain of a man who looks a bit like the late Andre the Giant... and it was actually fascinating to watch him fight. He fought a guy named Monte Barrett who was 6'3, 222.

To put this into perspective of more mainstream sports, imagine if Shaq and Dwayne Wade stepped in the ring for a fight. That is essentially the size differential.

To see Valuev throw a punch from what seemed like the other side of the ring was astounding. And Barrett was trying really hard, but it was almost as if he had to jump to land something solid. And Valuev isn't plodding like you'd expect someone that size to be, he has a fair amount of quickness.

Valuev won by TKO when Barrett's manager stepped in to stop the fight, which he should have as his guy was in real trouble. Valuev is now 45-0 and really worth checking out.

Airwaves Win Two

Congrats to Digital on a 5-0 win over Jupiter Images. Don’t have details on who scored, but Bill let me know they played a great game.

Analog played its toughest game of the season. We entered the game 6-0. Our opponents, the Nomads, also came in 6-0 and our respective teams were tied for first place.

A few thoughts…

Yes, first and foremost this is rec league. My assumption is all of the players on both teams have played in bigger, more meaningful games in their youth… but on a fall Sunday afternoon, at our ages and places in life, this was the big game and the players on both sides approached it that way.

One thing that was pretty clear from the start, our opponents have a couple of players who just won’t stop whining… it started a minute into the game and continued till the end. And one of those players, was just a complete tool the entire game. In honor of former teammate Beth Krug who coined the term… he was what she would call a “wamper” and in fact, let’s refer to him as Wamper for the rest of this post.

I was offsides early on. I knew it and would have been fine if the ref called it. But the he missed it and so, Wamper wamps to the ref and he wamps about me… hanging by the last defender all game, he just won’t let it go even minutes later as the ref points out to their team. Later, he gets called for offisides and continues to wamp at the top of his lungs, even though some of his teammates agreed with the ref.

I had a couple of good chances in the first half, but rushed the shots. Mid way through the half, DJ gets the ball in the middle… I break outside left… he looks my way, then shoots and puts it in the left corner. Wamper starts wamping about how what we just did sucked. Nice. Just a few weeks ago, when they were playing Digital, he was in rare form, screaming to the ref to call an illegal pass back to the goalie… only the goalie didn’t pick up the ball, she kicked it. That’s not illegal when you’re six… or when you’re an adult. So the whole wamping thing is pretty much his standard approach.

The game was intense to say the least. Hard fouls… lots of pushing. But good passing and defense too. The ref at one point says to me that this is the best 7v7 game he’s ever seen. And the tempers and whining really started kicking in... and to be fair… on both sides. At one point, another one of their players was about to send the ball… and I challenged sticking my leg out to block a pass. He kicks my shin, dings up his foot, then starts complaining to the ref… who points out that there was noting illegal about that.

We’re ahead 1-0 at half, but they come out strong in the second and had a couple of good early chances.

Later, there was a great sequence when we get the ball on the left side… and I drop as close to their goalie as I can. Jimmy makes a great throw, and they start screaming for offsides. There is no offsides on a throw in. Not for six year olds, not for adults. But this is par for the day.

Now don’t get me wrong… there were some class acts on their team. After I took a pretty hard foul, a couple of them rushed over to make sure I was okay. But Wamper just kept running his mouth…

So with less than ten minutes to go, they were working so hard to tie it up and had a few solid chances, but at some point, I got a breakaway on the left side… cut it right and blasted the ball home from point blank (another $25 from P&W Builders to Pekin Pride soccer, BTW). And all the emotion built up over the course of the game came out as I screamed with elation. I’ll admit it definitely wasn’t the most sportsmanlike of reactions, but at that point I had heard and had enough. This is something I struggle with though... as a coach I work hard to discourage this attitude, but as a player, there's only so much I can stomach and the competitiveness just takes over. I had taken his garbage the whole game and Wamper was going to know who slammed the door shut.

Of course on my way back to our side of the field, he started mocking me, which was fine. I wrote a few weeks ago about the five year old telling my son how “he’s a loser” and how “he sucks” after he scored a goal. My theory is Wamper is what happens when kids like that grow up and keep playing. Whatever.

So in the end, Analog celebrated a hard fought, 2-0 win. We improve to 7-0 with one game to go.
I’m pretty beat up tonight, but it really does hurt less when you win.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No Deal, No Deal

My kids have got that phrase down. Even the one year old has a garbled version of it.

Guilty pleasure... Deal or No Deal... I'll admit it. Even I could be on that game show.

What is it about some of these game shows where you get sucked in and just live and die with total strangers getting a chance at money for nothing.

So I was thinking about who I'd take on the show to be my three person support system...

Right now I'm at Shannon, Steve Scheuer (for his "experience") and my sister... the voice of reason in our family.

Unless I could get Shania, Ashley Judd and Reese Witherspoon...

Who would you take?

More From The Kiddie Soccer Fields

Coached my five year old and his Boys and Girls Club team tonight. Coaching this age has been quite the experience so far. More often than not, the challenge has nothing to do with soccer...

Tonight I tied three shoes in the middle of the field. This was a season low.

Here are some phrases that have actually come out of my mouth the past couple of weeks:

"Guys, no lying down on the field."

"Don't tackle your teammates."

"No sticking your tongue out at other kids."

Still... it's a lot of fun and a good experience. Like tonight, the other team kicked the ball towards one of our players and as she stood in the goal area. It hit her arm and dropped. The ref blew the whistle and called a hand ball.

Before they took the kick, I very calmly explained to him that I wasn't going to argue his call, but I did want to point out why the call is incorrect. If a player handles the ball deliberately, a rule is broken. He explained that they were told to call it anytime it hit a hand and that was good enough for me.

The other team scored on the PK, but I felt really good about being able to help explain the rule. He's a nice guy... voluntering his time... and I hope he found it helpful too. The only way these kids are going to learn the rules is if all the adults are on the same page.

Of course later, when the other team's goalie ran out of the box with the ball, and I pointed it out... the other team's coach was upset because "they haven't been calling that in other games." We did it over, which was fine... but continuing with the theme... I think the adults need to be on the same page.

I wasn't about to say, "we shuld get a free kick." I wanted them to do it over... because if it's true that it hasn't been called, then we need to teach... not just let it go for the sake of one team's advantage. They're five and six... half of them don't know if they won when the final whistle blows.

The teaching and learning that goes on is really the neatest thing about it. Yes, the babysitting aspect of it can be a challenge. Much of it is herding.

But tonight, I saw the beginings of a light bulb go on for one of my players. He's a really good dribbler, but has struggled to pick up the concept of passing... as is the case with the great majority of kids this age. But on a kick off, I encouraged him to pass it as hard as he could to his group of teammates. My son got the ball and scored. Same thing happened later on and we ended up winning 2-1.

But that was the least important aspect of the night. In the end, I really reinforced with the kids that the biggest reason my son scored those goals was because of the passes his friend made... and sharing the ball is very important... and you could start to see the nods and the other little light bulbs. We'll most likely be back to bumble bee soccer come Saturday, but I'm planting seeds.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Airwaves Split Yet Again

Analog played the early game against Sheridan Nursery and stayed undefeated, winning 14-0. They were missing many of their stronger players and actually only had six show up. In the spirit of fairness, we played with six, but it didn't matter.

