Posts Tagged ‘spring’

If You Call Me Stella, Then I’m Missing Something!

Peaches & Herb informed us that we had this “thing” and to “shake” it,  The System told us “don’t disturb this” thing,  Madonna said “get into the” this thing, and a book and a movie showed us how “Stella” got this thing back.  I need to pay attention to all of this great advice because I need to find my “groove” again!

Lately, when I get home from work, I’ve lost the motivation to get anything done in the afternoon.

While I’ve only been at my new job, which requires me to get up in the middle of the night, for about two months now, I can’t seem to find the “get up and go” to get much accomplished once I get home.  During my four-month “vacation” between jobs, I was writing new material in my blog daily.  Now, it takes all the energy I have to do “They Said What???” on Mondays, “Random Friday Thoughts” on Fridays (which is my favorite), and another blog or two during the week on some miscellaneous topic.

I know the weather is probably playing a big role in my lack of desire to do anything.  After a lackluster winter, we saw 13.2″ of snow fall in the last eleven days of February and 10.6″ of snow fall in the first 24 days of March.

March Snow

March temperatures were 7.7° below average and 21.9° colder than the record warm March temperatures a year ago!

And, April is pretty crappy, too.   We’ve already picked up more than 7″ of rain in the Quad Cities causing river and basement flooding in many hometowns and making this one of the wettest Aprils on record.

Flooding Moline

If that wasn’t bad enough, temperatures are running 3.6° below average and there were snowflakes in and around the Quad Cities yesterday, April 23rd!

So, everyone blames the weather (and sometimes, the weather person).  I would never do that since I know too many great meteorologists (and some sucky ones, too, and you don’t have to look too far to find them!).  🙂

However, weather aside, there are two larger contributing factors that I believe are to blame:  lack of sleep and not eating right.

When I worked a morning show in the past, I never got much sleep at night and I didn’t nap during the afternoon.  At that time, I had Miss ABBA, my golden retriever, and we spent the afternoons together walking, playing, and doing whatever we wanted.


The lack of sleep didn’t bother me.  Maybe subconsciously, I’m missing Miss ABBA more than I thought or maybe I just want another dog or two!   But, that doesn’t fit into the short-term schedule of the next two years of our lives.

But, now that I’m older, maybe I need to condition myself to take naps in the afternoon?

Another thing that needs to change is getting back to healthy eating and frequent buffets don’t fit into that plan.  As you know, I love, love, love to eat!

Spice Market Buffet Las Vegas

Last year, when Ray and I counted calories with, I lost 25 pounds over a seven-month period and he lost 30 pounds.  While we limited our buffets, we ate healthier and we exercised.  I still exercise every day, but the treadmill is starting to bore me to tears.

I’m know that when the weather gets warm on a regular basis and we start working out in the garden, the yard, and taking walks around the city, it’ll be easier to feel good, to be motivated, and to lose weight.  And, I’ll still be able to have an occasional buffet as a treat and not feel “blah” about it.

So, here’s to spring arriving and sticking around before the heat of summer takes over.

And, here’s to me getting off my a$s, feeling good, and finding the motivation to get “Into The Groove” because you know, “You can dance, for inspiration.  Come on, and when you do, get into the groove”!


Yes, More Snow! But, Leave The Groundhog Alone!

AFTERNOON UPDATE:  Saturday, March 23, 2013, 2:52 p.m.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect at midnight tonight and runs through 7 p.m. for the following counties in Iowa:  Des Moines, Henry, and Lee, and for the Illinois counties of Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren.  For Knox and Stark counties, that “Winter Weather Advisory” runs from 1 a.m Sunday until 1 a.m. Monday.

As for snow amounts, I think based on the latest information that we should shave about an inch off  the totals from the Quad Cities northward and about 2″ off the totals in the far south.  That still means about an inch north to about 1-3″ in the Quad Cities and along Interstate 80, and about 2-4″ south.  Isolated higher totals are still possible.

Have a great rest of your weekend.


ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:23 a.m.

I’m a firm believer that people (even politicians) can change or, at least, educate themselves to see both sides of an argument.

Earlier in the week, I got on the bandwagon with many others of blaming our late season cold and upcoming snow on Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog, that made his forecast February 2nd that we’d see an early spring!

It’s gotten out of hand.  There have been calls for him to be brought up on criminal charges, he’s wanted dead or alive, and there are even pictures on Facebook that he’s been attacked and injured!


