Jacksonville - this week.


My TV Office

The picture to the left shows the luxurious office I have in the TV Compound here at the Senior Open. It comes with air conditioning (if there's a breeze), a comfy chair (an empty CAT 5 Spool), and a desk (a green tub). Fortunately, I only have to be there from 7:00am until 3:30pm.

I guess it goes with the pay grade.


Ahhh, the Joy of TV

I love to watch television, but I dislike working with some TV personnel. My duties here in Colorado require me to manage the TV services for IBM/IDS. I've worked with TV on many occasions and have had numerous "run ins" with TV people. The latest was just one incident in a string of many.

Robbie, Dan and I set up TV yesterday and had a pleasant experience except for when we walked into the EVS/Tape trailer. As soon as we locked the first computer, we started getting the comments. "I've been on this truck for years and I've never seen a computer locked." "IBM laptops are junk anyway, why would you care is someone stole it?" "What happens if you damage our equipment with the lock cable" "This is ridiculous, we have laptops in here that we don't lock" And so on and so forth with some expletives.

Everywhere else we set up a computer, not one thing was mentioned about how we set them up. The graphics folks were actually helping us do whatever we needed to do. Mike the engineer for the A unit was as helpful as any engineer I've encountered. But, EVS/Tape will not be on my Christmas card list. Jim Ingalls (VP of IDS) has told me to remove the laptops from EVS is I have any other issues. I can't wait for that.

Overall, the incident was minor compared to some that I've had in the past. It's just very annoying. Other than that, the event is running smoothly. The weather has be warm and we've fended off the afternoon thunderstorms. But tomorrow is the big day and we'll be on site at least by 5:15am.


Off to Colorado Springs

I don't really want to leave home, but this heat and humidity is killing me in North Carolina. I hope that the weather is a bit cooler in C-Springs, enough that I don't sweat as soon as I step foot outside.

Another thing I look forward to is rooming with Jim Ingalls. Our political talk alone will be enough to entertain me for weeks. It is safe to say that Jim and I are on opposite sides (I won't say who believes what) of many issues. But I can say that we both believe in one thing - that I'm always right. OK, that may be a stretch, but it has been a lot of years since Jim and I have worked together for any length of time and I am looking forward to it.

Lastly, it will be nice to get back into some golf again. Tennis has ruled my world for a few months and that was a few months too long. But who can complain about being at Wimbledon, right? I won't be me, otherwise, BM may give me a beat down.


To Do List

Since I've been so lazy around the house (granted I've been sick for the past week) my wife has handed me a to do list to spark my husbandry skills. Let's review the list if you don't mind.

1. Laundry - I've certainly neglected this as I'm down to my last pair of underwear
2. Clean the Bathtub - It was clean when I left for Wimbledon - therefore I still consider it clean.
3. Change HVAC filter - Yep... Way past due.
4. Sweep Laundry Room (no dead spiders!) - Yes Brandi actually wrote the "no dead spiders" as if it were my fault that they died.
5. Get Vanguard Paperwork - Time to move some money
6. Clean Fencing - In this heat? I'll get to this around October.
7. Flea & Tick - For the dogs, not me.
8. Goodwill - I'm not sure if I'm supposed to spread goodwill and joy to all or if I'm supposed to drop off some 2nd hand stuff at GoodWill?
9. Water Fern (front) - We have more than one fern... Already completed.
10. Get Mushroom Compost - What is not listed here is empty the mulch from the pick up truck first. Short Story: I urgently had to get mulch prior to my departure to Wimbledon so that my wife could spread the mulch while I was away. Over a month later the mulch has not been spread and now it's urgent that she have the Mushroom Compost which makes it urgent that I remove the mulch first. Vicious Cycle.
11. Water Heuchera in Crepe Myrtle Bed - Don't know what a Heuchera is so I'm not doing it.
12. Trim Camellia Hedge - Fair enough, should have been done months ago.
13. Download songs - Not sure if I want to do this since they are mostly hip hop songs that I despise and I don't want them contaminating my iPod.

This is just a brief glimpse into my day. There is a lot to do and pretty much all of the items on the list are justified, however, It is always enjoyable to poke fun at my wife.

Prior to being handed the list, I already had a list of what I needed to accomplish today.

1. Eat Breakfast
2. Poop
3. Nap
4. Eat Lunch
5. Post Blog (already ahead of schedule)
6. Nap
7. Plan for the rest of day

I guess it was good that my wife handed me a list even if I need to incorporate my list into her list.


Headin' to Jacksonville

I'll be on my way to Jacksonville, Florida in the morning. Hopefully my time of departure will be around 5:00 am so I can get to the office and print things out before my Wimbledon Debrief meeting.

Although the drive to Jacksonville is just shy of 6 hours, I've grown to hate the drive. I95 is one of the worst interstates in the country. Mostly, it is just a very boring drive. 

However, I'm hoping that the weather is cooler with the ocean breeze. It is forecasted to be 99 degrees in Charlotte on Monday with high humidity and no wind. 

My next update will be from Jacksonville. I'll likely be in a few political discussions while I'm there. It seems as if everyone at IDS is on the "other side of the isle" from me. In addition, they really like to push my buttons when it comes to certain issues. 


Phone Sick

I think I lengthened the duration of my cold/flu by standing in line yesterday waiting for my IPhone. Yes, I waited for 5 hours to get my 2 IPhones. Fortunately, the nice man behind me held the line for me while I went to blow my nose.

When I arrived at the Apple store, I was about 50th in line and I was the last person to be handed a guaranteed ticket for an IPhone. The others behind me had to stick around and hope some folks dropped out of line. The guy behind me was buying 3 IPhones and the girl behind him was buying 4 IPhones. In the end, everyone was able to get an IPhone because they had a shipment arrive after they opened. Nonetheless, I am the proud owner of two IPhones, one a 16 gig white and the other a 8 gig black. I've already been amazed at its functionality.

Other than that, I continue to feel like crap. Especially since I have to document the Wimbledon scoreboard functionality while sick.


Stay away from me

I started feeling a sore throat on the Tuesday after Wimbledon ended. This is typical, I always seem to get sick after a big event. But the sore throat wore off by Thursday when I was back in the US. Today, however, my head feels like it is in a vice regardless of how much Dayquil Sinus crap I take. I've never felt sinus pressure like this before; it feels like Tommy Boy is sitting on my head, minus the wretched stench. Also, every thing in my body aches. My teeth hurt, my hair hurts, my toes hurt... You get the picture.

So I've spent the day either in bed with the dog licking my face or sitting on the couch so I could be upright where the snot would drain from my nose.

I'm going back to bed!


Getting into the swing of things

About all I've done since I've returned from Wimbledon is Laundry. Oh, I did mow the grass on Saturday with my dusty John Deere. I thought about cutting the grass at 1/4 of an inch to simulate Centre Court at Wimbledon, but I don't think I have the right grass mixture to do so.

So yes, I've been relaxing. My wife says that I'm still in "work mode" which is her way of saying - snap out of it idiot.

I do recognize that when I return from a long trip, such as Wimbledon, that I go into a trance. It's as if I forget how to live and function at home. I often find myself watching TV to no end while my wife cleans up around me - not that there's anything wrong with that. The only burst of energy I got yesterday was when I had the great idea to go to the Waffle House for dinner. I must say that I was very pleased with the elegant food and the wonderful atmosphere. Today I gathered up enough energy to drive to the Apple store to purchase an IPhone. But as my luck would have it - SOLD OUT. After that disappointment, I lost all energy and the will to perform any household task. I barely have the energy to type this blog. But since I will have a whopping 4 people reading this over the next few days, I felt that it was my duty to supply my readers with some content.

So, once I get out of this fog that I am in, I will be checking on my bees, completing the Wimbledon Scoreboard users guide, buying groceries and likely cleaning up after myself. But I make no promises on when this fog will actually lift.



My local AT&T store sold out of the IPhone in under an hour. "It would have been faster" the clerk said "if there wasn't a glitch in the activations." You can tell I live in a smaller town since the store I visited was only allotted 45 IPhone's to sell. Now I'm told that I'll have to order one and wait 7-10 business days.

I think I may visit another "non redneck" store tomorrow and see how that goes. I might even venture into the Apple Store in the Mall. More than likely, I'll procrastinate and do it next week. I'm very good at procrastination.

Gotta Run - heading to the upscale restaurant Cracker Barrel.


Flat Baggage

I awoke to a new day, a new horizon, a new... problem. Just when I thought the stress of Wimbledon has passed, I start my day off with a few issues. First of all, my baggage was not in Charlotte when I was yesterday afternoon. But not to worry Delta says, my baggage will be delivered at the latest - this afternoon. Yea, right!

Secondly, my tire is flat on the Mazda. I've already removed the tire and will be on my way to Clark Auto and Tire within a few minutes. Of course, I need to take my '89 Chevy truck with a load of mulch in the back topped with a nice old flat tire. On top of that, the truck is running on fumes which means that I'll be dropping about $100 at the pump if I choose to completely fill the tank. Joanne says that I'm not allowed to complain about the gas prices however, since the fuel costs in Australia double those in the US.

But, I promise that the day will get better. I will be scheduling an appointment for an hour massage later today. Coincidentally, the massage place is located right beside the AT&T store where I will pick up my new IPhone tomorrow. Now, my wife has indicated that she may want one as well (an IPhone, not a massage). Good thing Brandi is the breadwinner.

NOTE: My day is already getting better as my luggage has just arrived. Sorry to Delta for my earlier comments.

Maybe my next post will be from my IPhone.



There is not much to blog about today. Today was filled with pulling equipment, wrapping with bubble wrap and inventory. It appears as if we didn't lose anything and all equipment will be on its way to either Jacksonville or Evian. Tomorrow I will be loading 22 cases on to a truck and waving goodbye to Wimbledon 2008. Good timing too - I am ready to go home.

Hopefully my next post will be from my couch describing how I am doing absolutely nothing and loving it. That is until Chase, my male lab, pulls me off the couch to go play outside in the sweltering heat of North Carolina.


Rainbledon Day 14

It's raining! Supposedly, the rain will cease around 2:30pm with some sunny and rainy intervals after that. I really don't want to be here tomorrow with tennis being played. I would much rather be here tomorrow packing equipment for its journey to Jacksonville and Evian.
Even though today has started out "tickety bummer," yesterday proved to be a day of firsts.

Joanne and I completed our first doubles match with the new stats system that will be used at the US Open. It's fair to say that we mangled a few points but we did manage to keep the score correct. Let's just say that my voice radio will be turned off for the first day of stats at the US Open. I do not want to hear "come in court 11... court 11 your score is wrong... court 11 the director is screaming at me... court 11 you are an idiot." I am certain that there will be at least 4 or 5 significant mistakes on each of the stats courts on day 1. I really do like the new system because of the detail that is included. However, it will just take some getting used to.

Also on Day 13, Venus Williams hit a new record serve - 129mph - in her effort to win the Championship. It bears mentioning that the Williams family took home over 2.3 million dollars yesterday in the Singles final and the Doubles final combined.

It took a junior player to win the first Wimbledon title since 1983 (I think). Laura Robson (GBR) won the Girls Junior singles title yesterday. Now the immense pressure for this 14 year old to follow up her success will no doubt be the same pressure that leads to her ultimate demise. But, in the mean time, let enjoy this one for the Britts.

I also filled out my first "full report" on an apparent incident of pressing importance. Every now and again, you will hear a message that begins with "staff announcement." This is a cue to place some security symbols on our scoreboards. We heard that announcement on Friday and we placed the symbols on the scoreboard. We then took them off knowing that it was just a test. I guess we didn't have them on long enough because the person in charge of health and safety for the Championships was not pleased. What I'm not pleased about is the fact that we are never notified when to take the symbols down. We have these stand-down pagers that are supposed to indicate when it is time to take the symbols down. They haven't worked from day one. So, for now on, I'll leave the symbols on the scoreboards until the cows come home or until I get a call from the safety office telling me to do so.



Tickity Boo

It's womens final Saturday and it hasn't rained. Tickity Boo they say here in London - to indicate that everything is hunky dorey. What is not tickity boo is that fact that I'm creating a contingency plan for a 3rd Monday at Wimbledon. There is heavy rain in the forecast for Sunday and there is a chance that we may be scoring on Monday. However, the weather forecast changes here more than Nadal picks the wedgies from his butt. Nonetheless, there is a plan in place to have services up and running on Monday. We won't be happy about it, but we'll be here. You can't just up and leave Wimbledon - you might not be asked to come back.

On a food related note, I finally took a night off from Chinese or Thai food last night. I met Bill, Erin and Joanne at Nandos (see picture) for an evening of fine chicken cuisine. Nandos is awesome. It is basically a fast food joint that has excellent chicken with a Portugese flavor. It's a chain restaurant, but it can only be found in a few countries - one of them NOT being the US. Anyway, the food was great and I'll either have to go to Australia this winter or back to Wimbledon next year to eat it again.


Wimbdependence Day 12

It is hard to celebrate Independence day in the country which you gained your indepenence from. Apparently there are no hard feelings anymore seeing that the press broadcast centre dining was serving American BBQ today.

I pretty much forgot that is was July 4th. It doesn't really matter, however, since I don't get the day off. And, when you haven't had a day off in almost a month, the days start to run together. I don't think of today as July 4th or Friday. I think of it as Mens Semi-final day. The only day I'm thinking of now is Wednesday, July 9th when I am scheduled to fly home. With my luck, the flight will be cancelled and the airline will go into bankruptcy in the time it takes me to get from the hotel to the airport. If that happens, Andy Doremus will be purchasing me a First Class upgrade back to the US. I'm sure he can find me a free upgrage on ebay.

I will miss the fireworks and the festivities that happen on the 4th. There will be none of that here. We might as well be celebrating the Chinese new year here in Wimbledon as much as we eat Chinese or Thai. Although, now that I think of it, I hear (and smell) fireworks on the walk to and from the site coming from Erich's and Glyn's butt. Thankfully there were no open flames near by. It's simply a case of too much Chinese food as mentioned before.

Happy 4th of July.


Wimby Day 11

I just can't find the words today and/or I just haven't had any inspiration. I'm told I have bloggers block.

We did have a few power outages on our Centre Court scoreboards today. That got the adrenaline going 30 minutes before the Venus Williams Semifinal. There was really nothing we could do since we only send the signal to the board. But in true event fashion, the power was restored without any one touching a thing. We later found out that the power outage/surge killed the UPS that was attached to the processor. By later, I mean during the second women's semifinal match. It's funny how many people know your phone number when something isn't working.

On an unrelated note, I figured out this morning that I have enough pairs of underwear to avoid doing laundry until I get back to the States. This is important because the tiny washer in our huge house fits about 5 items of clothing. I swear we're renting a house that is likely worth 1,000,000 pounds / 2,000,000 dollars. But, the washer is worth about 100 pounds. It is a front load washer - which is nice - but the holding tank is about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. What I really don't comprehend is that the dryer can handle 4 times what the washer can. It is not an issue of space - the laundry room is as big as my spare bedroom in NC. I'm done complaining.


Day 10 Rain and Stats

Today has been a mixture of sun, clouds and rain. It has also been a day to sit back and reflect upon the changes to the tennis scoring system. Glyn was cool enough to get the GHO tennis system up and running for BM and I. Cool because he is like Rico Suave (you know that song from the early nineties) and cool becuase he is wicked smart. No one will admit it, but we all have a man-crush on Glyn. It must be an aussie thing 'cause I definitely had a man-crush on Patrick Rafter too; not so much for Mark Phillipoussis. Anyway, back on point, BM and I were testing out the new system. We were probably the worst two people to first try it out for two reasons. One, we're old and we fear change. Two, we think we know it all and how it should be programmed. Number one is true, number two is just how it is.
On a more serious note, I will need lot's of practice before the US Open. Please don't pair me with Mike Davis... I love the guy, but I can't answer 8 consecutive questions while also inputing 4 additional stats.


Wimby Day 9

My big toe on my left foot is sore today. It is mostly due to me kicking Erich in the butt to move faster on our walk to work. I swear that Erich's body can not physically tolerate a speed over 2 mph. Maybe his newly trimmed hair catches fire from the intense friction of the breeze passing over it. Or my toe could be sore from the 3.2 miles I jogged this morning. Either way, I have an excuse.

I should be tracking our miles walked here. I figure we're walking just over 2 miles a day with our combined trips to and from work. Then if you add to that the 3 miles of running Glyn and I do 3 days a week - it starts to add up. The additional exercise is maintaining my health and keeping Glyn as thin as he has always been. I can tell a change in Erich's metabolism too. He eats no more than 5-6 times a day. I wish I could eat that much and still have the physique that Erich does. Add to that Erich's quiet confidence and his prepotent presence and you see why he's adored by the ladies here in Wimbledon.