My apologies again...but I'm out of time to do the blog this morning. Let's be honest...this blog has sucked lately. And frankly I am thinking about making some changes. Part of the problem that I have is that I try to get the blog done before the newscast because I know that many of you check it first thing in the morning. Well...because of things I have to do before the newscast, combined with people not leaving me alone before the newscast, I just don't seem to have time before the newscast. Even as I type this I've had three people literally in my ear in the past three minutes.
I think what I will do is take the holiday off from blogging. I will think about things over the weekend. And maybe on Monday we will start something new.
Have a great holiday! (Make that FOUR people in my ear now...)
There is a guy that works here behind the scenes named Geno Reynolds. Geno is the graphics guy in the morning. You can see his work every morning during the news. Anytime you see any graphic, outside of weather, that is the work of Geno. He has been here for several years now and is a good dude.
Geno is a movie nut. He loves movies. He loves talking about movies. And a while back the station asked him to start doing a blog on our website about movies. Geno hadn't really done anything in the public forum besides our graphics…but this was just a blog so he agreed to do it. You can find the blog right here…it's called "The Reel Opinion". Until recently it was tough for Geno to get publicity or promotion for his blog because he isn't a regular on-air presence. But several months ago he convinced our news director to let him try doing some movie reviews during the news.
The news director let him give it a try and it went very well. I am proud to say that I am the first person to "interview" Geno for his "Reel Opinion" segment. And now of course they aren't really interviews...they are just segments that Geno does well. As Geno has progressed with his stuff around here the station has been giving him more and more leeway and opportunity. First they started giving him giveaway prizes for his blog and Facebook page. And then they sent him to the Roger Ebert film festival this past year…which was great.
Geno also happens to be a huge comic book fan, pro wrestling fan, and a bit of a sci-fi fan. And for a while he has been going to Comic-Con events in Chicago and meeting some of the actors and wrestlers and stars he's admired since he was a little kid. I've seen his autograph folders…and it rivals Scot England in scope. He's even met Stan Lee…which for a comic book fan is like going to Mecca.
I'm telling you all of this to tell you that this past weekend Geno did something that I would have cut off an arm to do. He went to another event in Chicago and got to interview "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Roddy Piper was a pro wrester that was the biggest villain of the 80's. He had a HUGE feud with Hulk Hogan that included bashing someone over the head with one of Cyndi Lauper's gold records and knocking out Lauper's manager. And over this past weekend Geno got to spend several minutes with Piper to talk about a number of things.
There were a couple of other very cool people that Geno got to interview over the weekend, including Keith David, who starred in "They Live" with Piper. You will be able to see all of these interviews in the coming weeks on Geno's blog and Facebook page. If you are even remotely interested in movies you'll be doing yourself a favor and checking out his blog.
This week is going to feel a little warm to start. High temps to start the week are going to play in the lower to middle 60's. Those aren't "End of the World" type temperatures. They aren't even close to our record highs for this time of year. But it is 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average. Some people get panicky and crazy about the weather and try to tie it to world events. I just want to ease your fears. Granted the world could be ending. But it won't be because we're going to have a warm week.
And then Thanksgiving night we could see some rain. That could happen. What we know will happen is that temperatures will be getting cooler into the weekend. But even with the cooler air moving in we will just be getting closer to normal highs. This weekend we'll be in the upper 40's for highs…which is just about spot on where we typically are this weekend.
In the past couple of days I've been asked about this station's decision to show a security camera video of an accident in Decatur that ended up taking the life of a local woman. To be honest there isn't much I can say about the event. I didn't see the video. But I do work here so it is natural that someone would ask me about it.
I do know that we have a careful process for issues like this. The person at the top of that decision-making chart is our news director. While I haven't always been able to say this in the past…I can confidently say that our current news director is a thoughtful dude and very careful about the decisions he makes. I've been told that with this current issue it was the news director's call to show the video. And it was the news director's call to stop showing the video.
Aside from that there isn't much else I know or can say about the situation. Any time a family member is involved with an accident like this it is obviously a very emotional situation. And when that accident ends up in the public forum, like on a television newscast, it can intensify the emotions surrounding the accident. (And I do say this from experience as it has happened to me, too.)
From Don (11/12/12):
Hey Greg, what ever happened to the
Mars rover, Curiosity? I haven't heard anything since it was playing with rocks in a 'dry river bed'
Great question, Don. I haven't heard much about the rover lately, either. For those interested you can check the NASA website. I check it out once in a while just to see what they have happening…and you can get the occasional rover update there, too.
That's it for this week! Have a great weekend. The weather through the holiday next week is going to be very dry…but otherwise fantastic! Highs should get to around 60 for Thanksgiving…
Yesterday we ran a story about a local church-based food pantry that turned down a possible food and monetary donation from an adult book store. The decision was based on the obvious moral conflict of accepting a donation from a group that completely goes against what the pantry believes. The issue certainly raises many questions. Should it matter where the food comes from if it is going to help people that need it? Is a group responsible for making sure all donations come from "pure" sources?
