Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Update - Summer Has Taken A Fall

After the searing heat and humidity that plagued much of eastern Ontario for the final week of September, temperatures are now where they should be at this time of the year.

The cooler air is refreshing, especially considering the lion's share of my tennis club's year-end championship took place in that hot weather.

In both singles and doubles, I made it to the semi-finals. I'm very pleased with those performances after all of the work I put into my game this season. In fact, I have beaten every opponent I've faced at the club at least once this year except for two players (one of whom is the 3-time defending club champion).

Now, I am focusing on maintaining all of the progress I've made over the spring and summer by playing once or twice a month during the fall and winter.

Next season, I plan on registering with the Ontario Tennis Association to play in an open tournament once a month to obtain a provincial and a national ranking to see where I stand among the top players in the province and the country. (spoiler alert: it will probably be near the bottom).

Work-wise, in September I continued to diversify my media portfolio by working some sports anchoring shifts and another reporter shift, all in addition to my regular weather duties.

My first feature was on 17-year-old tennis player Bianca Andreescu. My most recent profile was on 53-year-old golfer Judith Kyrinis.

In October, I will be co-hosting The Morning Show during the week of Thanksgiving, so be sure to tune in.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Update - Tennis, tennis, and more tennis

I don't have a good excuse as to why I didn't post a monthly update in August, so I'm not going to make one.

Although, August was a busy month, as I worked The Morning Show on Global for a week (which is always a lot of fun) and also included a bit of a working vacation (of which I will divulge more details at a later date).

Sports-wise, my baseball career has come to an end again. The East York Bulldogs lost in the semi-finals of the GTBL playoffs and I think I'm hanging up my glove for good this time.

I mentioned in my previous post that, though my pitching prowess seemed to be better than ever, each time (twice total) I tried to throw multiple innings, I gave up runs.

Well, I only threw single innings since my last post and didn't relinquish another run all year. Unfortunately, for most of the summer, I was dealing with elbow pain as pitching and playing tennis 3 times a week is not a sound strategy.

But in my final outing of the season, I managed to strike out the side, so I am retiring on a high note. Here's my final stat line.

On the other hand, my tennis career is definitely progressing. I had another lesson, this time to learn how to volley finally, and it is definitely paying off. My ground strokes are crisp, my serve is getting more consistent and I'm currently in the midst of a 13-set winning streak (not including a beat down at the hands of my club's defending champion).

This year's club championship starts on September 9 and I'm hopeful for a big run.

My secret weapon could be the tips I received at the end of August. I've added reporter to my weather specialist, fill-in morning show co-host, and fill-in sports anchor role at Global.

I just filed a story on 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu. She is currently ranked in the top 170 in the world while juggling professional tennis and online high school. I think she will make some big noise on the tour in the next couple of years.

Here's the story:

I was also able to steal some serving tips from her coach, former world number three, Nathalie Tauziat. Hopefully, those tips help in the club championship. I will update how I do next month.

Until then, thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Update - Sesquicentennial

I write this monthly update while watching coverage of the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa and the Nation's Capital is just getting hammered with thunderstorms. The rain has turned portions of Parliament Hill into a lake, but there are still thousands of Canadians in attendance celebrating this great country.

Speaking of rain, the start of June saw me take part in the Ride for Heart charity bike ride with a few of my Global colleagues. I last took part in a similar ride back in 2014. That was a 60 km sojourn through the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Ride for Heart traversed the DVP in Toronto and it was a 75 km total ride.

It was the farthest I've ever biked in one day. It also poured rain from the minute I first got on the bike until I got off three hours later. Here is a fake smile I mustered around kilometre 71.

Baseball-wise, I am feeling my age. I am the oldest pitcher men's team I am playing on and my pitching stamina is attesting to that fact. I am throwing harder than I ever have, but I can only throw for an inning at a time. Every first inning I've thrown this year has been a clean inning with no runs allowed. Twice I've tried to come back out for a second inning and I get hit around. 

It's odd because I used to be a guy who could throw 8 or 9 innings at a time. But I suppose that's to be expected after not picking up a ball for six years.

Tennis is going much better. I took the second lesson of my life last month and it's made a marked difference in my ground strokes. I am hitting with a crispness that I've never had before. Hopefully, I can keep it going for the rest of the season.

At Global, I have a few morning show shifts coming up this month, which is always a blast, and a nice of change of pace from my normal schedule. 

Here's a short clip from Global Durham at the end of June.

I will be on The Morning Show on July 4, July 27, and July 28 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Be sure to tune in!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Update - Welcome Summer!

The month of May brought a number of things my way. In terms of sports, tennis season is in full swing and it seems like my game is improving rapidly after a sideways year in 2016 while I re-tooled my serve. 

And, over the past few months, I have found myself missing the game of baseball. So, I decided to do something about it. 

For the first time since 2011, I am pitching again. I am playing for the East York Bulldogs of the Greater Toronto Baseball League (here's my player page), which is a rung below the semi-pro level that represented the pinnacle of my baseball career.

This is still competitive baseball. We will be competing in the Ontario championship in August for a berth in the national championship. In fact, I was named pitcher of the year in the GTBL in 2010 before moving up to semi-pro.

My arms feels great so far and past teammates think I may actually be throwing harder, with better control, than I did six years ago.

Work-wise, I was able to combine a baseball anecdote with the music of Meat Loaf for a fun anchor chat.

At the end of May, I went on a road trip to Vegas and California with two of my best friends from high school. There were a lot of laughs and a lot of potent potables.

I was also able to get a picture on the way back to Toronto with one of my favourite characters from The Office, Toby Flenderson.

"If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Update - Spring Sprung

And so begins the best first week of any month (in my mind anyway). 

Monday marks the opening day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season (the best sport in the world) and it's also the start of Masters week (the greatest tournament in the world).

I'm probably in the minority, but the World Baseball Classic catalyzed my focus on the new baseball season a couple of weeks earlier than normal (and that's with Team Canada laying a complete egg in their three lacklustre games).

The passion from the players in the WBC was contagious.

And Jays fans had to be ecstatic seeing Marcus Stroman weave six innings of dominance in the final against Puerto Rico.

I shared my thoughts on how he did it on Global Durham:

It should be another exciting baseball season in Toronto that's for sure!

Here's my April schedule at Global:

Wednesday through Friday - 5 p.m. newscast for Durham, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton.

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon and 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton. 

Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Update - Winter Time and the Living's Easy

February was a very fun month. Due to a scheduling quirk, I was able to take two vacations down south for sunshine and warmth (although it was unseasonably warm across much of the country).

I spent the middle of February in Puerto Rico. It was the same resort I went to last year and, yes, I did once again run into my tennis buddies from Minnesota. This time we included some after-dark potent potables in addition to the tennis.

I returned to work and co-hosted Global's morning show for a week, which was an absolute blast. I always love filling in on that show. I did everything from cooking segments, a cocktail feature and even ended a show with some yoga.

After my week on the morning show, I was able to get away to Hilton Head, South Carolina for a few days to visit my parents and play some more tennis.

I will be back to my normal schedule in March. 

Wednesday through Friday - 5 p.m. newscast for Durham, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton.

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon and 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton. 

Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Update - Four Years and Counting

It's hard to believe, but four years ago today marked the beginning of my weather career. On February 1, 2013, I started my first day at The Weather Network. I can't believe it's been four years already.

For this blog post, I figured it would be interesting to take a look back at my previous posts on February 1 to document my weather career and see what I was thinking/feeling at each 12-month checkpoint.

February 1 2013 

Before I bury the lede too far down this post, I start a new job tomorrow: on-air presenter at The Weather Network. I'm extremely excited about this new opportunity and can't to get started. I will be training full-time for a month and then will start appearing on-air in March.

This is the opportunity for which I've been waiting for years. My goal has always been to have my main paying job to be on-air and then have time to write novels in my spare time (Books 2 and 3 are complete; now begins the very difficult job of getting them published).

This has been a long time coming. I've volunteered for every single on-camera role I've ever had to this point. I've tirelessly worked at improving my skills and building my resume and, now, to be paid to do what I've always wanted to do is an amazing feeling.

My main takeaway from the above? I'm STILL trying to get a second novel published. It's tough sledding!

February 1 2014

I put together a selection of clips from 2014 to commemorate this first anniversary (with hopefully many more to come!)

I was so impressed with my work from my first 12 months of weather that I have, apparently, since deleted the video off of YouTube!

February 1 2015

The highlight of the first month of 2015 was undoubtedly my cross-country sojourn from Calgary back to The Weather Network's headquarters in Oakville. It was the first time I had ever been in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the ability to see different places and meet new people across Canada was a great experience.

I flew to Calgary on January 10th and returned to Oakville on the afternoon of January 17th. I spent the night in the following cities: Calgary, Saskatoon, Brandon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and Parry Sound (hometown of Bobby Orr).

My favourite moment of the trip was visiting extended family I've never met before in Biggar, Saskatchewan. My paternal grandmother grew up in Biggar (town motto: New York is Big, but this Biggar) and I was able to tour the farm where she grew up and enjoy a home-cooked meal, along with a few potent potables.

That cross-country trip is still the highlight of my The Weather Network. It was an experience I will never forget.

February 1 2016

The new year has also brought a new challenge. I started sports anchor training over the past few weeks and I had my first on-air sports shift in January. My sports anchoring will be sporadic this year as I will be mostly working as a fill-in, in addition to my full-time weather shifts.
I am continuing to add new skills to my media toolkit. And speaking of that toolkit, I've been flexing some more literary muscle recently with the completion of a 15,000-word novella entitled, The Longest Drive.
The story follows the fictional exploits of 25-year-old Mark Madden and his ability, or lack thereof, to navigate life as a professional golfer.
While the sport of choice in The Longest Drive is golf--and how Madden deals with added pressures after winning the U.S. Open and being anointed the Next Big Thing--parallels can easily be drawn from what Madden faces to any professional athlete in any sport in 2016. 

This is when I started to add more sports to my broadcasting career (in addition to my sideline reporting for ESPN) and some more writing.

What will the next 12 months bring to my weather broadcasting career?

Here's my Global schedule for February:
Wednesday through Friday - 5 p.m. newscast for Durham, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton.

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon and 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton.