Archive for January, 2014

2014 Concerts

We’re more than halfway through the first month of the new year and I’ve made no travel plans and I’ve bought no concert tickets.  However, there are shows I want to see.

If it all works out, I want to visit Las Vegas in 2014 and see a double feature of Shania Twain and Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”, which is earning rave reviews since it started last Friday night.


More than likely, the first show we’ll see this year will be Cher and her “Dressed To Kill” tour when it comes to Rosemont, outside Chicago, on June 7th.

Cher Dressed to Kill Tour

I’d also like to see Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis’ “Grits & Glamour Tour” in Clinton, Iowa, in June, since I’ve seen both of them separately in concert.


I also want to see Erasure next fall and Olivia Newton-John, if she tours.



And, I’m still holding out for a Culture Club reunion tour.



Re-posted from  “Random Friday Thoughts — January 3, 2014

Accumulating Snow Saturday

UPDATE:  Saturday, January 18, 2014, 7:17 a.m.

During the pre-dawn hours, the warmer air ahead of our next clipper system is moving in and it may produce some flurries or light snow in the early morning hours.

However, the heavier snow will fall during the morning to midday hours and end by late afternoon northwest to southeast across Iowa and Illinois.

Here is a map showing where there is a “Winter Weather Advisory” through 6 p.m. Saturday (in purple).

Saturday Snow Update

Snowfall amounts will generally be in the 2-4″ range in the “Advisory” area with some locations picking up close to 5″.

This is one clipper system where I think the snow totals may be on the higher end of the range.

Be safe and enjoy your weekend.

By the way, we’re now up to 26.2″ of snow for the winter in the Quad Cities, so we only need 3.8″ to push us to the 30″ mark.


ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, January 17, 2014, 3:58 p.m.

Accumulating snow is on the way Saturday.

Since I’m enjoying my four days off, I thought I’d quickly post this for planning purpose.  Please don’t be offended if I don’t answer questions or give personal forecasts.  It’s pretty cut and dry.

A clipper system will bring the heaviest snow where there is a “Winter Weather Advisory” (purple shading) Saturday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Saturday Snow

While there may be a few isolated total of five inches in the “Advisory” area, most locations will pick up 2-4″.  Outside of the advisory area, 1-2″ will likely fall.

Sunday looks warmer with highs in the 30s to help the snow start melting away.  We may even close in on 40°!


Random Friday Thoughts — January 17, 2014

I definitely look forward to my weekends and I start counting down to them when I walk into the door at work at 2 a.m. on Mondays!

I hope you have a great weekend and that you have some fun or relaxing things to do.  My plans are to watch movies, go out to lunch Saturday, and attend the Red Ribbon Dinner, which is a local AIDS fundraiser, Saturday night.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts this week.


I know there are people who go into grocery stores or seafood restaurants and choose their lobster dinner from a tank of live crustaceans.

Lobster Tank

I would never do that since I don’t want to look at my dinner eye-to-eye.  However, I can understand that more (sorry, lobster) than going to a charity auction and bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars to stalk and kill an endangered animal for fun.

This past weekend, in Texas, at the Dallas Safari Club’s fundraiser, the winning bidder paid $350,000 to hunt down and execute an endangered African black rhino in the African nation of Namibia.

Black Rhino

The executive director of the club, Ben Carter, claims that the money from the auction will actually go toward protecting the species.

Carter adds that the doomed rhino “is old, male and non-breeding” and it would likely be targeted for execution because it’s “becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.”


Protestors are not buying that and see the thrill kill as sadistic and I agree.

However, I disagree with “death threats” that are allegedly being made against Carter, his family, and the Safari Club.  One of them states, “For every rhino you kill, we will kill a member of the club.”

In the 1960s, there were about 70,000 black rhinos in the wild and now there about 5,000.


I just finished reading my second book of 2014 and well on my way of surpassing the four that I read last year.  I’ve been wanting to read “Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater” by Frank Bruni for some time now.

