Posts Tagged ‘White Christmas’

Random Friday Thoughts — November 30, 2018

Can you believe that 2018 is already winding down?  I admit that the second half of the year was better for me than the first and I’m excited about 2019!

While I have a couple of more blogs coming this year, this will likely be the last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2018.

Thanks for checking it out!

Happy Holidays!

White Red Christmas

“WORLD AIDS DAY”

December 1st marks the 30th anniversary of “World AIDS Day” — it originated in 1988 to raise awareness to the spread of HIV and the AIDS pandemic.

World-AIDS-Day-2012_0

We now live in an age where, with proper medication and taking it as prescribed, HIV is a treatable disease and those that are HIV-positive can live with “undetectable” viral loads, which mean they cannot spread the virus.

Yet, in 2017, 38,739 people in the U.S. and six dependent areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands) became HIV-positive.

STOP AIDS

People, have sex, but use condoms!

This isn’t just to keep from contracting or spreading HIV, STIs are on the rise!

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the highest number of STIs ever in the U.S.!

I read an interesting “Out” magazine article in May 2018 quoting veteran AIDS activist Peter Staley.

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Staley says that an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (which killed a reported 34 people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1976) prompted the “New York Times” to write 62 stories on the outbreak — 11 of them appeared on the front page.

He added that before AIDS ever got a front page story in “The New York Times”, more than 6,000 people were already dead.

Staley:  “Imagine if the Times put AIDS on the front page 11 times in 1981.  How would that have changed the course of the epidemic?”

FINAL THOUGHTS ON HIV

If you don’t know your status, get tested.  It’s painless and knowing one way or the other is the first step to healthy or healthier living!!!

“CAUTION”

The incredible, the incomparable Mariah Carey is back with “Caution”!

It debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 becoming her 18th Top Ten album and it topped the R& B album chart!

MC

The album contains ten fantastic songs.  Seven of them are flawless and classic Mimi!

In addition to the two songs I’m featuring below, the other five standouts are the title track, “A No No”, “The Distance”, “Giving Me Life” and “8th Grade”.

Even the three other songs on “Caution” are great!

In September, Mariah’s teased the album with “GTFO” and I think it’s one of the most awesome songs on the album!

Yes, GTFO stands for what you think it does!!!!!!!!! 🙂

“With You”, the first official single is already in the Top Ten in Hungary and here in the U.S., it’s just outside the Top Ten on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary, Adult R&B Songs, and Hot R&B Songs charts!!!!!!

The album is beyond amazing, so GTFO and get it now. 🙂

GRADE:  B+

MARIAH CHRISTMAS!

Not only is Mariah’s new album in the Top 5 on the big chart, she’s also in the Top 5 on the Billboard Holiday Album chart with 1994’s “Merry Christmas”!

MC B200

And, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” made its debut this season on the Hot 100 at #29!

“SONS OF ANARCHY”

I just finished the FX series “Sons of Anarchy”.  It really was a binge-watching event!

This includes psuedo-spoilers!

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I was on the third (of seven) seasons when I found out that it was leaving Netflix on December 1st!

That meant I had to watch the last 56 episodes in three weeks or less.  I did it!

If you’re not familiar, the 2008-2014 series is about a northern California “motorcycle club” that dealt heavily in guns, drugs, prostitution, and porn, along with violence and a lot of sex!

It starred the amazing Charlie Hunnam (Jax) and Katey Sagal (Gemma).

Charlie Katey

I really enjoyed the first two seasons.

SEASONS 1 & 2 GRADE:  A

While still good, the series began to drag a bit when it became repetitious with the same story lines, the same violence and who would be the bad guys this season (the Irish, blacks, Mexicans, white supremacists, etc.)

SEASONS 3, 4, 5 GRADE:  B

While Gemma and Jax were my early on favorites, as the series went on I fell in love with Dr. Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff) and Sheriff Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie), two characters that were the closest thing to a “moral compass” for the show. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As season six progressed, the show was down to its last two seasons and an end game was in sight!

Two major characters were killed off!  Well, that sounds too innocent.

Season six ended with the most horrific and brutal scene involving two main characters on the series!!!

I knew it wasn’t going to end well for the one character, but I didn’t expect the brutality and the viciousness of the murder!  WOW, but incredible!

SEASON 6 GRADE:  A

Skip the horrible last season!

Except for two scenes in two different episodes and the highlight of the season, the “Red Rose” episode, it was unbearably stupid!

