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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Ice Cold

Tuesday
January 29, 2014

"Baby we both know
That the nights were mainly made for saying things that you can't say tomorrow day"
-Arctic Monkeys "Do I Wanna Know?"

The first month of this year has not been kind to West Virginia, particularly the Kanawha Valley region where Charleston is located. It went something like this: bitter cold, chemical leak that tainted the water supply, then more bitter cold. I don't recall them canceling school for the cold back when I was in it, but things have obviously changed since that seems to be happening here a bunch. And it's not just a West Virginia thing; I know it happened in Nashville as well earlier in the school year.

For single parents or households where both parents work, I don't know how they handle it. One or two days off from work to watch the kids I can see. But when it's been nearly the entire month and it's widespread since it affects so many people? It has to be a nightmare for all involved.

I've semi-jokingly told friends that I've forgotten how to produce a newscast that doesn't have a Severe Weather Alert in it. And don't take this as me complaining -- it's just an odd thing to see play out the way that it has this year. It's quite the contrast from two winters ago when it didn't snow a single time in Nashville, to be sure.

How cold is it? My hands still hurt almost an hour later after scraping the frost off my car this morning. I thought I had gloves in the back, but I thought wrong -- and I paid the price the hard way.

With the college football season wrapped up and only the Super Bowl remaining for the NFL, I've actually found myself having more free time than usual. From late August through the end of the calendar year it's usually football-centric, in part since I'm a fan of the sport but also since I really do need to pay attention to as much as possible for my Draft King obligations.

One nice change for 2014 with the NFL Draft is that it now takes place in May. That pretty much means I'll likely never get to go to another one in person as long as I'm working in television news since that puts it during the all-important May ratings book (when taking time off isn't an option), but the upside is that it means more time for the site to generate revenue. Once the draft is over, traffic to the site takes a nosedive until the start of the next season. So if I get an extra few weeks this way, I'll take it.

My time off from work is locked in place for March, when I use the first actual vacation days of my second WSAZ tenure for my trip to Seattle. I tried to use it all at once but that was denied, but a compromise was reached and they let me take off a week with a couple of days on the following week tacked onto it. I'll be making a stop for a few days in Las Vegas on my way to Seattle, which may or may not prove to be a good idea. We'll see. It's already booked, so even if I have to break out my Lone Wolf gimmick, I can handle it. I always have before.

Last year I renewed my passport just shy of the deadline (15 years from the original I obtained prior to my semester at Harlaxton in 1998) and I might visit Vancouver during the Seattle leg of the trip. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with my friend Scott, who I haven't seen since he and his wife Carrie got married in Chicago. That was in June 2009! How have nearly five years gone by since then? It's really inexcusable that we haven't met up since Chicago, and it's my fault since I've been intending to get up to Seattle for years now. But in March that will be remedied, and I for one can't wait.

One more thing: a song that's charting on the alt-rock chart that I expect to crossover to CHR/Hot AC is "Sleeping With A Friend" by Neon Trees. It's a fantastic song on several levels -- highly recommended.


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