Archive for October, 2007

Lavender Salt
October 31, 2007

Still no word from Katherine about the earthquake.
I hope she’s okay!
In the meantime…. here’s something else I enjoyed on my trip out there.

In San Francisco, Katherine took me to the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building.
It is amazing.
Everything is so fresh and all the vendors offered tons of samples.
Here’s something I bought: Lavender Salt. It’s from a place called Eatwell Farm.
The sample involved fresh bread…. which you’d dip in olive oil… then dip in the salt. It doesn’t taste flowery… but rather herb-like.

Hey breaking news….. Katherine called me right after I finished writing this. My son talked to her on the phone for a while to get all the details about the quake. She says everything is fine and at first it felt like a big truck rammed her building. She also said this one lasted much longer than normal. I told her to write up what happened and I’d post it here.
I told you she works in television and of course, it was big news when it hit. She was at work and was rushing back and forth to the news set to give the anchors the latest copy she needed them to read.. and guess what: once she was accidentally caught on camera giving the anchor a new script to read. WOW. I’m trying to get my hands on that video. AWESOME!

Earthquake in San Fran!
October 31, 2007

Wow… I just get back from San Francisco and find out the Bay area had an earthquake! I have to call Katherine right now and find out the details!
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – It’s the largest earthquake to hit the San
Francisco Bay area since 1989, but no serious damage has been reported.
Last night’s magnitude 5.6 quake was centered nine miles northeast of
San Jose. A spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says “all
important infrastructure” in the area will be inspected.
It made me think of this beautiful art glass shop in Sausalito. I wonder if anything broke?
This is from an artist named Richard Satava.

And this one if from George Witfield Bucquet. It’s harded to see but it’s a glass bowl with fish inside. It’s looks like they’re swimming.(the bowl is turned up on its side for the picture)

click here for the website of the shop if you’d like to see more.
I wonder if they’ll have a “slightly damaged from the quake” sale?
In the meantime, when I get in touch with Katherine (she didn’t answer her phone just now) I’ll let you know what she says.

Happy Halloween!
October 31, 2007

Seals in San Fran
October 29, 2007

I took a quick video of the seals on the docks of Fisherman’s Warf.
They are so loud.
I laughed when I saw the two seals in the front fighting over the same space.

Lone Rangers Mask
October 22, 2007

We saw the actual Lone Ranger’s mask.
Then I realized all these years… I’ve been wrong about something.
I always thought he yelled “Hi Ho Silver… Away!”
I was wrong.

What’s in a Name?
October 22, 2007

More from our D.C. trip now….
We stood in line for about an hour to see the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
It was well worth it.
The men who signed it were very brave. They knew the King of England would come after them.
The first person to sign it was John Hancock.
He wrote his name large so the King would know he signed it. He said something like : “Now the King won’t need his spectacles to see my name.”
I’m sure many of the 56 men who wrote their names down were scared for themselves and their families.
They should have been.
The King did come after them (or at least his men did) …. tortured and killed some of them…. burned down some of their homes.
I am grateful for what they did.

Seven Springs/Autumn Leaves
October 22, 2007

Want to see the most amazing view of the Fall colors?
You should head up to Seven Springs.
My friends went up this weekend and said it was breathtaking.
The resort is running its chair lifts so you can get a ride up to the top of the mountain and enjoy.
There’s also a lot of other things going on there. Of course, the restaurants are fantastic, but there’s also lots of fun things to do for the whole family.
My friends loved the Alpine Slide, but there’s also Euro-bungie jumping, the downhill bike challenge, golfing, horseback riding, swimming, mini-golfing, a spa, roller rink, and a climbing wall.

Of course, I can’t wait until Winterfest again in February! So if any of you head up there now… be sure to ask for my friend Dubby… and tell him I’ll see him soon!

And the resort is renovating some of its rooms.
This winter, Seven Springs will offer luxurious rooms.
So, if you’re planning a ski trip there… you may want to call now and book the updated rooms because I hear they are limited. If I find a picture of them on the web I’ll post it for you.

Planting Iris
October 22, 2007

My iris bulbs came and they’re in the ground now. Here’s hoping they survive the winter. We’ll find out next June.

Look Who Dropped By For Breakfast….
October 18, 2007

….. literally.

More from our D.C. trip now.
Our hotel the Mandarin Oriental had an awesome breakfast buffet. (I’ll pull out some pictures of the food next… great coffee and smoked salmon)… but check out who joined us one morning. HA!
The kids loved it.

I guess when your hotel has such a great view of the monuments in Washington, D.C…. you have to keep the windows clean.
The guy was all hooked up to ropes and sitting on a tiny slat of wood. I have no idea how he is brave enough to do this. I wonder how much money he makes….. I’m guessing not enough.

How I Almost got Zach Expelled Today
October 18, 2007

Zach had a 4th grade science project due today.
I found out about it last night.
He had to get up in front of the class and give a three minute (timed by the teacher… no more… no less) speech/presentation on an experiment he was doing in class.
I was aware he was doing the experiment… just not the speech.

He wanted to see if crayfish (I call them crawdads) would eat fruit. So a few days earlier I chopped up some banana, apple, and orange and he took it to school to dump in in the tank.
But now, at eight o’clock at night, he (we) had to come up with how to present it to the class by taking up three minutes.
He thought he’d already finished his speech at school by writing two sentences. I explained that it only took up ten seconds. So he kept writing. (p.s. any producer in this building would chop down a three minute presentation to ten seconds anyway…. I see it happen everyday).

I can honestly say he worked on it alone only because any suggestion I had he didn’t like.
Finally, he had it down to about 1:45. Then I had a great idea… he could bring in the fruit and chop it up during the presentation and that would take up another minute and a half. He could explain he wanted to show the size of the fruit he dropped in the tank. (for the record… the crayfish didn’t eat the fruit, of course, the little critter did use it to climb on to try and escape from the tank)

Mom finally came through. With that, we both went to bed.

It hit me about 3:00 am:


He would be expelled. We’ve done stories on elementary school kids who’ve done the very thing.

Close call! So we woke up early and worked on doubling the length of time it would take him to explain what he did. But considering what I do for a living… I’m proud of his oringinal short explanation.

‘Pittsburgh at Night’ Watercolor
October 17, 2007

This is my latest loss at a silent auction.
For those of you new to my blog…. I attend a lot of charity events. I always bid on something. I always lose it in the end.
This beautiful watercolor called “Pittsburgh at Night” was part of the American Lung Association’s ‘One Breathe At A Time” gala. I bid on it (my number was #91) several times… but again, lost it.
I love it.
It is by Russel Snyder who lived in Pittsburgh until his death in 1994.
His daughter heard I was interested in his work… and just sent me some information on him. I’m not sure how she knew I bid on it.. since I only used a number and not my name … but I’m thankful she took the time to write me and tell me more about her dad. He attended Carnegie Mellon and also served in World War II in the Army Air Force.
Check out more of his work by clicking here.

Saks Fundraiser Event
October 16, 2007

This Thursday night, October 18th, I’m participating in a big event at Saks Fifth Avenue downtown. It’s a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club… a group helping people deal with cancer. Saks will donate a portion of the money spent that night to Gilda’s Club. Click here for information on how you can join us. There will be food from various Pittsburgh restaurants, wine tasting, and lots of prizes.

Also I mentioned before a cool website called postsecret. It asks people to send in their secrets in on a postcard and then the website posts it. Thanks to Lynn for suggesting a similar website called foundmagazine. It posts notes and letters found on the ground or in the trash. (some of the notes posted have bad language). It is also addicting to read.

What is a News Producer?
October 15, 2007

I was able to drag Tom West away from his computer long enough to show you around the control room.

Tom is our 5:00 news producer. This is where he takes control during the wild ride that is our show.

First I’ll try to describe his job.
He is in charge of the entire hour. He works with the Executive Producer, Steve Hadt, as well as our other managers to make the important decisions of what will be in our show everyday.
First, Tom decides what news we will cover that day. (The assignment editor is responsible for telling him what’s happening and making sure we don’t miss anything.)
As the stories develop throughout the day, he decides which stories to put in the show. Then he chooses which ones will actually make it into the show. (Below he’s sitting where the technical director sits during the show. )

Then Tom puts the stories in order. It is up to him which report will lead our show. He then, gives each story a certain time limit… to make sure we don’t go over an hour. Then he makes sure everything is written and comes in at the right time. There are other people who help … but I think it’s fair to say Tom does most of it.
Here Tom is talking on the microphone that is hooked up to my earpiece. If there are any changes during the show or breaking news, he talks to me this way so we can get the latest information out to you.

Here he is sitting in the director’s chair. Tom will tell him what he wants.. and the director makes sure it happens on television. (I’ll have to explain exactly what the director does another time).

This is the dreaded show clock (You can see we came up here right after I finished the noon show). Tom has to battle the clock every night to make sure we get as much information out to you but still finish in time for the 6:00 newscast to start.

That is the simplest explanation of what a producer does. We have many great ones who work very hard behind the scenes everyday.

Circus Oz
October 14, 2007

Circus Oz is amazing.
There is no way for me to describe it.
It is wild. It is funny. It is scary. It is breathtaking.
Great show. It turned the Byham inside out.
I will see it again if it comes back. Thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for bringing it to town.
Click here for a video of the show on youtube.
Click here for the circus oz website if you’d like to check it out.
And click here for the website to see what else is coming to town.

Lung Association Gala
October 14, 2007

The American Lung Association annual One Breath at a Time gala was wonderful. We held it downtown in the Doubletree Hotel.
This year, we had a tropical theme…. complete with hula dancers!

It’s such a meaningful event. As the slogan goes, ” If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”
Guess what I got to take home! This beautiful orchid. Thank you! But mostly, thanks for letting me take part.

This afternoon, we’re going to the production of Circus Oz at the Byham Theater. Can’t wait!
Here’s how the website describes it:
Uniquely Australian, Circus Oz is at the forefront of international contemporary circus. Starring acrobats on towering poles, flame-throwing jugglers and high-flying trapezists, these daredevils from down-under deliver a rock ‘n’ roll, animal-free circus that’s anything but typical.

“Simultaneously laid back, satirical, funny, slightly naughty, chaotic and richly musical” – The New York Times