On my work Facebook page I asked people how it made them feel, or what they thought about the issue. The thread became one of the more commented on threads in the history of that Facebook page. And there were many very good points made from both sides of the issue. I stayed out of the argument and only kind of moderated things when it started to get too heated. But for the most part I just asked the question and then stayed out of it.
But one question that was not brought up was one that made me curious. How did we even hear about the situation? Most of our news stories either come from press releases or "tips" from people involved in a situation. We don't just automatically know what is happening everywhere all the time. Someone has to let us know what is up. And in the case of the donation someone had to let us know what happened. How else would we have known that the situation ever happened?
I don't know who tipped us off. Was it the church? I wouldn't think the church/food bank would tell us that they had turned down the donation. Why would they open up that can? So was it the adult book store? I could very much see where the person that runs the store would feel snubbed and angry and want to let people know what happened. If that were the case…would it maybe change your opinion about what happened?
Have you heard of this recent "movement" towards secession in some states?? Apparently hundreds of thousands of people now have signed petitions in various states to secede from the Union. These people are apparently unhappy with the results of our recent election and have actually put their names on petitions to secede from the United States of America.
Is there a more idiotic thing a person could do in regards to politics?? Most politicians from both sides of the aisle have basically said it is a stupid idea. And I think most people consider it to be nothing more than a gesture of protest. But think about those people that actually put their name on a petition…which is public. Don't you think that the government now has them on their very own list? At some point down the road I should think some of these people may regret signing those petitions.
That point aside…I'm not even sure this website has enough memory to even hold this blog if I took the space to spell out how many different ways secession is a stupid idea. So I won't break it down in that way. But just a couple of reasons off the top of my head include the shear unpatriotic concept behind seceding, the loss of federal money from no longer being a part of the U.S., and of course walking away from the military support of the best military in the world.
At this point if you aren't happy with the results of the last election I understand. I haven't always been happy with elections. But cripes! Man up, grow up, and move forward.
One week ago today voters in Colorado and Washington State decided to decriminalize marijuana. I'm not sure what the difference between decriminalizing it and making it legal is…but that doesn't really matter I suppose. What does matter is that we now have two states in our country that will serve as an interesting experiment in the "War on Drugs". Now we can observe these two states for a while and see how it goes.
I've posted on this blog before that I thought we should legalize pot. It's not because I myself currently smoke pot. It's because I see pot as actually being safer for the human body than alcohol…which is legal. I think legalizing pot takes a major problem off the table as well, and that is illegal pot trade. Furthermore if properly done the government can tax the sale of weed…which would bring in major bucks.
I'm happy that we now have two states to serve as a "test run". Colorado was one of the first states to get behind the idea of making booze legal again. And now once again Colorado is in the forefront of the discussion about marijuana. If only Illinois could be so forward thinking. Imagine how much better shape the state budget might be in this state if we were taxing the sale of marijuana. Let's be honest, Central Illinois. You can't swing a dead cat in this part of the state without hitting someone that is stoned. You can't tell me the state wouldn't make loads of money by taxing pot sales...
Apologies...but no time to blog this morning. Computer issues...AGAIN.
Here is a quote I heard early this morning:
"I'll betcha my prostate is as big as a football."
I won't tell you who said it but I am still laughing about it right now and I heard it about 20 minutes ago. It's just something all men have to look forward to as we get older…the aging prostate.
From David (11/5/12:
My Dad told me, when I turned 18, I don't care who you vote for, as long as you vote. I don't know that I've missed a single election, even the local elections, in 30 years. I was an election judge for several years, back home. As they say in Chicago, vote early, vote often. LOL
That's an awesome legacy your father passed down to you, David! I can't say I've voted in all elections since I was old enough. I've moved a few times around elections and was ineligible. But when I've been able to I've hit the polls. It's terribly important!
From Jill (11/6/12):
I had never really thought about the energy exchange between people until a friend of mine casually brought it up in conversation. She told me she never hesitates to answer the phone when I call and I thought that was an odd comment not thinking it was actually a compliment. She told me to pay more attention to the way I feel when I see the callers name appear on my ringing phone. I guess I've always known on some level who the energy takers in my life are, but ever since that conversation with my good buddy occurred, I almost always think of it before I answer (or don't answer) the phone. Now maybe you will think of this too! It maybe pertains more to when an old or distant friend calls to catch up, but there are also people who call daily where I sigh and let it go to voicemail depending on how much energy i have in that point of the day. If an energy stealer calls me in the morning its 50/50 that I will answer, after 4pm forget about it haha!
