--See you later, June. You brought us way too many storms.
--Hello, July. Can we finally get to Summer now??
--I was listening to the radio on the way into work this morning, and there was a guy talking about how basically in the 50's when the Cold War really cranked up we lost our government to a few wealthy elitists that began the Industrial Military Complex. People like the Rockefellers, etc. It's a conspiracy theory we've heard before, but this guy made it make a lot of sense.
I won't bore you with the details here because I know many of you just won't be interested. But I also know that many of you are. So I will give you a link to the guy's website. If you are so inclined check it out and read it thoroughly. He covers a lot of ground, and it leads right into our current President. Here is the link!
--We are headed out of town tonight for the Fourth holiday. Every year part of my family heads out to California to spend this holiday with family out there. It's a fantastic time, and I am happy to be able to go again this year. This is the second time I've brought Faye along for the trip, and last year we had a tremendous time. I'm assuming this year will be even better since she already knows everyone out there. Yeah…it's going VERY well. (Just so you know there is a security system at my house, and 3 dogs, and a killer cat, and someone that stays there with the animals while we are gone. So sorry possible burglars…)
So that means I won't be working until sometime next week. There will likely be updates on the Facebook fan page, though. But as of yet I still can't access the blog-updating page from home…so probably no blogging. That's alright…I find Facebook to be more interactive anyway.
And of course that also means that today is…"Feedback Thursday"!!
From Joseph (6/23/11):
I commend you for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as it should be. I understand the reason and you took a big step in doing so. Everyone and the Federal Government seems to bent on destroying what Christianity stands for, also to bring down America. It is people like you that are standing up against the demigods. Keep up the good fight. Enjoy your weather casts. I once worked at WandTV.
Well…full disclosure here, Joseph…I didn't do the Pledge to make a statement. It was for the "Phrase of the Day" game. However…I did choose to make it a point to emphasize the phrase "under God". The biggest reason I did it that way was because that is how it was written. Glad you enjoyed it!
From Teri (6/28/11):
What is sad about Blago is his children. I feel sorry for them.
So true, Teri. It's always the kids that get caught up in the switches, isn't it? Hopefully they adjust okay and still contribute to society in a healthy way.
From Larry (6/29/11):
I do not agree with you on the seatbelt issue. Let's say you take your mother along (front seat) and I am a large man 300 lb sitting in the (back seat) not wearing a seatbelt behind her. You have a 45 mph. head on crash, your mother would take the full blow of me crushing her, from behind. I support the law whole fully.
That's a fair point, Larry. But if you are going to start listing scenarios it goes both ways. What if that same mother was in the back seat and your 300 pound butt was in the front. And after that same accident, only you were hit from behind, your mother was smothered by you landing on her BECAUSE she was wearing a seat belt and couldn't get free? The chances of both happening could be the same, no?
The overall point in which I believe is that we are born and we die and there is no choice in that. What is our choice is how we live and the choices we have to make. If the choice I make leads to my death then that is how it is. But you can't start making those choices for people that are qualified to make the choice for themselves…simply because there becomes no end. Are we going to legislate against everything that can harm us? Well…at least against everything that can harm us that doesn't make someone a lot of money? (Yes…I believe we do look the other way when something harmful makes someone a load of money, or at least we have in the past.)
It's the choice to determine our own destiny that is at stake here. And slowly but surely we are losing that choice. Our government is supposed to be We the People, and acting as the agent of We the People. But somewhere I think the people we elected into office forgot that. It's time we remind them that they are us, and we are they. It's our country.
Aight…before I call Jesse Ventura imma get outta here. Tara Barrett comes back on July 5th. I should be back here on the 6th. It'll be good to have the gang back together, for however long that remains. See you next week here on the blog, or probably all weekend on the Facebook fan page! Have a great and safe holiday.
Starting January 1st of next year in the state of Illinois you will be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt anywhere in an automobile. I'm not just talking about kids and elderly people. I am talking about you. The state has made the decision that you can no longer make the decision on your own. The state has made the decision that since it has decided that you can no longer make that decision for yourself that it will become the law of our land. I have no idea how this makes you feel…yet. But it makes me angry.
Let me state this loudly and clearly…I ALWAYS wear my seat belt when in the front seat of a moving automobile, and I always have. That is just how I roll, even before it was made a law. But I have major issues with the government telling me that I have to do something that only impacts me. It is my decision whether I want to live or die. It is my life. It is your life. And we have the choice to live or to die. We all know that in most cases wearing a seatbelt can improve the overall safety of your driving experience. But what has happened to our choice to be safe?
We've been hashing this issue out over on my Facebook fan page. There are some compelling arguments going both ways on the subject. Some say that a person not wearing a seat belt during an accident can become a flying projectile that could hurt other people. Others tell stories of loved ones that were injured in an accident BECAUSE they were wearing a seat belt. Those are compelling and emotional arguments. The entire point to me comes down to my right to choose.
Keep in mind we are not talking about children. According to the law of our land children rarely have the right to choose for themselves because they lack the life experience to make good decisions. I am fully behind laws making it mandatory for children to be strapped in as well as possible. But I am an adult. I do have the life experience necessary to make decisions for myself. If I choose to die in an auto accident because I did not wear a seat belt it is my choice to make.
Where do we draw the line on making laws to protect people? You can be harmed or killed doing most anything. Remember when Sammy Sosa landed on the disabled list for throwing his back out while sneezing? How about people that step off a curb and break their foot? (Hi, Dad!!) Accidents happen and people die. It is often sad and tragic. But that is life. Forcing me to wear a safety harness while I am driving my own vehicle is not the government's choice to make. I've got this one, thanks.
I don't know what it is about my personality but when I see people celebrating in the streets because our government killed a man I think we should act better. Obviously our world seems a better place with Osama bin Laden not in it. But to celebrate that we killed someone does not seem proper to me. I think we should be better than that.
I am NOT comparing our former governor as a person to bin Laden. And what Blagojevich was just convicted of doing doesn't even belong on the same scale of justice as what bin Laden did. But instead I am comparing our reactions to the results of both men. I don't think it is wrong to be happy about the fact that justice will apparently be served for our former governor. If he acted in a wrong manner for a governor then he should be punished. His punishment not only gives him what he deserves but it also serves as a reminder to other potential leaders that this crap does have a price.
However…the way the public reacts to these matters does say a lot about that public. So far it doesn't seem like people are going nuts about the conviction and I think that is very good. Sure people are happy that someone that did us wrong has been convicted. But I don't see anyone dancing in the streets or getting crazy about it. That gives me hope. Maybe we aren't going crazy because deep down we realize that while justice is being served, and that is good news, the overall meaning is that we have yet another governor that has shamed our state.
--Did we just completely blow through June?
--Nice morning, huh? This morning I drove through wind, lightning, torrential downpours, and even a little bit of hail! I heard the story of one woman that had water coming in through her windows this morning, and those windows were actually closed! We have flash flood warnings through the morning for a lot of places around here. Don't try to drive through standing water! It's a dangerous game!
--Sadly we likely will not do "Phrase of the Day" this morning. It wouldn't be right with these storms this morning!
--Aight. That's all I have time for right now. Hit the Facebook page throughout the day. Chances are good I will be off and on a lot this morning…and if you have some time to kill go back to last week's blog update and watch some of those links. The one about JFK is outstanding, in my opinion.
--Having a good Wednesday so far? Read this link and give it some more thought!
--While we are throwing around links this morning…several months ago we spoke about the JFK assassination. Here is a link to a TV show that claims to have the answer.
--As it turns out…this is my last day of work this week. I have some business to attend to in Chicago and will be off the rest of this week. That likely means that although no storms are forecast for tomorrow or Friday we will likely have severe weather in some form, simply because that seems to be the case lately when I have to take time away from work. So brace yourself for that!
Also today will be "Feedback Wednesday"! As has been the case lately there isn't much feedback for the blog. But what we have we will do today!
From Sue (6/21/11):
Did Scot get highlights in his hair??
Great question, Sue!
From Mark (6/21/11):
I had an interesting run in with the cicadas the other day while I was driving my car.
I was at the corner of Pershing Road and MLK Jr. Drive waiting at a stoplight. I heard a thump on my hood and to my surprise a single cicada landed on the hood of the car!
A split second later, a bird swooped in and nabbed the bug off of the hood. This all happened in like a split second because after the bird left, the light changed green.
I guess the bird had a free meal!
Congratulations on being witness to the wonder of nature, Mark! That is awesome. People have been complaining about cicadas for weeks now. It amazes me. They only come out every 13 years. They actually do serve biological functions, and you just witnessed the main one. I actually like to see cicadas, and I like to hear cicadas. It's something we don't see very often and I try to appreciate them when they are around.
