Today is a weird day at work. We are covering the Royal Wedding and there will be no local newscast this morning. You will see us every half hour or so starting at 6 with The Today Show. But that is about all there is to our work day this morning. Honestly…I could get used to it!
I've decided for the time being to continue the blog. My apologies for continually mentioning that I am thinking about stopping. It really isn't a ploy to get you to email me in support of keeping the blog, although I do appreciate the comments. Going forward I will not share any doubts I may have about stopping the blog. When the time comes for the blog to end I will just end it…and it will not be drawn out. But this being a place of honesty I thought I would tell you that I was thinking about stopping. And in the coming weeks I might actually go ahead and shut it down. But from here on out I will not put those thoughts on the blog until the decision has been made. I won't work at this TV station forever…and sometime, maybe soon…the blog will end. But that day has not yet arrived.
From David (4/25/11):
OH SURE!!! Heaviest rain along I-70, AGAIN!!! I swear you have something against I-70!! LOL My yard looks like a swamp now. You would not believe the size the gators are getting!
Rain rain go away, so Greg can tell us it will be sunny today!!!
I hear gator meat is good, Dave!
That's it for this week. Chances are good our conversations will continue over the weekend on Facebook…so go to the page and "like" it if you want to partake!
--Yesterday the blog was not updated. Basically I took the morning off from the blog. It can be draining to do this blog every single morning, and I found that taking the morning off yesterday actually did me some good. I've said before that this blog was not a mandatory thing for me to do. The station asked me to do it…this was the first blog on this website, and it is still by far the most read simply because it has been around so much longer than the others. And frankly that makes me tired sometimes!
--I'm still collecting donations for the Lake Land College softball game next week. Anyone that went to Lake Land or knows someone that is going to Lake Land in the future should think about sending me $5 to support this cause. The money raised goes straight into a scholarship fund to help other people get their college education. We need more well-educated people in this world! Don't believe me? Just check out the TV station's Facebook page! Ha! (That one might earn me a conversation…)
--Did you see that President Obama's people finally released his original birth certificate? We've been having a running dialogue about it on my Facebook fan page. It really fascinates me how people are clinging to this issue. Whether or not you feel he has done well as our President…why are people so afraid of him? We've had better Presidents and worse Presidents. He took office at a negatively remarkable time in our country's history. ANYONE else getting elected would be having many of the same issues, and certainly no one else would be doing much better. But all of that aside…this birth certificate issue blows my mind. Let's say at this point he ISN'T a citizen. What then? You can't take back anything that has happened while he has been in office.
Anyway…the conversation continues on the Facebook page. If you'd like to join the conversation hit the link at the top of this blog, "like" the Facebook page, and have some fun!
Next Wednesday is going to be a fun day for me. For several years now Lake Land College has had a charity Faculty versus Students softball game. Every year they have brought me in to umpire. It's a lot of fun to go back to one of my Alma Maters and be a part of a money-raising event. The students and the teachers make a huge deal out of the game. It's a chance for the students to beat the teachers, and a chance for the teachers to show they still have it. And the money raised goes into a fund for scholarships. The entire event is really great all around.
Well next Wednesday is this year's game…and this time the faculty has asked me to actually play. I used to play softball every season in Decatur for the TV station's God-awful team. It was a lot of fun and I have missed it over the years. So I am very excited to be able to play with the faculty for this event. It is great exercise and a great cause. Money is being raised and used to help people get an education. Fantastic.
So anyone that would like to donate to this cause only needs to send me a check made out to "Greg Trumbold" to this address:
904 South Side Drive, Decatur, IL 62521
I have to raise $50 to be able to play. That's only $5 from 10 different people! There is no minimum donation. If you are able to donate to the cause just send the check and an email letting me know how much you are sending me. I have to have a total for them by this Friday. You have been a very giving group in the past. And I only ask for donations once a year for the Bowl For Kids' Sake…until now. Thanks!
So it's now been confirmed that our area had nine tornadoes last Tuesday. The strongest of the tornadoes was the EF-3 that hit the Girard area. An EF-2 is considered significant. An EF-3 (136 mph to 165 mph) is about as strong as ours usually get around here. And the area is greatly fortunate that there were no serious injuries Tuesday evening.
Did you hear about St. Louis the other night? Of course I am talking about Lambert Airport being hit by a tornado. Can you imagine waiting for a plane and having to deal with that? Faye's parents left for a short vacation a couple of days before the tornado and they used that airport. While they were safely a few states away…their car was still parked at Lambert. They flew back home yesterday wondering if they would be able to drive their car home. And according to Faye when they were walking to their car they weren't very positive about it because most cars were un-drivable in their lot. But then shining out to them like a beacon in a fog was their little red Prius, standing out amidst the damage with only some scratches and a cracked windshield. With that minimal damage, by comparison to the other cars, they were able to drive the thing home.
