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July 06, 2000 - Our work started in earnest today. Yesterday was basically spent unloading trucks and pondering what it's all going to look like in the end. We still did a lot of that today.

The technical areas of the workspace are starting to take shape. Though we are still waiting for telephone lines and electrical power, we have the major pieces of equipment out of their boxes, and cables are starting to flow from place to place.

We are set up in a very, very large tent in the parking lot of the First Union Center just outside of Philadelphia. We are already refering to it as the "FU Center." The reasons for that moniker will be kept to ourselves, for the time being!

The tent, for us, is a great way to go. The other networks are set up in individual trailers, which leads to a whole range of pain the ass factors. Getting the gear into a trailor, through the small door, up the stairs is a pain in the ass. We just backed our trucks up to the tent and unloaded everything into managable aisles of gear.

But the big tent is by no means the only place we have setup work to do. In the coming days we'll start to set up our studios in skyboxes overlooking the convention floor. A bunch of satellite trucks will be pulling in behind the tent, and soon we'll have golf carts to get around between them all!

July 07, 2000 - A little behind on the text and the photos. I've spent the time set aside for that to getting the Time Lapse section up and running. We finally got power to the workspace today, and worked a fast pace so we could go cheer on our Baltimore Orioles as the faced the Phillys in inter-league play. Full details later!

July 08, 2000 - A real good push today. We were short a few folks who went home for the weekend, but made up for it with a busy day. First, we layed out all the cable that will be pulled into the arena, labeled and prepped it. Just between the 5 networks, BellAtlantic is estimating they will pull 1.9 MILLION feet of cable! That's enough cable to run from here to DC and back again! And that's just for the five major networks!

We also did more layout of the workspace, and if you look at the pictures you can see it's really taking shape. We built a few tape editing suites, and ran all the cable that will connect 25 affiliates to our equipment. Tomorrow we put ends on them all!

While it feels like we will soon run out of work, that's a false hope. Once we get done setting up in the tent, we need to build all of our studios, camera areas, and radio systems inside the arena. And once that's done, the production truck shows up and needs to be connected to everything. And once that's done, it all needs to be "faxed out" to make sure every cable it properly connected and working. This is why we are here a month before showtime!

July 09, 2000 - A day spent putting ends on cable, and running more cable. Nothing too remarkable. Some folks from DC arrived today to do the baby pool downtown for the POTUS visit tomorrow that I did the site survey for yesterday - or was that the day before? Wow, the day's are already blending together. This could turn into a long month.

Sorry that there isn't too much text up. I guess we aren't doing anything outrageous or criminal. Either that or we are a little overwhelmed at the work that needs to get done, and the duration of our stay here.

July 12, 2000 - A whole week has gone by and it feels like we've been here a lot longer! It's not because things are going bad, but because of how much progress we are making! We have cables run to all the places in the arena that we need them run, our new digital satellite transmission gear is working great, and the workspace is starting to look more like a television station and less like a storage room!

Of course, there is still a lot of work to do. Even though the cables are all run, they still need to have connectors attached, and everything needs to be checked to make sure it is OK. Preperations for the production truck need to be made, the phone and computer systems aren't even here yet, and the small things are piling up really fast. But if we make as much progress next week as we did this, I might get to go home for a day!


Vital victuals at Veterans Stadium. O's win 2-1 on a great night for baseball.
unloading the truck
running cables
How many engineers does it take to pour a cup of coffee?
Muskopf and Pat Butler adjust a satellite transmission
Sister trucks Fox Two (NY) and Fox One (DC)
Pat Muskopf and Peter Blangiforti
Didier fixes an intercom box
Eric Conner makes cable ends outside