Posts Tagged ‘bitter cold’

Random Thoughts — January 30, 2019

With the brutal and dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills invading much of Canada and the middle part of the United States, I thought I’d share a few things with you.

Duluth 1.jpg

That’s how it looked on Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota Tuesday afternoon.  Temperatures were around -18° and wind chills were -45°!

Cold, but gorgeous!  Stay warm!

HERE’S TO A SPEEDY RECOVERY JUSSIE!

While it’s not new, I’m disgusted by the hatred in this country (and world).

“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was assaulted early Tuesday morning in Chicago by two white men.  Police are treating it as a possible hate crime.

Jussie-Smollett.jpg

The men allegedly yelled at him, “Aren’t you that faggot ‘Empire’ n*****?” before beating him, pouring bleach on him and putting a rope around his neck!

chicago police

Jussie, I pray for a quick recovery from the physical injuries.  I know emotionally, it’ll take time to heal.  My thoughts are with you!

RACISM

There’s another very pathetic part of the story that I won’t mention because it hasn’t been confirmed by the Chicago Police Department.  But, if it’s true, it’s so very sad!

We all know that racism and hate has always been a part of our country’s fabric. Even after the progress in the 1960s, it was still there.

davidduke kkk

But, before 45, it was rightfully condemned to be publicly racist.

Sadly, people are “free” again to hate without regret! 😦

SUAVE, BUT CREEPY, (VIOLENT) MEN!

Dating at a more mature age sucks!  Well, it can suck at any age! 🙂

I finally got around to watching the Bravo series, “Dirty John”, which is based on a true story.  (I talk about it below.)

As I was watching the first episode, I couldn’t believe that the woman (Debra) didn’t pick up on the warning signs that the man she had just started dating was a loser and user.

But, by the second episode, it really clicked as to how this could happen.  It happened to me on my 30th birthday, in Chicago, in the fall of 1994!

I had just been living in the city for three months and went out to celebrate.  I met Richard, a very charming guy with a great smile.  He was 25.

We had a great time that night and the first few weeks were fun.  Before I knew it, he had “moved in” — actually, “would never leave” is more like it!

By Christmas, the relationship was strained by his jealousy, which led to domestic violence.

Yes, I became “that person” lying about the bruises and making excuses that it wouldn’t happened again.

Five months after we met, it culminated with a near death, stalking experience — an emergency room visit, an arrest, and a court appearance!

This was a few days after the attack.  You can still see the gash on the forehead from a brick and the bruises under the eye and on the lip.

ap

While the Chicago court system let him off with nothing more than a slap on the hand, karma and fate prevailed.

A few years ago, I heard that he died!

“DIRTY JOHN”

Sharing that personal story was clearly inspired by Bravo’s “Dirty John” with Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

It’s based on a podcast about a very successful businesswoman and mother of three, Debra Newell.  She’s been unlucky at love after four failed marriages when she finally meets John Meehan, a man just too good to be true.

Well, guess what?  He is too good to be true, thus the show’s name, “Dirty John”!

After the first episode, I thought, “Seriously, you’re that lonely not to see the red flags?”  But, more pieces of the story come together and you’re sucked into it!

Britton looks amazing and her clothes scream elegance!  Bana looks great even as the louse John!  And, it’s always a treat seeing Julia Garner (“Ozark” and “The Americans”).

But, I was really blown away by Juno Temple, who plays Veronica, Debra’s oldest daughter. She’s incredible!  I remember her from 2010’s “Kaboom”!

zegers

Okay, one more thing — I’m still crushing on Kevin Zegers!

If you missed it on Bravo, it hits Netflix on Valentine’s Day (how lovely and twisted!) and a second season is in the works.

GRADE:  A-

REMEMBERING JAMES INGRAM

Two-time Grammy Award winner (with 12 other Grammy nominations) and two-time Oscar nominee James Ingram’s death was announced Tuesday, just a few weeks shy of his birthday.

He was 66.

Ingram first hit the chart in 1981 with “Just Once” (with Quincy Jones), one my favorite songs of his.

He scored a total of eight Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including two chart-toppers, 1982’s “Baby, Come To Me” with Patti Austin and 1990’s “I Don’t Have The Heart”.

SAG AWARDS — DIVERSITY HUMOR! 🙂

megan mullally

Host Megan Mullally : “Hollywood did manage to get a few things right: They cast black people in “Black Panther”, so that was good… Asian people in”Crazy Rich Asians”… And, a green book in “Green Book”.  You know there were some executives saying, ‘Um, could the book be white?”

OSCAR NOMINATION SNUBS

While I was hoping for nominations for Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman for “Boy Erased” and Julia Roberts for “Ben Is Back”, I didn’t expect them!

Oscar-Nominations-2014

I was surprised that Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”), Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place” and “Mary Poppins Returns”) and Bradley Cooper (Best Director – “A Star is Born”) were overlooked.

Furthermore, I was shocked that Marina De Tavira (“Roma”) picked up a nomination for Best Supporting Actress!  However, with all of the awards season love for the movie, it shouldn’t surprise me.

But, the biggest snub for me was in the Documentary category.  I still can’t believe “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, my #3 movie of 2018, wasn’t nominated!

#3 CD

“WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?”

As a kid, I never got to watch “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.  But, on my return flight from Morocco last fall, I watched the documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”.

I absolutely fell in love with Fred Rogers and I’m glad I had the whole row of seats to myself because of the tears streaming down my face!

It brought in $22.6 million in domestic box office receipts making it the biggest documentary of 2018!

As you’ll see below the trailer, I gave it a grade I rarely give anything in entertainment!

GRADE:  A+

“BEAUTIFUL BOY”

As for acting, Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carrell were fantastic in this true story about a father’s efforts to save his teenager from drug abuse and death.

Chalamet was nominated for many major acting awards for this movie, but he didn’t get the Oscar nod.

Last year, he did get an Academy Award nomination for “Call Me By Your Name”, my favorite movie that I saw in 2018.

So, about “Beautiful Boy” — the acting was superb, but the movie was just a few steps up from a Lifetime movie.

You can catch it on Amazon Prime.

GRADE:  B

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

AP Bitmoji Random.jpg

Anthony

Advertisements

Snowed In & Hibernating?

I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

We shivered here in the Minnesota’s Northland with temperatures around -15° to -40° and wind chills of -30° to -50°.

current_temps

feels_like

Meanwhile, my friends back in the Quad Cities are waking up to a new blanket of 4″-8″ of snow!

So, you might be wanting some movie suggestions!

“BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE”

While this retro thriller didn’t exactly set the box office on fire last fall, it’s incredible.

I was intrigued by the trailer and the movie exceeded my expectations.

It takes place in the late-1960s when a group of travelers and people with an agenda show up at the El Royale hotel, just outside of Lake Tahoe.  Part of the hotel is in California and part of it is in Nevada, which is used as a sales gimmick.

From the title, you can tell it’s not a vacation and bad things happen!

Cynthia Erivo is amazing, as is relative newcomer Lewis Pullman (son of Bill Pullman).

And, Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) is stunning as a scantily clad, oh well, I don’t need to give much away.  I’ll just leave it as “scantily clad”! 🙂

GRADE: A-

“A SIMPLE FAVOR”

From the trailer, this black comedy/thriller looked fun and it was!

The $20 million late summer movie starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and sexy Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) made an impressive $97.1 million in theaters.

It was much darker and funnier than I expected.

Blake Lively was great.  While I knew of her from “Gossip Girl”, I first took notice of her in the beautiful “The Age of Adeline” (2015).

Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie.  I really took notice when she married my future ex-boyfriend, Ryan Reynolds! 🙂

Ryan-Reynolds-Body

Oops, I digressed!

There’s a running joke in the movie that if I had been drinking something, I’d spit it out in laughter! “BF”!

Yes, the movie is dark, but humorous!  A perfect combination of the two.

GRADE: B+

“22 JULY”

This movie is based on the true story of a 2011 terrorist attack on Norway.

Two separate attacks, one by a bomb in Oslo’s city government district to distract police and another at a camp in Utøya for teenagers, left 77 dead.

Of the 69 killed at the camp, most were kids!

The motive — white supremacy and the hate of Muslims coming into Scandinavia!

The Netflix movie was directed by Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips” and three of the “Jason Bourne” movies).

Greengrass also directed 2006’s Oscar nominated, heartbreaking and heart-pumping “United 93”, which is a far more superior movie.

As you know, “United 93” was one of the planes used in the 9/11 attacks.

GRADE: B

“UNITED 93”

GRADE: A-

“MARY POPPINS RETURNS”

Okay, this may come as a shocker, but I never saw the original “Mary Poppins”!  I’m familiar with it and I did see a high school stage production of it! 🙂

But, my friend Katie convinced me to go see it with her after work earlier this week (she’s already seen it four or five times).  I was sold with Emily Blunt and my crush, Ben Whishaw, as stars!

Ben Whishaw

Blunt was incredible as usual as Mary Poppins.  What an incredible year for her after last winter’s “A Quiet Place”, which was one of my Top 10 movies of 2018.

Lin Manuel-Miranda (“Hamilton”) was great as Jack, the lamplighter.

His “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”, which reminded me of director Rob Marshall’s “Cell Block Tango” from 2002’s “Chicago”, was probably my favorite number in the movie.

A must see for kids and adults!

GRADE:  B+

“THE BODYGUARD”

This six-episode Netflix thriller is sexy and full of intrigue and twists.

A former Afghanistan war veteran, Sergeant David Budd (Richard Madden) is hired to protect a controversial high-ranking British cabinet member, the Home Secretary.

Well, there are snakes in the grass, so all doesn’t go as planned.

Madden beat out Matthew Rhys of “The Americans” for this year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.  But, Rhys ended up winning the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor.

That goes to show how great of a performance it was.

And, as much as I loved Rhys performance in the final season of “The Americans”, I wouldn’t have been shocked if Madden had won both awards!

GRADE: A-

“BIRD BOX”

This Netflix original is a great, creepy movie with an all-star cast.  It’s also being watched in record numbers on the streaming service after a limited theatrical run.

Sandra Bullock is fantastic as usual.

Trevante Rhodes

I loved seeing Trevante Rhodes in a major role after his career making part in the Oscar winner “Moonlight”.

Some say the movie is tacky in the way it handles mental illness and suicide.

“Bird Box” would have gotten a higher grade if not for the unbelievable “rapids” scene outcome and the conclusion!

GRADE:  B

“LIZZIE”

We’ve all heard the real life story about Lizzie Borden!

Yes, the one that “gave her mother 40 whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41”!

This very compelling drama features incredible performances by actresses Chloe Sevigny as Lizzie and Kristin Stewart as her family’s maid.

GRADE:  B

“ROMA”

Critics are raving about this latest masterpiece and semi-autobiographical film from director Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”).

It’s racking up all kinds of win leading up to the Oscar nominations.  My prediction:  while it’ll be nominated for Best Picture — it won’t (and shouldn’t) win!

It follows the life of a live-in housekeeper, Cleo, to a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early-1970s.

Lead actress Yalitza Aparicio, who’s not a trained actress, was spectacular and the main reason to see this film.

While the movie is beautifully shot and Cuarón lets the movie breathe, some scenes go on way too long!

Maybe it’s just me because I wasn’t blown away by his critically acclaimed movie “Gravity” either, but I loved Cuarón’s 2001 film, “Y Tu Mama Tambien”.

GRADE:  B-

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Snow Possible Tonight & Early Sunday

UPDATE:  Sunday, December 24, 2017, 6:40 p.m.

Snow:  2.7″ Cambridge (IL); 2.3″ Kewanee (IL); 2.0″ Moline (IL); 1.8″ Davenport (IA); 1.1″ Iowa City (IA); 1.1″ Dewitt (IA); 0.8″ Dubuque (IA).

Anthony

UPDATE:  Saturday, December 23, 2017, 3:05 p.m.

Based on new data coming in, more of the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys may be seeing a “White Christmas”!

The Quad Cities is now included in the earlier “Winter Weather Advisory”!

Capture1

For simplicity sake, the “Advisory” runs from late tonight (midnight or 3 a.m.) through midday or early afternoon Sunday (noon or 3 p.m.).

The latest computer models are coming in with more moisture to work with, so that means more of the area will see snow.

Capture1

Amounts really haven’t changed all that much.

I still think the southern hometowns will see 1-3″ of snow with a few 4″ reports.

Around the Quad Cities and along and just north of Interstate 80, an inch or two are still possible with some 3″ totals.

North of that, around Dubuque, Iowa, Galena and Freeport, Illinois, an inch of snow may cover the ground.

Bitterly cold air will follow the snow.  Highs only in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits are on the way for next week.

Some hometowns may even drop below zero Monday and Tuesday nights.

ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, December 23, 2017, 6:50 a.m.

Some across the Midwest are lucking out and may see a “White Christmas”.

If you live south of the Quad Cities, you have a better chance.  Northern hometowns will only see a dusting of snow.

