British Sailors Back Home, Des Moines Drivers SAFEST, Wonder Woman’s Worn out

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Good morning, everyone!
Pat’s off on a secret mission this morning so it’s Trisha on blog duty.

I am not Wonder Woman but I tried to be yesterday. I am paying for that today. More about that a little lower in the blog!
We had a busy breaking news morning. The British sailors and marines were released from Iran overnight, and conveniently for us, they arrived at Heathrow Airport in London during our newscast. Iran’s president calls their release an “Easter gift”.
It always feels good when we can bring our viewers live coverage of international news (with the help of our network NBC, since we have access to their video sources) – and it feels especially good when the news is of a happy nature.

Something you don’t see at home… Pat and I during the breaks are constantly using our desk computers to check the latest info and make sure we’re on top of what’s happening NOW, not 15 minutes ago. Our producers are doing the same. That’s why I hope you news-watchers don’t ever feel you need to flip over to CNN or MSNBC for coverage of national and international stories – if it’s breaking anywhere in the world and it’s big news, we’ll be on it – PLUS we give you the local news, weather, traffic, etc. that you rely upon to start your day. A big thanks to our producer, director, and entire studio team for their grace under pressure today!

I however found myself distracted at times by the coverage. I got caught at about 6:10 looking down…didn’t realize we were coming out to the two shot. Oooops!

The big Iowa stories:
The former Dallas Co. Sheriff’s trial continues in Council Bluffs today. Kerry Kavanaugh says an undercover cop is due to testify today, so while we can’t show his testimony, she can report on it. And she will at 5 and 6pm – check it out tonight!

A comment that former Congressman Jim Nussle made live on our newscast yesterday morning got some attention. He’s on Giuliani’s campaign now, and said Rudy is not committing to the August straw poll yet – Nussle called it an “American Idol” style event that’s kind of like a circus – exciting, but meaningless.
Fellow GOP candidate Mitt Romney jumped on that yesterday, saying if the straw poll is the circus, he wants to be the ringmaster. He’ll be there for sure.
This morning, one of his supporters, House Minority leader Christopher Rants, joined us live with his two cents’ worth – the straw poll is a big deal not just in Iowa, but nationwide, and he thinks it deserves more respect than Giuliani/Nussle are giving it.
I have to say I was really surprised to see the tape of the show yesterday. I had our producer talking in my ear as Congressman Nussle answered the question about the Straw Poll. I was surprised to hear the answer only because I wasn’t trying to bait him or get him to say anything. Dave Price had sent us an email that Rudy alluded to not going to Ames during his West Des Moines appearance. I wanted to ask the congressman about it.
Pat points out, safest doesn’t really mean “best.” Anyone who’s ever tried to merge into busy traffic on I-235 has run into some pretty clueless drivers who don’t seem to know that anyone else is on the road. Nevertheless, Men’s Health mag. found that some fatality stats and insurance info shows DM drivers are safer than anyone else.
Something’s up with the survey. New York City drivers ranked really high too. Is it because there’s so much traffic you can’t get up enough speed to cause a fatal crash? That’s my theory…
(Pat Now): I would only add this…
I’ll reiterate my objection to drivers around here. It’s the merge. I can’t stress enough the problems merging seems to give Iowa drivers.
Lets review, You speed up to the speed of traffic and then you slide into traffic. You can’t get to the bottom of the ramp and then stop. I’ve seen it 100 times in the last months. Someone’s going to get hurt…seriously. Never stop on an on ramp. If you have to drive on the shoulder…do it.

My photojournalist colleague Mike Borland and I have been busy this week putting together the latest in this series of special reports – it airs tonight at 10! If you miss it, check it out on the website tomorrow.
While I find the stories of the two moms we’re profiling tonight really intriguing and honest, I’m bracing myself for the inevitable critical emails that will come. I realize that every mother’s story is totally different, and not everyone will be able to relate to the women we profile.

The last time around my reports got mainly positive feedback, but I also got a number of emails wondering why I didn’t follow a mother in this-or-that different situation. (a family in poverty, a single mother, someone with disabilities, a military family etc.)

My response – this topic is endless. I’ll never be able to cover the infinite number of unique situations that moms today are living in… but I have to start somewhere! So far I’ve chosen some moms who are representative of a lot of our viewers – and I plan to cover lots more territory in future reports!
Of course I welcome suggestions and questions… I just wish viewers would keep it constructive and considerate, and remember that we’re bringing attention to a topic that doesn’t get a lot of in-depth attention in your typical local newscast.

One more thing I’ll point out – none of the moms I’ve interviewed comes across as someone looking for sympathy. I’m the one encouraging them to be honest about how their life is, and not just paint the rosy picture most people want to hear. All these moms are crazy about their kids, and most of them who work really enjoy their careers too. They just want to know that they’re not alone in struggling to find a balance, and keep it all together.

Speaking of the struggle to keep it together, I’m still trying to bounce back from a marathon day yesterday! After doing the news and getting work done on my special report, I chaperoned a preschool field trip to the science center (Heather, I’m glad you got to see Calvin on the 12:00 news yesterday! He didn’t have much to say but he did kind of dig being on TV!)

It was also Calvin’s first school bus ride. Here’s a shot of him strapped into this ridiculous contraption of a seat belt vest that they make preschoolers wear on school buses. Cal hated it.
I don’t think it takes the astronauts this long to strap into the space shuttle.
Here he is weighing some fake fruits and veggies at the Science Center. The kids all had a really good day there -there’s so much to do and so much you can TOUCH that no one got bored.

After dozing off on the bus ride home, I had to go almost immediately to a committee meeting WITH kids in tow -then got home, made dinner and….WOUND DOWN THE DAY by taking Calvin to a parent-child swim class! All he wanted to do was jump in, over and over and over. Getting him out of the pool when class was done was quite an ordeal – the little aqua-nut wanted to know if there were beds so we could just sleep there.

Afterwards I was so exhausted I collapsed in bed – and could NOT get to sleep. Don’t you hate that??
I have one more big project to get done today – a web-only report that tells my story of balancing kids and a career! The home video I got the other day includes some hilarious moments you’ll have to watch online tomorrow…
THEN Wonder Woman is going to crash, and give herself a break this weekend.
Except for that kitchen renovation project my Dad’s going to help us finish.
And that Easter Bunny stuff.
Maybe I’ll get to put my feet up Sunday…
Give us a shout if you’re reading today – and have a good one!
I’ll add a few things. I told you my brother Matt is in town. He and his wife Amy and their two boys are moving here. I like the idea of being the cool uncle. Matt’s son Elliot and I got off to a good start today. He was fascinated with all the non-kid stuff at our house…including the cats…they weren’t sure about him. I also did my best to continue family tradition of passing a love of golf on. Elliot and I spent some time in front of the HD coverage of the Masters. “Can you say Amen Corner Elliot”?
He got “Cat Cat” by the end of the day…we’ll work on his short game another time.
He also hadn’t had a nap yet today and while Matt and Amy worked on stuff for their move, Elliot sidled up to my lap and we started reading the closest thing I have to a picture book(it’s a coffee table book of the greatest golf resorts around the country). Before I know it he’s leaning against my right shoulder and he’s sound asleep. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I couldn’t be happier about it.
Not to be upstaged, Elliot’s little brother Henry is a laugh a minute too. He’s less talkative at
six months old. We won’t hold it against him. He and I bonded at lunch when he drooled all over my shoulder. He’s a man of limited talents so far.
It will be good to have family in town.

I’m Sorry this is coming so late today, but we had a busy day.

Trisha and Pat


  • mike

    Hey Pat. Did you ever get a hold of the cable company on your complaint why they blacked out your Cubs game on ESPN HD the other day because it was playing on WGN? I’m curious to see what the cable company had to say as I hate that as well with baseball games.

  • rosorio

    Don’t worry Trisha! I like the news coverage and projects you guys bring to us everyday. I overheard Patrick speak about motorcycle safety this morning. I went and looked on the NHTSA government website and there is a lot of info in regards to Motorcycles. It is a very important subject to me. Thanks!

  • Deb

    Hello Trish and Patrick! I finally got a chance to read today, just saying hello, I too wondered what Patrick found out from the cable company about his HD problem the other day. We have Direct TV and we don’t subscribe to HD just yet but when we do I too would be really mad if I couldn’t watch something in HD that I had planned. You’ll have to update us…..Trish you are such a wonder woman! I bet you are really tired today since you couldn’t fall asleep. I hope you get to relax a little this weekend and I hope the kids have a great Easter!Keep us all posted.

  • Heather R.

    He was so camera shy it was cute :) Has Calvin been good enough to get his “razor”… Hope you have a good Easter weekend. Yeah Pat I’m curious to find out about the whole cable thing… Update us!!! Have a good day everyone!!Heather

  • vern

    WGN was the primary carrier in the market for this game on this day. MLB’s agreement mandates that they black out the telecast of the game by any other carrier in the market that is not the primary carrier for that game.

  • Deb

    We understood that the agreement was to black out the telecast on other networks, what we wondered is what happened when Patrick called in and threw his weight around about it with Meidacom? Or did he just forget about calling them altogether because it was a battle he couldn’t win anyway….thanks Patrick.

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