Born Round

The book traces Bruni’s New York upbringing in a close-knit large Italian family where the women loved to cook and made it an art.

Describing all of the delicacies his mother, grandmother, and aunts created, it was like reading a “food porn” book.

The main focus of the book was that while Frank was a swimmer and athletic, he was compulsive when it came to food.

He was always fighting being overweight with one fad diet after another.  This lead to periods of fasting, binge eating and bulimia, and ballooning up to 268 pounds before he finally took charge of his life and took exercise seriously to responsibly lose the weight .

Frank Bruni Born Round

Once he slimmed down and became fit, Bruni became a restaurant critic for the New York Times.

For five years (2004-2009), he would eat out seven nights a week.  On some of those nights, he would have two or three dinners at some of the most talked about and higher class restaurants in New York.  Those meals consisted of multiple appetizers, entrees, and desserts, and some of the feasts would consists of 20 courses or more!

The book also covers his relationships and during the period of his heaviest weight, the lack of having a boyfriend.

These days, Bruni still works for the Times and he looks amazing.



Sweet DreamsButt DialBakery


While the next few entries are Oscar-related, there are other topics in this blog, so keep reading.

“American Hustle” and “”Gravity” lead this year’s Oscar race with 10 nominations each.  “12 Years a Slave” picked up 9 nominations.


I accurately predicted that all four main actors in “American Hustle” would get nominated.  I also picked Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts to get acting nominations.  I correctly thought that “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and Oprah Winfrey would be snubbed, along with Robert Redford for “All Is Lost”.


My apologies go out to Amy Adams (five time Oscar nominee with no wins, so far) and Jennifer Lawrence (three Oscar nominations and one win, so far).  Both blew me away in “American Hustle”.

I was pledging my support for them to win until yesterday when I saw “August:  Osage County” with fellow Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep and Best Supporting Actress nominee Julia Roberts.


Watching this downer of a movie, I can fully understand how Streep picked up her 18th nomination (three wins, so far) and Roberts got her fourth nomination (one win for “Erin Brockovich”).

The material in this movie adapted from the Tracy Letts’ play is heavy:  suicide, oral cancer, infidelity, incest, and inappropriate sexual misconduct with a minor.  However, the acting was incredible.  In addition to Oscar nominees Streep and Roberts, it also stars past Oscar nominees and winners, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, and Abigail Breslin.

You have to see this movie!  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and most of all, you’ll want to scream, “Eat the fish, bitch”!  (If you haven’t seen the movie, that’s dialogue from a pivotal scene.)



I’m happy that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were nominated for Oscars after both won much-deserved acting awards at last weekend’s Golden Globes for their incredible performances in the AIDS-themed, “Dallas Buyers Club”.


I’ve blogged about the incredible movie many times and it was #3 favorite movie of 2013.  It’s also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Just in case you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is.


While I was hoping for Oprah Winfrey to get an Academy Award nomination for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”, once I saw the movie a couple of days ago, she had only one scene that screamed Oscar.

When this $30 million movie came out late last summer (it grossed $167.5 million), I wanted to go see in the theaters.  But, I waited for it to arrive on DVD and I’m glad I did.


The movie covers the life of Cecil Gaines, an African-American, who left the South as a cotton picker and then worked 34 years as a butler in the White House under eight presidents.

Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”) gives an solid performance as Cecil and Academy Award-nominee Oprah Winfrey (“The Color Purple”) is amazing as Cecil’s boozy wife, Gloria.

While the movie is intense at the beginning on the cotton field where Cecil worked as a child with his parents, the rest of the movie over the next two hours moved along like a “best of” countdown of historical events and the presidents that handled them during Gaines’ year of working at the White House.

The most moving scenes were of disgusts at how white people treated black people and the whites that supported their fight for civil rights back in the 1960s.

And, as a final note, Jane Fonda was an incredible Nancy Reagan.

Jane Fonda Nancy Reagan

When the movie was in theaters, the controversies surrounded Fonda, a liberal playing one of the most beloved conservative first wives in history, and Fonda’s days that go back to the Vietnam when she was referred to as “Hanoi Jane”.  There was even a movie theater in Kentucky that refused to the play “The Butler” because of Fonda. (Go figure!  I can say that because I’m from there.)



Martin Scorsese’s latest, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, received major Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), and Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill).  While the movie isn’t exactly setting box office records, it does hold one motion picture record.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The $100 million dollar movie about excess is also excessive on the use of the f-word.

There are 506 uses of the f-word or variations of it.  That easily beats out Spike Lee’s 1999 thriller, “Summer of Sam” with 435 f-bombs.

Only a documentary called “F*ck”, which is about the f-word, is higher in count at 857 times.

F Documentary

Scorsese also has two other movies in the top twenty on the list:  “Casino” at 422 and “Goodfellas” with 300.

And, I thought I used the word a lot!  Either it’s a popular word (my theory) or Hollywood writers are not very creative.  No comment about the number of remakes and sequels when it comes to creativity!


We’re now halfway through the month of January and I’m happy to report that Ray and I are doing well on our healthy eating and exercise regiment to shed those 15-20 unwanted pounds.

And, we’re treating ourselves one cheat brunch or buffet each week including this one last Sunday with unlimited mimosas and a piece of cheesecake that I decorated myself!


During my first week of being healthy, I lost 3.2 pounds!  It’s taken a lot of self-control of cutting back on wine and vodka (and food), making fun, tempting salads and veggies, and walking a lot on the treadmill.  At least, I’m getting some reading done!


Better Homes & Gardens (July 2013):  The average American will walk 35,000 miles in a lifetime and will watch nine years of television!

Watching TV

And, speaking of television, I only watch three network shows, “The Following”, “Hannibal”, and “Under The Dome”, and one of them returns this weekend.


I guess I’ll be tired Monday morning at work because the second season of “The Following” kicks off this Sunday night (January 19) after the football game on Fox.

The Following S 2


Growing up in Kentucky, I was raised on country music from our AM radio station, WNGO, 1320 AM in Mayfield.

One of my favorite songs as a kid was the first hit from the St. Louis, Missouri, father-daughter duo, The Kendalls, Royce and Jeannie.

“Heaven’s Just A Sin Away” not only became the Kendalls first hit in 1977, it also became the biggest hit of their career topping the country chart for four weeks and reaching #69 on the Billboard Hot 100.


It also won the 1978 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group.

From 1977 to 1985, the Kendalls scored 22 hits on the Billboard Country chart.  Of those, 11 reached the Top Ten, and three topped the charts:  “Heaven;s Just A Sin Away”, “Sweet Desire” in 1978, and “Thank God For the Radio” in 1984, which Alan Jackson also recorded for his 1994 album, “Who I Am”.

Royce Kendall died of stroke in 1998 at the age of 62.  Jeannie still occasionally records music and tours.


Have a great weekend and thank you for checking out my blog.  It was nice sleeping in.  I was just dreaming that we moved to a different house and that Gretel and I got to meet international superstar DJ, Avicii.

So, at the last minute, I’m including his current Top 40 American hit, “Hey Brother”, the follow-up to the top five smash, “Wake Me Up”.


My Review of “The To Do List”, “Warm Bodies”, & “The Bling Ring”

Three movies I’ve been waiting to see arrive at Redbox this week:  “Fruitvale Station”, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “You’re Next”.

I plan on renting them over the next few days since I have a four-day weekend starting later today!

Last weekend, we rented three movies and I’d recommend you check out two of them, but avoid the third.


If you want a raunchy, coming-of-age comedy, check out “The To Do List” with Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation”.

To Do List

The movie is basically a female version of “Porky’s”, the 1980s horn-dog comedy about boys wanting to lose their virginity.

In “The To Do List”, Plaza plays a straight-laced, uptight, very focused high school valedictorian ready to head off to college.  Her two best friends take her to a college party and she spots Rusty Waters, a surfer-like dude that she falls for.

After drunkenly making out with him, her “to do list” changes from planning for college to sexual acts she wants to do before her freshman year at college.

The movie is very adult in nature.  While predictable and funny,  you’ve probably seen it all before, except maybe girls doing it instead of boys.



Warm Bodies

Up next was “Warm Bodies”, a romantic zombie comedy, a $35 million movie from early 2013 movie that went on to gross $117 million.

Nicholas Hoult stars as “R”, a zombie that can’t remember his name.

During a zombie attack, several of the “undead” are killed, as are several humans.

The romantic comedy parts comes when “R” rescues Julie (Teresa Palmer) after her gun jams and she can’t shoot him.  “R” realizes something is changing in him when he sees Julie differently than just his next meal.



Our final movie of the weekend was one that I really thought was going to be good fun.  However, it ended up being the most bland.


While starring the incredible Emma Watson (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and the “Harry Potter” series) and Israel Broussard, in his first starring role, “The Bling Ring” was more of a let down.

The movie is based on a real life events.  It follows a group of California teenagers, who were obsessed with fame and material things and took to breaking into the homes and stealing from Hollywood celebrities back in 2008 and 2009.

Their biggest target was socialite Paris Hilton.


While mildly entertaining at the beginning, the movie got old fast.

And, what does it say about Paris Hilton when the real-life thieves admitted that they targeted her because she was “dumb” and that she’d probably have a key hidden under the doormat?  Surprisingly, she did, but they didn’t need it because she left her doors unlocked!  Spoiler!

My final thoughts on “The Bling Ring”:  while watching the movie, I was amazed that Paris lives such a life of excess that she couldn’t even tell that millions of dollars of personal belongings were stolen.  And, what does it say about Paris’ thirst for fame that she stars as herself and allows her house to be used in a movie depicting the violation of her personal space?



Enjoy The Temperature Roller Coaster Ride

UPDATE:  Sunday, January 12, 2014, 12:32 p.m.

It’s already 45° at noon in the Quad Cities.  Let’s go for 50° for the high.


ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, January 12, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

The snow melt that started Friday and continued into Saturday will really be noticed today.


After a beautiful sunrise today with lows in the 20s and a re-freeze of yesterday’s melt, highs today will soar above the 40-degree mark.


While clouds will be on the increase today, Dubuque and Galena, in our northern hometowns should at least hit 40°, while 45° is not out of the question in the Quad Cities and along Interstate 80.  Southern hometowns, around Macomb, Keokuk, and Burlington could reach the upper-40s to near 50°!

A weak disturbance may bring some light rain, light snow, or a wintry mix of rain, sleet, snow, or freezing rain late tonight, especially north.  This might not even make it to the Quad Cities.

However, there is some light snow in the forecast Monday night and Tuesday.

Tuesday 6am

As that disturbance and cold front passes by, we could see around an inch of snow.  While that is not a big deal, it will bring a lot of wind and blowing snow and colder temperatures.

Wednesday’s high may only reach the teens.

After a brief warm-up Thursday to around 30°, it looks like we head back into the deep freeze for a few days Friday and for next weekend with highs in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits.

Friday Cold

As it looks right now, no major winter storms are in the forecast.

Enjoy today’s slushy warm-up!


Random Friday Thoughts — January 10, 2014

It’s Friday and we’re out of the deep freeze from earlier this week when wind chills hit -50°.  I hope you have a great weekend.  We’re taking down the Christmas tree, watching movies, and going to brunch Sunday.

If you’re thinking of a movie to rent this weekend and you want to see a love story, you have to see “Bridegroom”!


I’ve blogged about the love story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom several times and, last weekend, we watched the documentary “Bridegroom” by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the powerhouse behind “Designing Women”.


It doesn’t matter if you’re straight or LGBT, the story of Shane and Tom meeting, falling in love and traveling the world, Tom’s accidental death, and Shane not being able to attend the funeral in Indiana because of Tom’s family’s homophobia is touching and heartbreaking.

While watching this 80-minute documentary, you don’t feel that you’re watching a gay love story, you sense that you’re watching the love between two friends grow.  Simply, it’s a love story of two people.

If you’re opposed to marriage equality, this might open your eyes to see why it’s so important in this country and the world that everyone that falls in love should have the right to marry.  If you’re on the fence, I sense that you’ll want to find out how to make marriage legal for everyone.

“Bridegroom” is a must see!  As the credits rolled, I wished that I had known Tom and I hope that Shane can find that same love again.



Legendary comedian Lily Tomlin, last seen on Reba McEntire’s ABC series, “Malibu Country”, is now a married woman.

Lily Tomlin

The 74-year-old actress married Jane Wagner, her partner of 42 years.

Friend and columnist Liz Smith writes, “It was an eventful New Year’s Eve … my longtime friends, Lily Tomlin and her love, the writer Jane Wagner, got married on the eve of 2014. … My wish is that their happiness will be as great as their combined talents.”

Best wishes Lily and Jane!


I don’t know if Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock, from Peoria, is gay or not.  I know he’s cute, has a nice body, and an interesting sense of style.

Aaron Schock aaron-schock-1

However, there’s been rumors swirling around Schock for years.  And, now his sexuality is front and center after a Facebook post from journalist Itay Hod last Friday.

Itay Hod

That’s just a portion of the lengthy post of Hod’s “hypothetical” question.  The story is now being picked up by gay and straight news outlets.

Itay Hod 2

So, there two are ways to go with this?  Is it a big deal if Schock is gay or not and should people “out” other people?

Here’s a tweet from Hod about his feelings?

Itay Tweet

Here’s my opinion and I welcome yours.  Dialogue is always good.

Having any public figure to “come out” as gay helps to demystify gay people.  It also gives kids that may be LGBT or questioning their sexuality a role model.

People have talked about Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster’s sexuality for years, but she refused to address it.

Jodie Foster

I was happy when she finally came out as a lesbian at last year’s Golden Globe awards ceremony in an acceptance speech.  Or, did she?

There’s a big difference between someone who lives their life as their own and a person, like Schock, who has been an enemy to the LGBT community and marriage equality.  In that case, the answer is yes.

Aaron Schock 2

If there is proof, yes, PROOF, that Schock is gay, it needs to come out and so does he.  Maybe then he can live a happier life not hiding in the closet and maybe explain if his political career is that much more important than the lives of his LGBT brothers and sisters.

If he’s straight, let him be and let’s vote him out of office for his ignorant anti-gay voting record.

It’s people like Schock that stood in the way of Shane and Tom getting married in California and Shane not having “legal rights” to visit Tom as he lay dying in the hospital!


This isn’t the first time I’ve brought up the subject of “outing” people.

It was the topic of my seventh blog back on January 15, 2012, called “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are”.  That blog was about the sexuality of professional football player Tim Tebow and others.  Here’s the link if you want to read it.



PsychoTwo To TooChannel 4 Weather Guy


Pop singer Ke$ha is known for her wild videos and stage antics.  Her songs are fun and over the top, too.  In her first hit, the #1 “Tik Tok”, she sings “before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack”.


So, you might think her treatment has something to do with drugs and alcohol.  However, it’s something different.

The 26-year-old pop star released a statement last weekend saying, “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice.  I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder…to learn to love myself again. exactly as I am.”


Ke$ha, I wish you much success in what will be a daily struggle for the rest of your life.  I know it’s something that she and the millions like her will fight each day.

When people think of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, most incorrectly believe it only affects females and Karen Carpenter’s name likely comes to mind.

karen carpenterpeople

However, it’s estimated that 10-15% of those affected by eating disorders are male.

I, too, am a recovering food addict.  You’ll often hear me blog about eating healthy or walking on the treadmill.  It’s not because I’m vain.  It’s because I fight the food demon of overeating every day.  A few pounds to the average person is a huge burden, a catalyst for insecurity, and a path for destruction to a food addict.

After nine years of being a practicing bulimic from 1986-1995, I’ve been on the wagon now for going on 19 years.  Like an any other addict, recovery is a daily process.

It’s because of this that I blogged a couple of years ago about Adele’s weight.

adele out

It’s been my second most viewed blog since I posted it.  I’m sharing it again to raise awareness of weight and eating disorders.  I hope you check it out.  Feel free to share it because it might save someone who needs to know they are not fighting this battle alone.

In memory of Karen Carpenter, one of my favorite singers ever, here’s a medley of The Carpenters’ greatest hits.


After finally finishing enough magazines to read a book, I ended up reading four last year and vowed to read many more than that in 2014.

I just finished my first book, a short little 96-page history of country music that I picked up at a yard sale or a dollar store.  It’s called “Country Music: Facts, Figures & Fun” by Mike Evans.

Country Music

It was an interesting little read.  While most know that country music was originally known as the derogatory term “hillbilly music” and was changed to “country & western music” in 1949 and shortened to country music, its roots are traced by to the British Isles hundreds of years ago!

You probably already know that I love my women of country music.  While this book did profile Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Shania Twain, there were only a few brief mentions of my favorites, Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless.

The book also educated me on the history of bluegrass, singing cowboys, honky-tonk, the crossover appeal of “The Nashville Sound”, and outlaw music.


When I think of “outlaw music”, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings come to mind.  The phrase was coined from a 1972 Jennings song called “Ladies Love Outlaws.”

Waylon Jennings

Jennings was born about a half-hour outside of Lubbock, Texas, in 1937.  While he became one of the biggest stars in country music, he never forgot his family back home.  In my year in Lubbock, in 1997, I interviewed his brother, who owned a gas station in west Texas, and he confirmed that about his famous brother.

Waylon scored his first hit in 1965 and his last Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Country charts was in 1991.

In all, he had 83 Top 40 hits on the country charts.  Of those, 53 reached the Top Ten, including 15 number one songs.

While I have many Waylon favorites (solo and with Willie and Jessi Colter, his wife), my all-time favorite, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” was released in April 1977 and it reached, #1.  It also reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #16 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

Did you know that Jennings was a bass player for Buddy Holly and he gave up his seat on a chartered plane in February 1959 leaving Mason City, Iowa, for the next show?  That plane crashed killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.

Buddy Holly Plane Crash

Waylon Jennings died in 2002.  He was 64.


On a recent episode of “UK Celebrity Big Brother”, former boxer champion Evander Holyfield told fellow contestant Luisa Zissman that being gay is not normal.

Evander Holyfield

Holyfield mumbled “yes, it is a choice… that ain’t the way nobody is made” and said if a person was handicapped, you’d go to a doctor to get it fixed.

I would go into the whole debate of how being gay is not a “choice” like picking out food on a menu, but he probably couldn’t hear me!

Tyson Holyfield Ear Bite

Peace out, my friends, and have a great weekend!


A Breath of Spring As I Talk More Winter

I know many of you are already tired of the bitter cold temperatures this week.

January temperatures in the Quad Cities are running 17.7° below average and if the month ended today, this would be the coldest January on record!

Okay, the month isn’t ending yet, but it’s going to warm into the 20s today, the 30s tomorrow and Saturday, and close to 40° Sunday.  How’s that for improvement?

Outside 010914

This is what it looks like outside at my house.

We will see some light freezing drizzle tonight, a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow early Friday, rain Friday afternoon and evening, and a switch over to snow late Friday night with a little bit of accumulation.

However, this isn’t a real weather blog entry about winter.  It’s about optimism.

Last week, I adopted the twelve poinsettias that decorated our news set and news room and they now grace my sun porch!

New Poinsettias

Here’s one of the new poinsettias with the very healthy looking purple shamrock.

Shamrock and new Poinsettia

However, I’m really excited about one of my other “misfit” poinsettias.  That’s what I call the poinsettias I’ve adopted in years past after Christmas is over and people don’t want them anymore.  Or, the ones that I buy from the stores at a very reduced price because they are not perfect.

Late in the fall, right before I brought them in for the season, they were attacked by “whitefly”, those damn little hemipterans and had to be cut back.

It may be the second week of January, but I noticed that one of the “misfits” is turning red!  It’s never too late.

Poinsettias Turning Red in January

So, here’s to spring, for those of you that want it, even though we still have a lot more winter weather to go.

Spring Countdown


Happy Birthday! Let’s Have Cake!

It’s a very special birthday for me today.  It’s not my actual birthday.  That’s in October.

My blog turns two years old today!  Happy Birthday!


I want to thank each and every one of you that took minutes of your day to read my thoughts regardless of the subject.  And, I also want to thank you for sharing your views on my blog whether you agreed or disagreed with me on the topic.  I love to write and share my thoughts and if it gets people to think, that’s even better.

Here are a few interesting numbers.  I can’t believe that in the two years, the blog was viewed roughly 227,500 times.  If I had continued to blog daily over the past year since I started my new job and schedule, it would have easily surpassed a quarter of a million hits in the two years!  That’s incredible.

The most viewed blog day was last Saturday with details on the weekend snowstorm and this week’s Arctic cold outbreak (2,328 views).

Some of the more popular blogs that I’ve written (in number of views) were about Adele’s weight and eating disorders, John Travolta coming out of the closet, Magic Mike, the Erie, Illinois school board’s decision to ban a book about alternative families (gay), my leaving WQAD, and then getting hired at CBS4 in the Quad Cities.

The most viewed blog over the two years (25,052 views) was about 50 Cent.


But, here are some of my favorite blogs I’ve shared with you.







adele out









As we head into the third year, I hope you come along with me to see what I might be writing about next.

You can also use the search at the top of blog page to look for topics that might interest you to see if I blogged about it.

Again, thank you.


Dangerously Cold Today & Tomorrow

I’ll start off today’s blog with the good news before we have to talk about the bad news.

A gradual warming trend begins Tuesday, although highs will only be in the single digits above zero.

However, by Friday and the weekend, we’ll enjoy a “January Thaw” with high temperatures in the low-to-mid-30s!!!

Now, the bad news.

A “Wind Chill Warning” remains in effect through noon Tuesday.  Temperatures today will only climb to about -7° to -12°, but with the 20-35 mile-per-hour wind factored in, it’s going to feel more like -30° to -40° today and tonight.

Look at these temperatures and wind chills from earlier this morning when I hope you were all warm and snuggled up in bed.

Lows Monday night will drop to around -10° to -20°.  But, again, with the wind, it’ll feel more like -30° to -40°.

Here’s a wind chill chart for you to reference if you know the temperature and the wind speed.

Wind Chill Chart

Please be careful out there today, tonight, and tomorrow.

In addition to snow and blowing snow, there could be some more snow flurries today and Tuesday in the cold air.

Light snow is possible Wednesday and Wednesday night with some minor accumulation possible.


With the “January Thaw” late week, we could be seeing a wintry mix of rain and snow during the day Friday and Sunday and some light snow at night.

Be safe and try to stay warm.  Remember to check on the elderly and the pets outdoors!


Mr. Ten Below, go away!

Snow Miser


Arctic Chill Arrives Behind Snow

Score one for the Snow Miser!

Snow Miser

Despite my best efforts of upping the snow total forecast for the Quad Cities, it turned into a nightmare when the final totals came in.