Even the people that have complained about what cicadas do to their yards baffle me a bit. First of all…it is not really your yard. Sure…you may have a piece of paper given to you by other humans that say the yard is yours. But the yard is the planets. You are just borrowing it while you are here. Believe me…I am ate-up with my yard. But nature must do what nature must do. We are just here to try and adapt.
That same argument is the one I use for climate change. The changing of the climate isn't a planetary issue. It is a human issue. The planet will be fine. As a matter of fact…anything crazy that happens with our weather because of climate change is just the planet's way to seek balance. That is what our atmosphere is all about anyway…balance. Cold air rushes into warm air, and vice versa, because the atmosphere is always trying to even itself out. Fortunately for us it will never likely find balance. But that is always the goal. So the planet will do what it needs to do to recover from what we may or may not have done with it. The question for us is will the planet allow us to continue living here while it balances itself out?
Wow. That went askew in a hurry! Anyhoo…the cicadas' lifecycle for this run is almost up. Soon they will go back underground and we won't see them again for 13 years. Personally I will miss them. But I know a lot of you can't wait for the end of this run! Hang in there!
Aight…that's it for this week! For those of you keeping track I have short work weeks for the next 3. I'll work 4 days next week, and 3 days the following week, assuming my flights are all on time. (It's not that I think you want to know my work schedule. But it really is true that I have to mention when I won't be here because I get multiple calls on mornings when I'm not working and don't announce it! Letting you know cuts down on my 6 A.M. vacation calls when I'm trying to sleep in!) I may or may not be able to blog while I am gone...but at the very least I will likely be checking in on the Facebook fan page while I am gone over the next few weeks.
See you Monday!
--Summer begins at 12:16 this afternoon! We may have storms here by then. If not they will be here shortly thereafter in the afternoon. There is a slight risk for nasty storms, with wind and hail once again being the biggest threat at this point.
--Albert Pujols is out with a forearm injury for about a month and a half. It's an interesting injury because some people that have had the injury before never really regained their full power, like Derek Lee. But Albert's injury wasn't quite as bad as Lee's, and it stayed away from the wrist. The timing is going to be interesting because of Albert's contract situation. If he doesn't come back gang busters will he command as much time and money with his next deal?
--The Supreme Court shot down a huge lawsuit yesterday that could very well kill class action lawsuits, for the most part, in this country. Remember here on the blog a while back we mentioned that around a million and a half women were suing WalMart for discriminatory practices against women? Apparently the Court wasn't ruling on the actual case, but the procedure of the case. Loosely translated I think the non-judgment means that the women can not sue WalMart as a whole, but instead must file separately. It was considered a huge victory for WalMart…and of course a big loss for workers' rights. More unions, anyone??
It plays into my argument that unfettered Capitalism leads to greed and corruption. Big Business needs to have the reins pulled just like our government. We have checks and balances for our government. That is the beauty of the system that was set up by the Forefathers. Well…the market itself will not balance Capitalism when Big Business has taken over. We are now living with a Corporate Government where money is the deciding factor in any decision. If you thought companies treated you like crap before, wait until the vibrations from this Supreme Court decision are really felt.
You ever hear a bad boss say something to the effect of "Let our employees sue us. The corporate lawyers will bleed them dry!" Well how much easier is it going to be for companies to run over us when we can't even pool together as a class to take action against crappy employers? Something to consider, no?
--I was just thinking that June is over half way home. Is it just me or does time seem to be flying this year? Do we think that every year? Weird.
--So Anthony Weiner is a private citizen again. Here's a thought I had while listening to his press conference yesterday…why have a press conference to announce a resignation? When most people quit don't they just turn in a piece of paper and walk away? I guess he did become a national interest story. And he was a member of Congress. So maybe a press conference was justified. But think about how nice it might have been if he just resigned and slipped into obscurity. Maybe he is just used to publicity, I don't know. And how far have we dropped that we now go to press conferences to heckle? Perhaps the D.B.'s that were yelling out at the presser yesterday were Republican plants or something. But it sounded ridiculous.
From David (6/10/11):
In response to your comment from last Friday, concerning the alleged "sins" of our past Presidents and other Big Shots, I think that it may be time to police the news media and stop them, both print, TV and any other, from trying to make news instead of just reporting what ever they decide is news. Also I think that the technology of today should be considered when these idiots perform, and taken into consideration as to the seriousness of their actions. Ask yourself this: What kind of judgement does Weiner use when he makes a vote on a bill, when his judgement on displaying his "junk" is this?
