Sunday, December 09, 2007

Step 1: Get The Tree Into The House!

Jennie and I went to Mutch's Christmas Tree Farm today to pick up our Christmas tree.  All I can say is, thank goodness for double doors.  The tree is about 10 feet tall and 6 feet around.  So far, we've managed to get it in the base with minimal damage to the carpet and ceiling.  Also, we have not killed one another yet, another feat!  :)

I am hoping that tomorrow we will be able to get the lights and other goodies on it.  I'm mostly excited about pulling out my 1940s Lionel Train (complete with whistle, smoke and headlight) to put around the base.  We tried getting decorations done outside over the weekend, but found other distractions (see next post!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

MSU Wins!

Here is a photo I forgot to post . J and I went to the MSU/Penn State game last Saturday in East Lansing. It was a little chilly, but fun, none-the-less. It was nice to be back on campus!

Rekindling a Holiday Tradition

Mom, Jeanne and Joanna attempting to recall the steps to making delicious popcorn balls. I just supervised.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You'd Think We Don't Give Them Water!

Ah, Ziggie.  What a character.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Disaster Averted

I have to say that I am at how well our new iMac is handling Final Cut Studio. When we bought it, the iMac was sort of a band-aid to get us through some projects we needed to finish up. However, I am no longer in a hurry to upgrade.

For starters, it's way faster than my 3-year-old G5. The new Intel chips really make it whiz and whir. In addition to the 24" built in screen, it has an DVI output to which I've attached the G5's 20" monitor. When using Final Cut Pro, it serves as a high-definition preview monitor...or a tool bank. With other applications, it's more real estate for whatever.

Listen, PCs are okay. But, Macs are great! If you are in the market for a new computer, get over the fear of learning something new and splurge for an iMac or MacBook. I'll help you set it up.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Emergency Mac

Well, after 3 and a half over-used years, our Power Mac G5 had its first hiccup. Something is causing it not to boot into the operating system. All of the files are on the hard drive, but I probably need to re-format it to make it work. So, we wound up getting a new iMac for our editing needs. More details coming soon...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bon Voyage, Measel Family!

Dear Erik, Carrie, Lucas, Annabelle, Grandma and Grandpa:

Have a great time at Walt Disney World!

Back To You

With the departure of Studio 60, I was worried that I wouldn't get my fill of simulated television production this season. There seems to be an influx of such shows in recent television seasons (30 Rock, Studio 60.) How many of these shows can network television handle?

Enter a new candidate to the FOX lineup. Back To You, starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton airs Tuesdays and 9pm. Spending a good chunk of my professional career sitting in newsrooms, I have to say it's pretty well done. Of course, it's not totally accurate. For example, the show uses far too many curse words to be a real newroom, and nobody's office is that nice in a small market TV station. But aside from that, it's nice to see Kelsey Grammer back on the small screen.

So, set your TiVo for "Back To You" on FOX!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

one of the joys of summer

Ice cream from The Chilly Cow, an Attica original!

Editing: This DVD is Actually Good!

I've been teaching video production for a while. And, over that time, I've seen a lot of bad 'educational' programs on the business. But, there is one saving grace: "The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing." This DVD was produced and distributed by Warner Brothers and is fairly current, when it comes to the films they talk about.

So, if you are interested in editing, I highly recommend this DVD. It's still kind of 'educational', but that's not all bad.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Falling" Back Into The Blogging Routine

Welcome to the first day of favorite season. College football, apple pie, cider, donuts, crisp air, leaves...what's not to love!

So, as you know, I am not the world's best blogger. I embraced the blogging revolution early on, but with all the stuff I try to tackle everyday, something has gotta give. There are actually two things...blogging and MySpace. Followed by any sort of cleaning.

What's more, I am always looking for significant dates to tie my accomplishments to. I'm not sure why, but I want to remember momentous occasions in my life, like a return to blogging. For example, this past July 7th (07/07/07), I re-dedicated myself to the notion of being greener and living healthier. And, by golly, I've been doing a pretty good job so far with recycling (I'm trying to recycle all paper and plastic in my class, and do most quizzes and tests in a digital format,) buying organic food (have you read the crap they put in some foods???) and exercising (lost 20 pounds to date.)

So, since today is the first day of Fall, which happens to be my favorite season, I'm re-dedicating myself to blogging. I know you are all relieved!


Monday, August 20, 2007

First Tank of E85

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dear ABBA: We'll Have to Catch Up Next Summer...

I've learned something over the past couple of days. It's always good to have a "Plan B," but it's even better to have a "Plan C" and "Plan D" ready...just in case. The following is the story of Jennie and my Scandinavian adventure, French style!

First, let me take you back a few days to Saturday morning. After an early 4am wake-up call, we left the John Knox Center and headed to the Geneva Airport. As you no doubt already know, Jennie and I were planning on leaving Geneva and bound for Stockholm, Sweden--via Paris. We would then head west to Oslo, Norway before coming back home this Thursday.

Well, when it rains, it pours, and the sprinkles started early Saturday. We got to the Geneva airport easy enough, but once we cleared customs and got to the gate, we saw that our flight was delayed about one half-hour. Now, we could have managed with a half-hour delay, but not 8 of them! That's right. The delay process continued until we were eventually 4 hours late for our EasyJet flight to Paris. Because we were flying multiple carriers, this was not good news.

Once we got into Paris, it was becoming obvious that our plans were beginning to crumble. We were supposed to fly into Paris (Orly airport) and from there take a bus to another airport to catch the Scandinavian Airlines flight to Stockholm. That was an awful lot of ground for us to cover and we decided that--with the delay--we would either just make it, or try like hell to make it and wind up missing the flight...and busting our tails to do so.

After Skyping everyone and their uncle, trying to figure out a "Plan-B" to Sweden, we finally decided that a couple of days in Paris with an early return to the USA would be fine with us. Otherwise, we were looking at a couple of thousand dollars to make it to the home of Ikea, Saab and ABBA.

So, after exhausting all options, we decided on Paris. And, forget the economy hotels, Jennie convinced me that we might as well live large. It was decided that $700 a night might be a little too much, be we found a very nice hotel for much less money. Getting there was our only challenge. I’d say that, between the two of us, we had about 200 pounds of luggage. For some reason (I think it was lack of sleep), we decided public transportation would be the best way into town. WRONG! We had way too much luggage and by the time we reached the Eiffel Tower, we were searching for the nearest taxi.

Le Hotel Pont Royal is a wonderful place. The rooms are decent sized by European standards, but the location and staff were great. We were about a 3 minute walk from the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay.

On Saturday, we took a little nap before heading out for Le Tour Eiffel. It was a nice walk along the Seine River. The lines for the lifts to the top were very long. So, we decided to hoof it up the 670 steps to the mid-section of the Tower. The views were stunning, the weather perfect. A little ice cream in our tummies, and it was time for bed.

After sleeping in until 11am, we got up, had a nice lunch and headed to The Louvre for a few hours. From there, we hiked through the Jardin de Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde, where I promptly purchased a Crepe (from the place I got my first Crepe in 1998!)

It was Sunday, but Jennie and I thought a stroll up the Champs Elysees was in order. Surprisingly, several shops were open. We weren’t used to doing anything on Sunday in Geneva. Just about everything is closed.

At the Arc de Triomphe, we added another 287 stairs to the top for another perspective of Paris.

Jennie and I woke up early this morning and ran from our hotel to Notre Dame and back before taking a taxi to the airport. At present, we're sitting in the Newark International Airport. We board our flight in about an hour. I think both of us are disappointed that our Scandinavian adventure had to be called off, but we had a great time in Paris and coming home early is not so bad either. We both have a lot to do before school starts in a couple of weeks.

I can't wait to catch up on sleep tonight!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Visit My Shutterfly Photo Collection. It's actually fairly organized!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heidelberg and Back

Down to the wire...I've got six minutes to write before I'm done for this year @ John Knox. Below is a blog I started a week or so ago, with a few amendments. I'm a lousy blogger, I know!

Well, it's been a while since I've last typed anything. There are two reasons for that. First, I've been extremely busy with class work. As everyone knows by now, we are in class from 8:30am - 4:00pm everyday. But, the work rarely stops there. We typically spend our evenings coding as well!

We are all in the process of working in our groups to develop our programs. I am in a group with Jennie, Angela Zeck and Anthony Schaaf. We are developing at website called "FlikNews," which is an online student journalism project that connects students from around the world using topics of global interest. We are still very much in the development stages, but, with the great work of my group, we will probably have something up by Friday (our last day.)

Although most of our time is spent in the classroom, we've managed to find some time for fun and relaxation. You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, a group of us travelled to Chamonix, at the base of Mt. Blanc. This past weekend, the same group headed to Heidelberg, Germany. Like our previous trip, we didn't do much planning. The day before the trip, I managed (with help from Marc at the JKC) to rent a 9 passenger van, instead of each of us playing for the train. The train was about $300 per person. After we paid for gas, it was only about $85 each for the van.

Okay....more coming soon. Out of time!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Climbing the Alps, 21st Century Style

Let me catch you up on last week. The last thing I talked about here was the UMF Global Reception held here at the John Knox Center. After the reception, we continued to have class on Thursday and Friday. Both days brought special guests from important NGOs in Geneva. We also forged ahead with Ruby on Rails, the web programming language we're trying to learn over the course of these three weeks. I'm seeing some good progress with my 'test site' and am slowly remembering all the coding I'll need to create media-rich web content in the future. Practice makes perfect. Right now, I definitely need more practice.

We are also working very hard on building relationships with our NGO partners. Right now, I'm really interested in re-inventing a mothballed student journalism site. I would like to work with the IBO to make it a good fit for their goals and objectives.

On Saturday, the 7:11 Running Club took a day trip to Chamonix (pronounced sham-mon-knee) to enjoy the French countryside and climb up Mt. Blanc. Chamonix is a provencial ski village in the French Alps--about 90 minutes by bus from Geneva. The town is what I've come to expect from small town Europe--very clean, welcoming to tourists, and, well, provencial. There are a lot of natural wonders to behold while there. We decided to climb to the top of
L'aiguille du Midi, which lies 3842 meters (about 13,000 feet) above the town below. We made it to the summit in about 20 minutes. As you've probably guessed, we didn't exactly climb the mountain with our ropes and crampons. But, we did pay to ride a cable car! It was quite an experience--to be dangling above the jagged rocks of the mountain in a 10X20 car packed with 75 people. Jennie was not at all thrilled. The views from the top were, well, some of the most amazing sites I've ever seen. Make sure you take a look!

Speaking of photos, I've got a lot of great photos, which you can check out either on Shutterfly or on the global program's web
site at Click on my name on the right hand side. You can , of course, also see what others in the program are contribuiting.

I would also like to take a moment to mention that the 7:11 running club is still in effect. In fact, we all got in late last night (1:30am) and I still got up early this morning to run. I must be crazy. That, or I'm feeling good about my recent commitment to running 5 days a week. With all the hills here, it should be a piece of cake to run in my flat home-state of Michigan!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25, 2007

I think that if you were to ask anyone here whether or not they could believe that we’ve been here three days, most would say NO WAY. The bonds and friendships we are creating with one another make it feel like it’s been so much longer. And, that’s a good thing. At least I think...

This morning, like the last two, started off with our morning jog. The 7:20 running club is now the 7:11 running club, since we were having a hard time coordinating showers and breakfast once we got back from the run. It worked out fine, but my legs are ready to fall off my lower body. I don’t think I’ve ever run in such a hilly area. The John Knox Center is at the top of a hill, so we usually go downhill for the first part and the end is always uphill battle. I’m glad to be getting out each morning, though. It’s always easier to run with a group.

Class was interesting today. We are learning to write web applications with “Ruby on Rails”. Although this was only day three, we’re moving along and actually created a very basic application today. Inspires me for more. However, my brain tends to be pretty fried by lunch.

The second half of the today, we met with Cyril Ritchie from the F.I.I.G. He is a fascinating man with a very interesting story. His office is on campus here, and he is also the president of the John Knox Center, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing him more. Tomorrow, the WFUNA comes in to speak with us. The reason we are having so many guest speakers is that we are in the process of trying to figure out what kind of project we want to work on. These guests have ties with all of the NGOs in Geneva.

