--Not too bad, January. Thanks for stopping by to say hello and not putting your feet up on the furniture like you did last year. As a matter of fact it was even tough to tell you were here most of the time! We understand that it is your job to make sure we don't forget about winter and next year you might not let us off the hook. Just wanted to let you know we haven't taken you for granted this year.
--Hi, February! Have you recently met our friend January? It's good to follow the example set already this winter, no? We'll celebrate your groundhog and love you dearly on the 14th. In return…can you keep it calm this year? We really like the trend this time around! We'll even give you an extra day on the calendar if it helps…
--Yesterday was a warmer than average day…again. It is worth noting that Lincoln set a new record high yesterday. The old record was 56 degrees set in 1931. Yesterday Lincoln hit a high of 59. Today should be warmer…
--I certainly hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good. We spent the day in Champaign on Saturday. Yesterday was the MS benefit at the Custom Smokehouse in Mattoon. It was basically a day of great live music, great food, and great people. Although I had to miss it because I just wasn't feeling good at all yesterday. Faye was able to go and had a fantastic time. From what I hear the place was packed all day and money was raised for a good cause.
--The next couple of days are going to feel like spring. We'll get into the mid 50's today and close to 60 tomorrow. All in all…not a bad way to bring in February! It's hard to believe, though, that Groundhog's Day is Thursday. Something tells me we could put up with another couple months of this kind of winter if we had to!
We are going to be getting into a bit of wintry mess again this evening into early tomorrow morning. Clouds will increase this afternoon…and then after sunset the fun begins. It might actually start as a bit of rain this evening and then change to snow around midnight for most of us. But the time it is done early tomorrow morning many of us could see around an inch of accumulation. Ah yes…it is still winter, after all! Be safe if you are driving through tomorrow morning!
From David in Altamont (1/20/12):
WELL, you were dead on about the freezing rain being right along I-70. It took 2 hours to get to Altamont from Effingham on Rt.40. Never saw a single car in the ditch, but there are several on I-70. I did see a young gal wipe out at Wal-Mart. It's real hard not to laugh when that happens (if they're not hurt). Does that make me evil?
Evil?? I don't think so. Maybe a little twisted? More than likely! But I don't see anything wrong with being a little twisted. At least that means you are also interesting!
From Larry (1/26/12):
I went threw your Blog 1/26 and clicked on the Link you checked out. It was quite intrusting. It said, "Taxpayer still owed 132.9 Billion dollars."
Shouldn't we Taxpayers tell Government to collect that soon, and deposit it back into the Social Security Program, along with the remaining amount they never Reimbursed, when they took form the surplus in it?
While were at it, lets also mention. It's not an Entitlement,,, It's our money we Taxpayers paid into, along with and our Employers.
That would shut up a lot of people talking about how soon it will run out.
Good point about Social Security not being an entitlement. I think people tend to forget how that program really works. And of course it doesn't help when people running for office twist it up to suit their election needs. A better educated public would go a long way into keeping people running for office in check…as well as changing the way we finance elections.
That's it for this week! Be safe on the roads tonight. It is going to be wet and freezing in most places through tomorrow morning!
--Yesterday ended up being a bit of a frozen mess, didn't it? We expected rain and sleet and that is exactly what we got. But we also ended up with freezing rain much earlier than anticipated. And that made driving a bit dangerous into yesterday afternoon. Basically rain stays above freezing from its birth right down to the ground. Freezing rain starts as a liquid and then freezes as it gets into freezing temperatures at the surface. Often times sleet starts as a liquid and then moves through below-freezing air on the way down and freezes before it hits the ground. Yesterday in the viewing area we ended up with all three!
This morning we've just got rain. Temperatures have been rising for the past couple of hours, putting us out of danger for a major freezing rain event this morning. Just keep in mind that roads will still be wet this morning and therefore could still be slick!
