Have I mentioned how much fun these radio weather hits on WTAX with Bob Murray have been? When we were first told that we would be doing this radio weather stuff my first thought was to wonder how I would fit it in to the morning routine around here. But then like everything else it quickly wasn't a concern because you just make the adjustment and move on with it. And now I actually look forward to going into the audio booth here to talk to Bob every morning. I think the radio stuff has been good…but probably the best stuff for me is the conversation that happens off-air. It's really been a good time, and great reconnecting with Bob.
From David (9/24/12):
Yeah a bit chilly, this morning. I decided to wear a sweatshirt when I rode the Harley to work. LOL
I'm glad you were able to improvise and overcome, David!
From Brittany (9/25/12):
So what would be your dream job?
Hey, Brittany! I actually just answered this on my Facebook page yesterday! We did what I call a "QVA" session, which is a question/video answer thing where people leave questions on a thread and I make a video giving the answers. It's fun!
But I will answer here, too, since you asked first! I think my dream weather job would be in sunny California, or Chicago. Don't get it twisted…I love my job here. I mean…as I mentioned this week I haven't even really ever tried to leave. But I love Chicago and have family there, too. So working there would be very cool. And of course living in the California weather would be awesome. Plus I also have family there. Are you picking up on the family theme yet??
That's it for this week! The weather for the next while is going to be…superb.
We had some nice rain over the past couple of days! I took the time to look up where some of us stand, compared to where we usually are this time of the month and year. Now I don't want you to think that I've spent hours and hours ciphering to come up with this data. What I actually did, and what most of us do, is look the information up on the National Weather Service website. Those are the people that keep the "official" records.
Decatur Airport: 6.32" of rain so far this month! That's about 3 ½ inches over normal or average for the month!
Champaign (Savoy) Airport: 5.94" on the month…which is a little over 3" more than average.
Springfield Airport: 2.89" in September…and that is 0.37" more than usual.
Mattoon Airport: 8.18" this month, which is 5.59" over normal.
So we are getting there! Hopefully every couple of weeks through the fall we will see a couple of inches of rain. That would pretty much get most of us back up to where we need to be.
I've mentioned here before that on the way to work I listen to ESPN Radio (and Coast to Coast A.M.). This morning I listened to ESPN for an hour. Take out the 20 minutes of commercial/promo time it means about 40 minutes of actual sports content. Of that 40 minutes of content this morning I estimate that 35 minutes were spent talking about the replacement refs in the NFL and the game Monday night. I won't bore you with the recap of what happened at the end of that game. If you care about it you already know. And if you don't care about it you likely don't want to hear about it.
I just brought it up this morning to say: ENOUGH ALREADY! It irritates me that our society has become so overreactive. It's just football. Someone asked the President what he thought about it…and the guy actually chimed in! I'm all for getting the regular refs back at it. But the end of the baseball season is near and we can't even get updates on how the Cardinals are doing because 90% of ESPN's air time is dedicated to Monday night's football game! Argh. (First world problems…I know…)
--Don't we still have a rover on Mars?? Why aren't we seeing more pictures from this thing? And why don't we have a live feed to the cameras on the rover? Does anyone know if there is a website providing these things? So many questions…
--A question I've heard a bit of recently is about whether or not I am leaving this TV station. I think it comes on the heels of Liz Adeola announcing that she is leaving us in a week or two. You can check out her Facebook page for details on her future. But as for mine…I think I have always been very candid and honest about my career at WAND here on the blog, even at times to my own detriment.
I have no plans to leave the station right now. I am not actively looking for another job. Now having stated that…I am always looking at other opportunities. And I am always open to discuss new opportunities. But I am not putting my stuff out there actively seeking to leave this place. And to be completely honest I don't recall ever REALLY trying to move on to another career. I have about 17 months left on my current contract. And even though this contract is set up to make it easier for me to move on to somewhere else it is not something that is a serious consideration at this point.
There are a couple of jobs that would be like my dream jobs. And if one of those jobs came calling I would naturally seriously consider them. But that hasn't happened so far. And I am not currently taking steps to try to make that happen.
A few people have asked me about this situation in the past day or so. I figured I would just address the issue here!
Well…my mini-vacation is over. Back at work this morning. As I mentioned last week I didn't really do anything spectacular during my time off. I went fishing one day. I did some stuff around the house. I played some tennis. And I relaxed a lot. All in all…it was a good vacation!
