Archive for January, 2007

ZackSnacks / New Book
January 30, 2007

I still haven’t taken any pictures of our ZackSnacks. I was hoping Zach would take them to school today and hand out to his friends so I wouldn’t eat them. But he said he couldn’t charge his friends money for them…. so they’re still here. I already handed out a lot of them to neighbors and I’m going to mail some to Grandmother tomorrow. I may bring the rest into work tomorrow. We’ll see if I can remember.

I am reading a great book it’s called ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ by Mark Haddon. I’m about half way through and it’s fantastic. It’s written through the eyes of an autistic boy who finds a dog who’d just been killed. He’s trying to figure out who killed the dog in his own way and I can’t wait to find out what happens. It’s so hard for me to put it down. But of course, I have to put it down to shovel snow and do laundry and homework and dinner and dishes…. so it may take a few more days but I highly recommend it so far!

Snowman
January 27, 2007

What a fun day I had at home. Here’s how we enjoyed the cold. That’s our neighbor on the right. She and Ally have a great time together. Zach played football in the snow by himself for two and a half hours. I had to force him back inside. We also spent hours on his new “business”…. He’s making treats and calling them “zach snacks” … although I think we should spell his name with a ‘k” so it matches better. I’ll try to take a picture of some of our creations for you. We plan to take our ZackSnacks around the neighborhood tomorrow and give them to our friends. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Cool shirt
January 23, 2007

Someone sent me this picture of this cool shirt. I want one!

Hat Trick
January 21, 2007

We went to the hockey game last night.

We hosted the Maple Leafs.

It was wild. Wild in the score. Wild in the fights on the ice. Wild in the fights in the stands. In fact, it was the most outrageous game I’ve ever seen.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so thrilled I got to see yet another hat trick by right winger Mark Recchi. He’s had seven in his career and I’ve been there for two of them. I’m a big fan! Hats falling from the sky onto the ice is a beautiful thing.

Although the netting above the plexiglass prevented many hats from giving Recchi his full salute.

Sidney Crosby was spectacular.

The final score was 8-2.

Zach enjoyed all the fights. Mom did not.

By the third period, it was the crowd who started getting a restless and I am not exaggerating to say most people were watching what was happening in the stands instead of the game. I couldn’t even count how many fights broke out in the stands and how many people security threw out of the game.

We did enjoy watching a whole row of Superheroes: Hulk, Spiderman, Superman, Clark Kent about to be Superman, Flash Gordon, Some guy from Fantastic Four, And a Super Sidney Crosby. They had more fun than anyone else there. Well, anyone except Mark Recchi!

Jon’s Specialty
January 20, 2007

You all know sports anchor Jon Burton…. What you may not know is that he is famous for his impersonations. He can do just about anybody. My favorite is his impression of our News Director Bob Longo. When Bob comes out and talks to us in the newsroom, JB is not far behind. This last time Bob got JB before the speech and told him to go ahead and get it over with… Bob is a great sport. He laughed as hard as the rest of us. I think he enjoys it as much as we do. Here’s a pictures of Bob being a good sport.

World Map game
January 17, 2007

Have you checked out Bob Mayo’s blog? He’s a fantastic reporter and I’m so blessed to work with him.
Anyway, his blog is cool. But he has me addicted to this world puzzle website.
It’s a blank map of the world. You can click on a country to get its name…. then play the game. It gives you a country and you have to click on the correct spot. I can’t believe how many countries I never even knew were out there! I’m learning. My high score is 42. See how you do.

http://www.gamedesign.jp/flash/worldmap/worldmap.html

Meet more staff
January 14, 2007

It’s been a nice quiet weekend. The rain has kept me inside cleaning and straightening up the house.
I am doing a radon test in my basement this weekend. The guy is coming tomorrow morning to pick up the device and tell me if we have a problem. I’ll let you know. Radon is associated with lung cancer and so it’s best to get it out of your house. Apparently we have an awful lot of it around this area. I went on the DEP’s website for a list of qualified companies in my area. The test costs just under 100 bucks. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Also, thanks to a reader who told me where to get different sizes of the engery efficient light bulbs. She wrote me and said that Home Depot has a variety of sizes so I’m going to check it out today. Thanks!
Finally, I thought I’d put up some more newsroom pictures. I haven’t done that in a while…. so here we go:


Meet Rege Bobonis on the left. He’s our Managing Editor. Dennis Atkinson is on the right. Dennis is our assignment editor. They both work hard to find the news, assign it to reporters and photographers, and make sure everything gets done on time. Actually, theirs jobs are much much more complicated that than… but that’s the short version.

This is Steve Hadt. He’s our executive producer. He does a great job. He’s in charge of all the producers and is responsible for going over every script to make sure things are well written, easy to understand, and accurate. He also helps the producers decide in what order the stories will go. In other words, he has a very stressful job and yet he manages to keep a great sense of humor.

I have some more pictures to share… but I’ll have to share them later… my laundry just finished.

Environmental Tips
January 11, 2007

Thanks to Pat for responding to my environmental post.
Here’s a website Pat passed along to me. It’s cool with lots of great tips. The one Pat was most interested in is the one about the washing machine water level. The site reminds us to lower the water level setting when not washing a full load of clothes. With my two kids managing to always get messy…. I rarely wash less than a full load… but it’s a great reminder and I’ll try it out.
Keep the messages coming in. I really appreciate them!

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/GreenTeam/

A Money Box
January 10, 2007

Some people have been asking me how Santa’s gifts went over… since I wrote so much about them before Christmas….

Ally loves that horse. She named her Sarah and combs her and feeds her every night. I have to say …. I was alone when I put the batteries in Sarah the first time….. and it really freaked me out when she ‘came to life.’ Her head moves and follows you around the room. VERY FREAKY! But now she’s part of our family.

Zach’s Crosby jersey and Reed jersey were also big hits. And one surprise hit is a computer game we got. The guy at the Shadyside Mac store suggested that Santa bring the I Spy Spooky Mansion game. It is great! We love it and play it almost every night.

Here’s a picture of the most original gift. It’s from my brother, David.

He covered this box with paper and cut a hole in the top.

Then somehow he put a stick through the middle of it and taped 25 bucks together. There was a card sticking through the top for Zach to pull…… and out came, what seemed to be, an endless supply of cash. And with the stick, Zach can just roll the money back up into the box.

Zach hasn’t let that money box out of his sight.

So there’s the short version of how the kids loved their gifts. A big THANK YOU to all of you who helped Santa find all those hard-to-get gifts. He really appreciates it!

Also thanks to all of you who read my last post on my environmental resolution. I’m going to post some of your suggestions soon and thanks for the links to helpful websites. I just saw where the Dell computer company announced a new campaign to plant more trees.
Chairman Michael Dell says he’s started a new program called Plant a Tree for Me. He’ll ask customers to donate two bucks for every notebook computer they buy and six bucks for every desktop. He’ll then give the money to the Conservation Fund and the Carbonfund who’ll buy and plant trees to offset carbon emissions that are made by people using computers (like I am right now).
It sounds like a wonderful plan and it’ll be interesting to see if customers participate.
Again, if you are doing something cool for the environment let me know about it…. and I’ll share it with everyone.

First Resolution Step
January 7, 2007

I thought I’d share with you the first thing I did for my New Year’s resolution.

While I was grocery shopping I picked up those new energy- saving light bulbs. They’re called compact fluorescent. They’re better for the environment and they’re supposed to save me a little money.

They’re cute little squiggly looking things. The downside is they’re more expensive. I paid just under 10 bucks for a three-pack by Phillips… but the three bulbs are supposed to save me about 60 bucks a year.

And they claim to last seven years! Ally is six right now….. I won’t have to change them again until she’s a teenager!

The New York Times wrote a recent article talking about the advantages of it. The paper reported the compact fluorescents are better than incandescents because — they use 75 percent less electricity, last 10 times longer, and produce 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases from power plants.

I was warned that the light is a bit harsher. But I have a hard time telling much difference where I put them. They are in three of the four lamps I have in the living room where the light is on much of the time. I’m going to go back and get some more for other places where the light is on a lot. I wanted to put some in my kitchen too…. but the size of the base of the bulb (I’m sure there’s a name for it but I have no idea what that is ) is all wrong. My kitchen bulbs go into a ceiling fan and it takes smaller size bulbs. Giant Eagle only had the regular size bulbs. So if I find various sizes somewhere I’ll let you know.

Environmentalist Laurie David once put it something like this: It’s not about everybody doing everything…. It’s just about everybody doing something.

Taking care of the Earth was the first job God gave us. So far, I haven’t been doing a very good job. And while spending a couple of extra bucks and taking the two extra minutes it took for me to change bulbs isn’t much of a big deal, it is something I can do.

If you have any ideas on helping the environment, please let me know.

Resolutions
January 5, 2007

I’ve been trying to figure out a New Year’s resolution.
I think one thing I’ll try to do more often is to thank those who make my life easier.
Today, I’m thanking the garbage collectors. They came today to my house and hauled off a crazy amount of trash. It’s the first pick up since before Christmas that I’ve been here…. and the trash took up half my yard. So thank you to those guys!

Also a big thank you to Maria Dravecky.

She’s our producer who always makes me look better than I deserve. She works so hard all the time getting the show ready for five o’clock and I really appreciate her.
She’s bright and funny and I’m so glad I’m on her team. She’s also going to kill me for putting her picture in my blog. I should be nice because she could get me back live on television sometime….. yikes!

In thinking about another New Year’s resolution I think I’m going to try to do something good for the environment. My mother sets a great example. She and Dad recycle everything they can. When I was at their house for the holidays it was amazing what they took to the recycling bin. I’m going to look into things I can do to make a difference. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Here’s to a great 2007.

Christmas Break
January 3, 2007

Happy New Year!
I was off all last week spending the holidays with family. We had a wonderful time!
Christmas was special…. and Santa brought all the right stuff.
My mother wanted to start a tradition of making gingerbread houses… so she bought the kids each a kit.

Of course the kids turned it into a contest.
Ally and I teamed up … and Zach and Mom were on a team.

I’m not quite sure what the rules of the game were when we started…. but it quickly became clear that the only thing that mattered was to hold the gingerbread pieces in place while the icing stiffened up.
Not easy. Our houses kept sliding all over the place.
Lucky for Ally and me, Zach was in a bigger hurry to get the candy on top… and the heavy candy was too much for their house to take. ; )

Zach declared a state of emergency for the hurricane that whipped through knocking down his home. But he said all was not lost because at least he got to eat his first…. and so in his mind, he won.
But you can see the Great Christmas Gingerbread Title of ’06 went to Ally and me.

But Grandmother quickly made up for it. She took us to the Peaks of Otter in the Blue Ridge Mountains and they collected rocks for the new rock collection we now have.

What a wonderful place… and what a spectacular view!

The kids wanted to paint the mountains… so Mom pulled out some watercolors and then she opened an “art gallery” in her basement of their work.

There’s no place like Grandmother’s house.