Archive for July, 2008

Singing Sasha

July 31, 2008

Craig Herrera
Have you ever had a dog, or pet that did something that just made you smile, or laugh out loud! Maybe you have that pet right now… a pet that likes to dance, or maybe sit up for a treat.  Brent and Laura have little Chip who likes to roll over and play dead after you point a finger at him as if to shoot him. My uncle had a dog once that would crack the shell of a sunflower seed, spit out the shell and enjoyed only the seed itself. Some dogs like to fetch, other like to dig, ours likes to sing.

Last week, I blogged about the loss of our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Tess. She was such a great dog. And she learned how to roll over when she was 11-years-old… who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Well this week I want to share a little about Sasha, a 9-year old Lhasa Apso who loves to sing. It’s a funny story. She doesn’t bark much, only when someone is at the door. She’s such a sweet dog and one day she just started singing to the piano.

It is the funniest thing! She only likes one song and you are guaranteed to hear her howl if she hears this one song on the piano. Occasionally, she will sing to other songs, but one in particular will always get her vocals going! I recorded it and just put it on YouTube for you all to enjoy. After a performance she naturally runs to the treat closet for a biscuit. And she is no longer shy! If we have guests over and ask her to sing, she quickly runs to the piano, tail wagging just as fast as possible with a grin on her face as she prepares to let it all out. I hope you enjoy it! Enjoy your time with your pets and maybe show them a new trick, a simple sit is a good place to start. Remember, a treat is a good way to get them started! 🙂

Craig Herrera
NBC Bay Area WeatherPlus Meteorologist

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Golf Game

July 29, 2008

Brent CannonSomebody recently asked me if I play golf. I hesitated to respond. I have clubs. I hit a ball on a golf course with them. But sometimes I don’t know if what I do can be called golf.

I enjoy golf. But golf is one of those sports that you have to work at and play often to be really good. Otherwise, you have to accept the idea that you are not Tiger Woods and just enjoy the game.

I played a couple of weeks ago, for the first time in many months. I got a birdie on one hole. I am really happy when I finish a hole, and it has a name. You can eagle a hole. You can birdie, par, bogie or double bogie. All of those things have names. Many times, what I shoot does not have a name. You get into seven, eight, ten strokes a hole and it no longer has a name. Well, none I can mention here anyway.

If you watch golf on TV you will see dozens of commercials for the latest and best balls on the market. They all tout improved technology that makes them fly further than all the rest. I just want one that won’t go off course. I want one that stays in the grass. I’m not really big on having a brand new ball. In fact, brand new balls make me nervous. I hate to tee up with one because I fear I’ll lose it. I get all tense and that ruins my swing.

I like having an old, scuffed up ball. Maybe one I found that has “Fred” written on it in felt marker. Fellow golfers ask, “You playin’ the Calloway ball?” I say, “No, it has Fred on it.” I also think I am having a great round of golf if I come home with more balls than I started with. While searching for my ball in the out of bounds area, I often come across another long lost ball, and get to add it to my collection. Another sign of a good round is if I finish with the same ball I started with.

I believe in unlimited “Mulligan’s.” If I were on tour, I’d play by all the strict rules. But I’m not. PGA pros have one chance to hit their best shot. But I need a few tries. Usually one “practice” shot and then the “real” one.

On the other hand, I do not believe in “gimmies.” If my ball is six inches from the hole and somebody says, “That’s a gimmie” – they are sadly mistaken. I could easily blow that shot.

If I have a good day, I don’t cheat, and follow all the rules, I will be very happy if I shoot in the upper 90’s. But I admit, it is very possible I will be in triple digit territory. A 105 is not uncommon.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

More Air Time

July 28, 2008

Mike InouyeSo, Brent writes about S’mores and, while I don’t have a special family recipes or secrets for preparation, it did take me to thoughts of marshmallows in general. (Many things, you’ll find, take me to thoughts of marshmallows in general. See “Shout Out to my Peeps” from last March.)

For S’mores you want to get the marshmallows heated enough to smoosh. That’s fine if you’re cooking with them but plain?

I like my marshmallows “aired out” a bit. Leave the package open for a day or just dump some into a bowl and let ’em be.

Some call them stale marshmallows but I like them that way. I find it adds a bit of toothiness to the cloudlike confection. If you don’t have the toothiness, how do you even know you’re eating anything of substance at all?

What about other foodstuff? Cheetos, of which I am famously fond… I like them a little “moister” than they come out of the bag. How to you get them to have the right bite? Air ’em out.

