Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can you say EW?

Did you know in California we have wild parrots? Tons of them. They come out at sunset everyday in certain parts of Orange County, in giant flocks, sounding their trademark screech. Today while setting up my liveshot, it actually startled me. I looked up to a blacked out sky from the birds flying overhead. Bizarre. No one knows how they ended up here, although there a lot of urban myths. (


Speaking of bizarre...  Remember my long day yesterday? It went Twilight Zone on the drive home. Here's the scene: I'm in a giant news van with a huge peacock on the side--kind of impossible to be incognito.  It's about one in the morning. I'm on the freeway. This SUV full of drunks comes up beside me. It started innocently enough with them flipping me the bird (and no, not a parrot). No big deal. It happens. I've learned to ignore it. Then they mooned me. Yep. Whatever. I've seen butts. Oh. And then they turned around... Let's just say I saw entirely too much stranger anatomy--and not just from boys. A girl too. When one of them put his butt out the window, and, uh... defacated... that's when I called CHP.

So when you see a news van, wave and smile. We're actually pretty swell people! No need to S**T on us! Ew?!!! Who does that??

In the news realm, we covered the verdict on a 30 year old serial murderer case. He's been convicted three times, but keeps appealing, putting the families through hell.

Once again, he was found guilty of all charges, but the family of Robin Samsoe, twelve years old when she was murdered, has a hard time finding solace in that considering Alcala keeps appealing. As they said, it's like burying Robin all over again every time they go through this.

When covering a big case like this, it's too disruptive to let every media outlet into the courtroom, so we use what's termed a "pool camera"--one camera shoots and feeds out to everyone else. The scene in the hall of the eleventh floor was nuts, full of cameras and tripods and recording decks.  Most courthouses have restrictions on where we can photograph, otherwise I would have snapped a shot of the pandemonium.

From there, we rushed down to the second floor--the only place in the courthouse where we're allowed to do interviews--and set up a mic stand so the family could make their comments. Pictured here is DA Matt Murphy giving his statement. If you look behind the woman in the white blouse, grey vest, and black flower (my reporter) you'll see the top of my head. For the most part, we try to keep things civilized (like this), leaving a good pad of space between our mic stand and the cameras. Of course, it doesn't always happen this way.

Next, this case goes to the penalty phase, and I'm sure we'll be back to cover it. (A link to our news story. About halfway down, you'll see the video link:

So what's on tap for tomorrow? I have absolutely no idea. It's the best part of this job, never knowing where I'll be, who I'll be meeting, and what I'll be learning about. It's endlessly interesting.

Until tomorrow...

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