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Archive for April, 2010

White in Whitefield

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I arrived home at 2:30 this morning after my live report from Whitefield, NH last night.  On Google Maps, Whitefield is 160 miles from Boston.  It’s nearly 3 hours away and I think it was about the farthest distance I’ve traveled, by car, for a story in a long time, maybe ever.

We didn’t get the word that we’d be going to the mountains of New Hampshire until about 6:00pm.  And I knew I was in trouble.  Of all days, I left my rain/snow pants and boots in my car.  I thought twice about it that afternoon when I parked my car, but I didn’t grab it (darn!).  So on the way up north, we had to stop and get me some boots and socks!

We arrived at the foothills of the Twin Mountain area around 8:00pm.  The sun had just set and it was spectacular.  I wish I got video and didn’t just snap shots with my cell phone; but I was harried!

The area is a resort town, so when we arrived in town it was buttoned up.  We had to travel several more miles to Whitefield before we found civilization outside a Cumberland Farms.

It was 9:00pm by the time we interviewed several locals, who were so sweet to talk to us.  They were all genuinely surprised to see us.  Apparently last spring snow is part of living in Whitefield, so they didn’t know why it was such a big deal. I had to explain, snow on tulips is unusual for us in Boston.

We had a live story for the 10:00pm and the 11:00pm shows.  All went smoothly.  Then it was the long ride home.  The moon was full, the mountain range stunning, but my flipcam and cell phone camera couldn’t capture the beauty.  I guess I’ll just have to return another time, when I’m not working, to fully enjoy its beauty.

photo shoot

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Last fall I had a photo shoot for Charlotte’s Uptown Magazine.  It was for the “Sexy Uptown” edition.  It was my first photo shoot.  Granted, I’m on TV 5 days a week.  Granted, I’m not shy about having my picture made.  (For y’all not in the South, here, your picture isn’t taken; you have your picture made).  Granted, I’ve had professional photos taken for the various TV stations where I’ve worked.   But a photo shoot was different.  Way different.  And I was supposed to look sexy.  If you know me, you know sexy is a tall order for my 5’1” frame!  I’m more of a goofball who’s super loud, overly friendly, and somewhat opinionated.  I’m just saying, I was out of my element.

I arrived with a few outfits.  Todd, the editor, and Ryan, the photographer were both at Enso, which was playing host to the shoot.  I had,what I considered, a trendy outfit, a jeans-and-a-fun-top outfit, and a little black dress.  They liked the black dress.  Hair done.  Make-up done.  (Ryan has subsequently told me, I was part of a cattle call, not a real photo shoot.  I feel slightly cheated but on second thought, it might have been worse if I was at “real” photo shoot.)

I tried to adjust expectations with Ryan.  I told him, I’m not really a “sexy” kind of person.  I’m more “self-deprecatingly humorous.”  He assured me I would be just fine.  In my head I was thinking, I’m a foot shorter, 10 years older and 20 pounds heavier than the women you’re used to photographing so, um, make me look taller, younger, and thinner.  And he did, the genius that he is!

Just recently, Ryan sent me the 53 shots he took that day, the outtakes! I saw them all for the first time and I have to say, it’s embarrassing.  Really!  I wouldn’t write a blog post if it were not somewhat humiliating.  I have never been a fan of my profile, so I didn’t like those shots.  Some pictures are so clear, you can see every curve of my figure, and not all curves are good.  I have slight wrinkles and way too many awkward poses.

I’m fortunate that they were able to find one suitable for publication.  In the end, that’s all you need, right?  Just one yes!  Just one picture where someone made you look sexy!  Thanks Ryan!

help me love my mac

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Help me love my MacBook!

Many of you know, after years of being a PC user, I made the switch to a MacBook.  Many of you promised it would, of all things, change my life.

So far I can say, I like it.  Apple has made its latest MacBook so PC-user friendly.  The track pad can be set up so it works just like a PC laptop.  There’s Word and Excel.  I like the Final Cut Pro that hubby installed for me.  I like iMovie and I can’t wait to see how Garage Band works.   But I have to admit, I don’t LOVE it.  I don’t love that the email program isn’t Word-oriented so it doesn’t automatically capitalize my first word in a sentence.  I don’t like how iPhoto organizes my photos.  I’m still trying to get used to how and where to save things.  But the most frustrating aspects of my MacBook, my contacts didn’t transfer over well.  I even tried the Thunderbird route but still everything is out of place.  I also can’t find all my calendar events.

So maybe you can help.  Do you know how I can properly transfer my contacts so they show up in the right format?  Do you know how I can get my appointments onto my MacBook’s calendar?

