Because of my abbreviated work week this week I have decided to make this "Feedback Wednesday". There is not a lot of feedback anyway for this shortened week. So it all works out. I will be gone from work all of next week, too. But I will occasionally be posting on the blog. So…if you don't want to miss out just check back every morning to see if there is an update.
Hmmm. Wait. That seems like a lot of work. There has to be a better way! If only…
Hang on just a second! I've got it!! You can just sign up for email alerts right here on this blog! That way when I update the blog you get an email letting you know. And you won't have to keep checking back on the website to see if it is updated! Although…if you keep checking back I would get credit for more blog hits. Either way is cool with me. You decide!
From Phil in Cissna Park (12/28/9):
Good morning Greg!
As I was watching the moisture wrap around that low...I kinda had a hunch we would get more that a measly inch. What a beautiful snowfall.
I saw where some kids were actually going out and buying presents for needy ones, as opposed to just concentrating on their own. Yes, the commercialization of Christmas has sadly overshadowed the TRUE meaning of the event, the birth of Jesus...I agree.
Lastly, I saw where the Weather Channel has an program they call "Weather or Not" that they are airing. Not sure what it's about, I REFUSE to watch! LOL!! Have a great day.
I am not sure what that Weather Channel business is all about, Phil. I saw it on a program guide the other day but decided not to check it out. See…I should have had the name "Weather…or Not" copyrighted! Of course…it was Mikaela (Hunt) Thorpe's idea. And I know there are other blogs, etc., that also carry the name. So it was not mine originally anyway. Oh, well…
Also from Phil (12/29/9):
Greg, what an excellent blog today! I couldn't agree with you more on this view and the fact that some people just insist on driving faster only to find themselves ditchbound. You can tell people the roads are slick until you are blue in the face...but for some reason not all will heed your advice. They won't adjust their departure time, accordingly. They won't adjust their speed accordingly...and then they wonder WHY ME? I've noticed a lot of 4WD vehicles in ditches and overturned in some cases...why? Because they felt invincible, and believe me, they're not. Ice does not discriminate as to what kind of vehicle you drive. Slick is slick and the ditch is sitting there just waiting for you whether you drive a car, truck or bus. ARRIVE ALIVE" is the best encompassing statement I can think of. As you stated, it's bad enough to be in a ditch...but if you are in a remote area or somewhere of less frequent travel you may be there awhile. You may DIE there just from the exposure to the elements around you. I would suggest preparedness, slowing down AND adjusting your travel time accordingly. Preparedness involves a lot, and the Red Cross (428-7758)can advise people on what they should have to make survival a stronger possibility. We do this, as you do, as a service to your public. You do great work, Greg. WAND does great work...don't let this topic get you down. Our job has been done, my friend. The rest is up to the individuals themselves.
Maybe some day car makers will make a car that automatically slows down when the road conditions are poor. Of course by that time we will prolly just enter a destination into our car, sit back, and enjoy the ride while the car takes us where we need to go.
That's it! Only two pieces of feedback this week. Thanks for playing, Phil!
Have a safe New Year weekend, all. Remember…it is ALWAYS better to let someone sober drive your car if you are out boozing it up. Better yet…call a cab and stimulate the economy a little! See you in a little over a week!
--I realize this is a couple of days late…but here is a great link to road conditions in Illinois. From what I can tell they update it quite a bit, so it appears to be fairly accurate. It is IDOT's website, so I guess they should know what the roads are like!
--A couple of you suggested that I was a little hard on Christmas last week. Maybe those people were right. I still do not agree with loading everyone up with presents on Christmas. And I still do not agree with just setting aside special times of the year to show "spirit". But having designated holidays does make it easier for people to plan to get together. Of course, I don't have kids…and having kids maybe some day might change my mind about this present issue. Who knows? I don't claim to have all the answers. But I did promise to be honest on this blog…and this is how I feel about Christmas at this point in my life.
--My weekend was terrific. I spent time with some very good friends. Hope you had a good weekend, too. That snow from yesterday was a bit more than I thought we would get when I left work on Friday! For part of the morning I watched the snow next to a fire (that I actually intended to start) while I writhed in agony over my losing fantasy football team. Aside from the fantasy football yesterday was a great day. The first "real" snow of the year was a beautiful one, from my point of view.
Merry Christmas! I hope no one floats away today before the rain changes to snow through the morning. Hang in there. It is very, very wet…and pretty windy. Not exactly ideal Christmas weather…but the human spirit shall endure! By the way…in keeping with my apparent theme this week on the blog I feel I should tell you that I am ashamed of what Christmas has become in this country. I know it is not this way in many homes around here…but I am talking overall in this country. It has become a big bag of over-commercialized crap that barely resembles the Holiday as it was meant to be. Just my opinion. And as always I would love to hear yours!
I do know many, many families that are reverting back to old school Christmas by cutting down on the commercialization and materialization…and just spending time with loved ones. Kudos, my friends! This isn't to knock people that buy a lot of presents. Giving does feel good. But look at "society". When stores start pulling out their Christmas, or HOLIDAY, stuff before Thanksgiving you know the fix is in!
--I have not looked into this matter enough yet to form my own opinion. But most people I have spoken with are saying that this new health care bill is a scam. I have heard that there was so much bargaining going on between the lawmakers that this thing is a muddled piece of crap that really only benefits the insurance companies. Again…I have yet to really dig into this bill. This is just what some people have said to me. So if you have an opinion about the proposed health care bill send me feedback with your thoughts and we will deal with it next week! Are we going to get the shaft…or is this going to be a much-needed step in the right direction??
--Another issue I have not really investigated was brought to my attention yesterday by an email someone from Shelbyville sent to me. It involves a trucking company that apparently closed up shop. The problem was that they did not tell anyone before they closed and still had truckers all over the country. Now these truckers are apparently stuck where ever they are, without the company gas cards and resources to help get them home. Here are a couple of links for you to check out for yourself, and maybe if it is legit you would be inclined to lend a hand.
--As a follow-up from the charity blogs over the past couple of days…someone sent me a link to a website that breaks down what some of the larger charities have collected in the past, and where the money really goes. I believe the information was posted in 2006, but it still illustrated the point I was trying to make.
Okay. Merry Christmas…it's time for "Feedback Friday"!!!
From Mark in Downs (12/21/9):
I've been cooking professionally for 10 years. I glad you tried to make breakfast this morning; sorry things didn't go so well. I can give you a tip. You can use a flat top griddle. It is electric and sloped so that the grease will go into the trap. Start the bacon first at the top and then when the bacon grease starts to head in to the trap you can use that grease to cook your pancakes. Then have 2 plates ready, one with a towel for the bacon and one for the pancakes. Here is a good quote I came up with. "With every failure, you become better. So keep trying."
Great quote, Mark! And thanks for the tips. I am not likely to quit trying entirely, as I am interested in getting better in the kitchen. But I am still passing on the tougher recipes until I am confident I can make some of this stuff WITHOUT endangering those around me that I care about!
On a side note to the kitchen fiasco…some of the hot burning grease did manage to make its way into my sink, and down the drain. This is apparently not good. The other day after I painted my wall I washed the brush and roller out in the sink, which is something I have done before without a problem.
This time, however, the grease had formed a bit of a blockage. I opened my dishwasher yesterday to run a load of dishes and found pretty blue water filling the bottom of the dishwasher. Apparently the water going into the drain from my paint cleaning was funneled into the dishwasher! So now I have pretty blue dishes to match my pretty blue wall!
The problem has since been resolved, and all is well in the Trumbold kitchen…for now!
From Phil in Cissna Park (12/24/9):
Greg, you are NOT wrong. Charitable organizations on both local and national levels need to be scrutinized and held accountable. Regular audits done by a third party CPA firm or the like, is one of the best ways to do this. Kudos, my friend...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Be safe in your travels.
Thanks for your opinion, Phil! And not just because you happen to agree with me!
From Doug in Mattoon (12/24/9):
Stick to your guns and ideals Greg. I agree with you 100%.
from the desk of Dougie B in "Muh-TUNE"
I'm trying, Doug! Tell "Muh-TUNE" I said hello!!
From Greg (12/24/9):
Your last two blogs have really disturbed me. I read your blogs because I find you humorous, but I think you have some warped thinking on some issues, particularly giving/charity. These "mass charity organizations", (as you call them), exist because people have to be stimulated in order to give (most of the time). For the most part, we, as people are fairly greedy and self-centered and we don't really keep the focus on helping our neighbors as much as we should; therefore NEEDING a "mass charity organization" to help those people in need. Now, there are some rare breeds of people that truly do want to help people and they actually do follow through with their commitments of their gifts of time and money to help people. Think of the last time that you got out of bed and thought, "you know, I would really like to go bless someone in need." If you are anything like me, that is not the first thought that occurs, or even if it occurs at all. And if you actually fulfill your commitment to giving to someone in need, that would be even greater still.