--I found a great article this morning giving us on update on TARP. Two things in the article surprised me: 1) We've gotten about 75% of our money back from the bailouts, and 2) Some people have actually been prosecuted for fraud involving the TARP money. Here is a link to the article. Feel free to pass along any thoughts you might have on the topic by hitting the feedback form below! Feedback will be on the blog tomorrow morning for "Feedback Friday"!
--Did you watch the State of the Union speech last night? Honestly…I didn't even know it was last night. I got in my car this morning and turned on the radio to hear about the speech. I'm not sure how I missed that one considering I work at a news station. But I don't recall hearing about the speech yesterday while I was at work.
--The other morning I heard from our old friend, "Formerly Cissna Park Phil". Now we call him "Nashville Phil". He is in the process of heading south and sent a note to let us know he is still around. Phil is one of the original Gregorians. Here is his message:
From Phil (1/23/12):
Cissna Park Phil, here, except that I am now in Memphis visiting my daughter Kristy and her kids. Headed back to Nashville at month's end.
As proof that I still occasionally read your blog, in the following sentence, "one" should be "won": "At least if the Niners had one it would have been different." Hope all is well...rough weather night in Memphis last night, I even did some official weather spotting!
Hey, Phil! Good for you for helping the community by storm spotting! Already this year we've had around 12 or 13 tornado watches around the country. Let's hope it is not a sign of things to come!
And thanks for catching my typo, Phil. I corrected it after you let me know about it! Sometimes my editing skills are lacking at 4:30 in the morning!
Safe travels, my friend. And thanks for "occasionally" keeping up with the blog! Drop us a line once in a while to let us know how things are going.
--You know those twisty-like light bulbs that Congress keeps telling us we will have to use from now on? Well here is a surprise for you…they are bad for us. They contain mercury…and mercury is poisonous to humans. Don't get me wrong. You won't die by putting these bulbs in your lights. The people that follow us on this planet will become sick and die once we are done with the bulbs and inevitably put the bulbs into the ground. The mercury will seep into the soil and eventually end up in people's food. At least that is what this article is saying will happen.
The good news is that Congress keeps putting off the mandatory call for these bulbs. My guess is that if you look hard enough there is a light bulb manufacturer's lobby behind the push for the exclusivity of these bulbs. But at least for now our elected officials are holding out for better evidence of what the long term implications of these bulbs will be. Stay tuned…
--I'm listening to "These Dreams" by Heart right now on my IPod. I think this song was the theme for my 7th or 8th grade spring dance. That was around 25 years ago. Crazy how time just flies by, isn't it?
--So it's the Patriots and the Giants in the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. I don't think I could really describe just how little I care about this game this year. At least if the Niners had won it would have been different. I suppose it is good if you are a fan of either the Giants or the Pats. But as a Cowboys fan I really could give a rats behind.
--We went to a birthday/football party yesterday. We watched bits of the Pats/Ravens game. We also went outside to shoot some guns. The hosts live in the country…so no laws were violated. But it was Faye's first time really shooting guns. I think she enjoyed it! Since I've been getting into guns people keep asking me when I am going to go hunting. My answer remains the same. The only time I will go hunting is when someone breaks into my house. The chances of me ever shooting an animal, unless my family is starving and we need the food, are very, very slim.
--Did you hear the thunderstorms last night? We had a strong one pass through Coles county last night. It was actually called for a Severe Thunderstorm warning, but I slept through that. I do seem to remember waking up to some thunder once or twice, though. Today we begin with temperatures around 50, some areas of fog, a little bit of light rain/flurries, and water on the ground. By the end of the day the wind will be gusty out of the west and the temperatures will be dropping through the 30's through the afternoon. It's still January, right??
--We're expecting another minor blast of winter weather late this afternoon into tonight. For most of us it will be an inch or less of sleet and snow by tonight. North of Interstate 74 could see and inch or two of snow. And closer to Interstate 70 could have freezing rain with a glaze of ice. Bottom line on all of this is that roads are going to be slick starting late this afternoon through pretty much tomorrow morning. Be very careful if you are headed out tonight!