Snow 1

Officially, in the Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois, picked up 7.8″ of snow in the past 24 hours, while Davenport only saw 1.1″ at the airport!  Seriously, that much of a difference over just a few miles!  More on the snow coming up, but the cold is now the bigger story for days to come.

Saturday’s high temperature in the Quad Cities ahead of our latest accumulating snow was 33°.

Sat High

It’s going to be some time before we see it that warm again with Arctic cold and brutal, dangerous wind chills settling in today through Tuesday.

While we started out in the teens very early Sunday morning, temperatures will continue to fall throughout the day and by the time you wake up Monday morning, lows will be around -20°.  Once you factor in the wind, it’s going to feel more like -30° to -50°!

Wind Chill Warning

A “Wind Chill Warning” (blue shading) is in effect from Sunday through noon Tuesday for all Iowa and Illinois and much of the northern part of the United States!


Monday is going to be the worst day with high temperatures remaining well below zero in the -5° to -10° range.  Some hometowns northwest of the Quad Cities may not even reach -10° for highs!

Those are the actual temperatures.  The wind chills will be continue to be down around -40° into Tuesday morning!

By the way, since we’re in record cold territory, the coldest high temperature ever in the Quad Cities is -12°!

This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation and frostbite and hypothermia (the loss of body heat required to function) can sneak up on you.  Be dressed properly to go outside and be prepared in case you get stranded outdoors.

I know this may sound technical and the temperatures are in Celsius, but focus more on the symptoms of hypothermia on the left hand side of the graphic and actions to take on the right side.


The good news is that by the end of the upcoming week, we’ll likely see highs above 30° again!

Now, let’s talk about snow.

Snow 2

If you watched me Friday on CBS4, I stated that the latest computer models were hinting that the heavier snow from central Illinois might back its way into the Quad Cities.  And, if that materialized, we’d definitely get more than an inch of snow in the metro area.

When I posted my forecast Saturday in my blog, I said 1-3″ for much of the area and more down to the southeast.

Snow This Weekend

We easily surpassed that at Quad City International Airport, the official reporting station for the Quad Cities.  In Moline, we picked up 7.8″, but the airport in Davenport only received 1.1″.

Here is the reason why we got more snow than we all forecast.  When the snow started Saturday afternoon, temperatures were around 30° and, typically, at temperatures like that you get a 10:1 ratio of snow.  It’s wetter.  From noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, 1.3″ accumulated in Moline.

As temperatures drop, the snow has a lower-moisture content and it can easily fluff up to several inches.  That is definitely what happened in some of our hometowns.

In Moline, between 6 p.m. and midnight Saturday, we picked up another 3.1″.  And from midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday, another 3.4″ for that 7.8″ total!  Score one more for Mother Nature and Old Man Winter!

However, that still doesn’t make up for the sharp cut-off from Moline to Davenport from almost eight inches of snow to just about an inch!

The snow is pretty much over now.

Fish Pond Snow

Here are some of the snow totals reported in to my colleagues at the National Weather Service:  9.5″ Monmouth (IL); 7.8″ Moline (IL)*; 7.2″ Altona (IL); 7.0″ Galva (IL); 7.0″ Galesburg (IL); 7.0″ Stronghurst (IL); 6.8″ Macomb (IL); 6.1″ Princeton (IL); 6.0″ Burlington (IA); 6.0″ Kewanee (IL); 5.7″ Keokuk (IA); 5.4″ New Windsor (IL); 5.3″ Geneseo (IL); 4.5″ Fort Madison (IA); 3.1″ Colona (IL); 3.5″ Industry (IL); 3.0″ Mount Pleasant (IA); 2.8″ Dallas City (IL); 2.5″ Cambridge (IL); 2.0″ Freeport (IL); 1.8″ Bettendorf (IA); and 1.1″ Davenport (IA).

That 7.8″ is the official total for the Quad Cities out of Moline, Illinois.  There are other parts of Moline with less snow than that.

Please brace yourself for the dangerous cold and wind chills next few days!