In your words, "when a station does something like this there is money to be made. When a sponsor is named for a drive or event that sponsor is paying to have their name associated with the event…" As long as the need is being taken care of, why does it really matter? I actually don't think of how much money a business is making off of helping a charitable event, and really who cares? I am just glad they helped that event, and maybe made someone else's day a little brighter. As long as the need is being fulfilled…who cares who gets praise for it?
Another thing I would like to point out to you is that there is a difference between giving and charity. It is far better to give than to receive. The people that actually can grasp this concept are the ones that make a difference in the world with each gift that they give, because they expect nothing in return.
One last thing, something that you mentioned in your blog is about the individuals earning a salary that are in charge of these events. They are not using their salaries for their own personal gain. That really doesn't even make sense if you think about it. Just as anyone else has a job to do, these people are providing a service to the community and meeting the needs of the community. How does this get used as their own personal gain? These individuals SHOULD get paid, and they should be prosperous. The same as you are prosperous in your own career. You do a job and get paid for it, same as charity organizers.
To begin…this was not from me. It was from a Greg that sent an email due to the size of the feedback, and Greg did not indicate where he was from. But he did give his first and last name…which I respect.
Greg…first let me thank you for your honest opinion. The basic logic of this feedback set up dictates that I will mostly get feedback that agrees with me. I mean…unless I was being completely inflammatory all the time like a Rush Limbaugh or Bill Maher…only people that like the blog will send feedback. And most of the people that like this blog will be more inclined to agree with me, I should think. So I love it ANY time someone calls me out when they disagree. We respect opinions on this blog, and I love the free flow of ideas and thoughts. So thank you for contributing to that.
I don't really want to get into a "point counter point" with you on this. You make some great points…but I think some of your points might not conflict with what I was trying to say. For instance…you state that people can be "fairly greedy and self-centered", and need to be stimulated into giving. That is the exact reason I suggested keeping an eye on these very large charitable organizations. Some people…even people put in charge of these organizations…don't always make sound decisions for said organizations. Corruption must be fought when loads of money are involved.
The other thing I want to say is that I made it a point to say "Now let me be perfectly clear with what I am about to say. The end result of these "drives" is that people that need a hand up usually get a hand up. That is the most important aspect of these events. The people that come out and volunteer for these drives, and the people that come out to support these drives, are good people doing good things. Again…I have no issues with people showing charity and giving to other people. That is one of the backbones of any good society. And as long as the end result is that people get what they need…cool. That is the point. But don't be fooled into thinking that these events are completely about helping other people."
While I may choose not to support these large organizations in lieu of doing what I can in my own little world to help people…these groups do a lot of good. And I am not against them. What I am saying is that they should be closely monitored. Cissna Park Phil up above on the blog got what I was saying, and I think he gives a great idea.
From Mark in Decatur (12/24/9):
I sir applaud your blog about questioning some of these "Charities". That's called skepticism (if I spelled it wrong, my apologies).
With the economy the way it is, people ought to ask questions as to where their money is going to. That's called an educated consumer.
Most charities are legitimate and can be trusted as to where your hard earned bucks are going to. It's the ones that come to a community and fleece the flock of their cash and take off that needs to be arrested.
The best policy to follow is the adage, "If it sounds too good to believe, it probably is". Check out the group or organizations first, ask to see references of contributors and get a hold of them and ask if you can see how the money is distributed.
By the way, I was one of the many people who contributed a toy for the campaign.
Dude…you just called me sir! How cool is that?? And thank you for supporting the toy drive. The guy that was from "Toys for Tots", Hubie, and I had some discussions about charities during the toy drive. Not only did Hubie teach me that "regular" folk should not say "Semper Fi" to a Marine (it's something they only say to one another)…but Hubie also softened my stance on charities a bit. He is a guy that has been in his country's military and served well. He owes no one anything in this country, and yet he freely gives of himself to help other people. This cat is the epitome, in my view, of what giving should be.
You give good advice about checking out charities. Sadly…huge tragedies like Hurricane Katrina, and the attack on 9/11, often bring out the scammers. We have had some of these low lifes around here before trying to scam people. You can never be too careful.
From David in Decatur (12/24/9):
Hey Greg, Merry Christmas to you, my friend. Just wanted to say how nice it was for the gas stations to give themselves a present. Oil prices dropped, but gas went up 18-20 cents per gallon for the holiday weekend. Can't you just luv em?
Merry Christmas to you, David! YES!!! I noticed that the other morning on my way to work. I guess it is a function of assumed increase in demand that drives the price of gas up before weekends and Holidays. But man…it sure does make it seem like we are getting hosed, doesn't it??
From Jennifer in Decatur (12/24/9):
Greg, First off Merry Christmas tomorrow! Hope you have a wonderful one and a great new year! It has been a pleasure reading your blog and I continue to do so. My husband and I were driving home from errands today and saw a mama dog in the middle of the road in the pouring rain. I got out and called her over to the side of the road. Thankfully the house that I knocked on the door of was the house of her owner. That mommy dog and her babies will have a happier Christmas now that she didn't get hit in the road! As far as those charities that are not being honest, what goes around comes around is what I say. Hoping for all of this rain to ease up soon, I would of much rather had snow. :)
Nice job, Jennifer! That was very thoughtful of you to help the pooch. I'm still up in the air with a lot of spiritual matters…but I like to believe at some point your kind act will return to you. I certainly hope it does, anyway.
From Cindy in Macon (12/25/9):
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Greg to you and your family, I hope you get everything you asked for this year. I'm glad you survived the grease fire and it wasn't any worse than it was. The best way to fix Bacon is put it on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through. It's really good that way and you don't have to watch it the whole time. I'll have to send you an email and tell you what I was going through at the same time you were locked out of your house, we'll compare stories. Have a really great Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Cindy! I have seen bacon made that way, and it does seem to be safer. And I am looking forward to hearing your own story…
Enjoy the Holiday, all! Next week will be a shortened week for me. I have worked most of the Holidays this year so I could get New Year's off. Over the next few weeks I prolly won't be around a lot, but I will keep blogging once in a while during my little stints away from work. Be safe!
A number of you called me out for yesterday's blog. You can read what is below if you like, but to sum up yesterday's blog I questioned large charitable organizations and drives like we had at StormCenter 17 yesterday to collect toys for kids. Let me say right now that I have no problem with people being charitable. The problems I have with these things do not stem from the fact that 1) some people need help, or 2) people come together to help said people that need help.
As a matter of fact it was heartwarming to see how many people came by the station yesterday to drop off toys and money. I've said this during the news, on this blog, and on the radio around here before that this area happens to be one of the more giving areas in the country. You can't throw a dead cat around here without hitting some kind of toy drive, food drive, or other event being thrown to raise money for kids, poor people, sick people, military people, animal shelter, etc. And I think that is awesome.
Now let me be perfectly clear with what I am about to say. The end result of these "drives" is that people that need a hand up usually get a hand up. That is the most important aspect of these events. The people that come out and volunteer for these drives, and the people that come out to support these drives, are good people doing good things. Again…I have no issues with people showing charity and giving to other people. That is one of the backbones of any good society. And as long as the end result is that people get what they need…cool. That is the point. But don't be fooled into thinking that these events are completely about helping other people.
When a station does something like this there is money made. When a sponsor is named for a drive or event that sponsor is paying to have their name associated with the event, so in turn their name gets out there in a good way so they can earn more money. It is this aspect of these events, and larger charitable organizations, that I question. It's the money made on the side of these events that raises my eyebrow. It is the money made that makes me question whether these events would be held if there was no money in it for those involved.
I can't name any one organization in this blog because I am not stupid enough to name one. But these national charitable organizations usually have a few people in charge that earn a salary. So people are making money from these charities within the organization. Is that wrong? Probably not, in and of itself. But it certainly provides opportunity for unscrupulous people to take advantage of a situation for their own gain. This is something we have seen happen before with major organizations. People skimming from the top and not acting in the original purpose of an organization has happened before, and will likely happen again.
So while these organizations do a lot of good every day for people that need a hand up…we certainly should not give them carte blanche. They need close scrutiny and observation like every other large group that involves a boat load of money (government, organized religions, professional boxing, etc). That was my point yesterday…but sometimes I don't always get my point across very well!
I expect to catch more grief from this morning's blog, too. Some people at the TV station had issues with yesterday's post. I knew that I would get some grief when I posted it…and I assume the same will happen from this morning's post. But I promised honesty on this blog. And I promised to give you a piece of who I am. I would not be interested in typing this blog anymore if I had to hold back what I really feel.
"Feedback Friday" is tomorrow. Just because it is a holiday does not mean you can't feedback me to tell me I am flat out wrong!
--I've been doing some things around the house lately. You read of the door saga, which was actually an accident. But it caused me to have to do a little work around the house. I tried to make breakfast the other morning and literally almost burned the house down. Over the past few days I have been trying to repair and paint a wall in my kitchen.
Right off the bat I have to admit that I had a LOT of help patching two holes in the wall. But yesterday I painted the thing alone. As you might have surmised by now I am not the most graceful when it comes to household projects. The painting of the wall, though, went off without a hitch. The freaking thing actually looks good! And no one was injured this time…
--Today is the "Season of Giving" campaign at StormCenter 17. All day long people will be in front of the station collecting toys that will be given to kids that might not otherwise be able to get toys for Christmas. Not that this is about me…but I am always conflicted about these types of things. Sure…there are people that need a hand up once in a while. But overall I tend to shy away from mass-charity organizations. I have always felt that if everyone did little things for other people the huge money-making organizations would not be necessary. That is how I try to live my life, anyway.
I know these organizations start as a good idea. It is easier to help people with pooled money, as opposed to individuals trying to help other individuals. But for some reason when large groups of humans start getting involved where a lot of money is concerned…I get nervous. I can't imagine why I would feel that way! (Religion…the personal growth industry…the diet industry…government…professional boxing…you get the idea.)
But here we are. And lo and behold it is I that will be outside helping collect toys for kids. We will be all over the programming this morning and through the afternoon. I will be doing the "cut ins", as we call them, up until the noon news. After that other people will be doing the cut ins.
And remember….if you are so inclined to buy a gift for a kid and drop it off at the station today, make sure you tell the person that takes your gift that you read about it here. There is an in-house competition to see who can drum up the most presents. While these types of "drives" are not something I generally support or believe in…I am all about winning any competition!
At the very least drop by and laugh at me being forced to stand outside in the rain, wind, and cold through the morning! Anything for the kids, I suppose…
A couple of you have already dropped off some presents for the big toy drive we are doing tomorrow. I appreciate your giving nature. Again…tomorrow we will be doing a toy drive with "Toys for Tots". All you have to do is buy a toy and drop it by the TV station tomorrow during the day. You don't even have to wrap the toys. And then "Toys for Tots" will give the toys to the Salvation Army, who will in turn give the toys to some kids that would not otherwise be getting anything for Christmas.
When you bring your toy by the station be sure to tell the person you give the toy to that you were prompted to go to the station by reading this blog! There is a little competition going between the bloggers around here to see who can bring in the most toys. I think it will be between JC Fultz, Brian Jodice, and me. Those other two cats have Twitter followers, too…which personally shouldn't count as far as I am concerned. But whatever! If they need to use their Twitters to drum up more interest then so be it. I have faith in my blog readers (you!), and I am confident that come Wednesday evening you will put me over the top in this competition.
So I am calling on you, Gregorians, to help a brother out. Oh yeah…and help give some kid you don't know a happier Christmas by giving them a toy this season!
--I had quite the adventure in my kitchen yesterday morning. I was trying to make pancakes and bacon. The pancakes were going well…and so was the bacon. But at some point things took a nasty turn.
As a general rule I stay out of the kitchen. This is not because of some patriarchal belief that only women should cook. It is not because I am lazy (NO…Seriously!!). It's just because I am usually not very gifted in that department. But yesterday morning I got a wild hair and decided it was a good idea for me to make breakfast.
Bottom line…I let the bacon cook too long. Did you know that there is a point at which grease spontaneously combusts?? Apparently when it gets too hot it just pops on fire. Well that is what it did in my frying pan, anyway. So let's just assume it to be scientific fact at this point!
Were you also aware that water is NOT the way to put out a grease fire? I already knew this bit of information. But for some reason the foot high flame shooting off my frying pan made me forget the fact. Don't worry, though. It was the four foot flames shooting out of my sink that quickly reminded me that it is much better to NOT use water on a grease fire.
Fortunately for me I had a towel in one of my hands…the hand that wasn't covered in flaming grease…and I used that towel to smother the grease fire before anything else caught on fire. I realize that I'm pretty lucky at this point. We run stories all the time about how someone's careless actions cause them to lose their home in a fire. I am fortunate we are not running one of those stories about me this morning. The only casualties here are the frying pan, a rug that caught some burning grease…and my manly pride.
--This Wednesday will be a big day around StormCenter 17. We are having a toy drive. All you have to do is go buy a toy of some kind and bring it by the station. You don't even have to wrap it. We will collect the toys most of the day Wednesday and then give them to "Toys for Tots", who will in turn give the toys to some kids around here that may not get toys otherwise.
When you bring that toy by the station make sure and tell the toy collectors that you are there because you read it on this blog. Our sales staff will be outside collecting toys, and they will be keeping track of this stuff. See…a couple of those sales types started a competition to see who could bring in the most people. I would like to win this competition. So if you decide to give a little on Wednesday…be sure to tell them I sent you!
One of my very best friends in the world is Mike Kallis. Mikey owns Sound Source Music in Mattoon. The store carries everything you need to start a band, basically. There is a group called NAMM, which stands for National Association of Music Merchants I think, which has a couple of conventions every year. At these conventions are vendors to show their wares to owners of music stores. Companies like Fender and Yamaha bring their latest stuff to these shows to sell them to the merchants, who in turn sell them to you and me.
Back in the day Mike used to actually invite me along to these events. Some of the bigger vendors usually have private parties and concerts. They bring in one of their bigger endorsers to do a small concert. Kenny Loggins has done shows. I got to see Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) one year. I think the best show I saw at a NAMM event, though, was Eric Johnson. He is a guitar player that might be one of the best, ever. (Just my opinion.)
Eric Johnson has a song called "Cliffs of Dover" that is just fantastic in every sense of the word. If you have ever played "Guitar Hero" you might have heard this song. This week someone sent me a link to something that is very impressive. Someone took their outside Christmas lights…combined them with a "Guitar Hero"…and "Cliffs of Dover". The result is tremendous. Here is the link: Very Cool!
From Christine in Decatur (12/11/9):
i'm diggin the new pic of the pup. i have to say, i might have a quite unnatural obsession with my dog... do you ever feel that way? i don't have children, but i imagine the love i have for my dog is comparable to that which most have for their children. is that creepy? :) anyway, i hope the cuties are doing well.
The new pic is of Paden. Obviously his life has gotten worse since I pulled him off the mean streets of Decatur!! :-)
I don't think your love for your dogs is creepy. Like you…I don't have kids either. Maybe some day I will…but for now I am content loving the crap out of my little pooches. I consider them to be my kids…and I am proud to say that. You should be, too.
Too many people have a set idea of what life is and should be for everyone. If you have kids and are proud…awesome. But no one should judge anyone else's life. So be proud, Christine. And don't ever question if the way you live is creepy! (Thus endeth my life affirming speech!)
From Anonymous (12/14/9):
Yes…I agree there has been too much of news on Tiger. I don't golf, or like the guy much, so I just don't care.
Now for the News reporting in general. I could not believe how our President announcing in advance, that he's adding 30,000 more Troops to go to Afghanistan. Does he, or the News reporters want the Teleiaban to leave the country to be safe. What happened to the element of surprise? We would be speaking German and eating with chop stick if that practice was used during the Normandy Invasion during WWII.
We have a reader/feedbacker that often prefers to be unknown. That's cool with me. Just tell me that you don't want me to use your name. I only use first names most of the time anyway. We do that so no one can get pinned down for sending feedback from work! (But I know many, many of you read this at work to help break up your day!)
You bring up an interesting point, my friend. I do not know much military strategy. But I used to play a lot of Stratego as a kid. The element of surprise is supposed to be one of the biggest advantages, isn't it?
Having no idea why they do what they do…I, for one, will just trust that our military leaders know what they are doing. That does not mean, however, that we should not question the Hell out of them about the decisions they make. I would love for someone to ask the President the question you just posed. How do they deal with the element of surprise when the administration comes out with this kind of an announcement??
Hey…here is a quick thought. Why is it so hard for some people to NOT answer a ringing phone? Have you ever noticed this? Some people will break their butts just because a phone rings. Weird. And completely unrelated to any of this feedback.
From Adam in Decatur (12/14/9):
goooood morning glad to see the sun! I think they are going a little deep with Tiger. Yes it may be a story but we have men and women dying for the freedom of others, to me may be a little more to report on than someone's love life or lack of. Just my thinkn'.
Dude…preachin to the choir on that one! I have yet to see an in-depth story on the new rush of troops to be sent overseas. Granted…we prolly don't know specifically who is going. But certainly there are enough military families around that could at least be asked about their struggle and sacrifice while loved ones are overseas. I know I would love to hear their stories of courage far more than stories of how much "strange" Tiger has collected over the years.