A disturbance moving out of the Plains late Saturday through midday Sunday will bring an accumulating band of snow to parts of Iowa and Illinois.

Snow

Interstate 80 is a good cutting off point.

Along and south of I-80, a “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect overnight Saturday for those counties.

1-3″ of snow could accumulate under that “Winter Weather Advisory”!  There could be an isolated 4″ report.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect at midnight Saturday through noon Sunday for Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, and Washington counties in Iowa.

That “Winter Weather Advisory” runs from 3 a.m through 3 p.m. Sunday for Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Mercer, and Warren counties in Illinois.

If you live in the Quad Cities, you’re not under the “Advisory” as of Saturday morning.  Accumulations of an inch or two are still possible.

That’ll be enough for a “White Christmas”, but not for an advisory.

Hometowns around Dubuque, Iowa, Galena and Freeport, Illinois, may only see a dusting of snow.

Much Colder

While some may get more snow than others, all will have to deal with bitterly cold air.

Highs only in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits are on the way for next week.

Some hometowns may even drop below zero Monday and Tuesday nights.

Anthony

Another Snowy Weekend

UPDATED POST: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016 — 8:08 p.m.

Officially, through 6 p.m., 1.7″ of snow fell this afternoon in Moline and 1.4″ accumulated in Davenport. More snow is on the way tonight and Sunday.

Anthony

UPDATED POST: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016 — 3:17 p.m.

Snow is already falling across southeastern Iowa and west-central Illinois this afternoon. It’ll reach the Quad Cities by early evening.

The “Winter Weather Advisory” has been upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” across our northern hometowns.

Warning.jpg

I’m still looking at the same totals you see below, but I think it’ll be on the higher end of the range.

There  will be isolated higher totals.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016 — 7:30 a.m.

Greetings from the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana.  I’m on my way home and I’ll be happy to see some snow since I missed last weekend’s big snow.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect this afternoon and runs through Sunday evening  in the purple-shaded counties.

dvn

Light snow will develop this afternoon and become heavier tonight through midday Sunday.

Snowfall accumulations along and just north of Interstate 80, which will include the Quad Cities, will be around 2″-5″.

Northern hometowns, closer to Wisconsin, could pick up 5″-8″.

Meanwhile, our southern hometowns, that aren’t under the “Winter Weather Advisory”, will likely only see a dusting to a couple of inches.

Along with the snow, we’ll see wind and blowing snow.

Unlike last week, this snow will likely stick around next week.

If you thought this past week was cold, wait until the middle and end of next week.  Highs will likely only be in the teens and lows could drop below zero!

I’ll be monitoring the snow situation today from the airports on my two flights home.   I’ll update you when I can.

And, I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning on “Local 4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m.  (Thanks Ashe for filling in for me last week.)

Anthony

Valentine’s Day Snow Storm

Happy Friday!  It’s finally here and the bright sunshine looks great out there if it wasn’t for the howling winds.

Bitterly cold temperatures are coming in tonight and when you wake up Saturday morning, lows will be around -2° in the Quad Cities and even colder to the north.

However, once you factor in the wind, most of us will have wind chills in the -15° to -25° range.

Morning sunshine Saturday will give way to cloudy skies by afternoon and light snow will break out Saturday night.

The heaviest of the snow with the storm will fall Sunday.

For several days now, I’ve been telling you that this storm would be bringing in several inches of snow and for the past two days on “Local 4 News This Morning”, I called for 3″+ of snow.

This was the timeline I gave Friday morning for the storm.

Snow Potential

Well, now that we’re just a day or so away from the start of the snow, the data is newer and the snowfall amounts can be more specific than 3″+.

After conferring with my colleague Andy McCray, we’re thinking 3-5″ of snow for much of the area late Saturday night through Sunday night.

sNOW sUNDAY

Slightly higher amounts are expected across the far north and lesser amounts across the far south.

I’m actually buying into this snow being on the “high end” of those ranges.  So, several 5″ totals are pretty realistic at this point.

It’ll be rather windy, so there’ll be a lot of blowing and drifting of snow Sunday into Monday

I’ll have another update Saturday morning to let you know if anything changes overnight. Make sure to keep up on the latest forecast.

Snow's a comin'

Except for the bitter cold, Saturday will be a great day to run errands.  That way, you can enjoy Valentine’s Day and the snow Sunday!

Anthony

Snow Storm Friday Night & Saturday

UPDATED POST:  Friday, November 20,2015, 3:55 p.m.

