--Nice to see a story during the news yesterday morning about roads in Illinois. Wasn't I just bagging on roads in Decatur a couple of weeks ago? Is it possible someone is listening?? Probably not. The report that said Illinois has bad roads is an annual one.
Georgia has the best roads in the country according to this report. My question is…why doesn't someone ask Georgia what they do so we can copy it? Overall, though, Illinois roads are loads better than most Mexican roads I was on over the past week! Although there was a tale told on my vacation of toll roads in parts of Mexico that are pristine.
--I think it is fantastic that we have programs/PR machines reminding us to be aware of motorcycles. I don't ride them myself, but I can appreciate why people do. But can we make sure motorcyclists are doing all they can do to be seen? I've recently had some "crotch rockets" blazing past me on the shoulder of the road, on both right and left sides. Tell you what…you stop riding that thing like a jackass and I will be more aware of where you are on the LEGAL part of the road!
--Kudos to Representative Deborah Mell. She is the politico that recently announced her impending nuptials…to another woman. That is something she can not do in the state of Illinois, so they will have to go to Iowa. That was the point of her making the announcement at her job. Some have asked…who cares? But obviously she is making the point that she can't get married here. And obviously she is trying to start the discussion of gay marriage in our state.
In my opinion, for whatever it is worth, kids have a better chance in a household filled with love. And I don't care what kind of love. Single parent households have produced "good kids". Traditional husband and wife households have produced "good kids". Non-traditional households…husband and husband, wife and wife, dominatrix and submissive, etc…have also produced "good kids". So you can't really effectively use the old argument that man and wife households are the only way to go when it comes to raising kids.
With so much hate in this world how can you deny two people that want to express their love by getting married? Besides…over half of all "straight" marriages fail. It's not like we have the secrets to getting it right. I actually personally know a few gay couples that have been together for 40…50…even 60 years. I know fewer straight couples that have been together that long. So let's get out of the way of other people finding their happiness. It won't impact you nearly as much as you might think it will.
So I figured I would actually get to your feedback over the past week or so. "Feedback Friday"!!!
From Pamela in Macon (4/21/10):
I totally agree with you about the legalization of marijuana and you are correct about the cartel.
The people I know that smoke marijuana, do not get in the car and drive and hit a car or pedestrian, not like a drunk driver!!
From Phil in Cissna Park (4/29/10):
Welcome back from "Mehicko", mi amigo. Loved your pictures on Facebook and I definitely see signs of happiness in them. Congratulations there, as well.
Thanks, Phil. I am starting to hit a good stride in my life. It is nice to be happy again. There is still work to be done in my situation…but both of us seem to be getting apart what we could not get together. And life is too short to not be happy as much as you can.
As to FaceBook...last year I was the victim of a shallow attempt to get me into trouble via Facebook and this blog. Someone at work did not think it was good for me to have a blog, and they used Facebook to try and get me bumped. I survived the ordeal…but now I keep a tight lid on my friends list. My Facebook is not a work-related account. As such…I limit my friends list to those I actually know from personal meetings.
Phil is a friend of mine. I've met Phil in person. And I know Phil will not try to gouge me at work if I put something questionable on my Facebook account. I'm only telling you this because I get friend requests from Gregorians once in a while and I have to turn them down if I have not met them in person, or know them in general. Please don't take it personally. I have to protect myself!
From Joanne in Clinton (4/29/10):
Welcome back Greg!! you were truly missed on the morning news. I was almost tempted to turn over to one of the competitor channels.
That's crazy talk, Joanne! Why would you ever consider watching another channel?? Actually I know most of the morning competition, weather-wise, and they are all good people. That Reese kid over at Channel 3 actually got me into this crazy weather business. But that still doesn't mean I want you watching him! Heh.
From Mary in Assumption (4/29/10):
Hey Greg, glad to hear you are feeling better. It sucks when u go on vacation and end up getting sick. i think we have all been there done that. Glad to see u back on the station. Glad u enjoyed most of your time off.
Thanks, Mary. I am glad I'm feeling better, too! Fortunately on the day I got sick I had a tremendous caretaker. We had a great time on the day I was bed/toilet ridden. There was a lot of laughter, even when I was running to the john!
Thanks for hanging with the blog through my vacation. Many more of you signed up for email alerts. You can do that at the bottom of the blog. It basically just sends you an email whenever I update this bad boy. You can also find the feedback form down there to send me your thoughts. You know how much I love reading your thoughts! And give me 5 stars while you are down there, too!
Enjoy the weekend! Tomorrow night I am going to a Cinco De Mayo party. Montezuma and his revenge can go to Hell. I'm having more Mexican food this weekend!
Yeah…it has been a while. I did manage to blog once while on vacation. But other than that this blog has been silent for a while. I am back to work this morning…and back to blogging. There isn't a lot of time to give you the vacation run down, and I am not very big on boring people with details of vacations. But let me just say that it was a fantastic time. We "ziplined" through the mountains…frolicked on the beach and in the pool…and relaxed.
