Posts Tagged ‘Quad Cities’

Random Friday Thoughts — May 26, 2017

Although I’ve written blogs lately about my mood change, what I loved about the Quad Cities, and about my new city, Panama City, Florida, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Random Friday Thoughts”.

So, here’s a short one.

GETTING SETTLED IN

My apartment is almost set up.  I still need to get a few pieces to finish the decorating process.  My living room and dining room are so awkwardly set-up that nothing really fits and that’s giving me fits!

As of now, my favorite room is the balcony, which has a small dining table and three chairs with several plants and trees.

WORK

While I miss my Quad Cities work wife, Emily Scarlett, immensely, I know she’s doing well in Columbia, South Carolina.  I hope her new work family is welcoming her as nicely as my new work family in Panama City is me.

I’m still “officially” training on the more advanced weather system, but I have filled in four times since Friday on the evening shift.

I’ll start mornings on Monday, June 12th.  I can’t wait.  You know I like my routine and, so far, nothing has been routine.

PANAMA CITY 

This weekend marks my third weekend in Panama City and I still haven’t seen the Beaches, although I’ve seen “Beaches” with Bette Midler. 🙂  I have no desire to see the remake.

I want to be settled in at work and have my place all set up before I head out to Panama City Beach.

I hope to make great strides toward finishing the decorating of the apartment this weekend since I’m finishing up twelve straight work days.

I plan on going to the Farmer’s Market, maybe a couple of yard sales, and out to eat this weekend.  I promised myself I’d go out to eat once a week when I moved here and my first time was at Chow Time Buffet.

December 10

It was amazing and it may give Osaka Buffet back in Moline, Illinois, a run for its money! When my sister, Tammy, and Gerald visit in October, we’re definitely hitting it again.

This weekend, I’m trying to decide between Mexican or pizza?

“WHY HIM?”

I love James Franco.  I think he’s funny, sexy, and a great actor in dramatic roles, too (“Milk” and “127 Hours”).

james franco image

I wasn’t sure what to expect with “Why Him?”  Was it going to be hilarious like “This Is The End” or just okay with some funny parts like “The Interview”.

It’s definitely the former.  I was laughing several times.  Prepare yourself for a very hard-R movie.  That “R” could be for “raunchy” alone!

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace) star as parents meeting their daughter’s older boyfriend for the first time.

He’s not exactly what they were expecting for their daughter, but then again just the way they found out about him should have been a big clue.

Keegan-Michael Key is very was funny, too, as Franco’s assistant.  And, the younger actors (Zoey Deutch and Griffin Gluck) were great, too.

Funny and raunchy — a great movie for escapism.

WARNING:  This is the “red band” trailer, which means it contains very strong language and sexual themes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GRADE:  A-

“THE BIRTH OF A NATION”

This was a very hard movie to watch, but a great one.

Any movie about this country’s ignorance over slavery and racism done without sugar-coating the issue is hard to watch.

This movie was the one that was expected to dominate this past Oscar race and wipe away “Oscars So White”.

However, when director, star, and co-writer Nate Parker’s past come up, the movie became too hot to handle and it bombed.

In case you don’t know the story, in 1999, Parker and the movie’s co-writer, Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a woman while in college in Pennsylvania. Both men claim the sex was consensual and no charges were brought again Parker and the ones against McGianni Celestin eventually were dropped.  The woman ended up committing suicide in 2012.

It also stars Aja Naomi King (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Armie Hammer.

GRADE:  B+

CHRISTMAS IS GETTING CLOSER 🙂

Okay, it’s not even officially summer yet, but Christmas is now just seven months away!

This year will be interesting because I won’t be decorating my house like I usually do and I won’t likely have snow.  I can almost say with certainty that I won’t have snow. 🙂

December 10

I’ll just have a Christmas tree and decorations around the apartment and some fun festive lights on the balcony!

I think it’s too soon for me to be one of those people that decorate a palm tree — maybe next Christmas!

P.S.  “Why Him?” could count as a Christmas movie! 🙂

“WISH ME AWAY”

Country music star Chely Wright stopped hiding a few years ago when she made a big revelation.

Chely NOH8

It changed the way people saw her and this incredible, heartbreaking documentary shows us what led up to that.

I read Chely’s autobiography, “Like Me”, three years ago and this documentary was a great supplement to that.