I have really mixed feeling about the game. On the one hand, I was disappointed cause they've traditionally been a really strong team... we tied with them for first last year in the B league. I also feel kind of bad that the scoring got out of hand, but to be honest some of the goals were deflected in by their own people. In the end, I had four ($100 more for Pekin Pride soccer - $425 for the season for those of you following along), Vito had three, Crystal had three, Jim, Karen, Jose and DJ each had one.

Really looking forward to next weeks game. We play the other undefeated, first place team... The Nomads with each team led by former Bradley soccer teammates (Vito for us, Steve for them).

Digital played Ag Lab United to a 2-2 tie, but officially lost. Please see this post from "Ahl Things Considered" for a pretty humorous take on what happened in their game.

From Standups to Standup

When I was a photographer at WISN in Milwaukee, one of my favorite reporters was Murv Seymour. Seeing me and Murv out on stories had to have been visually pretty funny... him at the time being 6'4", 270... me being 5'5", 130. We were a great duo on the basketball court though... speed and power... outside and inside.

Murv was always pretty funny... but after moving on from Milwaukee, he reported at a couple other stations, then followed his heart and is now a full time stand up comedian.

Got to take in his show on Saturday night... really good stuff. Talked to him for a while afterwards... I really admire what he's doing. This is something I always wanted to try... and probably should have when I live in LA...

It takes a lot of guts to get up there and put yourself on the line... he talked about the challenges and the struggles, but to get paid to make people laugh... wow... I would find that incredibly rewarding.

Hoping I can figure out a way to get him booked for a gig around here.

Whirlwind Weekend

Packed a lot into the two days off...

Coached E's Boys and Girls Club soccer team... game got done at 12:30...

Went home, packed... Shannon drove up to the outlet mall in Kenosha (I got her gift certificates for her birthday) with our girl and met a friend for a day of shopping... while the boys and I stopped earlier on 55 to watch Pekin Pride play in the Best of the Midwest tournament. They beat a team from Chicago on Saturday afteroon.

Drove up to Kenosha... handed off the baby and drove on to Milwaukee...

Dropped my oldest off with my parents, then cruised down to Brady Street to JD's Comedy Cafe... to see a friend of mine perform.

Got home at midnight... hung with mom for a while, then crashed.

Woke up at 6... was going to stop and see the girls third tournament game, but 794 was closed and before I could figure out the alternate route... I was to far west to adjust... so I headed for home.

Dropped my oldest off at home... layed down for ten minutes, then got back in the car...

Went to Peoria, played soccer... went home...

Watched some football before starting to snore on the couch... but only for a little bit as we had friends over for dinner.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Bye Bye To Tradition, Convenience

Current and former 31ers say goodbye to an old friend. If you've worked there in the past 10+ years you've had many a meal at the Wendy's that's literally a stone's throw from the newsroom door.

It's something people in markets from New York City and Orlando to Chicago have in common.

But with the announcement of all the area Wendy's closing, it looks like more breaks from making a difference will be taking place at Steak and Shake.

Jesse Heading South

Jesse Chavez is leaving WEEK for warmer climates. He'll be a reporter anchor at KTSM in El Paso.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Changing Directions

Congratulations to Rebecca Somach upon completing flight attendant training for United Airlines. She graduated just last week. It's apparently a pretty intense six week course with an intense focus on safety and emergency situations.

Rebecca was part of a series of layoffs at her station in Sacramento earlier in the year and decided to try something different and I think it's great. She'll be based out of LA for a while.

Ahl Things Considered

Welcome to the blogosphere to my friend, Jonathan Ahl. For those of you who listen to Jonathan on WCBU or have worked with him... you know he's sharp as a tack and has a really good sense for the world around us. And his blog has catchy title.df

In one of his first posts he digs into the economics of Captain Feathersword... the friendly pirate of "The Wiggles" fame.

Don't worry man... my wife thinks a lot of the things I think about are silly...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Airwaves Split Again

Analog won its fifth straight game - this one was an 8-0 over Jupiter Images. DJ had two, Trey had two, Vito, Lauren, Karen and Jim each had one. I had four assists, but just couldn't finish today, so no money for Pekin Pride this weekend. Ran into Dave Whitehurst from P&W on my way to the game... teased him on the way back that he jinxed me. I'll have to work a little harder for the girls next week.

Digital lost to Just Kickin Around 6-1. Don't have details yet, but the team was again missing several key players.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So Much For An Off Season

I started coaching 5 and 6 year olds for the Boys and Girls Club of Pekin. We had our second game today. It is a lot of fun, but I have to say that after coaching kindergarteners, the high school season is going to seem much easier.

I'm also helping out more with Pekin Pride. They're playing in the Morton tournament this weekend. They beat Metamora 5-0 last night and beat Springfield, a team that has beaten them several times in the past, 1-0. Great effort tonight.

Plus, I play tomorrow at 1:45, so even though, unlike the girls season, I don't have something every night of the week, it isn't the laid back time of year for me that Shannon is used to.

Man Time Flies

Had lunch with Kurt Pegler and Steve Scheuer on Friday. Sometimes it takes a simple lunch to really magnify for me how much time has passed. I worked with those guys ten years ago... now, scarily Steve and I are dads.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lessons About Life And Parenting From The Soccer Field

My oldest had a soccer game in Mossville last night. I couldn't have been more proud.

His team was getting killed. But down eight or nine to nothing, there he was... taking the ball from half towards the goal. For those of you who have played with or against me, it looked like a miniature version of his dad... his little legs churning... letting him fly like the wind. He loses the ball for a second, then gets it back, goes around the defenders and pops it into the goal.

It was his first, and I of course was beaming.

But that's not what I was proud of. Minutes later, his friend Eric saves the ball and he runs back to congratulate him... but in the process, a little blonde kid from the other team turns and shoves my son with two hands and says something. For the rest of the game this continues, this kid in his face... my son shaking his head and pushing the kids hand away.

At the end of the game, the kid is still on him and I yell "hey" to get them to stop. In talking to my son after the game and hearing from others... apparently this other kid was going up and down the field telling mine how "he sucks" and how "he's a loser." I asked my son what he said back... and he said, "Daddy, I told him to just play the game and get your head in the game."

I was amazed.

As a coach, I really stress the importance of good sportsmanship and he's picked up on that... although the actual line "get your head in the game" I find out later came from a scene in Disney's High School Musical. As a player, the kind of crap my son was taking would (and still does) get my blood boiling. As a player, pull that on me and I become an even bigger jerk. I won't play dirty... at this point in life, I'm pretty lazy as a player, but I'll work really hard the rest of the game to score or set up as many goals as my broken down body will let me... and my ultimate goal becomes to make the offender feel like they've wasted their afternoon (my brother and sister like to tease me for this, but I've come to accept that at this point in life, its who I am).

As a parent, I went through a whole range of emotions those last few minutes... mostly anger and outrage. And here's my son... who ignored it all and continued to play for the joy of playing.

