Archive for August, 2015

Shooting Changes The Way I See My Profession

By now, many of you have heard the story of the tragic shooting outside Roanoke, Virginia, Wednesday morning.

Alison Adam

24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and her 27-year-old photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed during a live broadcast on WDBJ7 news about tourism.

Vicki Gardner

The woman that was being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, was shot in the back and underwent surgery.  Her condition has stabilized.

The alleged shooter, a former employee at the station with the on-air name of Bryce Williams, was even live tweeting about the shooting and racism while police were looking for him.

WDBJ_BryceWilliams+169

Just before his Twitter account was suspended, he disgustingly posted video of the shooting from his point-of-view.  He ended up shooting himself and died at the hospital.

I didn’t know Alison and Adam.  However, they are colleagues and this could happen to any of us in television news or in any profession.  While the live broadcast can be found online, I want to remember Alison and Adam this way – happy.

Alison Adam Fun

As a television reporter, you usually go into work and pitch stories to determine what you’ll be covering for the newscast.

My only close call came in 1997, when I was a reporter for KLBK-13 in Lubbock, Texas.

I was covering a story about a daycare center that was temporarily shut down.  While my photographer was getting video from across the street, a man started yelling and cussing at us.

As he started across the street, I told the photographer to keep rolling on the man approaching.  He continued cussing us and I got between him and the photographer because he was trying to stop us from getting video.  He shoved me against the car and when he failed at knocking the camera to the ground, he walked away still fuming at us.

While the alleged Virginia gunman knew his victims, it doesn’t change the fact that this could have been just a random person with anger issues and wanted to take it out on a television reporter and photographer.

We’ve all seen the people that think it’s funny to stand behind a reporter and wave, make faces, or make rude remarks.  As a journalist, it’s not funny to us when we’re relaying the news on television.  Think about it, we wouldn’t walk into where you work and do the same thing.

And, after this tragedy, I hope it drives home the fact that it can be scary doing these reports when we don’t know what people’s intentions are as they approach us — unless they are ranting at us!  At that point, it’s pretty obvious that they’re not there to say “I love watching you on the news”.

Logos

The world of social media has changed the way we do our jobs and how we communicate with our viewers.  People not only watch us on television, but they follow us online and on their phones.

I’m speaking for myself here as a meteorologist and journalist when I say that I have a decent following on Facebook.  While I have a work page where I post just weather, a large portion of my Facebook friends are people that friend me because they know me from television.

Anthony CBS4

Because of that, there isn’t much that they don’t know about my life.

I’m okay with that because I’ve gotten to know many of them on a personal, if only online, basis.  I cherish that relationship and I also hope that people know that I’m approachable as long as it isn’t creepy!

In the wake of this unsettling, senseless tragedy that rocked my profession and took the lives of two of my colleagues who are loved and will be sorely missed by family and friends, it makes me want to take a step back and re-evaluate those I work with, those I correspond with, and those I choose to let into my world.

I hope you realize that we’re human just like you, even if it may come across that we’re “celebrities”.  I understand why the word is used, but I don’t buy into it.  My job is no different than yours.  Mine just happens to be more public.

Vicki Gardner, I hope you fully recover.  Alison and Adam, rest in peace and I hope your loved ones find solace one day.

Peace and love,

Anthony

Movies on DVD You Must See

It’s still summer and there’s still some blockbusters showing at the theaters.

However, as the days get shorter and you start to spend more time indoors, here are some movies I caught on DVD recently that I recommend for your viewing pleasure.

“WOMAN IN GOLD”

While it brought in $55 million at the worldwide box office, this movie based on a true life story of one woman’s fight to get back her family’s art that was stolen when Germany invaded Europe in World War 2.

Oscar winner Helen Mirren is amazing as always.  It also stars Ryan Reynolds as her young lawyer fighting his first big case that became an international fight with Vienna, Austria.

“Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany plays Mirren’s character as a young woman.

GRADE:  A-

“THE DIVERGENT SERIES:  INSURGENT”

I moved on from “The Hunger Games” after the second movie.  I don’t care to see either of the “Mockingjay” movies.  Katniss, I wish you the best against President Snow.

I’m on “Team Divergent”.

I just saw the second movie in the series, “Insurgent” and it was just as enjoyable as the first one, “Divergent”.  Both movies have made almost $300 million each.

This one picks up just after Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), and few others escape evil Jeanine (Kate Winslet).

“The Divergent Series – Allegiant – Part One” hits theaters in March 2016 and the final movie in the series, “The Divergent Series – Allegiant – Part Two” comes out March 2017.

GRADE:  B+

“BOXTROLLS”

While this Oscar and Golden Globes-nominated animated feature came out in theaters last fall, I finally got around to seeing it and it was highly enjoyable.

It’s about Eggs, a human boy who thinks he’s a box-wearing troll.  His father sent him to safety to live with the trash-collecting trolls to save the baby from the evil pest exterminator.

That exterminator wants to eliminate all the Box Trolls to get into a secret society called the “White Hats”, which is run by the Mayor.

And, they love cheese!  You’ll want a cheese tray after seeing this movie — if you’re not allergic to it, as the exterminator is. 🙂

People in town fear the Boxtrolls because they’ve come to believe (falsely) that they kidnap and kill children.

GRADE:  B

“THE 10-YEAR PLAN”

If you’ve seen many LGBT films over the past years, you may have come across “Is It Just Me?” and “eCupid” by writer/director JC Calciano.

His latest is a romantic comedy starring the charming Jack Turner and Michael Adam Hamilton as best friends Myles and Brody.

They live in West Hollywood and are complete opposites.

Myles is a hopeless romantic that sees his next husband in all of the guys he dates (don’t worry, Myles, we’ve all been there!  Okay, at the time, I didn’t have the internet!).  Brody doesn’t want love, he just wants to have a good time and he does.

One night they make an agreement that if they’re still single in ten years, they’ll become a couple forever.

Ten years later, they’re still single and Brody is freaking out and starts working feverishly on finding someone for Myles to love — but, has he been there all along?

GRADE:  B

Anthony

My First Hand Encounter with a Predator

Adrenaline is such a rush.  In retrospective, a dramatic encounter last Thursday could have sent me to the hospital!  Let me fill you in and set up the story.

Do you take risks?  I’m pretty much a planner, so I don’t consider myself a risk taker.

With that being said, I’ve ridden on two roller coasters over the past few years including a wooden structure one in Arnolds Park, Iowa, that probably was more of risk than this larger one in Branson, Missouri, last summer.

Roller Coaster

“Wildire” is 120 feet high, covers more than 3,000 feet of track, features five upside down turns and loops, and reaches a top speed of 66 miles-per-hour.

But, as I share the story of what happened last week, it has nothing to do with roller coasters and there was nothing fun about it.

As you know, Ray and I love to work out in the yard and three years ago, we built a fish pond next to the patio in the backyard.

With the fish, the fountain, and the solar lamps changing colors at night, it’s very relaxing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For a year-and-a-half, we had no problems with predators from the ravine.  However, on Thanksgiving 2013, tragedy struck when I discovered that nine-and-a-half of our eleven fish were missing!  It was the one-half of a missing fish that alerted me there was a problem!

There was only one survivor.

Lone Survivor From June 2013

It saddened and made me angry.  I blamed the massacre on raccoons and I hated them, even though it could have been owls, hawks, or other predators.

So, we beefed up our security by putting fence over the pond and replenished the fish.

We now have 18 counting our two new large additions that I named “Snowflake” and “Pumpkin Pie” given to us by our friends Thomas and Mike.

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

I even started training them to come to the sound of my voice and “Pumpkin Pie”, the orange-spotted black one, will even take food from my hand!

It’s been almost two years since the massacre and we’ve had no trouble with creatures wanting our fish — until Wednesday.

I got home from work around 10 a.m. and was changing clothes and looked down at the pond from the bedroom window.  I saw a dark-colored “squirrel” walking along the foundation of the fish pond.  I didn’t think too much about it since I’ve seen chipmunks and squirrels walking around the pond and birds sitting on the fence.

I knocked on the window to scare it away, but it didn’t budge.  I went out on the patio and it scurried away and I thought, “that wasn’t a squirrel”.  Moments later, it came back across the yard and I scared it into our neighbor’s yard.

At that point, I realized it looked more like a ferret.  However, a quick Google search confirmed to me that it was a mink — just not this one!

Mink

Convinced it was gone, I was sitting at the computer by the open window looking at images and reading about minks.  All of a sudden, I heard a splash and I frantically ran down the stairs to the basement, stormed out onto the patio, and jumped across the fish pond!

I dropped to my knees on the foundation of the pond and the decorative rocks.  I didn’t care that I scraped my knee.  Without thinking, I plunged my hands underneath the dark water and I couldn’t see what I was grabbing for, but I saw a reflection of orange in the sunlight.

I grabbed the mink out of the water and flung it into the air.  It landed with a thud and ran away.  At that moment, I was afraid of what I’d find.

I know that if it had grabbed a fish, it likely would’ve been one of the two larger fish and since I had seen orange in the sunlight, I feared for “Pumpkin Pie”.

I didn’t know if she was dead or injured?  If alive, I didn’t know if it grabbed her face, her tail, or ripped open her body.

I grabbed food and fed them to get them to come to the surface.  They all came, including “Pumpkin Pie” and then I saw the injury.  It had grabbed her right above the tail and there was a flesh wound where it attacked her.

Pumpkin Pie Injury

Luckily, it wasn’t a complete gash, just a bite.

“Pumpkin Pie” is now timid and shy after Thursday’s attack, but she’ll reluctantly come up to eat.  I don’t know what will happen to her wound, but I’m hoping she’ll just have a scar and that it’ll heal without an infection.

I’m optimistic because we use a product in the pond that boasts healing ingredients for wounds.

Pond Care

I know if I had not seen the mink when I first did and scared it away, it would have jumped in the pond right then and there would have been another massacre.  Or, what if the air conditioning was on and the windows were closed?  I would have never heard the splash.

In retrospective, I had the instinct of a parent protecting its young.  I know it’s just a pond fish, but it’s mine and I’ve bonded with the fish.

