Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Advice for George W.

State of the Union tonight. George W. is getting ready. Rehearsing the speech. Over and over and over. Staffers are scripting where he'll take a breath. Where he'll pause for applause, how he'll stand at the podium - who'll he'll make eye contact with. When and how to raise & lower his voice for effect. This is how it goes - really. This speech might as well be directed by Steven Spielberg. Advice? Ya want advice?

I support George. I like him. I spent time in Texas. I like his Dad. I share his politics, BUT - George, lighten up! Our president looks strained as he "performs" his speeches. He doesn't look like he's enjoying it. Speak to me. Don't perform your script to me. Take a deep breath and for crying out loud - go off the script. Look in the camera and tell me what you want me to know. You're a smart guy. Undoubtedly you can carry on a conversation without a script. This is the George W. only his friends know. This is the real man. Show that side of yourself. More people will certainly believe what you say. It's just being real. Reagan was "The Great Communicator." Why? It wasn't his acting experience. It was his ability to say what he "felt" - not what he "felt he was supposed to say." This is the mistake politicians make - so George W. isn't alone. You guys look so uneasy and squirmy. You're more concerned with saying something that might upset someone - that saying anything real. Being real means making an emotional bond with those you're speaking to. Can you imagine the press tomorrow if tonight George W. didn't deliver the speech he'd already released to the media?" They have it you know. George W. - just look in the camera and speak from the heart in a normal tone how much you love this country & your plans for my future.

Won't happen.
The teleprompter has ruined America's bond with it's President.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bri's Drug test results

In my city there is a massive drug investigation going on. Speculation is - many of this cities prominent citizens may be involved. Some might consider ME one of this cities prominent citizens - so - here are the results of my drug test performed Saturday January 28, 2006.

My urine contained traces of:
*caffeine, coffee creamer & equal sweetener
*Excedrin (aspirin, anticetimenophen & even more caffeine)
*Small traces of MSG (Chinese dinner last week)
*A & W Root Beer (Diet - more aspartame)
*Insignificant trace of Garlic
*Anabolic Steroids
*Flintstones Chewables

My hair sample contained traces of:
*All of the above
*Suave Herbal care shampoo - lavender
*White Rain Hair Spray

Let this put to rest once and for all any link I may have with the Federal Investigation.

Brian Pierce/Springfield Illinois

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Let's all be James Frey

I'm a radio guy. I began my career over 30 years ago with a 50,000 watt transmitter I rigged up in my bedroom. My station covered 29 counties and I had an audience of 1.5 million. My fondest memory was the time John Lennon pulled in the driveway. We talked, and he gave me a box of his latest album to give away. I went to college, got straight A's, and took my first commercial job doing nights at WABC New York. I spent my days hosting TV game shows, and washing Dick Clarks car. I went on to gigs in Chicago, Los Angeles & Sikeston Missouri. I stuck with radio even though NASA was pressing me to become an Astronaut. Doing morning shows meant free time in the afternoon, so I designed the worlds first minivan for Chrysler, and wrote computer code for Bill Gates leading to the development of the Windows operating system. My skills in the kitchen didn't go unnoticed and I often advised my friend Emeril Lagasse. I even came up with his signature "Bam!" My rock hard six pack abs were on display in the January 1997 Playgirl magazine. I always liked the taste of Colby & Jack cheese together - so I sold the concept of COJACK cheese to Kraft for $5. (I thought it would be selfish not to share this with the world.) Scholars point to my endorsement of Ronald Reagan in 1980 to "swinging the election in his favor." I'm a self taught Dentist and have given myself five root canals. I've competed in two Indy 500's. I advised Dave Thomas to make the burgers at Wendys - square. I swallowed four scrabble tiles by mistake, passed them through my body, and amazingly they spelled "poop." On 9/11 - I called the White House and said "I have a suspicious feeling about today." I was patched in to the President in Florida 10 minutes before the planes hit. George was too busy offering me a Supreme Court nomination to heed my warning.

I've lived an exciting life. I now do a little radio show to an audience of 35,000 a week - most unaware that I played a part in the development of quadrophonic FM - which was my only regret.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ease up Oprah - share the blame.

Everyone's talkin' about Oprah "tearing into" James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces. You know the backstory. Little known memoir - no name author - Oprah declares it a "must read" on her book club. Sales go through the roof. Now, it turns out the author lied. Oprah is embarrassed. She tore into James Frey and his V.P. of Doubleday publisher live on her TV show yesterday. What a sight. These poor guests, on Oprahs home turf - being lashed by the talk queen. It went on and on and on. They sunk lower in their chairs as the hour went on. Oprahs bone of contention was "YOU DUPED ME!" How dare anyone dupe Oprah! He obviously didn't know who he was fooling with. James Frey put out the fire as best he could by admitting that he fabricated much of the story. The Oprah beating still went on. Oprah blames Doubleday for not fact checking a memoir. Huh? Do you believe every memoir is fact checked? Of course not. It's a MEMOIR. Publishers take the word of the author that what they write happened - actually happened. That's the way it's always been. What's different now is - All Mighty Oprah can plug a book and send it's sales through the roof. THEREFORE - the responsibility of fact checking a book for accuracy should be that of OPRAH before she deems it OPRAHWORTHY.

Would any of this happened in the first place if Oprah hadn't selected this book for the her book club? Nope. It'd still be out there - and no-one but the author would know it's all lies.

Oprah created the problem. She'll create it again if SHE doesn't take responsibility for the books she endorses.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hillary & Ted Kennedy! Oh Yeah.

These posts won't become overly political. But, there are developments you must be made aware of.

#1: Ted Kennedys Love Child. He's 21 now, and says he suffers from the "Famous Kennedy drinking problem." This began in the National Enquirer and is only now making the rounds in mainstream media. The Boston Globe (In Teds backyard) put it on the front page. What has been the "Biggest Kennedy family secret" is now on the table. Details are everywhere on the net - so I'll not bore you. Look for this story to develop. Right now Ted's denying it. Didn't he learn anything from Bill Clinton? Speaking of Clintons...

#2: This gem won't make it far on TV & the papers. New poll of potential voters. Just 16% would support Hillary in a Presidential bid. 51% say the absolutely WILL NOT vote for her in 2008. (CNN Gallup)

Ted, the red faced blowhard - and Hillary - the "I'll say & do anything to further my agenda" Ice Queen - are having a bad week.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Howard's gonna shit - and not broadcast it.


I have it. This is when you take pleasure in seeing others in pain. Men have more Schadenfreude than women. Women become empathetic seeing others in pain. I have Schadenfreude - and I have it big time because of HOWARD STERN.

This "load" took his gig to Sirius radio because of restrictions from the F.C.C. "If only I didn't have the restrictions of the F.C.C. - this show would be the most successful of all time!" I've heard him say that. "I'm being dragged down by the F.C.C. - I am what the public wants! They want me un-censored!"

It hasn't even been a month, and Sirius has Howard on a digital delay. This means his show isn't live - and portions can be "dumped" at Sirius' whim. People within Sirius report papers are "being drawn up" setting "guidelines" for Howards show. This will be the "line which Howard is not to step over."


Sirius is a business after all. They want subscribers. They want press. They want GOOD PRESS. Sirius, as it turns out, is NOT the broadcast Heaven Howard thought it to be.


By the way, Does Howard truly believe in Satellite radio as a business? He took millions in stock as part of his multi million dollar deal. He's already made the moves to SELL IT. He apparently believes his stock is at it's high value - right now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nascar makes dumbest move EVER!!!!!

Nascar announced yesterday that beginning next year TOYOTA CAMRYS will compete in the Nextel Cup Series. The uniquely American sport of stock car racing is being invaded by a foreign car manufacturer. This is a big mistake. Nascar clearly doesn't know WHO attends stock car races. Americans attend these races. The allure of stock car races in the first place - was being able to see the cars we had in our driveways compete on a track. Because of rules changes and safety concerns, those days are gone - the cars are now merely "shells" of the cars we actually own. But - they "resemble" the cars we own. Chevys, Pontiacs, Fords - recently Dodge, race every weekend. They are AMERICAN cars in every way. WHO attends Nascar races? These race fans are patriotic tax paying people, who drink beer and drive pick-up trucks. They tailgate and eat huge slabs of ribs. They arrive by the family, Dads, Grandpas, Cousins & Nephews. They believe in God, Country & Dale Earnhardt. They are blue collar. Many have either been - or still are - auto workers. They root for the Monte Carlos they helped build the Friday before. They've seen their jobs lost to the increase in Japanese car sales. I know this profile is stereotypical - but how far off am I - really? Cheer for a TOYOTA? Hell, those people bombed Pearl Harbor!!! Don't tell me, "Camrys are built in Kentucky!" Yes, they are, but the profits go to Tokyo. How is cheering for a Camry supporting America?

Nascar has blundered. The announcement is so fresh I have yet to hear any public feedback. In the next few days, we will, and I predict Nascar will come under assault. Nascar will stick to their guns and do it anyway. The fans will boo. The poor drivers of these cars will be frowned upon. I wouldn't put it past rabid fans - that they verbally abuse - if not actually physically assault Toyota drivers.
Nascar will then reconsider their position and announce in 2008 that "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea."

There is just one way for this TOYOTA CAMRY THING TO WORK. Dale Junior. "AND IN THE NUMBER 8 BUDWEISER TOYOTA CAMRY - DALE EARNHARDT JUNIOR!!!!!!" But Junior is a "Chevy Man" - and so is Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip - and anyone worth a damn.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Women need containers

My daughter blogs too. Her comments are sprinkled throughout this blog. This morning she commented that she is becoming obsessed with organization. She visited THE CONTAINER STORE.

