There was a major fog in my brain yesterday. I talked about it a bit during the news and on Facebook yesterday. For some reason it was tough to complete thought. I was late for everything I had to do yesterday. And I even skipped updating the blog. While I try to find positive in every day…I am not sad that yesterday ended! Today I am feeling slightly more with it.
The highlight of my work day yesterday was a visit from Tara Barrett and her daughter Callie! I bought a raffle ticket for a gun raffle from Tara. She had to be in Decatur yesterday anyway…so she dropped my ticket off at the station. Obviously it is always great to see Tara. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't more excited to see Callie! (Tara understands this, too. Actually I think most new parents understand that they soon become second fiddle to the babies!)
I posted a picture of Tara and Callie on my Facebook page yesterday after they left. Some people were asking when Tara is coming back. Well…I wouldn't hold your breath! If you've known Tara for a few years you can just see in her face how happy she is. She gets to sleep in…spend major time with her family…and help her family's farm. It is great to see when someone's life is just clicking the right way. And Tara looks truly happy. It's not my place to say, obviously, but since people have been asking…if I had to put money on it I would bet against Tara coming back to work here. And it seems to me that it is the way it is supposed to be.
That isn't to say she wouldn't make a guest appearance once in a while to fill in for someone. But I would think the longer she stays away the longer the shot would be that she would even fill in. Life tends to move on…
The record high for Springfield today is 64 degrees set five years ago. The record high for Decatur today is 67 degrees set in 1914. Today we expect to have highs around 70…which should shatter several record highs through the area. Also…the record precip for Decatur today is 0.75" set in 1968. Today into tonight we are expecting 1 to 2 inches of rain. So we will likely be breaking precip records through the area as well today. The rain is good…don't get me wrong. We need weeks of rain like that. We just never need it all at once.
In addition to the record setting weather we are also bracing for the possibility for severe thunderstorm level wind gusts. We should get some rain and storms this morning…but it will be the storms this afternoon into this evening that will have the best potential to get nasty on us. Please be very aware of what is going on around you today/tonight as far as the weather is concerned.
And just to throw in a little crazy…tomorrow we could have a little bit of light snow. It's going to be windy again tomorrow. And by the end of the day our temperatures will be dropping into the 20's.
I hope the weekend was good to you! Our weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. Friday night we went to Chicago for something I had to do up there Saturday morning. I won't tell you about it right now…but I may explain a bit later this week. After my business was done in Chicago we drove to Champaign Saturday afternoon. We did some shopping and then ate sushi at our favorite sushi spot up there, Sushi Kame. We came home Saturday night and watched a movie. I fell asleep shortly into the movie but I think Faye enjoyed it! Sunday was a family day. One of my Grandmas had a birthday so we spent some time with her. After that we went to another of my Grandmas to catch up with her. We headed back home and made it just in time for us to have some food and me to go to bed. Whew!
We've been talking a bit about gun control around here for a couple of weeks. Someone sent me a pretty good link to something last week. It is educational and I think anyone involved in the gun debate should watch it. Here is the link. As always you are more than welcome to sound off on the issue. Just hit the feedback section below.
Have you been following this Manti Te'o story? He's the kid from Notre Dame that fell in love with a woman that had leukemia…died…and then the kid finds out that the woman never existed. It is a bizarre story to be sure. And it has transcended the sports world and gained the interest of non-sports fans.
A lot has been said about the situation. It was a hoax…that much we all know. But the question has been how much a part of the hoax was this kid. Yesterday his interview with Katie Couric aired on her daily show that you can watch here on WAND-TV. I will be honest…I have not seen the entire interview. I have heard excerpts from the interview. But from what I can put together this just sounds like a terribly naïve kid that was taken advantage of for someone's idea of a joke.
From Dave (1/18/13):
If the response to the Friday Feedback of 1-18-2013, is any indication, it appears that the blog fans have give up on you just like I did. Really sad. Ole Dave
How fortunate for me that feedback is no indication of how this blog is doing. I check the numbers every morning, Dave. Obviously on my month-long hiatus the numbers went down. But now the numbers are pretty much back to where they were before the hiatus. I appreciate your concern, though.
