Category Archives: Journalism

Scratched an item off the bucket list

This past week a couple of big developments in my life – I got my notary stamp and I learned I received a WNPA award – third place in the News Topical Column/Blog category – Crunch Time.

Crunch Time is a weekly sports column at the Cheney Free Press. Every week it rotates between the writers and the editor. I entered a few of my Crunch Time columns after my editor JMAC said he felt my MMA/Combat Sports writing was some of my best work and felt it had a good shot at winning. Two of the three columns I entered were UFC related, but I also entered a column about local sports.

I was beyond ecstatic when my Publisher came to Ritzville and brought me the certificate. Winning a WNPA award is something I worked toward since I started at the Free Press.

Earned a journalism award isn’t why I got into the business and you don’t really certificates to validate the work you do. That said, this was a nice reminder that I am pursuing the right path. It was also a good way to close the Cheney Free Press chapter of my life and really dig into the Ritzville Journal chapter. And I got to scratch another item off my bucket list.


Take Time to Reconnect with Old Friends

If had to sum up my weekend, it would be the words written on this coffee mug I drank my latte from on Saturday.

After we closed the Journal office on Friday, I drove from Ritzville to Spokane to meet up with some old friends.

The reason for this quick weekend trip home was simple — I was homesick and I needed to see my friends. I’ve lived in Ritzville for three months and while I’ve met some good people and have gotten to know a little bit about them through my job, I haven’t really engaged in any intellectual conversations with folks or formed any real friendships. I understand some people are shy and others don’t know how to approach you or start a conversation. In some cases, especially in a small town like Ritzville, it’s because people don’t want to engage outsiders.

The lack of connections and conversations made me a bit paranoid and I started thinking people didn’t want to talk to me because there was something wrong with me. I didn’t feel I was good enough to hold or maintain a friendship. It really wore me down and one night when I was at the Pastime Bar and Grill, I said, “I’m miserable. I want to go home.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do like living in Ritzville. It’s a nice community and I don’t plan on leaving the area for a while unless work takes me somewhere else. I also didn’t want to continue feeling this way because I know if I was worn down in my personal life, it would seep into my work, which would have created more problems.

I first texted Bri and I made plans to see him. Then I texted Jas to see her schedule. Once I was in Spokane, I talked with Cronin, Double A and Lavender Lass (LL). I chose this particular group of folks, because I met them at different points in my life and all of them have seen my growth in the last few years.

Every activity with this group of friends was different.

Hanging out with Bri consisted of a movie, drinks, and some classic Super Nintendo.

I met Double A and Cronin at the Perry Street Brewery with Jaz.

Jaz and I spent most of the night at the Lantern Tap House and partook in its Freshtival beer tasting where we indulged in various fresh hop ales from Oregon and Southern Idaho.

Lavender Lass joined us at the brewery, but she was unable to stay long. I wanted to see her again before I left and, after some wisdom and encouragement from both God/the Universe and Jaz, I met with LL the next day for coffee before I left for Ritzville.

Both of us shared the details and developments happening in our lives. For me, I took away plenty of advice and wisdom from LL on how I can improve my life and I’m already making some positive changes. She also told me she wants to see my adventures in Ritzville.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this trip. I realized that I have people back home who are cheering me on and want to see me succeed.

Even when you move away, your closest friends will always be with you, but it’s important to put in the effort to maintain the relationship, especially if there are people who you want to keep close in your life. To quote LL, perfect friends make the effort and make their friends a priority.

I know I’ll adjust to Ritzville and I’ll make some friends in the next several months, but I won’t forget where I came from and who helped me get to where I’m at.

New things on a weekly basis

Yesterday after I finished work, I ventured to the store and purchased a six pack of Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest. When I went home and I cracked open the first beer, I took a sip and it felt good – I felt like I earned it.

One of the things I love about my job is I get to have new experiences on a weekly basis. This past week, I had three new experiences.

The first involved taking photos of the Lady Tigercats volleyball game against Pomeroy. My editor K.T. had another meeting to attend and asked me to go in her place. To be fair, she took photos of the Lady Broncos volleyball game on Tuesday while I had a meeting.

It was a fun game to shoot because I was able to get close to the sidelines and take some good pictures. The Lady Tigercats lost to Pomeroy in three sets, but they are a scrappy team and have good athletes.

The second experience involved local sports, but in a different way. Every year, the Journal prints out a special page for high school Homecoming that looks like baseball cards for football, volleyball and the cheerleaders. Part of that entails the editorial staff – K.T. and myself – reaching out to sponsors for the athletes. I was a little stressed from this because I haven’t really sold ads since my days at The Communicator and as a shy guy, it was intimidating to reach out to local businesses and attempt to sell the athletes.

I like this idea of baseball cards and it’s a good way to support local athletics, which is one of my favorite aspects of working at a weekly newspaper. Many of the kids have ties to businesses through family and friends, so it wasn’t too difficult. I managed to sell eight so far, but I didn’t feel like I was doing enough. This was my paranoia and doubt creeping into my mind.

I’ve learned over the years that stress and pressure can help you perform, but you shouldn’t let yourself get worked up and stressed to the point where it’s hindering your ability to perform. After a little bit of reflection I realized I did OK with selling the athletes, but I want to do better next week.

Experience No. 3 entailed attending the Teen Scene Escape Room activity at the library after I closed the office. The Ritzville Library has a plethora of cool programs, one being the Teen Scene, which is a way to have middle school and high school students to come to the library. The escape room came off to a slow start with a couple of kids, but more attended after a half an hour. I couldn’t really take pictures because of external circumstances, but I stuck around to support the library and I started helping the kids with the puzzles. It was nice to connect with kids on a different level – usually I’m just the reporter with the camera and notebook. After helping at the Teen Scene, I kind of want to help at the library, but don’t tell the Library Director I said that.
I’ve said this before, but I’m glad I moved to Ritzville. It’s only been a couple of months and I still have a ways to go before I feel comfortable here – but I’m getting there.

Moving to Ritzville

Well folks, you have noticed it’s been a few months since I’ve actively posted on this site. I recently moved from Cheney to Ritzville for work purposes. After three-and-a-half years at the Cheney Free Press, I took the chance and moved west to work at the Ritzville Adams County Journal.

It’s similar to the Free Press in that it’s a weekly newspaper – both are owned by Free Press Publishing. However, the office is smaller and our coverage area is a little smaller. The Journal covers more towns, however they’re small compared to the West Plains and there’s not a lot happening in regards to development. Ritzville is small compared to Cheney but it has a rich history.

The transition has had its bumps but it’s been a good experience. The people in Ritzville are friendly and they say hello. Some folks don’t go beyond a hello, which can be frustrating. Some people think they know you as a person through your writing or from information others give them. There are people who I’ve met and gotten to know, but there’s still a way to go.

Part of this transition has been rough because I’ve spent a lot of time by myself. I was kind of a loner before, but I was always within driving distance to friends. Now I’m a good hour away from Spokane and I’ve had to find ways to keep myself entertained – which includes getting back into World of Warcraft and becoming familiar with some of the restaurants and the one watering hole in town. It’s been a combination of appreciating, loving and respecting myself and coming out of my shell.

I’ve also been writing fiction again, which has been a lot of fun and I’ll try and post some stories on here.

But as much as I miss my hanging out with my friends, I don’t miss the drama. What I mean is there was a lot of drama surrounding a particular group of friends which led to a falling out between them. There was one person in particular who I’ve grown to resent because of things that have happened in our lives – I’ll put it this way, he and I are like family, but I would not want my child to date him. Now I’m no longer in the area where I have to choose sides or anything like that.

Now that I’ve settled in, I’ll continue to post on this site – my goal is to hit 3,000 before the end of the year. I probably won’t be doing lengthy news-type posts about MMA or wrestling, but I’ll have reviews and videos. I’ll also be posting more Pokemon stuff. I’m also going to focus on making the Journal better and helping my Editor meet her goals of what she wants to do with the paper.

Now I’m off to the office, but first I’ll catch that Magikarp at the Courthouse.

Tumblr Post Bombardmant

In an effort to link my Tumblr to this blog, it seems that WordPress has imported many of my Tumblr posts. So if there is a bombardment of pictures and whatnot, that’s why. – Al

#7Fav (Insert Category)


There’s been a recent trend going around on social media with the #7Fav(insert category) here. I fell into the trap and here are my list of #7Fav(insert category)

Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon
Beavis & Butthead Do America
Toy Story
The Bourne Identity
The Avengers
Batman Begins
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Parks and Rec

The Undertaker
Shawn Michaels
Sasha Banks
The New Day (Freebird Rule)
Triple H
Chris Jericho
Rey Mysterio

Duran Duran’s “Electric Barbarella”
KT Tunstall’s “Madame Trudeaux”
Raspberries “Go All The Way
The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
Fleetwood Mac’s “Sister of the Moon”
Styx’s “Too Much Time on My Hands’
The Rolling Stones “Sympathy For the Devil”

Honey Nut Cheerios
Frosted Mini Wheats
Frosted Flakes
Raisin Bran
Lucky Charms

#7FavKnots (stole from Marc Bernardin)
Figure 8
Monkey’s Fist
Spanish Bowline
Diamond Hitch
Alpine Butterfly

My dog Pystol
My dog Jewell
My friend Tina’s dog Yogi
My friend Dawn’s dog
My sister’s dog
My sister’s other dog
Every other one

Steve and Larson
Austin Creed
The Elite
History of Westeros
What Culture Pro Wrestling

What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) is a British independent wrestling promotion. In 2014, YouTube channel WhatCulture Wrestling started making videos relating to wrestling, and in particular WWE. The channel gained a large cult following in-part to its fictional storyline involving predicting wrestling results for the What Culture World Championship. The popularity of the channel’s personalities and the WhatCulture Heavyweight Championship storyline eventually led to the creation of What Culture Pro Wrestling. The inaugural episode of WCPW Loaded aired on June 27 at 10pm BST on WhatCulture Wrestling’s YouTube channel.

Adam Pacitti Tag Title Tournament

Adam Pacitti Tag Title Tournament is a tournament to crown the inaugural WCPW Tag Team Champions. The tournament was announced by General Manager Adam Pacitti and named after him by himself.

Los Perspectiva (El Hijo de Gracie & El Drako)
Prospect (Lucas Archer & Alex Gracie)
Mustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)
Johnny Moss & Liam Slater
The Strongstyle Collective (Travis Banks & Pete Dunne)
Alberto El Patrón & El Ligero
The Coffeys (Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey)
Prince Ameen & Gabriel Kidd

Moving the blog

WordPress has been fun, but I’ve decided to move my blog and stuff over to my new blog.