Happy Birthday wishes (and free cake)
We stopped at Mixto in downtown Wilmington for a birthday brunch! Craig Reck is celebrating his big day... and we're glad we got to catch up with him today.
One thing to note: If you are celebrating a birthday at Mixto, you either get a birthday shot or a piece of birthday cake. Nikki Bussey opted for the cake...
Happy Birthday, Craig! @craigrecknews
Odd New Year's Eve Celebrations
Spending New Year's Eve at Times Square is on my bucket list BUT if you can't make it to NY this year, there are a lot of other cool places to spend the holiday. Thanks to the people at James Korenchen for sending this fun list:
Last Night Fayetteville (Hog Drop) – Fayetteville, Arkansas
Taking place in Fayetteville’s Downtown Square, this New Year’s Eve celebration features a performing arts festival with musical performances, belly dancing, jugglers, comedians, a giant puppet parade, and more throughout the evening. As the evening approaches the New Year, the downtown square will count down with the annual “Hog Drop” as a 10-foot long and 6-feet tall fiberglass sculpture of a pig is lowered to the ground. After the ceremony, the Downtown Square’s Christmas lights are dimmed as a display of fireworks continue the celebration into the New Year.
Deuce of Clubs Drop – Show Low, Arizona
The Arizona mountain town named for a poker game celebrates the New Year by dropping a 6-foot tall electronic deuce of clubs card made out of reinforced sign cabinet (extruded aluminum) in the middle of Deuce of Clubs Road. The event began in 2011 to celebrate the unique and historical naming of the city. The free event takes place at Festival Marketplace and begins at 10 p.m. with music, dancing, fireworks, food and hot chocolate for the whole family. Additionally, in commemoration of the event, spectators of the drop have a chance to win a $2 bill by drawing the deuce of clubs in a card game.
Olive Drop – Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Guests can celebrate in cheer as the spirits flow at the Price Tower Arts Center’s annual Olive Drop New Year’s Eve event. Taking place at the Price Tower Arts Center, a skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the event provides entertainment throughout the evening with live music, dancing, a champagne toast, and more. At midnight, a giant styrofoam olive descends 14 floors to the 10-feet tall Martini glass located on the second floor of the building.
Meteor Drop – Wetumpka, Alabama
For more than 20 years, this southern river city has welcomed in the New Year with a blast from the past. Wetumpka is home to a six mile crater that was created by a large asteroid that crashed 85 million years ago. The event features a mock asteroid with a fiery trail blasting into the plaza in front of the courthouse. The asteroid is dropped at 11 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.
Pine Cone Drop – Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff will ring in the New Year at the Weatherford Hotel with its traditional Pine Cone Drop featuring an 8-foot tall by 4-feet wide pine cone made out of gold and silver aluminum and lit from top to bottom. The tradition first started in 1999 to celebrate hotel’s 100th anniversary and has grown to attract a record crowd of nearly 8,000. Music, fireworks and family fun are all part of the night’s celebration that starts at 10 p.m. with the giant pine cone’s first drop of the night for families and again at midnight, which is followed by fireworks.
The Droppin’ of the Carp – Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
In Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the carp master, from The Droppin’ of the Carp, ceremoniously lowers Lucky, a frozen 25 - 30 lbs. carp recently caught in the Mississippi River, 110-feet into a wooden cradle during a countdown to midnight. Attended by more than 2,500 people, residents are encouraged to kiss the carp for good luck. The Droppin’ of the Carp also includes three hours of live family-friendly entertainment, a bon fire, music, and fireworks. After the carp drops, attendees recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and a sing along to “God Bless America.”
If you bought a Hisense Pulse, which is a device that streams internet on your TV, then listen up! There will be a Q & A tonight, hosted by Google TV Ambassadors. Derek Ross will be hosting a Hangout On Air to go through just about everything.
If you're on Google Plus, just ask for an invite. If this is all new to you, then all you need to do is watch the livestream over YouTube tonight. I'll post a link on my Facebook and Google Plus pages.
It's SayItSocial time! Check out the latest post about how to host a successful HOA and learn what it's all about!
We're under a tornado watch until 5 p.m. today.
Here are ways you can stay in touch:
WECT.com - See the radar and latest warnings and watches
Facebook - Have a conversation about the weather and damage
Google Plus - Check out the event page to see everyone's pictures, videos and information
Twitter - Follow for the need-to-know now information
I have never gone nuts over Chex mix, cinnamon or apples... but THIS is irresistible! I used to work with a news anchor in Missouri who'd make this every year. Now that I don't work with her, I crave this mix during the holidays. It took me practically a year to get the recipe from her!
The best part? I made it at work while we were in between newscasts. Everyone was surprised at how good it was. I don't think anyone knew Chex mix could be this delicious. Try it for yourself!
1 Box Cinnamon Chex Mix
1/2 c. sugar
2 pkg. cin. apple chips (find these in the produce section with dried fruits)
2/3 c. .butter
1/2 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 can cashews
Melt butter in microwave, add cinnamon and sugar and stir well. Pour the butter mixture over cereal. Spread in 9 x 13 pan. Heat oven at 250. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, add cashews. Remove from oven, add apple chips.
For all the gadget guys and gals out there, the Hisense Pulse is here.
What is it? The Pulse is the latest Google TV device that blends TV and the web. You can watch live TV or you can stream content from cool apps like YouTube and Netflix... or discover new apps via Google Play.
Consumers were able to hold it in their hands as early as Friday night or Saturday morning thanks to Amazon. Weather delays pushed some deliveries back a day.
What are some of the new features? The Pulse has a mic feature. Although voice search isn't enabled yet, it is scheduled to be available in a few weeks. Let's hope.
Learn about voice search
A lot of people are trying to figure out if they should take the plunge for the $95 device. They mostly want to know how it compares to the Logitech Revue or the Vizio Co-Star.
Join the Google TV Community
So far, the reviews have been positive. The Pulse seems faster and "less buggy" as some consumers mentioned. Here, I helped Brian David Feliciano as he unboxed and set up his Hisense Pulse.
Aside from the basic setup... here are some of your questions:
-Can you use the Logitech keyboard with this device?
-Is the Pulse faster than the Vizio?
-How does Chrome operate on the Pulse?
-Is the Amazon app available?
-Do you have to connect the IR blaster to the device?
-What is the picture out of picture feature?
-What does the remote feel like?
HOT TIP from Kim Beasley: Just a tip, when you are setting up on a Windows GTVBox, Twonky, or aVia to view video on your computer, make sure that you have the files in a top level folder under Video. I tried to get all three of these programs to see my video files that were a subfolder in a main folder but none of these programs found the main folder. Once I created folders on the main level of Videos, then these programs pickup my files. I know, strange.
It's an "Ari Christmas"...
Meteorologist Robb Ellis is a cat lover. Today, his kitty Ari delivered presents to the WECT-Fox Wilmington newsroom. I need to thank Ari for my candles, candy and perfume. That cat's got good taste.
Should journalists give a voice to an accused killer? Should a book about a stripper be banned in a public school library? Does Bob Bonner always wear shorts during the news?
Those are just a few things we talked about in our news hangout Tuesday night.
What is a hangout? A hangout is a way to communicate. You can hangout directly with us if you have a Google Plus account. If you don't want to be on camera, you can still watch over YouTube. If you leave a comment, we'll chat with you!
If you're hanging out with us, you'll often learn breaking news as we learn it. You'll see the layout of the studio, the ups and downs of live TV, and you'll probably hear Jon Evans sing some crazy song from the 80s. (Earlier today it was The Bangles...)
We'd love for you to hangout with us. We hangout every night at 10 p.m. EST and have friends in there from across the world. In fact, we're the only news station on the East Coast integrating our livestream into our hangouts. Be a part of something! It's such a great way to get the news, really connect with people, and even make new friends.
Talk about the shock with your kids
The news is impossible to escape of the mass shooting in Connecticut. Many parents have told me they don't want their kids to watch the news. Should I tell my kids? How should I bring it up? What do I do if they're afraid to go to school on Monday?
They're all good questions. I sat down with Lisa Burriss from New Hanover County schools - she's a social worker and the head counselor for the district. She has some good thoughts any parent can use: