Monday, February 27, 2006

TV Talk

Saw Melissa Dunton today. She's doing well and settling in to her new office. Just waiting for Kevin/Jimmy to start 25 reunion week next week.

Welcome to new WMBD weekend sports anchor, Rob Coons. Rob joins us from Fargo, ND, but he's originally from my hometown of Milwaukee (woo hoo).

Almost March Madness

Looking forward to March. I follow two teams very closely - Marquette and Illinois and three others - Wisconsin, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Bradley. It looks like four should make it and I think if Bradley makes it to Saturday of the MVC, they're on the bubble... if they make it to Sunday, they're in, even if they lose in the finals.

50,000

Sometime today, MARKET 117 hit 50,000 visitors. I'd like to update this thing more often, but I have just lost all free time.

I've taken on some new duties at work, I'm working on the upcoming Can Do event and I'm getting ready for soccer season to begin - tryouts are next week.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

We've Got An Offer

An offer was written up today on our current house. It is contingent upon the sale of the potential buyer's house, but at least it is an offer. We'll see.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Knight School

I'm watching something new. ESPN is running a six part realty series called "Knight School." Basically it started with 33 guys trying out to be a walk on for Bobby Knight's Texas Tech team. They cut down to 16, then to 12 this week. As a huge college hoops fan, I got sucked in by the commercials.

The concept is close to my heart as well. I took part in walk on tryouts my junior year at Marquette. Not that I harbored any crazy dreams of actually making the team... D1 quickness, but freshman high school ball handling and a penchant to launch 23 footers at 5'5" probably wasn't what the coaches were looking for. But I loved to play and thought it can't hurt to give it a shot.

My team lost the ball and the other team has a three-on-one break. The guy who had already been a walk on has the ball, looking to push. Of course I'm the one back on defense. My guess is seeing me just past mid court didn't send chills down his spine, so he tried to throw the pass cross court high over my head. I leaped as high as I could and reached back, timing it just right to snatch it out of the air like a free safety... bringing it down with one hand and starting the break back the other way.

This was my "one shining moment" but I did enjoy he experience. I would have been one of the guys cut in the first group tonight.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Not Duck Or Rabbit Season - Basketball Season

This is the start of it for me. I'll watch some early season college and the occasional NBA game before this, but All Star Weekend is like opening day.

My school, Marquette is looking for its second straight win over a ranked team. Right now they have a 63-55 lead over Pitt after a tough win over Georgetown on Thursday. Unfortunately, unlike the Thursday game, this one isn't on... so I've got the score up on the computer as I watch...

NBA All Star Saturday.

I had the pleasure of being able to see Andre Igoudala in high school... but if you get a chance, check out ESPN or your local sportscast for his second dunk of the night. Whatever wins, I can't imagine it'll top this.

He had Allen Iverson standing behind the backboard... Iverson tosses it lightly against the back... I repeat, the back of the backboard. Iggy catches it, flies underneath for a reverse dunk.

Amazing. I was rooting for Nate Robinson (5'9", gotta pull for the shorty) coming into the night, but the Igoudala dunk has me converted.

Brave Or Stupid?

Started my quest to find the HDTV for our future living room wall. So many to choose from... need to do a list of critical Edgar requirements (an inside joke for some of you).

Took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's last night... by myself. First and last time by myself... can't keep track of three... and I was holding one the whole time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

House Update

A lot of people have asked about the house. We're not in yet, but we're hoping to be in there a few weeks from now. Our current house is on the market... but I don't expect it to sell till we're out.

Olympic Spirit - Catch It

Shannon has mentioned that one of the things about the Olympics is you get sucked and become a pseudo expert about sports you normally wouldn't give a second thought to. Half pipe, short track speed skating... curling.

We had our Valentine's Dinner at Kouri's tonight. Not especially romatic I know, but whatever. Anyway, we noticed the group at the bar was pretty into the curling.

One thing I have liked about the coverage is with the skiing... where they superimpose a skier on another's run to track the differences... and ultimately show why one finished faster than the other. Nice use of technology.

Tuesday Airwaves Finish WIth A Flourish

The Tuesday version of the Airwaves won again tonight... 9-1. I had five, Spanky had two, Jim and Michelle each had one.

Highlight of the night was my dumba-- standing in front of the goal... not paying attention... when Spanky launched a shot that grazed my the entire front side of my shorts and went in.

Congrats to the Tuesday group on going 11-0-1 over the first two sessions.

First Steps

Our baby isn't so much a baby anymore. He took three steps to mommy today. Her best Valentine's Day gift yet.

Of course, I missed it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Little Perspective

This was on my mind for most of the weekend, but I needed some time before I could post about it. As a father, it is the kind of situation that breaks your heart and when it hits close to home it makes it even tougher.

Ten years ago, when Shannon was a cub reporter at the Pekin Times, there was this happy little girl with big glasses who was always hanging around the office with her mom and dad. That little girl was Hanna Holder, the PCHS senior who died unexpectedly last week. Wednesday night my wife was out in the cold covering the vigil that students held for Hanna.

