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< "There's not much left" | Main | Sympathies to a legislator >

It's like trying to find lunch in downtown St. Paul after 1 p.m.

Posted at 5:26 PM on April 26, 2007 by Bob Collins (6 Comments)

I wasn't feeling all that great today so I stayed home. I have a laptop that comes with me to and from work, and VPN access from home. So when I "call in sick," it's really a day off for the people who have to work with me. I do the same amount of work, probably more.

I also get to watch -- uninterrupted -- the various committee hearings and floor debates, and update the MFL spreadsheet instantly. Maybe do a little Votetracker work. Yada yada yada.

So I'm watching the Freedom to Breathe Act floor debate and, granted it went on for about 2 hours too long -- I mean how many times do you have to suffer through 83-50 votes totals on amendments to realize the bill is going to pass (I'm guessing on an 83-50 vote) and all you're doing is making the same point over and over again? -- but at 5p.m.... as it does almost every day, the announcer comes on Channel 17 and says "this concludes our legislative coverage for the day." And then we get Clifford the Big Red dog cartoons.

This occurred right in the middle of a roll call vote on an amendment. Sure, I could just guess it would be 83-50, but I spent three hours watching the debate, and now I didn't even get to see the coup de grace!

I've been disgusted with Channel 17 ever since they stopped providing aviation weather. They still put the maps up, but the audio is just the regular National Weather Service computer. They used to run, what's known as AWOS, which is geared toward pilots. I asked them why, and they said because it's easier to close-caption the NWS junk. Bulletin: it's supposed to be aviation weather and there aren't many deaf pilots (just ask me, I'm going deaf and having a hard time getting my medical certificate renewed).

A couple of weeks ago, I actually did need to see the aviation weather (I was planning on a short flight with a friend), and in the middle of it, they broke away -- and this is on a Sunday morning -- for a "special" on menopause.

Who decides this stuff?

There, I feel better.

In other MFL news today, Gov. Pawlenty has just signed three bills -- HF1594, HF448 and HF539 -- so House members are actually scoring some points today. There's some Republicans in those bills, and also Rep. Al Juhnke, who now leads the state in bills signed by the governor this session (5). There. A little MFL trivia for you.

Comments (6)

Now this may REALLY get you going. In Bemidji our local cable station carries the live coverage of House and Senate sessions along with committee hearings LIVE and until they end. Best example was last week when the House Session lasted until 5:30am and they covered the entire ordeal. On the other hand, it was like a bad movie that you paid your 5 bucks to watch and after 2 hours of boredom you make the decision to stick it out hoping that something of consequence would happen.

Posted by Mike Simpkins | April 26, 2007 9:32 PM

"Senator" Tom Huntley has appeared on your rankings list for weeks now. Please put him back in the House where he belongs.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2007 8:19 AM

Once when I was living on Seventh Place downtown Ch. 17 stopped covering a floor session at midnite to go off the air. Good thing I was close enough to walk over and catch the end live. Oh and Great Waters on Seventh Place and St. Peter is an excellent place for lunch downtown after 1pm, not to mention the world-class brew, and I don't mean the new U of M coach (you're welcome, Sean).

Go Carriers!

Posted by Doug Gray | April 27, 2007 12:40 PM

Don't you MPR guys have an in with the TPT folks.

Posted by Brian Hanf | April 27, 2007 4:29 PM

And, if you really want the coverage, Comcast Cable here in St. Paul carries TPT2 which is the Bemidji-style coverage until it ends service.

But I can't justify switching to cable just for this perk, as my nerdiness has a price.

Posted by Nate Dybvig | April 29, 2007 6:25 PM

Save your money. TPT2 today, for instance when TPT1 pulled the plug on a live hearing of HHS, was running some show obviously geared to 13 year old girls.

There's a metaphor there ... somewhere.

Posted by Bob Collins | April 30, 2007 4:58 PM