What the heck happened to July??
Right now I am listening to "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles. I've never really understood what the song is about…but I like it! My I-Pod is on shuffle…and followed up "Happiness" with "Running on Faith" by Eric Clapton off the "24 Nights" cd. Cissna Park Phil would like that. Yeah…life is good. Let's feedback.
From David in Altamont (7/26/10):
OH MY calling Tara a "mean old lady"?
She is SO gonna smack you for that one!! LOL
You gotta watch the "O' word with women, Greg. Trust me on this, I have 6 OLDER sisters. One of them has a birthday tomorrow, the 27th. Man is she getting old. LOL
Sometimes I like to live on the edge, David! Apparently so do you!
From Phil in Cissna Park (7/27/10):
Hello Greg. I listened to that video a few times and I like it. I also failed to see/hear anything profane within it to where it should be banned. Zac Brown uses "ass" in his song "Toes" and look where it got to on the charts? Whoever decided to ban THIS song must have their toes in the water and HEAD in the sand, in my honest opinion.
Hope your week is progressing well, my friend.
To be honest I haven't heavily researched the song. I looked at Wiki, and listened to it on YouTube. Someone told me it had been banned…but I don't know why. But like you…I couldn't find anything hugely offensive, either.
From Randy in Wapella (7/27/10):
turn on comedy central,, you will hear worse. could this still be the whiplash they got from saying bye to the nashville machine and doing everything on their own? all the radios i have ever owned had a on-off switch or button, if you don't like something, you use it.
Randy…you just typed something with which I completely agree and have said here before on the blog. If you choose to be offended by something don't watch it anymore.
I love watching those Comedy Central Roasts! But they are not for those easily offended…
From Sharon in Decatur (7/27/10):
For some reason I can't get the blog form so I'll do it this way. That song is "oh, soooo, true" & I do not find it offensive!! Sharon
Sorry you had an issue with the blog form, Sharon. Hopefully it works by now. And thanks for your input on the Bellamy Bros. song!
From A Gregorian (7/27/10):
I thought the video was funny, and yet very truth full. We have all heard it before in our lives, "Life is not a bowl of cherries. Or, It is no bed of roses."
All those people depicted in the video, have said something in the past that got their butt burned for what, and how they said something, or was made fun of.
The purple pill thing is seen way too much on TV. Hope you get positive responses with your Blog the 27th.
So far so good with the positive responses! SO far no one has found it offensive around here.
From Mark in Decatur (7/27/10):
Saw you and an ape on this morning. I loved the expression on Scott's face like, "what is he doing now?"
I hope someone picked up the banana from the floor. Don't want anyone to slip on it and fall.
One quick question, who is in the Radar costume? Just curious.
Hey, Mark. Yeah…the ape. It was not my favorite segment(s) that we have done. But sometimes people set things up for you and you just try to run with it. And it was my banana. I try to bring a piece of fruit to work with me every day, and it is usually a banana. I picked it up after the news and threw it away, sadly.
I'm not sure what you are implying, Mark, about Radar. Underneath Radar's skin and fur you will find the same organs that any dog has. I'm not sure what costume you are talking about in regards to Radar. That's a real dog, Dude.
From Scott in Pana (7/27/10):
Greg, I liked that song you posted the link for and didn't see anything wrong with it at all. Read your blog every day and enjoy it very much, and Connie does, too. Keep up the good work.
Glad you and your girl Connie love the blog, Scott! Thanks for reading…and thanks for sending feedback. I was just in Pana last Friday. I have family in that area.
From Elizabeth in Decatur (7/28/10):
You might want to reconsider going to your reunion. You may be surprised at how it goes!
I was really shy in school, and didn't hang around with very many people. But I have gone to every reunion our class has had (every 5 years) and it has been a wonderful experience! We have all grown and changed over the years, and I have made many "new-old" friends. Back in school, I never would have imagined that it would turn out this way!
So, just give it some thought :)
One of the cool things about Facebook is that you get to catch up with people you've lost contact with and actually care to see again. Last year some of us that wanted to reconnect got together in Mattoon for an evening. Outside of doing that…I really don't have interest in going to a large reunion.
From Bart in Champaign (7/28/10):
Bro, I wouldn't go back to high school if I was paid...the reunion either. Oh well, don't suppose we'll be missed. Guess we'll just have to begin planning our trip to St. Louis for a weekend of Cards games....or Vegas, baby!
Now you are talking, my friend! I'd love to go to Vegas instead of our 20 year reunion. Seriously…let's start planning that. Although Vegas in August will be brutal…it will be worth it! We'll spend most of our time inside anyway.
Bart and some other friends were with me the night of that fateful 5 year reunion, by the way. When I show my butt in public it's usually on a large scale! (I did not literally show my butt. It's more of a metaphor…or whatever.)
From David in Altamont (7/28/10):
Reunions give you a chance to see people that you ran around with and to get to know some that you never did, in high school. The funny thing is, a lot of the classmates that live close, don't show up, and the ones that live a thousand miles away, do.
I really didn't fit in in high school. I was friends with some of the jocks, some of the popular girls, some of the brains, some of the stoners, and most of the gearheads. (Chevy guy, myself) . My sister is 2 years older and she worked with some of the most popular girls in the school, so I rode along and was accepted in their group.
We didn't have a reunion until our 10th. We met every year around Christmas for 7-8 years. I had my 25th, 3 years ago.
My advice, GO. You'll regret not seeing someone that showed up, if you don't. I have enjoyed every reunion we have had. Never miss.
I hear what you are saying, David. I'll point to Facebook again, though. The people that I have wondered about since high school…and really cared to catch up with…I've found on Facebook. And some of us have even gotten together as a group in the last year.
My friends in high school were from all the different groups, too. I had one "best friend" that I spent most of my high school time around. But I wasn't part of any particular group. There weren't many flat-out enemies, either…aside from a very angry kid named Shawn that fought with a ton of people because he had it in his mind that there was some kind of a championship to be won by winning a bunch of fights. He's been in and out of jail since high school and no one is surprised by that.
While my high school experience was not miserable…it also wasn't great. And I just don't have the desire to go back and relive it. Like some of you have suggested…maybe I will regret not going. But at least it will be a regret over a decision to which I gave much thought.
From Scott in Pana (7/29/10):
Greg - have a link for you about a pretty amazing dog who can't swim but figures out how to fetch a tennis ball from an in ground pool. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aO8XUP86Jo&feature=related
Thanks for the link, Scott!
From Scott in Virden (7/30/10):
I can relate to your class reunions.
Did you ever notice whenever you go, the classmates you would really LIKE to see, never show up...and the ones you could care less about, they're ALWAYS there?
My class of '75 never wanted to follow tradition. Since it was "tradition" that the graduating class attend the Alumni Banquet, my class decided we'd be the first to break tradition. So me and three others attended...including all the subsequent ones every five years afterwards...and it would always be the same four. But the only time my class DID get together was a class party out of town for our 15th, 20th, etc.
