Category Archives: Climate and Weather

Rain, rain, go away.

Thursday 04.10.08 Posted by: Mebz

Update: From TVNewser: “CNN’s John King will moderate a breakfast session at the RTNDA confab next Tuesday. Ron Allen of NBC News and Sam Donaldson of ABC News are panelists for ‘Election 2008, The Home Stretch.’ TVNewser will be in Vegas for the conference so look for our reports beginning Sunday.”

…. And now, here’s Millie hijacking Mebz’s post again (sorry Mebz!) but I just couldn’t resist throwing something in today which I saw at the cnn.com main page. It’s a little OT but amusing nonetheless. Check it out:

When I saw the above, it reminded me of the following:

Interestingly, when I was googling for this Bush picture I happened to come across the below image, found on this website:

What the?????

If you do not recall our pizza primary party, allow me to direct you to this blog post. Guess what, we were duped!!! The pizza delivery guy was NOT Lou Dobbs at the time, it was George Bush in disguise!! OMG!

Remember how we had to keep calling the pizza place about our order? Now that I think about it, it was kind of odd that the delivery boy said, “Call us back once, shame on… shame on you. Call us back… you can’t call again.”

The stage is now all yours Mebz!!!

Howdy Everybody! Greetings from yet another rainy day in Missouri. Ha, ha, you almost think this was funny… Seriously, we’ve had enough. Stop raining.

This all came from Texas, so I’m wondering what Millie did to make the Rain Gods mad at her. I came across this screen cap of someone playing with his very high-tech map:

From Denver Circus.

Which all leads to the question: Why don’t I have CNN HD?! Look at all the extra info you get! Why must I be stuck with this low-fi, run of the mill CNN?! Oh cruel Cable Gods, what have I done to displease you so?!

CNN Observations has added a new John King desktop. Go there now.

I have the answers to Millie’s quiz from yesterday. Grab your score cards.

Answers:

So, Millie’s post title yesterday got me thinking of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. (Did anybody else watch that show?) Which got me thinking of Rockapella. (Remember them?) Which led me to YouTube. So here is my Thursday version of: Mebz’s Weekly No-Good Irrelevant YouTube Video

I had this song on TAPE (Yes children, there was music before MP3). Check out the braided mullet. I said BRAIDED MULLET!

F.Y.I. Rockapella are the guys in the colorful jackets. The guys in white are True Image. I miss the 90s.

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Filed under Climate and Weather, General Discussion

Another Nor’easter, Another Debate…

Friday, 12.14.07

John reported yesterday night live from the set of AC360 in New York. As if the rough Iowa weather wasn’t enough for him! The storm that pounded the midwest has now traveled east…

I watched the news this morning and apparently there are concerns about another Nor’easter forming up and down the east coast… I am watching all of this from the comfort of my Houston home where it is dry as a bone and I am wearing a t-shirt, short pants and flip flops… ah, you gotta love this southern weather.

*Attempts best Scarlett O’Hara accent*

I simply don’t know how I could ever survive up north.

But -ahem- I digress…

Yesterday, the Democratic candidates debated in Iowa. Like the Republican debate earlier this week, it was the last chance for the candidates to present themselves to voters before the ever-important caucus coming up in just a few short weeks.

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On AC360, Anderson Cooper described the debate as not a “slugfest” but a “lovefest”. Candy Crowley (who’s looking pretty good lately, I might add) said, “You have never seen six such agreeable people”.

Maybe the Democratic candidates – along with the Republicans – have figured out that the backlash from the negative debates in the past has caught up with them and now they want to do something about it! Whatever the reason, thankfully yesterday’s debate was a civilized affair.

John appeared on AC360 last night with his analysis of the debate.

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He was back in the New York studio and sitting alongside Joe Klein. David Gergen joined them via video to complete the roundtable.

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John said Hillary Clinton used to have advantages over her rivals when it came to the bigger issues, but now as the campaign is going on (and on…), voters are seeing that the differences are really not that big after all.

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He says that philosophically, all the Democratic candidates are generally coming from the same mold. However, he says what voters really are looking for is someone new and different. While Hillary may not be new or different, candidates such as Obama and Huckabee are. They are the ones to watch because voters are “tired” and want change.

