Archive for July, 2010

Barbara Garner keeps on running

July 31, 2010

Intern Barbara Garner and I with a farewell jog for the camera.   The 24-year-old Barbara this week completed her internship in the Emory Heartwise Risk Reduction Program.  The internship is the last step in earning a degree as an Exercise Specialist from Kennesaw State University.  She plans to go to graduate school before fnalizing her career goals.  But one thing she knows already, Barbara wants to continue running as a way of life.  The metro-Atlanta native was a member of the KSU x-country team.   Her time in a 5K was typically 19+!  Barbara, you’re lookin’ good!

Ray Moore’s 88th

July 30, 2010

My friend, my mentor and former WSB-TV News Director Ray Moore is celebrating his 88th birthday.   You do the math:  Ray was born July29, 1922.  He and I are neighbors.  We live about two miles from each othet in Smyrna, Georgia.  In several earlier blogs, you may have read of this man’s outstanding accomplishments.  A few members of his family came to spend much of the day with Ray and his wife Sara.  In the back row are sons Steve and Russ,  3 dark-haired granddaughters(Claire Marie, Emily, Ann) and Russ’ wife, Mary Caroline.  Ray’s third son, Bruce, followed his Dad’s career path.  Bruce is a TV News Director in Memphis, Tennessee.    When Ray talks about Sara, I’m reminded of the lyrics that go, “A you’re adorable, B you’re so beautiful, C you’re a bundle full of charm…..it’s fun to wander through the alphabet with you to tell you what you mean to me.”   At 88, you can hear the love in Ray’s voice growing stronger.

Prisoners in pickle jars

July 29, 2010

Some of the hoax e-mails that currently are making the rounds prove that some will believe almost anything.   It’s a lesson I almost disastrously  learned during the time of the Iranian Hostage crisis.   This is the way it happened.     One day when we at WSB-TV were short on reporters, I volunteered to work a double shift.  I’d come in at 9 a.m. and would stay through the 11 p.m. news.  One night, my photo-journalist partner and I had come back to the newsroom after covering what we thought would be our last story of the day.  I wrote and voiced it.   My partner edited the video..  The piece was ready for air when a call came into the assigment desk.  The caller claimed that the FBI was rounding up known Iranians and bringing them to the Richard Russell building in downtown Atlanta.    It was likely a crank call, but our relatively young,  inexperienced assignment editor couldn’t reach anyone by phone to find out if it could possibly be true.  So the editor made a CYA or B or P decision.  He asked my partner and me to make the 10-minute drive to see if there was any activity at the Richard Russell building.   There wasn’t.   A long-time contact of mine was working security at the Richard Russell building.   He laughed when I told him about the call.  My partner and I were still chuckling when we got back into our vehicle.   In those days, we didn’t have cell-phones.   We mostly communicated by two-way radio.   My thought was to add another chapter to an already ridiculous story.    So I took the mike off its hook and made up a story so outlandish that I thought no one would believe, particularly an assignment editor.    He asked what we found.    With a smile in my voice, I said, “There are hundreds of Iranians here on the steps of the building.    They’re all in large pickle jars!”  My partner and I laughed again and headed back to the station.   About halfway back, a WSB micro-transmitter truck whizzed past us in the direction of the Richard Russell building.  By then, it was just a few minutes before our 11 p.m. newscast.   I picked up the mike and asked the assignment editor where the live truck was going.    Why of course, he was coming to join us for a live shot of the Iranians in pickle jars.  I thought the assignment editor was kidding, but discovered he was not.    In my most serious voice, I explained the situation.   I later learned the 11 p.m. producer had revamped her lineup to lead with a live shot headlined, “Iranians rounded up in Atlanta…stored downtown in pickle jars.”    Thank God she got the word in time.  My attempt at humor had fallen flat because some people will believe anything….no matter how ridiculous.

Misleading prices

July 28, 2010

Today, I heard a radio commercial touting a product for “…just $199.99….”  This is only one example of trying to convince us we’re paying much less than the next round number, $200.   It’s true in small ticket items.   It’s true in big ticket items.   For example, a friend and I were out for walk-run this morning.  There was a “for sale” sign in the yard of a home with informational flyers in a box.   The price:  $259,000.     I would guess that a real estate agent advised the buyer that $259,000 would attract more people than $260,000 or $250,000.   Do we like to think we’re paying SIGNIFICANTLY less for something than we really are , or is it a game played between seller and buyer.    Personally, I’m more likely to buy when the price is $200 rather than $199.99.    I’ll give you the penny.

Overused words (continued)

July 27, 2010

In addition to nice,  you all added amazing and absolutely to the list.  In the latest comment, Frank suggested you know as one of the irritants.   Then Frank cleverly strung them together with, “…you know, the many varied uses of nice are absolutely amazing.”   Moving right along….

Make it the last (one day)

July 26, 2010

A hair style from the 1940s on display in this picture  at the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s runs Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.  Pat “Deda” Fermal lived for 74 years before a brain tumor ended her life 10 years ago. She was among the many victims and survivors honored.  This is the 11th consecutive year for this run to cure brain tumors.   Their goal is to one day make it the last.

Brain Tumors

July 25, 2010

Jim Duguay-Jim jr.-Mary Duguay

“Team Trisha” is one of several teams running-walking Saturday at the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundations 5K in Atlanta.   Jim Duguay Junior’s 27-year-old wife, Trisha, is in a coma with a tumor.  She is among several brain tumor victims or survivors that more than one-thousand participants came to honor or remember.

Teams and individuals competed to raise money for brain tumor research.  One of the organizers says about 96-cents of every dollar goes directly to research.

She’s left us

July 24, 2010

Friday was the last day for intern Cassie Livingston at the Emory Heart Wise Risk Reduction program.  The Exericise Specialist will graduate from Kennesaw State University July 29th.     Two days later, Cassie will marry Jeremy McDonald, an electrical contractor.  Ten years from now, Cassie says she wants to be a stay-at-home mom with 4 children.  She’s had two months of practice taking care of us older children.  We’ll miss her.

Graveyard of political signs

July 23, 2010

This is the graveyard in Smyrna, Georgia for political signs.  The primaries in Georgia were earlier this week.  Among these signs,  you’ll find those for candidates who survived the primaries…others who are dead for this political season.  But the posting of all these signs was illegal because they were on public rights of way. In Smyrna, it is the job of the City Marshall to remove the signs and bring them to a storage area behind his office.  It’s always been a bit unclear about what happens to them after they go to the graveyard.  Some candidates retrieve them for future campaigns.  You’ll notice there are no dates on them.  There often are complaints that the laws are not equally enforced. For example, I saw a few Tim Lee signs still up on what appears to be a public right of way.    District Commissioner Lee was running for Cobb county commission chairman.   Lee won.

The most overused word in the English

July 22, 2010

language is “nice”.  It’s a nice day.   How nice it is.   That was a nice hit.  That was a nice pitch.  That was a nice play.  He’s a nice guy.  She’s a nice girl.  That was a nice meal.   Do you know of any word that is more overused than ” nice”?