Maybe stories like this have been done recently, but I have not seen them. My point is…you turn on the TV even this morning and you will see at least one Tiger update. Yet…you have to search for stories on the military families. I think those stories should be the ones that are crammed down our throats. You know some of the families that have soldiers overseas are struggling to even feed their kids? Now you tell me how the Hell we as a country can allow the families of our own soldiers to NOT have enough money for basic needs! Shameful.
But before I get off on a major rant…
From Phil in Cissna Park (12/15/9):
Good Morning, Greg! I couldn't help but laugh at your blog today. My friend, laughter is always a good thing...it is the best medicine that life has to offer. Then, my usual "thing" is to inject myself into a given situation to see what I might do differently. I've decided, that if the shower curtain was not one of those clear ones with fish swimming around on it...and if was of a color that would coincide with said holiday, that I would've left it on the table. After all, look how easily it coul, d've been cleaned afterwards!, !
Geez, Phil. I t, hink you really are o, nto something there!&n, , bsp; You need to see about patenting that idea. The shower curtain table cloth! Brilliant!
And yes…laughter truly is the way to better health. I won't push my own agenda down people's throats…but man…laughing feels good. Most things in my life either start or finish with laughter. Even the really crappy times…
From Mary Jo in Decatur (12/15/9):
Sometimes it's really tough to let friends and family in, but once you do you find out really quickly how much it can take the sting out of the tough periods in your life.
Word, Sister. Agreed.
And again…I happen to think I have the best family and friends in the world.
From Amanda in Blue Mound (12/16/9):
Good Morning Greg! LOVED the shower curtain story!!! I was having kind of a bad night and when I read your little story I laughed and it made my night better :) , Thanks!<, /p>
Well I am SOOOOO happy my embarrassment served to make your night better, Amanda! Next time you are having a bad night just give me a call. I will step on the end of a rake and let the handle fly up and mash me in the skull! Anything to make you happy!!!
Okay…the above was just playfulness. Seriously…people ask why I put that kind of stuff on the blog. The answer is always simple. It's because we are all human, and we all have stupid moments. I am happy that my stupid moment raised somebody's spirits for a little while. Rock on, Amanda!
From Mark in Decatur (12/16/9):
I read your entry about you locking yourself out of your house.
One night, I had just returned home after a party and pulled into my driveway. I have a garage door opener so I don't have to get out and open it manually.
When I pulled the car into the garage, I pressed the button to lower the garage door. It acted like it hit the rear bumper of my car and went back up. I backed my car out and tried again with the same results. It took three more times to realize that the garage door itself was broken!
With the help of a relative, we got the thing to close. Miraculously, two friends of ours came by the next day and repaired the door. So in closing Greg, you're not alone pal, others probably had worse things done to them.
Thanks for the story of encouragement, Mark! I have also had the garage door break on me. It turned out that one of the big springs had snapped and needed to be replaced. Expensive!
When stuff like this happens I tend to be frustrated at first. But then I get some perspective on the situation and eventually laugh about it. Like you said, Mark…there are people having a harder time at any given moment!
From Phil in Cissna Park (12/17/9):
Good Morning Greg. Sounds like you're having a better morning...though you handled yesterday's fiasco quite well, I must admit. I also commented on J.C.'s blog, however he doesn't have a email notification of blog post like you do. Perhaps if this was added, he may develop an audience.
Yeah…yesterday morning was a much better morning for me! While trying to get the door back in working order I did manage to smash my finger and get a blood blister. I used to do that a lot growing up, and honestly…I miss them. It was fun to pop the thing and watch the blood spurt out!
I think the thing with the other blogs is that they are not updated enough. You have to give people something to read consistently or they just stop hitting your page. But getting email alerts might certainly help, too!
From Angie in Charleston (12/17/9):
I didn't think you were grouchy at all....and I apologize, but I laughed so hard at this story! By the way....very impressed that you can kick in a door. I'll leave it at that....
It is the HGH, Angie. That is how I kicked in the door. See…I am a huge fan of Tiger Woods. He uses HGH…so I use HGH. He uses a 2 iron as a driver, so I use a 2 iron as a driver. He likes to give his waitresses an "extra" tip, so I like to…oh…never mind!
What? Too early for Tiger jokes??
From Jennifer in Decatur (12/17/9):
Hi Greg. Sorry to hear about you getting locked out of your house at 2 in the morning. You're right, you don't have a lot of options at that time of day. After it happened to me couple of times and I had to climb through the window to get back in the house we decided to do the "hide a key" thing somewhere outside. All of the times that I got locked out was because of the dogs too. It's funny, you would think that the animals would be the ones to get thrown off by not following the routine, not us humans. :) Hoping to have a White Christmas, maybe Mother Nature will cooperate? You take care of your self and I'm sure that all of us will enjoy having you in our households during Christmas! :)
White Christmas? Hmmm…I am on record at Talk101 in Decatur as saying we will NOT have a White Christmas. I'm still out on that limb and saying it will not be a completely White Christmas. It could be a white and brown one, though. A little bit of white on the ground…but I think that will be about it!
Enjoy the weekend, all! The wintery weather is starting a bit this morning. By tomorrow morning we could actually have a measurable snow…but only an inch or so.
Happy to report that "DoorGate 2009" is almost over. I rigged the broken door enough that I can use the deadbolt until a more permanent and newer option is available. It actually does not look that bad, and I am looking into an option that may allow me to even keep the same door. But man…did the whole incident cloud my morning yesterday!
On that note…I do want to restate that I almost always type this blog with a smile on my face, or at least as close to a smile as I get. Yesterday's blog post was read by some with the thought that I was in a horrible mood. Maybe I was. But I even try to be funny when I am in a horrible mood. So while the blog yesterday may have had overtones of pissiness (if I can use that word)…I was actually doing alright. Even the very frustrating moments in life can be fun if you have the right attitude. And I try to laugh about everything.
While you are on our website please take a second and give a hit to JC's blog. He was asking for feedback on some things the other day on his blog. Feel free to hit up his blog, send him some feedback, and then come back here!
On the topic of feedback…"Feedback Friday" is tomorrow. Use the feedback form above if you have anything you would like to share with us. You can even feedback to tell me you think I am an idiot. After this week…I might even agree with you! Heh. We have some good stuff for "Feedback Friday" tomorrow, and I would love it if you would add to it! Questions, comments, concerns, or completely unrelated thoughts are all welcome.
One more thing to mention. If you've been keeping up with this blog lately you know that I recently got into a business venture to start making a little extra cash. I have been careful not to flood the blog with this stuff, but there is a link to it up top where it says "Residual Income". There are deals to be found on that website that can benefit you, and you can also get information on how you can join if you are so inclined to make some extra money yourself.
Along those lines...there is an informational meeting on this business that starts at 7 tonight. It's at the Bourbon Barrell Bar/Restaurant in Decatur. So at the very least you can get some food, and have a drink or two. There should be a decent sized group there, so they should not be hard to find. All you have to do is tell them I sent you...and they will take care of you. There is absolutely no obligation for anything if you go to this meeting. At the very least I can guarantee you that you will learn how you can save some money on products and services that you already use. Who couldn't stand to save some money in this economy??
Hope the weekend was good to you. It was me. I went to Chicago to hang out with my brother and father. We caught a Christmas concert that was fantastic. And just being with family sometimes is enough for a great weekend.
For some reason I don't have much to say this morning. I've got the Talking Heads on my I-Pod. There are only a few minutes left before I have to start putting on make up and get the hair ready for the news. It's a new week. And I have no idea what I am doing.
Now is a great time to hear from you. So…what's happening? (Timely responses might actually get posted this morning. I am hoping it will be an uneventful week.)
Here's a thought for this morning. I have not giv, en it a lot of thought, but a little. Do you think the media has been a bit over zealou, s with Ti, ger Woods? , Or do you think they are performing a valuable service? Or is there another option I am just not thinking of right now?
It is finally starting to warm up around here today…through the weekend it will be around 40 each afternoon. Maybe some stuff blowing through quickly Saturday night, but at least the wind chill will stay above zero!
From Phil in Cissna Park (12/4/9):
The station's change to 3-D was an excellent choice and the pop-up format is a definite plus. I keep looking for you to smile.
Now, I hear we may have a blizzard next week...anything about that yet? I watch Satellite, Radar and Water Vapor Imagery via NASA and Intellicast...looks like it could be an interesting week coming at us.
Thanks, Phil. It is still new, and therefore a work in progress. But every day we find something new that this stuff can do. Pretty exciting stuff! And I am still trying to work out the smile stuff. I just don't think it looks good on TV…
You sent this last Friday, Phil. But we did come close to the blizzard. It ended up going just northwest of us and gave Iowa and Wisconsin fits. Here, as I know you know, we had a very little bit of snow and crazy wind. (It is ALWAYS easier responding to these questions AFTER the fact! Heh.) But if you were watching us through the ordeal you might remember at least a couple of us saying it would be more rain for us than snow.
From Teresa in Decatur (12/4/9):, ,
I am only 44 but some are younger. They think it's Cool now that you mention them on the blog. They are very, nice young women but just cracked up one day when I was laughing at your blog. It's all good.
I do have one question. How does Scott England get so much time off?
Just to catch everyone up…Teresa was openly and viciously mocked at work for reading my blog. The villains that mocked her were young punks that just haven't learned anything about life yet. (For the record…what you just read is tongue-in-cheek playfulness!)
It is good that they think it is cool to get a mention on the blog, Teresa. But are they READING the blog???
You ask a very good question, T. How in the world DOES Scot England get so much stinking time off work?? I am on the phone with him right now asking him how he gets so much time off. As of this moment he has no comment. I told him to give it some thought and get back to me, if "his people" will allow him to talk about it! We want answers!!!
Actually…Scot is often out of town working on "Central Illinois A to Z" when he is not on the anchor desk in the morning. But it just sounds so cliché to say that he is "on assignment". However…the kid does seem to get a lot of vacation time, too. I may have to look into my own deal!
From Mark in Decatur (12/5/9):
Years and years ago, there was an unwritten law amongst th, e media t, hat controlled how a person was reported on in the paper and on television.
It essentially said that a person's "Private Life" was off limits to the media. What they did in public was the media's business. In other words, Tiger's private life was nobody's business but his own. What makes the media mad is that the Florida Police Department effectively shut down the case before the media got its claws on it.
As for the woman who made the outlandish claims against him, I say "Put up, or Shut Up". If you don't have the evidence, then fine her for wasting our time.
Hey, Mark. I think this feedback was sent in before at least one of the women provided voicemails from Tiger. So…I guess at least one of them "put up"! Either way…I still don't care about Tiger's private life. It really is only between him, his wife, and their kids. I understand why certain media outlets feel they "need" to cover it. But that doesn't mean we have to watch it.
From Doug in Mattoon (12/7/9):
Hey Greg! I live at the farthest edge of "muh-TUNE" that you can and still call it the "city limits". When I step out my door and take a left, I'm "in-town", but if I take a right, I'm in the "country" (not kidding). (The farthest south edge of Old State Village) "basically" borders cornfields all the way to Neoga.
Anyway, I wanted you to know that "basically" I scooped 1" of your "dust" off my deck and out of my drive this AM. "Basically" I can't wait to see what your new radar tells you about weather come Wednesday AM.
from the desk of Dougie B @ Muh-TUNE
Hey, Doug! Great to hear from you…it has been a while!
Could you be poking fun at my use of "hedging" on a forecast, Doug? That is awesome! Yeah…a dusting to me could be anything from an inch or less. So yeah…I would consider your snow a dusting. The new Live Doppler 3D is more of a thunderstorm tool than snow tool, though, Doug. While snow just looks like snow on 3D…the Live Doppler 3D will, in fact, blow your socks off come this Spring when we get some storms cranking around here!
From Sharon in Decatur (12/10/9):
Thanks for caring so much about the animals--as you know, so do I.
Sharon, local Humane Society
Well thank you for doing what you do, Sharon. I have told you privately, and maybe here before, that I don't think I could do your job. While, I imagine the reward of saving animals , every singl, e day is huge&hel, lip;I just don't know if I could handle when the story has a sad ending. And I honestly might end up in jail if I came face-to-face with someone that had really abused an animal.
From Teri in Decatur (12/10/9):
Thank you for reminding people to take care of their animals in this cold weather. I also agree with you that if you are going to have pets keep them in the house. I hate seeing a dog tied up to a tree all by themselves. My three dogs and cat are in the house with us. It is a zoo but we love it.
I'll bet that is a zoo, Teri! Although there are certain dog breeds that love to be out in the cold a lot of the time, it is certainly up to the owners to make sure they have what they need to survive.
While we are on the subject of animals…someone sent me an email yesterday with a link to a story about a vet that fell out of love with his profession, for a scandalous reason. While I am sure this does happen…I am really hoping these people are the minority.
I am very comfortable with my vets. I don't mind telling you that I take my dogs to Fairview Animal Clinic right down the road from the station. Several years ago I was driving, to the station after having lunch and saw someone run over a cat. Naturally they did not stop&hellip, ;so I did, along with another woman. The other woman happened to have a, box, so we put the cat in the box and she took the thing to Fairview.
I called Fairview right away to check on the cat and o, ffer to pay for whatever the cat needed. As it turned out…the little kitten died. But Fairview was stand-up through the , whole thing and did not charge anyone for the work that they did do. I decided then to make them my vet after that incident, plus the fact that I lived in South Shores at the time. I even drive my dogs over from Champaign now when they need anything. Fairview has handled my high-maintenance dogs very well.
We have several great vets in this area. We deal with many of them here at the station with our various pet segments. I would actually trust my dogs with most of them!
Yesterday I had Shea the Internet Content Manager move the archive links to the bottom of the blog. I just think it looks better down there for some reason. So…if you want to catch up on the past several months of "Weather…or Not" the archive list is below! Thanks for your help, Shea.
While we are on the subject of blog stuff…tomorrow is "Feedback Friday" around here. It is your chance to sound off on something we have discussed this week, or anything else on your mind. There are a few ground rules. First…you can be as mean as you like to me, but other people are off-limits unless they are a public figure. You can bash on Tiger Woods if you really like…but you can't take a swipe at Phil working at the corner gas station.
Second…I have to edit all swearing. You can cuss all you want, but those words will not make it onto the blog. This is, after all, a corporate website. I do have to do some editing once in a while!
Third…if your feedback is less than 500 characters long you can use the feedback form above. If it is going to be longer than that just send me an email and put "Blog" in the subject line. The feedback form above gets a little funky on those really long bits of feedback. Here is my email address: email@example.com
Fourth…I will post anything that is sent through the feedback form. If you would rather I not post something that you want to say to me then send me an email and ask me not to post it. I won't post it.
Fifth…no other guidelines. Any questions/comments/concerns send me feedback or email. I will generally answer anything you want to know, even stuff about my co-workers! Heh. They love that…
Also…you are more than welcome to sign up for email alerts. You can find that form also just above. Once you sign up you will receive an email letting you know anytime I update the blog. Usually I update this bad boy before the news every weekday morning. But once in a while I will get some inspiration on a weekend, holiday, or day off, and post some stuff. It is just a good way to not miss a blog update.
And you will also see two links at the top of this blog. One is to "B. Lime, The Green Store". That is a place on Washington Avenue in downtown Champaign that some friends of mine own. It is a great place to learn how to make more "Earth-responsible" purchases. I actually work there occasionally to help out my friends. I will be there this afternoon from around 3 until about 6, as a matter of fact.
The other link is to a little side action I started doing a couple of months ago. If you hit the link you will find my website, and from that website you can get some very good deals on things like satellite TV service, home security systems, cell phones, videos phones, and internet service…just to name a few. You can also find some links explaining to you how you could join the team. I am just about to the point where I will start getting residual income every month from the deal. Pretty sweet, really.
For some reason this week "bloggership" has spiked. Quite a few more people are hitting this blog the past couple of days, so I thought this bitterly cold morning would be a good one to go over some things about the blog.
If you have read this thing for any amount of time you know that I am an animal lover. You will see a picture of each of my dogs on and around this blog. I got an email yesterday from another PR service talking about how to keep animals healthy during the cold season. I will pass it along:
P, rotect Your Pet from Winter's Woes
The Humane Society of the United States cautions pet owners in regions affected by extreme winter weather
(Dec. 9, 2009) — With much of the country in the grip of harsh winter weather, The Humane Society of the United States urges pet owners to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their companion animals.
Cold arctic air is gusting in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West regions, winter storm warnings are in effect in the Midwest and Northeast and colder than normal temperatures are being experienced as far south as Dallas, so family pets across the country may be facing serious hea, lth risks.
"Pets are solely dependent on their human caregi, vers for safety and comfort, — especially so during the winter months," said Adam Goldfarb, director of The HSUS' Pets at Risk program. "Our pets are particularly vulnerable during the winter storms and harsh winds being experienced throughout the land, and a few extra precautions can help make sure that they stay safe and healthy."
Help keep your pet safe during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:
The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter.
The Humane Society of the is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For m.re than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web atUnited States
I hope we can survive the wind today. By far that will end up being the big story around here, at least as far as the weather is concerned. As I type this there is still a chance that some of us could get an inch or so of snow. But if you have been here through more than one winter you know that an inch is nothing to worry about. The wind today, though, could be gusting up to 50 miles per hour this afternoon. That is crazy! It is going to be getting cold, too.
By the end of the day today the temps are going to be into the 20's. By early tomorrow morning most of us should have lows in the single digits. But…as if that weren't cold enough…the wind is still going to be blowing pretty hard tomorrow morning. The wind chill is going to be between 5 and 15 below zero through the morning tomorrow. So…bundle up, ButterCup! At those levels it takes a little more than 30 minutes or so for frostbite to set in, so don't get caught out in the cold without wrapping up.
Also…and this will not surprise you coming from my keyboard…make sure to take care of your animals if they are outside. Make sure their water does not ice over if their water is outside. Some breeds of dog can easily handle tomorrow morning's cold. But many can not without a bit of help from you.
(See…once in a while we do actually talk about the weather around here!)
--Today is a day that typically has me dressing in all black for work. It was 29 years ago today that Mark David Chapman changed the world of music forever. It is hard to imagine what music could sound like today if John Lennon had not been shot in the back and killed. He was just coming back off of a hiatus and creating music again.
--Did I hear recently that the people that run the Oscars asked Al Gore for their Oscar back?? Apparently the "Convenient Truth" was full of convenient fiction? Now reports are that some of the numbers that they used for the movie were fabricated. Well you know right off the bat that can't be true. Hollywood would NEVER fudge the truth just for a movie!
It's too bad, really. I saw the movie. I thought Al Gore did a very good job. He is obviously a better speaker than he showed during his run for President. The movie was entertaining, if not alarmist and propagandist. But it's like I have been saying all along…the issue of Global Warming has become political fodder…and therefore can not be trusted.
My point all along, and I have blogged this many times, is that we should be taking care of our planet regardless of whether it is in a warming phase or cooling phase. It goes through both phases, you know. The question of what kind of impact we have on that would be moot if we were taking better care of things anyway. I'm not saying we should sink the world's economy trying to stop what could be nothing more than someone's phantom to get elected. But we certainly have the technology and resources to stop putting so much crap in the air, water, and land.
At the end of the day, at the very least, our air would be cleaner and our water would be more pure. Now…how could that be bad for anyone? And wouldn't be nice to get drinkable water to places like Africa, where people literally die every single day because of a lack of good water?
I just happen to think that if we all lived a little cleaner, if we all better controlled what we funnel into our environment, that we would all benefit. And then when the Earth warms or cools as it does we would not get so freaked out that we are killing everything on our planet. We would at least be doing our part to take care of this beautiful orb.
Now go hug someone and tell them you love them.
--I pulled out of the garage this morning to find the streets and sidewalks white with snow. There was not a lot of snow…but it was the first time this season that things were covered. Consider it as a precursor. There is a decent chance we could get a couple of inches in some places Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Now…we all know that a couple of inches of snow is not a big deal at all. But…it should be the first measurable snow of the season. That means that some people will lose their freaking minds and forget how to drive in the snow. So let's be careful out there!
Remember…almost always driving slower than you ordinarily would is the best way to stay out of the ditch when it snows. Yep. Just wake up 30 minutes early, leave sooner than you would, and drive slower than you usually would. And outside of anything strange happening…you will be in much better shape to make it to where you are going!
--I am not sure if I am supposed to post this to the blog or not. But I got an email from a press service the other day that goes along with the Holiday season. It comes from the Harris Poll. That is a group of people that does surveys. This particular survey was done on how people feel about the Holidays. As with everything else…I post, you decide!
New York, N.Y. - December 7, 2009 - The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a special time, filled with family, friends, songs and holiday cheer. But mixed in with all of this comes the stress of spending too much money, having to deal with crowded shopping malls and listening to the same old Holiday songs - usually at the same time people are spending too much money and dealing with the crowds.
When it comes down to it, the one thing people most look forward to in the holiday season is spending time with family and friends (62%). Less than one in ten Americans say they look forward to holiday dinners and parties (8%), finding and giving presents (7%), watching television specials and hearing holiday songs on the radio (4%), putting up holiday decorations (3%) and getting presents (2%). The holiday time can also be a depressing time for some and 8% of Americans say they do not look forward to the upcoming holidays.
While one in five people who celebrate holidays (21%) say they like everything about the holiday season, there are some things that people dislike about this time of year. Over one-quarter of those who celebrate the holidays say the one thing they dislike the most about the holidays is spending too much money (27%) while 23% say it is the holiday shopping crowds. Less than one in ten say the one thing they dislike are putting up and then taking down holiday decorations (6%), television specials and holiday songs (5%), finding and giving presents (4%), eating and drinking too much (4%), and spending time with family and friends (2%).
As people get older, one thing is clear - spending time with family and friends is what they look forward to for the holiday season. Seven in ten Matures (those aged 64 and older) say that is what they look forward to compared with just over half (52%) of Echo Boomers (those aged 18-32). Also, the older one is, the more likely they like everything about the holiday season as 31% of Matures say this compared to 14% of Echo Boomers and 19% of Gen Xers (those aged 33-44).
For some people one of the joys of the holiday season is hearing songs that come around only once a year. The holiday song that people most look forward to hearing this time of year is Silent Night, followed by White Christmas, Oh Holy Night, Jingle Bells and The Little Drummer Boy. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people look forward to are Joy to the World, Silver Bells, I'll be Home for Christmas, The Christmas Song, and Carol of the Bells.
But one person's favorite holiday song may leave others wishing for a "silent night". By the end of the holiday season, the top song people wish they would never hear again is Jingle Bells. This is followed by Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas, and Little Drummer Boy. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people wish they could never hear again by the end of the season are The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, Silent Night, Here Comes Santa Claus, and Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Song. It's interesting to note that four songs are on both top ten lists, including the number one song on both lists.
Besides holiday songs, there are also the inevitable animated specials and holiday movies that invade televisions each year. Three favorite holiday animated TV special are bunched near the top - 23% of Americans choose the flying reindeer with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as their favorite, 22% say it is all about the Whos in Whoville and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and 20% like the sad little Christmas tree and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just under one in ten say Frosty the Snowman is their favorite animated special (8%) and 3% love the bickering of Heat Miser and Cold Miser in The Year Without a Santa Claus.
When it comes to holiday movies, two are tied for favorite -- 21% like the quest for a BB gun in A Christmas Story and the same number like watching Clarence the angel earn his wings in It's a Wonderful Life. Just under one in five Americans say the quest for believing in Santa in Miracle on 34th Street (17%) is their favorite while 13% enjoy the Griswold family Christmas in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and 9% enjoy watching Tim Allen transform in The Santa Clause.
Age also matters here. For Echo Boomers and Gen Xers How the Grinch Stole Christmas is their favorite animated special, while for Baby Boomers (those aged 45-63) it's Rudolph and for Matures, A Charlie Brown Christmas is number one. There is a clear generational divide for movies as well. For both Echo Boomers and Gen Xers A Christmas Story is their favorite, while for Baby Boomers and Matures it's A Wonderful Life.
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States November 2 and 11, 2009 among 2,303 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The Harris Poll® #139, December 8, 2009
By Regina A. Corso, Director, The Harris Poll
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/.
--Once again we find ourselves at the end of the week. We call it "Feedback Friday" around here on "Weather…or Not". Thank you to all who have sent feedback about our new graph, ic, look. Ag, ain…I mostly won't post it unless it is part of more feedback.&n, bsp; But your opinions do count, at least to me!
--On my way in to work this morning I passed an electronic billboard. This billboard shows ads, but also some news and sports. This morning the billboard was showing that 19 people died recently in a bombing at a graduation in Somalia. 19 people at a graduation died. A day of celebration turned into a day of tragedy.
That got me to thinking about where we live, and how lucky we really are. Once in a great while we have something happen here like the Oklahoma City bombing, or of course 9/11. And we seem to be having more of these "rampage shootings" in the past few years. But think about this…in many countries every single day people go out in public with the legitimate fear that they might not make it back home.
And here is more to think about. Some of our fellow citizens are over in these places trying to keep the peace. I don't want to be a downer, or over dramatic. But for some reason I have been thinking about this more and more. I don't know a lot of people overseas in the military. But I do have a couple of family members and a few friends that have gone back and forth for various missions. I know that most of us at this point probably know at least one person in the military that has been or is overseas right now. I guess I just try to think about the sacrifice those people and their families make. Is it one I could make? I certainly hope I could. And I am happy as Hell that there are people that actually volunteer for this duty.
Let's get to it!