Now that I now that minks are found in all of Illinois’ counties, that they attack animals larger than them, and how scary they look, I now realize that it could have attack me when I grabbed it!  Look at this thing. (Again, not the one from our pond!)

Mink Mouth

Had I know then what I know now, how would I have reacted?  I hope the same way.  It totally freaks me out now to know what a mink’s mouth looks like!  In retrospective, I’m thinking that it may not have been a raccoon the last time.  Who knows?

On a lighter note, the fortified vault building at Fort Knox in Kentucky is protecting about $337 billion worth of gold.

While our eighteen multi-colored goldfish, including newly acquired “Snowflake” and “Pumpkin Pie”, may not be worth much in monetary value, we’ve fortified the fish pond to protect the babies after last week’s attack.

Fort Fish Pond

I know that a mink is a predator and that’s what it does and I don’t condone hunting just to have an animal head on the wall, if I see that mink back again, I’ll be wearing a pair of new mink gloves this winter.

Sorry, PETA!

Anthony

Michael Ray Could Bring Me Back To Country Music

Growing up in Kentucky, I was raised on country music — Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton.

In the 1980s when I went away to college, it was all about pop and dance music (Madonna, Janet Jackson, Taylor Dayne), and the second “British Invasion” (Erasure, Duran Duran, Culture Club).

While I stuck with dance and pop music in the 1990s, I also started listening to Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless and they brought country music back into my life.

I’ve always been more of a fan of female singers.  However, I’ll admit that in the music video age, a good-looking singer in a cowboy hat could grab my attention long enough for me to listen to the music.

That turned me on to Clay Walker’s music.

Clay Walker

From his debut hit, “What’s It To You” in 1993 that topped the chart to his last Top 40 country hit, “Where Do I Go From You” in 2010, he’s scored 29 Top 40 hits.

Of those, 17 made the Top Ten and six topped the country charts.  As a matter of fact, five of his first six were #1 hits.

“This Woman and This Man” is still my all-time favorite Clay Walker song.

It topped the chart for two weeks in early 1995.

Once country radio started cutting back on airplay for Reba, Patty, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Martina McBride, and females no longer in the younger demographics, I lost interest in the format.

In the past fifteen years, the only male country singer I became a fan of was Keith Urban.

keith_urban

However, with the recent crossover of Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” and the anticipation of Reba’s concert last week in the Quad Cities, I glanced at the country chart.

I watched a few videos and I liked “Make Me Wanna” by Thomas Rhett (I actually interviewed his father, Rhett Akins, back in 1997).

MICHAEL RAY — ALBUM PICK HIT 

I also came across Michael Ray’s “Kiss You in the Morning” video.

Being honest, his striking good looks and tattoos caught my eye.  So, I took a listen and the song was upbeat and fun.  It’s also the most played country song in the U.S.

“Kiss” was a strong enough song to make me take a listen to more of his music and I ended up buying his self-titled debut album that came out last week and I’m so glad I did.

michael-ray

This is definitely one of the most solid debut albums I can recall.

Michael has been working on his craft professionally since appearing on The CW’s reality series/singing competition show, “The Next:  Fame Is at Your Doorstep” in 2012.

The Florida native won that completion performing songs by Luke Bryan, Eric Church, and Jake Owen and now he’s competing against those same men for radio airplay and I know he’ll do just fine.

Now that “Kiss You in the Morning” has topped the country airplay charts, Michael already has his second single, “Real Men Love Jesus”, ready to go out to radio in mid-September.

It’s a mid-tempo song that touches on some of the core elements of country music: fishing, fast cars, football, sexy women, Mama, and Jesus.

One thing that Michael excels at is slower and mid-tempo songs.

My choice for the third single is “Run Away With You”, one of my favorite songs on the album.

Other slower choice cuts are “Everything In Between”, “Wish I Was Here”, and “Think A Little Less”.

And, when he’s ready to rock, he brings life to the party.

If I worked for his label, I’ve already got the fourth single picked out.  “Livin’ It Up” is a fun upbeat song that will be on “repeat” once you get the album.

I mentioned a third and fourth single, but I’m being modest.

This album is solid enough that it could go five or six singles deep for country radio.

If you’re a country music fan, you’re going to love this album.  If, like me, you’ve been away from the genre for some time, this is a breath of fresh air.

michael-ray

“Michael Ray” is a fun album that isn’t too heavy on the current country rage, “bro-country”.

GRADE:

A

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 14, 2015

The weekend is almost here and after working the past eight Saturdays, I’m back to having my weekends off again!

I plan on having a fun one and I hope the same for you.  Let’s kick it off with my “Random Friday Thoughts”.

As always, let me know what we agree on and what we don’t!

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER HAS CANCER

My favorite President, Jimmy Carter, who is now 90-years-old, revealed Wednesday that he has cancer.

Jimmy Carter

It was discovered during a recent liver surgery.  He also stated that the cancer had spread to other body parts.

He plans to undergo treatment and says he’ll share more details next week.

I’ll say an extra prayer for President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, for a speedy recovery.

President-Jimmy-and-Rosalynn-Carter1

I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was an 11-year-old boy growing up in Kentucky when he was running for President in 1976.

I even devoted a full blog to him in March 2012 that I want to share again with you.  (You can click on the link below and it’ll open in a new window so you don’t lose your place in this week’s blog!)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/forget-marilyn-i-want-my-week-with-jimmy/

REPUBLICAN RACE SHOWDOWN

After a television debate last week with most of the Republican candidates vying to become the next President of the United States, most people talked about Donald Trump and his rude comments.

Fox News commentator Megan Kelly started a question with “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals’, and Trump replied, “Only Rosie O’Donnell”.

Rosie O'Donnell

While a sad expression of honesty from a man who wants to run this country, it must be working for him.  An NBC News poll after that debate showed Trump as the front-runner with an increasing lead.

Donald Trump had 23% followed by Ted Cruz (13%) and Ben Carson (11%).

Carly Fiorina surged to fourth place (8%) and is now tied with Marco Rubio.

The rest of the top ten: Jeb Bush and Scott Walker (7%), Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee (5%), and Rick Perry and John Kasich (2%).

santorum

Rick Santorum and George Pataki are in last place with 0%!

THEY SAID WHAT???

REPUBLICAN FRONT RUNNER FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

(about Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly after her questioning in that debate):  “there was blood coming out of her eyes … blood coming out of her wherever.”

MORE TRUMP

(after an uproar accusing him of being sexist with the hormonal overtones to his comment about Kelly):  “Do you think I’d make a statement like that? Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about that.”

Kelly Trump

FOX COMMENTATOR MEGYN KELLY

(speaking about the personal attacks from Trump):  “Mr. Trump is an interesting man who has captured the attention of the electorate. That’s why he’s leading in the polls. Trump, who is the frontrunner, will not apologize. And I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism, so I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far. This is a tough business and it’s time now to move forward.”

POP ICON & ACTRESS CHER

Cher Dressed to Kill Tour

(About going back out on tour after having to cancel the second leg of her “Dressed To Kill Tour” because of an acute viral infection affecting her kidneys):  “You know, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do this. That’s my wish. But I can’t say that I actually will be able to… My will is pretty strong, so… I don’t know.”

MARVIN GAYE’S SUE HAPPY FAMILY

The family of late R&B legend Marvin Gaye sure loves to sue people.

They successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell over the mega hit “Blurred Lines” claiming that it ripped off “Got To Give It Up”.  Gaye’s family was awarded $7.4 million in damages for copyright infringement, but this is being appealed.

Empire

Now, a son is ready to sue the makers of Fox’s very successful #1 drama, “Empire”, claiming that it was his idea.

I’m thinking two things:  First, they don’t want Taraji P. Henson’s “Cookie” to come down on their asses and secondly, that family needs to get a life – their own!

MORE “MARVIN GAYE”

Singer and songwriter Charlie Puth topped the charts earlier this year with “See You Again” with Wiz Khalifa.  The song was featured in “Furious 7” and was a tribute to the late actor Paul Walker.

Puth is now racing up the charts with “Marvin Gaye” with a little help from Meghan Trainor.

The song is already one of 25 most played songs at Top 40 radio in the U.S.

I especially like the fun, sexy, and LGBT-inclusive video!

REBA — YOU TAKE THE GOOD, YOU TAKE THE BAD

Sadly, since my last “Random Friday Thoughts” in late July, my idol and country superstar Reba McEntire and her husband Narvel Blackstock announced they were separating after 26 years of marriage.

On a more positive note, I saw Reba in concert for the 13th time when she played the Mississippi Valley Fair last week.  She also announced last week, “Until They Don’t Love You”, would be the second single from her album, “Love Somebody”.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

This song sounds amazing live and she also performed it on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday night.

You can click on this link to see it:  http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/reba-mcentire-until-they-dont-love-you/2890917

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE”

If you listened to music in the late-1970s, you probably know that’s part of a lyric ( “You have to believe we are magic, nothin’ can stand in our way”) from Olivia Newton-John’s #1 smash “Magic” from the motion picture, “Xanadu”, that hit theaters about this time in 1978.

Now, Olivia has re-recorded part of that song with her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi and DJ extraordinaire Dave Aude.

Olivia and Chloe look incredible re-enacting the vibe from “Xanadu” in and around Las Vegas.

I believe that this song and remix will return Olivia to the Billboard Dance chart.  Her last appearance on that chart was back in 1988 when “The Rumour” peaked at #17.

Olivia’s last Top 40 on the Hot 100 was “Soul Kiss” back in 1985.  It reached #20.

“HANNIBAL”

I’m truly saddened that there’s only three episodes of “Hannibal” left.

Hannibal-NBC-Poster-2012

This was definitely one of the most intelligent, thrilling, artistically creative, and well acted shows on television.  Maybe it was too intelligent!

I’ll especially miss Gillian Anderson as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier!

However, I’ll still see Anderson in “The X-Files” in January 2016 and I’m really enjoying her as Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson on the BBC hit show, “The Fall”.

It also stars Jamie Dornan, best known as Christian Grey of “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

If you haven’t checked out the two seasons of “The Fall”, it’s a must see!

“MR. ROBOT”

Another show I highly recommend is my new summer favorite, the incredibly intelligent “Mr. Robot” on USA Network.

MR. ROBOT

Rami Malek is the breakout star as Elliot Alderson, a computer hacker by night and a security technician at a cybersecurity company by day.

Elliot suffers from chronic depression and social anxiety disorder, which makes him quirky and very awkward in social situations.

Christian Slater stars as Mr. Robot.

This is definitely a thriller drama you need to check out and it was renewed for a second season even before the first episode aired!

FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE WITH COUNTRY MUSIC 

This part will be very familiar if you read my blog earlier in the week!

Growing up in Kentucky, I was raised on country music — Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton.

In the 1980s when I went away to college, it was all about pop and dance music (Madonna, Janet Jackson, Taylor Dayne), and the second “British Invasion” (Erasure, Duran Duran, Culture Club).

While I stuck with dance and pop music in the 1990s, I also started listening to Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless and they brought country music back into my life.

I’ve always been more of a fan of female singers.  However, I’ll admit that in the music video age, a good-looking singer in a cowboy hat could grab my attention long enough for me to listen to the music.

That turned me on to Clay Walker’s music.

Clay Walker

From his debut hit, “What’s It To You” in 1993 that topped the chart to his last Top 40 country hit, “Where Do I Go From You” in 2010.  In his career, he’s scored 29 Top 40 hits, 17 of which hit the Top Ten, and six topped the country charts.  As a matter of fact, five of his first six were #1 hits.

“This Woman and This Man” is still my all-time favorite Clay Walker song.  It topped the chart for two weeks in early 1995.

Once country radio started cutting back on airplay for Reba, Patty, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Martina McBride, and females no longer in the younger demographics, I lost interest in the format.

In the past fifteen years, the only male country singer I became fan of was Keith Urban.

keith_urban

However, with the recent crossover of Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” and the anticipation of Reba’s concert last week in the Quad Cities, I glanced at the country chart.

I watched a few videos and I liked “Make Me Wanna” by Thomas Rhett (I actually interviewed his father, Rhett Akins, back in 1997).

MICHAEL RAY — ALBUM PICK HIT 

michael-ray

Michael Ray’s “Kiss You in the Morning” is the most played country song in the U.S. this week.

I just bought his self-titled debut album and I’m so glad I did.  Here is the link to my review of the album and you’ll get to hear more of my favorite tracks from it:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

And, it’s pretty cool that even with his busy touring schedule and with radio and television appearances, Michael had a chance to read my blog and review of his album and tweeted back at me.

Michael Ray Tweets

“THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL”

As much as I love movies, it’s crazy that I still haven’t been to the theater this calendar year.  The last theater movie for me was “Unbroken” back in late December!

I’ve been waiting to see “Jurassic World”, but my summer work schedule nixed that.  And, I’m definitely going to see “Everest” on the big screen (the release date is now September 25, 2015).

Now, I’ve found another one that looks amazingly funny and bold and it has a 95% positive rating on the site, “Rotten Tomatoes”.

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” is the story of a 1970s teenager, Minnie Goetze, played by British actress Bel Powley, and her affair with her mother’s boyfriend told from her diary.

Kristin Wiig, who’s been in two of my favorite movies over the past year, “The Skeleton Twins” and “Welcome To Me”, plays Minnie’s mother and Alexander Skarsgard (“True Blood”) stars as Wiig’s boyfriend.

The movie is only playing in selection theaters now, but will be expanding in August.  Hopefully, it’ll be in the Quad Cities this fall!

“UNDER THE DOME” — THE END?

I loved the first season of “Under The Dome” on CBS and suffered through the end of season two.

under-the-dome

After watching just a bit of the season three premiere, I’d had enough.  And, I guess America has, too.

The show premiered with 13.5 million viewers (17.76 million with DVR figures added).  Last week’s episode was down to an astonishing 3.88 million!

I highly suspect that the show will be cancelled (along with “Extant”).

CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler at the Television Critics Association’s press tour earlier this week told reporters that the dome will come down in the finale.  “Entertainment Weekly” reports that “producers have written the finale to serve as a potential series finale or a season finale”.

Regardless of the fate of the show, two great things came out it — one gorgeous and one gory!

600full-mike-vogelCOW UNDER THE DOME

Sorry, I couldn’t resist!  I still try to catch the show’s opening just to see the dome split the cow in half!

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

Okay, let me get that taste out of your mouth!  Look what’s new from M&M for this fall season: Pecan Pie M&Ms!

Pecan Pie M&M

Yum!  I can’t wait to try them!

While I love spending time floating in the pool and I love snow (but not the extreme Midwestern cold), fall is my new favorite season.

Fall

That all sounds incredible, but it’s really all about…

“THE WALKING DEAD”

On August 23rd, “Fear The Walking Dead” premieres on AMC and hopefully that’ll hold me over until October 11th when the sixth season of “The Walking Dead” begins.

Here’s the incredible new trailer for “The Walking Dead”!

THAT’S IT FOR NOW

Thank you for checking out my “Random Friday Thoughts”.  Let me know your thoughts on anything I wrote about today.

Have a great weekend.  I’m going to relax and enjoy the pool.

Anthony

Get to Know Me Better

In a quest to get to know new employees at work and to introduce ourselves to them, we recently filled out a little fun questionnaire and called it “In Real Life”.

Although I grew up with some of you or have met you throughout my life of travels, many of you I know through social media and my blog, so I thought it’d be fun to share it with you.

Meet Anthony Peoples!

Position:  Morning Meteorologist, WHBF, Rock Island, Illinois.

How Long:  2+ Years

First job in the business:  Morning weather in Rhinelander, Wisconsin (Home of the Hodag!)

Hodag

Hometown: Mayfield, KY

Family: Anthony has been married for 4 years.  He has a teenage daughter that will be in high school this fall. (A freshman!)

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APWedding

Most memorable moment:  Getting to meet one of his idols, Reba McEntire, and finding out that she’s as genuine and sweet as she comes across on screen!

Reba Anthony 2005

Hobbies/Talents: Anthony loves writing!

Nicknames: Peeps

Fun Facts:

Anthony spent his 50th birthday on a Seine River Cruise, visited the top of the Eiffel Tower, and sipped champagne at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

Paris Birthday

He was briefly detained on the sidewalk outside the American Embassy in Tel Aviv by Israeli authorities for taking pictures of the Embassy Building.

This picture with Ray is from Old Jaffa with Tel Aviv in the background.

Ray AP TLV

And, I want to share my favorite meal ever.  This was the equivalent of a dinner salad at “Benny The Fisherman” in Tel Aviv.  They brought out even more food to sample before the main meal!  Incredible and so tasty.

Benny The Fisherman

He once took a selfie with Shania Twain in Las Vegas.

AP Shania

Anthony would love to meet Madonna, Britney Spears, Michael C. Hall, Andrew Lincoln, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.

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Andrew Lincoln

Gillian Anderson

David Duchovny

He wants to be in scene in a “Halloween” movie sequel.

Michael

Did you learn anything?

Anthony

Of All of Reba’s Hits — My 20 Favorites

The day has finally arrived.  Not only will we find out what the next single is from Reba, but she’ll be performing at the Mississippi Valley Fair!

This will be my 13th Reba concert.  My first was back in 1995 and ten years later, I was fortunate enough to meet my idol.

Reba Anthony 2005

It’s been ten years, I wish I could be as lucky this year to meet her again.  Oh well!

After sharing a blog featuring my cherished Reba souvenirs Monday and my 20 favorite Reba album tracks or songs that were not released as singles, today I’m counting down my 20 favorite Reba hits – the songs you know from the radio.

One day, her current single, “Going Out Like That” and her new release, “Until They Don’t Love You” may make this list.  Until then, here are my favorites that I can listen to over and over and over!

Also, here are the links to the two other blogs I featured earlier this week in case you missed them!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/rebas-treasures-that-should-have-been-radio-hits/

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/my-personal-tribute-shrine-to-reba/

Reba

ORIGINAL POST:  DECEMBER 5, 2013

I thought long and hard about the 87 Top 40 hits that Reba has charted on the Billboard country chart and started narrowing them down to pick my favorite 20.  By the way, 60 of those Top 40 hits made it into the Top Ten.

Reba leads all women in country music with the most Top Ten hits and is tied with Dolly Parton for the most #1 hits on the Billboard Country charts with 25!

Dolly+Parton+Reba+McEntire

So, here goes — my favorite 20 Reba hits!

#20

“Turn On The Radio”

Album:  “All The Women I Am” (November 2010)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

“Because of You” (with Kelly Clarkson)

Album:  “Reba:  Duets” (September 2007)

Billboard Peak:  #2 (2007)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

“The Fear of Being Alone”

Album:  “What If It’s You” (November 1996)

Billboard Peak:  #2 (1996)

17

“What If”

Billboard Peak:  #23 (1997)

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

“I Don’t Think Love Ought To Be That Way”

Album:  “Feel The Fire” (November 1980)

Billboard Peak:  #13 (1981)

15

“Whoever’s In New England”

Album:  “Whoever’s In New England” (February 1986)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (1986)

 

 

 

 

 

14

“Wrong Night”

Album:  “If You See Him” (June 1998)

Billboard Peak:  #6 (1999)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

“For My Broken Heart”

Album:  “For My Broken Heart” (October 1991)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (2 weeks) (1991)

 

 

 

 

12

“(You Lift Me) Up To Heaven”

Album:  “Feel The Fire” (November 1980)

Billboard Peak:  #8 (1980)

11

“Rumor Has It”

Album:  “Rumor Has It” (September 1990)

Billboard Peak:  #3 (1991)

 

 

 

#10 MOVIE

“Why Do We Want (What We Know We Can’t Have)”

Album:  “Behind The Scene” (December 1983)

Billboard Peak:  #7 (1983)

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“Only In My Mind”

Album:  “Have I Got A Deal For You” (June 1985)

Billboard Peak:  #5 (1985)

#8 CD

“Consider Me Gone”

Album:  “Keep On Loving You” (August 2009)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (four weeks) (2010)

This is Reba’s longest running number one song on the Billboard Country charts.

#7 MOVIE

“Falling Out of Love”

Album:  “Rumor Has It” (September 1990)

Billboard Peak:  #2 (1991)

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“And Still”

Album:  “Read My Mind” (April 1994)

Billboard Peak:  #2 (1995)

 

#5 CD

“Till You Love Me”

Album:  “Read My Mind” (April 1994)

Billboard Peak:  #2 (1995)

#4 MOVIE

“It’s Your Call”

Album:  “It’s Your Call” (December 1992)

Billboard Peak:  #5 (1993)

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“Somebody”

Album:  “Room To Breathe” (November 2003)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (2004)

#2 MOVIE

“We’re So Good Together”

Album:  “So Good Together” (November 1999)

Billboard Peak:  #20 (1999)

*Here is a Reba performance…

…and a video I put together for my family and of our wedding.*

 

 

#1

“One Promise Too Late”

Album:  “What Am I Gonna Do About You” (October 1986)

Billboard Peak:  #1 (1987)

So, there you have it.  Now, I want to know what your FAVORITE Reba hit is or some of your favorites.

Reba

Reba, I love you.  Thank you for the inspiration!

Anthony

Reba’s Treasures That Should Have Been Radio Hits

Reba McEntire’s concert at the Mississippi Valley Fair is Wednesday night, the same day that she’ll be announcing the next single from her “Love Somebody” album.

Reba Love Somebody

A little investigating reveals it’s likely to be “Until They Don’t Love You” since she posted a “clue” of a taxi and the lyrics mention a “yellow cab” and she’s performed the song in concert lately.

However, if I’m correct, that song title may be deja vu.

The country music world was rocked again, twice in as many weeks, when it was announced Monday afternoon that after months of separation, Reba and her husband of 26 years, Narvel Blackstock, are ending their marriage!

The joint statement from Reba and Narvel states, “Despite this being the end of their marriage, they continue to support each other. They have worked together for 35 years and will continue to do so.”  Anyone who’s followed Reba’s career since the late-1980s knows that to be true.

I wish them both the very best and I’m happy they’ll continue to work together.

Now, back to the topic of today’s blog.

Reba Love Somebody

Reba’s first album in over four years, “Love Somebody” was released back in April.  The first single, “Going Out Like That”, came out in January and the new single will be announced this week.

With that being said, there are four other standout tracks that may or may not be released as singles down the line:  “Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet”, “That’s When I Knew”, Promise Me Love”, and “Just Like Them Horses”.  I’m mentioning these selections because, one day, they may make my top 20 list of favorite Reba album tracks that were never released as singles.

ORIGINAL BLOG:  DECEMBER 2013

Anthony Twitter

Since releasing her self-titled debut album in October 1977, Reba has released a total of 30 studio albums (including two Christmas and two “live” discs).  So, when it comes to selecting your favorite Reba songs that were never released as official singles, there’s more than 300 songs to narrow down to a small list.

I took on that challenge.  My initial list contained 65 songs. From there, I cut some and the number dropped to 36.

And, then it was a pain-staking process to choose what Reba tracks I thought should have been released to country radio as singles.  I hope you enjoy the list and please feel free to share your favorite Reba songs that were never released or didn’t make the Billboard Top 40 Country chart.

20

“She’s The One Loving You Now”

Album:  “Have I Got A Deal For You” (June 1985)

#19

“Ease The Fever”

Album:  “Heart To Heart” (September 1981)

#18

“Someone Else”

Album:  “The Last One To Know” (September 1987)

#17

“Lonely Alone”

Album:  “If You See Him” (June 1998)

#16

“She’s Single Again”

Album:  “Have I Got A Deal For You” (June 1985)

#15 Movie

“Love Revival”

Album:  “Room To Breathe” (November 2003)

#14 Movie

“Moving Oleta”

Album:  “Room To Breathe” (November 2003)

#13

“This Is My Prayer For You”

Album:  “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (September 1999)

12

“When You Love Somebody Like That”

Album:  “Reba:  Duets” (September 2007)

#11 Movie

“She Came On Like Lightnin’”

Album:  “Oklahoma Girl” (1994)

10

“Why Not Tonight”

Album:  “What Am I Gonna Do About You” (October 1986)

#9 MOVIE

“O Holy Night”

Album:  “Merry Christmas To You” (1987)

#8 MOVIE

“The Secret of Giving”

Album:  “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (September 1999)

#7 CD

“Sky Full Of Angels”

Album:  “Room To Breathe” (November 2003)

#6 CD

“Now You Tell Me”

Album:  “Rumor Has It” (August 1990)

#5 MOVIE

“I Don’t Want To Mention Any Names”

Album:  “The Last One To Know” (September 1987)

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“Read My Mind”

Album:  “Read My Mind” (April 1994)

#3 CD

“He Wants To Get Married”

Album:  “It’s Your Call” (December 1992)

#2 CD

“If I Had Only Known”

Album:  “For My Broken Heart” (October 1991)

#1

“Climb That Mountain High”

Album:  “Rumor Has It” (August 1990)

Tomorrow, I conclude my Reba series with my favorite 20 hits of her career.

While I love “Fancy”, it did not make the list!

Anthony

My Personal Tribute (& Shrine) To Reba

Reba McEntire is coming back to the Quad Cities.  On Wednesday, August 5th, she’ll be playing at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, Iowa.

The last time she was here, October 2011, she played at the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois.

