Friday, July 30, 2010
This month for our "Channel 4 off-day group activity" we went surfing. My buddy Teevan owns the Coronado Surfing Academy and he gave us a smoking deal on a group surf lesson and board and wetsuit rentals.
Admittedly the waves weren't exactly "firing" this afternoon but I think you can tell from all the smiles that we had a blast. And why not, sunny skies, good people and a day off from work...that's a lot to smile about. 3 of the 6 of us had never been on a board before and two others had only surfed a couple of times, and yet everyone did really well.
As a guy who has grown up in and around the water it always makes me happy to see other people enjoying the ocean. My theory is, the more people who get to experience what surfers call "The Stoak", the more people will fall in love with the ocean. The more people that love the water and our beaches, the more people who will fight to keep them clean and do whatever little bit they can to preserve this awesome natural resource.
Sure that may sound a little hippie-ish, but it truly is what I believe. The ocean is like our baby...and who doesn't want the best for the baby?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
1998 was a good year.
I graduated college, got my first job in TV (editing news video from 2AM to 9AM) and the Padres won the National League Pennant. I loved that team, not in the same way that I loved the 1984 pennant winning Padres, but it was still love. Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Ken Caminiti, Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, Greg Vaughn, Steve Finley...I could go on and on. That team was blessed with some great players, but not all those players got the headlines.
Two such guys were at the ballpark today. Do you recognize them? Did you read ahead and now are just pretending like you knew who they were all along?
It's Carlos Hernandez and Quilvio Veras. To be honest, it took me a minute to recognize QV but once I did I was stoaked! Neither of those guys got tons of press for the '98 Padres but don't kid yourself, they were crucial to San Diego's pennant run.
Carlos called a great game behind the plate and handled the staff like a true pro and QV was a good lead off hitter and a solid second basemen. With out either one of those guys the Padres wouldn't have made it to the World Series. Were they stars, no...but they were an integral part to one of the best Padres teams to ever play in San Diego.
So yeah, when you see two guys like that at the park you ask them to pose in a picture with you. It's not like I asked for an autograph.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The real reason I'm in Vegas this week is this picture...not this one. The Mountain West Conference media day brings all the coaches and a couple of players from each team in the league together so us media types can talk to them about the upcoming season.
It's a lot of interviews in a very short time and it's hard to come up with relevant questions when you consider that most of these interviews won't air for another 2 and half months. It's not ideal, but it's the only time we can get the coaches from the other schools so we have to make it work.
BYU was picked to finish 3rd in the preseason poll this year which is all well and good, but the interesting part about my interview with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall was the none football talk. Turns out he's a big surfer and I'm big and like to surf...so we kind of had that in common...which was cool.
For the record, TCU was picked to win the league this year and SDSU was picked to finish 6th.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
It's no secrete that if you have a corner office, you're important. For instance our station manager at Channel 4 has a corner office. I have a cubical, next to a window that looks directly into another building. That should tell you a little bit about how important I am.
However, corner office or not, my view wins today.
I'm in Vegas for the Mountain West Conference football media day and this is what it looked like while I worked this afternoon. Notice I didn't put worked in quotations, that's because I really was working. Just not that hard, or very consistently.
By the way if anyone asks, that's a virgin mojito.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
While going 6-4 over a 10 game season might not seem all that impressive, you have to consider where we had been. Where we had been was in the cellar...deep in the cellar. After toiling in the top division for months and months, barely able to win one game...let alone multiple games, it finally clicked this season.
I'm not exactly sure why either. Sometimes it just takes awhile for a team to gel...it certainly did with ours. Regardless we have finally found that elusive buzz word that people like me love to talk about in sports..."Chemistry".
Chemistry is a funny thing in when it comes to athletics, you know when a team has it and you know when a team doesn't, but it's a really hard thing to explain. There is also no way to make a team have chemistry, it just sort of happens. But when it does, things get fun...and things are fun again at the soccer pitch.
