Archive for November, 2006

Thanksgiving to Remember

November 22, 2006

Brent CannonWe are just about ready to host family for Thanksgiving. Laura and I went to the store and bought all the things we’ll need to make a great meal. But I always remember one of my early Thanksgivings away from home. I was a young sportscaster living in Fresno. My sister decided to come out so I wouldn’t be alone. She planned to attempt her first turkey. Since I anchored the sports on the eleven p.m. news, I got home late and usually would not get up until about ten a.m. So, my sister said she’d get up and start the turkey and by the time I got up I might smell it roasting in the oven. Everything was going according to plan. I got up at about ten and sure enough, I was beginning to smell the turkey cooking. My sister – bless her heart – was so excited and said, “Don’t worry about anything – the turkey is cooking and I have it locked in the oven.” Locked in the oven? I asked, “What do you mean, locked in the oven?” She showed me how she pushed the lever over. The lever? That’s the cleaning mechanism. Once you do that, you can’t open the oven. In just minutes, it would be well over 500 degrees in there. The turkey was going to be scorched. I had to get my tools out and take the top off the stove in order to get to the locked arm on the oven and take it apart – in order to stop the cleaning process! Meanwhile, the oven was getting hotter and hotter and it was difficult to work on the arm and the stovetop. But, I got it off and stopped the oven cleaning. I put everything back together and we were able to resume cooking. A disaster averted. And Thanksgiving dinner was a hit. But that became a family tale that we still tell. In fact, I think I’ll go give my sister a call right now and reminder her again. Ha ha!

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

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My Name is Michelle and I Like Cats

November 14, 2006

Michelle HechtA friend recently gave me a year’s worth of “Cat Fancy” magazines. There was a library magazine swap and she thought of me. Cloud nine? No, I was on cloud ninety-nine. Yes, I love cats. She, on the other hand, is not a fan and made sure to tell me how she immediately hid the magazines in her trunk. I can’t blame her, because I used to be just like her. That is until the day two years ago a stray cat brought her newborn to our porch. That changed everything and for the better.

It’s dreadful to say now, but I wasn’t quite sure if we were going to keep him at first. But after his mother weaned him, we took him to the vet, and I filled two albums with kitten photos, we decided he was in fact our son. We named him Fluffy.

In the process of growing to love cats, I found myself in denial. Whenever I talked to people about Fluffy, I would emphasize his canine attributes. I wanted to separate him from any cat stereotypes. Some people have an unfavorable opinion of cats and think they’re these obstinate, unloving fur balls of attitude. I thought if they could see him more as a dog than a cat any negative opinions would be nipped in the bud. To get a better idea, here’s a typical conversation:

Me: My cat is just like a puppy. He follows us all around the house!
Innocent bystander: How cute.
Me: And he comes when called.
Innocent bystander: Really?
Me: And he doesn’t sleep all day like other cats.
Innocent bystander: That’s nice.
Me: We even played fetch as a kitten. And for a time, he walked on a leash.
Innocent bystander: Amazing.
Me: He wouldn’t walk per se, but rather played limp, so we had to stop that. But he’s still just like a puppy. And he looks like one, too!

I would then proceed to whip out my photo albums.

It may not seem bad, and in fact it was all true, since cats have numerous qualities typically associated with dogs, along with many of their own. However, I needed to support him as a cat and not hide all my acclaim in dog’s clothing. It’s difficult, because even though cats are popular pets, they still seem to get a bad rap. I suppose old wives’ tales and misunderstandings are to blame. People just have to remember that all our pets – cats, dogs, ferrets, etc. – only have unconditional love for us and are living, breathing, feeling and devoted creatures. They rely on us for care, kindness and love no matter how obstinate they may appear.

It’s a constant process, but I think I have now successfully removed “like a puppy” from my vocabulary. Fluffy is happy about that. Now, do you want to see some photos?

Michelle Hecht
NBC11 Production Assistant

Trx on Treats

November 1, 2006
Mike InouyeFirst an explanation: at the station, we affectionately abbreviate “Traffic” as “TRX” (pronounced “tricks.”) Weather is WX = “wicks.” Thus, you have “Tricks and Wicks on the 1s” every weekday morning. Faithful morning viewers know this schedule and they may have also seen a picture of my son in his first-ever Halloween costume yesterday morning. Though it looks like he’s a “chicken,” my wife and I both contend that he is NOT. We don’t, however, agree on what he IS.

My wife says he’s a “baby rooster” as his sign in the Chinese Zodiac is Rooster. I argue that since we’re not Chinese, and he’s not Chinese, he need not be labeled as such. Admittedly, it’s much easier to find a “baby rooster” costume than it is to find a “baby Capricorn” costume.
I maintain the belief that he’s honoring his father and going not as a “chick-en” but as a “chick-let,” the term by which I refer to the moving color capsules on my traffic maps.

Whatever the case, never let it be said that I force my child to do anything I wouldn’t do myself, I rigorously tested the outfit out before putting him in it.

– Test #1: Just like the space programs of old, I first tested the outfit on our friend Curious George. Things went well but George seemed to be a little less curious after his test run than he had been before.
– Test #2: Human test run. Daddy evaluated the tensile strength of the material and the insulation factor for projected night conditions (based upon data provided by WX.)
– Test #3: Dry run. This photo was taken during this final phase in the testing procedure. During this phase, Subject was exposed to several items he was expected to encounter and came thru with flying colors. Subject was able to manipulate small and midsized gourds while maintaining a general “Fowl Air” about him. (Shortly after the photo was taken, however, a different sort of foul air was noted about him, the testing was terminated and his diaper was changed.)
We are pleased to report a successfully nonplussed Chicklet has arrived home from a night of “Trx or Treating” and is now sleeping soundly.

You know… I’m thinking that calling my son’s first costume a “Chick-let” might be even worse than calling it a “chick-en.” Maybe I should have said he was a “Cockadoodle-Dude.”

Mike Inouye
NBC11 Traffic Anchor