Friday, March 11, 2011

Tornado chasing: my kingdom for a giant flashlight

In my network "jump and go" kit I've got everything from trail mix to mud boots, from rain slickers to instant coffee. I thought I had everything for every possible contingency.

And this week I realized I didn't have one simple thing.

So the network sends me out Wednesday night to look for a live shot location with a ton of tornado damage. It's the middle of the night and, as is the case with most tornado stories, most streetlights are out.

So I'm driving around, trying to angle my high beams on various scenes of destruction. The only thing going through my mind is, "I sure wish I had one of those giant flashlights that cops and taxi drivers have."

I guess my prayers were answered as I'd just gotten my Ash Wednesday ashes, since a police car was headed in my direction. I flagged it down and two very nice officers took me on a damage tour, shining their giant flashlight on homes and downed trees. They helped me find a good location, and when the sun came up, it was clear we'd found the right place. And they say there's never a cop around when you need one.

So you can add the "giant flashlight" to your list of things you need in the trunk of your car.

-Travel note that has nothing to do with television: What's with this latest trend of hotels trying to outdo themselves with the number of pillows on a bed? For years every hotel bed had two pillows, just like you have at home. But noooo... now we have to be trendy and have four, five, six, even seven smaller pillows.

It looks great until you go to sleep, and when you roll over your head flops between two of the mini-pillows.

I love having coffee machines in hotel rooms. Steam irons are a great idea. But please, can we go back to just having two pillows?


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