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Van McNeil's Blog

Posts from February 2013

Time for the CIRCUS!
Elephants and Tigers and Lions OH MY!

It's that time of year again! The Tripoli Shrine Circus is on THIS WEEKEND at U.S. Cellular Arena!

The Tripoli Shrine Circus proudly presents America's Original 3-Ring Circus! They search over land and sea to bring you the best circus performers in the world today.

The circus is a combination of strength & skill, beauty & mystery. With amazing lighting and sound, watch as our human and animal performers* transform you into the magical world of circus.

The circus is a fun family adventure that is for everyone.

Find out more at www.2013Circus.com
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Topics: Human Interest

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Food Network's Hungry Girl Interview
Lisa Lillien (a.k.a. Hungry Girl) is a New York Times best-selling author and the creator of the Hungry Girl brand. She is the founder of www.hungry-girl.com, the free daily email service that entertains and informs hungry people everywhere. 

She considers herself a “foodologist,” not because she has some kind of fancy degree, but because she is obsessed with food –– how wonderful it is, how much of it she can eat and still fit into her pants.

In this interview Lisa and a chat about...

Snacking habits.

Portion control.

Lifestyle adjustments and how Hungry Girl happened.

Books and Food Network.

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Sister Act Interview w Ta'Rea Campbell
When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier (Ta'Rea Campbell) witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! 

(PICTURE: Ta'Rea Campbell as Deloris in Sister Act The Musical. Feb 19-24 at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. www.MarcusCenter.org)

Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior.  Using her fabulous disco-ness and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so blows her cover. 

Soon it’s nun-on-the-run time but she finds salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood. 

In this interview Ta'Rea and I chat about...

What you can expect...

The audition process...

Advice for the kids...

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Post GRAMMY fun w OMG Insider's Kevin Frazier
Kevin Frazier is co-anchor of "omg! Insider," formerly "The Insider." 

"omg! Insider" keeps viewers in the know when it comes to Hollywood with in-depth stories, exclusive interviews, and all that's trending in the world of entertainment.

In this interview Kevin & I chat about all things GRAMMY's!

Carrie Underwood / Jennifer Lopez

Taylor Swift / Justin Timberlake

Katy Perry / John Mayer
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People: Kevin Frazier

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GRAMMY 2013 - Winners, backstage reaction and more!
If you missed The GRAMMY's last night on CBS, you missed a GREAT show!

But not to worry... I have you covered with the winners, backstage reaction, music videos and more!

Click on any name to watch music video or on the player for backstage reaction.

For the ENTIRE list of Grammy winners visit www.grammy.com.

Record of the Year, Pop Performance (Duo or Group) AND Alternative Album
“Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye and Kimbra

Song of the Year AND New Artist
“We Are Young,” Fun. and Janelle Monáe

Country Solo Performance AND Country Song
“Blown Away,” Carrie Underwood
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Entertainment Tonight Nancy O'Dell Interview
Nancy O'Dell is the co-host of Entertainment Tonight. (Weeknights | 6:30pm | WISN TV 12

She joined ET as a special correspondent and substitute co-anchor in January 2011.

Named one of TelevisionWeek's 10 Most Bankable Stars in Syndication, Emmy Award-winning entertainment journalist O'Dell has proven to be a force in all areas of her career as a host, author, producer and entrepreneur.

Nancy joins me from Hollywood to talk about...
Academy Awards / Oscar Luncheon.

The GRAMMY Awards.

Coming up on Entertainment Tonight. 
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GRAMMY 2013 - Performers, nominees and more.

Seeing as I work in the music industry, THIS SUNDAY NIGHT is my Super Bowl!

It's music BIGGEST NIGHT as The Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences hands out the hardware during the 55th Grammy Awards telecast.
 8/7pm CT on CBS
Let me break it down for you, like I do every year, so you know what's up Sunday Night.

(click on any name to WATCH a live performance)
Taylor Swift
Justin Timberlake
Carrie Underwood
The Lumineers
The Black Keys
Jack White
Miranda Lambert
Dierks Bentley
Ed Sheeran
Elton John
Maroon 5
Alicia Keys
Frank Ocean
Kelly Clarkson
Bruno Mars
Mumford and Sons
Zac Brown
Mavis Staples
T Bone Burnett
Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes

(click on any nominee to WATCH music video)

Record of the Year
The Time Jumpers – The Time Jumpers

The 55th GRAMMY AWARDS, this Sunday, 7pm CT on CBS 58. 
Then join me Monday (Noon-4pm) as I take you backstage for reaction and more!
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Post Super Bowl Fun w Deborah Norville from Inside Edition.
Deborah Norville has served as Anchor of Inside Edition, the country’s top-rated and most honored syndicated newsmagazine, for the past 17 years. (Weekdays 8am & 9:30pm on WMLW).

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.

In this interview Deb and I talk about...

Super Bowl 47...

Beyonce halftime, Sandy Hook kids America The Beautiful...

US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Church of Scientology and Home Shopping Network...

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Bowling on your TV this month.
When was the last time YOU went BOWLING? I'm not sure if you know, I have a SERIOUS love for it!
On top of rockin', "The Mix" airwaves you can catch me Sunday mornings at 9 am on the Spare/Time Bowling Show on our sister-station SportsRadio1250 WSSP-AM, talking about all things bowling along with Steve "Sparky" Fifer and Dwight Albrecht.

I grew up right next to a bowling alley, where my mother, father and I bowled league. Later, it would be the place that gave me my first job as a teenager. I would, "work" and do ALOT of bowling when it wasn't busy. At one time I thought I was gonna take that step into the professional realm and become a Tour Player on TV but instead I chose radio.

So, when the chance to bowl on TV came about, I HAD to be a part of it! As you surf the channel THIS MONTH,watch for yours truly on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 32 as part of the 2013 Bowling Game to see how I do.
Enjoy the preview of me in action and GO BOWLING!
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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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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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