My first dealing with The Container Store was in San Antonio Texas in 1982. They were new to the market and there were billboards everywhere proclaiming, "CONTAIN YOURSELF". That's all they said. Speculation was wild in the city as to what exactly what the billboards meant. The Container Store was brand new at the time. Maybe they use the same tactic to this day - I don't know. "CONTAIN YOURSELF". What on Earth could it mean? This billboard onslaught went on for weeks. No one had any real idea what they could be advertising. Then one day, it was revealed at the bottom of the billboards in small letters. "The Container Store coming soon." What was a "Container Store?" The whole population of 1.5 million HAD to find out. We streamed mindlessly into the stores to discover it was simply a store featuring nothing but CONTAINERS. I felt ripped off. How was I to be excited about containers? Sure, I have things that need to be contained - who doesn't? But, there are plenty of places to get containers. Boxes, tubes, plastic, paper, things with drawers, things with lids. ZZZZZZZ. I am an idiot.

Every woman I've spoken with in the 20 plus years since, LOVES THE CONTAINER STORE. Women can shop for hours in these places. There is something deeply psychological about how women react to containers. Is it a woman's need to control things? Is it a quest to keep their things from losing control? That's what containers do - they contain things. In a woman's mind these containers contain "situations". They control out of control objects. WOMEN DIG THIS. The minds behind The Container Store are genius'. The stores are packed with women everyday - putting their lives in place with containers. Whitney Houston coined the term, "Exhale". That's what women do when their possessions are "contained." Containers are a girl-drug - plain & simple - and now my daughter is being dragged into the "container lifestyle." But, she wasn't dragged - she skipped in, probably whistling a happy tune - unaware of the narcotic effect of containers.

We need a German Restaurant

Just saw statistical data on my cities population. I've lived in Springfield Illinois off & on for 35 years and had no idea nearly 27% of the population was of German descent. Germans? Illinois Germans? I knew we had Irish here. I've seen many Asians too. We have very few Hispanics - but this city is full of Mexican Restaurants.
It doesn't add up. Where are the German Restaurants? Isn't there a market for German food? Where does a population craving Sauerbraten go? Chicago has nearly 20 German Restaurants. Peoria even has one. Champaign has a German Hotel! Gruenkohl mit Pinkel, Pinkelwurst mit Kartoffeln, Bienenstich, Pinkelwurst mit Kartoffeln, Bavarian Speckknoedel, Kartoffelsalat, Man - I can almost taste it. Frikadellen, Fleischsalat, Eisbein,
Kochen & Geniessen, Olagstrasse, Kochbuch, Schweinhaxen , Spaetzle , Baumkuchen - How about a Fastnacht , Hackfleischtaschen , Anisekuchen and a side of Hasenpfeffer??

I think I just answered my own question as to why there are no German Restaurants here.

I thought we were talkin' about Sausage & Beer.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Treating Superbowl Erections

The Superbowl commercials this year will be boring. Don't expect much. They'll cost advertisers "out the nose" - $2.6 million for 60 seconds. ABC Television retains "creative control." Huh? The spots are being "auditioned" by ABC executives right now. They want to be sure no one is offended. Past broadcasts messed it up for everybody. A farting horse. A crotch biting dog. A half time nipple - and who can forget the first time they heard, "If erection lasts more than three hours, call your Doctor." These commercials have become bigger than the game. As a media guy - I understand the significance of Superbowl Sunday. More than any other day - it's a day collectively - we as a country - do the exact same thing. We eat, drink & watch TV all day. More times than not the game stinks. We count on the commercials to entertain us. What about half-time? Gimme a break. The Rolling Stones combined are 246 years old. Last year an Internet company called GODADDY.COM ran one spot. They sell internet domains. Their ads featured a buxom woman - and were 'goofy" at best. BUT, the ads worked and the startup company thrives still. They want to do it again. They produced a spot and sent it to ABC to air. ABC reviewed it and sent it back. It had to be revised. GODADDY did - and sent it back. It was returned again for revisions. This commercial has now been edited and re-shot NINE times - and ABC has yet to approve it for broadcast. This is political correctness plain & simple. It's hard to argue that broadcasting as a rule hasn't gone too far. It has. It had to be reeled back a bit. If I had a three hour erection - I'd read the bottle - I didn't have to hear it on TV. (And as Seinfeld said: "What was the Doctor gonna do anyway? I don't want to know!")

