Mitch Hedberg – still the best


If laughter is the best medicine, that would make the late Mitch Hedberg’s comedy a cure. His style will be hard to define, but best described as a moody single-line continuous line, “as if a friend had predicted it” – “laughing for days”.

“My belt keeps my pants up, but the belt straps lift my belt. I really don’t know what’s going on there. Who’s the real hero?”

Mitchell Lee Hedberg was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on February 24, 1968. Spending the next 6 years in and out of the hospital due to heart problems, Hedberg developed the habit of poor school attendance and never flourished into an ideal student. Barely had he finished high school, Hedberg packed paper bags with his belongings and headed to Florida. Starting his career as an outdoor comedian from a microphone at a local club in Boca Raton, he was bombed several times. Strong stage fear prevented Hedberg from looking directly at his audience, always performing with sunglasses, sometimes with his eyes closed, often allowing his long hair to cover his face. On rare occasions, he would perform with his back to the audience. Hedberg’s unusual way of speaking and unusual behavior only intensified the abrupt delivery of more careless material and helped create his persona on stage as a dissolute stoner. Philosopher of the absurd if you will.

“You know, it hurts me to follow my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and connect with them later.”

Success was slowly coming for the painfully shy comedian. After advancing his job in the late 80s, he toured the business, although, well accepted, he loved being on the road and used this time to perfect his craft, and overtime work began to gain popularity. His first national exhibition arrived in 1996 at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, which led to the first of ten appearances at the Late Show with David Letterman. A second visit to Montreal in 1998 led to a $ 500,000 deal with Fox that could never be resolved. The people of Fox were not faced with the difficult challenge of creating a suitable platform for Hedberg’s unique musical tunes. A frequent guest on Howard Stern’s morning show, his biography included several television and film roles. By 2000, Time magazine had declared the stand-up comic “the next Seinfeld.”

“I used to do drugs. I still take drugs. But I did it too.”

In February 1999, Hedberg married longtime friend Lynn Shawcroft. In many ways, the relationship was a true love story. They adored each other, and Lynn enjoyed the touring lifestyle as much as Hedberg. The couple became inseparable, creating their own world. The two became known for secrecy and increasingly bizarre behavior. Throughout his career surrounded by rumors of drug use, Hedberg, in addition to the references mentioned during his act, remained closely remembered for the possible problem. His problem is no secret after his arrest in 2003 for possession of a syringe, some heroin and a handful of Valium and Xanax. Shortly after his arrest, Hedberg underwent 13 hours of surgery to save his right leg from an infection that had been fertilizing for months. By 2005, he and Lynn were on tour again, on comics, working hard; his health began to decline.

The comic was found dead in his hotel room in Livingston, New Jersey, on March 29, 2005. His death was initially believed to be related to his heart condition was later confirmed as a drug overdose from a mixture of heroin and cocaine. Hedberg loved his life as a comic book, adored monster movies and, ironically, the existence of Kurt Cobain – Courtney Love with his wife Lynn.

“I was walking down the street the other day when he asked me if I wanted a frozen banana … I said ‘no,’ but then I thought I might want a plain banana later, so … yes.”

Hedberg, trying out the new material, passed on his jokes slowly and deliberately, line by line, as if waiting for approval from the audience before delivering the drilling line. He usually already had. Brilliant.



Sun Country Airlines and American Airlines: The smartest way to fly is with them!


Sun Country Airlines is a low-cost U.S. airline based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul suburb of Eagan, Minnesota. It is based at the nearby Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport. The airline’s main focus is flying people to warmer destinations during the winter months, such as Florida and Mexico.

Accordingly, the summer months focus on flying people between Minneapolis and the east and west coasts. It operates scheduled and charter flights to destinations in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Sun Country offers ensure that your holiday starts the moment you decide to get Sun Country Airlines tickets, because they offer a completely carefree trip. Trust us, when we say this, it is almost inevitable that you will decide to fly with them continuously, because no other leading airline offers such competitive prices and certainly no one can match the bar they set up.

We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t appreciate cheap plane tickets. Air Country airlines offer exactly the same, but with the added benefits of a luxurious flight experience. Basic ride prices are made solely keeping in mind the budget constraints of the passengers. What’s more compelling is that Sun Country Airlines emphasizes the fact that passenger comfort comes first and that they don’t leave a stone’s throw away from achieving that.

American Airlines planes, otherwise simply known as “American,” are probably the most desirable flights in the United States. American Airlines airline tickets offer tracking services for your bags from your smartphone, laptop and tablet, which will save you from the hassle of waiting in long lines and wasting time, for luggage. They also introduced new aircraft with better entertainment options, which will ensure that you are not bored during the flight.

One of the many things a ‘flying American’ will do for you is that it will give you access to baggage allowance changes, all new phishing email alerts, and the ability to turn miles into happy memories with your Advantage program. American Airlines, Inc. is a feature of strength in numbers because it is the world’s largest airline in terms of passenger measurements, revenue, fleet size and second in the number of destinations visited.

American Airline flights are also extremely environmentally friendly, as they have a wastewater treatment plant that recycles aircraft washing water, landscape irrigation, and flushing water tank processing. This has led to a 50% reduction in waste material since 2000. This is a win-win situation for anyone looking to take advantage of the services of major airlines with the added benefit of knowing that the airline is returning to the environment. Reservations, boarding and arrivals made American Airlines extremely easy. You can check flight status, safety and data collection if and when you want. They are truly committed to providing a pleasant experience to all their customers. Their services are of the highest quality and are essential for a comfortable trip with the added benefit of fairly cheap airline tickets.



Casey Stengel, throwing manager at the New York Yankees


In a sport known for its vivid characters, Casey Stengel was unique. Stengel was an imaginative prankster, possessing one of the best baseball minds ever. Stengel was just as likely to lie the magic of the referee’s call as he was to win a critical game in a critical situation.

From his teenage years to his final days as manager of the New York Mets, Stengel lived his entire life in baseball. 12 times he was an above-average major league player over 12 seasons and the most successful manager to ever meet a player rating. But not only did his success bring admiration to millions, but his dear personality won out. His warmth, toughness and his memorable monologues made him the most beloved character since Babe Ruth. Some of the terms that have become part of the baseball lore include “worm killers,” meaning low balls, “plumber,” meaning a good fire player, and “travel apple,” meaning a bad baseball player. A true legend, like Casey Stengel, the wise clown of baseball, will never be seen in sports again.

How good was Stengel? In a 12-year run with New York, the Yankees Casey won 1,149 games (compared to just 696 losses), won 10 flags and 7 World Championships. Hall of Fame director Connie Mack once said of Stengel, “I’ve never seen a man play so much catch so successfully.”

Not only was Casey Stengel known as an eccentric but also a likeable manager, he was also known as the manager behind his players. Elston Howard (the first black player the Yankees ever signed) deserved Stengel to help him overcome racial barriers. Casey Stengel would tell hotel managers that if Howard was not welcome at their facilities, he would not allow any of the Yankee players to stay there.



For and against receiving “spies” in exchange for charitable car donations


Sequins are “gifts” given by charities in exchange for your donation. If you want, sort the gift. Common gifts for car charities include airline tickets and holiday packages. They are not exactly gifts and there are conditions you need to be aware of.

Businesses know the value of free advertising, and one way to achieve this is to do business with a charity. Businesses will provide access to their services or quantities of their products in exchange for charity that will publicly offer them as incentives for donations. This is a win-win-win situation. The charity receives donations from sponsors, sponsors in turn receive a “spy,” and the company that donated the spifre gets free publicity. Everyone is happy.

Let’s say a benevolent donation offers you the “joke” of two free nights at a hotel in a popular tourist destination. Great. But what most people don’t know is that you have to report the value of the inflow as tax revenue. And yes, you will pay income tax on that amount. This effectively reduces the net value of the tax deduction associated with your donation. It’s not a big deal if the cross-sectional value is negligible, but a large difference can almost completely make up for your allowable tax deduction.

Often these outbursts can prove to be a better deal than you can achieve or negotiate on your own.

Looking for tickets to the hottest show in town? Give away your car and take two of those tickets in return. For some people, the intangible value obtained far outweighs the tax consequences.

Have you searched everywhere trying to find the latest, hottest toy for your child or grandchildren? Charities constantly monitor these things and sometimes provide quantities of the hottest new products. They then conduct promotions that attract patrons to make large donations in exchange for receiving these hot products as gravel. Even if the spiff eats up a large amount of the value of your actual donation, how can you put a price on the happiness of your child or grandchild?

Let’s look at the weakness of this practice. Let’s say you’re claiming a $ 500 tax deduction tax and you’re receiving two tickets with a combined value of $ 100. Technically, you will only be allowed a charitable tax deduction of $ 400. And the value of the $ 100 tickets must be reported as income, which will then be taxed at the same rate as the rest of your income.