Did anyone have any frost this morning?? It was a little chilly this morning! Things should be warming up a bit starting today…and starting late tonight hopefully getting wet around here. Basically for the rest of the week we will have an off and on chance for storms and rain. We could still use it!
Fall begins tomorrow morning at 9:49 for those of you keeping track! My late summer vacation ends today. I've had a very relaxing time this week. Yesterday I went fishing for the first time in many, many years. I posted my big catch on my Facebook page and Twitter yesterday. I bought a fishing license the other day so I could catch two half-pound striped bass, apparently. It was worth the trip, though. Lake Shelbyville is beautiful...and we got to see some of the pro bass fishermen getting ready for the big tournament this weekend. Pretty cool indeed.
I will be back to work next Monday. It seems like "The Kids" have a great time with Kevin while I am gone. It makes me think things will be just fine if I sometime decide not to come back to work...or maybe more likely if "The Suits" decide that I shouldn't come back to work! I'm only half-joking about that last part. But Kevin is a good dude, and a good meteorologist. To be honest I have never watched the morning news when I haven't been working. But people tell me he does a good job.
Hey! I can now blog outside of the station! Granted...I haven't tried in months. But it is nice to know I can update this bad boy when not at work.
Someone sent me a link to some information about gas I thought I would pass along. Here it is:
Vacation is going well! I've relaxed...played tennis...done some things around the house...and slept in every morning. Perfect!
There is some seriously thick fog out there this morning! Be careful if you are driving. Visibilities are down in some spots to quarter of a mile or less! Later today we're expecting some storms with MUCH cooler air coming in after. We will really feel it tomorrow…
The weekend was fantastic. Saturday I spent the day at the Special Olympics Family Festival in Mattoon. It was a tremendous day and I got to meet many, many great people. I served as the Special Guest for the event so I did have some official duties. But most of the day I got to just walk around and hang out with people.
Today is my only day of work this week. I'm taking some vacation time! There isn't anything special planned. I am going to try to get some organizing done in my garage, and hopefully get some time to catch up with family. I may or not blog while I am gone…but if you've signed up for email alerts you won't have to worry about missing a blog update! You can sign up for those alerts at the bottom of this page…
We got some rain this morning! It doesn't look like a lot, sadly, but whatever we get is good news. There might be a little fog in some places this morning but into the afternoon it will be clearing out nicely! And then it is smooth sailing through the weekend.
From Devin (9/9/12):
Hey Greg, when will you bring back the phrase of the day? I miss seeing that on the morning show.
Hmmm. I've been getting that question a lot lately, Devin.
From Jill (9/11/12):
The woman's 9/11 story gives me goosebumps. Its funny (sad?) how something so horrid and tragic can make people feel closer to each other. I too was in college on 9/11/01 and was still sleeping in my dorm room when some guy friends came in to tell us about what was going on. Right when we got the tv tuned in, the second plane hit. Walking around campus soon after, you know that everyone is thinking and feeling the same thing you are whether you know them or not, and for a while everyone feels united. Everyone, religious or not, are counting their blessings in some way or another.
That's exactly what most of us felt the night the lady was telling us her story. As horrific as that day was, though, like you suggested…it is events like that when you get the opportunity to really take stock in what it means to be alive.
From Phil (9/11/12):
Arrived here in Nashville yesterday. I thought I would add my comments regarding 9/11. I worked for a company called Aon Consulting, with offices in Tower 2...101st floor as I recall.
On 9/11/2001 there was a big conference that many were supposed to attend. I had left Aon's employ in June 2001, but 128 of my former colleagues perished that day. Perhaps 10 or so, were people I spoke to on a daily basis...and after the collapse of the 2nd tower...they were gone...yet I still heard their voices...asking me about my day and any computer questions they might have. It took me down to a place in my psyche that I had never been to before. I spent a month in the hospital...7 years later, but no medication helped me to sleep. To this day, it remains a couple of hours here, a couple of hours there. I've adjusted as much as I can...and I sleep when I can...until I literally pass out.
I will never forget what transpired 11 years ago today, nor will I stop hearing those voices. The laughter I seemed to create just by being me...made me "the one to call" for problem resolution. But today, I won't laugh...not one bit. I will spend the day remembering, reflecting...and hoping history NEVER repeats itself.
Thank you for sharing that with us, Phil.
From Jennifer (9/11/12):
I don't know what it is about you weather guys that is such a draw to my daughters....this morning my 4 month old twins were content sitting and watching you give us the forecast. When my husband and I picked them up to get them ready for the day-they screamed bloody murder!! We sat them back down within view of the TV and instant peace! I think we are going to start recording you :) Much love from the Oberheim family!