Tonight was our formal reception. The Chancellor of Univeristy of Michigan-Flint—Jack Kaye—is here, along with other dignitaries from Geneva. We hooked up with Flint via IP video and had a press conference to discuss our new program. This program is brand new and very unique. I hope we were all good ambassadors.

Now, on to the important topic: The food was out of this world. There were so many great dishes, I don’t even know where to begin. It is safe to say that I, perhaps, may never eat this well again. The chef was flown in from Spain especially for the occasion.

After the reception ended, a group of us headed down to what is becoming our new hangout. It’s about an eight minute walk from the center. We enjoyed even more food and drink and most importantly, company.

It is now 1:30am. The running club is taking the morning off tomorrow to recover from our last 3 days, but we will run after class.

I now have an album I’m keeping photos in on Shutterfly. If you need in, let me know. They may wind up in other places as well at the start of next week. As we say in the broadcast business, stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Today is easy to sum up. We spent most of the day in class...then it rained all day.


When we were all downtown for the concert last night, we decided to run as a group this morning. At 7:20am, about 6 of us (Jennie, Karyn, Robert, Joachim, Tony and I) went for a 30 minute run. One word: HILLS!

Other than that, we all basically hung out most of the day. We got a video assignment and are working in groups. My partner is Diane. Since I am a video whiz (well, I should be after 15 years in the business!), I'm making her do most of the work. With a little guidance, of course!

Short and sweet blog, tomorrow should bring more! By the way, I'm working on a photo album to share with all of you. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Day Two

After getting our first good night's sleep since we arrived, Jennie and I were ready to see more Swiss sites. The day before, we purchased an alarm clock for the low low cost of 2.5o (swiss francs.) This morning, we knew why it was so cheap. Our 8:30am wake up alarm never went off, so we didn't get up until about 10:30.

Since this was our last day before class, we didn't want to get too crazy, but we wanted to do something! At the time, we had no idea how long our classes would run each day, plus it looked like rain over the next couple of days and our travels may only be on weekends.

It was highly suggested that we first stay at the center for lunch, since the cooks were coming in to prepare meals, but many students were out and about during lunch. We had some chicken and mixed vegetables and then teamed up with Maxine to go to the Museum of Art and History in the Old Town part of Geneva.

We used our bus pass to hop aboard Bus #5 and headed into the city. The museum was nice, albeit a little warm inside.

We took a stroll throuh Old Town until we found a park (near Place Neuve) that had life-sized chess boards and ice cream! We sat for a little while and took in the scenery.

We were back in time for dinner and then headed back out around 8:30 to take in the music festival along the lake. Jennie, Karyn, Meghan, Robert, Tony, Joachim and I stayed out until about midnight, enjoying the balmy evening.

What a fun day!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Salut, Les Amis!

As I stepped off the airplane in Geneva, Switzerland early this morning, I once again became the world travler I once was--or that I once considered myself to be. Okay, I'm only 30, but my global travels have slowed down in the last 3 or 4 years. As I'm finding out, growing up also means working full time, which is a change from the fancy-free college student mentality. But here I am in Switzerland. For those of you who need to catch up, Jennie and I are in a Masters program at University of Michigan - Flint. We are working on a Masters in Education with a Technology in Education specialization. We're fortunate to have found this program with a global component. More on that here.

Walking through the terminal this morning, I was suddenly surrounded by both billboards and bystanders sending me messages in French. A language with which I am familiar with, at least as far as three years of high school French can take you.

"'Au-desses', I know that word...oh...what does it mean? Hmm...I know this!"

My mind flashes back to my French classes at St. Clair High.

"Salut, Les Amis!"

This was the title of the circa 1980 textbook we used during my entire high school Francais education. We used to love to make fun of the funny caricatures used by the author to illustrate vocabulary words and concepts. If only I had that book now!

I know enough to get by, but I was never really a fluent French speaker. Vocab - yes. Long two way conversations - no. But, it is amazing how much you can remember by suddenly being immersed in a language. There are actually fewer fluent English speakers here in Geneva than you'd think. At least seems to be the case thus far. Probably a good thing, since I've been inspired to re-connect with the Language. I think being here for a month will help. Then, as I told Jennie, I want private lessons 3 times a week. Sure, like I have time for that. But seriously, I'm into brushing up.

