Archive for August, 2012

Tropical Systems Can Drench The Quad Cities Like Isaac This Weekend

The remnants from Hurricane Issac that made landfall Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Louisiana will be bringing significant rains and possible flooding to southeastern Iowa, the Quad Cities and west-central Illinois this weekend.

The tropical nature of the air associated with this storm pushed dew points into the 70s in the Quad Cities Friday afternoon.

Rain will spread south to north Friday night into Saturday morning across the area and heavy rain is forecast Saturday and Saturday night from southeastern Iowa to the Quad Cities east into Geneseo and Princeton, Illinois.  Look at this forecast of rainfall potential.

As you can tell, from around Burlington, Iowa, to Galesburg, Geneseo, and Kewanee, Illinois, anywhere from 5-7″ of rain could fall.  There could be isolated higher totals.  In the Quad Cities, around 3″ is not out of the question.  However, notice how drastically the cut-off line is for rainfall northwest of the metro area.  Dubuque and Iowa City, Iowa, over to Galena, Illinois, may see little, if any, rain.

If this forecast verifies in the Quad Cities and we do pick up over 3″ of rain, it would be the first time in more than two years that a system brought that much rain.  On July 6-7, 2010, 3.45″ of rain fell at the airport in Moline, Illinois, the official weather observation site for the Quad Cities.

The last calendar day with more than two inches of rain in Moline was June 18, 2010.  2.23″ of rain fell that day.

When hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast and the East Coast, we hear about incredible rainfall totals of more than two feet.  Four years ago in September, we experienced the remnants of two storms.

Early in that month, the remnants of Hurricane Gustav, brought 2.44″ of rain at Quad City International Airport from September 2-4, 2008, with 2.23″ of that falling on September 4, 2008.

And, on the heels of that storm, the remnants of Hurricane Ike brought us even more rain.

From September 12-14, 2008, the Quad Cities picked up 7.08″ of rain.  Of that, 2.29″ fell on September 12th, 4.26″ on September 13th, and we picked up 0.53″ on September 14th.

When September 2008 ended, the official rainfall total for the Quad Cities was 10.91″, which was 7.75″ above average and one of the all-time wettest September months on record.

So, while the Quad Cities don’t see the hurricane-force winds with these systems, we do occasionally get the tropical moisture in the form of heavy rain and high humidity.

Have a great weekend.


“Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks”‏

It’s Friday morning and I hope you have great weekend plans.  For many of you, it’s a long weekend with Labor Day on Monday.  Enjoy your time off and I hope you enjoy the songs, more of my favorites from the 1980s.

“We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”  — Jermaine Stewart

Jermaine Stewart was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1957 and his family moved to Chicago in 1972.  He became a regular dancer on “Soul Train”, which was filmed in Chicago.  He moved to Los Angeles with fellow Chicagoans Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel and just missed out on becoming the lead singer of Shalamar, a dance and R&B band.

Stewart did meet Mikey Craig of Culture Club and sang back-up on the demo for “Miss Me Blind” and he was signed to Arista Records.  His first single, “The Word Is Out” just missed the Billboard Top 40 in 1983, peaking at #41.

However, Stewart hit it big in 1986 when “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” reached #5 on the Hot 100.  The follow-up single about his friend, Jody Watley of Shalamar and “Looking For A New Love” fame, “Jody”, went as high as #42 on the Hot 100, but it reached the top twenty on the R & B chart.

Stewart would have one more top 40 hit in 1987 with “Say It Again” (#27).

He died at the age of 39 in 1997 of AIDS-related liver cancer.


“Mickey” — Toni Basil

It’s hard to believe that when Antonia Christina Basilotta scored her only Top 40 hit, she was already in her late-30s.

I know that name doesn’t sound familiar, because the actress, dancer, choreographer,and singer shorted it to Toni Basil.  While that name may not be a common place-name for many, Toni Basil is one of the most popular “one-hit wonders” in pop music.

“Mickey”, which was released in early 1982 shot all the way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for one week.  That would be her only hit as the follow-ups in America peaked at #77 and #82.  While another Top 40 pop hit eluded Basil, she did score four top ten hits on the Billboard Dance chart from 1982-1984.

“Mickey” was also featured in one of my favorite “coming of age” movie, “Edge of Seventeen” from 1998.


“I Ran” — A Flock of Seagulls

In the early 1980s, when this country boy moved away from that musical genre, I moved quickly and it was all about “New Wave” music starting with Kim Wilde and Soft Cell.

