Posts Tagged ‘Midwest’

Random Friday Thoughts — November 24, 2017

I hope you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving and had plenty to eat.

With many out shopping or visiting with family, I’m not sure how many will check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”, but here they are.

CHRISTMAS CARD DILEMMA

I’m still one of those people trying to keep the postal service in business by buying 49-cent stamps and mailing out Christmas cards!

While I personalize each card, I started sending out a Christmas letter to recap my year for those that don’t follow me on Facebook or read my blog! (The horror!)

Last year, at the end of my Christmas letter, I shared the photo with Hillary Clinton and I wrote that it was “the highlight of the year” for me.

Hillary AP

And, I added, “Sadly, we all know how that turned out in November!  Regardless of how you voted, I was very dismayed.  But, I hope for the best for the U.S. and the world over the next four years.”

I thought that was diplomatic and it expressed my sadness.

However, I was appalled by a response from, I guess, a former “friend” and co-worker.  On the outside of the envelope, she wrote:

Christmas Card Dilemma

Now, I spent my only Maryland Thanksgiving with her and her husband.  She was my drinking buddy and my confidant.  I still considered her a friend even though at some point in 2016, she unfriended me on Facebook!

So, I was torn.  Do I not send a card this year?  Do I send a card and ignore the comment?

Or, do I send a card and say, “I was already living in a stronger ISIS-free America prior to the election.  As for a “new found security”, I wasn’t insecure.  When I’m in a large crowd, I’m aware of my surroundings, but I’ve never felt threatened or insecure.  But, as one of your LGBT friends, I feel more insecure of my future now –with the current administration — than I did prior to the 2016 election!”

What would you do?  At the end of the blog, I’ll tell you what I did. 🙂

STAMPS

By the way, I chose these fun stamps this year.

Stamps 1

I’M NOT IN THE MIDWEST ANYMORE!

As the winter season moves closer, I know I’ll miss the Midwest snow.  However, I won’t miss the bitterly cold air!

I smiled the other day when I saw this on an area National Weather Service Twitter feed.

Here in northwestern Florida, it only takes 2″+ of snow and/or more than 1/2″ of sleet (or a combination) in a 12-hour period for a “Winter Storm Warning”!

Capture1

Back in the Quad Cities, it would take 6″ of snow in a 12-hour period or 8″ in 24 hours and/or more than 1/2″ of sleet (or a combination) for a “Winter Storm Warning” to be issued!

GOODBYE, “AHS: CULT”

This season of “American Horror Story: Cult” was incredible.

While the subject matter — the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election — brought back many painful memories, it was presented pretty realistically (although the violence was highly over exaggerated for dramatic effect!).  There were things as a Hillary or a Trump supporter that you may not have wanted to hear.

So, as I say “thank you” Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for a great season, I want to share two crazy late season scenes.

TV reporter and eventual cult member Beverly Hope tells cult leader Kai Anderson what she thinks of him and his cult as she tries to break away.

BH: “Your promises are sh*t.  You’re a fake.  You don’t stand for a goddamn thing.”

KA:  “I’m standing up for millions of people who are finally being heard.”

BH:  “Nothing is bigger than your ego.  You don’t know what the f*ck you’re doing from one minute to the next.  You’re an incompetent guy — just another media whore.”

And, for this next one, I won’t set up the scene because I don’t believe in complete spoilers.  But, it was my favorite line of the season!

spoiler-alert

Nasty Woman

And, how can I move on without sharing this hilarious one again from earlier in the season!

lesbians-were-under-attack-billy-eichner-ahs-cul-scared

WINTER FINALE — “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER”

With all of the craziness of the past 3.5 seasons, you know when you get a special warning beyond the typical “Viewer Discretion Advised” in the last 20 minutes that it’s going to be over-the-top!

Well, this winter finale had a W-T-F ending that you couldn’t tear yourself away from –even as you cringed!

Without giving it anything away, it was the most painful and heart-wrenching scene I’ve seen on television — maybe ever!

911

This scene made the accidental deadly gunshot to the head and the blood spatter earlier in the episode register only as a “wow”.

“How To Get Away With Murder” returns on January 18, 2018.

NOW THAT IT’S THANKSGIVING…

Maybe people will be a little less touchy about seeing Christmas decorations and hearing all Christmas, all the time on the radio, now that they’ve had some turkey.

However, if you’re decorating this weekend and you live in Florida or in a tropical area, be careful with palm trees and lights! 🙂

Palm Tree Lights

PRICIEST CHRISTMAS TREE

Last year, the Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace Hotel, a seven-star hotel in Abu Dhabi, was valued at $11.4 million!

The-Emirates-Palace-Hotel-Decorated-Christmas-tree

Emeralds, diamonds, and pearls enhanced the 43-feet high tree.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FOR KIDS

Since many of you will be heading out Christmas shopping, here’s an interesting tidbit:

“U.S. children make up just 3.1% of the global world population, but American families buy 40% of the world’s toys.”  (“Time” — March 23, 2015)

Cash Register

JON STEWART SAID WHAT???

Former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart tells “Rolling Stone” in November 2014 about Fox News and Christmas:

“They truly feel the loss of absolute power is the same as persecution.  Like, watch them do their “War on Christmas” stuff.  It’s real, man.  There’s no bullsh*t.  They are in the middle of Rockefeller Center talking about “They won’t let us put up a Christmas tree!”  Meanwhile, they’re standing next to a 60-foot Christmas tree in a place with so much Christmas stuff up it looks like Santa’s balls just exploded.”

HOT JANUARY TELEVISION

Two highly anticipated television shows (at least for me) will be warming up my DVR in January.

Back in June, I wrote about the upcoming Ryan Murphy series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”.

EW verace

The 10-episode series will premiere on January 17, 2018.

It stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Oscar winner Penelope Cruz as Versace’s sister, Donatella, Darren Criss (“Glee”) as Andrew Cunanan, the man that killed Versace, and Ricky Martin, as Versace’s boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico.

Here’s the official trailer.

And, the 10-episode eleventh season of “The X-Files” returns even earlier on January 3, 2018, on Fox.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully!

“WIND RIVER”

Jeremy Renner plays a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent who stumbles upon the body of an a teenager in the cold, wintry Wyoming tundra on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The woman’s death isn’t a simple case of hypothermia and frostbite.  The FBI is called in and rookie special agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) has to determine if this is a murder case.

Olsen is incredible in this very intense and, at times, brutal movie.

“Wind River” cost $11 million, but it went on to gross $40 million at the box office.

GRADE:  A-

A DIFFERENT “THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”

I feature this very different version of the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” every year because it’s so funny.

I hope you find it humorous, too.

CHRISTMAS CARD DILEMMA — MY SOLUTION

I took the high road and I didn’t send a card.  I decided to vent and share my disappointment here.

If she hadn’t unfriended me on Facebook, I would have addressed it to her privately.

My thought is that if that’s how she approached the subject — on the outside of an envelope last year — her friendship isn’t worth 49 cents!

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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Warming Trend Begins Thursday

It’s the middle of March and we’re waking up to wind chills near zero or below zero after our recent snowstorm.

Snowy Daffies

Milder air is on the way for the rest of the week into the weekend and early next week.  We’ll see highs in the 40s and 50s and some hometowns may even reach 60° by next Monday.

But, for now, we’re still dealing with the aftermath of the snowstorm that started Sunday night and moved out early Tuesday.

Officially, 6.1″ of snow accumulated in Davenport, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois, picked up 5.9″.  My forecast was for 5-7″ of snow for the metro area.

Snow Final BB

For the winter, we’re still below average on snowfall in the Quad Cities.  However, we’re slightly ahead of where we were at this time last winter.

