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.

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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.

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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! ;)