Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big Snow

We've had a bunch of "winter snow warnings" this winter, with not that much snow coming from the storms. That is, until last night.

We got dumped on. There's about a foot of snow in our yard. I used the snow blower last night, knowing I'd have to do it again today, but with the thought the work would only be half as bad today. Even so, it was hard work today.

Here's a pic of the snow falling last night....

You can see the about three inches of snow on the truck. This had all fallen since I had returned home from work three hours earlier. Yes, three inches in three hours. And it just kept falling until midnight.

This is what I found on the truck this morning...

Here's the good news.
While plowing the snow off the road, the muther-f'ing road commission plowed my mailbox. Every frickin' year I have to fix that muther-f'ing mailbox 'cause some dumb-ass has to hit it. Can you tell I'm pissed? Quite a poker face I have, huh?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Day, SNOW DAY!!!

For the first time in more than twenty years, I GET A SNOW DAY!!! Boy, do I love working in academia.

Here's a pic from the back door. It's not that great of a pic, but I'm still in my pj' 1030am! I love snow days!

(it's still snowing in the pic, just not heavy enough at that time for the camera to pick up)

Diane's not to happy. Flint schools, in their infinite wisdom, is the ONLY school open today. I mean, even Mott and UM-Flint are closed! What really has Diane pissed is that there almost certainly will not be enough students in school for the day to count, just like what happened two years ago. That means today won't count, and the district will still have to make the day up. Idiots.

So, Drew and I are hanging out at home, doing nothing of substance.

Happy snow day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

3 Part Harmony

I let the last week slip by without blogging. I'm going to try hard to not do that.

Last Monday was the first class that I had to drive to the main campus for, the campus that's an hour-ten minutes away from home. The campus I have to drive to twice a week. That campus.

The Monday night class is about media history and new technology, for which we're prisoners in a classroom for three hours on Monday nights. Not that I'm bored or anything, I have to pass this class. Anyhow, a thunderstorm rolls across the state. I heard thunder in the distance at about 830pm. A few minutes later I heard another sound I couldn't readily identify. Then someone says "I think I hear sirens". Yep, that's the sound. A tornado warning was issued for the county. In January. God, I love Michigan.

The class spends the next 15-20 minutes web-surfing, phone-calling, trying to figure out what's going on. The class decides to step into the hallway in case the building gets blown down. When the storm passes, class resumes. Technically, it did resume, but the instructor gave up after 10 minutes, sending everyone home. I had to talk to him about something, as did a few others, and the power went out. Dead. Dark. No light. At all. Funny that we're taking a class about technology when technology lets us all down, without even emergency lighting to illuminate the let down.

I gotta tell ya, when the lights go out, that building gets DARK. Luckily I had a little flashlight, otherwise the walk down the hall would have been, well, interesting. Much like the walk to the truck, when, due to the darkness, I walked into what's less a puddle and more a pond! The water was above my ankle! Great.

Last night, the second meeting of the Monday night class, was weather-impaired, just in a different way. Snow. Just a week after a tornado warning. God, I love Michigan (I really do, don't let the sarcasm mislead you). Driving up last night wasn't too bad, and since the snow had let up as I arrive on campus, I was hopeful that the snow was ending. Not. I left the building after class and saw about three inches on the ground. Great. Slippery road. Whatever, I've driven on worse. US-127 wasn't too bad. I started out doing 45, and gradually crept the speed up to 55. Ok. I can make some decent time.

And then I got into Saginaw County. Hello. Did no one at the Saginaw County Road Commission watch the news? That snow might fall? I swear M-57 from the county line to Cheasaning wasn't even touched by a snow plow. I was doing 45, and that was risky. The entire drive home took me an hour-45 minutes, an extra thirty minutes of driving, after an 18 hour day. I was tired, and stressed trying to concentrate on the road.

At work, the students came back yesterday. Campus at work was great for the last three weeks. We got stuff done, the hallways were quiet, nice. That's done. Campus is great, if we can keep the students away! :)

Monday, January 7, 2008


One of the really good things about no longer working in news is that I can now publicly take a position on politics.

Journalism requires objectivity, which on a personal level means you really can't step out and take a position on politics, most especially on candidates. I'm no longer encumbered by that.

I was watching the coverage of the Iowa caucus on ABC the day before the caucus took place. There was an interview with this older man about why he was backing Hilary, and he said "This country is ready for a woman president." What? Ready? Well, I'm ready to be a millionaire, that doesn't mean I should be given a million dollars (although, if anyone has a spare million sitting around, I'd be glad to take it off your hands).

People shouldn't vote for a woman because it's the politically correct thing to do. Nor should they vote for a Mormon, a black, and Indian, a Hispanic, whatever, because "the country is ready" for them. People should vote for a candidate because that person is the best candidate for the job! And in my opinion, Hilary ain't that person. She espouses change, saying she's been working for thirty some years for change. Well, how's that been working out for us? I, for one, can't see any change that has been brought about from your "work".

Have I decided who I think would be the best person for the presidency? No, not really. But I am leaning toward Obama or Edwards. One thing for certain, I'm not voting Republican. This is the first time I'm chosing to vote because of party, more voting against the President and his party than voting for the Democrats. Cynical? Probably.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Beginnings (part 3)

Of course, all good things come with a price.

When I was hired by the college, they did a background check. They discovered that I didn't have a degree from my college days. It was news to me, too. I was one credit short. ONE CREDIT! For a bullshit, senior seminar course that I didn't know I had to take. I went to the university to work the problem out. Well, I had to take classes to get my degree. No biggie. But I had to take 9 credit hours due to the changes in graduation requirements in the last 20 years.

I was freaking out. I really wanted the job, and the job really wanted me. They worked into my employment contract that I would finish my degree by May of '08. No problem. I took an on-line class this fall, about racism and inequality (one of the requirements for graduation). The instructor was in Ghana during the semester. He was teaching from Africa! He graded on a curve, and all through the class my grades were ahead of the average grades on assignments, so I knew I was doing ok to pass the class. The grades came out last week, he posted the grading curve, including the high score and the low score for the class. I had the high score! Who'd've thunk? I was the guy the rest of the class hated for throwing the curve too high.

This semester, however, I have to drive to the university two nights a week, after work, to take my final two classes. It's gonna be rough.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Moving forward (part 2)

So, after a few weeks working at the college, I was driving home, looking around, enjoying the view, when it hit me...

I was relaxed on the drive home from work. RELAXED! AFTER WORK!!! It's almost unheard of!

I walk all over campus, albeit a relatively small campus. And the excersize is nice. I lost eight pounds in the first month and a half. Well, I found them again over Christmas break.

Oh, and Christmas break. The first Chrismas break I've had in twenty years. And I got paid for it, without using any vacation days! I love working at a college.

Sometimes, however, I do miss the run-and-gun of the newsroom. The rush of adrenline that comes with spot news. One day, I heard a bunch of sirens screaming down the road in front of the house (we rarely get emergency vehicles around our house), and the old news photog in my wanted to rush out the door to find out what was going on. I'm guessing I'll have a bit of that feeling for years.

I'm happy to have left tv news. I'm more relaxed. I'm better to be around. Diane and Drew have noticed the difference. I didn't realize how hard I was to be around until I left tv news.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Brave New World (I hope Styx doesn't mind) (part 1)

Three months ago I took a big step into a brave new world. I left a career that I had been in for the last nineteen years, a career that I was good at, that I enjoyed (although less as time went on), a career that I walked away from for something different.

In that life, I was "photogguy", my on-line persona. I was a television photojournalist, and as I said, I was good. Damn good. But the business changed. Not all at once, but a little at a time, small steps that were hard to see when viewed on a small scale. But over the years, television news became more about entertainment than about good journalism. Just filling the holes between commercials with schlock, adding newscasts without adding personnel. And I had had enough.

I started working at a local community college, working in the technology department, taking care of the smart rooms, keeping the technology working, editing and shooting video when needed, an a whole lot of other stuff. I was apprehensive about making the move, but three months later I couldn't be happier. I'm doing stuff that makes a difference, making progress on projects instead of just putting another newscast on the air.

So, this blog is about the future, about what's happening in the life. I may compare and contrast this life to the old life, maybe reminisce once in a while, but I'm looking toward the Brave New World in front of me.