I wanted to say something to the mean kid's father after the game, but refrained. Maybe it would have turned out okay, but maybe not. If this is the way his kid is at five, how much has he has contributed to that? Would we have gotten into a screaming match... or would he have just hit me? And then what would my son have learned?

As a parent you want to protect your kids, stick up for them when they need it, but in that moment, I realized this is just another one of those moments where you have to let go, let them deal, let them learn. Shannon wasn't there, but I showed her video of the first incident. She can't believe kids this age are like this... but maybe this is just a symptom of where our society is headed.

Still, I have to say my son handled himself with such grace... and on the way home I told him how proud I was... he at first thought it was because he scored, but I made sure he knew that while that was great, I was most proud of how he handled himself with that other boy.

He must get this from his mom ;)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Airwaves Win One, Don't Know About The Other Yet

Analog Airwaves won its fourth straight game... this one a 4-0 win over Ag Lab United. It could have been a much bigger margin, but their keeper was tremendous... stopping several point blank shots and a penalty kick. Lauren had one, I had three - $75 more dollars for Pekin Pride soccer. Analog is tied with the Nomads for first place at 4-0.

I'll get a Digital score and update this tomorrow.

Thank You To Supporters of Can Do

Thanks to everyone who made the Can Do Walk/Run a great success.

District 150, Irving principal Mike Illuzi and the Irving teachers, students and volunteers, Methodist Medical Center, CEFCU, 5 Star Water, Apples Bakery,
Jim McComb Chevrolet, Running Central, Illinois Valley Striders, Joseph and Hishon Chiropractic, Indiana University Alumni Association, Village of Peoria Heights and our media sponsors WMBD-TV and 104.9 The Wolf.

And thanks to WEEK, WOAM and WMBD Radio, Peoria Journal Star, Washington Courier, Washington Times Reporter and the Peoria Pundit for their coverage leading up to the event.

A New Car... Or At Least A Newer Car

I did it. I took the plunge. Starting tomorrow and after much research I'll be driving a Toyota Camry. But I couldn't bear to get rid of the BMW... yet.

We did a lot of looking yesterday. Why is it, when you just want to look, you get bombarded with help... and when you actually want to buy, it's like you're invisible? We looked at a Mazda 6 Wagon... but Shannon just couldn't picture it... I drove a Miata when she met me and thought this might just be the natural evolution. Plus, this wagon would ensure all my soccer crap... errr... gear would stay out of our closet and in my car.

But we kept looking...

I had test driven this Camry before... compared it to others around here via the internet and it was a at a signficantly lower mileage. Thanks to all who shared their two cents in person and via email.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Waking Up Paranoid And Hungry

Got up early this morning to be a guest on WEEK to help promote Can Do. Set the alarm for 4:30 because when I used to fill in on the morning show, I used to have these horrible dreams that I'd oversleep.

But of course, being so early, I didn't eat breakfast. And when I sat down to wait for the interview, what do I hear? Grumbling stomach. That's the worst. Sitting there... thinking at any minute whatever your saying is going to be interrupted by borborygmi - the technical term defined as rumbling sounds caused by gas moving through the intestines.

Thankfully I made it through without incident... and nobody knew... well except anyone reading now.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The First Step...

...they say is admitting you have a problem. Phil Luciano's column outlines his fantasy football addiction.

My wife would like me to read his most recent column closely. She says you too, Josh Simon.

I know I'd fail this quiz...

You know you have a fantasy football problem when you:

a) break off cable signals to have two extra televisions so that in addition to the Sunday Ticket, you have access to the two local games (this was before getting local channels via the dish, local games are blacked out)

b) you run one league and manage teams in two others

c) you spend half an hour working with the lady at the printer to turn a simple spreadsheet into a giant draft board (that was last year, this year CBS Sportsline gave us a free one)

d) you don't take losses by your team (Packers) nearly as hard because players on teams you don't care about are getting catches in garbage time (Shannon actually sees this as a positive)

e) all of the above

Sadly, the answer is "e." At least I still leave to play soccer the first six weeks of the season... which leaves "Uncle Josh" in charge of three. Hey Phil... there's nothing wrong with you... and there's room on the Sandoval couch. You may have to change a diaper, though.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kimberly Houk Lands In Orlando

Former WMBD reporter Kimberly Houk has recently started at WKMG in Orlando with another former MARKET 117 alum, Jessica D'Onofrio, who by the way lets us know she is doing well down there.

Kimberly, by the way is the currently most searched for person that leads people to my blog. The WKMG web people would be smart to get her bio up ASAP.

She says she's loving it there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Search Continues

The search for a newer car continues. I've recently test driven a Mazda 6 and a Mazda 6 wagon as well as a Toytoa Camry. Also looking at Honda Accords. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Three Times The Weather And Another Newsie

I'm a little behind on this...

WMBD has hired two more meteorologists. Josh Stone is doing mornings and the noon show. Rachel Stein will join the team next month. The station is proudly touting the distinction of being the only one to have three meteorologists on staff.

Katie Burcham is the latest addition to the CBS 31 news team.


Airwaves Split Again

Digital suffered a tough 1-0 loss to the Nomads. The game was scoreless for 56 minutes, before our opponents were able to get one over. Highlight for us was Dave Romero's nice attempt at a bicycle kick. Digital drops to 2-0 after two one goal losses.

Analog won again... 3-0 over Lou's Drive Inn and some fillers. Analog improves to 2-0 with its second straight shutout. Vito scored our first. I scored two in the second half. If you're keeping track, two more goals means to date... a total of $175 for Pekin Pride girls soccer. Their goalie played well as we kept the pressure on, but I should have had two more on breaks that I pushed just past the left post. Sorry girls... I'll keep trying!

Friday, August 25, 2006

We're Growing

Market 117 as several people have pointed out to me has moved up one spot and is now Market 116. So what's a blogger to do? On the one hand, all the other blogs that have me linked, have this address and when I started this thing it was 117. I mean, I probably don't want to change this thing everytime the market size changes... maybe it needs a new name all together.

We'll see.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Dinner With Anson

If there's one thint that really stuck with me from my time working as a reporter, it's this: don't be afraid to ask, cause all they can do is say "no." And sometimes they'll say "yes."

As I was getting ready for last week, the guy I hired to shoot mentioned to me that he was coming from Chapel Hill. I didn't realize where we'd be working was that close to the University of North Carolina.

For those of you who don't know much about women's soccer... Anson Dorrance is the most successful women's soccer coach ever... and some might say the most successful coach ever in any sport... coaching 16 national champions (the NCAA has only had women's soccer for 23 years) and leading the US to the title in the first women's World Cup.

So of course, as soon as I realized I'd be in the neighborhood, I e-mailed him... asked if I could buy him dinner and pick his brain for thoughts about improving what I'm doing with my program. To my surprise, he replied the next day and said sure.

Chapel Hill, for those of you who have never been is beautiful... exactly what a college would look like if you had to imagine one at its most beautiful. And there was a buzz on campus as kids were packing the book store and wandering around.

