Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chaska flood again!

We've got a flood again in Chaska. Check out the time lapse video of the flood near our house.

The bridge is closed again, as are all the bridges but one in the county, but our little house is just fine. The water has a long way to go before it reaches the top of the levee, er, dike as they call it up here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Paperweights.

It was "Take your Emmy to Work Day" at the station. Our cubicles looked very special today.

We did it. Channel 12 went 4/5 at the Upper Midwest Regional Emmys on Saturday night.

It was a fun night. Fittingly, 12 people from Channel 12 (spouses and family included) got dressed up, went to dinner, and then went to the awards. It was like the Prom for grown-ups.

My name was on two awards: Community Cable Edited News Program, Logged In: The Social Media Sensation that I produced and hosted last November. The show talked about Social Media in 2009 and how it became incorporated into government, law enforcement, school, business, and social life. I worked very hard on this show, and I was pleased with how it turned out. When they announced my Emmy, I jumped. My friends from Dave's station were running the in-house studio production, so they made sure they put me on camera going up to the stage for. a. long. time. This made me incredibly nervous. I don't like to walk in front of people. I am always afraid I will trip. (actually I did trip during my Senior Prom, but that's another blog.)

The other award was for Cable News Best Live Newscast, so it was kind of like a team award.

Lisa won best Cable News Magazine for her in-depth special on Cold Cases. In an ironic twist, Lisa's family flew 1500 miles to be with her on her special night, but wound up missing the actual event. Who knew the Emmy people would do a fruit basket turnover on the agenda and wind up announcing her award FIRST while we were still at our overpriced dinner? When we walked in 15 minutes late, we checked Twitter only to find out Lisa's award was already announced and she was's that for social media? When the ceremony wrapped up, Lisa's Emmy was the lone award sitting on the stage.

Another set of coworkers, Alex, Dustin, & Brandon won for best Cable News Story: Hair Dye for Haiti, which was well done.

Also worth noting-- my Money Savers series didn't win, but I was thrilled to get a nomination. When I submitted the series under Public/Current/Community Affairs/Program/Special/Series...which tells you how crazy the category was...I was the 27th entry. I wound up making the top 5 to be nominated, up against KARE, Iowa Public Television, KBJR, and the Star Tribune. Iowa Public TV wound up winning, so that's not a bad thing to lose when you are up against the best.

I admit finding out what wins and the Emmy process is a bit like finding out about Santa Claus. Winning is an opinion that often relies on station reputation and if the station (or person) can afford the ridiculously expensive Emmy process. But it is validation that makes you walk a bit straighter coming into work on a Monday morning.

Especially if you are toting an Emmy with you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

John on Coors Field

My youngest brother John has a really cool job. In this picture, he's on the far right carrying a flag. John is on the color guard out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Besides keeping up with his regular Army job, he takes care of horses, marches in parades, and competes against other color guard teams. He has always been the grandchild into horses, so this seems like a neat career for him.

Normally, getting information out of my brothers is extremely difficult. They are lockboxes keeping the minutia of their lives very private. But, John told me he was on ESPN carrying the flag and I got the rest from Facebook. For 9-11, his team got to carry the flag on Coors Field before a Rockies game. The team parked the horse trailers and went in near the players entrance.
From the pictures, it looked like a patriotic event that fittingly honored public servants and the military.

Something that just had to bring a bit of humor to the evening was when one of the horses left his mark on Coors Field. I'm quite sure that was quite a mud puddle.

Well, we tried

All year the Twins have been the hottest ticket in town. Big games. Little games. Every game. Every time our schedules coincided, Dave and I checked out tickets to try to take Jack to his first game at Target Field. They were always ungodly expensive or standing room only. I know people who have tried to go see a game all season, and they haven't wanted to pay the extremely high they stayed home.

But we stayed positive. We picked out a day to go to the game. There were no 'standing room only' tickets available. So, we got up early and went down to Target Field to try our luck at buying the few tickets that the box office sells each game. The line wound way around the office and down the sidewalk. We waited for awhile. They were sold out. Dave canvassed the scalpers. The best he could find were $150 for $40 seats. We had a 5 month old, and knew we weren't going to make it the entire game and we were willing to pay, but not $300 for a few innings of baseball in a regular game.

