Posts Tagged ‘Tom Skilling’

Cold Comfort

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

February is abysmal.

It follows, then, that February in Chicago must be even worse; cold convulses the city with a collective case of the shivers.

<> on January 7, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

But anyone can complain about the weather. A creative thinker considers the good that can come of bitter temperatures capable of burning the skin, attacking the eyes, and freezing the nasal passages.

Only one good thing comes from hardship—the determined effort to persevere and protect one another. During winter, Chicagoans band together in ways both practical and profound.

Cold conjures our hibernating kindness:

Bus drivers wait when they see someone hurrying to catch the bus.

People huddle together under warming lamps on CTA platforms, bedecked with colorful scarves and hoods and hats resembling the sturdy pigeons burrowing into their own feathers.


Drop a glove on the train, and someone will kindly pick it up and return it to you, an act of courtesy courageously alive, even in the 21st century.

Small talk comes back to life, curiously reanimated by the cold. We are compelled to confront the severity, offering consolation and encouragement:

Stranger #1,” Lord, it is frigid!”

Stranger #2, “My face is frozen.”

Stranger #3, “It’s just terrible.”

Stranger #1, “But this winter hasn’t been too bad.”

Stranger #2, “No, not really. And a warm up is on the way, too.”

Stranger #3, “Thank goodness.”

Chicago’s charming hometown weather expert Tom Skilling guides us through the season, arming us with more information about winter safety than an arctic explorer would need.


The forecast for Saturday is a low of 1 degree (without considering a considerable wind chill), up to an afternoon high of 13 degrees.

This calls for the good whiskey and a full day indoors, making warm soup and baking sweet cookies, a consoling and comforting plan to weather any cold.

As a bonus, during February in Chicago, no one will ever make fun of your silly hat.


Prepared to tackle the tundra!


By Jasmine Ng, RMU Student

The latest snowstorm in the Chicagoland area has come and gone. In saying that, I’m pretty sure Winter Snow Storm “Beck” will be upon us as we speak. We can only hope this snow storm can respect my “artistry,” because I have approximately 475 design projects due. So while this last snow storm has invigorated the rock salt, snow shovel, and lawn chair businesses it has some if not most Chicagoland residents acting like they’ve never even seen snow.

Yes..Jay and Queen Bey, it’s winter in Chicago. Imagine that? I mean, what do you expect? Unless you’ve just moved here, you know the deal. It will snow, and it will snow a lot. Unless you have four wheel drive you will be sliding your way to school or work. Your car will be buried alive, and Grandma herself will be waiting to smash her snow shovel over your head if you even think twice about moving that lawn chair away from her parking spot. But guess what? That’s winter in Chicago for you. But you wouldn’t think that from looking at all of the news reports leading up to the storm. There’s live reporting from the battle grounds and man on the street interviews with average Joes looking as bundled up as Randy from “A Christmas Story.”

Yes, thank you local news, I really need the opinions of other people to confirm that Olaf from Frozen will be having a blast in this weather.

It’s not like we live in Miami and the only thing white is the hair on most of the wealthy people that live there. Don’t get me wrong, the snow was terrible. You know it. I know it. Rather then waste both of our precious time, just sit back relax and deal with it. You live in, or around Chicago. Why not focus on being more productive? For example, check out this really cool video of a DJ Bulldog.

I’ll catch you at the next snow storm when we’ll all be huddled around that heat lamp on the EL platform.  Yes, I know it sucks. The only two people who think snow is cool is my five year old cousin and Tom Skilling.

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

I like my morning news ridiculous, a preference fulfilled in Chicago by WGN Morning News.

I grew up watching Cleveland, Ohio’s local news celebrities, realizing only later that people on the local news aren’t exactly celebrities elsewhere. When I went “away” to Ohio State University, just two hours south of Cleveland, my Dick Goddard jokes fell flat. No one in Columbus had ever heard of Cleveland’s seasoned weatherman, an early lesson in the vagaries of fame.

Everyone in Chicago knows weather expert Tom Skilling. Oftentimes we learn too much from Skilling.

WGN offers an abundance of delights specific to local news—meaningful camaraderie, reckless goofery, and constant complaints about the hours.local_news

While I typically only watch for a short window, from 5:45-6:15 each morning, the unfortunate anchors are on air from 4:00am-10:00am, the early shift 4:00-6:00am is staffed by those with less experience. Much like a high school lunchroom cafeteria, the WGN Seniors rule.

The second shift belongs to the true stars, the A Team, the Dream Team: reporters Robin Baumgarten and Larry Potash, accompanied by Paul Konrad with weather and Pat Tomasulo on the sports desk. When any one of these four players is missing, a bit of the mojo is absent, too.

For everyone up at 6:00am (or before), morning news is the start of a long day. The fast-and-loose nature of local news makes for a good beginning. Low-level hijinks include Robin’s unparalleled and unpracticed curiosity about human interest stories. Regular favorites include Paul Konrad’s surreal Courtesy Desk and the unruly ire underscoring Tomasulo’s Pat-Down. Most often, WGN bubbles over with merriment.

Nothing beats a good audio guy to set the tone. Once, an “Alligator in the sewer” news item was transitioned by the musical bumper “Crocodile Rock,” the talent responsible for that inspired segue is known as “Audio Bob.” I’m amazed by the flair of the audio department, which clearly subscribes to the Fred Norris school of audio journalism. I consider this exceedingly good news.

Naturally, significant news items are covered. In fact, the political and cultural interviews with local professors and scientists from DePaul, Loyola, and University of Chicago are downright hard-hitting, but the gravity is concluded as soon as may be, the mood steadily rising like a hot air balloon.

Local news doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither do I.