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One Month Later...

Haven't blogged much lately.  Been too busy.  But things are looking up this month, so I thought I'd take a minute to share some behind the scenes tidbits.

Two weeks ago I was getting frustrated.  I was having trouble scheduling shoots around everyone's vacations and I was editing a lot of episodes down to the last minute.  Add to that computer problems, things on the website I didn't have time to fix, and a general irritation with my lack of social media skills and I was pretty freakin' unhappy.

And then- last Friday- I got sick.  I woke up in the morning with a sore throat and thought maybe I'd just slept on my back with my mouth open.  But as the day progressed it got worse and worse.  I bought a bag of cough drops and plowed through half of it in a couple hours, ODing on menthol.  I forced myself to make the rounds and take care of some TLTV business, destroying my throat in the process from all the chatting.

When I got home I could barely speak and had no energy.  I was supposed to cheer on a friend at the Sir Walter Miler race, but I was in no condition to stand out in the rain.  Ironically my friend had hurt his back and couldn't run, so I received a barrage of text messages from our running group asking if I would stand in for him.  An opportunity to represent our group had presented itself, but I could barely breathe sitting up, let alone hauling ass around a track.  I respectfully declined and wished them luck finding someone else.  I still don't know if they ever did.

That night my wife retreated to the couch as I tossed and turned in bed, coughing and sweating until I woke up soaking wet around 3am.  The fever had broken.  This was surprising, since the last time this had happened to me I was laid up in bed for three days.  I'd prepared myself for a miserable weekend.  Now it was all over in less than a day.

By morning I felt fine, but my voice sounded like Louis Armstrong.  We were supposed to go to my in-laws for a cookout, but I decided to play it safe and stay home.  Why take a chance on getting everyone sick?

So there I was all alone at lunchtime on Saturday with a newly freed up schedule.  Suddenly I had something I hadn't had in months: time.  I sat down at my computer and took stock of the TLTV situation.

The Yardcast episodes for the first week of the month weren't finished; I'd gotten rained out while filming them during the week and then had to hand the camera and microphone over to Rachel for a shoot she'd scheduled.  With no equipment to finish shooting, the Yardcast episodes would have to be postponed, simple as that.  I was strangely fine with this; those episodes don't get a lot of views anyway so it wasn't like I'd get assaulted with angry emails.

The brewery we'd planned to feature on Das Beer Show in August wasn't ready to talk to us, so I'd postponed the interview.  Matt, Adam, and Kyle had shot another interview with Fortnight the week before, but I'd barely looked at the footage.  Now I had time, so I leaned back and watched it.  It was good.  All of it.  I realized I'd hardly have to cut anything (I don't usually cut much anyway, as I prefer to listen to uncut interviews myself).  So I found where I wanted to seperate the two episodes and started editing.  A few hours later I had two complete episodes.

Suddenly I had a huge boost in morale.  It wasn't even dark outside on Saturday and I had everything ready for the first week of the month.  I spent the rest of the evening catching up on email I'd gotten behind on and planning for Sunday.

The next day, still quarentined in the house, I set to work redesigning the TLTV homepage.  Michele had suggested the slideshow idea to me a month ago, but I never had time to implement it.  Now I did, and in a few hours our new homepage was born.  Michele was absolutely right.  The new layout is a huge improvement over the old one.

As I began inserting thumbnails into the slideshow, Rachel alerted me that she'd posted a new video for a contest.  I watched it and noticed that it featured most of the Nightly Grind crew.  Did she mind if I added it to the Nightly Grind page on our site (even though it's not an official Nightly Grind sketch), I asked?  Not at all, she answered.  And just like that- out of the blue- another of our shows had a new episode to show off.

That evening I was feeling good.  All the episodes for the week were done (and we had a bonus Nightly Grind video!).  The website's front page was updated and I'd caught up on all my email.  Some had even generated replies already- breweries and filmmakers eager to talk to us.  Mapping out the interviews we had scheduled (or were getting ready to schedule), I realized we've got everything lined up through the rest of the year.  Since our pilots came out last February, that means we've made it almost a year.

Suffice to say I'm in a much happier place.  Deadlines are now off in the distance rather than right around the corner and I have a much better grasp on whatever task I'm currently working on.  And my voice is back to normal.  That helps.

I guess every now and then it helps to have a few days free from distraction where you can essentially defrag.  Now that I have things under control I'm looking forward to getting a little ahead of the game.  I've always said I want to be shooting the episodes for three months from now, editing the episodes for two months from now, and promoting the finished episodes for next month.  Maybe by the end of 2014 I'll reach that goal.

Thanks to everyone who's stuck with this so far, and those who are currently working on some great future content.  I look forward to talking about it soon.

Bob.