Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Today was a very hard one for me. My position was eliminated at the company I work for. This means that after almost nine years I am back in the job market.

Over the last 16 years in television I have done everything from; be an on-air talent to producing three TV station websites at the same time. / /

I have worked the entertainment side, the news side and all the other 'sides' of TV.

When someone leaves the online world with Tribune we do a virtual toast to that person. I got mine today and everyone said nice things about me, it made me feel good.

One of these posts brought me to tears and I thought I would share it with you. When I went to work for this company I was surrounded by people like Doug and we treated each other like Family. Check out what Doug wrote about me...


i remember walking into the tower in 2000 and meeting you for the first time at what was supposed to become our annual web convention... i think jeff sherb was there, dean wall & clark bender, and of course so many other ghosts... we truly believed that that bright new era of tech was gonna make us all rich, along with all the other corporate crap about how we "mattered" and were the company's greatest assets. well, we've learned a little since then, & most recently that really, it's just a spreadsheet game about fte's & expenditures & revenue & now with these current dunces, it's not even about being good anymore.

ironic thing is we do matter. maybe we only realize it when people leave, but we matter to all of us because really it's all of us who come through for each other, stay late for each other, go the extra mile so that we can go to sleep knowing we came through for... us. the rest is a lot of dogshit propaganda.

you, rob, are one of the most conscientious, kind, hard working, brilliant, funny, honest people i've known, and i look forward to knowing you for a long time. believe me, i'll remember you and all your good qualities far longer than i'll ever care about what ever becomes of this company.

stay cool, my brother!


Thanks Doug, you are tops in my book
Sunday, November 9, 2008
When Amy came to visit we did lots of stuff around Seattle. We went up the Space Needle and visited the EMP (Experience Music Project) and saw a few neighborhoods around town.

Returning to my house Amy began to upload photos from day 1 of her trip. I went through them on Facebook and enjoyed seeing the Seattle icons I have grown to love over the past 8 years living here.

It was the next day when I saw these incredible images full of vibrant colors. Fall is the most beautiful season here in the pacific northwest! The evergreen trees stay green as all the leaves on the trees surrounding them transform creating a visual symphony of colors that words could not describe.

When I first clicked on the images I asked Amy where she had taken them. Imagine my surprise to learn she had merely stepped out the front door of my own home and snapped shots which should have looked familiar to me.

This whole experience has forced me to recognize that I have lost my passion for some of the simple things in life. To lose the ability to stop and enjoy simple beauty that occurs around me can not be a good thing.

I think it is time to stop, pause and remember to hold close to my heart the things I value and love.

If a kaleidoscope of colors all around me can go unnoticed, imagine what else I am missing!

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Amy arrived in from Chicago last night. We got up early this morning and hit the local Starbucks. Amy had hot chocolate and I had Americano. We headed downtown and went up in the Space Needle, the EMP (Experience Music Project) and Science Fiction Museum. We headed to meet up with Reid to grab a bite of lunch at the Deluxe on Broadway (Capital Hill.)

After lunch Reid decided he had a craving for S'mores. You may be asking yourself, "S'mores in a condo?" The building has a roof deck with a beautiful view of downtown Seattle. I also learned that it has a mobile fire pit up there. Reid had cedar kindling and he started the fire.

Once we got some nice coals the roasting of the marshmallows began. I must admit I've never had S'mores on top of a building in downtown Seattle before. It was a perfect mix of all my favorite things: good friends, S'mores and the city of Seattle.

We all had our task: I tended fire, Reid roasted the white gooey goodness and Amy prepped a perfect mix of chocolate & graham crackers.

I will never forget the day I had S'mores on a roof in the middle of downtown Seattle as long as I live.

Thanks Reid for making such a fun, special and memorable moment for all of us.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Ron howard wants to talk about the election. So does Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler. It's great to see these guys still got it!

read more | digg story
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My boss sent this funny video around the other day. It made me laugh thinking about my own mother trying to make the transition.

This video made me laugh...hard so I thought I would share it.

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

read more | digg story
Monday, October 20, 2008
SPC Jeffrey Waggoner was born October 13, 1975, and passed away on October 10, 2008. He graduated from Puyallup High School in 1994 and from Bates Technical College in 1998. He worked as a control master at Channels 11 and 13. Jeff enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006, and served with the 173rd Airborne in Afganistan. After being injured, he spent several months at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. Most recently he was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington. He is survived by his father, Greg (Millie) Waggoner, Puyallup; mother, Jeane Covey (Dr. Douglas), Sherwood, Oregon; brothers, Major Jason (Brianna) Waggoner, Clarksville, TN; Matthew (Marie) Waggoner, Surprise, AZ; Lincoln (LeAnne) Kopetski, Puyallup; sister, Kayla (Tim) Binnendyk, Portland, OR; and daughter, Paige Waggoner, Sammamish. He is also survived by his special friend, Karin Gudrin, Sammamish; step-father, Robert Thornburg, Portland, OR; grandmother, Anna Burchett, Stanfield, OR; aunts, Sue Fox, Granite Falls, WA; Eva (Dan) Inches, Minot, ND; Adila Gibson, Hermiston, OR; uncles, Jim (Tracy) Burchett, Stanfield, OR; Walter Burchett, Minot, ND; Robert Waggoner, The Phillipines; niece, Courtni Waggoner; nephews, Wyatt and Nathan Waggoner, and Jack Kopetski; and numerous cousins and friends.

I met Jeff seven years ago at work. There is a board inside the security door at work where all the photos of employees are displayed. This was Jeff's photo from that board. I got a picture of it before they took it down when he left the station about five years back.

Shortly after we stopped working together I moved in with him for a while. I have many good memories of backyard BBQ with friends. I got to know his family, they are a wonderful group of good people with big hearts.

Jeff died two days before his 33rd birthday. He was my friend and I will miss him very much. I am thankful for our friend Karl who went with me to his funeral. Jeff and Karl would both tell many stories about the week they spent together on vacation in Mexico.

Jeff and I would spend countless hours sitting at our computers in his house and comparing our music libraries. This is the memory that stands out most and I will treasure it forever. We would sit and share stories about the music as we listened, explaining the whole time why each specific song had impact on our life.

At the funeral they played: Queen "Who Wants To Live Forever" It was not listed on the program as a selection but I am glad they used this song, he liked it a lot.

Goodbye my friend, rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My 'partner in crime' at work is Christine Umayam. Together Christine and I launched the three station sites on the new platform I talked about in an earlier post. We did this in a week and it was an incredible amount of work. We locked ourselves up in an office with no windows and no outside communication for entire days. Although at this point we had worked together for better part of a year, this is when I got to know Christine.

Recently Christine found herself traveling to the Philippines. I will tell you more about why in just a bit. She was gone for three weeks and has been back a few weeks now.

Today she pulls me aside and says "I brought you back a surprise from my trip." So we step outside and she hands me this small carved wooden figure with a barrel around it. She tells me that everyone has one over there. She says just take the barrel off! Not wanting to break it, I was being careful. That is not how this works.. You have to just grab it and yank it off, which is what she did when she grabbed it from my hands. Well, you can see the pictures so I will not explain what happens when you do this.

Can you imagine the look on my face? I said "Thanks Christine?"

We both had a laugh and parted ways to continue our evening.

I go to a computer and, as best I can, describe my new treasure to Google. Of course there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to Barrel Man.

I love my gift, thank you Christine. :-)

Christine was in the Philippines doing work for her organization, Child United. She works to bring education to Filipino Children. You can check out her site to see pictures and video of her recent trip. I know she has tons of content and will be making frequent updates in the weeks to come. The work her organization does is admirable. She is very passionate about her cause and it is one of the things I admire most about her.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This morning I woke, planted my feet on the floor and put myself on track to the shower. I got out of the shower and while grabbing a tee-shirt noticed that I had a message on my phone. This usually means that some fire in the newsroom I work in needs to be put out or something is broke. As I picked up the phone I noticed that the message was from my good friend Amy Mowery!