This week doesn't look like much for severe weather. We are at a slight risk tonight mostly along Interstate 70 for nasty storms. But most of what we see through tomorrow morning should be mild to strong. The biggest threat to us at this point is the potential for heavy rain. This place is already pretty soaked, and with heavy rain possible tonight flooding is a very good possibility in most places.
Yeah…I know. A lot of weather on "Weather…or Not" this morning. But with another busy start to the week it seems necessary!
--I had one of those mornings where I woke up about 20 minutes late and laid in bed contemplating just quitting and not getting out of bed. But alas once again rational thought overcame my inherent laziness. I got out of bed and managed to get to work just a little bit late. I also was down to one little bar on my fuel gauge just as I was leaving Mattoon. That meant that I had to drive almost 45 miles on around 1 gallon of gas. So I put the cruise control on 55 mph for most of the trip and made it to work just as the "add fuel" warning came on. I averaged close to 60 mpg this morning. Fantastic.
From Elizabeth (4/18/11):
Emancipation Day falls on Sat., April 16, but it is observed in D.C. on Fri., April 15. That prompted the IRS to extend the tax filing deadline to April 18 this year. Under the tax code, filing deadlines can't fall on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.
Thanks, Elizabeth! Are you a tax attorney or preparer or something?
From Christopher (4/19/11):
Greg, My wife is a huge fan. How do I go about getting an autographed photo of you for my wife. She loves watching you in the morning and her favorite blog on the web is yours. She says we should hang out. Ha. Anyhow, any help would be appreciated.
Hmmm. I will have to check with our promotions department, Christopher. But I don't think we have those glossy 8 by 10's that most people do! As a side note…every time I see the name ‘Christopher' I always hear Adrianne from "The Sopranos" saying it in that New Jersey accent…
From Connie (4/20/11):
Greg, Yes good job on the weather coverage. We lost power last night after 6 so we missed watching after that happened.
Boy that was a wild dream you had the night before, I thought I was the only person that had those strange dreams.
Usually my dreams are a little odd. Last night I had one where my Dad, Faye, and I were flying on a smaller jet over the Florida wetlands. The jet ended up crashing into the water and I woke up just as the plane went under the water and the seals started to pop. I remember thinking in the dream while watching water start to seep in that it was a weird way to die. Then I woke up.
From Jerrie (4/20/11):
good morning greg i know that you have to do the weather coverage but when it takes the whole evening is a little much we pay a cable company to watch our t.v. programs not just on thing all evening but we dont get an adjustment on our bill for not being able to watch programs i remember while mom was still alive lee davis made a statement that he didnt care he was staying on the air this made mom very upset so maybe all of the people that are in charge should stop and think about what they decide no i didnt get to watch the shows on tues night so i turned you off so each time this happenes i will turn you off
Like I said the other day there isn't much I can say about this, Jerrie. Those decisions are made by The Suits. We go on the air when they want us to go on the air. And we stay on until they say it's okay to go back to programming. I will tell you that it is something that they debate after every severe weather event we have. When we have to cut in for hours…not only do we blow out the TV shows…but also the commercials. That means the station loses money. So you can imagine some of the conversations in this building on the day after storm coverage! They are always trying to find the line between too much and too little. For the most part The Suits are pretty smart people and I think they usually make the right decisions in regards to storm coverage.
For our part, though, we need to be very careful with how we use the time on-air that we are covering storms. When we have to cut in we are obviously killing someone's favorite show. And if we are standing there in front of a map giving you completely worthless information considering the circumstances then you are going to get mad. That's why when I cover storms I try to keep it short, concise, and to the point. You don't want to see jokes or someone wasting your time telling you about something that has nothing to do with what could be happening to your neighborhood at the moment. That's my philosophy anyway.
From April (4/20/11):
Greg, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the weather coverage. I could care less about missing a show or two because, like you said, I can always watch them later online. I was watching the coverage last night until you guys went off the air for a while, then I had to switch over to another local station. Certainly not the same great coverage! They would break in occasionally and give updates but that's about it. Keep up the good work, WAND! I hope the tornado warning coverage never changes.
Thanks, April. I tend to agree that tornado warnings warrant "wall to wall" coverage. You're talking about potential loss of life in those situations.
From Angie (4/20/11):
I know I've said this before but I'm sayin' it again to make sure your "suits" get the message: I switched to WAND because of the weather coverage. Keep it up. (Oh and there's also that awesome morning meteorologist...)
Ha! As always…thanks for the support, my friend!
From David (4/20/11):
You know, when there is a potential life threatning situation, such as there was last night, I don't think there can be TOO MUCH coverage.
You provide the information for people to stay alive.
I've never been afraid of storms. But I'm not an idiot. If the big one is coming my way, I'm not going to stand in the yard yelling at the sky "COME AND GET SOME " !!
Like I said earlier…life or death situations are obviously the time for us to be on. But we need to be careful with how we use that on-air time. Not only is it irritating to hear someone go off on a useless tangent while covering storms…but it could also cause someone under the gun to miss vital information when they need it the most.
From Kristen (4/21/11):
Good morning Greg! I want you to know that myself and most of the people I know are certain of your ability to forecast the weather, which you do very well. Your personality is great and it comes through to the audience, you are a person people like to watch! If you turn the channel, you might miss something....you can't get that online! Only God knows what the weather is going to be, but you do a great job forecasting the interpretation! So does the rest of the WAND team, keep up the great work!!
Well thanks, Kristen. Despite my laid-back personality I really do care about my job. And despite the fact that I don't really care what people think it is important to me that I know what I am doing.
From Kim (4/21/11):
I love your morning news and weather...I live in Champaign and I get everything I need to know on your station. You, Tara and Scott are my favs..So glad to see Scott back and can't wait for Tara. You guys put WCIA to shame...that morning news cast is a JOKE!
Thanks, Kim! I miss living in Champaign! I agree that it is nice to have Scot back in the morning. Like I said earlier in the week I have no idea how long Scot will be with us in the morning…so I am trying to enjoy him while he is here. As for Tara…I think Faye and I are going to try to get over to meet Callie sometime this weekend. If the pictures are accurate that sure is a cute baby!
From Ole Dave (4/21/11):
Hey Greg, Ole Dave here again. I agree hardily with your take on being entertaining as well as an informative forecaster of weather. I would like to have someone like George Carlin's, Al Sleet, the Hippy Dippy Weather Man, but would settle for you being on the afternoon and evening programs, instead of the morning show, as I don't get this old body out of bed early enough. If no humorous men were available, could we get Jennifer Ketchmark back, or maybe even Kelly Curran from WICS. There was a lady at WCIA in the 1950"s that was quite popular. Eye candy is also entertaining to some of us. Laine was great. While I am talking, I think that Tai's blog is somewhat informative, but boring as watching paint dry. Keep up your good work, and take good care of yourself and Faye and the "children"..
Oh Dave…you always know just what to say to…get me in trouble! I will say this about the news director's blog…it probably isn't going to be controversial, at least not like mine can be. He is the leader of the news room and has to maintain a certain level of respect. But I do find it very interesting to read his thoughts on how he makes the decisions that he makes, and how he comes to make newsroom policy.
I'd love to do anything from George Carlin! He was a brilliant comedian, in my opinion.
I'm a big fan of Jennifer Ketchmark. I haven't watched her do the weather for a long time because we are on different shifts. But she is a great girl, a lot of fun, and we are friends. I think it would be great if she came back to work here because she "gets it". But as the legendary pro wrestling commentator/wrestler Gorilla Monsoon would say…"that's highly unlikely"!
That's it for this week! Thanks for the comments and for reading the blog. Try not to float or blow away this weekend. It is going to be stormy basically through most of next week!
--Once again there has been another large jump in readers of this blog. Every once in a while I like to go over a few things and this seems to be a good time. You are always more than welcome to sound off on any topic covered here on the blog. You are also more than welcome to bring up a new topic here on the blog. If there is something that you've always wanted to ask about me or the station or anything else, really, you are free to do so here. There is a feedback section below that you can fill out. Or if you have a lot to say you can just send me an email with "blog" on the subject line so I know you mean to have it posted here on the blog. Usually every Friday is "Feedback Friday" where I will post your thoughts/comments/questions.
Also you are more than welcome to sign up for email alerts. Then whenever I update the blog you will get an email letting you know that there has been an update. Once in a while I will blog while not at work and getting those alerts just ensures that you don't miss anything. And most of the time I try to make the alerts interesting to read…and even put stuff in the alerts that you won't read in the blog. The sign up form for the email alerts is also at the bottom of the blog.
--I recently had a conversation with someone about where we get our weather forecasts. And my own ability was called into question. Not to be all weathery this morning…but I figured I would bring it to the blog. Let me say up front that I can only speak for myself, and a little bit for JC because we've talked a lot about it. But there is an assumption that we get our weather from the Weather Channel or the National Weather Service or some other source. And that is partially correct, from a certain point of view.
The basic information that we ALL use to come to a forecast is provided mostly from government sources. The National Weather Service is out there shooting off weather balloons and taking soundings and readings, etc. And they get the best weather toys including radar and satellites and infrared imaging devices. There are some private companies that also do their own weather models, like the vendor we use for our PrecisionCast. You may have heard or read JC mention it. The name is RPM…and I never bothered to look up what it means. But it is a fantastic model that we use that is exclusive to our TV station in this market.
