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Van McNeil's Blog

Posts from November 2012

Holiday Shopping Tips w the Super Coupon Queen Jill Cataldo

The holiday shopping season is HERE and I'm sure you could use some tips & tricks to help you save some money and frustration, right?

That why I'm chatting it up with the Super Coupon Queen Jill Cataldo!

Jill became a serious coupon user in September 2006 when she and her husband found out they were going to have another baby. Jill started using the internet to track store sales and learned the best time to use coupons from the newspaper and internet in conjunction with those sales.

In this interview Van talks with Jill about...

Doing your shopping "homework" AND "cash back" credit cards.

Online shopping and comparing prices.

Saving $$$ with your phone?


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An interview w President and CEO of the American Red Cross Gail McGovern
Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving! Now that we are on the other side of the "Turkey", we move into the craziness of the holiday season but let us not forget about those less fortunate than we!

In all reality if your reading this, YOU have it made!

Electricity for a computer, a roof over your head, money for groceries, etc... but what about those people on the East Coast?

Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continue and the President / CEO of the American Red Cross joins me to talk about it PLUS how you can help!

In this interview Van chats w Gail Mcgovern about...

How Hurricane Sandy relief effort are going.

Are Americans donating to the Red Cross?

How did Gail get involved with the American Red Cross?

How can YOU help? + the Time Magazine Article.

 (6) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Disaster_Accident
Locations: East Coast
People: Gail Mcgovern

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The Irish Tenors Interview
Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan have been touring together as The Irish Tenors since 1998, with sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and major concert halls throughout the world.

This SUNDAY The Irish Tenors make a stop at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and Mr. Ronan Tynan called in to talk about the show.

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SpongeBob SquarePants Interview
CBS will present a new stop-motion animated special, IT’S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS!, based on the hit Nickelodeon animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” on Friday, Nov. 23 (9:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM CT). John Goodman lends his voice to Santa Claus as well.

In this new special, Mr. Krabs’ nemesis, Plankton, vows to get his Christmas wish – obtaining the Krusty Krab’s secret Krabby Patty formula – by turning everyone bad in Bikini Bottom with the help of his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake.

In this interview Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) and I talk about...

How he (Tom) got started in the business, the Stop-Motion Animation Process, how the cast records the show.

Another SpongeBob Square Pants Movie?, a message for iCarly, and Tom's favorite episode.

MOBILE USERS: WATCH! It's A SpongeBob Christmas! SNEAK PEEK... click here.

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One-Man Star Wars Trilogy Charles Ross Interview
Writer/performer Charles Ross spent too much of his childhood in a galaxy far, far away and his adulthood has been no different. One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is Ross’s high-energy solo performance of the Star Wars Trilogy, and he will be landing his space ship in Vogel Hall on November 16th and 17th, 2012.

In One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, Ross plays all characters, recreates the effects, sings the music, flies the ships and fights both sides of the battles from the original Star Wars Trilogy.

In this interview Charles and I talk about...

Coming off a month long run in Ireland and how the show came to be.

Almost being sued by Lucasfilms and performing at Comic-Con.

Disney and the upcoming 7th Star Wars film.

What can people expect at One-Man Star Wars Trilogy.
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Deborah Norville Inside Edition Interview 11-13-12
Deborah Norville has served as Anchor of Inside Edition, the country’s top-rated and most honored syndicated newsmagazine, for the past 17 years.  Throughout her tenure as Anchor, the show has consistently ranked in the top 10 television shows in first-run syndication.  Her journalistic reputation and her ability to get to the heart of the story have been important factors in the broadcast’s success.

As Anchor of Inside Edition, Norville has covered and broadcasted from the scene of some of the biggest news stories including Washington D.C. on 9/11, the funerals of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

In this interview Van and Deborah chat about...

The C.I.A. Scandal.

Life after the election for the Romney's and Mitt's "secret" sister.

Recovery efforts on the East Coast.

The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2.
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The Gift Insider Lindsay Roberts Interview
Tis' the season to go shopping! :)

It’s the one time of year when everyone is busy researching the latest trends in gifts and gadgets. 

From the fun and functional to the fabulous, gifting expert and editor of TheGiftInsider.com, Lindsay Roberts is here with the latest.

In this interview Lindsay and I chat about...

Some of the hottest gadets of the year PLUS why you should buy gadget insurance.

Do-It-Yourself Gifts PLUS what to buy for the mail person / salon worker in YOUR life.

 (9) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Human Interest
People: Lindsay Roberts

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Milwaukee Wave Head Coach Keith Tozer Interview.
Another season of Milwaukee Wave Professional Indoor Soccer is upon us and as always Head Coach Keith Tozer, the "Winningest Coach in North American Indoor Soccer History" and U.S. National Futsal Head Coach joins me for a chat about the upcoming season!
In this interview Keith talks about...

the Milwaukee Wave Home Opener this Sunday at U.S. Cellular Arena.

the Milwaukee Wave Futsal Tournament and Grades for Games.

being in the community AND how difficult it will be to "Three-peat"


Let's Go Milwaukee Wave AND UWM Panthers...click here.

 (8) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Sports
People: Keith Tozer

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How ARE relief efforts going on the East Coast? Interview w American Red Cross
It's been about w week since Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast and now a pending Noreaster could make things even worse.
The American Red Cross contiues to provide relief and services to those in need and COULDN'T do it without YOUR help!

Van checks in with the American Red Cross' National Spokesperson Craig Cooper from Long Island, New York as relief efforts continue.

In this interview Van and Craig talk about...

What are conditions like on the East Coast right now.

What is the volunteer process is like?

How can YOU help? How long til things are back to normal?

Perpare yourself for an Emergency Situation.

VISIT: www.RedCross.org
TEXT: REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 Donation.
 (8) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Disaster_Accident
Locations: East CoastNew York
People: Craig CooperVan

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Deborah Norville Inside Edition Interview 11-5-12
Inside Edition's Deborah Norville joins me from New York City to talk about...

How people on the East Coast are recovering from Superstorm Sandy and how was Deborah was affected?

Election Day.

What's on Inside Edition this week?
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The Simpsons Season 24 Interview
I don't know about YOU but I have been watching, "The Simpsons" since their "shorts" were on, "The Tracey Ullman Show". For those keeping score that was 1987! I was 11 years old back then... CRAZY!

Since 1998, I've had the honor of chatting w Executive Producer Al Jean just about every season to get the latest and greatest news in "The Simpsons" world and this season is NO different...

In this interview Al Jean & I chat about...

Season 24 guest stars.

Season 25 secrets and former "The Simpsons" colleague Rich Moore who directs Wreck-It-Ralph.

Another The Simpsons Movie? What about Season 26 and beyond?
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I have a dream... 2013 MLK Jr. B-Day Celebration.

The famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his, "I Have A Dream" speech, August 28th, 1963.

If you haven't read the entire speech, you should and can by clicking here.

Did you know that our great city of Milwaukee, WI is one of two cities in the United States that has been celebrating his birthday the longest?!
The other city? Atlanta, GA.

So, when I was asked to co-host the 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Sunday, January 20th, 2013, I was honored and without any hesitation said, "YES!"

After the amazing show I saw last year, like I said, I'm honored and excited to be a part of the festivites.

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: 29th MLK Jr. B-Day Celebration...click here.

Students in the city of Milwaukee have also been invited to compete in essay, speech and art contests.

This years theme is, "Good Will, Fair Play and Justice".

You can find out more about these contests by clicking here.

Hope to see you on Sunday, Janurary 20th, 2013 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts!

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So far, SO GREAT!
3 & 1/2 months and counting since my family and I packed up our stuff in NJ and made the trek to Milwaukee! Anytime you leave what you've "known" for years and years, you always worry that: It won't work It's not a great fit It'll take a LONG time to FIT IN Well, I'm here to say that all of those answers couldn't be farther from the truth! From DAY 1, my radio family here at The Mix has welcomed my family and I with OPEN ARMS (My favorite JOURNEY song btw) and it's like we've known each other forever! At the same time, my new family of radio listeners (ALL OF YOU reading this right now) have also made me so incredibly comfortable and happy and as stated above, it's like I've known you well, longer than the 3.5 months I've been here! You've helped my family and I find a place to live, great restaurants (my family and I love to eat), great places to visit to entertain my kids, a travel baseball team for my oldest son Anthony and of course, great karaoke so I can get my sing on! I will continue to ask for your advice on different things along the way and I know WITHOUT A DOUBT, you'll be there to answer whatever questions my family and I have! For that, I'm very grateful! Just wanted to take a few minutes to say THANK YOU for welcoming Me, my wife Sarah, and children Anthony and Benjamin with such warmth and kindness! We look forward to being a part of the community for a long time to come! Thank you for listening to 99.1 The Mix! I'm havin' a BLAST! Hope YOU are too! Sincerely, Mark Summers
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Invite Frogs and Toads into the Garden
Celebrate National Frog Month by inviting insect and slug-eating toads and frogs into your garden. Start by providing water. A pond at least 20 inches deep with gently sloping sides will work. Include water plants that provide oxygen, shelter from predators and weather and breeding sites. Include a few rocks or logs in the pond for basking and a few alongside the water for shelter. Build a rock pile in the garden. Select a location that receives sun and shade each day. Position the rock pile in more sun if your summers are cool and more shade if your summers are hot. Line the bottom with stones for added protection from winter cold and leave cavities between some of the bottom rocks for nesting, shelter and hibernation. Use a pipe 1 to 2 inches in diameter and less than 2 feet to create an entryway. A bit more information: Look, but do not touch the frogs and toads you attract to your landscape. Bug repellent, lotions and oils on your skin can harm these creatures. For more information see Oregon State University Extension's publication Attract Reptiles and Amphibians to Your Yard. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow Potatoes in the Garden or Container
What is white, red or yellow, can be eaten fresh, fried or even raw and is one of the most important staples of the human diet? If you guessed potato, you are right. Grow your own in the garden, planting bag or containers. You can plant small potatoes or pieces of larger potatoes to start new plants. These contain "eyes" that grow into potato plants. You may have seen this happen on potatoes stored in the pantry. Buy certified seed potatoes at garden centers or from garden catalogues. Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye". Plant them in a 2-3 inch deep furrow, 10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants. As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high. Keep the planting weeded and wait for the harvest. A bit more information: Save space and have some fun by growing your potatoes in a planting bag. Fill the bottom few inches of the bag with potting mix. Set the potato pieces on the mix. Cover with several inches of soil. As the potatoes grow, continue adding a couple of inches of soil at a time until the bag is full. Harvest by dumping the bag and lifting out your potatoes. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens
A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs. Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause. Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss. Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage. But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants. We can't turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage. Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears. A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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A Multi-Season Beauty – The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don't worry however as they won't leave behind a mess. The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age. Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge. A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Daisy – the April Birth Flower
Celebrate April birthdays with a bouquet of daisies. This April birth flower symbolizes childhood innocence or according to the Farmer's Almanac they were given between friends to keep a secret. Many flowers share the common name daisy. It comes from the English name "days eye" referring to the fact many daisy flowers open during the day and close as the sun sets. Bellis perennis, known as English daisy, is most often designated as the April birth flower. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows about 6 inches tall and flowers from spring through mid summer. You will find this plant listed as an attractive perennial or nasty weed. In the south the plants often burn out after flowering during the heat of summer. In cooler climates they are often dug after flowering to maximize enjoyment and minimize spread. The young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked. A bit more information: Sweet peas are also considered the April birth flower. This is especially true in April. This flower represents modesty and simplicity. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Garden Longer with Less Aches and Pains – It’s National Garden Week
Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains. Use long-handled tools to extend your reach and minimize bending and stooping. And if you need to get a bit closer to the ground, try placing only one knee on the ground or using a stool and keep your back straight. Keep your tools handy by wearing a carpenter's apron with lots of pockets or using a tool caddy. An old wagon, wheeled golf bag or trash can make moving long-handled tools a breeze. Use foam or wrap your tool handles with tape to enlarge the grip and reduce hand fatigue. Or better yet, invest in ergonomically designed tools with larger cushioned grips. They are designed to position your body in a less stressful position, allowing you to work longer. A bit more information: Further extend your energy by taking frequent breaks. Use sunscreen, wear a hat and drink lots of water. For more ideas, check out my 10 Pain-free Gardening tips. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Dandelion Day – It’s not just a weed
Stop, don't pull those pesky yellow flowered dandelions popping up in the lawn and garden. These beautiful flowers have not only been used as bouquets for mom and crowns for children, but have a long medicinal and edible history. On April 5th, Dandelion Day, celebrate the benefits and beauty of this perennial plant many consider a weed. You'll find this adaptable plant growing in a wide variety of locations. The name dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" meaning lion's tooth. This refers to the leaves with their jagged tooth-like edges. Dandelions are high in Vitamins A, B, C and D and were used by Native Americans for kidney disease, swelling and skin problems. Harvest the young leaves in spring and add them to a salad or sauté with onions. Brighten up a salad with just the yellow portion of the flowers or ferment them into wine. A bit more information: Dandelions are also known as 'wet-the-bed'. This refers to the old belief that just touching a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. This may be tied to the fact that dandelions have been used as a diuretic. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Celery Month - Grow Your Own Celery Indoors or Out
Celery, an unassuming vegetable has long been used as a flavorful ingredient in soups, stews and casseroles. You'll also find it fresh on a relish tray or as a crunchy low calorie snack. Its value is being recognized and celebrated during April, National Celery Month. This long season vegetable is difficult to grow in many areas. The plants are slow to germinate and the young transplants will bolt if subject to cool periods. Grow celery in full sun with moist organic soil. Provide ample moisture and mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the season. Wrap or cover the stalks two weeks before harvest to blanch the stems for a milder flavor. Or have a bit of fun and grow some celery from kitchen discards. Next time you chop up a bunch of celery for soup or stew, save the base and grow a new plant. A bit more information: It's easy to grow your own celery from kitchen discards. Save the base of the celery in a shallow dish of water or bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix to root. Set in a bright location. Keep water in the saucer or the soil mix moist until new growth appears. Pot up and move to a sunny location. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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It's that time...
It's that time of year...ALLERGIES! This morning I walked my dog only to experience ichy watery eyes... So off to Walgreens I went to pick up Visine A eye drops...We are teaming up with Visine A eye drops to help me get some relief! Just a drop in each eye and aaaahhhh relief. So, if YOU experience allergies and want to get back to feeling normal...I recommend Visine A eye drops and get back outside and enjoy the things you like to do without looking like you're sick! NICE!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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