gives me willies
that won’t go away til
I get real drunk and watch
I was walking out of the gym yesterday and a woman asked me – So back to work?
Actually, I’m headed to watch the IU-Ohio State game.
You guys. Don’t you ever get enough basketball? Do you ever go to the games?
Actually, I’m going tomorrow.
Alexis and I are scheduled to go to the United Center tonight to watch Purdue play Minnesota in the Big Ten Tourney. We’re running the games all weekend on AM 1230 and 104.7 FM. We do this every year. Since the satellite does the work, we get a break from the work routine of local radio. The Big Ten Tournament is about 40 hours of programming we don’t have to worry about.
The problem for tonight is that I don’t have any tickets. I thought I did, but that fell through. I’m not good at telling my wife little details like this. I live under the assumption that no matter what happens, it’ll work out.
Hey, it’s me here
throwing rocks at
your window. Come out so
we can freeze, frolic and
F---. Never mind.
As mentioned in the last installment of this blog, I’m coming to the realization that I’m expendable. For years, I played basketball on Tuesday nights at Elliot school gym. My dad plays sometimes. He’s 79 years old. And so does my little brother, Brian, and his son Al. When I stopped playing a few years ago because of injury, I knew every one of the 25 guys who came regularly.
I went on Tuesday of this week to give it a shot. I made one basket in two games and didn’t know any of the 45 guys but Mad Mac, who runs the thing. That’s the same Mad Mac who calls my show and took my wife to Homecoming. It’s funny how life circles around like that.
Lights of fame and
purpose lame, they
warm your fingers whole. But
for your soul, they do naught
but fake you out.
Anyways, to make teams, Mad Mac divided us into a group of ten and designated two young guys as captains.
Go, you pick first, Mad Mac told one of the guys. He picked a young guy who looked like an athlete.
Now your turn, Mad Mac said to the other captain. He picked another athletic young guy, This process continued for several rounds until the last guy was picked. Guess who that was?
No kidding. It didn’t happen until I was 57 years old. But on Tuesday night, three days ahead of the ides of March, I was the last guy picked for basketball.
Bridge over sea
You don't know me.
But I am white male.
Black cod. Yellow scrod. Same
There is a recurring theme in my life. During the high school basketball tournament, we broadcasted dozens of games on TV and radio. I didn’t announce or barely help with the broadcasts. The team didn’t want me. If the three main producers were to line everyone up and start picking teams, I would be chosen last. I am expendable and feeling sorry for myself on a Friday morning that is the ides of March.
Beware of your
own self pity.
It makes you take yourself
too seriously and
you feel shitty.
On the studio front, Rob Ellis, Rick Kubic and Ben Cowart are building a new set at the WJOB Strack & Van Til studios on the campus of Purdue Northwest. The studio project adheres to the 2.5 rule.
This is a multiple that states that no matter how long you think it’ll take, it’ll take you 2.5 times longer. I figured about five days. It’s been ten and we’re still not finished. With the 2.5 rule in effect, we'll take a total of 12.5 days to finish. That'll be Sunday night.
The 2.5 rule also applies to cost. Whatever you project, it'll cost you 2.5 times that. Guaranteed.
We have purchased a brand new everything for the new set, which is another step in the journey from radio to TV. There’s new furniture, lights, cameras, backgrounds, switchers and more. We also painted some stuff and hung decorations. The new studio looks nice. The three or four of you should stop by. I love showing it off.
Really what’s happening is that we’re mired in the transformation from old-time radio to something much more than that. We’re also an FM station now and our real focus is on building a TV station for the Calumet Region. We’ve never really had one.
Live as you wish,
you petri dish
of fools and gangsters. You
steal the Earth, its girth, its
core, its plankton.
In 1985, I worked at AM 1230 WJOB for Julian Colby. He and Judy Grambo owned the place.
Colby also owned the local cable company, which was new at the time. He was laying cable all over Hammond, along with switching stations and controllers. He also built a studio. It’s still there on 169th. Comcast owns it now.
Once in a while, Colby took me off of the news and sports team to do an errand for him. Sometimes it was to go give something to the guys digging ditches and sometimes it was to drop off papers at a lawyer's office. There was a lot to do in the cavalier days of the beginning of cable.
One day, I spoke up to the titan of local media – Mr. Colby, with the new studios and all, why don’t we do TV news?
Colby frothed - Let me tell you this, kid – We get our TV from Chicago, and it will always be that way. It's a fool’s game to try to compete with the vast news outlets in the second biggest city in America.
So I’m involved in a fool’s game. Greg Kaplan, the one with all the fireworks billboards, told me of a similar conversation he had with Dean White, the billboard magnate -
In 1991, I floated the idea to Mr. White about a northwest Indiana television station. He laughed me out of his office. He said that whoever took to starting a TV station in northwest Indiana would lose his shirt.
I am a fool without a shirt. Either that or its finally time. Has the entry price to television has been driven so low by the invasion of the internet that it’s finally possible to give the 750,000 people of northwest Indiana a TV station?
Beats the hell out of me. Time to lay some cable. IU lost to Ohio State, by the way.