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Friday, November 28, 2008

LIVE TWEET: My Last Day At Work

Today is my last day at work.

I have a million emails to pare down in that crowded inbox. I have a desk to clean out. Perhaps say a few goodbyes.

And oh yeah, I have some work to do. Follow along below:

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Announcements

I have two things for you today:

1) Some of you know I'm changing jobs next week. So please use jpwise3@hotmail.com for email until further notice.

B) You can buy some winter/holiday greeting cards on johnpwise.com today. Everybody wins.


Saturday, November 22, 2008



Friday, November 21, 2008

Google Maps

I've used Google Maps many times, typically for the same, easy purpose. But Wednesday, the tool was useful in a very new but important way.

I had an appointment to meet an HR gal at my new employer at 3 p.m. with some formal paperwork filled out and signed, etc.

I took the forms to work Wednesday morning, hoping to complete them on my lunch break, which, as usual, didn't really materialize. So I was a little rushed toward the end of my shift, and among the extensive background information I needed to provide was every address I've had in the last seven years.

I knew I'd lived on Everett Avenue in Louisville from 2001-02, and down the block on Grinstead Drive a few years later. A simple Google Maps search of either of those avenues yielded a map with street-level images I could rotate in any direction until I got to an approximate house number. Then, using my usually reliable recall skills, I remembered the exact address and finished the application.

If you're at home and time is not an issue, by all means, make a call or check an old bank statement. But if you're pressed for time like I was Wednesday, Google Maps is where it's at.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shooting With Meg

Meg is a beautiful southern gal who just got into modeling this year here in New York. After we met, I told her I'd love to shoot her for practice, and I reminded her countless times before we actually shot that I'm a complete rookie with portraits and indoor/studio lighting. But she needed some free pictures anyway, so we're kind of doing each other a favor. What you see below is from our first couple hours together. We plan to shoot again soon.

Keep in mind I'm trying to learn lighting and I'm not re-touching the images, so these are far from what a casting director would see for her. Someone on Meg's team will surely fix these up in Photoshop, but not much. She's quite striking.

Remember this shoot with Swarna? She's also a beautiful gal, but that was my first time shooting anyone and I knew absolutely nothing about lighting. I feel like I knew a little bit more before shooting Meg, and even since I shot her, I've picked up a few new tips, so I'm looking forward to my next shoot.

And finally, please let me know what you think. Thanks a lot.











Career News

I recently accepted a new job and have turned my notice into FOX.

I will be a platform manager for the New York NBC affiliate's newly re-launched Web site, nbcnewyork.com. WNBC is the nation's oldest and among the most well-known stations in the country.

I'll basically be managing the site, but could be asked to jump in in other areas, which explains the broader title.

My last day on the FOX national desk is Nov. 28 and my first day at WNBC will be Dec. 3. Please take a look at the new site if you have a minute. Feedback is always welcome.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Man Of Troy

Old dude Troy came all the way into the city for a few beers, Ohio State football and my sausage chowder. That's soup, btw.

Anyway, Troy offered up some fairly profound insight on today's OSU game at Illinois.

"I'm looking at two matchups in particular," he said. "Ohio State's offense against Illinois' defense, and Illinois' offense against Ohio State's defense. If either one of those teams can with both of those matchups, I like their chances."


Friday, November 14, 2008


After watching my New York Jets wrap up an exciting overtime defeat of New England late last night, I flipped the channels around for a minute before I saw that HBO had on some special called "Thinking XXX."

There were less than five minutes left, and the close of the show included short soundbites from some of the more well-known actors in the genre. They were in various levels of undress as they tried to sound intelligent and witty in these interviews.

One quote in particular, from a typically whore-y and plastic-looking blonde woman, probably no older than 27 or 28, spoke critically of the younger actors who jump into porn but get out before accomplishing much.

"A lot of them don't survive in the industry," the girl said.

I thought it was kind of funny, because she said it in a way that sounded like she felt those actors should feel ashamed for not building a long-term career in porn.

Now if we we're talking about young folks right out of college not being able to hack the pressures of being, say, a stock broker, then, by all means, be judgmental and critical.

But to quote Jim Rome, one doesn't get into porn, one ends up in porn. I think if you can't make it in the adult industry, there's certainly the possibility that maybe you're just not cut out for spending your life being a whore with strangers on camera for money. And I think that's OK. You heard it here first.


Favre From True

I'm a big fan of tradition. My sports heroes are guys who stay loyal to one team, work hard and stay out of trouble off the field.

The retirement/Packers/trade fiasco notwithstanding, Brett Favre remained near the top of my short list of guys who I think get the wins the right way.

But I have a hard time believing him when he's said, after a win a few weeks ago, and again last night, that those games rank near the top of his list of most memorable victories. Come on dude, you played in a million high-pressure games in your many years with Green Bay. Two midseason victories in your first season with a decent Jets team that's still trying to get to know you cannot rank up there.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Workplace Men's Room Soft-Core Vandalism

Big news at work recently. We got a new paper-towel dispenser in the second-floor men's room.

I came into work this morning and noticed it was broken, the front casing hanging toward the floor, exposing the intricate inner workings of an electronic paper-towel dispenser. And on the stretch of paper towel hanging from the machine was this message scribbled with a black Sharpie: "What a piece of shit."


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charges Dropped

Monday I received in the mail a letter from the St. Paul City Attorney, a single-spaced correspondence that extended all the way to the very bottom of the page.

Despite lots of tedious legalese, I'm pretty sure the point was that the unlawful assembly charge from my arrest there in September during the Republican National Convention has been formally dropped.

My attorney told me more than a month ago that that would happen, and now the next step is expungement. I don't like having my fingerprints out there in some database when I did nothing wrong in the first place.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The Amazing Interview

Glad election season is over. Time to get back to some harder-hitting journalism.

The Amazing Kreskin was in the neighborhood Thursday.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Calling Vince King

I'll never forget a guy named Vince King. We were buds as kids in the late 1970s when I lived in a nice suburb of Cleveland called Beachwood. It was the only time in my life, prior to New York, where I lived somewhere where the folks weren't all Christian whitebreads like me.

Beachwood is largely Jewish and black. Lots of money there. Vince was black. I imagine he still is.

Anyway, my family moved to a nearby town called Richmond Heights in 1979, and I never saw Vince again until about six years later.

That's when my high school basketball team played his. Some of the other kids from the neighborhood stuck with the sport, as Vince and me did. So when my Richmond Heights Spartans played his Beachwood Bison (singular, please), there was a cordial recognition and a friendly hello between me and a few of those guys, but not much else. We'd grown into macho athletes, conference rivals. Forgotten was the time where I pranked Steve Orkin on the phone, disguising my voice as if I was someone else, telling him to meet me at the bus stop or wherever. Vince and me rode our bikes to that spot and watched ole Steve sit on his ass and wait for the friend who never showed. We laughed at that for a week.

But now we'd grown up a little. Richmond Heights was never good in basketball until my senior year. We'd taken beatings from Beachwood in my sophomore and junior years. The last game I ever played in the home gym, however, had a different feel to it. We actually had a good team. But the visitors had a great team. Still, late in a tight ballgame, the Richmond Heights Spartans found themselves in an odd situation -- tied with Beachwood in the fourth quarter of a game that, if Vince's team had won, it would have claimed the East Suburban Conference outright.

And when a tired Vince, about 6-foot-4 with all-state skills and very dark skin, lay tired on the court right after the whistle blew, there I was, barely 150 pounds with the ball in my hand, all bony and pale, offering a hand to help him up, right in front of my team's bench. Hey there, old friend.

I was lucky enough that Amy the cheerleader snapped a picture of that moment to put in my senior scrapbook. Of course Vince and me were in the paper the next day, the familiar but unlikely pair. Take a guess who was getting beaten baseline in that picture?

Another cheerleader told me years later that she'd never forget seeing me help Vince up off the floor. Not because of our school loyalties or obvious difference in pigmentation, but because it fit so perfectly with the rest of that night. Our school was never good at basketball, yet here we were, going after our 14th win that night, in the gym's first sellout ever, all in front of the local cable station. Jim and Bob Isabella had the call, and I believe that game was brought to you by Migelito's.

It was a crazy finish, for sure, and even though my team won, what sticks with me is the contrast. Big and athletic vs. skinny and slow. The kid from the family with money vs. the kid from the family who ate turkey sandwiches from the deli for Thanksgiving the year before. Star of a great basketball team vs. average dude on a decent team. Black vs. white. Sure we had our "Bat 21" moment, my Gene Hackman to his Danny Glover.

If you know me, you know I like talking about race. I like talking about differences and analyzing them. And I like seeing people overcome them in the name of being respectful. I'm a sucker for the Hackman-Glover moments. If someone from the Lakers was a gentleman toward a Celtic, something like that would strike me. That's why I really liked John McCain's concession speech Tuesday night. All of it. And more of that sentiment came from President Bush today. The more, the merrier.

So here we are. 20 years and 8 months later, our friends have finally elected a black president. I'm pleased about it, no doubt, though I can't help but wonder what Vince King is up to these days.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day (Or, The Most Boring Post Ever)

As a local editor, election day always was tedious. But my first presidential election working a national desk has me pretty excited.

I feel like I'm searching out better content in this case today. When I worked in Louisville and Cincinnati, I had to monitor automated feeds and it was overall a more technical experience. Such a tool certainly made things more convenient when it worked, but there were sometimes technical shortcomings and I didn't feel like I was doing much work that people would see.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Who Could Do Your Job Better?

In light of Joe The Plumber's recent rush to fame, MyFox editors took to the streets asking average joes two easy questions: What do you do for a living? And who could do your job better: McCain or Obama?

This is what we found. And be sure to watch some of the video clips at the bottom of the story.