Amy Mowery
I met Amy about eight years ago. She started working for Tribune Company about a month before I did. A Chicago native, she was at WGN-TV while I was in Dallas at KDAF-TV. Over the years Amy and I formed a friendship that felt like the ones I have had for a lifetime. Through working on projects together and talking on the phone I learned that Amy and I shared passions in similar areas... Internet, TV, Entertainment, Music, Arts..etc..etc..

Amy hit a point a year ago when she wanted to explore other options in her career. Amy left Tribune and started doing her own thing, taking on clients, freelancing and other internet guru stuff. At first I feared we may lose touch. At my work we use AOL Instant Messenger to communicate with other producers in other markets. Basically, Amy and I were online everyday together for seven years.

Jeez.. I really 'buried the lead' on this one....

So the message was from Amy and she was telling me that she is coming to see me! I am so excited to see her. She will visit me Halloween weekend! What a fantastic surprise! I saw Amy recently when I was in Chicago on business but this will be the first time she comes to Seattle to see me. I have so much planning to do now...YAY!

Some of the best blessings in my life have names :-) Tiffany, Amy, Cathy and Ile

I will tell you more about them soon...
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I have watched the web change over the years and I love thinking about ways to present a new web experience to site visitors/viewers.

My first experiences (age 13) on the Internet were not graphical ones. It was in a day when we sat at terminals and used text based browsers like Lynx to 'surf the web'. We were there for the information. We wanted to read articles on Litservs and we sent BOTS to travel the electronic lines and deliver us back loads of information from libraries and various government agencies. I recall the days when I was running a single line BBS (Bulletin Board System.) It's exactly what it sounds like, only one user at a time logged in and the network did not communicate with any other machines.

Today it is all about color and layout. Entire studies are done using eye-tracking technology to determine where a users eye goes first on a page, where did they click, scan left to right or right to left? We create templates with little compartments where content lives based on many variables.

Tonight I found myself on this website:

At first I was irritated, navigating an entire site and not clicking. As my mind wrapped itself around the concept and the techniques of mousing without my finger poised to click...well the concept grew on me. I felt like I was having to pay more attention to what was on the page and where my mouse was. This is a huge positive when you are addressing user engagement.

Check out the site and let me know what you think. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this experience.

I pose the question, "Can you imagine an internet without clicking?"
Friday, September 26, 2008
I have been away for a while and it is way past time for me to start doing a daily update. What have I been doing you may ask?

Work has been taking all of my time lately. I had to move content from an old site and into a content management tool (for the geeks out there we moved to a .NET environment.) You can see the new sites here:
The Portland site was just taken over by a very talented (local in Portland) graphic designer/internet guru and my new friend Natalie Williams. She owns the sharp look of that site in its current form.

It was a BIG project and there will be many changes and improvements in the coming months. That's my excuse for not blogging for the last 4 months.

Tiffany came to see me for a quick visit two weeks ago and it was awesome! I wish she could have stayed longer. We went and watched a hockey game, had good food and great conversation. We saw our dear friend Reid and shared many old memories over a quick lunch. I could count on one hand the number of friends I talk to that I knew in childhood but Tiffany is for sure one of those gems. I wish she lived closer so we could spend time together more often. More on Tiffany over at DA BLOG!

My goal is to post one cool link with every entry. Ever see line art make rhythm?

Today's song of the day is: The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Friday, May 16, 2008
So our one day of summer has arrived!

I am of course just kidding but sometimes that's what it feels like here in Seattle.

Yesterday we did a cool promo shoot for work and here are some of my work friends on location. You may recognize Ile (Tiffany says she is always throwing a gang sign) gettin' on with her bad self!