Well, let me get to the point. My best friend who lives somewhere in Champaign never shows up to any of our reunions...but he'd send a camera to have photos sent back to him so he could see how we all looked. Is that tacky or what?
So here last month, our class officers decided to invite everyone to Alumni Banquet since it is our "End Of An Era" (Virden and Girard schools' merge starts this fall...becoming North Mac). So I didn't send in my reservation since...well...nobody shows up anyway. And...yep, you guessed it...our local paper had a photo showing that more than half my class showed up...including my tacky friend from Champaign.
Well, that's the way it goes, Greg. :-)
Talk to you later,
Hey, Scott. I only went to the five year reunion. There were some people there that I had wanted to see. But most of the people that I was looking forward to seeing were not there. And those people I have since met up with on Facebook. You know…that 5 year reunion was held in somebody's barn. Maybe I am a snob…but I thought that was kind of dumb.
It is funny how stuff like that works out, Scott. I am not sure what the lesson to be learned is, if there is one at all, but sometimes you just have to laugh about it!
Have a great weekend, all. I am headed to St. Louis on Saturday for a bachelor party and a baseball game on Sunday. See you Monday!
OH! As I finish this blog the I-Pod hits me with "Bell Bottom Blues" from the same "24 Nights" album by Clapton. Heavenly...
Here are a few thoughts this morning:
--I was not down when I did yesterday's blog. As I reread it I could see where someone might think I was in a dark mood. I actually was not. Just wanted to clarify.
--One of the things I love about this blog so much is that now some of you are always sending me links and emails to contribute to the blog. Here are a couple I received this week:
Here is why men make better friends! (Not mine…someone else sent it to me!)
Friendship Among Women:
A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning
she told her husband that she had slept over at a
friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best
Friends. None of them knew anything about it.
Friendship among Men:
A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he
told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's
House. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends.
Eight confirmed that he had slept over, and two said he was still there.
Last weekend was the 20 year high school reunion for the class of 1990 in Mattoon. I graduated in 91, so these people are one year older than me. I've been looking at a lot of the pictures from the reunion on Facebook and I've got to be honest with you…they are messing with me a bit. High school was not a time in my life that I particularly enjoyed for whatever reason. I always felt out of place, and always felt like I was missing out on something bigger. Looking back I realize that I was also afraid of a lot. And looking at these pictures of people I remember from back then brings those feelings back.
I went to my 5 year class reunion, and it was a disaster for me. I drank too much and foolishly damaged some property. Oh the joys of youth. The invites to the next 2 reunions must have been lost in the mail because I never got them. Frankly I didn't plan to go to either the 10th or the 15th anyway, but again…I've seen the pictures of both on Facebook in the past year or so.
The 20 year reunion coming up next year is also one that I will likely not attend. I'm not bitter about anything, don't get me wrong. But for some reason getting together at a high school reunion holds little interest to me. With a few exceptions I keep in touch with those whom I want to stay in contact. And everyone else I can keep up with on Facebook if we decide we want to keep up with one another.
Seeing the pictures this week, though, has been interesting. I knew everyone in the pictures…but it did take me a few minutes to remember names. I always had a sense of this when people would say it…but it really is true that time just flies right on by. It seems like yesterday I was literally taking a bow in the empty high school the night of my graduation. And it seems like yesterday that I was walking into WAND for the first time as an employee. It makes me wonder how old I will be tomorrow.
The other day someone sent me a link to a song by The Bellamy Brothers. They had some pretty big country/pop hits beginning in the 70's. They've been musically relevant off and on ever since. Recently they released a song called "Jalapeño". According to Wikipedia the song was banned in June of this year before it was even released because of profanity.
Now…I've watched a YouTube of the song. I've tried to find the offensive language. And I can't find it. The word "ass" appears a couple of times, but that word is in the Bible. Other than that the word "erect" is used, but that word is on TV commercials shown almost every hour of every day. There are characters in the music video portraying Sarah Palin with a gun, Barack Obama, and Tiger Woods with huge teeth. I guess you could say they are portraying stereotypes…but why this song was banned escapes me. The Bellamy Brothers also refer to themselves as "heterosexual, White-boy Methodists"…but that does not offend me either.
Without trying to sway your opinion one way or the other before you watch this video…keep in mind that this song has apparently been banned. "Cop Killer" from back in the day was not, although Ice T removed the song from subsequent releases of the album on which it was released.
I'm going to give you a link to the song. Before I do I have to go over the standard things you are supposed to say before linking to something like this. Some people apparently find it offensive. If you choose to be easily offended…and being offended is a choice…then you should skip this one. If you choose to view this video please let me know 1) Whether or not it is offensive to you, and 2) Why it is or is not offensive to you.
Thanks for helping me wrap my head around this one! Here is the link:
I follow the numbers here on the blog like a hawk. I study the hits. It is safe to say that I know them well. Every once in a while, for whatever reason, the numbers spike for a bit…as the overall growth of the blog continues. I think in the past week or so the spike has been because of the interactive radar promotion that I've done during the news and on other websites. And those new people seem to be sticking around. The point is…there's been another spike in the number of people hitting this blog. And I thank you for checking it out.
Occasionally I like to cover the ground rules for "Weather…or Not" to get the new people on the same page as the rest of us. The point behind "Weather…or Not" is for us to get to know each other in a way that you watching the news does not allow. Once in a while we will talk about weather…but most of the time not. A huge part of this blog to me is "Feedback Friday". If you look at the bottom of this page you will see a place that allows you to send me feedback. Every Friday I will post your feedback.
As a general rule you can feedback about anything you want. If something posted on the blog stirs you to comment then have at it. And if you have a lot to say about something then you should just send me an email with "Blog" in the subject line. The feedback form only allows for 400 or so characters. Keep a few things in mind when you send feedback. I read everything before I post it. Sometimes I have to alter the feedback just a bit. There is no grammar or spell checker for the feedback form, so if your feedback is tough to read I will edit it. Also…you can cuss in your feedback…but those words will likely never make it on the blog. This station has given me incredible leeway in regards to what I can put on the blog. Frankly I am still amazed at a lot of the stuff that has not had me in trouble. And I don't want to anger The Suits by letting a naughty, naughty word slip by. So cuss if you will…but I will bounce the word(s).
You are free to say what you will about me. You can critique or praise…and I will post it. I don't have many insecurities…and it won't hurt me if you don't have nice things to say. As a matter of fact I tend to enjoy it. But one thing I will not do is post feedback that is overly negative about anyone else local, including my coworkers. We've had constructive conversation about some of my coworkers, but I've never let it get beyond the professional. So if you think Tara Barrett is a mean old lady, for one, I agree with you. But I will not post it because Tara already knows how old and mean she is…and doesn't need to read about it here.
Also…I rarely post your full name with your feedback. Usually I will just post your first name, your city of residence, and the date of your feedback so people can go back to that date to see what you are feed-backing about. That way you can sound off on certain things in a relatively anonymous way. And I've never disclosed anyone's last name or identity…and believe it or not I have been asked for that information!
