I feel very lucky to have seen these world leaders up close. There are many people who never get to see their President in the flesh. Hopefully, I will get to see many more Commanders in Chief in my lifetime. If I can track down George H.W. Bush, I will be able to say I've seen all of the living presidents in person. He did visit our region for barbecue in Botetourt County a few years ago.  Perhaps he'll make a return visit.

April 10, 2009

We can't always get what we want.  Whether it's getting an extra hour of sleep in the morning or having your winning lottery numbers drawn, we sometimes have to accept that things are not going to play out the way we'd like.  Such is life when you're the lone reporter in a news bureau.

There is never a quiet moment in Lynchburg, Danville, or the points in-between and adjacent that I cover.  I can plan out my day to the finest detail, but it never fails that something will come along and force me to rearrange my entire schedule.  I spend so much of my day scrambling, trying with every ounce of energy I have, to cover every newsworthy event or happening in my beat.  It's exhausting, and some days I worry that I'm doing 5,000 things marginally instead of accomplishing one thing masterfully.

My quandary is not one exclusive to journalists.  No matter your profession, you can likely relate to what I'm saying.  There are times when you just have to tell yourself that you can't do everything.  There will be tasks that can't be done because of time constraints, issues of resources/manpower, or simply because it's not possible.  It's not about giving up, because you always want to accomplish that which you can do.  It's about recognizing your limits and allowing yourself to be successful at the goals you can attain.

I'm resolving to start identifying tasks that may be outside of my reach so that I can focus on the realistic things I can do well.  I may have to come back and read this again Monday, because I'm sure I'll be back in at 1,000 miles-per-hour by then.  Here's hoping you have a restful weekend.  I'll certainly be trying to have one myself.

February 14, 2008

I'm finally ready for the digital transition.

For months, I have been fielding calls from viewers who have been asking me what they need to do to get their TV ready for the switch to digital.  I generally end every phone call with "take care of this sooner than later - don't wait until the analog signals go away to make the transition."  Until now, I've had trouble taking my own advice.

Today, I finally went out and bought a converter box for the TV in my living room.  I only own one TV set and I've never had cable or satellite hooked up here.  Even though I make my living on television, I rarely watch television, so I don't have a need for more stations than what I can pick up for free.

I'm actually glad that I've had to go through the process of converting my own television.  It has given me first hand knowledge of what our viewers on the eastern side of the region are dealing with.  I live in the Lynchburg area, roughly 60 miles from WDBJ's broadcast tower on Poor Mountain in Roanoke County.  From my home, it would be nearly impossible to pick up WDBJ's digital signal using a set of "rabbit ears" on my TV.

I ended up spending 30 extra dollars to get a special antenna that hangs on my wall and connects to an amplifier.  By positioning the antenna next to the ceiling and near a window, I am able to pick up WDBJ's digital signal, along with all of the other Roanoke TV stations, without digital "break-up."  It's a crude and somewhat unattractive set up, but it's allowing me to continue getting free television.

Now that I've made the switch, I'll have another option to recommend to my fellow Lynchburg residents.  I have spent a lot of time researching the best antenna options so that I can offer recommendations to people who call me.  At least now I know it can be done, so my advice won't just be an educated guess.

December 23, 2008

While many of you are exchanging gifts on Thursday, I'll be getting gifts of a different kind. 

Christmas Day is my birthday.  When I tell people that, the first question I generally get asked is "do you get double gifts?" - meaning, do you get fewer presents because people combine your Christmas and Birthday gifts?  The answer is actually no.  My parents have always made sure to give me a separate birthday present.  I generally receive it on Christmas Eve, so that it feels more like a birthday gift than a Christmas gift.  It also gives me a chance to open my gifts at a time when everyone else isn't opening their gifts too.

My siblings always make sure to give me a separate birthday gift as well.  Their birthday (they're twins) is less than a month after Christmas, so if they ever try to pull the "double-gift" trick on me, I'll just tell them their Christmas gift is for both occasions too.

I've grown to like having a birthday on the biggest holiday of the year.  No one ever forgets my birthday, and I feel like people generally make a bigger deal about it than they would otherwise.  The only drawback: I can't really celebrate the occasion on the actual day with anyone other than my family.  Friends are off with their own families.

The only time I ever really felt like I missed out on a right of passing was my 21st birthday.  You can guarantee I didn't spend that Christmas with family doing what most people do on their 21st.  This year I turn 28, so I feel like I'm past the days of wild birthday celebrations anyway.

Happy Birthday to all the Christmas babies out there (including News 7's Brent Watts, who also celebrates on the 25th) - and here's hoping you don't get double gifted this year!