Tag Archives: Roswell

2015 is Going to be Amazing!

Tortolita Snow
Tortolita Snow

It has been a long time since I blogged here.  One of the things I plan on changing in 2015.  This year is off to an AMAZING start and the signs are unmistakable.

It snowed overnight!  A rare and exciting event in these parts.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.  Then, I am driving in my car to see the snow and take a few pictures, and Mix FM is playing an old American Top 40.  The top 100 songs of 1984!  Another unmistakable sign for the new year.  1984 is the year that I took my last pay check and bought a one way bus ticket for Roswell, NM in hopes of landing a radio (and eventually TV) job.  What an adventure as I arrived in Roswell in late Spring.  I hit the pavement looking for that radio gig I had always dreamed of.  I stopped by KBIM AM/FM and talked to one of the owners, Betty King.  They didn’t have any openings, but she was running for state senate.  She talked my ear off!  I guess my fro didn’t scare her off :-)

A couple of months later I was busing tables at Chew Den, a local Chinese restaurant, and the King’s sat in my section.  Betty recognized me despite my haircut.  She told me they had a part time opening and to talk to Harry Deirks.  So, the next morning I did.  He told me that since I had no radio experience he wasn’t interested.  I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  This is what I was here for!  Next morning I was waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  the answer was still no.  Next morning I was there waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  Still no.  The next morning I was there again.  I think he knew I wasn’t going to leave him alone unless he gave me a chance.  He had me read some wire copy.  Not bad, he said, except that I should change my inflection between stories.  At least I didn’t have a west Texas accent like the applicant’s cassettes he had on his desk, he said.  He hired me for weekends!  My first radio gig!  I worked at Chew Den and part time at the radio station until Harry moved me up to full time overnights.  I was there two years and finished my stint at KBIM AM/FM as Music Director.

I moved to TV at KOBR as Master Control Operator.  I learned how to edit, direct news breaks, run audio, graphics, and most importantly use a TV camera.

That eventually led to a news photographer job at KBIM TV.  That led to a reporter job and eventually weather anchor!  Ever since Jr. High I wanted to be a DJ and a Weatherman.  It took almost 8 years, but I made it happen in Roswell.

So this morning when I woke up to snow (I LOVE snow!) and then the top 100 of 1984, I knew.  The signs are clear.  This year will be special.  As I listen right now to the songs that I played as a new DJ, the songs that were the soundtrack of my life as I boldly moved to realizing my dreams, I feel the same excitement.

God has already opened the door to me doing news talk radio.  I know He is with me as I move in to 2015!  I will get in shape.  I will learn Spanish.  And maybe, just maybe… well, I’ll leave that dream to myself for now.

Dare to dream.  Step out in faith.  It is the road less chosen and it will make all the difference.


Your Complete Annular Eclipse Viewing Guide

Happy Annular Eclipse viewing for my son in Albuquerque celebrating his birthday today!  Also for my Mom in Lubbock, Texas if they can keep the skies clear enough just before sunset.  Here are viewing times and tips from NASA and your friendly announcer dude:

Something Fishy Going On Again

Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy
Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy

I love my fish tank.  It brings a calm and peace to my life as I peer into an alien environment created for creatures with gills and colorful scales.  I have a 55 gallon tank and when it’s fully stocked with guppies and neons and assorted tetras it can be better than HD TV.  In 3D even!

The story of the tank goes back to the days in Roswell and my job at KBIM TV.  The year was 1992.  I already had a 10 gallon tank (which was later the home for my Piranha, but that is another story) where my green snake lived.  (it was so cool)  I also had a little goldfish tank with a little goldfish in it.  I didn’t want a dog or a cat since I lived in an upstairs apartment.

I was minding my own business at work one day talking to our receptionist and she asked me if I wanted to buy her 55 gallon tank.  Stand, underground filters, gravel, the whole works for only $75.  What a steal and a deal!  I jumped at it and we agreed.  Her Dad even helped me carry it up the stairs to my apartment.  He even took the heavy end.  (and it was heavy)

I got it all set up and stocked it with fish and it was amazing.  It had (and still has) the best gravel I’ve seen in a fresh water tank.  My son was only 3 years old at the time and he loved it!  Amber did too, and so did I.  :-)

I had the tank for the remaining couple years I lived in Roswell.  I added a dog when I moved into a house.  Popcorn was our “Pet of the Week” one week that we featured on the air after the weather.   I said on TV that I would take her if no one else did, and I did, but again, that is another another story.

Marbles from FAO Schwartz.  Fish from Pet Smart.
Marbles from FAO Schwartz. Fish from Pet Smart.

Back to the tank.  It traveled well when I moved to Lubbock, Texas and was a source of joy when I bought my first house a couple of years later.  I visited FAO Schwartz in NY, NY and bought some marbles that I added to the tank.  The fish even made the move (and two year stay) to Odessa, Texas after my nearly 10 years in Lubbock.  After Odessa I moved to Tucson and that is when I ran into a problem.  The tank got cracked during transport from Odessa to Tucson.  So, I went without fish for almost a year.  That is until my son came to visit.

Now in high school, one of the first things my son said to me was, “Where is your fish tank?”  I had always had the tank since he could remember and it was noticeably missing.  I missed it too, so I went down to the Wal-Mart and bought a new tank.  I still had all the set-up stuff and it was easy to set it up back up and stock it.  Just like old times!  All was calm and peaceful again in the Shaw household.

Then came my personal Great Depression last year into this one.  Not so much my mood, but my finances.  First one light burned out on the tank, then the other.  Some of the fish were dying (normal attrition) and the remaining were living in the dark except for the natural light coming in from the windows.  I couldn’t afford to replace the lights nor the fish.  This went on for nearly a year until last week.

Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back
Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back

Finally!  I caught up on my bills and I had some left over cash to replace the lights and stock the tank.  I especially love the guppies.  They are the most colorful and flamboyant of the fish and they breed like crazy.  The little baby guppies serve as live food for the rest of the fish, and the guppies that survive continue to supply even more guppies. It’s wonderful!  In Lubbock I had a pet store owner who used to buy guppies from me.

So there you have it.  Pets and apartment living don’t mix with me very well.  Except for the fish.  They don’t need to be walked and there is no cat box litter smell.  Only peace and love and a glimpse into an alien world full of color and life.  Sigh.

Weather, Man!

Mt. Hood, December 1998ish?
Mt. Hood, December 1998ish?

Man do I love weather.  It has been a passion and an obsession since I can remember.  It truly is how God made me.  Of course I have a very strong political and “religious” bent too.  I joke that my favorite subjects to discuss are politics and religion and that’s why God gave me such a passion for weather.  So I can relate to people with without offending them.  :-)

My weather fascination started very early.  My folks tell me that I was always talking about it even as a very young child.  I have early memories of unusual weather events when I was a wee lad in Los Angeles.  Severe Thunderstorms one afternoon and ice in the puddles at school one morning.  I was born in L.A. but we moved to Oregon when I was 8.

Growing up in Oregon was great for a weather freak like me.  Numerous storms coming off the ocean and in the 70s that meant lots of surprises in the actual weather compared to the forecast.  Fluctuating snow levels in the Cascades, east winds into Portland combining with overrunning warm air bringing epic ice storms, but not to our house :-( and I could go on about the different weather phenomenon I got to witness first hand.

I had the TV weather down.  KOIN would have the weather on first so I would watch that.  Then I’d switch over to KGW and catch most of their forecast.  Then it was over to KATU to watch the tail end of their weather.  This was especially important on the rare nights when the snow level had a chance to come down to the Willamette Valley Floor.  I remember many a frustrating evening watching it rain while I would stare at the thermometer stuck at 36 degrees trying to will it to come down.

So obviously I was going to go to school to study Meteorology.  I had it all planned out.  Go to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and get a BS in Meteorology and minor in Communications.  They had a TV station on campus.  I had a great score on my ACT and was even accepted into their advanced math program.  I was set.  One big problem.  My drug problem.  I still had some growing up to do and I blew my chance to go to school.

KCBQ 1997ish
KCBQ 1997ish

The story doesn’t end there however!  I ended up moving to Roswell, NM a few years later.  At 21 years old I took what I could carry and bought a bus ticket and started re-pursuing my dream to be on Radio and TV.  Math and Science were always my favorite subjects in school so naturally I went into broadcasting.

I got a part time radio gig in the early Summer of 1984.  That turned into a full time radio gig.  First overnights and then evenings and then Music Director.  After two years I jumped over to TV as a Master Control Operator, directing news cut-ins and also voicing, shooting and editing commercials.  From there it was into the News Department at another station as a news photog, then a reporter who shot his own stuff and also backing up the weatherman and then finally the weatherman!

