The weekend is almost here and can you believe in just three weekends, it’s Christmas already. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
Since I took a break last week on my “Random Friday Thoughts” since people were shopping and eating leftovers, here’s a short version for this week.
HELLO DECEMBER AND WINTER!
UPDATED POST: early Saturday, December 3, 2016
If you follow my forecast on “Local 4 News This Morning” or my blogs for winter weather updates, you know I always tell you to keep up on the changing forecast when snow is coming. There’s a good reason. Small changes in the forecast can have big implications.
Here’s an update on the three weather systems that I first told you about Friday morning in my blog and on-air:
Saturday Night: Rain and snow will develop late and change over to snow.
Sunday: Moderate snow in the morning changing to rain in the afternoon.
Since the ground is still relatively warm and part of the precipitation will come down as a mix or rain, accumulations will mainly be on grassy and elevated surfaces.
We could anywhere for 1-3″ of slushy snow. It’ll start to melt away during the afternoon.
Monday Night & Tuesday: Wintry mix still possible. It’s not looking too impressive this morning.
Wednesday and Wednesday Night bigger snow: This may very well not happen! Stay tuned. The cold air will definitely be coming in late week!
However, since we may not get a blanket of snow Wednesday night and Thursday, lows later in the week may only drop into the teens and not the single digits.
If we get a blanket of snow Wednesday and Wednesday night, then lows in the single digits are still possible.
Stay up on the latest forecast. This is a developing and changing weather pattern.
ORIGINAL POST: early Friday, December 2, 2016
After the third warmest November on record in the Quad Cities, winter will be making its return to Iowa and Illinois to welcome December.
Over the next week, we have three chances of seeing some snow accumulation.
Late Saturday night and early Sunday, snow may accumulate on grassy and elevated surfaces. Early indications show an inch or two possible. That will melt away Sunday.
Another system could bring some grassy accumulation Monday night and early Tuesday.
However, we could be seeing a winter storm Wednesday and Wednesday night. As of this writing, there is low confidence in the details and the models are not very consistent.
This will have to monitored closely because depending on how this develops, we could be talking little or no snow or a lot of snow.
One thing is certain. Late next week, we’ll see the coldest blast of air this season with highs only in the lower half of 20s and lows could drop to the single digits!
“LOVE IS THE CURE”
If you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s (and through “The Lion King” and “Candle in the Wind”, the 1990s), you have been touched by the genius of Elton John’s music.
During that same time period, you also heard a lot about Elton’s personal life since he was a pop music superstar. That’s an understatement — he’s an icon.
He’s also a great humanitarian. His 2012 book, “Love Is The Cure: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS”, he shares the struggles he went through to give more of himself to fight HIV and AIDS.
If you missed my thoughts on Elton, the book, and “World AIDS Day”, here’s the link.
After you read the touching stories in that blog, check out the book. It’s an incredible read.
A MONSTER BEHIND THAT PRETTY SMILE
Since we’re talking about AIDS, Donald Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser pick, Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland is a monster behind that pretty smile.
In 2006, when the New York Times Magazine was writing an article on McFarland, they found a 1992 letter she wrote to her parents shortly after finding out her brother, Michael Troia, had AIDS.
She reportedly wrote, “Have you ever wondered why I have never had anything to do with Mike and have never let my daughters see him although we live only fifteen minutes away from each other?” She added, “He has been a lifelong homosexual, most of his relationships brief, fleeting one-night stands.”
Michael died of AIDS in 1995.
McFarland goes on to elaborate and say that her father was an abusive parent, who beat them with belts and waved guns in their faces.
Responding to the allegations, her father denied them and offered to take a lie detector test. Her other brother, Tom, living in Janesville, Wisconsin, at the time of the magazine article replied, “If I had one word to describe my sister, it would be ‘evil.’ ”
Not surprising, the people Trump has chosen for his cabinet are all anti-LGBT.
It’s going to be a fun four years! (Note: sarcasm.)
THE WEEK OF TRUMP
Since I opened Pandora’s box by mentioning his name…
Pre-election, Donald Trump talked about a “rigged” election. When he won the electoral vote, there was no big proclamations from Trump about the rigged elections.
Now that there’s talk of recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump has plenty to say, especially in incoherent tweets and rants.
He’s even saying that millions of California votes are illegal.
Even in victory, he’s such a “sore loser”. It might have something to do with the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by more than two million votes and that number is still climbing as votes are still being counted. Little man!
Hey, Donald, why don’t we just have a total recount or better yet, why don’t we have another election before the holidays and monitor the voting process even closer.
One final note and I actually agree with Trump on this one: Burning an American flag is just wrong (but allowed by the freedom of free speech).
However, here’s where I disagree with him.
Being threatened with losing citizenship or being imprisoned for burning the American flag sounds a lot like Russia — but, then again, Donald and Russia are friends, so I hear!
ARETHA’S NATIONAL ANTHEM
“The Queen of Soul” is earning mixed reviews for her Thanksgiving Day performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Vikings-Lions football game.
The gospel-tinged song clocked in at 4 minutes and 35 seconds.
Comments on the performance have ranged from “stirring” and “memorable” to “punishingly long”.
YouTube “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” are two to one positive.
What do you think?
LOSING FAITH IN “THE WALKING DEAD”
Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” started off strong with the second highest ratings in the series history with 17 million viewers.
Last weekend’s episode dropped to the lowest ratings (10.4 million viewers) since season three when the ratings were still rising.
The fifth and sixth episodes this season were two of my least favorites. Maybe I should look at it as a baseball game. Those two episodes were strikes, so either this weekend, I need a base hit or I’m out. I’m not interested in a foul or a ball.
Bring Rick (Andrew Lincoln) back and you’ll, at least, have my attention!
I’m not saying I want the show to be cancelled, but if it doesn’t come to life soon, maybe an end date should be set!
As the days get shorter and winter settles in, we find ourselves watching more television and movies.
I highly recommend “Captain Fantastic”, which just hit DVD.
This little-seen movie in theaters is about a family living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest away from the trappings of modern life.
Viggo Mortensen plays Ben Cash, the father of six children, who has to decide how to keep his family together after the death of his wife.
It’s a shame that this movie only made $9 million in theaters. It’s incredible and now you have a chance to see it at home.
Spoiler Alert: Seeing Mortensen’s penis should NOT be reason enough for a warning at the beginning of the movie with “Brief Graphic Nudity”. As his character says, “it’s just a penis!”
Wouldn’t “Brief Nudity” suffice?
By the way, on Thursday, Mortensen was nominated for a “Critics’ Choice Award” for “Best Actor in a Comedy”. While I’m happy for the nomination, I have to ask, “comedy”??? There are funny scenes in the movie, but this leans more toward a drama to me.
Another great performance in the movie was from George McKay, who played Mortensen’s son, Bodevan.
“HELL OR HIGH WATER”
Since I just mentioned the “Critics’ Choice Award” nominations, “Hell Or High Water” was nominated for six — “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, “Best Original Screenplay”, Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster for “Best Supporting Actor”, and “Best Acting Ensemble”.
Chris Pine, Bridges, and Foster are incredible in this crime caper about a couple of brothers (Pine and Foster) on a bank robbing spree across west Texas.
Bridges plays a Texas Rangers nearing retirement when he gets the assignment of catching these small town crooks.
What makes this story compelling is learning the motivation of why the brothers need the money.
What’s also thrilling is that you know things will probably turn out badly for some or all of the characters. It’s a crime drama, so don’t expect a truly happy ending.
I love Christmas and I always smile when I hear people get bent out of shape about those who write “Merry Xmas”. That takes “Christ” out of “Christmas”.
But, what about the “Christians”, who conveniently leave “Christ” our of their life. Those are the ones I have issues with in this blog I shared last week.
Many have checked it out and here’s that link if you didn’t get a chance to read it. (It’ll open in a new window, so you can continue reading today’s blog.)
Happy whatever you celebrate this holiday season!
ANOTHER CHANCE “THIS CHRISTMAS” FOR OLIVIA & JOHN
Each Christmas, I buy some of the new holiday offerings. This year, I got “Glow” by Brett Eldredge and “A Very Kacey Christmas” by Kacey Musgraves and would recommend both of them.
I also bought the latest Straight No Chaser album, “I’ll Have Another…Christmas Album” and I really wish I had said, “No thanks.”
Don’t waste your time or money on it. Instead, pick up their other two Christmas albums, 2008’s “Holiday Spirits” or “Under The Influence: Holiday Edition”.
Earlier this week, I also decided to give “This Christmas” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John from 2012 another listen.
I’ve avoided this album for four years now!
This is what I wrote about it at the time: “I’ll get the bad news out of the way first and then focus on the good. The opening song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, is probably the worst version I’ve ever heard. As much as I love Olivia, she couldn’t get “Physical” enough to save this disaster! Three songs later, “This Christmas” would have been better without John’s vocals.”
On the listen four years later, their version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is still painful and the worst version I’ve ever heard.
However, while Travolta is definitely the weak link and Olivia soars as usual, I enjoyed it a lot more this time and Travolta actually does a decent job on “Silent Night” and a few others.
What I wrote four years ago about “I Think You Might Like It” still holds true today, “It’s a very fun song and if I close my eyes while listening to it, I see Danny & Sandy in “Grease” dancing to it around the Christmas tree.”
2012 GRADE: C+
2016 GRADE: B
ANOTHER TAKE ON OLIVIA’S “PHYSICAL”
I’ve never watched “The Real O’Neals” on ABC Tuesday nights, but this scene looks pretty funny and that so would have been me as a teenager if I had gone to a gym.
16-year-old Kenny (Noah Galvin) wants to check out the fitness center after seeing a sexy guy on the cover of a brochure.
This seems like the perfect time for the original again.
Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” was the biggest song of the 1980s. It spent ten weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 from November 1981 to January 1982!
With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!