Emmy Judging

We had a small, but very nice group over for Emmy judging today. The talent from San Fransisco and Northern California was OK. There were few, “why did they send that,” moments.

The judges themselves don’t discuss the folks who submitted, but one was so head and shoulders above the rest, it’s difficult to not see that person (gender neutral on purpose) taking home the Emmy.

More interesting to me than the Emmy judging itself, was a story from Ryan Hanrahan of WVIT.

Back in the late 80s, his folks took him to the Branford Community Center to meet Santa. He was just a kid. He has a photo taken while he was on Santa’s lap.

Guess who was Santa?

Depending on the level of embarrassment, I’ll post the photo when I get it.

Working On Vacation

I had my car washed today. It’s not that it was dirty as much as I wanted it to be clean! I was going to a meeting with my weatherboy peeps and this is as close as I get to ‘dress to impress.’

All things considered, I should have taken a pass. I’m on vacation. However, the guest of honor was Walt Drag. That changes everything!

I’d better explain. In the weather world, even when you don’t use the Weather Service forecast (and I don’t), you still read the Weather Service discussions. They are heavily technical and go deep into the thought process of the on-duty NWS lead forecaster.

They’re fascinating and insightful and loaded with enough abbreviations to make them nearly unintelligible to casual readers. Walt Drag is the Steven Spielberg of the forecast discussion!

Walt was coming with Nicole Belk, a Weather Service hydrologist (think flooding). Together, they were presenting a rundown of changes and highlights at the Weather Service.

Since the Weather Service office that serves most of Northern Connecticut is in Taunton, MA, and since 20 local meteorologists were expected, Walt and Nicole came to Connecticut. Brad Field at Channel 30 volunteered their studio as our lecture hall.

That was pretty nice. That WVIT sprung for sandwiches was even nicer.

In 23 years in Connecticut, I’d never been inside of Channel 30. In fact, though I’d seen the building from the Interstate, and knew its address, I couldn’t find it until cruising through the neighborhood a few times.

It was nice to see ‘the guys.’ Other than Nicole, all the local mets attending were guys. Some I hadn’t met before. Some I hadn’t heard of before. A few were really young – I hate that.

I tend to be a pain-in-the-butt at times like this, and today was no exception. I have a huge beef with the Weather Service, and I got it off my chest again.

Though I don’t use the NWS forecast, I do try and use their watches, warnings and advisories. The problem is, there are three Weather Service offices that cover Connecticut. Each serves a small slice of the state and is quite parochial in its outlook.

There’s no easy way to explain this, but sometimes using the watches and warnings from all three offices would be misleading. That’s especially true during winter weather situations.

There needs to be a lot more coordination than there is now.

Brad said he sometimes changes what’s issued, so it makes sense – even though he’s putting words in the NWS’ mouth. I do the same thing. We can’t be alone.

Unfortunately, I’ve been bringing this up for as long as I can remember. And, obviously, I haven’t had a lot of impact.

It’s a shame, because in the long run, it’s the general public that gets under served because of this situation.

I did learn a lot from what Walt and Nicole presented, which was good. It was also a lot of fun getting to see all those people I usually only see on TV.

Oh – it was also good to finally see what Channel 30 looks like.

Good Day To Be Me

I’ll start with an admission. This won’t be my most exciting of entries. It wasn’t an exciting day.

It was a good day… and an unusual day. I had two meals with two friends. I eat dinner every night, but the fact I had lunch at all was out of the ordinary.

Lunch was with my friend Josh. publisher of a string of weekly newspapers.

I woke up ‘early,’ around 11:00 AM, driving to New Haven at 12:45 PM. Today was a day with astounding weather. It got over 60&#176 at my house and well into the 50&#176s in New Haven (closer to Long Island Sound). For mid-February in New England, this was a bonus day!

Normally, in February, I’d park in the garage under his office building. Today I drove to the TV station, parked in our lot and hoofed it the five or six blocks under the Federal Building and past the New Haven Green.

The streets were crawling with people. It was like a spring day and anyone with any kind of pent up winter blues was outside.

The happiest person I saw was the hot dog vendor on Church Street, outside the (usually unoccupied) WVIT – New Haven studio. I’m not sure if the hot dog guy’s out there year round, but if he is, he can’t be this busy most days.