Other than that…this place is a friggin free-for-all. You're more than welcome to sign up for email alerts, also at the bottom of the blog. When you sign up for alerts you will be sent an email anytime I update the blog. It is also how I can communicate with you when the blog is down…or I get fired and The Suits forget to remove my access to those alerts. Man…those will be some fun email alerts!!
Now let's have some fun out there.
We survived the heat at the St. Louis Cardinals' game yesterday. But sadly the Cards did not survive Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies! The Cards got 1 hit over 11 innings. Are you kidding me?? Ugh. Maybe we should forget about getting Roy Oswalt from the Astros and get some hitting! No…I don't mean that. Oswalt would be a gem as our 3rd pitcher. But yesterday was ridiculous.
Fortunately our seats were under a structure so we got shade all day. But even in the shade the heat was pretty brutal. Today will be like that here, by the way. The air temperature will be in the middle/upper 90's, and with the humidity it will feel more like 105-110 degrees. That is sick.
From Pamela in Mount Zion (7/19/10):
Hi Greg, It's Pam from "the burg". As you last mentioned, the home of Happy Joe's awesome garden pizza and Packing House rolls. :-) Hey, I wanted to tell you of my experience trying to adopt a puppie. I've been thinking for a long time that I would like to adopt a Yorkie puppy. I found what appeared to be two reputable breeders in Illinois. I sent emails to both and I found their replies to be similar to a situation you went through, a few months ago.
The first reply told me that the breeder was all out of puppies but a person that had adopted three of them was transferred to Africa and could no longer take care of them. All I had to do was pay to have them shipped back to Illinois. The second one said that the breeder had just moved to Florida and they also would "give me" not one but two puppies, (pictures attached in the email) for the sum of shipment, shots, vet bills, etc. They gave really nice descriptions of the pups, complete with descriptions of their personalities. Bella is a barker, Lucy is not. lol. The give away comes in their use of sentence structure. You can tell that they aren't used to our language.
I knew that there were scams out there with cars and trucks, and health problems, as you found out, but not dogs. Buyer beware!
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up, Pamela! If you are seriously interested in getting a Yorkie from a breeder let me know, though. My Mom has a Yorkie, and I think she may know some people that breed them.
From Shannon in Decatur (7/19/10):
I have some feedback on the "new" layout of WAND weather channel (ch. 17 on Comcast cable in Decatur).
In my household, we find the new layout to be pretty worthless. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the truth. Unless you have a HUGE TV, it is very hard to see the radar (when it is actually on). The regional radar goes so quickly on the left hand window that you really can't see it, and the news crawl under the larger window offers very little information because the blurbs are too short, and it is quite distracting. We tune to that channel because we've missed the forecast and want to see it, and/or because the weather is bad and we want to check the radar, etc...
Would much rather see fewer "things" on the screen and more useful content.
I've been meaning to share these thoughts, but hadn't had a chance. So, thought you might want to pass them along -- not sure if others agree or not.
On a positive note -- still love the blog, and really like the interactive radar link! Thanks for sharing that with us! Take care!
Hi, Shannon. Thanks for the feedback. While I probably should not give my personal opinion of the new LWS…your opinion is certainly not rare. Here are a couple of thoughts on the subject. The Doppler radar that we show actually runs the same amount of time and at the same frequency as it did before. And it is odd to me that many people seem to think we are not showing it as much as we used to. But the run schedule for the Doppler is still the same. I think it might just be that we are running more, different content in between Doppler showings and that makes it seem like the Doppler isn't up as much as it used to be. I've checked it, though. The run times are the same on the new LWS as on the old format.
"The Doppler Channel", as many people call it, has been running for years now. And for a long time it had the same look. People get used to that look. But as technology advances…things must change. Now we will admit that we still need to tweak some things on that channel, but my guess is that we will not dramatically change LWS again anytime soon. My advice would be to do what you can to get used to the new look, or rely more on our website and the interactive radar…which is an AWESOME new feature!
From Sue in Decatur (7/20/10):
I think that guy has the right idea. I would need at least 92 square feet, I am married after all, but it reminds me of the Swedish Summer homes in Stockholm. There is a place for everything and no extra garbage laying around. Thanks for the link!
From what I have heard…and I don't think this information was in the story…is that the homes like the one in the story go for around $40,000 a piece. That seems a bit steep to me!
From Nannette in Decatur (7/20/10):
Greg first most store brands are just as good ie Honey nut cheerios, so take a chance. Second I've told my daughter that when she need's me closer I'll down size into one of those little portable wooden building's and put in back yard as a mother-In-Law house. So that guy may have something. Did you ever hear George Carlin's "Stuff". and third you're not an idiot ,you Tara and Scot are the best morning show.
Thanks, Nannette! Okay…so maybe I am not an idiot. But I can be pretty stupid sometimes! And I agree that Tara and Scot are the best. Although I still say Tara is the meanest. You really have to be around her to understand what I am talking about here…
From David in Altamont (7/20/10):
I don't think I could handle that small of a house. The guy had to turn sideways to go thru the door. I'm a lot bigger than he is, I wouldn't fit sideways. LOL As far as generic/store brands go, I have found some things are even better than the brand name. Also, I just can't see paying brand name price for OTC drugs/medicine. OK, I admit it, I'm a tightwad.
Being a tightwad is not a bad thing, David! In this economy it is a blessing. As a matter of fact, one could argue that if we had more tightwads we would not have had the economic crash that we had.
I do agree with most of you about the generic/brand name conversation. For most things it doesn't really matter, and you can save a lot of money by going generic. But for me…there are some things I just can't budge on.
From Mark in Decatur (7/22/10):
When you wee talking about the differences in food, I noticed the same thing in the stuff I take for diabetes.
It's a drink which is sold as a shake and a snack. The difference being that one is in a bottle and the other a can. The can is significantly cheaper than the bottle, but it's the same product!
It's amazing the difference a little marketing can make, isn't it?
From Shannon in Decatur (7/22/10):
More on the store brand vs brand name. As a companion to the link you provided about what NOT to buy generic, here are 10 things to buy generic.
Thanks for the link, Shannon!
Be safe this weekend. Today and tomorrow will be brutally hot and humid. If you'll be outdoors a lot this weekend be sure to drink plenty of water. And if you start getting woozy go sit in front of a fan or something. Heat stroke is no joke!
--Yesterday I went to the public library in Weldon to talk to some kids about what I do for a living. It was part of a bigger event called "Scare up a Good Book". Many kids are afraid of storms, so the people running the show thought it would be good to have a day talking about bad weather. Just before I spoke with the kids there were two people from the National Weather Service that talked about severe weather and what kids need to do to be safe.
I love doing these kinds of events. Most of the time it will be at a school. Yesterday it was at a library. Wherever it is held the kids are always great. The adults, however, are sometimes frustrating. Yesterday there was an older woman that looked like she was from the Old Country. She had a hard face, and cold steely eyes. Naturally there was no smile on that face of hers. And she sat there the entire time I spoke glaring at me. She was sitting almost in the middle of the crowd so I could not keep from looking at her. I gotta be honest about it…the lady threw me off my game!