Snow Comparison 31517.png

22.4″ is the official total for the Quad Cities in Moline this winter.  Davenport is up to 25.2″.

Anthony

Spring Forward Into Snow!

UPDATED POST:  Saturday, March 11, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

Here’s a quick update for Sunday and Monday’s snow event.

wsw.jpg

A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Sunday evening through Monday evening for the counties shaded in blue.  This includes the Quad Cities.  It’s basically for counties along and north of Interstate 80.

A “Winter Storm Watch” means that conditions are favorable and confidence is building for significant snow accumulation.  This is the time to prepare.

It’s usually the case that this “Watch” will become a “Winter Storm Warning”, a “Winter Weather Advisory”, or a “Snow Advisory” before the snow starts to fall tomorrow.

The latest data Saturday evening is coming in snowier, so I’ve upped the snow totals for some hometowns, especially across the north.

PM Sat Snow Totals.jpg

I’ll have another update Sunday morning.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, March 11, 2017, 5:30 a.m.

“Mother Nature” definitely makes life interesting.

After the second warmest February on record in the Quad Cities with six straight days of record highs of 69°-74° and two tornado outbreaks in Iowa and Illinois in the past two weeks, “Snow Miser” blasts back into area later Sunday into Monday.

Snow Miser

A clipper system will drop through the Midwest Sunday afternoon and Monday bringing moderate snow to the area.

It’s likely the Quad Cities will see more snow with this system than what accumulated in January and February combined!  (We only picked up 2.7″ of snow in Moline, Illinois, and 2.6″ in Davenport, Iowa, so far, in 2017!)

Parts of Iowa are already under a “Winter Storm Watch” for Sunday afternoon through Monday evening. I expect watches and advisories to cover eastern Iowa and northern Illinois before the snow event begins.

This forecast is based on Saturday morning data and I’ll continue to update this throughout the weekend, as needed.

Snow will break out across eastern Iowa later Sunday afternoon.  That snow will likely reach the Quad Cities by midnight.

This is the forecast map for 6 a.m. Monday.  Notice the tightly packed lines around the low-pressure system.  That means it’ll be windy, so we’ll have to deal with blowing snow, too.

Monday 6am

Snow becomes lighter later Monday as it spreads south and east across Illinois.

The snow event ends Monday night even though a few stray flurries are still possible Tuesday morning.

Here are the snowfall amounts I’m forecasting.  Keep in mind that these numbers could shift north or south this weekend as newer information comes in.  I’ll adjust my forecast accordingly.

Snow Forecast Sunday & Monday.jpg

So, just find your hometown and that’s how much snow you’ll have to shovel.  The kids may finally get to build a “snowperson” and go sledding after a boring winter without much snow!

The good news is that the first half of the weekend will be quiet to give you a chance to get your errands done!

I hope the stores stocked up for the run on milk, eggs, bread, and toilet paper!  (I guess “Bumble” can’t be trusted with fragile eggs!)

Snow's a comin'

Finally, while I don’t believe in the fairy tale of “Punxsutawney Phil”, the Pennsylvania groundhog that predicted six more weeks of winter, some people do (I’m looking at you, James!)

Jimmie the Groundhog Wisconsin

When the snow starts flying later Sunday, it’ll have been 5 weeks and 3 days since “Phil” saw his shadow and made his snowy forecast — just inside the “six more weeks of winter” window! 🙂

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 10, 2017

It’s the weekend and the countdown is on for next weekend.  I must be crazy!

Well, maybe.  But, the reason I’m excited about March 17th — the live action “Beauty and the Beast” arrives in theaters.  I can’t wait!

After very warm temperatures and Midwestern tornadoes last week and, again, this week, we’re looking at a snowstorm later this weekend!

IOWA & ILLINOIS WEEKEND SNOW

Updated Snow Details:  Saturday, March 11, 2017, 5:30 a.m.

I got up at 3:30 a.m. to analyze the data on our late weekend winter storm and here it is.

The snow will be heaviest Sunday night and early Monday.  This is the forecast map for 6 a.m. Monday.

Monday 6am

For snow forecast amounts and a complete update on the winter storm, click here and it’ll open in a new window.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/spring-forward-into-snow/

Updated Snow Details:  Friday, March 10, 2017, 4:10 p.m.

The snowstorm for Sunday evening into Monday night looks much more potent.  I’m now thinking that we could easily see 3-6″of snow with that storm!

We’ll know much more this weekend and I’ll have another update Saturday morning.

Original Snow Details:  Friday, March 10, 2017, 6:15 a.m.

The last two winters in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa were lame.

Snowfall amounts for the season were well below average and a far cry from the 65.1″ of snow we saw in the winter of 2013-2014.  That was the second snowiest winter on record.

It snowed all the time that winter!

The first system late Friday night and early Saturday morning could drop up to an inch mainly to the southwest of the Quad Cities.

We’ll see a more widespread snow Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, and Monday.  This one could blanket the area with three inches or more.

I’ll continue to update you this weekend when the data is better once the storm comes ashore from the Pacific.

There could finally be some winter weather and cold — in MARCH!

SILENT OSCAR PROTEST AGAINST AFFLECK

Last week, I reviewed “Manchester By The Sea” (I gave it an “B”).  The movie earned Casey Affleck the Oscar for Best Actor.

Before he walked away with the gold statuette, there was speculation that two sexual harassment allegations against him in 2010 would cause Academy voters not to vote for him.  (Both cases were settled out of court.)

Larson Affleck.jpg

As you probably know, the previous year’s Best Actress announces the new Best Actor category.

When Brie Larson (“Room”) announced Affleck as the winner, she handed him the trophy and envelope without clapping or hugging him.

Larson, who is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and played one in her Oscar winning role, told Vanity Fair, “I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself.”

She added, “I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic.”

REMEMBERING TOMMY PAGE

If you were a New Kids on the Block fan in the late 1980s, the name Tommy Page may ring a bell with you.

Before he was a music industry executive, he was a teen pop star.  While he gained exposure with “A Zillion Kisses”, it was 1990’s “I’ll Be Your Everything” that topped the Billboard Hot 100 with back-up assistance with several members of NKOTB.

Last Friday, Tommy was found dead of an apparent suicide.  He was 46 and is survived by his partner, Charlie, and their three kids.

I saw him open for the New Kids in 1988 in Du Quion, Illinois and I saw him again at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1990.

R.I.P. Tommy

“MARIAH’S WORLD”

I’m not a fan of reality television, but I finally broke down and watched my first full reality show for two reasons — it was only eight episodes and it was Mariah Carey.

“Mariah’s World” took us backstage during Mariah’s European “Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour”.  It was also during this time that Mariah was engaged to billionaire James Packer.

If you followed that story, you know how it ended.  But, in “Mariah’s World”, you see how it unfolds.

Yes, the series was over-the-top and many times you get the impression that the drama was played up for the cameras!  Shocking!

It’s great to see more of Mariah — her humor, her thoughts, and her insecurities.  It did sadden me to think that she’s such an icon that she seems out of touch with the world, at times, because she can’t experience things that the average person can because of her celebrity.

It also cracked me up that Mariah would be interviewed lying on a chaise lounge in very sexy negligee and it was funny to see her wheeled down the corridor back stage on a chair to go on stage.

One final note that I came away with is that Mariah loves her champagne and wine.  We’d get along fab-lamb-ulously!

LIONEL RICHIE-MARIAH CAREY BUMMER

When Lionel Richie announced his “All The Hits Tour” with special guest Mariah Carey, I immediately snapped up tickets for Nashville, Tennessee, in May.

Lionel Mariah

This would give me a chance to take a road trip and eat at my favorite restaurant, Patti’s 1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.

A few weeks ago, the tour was postponed because Lionel’s knee surgery recovery was taking longer than expected.

Those plans are cancelled now!  Nashville was one of a dozen cities that was dropped when the new summer dates were announced.  Others include Saint Paul, St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh.

While I know that Lionel had surgery and the recovery may have taken longer to heal, it’s also very clear that ticket sales were very “soft” in many cities and Lionel and Mariah would have been playing to half-empty venues!

It won’t be this time, but I still want to be one of those “Dancing on the Ceiling” with Lionel.

And, I still long to share “Emotions” and a “sweet sweet fantasy baby” with Mariah!  Maybe in December in New York at her annual Christmas show?

“HACKSAW RIDGE”

This Mel Gibson-directed motion picture was nominated for six Academy Awards this year including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Andrew Garfield.

While it didn’t win any of those, it did win two Oscars — Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.

Whether you’re a fan of war movies or not, this one is phenomenal.

The first half of the movie focuses on character development and is even a cute love story.

Oscar nominee Garfield is adorable and awkward as Desmond Doss, especially when he meets a nurse at the hospital after his quick thinking saves a man’s life.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Doss enlists to fight for his country, but because of his religion and the commandment “thou shalt not kill”, Doss refuses to carry a gun.  He went to war to save lives and take them.

Needless to say, this doesn’t go over well with his superiors.

The second half of the movie is a full-on war movie.  It’s gory and heartbreaking, but realistic and amazing.

Garfield and Teresa Palmer are incredible.

GRADE:  A

“MOONLIGHT”

After this year’s Oscar debacle when presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope and “La La Land” was announced as Best Picture, when it was actually “Moonlight”, the little seen, but well received movie got more press than it could have without the mix-up.

The little movie that could, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, ended up not only winning the biggest prize of the night, but it also earned Mahershala Ali (“House of Cards”) the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, making him the first Muslim to win the gold statute.

It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Moonlight” also became the first LGBT movie to win Oscars’ biggest prize  (that honor should have gone to 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain”) and the first movie with an all-black cast to win Best Picture.

“Moonlight” tells the story of a poor, lonely Miami kid, Chiron, with a drug addicted and abusive mother.  One day, while hiding out from bullies, the kid befriends a drug dealer (Ali), who nicknamed him “Little”.

The movie is played out in the three chapters of Chiron’s life:  childhood, teenager, and adult.  It’s a beautiful and sad “coming of age” story.

All three actors playing Chiron were great.  However, I think Trevante Rhodes, as adult Chiron (nicknamed “Black”) stole the show with his vulnerability, loneliness, and withdrawn look at life.

You just wanted to wrap your arms around him and tell him it’ll be okay.  That has nothing to do with the fact that he was gorgeous and had the physique of a Greek God.

Ali was good in his short time on screen, but it’s a shame that Rhodes wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor!

“Moonlight” was so brutally honest in its portrayal of life on the streets and life as an outsider.

A must see!

GRADE:  A

TREVANTE RHODES EXTRA!

Trevante Rhodes.jpg

“EDGE OF WINTER”

Don’t bother!

I’ve been a fan of Joel Kinnaman since “The Killing” and I like him on “House of Cards”.

Tom Holland was great in the tsunami-survival movie, “The Impossible” and he’ll be the next Spiderman in this summer’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.

However, this movie doesn’t do anything for either actor or me.

Kinnaman plays a down on his luck father being visited by his two sons, while their mother and new husband are away on a cruise.

Well, a simple trip into the wilderness to practice shooting goes astray and not everyone comes back.

The premise and the trailer makes more sense than the movie.

GRADE: C-

ONE MORE TOMMY PAGE 

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Widespread Severe Weather Outbreak Update

A powerful line of storms raked across the Plains and the Midwest Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.

These storms held together and brought tornadoes and damaging winds to much of Iowa and Illinois.