Josh and I had lunch at Basta, an Italian restaurant on Chapel Street. I chose mine from the daily specials the waitress read.

I can’t remember exactly what it was I ordered, though it did have chicken sausage over penne pasta. I do remember, there was so much ‘range fed’ this and ‘organic’ that in her description, I felt ordering it would also commit me to vote for Ralph Nader (if he ever runs again)!

Lunch, and luncheon company, were very good.

I walked back to the station. On the way, a few people stopped me to say hello and kid me about the weather. If there was ever a good day to be the weatherman, today was that day.

Through the afternoon I thought about how I’d avoid dinner. Lunch was plenty. Then, my friend Harvey came on Instant Messenger.

Harvey is a physician – a specialist in pregnancy&#185. Every time I introduce him to someone, I say Harvey gets women pregnant for a living. It’s a cute line and Harvey has never asked me to stop saying it.

We headed out for dinner at the diner – salads.

We both talked about our girls – he has three to my one.

It’s so strange to me to be having these grown up conversations with other grownups. But, I suppose I am one and there’s little I can do to change that.

Actually, at lunch, Josh and I had a similar adult-ish conversation. Growing up is sneaky. I don’t feel old, but when I look around I know I’m older than most of the people I see. And, my life revolves around adult responsibilities.

I just don’t remember exactly when I grew up.

&#185 – Harvey’s medical specialties also includes women’s orgasms. There is no joke here. That’s a heck of a thing to be known for.

The Governor Resigns (soon)

When I woke up this morning, Helaine looked at me and said, “Don’t expect a lot of time for weather tonight at 6:00.” The she said, “the Governor is resigning.”

Here’s the official press release, reformatted for this space with private phone numbers removed:




Monday, June 21, 2004




Governor John G. Rowland will deliver a live television address to the State at 6 p.m. today.

The Governor will speak live from the Governor’s Residence, 990 Prospect Avenue, Hartford.

WVIT NBC 30 will provide live pool coverage from this location.

Please contact Producer Tim Leber, (office) 860-313-xxxx or (cell)

860-989-xxxx for additional information including satellite coordinates.

The Associated Press will serve as the pool still photographer. Photo editors

may contact Bob Childs, AP, 860-246-xxxx, for additional



I know a significant percentage of the people who read this blog aren’t in Connecticut, so let me summarize. Our Governor (the chief executive officer of this state, Connecticut) John G. Rowland, who has served for three terms, has been accused of being on the take.

Over the years there had been minor hints of trouble – accepting gifts, like tickets or vacations, which he then paid back when found out. He had also bought a small cottage, for a low price, with excellent financing, within a nature preserve area run by a non-profit foundation, in what many people felt was a deal that wouldn’t be available to just anyone.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the revelation that a hot tub at that cottage had been a gift from someone connected with state government. Unfortunately, Governor Rowland had originally said he bought it himself. The governor was caught in a lie.

He changed his story and admitted it was a gift, but by then his life was under intense scrutiny. The closer reporters looked, the more they found that, on the surface, seemed suspect.

The legislature held hearings, and though the evidence was circumstantial, it was damning. It seemed he was parceling out my tax dollars to his friends… and for pennies on the dollar. He took trips, bought clothes, smoked cigars and drank wine, paid for by people with something to gain from the state.

And, as I said, this morning word came out that he’d resign.

I am pleased and saddened.

Pleased because this process would seem to say that the system works. I am saddened because I really have no idea how deep the corruption was… or if there really was corruption (the evidence is circumstantial after all, and he has not been convicted of a crime). And, since he’s been governor for over a decade, and a U.S. Congressman before that, what else is waiting to be discovered.

There is something about our political system which often attracts men (mostly men) who are in it for themselves and what they can get. The job holds great power with minimal salary. It’s a job that requires immense self confidence to even consider a run. After all, you’re saying you can fix the problems of your constituents. And, a candidate must be ready for vicious attacks and immense scrutiny of anything and everything he’s ever said or done. Many of the best people for the job are scared away by that prospect alone.

Over the past few years we have lost two Connecticut mayors to scandal – one fiscal, the other depraved immorality of the worst kind. Now it looks like the governor is gone too.

I have heard it said, no matter how tight the times financially, there’s always money for graft.