That's an interesting point you raise about answering the phone, Jill. I can't say that I am always around my phone and see every call. But with cell phones always being attached to most people these days it does make you wonder why you get someone's voicemail so much!
I really don't know what happens to us after we die. But my guess is if there is an afterlife it will have lessons for us about how little we know when it comes to how attached we really are to one another in this realm. I believe there is an undeniable connection between all living things. I'm not saying midi-chlorians really exist, but there is something common running through all of us. (Only TRUE Star Wars fans will get the midi-chlorians reference!)
From Nannette (11/6/12):
I voted 10 days ago and I liked going in early everyone was at ease and real nice.As for energy giver's and taker's I'm a giver and enjoy it. I've been around a lot of taker's and their JUST SAD! I got a saying" I woke up and was breathing so my day is going to be a good one". I don't see why it is so hard for some to just smile say hi. Being cordial and polite is found far and few, so I'll keep smiling and saying hi it always keep them wondering what I'm up to.
Good for you, Nannette. You keep on keeping on! Great outlook…
From Paula (11/8/12):
Oh how true your statements are. Just doesn't include the election. A lot of misconceptions regarding the LINK card is just one of the favorites I have seen on Fb lately. People need to think before they speak & research things. We were taught to love one another. It seems that some have went back to being children.
I will say this much, Paula…this past election cycle was very good for my social media numbers! Sometimes you just set it up on a tee and watch the action…
From Terry (11/8/12):
I read where becoming a Citizen of Canada is not that easy and would not be a good move for anyone. You can only stay there for 6 months and then you have to get something similar to a green card. They require that you either speak English or French, you have steady employment, and no criminal record. It would take 4 years before you can apply for citizenship. Taxes are higher and once you enter Canada you have a zero credit rating, so it would be very hard to buy a house or auto, so although some of us are upset with the election, relocating to Canada would be a bad idea. Also if you don't like hockey you would have to learn to love it. So we might as well stay where we are at and survive the best we can.
Good points, Terry! My guess is most people aren't seriously considering moving to another country. It's just a way to vent. But hopefully down the road a ways people will realize how ridiculous and childish it sounds to say you're leaving the country because of an election that didn't go your way.
From Don (11/9/12):
Regarding the post-election Facebook comments: It is truly unbelievable how many do not understand how our democracy works. The president is not king as some seem to think and if they would only read history of our country, they would realize the sky is not falling.
Very true, Don. This is the same mentality that makes people fall into all of the Doomsday scenarios, like the Mayan calendar stuff. Why are we so eager for the end of the world?
That's it for this week! Enjoy the weather this weekend. Could be the last time we get close to 70 degrees for a while…
I can't tell if we are living in scary times, or if social media has just given EVERYONE a voice in the world…which makes it seem scarier than it really is. But yesterday was an interesting day on my Facebook work page. I asked how people were feeling post-election. I asked people to be respectful and civil, and for the most part they were. But the stuff that some people believe to be true is odd sometimes.
It has been mentioned on this blog a few times during this last campaign that I wasn't thrilled with either candidate. I believe I also mentioned that I would likely vote for President Obama, and that is what ended up happening. And I also bemoaned the fact that I didn't feel like either choice was an inspirational leader like Presidents Clinton or Reagan. But it is what it is, as they say. We had our choice and the country made the choice. And now everyone's job is to get behind that choice so we can get to healing the wounds in our country.
But then enter Facebook. Before Facebook people's complaining had to be done to much smaller audiences either in person, over the phone, or even texting/emailing. But with FB now you can complain to hundreds or even thousands of people at the same time. While that may be helpful to some people…it certainly highlights the people that don't quite know what the heck they are talking about.
As an example…I saw more than a few people over the course of the day complain that we had just re-elected a Socialist President. And then in the next sentence they would say they were thinking about moving to Canada! If you fail to see the scariness or humor in that Google "Canadian form of government" and see what comes up. Now granted…Canada is not a Socialist government. But they certainly have more Socialist programs than we do, not the least of which is the healthcare system there.
Another Presidential election down…and according to my calculations the next one starts tomorrow. Let's hope we really can get back to healing this country and get some important things done.
We've got some lingering light rain and drizzle this morning. Into the afternoon things will start drying out and clearing up a little bit. And then tomorrow we should start warming up a bit. The weekend is looking pretty good temperature-wise. But it will be fairly windy and Sunday is going to see more rain.
That's it for this morning! I've had some computer issues again. It seems the TRS-80 I use here at work doesn't want to operate well…
There are people in this world that are energy givers. And there are people in this world that are energy takers. Have you ever noticed the energy that passes between people when they interact? I am not becoming a mystic or anything. But the next time you have an interaction with someone or observe an interaction between two people pay attention to their body language and overall mood. Not always…but sometimes you can see a noticeable energy transfer between people.
An energy giver is someone that always leaves people feeling better about themselves. You can literally feel their positive vibe and those people are usually the most fun to be around. As an example…Mark Rivera is an energy giver. I am convinced it is because he is only 12 years old (joking) and has more energy than anything in the universe outside of the sun. But a positivity exudes from the kid and you can't help but be impacted by it when you talk to him. When he first joined us in the morning I tried like Hell to dislike him. But alas…he has ended up being a person I would call "friend".
Energy takers usually leave people feeling drained. They are always seeking out the givers and taking from them. Mostly these people are negative and things in their life are never quite how they want them to be. Energy takers exhaust me. And I usually end up resenting the people that continually drain energy.
I think most people understand what I am talking about here. But what I have begun to learn recently is that we can have an impact on whether we are energy takers or energy givers. Being happy is a choice. Being positive is a choice. I sometimes play the cranky old dude during the news because, frankly, someone has to with these "kids" running around here. But outside of work I try to be as positive about things as I can. That is a personal choice I make. I try to be an energy giver…until I get drained from the takers that we all have in our life.
What's my point? I am not sure I have one. It's just something I was thinking about on my way to work this morning. I know sometimes we all take more energy than we give. That is normal. And that is natural. But I try to give far more than I take in the long run. How about you? Are you an energy taker or an energy giver? Hit the feedback section below if you care to be heard on the subject.
Tomorrow is Election Day! I am always reminded during elections how easy it is to vote in this country. It's easy to forget that in other countries casting your vote could get you killed. But here all you have to do is register and go to the polls. And yet we still routinely have poor turnout.
This time around we even did early voting. Did anyone try this? I know a few people that did and they said it was pretty quick and easy. I have no idea why we started early voting. Was it in the hopes that it would increase voter turnout?
Anyhoo…I won't get all preachy and tell you to cast your vote. But I will remind you that tomorrow is the day to do it if you are so inclined! Just enjoy the thought that no one is likely to shoot at you for casting your vote…
I received an interesting message this morning on my work Facebook page. Occasionally I'm sure most of us get solicitations of all kinds on our various email accounts and social media accounts. Here was this morning's:
My name is Tessy.I saw your profile today and I became interested in you, and I will also want to know more about you, I want you to send mail to my email so I can give you my picture for you to know whom am. I think we can move from here.I am waiting for your mail to my email address (Remember the distance or color does not matter but good friendship matters a lot in life)Please reply me with my email address here (email@example.com) I look forward to hear from you soon,Yours Tessy Goodwill.
Tessy Goodwill?? Great name! But obviously "she" won't get a response from me…
From Don (11/2/12):
This year's election campaign has really gone over the top in being downright crazy.
especially the state races. I can't understand why a candidate would stoop so low as to say things so outrageous that any thinking person would know that they are not true. My idea of the campaign ad would be. "Hey, I am a candidate for senate (or whatever) and if you vote for me, I'll do the best that I can" Period and on story.
The problem is that negative ads work. And of course that means the main problem once again lies with We the People. If we would stop buying that crap then the politicians would react. If no one voted for anyone that went negative in a campaign then they would stop doing negative campaigns. But as it stands if your opponent goes negative you have to go negative…because going negative works.
Yep. I'm saying it. The average American citizen is the biggest "mark" there is.
--Today is my sweet little sister's birthday! Happy birthday, Lisa…
--This weekend is the time to set your clocks back one hour. So Sunday morning at 2 becomes Sunday morning at 1 again. Fall back! Plus…it is a great time to change out the batteries in things like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
--Has anyone else had enough of the political ads yet? I know we go through this every couple of years. And of course it is worse every four years during the Presidential elections. But some of these races this year have been pretty harsh. It makes me not want to vote for anyone that is running a dirty race. I don't think the nasty elections are good for the country for the primary reason that it tends to make good people not want to run. I mean…what decent person wants to run for office when their opponent will dig up some stupid thing that you did back in high school? Who wants to put his or her family through that kind of thing? I certainly wouldn't be up for it.
People talked at the beginning of this Presidential election about New Jersey governor Chris Christie running. But what I have seen from him this week makes me think he is too good of a person to run. If you've missed it the past couple of days Christie has been working closely with President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy…and Christie even praised the President for how he has handled this disaster. That is all well and good but Christie has been stumping for the President's opponent.
So when asked about his kind words for the President Christie said he has bigger things to worry about right now than the campaign. What??? Did someone in a campaign for President just show some humanity and logic and admit that people dying in his state takes precedence over his political affiliations? My only remaining question is how long it will take Christie's party members to bash him for not saying the President was messing things up with the Sandy recovery efforts.
Doing the right things for the right reasons will not make Christie popular with his own party. And it may mean that he is too fine a person to run for the high office. But it also means that REAL people like you and me might actually vote for him.