Look for the TV commercials this year to be watered down, re-edited nine times, re-written, re-shot & sanitized. I just wonder who at ABC is in on the "approval meetings" and where they've drawn the PC line? I bet Jimmy Kimmel isn't on the panel. The Desperate Housewives aren't being consulted. Neither are the casts of One life to Live, All My Children or General Hospital. They have sex on ABC everyday - and the cast of General Hospital has a waiting room full of erections.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How dare you make fun of his name

FUK KING KWOK. That was his name. For 38 years it suited him fine. Fuk King Kwok. I kinda like it. It rolls off the tongue. It's unique. It has character. Fuk King Kwok. Fuk is a Chinese immigrant who went to the Illinois Department of Transportation to get his drivers license. He stood in line. He was given his number. He watched for his number to come up over the door. He entered the room and sat down. He had his paperwork in order. He had identification, drivers test results, and cash. He fully expected to be given his drivers license without delay. Then the State Worker came to help him. She sat down across from Fuk, raised his application - and began to laugh. I'm sure the laughing went on for what seemed to Fuk - an eternity. The IDOT employee was amused with the name Fuk. She was probably named Sue, or something else excruciatingly average. Maybe she didn't notice Fuk was Chinese - where Fuk may be as widely accepted as Danny is here. Doesn't matter. She embarrassed Fuk. Never mind he pronounced it "Fook" - on the drivers license it'd say Fuk - and well, that was comedy to her. Fuk took the license anyway. He left the IDOT office, went home and called a lawyer. Sue the woman? Sue the State of Illinois? He might have a case. No. Fuk made arrangements to change his name. This morning the State of Illinois has a new resident. It says so on his new drivers license. Andy Kwok.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cartoon Character Spokespeople

It's bad enough human spokespeople are being beat out for paying commercial gigs by cartoon characters - now they're getting gross. Here's why this is on my mind.

Forbes magazine just released their list of AMERICA'S FAVORITE SPOKES-CREATURES. The walking & talking M & M's won. The Pillsbury Doughboy was second and the AFLAC duck was third. The list rounds out with the usual suspects - Tony the Tiger, Chester Cheetah, Snap, Crackle & Pop, The Energizer Bunny & The Trix Rabbit. OK - I buy the list. It was generated from "Q" scores - basically a "likeability index" generated from consumer polls. But today's "Spokescreatures" are getting wierd.

Ever see the chocolate chip cookies with eyes and little arms? Gross. I imagine eating their eyeballs each time I eat a cookie. Is this the image the company wants to convey? I doubt it - I bet they want me to concentrate on eating the talking cookies body, but I'm thinking about picking the little arms & legs out of my teeth. The cookies even have little mouths with teeth. Will the little cookie teeth crunch as I chew the cookies? Of course they will. I'll buy the cookies that don't don't have legs.

Have you seen Polyp Man? He's a man in a red Polyp suit encouraging me to get a colon screening. He's a frigging walking talking polyp! If I have him "removed" from my colon - will it be murder? Will I have to put him up in a Hotel because I displaced him from my colon? You get the idea.

Then there's Digger the Dermatophyte. He's living under my toenail. He has little jackhammers digging away at my toenails from the inside. If I take Lamisil he'll apparently die.

My new favorite is Mr. Mucus. He's in my throat and if I take an expectorant he'll be whisked away. He has his whole family with him and in the commercial they have suitcases. I guess they weren't planning on staying long in my throat because I'm gonna cough him up.

This is the way it's going. Talking boogers have to be next. I've already seen talking poop on Southpark. How about talking infections? Band Aid could do a campaign with little talking scabs. Good Lord. Where is Toucan Sam? Sugar Bear where are you? If Charmin toilet paper were to begin a new campaign - there'd be no Mr. Whipple. There'd be toilet paper with eyes looking up at me from a most unflattering angle.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Abraham, Martin, John & Me. We all got shot.

1968. I was there. It seemed like everyone was being shot. I distinctly remember worrying about whether or not I would be shot. Kennedy was shot just a few years prior, students were shot at Kent State, Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down - and Bobby Kennedy was about to be. The Vietman war had become overwhelmingly unpopular and the images of those "shot" were televised nightly. I remember TV & magazines showing mob hits. They were always at restaurants. James Bond starred in "You only live Twice", and he had a LICENSE TO KILL! I didn't worry about tornados, sickness, hunger, the homeless or inflation. I worried about being shot. When I wasn't worrying - I was playing being shot. All boys back then had elaborate toy guns. I had the full scale exact replica M-16. When you pulled the trigger, the sound of a real M-16 came from a speaker in the stock. If they still made these, Police would shoot any kid on sight playing with one. I learned how to die & play dead. This was a big part of playing "guns". I always enjoyed shooting someone more than being shot, but I was much better at being shot than my friends. They didn't put their heart into it. I earned neighborhood Academy Awards for my dying.
"Shoot Brian", they'd say - "He's a great die-er." It wasn't that I died especially well, it's just that I made a great shooting victim. I lunged back as the bullet hit me. Often it took multiple rounds to kill me.

Why then - did I worry about being shot? Because being shot and shot at - was a part of American life 40 years ago. All I know is - if you were to shoot me today - I'd be a great "die-er". It's like riding a bike.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Brad Pitt is my Father

Very soon a kid will be able to say that. Brad has Angelina Jolie pregnant. What's the big deal? I have knowledge about the minds of women. I know many - and here's what's going on. It's simply that women want to have his baby. Yes. I said it. This dude from Springfield Missouri with a High School education is the man women want to Father their children. This fact is what's driving all the media coverage. This story is everywhere. Papers, TV, the internet, radio - I just saw a plane fly over pulling a banner that read, "Angelina is having Brads baby!" Brad Pitt is 43. Did you know that? When this kid graduates High School, Dad will be 60. Isn't he past his prime? Angelina's just 30. Did she know his age? Of course not. She fell under the "I want to have his baby" spell - the rest of you have. Admit it. You too - want to have Brads baby. You'd chuck it all for the opportunity. You'd give up your family, your career - everything - for that chance in a lifetime. If Brad came to you and said, "Baby, let's go!" - that's all it'd take. You'd fall into the "Brad trance" and submit. I hear he smokes dope all day. I hear he smells bad. I hear he doesn't change his clothes for days on end. I hear he's not that smart. Does he even know a single Final Jeopardy Question? You know the answer. No. Doesn't matter. "Brad trance." Will the Angelina relationship last? You know the answer. Too many women want to have his babies. All women. There will be more babies. Different women - other babies. There are over 3 billion women on Earth. He doesn't stand a chance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don't stab me with scissors

Great story this morning about a woman who was upset that her boyfriend played the same song over and over. He listened to the song start to finish over and over all day. He apparently was a fan of the artist and was celebrating the late artists birthday. The song that drove the woman mad was, "Burning Love" by Elvis. Elvis would have been 71 the other day. The woman stabbed said boyfriend three times - hitting nothing "vital" - and he's going to live.

My question is, Is this a song that could drive someone crazy? Surely there are other songs more likely to cause a scissors attack that this 1972 Elvis hit. How about "Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins? How about "You Light up my Life" by Debbie Boone? "Sylvia's Mother" by Dr. Hook. "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks. "Muskrat Love" by the Captain & Tenille". "Feelings" by Morris Albert. "Never Been to Me" by Charlene. Everyone has their personal list. "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees. "Billy Don't be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods. These are a few of mine. Play any of these over and over - and I'm warning you - anything can happen. Your song may be the Barking Dogs doing Jingle Bells or anything sung by Michael Bolton. Think about this and warn those you love. It's in their best interest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My funeral arrangements

I live with a woman obsessed with her funeral. She speaks of it almost daily. She's convinced she's going to die any minute. She wants all to know what to do with her body, what music to play, how to make the announcement & what picture to place in the paper. She has made her wishes known to me. In case I drop her "funeral ball", she has appointed a back-up. This is an almost daily ritual - discussing the details of this inevitable event. She has me thinking of MY funeral arrangements.

Since it's likely these posts will outlive me, I present for all to see - My wishes for MY funeral, should I get run over by a bread truck unexpectedly. These wishes were made with my being of sound mind and body, January 10, 2005.

I want a casket. Not right away, but eventually. I want to be placed in the ground in a casket. I want a service with my body displayed as I looked in life. I'm thinking something like "Weekend at Bernies". I want to be propped up in a recliner or sitting on a couch. Put sunglasses on me. Come sit next to me and speak to me as if I were still alive. Tell me you thought I was a great guy. Play rock music at my service. I want "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad playing as people walk into the service. I don't want any part of my service to be overly religious. I know I'm going to heaven. You aren't going to increase my chance of making it to heaven with prayer. This was in my hands in the way I lived my life, and I'm convinced beyond all doubt - I'll make it. Food. There's gotta be food. I want my step-son Jason to make meatballs. I have entrusted my secret recipe with Jason and am sure he'll be able to replicate them in every way. Clothes. Dress me in a button down collar starched dress shirt with the sleeves at three quarters. I want khakis and tassel loafers. Surely these were the clothes I died in. You may be able to display me in the exact same clothes. I have a will. Respect my wishes. Don't be surprised if you find I don't have much left to inherit. If I live long after retirement - I'll surely try to spend most of it.

That's about it. Khakis, Grand Funk, Shades & Meatballs. In death I'll be as easy to get along with as I was in life.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Short sleeve dress shirts

I may not be the snazziest dresser in the world. In fact, I know I'm not. I'm just not prepared to spend the money required to even be in the running for "Worlds Snazziest Dresser." I do know HOW TO dress snazzy though. What qualifies me? My Dad. He spent 40 years in the high end mens clothing business. Every day he left the house wearing $2000 in clothes. He looked great and was in the business of making others look great. He knew taste. It was his life. He never had even a single short sleeve dress shirt. You know what I'm talking about. Mostly white, single pocket dress shirt with short sleeves. You see them all the time. On sale at Wal Mart. On sale at K Mart. Not to knock the "Marts" and those who shop there, but these are the shoppers that need an injection of "taste". Maybe it's class. Even if it's 100 degrees, short sleeve dress shirts are goofy. If it's so hot you have to wear short sleeves, wear a polo shirt. Wear a t-shirt. If you're in a dress shirt situation - wear a long sleeve dress shirt and roll up the sleeves. Maybe I'm the first to tell you this. Maybe your father didn't know the rules. Mine did. He learned from the best. Albert Myers, Rich & Jim Roberts, Jim Herron, Jim Marblestone - this areas top mens clothiers never made short sleeve dress shirts an option. They never sold them. If a customer asked for one, they were told the rule, and if they persisted, they were told to go to Wal Mart. Dress shirts? I have too many to count. Really. I'm wearing one now, with the sleeves rolled up.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hmmmm, Power Chairs

