Friday, April 30, 2010

Best Seat in the House

I used to do a promotion at PETCO Park for a local furniture store here in town called "The Best Seat in the House". That was the name of the promotion...not the furniture store. Anyway the concept was simple, each game two people got to sit in a pair of Lazy-Boy recliners and enjoy the game with their feet up.

No doubt it was in fact the best "seat" in the house...but it wasn't the best location. I've been sitting in that seat since 2004 when PETCO first opened. Don't get me wrong, the dugout seats right behind homeplate are pretty sweet too. The fact that someone waits on you every half inning ready to bring you whatever your heart desires doesn't hurt either...but those seats cost $250 a pop.

Mine is free...but I do have to pay for the salad. Okay fine, I've got the 2nd best seat in the house...still that's pretty good, right?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunday: Spring Break '88

This is the last cruise "Pic of the Day" and it comes straight from Baja Mexico. Sunday is the day we made port in Ensenada and it would be the first time we got off the ship since leaving San Diego. In other words, the stakes were pretty high.

Sure we rocked the Captain's outfit and we made a statement in all white, but now it was time to impress the locals. For that we decided on a little throwback spring break action...80's style. Aside from looking awesome and being incredible festive, I find that wearing clothes from 20+ years ago is a good way to avoid being kidnapped by drug war lords. No one expects much ransom from a Motley Crew like that.

Speaking of Motley Crue, that's me on lead broom playing the hell out some 80's song with the band out in front of Papas and Beer. I'd love to say it was the bucket of Dos Equis and shots of tequila that got me up there...but we all know that's not the case.

My only regret from our time in Ensenada...I didn't get to meet "The Most Interesting Man in the World" . Oh time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Love a Good Fire

sitting by the fire I built

As Americans we live a very convenient life. If we want something to eat, we can drive our car to restaurant and have someone hand us our food out of the side of the building. If we need light, we can just flip a switch. If it's too hot or too cold...we have a button for that too.

We are extremely fortunate in this country and that's nothing to apologize for. It's not like Shaquille O'Neal has to say sorry because he's bigger and stronger then everybody else in the NBA. It just is what it is...fortunate.

That said, every once in awhile it's fun the "earn it". To do something yourself instead of having someone else do it for you. To not take the easy way out all the time. For me, tonight, that meant building a fire in the fireplace. And no I don't mean lighting a DuraFlame log or turning on the gas. I mean an honest to goodness, wood-burning fire that I built with my own two hands.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was rubbing two sticks together to make fire, but I did chop the kindling with a hatchet, stack the wood on the grate and light the newspaper. For whatever reason that is incredibly satisfying for me. I guess it makes me feel like a man.

Maybe that's why I do help offset all the times I have to hold my wife's purse at the mall.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday Night: White Party (P-Diddy Style)

Day 2 of the Ensenada 3 day cruise was a "sea day". That means the ship parks about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico and everybody hangs out at the pool and eats a lot of fried food. I combination.

Saturday night is the formal dinning night on the ship and a lot of people get dressed up for dinner...including my group. While most men wear suits and a lot of ladies put on fancy dresses, I would argue that nothing is more formal then donning all white. Wimbeldon, N 'Sync, doctors...they all recognize the power of white.

Well you can go ahead and lump our group in with all those other visionaries...because as you can see we rocked it boy band style.

All kidding aside, wearing all white is exhilarating. Partly because everywhere you go people stare...partly because it's you against the world of red wine and stains...and partly because you literally glow under the black lights in the dance club.

It's nice change for me since normally under a black light all you can see of me are my freckles. Talk about a sexy combination.

Corn Hole

You know how some things sound dirty even though really are quite innocent? Well, try telling your co-workers that you need to get home because you and your wife are going to play cornhole after work. If that doesn't get you meeting with H.R. then you either work at a shipyard or you're the H.R. Manager.

Even though Cornhole (or "Bags" as I know call it after my H.R. workshop) has been around for a while in the Mid-West, it is relatively new to us Left Coasters. Last summer I built a set for the neighborhood and between the Bingham's, the Barbera's and the Weisbarth's, we logged a lot of hours throwing bags and talking smack. It's a blast and we couldn't shut up about it.

