I Do Stuff Behind The Camera Too

TriCaster Mini
I love my TriCaster. Let me say that upfront. It’s my control room. Without it, no studio. Its power can’t be underestimated.

And the people from TriCaster (NewTek is the actual company) have been very nice to deal with. Unfortunately, my expertise comes from too much dealing.

Today I spent the better part of an hour online with two guys who can help me. We talked mostly about macros.

Macros are created by recording my keystrokes. I then go back and edit, often adding short pauses to allow my machine to keep up. A macro should playback exactly as recorded.

Macros

They should. They don’t.

We shared screens so the guys in Texas could watch. They seemed to get it. They want to make it right. I hope they do, please.

Overnight I sent 1.1Gb of files to the home office. They can now replicate my setup exactly.

The only way I can control my show while standing in front of the camera is with macros. They’ve got to do what they’re supposed to do and consistently or they’re not much use.

We’re Three Weeks In

Anne Craig and me on WTNH, News 8.

I’ve been back on-air in Connecticut nearly three weeks. When it works right (and there have been technical hiccups we’re working to fix) it is incredibly pleasurable. It’s my drug. I am hooked.

There have been some interesting and unexpected side effects of doing News 8’s 5, 6, 10 and 11 this week. I am living on EDT!

It’s crazy. The news is over at 11:35p EDT. That’s how it feels to me, though the clock says 8:35p and the sky is still bright. And I’m exhausted!

The exhaustion is more linked to chemo, now four weeks past tense. It will take a while for my blood to rebuild its full complement of platelets and blood cells. Until then I’m sleeping/napping 10-11 hours a day.

The more interesting quirk is how easy it’s been for me to “feel” Connecticut’s weather without being there. I look at a temperature/dew point combo and understand how it feels. It’s not a skill acquired on purpose. Thirty plus year of number looking has paid off.

The amount of data available today is mind boggling. It’s much easier for me to know what’s going on in Connecticut from California than it was when I lived there!

Es La Cosa Real

Es la cosa real, it’s the real thing. Yes, there are single serve, glass bottle Cokes in the Fox fridge.

This being SoCal it’s a thing: Coca Cola, hecho en Mexico!

What’s the diff? The Mexican version uses cane sugar. The US version uses high fructose corn syrup.

Do I taste the diff? I do not.

However, the Mexican Cokes aren’t made to be returned. California forces a deposit, there’s none in Mexico. The glass is thick and brings back memories. This is the way a Coke was meant to be consumed.

Soda tastes better in glass. Coke is no exception. I treat myself to a bottle a day. Don’t tell any of my doctors.

As It Turns Out, I Love Weather

HRRR model forecast precipitation. It simulates a NEXRAD composite reflectivity — a stronger return than what’s usually shown on TV, base reflectivity.
250mb (Jet Stream) winds next 384 hours.

My next on-air appearance isn’t until Monday evening. I’m looking at weather maps anyway. It’s what I do.

Like so much else in life, becoming a meteorologist was a sort of random occurrence. Most meteorologists I know were fascinated by weather growing up. Not me. I was a city boy. The buses always ran. The subways always ran. In New York City you look down.

Growing up I wanted to be on radio and was for eleven years. TV didn’t attract me until I was around 30.

My first TV job was co-hosting PM Magazine/Buffalo. We began in late August, when Buffalo is its most charming. It really is a lovely city until about Thanksgiving.

Everything you think you know about Buffalo weather is correct.

PM Magazine was an ‘on location’ show. It was one of the first to take advantage of the change from film to tape.

1980 was before the ubiquity of four wheel drive. We drove Buffalo’s winter in a large Dodge van.

It didn’t take long to realize this wasn’t a good career choice. I remember doing ins-and-outs in front of Army helicopters at Niagara Falls International. It was so cold my lips couldn’t properly pronounce words!

A weekend weather job opened up at the station. Two days a week I could stay off the road. Of course I knew zero about meteorology.

I started to look into weather and was quickly hooked. I’m a math guy. I like maps and charts and graphs. Weather was full of those.

It didn’t take long for Helaine and me to drive to Toronto scouring for books on meteorology. I made friends with the guys at the Buffalo Weather Service Office. I took it all seriously.

Later I took 53 credits from Mississippi State University and received their certification. That qualifies me to join the American Meteorological Society and call myself a meteorologist.

The maps and charts really do talk to me. I look at my tools and feel the weather. It’s pretty cool.

Another lucky choice.

Empty Nest: The Tweet Are Gone

Tweet family home, circa 2017.

I just walked over where the Tweet family used to live. They’re empty nesters now, literally! They’ve flown the coup.

We read up on Mourning Doves. All this is expected. The Tweets took a day or two longer at each stage than most. More time for us to observe. There is a stepladder positioned in front of the tree. We were dedicated.

The doves were still in the neighborhood a few days ago. I saw the kids up on a wall. Two days ago the four of them were on-the-ground. The twins were being taught to find and eat seeds. Mourning Doves spend lots of time walking.

The nest is is good shape. It’s possible mom will be back to lay her next clutch of eggs. It’s also possible she felt the Foxes were a little intrusive and they’ll search elsewhere.

Having birds choose our easily accessible tree to build a nest and raise chicks was really, really cool.

My Biggest Fan

I just got off the phone with my dad. He’s good.

“I’m a Brewers fan now,” he said.

Why not? He’s in Milwaukee. He watches every game. My dad’s loaded with spare time.

He told me about the Brewers’ win in spite of five errors and their over-the-top double play.

Sorry Yankee fans, he’s turned on you.

We talked about work and this last week for me on Channel 8. “There are few people who can say they like what they do.”

He’s right. I’m very lucky.

I reminded my dad how he’s always been supportive. Back in the radio days he’d drive along the Belt Parkway from Brooklyn into Queens and listen to me, first on WBT, later on WPEN.

Even now he watches every day. Thank you Internet.

It makes him smile. Me too.

Ann Nyberg asked me to put some video of my dad on TV. Hopefully, this week.