Early buzz: TJ Maxx, Character Counts and Hamburger History

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Good morning.

4:00am here’s the link to Character Counts.
(We had a guest from Drake University Law School come to talk about ethics, in light of the CIETC scandal. Drake’s law students are involved in Character Counts.)

And here’s the phone number if you’re worried your information was taken out of a TJ Maxx computer: 866-484-6978.

Much warmer when you step outside this morning. Everything is relative right. It felt better walking from the car into the building anyway.

4:10am: That’s ten minutes of my life I’m not going to get back. I just read a dissertation on the history of the Hamburger in America. This is apparently quite a debate and no one can pin down the exact origin. Here’s the website I found some information on. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation. Is your hometown the actual “home of” anything? Mine…Not so much. The only claim to fame for Wilmette, IL is that it was mentioned in that creepy book, Devil in the White City It’s about the Chicago World’s Fair and the murderer’s that happened the summer of the fair. The murderer had a house in Wilmette. I don’t think they can make a postcard out of that.
Mine, Wheaton, Illinois, is supposed to have more churches per capita than any other U.S. City. It’s also the hometown of John and Jim Belushi – they went to my high school! TS

4:20am: Here’s a snapshot of what a lot of morning’s are like around here. Fifteen minutes ago our producer Heather updated the casualties from an overnight bombing in Iraq. Trisha just saw…The count went up again in the last fifteen minutes. When we hear about Iraq…this is generally the way we’re hearing about it.
We get these numbers from the Associated Press wires. We also check around to other websites just to confirm. The problem is, most of those websites are looking at the same AP wire we are…

5:17am- I’m glad to see our Move It family getting back on the fitness kick after a tough holiday season. Haven’t we all been there?
Jeriann just told us she finally broke down and joined a gym.
Curves, just like me! You go girl!TS
Now, I don’t think she actually needs it for cosmetic reasons but we all need to keep moving in the winter months.

I say that this morning…No doubt this afternoon, I will be cursing the throngs of people who’ve joined up at my gym.
You need a reservation a week in advance to get a treadmill in the afternoon. I applaud all of the people who decided to get in shape. It’s really fun to see people who are losing weight or getting in shape over the weeks and months.
It’s also brave to get into shorts and a t-shirt when you feel like you’re overweight…Especially when you’re running next to someone who looks like a Guess model in spandex.
That’s what I like about Curves – no guys to impress and come as you are. (Here’s one of their cheesy PR photos – who smiles that much while working out!?) Anyway, I’ve never seen someone who looks like a spandex model type there. I wear scrubby old t-shirts and sweatpants. Pretty hot. TS

A couple of extra thoughts.
First, the parking lot of the gym is a funny place. Keep in mind that the people parking here are arriving to run, walk, workout, and in general exert a lot of effort. So it’s a little curious that there is a Indy-500-like dash to the parking place next to the door when it opens up. We’re working out here people…take the first space you see and walk to the door. By the way…I’m the worst offender.

There are rules here people.
Without them the gym deteriorates into chaos…Ok not really, but I get annoyed.
If you are at the gym at 3:30 and you’re going to run until five…I don’t care that all of the treadmills were empty when you showed up. Sign up anyway!
And you only get a half hour. There are exceptions to the rule that I will explain…If someone is signed up…and doesn’t get on the machine at their assigned time…Give em ten minutes…then it’s fair game. If you are signed up for the next time slot…feel free to stay on the treadmill. But if someone keeps walking back and forth looking at you…you might want to check the time. Follow the rules people…Don’t let the gym deteriorate into chaos. And stick with it!

5:45-Joe, our Director was just asking about my wardrobe for tomorrow…Asking if I was going to wear my Bears colors. First…yes, I will be. But I will be wearing the secondary Bears tie. My striped tie of Bears orange and blue will be saved for my Monday morning celebration of the Bears victory Sunday. If you’re thinking…secondary tie? Yes, I am that big of a geek. Brad was saying someone bought him a Cadillac tie when he was selling cars.
Here’s a tip to everyone who wants to buy someone a tie…the themed tie is usually not a good idea if you want the person to actually wear the tie a lot. They’re fun for stuff like…the Bears game…but usually not good for everyday use.

5:54: I get a break! Trisha has an interview for us this morning on Business ethics. Appropriate with the headlines these days. I’m going to get a cup of coffee.

6:14am If Brad looked a little funky…It was the camera. He’s standing next to me with a Gray scale reflection chart. It’s what they use to tell the camera what the colors are supposed to look like under the lights. I think they’ll get it fixed for his traffic hit in two minutes. These are the kinds of things that distract us from Jeriann’s gripping forecast explanation.

6:46am Coolest interview we’ve had in a long time…Trish got on the phone with Travelocity and showed us some of the good deals you can get to a warmer destination this time of year.
I’ll let her explain:

It’s 7:45 and I’m blogging in between the Today show news updates. They always seem to interrupt what I’m doing at the worst time!
Okay, I know in my mind that I really can’t just jump on a plane to Cancun tomorrow even if I find a great deal – but some sick part of me is fascinated with that fantasy!
I’m so desperate for a little sun and a sandy beach, that today I got a Travelocity editor on the phone during our show to walk me through the best ways to find THE CHEAPEST deals to hot places.
Here’s what I found out – search under “Last Minute Packages” and the broader your search the better chance of finding an awesome deal. The Travelocity gal had me click on this Sun & Beach icon with the starfish to search by interest, and up popped a long list of warm sunny locations with plane/hotel deals within the next week or two.
Even cooler – you can arrange to MEET A FRIEND FROM ANOTHER CITY at the destination of your choice, and Travelocity will split the bill for you! You just pick two starting cities instead of one when you start your trip search. On the air we talked about getting Steve Templeton to fly from his new home in St. Louis and meet all Pat, Jeriann, Brad and I in Cancun for a little work “retreat!”

I’m still waiting for the boss to sign off on the idea. Any donors want to come forward and finance this worthy cause? We’ll bring back great video, I guarantee it!
Pat thought the interview with Travelocity was so cool he wants me to re-work it for one of the evening newscasts… so you may catch it later tonight depending on how our news day goes.

Today we’ll be saying goodbye to Grandma Susan and Grandpa Paul after a really nice visit! Susan and Cal played in the snow all afternoon yesterday, then we went out for margaritas and fajitas, etc. at El Rodeo last night and left behind a huge mess thanks to Thing 1 and Thing 2!
It’s been a fun and busy week – and hey, tomorrow’s Friday!


  • Anonymous

    I too applaud anyone who gets in shape. DON’T MAKE IT A CHORE, THAT’S THE KEY!! you’ll only get disappointed. I think it would be fun to workout in a gym, however me personally, I would have a problem with working out with people around me. I’m a thin person and don’t wear bikinis or shorts because my varicose veins are UG A LEEEE. So we got a treadmill so that i can work out in the privacy of our own home. Thank Goodness I have a supporting spouse who accepts me for me. If there’s any advice I can give, don’t expect too much too soon and have patience. Also know your Limits. Most Importantly Have Fun!!!! -Brenda Eone other thing I’m pumped up for the Game, it’s going to be interesting because I also like the Patriots. so for me it’s a Win Win!

  • Anonymous

    As always, WHO and Today in Iowa are the best fact checkers around. I listened to your segment on the iPhone this morning. Why would you say it is unavailable in Iowa? Did you even contact a Cingular representative before your story to check coverage? Did you access the Cingular web site to verify coverage? We switched to Cingular this year from Verizon. The coverage, quality, and customer service of Cingular does not even compare with Verizon. Are you paid by Verizon? They are not the only provider, though Verizon is trying their hardest. The next time you discuss a tech story that is huge news, please check your facts. I hope someone from Cingular contacts WHO and complains and forces you to correct your story onair.

  • Anonymous

    Trisha, if you went to Wheaton South, then you also went to the same high school as former University of Iowa quarterback and Heisman Candidate Chuck Long! :)Now *that’s* something to put on a postcard! Go Hawks! :)

  • Heather R.

    Pat, I understand the gym craze. I was a member of the Altoona Campus and I had to wait in line for 20+ min for a stair master or a treadmill. The weights were less popular, but the cardio equipment, man it was always busy. The parking there is crazy to. I agree, I go for the first parking spot anywhere I go :) Oh well. Life goes on! Trish, sounds like you gise had fun last night. I had a margurita once at El Rodeo in West Des Moines and went back to work a little too happy… nobody knew but I sure did. I just smiled all afternoon :) I regretted it about 7pm I had a huge headache. Glad you gise had fun!!! Have a terrific day everyone! Heather.

  • Patrick Dix

    whoooooaaa there campers…Aparently we hit some sort of cell phone nerve this morning. Here’s a link to a story I found with very little effort. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2007/01/15/daily27.htmlThe story is that the service won’t be availible in large portions of the state and in some cases, not at all. Let’s review. This is a phone that hasn’t come out yet. I’m sure Cingular will let us know where we can use the service. Anyway, just try to be a little nicer about the comment. I laugh at the idea that someone is trying to “buy us off”. I can’t remember the last time someone tried to offer me something for free, or tried to influence a news decision in this town with a product. The reason it doesn’t happen is that the media, to a large degree, rejects it. No one is trying to badmouth Cingular. This was a national story, and the story is that, in much of the state, the iPhone won’t work. So please ease off on the comments. We aren’t sitting up there plotting the ways we can bring down Cigular wireless.Have a nice day, PWD

  • Anonymous

    People need to freakin chill out on these blogs…do you honestly think that Verizon paid them off? Get a life!

  • Deb

    Hey Patrick-GO BEARS! Can’t wait to see your choice of Bears tie in the morning. I know you’ll see this before you go on tomorrow morning so make sure you note the “Bear Tie” when you are on to rub in the fact the Bears are in the championship. Now we just need to hold our breath….please make it to the SUPERBOWL! Have a great weekend and don’t cuss at the TV too much on Sunday. :)Deb

  • Anonymous

    OK, they’re not getting paid by Verizon, they’re getting a trip from Travelosity. Did anyone else see the story about getaways in the 5 0’clock show? That was one big sloppy wet kiss to travelosity. Seriously. Who does an entire story about one travel website and how great it is. You should be doing infomercials instead. Did you look at “other” ways to get a quick getaway. Other websites, other means of booking a quick trip. Soft and Sloppy.

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