There was a day that I spent in bed being sick. I will spare you the details of that experience…but I did go through a few rolls of toilet paper. I also plugged up a sink with vomit. Okay…so maybe I will give you details!
It was a fantastic trip. I am glad to be home and in the States. There is a lot in this country that we take for granted. A couple of weeks ago I was complaining about the roads in and around this area. Let me tell you…our roads are not as bad as I thought they were! The roads where we stayed make me miss the roads in Decatur.
There was a little bit of feedback while I was gone. That feedback probably won't be in tomorrow's blog. It will take me a couple of work days to get caught up with stuff…so just hang in there and I will get stuff answered in due time!
One of the big reasons I love this blog is that it allows us to be honest with one another. While I won't say that I am flat out lying when I am on TV it's not like it is a 100% honest portrayal of who I am as a person. There are things I can put on the blog that I can't get into during the weather. And the biggest reason for that is that it just isn't the right place during the weather for me to go off on the poor roads in Decatur or how I actually believe that marijuana should be legal in our country. But here on the blog I can tell you that I think that keeping marijuana illegal only fuels cartels. And here on the blog you can send me feedback to let me know you think I am a whack-a-do. And I dig that.
It is in that spirit of honesty that I say to you now…I'm not really here today. Sure…my body is here. You can see me physically doing the weather through the morning today. But I think you should know that my mind is checked out. In my mind I am actually sitting pool side in Mexico nursing a real Mexican tequila margarita, enjoying my family, friends, and lover. In my mind I am a country away. And thank God there are no storms today, cause I just don't have the capacity right now to deal with it!
Later this morning I will pack my bag and head to Chicago. Early in the morning tomorrow I will be on a plane headed South. And I won't be back to work until the middle of next week. It is a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH needed vacation. And I plan to soak up every last drop of it.
I may blog occasionally while I am away. I may not. We are supposed to have internet access…but you never know. Just in case you might think about signing up for email alerts if you haven't done that yet. Hit the form at the bottom of the page to get that done. And while you are down there be sure to give me a 5 star rating. My goal is 1,000 5 star ratings by the end of the Summer.
And for any criminals that might read this blog and sniff an opportunity…keep moving along. My house has someone staying in it while I am gone. And having been the victim of burglary in the past…my home security system is fully functioning and active. So just keep moving on down the street looking for another sucker! (By the way…if you are looking for a great deal on a home security system hit the link above where it says "Save Money/Make Money" and go to the "Products" link. Good deals are there for the taking! And the worse it gets economy-wise the more people are looking to take other people's stuff, sadly.)
Aight! Have a great week, all. Again…I may blog here and there while I am gone. If not…I will chat with you again sometime next week! (Provided I don't get forced into being a drug mule while I am down there…)
I'm listening to Warren Zevon as I type this. Great stuff. If you want to see a fantastic interview…go to YouTube and search for Warren Zevon. Go to his final appearance on David Letterman. "Enjoy every sandwich." One of my favorite quotes…
Okay. I will make it easy for you. Just hit this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hl9Tw2GzvA
From Shannon in Decatur (4/9/10):
The WeatherBug link worked great, Greg! Thanks!
You are very welcome, Shannon. I believe everything from the old-look website has been transferred to the new-look website. But things are certainly moved around a bit. We are actually in the mood for change lately, as our new-look Local Weather Station is still being worked out. And we also have a new tower cam…HD. Sweet.
From Dave in Lincoln (4/9/10):
I agree with you on the Tiger Woods issue. I have been saying the same thing all along. Let him play his game. It's time the media backs off.
Lots of people are quick to jump on the media for stuff like this. And the media does deserve some of the blame. But the saddest part of the issue to me, Dave, is that the media is only giving people what they actually want.
Think of the media as one of Pavlov's dogs. Think of ratings as the treat. The media goes with whatever brings in the ratings. And when Tiger stories run ratings go up. Look at how many people watched Tiger's first press conference after his "scandal" a few weeks ago. The numbers were ridiculous for just a stupid press conference. That is all the reason the media needs to keep feeding us this crap. The media covers it because…(enter Jack)…deep down in places we don't talk about at parties, we want to watch this crap…we NEED to watch this crap.
Think about it. If people stop watching this sensationalistic "journalism" then the media will change to something else, good or bad. So don't give all of your completely justified anger to the media. Most of the blame actually falls to the people that keep watching this kind of coverage.
From Phil in Cissna Park (4/13/10):
I believe I would've told them kids in a friendly and determined voice that I would be going the same place THEY were if they didn't get off your property. Oh yeah, I'd SMILE, too, while saying it! Perhaps one of their parents is the Census Taker for your area!
