Have you seen some of the emails floating around about the supposed construction site radar cameras? Apparently there will be more radar cameras in construction zones on Illinois roadways starting tomorrow. And apparently they will be sending out tickets for going one mile over the speed limit.
I'm not going to say this is a bad idea...because people still drive too fast through construction zones. But I am very curious to see how some of these tickets will stand up in court. There is still a margin of error on speed guns...and it is more than one mile per hour. My guess is that some people will be sent tickets for going 56 in a 55 construction zone, take it to court, and get them overturned. That is just a guess on my part, though.
F, orwarding email jokes is not something I usually do. While I do try to at least skim most that are sent to me...it is not something I try to spend a lot of time doing. But yesterday someone sent me one that I really wanted to share. As someone that has an ocular affliction myself...this one made me laugh out loud, as the kids like to say.
A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.
Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.
‘Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.
'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she says.
They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theatre followed by drinks... They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.
After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap , and stay for breakfast. They had a wonderful, wonderful time. The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed...everything had been so incredible! 'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?'
'No,' she replies. 'You just happened to catch my eye.'
This past weekend was pretty full for me. Because of my schedule I don't get to do much during the week, so a full weekend is a good weekend as far as I am concerned.
It started Friday evening with dinner at some friend's house. I've mentioned here before our friends Bart and Wendi. Bart is a personal trainer, and Wendi of course owns B. Lime. (Okay...they both own the store...but it is Wendi's baby, as it were.) Bart an, d Wendi are in great shape and make me and Emily look bad.
Beth and Garrett are friends of ours that we met through Bart and Wendi. Emily and I refer to them as B and G, and BW, respectively. Garrett is also a personal trainer...and Beth was a nurse up until recently when she went into her family's business. And of course they are both also in fantastic shape. Fortunately for us Friday night was only about food, so no one had to be in a bathing suit. It is almost depressing to spend time with these people! Ah, well. The night was fun, and no one got hurt.
Saturday around noon I ended up going to Matzner Chiropractic in Champaign. They were having a fundraising carnival to raise money for CASA, which is a great organization that helps kids. I am always up for anything that helps kids. As part of the carnival I sat in a dunk tank.
To begin...the water was freaking cold. I think someone kept filling the tank with ice to make sure it was cold. But after the initial shock the water was actually feeling pretty good. For events like this I like to think of pro wrestling. You know...you have heels and faces, or bad guys and good guys. And for this event I wanted to play the heel. My goal was to get under people's skin so they would want to spend money to put me in the water. I think it worked...cause I had quite a few people trying to soak me.
I did not say anything too hurtful, I don't think. But I did let my mouth go into overdrive on a few people. And it worked. I don't have a final tally for how much we raised for CASA, but I know it was quite a bit. I put in $10 myself to try and sink the Urbana police chief, who was a great guy. And I know many other people put in a fair amount. So hopefully CASA got a nice check...which any organization like it needs right now.
After the carnival I went with my buddy Mike to meet another friend of ours in Peoria. The three of us are old friends from back in the day. Mike owns Sound Source Music in Mattoon, and this crowd really introduced me to live music and bands, etc. The point of Saturday night was just to hang out and have some fun.
We basically had 3 options Saturday night. First...when many people think about Peoria they think about the gambling boat. I like to play cards, and hit some slots once in a while...so that was not a horrible option. Although if you are with friends you don't get to see much it is not a great place to spend time together. It is loud in casinos, and if you want to have any success at gambling you have to pay attention to what you are doing.
The next option was to go to Big Al's. Yeah...I know. But when 3 straight American males make plans to go to Peoria for a night Big Al's is always brought up as something to do. For me personally...I'm just not a fan of places like this. They make me uncomfortable...and from strictly a practical point of view...at least with gambling you have a chance to win some of , your money back. There is no such chance at a club like Al's.
The third option was to find some live music. None of us really know the Peoria music scene...but all 3 o, f us are big fans. Mike of course owns the music store, and our other friend Chris is a music legend in Charleston, Illinois, having been in many, many popular bands...Shadoobee, Dr. Wu's Rock and Soul Revue, and Groove Tuna to name a few.
So we settled on the third option and asked around to find what turned out to be a very good band in Tokyo Radio. The club that was hosting this band was apparently a college bar. So we had to put up with that booze-fueled 22 year old testosterone atmosphere. But the music was terrific.
There is not much else I can get into detail wise about Saturday night. So I will skip to Sunday. Yesterday I had some family from out of town gathering in Champaign to do some child swaps. I have a cousin that lives in Indy, and his parents...my aunt and uncle, that live in Chillicothe. My cousin's kids spend a lot of their Summer at their grandparents...and Champaign is the middle point for them to meet to swap kids. So I got to spend about an hour with family that I don't get to see as much as I would like.
All in all it was a filled and fun weekend! But it has left me feeling like I need another weekend to recover from the weekend. This upcoming weekend we are going with my Dad and brother to go see some friends on the West Coast for the 4th holiday. It's going to be pretty cool. I think we will catch some fireworks over the Pacific Ocean.
Tomorrow we will talk about what I did on Summer vacation...including a very long slide show! Heh.
I've been trying to think of something to say about yesterday's celebrity deaths that will not get me into hot water. I have some different views on death, and I realize that this probably is not the place, or at least the time, to break those views down. It does strike me as odd how we get so torn up as a country over a celebrity death.
MJ was extremely talented, and apparently extremely troubled. He gave us some great music, and at best...some odd moments. I feel more over the death of Farrah Fawcett, mainly because she seemed more real, if you know what I mean. Her documentary on her struggle with cancer was recently shown, on our network I believe, and I think it had a positive impact on people. Anyone that has had someone close die of cancer, and unfortunately that probably includes most of us, would benefit from watching her documentary. It provided support and encouragement for people dealing with cancer. (Just my opinion.)
Some say that they both died too young. Maybe they did. But I do know that everyone dies at some point. Those two in particular were , provided advantages in their lives that 99% of all people ever born will never get to enjoy. I tend to believe more in quality of life over quantity of life. And although we all have a certain amount of pain and trouble in our lives...it seems that MJ's 50 years, and Farrah's 62 years, were better than most people could dream to have.
From My Little Sister (6/23/9):
Hey- I wanna see the slide show of your vacation! Great to see ya both :) xoxo
Well to be honest the only pictures I have from the trip are of your HUGE belly!
Okay. I am just kidding. I did get some cool cloud pictures on the plane...
Alright...and your belly is huge, but only because there is a parasitic creature growing in it! (For others...don't be offended, please. This is how me and my sister speak to one another. It's done out of love!)
It was great seeing you, too. And everyone on the plane that Mom told about you (and I think that actually was everyone) says that it would have been n, ice to meet you! Fortunately now they feel like they already know you, Little Sister. Oh, that proud Grandma... (Love you, Mom)
From Tiffany in Woodland (6/24/9):
About airport security- actually...
I believe a big drill was run last year and it found that TSA still wasn't catching enough stuff. I want to say something like 70% of the fake bomb parts or fake weapons or whatever got through screening... I thought that was kinda scary. I'll try to find the news story link for you.
Hi, Tiffany! Maybe that is what seems odd to me about the security. Again...they must be doing something right because no one has hijacked a plane in the U.S. in about 8 years. But it seems that they are looking for the wrong things.
I had an almost empty tube of toothpaste with me. The container was the standard size...but it was obviously down to the last couple of brushes. Even if I had put an explosive in the tube...it clearly would not have been enough to bring down a plane.
Again...I don't want this to come off as complaining, because I am not complaining. I certainly would not want to have their job. But it just seems that the process is a little wei, rd.
From David in Decatur (6/25/9):
Greg, it was not the dinosaurs that created the trash problem, it was the cavemen. And as men do, they wanted bigger, smaller, better, faster, easier, etc, and most of all eventually more profitable products. It is called progress, and unfortunately it has come too far. Most all of the products that have been created to make our lives easier, have contributed to creating a waste problem. Plastic, styrofoam, aluminum cans, disposable bottles. I could go on, but you know what I am saying. Are we willing to go back to years ago, when you returned bottles for a deposit, or all packaging was paper, and we just burned it? One of the downsides of that time was no air conditioning! Wow, what a dastardly thought! A man that I do not know once said "there is no free lunch". And another replied, "we reap what we sow". Mankind will find a way to contain the waste and pollution, which, in turn, will probably kill us all. Keep cool, my friend.
I think you nailed it, David. There is not much I can add t, hat will be worth anything!
Have a great weekend, all. Tomorrow is going to be pretty hot again. Tomorrow night we will get some storms, and there is a slight chance they could get nasty. But after that it will be cooler for a few days...
I don't beat the environmental drum too hard. I'm not completely convinced that there is anything we can do about the fact that our planet is getting warmer. The planet does go through cycles, and we probably are having at least a little impact on it. But I don't know that we should make the issue our number one priority. I just don't know. I've seen both sides of the argument. And unfortunately it has become a political argument, which means we will never get an objective solution that is both good for us and our planet.
But it makes me bat %^&* crazy when I see someone throw away an aluminum can in a regular trash can...when there is a recycling bin not 25 steps away. It drives me nuts to see someone throw away a piece of paper into a regular trash can when 5 paces away is a bin for paper recycling. It is careless, and shows complete disregard for responsible living.
"Hey...idiot! Recycle when you are standing right next to the bin!! Show some respect for not only the planet, but also for our resources!!!"
Have you heard the stories about the millions of pounds of trash just floating out on the Pacific Ocean? Apparently there is an island of trash in the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. Now maybe you want to Snopes that...but just the fact that there is a story like it floating out there means that it is a possibility that we have been so careless with our resources to allow it to happen.
It also blows my mind that you can still drive in any city in the United States and see some moron throw a bag of fast food trash out the window of his/her car. Are you freaking kidding me?? Sorry to get into a rant here...but this has been on my mind a bit lately.
In Champaign our trash service picks up our recycling. So in our house we go through the trouble of putting recyclable things in the recycling bin. And it is actually no trouble at all. We went from having 3 or 4 bags of garbage every week to only having 1 bag of garbage a week, and the rest goes to recycling. Think how much less garbage there would be if everyone did that.
But now I am hearing whispers that the trash people only send our recyclables to the recyclers when they get a good price for it. And when the market is not bringing in a good price for the recyclables the trash service just hauls it to the landfill. Is this true, Clark? And...ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME???
Sometimes I wonder if maybe it isn't time for us to go away and another species to try their luck. The dinosaurs had their chance...and it came and went. We have had our chance...and as a collective have not exactly taken care of this gift we have been given. Are we really that much more concerned about money and profit than we are about having a clean place to live??
So over the weekend me and my Mom took the DirectAir flight from Springfield to Myrtle Beach. The airline makes the trip only on Thursday and Sunday of any given week. There are a lot of golfers around here...so I assume that over the months the flight will get a lot of traffic. Both flights for us were packed, with the Sunday trip home having a few more passengers.
On the trip to Myrtle Beach everythin, g was p, erfect. I had never used the Springfield airport. It is nicer than the Decatur airport, but not as nice as the Champaign airport...just to give you an idea of measurement. Security at Springfield was quick and efficient. The gates were decent...but once you pass through security the only food and drink you will find will be out of a vendin, g machine. The airport does offer free wireless internet, which is great!
The fare for the flight is about $80, one way. Naturally you will have additional taxes and fees that push that price to around $100 one way. So the entire trip per person is about $200, which is not bad at all. Of course...if you want to check any luggage that cost goes up...a bunch. It is $25 for every bag that you check. On the flight home...it is another $25 for every bag that you check. There is no cost for up to two pieces of carry-on, though. So for one person with one checked bag the entire round-trip will cost about $250...which is still not horrible, but still a far cry from the advertised $80 fare.
There were no problems on the trip to Myrtle Beach. The flight was on time, and the plane staff was excellent and friendly. The trip was a smooth one with no incidents at all.
On the way back, Sunday, there was bad weather in Springfield...apparently. We checked into the airport about an hour and a half before our scheduled departure time. There were some people trying to check into another flight, to Pittsburgh I believe, that found out while they were checking in that their flight had been rescheduled for a few hours before it was originally scheduled. So they were not having a great time. DirectAir told the people that they had called everyone on the flight to notify them of the , change...but these people clearly did not get the message. So those people were stuck in town for another day.
After we checked in we went to the security entrance. Myrtle Beach is funny when it comes to security. There are times when you can breeze right through...and other times that I have waited for over an hour just to get through the check point. This particular time took less than 15 minutes.
My Mom checked her big bag...but I pack light so I had my computer bag and a smaller suitcase that I brought as carry-on. Only on the way home I forgot to put my liquids/gels in my Mom's bag. So I ended up having to throw out some hair stuff and toothpaste that were just about empty anyway, and an almost full can of shaving gel. It was my fault...and the security guy nicely explained to me that it is not a matter of how much is in the container...but the size of the container itself. He really was very nice about it...even as he handed me some of my things and told me to walk over to the trash and throw them away.
I am not an expert on airport security by a long shot...and apparently the job these people have done is a good one, because no one has hijacked a plane from the United States since 9/11. But there just seems something odd about the liquid rules to me. Actually...there is something odd about the way they do a few things, to me. I am not going to start that conversation now...but hit me up if you also find some odd things about security and maybe we will talk about it for "Feedback Friday" this week. Use the feedback form at the top of this page.
Anyhoo...back to our trip home. We finally get through security and make our way to our gate. We are sitting there with many other people, most of whom we travelled with on Thursday to get to Myrtle Beach. After a while someone notices that our flight is not on the flight board for our gate. So someone finds an airline employee and asks them about it. The guy they asked had no idea what was going on. As time moved on there were a few more people from the airline walking through, and all of them were asked why our flight wasn't listed. None of them had any idea.
Finally someone with a walkie-talkie used their device and found out that our flight was going to be over an hour late. Apparently the airline knew about it before we even checked in...and did not tell anyone about it. Eventually someone got on the intercom...you know...the one in the airport that is so distorted that you can not understand what the person is saying unless you are standing right next to that person. This person announces that our plane from Springfield has not even taken off yet, and won't be to Myrtle Beach for an hour and a half. And once it lands it will be another half hour before we can board it. So our flight was delayed for almost 2 hours.
Flights get delayed all the time. In the grand scheme of things it is not that big of a deal most of the time. But the airline knew about it when we were checking in. Had they told us we would have got back in my sister's car and enjoyed her for another hour or so. But instead we got to sit in a warm airport for an extra two hours with over 100 angry people. It was a lot of fun!
Add to that...they never told us why we were delayed. My assumption is that it was the weather, because there were storms in Springfield on Sunday, I think. But why would the airline not tell us that? Strange...and irritating. See...if they told us that it was a weather delay we would have known there was nothing to do about it. People would have chilled out and just accepted it. But instead they said nothing to us, and rumors of unnecessary flight changes started riling up the crowd.
Overall, though, DirectAir provided a nice flight experience. The people were all very nice. Not telling us about the delay, and the "hidden" (but not really, if you read the small print) charges were the only irritating parts of the experience. On the way home I even got to check out some amazing clouds. Storm clouds are tremendous when you are flying above them!
I am back at it this morning! Who the Hell turned on the heat when I was gone?? This is a bit ridiculous.
Today I will catch up on last week's "Feedback Friday"! Tomorrow maybe I will share some of my travel experiences...
From Mark in Decatur (6/16/9):
Here's one for you. I'm a new blogger here and I've noticed that we're getting a little bolder about tornadoes. I was talking with Laine at an event and told her that over thirty years ago, when a tornado was sighted, you ran for cover. The only thing you wanted it to do was leave you in one piece. Nowadays, you grab a video camera and say, "Oh look, a tornado!" Isn't technology wonderful!
I think you are right, Mark. Maybe it is because we know so much more about tornadoes now than we did 30 years ago. We tend not to fear things as much when we get to know them. It could also be partly because we have now seen so much video of tornadoes that we think they are not as dangerous...so we try to get the video ourselves. And maybe someone thinks if they get great video they will grab a little fame as well? Interesting issue you bring up, though!
From David in Decatur (6/16/9):
, Greg, it is great for you to be back. I watched the video from Monday, and was moved by the comments. I am just wondering what influence teabags would have on these congressmen. If they can't be made to understand the plight of our country and the contribution they are making to our problems, I don't think the teabags will help anyone but the US Postal Service, and the tea drinkers in Washington. Do you have any ideas on how to get the message across?
Yeah...I don't agree with the tea bag idea. It has a negative impact on the wrong people...and we already know we don't want to stress out postal workers any more than they already are! (Was that a cheap shot? Sorry if it was...) While the Postal Service could use the money...mailing tea bags would create a lot of extra work for them!
I'm not sure how to get the message across, aside from voters getting together and being more vigilant in holding our elected officials accountable. Isn't it a little insulting to us when politicians actually change the way they vote when headed into an election season?? That means they believe that we are too dumb to remember their entire term...and I am afraid for the most part they are right.
Is there a watchdog group that tracks what an elected official says and what they actually do? Maybe that is what we need. A voters' Political Action Committee would be a great way to keep track of what our officials are saying and doing. Since the individual voter can't , keep up with it...maybe if we each kick in a little money each year we could finance a group that would do it for us and keep track of this stuff on a website or something. Just an idea...
From Jennifer in our Sales Department (6/16/9):
Greg-You are the BEST! I didn't realize I was being so harsh but I will stay off your back now! You have moved back up on my list of great people! I feel so special now that I made it into the infamous Weather or Not blog. You are still my fav!
Word, Sister! And I do hope you did enjoy your birthday last Monday!
From Tiffany in Woodland (6/17/9):
If you think avoiding sugar is hard try salt. It's amazing what everyday things have salt in it that you wouldn't think did- and high amounts! Including a lot of drinks! My grandmother has to avoid salt and she's always complaining about how hard it is.
I am so glad I am not cutting down on both sugar and salt at the same time! So far the struggle is going pretty well for me. I have not had pop in about 3 weeks. I do not add sugar to anything anymore...and I have basically stayed away from high-sugar content foods. However...I did have some fudge that my Mom bought in South Carolina over the weekend! But overall it is going well.
You right, tho! Salt is in just about everything. Isn't it Diet Coke/Pepsi that has a tremendous amount of salt in it?
From Julian in Decatur (6/17/9):
Enough about your candy addiction and dunk tanks TALK MORE ABOUT POT
Okay, Julian...why don't you go back to your bag of Doritos and Kool-Aid now...
From Mary Jo in Decatur (6/18/9):
Those were some pretty intense storms. My dog woke me up with the first clap of thunder, so I witnessed the whole thing and tuned you in immediately great coverage as always! Have a great trip and get some rest.
Thanks, Mary Jo. That was not the way I wanted to spend my last day before vacation! The storms that we had were pretty nasty. We had reports of funnel clouds...a ton of lightning...and some wind damage. We also got quite a bit of rain. Now that the storms are done...we have the heat. Did we miss a season or something?? What happened to that month-long stretch of 80 degree weather we usually get to enjoy??
From Cindy in Macon (6/18/9):
Hey Greg, it was pretty nasty Thursday morning but at least while you were off the air we still had our NOAA, weather radio, I wouldn't trade that radio for anything. My son and some of my family doesn't have one so if I hear it's for their area I am on the phone right away warning them ahead of time. I tune into your morning broadcast almost every morning. My family and I were in the tornado of 1996, we lived out on Sunnyside Rd at the time so I learned to pay close attention to the weather and never take it for granted. I hope you and your mom have a good time with your sister and family, just too bad Emily can't go with you. Just have a good time and try to relax.
"Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other.
Even lovers need a holiday, far away, from each other." I think Em enjoyed the time alone! Heh.
It's a great idea, Cindy, to get one of those NOAA weather radios. During those storms Thursday morning we lost our signal for a bit. What do you do when that happens?? Use the NOAA radio. You can get a good one for about $30...and you can just consider it a necessary expense, like a smoke detector.
Those two days of tornadoes in 1996 impacted a lot of people. My in-laws lived in Ravina Park at the time and lost their house. Emily doesn't have most of her childhood things because of that tornado. Fortunately no one was ho, m, e when the twister came through...but they lost a lot of things.
From Sherri in Oakland (6/18/9):
Well I hope u have a lot of fun or your trip. I just had a quick weather question for u about the storms this morning that's kind of confusing. First of all it really hit me off guard because the news last night made it sound like the storms weren't happening till later in the afternoon. Second, I was in Newman, Illinois, which is right on route 36 and I heard no tornado warnings on the TV or radio, your guys channel was froze up like always, but our tornado sirens were going off, its really confusing because we were only under a thunderstorm warning yet the sirens went off. Also I just thought u'd like to be aware that ur watch and warning signs do not show up on the television like they used to before, especially during soap hours and Martha Stewart. Not to be a pain but I am a weather freak and it drives me crazy to see the W on channel 3 and nothing on 17.
Hi, Sherri! First of all...glad to see you survived the storms. Sometimes when the weather gets hot it is tough to predict the timing of storms because the air gets so instable. Sometimes it does not take much at all to get some nasty storms cranking. This unpredictability is one of the reasons it is such a great idea to get a NOAA weather radio.
As to the local sirens...those are run by the local authorities. I believe that every town has their own set of criteria for when they let off those sirens. Sometimes when the situation is really nasty but there are no warnings the sirens will go off just to warn residents. Bottom line...if you hear sirens but do not see a warning on our station...follow the sirens. Back in the day they were also used as "air raid" sirens. Thank God the Cold War is over, huh??
On to the warning display on our station...when the switch to digital took place it changed the way that we have to put out some of our products. We are aware that the switch changed our watch/warning graphics. Steps have been taken to remedy the situation. Just give it a little patience, and we will get it right. These things take time!
And this won't mean much to anyone...but most of the time when our station freezes it is actually your cable or satellite provider. The other morning it was actually us that had the problem. But most of the time it is your provider that freezes. We have generators that kick in to keep things running most of the time. But again...it doesn't really matter to you...because you still didn't have TV, and it doesn't really matter why.
Tomorrow I will talk about our trip just a bit. There is a slide show of my vacation that I am just dying to show you...
So I am in Myrtle Beach. My Mo, m, and sister went out shopping, getting pedicures, and doing some other estrogen-filled Mother-Daughter things. I wanted no part, so I stayed behind. It gives me a good chance to chill out and update the blog.
I've decided to put off "Feedback Friday". At the latest it will be on Tuesday, unless I get a wild hair this weekend. But honestly...today will be my only day of downtime on this trip. The rest of the weekend should be busy...so the blog will probably have to wait!
I'm not sure if we are supposed to be talking about this...but I wanted to congratulate Lee Davis on a pretty big accomplishment. Like most businesses...broadcasting has it's own organizations. Lee was just declared the best medium-market weathercaster in the state of Illinois by the Illinois Broadcasters' Association. It is a pretty big deal. Lee was voted on by his peers. Sorry, Lee, if we are not supposed to mention it!
It's around 1:30 in Illinois right now. So far today I have brushed my teeth, eaten breakfast, fixed my sister's internet connection, and surfed. I have yet to go outside...and I have not even bathed yet. My brother-in-law is at work...and I am just chillin with their cats. By the way...my brother-in-law is TREMENDOUS, and also a professional chef. So we eat extremely well when we visit my sis! You might notice me being a little bit larger when I get back on Tuesday...
Good luck with the storms later today/tonight. It still looks like they are going to be nasty. Buy a NOAA radio...and stay tuned to StormCenter 17...
Well that was a fun morning! I hope this finds you safe. We had some very nasty storms kick up right around 5 this morning, so I did not get the chance to update the blog until now! Numerous thunderstorm warnings, and even one tornado warning had me off and on the air for about 3 hours this morning. We don't catch much of that kind of action on the morning crew...but it is nice to know that I can "still go" when the weather gets dangerous!
Tonight I am using the new Springfield to Myrtle Beach flight to go see my sister! I am pretty jazzed about it. My Mom is coming with me, but Emily has to stay behind. Ah, well. It will be a good family trip for me and Mom. My little sister went and got herself knocked up almost five months ago...so we are going out to stay with her and her husband.
That means that I may miss a blog here and there. I am still going to try to do "Feedback Friday" tomorrow morning...but if I do not I will get to it when I get back to work next Tuesday. It has been a while since I have been on a get away...so it will be nice! After this morning I could use the rest...
At the end of this month I am going to be in a dunk tank. June 27th Matzner Chiropractic Clinic is having a carnival. It is the 1st Annual CASA BBQ Fundraiser. The net proceeds from the event will be given to CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, of Champaign County. The CASA program uses community volunteers to speak up in court for abused and neglected children. The volunteers help by providing an extra set of eyes and ears for the court and child welfare agencies. They really do some good things for some kids that really need the help.
Matzner is , the clinic that I go to for my neck/back issues, and they help me tremendously. A couple of weeks ago they hit me up to get involved with this party. Naturally I did not really know about the dunk tank until I told them that I happened to be free that weekend. Once I said I could show up...they hit me with the tank info! Ah, well. It is for a great cause...and it'll probably be warm that day. So the very cold water of the dunk tank will feel pretty good, I'm guessing.
They are also going to have one of those huge bounce houses, where you take off your shows...climb into a big air filled bubble...and jump around like an idiot! Those things are a blast! There is also a silent auction for some stuff, and face painting, etc. You know...typical carnival stuff. Should be a great time for families. Oh yeah...they are also doing health screenings. Matzner's is a bit of a wellness center, too...so they can put you on the road to good health if you let them!
The carnival will be next to Matzner's at 1712 South Duncan Road in Champaign. I think it starts around 11, and runs until around 2. So if you happen to need something to do that day...come by and try to put me in the water! If you want $$ information...and want to know how to register for the event (so they know how many people to expect)...hit their website.
Along those healthy lines...I've decided to cut back on sugar consumption. This will probably be of little interest to anyone...but it's my blog! My family has a history of blood sugar problems, and I have a true addiction to the stuff. So I am trying to, for now, stop eating extra or added or unnecessary sugar. I have n, ot had candy in over a week! And I stopped using sugar and creamer in my one cup of coffee a day. Plus...I no longer add sugar to anything I am eating or drinking. AND I have not had soda/pop/Coke/sody for a while, either.
So far it has not been that bad...but man have I had some cravings. Sugar is my only real physical addiction. I can only imagine how hard it is to stop smoking or drinking. But I know that avoiding sugar is tough because it seems to be in everything that we eat.
Anyhoo...if I appear cranky some days for a while that is likely what is causing it. :-)
With all due respect to my friend Reverend Robert...on my IPod right now is Keb' Mo'. I love that guy...
Ugh. Enough already!
So yesterday I said happy birthday to my friend Matt. He was happy to see it, and I think he had a good birthday. But the problem with doing birthday greetings is that there are so many freaking people with a birthday on any given day...and on a public forum you just can't hit EVERYONE that is having a birthday.
We have some pretty good people in our sales department. I would even go so far as to say I count a few of them as personal friends. Yesterday I walked by the sales office only to have things thrown at me. Naturally I stopped to see who the culprit was...and as it turns out it was actually one of those so-called friends!
So...for the record...and to get her off my back...HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, JENNIFER!!! I hope yesterday was a good day for you, too!
Some people are so hard to please!
Another person mentioned to me recently that since the blog has been back up that I've been much more serious. This person was lamenting the fact that I have not told any funny/weird childhood stories in a while. Well the plain and simple truth is that I have not felt that funny lately. I think it is a combination of our country's economy, how that economy is really starting to impact me and those close to me plus everyone else in our country, and some other things that I will not get into right now.
Another reason for a lack of those stories is that it is hard for me to think of stories that I can actually tell on this blog! Believe me...there are stories I wish I could tell. But I simply can't, for one reason or another. But in the next few days I will try to think of a way to do some stories without getting myself into trouble.
By the way...if you have not checked out B. Lime's website in a while, Wendi has really brought in some amazing things recently. This Friday night they are hosting the "Tree Thump Didjeridu Co." from 6 to 7. A Didjeridu is a long wooden wind instrum, ent that , is played continuously for a long time. Remember the Ricola cough drop commercials with the dudes on the mountain playing a long instrument? That is kind of what a Didjeridu looks like, in a way. B. Lime has two of these instruments for sale...and "Tree Thump" plays these instruments. It is actually very cool! The music is eerie and beautiful.
For those new to the blog, B. Lime is a "green store" in downtown Champaign that my friends started. This is not meant to be a commercial for their store...but it is a cause in which I have really begun to believe over the last couple of years. Whether...or not...we are influencing this global warming that we ARE experiencing...we still need to make better use of our resources. B. Lime is a place where you can begin that journey.
