Posts Tagged ‘March’

Random Friday Thoughts — March 3, 2017

It’s already the first week of March and for the winter weary (even though in the Quad Cities, the winter hasn’t been bad at all), it’s officially “meteorological spring”.

That’s the three months (March, April, and May) sandwiched between the three coldest months of the year and the three hottest of the year.

So, enjoy that and my Random Friday Thoughts.

FOUR YEARS ALREADY 

This past weekend, Facebook alerted me through its “On This Day” feature that I started my new position on “Local 4 News This Morning” four years ago!  Time sure does fly.

Anthony CBS4

When I posted that as my status update, the outpouring of kind comments was heartwarming.  Thank you all so much for following me down the road in the Quad Cities as I continue to do what I love and something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child.

But, it wasn’t the four year announcement that got a few people to thinking, it was this line that started off the post, “As we travel down the road of life, we sometimes know where it’ll lead. At other times, the unforeseen detours make it more exciting.”

Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

One of my close friends sent me this, “…lately I’ve been having a feeling you may be leaving broadcast weather, or debating doing so…So upon seeing your anniversary post, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see an announcement that you were moving on to a different challenge.”

So, that got me to thinking and two things came to mind.

I’ve always been upfront in my daily correspondences with family and friends, in my blog, and on social media.  At times, I’m too brutally honest (a fault, I know — it’s that “tone”)!

Mouth Shut

Kidding aside, when there’s something new to disclose, you know I’ll share it with you.  I’m just honored that some of you really care.

I appreciate that and the feelings are mutual.

AND THE WINNER IS…. NO, WAIT…..

Remember back in 1993 when Marisa Tomei won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “My Cousin Vinny”?

There are still people today that believe the wrong name was announced and to save face, a correction was never made.  (By the way, Tomei has been nominated two more times since in the Best Supporting Actress category!)

True or not, the climax of the 89th Annual Academy Awards was definitely suspenseful.

Oscar-Nominations-2014

Legendary actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that “La La Land” won Best Picture.

Warren Faye.jpg

Well, the winner of Best Picture was actually “Moonlight”!

As the “La La Land” team was making its way on stage, the error was realized and the correct winner was announced.  Awkward!

According to Beatty and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that handles Oscar voting and the envelopes with the winners, the presenters were handed the envelope for Best Actress, which was won by Emma Stone of “La La Land”.

Sounds logical, but here’s where it gets fishy!

Emma.jpg

Best Actress Stone, who had just picked up her Oscar, says “I also was holding my best actress in a leading role card that entire time.”  Stone adds, “I don’t mean to start stuff but whatever story that was, I had that card, so I’m not sure what happened.”

But, the snafu might make sense!  In a 2016 interview, PricewaterhouseCoopers says it makes duplicates of every card.  So, Stone may have had hers and the other one was accidentally handed to Beatty and Dunaway.

Leave it to Hollywood for the drama.

“BIG LITTLE LIES”

Since I don’t have HBO, I’m bummed that I have to wait to see “Big Little Lies”, the seven-part series starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, and Alexander Skarsgaard when it comes to DVD.

It’s based on the Liane Moriarty book, which I just read!

I loved that you got almost to the end of the the book before you find out who was killed and who did it.  Now, that’s great storytelling and suspense.

Once I finished the book, I finally checked out the trailer for the series.

Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that I’m not surprised that the locale moved from Pirriwee, Australia in the book to Monterrey, California, for the series.

I also can’t wait to see the HBO series to find out more about the gun you see in the trailer. I sure don’t want that to be the method of “murder” since the book’s cause of death is much more potent and highly unexpected than a gunshot!

It’s a great, catty, powerful read.

BARBARA BUSH

I have a confession to make.

BB.jpg

When Barbara Bush was the “First Lady” of the United States (1989-1993) and even the eight years that she was the “Second Lady of the United States” (1981-1989), I wasn’t a fan.

There was just something standoffish about her.  It was clear to me that she loved her family, but I just didn’t feel the warmth was genuine.

