#1 of 2012: The Sky Is The Limit

I hope all of you get to play my game someday!

Wow!  2012 was a great year with a lot of fun memories.  We’ve gone through the top 6 of 2012 so far and this, my friends, is my top moment of 2012…

I created my own board game!

It is amazing what a little inspiration, a big gulp of Code Red Mountain Dew from a movie theater, and the following 7 hours will do for you.  For me, that was the moment my board game was created.  While I had the idea for a game for a few months, it took that combination for me to actually get the ball rolling.

While many of you have played my game, so many more have not and I would LOVE for all of you to play this game at some point.

I’m still not uber comfortable with divulging all of the details of my game, let’s just say that it involves building towers on a game board and making sure that you own a sizable chunk of that real estate.

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#2 of 2012: I Now Work With Al Roker & Jim Cantore

I now officially work for the Professional Services division of The Weather Company!

Is that headline search bait enough?  People seem to love Jim Cantore and we all know that when he comes to your town, you’d better buckle down because things are gonna get nasty weather-wise.  In the past 5 months, I’ve been buckling down for a wild ride of my own as the company that I work for was acquired by The Weather Channel Companies, now The Weather Company (soon to be just Weather, following the line of Apple… I kid, we’re not doing that… I don’t think).

As with any acquisition, there are bound do be times of good news and times of bad news.  While I can’t elaborate on everything, I do feel bad for all the people who were let go from the company as a result of the acquisition.  While the layoffs are definitely not good news, I hope that going forward, there will be more sunny days than cloudy days (see what I did there?).

If there’s one good/cool thing that came out of the merger / acquisition, it is the fact that I now have a weather.com e-mail address!

There are still details to iron our and we’ll see what 2013 holds, but I’m hopeful that my future with The Weather Company will be filled with success.  I really enjoy what I do and I love working with the people in Madison… and now Jim Cantore and Al Roker.

I am still, however, waiting for my hug from Al Roker!  I thought we were all supposed to get hugs?

Hey, if working for TWC doesn’t pan out, maybe I’ll have a future in a different industry.  We have been building up to the #1 moment of 2012 and tomorrow, we’ll cross that skywalk to demolish those walls and reveal the secret that’s at the top of the list. (Sorry, that’s a lot of clues in one sentence.)

Until then, have a safe and happy new year’s eve!

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#3 of 2012: My Trip To Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico is a beautiful place!

I have been a lot of places since I’ve started my job with Weather Central (Dothan, AL > Cedar Rapids, IA > Green Bay, WI > Moline, IL > Philadelphia, PA > Cincinnati, OH > Harrisburg, PA > Altoona, PA > Orlando, FL > Beckley, WV > Atlanta, GA > Tulsa, OK > Quincy, IL > Palm Springs, CA > Denver, CO > Cleveland, OH > Wichita, KS > Bristol, VA > New York, NY > Charlottesville, VA — I think I got them all from memory), but my best trip has got to be my adventure to San Juan, Puerto Rico!

I was only there for seven days, but I definitely made the most of my time while in San Juan.

I arrived late on a Thursday night after my first-class flight to the island and took Friday to get the lay of the land.  I did have some time to find a geocache, continuing my streak of finding one in each city I visit for work.  I also set up my plans for Saturday and Sunday.

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#4 of 2012: A Sense of Adventure

Team Name: Two Guys, A Girl, and a Bad Ump

There is absolutely no point in being boring.  I’ve learned that it is important to try to do as many things as possible and 2012 was a pretty good year for upping the adventure quotient.  In particular, there are three things that I did this year that I really enjoyed and would absolutely do again.

The first is the Great Urban Race.  In case you’re not familiar, the GUR is a race that takes place in the middle of a city.  This year, I did the event in Madison with Tim Polcyn, Shaun Nivens, and Katy Franzen.  The object of the race is to complete all of the clues in this city-wide scavenger hunt.  Some of the items included solving a puzzle, having one member jump into a giant inflated bag from a couple stories up, and stringing your own beads.  Our team did great and we finished with a respectable time (I can’t remember our time now, unfortunately — strike that… As I looked for the picture, I found our time.  It was 3:33:07).  It was a blast and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

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#5 of 2012: Superstorm Sandy in NYC

The crane toppled and was left dangling atop this skyscraper due to the wind from Sandy.

Working for The Weather Company has taken me a lot of unique places in 2012 and probably the most exciting was New York City just in time to help prepare stations for the onslaught that was about to happen from Superstorm Sandy. <- Yes spellcheck, I know Superstorm isn’t officially a word, but that hasn’t stopped me before.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience came on the heels of being on the road for a few weeks and left me very little time to prepare, but it was worth it.  After going to a friend’s wedding the night before, I had to get my bags repacked and jump back on a plane for NYC on a Saturday because Sandy was coming on Monday.

During my time in NYC, I had the opportunity to visit and help several different news organizations.  On the first day, I spent time at WNYW, the Fox station in town.  I also went to 30 Rockefeller Center and helped Dylan at MSNBC.  On Monday, as Sandy arrived, I spent time at Good Morning America and then went to ABC World News.  

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#6 of 2012: The Bucs Do It Again

Still hoping for... "A new Pirates generation everybody shout Let's Go Bucs!"

It is terrible. I really just thought about copying and pasting last year’s #6 (http://wp.me/pD4nV-1J) into this spot this year because it is the same dang thing.  #6 of 2012 is the Pittsburgh Pirates and their incredible 3/4 of a season.  Okay, okay. This season was better than last year and there was hope that we could actually break out of the funk that we’ve been in for the last 20 years and actually have a winning season.  There was so much hope that it came down to the last couple of games to know, for sure, that is would be a losing season after all.

To be honest, this is just a bad year for Pittsburgh sports in general.  First and foremost, there is no NHL season.  That means no Penguins.  On top of that, the Steelers are out of the playoffs — this isn’t a major deal for me, but it doesn’t help.  I guess the good news is that as of right now, the Pirates finishing 79 and 83 means that they have a better record than the almighty Steelers this year.  Odd twist of fate, isn’t it?

I’m still hopeful that 2013 will finally be the year that things turn around.  Hopefully, we’ll get Pittsburgh back on top in all three major sports.  Until then, there’s always soccer… and now I have the Badgers to root for!

Tomorrow’s entry in the Top 7 of 2012 is likely to blow you away.  Be sure to check back tomorrow.  Also keep an eye out for my Top Trips of 2012 in the coming days.

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#7 of 2012: Tim Turns 30

After 30 years, I'm still kickin'!

Welcome to the first in my series of seven posts playing out my Top 7 of 2012.  I’ve been doing this now for several years and I’ve gotta say that 2012 was a great and exciting year.

Over the course of the last seven days of 2012, I’ll be taking you through the top moments of the last year.  Included in this list are some of the best places I’ve been while working for Weather Central, some awesome moments, and even a couple of events that have changed my life.

Let’s start with the big one… well, number seven on the list… The Big 3-0!

On July 28, 1982, I was welcomed into this world and 30 years later, I’m still here.  I was able to make it back home for my big birthday and had the chance to spend it with many of my closest friends and family.  It was a great day, even though we had some rain, with lots of food.

I was able to spend the next few days in town as well celebrating the first week of my 30s at home.  Afterwards, I took off for my next trip… Denver!

This is just the primer to the Top 7 of 2012.  Tomorrow, we’ll get a sense of Déjà vu with something that also appeared on the Top 7 of 2011 and was a major disappointment.


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Country Roads, Take Me Home (Actually, Not Quite Yet!)

"Somebody left the gate open!" - Devil's Lake north of Madison allows for all kinds of outdoor adventure. It took some courage to climb up here, but I'm so happy I did!

It is hard to believe that 8 months have gone by since I signed on to be a trainer at Weather Central in Madison, Wisconsin.  I still remember that kid who almost didn’t take his first real TV job in Johnstown, PA because it was too far. (Luckily, I had a few key people on my side for that one including family and some very good friends.)  In my time in Johnstown, I never imagined I would ever leave my 3-hour window to go to Madison, Wisconsin, but it happened and I am so very happy that I did.

As all of you probably know, I have two goals in life.  One is to get back home to Pittsburgh to do weather on one of the local stations and the other is to be a game show host.  I read an article tonight on Nerd Fitness and it inspired me to think about my goals and how I can get there.  I think where I’m at is right where I need to be for now.  I’m making connections, meeting new people, learning about different cultures (yes, even within the United States), and seeing so many cool things I’ve never seen before.

I’m going to recap some of the cool places I’ve been and some of the cool things I’ve had a chance to do while on the road…

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Groundhog Day: The Rodent Knows All… Or Does He?

Will Phil see his shadow this year? (via groundhog.org)

Groundhog Day is tomorrow, so here’s some facts about Punxsutawney Phil and his famous day…

Established in 1887, this is the 125th year since the start of this tradition.  In that time, he’s seen his shadow 99 times. There were 16 times when he didn’t see his shadow, including last year. Nine of those years had no record.  Here are some important years that you should know about.

1887: 1st official trek to Gobbler’s Knob
1918: 18 degrees below zero
1961: 25 degrees below zero
1993: Bill Murray starred in the movie Groundhog Day
1998: Punxsy Phil made his debut online with his first live webcast
2006: Phil wore a ‘Terrible Towel’ in honor of the Steelers trip to the Super Bowl

Oh, and in case you forgot… if Phil sees his shadow, that means that we can expect six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, it means that spring is right around the corner.

So what do you think?  Will this be the 100th time that he sees his shadow?  Or will he say spring is right around the corner (even though it hasn’t even felt like winter yet)?  We’ll find out tomorrow.

If you want more information about Groundhog Day or Punxsutawney Phil, visit www.groundhog.org.


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I’ve Had Crazy Dreams Lately, Part 3

I guess it’s time to resurrect this post category because last night I didn’t have just one crazy dream; I had two!

Let’s start with the one I had earlier.  It started when we were leaving work and heading out in the pouring rain to the cars at the end of the day.  I was following everyone else but once I got all the way out there, I realized that I was parked in the front of the building.  I asked Chris for a ride up to the front of the building and hopped in the minivan.  It turns out, the front of the building is MUCH farther than it is in real life.  After a few minute drive, we finally arrive at my car.  I get out but cannot reach my computer bag because it is under the seat. Matt Porcelli, who is also in Chris Schraeder’s minivan, helps me out by grabbing the bag for me.

They leave and now the area looks eerily similar to Penn State Beaver.  Even though my car is there, I go walking up the road in the pouring rain to find my car.  Instead of finding my car, I find a bus shelter across from a gas station and step inside there to call home because I realize I cannot find my car.  While on the phone, the weather intensifies and there’s thunder and lightning.  The clouds also look tornadic.  Eventually, the bus shelter starts to move (almost like it is a bus itself, but I can see out all four sides).  The weather is still rough and it is almost like the shelter is trying to get away from the storm.

This then transforms to what appears to be a bus with an open second story.  We’re traveling along the river in Pittsburgh and I realize that I know where my car is.  It’s back at the area that looked like PSU Beaver… exactly where I started walking from.  I ask the guy next to me when the bus returns and he says that it’ll be quite a while.  The sky magically turns from day to twilight to night right before my eyes and the guy I asked falls asleep and wakes up, almost as if I was fast-forwarding.  The last part of that dream involves me eating some candies that were a little like junior mints with icing on them.  I offered a couple to the people sitting next to me.  Dream over.

But wait… there’s more!

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