Archive for the ‘Brent Cannon’ Category

Early Morning Leads to Unexpected Entertainment

January 11, 2009

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonI guess it’s official. I am a morning guy. We keep unusual hours. Laura and I used to get up work day mornings at about 3:00. That changed a week ago to 2:15 because our newscast now starts at 4:30AM instead of at 5:00AM.

We have been doing this now for several years. Nine years at this station, and before that I did the morning news for two years in Phoenix.

I have always steered clear of saying you get used to it, because I don’t think you really do. It just is not natural to wake up at two or three in the morning on a daily basis for years on end.

But I really noticed a change recently while Laura and I were on vacation. I woke up at 4:00 or 4:30‘ish – feeling refreshed and ready to go. I pushed it by trying to stay in bed until 5:00AM.

On the flip side I cannot stay up past 8:00PM. I tried. I was watching a great game on TV – and woke up in the 4th quarter. I fell asleep on the couch. Family wants to go to diner at 7:00 and I cringe. I know I will virtually be sleepwalking by then.

And here’s the real kicker. One of the final nights of vacation, Laura and I both woke up at about 2:30 and couldn’t sleep. We all got up. She, the cat, the dog and I all went downstairs and watched infomercials. It was a hoot. We saw some funny stuff. It is amazing what they come up with to sell. I saw the “Shamwow” – and these slipper things you put on your feet and “swiffer” the floor by kind of skating around! There was some sort of putty, glue stuff, and all sorts of kitchen gadgets. The thing is, you laugh, but then they “mind meld” you and you start thinking, “Hey, that’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll order that.”

Anyway, we didn’t buy anything thing, but we watched for an hour or so and decided to go back to bed and try to sleep. I think I napped for another hour and then got up.

So I guess it’s official. I’m a morning guy now. A really early morning guy.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

The Goat That Brought Two Anchors Together

December 23, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonScott mentioned a website the other morning – universalgiving.org – and mentioned how he could jokingly give a goat to his sister for Christmas via that site. He then showed a picture of his sister, as well as the little goat.

goat

The goat caused me to have a flashback of my fist date with Laura. So, now I have to explain.

Laura and I met while working for competing stations in Fresno, which is a whole story of its own. We exchanged phone numbers, and I decided to ask her out. But I wasn’t sure about a big, serious date. I thought I’d make it something more casual and fun – take the pressure off by doing something a little less formal. So, I asked if she wanted to go to lunch and the zoo one afternoon.

Laura worked in the ABC station’s bureau in Visalia. So, she drove to Fresno and I drove to lunch and the zoo.

On the way to the zoo, I asked how long she thought she might be there. I meant, how long did she anticipate staying in the Fresno/Visalia market. My thinking was that if the date went well, should I pursue things? If she was trying to advance to a larger market, it might be a waste of time to attempt building a new relationship. But, she took my question to mean how long she was going to stay in Fresno that afternoon – as if I was already wondering when she might be leaving to return to her Visalia apartment. She thought I was already getting bored or something, and I was figuring out how to spend the rest of my day.

Anyway, we got that squared away and continued to the zoo. One of the stops was inside a little petting zoo area, where they had cute little goats, which looked just like the one in Scott’s story – hence the flashback.

Anyway, the rest of the day went well and we had fun. Obviously, there were other dates and well – the rest is history. We got married, moved from the Fresno market, and here we are anchoring the morning news – going on nine years in the Bay Area. And a little black billy goat is part of the story.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

‘Tis the Season to Run the Gauntlet

December 15, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonThe holiday season is in full swing – especially the shopping. I know what they are saying about the rough economy, but I have been to the mall, and from what I can see, there are plenty of people out there. Maybe they are not buying as much, but they sure are shopping.

Holiday crowds are a notorious turn-off for some shoppers, but the thing that bugs me the most is having to run what I call “The Gauntlet.” That is just walking from store to store, trying to dodge those people manning the kiosks. Malls didn’t used to have kiosks, but now they are jammed with them.