Well those are good and valid points, Dave. You certainly can question Weiner's judgment based on this fiasco. While I still think his private life is his private life and none of our business…it certainly does raise the question of his judgment overall.
As to the media and what they choose to cover…it really is mostly based on what gets ratings. See…back in '96, I believe, there was a lot of deregulation. It became okay for companies to own basically as many news outlets as they pleased. That helped make journalism a profit business. It used to be that a company expected to lose money on their news departments, and they would make it up somewhere else in the company. Partly the overall corporate climate and the deregulation lead to companies wanting/needing their news departments to make money. So the focus turned from being the "Fourth Estate" watchdog that covered real news, to what we see now…anything to pop the ratings.
There are millions of dollars spent every year to figure out what people want to watch. And right now what people want to watch is a story about Weiner, instead of a story about our 5 or 6 wars, struggling economy, people that are getting sick after helping clean up the BP oil spill, etc. So when you complain about media coverage…you are actually complaining about the American people's viewing habits. Believe me…if ratings went up for coverage of the health care bill or any number of our country's real problems then that is all the coverage you would see. But as it is we are more interested in Justin Bieber and Anthony Weiner than the fact that we still have starving children in this country and no middle class.
From Karen (6/14/11):
Good Morning..RE:Anthony Weiner,my biggest problem with him is two fold.. He lied when it first was reported saying it wasn't him..Makes you wonder what else he's lying about..Being a mother,I wonderd how he knew he was sending to an adult and not someone underage..Now I hear there's at least one underage girl and that's not acceptable to me..
Yeah…since our last conversation about Weiner it has come out that apparently some of this stuff was on public time. I'm still not sure about the underaged girl. But at this point I think it is safe to say that he needed to resign. Doing what he was doing on our time is a misuse of public funds. Of course…he has been in office for 7 terms, and that means he qualifies for pension, etc. So we are still paying for his stuff…
That's it for this week. "Phrase of the Day" has been going well. You can find the videos from the game at the top of the blog! I will be off work Monday morning, so I will see you Tuesday!
--We are starting the day again with storms. As I type this Macoupin county is under a severe thunderstorm warning. There are no plans to cut into regular programming for this warning, though. It is for the southern edge of the county, and you could make the argument that we aren't even on TV down there. And frankly the storm doesn't concern me that much. I've been watching it for a while. It's got some wind and maybe a little hail. The storms are stronger just off to our south. So unless it picks up steam in Macoupin county I will let the crawl handle this warning.
For those that wonder…that is the decision process for a lot of storms. If things were gang busters this morning it would be a no-brainer. But this one little warning for one little sliver of the edge of our viewing area allows for a little discretion. It very well could be that things pick up through the morning and if that is the case you'll see me a lot this morning. But as it stands…nope!
Because of the storms there will once again be no "Phrase of the Day" today.
--I see that the Champaign City Council has scrapped the idea of a liquor tax, at least for now. I don't know Champaign's fiscal situation. But just as a layman with a little common sense…it doesn't seem that it would be a great idea. Have you ever heard of Friar Tuck's? It's basically a booze warehouse. It's a Mecca for anyone that enjoys spirits. There is one close to Champaign. It's basically a minute from the city limits in Savoy. If I lived in Champaign and they passed the liquor tax I would just head down the road a stretch and buy my booze in bulk from Friar Tuck's. It's kind of like allowing a mall company to put up a mall in Forsyth and not in Decatur. People will drive down the road for a better deal…
--I've been digging this "Phrase of the Day" game we've been playing on Facebook. Friday was the best so far, I think. Yesterday's was alright, but I think could have been better. Sometimes the vibe is there and sometimes it is not. I'm thinking we probably won't do the game today because of the weather. Some of our counties are under a Flash Flood Watch until tomorrow morning and it generally isn't good to horse around during weather events like this.
--Okay…maybe Anthony Weiner should resign his seat. At this point it is causing such a commotion that it might just be best for him to resign and go do whatever it is his PR people tell him he needs to do to get back into the good graces of his public. He's a young man by Congressional standards. Maybe he takes a year or two out of the public eye and can come back refreshed. The guy is a pit bull of a legislator and his side needs more like him.
