11 December 2004

Elves Hack Website, Claim Santa Is Myth

So, I'm smack in the middle of holidays. Thanksgiving came and went quickly...now Christmas is in a couple of weeks. Whew! Sadly, I'm still a man without a country...errr, well...at least a home to call my own.

The Jackson house has been on the market since mid-September...which isn't bad for Mississippi. Up here, that's pretty bad. Homes are sold in a week...two weeks is considered slow. However, I remain true to the belief that all things happen for a reason and a season...God's got a plan.

Georgia continues to grow. I've added three new pics to the Photos section...be sure and select the "Show All" function to be certain you see them all. She's eating baby food now...and jibber-jabbering up a storm. Thankfully, I'm going to Jackson tomorrow and will be there all next week, working from home. Then, we three will return to DC and I'll be off Christmas week. Two weeks straight will be the longest I've been around my two women. It'll be very refreshing.

The job continues to be intense. Management is fun but not as fun as actually working on and coding the site...something I seemingly don't get a great deal of time to do. However, I have a full and awesome staff and once everyone is in the groove, we'll be functioning like a well-oiled freak machine! Wooo!

In case I don't get to speak or see some of ya while in Jackson or anytime soon...a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ya!

More to come...

10 November 2004

You Call This Cold?!

Winter has arrived in the Big DC. Actually, it's been rather frosty since last week. I was quite glad my large leather coat, scarf, gloves and hat came here via the mother-in-law (she visited Kim and Georgia for a week) otherwise, a Rickcicle would have been unavoidable.

Since the only times I ever visited DC or NY was during winter months, this place is feeling more like I'm used to - brisk winds, biting cold, and seeing your breath in Metro stations.

It's beginning to feel like the holidays...Starbucks has eggnog lattes. Yum! Not carb-friendly but a little treat is fine.

An Open House is being held this Sunday at the Jackson home. Hopefully, some leads will come from that.

I'm off to Jackson on the 19th...and bringing Kimmie and Georgia back here for Thanksgiving week. I had hoped we'd have our own place by now...but it will all happen when it's supposed to happen.

Hope each of you is well. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, emails, and calls. They are always appreciated. Be sure to check Photos for new ones of the little pookie...also two new movies are under Files. Thanks, Kimmie!

01 November 2004

When Rabid Spider Monkeys Attack...

Wow, another month in DC has come and gone. November 7 will mark 5 months working at W*USA 9 - almost half a year! - and Oct. 30th marked my child being 3 months old. 3 months! Whoah.

This has been an odd arrangement...being a dad but not being able to "be a dad"...after all, you'll see from my latest pics that I added to the Photos section of the website (don't forget to go there and check em out) that this little baby is HAPPY! Wow, can she smile.

Meanwhile, I've been experiencing all the joys of managership with the paperwork, appraisals, budgets, interviewing new candidates, and other assundries. All the while trying to code a current website...design a new one...and get ready for Election Tuesday. It's upon me, which means a VERY long day...I might as well be ready to sleep up here...and that may happen. Vote and pray. Pray that God's Will be done and that the election process will be smooth and decisive.

As for the subject of this post...I just liked the sound of it! ;)

20 October 2004

Time Warps, Truck License Plates, and Laughing Babies

Nearly a month has flown by since my last post...where did the time go...did anyone get the license plate of the truck that seemingly ran over me? Yeesh.

It's hard to believe that Halloween is nearly here...that October is almost gone...that I've been in DC for nearly 5 months. Time has whisked past.

Last weekend, I returned to Jackson with the original plan of the fam jaunting to New Orleans and going to the Fair. Due to humid & rainy Big Easy conditions, I found myself at the Mississippi State Fair about a half-hour after getting off the plane. Yum, high-carb fair food! ;)

Friday was errand-day. Saturday was little Georgia's first car ride to the Gulf Coast for "Cruisin' on the Coast." We rode down with some friends and met up with more. Nothin' like family, good friends, and old cars.

Georgia is so expressive now. She smiles and mute-laughs (expression without laughing out-loud) so easily. She's a happy and content baby...unless she's fussy. That little girl will let you know when she's hungry or sleepy.

The Jackson house is on the market and we have a realtor. It's just a waiting game with thoughts of moving in the winter...what if the house doesn't sell? However, I'm content with my faith and the reality that I wouldn't be here if things were not going to work out.

Well, time for me to hit the street. I'm rather late getting out and it's dark, spitting rain, and the temps are in the 50s, if not a bit cooler. Lovin' it!

24 September 2004

Garner Baby Length Fraud, Investigation Reveals

One day after releasing current weight and length of his child, Rick Garner says that he was provided inaccurate information. "I was duped," Garner said with shrugged shoulders as his sources confirmed that Georgia Kennedy Garner is only 23 inches and not the 33 inches that Garner released in his sporadically released newsletter.

"I checked facts twice but in the end, those facts were in error,"Garner continued. "Now, I'll have to rip up the check from the Enquirer."

Tabloids next week will instead focus on John Kerry being manipulated by mind-controlling aliens. Kerry claimed last week that he favored such actions by extraterrestrials. This week, he was opposed to the methods and called them "violations".

23 September 2004

Where'd the month go?

So, I'm realizing it's been nearly a month since I've posted something new. How time does run away when one is "gettin' stupid" in DC!

Even harder to believe is that my daughter is 8 weeks old tomorrow. She'll be 2-months the next week! The latest picture I've added to the Photos area shows her Aunt Katie holding this giant baby. And just how large has this spud gotten? Her birth weight was 7 lbs. 11oz...she's now 12lbs. 9oz! She was 20 1/2 inches at birth...now, 33inches! Kim says we are either raising a line backer or a forward for the WNBA.

Having Kim and Georgia here for a week and a half was so awesome! Most of the nights she and Georgia slept on the first floor while I was in "my room" and her folks in theirs on the third. Her mom and I were still getting up early to go to our respective jobs. On the mornings I did not go in, Kim got to sleep upstairs and I kept G. Actually, she had mellowed from her "crying fits" overnight. I realized one night how easily I could get frustrated.

Many people who know me consider me a patient person...a baby can change that. I found myself several times wanting to shake her or throw her against the wall to silence her screaming. Instead, I held her close and thanked the Lord for not causing her harm.

I gained even more respect for Kim and her being alone in Mississippi with our child. Raising a kid is no easy job.

Our house has been in the market for a few weeks with plenty of callers...but nothing serious. 2900 square feet has been a bit too much space for peeps.

I'm more than ready for them to be up here...while missing my home of Mississippi. On the flip side, working has kept my mind off things...but I feel like I've been working for almost 4 months straight! There's still a lot to do here but a great many exciting things going on, including gettin' hot & heavy with a redesign of the WUSATV9.com site.

More to come...

31 August 2004

Curse of the Black Squirrel

So, I'm walking along Wisconsin Ave on two different days and notice an odd site - a black squirrel. Now, I suppose an albino squirrel would've been even stranger...but this guy was jet black all over. One day, I saw him close to the beginning of my walk. A couple days later...he was dashing fearlessly across the street, avoiding an onslaught of buses and cars. Or perhaps noir squirrels are common here in DC.
Then, there's a Japanese restaurant called Kuma. It's new and an animal paw is part of its logo. A paw? Seems Kuma is a bear. Haven't wandered in there yet…although I'm really curious if they have a pet bear or serve pet, maybe? ;)

Two Saturdays ago, I saw my first movie here, Spidey 2. Cool flick. Not a big deal in the scheme of entertainment choices. However, keep in mind that I've taken few breaks while here. Sadly, the theater is across the street from the station.

It's hard to believe that a month ago yesterday, I was watching my child being born. A month?! My child?! Yeah, I'm still not used to it…which is easy when one is working away from their child and wife. Kim says that little Georgia is now seeing further. She's following things, looking at herself in the mirror, watching Alley the Cat…which should be entertaining. Yes, Georgia, she's supposed to have that many colors.

I'll be returning to Mississippi tomorrow. Finally. It'll be nice to give Kim a break. Although she's had friends and my parents stopping by, she's mostly been alone with Georgia. I'm very proud of her strength and bravery. The three of us will return on Sunday morning and spend Labor Day in ole DC. Kim and Georgia will then be in DC for a week and a half.

The house is "on the market" with a sign in the yard. We're on the down slope of our time in Mississippi. Which is kinda sad…but we'll be back.

12 August 2004

Packing My Bags, Again

It's hard to believe that I've been back to Mississippi for two weeks! Time really raced by.

Friday the 13th (whooooo) at 2:20pm, Georgia will be two weeks old. 48 hours after that, I'll be on the ground in Maryland.

Getting to see friends and family while here has been refreshing and a bit tough. Flying in and out for a weekend is no time to miss the people or the place. Staying home with Kim, lovin' on a new baby, and working from home for two weeks...tends to make one reflective. I still know that God's opened some remarkable doors to take us to DC. And I still know that I love the South! ;)

From here on, the waters get a little muddier. God knows when the house will sell and where we will live and how the drive from here to DC will be...I just wish that I knew! ;)

But even when that day comes, we forged too many friendships and I have too many family members to not return often to the Magnolia State. Besides, I'll be expecting many of you to be touring DC with us soon!

More to come...

10 August 2004

Toxic Waste, Products, Crying and Everything Nice

It's a hair past a week since a new human being entered the Jackson home. This house has been home to two humans and four animals (three cats and one dog). Only the Beagle and the female cat, Allie, remain. Bones is in Maryland being spoiled by the in-laws, and PJ passed a couple weeks ago. It seems strange not having him wander to my office while I'm typing this note, announce his presence with a soft "mehh" (his meower hadn't been strong for years), and come over to my legs for a rub. To have a new person in this home seems refreshing and surprisingly not as scary as I imagined.

What have I learned over the past week? What goes in a baby, must come out. The diaper genie - someone's little invention of a supped-up waste can - is great in that is contains the seeping doom that lies within. A seething furnace would be a better place to chunk some of these diapers! :)

A guy who never wanted to hold babies (let's face it, no guy really wants to hold a kid unless they're a father) and certainly never wanted to change a diaper, took to both rather quickly. It's funny how things change when it's your own child. Cross the threshold of parenthood and things are a bit different - maybe if for no other reason than thinking about this tiny person who can't take care of themselves.

A baby really isn't that fragile. Not that I've dropped her or anything like that! This kid is strong! She has a grip that could pull chest hair out and kicks that could put an eye out. She's come close to the chest hair part, anyway.

Make a product that parents can buy and retire. The amount of baby products that are available is staggering. Sell it to the medical field, retire, and then buy a football team or Donald Trump.

If a baby cries in your face just cry back, making the same sound and face. At least with Georgia, she either wants center stage and won't compete with her dad...or refuses to made fun of and stops. Shhhhh, don't tell mom! ;)

Fatherly advice? I'm not qualified as of yet...heavens, no. I would say that no one can really describe how one will react or feel or think when they become a dad. Sure, people will try to offer advice - and it's good to listen. In the end, it's your family. Every dad is different...every mom is different...every baby is different...every environment is different.

Georgia is pretty laid back from what I've seen and heard. That's a blessing. It's good she is...since her pop still has to come back from DC a few more times before moving everyone north. The house goes on the market in a week or two.

More to come...

02 August 2004

Just an old sweet song...

I've added a new folder to the Photos link on the left called "Georgia On My Mind" You'll find some pics there. I'll update with more from time to time, so check back if possible.

