More Vets Hospital Concerns, A Buck-a-pack protest, Sexist Street signs

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Good morning, everyone!
It’s Trisha starting off today.
Pat has his hands full with a satellite interview, and the noon newscast a little later.

It’s Pat Now: I’m actually blogging during the noon news. I didn’t have a lot of time this morning so my time in the breaks of the Noon news provide a couple of minutes to add my two cents.

First of all, thanks to all of you for the nice comments yesterday. It’s always encouraging to hear from you guys and gals out in blog world. I’m glad the kid pictures I tend to include aren’t making most of you gag. I don’t want to be “Kathie Lee” about my kids, but they do give me some entertaining material to write about! I always read Pat and Sally’s fun stories with just a bit of envy – I remember the days when it was a lot easier for Ian and I to have a social life!

Isn’t it funny…the grass is always greener right? For the record, we find ourselves looking at the kids and at least thinking about a couple of our own. (Note to potential grandparents: DO NOT READ ANYTHING BETWEEN THESE LINES). When you see kids like Cal and Clara it’s hard not to want a couple. Then I remember I can roll over and go back to sleep at eleven on a Saturday morning.

To the news now:
As Congress probes problems at Walter Reed and other veterans’ medical facilities, the Bush administration has appointed Bob Dole and Donna Shalala to head up an investigation. It’s interesting to watch the damage control on this one. Some Democrats are pouncing on this as another example of an administration oversight failure. What do you think?

We ran an interview with an Iowa veteran who says he’s seen similar facility problems at the Veterans’ hospital in Knoxville. The facility let our cameras in, and the nursing director says these problems do not exist there. A bit of he said, she said.

Have any of you seen the fliers encouraging smokers to call their lawmaker to protest the dollar-per-pack tax hike on cigarettes? They include the home numbers of state legislators. That doesn’t seem too far out of line – most of them make their phone numbers pretty public because they WANT people they represent to be able to contact them with opinions. It’s part of being an elected official. I remember seeing the same fliers going around when Illinois passed a similar tax increase. It seems to me to be more motivated by retail sales than any concern for the rights of smokers.


The story led to a really bizarre conversation with my 4-year-old son yesterday.

He wanted to know what was going on when he saw it on the news.

Trying to simplify things, I told him, “Sometimes when grown-ups do naughty things like tell lies, they have to go to jail.”

“What’s jail?” Calvin wanted to know.


“Um, it’s kind of a yucky little room where naughty grown-ups have to stay.”

As his little mind tried to wrap around the idea of people being locked up in cells behind bars, about a million and one questions started popping out.

“What if I have to go to jail? Why is it yucky there? Can they get out? Is there a potty there? What if Daddy has to go? What naughty things do grown-ups do to go to jail? Why are they naughty? Do they eat yucky food?”

And finally… “I want to SEE a jail!”

I’m not sure if I should have, but I Googled images of jail cells, and found some not totally terrifying looking pictures of bare cells to show him.

“There – that’s jail. Good enough? Okay, now let’s look up DISNEY WORLD… Wow!! Look – Mickey Mouse, the big castle, fun rides, ice cream, and just look how happy everyone is!”

Cal was not impressed.

“I wanna see the jail again!”


This made for some funny comments and debate on and off the air today! A city in Spain is changing the little people on its traffic signs (including the electronic stoplight signs symbolizing “walk” or “don’t walk”) to include female as well as male people. The symbol in this picture isn’t exactly the one we showed – the ones in Spain seem to have a ponytail too.

Pat kept his mouth shut -obviously thinking this is a totally ridiculous idea. But to me, in a way it makes a lot of sense… why should the default “human figure” always be male? But I wouldn’t put the female stick person in a dress..that seems outdated – I suggest they just make a curvier silhouette wearing pants, and maybe longer hair and a handbag! (I’m pretty sure we see some female figures with purses on pedestrian crossing signs, am I imagining this?)

Great then we can have a debate about how the curvy silhouette promotes an unattainable body image for most women….or whether we’re telling little girls they have to carry a purse and wear a skirt…

I’ve got a better Idea…Let’s put an image of the androgynous PAT on the Walk/Don’t walk sign. That way no one will be able to tell….

One of our studio camera operators, Nate, said he thought the new symbol in Spain looked more like a creepy guy in a trenchcoat than a woman. He had a point.

Now from the Shepherd household…


Not me, my husband. He’s going tonight to get some new tattoos on his forearms. Jeriann can’t believe how tolerant I am about this kind of thing. I told her – I knew exactly what I was getting into when I married him! His free-spirited, artistic side is a big part of what drew me to him in the first place. He’s wanted to do this for a long time, and the symbols he’s getting inked onto his arms are meaningful. I told him I like his arms the way they are, but if it makes him happy to tattoo them, go for it.

Confession – I have a small tattoo also. I won’t say here what or where… (SOME things have to stay private!) but I will say that I have no regrets… it’s something that means a lot to me, and is a good daily reminder of some of the things that matter most.

Neither Jeriann nor Pat have tattoos… I don’t think Brad does either but he’s out sick today so I can’t ask.

Any of you want to share yours?

See you tomorrow!



  • Heather R.

    Speaking of tattoos, I was a sophomore in high school and my dad and step mom were in town and my step mom decided she was going to get a tattoo of a butterfly on her bossoom. (I dont want to offend anyone!) So my dad stood there the whole time watching to make sure the guy didnt touch her and stuff it was hilarious, I was so siked, I wanted an Iowa Hawkeye when I was old enough to go on my own and I got all hyped, saved the $$ and then went and was sitting in the chair and I saw the needle and started getting nautious and called it all off. I cannot stand needles so theres no way at all I’m getting one. How does one phatom the pain? Who knows! Trish your pictures and stories about the kids do not make any one gag, I think I can speak for everyone. I personally love reading about them because there funny. Please keep them coming. I also love hearing about Pat and Sally. The pictures everyone posts are just funny and there real, so it doesn’t make it look like your committed to TV and thats it. Thats kinda my opinion! Keep um coming folks!!!

  • Deb

    No tatoos for me, no kids either for that matter, I just like seeing the personal side of my favorite news people, that’s not so bad is it? I like seeing the pictures of the kids and pictures of Patrick and Sally. We just need some golfing weather so we can get Patrick doing what he loves as a hobby too. Trish, you’ll have to sneak out there and snap some golf stroke pix this summer. You know me, bring it on-SUMMERSUMMERSUMMERSUMMER….OH, daylight savings time this weekend-yeay!

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Good idea, Deb – I’ll have to stalk Pat on the golf course some time. I’ve never even attempted to swing a golf club (unless you count mini-golf) so I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you if he’s actually a good golfer – maybe Sally can give us her “unbiased” opinion!

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