Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's Gold Jerry !

Monday morning came way too quickly. I had stayed out far too late with the CTV national Crew after the loss to Finland. Now the phone was ringing and I could not move. I barely was able to overcome my own inertia to answer it.
I forced myself down to the Stalag eatry and met up with Brent. He of course was well rested and ready to get at it. We were going to do a piece on outdoor markets. We had already cut our piece for today, during the weekend. So today would be just some shooting. We also wanted to get a head start on Wednesday’s item as well. It seemed to be a good plan. We would get back before 3 and cut our piece for tomorrow or at least shot list and go from there.
I had to feed a pile of stuff, Vicki’s, E-Talk, National and CTV British Columbia. Brent had booked an early feed time, so I thought I could maybe catch the Gold Medal Womens game.
When I went to the Crack House, everything seemed in order. There was a bit of a problem with the booking however, our fault really. I won’t get into the details. The long and the short of it was Terry B, back in Vancouver was able to make it happen in fairly short order. And to him I say thanks.
The TSN gang comes into feed after me. I run into Sean Cable, a cameraman from Vancouver and his producer. I ask them if they are going to the game and they tell me they are. So I hitch a ride with them to the game. Brent was back at the Village. He’s not a hockey fan and felt that he would shot list and write tomorrows story. Too bad, I think he would have enjoyed himself.
When we get to the venue, James Duthie of TSN fame, although many readers of this blog know James from his days with VTV and before that with CJOH. Anyway, James is negotiating for tickets. He is able to get us all tickets for much less than face value and in we go. This would be good. Well get inside and we will all meet up and try to sit together. Well we end up in the rafters for the first period. James and his crew end up on the opposite side of the arena. Now this would not normally be a problem in any North American arena, but like most things with this Olympic games, it is poorly designed for spectator traffic.
From our perch high above the center line, Sean and I observe many open seats in the lower bowl. We make our move during the first intermission. (Photo: Sean Cable of TSN, Denis Brodeur, former Olympian and Marty Brodeur's Dad, and Murman at the women's Gold Medal Game)As we attempt to get to the opposite side lower bowl, we incounter many dead ends. There are attendants preventing people from going into a large common area that would connect us to where we wanted to go. Now I have an all access pass, Sean however is not accredited. So I just blow by this attendant, he glances at my accreditation and I am in. Sean is right behind me. He gets stopped. As I look back, this guys askes if he is with me. I tell him he’s my camera man. Sean gets waved through.
We end up in the lower bowl sitting in two vacant seats sitting with Marty Brodeur’s family, his dad Denis, his 3 boys and his girlfriend, Jenn. (For those of you who do not follow hockey, Martan Brodeur is Team Canada’s goaltender)
Anyway we have a delightful time with the Brodeurs. The boys kept me laughing the whole night. I let them borrow my Canadian flag and they waved the hell out of it. The boys had Canadian flag tattoos on their cheeks. I asked them how long had they had them on their faces. One of the lads spoke up and told me “since Dad played on Saturday!” I laughed and said, don’t you wash your face?
Yes but I didn’t want to loose my flag!
We all cheered loudly when Canada would score. (Photo: The boys having a ball with the flag)The boys remember Salt Lake City. They are certainly hoping Dad will deliver them another Gold medal.
It was a delightful night. The women won their gold. I was there, in Salt Lake City, and now here I was watching and singing Oh Canada in Italy. It was a good night. One I will remember as I listened to 3 young lads as they gave me the play by play, through 10 year old eyes.

Danielle Goyette celebrates in what will likely be her last Olympic Games.

This was written before the men went out and got killed by the Russians last night. I can barely write I am so upset.
This will also likely be the last installment of World Wide Murman until I get back home. Internet access has been less than reliable. The logistics are screwed.
The rest of the CTV team have arrived , and I have a feeling my Olympic experience will get alot worse, before I can get some time to reflect on this. I have a ton of photos that I will post with this story, but it too will have to wait.

Thank you all for reading, There will be more, but when I get back to Vancouver.


I'm Back

I am back after a short absence from the infoweb. As many of you know, our internet service here is Torino is less than impressive.
The work load is still there, but with Mike in Monte Carlo, we have been able to catch up.
Saturday brought a gut checking loss to the mens team, to Switzerland. Of course our driver/ Dr. Alberto, gave me the gears about the loss. I have received some email from home suggesting my chance meeting with the Great One may have been bad luck for the team.
Brent and I went out and shot an item that we cut on Monday. It was about pin collecting. We took advantage of the lull during the weekend to explore a bit of the neighbourhood. When we got up on Saturday morning, we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat at the Media Village. The menu has not changed since we got here. They don’t quite get how to cook bacon, or do anything appetizing with the eggs. We asked the front desk where the nearest café would be. Of course they did not have a clue. What else is new. My god if VANOC wants to learn how NOT to house the media, then come here to Stalag 13.
After a very short walk we discovered a couple of “Bars” or Cafés. I have not been back to the Media Village for food since. The other piss off is of course, no internet at the media center at the Village. This is especially difficult since I pulled out of BC Place and relocated the editing decks to my room. BC Place had become too chaotic. There was always people coming into our room and disrupting the editing process. Add to the equation that our feed point (The Crackhouse) was 4 KM away through bad traffic. Moving our base of operations for now has been a good thing. I suppose when Mike returns we may relocate back.

I took the time this weekend to take in a hockey game. After editing on Sunday, I grabbed a Cab and went to see the men play Finland. I met up with our National reporter Graham Richardson and TSN Reporter Farhan L. I walked in with my media pass and sat in the media area and settled into what I had hoped would be a good night of hockey. Wrong again. The team sucked and were shutout for the second game in a row. Perhaps my meeting with Wayne had brought bad luck to Team Canada.
Well at least the women would not let us down.
Regardless, it was nice not to have to rush an edit and feed on Sunday night, it almost felt normal.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Moment

Yesterday was filled with moments that will last a life time. After our evening at the Game, we left the Media village with a rejuvenate sense of well being. It had been a good night, One of the hilights of the trip. Friday would be another day which would test us in both temperament and in physical strength.
Mike was riding high as this would be his last day in Torino. He is off for a couple of days to spend some vacation with his wife in Monico ( Goldfinger: "No Mr. Killeen, I expect you to Die!) Anyway good for Mike, He's back on Thursday.

The moment of the day came later in the day at BC House when The Great One walked into the place. I managed a shot. He said hello to Vicki and she introduced me as one of the hard working CTV guys that were putting her to air. As Wayne left the building, out the back door, I ceased the moment. With cat like agility ( not bad for a short fat guy) I was right behind him and asked if he would be so kind to grant a photo with me. Sure he said. I tried to take the photo myself, but was huffing and puffing. He said "take it easy Murray, my friend will take the photo." I said "Sorry it's been a hell of a week" He said with a smile "Tell me about it!"

And that was my Olympic Moment with the Great One.

The Great One with the Tired One

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Edit Suite Crash of 2006

Well just when you thought it couldn't get worse , it did. During the editing session the other night two of our player decks crashed. The SX decks are known for breaking down. I figured it would only be a matter of time before the SX God of the breakdown would show her bitchy hand. Wednesday was that day.
There is much that transpired that I cannot write about.
It appears during these long and arduous shoots there is a finite "wall" the body and mind hits. Call it fatigue, call it what you will, I figured there was one wall an I had hit it some time last week. I was wrong, there are two walls, and I hit the second one Wednesday. I hit it hard. (Photo George from Chicago Murman and George from Toronto, the surgeons that saved the suite)The edit suite crashed and we had to rush to the Crack House to finish the edit. Time was not on our side. I did managet to get the thing done with my last bit of energy. We fed it in and I thought my god how did I not have a stroke in the last few hours. The sad thing is, two days later, I cannot even remember what the item was.
Surely Thursday would be better for us all.
My mission and first priority was to get the edit suite up and running. Luckly that before we left Vancouver, our Chief Engineer had given me contact information for Sony. They have a workshop that they have set up just outside Turin.
I arrived just after 9:10 am and began the process. I was told by our Italian host at Sony they would be able to look at the gear until Saturday. "That will not do" I said. I then met two of the North American Engineers, the Georges. These guys looked right after me. I decieded to go and get a bit of breakfast with Alby our driver. We returned about an hour later. They gave me the bad news. One of the machines would need a drum head assembly and the other a capstan motor. Not good. I got the boys thinking outside the box and convinced them to take the good parts from one machine and transplant them into the other. It worked. They had me up and running within the hour. I left the other machine with them to use as a boat anchor. No seriously we will get an estimate and likely surgery will continue once next of kin in Vancouver have been notified.
The grand total of the first repair, 180 euros. Best 180 euros I have spent so far.

Thursday got better. Annette one of the hard working people here at BC House walked into my edit area and presented me with 4 hockey tickets to Canada and Germany mens hockey. Well we have not had a night off since we got here, what is it now, two months ago ( actually 2 weeks).
We went and fed early and headed to the game. We ment a couple from Vancouver that had just got off the plane. They did not have tickets, but managed to get some from a scalper for less than face value and wouldn't you know it we sat in the same row. (Photo: Just glad to be watchin' some Hockey)
This was a great night. It seemed that we were at the Olympics for the first time. We felt normal. We had fun and it has recharged our batteries, well at least for now.

Murman and Brent, just glad to have survived

Alby at the Game. Earlier in the day he went to his first hockey game ever. We decieded that he should come with us and see a good hockeyteam play.

Brent's moment of Olympic Glory as he carries the Flame as we exited the Hockey Game.

Janis back at the Crack House wrapping herself in the flag after Canada's 4 medal day.

Gun Play In Milan

On Saturday last we decieded to get the hell out of Dodge City and head to Milan. It was a welcome afternoon of fine weather and a change of scenery. It was in Milan that we met up with one of our best interview subjects of the trip. you may remember an earlier quote of the week in a previous post.
The interesting part of the day was to happen as we were driving out of Milan and heading to the Hiway that connects the city with Torino. We heard the fimilar sound of the Polizia heading off to who knows what. We passed through an intersection and proceeded down the street when suddenly, another Polizia Car whized up close on the outside lane ( and when I say lanes, lets just say the dividing lines are there for decoration). Anyway this polizia car rolls up, Officer with his window down, waving his Glock 9 like it's a freakin stop sign or something. Alby our driver near shits himself, as he pulls over. The little blue fiat pull up to the car infront of us and this TJ Hooker officer points the gun at the drivers head. No doubt he was shouting in the home and native tounge to Pull the f#*k over!. Well I don't know about you, but the business end of a firearm is a remarkable tool of persuasion. I bang off a photo, Brent bangs off a couple as 5 more little blue fiats race into the scene. When the guy gets out of the car, hands in the air, it looks like George Kastanzia from Seinfeld. Man thats road rage!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Some Fimilar Faces in a Strange Land

You know it's bad when Murman refuses food. This morning was such an occasion. I could not bring myself to get out of bed and head down for another breakfast of the same crap they have been feeding us at the media village. My god it's more like a prision, Stalag 13. We recieved a note the other night that there would not be any Y Fi internet service anywhere within "Stalag 13" for the duration of the games. This was the same outfit that kept Brent an I waiting for a toilet seat for 3 days. They have also told us that there would be no more TV channels added to the so called TV service in the rooms. There are two english channels. CNN and EuroSport. I am told that the building across the Compound have CBC. What a freakin' joke.
Last night we went to the Fattoria, but Mario had not brought his A game to the table. It was a most dissapointing evening.

I was delighted to find out that of all of the media assembled at the Gretzky Hunt yesterday, Murman bagged the only shot of Janet. It must have been my "Massive" lens. Our collegue and "Puck Bunny" Janis ( who by the way could have passed for a Janet G decoy) was overheard saying "When I saw Murman and his giant lens at the airport,,,,,,,I knew Momma was going to be happy tonight."
Well long as someone is happy,,,,,,

Anyway last night was not a total write off. We ran into an old friend from the past. Hack, you will be pleased to here that James Duthie sends his regards.
Last week I had heard a rather fimilar accent, and lo and behold there was Peter Sutherland, Camera guy from CBC Halifax. Can't keep those Maritimers home.

I have to go and edit now,
May the force be with me.

Peter Sutherland from CBC Halifax

John L from The Globe and Mail with Mike outside of BC House

C Mac and Mike at the Airport waitin' on the Great One

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Duck Hunting In Torino

"Torino, shit I'm still only in Torino. Every minute I sit here waiting for a mission, Charlie gets stronger. All I wanted is a mission and for my sins they gave me one."
Murman "A cameraman's Appocalypse"

Yes the fatigue factor has firmly set in. It looked like there was light at the end of the tunnel. That tunnel we call the last 10 days. I was particularly happy with the work we had managed force out the pipe. We were looking forward to perhaps, oh I don't know, A DAY OFF. Then the cell rang last night, it seems that light was the CTV train coming from the other direction.
I know, you can't look away.

We had dinner at the Fattoria last evening with special guests Vicky Gabereau and her sidekick Jane Rowe. After the "call" all we could do is drown our sorrows in a bottle of vino.

This morning we went Gretzky hunting. We were sure not to invite Vice President Chaney, what with his gun handling skills and all. Anyway we arrived at the airport and bumped into an old friend from the VTV days when Sportsnet was still in the building, Craig M.
Mike and I found our way to where the busses would be loaded. Security was tight. Brent had gone with our dashing young driver to get some shots of the plane actually landing.
It was not long after Brent began shooting (Photo: Murman and his "big lens" with Sergio and Al C from Global at the "hunt") when a member of the Polizia pulled up and asked what was going on. Before you knew it there was 5 Polizia cars with angry officers, shouting at our driver. Poor Alby, he has been with us for 10 days and in the last 3 days he has had the Polizia wave a gun at him in Milan, and now he has got a group of angry officers going through his papers and checking everything in his car. They checked Brents passport. I quess it was quite a scene.
Meanwhile back at the Hunting lodge ( Arrivals area for team Canada), we waited for our quarry. And just like that out came the Great One. Of course all of the media players were there well except for CITY cause they're EVERYWHERE. We had about a 100 meter shot. I put the crosshairs on the target and squeezed the trigger. I was able to get a good shot of the Gambling One (Hey I am just joking here, please no lawsuits)
So all was not lost.
As we drove back, I felt that we had done well to get what we got for not being rights holders. But was I rolling? I would be in a world of shit. But wait a minute, I'm at the Turin Olympics, without a Rights Holder Pass, I AM ALREADY IN A WORLD OF SHIT.
Pray to the video Gods for us,
That Janet, Wayne and the kids will come and visit us at BC House.

All joking aside, I am sure there is more pressure on us now that they have arrived. Yes as our new Italian friend Osvoldo has said "The fertilizer has hit the air conditioner!"

Murman, John Furlong VANOC, Mike K during happier times.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Scenes/Photos/ Quote of The Week

Here are a few Photos I have taken in the past week here in and around Torino.

Just outside the media center in the Sestriere where all of the Alpine and Nordic events are being held.

Just outside the Olympic Stadium the day the games were to open

The Classic Turin Post card shot as seen from the banks of the Po River. You can see the Alps in the background of the city. The spire is the museum of cinema the tallest structure in Turin.

Bridge over the Po River. This shot is taken from the opposite side of the river as the previous skyline shot.I hope to have more soon.

Quote of the week:

Question from Mike: "So are you excieted about having the Olympic Games just up the road in Turin?"

Answer from Essore Prosperini, tourism minister of Lomberdia (Milan)

"Perhaps excieted is maybe a word too big"

You must say the quote with your best Italian Accent!


Brent, Mike and I had a unique experience in our coverage of the opening ceremony. As a Non Rights Holder, we at CTV are unable to air or shoot anything that originates inside an Olympic venue. Our solution was to spend our time with a typical Italian family as they gathered to watch the opening on Italian TV.
That family was that of our driver/ translator Alberto.
Dinner was to begin around 7 and the ceremony was to begin at 8. We left BC house to begin our trek across town. Traffic was heavy as the crowd was heading to the Olympic Stadium.
When we arrived and were greeted warmly by Alby’s family. Lucia, his mother, Franco his father, and Federica his lovely girlfriend. I quickly went to work, shooting preparations in the kitchen with Lucia and Federica.
There was a knock on the door it was Alberto’s brother, Giovanni. A barrage of traditional Italian affection ensued. A second knock several minutes later introduced us to the Priest, Gian Franco Sivera, a family friend. I figured the good padre might help out with some divine intervention to insure I would make my feed time as it rapidly approached.
The meal was outstanding, with sausage, prosciotto, bread, two different kinds of pasta and several deserts. Water, Champaign, red and white “vino”, how was I going to get this done?
Brent and I had cameras rolling for much of the dinner. The broadcast began and attention was immediately drawn to the television.
It was difficult to maneuver in such a small confined space in this fine apartment, but I managed to move camera and tripod around with out breaking or spilling anything. That in itself is worthy of some sort of gold medal.
As the broadcast continued and as the cameras rolled to capture the reactions of our hosts, all at once broke out in the singing of their national song. It was perhaps one of the most moving moments of this trip. We were touched by this golden moment.

As we glanced at our watches, I knew we had to get editing. Alby’s mother insisted it would be ok to edit on the dinner table, as she continued to serve the pasta!
Now the A 220 editor, Mike doing his voicers and yours truly became the entertainment.
I edited like the wind, fatigue or perhaps a full belly made it sluggish, but we continued.
It was a bizarre scene, a table full of food and drink, a friendly Italian family, The Olympic Opening Ceremonies on the TV and a TV crew editing at the end of the table.
It was an experience that I will never forget.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


A long time ago in a country far, far away, A valiant TV Crew set out from a distant star system in the western quadrant of Canada.
The Journey was long and uncomfortable. They were supposed to fly on the newest star ship in the galaxy, Lufthansa, instead they flew with the Luftwuffa.

On the first evening we arrived in Torino, it was late and of course we were famished. One of the lads who are guarding us from, uncle Al (Quida), suggested we go just around a corner to a little restaurante called Fattoria.
I have mentioned this establishment before in a previous post.
Anyway on the third night in town, we returned to Restaurante Fattoria. It would be our third time we found ourselves in Super Mario’s place. This time I brought some CTV Swag. A pen that lights up, and a tee shirt. We order. The drinks come. I call Mario over to the table. I ask him for his pen. He is confused, I ask again if I can have his pen, then I slide the CTV Pen to him. His face lights up. The pen lights up. His eyes light up. He shakes my hand and thanks me and quickly darts off to the back of the place. We delight in the fact that we have given a bit of pleasure to our host. Well Mario comes back, this time with a gift of his own. A trinket for each of us, giving me one last. We thank him. Gratzi, He starts away again, but I stop him. Now I slide a rolled tee shirt over to him. He is speechless, he shakes my hand and gestures to his heart. He seems to be touched.
He comes back with a tee shirt gift of his own. An escalulation of sorts.
I figure if I keep raising the ante, I’ll have the deed to the place before the end of the week.
Night 2 of the Swag war sees him presented with a CTV News Hat.
By night 3 he has made a shrine of CTV Swag in the front of his place.

The Olympic Crack House.

As Non Rights Holding Electronic Media, we find ourselves feeding our items back to Vancouver via an ABC uplink that is located on the 10 floor of an apt complex on the east side of Turin. On Monday(Feb 6) we had been told that our feed time would be at 10:30 PM local. We went out, shot our item, and cut our item all under the impression that all was right with our feed arrangements. We made a call to ABC to check on our status. The voice on the other end of the phone told us that they were still setting up and they wouldn’t be 24/7 for another 24 hours. Huston, we have a problem, it was 10 to 8 and they told us they were packing it up at 8 O’clock. Hell I had just put down my first edit. We had been shooting until 7. I’m fast, but I can’t cut a pack in 2 minutes. Not only that but we has a 15 minute drive to get to the feed site. Jesus, we hadn’t been here for 24 hours and we had a very big problem.
Hats off to Mike K for stick handling this feed situation for me. I was cutting like a mad man trying to make this first item the best it could be. After much gnashing of teeth, we had an alternate feed site. The good folks at Globe Cast, a European based Satellite Service Provider were located just across the river, over looking the city. Needless to say for a premium we were able to make our slot. Surely tomorrow would be better.
It was, marginally,,,,
Tuesday began early, our systems not yet accustomed to the new time zone. Again a full day. We called ABC to confirm our feed time. Feed time confirmed. All systems go, go with throttle up.
I don’t know how a day evaporates as fast as it does, but it did. We were able to establish abase of operations at the BC House/Canada Place. This could be good. At least we internet services there. We managed to get a small work area and went to work cutting the item together. We finished in plenty of time, but now we need to get our driver to get us to the ABC site, Pronto, Pronto.
The engineering crew from ABC London rents a flat, then leases or rents out the rooms to individual news agencies from around the planet. They have set up their feed area in the front as soon as you walk into the front door. As you walk through the halls passing many rooms full of strange faces. A rats nest of electrical cables and video wires snake their way throughout the complex. We finally come to a stairwell that leads to a loft where we find our (photo: two of the "J"men at the ABC feed center) CTV National crews, huddled into a little dark room with a couple of tables and edit decks set up on the tables. I meet the rest of the CTV contingent. CTV Producer Susan T takes me down to meet the Brits manning the feed center. Jack, John and Jerry, the J team. These guys are great. They have their shit completely together. Well almost. The SX deck they have is not working, as it should. It is not splitting audio. Infact it is only sending channel 1. Fortunately I had my camera with me with my splitter and feed snake. I wasn’t going to take it, but call it my spidy sense I am very glad I did. It turns out no one knew how the hell the menu settings on the machine. One of the “J” men told me that they would have it fixed before we fed tomorrow. They did.
As we left the “house” and returned to our driver, we all had a chuckle about the sight of all of that broadcast equipment strewn throughout the place. We dubbed it the Media Crack House.

Graham Richardson/and Rob the Edtior/Camera Guy

CTV's Janis Mackey-Frayer with Producer Susan Treen

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tired in Turin

Murman has lost the will to live and will not be blogging tonite very tired - Team Torino

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Team Torino

Brent, Mike and Murman- Team Torino
I have a second, I was remiss in not indroducing Team Turin.

Ladies and gentlemen, wharing number 14, le'numareaux quatores Mike (Stand by Stations) Killeen.
Mike is our hair and teeth, also known as talent, inside the building. His talents include dealing with and stickhandling tricky and non existant feed times. He is never at a loss for words and is funny as hell with no sleep. Yet delivers his standups and voice overs with authority and clearity. This guy, he a pro.

Wharing number 22, le'numareaux, vent doux Brent Gilbert. Funny witty, he thought the lady sitting next to me on the flight over was DEAD. He does it all. He is producing Vicky G segments, he has been helping out with the shooting, and he has fogotten more about storytelling than some will ever learn. He is currentally settting across the table from me editing the first Vicky piece. He hasn't yet gone for the gun yet, but it's on the table. Brent also has shown his remarkable talent for taming the beast that we call windows 2000. He came up with the solution for up loading photos without a driver.
And of course you all know World Wide Murman.

The Games, They Have Begun

Pronto, Pronto!
Sorry for the delay. Let me just say, it has been a "gong show". Yes team Murman has arrived in Torino. I will appoligize for the lack of photos as a technical problem is preventing me from loading them into the computer. Stand By stations, we are working the problem.

The flight was, less than comfortable. I had a middle Isle seat with a Russian old lady who did not speak any english or german. At one point in the flight we thought she had died.
The layover (7.5 hours in Frankfort) were spent in an Irish Pub. Needless to say I did not sleep for 24 hours.
The flight into Turin was much more pleasent. I had a window seat and had a wonderful view of the alps as we flew over Switzerland. The sun was setting at the time, kit was very humling.
I did get a nice look at the olympic stadium as we flew into the Turin airport.
ALL EQUIPMENT arrived!!!! That was a big relief.
Accreditation was validated at the airport. Things were going very well. We were told to que up for a bus. No Busses for an hour,,, to hell with that. We hailed a cab. This guy made a 45 min trip into Torino injust under 20. This guy then went to do a few test laps at the Fiat track after he dropped us off.
We checked into the media village at the Polytechico and thing were going so far so good. I am sharing a room with CTV producer/storyteller extrodinare Brent Glibert. We get into the room and it is much bigger than I had figured. The we opened the bathroom. NO TOILET SEAT.

The best part of the check in, well at least we had beds. Our colleague working for NBC had warned us about the rooms and the conditions. Lucly I had managed to pack a sleeping bag into a tripod case.

We have found the best little restaurante just about 2 minutes walk from the front gate of the media village. La Restaurente Fattoria, the owner is a guy named Mario. SuperMario.
The food is meraviglioso (wonderful). Very Very good. The vino,,, Bella.
Our first stop was the TOROC media conference. Gong show #2. After a Bus ride from the village. They drop us off at the media center which is located at an old Fiat plant. It a mall and it's huge. They drop us like a mile away from where we are supposed to be. We ask one of the many Volunteers. they haven't got a clue where the media center is. finally we find it and finally we find the press conference area. Now here is where the fun starts. I walk inot the room which is very large and There are two fixed cameras in the center of the theatre. They are host and rights holding cameras. No problem. I set up on the just to the left of them. There are audio feed wires and it all seems good. This young guy come over to me and askes "Where's your sticker?"
And then informs me that this area is for rights holders. I figure I better get used to it. So I take my gear and I go to the front desk area to inquire about an audio feed. Just then a guy from Reuters and ABC ( Aussie TV) comes in and sets up to the right of those same cameras. They have the same accreditation as I do, Non Rights holding. I go and ask about feeds, the women politely tell me to find the young guy with a blue shirt. The same guy that just punted me and sent me to the front desk. He now is embroyled in a big discussion with mr Reuters and mr Dundee. I set up beside the Reuters guy and we all agree that since we are the only three cameras there we are staying.
Well come to find out the guy in the "blue shirt" doesn't understand the press protocal inside the PRESS Conference center. He apoligized later. We asked him if there were more audio feeds. As there are only 12. My friend from down under ( His name is Louie) told buddy with the blue shirt that they might want to get a few more feeds together as by Friday there will be 60 or 70 cameras all looking for audio feeds. I think the guy nearly had a shit right then and there. That sort of sums up the state of readiness of the origanizers here.
Speaking to a couple of my CBC friends from back in Vancouver, they are staying in the same media village as we are, and they told me that the ice hockey venue didn't have power yet. Ah, Italy.
We left the presser,we called our hired gun and asked him to meet us at the press center. As we leave, it suddenly occurs to us that we don't know what this fellow looks like. He is a young blond fellow is all we have to go on.
Mike picks this guy out first. There he is standing outside the secure area waiting by his car. And this discription is for the ladies, (READ Shelley) he is a handsome young medical student, in a long Italian overcoat, hair waving in the the sun, we met "Alberto" our guide to the Piemonte region of Italy.

Well I need to go and edit now, I will continue, I hope to be able to have photos soon.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Well today is the DAY. The three of us leave for our Olympic Journey. The packing is done, the gear is checked and the paperwork is done. I cannot believe how much gear we are hauling. I thought that technology would have made things smaller,,, well much smaller (read lighter) than our SX equipment.
My head has been spinning for a day or so now, going over details ( about gear and logistics). I am sure to some I looked like some sort of unholy undead creature from the B Rate Horror Movie of your choice. But yesterday, during all of the final preps and running around, two of my very dear friends and colleagues did or said something that made me stop and think about the moment. To Tim and Janet, thanks for that.

Although it is a Day of anticipation for me, I also want to point out that someone else in our CTV family is having a special Day. Tamara Taggart walks down the isle today to begin her life together with her bo Dave. Tamara and I had a shoot earlier this week and her cell never stopped as she was making final preps for the "Royal Wedding". I do hope that she sits back and enjoys the Day. Best wishes Tamara, have a safe and wonderful trip together. (Although you would think that Tamara being a "weather" personality would have used that weather machine of her's to bring some sun on her wedding day)

The next entry will come from Italy. hopefully the bags will all arrive with us! TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Maps, We Don't Need Stinking Maps!

Well, the countdown clock is running at T-2days and counting. Gear is at the ready, paperwork in order. Navigation system,,, lets just say we don't need maps. Murman will be using ALK's CoPilot Complete with address to address, EU data base to guide us during our stay in Turin. CoPilot is a GPS Navigation solution that gives turn by turn voice direction anywhere in North America, Europe and as I understand, Australia. I have used CoPilot for several years and found it to be very useful getting around here in British Columbia. The unit pictured is a Pocket PC mounted on my dash as I drive my way to a story. The PDA has a built in GPS receiver. This model has every street in North America in it's data base. In the 3 years I have been using CoPilot software, I have not used a map book or paper map. The software has never failed to get me to a story.
With this kind of track record, I naturally wanted to upgrade my unit with Data in Europe, specifically Italy.

I was first introduced to the CoPilot technology during my first Olympic experience in Salt Lake City in 2002. Alain and Kitty Kornhauser were our companions (you may remember I was at the games with my brother Dan) as we cheered Canada's and Team USA's mens and womens hockey teams. Alain and Kitty are big hockey fans. Alain took an instant liking to Belirus after they knocked off favored Sweden in a quarter final. Kitty, had personal connections with the US womens team and would cheer for Canada as long as they were not playing against her beloved Team USA. Dan worked with Alain and Kitty and loved to proudly point out that although he worked in America, he and his brother would be in our team Canada jerseys win or lose. Needless to say the Maple Leaf would prevail at these games and needless to say Kitty was already looking ahead to the next time gold would be decided. Alain, well as far as he is concerned, Belirus will be his team and if they were to win a medal or spoil a favorite again, I am sure we will not hear the end of it from him.
Alain is the Founder and Kitty is the President of ALK, makers of CoPilot. Brother Dan is a Vice President.
So although the four of us will not be together for this battle on the ice in Torino, they are all there in spirit and it will be their company's device that will keep me from losing my way to the arena.
ALK's web site is and you can check out CoPilot at