Fatherhood is rather awesome and something that one can't really describe to anyone. I'm sure a dad with a son feels similar...but, yet, "different" than when it's a girl. (Gee, you think I'm wrapped or what?)

Georgia on My Mind
Written by: Stuart Gorrell
Composed by: Hoagy Carmichael

Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.
Georgia, Georgia, a song of you
Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines.

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you.

Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.

Melodies bring memories
That linger in my heart
Make me think of Georgia
Why did we ever part?

Some sweet day when blossoms fall
And all the world's a song
I'll go back to Georgia
'Cause that's where I belong.

31 July 2004

Can you come home tonight?

The question caught me totally by surprise. "The baby is fine. I am fine. But my fluid is lower than it should be and the doctor wants to deliver her." My disbelief was rapidly met with a prompting to get my already planned trip to Jackson for the weekend moved up a day and extended at least a week.

So, the mother-in-law and I came in last night at 5:40pm, after Kim had already been admitted to the Suites on Lakeland Drive. I spent the night with her - the rooms are divine only for those admitted to them - as she began to have contractions. After dozing much of the night, I had the not-so-pleasurable experience of watching her ride-out contractions enhanced by drugs from 6-8am while waiting on the blessed epidural. After that, she slept like a log.

The rest of the day crept by at a steady pace until Georgia Kennedy Garner was born 2:20pm on Friday, July 30, 2004. She weighed 7lbs 11oz, 20 1/2 inches long and a head full of my hair! :) Let me tell ya, that umbilical cord is tougher to cut than I thought! But she's a cutie and mom's recuperating fine.

I've got some MPEG video and pics to upload but I'm about to go back to the hospital for the night. We'll be there until Sunday afternoon.

The Adventure Continues...

24 July 2004

Washington Wanderings

Actually, I like that title...might need to weave that into something for online. Hmmmm.

It's been a while since I've written. So, I'll give you a three-for-one deal: what's an average day for me...a moment from last weekend...and a trek this morning.

Several people have wondered what a typical day is like here at WUSA-9, which mirrors another question of what are my job duties. First, there's really not a typical day...not in TV and certainly not in DC.

But, I digress...

My role at WUSA-9 is Site Manager (I altered it to Website Manager to add a bit more description). Gannett properties have no standard title for this position, which is mainly that of Webmaster. However, at WUSA, this is a Department Head position, as I have a staff, budget, and projects to manage.

I'm responsible for every aspect of WUSATV9.com with my focus being on the technology and coding of the site. Since starting June 7, there's been a great deal of review and assessment of the website. It's pretty solid, functionally speaking, but needs some navigation, layout and design clean-up.

My weekdays fly by beginning at 5am, which is 4am for most of you! :) I'm out the door with my mother-in-law a few minutes after 6am. She drops me off at a Metrorail stop near her office and I take an approximately 45 minute ride to DC. After a 5 minute stroll (seems longer but I timed it) from the Tennleytown stop to WUSA's doorstep, I'm grabbing some coffee on the 4th floor and have some devotional time anywhere between 7:15 and 7:30am.

Depending on the day of the week, I could have multiple meetings (as my former manager used to say, "It's all about the meetings.") and little time to mess with coding of the site. Approving my staff's timesheets, vacation requests, meeting with them on a daily and weekly basis...getting the hang of managing four people was pretty easy. Organizing a budget, to which I've just gotten introduced, and making out a Strategic Plan...that could be a bit more challenging.

Most days I only have time (literally) to take a few coffee and bathroom breaks. Rarely do I get about of the building for a lunchbreak - although that will be important once the dust of being new settles. After all, getting out of the building if only for some fresh air is a great chance to clear the mind...and there's a bunch of places nearby to eat. It'd also be a great chance to bond with my staff - or at least the one or two members on duty at the time. I suppose another reason I don't wander out too much is due to my feeling a bit stingy with dollars. Having a baby, waiting to find a house, and moving a family to the area can do that to a guy, I suppose!