Most people working a kiosk are not horribly invasive. But an increasing number of them are becoming downright annoying. I just want to shop. I just want to go from place to place without being hassled. But it is getting insane. They stand in your way. They holler greetings, and try to hand you things – anything just to engage you in a conversation so they can try to make a sale.

And you can see it coming. You are walking towards a kiosk and you can see them already picking you out. You try not to look them in the eye – but they come right up and engage you anyway.

They say things like, “Can I ask you a question?” Lame. And yet we fall for that all the time. I guess our natural reaction is to respond to a person who wants to know something. But the only thing they really want to know is if they can con you into buying something you do not need or want.

How about those people who work for the kiosks that sell those warm wrap things. You know – the beanbag things that you heat in the microwave and put across your shoulder. If you don’t virtually sprint past these people, they’ll have one of those things around your neck before you know what hit you. Just try getting it off! They can put it back on faster than you can take it off. All the while they jabber their sales pitch. You can feel like a little gnat, trapped in the spider’s web – and the spider is closing in. You struggle but cannot escape!

Then there is the “hand a person something for free” approach. If you try to walk by – they jockey for position – forcing you to recognize them and acknowledge their wares. You say, “no thanks” – but see – you have engaged in conversation. That is the opening they want. You are in the web!

Others try to “guilt” you into buying. They say things like, “not even for the pretty wife of yours.” Or, “Doesn’t the lovely lady deserve….” In my head I’m thinking, “she deserves way better than what you are trying to pawn off on me.” But I politely try to keep walking.

I often think about what it used to be like stepping onto a car lot. They used to swarm a person – and then give the hard sell. But these days, it seems most sales people have learned the soft approach. They are not so invasive – so intense – so “in your face.” I wonder how long before some of the kiosk workers evolve to that same point? And how about the malls – I know they are making money by jamming as many kiosks in as they can – but do they realize the hard sales approach can actually be yet another incentive for shoppers like me to stay away?

Oh well, what can I expect, after all –‘tis the season.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area News

Holiday Parade

December 4, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonIt is time once again for the San Jose Holiday Parade. It is Sunday, December 7th in downtown San Jose.

The South Bay has something special. This is rated one of the top 25 parades in the country. They get great local marching bands, an assortment of giant balloons and usually a national celebrity or two.

NBC Bay Area has been a part of the event for many years now, and several of us will be there once again this year. Plus, we’ll televise the parade as well.

Laura and I will be there, along with Mike, Craig and Bob. They always have a convoy of classic cars, and we will each ride on those this year. Laura and I also plan to bring our little dog Chip. I am not sure what he will wear. We may just wrap him in a blanket to protect against the cold morning air. Since he is a little dog I notice he gets cold and shivers. He is no hardy huntin’ dog. Or, Laura might make him wear Christmas antlers, or maybe a Santa hat. He will not like either option.

I think the weather will be great. We have been lucky the past few years. A few times it has been cold to start the day – but no rain to speak of. I think it will be another fine morning for a parade Sunday.

We look forward to seeing the thousands of people who will come out to watch. I know it is an annual holiday tradition for many families, so we look forward to continuing that.

See ya out there!

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

Secret Service Code Names

November 11, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonThe first family is gearing up for life in the White House and all the changes that come with being the nation’s First Family.

Today, we reported on the new “code” names the Secret Service gave each member of the President’s family. Barak Obama is known as “Renegade.” Michelle Obama will be “Renaissance” and their daughters will be “Radiance” and “Rosebud.” The names were actually given a while back. All the candidates had them during the campaigns. Sarah Palin was “Denali.”

codename

Why do we need these code names? I guess so that when the Secret Service is watching out for them at various events they can communicate to each other, and perhaps people who might be able to tap into the communication airwaves won’t know who they are talking about. Except – everybody and their dog knows the code names! Media across the country are talking about it. So why bother. Why not just say, “Unit two, here comes Barak – Unit three, Michelle has gone into the house”?

And who comes up with these names? Does the first family have any say? Notice they all start with “R.” When the Obama’s get that new puppy, his code name can be “Rover.”

Oh, and by the way, the Vice President and his family have names too. Joe Biden’s is “Celtic.”

So, if you are Secretary of State do you feel a little ripped off? Like, you are “in” if you hold a cabinet post – but you are “in in” if you are the Prez or Vice Prez.

Since everybody knows the code names – are they fake code names – and only the Secret Service knows the “real” code names? Are there ‘double top secret’ code names?

According to Internet research I did, the code names began with the Truman administration. President Truman’s name was “General.” Dwight Eisenhower was known as “Providence.” And John F. Kennedy – suggesting a Camelot theme, was “Lancer.”

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

TJ Ties

October 27, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonWe here at NBC Bay Area have many ties to CNN anchor TJ Holmes. No really – many ties – as in, a whole box full of ‘em. You see, TJ was once an anchor here – but later moved to the big national spotlight at CNN. He has not forgotten those of us he once called colleagues.

A little trivia about TJ. First, you can find all sorts of photos of him on the web. No doubt, he is a good lookin’, well dressed man. But you may not know that TJ never wears the same tie twice on TV. Once on air, that tie goes into re-Tire-ment. He also never wears a tie that costs more than ten bucks. He has a knack for finding great looking ties for ten bucks or less – wears ‘em once – and gets another.

When TJ left NBC Bay Area he had a massive tie giveaway. Many of those ties ended up in my closet, and you have likely seen them many, many times during our newscasts (‘cuz I wear ‘em over and over).

TJ recently visited the Bay Area and swung by the studio to say hello to old friends. I mentioned that I needed a new shipment of ties. Well, the old ship came in last night. On my desk this morning, a whole batch of new ties from TJ!

Of course, I shared my good fortune with others – i.e. Mike, Craig and Scott – as you can see in the picture. I also “pass it on,” meaning I take the old ties from the first batch and pass those on to other people. I give them to friends, or to people I know who are tight on cash these days due to the economic times and I give some to Goodwill as well.

So, the TJ tie legacy lives on and on. In the meantime, I’ll be watching TJ to preview some of the ties I hope to see in the next shipment!

Thanks TJ.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

Screaming Camel Spiders

October 20, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonI already had great appreciation for the men and women serving in Iraq. But now, I have even more. It is bad enough they risk life and limb everyday. It is bad enough they have to be away from their friends, family and loved ones. It is bad enough they make daily sacrifices we take for granted. But now, a new pest I had no idea existed.

A friend has a family member serving in Iraq and just told me about a hideous little monster troops have to deal with. It is called a “camel spider.” Spider, you ask? Why not ship a bunch of raid to the troops? Well, have you ever heard of, or seen the dreaded camel spider?

From what I hear, they are bad news. They are little meat eaters. They get their name because they like to get under camels as they lay down and gnaw on their bellies! They can become very large. I also hear they are very, very fast – like they can run up to 30 miles an hour.

They say the spiders do not like the sun, so they chase you. Not because they are trying to eat you, yet, but because they want to get into your shadow and escape the sun.

Troops are told to shake out their sleeping bag each time they get in to make sure there is not an uninvited guest waiting. As I understand, the camel spider is not poisonous, but they have big fangs and powerful jaws and can leave a very nasty wound if they bite.

After looking them up on the Internet I found out several things. First of all, some of what I mentioned above are myths. Some of it is not. And another thing, they say camel spiders are also called “screaming spiders” because they make a screaming sound when they run. Nice.

So – check out this link for some YouTube videos, pictures and other information – don’t forget to check the parts that are true vs. the parts that are not. But either way, these things are nasty and just one of the many parts of daily life the troops have to deal with.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

Make-Up Mix-Up

October 9, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonBeing in this TV news business leads to unusual circumstances from time to time. The other day Scott McGrew and I had a conversation that just doesn’t happen in too many other office settings.

Scott took his make-up home for some reason. Okay, see, it’s already getting weird. Anyway, he didn’t have any make-up when he got to work, so he asked if he could use some of mine. Asking to use another man’s Este Lauder to powder your nose simply does not take place elsewhere. I’ve been in this business for so long, I think nothing of it. Sometimes I am around other manly men who do other jobs, like coaching football or head bouncer (i.e. Dean of Students) at a high school or maybe a police officer, and I just blurt out things that happen in my day, then realize my mistake when they look at me like I am half nuts.

Anyway, I gave Scott some of my ‘back-up” make-up. I keep a set for just such occasions. I gave him an oil free matte-finish foundation that a consultant had given me; a packet of application sponges and the powder I mentioned above. I really was not sure of his skin tones – so I gave him a summer foundation – as well as a winter look. I am not sure which he chose, but he looked great on air that day.

Afterwards, he asked if I wanted to go to the big shoe and tie sale at the mall – maybe have a light salad and low cal iced tea. Although it sounded tempting, I told him I had to go pump iron at the gym – maybe next time. I actually think he had to go “saw” something in the garage.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

A Charged Issue

October 7, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonScott’s gadget last Friday was some sort of plate that you can just toss your cell phone onto – and it gets charged. That way, people don’t have to go to the trouble of hooking up the charging device that comes with the cell phone. You just toss and walk.

Scott says he is notorious for forgetting to charge his cell phone and running out of power. This gadget is perfect for him. I, on the other hand am totally the opposite. I am charging obsessed. I can’t stop charging. I continually charge my iPod, cell phone, batteries for the digital camera, my electric shaver. I charge ‘em all – all the time. I even charge the little battery run motor that blows up our air mattress. I charge the battery for the electric motor that goes with my canoe. (OK- before you ask why the heck I have a motor for a canoe – let me explain. If you paddle out on a mountain lake and the wind comes up you can’t paddle back. You need help. Thus the electric motor).

Anyway, you get the idea. I can’t stand to have a dead battery. Sometimes, I charge too much. You are supposed to let things go dead. That way you get a full charge and most batteries will last longer with a full charge than if you continually do a partial charge.

I have a battery-operated screwdriver. I had a project, grabbed it, and went to work and it died. See, I needed to have that on a charger.

I have no idea where this story is going. Maybe I need to recharge my brain. I better go take a nap.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

You Lucky Dog You

October 3, 2008

Brent Cannon:
Brent CannonThe new issue of San Jose Magazine is out and Chip is in it. From time to time, Laura and I mention our little dog Chip. He is among those featured in the new issue, and we are happy to see his furry little face gracing the page.

Laura has written before about what happened, but as a reminder, not long ago we almost lost Chip. No, he didn’t run off and we couldn’t find him. We almost lost him, as in he almost died.

Chip was being a dog one night – saw some people walking behind our back patio. He was on the balcony and was barking. But he squeezed through the bars and onto a slim ledge – and fell. I was out of town, but Laura rushed him to a 24 hour vet. emergency room. They could hardly find a pulse and Chip eventually slipped into a doggie coma.

He made it through the night – and a month later was getting back to normal.

But before he was really out of the woods, we got a call from San Jose Magazine, asking if Chip could be in the October issue. We didn’t know if he’d be around for the photo shoot and told them, if he survived, he’d do it. Obviously he pulled through. If you look closely at the picture you can see his front legs are shaved. That’s where they had put the IV.

Today, Chip is back to his old (or young) self. He runs and plays and won’t give me a moment’s peace until he has his afternoon walk. And as I have mentioned in the past – we still have to have a game of chase at 3:00 a.m.! But these days it takes on a new meaning. I remember when he was sick and near death how much I would appreciate his bright little eyes and wagging tail, begging for a game of chase if he would just pull through. And he did!

Chip – you are one lucky dog.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor