It’s .you and me again.
Early morning bad breath gives way to a shower and the smell Aim and Axe. I love Axe. It makes me smell like a bit of an Axehole, but it also makes me feel young again. Hooray for the Hairy Men of America, a class that will someday protected from the Don’t Take Your Shirt Off requirements at many public beaches.
Alexis and I went to New London, Connecticut, over the weekend. That’s where the Coast Guard Academy is. It sits way up on a hill overlooking the Thames River. You can sit in the front row of the football stadium and watch brightly-colored sailboats maneuver around buoys. Who sails when it’s 30 degrees out? Someone does.
They were probably not Coast Guard cadets. All of those were sitting in the stands like Alexis and I were. We all watched Coast Guard play the US Merchant Marine Academy. It’s the seafaring version of the Army-Navy game. I can’t tell how many shivers went up and down my hairy back as Alexis and I stood at the entrance to the field while they had the “Walk On.”
That’s when the black-coated Merchant Marines line up in strict military fashion and walk onto the field before the game. Then the Coast Guard does the same. I can’t tell you how cool that was. Nobody speaks during the Walk On.
I’ve got this buddy I met my freshman year at Occidental College in Los Angeles – Jon Crowley. We still keep in touch and I’ve been a very bad friend indeed in that Alexis and I have not until now attended a Coast Guard game. Jon and wife Carolyn have two sons, Patrick and Chip, who both start for Coast Guard Bears, Chip’s a junior and a wide receiver and punter. Patrick plays cornerback and does some kicking. It’s a beautiful thing to see them play on live video. It’s way cooler to sit in the stands overlooking the Thames River to watch Chip and Patrick play against the Merchant Marines... and then go out on the field afterwards and meet the Admiral.
Later, Carolyn and Jon showed us around Mystic, Connecticut. It’s this old whaling town set right on the mouth of the river as it goes into Long Island Sound. As the three or four of you know, I’m not a big fan of the East Coast in general. I’m just not. But that was until we visited Mystic, which is, of course, the place where Julia Roberts made the famous movie. There actually is a “Mystic Pizza” in the downtown area. We didn’t go there.
We did visit a bar, however, that was built in 1790. That was pretty neat. It’s a cozy little place made with huge stones. We sat in the corner and watched Notre Dame get their asses kicked by Miami. I didn’t mind that at all.
The next morning – Sunday – Alexis and I drove the two and a half hours back to New York City and spent a few hours with daughter Jeanie and her boyfriend, Daniel. I would tell you more about this but it’s 4:35 in the morning and I gotta do a radio show in less than an hour. I really don’t want to write about how much I miss my daughter every day. That would make this rather hairy morning radio host tear up a little bit. I’d have open emotional wounds all day if I said anything about the ache that I get in the last hour as we walk around Queens and I already miss her. It’s the weirdest feeling. A train goes by overhead and I look at my daughter walking next to me in the sunlight, and even though she’s there with me in front of the Vietnames restaurant, I already miss her. Let’s not talk about that because, as mentioned, I got a radio show to do.
If you own your own business – any small business – there’s a price to pay when you get away, however short your trip may be. Alexis and I left early on Friday morning, so I didn’t do the show and I didn’t do any work to keep the radio station hamster wheel running. I knew that when I got back there’d be a ton of stuff to do. Yesterday, the Monday after the trip, was actually one of the longest Mondays on record. It didn’t help that I was still a little hung over from drinking a million beers at the Coast Guard game.
I did the radio show yesterday, but for a while it was just that – a radio show. We do the show live in video on Facebook and Twitter, as you know, and when we’re not doing that, the office phone rings off the hook. For the first hour yesterday, producers Sam and Ryan were hustling about trying to fix something with the video. It was quite distracting to try to keep a one-hour Monday morning monologue going with two guys frantically hopping around the studio. That’s how my Monday started.
After my show, Sam and Ryan informed me that I wasn’t done. I had to come back in a little bit to host a show with Gary mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. I enjoy hanging out with the mayor. She and I have done so many shows together that it’s an easy flow. Plus, the mayor tells a lot of stuff about Gary that the Region needs to know.
Then I had to hurry in a work out, which turned out to be a bad thing. Last Wednesday, playing some basketball, I pulled a muscle in, of all places, my stomach. And I reinjured it yesterday working out. There’s only one place more obnoxious to hurt than your stomach. That’s your ribs. If you’ve ever done that then you know that it hurts with every time you breathe.
At noon, a half dozen of us around WJOB had to get together for a big presentation that I can’t tell you about right now but you might find out soon enough. That took a good three hours to do. Don’t ask.
After that, I attended a board meeting of the Purdue Commercialization Center. Shawn Strack, Mirko Marich, Terry Murphy, Nic Wilson and I bantered about how to start giving away money to aspiring entrepreneurs. PNW chancellor Tom Keon and College of Technology dean Niaz Latif were also there, along with associate director Mont Handley and his assistan, Ana.
In the end, we really are trying to create what I call on the air “Silicon Boulevard.” That’s the street that runs right behind me when I’m on Facebook Live talking about hairy backs. For now, it’s called Indianapolis Boulevard. You can see the trucks rushing by all day long, which means we’re a pretty industrial area. That’s what we’re known for – heavy industry. It’s just a matter of time, however, before we’ll also be known for fostering startup companies and making them go big. That’s the plan, anyways, and it starts with the board and all of the other people who believe in the dream of Silicon Boulevard. I hope to make it happen before I die.
After the meeting, Shamari Walker, the junior at Gavit High School, and I worked on our app, HeyJED. At every turn, there’s another technical fix that we have to make. Shamari’s a genius, but apps don’t care. All sorts of little snafus come up that we didn’t anticipate. I won’t smother you with the details of this because it’s not radio at all but software coding. Suffice it to say that I’m learning way more about coding than I ever cared to.
We did release the app on Google Play and on the Apple app store last week. We’re not promoting it because it’s really not ready for prime time use. There’s just too many little things we didn’t anticipate. In the end, though, you could download the app and send me a 22-second or less tidbit that we’ll play on the radio. That’s how the app works. Just send me something and I’ll play it on the radio. The potential is huge but the start of HeyJED is entirely underwhelming. That’s how it goes on Silicon Boulevard.
On Monday nights, I have graduate accounting class at PNW. But I was so tired that I contemplated blowing off the class. That is until I called my wife to get some sympathy about how tired I was and that I should just come home and curl up with her on the couch.
“No way. You’ve only got a few more classes. Suck it up and go to class.”
That wasn’t what I was expecting from my purring wife on the couch alone. But then again I’ve heard that same speech as she gives it to our daughters who also call her to discuss blowing off class. In the end, as is often the case, my wife was right. I was being a sissy just because I was having a long day. I grabbed a protein bar and a yogurt in the cantina in the Classroom Building and went to class. We talked about Cost Accounting. I left with 45 minutes left, so I don’t know if we had a pop quiz or not. And I don’t care. Ten minutes after I walked in the house I was snoring so loudly that Alexis left the room. That’s how I got to get up and grab my laptop and type to the three or four of you about My Radio Life. Time to talk to you more, this time on the radio. Switch over to there. See ya.