--Apparently the little virus I was dealing with yesterday morning is gone! Don't worry…I won't get cocky or anything. I know what a topsy-tervy world it is in which we live. Those viruses can pop up any time!
--I hope you have safe plans for New Year's. I mentioned this on my Facebook page this morning…but we are starting to see potential for what could be wintery mix Saturday night into Sunday morning. Obviously if you have plans for that night you should stay tuned to Kevin through the weekend to see if this system is going to develop in such a way that makes us a little slippery or slick.
--We will be headed north for yet another New Year's celebration in Chicago. Monday is a day off for me so I won't be back until Tuesday the way it looks right now. For those of you keeping track I am also off next Friday!
We have one piece of feedback with which to deal this morning!
From Teri (12/29/11):
Happy New Year to you and all the wonderful staff at WAND.
I have a few resolutions to make but my main concern is to get everyone in my family healthy. Family is the most important thing in the world. I like your idea to spend as much time with family as you can. That is one of my rules for improvement in 2012.
Thanks, Teri. Good luck achieving your goal of getting your family healthier in 2012!
That's it for this week, Peeps! Have a very safe and Happy New Year weekend! Let's hope 2012 brings a smoother ride than 2011!
I've been fighting a virus this morning so my time on the blog today will be brief. For now I was able to back-door my way online. But the usual method of clicking the IE on the desktop isn't working. So this blog update won't be a long one because I am having quite the morning!
As I've mentioned here before I am not really into making New Year's Resolutions. It just feels like a recipe for failure to me. So instead every once in a while through the year I try to take stock in where I am and who I am as a person. And then I try to see little improvements that I can make. This time of the year is a natural time for this process. Looking forward into the next year one of my improvements in the short term is to improve myself professionally. I need to look into ways of becoming a better meteorologist and improving my employment situation. (It's a contract year! Heh.)
Personally one of the improvements I hope to make is one with which I eternally struggle. The big one is to better show the people in my life for which I care how much I care about them. Emoting has never been my strong suit, and likely never will be. But I can certainly be better at attempting to improve that part of my life. I also haven't been good recently about spending time with family. This past year I have spent more time with my friends, sometimes at the expense of time with my family. Dedicating more time for my family will be more of a priority this year if I can help it.
So what are some of your improvements for the coming year? Hit the feedback form below and let us know! Your feedback will appear on the blog tomorrow morning if you can get it in on time.
Back to tracking down the virus!
I was listening to "Coast to Coast AM" on the way to work this morning and a guy was talking about something he has ingested around 40 times. He believes the substance to be a mind-altering step into other dimensions, or something like that. If you want to read something a little trippy hit this link and read the page.
Keep in mind I am not condoning ANYTHING on this link. I'm just pointing out something that is a weird little read!
This morning I drove to work in the snow. Granted…there wasn't much to it. But driving through the towns that I drive through every morning there was a layer of snow on grass. The pavement is still a tad warm to be holding snowfall…but the roads were still wet and a bit slick. The flakes were fairly thick and falling at a nice rate. It was very pretty!
If you dig the Winter Wonderland make the most of it this morning. I doubt the snow will make it through the afternoon. Tomorrow will be the coldest day of the week with highs around 40. And we will bring in the New Year with highs close to 50! This morning was also our last chance for snow for a bit. If I get the chance later this morning I may look up the last time it has been this snow-free this long into Winter. Notice I did not say this dry! We've had a decent amount of rain so far. It just hasn't been cold enough to get any snow going.
Remember a couple of months ago when the Winter outlooks were starting to come out? We talked about La Nina and the impact it usually has on our part of the country. It generally means a little wet and a little warm. And in our specific part of the region we are often on the dividing line between freezing and thawed during a La Nina. That makes it tough to really know what kind of precipitation it will be for us. And so far this season it has just been too warm for snow. Obviously that could and most likely will change as we get into January. So hang in there if you are thirsty for snow!
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! We certainly did. Faye's family came up yesterday and we had a blast. Company started around 11:30 and the last guests left yesterday evening around 7:30. I am usually in bed by 6 on a "school night"…but sometimes it is worth staying up an hour or two late. Last night was certainly one of those times. It was really a great time!
