Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

Random Friday Thoughts — February 17, 2017

I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re part of the 55% of Americans that celebrate the day.

Roses

If you’re in a relationship, I hope you got chocolates, flowers, or whatever makes you happy.  And, if you’re not seeing anyone, I hope you treated yourself to something nice.

Thank you for checking out my Random Friday Thoughts.

“HOUSE OF CARDS”

We just finished binge-watching the first four seasons of “House of Cards”.

I absolutely love Robin Wright as First Lady Claire Underwood and Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood.

Season five debuts on Netflix May 30, 2017.

If you haven’t watched the show and you love politics, you have to start!

Check out this amazing scene from season three.  Claire has to tell the world that an American citizen jailed in Russia for being openly gay and protesting the country’s anti-LGBT laws committed suicide.

To Russia and the rest of the world that still think this way (Americans, #45, and his cabinet members, some of you could use some educating, too), wake up, open your eyes and your heart, and let’s start more of a dialogue!

A NEGRO TRAVEL GUIDE?

It’s sad to think this is reality, but it’s definitely not hard to believe in our country with all the hatred — then and now.

I was reading an “Out” magazine article that mentioned “The Negro Motorist Green Book”.

TNMGB.gif

It was a resource travel guide that started publication in 1933.

Its purpose was to keep black motorists safe and to let them know what places refused to serve non-whites, provide information on “sundown towns”, predominately or all-white towns that practiced segregation, and much more.

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there must have been enough security (or hope) in the United States that it ceased publication in 1966.

Sadly, with the open hatred of people that aren’t white in the “post-January 20, 2017th world”, it might need to come back.

And, while we’re at it, maybe a rainbow version is needed, too, to keep the LGBT community safe from the haters, too!

PICK HIT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Last fall, as Michael Buble was ready to launch his latest album, “Nobody But Me”, he and his wife, model Luisana Lopilato, dropped out of the public eye when his 3-year-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer.

buble-family

Two weeks ago, Buble released this encouraging update:

MB.jpg

Last Friday, the video to “I Believe in You” was released and if you don’t smile or shed a tear after seeing this video, hopefully you got a heart for Valentine’s Day because you need one. 🙂

Oh, if that didn’t encourage you to watch it, Derek Hough of “Dancing With The Stars” fame is absolutely drop dead gorgeous (and shirtless) in the video!!!!!!

REMEMBERING EMMANUELLE RIVA

With so many celebrity deaths already this year, the passing of French actress Emmanuelle Riva was pretty much overlooked in America.  She died of cancer January 27, 2017, in Paris.

In 2012, she became the oldest woman to earn an Academy Award Best Actress nomination for her heartbreaking turn in “Amour”. (She was 85 at the time.)

“Amour” was my #6 movie of 2013.

“REMNANTS”

Whether country music stations play her new songs or not, LeAnn Rimes’ albums usually debut in the Top Ten on the Country Albums charts.

Her last Top Ten album on the Billboard 200, which includes all genres, was 2007’s “Family”.

LeAnn Rimes is back with her latest album, “Remnants” and it’s flawless.

remnants

I definitely love LeAnn’s country music.  My favorites in that genre are “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Some People”,”One Way Ticket (Because I Can)”, and “Big Deal”.

I met LeAnn in Salisbury, Maryland, in the fall of 2005.  She was a sweetheart.

AnthonyLeAnn

LeAnn has released many pop-oriented albums in her career and “Twisted Angel” (2002) is still one of my all-time favorites of hers.

Her new album, “Remnants” is the latest pop effort.  It was released last fall in the U.K. and just came out last week here in the U.S.

The highest charting single from the new album is “Long Live Love”.  The Dave Aude remix is currently #2 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart!

Twelve of the thirteen songs on “Remnants” are absolutely perfect!

My favorites are the soulful “Do It Wrong”, the religious-tinted “I Couldn’t Do That To Me”, “Love Is Love Is Love” (which LeAnn sings about not wanting to start an argument, just a conversation about tyrants, politics, religion, and love), the torch song-sounding “Outrageous Love”, and “The Story”.

Just because radio is missing out this amazing voice and music doesn’t mean you have to!

GRADE:  A

“SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE”

“Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” is Reba McEntire’s 29th studio album, but it’s her first Christian album.

Reba faith.jpg

It debuted at #1 on this week’s Billboard County Albums chart and at the top of the Christian Albums chart, too.  On the Billboard 200 Albums chart, which includes all music, it debuted all the way up at #4.

It sold 52,000 copies in its first week!

I’ve always wanted Reba to do a full gospel album after she recorded “Sky Full of Angels” for her 2003 “Room To Breathe” album.

The deluxe version of the new album features 22 songs.

“Back To God” is the first single.

On the gospel classics, Reba’s voice and musicianship are simple and stunning!

There are many songs that, if you didn’t know more about this album, you’d think they were just more Reba country songs.

But, as Reba once joked around the 1995 release of “Starting Over” album, whatever genre of music she sings becomes country when the words come out of her mouth.

The song I love the most on the album is “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”.  The album version is four minutes of pure bliss!

My favorite “country” gospel numbers on this album are “I’ll Fly Away”, Hallelujah Amen”, “I Got The Lord on My Side”, “How Sweet Thou Art”, “Sing It Now”, “Oh Happy Day”, and “God And My Girlfriends”.

“Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” is almost perfect.  I think when an artist stretches an album out to 22 songs, there are ultimately a couple that wouldn’t have made the cut on a shorter album.  But, I’ll take those songs here just to have more new Reba music.

With the divisive election last November and the circus of the past few weeks, this album does soothe the soul.

I was raised in a Pentecostal church that preached all about fire, brimstone, and damnation and I still find solace in gospel music!

Reba, if you’re listening, how about a bonafide dance album next?  Your voice and EDM could be amazing!

GRADE: B

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Happy (Snowy) Valentine’s Day

UPDATED POST:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016, 6:07 p.m.

Final official snow total in the Quad Cities:  4.6″ in Moline.

Sterling, Illinois, picked up 5″.

Anthony

UPDATED POST:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016, 2:05 p.m.

It’s still snowing rather nicely in the Quad Cities.  We have about two more hours to go before it diminishes to light snow or flurries.

Here are a few updated snow totals:  4.1″ Colona (IL); 3.0″ Moline (IL); 3.0″ Iowa City (IA) and 2.5″ Fort Madison (IA).

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016, 7:00 a.m.

I hope you all have a great Sunday and Valentine’s  Day.  Enjoy your day whatever it is you choose to do.

Some light snow fell late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.  That was from the leading edge of warmer air gliding into the area aloft.

Officially, in the Quad Cities in Moline, Illinois, we picked up 0.4″ from midnight to 6 a.m.  Around 2″ accumulated around Burlington, Iowa.

Here’s where our heavier snow for today was located around daybreak.

Morning Radar.jpg

Light to moderate snow will fall from this morning to early afternoon and begin to wind down as flurries tonight.

In addition to the falling snow, winds will be rather brisk causing blowing and drifting snow.

I’m still thinking we’ll see anywhere from 3-5″ of snow, which I’ve been saying for days now.

Sunday Snowfall Amounts

The only real change is that it’ll be our southern hometowns that might be the big winners when the final totals come in.  Some locations may see isolated 6″ totals.

A couple of days ago and even early yesterday, it looked like northern hometowns may see the most.  Now, 4″ there might be the high end of the forecast.

Be safe!

I’ll see you bright and early Monday for “Local 4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m.

Anthony

Valentine’s Day Snow Storm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snow Potential

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

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

sNOW sUNDAY

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

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

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

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

Snow's a comin'

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 12, 2016

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be sharing my “Random Friday Thoughts” with you again on a regular basis and the feedback has been great.  Thank you for not only reading to see what I’m thinking about, but also commenting.