Snow is already falling across much of central and western Iowa and there have been snowflakes Friday afternoon in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

The “Winter Storm Warning” and the “Winter Weather Advisory” issued this morning are still in place until noon Saturday.

Looking at the latest data just coming in gives me confidence in my earlier forecast and blog update.

The snow will become widespread into the early evening across the north and spread into the Quad Cities and southern hometowns this evening and early tonight.

It will become heavy overnight with about a nine-hour window of moderate snow.

Looking at the snow forecast map from earlier today, I’m inclined to think that the final totals will be on the high end of the range.

Snow Forecast 1120

In our far northern hometowns, a few spots could get a foot of snow!

By the way, I went to the grocery this afternoon for two things.  Big mistake!  I think all of Moline was there.

Have a great weekend  and be safe.  Make the best of it if you’re not a snow lover.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, November 20,2015, 4:14 a.m.

Here’s the short and sweet (or not so sweet for those that don’t want snow) for the significant winter storm coming in Friday evening through Saturday morning.

It looks like a lot of snow will be falling in the overnight hours.

1120 warning advisory

All of the area is now under either a “Winter Storm Warning” (yellow — 6 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday) or a “Winter Weather Advisory” (blue — 9 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday).

A rain and snow mix will begin this afternoon across the area and it’ll be all rain from the Quad Cities southward.

The rain/snow mix will change to all snow north later this evening north and west, in the Quad Cities before midnight, and then to all snow overnight for the rest of the area.

After midnight, snow will be coming down at a moderate to heavy clip and that’s when we’ll get the most accumulation.

The snow should wind down for all of the area by noon Saturday.  After that, it’ll be bitterly cold Sunday morning with lows in the single digits to near 10°.

Now, before I post my updated (and higher) snowfall forecast map, I want to say that I’m still very concerned about how long we see rain or a rain/snow mix before the transition to all snow AND, most of all, the warm ground temperatures.

Snow Forecast 1120

While I do expect moderate to heavy snowfall amounts because it will be coming down hard in the overnight hours Friday into Saturday, I really wouldn’t be surprised that some of the snow compacts and melts and lowers the final snowfall totals.

Keep up on the latest updates through Friday.

Anthony

A Weekend To Warm Hearts

Valentine’s Day weekend is here and this year it comes after a Friday the 13th!

Jason

Let’s hope that Jason isn’t your partner because you’re likely not going to get roses or champagne by the crackling fire!

Roseschampagne

But, you never know, they may have cut those scenes from the “Friday the 13th” movies!

While temperatures are going to be bitterly cold in the Quad Cities this weekend, that won’t keep people away from the movie theaters for a date with Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

FIFTY-SHADES-TIE_720x1080

This weekend, to celebrate our sixth Valentine’s Day together, Ray is going to make his famous lasagna.  Okay, while it may not be famous, it should be because it’s delicious!

As for gifts, we have something for Gretel, our 13-year-old daughter.  As for us, we know how we feel for each other and we don’t need a gift to express that.  However, we may still pick up a box of chocolates Sunday for half price just to blow the healthy eating for a day or two!

On the other hand, I would definitely settle for a bag of the new “limited edition” Red Velvet Oreos!  Have you tried them yet?  Are they tasty?

red_velvet_oreo.0.0

And, how would this be to top off a weekend of love, Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream?

Mercers Wine Ice Cream

Yes, ice cream with actual wine.  It comes in eight incredible flavors:  Peach White Zinfandel, Strawberry Sparkling, Red Raspberry Chardonnay, Riesling, Port, Spice, Cherry Merlot, and Chocolate Cabaret.

Chocolate Cabanet Wine

The closest stores that carry it to the Quad Cities are Hy-Vee locations in Iowa City, Iowa, and Sycamore and Springfield, Illinois.

Since I won’t be driving there on this bitterly cold weekend and we do have the bottles of chocolate red wine, maybe we could mix that with ice cream and make our wine milk shakes!

Otherwise, our romantic weekend will consist of some fun adult beverages, watching movies and television, a crackling fire, and a nice family weekend.

Happy Valentine’s Day to your and yours.

If you’re single, Happy Valentine’s Day to you!  I had many of those and I didn’t mind since I could eat all of the chocolates myself — except what I shared with ABBA, my golden retriever.  Yes, I know you’re not “supposed” to give dogs chocolate, but it was in moderation!

Anthony