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Monday, September 9, 2013

Local Weather Friends

    I miss the Weather Gang

I live in the Tampa Bay area.

I said "area" because nobody lives in Tampa Bay. It’s full of water and a few old mobsters from Tampa’s past glory days.

But since one out of four homeowners owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth, some of us actually do live underwater. 

Segue Ahead

Meanwhile, I just saved 30 dollars a month. We switched cable companies. Here’s the problem:

I miss my old cable company, my weather friends. Back in the good old days, (7 days ago), I could get my fix of weather every ten minutes on the nines.

Two times every hour, at 29 and 59 minutes after, there would be a teasingly shorter weather report ... with no Weather Radar.

Yes, my kids are in the same school with the same address and the same friendly neighbors, (mostly). But I pine for my weather crew: Josh, Diane, Brian, Juli, Mike, and Alan. 

I also long for dapper Chuck, the traffic guy. Monday through Friday, a television director would superimpose Chuck's image over Tampa’s Interstate Four gridlock. His giant legs blocked traffic across two of the west-bound lanes.

 Hey Chuck.You wanna get outta my way?

Hundreds of cars rammed into his crotch. He never broke a smile.

I can still watch their Weather Radar on my computer, but it’s not the same without the previous affable meteorologists.

It’s 9 minutes after the hour. I have to watch … oh wait … never mind. It stills hurts so bad.

Maybe one day I will see my weather buddies riding on a local parade float. I will yell, "Show us your warm fronts." 

01-02-2014 Update: My daughter and I spotted Chuck Henson in Dunedin, Florida, setting up for a roadside report. We waved and he waved back. Even from across 4 lanes of traffic, we could tell that his immaculately white shirt was crisp and wrinkle free.

A real professional.

02-28-2014 Update:  I just had a twinge of sadness like the feeling one gets after stopping smoking cigarettes for a year. I still miss my weather friends from Bay News Nine. 

The feeling has passed and I am feeling better. In fact, My daughter's orthodontist just called to remind me of her appointment next MONDAY.

Now I am dizzy with delight. While the daughter is getting her braces adjusted, I will ogling the waiting room's giant screen TV. Every ten minutes one of my weather buddies will comfort me with a weather update and a brief, but provocative, peek at the best weather radar in the world. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Are Cell Phones Dangerous to Your Health?

Cell phones are safer than cigarettes.
But harder to keep lit.

1. A 41-year-old maintenance worker died, after falling from a cell phone tower in Vienna, Maryland.

Authorities could find no reason for the fall except that old standby, Gravity.

Cell phone company records show that the unfortunate worker’s phone was active during his plunge but that it maintained five bars of excellent reception all the way to the ground. 

Malaysian Cell Phone 

2. A mobile phone exploded next to a sleeping Malaysian man. He was stunned and burned on his backside.
There were burn marks on his bed and on the wall. He said, “The blast scalded my bottom.”

Outrageous Penalty to 
Cancel Phone Contract

The one good thing that came out of this tragic accident? The funeral director bragged that he saved the little widow “a chunk of change” because all that was needed was a 12-inch by 12-inch coffin. 

Mohamed Radzuan Yasin set his phone on charge and took a nap. Several hours later, a small explosion woke him up.

The cell phone manufacturer asserted that this had never happened before. “Based on the burn marks on the victim’s buttocks, we wonder what really happened. Most of our customers do not hold their cell phone next to their bottoms while making a call.  And … why was the phone set on Vibrate?”

3. A Chinese-built cell phone electrocuted Dhanji Damor of Gujarat, India. He was using his phone while simultaneously charging the phone. 

Investigators would not comment on whether the voltage was Chinese or Indian, although massive amounts of electricity probably feels the same, no matter what language it comes in.

The emergency room doctor, who declared him dead, speculated that he had used up all his minutes. 

Dhanji’s family arrived the next day to claim his body. They attempted to pay the hospital bill, but Dhanji had good health insurance. The hospital administrator said, “No charge.”

4. A Chicago resident was searching for his cell phone. He told a neighbor that he probably dropped it down a garbage chute in his apartment building. 

He obtained a key to the trash room downstairs. Three hours later, no husband, and the wife began to worry. Normally in Chicago, if your husband is missing for three whole hours, he is automatically declared legally dead. 

The cell phone was an expensive model. The owner climbed into the massive trash compactor to search further. Who would have thought that something as dangerous as a trash compactor would be set on an automatic timer?

Final Funeral Home Question:
Paper or Plastic?

Final thoughts:

Are there too many tragic and senseless deaths because of cell phone use? Maybe the risk has always been with us, no matter what earlier forms of communication we used.

How soon we forgot the early Native American’s unfortunate and horrible accidents from their smoke signal fires.