And…if you've given up on me and this blog why do I keep hearing from you? I hope things are going well with you. But as I have said to many people on this blog…it's just a blog. If something about it is causing you grief just stop reading it. As you know…life is just too short to let something so trivial cause actual grief or stress.
From David (1/21/13):
Very nice tribute to your friend, Greg. I understand exactly what you're saying about connecting with people from our past, on FaceBook. I have some classmates that I talk to all the time, now, that I rarely talked to in person, back in the day. SOrry to hear of your loss.
I appreciate the sentiment, David. But I don't want to take a condolence that isn't really for me. As I said in the blog Donny wasn't my friend or enemy. Any loss I feel from his death would be like the loss you would feel for any human that dies. But I won't lie and say that it has had a profound impact on me. Hope that doesn't sound harsh. I mean he was reportedly a good dude and had many friends. I just wasn't one of them.
Facebook can be fairly amazing sometimes. I will agree with that!
From Kathy (1/24/13):
Even if beyonce didn't sing it live it was still a beautiful rendition of the national anthem.
Either way…live or lip synced…it was still Beyonce singing. And it certainly isn't the first time that the Anthem has been pre-recorded. The version of the song that is widely considered to be the best ever is the one that Whitney Houston did before the Super Bowl several years ago. And you know what? That one was pre-recorded, too. So we are not talking about Janet Jackson Nipple-slip levels of scandal here. For me personally I was just surprised at how well Beyonce faked it.
That's it for this week! Have a great weekend! The roads could be slick for a little while this morning. And the roads could be a mess Sunday morning. Be careful!
I don't have a lot of time this morning. But I wanted to mention that tomorrow is "Feedback Friday". If you would like to sound off about something all you have to do is hit the feedback area below, or send me an email at email@example.com. Your comments will be posted on tomorrow's blog.
Also...you are more than welcome to sign up for email alerts below, too. That way you'll receive an email whenever this blog is updated. Pretty cool.
The other day I spent about 6 hours watching the Presidential Inauguration. I've tried to watch this event every four years regardless of who was elected. It's just a great time to celebrate what this country's government is all about…a peaceful transition of our leadership. Plus it is usually a pretty good show, from an entertainment standpoint. You get some great entertainment and all it costs us is our taxes!
One of the better moments of the event, in my opinion, was Beyonce singing the National Anthem. She is obviously a fantastic singer. She is beautiful. She has a special charisma. And I thought she did a great job singing our nation's song in what I am sure had to be a stressful environment. She was only about 6 feet from the two most powerful men in the world. It was cold. The Anthem is reportedly one of the more difficult songs to sing, especially live. If you botch the Anthem in a public setting it is all anyone talks about for a couple of days. And the acoustics of the venue, from what I've been told, are less than desirable. But Beyonce overcame the odds and knocked it out of the park. Or did she…
Yesterday I saw a report from the Chicago Tribune that said Beyonce lip synced. Now let's be honest…it isn't the first time a super star has faked singing to a recording for an event like this. So it isn't a huge deal. The music was still beautiful. But the way that Beyonce sold it…including pulling out her ear monitor shortly into the song…made me really think she was doing it live. So if she was indeed lip syncing I guess the problem I have with it is that she went through so much theatrics to make us think it was legitimately live. I mean…we get that it was an impossible situation to do live. But don't insult us with all the theatrics to make us think you did it live.
And now of course this morning on the way into work I heard on the radio that it is now unclear whether or not she lip synced. The Marine Corp band has admitted that their music was pre-recorded…which doesn't bother me. But the band is now saying that they can't speak to Beyonce's situation. And as of me typing this blog Beyonce hasn't said anything about it. So there is the possibility that she was actually singing the song live…which puts me back to being VERY impressed with her performance.
Now really…this isn't a huge deal either way. We still have many very real issues in this country, and this one isn't going to make an impact on our country. But for some reason I really would like to know the truth on this one!
We've discussed gun control here on the blog in the past couple of weeks. And of course it is a big issue right now in this country. But as I have thought about that issue lately I've come to realize that whether or not private citizens can own guns doesn't really matter. The biggest fear of groups like the NRA seems to be private citizens having no way to fight a tyrannical government. Well…do you think private citizens or even a militia could be better armed than the US military that we would be fighting if "the revolution" ever happens? Of course citizens will never be better armed than a government military. So to me the battle over the Second Amendment has become pointless.