True…every morning I speak in front of potentially hundreds of thousands of people. But those people are not sitting right in front of me staring back. And those people are not glaring at me like they want me to keel over. I'm not sure what the lady's deal was. Maybe she thinks I am an idiot. Maybe she HATES the way I occasionally say "WeatherBug". But there was no doubt that she was less than enthused to be sitting in that room yesterday listening to me.
Everything turned out okay in the end. Towards the end of my talk I said something that was apparently very funny, and the lady loosened up a bit. The kids seemed to enjoy the chat, and afterwards I stuck around for a bit to talk to some kids that had extra interest. And there were some kids that wanted me to sign stuff for them, which always seems a little weird to me. But I left the building knowing that it was not my best performance…and that angry woman had a lot to do with that. I need to work on not letting something like that impact my mojo!
--In what may be one of the dumber decisions I've made recently I decided yesterday to take a friend up on an offer to go to the Cards' game this afternoon. It's a great offer…and a great friend. But there are a couple of issues that will make me pay for this. For one…the game starts around 1:15. If it is an ordinary game I should still get home around my usual bed time. But if the game goes over a bit I will be up late tonight. That means I will be tired tomorrow.
The other issue is the fact that it will be close to 100 degrees this afternoon in St. Louis. Plus it will be thick and humid. The heat index will be in the 105-110 degree range. Ouch. That is just about too hot to drink beer. I see a lot of water in my afternoon! Can you even eat nachos at the ballpark when it is that hot??
But on the plus side…I will be at a Cardinals' game for the first time this season, they are on a nice winning streak, and I will be with great people.
On Monday I blogged about the difference between name brand and store brand in regards to food. The thought started on Sunday when I was shopping with Faye. We started talking about how there are just some things that are better and worth paying for. In my case…I prefer Kraft cheese to a store brand. I prefer Blue Bear to something like Angel Soft. And I prefer Honey Nut Cheerios to an off-brand. While Faye agrees on some things, she knows there is not much of a difference with most things we buy in a store. And in many cases the products are made in the same building, but given different labels.
Being the curious type…and always looking to test one another….Faye and I decided to put this theory to the test. Tuesday Faye went and got an off-brand for Honey Nut Cheerios. Sunday we bought the real thing. Bottom line…I was blind folded, and sampled both types. We tested for touch, smell, sight, and taste. I missed the sight, and nailed the other three…meaning I could, in fact, tell a difference between the real thing and the off-brand. We then tested two cans of peaches…one Del Monte, and the other a Wal-Mart brand. I really could not tell the difference between the two.
Here are some of your thoughts on the topic…
From Elizabeth in Decatur (7/19/10):
About "off-brand" foods - - what I have found is it depends a lot on the store brand you are looking at. I have used a lot of Kroger store brands, and find some of them to be just as good, and once in awhile even a bit better, than the name brands. But you need to just try them and see what you prefer. Some items I will not buy anything but the name brands, because I have done the comparison and found that we prefer them.
One store brand that I have not yet found ANYTHING that I like is the Great Value brand at Walmart. I have tried so many different items, and don't like any of them. I'm also not real fond of the Cubs/County Market "Flavorite" brand….
So I guess it's just all personal preference - - about all you can do is try and see…..
Take care, and have a GREAT morning!
I've done some of the Kroger stuff, too. And I agree…in most cases you can't really tell a difference, and there can be a great savings by going with the store brand.
From Cody the Web Content Manager (7/19/10):
Generic Honey-nut Cheerios are no good. But the worst "off-brand" food is steak sauce. Doesn't taste anything like A-1.
Cody "6-Gun" Carter.
Thanks for the tip, 6-Gun!
From Mary in Assumption (7/19/10):
hi greg, some store brands are ok but i look at it this way. if its only going to save u a dollar why not just go ahead and buy the good stuff. i personally do not buy store brand cereal. only thing to do is try it and see if u like it. some people do and some dont. have a great day!!
That's a common theme, Mary. Try and see if you like it. That is generally what I do, too. But there are some things that I know aren't worth even trying!
From Shannon in Decatur (7/19/10):
On the question of name brand vs. store brand, like a lot of things, Greg -- it depends. We try a lot of the store brand items, and many times they are just as good (if not better), and also less expensive. But, there are some things that aren't as good. You really just have to try them and decide for yourself. Lately, we've been going back to Aldi's to shop and almost all of the items available there are very good, and much cheaper than a "regular" grocery store. Just one example, I like the Starbuck's frappucino drinks in the bottles, Aldi's has their own, they cost $1.09 and are much better tasting than the Starbuck's which will run you around $2 each. Hope this helped a little.
I've shopped at Aldi's before, too. I even applied for a job at the one in Mattoon back in the day! A couple of weeks ago I was there and I saw those coffee drinks you were talking about. I passes on them, though.
From Myra in Mattoon (7/20/10):
Okay, I would've sent a regular email via your link, but it opens in outlook express which I don't use, and let's face it, I've got other more important things (Scrabble, children, laundry) to do than change the default mail option.
Namebrands? Phhtt. I believe most of the 'off-brands' are the name brands, just packaged differently for different tiers of consumers. If you think about it, there can't possibly be *that* many companies making Cheerio-type cereal (the Malt-o-Meal version, the 'real' version, the Walmart version, the Aldi's version.) Maybe one or 2 companies tops, right?
Just my $ .02. BTW, Faye is stunning. Is she from here?
Hi, Myra! Thanks…I think Faye is stunning, too! She is from close by, yes.
I'm sure you are right about some products being made by the same company as their generic counterparts. And while I really can tell the difference between some of these products I think most of the time there isn't a noticable difference, outside of the price!
Wait, Myra…you mean you actually spend time on Scrabble??
--Quite the storm event yesterday. I drove through Sullivan on my way to work this morning. The first thing I noticed was the amount of trees on the ground. The second thing I noticed was how dark it was. Apparently most of Sullivan hasn't had power since yesterday and power crews will be working on the issue most of today. Hang in there!
We could get nasty storms basically any day this week, although Thursday and Friday are starting to look a lot more settled. And by the way…we won't have official word on whether or not we had tornadoes yesterday until the Weather Service gets done surveying the damage. Often times in our part of the country tornadoes are wrapped in rain, so we don't get visual confirmation at the time. We have to wait for damage surveys before we know for sure.
Here's that link to our interactive radar again. You're gonna need it a lot this week!
--If you've read this blog the past year you know that things have really changed in my life. Soon I will technically be a "single" person again. I've moved back to the city of my roots, Mattoon. I took the opportunity to down size a lot of things in my life, including material possessions. But the changes I've been given and made don't compare to what this dude did.
Hit this link…watch the video…give it some thought…and share those thoughts with us if you choose by hitting the feedback section below. Or if you have a lot to say about it send me an email with "Blog" in the subject line.
