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.