After a much-needed weekend of delberate decompression, I find myself tidying the Viewfinder BLUES home office in preparation for the flurry of fodder about to come my way. If only Mother Nature would stop hurling malevolent cyclops toward our shores, we all could all get back to the business of our busy fall schedules. I for one am fairly flummoxed at the onslaught of activity on the horizon and wish to tighten ship before the real scupper-washers start breaking over the bow. With a firm promise of no more nautical analogies, I give you the following odds and ends.
Though I've already spent way too much bandwidth on my recent hurricane trip, there is one piece of unfinished business jostling about the sandy floorboards of my still rather gritty news cruiser. Barely an hour into our satellite truck encampement at Carolina Beach, none other than Ken Corn himself walked out from behind a giant logo. The Charlotte shooter and I had a fine time shooting the breeze while the wind blew sheet-metal across the parking lot. Remember that scene in 'Pulp Fiction' where the two grease-ball hitmen lurk outside a future victim's door and idly discuss TV pilot trivia? If so, you have the exact vibe of a couple of hooded lenslingers huddling in a windswept parking lot at four in the morning, trading tips on site meters and other blogging minutiae while hard-target rain drops pockmarked our ponchos. Thirty hours and a Class 1 hurricane later, we paused for a photo before bugging out to our respective destinations. To find out where the good Colonel bivouaced later, check out the first of his debriefs here.
It's fair to say I don't get golf. I get the 'good walk spoiled' bit , but I've always been a bit wary of a sport where the players look like their wives laid their clothes out for them. No, I'd much rather hit the single-track with my brilliantly weird mountain bike buddies than stroll to the next overpriced hole with a bunch of pastel-clad blowhards. If that's too broad a brush - sue me (it's MY blog!), but my blue-collar roots have never allowed me to feel all that comfy on the back-nine. Still, I've ridden in an awful lot of golf carts, usually in hot pursuit of some club-packing celebrity. Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Richard Petty, Richard 'Shaft' Roundtree and that ballroom dancing dude who played Elaine's boss on Seinfeld are just a few of the famous faces that have chatted up my lens while on the links. The celebs at this week's Chrysler Classic of Greensboro will be of the PGA Type, thus rendering themselves virtually invisible to my untrained eye. Nonetheless, I fully expect to be amid the patricians and duffers of Forest Oaks sometime over the coming days and will report in as soon as I wash all that Polo cologne out of my sinal passages.
In less than seven days, a ragged army of talented vocalists, overconfident hopefuls and starry-eyed psychopaths will descend on the Greensboro Coliseum, bathing the area in a white-hot spotlight of off-key ambition and way too much body glitter. When I covered the American Idol auditions in D.C. last year, TWENTY THOUSAND songbirds showed up for a chance at world-stardom, assured humiliation and as many parking lot showtune showdowns as they could warble a Celine Dion ditty at. Somehow the Capitol survived, but not before legions of highly-excitable troubadours roamed the streets and swayed in unison for the better part of a week. Greensboro should count itself lucky at the exposure the auditions will bring; I just hope Coliseum officials are ready. They may have hosted every event under the sun, but they've yet to experience the cut-throat delirium of America Idol up-close. Just wait 'til Simon Cowell rolls into town and there's not a baby blue muscle shirt to be found in Gap Stores for fifty miles. Don't say your friendly neighborhood lenslinger didn't warn ya.
Even before Ryan Seachrest and his squad of stylists jet back to L.A., the biggest names of the blogging world will gather in the Gate City. I'm talking about ConvergeSouth of course, that inaugural summit of push-button publishers scheduled to take place at N.C A&T October 7th-8th. I'm looking forward to the networking and newsgathering possibilities of this esteemed happening, be it through the workaday lens of my TV news camera, the tiny viewfinder of my pocket digital or the distorted reflection of an evening-event adult beverage. Whatever the format, there will be enough fiends and heroes trolling the grounds to foster the kind of in-depth off-key coverage that transcends all platforms - which is kind of what this un-conference is all about. Many thanks to Blogfather Ed Cone as well as Dr. Sue Polinsky for assisting me in maintaining a homefield advantage in image-gathering and analysis of this seminal event. Now where the heck are those extra business cards I stashed somewhere...