So the information we use to forecast doesn't begin here at this TV station. The biggest difference from meteorologist to meteorologist at this or any other TV station is how we each individually interpret that information into a forecast. I believe that JC comes the closest to doing a "pure forecast" in that he goes from scratch to finish with mostly his own thoughts and interpretations. Again…I don't know what Lee or Kevin the New Guy do. And I will tell you that when I come in for the morning shift I do a combination of things. First I will look at what JC did the night before…because I know he is VERY good at this, and I very much value his thoughts. Then I will look over models, etc, myself for a bit and come up with my own ideas and interpretations for the forecast. And I ALWAYS look at our RPM forecast model. And I also pay close attention to what the National Weather Service peeps in Lincoln have to say because they are also VERY good at this stuff. If I am feeling very confident in my own thoughts I will run with it. But most of the time the forecasts that I do really are a blend of my thoughts, JC's thoughts, and the NWS in Lincoln. And the RPM PrecisionCast will always have the final say in how I phrase a forecast because that is what I am showing on the air.
Now I don't track my accuracy percentage. But I do know that my forecasts hold out pretty well most of the time. Although for some reason when I blow a forecast I tend to do it in a big way. I guess this is always a touchy spot with me because there are some people that don't take my weather ability seriously because of my approach to doing my job. And the conversation I had the other day got me to thinking about it…and I figured I would just lay it out here for everyone to read. I do know what I am doing when it comes to forecasting. But to me, personally, I would much prefer to watch someone present a forecast without being so dry and stuffy. Especially in today's media world where there are literally a million other sources to get a forecast you have to be able to hold an audience's attention. When I am watching weather…if you're aren't informing AND entertaining…I would rather just take 20 seconds and look up the weather online. And people in my business that haven't figured that out yet are far, far behind the curve on this one.
There was a lot of chatter on the TV station's Facebook page last night about the storm coverage that the station was giving. Most people appreciated the non-stop coverage for hours. And as always some people just wanted to be able to watch their TV shows. I won't give my position because it is irrelevant. I don't make station policy and no one asked me for my opinion when it was made! But I certainly love to watch the debate unfold on the Facebook page. That is the beauty (and curse) of Facebook. It allows for instant conversation about anything at all.
Our news Director Tai Takahashi addressed the issue of weather coverage on his blog yesterday/last night. Ultimately the choice of our coverage is his. And on his blog he gives a little insight into his philosophy.
As was pointed out a number of times during the Facebook conversation most networks now allow you to watch episodes of their current shows from their website or Hulu, etc, the day or so after an episode's first run. So really…if you have a computer and are online, which is the majority of Americans now, you really can't get away with the argument that you missed your favorite show. You can just wait a bit and watch it online later. I've been used to watching my favorite shows the day after they air because I go to bed at 6…and I have been surviving somehow for around 7 years doing it that way.
And not to sound too conservative about it…but the market really will sort the issue out eventually. We do weather the way we do because from a ratings standpoint it works for us. We spend money researching this stuff, and so do most other stations in the country. Believe me…there is a lot of money riding on it. We take it seriously…and we do our homework. If there is ever a time that our ratings slip because we overdo the weather then our station policy will likely change. That's how it works with everything in the TV business. Things are either done to make money directly, or to improve ratings…which in turns allows the station to make more money.
--We begin this morning under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for several counties, mostly our Southwestern area. The biggest threat appears to be the potential for large hail this morning. And of course wind and lightning are usually a concern with stronger storms. Naturally I will be here all morning long to cut into programming, if necessary, to let you know what up.
--I had a dream last night that I was driving a Jeep. With me in the Jeep were my boys Boomer and Buster, Burt Bacharach, and Danville native Dick Van Dyke. At some point during our drive we ended up careening to the right through some trees and onto another road on the right. I am sad to say that Burt and Dick didn't make it. I vividly remember seeing their bodies on the pavement. Happily, though, Boomer and Buster were rattled but not injured. They were both covered in Dick Van Dyke's blood, though.
Later in the dream Boomer and Buster were laying around chilling, and I was trying to figure out how to smuggle a little bag of cocaine with Gwyneth Paltrow and Timothy Olyphant, who played Bullock on "Deadwood". We were in someone's garage trying to load up another Jeep with luggage, and this little bag filled with coke. Now I have never tried cocaine, and never smuggled drugs. I assume Gwyneth and Timothy were also virgins at this as well. And that may explain why we were having such a hard time figuring out how to drive the cocaine to where ever we were wanting to take it.
Faye and I had steak kabobs for dinner last night…and I had no booze. This leaves me with little to no explanation as to why I had these dreams.
--It is with great pleasure that I announce the Bowl For Kids' Sake Championship Hammer is once again staying put at WAND-TV. The contest Friday night was an odd one. Because of the storms our team shrank a bit. And we had to borrow a bowler from Cromwell Radio. They gave us a guy named Terry that had not bowled in about a decade. Terry threw a couple of practice frames…and his shoes literally disintegrated. Yeah…he had not worn the shoes in such a long time that they literally broke apart. The guy that owns the bowling alley had to come out with a rag and clean Terry's shoes off the lane. I have to admit…this had my team worried.
