Odds & ends from 3 weeks

warmer weather
warmer weather

I haven’t posted anything in about 3 weeks. (I also haven’t heard from you asking for a post. Unbelievable! What’s up with that?) I haven’t been relaxing at the beach. Been doing plenty of writing. Just very busy at work and home.

Nobody said anything about walking into the Bristol Motor Speedway
Nobody said anything about walking into the Bristol Motor Speedway

My parents’ visit has come and gone. Went very well. Wasn’t sure for a while. Garry cleaned and made sure things were pretty good around the apartment. The only shortcomings were the bedroom carpet, kitchen, and the stickers still on items from the move. (I brought up that one.) My mother didn’t mention my hair. Mom and Dad both LOVED spending time with the kids. (Click any pictures to make them larger.)

Happy family!
Happy family!
Nice to meet  you
Nice to meet you

The trip to and from Asheville Airport wasn’t the most pleasant but worth it, and now I can say I’ve made it to Asheville and Jonesborough. Also picked up kosher food at the Trader Joe’s in Asheville. (Thanks to the ladies at the synagogue for that tip.)

Cousins Barry and Ellen stopped by on their annual drive from Florida to Massachusetts, and brought presents for the kids.

2015-05-13 casey gift from Barry & Ellen   2015-05-13 casey gift from Barry & Ellen   2015-05-13 casey gift from Barry & Ellen

2015-05-13 Yeti gift from Barry & Ellen2015-05-13 Yeti gift from Barry & Ellen2015-05-17 screen door & dog gate

Around the same time, Garry installed a portable screen to keep bugs out when the door is open and also a fence to keep Yeti in the patio area (but he hasn’t tried that yet).

Now, I’m left with a ton of travel brochures and I’m learning a lot more about Bristol and the rest of the area. Should help at work.

Speaking of work: several accomplishments since I last wrote here.2015-05 Red Nose Day button

Red Nose Day to support the poor is Thursday and NBC will air a three-hour special. I was able to take a button, place it on the homepage, and link it to a page I wrote. Also, we have a daily Facebook contest going with viewers submitting pictures of themselves with red noses. (Check out the app. You can have red noses implanted on your photos!)

family red noses

2015-05 work email signatureI was also able to get Web links onto email signatures at work. The digital manager should have Web links, right?

fb mrdrs section

Trial was in the OTHER Washington Co. courthouse, not the historic one my parents & I saw
Trial was in the OTHER Washington Co. courthouse, not the historic one my parents & I saw

We had big coverage of a Miami-style murder trial. It’s known as the Facebook murders. In short, Dad killed a young couple because the woman unfriended his adult daughter on Facebook. Dad was already convicted. This trial was for adult daughter and also Mom. (Daughter’s ex-boyfriend was also going on trial, but turned state’s evidence just before.) Oh, and the female victim was murdered with her infant son in her arms. Anyway, our reporter at court tweeted out everything, and I wrote the stories and created a section with photo galleries, videos, and old stories.2015-05 app button on mobile too (By the way, both were guilty. Life in prison.)

I was able to put the new app button from the regular desktop Web site onto the mobile Web site as well. Analytics are looking good.2015-05 bear slideshow popular

A big spring story here has been a good number of bear sightings. I started a picture gallery and think it was my first to make the “Most Popular” area.

The original pic is still packed somewhere.
The original pic is still packed somewhere.(Notice Facebook’s response to the comment.)

There was some sad (arguably more shocking) news and that’s Kelley Mitchell died. Those of you who visited me at WSVN in the 90’s met her. She was great on TV. We had our ups and downs from the beginning to the end, but she seems to have gotten raw deals on jobs and proved her dedication by taking her dog to chemotherapy regularly for months. RIP, Kelley.

There’s good and bad news on the Miami condo rental front. I got tenants! There were finally approved and they moved in. Of course, they’re complaining about things I never complained about. Things will get done (at least some) but luckily, I have a manager so I don’t have to hear whining. Worth the price. Still thinking I should’ve sold.

Another interesting week ahead. Tuesday is Election Day in three Sullivan County municipalities. I wrote up a voter guide and plan to stay late, to put results on our Web site.

Definitely more important (except if you’re a candidate) is Casey’s 7th birthday on Friday! I still don’t know the exact details on the celebration, other than singing. Yeti will be there. She has occasionally been picking me up from work.

Meeting one of our anchors while picking me up from work
Meeting one of our anchors while picking me up from work
house cat angelo
A Connecticut anchor‘s cat recently celebrated two years!

Anyway, off to get a haircut so I look good in Casey’s birthday pics!

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Lots of updates in a few short months

Spring cleaning and Passover food

FB full of food
FB full of food

It’s April and there’s a lot of spring cleaning going on in the Tri-Cities and other places. Garry and I really aren’t doing any of it because we’ve only been here for a month and are still putting stuff I paid to move away. (Or trying to find space for it all!) But I digress. We Jews did our cleaning more than a week ago, before Passover, and that’s what a lot of this week’s edition will be about. Food.

Passover could’ve been a whole lot worse. It’s never really a pleasure with the special brands of everything and out-of-control prices. I really like matzah and can eat more than most, even (especially) plain. And living where I am, I thought I’d have to. There’s not much of a selection in these here parts. (Plain matzah was my breakfast for a week.)

April 6, 2015
April 6, 2015

I haven’t been one of those people who takes pictures of their food and posts it on Facebook right away. I leave that to others. Yes, there was this one on my first Passover day at work (matzah with jelly).

Luckily, Garry has really become a yiddishe mama, a ballabusta. (Note to Garry: Look them up.) He quenched my hunger with matzah ball soup, apple and raisin kugel that was so sweet he thought it was a dessert (delicious!), so many fruits and potatoes, not to mention matzah! He didn’t think we needed the five pound set of boxes and we fought over it, but I was right.

before
before
after
after

I mean, three variations of matzah brei, until he found what I like. (Not too hard, and definitely not too soft.)

gnocchi
That’s the laptop on the left!

A lot of thanks goes to the computer and, of course, Garry’s good sense to use it. There are multiple recipes for everything, which really shouldn’t be surprising, considering a population that invented agreeing to disagree. He even found kosher delivery services that are less expensive than the kosher Winn-Dixie in Aventura! My mother said she is proud of him.

Some other holiday highlights: Gnocchi and sauce from actual tomatoes, because tomato sauce from a can is not kosher for Passover.tomato sauce

Also, fresh basil chopped up (nothing processed) and kosher salt. Plus, lots of fruits and vegetables. Not to mention more matzah.

2015-03-08 Garry Food City wide
file photo
2015-03-08 Garry Food City tight
file photo

In case you were wondering, this is the first time Garry actually asked to be in the blog (the text, not the pics). You’ve seen him at Food City before. Now, he wants a fryer. I think he earned it.

should arrive this week
should arrive this week

In other news, this week, one of the reporters asked me how I am liking it here. She is relatively new also. Started in September. I told her I like it but I haven’t seen so much. Usually, I wake up and rush to work. When I get home, I’m exhausted, eat what Garry prepared, and go to sleep. I told her I needed to get out and see the other two of the Tri-Cities!2015-04-11 road to Johnson City

Last night, Garry and I discovered Johnson City and ate our first non-Passover meal there. We’d actually driven through J.C. (as they call it, not Jesus Christ or Julius Caesar) on the highway with ice and sleet on the way up. It’s nice to see places I’ve written about (the woman from Piney Flats arrested, etc.). We even got to see the airport in Blountville along the way (okay, drive through it, my fault). It was tiny and looked closed! Anyway, that makes 2 of the 3 Tri-Cities. Kingsport, you’re next!

framed amber aert
Framing is an issue when the police give you a vertical picture and you have a horizontal box.

Luckily, I like most of the work and all of the people, even if I don’t know all their names.2015-04-10 Emory Henry NCAA probation

Some accomplishments this week: getting into a routine with breaking news (Emory & Henry’s NCAA probation) and reframing images that don’t fit every type of box (the Amber Alert girl, who was found safe after two hours, by the way). I learned to take national IB Lakana stories and localize them, so I can manipulate sections, and also change the Job Opportunities page which is harder than it looks.