It would be a fun irony if the parents…or the kids…came to my house to do the census! I wouldn't be mean to them…and I actually wasn't mean the first time…
From Shelley in Decatur (4/13/10):
Well, Greg, give them (the census powers that be) some time. Not only did I receive the postcard telling me the census form was coming, but I received the census form. THEN, I received the card reminding me to fill the form out (which I filled out the day after I received it). And if THAT wasn't good enough... a few weeks later, I received a whole NEW census form just like the one I filled out and mailed back in the day after I received it. How's THAT for our tax dollars at work? (a little overkill if you ask me)
And these are the people that are now in charge of our health care! Heh. Okay…I don't want to turn this into a health care discussion. But I am sure that there could have been a less wasteful way to do this census. Remember a while back when I talked about a "Common Sense" party? I still think if it was handled properly it could work. Lots of people are tired of the seemingly mindless way things are done in our country. Now if only we could agree on what "mindfull" would be.
From Teri in Decatur (4/14/10):
Yes, that was sad about the houses on Shelby Ave. My daughter's family lives close to the houses that burned. I am thankful that everyone was okay. It is sad about their belongings. I have stuff I cherish also. Hope things go fast in selling your house.
Thanks, Teri. I hope my house sells fast, too.
As it turns out my bro lives close to the house, too. He said he watched the crowd gather and the house burn. But he did not know it was Gary's house until yesterday. It is sad. I don't know if they had renter's insurance…but everyone that rents needs to think about it. When I was renting I had it…and actually had to use it. A homeowner's policy just covers the house…not the renter's belongings.
There is a place for donations, if you are so inclined. Hit this link for more information: http://www.ask4direct.com/InfoRead.asp?id=MRDC&InfoID=617258
From My Little Sister (4/15/10):
Hello Greg :0) I want to know what you said to the high school girl that came to your door. I also wanted to tell you I miss helping you shop but I am glad you have another helper. You are good looking, so it's like playing dress-up with Weather Man Barbie. (Or is the PC term Meteorologist Barbie?) Have a great weekend!!
I really did not say anything mean to the kids that came to my door. The girl's problem was that she was only prepared to give me her shpeel. She was not prepared for a discussion. Her first line was scripted, "Do you know where you are going when you die". My first response was "Yeah…into the fire." She thought I meant Hell. What I meant was the crematorium. The conversation went downhill for her from there.
It's in my nature to question everything, as you know, Little Sister. I was not insulting to this girl, and I was not mocking her. But I wanted to know what she really believed in comparison to what she was trying to tell me. I believe they were with a Lutheran Church. I'm always fascinated by the difference between religions, and that was part of our conversation, too. I think she was just young and unsuspecting. While I really am not proud that I made her cry…I do hope she learned something from the experience. I know I did.
From April in Gibson City (4/15/10):
Hi Greg, Those pictures of the Mattoon fire were heartbreaking. Have you heard if clothing donations are being accepted for the family and if so, where can they be dropped off? Thanks!
Absolutely, April. Just go up the feedback a little bit for the link. But most donations are being accepted at Rural King in Mattoon right now. And the link above has size info for the family, too.
From Angie in Chucktown (4/15/10);
I missed the belly dance segment and can't find it on your site! I know that there are some incredibly talented and beautiful dancers in Champaign. Belly dance is one of the most beautiful and healthy forms of dance you can do. Did they get a hip belt on you?? Now that would have been great!
The belly dancers were good…and they did NOT put the belt on me. I got to play with the finger cymbal things, though. The belly dancer stuff did make me think of you, Angie. Didn't you take up belly dancing at some point?
From Shannon in Decatur (4/16/10):
Hi, Greg! I was wondering if you could give a little shout out to the Thomas Jefferson Music Machine Show Choir? They are having a dinner theater on April 24 at TJ. Catered chicken dinner and a show for $10. You can call Dawn Plowman 791-4049 for tickets! TJMM has been in existence for 34 years, and their founding director, Kathy Brown, is retiring at the end of the school year. This is will be a special night!
Keep up the good work on the blog -- you know you'll be missed when you are on vacation!
You are welcome, Shannon! Always happy to plug a worthwhile event!
I hope you all enjoy what should be a nice weekend. It'll be a bit cooler than we had this week…but I think we can still handle it!
--Did you happen to catch the belly dancers during the news yesterday morning? I have many thoughts on this, but I will only share a few here on the blog. I admire anyone that is willing to dress as a belly dancer and go on TV. The belly dancers were very cool and willing to do whatever we wanted to on the air…and that is a surprisingly rare quality. And lastly…I think it was one of the oddest moments I've been involved with on the air…and I have been involved in some very odd moments!
--Tomorrow morning we are supposed to have Bob Zany with us in the studio. He's a "Bob and Tom Show" comedian that has a show locally sometime soon. The dude is funny…and I am looking forward to being around him for a while tomorrow morning!
