It all started with that Stanley Cup made of nickels and went downhill from there. Well actually my math problems probably started in grade 11, but they reared their ugly head on Canada AM more times than I care to remember. One day, years ago, I showed a photo of a Stanley Cup that someone had made from nickels. I believe the information said there were $40 dollars worth of nickels involved and I immediately blurted out, “OMG, that’s 8000 nickels!” Well, it was obviously ‘800’ nickels and in today’s world of social media, I was rightly corrected more times in 5 minutes than I was in 13 years of high school. ( before you think I got that wrong too, I did attend high school in Ontario while it still went to grade 13. And that’s a good thing, because I had to take grade 11 again in grade 12, and grade 12 math again in grade 13, which left me going to summer school to get my grade 13 math..I know those totals add up!) You always pride yourself on live TV by how quick you can think ‘on the fly’, but somehow, I always thought a little too quickly when it came to math. I can still see the fear and Bev and Marci’s eyes whenever I would try to tackle something that involved numbers. Marci’s ‘oh. boy.’ still resonates with me. She said it every time I would try to tackle a numbers issue live on the air. I didn’t try to be wrong, it just seemed I was wrong more than right! The only upside to being wrong was the joy and laughter it brought to my cohosts, bless their forgiving hearts!
In my last blog about ‘Overthinking’ retirement, I wrote that I just happened to catch a lady doing weather on Newschannel one day, and didn’t miss it at all because I had certainly done my share of weather for Canada AM and Newschannel. I then wrote “..in fact, I did it about 3,275 times in my career” I then brazenly put in brackets “(calculations of this number available upon request)”. Well, it just so happens that I did the weather over 23,000 times, yep TWENTY THREE THOUSAND times during my career, so I only missed that real number by about 20,000!
Those who worked with me will tell you I was always a numbers and detail kind of guy. For example, I know how many flights I took every year, because I would record them in my daytimer, count them each month, total them monthly, and then add up the number at the end of the year. I know Heather and I spent 2500 nights apart between the time I met her and the time I retired, because I have all my daytimers dating back to 2000 and could easily track the numbers from when we met in 2004 onwards. I know 21 is the most consecutive days we spent together in the same time frame, again, because I kept track of things in my daytimers and when I became curious about that very topic, I was able to go back and count. I can tell you where I was and what I was doing every day for the last 17 years. I can track down a remote I did in Cochrane Alberta, or when I was in Yellowknife, or when I did a tall ships remote in Halifax. I can tell you the date we first did a St. Patricks day remote in St. John’s at O’Reilly’s Pub ( March 5, 2005), and even my flight times to and from Newfoundland. All of these things lead to interesting, to me anyway, facts and figures about my life and times, during my time, at Canada AM. I just can’t do math, quickly, or slowly and deliberately, it appears.
I have a speaking engagement here in Charlottetown tomorrow night, and I was thinking of what approach to take, when I came up with a ‘numbers’ theme. You know, 40 years in the buisness, 23 years full and part time at AM, 22 years between Olympics, 12 cohosts, 15 executive producers, 3,275 weather forecasts..wait..what??? That number all of a sudden just didn’t sound right, or correct. I mean, I knew I worked an average of 210 days per year, when you took away weekends, holidays, stats and arranged leave of absence days. I also know for that last 8 years, I did the weather 7 times per day. 6 of those live on AM and then we recorded a weather after the show that would run on Newschannel. So, let me see, 210 days per year, at 7 forcasts per day, that, I know, is 1,470 weather reports in one year. Using the same math and calculator, that means I did 11,760 forcasts in my last eight years at AM. Oh, and I didn’t forget my other 10 years! With the show format changing from time to time as it did, I had another 10 years with 5 forecasts per day, but 10 more days per year worked. So, over my first 10 years, that’s 220 days per year worked at 5 weather reports per day. That total is another 11,000 weather reports!
In the five years I worked at AM on a part time basis, I can safely add another 1000 forcasts. I worked all this out, because when I speak tomorrow I’ll use the number 23,760 times doing the weather on Canada AM, ‘not’ 3,275. At least I was closer with the nickels!
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Representation: Dan Champagne