The English band, A Flock of Seagulls, was at the top of my list, too.

I mean, seriously, Mike Score’s  (the lead singer) hair was incredible.

I know if I had the nerve then, I would have been a hit in Mayfield, Kentucky, but then again, I would have probably been beat up , too.

A Flock of Seagulls’ first hit in America was also their biggest.  “I Ran (So Far Away)” was released in October 1982 and it made it all the way up to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While the two follow-up singles, “Space Age Love Song” and “Wishing (If I Had A Photograph of You)” both cracked the Top 40 in America, they only made it to #30 and #26, respectively.

“Wishing” was also featured in the aforementioned movie, “Edge of Seventeen”.

“Edge of Seventeen” Bonus

Since I’ve referenced the movie, “Edge of Seventeen” twice in today’s flashback, I’ll add the trailer.  It is a phenomenal movie that I’ve seen countless times.  I was so Eric Hunter back in the 1980s, especially the mid-and-late-1980s.


It’s Time For a Revolution In America

It’s time for change in America and I’m not talking about the promised changed that President Barack Obama or Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney can bring.

I’m talking about bringing hippies back.  Is that word even politically correct?  I can tell you that if I wasn’t just an infant in the mid-1960s, I could see myself as one, minus the drugs that were associated with that subculture.  That group of hip, youngsters was known for its awareness of the issues, especially politics and for bringing those issues front and center in a non-violent way.

Change was needed in this country 50 years ago.  Change is needed now, too!

The Civil Rights Movement gained ground in the 1960s and across college campuses around the country, anti-war protests dominated the mid-1960s and the early-1970s.  Sadly, at one of those protests on May 4, 1970, in Ohio, at Kent State University, the  Ohio National Guard shot and killed four people and injured nine others.

And, just last year, massive protests in the streets of  Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Libya, just to name a few, prompted major changes in the government and some of these protests evicted leaders that had been in power for decades.

I believe that people should be able to speak out against government and leaders in a non-threatening fashion.  Leaders need to know what the people they lead are thinking. From this point on, I’m talking about the United States.

We need a revolution here in America just like the one that John, Paul, George, & Ringo sang about in the fall of 1968 on the flip side of the “Hey Jude” single!

“You say you want a revolution/Well, you know/We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution/Well, you know/We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction/Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right/all right, all right”

At the onset of this blog, I mentioned President Obama and Mitt Romney.  While there will be other candidates running on various other tickets, the reality is that in America today, only a Democrat or a Republican will win the White House.

I looked at the presidential elections from 1980-2008 and the best year for a party other than the Democrats or the Republicans was 1992 when Independent candidate H. Ross Perot earned a surprising 19% of the popular vote that year.  While Perot received no delegates, his 19.7 million votes probably made George H.W. Bush a one-term president.

(1992 Popular Vote:  Red indicates the 43.3% of the votes cast for Bill Clinton, the blue for George H.W. Bush’s 37.7% of the votes, and the green is for Ross Perot’s 19% of the votes.)

In 1996, as a candidate for the Reform Party, Perot earned 8 million votes, which was 8.4% of the popular vote.

While I will be voting for President Obama in November, I would love to live in a country where the election could be won by a party other than the big two!

Recently, I took an online quiz that matched me with a candidate that shares my views and while I wasn’t surprised to see that I should vote for President Obama, the runner-ups surprised me because I had never heard of some of them!

Candidates you side with…


Barack Obama

Barack Obama

on economic, social, foreign policy, science, and immigration issues


Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

on social, domestic policy, immigration, healthcare, science, and environmental issues


Jill Stein

Jill Stein

on foreign policy and environmental issues


Ron Paul

Ron Paul

on domestic policy, healthcare, and science issues.

So, who are these other people who I agree with on many things that are important to me?  And, why, in America, can’t they really have a chance to be my next president?

Jill Stein is a doctor, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is running on the Green Party ticket.  Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is vying for President on the Libertarian Party ticket and U.S. Representative Ron Paul from Texas was one of the many candidates that tried to secure the Republican nomination for President before losing out to Mitt Romney.

We live in the greatest country in the world and it’s time for us to make a third and fourth party viable to win a November election and take the White House.  Maybe if that was a possibility, we’d have politicians that really worked for the people they represented and elections wouldn’t just be the lesser of two evils.

I think it’s time we let our hair grow, wear fun, colorful clothes, work toward peace, and make love, not war.  Maybe then, our voices would be heard — again.


Two Friends in New Orleans Reflect on Hurricane Katrina’s Anniversary As Isaac Makes Landfall

Hurricane Isaac made its second landfall around 4 a.m. this morning near Port Fourchon, Louisiana with winds sustained at 80 mile-per-hour.  It first made landfall Tuesday evening near Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, about 95 miles from New Orleans.

While there is flooding and damage, this tropical system pales in comparison to Hurricane Katrina that made landfall on this date back in 2005.  More than 1,800 people lost their lives and many more left New Orleans and never came back making their new home elsewhere in the United States.

I visited New Orleans in the spring of 2010 and even after almost five years, there was still much work to be done and many of the damaged and abandoned homes in the Ninth Ward remained standing.

A friend of mine from Murray State University, Crystal Craddock-Posey and her husband, Anthony, live in New Orleans.  At the bottom of this blog, check out some of Ants’ incredible photos of the aftermath of Katrina and how much still needed to be done more than a year later.


I talked with Crystal back in 2008 on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I blogged about it then.  You can find that at the bottom of this blog, too.  However, I sent Crystal a few questions earlier this week as Isaac was still churning its way through the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm.

Q: What is the feeling now that a “state of emergency” has been issued and the storm could move closer to New Orleans?

The concensus in the city is that Isaac won’t be too bad. It’s not a strong system. The city (and its residents) are much better organized and prepared to deal with Isaac. Local area officials are working together and with the State in a much more efficient way than they did during Katrina. Even if Isaac turns out to be not so bad, it dredges up Katrina stress in differing degrees for people here.

Q: In the seven years since Katrina (and four since we did the previous blog), what changes have you noticed?

The city has improved by leaps and bounds, since the devastation of Katrina. There are so many new shops and restaurants post-Katrina. The city just “runs” better. There is still room for improvement, though.

Q: How is the “new” (current) NOLA different than the old NOLA?

So many people moved to New Orleans after Katrina, that it’s taken on a “newer” feel in some ways. E.g., new tech-centered businesses, younger entrepreneurs. The old-world charm is still very much present here, however.

Q: Since the Gulf has been relatively quiet for years, are you afraid that this could the season of big hurricanes?

One never knows, but I don’t think this will be a season for big hurricanes. We had a three-year lull between 2005’s Katrina and 2008’s Gustav. Now, four years later, we have Isaac approaching.

Here is the blog that I posted on August 28, 2008, on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it also features some background information (current at the time):

New Orleans: Three years after Katrina

Friday, August 29th, 2008

HURRICANE GUSTAV MAKES LANDFALL:   Gustav made landfall early Monday morning, September 1st, near Cocodrie, Louisiana, which is about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans or 100 miles southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana.  Winds were at 110 miles-per-hour at landfall making Gustav a Category Two storm.  (Top winds peaked at 150 miles-per-hour Saturday.

UPDATE:  Saturday, August 30th, noon.  My friends, Crystal and Anthony, have decided to evacuate New Orleans in advance of Gustav.  (You’ll read Crystal’s interview below.)

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, August 29, 2 p.m.

Friday, August 29th, marks the three-year anniversary when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana causing levees to breach and submerging 80 percent of New Orleans.

Now, residents are becoming uneasy and are closely watching the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Gustav gains strength and threatens with a possible landfall early Tuesday morning somewhere near the Crescent City.

Once the storm makes it into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, forecasters will be able to pinpoint more accurately and precisely the intensity and where Gustav will make landfall.


Hurricane Katrina now stands as the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (this is based on the central barometric pressure, not winds).  However, its peak winds hit 175 miles-per-hour.

Although Katrina’s winds had dropped to 125 miles-per-hour (still a very strong Category Three storm) when it made landfall near Buras, Louisiana, it was what happened after the storm began to move away from New Orleans that we will always remember.

The winds, rain, and the storm surge (estimated to be at least fourteen feet), caused 53 different levees to breach.

This allowed additional water pushed into Lake Pontchartrain from the Gulf during the hurricane to flood New Orleans.

For months, the rest of the nation and the world watched the horrific watery images from the city so rich in history and culture and wondered if it would ever return to its glory.

The death toll in the United States from Katrina is at least 1,836 (1,577 from Louisiana alone).  There are still 705 people considered missing from the storm.

Three years later, many people still consider the slow reaction time to the disaster from local, state, and federal levels of the government, a complete failure.

While it is still too early to tell where Gustav will make landfall, many people in New Orleans are getting ready– just in case.

NEW ORLEANS– THREE YEARS LATER  (From my 2008 blog on Katrina’s anniversary)

Thursday night, I emailed a friend and former classmate of mine, Crystal Craddock-Posey, who has lived in New Orleans since 1992 with her husband, Anthony, and I want to share her responses with you.

Q:  With a projected landfall still days away and a possible track that could include New Orleans, what is the mood at this point?

“People are on edge here.   Local stations have begun broadcasting at 4:30 a.m. and extended regular noon and evening broadcasts to an hour to cover the issue of the approaching storm.

Some folks in areas which did not flood are saying that they are going to stay for Gustav unless it gains more strength before landfall.  Some who were here for Katrina are staying again; most are not, and have begun leaving already.  

People in our area are already boarding up windows and filling up their tanks.  At this point, people don’t know whether to go buy a bunch of hurricane food and supplies, or just pack up and leave.  

It brings to mind something my grandmother used to say, ‘Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!’   I think Saturday will be the point when most make the decision to stay or go.”
Q:  Are people taking this storm seriously there knowing it could quickly develop into a major hurricane in the Gulf?

“I think this storm is being taken seriously by most.    No one wants another Katrina.   My mailman received eight feet of water in his home after the levees failed following Katrina.   He is back in his repaired home now, and is seriously worried about a repeat performance.”

Q:  When Katrina submerged 80% of the city with water, how much damage did you encounter and where are you in relation to the ninth ward, one of the hardest hit areas?

“We were fortunate to have lived in the 20 % of New Orleans which did not flood.  We are higher up near the rim of the “bowl-shaped” city, so the water didn’t reach us.  We had water damage from above, though.  The high winds and tornadoes took off sections of roof and boards from our rear dormer, so we had water damage in the form of fallen ceilings, damaged floors, and mold everywhere, etc.   

We are a few miles from the ninth ward.  The ninth ward is behind the Central Business District, the French Quarter and Bywater areas of the city, going toward Chalmette/St. Bernard Parish, where the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, aka “Mister Go” failed.”

Q:  Describe the feel of New Orleans now with the three-year anniversary Friday.  Progress is being made slowly, but what is the ”new” New Orleans like compared to the “old”.

“There were supposed to be certain ceremonies held to honor those who perished in Hurricane Katrina.    One local cemetery has planted small white flags, one for every person who died during Katrina, with a name on each flag.  (By the way, a client of mine lost her dad, her stepmother, her aunt and her 12-year-old brother; they drowned in their home.  She also lost everything she owned that she hadn’t taken with her during the evacuation.)   

That was supposed to last through Labor Day Weekend.    The anniversary is today, and it seems to be adding fuel to the fire of distress.   

“New” New Orleans in the French Quarter, Garden District and Uptown areas, the 20% that didn’t flood, is much like it was before the storm– at least from the street level.  

Other flooded areas are rebuilding and coming back.   The hardest hit areas still are mostly desolate patches where homes used to be.   

Financially, the effects of Katrina have been hard on everyone.   People who came back after the storm have been struggling for three years with $10,000 per year homeowner’s premiums and $5,000 per year flood premiums, an increase in property taxes in Orleans Parish, increased labor and material expenses for repairs, shady contractors who take money and never show, etc.”      

Q:  Where do you see New Orleans in the next few years, barring no more hurricanes or disasters?

“With the right leadership and funding, it’s possible to make New Orleans a great example of how to rebuild after a disaster, e.g. green projects, solar panels, etc.  It just hasn’t happened thus far.” 

Crystal works now as an attorney in New Orleans.  However, back in the 1980s, she was in the radio and television program with me at Murray State University in Kentucky.  She then went to law school in New Orleans when she moved there in the summer of 1992.


New Orleans, my thoughts go out to you and I’m glad Hurricane Isaac was only a category one storm.  I hope that’s all of the excitement you see this year and that the only hurricanes you experience are ones like these shared by Ray, Crystal, Ants, and myself in April 2010.


How Normal Is “The New Normal”?

“The New Normal” is coming to NBC this fall.  I’m excited to check it out and I think it’ll be great for those in the U.S. to tune in and see how life is for the other 10% of their fellow Americans.

Before I talk more about the show or who may not get to see it thanks to the Mormons (and I’m not being offensive), you’ll see why as you read on, I want to talk about “normal”.

I never strive to be “normal”.  What the hell is normal anyway and why should anyone choose what is “normal”?

Should the religious right look in the mirror and say “what I see is normal”?  It might be to them, but it isn’t “normal”.  However, I can’t look in the mirror and say “what I see is “normal” either, because it isn’t

I’m just me.  It’s people that place descriptors on themselves and others — normal, abnormal, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, tall, short, pudgy, skinny, black, white, Asian, Latino, physically or mentally challenged, and the list goes on.

So, what is “The New Normal”?  It’s a new comedy on NBC from Ryan Murphy, who also created “Glee”, “Nip/Tuck”, and “American Horror Story”.

It stars Justin Bartha (“The Hangover”) and Andrew Rannells (from Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”) as a Los Angeles gay couple hiring a surrogate in order to become parents.

Simple premise, right?  Yes.  Safe?  Not so much.  The NBC television network affiliate in Salt Lake City, KSL , which is owned by the Mormon Church says it will not air the show because it’s “inappropriate”.  Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International, says “For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

Simpson adds that “crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterizations” are the main reasons for not airing the new comedy.  That station also refused to air NBC’s short-lived drama, “The Playboy Club” last fall and other shows in the past.

Luckily, for Utahns that want to see the show will have a chance because the CW affiliate in Salt Lake City, KUCW, is looking for a time slot for the show on the weekend.

Here’s my problem with the Mormon-owned station.  It’s an affiliate of a network.  A local station should not have the power to pick and choose which of the network’s prime-time shows it wants to air for whatever reasons.  That’s censorship!  They should be forced to air the evening shows the network offers and people of Utah should make the decision of whether they want to watch it or not.

Actress Ellen Barkin, who’s never been shy speaking her mind, plays the mother of the woman who agrees to be the surrogate for the couple.  She’s livid with KSL’s decision not to air “The New Normal” and tweeted this, referencing “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”:  “So L&O SVU  (rape & child murder) is ok?  But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?” and “L&O SUV … anal tearing not ‘explicit’ content, child slavery not ‘explicit’ content? But @NBCTheNewNormal, laughing & loving is? #KSLBigots”.

So, here’s the trailer for “The New Normal” that will have One Million Moms and a group of Mormons (a small number in the realm of the nation’s population, but so powerful) up in arms!

To people everywhere, just be yourself and be happy.  Why strive to be  “normal”?

And, to this fictionalized gay couple and to all real-life gay couples everywhere, maybe one day what we have will not be called “normal”, it’ll just be accepted and life goes on.


George Strait, Watch Your Back!

Country music crooner and legend George Strait is the man, but a woman is ready to pounce on and tie a record that he has sole possession since 2006 when “Give It Away” became his 41st country chart topper.

(George Strait in Chicago with Reba in March 2011)

Strait currently has 44 #1 songs on the Billboard country singles chart.  His first was in 1982 with “Fool Hearted Memory” and his last “River of Love” topped the chart in 2008.  Here’s one of my favorite of George’s chart toppers from 1997, “Carrying Your Love With Me”.

I love you, George, but this isn’t just about you.  It’s mainly about M-A-D-O-N-N-A, who kicks off her North American “MDNA Tour” in Philadelphia Tuesday night with the #1 Billboard Dance song in America, “Turn Up The Radio”!

And, Top 40 radio stations, take note.  Interscope Records will be releasing “Turn Up The Radio” as the third single from “MDNA” September 25, 2012!  I’ll be listening for it.

With “Radio” topping the Billboard dance charts this week, it marks her third straight chart-topper from “MDNA” and her 43rd #1 Billboard Dance hit.  Her closest competition of most #1s on that chart is Janet Jackson with 19, followed by Beyonce and Rihanna with 18, Kristine W with 16, and Mariah Carey with 15.

Before I show you Madonna’s incredible #1 dance chart run from her first chart topper for five weeks on September 24, 1983,”Holiday/Lucky Star” to “Turn Up The Radio”, Madonna is also the artist with the most #1 hits total on all Billboard charts.  She’s been at number one a total of 156 times!!!!!!!!  This includes multi-format singles and albums.

Here is one of the official remixes of “Turn Up The Radio”, the Offer Nissim remix.  Let’s hit the clubs and the dance floor!

While Madonna’s first single, “Everybody”, peaked at #3, here is a list of her #1 hits on the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart.  If a song stayed  at the top more than one week, the number of weeks at No. 1 is noted by parentheses.