Make no mistake...our planet will survive whatever we do to it. But...the entire point and goal of our atmosphere is to equal itself out. There is a constant struggle to equalize pressure and temperature. That is why we have weather patterns. The planet will even out anything that we might do to it. The question becomes whether...or not...we will be here when the planet is done. The sooner we start to take care of the planet the better chance we have of making it out the other end of this thing! And if we are all wrong about what is happening right now...then at the v, ery least our air will smell better, and our water will taste cleaner!
--Someone sent me a link to a video that I just finished watching. While I can not say I agree with every word...it certainly gives a person something to think about. A few days ago I mentioned on this blog that it would be nice if the United States' voters could remember who we are and get organized to take back our country. This video, I think, says it better than I did.
--Great news for the City of Mattoon, and all of Central Illinois, came on Friday. The government decided to get back onto the FutureGen Train. You know...when people started going crazy over ethanol I was quick to try to point out that it was only a short-term help, at best. Naturally the people that make corn did not like anyone speaking out about ethanol. But now we are dealing with corn issues because we have to use so much corn to make ethanol. There is no energy "magic bullet". We can not improve our situation without using less energ, y.
I'm not going to say that we should not be trying new things...but to say that FutureGen is going to be "clean coal" is misleading. There is no such thing as clean coal. While FutureGen is another step in the right direction, and will create thousands of much, much needed jobs, in our area...lets not get all cra, zy and go thinking that this plant is going to be the future of energy production. It simply can, 't be, or our environmental situation will not change. Putting the carbon underground still does not reduce the amount of carbon.
--I have to say Happy Birthday to my boy Matt.
--So Friday I dusted off my golf clubs and got back out on the course. There was a memorial tournament in Mattoon at the Meadowview Golf Course. On Wednesday a cousin of mine called and said he needed one more person to fill his team. I agreed, because it was my cousin, it was Mattoon, and it was a memorial tournament for a guy that I knew.
Here is a synopsis of my day on the links. First of all...I had a blast. It is always good seeing family and friends. My 180 degree slice is still in tact. I did not eat enough. I did not drink enough water. I did drink too much of other stuff. I shared a cart with a guy that I had not met until Friday...and my cart partner crapped his pants. (I mean that literally.)
All in all...very memorable event!
The other night when we had storms our little dude Paden kept us up...all night. He has that typical dog fear of firecrackers and thunder. So he was all up in the crook of my neck all night. This did two things...it kept me up all night, and it shredded my neck! So I've been dealing with a pulled muscle in my neck ever since.
In an, d of itself this is not a big deal. I pull muscles in my neck and back all the time, because of my "eye thing". But this morning I am leaving work a tad early to head to Mattoon for a memorial golf tournament. I only play golf now once a year or so. But this is a good cause, so when a cousin of mine called and asked if I'd be interested I said I would love to. ,
Enter my neck!
It is certainly going to be interesting. I have one of those 180 degree slices anyway. But still this morning I am having a hard time turning my head. That means I could quite possibly play even worse than I usually do...which is hard to top. I suppose it could always be worse, though. At least I will be in the sun, hanging with good people, and enjoying good food and drink when I could be stuck at work!
"Feedback Friday"! I've decided to only post some of the feedback I received while I was gone. As I have said...I appreciate the support. And to be honest...without your feedback I probably would not have brought the blog back. But there was too much feedback to post it all.
From David in Decatur (6/5/9):
Welcome back, Greg! No blog from you each morning, , is a day without sunshine! Here's to many more blogs. Cheers!
From Kate in Decatur (6/5/9):
Greg, Forget about the petty person who got you down. Letting somebody rent space in your head is only giving them the power. I read your blog alot and I love it, as do many others. Keep up the good work.
From Carma in Paris (6/5/9):
Great to see your blog back! You have been missed!
From Dena in Shelbyville (6/5/9):
Whooooooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! I am thrilled you are back in the saddle!!!! Welcome back my friend!! I look forward to my daily "fix". Have a great weekend!!!
From Phyllis in Argenta (6/5/9):
Greg I want to thank you for coming back to us. It is a shame that in this day and time some people can be so petty, but at least you are big enough to not let them get to you for long .(ha ha) We know who the better guy is .we enjoy you so much keep up the good work..
From Cindy in Macon (6/5/9):
Greg, it is so cool the blog is back up, I know I really appreciate you being there for all of us. I feel like it's a place for all of us to vent or just laugh and have a good time and to hear other people's thoughts and ideas. It's hard when you find out someone who is supposed to be a friend really isn't. I'm sorry that happened to you. Thank you for your advice and welcome back.
From Angie in Charl, eston (6/5/9):
Welcome back. You were sorely missed. Remember that wonderful quote about it only taking one person standing silent for evil to flourish....thank you for not remaining silent.
From Amanda in Blue Mound (6/6/9):
GREG!!! I'm SO HAPPY that you're back...and hopefully for good! I've been missin your blogs terribly, and like you've already mentioned, there are many other who have too. Many people will come and go in your life, but just remember that only the important ones will stick around and support you and like you for you! Never let anyone bring ya down!! You do a GREAT job with the weather and an AWESOME job with this blog. Keep up the good work, Greg!! Oh..and have a WONDERFUL weekend!!!
From Shelley in Decatur (6/8/9):
I, for one, am glad that you are back! My mornings just haven't been the same. Now I can get back to a more "normal" routine. By the way... what's normal?... and why should we strive to BE normal? LOL! Anyway, glad you're opening the blog back up! Even though I didn't give much feedback in the past, I truly enjoy reading your insights and the insights of others'. Glad to have your bloggin' noggin' back in the saddle again!
Thanks again, everyone, for the support. I also want to thank again The Suits around here. There is one in particular that I have known for a long time now that is tremendous. And without this person's handling of my "situation" I probably would not have re-started this blog.
The feedback continues...
From David in Decatur (6/9/9):
Hi Greg, great to have you back. I have someone to "debate" with again. About Lebron's failure to congratulate the Magic team. I think that these men, that are playing for huge amounts of money and pride, should be given some time after a game to unwind, before telling the opponents, how "Happy they are to have lost to them" When I played golf a few years back, I was questioned by my fellow players how I could be so angry at myself and my game right after finishing, and as soon as we reached the watering hole, I immediately become jolly and congenial? I told them, it was because the anger was derived from the game and my play, and I needed to get away from the "field of battle" for a few minutes, and back to reality. It is wonderful for small children, and even high school and college players, to be able to shake hands after the game, but in the professional ranks, this is their living, and career. Character building time is over, and this is it. Pro athletes owe some of their time to fans and sports writers since they are public figures. But they need time to wind down after the game, They deserve it.
You bring up a good point, David, and one I had not really considered. These guys do get paid for what they do...which might actually change the rules a bit. I guess it boils down to whether...or not...you believe that these pros should be considered role models. I've heard good arguments for both sides. Charles Barkley, I think, was the first pro athlete to speak out against the assumption that they are role models. Interesting topic...
From Rebecca in Owaneco (6/9/9):
I agree with legalizing marijuana.
The government could use it like cigarettes, to generate revenue via taxes.
It could also be regulated and the quality could be more uniform and users would not have to worry about smoking something that could poison them.
If you are worried about users smoking and driving or operating machinery, apply the same laws that are currently used for alcohol.
I'm sure you've already said all this, but I think people need to be reminded that marijuana is more like cigarettes than cocaine.
Good points, Rebecca. Also...the biggest reason to legalize, in my mind, is for medical purposes. When you look at some of the CRAP that is sold by pharmaceutical companies as legal medicine...you really have to wonder why pot can't be used. There are countless stories of cancer patients on chemo using pot to deal with the nausea that chemo brings about. Seriously...how are you going to tell some dude who has a few weeks to live because of pancreatic cancer that he can't use pot to increase his comfort in the time he has left??? I certainly don't want to tell him.
Compare the side effects of pot with some of the side effects of some of these legal pharmaceuticals. As I recall...pot does not cause anal bleeding or leakage. Pot does not elevate your blood pressure, does it? Does it impact your liver enzymes like a statin? Some of these pharmaceuticals cause you to have to take other drugs just to deal with their negative side effects. It's not like a cancer patient is going to smoke pot and then have to do a line of coke to offset the impact of the pot.
From Sherri in Oakland (6/9/9):
Yes we should legalize marijuana but they never will! How will they tax it, when ppl can just grow it in their own backyards and act like they "bought" it? And the gas prices r making it so that ppl, can&, #39;t even go to work because it's outrageous. And truthfully as a single mother I do believe I'm gonna have to start burning wood to survive around here if Ameren hikes their prices up any more...But what can we do about it??
Here is what we can do about it...we can be more diligent in our voting preparation. We can be more vocal about our displeasure. Write letters to those already in power. Write letters to those that announce they would like to be in power. Letters to the editor are a good way to get the word out. Sending feedback to this blog is a good way.
I've always thought that the biggest problem in our country is not the government...it is the American voter. We seem to have forgotten that our government works for us. We get complacent because we don't remember how to get organized. Where is this generation's MLK? Where is this generation's Malcolm X? Where is our JFK...or Robert Kennedy? If the American voter gets together with other American voters and remembers who we are as a collective...we can get the country that we want and deserve. Now if we could only agree on what kind of country we want and deserve! Just my opinion.
From Jennifer in Decatur (6/11/9):
Greg, Glad to see that you are back. I love, love, love the profile pic of Dusty. Now he won't have to be jealous of blogtime from Paden. Keep up the good work. :)
Sometimes you have to take extra measures to keep the peace in a household, Jennifer. I am sure you know this! So yeah...I put a recent picture of Dusty on this blog where my old, ugly picture used to be. Now when I go home I don't have to listen to Dusty complain about Paden's abundance of face-time around here!
Thanks again, all! Have a great weekend! Again...feel free to send feedback, questions, etc. Use the form up top, or if you have something to say that you prefer not be posted to the blog send it to my email address!
Recently there was an award ceremony that was...long overdue. Her, e is a link to a story about it: http://cnn.mlogic.mobi/cnn/archive/archive/detail/318428/full
Things like this sometimes embarrass me as a citizen of the United States. We strive so hard to be the "shining light" in the world. Stories like this just go to show you that sometimes even we fail to live up to our own standard.
Don't get me wrong.., .I am not saying that we should revolt because of this. I am sure someone somewhere at some time thought they had a good reason for not recognizing these men...but for over 60 years?? It is GREAT that these men were finally recognized, and the men in attendance were obviously appreciative. But think of the men that passed before credit was finally given for what they went through.
It just seems to me that someone at some point WOULD have realized that these people should have been officially recognized for what they went through at Buchenwald. One of the suvivors had been lobbying literally for decades for some recognition. At least he was one of the people in attendance at the event.<, /FONT>
For some reason yesterday the email alerts were not working. I sent them twice...but nothing happened. The issue should be resolved this morning, so I apologize for yesterday's non-emails!
With Spring comes flowers, and with flowers comes danger! Someone sent me this link, so I thought I would pass it along. It lists some of the deadliest plants to humans and animals. Check it out if you care to check it out! Bad Flowers!!
I forgot to mention the other day when we were talking about the rules around here that every Friday is "Feedback Friday". That means that on Friday I will post *most* of the feedback you send me through the week/weekend. You are free to bring up anything you want to bring up. Keep in mind if i, t obviously would get us in trouble I won't, post it...but I will probably still reply privately to you. But you are more than welcome to give your opinion on anything, or ask a question(s). This is a pretty open forum.
I feel like a lot has passed since we last "spoke". Much has happened that I have not been able to discuss...so we will catch up this morning!
A few random thoughts...
--I see that the marijuana issue was ignored by the state legislature. Again...I happen to think it should be legal. But I can see why the leaders would not want to tackle the issue right now. We clearly have much more to worry about than marijuana.
