On my way to work this morning I am pretty sure I drove past two different drivers that may have been…um…under some kind of influence. However…I was not sure enough to turn them in, and I am not sure I would do that even if I knew for sure. But one was driving about 15 mph in a 40 zone. The other was driving a bit weavy on Route 51 as I was coming off the interstate ramp. Scary stuff. But it was between 3 and 4 this morning, which is a good time to witness that kind of thing.
Can I just say that I love you people? Obviously I dropped a bit of a bomb on Wednesday here on the blog. For those of you that read closely it was not that much of a surprise. Lately I have only been blogging in terms of me and my boys, and frankly some of you asked about my situation when I first mentioned in early September that I was going through a rough patch. I want to thank you for the feedback of support in the past couple of days. I am not going to post most of it because obviously this is a very personal issue, and I am not the only person involved here. But I think it is important to acknowledge that I appreciate the words of support and inspiration, and I have read…and kept…every bit of feedback.
As I mentioned Wednesday things are looking much better now. You might even be able to tell by watching in the morning that I've got the bounce back in my step. While I didn't completely break down on the air over the past few months, I think I was noticeably not myself at times. As professionals we all have to keep some separation between our work and our personal lives. But when you have a job that requires you to show quite a bit of who you are it can be tough to keep some things from showing on the air.
Let's get to "Feedback Friday"!
From Phil in Cissna Park (1/25/10):
First of all, sorry to hear about John's passing. I remember him but never knew what had happened with him. His family is in my prayers.
Great football games yesterday. I am not an avid fan, but I do watch the playoffs, kinda like I do with baseball. I am torn because I like both teams...so I say, "Let the best playing team win!"
Yeah…John was a good guy. I am still not sure exactly what happened to him, but from what I hear it was something that he picked up in South Africa that may have contributed to his demise. Odd, and scary.
I think the football playoffs have brought us some fantastic games. That Packers-Cardinals game was one for the ages. The Vikings-Saints game made me stay up very late, which is not something I take lightly. I will likely watch the first quarter of the Super Bowl, and if it is looking great I may even stay up for that. I think it should be fantastic!
From Cleo in Decatur (1/26/10):
Hi, Nice~ I was wondering what happened to you this morning. Someone was on the Radio, not sure where she was from, but she was saying that to her, this has been the worst winter in along time. I thought that this has been a very mild one and the year before too. It doesn't seem like we have had very many days below zero and not too many days having feets of snow. *Smiles* back in the late 90's we did have quite a few days of deep snow and then it would blow to make higher drifts, but nothing like back in the 70's, seemed we had alot of snow days and high snow and drifts.. maybe it is just cause back then I was a kid. I really don't like the deep snow, but it was fun as a kid. Everyone's opinions are different, depends on your perspective.
I remember some of those snow storms from the late 70's. We were living in Knoxville, Illinois, at the time. There was one around '78 or '79 in particular that seemed to be really bad. We were living in the funeral home and there are pictures of our old grey car covered in snow.
I'm not sure if those days actually were harsher Winters, or if it just seemed that way because we were younger and smaller, like you said. But the Winters the past couple of years seem to me to be picking up a bit. The thing to remember is that the weather is very cyclical. Just because we have a warmer trend for a couple of years during the Winter does not mean the climate of the Earth is drastically changing. Weather is about balance. Weather is what we get when the atmosphere continues to search for balance. It never finds it completely…but it is always trying to balance temperature and air pressure. And sometimes Winters are warm and dry, and sometimes they are cold and wet.
From Brett in Decatur (1/27/10):
Hang in there Greg!!! You are smart, savvy, and funny. You'll land on your feet.
From Teri in Decatur (1/27/10):
I love your positive attitude. Good things will come your way. Life does go on after divorce and breaking up of relationships. You have a wonderful family and friends that support you.
I posted Brett's feedback above because I wanted to call someone "Dog". I am posting Teri's because I need to thank some people that don't expect to be thanked. I do have a tremendous support system. My family is fantastic (even my brother!). And I am blessed with more best friends than I have time to spend with them. And of course my little pooches have been great, too.
From Dena (1/27/10):
You are AWESOME!
And I posted that one because someone called me "AWESOME"!! Let me tell you...it doesn't suck to hear that!
From Cindy in Macon (1/28/10):
Hey Greg, first of all I loved the Greg is my Hero Riddle, I picked every number there was but you're still my Hero, thought it was really funny. Second, I joined this blog because it is different than other blogs. I am not a really big blog person but there was something different the first time I got on yours. I know we still have to watch some stuff that we say but over all it's nice to be able to vent or just share how we feel. This blog (and you as a friend) has helped me through some low times in my life and I will back you up 1000 %. Just keep up the good work and I for one will be reading this blog as long as you have it.
I appreciate the support, Cindy! It is…humbling…to hear that this blog might make such a positive impact in some people's lives. Believe me when I say that it is just about the best thing about my job, which is weird because I don't even get paid extra for doing this thing! (Not yet, anyway! Heads up, Boss Man!!!) (Holy crap I hope he doesn't read this…)
From Amanda in Blue Mound (1/29/10):
Good Morning Greg!
Im glad I got to read your blog yesterday. I had been wondering for a long time about you and your wife because you hadn't mentioned her for a while now. I never wanted to ask, but I knew something wasn't quite right. Whatever happens, I too hope that you 2 can remain friends! I came back on tonight to read your blog from today and noticed that it was gone...did you have to take it off? Anyways, I did the little test you had to see that you're my hero..lol. Keep up the good work Greg..You're awesome :)
Okay…that is two people that have referred to me as "awesome". STOP IT, PEEPS! You are going to ruin my poor self-image!