Personally, I’m not exactly tired yet of the campaign season. (Ask me oh, in half a year or so, and I might answer differently! lol!) Kidding aside, though, now is when things are going to get interesting, when we will be seeing how the candidate field on both sides will be narrowing down in the next few weeks and months…

Isn’t it around then when you can safely say, “They are dropping like flies”?

Ah, it’s Friday and I’m doin’ the TGIF dance! Have a great start to your weekend, everyone!!

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Filed under Climate and Weather, Election 2008, Election Debates

No Stranger To Covering Disasters

Saturday, 10.27.07

John certainly is no stranger to covering disasters:  9/11. Indonesian Tsunami. Katrina. Southern California Fires…

These aren’t the first difficult assignments he has had to cover and and unfortunately they won’t be the last, because who knows what the future holds? We hope and pray that our futures will be bright and safe, but in this day and age, no one knows when the next major disaster will strike.

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(Screencap courtesy of ATA)

As many of John’s loyal viewers already know, his coverage of the Indonesian Tsunami was one of the events that influenced decisions leading to his assignment as CNN’s Chief National Correspondent back in 2005.

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In the press release describing John’s new position within CNN, Jon Klein had this to say:

“John is a brilliant journalist who approaches each assignment with great fervor and dedication. During his on-site reporting of the tsunami aftermath, we witnessed the breadth of John’s capabilities beyond the White House beat. Our viewers are better served by having him out in the field.”

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(Reporting in front of an orphanage turned into housing for Tsunami victims)

Back in August, John provided us with some of his perspective on covering major disasters:

“I’m always skittish when it is a tragedy like Katrina or the tsunami – you want to hear the emotions and the horror because it is part of the story, but I worry about exploiting people who are in pain.”

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During his St. Anselm Q & A Session in June of this year, he told students about the power video and pictures have when used to cover major news stories (such as presidential debates) and national/international disasters:

”It’s one of the things – it stuck in my head most of all when I went to cover the Tsunami in Indonesia, after the Tsunami, that’s when it really delved in my head, how powerful TV is. The pictures are so important.”

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So how does a seasoned reporter like John King, even with pictures and video images at his disposal, convey the true scope of major disasters to viewers? During his William and Smith commencement speech last year, he talked about the challenges he faces with that very question:

“I learned the frustrating limits of…the pictures we are told can be worth a thousand words. I met [a man named Sabri] in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the tsunami. I could not find a way to tell his story the way it deserved to be told and it still haunts me… I could see the pain of thousands in the eyes of this one man, but I couldn’t find the words to do it justice.”

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(Sabri, above, and a picture of his missing daughter, below)

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As difficult these stories are to cover, it is the reporters like John who bring some semblance of meaning to what people are going through when they are faced with unthinkable loss and pain.

And even though his assignments are difficult, he says that the job of reporting about these disasters is nothing compared what to the families and so many others are going through as they watch their lives changed forever by a tragedy.

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Interviewing Governor Schwarzenegger

Thursday, 10.25.07

Yesterday, John continued to provide us with coverage of the California Wildfires. He appeared on The Situation Room but apparently there were some technical difficulties while he was on air.

Later on in the evening, he filed a report on AC360 after having interviewed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. There has been much positive response and praise for the Governor’s handling of the situation. John drew some comparisons between the public’s attitude towards Louisiana officials over two years ago and the current attitude in California:

“Anderson, you remember those days just after Katrina, when the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana were in so much political hot water, heckled and hassled when they went out in public.Not Arnold Schwarzenegger. Walk into an evacuation center with him, there is a standing ovation. People want his autograph. They want to take his picture. Spend a day with the governor, and what you see is a bit of celebrity crisis management.”

John had an opportunity to sit down with Gov. Schwarzenegger and ask a few questions.

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Here is an excerpt which aired on AC360 last night.