--I'm red/green color blind. I see primary colors…but have a lot of trouble with the different shades. It is not exactly a debilitating disease, but it gives me fits when it comes to matching clothes. I've generally always been lucky enough to find help getting my clothes together, and lately New Chick has been huge in that department. She's the reason I no longer wear white dress shirts at work, because they wash me out. She picked out my latest round of shirt/tie combinations.
When someone helps me pick out ties I have to take care to remember which ties go with which suits/shirts. I'm usually pretty good at it…but once in a while I take a chance and match on my own. It rarely works out for the best. I think this morning is one of those times when it does not work out. Maroon shirt…and a different shade of red for the tie. It seemed like a good idea at 2 this morning. But putting the tie on this morning in the bright lights of the studio and I think I may have missed the mark again. Oh well. At least no one was hurt in the process.
--Tomorrow is "Feedback Friday"! Get your thoughts/comments/questions/concerns in now to make the cut tomorrow! It's been a while since someone has asked a question about my coworkers. If there is something you've always wanted to know…just ask. I will answer what I can!
The "Star Drive" is going well. My goal is 1,000 5-star ratings by the end of Summer. We are only in the middle of Spring and we are over 400 already! Hit the ratings at the bottom of the blog, where the feedback and email alert buttons are! While you are down there…sign up for email alerts, too…so you never miss a blog. Soon I will be on vacation for over a week and may be blogging once in a while…
A friend of mine from a while back watched his house burn to the ground yesterday in Mattoon. First…no one was hurt. His "wife" and two kids, and even the pets, are okay. But the house seems to be a loss and most things inside the house are gone. The fire even spread to a couple of other homes that are close. Here's a link where you can read about the fire if you like. If you hit the link look for the pictures that the Journal-Gazette in Mattoon took. They are both wrenching and awe-inspiring.
The friend is a guy I blogged about a month or so ago. It's Gary, my old radio buddy. We were actually more than just radio buddies. He was my roommate and best friend for quite a while. But as people tend to do we just kind of grew apart, and haven't really spoken for several years. But I read about Gary and his family this morning when I got to work…and am really thinking about them.
I have things in my house that I used in kindergarten. There are erasers, crayons, pencils, etc. that I have kept for literally decades. In a box in my garage I have every greeting card I have ever been given. Once in a while I break them out and read them. I also have many toys and other mementos from growing up. While they are just things…they still mean a lot to me. I think about these things when I hear of someone losing their home like this.
It's just stuff, but it has meaning. And people whose homes are destroyed mostly lose this stuff. I'm not sure what my point is here. I guess I'm just being thankful that I still have my stuff from childhood, and feeling for those that have lost theirs.
You know I never did get my census forms. I got the post card that told me to expect my census forms in the mail. But the actual census forms never arrived in the mail at my house. Does that mean I can expect to be visited by a census employee at my door? I certainly hope so. I have not had a visitor to my house like that in quite a while.
As a matter of fact it was two years ago. A young high school girl came to my door around the time I was getting ready for bed one late afternoon. I answered the door to see the girl, and her high school travelling companion…a young man. They were both carrying bibles, which was fine. But when I opened the door the first words out of her mouth were "do you know where you are going when you die?"
I don't think I am a mean person. Sure…I can be insensitive and harsh most of the time…and I am working on that. But don't come to my door to talk religion if you are not prepared to hear what I think. And certainly don't start that kind of a conversation with someone that is death-obsessed by asking about death. Yeah, Honey…I've given it some thought!
I'm not proud of the fact that the boy walked away from my house with a horrified expression. I am not proud of the fact that the girl walked away from my house crying…yes, literally crying. But I do hope in some small way those kids learned something that day. It's a big, bad world, HoneyChild…and not everyone will have the same point of view as you do! Now suck it up and move on to my neighbors…
So back to the census. I certainly will be more hospitable to the census employee. To begin, he or she will just be doing his/her job. Plus I don't want the government to label me as a troublemaker. Given that they can still lock someone up without charging that person with a crime…I don't want to hit those lists. And mostly I really do want to be counted and do my civic duty! I just hope they can catch me at home when I am awake with my crazy schedule.
--I was wrong. After Thursday's start to The Masters I really thought Tiger Woods would walk away with it. But if you know golf you know how dumb it is to make a projection based on the first round of a major. As it turns out Phil Mickelson won…and that makes for a great story. Phil's wife and Mother have been struggling with cancer for a while, and he has certainly had a rough go of it. Seeing Phil win his 3rd Masters was pretty cool.
--It was a big weekend at the Trumbold house. The open house was yesterday and I am told traffic was good. Who knows if that will translate into a sale…but getting bodies in the door is a good way to start that process. "New Chick" and I put a load of work into the place Friday and Saturday to get ready, and it really looks fantastic right now.
