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Aug
31

Strange night at the RNC

Posted By · August 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Clint Eastwood talks to a chair at the Republican National Convention.

It was a very interesting and times revealing night. I purposely waited to write any reaction to Thursday night’s final night of the GOP Convention in Tampa because to be frank, I don’t know if I really knew how I felt about it all.

Clearly it was supposed to be a night for Mitt Romney, but just as clearly it didn’t turn out that way.

As I look back in reflection, the thing I cannot get out of my mind is the Clint Eastwood speech or skit or whatever it was. He was at his best when he looked directly at the audience and stated simply, “If you can’t do the job you should be let go.”

It got a rousing response from the faithful, but when he turned and started talking to the empty chair I started to think I was watching a bad skit on the Tonight Show. I began to wonder how the Romney people who shamelessly touted the appearance were going to get “The Clint Eastwood” off the stage in a way that would save face for everyone. Many people in the Forum struggled to hear Eastwood because he would turn away from the directional microphone, making him hard to hear.

Then he turned to face the front again and delivered another direct blow about how bad it is to have over 20 million Americans without jobs. Unfortunately just when you thought it was going to end, he turned back to his imaginary routine and once again you began to worry about an 82-year-old legend who may have finally found a role he shouldn’t play.

Sen. Marco Rubio benefited from the Eastwood warm-up act and delivered the speech of the night. Any other time, Americans might be talking about his speech in the same breath with Mario Cuomo and Barack Obama. Would it fuel unfulfilled stirrings of the former or a presidential run of the latter. It stirred with passion, with vigor and made me begin to imagine that America could very well have a president of Cuban descent in my lifetime.

As I remember the surprise guest’s speech wasn’t even acknowledged during Romney’s speech and little wonder why. He was probably hoping for a little separation at that point but it may have been too late.

Anticipation built all day for the Eastwood appearance. His voice was used in a Chrysler TV commercial during the Super Bowl and many took that as a tacit endorsement of President Obama. Now he was going to make their day by setting the record straight. Everyone was buying in, including me. It was going to be great theater. I can tell you the hallways on the fifth floor where I was hunkered down in waiting were empty with anticipation for his speech.

After the night was over, people left with mixed emotions. They felt good about their presidential candidate, felt good about the party’s future, but they left talking about the actor’s speech. Years later delegates will tell their family and friends they were in the Forum in Tampa, Florida for that speech by Clint Eastwood. You know – the one with the empty chair.

That may get you ratings but it won’t win you an election.

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Aug
31

Wet weekend

Posted By · August 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm
August ended as the 8th wettest on record with 6.51″ of rain. September will get off to a wet start with heavy rain expected for Labor Day weekend. Rain and scattered thunderstorms will bring up to 2″ of rain through Monday morning and flooding will be possbile in isolated areas.
 
St. Louis and the Kansas City area received a soaking Friday, and that swirl of moisture left over from Hurricane Isaac is what will eventually make its way towards Indiana. Central Indiana could see showers anytime after midnight Friday.
 
As of Friday, the computer models were calling for an inch to an inch and a half of rain on Saturday for central Indiana. With the rain continuing through Sunday, a total of up to two inches could fall through Labor Day weekend. That’s significantly down from previous forecasts earlier in the week that called for up to six inches. The forecast was revised Friday when it became apparent that the storm had changed course.
 
The heaviest bands of rain will stay in Illinois and Missouri, although central Indiana could see some pockets of heavier downpours anytime throughout the day Saturday.
 
Sunday brings the best chance of thunderstorms, although central Indiana isn’t likely to see much severe weather with this system. Flooding and lightning are possible, although the tornado threat is low.
 
The rain will end Monday with a high of 82.
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Aug
30

Heavy Rain Eyeing Central Indiana

Posted By · August 30, 2012 at 5:41 am

Temps near 90 are back… then get ready for Isaac’s leftovers that could bring flooding to Central Indiana.

Highs will reach the upper 90s to around 90 today and Friday.  We’ll see mostly sunny skies.

Friday you’ll notice an increase of cloud cover and spotty showers and isolated thunderstorms develop as we head into the late afternoon and evening.

As Isaac’s remnants move into Central Indiana with heavy rain both Saturday and Sunday.  Isolated weak tornadoes and flooding will be possible.  Here’s the path it’s expected to take as of 5am Thursday.

Check out the projected rainfall totals through the holiday weekend.  Widespread totals of 3-6″ are possible with some isolated spots picking up more.

 

As the rain moves through this weekend, temperatures will be cool, in the low 80s.

Here’s a preview of the 7 day forecast:

 

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Aug
29

Hurricane Isaac & Central Indiana

Posted By · August 29, 2012 at 4:48 am

Sunshine today, with a very soggy stormy weekend developing for Central Indiana.

Highs will reach the mid 80s today and around 90 Thursday with mostly sunny skies.

New Orleans is getting battered by Hurricane Isaac this morning, but as the storm loses steam, it will track towards Indiana bringing Central Indiana a good chance for soaking rain.

Rain chances start increasing for us late Friday.  Showers and storms become likely Saturday and Sunday across Indiana.  Isolated tornadoes are possible Saturday.  By the time the remnants of Isaac exit Central Indiana Monday, we could be looking at rain totals of two to six inches of rain.  While the higher rainfall amounts look to be isolated in nature, flooding will be possible.

Stay with Eyewitness News as we continue to fine tune the forecast as we get closer to the holiday weekend.

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At 12:20 this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Issac from a Tropical Storm to a Category 1 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is likely to remain at Category 1 strength as it pushes toward an overnight landfall on the Louisiana coast. For the latest updates on Isaac: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#ISAAC

Isaac will weaken once it pushes inland, but could still bring heavy rain in a swath from the Southern Gulf Coast into the Midwest. Indiana is in the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast track as of its 11am update. By this weekend, we could get heavy rain plus gusty winds and possibly the threat of isolated tornadoes.

One of the ways of assessing the likelihood of getting the effects of Isaac is looking at a plot like this, known as a “spaghetti plot.” Each line (which looks like a strand of spaghetti) corresponds to a computer model. When you compare multiple computer models, if most of them follow the same path, the confidence in that track becomes high. If the models have paths that don’t agree, that leads to lower confidence. Since most of the paths head through Indiana this weekend, my confidence at this point in heavy rain threat for Indiana is becoming increasingly high.

So, what does this mean for Hoosiers? Plan on rain this weekend. How much could still change, but based on the information today, we could get between 2 to 6″ of rain along with sustained winds of 15 mph and gusts of 20-30 mph. Because of the circulation of Isaac, we might also have severe storms with the possibility of isolated tornadoes. Timing looks like Friday for our first impacts (some computer models bring us rain by Friday morning, others wait until Saturday). My forecast for rain Friday: 30%, Saturday and Sunday: 60%, Monday 30% in the morning.

If we get the high end of the possible rain this weekend (around 6″), then that could nearly erase our precipitation deficit. That could make a huge dent in the drought. We’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, we’ll have sunny, warm and pleasant weather for the next 3 days. Increasing humidity and increasing rain threat arrive this weekend.

Finally, our Hoosier Pic at noon courtesy of Gary Paschke, Sr. who snapped this pic of his rain gauge after yesterday’s heavy rain. He measured 3.45″ in Clermont! Submit your pic here: https://www.facebook.com/ChikageWindlerFanPage or here: https://www.facebook.com/WTHR13.

Have a good one!
-Chikage

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Aug
28

Vizio Costar review

Posted By · August 28, 2012 at 5:36 am

Earlier I wrote an article in anticipation of the release of the Vizio Costar streaming player. Now that I’ve got one and have used it I’ll tell you what I think of it.

It’s not the greatest thing to happen to the internet, but compared to other streaming devices out there it’s worth the money. Sony has one that sells for about $200. The Costar is about $100.

It took about 30 minutes to set it up. That included downloading a software update. The next day I happened to look to see if there were other updates and there was one from the day before, so actually I had to download two updates. After the first one I had the HBO Go app. After the second update that app was gone. There must have been some disagreement between Vizio and HBO. However I can still get HBO Go by using the browser.

What sold me on the Costar was the fact that the browser supports Flash and HTML 5. I tested this by going to the WTHR web site which has Flash comp0nents. Everything on the page showed up and the videos played. The Costar passed the first test.

At first I found it difficult to maneuver around web pages. You can click on a link by tapping the trackpad. But sometimes tapping once would work and sometimes I had to tap multiple times to get the link to work. Once I discovered that you can click on a link by clicking the dash button on the number pad of the remote, that was much easier. I also found that scrolling with the trackpad was difficult, but using the up and down buttons on the remote worked much better.

Some have complained that it takes too much pressure to press the buttons on the remote. However I like the fact that it takes some pressure. That prevents me from clicking a button when I didn’t mean to.