We snapped a few pictures of the extremely impressive place and then decided to go to a cafe around the block and grab food and then try our luck again during the second or third inning. At the cafe, everyone seated around us were waiting it out to do the exact same thing. So, we got out of the cafe, looked around and decided to get on the train and head home. The train ride home was very empty. Maybe next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pig Siouee!

This is what awaited me sometime last week, as Jack and Dave were cooking me dinner while sporting Arkansas gear.

I'll pig siouee that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ode to the State Fair

One year someone had the audacity to move the homemade brownie stand away from the all-you-can-drink milk booth. Minnesotans nearly rioted. They raised so much of a ruckus that the brownies were moved back to their rightful place beside the milk stand.

I'm not sure if that story is true or not, but I heard it this year and I love it. It sums up Minnesota in so many ways. Sure, we might be Minnesota nice, but YOU DON'T MESS WITH OUR STATE FAIR. Them's fightin' words.

I have really talked up the fair to the natives to find out how in the world this fair turned out cool when many state fairs are just chalked up as chance to gawk at a few carnies, win a ribbon, eat a carmel apple, and be hounded by a hairy toothless man running a dart throw.

A member of the State Fair communications team summed it up for me: It's cultural. Families come here and enjoy the same things every year and they come back and bring their bring their kids..... and voila, another person is sucked into thinking getting a Pronto Pup followed by cheese curds and then Sweet Martha's cookies with a Malt that can only come from the Dairy Barn that you eat while looking at the butter sculptures is an annual must-do right up there with Thanksgiving.

I went out to cover two days of the fair. One story-- a local skate lair has had a place in the X-Zone for 10 years. It's a skate park with 5 or so shows daily. I found it rather ironic that kids were doing tricks right beside a tractor driving contest. But that's the State Fair.

Then, I went out to cover a local Eastern Star Chapter that has been running a dining hall on the state fairgrounds for 73 years. "It's not fast food. It's good food fast." They start serving up a hearty breakfast at 7 am and then serve up lunch and dinner. There are only 4 church dining halls left, and they are a tradition. I met a couple inside who met at the Fair 50-something years ago and they come back to the fair every year.

Dave got to broadcast from the KARE barn, where a lively crowd shows up to see TV magic for part, if not all of every show. Every station is here.

At Heritage Square, I stopped by the log cabin to see a few friends.
I used up my calories on a cinnamon roll from the food barn followed up with a big glass of cold milk. It was like heaven until about 3/4 of the way through before it got too sickeningly sweet. This was recommended to be by another Minnesotan who starts out her State Fair day with this breakfast. You can watch the rolls being made through a glass door. I waited in line for about 15 minutes, but that was pretty standard everywhere.

My coworker's favorite are are the Walleye cakes in the Lodge. She always brings back a tub of Sweet Martha's Cookies for the station.

My neighbor's tradition is always the Strawberries and Cream.

One friend's must-eat are the mini-donuts.
Dave's favorite are the fried pickles.
Another coworker's favorite are the tubs of fresh cut french fries. But only the ones from the red & gold stand that's been there since 1972.

You should see the lines for the Pronto Pups, the Cheese Curds from the mousehole, and then the root beer stand.

There's a John Deere stand that churns up homemade ice cream on some type of rig that includes John Deere machinery.

Dave and I didn't get to take Jack to experience his first State Fair, but there's ample opportunities for a kid out here.'s another chance for us to sample another classic.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fishing on the Hudson

Dave, his friend Johnny, and my brother Luke spent a day on the Hudson River. Here's the results of the catch. Big and Small.

Making the rounds in New York

This post is long overdue, but I figure the pictures are always welcome. We had a lovely visit with Dave's parents and family in August. Jack was a hit, as always, and has yet to meet a stranger.

