Friday, June 25, 2010

Cheapest Fill Up?

(ABOVE: I took this picture today. It appears someone really did purchase only enough gasoline to mow part of their patio yard.)

Cash or Credit?!

I gassed up the car today, and this is what I saw when I stopped to refuel. This transaction was on the pump from the customer before me.

I know we've all put in just a few dollars worth before, but only 35 cents of gas? Really? Is that worth stopping?

Let's see, basic math here: if the driver gets 20mpg, then he can now drive 2.72 miles from the purchase of 0.136 gallons of gasoline. That should be good enough to make it to the next gas station up the street.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Looking good for TV

(ABOVE: This is what I saw looking straight down as I got ready for the Sunday 10pm news.)

Hey, they match my black suit pants! Funny thing: our Sunday news anchor guy, Jason Grubbs, was also wearing flip flops! There's a reason you only see us from the waist up...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

(ABOVE: My father in Orange, TX from 1980. Dad was my baseball coach. I didn't realize until years later that he didn't know much about baseball. But he guided our team anyway.)

I dreaded Father's Day after my father died. He died of prostate cancer. His outlook was good when we was diagnosed at age 58. The doctors told him that he was at Stage 2 which is 95% survivable.

He had surgeries and various treatments to remove the cancer, and we thought he beat it. But the cancer came back a few years later and quickly took his life. I wasn't expecting his death-- my mother phone called before sunrise on a Sunday morning with the news. If the phone rings before 6am, it's usually not good. Dad was a 5% victim.

Dad was my hero. I wanted to be like my Father. Dad would have been my best man in my wedding. Stupid cancer...

I now use Father's Day to reflect on my wonderful childhood and his leadership. I still shed tears too. In fact just typing this made my eyes water.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bathing dogs is stupid.

(ABOVE: Tag-Tag dog a few hours after his Daddy gave him a bath.)

After Tag-Tag dug up the backyard, I have him a bath. Here's how responded his first time back outside.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Remembering Chloe Dog

(ABOVE: Chief Meteorologist Dan Threlkeld and me with Michelle Lowry's daughter Chloe.)

KJRH is a dog friendly work place. I don't know what the exact rules are, but I think our bosses sometimes look the other way when folks bring their pets to work. For many of us, our pets are our children.

As you can see, I got kisses from Chloe dog when she visited the TV station last year. Chloe's mother is Michelle Lowry. Chloe died earlier this week after she got out of her yard. She was 17 years old.

Chloe, thank you for the kisses. We love you and miss you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Channel 2 Softball Team: No one compares...

(ABOVE: Our team plays in a co-ed league on Sunday Nights at All-Star Sports Complex.)

No reason to embarrass anyone here. It's obvious which score belongs to the Channel 2 softball team.

There's no one that plays quite like we do.

Our level of play is unmatched by any other team.

The score says it all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Healthy" eating at KJRH?

Remember the good ole days when things like apples, oranges and grapes were considered to be good for you? I was taught that fruit and veggies were healthy foods while chips were not.

Apparently, chips and fruit snacks are now considered nutritious and healthy. Notice the yellow "fit pick" sticker on the vending machine at work. *sigh*

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lonely rainy nights at the TV station

(ABOVE: at 3:04am, this is my view in the dark TV studio. A weatherman, a radar and a camera.)

"Why do you get to work so early?" is common question that Julie Chin and me get from viewers.

I normally get to work near 3:15am on "quiet" mornings. Today I arrived at Channel 2 just before 1:30am as ongoing thunderstorms means longer hours. (It doesn't help when you stay up late the night before playing on the KJRH softball team. I'm working on ZERO hours of sleep!) I relieved Andy Wallace who stayed late after the 10pm news. Anytime there's stormy weather on the radar you'll find at least one meteorologist here.

The weather center is lonely in the middle of the night as most of the news folks don't begin showing up until 4am. But I'm too busy to get lonely!

I first update the forecast on The process of making a forecast then takes me 45 minutes to an hour depending on the weather pattern. Then we make all of our own graphics for the 2 hour newscast. Everything has to be ready for air by 4:30am when we record a weathercast for "WeatherPlus" on Channel 222. The rest of our weathercasts are all live.

After 1pm when my shift ends I'm gonna go home and sleep all day!

(BELOW: The 49 cent drinks from QT are appreciated to keep a weatherman going. Diet Mountain Dew!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bicycle Wedding Cake

(ABOVE: I took this picture today with my cell phone. It's the rare bicycle cake. It tasted better than chain degreaser!)

Today I attended the wedding of Chris Cordt and Jessica Chapman at Boston Avenue First United Methodist Church.

Chris is a long-time friend and employee of KJRH. Last year I cycled with him in the Tulsa Tough and Hotter N Hell in Wichita Falls.

Here's his groom's cake! Congrats Chris and Jess!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Texas A&M headed to: Big 10, Pac 10 and SEC!

(ABOVE: This is our view of Kyle Field from our seats. We sit in the north end zone. We'll wave so that you can see us on TV!)

No one appears to know anything right now.

But it is certain that the Big 12 will be no longer exist in its current form. My family is anxiously awaiting realignment news like everyone else.

College football is my favorite sport. We still hold on to our Texas A&M season tickets though we don't get to attend many games. Mom makes several home games a year, she loves it!

My family is well-rooted in the current Big 12 South: I attended Texas A&M from 1991 to 1996. My Mother graduated from Baylor. Other family members hold degrees from Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech. A few of my old professors now work in the meteorology department at OU. I at least hope to stay in the same conference with those schools.

I liked the Big 12, but like everyone else now wonders what next?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Facial Hair and TV

(ABOVE: Paul Orosco took this picture of me with his dog Mattie one year ago. Mattie is giving my beard kisses!)

My vacation time is ending soon as I return to work for Saturday "2NEWS Weekend Mornings". Actually, I'll go into work Friday as I have to write, graphic submit and voice a mini-package for the weekend show, but Saturday is my first regular workday back.

I don't shave when I'm on vacation. As I'm one of those guys who can grow a beard in about 30 minutes, I enjoy not shaving when possible!

Last year I sprouted a beard on TV. I didn't shave due to facial stitches, so I had a nice scruff after one month. Was amazing how many interesting comments I received from viewers-- you don't see many news people with beards!

Time to shave... Summon the Gillette multi pack.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sinus infections are stupid.

(ABOVE: As of 8pm tonight a light fever developed again. I feel mostly ok though.)

Shyla sent me to the doctor one week ago due to allergy problems. This is the first Spring I've suffered anything other than minor sinus issues.

He prescribed stronger medication to reduce sinus drainage, and another something to kill the infection. I thought I was better a few days later for Tulsa Tough but instead had to drop out.

I've been down for 7 days now during what happened to be my scheduled vacation. Shyla and I hoped to travel, and do some storm chasing in the Plains. I also wanted to ride my bicycle a zillion miles and finally finish major house projects.

Need more sleep, more Wifey, Westies and I hope to return to work Saturday. I'll be fine. I'm just annoyed at being down!

40mph from "Bike Cam" in Tulsa Tough

(ABOVE: Video image from my handlebars. The "BikeCam" in downtown Tulsa.)

Enjoy! This is my view of the Tulsa Tough Saturday ride. I cycled 24 miles before I got sick and dropped out. This is the first time I didn't complete the 100k course.

To shoot this video I installed a small digital camera on my bicycle. The $100 camera did well on 640x480 movie mode at 30fps.

After beginning slowly in downtown Tulsa, we accelerated to 40mph through the country. I think the 2:00 minute mark of this video is quite thrilling!

I also uploaded this video to YouTube as I'm learning howing to blog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thatcher: Whoa Muddy Boy!

I haven't been able to do much while I've been ill. But I do have enough strength to tell Thatcher dog, "No!" You are not getting on the furniture!

I held him back from charging into the living room. Parts of the backyard remained damp from Monday's 1.00" rain. He likes to make doggie mud pies!

June 5, 2010: Dropped out of Tulsa Tough. Had fun anyway!

(ABOVE: My friend Liam Overbaugh helps me with helmet during last year's Tulsa Tough.)

The Tulsa Tough (TT) is my cycling highlight of the year. It's an awesome feeling to watch the pros race NASCAR style through downtown Tulsa. Regular folks too can compete in distance rides.

(RIGHT: The pros are a blur at night. Speeds can reach over 35mph)

I ride the 100k events, and I think of it as "competing in non-competitive categories" if that makes sense. By definition the rides aren't races, but some folks (myself very much included!) want to perform well. I like to see how my time matches against my friends and other cyclists.

But before the TT rides began, I had two complaints. Most riders seem to not like two changes this year:

Change #1: the rides began one hour later. A 9am start this year means more riding in hotter temperatures.

Change #2: No ankles timers! How are we supposed to know how well we did against other riders if we're not wearing timer chips?!

Hopefully these two issues will be addressed in the future TT events as it's otherwise a first class event. I wrote a polite complaint letter to TT officials regarding these issues.

For the Saturday 9am 100k ride, I lined up with Chris and Stephanie Galuppo. The athletic Galuppos look like Mr. and Mrs. Universe in their cycling outfits! They rode the 100 mile event that day.

The 9am Saturday ride started on time. I felt fine at first. My snazzy blue jersey looked good, but my health wasn't: two days earlier, Wifey made me go to the doctor's office with an allergy/ sinus issue. My stupid trip to the doctor's office wasn't a big deal. I thought I was feeling better by ride time that Saturday. Instead it took only a few miles for me to know I wouldn't finish.

Near mile 5 we climbed a 100 foot tall hill. A climb like that isn't a big deal for a well-seasoned biker. But on this day, it marked the beginning of the end of my ride. I couldn't recover as I had trouble regaining my breathe. I gasped for air the next few miles and couldn't get my usual breathing rhythm back.

I fell behind Chris and Steph. Their pack accelerated to a 20mph pace, and I quickly disappeared from the scene. I couldn't even do 15mph. My legs weighed a thousand pounds.

I kept slowing down, pedalling only about 12mph. I didn't feel good so I stopped at mile 14 for a water break. Near mile 16 I dropped off the 100k course, turning back toward Tulsa. I thought I would end up riding the 50k course, but I couldn't manage that either.

My quick rests became splats in the grass. More stops: mile 16, mile 18, 19. I walked the bike up hills. A friendly voice, Cathy from Lee's Bicycles stopped to chat with me and offer support. I probably looked hopeless walking beside a bicycle!

After another stop or two I reached the mile 24 rest stop. Normally, I wouldn't stop until about mile 40 or so, but I was sick. I told the race officials that I was done. They towed my bike and me back to home base. George Flickinger= DNF.

I was really really disappointed, but didn't know that I was that ill at the time. Two nights later my fever swelled to near 102. Stupid sinus infection! The illness took about 5-6 days out of me. I didn't even attempt the Sunday 100k ride.


Overall, Tulsa Tough 2010 was awesome. I didn't finish the ride, but so what?! Shyla and I had a blast with our friends at the events including the pro races.

Though I couldn't finish my ride, Chris and Stephanie did survive. They reached the finish line together after hours of riding on that 90 something degree day.

The Galuppos completed the 100 mile ride and have sunburns to prove it. That's Tulsa Tough!
(TOP to BOTTOM: Stephanie and Shyla Flickinger are "VIPs" at Lee's Bicycles watching the Friday Night crits. Stephanie is all smiles after riding 100 miles as Chris cools in the kiddie pool behind her. Ouch! Look at that sunburn where Chris didn't use sunscreen.)