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?