I apologize for blaming him for our weather misfortunes:  In the Quad Cities, this March, our temperatures have not even hit 50°once and are running 8.3° below average, and, as of this writing, this is the sixth coldest March on record in the metro area and those records go back to the late-1800s!

Now, the madness has to stop!


Phil is right.  He was never trained to analyze weather charts, satellites, radars, and learn the physics of the atmosphere.  How dare humans take this cuddly little critter and put so much pressure on him!

As a meteorologist, I’ve blown a forecast before and I’ll do it again.  And, with that being said, there are other meteorologists that blow every storm out of proportion and every snow event becomes the “storm of the century” and every spring thunderstorm develops tornadic potential.  Do people hold those forecasters to the same ridicule as Phil?   No!

But, I’ll say that it’s pretty bad when you make only one forecast a year and you’re wrong.  That doesn’t do much for your forecasting accuracy!  It’s either 0% or 100%, so you can’t afford to be wrong.  You just have to hide out again for another year!

So, with that being said, let’s ease up a little on that Pennsylvania rodent and talk about the snow potential here in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois tonight and Sunday.

As of Saturday morning, a “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect later this evening for counties just south of the Quad Cities.  I do expect this “Watch” to become a “Winter Weather Advisory” later today and for the aerial coverage to expand northward.

Here’s the bottom line:  Nice weather is expected today with mostly sunny skies giving way to increasing clouds from south to north.  Highs will make it to 35°-40° far north, 40°-45° in the Quad Cities, and 42°-47° in the far south.

A rain and snow mix will develop later this evening across the south and progress northward.  With the relatively mild day and warm ground in the south, snow accumulations will not begin until later tonight.

Snow will fall tonight and most of Sunday before winding down Sunday night from southwest to northeast across the area.

My snow forecast totals (or “snotals”) have not changed from when I first brought them to you Friday morning on “CBS4 News This Morning” (and for those watch us, thank you).

As with any winter storm event, there could be a few isolated higher totals.

Enjoy your weekend and make the best of this snow.  For those that are ready for spring, this could be the last snow of the season.  For those that want the snow, it might not be. 🙂

For Phil’s sake, I hope it’s the last snow.  I can’t keep blogging in his defense if real spring weather doesn’t arrive soon!


Random Friday Thoughts — March 22, 2013

Happy Friday!  We’re one week away from Easter and it’s officially spring!


With the forecast of a storm that could bring some snow this weekend and March temperatures running more than 8° below average, I think we’re experiencing  “2013:  The Year Without A Spring”!

I’m thinking we’ll see 2-4″ of snow in the Quad Cities Saturday night and Sunday.  To our south, 4-6″ are possible and to our north, only 1-2″ of snow could fall.  It’s still early and these numbers could change.

Here are the chances of seeing 4″ of snow.  This forecast is from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.

Up to 4 Inches Saturday Through Monday


I have a plea for all meteorologists!  Be responsible when you look at data and post it.  If it’s not your forecast, then avoid the panic it causes for many people.

I’m really appalled by a few “Chicken Little” forecasters that throw out a computer model projection with astronomical snow totals knowing full well that it would have to be a perfect scenario for that to happen.  And, to do this six days in advance!  Insane!  I really wish  people would think about re-posting this crap and hold those forecasters accountable.

It’s easier for people just to say that all weather forecasters are always wrong.  GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!



Aliens Long Marriage Mom Texting


Folk singer Michelle Shocked has never had mainstream success and I hope she never sings another note publicly again!

Last Sunday night, the singer went on an anti-gay tirade at a San Francisco club owned by a gay man in front of many gay patrons and all of her upcoming tour dates, except one (the Harmony Bar in Madison, Wisconsin) have been cancelled.

Michelle Shocked

While performing at Yoshi’s, she stunned the audience by saying, “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back,” and “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.’

The show was shut down when about two-thirds of the crown walked out.

In the aftermath of the tour cancellations, Michelle Shocked tweeted, “First: “I’m abiding, letting everyone’s true colors show before I undertake a personal response to each & every tweet.” and  “Am neither against a woman’s right to choose nor gay marriage. Am a fundamentalist tho”.

Really, it doesn’t sound like you’re against gay marriage!  Good riddance!


No fooling here!  I’m ready for April Fool’s Day to arrive and for the Easter feast to be over with because I want to start eating really healthy again and working out.

Last summer when Ray and I lost all that weight (30 pounds for him and 25 for me), we both felt really good.  Since we’ve been very bad at our food choices since August, we’ve gained much of the weight back (17 pounds for me).

While I don’t plan on being so extreme this year, my goal is only ten pounds this spring and summer.



After seeing Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” last October and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball Tour” in January before her hip injury forced the cancellation of the rest of the tour, I don’t have any big mega shows planned this year.

I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield (a teenage crush) in May at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.

rick springfield

And, there’s a part of me that would love to see Depeche Mode in Chicago in August.

Depeche Mode Tour 2013

Maybe there’ll be some big announcement coming soon that will really get me excited!  A Culture Club/Human League reunion tour would be fun!


Rick Springfield 5

Since I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield in concert in May, I’ll feature him in my ’80s flashback.

The Australian gained television fame on “General Hospital” and scored his first hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971 with “Speak To The Sky”, which peaked at #14.  However, it would be a decade later when he shot to the top of the charts with “Jessie’s Girl”.

He would have four consecutive platinum albums (shipments of more than a million copies) from 1981-1984 and score a career total of 17 Top 40 hits with five of them reaching the Top Ten:  the aforementioned “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981), “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8, 1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers (#2, 1982), “”Affair Of The Heart” (#9, 1983), and “Love Somebody” (#5, 1984).


With the dismal, cold weather we’re experiencing this March, I thought I’d share these pictures from my yard this time last year!

Hosta 032212 Peach 032212 Tulips 032212


Okay, the news business isn’t this bad?   Is it?   But, it’s funny.


KABOOYOW!  I had to leave you with a smile!

Have a great weekend!


Random Friday Thoughts — March 8, 2013

Happy Friday to you.  The weekend is almost here and I hope you’re looking forward to it.  We’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, for a quick weekend trip to see Ray’s family.  But, I thought I’d share some of my random thoughts with you.  After you check out mine, let me know what’s on your mind today!


It’s that time of the year that we “spring forward” and lose an hour of sleep.  Normally, I don’t think too much about it.  But, that means that I’ll be losing a sacred hour of sleep.

With my new work schedule, Monday through Friday from 2-10 a.m., that means I get up at 1 a.m.   As you may recall, when I was on the morning show before for two years, I was always sleep deprived.  However, getting only three or four hours a sleep a day didn’t bother me too much.  I hope that’s the case now.  Or, I hope I learn to take a nap in the afternoon.


Anthony CBS4

After a week of training with CBS4 chief meteorologist Andy McCray during the week of  February 26th, I made my debut as the morning meteorologist this week and I had a blast.  It’s been fun getting back into the television weather forecasting game and hanging out and getting to know my new morning co-anchor Meredith Dennis.

During that week of training, I also got to hang out with evening news anchors Steve Long and Chloe Morroni (and sports director Jay Kidwell).  What a great group of people!  I’m definitely looking forward to being a part of the CBS4 news team and to working hard to help show the Quad Cities what they’ve been missing by not watching CBS4.

That brings me around to saying a very big thank you to all of my friends, near and far, for the overwhelming support and kindness you’ve given me over the past four months.  I appreciate you traveling down the new road with me and I hope that you wake up with me every weekday morning! 🙂  Again, thank you.  You’re amazing.

Here’s the bio on the website if you haven’t seen it:


Snowfall Update

Check out this cheesy little graphic I made at home Tuesday afternoon after our second big snow in as many weeks.  Typically, I wouldn’t refer to a 4-inch-plus snowfall as “big”, but the last two winters in the Quad Cities have been pretty dismal when it comes to snow.

In the winter of winter of 2011-2012, we only saw 16.9″ of snow.  The average seasonal snowfall in the Quad Cities is 31.6″!

Before the snowstorm last week and the snow earlier this week, we had only picked up 10.7″ of snow from December 2012 through February 17, 2013.  And, then “Old Man Winter” found us in the Quad Cities.  The four-day storm (February 26- March 1, 2013) dropped 9.4″ and then we picked up 4.1″ this past Tuesday.  That means that 63% of this snow that we’ve seen this winter fell in just 16 days in late February and early March!!!!!

This is from Tuesday.  Snow is so beautiful!



HelpPraying For Snow Winter Storm Humor

And, this one is for Ray since he’s the squirrel, oops, bird  feeder at our house.  I love this!

Bird Feeder


Ray and I haven’t set a date to get on the ball and shed those winter pounds.  I think when the weather improves and I get to work in the yard, I’ll get motivated.

Now, in a perfect world, i.e. a fantasy world, this is what I’d look like after getting back to healthy eating and working out.  Oh, and if I had a personal trainer, I was 25 years younger, and did nothing else, but work toward that goal!

My Goal


As I’ve stated several times, I’m really far behind on reading some of my magazines.

In regards to my upcoming health regiment, I learned from the June 2011 “Men’s Journal” that drinking alcohol, whether wine, beer, or liquor increases the chances you’ll make bad food choices and it could disrupt your sleep schedule.  Robert Oexman of the Sleep to Live Institute says that while you may fall asleep faster, “as alcohol is metabolized by the liver, it’ll disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night.”

So, if you must drink alcohol, Dr. Bob Arnot suggests that you drink wine.  “Both red and white wine have zero score on the glycemic index, which rates how much a food or beverage raises your blood sugar level.  Elevated levels of blood sugar cause insulin responses that can set off a cycle of hunger and weight gain.”


Note to self:  Buy several boxes of Franzia Chillable Red, Fruity Red Sangria, and White Zinfandel!


My friends, I need your input as we head into spring and the planting season.  In the past, we’ve always had a little garden in the backyard with tomatoes for Miss ABBA, along with some peppers.  Last year, without Miss ABBA, I planted some tomatoes in her memories, along with a few pepper plants, and wild flowers all in the same area.

ABBA's Memorial Tomato & Flower Garden September 2012

What should we do this year?  Plant tomatoes, just flowers, or grass in that area and let it become part of the yard again?  Decisions, decisions, decisions!


Gretel March 13 2011 March 13 2011 Anthony Super Hero

On March 13, 2011, Gretel and I became superheros with powers that allowed us to flight over the Centennial Bridge!  And, look at the amazing strength a then 9-year-old Gretel had to lift me up!

Who says that all green screen magic comes out of Hollywood?


Canadian Corey Hart only scored two top ten hits in America.

In 1985, he took “Never Surrender” to number three.  That one will be featured in the future, but it was this first hit, “Sunglasses At Night”, in 1984, that made it up to #7 that captured my attention and provided me with my second entertainment crush as a teenager and young man.  John Schneider (Bo Duke, from “The Dukes of Hazzard”) was the first!


When I first moved back to Chicago in the summer of 2002, I fell in love with the band, Lasgo, while hanging out at Roscoe’s.

Lasgo is a Belgian trance trio with Evi Goffin as lead singer.  While the band scored a Top Ten hit in Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom with their first release, “Something”, the song became their only Top 40 hit in America on Billboard’s Hot 100, peaking at #35.

They had other huge club hits in the U.S. with “Alone”, “Pray”, and “Surrender” (which topped the Billboard dance charts in 2005).


Back to “Men’s Journal” and what I’ve learned.  This has me more startled and scared than intruiged.

In the July 2011 issue, the magazine says that “tuna often contains the most mercury” because they “are bigger and live longer than most other fish, with more time accumulate toxins”!  It goes on to state that while you shouldn’t give up eating tuna (except bluefin), you should limit the amount you eat.

The article says you shouldn’t “eat sushi tuna more than once a month” and “it’s best not to eat canned tuna more than once a week”!

Fish Toxins

And, finally here’s a shocking statistic the magazine shared:  “25% of tuna sushi tested in 20 Manhattan establishments had illegal mercury levels”.  Remember, this was in the summer of 2011 and it may have changed now!  Thanks, but no thanks.

With all these random thoughts, I could go on and on like Celine Dion.  However, I’ll save some for next week.

Have a fun Friday and a great, rainy weekend!


Random Friday Thoughts — March 1, 2013

Happy March 1st everyone!

Can you believe that winter is over???  What?  It’s still winter?  Okay, if you go by the calendar then it’s still winter.  And, if you look outside across the metro Quad Cities with 9″ of snow on the ground in Moline, Illinois, it’s still winter.



But, since today is the first day of March, we meteorologist call the months of March, April, and May, “meteorological spring” since we’re now past the three coldest months of the year (from a climatological standpoint).

However, winter is not done by a long shot.  The storm that moved in last Tuesday is still producing flurries and light snow Friday morning.  Officially, in the Quad Cities, 9.3″ of snow from that storm through 6 a.m. Friday!  Incredible, but not shocking to me since I called for 6-9″ of snow.  I will say, however, that I didn’t expect it to linger into Friday.