Stews and soups? Love to make them, and love to serve them steaming hot. However, I leave my bowl undisturbed as the flavors mature and the smells waft into to the air. As the steam dies down, the flavor seems to rise. I enjoy my food closer to room temperature than cooking temps it would seem.

Why?

I love to cook so this may be due to the fact that I usually serve my food at the same time I serve everyone else sitting at the table. As a result, my plate sits around and waits for me to arrive. It works out, though, ‘cuz I like to serve the food up hot but don’t like to eat it that way. Go figure.

Also interesting; this is in direct conflict with my role here as the Traffic Anchor where I don’t like my reports to be stale, the commute would suffer.

Commuters don’t need more suffering.

My reports are hot off the grill… but they could always use a little more air time. 😉

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area
Room Temperature Traffic Anchor

Note to those for whom I’ve cooked:
I try to keep everything well within the safety guidelines as suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with regard to food safety

Note to Brent:
Back on the S’mores tip, there is an invention (dare I drift onto Scott McGrew’s turf and say “gadget”) that he might find interesting. Check out this 21st Century S’mores maker.

Laura Invented Gadget Friday

July 25, 2008

Scott McGrewMy mailman watches our Gadget Friday segment religiously. So too does the deli guy at the grocery store. They usually ask what the week’s gadget will be ahead of time, knowing I’ll never tell them. It’s funny – I can predict something in the business world that surprises even me with its accuracy – like “Microsoft will make a play for Yahoo” or something, but no one ever stops me at the Safeway freezer case to compliment me on that. It’s always about Gadget Friday.

I’m glad everyone enjoys it, as I think sometimes it’s fun to take a break from the issues on the world that we cover on the news. Then again, I don’t take it particularly seriously – I’m up there talking about a gadget that freezes dog poop or whatever and getting paid for it.

Gadget Friday got a strange start. About three years ago or so I simply ran out of stuff to talk about on the morning business segment. It was just a slow Friday. I am in charge of a show on the weekends called TechNow and I thought “well, I’ll take up some of my time promoting that show.” So, I grabbed a device off my desk that was to be featured on the show that week and mentioned that you could see more about it on TechNow.

The next Friday, Laura asked me before we went on set “so, what’s the gadget this Friday?” And I thought “oh, I could do that again.” And 150 gadgets or so later, there you go.

By the way, do you think this is a coincidence? 🙂

Scott McGrew
NBC Bay Area Business & Tech Reporter

Sad Farewell

July 24, 2008

Craig HerreraI took a few days off last week to spend time with my parents who were visiting from New Mexico. We had a great week together, as we always do, but we ended the week on a very sad note.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to blog about this, but I know it’s a story about a life that was so special and so wonderful and I knew I just had to share it with you. Especially, since you all know how much I love pets and how much I like to get involved with organizations like the Humane Society Silicon Valley and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Last Friday, we lost our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Tess, to a long one-year battle with cancer. She was 13-years old and such a sweetheart! It still breaks my heart to think she is gone, but I know she is now at peace. Now I imagine her running along the beach, Carmel By The Sea and Bean Hollow were her two favorite spots. She loved her treats so I know she is eating all the peanut butter treats she can eat without gaining an ounce!

Tess was such a sweet and gentle dog, yet her bark was very intimidating! We adopted her in Denver, she was rescued from an abusive home, and once she learned humans can be loving beings, she had a great life. She climbed some 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, hiked near Kings Canyon National Park, sat proudly on Moon Mountain in Sonoma County and toured Sonoma and Napa county vineyards, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and she did so much more in her 13 years of life.

I smile when I think about all the fun times we had with her and I know she is still watching over us. We still have one dog, Sasha, a Lhasa Apso, who is doing well. We just keep her busy with lots of walks and play time to keep her busy. If you have a furry little one in your life, please give them a little extra time and let them know just how much you love them.

Craig Herrera
NBC Bay Area WeatherPlus Meteorologist

Panicked Exit

July 23, 2008

Laura Garcia CannonThey say never to yell “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. A modern day equivalent situation happened to me last week. Brent and I took our nephew to see the movie “Dark Knight.” Yes, I called my sister, his Mom, before to make sure it was ok…. Anyway, we’re about an hour and a half into the film and lights start flashing, alarms start going off, the film stops rolling, the lights come up and a calm woman’s recorded voice tells us there is an emergency and we must exit the theater.

I immediately thought, “Awww, someone pulled the fire alarm!” But you can’t take chances with
something like that, so everyone got up and started to exit. A similar thing had strangely happened to us about three weeks earlier at the end of a Sunday Mass. I promise, no coincidence, we in no way were we involved, but everyone got up and calmly exited. I guess we figured we had God on our side on that one, but watching the “Dark Knight” it was a strangely different experience. A woman behind us started saying, “I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go, let me through, I’m getting out of here!!” The panic in her voice was intense. Then she started pushing. Being an over protective Aunt, highly responsible for my sister’s child, my nephew was the first one on my mind. Brent’s a big boy I knew he would lead the way. He did, and we ended up getting somehow funneled to the roof of the theater. Kind of not a good place to be if a building is burning down. But it wasn’t, thank goodness. It was a false alarm.

Now, the huge crowds scattered on top of and outside of the buildings had to somehow find their way back into the theater, but enough popcorn on the ground led the way… the movie was restarted where it left off, but made the 2 1/2 hour movie more like 3 1/2. I ended up having to leave the theater early because it ran into another appointment I had. I had to have Brent and our nephew give me the recap… a Dark Knight it was, strange afternoon. It felt like the Joker really was involved!

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

S’mores Season

July 22, 2008

Brent CannonHow do you like your marshmallows? I like mine well done. Very, well done.

I recently went camping, and of course no camping trip is complete without roasting marshmallows. I have been roasting marshmallows since I was a kid, but this time out, I realized there are so many variables. How do you skewer your marshmallow? Some people like to use the two pronged skewers from the store. Other people use an old coat hanger. Others prefer a stick off a nearby tree.

How many marshmallows do you roast at a time? Some go with one at a time. Others go with two. I have even seen a triple roaster.

Selecting the perfect heat source is important. Some people like to use the campfire flame. Others pick a choice bed of red-hot coals. I like to find a “hole.” I look for the red-hot coals, usually in a gap in the burning logs of the fire. I like the store-bought skewer – and can go with a single or double marshmallow. I stick them into the “hole” and wait until it bursts into flame.

This brings up another point. How do you like your marshmallows cooked? Some people basically want them “warmed.” Others like a slow roasting – turning the skewer slowly until all sides are a golden brown.

As for me – I like my marshmallow like a roman candle. I like it on fire like a torch you could use to navigate a dark cavern in an Indian Jones movie. I’m not happy until the entire thing is on fire and the marshmallow begins to turn black. I know. I know. Carcinogens. But that’s how I like ‘em. Once engulfed in flame – I quickly blow it out. From there we enter a new phase. What to do with the marshmallow once the cooking phase is complete.

You can eat it as is. You can put it on a graham cracker. Or, you can go for the full-fledged “S’more.” That would most likely mean two roasted marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate. Now, this is not a plug for Hershey’s chocolate. It just happens to be what one uses in a properly made “s’more.” You don’t get the bars with almonds or “crunchies.” You get a plain old Hershey’s chocolate bar. Ya break off about half, and put it on the hot marshmallow – and then put a “lid” on. That would be another graham cracker.

There are many things I still do not know – like where the names marshmallow and s’more came from. Although, I have heard that they call ‘em s’mores because if you have one, ya gotta have “s’more.” But what I do know is how I like my marshmallows roasted and that roasting marshmallows is a long hallowed camping tradition.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

Live Strong!

July 14, 2008

Craig HerreraWhat an event! Congratulations San Jose! Sunday, July 13, was the inaugural LIVESTRONG Challenge in San Jose and we had an amazing turn out. While talking with my new friend Renee from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, we had 3000 participants (runners and cyclists) which was 200% over the goal! Lance Armstrong spoke on stage after the event and said it was the best inaugural event for the LIVESTRONG Challenge and they can’t wait to come back in 2009! I will also be back with my team as well!

The day was challenging… physically and at times emotionally. I was riding in memory of my Uncle Gilbert who died of esophageal cancer in January 2008. I was also riding in honor of a good friend Beth who is undergoing chemo at this time. I think most people were riding with someone in mind and in their hearts. At times, I had a hard time spotting the bumps in the road because of the tears in my eyes. My parents are also in town visiting from my hometown which is just a few miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. My mom and uncle were very close and he was like a father to me too. So, I rode with his name on my new LIVESTRONG jersey and he popped into my mind many times. He loved California, the beaches and the cuisine! He and my aunt were with my mom on every trip to visit me. So, I miss him often. He loved hearing about my fun runs, cycling adventures and triathlons.

I also want to say thank to you all the volunteers who made it special all along the way and all the teams that rode together. There was also one team that stood out to me. You all know I am a pet lover! Team Spike was formed by a man who lost his dog to cancer. Soon after he learned his father had cancer. Both the father and son were riding Sunday! Thank you!

NBC11 was a proud sponsor of the event and I had a team of 11 riders for this event. Two team members did the 10-mile ride, and nine of us did the 50-mile ride. This is our team photo at the end of the ride (minus two riders).


Back row, Mitch, Paul, Jim, Gary, Anthony, Ken. Front row, Julie, myself and Jean.

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

Grandmother’s Gift

July 10, 2008

Laura Garcia CannonI just spent the afternoon with my Grandmother on her 94th birthday. What an amazing woman she is. She arrives downstairs glowing. Silver hair forming the perfect waves around her beautiful radiant face,”Oh Laurie, it’s so good to see you,” she says with a smile. Her frail arms give me a mighty hug and I’m filled with warmth and wonderful appreciation for this remarkable woman in my life.

She remains as sharp as a tack, but admits sometimes it’s hard to hear, so I get close to her face to tell her happy birthday and how wonderful she looks. She waves her hand off as if I’m crazy, but it’s true. To help her hear, I remain face to face looking deep into her beautiful gray eyes. It gives me a glimpse, if only for a brief moment, of the many full years she’s had in her life.

She gets up hurriedly as if she has something urgent to attend to. “Oh I have something for you!” she proclaims, “sit down here and I’ll go get it!” She bounds back up the stairs insisting she needs no help, so I sit back down and wait. If Grandma says to sit, you sit. I learned that long ago.

Moments later, she’s back downstairs holding a tattered paper she mistook for a menu from the restaurant she owned at one time with my Grandfather. She had been wanting to show me the menu for a while. “We sold chile relleno for 20 cents and tax was a penny! Can you believe the prices!” she exclaimed. But because her eyesight has grown weak, she had instead grabbed a paper someone must have given her from a birthday long ago. It was filled with prices of common goods back in 1914, the year she was born.

Population: 99,11,000
Three bedroom home: $2,575
Average Income: $518
A new Ford: $490
Gas: 35 cents
Bread: 6 cents
Milk: 35 cents
Stamp: 2 cents
Women in the work force 18.1%

I couldn’t help to think, we’ve come a long way baby, in so many ways. Gas upwards of $4.50, I saw a gallon of organic milk for $6+ on the way home! I felt bad for the industrial size bag of pita chips I had just bought at Costco for a whopping $5.99 – nearly 100% higher than what her mother had paid for a loaf of bread to feed an entire family! In this day and age of foreclosures and mortgage messes, need I say more about the house for $2575? Yes, two thousand five hundred seventy five dollars!

Times change. Oh yes they do.. and in her 94 years on this planet, she has seen so much, done so much, I marvel at her continued energy. I hope I inherit her strength, perseverance and tenacity. I know I’ve already got her sweet tooth as we spent the rest of the afternoon munching on cookies, talking, laughing, sharing. For a moment, I felt 8 again, and she, perhaps 38. A wonderful afternoon with my Grandmother of 94. What a gift she gave me on her birthday!

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Bears and Cubs

July 8, 2008

Scott McGrewI’m back from a two week vacation and I know you want to see pictures.  The first is shot by my oldest son Zachary, and is extremely blurry because it was dark and he was taking pictures of a bear mama and its cubs as it approached our hotel in Yosemite.  Which means the shutter was open a long time and apparently my 13 year old gets a bit shaky around bears.

We kept a safe distance and admired them, and then a park ranger showed up and SHOT THE BEAR IN THE BUTT with a laser guided rifle – apparently with a rubber bullet.  My kids were very impressed with the laser as it cut through the night sky and landed on the bear’s butt.  Take them out to nature, show them a bear, and they leave thinking “I really love laser rifle sights.  Dad, can we get a rifle with laser sights?”

Once safely back from Yosemite, we took my mother who was visiting from Chicago to a Giants game to see them take on the Cubs.  My mom is a big Cubs fan.  Because my “other job” is reporting business news for KNBR 680 sports radio, I was able to get some very nice tickets.  Like a suite.  So here are some shots of my parents enjoying the suite while my youngest son, Ian, sits with Kruk and Kuip as they call the game in the broadcast booth.

My sons had no idea their “Nana” was such a baseball fan – knowing all the stats and the ins and outs.  They thought she was just a nice old lady with an apparently bottomless coin purse and a lot of love.  But she also screams at pitchers when they underperform.

Unfortunately for Mom, the game she attended was the ONE game the Cubs lost against the Giants in the series.  The Cubs needed better hitting, or, perhaps, a rifle with laser sights.   That totally woulda worked.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter