Archive for July, 2007

The summer I got stung by a wasp & my sister tried to make a game out of it

July 27, 2007

Laura Garcia Cannon

Before I even begin the story, I have to explain my older sister, Cindy. She and I are very close. Probably because we were so close as kids. We shared a room, shared a bathroom, shared records and toys and mainly shared a lot of laughs and creativity in our play. I always loved being by “Cinny” as I called her when I was too little to even pronounce her name. I wanted to dress like her (as I could show you, but won’t, our many matching outfits our Mom hand sewed for us – maybe in a future blog, they are quite funny).

Well, one summer when our cousins Jimmy and Anamarie were visiting, we were all outside playing on our swing set. “Cinny” came up with the clever idea of running a garden hose through the top of the swing so that we could be cascaded in a light waterfall while enjoying the to and fro joy of riding on a plank of plastic suspended by chain. In other words, she just wanted to get us wet! Well, she succeeded in her plan, along with dousing the hive of wasps that had nested (unbeknown to us) inside the metal tube of the swing! They came out swarming mad! While all of us scattered they decided to target the short little one with glasses = ME! They stung pretty hard and pretty fast. My scrawny arms swelled beat red. But, “Cinny,” in her ever so fun and positive demeanor declared, “Hey, I’m a nurse and you are now my patient!” After smearing baking soda paste on my bites, she and Anamarie proceeded to wrap Jimmy and I (could you tell we were the younger ones?) with toilet paper arm casts, leg casts and head wraps. As you can see by this photo I even got a taped up nose! Notice Cinny made herself a snappy little nurses gown complete with a red cross hat.

But look closer, see if you notice one of these things is not like the other. Look at our expressions. Cinny is the tallest, smiling. Anamarie, sweet Anamarie, smiling. Jimmy, cute as a button, smiling. Laura? Not so much. My arm was killing me!! I just got attacked by wasps!

I can look back now and laugh, and thank goodness I have this picture. It really tells a thousand words. Cinny, you’re the best.

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor


Tick Talk

July 26, 2007

Brent Cannon

You might remember Chip – our little Yorkie who keeps Laura and I busy, and somehow gets more TV time than many reporters. Well, Chip just turned one year old, and since he still has a lot of puppy energy, Laura and I take him on a daily walk to wear him out so we can get some sleep when it’s bedtime.

Anyway – I was playing with Chip after a recent walk, when I felt something on my leg. I looked down and found a tick! It must have been on Chip, and then got on me.

A few days later, Laura was brushing him and found another. So, now we are on tick alert. The other day, I was in the kitchen and Laura started yelling for me in the living room. I came out, and she had Chip pinned down, and there on his cheek was a big, fat, puffy tick – his nasty little viper head burrowed into Chip. We got online to see how to get the little monster off. We got tweezers and began pulling. Chip was a real sport and held still. But the tick would not come off, and I wanted him – head and all. I even burned a match near him. He squirmed, but stayed rooted in. Finally, Laura got a good grip and got him.

We decided to call our vet to make sure Chip would be ok. It appeared we got the tick’s head – which is key. The vet asked us to check the tick’s color. A nice brown color is probably no big deal. But if the tick is more of a blue grey color, he might be infected.

Chip had a puffy red mark where the tick was. The vet said to put a little Neosporin on it. He said we might notice a difference in as little as half an hour. If the redness got worse or spread – or if Chip began looking like he didn’t feel well, bring him in. But within 20 minutes it was already looking better.

The weird thing is – we did not take Chip to any open space, field or wooded area. We were on sidewalks in our neighborhood. He likes to stick his head in bushes and sniff. That must be when the ticks get on him. We have since talked with a neighbor who also said they have a tick problem with their dog. We are looking into doggie tick medication you can give your dog that keeps the ticks from burrowing in.

I don’t know if there are any more ticks this year than usual. It just seems we have found more than ever. And I figure if it can happen to us in a residential area – it can happen to other people too. So a heads up to check your pets – and yourself for that matter! Nasty things, ticks.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Consistency… for the Kid’s Sake

July 24, 2007

Mike InouyeHaving just passed his year and a half mark, my son is now starting to exercise his opinion as well as push some limits and boundaries. It’s neat to see but is also where we enter the realm of discipline. One of the big issues my wife and I hear about is “consistency” as shown by the parents individually and as a unit.

For the most part, we’re able to come to a common policy but there has been one issue that we’re toiling with. It’s probably because we’re letting outside opinion influence us a little too much but it’s made worse by the fact that it dredged up an old, unresolved issue from my past.

What kind of “spider went up the water spout?” Think about it before reading on…

((thoughtful pause))

Most of us know the tune but the lyrics are not as consistent as one might assume. I had this debate/discussion with my officemates nearly 10 years ago in Southern California and recently brought it out up here again.

Nearly all answers given (regardless of spelling) have revolved around two main options:

1. itsy bitsy spider
2. eensy weensy spider

Like an overwhelming majority of my colleagues here, you may feel that it is without a doubt option #1. Some say it’s not even an “option” situation.

I have long thought it was option #2 and was beginning to believe I stood alone until I took it to the web.

A search for both “itsy bitsy spider” and “eensy weensy spider” yields a myriad of interesting sites but here is one which mentions BOTH.

Check out this page from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) ((ahem…)) one of the National Institutes of Health. (Yeah, that’s right… I cited a reference with a “.gov” at the end of it!)