From Jim (1/16/12):
In 1963 I watched this great speech on live (black and white) TV. I was a high school freshman, but I am a Christian, and smart enough to
notice the abundance of whites attending that historic day.
Somehow... I sensed that this speech would have an impact on our world, but I couldn't foresee how much it would actually change my life: Four years later MLK was sadly shot down. After being drafted, I voluntarily entered the Navy and served my country with "distinction" they said, having set a new time record for maxing out my 4 year rank. As an aviation electronics technician... the Navy had trained and schooled me very well, and I had simply worked harder than other men. No big deal.
Aboard my aircraft carrier, race riots were always a major problem and it's simple as THAT! "Black Studies" meetings were held just above my berthing compartment, and I'd have to (at great risk) walk through those meetings just to take a shower or use the toilet. I don't think those black guys had ever even heard MLK's wonderful speech, but they sure hated us "honkeys".
After my honorable discharge from the service, I immediately applied for a job with Southern California Edison Company... the biggest electrical provider for that area. I took the tests for the job, and finished them in no time at all. In fact I was questioned about finishing every page when I suddenly turned in my papers. Soon I was called in for a job interview, and I felt pretty damned confident about my job prospects.
I could instantly see a strange "look" on the interviewer's face, but I introduced myself very properly. He said "Mr. Palmer... you aced our tests and you are the first person who didn't miss even one question, but I cannot hire you simply because you are white. This makes me very sad, and I apologize but after we hire enough minorities and women to satisfy the government, you could likely get the job you deserve in 4 years or so." I asked him if he'd EVER told any minority that he wouldn't or couldn't hire them because of their race? He said "Of course not! That would have been discrimination, but I am allowed to say it to you." I shook his hand, and said "I forgive you". He
literally broke down in tears. I never reapplied for that job again.
I just became entrepreneur, and eked out a living the hard way.
I also "had a dream" I guess... but I never ONCE collected unemployment or welfare. Maybe that life experience turned me into a perceived bigot... but I'm no bigot at all. I merely prefer legal people in the USA who always work hard and pay their own way. Today I watched the MLK speech again, (that you posted) and I'm grateful to be old enough to have seen it on live TV. I now know what "discrimination" really is: It's when the government tells a company owner who they can or cannot hire.
I don't think it makes you racist to complain about not being hired because of quotas. But obviously you have to be careful how you word those complaints!
From Larry (1/18/12):
I was surprised you didn't catch this and post it in your Blog.
The other night with the warm spell and cold front coming in. The Noaa weather alert gave the First Tornado Watch # 1 of the year of 2012 for 3 counties in Illinois.
I caught that. Given the situation with the severe thunderstorm warning that morning, though, I didn't get the chance to mention it on the blog. But you just did! Thanks for making sure it got some play here on the blog!
For those that don't know…the Storm Prediction Center out of Oklahoma handles most of the watches that are issued (the local NWS offices do most of the warnings) around the country. Those watches are numbered throughout the year to make it easy to count how many there are during each year. It isn't very often that our area gets the first watch issued of the year!
That's it for this week! Be safe if you are headed out this weekend. Roads could very well be a mess tonight into tomorrow…
--The next couple of days are going to be busy weather days. This morning we have light snow moving in to much of the area. Along and north of Interstate 74 could see one or two inches of snow by the end of the day. South of that line will see less than an inch. And closer to Interstate 70 may not even see flurries today. Meanwhile all of us will be getting colder through the day. Many of us will drop into the middle to upper teens by the end of the day.
Tomorrow will be pretty cloudy. Then in the afternoon we're expecting a wintery mix of rain, sleet, and possibly some snow. Into tomorrow night it should mostly be snow. It doesn't look like "Snowmaggaeden" for us…but some accumulation is possible!
Bottom line: driving for the next couple of days could very well be dangerous again. Be cautious!