I posted this feedback because I did want to address the fact that the blog from Wednesday had changed. I am always fond of saying that I agreed to do this blog, and only want to do it if I can do it my way. While this is true…it can make it seem like the station is against me. And even though sometimes I freak out and get paranoid…"The Suits" have been very good about backing me up. I'm not sure if they like this blog, but they certainly recognize that you like this blog.
Thursday morning I came in to work and decided to remove the post from Wednesday. It was no one else's decision but mine, and I will not get into why I did it. I was not pressured to censor anything. When that has happened in the past I have shut down the blog. The fact that I am still updating the blog is proof that editing the blog was my own idea.
That's it for now! The weekend should be pretty and bright…but cold.
I am not exactly sure why this works…but someone sent me an email yesterday I have to share. It is pretty fun…and kind of cool. Any ideas about why this works the way it does…feel free to share! But don't Google it! That's cheating!
FIND OUT WHO TRULY IS YOUR ROLE MODEL. (DON'T SCROLL DOWN YET.) DO THE SIMPLE MATH BELOW,
THEN SCROLL DOWN TO FIND YOUR HERO.
It's AMAZINGLY CRAZY how accurate this is!!! No peeking!!!
1) Pick your favorite number between 1-9
2) Multiply by 3
3) Add 3
4) Multiply by 3, again
5) You should now have a 2 digit number....
6) Add the digits together
Now, scroll down.
With that number, see who your Hero is from the list below:
1. Albert Einstein 2. Oprah Winfrey 3. Peyton Manning 4. Thomas Edison 5. Bill Gates 6. Ghandi 7. Brad Pitt 8. Babe Ruth 9. Greg Trumbold 10. John F Kennedy
I know, I know.....I just have that effect on people.
One day, maybe you too can be like me.
Why are you laughing???
P.S. Stop picking different numbers!!!
I AM YOUR HERO... JUST DEAL WITH IT!!!
If you want to send this to someone else…just put your name in the number 9 spot. Again…I am not sure mathematically why this works…but it do!
I did not expect the roads to be as bad this morning as they actually were. We did not get that much snow yesterday…but the wind is not making things any easier this morning. What little snow we did get has been blowing around pretty good. So when a snow plow clears a section of road the wind just blows more snow on the road. If you are driving this morning…take care!
If I were forced to choose I think I would select the wind as my least favorite of the elements. Fire has always been fascinating to me. Water is a lot of fun. Even earth can have a nice, cooling effect when you need it. But the wind is simply…aggravating. It messes up hair. It can make a drive in the snow very, very difficult…even downright exhausting. It is very hard to golf in the wind. As a matter of fact…many sports are not as much fun in the wind.
Of course the wind does transport many important biological factors, like pollen. But overall the wind just drives me nuts.
I just learned that StormCenter 17 recently lost an alum. John Cater was a reporter here several years ago. I worked with John...and we spent some time together outside of work, too. He was a good guy, and a lot of fun to be around.
Apparently John traveled to South Africa a bit ago and caught a bug of some type. He passed away last week in a hospital in Atlanta, where he was freelance reporting (doing reports and selling them to various TV stations). John's funeral was Saturday.
So the Vikings lost last night. I really had no preference for the game, but it would have been nice to see Brett Favre in the Super Bowl again. They just made too many mistakes. I think they win the game…if they don't commit 5 turnovers. They beat the Saints in almost every other aspect of the game. But you won't win that many games making that many mistakes.
It is a great thing for the city of New Orleans to have their team FINALLY make it to the Super Bowl. Drew Brees is a fantastic quarterback, and the Saints are a very good team. However…how can you bet against Peyton Manning and the Colts at this point? Unless something weird happens between now and then…I'm picking the Colts. Honestly, though, I probably won't even watch the entire game. It won't even start until close to 6 and I won't be able to take the following Monday off because it is a ratings period.
I stayed up for the entire game last night and could not get to sleep until around 11. I got up at two this morning. Yeah…I will be dragging today! But it was worth the tired to see what was a very good championship game. I will most definitely not be making the same sacrifice next week to watch the piece of crap known as the Pro Bowl. Really…it is a worthless game. Even the players don't really want to be there. And this season anyone playing in the Super Bowl has no reason to take part because the game is next week.
I had a sensational time on vacation last week. It's been pretty stressful around work lately, and all the time off in the past few weeks has really been needed. Now because of ratings we all will work straight through February…but I am hoping for some more time away to start March. We shall see!
And for those keeping track…Paden continues to do well!
Yesterday was Paden's 2 week check up. I am happy to report that his blood work was good! We are cutting back the steroids a bit, which will make Dusty very happy. Paden did try to hump him again last night...but Dusty and I are hoping that won't happen as much on the reduced steroid doses!
Little Dude still has crystals in his urine. We are being more aggressive with that issue. Hopefully in a couple of weeks that will be under control as well!
Mostly on my time off thus far I have just hung out with the dogs. I have been putting in some time on the "side gig", and that is starting to pop a bit. You can find the link just to the right of the "B. Lime" link just above. Go to the website, hit the products tab, and look into how you could save some cash on some services that you prolly already use! It is not a scam, and I have been getting some very good deals for very close friends of mine. They've been happy with the results.
This afternoon I will spend some time at B. Lime. Bart and Wendi FINALLY had the kid, so it is more important than ever for me to give them a hand. It's only 3 hours a week, and I am more than happy to do it. Kind of takes me back to my days at Elder-Beerman, only I don't horse around at B. Lime nearly as much as I did at EB!!
