Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Sale


Due to the struggling economy and declining membership, Impact Fitness Gym in Riverview is closing. All fitness equipment, including elliptical machines, treadmills and free weights, will be auctioned at 10 a.m. Nov. 29 at the gym, 9812 U.S. 301 S. To view the items visit For additional information, call 784-3926.

That's my now former gym. Stinks, too, because it was the only one convenient to me. I did check my credit card statement to see that I was not charged for November. All clear.

If I had more room in my home, I'd bid on some of the stuff and turn a room into a home gym. But I don't.

And the working out at home plan isn't working out too well. I have some dumbbells but no space to work out properly, especially for leg exercises.

Friday, November 14, 2008

No End in Sight

At least not with my fatigue-impaired vision.

Every time I think I'm nearing the finish line doing the traffic at Ch. 10, they move it away from me. The next candidate was supposed to come in Monday (Nov. 17) for her audition/interview. Now she's not coming until the following Monday (Nov. 24).

I shouldn't be so eager to leave. It's not a bad job; it's certainly not difficult and the people are great. But I go home every day feeling like I've accomplished nothing except making myself more tired. Meantime I'm wasting time napping that I should be spending developing freelance business.

As I told the morning show's executive producer this morning, "if it's not going to be permanent, I'd rather just get it over with."

Yesterday morning, one of the morning show's reporters did multiple lengthy live shots listing ways you can date cheaply. Going to the park to feed the ducks and playing the card game UNO were two of the suggestions.

I couldn't resist.

"I'm looking forward to Janie's next report," I said on camera before showing the traffic maps at one point. "Because chicks dig guys who know how to date on the cheap... almost as much as they dig being called chicks."

Roo's New Wheels

My latest story for ZooToo TV has gone online. You can play the video above. Here's the link to the page on the site that includes the story's text version, as well as where you can scroll down and click "Thumbs Up" to give it a positive review. I do both a video story and write a text version of each story I do.

I learned yesterday that zootoo measures the percentage of people who visit a story's page that click to play the video. They use that data to judge what kinds of stories it wants to do. I don't know how much a story's headline determines a reader's curiosity to view a video but it has to be a factor.

This is the third story I've done for They have already paid me for the first two, true to its word that payment will happen within 15 days of the story going online. This is important because I've had to chase other people for payments they've owed me. Ah, the glamorous life of freelancing.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I should have driven home after my morning shift at WTSP-TV. Tapes for a WEDU story due soon sit at home unwatched and unlogged.

Instead I drove across the Pinellas County peninsula from the station on the bay side to Gulf Blvd. on the west coast to visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. It rehabs sick and injured birds and releases ones able to live in the wild.

I learned of its existence while researching possible story ideas for my freelance work at ZooToo TV.

It's hard to see some of the birds in their enclosures and the fencing makes photography difficult. But the sanctuary is right on the beach. Walk a few yards and you see wild seabirds gathered on the beach, waiting for handouts.

I didn't include photos of the guy who walked out with a large bucket at one point and dumped the contents into the water. But a couple of the photos show the absolute frenzy that ensued. I took 393 photographs and at least half came out blurry. Most in the slide show below were heavily cropped. Following moving objects is not a strong suit.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


My gym is closed. Not for the day. Forever. I went yesterday and saw the place dark. A sheet of paper taped to the window read that "an impasse with the landlord" forced the closure.

I'm guessing the impasse centered on the landlord insisting that the gym owner continue to pay rent. I don't envy the property owner. Back in July, the restaurant next door to the gym went belly up. That space still sits empty. Except for the homeless bums who sit on the bench outside.

I'm not out any money even if the gym owner doesn't honor his promise to give a pro-rated refund to members. I was on a month-to-month plan. My problem is that now I don't have a place to work out.

I have some dumbbells here at home that I pulled out and used today but that's not a long-term solution. I can't do enough different exercises here, especially for legs. I probably have enough weights; I don't have enough room. In other places I've lived I got by with home workouts because I had more uncarpeted space.

As profusely as I sweat, if I work out in a room with carpeting, it will stink forever. If I have to steam clean or even replace the carpets before I try to sell this place someday, I want a better story than that to account for the need for it.

In most places I've lived, the bathroom could double as my workout room. Not here. Too small.

I don't want to join one of those chain gyms whose main business is not fitness but signing people to membership contracts. I'll figure something out eventually but I don't like the upset to my routine.

Especially when I have a bag-and-a-half of leftover Halloween candy that I will eventually consume myself. I got only a handful of visitors Friday night in my debut as a home owning junk food distributor on October 31.

One little girl showed up in a white dress with fake (I presume) blood smeared on her face. I asked what her costume was. "Bloody Mary," she said.

Two girls went from my house to one across the street while their mothers waited on the sidewalk on my side of the street. When the girls didn't return in a few minutes, one of their mothers called, "come on back. There's no candy in that house."

"I heard someone inside!" One of the girls called back.

I started laughing. "I know you're in there!" I said. "And I want my Snickers!" The mothers laughed with me.