Hey TSA. It’s Geoff.

Hey TSA –

It’s Geoff. I’ve been reading about your troubles. Passengers missing flights in record numbers because you’re understaffed. We’d be less pissed if we thought you were more valuable.

At Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, about 600 passengers missed their flights on March 25 because an inadequate number of screeners led to waits exceeding three hours, airport officials said. Brent D. Cagle, the airport’s interim director of aviation, complained to the T.S.A., calling the episode a “fiasco.” – NY Times

It’s difficult to think you understand security when you look at me as a threat. Hell, you look at my 90 year old father as a threat. Don’t you have lists? Don’t you analyze all those proper names we’re now forced to provide?

Does knowing I’m Geoffrey, not Geoff, really help you?

How much contraband are you finding from middle aged (I’m being kind toward myself) native born Americans who’ve flown dozens of times since your formation?

In the recent past you’ve give me TSA-pre status on one leg of a trip, but not the other. Did my threat status change Saturday to Sunday?

We want to be safe. Maybe you don’t need more people. You need better techniques.

The ‘It’ Girl

Janet Peckinpaugh

Of all the beautiful, talented, intelligent and diligent women I’ve had the pleasure to work with, none had more instant grab over an audience than Janet Peckinpaugh. And believe me, I’m not shorting anyone by saying that. He power was magical.

Whatever “it” is, Janet was dealt an extra portion. Apple pie attractive and extremely approachable, men and women found her appealing.

It wasn’t supposed to be Al and Janet. The other guy just didn’t work out. Al and Janet were much bigger as a team than apart.

In the mid 80s local television was at its peak. I remember Channel 8 getting 50 shares in the New Haven metro. Our audiences then dwarf anything stations get today. Cable was in its infancy. There was no Internet outside labs and universities.

If you grew up on Connecticut’s shoreline in the 80s we were in your house nearly every day as the entire family watched ‘the’ TV! No one gets that kind of exposure anymore.

Was Janet the only reason Channel 8 got hot? Nah. A lot of things came together. Producers, reporters, smarter managers. Better corporate support. Lots of luck — lots.

But for a time in the mid 80s Janet Peckinpaugh’s mere presence made people switch and stay.

I like Janet a lot. We always got along. We were good friends. I went to her spectacular wedding.

It was cool to be there. In Connecticut Janet was Doris Day.

Why Aren’t You Blogging Anymore?


My father is the latest with the question.

“Why aren’t you blogging anymore?” he asked tonight. “It’s been two weeks.”

It’s unusual for my dad to quantify like that. He’s actually been counting the days. I guess it does seem significant. At one point I’d gone five or more years without missing an entry.

There are a few reasons I haven’t written. Number one is Facebook. I am frustrated to be so dependent on it. When do I post directly on Facebook or make it a blog entry? It’s never clear.

Some of your comments on Facebook show you see my blog link but only read the headline. Do you hear my ego deflating?

Beyond that I had been consumed by politics, but didn’t want to discuss it. That would be BORING.

Also had equipment troubles (solved), but didn’t want to discuss it.

I have been consumed putting together the pieces for a project I’m working on. It’s very time consuming since I’m building parts of it from the ground up. In some cases I’m stopping to learn how to wrangle a new language or rewrite code. I have enlisted a fellow weather nerd to help me amass and smash the data. In my mind the end result is cool. Can’t talk about that either.

So, a little vacation is all it is. Just a slight change of scenery.

Merv said it best, “Be right back.”

The New Optimized Workflow

Capture 00014 (Output1)

I just finished tonight’s shows for Nebraska. Seven segments for five different stations. My new optimized workflow is in place.

And the answer is… OMG.

My hope was to get some improvement in efficiency, but I’m blown away. There are physical limits to how much time can be shaved, but this is like showing up on set and the crew’s ready to go.

The one button start-up macro does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Restarts from tech blowups are mainly gone.

Big savings on font entry too. I write my forecast on paper first. Lots of scratch outs and changes. On-air forecast pages are created in the TriCaster from words and numbers I enter on a spreadsheet. So much easier.

Hit save. Boom. TV.

On this slow weather day I spent some of my extra time making another map to explain why Nebraska is weather blessed this week.

Good News After The Meltdown

IMAG0730-w1920-h1080My studio had a major meltdown a few weeks ago. I didn’t talk about it much. I was mostly curled up in the corner, whimpering.

My TriCaster has been swapped for another. That’s terrible news. Except now it’s good news!

Everything I do, my entire workflow (to use the vernacular) is based on how I visualized things working before the studio was assembled. My macros (what’s in the photo above) were built with what I knew a few days out-of-the-box.

I get to start over. Literally, it’s a forced do-over. All my customized work is gone. Who knew you shouldn’t store your backups on the machine you were backing up!

There is now a single button which puts my studio into record mode. It loads the video and sets the inputs to the switcher. That one button will save me time every session. There are tiny technical mistakes every day. This could eliminate over 50%.

Capture 00001 (Output1)My forecast pages (there are six every session, three times a day) now respond to a spreadsheet. No more Photoshop, a great program, but ill suited for what’s really text entry. This will save 15-20 minutes a day.

I’m the last guy you’d expect to talk about organization and optimization. Being more efficient is important as we expand in Nebraska and I develop some off-TV ideas. Time is my most valuable commodity.

Bad Names

Naming your product is a big deal. I can’t tell you how many people told me they wouldn’t watch Fox Connecticut because they thought we were owned by Fox News!

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As A Fan Of Bernie I’m Disappointed

The headline says disappointed. Maybe embarrassed is a better word. Bernie’s characterization of Hillary Clinton being unqualified for president is just stupid… and I’m a big Bernie fan. His point, which is valid, is she cannot be tough on those who’ve given her so much. Money corrupts politics. If Secretary Clinton is nominated this disincentivizes […]

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Because I’m Still Mostly Boy

A few months ago I built a radio to receive airplane transmissions. Building in this case means assembling pre-built parts hooking them to a tiny computer then loading the software to run the whole system on a tiny memory chip. When you do it one step at-a-time it’s easier than that last sentence makes it […]

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Too Early To Write The Obit?

Who wants to live in a Trump named building now? Ah, sweet schadenfreude.

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How Did I Not Know This?

The robocalls start as early as 7:30 AM PDT. The people who run these operations have no families, right?

Recently they’ve taken to disguising their numbers to my area code, appearing as 203 or 860.

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