After reading her book, “A Memoir”, I’ve changed my views quite a bit.  I still think she’s a force to reckon with and I still disagree with her on several things, but that’s part of life.

She is more down-to-earth than I gave her credit for and she accomplished so much in those twelve years.

However, she did say some things that sound so odd today (keep in mind that the book came out in 1994) and very politically incorrect.

But, Ms. Bush gets brownie points with me when she talks about whether or not she thinks the American public likes the First Lady to be front and center.

president-hillary

She writes, “Hillary Rodham Clinton is certainly very much a part of her husband’s decision-making process.  She seems much the stronger of the two.  Does it make him seem weaker?  I am afraid that when problems or controversy occur, and they will, the finger will be pointed at Hillary.”

How prophetic!

It’s great seeing her and former President George H.W. Bush out in public whenever they make appearances these days.

George Barbara

She’s now 91 and he’s 92 (both have June birthdays) and they’re now the the oldest living President and First Lady.

My favorite Commander-in-Chief Jimmy Carter is less than four months younger.  He turns 93 on October 1st.

Jimmy Carter

I still have another Barbara Bush book to read, “Reflections:  Life After the White House”(2003).

And, as I’ve stated before, my favorite Bush family member is former First Lady Laura Bush.

Laura Bush

I still want to meet her one day!

YOUTH SUICIDE RATES IN UTAH

I’m getting caught up on some magazines stacked in my bedroom and I came across an eye-opening fact in a couple of them.

In “Out” (September 2016), it was reported that in Utah, suicide is the number one cause of death for kids ages 10 to 17.

How sad is that!

MORE STARTLING FACTS

In “The Advocate” (June/July 2016), I read these startling facts from John T. Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago:

  • Living with obesity increases the odds of an early death by 20%
  • Excessive alcohol consumption increases the odds by 30%
  • Loneliness increases odds of an early death by 45%

Damn!  This means some of us aren’t going to live anywhere near forever!

“I DON’T WANNA LIVE FOREVER”

I’m just a bundle of happiness today! 🙂

Maybe this is the perfect time to share my favorite song out right now —  Zayn and Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack.

“MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”

Casey Affleck won the Best Actor award at the Oscars last weekend for his role in this Best Picture nominee.

Affleck was incredible in character, but his character had no likable characteristics.

He plays a Boston janitor with many issues and you learn more of them as the movie goes on.

He’s called home when his brother has a fatal heart attack and he’s asked to raise his teen-aged nephew.  That’s not a spoiler!

Michelle Williams plays Affleck’s ex-wife and is only in a few scenes, but a couple of them were very emotional and earned her an Oscar nomination.

Lucas Hedges played Affleck’s nephew and he’s incredible.  He has some very funny lines that are still rooted in pain.  There’s one scene where he doesn’t speak, but his facial expressions and reaction speaks volumes.

Hedges was also nominated for an Oscar, but didn’t win.

GRADE:  B

“ARRIVAL”

I love Amy Adams and she was great, as always, in this science fiction movie.

I also like sci-fi, too, but this one didn’t blow me away.

While the movie was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (Adams didn’t get a nomination), neither deserved it.

Adams plays a language expert grieving a personal loss and she’s asked to decipher the language of aliens that have landed in different ships around the world.

It just didn’t gel me and I didn’t get excited about the fate of the world or the aliens.

GRADE:  C+

ONE LAST BARBARA BUSH NOTE

One thing that resonated strongly while reading “A Memoir” by Barbara Bush is her response to late actress and two-time Oscar winner Shelley Winters (“The Poseidon Adventure”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “A Patch of Blue”, and “A Place in the Sun”).

An upset Winters called the First Lady during “Desert Storm” and wanted President Bush to enact some war act restricting the press from telling all.

Ms. Bush writes, “I tried to explain to this extremely agitated woman that if the President were to do as she asked and put a ban on the press, the hue and cry from one and all would be deafening.”

I agree.

So, where is that deafening cry from one and all today with #45???

ss

Resist!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — March 4, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to imagine that it’s already March.

Spring will be here in a couple of weeks and after the warmth last weekend and the snow earlier this week in the Midwest, I’m ready for it.

As always, I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts.  Feel free to share your thoughts and if we disagree, do it diplomatically.

SAD PARENTING!

I know this happens much more than people know — a kid tells their parents they’re gay or the parents find out and either kicks them out onto the streets or severs ties with them.

Promoting his autobiography, “Master of Ceremonies”, 83-year-old Oscar winning actor Joel Grey (“Cabaret”) tells “Entertainment Weekly” about telling his parents when he was a teenager that he’d had an affair with a man.

Grey says, “When I told my mother, I remember reaching out to her, and she said, ‘Don’t ever touch me again, you disgust me.’  It was one of the worst moments of my life.  Secrets became necessary.”

I know people have hang ups with LGBT people, but I’ll never understand, as a gay man and as a parent, how a mother or father (or grandparent) could say that to their child.  If you could or have done that and have no regrets, please “unfriend” me now!

“AMY” WINS AN OSCAR, BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY

The documentary, “Amy”, by director Asif Kapadia walked away with an Academy Award Sunday night for “Best Documentary Feature”.

I saw it and it’s an insightful piece on the rise, fall, and death of five-time Grammy Award winning singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011 at the age of 27 from alcohol poisoning.

At one point, the director had the support of the Winehouse family, but then they had a change of heart and spoke out publicly about how the documentary portrayed Amy and the family.

Amy’s father, Mitch, said this after the Sunday night win, “I am not changing my stance just because film won Oscar.  It’s a negative, spiteful, and misleading portrayal of Amy.  We will fix this.”

It’s been almost five years and it’s time for the Winehouse family to move on it.  The documentary is much nicer about Amy’s life and death than some of the things I’ve heard in the past few years.

SUPER TUESDAY AFTERMATH

If you follow politics, you already know that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the big winners from “Super Tuesday”, even as Bernie Sanders won four states, Ted Cruz three, and Marco Rubio eked out a win in Minnesota.

Here’s how Nate Silver, the editor-in-chief of the website FiveThirtyEight and considered the ultimate expert in politics and presidential election predictions, summed up the night.

Nate.jpg

After last Tuesday and the debate Thursday night, I don’t know what Trump could possible say to offend anyone he hasn’t already and not secure the Republican nomination.

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Debate

As for Democratic race, Clinton is winning big states and in big numbers and is on track to secure her party’s nomination.

Harry Enten, a senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight, sums up that race like this:

“Sanders, perhaps not surprisingly, has indicated that he’ll continue to fight for votes across the country. But for every win he may get in mostly white states, Clinton will be marching toward the nomination with likely victories in states such as Michigan and Florida. The math indicates that Clinton eventually will win the nomination with relative ease.”

SCRUFF APP USERS MAKE THEIR PICK

If you follow politics, you see all of the polling from different organizations on Real Clear Politics (RCP).  I can say I haven’t seen any results from Scruff, the gay app hook-up site listed on RCP.

But, a poll was conducted and 72% of guys who responded classified themselves as Democrats.  Only 9% claimed to be Republicans with 16% listed as Independents.

president-hillary

Of the more than 10-thousand Democratic respondents, 63% supported Hillary Clinton compared to 31% for Bernie Sanders.  6% were still undecided.

Trump

Of the smaller Republican group, 38% picked Donald Trump, 19% Marco Rubio, 9% John Kasich 6% Ted Cruz, and only 2% for Ben Carson, in last place.

And, just think, this poll came out before Trump made sure we know that his endowment is not small, in reference to Rubio making a small hands reference last week.  Ewwwww!

What

Another prime example to prove he’s not presidential material.

ELTON’S ON A RAMPAGE (AGAIN)

One of the greatest entertainers in music is back with a new album.  Okay, I should say “The Bitch Is Back”.

Elton John just released his 32nd studio album, “Wonderful Crazy Night”.  It debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and dropped precipitously the following week.

That happens with highly anticipated album.  It doesn’t reflect on how good or bad an album is, it’s more of an indication that Top 40 radio doesn’t play songs from the album.