As it turns out Terry was…outstanding! He easily bowled the best game of the night. Cromwell had five bowlers on their team to our four bowlers, including Terry. And even being outnumbered we beat them by 6 pins. Needless to say they were a little upset that they gave us Terry's services! It was beautiful.
--It is also with great pleasure that I announce this morning that our very own Scot England is returning to the morning newscast…at least for now! With Tara gone and Chris Nguyen leaving us it left a hole on the roster. And Scot has agreed to fill that hole for a while. I am not sure if this is the long-term plan or not…but I personally will enjoy having him back while he is here. To the best of my knowledge…which is rarely much in regards to what is going on around here…Scotty will be with us through May. There is a ratings period through May and Scot can pop some numbers, as we like to say, so it will be nice to have him here through the next "ratings book".
--This is looking like a stormy week. We could see some storms by the end of the day today. Tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night are looking stormy, too. Tomorrow late afternoon into the evening there is even the chance for some nasty storms. And then after a dry couple of days Wednesday and Thursday it looks like we will finish the week with more storms. Hopefully we can get through the week without anyone having any damage.
--Did you know that TODAY is Tax Day this year? I did not realize it until this morning. I heard it on the radio on my way to work. Of course historically Tax Day is April 15th, but for whatever reason this year we've been given an extra 3 days. So I hope your taxes are done...and if they are not that you get the required extension!
I sincerely hope that your taxes went as you planned. As for me…mine were actually a little less than I expected, but I got them done in February. I like to get ahead of that stuff so I am not sweating it out at the last minute. But I do sweat out what the government will actually do with our tax money. It's easy to be negative about the overall situation. And while the people that set up this country didn't likely intend for there to be so much alleged fraud…they certainly did mean to set our system up to be difficult. Think about it…if our legislative and budgeting processes were set up to be smooth and simple it would be very easy for people to manipulate it. But as it is it takes forever to get anything important done, and that gives us time to digest all of the information while Congress fights it out. At least I think that was the theory when the government was established.
From Larry (4/8/11):
The test says I am right on the Line of Libertarian and Centrist. That's where the red dot was, and Labeled me a Centrist.
I hope you are okay with being a Centrist, Larry! I thought it was an interesting test.
From Mark (4/8/11):
Okay, you had me believing you were leaving for awhile, but I checked the date and the fact that the station forgot to take you off the advertisements. I let my dad off the hook this morning.
Btw, are they still searching for a weathercaster?
Glad I got you for at least a second, Mark! And I am glad I got your Dad for longer! But the bio on the website? As of my typing this Chris Nguyen is still on the website, and he left a week ago!
A couple of weeks ago we hired a guy named Kevin to be our 4th weather person. He has been training or something the past couple of weeks, and you should start seeing him around soon. He seems like a nice guy, but I have only spoken to him a time or two.
From Jerrie (4/11/11):
good morning greg well there are a lot of changes but they are good ones how is tara doing sorry that chris left because he was starting to fit in but i know liz will be just as good you will season her very well and soon she will be able to mess with you first . glad to see everything is fine saw the new girl last night and i could tell that she very nevrous .but she will do fine have a good week at work and when it storms i can sleep jerrie
Tara is doing very well, and according to her they are "VERY happy". And yeah…Liz Adeola is settling in just fine. There are rumors that an old friend will be coming back to the morning news for a while, too…
That's it for now. If you are paying attention you may notice that more and more the action around here is going to the Facebook fan page. You can likely expect that trend to continue. Just saying…
--Someone around Bethany with a black cat that roams free at night almost lost their pussy this morning. If I wasn't a person that would happily flip a car to save an animal that little furball would have been splattered all over Route 121. And shortly after that narrow escape a bunny in the middle of the road almost got caught by my hybrid vehicle. That just tells me that it is getting warmer and animals are coming out. Let's be careful out there, Kids.
--We are one day closer to the Bowl For Kids' Sake. If you wish to donate to Big Brothers/Big Sisters send me an email with your name, mailing address, and donation amount ($5 minimum). They appreciate all the support you can give them. And they will send you a bill in a couple of months. Apparently this year Channel 3, WCIA, will be there to compete. This should be fun…
Thank you for the many, many comments on my Facebook page for Tara Barrett. I'm not sure when she is going to see it, but I am sure it will be soon. And I know that your kind words will mean a lot to her and her family.
And another thank you to those of you that have already emailed me to donate to Big Brothers/Big Sisters for the Bowl for Kids' Sake coming up Friday night. Everyone knows times are tight for all of us. And while that means we understand that it is tough to raise money…it also means that the need to raise money for our social programs is bigger than ever. They don't get government help like maybe they used to get. And Big Brothers/Big Sisters has a direct impact on the communities that it serves. We believe that children are our future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess…inside.