I still say I don't care what he does in his private time, and this weenie-photo business is between him and his wife. But for some reason people just won't let it go. It's a funny thing to me…we've got banks that are screwing the public out of billions, money managers have raped this country into near-depression, we are bombing five or six or seven countries around the Middle East, and on and on it goes. And yet some guy sending pictures of his wang to a few women that wanted him to send the pictures gets more coverage than anything else happening in our government in the past week.
Most of the people that read this blog are of the female persuasion. And most females aren't into sports. But last night something big happened in the sports world and I want to comment. The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat to win the National Basketball Association's championship for 2011. It's a significant win for a few reasons. To begin…the Mavericks were not supposed to win the series. LeBron James and the Heat were the favorites. But for whatever reason the Heat would get to the 4th quarter of the final 3 games of the series and fold like a napkin.
The Dallas Mavericks organization had never won a championship. More than that…no player on their team had ever won a championship, and that is remarkable considering how players change teams these days. The Mavericks best player, Dirk Nowitski has been one of the best players in the league for years, and took his team to the NBA finals in 2006 only to lose to…the Miami Heat. So this was a huge series for Dirk, too. There were so many sub plots at play in this series that it was better than most movies made these days. It was really compelling basketball, even though I haven't been able to watch a playoff game for about 7 years because they start too late.
After the game LeBron was asked how he felt about the fact that so many people are happy that his team lost. In what was an odd turn for him he actually said something about those people waking up in the morning still facing their own personal issues, while he will wake up in the morning and keep living his life. The implication there was that he has a great life and doesn't care about what people think. The statement was a little surprising, and shows that we really don't know these people like we think we do by watching short little clips of them. We do know that LeBron does a lot of good with the money he has earned. And maybe the statements he made after the game were out of frustration…I mean he did just completely fall on his face in that series by only scoring a total of 18 points in the 4th quarters of the series combined. But frustration or not…he made himself sound like a D-Bag, and I am sure his statement will be replayed all day today.
--For those on the fringe that believe the government really is trying to control us in every way…here is a link to a company's website. They are basically debuggers. Check out the website if you want more information. I heard a guy from their company on "Coast to Coast A.M." this morning discussing many things, including The Patriot Act that our President just signed us onto for four more years. As a side note…they still don't need a warrant to enter and search your house. We're still in America, right?
--The Facebook fan page is hopping! Yesterday was a big day for "likes". If you want to get on the wave and ride it with the rest of us hit the link at the top right of this blog, "like" the fan page, and dig it.
From Angie (6/8/11):
I really want to comment on the Anthony Weiner thing but I'm laughing too hard from watching yesterday's Phrase of the Day video again. You are too funny. I haven't watched the morning news this much in years.
That Weiner story really writes its own jokes, doesn't it? And thanks for watching the "Phrase of the Day" videos at the top of this blog! They have quickly become some of the most watched videos on this website, and that is saying something!
From Mark (6/9/11):
I've noticed lately where Facebook is acting a bit weird.
It seems to be for a lack of a better term, "Clunky".
You would type something in, and it takes like a minute later to appear on the screen.
I mentioned this on my profile and several others have experienced the slowdown also. Some of the game apps aren't working either.
Have you noticed this too?
Yeah. Sometimes Facebook gets skitchy. It's always been that way. My assumption is because they have hundreds of millions of users it makes it tough to keep it running smoothly all of the time. I still find it to be the best online format for interacting with people, though.
From Dave (6/9/11):
Hey Greg, Ole Dave here. Since you feel it is no big deal, all of the women I know are eagerly awaiting your appearance on WANDTV in your tighty whiteys with an erection pointing it's way into the camera. Maybe you can get Ron Pulera and some of the other staff to join you. Be sure and let us know when to be watching.
In around three years of this blog it is the first time the word "erection" has made the cut. Thanks for that, Dave! Let me actually take your feedback seriously for a minute by responding that sending a picture of your junk to someone privately on his/her phone is much, much different than me or anyone else forcing someone to view said junk on TV. And has anyone asked these women that received the Weiner weiner shots if they actually wanted to see the pics? And did these women send Weiner pictures in return? Again…as long as he wasn't using OUR money in any way…as long as it was his personal phone/camera/computer…I believe the matter to be between Mr. and Mrs. Weiner.
