23 January 2010

On News Polling...

(click on image to see the whole thing)


By now, you may be aware of some of my opinions toward the news media. This comic made me chuckle, and is a perfect example of how nobody cares about how three people voted in your stupid website poll. "Horse Race" news coverage of politics are killing our country. Come November of each even year, I'm sure that the average news watcher could tell you who is ahead in the polls, but I'm willing to bet that they're significantly less likely to be able to tell you who is pro-this or anti-that, or even what party each candidate is with.

(Note: Paul Brewer is the most awesome professors I have ever had. I took a whole class on this topic and it was AWESOME.)

07 January 2010

An Open Letter to Milwaukee TV News Stations

Dear Milwaukee TV news stations,

I love Milwaukee. I really do. I've lived here for 8 1/2 years now and I've realized something: Like most of the rest of Wisconsin (and half of the country), IT SNOWS HERE. You seem to be the only people in the city who are surprised by this time and time again. Why you find the need to begin your broadcast day 3 hours early, or stand outside in the snow and tell people it's snowing never ceases to amaze me.

Though I'm sure a rare breed does somewhere exist, I can't think of anyone that I know personally who wakes up with you at 3 a.m. to watch you stand outside in the snow and tell people it's snowing. And though I know some folks are less fortunate than I, the vast majority of us have windows in our homes, and at the very least have doors that we can walk out of to assess the weather situations ourselves (should we so desire).

Now, I'm not saying that it's not helpful to know how much snow we may expect, or even when the snow will start and end, or where the heaviest snow will occur. This information is all good and helpful and - wait for it - can be relayed in less than 5 minutes. This leaves you with another 25 minutes (well, 20 after commercials are removed) of your broadcast time to tell us about other news. Believe it or not, there are still things happening in other parts of the state/country/world, even when there's snow in Milwaukee.

Regarding our city's snow removal efforts, I'm curious: Will the snow not be plowed if you don't tell us that 100+ pieces of snow removal equipment are being readied by the county? Will the salt not be applied to the streets if you don't tell us how many tons of it they are expected to use over the next 24 hours? Is there some innate fear that we will all be snowed in to our houses and be forced to dig a tunnel to the local grocery store for rations if you don't report that snow plow blades are being affixed to garbage trucks to aid in digging us out of this latest snow disaster?

What's next, "Sun Watch," a segment where someone sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and waits for the sun to rise each day? If you don't have a cameraman out there getting some "B" roll, will Milwaukee still be warmed by the rays of the sun? Perhaps we can find a flower blossoming somewhere in the spring and go on "Daisy Watch" for a week and talk day and night about when it might open and how it might affect our lives - and whether or not school will be canceled the next day because of it.

And so, dear Milwaukee TV news stations, I leave you with this simple request: You can tell us that it will snow. You can tell us when and how much to expect. But don't dedicate every waking moment to it. Don't dedicate 24 of your precious 25 minutes of evening news to coverage of something that occurs 10+ times per year in our dear city. You're instilling pandemic-like fear on the people of Milwaukee every time you cut in to our programs 'already in progress' to tell us that, just like when you cut in 25 minutes ago, it's still snowing. And I hate to break it to you, but there's not much you or I can do to stop it. So maybe we should just let it happen, and perhaps find something else to talk about. Isn't there a water-skiing squirrel somewhere that you can air? Or how about some in-depth analysis on what exactly is going on in Yemen? (I'm pretty sure the Yemen situation will still be around long after all the snow melts.)

Oh yeah... the snow will melt.

04 January 2010

Oh yeah - one more!

In addition to my 2010 resolutions posted earlier today, I have decided that I will now delete Facebook friends if they come up in my news feed and I say "Who the heck is that?" The only exception will be folks who have recently been married*. I already deleted one person today.

Note to friends: If you get married and change your name, can you at least put your old name in parens so I know who you are? Love, me.


Everybody else is doing it..... so, without any further procrastination, here are my 2010 resolutions. Note that they won't actually start until tomorrow (hah... joke about procrastination and how resolutions don't take effect until 5 days into the new year......)

Start small, gain little victories and work your way up:
  1. Figure out how much it costs to mail postcards/letters to Prague and Gie├čen so I can send stuff to my friends that live there / are moving there
  2. Snowboard 10 times in the 09-10 season. (one down, 9 to go)
  3. Learn to ride rails and do jumps without falling (bruise myself less)
  4. Blog more (I'm pretty sure this was also a [failed] 2009 resolution....)
  5. Read 1 book per month
  6. Get my act together and find myself a job (so I can afford a beach vacation)
  7. Drop 30 lbs (so I can be seen on a beach while on vacation)
  8. I'm sure you can all see where this is leading.... GO ON A BEACH VACATION!!!
  9. Seems counter-intuitive, given #s 2, 6 and 8, but: pay down/off my CCs.
Seems totally doable, right? I think so. I would also like to note that Jason is exactly 50% responsible if I fail at #7. I have also nominated someone (without his knowledge) to be responsible for #s 2 and 3.

As for the rest of it, here goes nothing I suppose. Words of encouragement and/or threats for failure are welcome.