Posts Tagged ‘WGN’

Random Friday Thoughts — August 23, 2013

Getting up at 1 a.m., drinking caffeinated soda by 2 a.m. and having a rabbit cross your path on the way to work instead of sleeping in and having iguanas and sting rays dart across in front of you on walks along the beach are sure signs that I’m no longer in paradise.

Just 24 hours ago, I was waking up for one more stroll in Cancun.  We just got back late last night and four hours later I’m back to work.  Luckily, I only have one shift before I try to catch up on rest from the vacation this weekend.  I hope you’ve all had a good week.

CANCUN

Our getaway to the Yucatan Peninsula was awesome.  We ate plenty of fresh fruit and breakfast was my favorite meal.  A green-colored orange/pineapple/carrot/spinach juice combo was my favorite way to start the day.  The unlimited adult beverages were fantastic, too.  I’ll post a picture of my favorite potent potable next week.  And, I learned that Dos Equis beer is pretty tasty on tap and I’m not even a beer drinker.

Here are a few photos from the trip.  Hopefully, I’ll get around to posting the rest of the vacation pictures on Facebook early next week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

RAY TURNS 50 NEXT WEEK!

He turns how old?  I’m just giving him a hard time.  Age is just a number.

Little Ray Teen Ray

For his golden, milestone birthday, he chose a cruise on the Danube River, which is coming up in mid-October, with stops in several European cities for his present.  While a little pricey, you only turn 50 once!

I recently blogged about it and if you missed it, here’s the link:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/plans-for-a-milestone-birthday/

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY WEATHER IDOL

While my fascination with weather started when I was a four-year-old cutting weather maps out of the “Mayfield Messenger” and “The Paducah Sun-Democrat” in the late-1960s, I knew that I wanted to be a television meteorologist after seeing Tom Skilling on WGN.

Vintage Tom Skilling

61-year-old Skilling joined WGN back in 1978.  Tom is the chief meteorologist covering the weather weekdays for the two-hour midday news from 11 am – 1 pm, the 5 pm, and the 9 pm shows.  In addition to the long hours he puts in on television, he also writes a weather page for the Chicago Tribune and a weather blog.  It’s reported that Tom has a weather staff of twelve.

Tom Skilling

Just last year, Tom signed a multi-million dollar, ten-year contract that will keep him on the air until 2022.

When Tom signed the contract, he told Robert Feder of “Time Out Chicago”, “I have marveled at the support I’ve received from my viewers all these years — at their loyalty and kindness. We are nothing in our line of work without those who offer us the gift of taking time out of their busy days to grace us with the honor of checking out what we do and what we have to say. I’m beyond words over the whole thing.”

While I’ve never met him, from a meteorologist standpoint, I’ve never seen anyone with the commitment to weather that I see in Tom.  His lengthy weathercasts are incredible and you can just feel the passion when he talks about the weather, whether there’s a snowstorm on the way or just more tranquil weather — he sells it and he owns it.

As I said earlier, I’ve never met Tom, but I’ve celebrated Chicago Pride with him and his colleagues at WGN on their Pride float.  He’s always happy and you can tell he loves weather and he loves people.  (This is from the 2010 Chicago Pride parade.)

Pride 2010

While some people have bobbleheads (no thank you), I cherish this autographed publicity photo from Tom in 2003.

Tom Skilling

Tom, my colleague and my weather idol, congratulations on 35 years and here’s to next nine (or more) at WGN.  Thank you for inspiring me to follow my weather dreams.

And, I have to feature these hilarious videoes of Tom to show he’s not all weather maps and computer models.

“Tom Freakin’ Skilling!”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BoyfriendsAutoCorrectShirtHate

PATHETIC, ANGRY IOWA WOMAN

A Des Moines, Iowa, woman is getting off easy for a disgusting act of violence she committed last spring.

Sheena Ann Cornwell

Police say that 28-year-old Sheena Ann Cornwell showed no remorse when she was arrested for hanging her boyfriend’s senior dog, Lillie, in an intoxicated rage because the dog was barking.

While he believes what Cornwell did was cruel, Judge Joe Smith doesn’t think she is a danger to society.  The Des Moines Register reports that Cornwell is now on probation for two years and she cannot own a pet during that same period of time.

But, the judge’s decision is raising concern and some think it sends out the wrong message.  Tom Colvin of the Animal Rights League says,  “I’m very afraid that that’s what it’s saying – is that someone can torture an animal with no consequences.  So, what are the consequences here for Lillie? For Lillie’s death?”

So sad!

WAS IT HOMOPHOBIC, A MISUNDERSTANDING, OR DAMAGE CONTROL?

In my quest to keep the anti-gay laws of Russia front and center until people realize the antics and hate the government there is spewing, here’s someone who agrees with the way things are headed there.  Or, does she?