Okay, back to our first day here. As soon as we got situated at the John Knox center, Jennie and I took a 4 hour nap in our room. Our flight left Detroit at 1:45pm Friday, stopping in Newark before our 5:55 departure from there to Geneva. Add up the 7 hours in the plane and the 6 hour time change, and we got in at 8am.

When we woke up from our little nap, the few University of Michigan people we had seen earlier that morning were gone to lunch. So, Jennie and I ventured out on our own. In search of two things: #1 - Adventure. #2 - A SIM card for my cell phone.

After a few indecisive minutes trying to decide which way to head out, we took a right and walked down to a nearby (2 km) bus stop. We hopped off at the Jardin Botanique (Botannical Garden) and walked the rest of the way into town. It's Saturday, and most of the shops on the outskirts of town were closed. However, as we continued to make our way towards the city-centre and once we got nearer to the lake, the stores were open a bit longer. Jennie got her 'chocolat' and I found the SIM card I needed for my cell phone. By the way, if you miss me (or jennie) and you want to call, email me and I will give you the number!

So, after a delicious pizza dinner on the lake, we made our way the rain.

Right now (9:41pm GMT+1,) my goal is to stay awake another two hours to help cure my jet-lag. That way, we'll be able to sleep through the night soundly.

To wrap up, I'm thrilled to be here. Especially with Jennie! In the hustle and bustle of my everyday existence, it is all-to-difficult to make time to slow down and Picking up and leaving not only Michigan, but North America should help me take a break. If only there was not all this class work to do!

Oh, photos are coming soon. We took a few on our walk today, but neither Jennie nor I remembered to make sure we had the cable to connect the camera to our computers! So, sorry for all the text on the first day!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Safety First...

...that's Daisy's motto!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Great White North

The one thing I have found so far is that it is hard to blog in the car! So, I'll catch you up later...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Hybrid, of Sorts

I was outside a gas station yesterday and came across this interesting vehicle. Maybe it's not a hybrid, it's more of a crossover vehicle. This new model came equipped with a rear-view mirror (attached to the handle of the mower deck), daytime driving lights and tail lights. To save on fuel costs (I'm guessing) the mower deck has been removed.

The future of travel? We'll see.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Visit from 'The Ladies'

Okay, they didn't come to see me specifically...they came to see Jennie! But, it was nice to see some of my WDIV posse tonight. We tried a new place in Lapeer called Abruzzo's Piano Grille. We went in hopes of pizza, but didn't find any. The food was pretty good, none the less. Thanks for inviting me, ladies!

Sunday, June 03, 2007


The Blue Water post has been updated.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Blue Water Phenomenon

For most people, coming across a new-looking bag with a new-looking box of shoes inside, may seem like the find of the year. Especially, if they are your size! But for me, someone who grew up just south of Port Huron, these "great finds" are actually more like Canadian calling cards. Let me explain.

Located just north of Port Huron is an area called Fort Gratiot (it's not technically a city, probably a township.) Fort Gratiot is home to the Birchwood Mall and dozens of other big-box retailers. The Blue Water Bridge--one of the major crossings from Michigan to Canada--is also in this area. Since the mall was built in 1991, millions of Canadians have crossed the bridge looking for great buys. Even though the Canadian Dollar is much stronger now, Fort Gratiot is still the closest shopping Mecca for many Canadians. And, it seems that many are in need of new shoes.

In order to avoid paying Duty on their purchases when they cross back over the border, Canadians often come to Fort Gratiot in some of their worst looking apparel. Then, after purchasing the new goods, they simply discard their old clothes in the parking lots of the malls and stores in the area. Tacky, but very common. That's why I've become immune to seeing such 'goody bags' being left behind in the lots.

Now, I'm sure that this problem also shows up in other 'border' towns, and on principal, I guess I expect our often eco-friendly, tree hugging neighbors to the North to have a little more class. Come on all you Canadians, use the trash can!!

So, if you are ever shopping in Fort Gratiot and see a new box of shoes on the ground, leave them be---trust me!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Back in Business

This lovely icon courtesy of m macbook pro.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's all because of our ISP

I noticed that my last post was May 3, 2007. That is because our Wireless Internet Service Provider--who shall remain nameless for now--SUCKS!