Adrienne & Mike in the Morning
Adrienne & Mike in the Morning

Lots of detail left out in the above story, but God helped make a way for me when I had messed up and didn’t choose the easier way.  After another 8 or 9 years on the morning show in Lubbock, Texas as a weatherman, news anchor and feature reporter my life took another turn.  Through it all I have never ever never stopped loving and studying the weather.

Now here I am in Tucson, Arizona.  I have a web site and morning weather web show dedicated to my weather passion.  I just can’t help but share whether the audience is big or small.  When you have a chance, check out the site.  TucsonWeather.us and tune in to “Coffee and a Forecast” every morning (yes, weekends too) at 5:50 Tucson time for the live recording.  Or you can just catch up with it later when I post it on the site and in the Facebook group Tucson Weather.

Whether it is mud in the Pacific Northwest, Baseball sized hail in Lubbock, or Monsoon storms with amazing lightning in Tucson, I love weather.  I especially love snow and cold!  But that is another blog entry (or two).

Of course I have other passions and other web sites that support those.  There is also a lot of detail left out of the above story.  All fodder for future blog entries.  I better post this and get to work.  “Coffee and a Forecast” airs in less then an hour. :-)

Mash up!

Tears for Fears was always one of my favorites back in my DJ days in the 80s.  (Roswell, New Mexico!)

When a friend of mine posted a video of Andy McKee playing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on guitar I knew I had to try to combine it with the Tears for Fears version.

So, here it is.  My first ever attempt at a Mashup.  Not perfect, but I hope you enjoy it.

And I hope it doesn’t get yanked off of YouTube :-)

April Foolin’

In general I’m not big into April Fool’s Day.  Those that know me pretty well are usually surprised to hear that.  I tend to be a fun-loving guy who likes to laugh a lot.  I guess it can be surprising when I say that I have a tough time coming up with April Fool’s pranks, or jokes, that are good.

Sure, stoopid April Fool’s jokes are a dime a dozen.  Usually it’s based on a lie that isn’t hard to detect as a lie.  Everyone has an uncomfortable laugh and then gets on with the day.  Worse yet is a made up tragic story that causes wailing and sobbing only to be replaced by fists flying when the truth is revealed.

However, I do have one story of a joke that I actually planned out and pulled off that wasn’t half bad.  This is that story.

It was years ago in Roswell, New Mexico.  I was the main Weather Anchor on the 6:00 and 10:00 news on KBIM-TV.  I brought my son and daughter to work with me on April Fool’s Eve along with the suit and tie that I was going to wear the next night.  I used a photog to shoot the video.  By the 6:00 o’clock news on April Fool’s night, I was ready.  I instructed my director to mess with the clipping on the weather wall shortly after I started my weather and then roll tape once I walked off camera.  It worked brilliantly.  Here’s what the viewer saw that night in 1993:

We came out of the commercial and I got 10 or 15 seconds into the weathercast when I started to fade in and out on the air.  I turned to the camera said, “something’s not right, I’m gonna go check this out.”  I then walked off camera and out the studio door with the camera following behind.  I walked into the control room and up to the “director” and it was my 4 year old son and 10 year old daughter.  My son had the headsets on and my daughter was at the controls of the switcher.  I looked at ’em and said, “I know it’s your first time directing and all, but can you please try and get it right?”  They said in unison, “OK Dad.  NOT!”

I then walked back into the studio shaking my head and went on with the weather.

Fun times!  Great team work between a news photog, director, tape op and my kids.  My only regret is I didn’t save a copy.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Chris!  Seriously.

So, you want to be in TV News

Hilarious video a couple of my friends posted on Facebook.  The lure of bright lights and adoring fans draw so many to the business, but it’s in the trenches of busted equipment, long hours, working every holiday, annoying consultants and small towns that separate those that are truly talented, and driven (and few that are clueless but strikingly beautiful) from the those that thought it was gonna be all fun and flowers.

After you hang in for awhile and make it to a big market (or stay in a smaller one) then you can make a decent living and have folks stop you in the store asking you when it’s going to rain.

Hahaha! I remember getting so embarrassed when my gear would break down while interviewing a Congressman. Or working several Christmas’ in a row. I was poor, but I had a dream and I worked through it. I finally had a house and a nice contract and THEN I left. What is wrong with me?

Don’t answer that!