I'm not sure why I am up so early. The dogs woke me up so they could go out. I may as well stay awake at this point! Wait...what's that? I hear something...I think...maybe...YES! It's my X-Box! It is calling to me! Looks like I have to spend the rest of my morning playing Madden football. I suppose someone has to do it...
Today is my Friday. I am taking the rest of the week off. So just in case I do not get to "Feedback Friday" I will do some feedback today! Chances are good I will continue blogging once or twice while I am off work. Sign up for the email alerts up top if you don't want to miss a post!
Someone with whom I am very close recently suggested I write a book. It's something I have given some thought before. It would be a lot of work…but might be kind of fun. Anyone have any thoughts? Should I give it a shot? Would you buy it??
Tomorrow morning I take Paden for his two week check up. They will check his red blood cell level, and check his urine for crystals. Is that too much information for you? Well sorry…but you are in this right along with me, now! Hopefully his numbers will come back good on all counts and we can get back to normal with my little dude!
From Cleo in Decatur (1/15/10):
Hi, Greg you had me rollin today...
When I sent you the one message the other day... I went back to your blog to make sure that I spelled McGwire right...
Be Careful.. You do have people following in your footsteps.. LOLOLOL Love, Cleo its okay.. I swear I need the laughs.. (your doing this on purpose just~ for me.. *Smiles*)
Some of us got McGwire's name right and some did not. I was actually on both sides of that fence last week…and I am glad it made you laugh, Cleo!
From LeeAnn in Decatur (1/15/10):
Hi, Greg. About the bus companies, they are not owned by the schools, at least not in Decatur. And their standards for what kind of person they hire to drive these buses are alarming. My daughter's bus driver in first grade hit a giant, purple conversion van- it was parked, nobody even in it. I sat at her bus stop for close to an hour, and started to get really worried. A nice lady pulled her car up to where I sat, and said, "Honey, the bus was in an accident. They're over on that side street." (Our daughters shared the same bus stop.) I ran to where she indicated I'd find them, and quite literally picked her up. When I inquired about the situation with the new bus driver, she informed me that the genius who hit a parked van had been placed back in training. If one round through this training didn't teach the guy not to hit parked vehicles, I don't think a second round is going to do it. Between that situation and others involving undisciplined children doing whatever they please on the bus, my daughter no longer rides one. And I wouldn't drive a school bus for a million bucks a week. You wouldn't believe- kids standing up, shouting obscenities out of the window at adults, sexual harassment like you wouldn't believe- and all of this is just a grade school bus!
Wow, LeeAnn! Maybe the issue should not be one particular student getting off at the wrong stop. Maybe the school districts should be taking a close look at how they farm out the school bus driving responsibilities. Do the districts audit these bus companies to hold them accountable?
Do our school districts have too many other problems for this to take priority? I know many districts have been hurting financially for what seems like decades.
Man. I am glad it is not my job to solve all of these problems. Someone is going to have some stress ahead of them!
From Larry (1/18/10):
Good morning Greg.
The ice fog was in full display yesterday heading North on 51, at Bloomington, and 55 towards Dwight. I drove my wife up to her Daughters so she could spend some time with her, and the granddaughters for a few days. Once in Bloomington it was getting heavier all the way further North.
Now for something you mentioned earlier.
When we were going North, On 55, I pointed out to my wife, on the South side of the road, where you could see in the medium strip of grass, right before you would cross a bridge, where two, and three people in vehicles lost control, probably because the Bridge was icy. That was almost at every bridge.
That stretch of road is a VERY good example of what you, and most weather people on TV try and point out. My wife said, "The North side isn't that way." I told her maybe it was salted first. Or the people heading to Bloomington, were in a bigger hurry to get to work.
True…we often say that bridges freeze up before road over ground. The reason for this, not that you asked Larry, is that the ground tends to retain some heat and keep the road above it warmer than road over a bridge. With nothing under it…roads on a bridge will freeze first…and that is why you always exercise more caution going over bridges when it is cold. Especially if the bridge is over water, whether it is raining/foggy/snowing or not, the moisture from the body of water could land on the bridge and ice up. This is why Lake Shore Drive in Chicago has special speed limits for the Winter. The mist from Lake Michigan lands on the road and freezes.
From Bart in Champaign (1/18/10):
...Unless you're a Steelers fan, then you can hope for a Super Bowl every year. How 'bout them Cowboys!
Dude…to think I was going to come out and congratulate the new Father on his beautiful baby girl! Just when I thought we would be friends forever…you go and drag out the Steelers. It's a good thing you are a staunch St. Louis Cardinals' fan or we would have nothing in common!
Like I said the other day…the Cowboys were beaten by the clearly better team. At least they got a couple of monkeys off their backs this season, and improved on last season. That is the best you can hope for from year to year. No longer must we Cowboys' fans rely on past glory to brag on our team. We made the playoffs this season…and made it past the first round. Our successes have come this season for our beloved team. It's a "what have you done for me lately" world, Steeler fan. What say ye???
Aight…I'm out. There will likely be an update some time tomorrow afternoon when Paden is done with his appointment. Many, many of you have expressed concern about my boy's health…so I will continue to keep you posted! We are all in this together now!
--So what happens when you take several inches of snow on the ground, melt it, and give it no wind to get out of here? You get very thick fog. And what happens when you take that fog and put it in below freezing temperatures? The moisture from the fog settles on things and turns to ice. That is what we call freezing fog, and that is what we are concerned with this morning. Roads and walkways could be slick this morning! And it looks like we may do this again tomorrow morning.
--For the most part…my post season football viewing ended yesterday afternoon when the Vikings blew out the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings were simply the better team yesterday, and it was painful for this Cowboys fan to watch. There was an issue at the end of the game when the Vikings went for it on 4th and 3. Brett Favre ended up throwing a touchdown on that play to his tight end. Some of the Cowboys said that it was a classless move.
To me…here is the bottom line on that issue. These guys get paid to play this game. They are professionals. If you don't want someone running up the score on you give them a reason not to. Stop them…or stop talking. There are no scoring run ups. There are only bad defenses that can't stop the other team from scoring. And that has nothing to do with class.
I would have preferred that the Cowboys win that game. But the Vikings are very good and next weekend's Vikings/Saints game has the potential to be the best so far in what has been a great post season. But the Cowboys did improve on last season, and that is all you can realistically hope for from year to year.
--And while I am sharing thoughts this morning, here are a couple of thoughts for Pat Robertson and Danny Glover: Shut up, Gentlemen. Please.
Good luck with the fog over the next day or so! At least it is not completely frigid anymore…
I don't have much to say this morning, other than the feedback. But I did notice that the nail on my left pinky seems very healthy. Compared to my other nails it just seems to grow much more evenly. I think if I were to let all of my nails grow out to an inch in length…that pinky nail would be the best looking of the bunch. I know it is just a finger nail…and there are people dying in Haiti prolly even as you read this…but that little dude hanging off the end of my finger just looks fantastic this morning.
From Cleo in Decatur (1/11/10):
Greg, A feature I didn't know that you had, The Seven Day Forecast sent to you in an e-mail, I'm assuming every monday, cause I got one today. I really like it. I signed up for some other ones to that automatically come. I'm not fond of the 3-D effect a few others don't either, but you can't please everyone. I see the high on Wed. 38, *Smiles* come on Spring...lol.
Hey, Cleo. Yeah…not only can you sign up for email alerts for "Weather…or Not". But we also send out email alerts for the 7 Day forecast, breaking news events, severe weather, and some other things. The 7 day alert is sent out every morning, 7 days a week, if everything is going according to plan! It is one of the many things I do before the news starts every weekday morning!
The 3D stuff is not all that exciting right now. Honestly…winter storm events look just about the same in 3D as they do in 2D. And I appreciate you giving your opinion on 3D…but just hang on until we get that first BIG Spring storm to roll through. After that…then send me your opinion again and we will see if it makes a difference. I have seen how 3D will handle the big thunderstorms…and it really is freaking awesome.
From Dena in Shelbyville (1/11/10):
Mark McGwire...guess I knew but hated to have it confirmed. Those were some fun years. Should I feel cheated?
I just realized that the morning I blogged about Mark McGwire that I spelled his name wrong…a lot! Ah, well.
I don't believe in telling people how they should feel. If you feel cheated then you feel cheated. I can tell you that I don't feel cheated. As a baseball fan and a Cardinals fan I am not happy that most of the players were juicing while I was growing up. But I realize that there is nothing we can do about it.
The McGwire/Sosa Show was spectacular when it was happening. And honestly I don't really know just how much steroids help baseball players hit a baseball. But I do know that using it to hold off injuries is still enhancing performance. Bottom line, though…I don't really care. It was a good show. I'm not enough of a baseball purist to care about what it does to the "hallowed" records of baseball.
From Sharon in Decatur (1/12/10):
I'm a CARDS fan & I agree with you. It's over, it's done, let's move on & try to keep it from happening again!!
Well said, Sharon.
And for the record…thanks for the home made caramels around the Holidays! They were FANTASTIC!!
From Doug in Mattoon (1/12/10):
Hi Greg, about Big Mac and "steroid city athletes", I'm a huge Cardinal fan. I think that Big Mac AND Sammy Sosa are heroes to baseball, as they brought back the fans after the 'baseball strike' the previous season. I, along with many fans of baseball were really p'd about that strike, and those two guys got cheered wherever they played. As for myself, I would love to see steroids legalized, as it made the players almost "super-humans" and I love seeing home runs!
from the desk of Dougie B @ muh-TUNE
I doubt that steroids will ever be legalized because of their potential adverse impact on people's long term health. But these newer drugs, HGH included, will probably be legal in the next 10 or 15 years. Science is to the point where they will create these drugs without lasting side effects.
Would you pass up taking a pill that could legitimately make you look and feel 10 or 15 years younger than you are right now, provided it does not take years off the end of your life? Why wouldn't you do that if the pills are "perfect"? I, for one, will likely take these medications if they become available without the side effects. I really don't see a reason why you wouldn't.
From Randy in Decatur (1/12/10):
Mark McGuire is being disingenuous when he blames his transgressions, at least in part, on a heel injury. He could have told that to Congress in 2005.
When he said "I'm not here to talk about the past, the Chairman should have pointed out that the Committee was ONLY there to hear about the past.
I'm gonna light my fireplace with his rookie card.
He did say that his "people" advised him not to say much to the Congress. But I think people would have appreciated McGwire more had he just come clean then and went from there.
I don't know, Randy. That rookie card might still be worth something someday…
From Craig in Oreana (1/12/10):
uh yeah! His name is Mark McGwire! come on kid!!!!! Unfortunately I agree with everything else you said about him!
Nice catch, Bogle! Yeah…I spelled his name wrong. I was such a big fan of his, and I know how to spell his name. But for some reason I messed it up the other morning.
See. Sometimes I really am stupid!!