Watch the series through the sixth season, watch the “Red Rose” episode in season seven, and the last ten minutes of the series finale!

SEASON 7 GRADE:  D

OVERALL GRADE: B

“SONS OF ANARCHY” FUNNY

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SANTA CHARLIE!

Thanks to my sister for sending me this.

And, we don’t have to sexist!  Ladies aren’t the only ones that might be interested in a new Santa Baby! 🙂

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LAST RANDOM THOUGHTS IN 2018

Next year, I don’t want to be thinking of “last Christmas”.

I want to be celebrating with fun, sexy friends.  Okay, they really don’t have to be “sexy”, just lively and fun!

And, this very chic or elegant (whichever word you prefer) video is my inspiration! 🙂

“AMERICAN HORROR STORY”

The latest installment of FX’s “American Horror Story”, “Apocalypse”, wrapped up a very uneven season.

It was incredible seeing Joan Collins and Jessica Lange again!

And, I love this t-shirt modeled by star Evan Peters!

Evan Peters

So, what are your favorite and least favorite seasons?  Here’s my rankings:

#8 “Freak Show” (season four, 2014) — The highlight!

american-horror-story-freak-show

#7 “Hotel” (season five, 2015)

#6 “Roanoke” (season six, 2016)

#5 “Apocalypse” (season eight, 2018)

#4 ” Coven” (season three, 2013)

#3 “Murder House” (season one, 2011)

#2 “Cult” (season seven, 2017)

Nasty Woman

#1 “Asylum (season two, 2012)

American Horror Story Asylum

And, we’re still living the continuing episode of the real “American Horror Story”.

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PICK HIT

Kylie Minogue is the last of my divas that I still haven’t seen in concert.  Hopefully, in the fall of 2019!

“Golden” is my favorite album of 2018 and here’s the latest video.

Isn’t Jack Savoretti just so adorable????  Okay, that question can be rhetorical! 🙂

“DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS”

THEY SAID WHAT???

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Cody Fern on his first day on the “House of Cards” set for the final season:  “I was so intimidated because I’ve been watching HoC longer than I’ve been acting.  The first day, I walk down the hallway and Robin [Wright] says, ‘Cody’ because we met at the reading.  And I said, ‘Claire’.  On my God!  I could have vomited.”

Director John Waters on what worse than Taffy (“Female Trouble”) joining the Hare Krishna, “Worse than a Hare Krishna?  I suppose a Trump supporter!”

“12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”

And, my blog about the holidays wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include this twisted version of the holiday classic! 🙂

AND, THIS MORE RECENT FUN ONE!  

“You ruined my Christmas, you made it a drag!” — classic Boy George!

He co-wrote the song and directed the video!

Thank you. 🙂

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

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Snow Possible Tonight & Early Sunday

UPDATE:  Sunday, December 24, 2017, 6:40 p.m.

Snow:  2.7″ Cambridge (IL); 2.3″ Kewanee (IL); 2.0″ Moline (IL); 1.8″ Davenport (IA); 1.1″ Iowa City (IA); 1.1″ Dewitt (IA); 0.8″ Dubuque (IA).

Anthony

UPDATE:  Saturday, December 23, 2017, 3:05 p.m.

Based on new data coming in, more of the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys may be seeing a “White Christmas”!

The Quad Cities is now included in the earlier “Winter Weather Advisory”!

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For simplicity sake, the “Advisory” runs from late tonight (midnight or 3 a.m.) through midday or early afternoon Sunday (noon or 3 p.m.).

The latest computer models are coming in with more moisture to work with, so that means more of the area will see snow.

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Amounts really haven’t changed all that much.

I still think the southern hometowns will see 1-3″ of snow with a few 4″ reports.

Around the Quad Cities and along and just north of Interstate 80, an inch or two are still possible with some 3″ totals.

North of that, around Dubuque, Iowa, Galena and Freeport, Illinois, an inch of snow may cover the ground.

Bitterly cold air will follow the snow.  Highs only in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits are on the way for next week.

Some hometowns may even drop below zero Monday and Tuesday nights.

ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, December 23, 2017, 6:50 a.m.

Some across the Midwest are lucking out and may see a “White Christmas”.

If you live south of the Quad Cities, you have a better chance.  Northern hometowns will only see a dusting of snow.