From Sandy in Decatur (11/28/9):
Hi Greg, You are a riot, love watching you & see how you're going to pronouncate some words or town names. At parties, are you the Life of the party or a wallflower type of person?? You look so serious but can be so funny. I really have enjoyed you on WAND all of 2009 & will continue to in 2010. Love your stories & updates on your babies too.
Thanks, Sandy. It feels good to know that at least one person enjoys what I try to do! At parties I can be both. The past couple of years I have been more of a wall flower, but recently I am starting to crank it up again. Now…back in the day…hmmm. Maybe I should not be THAT honest on the old weather blog. This is my job, after all!
I also hope to be around for 2010, and beyond. My deal here is up in March…and that always opens up possibilities. But it is my intention to stick around if they will have me!
From Brian in Columbus, Ohio (11/28/9):
Dude. Oil started dropping back around July 2008. It hit its low mark in December when Bush was still in office. Been climbing ever since. Stop looking for reasons to fuel the fire of hate Bush. He made mistakes along with everyone else but he wasn't in control of big oil. Don't be a twit. Love, Brian.
It is always good to hear from my Republican friend in Ohio! Heh.
You know what…you are right, my friend. President Bush did make mistakes.
HA! Okay…okay…I suppose you can not pin all of our ills on President Bush. Vice President Chaney was right there all along telling him what to do and say.
Sorry. I just can't help myself. Bottom line…I wonder how much actual power any one President has anyway. I think a far bigger problem than any President we have had has been any given Congress at any given time.
From Trish in Decatur (, 12/1/9):
Hi Greg. I totally understand about the unforgiving deer. Not too long ago my father and I were heading home from the race track, and a deer ran across four lanes of traffic to hit the truck. The funny part was we were the only vehicle on Brush College when it happened. Oh by the way, everyone runs a red light at least one time in their life. I'm just thankful that you are ok.
Thanks for making me feel better about the red light. I really don't take that stuff lightly, because I know how dangerous driving really is. Mostly we just take for granted the actual act…but think about it. Most of the time we are sitting in at least a ton of metal and plastic and hurling ourselves down the road at great velocity. Think about how amazing that is! It wasn't that long ago that walking was the only way to go. My point is that it does not escape me how fortunate I was that there is generally light traffic when I head to work. The scene could have been much uglier than it was.
I would have felt much worse about the deer if it hadn't stopped for a second…shook its head…and darted off into the woods. But in the end I did all I could. The deer was just set on running into the side of my almost parked car.
From Teresa in Decatur (12/2/9):
Good morning, Greg,
I love deer thanks for stopping for them. Sorry about your car
Your blog is hilarious. Some younger people make fun of me
For reading the weather man's blog, but hey, what do they know
I share your love for animals I have two shi tzu's and a weimaranar (misspelled)
Thank you for making me laugh so early in the morning.
You are welcome for the laughs. I just wish I was actually trying to be funny! It would make me feel better, I think! (Just kidding…)
Why are the youngins making fun of you?? And why aren't they reading this blog themselves??? It isn't like this is an old man's weather blog. When do I actually talk about weather around here??? Get them on the list, Teresa. I want all of them to read this bad boy at least once…and then we will see if they continue to laugh at you.
From Robert in Decatur (12/3/9):
I really like the 3D graphics that are now being used!!!
This Tiger Woods Biz reminds of Monica Lewinsky. It', ;s All about the fame and fortune!!!,
It's really crazy how anyone can just ruin a man's life, just because their life is so boring and miserable the only way they can get noticed is to destroy another mans reputation!!!
Glad you like our new look Robert!
Are you suggesting that this other woman in Tiger's life set him up? Hmmm. Interesting. She did keep voice mails and text messages, and you don't usually do that unless you plan to use them later. But…he did make the choice to hook up with her in the first place. I personally think you still have to lay the blame with Tiger.
Of course…that is what I would think if I actually cared about Tiger's personal life! Really…I don't care. Seriously.
Oh, Tiger…how could you!?!?
From Shannon in Decatur (12/3/9):
Hey, Greg -- I agree with you on the Tiger Woods thing 100% (and for any other "celebrity" in the same situation). I could care less what they do in their "private" lives. I know there are more important issues that the news outlets could be spending time covering, but, it is what it is.... As far as the new graphics go, what I've seen, I like -- as you said, just takes some getting used to. Unfortunately, I've had a crazy schedule lately and about the only time I see the weather is with you in the morning at about 5:15<, strong>, then I'm off. Take care, hope you are able to avoid the wildlife!
That settles it, Shannon. You are simply going to have to quit your job to better accommodate your viewing of StormCenter 17 Today. It is as simple as that!
From Cindy in Macon (12/3/9):
Hey Greg, how's it going? I really like the 3-D weather map, I think it's really going to be a big help come Spring time. I thought the weather was good before but I think it's great now. I just love new technology. I also agree about Tiger Woods, I don't agree with what he did but that should be between him and his family. Our troops should be top priority in the news not celebrity marriages. (who cares). Also all the publicity of the couple who crashed the White House Party (who cares) except security is all screwed up. I guess anyone can get in if they really want to. Sorry about your car being an animal magnet, that really sucks for you and the animals. Mom says hi.
Great to hear from you, Cindy! Tell your Mom I said hi, too!
Yeah…things seem to be a little screwy with the news lately. Instead of so much Tiger and party crashing coverage…I would rather see some stories on some of the 30,000 that are headed to Afghanistan. You know…show us the families and their struggle so those of us that aren't going get an appreciation for what these people are doing in our name.
That's it for this week! Have a great weekend. It is going to be a bit chilly…but at least the sun will be shining!
Thank you to those that have already sent feedback on the new graphics. Mostly I think people like the new look. But with any change there are always people that take a little more time. Again…to me…the changes are fantastic. And now that I am completely comfortable with the new system I think the change is even better! While I do not like Spring storms because they do so much damage…the new Live Doppler 3D is really going to enhance our ability to bring you storm coverage.
Okay…I have to say this. I said this the other morning during the news. Tiger Woods' private life is none of my business. I do not care if Tiger Woods is sleeping with a waitress from California, or where ever she is from. Apparently this has been going on for almost 3 years. I did not care when I did not know. I do not care now that I know.
He is the most recognizable face in the world right now, at least as far as professional sports are c, oncerned. He also happens to be the wealthiest athlete in the world. I don't know if he is a good looking guy…but he does have a great smile. So naturally you can assume everywhere in the world Tiger Woods goes he has…um…options. Women and men probably toss themselves at him at every turn.
Now I am not saying an affair should be expected in those situations. But…when are we going to stop being surprised as a society when we hear of this kind of thing happening to these people? Michael Jordan was apparently a notorious "hound" back in the day. We all remember Kobe Bryant and his issue in Colorado. Magic Johnson was also caught up in some stuff. JFK…Bill Clinton…men with power/money/charisma have historically given in to these temptations. Again…I am not giving them a pass or an excuse. I am just saying that this is not really news.
It is between Tiger Woods, his wife, and his kids. But the media is going to hound him about this until the next golf season starts. If the people that pay Tiger to endorse their products have a problem with what has happened, then they can release him as a spokesperson. But I don't even see that as being any of our business.
I have also said this in the past…but the media is ridiculous. Local media outlets and actual news outlets are still mostly doing the job of keeping people accountable. But even StormCenter 17 has been running stories about Tiger and this issue. The excuse the media uses is that people are interested in it. And maybe most people are, I don't really know or care. But for me personally…I would rather more news time be given to the extra 30,000 soldiers or Marines that are going to be sent overseas to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
--Our website producer is still giving me fits. The format for the blog is still off. You may still notice occasionally that some of the spacing on the blog is off, and I apologize for that. It seems the company that runs our producer can't quite get some things figured out. It is a process, though, and I am sure things will be in good shape soon.
--On a happy note…no animals were harmed by me on my way to work this morning. I have had a few incidents with the car I am driving right now, which leads me to believe that it is an animal magnet. Shortly after I got the car I had some raccoon incidents. I hit one…and had the damage repaired. The week I got the car back I hit another raccoon. A couple of weeks later I hit a cat. That was well over a year ago, and I had not had anything happen until yesterday morning. Strange.
--I think the changeover to the new graphics is going well. To give you an idea of what was involved…it basically changed the way we do everything. The new look is fantastic, in my opinion. I like the way things "pop" on the air. Again…I would love to read what you think about the new look. Feel free to send me feedback on this blog using the form above, or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
But if you know deer you know that they are rarely alone. I continued to slow down and looked for friends of that deer. Well…I saw one. But it did not see me. I was almost at a stop in the middle of the road watching this deer continue to run straight at my car. There was nothing I could do. The deer bounced right off the side of my car…stopped for a second…and ran back the way it had come and into the woods.