Shannon went to the visitaton on Friday and found Hanna's mom, Michelle so thankful for the way she told their story, when in reality all my wife wanted was to make sure what she did just didn't make it any harder on a friend in the midst of the most tragic of circumstances.

I can't imagine what Michelle is going through, but she remains in our thoughts and prayers.

I have posted one of Shannon's stories and part of an editorial the Times did that is a good read for working journalists who visit this site.

Death becomes all too familiar to PCHS
By Shannon Tebben Sandoval
Thursday, February 2, 2006 1:34 PM CST
Times correspondentPEKIN - Pekin Community High School students have learned some hard truths this year about the fragility of life and the finality of death.It's a lesson that more often comes later in life, not in the prime of youthful exuberance and invincibility. But since the beginning of this school year alone, seven PCHS students have died.Senior Matt Spialek said that means virtually every student has lost someone they knew somehow, and it's leaving many of them feeling “numb.”“(Hanna Holder's) death was shocking, but the fact that a student has died is no longer shocking to us,” he said. “It's a routine - we know what we're supposed to do.”Emotional outlet
As soon as the announcement was made Wednesday morning about Holder's death, Spialek said students knew to head to the library if they needed an emotional outlet.A memorial wall for students to write messages was already in place as well.Previous deathsLast September, PCHS sophomores Ashley Waddell, Zachary Swingle, and Andrew Ford were killed in a single-car accident.Just a month later, freshmen Cory DePeugh and Drew Turner died when their dirt bikes collided.In December, another PCHS student, Jacob Smith, died of leukemia.
“It seems like with every death, it hits a little closer to home,” said PCHS Senior Chelsea McCoy.Before the school day was over, plans for a candlelight vigil to honor Holder were already made.Student-led vigilDistrict 303 Superintendent Paula Davis pointed out that Wednesday's vigil, like the two that were held last fall, was conceived, planned, and carried out by the students themselves with no official “endorsement” by the school.“It's very humbling,” Davis said. “The maturity and the grace (the students) show in the face of such anguish is remarkable.”Staff supportDavis - who is in her first year as the district's top administrator - said it's important for school staff to support the students however they can as they work through their grief.
“They know we don't have the answers,” she said. “Here we are, a group of adults that are supposed to have the answers, as teachers, but not in something like this.”MessagesBy nightfall on Wednesday, some students had written messages on their cars as a way to cope with their feelings.One car in the school lot had “Hanna = Math Goddess!” and “Keep Smiling Hanna” written on the windows.Poster boards taped to the pillars outside the school's entrance also had written messages on them.Familiar routineSpialek said even the logistics of holding a vigil have, sadly enough, become a familiar routine for the students.They've learned along the way to bring paper plates and paper cups to hold the candles and avoid the melting wax.Senior Brian White said the deaths have brought students together as they express their emotions.“I'd say that we've definitely learned to rely on each other for support, we can let each other know how we're feeling and trust each other.”

Difficult job needs to be done
By Times staff
Saturday, February 4, 2006 1:49 AM CST
One of the more controversial things the news media does is cover death.When we write stories about it, we are sometimes accused of intruding upon people's private grief.This Wednesday morning, we learned that the latest in a heartbreaking string of student deaths was one of our own.Pekin Community High School senior Hanna Holder was well known here at the Pekin Daily Times, not only because of her part-time job here, but because her mother is our advertising director and her father worked here before his death several years ago.People here were faced with breaking the news to co-workers, many of whom had known Hanna since she was a young child.Through the tears and heartache, we still had a job to do. We knew we had to provide the same coverage we would in any other case.
And we did. Within about two hours of her death, we had to pull together a story about it.Wednesday night, the student candlelight vigil drew not only grieving teenagers but journalists. Again, we had an uncomfortable job to do.Ironically, a teenage child of an editor here - a child who has grown up in a media family - felt angry at the news coverage. “Why can't they just leave us alone? This is our time to grieve,” she said.While she and her friend had not even noticed the newspaper journalists who were there to interview and photograph, they felt intruded upon when the bright lights of the television crews overpowered their little candles.However, watching the television coverage a few hours later, her mother pointed out how many people who could not participate in the candlelight vigil were able to feel a part of it by viewing news coverage.And at that point, the teenager finally understood the value of allowing the media to “intrude.”
We cover these stories for many reasons.One is to answer questions and dispel rumors as to what really happened.These stories also help everyone to see what kind of a person has been lost. Those who knew and loved all the children we've lost in the last five months were already aware what a loss their deaths are to the world.There is no bringing back the light these children were to this world.But by giving their friends and loved ones a forum to talk about them, the rest of us can learn what we missed out on by not getting to know them before it was too late.

Name Switch

No bio yet, but former WEEK and WMBDer Jill Henriksen is going by the name Jill Noelle at her new job at WICD in Chambana.

Day 10 - Relaxing On The Beach And On A Boat

My dad and uncle set up a boat trip for anyone who was interested. The boats took us to different areas around the island.

Started off snorkeling. Didn't see a lot, but it was just so nice to be out in the ocean.

As we traveled to the next spot, I had one of those moments... you know the kind when you're looking at your family and the greenish blue water and just feeling like you didn't want the moment to end... felt very at peace.

Next stop was an area of the beach where the sand was especially fine...

Then it was on to a Filipino lunch at the other end of the island. This restaurant was home to a giant turtle which my dad "bravely" was able to pick up... but I swear he was lucky he didn't get his hand chomped.

Day 9 - Exploring Boracay

For those of you who were following along with my trip... here you go... sorry for the delay.

Went for a walk just around the hotel area. Found our first internet cafe, but I wasn't especially interested in knowing what was going on with the rest of the world. At some point I checked my e-mail to find I won week 17 of the Market 117 fantasy football league. Responded to a couple of e-mails.

Eventually we met my cousin Rose and her family for drinks at the bar/restaurant just down from the hotel. As much as it was nice to be in touch with my roots, this felt like vacation.

We had dinner at the Blue Mango. It's a fairly new place, also near our hotel, run by this guy from Boston. A really good bacon cheeseburger was just what the doctor ordered. Crashed early.

Tuesday Airwaves Continue To Roll

Airwaves won 11-2 tonight. I had six, Michelle had two, Lauren had one, Spanky had one and Bart had one.

Felt bad... early on... one of our opponents and I both kicked the ball at the exact same time and I think he messed his ankle up pretty good. He left.

So it was one of those odd games where the ref played for the other team. I gotta say, he was awesome. I think he plays for ICC. The way he handled the ball was something to really enjoy watching... like it was attached to his foot.

The Tuesday version of the Airwaves is now 10-0-1 with one game left in session two.

Nice Job Jenny

Jenny Li got some airtime on 1470 this afternoon... promoting her story on juvenile sex offenders. I know she is a "friend of the program" and that there is a relationship between 1470 and 25, but I'd like to hear more of these.

You'll hear this kind of thing more often in Chicago. Good way to give a little more depth, spark discussion about a story of interest.

Bloomberg On The Score

Heard my former WMBD Sunday morning sports guy on the radio on Friday. Mike Bloomberg was doing updates for Sportsradio 670 the Score. He sounded great. If I recall, there were cutbacks in the sports department at CLTV where Mike was reporting and anchoring.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Musings

Caught the Super Bowl with Josh and Jimmy at the East Peoria BW3...

Not too crowded... that was nice.

When the steelers had the ball 3rd and 5 at the five, right after the timeout I said to the guys... Seattle will intercept this for a touchdown. I was half right.

My favorite commercials were the Michelob Ultra where the model gets tackled, then later knocks the guy off the bar stool... and the cell phone commercial where one of the phone's features is crime deterrent and one guy keeps nailing another guy in the face with his cell phone. Good times.

Game was okay... Pittsburgh won, but didn't dominate the way I thought they would. They had three big plays and that was the difference. Nice to see Cowher and Bettis win the big one.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Congrats Jimmy

Congrats to Kevin "Jimmy" Thomas. Kevin has been producing the 6 and 10 at WEEK for the past few years and has recently taken a communications job at Caterpillar. He'll be moving up to Aurora to work with another former 25er, Melissa Dunton.

25's got a prime producer spot open now.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday Airwaves Break Out

After weeks of tough games, the Thursday version of the Airwaves had a breakout game, winning 10-1 tonight. I had five, Jeff had three, Chantal had one and Joe Boley had one.

Joe Khoury had his second straight stellar performance in goal... several diving saves. Nice job on the defensive side, especially from Angie and Jon.

Just a side note. My knee is jello. Tomorrow might be rough. Anaway, after my third goal, one of our opponents thought it would be good to start tugging on my shirt and push me and elbow me in the back when the ball was at the other end of the field. Then he starting holding and playing more physical when I got near the goal. I get the concept. Take someone out of their game so to speak, but this has the exact opposite effect on me... motivates me to play harder. Heck, I actually got back on defense for the first time in... ever. But just once :)

I have found that the best way to keep me unmotivated is to be friendly. The past few games before this, everyone has been so cool that I just didn't feel like going that hard.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Shelli Fills In

Nice to hear Shelli Dankoff on WMBD radio today. She was filling in for Luciano who is in Haiti. I always think it's fun when TV people fill in on radio talk shows. You get a much better handle on their personalities, something you don't get nearly as much by watching them on the news.

She and Markley had a very entertaining discussion going. It started with something from the day before where another fill in host was talking about how his wife and an ex-boyfriend of hers go to movies and how it was okay with him. Jamie isn't down with this, Shelli seemed fine with it and lots of people shared stories. Some kind of rough, some entertaining... made for very good radio.

I actually wanted to call in and have some fun with Shelli (ask Chuck voice included), but had a front row seat to the whole range of my love life while we worked together, including announcing the bridal party at my wedding... so just listening was probably the better idea.