As it turns out, all that talk had me back in the shop today, building a new set for some friends. Two Band-Aids, some cussing and a fair amount of elbow grease later and they are just about ready to get some else in trouble with H.R.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday Night: Nautical Gentleman and Lovely Ladies

Because I was on the cruise this weekend, for the next few days we're doubling up on the blog entries. Today is all about Friday night. First some background.

The number one thing you need to know about me (if you didn't already) is that I like to dress up. Not, "Hey look at my loafers" kind of dressing up...more like, "Hey check out this funny hat and tiny little shorts" kind of dressing up.

The second thing you need to know is that a lot of my friend feel the same way about costumes. That makes trips like this weekends really colorful.

All in all we had 13 of us dressed up in our best nautical gentlemen and lovely lady gear...and we definitely turned some heads. For me, dressed as the captain, I had more then my fair share of opportunities to pose with my fellow shipmates and...and some of the Junior Officers too. What can I say, I just like that ind of thing.

That reminds me, the third thing you need to know about me is that I love attention too. Now I know you already knew that.

And I'm Back...Sort of

So we got back from our 3 day cruise to Mexico this morning and it got me on earth does anyone go on a cruise for longer then an extended weekend? I'm serious...3 days is long enough. It kind of reminds me of Vegas in that each day feels like about seven. It's like dog years out there on the high seas.

Of course I realize that not all cruises are like the Carnival 3 day to Ensenada...but of the three total cruises I've been on in my life...I've been on that one twice. So as much fun as it is...and I've got the pictures to prove it's an absolute the end of it I am always wiped out.

To make matters worse, for some reason this morning, there was a 3 hour delay getting off the boat. Nothing better for a hang over then sitting around in a stuffy room with 2,400 of your closest friends.

Still, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. Great weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Authors Note

The wife and I are going on a cruise this weekend. No internet means no Picture of the sit tight and I promise to come back with some whoopers on Monday.

See ya then.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Tamarind and John at Peohe's in Coronado

This is my friend Tamarind...she is what I would describe as a "free spirit". We've been friends for about 10 years now and in that time she has been a waitress, a writer, an entrepreneur, a business owner and a good friend. She has moved around the country a handful of times and always has a new plan...for better or for worse.

She currently lives in Nashville, TN...but is in town this weekend to visit her mom, so I met the two of them out for a drink this evening to do a little catching up. I'm not sure why Tamarind and I have remained friends all these years, but I sure am glad we have. Tamarind has what can only be described as "moxy". If we were in Hollywood I guess we would say she has "It". Spunky, fun and full of eclectic energy.

The thing about Tamarind is, it doesn't matter where in the country she lives, she will always fit in...even if she doesn't. For instance, the "Bible Belt" in Tennessee is probably not her wheel house, but she is kicking ass there because she has that quality that draws people to her. I really like that about her. And I like that even though she is a gypsy I know that she will always be friends with Megan and I...and we will always get to live vicariously through her.

I mean, moving around all the time is hard, I'd rather just hear the stories and then claim them as my own.

Jam Session

While the modern day acoustic guitar was invented in Spain during the 1850's, most historians agree that instruments similar to the guitar have been around for at least 4,000 years. You don't have that kind of staying power unless you're doing something right...and Mr. Guitar, you are doing something right!

Obviously not everyone feels the same as I do, but for me there is nothing more entertaining then a singer/songwriter performing with his guitar. Actually that's not true...three singer/songwriters and their guitars is more entertaining then just one. It gets even better when said singer/songwriters are breaking out new stuff to try and impress their buddies. When that happens...and you're lucky enough to be sitting on a couch taking it all in first hand...well that's heaven as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Asked for it San Diego

John Weisbarth and Bob Scanlan Padres Pregame show

I've lived in San Diego for 30 of the 33 years I've been on this planet, so I feel like I have a pretty good "feel" for the landscape. And while this town had grown up a lot since 1980, we really still are a sleepy little border town at heart. Maybe it's the beach, maybe it's the fact that LA has more then 3 times the population that we have down here, or maybe we're just delusional...either way we fancy ourselves a bit more casual then most down here.

Case in point. I can't tell you how many times people have commented to me about the suits the Bob and I wear on the Padres Postgame show...and it's always the same thing.

"Why to you guys wear suits? This is San Diego, put on a polo."

My answer is always the same as well, we wear suits when we are in the studio because it looks more professional that way. I challenge anyone to find a studio show in any market that doesn't have the hosts wearing at least a jacket. Grand Junction, CO...check. Beaumont, TX...check. Bristol, CT...check. It's just the industry standard.

Well today we broke our rule. Due to the rain this afternoon, at the very last minute we had to move the Pregame show (which is usually at the ballpark and therefore we are NOT in suits) inside to our Channel 4 studios. That meant it was a studio show in golf shirts...just what San Diego has been clamoring for.

Personally, I didn't like it...and believe me I am not a suit guy. I just think it looks better to have a tie on when your in studio, but I want to know what you think.

Now that you've seen you still like the polo's in studio?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Flan Man

Giants third base coach Tim Flannery and John Weisbarth at PETCO Park

In 1985 Tim Flannery and Jerry Royster platooned at second base for the defending National League Champion San Diego Padres. For Flan it was a career year, hitting .281 with 40 RBI and 9 hit by pitches...and I guarantee he sprinted to 1st base after all 9.

For me, it was the start of something special. I was in 4th grade at the time, playing for my Little League team in Coronado, and I absolutely feel in love with the way Flan played the game. He was the ultimate scrapper who always played the same way...with 100% heart. Think of David Eckstein with long blond hair and a surfboard.

In fact the more I learned about Flan, the more I loved him. He wasn't just a ballplayer that played the game right, he was a surfer and a musician and a guy that embodied the Southern California lifestyle (even if he was born in OK). In a word, he was my boyhood idol...okay maybe that was more then one word. Here's the point, no one can live up to the image a 10 year old boy creates in his head. Especially a 10 year old as "creative" as I was. It's just not going to happen.

So in 2004 when I learned that I would be co-hosting the Padres Pregame show with my boyhood idol Tim Flannery, I was both extremely excited and pretty damn nervous. Not nervous to meet him (I had already interviewed him a few times when he was the Padres 3rd base coach in 2002), but nervous to get to know him. What if he wasn't everything I had built him up to be...I mean how could he be.

It turns out I was right, he wasn't what I thought he was when I was 10 years old...he was so much more. The three years we spent co-hosting the Padres Pregame show were some of the best years I have had in TV. Working with Flan was great, and even though he was the newcomer to TV, he taught me so much about performing. But the real gem was getting to know him on a personal level. I mean not that many people even get to meet their boyhood idol, let alone become friends with them.

I get to do a lot of cool things because of my job...but that was easily the coolest.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cutest Kid Ever!!!

So normally I like to include some sort of witty anecdote with my picture of the day, but not today. Today I answer the proverbial question, "What's a picture worth?" about a thousand words. It would take at least that many to describe how cute my buddy Andre and Kristy's son Noah is.

I mean look at him. Have you ever seen a better looking croquet caddy anywhere? Doubt it.

On a side note...neither Noah or I got to actually play croquet today, but I am confident we could have beat anyone.

Family Style

One of my wife's good friends from college, Liz (you might recognize her from "Twin Cities Live" on ABC 5's Eye Witness News in Minneapolis) is in town this weekend so we have been busy. Padres games, night's on the town and a little family style dinner at our friends Tonya and Greg's.

As you can see we had a good crew there tonight. Lot's a food, lot's of conversation, lot's of laugh's and a lot of competition. The competition came courtesy of a game called "Celebrity". If you've never played...look it up on the internet. If you know the game, you still might be wondering why all the competition. That's just a factor of our group.

Don't get me wrong, it's not cut-throat and nobody is throwing any blows, but things can get a little chippy at times. The good news the heat of competition never lasts beyond the actually competition. I guess that's why we're all friends.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sneaky Fast

I went out to dinner last night and then out to a bar called Hamilton's Tavern afterwards...and somewhere along the line I got pretty tipsy. I realize that going to a bar is a pretty easy way to "get tipsy"...but this one surprised me.

The best way for me to describe how that came to be is to use a baseballl here goes.

A good fastball in the Major Leagues clocks in between 94-97 mph...and average one comes in between 91-93 mph. If you're throwing a 88 mph fastball in the better be sneaky fast. The Padres Chris Young is sneaky fast...and so was the beer at Hamilton's last night.