Help me love my MacBook… Please!

happy earth day

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I bring you a story of green.  The environmental and cash kind!

I was pretty amazed by my story Wednesday night.  And it’s the kind of good news I like to spread.  There’s a huge sale going on!!!

Part of the Federal Stimulus Bill was $300 million to get the country using more energy efficient appliances.  The Department of Energy doled out the money.  Massachusetts got $6.2 million while North Carolina got $8.8 million.  Each state got to choose how they wanted to allocate the cash.  Here’s a list of all participating states.

In Massachusetts you can get a $250 rebate on a dishwasher, $200 for a refrigerator, $175 for a clothes washer, and $50 for a freezer.  Starting April 22, at 10am you can go to and reserve your rebate coupon.  You have to have that reservation in order to get the rebate.  The offer is good until May 5th or when the money runs out.  Be sure to ask your retailer about a delivery fee because part of the program requires the store to remove your old appliance and recycle it.

The program also starts on April 22, in North Carolina but it ends on April 25th (unless the money runs out before then).  In the Tar Heel state, you get a flat 15% discount off a new Energy Star washer, dishwasher, refrigerator or freezer.   This is also a replacement program but you can remove and recycle your old appliance.

Both states have approved retailers, so be sure you’re going to the right place.  And I’ve found most stores have additional incentives already in place.  Charlotte-based Lowes Home Improvement is offering 10% off energy-star appliance.  And at the Boston store I visited, some items not only had a store coupon, but a manufacturer’s one as well.  It meant a $399 dishwasher was basically $49.99.

*here’s the story I did on the subject here in Boston Wednesday night.

Balls Hall of Fame

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I love when I discover something new, interesting, or fabulous while at work.  It’s such a treat!

On Tuesday, my photographer, Eric and I were in Holyoke.  The story, Austin Renaud, one of the six accused of bullying a girl so much she committed suicide, was arrested for drunk driving in Holyoke over the weekend.  Renaud was in court on Tuesday.

It’s an awful story, which is why my little discovery was such a bright spot.  Upon entering Holyoke there was a sign that said this was the birthplace of volleyball.  How cool is that?

Then on our way to Springfield, where Renaud now lives, I was reminded that’s the birthplace of basketball.

With a bit of online research I found that William Morgan, Holyoke YMCA’s Director of Physical Education back in 1895, invented volleyball.  He originally named it Mintonette.  But during a demonstration of the game, a spectator commented on the “volleying” entailed, hence the name change.

And just four years earlier, over at the Springfield YMCA, James Naismith a physical education instructor introduced the game of basketball to a group of young men.  The object was to throw a ball into a basket that was tacked onto a balcony 10 feet off the ground.

So there you have it the birthplace of two sports within miles of each other.  I played volleyball in high school and wish I had a picture to share, because I looked pretty dorky.  Maybe that thought will be the bright spot in your day!

Small deeds

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Monday was the anniversary of the “Shot heard ‘round the world.” The phrase, I’ve learned, is from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn.” The poem describes the significance of the battle in Concord, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775 and how it became the beginning of the American Revolution. The words emphasized how one critical event triggered something of global importance. Just reading about it gave me chills. It was a turning point in our history, a bloody one; one that is at the pinnacle of the freedoms we enjoy today.

It made me think about the Second Amendment in our Constitution, adopted as part of our Bill of Rights, the right to bear arms.

You see the last time I was working in Boston, at the Fox affiliate at the time, I did a story on a class designed to teach women how to handle a firearm. Before that day, I had never touched, held or handled a gun. I knew them as weapons. I saw them in holsters, in the hands of criminals on TV, and had been dispatched (too many times) to scenes when they were in the wrong hands. I really didn’t like them and hated the damage they can inflict.

I went to the class with so much apprehension. I didn’t want to be swayed by the NRA guy giving the class. I just wanted to get the information, interview the different women who were taking the class, find out why, and be done with it.

I arrived and found there was first a lengthy safety class, then four different stations; introducing women to different guns at each. There was skeet and trap shooting. Both utilized shotguns and both targets were clay discs. There are many differences but for simplicity, in skeet the clay pigeons are released from a tower, in trap they’re released from the ground. (Serioiusly, there are way more differences and if you want to know more click here for more details.) There was an indoor shooting range for handguns and then an outdoor range for semi-automatic rifles.

I went in, convinced I would not be touching a firearm, but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to know what it was these women were handling. I wanted to know how they got over their apprehension. I didn’t want to be just a spectator, I wanted to report on the experience. And what a better place than here and now.

What I learned was that guns are not weapons until they’re used to inflict harm. I can appreciate the thrill of sport shooting and was appreciative of the gun safety I learned. I still can’t understand the need for semi-automatic guns and I’m not sure anyone can change my mind on that one.