So, with new music to promote, it’s time for Elton to ruffle some feathers.

Elton

It seems like a lifetime ago when he ripped on Madonna accusing her of lip-syncing in her concerts in 2004 and, in 2012, his husband, David Furnish, blasted Madonna after Elton lost to her at the Golden Globes.

Elton says now, “I probably went too far with Madonna and I got very personal and I wrote her – she was very gracious”.

MadonnaGoldenGlobe

Now, his venon is directed to “No, my first name ain’t baby.  It’s Janet, Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty.”

JanetJackson_Standard-2

Elton tells “Rolling Stone”, “You know, f*cking music magazines writing a review of Janet Jackson saying, ‘This is the greatest show – four and a half stars.’  It’s f*cking lip-synced.  Hello!  That’s not a show!  I’d rather go and see a drag queen.  F*ck off!”

Elton LasVegas

Madonna

As for the feuds and the talent, Elton, I saw you in concert in Las Vegas in 2012 the night before I saw Madonna and both of you were incredible.

Chill out!

JANET JACKSON — MY DEFENSE

This past fall, I saw Janet on her “Unbreakable World Tour” in Omaha, Nebraska, and the show dazzled me.

You’d think if it was “lip-synced”, you wouldn’t have heard her cough at the end of one song!

JanetJackson

The European leg of that tour picks up again in late March and she returns to the United States this May for the North American leg.

She’ll be playing right here in the Quad Cities, in Moline, Illinois, at the iWireless Center, and I’d highly recommend you see the show.

Here’s a video from the Omaha show.

And, here’s what I have to say about the concert:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/janet-jacksons-unbreakable-world-tour-dazzles/

“BATES MOTEL” RETURNS & SO DOES “DAMIEN”

The fourth season of the incredible “Bates Motel” returns Monday night, March 7th, on A&E.

We’ll see Norman (Freddie Highmore) descend deeper into madness to take on the persona of his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), who’s also losing it.

After that, stick around for the premiere of “Damien”, the return of the evil child from the 1976 motion picture, “The Omen”.

Hot English actor Bradley James, plays Damien, now a 30-year-old photographer who has forgotten his Satanic past.

It’s from the creator of “The Walking Dead” and also stars Scott Wilson, who played Hershel Greene on “Dead”.

ADELE SAYS NO TO MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS

Adele is one of the biggest stars on the planet.

She’s won more Grammys than she can carry and she’ll likely cash in again early in 2017 when “25” sweeps the awards just as her as her last album, “21”, did.

adele

She’s already had two smash hits from her new album, “Hello” and “When We Were Young” and the third single will likely be announced soon.

But, thankfully, “she graciously passed” when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis asked her to lend vocals on “Growing Up” from their new album.

That song made my list of “worst songs” of 2015.  Sadly, Ed Sheeran stepped in for Adele.

PICK HIT

In May, we’ll be seeing Ellie Goulding and Years & Years in concert in Rosemont, Illinois, on the “Delirium World Tour” to support Ellie’s latest album.

I’ve been a fan of hers since long before “Lights” became a huge hit in America in 2011.

Last year, the English trio, Years & Years released “Communion”, which was my second favorite album of 2015.

Ellie’s latest hit, “Something in the Way You Move” is one of my favorite songs out right now and is already one of the 20 most played songs on Top 40 radio.

And, if you’re not familiar with Years & Years, here’s more on “Communion”.  Check out the blog I featured last summer which features more songs from the album.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/years-years-communion-is-definitely-king/

THAT’S IT

Have a great first weekend of March.

I’m going to enjoy the nice weather, have some great food and drinks, watch some movies, catch up on my television shows, and check out this weekend’s caucuses and primaries.

Feel free to comment on any of my topics today.

Anthony

Snowy Start to March 2014

UPDATED POST:  SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2014, 4:04 p.m.

It’s finally starting to snow.  While I still expect moderate snow tonight, many locations will probably have less snow than I originally called for yesterday and this morning.

So, basically expect about 2-5″.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2014, 8:53 a.m.

February ended up being the snowiest February on record in the Quad Cities with 22.3″ of snow.