That's odd, Jen. Usually I have the exact opposite effect on women! By the way…I have decided that I will begin charging you baby sitting fees starting next week…
From Jim (9/12/12):
A friend of mine once introduced me to Jerry Lawler at "The Cozy Corner" (a GREAT rib joint) in Memphis, Tennessee. He was extremely polite and a VERY friendly gentleman in all ways. This was soon after his display with Andy Kaufman on the Letterman show, but I didn't even consider trying to converse with him. He had a heck of a handshake however, and obviously was or still IS a good guy. I hope he's survived. When I met him he was overweight, and had eaten massively while I watched him.
In 1965 I turned 16 and could suddenly drive. I started taking my dear wrestling crazed Granddad to nearby Pasadena, California to the rehearsal wresting matches before the televised events the next night. It was always like watching a re-run, but I loved watching my Granddad having so much fun! It cost me only $2.00 each for us to see those wrestlers putting on a show in a tiny arena that he believed might turn out different tomorrow night, and I wasn't about to correct him. He was a brilliant old farm boy who loved life, fun, and all of his grandchildren like me. Granny would tell me before wrestling came on TV: "Don't tell me Jimmy how this will be turning out. I want to be surprised."
I dutifully said nothing, but I always watched wrestling and the Andy Griffith show with them.
Great stories, Jim! I've read other people's accounts of Jerry Lawler and some do tell the same tale as you when it comes to the man's appetite! My guess is that this recent event might change his habits a bit. I hope he changes them, anyway.
Word this morning is that everything is okay and he should be going home from the hospital soon.
From Jerrie (9/13/12):
Good morning Greg good to hear that you had a good day for traveling and it was a beautiful fall day hope the weather will be good on Sunday because I will have 6 of my grandchildren in my 2 bedroom house plus 7 adults we are doing birthdays for september and one grandson birthday was in june but we didnt want him to feel left out but we are doing an easy dinner the kids order grandma to fix spaget garlic bread and salad and something to drink since mom has passed on we are now havinr them at my house sometimes a lot of work but I wouldnt have it any other way and we are getting hungry for a turkey dinner lol have a good weekend
Remember, Jerrie…it is still summer! Heh. It certainly feels more like fall though! Sunday looks fantastic, weather-wise. My guess is your celebration will be spectacular!
From Faye (9/13/12):
Strong-willed? Hmm...at least you didn't call me "dense" again.
Anywho, I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that I for one, really appreciate what you do. I don't know too many people that are as dedicated and loyal as you are. You are very dedicated to WAND and your viewers. I appreciate your 2am schedule even more after doing it yesterday with you. I am not sure how you do it, but I am glad that you do!
To the Gregorians - I see the things behind the scenes whenever he interacts with you on Facebook, Twitter, email, or in the community. Let me tell you that he absolutely lives for the interaction with you. :o) For example, in Chandlerville, we met a lovely lady named Ashley that adored Greg and watched him every morning. He wanted to make sure to get a picture with her before he left. Also, in every single town we drove through, he was telling me the little particulars weather-wise that he knew and genuinely commented that he was glad that he had been through the towns so that he can put the place with the name. Greg, you are truly an exceptional, amazing weatherman (and person...and husband) and I just thought you should know. :o)
Awfully nice words, Love…but you're going to blow my cover! With this new morning crew setup I am supposed to be the old, curmudgeonly, cranky dude that has to keep these kids in line. If you go saying nice things about me…
Lemme just say that it is wonderful to have someone that is so hot support me the way you do. I don't recall ever being this happy.
So on that sappy note…that's it for this week! If you're at the Special Olympics Family Festival in Mattoon tomorrow come over and say hello. I will be running around hanging out the entire day…should be a GREAT time!
Yesterday morning my Beautiful Bride Faye came to work with me. We had a visitation to go to in Chandlerville, Illinois yesterday afternoon. Chandlerville is northwest of Springfield which puts it on the other side of Decatur compared to Mattoon. So the easiest and most efficient way to get there yesterday was to make Faye wake up at 1:30 yesterday morning and come in to work with me! For the record it was her idea. 1) I am not a taskmaster-type husband, and 2) My guess is she wouldn't be with me if I were. She is a VERY strong-willed woman. (That's a compliment, Love!)