--When it starts getting warmer we start giving away lots of stuff, for some reason. This week in the morning we are giving away a pair of jeans signed by Alan Jackson. If you follow country music you will know that he is a megastar from back when country was still country.
I'm not clear on all of the details…but we are also giving away the chance for you to have JC over to your house to barbeque for you. The details are somewhere around here on the website. And I have no idea whether or not JC can even BBQ very well. I am sure there will be some other items thrown into that prize package…just in ca se JC isn't good with a grill!
--Here is a link to an interesting story about a possible gas alternative…for those of you that like to keep track of how we fuel our lives. Thanks to my buddy Scott in Virden for giving me a heads-up on this one!
Good to see Tiger back on a golf course. Can we finally get on with our lives and just watch him play golf? I still think his personal life is none of our business. His stepping out on his wife causes me no stress, and he does not owe me an apology. I believe he owes his wife an apology and his sponsors an apology. But in the end this fiasco will drive ratings up and everyone will make even more money. So maybe the sponsors that stayed with him should thank him. I sure as heck know the PGA should thank him.
And he comes out yesterday and shoots 4 under par. You have to think he will walk away with it at this point. Yesterday is probably going to be his worst day of the weekend, because of the weather and the stress of coming back. Now his nerves will be more settled and the weather is going to be settled. He has two old guys in front of him on the leader board…and you have to think they are going to wear out by Sunday. So I am calling it now…I think Tiger Woods walks away with The Masters jacket easily this year.
Time for "Feedback Friday"!
From David in Decatur (4/1/10):
Greg, I love you like a son, but I cannot imagine how anyone can get so excited over professional wrestling! It is so phony and the acting is even bad. What in the world is the attraction that draws so many people into this spell?
Great question, David! I will agree with you that the acting can be horrendous. Even the in-ring action can be unbelievable at times. But when it is done right pro wrestling is the most complete form of entertainment that there is, in my opinion. It's like movies in that not all movies are tremendous. As a matter of fact I would say that most movies are mediocre at best. But every once in a while a movie comes along that just blows you away. Like movies…every once in a while wrestling is so good that it keeps me coming back.
During a good wrestling program you get drama. You get action. And you even get good comedy when it is done properly. Sadly, lately, there is even sorrow, with so many wrestlers dying young. To me…it is the complete package. I get more entertainment out of a 2 hour wrestling show than I do any other show on TV.
From Kristen in Maroa (4/2/10):
I am glad you had a great time with Jimmy Hart. You could see how much fun you were having and how great of a guy he was by watching the interaction during the show. So I hope that good time you had has left you feeling "warm and fuzzy" (sound better???) and that carries over through the upcoming months. As a "Gregorian" I like to know you are in a "happy place".
Thanks, Kristen. I'm mostly in a happy place, with occasional stops in Grumpy Town. And thanks for being the first Gregorian.
And yes…Jimmy Hart was a moment that I will always remember.
From Matt in Decatur (4/6/10):
You hit the nail on the head with your blog about D-town's roads. I can't believe how bad the roads are around here. They have been this way for quite sometime. The city thinks if they just fill the potholes the problem goes away. Hell, most of the time the potholes they fill are holes again within a couple hours. Why waste money masking the problem? I totally 100% agree with your blog today. Someone really needs to dissect the budget and see where all this money is going. Cause we all know the money is not going to REPAIR these roads. There are roads in Decatur I won't even go on because I'm scared of destroying my car again. I'm already in the hole $900 in repairs because of these horrible roads........On a better note, how bout them Cardinals?!
Take it easy bro. Thanks for listening to me rant. Keep up the excellent work with the weather and the best blog on the net....Later
Thanks for the compliments, Matt. And the Cards are starting off well! I'm curious to see how Big Mac will impact Cardinal hitters this season. If he can actually make Albert better…yikes!
There were a few bits of feedback on this roads issue. I do want to point out that in our country we are free to question our government, federal and local. That is all we are doing. My hope is that someone in charge can step up and explain to us why the municipal band gets over $50,000 a year…yet as Matt said earlier, there are roads in Decatur that people avoid because they don't want to tear up their vehicles. I say let's skip the concerts for a year or two and fix the freaking roads!
From David in Decatur (4/6/10):
Hey Greg, halfway through my journey to the feedback section, I had to stop for lunch. That's a long trip. Concerning today's blog, I live on a street that was concrete, and had never been worked on for over 75 years. This was verified by the head of Public Works. It was in great shape, except for a couple of minor places that could have been repaired with a minimum of work and cost. I awoke one morning to the noise of machinery. I checked with the city, and found that they were preparing to resurface the street with asphalt. I contacted the engineering department and got blown off. I then contacted Adam Brown and he took a look at it. I believe that he was in agreement, but never commented. Well, to get to the point, the City Manager finally sent me an email, and told me that the cost of the resurfacing was being paid by Federal funds, and had to be used for that purpose. Isn't that a wonderful way to spend taxpayers' money? They couldn't use the money to fix areas that really needed it, so they resurfaced a street that didn't need repair. I'll bet the new surface won't last for over 75 years before it needs repairs.