The great thing about great friends is that you always seem to have a great time when you get together, no matter how long it has been. I am blessed to have that kind of relationship with a lot of my friends...Saturday night's group included.
With Comic-Con in town this weekend and the people watching off the Richter Scale, the stage was set for an epic evening. After grabbing some drinks downtown at Seersucker with the crew, we headed over to Cowboy Star for dinner. It was only the second time I had eaten there...and it was my first dinner at the restaurant and it was great. But if I'm being totally honest (and consistent with the theme), the thing that made it great was the company.
I'm pretty sure that's always the case and I know I'm not the first person to enjoy a dinner out with friends, I'm just saying I get it. After all, the simple recipes are always the best ones anyways, right?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Apparently I sold myself a little short in my blog post about Opening Day at the Race Track because I was back there again on Friday with Megan and her work. After all, nothing brings an office together like alcohol and gambling right?
To be fair that is not the only allure to the track. In an effort to get a different type of crowd out to Del Mar, and let's be honest, tap into a different set of wallets, the Race Track moves the post time for their first race of the day to 4 on Friday's and then offers a free concert after the last race. And we're not talking about some local alt rock band either...they get some pretty big names like Common Sense, ZZ Top and Weezer just to name a few.
Last night it was Pinback, and even though we didn't stay for the concert, we were there for the races...and that's just how Del Mar likes it.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Big puffy mascots are funny...people absolutely love them. It's doesn't matter if you're the World Famous San Diego Chicken, the Swingin' Friar or big cup of Cherry Limeaide...people go crazy over mascots. Case in point, we filmed a Sonic commercial all over San Diego today and everywhere we went the Sonic Cherry Limeaide guy got mobbed.
Let me tell you, there is nothing quite as humbling as being out "juiced" by a 7 foot tall cup of soda. No joke, of the 15 different groups of people that stopped us to have their picture taken with Mr. Limeaide, only one recognized me as "the Padre guy"...and that was just because he wanted me to take the picture and he and his wife with the real celebrity.
Hey no hard feelings on my end...at least I got a picture with him too.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Among baseball people it's commonly known that the real fans show up on day 2 of the season. Opening day is for all the people that want to be seen, and want to say that they were there. Those type of "fans" never bothered me much, maybe because that's exactly the type of "fan" I am of horse racing.
I don't know anything about training horses or who the jockey's are, and I certainly don't have a clue when it comes to betting on the fillies, but I do love opening day! Sure it's crowded and there's a line for everything, but it's also exciting. The energy at the track on opening day is just different. It's way more "party" and way less "degenerate gambler".
The best part are the outfits. People are dressed to the nines and everyone is wearing a hat...the more outlandish the better. It makes for great people watching but it's not so great for waiting in all those lines.
I guess that's what I get for only coming to the track on opening day.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Let me start with a point of clarification, I don't take 7 pictures in one day and then use those photos through out the week to fill out the blog. The blog is not about compiling 365 pictures in one year, it's about getting one picture everyday. 99% of the time that's what I do, today however is different.
A few months ago my wife and I and some friends went on a cruise to Ensenada. One of the best things about the weekend were the theme nights we planed...including a white party. This is a picture I took before the cruise to see how my outfit translated on film (very well if you ask me). After taking the picture I posted it on my Twitter page, and long story short, I made a deal to wear that exact same outfit on Postgame if the Padres were still in 1st place on July 31st.
Well it's July 20th, the Padres are 3 games up in the division and this is all of a sudden looking like it might happen. Since I am a man of my word (and because I got called out on Twitter) I am not hiding from my online statement, but rather embracing it. On tonight's show, and on every Postgame that I work until July 31st, we will be showing this picture and telling the story behind it.
I guess the theory is, if the thought of seeing the Padres is first place isn't enough to make you want to cheer for the team, maybe the thought of seeing me dressed like Sir Elton John is enough for you to throw your support behind the boys for a couple of weeks.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sam Zien, Sam the Cooking Guy to you and me, has been at it for a while now...99 episodes to be exact. For Episode 100 we are producing a behind the scenes look at the show, Sam and everything "Cooking Guy". For me that means co-producing show 100 and acting as the interviewer for the program. Think 60 Minutes meets The Cooking Guy.