But most importantly, I realized, the same constitution that gives a citizen the right to bear arms is the one that allows me to report the news. I’m a staunch advocate of the First Amendment and it’s how I figure those with guns feel about the Second Amendment. That “shot heard ’round the world” reverberated the sounds of democracy. It birthed our Constitution so I celebrate it.

(*video shot and edited by Scott Ripley)

The Zakim

Monday, April 19th, 2010

There’s been a lot of random stuff I’ve revisited since I’ve been back to Boston.  Most of them have been eateries.  But driving to different scenes, I am often reminded of the other stories I’ve covered in the same area.  It’s an odd sensation to see a building and remember there was a triple homicide or drive down a street and recall there was a fatal fire.

But it’s not all gloom and doom.  We were recently in Fitchburg and I remembered there was a cable-stayed bridge there that always reminded me of the Zakim Bridge in Boston.  Both are twin-towered cable-stayed bridges but that’s really where the similarities end.  The 5th Street Arthur DiTommaso Bridge in Fitchburg crosses the Nashua River, is 2 lanes, runs 657 feet, has 52 cables, and is connected to towers that are about 275 feet high.  The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge crosses over the Charles River and is the world’s widest cable-stayed bridge accommodating 10 lanes.  It runs nearly 1,500 feet, has 116 cables and is connected by asymmetrical towers that are 295 and 322 feet high.

I find both to be so pretty and I was so excited to see and capture video of both of them in the same day.

Hair Hair

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Hair you have it.

I don’t have much of an explanation or maybe I have too much explaining to do.

Since people usually watch TV news on a regular basis, hair tends to grows longer or lighter, gradually and it’s not all that dramatic.  But when I look back at the years I’ve been on the news (officially 12 now) I am overwhelmed by the variety and sometimes the sheer volume of my hair.

This is me at WKTV in Utica, NY.  The general manager liked short hair on his anchors, so I had short hair.

I even arrived at WFXT in Boston with a short bob.  Fortunately for me, the managers at FOX didn’t have a hair preference.  Unfortunately for my hair, I had a huge variety of styles and colors while I was there for three years.  I would often change my hair to alter my mood.  You can see where that’s going.

By the time I arrived in Charlotte at WSOC, I was pretty confident I wanted to keep my hair long and full.  It turns out the station had an image consultant and she wanted my hair more naturally dark brown and more polished.  That style lasted the longest for about two years until I got sick of it and my agent said I needed a hipper, fresher look.  And my hair stylist gave me this angular bob.

So here I am, back in Boston at WHDH, and my hair above the shoulders again.  Let’s see how long this will last.

Dog Poop

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

It’s not my intention to use my blog posts as a place to rant (I like happy stuff!), but there is one thing that really chaps my hide, people who don’t pick up after their dogs.

Seriously?!  Seriously, what is the problem?  Most places even put bags out for their convenience and they still can’t pick up their pooch’s poop?

It’s ridiculous, unsanitary, and bad for our environment!  Dog poop can contaminate the ground and pass intestinal parasites and infections to other dogs. And it’s a source of water pollution. When it rains, the poop goes into storm drains, ditches and streams.

So I have one thing to say to all those naughty dog owners out there, may you step in some poop while wearing your favorite pair of extremely expensive and irreplaceable pair of shoes.

Guys with Guitars

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Let me just put this out there: guys with guitars are instantly cooler and hotter (if that’s possible) than your average guy.

While in Utica, NY this weekend visiting hubby’s family, we went and saw a friend of ours play at a local bar, The Devereux.  Now Ryan is a good looking, smart and fun guy, but the minute he started strumming his guitar and singing, it was as if he became a rock star in the eyes of all the girls in the bar (I freely admit I was one of them!).  Now mind you, we’re not talking a guy playing around a campfire, Ryan’s a real musician and he’s good.

It validated my theory, that you can take any average guy, give him a guitar, and he can instantly charm a girl.

Ryan’s girlfriend, Rachel, had a different and perhaps more accurate assessment; give any average guy a skill, that’s difficult and if he’s good at it, that’s what’s ultimately so attractive.

Despite my initial hesitation, because I so love guitar players, I would have to agree with Rachel.  An average guy who happens to also be an artist, carpenter, photographer, computer software designer or writer, instantly gets a few extra points on the super cool scale.  Hubby is the coolest, hottest guy I know, but instead of a guitar, he’s mastered the art of cooking.  And even Tom Brady, isn’t he just an average guy who’s a great quarterback, well maybe not, maybe he’s just hot.