GRADE:  A

Earlier this week, I  shared a blog I wrote about Chely’s book, “Like Me”.  I’ll share the link again here if you haven’t had a chance to read it.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/chely-wright-knows-that-god-loves-her/

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

What the Duck???

Today’s read may not be for the faint of heart.

Trust me, I’m talking about myself.  As I said many times, sharing my thoughts and writing is therapeutic for me.  I sure hope it works!

I’ve been away from my loved ones and my friends in the Quad Cities for over two weeks now. Except for people at work, I don’t know a soul here.

Luckily, getting unpacked, decorating my apartment, and working and training on a newer, more advanced weather system is keeping me busy and saving me from true loneliness.

PC Bay

The Panama City Marina is short walk from work and offers amazing sunset views over the Bay.  I still haven’t seen the Gulf of Mexico or the beaches yet.

My apartment complex is nice and gives me many amazing photo opportunities.

As I always say, be careful for what you wish for in life.

When I found my place, I was over the moon at having a “duck pond” off my balcony.

Resting Ducks

It’s been fun watching the ducks and the ducklings.  I’ve seen them mate or fight (not sure which), follow the ice cream truck, and just do duck things.

Since I’m a meteorologist and not an ornithologist, I could be wrong here, but I think these ducks are pretty simple-minded.

They have no sense of the dangers that await them here at the complex and the sister property next door.

I’m now seeing the seedy underside of the convergence of wildlife and human life and the beauty of having the nature at my disposal is becoming depressing as hell!

In just my first twelve days here, I’ve saw six dead ducks!

The other evening, I was on a walk during my break and I came upon a duck (not a baby, but not fully grown) that had been hit and killed by a car.  Having nothing to move it with, I picked it up with my bare fingers and moved it off the pavement!

And, then last Wednesday, I saw two grown ones dead.  Of the six ducks, one duckling likely drown, but four of them were definitely hit by a car.

It saddens me that people living here are so into their own little world, distracted by their phones or whatever, to have no regard for the ducks walking around the complex — including the parking lots.

When I was a kid, before I became a “tree hugger” and a softie, I watched “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and didn’t think anything about the circle of life — eat or be eaten.  We do it every day with meat on our plates!

As sad as it is seeing the dead ducks, this photo woke me up.

Dead

When I spotted the sixth dead duck, it was out in the duck pond.  As I looked closer, I noticed it was now a buffet for a group of turtles!  (Yes, that’s a turtle’s head at the left.)

As disheartening as it was witnessing that, at least that poor duck was serving a purpose in life.  It wasn’t just picked up by the maintenance men and thrown in the trash!

Deer 3

I’m ready to trade in the ducks for the deer back home that roamed through the ravine and munched on our hosta, plants, and trees!

Anthony

My First Weekend in Panama City

Hello, my friends!  I hope your week is off to a good start.

I got a lot done Monday after my first weekend of not living in the Quad Cities in more than a decade and my first as an official Florida resident.

I left Friday morning at 6 a.m. and stopped at Patti’s 1880s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky,  for a leisurely two-hour lunch and visit with my friend since childhood, Steve.   I had garlic shrimp alfredo pasta and “Boo Boo Pie” for dessert (“a rich brownie type pie with a gooey, coconut macaroon filling topped with whipped cream and a cherry”).

Boo Boo

I witnessed a horrible 3-car accident in western Kentucky Friday afternoon and I had three idiots try to cut me off because they were in such a hurry.  I can see why Mario Andrettis do it, but in front of an inexperienced driver of a 15-foot U-Haul towing a car! Really?

On Friday, I drove 950 miles from Moline, Illinois, to Dothan, Alabama.  I definitely got what I paid for with the hotel.  But, after being up for 19.5 hours and driving all but three hours of that time, I didn’t care about the star rating or the loud party animals.  The free breakfast was good, but I quickly ate and hit the road.

The final 80 miles from Dothan, Alabama, to Panama City, Florida on U.S. Route 231 Saturday morning was very enjoyable.

I saw cow pastures, many peanut and produce stands, a bear crossing sign, and other fun stuff.

Pine

It was also fun to see the pine trees transition to palm trees closer to Panama City.

Two movers met me at my apartment to help move my stuff in and the only thing I lost was my computer desk.  One side of the “fake wood” broke.  Ironically, it sat in my bedroom at my old house for eight years and never had a computer on it!

My washer and dryer was delivered Saturday evening, my cable and internet was hooked up Sunday, and the gas was turned on Monday morning.

With no gas, I had to take two cold showers, but it was exhilarating.  Good thing it was in the 80s during the day and it was Florida and not Alaska.

My apartment is spacious, but very awkwardly designed.  I had a hard time trying to figure out the logistics of the furniture for the living room and dining room.

I’ll post pictures when I’m done.  I still have a long way to go.  After sleeping two nights on the couch, I got my bed set up and it felt nice to sleep in.

The apartment complex grounds are very cool.

Ducks

Right off my balcony is a “duck pond”.

There are ducks everywhere, along with turtles, and, at least, two large fish — one that looks like a brown carp and one is white, possibly a koi?

I witnessed two funny things Saturday.  These two ducks got into a loud disturbance in the water.  I don’t know if it was a mating ritual gone bad or the two were fighting over another duck?

Fighting

And, the ice cream truck drove through the complex and a parade of ducks was walking down the middle of the parking lot behind it!  Maybe they were following because of that annoying and creepy ice cream truck music?

Ducks Ice Cream Truck

I did a lot of running around this past weekend to buy things to stock the kitchen and to replace some things I simply forgot to pack.  I’m not a shopper, but I hit about a dozen stores.

I actually bought screwdrivers at Home Depot (how butch), but lost points by buying a plant and three planters. 🙂

Initial thoughts after my first weekend:

(1)  It was great having a Piggly Wiggly again.  It reminds me so much of my childhood in the South!  I found some good bargains there.

Publix was a fun store and I saw a Tres Leches cake that looked divine for when I have company (hint hint Tammy and Ray), and Winn Dixie was nice.  I’ll probably buy most of my groceries from Piggly Wiggly and Walmart.

(2) I was devastated to learn that my complex DOES NOT recycle.  But, from the chats I had around town, recycling is not big here.  Of Florida’s 67 counties, I learned that only twenty have a recycling rate of 50% or higher.  Bay County, where I now live, is not one of those 20!

(3) With that being said, I’ll only buy soda for work now since the 2-liter bottles go in the trash!  I’ll start drinking more water and tea (or fountain soda).

(4) I’ve now heard two different unflattering nicknames for this area, but I’m not going to let either of them cloud my judgment of the people or where I now live.  If people treat me with respect, I’ll do the same to them.  Well, I have a tendency to treat mean people nicer than I should.  🙂  Oh, the names were “Redneck Riviera” and “L.A.” (Lower Alabama)!

45

(5) On Saturday, I saw this very pro-Trump car and I don’t know if they could have found another place for a sticker!

While Iowa went red in the last presidential election and Illinois stayed blue, I definitely live in a “red state” and county now.

I thought about taking my rainbow Hillary sticker off my car before I moved here, but I got busy and never did it.  Now, I’m glad I didn’t!

HC

(6) I loved listening to Sunny 98.5 FM on my way into town.  It’s the equivalent to Mix 96 in the Quad Cities!

(7) Since I didn’t get around to unpacking my kitchen, I bought a garlic-rosemary rotisserie chicken Saturday night and I’ve been eating that for three days now.  As I stated in my last blog, living alone, I don’t eat out a lot.  Since I love to cook, I can’t wait to make my first meal Tuesday.

Next weekend, my apartment should be unpacked and mostly decorated.  So, I plan on treating myself to Chinese buffet or Pizza Hut buffet next Saturday and hitting the beaches for the first time on Sunday!

(8) Finally, I start training at work this week.  I’m not sure when I’ll go on the air for the first time.  As soon as I have a new work Facebook page, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for checking out my thoughts after my first weekend in Panama City.  I’ll have another one soon with pictures of my apartment.

Now I just need to find a second job to pay for all the money I’ve been spending. 🙂

Yesterday, I checked into work for a couple of hours and saw the water for the first time at the Panama City Marina!

Marina

Anthony

 

Goodbye Quad Cities Television

Today marks my last full day in the Quad Cities.

IowaMississippiRiver

Early Friday morning, I’ll be taking off for the 1,000-mile drive to Panama City, Florida, to start the next chapter of my life.

While I’ve spent time in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I’ve never seen the “Emerald Coast”, but I’m told it’s absolutely gorgeous.  And, from this photo, I see that!

EC PC.jpg

Last week, I signed off as a television meteorologist in the Quad Cities, my home for the past 11.5 years.  That’s the second longest I’ve ever lived anywhere — behind my hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky, where I spent much of the first 30 years of my life.

ABBATG2007

ABBA, my golden retriever, and I arrived in Moline, Illinois, from Salisbury, Maryland, the week of Thanksgiving 2005 when I accepted a weekend meteorologist and weekday reporter position at WQAD.

I sincerely thank news director C.J. Beutien for hiring me and bringing me back to the Midwest.  I had lived in Chicago twice, from 1994-1996 and from 2002-2004, before heading to the East Coast for almost 16 months to the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula.

Neil.jpg

Former Chief Meteorologist Neil Kastor was instrumental in bringing me to the Quad Cities and, for that, I’m grateful.  We still stay in touch today, many years after he left the news business and the Midwest for Florida.

Along with Neil, I’m still very close with my former “work wife”, Vanessa van Hyfte, who was the weekend anchor when I started.  She welcomed me with open arms and we had some of the most exciting and fun conversations between shows. 🙂

I also consider Julie Sisk, Matt Hammill, and Cassie Heiter dear friends.

I cherished my time with anchors Jason Fechner and Barbara Dawson, morning producer Brian Boesen, (who moved on to anchor at KWQC), and photojournalist Jenny Hipskind.  (This is like winning an award and thanking all the people you care for hoping you’re not forgetting someone!)

Even though we never worked together, I consider KWQC’s Theresa Bryant a dear friend.

I fondly remember much of my time at WQAD (November 2005-November 2012).  With that being said, I was definitely angry with the station for the way it handled my dismissal that fall when it lost the Fox newscast to KWQC.

types-of-anger

It was tacky and unprofessional and the lack of compassion I was shown for my seven years of dedication and commitment was appalling.   However, the station did the same thing to Neil before me and to others since.

Interestingly enough, all of that was brought up to me again about a month ago.  In a disagreement, a former friend said to me, “Maybe you still just have a bone to pick from the station? I don’t know and I really don’t care.”

My response to him was, “my issue over this whole pettiness isn’t with WQAD. It’s with you!”

That got to me to thinking again and, honestly, the whole WQAD ordeal has been water under the bridge for me for a long time.

Anthony CBS4

After a couple of months off to enjoy the holidays, I was honored when WHBF General Manager Marshall Porter and News Director Heather Voudrie brought me on board as the morning meteorologist in February 2013.

CBS4

While I wasn’t getting rich at WQAD, I was financially comfortable.   My new position came with a big pay cut, but I was once again doing what I loved and I didn’t have to leave my family.

AP EM.jpg

At WHBF, I’ve worked with so many great people over the years.  At the top of the list is my “work wife” and dear friend, Emily Scarlett, who just took a new position with the #1 station in Columbia, South Carolina.

I’ll also remember my close friendships with chief meteorologist Andy McCray and his wonderful wife, Michelle, Jay Kidwell, Jim Neidelman and his adorable wife, Denise, and Katrina, my trusted confidant on the morning show, and her lovely partner.  (Katrina, I’ll always smile at “Breathe” and “Calm down, Lucille!”)

Those are just some of the fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure to work with in the Quad Cities, but I’ve also worked with some real losers.

I’m too much of a gentleman to say more than that, but two of the ones that stand out the most are so emasculated that it would be unfair to point out their deficiencies publicly.

Offended

With that being said, I’ve never worked in a television market as a meteorologist or a weathercaster that over dramatizes and sensationalizes weather as much as some do (or did) here.

Snowflake

That isn’t the case with all local meteorologists.  I didn’t do it and neither did Neil Kastor. I highly recommend now that you put your trust in “Local 4 News” Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray and “Quad Cities Today” meteorologist Kevin Phelps.

They’ve earned my trust over the years as colleagues.

Enough about people, let’s talk weather. 🙂  As I head to the heat and humidity of Florida, I’ll truly miss the snow!

Snowy Moline

You’re probably laughing, but I’ll seriously miss it.

How many times in your life do you get a record-setting 18.3″ in a single storm? For me, ONCE!