Today we were at Sam's house for the taping of number 99 to get a behind the scenes look at what goes into making one of his shows. Spoiler alert...the number one ingredient is pure, organic fun.
The thing about Sam is, he's not just extremely entertaining and wildly talented...he's a really nice guy too. Working with him is not only a great learning experience, it's a ton of fun.
I'm not just saying that because he made me a cocktail today either...though it didn't hurt.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This is Ol' Yellar...at least that's what I am calling her until I come up with a better name (feel free to offer up some suggestions btw). Isn't she gorgeous! 10 feet long, almost 2 feet wide, 3 inches thick and I'm not kidding you, she weighs about 3 and half pounds.
Dan Mann, of the Mannkine Surfboard Company, designed it, shaped it, and developed the technology that makes it the lightest and strongest surfboard I have ever owned. He also figured out how to make the wait between sets a little less boring by covering the deck with newspaper. Nice touch if you ask me.
I picked Ol' Yellar up yesterday, but had to work so I didn't get to surf her until this morning. The waves weren't very good but there was no way I wasn't going to paddle out, and I learned a couple things about my new board pretty quickly.
First, it paddles like a speed boat. I mean there isn't a wave you can't catch on that thing...which is exactly what I wanted for a "summer" board. After all, catching waves equals lot's of fun.
Second, she is a big girl. In fact it is the biggest board I have ever surfed. I mean look at it, you walk to the nose and back a couple of times and you're going to need a hit off the oxygen machine. The good news is there's room for one on this beast...you could put it right next to the mini bar.
Even better news...it looks like there is a little swell headed our way so hopefully in the next few days I'll get a chance to see what she can do in some decent surf. The bottom line is that I have been waiting my whole life to ride a legit nose-rider and I am so excited to have one this impressive.
Now all I need is an impressive name for it.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
3 out of the last 4 years I have been asked to help represent my company in the gay pride parade...and let me tell you it has been an eye opening experience. I'll say this, the gay community knows how to party and they do love a parade. And the outfits...let me tell some of them are pretty aggressive and some of them are pretty funny, like the guy is the picture with me above.
The thing is I'm happy to do it, in fact I think it's important. I don't want to get political and I'm certainly not going to turn this into a religious blog, but the simple fact is that I believe in equal rights for everyone. Black, white, straight, gay and everything in between.
That's all, it's really that simple for me.
As you probably know by now I work for Channel 4 here in San Diego...what you may not know is that our station is owned by Cox Communications.
Cox has a program called the Cox Kids Foundation that is a pretty cool program. Basically, employees agree to donate a small percentage of their paycheck (which the company matches) and at the end of the year we turn that into as many scholarships as we can. This year that number was 18 and on Friday I got to give them away.
The best part is who we give the money to. All of our recipients have overcome incredible obstacles just to have graduated high school and many are the first in their family to go to college. The scholarships aren't a full ride, just a few thousands dollars, but it's enough to give these kids a good start...and you get the feeling that's all that they need.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
As a group, the Channel 4 crew doesn't get out to happy hour all that often. Mainly because we work nights and it is generally frowned upon to offer half price drinks at 10 AM. Today however was a special occasion and the stars aligned perfectly for us all to get together.
First off, it was the last day of the All-Star break so we were (a.) available and (b.) looking to end the break on a high note. Second of all, and more importantly, it was our friend Yedid's sending off party. Yedid worked upstairs on the 5th floor for Cox Media doing...well doing something. I'm not exactly sure what, but she was busy all the time. Maybe too busy, which is why she has decided to move on to bigger and better things.
That's a story for a different blog though, for our purposes all you need to know is that the turnout tonight was good, the company was great, and the pizza was delicious.