We've called a dozen times and still no respone. It's currently 2:50am, which is why I can finally get on!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

True Champions!

Last weekend, eight of my Interactive Media students, Mrs. Lieske and I went to Lansing to compete in the annual Skills USA State Contest. Skills USA is a student and professional organization that was developed to help all students be successful both in their chosen fields of study and in the world of work. Their website has more information if you're interested.

Anyway, on with the story...
The event was held Friday through Sunday. So, on Friday, we left school around 8:30 and headed for Lansing. After a stop for breakfast in Davison, we continued to downtown East Lansing. I think my students were both excited and pleased to find that our trip would only be about an hour long. Many had never been there before. Once there, the first thing we did was go shopping! After perusing the books at Barnes and Noble and checking out the sweet digs at Urban Outfitters, we decided to take a walking tour of Michigan State Univeristy. We walked through the Union, past the Library and Beaumont Tower, over the Red Cedar River and past the International Center until we reached my Alma Mater: The College of Communicaiton Arts and Sciences. I had not made any reservations for a tour, so we looked at what we could through the glass windows. Our next stop was the MSU Dairy Store for some delicious ice cream.

After our circle tour or MSU, we headed to the Holiday Inn South to check in. From there, it was Laser Tag and dinner and then the Opening Ceremonies. Students had about 2 hours for fun before they had to be back in their rooms.

Saturday morning, the vibe changed from fun to frenzy as we rushed to take care of last-minute issues in preparation for our contests. Jamie and Brittney competed in Web Design and I had three teams for TV Video Production: Matt R. & Molly, Jeff and Matt B. and Jaimie and Andrew. Keeping track of the details of two contests, while trying to run the TV Video contest proved to be a bit hectic. Luckily, they were at the same building and even in the same hallway. Also, Jill was a big help in the orchestration of people and equipment. We got to the M-TEC center at 7:30 and finally all left around 3:30pm. At least the students. Jennie and I had to organize the judges and make sure they had everything they needed to judge the videos. We were done around 6:30. At that time, I headed back to the Holiday Inn to round up my students for dinner

Because Jennie and I were in charge, we knew that evening how our teams had done. I knew it would be easy for me to play dumb, but I was worried my lovely wife would spill the beans. Surprisingly, we both held our tounges!

Sunday morning was the Awards Ceremony.

The first of my contests to be called was Web Design. I'm very proud of the hard work my ladies put in, and we both knew that they had Silvered because only two teams were competing. I was still very happy for them when they took the Silver. Most importantly, we now know how the contest is run for next year!

The second contest to be announced was TV Video Production. Once again, I had known since 6pm Saturday that one of my teams had fact...all of the teams did quite well. I had to pretend that I didn't know anything, though! I was down front taking pictures when their names were called, but I could tell they were totally thrilled to be in the top 3. Then, the words I was waiting for "The Bronze Medal Goes to Lapeer County Ed-Tech!" Followed by the words I knew were coming..."The Gold Medal goest to St. Clair TEC!" My wife and one of her teams took the gold! Out of about 22 high school teams, my teams took 3rd, 4th and 5th places. Not too bad, considering we did practically no video production in class this year.

It's funny how many people came up to me and jokingly said "I bet the converstation around the dinner table is gonna be tense tonight!" Actually, that's so very far from the truth. Jennie and I are blessed to have the best jobs ever. What's more, we teach the same thing and are both very passionate about it. I think of jennie's students as an extension of my class and I think she feels the same way about mine. In fact, we both offered input to our students on a few occasions.

What a weekend, indeed. The reason for my tardy post is that I have just now FINALLY caught up on sleep from the weekend!

Congratuations to all who participated!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

California Adventure

The open road calls...and I listen!

Being the adventurous sort, I decided that when I arrived in Vegas, I would immediately hop in my rented Dodge Caliber and head south and west to California's West Coast. After a few hours of shut eye, I continued my trek. It was a fun, yet brief trip. An even briefer summary starts below...

7:30am - Laguna Beach

After a few hours of shut eye overnight, I drove from Vegas to LA. More specifically, I headed for Laguna Beach, somwhere south of Los Angeles. I was temped by signs for Disneyland--and I actually drove up to the main gate. But, it was early in the morning and the park didn't open for a few more hours. So, I resisted temptation and moved on. I spent some time on the beach and enjoying the downtown area during my stay in Laguna Beach. L.B. is a place I could totally move to, it has the small town charmed combined with fabulous beaches and friendly people. If only I was independently wealthy!

10:00 am - Heading North

Time to get going. After all, I was on a strick (hardly) schedule. I went through several great little beach communities while heading up Highway 1 - aka the Pacific Coast Highway.

12:00 pm - Hollywood

Highway 1 was nice, but the closer I got to Los Angeles, the thicker the traffic was. It didn't take long for me to find myself back on the freeway dealing with the never-ending rush hour traffic. Eventually, I got to "Hollywood."

3:00 pm - The Drive Back
All good things must come to an end. This was true of my whirlwind tour of the CA pacific coast as well. Around 3pm, I started my trip back through the mountains and Mohave desert towards Las Vegas.

7:00 pm - Welcome to Caesar's Palace
Upgraded to a sweet, just for being so charming and good looking. Nice!

Friday, April 13, 2007


It's 9pm and I just touched down at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas. Since the conference does not start until Sunday, my plan is to hop in the rental car and drive to California.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Out of the Box....Back in the Box

Have you ever seen those stickers the Red Cross gives you if you try to give blood but, for whatever reason, cant? Well, "I Tried."

When Jennie and I were at a conference in Detroit a couple of weeks ago, we fell in love with an HP laptop that was also a tablet PC. You could open it up as a standard laptop, or spin the screen around and write on the touchscreen. A million uses ran through our heads. We could use it for productions, writing directly on the screen and taking notes. In class, I could make notations and have them show up on the projector. Etc. Etc. Etc.'s 12.1" screen made it WAY too small. I think what really turned me off, though, was speed. If this had been a $700 laptop, the speed would have been okay. You get what you pay for. But for a, well, much more expensive laptop, it took forever to accomplish anything. And the pop-ups started almost immediately for me!

So, I'm staying true to my true desires. We're getting another MacBook Pro...sometime before our big trip.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Better Blogger

Alright, I'm going to try to be a better blogger from this point forward. I actually have lots to post, the only problem is that I need a personal assistant to type it in for me, since I seem to find other ways to keep myself busy.

But, I am responding to popular demand (Jennie.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Welcome To My iTunes, Edie Brickell!

As is the case most Friday nights, I was driving home from WDIV last night around 11:30pm, scanning the FM radio dial looking for some amusement. I have recently spent about every Friday night coming back from my shift at the station. During this 'late nite' drive, most Detroit radio stations are airing some sort of "Friday Night Dance Party" programming. I find this one of the most interesting times to skip around the FM dial and see what's going on. Most of the time, I'm listening to Sirius which has many great features like Song and Artist display. This feature would have been helpful last night.

I was on 93.9 (a Canadian station now called "The River"--changed from "Lite Rock") when I heard a pleasing sound, both vocally and instrumentally. Quite possibly, one of the best examples of well-balanced musical tone. The voice was female and sounded familiar, but I could not--for the life of me--figure out who I was listening to (this is where Sirius has the edge.) So, all I could do at that moment was make a mental note of the chorus..."I quit, I give up, nothing else is..."
When I got home, I Googled those few lyrics I had managed to remember and came up with the answer I was looking for. The song was called "Circle" by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Hmm...a new band, perhaps? Not exactly. It appears that the band actually came on the scene in the mid-'80s. The most recognizable song is "What I am" (what I am is what I am, is that what your are or what.) After perusing the band's catalog (and Edie's solo stuff), I can honestly say that I like them. I'm not in love yet, but I appreciate what the band has to offer both musically and lyrically.

The thing that impresses me most about the song "Circle" is its Timelessness. The song is 20 years old, but can easily pass for one produced last week. Edie has one of those unique and unmistakable voices that once you hear, you immediately fall in love with. Her voice is coarse, but controlled. Which makes the experience of listening to her quite pleasant.
Interested in hearing Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians? I suggest stopping by their web site, downloading their album on iTunes or perhaps calling "The River" and making a request. You know me, I'm not one to post copyrighted music on the Internet. I'm a good boy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Media Instructors Unite!

details coming sooner