From Phil in Cissna Park (1/13/10):
Good morning Greg. I, too, enjoyed bus rides to/from school as a kid. However, I am of the opinion that the bus driver's responsibility lies in covering all the scheduled stops on the route...period. Getting on and off the bus at the right stop should be the parent's and the children themselves. There is no way a bus driver can or should be expected to remember who gets on or off where. Over time they may "learn" this with the repetition of the route.
Are you suggesting more parental responsibility, Phil? Hmmm…that may be an interesting concept!
From Sharon in Decatur (1/13/10):
My opinion, parents need to take some responsibility instead of expecting everybody else to do their job!!
Maybe there is a pill that parents can give their kids to help them remember which stop is their bus stop, Sharon! Heh. I'm only joking about that.
From Greg Orian (1/13/10):
How did the little girl find the friend's house if they had just recently moved and she didn't even know her own address? That doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe it was just a coincidence? Anyway, I think it definitely needs to be a combined effort with diligent efforts to improve communication between parents, the school district/bus company. As tax payers, that is a service that they provide to us, and therefore those bus drivers/companies should try with the upmost care and effort to be aware of the children that are on the bus and where all of the children's stops are. Parents need to make sure that they are "attaching a card with their children's name, phone number and address to their backpack", and the parent needs to make sure that their child says something to the bus driver that he/she is new and show the address to the bus driver. This process actually starts with the parent. The bus drivers have a lot of students to be responsible for, the parents need to make sure that they have communicated clearly to their child what the correct stops are. There needs to be some sort of system in place to eliminate confusion, such as this particular instance.
On the other hand, if you know how much a bus driver makes (which is clearly not the issue at hand), but it does play a small part of how employees are treated and how seriously they take their job; it is part time work, a little above minimum wage, normally not including any benefits. These people are the ones that are responsible for getting our children off of the buses. Do you really want them to be completely responsible if they do not take their jobs seriously? Parents need to own up to their part of the process to ensure their children's safety. Stop playing the blame game and teach them.
Very good points, "Greg Orian". If the bus drivers are going to be held responsible for their passengers…maybe they should be paid more? I guess it comes down to everyone stepping up their game, as is often the case.
From Teri in Decatur (1/13/10):
I think it is both the bus company and the parent. If it were a new bus stop the parent should have been waiting there for her child or made arrangements for some other person to be there that the child knew. I am not sure how many kids are on a bus route now but with subs etc. They cannot be familiar with each child. I think the parent should have made sure there was something pinned to the child's coat and back pack also. Just my opinion.
Thanks for sharing your opinion, Teri! It would seem as though your thoughts on this are like many other's thoughts. Shared responsibility, leaning towards the parents.
From Trish in Decatur (1/13/10):
I rode the school bus in middle school, and I had to have a signed note from my parent, and the principal to get off at a different stop or if I had a friend coming home with me. I think that the bus drivers should stick to the rules. There is a lot that can happen to these children. Have a great weekend.
Thanks, Trish! I seem to remember needing to let someone know if I had someone coming home with me, too. Or maybe I had to bring a note or something. But the process still began with the parents.
Also as I recall…at the beginning of the year the bus driver did not know squat. But by the end of the first quarter she had a pretty good idea who was supposed to get off the bus, and at which stop. Don't they have "stop sheets" that tell them where to go, and how many kids are going?
Bottom line…it seems that the responsibility should be shared. I tend to think that the ultimate responsibility is on the parents, though. And then it goes from there.
From Phil in Cissna Park (1/14/10):
Hello Greg....oh, and it is Cissna Park. I posted this on Facebook and thought I'd add it here. The Red Cross gets 100% of the money from the texts. The phone company bills the texting person's account but keeps none of the money:
**************** HAITI NEEDS OUR HELP ************* You can text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, or Donate $5 to American Red Cross by texting "YELE" to 501501.
Hey, Phil. I'm not sure what got in to me this week…but I have been misspelling things all week long! I corrected it on the blog from yesterday morning. Thanks for the heads up!
And thanks for passing along the Red Cross information.
From Angie in Charleston (1/14/10):
Hello! Strange that this is your topic for today....I know someone who is taking the local bus company on as we speak. Of course it is a parent's job to teach their children about bus routes, etc. However, these are CHILDREN. They won't always remember, they get confused. So yes...when they are on the bus the bus company is responsible for them. There are too many horror stories about just this kind of thing. Great example: Recently a 5 year old child was dropped off 2 blocks from his house (and this was NOT his bus stop). He could not see his house from where they dropped him off. The little guy had no idea where to go or what to do. He was terrified and confused. He ended up wandering around until a friend of his father's happened to see him and pick him up. At that point, the parents were racing around trying to find their child. It took an hour and a half for the parents and the friend to find each other, all the while the parents terrified at having no idea what happened to him. This poor little guy was so scared and confused....and was near a very busy street. Sadly, I could fill pages of this kind of thing...all local recent incidents. Why do we have to wait for a child to get hurt or abducted OR for someone to file a lawsuit (costing tax payer money!) before we make these companies take responsibility?
Great to hear from you again, Angie. You bring up some excellent points. As a matter of fact…everyone has brought up excellent points on this bus issue.
So are the bus companies not run by the school district? Are they privately run and contracted out by the schools? I always thought that the buses were owned by the school district. I don't know if the answers matter in this issue…but it does make me curious.
From Cindy in Macon (1/14/10)
Hey Greg, I really enjoyed the Stella Awards, it always amazes me what people will do for money. Some of the stuff is just plain crazy but there are a lot of crazy people out there. When you mentioned the story about the bus driver and the little kid, I asked my husband who used to be a school bus driver about it and he said it's always been the bus driver's responsibility to make sure the kids get home safe no matter what, unless the rules have changed since then. When my kids were little they walked to and from school for awhile so it was my responsibility to make sure they got home but when they started riding the bus it was the driver's. If they moved it was still the driver's job to know these things. We always made sure the school and driver was aware of this. If and when you have kids it will make a difference in your opinion. Kiss the doggies for me and hope they're doing good. Hope Paden's not as "randy" as he was.
Glad you enjoyed the Stella's! Honestly…I am not sure if those lawsuits really happened, but they were entertaining anyway!
Paden continues to improve. I'm not sure I really grasp just how close he was to be in a dire situation. Maybe I am just trying not to think about it. But the meds are doing their job, and he is doing well. He goes back Wednesday for a blood test to make sure his red blood cells are doing well. And his "randiness" has settled down, too!
One thing I was not prepared for with this doggie issue was one of the side effects of Paden's steroids. Apparently they make him feel a little…anxious, if you know what I mean! How else can I say that? Well…the steroids make him horny, baby. He had to have his testosterone makers removed at the animal shelter just before I got him almost two years ago, so he is not used to the hormones pulsing through his veins. Apparently the steroids are giving him a little jolt…and the little dude was trying to hump everything he could get his paws on for a while! Last weekend I had him around two larger dogs…and the big dogs were afraid of my humping little friend! What's that they say? Like father like son??
This is probably a good place to stop this morning. Have a great weekend! Chances are good we will see a lot of the sun by the end of the day on Sunday, and it is getting warmer!
I went through yesterday without mentioning Haiti on the blog. But obviously it is a horrendous situation down there. With the poverty level in that small country where it is…the buildings are not built to withstand earthquakes, much less a larger one like they just had. They even have crappy buildings stacked on hillsides that just slide right down the hill.
There are ways for us to help, if we choose. Apparently you can just text on your phone to make a donation. Text the word "HAITI" TO 90999 to make a donation of $10. I assume they will bill your cell phone for the $10. And I would assume you can find more donation information on the Red Cross website.
Our boy Phil in Cissna Park sent me an email the other day with some maddening stories. They are called "The Stella Awards". As is often the case…I have not researched these to check for authenticity, or accuracy. But they are funny, none the less!
It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'!
For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee.
You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That's right; these are awards for the most
outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head.
Here are the Stella's for the past year:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably
surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.
*SIXTH PLACE *
Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
*FIFTH PLACE *
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
Jerry Williams , of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.
*THIRD PLACE *
Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.
* FIRST PLACE *
This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down? $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.
Here is something that puzzles me…are local school bus companies really responsible to make sure each kid gets off at the right bus stop? I'm not being smarmy. I am really curious. I don't have kids, but I did take the bus to school back in the day. If I missed my stop, or got off at the wrong stop…it was my fault.
Yesterday morning we did a story about a little girl that got off at the wrong stop. We showed the girl's mom, I assume, and she said that it is the bus company's responsibility to make sure the kids get off at the right stop. Is that right? The family apparently had recently moved and the girl was not sure which stop was hers. So is it the bus company's job to make sure she knows? Or is it the parent's job to make sure the kid knows which stop is the right stop?
I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have something to say about this just use the feedback form above! Or…if you have a LOT to say about this…send me an email with "Blog" on the subject line. Feedback will be posted on Friday!
Someone sent me some feedback last night about Mark McGuire, and asked for my thoughts. I will leave that feedback for "Feedback Friday", but I wanted to chat about steroids in baseball while it is topical.
To catch everyone up…yesterday Mark McGuire released a statement apologizing for his use of steroids for over ten years of his professional baseball career. After the statement was released Mark McGuire did the conference call circuit, and even did an interview with Bob Costas. During these calls/interviews McGuire said he was sorry he used performance enhancers, and said that he wished he never played in the steroid era.
I'm surprised that some people seemed legitimately surprised by McGuire's overdue admission. The guy was built like a horse back in the day, inside and out. And if you look at the numbers from that era of baseball no one should be surprised to learn that MOST of those guys were doing something.
Overall I don't really care. You can't go back and change any of it. You can't start scratching records that were broken during that era because there is no way to tell who was on something and who was not. McGuire and Bonds were killing hitting records…but Pedro was chasing pitching records while all these guys were juiced. So how do you separate?
I am a baseball fan, and a Cardinals fan. Some of my fellow Redbird fans feel like they have been cheated. How? Anyone that was watching baseball that magical year of the McGuire/Sosa home run chase was treated to a magical show from a storied sport. Does it really matter if the guys were on horse pills at the time? Does that fact really take away the joy that fathers and sons shared at the ballpark that season?
I say we let players apologize and admit all they want. Let them clear their conscience and their names for whatever reason they feel necessary. Let's just acknowledge that this crap is bad for the sport and possibly bad for our bodies…and move on. Let's keep developing tests to keep up with the next big drug. And let's keep providing an atmosphere that allows these guys to come clean about what they did without sacrificing their futures.
Anyone caught when this stuff was against the rules of baseball should pay a huge price. But some of these "old timers" were doing this stuff before it was banned from baseball…so let them confess if they choose and lets move on.
That's just my opinion. Feel free to share yours by using the feedback form at the top of the blog. Also…sign up for email alerts up there if you like. And at the very bottom of the blog is a ratings system to show whether or not you like "Weather…or Not". Click on the appropriate star, whether you like it or hate it. But if you hate it…honestly…why are you here?? :-)
Here's a taste of a little something something to start your day on a happy note!
