It's 3:04 on a Thursday afternoon. And if you're a local morning radio guy or gal, then you know that this is pretty good sleepin' time. Wake up at 4am, read a little, shower, eat a bowl of cereal, watch the Channel 2 news... then go to work and talk for four hours.
Then do a little busywork like figure out who's gonna take your place on the air on Monday and back up your iPhoto collection and order a projector TV to show on the wall of the new studio... and pretty soon it's nap time.
Not today. There's this guy who moved in across the yard a couple years ago and the first thing he did was chop down all of his trees, even the ones that gave us a little privacy from him and for him. My wife was furious with the man. They argued in Spanish once. I don't know what they said to each other exactly, but it was harsh and it was in Spanish.
The neighborhood disrupter is now building a garage not too far from my bedroom. And he's building it by himself three boards at a time. He's been doing it for a few months now, so when I come home late afternoon to listen to some Grateful Dead and then take a nap... Not today. There's the non-rhythmic pounding and electric sawing and banging and it doesn't lend itself to sleeping at all. No matter even if you turn up the volume on the nightstand Bose. No nap.
But there is blogging to the three or four of you. And I'm guessing you want to know what's happening now with Comcast and Me. This morning, in what you would call the middle of the night, I got a text from Rick Kubic, who is developing his own cult following with the 10pm to midnight local slot.
Tonight on the show I received texts and messages about several 20 or more drops (dead air) lasting 15 to 18 seconds. This is bad. A lot of my material going down the tubes.
Then at 6:22am this morning, I received texts.
Radio cut out on you just now about 20 seconds.
It's really quite embarrassing. Not just the nickname - Dead Air Dedelow - but that a little birdie wouldn't tell me the specific numbers or even really why.. but apparently our ratings doubled in the past year. No kidding. Not that I really totally comprehend the AQH thing. In our 93 year history of broadcasting, WJOB, as far as I can tell, has never purchased Arbitron or Nielsen. Advertisers just come to us because they were forced to listen as kids in the backseat. We shake hands. And a couple days later you hear one of us in a 30-second spot telling you how great their local business is.
Ratings shmatings. And these over-the-air ratings evidently don't include this massive audience we've developed streaming audio on Tune-in or the beginning of an audience on the video streaming on my website, JED.tv. (What kind of egotist names a website after himself anyways?)
So there. I did get a call yesterday from a Comcast manager out of Chicago. He asked me to explain the problem. Before going into the sordid history, I informed him that by explaining it to him that I was making it an even dozen the number of people at Comcast that I've explained it to.
You've got to give me evidence that you're losing your connection.
That's what the Comcast manager told me. So at 4:30 this morning, I texted him the above text from Rick Kubic about losing his connection 20 times. I really don't give a rat's ass if I woke him. And then a little later I gave him the exact time that listeners reported me living up to my nickname of Dead Air Dedelow. That outage was about 6:22am. Oh well, nobody's listening anyways. That's what I say on the air and even if it isn't true I like saying it.
I had a couple of older women call in today. They were both cute as hell and I kept them on the line for a while. I don't know what it is with me and older women... both said they were in their 80s... but they seem to like me. Maybe I'm just attracting a number of older women who have a crush on me and that's why our ratings are (reportedly, whispered to me secretively in a bar) going up. It's the old lady crowd and I'm damn glad to have you, ladies. Got any friends?
The guy behind us is still pounding. Three boards today. Another three tomorrow. Maybe by Christmas he'll have the thing under roof. I had a guy in studio today who grew up in north Hammond and who ran for president as the Libertarian nominee in 2004. I didn't know anything about him until he appeared on a WJOB show a couple of months ago with Harlow. Ryan scheduled him with me and, to tell you the truth, it was kinda interesting. Mr. Badnarik really doesn't like our federal government. It's almost like talking to... what's his name... you know, the guy who protests at noon every Saturday at the Highway of Flags memorial. You know, he stands out there with his megaphone in all weather protesting.
Crap. I can't think of his name. He's been on the show and is nice enough guy, just like Badnarik. It's just that I'm having a little trouble remembering anything with all that pounding outside. Maybe it'll stop when it snows. That's supposed to happen on Saturday... but lo and behold... I won't be around. I'm flying to New York City tomorrow with my 8-year-old nephew to see my daughter, Jeanie. We're gonna go out to my sister's place in Long Island and hang out with her three kids who never sit still. If you think it's hard to take a nap with some old man pounding three boards a day... try taking a nap with a cackle of kids running around all excited that uncle Jim is in town.
Come on, uncle Jim, let's shoot baskets.
Uncle Jim, wanna see me do my gymnastics.
Uncle Jim, are you coming to my soccer game.
I have no idea how this weekend with little Jack and daughter Jeanie and the three energizer bunnies from Northport will unfold, but I'm pretty sure a few things will happen.
1. At some point, I will try to take a nap in my sister's living room and one kid or more will jump onto my stomach while I'm in a dead slumber. That's pretty much a given.
2. I'll take a picture of my niece Lisa, this superhuman strong being, carrying her dad, who's kinda big anyhow, on her back. I'm not kidding. It's a freak of nature picture and I never miss it.
3. My sister will want to talk to me right as I'm passing out from exhaustion, say about 8pm.
4. And finally, because like you I am addicted to radio, I'll sit out on their veranda in the evening and listen to WOR out of New York City. Some evening talkshow or a game... just because I'll bring my CC dual-band radio with me... and just because no matter where you are in America... Hammond, Indiana, or Northport, New York... listening to AM radio in the evening on a veranda is pure and beautiful.