Then there is Jana who is an awsome person as well. I admire Jana most for her ability to take whatever comes at her in stride and never loses her temper.. it's amazing!

A fun day had by all and I will share whatever genious that Jana and Ile come up with as soon as it is produced!

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Today is my 37th birthday. So i thought it would be fun to do a blog entry about my day.

My mom and dad came up Thursday night. It is nice to see them and that means mom is here for me to give her a card and a kiss for Mothers Day.

So I asked my friend Cathy to get me a Baskin Robins ice cream cake. What flavor did I ask for you ask? I wanted one, if possible, with mint chocolate chip. Cathy was concerned that since Baskin Robins has been running ads for Mothers day cakes that they might have been sold out but she didn't order one and instead went today to get one.
The only cake they had in that flavor ice cream was this, obviously a little boys cake, one shaped like a train.

Do you think i let that slow me down? Of course I got the end piece with the little train face on it! and I started to eat away at it.

Slowly I watched the face disappear until all that was left was one little eyeball. Once I consumed that it was all over and I am very full of cake now :-)

I thought you would find this story funny

Robert, The 37 year old man who will be 8 years old inside forever.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
When friends and family get new puppies, it makes me want one so bad.. Don't get me wrong, i already have two perfect dogs in my life (Reggie and Wally) and I love them both.. but something about a puppy brings out the little boy in me.

The picture is of my newphew Justin's girldfriend and their housemates new puppy. Very cute!)

My dog, Reggie will be 15 years old on Friday. He is an awsome dog!

Monday, January 28, 2008
Ok so, I forgot to tell everyone. I had to have my eyes checked and found out I needed glasses. So during the holiday break I grabbed Reid and we went shopping for eyeglasses. What did I wind up with you ask? Reid picked this really cool pair of steel/chrome Dolce & Gabbana glasses. I have not worn glasses since I was 16 years old. I have needed them all along, I just got vain and refused to get them. The problem became ... I can't see! Now I can. -Thanks Reid

I signed up for three dating sites..well two dating sites and what wound up being a 'hook-up' site. Let's just say that was not the place for me... I am a relationship oriented person... always have been, always will be. Can't teach an old dog new tricks I guess.

I did (which I like because of the interface and how you meet people and are introduced.)

I also signed up over at to see what that's all about. I made some fun friends there but interest in a realtionship has been slim.

I have decided that, for me, this process is too black and white. If you put down in writing exactly what you are all about and then are only matched with people who have also set what they want... it's too rigid... I think I am missing out on a lot of people who would appriciate me. I have decided that meeting someone the old fashioned way may be best.. It's too hard to explain what I am about in two paragraphs on a website. So I give up, but sitll remain hopeful that I will meet someone in real life.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Let me start by saying sorry to have been gone so long. The last two months just seem to blur together for me. Work has been keeping me very busy. I launched the new frontpage Being a TV station webmaster is getting old (it's been almost 15 years now in broadcastng.) My new year's resolution is to tackle my job with renewed interest.

I expect rain here but instead the last few days have been sunny during the day and cold at nght. Now there is snow in the weekend forecast :-( This is a bummer because my friend Cathy is movng this weekend. Labor is booked, truck is rented, leases to be signed Thursday.. No stoppng now.. wi sh us luck. It's not me who can't drive in snow/ice (I was born in this state) it's the other drivers that make it bad to drive in snow/ice here.

So short entry for tonight.. I will have more to say in upcoming updates Here's a tease

"Wednesday: Find out how many dating sites I signed up for. Will I throw in the towell on love and write off men? Tomorrow on 'Making Media, The Virtual Producer"

;-) Night

Song of the day:
Richard marx-Satisfied

About Me

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Robert Riley
I am a pretty easy going person but complex. I love music, film and art. I have a strong passion for the internet, television and websites.
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9/15/07 - Volunteer Park - Seattle, WA

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