Some comments note an “American” and a “UK” version of the rhyme/song. A few people suggest that “itsy bitsy” supporters are just confused, mixing things up with the song about the “yellow polka dot bikini”.

I thought I’d try to find the author for the original version but no luck.

I did have a single survey participant who thought it was “eensy teensy spider”… all others are in agreement that he’s HORRIBLY mistaken. In fact, even he doubted it was correct.

We want the kid to be familiar with a number of languages so, maybe we’ll just go with the Spanish version… “La Araña Pequeñita” as suggested by our Kris Sanchez.

Many chat boards have long trains of discussion on this topic. I would love to hear your take. Leave me a comment, send me a message. I don’t mind if it’s a long one, or an itsy bitsy, eensy weensy one. 😉

Whatever the case, we need to be consistent.

Besides, it might come up on the new NBC hit show “The Singing Bee”

Mike Inouye
NBC11 Traffic Anchor

What I Did On My Summer Vacation (That Vacation Really Stings)

July 18, 2007

Shannon O'Donnell

Last week, the O’Donnell Family went on vacation. Well, we’re really not the O’Donnell family–that’s my maiden name that I still use professionally. But my husband just LOVES it when you call him Peter O’Donnell. Try it…!

Regardless, we hit the road with designs on making it to San Diego, visiting SeaWorld and seeing Pete’s cousin, who is a Shamu trainer (how cool is THAT?), do her thing. We didn’t make it even to Los Angeles, let alone San Diego. Our ‘eyes were bigger than our stomachs’–or something like that–in terms of how far you could reasonably travel with two tots in virtual STRAIGHT JACKETS in the backseat for hours on end. So we settled, happily I might add, for just the Central Coast, hanging out in San Luis Obispo, Cambria, and Santa Barbara for the week of the 4th of July.

But this was the vacation that almost wasn’t… several hours into this southbound experiment, I checked my cell phone (which had been on ‘silent’ so as to preserve peaceful progression due to napping children) and discovered not one but two urgent messages from my boss here at KNTV. He didn’t detail what the problem was, only stating that they needed some help here at work as there had been a little ‘incident.’ I phoned in to find that our Chief Meteorologist, John Farley, had been in the ER due to a bee sting. Apparently, the reaction wasn’t as bad as he had feared it would be, and he was able to make it into work after all. Phew! Vacation saved!

My husband queried, “how can you not know if you’re allergic to bees or not?” This coming from the guy who had been trimming our lavender bushes earlier in the week, bees stinging him left and right, his reaction not being more than the occasional cuss word and jump backward. This being the guy who, as a child, captured bees, put them in the freezer for a bit so as to ‘subdue’ them, tied strings around their necks (do bees have necks?), and let them thaw out and fly around on leashes as little ‘bee-pets.’ Obviously, Peter the Beekeeper does not possess the average fear of stinging insects that most of the populace does.

Being QUITE afraid of bees myself, I backed up John’s (perhaps) over-reaction. I, too, had suffered a lot of swelling from my last bee-sting at the age of 17. Having a terribly bruised and welled-up leg for about a week afterward, I told smug-Peter that I was also afraid of what would happen to me if I was ever stung again, as allergic reactions tend to get worse with each incidence. Would I go into shock, unable to breathe and right beside Farley in the ER?

It didn’t take me long to find out. With two car seat-strapless children happily unleashed at the beachside-park in Santa Barbara, our vacation was going along quite well when BZZZZZZ! I was zapped! My little 10-month-old was crawling in the grass below me, and I think he must have disturbed a bumble-bee, because it madly shot up at me, burrowed it’s little backside into my elbow, and let me have it. Better me than my baby, at least! But boy, did that hurt. That’s what we get for making fun of Farley (but hey, shouldn’t the bee have stung Pete, not me? Wrong half of the couple!)

I whimpered over to my husband, who quickly transformed from smug-Peter into ‘Dr. Pete’ (one of his best roles, in my opinion). He yanked the stinger out, and proceeded to ‘squeeze’ a bunch of venomy stuff out of the puncture would, claiming it would “get the poison out.” What? I hadn’t been struck by a rattlesnake! I protested that this was simply an excuse to abuse me, but I think he was right in his medical procedure because: voila! Within a few minutes, it barely hurt at all. In fact, I would say this particular bee sting was far less bothersome than the countless mosquito bites that seem to plague me summer after summer.

So the moral of this story? Karma’s a bee-aahhh-sting.

Shannon O’Donnell
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

Unexpected Calls

July 10, 2007
Brent Cannon

I checked out the new Apple iPhone the other day. My nephew begged me to take him to the Apple store. We went, and it was packed with people. A table they usually have setup with various products on display, was completely dedicated to iPhones. I have to admit, the phones are pretty cool. The touch screen and scrolling is amazing. The phone has everything from a simple calculator to a direct link to YouTube and the stock markets. The next thing I know, my nephew is surfing the net. I guess the display phones are fully functional – not just some sort of mock up for display.

So – he then tries to make a phone call – and it works! And he starts taking pictures of me etc. I was amazed at what it must cost Apple to have about a dozen phones per store totally wired and fully functional. Too bad I don’t know anybody in Zimbabwe. I could have called for free. But then I started to worry about my personal info now being on the phone. A little voice inside my head told me to get the phone my nephew was on and delete everything. But I didn’t. We just left. Well, later that day I started getting calls from strangers at the Apple store – calling the numbers on the display phone – and they got mine! I knew it! So, have fun checking the new phones out – but be careful. They are really up and running, and that means your personal info and images are on them available for all to access.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor