Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The death of a Yankee...and the deathbed of sports journalism

I don't make today's post because I'm a Yankees fan or even a huge Cory Lidle fan. I knew of him, I had him on my fantasy teams at times and wouldn't necessarily change the channel if he was pitching.

I make this post because something was brought to my attention earlier tonight.

Now, for those of you who know me, I was pretty close to the coverage of the NYC plane crash and the eventual knowledge that Lidle was the pilot and one of the dead, but I didn't stick to ESPN once Game 2 of the ALCS started on Fox.

I was willing to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt as far as their coverage went -- I learned that they went wall-to-wall since I first saw its Breaking News logo flash on the screen.

I was willing to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt because I wanted to give them that based on the qualities of news that we're talked about in Journalism 1301.

But any resemblance to journalism, even what might have remained after all these years, is out the window. I feel sorry for those employed there that have the journalism bone in their bodies and are unable to show it off.

At about 2 a.m. EDT, 17 September 2006, five student-athletes from Duquesne University were shot, through no fault of their own, because one of the players was talking to a friend.

Where was that wall-to-wall coverage?

Now, I've been searching and searching to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt. Baseball's going on right now, Lidle pitched his last game only a few days ago, it happened in New York where the NLCS was set to start tonight (postponed because of inclement weather), it was the prominence factor of the qualities of news... but no matter what it comes to, there is no reason to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt when claiming this coverage has to be because of the NY on the front of his cap and jersey.

If he were still pitching for the Phillies, you wonder whether ESPN would go wall-to-wall. I'm continuing to believe that ESPN's journalism is going by another word: sensationalism.

It's sad that Cory Lidle's memory is being used in this way. First and foremost, at least two families lost their husband and father and that can't be forgotten, but once this news cycle is over, those in charge of the news side of ESPN must deeply analyze what they call news.

Maybe their producers need to re-enroll in Journalism 1301.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Geaux Saints! (2)

Geaux Saints!

Who would have ever thought after the visuals following hurricanes Katrina and Rita that there'd ever be celebration and football in the New Orleans Superdome?

Estimates say more than 75 percent of New Orleans still need to be rebuilt, and there's no need to forget that, but for one night, it's going to feel very empowering to a city and a region affected so much.

I'm watching NFL Primetime and got chills when I saw all the fans standing outside the doors waiting to get in.

Geaux Saints!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blog Problems

Since the question has been asked (okay, well, only Izzy's asked it), I'll tell you why you can't comment on my blog.

And this is all my fault for not reading and going, "Ooh, shiny, beta, ooh upgrade."

Apparently, when I upgraded my blog/blog account to the new Blogger Beta, I failed to notice that beta users are unable to login and post comments on non-beta blogs and vice versa.

According to the Blogger Buzz, it's something they're working on, but it will take a while. For the meantime, you'll have to post as anonymous, but tell me who you are when you do so I can approve the comments.

Anyway, maybe this will give me a chance to sit and play with the Beta and find out what's so nice about it. Maybe I'll even give my thoughts.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Monday - 1,826 Days Later

So it's been five years.

Like probably every other person in this country, I can remember, almost to the minute, what happened in my day throughout the day's events.

I noticed CNN is going to re-broadcast their unedited coverage from that day on their Web site and I plan on recording it.

When I was in Washington, D.C. in May, I had a couple of days before the Chips Quinn program started, so I used my cheap rental car and drove around D.C. and Arlington. I remember driving again and again by the Pentagon when I would go to the Marine Corps Memorial and I kept thinking about what that day must have been like at that exact spot.

I also had that same feeling as I flew into and out of Reagan Int'l Airport.

This post is going to ramble a bit. Right before I decided to make this post, I started flipping through the channels and came on A&E's United 93. I'd seen it already. I remember downloading it and watching it on my laptop one day. I'd also gone to see United 93 the weekend it came out.

I read a story this week that some people were asking CBS to edit out the profanity from their documentary 9/11 (the one from two French filmmakers that had been following the lives of a NYFD company).

How censored are we allowing ourselves to become? Are we so worried that we might actually learn our history as it was documented that we're afraid of some cursing that might burn little Johnny's ears?

Forget for a moment that I'm a journalist... how stupid is this? I've read people saying that there's no need for the profanity and it needs to be edited out - and if I remember correctly, I think my local affiliate is going to be one of the stations that runs the edited version.

Guess what? When I saw that plane hit the second tower, I said, "What the fuck?"

I also sense a media overload will happen this weekend, especially since the anniversary is on a Monday (although it's not like it'd be any less for this particular event if it were Wednesday).

Speaking of's a link to the front pages from that day sponsored by my good friends at the Newseum.

This post could ramble on and on and on, but I'm getting a little tired. I actually get to cover another game tomorrow with another byline for Saturday's paper, so that's nice.

As far as 11 Sept 2006 goes, do what you need to do to make it through the day. If the TV, radio, newspaper and online news get to you - turn it off.

This isn't to make light, but I just thought of something that, well, it made us chuckle in my old newsroom.

Last year, on September 11, there was a near-riot on the campus of Texas State between students and local/area law enforcement. I remember sitting at my desk talking to others in the newsroom about the coverage we were working on to cover the riot and we had a line that just popped into somebody's head. "The events of September 11..."

You can see why it made us chuckle/cringe.

Well, I'll be around.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

32 Days

Since my last blog entry... and boy, have things changed around here.

First off, "here" isn't where it last was.

As I mentioned in the last entry, I turned down a position with the San Angelo Standard-Times in hopes of finding something better for me in an area I could see myself living.

As things worked out, the place I could (temporarily, at least) living is someplace I hadn't officially lived at for almost three years - San Antonio.

I've started working as a PT sports stringer at the San Antonio Express-News. I hope to show them what I can do and maybe work my way up to get hired as a FT staff writer. As a matter of fact, I've got my first gamer this Saturday, so look for me on Sunday.

A bunch of my fellow Chipsters have moved from their internship papers - and a good number of them have stayed and been hired FT at their internship papers, and that's always good.

Congrats to the lot of them, but especially to my boy Khris for earning his spot at the Bristol (CT) something-or-other (I just looked at it, but don't remember or feel like looking back).

Speaking of Bristol, it might have been close to us being in the same city again as I had my second quiz with ESPN for the research statistician position I might or might not have written about some weeks ago, but I bombed it...badly. So badly, I think A.D. Brown might actually hit me when he comes out of his hole at the Pentagon and talks to some of us again.

I'm excited about the opportunity I have to get my name out there. The proof's in the writing now, isn't it?

Also, congrats to Isadora for her new job, her (hopefully) new home and her old boyfriend. Who woulda thought it'd pay to be a young, Hispanic journalist, Izzy? I think we're going to be just fine...especially you.

Anyway, to the rest of you Theory readers out there, let me know you're still here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

This Is Why We're Here

I just got home, two one-liter Dr. Pepper's in hand, and have had this blog entry on my mind for the past few hours.

I covered a public meeting about methamphetamine use in the Concho Valley and what types of programs the community thought would best serve them. There was a recovering meth addict who spoke tonight. She's recovered to the point to regain custody of her children and is now helping others who are going through the same programs she went through.

One goal of the meeting was to talk about what the community needed to help fight the problems.

One problem that was brought up and continued upon was the lack of coverage from the media in town. I didn't announce myself or even talk about the people's concern - you don't make yourself part of the story.

I did speak with the lady who helped me with the advance on this story, though. The ability to truly give this beat what it deserves can't be accomplished with general assignments stuff throughout the weeks, but I also understand that just may not be possible to accomplish as far as finances and qualified people go. I might not get that here and I might not get that anywhere, but it's something I will constantly search for.

I started to wonder last night if maybe this is where I'm needed, if this was kind of a sign that I need to stay and help tell this story. The only problem with that is I see no end to the story and wonder if I would ever accomplish it.

That ties into the story I wrote tonight. It's a news story with a feature hook to it. It's not going to win any Pulitzers, but the story as well as the events of (I started this post last night and am finishing it Friday morning) Thursday night show why we do what we do.

Somebody mentioned to me yesterday that he felt bad sometimes because there were some of us (Chipsters) that had noble causes as to why we're here and he was doing this because he wanted to do sports. There is nothing at all wrong with that and I said as much.

The way we do this job, the opportunities we've been given and the instruction we've received, any justice at all, is to do the job well. When given the chance to be the eyes and ears of our readers, we can't stray from that.

As I told Sona last night, I don't want this to be rah-rah, but it's true.

It's going to be tough leaving here. I was given a lot of credit last night by one of my sources for what I'm doing, and it was hard for me to tell her that I'm not going to be here in about three weeks.

I almost feel like I'm letting some people down, but I'm at a point in my life where I have to begin my career and look out for myself and my well-being, too. I wish I had the luxury to hold back, but if the events of last night continue to drive me to find that, to tell that story, then maybe this is all worth it.

Izzy: Any paper would realize they made the right call when they picked you up. You represent the inspiration I have that young journos can get it right and hit the ground running. I wish you and Brandon nothing but happiness.

Sona: I know you're going to find the right gig to start convergence - especially when you find out what it means. I'd also still love to take you out for dinner soon.

Khris: It'd be nice for me to apply for a job where the name of Khristopher J. Brooks hasn't already come across their desk, but that's a good problem to have. I think you and I are the vocal representation of this Chips Quinn class and I have absolutely no problem with it.

Little Duck: A swift kick in the balls can resolve any newsroom drama. Think about that.

A.D.: If the Braves give up Wilson Betemit for Scott Proctor, I'm going to pistol-whip a baby, I swear.

Courtney, Kate, Ramon and Tres: Trojans For Everybody! Reunion sooner rather than later.

As I told Sona last night, there were so many emotions running through me. I just need to channel them in the right direction.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Free Agency

That's the choice. I'm on the market.

I thought it was in my best interest to pass on the job at the Standard-Times. Now that's not to say there are any problems with the paper, in fact, I think it's a great paper for somebody to come learn in and it'd be a great entry-level paper.

Just not for me. It's not the paper, it's the city. There's just nothing in this city for me, and I understand that part of it is my personality. Some people would probably do fine in this city and a job at the paper here would be great for them.

I've learned so much about writing, journalism and how I incorporate all of that into me, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity.

I have enjoyed working for this paper so much and I will take the lessons with me as I move forward. To those who have taken an interest in helping me, thank you.

I want to have this post up tonight, so I'm going to end it here, but I have some other thoughts and thanks to post soon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Double Bacon Cheeseburgers

As in that's just what I had to eat from Whataburger.

You know, I always love coming back to people reading the blog, be them few and far between.

So what's up with me? Well, I have a huge decision to make in the next 18 hours. I already know my answer, but in the interest of fairness, I will wait before I make an announcement. It's not like people are on edge for a big free-agent signing, but it's an important decision to me.

I'm at a loss of what to say next.

It's been about 20 minutes since I finished the paragraph before that last sentence.

It could be that I'm at a loss, but I think it has more to do with the fact that Sportscenter is on. Speaking of Sportscenter, I took a test as the beginning of a hiring process with ESPN. I was contacted by their research manager off my resume posting on and set up a time to take the test. It's a fairly tough exam in that it brings in math, copy editing, comprehension and trivia - all within one hour.

I'm going back and forth about how well I really did. I seriously think I did okay, but I guess we'll find out if I get a call back from ESPN. It's been just over a week and my contact with them happened about once every two weeks or so. Who knows? I could be in Bristol, CT working on Sportscenter.

I'd like to start writing more media commentary blogs, so as time goes on, not only will this be a personal blog, but will also focus on things I find interesting in the media world. I have a few of those from last year (the Miami Herald suicide front page, the Daily Texan prison dog program photo essay, WOAI, WOAI and probably WOAI), so if you'd like to send me anything you think is interesting, go for it. I also hope to start linking to other commentary blogs/sites/etc.

I think this might be it for the night and only because I don't think I have much more to say right now. I will try and make a post tomorrow once I get home from work and my decision is public.

Will I sign the rookie deal or become a free agent?

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The More Things Change...

I'm not sure why the title is that, but maybe it will come across in this totally unplanned, but necessary update.

I'm still in San Angelo. They haven't fired me and I haven't given them a reason to do so, so that's good.

I've received compliments on my writing from a few people in the community, which is always nice. Plus, I've received some compliments from people in the newsroom, which can't ever be bad.

I've had some good chances for stories lately since I was promoted on a temporary basis to the cops/crime/courts beat. I say it's temporary because that's what they've told me. I guess this is my chance to prove myself and what better beat to try it out with.

So I've started a second blog, which can be found at Joe Ruiz's Clips or through my profile. Right now, it's got everything posted, but I hope to narrow it down to my best stuff from the Standard-Times, The University Star and (which has died and become

I'm going to start applying for jobs any day now and there are a number of great leads, so I hope I'm not out of work too long before I find something. I sure as hell don't want to go back to retail again.

There has been a lot of encouragement coming from all angles lately, and there's no way I can come down from it, so I won't attempt to, but only to try and remember what Bob Bajackson tried and tried to teach me: Don't let yourself get too high or too low.

A close friend of mine is going through some tough times, and for her sake, I hope her sister can find peace. I only wish I could provide more of a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend at this time. I can't, and for that, I apologize, G.

I'm almost halfway done with my internship and I know pretty much everyday that this is exactly what I want to do. I have job prospects, I have built up some strong clips and I've grown as a reporter. The only thing that can hold me back now is me, and I don't intend on letting that happen.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Almost None Of It Mattered

You's weird.

Almost none of the bullshit I went through at The University Star mattered once it was all over.

Did I go overboard in thinking it did? Many times over, yes.

Did I learn some life lessons from my experiences in that newsroom? Yes.

My time at the San Angelo Standard-Times has been nothing short of amazing. Most of the people here have taken a sincere interest in helping me get better and they've not treated me as anything but a reporter for a daily newspaper.

I've had edits and re-writes. I disagreed with some of them, but I took the lessons in stride and wrote it better. That's why I'm here, right?

I don't know what I thought, but I know for a time, I wasn't ready to move on. Well, the Chips Quinn program beat that out of me pretty quickly.

They basically got it through our heads that in this industry, campus media has its place and using that as a crutch or a fallback in the Big Leagues is simply unaccepatable.

I now wish nothing but the best for The Star. That isn't to say I'll forget what happened to me, but I owe that paper more than my petty squabbles.

On the rest of my life as is, San Angelo's taking some getting used to. My lazy ass still hasn't finished unpacking everything and my living room is still messy, but not bad.

I've had some great centerpiece stories so far and should have a number of great clip opportunities in the near future.

Anyway, I'm out for the night. If anybody's still reading, say so.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'll Say A Word That Don't Mean Nothin'...Like Loopid!

It's a wonder I made it through this semester without totally going off on somebody. People may not have believed me before, but I did vow to change that about myself - for the better.

I think I did, others may not believe that or cared enough to give me the chance, but that's okay. Maybe it's what I needed. Maybe I needed the problems I faced this year. This isn't to make anybody feel sorry for me, because I brought some of it on myself, but I'll be damned if somebody tells me I didn't try to better The University Star this semester.

This is probably my last blog entry from San Marcos as I'm planning to be out of my apartment by the end of the weekend.

On the 13th, I'm travelling to Washington, D.C. for a couple of days of vacation before I start my orientation session with the Chips Quinn Scholars Program. I referenced the program in an earlier blog when I paid about $50 dollars to have my application sent overnight. Well, they recieved it, I passed my tests, the interview and was accepted into the program.

I plan on catching the Red Sox @ the Orioles, visiting all the standard tourist fare as well as visit the Freedom Forum and the offices of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (of which I am now a member).

With the scholars program, I have been placed as an intern on the city desk at the San Angelo Standard-Times. I start there on the 24th of this month.

It was weird. Up until about a month or so ago, I was still a little scared about going to San Angelo. I had this feeling like I might screw things up or I might not be ready. Well, fuck that. I'm tired of having this feeling like I might not have earned what I have. I didn't get anywhere because my name was Joe Ruiz, I got where I am by working hard and trying to learn something new everyday. This may sound like a rah-rah entry, but you haven't heard from me in a while, so it's going to be a lot of everything.

I met some great people over the last few months. I got to meet one of my favorite "celebrities" last weekend.

As part of the Trojan (yeah, that Trojan) College Roundtable, I met Dr. Drew Pinsky (of Loveline fame). The roundtable was a discussion of sexual health, censorship of the student media and sexual culture on college campuses. I grew up watching Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla on Loveline and listening to them on the radio (via a very small amount of online streams). Dr. Drew is really as easygoing in person as he comes off on the radio. He seemed to truly listen to us and care about what we were saying, but he also challenged us to think beyond what we walked in with. As badly as I left The Star this semester, I still fought for them to be active in future roundtables as I think there are a number of things the paper could learn and capitalize on with its coverage.

It's still hard not to use possessive terms when describing myself and the newspaper.

I finally got to meet in person (albeit too short of a time) Zachary Austrew of The NT Daily. He helped The Star out one night when we couldn't get any information from a Texas State softball game at North Texas. I called, Zach answered and we rapped about the college newspaper biz off and on until we finally hooked up for dinner (including his managaing editor Gabe) at TIPA weekend in April. I see Zach's passion for his newspaper and for journalism as a whole and it inspires me to be better at what I do.

It's good that we're not alone in our thought of journalism, Zach. I'm pretty confident that whatever's next for you and I is going to what we need to take what we've learned during our late nights at our respective newsrooms and put it to use.

Adam got a job with the Dept. of Defense in Washington doing exactly what he wants to do (as far as I know, but it is doing more than drawing maps and using nice fonts in his typing). I'm gonna miss him, but I'm sure a 5:30 a.m. text message about the Yankees kicking ass is going to be the rule more than the exception with him.

I don't know what the 24th brings for me, other than it's the chance I've been waiting for to prove myself in the career and goal path I've chosen. I guess it's time for me to put up or shut up. Oh, well, this is what I wanted.

I couldn't be happier.

To my fellow San Martians, please keep in touch if you so choose. If not, be well. I'll try and make it down for a football game and I know I'm going to try and make it down for the Southwest Coalition fantasy basketball draft, but if not, know that this town is one of the most beautiful, relaxing places when it can be. I will always love the Texas Hill Country.

On a side note, I'm listening to Loveline and I still love hearing Dr. Drew so eloquently tell somebody they've got some problems.

Again (I know, I know), I hope this is the first of a new beginning of frequent updates to the Theory.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Holy Hell!

I know I say I'm not going to stop updating this, and yet I've disappointed you again.

Oh, well ... I'm sleepy right now and have a test in the midday, so I'm off to bed, but I will start updates tomorrow.

Life gets very interesting in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

One Down, Three To Go

50-35. Bring on Cal-Poly.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

'Cause A Bobcat Party Don't Stop!

First and foremost, let's take some time and show some love to the mighty, mighty Bobcats of Texas State.

Last night's game was one of the most exciting I've attended in a long while - even if it was gut-wrenching at multiple times.

All I can say is being on the field for the last play, the buildup to that last play and everything in between was the best.

Not only that, but the overtime hero himself (RB Nick Session) made his way to the bar where I was hanging with Adam, Ana and three of her friends (Mallory, Jennifer and Barbara...we've got to hang out again next time you're in town).

And no, we're not shooting him. It's the Texas State hand signal. Apparently, Nick had some classic lines last night (and a few adult beverages).


Nick - What's your name?

Ana - Ana.

Nick - My name's Nick, we just won a championship.


So the 'Cats have the #4 seed in the country, which means we're guaranteed two home playoff games if we make the next round. First up though is Georgia Southern on Saturday.

Switching gears...somebody very close to my heart is in the hospital. She's expected to make a full recovery, but it's going to be a bit. Whatever you do and however you do it, just send her your well-wishes and/or prayers, she could really use them right now.

X - G.

Well, back soon to drop more blogging...and some bad-ass photos, video and a Special Edition of The University Star on Tuesday to celebrate the "Weekend of Champions."

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Woodlands

Very nice place, I must say.

We made decent time on the drive; we left about 4 p.m. and were here before 7 p.m.

Why I do believe we're going to have to kick some Lumberjack ass tomorrow.

Anyway, short post tonight.

Eat 'em up, Cats!

Damn You, Manny...First Wal-Mart, Then No Updates!

Get your ass moving, Salgado!

Manny's blog.

He'd better start updating on I'm going to break on the HGTV jokes.

No Funny Titles Tonight

No big reason other than I can't settle on any particular one.

There has been so much going on and a lot that I couldn't even say here if I wanted to and that sucks. I can't say what I want on my blog because I know it's being read.

I just wish I could type what's been going on, but the sad part of it is that it might actually open me up to legal trouble. Yes, I could be sued for something I say on here - which is not why you come here.

Once I hear something final about it, I'll drop the info here. For those that know me, just know that this whole incident set me off to no end, and a little bit of me is still angry. Let's also just say that I've lost some faith in Texas State University, the School of Mass Communication and Journalism (but that's because they don't know) and a little bit in some of the people at The University Star.

You know, I get told that sometimes, I shouldn't stress as much about my job as I do because some people just might not take it as seriously as I do. Well, screw that. I was hired to do a job, I'm having massive troubles trying to do it and I can't seem to please many if any.

But screw that; I do my job because deep down, I love what I do. I love being the managing editor of one of the greatest collegiate newspapers in the country (and I'll still take us against any others at any time). This paper will be great, this paper will survive with me and after me and I will do this paper proud throughout my life.

I'm going to apply for a job with as a beat reporter for some of the MLB clubs. I've started to think about what it would mean if by some crazy thing, I got the job. I'd have to withdraw from school with about 15 hours left on my degree, but something like that job would be a dream come true even though I haven't seriously thought about that dream for a long while.

I won't get my hopes up, but it'd be a damn nice way to start things off, right?

Got to see Pat Green and a bunch of Texas Country artists a few weeks back and once again, a concert with her was one of the better nights of my life.

I even wrote my first concert review from that concert. Here it is.

The convergence on The Star's Web site has started and I got to be the first person to get it going. I filmed last week's football game and we have five clips online to back up the story. It felt so great to put to use what I gained the most from my electronic media studies and use them to better the newspaper.

Here's the football story against McNeese State (which by the way, the 'Cats handed them their asses by 40+). The video links are below the picture. I filmed the game and postgame, captured the film and then edited it for posting. Who knows, this might be another way for me to work my foot in the door on the online side of a newspaper.

I leave to Nacogdoches via The Woodlands tomorrow afternoon for the Bobcats game against Stephen F. Austin (Saturday @ 1 p.m. on Fox Sports SW). Instead of being a photojournalist/sideline reporter, I'm going to film the entire game from the sidelines. Man, this video convergence is going to be one of the best things I can help leave The Star with when it's my time to move on.

I'd like to thank Belhaven College in Mississippi for the use of one of their orientation logos in my fantasy sports teams.

I like this logo so much, I think I'm going to get an adaptation of it made into a cap. Yes, I know that's pretty nerdy, but I'm having so much fun in this fantasy basketball league I joined.

I think I'm actually writing more "news" stories for the basketball league than I am for the paper.

Be well everybody...and yes, Mandy, I'm going to try to make the poker afterparty Saturday night, but I make no promises.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Piss People Off Friday

As I said in the photo meeting Thursday night...I know I'm abrasive, I know I'm an asshole, but damned if I don't just want to bust my ass for what I believe in.

Anyway, that said, I'm used to making some people angry, but I usually like to know when I'm doing it.

After (hopefully) averting a mutiny within a department of The Star on Thursday evening, I came home to unwind from the week and finish up all my paperwork for an internship that I was pointed to by one of my old profs. It's a scholars program for "journalists of color."

And screw you, ain't yellow.

Well, I get started on everything - and mind you, this complete package has to be in Arlington, VA by today (15 Oct) - and I don't get to sleep until 6 a.m. Friday morning. I had to type an essay, fill out an application in my best penmanship (which required more than a few reprints), choose six of my best clips and some other stuff.

Well, other than my standard wake-up call, I sleep until just before noon.

I wake up and realize I don't have one more signature on the application and I need to go to campus to get it. So I pack up all the papers in this nice binder I got for it all and get ready to leave when...I can't find my truck keys.

It's not like I live in a huge place. It's not like I have a lot of stuff, but I still lost my keys. I was going to lose a chance at a damn good internship opportunity (and have you ever had a word in which the spelling just kicks your ass time and again and you have to literally go letter-by-letter to get it right, well, "opportunity" is mine) because I couldn't find my damn keys.

Twenty surprisingly expletive-free minutes later, I realize I was nearly done in by a bag of sunflower seeds. The keys were under the bag right next to my laptop.

Bolt to campus and go the wrong way on a one-way street to not have to fight for a parking space and just park at the office, take care of what I need to and such, but right before I leave, I get a call from Christina (yeah, the one over there ------>). Apparently, part of her class was dedicated to one column I ran on Thursday.

Let's just say it has a line about performing a celebratory jig regarding the death of a certain Chief Justice and his return to Hades while the rest of the column talks about the author's perception of a certain political party.

I already knew that was coming, though, since I'd already recieved about five e-mails responding to the column.

So let's go to the scorecard...

1. I've pissed off republicans.

I proceed to New Braunfels and the FedEx shipping center to get my package out the door and on a desk in Virginia by today. $42.45 later, I'm back on the road to San Marcos. After a brief stop for some new jeans, I decide to go back to the office since I figure I'd rather read hate mail from the office than from home.

Get a call from Mom. She's found a Spanish tutor for me. I accept, but tell her that I'll probably still have to drop it. Well, that goes into a discussion of how I pay my bills and such. I gently inform her that her apparent beliefs that I don't want to graduate are incorrect and we hang up angry.

2. I've pissed off Mom.

Friday was supposed to be the day I unwound, maybe read The Star in a non-work capacity and prepare for my fantasy football and basketball leagues...nope, I had to make a short, Hispanic woman angry and a significant amount of College GOP'ers angry.

Next week's going to be fun, but then again, aren't they all.

Actually, though, I'm good. Almost none of the complaints sent to me have been particularly harsh towards the paper or questioning the existance of my soul and the like. They've all been very cordial and directed their comments towards the columnist - which is exactly what I'd hoped for when I took the job and knew this issue would come up someday.

It's not my job to censor. It's my job to facilitate the publication of their thoughts. I've accepted guest columns on many subjects, openly sought a diversified bunch of political commentators and tried to steer away from simply being a "Bush sucks, Dems suck" section.

And damnit, I think I'm doing a good job so far.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

By Semi-Popular Request OR "It's A Fucking Pumpkin!"

First off, here are the photos from A&M and my laps in a NASCAR ride.

Obviously, that's me in the middle flashing the Texas State sign and our illustrious design editor Matt to the right. The whole Kyle Field experience was fun, I only wish the damned hurricane could have not screwed up the scheduling so I could have gone to yell practice on Friday (the game itself was moved to Thursday from Saturday) and we could have stayed in College Station for the night after the game to party Aggie-style (without the sheep).

Next pic.

NASCAR held a Grand National race in Kyle a few weeks back. Their big marketing push is bringing in a younger audience, so they were very helpful and very interested in gaining coverage in The Star. I can't blame them, but neither can you when I got to do five laps at over 100 miles per hour around a short track.

As for the other part of the title, all I'll say is search the University Star Web site and look for a picture of a pumpkin in today's (12 Oct) news section. Well, just imagine that said picture of said pumpkin is said dominant image on said newspaper's first color front page in nearly a month. Also, said picture essentially killed said issue's chances of ever being selected for competition; which sucks even more because the rest of the issue was pretty killer.

I'm very peculiar about the issues I like to take to competition. There needs to be a very strong front page (stories and dominant art), a killer back page (which is usually sports) without a 'national' column (a column that one of our columnists writes about something national, which is essentially a rant about steroids or the playoffs or's basically something that anybody can get elsewhere and it doesn't necessarily hit our audience), a strong opinions section that displays the leadership quality of a newspaper (local Staff Editorial and preferably local columns with editorial cartoons done in-house) and a graphically appealing newspaper overall.

Today's issue had most of that and would have been a legitimate contender for future competition...but there's a damn pumpkin running dominant.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Guess Who's Back

Well, the new ethics policy hasn't gone into effect yet, so I'm going to stop making excuses and (hopefully) return to frequent blogging.

Random thoughts from the day.

1. Whoever the anonymous poster who brought me back tonight...thanks. Also, Manny for probing me about a return to the Chaos.

2. How in the bloody hell do the Yankees keep coming back? I stopped at Dairy Queen at about 8 p.m. and it was 6-0 Angels. I get home and it's 7-6 Angels. What the hell?

3. I've still got my health, some friends, her, the paper and a chance at some good internships. I can't complain in the least.

4. If you have a Hollywood Video nearby, hit them up! I walked in to rent one DVD (Open Water for my step-dad) and a game for myself and instead, walk out with a pre-order for Madden 2006 for Xbox 360 (even though I don't have a pre-order for launch on the system, but I'm planning on waiting at a Best Buy or something) and eight DVDs purchased (The Shield-Season Three, Closer, Open Water, Collateral and Sin City). They have some damn good deals right now.

5. In a week's span (two weeks ago), I walked and covered a college football game at Kyle Field and rode in a NASCAR vehicle for five laps. Not bad for a managing editor. Great experiences which I'll post pics of later.

6. God, I hate the Yankees.

7. Damn...a fastball hitting you on the elbow must feel pretty below average. Bengie Molina's still on the ground getting attention. Damn Yankees!

8. Like I said, back again soon and more frequently with some posts. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Rest In Peace, Mr. Jennings

What else can you say?

God Bless, Mr. Jennings.

Friday, August 05, 2005

One Update, One New

I found my cap!

The Lids at Highland Mall had my size on the very last hat.

What was confirmed was the service level at said store. Even with being tax-free weekend in Texas, the store (and mall) were like any early weekday morning.

I stood in front of the cash register in the same spot for five minutes (literally) without being asked if I needed anything. It was only one guy there, but I was the only customer in the store.

When he came from up front to the register, I tried to ask for help, but he just started typing away on his register... stopping and starting, checking his watch, until he finally looked at me and asked if I needed anything.

So anyway, I found my cap and paid $23.99 for it instead of the regular ~$32 (tax-free weekend plus my discount card).

On to the new news. While I was sitting in a parking lot eating breakfast (the Target on Research Blvd.), I notice a woman standing at the bus stop. Well, it's been off-and-on drizzle/rain all morning. So while I'm there (about a quarter-mile away), I notice a guy drive up to her, get out and give her an umbrella and take off. She seemed reluctant at first to accept it, but apparently the guy insisted.

Scenes like that are what keep me sane.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Just Want A Simple Cap

I've wanted a cap for the past few weeks, even telling myself it'd be a little birthday gift to myself. Problem is, I can't fucking find it. Anywhere.

Oh, sure, it's online from a number of places; I would just prefer not to wait 14 business days or pay $6 in shipping.

I used to love Lids. You could always find a cap in there and they never ran out of your size - then people started wanting shitty-looking caps with designs and colors and such. Some aren't bad and I own a "fashion cap" or three, but what about the simple, authentic game caps? I remember when they had the frequent-purchaser program, the birthday program and they were actually nice when you walked into the store. Hell, I remember when the discount program was free.

I paid $5 to sign up for a 3-year membership and it's paid for itself many times over, so no complaints there.

Now - especially at the one here in San Marcos, they kind of just stare at everybody and make me feel really uncomfortable. Plus, I pretty much know what I want in a cap - so I go in, look at what I want to look at and get out.

I just want a Seattle Mariners authentic cap in either 7 1/2 or 7 5/8. Is that too much to ask?

I think I saw some at Highland Mall in Austin, so I'll hit that up before work tomorrow.

Rant over. Hopefully.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Whaddya Know? 25 Years.

So today's my birthday. Twenty-five years.

You know, I've never been one to celebrate holidays or occasions or such. Sure, I love being with my family and eating a huge dinner and stuff, but for some reason, I almost always get down on birthdays and New Years.

It's 54 minutes in (I actually wasn't born until 7:37 a.m. on a Sunday morning), but I don't feel any depression or anything like that.

Maybe this is one of those reflection times in my life. I'm nearly finished with school, I've further solidified my dreams of becoming a journalist and am taking big strides towards joining the professional ranks.

I have some true people that care about me without qualification. I have people that I would call friends.

I had a weird realization about myself this weekend. On Saturday night, I went with Will (my best friend of more than ten years), his little brother Justin (junior here @ State) and their friend Josh to play basketball with Manny, LJ, Kris and some other people on the home floor of Trinity University.

Well, as in nearly any basketball game, tempers flared up on a foul between Kris and Will. Some shoving and some breaking it up, but no punches thrown or anything like that. Well, in years past, something like that might have set me off and put me in a situation I wouldn't have enjoyed (namely, having my ass handed to me).

As we were driving home, Will kept telling me how surprised he was that I was totally cool during the whole thing (on the second wind of the near-fracas, I just grabbed Will and calmed him down) and how much I have changed in that sense.

I really owe that to one special person. She knows who she is and what she's done to help me with that.

Oh, I still get steamed and nuts. While cleaning out the office e-mail accounts, I came across some e-mail that set me off earlier this semester about coverage (or in this professor's case, lack of) in my section.

Had I not had a class in the middle of all this, I would have walked to that professor's office (or even class if he had one at the time) and told him exactly what I thought of his e-mail in vulgar, verbally violent terms.

Instead, after cooling down and talking with some people, I simply sent a scathing, biting e-mail that called him on his hypocrisy. That issue may come to a head sometime this semester, and to tell you the truth, I can't wait.

Anyway, this is my moment of zen for the night. Maybe I'll have something more later on today.

BTW, I still have yet to recieve any kind of correspondence from Ms. Anita Miller (the blog post prior to this one) about the problems in our competititor's stories.

That sucks. I really wanted a dialogue on that one.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Throwing Down The Gauntlet?

You know, I really pondered making this post since it has such close ties to what I do. But screw it, if I don't say it, who will?

While we're not in direct competition with them, the San Marcos Daily Record is the other paper in this community, along with The University Star.

In a story about the San Marcos River this past Friday, the Record (and specifically their news editor Anita Miller) had a story about the committee that's meeting to find ways to correct the problems by the waterfall.

The biggest piece to this overall story was the death in late April of senior Jason Bonnin at the falls - a story which we (including myself) ended up going to when the news broke and covered the story.

I remember that night so well. I went with Kelly, Andrew, Stephanie, Isadora and Amy to go see Uh-Huh Jackson play. Once the show finished and the bar closed @ midnight, we eventually ended up at Taco Cabana to eat. Well, as soon as I got in line to order, I got a call (from Courtney, I think) about some big thing going on at Joe's Crab Shack.

Kelly jumped in the truck with me and we met Andrew there as well as another photog and reporter on the scene. Five Star staffers - it does make one proud to see the dedication, but back to the story.

Well, in this story the Record had on Friday, Miss Miller listed the time Bonnin dove into the water as 3 a.m. - at 3 a.m. that night, I was back at the office looking up information on people we could contact about the story and any other information we could find.

Simple mistake, right? Nope.

Turns out, in another story from earlier this month, she makes the same mistake.

Taking a quick look in the Record's archives will find the staff report to list the correct times of the incidents - which were from 10:30 p.m. when the call came in to just before 1 a.m.

I'd link to our original story, but that day's archives are down at the moment.

I'm sorry, but this just bugs the hell out of me. One of our old reporters is an intern there this summer and I've met two of their reporters at other events and they were all nice people.

And people wonder why when you tell them you work(ed) at a newspaper in San Marcos, they always ask "Do you work at the good paper or the Record?"

Friday, July 29, 2005

My Favorite Whipping Boy...

Well, at least I know that when the going gets tough on coming up with ideas for the blog, the good people at WOAI-TV/AM always do something to step up to the plate.

I woke up this morning and opened up my usual sites to find this from my hometown TV station.

"Have Local Schools Become Supply Nazis?"

Let's just forget for a minute that a news organization is using a term usually reserved for a group that killed six million Jews and equating them to Joe Six-Pack at the school board.

I know they're trying to be cute just the way people online have been called Spelling or Grammar Nazis. There's the rub. A news organization isn't supposed to be cute - they're supposed to report the news in a fair and balanced way and let the reader/viewer decide for themselves what to think.

Far be it for me to defend the Northside Independent School District as they at one time employed my entire family (three people including myself), but the god-dammed red-tape of that district is absolutely horrible.