1983, “Holiday/Lucky Star” (five weeks; double-sided chart single)
1984, “Like a Virgin” (three weeks)
1985, “Material Girl”
1985, “Angel/Into the Groove” (double-sided chart single)
1987, “Open Your Heart”

1987, “Causing a Commotion (Remix)”
1988, “You Can Dance (LP Cuts)”
1989, “Like a Prayer” (two weeks)
1989, “Express Yourself” (three weeks)
1990, “Keep It Together”

1990, “Vogue” (two weeks)
1991, “Justify My Love” (two weeks)
1992, “Erotica”
1993, “Deeper and Deeper”
1993, “Fever”

1994, “Secret” (two weeks)
1995, “Bedtime Story”
1997, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”
1998, “Frozen” (two weeks)
1998, “Ray of Light” (four weeks)

1999, “Nothing Really Matters” (two weeks)
1999, “Beautiful Stranger” (two weeks)
2000, “American Pie”
2000, “Music” (five weeks)
2001, “Don’t Tell Me”

2001, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”
2001, “Impressive Instant” (two weeks)
2002, “Die Another Day” (two weeks)
2003, “American Life”
2003, “Hollywood”

2003, “Me Against the Music,” Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two weeks)
2004, “Nothing Fails”
2004, “Love Profusion”
2005, “Hung Up” (four weeks)
2006, “Sorry” (two weeks)

2006, “Get Together”
2006, “Jump” (two weeks)
2008, “4 Minutes,” Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two weeks)
2008, “Give It 2 Me”
2009, “Celebration”

2012, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.

2012   “Girl Gone Wild”

2012   “Turn Up The Radio”

While Madonna had more mainstream, Hot 100 chart success in the 1980s and the 1990s, on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart, she scored more number ones (18) in the 2000s!  As of now, “Holiday/Lucky Star” and “Music” are Madonna’s longest running #1 dance hits at five weeks each, followed by four weeks for “Ray of Light” and “Hung Up”.

And, finally, here is the remix of “Turn Up the Radio” that I hope Madonna releases to Top 40 radio in late September.  It features Far East Movement, who scored at #1 hit at radio in 2010, with “Like A G6”.


Beneficial Sunday Rain Could Followed by “Isaac” Rain This Weekend?

It’s incredible how good it feels on a Sunday just watching it rain after a summer with a severe to extreme drought that has cost farmers millions of dollars in lost corn crops and with lawns and gardens dried up and begging for rain.

While I know that some outdoors events were cancelled because of the rain, that is the risk people take with having events outside and they’ve been pretty fortunate this summer.

Widespread 1-4″ rainfall amounts were reported across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois Sunday.  This is how much rain collected in one of my gauges Sunday evening in Moline.

Officially, at the Quad City International Airport, in Moline, Illinois, 1.71″ of rain fell Sunday.  That was the heaviest 24-hour rainfall since 1.73″ fell on July 24, 2011.  Earlier this year, on May 3, 1.70″ accumulated in the rain gauge at the airport.  Meanwhile, at the airport in Davenport, Iowa, 2.46″ of rain fell Sunday.

And, the rain was steady enough that much of it soaked into the ground.  For the year, in Moline, we’re still running 8.42″ below average.  It isn’t as bad in Davenport.  They are only 3.16″ below average.

It feels great to be able to walk through the wet grass early Monday morning.  We’ve become so accustomed to crispy, crunchy, brown yards this summer.  The plants are just soaking it in and it’s strange to see water droplets collected on my prolific poinsettias.  And, when the cloud broke open Sunday evening, the sky was beautiful.

Summer heat will be building again across the Midwest.  Under sunny skies through Friday, we’ll experience highs in the upper-80s to low-90s in the Quad Cities.

However, as I hinted this past weekend in my WQAD Storm Team 8 weather broadcasts, the latest computer models from the National Hurricane Center are projecting that “Tropical Storm Isaac”, which will become a hurricane late Monday night or early Tuesday morning is looking more likely to make landfall somewhere across Louisiana or Mississippi late Tuesday night.

As you can tell on this 5-day forecast, the remnants of Isaac could be tracking up through Arkansas and Missouri by next weekend.  That path would increase our chances of picking up some decent rain amounts Friday night into the weekend.  While this is not set in stone yet, it is more promising for us to receive rain than if Isaac had made a Florida landfall.

Here’s an incredible take on the amount of tropical moisture that a hurricane can generate.  This is the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s forecast of rain over the next five days.

Notice that a plume of 5″ rainfall amounts push up into Missouri, but look down along the Gulf Coast.  Rainfall amounts in excess of 18″ (that’s a foot-and-a-half) are possible.  That is why there is significant flooding with land falling tropical systems and hurricanes.

Again, the weekend rain chances are not certain for us yet in the Quad Cities, but it’ll definitely be worth watching.

For now, pray for our fellow Americans along the Gulf Coast and especially, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Have a great week!


They Said What??? — Hugh Hefner, Hank Williams Jr., Rihanna, Crazy Politicians, & Madonna


“The fight for gay marriage is, in reality, a fight for all our rights. Without it, we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time.  Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.”


“Do I think there are people living a gay Christian life who are going to be in heaven with me?  I do. If they have a relationship with God.”


“For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”


(at the Iowa State Fair):  “We’ve got a Muslim President who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!”


“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.  But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”


“I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan’s use of my band Twisted Sister’s song, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ in any capacity.  There is almost nothing he stands for that I agree with except the use of the [workout program] P90X.”


(to Oprah about her 2009 attack at the hands of ex-boyfriend/singer Chris Brown):  “No one could feel that more than me. Nobody felt what I felt. It happened to me in front of the world.  I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched. Switched in a night. I couldn’t control that.”


“‘I talked to some other friends of mine about the rumours when I first heard them. I said, ‘Have you seen this?’ and they were like, ‘Dude, do you know how long that’s been online?’ Look up any actor and it’s the second thing that comes up. So I have gay rumours – guess I’ve made it!'”


“Being the child of someone famous is a huge ball and chain around your ankles.  It’s going to be very difficult.  At school other children will say, ‘You don’t have a mummy,’ we’ve come a long way, but there’s still homophobia and will be until a new generation of parents don’t instil it in their children.”


(before singing “Masterpiece”, the song that won a Golden Globe Award this year over Elton John’s “Hello Hello”):  “I’d like to dedicate this next song to a Mr. Elton John.  I know he’s a big fan of it.  And I know he’s a big fan of mine. And you know? I forgive him. Gotta start somewhere.”


“”The Western cultural elite is rallying to the defense of the disrupters in the cathedral…”I would assume that many Pussy Riot supporters would take a different position, and rightly so, if here in the U.S. a black church were invaded and three men or women engaged in comparable conduct insulting holy places within the church and the pastor. I recall when I was Mayor in 1989 and the AIDS activist group Act Up, unjustifiably angry with John Cardinal O’Connor, invaded St. Patrick’s Cathedral and interrupted the Mass, throwing the Communion wafers – which for Catholics are the actual Body of Christ – to the floor.”



Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Most of my blogs are specific to one topic.  However, every once in a while, I like to do what I call a “this and that” blog where I write a little bit about whatever I’m thinking about it.  So, continue reading and enjoy.


I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about the success that Ray and I are having with losing the weight we’ve gained over the past three years.  He lost about 30 pounds and I dropped 25.

When we went to his high school reunion two weekends ago, we ate whatever we wanted and didn’t count calories.  And, once we returned home, we haven’t been too diligent about eating healthy and it shows.  Since dropping back to 142.6 pounds, I’ve gained six of the pounds back and I lack motivation to lose them.

However, since Thursday was Miss Gretel’s first day back at school (look at how cute she is),

we took her to lunch at my favorite place, Osaka Buffet, in Moline.

I pigged out and since Ray’s birthday is this weekend, we got him a cheesecake.

After that, I’m determined to get back on track , drop those pounds, and maintain a weight of 145.  I’ve indulged long enough and now it’s time to work it off.  Bad boy!



With the recent cool weather, I’m really been thinking about and blogging about fall.  I can’t wait to wear long sleeve pullover shirts and pajama bottoms, curl up on the couch as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, make soups and chili as it turns cooler, and watch the trees and peppers turn colors.

Here’s a picture from last fall with Miss ABBA enjoying her rawhide in a neighborhood yard decked out for Halloween.


The world’s population is growing at an alarming rate and the same is happening in the United States.  The population in the U.S. is roughly 314 million.  That’s up from 281 million in 2000 — up about 11% in just 12 years.  With the price of coal, gas, and oil continuing to rise, I hope that we seriously starting considering alternative sources before it’s too late.