At least for a little while the trip to the bottom of the blog won't be that long, Dave! We have a new web guy, Cody. Wednesday Cody archived the blog, which took out March. Meanwhile I think we have lost the struggle to move the feedback/email alert buttons back to the top of the blog where they were for so long.
Sadly I am not astonished to read the story of your street, my friend. While common sense would dictate that the money be used to fix roads that are actually damaged…could it be because someone else took advantage of the federal money in the past that the money had to be spent the way it was? That would seem to indicate that there are actually good reasons to try and do what is right, in all aspects of life. Just because you get away with something today doesn't mean it will not hurt someone else down the road. Me thinks our banking industry needs to be reminded of that, too, but I will save that rant for another blog.
From Cleo in Decatur (4/6/10):
I think you are absolutely right about our roads. It doesn't seem like Springfield's roads are as bad as ours and they have more traffic. I think the people who are in top positions over Decatur are mismanaging our money. The schools bus too many kids. If your child lives a distance from the school, that is fine, but I have heard of ones living in the block of the school and having to be bussed to another school. Roads take way too long to be fixed. I'm sure there are many other ways that this city could be managed better.
Dang, Cleo! You're bringing it this morning! While I won't go as far as to say Decatur's leaders are mismanaging…I do think that absolutely transparent leadership is a must in our society today. If you ask to see a public document you should be given access to that document. Anything our elected leaders do is open to criticism and scrutiny. That's the way our country was founded…and those founding principles still stand today, in my opinion. Tell us why money is given to one program and taken from another. But it could be that no one is asking these questions. Honestly…I don't live in Decatur, so I don't have the right. But is anyone else asking these questions?
I will be moving at some point in the (hopefully) near future. Decatur is a possible destination for me. And if I choose to live in Decatur you can sure as Hell bet I will be asking these questions. (I'll stop now before I announce my run for city office! Heh.)
From Anonymous in a Pot Hole (4/7/10):
I fully agree with you on the roads being the worst you will have to drive on, here in Decatur. About 7 months ago I e-mailed one of the town Superintendents about most of the Rail Road Track crossings. Asking if they were the City's, or Rail Road responsibility for fixing?
According to the reply I got back, it's the R&R job to fix them.
With all the large trucks that haul grain in, and products out of the town they do the worst for the roads. Salting during the winter is also hard when they freeze and crack the road surface.
Should all trucks be mandated to unload and pick up outside of town so the roads hold up? I don't want them to lose a job or lively hood, just limit the heavy truck traffic, in town.
Personally I think the people who make the decisions to fix the roads are more happy with temporarily fixing them, than doing it right the first time. Replacing and making new roads is very expensive, so why not do it right, the first time.
New cement roads are the best they make them, and the asphalt crowned in the middle so the water runs off, but often times they sag, and sink, and allow the water to lay with heavy trucks.
I thank you for bringing up this question, and I hope someone with the answers comes forward, as to why our roads are in the shape they are in.
More taxes??? We have enough, let's ask what they do with the money they get every year from us. Cause we aren't seeing it with the condition with the roads here in Decatur.
Lost in a POT HOLE
Well said. I'm really hoping we get some answers on this road issue. And if I am wrong I will be happy to post the reasons why here on the blog. But as I see it…better roads make it easier to attract new business. I said this the other day…but what company is going to move into a city whose roads will destroy their vehicle fleet? Infrastructure is more important than the city having a band, as an example. Someone tell us why we spend on some things, and hold back on other things.
From Diane in Oreana (4/7/10):
Good luck with your open house, and I am so glad you have found someone you enjoy time with also!
By the way I watch you every morning.
Think about how that last sentence would sound if I weren't on TV most mornings! Ha! Now read it with a creepy voice in your head! "Ehhhhh…I watch you every morning…" Awesome!
Oh, but seriously…thanks Diane. I appreciate the support. Selling the house is a huge piece of getting my life back in order. And while I don't really want to say too much about this, because there are other people involved, it is nice to find happiness in an ugly situation. Some question the timing of events for things like this. I won't give you the details…but just know that I don't jump into anything without exhaustively weighing the entire situation. This is a good situation for me.
From Mary Jo in Decatur (4/7/10):
I'm glad to hear things are going better, and you've got someone special to share it with. You've had a rough year and deserve to be happy,
Awww…thanks, MJ! While it is one of the rougher years I've had I can't say that it has been completely miserable. There have been some very low points, don't get me wrong. But I think my sense of humor refuses to let me get too far down. Being able to laugh in almost any situation really helps my emotional health, if not my sanity!