March is going to start out pretty snowy, too.

Sick of Winter

After a little bit of snow Friday night into early morning Saturday, we’ll get a break until later today when the next round of moderate snow moves through Iowa and Illinois.

Remember, I’m only the messenger.  But, in reality, I’m shooting for 70″ this winter and the all-time record!

This is where we stood Friday night before the weekend snow in the Quad Cities.

Snow Stats -- Friday Morning

Here is how much snow I’m expecting from through Sunday
night.

Snow This Weekend

Although I put this forecast snow graphic together Friday morning, it still looks reasonable this weekend — give or take an inch.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect from the National Weather Service pretty much from Saturday afternoon into Sunday for all of the area.

WWA

On average, the Quad Cities picks up 4″ of snow in the month of March.

Last March, we saw 10.6″ of snow.

And, March 2012 was the warmest March on record in the Quad Cities with an average temperature of 53.3°.  That was 14.2° above average.

It was also the warmest March on record in the United States.

Anthony

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 15

Happy Friday!  Can you believe it’s already the middle of March?  After you read this blog, if you live in the Quad Cities, northern Illinois, or eastern Iowa, get outside for a few minutes today to enjoy the warmest day, so far, in the month of March.  It’s pretty pathetic when the forecast high of 53° today qualifies as “warm” in mid-March.  This is just one of my random thoughts.

COOL, WET, WHITE MARCH

Now that the first half of March is behind us, temperatures in the Quad Cities are running 6.7° below average.  We’ve only had four days, counting today, with highs that made it into the 40s!  To put this chill into perspective, this past January highs were in the 50s or higher five times with the warmest of those days making it up to 62° on January 29, 2013, which is the warmest day in 2013!  In February 2013, two days made it to 50° or higher.

In a typical March, we see 2.86″ of precipitation (rain and melted snow).  In just the first 15 days this March, we’re up to 2.22″ in the Quad Cities.  Average March snow in the Quad Cities is 4″ and this March, we’ve had four measurable snows with a total of 5.7″.

THIS WAS ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK!!!

March 2012 Quad Cities

My colleague and friend at CBS4, chief meteorologist Andy McCray put together this graphic to show the high temperatures this time last year.  In addition to these seven unseasonably warm days, we also hit 82° on March 20th and 81° on March 21st.

March 2012 ended up 14.2° above average and it went down in the record books as the warmest March on record in the Quad Cities.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Look at how green and how in bloom everything was last March 15th-21st in my neighborhood!

March 19 2012 -3 March 19 2012 - 2 March 19 2012March 19 2012 - 4

MY CONCERT BUCKET LIST IS GETTING SMALLER!

When I got up for work at 1 a.m. Wednesday, I knew I was going to be up 33 hours.  After working my morning shift Wednesday, Ray and I drove 2.5 hours to St. Charles, Illinois, that evening for a concert and then drove back to the Quad Cities just in time for me to shower and go into work to get ready for the Thursday morning news.  Why the insanity and the sleep deprivation?

Last fall, I heard that one of my childhood idols was doing a few tour dates in early 2013 after giving up touring more than ten years ago.  However, most of the dates were in New York, Florida, and California.  Monday morning, I got a Facebook notice about a concert Wednesday night in St. Charles, a western suburbs of Chicago.  And, I knew I had to move heaven and earth to be there!

Back in 1973, I was almost 9-years-old when I bought my first 45 rpm record thanks to an allowance from my grandparents, John and Helen Peoples.  It was “Delta Dawn” by Helen Reddy.

Delta Dawn Helen Reddy

Although Helen had many Top Ten hits in America, she’ll be most remembered by her signature #1 hit from December 1972, “I Am Woman”.  That song not only became an anthem for women and equality, but it was also the first Australian-penned song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and to win a Grammy Award.  In her acceptance speech for Best Female Performance, Helen thanked “God, because SHE makes everything possible”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wednesday night, I got to see the incredible and amazing Helen Reddy in concert!!   While she has aged 40 years since her chart topping days of the early 1970s, she sounded amazing.  The 90-minute concert was surreal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While Helen charted with more than a dozen Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1970s, she only performed a handful of those radio hits:  “Angie Baby” (#1), a medley of “Delta Dawn” (#1) and “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” (#8), along with “You And Me Against The World” (#9).  For her encore, she performed two versions of her iconic #1 international hit, “I Am Woman”.  She recited the lyrics of the song and then she asked the audience to sing along with her.  While most people were shy and just sat there, I sang along with my childhood idol!