Sorry. Remember when Whitney Houston was great?? Anyway…if you would like to donate to the cause for Friday night just send me an email. The minimum donation is $5, and there is no limit. So if you want to give and have the means anything will help! And as always if you want to stop in and say hello at the Mattoon Bowl Friday night the action starts around 7. We are usually done in around hour…so don't show up thinking it's going to be an all night party! But the event is still a blast.
--I am very pleased to announce that Tara Barrett dropped her calf on Sunday. Little Callie came into this world healthy and happy. Mom and Baby are doing quite well. And when asked Tara Barrett replied…"Yes, Greg…it hurt."
Sadly I still don't know how to post pictures on this blog. But fortunately I know how to post them on Facebook! So I will be posting the one and only, first-time released to the public, picture of little Callie on the Facebook fan page sometime this morning. You can find the link at the top of this blog. "Like" the page and you can see the picture! She is adorable. Or as my friend Brian would love me to say…fantastic.
--This Friday is the Coles County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake Media Night at the Mattoon Bowl. Once again WAND Stormcenter 17 will be bringing a team to destroy the competition. And for the fourth year in a row we do intend to bring home the championship hammer. We never raise more money than those radio cats…but we never lose the game. It is a fair trade off in my mind!
Naturally donations are appreciated. The minimum donation is $5. Of course you are more than welcome to give more…but we understand times is tight. If you would like to donate to a very good cause send me an email with your name, address, and pledge amount. BB/BS will send you a bill in a few months for the donation. It is a very simple process and tax deductible if you choose. You people have always been generous in the past, and I thank you for that support.
--Hope you made it through the storms last night. We had some severe weather…but it doesn't look like much. We have no reports of damage last night. There were some strong wind gusts recorded and some decent sized hail in a few spots. But overall the storms were just run of the mill, strong Spring storms. And for me personally the rain was just what I needed, as we spread some grass seed in the yard yesterday!
--We had a big weekend of house work. On Saturday we did some sanding and mudding on a living room wall that has been a project for a bit. And then we started tearing up carpet in a couple of rooms to get to the beautiful hardwood floors. The floor is the original hardwood and just needs a little buff…a little liquid…and will be very, very nice! And yesterday we spent working in the yard.
Saturday night we met some friends for dinner/drinks at the Custom Smokehouse in Mattoon. The transformation at that place has been fun to watch. They are now officially running the Smokehouse menu…and it is fantastic. My cousins have started making physical improvements to the building and parking lot. The place is really coming around. And the place has been gangbusters busy from what I can tell. I couldn't be happier for my cousins! Really…if you are looking for a new place to eat it is worth the drive from anywhere in our viewing area. And if you give me a heads up and it works out schedule-wise I may even agree to meet you there! I'm not buying, though…
--Today officially begins the Liz Adeola Era for WAND StormCenter 17 Today. There is no Tara. There is no Chris. There is only Liz. I'm looking forward to getting some chemistry going with Liz over the next month or two. Sometimes it takes a while to get a good groove with someone. But Liz and I have worked together a little bit over the past couple of years. She has great energy…she's almost a spaz…so it should not take long to hit our stride.
--So this time last week I was announcing that I quit my job. It was Tara Barrett's last day of work for a while. And Chris Nguyen announced he was leaving us this week. Fast forward one week…and Chris Nguyen really did quit his job. Tara Barrett is still on Baby leave, sans the baby (outside her body anyway). And I am still here! Liz Adeola is a fun woman, though...and I am looking forward to working on some on-air chemistry with her over the next month or so.
--Yesterday my Dad sent me a political quiz. I took it. And found out that I am a stone cold Libertarian. Here is what my results had to say:
"Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties."
That pretty much sums it up for me, I think. Here is the link to the very short quiz if you are interested in taking it! And of course feel free to share your results by hitting the feedback form below, or I may leave a spot for it on the Facebook page!
From Sharon (4/1/11):
Greg, if I really believed you were quitting, I'd be crying my eyes out. It's bad enough that this is Tara's last day for a while!!
On the subject of FB, I'm not a big fan. I hope you'll be able to keep doing the blog as I read it every morning & do enjoy it very much (I click on the star every morning too).
Well I wouldn't want to make you cry, Sharon! And thanks for clicking on the star every single time you read the blog!
From Larry (4/1/11):
I wonder how many you fooled today with your new announcement of quitting? Not Me.
Maybe your days off to come will fall inline with this quitting, but I look for you again after your Vacation time.
All so I don't use FaceBook or ever plan to.
That's a big part of the reason that at least for now I will keep doing the blog, Larry.
I'm not sure how many people I really fooled. There must be a couple…but I think most people knew what I was doing.
