Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Birthday with the Stanton Warriors!!!

I've been told on several occasions that I'm absolutely nuts because I actually look forward to my birthday each year. And this year was no exception. In fact, it couldn't get here fast enough because one of my biggest dreams was going to come true. I was going to see Dominic B and Mark Yardley of the Stanton Warriors, my absolute favorite dj's in the world, play LIVE at Club Firestone in Orlando that very weekend.

Now, I know this doesn't really mean much to most people, but just understand that I live on their beats and music. In the car, at home, everyday, I listen to something with the "Stanton sound."
Stanton Warriors = a happy Rachel.

So, how was it??? Lookie here:

~Birthday weekend in Orlando to see the Stanton Warriors @ Club Firestone: $200

~Mackin' on Dominic B after the show: free!

~Being invited to sit on stage and hang with my favorite dj in the world: priceless!


My pics of Dom & Mark didn't turn out, but here's a couple of photos of them really setting Firestone on fire! Love you guys!!!

Photos taken from

Listen to the STANTON SOUND!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

TBOD's Big Boys' Toys "DEAN Guitars"

For a day, Rachel Erikson became Rachel E"rock"son.

Our shoot with the legendary DEAN Guitars in Tampa, let me unleash my inner groupie and revive that headbangin' rocker chick that's been hiding deep inside since the heydays of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. Now, if there's one thing I learned about DEAN guitars, it's that they rock. . . . hard!

Their artist list of metal and rock guitarists will make your head spin! Here's just a sample. . . Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, Dave Mustaine of Megadeath, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, John Connolly of Sevendust, Leslie West of Mountain and oh, don't forget the spinning white fur guitars of ZZTop!

We met up with Josh Maloney from DEAN Guitars at their factory/warehouse in Tampa to do a shoot focusing on how they make these bad boys from start to finish. It was such a cool process to watch and I think you'll dig it too! And don't miss Pat, DEAN's on-site guitar bad ass and me in our jam session finale. . . let's just say, it gets a little wild!

Here I am with the guitar I fell in love with, a DEAN Razorback 255 DIMESLIME!

I'm telling ya. . . don't miss the jam session!

The official photo of this unbelievable Razorback, click it to learn more!

Here's a pic of me and Josh Maloney. I gotta send out big thanks to him and all the guys at DEAN for treating us so awesome! You guys ROCK!

To visit DEAN's website or to find a dealer near you, click the banner below!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Are you ready for some "Lingerie" Football???

With Tampa playing host to Super Bowl IVIII, along with it comes the world famous "alternative" half-time show, the Lingerie Bowl. Yep, hot bodies in sexy skivvies will once again invade the gridiron to play 7 on 7 tackle football for the enjoyment of red-blooded dudes everywhere (and maybe a few dudettes too!). The Lingerie Bowl will be held in downtown Tampa, LIVE during half-time.

The ladies of the Tampa Breeze (one of the 12 Lingerie Football League franchise teams competing to play in the Lingerie Bowl), just held their official kick-off party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and I was there to cover the action. Hmmm. . . jealous? In fact, I've been designated to cover the ladies all season, so be on the lookout for more features, including practice sessions, leading all the way up to Bowl time!

Look for footage and interviews on Bright House Sports Network(ch. 47) and Tampa Bay On Demand(ch. 340). Click here to meet the team!

Happy viewing!

CJ's one lucky cameraman!!!

For more photos, visit my Flickr page here!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

TBOD's Big Boys' Toys "ZENN Electric Car & Vespa Scooters"

With the onset of rising fuel and energy costs, Big Boys' Toys decided to go "GREEN" for the month of August! Our goal is to show you new methods of transportation that are super cool, eco-friendly, and easy on the wallet!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

(my "Save The Earth" Meez cartoon!)

We visited the Transportation Station in Clearwater to test drive the 100% electric ZENN car and Vespa Tampa to check out the latest in ultra fuel efficient scooters!

The ZENN (Zero Emissons No Noise) car was super cool and so much fun to drive! It's hard to believe that with a vehicle of that size, all you have to do is plug it in, charge up, and go!

At Vespa Tampa (which is actually in downtown St. Pete), I met up with the owner Michael Wolf and he showed off three scooters that get between 60-90 mpg!!! Hard to believe, but true! He took me for a ride on the MP3 400, a bad to the bone, looks more like a motorcycle than a scooter, 3-wheeled, goes up to 90 mph. . . "scooter." You can tell from these photos that, number one, I'm a dork and two, that I had a good time. . .