To me…and this is just my opinion at the moment…the far greater threat to the "American way of life" is the fact that our very own government keeps in place a law that allows for indefinite tracking and STORAGE of information regarding anything that anyone does online. Think about that for a minute. Anything you do online is being tracked and stored somewhere…without probable cause…and kept indefinitely. That means if you happen to stumble on a website that has an article on it that speaks out about our government it is kept on record. Of course that may not be a big deal right now. But what happens if our government pushes closer to being a totalitarian state? You could be jailed for reading an article like that.
What happens if a religious group "takes over" our government, either by being elected or political coup? Would you then be jailed for visiting a religious site that disagreed with those in power?
The potential for those scenarios scares me a lot more than a government trying to take guns out of my home. In a war against the US military, for instance, I don't think my shotgun is going to win the day. I am much more concerned about what happens to the information being compiled about me right now in some government database. To me that is where this Constitutional Rights argument should be. But instead most people are distracted by a conversation about guns.
If you have any thoughts on this matter you are more than welcome to sound off here. Just hit the feedback section below or send me an email with "Blog" on the subject line.
Friday night a man that I went to high school with died. He had been battling cancer for quite a while and actually beat it. But he had complications from the chemotherapy and it was actually the cure for the cancer that ended up killing him. His name was Donny Howell.
Donny and I were not friends. We weren't enemies, either. I've spoken to him maybe a handful of times in person over our respective 40 years on this planet. In high school we'd occasionally give each other the "dude nod" that you would give to someone that would signify that there was no reason not to like one another. I guess I would call Donny "a guy I know" but don't really talk to much.
What has struck me about Donny dying, aside from the usual "he died far too young", etc…is the impact of social media. A couple of years ago Donny and I became Facebook friends. And honestly we interacted more on Facebook than we ever did in person. For whatever reason I only saw him a couple of times in person since we graduated high school. We just lived in different worlds. But on Facebook we would occasionally comment on one another's posts and have a little interaction now and then. So I knew him better from Facebook than from "knowing" him in high school.
I did actually bump into him at a bar in Mattoon several months ago. It was shortly before his major battles with cancer were to begin. He gave me a big smile, I assume because he watched us most every morning. We shook hands and greeted one another. And then he spent a few minutes telling me about his daughter. Apparently Donny found himself in some trouble after we got out of high school. But in recent years he had made being a great father his number one priority. And from what he was telling me that night at the bar he was exceeding that goal.
After that meeting at the bar I started paying attention to Donny on Facebook. And sure enough most of what he would post about had to do with his daughter. I had commented a few times on his posts and pictures of him and his daughter that he really seemed to be a great father and looked happy with his kid. It was very cool to see someone so much into family the way he appeared to be.
In the past few days his Facebook page has exploded with people leaving memorials, etc, and talking about what a good person he was. It was always odd to me to look at someone's Facebook page that had recently died and see the Timeline fill up with messages of loss and grief. Frankly it seemed odd to me that a person would post on a deceased person's Facebook page simply because the deceased won't be reading it. But over the weekend as I was reading some of the messages left for Donny it occurred to me that Facebook allows for a united, public grieving process that wasn't really available to us before social media. Before there were only a few moments at a visitation or a wake or a funeral where people would come together and grieve as a group. But now social media allows for that to happen 24/7 after someone moves on to wherever we go next. I wonder what the long term emotional impacts could be from that. My guess is someone someday will do a study on it. And from what I can tell it will have a positive impact on how we cope with real loss in our lives.
But anyway…back to Donny…while I may not have been greatly impacted myself by his life, apparently this was a man that left quite a mark. If the main point to our existence is to be here for one another then at some point Donny Howell figured that out. The number of people and the very large outpouring of grief on Facebook shows what an impact he made. I think most people can only hope to have such an impact when their time is through. And for Donny that time came far too early. I'm left wishing I knew him better.
Right off the bat I will say that I never looked up to Lance Armstrong as a hero. I don't put anyone that is in the public spotlight on a different pedestal than anyone else. And I don't see "celebrities" as role models. Sure…I am a fan of some people's work. But I don't worship at the altar of the very well known. So Lance Armstrong's astonishing fall from grace doesn't impact me personally.
