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Thursday, November 29, 2012

7pm Twitter Challenge

If you haven't noticed, or don't watch too much of the news... First Coast News has allowed me to anchor the 5:30 and 7:00pm shows.

This is a mega-huge honor for me, as being a news anchor has been something I've wanted to do my whole life.

But, let's face it, I'm no Tom Brokaw. 

I'm no Brian Williams.

Turns out I'm going to do this my way.

So, the 7pm show is where I'm going to start. 

It needs the biggest boost, ratings are tough at that time because let's face it... We're up against Pat Sajak and Vanna "North Myrtle Beach" White on NBC (also First Coast News).

Gonna start getting aggressive with social media and web interaction. If you haven't been to the 7pm chatroom on www.firstcoastnews.com yet, come in during the show. That's going to shape parts of the newscast... just straight stop the news and read chat/talk to folks mid stream.

Why not? Is that something that would make you curious enough to watch every so often? Every night?

Maybe DVR it at least and watch while you crochet? 

I'm also starting to do a daily twitter/facebook challenge. Something that will air during the 7pm show, something that will come from viewers.

To prove my dedication to this, here's a look at how the twitter challenge went down on Wednesday:

It all started with that challenge from a twitter follower... work in the word "scuttlebutt" during the newscast. 

Sure I'd do it... if that's what people wanted to see... and the qualifier was retweets. Needed 50 of them, and  we got 'em.

That got 52 retweets in an hour... so I upheld my end of the deal. Here's proof:

Yes, that's ridiculous... A gimmick? Maybe. But it's evidence that I'm listening intently and not just blindly posting my stories from the day and ignoring everything else. Sure I post my stories, I love my stories and I want to share, but that's just a small part of it.

There will be more twitter and facebook challenges... BIGGER challenges. 

Just some ideas to throw out there:

1. Tweet where you'd like me to anchor the news live from. Your house? The Main Street Bridge? A bowling alley? If it resonates on twitter or facebook, I'll do it. And we'll find a way for it to make sense in the newscast.

2. What stories should we begin our newscast with and invest most of our time in?

3. A twitter follower of the day: gonna have your handle all over the news cast... reading posts... could help with your number of followers. But, you'll have to earn that... no idea how yet, we'll see.

Anyway, participate... get angry... laugh... learn...

Here are my twitter/facebook pages. Follow/Like. And let's make some awesome TV/internet.


Oh... and here's one last video, just for fun:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clearing Something Up

Hello everyone.

Perhaps over the last few days you've noticed a TV spot running on First Coast News that includes me and a couple Highway Patrolmen.

This spot is called a "PSA" as we are doing everyone a public service, reminding them not to drink and drive,

It's a reminder that cops are going to be all over the place looking to bust drunk drivers during the Georgia-Florida week.

We taped this spot last year... and at the end the director had one of the patrolmen say "Go Gators"... thus instructing me to say "Go Dawgs."

Yes... I did say "Go Dawgs" at the end of the spot. And, yep, that's been airing all over the friggin First Coast.

Fine and dandy.

Let me be clear... while I'm certainly no Gator... NO NO NO... I am not a Dawg either.

I am a proud graduate of THE University of South Carolina and a card carrying member of the Gamecock Club.

I guess if I had to choose a side it would be UGA's, but, from where I'm sitting, it's like choosing which of my sisters to kiss. ARGH.

Anyway, let the record show that I merely said "GO DAWGS" at the end of the commercial due to pressure from an oppressive director.

Just wanted to be honest with you,

Thanks for your continued support of TurnerLoose.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Laettner and Lewis Basketball Minute From London

I don't know what prompted me to look back at these interviews.

Maybe I'm nostalgic. Maybe I'm experiencing the so called "Olympic Hangover" and I need a little hair-o-the-dog. The Olympics was a heck of a time, and getting to hang with Christian Laettner only made it better. 

I figured some cable sports provider would have seen my riveting television moments created with Laettner and signed us on for a billion dollar 2 year deal.

No dice yet.

But to enhance those chances, here's a look at what we did:

Sample #1- A quick intro and tag to a fine basketball chat... not the full version because the subject was actually pretty boring: Team USA Basketball vs. Nigeria... ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Then a week later this is how we did Sample #2... I feel we really grew as a television duo:

Oh, and I know this is late... but if you missed my final Olympic Journal from London here ya go:

I hope you enjoy, the next blog will include some excerpts/photos and overall thoughts from Hurricane Isaac... specifically my trip with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters into the storm.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm going to Bob Costas Bob Costas

Another day at the Olympics. I got out into the streets. An area of London known as Angel... or maybe Angel Park? I should have paid more attention. It's a lovely area with a few flowers and a park bench. 