I think the ironic thing is if I had not slowed down I would have missed the deer. It left only a couple of bumps on my car, but this car has been a friggin magnet for animals.
Here is a funny email someone sent to me the other day. It's speaks to a wife's undying devotion and affection…
A very old man lay dying in his bed. In death's doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs.
He gathered his remaining strength and , lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.
With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.
There spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.
"Stay out of those," she said. "They're for the funeral."
My morning has been…stressful. I have a routine with the dogs every morning, and they started off this morning completely disrupting all of that.
Usually I wake up and get in the shower. The pooches stay in bed until I am ready for work. Then I let them outside…they come in…go in their crates, and I am off to work. Well this morning they decided that I needed to wake up early so they could go out right away. So I let them out right away, and went to brush my teeth. When I finished brushing my teeth they were ready to come in…so I let them inside. I went back to finish getting ready for work…but it just did not feel right. Things were different this morning.
I finished getting ready for work, and the dogs were in the kitchen waiting for their "treat" that I give them every morning before I leave. We finished our business and I put them in their crates, set the alarm, locked the door, and went and sat in my car in the garage. But for some reason when I hit the power button (Prius) the car did not start, and the key light was flashing. That means I did not have the key in my pocket like I do every other morning.
Have I left out the part where, I pick up my keys on the way o, ut the door? Yeah…I left , that part out becau, se I forgot to pick , up, my keys on the way out the door. But did you read the part just above where I set the alarm and locked the door?? Yeah…I locked myself out of the friggin house, without my car keys. So I could even drive myself to work.
When you lock yourself out of your house at 2:30 in the morning there is not a lot you can do. There is no one awake with a key that you can call to come and let you in. Good luck finding a locksmith at that hour…and if you find one…good luck paying for that locksmith. So my options were limited. At one point I climbed up into the attic to look for one of those openings in the ceiling. But I did not have a flashlight, and it was too dark to go looking for that opening. And with the morning I was having the odds were good I would mis-step and fall through my roof. And while that would have given me access to the house…it would have been more expensive than the locksmith.
There was only one option at this point. And by now I was techni, cally late for w, ork. So I kicked the stupid door in. Fortunately it was the inside door in the garage. But I had to break the freaking thing. I went inside and turned off the ADT Home Security, grabbed my keys, went to the dogs to settle them down, and reset the alarm. I tried to pull the door shut as best I could and went back to my car. Fortunately this time it started when I hit the button and I drove away from my house.
The house is still secure. The garage door is closed, and the ADT Home Security System will still ward off intruders. But at this point the door is wrecked. I will have to probably buy a new one and put it in over the next couple of days. Anyone know how to do that??
So I got called out yesterday for "laying out" on the blog. Someone close to me suggested that I pulled a "Randy Moss" and did not give 100 percent to this website yesterday morning. The problem with this is…the person was absolutely right. But at least I said as much in yesterday's blog post! I am nothing if not honest on this blog. I tell you when I am just not that into it. I even tell you when my fly is down on the news. So at least give me that much! Heh.
Of course now the pressure is on to come back hard with something good this morning. It really is a crushing pressure! (Okay…not really.)
I will tell you about my Thanksgiving experience. You may have surmised from the blog a few months ago that something in my life was shaken up a bit. It's okay now…but one of the major life changes landed right in the middle of my forehead. So for the Holidays this year I decided to go low key. As a matter of fact…I would have been completely happy if the Holidays just came and went without even stopping in to say hello at my house.
I had asked Lee Davis to have me work Thanksgiving, and Christmas, this year. That would give me an excuse to bow out of anything holiday related. My plan was to go to work and go home. And then back to work…and back home. That would get me through the Holidays without the fanfare. But then enter friends, old and new.
Some friends of mine (and I really do have the best in the world) had decided that they would come to my house for Thanksgiving. To be honest…I put them off for a few days before I told them it was okay. I really gave it a lot of thought, and almost declined. But eventually I realized that it would be nice for a couple of people to come over on Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact…after work that morning I got home and actually started looking forward to people coming over.
I have never really been one that gets excited about Holidays. I'd rather put energy into making every day as special as possible. But for Thanksgiving this year I got a wild hair and started preparations when I got home from work. I set out the nice dinnerware. I cleaned the crap out of the house. I even put out candles on the dining room table. Really…with the exception of the cleaning…these are things I NEVER do.
After I had set the table it actually still looked a little bare. I realized that I did not put out a table cloth. Things in my house are a little scattered right now, and I am not sure what is where or even what I have around. But I thought I at least had a table cloth to put out. I went to the linen closet and found something long and flowery. I unset the table…and laid out the table cloth. It was just a little bit too short…but I figured it would still work.
So I am straightening out the table cloth on the table. I get it laid out flat, although it was still just a tad short on one end. I put all of the place settings back in place. There was some hesitation over putting the knife/spoon combo on the right or the left of the plates. I finally decided to put them on the right of the plate. I am still not sure if that is proper formal place setting or not. But it took me about ten minutes to reset the table.
Just as I was putting out the coffee cups I look at the end of the table cloth. I notice that the end of it has some kind of plastic lining about an inch thick. I thought that was odd, so I checked the other end. , , The other end had no such plastic lining. I figured maybe it was a tab, le cloth for some kind of folding table, and the plastic part was supposed to fit over something to hold the cloth in place.
Really…I don't know a lot about this stuff, and my reasoning on this one seemed sound. I went back to the plastic lining end of the table cloth to finish setting the table again. But this time when I looked at the table cloth I noticed something very odd. Placed about every 6 inches or so along the plastic lining was a hole. The thing had about 15 holes along the top of it.
It was a shower curtain.
So now I had to take the table settings back off the table. I did find an actual table cloth and set the table for the third time. I finished just about the time my company started showing up. Even after my lesson in household furnishings…Thanksgiving ended up being a GREAT time with GREAT friends. And I was thankful for that.
In my life I have been involved in some way with over a dozen auto accidents. Some of them I was just a passenger, and many of them I have been the driver. None of them has happened in the past decade (aside from hitting animals), as getting older has made me a better driver. There has been everything from scraping someone else's bumper to almost turning a car over in a field. And fortunately the worst I have been hurt was a concussion.
There are many great things about my job. The best part to me is the people that I have met because of this job. For some reason I feel compelled to say something positive about my job. Maybe it's because lately I have railed on some things…and I am getting ready to again this morning. But it's a good job, and has provided many memorable moments in my life, and for that I feel fortunate.
Here is one part about my job that makes me…tired. Every year as it gets colder we weather people know it is coming. It's the first snow of the year. For weather geeks it is exciting because forecasting snow can be a huge challenge. The difference between getting an inch of snow and getting 6 inches of snow can be very hard to call. The first snow of the year, though, also brings a real headache.
Every year we know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter how much we go on the air and tell people that roads are slick and they need to slow down…the ditches will still be full of cars every time it snows. I'm not even arrogant enough to think that people only watch us at StormCenter 17. But all media outlets do the same thing. We all give the same advice ad nauseum, year in and year out. Slow down…give yourself extra time to travel…etc…etc…etc. And every year these warnings go unheeded.
I've been in enough accidents to know that MOST of the time people are driving too fast. Sure…sometimes there are instances when things just happen and there is an accident. But for those of you that have been in an accident…honestly…how many times could it have been prevented if someone was only driving slower. I know from my experience with accidents that most of the time had someone been going slower the accident could have been avoided. (Except for the deer that ran into me as I was sitting in the middle of the road. Although had the deer been running slower it would have missed me!)
I guess my point is that I'm tired of going on the, air and telling people that the roads are slick. You know what?? People should know , by now. , ; It's , common sense. If there is snow on the ground that means things are frozen and probably slick. So slow the Hell down when you are driving. But as soon as I stop suggesting that people slow down The Suits will start raising an eyebrow, and I will get that wonderful conversation. "People need to be told that the roads are slick." Ugh.
Bottom line…with very few exceptions…if you find yourself in a ditch during the Winter…chances are good you deserve to be there. I know. I have been in ditches before. And guess what?? I was driving too fast for conditions and deserved to be in the ditch! And I've seen other people cruising by slower driving drivers, and you see them a couple of miles down the road sliding into a ditch. I know! I've been one of those bone heads passing slower drivers. And a few miles down the road watched these drivers pass me shaking their heads as I wait for someone to pull me out of a ditch.
So please…do everyone a favor…SLOW THE HELL DOWN! It's not worth it to drive too fast. I have been making light of it in this blog post. But this past week we have had people literally die in this area because of these weather-related accidents. We all expire at some point. But when it could have been prevented it becomes senseless.
I will be out of town Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow we will do "Feedback Wednesday"! Get your thoughts in now if you want to make the cut for tomorrow!