Another negative feature of this practice is that cameras are often difficult to use or monetize. Sometimes the companies that donate them set redemption rules so that it makes it extremely difficult to actually receive the value assigned to them and which you must now declare as income. These types of businesses want to “cash in,” so to speak, by receiving a charitable tax deduction, but they don’t really want to deposit money, a product, or a service when the time comes to buy it back.

There is also the potential for abuse of unscrupulous species. They can make a legitimate donation to receive “spies”, but they will turn around and offer for sale at an inflated price, especially if they are tickets for a mandatory event or a hot new product. This may adversely affect the reputation of the charity that issued it.

The moral of the story is to educate and engage with well-known well-known charities.



In praise of the developers


Did I mention I love real estate developers? Not like I love my wife or my kids or even my dog, but Real Estate Developers are definitely among my favorite people.

Think about it.

Real estate developers are like gods. [Well, miniature gods, at least.] They create much of the physical world we inhabit. The houses and condominiums we live in. Grocery store and pharmacy down the street. Settlements and casinos, and golf courses we enjoy in our free time. Restaurants. Shopping malls. Office buildings. China. Truck terminals. Medical and surgical centers. Spas. Factories. Warehouses. Halls. Garage parking. Hotels.

You name it; if its “artificial,” tied to dirt, and we can get into it, a real estate developer was probably involved.

Real estate developers are visionaries. They have a vision to recognize trends and the need for change. They recognize the imbalance between what exists and what is needed. They see neighborhoods and cities and regions underway as opportunities for reconstruction and improvement. Not only do real estate developers see an opportunity, but they take advantage of it. They envision change and commitment to it. Then work on it; massage it; to shape; squeeze it; stir; shake; mix; juggle; and do it.

How could no one like that?

Real estate developers are visionaries with a purpose. Visionaries who know how to turn their vision into reality. They are optimistic. They are dreamers and workers wrapped in one. And for me, they are fun. It’s not funny, it’s necessary, but it’s fun to be around. It’s fun to work. Fun to dream.

I remember in 1992 when John L. Marks of the Mark IV Realty Group walked into my office and said he wanted to buy and remodel the Marina City shopping center in downtown Chicago. At the time, the Marina City shopping complex was a rat. Mostly empty. In execution. Language in bankruptcy. Burdened with nearly $ 10,000,000 in unpaid and delinquent property taxes. He is physically failing and needs tens of millions of dollars in repairs. The owners of the residential condominiums occupying the first 40 floors of the two towers with corn cobs in the shape of corn were understandably hostile and did not cooperate.

Yet in all this mess, John saw an opportunity. He had a vision of how this decaying, decaying behemoth eye could turn into an economically viable and advanced gem.

We spent most of the next four years working on that project. The transformation was extraordinary. There was an explosion.

Today, the Marina City shopping complex is home to the Bluza House, the House Blues Hotel, the Smith and Wollensky Steak Hotel, the Bine 36 Wine Café, Crunch Fitness, the 10 pin pin bowling salon, the Marina Marina, the Marina Skipper Bud’s and many other successful businesses. Pie-shaped condominiums that start above a 20-story parking garage in each of the residential towers have grown significantly and offer some of the most dramatic views of the sky in Chicago. The entire Marina City complex has been re-established as an advanced mecca of mixed entertainment and entertainment in the heart of Chicago.

Why? Because Chicago Real Estate builder John John Marks had a vision and a commitment to accomplishment.

Did I mention I love real estate developers?

Recently, in the spring of 2005, I received an invitation to join the Madkatstep Entertainment LLC development team.

Madkatstep Entertainment is a combined company of Sears, Roebuck and Co., a retail giant, and Ryan Companies US, Inc., a remarkably creative and entrepreneurial real estate developer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [Yes, I love Ryan Companies too.]

It started with an idea.

The Ryan companies had the idea to build and own a sports and entertainment place in a affluent community that needed practical and unique entertainment opportunities.

Sears moved its headquarters to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in the early 1990s. As part of that move, Sears gained a large footprint of a neighboring country that was ready and available for development.

The Hoffman Estates community is ahead in a growing and affluent area northwest of Chicago in search of quality living amenities for its residents.

It was a match made in the sky.