This past weekend was a great one. Faye and I went to Chicago to see my Dad. Unfortunately Dad was a little under the weather this weekend. But Faye and I managed to have a great time anyway. We spent Saturday afternoon at the Museum of Science and Industry. While there we stood in a tube to experience 80 mph wind. That is something I've already done while running after storms, sans the tube. But it was very cool to have Faye do it, too. And then we almost got sick in a flight simulator because apparently I am not a good pilot. We spent most of our "flight" spinning or upside down. Faye, however, shot down two enemy planes while I was trying to get us flying upright.
I need a little help with something, if you don't mind. This is probably more for the women-folk…but men are welcome to chime in, too. I'd like to know how you feel about generic or store-brand versions of popular food. As an example…I love Honey Nut Cheerios. To me it is important to have the actual Honey Nut Cheerios. But when you go shopping you can find "off-brands".
Do you feel there is any difference between brand name and store/generic brands? Can you tell the difference? You can send me your answers/thoughts on the subject by using the feedback form at the bottom of the blog, or if you have a lot to say just send me an email with "Blog" in the subject line. I appreciate your input!
---Earthquake just reported for the Washington D.C. area. Here is a link. It was a 3.6.
Another update! A friend of mine is a meteorologist in West Palm Beach, FLA. She just told me that her station's DC reporter says there was no damage, and no injuries. My response to her was "Your station has a freaking DC reporter??? NICE!!!"
--I pride myself on not taking things too seriously. Sure…there is a time and place for being serious about things, but I think most things are blown out of proportion. It's that philosophy that I try to show during the weather. Some people like it…and some people don't.
Yesterday morning I got to work and checked my old-school mailbox. It had a letter in it addressed to me. And I recognized the handwriting! I assume it was from an older person, as the writing was a little shaky. (That's not poking fun…that's just describing the handwriting.) As is typical with letters like this there was no return address…and no name from the person that sent the mail. But this time on the front it said "over please". So I turned the envelope over. Here is what it says on the back of the letter:
"You're an idiot- not funny, not clever- just an idiot"
Nice! Do you remember last November I posted here about a similar letter? The handwriting is the same. So it is safe to say this letter is from the same angry old person that sent the last letter. And that means that despite this person thinking I am an idiot…he or she still watches! By the way…I opened the envelope and there was nothing inside.
I've posted this here before, and I will post it again. As a general rule…a dissatisfied viewer that emails or mails someone like this is still going to watch. This is something I learned in radio. The person that sent this letter is emotionally invested now. I said this after the first letter was sent…and this person just proved me correct, because he or she is obviously still watching me be an idiot!
And I love the fact that I stirred this person enough, one way or another, to invest the time and money to get an envelope, write on it, and put a stamp on it. Then he/she had to put it in a mailbox. Now that is devotion!
Now…on to some slightly more affectionate feedback…"Feedback Friday"!
From Phil in Cissna Park (7/13/10):
Hello Greg; The addition of the interactive radar map to your website is a big PLUS for me.. I love it's flexibility and maneuverability and I'm sure I will use it daily.
As far as a musical escape, well, the blues do it for me...and what better place for the blues is there, than Beale Street in Memphis? Ah, I could do the ipod thing and get into the MP3 gig too, but for me...it's the live performances. So instead of music taking me somewhere, I just go to get it. The end result is pretty much the same.
Agreed, Phil. Live music is always better. I actually got into an argument with a professor of mine one day about the fact that we give up the quality of a live performance for the convenience of being able to take the music with us anywhere we go. His contention was that cd's are evil (This was before I-Pods. Heh.), and to a degree I agreed with him. But you have to give up something to get something! The next best thing to sitting in front of Eric Johnson is having Eric Johnson in your ear through an I-Pod.
From Linda in Decatur (7/13/10):
I immediately went to my computer to try out the interactive weather site and I love it! It is easy to use and I like that I can zoom out to check the whole area. Keep up the good work.
Not only can you zoom out to check the whole area, Linda…but you can zoom out to check the entire country! It's a tool that we have had access to at WAND for years, but you've never been able to access it. Now you too can see if it is raining in Seattle, Washington, whenever you want!
From Judy in Findlay (7/13/10):
Love the new interactive radar! What a great deal. By the way, one of my favorites: "End of the Line."
Oh Judy…that is a great song! I also love "Congratulations". The Wilbury's did put out some great stuff. Too bad Roy didn't make it through the follow up album.
From Deb in Decatur (7/13/10):
The new interactive radar is great! Thanks. I think it will be huge hit with alot of people. Love your blog too.
I agree, Deb. While some people just don't care about anything…I think people that are so inclined will eat this new feature up! There is something nice about being able to control the radar yourself. How many times have people been watching us cover a storm and been frustrated because we have not been focusing on his/her part of the storm??
From Scot England (7/14/10):
So I'm sitting at my work computer today and it completely stops working...nothing...no matter what we do.
It's like it overdosed on something. I can't figure it out. But it's so bad that I had to send this email from my home computer.
Golly gee whiz, Scot. I have no idea why your computer seems like it has been drugged! You should get our computer expert Phil on that right away!
Heh. Just be glad the story wasn't about "digital porn"!
From David in Altamont (7/14/10):
Hey, Man, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down.....
Digital drugs, huh? I always thought that's what subliminal messages were supposed to be. Next thing you know you'll be playing your Beatle album backwards. It always starts out slow. Damn that long hair music. LOL
Paul is dead. Koo koo ka choo.
From Mom in Mattoon (7/15/10):
Gregory, Even before finishing my 1st cup of coffee this morning, I read your blog on "Storm Safety". It is one of the most informative blogs and certainly proves my point when making the "kids" come in out of a storm.
I remember, even as a child, how much you enjoyed being outside during storms and watching the clouds and lightening. So, my dear son, you have proven that once again..."Mother knows best". lol Now, I will finish my coffee and start a great day!
Well the last thing I want this blog to be is informative. Thanks for the heads-up, Mom! Love you, too!
Here's something to get you through the weekend. Have a great one!
Someone sent me a weather question that I thought was very interesting. We talk a lot about lightning safety around here. Obviously we get a lot of intense storms in this part of the country, and part of that intensity is cloud-to-ground lightning. When we weather types head out to schools and groups to talk about weather safety there are always a ton of questions about lightning. Here is another great question:
From Scott in Virden (7/14/10):
This is mostly a storm safety question but.....
When Noah Newman did his report about the bicycle trek from Cairo to Chicago, it reminded me of the many times a minister and I used to bicycle together. He also rode that bike trek many times (I never did), only it used to go from Cairo to Rockford. And they would continue riding even during storms. Others would make fun of my friend for dropping out during storms...asking for the sag wagon to pick him up.
So here's the question we shared with our fellow bikers. How safe are bicyclers during a lightning storm?
I've heard fellow bikers tell me, "Well, we're riding on rubber tires, so we're safe. Lightning can't strike us, unless we touch our feet on the ground when we're stopped." I have heard motorcyclers with the same attitude.
I say, "You're nothing more than a moving lightning rod." What do you think?
That is a fantastic question, Scott. And it is great to hear from you again, my friend.
I've also heard the argument about rubber tires insulating bike riders against lightning hits. But people have been struck by lightning while riding…and killed. I've been doing a little leg work on this one…and this was pulled from the National Weather Service website concerning lightning safety:
"People have been hit by lightning while riding motorcycles and bikes. Here are just a few examples:
Protect yourself when on a bicycle, motorcycle or dirt bike. Carry a portable NOAA Weather Radio or listen to commercial radio. If you see threatening skies in the distance and you are near a safe building, pull over and wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before resuming your ride."
There is a general sense, I think, during storms that you just aren't that likely to be hit by lightning. And honestly…it doesn't happen very often that anyone in particular gets hit by lightning. But most people don't get into car accidents when you compare the numbers of people driving to the number of accidents on any given day. The problem arrives when you are the one person getting into the accident that day. The same can be said for lightning hits. Just the fact that it does actually happen once in a while is reason enough for me to stay out of harms way during a lightning storm. The fact remains that there IS NO COMPLETELY SAFE PLACE OUTDOORS during a thunderstorm.
Here's something from the FEMA website. On average around 300 people a year are injured by lightning, and 80 of those people are killed. Again…these are not staggering numbers unless you are one of the 300, or know one of the 300.
I guess to summarize, Scott…riding on a bike during a thunderstorm is not safe. While the odds are slim of getting hit by lightning…there is still a chance.
I was surfing the web a bit yesterday and came across a story that was kind of interesting and kind of dumb. Here is a link to the story:
They're called "digital drugs". They are audio files that people listen to with headphones/earbuds, and the sounds are engineered to give a person the same feelings that drugs give you. And apparently high school kids are doing this now. My first thought was "cool…as long as it keeps them off real drugs!" But then I got to thinking and realized that it might entice kids to try real drugs, and that isn't very cool.
I sent the link to this story to our news decision makers and told them it might be an interesting news story. The topic was covered in yesterday's meetings, I am told. But I do not know if the story was given to one of our reporters to cover. In the newsroom, though, some of us were talking about it. And Tara Barrett went to YouTube and found one of these audio recordings. And me being the curious type…I went to get my earbuds.
In my youth I discovered what it was like to be on a couple of the minor drugs out there. I'm certainly not proud of that fact, but life is what it is. That experience made me the best equipped for the challenge I was about to undertake. For the experiment I decided to sit at Scotty England's desk and use his computer. See…Scot claims to have never knowingly had things like tobacco or alcohol or illicit drugs ever touch his lips. Ever. And you know what? I truly believe him. So using his computer for this experiment seemed like a nice touch.
I put my earbuds (headphones that slip into the ear) into the side of Scot's monitor and went to YouTube. I searched for the appropriate recording. I reached over and turned on the volume button. I hit play. At the beginning of the video a guy starts talking about digital drugs and how they work. Then he gives a warning. Evidently people with epilepsy or those prone to seizures should in no way ever listen to digital drugs. There have been reports of people with these conditions having their conditions triggered. To the best of my knowledge I have no such conditions…so I continued.
The guy on the video then says to prepare for the digital drug. I am sitting in Scot's chair with a couple of people standing around me. I've got Ryne our morning editor/photog/prompter guy standing next to me. Tara Barrett is sitting at the desk next to me just waiting to find another reason to make fun of me. Liz Adeola is paying close attention a few desks away. Cody the Web Content Manager is also in the room and curious to see me wig out. The pressure is on…here come the digital drugs…
…and it is the most annoying sound I have ever heard. It's a wavy series of tones that literally does nothing for me. I've felt a couple of drugs' impacts in my life a long time ago, like THC or codeine or even prescribed morphine. But all this digital drug made me feel was irritation as it agitated my tinnitus! It was quite the let down. But I may try it again today just to double check.
Have you ever heard Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind"? Oh…what a heart-wrencher. Back in the day someone made a disco version that is actually pretty good, too. Basically the song, to me anyway, is about a love that just kind of dies a, slow death. And Gordon is lamenting the loss of the love. Okay, so maybe the song hits me because it happened to me. But I liked the song long before it actually happened to me. And for the record my life is so much better now and I am happy. It's just a great song.
I hope I don't bore you with the tales of what is on my I-Pod. But right after Gordon Lightfoot I caught The Traveling Wilbury's, "Handle Me With Care". It's too bad that Roy Orbison had to pass on before that group really got to groove. But they did give us some treasures before Roy was done.
Faye has taken my I-Pod on runs before. She says that my music is eclectic and takes you away from where you are. It got me to thinking about why I choose music that takes me away from where I really am. Is it wrong to use music as escapism? Well…I don't think so. Speaking of getting away…here is Survivor, "The Search is Over". Cripes. Maybe I need to get back into radio! And yes…I let Faye take my I-Pod because she is smoking hot and I don't want to tell her no. And yes…I am hoping for The White Stripes or Billy Squier or Metallica (all are on my I-Pod) to come up next before someone takes away my Man Card.
Alright…so I like sappy music. Sue me.
Before I forget to mention it...hit this link: Interactive Radar
It's a new radar on our website that actually allows you to move it where you want to move it. If you are a bit of a weather-head it will be very cool for you. And if you are someone that is afraid of storms it might give you a sense of control. Let me know what you think...
I am still trying to make up my mind on what type of phone I get next. Saturday night I was out with friends to celebrate a birthday in Champaign. Most of the night my phone had no signal…while everyone else's phone had four and five bars. So it is just about time for me to get something new. My Blackberry has been good to me, but I've been pretty rough on it. So it does not surprise me that the thing doesn't grab a signal much anymore.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned to you that I was trying to decide between another Blackberry or an IPhone. Many of you have chimed in and I appreciate the input.&nb, sp; Last week I was t,, , h,, inking hard about the IPhone. But this week I am thinking about another Blackberry. I have people that have offered me the, ir old phones as they are upgrading. So I can get either IPhone or Blackberry on the cheap.
Over the weekend someone sent me a link to a story about an IPhone. I love that you occasionally send me stuff like this! The story will not influence my decision…
By the way...a couple of people have asked me about the link to B. Lime, The Green Store. It was at the top of the blog for a long time until recently. Well there is big news on the B. Lime front! They are going online! When the updated shoppable website is completely up and running I will put the link back up at the top of the blog. While I haven't been able to work there in many months since my move to Mattoon...it is still a store in which I believe. And very soon you won't even have to travel to Champaign to buy their products.
Fantasy sports are a passion of mine. I play football, baseball, and basketball. I am a fan of the actual sports, too. I watch a lot of football during that season. There are baseball games I watch during that season, mostly the Cards. But I have not watched a full basketball games in years. I'm very good at fantasy sports, though. The last basketball season I played in three leagues. I won two of them.