It's where Christian Laettner chose to meet me for a sit down Bob Costas. (I'm referring to interviews as "Bob Costas-es" now, just gonna use them interchangeably so try to keep up.

Example: "I really hope to Bob Costas Bob Costas." 

Anyway, that's what I'm doing with my life right now.

Here's some fun on video tape... roll that film son.

I should just film an entire movie like that.

Ha. I'm kidding.

Here's the badminton link I promised in the video:


Thanks for reading, give me a call sometime... my number's still 911... alrightythen.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hey dude, you gonna eat that?

I've been asked how the food is over here at the Olympics in London. 

I think because black and white, grainy images of porridge and gruel pop in folks' head and they get a negative feeling about British food.

Thanks a lot Charles Dickens! jerk.

Actually the food has been quite nice.
And even better... free.
I'm working in the NBC cluster of offices in the  INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST CENTER CENTER CENTER CENTER CENTER center ......



Kidding. Just adding some audio effects to the blog... ahem.

But this place is friggin huge, Mr. Bigglesworth. And a sneeze echos for 9 hours... and all visible light disappears into its extreme gravity and its mass dissolves even the strongest covalent bonds and the food is free.

((2:16pm QUEEN'S TIME: I just took a bite of this awesome British chocolate with caramel in it and now it's all over my computer, but i don't care.))


Point: The food is good. The picture at the very top of this Everest Edition of the Turnerloose novella is from a BBQ restaurant I found on the street:


Not free.

But it was so good, I'm trying to find 30 minutes of free time so I can get a pulled pork sandwich again.

Oh, and there are sports going on here too.

Olympics Blog,


Thursday, May 3, 2012



I mean, you all are on twitter aren't you? If not, then I am so sorry for this post please forgive me and find a place in your heart that will welcome me back in one day.


If you are into twitter, then you understand hashtags... I've really started to enjoy the "#DuvalThings" tag that people use when posting something about Jacksonville.

They are always so interesting.

Sometimes a bit dirty, or upsetting... but interesting.

Here's an example of a few:

Some are repetitive, but perhaps we're getting the idea here.

Let me get to the point... I'm going to start doing a series of stories based solely on #DuvalThings focusing on the positive and cool stuff.

Not the "jogging in white jeans and a mesh tank top" stuff. #DuvalThings.

This all stemmed from my story today, about Big Jim... a steam whistle that's been sounding off in Jacksonville since 1890.

You can click here to see it in case you missed it.

Anyway, how about some awesome #DuvalThings... neat places, cool people? Anything... I'm all ears.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Some of my favorite quotes...

Rarely is there a story where I get more quotes and soundbites than what I experienced today...

I interviewed Boss Hog Calhoun... a pro wrestler in here Jacksonville doing a couple shows for United States Wrestling Alliance and United States Championship Wrestling (yes, those are actual things).

More on this later in the week.

However... I went ahead and haphazardly threw together some highlights for us all to enjoy.

Again, we'll be seeing more of this dude later next week... as we get closer to show time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Want A Lot of Youtube Views? Teach your donkey to sing...

The things that people look at on Youtube are hilarious.

I could stand in front of a camera, and using my classically trained and honed thespian abilities perform Iago's monologue from Othello Act 2 Scene 3.

I'd get 8 Youtube views.


That was my day's work, hanging with the lady whose donkey can sing. I told her story for the 5:30pm news, but there was some stuff that didn't make the air, namely our attempts at making the donkey sing again.

Here's that effort:

Here's her full singing donkey story... including a little on why the donkey has a lot to be singing about:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Taking The Browns To The Super Bowl

In the news biz ((look at me, all big and bad saying "news biz." HA!)) the Friday before the Super Bowl is intense. Especially if your station is the one with the game.

First Coast News has the Super Bowl.

 I'll be watching from either the chair or the couch in my house. Maybe both at different points of the night. Who knows. 

But so many folks are going to embrace the passion of the wild... and head to a sports bar.

I talked to a guy named George today, he owns Players Grille on Hendricks... he expects to triple business Sunday.


That's awesome. And just shows how huge of a business the pro football thing is... even in Jacksonville, with no real hometown rooting interest in the game, places are going to be raking in the cash.

I may contribute to that, by purchasing a case of Pepsi and some dip. 

Here's the contribution to television I made today... my take on the ole "are you ready for the Super Bowl" story that floats around year-to-year:

Here's a little something extra, folks tripling their biz on Sunday:

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the Super Bowl... most of all: be safe!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"It's a bloodbath and I'm the rubber duck"

That's a line I'll never forget.

I was 13, pitching in a county league baseball game, losing by 13 runs.

As I took the mound in relief, in what I think was the first time I ever pitched in a game, my coach shouted from the dugout: "It's a bloodbath and I'm the rubber duck."

I laughed the entire inning, recorded three straight strikeouts and secured my spot in the starting rotation.

That story popped in my head today while thinking about the "Great Battle of the Radar" here in Jacksonville.



First Coast News RADAR

Those are the only two in town. We use our own to track systems, the rest of the broadcasting and weather world uses NWS.

The NWS RADAR is fine... in fact it's great. It takes info from several vertical tilts and creates a nice volume scan for us to use and show storms in 3-D. 

We change the tilts on our radar manually and do not get a full volume scan... however our data comes in immediately. NWS required a couple of minutes to go through their full scans. Hence our "Two Minute Advantage."

We can see cells moving along with our sweep in real time. However, the NWS RADAR looks is a bit more herky-jerky, as cells appear to jump across the screen every couple minutes.


BLOODBATH... and I'm just floating around in the madness.

Now, from February 13-26 NWS RADAR will be taken offline for some awesome upgrades. They're going to a dual polarity radar, which is totally awesome and will be very helpful. However, ours will still be the only live RADAR... in fact, during the days NWS is offline, our Doppler will be the only one in town.

That's just a heads up as we get closer to severe weather season. We can get severe storms anytime here in North Florida, but as we get into February we could see more build up. 

Here's My Severe Weather Discussion For Today's Topic: TORNADOES!!!!

Here's my severe weather discussion from Monday, the topic: LIGHTNING!!!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parrothead Politics

If this blog seems a bit, oh I don't know, sarcastic, I'm sorry.

I just bit my tongue and I'm very very mad about it.

You know that feeling? It's usually a quick but fleeting anger.... wait.... uhhh, yeah... nevermind, it's gone. I'm happy again.

Anyway, there's an untapped resource of potential republican voters. They are the Parrotheads that are flocking around my TV station tonight. 

First Coast News is located right next door to the arena where Jimmy Buffett is playing tonight. 

That means colorful folk hanging 'round the premises. 

I'm a topical guy. I enjoy events happening currently... you could call me a current-eventsmith. I talked to some of the Parrotheads about Republican politics and the Florida primary specifically tonight. And I must say, overall it went down smooth and had a nice finish. 

So you may be asking: "What the heck?" 

Believe me, I asked that too. But, it made for some funny responses when asking a guy with a full beer funnel if he prefers the far right leanings of Newt Gingrich to the more moderate appeal of Mitt Romney.

Actually, this guy with the funnel said he was voting for Donald Trump because he's a "political outsider." 

He has a point, Trump is so far outside he's not even on the ballot. 

Trump apparently won't be playing the "Good Ole Boy" style of politics by refusing to have people have a way to vote for him.

That's serious.

Turns out the beer funnel guys isn't an American citizen. He's actually from Norway in town to see Jimmy Buffett. So he can't vote anyway.

So what did I learn today:

1. If you start talking political issues at a drunken tailgate party and throw a couple thumbs up, some will think you're an actual candidate for president and will want to take your picture. I made 3 campaign promises and think I'll get at least 2 votes after the ballots are tabulated tonight.

2. Carrying a video camera and tripod around a Parrothead Party is just asking for debauchery. You don't even have to open your mouth. Don't say a word. Just set your camera and tripod up (microphone adds even more) and see what people will say to you. It'll make you re-think logic and the things you learned in grade school.

3. Politics and Buffett don't mix. But tequila and lime juice do apparently, that's all anyone was drinking. 

Here's the video from my lessons today:

Anyway, have a great night everyone... I'll be glued to First Coast News tonight to see if Donald Trump managed to pull off an incredible upset in Florida.


Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Not A Boat... It's a yacht

I love boats.

In fact (I'm looking down my reading glasses) I was a certified, bone-a-fide, sea captain for an early part of my life.

Not fair to call this a boat though:

 That's 223 feet of floating awesome. Owned, I'm told by a person who seemed trustworthy, by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.

This sweet sweet piece of boat docked itself in front of the Jacksonville Hyatt Friday morning.

Listen, Fridays are always awesome across the board, but imagine how much more awesome Fridays are when you're pulling into downtown J-burg in this.

I wasn't allowed on. I asked, they laughed... kinda like when everyone laughed at the poor man in the All Fruit Commercials.

It wasn't hard to find info on this yacht online... apparently the "Kismet" is held in the highest regard even among other huge yacht owners.

Here's a link that gives much more info on the boat... and a lot more awesome pictures from places I could not go.


I did not spot Mr. Khan today. From one boater to the next, I'd like to give him a silent nod of approval from across a very crowded room... he'd know exactly what I was talking about. We wouldn't even need to speak.

Me on my boat with my "crew"...