Friday, March 28, 2008

An Evening with the Angels (and Dodgers...)




This evening I decided to head over to Angel Stadium of Anaheim to watch a spring training game between the Anaheim Angels and the L.A. Dodgers. This is the the end of spring training and they were playing the game in the Angels home stadium. It also didn't hurt that the stadium is 4.3 miles from my hotel (according to my Garmin).

I got to the ticket window and told the lady I wanted the best $12 seat in the house and after typing on a computer for a few seconds she said "that will be $175". I paused for a moment and reiterated that I wanted the best $12 seat in the house. She apologized and thought I said I wanted THE best seat in the house...We both had a big laugh. But I was laughing because there probably was someone who WOULD pay $175 to see a spring training game!

It was an exciting game that ended in a 2-2 tie after playing 10 innings...apparently they don't really care who wins spring training games.





This is NOT a view from the Goodyear blimp...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Awareness Test...

Take this awareness test and tell me how you did...

I totally missed it and you probably will too...

LA Shoot Days 3 & 4 and Dinner with Friends

The last 2 days of shooting were not very interesting..sort of the same stuff as the first 2 days.

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with the family of a good friend of mine. Aileen and I worked together at WBHS, Channel 50 in St. Petersburg way back in 1993-1995. She, her husband Dave and their 2 cute boys live north of LA and it took me 90 minutes to drive the 45 miles...which wasn't really bad, I guess. We had a delicious baked fish dinner and watched the sunset from their front porch. It was nice to see them again and just shoot the breeze.

Aileen, thanks for the super fresh, just picked off the tree (literally) oranges!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Santa Monica Pier



After work, I decided to make a trip to Santa Monica Beach to see the pier and also the Pacific Ocean. Because it's been so hot here (upper 80's), I toyed with buying a bathing suit and going swimming in the ocean...I am so glad I didn't! Not only was it too cold for me to go swimming, it was about too cold to be wearing short sleeves! Here's a few pics...


The Pier has an amusement park called
Pacific Park...


Admission was free...not sure if the rides were too...


Some folks were braving the cold...I bet they
were from Minnesota or Michigan...


I rented this bike for an hour and rode a few
miles down the beach to Venice Beach.


Venice Beach...there are a lot of interesting
characters that hang around there...also, a
lot of neat shops that I didn't go into because
I didn't want my rented bike stolen!


The end of another beautiful Southern
California Day...

LA Shoot Day Two

I had a very busy day today documenting the various stages the dome panels have to go through. Today I witnessed a wedge-shaped piece of aluminum-lithium go through a process called chem-milling. Basically it's using a caustic chemical to "remove" metal from certain areas instead of grinding or milling. This is done to shave weight from the item without sacrificing strength.



I am about 30 feet in the air on a manlift...


Here is the piece about to go in the tank.
The green is the masking agent
The silver part will be slightly eaten away


In the tank...


Whole lotta bublin' going on

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some Great News!

While shooting video this morning, I received a call informing me that my submission for NASA's Videographer of the Year was selected as either a 3rd, 2nd or 1st place! That means that I will be going to Las Vegas next month to accept the award and also attend the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention. With over 1600 exhibitors and more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, I will be very busy for 3 full days! I might not even have time to gamble...

Yeah, right!

In 2004 I received the 2nd place award and in 2006 I received the 3rd place award...here's hoping this year I bring home 1st place!

L.A. Shoot Day One

Today I spent the day shooting video of the continued construction of the dome panels for the upper stage of the Ares I rocket. Here is a diagram of what they were working on...







It's the curved pieces that make up the upper dome of the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks.

Today they were prepping the pie-shaped pieces of metal by laser etching certain patterns on a thin protective green coating that was previously put on the piece...it acts as a mask..sort of like taping a car before painting it. Except instead of painting it, they are going to use caustic chemicals to eat away the exposed metal to help save weight on the final piece.



Today it was almost 90 degrees here in L.A., I may have to go buy a bathing suit and either go swimming in the hotel pool, the Pacific Ocean or both!

First Class to L.A.






Today, Easter Sunday, I traveled to Los Angeles, CA to begin documenting some work being done by Ducommun. They are manufacturing the dome panels for the Ares I upper stage rocket. I'm not really sure what to expect although I do know that a lot of work is actually done by hand, very skilled hands...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My New Apartment...





About 7 weeks ago I moved into my very own apartment and I thought I would post a few photos I took while it was halfway clean...

Meet My Boys






There are photos of my boys, Kevin and Eric. They are so much fun and we always have a great time. If you don't have any kids, I suggest you run out and get some! When you have kids, you don't have to grow up...I get to play with Hot Wheels, slide on slides and just experience the world from a kids point of view. We as adults tend to overlook the simpler things in life because we have seen them a million times...but when we have kids, we get to experience things all over again for the first time!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hockey Night in Huntsville


Hockey is a big deal here in Huntsville. We've got the UAH Chargers and the Huntsville Havoc and both teams are pretty good. Tonight, I went to a Havoc game with some of my friends. I really enjoyed the game but getting together with "the guys" was even better. We shot the bull, had some laughs and I even learned some of the rules! I thought football was complicated! And to top off the evening, everyone in attendance received a coupon for free "crazy bread" from Domino's because the Havoc scored 6 goals!

Here's a video of one of the goals...

video

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mythbusters Update...


It looks like the fact that the Mythbusters crew was at Marshall 6 week ago is starting to leak out...

Here is a newspaper article about their visit... and a YouTube video.

According to the article, this episode will air on the Discovery Channel on April 25th.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Movies for Guys!


What is a "guy movie"?

Well according to Mens Journal, a guy movie "is a movie only a guy can love. A crucial distinction. Pop one into the DVD player and your wife or girlfriend should run screaming from the room. We frown upon films that are too serious or sensitive." "They are unapologetically male, and often politically incorrect: Cathartic violence is practically a prerequisite -- gunfights, sword fights, firefights, fistfights -- whether cartoonish (The Matrix) or brutally realistic (Goodfellas)..."

I hear quotes from "guy movies" all the time. I will hear a quote from The Godfather or Scarface and although I recognize the movies title, I have never had a chance to actually see the movie. Being married, I always shied away from movies with unusually high body counts or language that would make a sailor blush. But now that I am on my own, I am catching up with my "guy movies". I watched Scarface for the first time the other day...and I have Reservoir Dogs and The Godfather parts 1,2 and 3 waiting in the wings. I figure I better go ahead and watch Apocalypse Now and Pulp Fiction while I have the chance!

Here is Maxim Magazines 100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Quitting

Normally I am not a quitter. I enjoy the challenge of trying to accomplish something that seems hard to do.

However, today I am officially quitting a habit that I have had since before I have memories...today was the first day in decades that I have not bitten my fingernails.

Usually I did it out of nervousness, sometimes boredom and even absentmindedly...

I recently read somewhere that there are over 2 million microbes per square centimeter under our nails. Not to mention all that touching things our fingers do...

Wish me luck, because I still find myself bringing my fingers to my mouth, but now I realize it and stop it before I nibble on my nails.

I wonder what's it going to be like to actually be able to scratch an itch instead of just rub it?