--As you know I am fond of listening to "Coast to Coast AM" on my way to work in the morning. Most mornings it is a very interesting way to pass the time for my hour-long commute. While I am not one of those tin-foil hat wearing paranoid freaks that often call into the show…I do acknowledge that there are strange things happening all the time. And this show is at the very least entertaining. This morning George had one of my favorite guests on the show…Alex Jones. Alex is a great talker. Just about everything you need to know about Alex can be found on one of his websites. Here is the link.
--Busy morning! We've got a tornado watch for Macoupin, Montgomery, and Fayette counties until 7 this morning. Meanwhile north of that we have temperatures already dropping into the 40's...we'll be through the 30's through the afternoon. And the light rain we are left with after the storms early this morning will be changing to snow flurries into the afternoon. It'll be a breezy day, too, with wind out of the northwest this afternoon gusting up to 35 miles per hour. Meanwhile we will be closely watching the storms in our southwest corner as some could get nasty and produce tornadoes. Be safe out there this morning!
--It is official…I have a cold. It's not a contagious thing or I wouldn't be at work this morning. But it is in my sinuses. I am a little achy. And my throat has that mild scratch to it. Usually I get a cold a couple of times a year. It will last for a few days and then get into my lungs. That makes me cough a lot and that lasts for a couple of weeks. What I feel this morning is what I feel when that cold comes on. So today I will medicate with cough drops and allergy medicine. When I get home from work I will probably nap a bit. And we'll see how it goes tomorrow! It's no biggie. There are people that have to work with far greater maladies than my little cold.
--I received some feedback over the weekend that I thought I would share today, considering it touches on last week's feedback.
From Don (1/13/12):
Just to clarify, There is no movie version of "The Catcher in the Rye" The author, J D Salinger, would never sell the rights to Hollywood..
Anyway, Holden said in the book that he would like to move to cabin in the woods and not have to deal with the 'phoney' people.
Ha! I know "The Catcher in the Rye" hasn't been made into a movie. I was making a joke. For me it is not so much about the "phony" people. For me it is just getting away from this treadmill that we put ourselves on to seemingly gain nothing of importance. We work for material goods that we can't take with us when we die. And it just seems it is that search for money that gives us so much evil in the world. As much as I use technology myself I still sometimes think it would be nice if a massive EMP weapon was launched and set up back to the Stone Age for a while. It might make us, as a society, remember what really matters in this world.
--On my way to work this morning it was fairly windy and cold. Snow was blowing over the road as soon as I got to Route 121 coming out of Mattoon. This didn't surprise me, as I am a meteorologist and expected more blowing snow this morning. On the radio I was listening to "Coast to Coast AM" as I occasionally do to pass the time. I had already caught up on ESPN Radio. This morning on Coast there was a guy talking about creatures and giants that inhabited the Earth long, long before we were here (at least according to this guy). The conversation was a bit creepy!
As I am driving down the road between Mattoon and Sullivan I turned on my brights. I've grown accustomed to using my high beams early in the morning when there is no on-coming traffic. It just makes it easier to see animals on the road. And depending on what time of year it is there are always animals on the road…except for this time of year. When it gets this cold the animals have the good sense to stay out of the elements, at least as much as wild animals can.
Up ahead several hundred feet I began to make out a figure of some kind on the side of the road. It looked to be partly on the road and partly on the shoulder. It was a larger figure than the raccoons or opossums I usually see on the highway…but not quite as big as some of the bucks I've seen occasionally. And frankly it didn't look like anything I had seen before on this road I've driven so many times. Meanwhile this guy on the radio is still talking about giants from back before Noah and his big boat.
I was going pretty close to the speed limit so I came up on the figure pretty quick. But I still couldn't make out what the thing was until I was right up on it. Approaching the figure it didn't look like a four legged beast. From a distance it looked like a brightly-colored form of some kind. As I got closer I started to see it as more of something hunched over on the side of the road. Was it a monster?? Was it a beast? At this point it could have been a naked human trying to curl up for warmth on the side of the road! And this guy on the radio is starting to freak me out talking about these odd creatures he think lived on this planet long ago…and might still today!
As it turns out it was none of the above. A coyote was hunched on the shoulder of the road with his butt hanging over the road…taking a dump on the highway.
From Jim (1/10/12):
Wake up Trumbold!
You surprise me sometimes by buying guns and thinking right every now and then. <grin> The so called "major news media" isn't against Ron Paul... it's against ALL people of a conservative bent!
I am merely disappointed in the lack of any viable Republican candidate who might potentially defeat Obama and his legions of socialist czars. I would likely vote for Ron Paul myself... but he has no chance of even winning the nomination, let alone the big election. Worse yet... he or some other extremist will likely run as an independent and split the conservative vote, giving Obama a tragic second term. <gulp> My goal is to simply make sure that Obama (or
the likes of him) doesn't ever happen to this great country again.
I'd vote for almost ANYONE who can take him out of our White House by winning in 2012!
That would be easy if we still had people like Reagan, or even John Kennedy. Washington DC is now a news media driven farce if you ask me, and the TV media industry is so BLATANTLY liberal that Dan Rather would have never been fired today. CBS dumped him for simply attending a Democratic Party fund-raising affair that his daughter had organized in his home state of Texas. I didn't think that he should have been denied his rights as an American citizen just because he was a long distinguished war reporter and news anchor. No jobs should ever do that!
Yes, I understand that he'd signed a contract with CBS that prohibited him from publicly supporting political causes... but his breaking that rule was far less dangerous to CBS, ABC, and NBC than what's happening today. Today they don't give "equal time" to anyone... especially if they are a Republican. They are all waiting like a litter of hungry puppies at the White House tits just in case Hussein Obama gets a notion to make yet another speech they can praise.
Well, Jim…we still don't agree about President Obama. But you make many, many solid points about our lack of true leadership in the country right now!
From Teri (1/11/12):
I am with you Greg but I want an island where it is warm and breezy. Right on the beach. I could be a beach bum.
Holy cow…I could be a beach bum, too! Really…if I didn't have any obligations to anything or anyone I would plop down on the beach and watch the waves for the rest of my life!
From Don (1/11/12):
You sound like Holden Caulffield in "The Catcher in the Rye.
Would you believe that I have never read that book, Don?? I am aware of the book. And I have heard of that character. But overall I don't get the reference and don't know what it means! Heh. Perhaps I should rent the movie or something!
Don't take my tiny rants from earlier this week too seriously. I am not actually going to buy a cabin in the woods and live like a hermit. And I am not going to become another Unabomber. You know that life gets frustrating for all of us from time to time. And earlier this week I was getting frustrated. The difference is that I happen to have a few different forums that allow me to vent publically. This is a place where we try to get beyond the surface to get to know one another. I was feeling something and I wanted to share it with you. So no worries!
Have a great weekend! Today will be a little chilly…but we will start warming up again tomorrow! Be well…
Sorry...there won't be much blog this morning. For whatever reason I can't get this website producer to cooperate with me! Be careful in the snow today and tonight...
I didn't blog yesterday and I won't blog much this morning because I think I am one or two events away from melting down everything I own, buying a log cabin in the mountains of Montana, and living a Ted Kaczynski-like hermited existence (minus the mail bombs, of course). Given that mood and temperment I think it best to not give myself access to such an open forum! My basic thoughts are that this is a ridiculous little world we've created...and I wonder how we can go about really making it better. If I can get my thoughts into some kind of coherent thread in the next day or two I may expound upon them here.
--I've been watching the replay of the Republican debate from yesterday morning's "Meet the Press". We are almost 30 minutes into the broadcast right now and all of the candidates have spoken but…Ron Paul. The national media's bias against this man is unmistakable. Everyone on the stage has been asked multiple direct questions except Ron Paul. To me it is painfully obvious that certain people don't want this man to have a whiff of a chance to win an election. And to me it makes me want Ron Paul to win the Republican nomination. (Here we are 32 minutes in and Ron Paul finally gets asked a direct question…it'll be the first time he gets to speak, and this is a direct attacking question. And then David cut him off to ask someone else a question.)