As always, you don’t have to agree with me, but be diplomatic about it if you disagree.

WARNING — THIS IS NOT DIPLOMATIC!!!

This is the response I got earlier this week to last week’s blog explaining why I support Hillary Clinton for president, which featured a photo of my beautiful family.

Rude Blog Comment.jpg

Pathetic!  But, we know there are many people out there like this!  Putting ignorance aside, let’s move on…

Here is the blog that brought out the hate:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/my-teenaged-daughter-a-damn-good-reason-i-support-hillary-clinton/

WHAT I REALLY WANT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY…

Candy is always nice and flowers are beautiful, but here’s how I plan on spending Valentine’s Day — a little snow storm, a few glasses of wine by the fireplace with Ray, and the return of the sixth season of “The Walking Dead” Sunday night!

Walking Dead VD

SNOWY VALENTINE’S DAY

If you live in the Midwest, especially across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, snow is in the forecast late Saturday night and Sunday.

In the Quad Cities, I’m still expecting 3″ or so of snow that’ll fall mostly on Valentine’s Day.

Snow Potential

The snow diminishes to flurries Sunday night and Monday.

CHARLIE SHEEN’S SCARY DR. SAM

There are medications now to make living with HIV more manageable and it’s no longer a death sentence.   However, unless someone is hiding information from me and the 37 million people living with HIV and AIDS across the world, there is no (realistic) cure.

In my opinion, actor Charlie Sheen is a poor spokesperson for those living with HIV, even though the high visibility is a good thing.  Sheen’s antics since going public with his HIV-positive status has made me shake my head in surprise or shock more than once.

Now, the story is even more insane and bizarre when you find out that he’s associated with an Australian doctor who claims he injected himself with Sheen’s tainted blood and cured the infection with goat milk!  Goat milk???

This is how Dr. Sam Chachoua describes himself on Twitter!

Dr Sam

I’m not buying into any “effective way to treat” cancer or AIDS.  If it was that easy, he’d be winning every award there is for humanity and wouldn’t have to make his claim to fame through the troubled Sheen!

Sad!

ABC NEWS — BLATANTLY SEXIST MOVE

ABC News made a big blunder last Saturday night when hosting a New Hampshire presidential debate by not allowing candidate Carly Fiorina to participate.

While I’m not a fan of Fiorina and I can’t say she wasn’t invited because she is a woman, she had every right to be there.

In the Iowa Caucus last week, she beat Chris Christie in both votes and delegates and got just as many votes and delegates as John Kasich and had the same number of delegates as Jeb Bush.

So, it makes no sense that she wasn’t invited.  Jim Gilmore wasn’t invited either, but rightfully so.  He picked up only 12 votes in the Iowa Caucus last week and is polling at 0%!

After the New Hampshire Primary Tuesday, both Christie and Fiorina dropped out of the presidential race.  Dr. Ben Carson, we’re waiting on you (and Gilmore) next.

TRAIN WRECK INTRODUCTION OF CANDIDATES

Maybe it’s a good thing that Fiorina wasn’t there.  The introduction to the ABC News debate looked more like a skit from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”.

This is hilarious — just as funny as seeing Marco Rubio falling on his face and getting agitated by Christie!

GLENDA JACKSON

Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, now 79, was last seen in a Hollywood movie 24 years ago, but she’s been very busy.  She was a member of Parliament from 1992 through March 2015.

She’s gained a new fan in me with her openness.  Here are some of the things she recently told “Entertainment Weekly”.

glenda-jackson

On “12 Years a Slave” winning the Best Picture Oscar and social change:  “But how can you say that 12 Years a Slave or Selma has caused a fundamental cultural shift? And then you have these black guys being shot by policemen. Would that the Oscars could change the world but, I’m sorry, it just ain’t true.”

On the media making Donald Trump a viable Republican presidential candidate:  “It’s going to come down to what people are prepared to back with their votes, in terms of the status quo, and whether they’ll still go with that nutcase with the worst hair in the world. All that money and you think he could buy himself a decent wig.”

On her Oscar-nominated role in the bisexual love story, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, in which she played a businesswoman in love with an artist (Murray Head), who loves a doctor (Peter Finch). “Best film script I’d ever read.”

“It was about relationships between people who wanted more than they could furnish. And, of course, United Artists was scared to death of it and didn’t know how to sell it. Apologies to Uncle Sam, but in America, they think homosexual affairs are about sex. But they are about love.”

“AMERICAN CRIME”

The first season of ABC’s Emmy-winning series “American Crime” was great and featured a college actor friend of mine, W. Earl Brown, in a major recurring role.

The second season of the drama, airing now, is phenomenal.

Felicity Huffman and Lili Taylor are both superb in their roles as the principal of an elite private school that’s facing a student sex scandal and as the mother of the young man that’s the victim in that scandal, respectively.

However, the standout this season is 21-year-old Canadian actor Connor Jessup.  Every moment he’s on camera trying to hold it together and make it through the day, your heart breaks for Taylor.

We’re a little past midway through the ten episode season, so it’s not too late to get caught up.  And, since season two is not a continuation of season one, you don’t have to know anything about the first season.

“BURNT”

Bradley Cooper stars in this movie as an acclaimed chef that lost everything because of a drug addiction.

He tries to make a comeback in London, but the road to redemption is not a smooth one.

The foodie in me loved the food porn.

But, while watching the movie, I was also hoping that my chef friend, Monika Sudakov, and the chef I most admire, Grant Achatz, are not like Cooper’s character, Adam Jones, when they’re in a high pressure kitchen making their culinary creations!

GRADE:  B

BRETT KISSEL

When you think of Canadian county music stars, I’m sure Shania Twain, Terri Clark, and Anne Murray come to mind.  However, the only Canadian male country singer I can think of off the top of my head is Paul Brandt.  I love his voice and have some of his earlier American releases.

Recently, I saw the nominations for the Juno Awards and Brett Kissel caught my eye –he’s up against Brandt this year.

So, I went to YouTube and started watching his videos and before I knew it, I bought his fall 2015 release, “Pick Me Up”.

Brett Kissel.jpg

It’s crazy how he’s already had seven Top Ten country hits on the Canadian chart, but is still an unknown here in America.  He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, so I hope his American radio debut is coming soon.

“Pick Me Up” is a great country album with a slightly different feel than today’s American hit makers.  It’s a real feel that I think is missing from the current bro-country sounds you hear overplayed on U.S. country stations.

The album features the two Canadian hits, “Airwaves” (#1) and the title track (#6), which are both great country songs.  My other upbeat favorites are “I Hope It’s Me”, “Cool With That”, and “I Can Play Guitar” (with Hunter Hayes).

If you love ballads, “Why Won’t You” is amazing and “Feet Back on the Ground” is a beautiful tribute to those of us that love our mamas, even if they’re no longer with us!

After buying and loving “Pick Me Up”, I’ll now have to get Kissel’s 2013 album, “Started With a Song”.

Here’s hoping American audiences will get to hear Brett on the radio in 2016!

GRADE:  A-

“THE RIVER LIVE TOUR”

In his long career, Bruce Springsteen has done it all and he’s still doing it.  There’s a reason he’s called “The Boss”!

His current 42-show concert tour will play America through April and then Europe and Israel this May, June, and July.

It’s called “The River Live Tour” and it’s exactly that — his entire 1980 20-song double album, “The River”, played in sequential order!  In addition to that, he also does other songs — about 30 in all in a concert that runs about 3 1/2 hours!  The man must be a machine!

Here I’m featuring the first release from “The River” and my favorite Springsteen song, “Hungry Heart”.  It was his third Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and his first Top Ten.  It peaked at #5.

So, think about it.  If any of your favorite artists would perform a full-length album in addition to other hits, who would it be and what album?