See I told you I wasn't on a cleanse.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I had lunch with my buddy Brian today at this new kick ass place by SDSU, it's called California Kebab. Actually to be totally honest, I have no idea if it's new or not...but it's new to me and it is fantastic.
Anyway, Brian and I were at lunch and I asked him to take a picture of me for the blog with his new camera. At the risk of sounding incredibly vain, I thought the picture turned out great!!! Not so much the subject (though that's pretty good too) but the quality of the picture. I love the colors his camera was able to capture and the vintage look that the print produced.
Go figure, a guy who has a "Picture of the Day"' blog is kind of a camera nerd...shocking I know. The thing is Brian's new camera also makes phone calls. You may have heard of it, it's called the iPhone 4.
Say what you will about the service and I have no idea if the phone can actually place a call, but I do know it can take one hell of a picture...regardless of the subject. That should count for something.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My wife Megan is on an 11 day "cleanse". No sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed food...no nothing. The funny thing is, since I'm not working this week and am home pretty much all day...turns out I'm on an 11 day cleanse too. We are 4 days into it and to be totally honest, I'm cheating a lot. Actually, I wouldn't even call it cheating because I'm not really doing the cleanse, I'm just caught in the crossfire.
I haven't cut out sugar, alcohol, caffeine or processed foods...but I have cut down on them a ton. That counts for something, right?
For instance today I had cereal with fresh fruit for breakfast, an organic chicken sandwich with heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers for lunch, and that's a picture of my dinner...homemade organic lettuce wraps.
Sure I washed it down with a cocktail, but like I said...I'm not actually doing the cleanse. Give me a break.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Let's be honest, Cal Ripken Jr I am not. Cal played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games over the span of 17 seasons...my work schedule is a bit less ambitious. Still, when the All-Star break comes, I'm happy to have those days off just like everybody else in baseball is.
When I was younger the All-Star break was almost like a mini Spring Break. I would try and plan a trip somewhere or at the very least make sure to log some serious beach time. These days the plan is somewhat less involved. With Megan watching the Bachelorette with the girls tonight, that left me to my own devices on the home-front.
Day one...share a couple of beers with my neighbor Pat while watching Entourage. That's just like going to Cabo, right?
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The good news is it looks like the weather may have finally taken a turn for the better, the bad news is it's going to be really hot in the bedroom. (Ding!) Really what can you say about this picture? It's pretty clear what's going on here...our bedroom ceiling fan is mocking me.
Son of a b!#%$.
In an effort to play the role of the "good husband" today, I was picking up the bedroom and decided to make the bed while I was at it. Step one, take the 500 pillows off the bed. Step two, spread the sheet over the bed by pulling it up into the air above your head and then whipping it down so that it fluffs out nicely.
You can probably guess that I never got to step three.
At the risk of over generalizing I think most people can be shoe-horned into one of two categories..."Powerboat People" and "Sailboat People". That's not to say you can't have a little bit of both in you, but everybody leans one way or the other.
Me, I'm a sailboat kind of guy...it's just how I was raised. I like the pace of sailing, I like the skill involved in navigating a vessel through the water with just the power of mother nature, and I like the sound it makes (which is to say none at all).
But I understand why people are powerboat people. You can't water ski behind a Catalina 30, you can't go anywhere if there's no wind, and there aren't little sailboats the jump waves in the ocean...you need power for all of that. So while I am firmly entrenched as a "Sailboat kind of guy", I have to admit power boats and/or personal watercraft can be a hell of a lot of fun.
That's me, technically catching "mad air" in the open ocean this weekend. Is it overly impressive...no not really, even if it was my first time ever on a Seado. Was it overly fun...absolutely.
Don't worry sailing I still like you best, I was just experimenting...like college.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
When you live in Southern California you come to expect certain things. Housing will be expensive, a lot of people from Boston will move here and there will be a "marine layer" over the coast in late Spring and early Summer.
