Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Heritage Association announced its 2013 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Class. It was highlighted by several rich businessmen, a cool judge and one severe weather deity:
Seven outstanding Oklahomans have been selected for induction into the 86th class of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. These accomplished Oklahomans will join the cast of 655 individuals who have been inducted into the Hall since 1928. The honorees officially were announced at a luncheon today at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. New inductees were presented to a roomful of past Oklahoma Hall of Fame honorees.
The 2013 Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductees are: Michael D. Case, Tulsa, Gary A. England, Seiling, John D. Groendyke, Enid, Timothy C. Headington, Oklahoma City, Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Oklahoma City, Russell M. Perry, Oklahoma City and Reggie N. Whitten, Seminole.
Click here for more information about each of the class members.
The honorees will be formally inducted to the Hall on Nov. 7 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Also in November, their portraits will be added to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gallery at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. Their biographies, photos and fun facts will be accessed through touch screen computers in the same gallery.
Let me get this straight. Gary England wasn’t already in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!? How’s that possible? I know he was caught up on the dew point temperature betting scandal in the mid-1970s, but that was such a long time ago. Since then, he’s saved 1.8-million lives and once fended off a maxi-wedge multi-vortex grinder with nothing but a magic barometer and Doppler radar shield.
To celebrate this long over due announcement, here’s a new piece of art by local artist Trent Lawson. If I have my way, it will soon be hanging over the fireplace in Ogle Manor. It features Gary England, armed with a rifle and chainsaw, protecting Linda Cavanaugh from an evil army of deranged skeletons:
So far, the biggest development of this severe storm season has been a lack of actual severe storms. I know we’re just now entering May and anything can happen, but we still haven’t had a multi-vortex mega grinder tree debarker hit a small town or Moore. That’s good and everything, but if you dropped $4,000 for a storm shelter over the winter, you have to feel kind of ripped-off.
The second biggest development has been the arrival of KFOR’s new bionic storm chase Reed Timmer. Not only does the former reality show star and PhD candidate bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Mike Morgan’s weather team, but he also rolls around in the Dominator – a futuristic armored storm chasing machine complete with grounding spikes, unbreakable double-pained glass and probably a flux capacitor. Here’s a pic of the beast and its master:
The sudden arrival and emergence of Reed and has Dominator surprised everyone. This includes KWTV Channel 9. Now, in a “It’s so obvious it’s embarrassing” response, the OKC ratings leader is having a contest to help nickname David Payne’s storm chasing vehicle. They haven’t announced what the grand prize is, but if it doesn’t include playing catch with Gary England or a trip to the beach with Lacey Swope, I’ll be disappointed.
Anyway, because this is the type of stuff we do, I asked out contributor network (Tony, Spence, Marisa, Chelsea, Joel, Zeb, Chad, etc.) if they had any name suggestions. They did. Some are pretty good. Here are 18 of them:
1. XXXXtreeeme Mountain Dew Red Bull Storm Chaser HD 3000
From what I’ve heard, David Payne drinks a mixture of Red Bull, Mountain Dew and Dean Blevin’s Smart Ones for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He’s a dare-devil.
2. The Dominatrix
If they go with this, maybe we’ll finally get to see Lauren Nelson in leather.
3. The Overcompensator
This is probably the best possible name, but only because it’s true and accurate. Hell, it would be a great nickname for the Dominator, too.
Yesterday, we published a post about the less than stellar debut of Channel 9′s new severe weather “Dream Team.” Apparently our critique resonated with a bunch of people. In just 24-hours, the post garnered over 12,000 pageviews and was liked more 700 times on Facebook.
Here are some snippets:
To say that Channel 9 had too many cooks in the kitchen would be an understatement. (Their coverage) was like watching a group of people have an argument on a reality show; there were lots of screamers, not enough listeners and you really wanted to change the channel…
There were several awkward moments where Gary tried to pull a CNN and use a gigantic touchscreen to show what was happening on radar. He couldn’t get the device figured out and was obviously frustrated. It was like watching your grandpa attempt to figure out an unfamiliar remote control and TV set-up…
The Channel 9 weather crew was supposed to be a Dream Team, but right now they’re looking like this season’s Lakers. They seem to be heavy on egos, but low on teamwork and chemistry. Let’s just hope they get everything figured out before Gary England tears his achilles. That would suck.
Despite the awkward and sometimes painful to watch storm coverage, Channel 9 did win the ratings war. We know this because their Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Rob Krier sent a rousing email to the station’s staff congratulating them for the “banner day” and “dominating in the ratings.”
Here it is:
That image is the new promotion graphic for the Channel 4 weather team. I’m not sure why they look so disappointed. I think they were either trying too hard to be serious or they know you just spent 20-minutes today looking at Internet porn. It has to be one of the two.
The Mountain Dew drinker pictured on the far left is Reed Timmer. He’s the station’s new bionic storm chaser. Mike Morgan announced yesterday that Reed will be the guy to replace longtime KFOR weather sidekick “Daredevil” David Payne.
Reed is actually a well-known celebrity in the storm chasing world. He’s starred in a reality show, has 65,000 Twitter followers, and even has his own Wikipedia page. Here’s his bio:
Reed Timmer is a meteorologist and professional storm chaser who starred in the now canceled American documentary reality television series Storm Chasers. He also starred in the documentary film Tornado Glory.
Timmer became interested in the weather at a young age after experiencing a severe thunderstorm that reportedly dropped golf ball-sized hail in his yard. After winning the national championship in the tree identification event at the 1996 Science Olympiad, Timmer began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in 1997. In October of that year, he filmed his first tornado. He earned a B.S. and M.S. at OU and, as of March 2010, is a Ph.D. candidate.
So not only can provide the strength, size and track of a tornado, but he can tell you what trees it destroyed, too. That’s impressive. The only thing David Payne could do was smell pine.
In addition to all that, Reed rolls around in an armored vehicle called Dominator 4. No, I’m not making that up. I think the vehicle was made in a secret underground lab by Morgan Freeman.
Here are a few pics:
Last night was the first big weather event of the 2013 severe storm season. It was pretty typical stuff. There were heavy rains, strong winds, damaging hail, hook echoes, flash floods and an occasional tornado. That being said, the night was also strange and unfamiliar. We had David Payne yelling over Gary England on Channel 9, witnessed Damon Lane have a mild panic attack on Channel 5, and watched some hotshot young storm chaser on Channel 4 drive around in a car that was stolen from the set of the A-Team (more on him later today).
Yes, last night we got a first look at our new local severe weather teams. If you remember correctly, David Payne and Jim Gardner left Channel 4 and jumped ship to Channel 9, Rick Mitchell fled Channel 5 for Dallas and was replaced by Damon Lane, and, as we learned yesterday, Mike Morgan hired some guy named Reed Timmer to be his new bionic storm chaser.
The most anticipated debut was that of the new Channel 9 Dream Team. They had Gary England and Michael Armstrong in studio, Jim Gardner in the air, and David Payne and Val Caster chasing storms with Gentners in hand. Their wall cloud to wall cloud coverage of the storm can be summarized by this clip.
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