The thing is when you're drinking beer you expect the alcohol content to be around 4%...that's a good average. The beers at Hamilton's averaged around 7% or 8%. The beers I was drinking came in at 9% and 10%. All of a sudden 4 beers is closer to 8 or 9...hence sneaky fast tipsyness.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grounds Keeper Willie

I shot an "Anything You Can Do" story today with the Grounds Crew at PETCO Park...and I am exhausted. So exhausted in fact that I am going right to bed and I will finish this entry tomorrow. Until then, I will leave you with this...ballplayers are slobs, especially when it comes to things they put in their mouths.

To be continued...

***Friday AM***

Okay, I am well rested and ready to tackle the rest of this blog entry.

As far as yesterday goes, it really wasn't all that surprising to me that a.) the grounds crew at PETCO Park works extrememly hard and b.) ballplayers spit a lot of things out of their mouths onto the playing surface. The thing that was surprising to me was the volume of both the work put in, and the substances spit out. To be fair, a lot of the work is directly related to the spitting, because it all has to come up off the field before the mowing and repairing and grooming can start.

That's what I am doing in this picture, sucking sunflower seeds off the infield grass. I always thought that was a little bit of overkill myself, but you don't consistently get voted one of the top playing surfaces in the Nation League like PETCO Park does by cutting corners.

For the record I also had to hand grind clay brinks, take the grass clippings to the dumpster (which smelled worse then anything I have ever smelled), clean the bases, clean the mowers, shovel dirt, set up the cage for BP, water the infield and drag between innings...but you can see all that when the story airs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Holding Court

Padres manager Buddy Black before the game in the dugout

One of the great traditions in baseball is that before every game the manager sets aside some time to talk to the media. It usually takes place in the dugout, no matter if you're at home or on the road, and it serves as a time for the writers and broadcasters to ask whatever they want of the manager. This happens for every single game! Can you imagine an NFL head coach posting up on the bench a few hours before kick off on a Sunday? It would never happen.

That's one of the beauties of's so much more accessible then some of the other sports. The best part is that these impromptu press conferences usually consist of some pretty amazing baseball stories. The kind of things you imagine Hall of Famers talking about behind closed doors over some beers and a card game.

Just like those stories would be, most of what you hear in the dugout is "off the record", but occasionally you hear one you can share. Today was one of those days.

Someone asked Buddy today about Bobby Cox...that's the Atlanta Braves manager for those that don't know. So Buddy regaled us with one of his memories of the legendary manager.

It was 1991, Buddy was pitching for the SF Giants at Candlestick, and he was facing Braves pitcher Steve Avery. Buddy made a mistake and Avery smoked it over the chain link fence in center. It just scrapped over the fence, landed on the cement beyond the wall and then took a big bounce. The second base umpire however ruled it a ground rule double because he thought it bounced over the wall. Bobby Cox came running out of the dugout and all the way into right center field where the umpire was, arguing the whole time that it was a HR. The argument of course, was to no avail and as Cox was walking back to the 3rd base dugout he passed Buddy on the mound and asked him what he thought. Buddy looked him right in the eyes and said, "I thought it was a homerun." Cox's response, "G*@ Dammit I knew it!!!"

That;s why I love's a story tellers game.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rubbin' is Racin'

Anyone who has worked for a big corporation has inevitably had to attend some sort of "team building" workshop before. They are terrible...but at least they get the job done. Everybody is usually united in their loathing for the "trust exercises" and fun "problem solving activities."

Today the Postgame crew decided to take matters into our own hands and actually build some camaraderie in a productive trying to run each other off the road in Go-Carts. To be fair it wasn't a sanctioned "team building" activity...more of party really, but it got the job done. So we all headed out to the Miramar Speed Circuit to prove once and for all that ladies are bad drivers and NASCAR isn't a real sport.

Turns out we failed on both accounts.

Producer Missy ended up winning the whole thing with the fastest time around the track and she proved to be a pretty crafty driver. It wasn't totally fair though because she's from the South and is a NASCAR fan, so she kind of had an advantage over us Southern California natives. Still it was impressive.