Many very good leaders in the history of the world have had shady and difficult personal lives. JFK is the standard-bearer for this conversation. Let me add…Bill Clinton, Thomas Jefferson…some say MLK was a lady hound, and on and on it goes. Does it make it right to hound around when you're married? Absolutely not. But it also doesn't mean that hounds can't be good leaders. As a matter of fact…you could also argue that the confidence that a hound needs is also the confidence that a good leader needs.
It just seems to me that we have unrealistic expectations of our elected officials. Naturally we don't want them doing anything illegal. But is it really any of our business what they do in their personal lives? Should we really expect that they be perfect for four or six years? Do we expect the same from ourselves? It's a wonder anyone runs for office in this country.
That's it for this week! Storms are a decent bet today and tonight. But the weekend looks fantastic! I will be working for Kevin tomorrow evening/night. There may or may not be a blog entry…
--June 7th saw the biggest solar eruption we have ever witnessed on the sun. Now that doesn't mean there has never been a bigger solar flare. This was just the biggest one we've had the technology to witness. Solar flares are a big topic of interest lately in many circles. Some say we will have major problems from these flares in the next couple of years.
Here is an article talking about this latest solar flare, and what future solar flares could potentially do to our planet. While I don't think it will signal the Apocalypse…it does have me thinking that it might actually be a good idea to buy a generator, and maybe buy some guns. You never know…
--Things are hopping over on the Facebook fan page. We're over 725 strong now, and growing at a steady pace. The "Phrase of the Day" game seems to be going well, too. I've been stumped twice now. And the suggestions are very good. If you have yet to do so check it out. If you dig what you see hit the "like" button. If you don't dig it feel free to send me feedback here to tell me why. You'll find the link to the Facebook fan page at the top of this blog, just below the video player that shows the "Phrase of the Day" contest from the past few mornings.
--Tomorrow is "Feedback Friday"! Get your thoughts in now. There are lots of interesting things happening in the country at the moment, and you are more than welcome to sound off about it here. The form is at the bottom of the blog…or if you have a lot to say you can email me at email@example.com.
So Anthony Weiner has shown his weiner. Is that really a big deal? Is that really a big surprise? You can question whether or not someone that has done what he has done should hold elected office. But it doesn't appear as though he broke any laws. Sure…he is a married person that showed his wang to several different women. As long as he wasn't using public funds...doesn't that mean it is a matter that is between him and his wife? Tell me what Anthony Weiner feels about economic policy. Tell me what the guy thinks we should be doing about terrorism. Tell me what he thinks about the state of our schools in this country and what we should be doing to fix them. But I don't really care about his personal life. Really. I don't.
Here's where I am going with this…do you think this would have happened back in the JFK days if they had camera phones and Twitter back then? It almost assuredly would have happened. Hell…back then the President was using his office to hit any strange he saw, apparently. The difference might have been that back then it wouldn't have hit the media. It wasn't something the press would have covered. Back then there were many people that knew the President was a hound. But his personal life didn't impact the country…so we didn't seem to care.
If we start holding our elected officials to very high standards we likely won't have many elected officials left. That doesn't mean that Congress should be run like a frat house. But delving too much into their personal lives is just asking to be disappointed. You can point to character being important when considering who should be running this country…but looking back on previous leaders that were good leaders…does it really make that much of a difference?
As always…I'd love to hear your thoughts. Hit the feedback form at the bottom and let us hear it.
--At 3:10 this morning there was a 4.2 magnitude earthquake in Missouri. The epicenter was about 30 miles southwest of Washington, Missouri and about 52 miles southwest of St. Louis. It wasn't a huge earthquake but it is possible someone in our viewing area may have felt it…especially closer to Macoupin County. Here is a link to more information.
--There is now a video player at the top of the blog. As it stands right now you can find the phrase of the day winning phrase on that player. Right now it is the winner from yesterday, and my hope is that it gets changed every morning to the current day's winning phrase. Our web dude Cody is busy, though, so he may not always be able to get it done. And of course if you missed previous winners I don't think the video player is going to archive them. But at least this way you will be able to catch it that day if you missed it in the morning. Or if you live out of town and still like the game on FB you should usually be able to watch it later in the morning! Hopefully.
--Yesterday I mentioned that Faye's brother lives in London. He is a doctor there and has been for the past 6 years. The guy has very good perspective on the healthcare issues we are facing in this country, as he practiced here before he moved to England. Keep in mind we are almost 5 times larger than England population-wise, so who knows if their system would work here. But Keith couldn't be happier with the government run health care system in England. And for those concerned about the wait…that is a fallacy. They only make you wait if your situation isn't dire. It is a pure triage system.