At least 32 tornadoes were reported to the Storm Prediction Center Monday.

Storm Reports Monday Night

We had many tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys with tornadoes reported at the Davenport Municipal Airport, near De Witt, and Grand Mound in Iowa and near Ladd, Illinois (Bureau County).

Once the sun comes up Tuesday, we’ll see just how much damage was done by the long line of straight line winds.

We had wind gusts of 70 miles-per-hour reported in several hometowns and an 83 mile-per-hour wind gust near Davenport.

Wind Reports

Except for breezy conditions and a few isolated showers Tuesday evening to the north, quiet weather is expected through Friday.

However, we could be looking at a winter storm that’ll bring accumulating snow to the area Friday night and Saturday.

This will have to closely watched as we head toward the weekend.

Anthony

Severe Storm Threat Today; Snow By The Weekend?

UPDATED POST:  Monday, March 6, 2017, 4:15 p.m.

After another balmy day with highs near 70° in the Quad Cities, conditions are favorable for severe storms tonight with damaging winds being the biggest threat.  We could also see large hail and a few tornadoes.

A “Tornado Watch” remains in effect through 10 p.m. for much of Iowa.  This includes our western counties of Jefferson, Johnson, and Washington.

TW4.jpg

The line of strong to severe storms is firing up over western and central Iowa this afternoon.  This radar image is from around 4 p.m.

358.jpg

 

 

 

This line of storms will race across Iowa and should be in eastern Iowa by 8-10 p.m. and east of the Mississippi around midnight.

I’ll continue monitoring the situation and let you know if the “Tornado Watch” is expanded eastward to include more of our counties and the Quad Cities.

If severe storms are not your thing, it’s looking more and more likely that we could be in for a decent accumulating snow starting Friday night into Saturday.

This is the latest GFS forecast map for noon Saturday!

Sat Noon.jpg

I’ll have more on that tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Let’s get through tonight first.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, March 6, 2017, 5:37 a.m.

Very warm temperatures are in the forecast again today with highs approaching 70°.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that we could be seeing a repeat of last Tuesday’s weather with severe storms later today.

monday-severe-threat

Like last week, the biggest threat from the severe storms later this afternoon and early tonight will be damaging winds of 60 miles-per-hour or higher, large hail, and even a few tornadoes.

A line of storms will be forming across central Iowa this afternoon and will be moving into eastern Iowa by evening.

That line of storms will be crossing the Mississippi River by about 10 p.m.

severe-storms-later-monday

The threat of severe weather should exit our eastern hometowns by midnight.

Temperatures will remain mild through Thursday in the 50s.

However, winter may return later Friday into Saturday.

It’s possible that we could be seeing an accumulating snow to kick off the weekend.

Snow Saturday Morning

There’s plenty of time to fine tune the forecast for the snow this upcoming weekend.

But, the big story today is the severe weather threat later this afternoon and early tonight.

Anthony

Incredible Stretch of February Warmth

Is this really February across the Midwest?

Global Warming Protest

Halfway through February, temperatures are running more than five degrees above average, while rain and snowfall are running below average.

After a chilly day Wednesday, but still above average, a big warm-up is on the way.  It’s a warm stretch of weather that is almost unprecedented for February.

As I stated yesterday and the data supports it even more today, we could hit the 60-degree mark or higher Friday through Monday.  That would be four straight days of 60°+ temperatures in February.

60s.png

Since record-keeping started in the Quad Cities back in the 1870s, this has only happened three times.

In February 2000, we had five consecutive days of 60°+ days.  Highs ranged from 60°-71°.

We saw four days of 60°+ temperatures in February 1976.  The highs ranged from 62°-71°.

But, the longest stretch was in February 1930 when we had seven days of 60°+ heat.  Highs in that stretch ranged from 60°-69°.

Now, tell me again, what was that groundhog’s prediction about winter?

Anthony