Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.


Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Friday, February 2, 2007

Taking a moment to breathe before I get back to work.

Last night was preview night for the show. It went well, I think. Took a couple of pictures of the stage, but they came out lousy. I'll try again tonight.

This morning we woke to a light dusting of snow:

Snowy BranchSnowy Branch Hosted on Zooomr

Of course, the groundhog says that spring will come early this year. I wonder how he can NOT see his shadow, what with all the TV lights aimed at him. I feel sorry for the groundhog. Really.

Snow at schoolSnow at school Hosted on Zooomr

This second shot is where Chris goes to school. Why a playground at a Senior High? They have a small daycare center on campus as part of the child care training program. The district offers a fair number of "career track" programs such as agriculture, veterinary care, health care, even fashion design.

And another very cool sunrise this morning:

Sunrise over east PlanoSunrise over east Plano Hosted on Zooomr

On to other things.

I am disgusted. Somewhat relieved, but disgusted. One of our local TV stations has really gone in for the sleaze. Of course, it's sweeps, so what else is new. This time they did a number on their weather anchor. This guy has been at the same station for over thirty years - a pretty darn long stretch, and is a meteorologist who knows his stuff. Even though this station's news department seems to be going to hell in a handbasket people tune in to watch the weather. The station has had a tradition of hiring only meteorologists since the department was started in 1948 by an ex-Air Force meteorologist who helped predict weather for D-Day. The one thing this station has done right is to not tinker too much with the weather forecasters.

So we're talking about a trusted local weather guy here. (Oh yeah, and from everything I hear, he's also a heck of a nice guy.) Lately he's been coughing his way through his forecasts, sometimes to the point of being hoarse. Viewers have been concerned, and rightly so. His predecessor died of stomach cancer and had soldiered on with his job until he was too sick to continue.

So how does the news department handle this? They turn it into a sweeps story! All week we've been watching promos showing this poor guy coughing through a weather forecast and listening to an announcer tell us breathlessly that we'll find out on Thursday what's wrong with the weather guy.

I'm sure the station pulled good numbers last night because of the weather guy - but not because of the promos. Whenever the weather turns nasty, people turn to this station. So all the breathless promos were probably wasted - a situation I find hilarious because...

The guy has an allergy to Mountain Cedar.

Yep, that's what's wrong with the weather man. To be fair, he's having a terrible time. Apparently they haven't found the right treatment for him yet. As an asthmatic, I have an idea of what he's going through. In fact, when all this first started I wondered if it wasn't an allergy or asthma - or a combination of the two.

But damn, that was a dirty trick. And all for a few ratings points. I'm very happy his problem isn't serious. Yet, to play on the concerns of the viewers - especially given what happened to his predecessor - is just wrong. I expect the weather guy is embarrassed by the whole thing. I do feel bad for him.

Well, I've got work and laundry, and I need to find a kitty picture. It's off to work for me. Have a good weekend!

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Filed under: Life   Pictures   Weather      


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