My day typically has to end by 4pm, unless I leave a earlier. By the time I get back to the College Park Metro stop near to my mother-in-law's work - she's had a rather long day. The week really flies by.

======================================================================

On another subject, I finally ventured further out into the District. Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to visit Dupont Circle. There's several stops on my Metro ride and I was curious about Dupont. After getting a Starbuck's grande sugar-free vanilla latte, I wandered around the neighborhood. Very cozy community...and the mention in my Frommers was certainly proving correct - this is a mecca for the homosexual community. That actually became clear at the Starbucks -imagine that - but was even more obvious as I strolled. Let me just say that I really don't want to see a guy sitting at a bus stop checking out another guy walking by. Oy.

Rounding a corner, a noticed a gated lot with a half-dozen newspapers strewn about. Then, a sign on the red-bricked building: "Embassy of the Republic of Iraq". Although the Iraqi flag was flapping in the breeze, the building looked rather empty. I was on Embassy Row and noticed a great many other countries represented. I also saw for the first time a car similar to mine, a tan 280 Benz parked in an alley. The bulding was off Embassy Row but it was nice to finally see that model. Walking home this week, I spied my second one in mint condition with a metallic bronze finish cruising down Wisconsin Ave.

======================================================================

And lastly, this morning. My first attempt at driving in the District. Well, if you're remotely familiar with the area, this should've been an easy trip for me. If you're remotely familiar with my driving someplace new, you should know I will ALWAYS make a wrong turn. Directionally challenged.

In this case, I should have stayed on I-495 and have taken the Wisconsin exit. Instead, I chose to head toward downtown DC and had no clue as to where I was on 295. My trusty map wasn't of DC -Maryland, actually - but it had enough of the District to make out where I needed to be.

By that point, it was worthless to go back to 495, so I opted to trek across the District to the station. Surprisingly, I did well with streets that I'd never seen or heard about. The sad thing would be that I began my journey at 6:40am this morning and should've made it to the station by 7:40am - 8am at the absolute latest. Instead, it wasn't too shy of being a 2-hour tour by the time I got here. But the ole Benz performed like a jewel. Now, I think I'll opt for the interstates going home!

A good weekend to all - as always let me know if you have any questions at webmonkeydc@yahoo.com

13 July 2004

Thoughtful Tuesday

The Lord revealed something new to me in this morning's "My Utmost for His Highest":
 
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"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord."Isaiah 6:1
http://www.SearchGodsWord.org/desk/?query=isa+6:1&sr=1

Our soul's history with God is frequently the history of the "passing of the hero." Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died - I gave tip everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? or - I saw the Lord?

My vision of God depends upon the state of my character. Character determines revelation. Before I can say "I saw also the Lord," there must be something corresponding to God in my character. Until I am born again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of my prejudices only; I need the surgical operation of external events and an internal purification.-----

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Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a Scottish minister and teacher whose teachings on the life of faith and abandonment to God have endured to this day.

What Chambers mentions above is something that I haven't pondered very deeply but makes sense: change in our lives gets our attention...if we know Christ, change should bring Him into focus, sometimes later than sooner - thus, we should "see the Lord"...if we do not know Christ, change can certainly have one crying out to Him for answers...or continuing one down a path of deeper uncertainty and bitterness.

Perhaps some of what this move for me has been about was bringing Him more into focus. After all, Mississippi was very comfortable - most of our friends and my family are in MS. The timing is certainly comical (and I know God has a sense of humor) with a new job, new house, new baby - new life - all happening at the same time. Literally a new chapter. So, God has some pretty cool things around the corner...or I'm entering the witness protection program! :)

No matter what change is going on in your life, know that there is a reason for it...how you react to the change is in part what defines your character.

As always, more to come...