Yelena Isinbayeva

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion, is strongly anti-gay (or is she?).

Last week, after winning the World Championship title in Russia, “USA Today” reports that she said, “If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people.”

She added, “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.  Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”

Yelena 2
After widespread criticism, Isinbayeva “clarified” her comments, “English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood when I spoke yesterday.”
She added, “But let me make it clear I respect the views of my fellow athletes and let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality [which is against the Olympic charter].”
boycott-sochi-2014
Isinbayeva, I really don’t know what your views are or if this clarification is just damage control?  However, let this American offer you some advice.  I don’t speak Russian and if I’m going to criticize your country’s pathetic views toward the LGBT community (and I will), I’ll do it in English, a language I can fluently speak.  I won’t condemn your leaders in a poor attempt by speaking Russian because there may be some misunderstanding!
Russia
MILLER COMES OUT AND COMES OUT AGAINST RUSSIA
Two days ago, while I was away, 41-year-old “Prison Break” actor Wentworth Miller officially came out as a gay man.
wentworth
Miller came out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Fest.  The actor refused to take part in the festival because of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
Miller GLAAD
Miller writes, “I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.  The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
For years, there’s been speculation about Miller being gay with Perez Hilton reporting that Miller was dating former “Brothers & Sisters” actor Luke MacFarlane.
Luke MacFarlane
Congratulations Wentworth on standing up to the bullies in Russia and I hope by coming out that you can live your life openly and happily.  And, if you’re dating Luke, you two make a beautiful couple!
Luke Wentworth
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
Depeche Mode

While it’s not Ray’s birthday present, we’re heading to Chicago Saturday night to see the 1980s English band, Depeche Mode, in concert.  The band is still putting out amazing music thirty years later.  As you might remember, their first American hit on radio was “People Are People”, which reached #13 in 1984 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The band went to score five more Top 40 hits on the Hot 100:  “Personal Jesus” (#28, 1989), “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), “Policy of Truth” (#15, 1990), “I Feel You” (#37, 1993), and “It’s No Good” (#38, 1997).

And, just this year, they hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart with “Heaven” and #10 with “Soothe My Soul”, both from their latest album, “Delta Machine”.

And, speaking of Depeche Mode, here’s the blog I wrote about the band and how excited I was to get tickets for their concert:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/finding-my-own-personal-jesus-in-chicago-this-summer/

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

While it’s shorter today week because I was away until last night, I hope you enjoyed or learning something from my random thoughts.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — January 4, 2013

It’s the first Friday of the new year and I hope the first three days of 2013 treated you well.  A past Friday blog tradition for me was to feature three of my favorite songs from the 1980s, my favorite decade of music.  While I’m still going to highlight one each Friday, I’m going to mix it up a bit.  On each Friday in 2013, I’m going to do a random blog with no rhyme or reason.

IT’S COLD, BUT WHERE IS THE SNOW?

Global Warming Protest

All of these snowmen may be protesting “global warming” (yes, I know it’s a reality), but it’s been cold enough for me lately.  Over the past two weeks, temperatures in the Quad Cities are running about three degrees colder than average.  Five of those mornings (including January 1 and 2, 2013, at 5°) have been in the single digits.

But, where is the snow?  We’ve only picked up 5.3″ of snow this winter at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, and 4.9″ of that fell on December 20, 2012.  While this is about 6″ behind where we should be on January 4th, last year at this time, only 1.4″ of snow had accumulated!

As skimpy as the snow has been the past two winters, this is not a record.  Back in the winter of 1939-1940, the first accumulating snow of the winter had not even occurred!  It would be January 7, 1940, before that winter saw a measurable snow.

SO, WHY ARE WE DEALING WITH THIS?

Icy Streets From 122012 Storm

This is my street in Moline.  I live on a side street or secondary street.  Why, more than two weeks after the only winter storm of this season, are streets still a sheet of ice?  (Disclaimer:  I know this isn’t a problem that is exclusive to Moline.  I’ve heard others in the Quad Cities complaining about the same thing.)

From a meteorological standpoint, I’ll defend local public works departments to a certain extent.

When that winter storm started on Wednesday, December 19th, and continued into the early morning hours of Thursday, temperatures were still above freezing and much of what we’re dealing with now fell as rain.  When temperatures dropped below freezing and the rain transitioned to almost 5″ of snow (with much more northwest of the metro area), it became an instant ice rink.  (I guess we can now say Moline has two ice rinks and this one was much more effective with a lot less maintenance and problems!)

That’s where my defense ends and my questions start.  We live in the Midwest.  This is not Kentucky or Tennessee where a light accumulation of ice or snow brings the area to a standstill.  It’s been fifteen days since that storm and temperatures for the last two days of 2012 made it up to 36°.  It’s not too cold to apply salt, sand, or whatever is being used these days to melt this and make our streets safer.  As citizens, we’re given so many hours to clean our sidewalks after a snow.  The same should be required of our streets.

I guess there is some good news.  Temperatures today through much of next week are forecast to be generally in the 30s, which will allow the ice melt on its own!

ARE THE FISH FROZEN?

With temperatures the past few mornings at the coldest levels this winter, ice is forming on the cattail in the fish pond from the water coming out of the fountain.  The good news is that the de-icer is still keeping the surface of the pond from freezing.  The fish are handling the cold, but they are definitely not moving much.  With milder days ahead, I hope to see them swimming around next week.

Icy Fish 2

DOWNRIGHT CREEPY

While we were unwinding one night on our December cruise, Gretel was playing with Ray’s phone and came up with this creepy picture.  We’ll call it Grethony!  It looks like something from a horror movie.

Grethony

2012’S BIGGEST TOUR

Now that 2012 is behind us, Pollstar released the list of the most profitable worldwide tours last year.  I’ve very happy to say that I got to see the #1 tour in Las Vegas on October 13, 2012, and three weeks from today, I’ll be seeing the #5 tour, also in Las Vegas.

2012 Top Tours

While Madonna’s tour brought in an incredible $296.1 million and tickets averaged around $140 each, she wasn’t the act demanding the most money.

Madonna MDNA

At #33 on the list, the Rolling Stones made $35.5 million in just five shows with an average ticket price of $529.51!

And, at #22, Barbra Streisand’s 12 shows brought in an incredible $40.7 with average ticket prices at $263.52.

LADY GAGA REACHING OUT

The-Born-This-Way-Ball-Tour- Lady Gaga

I’m getting excited to see Lady Gaga on January 25th in Las Vegas.  The North American leg of her “Born This Way Ball” tour kicks off one week from today with two shows in Vancouver, British Columbia.  I can’t wait to see what changes she’ll make to the set list.

Several hours before Gaga hits the stage at each of her American shows, her Born This Way Foundation will provide the “Born Brave Bus”, which offers a free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds “to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services.”

Born Brave Bus

So, other than the amazing music, over the top costumes, and incredible sets, you can see why she is so loved!

Gaga, you rock!

I ♥ MY WEATHER IDOL EVEN MORE

WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling is the best in the business.  And, after seeing his participation with the NOH8 project, I love him even more!

Tom NOH8

From left to right, that’s Tom, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Bruce Caulkins, and WGN-TV anchor/reporter Sean Lewis.

And, back in 2010, Miss ABBA and I submitted our pictures for NOH8, too.

ABBA Anthony NOH8NOH8 Heart

For those of you that don’t know what NOH8 is, it’s a “charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.”

SAYING GOODBYE TO CHRISTMAS 2012

Our Christmas trees and decorations are still up and I plan on enjoying them for one more week and then they come down next weekend.  So, I’ll say goodbye to Christmas 2012 in my blog with this video produced by 1980’s pop star Boy George of Culture Club.  Christmas doesn’t have to be a “drag”.

“You Ruined My Xmas” — Supreme Fabulette

“SILENT NIGHT”

Silent Night

This was the worst movie I’ve seen in a very long time.

While I love “Entertainment Weekly”, the magazine led me astray when it gave the movie, “Silent Night”, a grade of “B”.  This holiday horror movie spent five whole days in theaters and made $14,567 before it was released on DVD  in early December 2012.

So, last weekend, I was very excited to check it out.  The premise of a crazed Santa going on a Christmas killing spree sounded like cheap fun.

The acting was horrible and there was no snow on the ground and this movie took place, I think, in Wisconsin.  I guess since the movie was probably filmed on a shoestring budget in the summer, there was no snow and no explanation of why they weren’t having a White Christmas.  Oh, that’s right, Santa was a killer!

The only thing going for the movie was some creative methods of killing off the characters:  can you say “wood chipper”!  But, even that scene was overshadowed by the jokey acting.  And, I sure hope respected actor Malcolm McDowell was paid a lot of money to be in this disaster.

If you want a scary holiday movie, don’t rent this.  If you want a holiday movie that should have scared you, but instead makes you laugh, this is your movie.

GRADE:  D (a few of the creative methods of murder boosts it up from an “F”).

PEEPS’ FRIDAY ’80S FLASHBACK

There are two acts that I’d like to see in concert in 2013, Culture Club (if they reunite) and Depeche Mode.

Depeche Mode kicks off their world tour in Tel Aviv, Israel in early May with dates running through July 29th.  No U.S. dates have been announced yet.

In August 1989, they released the first single from “Violator”, which would become their biggest American album.

“Personal Jesus” peaked at #28 and the follow-up single, “Enjoy The Silence” in early 1990, would become their only Top Ten American hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Personal Jesus” — Depeche Mode

Have a great weekend.

Anthony