Have You Heard Of A Place Called Cactus City?

MesoWest Surface Weather Maps

Our evening male anchor is Gino LaMont. He is the KMIR sage, in the market long enough to know most answers.

“Gino, have you heard of a place called Cactus City,” I asked during a commercial break? He had not. I decided not to mention it.

Wikipedia says it’s an unincorporated community. I’m not sure anyone lives in Cactus City anymore. It was founded in 1935. It’s got a rest area on I-10 named after it. 99 in Cactus City today.

It might not have people, but Cactus City’s got a weather station. It’s in the California Hydro group. As far as I can tell it was America’s hot spot today.

There’s a weather station in Dos Palmas, near Mecca. I don’t think anyone lives there either. They hit 98.

Lots of people tried to settle this part of the west before good roads and air conditioning. Settlements came and went.

Bermuda Dunes made it to 97 this afternoon. People live in Bermuda Dunes. It even has an airport. That’s not where we get the weather. The weather in Bermuda Dunes comes from the Union Pacific Railroad.

The amount of localized weather data available today is crazy. The Internet allows nearly any hobbyist or business to help out. These reading are assimilated into the system. Knowing the weather in Cactus City is part of my job.

The Plums Are Back


Once a year they appear. There’s no advance notice. They are speckled plums, my favorite. While in season I’d gladly eat nothing else!

I’m trying to pace myself. It’s tough. The season is short.

As it turns out, plums enter into my relationship with Helaine. It was a plum that let my mother know Helaine was the right girl for me.

My parents were living in Apartment 5E in Flushing at the time. It was a tiny apartment with a tinier kitchen. Looking back, I have no idea how she prepared meals in there.

I was watching TV in the living room when I decided I wanted a piece of fruit. I ducked into the kitchen, got a plum and walked out.

Two steps later I stopped dead in my tracks. Helaine and my mom looked at each other. I turned around, walked back in the kitchen and grabbed a napkin.

Putting it mildly, my mother was floored! I’m not sure she’d ever seen me go back for a napkin. She knew who was responsible.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The Prompter Is On



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Larry Fitzgerald came by yesterday. He brought his 9.5 year old son, also Larry.

Larry is a TV guy. We met a Channel 8 in New Haven decades ago. I have a few friends who are students of the business. Larry is one.

He came to help me with my teleprompter. The prompter monitor allows me to look forward and see what’s behind me in the chroma key! It complements monitors on my left and right. Knowing what’s on TV at all times comes in handy.

When it comes to mechanics, I have zero confidence. Larry came to keep me from doing anything stupid. He was in charge.

The camera gets mounted on the prompter assembly which gets mounted on the tripod. We were forced to think it through.

There were three or four Eureka moments, solving pieces of the puzzle, before we finally got the gizmo properly mounted. It’s small, but does the job. It opens up lots of possibilities.

I didn’t have the right cable. Off to Home Depot. I asked shorter Larry if he’d like to ride along? First time in a convertible. We zipped through the neighborhood.

Let me back up for a second. The cool part of Larry coming is who he brings. I remember nine and a half well enough to know this was a fun day for his son. Spending the day with my dad was always good

As soon as he came in I put a wireless mic on him, gave him the clicker and let him record a weathercast. Larry, who’s edited for the Oscars telecast, shot cell phone footage for a video which will be the hit of the family!

After the job was finished the three guys went to In-N-Out.

A very good day all around.

Hey Keurig: Why I Changed My Coffee


We have a Keurig coffee machine at home. I am the sole coffee drinker and it’s convenient to make a cup at-a-time, two-to-four times a day.

We own the original Keurig. Models today include a DRM (Digital Rights Management) feature. Well, not exactly a feature for you. Keurig’s DRM locks in their approved pod producers and allows cartel like control of this sizable market.

This is like Ford making a car which only accepts Ford gasoline.

The DRM is easily defeated. One coffee brewer even offers a free “Freedom Clip.” I took them up on their offer.

IMAG2414The clip, which will be my gift to KMIR’s lunchroom Keurig, came with three pods of San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee “Fog Chaser.” I’m no gourmet, but it tastes good to me.

Helaine just ordered a case. It will replace the Keurig coffee she had been buying.

Hey, Keurig: Sell your products on their merit, not by holding your customers hostage. Don’t screw with me.

The Hummingpigs At Dinnertime


No one is more surprised than Helaine and me at the volume of nectar our friendly hummingpigs polish off every day. No matter when we fill it, they drain it by day’s end!

They’re so hungry my presence only feet away doesn’t stop them!

I love them, but this has gotten out-of-hand.

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No answer.

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More importantly, what does this say about what Senator Graham doesn’t understand about modern life?

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