As far as NASCAR not being a real sport, I take that back too. Post race I was sweating, my legs felt like jello and I had a huge endorphin rush. I don't know if that qualifies it for a sport in everyone's book, but it does in mine. Let's just say I never fell that way after bowling...well almost never.

As for how the rest of us finished...that's not really important, but I will tell you this. I beat Cavnar.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Colbie Caillat

There are a lot of cool perks that come with my job...not the least of which is getting paid to watch baseball. That of course is not the only perk, there are also things like getting to meet famous entertainers. That part is okay too.

I remember a few years ago "Hootie and the Blowfish" were performing the national anthem at PETCO Park and I got to meet Darius Rucker. Well not so much meet, but I did ask him if we could take a picture together.

That day was nothing like was way cooler.

For the Padres home opener this afternoon they got two-time Grammy Award winning singer Colbie Caillat to sing the national anthem with her guitarist. For the record the guitarist didn't sing...but Colbie did, and she sang the crap out of the Star Spangled Banner. It was easily one of the best performances I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot. It wasn't good like Whitney Houston's 1990 Super Bowl National Anthem, it was good in a whole other way.

She sang it like Colbie Caillat would sing it, but still stayed true to the song. I don't even know if that makes sense. All I know is that I hate when people sing their own "rendition" of the Nation Anthem, because that's the one song I think you should sing as it was written. Yet somehow Colbie managed to put her spin on it without pissing me off.

Apparently I wasn't the only one moved by it because the Padres promptly went out and scored the most runs in the history of PETCO Park after Colbie's performance, beating the Braves 17-2 to cap a wild first day at the ballpark.

Hopefully she'll sing again Wednesday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Park with a Bar

So at the risk of sounding totally pretentious, I spent a lot of time at the yacht club when I was growing up. I remember as a kid going down there all the time with my parents for dinner out on the lawn during the summer. There were always a ton of kids running around and it was a total blast.

Well now that a lot of my friends have kids, I finally get it. The yacht club is essentially a park with a bar. Brilliant right?! The kids have a great time and the parents get to pretend like...well like they're not parents for a few minutes.

This afternoon Megan and I met the Farley's and the Pierre's at the club for a late lunch and a buttery chardonnay or two. And guess what, we had a blast...all 9 of us.

To think, this whole time I thought the yacht club was all about boating. What an idiot.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bonus Baseball

John Weisbarth asleep at the Padres Postgame desk in extra innings

The Padres played in 17 extra inning games last year. Two years ago they played in a 22 inning game (which they lost to the Rockies), so I am used to sitting at the Postgame desk waiting for them to finish games.

We're only 5 contests into the 2010 season and the Padres have already logged their first extra inning game. For the record, it lasted 14 innings over 4:27 and the Padres won. I mean if you're going to play for 4 and half may as well win the game, right?

The thing is, I knew it was going to be a long game tonight. Yesterday the Padres and Rockies played a 2 and half Coors Field. That never happens. The law of averages was against us tonight...and we paid for it. In the grand scheme of things though, it wasn't that bad. It was an early start tonight (5:10 PM) so even though it went long we still got out of there by 10:15.

We didn't wrap up postgame on the 22 inning game until 1:50 AM. Like I said...tonight wasn't that bad.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Guess Who?

So is there anyone who hasn't figured out who my mystery guest is today? If you're not from San Diego or have never watched Discovery Health, you're off the hook. As for the rest of you...any guesses?

Good call, it's Sam the Cooking Guy.

When I asked Sam to be in my "picture of the day" today he came up with this wild idea to mimic the "Glamor Don'ts" pictures you see at the end of Glamor Magazine. I informed him that I had no idea what he was talking about, but agreed to the photo shot.

Good idea, but at the end of the day I liked this picture better. My thanks to Producer Michelle for taking the picture and of course to Sam, who in my opinion is the most entertaining guy on TV. Serious, if you haven't seen it before, do yourself a favor and check out his show. It's on Channel 4 all the time here in SD, and for my friends who live the DVD.

P.S. I'm buying a pair of fake glasses tomorrow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Travel Day

post surfing in Coronado

The Padres had a day off today as they traveled from Phoenix to Denver, which means I had a day off too...and I didn't waist it. I had lunch with my sister, I spent some time with my Dad, I ran some errands, I did yard worked and I went surfing.