More snow is expected beginning late Sunday night, with a better chance on Monday and Tuesday! While there’s plenty of time to fine tune the forecast with specific amounts, a few inches are possible.

Here are two forecast maps from NOAA for 6 a.m. Monday.  The first is the NAM model showing a quicker arrival and departure and the second is the GFS with a slower arrival, but the snow lasts longer.  Remember, it’s still three days out and will change.


I’ll mention more about the snow this weekend.  And, with the snow arriving Monday, you can watch my latest forecast beginning Monday beginning at 5 a.m., on CBS4 in the Quad Cities, as I make my debut on “CBS4 This Morning in High Definition”!


Winter Go AwayAnimals Heaven


As you may recall, Ray and I celebrated our fourth anniversary last Friday.  We had lunch at Exotic Thai, where we went on our first date and I had the same thing, pumpkin curry and Ray had his usual, black pepper chicken.

That evening, I made us a Banana Split Martini with banana vodka, double chocolate vodka, and a splash of donut vodka (just because we had it), with diet 7-up and a little cranberry for color.  Ray’s reaction: “It tastes like a banana split!”

Anniversary LunchBanana Split Martini


Diet Plan

While that might work, we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way.

Last March we decided that we were going to start exercising daily, watch what we ate, and lose weight for Ray’s 30th high school reunion in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in August and for the Madonna concert and my birthday in Las Vegas in October.

The first picture was from Dubuque in March and the second picture is from August.

RayAnthonyDBQMarch 2012August 2012 Anthony Ray

While it was an uphill battle, we won!  While you can’t see our tummies in the pictures, you can tell we lost the “baby fat” in our faces.  Ray successfully lost 30 pounds and I lost 25, which was about how much weight we had gained since we met each other in February 2009!

Well, many holiday meals and many buffets later (in Vegas, the Quad Cities, Kansas City, etc.. and on the cruise), I’ve gained about 15 pounds back and Ray has gained about 20.

So, with spring and summer approaching, we’re going to start eating and living healthy again.  I need to have Wise Guys pizza buffet and Osaka one more time!  I’m kidding because I’ll still treat myself regardless of what health regiment I’m following.


Here’s what I learned from the April 2011 “Men’s Fitness” magazine that I’m reading (yes, I’m a little behind):

*A study in “Obesity” states that “drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water 30 minutes before meals caused participants to drop 44% more weight in 12 weeks’ time than dieting alone”.  That helps you consume about 75 to 90 calories less per meal and it keeps you hydrated and increases metabolism.

*The average man in the U.S. has a body fat of  22% while American speedskater Apolo Ohno has a body fat of 2.8%!


*And, four pointers in choosing healthy snacks to lose weight:  The fewer the ingredients the better, avoid sugars (even honey, agave, or rice syrup), go low on sodium, and eat more protein and fiber.

*Finally, a Panera Bread pumpkin muffin has 580 calories compared to 540 in a McDonald’s Big Mac!


I posted this beautiful sunset picture on March 2, 2012.

March 2, 2012

And, that night, I was the emcee for a fundraiser for the Quad Cities Pride committee and you can see that Gretel had a blast!

Gretel QC Pride Fundraiser 3-2-12


Singer Jermaine Stewart was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1957 and his family moved to Chicago in 1972.  He became a regular dancer on “Soul Train”, which was filmed in Chicago.  He moved to Los Angeles with fellow Chicagoans Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel and just missed out on becoming the lead singer of Shalamar, a dance and R&B band.

Stewart met Mikey Craig of Culture Club and sang back-up on the demo for “Miss Me Blind” and he was signed to Arista Records.  His first single, “The Word Is Out” just missed the Billboard Top 40 in 1983, peaking at #41.

However, Stewart hit it big in 1986 when “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” reached #5 on the Hot 100.  The follow-up single about his friend, Jody Watley of Shalamar and “Looking For A New Love” fame, “Jody”, went as high as #42 on the Hot 100, but it reached the top twenty on the R & B chart.

Stewart would have one more top 40 hit in 1987 with “Say It Again” (#27).

He died at the age of 39 in 1997 of AIDS-related liver cancer.


So far, I have a pretty good track record on picking future hits.  This one is risky.

It’s from 23-year-old German-Russian electronic dance music producer Zedd, who’s talented and adorable.


While he’s young and has never had a radio hit in America, he’s remixed songs for Lady Gaga (“Born This Way” and “Marry The Night”) and he opened for Mother Monster on some dates of the “Born This Way Ball” Tour.


His debut album, “Clarity”, was released in the United States last October.  All three songs released from the album have made it into the Top Five on the Billboard Dance chart (#4 “Shave It”, #1 “Spectrum” featuring Matthew Koma”, and his recent #1, “Clarity”).

“Clarity”, featuring Foxes, is my pick hit of the week.  With EDM producers/musicians like Calvin Harris and David Guetta burning up the Top 40 charts with their hits, I hope radio gives “Clarity” a chance.

Are you listening Red Hot Brian Scott & Cody Tucker from B100 in the Quad Cities? 🙂


As expected, I did poorly at picking the winners for this year’s Oscars.  However, I did pick “Argo” to win Best Picture.  I also picked Daniel Day-Lewis to win Best Actor and Anne Hathaway to win Best Supporting Actress, but who didn’t pick those two?  Beyond that, I didn’t pick too many winners correctly!

I’ll be renting many movies in March and April.  “The Sessions”, “The Master”, “Skyfall”, “Life of Pi”, “Silver Linings Playbook”, “Amour”, and “Django Unchained” are all out or are expected on DVD in the next month or two.


Today is my last day of training at my new station.  I’m excited to get back on the air Monday.  Ray’s been in Washington D.C. the past couple of days and he gets home tonight.  So, I’m looking forward to our weekend before I have to get up at 1 a.m. Monday!!!  Have a great weekend!


Random Friday Thoughts — February 1

Happy February!  The days are getting longer and Valentine’s Day is coming up for all of you love birds.  And, for my single friends, don’t despair.  You can eat the whole box of chocolates without sharing with anyone! 🙂  Here is your weekly dose of my random thoughts.


Now that January is behind us, we get to see what Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, in Pennsylvania predicts for the next six weeks.  I’ll spoil it for you now — six more weeks of winter regardless if he sees his shadow or not since Groundhog Dog is the middle point of the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

In January 2013, temperatures averaged 2.6° above average and precipitation is running above average to start the year thanks to almost an inch of rain Tuesday and 2.7″ of snow Wednesday officially at the Quad City International Airport.

Tuesday Weather Alerts

This is how crazy it was Tuesday across the Midwest.  That rainbow of color represented a combination of a “Winter Storm Watch”, a “Winter Storm Warning”, and a “Winter Weather Advisory” on the cold side and a “Tornado Watch”, a “Flood Watch”, a “Flood Warning”, and a “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” on the warm side.

Since Tuesday, we’ve gone from a record high of 62° in the Quad Cities to heavy rain to snow to the very cold air yesterday and today.  Welcome to the Midwest!

Fish in 60° Weather

Our fish pond was very active in the warm weather Tuesday, but I bet they are in shock now after temperatures plunged more than sixty degrees to -1° this morning!  Other than a couple of quick couple of inches of snow tonight, quiet and milder weather is expected this weekend and early next week.


Jim & Stan

Jim Nabors, the 82-year-old actor who’s best known as “Gomer Pyle” from “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s, married his longtime partner, 64-year-old Stan Cadwallader, earlier this month in Seattle, Washington.

Jim & Stan have been together since 1975 when they met while Stan was a firefighter in Honolulu, where the couple lives now.

Nabors (left in photo) says, “I’m 82 and he’s in his 60s and so we’ve been together for 38 years and I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody.  I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”

Congratulations Jim & Stan!

America, let’s wake up.  I know progress is being made one state at a time (three in last November’s elections) and when DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is repealed, there will be marriage equality for all on the national level.  When a wonderful, loving couple like Jim & Stan have been together for almost 40 years, what is it going to take to show that love is love and we’re all created equal?


Gay MarriageFood Art WeightCombat Boots


This Christmas, I asked for a turntable to relive my 1980s days when I loved putting on my headphones and listening to my albums.

I had a great album and dance singles’ collection back in the 1980s and 1990s.  Sadly, my friend, Dennis was keeping them for me and decided to give them all away, along with my two turntables and mixer.  (I used to DJ some back in the 1980s.)

And, buying vinyl albums is chic again.  2012 marked the fifth consecutive year that there’s been an increase in the number of albums sold (4.55 million last year, which is up 18% over 2011).  Of that number, 76% were rock albums.

Recently, I went to Readmore Book World & Rock Shop in Moline  (which is owned by a neighbor) and I bought a few 1980s albums for my new collection.  Also, Tammy, my sister, recently picked up some Reba McEntire and Tammy Wynette albums from Goodwill for me for around a dollar to $1.38 each.  And, one of the older album still had the original price tag of $1.99 on it!  Too cool.



In the early-1980s after he left Depeche Mode and before he formed Erasure, Vince Clarke was part of the English duo Yazoo (just Yaz in the United States) with Alison Moyet.

The band charted with six Top 40  hits in the U.K. with three of them reaching the Top Ten.  Here in America, they didn’t have the same success on pop radio.  Their biggest hit, “Only You”, peaked at #67 in 1982.

However, it was a different story in the clubs and on Billboard’s Dance Chart.  The band topped the chart four times.  Their first #1 dance hit, “Situation” spent four weeks at the top of the chart in 1982.  It only reached #73 on the Hot 100.

It was followed by two weeks at the top of the dance charts with “Don’t Go”, also in 1982.  In 1983, “Nobody’s Diary” hit #1 and in 1999, “Situation ’99” was remixed and topped the dance chart.


It’s been one week now since Lady Gaga rocked my world with the best concert I’ve seen in more than six years (Madonna’s “Confessions” Tour) and I’m having withdrawals.  By the way, the other most incredible show I saw was 17 years ago (Reba McEntire in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1996).  This weekend and next week, she’ll be playing in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Toronto and Montreal, Canada, before heading to Chicago.

So, here’s another picture from my Vegas concert and a video of her amazing entrance.  *Spoiler:  If you’re going to see her in concert, don’t watch the video.* 🙂



Yesterday, I blogged about the incredible blizzard that dropped 18.4″ of snow from January 31-February 2, 2011.  As you can see here, the storm meant different things to different doggies.  Miss ABBA loved playing ball in it, but Mr. Panda was miserable.

February 2 2011 ABBA Playing BallFebruary 1 2011 Panda Not Liking Blizzard

And, it’s hard to look at this picture from February 2nd of last year, and realize that just 24 hours later, Miss ABBA was gone!

February 2 2012 Foggy ABBA

After that foggy morning picture, Miss ABBA enjoyed her last meal of a McDonald’s cheeseburger that evening.

February 2 2012 Loving That Last Meal

My blogs this weekend will be in memory of Miss ABBA on the one year anniversary of her trip over the “Rainbow Bridge”.


American Top 40 radio is finally coming around and starting to play a song that I featured in my blog on September 28, 2012!

Marina and the Diamonds

Here is what I wrote about Marina and the Diamonds four months ago.  Talk about radio taking its sweet time to catch on!

“The new album, “Electra Heart” is great.  It sounds like 1980s new wave combined with 2012 angst.  Marina even sounds like Katy Perry.  That should be enough for U.S. radio success.  However, the first single, Primadonna” didn’t even chart of the Billboard Hot 100 despite modest radio airplay.

Her new song, “How To Be A Heartbreaker” may receive the same cool reception at radio, but the video is nothing short of HOT!!!!  Prepare yourself ladies and gay men!

Okay, before I post it, there is some drama associated with it.  After the video was finished, here’s what Marina tweeted, “So, someone at my record label wont let me release the video bc I look ugly in it apparently + we need more $ / time to paint out ugly parts’”.

There’s that whole freaking image thing again and how young woman in entertainment are supposed to look.  Let the woman sing and do her thing!!”


Recently, Maroon 5 lead singer and all around stud, Adam Levine hosted ” Saturday Night Live”.

Adam Levine

Oh wait, he did come out in a suit.  But, he removed it before the opening monologue was over.  In all fairness, he dresses up rather nicely, too.

Adam Suit

At one point in the show, he and Kenan Thompson did a skit called “Circle Work”.  It was an advice show on “The Gay Network”, where Levine played “Todd Anthony” and Thompson played “Tracy Allstar”.  The two over-the-top gay men would have straight people come onto the show and tell them their problems.  Their advice to the first lady, “your husband is gay” and “you are gay” to the second guest.


Well, Todd Anthony (Levine) said it more eloquently:  “You are as gay as a gay goose in a gay goose pride parade!”

No, I was not offended by it because network television has come a long way as portraying gay men as real people.  This caricature was just funny.  And, Adam Levine is one of the most gay-friendly celebrities in the business and he has a gay brother.

That’s it for now.  Have a great weekend, my friends.