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

(video stills Copyright: Bay News 9)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TBOD's Big Boys' Toys "Home Gym Equipment"

Who would have thought that doing a shoot about home gym equipment could be so much fun! Maybe it was the super cool state-of-the-art machines, or the endorphine rush I got from actually working out on camera, or maybe it was gleefully watching Roger (our camera guru) do push-ups on the Power Plate. All in all, good times.

We decided to do the shoot at Gym Source in Tampa mainly because they specialize in the newest, hottest equipment on the market. Hey, the show is Big Boys' Toys. . . no free weights here! We featured the Power Plate, the Expresso Fitness Bike and the Cybex Arc Trainer. I must admit that of the three, the Power Plate absolutely kicked my butt! I vow to never again laugh at "vibration" workouts.

So, to see me break a sweat, head on over to Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Co-hosting Red Bull Flugtag 2008 for Catch 47

Tampa Bay, are you ready for an afternoon of absolute craziness???

Well, get your fix at the 2008 Red Bull Flugtag!!!

Glen Pla and I will be hosting the event LIVE on Catch 47, so don't miss it!!!

When: Saturday, July 19th 2008
Where: City Park @ the Tampa Convention Center
FREE to the public
Airing on: Catch 47 @12:30pm (channel 47 on Bright House Networks)

Come and watch teams launch their "human-powered" flying machines from a 30-foot platform right into Tampa Bay!

Visit the Red Bull Flugtag 2008 website for more details!


Updated: 7-20-08

Two words for Flugtag Tampa Bay. . . CRAZY AWESOME!!!

Despite the grueling heat and the exceptionally long day (4 hours of LIVE coverage!), Glen and I had an absolute blast! Fueled by nothing but Red Bull and Power Bars, we laughed, cracked corny jokes, and laughed some more. How could you not?! The crowd was great, the teams were hilarious, and overall, Tampa Bay's support of this event was just remarkable. Can you believe that over 100,000 people showed up to witness this crazy excuse for a good time! That is a record for Red Bull Flugtag events in the U. S. The most they ever had before was around 80,000. WOW!

Here are some photos of Glen and I in action!

Monday, June 23, 2008

TBOD'S Big Boys' Toys "Gator Paintball" segment

Fear this: Black and army green body armour, electronic marker spitting out 30 hard hitting balls per second, 1 hour of experience in open field combat and let's not forget. . . the blonde ponytail.

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm not fooling anyone. I didn't strike a single drop of fear in the hearts of any of the pros I was up against. But, that's fine by me. My first paintball experience was totally memorable and totally AWESOME!

The guys at Gator Paintball, in Hudson, FL, set me up with the latest baller gear, let me borrow the best marker $$$ can buy, gave me some important safety instructions (so I wouldn't "shoot my eye out"), and then sent me out to battle. They also invited some of their tournament paintballers to come and play a game for us. These guys (and gal!) were serious pros and a little more intimidating than I had expected. All I kept thinking was how they probably couldn't wait to unload those paintballs and blast me into next week.

But, alas, I survived. I hit several times and got hit several times. . . with green paint instead of pink or orange, so fortunately, my favorite camo pants that I wear everywhere will live to see another day. If you are looking for a great stress reliever, a cool day out with friends, or are just super competitive by nature, I highly recommend a joyous day of paint splattering, welt inducing debauchery.

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand!

(video stills courtesy of

Friday, June 20, 2008

My "Virtual Euro-Trip" Xtra Point Trivia Segments!

So, Tom, my producer for the Xtra Point show on Catch 47, thought it would be really cool to spice up some of our weekly trivia segments. The idea was to have 5 weeks of questions about the now defunct NFL Europe and I was asked to create "costumes" based on each country or city we were presenting. . . Amsterdam, Scotland, Barcelona, London, & Germany. He would then make European landmarks "magically" appear behind me, as if I was right there!

To some, coming up with 5 costumes in less than a week might have been pretty tricky. . .but for me??? It was almost too easy. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not have to buy one thing. I love Halloween, I love costumes and if you need it, I got it!

Here are some screen captures from those segments that should be good for a couple laughs!

. . .as a Dutch girl in Amsterdam!

. . . as a matador in Barcelona!

. . . as a tourist in jolly ol' England!

and finally, as a Scottish lassie!