From Elizabeth (4/1/11):
Well Greg - - it IS April Fool's Day, so I am not taking your blog post today seriously.
At least, not YET, anyway..... :-)
Nice catch, Elizabeth!
From Angie (4/1/11):
Greg, so sorry to hear you're leaving. At the same time, I was so happy to hear from WAND that they want me to take over your spot! I have some great ideas on Feminist Weather...can't wait to try them out! ;)
Actually…you doing the weather would be fun! You could do that belly dancing stuff you do. And teach the world more about womankind! Your weather herstory would be fascinating!
From Jennifer (4/1/11):
Greg, I am not amused by your April Fool's joke. Call me a fool but I fell for it for a minute. This may cause me to boycott the blog for a while :)
At least I know I got one person with the joke, Jennifer! And taking a sabbatical from the blog is okay once in a while…as long as you always come back!
From Tammy (4/1/11):
Greg, You had better be playing an April Fool's Joke. You are not really leaving are you? I hope not, I really enjoy your humor!
Nah…it's not my time to leave yet, Tammy. But all good things must come to an end eventually!
From Kimberly (4/1/11):
I was hoping your last post was an "April Fools" but not so sure. I agree, a lot of staff have come & gone, but you were so fun to watch on the news. So if it is true, good luck in all you do. I will follow you on facebook.
Are people actually laughing at this joke? Are jokes like this now considered mean and bullying? I hope people can appreciate the joke, and don't feel bullied! Thanks for joining me on Facebook, too, Kimberly.
From Dena (4/2/11):
I panicked when I read your blog. Then... I looked at the date. Good one!
Well at least I had you for a little bit, Dena!! J
From Phil (4/7/11):
Please tell Tara that I hope her "special delivery" is a smooth one Greg. I hope she remembers me. I also sent an email to Chris wishing him well in Washington State. And, my friend, you were missed while you were away, too!
Wow...to change, right? I hope it all goes well for you, too!
I'm assuming that Tara is not keeping up with this blog lately, Phil…so I will certainly pass along your well wishes! Although I have to question her priorities if she is going to let having a baby keep her from this blog!
As to Chris…after a while at one place you get used to people coming and going. And most come…you enjoy them for a while…and then they move on with their lives. And only a few of them are really missed, I guess. But Chris was a lot of fun in his short time in the morning, and I will likely miss him being around.
And as to what is next…time will tell! Liz Adeola will be filling in for Tara until/if she returns from her leave. And as far as I know the search is still on to fill Chris' chair. But eventually someone new will come in…stay for a while…and then probably move on. And on and on it goes…this thing of ours…
From Kim (4/7/11):
OK - you got me. Good April Fools joke. I bow to you on this one. Glad you had a good time off.
Haaaaaa!!! Finally someone admitted it! Glad you took it with the humor with which it was intended.
That's it for now! Have a great weekend. It looks like temps will be in the lower 80's through the weekend. Pay attention to late Sunday through Monday morning, though. Those storms we are expecting are likely to get out of hand. Naturally we will be here through the storms to let you know what up…
--Alright. So I am still working here. April Fools! Was it mean to set my vacation up this way? I hope not. It was only meant in a good natured ribbing kind of way. But it was too perfect not to do. To begin it was April Fools Day on a Friday. I already had the days off planned this week. And because Lee doesn't want to get up at 1 in the morning…JC was scheduled to fill in for me while I was away. And JC is the main night time guy, so it would be really weird to see him working during the morning news. To be honest…most of you knew I didn't really quit. But I got some of you! There was a fair amount of feedback for the blog and it will be posted tomorrow. So if you would like to send feedback to tell me I am stupid get it in today so it will make it in tomorrow's "Feedback Friday"!
--This past weekend was spent chilling out at home. And then on Sunday Faye, Gizmo, and I went to Chicago. It was Gizzie's first trip to the big city…and he did very well! Faye had some professional betterment to do up there this week and I had the time off so I went with her. We didn't do anything Earth-shattering, but the time we spent there was quality time. We got to hang out with my Dad a lot, which is always meaningful and a lot of fun. I really think we could live up there. And it's always been in the back of my mind to end up there at some point in the future. And with the future almost the past at this point…
--It feels like I haven't worked in about 3 weeks. A lot has happened since last Friday, it seems. Tara is gone on baby leave. When she has her little girl she is supposed to send me a picture. As soon as something happens I will post it here, and on the Facebook fan page. I'll even put up a picture if Tara doesn't mind.
Chris Nguyen's last day with us is tomorrow. He will be starting his new job in Washington state sometime in the near future. I'm not sure his next move is a move up or not…but he should be happier in his new spot. He's a good guy, and like the rest of us deserves to be happy. Life is too short to spend much time unhappy, afterall. If you'd like to send him an email to say goodbye, or whatever, just hit this link: Chris Nguyen.