Anyhoo…it was the first time in Chandlerville for either of us. It's a happy little hamlet of about 700 people about 20 miles north of Jacksonville. To be honest I think it was the first time I had ever been through Jacksonville. I did not realize that it is basically the same size as Mattoon. We also went through Virginia and Ashland and all of these places where I have been covering severe weather for years but had never actually been. So aside from the reason we had to go there we really had a good time on the road.
So I am watching Monday Night Raw yesterday after work like I do most every Tuesday. I go to bed before the show starts so I DVR it to watch later. And of course if you've read this blog long you know that I am a lifelong fan of pro wrestling. SO it has become part of my Tuesday routine. Yesterday's show, however, was nothing close to routine.
One of the announcers on the show is a wrestling legend. His name is Jerry "The King" Lawler and he made his bones in Memphis. He ran a territory there for decades. Jerry is the one that did some stuff with comedian Andy Kauffman back in the day that ended up with him slapping Andy on the David Letterman show. And now he does "color commentary" on Raw.
During the broadcast Monday night Jerry had a heart attack. He slumped forward in his chair for a minute and medical personnel that are always at ringside went over to him. Then Jerry passed out and the place went hectic. Keep in mind that this is happening on live TV. The WWE decided to keep the show going while the medical people worked on Jerry. Eventually they stretchered him to the back where CPR was administered. He was dead overall for about 20 minutes before they got him to the hospital. They've put in 3 stents and induced unconsciousness. Last night they did some brain tests to see if there is damage from being dead for 20 minutes…but results won't be in until this morning. It's actually a very serious situation.
What struck me, though, was the work of his broadcast partner, Michael Cole. He had to continue with the broadcast while he partner, and friend in real life, was on the ground next to him having a heart attack. Overall Cole did a pretty good job. But once they go The King to the back and realized what was going on the people running the show decided that out of respect for him they would not do commentary the rest of the night. So the matches went on without commentary. And then once in a while Cole would come on air to give updates on Jerry's condition.
It actually reminded me a bit of what happened to my family a few years ago. During a morning newscast I received a call from someone that NEVER calls me early in the morning. One of my parents was having a heart attack. They were on the way to the hospital. I was here doing the weather for a couple more hours and one of my parents was in the back of an ambulance. Fortunately in my case I got to speak on the phone with that parent at the time and was told that everything was okay. So I stuck around to finish the news and left work at the earliest chance. I later found out that the situation was more serious than I was told by my parent! But I had to hold it together enough to do my job…and it was the hardest day of work I've ever had.
So having been there myself it was odd to watch someone else have to go through it. And for what it is worth I thought Michael Cole did a Hell of a job, all things considered.
Here we are on another 9/11. It has been 11 years since the World Trade Center towers were brought down. Every year now is spent in remembrance of that horrific morning on that horrific day. And much like the assassinations of JFK and MLK and the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion…most of us will always remember where we were when the first tower started to collapse.
Obviously that morning is still fresh in my mind and I've described it on this blog the last year or two on this date. But what I am thinking about this morning happened a few weeks after 9/11. I was living in Springfield at the time finishing up my degree at UIS. I had found a nice group of friends at that point and we went out in Springfield quite a bit together.
One Friday night we got together at the former Jake & Elwood's pizza joint/bar that was on the west side of town. One of my friends had a friend in town that was visiting from New York. I believe she worked for Aramark and her office was in Tower 2, although I could be wrong about that. Wherever she worked the offices were in Tower 2, though. She described the events of her morning on 9/11/01.
It was a usual morning for this woman…until she was about to leave her house. Usually she would get to work around 8:30 Eastern time. But on this morning she felt a little more hungry than usual. So she decided she would be late for work so she could have a bowl of cereal. Her breakfast took about 15 minutes which would get her to work around 8:45 that morning. So she cleaned up and headed out her apartment door.
As she was approaching her office's block she looked up in time to see the first plane hit the first tower. I'll never forget the hollow look in her eyes as she told this story. You could tell her mind still had not comprehended the immenseness of what she had seen. And frankly I'm not sure how you would ever get your head around something like that.
Wow! Could you believe the weather we had this weekend? We got some rain Friday into Friday night, which we still need. And then the rest of the weekend was just fantastic. Basically high pressure has set up in our region and it is going to keep up fairly clear for most of the week. Friday into Friday night we may see some rain. And then the weekend will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower to middle 70's!