What's my point? LeBron James' decision last night has big fantasy basketball implications, and that impacts my life. So I wanted to make a couple of comments on the big broadcast and announcement last night. LeBron is going to play in Miami. I know most of you are not big basketball fans and could care less. But I've had bball conversations with a few of you.
LeBron did a GREAT thing by involving the Boys/Girls Club in his announcement. The word I heard was that he donated around 5 million dollars to the club because of last night's broadcast. How can you complain about that?? LeBron's decision to go to Miami was not based on money…it was based on winning a championship. He will not be able to reach the status in the game that he desires until he gets at least one title. And I am sorry…but he was not going to win that title in Cleveland. Look at Orlando and Boston. The Cavs were not going to beat either of them in the playoffs anytime soon. If the Heat get the Big Three a supporting cast they will win a title…just as soon as Kobe decides he is done. (I'm a big Lakers fan!)
The owner of the Cavs is showing his butt. As soon as LeBron made his announcement Dan Gilbert starting saying bad things about LeBron, like a high school girl that just got dumped for a cheerleader. Dan…shut your mouth and act like an adult. You are making yourself look very bad. And guaranteeing that your team will win a championship before Miami is plain stupid. If it was so easy to win a title why weren't you able to when you had LeBron?? And now you think you will win one without him? Heh.
Okay. I am done with my basketball rant. It's a shortened Holiday week…so "Feedback Friday" will be short!
From Bart in Champaign (7/1/10):
Ok, if you'll move back to Champaign you can have the cord. Sounds like a deal to me.
Ha! I'm working on it, Bro! But I gotta be honest…Mattoon is not all that bad. I won't be disappointed if I live there through the Winter…although Winter driving on 121 is rarely fun.
I think within a year or so I will either be back in Champaign or back in Decatur (assuming I don't jump to California!). It just kind of depends on a few things. But I can not deny that I was supposed to move to Mattoon. Without getting too personal here…being in Mattoon allowed me to have invaluable quality time with my Grandfather before he moved on to where ever we go after this life. If I still lived in Champaign I'm not sure I would have been able to see him as much as I did. I'm a firm believer that life steers us in the direction we need to go if you allow the process to unfold.
From Sandy in Decatur (7/6/10):
Hi Greg, We miss you giving the weather report but I know you're having fun in CA!!!
Thanks, Sandy. It is always good to know that people miss you when you aren't around! And yes…I had a lot of fun in California!
From Phil in Cissna Park (7/7/10):
Hey there Greg...welcome back. I can relate to your feelings about returning back to Central Illinois after being away. This will sound crazy, but I lived in Winston-Salem, NC for 24 years and there were times that I missed Decatur. What did I miss the most? Besides WAND, of course, the trains blocking the roads, the plumes of stinky debris from what is now Tate & Lyle and the cold, snowy winters we sometimes get up here. So take it from one who travels across our great land and one who actually DID move away...things do seem small and insignificant upon your return. Yet, your reluctance to be back is replaced by your happiness to be back. Then there's people like me who are glad to see you back. You asked..."Time to get serious?" and I replied "Nah!". If it's about your traveling companion...I revert to "Yeah, it is!".
I hope I did not give the impression that I was unhappy to come home. It is, as you say, always good to get home. But vacation just has a way of giving small things perspective.
Phil and I are Facebook friends. We're friends outside of the blog. One day I put on my status that it was time to get serious…and he responded as he mentioned above. I'm not sure what I was referring to when I posted the status, to be honest. But yes, Phil…my travelling companion on the California trip is tremendous!
Actually I was with 2 tremendous travelling companions on that trip. Faye was with me…but my Dad was there, too. The California trip is a 4th of July tradition in my family. And it was great to have Faye come with me. It really was a fantastic trip! (And it was good to come home…)
Aight…that is it for now. Have a great weekend! The weather should settle down today. The weekend looks nice and clear. Do something this weekend that you've never done before but always wanted to. Yeah…that's right. Make it a "Bucket List" weekend, and then send us feedback here on the blog telling us what you did.
--Have you ever listened to Enigma? I don't catch them much…but this morning on the IPod I'm listening to "Return to Innocence". This is my opinion…and it might be a little weird…but there is something primal and sexy about that song. I shouldn't really spell it out for you here but this is a good song for certain moments.
Hmmm. Let's move on…
--Despite the software issues in recent weeks I am leaning towards getting an iPhone. It could be a few weeks before I do anything, though. That is the way I am leaning now. Between now and then I will likely change my mind several times.
--We've still got this ugly situation going in the Gulf. You've probably seen the pictures that have been going around for the past few weeks. Frankly it is depressing. If there is a good thing to a situation like this it is how people come together to help other people and animals. It's just sad when it is because of a disaster that we have created. Here's a link to some pictures taken in May down there.
--So LeBron James is taking up an hour of TV time on ESPN tonight to let us know where he is signing to play basketball for the next few years. I've heard some people say that LeBron is just feeding his ego. I've heard people say that he is just assuming people care that much. But you know what? LeBron is selling commercials during that hour-long broadcast. You know what else? LeBron is giving all of the proceeds to the Boys'/Girls' Club. So let's stop with the talk about LeBron being an egomaniacal "Superstar". And if you are into basketball…tonight's announcement really is the most important hour for the NBA for the next several years.
--I know…this isn't a sports blog. But it isn't a weather blog, either. Nothing is off-topic! So if there is something on your mind and it won't get me fired…tomorrow is "Feedback Friday"! Get your thoughts in now. Hit the bottom of this page to send feedback, or if you have a lot to say send me an email with "Blog" in the subject line.
Vacation is over. California is where I spent the Fourth of July…again. I've been out there four or five times now for that holiday. It's always fantastic to watch the fireworks with good friends/family close to the ocean. And I say this every time I come home from out there…but this time I am pretty sincere when I say I would like to move out there. It probably wouldn't be in the next year or so. But being out there feels good to me.
Do you ever get the feeling when you come home from vacation that home feels pretty small? I hope I explain this right. But I probably won't. Maybe it is the vacation hangover in play here…but usually when I come home from a great trip nothing at home seems to be as big of a deal as when I left. Maybe in the day to day of life we build things up to be more important than they really are. Or maybe it is just my natural inclination to be apathetic about certain things. But it seems like it would be easy to walk away and live somewhere else. (And for the record I could do that and still do this blog, although I would probably have to do it on another website!)
Vacation was fantastic. Coming home is always nice, though, despite what I just typed above. And while I think I could stay on vacation permanently…it is good to have a job to come back to.
For some reason this morning there was a lot of traffic on Route 121. I have no idea what was going on…but there were far more cars going South than there has been in the previous three weeks combined. Strange.
For the record...I did update the blog yesterday. The reason you did not see it here after about 10 yesterday morning is because I had Cody the Web Guy archive early. Maybe it was game playing...but I wanted to see how many people would check the archive! Heh.