Lately I am really not feeling good about the direction of our country, even under the leadership of our beloved President. He signed the National Defense Authorization Act which as far as I, and many other people, can see will put us on par with North Korea and the former Soviet Union in how we treat our citizens in terms of due process under the law. If someone accuses you of being a terrorist the military can now come and get you, take you anywhere in the world they choose, and keep you detained for AS LONG AS THEY WANT without ever charging you with a crime. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you I don't believe you are really paying attention.
When a government turns against its own citizens that government has lost touch with its ultimate purpose. And in turn that government must be turned out. And out of anyone running for the 2012 Presidential term, including the incumbent, I believe Ron Paul is just crazy enough to turn this mug out. I know he has said some pretty out-there stuff. And there are still questions about his overall character, including accusations of racism. But if we have to put up with a crazy old man in the White House for four years to get the entrenched establishment out of our government…then so be it.
That's just how I feel this morning. My thoughts will likely change. But if I were in front of a ballot right now I would vote for Ron Paul, even if it was for the big ballot in November.
--This morning I've been listening to a band that our friend Cissna Park Phil put me onto recently. They are called the "Don Ray Band". It's a bluesy type band that also has a little country to them. The lead singer has an old school roadhouse, ballsy voice to him. If you'd like to give them a listen here is their website. They have a player on the site so you can sample their stuff. So far I dig it.
--Did you hear that recently Aretha Franklin got engaged?? How awesome is that?
--What's the deal with taxi service in Decatur? I will be the first to say I don't know much about the situation or how the city's only service shut down. But recently the guy that apparently owned the city's last service says that he wants to open another service, but can't? How can a city the size of Decatur not have someone that wants to step up and provide what is obviously a necessary service? There are at least 60k people still in this city, aren't there? I live in Mattoon with 20k other people and we have a great taxi service. It seems ridiculous to me that Decatur doesn't have one taxi cab running around here. Can someone clue me in on what the deal is?? Hit the feedback tab below…
--Today is my nephew's birthday. Happy birthday, Derek!
--Some new laws have had people talking in the state of Illinois. As of January 1st it is now the law that you must wear a safety belt if you are travelling in a vehicle, regardless of where you are sitting. You can get a note from your doctor, though, if you have a medical condition that prohibits you from wearing your seat belt. I've been told from someone in the know that this law is based on what insurance companies want. So yes…it is all about money.
Also new to Illinois…if you buy anything containing lye you will be required to show ID. Your information will be collected and stored. Apparently kids have been using drain cleaner to make bombs. So to help investigators track who is making these bombs we will be required to show ID when buying drain cleaner.
In the state of Illinois you can no longer dispose of electronics in your trash. You must now take your old electronics to an authorized electronics recycler. The goal of this law is to apparently keep landfills free of old electronics.
We've been talking about these new laws all over our various Facebook pages. If there is anything you would like to say about any of these laws you are more than welcome to share your opinions here. Just hit the feedback section at the bottom of this blog. Get your thoughts in today to make tomorrow's feedback day! I won't be here on Friday…
--The very first blog of 2012 for me. It's odd…but it feels just like every blog from 2011! Where would our senses be without a calendar to keep us counting? Our a clock to tick away the seconds?
--Our New Year's celebration was fantastic. We spent another New Year's weekend in Chicago with my Dad. It's a tradition that we've been doing for several years now. Saturday night we went downtown for dinner at the Aria. Right after dinner it was about to strike midnight so we walked a couple of blocks to an opening that allowed us to watch the fireworks that they do every year close to Navy Pier. It was cold…but it didn't really matter!
--With the New Year comes new laws. Are you aware that you are now responsible for wearing a seat belt anywhere in an automobile? There is a list on this website that can help you get up to date.