Let’s not forget the “Watch News 5 Live” button. It’s a big deal. People couldn’t find the live stream under News on the navigation bar, so thelive button sales and promotions departments wanted it. Anything that helps!

One other event from this week to note: There hadn’t been any decent offers to rent the Miami condo, so I’m now considering selling it. We’ll see which happens first. (Did I mention the pool? Or that pets are allowed?)

buy?
buy?
rent?
rent?

Time to wrap (takes hours to make this perfect) and eat lunch (pasta and beans, which I couldn’t have for a week), then get rid of a few more boxes. Less than a month until Mom and Dad come to visit. Don’t worry, you’ll be safe!

Yeti, the neighborhood crime watch
Yeti, the neighborhood crime watch

A week of firsts

Spring is often thought of as a time of renewal, the first season. I’ve had some firsts over the past week or so.2015-04-05 den

Starting at home for a change, I can walk to back of the den without having to step over a box, for the first time. It’s a major accomplishment and I’m very proud. I make my way from the door (bottom left), past the computer (you see the chair), to the file cabinet. And there are actually things in the file cabinet now, which helps with boxes in other places. Just 35 days until my parents show up for their visit!

2015-04-02 live twitter on mergerOn Thursday, I did my first live tweet event during the Wellmont Health SystemMountain States Health Alliance merger announcement. (Click the picture if you want to read a sample.) It’s a very big deal in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, and we broke the story Monday night at 5. Very exciting! Back to the announcement tweets, good thing I can type fast. Was fun, except hard to hear sometimes.

2015-04-02 proof of performance promo on merger live streamThe station even showed our live stream coverage from the Web on their “proof of performance” promotions. (It was the first time I saw that.) The live stream page was even the #1 most popular page on the Web site for a while because of the announcement. (Another first, at least for my eyes.)

4 box Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance mergerFor the first time, I put 4 pictures together to make one graphic. Been practicing that sort of stuff lately. These are the folks who will be running the new, merged Wellmont Health System-Mountain States Health Alliance company if/when it happens. Looks good here.

bad 4 box Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance Didn’t look good as the top story in a box that’s shaped this way. Gotta work that out. Sizing is tough when you’re dealing with different shapes.

2015-04-02 turkey hunting season storyI did my first story on turkey hunting season. Luckily, it didn’t do as well as I expected on the station’s Facebook page.

google analyticsApril 1st was the first time I was able to give the sales team analytics on the station’s Web site. I did it for the month and the quarter. Also, finalized the look and content of our new mobile news app because our current one will be going away at the end of the month.

B'nai Sholom synagogue signFriday was the first time I left work early and the first time I went to a synagogue here. (Hat tip to everyone there who’s reading this: Rhona, Marisol, Marilyn, and apparently plenty of others!) It was for a Passover seder with Garry. Was very nice. Wish there were two. Garry took video, then had to spend way too much time chopping it again and again (I guess like charoset) to email to the station to air at 10 and 11. The file size was way too big. Only 8 seconds could get emailed at once. Unusable for air, even if labeled “amateur video” (except if it was the only video of a huge news event). Maybe recording on the station’s iPhone rather than my own would’ve helped. We ended up with everyone singing Dayenu rather than a few singing the Kiddish and that was a better, livelier choice. It didn’t make TV but it did make the Web site, somehow. Click it to enjoy. (By the way, Garry is now available for bar mitzvahs.)

wsvn anniversarySaturday marked 21 years since I first started my television news career at WSVN. Thanks again, Callie!

2015-04-05 riverwood realtorI got my first offer on renting the Miami condo, but they’re going to have to do better. We did lower the price a little. Hopefully that’ll be a last!

matzahHave a good week and keep enjoying that matzah! It’s hard enough to find regular kosher stuff here. Passover is impossible. (By the way, the synagogue people drove down to Atlanta for the food.)

wcyb.com logo: be right backUntil next time…