(video stills copyright: Catch 47)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

TBOD's Big Boys' Toys "Classic Cars" segment

Our segment on classic cars just launched and I felt inclined to divulge a story about my life long love affair with a man named Shelby, last name GT500. He was born in '67, has Brittany Blue eyes and sexiest muscles I've ever seen. He likes it fast, demands attention wherever he goes, and is the envy of all who lay eyes on him. Long ago, I would often stare longingly at the photo of him on my bedroom wall that I ripped so carefully out of my Classic Mustang calendar. . . none of the other 11 would do. I dreamed of the day we would be together. Sadly, our paths have yet to cross, but one day. . .

. . .he will be mine, oh yes, he will be mine.
For our shoot, we visited American Muscle, a classic car dealer in Homosassa, Florida. They had a little bit of everything, including the "star" of our show, a Chevelle SuperSport. I absolutely loved driving it. . . thanks for letting me guys! Also, thanks to Paul at
Big Boy Toyz, for setting it all up!
Now airing on Tampa Bay On Demand, Channel 340!

Monday, June 2, 2008

TBOD's Big Boys' Toys "SCUBA Diving" segment

When my producers and I decided to do a SCUBA segment for Big Boys' Toys, I was beyond ecstatic. The kind of ecstatic like a kid getting ready to go to Disney World for the first time. . . it keeps you up at night because you can't stop thinking about how much fun you are about to have!

I had never tried it before, mostly because, in all honesty, I prefer to be "on top" of the ocean! That's why I've always stuck to snorkeling and skin diving where I feel I'm in total control of my breathing. I've been snorkeling since I was a teen and have seen my share of pretty awesome sights!

In Ambergris Caye, Belize, we hired a guy named Ramon to take us in his boat to some of the best snorkel sites, including a visit to "Shark/Ray Alley." Yes, just as it sounds. This is a spot where local fisherman dump their chum on the way back to the island, so naturally there is a lot of underwater activity. It was absolutely unreal swimming with a sea of nurse sharks and rays as big as me! Ramon also took us out again at night to see things from a different perspective. Just like on land, boy do the freaks come out at night! Armed with an underwater flashlight, I saw moray eels, porcupine fish and even made friends with an enormous Goliath Grouper that followed me around the entire swim!

In Tulum, Mexico, the water of the Gulf was as crystal clear as I have ever seen it. They also have "cenotes" which are sinkholes, of sorts. They formed over thousands of years from the cave systems which are so abundant in Mexico. You can dive or snorkel them and check out all of the crazy underwater rock formations. Unreal!

Finally, I have to mention the Florida Keys and the Bahamas, where the addiction began! It all started when a tiny seahorse floated right into my palm. It was one of those life changing moments when you realize how small -you- really are.

So, a great big thank you to Bill Jackson's Adventure Store and Rocky, my instructor, for teaching me a new way to "sea" life! I know it's cheesy, but I couldn't resist! It took me a little while to get comfortable breathing through the tank, but with a little practice, it becomes second nature. Next vacation, you bet I'm putting SCUBA diving on the menu!
Enjoy the show!
Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, Channel 340
Gearing Up!

Am I having fun, or what?

Shooting underwater footage

5 hour shoot is over!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays Promos!

First Post: 5/30/08
Updated: 6/02/08
Updated: 6/22/08
Ok, so anyone who really knows me, knows that I LOVE BASEBALL, specifically. . . the Tampa Bay Rays! I try to go to as many games as I possibly can and, admittedly, spend many evenings glued to the television to see Carl Crawford's diving catches,
Longoria--> Iwamura--> Pena triple plays and Scott Kazmir's "baby face" strikeout guys who look like they could be his father.
This team rocks my socks!!!

Working for Catch 47 and Bay News 9's Toyota Sports Connection has afforded me the awesome opportunity to play host during some of the Rays home games this year. Here are some of the photos and I will be adding a lot more as they happen!

Animations - baseball-01

Tampa Bays Rays Home Game Opening Announcements

With honorary Ball Boy @ Rays vs. Red Sox 4-26-08, Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay Rays Home Game MLB 2K8 Trivia Segment
With trivia winner @ Rays vs. Red Sox 4-26-08, Tropicana Field.

Representing my Tampa Bay Rays & Catch 47!

The Team!


Tampa Bay Rays Home Game MLB 2K8 Trivia Segment

With trivia winner @ Rays vs. White Sox "Country Night!" 5-31-08, Tropicana Field.


Post Game Highlights w/ Rusty

Rays vs. Astros "80's Night!" 6-21-08, Tropicana Field.

My best 80's, peace out, stunna' shade look!

Courtesy of the Rays free sunglasses promotion! Rays vs. Astros, 6-21-08, Tropicana Field.