There is a new blog around here. Liz Adeola has decided to give it a shot. The question I always have when someone plays with a blog around here is how dedicated will they be to that blog. It's not something you can just do once in a great while and expect people to flock to it. You have to give people a continued reason to hit your blog. And time will tell if Liz is really interested in doing the blog.
But I will say this about Liz Adeola…she seems like a fun person. I only know her through work. We've worked together a number of times and I like her. She is a bit of a news junkie. But she also has a tremendous and goofy sense of humor. That is a rare mix. And I think if she lets all of that show on her blog the thing will be pretty , entertaining. So give it a look and see what you think. Here's a link to it…
From Doug in Mattoon (2/29/10):
Maybe you would get out of your "dark mood" if you would get out of that DARK SUIT! Kinda looks like ya belong in a funeral parlor, lol. Perhaps maybe you ought to wear your pink shirt and maybe along with a pair of pink, oh, never mind. (HA-HA, just funnin ya guy bout BS somebody threw your way previously.)
Funny you say that, Doug. I am wearing pink today!
From Sue in Decatur (6/29/10):
I love my BlackBerry Tour.
Just saying. :0)
At this point I am leaning towards keeping the BlackBerry. I mean…I will get a new BB. I just like the messenger. It's a quick and cheap way to stay in touch with people.
From Angie in Charleston (6/29/10):
So...you tell us there is no funny and then in the next breath you tell us you're listening to Streisand and Hall & Oates. I love them too...but come on, that's funny.
What I really need, Angie, is to figure out a way to get Reverend Robert onto my I-Pod. His kind of blues would be perfect for my ride to work every morning!
From Bart in Champaign (6/29/10):
I have one of those iPod cords you can borrow......until you move back to Champaign.
Why would I have to give it back when I move back to Champaign?? I will still have the commute, my friend! I will still need the cord!
From Jim in Taylorville (6/29/10):
On the issue of a new phone...I'll warn you that I'm a long time Apple / Macintosh junkie, dating back into the stone age era of computers. Naturally I'd favor the iPhone for anyone with the need for a blackberry type device but I don't yet own one myself, since I use a cell phone about as often as I wash my truck in January. One of my sons and several of my relatives have iPhones however, and each of them went through several blackberries before they finally just took the high road. Without exception... they ALL love their iPhones (and
Macs) with a passion that's bordering on "mac-zealotry". The next time I need a new cell phone, I plan to simply buy the latest model iPhone, so that I can Google any question the instant it crosses my mind when I am not at home. Okay I'll say it for you, since my wife and siblings aren't here to point it out: "Crossing Jim's mind is a very short path." <grin>
Since you mentioned how, lame l, ocal radio is at 3 AM... I am planning to soon buy a portable satellite radio that will stand alone as a radio, or wirelessly play on my truck stereo. (or my Mac) I was never a believer in the future of satellite radio, until my brother and one of my sisters exposed me to it. I am now forever hooked, because I agree with you that local radio is especially spotty at 3 AM or most times, unless you love Dave Ramsey, the insane Dr. Joy Brown, or endless loops of the same terrible songs played on auto-pilot into infinitude. When on long drives nowadays, it's nearly impossible to find "live talk shows" unless we are in range of say a college station, or NPR. On satellite radio, I can always find something great going on, and I love the seeming endless variety. I think my brother said that it costs him around ten bucks per month, which isn't bad considering that nowadays, essential little daily things cost more than that.
Not to beat a dead horse, but thanks for sticking up for your fellow weather psychics, and other colleagues at WAND. A few self important viewers just get used to waking up to the same faces every morning, and you'd think all hell broke loose because a weatherman needed a week off, quit the job, got fired, or God forbid, that a new face is moved into their TV weather lane. Speaking of Laine, she and JC were recently subject to someone's indignity on this blog. I likely felt the same way as this misguided naif back when Bob Murray disappeared and I inherited you and Lee Davis instead.
I actually corresponded with Bob Murray soon after that, yet he diplomatically advised me to stick with WAND and was very generous in his praise toward WAND weather, which I presume included you. Sure enough, you, Laine, and JC grew on me, and I still to this day like your entire weather team. That must be the hardest thing for "the suits" to understand in the corn belt: The weather is really the only reason why half of us people tune in, at all.
I like your blog because it makes a familiar TV face MUCH more human and personal, plus your open honesty is refreshing. I like your style Greg. You even accept unfair criticisms and use them to better yourself, rather than to strike back with animus. To me that's the sure sign of a very big man.
Don't let my praise cause your head to swell however, because you are my weatherman, and I'll hate you during the next Taylorville tornado, flood, blizzard, or ice storm. <grin> In the meantime... I hope everyone has a very wonderful and fun-filled 4th of July weekend.
P.S. - I now forget WHY I ever moved here in 1988.
Thanks for the input, Jim. And I love that you had so much to say!
I am 75% set on getting a new BlackBerry for reasons I mentioned above. But that I-Phone is still very tempting. It will probably boil down to the best deal I can get.
For a long time I had XM satellite radio in my car. It made the Champaign-Decatur commute much more enjoyable. But my equipment started malfunctioning…and XM apparently wasn't interested in supporting their product. So I dumped it. Lately, though, I've been thinking about having it installed into my car. It might be something I do in a couple of months.
Believe me, Jim. The Suits are well aware of weather being the main reason most people watch local news. If you really look at our station…everything here point to weather. Hell…we even changed the name of the place to "StormCenter 17". Look at the weather truck we got. And the weather toys. Yep. The Suits actually do know what they are doing…just never tell them I typed that!!
Thanks for the compliments, Jim. And don't worry…I am far too self-deprecating to get a big head. The blog to me is often like therapy. Talking about things really does help…and this blog allows me to get stuff out of my head and into the open. I'm just lucky that people occasionally like to peer into my head, God help them.
From David in Altamont (6/29/10):
Well , I guess as long as you have OZZY in the line-up, we won't give you too much flack for listening to , Babs. ????
That's just so NOT RIGHT , man. LOL
Heh. Yeah…Babs. I left out Barry Manilow, too. Honestly…I like most any kind of music. And when I say I like music…I like to actually listen to it. I actively seek certain songs. I've mentioned this before…but at any given time you can find everything from Mozart to Babs to Ozzy to The White Stripes on my I-Pod. I like easy listening and heavy metal. About the only thing you won't really find on my I-Pod is country. But I even have John Denver and Anne Murray in there, too…so I guess I can't even say that!
On the I-Pod right now…Lionel Richie with Alabama, "Deep River Woman". Great song.
Have a great Holiday. I'm out until the middle of next week. If I am struck with the urge while I am gone I may blog while I am away. My plan is to be on the Pacific Ocean while I am gone. Make sure to sign up for email alerts to make sure you don't miss anything over my vacation!
And please…take a second or two this weekend and think about what it means to live in the United States of America. And while you are doing that think about what the people that began our country had in mind. We know what they were thinking by the things they , wrote at the time. And also…don't forget that Columbus did not "discover" this country. There were already people living here…and the settlers just kind of moved them aside. My point is…this country wasn't free of charge…