Basically England does a flat tax. You either pay 25%, 35%, or 45% income tax with absolutely no deductions…so you pay what you owe. In return you never pay for your medical care, and basic education is covered including college, outside of advanced degrees I believe. There are some other benefits that I don't remember…but the two biggest are free healthcare and free education. But those of you with kids in college…would not paying $100,000 each for their college make up for the higher income tax? Possibly.
My quick thoughts…we need to get over this word "Socialism" and start looking at European models. Just because the government is in charge of something doesn't mean it is evil. Our government runs the post office and I believe you can still put a stamp on an envelope and send it across the country for less than 50 cents. Consider how amazing that really is. Sure…the USPS is going broke, but that is because of email and technology, not mismanagement.
I am all for a flat tax. Keep it simple and you can eliminate most of the IRS. Plus no one can loophole their way out of paying taxes for services. More income for our government has got to help, right? But of course I am no economist. I just know that we are having major issues in our country, and other countries seem to be doing some things right. Why not look at what they are doing and try to integrate it here? As always I would love to hear your thoughts…hit the feedback section down below.
--Did you watch the bar video I put on the blog last Friday? I thought it was pretty impressive. And a fellow Gregorian did some research of found out that it is a TGIFriday's in Greater Manchester, England. I found that fascinating. If you missed it scroll down to Friday's blog. You'll find the link towards the end of the blog. Thanks for doing the research for us, Elizabeth!
--Speaking of scrolling down the blog…if you go to the very bottom you will find the archives. Those contain every blog post from the past couple of years. If you have some time to kill you can always click on those and read about how things were going months and months ago. Honestly…I do that once in a while just to see how my mood was at any given time in the past couple of years. There are some very happy thoughts in that archive…and some pretty dark moments.
--It feels like this past weekend took about 8 days. That's not because it dragged on…but because we crammed so much into the 3 days. Technically it wasn't a 3 day weekend for me, but Faye took Friday off. As soon as I got home from work we went to Chicago.
Faye has a brother that lives in England. He was flying into Chicago on Friday and we went to pick him up. We spent Friday night there, and headed home Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend was spent with Faye's family and we had a terrific time. Once again we are left needing a weekend to recover from the weekend! At some point on the blog this week I will likely talk about life in England from Faye's brother's point of view. It's interesting stuff...
--The first part of this week is going to be hot and humid. Through Wednesday the highs will be in the lower to middle 90's, and the heat indices will be flirting with 100 degrees. Last part of the week we'll have some storms and cooler air moving in. Hopefully we can get back to lower 80's like we usually have this time of the year!
So yesterday during the phrase game I was stumped. The phrase that won was "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to". For whatever reason…maybe I just didn't have my mojo…I just couldn't work it into the forecast and make it make sense. See…it would be easy to just say the phrase. I don't want it to be easy because that fun wouldn't last long. I want it to be tough…so whatever the phrase is has to be put into the forecast in a way that makes sense. And yesterday I just couldn't get it done. So the person that chose the phrase is going to be sent something from the station…AS SOON AS RICKI EMAILS ME HER MAILING ADDRESS! Heh. She hasn't done that yet. I'm actually starting to look forward to the contest every day!
From Angie (5/27/11):
Hey, tell Kevin that I thought he did great. And you know I'm a little difficult to appease. We call it being "strong" in our house.
Strong? Good word for it, Angie!
From Danny (5/31/11):
Greg, I have to disagree with your viewpoint on civil unions. Marriage is a religious institution recogonised in most religions as being between a man and a woman. If a law making gay marriages legal were passed that law could be used to force a church to allow the ceremony in their church. My personal opinion is the homosexuality is wrong it is not what God intended.Now I don't want to force my religion on anyone so I support civil unions and believe they should give the same legal rights as a marriage.Then if the couple wants to have a Big ceremony and all the trimmings that's fine with me. I don't care if they even find some preacher to perform the ceremony. I just don't want a law that could be used to force a church that believes it is wrong to perform a ceremony in the name of equality. Civil unions make for Equality under the law and still protects everyones rights to believe how they want.