02 July 2004

Birthday in the District

So, it's still rather surreal...being on the fourth floor of the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC. To add another layer, yesterday was the only birthday I've had away from Mississippi and for the last 7 years, my wife. The steak was yummy and my in-law's company was comforting...but it was certainly different.

Not as different as seeing a midget...dwarf...vertically challenged person, possibility a student of American University, coming through a Metro gate. She was barely taller than it. My first midget in DC! ;)

The job continues to be challenging as there's SO much to do here.It's a great challenge to not only have an opportunity to built a great website in the nation's cap but also to have people who are interested and willing to help. The support system here at WUSA-9 is awesome! I only wish that family and other friends could be closer -that's certainly a missing part and something that I think about often.

I don't get too lonely as I am around the in-laws and the job keeps me from ever having much downtown - lunch, what lunch? - I spent more time taking little breaks walking around the fourth floor from my desk to the coffee pot and back to the desk...or chatting with my producers about things. Getting out for a breath of fresh air is nice, though!

Well, gotta run to the Metro so I can get home for the weekend...hope to cross some of your paths...otherwise, until my next scribing - I promise to be more detailed! ;)

15 June 2004

Feels like Mississippi...

Hard to forget my home state when the air is as sticky as it is in Mississippi! Yeesh, isn't it supposed to be cooler here! :)

I hardly wore button-downs and never wore ties in Jackson. That attire just seems to make things hotter. Upon exiting Broadcast House (yeah, the building has that on the outside - dwarfed by the 4-story glass exterior but it's on there), I have a daily ritual of ridding myself of the tie. Although I enjoy my 5-block stroll, the workday is done - lose the tie, man!

This past weekend marked my first time of navigating the streets of Maryland and being in DC truly alone. The in-laws are away for the week. As directionally challenged as I can be, I've actually got a clue where to get around Laurel. The drive to the Metro station is a snap, and I've officially become a Metro commuter as of today - dropped off clothes to be dry cleaned in DC and brought them back on the train. Quaint, aye? :)

Now, that I've completed other errands for the week, there's two Thai places on my walk to work and one of them must be tried for dinner. Last Saturday would've been perfect for such a meal but I ran out of time. Gorgeous day...spotted a spotless tan 240D Benz (probably an '82 as my former)...passed a cream-colored Bentley sitting at an Exxon station, and had a group of picketers across the street silently telling everyone that Taiwan's democracy was being murdered. Just another Saturday in the District...

The people at WUSA continue to be grateful of my being there and my responsiveness to issues seems to be dramatically more positive than what they were used to receiving. Obviously, the Lord had me at WJTV for a season for a reason...and I've clearly been prepared for these challenges.

Thanks for your continued friendship...

Stay tuned...

08 June 2004

The Day After Yesterday

Day Two - Every few feet, the DC streets have a dead cicada. I haven't bothered counting them as I walk 5 blocks from the nearest Metro stop to WUSA. It's a nice stroll (hmmmm, maybe not so much if I'm still doing it when snow comes) and gives the Benz a break from all the traffic. Speaking of, the old gal made it here fine and hasn't been pulled over for having "non-Maryland" tags - yet! :)

What an intense way to kick off a new job - things are in high gear with the Reagan funeral this week! I am blessed with a self-sufficient web staff that requires little supervision. While getting used to the lay of the land, I'll also be learning about and from this 4-member team.

After receiving two rounds of applause from two different meeting tables yesterday, I'm blessed to have a TV family that has been looking forward to my arrival. Now, it's time to get stupid and scare all of them! :)

House hunting progressed to where we'll pursue getting a new townhouse – easier to come in and maintain and a safer investment. However, these homes are often sold before being built and we are not ready to sell our Jackson home – which is necessary before buying up here. So, for now – staying with the in-laws is a blessing and awaiting little Georgia Kennedy to get here!

I'll be returning to Mississippi the weekend of June 18. Seeing many of you will be difficult but know that you are missed and that your friendship, love, and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Until then, be well my dear Southern comrades.