Archive for May, 2008

Hit the Road!

May 30, 2008

Craig HerreraIt’s time to hit the road, on my bicycle… For about 545 miles! Many of you have heard me talking about the AIDS LifeCycle on the morning newscast and the time has come to ride! On Sunday, June 1st, I will gear up with my team – Herrera’s Hooligans to ride from San Francisco to LA. NBC11 is a proud sponsor of the event and I am honored to ride and raise money to help people living with HIV and AIDS. The Hooligans, Mitch, Julie, Craig, Paul, Jean and Gary, will join 2500 other cyclists in the ride this year. As a team we have raised over $17,000.00! All week long, I will keep a daily blog right here on the Breakfast Blog so I hope you get to check it everyday and share in this experience with me!

I did the ride last year and it was such an emotional and physical challenge for me, but I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it! Last year, I met a 78-year-old woman who was on her bike riding with us. I met people from all over the world in fact! I was challenged physically up Highway 92, up Skyline Blvd. and over to Santa Cruz, and that was just the first day! My favorite uncle died from cancer six months earlier so all that time on the bike allowed me to really think about him and miss him. It really was quite an experience for me. I can’t wait for the journey this year!

All week long I will meet people with so many stories and reasons for riding and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

Now, what to pack?
– 7 pairs of cycling shorts, check!
7 – cycling jerseys, check!
(I better take a few extra shorts and jerseys)
– Lots of socks, check!
– A sleeping bag, check!

Okay, I think I’m ready.

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

Phew

May 29, 2008

Laura Garcia CannonWell, I did it. I presented the commencement speech at Saint Mary’s College to the graduating class of 2008 this past weekend. It was one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had. I knew it at the time. That’s what made it even more special. Dressed in my official cap and gown, walking into the stadium with Pomp and Circumstance playing, I felt an overwhelming amount of pride and responsibility. I tried to take in the feeling of the day. I looked into the crowd to capture the faces of parents beaming – looking for their children in a sea of black graduation caps. I walked by hundreds of graduates surrounded by their classmates and friends, I could see the gleam in their eyes filled with the anticipation of the day in front of them. It was the culmination of four years of very hard work. It was their college graduation, and I was fortunate to be a big part of it.

When I reached the stage I sighed… looked around and smiled. This was it, this was real, it was an honor. I knew it was an image I’d want to keep forever. So, I made a point to create a mental snapshot in my mind. I looked to my left to see Brent and my father sitting in the VIP section. To know they were there supporting me meant so much. In front of me, I had the best view of all the students. Smiling, happy, this day was for them. I needed to make it special. To my left and right I was seated by the Saint Mary’s College President, Provost, Past President and various Deans, Trustees, fellow Regents and Professors. I held my speech in my hands, I was ready. I wrote the speech for the students and I hoped it would make a difference in their lives, create a little memory for them on this special day. I wanted to offer a little advice, and offer a lot of support. Little did I know how much I would take out of this day. It was a great moment for this former graduate. One I will never forget.

I was touched by the students who stopped by on the way to get their diploma to shake my hand, to say thank you. To be approached by former professors to say it was the best they’d heard in 20 years I was taken aback… it was a great moment. A great day to give back to the school that gave so much to me. Thank you Saint Mary’s and the class of 2008 for the honor. Truly an honor.

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Click here to read Laura’s commencement address

A “Developing” Story

May 27, 2008

Brent CannonI have entered the world of the surreal. The world of fuzzy math – and where the debate of what the definition of “is” is.

How long is an hour? To me – it is 60 minutes. It is how long it takes the big hand to go once all the way around the clock. But in some circles, I guess this is not the case. Over the weekend I took some film to be developed. I wanted one-hour service. They have special envelopes for this, and you have to hand the envelope directly to the lab technician. I did all of that at 9:30 in the morning. I then went to run some errands. I returned at noon – two and a half hours after I had dropped the film off. In my mind, I had given them an extra hour and a half to develop my pictures. But to my surprise, my film had not been processed yet. The young man at the counter said they were backlogged from the night before. I understand. Sounds like they got overloaded. Fine with me. But then I asked how much they would charge me when my pictures were finished. He said they’d charge the one-hour developing price. I said, “But you didn’t get them developed in an hour.” This where things started getting weird. He said, “Well, an hour doesn’t really mean an hour. One hour is the same as, say, three hours.” WHAT? An hour is an hour – not some nebulous time to be determined later. I said, “You are right. One hour is the same as three hours, except for the additional two hours.” What kind of logic is this guy using?

