Sunday, January 27, 2008

Odds and Ends from this side of the TV

I read on the Wired Online web site yesterday that one of the keys to a successful blog is posting frequently. That was enough to get the creative juices flowing this morning.

I took a trip down memory lane Wednesday as I went through a box of old videotapes at home. I found some real treats! One of the tapes was from my last day on the air in Topeka when I worked at KTKA-TV. In case you didn't know it, Felicia Rolfe and I worked together on the morning show there at the station for almost 2 years before I landed a job here in the Wichita market. A few highly obvious things I noted from watching the tape: 1) how much I've aged, er..."matured" is probably a better term, 2) how much I've improved in my on-air delivery since those early days--with still plenty of room to get better mind you, 3) nice glasses and 4) how much fun I continue to have at my job.

Sometime down the road, if I can find some of the still pictures, I'll try to post them on here. That's a big "if" for now, given how many boxes I still have stacked up in our garage!

Monday, January 14, 2008

911 is for Emergencies only

A week ago today, an unusual January tornado outbreak struck Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Wisconsin. So far, the total number of tornadoes reported is up to 71! Obviously, this outbreak of tornadoes so early in the year caught many people off guard. Check out this link to a recording of the 911 system in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Many of the "emergency" calls to 911 were simple inquires to why the sirens were going off.

This recording should be an example of what NOT to do during severe weather. I understand that in January, most people are not thinking tornadoes. However, one should NEVER call 911 to ask the emergency dispatcher a simple weather question. If the sirens go off, folks must turn on the TV, radio or weather radio (or some other form of communications) to get their critical weather information. Please reserve 911 for what it's intended for: emergencies only!

This event is also an important reminder that we must always keep our guard up when dealing with Mother Nature. If you hear us talking about severe weather chances for the viewing area, it should be your cue to check back with us, either on the air or online. This will become increasingly important as the Spring months draw near.

On a side note, it was very odd to see some of the damage photos afterwards from Wisconsin and Illinois. In some cases, melting piles of snow (cleared from the pavement from earlier weather events) are seen along with the debris!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Still Feeling Orange and Big Games lately

If you bleed Crimson and Blue like I do, you can't help but still be giddy after the HUGE win KU earned Thursday night. Not only that, but it was a great game (take THAT Mr. Huckabee!) . I haven't bought any Orange Bowl gear yet but that will change soon.

When I began my time on the Hill in the late 80's, the Hawks were horrible in football. However, as the team improved, so did expectations. I remember one opening season game when oranges were tossed on the field after the opening kickoff. This was done in reference to the Orange Bowl, where the championship was played. (This was waaaaaaaaaaay before the BCS.) Yes, KU was getting better but we weren't even close to being championship material. We still had Nebraska pounding on us every Fall.

Fast forward to Thursday night after the game: players throwing oranges into the big mass of blue inside Dolphin Stadium. Thursday's win has been called the "biggest win in KU football history." The only thing bigger would be if that victory was tomorrow night (BCS championship game). Hats off to Coach Mangino, his staff and of course all of the players. You've made us proud! Rock Chalk!

Speaking of great games, my family and I had a chance to see one of the games at the "Catch It Kansas Basketball Classic" this weekend. My wife has a long-time friend whose daughter plays for Northwest. We saw an exciting, back and forth matchup that wasn't decided until the very end. Great game gals! Kudos to the Catch It Kansas staff for continued great work on the web site and of course the fantastic game highlights.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Predictions for January 2008

Happy New Year! Thanks to the early arrival today, I didn't stay up for last night's count down but someone in the neighborhood decided loud, booming fireworks was the way to bring in 2008! I woke up for that and faintly heard the countdown on TV an hour later for the Mountain time zone. In any event with my schedule the way it was for New Year's, it's the only time that I can say I slept for part of 2 years!!

All kidding aside, it's going to be rather cold today, tonight and tomorrow. A big chunk of cold air is pouring down out of Canada and the Northern Plains. At one point this morning, Regina Saskatchewan was at -17 degrees below zero! It won't be that cold here but single digits will greet you back to work tomorrow morning. After that, all of our computer guidance is in agreement on a huge warm up! 40s will return Thursday and 50s from Friday to Monday.

What about the rest of the month? The 30 day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center say much above normal temperatures for Kansas this month with equal chances of either below normal, normal or above normal precipitation. Here's the link.

If you have the day off, enjoy! I'll see you again Friday. Go Jayhawks!