Anticipation hit me too... as I was about to get one on one time with the coach who has set the standard for excellence. We met at 6:00 at 411 West... this cool little Italian place in the center of town. He was very gracious, answering what must have seemed like a machine gun of questions...

I told him about my program and the very bright future I see with our town's first ever traveling team coming up in a couple of years.

We talked about how our culture and how the socialization of young girls doesn't match with the culture of athletics and what he does to combat that. We talked about the differences between boys and girls in sports... and about building a culture of competition where girls don't have to acquiesce and settle for the expectation... where they don't have to feel bad about wanting to compete... wanting to succeed on the field.

We talked tactics and strategies related to some of the challenges I anticipate facing in the coming years. For a soccer coach, it was like getting to sit down with a Nobel Prize winner. He had a speaking engagement at 7:00, so the fact that he took time to meet... spoke volumes to me... and it left me with a lot to think about for the future.

First Day Of Kindergarten

My oldest started kindergarten today. I can't believe it. It seems like just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital and he fit on your forearm. He was so excited today. Hope that enthusiasm for school lasts.

On The Road Again

Traveled for work this week. It's good to be home. My trip back was slightly irritating though...

Tried to get on an earlier flight, but couldn't and it ended up getting delayed by three hours anyway. Go to the airport in Raleigh two and a half hours before my flight, but for some reason, United only had one person working the counter. I was fifth in line, and didn't think much of it. Then ten minutes went by and the line hadn't moved. Then twenty. Then thirty.

Finally someone else comes out and yells to everyone... the line now being about forty people deep... that they can use the automated machines. Fine. So I'm the first. And I push the right buttons and nothing. No boarding pass comes out. So the woman who is directing everyone has to print mine up anyway.

Then, as I'm starting to ask for help... some guy behind me... sees that it didn't print for me... starts using the machine anyway. And his didn't print. And somehow he's surprised. Whatever.

So I get to the gate and my flight is delayed 20 minutes. Apparently there were storms in the Chicago area. Then it's 40 minutes. Finally it's an hour and someone gets on the PA and says there will be no more delays. She was right... but I don't think I'd ever say anything definite when dealing with air travel.

We land at O'Hare at 3:55, but end up circling on the ground. Captain comes on and says there's a plane still at our gate. Finally, 20 minutes later we get to the gate, which isn't good because with the hour delay, by the time we get off, I'm going to have 20 minutes till the plane takes off.

Of course, wouldn't you know it... the flight to Peoria is canceled. So is the flight to Bloomington. The airline says the last flight out is in four hours... but they can only put me on standby. I ask if I can just get my bag and drive... and the woman behind the counter tells me yes, but it could take as long as three hours to get my bag.

So my bag flew home... I hope... and I drove through rush hour to get to 55 and home at 9:00 tonight. Good times.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Airwaves Split To Open The Season

Peoria Park District Soccer started up today. We have two teams again this year.

The Analog Airwaves team is made up of people from work and people who know/play with/are related to Angie Blasek.

The Digital Airwaves is made up primarily TV/radio people and former PCHS girls players.

Analog won its game 9-0 over Wild Card. I had a breakway change early, but had my legs taken out from behind as I was shooting. It was like deja vu as that same defender did the exact same thing when we played last year. The free kick was blocked, but Vito scored on the rebound. Vito ended up with two goals... DJ and Trey each had one. I finished five. I think I had five all last year, but I was especially motivated after the hack. Our women played great defense in helping Glenn post a shutout.

Digital lost it's first game, 4-3 to the Titans, one of the better teams we'll see this year. Bill Fischer had two goals and Jonathan Ahl scored what I'm told was an awesome goal off a corner kick. Bill reports that Brooke had a great game in goal and helped keep it close. No subs for Digital today.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The P&W Builders Soccer Challenge

So I'm trying to raise money for Pekin Pride. They are the only all girls soccer team in Pekin and the first truly successful traveling club team. These girls are terrific - great kids and great players. Their accomplishments have been featured on WHOI, WEEK, WMBD radio (Greg and Dan), the Journal Star and Pekin Times and I've had the privilege of volunteering some time with them this summer.

As many of you readers know, we moved into a new house this past spring. My builder, Dave Whitehurst, has graciously taken up my challenge and is pledging $25 for each goal I score in the upcoming Peoria Park District soccer season, with all the money to be donated to the Pekin Pride Soccer Club and our effort for 501c3 status.

We'll see if I can stay healthy this year. Over the next nine weeks, I'll be posting about how it's going. If you know of anyone else who's interested in helping out... shoot me an e-mail. Our first game is Sunday at 3:00 at Bielfeldt Park.

Thanks, Dave. The house has turned out great... beyond all our expectations.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fakin It

In honor of the Peoria Park District Adult soccer league starting back up, I give you the amazing Ronaldinho doing his imitation of the Lebron James Powerade commercial.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Swing And A Miss

The hunt for a new car began in earnest today. In a move that was as about as spontaneous as you can get with three kids... we drove down to Springfield to Friendly Chevrolet... to look at a used BMW. Of course we get there and the car isn't there. It was there when I called at 9, but someone had it out for a test drive.

And wouldn't you know it, they were going to buy it. Not that I feel like I missed out. We looked it over... wasn't exactly what I was looking for... although it was at a good mileage and a good price.

The search continues.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Time For Bye Bye BMW?

I drive a BMW 525i. No, I'm not rich. It's a 93 with 150,000 miles that I bought used from Woody's in Creve Coeur. When we bought Shannon the minivan, I inherited her Focus. But as we bought it the first year of that model, we also had all the headaches that went with... and it was honking me off to spend money to keep fixing a car I didn't enjoy.

So I traded in the Focus for the BMW. And of course it has had it's share of problems, but I love how it looks and it runs great when healthy. Michael, Doug and the folks at Kauth and Mayeur do a great job.

In recent months, it has taken a bad turn... need a new muffler... after getting it replaced just three years ago. The windshield is cracked... the glovebox fell off and now... the driver's side door won't open from the inside. Still, I love this car and I'm having a hard time letting go. It's kind of like breaking up with someone (that's a joke people).

But here's the deal. It's paid for. If I buy a new car, that's going to mean a down payment and a monthly payment that I don't want to do with the new and improved house payment that comes with building a bigger house. Shannon wants me to get a new car. Mostly because she loves me, but also I'm sure because two years ago at Christmas, I suprised her with a Honda pilot in the driveway... and I'm sure it pains her to see her husband having to roll down the window to open his door, then roll it up before turning off the engine.

So I'm on Autotrader tonight... we'll see what comes of this.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Eye On Eyebrows

Last week, the News 25 on My 59 featured the unveiling of Peoria blogger Eyebrows McGee. Her real name is Laura Petelle and shares her thoughts about the experience on her blog. It's a good read for those of you who work/have worked at 25... to hear about it from the other side. Actually her whole blog is a good read if you're surfing.

Thanks WMBD

Our church is doing vacation bible school this week and WMBD was nice enough to donate autographed photos of Bob Larson and Chuck Collins for the kids. Thanks guys, much appreciated.

No offense... but next year I'm holding out for an Amy Paul glossy.

Congrats Christina

Congrats to Christina Wall. She is working on air at WCIA after finishing up her graduate degree at Northwestern (I had U of I, but she has since corrected me). Christina worked part time doing weather graphics for Jim Barnett when I was anchoring weekends at WEEK.

She's a textbook example of how to move in and move up. She started as an intern while at U of I... then worked as an AP at channel 3.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Night News

Whomever shot Kim Carollo's story that aired at 10... this is a great example of how a strong photographer can really make a story sing. Phenomenal. Really solid sequences... great nat breaks... and nice job keeping the mic on the guy so that you didn't just have a "static" interview. Gave the reporter lots to work with.

Anyone from 19 who reads this, please post a comment to give the shooter credit. Great stuff!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hey, This Room Has A Floor

So yesterday, Shannon calls me at work and "warns" me that she's started in on the guest room. We moved into our new house in August and as the guest room was right off the garage, it became the staging area so to speak. Don't know where to dump something? Put in the guest room.

Over the past few months, we've gone from big pile to big pile surrounding the furniture we managed to get in there to finally, we can see the floor. Of course it meant filling up three garbage bags, but it's nice to have it done.

Some internet cleaning guru has come up with the concept of clutter "hot spots." The guest room was one big one until last night... but now that it's clear, we'd like to invite any friends we haven't seen for a while to come on down.

The Good And Bad Of Chicken Crispers

If you know me well outside of this blog, you know I love Chili's and my standard order is chicken crispers, hold the corn, sub garlic bread. I don't even look at the menu... annoys Shannon cause she has to examine every menu like she's Emily Proctor on CSI... but that's another post.

So anyway, I have this conspiracy like theory that different Chili's will order different crispers... maybe to save money. See, when you get the good ones, they're big. Not like chicken tenders you'd order at any other place. And they're moist. They melt in your mouth... and the breading is the same.

But sometimes you'll get the crispers and they'll be small and tough... and really not that enjoyable. I had the bad ones for lunch... so I thought I'd share.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Leadership, New Blood

Steve Tarter's column covers the rise of new leadership at WMBD-TV. Brent Lonteen can now take out the word "interim" as he is now the news director there. And Will Koch is moving behind the scenes to take over Brent's job as Assistant ND/Assignment Manager. In talking to both of them yesterday, they're both looking forward to new challenges. Of course, I pointed out to Brent that he now has a million jobs to fill.

Welcome also to two new reporters at at WHOI-TV, two new reporters are on the scene: Nishi Gupta from KSL-TV in Salt Lake City which also gave us Kimberly Houk (who continues to bring people to my blog weekly based on a check of search engines) and Ian Schwartz who comes to Central Illinois from Arizona State University.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All Ahl... All The Time

For those of you, who like me, have great appreciation for the talents of WCBU's Jonathan Ahl... he's coming to a TV set near you. H. Wayne Wilson is taking a year sabbatical from "At Issue" on WTVP to work on other projects. This has opened the door for Jonathan to take over hosting duties for the upcoming season.

He says "I will always be a radio guy, but this should be a fun change of pace on the side for a while."

His first show is September 7th.

Best of luck, Jonathan!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Market 117 FFL

Hey TV types who read this:

We're at 12 people for the Market 117 Fantasy Football League. If you're interested in getting in, we need to add in increments of two people... up to 16. E-mail me if you'd like to play this year.

Just FYI... on July 12, 2006... a good six weeks before the draft and the first shot of smack was fired by Kevin "Jimmy" Thomas... congratulating me on "taking second this year."

Jimmy... in the imortal words of Ric Flair... to be the man, you've got to beat the man. Whooo.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I'm a big fan of the show Entourage... mostly because of my love of the movie industry, but also the whole "young guy in LA thing" was a part of my life... although I didn't have a rich movie star buddy to live off of, but whatever.

Just found out recently one of my classmates from college is a staff writer for the show. Congrats to Tim Griffin... you've made it!

Airwaves Finish Season On High Note

Airwaves ended the Mossville soccer league with an 8-1 win. Not sure if we'll do this one again as there were some organizational issues I won't get into.

Peoria Park District league... our flagship if you will... starts up mid-August. Any of you TV folks who are interested in joining, shoot me an e-mail.

I'm suffering from an injury that I won't get into... thankfully we have some time off.

Catching Up WIth Troy

Caught the Saturday 10:00 news shows.... mostly stayed on WREX to watch Troy Kehoe. Troy was a hard working intern when Shannon and I were at WEEK. Not that I'm suprised, but he was solid... good inflection and pace... and flawlessly handled when his reporter's package went in the crapper.

Talked to him after the show. He's doing well... been there four years now, moving up the ranks starting as morning producer a few years back. Didn't get a chance to see him report, but if that's in line with the anchoring, he should be able to make a pretty decent jump when he wants to.

I Always Say We're Going To Go There One Day

Any of you who drive through Rockford... do you ever look at that water park on 90 and say, I'm going to go there someday? Someday was Saturday.

It was pretty cool... we went with some friends who also have small kids and made a day of it. Quite a few cool tube slides... although we didn't make it on the big one you see from the highway... line was too long. Big wave pool... buzzer goes off and everyone ooohs and ahhhs. Food was reasonably priced too. Had dinner at a really cool Mexican restaurant... Habeneros.

Suburban Rockford, what a pleasant suprise.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Under Their Nose

I found this kind of funny. The Pekin High class of 1991 is getting the word out about its upcoming reunion. They have, in tonight's Pekin Daily Times, a big long list of "missing classmates."

Included on this list is Josh Bradshaw.

For those of you who know Josh, you'll see why it's funny right away... Josh is a photographer at... the Pekin Daily Times and has been for I want to say since I moved here the first time in 1996, but don't quote me on that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gee Leaves WCIA

Just heard through the grapevine today that former WMBD assignment editor Jim Gee left WCIA last month. Jim had been news director at channel 3 for the past couple of years. I copied his message from the INBA website for those of you interested in getting in touch with him.
Yup, still around for now. I have indeed left WCIA and am taking a few
weeks off before moving on to new challenges. I'm looking at possibilities both
in and out of broadcast news, both in and out of Illinois. This is as good a
place as any to thank the many of you who have called or e-mailed with your
support the last two weeks. I've had several career leads and even one offer of
temp work. It's flattering! As to my future with this organization, I notified
the board when I parted ways with WCIA. I intend to continue to serve as
vice-president until I make my next career move or the election in October.
Obviously, if I am not actively working as a broadcaster in October, I will not
run again. People are welcome to e-mail me at Take care,
all! -- Gee

The Bizarro World Of MySpace

So recently through Josh, I get word from Lee that it's about that time again... I sponsor him for St. Jude each year.

I had recently seen what I thought was Lee's myspace page and left him a message there saying of course I'm more than happy to contribute again and I ask Josh to have him respond to my message.

Only, I come to find out that Lee doesn't have a myspace page. Apparently someone has assumed his identity on myspace and has a Lee Hall page. The real Lee has apparently sent an e-mail to myspace for help, but as of today, the Bizzaro Lee Hall page is still up and running.

How bizzare.

The Doctor Is In

Just catching up on a few things... here's the latest on Doc Watson.

Doc just started as a media consultant position with a group called ShareBuilders in suburban Peoria. ShareBuilders is a company that former WMBD sales manager Don Locke started up about five years ago. According to Doc, they help TV and radio stations, along with cable groups and networks, decide what they should charge their advertisers and have 100+ TV stations coast-to-coast and plenty of high profile radio stations too.

He'll also continue to do high school games on WOAM and some writing on the side,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Anchors Make A Difference

Steve Tarter covers the May ratings book in his column this week. His lead is:
Never underestimate the power of personality when it comes to television.

I've been saying this for years. Hopefully viewers who may have left HOI will give Tim McGinnis a chance. Having three stations that people will watch is good for everyone and pushes each news department to be better.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bon Voyage

Those interested in saying good bye to Josh Brogadir, some friends are throwing him a party this Thursday, 9:00 PM at Katie McButts on Knoxville in Peoria.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Oh Donna

Congrats to Donna Pitman. She has recenly been promoted from weekend morning anchor to weekday morning anchor at KMBC-TV in her hometown of Kansas City. Donna used to anchor weekends at WHOI.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Peoria Pundit On The Air

Billy Dennis, The Peoria Pundit made an appearance on the WEEK My59 news at 9 program. He is the first of several bloggers they'll be featuring with in studio interviews.

Go West Young Man... Well Not That Far West

Congrats to Justin Sacher, formerly weekend weather anchor at WMBD as he moves on to a new job. He's headed to the same job at WHO in Des Moines (market 73). This is the same station where former 25er Patrick Dix anchors the morning show with Trisha Shepard who some of you former 31ers might know from her time at WCIA.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Making Mom Proud

People ask me all the time about former co-workers... here's an update on one. Former WEEK anchor Christine Zak-Edmonds is spending lots of time on the summer hoops circuit. Her son Josh is a solid basketball player who is attracting some D-I interest.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

HOI Moves

I've heard through the grapevine that HOI's Josh Brogadir is moving on to a job in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre market (54). Don't have a lot of details yet, but he'll be moving closer to family. As I've mentioned on several occasions, I'm a big fan of Josh's reporting and think he'll continue to do well as he moves up the market ladder. He'll be missed.

This comes as Brock Spencer replaces Nick Stroman on the assignment desk as reported by Peoria Pundit.

Congrats to both!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You Really Can't Go Home Again

You Can't Go Home Again... the title of a book by Thomas Wolfe. It means you can't recover the past. I feel that way every time I physically do go home to Milwaukee.

Took our oldest golfing at the public course across from where my parents still live. I'm not much for golf, but when the holes are as short as they are it's fun for everyone. Still it felt different. Not the same place where I, a soccer player with no golf lessons, spent a chunk of one summer trying something different. Not the same place I fell for one of my cousin's best friends after meeting randomly at Summerfest.

Shannon and I took the kids to the playground where I spent much of my childhood, only the old school metal swings have been replaced with the wood play systems you see in every park across the country. Same spot, different feel. Maybe it was the sense of horror we felt when our daughter slipped away to the bathroom and didn't answer when we were yelling her name. When I was growing up... kids wandered off... kids came back. Today, that innocence is hard to come by.

The myspace thing has me looking for old friends from grade school thru college. Reconnected with a buddy of mine that I rode the bus with from kindergarten through eighth grade. He went on to high school where we went... I transferred to the Catholic school in town. But he and the same group of guys he ran around with in high school get together for Summerfest every year.

It was pretty surreal. One of them owns a bar across the street from two of the places I used to work in high school (two places that no longer exist, I might add) and I joined them for drinks. I hadn't seen these guys since eighth grade, but it was easy enough to pick back up and catch up on people. Neat to see these guys still together.

Everytime I go home something is different. On the east side... it's condos. I swear, all the cheap places that people had to choose from are all being replaced by high end condos. Even the office building where my mom works... it and its parking deck have great views of the city's big fireworks display. But even it is going to be torn down in the next year or so.

And eventually, when my parents retire and sell the house I grew up in, home I think will cease to be home... and while I don't look forward to that, the more I look around, the more I realize I'm almost there...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Behind The Wheel

Kudos to WHOI and their Behind the Wheel campaign. Steve Tarter highlights their program in his weekly column. On a personal note, as a coach at Pekin High I really applaud the effort.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Josh and Warren from WEEK had quite a trip to New York to cover the NBA draft. On Tuesday night, they end up at ESPNZone for dinner... find a couple of couchlike seats up front and who is sitting next to them, but Dave Snell who wasn't in NYC for the draft, but for work.

They cover Patrick O'Bryant's entry into the NBA and then decide that for fun, they'll make a couple of signs and try to get on The Today Show the next morning. Only, their sign, congratulating O'Bryant is missing an "r" so instead of "congrats," it reads "congats." And of course Al Roker zings them for it.

Josh was just on Markely and Luciano telling tales of a big "r" getting left on his desk and Lee Hall asking about the Badley Baves... all in good fun. And while Jamie and Phil asked him about the heat he'll take around town in the coming months... this, while not intentional, will end up being a genius move.

Yes, he'll take some crap, but his level of recognition with people is about to jump and as I've said before, being able to make a connection with the audience is very important. As the number three sports guy, anchoring infrequently it isn't easy. This will help.

Props to the guys for getting out of bed... Shannon and I had a chance to do this back in the day when we were out there for a wedding... we chose to sleep in.

This, by the way, is the cue for the shortsighted dork to post a comment about journalism... and how "it's not a story" blah, blah, blah. Of course they're probably working at a station that did packages that tie in to a reality show on their network or they're running a kicker on the waterskiing squirrel.

Update: After the story ran at 10 and they came out of weather, Dimmick cracks Shangraw's spelling ability too. It's getting ugly over there. ;)

Update 2: My theory was proven Friday night. Steve Scheuer, Josh and I were out for a little bit on Friday night and not ten seconds after walking in, someone yelled "CONGATS!" He came over to Josh and had a ball talking about it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Get Human

Saw this on 25 tonight. I can't stand automated phone services... going through menu after menu... or worse yet, the ones that call and leave you messages about things you don't want to know about. offers a database to help you navigate quickly to get to an actual person. If anyone uses the advice they give, let me know.

As If This Site Isn't Hard Enough To Keep Up With...

Shannon has gotten me into myspace. Enough said.

Radio Lunch And War Of The Words

A quick hello to Greg Batton and John and Pesto of JMP radio... had the pleasure of lunching with the trio today. I used to love sitting in on the Greg and Yvonne show before work when I was at WMBD and we were in the same building.

And I had been meaning to give the Wolf's morning crew a call when they first got here, because like me they came from the Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz market. In fact, Shannon and I used to listen to their old station, KTOM, all the time when we lived out there... a big reason why we're both into country music to varying degrees. But, during soccer season, I lose track of everything... and now they've been here four months. Better late than never...

A little bit of verbal back and forth between the team and Peoria Pundit Bill Dennis, as you can see from the link. Bill cracked them out of anger after some friends of his got fired... but to his credit, he did apologize after they posted to his blog.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Airwaves Win In A Romp

Airwaves won 8-1 on Sunday. Maybe we were inspired by all the World Cup we've been watching. Jim, Jose, Yon and I all scored. The coup de grace was when, on a throw in, Jim launched the ball at me so hard, a little flick of the head kept the pace of the ball and it landed in the net.

We've played them before and while most of their team is cordial, they have one guy I can't stand. He pushed Trey in the back and to the ground in front of the goal and tackled Jim out of bounds after Jim had cleared the ball. Brings out the best and worst in me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

HOI Blog

Jeff, who used to run the Peoria TV stations blog is back in business, but this time with a more narrow focus.

He's started the HOI blog.

If you consider it to be the companion piece to The WMBD blog, it looks like there's only one station left...

Granite Sells Big Market Stations

This is from the "breaking news" section of Broadcasting & Cable...

Despite an attempt by one investor to block the deal, Granite Broadcasting has secured regulatory approval of the sale of two stations the company desperately needs to complete by next Friday to avoid Chapter 11. The Federal Communications Commission Friday signed off on the transfer of its WB affiliates WDWB Detroit and KBWB San Francisco.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What Would Mr. Belding Do?

This is news from back home... I'm not even sure what to think...

Heard about this on the Greg and Dan show recently. It seems Dustin Diamond, the guy who played "Screech" on "Saved By The Bell" has hit some hard times and could lose his house... according to his website. He's selling t-shirts to help save his house.

Apparently this honked off some guy who has started his own anti-Screech website.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Broken News

Former WMBD general manager Bill Lamb weighs in on the use of the term "breaking news." I've actually thought this since 1993. It's an entertaining read and the subject of an Open Line post as well.

Party Time, Excellent In Miami

It's Dwayne's World, as in Dwayne Wade's NBA title. I'm a big sports fan, but haven't been emotionally invested (read: really cared) in a championship game since the Packers lost to the Broncos. I've been a big Wade fan since the Great Alaska Shootout his first year at MU. Thrilled to see him win a title.

Hopefully, someone at my alma mater is working on an ad campaign, starring former Marquette star Wade... ads to be well placed... like on the NBA Draft next week... something many undecided high school stars are watching.

Monday, June 19, 2006

To Have And To Hold, In Sickness And In Ratings Periods

More HOI related news...

Former main anchor Frank Vascellaro is back in the saddle. After leaving KARE-TV in December, Frank will soon be anchoring the 6:00 with his wife, Amelia Santaniello at WCCO-TV.

Tim Signs On

Tim McGinnis officially hit the MARKET 117 airwaves tonight. Shannon and I got a chance to meet Tim and his wife as they were house hunting a couple of weeks ago. A really nice couple... hope they feel at home here right away.

Nick At Nite In Seattle

Congrats to Nick Stroman, Assignment Editor at WHOI on his impending move to the desk at the FOX affiliate in Seattle. I have the details somewhere, but can't find the e-mail. Efforting... as the cool kids/feed producers say.

Father's Day

Father's Day is so sweet when your kids are too young to buy you anything. My oldest can't cook, but poured me a bowl of cereal. And my gift was a bound book of pictures the two older ones drew of things they like to do with daddy.

We had dinner with friends Friday night... all four couples have kids (now three) who were born within a month of one another. It's amazing to see how fast and how much they've grown.

Had a family get together on Saturday... Shannon's dad's side... I commented to one of my relatives, while watching all the little ones, that one day, all these kids will be driving themselves to the family events.

I'm afraid to blink sometimes...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wade's World

Dwayne Wade = amazing.

Though he struggled with his shot through the first three quarters, he ended with 43 points and something like 20 in the 4th quarter/OT.

I don't think anyone should be comparing him to Jordan like the "media" is doing this week, but this Marquette grad (shameless plug) is putting on one heck of a show.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Krystal Moves On

According to the WMBD blog, Krystal Morris has moved back to Chicago.

Mrs. Blogger

Amidst all the bad press, my wife has started a my space page. Now we'll spend time across the room from each other... not talking.

Good Sports Week

Watching World Cup when I got a chance... the US really stunk up the joint. And I think this really hurt... because the casual viewer isn't going to come back to see them on Saturday.

Amazing comeback by the Miami Heat, led my Marquette grad Dwayne Wade on Tuesday night. Although, I have to say the end had a little WWF feel with David Stern playing the role of Vince McMahon. A 90% free throw shooter misses, breathing life into a series that would have tanked in the rating faster than a speeding bullet (Superman plug). Not that I think the NBA is rigged, but Hollywood would have struggled to write that ending.

So Some People Were Leaving

before the encore.

Mostly members of the older crowd... no biggie. But then I started thinking. In music for I don't know how long now, it's just assumed that an act does an encore. Way, way back in the day, I want to think encores were done when the crowd really wanted one and was going crazy... but now it's just something everyone does.

Fine. But what if, and I'm not saying I felt this way at Sheryl Crow, cause I didn't, but what if no one clapped and screamed. Would the band just call it a night? Would they be bummed out or not care?

Just wondering...

Evening With Sheryl

Went to the Sheryl Crow concert with some friends tonight. Great time. On the way home, Shannon and I were talking about how she just exudes cool and sexy and just screams "strong woman."

I love that she plays guitar and piano and is much more a musician than many of the teeney boppers that are making big money nowadays.

I know most casual listeners know the song "All I Wanna Do..." but really, I think that may be one of the worst songs she does. She has a strong voice and great range it's mostly talking. But it opened doors for her, so I guess she can't totally abandon it, right?

Long Time, No Blog

I know... I've been bad about this. Just having trouble getting back into the swing...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Flipping To Hoops

Also watching Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat taking on the Detroit Pistons. Wade went to my alma mater so I'm pulling pretty hard for him to win a title as he is a huge reason Marquette has returned to the national college basketball spotlight.

Update: Wade had an amazing game... 35 points on 13 out of 17 from the field... 9 for 11 from the line, 8 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block... and a reference to Marquette on Sports Center.

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles is on now...

They don't make movies like John Hughes used to...

Making His Mark

Lost in the shuffle for me, as TV announcements go, was the addition of Mark Welp to the WHOI team. He has previously worked at WICD and KMIZ in addition to interning at two stations in Chicago. A belated welcome to Mark and his family.

My Best Friend's Wedding

We're watching my Best Friend's Wedding as a family tonight. Shannon reminds our oldest that this was the movie I took her to on our first date. Of course tonight we're watching it amidst crying, screaming and fighting.

My little girl chimes in that "she's getting married" and I will walk her "down the island."


For those of you watching 24... yes, I was still into it this season. In fact, it has been about the only thing I've been able to keep up with.

I was kind of disappointed in the season finale... the first hour was pretty good, but I saw the ending coming a mile away and the first four seasons had me pretty on edge and itching for more. I'm still looking forward to next season, but there wasn't as much shock value for me this time around.

Tot Soccer

My two older kids have started playing soccer too. It's pretty neat to watch... seeing them run around like little bumblebees. I loved seeing the joy on their faces as they kicked these tiny little balls around the field.

People around town ask me about having them play... because of my family background and cause I'm a coach. My stance on this is I'll teach them the basics and if they want to play... that's great and if they want to do something else that's great too. I just want to make sure I don't become one of those parents that pushes and pushes... you know the kind you see on those cable documentaries that you shake your head at. I'm embracing the fact that my kids might not be as competitive as I am.

Airwaves Back In Action

The Airwaves have taken to the field a little earlier this year. While our main league is the Peoria Park District league, this year we've joined the new SFC/Mossville co-ed league.

We lost our first game 6-4. We were missing both our goalies and I choked away two breakaways, so it could have been closer. We'll find our rhythm soon enough.

Back To My Roots...

Well, not all the way...

I'm going back to TV... but not broadcast. Starting July 1st I'll be moving back into the television group at work. I'll also do some writing, on camera and voiceover work.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Main Anchor At WHOI

WHOI will soon be getting a new main anchor. Tim McGinnis comes from WSAV in Savannah, Georgia, where he has worked for the last 10 years as a photographer, reporter and finally weekend anchor. He has won several awards for his work, including an AP award for “Best Documentary” for his reporting work in Kuwait. My friend Christine has this to say about Tim:

"Tim is such an incredible news hound and I know he will be such an asset to Peoria. Tim has done it all--I think he could run a newsroom by himself! From photography to editing to reporting to anchoring he's done it all and excelled at everything he attempts. It's great to hear stories of real journalists succeeding--those are the types of people I want to see on the news. Some one who is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to tell what matters. He's not one of those anchors who always wanted to be a actor but didn't think they could make it -- he's a true journalist."

Tim is married and has a baby boy. His first day will be June 14th, but his on air debut won't be until Monday, June 19th. He replaces Paul Ferrante who has moved on to Phoenix.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Soccer Season Ending

My two and a half months of early mornings is coming to an end soon. My Pekin girls soccer team wraps up its regular season on Thursday with a senior night match against Woodruff.

We're 5-9-1 this year... not bad considering we only returned two starters from last year.

Amanda Switches Gears

Former WHOI news director Amanda Wozniak has also found something different. She has taken a job as a communications consultant with Frank Magid and Associates. Congrats, Amanda.

Five Generations Removed

Speaking of MacGregor's party, I was doing the math with Mark and Amy... if you say for the sake of argument that the average time spent in this market is two years, I am now five generations removed from the crowd currently at the station.

Over the years, I've gotten to know many of the staffers that I didn't work with, but now when Shannon and I showed up Saturday, the only people there that we actually worked with were Pegs and TP.

The party is much tamer... but still a good time. I'd like to encourage all the people from "my generation" to pay Mark, Amy and Maddie a visit come December.

Jay's Walking

Jay Verner has also moved on to something different. The former WMBD-TV weekend anchor is now working in media relations for Country Companies in Bloomington. I saw Jay at MacGregor's spring party... he's doing well and enjoying the new job.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Great Dane

Congrats to WHOI photographer Dane Firkus. Dane is taking a job at KRCG in Cedar Rapids, IA. This is the same station that hired former WHOI reporter Steve Nicoles.

From The Mouths Of Brothers

My brother is in town for a long weekend. A friend of ours is explaining about the choices/the way they do things at a restaurant out near where he's from... and he interupts to tell her "you had me at pick your meat."

You Gotta Blog

WEEK is getting back into the blogging business... sort of. They're doing a blog in conjunction with the You Gotta Eat feature. Weigh in on where Eric and Dubbs chow down. Check it out and suggest your favorite Central Illinois restaurant.

From The Mouths Of Babes

My oldest son says to my brother: I wake up eight... seven central.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Paul Lands In Phoenix

Former WHOI anchor Paul Ferrante is settling in to life in Phoenix. He turned down a job at one of the local affiliates to report and produce for Phoenix 11, the city of Phoenix's TV channel. They cover general city news (like parks, water and transit issues). It gives him the best of both worlds - working in broadcasing and a normal dayside schedule.

Congrats, Paul!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

We Can Do It

Big week for the Can Do 4:13 Scholarship Fund I volunteer with. Our arts sale was Friday night and it was a huge success. Thanks to Garry Moore for making an appearance and Krystal Morris for hosting the evening.

Our founder Jen was a guest on WMBD TV and WMBD radio... I did a guest spot on the WEEK noon show.

Click the link to see the video I wrote/produced. Special thanks to Dane Firkus for shooting and Dana Anderson for editing.

And congrats to Jen on being awarded this year's Children's Hospital/Christine Zak-Edmonds award for child advocacy.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gehly Moves On

Steve Gehlbach moves from freelancing in Tampa to full time in Orlando. He's now a reporter at WOFL, the FOX affiliate just outside the house of Mouse.

WMBD News Director To Go Corporate

Nexstar has promoted WMBD News Director Chris Manson to Vice President of News. Congrats, Chris! I included Chris in an old post about six degrees.

From Business Wire

Nexstar Broadcasting Names Chris Manson Vice President of News; Twenty-Five Year Broadcasting Veteran to Oversee Nexstar's Leading Local News Franchises
IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2006--Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) announced today that Christopher Manson, 46, has been named Vice President of News. Mr. Manson will report to Nexstar Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Perry A. Sook.
Mr. Sook commented, "Achieving excellence in local news programming is a core focus at Nexstar. As a result, the Company's local news programs are rated first or second in 75% of our markets and represent an important resource for viewers and valuable medium for advertisers. As an award-winning journalist and news professional, Chris Manson brings a career of distinguished accomplishment to his new role. We are confident that his depth of industry experience will be valuable in our continued focus on elevating our news franchises."
Chris Manson brings twenty-five years of broadcast experience to his new position. He joined Nexstar in 1999 with responsibility for overseeing news programming at the Company's CBS television station in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania market. In 2000 he was appointed News Director at WMBD (CBS) and WYZZ (FOX) in Peoria, Illinois. WMBD's news, weather and sports programming is regarded as the most honored in the market and in this year's Illinois Broadcasters Association annual awards, the station was nominated for twelve awards in ten categories including best news anchor, best daytime newscast, best early evening newscast, best reporting on hard news, best non-public affairs program and best sportscast. The station also earned nominations for best editorial, best commercial produced on behalf of an advertiser, best self-promotion campaign and best self-promotion using another media.
Mr. Manson began his broadcast career with the American Forces Radio and Television Service, serving in both Japan and Greece. Following his military service, he began his commercial broadcast career in the Monterey-Salinas, CA market. He has worked at both FOX and CBS affiliates as an assignment editor, producer, executive producer, and assistant news director.
Mr. Manson stated, "Nexstar is committed to producing quality newscasts in the communities it serves. I look forward to working closely with Nexstar's dedicated news professionals in each market and extending the company's track record of news leadership."
In 1986 Chris Manson graduated first in his class at The Pennsylvania State University, earning Phi Beta Kappa distinction and BA degrees with Distinction in Journalism and Middle Eastern History. While in Peoria, he served as a faculty member at Bradley University where he has taught writing and communications.