ABBA Tunnel.jpg

Gretel Tunnel.jpg

Happy weather, my friends!

May your springs flower with excitement, your summers toast with long sun-filled days, your autumns glow with bright colorful leaves, and your winters crackle with a beautiful fire and a blanket of serene snow covering everything to remind you of the beauty of living in the Midwest!

champagne

Remember me when you pop a bottle of champagne or you open a bottle of Moscato with a nice cheese and fruit platter or enjoy a piece of cheesecake!

Betty Crocker C-O Cheesecake

Anthony

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

Second Biggest Snow of the Winter

UPDATED POST:  Monday, March 13, 2017, 3:27 p.m.

Here are some more snow totals:

7.0″ Lowden (IA); 6.9″ Davenport (IA); 6.9″ Anamosa (IA); 5.8″ Colona (IL); 5.1″ North Liberty (IA);4.8″ Moline (IL); 4.5″ Warner (IL);  4.5″ Park View (IA); 4.5″ Clinton (IA); 4.2″ Morrison (IL);  4.2″ Iowa City (IA); 4.0″ Charlotte (IA); 4.0″ Mount Carroll (IL); 3.5″ Clinton (IA); 3.4″ Walcott (IA); and 3.8″ Muscatine (IA).

At my house in Moline, I’m up to 5″.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, March 13, 2017, 8:13 a.m.

Snow and Fog

It took more than three months, but the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys experienced the second biggest snow of the season Sunday night and Monday.

Snowfall amounts, as of 7 a.m. Monday, ranged from around 2-6″ and when all is said and done, the final totals will be around 3-7″.

Snow Overnight

As is always the case, there could be an isolated higher total.

The snow will wind down later today and end by early tonight.

Sunshine returns Tuesday and Wednesday, but it turns rather cold.

By Wednesday morning, we’ll be waking up to lows in the single digits.

Warmer weather is on the way later this week and this weekend with 40s and 50s.

Anthony

Biggest Snow Since Early December

ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, March 12, 2017, 4:34 p.m.

As of late Sunday afternoon, light snow is falling across central Iowa.

Afternoon Snow.jpg

Snow will spread into eastern Iowa this evening and into the Quad Cities and across the Mississippi River by 8-10 p.m.

The heaviest of the snow will fall late tonight and early  Monday.

I’m still good with my morning snow total forecast.  Some locations may be off by an inch or so.  But, if we get into that ballpark range, I’m good with the prediction.

Sunday Snotals Update

Much colder air will move in with the freshly fallen snow.  Lows by Wednesday morning could drop into the single digits!

Warmer weather returns by the weekend.

I’ll see you bright and early Monday on “Local 4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m. with the latest on the winter storm.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, March 12, 2017, 5:23 a.m.

Moderate to heavy snow is on the way to eastern Iowa and northern Illinois later Sunday into Monday.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect Sunday evening and will run through Monday evening.

WWA.jpg

The storm system that’ll bring us the snow is located over Montana early Sunday.  This clipper will quickly race southeastward to south-central Iowa by Monday morning and to near St. Louis, Missouri, by midday Monday.

Since the heaviest of the snow usually falls to the north of the low pressure system, the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys are primed for the biggest snow of season since early December!

TIMING

Light snow will break out across the Midwest today and spread into eastern Iowa by late Sunday afternoon.

This snow  will reach the Quad Cities and the Mississippi River by evening.

Snowfall will become moderate overnight into early Monday morning.  There will be periods of heavy snow around daybreak Monday.

By midday Monday, the heaviest of the snow should be south of us.  However, light snow will continue into Monday evening and end Monday night.

BIGGEST SNOW SINCE EARLY DECEMBER

This storm system will be the biggest the area has seen since December 4, 2016, our first snow of the season.

That day, 10.2″ of snow fell in Davenport, Iowa, and 7.8″ accumulated in Moline, Illinois.

In the three months since then, Davenport has only picked up 8.9″ of snow and Moline saw 8.7″!

SNOWFALL AMOUNTS

Here are my forecast snotals (“snow totals”) for Sunday evening through Monday evening.

So, just find your hometown and that’s how much snow you’ll be shoveling!.

Sunday Snotals Update.jpg

Again, the heaviest of the snow will fall Sunday night and early Monday.

I’ll have another update later this afternoon and let you know if anything changes.

Anthony