Mine would be “Rumor Has It” (1990), “For My Broken Heart” (1991), and “Starting Over” (1995) by Reba McEntire, Madonna and her 1983 self-titled debut, and Toni Braxton’s 1993 self-titled debut.

MORE GLENDA JACKSON IN “ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY”

Margaret Thatcher

On her disdain of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when South African President Nelson Mandela visited Parliament in 1996:  “I stood to watch Mandela and there was bloody Margaret Thatcher, the woman who had called him a terrorist, sitting in the front row in this big f*cking hat, obstructing the view. Acting like she was doing everybody a f*cking favor by coming there.”

hillary2016

On Hillary Clinton and her presidential run:  “I would like to see her become the first female president…  the Republicans don’t have anybody who can take her on politically. So it’ll be very ugly.”

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

I hope you enjoyed the read.  Please share your thoughts with me and have a great weekend.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Anthony

 

Valentine’s Day –Snow & Chocolates

UPDATED POST:  Thursday, February 11, 2016, 4:26 p.m.

Light snow is still likely tonight with accumulations under an inch.  The heaviest will be south and west of the Quad Cities.

A more potent snow system arrives very late Saturday night, but more so Sunday and early Sunday night.  I still think that we’ll see 3″+.

However, in a winter like the one we’ve had, three inches will be the jackpot for snow lovers.

I’ll have another update Friday morning on “Local 4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m. See you then!

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Thursday, February 11, 2016, 6:00 a.m.

It’s pretty cold out there today and that won’t change through the weekend and winter is not ready to give up yet.

While we’re running more than six inches below average on snowfall this winter, we have two snow chances coming up before a warm-up next week.

A light snow event is on the way tonight.  An inch or less is expected with the heaviest south and west of the Quad Cities.

After a very cold day Saturday starting out at zero with wind chills of -20° to -25°, our weekend focus then turns to Valentine’s Day.

Snow Chances

Confidence is growing that we could see three inches or more of snow Sunday and Sunday night.

Keep up on the latest forecast as we move into the weekend.

Good news for those that are ready for winter to end.  Warmer weather is on the way next week.  We could hit 40° several days.

Anthony

A Weekend To Warm Hearts

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

Jason

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

Roseschampagne

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

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

FIFTY-SHADES-TIE_720x1080

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

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

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

red_velvet_oreo.0.0

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

Mercers Wine Ice Cream

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

Chocolate Cabanet Wine

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

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day to your and yours.

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

Anthony

Celebrating Valentine’s Weekend With A Quick Snow Update

UPDATE POST:  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014, 6:08 p.m.

Officially, 1.4″ of snow has fallen in the Quad Cities through 6 p.m.

This is now one of the ten snowiest winters on record!  (See the updated graphic below.)

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014, 9:09 a.m.

It’s the weekend and I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with my family today, so I wish you a nice weekend, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This picture is actually from two years ago, but we’re having another one of those heart-shaped ice cream cakes (strawberry) and Papa Murphy’s pizza (one Mediterranean with chicken and the other sausage).

I’m also going to show my sister, Tammy, the movie, “Sordid Lives” and have a few laughs.  It’s a “black comedy about white trash”!  (And, no, Gretel will not be watching it!  That’s your cue that it’s not PG-13 when you watch the trailer!)

1-1-2

With that being said, here’s your simple “no questions asked, no questions answered” weather update.

A six-hour window of snow this afternoon and evening will accumulate about 1-3″ with isolated 4″ far north.

Snow Today

This is now the 15th snowiest winter on record in the Quad Cities even before today’s snow arrives!

Snow Update 021414

An inch of snow today will make this the 10th snowiest winter on record!

A very messy situation is likely after bedtime Sunday night into Monday.  I’ll have a full blog tomorrow morning with all of the information on that.

This system could bring accumulating snow or ice before we finally warm up into the 40s next week with rain by the end of the week!

Enjoy your weekend and check back in tomorrow for more on Sunday night and Monday’s ice and snow potential.

Anthony