Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Viva Mexico

Just a couple of photos from a Mexican Independence Day celebration held last night at a local high school. As usual, I was drawn to the band.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Night Lights

Another make up football game, and another creepy mascot.

Something about their absent stare gives me the willies. I ran into the female version of this Wildcat mascot eariler, and we had a brief stare-down contest. I couldn't look away until she lifted up too bells and started ringing them in my direction. It spooked me and I had to move on.

There was a nice little sunset towards the end of the first half. There was also about to be a touchdown. Should I shoot the play, or run over and shoot the nice light? Rather then shoot one well, I decided to shoot both sort of haphazardly. I thought this frame was nice though.

Monday Night Lights

Hurricane Ike canceled several games last Friday. Last night I shot one of the make-up games. It was kind of odd, and I swear the entire time that creepy Brahma mascot was staring me down.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Hurricane That Wasn't

Yes, Ike was a very real hurricane, and for about two days last week it looked like it was going to be a very real disaster for Corpus Christi. And then things changed.

It had to hit somewhere, and unfortunately for the people in the Houston/Galveston/Surfside area, they lived in that somewhere. And while the infrared satellite images on CNN and The Weather Channel made it look like Ike was about to demolish the entire Texas coast, we didn't get a drop of rain down here.

It was about Tuesday night when the freak out began. The computer models were showing a Saturday landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas. I woke up the next day to the sounds of hammers and drills as neighbors put up boards and hurricane shutters. It was all a bit surreal.

My first assignment Wednesday was to go to Robstown, one of the evacuation pickup sites for people who needed help getting out of town. There wasn't a ton of people there, and several buses sat empty in the parking lot as evacuees trickled in. It made me nervous though. As a small group of people were tagged and lead onto the first bus, I pondered my own decision to stay and ride out the storm.

Next, I was sent out to hit up the gas stations and grocery stores. I was surprised how much food and supplies some people were buying. I had just put together my own little hurricane survival kit, which consisted of a variety of canned meats (ham, corned beef, fake spam), some crackers, cereal bars and some bottles of water. I just need enough to ride out the storm, I thought. I think in the back of my mind I figured that if I got hungry, I'd just go to Subway or something. I don't have the best survival skills, apparently.

The next day the hurricane was veering further and further north, but it was too late to stop the newsroom emergency train. By Thursday afternoon we were on voluntary hurricane staff and I was being sent to all sorts of random places looking for even more people preparing for the storm. Shoot video, get quotes, write copy. It was exhausting.

Friday came, and with it came the storm surge. The little effects that were felt in Corpus Christi were concentrated on the beaches and bayfronts. I was told to come in pretty late Friday. By then other photographer had been all over the beaches and the piers damaged by the high waves, so there was no reason for me to go. So I was sent to find some bay flooding. Oh, and shoot some more video while you're there, despite how un-thrilling this all is at this point. GO!

By nightfall there was no rain, and all the churning clouds in the sky did was provide a pretty cool sunset. This is as close to Ike as I was going to get.

Until Saturday, when I came face to face with evacuees from Houston. The ones that evacuated here were buying up all the generators and hurricane supplies that many people in Corpus Christi were returning. They were about to head to homes with no power, no food and water and possibly to no home at all. It was sobering. After Saturday my coverage of the hurricane and its affects would come to an end. I could go home and use my AC and cook on my stove and watch TV and return to normal. Yes, part of me is disappointed that I didn't get to cover a storm, but a lot of me is grateful we avoided all the devastation.

Good luck, Houston. Stay strong.