You see them on TV. You see them at the grocery store. You see people lugging them from the rear of large vans or lowering them from giant side doors. Power chairs. I have romanticized them for a long time. How great it'd be to go anywhere I wanted to go, and stay seated. I could drive through the mall, making the crowds part for my seated butt. I have no disability mind you - just lazy. I'm almost lazy enough to consider becoming permanently seated. The only problem is, how would other people judge me? I'd drive up somewhere - drag out my powerchair - place myself in it - and drive off. Would they think less of me? Along the way people would assume I was unable to walk - they'd hardly notice. But, the people that saw me wrestle the chair in and out of the car would know. Some would think to themselves, "Hey, I saw him on TV last week and he was up walking around fine!" They'd be in a quandary. I'd be comfortably seated.
Now comes news the power chair companies want you to buy power chairs just for the fun of it. I bet pushing that joystick forward and shooting up to 10 mph - IS fun. They want you the public - not to judge ambulatory people in power chairs. Power chair manufacturers want you to accept people and their desire to be lazy. And that's what it is. Lazy. Super lazy.
I may end up having to use a power chair someday. That's when I'll get one - because I don't want to be judged - especially by the other person in the powerchair - who'd give anything to actually use their legs - the way I can right now.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

TV Weather People Tease Me.

"Will we have a sunny day tomorrow? Find out tonight at 10!" "Will it snow tonight? Find out tonight at 10!" "Will the rain last all weekend? Find out tonight at 10!".

In the TV business this is called a "tease". The newsperson has about 5 seconds to promote something during the station ID. You've seen this before. "Will the Meteor strike close to home? Find out tonight at 10!" It's not just weather-people. Sometimes it's the news-anchor. "Local restaurant poisons 100 at lunchtime! Find out where, tonight at 10!" Geez. I ate lunch in a restaurant today. I feel kinda queasy. If I'm not dead at 10 - I'll watch.

Here's my point. These TV stations spend most of their promotion time telling me they are committed to news. "Local news comes first." "We are the News Leader!" "First, Fast & Accurate!" They are under the assumption their committment to news begins and ends during the course of their newscasts. Why not all day? Why not provide information every chance you get? Here's a better tease. "It'll rain all weekend. See ya tonight at 10!" "It's gonna snow 4 inches tonight. Details at 10!" "The comet will miss us, but will destroy Joliet. Pictures at 10!"

I've complained about this to anyone who'd listen for years. I'll call out one person in particular. The worst offender in my market is WCIA-TV 3 Champaign - and Judy Frasier in particular. She's professional & pleasant and doesn't "get it". Her promos are a complete waste of time. The whole staff at Channel 3 does this - and it's time they stop. One guy does "get it". I can't comment on his whole news department - but his "weather teases" are the real deal. Lee Davis at WAND TV 17 Decatur does it right. "It's gonna be 20 below tonight! Grab a blanket and see ya at 10!" He gives me information I can use - even if it's just 5 seconds at a time. Over the course of an evening - a news department could do a complete story!

For the love of God - TV people. Tell me something now. Stop promising me something in 3 or 4 hours.

Haircut music

There I was. In the haircutting chair with the stylist poised over me with scissors. I don't have much hair, so typically haircuts don't take much time. Yesterday it took too long. Why? The early 20'ish stylists (there were two) were listening to a local radio station. It wasn't mine. It was the "number 1 hit music station". I know that because the DJ kept reminding me he was on "the number 1 hit music station". He told me over and over. I was trapped in the chair looking at myself in the mirror - never in doubt that it was the "number 1 hit music station" that was coming from the speakers. This is virtually all the DJ said. He shouted the weather at me once - at a pace that made it difficult to comprehend - and always told me the song he just played - or what he was going to play. This was the extent of his broadcast for my time spent listening. I didn't even catch his name. Maybe he told me - maybe not - but I'm sure it was right before he mentioned he was on the "number 1 hit music station". I began to wonder, how many hit music stations are there anyway? 10, 15, 20? I know the answer. 2. Of the 2 hit music stations in the area, he wanted to assure me he was on the "number 1 hit music station". I don't listen much to "the number 2 hit music station" - I guess I'm just drawn to winners. My opinion of the hairstylists is elevated because they chose the winning station. That's why they got 15 bucks to cut my hair. They'd only get 10 bucks if they played the "number 2 hit music station". Is it important what number a station is? I guess so. "The number 1 hit music station" qualified their claim though - as being number 1 among stations that played "hit music". They didn't say "the number one radio station". Why? I'm not sure. Guess they know they're not.

This movies making me thirsty.

I just received an e-mail from a woman wanting to know why movie tickets & popcorn cost so much. It's pretty simple

Once upon a time, movie studios and movie theaters were in the same business. The studios made films for theater chains that they either owned or controlled, and they received almost all their revenue from ticket sales. Then the government forced the studios to divest themselves of the theaters. Nowadays, the two are in very different businesses. Theater chains, in fact, are in three different businesses.

First, they are in the fast-food business, selling popcorn, soda, and other snacks. This is an extremely profitable operation in which the theaters do not split the proceeds with the studios (as they do with ticket sales). I once heard a theatre owner describe the cup holder mounted on each seat, as "the most important technological innovation since sound." He also credited the extra salt added into the buttery topping on popcorn as the "secret" to extending the popcorn-soda-popcorn cycle throughout the movie. For this type of business, theater owners don't benefit from movies with gripping or complex plots, since that would keep potential popcorn customers in their seats.

Second, theater chains are in the movie exhibition business. Here they are partners with the studios. Although every deal is different, the theaters and the studios generally wind up splitting the take from the box office roughly 50-50. But, unlike the popcorn bonanza, the theaters' expenses eat up a large part of their exhibition share. They pay all the costs necessary to maintain the auditoriums, which includes ushers, cleaning staffs, projectionists to keep the movies in focus, and the regular replacement of projector bulbs that cost more than $1,000 each.

Third, the theaters are in the advertising business. They sell on-screen ads. Some advertisers are paying more to theaters willing to pump up the volume so we will pay attention. Since there are virtually no costs involved in showing ads, the proceeds go directly to the theaters' bottom line.

To keep this people-moving popcorn/soda thing going, theater owners prefer movies whose length does not exceed 128 minutes. If a long movie promises to bring in a big enough audience—a promise King Kong made but did not deliver—the theaters will play it. The ultimate test is: Will a movie attract enough consumers of buckets of popcorn and soda to justify turning over multiple screens to it? Theater owners know that the popcorn audience is mainly teens - they're the only ones who can afford all that popcorn - I know - I gave 'em the money.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I have big feet.

Big feet. Not "circus big" - just big. Size 13. Had a woman call today and ask my size. I said, "13". She said I "sounded" like someone with big feet. I took that as a compliment. In my world - men with little feet are "girlie men". They have whiney high pitched voices - and run from trouble like Forrest Gump. Big feet guys would include manly men like John Wayne. I don't know this for sure, I just imagine John Wayne had big feet. Don't you? I mentioned my size on air - not realizing I was offending men with small feet listening. They are insecure enough without having to endure a low voiced manly man - ribbing them about their Cinderella feet. In my family the mens feet are big. I've produced two sons with big feet and a daughter with pretty big feet too. We all have a larger than average "platform" on which to balance. Big feet are good for a persons esteem. I feel slightly better about myself having big feet. If you have small feet - you will never know the joy I feel everyday. I can punt a football 40 yards and kick off a tee 50. I can lift you off your feet kicking you in the butt - and can kill thousands of swarming ants in one stomp.

I've received mail today from men offended by my comments. Women are laughing and reporting to me their husbands size. One women even wants to date me. I knew it. Big feet gets the girls.

The West Virginia Miners

Many of you awoke to a newspaper headline proclaiming: "DREAMS SRE ANSWERED - MINERS ALIVE" - or something to that effect. It's "Dewey defeats Truman" all over again. The miners were not alive. For several hours in the middle of the night reports were that 12 of the 13 miners were alive. The families celebrated. Fact is, 12 were DEAD and 1 was alive. What happened? It comes down to one person eavesdropping on a cell phone call from the rescuers. That person reported to the Governor - who in turn announced the happy news. The cable news channels went crazy. News websites around the world reported the news. What happened? Simple. The first rule in media journalism was broken. TWO SOURCES. Hell, I'm not even in news - just the media business - and I know the rule. They teach it in college journalism. It's preached in newsrooms all across America everyday. Stories are NOT reported BECAUSE there is just one source. Media today is instantaneous. There is a competition between outlets to get the story first. This is where the whole process breaks down. One single solitary person gets it wrong - and the wrong news circles the world in an instant. NBC reports it because CNN did. CBS reports it because Associated Press did. Reuters reports it because a local West Virginia TV station did. The BBC reports it because - well everybody is. Media chooses it words carefully. Stuff like, "reports are" & "it's being reported." Everyone's stealing from one another - and not one reporter got it right - because they broke the cardinal rule. TWO SOURCES.
A couple of media people will be fired today. They'll be in the newsrooms - run "old school." Most however, will keep their jobs because these days, whose "old school?" This will happen again - and your faith in media to "get it right" will be diminished a little bit more.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sirius + XM Radio = Dumb