As a San Diego resident for the past 31 years I understand that while it will most likely be 80 degrees in January, May and June will be in the upper 60's and cloudy. That's fine, it get it, this is not my first rodeo...but it's July 9th and those damn clouds still haven't gone away. Enough already, "May Grey" and "June Gloom" have had there turn, it's the suns time to shine.
I realize that it is hot and extremely humid in a lot of places across the country, and maybe moderate temperatures in the upper 60's sounds pretty good to you. Maybe you're thinking to yourself, "What's John complaining about? That sounds pretty good to me." But I'm not paying way too much for my house and putting up with way too many Bostonian's for "cloudy in the upper 60's". It's time for the sun to come out...and stay out.
Friday, July 9, 2010
My buddy Teevan (you might remember him from such things as "I'll have the veggie burger...with bacon") used to do this thing on Wednesday nights were we would all get together for "Family Dinner" at some local Italian restaurant. It was a good way to break up the middle of your week and great chance to catch up with your buddies.
Last night the Weisbarth's, Gossard's and Leavitt's reprised family dinner...only this time it actually was a dinner with the family. The family...Tonya's mom and sister who are visiting from Minnesota. The dinner...courtesy of Il Postino in North Park.
Both were top notch.
As far as the food was concerned, it was excellent, and the best part is first time diners get free dessert. Now I'm not normally a dessert guy, but we all know my policy on free..."if it's free, it's for me."
The company was great too, I even got the inside scoop on the iPhone and Verizon. According to Tonya's mom, who neither works for, nor does she know anyone who works for Verizon or Apple, it is a done deal. Verizon will have the iPhone in January 2011.
You can scoff at it if you want but just remember you heard it here first...and you've got "family dinner" to thank for it.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
For the most part I have what I like to call, "Good Genes". I rarely ever get sick (just twice since high school), I don't have any allergies, I never needed braces, I don't wear glasses and I seem to heal pretty quickly on my own. Like I said, good genes...but not great.
Unfortunately I also have something that doctors refer to as "freckles", which means I have fair skin. That means the sun doesn't like me very much...or maybe more appropriately...it likes me too much. I have my German-Irish heritage to thank for that, and maybe if I lived in Germany or Ireland it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I don't. I live in Southern California and I like to be outside...a lot.
For me that means the ever lasting threat of skin cancer. Ahhhh cancer, the gift that keeps on giving. So every 6 months I go to the dermatologist and she zaps my "pre-cancerous" skin cells with liquid nitrogen. It hurts a little, gets a bit red and swollen and then scabs up nice in a couple of days.
All in all, a pretty good look for TV is don't say so myself...but it's better then the alternative.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
You know how sometimes when people are talking about how bad there job is, but they don't want to sound like they are complaining to much, so they say something along the lines of, "Don't get me wrong it's not like I'm digging ditches..."
Well I get it now, digging a ditch sucks.
I thought digging post holes was bad, that's like Hawaiian vacation compared to the ditch. Especially with the soil I'm working with. I literally had to hatchet through roots, just to get to the rocks that were on top of the clay. That ditch I'm sitting in...that took me all day long. Admittedly, I'm a few years removed from my days as a handyman, but the point is I'm going to sleep well tonight.
I'd better, I have to build a wall in that ditch tomorrow.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I had the day off today, which means I worked way harder then I do for my paying job. Don't get me wrong, slaving over a hot microphone for as many as 4 hours at a time is grueling, but it turns out physical labor is pretty tiring too.
As the backyard project continues to unfold and continuously present new challenges, it's nice to know that my new friends at "Lost Abbey" are standing by me. As you may remember I was very impressed with the Lost Abbey crew...and brew for that matter...when I met them last week. Of course it's one thing to enjoy the beer when you're getting it for free and quite another when you actually pay for it at the liquor store.
Tonight, after a long day working in the backyard, I treated myself to an "Inferno Ale"...and it was excellent. Lost Abbey is quickly becoming my favorite brewery...though I am open to suggesion.