Actually the entire weekend was a great one. I am at work this morning exhausted from the weekend and that is not a complaint. Friday night, Saturday night, and all day yesterday were spent with friends/family. To me that is the best part about Christmas. And to me that makes it worth struggling to get some "juice" going this morning. If I am doing my job right you won't be able to tell…but there will be times this morning where I would really rather just crawl up into a ball on the floor and go to sleep!
As you know if you've read this blog for a while I am not huge on presents in general. As they say…presence is more important than a present to me. But this year I received some fine gifts. For starters Faye knocked it out of the park this year. This past year I've started getting into guns a little bit. My first buy was a shotgun and I recently added a hand gun to the collection. So Faye got me a gun cleaning kit, a lot of ammo, and FREAKING GUN RACK for Christmas! We laughed a lot over the gun rack. Hysterical! Yee haw. (In and of itself a gun rack is not funny. But me having a gun rack is hysterical. I'm looking for a way to get it into the back window of my Prius.)
I think the gift I got that will get the most use is a nose/ear/brow trimmer from Faye's parents. I've already broken that bad boy out and done some trimming…both yesterday and this morning. I hope it is ready for a lot of work…because I will put that thing through the motions! I'm at the age where that kind of hair is growing exponentially! Yes…that is likely more than you wanted to know.
There was also a lot of food yesterday. And a fair amount of it is still at my house. And that is not a complaint, either!
--IPod: Journey, "Wheel in the Sky".
--When next we meet it will be past Christmas. This morning I am wearing my Santa Claus tie. Please do have a safe and Merry Christmas.
I asked you on Wednesday what you loved most about Christmas. Not unexpectedly most of you say it is all about the kids and family. Read on…
From Tammy (12/21/11):
my favorite part of Christmas is watching the kids opening the presents, the reaction to getting what they wanted
From Sue (12/21/11):
The best part of the holidays is just getting all five of our kids and 2 grandkids back home to be with us, and both sets of our parents. Family time makes Christmas even more special.
From Connie (12/21/11):
Baking christmas cookies is my favorite thing and family.
From A Gregorian (12/21/11):
Christmas just isn't the same as 30 to 50 years ago. You can't say Merry Christmas to some people cause it might offend them. Nativity Scenes are not allowed in most places. In my 60's the only thing I enjoy is watching young Grand Children unwrapping the gifts, or a Dog opening a treat.
From Teri (12/21/11):
My favorite part of Christmas is when we are out my sister's house and there are presents everywhere and the kids are going crazy opening their gifts. We now have some little ones again that will make the day very delightful.
From Elizabeth (12/21/11):
The best part of the holidays for me is getting to spend time with family. It's fun to be able to all get together and have fun! It's especially nice now that my grandsons are older (9 and 12) and we can really do some fun things with them!
From Scott (12/21/11):
My favorite part of the holiday season is getting together with family, and enjoying spending time with my sweetheart!
From Sue (12/22/11):
Merry Christmas, Greg!
That is outstanding, Sue! Merry Christmas to you, too!
From David (12/22/11):
I used to work for a company that was owned by a Jewish family. Every year, they threw the best Christmas party, you could imagine. They catered a huge meal, had drawings for cash and gift cards, everyone received a gift, and they would make a popint to tell everyone Merry Christmas. It was rather impressive , especially since they didn't celebrate Christmas. They put alot into it.
These days it is tough to find any company that puts on a great Christmas party, David! Heh.
That's it for this week! Have a happy holiday this weekend…and we'll see you on Monday morning!!
--IPod: Cat Stevens, "Wild World". Peaceful, that Yusuf Islam.
--We are continuing to collect your thoughts on the best part of the Christmas season. Hit the feedback section below if you'd like to share your opinion!
--Sometimes in conversation I will tell people "Happy Holidays" as opposed to Merry Christmas. This used to be seen, in my view, as someone including the entire holiday season for Christmas and New Year's. To me…if you're sending out one card for the season it is quicker/better to say "Happy Holidays" than Merry Christmas AND Happy New Year. It is cheaper than buying two cards for everyone to say both. And it saves postal money. The issue for me has never been about excluding the other holidays for this time of the year. But the past few years this situation has been ramping up a bit, no?
Occasionally now when I tell someone "Happy Holidays" they will make it a hard point to say "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!" like I just insulted and ate their ancestors. I get it that some perceive an attempt to take away the "reason for the season" by major retailers and other sections of society. Certainly businesses have moved away from Christmas parties and gone to overall holiday parties. And I understand and agree with why they do it. Simply put…not everyone celebrates Christmas. We are a mixed society with all different races, creeds, religions, sexual orientations, etc. And with that liberty and luxury comes certain realities. You have to include everyone. And having a company party just for the Christians' holiday is not fair to the other religions. So logically you just have the party and make it a holiday party to include everyone.
Basically I think people have gone paranoid and nuts over the issue. What are your thoughts?
--IPod: ABBA, "Fernando". Yeah…I still need to revamp my IPod playlist.
--Here is a "Star Wars: BattleFront II" update: the game simply won't work on my Xbox 360. I think it has something to do with the hard drive I bought on the cheap from a company in China. Oh, well. It was an awesome attempt by Faye at getting me something that I really liked. And that is what matters!
--Here is an update on the North Korea situation…it looks like the government is going to be run by a combination of the "Great Successor", the military, and the kid's uncle. That is probably a wise decision while Kim Jong Un gets his political feet underneath him. This issue really is one to watch closely, I think. North Korea is a powder keg that could go off at any moment, it seems. And that is the way that country has been for a long time. So any hint of possible unrest in that country bears watching. That's just me thinking out loud!
--What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Hit the feedback section below and send me some thoughts! We'll share them on Friday…
--IPod: East Village Opera, "When I Am Laid in Earth". Yeah…talking about people remembering you after you're dead and buried. I love a little pick me up at 4 in the morning!
--At my house we've begun present giving. Yesterday I was presented with one of the better gifts I've received in a while! Faye got me "Star Wars: Battle Front II" for my Xbox 360. If you're a gamer you might know that the BattleFront game wasn't made for 360, but for the older Xboxes back in the day. This game is supposed to be compatible with the 360, though…which means I should be able to play it on my console!
I put the game in yesterday to check it out…and lo and behold it didn't work. I know there has to be a fix, though…so today I will spend time researching how to get this game to work on my 360 system! And if I do figure it out there is a fair chance I will spend more time playing that game the rest of the year then I spend at work! It is my all-time favorite video game, just barely edging out Tecmo football. (Yes…I realize I could spend that time more constructively, but what fun would that be??)
--Attention is being paid now to the next ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Even the North Korean people don't know much about this kid. I say kid because people ‘think' he is in his 20's. Isn't that a little frightening for a kid that was just handed the reigns of a presumably nuclear country?? We don't even know how old he is, let alone how he leans with his views of the world! What if he ends up being a mental deficient that makes crazy irrational decisions (like dearly departed Dad)?? Anyhoo…this story is interesting to me so I will follow it for a while.
--IPod: The Police, "Every Breath You Take". Did anyone find this song as creepy when it came out as it seems now??
--My week off of work was very relaxing. We did some things around the house. But overall there was nothing huge planned. Because of the way this vacation was scheduled we weren't really able to plan anything major because Faye found out fairly late that she would also have most of the week off…so we didn't take any trips or anything. But it is always nice to just hang out for several days with nothing really to do!
--Kim Jong Il died over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with his son taking over. The kid is still in his 20's, I believe. And obviously the world is watching closely. Here's to hoping the kid isn't as crazy as his father seemed!
--My fantasy football season is pretty much done. I am out of my money league playoffs…and in the consolation bracket of my free league. That's the way it happens some years. My money league just had too many important injuries for me to really take hold and win games. Now we go back to basics and get ready for next season! At least the Cowboys have a very good shot at making the playoffs this season!
--IPod: Adam Ant, "Goody Two Shoes". Great song that brings back great memories.