Reba 2011

That was my 12th Reba concert and since I’m going Wednesday, that will be number 13.  Now, I’m not superstitious.  But, if I was, I’d love to say this will be my lucky 13th concert and I’d get to meet Reba again and update my picture with her from ten years ago!

In today’s tribute, I’m sharing my shrine to my idol, Reba.  While it may not be as big as the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit that I saw in Nashville in December 2013, it’s mine and I want to share it with you.

Anthony Reba

RE-POST FROM DECEMBER 3, 2013

This past March, the Country Music Hall of Fame announced that Reba:  All the Women I Am”, an exhibit showing off memorabilia from Reba’s almost 40-year career, would be on display from August 2013 through June 2014.

Reba Exhibit

A few weeks ago, with a couple of extra vacation days left, I asked Ray if he’d like to take a quick trip back to Nashville to see the exhibit.

On the way, we could stop in my neck of the woods of western Kentucky and eat at my favorite restaurant, Patti’s 1880’s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, while it was decorated for Christmas.  I hear it’s really pretty there this time of the year.  It’s been a couple of years since we last dined there and from this picture, you can tell that it was fall.

Pattis Fall 2011

I’m excited about the food and seeing my old college roommate, P-Byrd, who is the Executive Chef there.

As you know from reading my “Random Friday Thoughts” blog last week, that simple, quick trip is now going to be over the top. 🙂  We purchased the a Gaylord/Opryland Hotel package that includes Lorrie Morgan’s Christmas show, a night at the Opry, the Rockettes’ Christmas show, a lunch cruise on the General Jackson showboat on the Cumberland River, and much more.

But, this trip all started with a trip to Patti’s and the Reba exhibit.  So, this got me to thinking about my own Reba exhibit that I want to share with you.

This is the “Meet & Greet” pass that got me backstage to meet my Idol back in 2005, which led to…

Reba Meet Greet

my most prized Reba possession!

Reba Art

I met Reba in April 2005 when she kicked off her tour that year on a very cold and blustery night in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Reba Anthony 2005

I had my ticket, the two pictures of us together, and the shirt I was wearing that she autographed framed, along with the 45 rpm single of my favorite Reba song.

Also, dear to my heart is this painting of the “Read My Mind” album cover from 1994.  It was painted for me as a going away present when I lived in Chicago from 1994-1996 and worked at Charlie’s.  This beautiful piece was painted by my friend, David Krumwiede.  Drop in at Charlie’s and say hello to Fifi for me!

Yes, my bedroom wall is a bright “Autumn Harvest” and there is a reason.

After leaving my television job in Salisbury, Maryland, in late 2005, my old news director, Dawn Mitchell, emailed me one day and asked for my new address.  Since she was instrumental to me meeting Reba in early 2005, I thought she was sending me a promotional poster for Reba’s WB “Reba” show since we were the ABC and WB affiliate.

Days later, a delivery truck showed up with a box that looked like a door!  The delivery man said, “it isn’t heavy”.  I thought, “what could it be”?

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And, this is what it is and it’s absolutely gorgeous!  So, other than orange and yellow being my favorite colors, this is the reason my bedroom is so bright.

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Two more friends, Christopher and Betty, were visiting Nashville back in the early 2000s when Reba was playing Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” in her Broadway debut that ran from January 26-June 22, 2001.

This “Annie” promotional poster was in the bathroom of a Nashville establishment and Christopher talked the manager out of it and it’s now matted and framed on my wall.

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Also, back in the 1990s, I started collecting Reba 45s.  As you recall, those are the things we used to play on record players and that were in jukeboxes. 🙂  My thought process, at the time, was to collect all of Reba’s 45s and have them framed for my wall for a real personal exhibit.

I have many of them, but I still must search out the others.

Reba 45s

And, I have found a few Reba albums.  Now, I need to get at least one 8-track Reba recording!

Reba Albums

I also have tour guides, calendars, Reba bears, clocks, fan club magazines, Reba Visa credit cards and more.

Reba Fun Stuff

Also, I cherish this Christmas card that Reba sent to her fan club members in the 1990s.

Reba Christmas Card

And, since we’re talking about Christmas.  Of course, I have the Reba ornament that plays “The Secret of Giving” that is already placed on our Christmas tree this year.

Reba Ornament

There is still another thing that I want and have yet to get for my Reba collection.

Anthony Twitter

Yes, I want the doll and this could be the year!

While I’m talking about my love and admiration of Reba, there’s the saying that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

Back in the mid-1990s, at Charlie’s, a country bar and nightclub in Boystown, I performed as Reba first for an employee talent night, then for an AIDS benefit, and a third and final time, at my going away party in Chicago.  Fifi, thank you for doing the hair and make-up!

Anthony as Reba

Thank you for taking the time to check out my tribute to my idol, Reba.  I can’t wait to see the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit Thursday afternoon!

Oh, by the way, earlier when I mentioned that I had the 45 rpm single of my favorite Reba song framed in that my most prized art possession, I didn’t mention the song.

There’s a reason.  In my continuing tribute to Reba, I’m featuring my 20 favorite Reba album tracks and singles that were never officially released tomorrow and then on Wednesday, I’m sharing my 20 favorite Reba hit songs of all time.

Anthony