There are a lot of things I like about surfing (it's athletic, it gets you outside, it gets you in the water, it's super fun), but the thing I like the best is when you get to surf with friends. That's why I love surfing in my hometown, Coronado. True, it doesn't always have the best waves, but it definitely has the best people.

For some reason when you surf in a place like Pacific Beach, everyone in the water is super aggressive and mean. People drop in on you, everyone is sizing each other up and in general there is just an ugly vibe in the line up.

To me that's missing the point entirely.

Surfing is about community and nature and having fun. The word surfers use most often to describe that feeling is "stoak". I know it sounds cheesy and that this whole entry has a bit of "hippy" feel to it, but it's true. Surfing, at it's core, is all about finding that stoak.

For me that's easier when I'm surrounded by friends...or if I've been drinking.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The problem with being told that you look like someone is that you don't always get George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Sometime you get Peyton Manning and Pauly Shore.

Nothing against those two but the last time I checked neither of them was racking up many "People's Sexiest Man Alive" awards. To be fair, it's not like I've garnered a ton of modeling contracts in my day, it's just that when you get compared to someone famous you always kind of hope they're good looking.

At least one of the guys is pretty funny...and then there's Pauly Shore.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Love Drew Brees

Drew Brees and John Weisbarth

Sure he's the Super Bowl MVP and everybody "loves" Drew Brees these days, but mine is not a new infatuation. My man-crush on Drew was solidified back in 2004 when he was a member of the San Diego Chargers.

First some background.

Drew Brees had a terrible season in 2003. It wasn't all his fault, but as always, the quarterback gets too much blame for a loss and too much credit for a win. The point is, the media hammered him that season and Drew handled it like a true professional. He always answered every question and never declined an interview request.

In 2004, Drew put together a Pro-Bowl season. All of a sudden, everyone that was calling for Drew's head on a platter was praising him. It was the perfect opportunity for him to say I told you so. To lash out at all the people that said so many mean things about him the season before...but he didn't. He just answered the questions he was asked and continued to go about his Pro-Bowl business.

That solidified it for me. Not only was he a stand-up guy in the face of adversity, he resisted the urge to take shots at the very people that took shots at him the season before.

Today, 6 and half years later, I got to sit down with him for a one on one interview and was so happy to see that he hadn't changed a bit. He was so friendly and so accommodating, it was just an absolute pleasure to talk to him. To me he is the definition of a "Pro's Pro".

So yeah, I love Drew Brees.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day 2010

For baseball fans Opening Day is as close as you get to a national holiday. It's bigger then the homerun derby, it's bigger then the All-Star's even bigger then the World Series. On Opening Day everyone's team is right in the thick of it and no matter how bad you know the season might turnout, on Opening Day you believe. Right or wrong, game number one is all about what you feel in your heart, not what you know in your head.

It doesn't feel any different for the broadcasters either. All of a sudden, after months of doing shows in the off-season, you feel that familiar sensation of butterfly's. It's a great feeling too because it reminds you of why you got into the business in the first place...adrenaline. Not the base-dive-off-the-Sears-Tower kind of adrenaline...more like the time-to-make-your-first-speech-in-front-of-the-class adrenaline. I realize some people HATE that kind, but I hate the idea of jumping off a tall building for no particular reason, so let's just call it a push.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Rock 'N Roll Easter

Having lived in Southern California for all but 3 of my 33 years on this planet...I've been through my fair share of earthquakes. Today's earthquake however was different.

First off, it measured 7.2 at it's epicenter. That's huge. Lucky for us here in San Diego the epicenter was located about 16 miles SSW of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California, Mexico. That meant the shaking in San Diego was pretty mild. The thing that was so different about this quake though, was the type of shaking it produced.

Most earthquakes I've been through in the past you could hear coming. Like the shock wave from a blast you would hear the rumbling in the distance...then you would be in the middle of it for a few seconds of violent shaking...then it would leave and you could hear it as it went.

Today wasn't like that at all. This earthquake rolled...for a long time. The best analogy I can make is that it felt like being on a cruise ship in high seas. There was no rumbling...just a constant swaying that reminded me of last night's fernet shots. In fact I was pouring a glass of wine at my parents house when it hit, and for the first few moments I thought the smell of wine was making me drunk or something. It was very weird.

But the shaking did eventually stop and we were all able to sit down and enjoy an awesome meal. My sister Debra cooked this year, and aside from making too much food, she killed it. It was so good and parts of it were even healthy...but you'll have to read her blog for that part of the story.

The History of Fernet

Fernet_Branca shots
If you haven't heard of Fernet-Branca before, don't worry about it. I only learned of this Italian wonder-drink a few years ago from my buddy Guido when I was visiting him in San Francisco.

Invented in 1845 in Milan by a guy named Bernardino Branca it was originally marketed as a cure for, among other things, menstrual cramps. In fact until 1913, only women were depicted drinking it in advertisements. It came to the United States, and more specifically San Francisco, in the suitcases of immigrants and became wildly popular during prohibition. Since it was marketed as a medicinal elixir it wasn't outlawed by the 18th amendment...essentially making it the only packaged liquor legally sold in the US during prohibition.

Somewhere along the line it became a favorite hangover cure among bartenders in SF and it slowly gained a cult-like popularity in the city. By the time I went up to see Guido during the 2006 FIFA World Cup (which Italy won by the way), Fernet-Branca was officially a mainstream drink. To that point, San Francisco drinks more of the liqueur than any other locale in the United States and more per capita than any place on Earth. Which is impressive...especially when you consider that Nate Cavalieri described his first fernet experience as being "punched squarely in the nose while sucking on a mentholated cough drop," in his 2005 SF Weekly story, The Myth of Fernet.

So now, anytime Guido and I get together, we toss back a shot of Fernet-Branca for old time sake. Believe me, we don't do it for the taste.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

And Then There Were None

I love baseball season...I always have. In the beginning I think that's because my Dad loved baseball. Later it was because I loved playing the game myself. Now it's because baseball season marks the end of our off-season "Postgame" show.

We've been over this before so I won't waist anyone's time talking about how people don't seem to know that we even do an off-season show, but suffice to say it's a lot more fun to do a show when you know people are watching. The other thing is it's a lot harder to produce a nightly half hour sports show when there aren't any local sports going on. Let's face it, San Diego is a two sport town. Chargers and Padres. When they're not playing, people are at the beach, or in the mountains, or hanging outside.

So with Opening Day coming this Monday, that meant tonight's "Postgame" show was the last of the off-season. If that's not a reason to pop some champagne then I don't know what is.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We Lost a lot of Good Men

Channel 4 crew at dinner

It sounds weird when I say it out loud...I've been working as a sportscaster in San Diego since the year 2000. It just doesn't seem like that's possible, I mean I don't feel that old. Regardless, that's how the numbers stack up...I've been at this for a decade now.

During that time I've had the chance to work with a bunch of different people. Matt Vasgersian (who I consider one of the very best play-by-play guys in the business), my boyhood idol Tim Flannery (which was truly a dream come true) and Steve Quis.

I've had the pleasure of working with Steve for the past 4 years and during that time I have laughed harder, had more fun and learned more then I could possibly relay here. When you anchor a show with someone like Steve and I have for the past 3 off-seasons (yes we have a show in the off-season, thanks for watching) it's really nice to actually like the person. Not only does it make the show go smoother, but it sure makes dinner a lot more enjoyable.

Tonight was our last dinner together and most of the crew came out to bid Steve Farewell. He's not actually going too far and will still be doing a lot of freelance work for Channel 4, so it's not like he's moving away. Still, I'm going to miss our romantic dinners at Chipotle.

On the bright side...I might lose a few lbs now. Thanks for the memories will me missed.

Lights, Camera, Action

So I'm just going to admit it, just come right out and say it...I've hit the wall. I'm a quarter of the way through this thing and I'm running out of interesting things to say about my pictures. I know, I know...what do I mean "running out" of things to say...but seriously I am in a rut.

Granted it's easier to say interesting things about interesting pictures...but I don't always do interesting things on a random Wednesday. Really that's the problem.

The most interesting thing I did today was help my buddy Teevan produce a story about office chairs. Now don't get me wrong, I love working in video production. I love the story telling, I love the production, and I love the post-production of it all, but it's my job. How many times can I take a picture of me working and get away with it?

Let's hope at least one more time.