KING: Tell me the personal lessons you learned, both from a style standpoint and a substance standpoint, about being a leader, from watching the debacle of Katrina.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think the most important thing is, don’t sit around in your office and try to make decisions out of the office. You have got to be with the people. It’s the most important thing. You have got to go out there and you’ve got to visit all the fire sites. You’ve got to shake hands with the firefighters, you’ve got to encourage them, you have got to pump them up, you’ve got to tell them they’re the greatest in the world. You’ve got to work with the local communities, with the elected officials and with others. You have to work with the Red Cross. You have to work with the private sector. You have to call the Grocers Association to make sure they deliver food right away to all of those various different places, you know, where people stay overnight. So I think that being out there with the people is the key thing.

KING: One of the criticisms or questions in the days after has been, some think it took too long to get California Air National Guard assets up in the air to douse the fires. Some had said it was the winds, other weather conditions. Others have said the state was slow to answer the phone or to issue the orders. What was it?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think it is very clear that we had a big disadvantage because of the winds. You know, we had 90 aircraft here in California. We had six additional aircraft from the federal government that can drop a huge load of water and chemicals and others. But we could not use some of those equipments and some of those aircrafts because of the wind conditions.

This morning, the headline at CNN.com is “Fire crews gaining upper hand as winds calm” This is at least some good news amidst all the difficult challenges the firefighters and other rescue officials are facing at the moment.

This picture was at the CNN.com homepage, which I found to be a particfularly appropriate image. It is a stark reminder of our duty to be appreciative of all the rescue personnel who are braving the harsh elements to protect American citizens and their properties.

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I also read that now investigators are pretty certain that a least one of the major wildfires was due to arson. What a shame. If it had been natural causes, I can imagine many people might have somewhat of a different perspective about their losses. But to know that it was deliberately set is terribly sad indeed.

Once all the smoke and embers have died out, we should get a better understanding of what really happened to set off this extraordinary chain of events. In the days and weeks to come, CNN will no doubt provide us with coverage and analysis of the wildfire causes and origins.

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Live Coverage From Southern California

Tuesday, 10.23.07

John is currently in California reporting for AC360’s special edition coverage of the SOCAL fires. From the live CNN.com video stream, here are a some video caps of John reporting live just a few minutes before 8:00 pm CST:

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John is in Rancho Bernardo and he spoke with Anderson Cooper earlier this evening. Here is what he reported on, about what he heard and saw around him.

“We’re standing amid the devastation of one of those homes, some families allowed back in today to see whether their house was destroyed, whether it was still standing.

But this neighborhood, Rancho Bernardo, as you noted, still under permanent evacuation for now, because of what fire officials are worried about. If you look at the wreckage here of this home, the metal, this is a piano frame. It is still hot to the touch. Down below, you can hear and smell the embers still burning.

So, families were allowed in briefly today, some lucky, some not. Fire crews were here most of the day, wetting down the devastation of the houses that were destroyed. But you can see and feel the smoke still coming up in this, the heat getting hotter as we’re here. The metal is cracking, still very hot to the touch. They’re also worried about this. They’re worried, again, the winds could shift, those devastating winds. There is a small fire just over the hill this way, to my right. They’re worried, if the winds change, it could come back through this neighborhood as well.

And, if you look further up to the north, you can see very thick smoke of a major fire they’re still dealing with in the north. And, as we stand here in this neighborhood, surveying the destruction, you see helicopters coming in behind us, filling up on their missions, heading off to the hills to the north, where the fire still rages.”

Anderson then asked John how many homes in that area where destroyed.

“It is hard to count. And we’re still counting in the hours we have been here. But, where I’m standing, one, two, three, four this way, and then a house with a little smoke damage on the side, but unscathed. You look this way, two more homes destroyed, then three or four homes that escaped virtually untouched, perhaps some smoke damage.And you just see, going through the yards, we’re seeing a hot tub behind this house simply melted down to the ground, lawn furniture destroyed. The hill, up into the hill, is scarred. All of the vegetation around here is scarred. And, again, in the hours we have been here, as the evening comes on — and the fire crews have been gone now for a few hours — more and more smoke is rising up, as, once again, there’s still quite a bit of heat, low fires burning under the ground. They believe they have done as well as they can in this neighborhood for now.

And they have shifted, the fire department, to neighborhoods where there are still more active fires burning, but, Anderson, quite a bit of devastation here, and the families told they don’t know when they will be able to come back, because they are worried the fires could come back or blow in again.”

Anderson next wanted to know, should the fires come back, is there anything left to burn? John replied,

“There are plenty more homes up behind me. I can count eight, nine, 10 homes just in this small subdivision up on the hill behind me, vulnerable, because the trees up there were untouched. So, if, again, the winds shift and you have embers coming in, and they get into the trees, that hill escaped virtually unscathed directly across from me, more up the hill this way. The devastation is much more down here. But we are in the worst end of the subdivision.

As you drive in, many of the homes up there untouched. But, again, were the fire to come back, it is a rolling hill, and the winds get blowing, as you have seen, throughout Southern California the past few days. There are many more homes here, which is why this neighborhood is off limits. And many families, Anderson, for hours have been lined up at a police roadblock trying to get in just to get a quick glimpse, police telling them only if they need medication, only if they need vital documents. They get an escort in. Then they’re quickly asked to leave, because the police still worry this neighborhood’s not yet safe.”

We hope that John, his producers and camera crew all stay safe as well.

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Worrisome Quakes and Storms

Wednesday, 9.12.07 

After yesterday’s somber post, I was hoping to write something today that would lighten up the mood a bit. But unfortunately upon turning to CNN this morning a couple of events just occurred that (literally) have shaken things up.

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Hard to imagine that the poor souls in Indonesia have to go through this AGAIN. 8.2 on the Richter Scale! Since it is still early on in the reporting, there have been some conflicting reports, and I know Rob Marciano has gotten his hands full, but there were talks of 2-foot waves as well as 7-foot waves spotted.

Then, I checked out the national hurricane weather website and came across this:

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It’s not expected to be a major storm but the problem round these parts is the heavy rain, possible stalling and flooding. I wasn’t living in Houston in 2001 when TS Allison came through and stalled and dumped massive amounts of rain over a period of 5 days, but today’s early reports at the Houston Chronicle website indicate that this is a possibility that is on everyone’s mind. Hopefully, though, it will just blow through with minimal flooding. At least I don’t live in a neighborhood that is prone to flooding everytime several inches of rain fall.

Then, there is ANOTHER tropical hot-spot that the hurricane center is reporting:

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Goodness!

I hope all these tropical storms pass quickly and uneventfully.

The earthquake, of course, is another matter entirely. Although of course more details about the quake and its after effects will become more available as the day progresses. It is still horrible nonetheless to know that this is all going on right at the moment as I sit here and type.

I don’t know to what extent John will be reporting about on these events, but I will update here if I get any details.

(I may be writing my next post while wearing my rubber galoshes! lol.)

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Next Up: SimpsonJohn and a Blizzard

Wednesday, 08.15.07

Seeing Yellow

Shortly after the YouTube debate, a Simpsonized verson of AC and the entire debate gang was aired on CNN. Mr. Cooper had a couple of laughs upon seeing his likeness in yellow-skinned pigmentation:

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Just for fun, I created a Simpsonized version of John. (The detail work on making the collars look alike was my own, BTW!)

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I did see the Simpsons movie over the weekend and thought it was excellent! Although I would have to say it was not consistently funny throughout, there were enough laughs to keep me in stitches and make me not regret paying the ticket price. (I knew there would be a “naked Bart” skating sequence, but I had no idea they would actually go as far to show his “doodle”, even if it was only for a split second. Once I recovered from that shock I really enjoyed the show!)

Delivering The Weather News, Postman Style

I live along the gulf coast of Texas, and word is, there is a storm a-brewin’ out in the gulf.

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It was just named TS Erin today.

Then, there is this:

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And this:

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And they say this is just the beginning!

I dug up an old CNN video of John out in rough weather conditions, reporting to CNN viewers some amazing extremes. Case in point: The 2006 New England Nor’easter produced blizzard conditions one day and then sunny surfable conditions the next (if surfing in 30-degree weather is your kinda thing!)

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Surfing, anyone?

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