It’s the first Friday of the new year and I hope the first three days of 2013 treated you well. A past Friday blog tradition for me was to feature three of my favorite songs from the 1980s, my favorite decade of music. While I’m still going to highlight one each Friday, I’m going to mix it up a bit. On each Friday in 2013, I’m going to do a random blog with no rhyme or reason.
IT’S COLD, BUT WHERE IS THE SNOW?
All of these snowmen may be protesting “global warming” (yes, I know it’s a reality), but it’s been cold enough for me lately. Over the past two weeks, temperatures in the Quad Cities are running about three degrees colder than average. Five of those mornings (including January 1 and 2, 2013, at 5°) have been in the single digits.
But, where is the snow? We’ve only picked up 5.3″ of snow this winter at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, and 4.9″ of that fell on December 20, 2012. While this is about 6″ behind where we should be on January 4th, last year at this time, only 1.4″ of snow had accumulated!
As skimpy as the snow has been the past two winters, this is not a record. Back in the winter of 1939-1940, the first accumulating snow of the winter had not even occurred! It would be January 7, 1940, before that winter saw a measurable snow.
SO, WHY ARE WE DEALING WITH THIS?
This is my street in Moline. I live on a side street or secondary street. Why, more than two weeks after the only winter storm of this season, are streets still a sheet of ice? (Disclaimer: I know this isn’t a problem that is exclusive to Moline. I’ve heard others in the Quad Cities complaining about the same thing.)
From a meteorological standpoint, I’ll defend local public works departments to a certain extent.
When that winter storm started on Wednesday, December 19th, and continued into the early morning hours of Thursday, temperatures were still above freezing and much of what we’re dealing with now fell as rain. When temperatures dropped below freezing and the rain transitioned to almost 5″ of snow (with much more northwest of the metro area), it became an instant ice rink. (I guess we can now say Moline has two ice rinks and this one was much more effective with a lot less maintenance and problems!)
That’s where my defense ends and my questions start. We live in the Midwest. This is not Kentucky or Tennessee where a light accumulation of ice or snow brings the area to a standstill. It’s been fifteen days since that storm and temperatures for the last two days of 2012 made it up to 36°. It’s not too cold to apply salt, sand, or whatever is being used these days to melt this and make our streets safer. As citizens, we’re given so many hours to clean our sidewalks after a snow. The same should be required of our streets.
I guess there is some good news. Temperatures today through much of next week are forecast to be generally in the 30s, which will allow the ice melt on its own!
ARE THE FISH FROZEN?
With temperatures the past few mornings at the coldest levels this winter, ice is forming on the cattail in the fish pond from the water coming out of the fountain. The good news is that the de-icer is still keeping the surface of the pond from freezing. The fish are handling the cold, but they are definitely not moving much. With milder days ahead, I hope to see them swimming around next week.
While we were unwinding one night on our December cruise, Gretel was playing with Ray’s phone and came up with this creepy picture. We’ll call it Grethony! It looks like something from a horror movie.
2012’S BIGGEST TOUR
Now that 2012 is behind us, Pollstar released the list of the most profitable worldwide tours last year. I’ve very happy to say that I got to see the #1 tour in Las Vegas on October 13, 2012, and three weeks from today, I’ll be seeing the #5 tour, also in Las Vegas.
While Madonna’s tour brought in an incredible $296.1 million and tickets averaged around $140 each, she wasn’t the act demanding the most money.
At #33 on the list, the Rolling Stones made $35.5 million in just five shows with an average ticket price of $529.51!
And, at #22, Barbra Streisand’s 12 shows brought in an incredible $40.7 with average ticket prices at $263.52.
LADY GAGA REACHING OUT
I’m getting excited to see Lady Gaga on January 25th in Las Vegas. The North American leg of her “Born This Way Ball” tour kicks off one week from today with two shows in Vancouver, British Columbia. I can’t wait to see what changes she’ll make to the set list.
Several hours before Gaga hits the stage at each of her American shows, her Born This Way Foundation will provide the “Born Brave Bus”, which offers a free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds “to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services.”
So, other than the amazing music, over the top costumes, and incredible sets, you can see why she is so loved!
Gaga, you rock!
I ♥ MY WEATHER IDOL EVEN MORE
WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling is the best in the business. And, after seeing his participation with the NOH8 project, I love him even more!
From left to right, that’s Tom, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Bruce Caulkins, and WGN-TV anchor/reporter Sean Lewis.
And, back in 2010, Miss ABBA and I submitted our pictures for NOH8, too.
For those of you that don’t know what NOH8 is, it’s a “charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.”
SAYING GOODBYE TO CHRISTMAS 2012
Our Christmas trees and decorations are still up and I plan on enjoying them for one more week and then they come down next weekend. So, I’ll say goodbye to Christmas 2012 in my blog with this video produced by 1980’s pop star Boy George of Culture Club. Christmas doesn’t have to be a “drag”.
“You Ruined My Xmas” — Supreme Fabulette
This was the worst movie I’ve seen in a very long time.
While I love “Entertainment Weekly”, the magazine led me astray when it gave the movie, “Silent Night”, a grade of “B”. This holiday horror movie spent five whole days in theaters and made $14,567 before it was released on DVD in early December 2012.
So, last weekend, I was very excited to check it out. The premise of a crazed Santa going on a Christmas killing spree sounded like cheap fun.
The acting was horrible and there was no snow on the ground and this movie took place, I think, in Wisconsin. I guess since the movie was probably filmed on a shoestring budget in the summer, there was no snow and no explanation of why they weren’t having a White Christmas. Oh, that’s right, Santa was a killer!
The only thing going for the movie was some creative methods of killing off the characters: can you say “wood chipper”! But, even that scene was overshadowed by the jokey acting. And, I sure hope respected actor Malcolm McDowell was paid a lot of money to be in this disaster.
If you want a scary holiday movie, don’t rent this. If you want a holiday movie that should have scared you, but instead makes you laugh, this is your movie.
GRADE: D (a few of the creative methods of murder boosts it up from an “F”).
PEEPS’ FRIDAY ’80S FLASHBACK
There are two acts that I’d like to see in concert in 2013, Culture Club (if they reunite) and Depeche Mode.
Depeche Mode kicks off their world tour in Tel Aviv, Israel in early May with dates running through July 29th. No U.S. dates have been announced yet.
In August 1989, they released the first single from “Violator”, which would become their biggest American album.
“Personal Jesus” peaked at #28 and the follow-up single, “Enjoy The Silence” in early 1990, would become their only Top Ten American hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Personal Jesus” — Depeche Mode
Have a great weekend.