Live Blogging the Weather

This is mainly for my brother, who has never lived outside the New York City television market and therefore has no idea what the local news media does when there’s a little snow falling. In Philly, a snowstorm will stop coverage of just about anything else.

Let’s just say that yesterday on the all-news radio station we had to listen to live interviews with people who couldn’t get snow shovels and rock salt because Home Depot had run out. Everyone who wasn’t in Home Depot was in Acme buying milk, bread, eggs, snacks and videos. How’s that for News You Can Use?

The Big Story on Action News is…wait for it…the snow! (As if it never did that before). This is not the channel I usually watch for my morning news, but it’s the most fun during a snowstorm. My regular channel is actually doing a news show including stories unrelated to precipitation.

I love how they have a Team of Reporters standing outside in the snow with their mittens and rulers. The weather guy just said, “And you’ll see in a few minutes our reporters, still standing in the thick of that.” High drama!

As the morning wears on we will see people who have left their homes for the express purpose of stopping at Wawa to buy coffee for these reporters who are paid nice money to stand outside in the snow with their waterproof microphones. The reporters will walk up to cars stopped at red lights to ask people where they’re heading and how bad the roads are.

In fact, one reporter just complained that there aren’t many drivers out there to talk to. He cautioned everyone to be careful in case the roads are slippery. (You think?) The anchors are giving out important tips like keeping kitty litter in the trunk of your car to gain traction if you get stuck.

They have “not one, but two meteorologists” keeping track of the weather today. Most images you are shown are snow-covered highways and secondary roads with cars driving along. We probably won’t see a snow-plow interview since those guys are busy. Those were shown yesterday, though, in the Hype Leading Up To The Storm. They have not yet announced that they will offer Extended Coverage and cut off the usual network morning show, but I’ve seen them do this kind of thing right through the entire morning before. I’ve been watching this channel for 25 minutes now and they have not done one story not related to the weather. Obviously nothing else is happening anywhere.

Yes, they will be having Continuing Coverage of the snowstorm. The traffic guy appears absolutely gleeful to describe the spin-out accidents he’s reporting.

And that’s the story on the Storm Coverage today.

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Secret Life: What’s the Tradeoff?

While Middle Sister and I hung around earlier, watching some What Not to Wear, discussing my current haircut, and hoping she spends the day without a fever, we saw a commercial for a new show that will premiere on TLC in March: The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom.

I didn’t understand the whole “secret” thing until I looked a little further. Apparently these moms all have school-age children or they’d never be able to hide the week they spend “moonlighting” during the school day.

I’m not sure how they manage to hide it anyway, unless a secret housekeeper also comes to their home to pick up the slack on laundry, errands, cleaning and meal preparation. I taught part-time for a while before Little Brother was born, and had to figure out how to fit those things into a day that also included 5 hours of employment.

It’s disturbing to me that these “soccer moms” are expected to pretend to their families that they are just following their usual daily routines. What happens if one of their children is sick and needs to stay home from school? Wouldn’t the whole truth come out at that point?

I feel that shows based on deception right from the beginning are sure to cause harm to these families–not just to the children, but to the parent-child relationship as well as the relationship between the spouses.

Will I watch? I don’t know. I am curious to see how the “mom-at-home” life is portrayed. My guess is that it will be depicted as an occupation or obligation, rather than a vocation. If that’s so, then that’s the whole problem with the show in a nutshell. And if that’s so, I definitely don’t want my kids watching.

Families deserve better.

A Must-Read for Parents Regarding Media and Books for Children

Patricia Gohn’s column on helping your children make good choices regarding media and books is up at CatholicMom.

It’s a long, but very worthwhile, column. I like that she deals with different ages in different ways. With my spread-out age range, I have children in 3 of the 4 groups she mentions. I found the article encouraging and very helpful.

Woohoo!!

I just read in Whispers that XM and Sirius satellite radio companies plan to merge.

My van came with XM radio and the only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have any Catholic programming. That means I’ve missed all the Catholic shows that some of my favorite bloggers have appeared on during the last few weeks!

I’ll be paying close attention to see when and how I can listen to the great stuff on the 2 Catholic channels Sirius has to offer.

Like Christmas Songs? Like Word Games?

Ron’s got a fun game you can play with your family.

The first one stumped me for a while, but I did eventually get all of them. Of course, some credit must be given to Sister Anne from my high school, who made it her personal business to ensure that all of us developed our vocabularies to the fullest extent required by the SAT.

And allow me to give a little plug for XM Radio here: they have honored listener requests and kept one of their “All-Christmas-Music” stations playing through New Year’s Day. Around here, the Christmas music on regular radio stops at noon on Christmas Day, so this move is MUCH appreciated.