From Shannon in Decatur (4/7/10):
Hey, Greg! Glad to hear you're feeling better and that things are looking up for you!! I have a question related to the web-site changes. How do we get to the WeatherBug sites? Used to be able to choose from the drop-down box on the main page, but I can't even find them hidden on the weather page. Any ideas?
Try this link, Shannon: http://www.wandtv.com/Global/link.asp?L=268272
If that doesn't work let me know. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the main weather page you will see the place to get to the WeatherBug sites. And I have no idea why all of the good stuff on our website got thrown to the bottom! WeatherBug...feedback buttons…email alert buttons…ratings stars…etc…etc…etc…
From Justin in Warrensburg (4/8/10):
Liking the new look to LWS. Liking the AccuWeather system you guys have gotten on there.
Thanks, Justin. I'm glad you noticed the Local Weather Station. We are making some changes. Those changes do involve AccuWeather. While I can not honestly say that AccuWeather is my favorite weather organization…the changes we are making on the Local Weather Station (LWS) are going to enhance our weather coverage.
Keep in mind we are still tweaking the system, and working out the bugs. But in the next week or two the look and feel of the "L-Bar" on LWS will be pretty cool. Some may think that the screen will be too busy…but cable news networks have been conditioning us with over-active screen shots for years now. More information all at once is the name of the game these days. Coming soon you will be able to see the Doppler radar simultaneously with other bits of important weather information.
Stay tuned to it…and as always you are free to share your thoughts/comments/questions/concerns here on the ole weather blog!
Have a great weekend. We are really catching a nice stretch of weather! Wish me luck on this open house. I am anxious to sell that bad boy and get on with my life! And I want to sell it so I can get my dogs and cat back in my life! All good things to those that wait…
Tonight there is an event in Monticello that I mentioned here last week. But first…the back story…again. A good friend of a good friend of mine had a brain aneurysm in January. She was out in California when it happened. She went into the hospital out there, and has been in a coma ever since. Over the past 3 months she has had 3 more aneurysms, and a few strokes. Her name is Rhonda Killian-Sinkosky, and she lives in Monticello with her family.
Rhonda's husband has been travelling back and forth between Illinois and California for close to 3 months now to see Rhonda. When someone goes into a coma eventually the family has to make a choice about getting back to their lives. Rhonda's husband comes back to Illinois to work and be with their 2 kids, and goes back to California when he can to see his wife. She is still in a coma.
Today is Rhonda's 40th birthday. Friends of hers are going to throw a benefit for the fa, mily tonight in Monticello. It's at Three Ravens from 5 to 7. It's $40 to get in the door, and that money goes to the family to help cover medical expenses, and help the two kids. They will have some auctions, food, drink, etc. If you want the chance to help a family that needs it right now show up, donate, and have a great time.
We've got storms already this morning. There is a small chance we could get some nasty storms this morning, and a slightly better chance for nasty storms this afternoon. If severe weather happens it will likely be strong wind and maybe some decent sized hail. Frankly I don't get too worried about hail and wind. Stay inside and you'll be fine. But in our over-sensitive world I suppose I should freak out and tell you to batten down the hatches and get into your bunker for the day.
In a timely move I will be showing Tara Barrett how to program her NOAA weather radio this morning during the news. It should be fun. Tara is spunky, and has a great sense of humor. I am going to try to make fun of her as much as I can during the segment. But she is pretty sharp. Tara has proven to be a hard target to nail consistently with jokes. She hits back…which is fantastic!
Have I mentioned that I'm having another open house on Sunday? The last one was pretty much rained out. It was dry for several days and then the day of the open house it poured buckets. This time the weather is supposed to be great so that should help get people out. This weekend I am planning to spend a lot of time in the yard getting it, ready. I actually enjoy yard work.
In a related note it seems now is a good time to mention to you that I've been seeing someone for a while. I don't want to get into specifics right here right now…but I will say that I am happy, which is nice. It's a funny thing, this "public" life. Sometimes you can't just come right out with what is happening because somebody somewhere always seems to have something to say about how things should be done. As you might have noticed I don't like to answer to people. I know…it's shocking. But this is my blog…and you matter to me. We share stuff about our lives on this blog. And this is my life and I want you to know that it is getting better every day!
Any of you know anything about roads and how much it costs to redo them? Decatur is the only city I've consistently driven in that causes you to have your alignment fixed 3 or 4 times a year. When I lived in Decatur a guy at a tire place told me that they see an unusual amount of alignment repairs compared to other places he had worked. Because I drive so much in so many places around here I am confident in saying that Decatur's roads leave a lot to be desired.
My thought is that Decatur should do what it can to fix as many of its roads as it can. Stop me if I am wrong here…but a great way to get an economy going again is by bringing in new corporations. But what corporation would want to set up shop in a place that would drive up their auto maintenance costs? Maybe I am talking crazy here…but it just seems to me that with a better infrastructure the city of Decatur would be better positioned to help itself. I read recently that Decatur's annual budget is around $125 million. Is that right? Well…where does all of that money go?
I think it would be an interesting story for someone to get a copy of Decatur's budget and break it down. Is that a public document? Maybe the city should dedicate one fiscal year to redoing as many roads in the city as possible. Cut spending in other places for just six months to have enough money to fix as many roads as possible while the weather is good. It's just a thought. And I am sure it is not quite that easy…but something should be done.
Maybe I am way off base here. And maybe even suggesting it is an insult to the people that are running this city. I'm not sure. But what I do know is that the roads in Decatur are a mess. And as someone that is considering a big move in the near future it makes a difference in my decision of whether or not to live in Decatur. And if it impacts my decision wouldn't it be logical to assume that it will impact other people's decisions? And if you want to bring in new people to a city to improve your economy isn't it good to give people a reason to move to your city? Or at least limit the reasons NOT to move to your city?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Many of you have a lot more experience with this stuff than I do. If I am right…back me up. If I am dead wrong then call me out and explain to me why I am wrong. The feedback button is "down stairs" at the bottom of this blog.
--It would appear as though the "April Showers" have begun. We caught a nice bit of rain over the weekend, and might get more today through Wednesday. I don't know at this point if this is good or bad news for farmers, but I suppose it's good for those of us that are waiting on, say, flowers to bloom to help a house for sale look that much better!
--I had a good weekend. Dinner with new friends Friday night…and then to some family's house. Saturday was a fantasy baseball draft at a good friend's house. Yesterday we went to my Mom's for Easter. It was a full weekend…but a good weekend!
--Yeah…that's about all I have for now. Thanks for the feedback over the weekend. Some of it will wait until Friday to get posted. But some of it I may throw in through the week. If you have something to say you are more than welcome to hit the bottom of this page and fill out the feed, b, ack form. You , can sign up for email al, erts down there, and of course give me 5 stars while you are down there!
The benefit for HaitiDome that I mentioned in yesterday's blog has been cancelled. You can still go to Sliderz on the 10th of this month…but it won't be to support HaitiDome!
Today is my Friday. I think we should do some feedback this morning!
From Phil in Cissna Park (3/29/10):
Mi Pueblito's....excellent food and service as you indicated. When I worked at StarTek I would go there nearly every night for dinner. David Fuentes, the owner, is a good friend and now that I am in Cissna Park, I miss not eating there on a regular basis. I try to always go there when I am in town, though. He also owns Gaudalajara in Champaign, now, just off of Prospect Ave....but I've not been there, yet.
I haven't been to Guadalajara yet, either. I have heard that it is good, too.
From Angie in Charleston (3/30/10):
Ok...I think I just signed up for your email alerts...which I had already done. That's ok though...we can all do with a double dose of Greg. Much love my friend!
Thanks for signing up for email alerts…again! And thanks for the love. Back at you!
From Mary in Assumption (3/30/10):
hey greg hope u enjoy your vacation. everyone needs a little time away. hope u do come back though. id miss u if u decided not to come back. hope u enjoy the rest of the week and easter weekend.
Thanks, Mary. Okay…I am 97% sure I will come back from Mexico. Something pretty strange would have to happen for me to decide to stay down there. But the optimist in me always leaves the door open for someone to offer me a job making ridiculous cash for very , , , ,, , little work. And to be honest…if that happens while I am in Mexico then you will not likely see me back around this way for a while!
From Kristen in Maroa (3/31/10):
Hi Greg!! I am so happy you will get to meet Jimmy Hart tomorrow, I know you are excited! Then that trip to Mexico coming up too...I hope you come back with your hole all filled up! Actually I hope it gets pretty well fixed after tomorrow!! My uncle took me to see WWF wrestling at the Civic Center (Decatur) when I was in 4th or 5th grade, we used to watch it together all the time so I actually know who you are talking about! He IS a legend for sure, I will definitely be watching in the morning! Have fun and don't get hurt!! -Kristen
I used to go to the shows around here when I was a kid, too. And Jimmy Hart was at many of them. He is not in the building as I type this. But I know he will be here soon. And while I am not yet nervous…I have been trying to think of questions for him. But he is one of those guys that has done so much in his career that if you ask one question it will easily turn into 100 questions…and he won't have time for that this morning! Apparently he needs to leave just before 7 this morning to get back to Springfield for some radio interviews, so we won't have time to chat after the news. But really…I could talk to a guy like Jimmy Hart all freaking day.
I am leaving the "hole all filled" comment alone.
That's it for this week. If something crazy happens this morning I may blog about it over the weekend, which for me this week includes tomorrow. Otherwise I will see you again Monday morning! Enjoy the weekend…