Most of the songs that Helen performed where favorites picked by her, whether they were album cuts that never made the radio or songs written by her music business friends.  You could tell that she was having a blast onstage and it never seemed that she had been away from the spotlight for eleven years.

She has a fantastic sense of humor and shared many little personal stories between songs.  Twice, she would be telling a story at the front of the stage and then turn around to the band and ask “what song is next?”  It was so cute and funny.

Two other times, she would be setting up the next song and then pause and the band would be a couple of seconds behind her and she would look around and ask if they were still there or she told the audience, “I thought they left”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It may have taken me 40 years to see Miss Helen Reddy in concert since I first heard “I Am Woman”, but it was definitely worth the wait.  Aging like a good wine, the 71-year-old mother and grandmother, sounded just as incredible and alive as she did back in the early-1970s when she was one of the biggest international music stars in the business!  I’m not ageist.  I’m only mentioning her age because she brought it up and I hope that I’m still traveling the world when I hit my 70s!

The only thing that could have made this night any more perfect would have been to meet Helen.  We were on the meet & greet list, but the Arcada Theatre management’s own “meet & greet” messed that up and it left me and Ray and about eight other ladies waiting at the edge of the stage to reminisce about her albums and her glamorous looks of the 1970s.

Oh well, maybe Helen and I will cross paths again!  We’re both young at heart. 🙂  I really can’t complain since we were sitting in the front row stage left and Ray told me that Helen was singing directly to me during some songs.  🙂

That was a classic medley from the 1970s with Helen performing one of my favorite songs, “Keep on Singing”.

Now, I only have Olivia Newton-John and Lorrie Morgan left on my must see list before they retire.  And, if Helen Reddy is any indication, great music stars don’t retire forever, they take a break from the business and live life!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Bad Meal WineHappy Stray Dog

“THE FOLLOWING” IS DRIVING ME NUTS!

Fox’s “The Following” has been renewed for a second season in 2014.

With only seven episodes left before this season’s April 29th finale, the show is driving me nuts.  SPOILER ALERT ahead if you haven’t watched this past Monday’s show!  So, I’ll stall for a moment with a picture from the show, so you can skip ahead to the next segment of my random blog!

Joe & Ryan The Following

While the search for escaped serial killer, Dr. Joe Carroll continues, I’m totally frustrated by the incompetence of the FBI agents on “The Following”.  They’re definitely not Mulder and Scully, FBI agents from Fox’s other successful series, “The X-Files”!  Every week, they come some so close to cracking Joe’s “following” and find his kidnapped son, Joey.  So close, yet so far!

Paul, Emma, & Jacob

Three episodes ago, Paul (left) and Jacob (right), the “gay couple”, escaped and disappeared after a shoot out with the FBI and Paul was bleeding profusely after being stabbed by Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon).  And, they haven’t been back in the last two episodes even though they were mentioned.  Hello!!!!!!!!!!!

And, Emma (center), has to DIE!  She is so evil.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough.  While I love the show, it ‘s definitely dragging things out.  While I love Agent Debra Parker and Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy character is likeable even with his flaws (the biggest being that stupid pacemaker storyline), my favorite character is Agent Mike Weston, played by Shawn Ashmore.  Last Monday, I commented on Facebook that it would be shocking and cool if Hardy died in the season finale and that I wanted to see more Ashmore.

Shawn Ashmore

And, then Monday night, Joe’s crazy followers kidnapped Weston and I said, “Oh no, if he dies, this is it!  I’m done”.

After refusing to give away Claire’s whereabouts (the FBI has her hidden away to keep her safe from Carroll), Weston was beaten and bloodied as Hardy and Agent Parker closed in on rescuing him and then it happened!!!!!!!!!!!  Follower Charlie stabbed him as Ryan breaks in only to have Weston whisper, “I didn’t tell them” and his body goes limp in Hardy’s arms!!!!!!!!!!

Holy crap, “The Following”, you’re driving me nuts!

Oh, and since I said I wanted to see more of Ashmore, here’s a bonus from a June 2008 “Cosmopolitan” magazine spread.  And, it has nothing to do with “The Following”.  Enjoy! 🙂

Shawn Ashmore in Cosmo

MORE FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PHOTOS

Earlier in the blog, I featured some pictures I posted this week last year during our early season “heat wave”.  Here are a couple from this week in 2010, which definitely showed that winter was hanging on.

Miss ABBA was enjoying playing with Lucky and Odie.  Now, all three of them are playing together in “puppy heaven”.

Lucky ABBA Odie 03202010

And, on that same day, I saw a deer walk by our window in the ravine behind our house.  I grabbed my camera and ran out the door into the front yard and down the street a few house to sneak around back and try to cut it off in the ravine.  I was successful and got this great picture!

Deer 03202010

“OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL”

This past Monday, Ray, Gretel, and I went to see the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz”.

Gretel Anthony Oz

“Oz The Great and Powerful” stars James Franco as Oscar “Oz” Diggs, Mila Kunis (Theodora, the Good Witch), Michelle Williams (Glinda, the Good Witch of the South), and Rachel Weisz (Evanora, Theodora’s sister).

The $215 million, Sam Raimi-directed fantasy movie, grossed a very impressive $167 million worldwide in just the first six days of release.

In the movie, Franco’s Diggs is a small time magician/con artist traveling from town to town hitting on the pretty women and leaving a trail of heartbreak.  When a muscled strongman that is traveling with the carnival finds out that Diggs has been making the moves on his woman, he goes to confront him.  Diggs barely escapes in a hot air balloon only to get sucked in by a tornado.  Oh, and the first part of the movie is in black and white.  Wait, this all sounds familiar. 🙂

Diggs winds up in the Emerald City and Theodora thinks that he’s the Wizard that has been sent to save them.  If he breaks the spell of the Wicked Witch, he will become king and have all the riches!  We also know that either Theodora, Glinda, or Evanora will become the Wicked Witch!

The world of Oz is beautiful and stunningly colorful.  I absolutely loved the movie and there’s been talk that it would have been a better movie if either Johnny Depp or Robert Downey, Jr. had been the magician.  I disagree, as I was captivated by Franco as the Wizard.  And, Michelle Williams is always incredible.

As for kids seeing the PG-rated movie, Ray and Gretel are “jumpers” when watching movies.  She jumped twice (and one was SOOO predictable) and Ray jumped once.  I have to admit that his one jump scene was totally unexpected and fun!

A must see!

GRADE:  B+

FUTURE PICK HIT

Okay, say what you about Ke$ha.  I used to like her auto-tuned to death, sugary, pop confections, but I didn’t think she was very talented.  That changed when I bought “Warrior”, her latest album.  I absolutely love it.  But, I still wouldn’t commit to seeing her in concert!

Her new song, the third release from the album and the follow-up to “C’Mon” is “Supernatural”.

When I blogged about the “Warrior” album and gave it an “A” back in January, here’s what I said about her new single, “If you’re already a fan of Ke$ha’s music and you like to dance, you’ll love a very Ace of Base sounding, “All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)”, “Out Alive”, “Wherever You Are”, “Last Goodbye”, and “Supernatural”.

PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK

And, one of the co-writers on Ke$ha’s “Supernatural” is featured in my weekly ’80s flashback!

In England, singer Nik Kershaw was a 1980s teen idol and made eight appearances on the Top 40 music charts.

Sadly, here in the United States, the closest he came to the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 was with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”.  The song peaked at #46 in 1984.  I still love the video and the song today!

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts for now.  I could go on and on and on.  What’s on your mind?   Maybe something about what I said today or something else random?  Let me know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Anthony