Some churches turn away straight weddings, in cases where one person isn't the right faith. You don't see anyone suing for the right to be married in those situations. I am no lawyer…but I am not sure it is something that would happen. And I wouldn't think that case would win if someone did sue. I think churches are given more leeway when it comes to their own covenants, aren't they?
It's my opinion that it is good that you don't try to force your religious beliefs on other people. That is one huge reason the found fathers of this country were against the combination of church and state. You make some good points, Danny. And while I don't necessarily agree with them…I certainly support your right to make them respectfully, as you did!
From Angie (5/31/11):
Here's the thing: It doesn't matter what gay or straight relationships are like, or what our opinion of them is. Denying a segment of our population the same rights that other adults have is unconstitutional. That's it. Someone else's religious beliefs should not dictate who you or I can marry. Again, the whole "I don't want the government to tell me what to do, but I sure do want them to tell YOU what to do" is beyond tiresome. P.S. You rock! (and/or Roll, depending on the situation.)
Good point, Angie. Let me just piggy back on those thoughts that I am not a fan of people that cherry-pick verses out of a book of love to try to argue against other peoples' right to express their love.
Here's a link someone sent me to some amazing work. These days you can never be sure if what you are seeing on video is real. But if this stuff is real it is pretty cool! And I would like to figure out where it is so I can pay them a visit!
That's it for this week, yo. The weekend will bring more heat and humidity. Some of us may catch a stray storm or two on Saturday into Saturday night. It won't cool us off, though. It'll just make it feel more like a sauna. Enjoy!
--Yesterday on the Facebook page I asked a philosophical question about how we weather types do our jobs. There are different approaches to doing weather, and they differ depending on the day part and the person doing the weather. The responses have been good and helpful. If you want to take part just hit the FB fan page, "like" it, and you can read along and comment.
--Yesterday morning we had some segments with Tara Barrett and her baby, Callie. It was good to see our old friend back in the studio. Tara should be back with us on July 5th. During the morning Callie started getting hungry and a little cranky. So towards the end I grabbed her from Scot and brought her to the weather wall. The gag was supposed to be that I was trying to breast feed her. I don't think that part of it came off very well, though. To be honest…I think I should have taken my jacket, shirt, and tie off to completely sell to the bit. But I didn't want to traumatize young Callie by putting her that close to my body hair. While I will pretty much do anything to myself to get a laugh…it wouldn't be cool to mess with a 7 week old kid!
--Tomorrow is "Feedback Friday". As always you are free to sound off on topics covered this week, or whatever else is on your mind. Feedback has been down since the Facebook page started, and I expected that. But between this blog and the Facebook stuff I think we can get everyone involved. It's maybe not so weird…but the blog numbers have gone up since the move to FB. So it's not like one is hurting the other. But I think it is easier to comment on the Facebook page. Anyhoo…if you care to put a comment on the blog you can do that below by hitting the comment button, or by sending me an email with "blog" on the subject line. Dig it.
--Bye bye, May. You were a bumpy sucker and this year I can't say that most of us are sad to see you leave. And where the Hell are those flowers we were promised?? Hello June! If you want to fit in around here you should try to be a lot smoother than May!
--I've received interesting feedback from yesterday's blog. Thank you to those that choose to share. Some of the feedback I agreed with and some of it I did not. That is part of living in a diverse country. Regardless of whether we agree with each other or not it is very important to respect others' opinions. And most of the feedback to this blog is respectful…and I dig that. I love to argue and question EVERYTHING. Just ask Faye, or my family, or my friends, or the people with whom I work, etc. But in arguing and questioning everything I try to be as reasonable and respectful as possible. And I LOVE that you get that, too. It keeps this blog a place where we can hash out some larger issues without honking everyone off.
--Yeah…I really don't have anything interesting this morning. The word/phrase game we've been doing on the Facebook fan page has been going well. I've only been stumped once and that was because I messed up the phrase. The person that got me though got something fun in the mail! I probably won't share this on-air…but the next person to stump me is going to get a WAND canvas-type shopping bag. It's not a new car…but still pretty cool. If you'd like to play along hit the Facebook link at the top of the blog, "like" the fan page, and read some posts where you will see how the game is played.
It was totally an impromptu game. I don't know how long we will do it. This is not an official station game. It's just something that we started on Facebook one morning, it was fun, people seem to dig it…so we will keep doing it until it runs its course!
--It won't be as humid the next couple of days as it was to start the week. Enjoy it…cause we're cranking it up again getting into the weekend!