--So Albert Pujols is no longer a St. Louis Cardinal. It was bound to happen. The best player in baseball deserves the best salary in baseball and the Cardinals just don't have the finances to give it to him. (I know…A-Rod's deal is still better. But this is a different financial era than when A-Rod's deal was done.) In reality the Cardinals were only borrowing Pujols for a while. And ‘we' got his best 6 or 7 years. He will still be a very good player for a few more years, but at 31 or 32 years old his best days are likely behind him.
It was a great deal for Albert and in time Cardinals fans will see that it was a good deal for us. We got two world titles in the Albert era and we got to see for several years that once in a generation player play the game in our stadium. That's not a bad thing. Nothing lasts forever, and we will be okay without him.
Would it have been nice for Albert to finish his career as a Red Bird? Absolutely. Will Albert be treated in LA as well as he was treated in St. Louis? Time will tell. I would think not, though. St. Louis is a city that gave Pujols God-like status. He was the biggest thing in the city…and he was revered. But in LA they have warm weather all year. They have beaches. They have Hollywood stars. They have Kobe Bryant. They have four professional franchises and a hockey team and maybe soon an NFL team. Basically Albert just went from being the biggest fish in a medium pond to just another big bass in an ocean of fish. Aside from the 254,000,000 reasons the Angels just gave him to get over that…at the end of the road it isn't about the money, because that comes and goes. At the end of the road it is about the legacy you leave on this planet. And at some point I think Albert may have a little regret about leaving St. Louis. And that's okay. We all leave this planet with at least a little regret.
From Larry (12/8/11):
I believe R. Blagojevich will only serve 1 year or less. He may be pardoned by President Obama if he doesn't get reelected. Or later on in the next term under President Obama.
That is something not many have mentioned yet, Larry. Would President Obama actually pardon our former governor? Man…that would certainly make some waves, wouldn't it??
Interesting week we've had, isn't it? Blago is sentenced. Albert leaves town. One of our drone spy planes ends up on the ground and on television in Iran. Obviously I am not including a lot of other news that happened this week. But this has been an active news week to be sure!
That's it for this week! Next week I will be on vacation. It's that end of the year use your days before you lose your days rush! I may try to blog from home but still haven't had much luck getting the station's website system to work on my home PC. I have a newer version of Windows than the web producer allows, or something like that. But there is always Facebook! Feel free to hit me up there or send me an email. See you in a week or so!
--IPod: Barbara Streisand, "Evergreen". Yeah. So what??
--31 years ago today John Lennon was gunned down in front of his apartment building in New York City.
--Former Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced yesterday to 14 years in prison, in case you somehow missed the news. I'm not sure how much of that time he will actually serve. But my guess is even one day in prison is an experience that will change your life. I mentioned this yesterday on my Facebook page…but while it may be embarrassing to have our last two Governors in prison…at least we can proudly say that we didn't let them get away with their crimes!
--Albert Pujols is still a free agent. The Miami Marlins fell out of the running yesterday, and as of this typing it seems that the LA Angels and Cardinals are the two teams still in contention. Is it just me…or does it seem like the longer this lingers the easier it is as a Cardinals fan to picture Albert going somewhere else? At this point if he ends up with another team I am cool with it. For what he is asking the Cards could still go out and get three or four very good players.
--Tomorrow is "Feedback Friday". If you have any thoughts you'd like to share…get them in before tomorrow morning!!
--IPod: Journey, "Wheel in the Sky".
--Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Let's face it…if you remember where you were that day you are not likely reading this blog. But anyone that would like to share a remembrance or thoughts on that day would be more than welcome. Just hit the feedback button at the bottom of the blog or send me an email with "Blog" on the subject line.
--Tax season is around the corner. I know…that can get me in just as much trouble with some people as saying snow gets me in. But someone yesterday left a link on the station's Facebook page to a story of a man that figured out how to stop paying income taxes. My guess is the story was done a few years ago. And I have no follow up to the guy. But it is an interesting 5 minutes or so. Give it a look. Basically the guy claims that there is no law saying we have to pay income tax. And as always you are free to sound off here by hitting the feedback button below, or sending me an email with "Blog" on the subject line.
I don't know if the guy is right or not. But if you are familiar with YouTube you will find many links to the right of the video to other videos basically saying the same thing as this guy. If anyone investigates this issue further…please let me know!