Have you subscribed? Hope not. The future of broadcasting may be satellite radio - but not yet - not by a long shot. Both Sirius & XM are being touted as the answer to your entertainment prayers. You'll hear endless commercial free music. You have over 100 channels to choose from. Sounds good - right? What are you thinking? YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. You own a CD burner, hell - you've had a cassette recorder for 25 years. You had the option of playing endless commercial free music in your car - or anywhere - for years - but chose not to. Why? Those "mix" tapes & CD's of yours are pretty good. They're tailored just for you. You like every single song - but still they got old. You may have 50 of these CD's. You don't listen to them anymore. Why?
Because even you don't know what you want. You found that even your own CD's bore you. I've listened to radio focus groups complain for years about the state of commercial radio. People like you say they want fewer commercials and fewer babbling DJ's. Radio companies then responded with formats that delivered fewer commercials and fewer babbling DJ's. No one listened. The stations with real personality always win. Listeners are drawn to broadcasts & broadcasters they can identify with. Sirius & XM deliver neither. Sure, there are some talk channels. Sure, there are some decent personalities on there - BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. I keep coming back to that. Your radio has OVER 100 channels to choose from right now. No matter what genre of music or format you prefer, America's over 10,000 radio stations deliver everyday - absolutely free. Howard Stern has really made the leap of faith. His show is just one of the 100 and looks to have a national audience equal to that of just a single broadcast station. He got big bucks though. The satellite companies needed him alot more than Howard needed them - and he made them pay.

There was a time years ago, some said cable TV would be the end of over the air television. It never happened. The TV networks simply embraced the technology and got their own cable channels. Radio is in the process of doing the same thing. Soon, every FM station will be several stations rolled into one. HD radio - is on the horizon. Soon you'll have thousands of radio choices at work, home & in the car - AND IT WILL BE FREE.

I worked satellite radio for ABC Radio several years ago - and it was the most miserable experience of my life. I'll take radio the way it is right now - me and my little 50,000 watts - and my audience that actually rivals Howard Stern. You don't have to pay a thing - because I make less than $100 million a year.

January means the "Resolution Diet"

What are we thinking? Collectively we've lost our minds. Turn on TV. You see it everywhere. A pill that burns fat. A shake that increases metabolism. A chair that works abs. A cookie that burns calories. A drink that causes you to lose 10 pounds in 2 hours. Ice Cream that leaps from the carton and puts you through a complete low impact workout. M & M's that can double as medicine balls. Hamburger barbells.

These products are everywhere - BECAUSE IT'S JANUARY. These companies know you resolved to drop some weight a couple of days ago. Their marketing campaigns are underway to cash in. And they will. We will spend millions and millions on this stuff. Videos, juicers, walkers, giant things with long rubber straps. Straps you attach to the bed - or the door - or the fridge - and remember - it stores away conveniently under a bed. Eat what you want and exercise just minutes a day and you can look like that fruitbasket 42 year old with the incredible abs. I want to look like that Tony Little guy with the long hair. All muscle - and the worst hair on television. I want a Gazelle. I want to take the super pill - and ride the super bike - drinking the super drink - while eating the calorie free pizza. I want to look in a mirror in just 8 weeks and look like Christie Brinkley. I won't of course, and neither will you - unless we stop EATING SO DAMN MUCH!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dick Clark go home.

Give it up Dick. You had a stroke. I mean this with the best of intentions. I am a fan. I met you and have a picture to prove it. That's Me & Dick at a gig in Dallas. You had a hell of a run. Local Philadelphia TV, to National TV and a production company. You looked good to the bitter end. You were the standard of handsome. What America witnessed New years Eve was sad at best. I imagine those close to you urged you to go on air. Your appearances, though brief - were painful to watch. It's not that you couldn't be understood. It's that you used to have such a beautiful voice. The voice is now slurred and strained. Maybe with rehab you can get it back - but in the meantime allow us to remember Dick Clark the way you were. Handsome, Strong & Smart. Smart. That's it. You are too smart to ever appear on television again - UNLESS it's in a NON HOSTING role. America is now left with this impression of an old Dick Clark - and my friend - that's impossible.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

I am one of the ONE BILLION people on Earth crazy about coffee. Coffee. Just plain ole' coffee. Columbian mountain grown - Mrs Olsen - full flavored - caffeinated coffee. No nuts. No cremes. No mochas. I'm a cream & blue packet man. Oh man. Not just in the morning, but virtually all day. About the only time I don't have a coffee - is between 2pm & 6:30pm. This is after "work coffee" and before "home coffee". There is a distinct difference between work & home - coffee. Work coffee tastes like crap. Oh, I build up a tolerance to it. My work coffee is institutional coffee in little bags made with bad water. I know the waters' bad at work because the machine gunks up with all the corrosive stuff in it. If you pour a glass of water here - you can clearly see stuff floating in it. Might be bad pipes. Might be Riverton Illinois (water provider for my work coffee) has serious water issues. Maybe their giant city filter is "full". Nevertheless, this bad water, and our coffee - make for a pretty bad coffee experience. This phenomenon is exaggerated after vacations. I go back to "home coffee' for a week. The difference is startling. Should I die suddenly, and the authorities have no clues as to why I died - would you please steer them to my "work coffee". Surely, I'm gunking up my insides like my workplace coffeemaker.