And if there is, it goes away after a half hour
soaking in the bathtub.
Horses run across snow like it’s not even there.
A faithful wife cleans out the dog kennels
only to wait for the next Sears catalog.
Today is the kind of cold that makes your
eyelashes heavy and dry. All you want to
do is lay on a pillow of Vaseline
drop cloths. There is cold.
And there is cold.
A vampire cowers near a fire that gives
light, yes, but gives warmth also. If your
heart ever gets this cold, you may never
again be able to give a gentle kiss
under the covers.
There is cold. And there is cold. If you
play guitar in this weather, any song
that’s left in your heart will leave forever -
out of spite. There is cold. And there is
cold. And when it gets this cold in Chicago,
forget about it.
I did my radio show again, finally. After sitting on the covers for ten days writing blogs and reading Joan Didion, I started talking again. And it wasn’t easy.
Halfway through the show this morning, I turned to Verlie Suggs during a break.
“I have absolutely no rhythm. It’s not like riding a bike. You don’t just get back on and it comes back naturally. Maybe rhythm will return in the last hour.”
And it did. Verlie and I started talking about “fringe social media groups.” The Times used the term in an editorial. It got me thinking – Do these groups really matter?
My answer is yes. Verlie says no. I think that every day old world media and old world institutions and old world leaders lose ground. The masses on the internet are taking over. Accept it or die.
I learned to just accept things as they are a long time ago. Not so much when I had to learn to accept that in the same timespan we were gonna lose all of our money and our mom. That certainly leant something to this discussion.
It’s what the markets taught me that matters here. For ten years, I kept looking for cause and effect.
“If interest rates go down, stocks should go up.”
“If the yen goes up, bonds should go down.”
“If unemployment comes out higher than expected, expect bonds to crash.”
I stood in the pits looking for cause and effect for ten years. Then one day I says to myself – “F--- it. There is no reason for the markets to move the way they do. They just move. Accept that or die.”
From the day that I realized that the markets just go where they want for no reason or any reason, I started to make some real money. Eventually, I made enough to buy a couple of radio stations and a newspaper and get the hell out of the Board of Trade. Without accepting that things just happen, I would have never gotten to that point.
So when you look at callers MX, Mad Mac, Chuck Pullen and their gang and the rising influence that they have in the Region, don’t ask why. Just accept it. I do. There will come a time, you watch, that a politician goes to these guys and asks for an endorsement.
It’s not to say that I agree with these guys (it’s mostly guys, but some women). MX, in his cartoons, takes some pretty deep shots at me. Many of his followers pile on. I accept that and sometimes even deserve it. There’s only 1500 or so people who admit to being a part of this nebulous group of antagonists, but there’s a lot more people who check out the posts and don’t join the group.
“The Times is just jealous that we get more hits every day than they do,” Mad Mac said on the show today. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it could be. The world is changing. Accept that or you’ll be trading in the minor leagues of the MidAm for the rest of your life.
There is a silver dollar on the bottom of your shoe.
Bend over to scrape it off, and someone will come
from behind and tip you over. You’re a little teapot,
broke and mad.
Smell the air of fresh country
Absorb the sunshine from behind a cloud
Money doesn’t matter when you’re belly
is full and you’re in love.
When you’re in love, you’re in love
with being in love.
Much of what we talk about, the five of us, is things that I do in My Radio Life. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Thanks for accepting me and my ramblings.
Sometimes, though, we gotta get technical. Why? One of you at least is a pure radio person and sometimes there’s stuff I gotta tell you or you’ll wind up trading in the MidAm the rest of your life.
Today, Christina Cortez the video wunderkind and I had some quality tech time in the studio. And we figured out something that’s been bugging me for a while.
At 5:30 on most weekday mornings, I walk out of the north-facing doors of the Purdue Northwest Commercialization Center. It’s the “best moment of the day,” as I state to the seven or eight listeners. Then I stand out on Indianapolis Boulevard and do a morning monologue on
- AM radio
- FM radio
- Facebook Live video
- Twitter video
- streaming on the tune-in app
It’s a lot of fun. And people pay me to do it, Ironworkers Local 395 especially. Today, it was 12 degrees below zero when I walked out there. By the time I came back in from yelling “Big Truck, Big Truck,” I couldn’t feel the tips of my fingers.
That’s not the part that bothers me. I’m used to not being able to feel the tips of my fingers, toes, and, yes, that certain organ that you use to pee and base your self image on. It gets cold too, you know.
It and my toes especially got cold this afternoon. I went JEDgolfing at Wicker Park. It was three degrees below zero with 25 mile and hour winds. That put windchills at about 25 below zero.
But it was so beautiful. So beautiful.
When the sky is that blue and pink,
you want to spit out all the black
in your soul and replace it with sky.
The barren nature of the moon during
a cold spell will bring you to your
knees. But don’t kneel too long or
you’ll freeze your ass off. Just keep
moving in the cold, stopping to breathe
in the sanctity of a plane draping its
exhaust on the canvas of your own
personal sky. Without the ability to
withstand extreme cold, you will
never know the unlimited power
of your own mightiness.
Anyways, I played my nine holes in six inches of snow. You play with an orange golf ball and you have to keep a good eye on it or you’ll lose it in the snow. When you’re finished, you feel as if someone who works for the city ran over you with a steamroller. It’s the best feeling you can have in the winter of your 55th year of searching for mulberry trees amidst the icicles.
There is a catch to all of this beauty. I finished in the dark on hole number 9 at Wicker Park. I got a 4 on that hole, which is a pretty good score. There’s a wind howling in your face, there’s no real light to speak of, and, of course, there’s four to six inches of snow on the ground.
I walked off the green – you can’t see that it’s green, of course. It’s white this time of year – and I noticed that I couldn’t feel my toes on my right foot. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. I play JEDgolf all the time in extreme temperatures, and by the time that you notice that you can’t feel your toes, there’s only one thing to do.
You gotta run for a while to bring that feeling back to the bottom of your feetsies. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight, it didn’t work. So when I finally walked the several hundred yards to my car, I was relieved to open the door and sit on the ice cold leather.
I turned the key. Nothing. I did it again. Nothing. Yikes. This wasn’t good. I was really looking forward to the car heater bringing life back to the toes on my right foot.
There’s another catch. My phone had gone dead. This happens all the time when you meander around a golf course in arctic temperatures. Apple can do a lot of things, but evidently it can’t keep your battery from freezing up when it’s colder than a witch’s tit and darker than six inches up a stovepipe.
So I did the natural thing. I stuck my ice cold phone down inside my underwear to that crux between your junk and your thigh. Every guy on earth knows that that is the warmest part, despite the general yuckity yucks you get from women whenever this part of your body comes up.
I waited. And I waited. And then all of the sudden there was this electronic jolt on my, dare I say it, juevos. Yippee. My phone had warmed itself back to life. I called my wife.
“Are you kidding me? You’re out there in this weather?”
“Yes, honey. And my car won’t start.”
“Your car’s smarter than you are. No one should be out in this weather.”
I wanted to tell her about the sublime beauty of a winter sunset that makes the moisture of your eyelids freeze, but she wouldn’t understand. I waited in the freezing car, wiggling my toes inside my boots. I knew that my toes were in there and that I was wiggling them… but in the end I couldn’t feel them. You have no idea the relief that I felt when my wife whipped around the corner.
The car, even with a jump, wouldn’t start. My wife is never gonna join the three or four of you to read this blog, so I’ll just go ahead and tell you. I am, as you know, slightly dyslexic. Okay, I’m pretty straightforwardly dyslexic. And when I’m really tired or evidently really cold, the dyslexia takes over. I see and do a lot of things backwards.
So I put the jumper cables on my battery backwards. You might think – “no biggie. Just switch to the correct terminals.” This might have worked had the entire battery not sparked and nearly started on fire before I could knock the cables off. There was this smell of metal that has burned.
“Not working, honey,” I yelled from under the hood. “Looks like I’ll have to get a new battery. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
My muddied thinking continued when we got home. My feet hurt like hell. So I did what I thought was the right thing to do. I took a shower.
Evidently this is the exact wrong thing to do. As the hot water hit my head, washed down my hairy chest and mongrel back, rivuleted through that area we were talking about earlier where you can warm up your frozen cellphone, down my legs to my feet –
Youch. It felt like Freddy Krueger was jamming kitchen knives into each of the toes on my right foot. Hot water on nearly frostbitten toes is evidently a bad idea. I forgot that. I’m dyslexic and when you’re not thinking straight, you remember things backwards.
“When you think you may have a little frostbite in your toes, put hot water on them.”
That’s what I remembered. It is, of course, completely ass backwards from the truth. In the warm mist of a hot shower, though, it seemed to make sense. I screamed from the bathtub. No one came running.
…. I completely lost my train of thought here. I was gonna tell you what Christina Cortez the video wunderkind and I discovered. We figured out how to add a wireless camera to the Wirecast software that’s put out by telestream. I was gonna lay out for you all of the technical specs that makes this possible. I was gonna discuss the merits of upgrading to the new 8.2 version, which we just did.
But that’s not gonna happen tonight. My daughter who lives in New York has twice come into the bedroom while I typed this. I could spend the rest of the evening with the three or four of you talking about what a bonehead I am, or I could go sit by the fire with my wife, who’s still a little pissed at me, and my daughter, who accepts that I am quirky and leaves it at that. Talk to you tomorrow.