People that are very well known are just people that happen to be well known. And because of that they have the same flaws and issues that we all have. Some are basically good people and some are basically evil people capable of terrible things. But because they live large chunks of their lives in front of the rest of us they become idolized by some people. And then when those famous people end up getting into trouble the people that worshipped them feel betrayed.
Well I am here telling the worshippers to put their energy into someone local that might be more deserving, like a cop or a doctor or a teacher. But you know what? Given time those people can disappoint you, too…because we are all human and we all do stupid stuff sometimes.
Just because you see someone a lot on a little box, or these days a big screen, in your home doesn't mean they are any different than you. So be careful when you give them more admiration than you would someone you actually know.
Yeah…that sounds kind of preachy, doesn't it? Sorry about that. But it is completely true. I'm never surprised or hurt when someone like Lance Armstrong is shown to be terribly flawed. All of us in some way or another is terribly flawed.
From David (1/17/13):
I believe it was Mark Twain that said "Let your vocation be like your vacation" or something along those lines. Best of luck with her new venture.
Mark Twain was a pretty smart dude.
That is it for this week! Have a great weekend!
I want to take a moment and brag on my wife. About a year ago she was working a job that made her miserable. She loved the work and the people that she worked with day in and day out. But her employer was just lousy. It's a temp agency and she worked for them managing one of their bigger accounts. Her job involved managing at least dozens of people in a factory atmosphere.
It was an employment agency…which is obviously a "people industry"…but the people that run the company apparently don't know much about people. I won't bore you with details but basically it isn't a very well run place and the company doesn't really respect people. So while she loved the duties of her job and very much loved her client…the people that were her bosses made her miserable. It's a common story, really. I mean…it's a lucky person that loves his/her employer, right?
So last year we made arrangements that made it possible to leave this lousy place. She went to work for her parents, whose business happened to need help at the time. It all worked out perfectly. She was no longer under the thumb of bad employers. Her parents were getting some much needed help with their business. And she was pretty happy to go to work every day. Meanwhile she has been working on a second degree.
But the entire time her dream was to go to work for the client she serviced while working for the crappy temp agency. Late last year that dream came true. She started with the old client on New Year's Eve and has been in training for her new job ever since. She is thrilled! And this new company really knows how to treat its employees. As a matter of fact…they were just listed in a Forbes list of best 100 companies to work for in this country.
It's just so nice to see her happy and excited to go to work every morning. I can't tell you how unhappy she used to be when she would come home after working all day for bad employers. It's amazing what a difference it makes. And I will never understand why more employers don't understand that happy employees work better and are more productive.
The other day someone sent me an email.
I like the new Weather Page, all of it is right there for anyone.
So naturally I had to check out our "new" webpage. Sure enough it turns out we are making some changes at wandtv.com. Some people around here have known about the reboot for weeks. I found out for sure yesterday when I was speaking with our webpage person about something completely unrelated and she off-handedly mentioned that she would get to something after we re-launched the new website. Funny how we find things out sometimes.
So while you are here at the blog please take a moment and look around the website. I have no idea what the planned changes entail. My guess is I will find out as you are finding out…which is fine. Frankly I've thought our website could use a redesign for quite a while so to me at this point any attempt at change is a good one!
Also while you are at the blog…now that I am back to blogging most days…you might think about signing up for email alerts at the bottom of this page. Then when I update the blog you'll get an email to let you know.
I've long said that I considered John Lennon to be my favorite Beatle. And I've long said that I've been a Beatles fan my entire life. Mom used to listen to them at home and in the car and something about that group has always spoken to me. Whether it was the simplistic tones from their "mop top" days or the more thoughtful intonations from the "drug years"…the Beatles have always been my favorite. And John was my favorite among the favorite.
But if John Lennon was my favorite Beatle, George Harrison was the Beatle that I found most interesting. George was always there kind of in the shadows in the Beatles' early years. He was the steady guitar player…always there and always producing, but rarely in the spotlight. In the Beatles' later years as a group George finally started to emerge and show who he was. As it turns out he was a tremendous musician and fantastic songwriter. And the spiritual side of George is always what fascinated me most. He was the Beatle that really began the journey into "mysticism".
There is a documentary on George Harrison that has been out for a while now. It was done by Martin Scorsese. The name of the film is "George Harrison: Living in the Material World". It is simply the very best musical documentary I have ever seen. Scorsese manages to capture a great deal of the essence of George Harrison. Any fan of the Beatles or anyone with an appreciation for life, love, or death, should probably watch the film. Pack a bag, though. It's a long one. But well worth it.
I missed work for a couple of days last week because of the flu that has been going around. I feel a bit better this week, although I am still fairly week and low-energy. But I am not dealing with a fever any longer and am past the point of spreading the stuff around. Because I missed time last week I didn't get the chance to do "Feedback Friday"! So before the feedback gets too backed up and stacked up I figured I would go through some of it this morning.
From John (1/7/13):
Glad to have you back Greg! I for one have sorely missed the blog! I can understand a need to back off and take a breather, to realign onesself so to say...lol
Thanks for understanding, John! I do feel a little better aligned these days.
From Jim (1/9/13):
Welcome back to your blog Trumbold.
Regarding our gun laws, I also own three firearms... two which I inherited, plus a new .22 caliber rifle that I just might use for squirrel hunting one of these days: The government of course knows about my new gun, because they stuck their noses into MY business instead of their own. These fools obviously can't even do their own damn jobs, especially in the State of Illinois or at the Federal levels.
Our second amendment rights were established by very wise American patriots long before my birth, and if these new liberals ever demand my guns they'll get them from ME bullets first! As to AR-15 rifles… I know MANY people who have them, and I support their rights to own them. I just don't need one, and I have very little interest in being so well armed: The second amendment was in fact written to protect Americans from any tyrannical governments, rather than vicious animals. (not that there's much difference)
Every time there is a mass killing, several of the liberals start campaigning to undo the Bill of Rights, and confiscate our perfectly LEGAL guns. Chicago has the strictest gun laws of all, as well as the highest murder rate. It REALLY doesn't take a rocket scientist to do simple arithmetic does it? Hammers and knives kill more people than legal guns, not to mention drugs, cars, and fools in Washington DC sending our boys and girls off to futile wars. I've owned guns most all my life, and I've killed fewer people than Senator Ted Kennedy's car.
Yeah… a few of your wimpy "Gregorians" will soon accuse me of all sorts of utter nonsense again, but that never bothers me in the least. I remain "unarmed" because I never have a loaded gun in my truck or on myself. I made my first gun purchase when I was 9 years old in Flora, Illinois. I rode that rifle home on my bicycle handlebars, with 5 boxes of .22 shells in my pocket. NOBODY in town complained about me back then: My Dad had taught me all about gun safety, and most of us young boys back in 1958 had guns on our bikes. Today there would be a flood of panicked calls to 911.
This all seems like a moot point to me because the world no longer makes much sense to me. Kids now usually stay indoors playing violent games with blood on their screens, or they are on their cell phones and computer monitors. I just worked as a kid (like my sons) and saved my money to buy my very own rifle or whatever I wanted. Increased "Gun Controls" do nothing but hasten AR-15 sales, and they do ZERO to diminish the crime rate.
If you want a LOT more of this tyranny, just vote for the liberals again. Myself… I am a true blooded American veteran who would never hurt a soul… not even Trumbold. <grin>
Hi, Jim. I don't disagree much. What you say about kids spending most of their time inside has a lot of weight to it. Even my generation spent more time outside than in. I'm a video game player. I also support anyone's right to make any kind of video game they want. But even I question the mental health impact of a kid that plays violent games for hours on end day after day without much parental support.
My last gun purchase was also a .22 rifle, although I won't be hunting squirrels with it. I don't need to kill to eat at this point so I just don't see the need.
From Don (1/9/13):
Glad to see you are back blogging again. Had to keep all my comments to myself.
I'm glad to provide you with an outlet for your comments, Don! Sounds like you should take me up on my offer of taking over this blog for a day! (That offer is open to anyone, btw…)
That was it from last week! If there is enough feedback at the end of this week we will of course do "Feedback Friday". If there is something you'd like to say just hit the feedback section below or send me an email with "Blog" on the subject line.
The other day I blogged about gun control. I usually take a pretty moderate stance on most issues. The right way, as I see it, is generally found in between the crazy liberal or conservative arguments. It was funny the other day, though, after I posted my blog I stumbled on a video of an interesting exchange between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones on Morgan's show.
I've linked to Alex Jones videos here before. He is a bit of a nut as far as I can tell. But people like Alex Jones are important because, well…what if he is right? Someone has to be there to point this stuff out to us! So here is the link to the video I saw yesterday. At the very least I found it entertaining.
If you would like to sound off on the issue just hit the feedback form below or shoot me an email with "Blog" on the subject line.
By the way…since that post the other day I have been corrected. I have never shot an assault rifle. What I was shooting was a semi-auto rifle. It was still fun. And my life would still be complete if I never got to shoot one again.
It seems that the gridlock at our state capital continues. Fortunately we have a new group coming in soon…but my guess is that the main people are still around so things won't change all that much. One of he bigger issues right now is gun control. Obviously the situation in Connecticut has brought the issue once again to the forefront. And a lawmaker from the Chicago area is trying to get a bill going that would change how we handle gun control in our state.
I am a gun owner. I have a FOID card. I do my gun stuff in a legal way. I don't hunt but I do enjoy going to the range and shooting at targets. I also like the "perception" of home security that my guns give me. I only have 3 guns but I have been strategic in the way I have purchased them. They were purchased with home security in mind. But again…going to the range and shooting at stuff is a lot of fun. Since I started shooting guns I have had the opportunity to shoot someone else's assault rifle.
Shooting assault rifles is a blast. And there is something to controlling a weapon that has so much power. But honestly…my life will still be complete if I never get to shoot another assault rifle. It would not disappoint me if there was some kind of control or ban placed on these weapons of mass death potential. I fully support the second amendment. I think it is important for private citizens to have the right to own guns if they so choose. But when you talk about the second amendment you have to consider the times in which it was written.
There wasn't a very organized system of law enforcement. Your home's security was basically up to you. Most people lived in rural areas and the land was still very wild. It was important for a family to have weapons because of the animals in the area, let alone potential intruders. And our government was just formed after we escaped the Monarchy. The people that amended the Constitution likely did not conceive the idea of a gun that could shoot 50 rounds a second.
Our world now is much different and because of that we need to change how we handle different issues. Gun control is one of those issues that needs to be changed. I'm not saying we should ban all weapons or even register all weapons. But a well-measured control system on our weapons and who can possess them certainly seems to make sense to me. It could even be that the current regulations are good enough. Perhaps we just need better enforcement.
Whatever the right answer is my guess is that it will not be found by the extreme reactions coming from both sides of the aisles.
What's that you say? It's time to start blogging again? Well okay. I guess it is time to start blogging again.
My apologies for taking so much time away from the blog. I guess after doing the blog virtually every morning I have worked for the past almost five years I was really getting burned out on the entire process. My back was tired from carrying the blogosphere at wandtv.com. But in recent history there have been a few blogs to step up and help carry the load. JC, Stacey, Matt Loveless, and Geno Reynolds have been doing a great job keeping their blogs updated and topical. It is nice to see!
So here we are again after our almost 2 month hiatus. We are into another year. And time just keeps flying by. Honestly not much has changed since I last blogged. I'm still working in the morning with Mark and Samantha. The station finally decided to make Samantha the permanent co-anchor for the morning news. Yes…all this time she had only been the interim. I'm not sure why. Those decisions get made by other people and we pawns are rarely consulted. But at least we have a solid team for the next year or so that we can count on after the up and down of the past couple of years. It is nice coming into work every morning knowing who is going to be here on a given day. I am sure it makes it easier to watch us when it isn't a carousel of people sitting at the desk!
When I decided to take time off from the blog I wanted to do something different when we brought it back. Honestly I am still not sure what will be different about the blog. I want this to be a positive place where we can still hash out ideas…like it was before. But I would like you to be able to take a more active role in it if you would like. One idea I have kicked around is to offer up one day of this blog to you. I would let one person each week take the blog over for one day and allow that one person to blog on any topic he/she would choose, within reason obviously. It still couldn't be a topic that would get us sued and all of the standard feedback rules would apply. But if you would be interested in that just shoot me an email or use the feedback section below.
I'm not sure if I will get back to blogging every single morning. I will certainly try. But on those mornings when the mojo just isn't there or I just don't have time I may not put the same kind of pressure to get something on the blog like I did before. Frankly…I think that would be best for you and for me!