The most famous landmark in Coronado is the Hotel Del. The second most famous landmark on the island is the Hansen Mansion.
Built in 1898, ten years after the Hotel Del was completed, the mansion was originally owned by a man named A.P. Stephens and was later sold to Marshall O. Terry, former surgeon general of New York, in 1915 to be used as a retirement home. Leo Hansen bought it at auction in 1950 for a reported sum of $21,000...his wife Helen still lives there today.
I went to high school with Noah and Angie Hansen (Leo and Helen's grandchildren) and happened to be in the right place at the right time this 4th of July to receive a tour of this amazing house with my wife Megan. Noah, who gave us the tour, actually rents the 3rd floor with his wife and son so he knew all the ins and outs of this historical landmark.
I'll admit it, I think history is cool, so I was in hog-heaven during the tour. We got to ride in the elevator, see a secrete passage, walk into a couple of vaults, and tour the grounds. As you can probably tell, the Hansen's have resisted the urge to remodel and have instead maintained all the original charm and old world character of this great house. Which to me is perfect, and because it is an historical landmark we don't have to worry about it getting bulldozed and turned into condo's in a few years.
My bucket list just got that much shorter.
For some reason that has never been fully explained to me, whenever July 4th falls on a Sunday, the powers that be move the Coronado Independence Day Parade to Saturday. I supposed it has something to do with people going to church or the fact that the post office is closed on Sunday...whatever the reason, the parade was Saturday this year.
The best thing I can say about the 4th of July parade in Coronado is that it is consistent. You're going to see bad guys on horseback, clowns, the military, some marching bands and a boat load of Shriners. There's something comforting in that consistency...there's also something really boring. I have now seen the parade 31 times in my life and am pretty confident I could recite the order of the entrants by heart.
So these days I don't watch the parade as much as I watch what's going on behind the parade. If you want to be entertained watch what's happening on the other side of Orange Ave...that's where the action is these days.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday July 2nd was the 1st (hopefully annual) Circumnavigation bike ride in Coronado, an event designed to kick off the 4th of July festivities on the Rock. My friends Dave and John from OrangeAndPark.com organized it and I would say it was a success. No one got arrested, there was minimum blood drawn and everyone on the ride had a blast.
If you are familiar with the "critical mass" movement around the globe...our bike ride was really nothing like that. Way less political (the mayor of Coronado rode with us) and way more "Happy 4th of July". We didn't even run any red lights.
Instead it was a great rallying point to figure out what the plans were for a long holiday weekend...and an excuse to break out my bike bell.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day right? So it took me 2 days to dig 5 post holes...big deal. The ground is tough and full of rocks around these parts so the going was slow. The good news is the posts are in the ground, they're perfectly plum and in line, and they've got cement in the holes.
The hard part is done, now I just have to hang some fence boards. I'll probably have this thing done by mid-August...easy.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
With the 4th of July weekend right around the corner, it got me thinking. I love the 4th...probably because growing up in Coronado that was always the biggest holiday of the year. So now every year I look forward to the parade, the BBQ's, the fireworks and all my friends partying in one place. It seems like half of the fun is the anticipation, I just love it!
That said I think we can all agree that sometimes the night's that are the most fun are the ones that you never saw coming. Case in point, the Lost Abbey Dinner at The Lodge in Torrey Pines last night. Not only were we treated to an amazing 4-course meal paired with some of the most interesting and flavorful beers I have ever tasted, but we got to sit with the man who makes all the beer for Lost Abbey, Tomme Arthur.
I don't know a lot of brewmasters, but the ones I do all have at least one thing in common...they love beer and they love to talk about beer. Okay two things in common. I'll say this, it certainly makes for great dinner conversation and it was a wonderful education for everything from how the beer was made to why the craft beer industry has taken off in San Diego. I'm telling you it was awesome.
If that wasn't enough, at the end of the night my friend Will treated Megan and I to an amazing room at The Lodge. Which was great because The Lodge is a beautiful hotel and I was hammered...never saw it coming.