--The state income tax is already painful. I am afraid that raising it anymore will cause people to leave. You know there are states that have no in, come tax...and they manage to make their states work pretty well. http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=130684,00.html
But then again...not having income tax does not necessarily make those states cheaper. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/incometaxandtheirs/a/nostatetax.htm
It is a tough issue to be sure. But my fear is that the "perception" of a more expensive state because of high income tax will keep people away...which really hurts the Illinois economy.
--I think LeBron James showed poor judgment and HORRIBLE sportsmanship after Orlando kicked them out of the NBA playoffs last week. After the game LeBron walked off the court without shaking hands with anyone from Orlando. This is something that kids are taught to do as soon as they start playing organized sports.
Yes LeBron...if someone kicks your butt at a sport...you ARE supposed to walk over and congratulate them. You might even wish them luck in the next round. This is something that people like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Bill Russell di, d (although Russell did not lose much). You know...the true legends and leaders of the sport...
--Can we give up on the Blagojevich's already? Rod was denied the opportunity to go on the reality show that we air on StormCenter 17. So what next? They decide to hook Pattie for the game. Ugh. It will be nice when Rod's tri, al is over and they can just fade into the distance. Didn't he disgrace our state? Why are we still wasting time on him? I say we let them find other ways to raise money for his lawyers that do not include keeping them in front of us.
--Ameren is asking for another rate increase. http://www.wandtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10493539
Ugh. That's all I can say about that without getting myself into trouble!
--And speaking of ugh. Ha, ve you seen gas prices recently? Yep. We are still getting hosed. I read an article on Yahoo recently that said the biggest reason for the recent hikes isn't actually an increase in consumption. The article stated that the reason was the anticipation of shortages a few months from now, and the anticipation was causing gas companies to horde supply. Yeah...explain to me again how we are not getting screwed by these people?
--Here's a little weather for you! If you are a person that gets concerned about severe weather...try this link. It is from our website...and it gives you access to severe weather predictions and such. It might help ease your fears if you can grab a sense of control over this severe weather.
Aight! I feel more caught up now. Thanks again for the support you showed while I was "away"! It means more than you know.
Feel free to send feedback using the form above.
"Weather...or Not" rules and regulations:
1) This is not just a weather blog. Once in a while we will talk about weather. Mostly we deal with the "Not" part of the name of this blog. Why? Because it is my blog and I am not interested in always talking about the weather. Sure...I am a weather guy. But my life is about a lot more than what I do for a living (Life = 20% weather + 80% everything else). This space is about me and you getting to know one another in a way that we can not do through the other part of my job.
2) Given that we don't just talk about the weather here occasionally I will probably at some point type something with which you disagree. We appreciate dissent on this blog! Many times I actually hope that people disagree with what I type. If this means you...then you are more than welcome to send feedback through the blog telling me how wrong I am. And guess what?? I will post your feedback and we will discuss the issue. We are adults, for the most part, and here we will have adult discussions about some of the issues. If you have a beef...raise it...and we will figure it out.
3) I will post any feedback that you send unless it is something that would obviously get me in trouble. This is still a corporate website, sadly...so no cussing. Don't bad mouth other people, other than me or public figures like Rod Blagojevich. I can take it, and so can Rod. But I am not posting feedback that disparages any of my co-workers or local people that would not otherwise take a public beating.
4) I am not a pot head. (This one is mainly for my co-workers!) Just because I happen to think that our country should decriminalize marijuana does not mean I smoke a lot of pot. Sure...the "Greg is gonna get drug tested" jokes have been a riot, but I would pass any test given to me at any moment. I don't even take Tylenol.
5) Let's have fun around here.
6) As a general rule I am not a fan of rules. I don't like to be told what to do in any area of my life. , It bothers me that I need to post these rules...but I want to make sure we are all on the same page with how this here blog works. The suits around here are generally good people. Up until recently th, ey did not pay much attention to this blog...but now they do. While we will still not shy away from difficult topics, I am not going to let what happened before...happen again. (And if any of my co-workers that read this have a problem with something on this blog please do me the service of being an adult and bring it to me. "Whistle Blower" rules were meant to support someone turning in employees for sexual harassment or illegal actions. I don't think this blog qualifies as either.)
7) If you wish to send me feedback for the blog, use the feedback form at the top of this page. Keep in mind if you use that form I will likely post it to the blog. If you want to tell me something outside of the blog just use my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
8) It is a great idea to sign up for the email alerts. The form is also at the top of this page. I send out the alerts anytime I update the blog. I also use the alerts to keep you updated sometimes, like when the blog is completely off the website!
Someone that was supposed to be my friend threw a dagger in my back. Many, many of you have sent me emails asking why the blog is down. Well...that is why. Naturally I can not give you details on the situation, and I will probably earn myself a conversation telling you this much. But this blog is not just something for me to do. It has bee, n a , conduit between me and you, and I take it seriously. I've always said that I will always be honest here...and I feel that I should at least mention why the blog has been down lately.
I think the person that tried to make things difficult for me wanted the blog to stop. It's the only reason I can think of for what happened. And honestly...that is what I intended to do. I was hurt and a little angry about things. So I figured that I would just walk away because it was not worth the stress or trouble.
And then you jumped in with emails. Thank you for reminding me why I did this blog in the first place. It feels good to know that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy doing it. I've said on this blog before (and you could read it if I hadn't wiped the archives!!) that I truly feel that we are on this planet for each other. And in a time of the completely insincere 24-hour news cycle, automated everything, and overall lack of finesse in our society...this blog was a place where we could go to be honest, discuss topical issues freely and without "talk show hysteria", and get to know one another.
So aft, er taking several days to reflect and compose my spirit...I have decided to get back on the horse. I know who the person is to whom I refer above. (Don't ask me, cause I am not telling!) And I will not let the pettiness of one person spoil what has become a true source of joy in my, and now I know your, life. Sorry for being derailed for a bit...and thank you for the reminder of what this blog means.