A disturbance moving out of the Plains late Saturday through midday Sunday will bring an accumulating band of snow to parts of Iowa and Illinois.

Snow

Interstate 80 is a good cutting off point.

Along and south of I-80, a “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect overnight Saturday for those counties.

1-3″ of snow could accumulate under that “Winter Weather Advisory”!  There could be an isolated 4″ report.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect at midnight Saturday through noon Sunday for Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, and Washington counties in Iowa.

That “Winter Weather Advisory” runs from 3 a.m through 3 p.m. Sunday for Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Mercer, and Warren counties in Illinois.

If you live in the Quad Cities, you’re not under the “Advisory” as of Saturday morning.  Accumulations of an inch or two are still possible.

That’ll be enough for a “White Christmas”, but not for an advisory.

Hometowns around Dubuque, Iowa, Galena and Freeport, Illinois, may only see a dusting of snow.

Much Colder

While some may get more snow than others, all will have to deal with bitterly cold air.

Highs only in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits are on the way for next week.

Some hometowns may even drop below zero Monday and Tuesday nights.

Anthony

Quad Cities White Christmas?

UPDATED POST:  Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 5:18 p.m.

While a wintry mix is possible Thursday night, the Friday night/Saturday system will likely stay well south of the Quad Cities.

However, if the long-term models hold, a snowy end of December is not out of the question — but, that’s still a ways off in terms of model consistency.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 5:18 a.m.

Greetings Quad Cities across the miles!  Are you “dreaming of a white Christmas”?

March Snow

While it’s still days away, there was a point yesterday when that wish looked possible.  However, those chances are diminishing.

The system that threatened to whiten the ground for you will be passing southeast of you Friday night into Saturday morning.

QC Snow Chances

In the earlier GFS model run Tuesday, the system would have missed the Quad Cities.  However, the next run six hours later made a big shift northwest.  It was enough of a jump to do two things: (1) excite meteorologist for an accumulating snow threat for the Quad Cities and (2) be very suspicious and wait for later runs.

Sure enough, the 18Z GFS run Tuesday evening decreased the heavier snow chances for the Quad Cities.  And, those chances look even less likely this morning!

However, it’s going to be turning very cold and there could be some light snow.  But, it probably won’t be enough for a “White Christmas”!

So, why am I writing about snow a thousand miles away from Panama City, Florida?

Lighted Palm Trees

The same reason that The Carpenters sang about a “White Christmas” from warm Beverly Hills L.A.:

“The sun is shining; the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There’s never been such a day in Beverly Hills L. A.
But it’s December the 24th and I’m longing to be up north

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.”

Anthony

Snow is Winding Down

UPDATE:  Sunday, December 22, 2013, 11:36 a.m.

The “Winter Storm Warning” is cancelled.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, December 22, 2013, 8:24 a.m.

The biggest snow of the 2013-2014 winter season, officially in the Quad Cities, is beginning to wind down and head off to the northeast.

WSW

Technically, a “Winter Storm Warning” remains in effect in the fuchsia colored counties until 6 p.m. Sunday, but I think that will expire before them.

Here is where the winter storm is still snowing (and raining to the east) as of 8 a.m. Sunday.

8am Radar

Our far northern hometowns may still pick up another inch or two of snow today, but the rest of the area will see less than one inch of additional snow.

As of 6 a.m. Sunday, 4.1″ of snow had accumulated at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois.  However, my colleague, Jim, the man with the official snow ruler, says that another 1.4″ fell after that for a total of 5.5″.

That’s awesome because I had 5.5″ at my house in Moline.

Some other totals across Illinois:  5.5″ Fulton, 5.4″ Freeport, 5.0″ Galva, 3.5″ Aledo, and 3.0″ New Windsor.

In Iowa:  6.7″ Iowa City, 6.7″ Brighton, 6.6″ DeWitt, 6.0″ Charlotte, 5.9″ Bettendorf, 5.0″ Blue Grass, 4.5″ Washington, 4.5″ Salem, 3.1″ Maquoketa. and 3.0″ Dubuque.

Bitter cold air will follow with single digit highs possible Monday and lows Monday night will be well below zero!

Here are some pictures from outside my house.   By the way, the carolers are singing “White Christmas”!

Snow 1 Snow 2 Snow 3 Snow 4 Snow 5

Be safe!

Anthony

I’m Having More Random December Thoughts

There are times when I find several things that I want to share, but I don’t want to devote an entire blog entry to the topic.  That’s when I do my random blogs, which is like a buffet with a little of this and a little of that.  This is my tenth one this year.  At the end of the year, I’ll make it easy for you to check them out in case you missed them earlier in the year.

CHRISTMAS IS JUST TEN DAYS AWAY

I hope you’re making progress on your shopping and getting those Christmas cookies, cakes, and breads baked.  I did some baking earlier this week and that will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog.  Are you curious now what it is?  All I’ll say is that it might just be fit for a king!  (Hint!  Hint!)

Two of my dear friends, Jim & Sue Williams, dropped by Thursday and brought us some delicious baked goodies and an antique Christmas ornament that belonged to her grandmother!

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Sue did this last year, too, and treated Miss ABBA to her own homemade puppy cookies.

ABBA Treats From Sue

Sue & Jim, thank you.  It was a pleasure finally meeting you!  The treats were just icing on the cookies! 🙂

CHRISTMAS HUMOR

When you’re on Facebook, you see some really crazy things and some of them are really funny.  Here are some that made me smile or laugh.  And, with Sue’s treats and the cruise coming up, I’ll pretend that this first one is true. 🙂

I WishSanta FacebookMaxine Wise Men

CHEERS TO THE HAPPY COUPLES

Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington made marriage equality a reality in the November elections.  Now, their states are the seventh, eighth, and ninth (along with the District of Columbia) in the country to allow same-sex marriage.  Those are the first three states to actually vote marriage equality into law.  The tide is turning!

Jane Pete-e

Pete-e Peterson, 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, became the first couple in Washington state to pick up marriage licenses December 6, 2012.  They were married three days later (there is a three-day waiting period).  The couple have been together for 35 years after meeting on a blind date back in 1977.

Washington Couple

56-year-old Larry Duncan (left) and 48-year-old Randy Shepherd, who have been together for 11 years, also got married last Sunday in Washington.

Congratulations!  I wish you many more years of  happiness.

Same-sex couples in Maine will be able to get married on December 29th and in Maryland on January 1, 2013.

While marriage equality is not recognized federally, more and more people now oppose the “Defense of Marriage Act” and hopefully that will go the way of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and be history soon!

WHY CAN’T HUMANS LOVE SO FREELY?

Dogs Love Freely

WHO NEEDS A FLASH MOB WHEN YOU HAVE THIS YOUNG MAN?

IF YOU MISSED THE CHRISTMAS EPISODE OF “THE NEW NORMAL”

David New Normal

I agree with the networks for altering programming around Halloween because of  Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.  However, I really want NBC to air the Halloween episode of “The New Normal” that was preempted.  I don’t care if it’s in January.  The images I’ve seen look funny.

THIS REALLY TICKS ME OFF

CAMEL

I came across this picture in an October 2011 “Time” magazine.

I admit that I don’t understand or know a lot about some customs around the world.  But, this picture shows Tripoli residents gathering around a camel that will be slaughtered to honor Libyan rebels who died in the struggle against former leader Muammar Gaddafi.  Seriously, that poor creature had to die as a form of celebration?

I know we sacrifice turkeys at Thanksgiving, but we eat them!

Why can’t they just have a service or a wake????

A “WHITE CHRISTMAS” THIS YEAR  SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

White Red Christmas

YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO TALK WEATHER… OKAY, I WILL

I hope you’re enjoying the rainy weather today.  We’re expecting about .50″ -.75″ of rain.  If you used the 10:1 ratio, if it had been cold enough today for this to be snow, we’d be talking about 5-8″ of snow!  But, that isn’t the case.

As of yesterday, we’ve gone 285 days with no measurable snow in the Quad Cities.  Our last measurable snow (0.9″) was March 4, 2012.  This marks the second longest stretch between measurable snows on record.  The record in the Quad Cities is 290 days and that was back in 1908!

Additionally, the winter of 2012-2013 is now in the Top Ten for the latest first measurable snow of the season.   Right now, we’re in eighth place.  This means that there have only been seven other winters since records have been kept (beginning in the 1870s) that it was later in winter before we saw the first measurable snow.  The record is January 7, 1940.

December 21-27

This is the Climate Prediction Center’s temperature forecast for December 21-27, 2012.  It shows much of the central United States experiencing above average temperatures.  Remember, this is just a forecast and sometimes it changes.

If you’re really wanting snow, there is an interesting storm coming in late Wednesday and Thursday that, depending on the track and intensity, could bring an accumulating snow to the Midwest, including the Quad Cities.  This is the forecast map for 9 a.m. Thursday, 12/20/12, and this would be snow if it happens this way!

THURSDAY 122012 9AM

If this doesn’t pan out, the long term computer models do show the potential for another big snowstorm AFTER Christmas.

COLD WEATHER & OUR FISH POND

Back on November 27th, it dropped to 13° in the Quad Cities and Tuesday morning, we were down to 19° for the low temperature.  So far, it appears the de-icer that we bought for the fish pond appears to be working.

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While there was a little ice on the water lettuce, the fountain was still pumping water and the water temperatures was around 47°.  Below the de-icer (the black circular device), you could see the fish close to the bottom of the pond.

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So, I guess they can handle the frosty mornings.

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“DEXTER” CHRISTMAS HUMOR

Dexter Elf

HUMOR FOR THOSE WITH A DIRTY MIND — CHRISTMAS SHOPPING MADE EASY

Bottom Top

A DIFFERENT “12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”

Janice Dickinson’s take on the holiday classics is a must-see for me each holiday season!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who needs five golden rings when you can have her version???

SANTA BABIES!

And, finally “Twas The Night Before Christmas” needs to be rewritten!  I know there are more obese people in the U.S. than even before, but after seeing this, the whole thing about Santa being “chubby and plump” doesn’t exactly work for me! 🙂

Santa Clauses

Merry Christmas!

Anthony

My Snow Request — Now Is Fine. But, The Week Before Christmas…

What a crazy start to December 2012 in the Quad Cities!

Temperatures are running close to 19° above average with the highs for the first three days of the month peaking at 61°, 59°, and 69° at the airport in Moline, Illinois.  That 69° high yesterday tied a record for the date.  We were just two degrees shy of the warmest temperature on record in the Quad Cities for December at 71°.  That was set on December 4, 1998.

NOAA’s December forecast is for temperatures to be above average.

Dec Temps

Does that mean you won’t be seeing a “White Christmas” in the Quad Cities?  Not necessarily.  What it means is that temperatures are expected to be warmer than usual.  On Christmas Day, the average high and low are 32° and 16°.  Even if temperatures are “above average”, we could still see snow.

White Christmas

Statistically, from this map from the National Climatic Data Center, we have a 26-50% chance of having a “White Christmas”, which is defined as an inch of snow on the ground Christmas Day.  Looking at more specific data, the chances in the Quad Cities are closer to 41%.

So far, in the Quad Cities, we’ve seen only a trace of snow this fall.  A few snow flurries fell back on the evening of November 11th.  But, just to the south of the metro area, I saw some pictures on Facebook with snow on cars around Galesburg, Illinois.

Accuweather

Could this Accuweather winter forecast be right????

Since we haven’t had a measurable snow this season, as of today (12/4), we’ve now gone 275 days since our last sticking snow.  Back on March 4, 2012, 0.9″ of snow accumulated in the Quad Cities.

Looking back at the last four years (2008-2011), the average number of days between measurable snows was 250!  So, we’ve gone longer without measurable snow this year.  Is there any in sight????

An interesting change in the weather pattern this weekend and early next week could bring a sticking snow somewhere in the upper Midwest.  While this is still five days out, if this NOAA model is correct, low pressure moving out of the Southwest could bring us our first accumulating snow of the season.

Monday 1AM

This is the forecast map for 1 a.m. Monday, which shows heavy rain to our south, but cold enough air over eastern Iowa and northern Illinois to bring several inches of snow into Monday.  This has been consistent for the past day or so.  So, with that being said, it bears watching.  However, however, however, (did I stress that enough?), it’s five days out and with the warmth we’re experiencing, everything with this forecast has to be perfect for this to occur.

But, for you snow lovers, you, at least, have a chance.  I’ll know more over the next couple of days since the storm track will be very important if this feature is present on future forecast models.

Additionally, and this stresses me out, the long-term model for December 18th and 19th shows a huge storm over the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley.  If, and again I stress “if”, this forecast two weeks out were to materialize, a “White Christmas” could be a reality.  Why does this stress me out?  That’s when we leave for our Christmas vacation!

December 19  1AM

Breathe Anthony, you more than many people, know how many times this will change before then and you know how low the accuracy rate of long-tern models are to one location.  Look for a trend, not a forecast, from them. 🙂

Anthony