I stand behind nuclear energy, as does the president and about 70% of Americans polled, and I would not be opposed to living near a new reactor.  The United States has more nuclear reactors in operation than any other country in the world.  In March 2011, “Time” magazine stated that there were 104 in the United States and they supply 20% of the power in the country.  Several of those are located in Iowa and Illinois.  Yet, the last new reactor went into service in the U.S. in 1996.

Yes, we’ve heard the horror stories about Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, which was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.

And, then in March 2011, the 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed in Japan destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  According to a June 2012 Standford University study, the radiation released could cause 130 deaths from cancer (the lower boundary for the estimate being 15 and the upper boundary at 1100) and 180 cancer cases (the lower boundary being 24 and the upper boundary 1800), mostly in Japan. Radiation exposure to workers at the plant was projected to result in 2 to 12 deaths.

I know that we can build nuclear power plants that would be safe from tsunamis in the United States, but the biggest problem will be the cost.  That is followed by the fear of nuclear plants.


22-year-old German DJ/producer Zedd (Anton Zaslavski), who has opened for Lady Gaga on her “Born This Way Ball” Tour and remixed her hits, “Born This Way” and “Marry The Night” is now climbing the American charts with his first hit featuring singer Matthew Koma,  “Spectrum”.

“Spectrum” just hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart this week holding Madonna’s “Turn Up The Radio” at #2.  Madonna should top that chart next week and that will be her 43rd #1 dance hit, extending her lead over Janet Jackson in second place with 19.

Check out this amazing remix with Far East Movement, who scored at #1 hit in 2010 with “Like A G6”.


Patrick Abner (left) and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts are getting married this fall.  The couple met 12 years ago on September 30th.  I hope they choose that date to get married because I know another couple that will be celebrating their one year marriage anniversary on that same date! 🙂


It’s no secret that I love being a meteorologist, but I’m not shy about loving my time off, too.  Mom (Betty) is coming in a few weeks, we’re heading to Houston at the end of September, and then to Las Vegas to see Madonna for my birthday in October.

I’m excited about a few movies this fall and the first three I want to see are “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (limited release — September 21, 2012), “The Paperboy” (limited release — October 5, 2012), and while in Vegas, I want to see “Argo”  on opening day (October 12, 2012).


I bought a new album, “Hello” by Karmin, that I love.

It only has seven songs, but Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan are so hip and fun that the album will take you by surprise.

They’ve already scored a #1 dance hit, “Brokenhearted”, that reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their new release, “Hello” is already racing up the top 40 and dance charts.

Both Amy and Nick have great voices and the music is fun.  However, what will really surprise you is that Nebraska-born Amy can rap with the best of them.  Watch out Nicki Minaj!



Since I’ve ruffled a few feathers in the recent past!

Peace out!


It’s A Special Day!

UPDATE:  September 3, 2013

After reading this blog one year later, I have an update.  Ray is now 50-years-old and we’re not going to Hawaii.  He chose a Danube River cruise in Europe for his milestone birthday trip.  We’ll be doing that in October.

ORIGINAL POST:  August 25, 2012

It’s August 25th and there are 128 days remaining in 2012.

On this date in history in 1916, the United States National Park Service is created; in 1944, in World War II, Paris is liberated by the Allies; in 1981, the “Voyager 2” spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn; and eight years later on this date, “Voyager 2” makes its closest approach to Neptune!

And, noted celebrities like Regis Philbin (81), Kiss’ Gene Simmons (63), director Tim Burton (54), chef Rachel Ray (44), and Alexander Skarsgard (36) are celebrating birthdays today.

Now, that I have your attention after all the historical stuff and celebrity birthdays, look at this little sweetie!

Yes, it on this day back in 196o-something that little Raymond Forsythe was born in a Fort Dodge hospital elevator.  He just couldn’t wait to come into the world!

Sing along:

Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*
¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Ray!!!!! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Isn’t it funny how some little kids can be so adorable and then when they get older, they’re not as cute.  That didn’t happen to this little cutie.

All together now, a collective “ahhhhhh”.

And, one more blast from the past.

We started celebrating his birthday early.  Yesterday, for lunch, I grilled ribeyes with sauteed lemon pepper/basil grilled shrimp.

And, for dessert, “Red Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake” from “A Little Slice of Heaven” in Davenport, Iowa.  It was incredible!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, we’re going to celebrate with lunch at Carlos O’Kelly’s (Ray’s choice) and gifts.

For his big birthday next year, we’re planning a fantabulous trip to Hawaii.

Happy birthday Ray Ray!