Saturday I will be at Lake Land College all day long celebrating athletic achievement with hundreds of good people. The Special Olympics Family Festival starts early Saturday morning. It is the largest event of its kind in the world and I am very much honored to be the Special Guest for the event. I get to walk the Olympians through their Oath and then hang out all day being inspired by champions. Some of these people face great challenges in their lives…yet find it in themselves to train hard and perform at these Olympic Games. It really takes the wind out of those of us that like to complain about our own situations! I've been looking forward to this event for months now and I don't mind saying I have jittery butterflies.
We're in for another round of storms today. And like the other day there is potential for nasty weather. The biggest concern right now with storms today is the possibility for strong, damaging wind. We might also get some hail today, as well. But the good news with the storms today is that there is also potential for a decent amount of rain! Some locations could get over an inch.
Keep in mind this will still not break the drought, even with the rain we've had this past week. But man it is certainly a good start. If we could just have one round of rain like this a week for a while we would go a long way to helping our dry situation.
From Jerrie (9/5/12):
Good morning Greg glad to see that you are happy it shows in your work glad to see that you got married my computer was down and now that im back up and running glad to see a crew that works well together glad to see the rain we need it and a lot more keep up the good work .also keep up the guess the questions and any other games done on the morning crew may God keep you all safe in your travels jerrie
Glad you got your computer situation squared away, Jerrie! It's good to have you back on the blog. And thanks for the kind words…
That's it for this week! Enjoy the rain today and be safe!!
It's always nice to come in to work in the morning and see what I put on the blog the morning before. It's even better when you read it and realize just how wrong you were the morning before! Yesterday of course I mentioned that most of our storms should happen in the afternoon. Well…in case you weren't in the area yesterday…the storm fired through mid-morning and got out of hand in a hurry!
Yesterday late morning I was talking on the phone with JC. We're friends outside of work and talk occasionally about work stuff. Both of us were fairly surprised at how early yesterday's storms cranked up. As a matter of fact…most everything I looked at yesterday morning indicated that the storms would hold off until the afternoon. But of course the storms cranked up in the morning and that set the tone for the rest of the day. And that tone basically meant that everything I forecast yesterday morning was a complete bust!
It happens sometimes. Despite the amazing advances in meteorological technology in the past decade or so this game is still very tough to win sometimes. We are dealing with fairly unpredictable circumstances sometimes. And yesterday that unpredictability won. So we come back today, try to learn what we can from yesterday, and move forward.
We were sitting down to eat yesterday afternoon when we heard a loud crack of thunder. I knew there was a slim chance we could have a storm or two in the entire area. But being completely honest it surprised me a bit. So I went to the sun porch on the front of the house and looked out the windows. In front of me was a very large, dark storm. It wasn't raining on us…but I knew it was close and I knew someone was getting a lot of rain.
My friend in rural Charleston, almost like clockwork, sent me a text to say it was raining cats and dogs at his place. He sent me a picture showing that it was coming down very well. So I posted on my Facebook that there was a storm close by…and watched the comments roll in from others in the vicinity that knew the storm was there. And then there were comments from some that said Findlay had so much rain that some games got cancelled yesterday.
When I looked at the stats this morning I saw that the airport in Mattoon received almost a full inch of rain! Certainly good news at a time when we still need a lot of moisture.
There could be more storms through the area today, especially this afternoon. Even as I type this there are storms cranking just to our northwest. Knox and Stark counties are under a severe thunderstorm warning. The threat for severe weather is "slight" for us…but we could get some strong wind and/or large hail with any storms today. Be mindful of what it happening in your area…and we will do what we always do when the threat of severe weather is in your area. Stay tuned!
-Can I just say that I am having a lot of fun doing these radio weather hits with Bob Murray?? I've already mentioned the importance of Bob in my career. And while at times I considered it to be rocky because I was young and immature and it was Bob's job to correct me…it has been fantastic to "reconnect" with him during these radio hits. To be honest…it feels like a lot of fun while we're recording stuff. But I think the best part has been the conversations we've had before we get going!
-This might be a hard-segue…but I spent some time on my way to work this morning listening to a fascinating discussion on medical marijuana. If you've read this blog long you already know where I stand on marijuana. I think it is ridiculous that it is still illegal. And I think it is a travesty that there are people in this country suffering from illnesses like cancer and AIDS that could benefit from medical marijuana but can't because our country is run by corporations.
I don't even smoke marijuana, although I have in the past. And I certainly know a LOT of people that do currently smoke. There is so much misinformation about the drug out there from people that have never even tried it. My hope is that it becomes at least decriminalized. But sadly I have to think that it won't turn out that way until some pharmaceutical company finds a way to make it their own.