--IPod: 4 Non Blondes, "What's Up".
--Yesterday someone sent me some feedback on the blog about my Facebook work page. So I figured I would go ahead and answer it this morning.
From Nannette (12/5/11):
Hey Greg.. how come on your WAND TV FB page I can't send a link to you? I can send to Liz and JC but not you am I doing something wrong that I can't share link's with you on FB? Thanks
Hi, Nannette. Are you trying to post a video link on my FB work page? You won't be able to do that for a while because I disabled it. If it is a website link or a picture you should be able to post it to my page. If you can't…you are more than welcome to email it to me at email@example.com and I can check it out.
--Last week there was a very, very sad situation at the Fox station in Kansas City. The morning weather person, Don Harmon, committed suicide. I didn't know Don, or know of him. But I heard about his death. I won't comment about him, other than to say it seems very sad, because I did not know him. But his death makes me wonder what it would be like to work at that station right now…and how a station would deal with someone dying.
To my knowledge I haven't had a current coworker die. One of our former reporters, John Cater, died a couple of years ago. But he wasn't working here at the time. And of course we've had older employees retire and eventually pass on to what ever is next for us. Maybe this is a macabre subject for this early in the morning…but I wonder how this station would handle the death of a current employee.
What do you do? Do you shut down the business for a bit to give employees the chance to catch their breath? I doubt that we would be able to because the news doesn't stop. I don't think the station in Kansas City stopped working when Don died. Man…it makes me feel for his coworkers.
--IPod: David Bowie, "Changes".
--My three day weekend was fantastic. I spent all day Friday on the couch watching movies and playing some video games. We spent most of the day Saturday painting the family room. And yesterday was football and hanging out. Aside from my fantasy football teams being eliminated from the playoffs…it was a fantastic weekend!
--Herman Cain jumped out of the Presidential race over the weekend. That was not shocking news. I've heard his goal wasn't to actually be President anyway. Some have said he was in it for the publicity. He's been a motivational speaker for years…and it's been said that now he charges more for appearances.
--Do you know where your news comes from? It's something we need to be considering. Chances are very good it comes from a source that is owned by one of just 6 companies. Over the weekend I came across an article that breaks down which 6 companies own most of the media in the world, from TV networks to movie studios to internet sites. A LOT to think about…
--IPod: Big Head Todd and The Monsters, "Bittersweet". This is a live version of the song. Here is the picture I always get in my head when I hear this song: A dude half-slumped in a large, crappy easy chair. A huge party has just finished up…it's five or six in the morning just before the sun comes up. The guy has a cigarette burning in his fingers and the ember is very close to his hand. The room is still filled with smoke from cigarettes, cigars, fireworks, and whatever else they were able to burn. And the beginning of this mellow song comes on. I won‘t say I have actually seen this scene before…but it's the one that comes to mind when I hear this song.
--Today is the start of meteorological winter. Don't get all excited, though. It doesn't mean anything, really. Mets like to do things a little bit differently than the rest of the world. I think it is so we will appear to be much smarter than we actually are. Sure…we could use the regular calendar to start our seasons like everyone else. But if you're paying attention you might notice that the actual change of weather to go along with the seasons is closer to meteorological dates than the standard calendar dates. It's true! Look it up…
--I'm taking tomorrow off. Please don't call me at 5:30 tomorrow morning to make sure I am okay. If something horrible has happened you'll hear about it soon enough, anyway.
--Did a local man actually just buy the Jacksonville Jaguars football team?? That's crazy! I would think there would be NO chance that the dude will move the team to our area. I doubt we could support a pro football team. But Jacksonville is one of the teams in the LA discussion. Maybe he will take them to Orange County??
--I hear they are getting ready to sentence our former governor. Nice.
--"Phrase of the Day" returns this morning to the morning news, God help us. I really do enjoy the game. If you'd like to play along…it happens before 7 this morning. Just hit the Facebook link above. While you are at it hit the feedback section below and give me your thoughts on anything you would like. We'll do feedback next Friday. And don't forget to sign up for email alerts at the bottom of the blog, too. That way when I update this bad boy you'll be notified! Have a GREAT weekend!