Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little Sis Visits the Weekend Diner

If you watched the Weekend Diner this morning, you saw our very special guest. My sister Suzanne made an appearance on NEWS 7 Morning and treated us to Tex-Mex Ravioli Casserole. Try it - it's fantastic! The morning crew ate every bite of it within a few minutes of wrapping up the newscast. It's an easy dish that can be prepared in a matter of minutes. For the recipe, check out our recipe page on

In her prime (she would argue she hasn't hit her prime yet), Suzanne "a.k.a. Suz" was quite the basketball star. She scored over 1,000 points as a student at Narrows High School playing in the Mountain Empire District, and later scored around 900 points playing for the Lady Maroons of Roanoke College. We dug up some of her old footage from the NEWS7 sports archive and played that on the air this morning. You can tell Suz not only knows her way around the kitchen, but the basketball court as well.

I'm always looking for new guests on the Weekend Diner. Contact me at if you'd like to come on the show. All you need to do it cook and smile for the camera! --Jay

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Success! The Joys of Parenthood

I'm so proud of our little boy, Parker! He has just about mastered potty training. This "obstacle" was probably one reason my wife and I (or at least "I") waited so long to have a child in the first place. Honestly, it's never been something I've been looking forward to - at all! The thought of it makes my stomach turn! Truth be told, my wife and our awesome child-care provider have done a lot of the training, and it's paying off!

Tonight, just before dinner, Parker announced to us he had to go to the potty. He was insistent to go by himself. I've seen him do "number 1" before, but never "number 2". After a few minutes, he called out to my wife and I to "come see!" He was so proud of his first successful "splash down" all by himself in the "big boy potty".

His reward, after praising him with "great job!" several times was a new pair of "big boy" Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. I'm going to have to get a matching pair, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

High Wind Forecast

High Wind Warnings have been posted for portions of the NEWS7 viewing area. A strong and fast moving cold front, will move through the area tonight, kicking up winds in its wake. Isolated thunderstorms are also possible along the boundary. The recent string of warm days will come to an end by tomorrow.

Some gusts tonight could top 50mph. NOW is a good time to tie down anything that you have outdoors like trashcans and lawn chairs. Bring them inside if you can. NOW is the time to prepare and protect your property.

It was only a year ago another strong cold front barreled through the area bringing damaging winds. On February 10, 2008 the cold front caused winds in excess of 60mph all over the NEWS7 viewing area. Here were some of the gust reports:

Hot Springs: 74mph; Fairfield: 75mph; Christiansburg: 70mph; Roanoke (WDBJ studios): 67mph. For a complete list, visit this NWS site:

This high wind event also helped fuel many wildfires across the region. Over 8,200 acres burned in the NEWS7 coverage area. There were about 200 wildfires throughout Virginia.

Every year, the National Weather Service in Blacksburg releases a "Top 5" list of weather events for our area. In 2008, that High Wind event was listed as number one!

So learn from recent history. Prepare for tonight's gusty winds. We'll stay windy into Thursday as well!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Continues! (or does it?)

At 7:30 this morning, Punxsutawney Phil was removed from his hole in the ground by handlers John Griffiths and Ben Hughes. Phil's forecast: 6 more weeks of winter weather!

Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on February 2, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he doesn't, expect an early spring.

Groundhog Day is a tradition in the small Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney. It dates back to the 1880s. Over the years, Phil has seen his shadow 98 times. 15 years he has not. So, is Phil good at his job? In a word: NO. He is only accurate about 39% of the time. Ouch!

This morning, while most of Pennsylvania was still celebrating the Steelers victory in Super Bowl XLIII, the weather was 29-degrees with overcast skies on "Gobbler's Knob" when Phil made his prediction.

So, for another year, Phil will retreat to his climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library eating his favorite diet - dog food and ice cream - only to return next February with his furry forecast.