Monday, December 17, 2007

Sports announcing at all-time low

If you are like me and can't stand many of the sports announcers on the television today, here's a great website/blog - - that picks apart the awful announcers that shouldn't be in the booth - and that includes Bryant Gumbel. Bryant, it's time to leave the booth.

While I'm at it, the Monday Night Football team is terrible - and I like Kornheiser with PTI, but not in the booth. They always leave the game in the third quarter with these boring interviews with celebrities. Hey, this isn't Oprah. Concentrate on the game.

And what is it with these five and six person populated football pregame shows? There are going to need more chairs if they keep this pace up. Let's stick with four, or better yet, three. And there should be a moratorium on the number of formers players on these shows.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Photo of the Week 3

Since we got a blast of snow and cold temperatures this past week, it is only appropriate to share the Star Wars movie poster spoof of my dog Hobie, an alaskan husky. In the shadow, is an image of our cat.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Photo of the Week 2

Until this week, the New England Patriots have been making it look pretty easy - outscoring their opponents by an average 24 points per game. That is, until last night, when the Philadelphia Eagles nearly gave the Pats their first loss. I don't understand why Philly went for the end zone from their 30 yard line with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter. They shouldn't have been in no hurry to score, and chewed off more time off the clock as they could. But, with the throw came a costly interception. Game over.

A couple of years ago at a golf tournament, I had the chance to get my photo taken while wearing a New England Patriots Super Bowl Ring. Pretty cool. I thought I'd share the photo today since it looks like the Pats will be making a return trip to the big game unless someone, someone can knock them off. But it doesn't seem likely.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cool photo of dad

The past few weeks I have been going through some of dad's massive collection of files and papers that he had given me so the 'thieves' or CIA wouldn't get their hands on them. For the most part, they have been a reflection of ordinary life - ten-year-old receipts from Napa Auto Parts stores, grain elevator commodity stubs from the late 1950s, and large collection of Danbury Mint sales materials. Altogether, about 95% of it was garbage. However, I came across a great WWII photo postcard of my dad while he was in basic training awaiting transfer overseas to the European Theatre along with his actual dog tags. The photo is one I hadn't seen before, as I have his 'official' army portrait in my living room. This photo must be from the same sitting, but doesn't have the finished 'colorized dry brush' look of his official photo.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Veteran's home leadership change

A Star Tribune article caught my attention today regarding a major change in the way Minnesota's veteran's homes are managed and operated. I'm interested in this because my Dad, a WWII era vet, is a resident in the Fergus Falls Veteran's Home - which is a very nice facility with great people. The leadership decision comes after numerous problems at the Minneapolis home the past couple of years and the entire organizational oversight became suspect.

Dad has been living at the FF home since October after living on a farm for 79 of his 84 years. His transition is going better than we anticipated and is enjoying his time thus far. We hope that continues. However, he does miss his dog, but my brother really enjoyed his dog as well and took him in. :-]

In the 1960s and 70s, Dad didn't care for the VA clinic in Fargo or St. Cloud and has been pretty vocal to us about it, but I thought he was just spouting off about it. Maybe there was some substance for his displeasure?

I hope the best for the change of leadership in the veteran's homes. They are valuable assets to have as an option for Minnesota veterans.

Webcasting UMM Basketball

For the second year, Media Services is webcasting the men's and women's cougar basketball games on the net. We've produced three games so far. You should check them out, and if you can't get to a game in person, listen to the game online for free.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photo of the Week 1

For those of you familiar with video production will find this one amusing - or bring back haunting memories. This week, I grabbed a box of old 'three-quarter inch' videotape out of my attic to see what was on them. These were production tapes from my college days, so there may not be anything of significant value to the human race, but there may be a funny clip or two in there. I grabbed a dinosaur of a machine out of our storeroom to play them, I popped in the tape and ... crunch. Yep, you guessed it, and by looking at the photo, the machine was quite hungry. This type of malfunction wasn't uncommon back in the day, and I'm glad those days of working with three-quarter-inch tape are long gone. Today, we work with digital tape, and yes, something like this can still happen, but with the old format, it was pretty common.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

UMD is getting ahead of the curve

Last spring, I had an interesting discussion with a senior UMM administrator regarding her ideas on taking advantage of our communications facilities on the UMM campus (television and radio in particular) and create a full-fledged communication major degree program. I'm all for that, not only because it would generate growth in student numbers in the humanities here at UMM, but we are more and more becoming mass communicators - on a global scale - with blogging, social networking sites such as FaceBook and MySpace, and through the venerable personal website. It would also provide us with valuable student employment opportunities (everyone should benefit, right? :-])

A story was emailed to me today by University of Minnesota Duluth Alumni Association regarding an innovative collaborative project between their student-run radio station and their college of liberal arts to allow hands-on studio and industry courses to be taught on their FM radio station. They have previously developed print and web-based journalism components. I think this is exactly what our administrator had in mind; using technology to become a well-rounded, global communicator. Detractors in the liberal arts would say a program like this could be seen as 'technical.' But what other program can be multidisciplinary as mass communications?

Here is the story. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Agony of Defeat...

I attended the 2007 Upper Midwest Emmy Awards last month for our nomination of Echoes of Cry of the Marsh for best documentary in the topical category. However, the majority of categories were focused on news gathering with the big network news organizations - WCCO, FOX News, KARE, KSTP, and KMSP. Pictured at the banquet is, left, writer Chris Butler, Bob Hartkopf (the focus of our documentary), his wife Anne, and myself. Unfortunately, we didn't bring home the award. The award went to a short documentary from Fox Sports North (they do documentaries?) for a 22-minute piece they did on Anthony Bonsante, a boxer from the reality TV show The Contender, on FSN 's program Str8up.

Going into the awards show, Chris and I identified two programs we felt would be uncomfortable to lose to - and you guessed it, two Fox Sports Net pieces - the Bonsante piece and another Fox Sports Net spotlight on Joe Mauer. The other nominees were pretty solid projects - an hour documentary on the Minnesota Supreme Court from Twin Cities Public Television and a piece by Jason Davis for his On The Road series. But when it was said and done, we ended up losing to a reality show contestant. We're were pretty deflated. The award would have been a great testament of Bob Hartkopf's work and dedication for wetland restoration reform. Now it's off to several film festivals in the coming year.

In addition to three documentary categories (we were nominated in the 'Topical' category) they did have two student categories and several new online categories. We were fortunate to share the table with two student nominees from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. They were great kids.

However, the event was more of a news club. Unlike watching these professional communicators on television, this event you could differentiate the ones who carried themselves in a professional and classy manner, while others were more sophomoric in their character. The classy ones, such as Paul Douglas and Bill Hudson display great character off-screen. While Bob McNaney of KTSP 5 News was really classless when he was a presenter and managed to make the place uncomfortable all the while he was at the podium. Alan Constantini from KARE 11 made some off-color remarks that surprised me. But perhaps it was their way of putting their guard down and having fun. Just surprising to me is all.

Overall, it was a great experience being nominated and attending the gala event at the Graves 601 Hotel. Hopefully Chris and I will be able to partner up on a new documentary project and be back in a few years.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Preproduction on UMM Choral Concert

UMM is taking advantage of a great opportunity to promote the music program with the production and broadcast of the 2007 UMM Choral holiday concert for broadcast on Pioneer Public Television. We're now beginning the preproduction phase of the concert, scheduled to be taped over two nights - November 30th and December 1st. The concert will broadcast on December 6th, and broadcast twice on Christmas Day at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. These are terrific air dates and great exposure for UMM.

To the right is the design I did for Pioneer Public Television and the cover of the Pioneer Preview Guide, PPTV's own TV guide they send to all members. Another great exposure piece for UMM.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hello everyone

I thought I'd get around to placing my blog on my online portfolio. I had created a blog two years ago for an educational technology class I was taking while I was getting my masters, but it really didn't have a focus - or much of a reason - to be a worthwhile venture. But now with the blog living in my online portfolio, it will be a great chance for you to interact with me regarding anything with media, my interests or news from myself and my wife, Jen.

Hopefully you'll subscribe to my blog, take part and interact. There should be plenty to talk about.