He can do tricks now. He sits up. He rolls over. He eats solids and sticks his tongue out and bangs on his chair when he wants more. He jabbers and gets louder when you are in a loud room. He makes us laugh and we act silly making him laugh. It's fun being the center of his world, and we know like all baby phases, this is one that will not last. So, I'm trying to bottle all of this good stuff up for when he becomes a sullen teenager who is embarrassed by his parents.

Signs you are in an upstate New York grocery store

Dinosaur BBQ: proof that yes, you can produce good BBQ outside the south. Should you visit, I'd recommend the Big A$$ pork plate.

the Little Debbie of the Northeast. Natives are crazy about these calorie-laden confections. I am not so sure.

Kugel, Knish: Oh, let's call the whole thing off. You can purchase these jewish dishes in the grocery store, but it is guaranteed not to be as good as a grandma, or a Bubbe, might make.

Spiedie sauce: Never heard of the Spiedie? Well, you aren't alone and that in itself really ticks off people from downstate New York. When I interned in Binghamton, I ate a Spiedie every weekend at a different shop. Essentially, it's a different take on a cheese steak/po boy. I talked to several people back then who were incensed the Spiedie hasn't reached the same level of fame as the Philly Cheese Steak.

Ethnic foods aisle: I've never seen "Cajun Foods" listed with Kosher, Italian, or Mexican foods on the Ethnic food aisle, but I guess it works.

Pop Pop at the Deli Counter: If there's one thing Pop pop (Dave's dad for those of you out of the loop) controls in his house, it's definitely the quality and quantity of the deli meat in the fridge. Only the best and no skimping!

He actually controls more than that...(he controls the quality of the liquor too.. :) ) but seeing he and Jack at the counter picking up meat is another snapshot that I'll always associate with Dave's homeland.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Congratulations Tony and Lizzie

A few weeks ago we celebrated the marriage of our friend Tony to his bride, Lizzie. Tony was the best man at our wedding, and it was an honor to be included in his nuptials.

Dave and Tony have been friends since grade school. Actually, it's a long-standing joke between the two of them recalling when Tony beat Dave out for the role of George Washington in the second grade play. Dave was left to play some founding father whom no one can remember.

This wedding had the largest wedding party I've ever seen! 12 groomsmen, 12 bridesmaids, 3 junior groomsmen, 3 junior bridesmaids, 1 man of honor, 2 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, and a few other people in the processional that I really didn't recognize. Tony has a large Italian family and everyone was in on the fun. Lizzie is from Mexico and the wedding ceremony included several of her traditions that I'd never seen before.

Jack was, once again, an angel baby at this wedding. He slept through the entire hour and a half mass! He woke up just in time for the recessional and a few pictures with Dad before going to spend the night with his grandparents. Jack didn't quite know what to think about his Dad's friend Johnny.

The wedding reception was a fun affair. After a very nice cocktail hour, we had an extensive dinner with several courses. When Dave and I left at midnight, the mariachi band was about to kick off and play. It certainly wasn't slowing down!

Tony and Lizzie live outside of Washington, DC. They are planning a honeymoon next year, and we wish them the very best in their new life together.

Nominated x 5

The Emmy nominations came in and it's good news!

12 News is nominated for 5 EMMYs! (My name is on 3 of them ;) The winners will be announced on September 25 and Dave and I are planning on attending the ceremony. I think some of us are going to do it up like it's the prom or something... fancy clothes, fancy dinner...but maybe leave the awkwardness of prom at home.

Here's how it stacks up:

Best Cable News Feature Segment: Hair Dye for Haiti
Reporter: Alexandra Renslo/Photographer Dustin Scholl

Best Series: 12 News Money Savers
Reporter Shannon Slatton/Photographer Roger Larson
(I was the 27th entry and the field was cut to 5 who were's an open category, so I'm up against KARE and Iowa Public Television! I am absolutely THRILLED just to get the nomination here.)

Best Edited News Magazine Program: Cold Cases
Producer/Host: Lisa Furgison/Photographer Ben Kroll

Best Edited News Program: Logged In: Social Media Sensation
Producer/Host: Shannon Slatton / 12 News Staff

Best Live Cable Newscast: 12 News
12 News Staff

Now to the really important stuff..... what to wear?