By the time they invited me as lead development advisor, Sears and Ryan had already negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the village of Hoffman Estates, which set the basic framework for the new Sears Center Arena, including general terms for municipal funding.

The main tenant of the new Sears Center Arena is a professional hockey team. The key development goal was to build an arena of 11,000, 240,000 square feet and ready to move in on time for the fall 2006 hockey season. It was already in April 2005, just 18 months from the target opening date. Even the fastest construction plan required at least 14 months from penetration to opening. Time is running out.

In the 100-day rush that followed, the entire development team entered the zone and worked with the village of Hoffman Estates for most of the day.

The real estate development engineer, Ryan Companies US, Inc., worked closely with the real estate departments in Sears, Roebuck and Co. and ownership contracts, and to host dissidents of projects that have threatened a lawsuit to delay or stop the construction of the arena.

In the end, creativity, perseverance and intense focus led to the official revolutionary development for Sears Center Arena on July 21, 2005. It is a unique sports and entertainment facility that will serve the village of Hoffman Estates and neighboring cities for decades to come. It already serves as an economic engine for complementary development that will provide new jobs, new opportunities and an expanded tax base.

These two examples of the creative development of visionary real estate builders are not unique. Between these two notable examples, and beyond, the scenario is repeated over and over again in large and small development projects.

Restoration of functionally obsolete or decaying shopping centers, warehouses and other structures into modern and advanced enterprises.

The resurrection of crumbling and crumbling areas in cities and houses into homes and apartment buildings with retail and service activities to support new neighborhoods.

Recycling polluted brown fields into safe and productive environments for consumers and businesses.

Greenfield development that provides new opportunities, new jobs and new services for emerging communities and families.

Real estate developers see the need, keep up with the challenge, and improve the world we live in.

I’m blessed to work with incredibly creative and dedicated real estate developers, big and small, who make a difference – and make money – while having fun in the process.

Did I say fun? Maybe not at all times, while they face all the challenges, but mostly real estate developers are people who truly enjoy what they do. As a commercial real estate lawyer, for me, the job has always been exciting.

Why do I love real estate developers? Ask yourself: How many times do you have the opportunity to work with people who make their job “exciting”? What’s not to love about it?

So, the next time you meet a real estate developer, take his hand, look him straight in the eye, and say with deep gratitude and sincerity:

“Thank you! My friend Kymn Harp thinks you’re the most beautiful person in the world. He loves you and thinks you’re great.” [Then slip him my business card and ask him to call me.]

Thanks for listening.

R. Kymn Harp

P.S. For those of you with “normal” names – or at least conventional spellings of names, you might appreciate this help:

My name “Kymn” is a family name and is pronounced “Kim”. Think of “Kymn” as “church hymn,” with “K” instead of “H”. To remember that, connect my last name “Harf” with “Angels”. Then, if that helps, think of me as “Kymn Harp, the dirty angel of real estate developers” (with a law degree).

Thanks again,




Walking tour in downtown San Jose – Costa Rica


The city of San José itself usually does not reach most tourists who have to see places in Costa Rica. Most people don’t want to spend time visiting San José, but you really miss it if you see a real picturesque part of Costa Rica. Sure it’s crowded and crowded, but a lot of people visit New York City. And while you can now fly directly to Liberia to manage to hit the beaches without stopping in San José, the fact is that most people still fly to San José International Airport, so why not go for a walk through the city of San José?

Here is a route I take my friends on when visiting Costa Rica. Depending on how much you embark on this tour it could take several hours, even an entire day.

If you have a car rental, parking is very cheap. I like the parking lot across the Omni Mall, so I’ll start this tour there. Head East of Calle 4, central Avenida, not far from Plaza de la Cultura, where you’ll see lots of people and pigeons hanging out with street preachers, comedians and musicians playing live. Across the mountain is the famous Teatro Nacional. It opened its doors in 1894 and is beautiful. Water excursions are available. On the other side of the theater is the Grand Hotel de Costa Rica. Which is the most famous hotel in Costa Rica. It used to be the most exclusive and luxurious hotel in Costa Rica. They have a nice café where you can have coffee or a drink and a snack. Their de jamon sandwich (ham sandwich) is delicious. The hotel also has a casino if you are a gambling type.

Back to the theater and the grassy steps at Calle 5 is the ICT tourist information center. It opened Monday-Sat 9-1, 2-5. From there, you can enter the underground exhibits of the beach, including the Gold Museum, which contains pre-Columbian artifacts. Admission is $ 6, and it is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The main road from the Plaza de la Cultura is made in the pedestrian center, so you are free to walk as cars are not allowed. Take care of your valuables and do not wear jewelry that thieves will snatch from you. Here you will see many shops and restaurants rowing for your attention on both sides of the street.

Some good stops include La Casona which is outside the pedestrian center, just look to the right of Calle Central and you will see. It is a two-story building full of typical Costa Rican souvenirs. Here you can take care of all your gifts for friends and family. You will also see Librieria Universal which is one of the oldest stores in Costa Rica. You can buy devices, maps, books and more. You will also see Libreria Lehmann another great bookstore.

There you will notice a large monument to the democracy of Costa Rica, it is a group of bronze campesins standing humbly but looking firmly and proudly. Outside is in front of a large building that is central Banco. Keep walking and you will pass La Gloria, Costa Rica’s largest department store. Across La Gloria is the Banco de Costa Rica a huge black marble building.

Descend towards Mercado Central. The market is full of shops, restaurants, production stands and much more. It covers the entire block of Avenida Central 1 and is called 6-8. This is a great place in the daily life of local Costa Ricans. You will also find interesting food and dishes. There are herbs that are sold for medicines with claims to cure ailments.

If you’re claustrophobic or don’t like crowds, don’t visit the market! Two blocks down is the historic Correo Central building. If you are a stamp collector, take a look at the second floor where they have a museum of Costa Rican history, with rare and old stamps on display.

Return to the plaza de la kultura heading north past the ICT office and the Gold Museum.

You will see a park in the middle of the city, and that is Parque Morazan. Also nearby is Aurola Holiday Inn. In the center of the park is the Musical Temple, modeled after Le Trianon in Paris.

Head 2-3 blocks to the north and you’ll stumble upon Parque Bolivar and the site of the San José Zoo which opens daily from 9-4: 30. Ticket is only around $ 2.00.

Heading east you will pass the Parque Espana which is full of plants and trees in the middle of the city. Continue on Avenida 7, you will see la Casa Amarilla which is home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has a nice park in front. Both were donated by Andre Carnegie. Nearby is the Centro Nacional de Cultura open Tue-Sat 10-5. It houses a museum and theaters. Also nearby is T-Sa 10-5 Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. Admission is $ 3, and they have artwork and exhibits from around the world.

Along the hill on Avenue 7 is the Biblioteca Nacional which is the national library. It faces the city’s largest park, Parque Nacional. Take a look at the Monumento Nacional that pays tribute to the battle of William Walker. The statue was made in France Rodin Studios and shipped to Costa Rica.

Across the street from the park you will see a statue in honor of the Costa Rican hero Juan Santamario holding his torchlight procession and the Legislative Assembly holding the Costa Rican Congress.

Two blocks south of Parque Nacional, the Museo Nacional is open, Tuesday-Sunday 8: 30-4: 30. This is a very popular tourist attraction. Admission is $ 4 and you can visit the former Bellavista Fortress. You can still see bullet holes from the 1948 Civil War. Excellent exhibits in Spanish and English.

Next place after the museum is the Plaza de la Democracy. You can see it from the museum. It was built fairly newly in 1989 in memory of democracy. On it is a statue of Jose Figueres, a hero of the 1948 Civil War. A former president who abolished the army after the Civil War. The beach is full of belly stalls selling everything from clothes, jewelry, to hanging doors and crafts.

Places to eat

There are some great places for a quick snack, a cup of coffee or a cold cervez. For a nice cup of coffee and a delicious bagel-yes, bagel-bagelmen are a must. Located on central Avendia in downtown Barrio, California.

Cafe de la posada on the footpath, south of the National Museum. More local in nature. Good thing.

Giacomin. Coffee and Italian style pastels. Located near a pharmacy in the center of Fischel.

Manolos located right on the pedestrian market. Excellent casados ​​and delicious churros.

There is also Pops in the city center, just around the corner from Plaza de la Cultura, right at the pedestrian market. The best ice cream in town.

If needed, you’ll find all the things from the downtown franchise like KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Macdonald, Taco Bell and Wendy. For a little more Latino tickets look for Rosti-Pollos which is in the city center, right across the Cine Vanidades.

There he is. A great walking tour of downtown San José that hit all the great places. So put on comfortable shoes and have fun!



Scenic Lake Minnetonka – Make memories with city cruises


Lake Minnetonka has over 14,000 acres in Minnesota and is a vibrant tourist destination for many travelers looking for a serene vacation environment. The lake was named after the first inhabitants of the area who named the water body Minnetonka, or Great Water. Alexander Ramsey officially inscribed the name of Lake Minnetonka in 1852, and the following year the first hotel was built on its shores. Steam boats exploring the lake became popular with tourists in the 1880s, allowing visitors to the area to experience the abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes of this picturesque area. Today Twin Cities Cruise continues this tradition with its pleasures of Lake Minnetonka cruising, offering guests a traditional rowing trip and three exclusive luxury yachts.

Paradise Fate II

Capable of transporting up to 100 passengers, Twin Cities Cruises ’Paradise Destiny II offers a luxurious way to explore the sights of Lake Minnetonka in style. Paradise Destiny II is available for weddings and banquets, and both decks have floor-to-ceiling windows that provide magnificent views to passengers. The ceremonial dining room is available at an additional cost, and the dance floor and buffet are designed to make any excursion special.

Princess of Paradise II

For a more intimate tour of the lake, Princess Paradise II offers a smaller venue for weddings, receptions and outings. A small dance floor and buffet are available on board, and guests enjoy free snacks while touring Lake Minnetonka. Paradise Princess II can translate 60 guests in luxurious comfort.

Paradise Grand

With enough space for up to 60 travelers, Paradise Grand is a wonderful way to see the beautiful natural scenery of Lake Minnetonka. Like all yachts in the Twin Cities Cruises line, Paradise Grand offers an air-conditioned lounge and a full bar and is available for weddings.

Wedding ceremonies on board this yacht are limited to forty guests; a beautifully landscaped area is also available on the coast for larger weddings. Full bar service is available on all yacht tours, and LCD TVs with DVD and VCRs are available for use on board. All three yachts are available for charter; prices are available from Twin Cities Cruises on request.



Ever dreamed of being a sports journalist? Here are the days in the life of your dream job


Almost every day I am asked the following questions:

“What is it like to be a sports anchor and a journalist?” Fun but exhausting.

“How did you get into this business?” Long story.

“You always wanted to do that?” That. This and more.

But more and more, individuals who want to enter the world of sports media think that we spend our days cheering for games, chatting champagne with the owners and sending athletes in their chests. Not really.

Take Easter Sunday 2013 for example. Photographer Bill Ellis and I left San Antonio at 10:30 a.m., where the Rangers had just magnified their spring training schedule with a two-game series against the Padres. Our final destination? Houston opened the season between Rangers and Astros on Sunday night.

Here’s a typical “day in the life” that includes everything from stale hot dogs to a drunken Astros fan rushing from our live recording:

07:30: Wake up.

8 in the morning: Head to the hotel lobby on FaceTime with your daughter and wife.

08:15: Exercise in 45 minutes. I always struggle with that extra 10 pounds.

9 am: Breakfast and blogging about activities in Houston.

10:00: Back to the room to pack.

10:30: Go to Houston

13:30: Arrival at Hilton Americas. Start dressing right away with great hair makeup and a TV anchor.

14:45: Leave Maid Park in a few minutes. It’s about 8/10 miles from the hotel, so we’re walking.

3 p.m.: Come to the park, get credentials, go through security and get lost in the bowels of the facility trying to find the Rangers Club house. Talk to the producer at the station about our plan for the evening.

15:30: The Rangers Clubhouse opens. We interview David Murphy, Lance Berkman, Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler. Adrian Beltre and AJ Pierzynski turn us down because of the interview.

16:30: An interview with Ron Washington amid a crowd of reporters in the Rangers excavation. When we’re done with Wash, we start filming videos and collecting interviews with fans for our Opening Day story to air Score on CBS11 later that evening.

17:15: Let’s make our way up to the newsroom to see if there’s a seat to watch the game and space for Bill to set up the equipment to start editing our story. There is no space because they are maximal. Journalists sit in the dining room and at spare tables in the hallway. Bill and I go downstairs to find a place to work.

17:30: Set up shop in the Astros Conference Hall on the completely opposite side of the Park, from the Rangers Clubhouse, about a four-minute walk away. I’m starting to record sound and video to write my story.

18:00: Almost a story about writing. It’s time for a voice sound. There is no ideal soundproof area for recording sound, so we use the background for the Astros conference screen upholstery to mute the sound. The photographer from the Houston station leaves the room in the middle of our tracking session, so I start over. Multiple times. I need three or four attempts to record audio. It’s cold in the press room by now. Bill and I are shaking. There is no cell service in this room. We have to leave the room and walk down the lobby for text messages or phone calls. Fortunately, the Wi-Fi building is working in this room.

18:20: We are both starving. I retreat back to the press room to get something to eat. Bill is hungry, but he wants to edit this story and finish it. He asks me to bring him pretzels.

18:30: Buy a media dinner for $ 10. I broke my jaw trying to cut down on the meat offered. I take about three bites of everything: frozen salads of ice clay, hard meat, and fatty potatoes. I taste popcorn. It’s left. Frozen yogurt is not bad. I’m going to get Bill’s pretzels. Each concession stand is packaged. When I waited my 22 minutes and reached the counter for his pretzels, this stood out to them in particular. I’m trying to text Bill to see if he wants anything else. Does not receive text due to a bad cell signal. I head back to the press box to catch one of the three hot dogs left on the grill. He seems to have sat there for four hours.

19:45: Finally return to our base in the bowels of Minute Maid Park. Bill gets his cold hot dog. I finally get a chance to watch the game on TV in the press room. I don’t actually see a single tower in person. The Astros radio show airs on TV. I use my MLB in the Bat app to listen to Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks. In a hurry to leave my hotel room, I leave my iPad charger in the room. I need to save battery life so I can use my iPad later in the morning so I can’t listen to them all the time.

09:55PM: Top of the 9th inning. We walk to the Rangers bench to prepare for the after-game interviews

10:05: Looks like it will take longer than usual to get into the clubhouse after losing to Rangers 8-2. We enter Washin’s office. Rangers PR man John Blake says TV reporters will ask questions to the print media first, but every media person has plenty of room for Washington. I ask two questions and leave.

10:30: Interview with Matt Harrison, Derek Lowe and AJ Pierzynski. Find 1-on-1 interviews with Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and David Murphy. Bill points out that he is late and that we need to go to his live recording location.

10:50: Come to the live recording location outside Minute Maid Park. We need to get back the interviews we collected. We work with our “sister station” KTRK of Houston. Their technology is not compatible with ours, so we have to feed our material a second time using our “spare” equipment we brought with us from Dallas. The video quality is not that great.

11:00: Touch your hair and makeup to shoot live. Start collecting your thoughts to determine how I will present my sound and the story we played earlier in the day. A beautiful young lady from Dallas is starting to ask me how to break into the business of sports broadcasting. I talk to her for about 10 minutes. I only spent five solid minutes preparing what to say before I was on television

11:15: On site for our live recording. An over-served fan yells at us, “Come back to Arlington!” His wife dragged him away. Bill is still delivering material for our station. A photographer from KTRK captures my live footage. Behind us is a monster truck circling up and down the street, sitting on its horn. Once I start presenting my post-game interviews, I notice the KTRK photographer shaking his head “no”. I feel a brush of air over my right shoulder. From the corner of my left eye I see Bill rushing towards me. A drunken drunken Astros fan pushes out of the way. Bill says this guy charged us. I turn to see briefly what is going on. I think I stumble upon my introduction.

11:19: Our live recording is over. Bill can’t believe the guy showed up out of nowhere. My heart is still beating because it scared me so much. We tear down the gear and head back to the Hilton.

11:45: Arrival at the hotel. We are starving. Again. There’s a lone Easter cake from the egg-hunting hotel with a few miniature Reese butter candies. I grab six of these and go to the room for my “second dinner”. Later, Bill tells me he ordered room service. He finally arrives at 12:45. $ 42.50 for a chicken sandwich and a carrot cake.

Monday morning:

8 in the morning: Go to Dallas and write this post in the car on the way home.

Noon: Get home. My daughter runs away when I try to hug her. I think she forgot about me despite FaceTime.

Although we are not always on the road, we travel quite a bit. In fact, our days are a little firmer when we’re home. Long days with unexpected surprises and a few bursts of speed are the norm. Is this an easy job? Not. Is it fun? No questions. We wouldn’t have her in any other way … except the one without a hug from Jordan.



The challenge of conservative nurses Vs


Discussing workplace politics is not always a great topic of conversation. We mothers are warned (early on) that it is not polite to talk about religion, finances or politics with our friends, neighbors or anyone else on the subject. We were told that it was not particularly appropriate to discuss these taboo topics at the dinner table, during social events, or God forbid … in church or at meetings with the opposite sex. So when is everything okay? Personally, it’s probably a good idea to discuss your political views with a future partner.

It may (or may not) make a difference … especially if you’re on opposite sides of the fence. This could potentially become a problem for some people. I have friends who say they could never settle a relationship with someone significant who didn’t have the same exact beliefs as them … whether it’s religion, money, or who the mayoral candidate would vote for! Personally, I like it a little “back and forth” until it gets overheated, and really … why should it? As for the job, my mother never mentioned it. She was homegrown and probably thought I would spend my life there too. She was wrong. As much as I love my home and family, I also love my sister’s career. I wouldn’t be what I am if it weren’t for my experience in the nursing profession. I have learned to care for patients from every lifetime and to respect our differences. I have also had the pleasure of working with many nurses throughout my career.

I have to admit that we had as many different personalities, miracles, and personal beliefs as our patients. So why do conservative beliefs versus liberal beliefs in the nursing profession seem to separate the two groups so broadly? I guess the sister unions are more liberal. Nurses usually belong to unions. Enough said … but not really. I am a member of the nurses union although I consider myself conservative because of my religious beliefs. There are certain personal laws that I hold dear in my heart; laws that cannot be ethically compromised. I can appreciate and understand that other sisters may feel different than I do. Some examples that lead to differences of opinion range from helping to terminate a pregnancy to voting for a “public option” health plan. As I was working one evening shift as a nurse in a hospital unit, I had to intervene between two nurses engaged in an argument.

The two voiced loudly different views regarding the current political campaign. They both wore the buttons of their favorite candidate (opponents in the race) which was obviously inappropriate for the care of the unit. I asked them to remove their “walking commercials” which then caused me to be a major part of their anger until the end of the shift. The next day, political winds blew as most of them eventually did. The storms don’t last. Recently, nurses gathered in the state of Minnesota to vote on a new contract that number one called “Safe Staff for Patient Safety.” Over ninety percent of the 12,000 RNs in the state voted for a one-day strike when hospitals failed to negotiate.

It was the largest sisters ’strike in U.S. history. Negotiations on the treaty and another vote to ratify the new treaty eventually prevented a longer strike, but it was a perfect example of nurses who, through both political lines, came together in something everyone passionately believed in. At this point, they continue to work together to ensure patient safety. They are committed to the cause. Nurses are amazing, caring professionals, if I say so too! We may have personal beliefs that are sometimes opposite to each other, but history has shown that, despite these differences, we have many similar goals in life. We all strive for health, happiness and security for ourselves, our families and our patients. Politics or not politics, nurses are nurses. Our mothers would be proud!



Unintentional effects of light in the Carlsbad caves


Since I’m used to almost every place so people can see their way, I haven’t paid much attention to lighting the greatest natural underground wonders in the United States. My first trip through the great room of the Carlsbad Caves was on Thanksgiving. We arrived soon after this amazing natural wonder opened to the public. With so few people there, we could share a trail in the Great Room of the Carlsbad Caves to ourselves for a few minutes.

It took us a few minutes for our eyes to adjust, especially to my escort who needed cataract surgery in a few months. The lighting was dim. In some places there seemed to be lights at one point that were now either on or off. Where we could see, we stood in awe at the incredible natural growths that hung from the ceiling or emerged from the ground.

Since most people at home were getting ready to eat Thanksgiving, we were able to have long conversations with the various park rangers who walked this wide underground wonderland. One of our questions was about lighting.

Ranger told us that the lighting setup was designed by a theater expert. There used to be much bigger and brighter lights spreading across the Great Room. After some time, an unintended consequence was noted. Green algae began to appear on the walls. That hadn’t happened before because the Carlsbad Caverns had turned black, before people wanted to see what was inside. Earlier explorers came down either with oil lamps or with lamps on solid hats worn by the miners. They did not lead to algae growth.

To prevent the growth of green on the damp walls of Carlsbad Cave, some light bulbs were turned off and the intensity of others was reduced. While this reduced algae growth, it also reduced what you can see. If we had imagined it, we would have brought a high-intensity lamp. This is strongly suggested on some of the water tours where the trails are completely dark.

In the next few years, the park service will install LED lighting. They do not encourage algae growth and will last longer than what is there now. The park ranger explained that many more natural wonders will be seen and that the LED will allow Carlsbad Caverns to remain in its more natural state … if you dismiss the fact that “natural” means resin black.