Is there anybody out there that likes their news cut-and-dried and subjective like this?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Let's Get Ethical

One of my favorite things to do is think about media ethics. It's something I've always loved to do and enjoy a great discussion about choices the various media outlets make regarding their coverage and/or publication of events.

A perfect chance has come up today. Let me give you a quick background of the events.

Last night, an embattled former city commissioner walked into the lobby of the Miami Herald and shot himself in the head. He died a few hours later.

Now, I'm not in Miami, so I don't know how big of an event - or even the corruption charges - was to the community, but for this to happen right in the lobby is different and indeed newsworthy in my opinion.

The question before you is this. Do you run the photo the Herald chose? Do you run a different one that might not have blood in it? Do you run it above-the-fold? In color? Inside? Black-and white?

This is today's front page of the
Miami Herald.

You can also see the same picture on the front page of the Herald'sWeb site.

It's very hard to make a decision without knowing the type of community Miami is. I'm of the opinion that the Austin American-Statesman probably would have run it, the San Antonio Express-News is 50-50 and The University Star more than likely would not - as they chose not to when a student committed suicide in his vehicle in a campus parking lot. The photo they chose to run (when I was a news reporter and not a member of the paper's editorial board) was a black-and-white photo of three officers investigating a sheet-covered vehicle.

The following photo is from The Star's Web site, so it is in color.

So there's the golden questions. In which way do you run these photos while also thinking of your audience?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Personal Responsibility Surrenders

I just was browsing around at and came across this story. Apparently, a woman has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive for "engaging in false, misleading and deceptive practices."

The lady, an 85-year-old grandmother purchased the game for her 14-year-old grandson without knowing it contained hidden sexual content.

Now first off, we (well, I) had an editorial in today's issue of The University Star in which we addressed this exact point.

Take a read. Go ahead and then come back.

The lawsuit states that she bought the game (a game titled "Grand Theft Auto"... just let that set it for a few seconds) even though at the time, the game was rated "M" for mature audiences. Now, there is not a law that states retailers have to check ID - and even then, she purchased the game.

Let's analyze the box art to this game.

In one panel, there are three clearly displayed guns being used in a drive-by shooting. In the one to its direct right, there is a man holding a gun and in the top left panel is a man with an automatic gun. I also see references to gambling, a police helicopter and a woman licking her lips in a suggestive fashion.

Now, I'm not saying that the game probably shouldn't have the "AO" (Adults Only) rating - but that's solely based upon the descriptors given by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. The "Hot Coffee" mini-game does indeed have prolonged sexual content, albeit pixelated and poorly acted.

It's not retailers, game publishers or the government's job to tell you how to raise your kids. If you don't want your kids to play a game that might be too violent or sexual in nature - research it, go out and rent the game and watch your children play it. Hell, your kid might be mature enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy. I know my mom never had an issue with what I listened to or watched - I just knew that if I ever performed acts like that, spoke like that or basically tried to use that as an excuse, it'd have been my ass.

I've just registered to get the documents online and I have them, so I'm going to start pulling stuff from there.

When are people going to start taking responsibility for their own actions?

Do you realize that in the state of Iowa, this lady's grandson can legally consent to actually have sex?

He can fuck, he just can't play a game that has some fucking.

I can't say I'm shocked at this lawsuit, but sometimes, stupid people just need to be smacked.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Godspeed, Discovery

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

How Coincidental...

So I have my first test in Astronomy tomorrow. I've really enjoyed the class and Dr. Olson's a great professor who has kept my interest piqued every day.

I get home just after 7 p.m. after stopping at the office to take care of a few things and promptly sit down at the computer to check out Fark
and a couple of other sites. I eventually end up at Ctrl-Alt-Del to catch up on about six months of missed comics. By the time that finishes, it's a little after 8:30 p.m. I turn on the tube and start watching The Simpsons.

Now, this wasn't just any episode. This was Bart Gets An F. In this episode, Bart is threatened with having to repeat the fourth grade after he continually fails his tests for lack of dedication to study.

Was this a sign?

I'm going to take it as one. I just finished a sandwich, I've just finished this entry... so now it's off to the wonderful world of Astronomy.

And just to make sure I'm not tempted to come back to the computer for a little bit of time, I'm going to start a processor-consuming task that makes my system slow to ungodly speeds if I interrupt it.

Back later...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

From The WTF Files

Just caught this story on the Statesman's Web site.

I'm going to copy the story here since the Statesman is a news site that requires registration.


Man faces federal porn charge
He is accused of directing man raping girl, watching on Internet

By Steven Kreytak


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

An Austin man is accused of viewing a live Internet broadcast of a man who might have been raping his young daughter and was ordered detained without bail Monday pending trial on child pornography charges.

At an Austin federal court hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Pitman ruled that Steven Keith Hawkins is a danger to the community.

Hawkins, 47, is accused of using Internet instant messaging software to participate in chat rooms in which the exploitation of children was the main topic, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Devlin said.

During one chat session in August 2003, Hawkins viewed a man raping a girl believed to be his daughter and typed instructions "as to what to do with the child," said Devlin, who called the case "disturbing."

Hawkins' public defender could not be reached for comment. Devlin said that during an interview with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Hawkins denied watching the live feed of the child rape.

Hawkins was charged in a criminal complaint filed last week with possession and distribution of child pornography.

During a search of his Austin home on June 14, agents seized his computer hard drive and a computer disk that had 100 images and 12 videos of child pornography, according to the complaint.

Travis Central Appraisal District records indicate that Hawkins lives in North Austin on Slow Poke Drive, which is north of Parmer Lane and west of Interstate 35.

Devlin said agents have reviewed chat logs and received other information but have not seen video of the Internet broadcasts.

He would not be specific about that other information and declined to say where the chat logs came from.

He also declined to say whether authorities know the identities of the others who participated in the chat rooms or where they are from.

In chat room conversations during 2004 and 2005, Hawkins asked people to "play with children via Web-cam," discussed how one man sexually abused a baby and bragged "that he had sex 'all the way' with his 9-year-old niece," Devlin said.

During the hearing Monday, Hawkins' wife, LeaneHawkins, said the couple doesn't have a 9-year-old niece, and investigators haven't found evidence of one, Devlin said.

Leane Hawkins testified that she knows nothing about the allegations against her husband. She could not be reached for further comment.

Pitman, in ordering Hawkins detained, wrote that even after his home was searched, he continued to download child pornography.

That suggests "an inability or unwillingness to discontinue this illegal activity," Pitman wrote in court documents.

As recently as July 12, according to court documents, Hawkins used instant messaging to ask someone to molest a child and broadcast it on the Internet. It is unclear whether he was successful.


I'm nearly speechless.

He allegedly SOLICITED somebody to rape a child. Just try to forget that somebody apparently agreed to do it for a moment.

This guy allegedly solicited another human being to rape a child - maybe even their own child.

If this is true, this is beyond disgusting. I can't begin to even think of how sad I am for the child first of all, and for the rest of the human race if this is some of the problems that develop within.

Hell, this guy doesn't live that far away from where my Dad's shop is.

As a matter of fact, I think I am speechless at this.

Monday, July 18, 2005

"The Gambler" Must Be Pissed...

By now, you must all know the Kenny Rogers story (not the grizzled, old country singer - the pitcher for the Texas Rangers).

Quick recap: Rogers got pissed on 29 June (Mom's birthday) at two cameramen outside the Rangers dugout and knocked a camera down from one photog and threatened (or hit) another.

Anyway, Rogers turned himself in this morning on the misdemeanor charge (a second was mailed to him) and got into it with another photog.

This rat bastard attacks two photogs for doing their jobs. Then he gives some crap apology "against his lawyer's advice" and everybody lets him slide so he can go to the All-Star Game and get rocked (thanks for that home run Andruw Jones).

First, he says that the behavior is not normal for him - which is false since he broke his non-pitching hand hitting a water cooler after a bad performance. That, I can't fault him for. Heat of the battle and it happens all the time. But, it does show his penchant for anger.

Next, he apparently ripped a number of framed photos off the wall of the Rangers clubhouse in anger.

Then, the incident with the two cameramen.

He says he wants to take the punishment given to him and face what's in front of him - yet he's appealing his 20-game/$50,000 fine from Major League Baseball. If you don't know, that allows him to play while waiting for the appeal to be heard and the punishment to be analyzed.

And then he goes and does this again. You know what, Kenny. We're tired of your act. You've pitched well this year - but you're looking for a new contract. Either take what the Rangers want to give you (which sure as hell isn't $12-14M/year that you think you're worth) or test the free-agent market.

All these outbursts can't help your cause Kenny. All these outbursts that continue after the fact are only going to turn off the people that you brought back with that apology before the ASG.

The people in Detroit were right to boo you when you were announced and when you came into pitch. Guess what, I was booing you at the same time from the office.

Shut up. Pitch. Go away.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

My Two Girls

Kiki & Daisy in the new wagon. Posted by Picasa

This is a picture I took yesterday of my two dogs. Kiki (L) and Daisy (R) were riding in a wagon that my parents got for them. This is one of the best photos I have of my girls and I just thought I'd post it.

I have a few more photos if people want to see them.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Paws For Prisoners

This is just one of the shots of an amazing photo essay about a program at the correctional facility in Kyle, Texas that combines unwanted dogs with prisoners in an effort to teach responsibility to the inmates and behavior to the dogs.

Not only do I want to know more about the program, but I'm also insanely jealous that the The Daily Texan
found out about this before we did. Who knows, they probably had to go through a lot to get this story and those amazing pictures.

The pictures are by Erik Castro. I don't know his full affiliation with The Texan, but he has talent. Now that's photojournalism. I can only hope that The University Star can be blessed with the same talented photography this year.

This is the story - looks to be a small lead into the photo essay.

The photo essay is on the same page halfway down.

Congrats to The Texan for this fine piece of work.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So Manny Changed His Blog

Just thought I'd give ol' Manny's new blog a plug.

Now mow my lawn!

It's Bloggin' Time

So much for having a blog that isn't updated regularly.

Rather than new posts for everything I want to write about, here's one long big-ass post.

While driving to work in Austin on the day of the London attacks, I couldn't help but get angry at the lack of news coverage there was on the radio (cable news did a fine job, though). While there were updates every 20 minutes (akin to "Bombs in London, people hurt, back to traffic...), they (being 1200 WOAI-AM/San Antonio) talked for 10-15 minutes about the "Top 12 Most Overrated Songs."

This is a news/talk station which proclaims themselves to be "San Antonio's First News). It's programming decisions like that which make me glad I've decided not to seriously pursue broadcast journalism as a career and instead focus on print.

I talked to my academic adviser on Monday and found out that after my Astronomy class this summer (which is pretty cool, BTW), I will only need 27 hours to graduate. Twenty-seven!

It's going to be a tough 27 hours, but it just feels so great to be able to see graduation (which is one of my largest life goals) finally within reach. All that problems that I got myself into, all the financial struggles I've had to deal with might just all be over soon enough.

Class of 2006!

I need a plant. I also need some wall decor.

I need a plant so that I can force myself to clean my apartment and open my blinds up. I need some wall decor because this white emptiness is driving me a little mad and if I'm going to be here until this time next summer, I might as well make it worth it.

The University Star is finally moving. The work on the Trinity building should be completed by August 10 and we should be in our new offices by the beginning of the semester. It's going to be weird - in fact, we spent all day yesterday cleaning the walls off and boxing stuff up - but I think it's going to be fun to christen the new Trinity building for staffers to come.

If anybody happens to watch ESPN2, look for this week's episode of Streetball. I have an on-camera spot for about two seconds. When the And1 Mix Tape Tour was in San Antonio a few weeks back, we covered it for the sports section two issues ago. During the second half, I took the camera and sat on the baseline at the SBC Center, so during one play in which one of the players hits the court, you can see me about three feet away on the right-hand side of your screen. Green shirt, blue jeans and a camera. That's me.

I was always told I'd end up on ESPN someday. I kinda thought they meant more frequently, though.

I don't really have much else right now, but I hope to keep this as updated as possible.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Damn, It's Been Awhile


Way too long to go between posting.

Let's see, the Spurs won it all, I'm in the process of being sued and I'm itching for classes to get started again.

I'll think of something more soon in a new post.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Now I Know What NASCAR Drivers Feel Like

You know how many miles I drove this past week? I don't and I drove them.

Saturday - San Marcos to San Antonio through the Hill Country (see thread below).
Sunday - Very little.
Monday - San Antonio to Austin to San Marcos to Austin to San Marcos.
Tuesday - San Marcos to San Antonio to San Marcos.
Wednesday - San Marcos to San Antonio to San Marcos to San Antonio to San Marcos.
Thursday - San Marcos to Austin to Cedar Park to Austin to San Marcos to San Antonio to San Marcos (early Friday).
Friday - San Marcos to Austin to San Marcos to San Antonio.

Yipes. I'm not going to even try to figure that out in mileage. If somebody wants to, be my guest.

I just signed up for XM Radio's free online trial. I really want to get it - especially for the baseball coverage, but damned if I can afford it right now.

Going to watch Game 2 at Kori's tomorrow with a cookout and all. It'd be pretty damn cool if a bunch of us end up getting a suite downtown for the possible clinching game.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Accept Your Challenge... Partially.

Because of Kelly's post, I must now choose my six favorite songs right now. Here goes.

1. Pat Green - Carry On
2. Black Eyed Peas - Anxiety
3. Linkin Park - Faint
4. The Crystal Method - I Know It's You
5. Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire
6. Eric Clapton - Layla

Those are pretty much some of my favorite songs regardless of the time.

What An Evening!

Well, I haven't updated in a week + a day.

I'll start with tonight.

If you can, take a drive. Do something. I needed tonight. I needed to just be away. I drove the backroads (so to speak) of the Texas Hill Country to get from San Marcos to San Antonio.

Saw Canyon Lake for the first time today. That water looks great from a truck. That water looks like it'd be there only for you when you need it, and I'm going to test that theory soon.

Man, windows down with some Pat Green playing (for the first two hours of my three-hour sojourn) and driving through the Hill Country took me to some picturesque areas of this great state... places I wouldn't mind living, even.

I want to get into my few hours more. So many experiences with so few actions. So may actions brought a serenity to me tonight. I feel calm, collected... still a little crazy, but with some new-found ability to handle things a little better. I guess we'll find out.

So the Spurs won. 4-1. I don't really care who they match up with in the Finals since they'll both be tough. Didn't try to get any tickets (unless somebody comes up with some). Anyway, the GTGs (Get ToGethers) will be more fun - especially if everybody is there if/when the Spurs win it all.

Saw Pat Green in concert at Stubb's in Austin on Thursday evening with Miss Merks (Kelly). He puts on one hell of a show, so much so that I'm going to try and be in New Braunfels for the concert on the 23rd.

Stubb's is a nice spot for a show. It was humid, but once Pat got on stage, I kind of forgot since I was just singing along like a dope - although Kelly got into it, too.

I'm still kind of loopy after tonight's drive. Man, that was relaxing...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Sittin' Outside @ 3AM

Quick update since it's nearly 4:30 a.m., but we got together to wish a close friend of ours off to Lake Jackson (and the same paper as listed below).

Went to Miguel's apartment and essentially hung outside on his walkway with me drinking from a 2-liter Big Red.

Matt, Kirsten and Chris just left my place after moving it over here once Miggy went nighty-night.

I'll post some more when this weekend begins, but to Chris Robinson... Godspeed, use what I gave you before you left and give us some good words once we start applying for jobs.

See ya in a few weeks.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ketchup & Corn Chips

First off, I need to say Happy Birthday to my friend Kelly. It's her 20th today.

She's a real sweetheart who's going to be outstanding at whatever she ends up doing; she's doing the journalism thing right now. I like to say I swiped her from Trends (the entertainment section at The Star) to News, but she came on her own.

She's applied for assistant news editor and senior reporter this semester, but whatever happens, she'll be great.

By the way, this is Kelly and I at the graduation party last weekend.

So I helped my friend David load his stuff in a big-ass U-Haul today - yes, it was big-ass... they rented an 18-footer and were given a 24-footer. Anyway, he's off to Lake Jackson to work as a general assignments reporter at the Brazosport Facts. He was one of the first in a long time from The Star to get an internship at the Austin American-Statesman. He gives a lot of us that want to make this a career just another idea that we can actually go somewhere by doing things the right way.

Props to David Doerr.

Now, as to the title of this post. I was hungry earlier, so I went to Wendy's for some food and realized that I really dislike the ketchup I had at home. So I walked into HEB and picked up some Heinz and some Julio's tortilla chips, hence the post title.

You think that was weird... the guy in front of me had some ranch dressing, a can of peanuts and a bag of peanut M&Ms.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Hey There Sleepy Boy

Man, you ever have one of those nights of decent sleep after busting your ass the day before?

I helped a friend move yesterday and put together some furniture and stuff, bonked my head more than a few times and still kept going.

Once I got home, I watched the first half of the Spurs-Sonics game and took the longest shower I could when halftime came. Watched the Spurs wax that ass clean as a whistle and feeling better.

By the way, any Sonics fan that cheered when Tim Duncan was on the ground injured needs to be slapped, then shot. How in the hell can you cheer when anybody is injured.

You all can go to hell.

How do you like them apples?!?

Get used to seeing that picture in your newspapers very soon.

I hope Manu haunts Seattle's dreams for months.

Anyway, I'm pulling for the Mavs tonight for two reasons... the first, if the Mavs win, it extends the series another game which gives the Spurs a little more rest and second, the Mavs can still win.

It'd be fun to see a Spurs-Suns series and finally put this "best team in the NBA" talk to rest, but the Spurs match up with the Mavs a little better.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Two Words: Manu Ginobili

Go Spurs Go

You know, I really hate that cheer.

Regardless, the Spurs take on the Sonics in about 30 minutes. It's time to put Ray Allen on his ass, work our way into the paint and stop turning over the ball so damned much.

Sigh...Go Spurs Go.

I've Been Working On A Web Site

So I started working for my Dad at his auto repair business in Austin today.

I'm doing stuff like accounting, gophering, stuff like that. What he also wants me to do is get him an online presence for his barbecue pit-building business.

I finally got around to setting up a host and getting him a domain. I'm in no way skilled at Web site building, so I'm going to use a service that they have at the hosting company called SiteBuilder.

So if anybody needs a barbecue pit, go to when it's set up.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Why I Hate Sweeps...

I always used to think the world of broadcast journalism was pretty cool - even after I worked in a TV sports/news department for a year-and-a-half.

I just completed my broadcast media sequence at Texas State, but only because I was so far along in it when I thought of switching to print that I figured I'd just finish it and use my time at The Star to show my worth as a print/web journalist.

This is what pisses me off about sweeps (and broadcast outlets in general).

Now... here's what pisses me off.

1. Today is Tuesday, what if my child goes to that school using that bus route with that driver before Thursday? A hell of a lot of good that information does me the next three days I put my kid on that bus. Think about that.

2. Why is he back driving a bus? Because he was accused! At least that's what I know from the banner. If he was simply accused without any prosecution/evidence that confirms he did it, it might have simply been some kid mouthing off trying to get the "mean, ol' bus driver" in trouble.

3. These "Troubleshooters" (the name of the WOAI-TV crew used in the banner) are journalists, right? I'm pretty sure we're supposed to be objective to our subjects. Now, this third reason is more along the lines of a promo I saw for last night's news. They were calling people "cheapskates." Isn't that for the viewer/listener to decide for themselves after you provide them with the information?

A rant is just a rant, but man I hate sweeps months. Maybe one day I'll tell you the story of the sweeps incident at the station I worked for. Let's just say it involved oral sex on the ten o'clock news.

I Wish I Knew How...

I wish I knew how to make my latest posts appear first.

Although since I'm the only one that knows about this right now, I think I might be stuck for a bit.

If anybody knows how, please fill me in. Thanks.

EDIT: Okay, now this is REALLY weird. My third post is listed as my second and my second is my last. My head hurts.

SECOND EDIT: Nevermind, I'm an idiot.

Links Exposed

Okay, they're not really exposed, but I will explain them as I go along and add more. is the Web site I write for. We cover the Seattle Mariners and their minor-league organization. Since I live/work in San Antonio, I cover the San Antonio Missions (the Double-A affiliate). I did the same job last summer and it was one of the best I've ever had. In fact, I just finished covering the Tacoma Rainiers (the Triple-A affiliate) when they came to Round Rock, Tex. (a few miles north of Austin) for a four-game series. is a San Antonio Spurs message board I frequent both on and offline. I used to write columns for their parent site (, but have slacked off as of last season. Met many fun people and had many a good time watching basketball with them.

The University Star is the campus newspaper for Texas State University-San Marcos (I hate that San Marcos thing, what's next... Texas State University-Sabinal). I'm the managing editor of the newspaper after being news editor this past semester (I'm also the acting sports editor this summer - needed the extra paycheck). We are the finest media outlet in the city of San Marcos because we bust our collective asses to put out the best product possible. A lot of my postings will be related to The Star (local style calls for a shortened second reference) and journalism-related stuff in general because that's just the guy I am.

Man, talk about your long paragraphs... my journalism professors are twitching right now and muttering stuff about "one-sentence paragraphs... maybe two."


So You've Finally Got A Blog

Well, I guess I finally got around to setting up my own blog.

What will this be about? Nothing in particular, just whatever the hell I feel like saying.

For anybody browsing, I'm a 24-year-old from Texas in my senior year at Texas State Univ. (though it will almost always be SWT in my heart). I'm already working as a journalist - which is what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

I'm primarily focused on print/web journalism and I always enjoy a good media ethics discussion.

I'm a big sports guy - baseball, football, basketball. I get to cover the Seattle Mariners minor-league organization right now and this has to be the craziest work for no pay, but it's some of the most fun I have.

I really don't know what else to say, so I figure the answers will come as the questions are asked.