Now the apps. Don’t expect very many. Vizio promotes that you have access to the Google Play Store and it’s apps. But when you go to the store and list all apps only 94 show up, not the thousands that are in the store for phones and tablets. I even did a search for some of the apps I have on my Android tablet and they don’t show up. Even some of the most popular apps are not available, like Facebook. Therefore you need to use the browser to look at your Facebook page.

Vizio recommends a 6MB connection if you’re going to watch videos. On a TV, who isn’t going to watch videos? I have a 3MB connection and watching Netflix has not been a problem. However I did have the start and stop issue when looking at videos on the SEC Sports app. This could be due to that app using high quality (translation: high bandwidth) videos.

Overall, I’d say the Costar is worth the $100.

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Aug
27

Anticipation grows for RNC opening

Posted By · August 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

The first full day here at the Republican National Convention in Tampa promises to be huge.

We will have the roll call of the states, which is just one of the many traditions that I so treasure. I know these days it has evolved into a mere formality and I know some states take the opportunity to say the craziest things, but it is a rare piece of Americana.

“The great state of Indiana would like to cast.”

I love hearing those words. It is something that is ours and only ours. It is the voice of America.

Then, we will hear from the voice the Romney campaign believes can captivate America, that of Ann Romney. The campaign believes she knows the candidate better than anyone and it also believes she will be able to convince viewers he is the right choice for America, the comforting voice that will reach out to women.

They are putting so much stock into that, there is belief that Governor Romney himself will make an appearance in the hall to hear it. It will be the photo op of the two together that the campaign hopes will help build momentum to when he actually accepts the nomination later in the week. A chance to show that this family, despite the differences in religion, income and pedigree, is not that much different than the rest of us.

It will be a tall order.

And then don’t forget New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will deliver what promises to be a firebrand speech culminating the evening. Christie is never one to pull punches and that is why he has the primetime slot.

It will not most likely win the ratings war for the night, but it should. This is, some would argue, America at its worst, but not me. I still believe in those voices. Not of the candidates, but the delegates.

“The great state of Indiana would like to cast.”

I, for one, can’t wait. 

These conventions are a chance for Americans to state what they believe in. I believe I am not alone when I say I am anxious to hear it.

Categories : Decision 2012
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Aug
27

This Month Now the 8th Wettest August on Record for Indy

Posted By · August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Through 1pm, the official rain total for today was 1.47″ for Indianapolis International Airport, pushing our August total to 6.51″. That’s enough to push us into 8th place for wettest Augusts. What a turn-around from June and July!

Even heavier rain fell in other parts of the WTHR-TV viewing area. Check out some of the WeatherBug rain reports through midday – including more than 2″ for Kokomo, West Lafayette, and St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis. The highest rain reports I could find were from a weather observer 5 miles west of West Lafayette reporting 3.93″ of rain and a weather observer 6 miles northeast of Attica reporting 3.25″ of rain. This will all continue whittling away at our drought.

For perspective, our official rain total through 1pm was 6.51″ for the month in Indy, nearly 3 3/4″ above average! Here are the rankings for wettest August. We’re now in 8th place:

(1) 1980 8.34″
(2) 1989 8.05″
(3) 1976 7.95″
(4) 1921 7.26″
(5) 1978 6.89″
(6) 1886 6.70″
(7) 1949 6.64″
(8) 2012 6.51″ so far

Now we watch the track of Isaac, a strong Tropical Storm as of midday and expected to strengthen into a Category 1 Hurricane before making landfall on the Southern Gulf Coast. For the latest track and information check out the National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#ISAAC. Once Isaac heads inland, the storm’s track becomes very uncertain, but many of the computer models bring Central Indiana a slug of rain from what will by then be Tropical Rainstorm Isaac. Timing for our rain could be as early as Friday, possibly the weekend, and maybe lingering into Labor Day. It’s too soon to be certain, as the track and timing could certainly change in the days to come, but there is some potential for more drought relief here.

In contrast, Isaac could bring nearly 20″ of rain to the Southern Gulf Coast, which could cause major flooding.

Here’s a look at your 7-Day forecast. We’ll be dry until late week with warming temps too. But late week into the weekend, we’ll be watching what’s left of Isaac and possibly getting rain from the circulation of that storm as it moves into the Midwest.

Finally, here’s our Hoosier Pic at noon – from Santa Claus, Indiana! The Weber family was one of the winners of WTHR’s Holiday World ticket giveaway, and they enjoyed heading down (with beautiful weather) to Southern Indiana for a day of fun in the sun. Submit your pic here: https://www.facebook.com/ChikageWindlerFanPage or here: https://www.facebook.com/WTHR13

Have a great week,
-Chikage

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