Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Here’s to “old” technology

February 7, 2009

Brent Cannon: Brent CannonI read an article in the San Jose Mercury news the other day which said Santa Clara University is taking the phone lines out of dorm rooms. Seems modern students don’t use the old “land-line” phones. They all have cell phones now – so there is no need for the “old fashioned” phones.

But I beg to differ, and here’s why. First – students claimed nobody ever called the old phone in the dorm room. I say, people will call if they know the number. I doubt people don’t call because they have a ‘hang up” about calling an old phone. Sure they’ll call. If they think you are in your room – they’ll call. Why not?

Second – In an emergency the old land line is the best bet. When the power fails, a cell phone will eventually need to be re-charged and will eventually “die” especially if you are making a lot of calls – which will tend to be the case in an emergency. Land lines can still function when the power is out.

Third – service is also likely to not work for a cell phone in an emergency. Cell sites get jammed and calls don’t go through. Land lines are more reliable and more likely to be able to place and accept calls when cell phones cannot.

Fourth – you don’t have to sign long contracts and agreements with land lines.

The downside is that land lines are not mobile and cannot take pictures. But when all you need to do is have a conversation with somebody – they work just fine.

So, from my perspective – land lines may not be in vogue – but they still can play an important and functional roll. Here’s to the old, outdated, not so cool technology of the olden days!

Tough Traffic

June 13, 2008

Bob RedellI’ve been filling in for traffic anchor Mike Inouye on the mornings since he’s on paternity leave. I gotta tell ya, this gig is a tough nut to crack. Normally, I’m out reporting news in the field (which means culling together three reports for use during our two hour morning show.) It is generally a very low stress assignment. Traffic on the other hand requires you to go on air with the latest on the roads every 10 minutes. I don’t mind the extra work. It’s the “culling together” the information that has freaked me out a couple times.

To figure out what your commute is going to look like, we rely on several sources. We’ve got access to two web sites: one run by CHP, the other by a private company called Traffic Pulse. We also use another computer to create the animated maps you see on air. Several traffic cameras throughout the Bay Area help us as well. And Chopper 11 is a terrific roaming source for live pictures and information. It’s great to have all this at your fingertips, but to the newbie traffic dude, it can be overwhelming, especially when you have less than 10 minutes to prepare between each traffic report.

On more than one occasion, I have literally ran up to the camera with zero seconds to spare to deliver my report. (The time just snuck away from me.) I could feel my heart trying to break through my rib cage as my lungs gasped for breath. That is not what I call cool, calm and collected. (A fickle clicker we use to change the traffic maps on air has also given me the joy of experiencing a couple mild heart attacks.) This is not at all meant as a gripe. I just want to give major props to our man Mike for making it seem so easy. (I was also asked to blog about my traffic experience and figured I it’d be more interesting focus on my “challenges.”)

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter & Traffic Trickster

LATE BREAKING TIDBIT: I must say I’ve found my comfort zone over the past couple days and have grown to enjoy the assignment.

No ZZZZ’s For Me

January 29, 2008

Bob Redell

In bed, I’m a pillow hog. But this week, I’ll be a pig. Specifically a guinea pig – with no sleep. As if I weren’t sleep deprived enough, my bosses would now like me to get rid of the zzzz’s altogether. 2:19 on Tuesday morning will be the last minute of shuteye I get for the next three days or so. When I wake up for work that morning at 2:20, I’ll be checking myself into a Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic for a 2 night, 3 day stay. A doctor there will be monitoring me and testing my motor skills. We want to get a more scientific understanding as to how sleep deprivation affects the human body / mind / soul / psyche.

Most adults require 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. But 40% of Americans get less than that. Me: I average about 4 or 5 hours which I realize is very unhealthy and will some day catch up with me, if it hasn’t already. (The upside is I’m home with my girls and get to work with a great crew on the morning shows.) I wouldn’t be surprised if many other workers in the Bay Area are sleep deprived. The commutes here are longer which means less time to sleep. Tune in to catch me live Wednesday and Thursday morning with a live special report Thursday night at 11. You can also find updates throughout the whole process on my Facing Fatigue blog. Sleep tight.

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

Jack Frostbite

December 29, 2006

Bob RedellThere’s nothing I hate more than warmth and sunlight. Thank goodness for North Pole, Alaska. I was up there just before Christmas, doing live shots in front of Santa’s house for us and NBC. The forecast called for minus 23 degrees. But fortunately for me, those forecasters were way off.

Phew… It was only minus 18 degrees. Pool Party!

Late morning sunrise. The sun never really got above the horizon. Only about four hours of sunlight. It’s really great – if you’re a vampire. Hey, talk about a serious bite.

Someone needed to feed the reindeer outside Santa’s house (where we did our live shots from.)

Donner went to town on that cable that belonged to Trent (our satellite truck guy from Anchorage.) BTW: People who live in Alaska are the ultimate survivalists: the McGyver’s of the North. Super nice people…. and they’re so environmental. Check out all those electric cars!

Oh, wait. Those are the plugs for the car heaters so the fluids in the engines don’t freeze up because it’s so freakin’ cold!

In all seriousness, Alaska is a beautiful place to visit. The air is so fresh. Don’t have to worry about traffic or large crowds. And the summers are something else. Spent part of July a long time ago at my great aunt and uncle’s cabin outside Anchorage. (They were homesteaders.) Cool thing was it never really got dark. The streams were loaded with salmon. And the views were extraordinary.

To get to North Pole, Alaska: Bay Area flight to Seattle to Anchorage to Fairbanks. North Pole is a little town about 15 minutes outside Fairbanks, about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. At least I didn’t have to worry about Jack Frost nipping at my toes. Even he was trying to borrow my gloves.

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

Space Cadet

July 17, 2006

Bob RedellLike every kid, it’s always been my dream to grow up to be Yuri Gagarin. But recently, that dream was crushed. When I heard that the Chabot Space and Science Center was moving its Russian Soyuz Space Capsule to the USS Hornet for display and restoration, I thought ‘Wow, this will be cool. I’ll get to hang out in a Russian space capsule.’

But it was so small, I was lucky I was not ‘hanging out’ of that thing.

Inside Russian Soyuz Space Capsule Bob Inside Capsule

It’s hard to imagine what it was like to be crammed in that steel ball with two other Cosmonauts for missions that sometimes lasted 4 days.

Russian Soyuz Space Capsule Soyuz Computer

The computers your life depended upon had less computing power than Pong.

And oh yeah, I’m told that during the first missions, Russia didn’t install…uh…What’s that thing called? Oh yeah – life support. So if you started hearing hssssss…. well, there was no putting on a space suit with its own oxygen supply. There were also explosives rigged behind each seat so when the capsule parachuted to Earth, the charges would shoot your seat forward to help absorb the impact. To me, that’s nuts. All I gotta say is: Cosmo…Not! On a side note: after we finished our live report, the capsule moving crew showed up…in bunny suits.

Capsule Moving Crew Arrives in Safety Suits

I was like ‘What’s with the bunny suits?’ ‘Uh – the lead paint and whatever else is in there.’ ‘Oh. Really?’ It’s not like I wanted to live ‘that’ long.

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

I Was Moved

June 16, 2006

Bob Redell
My photographer Rob and I went to Morgan Hill yesterday to cover a story about company under investigation by the feds. We did our first live report at 5 and were in the live truck waiting to do our next report for 6. At around 5:25… something started shaking the van. At first, I thought someone outside was playing a prank on us. (This wasn’t out of the realm. Just a few weeks ago, some clowns threw a chocolate shake on our van.) Then I’m thinking maybe someone’s revving their car up against our van. (Again. Not out of the realm. A few years ago, someone rear ended us. Fortunately, no one was hurt too badly.) Turns out it was that 4.7 earthquake everyone was talking about. Fortunately for you, a digital camera happened to be taking pictures as this happened.

Here are the pre-quake pix of me and Rob:
And here are the post quake pics:
Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

Cowboy, Oh Boy – I Feel Like an Idiot

May 26, 2006

Bob RedellSo the nice people at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo invited me to participate in their celebrity penning event. That’s where 3 people on horses try to corral a cow into a pen. 24 teams – 3 per team: 2 who know what they are doing – and an “invitee” who in my case did not. I don’t know why but I actually thought this was going to be easy.

It was me, Mike (middle aged cowboy who seemed to really care about winning) and Okie (ol’ timer who was so carefree I think they named the gum after him.) I can’t remember my horse’s name. (Shame does that to you.) But I do remember what Mr. Ed’s evil twin did to me once we got out there in front of the crowd. I’d love to show you but my wife forgot to take pictures because she was laughing so hard. All I remember is that the power steering went out, the accelerator was stuck in “whatever” and I had no brakes.

I particulary enjoyed it when Bruiser crushed my legs up against the railing. But that was nowhere near as much fun as when he tried some bucking maneuver. It wasn’t like I actually wanted to keep that hat that was on my head. He then trotted over to the stands where some little girl told me that “The horse could tell I was nervous.” Nervous? No. Try humilated. The horse did finally come to a stop. Some dude in the crowd yelled out: “Don’t do a thing! Keep him there.” Good idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Here’s the shocker to all of this: My team didn’t do so well. I felt bad for Mike. (Sorry dude.)

In all seriousness, I had a lot of fun and have no ill will towards Hopalong. I would’ve done the same thing if I had 200 pounds of waste of humanity on my back.

By the way, I don’t want you to think I totally stink at rodeo. Here’s a picture of me bull riding. You’ll be proud to know that I stayed on not just for one – but yes, two whole seconds!

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

The San Francisco Gray Area

April 11, 2006

Bob RedellI understand why we need rain but this is a little much. Will it ever END!!!!???? So, help me prepare for the inevitable and join me tomorrow when we start collecting two of every animal. (Random people’s pets first: cats, dogs, parakeets, two toed sloths, etc…)

Oh, I was in Chicago this weekend. Amazingly, the sun actually shines there. I got to see it just before hypothermia set in. (The wind off the lake felt like 20 degrees.) I’ve gotta tell ya: I love the Windy City. I was born there and raised on the Southside. It’s a terrific place with great people. That said, in spite of all this wet weather, I’d much rather swim than freeze.

Today, during the 10 am newscast, I’ll be doing a live shot from the clock tower at the San Jose Museum of Art. They’re trying to rebuild the top part that was destroyed during the 1906 quake. Look for me: I’ll be standing on the tiny ledge way up there outside the face of the clock. It should be a good time.

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

Good Knight, Good Luck

March 30, 2006

Bob RedellI thought I’d be riding a bull for my live shot during our 10 am newscast. It was to promote the Grand National Rodeo – but, as bad weather would have it, it was just too darn muddy for that. So, it was cancelled. But, since I was determined to risk life and limb and hopefully rid the world of one more annoying feature reporter, I went to “Knight School” instead. No joke. A place in San Jose actually suits you up in armor and teaches you how to sword fight. Think Darth Vader vs. the Tin Man. (Tin Man be me. Took some nice hits to the head. Lots of fun.) Keep an eye out for this story to air next Thursday. I’m jusstt glsadx the conncusshun haz finullay wornn ougffffffffffffff ff f f fffffffffff

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter