Spent the morning dealing with the "Arctic Blast" on the air... and then just did a short interview with Ken Rutkowski on Business Rockstars national radio show. Ken asked about what's going in Hammond, Ind., regarding venture capital and of course my background as a trader. He didn't asked about the many business failures that I've endured - 85,000 circulation newspaper, computer trading, radio as video, the LOVE unit, etc. Not that I wouldn't talk about them. I enjoy talking about them. Hold your failures up as trophies. More failures, if you play it right, means more successes.
So what now. Ken asked an interesting question - what's more stressful, trading or entrepreneurship? You tell me. At least in the pits I'd know it was there and I could return to the market any time, any day. Now that I'm done with the Rutkowski interview, where from here?
That's the question that constantly pounds at you. What do I create next? More radio, podcasts, videos, blogs, stories, poems, a museum, marketing material, etc. I work on all of these things in a week and a lot of times it feels as if things don't move forward. That's the difference between trading and entrepreneurship - structure.
Enough. It's freaking 3 degrees out and dangerous wind chills. Tonight it's set to be -10 with wind chills approaching 40 below. Schools will probably be closed again tomorrow. But radio won't. Radio's always open, just like White Castles.
Here's some of the closings that I'm reading on the air right now at AM 1230 WJOB in Hammond, Ind, and wjob1230.com.
Crown Point Christian School - one hour delay
Highland Christian School - one hour delay
Andrean High School
Aspire Charter Academy (Gary)
Bible Baptist School
Bishop Noll Institute (Hammond)
Charter School of the Dunes (Gary)
City Baptist Schools (Hammond)
Crown Point Schools
Duneland Schools (Chesterton)
East Chicago Public Schools
When you're local radio guy and you watch the news before you go to bed, sometimes you wake up with ice mares.
After taking in a day's worth of warning from the Chicago networks (trying to boost ratings) and the national weather service (trying to do their job) to public school superintendents (trying to do their job better than last winter) to the lady at the gas station where I went to fill up at 9p, you know, just in case it's stormageddon.
My guess is that it won't be. I did wake up from an ice mare in which I'm walking along a road in a snowstorm and I can't turn on my microphone. Not because I don't have a microphone. Yes, there's one in my hand. But that my hands are so frozen that I can't turn on the little switch on the side of the metal stick. My gloves are too thick and covered with ice. What will I do? I go on the air in five seconds. Now four. Uh-oh ON THE AIR.
Instead of going to DEAD AIR, I wake up and stumble to the bathroom. I'm awake. It's the middle of winter and I'm local radio guy and the one thing I can't do is show up late this morning, unprepared. So instead I read the papers, listen to the radio, read old Jean Shepherd stories about going on a blind date. Anything but go back to sleep and not wake up in time to be the man with the snowstorm answers precisely at 5:30am.
WBBM's Stephen Haas says at 3:58 there's snow on the ground and that side streets haven't been cleared. "All of the roads are moving much slower than usual." It's pretty much what I'll be saying for the next few hours. And despite not being able to sleep during snowstorms, I'm OK with that. One degree at O'Hare. Wind chills of 20 to 40 below this week. Another ice mare cometh tonight, no doubt.
Last night during a rare dinner with my daughters and wife, I got a foreboding text from longtime WJOB head Mark - JED, you need to go to bed early.. In a.m. you got cold, wind chill -20, icy roads. Kids back to school so school delays? Big snow Monday night too.
So there. It was a slippery drive back from Chicago and then a wakeful sleep thinking of all of the challenges we'll face this morning on the radio. It's -1 out right now with a wind chill of about 20 below, just as Mark predicted. I haven't checked my email yet this morning but no doubt a superintendent out there somewhere is gonna start school at least two hours late.
We could talk about school closings. It's really what WJOB used to be known for. Kids and parents would huddle around their radios listening for their school to be listed as one that's closed due to weather. Sometimes it's a really long list and you have to pay close attention in case your school got read and you didn't hear it.
Jeff, Brian, shut up, I'm listening to this, I said more than once hunched over the stereo in the entryway of our home. Goddamit, shut up, I said also as I wrestled them to the ground and made them be quiet. A decent radio host, yes. A good big brother, not really.
Anyways, that tradition still plays out around the Calumet Region, although I don't know why. I accept fully that most parents and students have email and that nearly every school sends out an email alert that they're gonna close or delay school. Many send out text alerts to the numbers on file. Then there's the school district website, which kids wake in the middle of the night to check all night, and there's school closing websites that list all the closings.
So even though I still give the school closings, it eats a little bit of my heart away every time someone says to me - Oh, WJOB, school closings. I remember those.
More than once I wanted to tell that person, no doubt smiling and thinking that they're somehow ingratiating themselves to me - Go ---- yourself. But I don't. Tell that to one person and they'll tell ten more and you do that enough and you won't have enough people left to listen so that you can continue the slow, sweet death of local radio.
By the way, it's 4:30am and Mark just texted me - 80/94 east to I-65 south has slick spots... all ramps are slick. Broadway south to Summit Street is slick and drifting. So there. Good morning. Welcome back from Christmas vacation.