Someone sent me a link to a website that sells a heater tha, , t looks pretty cool. As always I have not really researched it…but if anyone has any more informatio, n on this bad boy feel free to send feedback and fill us in. On the surface it sounds like it could be very cool!
I had a terrific vacation. Mostly I just chilled with friends/family/lovers/pooches. I come back to work refreshed and relaxed. And I had to try and remember how to do my job when I got here this morning!
So I wake up this morning around 8 to find several texts from friends/lovers that Mattoon's Villa Pizza burned down early this morning. While it is just a building and no one was hurt...Villa is THE pizza joint in Coles County. There are many sad stomachs in my hometown this morning. I think I have even blogged about Villa right here in the past. You have to assume that the Arena family will rebuild.
Paden continues to improve!
"Feedback Friday", the late morning vacation edition!
From Mark in Decatur (12/30/9):
Just read where you're taking some time off for the new year. Before you vanish for awhile, I got to ask you the standard question: What's your New Year's Resolution?
Mine is a simple one you don't need to got to a gym or go on a celery diet to do. It's to be here December 31st, 2010 to bring in the next year.
Tell everyone at WAND Happy New Year too!
Hi, Mark! I am getting to this one a little late because of my vacation! Thank you for the New Year's wishes, tho!
I am not one to make resolutions, per se. I try to take stock every couple of months and improve where I can. Anyone that knows my non-traditional thinking won't be surprised by that!
I will share one area of my life where I am trying to improve. Generally I can be pretty insensitive (hard to imagine, I know). One of my goals for self improvement in the coming year is to be more in touch with not only my own feelings, but other people's as well. Just trying to get well rounded in that area.
From Jennifer in Decatur (1/5/10):
Greg! I am missing my morning dose of weather or not! Please update the blog!! Pretty Please!
I am on it, Jen! I had to take a few days away, though. You know...to recharge the blog battery! Thanks for caring enough to send feedback!
From Cleo in Decatur (1/5/10):
I've been waiting for you to get back. Sorry to hear about Paden and Dusty. Hope Paden comes home tomorrow. Mine all know when one is missing. Some take it harder than others. (My cat rather enjoys when she sees one of the dogs leaving the house, but the others miss them). Don't get me wrong, She rules the house, she is Queen, but, she is not the spoiltest. They all are.
I usually use this site because of the weather. I have it on my favorites so I rarely venture around on this site. But I was the one day. I landed on a page and couldn't figure out what your picture was. The others were pictures of theirselves. So, I clicked on it and the next picture was a facial shot of your puppy. *SMiLEs*.. I went back to the first picture and it was more of a distance shot.
I'm glad I looked further because you are a great writer. I really enjoy reading what you write. Sorry about your mishaps. Laughter is the greatest medicine. I need all I can get.
I'm glad that you don't hold back on here. I Love to hear your views.
Thanks, C, leo. The boy is home...and I think he is feeling pretty good. I have a cabinet in my kitchen that is dedicated to the Shih Tzus and it is starting to look like I live with an elderly couple. There is enough doggie medicine to open my own clinic! Whatever, tho. It is totally worth it!
The face shot is Dusty. The distance shot is of Paden living a hard life. It is certainly a far cry from his life on the mean streets of Decatur!
From Greg Orian (1/6/10):
Where have you been? I have missed reading your blogs over the last week.
Regarding your blog today, I want to point out one thing. If you had a credible source regarding the Salvation Army, something that actually showed TRUE statistics, rather than another person's blog/opinions, this would be very interesting indeed. However, it is another person's opinion. One of the things that I was asking myself while reading the other blog was that how did he know how those houses were paid for, did the Salvation Army let him in on their mortgage closing? There are a few things that I would like to mention, there are some very generous, wealthy people that donate extra housing for officers of the Salvation Army. The pay of an officer in the Salvation Army has been noted as less than average, so why not entice people who do good, with the blessing of living in a nice home. Most of these officers are moved from home to home, depending on their positions – which actually shows that the Salvation Army is utilizing what they have. Also, in this blog it shows you what the hou, se was WORTH…not what was actually paid for, it. If these people actually did pay for their home, how do you know how these people came up with the money to pay for this home? Some of them could come from very wealthy families with great inheritances. They might not be using their income as servants to the community for their day to day livings. I don't know about you, but I would love to live in a $900,000 home if I could afford it. If I worked for the Salvation Army, I would enjoy living in one of those homes and I wouldn't really care what the public thought. I am not going to judge them for living in nice homes…if they can afford it, more power to them. Very interesting blog though...
I've posted feedback from Greg Orian before. Last time I just posted that it was from Greg, and let it go at that. But this time I did want to point out the last name...and the cleverness of some of the blog readers! See if you can "put it together"...
You make good points, Greg. It was just someone else's blog. As a general rule...I post, and you research if you choose. It would be interesting to know how this blogger came to his information...
From Phil in Cissna Park (1/6/10):
Great news about Paden, Greg...enjoy your time with them.
Thanks, Phil! I have been enjoying the Heck out of them this week while on vacation!
From a different Jennifer in Decatur (1/7/10):
Hi Greg! Glad to hear that Paden is doing better. I know how it is when your animal is sick. Right now one of my dogs is on meds for a bladder infection. He too might have bladder stones. My other dog had bladder stones but we had her on the precription diet food and it cleared them up which was wonderful. No surgery needed. Here's to a speedy recovery to Paden. Please give both of your Wu's a hug and kiss for me. They are blessed to have such a wonderful owner. :) Hope you are enjoying your time off and miss seeing you in the mornings.
Consider the Wu's kissed and hugged from you! It was a pretty scary day or two while Paden was gone. As you may know I do not have kids. I was close one time, but nature decided against it at that time. So these little dudes are pretty much my kids. And they have been huge for me during a very rough stretch of life this past year. It would have been devastating to lose one of them! And apparently I came pretty close to losing Paden this week.
Sometimes people will say to me..."but they ARE just dogs". I usually just smile and say "yeah...I know".
That's all for now! Thanks for the feedback, and staying with me on my vacation! Rememeber...it is always a good time to sign up for email alerts. Many of you have in the past week and I think you will find yourself with a much, much, much fuller life because of it! Heh.
See you bright and early Monday morning!
I think I am starting to dislike "The Biggest Loser". I am catching up on the newest season this morning on DVR. We've talked about this show quite a bit here on this blog. We've talked about how over-produced it is, and we've talked about the ridiculous product placements. But this first episode of the new season barely even seems "real" to me. It's almost like bad acting. Are they giving these people scripts now?? Horrible.
Bob and Jillian pulled a fire alarm on the first morning of the new season. They then showed the contestants in their rooms reacting to the sound of the fire alarm. Some were surprised and faking worry about what was happening. But they had freakin camera people in their rooms shooting them!! Do you really think they were worried when they see that even the camera people weren't scared?? That's the problem with reality shows. When you know you are being shot with a camera it is tough to be completely real. Trust me on this one...
It's still inspiring to see these people working so hard to change their lives. But the producers are ruining this show. Just strip it down...and let it be real. It would be the best show on TV if they quit the "schtick", in my opinion. I am almost ready to quit watching it.
Paden is doing okay this morning. He has two pills to take in the morning for a while, and 1 pill at night. Between him and Dusty this place is like a frickin pharmacy! Paden also has special food to eat for a bit. He has crystals in his urine, so we have to be concerned about kidney stones. I'm not sure how my boy got all jacked up...but we are getting him back in shape!
Paden is home and resting comfortably. Dusty has been home, and is very, very happy to have his playmate back. I am happy both of them are chilling out in my family room while I type this update!
Basically Paden's red blood cells were being killed off by his immune system, which is not good. Had it been another day or so without treatment my little dude would have been my little dead. Big thanks to Dave and Sue for catching this one! At the end of the day Paden is just a dog...but he is huge in my life. I would have moved on had this taken an ugly turn. But man...it would have hurt like Hell. That pain, it would appear, will have to wait for another day. For now...our journey together continues!
By the way...that bit below about the Salvation Army is just from a blog. I did not Snopes it. As usual...I post it, and it is up to you to follow it as deeply as you choose!
--So Dusty and I have decided that we would rather sleep in a bed that has Paden in it, as opposed to last night just being the two of us. The vet opens in about half an hour, so I will call and get an update on my little dude from the streets. Thank you for the well wishes...and I will of course have to keep you posted here on the blog. Some days if I didn't blog about my boys I don't know what I would have to talk about!
--A friend of mine in Virden has a phobia of mice. He recently shared with me a technique that so far seems to keep mice away from him. Apparently he put Glade Plugins in some rooms that mice had been attracted to recently. He used the Clean Linen scent. Now the mice stay out of those rooms. He said he was talking to another friend of his that lived in the country, where mice tend to be more prevelant...and his friend had done the same thing...with the same results! Anyone else heard of this? If it is actually the Plugins...my friend might have just stumbled on a way to keep mice out without killing them!
--Another friend of mine sent me an email this morning with a link to a story about the Salvation Army. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about keeping an eye on the leaders of national charitable organizations...and some of you reamed me for it. While I am not posting this link as an "I told you so", it does , prove the point I was trying to make.
Don't get me wrong. The Salvation Army does amazing things all over the world. Of the bigger organizations this one has got to be considered one of the best. But...just because they do all of this good does NOT mean that they are above scrutiny. That was the point I was trying to make about these large charities. When you combine large sums of cash and the basic human element of greed...you ALWAYS have to have oversight and accountability.
Just my opinion. , As always...you are more than welcome to share yours using the feedback form above. Or if it is a long opinion send me an email with Blog in the subject line and I will post it. "Feedback Friday" might actually happen on Friday this week, depending on what happens with Paden.
Here is to the first blog update of 2010! As I type this I have one dog outside enjoying the cold and the snow. The other dog is in Decatur at Fairview Animal Hospital resting comfortably. Paden started feeling ill over the past couple of days so I had him taken to the vet. As it turns out his little red blood cells are not producing at a high enough rate. So he is undergoing tests, etc...and spending some time with Doctor Bob. I have mentioned this before on this blog...I have the utmost confidence in the peeps at Fairview. They care about my boys almost as much as I do.
The red blood cell stuff could actually end up being very serious...but Dr. Bob feels confident that we got Paden in at a good time. So there should be a day or so at the vet, and then a medicinal solution to the issue.
Hope you had a good New Year. Mine was very good. Dinner at Fogo De Ciao in Chicago with great family and friends. I spent a few days with my Dad and other friends/family and it was fantastic!
During my vacation I have not been paying much attention to the weather, other than to notice that it is FREAKING cold! I hear in the next day or so we could be getting a good snow. Hope you keep safe on the roads! And remember...if you are shoveling...pace yourself!
Okay. That is it for now. I am trying to keep Dusty from getting bored/worried. These two pooches have become very close over the last year. This morning Paden would not come out of his crate at his grandparent's house. Dusty apparently went into Paden's crate and tried to pull him out by the collar. So Dusty is now home with me...and once in a while he notices that his bro isn't around. He is getting antsy again...so it's time to play!