--Baseball season has started. Of course I am playing fantasy baseball again this season, but I haven't really dug into the season yet. Maybe in the next week I will watch a game or two. And hopefully in the next month or two I will be able to grab some friends and go to St. Louis to catch a game. I'm not sure how to feel about this season. It could be a long one for Cardinal fans.
That's it for now. Don't forget…tomorrow is "Feedback Friday"! Get your thoughts in now!
I've been giving this a lot of thought over the past few months. I've even hinted at it here on the blog a couple of times. And the time has come to do what is right. Tara Barrett is working her last day for a while today. She will be on baby leave after today. Chris Nguyen announced during the news yesterday that next Friday will be his last day. And that leaves just me on the morning news for a couple of months. I'm sure they will stick someone on the desk until Tara gets back. But do I really want to stick around and watch the revolving door continue to spin? I'm a seasoned veteran at this station now. And it pains me to see so many come and go. I just can't do it anymore. So today will be my last day at WAND StormCenter 17. I've enjoyed my time here. It's been a hoot.
From Connie (3/25/11):
Greg, Sorry you're dropping this blog.
I have no desire to try facebook.
so it was upsetting to me because I read daily.
Well good luck in the future.
You always made me laugh.
Thanks, Connie. I had actually planned to keep doing the blog once I gave it some more thought. But now that I am leaving the station it probably wouldn't make sense to keep doing the blog, if the station would even want me to continue. Thanks for the support over the past couple of years on the blog. It means a lot to me.
From Elizabeth (3/28/11):
Greg, I would really miss your blog if you stopped doing it. I may not comment very often, but I do read it, and enjoy it, every day. I am on Facebook, and check out your page every day, but it's just not the same - - on your blog, you can write more of your thoughts and opinions than you can in a Facebook post. I do hope you continue the blog, but will understand if you don't have time for both. They do take quite a bit of time!
Thanks, Elizabeth. One of the things that I really like about Facebook over the blog is that I get to better know you. On the blog, even when you send feedback, I only get your words. But when you comment on something on Facebook, or even "like" my page, I can see who you are. Being able to put a face with the name is very cool!
From Jerrie (3/28/11):
Dear Greg it was so to see the ol"e group together again please tell tara that she will be missed and tell chris that he will be missed but he is doing a lot better greg it was good to see you on sat and tell the sub. anchor that she done very well but i know she was nervous but she would be a good addition to the group hope we can start having warm weather i get very cold in weather like we had thur fri and sat i would like to say to all have a good week and tara i will put you on my prayer list for a safe and happy birth jerrie
Thanks, Jerrie. I told Tara you wished her well, just in case she drops that calf before she gets a chance to read what you typed. She was very touched.
From Terry (3/28/11):
I have an idea those that have subscribed to your blog urge people that do not have facebook to sign up for daily updates on what is going on, that way if you do want to shut down the blog then people like me won't miss out on what is going on. I agree with you about Scot, and I too am biased since I have known Scot for a long time having worked with him too.
Scot is great to work with on a daily basis. It would be fantastic to work with him again every morning. Of course it doesn't make any difference now since Tara will be gone…and now so will I. But the memories will stay with me and last forever.
From David (3/28/11):
I really enjoyed seeing Scott this morning. The 3 of you just have a certain chemistry that works well together.
I missed seeing Jillian Saturday, but I've always liked her reporting. She would be a good candidate for mornings. Between her and Tara, they could keep you in line. LOL As far as FaceBook vs. Blog , I enjoy the blog a lot. I go on FB quite a bit, but it's mostly family and friends I've known for years. I would be likely to not hit your page every night like I do the blog.
Choice is good, but DOUBLE is better.
You can manage both, you are very talented.
Kind words from you, David. Thanks. I agree about the chemistry between me, Scot, and , Tara. Faye and I were talking about this the other day. I'm not really sure why it clicks with the 3 of us. But it does. And again…this is not to the detriment of anyone else that I've worked with on the morning news. And that includes a lot of people. But I think the Scot, Tara, and Greg crew was the best.
I really was thinking hard about continuing the blog and just doing both FB and the blog. Had I decided to stay here that is probably how it would have worked. But some decisions just have to be made sometimes. And this was a difficult one for me to make. But the writing is on the wall.
Oh…and by the way…I agree with you that Jillian would be excellent on the morning news. She has great energy, and seems to be a very positive person.
Alright. That is it for now, my friends. Make sure to go to the Facebook page and "like" it. The link is at the top right of this blog. If you "like" the Facebook page you will be able to keep up with me going forward. While the blog may be done with me leaving…I plan to keep the Facebook page going. I've enjoyed our time together.
Have a great weekend! And don't forget…be careful out there today! It's April Fool's Day, and there are many, many unscrupulous people that just love to take advantage of people by playing practical jokes on this day.