Think of the ramifications of changing how long an hour is. Think of it. The wicked witch flips the ‘hour’ glass – and tells Dorothy she has an hour – give or take 5 or 6 – to hand over the red slippers. If they are not off her feet by, oh say, some time later this afternoon – there will be dire consequences. To me, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Not the same urgency or drama to it. An hour is an hour. If the witch was “an hour is an hour” person – but the Scarecrow is “an hour is whenever” person – Dorothy and Toto might have been turned into flying monkeys!

I mean, if the store can’t develop the film in an hour – they have to change the sign. Instead of saying “One Hour Developing” – it would have to say “Some Time Later Today Developing” – or “When We Can Get To It Developing.” Or they would have the make an adjustment to the sign – like it could say, “One hour (or so) Developing”. Or – “One Hour* Developing” with a disclaimer – (one hour is defined as at least 60 minutes – but also could be up to and including any amount of time we deem appropriate – which could be within the same day – or not).

Remember, I had to hand the special envelope to the tech. That would have been the perfect time for him to tell me they were backlogged and there would be no “one hour” service that day. Or they could have apologized for the inconvenience, and could have offered to charge me the regular developing fee.

All of this leads to another dilemma. I asked when the pictures would be ready, and he said, “Oh, in two or three hours.” Ok – A.) two or three additional hours would be about 5 hours since I dropped my film of for ONE hour developing. B.) How long is two to three hours? Is his definition of that like it is for one? If I come back in three hours will he say, “Three hours isn’t really three hours?” C.) I understand the poor tech being overloaded with work, but that’s the store’s problem – not mine. They make a promise to the customer, and have to live up to it, or make some concessions.

I know I won’t get any sympathy from Scott McGrew. The debate over the definition of “one hour” will go in one ear and out the other. He’ll ask, “Brent, why are you still shooting on film?” The reason is because the batteries died on the digital camera.

I will keep you posted on this “developing” situation.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

PS – I have an update. I went back 7 hours after my original drop off time. Somebody else was at the counter by then. She recognized an hour as an hour – and gave me the cheaper price.

Feeling the Pressure

May 22, 2008

Brent CannonI am feeling the pressure. As the spouse of a commencement day speaker – what is my roll? How do I act? Laura is the speaker at St. Mary’s College graduation ceremony this weekend. So, what do I do? When they call her up, do I stand and pump my fist and go “Wooo Wooo Wooo!” Do I yell, “Ya, baby! You go girl!” Do I sit there and clap like a golf gallery on the 14th hole? When she finishes, do I stand up and say “Dat’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

And what about people watching me during the whole thing? Let’s say it goes a little long, and let’s say it’s a little hot – and I start dozing off? Speaking of hot – can I wear a hat? Should it be my favorite baseball hat? I have a cowboy hat, but I don’t think that goes with a suit. I assume I have to wear a suit. What if I bring an umbrella? I have a giant, black and gold Colorado Buffalo umbrella. Is that wrong to bring to the St. Mary’s graduation?

This is a rare and proud moment for Laura. Can I play paparazzi and run around taking pictures – getting good angles and shots? Or do I have to just sit there?

What if one of Laura’s “funny” lines isn’t that funny? Do I belt out a supportive laugh? What if I let go a boisterous laugh and mine is the only voice you hear? That would be embarrassing for me, but is it worse for the joke to fall flat and be embarrassing for Laura?

Yes – this is going to be a pressure packed weekend for Laura – and for me

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Microclimate Musings

May 21, 2008

Mike InouyeLast week was hot. I don’t have all of Craig’s computers, modeling, radar and reporting stations but the sweat on my brow (and pretty much everywhere else) was enough to confirm the higher temps on my drive home. Of course, being on the morning news we have the unusual commute times of “no sun” on the way in and “full sun” on the way out.

Well, returning home in “full sun” (about 96 degrees on the dash readout) I discovered my air conditioning was fairing only slightly better than just driving with the windows down. I immediately called the service department and scheduled some time with them. As I sat waiting in the service arear, the mind wandered more freely…

Sidebar: On the topic of air conditioning (A/C) vs. windows down
With regard to fuel consumption, this subject is still open for debate. Some say the windows open cause more drag and ends up consuming more fuel than if you used A/C with windows up. Others beg to differ. Why do we care?

Have you been keeping up on Scott “Pump Daddy” McGrew’s reports on gas and oil prices?!? You can also check the numbers on my Traffic page.

Nuff said.

I even found a financial website that touched on the hot point issue; see here or here.

Not a lot of conclusive data on this topic. Not even from the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE). Their doc is also pretty effectively paraphrased here.

Even one of my all time favorite shows has tackled this topic… a shout out to our Bay Area brethren the Mythbusters.

Side-sidebar: If I say, “Packard” many in the Silicon Valley think I’m leaving out the “Hewlett.” Not when thoughts turn to “cool” cars.

The 1940 model year for the Packard debuted at the 40th National Automobile Show in Chicago, IL. This was the first offering of “climate control” for the automobile. Check out this beautiful example in “Jay Leno’s Garage” or do a quick search.

Meanwhile, back at my much less spacious or well stocked garage, my cabin is cooling again. Fortunately, the experience did not go without provoking sufficient thought as to shake enough loose for a blog.

Then again, maybe it was just the heat.

Mike-ro-climate Inouye
NBC11 Traffic (& Interior Weather)

Suing Over Secrets

May 20, 2008

Scott McGrewSometimes it’s best not to call attention to the fact that someone is telling your secrets.

The classic case is Barbara Streisand, who sued a California coastal project that was photographing beaches along the Pacific. She did not want this picture of her home included in the project, citing privacy concerns.

Now, practically no one had heard of the California Coastal Project until Streisand sued. And then all of the sudden everyone was looking at pictures of her home.

Along the same vein, Apple sued website Think Secret for speculating the computer company would unveil a sub-500 dollar computer. The site was right – it was the Mac Mini.

In a truly bizarre case, the Marco Beach Ocean Resort in Florida sent a cease and desist letter to the website Urinal.net, which features pictures of urinals*, saying the authors have no right to use the hotel’s name. Or for that matter, its urinal. In an even weirder development, it’s alleged the hotel says the website cannot show the cease and desist letter to anyone, which makes one wonder how the website’s authors will be able to get an attorney’s help.

I think it’s unlikely anyone would have been aware of Marco Beach Ocean Resort’s alleged urinal problem — namely that it’s visible from the lobby when someone opens the men’s room door too wide — had the hotel not asked Urinal.net to cease and desist.

Put another way, if someone’s telling your secrets, you might not want to point it out to the world.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter

*really

Commencement Challenge

May 19, 2008

Laura Garcia CannonI’ve got a huge weekend ahead of me. One filled with responsibility, intellect, and hopefully some inspiration. I have been asked to be the commencement speaker at Saint Mary’s College of California. Yes, my alma mater. What an honor! For a woman that gets paid to talk, I was at a loss of words when the President of the school called me earlier this year to ask me if I would consider it. Consider it? How could I say no? Why would anyone turn down such an honorable distinction? Now that I’ve agreed, I’ve determined why one would turn it down. What are you supposed to say? How can you be profound enough to guide 2500 undergraduate students as they embark on the biggest change of their lives? I spent the weekend, locked away writing, except for a few occasional walks of the dog to clear my mind, and my regular Sunday Morning Mass to pray for direction.

A weekend of writing, pondering, questioning, what can I leave with these graduates? What will they remember… ? What do they need to know? What would you say? If you could give one piece of advice to a college graduate what would it be? I’ve asked friends and family and an interesting pause followed by a glance to the heavens comes over them. You don’t want the cliche “aim high” kind of speech. You want to make a lasting impression. Can you make a lasting impression in today’s day and age of quick sound bites, senseless blogs and text messages that reduce the English language to letters? What would a graduate want to hear? What do they need to hear? What would you say? Interesting to think about don’t you think? Wish me luck.

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Late Night

May 16, 2008

Laura Garcia CannonWhy am I not here today? Because I was out “very late” last night! As a morning anchor that gets up at 2:45 a.m. anything past 7 p.m. is usually late night to me. On Thursday night, I went way past that, but it was all for a good cause, in support of the YWCA. They annually host what is called the “Twin Awards.” It is an event that recognizes successful female executives for their outstanding achievements. The women are nominated by companies and organizations in the Silicon Valley. The nominator must be the CEO or highest-ranking local officer or director in the company. The women are very accomplished, and kind. I always enjoy being the emcee for the event on behalf of NBC11.  I meet women who are able to juggle demanding careers, motherhood, households, marriage and just the day to day lists of things to do at both work and home effortlessly.

More so, proceeds from the event go to the YWCA. What a service they provide to the community, every day, 24 hours a day. With a Rape Crisis Center to help victims in need, counseling services, family services, and youth services, just to name a few, they are the true example of what it means to serve a community and people in a time of need.

You won’t be able to see my dark circles this morning, but I earned them for a good cause.

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Scorpion & Possum Teeth

May 15, 2008

Brent CannonI went camping a few weekends ago. I have not been in a few years. We went to the Sequoia National Forest. It was an interesting trip. First – the campground was not officially open – although the park service said we could camp there. When we arrived, all the spaces were taken – except one. So, we took it. I was surprised so many people were camping so early in the season.

We must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving in camp. The pickup was loaded to the hilt. Tied on top of the heap was the 5-year-old’s bike. Who brings a bike camping? I guess he does. And he rode it too.

One day I was gathering dead and fallen wood for the fire. There were spiders and all kinds of creatures on the wood, so I was inspecting it before loading my arms with things that might bite me. Good thing I checked. I turned one over and found a scorpion! This was the hit of the trip. My niece and nephews were enthralled. We had a cricket cage for fishing, and we used it for the scorpion. I then realized this was a total mistake. It would only be a matter of time before somebody knocked the lid off – or stuck a finger in and we’d have big problems. It’s amazing. You tells kids – “THESE ARE POISONOUS” – and it goes in one ear and out the other. I eventually squashed the scorpion so it would not get us, or the next campers to come along. But I had no idea scorpions could be found in the mountains. It looked something like this picture – although I cannot say if this is the specific species.

One night my brother-in-law began jumping up and down – holding his foot. Seems he stepped on something in the tent. He held up a plastic baggie and said, “What the heck is this?” My niece said, “Oh, it must be my possum teeth.” WHAT? Possum teeth? WHAT? Turns out she came across a dead and decaying possum back home and for some “kid” reason, decided to keep a few teeth – and then for some “kid” reason – decided to bring them camping.

The kids loved roasting marshmallows. Oh – not for eating – but to catch on fire and burn like Roman candles!

Everybody must have had a good time because on the way home the 5-year-old asked, “Daddy, how long until we can go camping again?”

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

The Monkey Award

May 14, 2008

Mike InouyeLast weekend was a treat. My wife and I got to go for a night on the town and hit the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the 37th Annual Emmy Awards. I was honored to be a presenter as well as to have been nominated in a number of categories.

I’m thrilled to share with you that for the third year in a row our morning newscast won the Emmy for best daytime newscast. Those of us in attendance congratulated one another, celebrated at the dinner party and had an enjoyable, albeit a long night.

The following morning our son was toddling past the statuette I’d brought home. He paused in front of it, looked up and smiled.

“They’s two of these guys there,” he said.

Glowing in the moment I forgave the lad his grammatical errors and said “yes, daddy got that last night when you stayed at Grandma’s house.”

He seemed to understand.

“That’s called an ‘Emmy’,” I continued. “It’s got a ball, and a lady and wings…”

“…and a monkey,” he added.

A monkey?!

My explanation stalled, “well… there’s a lady and…”

…and I took a step back.

I got down on one knee and saw what he saw, in the context of what his world.

He’s two. He eats, he plays.

Heck, that’s what I do too.

We mostly play cars but sometimes we have one of his toy monkeys “throw” the ball to him.

No disrespect to the lovely lady (Mrs. Louis McManus) who is the model for this famous figurine but, compare and see for yourself.

Not so different after all.

It was a great reminder for me that though we can sometimes get caught up in awards and accolades, those aren’t necessarily the important things in life.

For my son, the important things are cars and monkeys.

For me it’s the boy who loves cars and monkeys, so I’m darned proud of my Monkey Awards!

Gas prices are soaring so cars may not be so high on the wishlist these days but, to quote the musical group Barenaked Ladies, “Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?”

Mike Inouye
aka “Monkey No Way”
NBC11 Traffic Anchor