That's how many days are left until the greatest day of the year! Oh yes, my friends. I'm talking about WWE Night of Champions, live this Sunday from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville!
I am more excited for this than I have been for anything in a long time. Brandi and I bought my son Ben tickets for his birthday (you can't beat $20 seats). Our friend and his son are going with us as well and no one in the group (aside from me) has been to a WWE Pay-Per-View before. I wish I could say the reason I'm excited is for them. It's not. I'm excited because it's pro wrestling and I'm a superfan!!
You'd think after 30 years I would've grown out of it, but no. I'll be a fan for life. My first exposure to it was in the 3rd grade. A kid in my class brought a copy of WWE Magazine (back then it was WWF) to school and I was hooked the second I saw Hulk Hogan. He and the rest of the wrestlers in the magazine were like comic book superheroes come to life!
I begged my parents to let me watch wrestling on the weekends and I don't think I missed a second of it. They were totally cool about me watching it until an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event left me in tears. How could King Kong Bundy attack the Hulkster from behind like that?! Since when did Magnificent Muraco work with Bundy?! HOW WAS HULK GOING TO BE OKAY IN TIME FOR WRESTLEMANIA??!!
My dad and I had to have "The Talk."
Dad: "Um…hey buddy. Listen, this wrestling thing. I know you like it and all, but it's not real."
Dad: "The matches are scripted. They know who's going to win ahead of time. I promise you that Hulk and King Kong Bundy are friends and don't really want to hurt each other. They probably go out and have a few beers together after the matches Think of it like a movie or a performance."
Me: "Wait. So…"
Dad: "No, you can't hit your sister with a chair."
I always have to shake my head when people come up to me now and feel the need to inform me that wrestling isn't real. Come on, man. That's not why I watch it. I watch it because it's fun! And of course I have to be the guy who, when others decide to watch TV/movies afterward, reminds them that their choice in television programming isn't real either. Except for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. That's totally real. *wink*
My son has become a fan as well and I couldn't be happier about it. There's a whole new generation of stars that cater to a whole new generation of fans and he's as hooked as I was back then. We also spend many hours reliving classic moments from wrestling's past on the WWE Network, which may be one of the most genius things ever created. I will subscribe to this thing for life. If there was a 24-hour network for pro wrestling when I was his age I never would've gone out with girls.
Anyway, think of us this Sunday evening while we're up in the nosebleeds with our signs, cheering and yelling and chanting our butts off. I love making new memories and we're sure to make some good ones that night.
“Time and tide wait for no man.” - Geoffrey Chaucer
I don’t know what it is, but 2014 has been a constant reminder of that for me. My daughter turned 16. My son finished his first year at Stewart County High School. I took another step towards turning 40. And it’s only June for crying out loud!
I’m a guy that looks to the past a lot anyway. I wouldn’t say that I’m living in the past, but I do a lot of reflecting. I’m also fascinated with that Timehop app.
“See your photos and updates from this exact day in history. Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends!”
That’s what the little blurb says on the Timehop website. I downloaded this thing a few days ago and it’s been full of neat little trips down memory lane. There was a note that my son left me for Father’s Day, getting ready for a big concert, pictures with my best friends. One major life event has been sticking out the last 2 days, which has had me really thinking again about that time waits for no man quote.
It was 5 years ago this month that I packed everything that I owned into a small trailer and said goodbye to the bright lights of Cleveland, Ohio and began my journey to western Kentucky to chase my dream of being on the radio. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already.
Back in 2007, when I turned 30, I went through a bit of a personal crisis. I woke up one day and realized that I hadn’t really accomplished anything in my life. I felt like I was just throwing the days, months, and years away.
“And no one said it was gonna be easy/And I’m not afraid to try/And with the odds stacked up against me, I will have to fight/One life, one chance, gotta do it right!” -H2O
My first internship had me do everything from promotions to on-air stuff!
Feeling inspired, I decided to follow my heart and go after something that I knew would make me happy. I enrolled in broadcasting school and completely buried myself in it. I had more than my share of obstacles and setbacks to deal with. My mom passed away about halfway through. I went through a pretty ugly breakup with a girl that left me broke and homeless. If it wasn’t for the incredible support I got from my best friends, who I consider my brothers and sisters, I never would’ve made it.
I have hair!!
6 months after graduation, in June of 2009, I left northeast Ohio to start my career. It was equal parts exciting and terrifying. I was moving 500+ miles away from home with everything I owned and just a little bit of money in my pocket. I never planned to stay here more than 2 years before moving on to the next city, the next state, the next step in my career.
Here I sit 5 years later, still a radio guy in western Kentucky, and I couldn’t be happier with where my life is. My son moved here with me a year ago. I’m with a great girl, living in a pretty cool small town (Dover!), working his dream job with some pretty amazing and talented people. It’s hard to believe that the time has passed so fast. I sometimes wonder where I’d be had I not taken that risk of starting over all those years ago. Either way, it’s a pretty good place to be.
“Our life is made up of time. Our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. [...] And yet time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could.” â Cecelia Ahern
Time is ticking, my friends. Take that chance you’ve been waiting to take. Don’t let time take it away from you.
Windy Waters and I talked on the show this morning about “guilty pleasure” songs. The one I named this morning was Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” but there are many others. It’s a topic that I love to talk about and one that always gets good participation. Honestly, I love every music discussion we have whether it’s your first concert, first record…doesn’t matter. I’m a music geek and it’s the main reason I got into radio. I wanted to listen to music I loved and share that love with the masses.
Wikipedia lists the definition of a guilty pleasure as “something someone enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it.” However, I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I don’t think you should ever apologize for what you love, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. I don’t have any guilty pleasures now, but that wasn’t always the case.
Back in 2000, I was working as a manager at KB Toys in one of the suburban-Cleveland malls. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had. We used to get these CDs in to play in the store that would have about 100 songs on them, plus commercials about specials we were running. One CD would last us 1 to 2 months, then we’d get the new one.
In the spring of 2000, there was a song on one of these CDs that I became obsessed with. It started with this killer harmonica part that led into ooey-gooey bubblegum-pop goodness. A catchy melody with smooth harmonies and a chorus that absolutely soared. I had no idea who this artist was but I knew that this song made me happy. I’d get goosebumps when that harmonica came through the speakers and I’d sing my heart out every time it was on. I didn’t care how many customers we had in the store!
After about 2 weeks, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I needed to know who the master songsmiths were that weaved this 4-and-a-half perfect minutes of musical brilliance together. Off to the office I went and dug through my desk until I found the envelope the CD came in. I pulled out the paper and eagerly scanned the list of songs on it. I was not prepared for what I found.
The song was called “If Only” by the band Hanson.
Wait…what? Surely I must have read that wrong.
Yes. THAT Hanson. The brothers who released MMMBop, one of the most infamous songs of the 90s. The 24-year old musical snob in me was NOT equipped to handle what was happening to my world at that moment. Everything I had come to believe about music was now in question. I think I kept my love for that song (and the band) in the closet until 2004, which was when their next record came out. The song Penny & Me forced me to admit out loud that the brothers Hanson had matured into an excellent band with some great songwriting skills and anyone who says otherwise is just wrong.
It was around the same time that I retired my use of the term “guilty pleasure” and went along with the idea that there are 2 rules to music (rule #1: if it sounds good, it is good; rule #2: there are no other rules). Yes, I like “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Yes, I know every word to “Everywhere” by Michelle Branch. And you know what? I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. As a matter of fact, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want...
I got a text this morning while I was on-air from my girlfriend. She had just heard the new Tim McGraw song “Lookin’ for That Girl” and was completely losing her mind. We started talking about the song and the upcoming CD and she could barely contain her excitement. We had a similar conversation recently about the new Eric Church song and the soon-to-be-released CD, too. While we may not always see eye-to-eye on our music tastes, she gets just as excited and passionate as I do for new music. It’s one of the things I love about her.
That conversation with her got me to thinking back about hearing new music for the first time. It was one of the things I loved about radio when I was younger. And it’s a whole different beast today. There are so many different outlets. Sure, you can hear all the new stuff from your favorite artists on Froggy, but there’s so much new technology at your fingertips. You hear all the time about artists debuting new songs at certain websites, exclusively for a TV show or even live streams of the new CD weeks before its release. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure that you can find leaked copies online via methods that aren’t exactly a popular choice among record labels (read: illegal download).
I’m 36 years old. When I was a kid (and even in high school) we didn’t have all of that. I had 2 main sources of getting music. One was from my buddy JT. He was the man. His cousin was a few years older than we were and had access to all of this incredible music. Whether it was new Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson or Helloween, I always knew I was going to hear it from him pretty early on.
The other, obviously, was the radio. They would tease new songs and I would sit for what felt like hours with a blank cassette and the tape deck on pause, waiting to record the song I was waiting for. Eric Carmen’s “Make Me Lose Control” is the very first song I can remember being obsessed with taping off the radio. I also remember Westwood One would do album release parties. They’d play a few songs (not yet on the radio) from the new record and interview the band about it. A lot of times it’d be done in front of a live audience. It’d be a Sunday night and I’d stay up (again with the tape deck paused) ready to record, then play it back over and over, studying every lyric, note and piece of trivia I could.
Of course, recording off the radio and dubbing to another cassette was the start of making radio shows as a kid too. Heather McRibbits and I talked a lot before I sat down to write this about how she’d record songs then make commercials and interviews and everything else. But that’s a whole other blog for another time.
So I guess that although technology has evolved over the years, the aforementioned conversation made me realize that the excitement is still there. It proves once again what I’ve always felt: music and the love we share for it is neverending…
It’s Halloween!! There’s so much to love about this time of year. The weather has turned cool and the leaves are changing and it’s almost perfect outside. I love seeing all of the little trick-or-treaters in their best scary (or not-so-scary) costumes walking around and begging for free candy. Heck, I still walk around the office begging for free candy (just not in a costume).
I’m a fan of scary movies, too. I’ve seen them all. The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Evil Dead 2, Friday the 13th, Psycho, Carrie, Paranormal Activity. They’re far more fun to me than scary and it’s definitely better to watch them now than any other time of year.
There’s not a lot that scares me these days (after all, I was married once). But there IS something from my childhood that not only scared the bejeezus out of me then, it still gives me the creeps today. You might want to sit down for this one because you’re not going to believe it.
Stop laughing!! I’m serious!!
In case you didn’t know, the music video for Thriller came out in December 1983 to much fanfare. It was an epic 13-minute video that was more like a movie and it changed the way music videos were made forever. It’s pretty much regarded as the greatest music video of all-time.
It’s been 30-years since I last watched it, so I’ll do my best here to summarize it for those who might not have seen it. Michael Jackson is walking in the woods with his girlfriend and he turns into a werewolf, or something. Turns out it wasn’t for real, but in a movie they were watching in a theater. His girlfriend runs out and he goes after her. They end up arguing whether or not she was scared and then the song starts. The video then features graveyards, dancing zombies and a chilling Vincent Price narration.
I was 6-years old when the video came out and was with my parents at my uncle’s house the first time I saw it. The werewolf, the dancing zombies, the undead rising from the grave…none of this scared me. What got me was the end.
Zombie MJ and the rest of his crew are about to get the girl at the end when she wakes up and realizes it was all just a bad dream. Michael is there to comfort her and offers to take her home. As they’re walking out of the house, Michael turns back with this evil smile and yellow eyes. The camera freezes on it as Vincent Price’s maniacal laugh closes out the video.
What follows is an absolute, 100% true story. I screamed and cried louder than I had ever screamed and cried before. Something about those eyes and that laugh freaked me out and I lost it. I ran over to my Mom and jumped in her lap, tears streaming down my face as my Dad just laughed at me.
The crazy part is that I am now 36-years old and not only have I never watched that video again, I can’t even listen to the song. If it comes on the radio or on TV, I immediately change it. I can’t listen to the duet with Paul McCartney that was on that record because I know that Thriller was the next song on the record. I couldn’t even look up pictures for the video to include in my blog. Crazy? Ridiculous? Yeah…maybe just a little.
The Florida Georgia Line concert went on-sale weeks ago, yet people are STILL buzzing about it and I can’t help but get excited too. I don’t know what it is that makes me romanticize going to concerts and everything about it. For me, it’s an experience like no other. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. Never have. Music and concerts have always given me a high that could never be matched.
I remember being a kid and listening to old 45s with my Mom all the time. She had the coolest record collection, too. Everyone from The Beatles to Kenny Rogers to The Eagles to Crystal Gayle to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. We’d sit on the floor with her record collection spread out everywhere and sing along for hours. It’s one of my most favorite memories growing up.
I must have asked a thousand questions about the artists, the lyrics, the album cover art…and she answered every single one of them. I got to hear stories about all the great concerts she went to when she was younger. I remember looking at old Polaroids she took at a Moody Blues concert where she was right up front. So close she could touch the band members. I think this was where my concert obsession started. I was crushed the couple times she went to WGAR’s Country Fest and didn’t take me because I was too little.
Starting at around age 3, I would put on these little concerts for my family. Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa (and sometimes Uncle Dave!) would be in attendance as I ran through the 1979 hit “Gold” by folk/alt country singer John Stewart, then followed it up with an encore of “Jesus Is Just Alright” by the Doobie Brothers while strumming my plastic Mickey Mouse guitar (which I later upgraded to a Dukes of Hazzard guitar).
The first real band I ever got to see play live was in 1992. First, let me clarify something. When I say “real” band, I don’t mean my Mom’s buddies in The Cleveland Beat that played in bars and at the County Fair. I’m talking the Oak Ridge Boys. It was during that year’s Presidential campaign. George H.W. Bush had a public rally on October 28th. Bruce Willis and the Oak Ridge Boys were there. My high school marching band was one of several that were invited to play as well and I got to see the Oak Ridge Boys perform a couple of songs. Not an actual concert, but it was still a pretty cool experience.
My first real concert was July 18th, 1995. Van Halen came to Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH with Skid Row and Our Lady Peace. I was absolutely blown away. The power and energy. The drums and bass thumping in my chest. The roar of the crowd and the sight of 20,000+ with their fists in the air singing along with every single word. To that point, it was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced and I wanted more.
I became a concert-going junkie. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve seen hundreds of shows in many different cities and states (and Canada!) and made many priceless memories. I’ve waited in line at 5am for tickets to go on-sale. I’ve gone to shows by myself, knowing that I’d run into 1 or 12 friends before the end of the night. The lights would go out and I’d hit the crowd and just get lost until the lights came back up again.
I finally got to see a concert with my Mom! Billy Joel and Elton John’s Face to Face tour came to Cleveland on April 15, 2003. The joy on her face that night took me right back to the living room floor with all of her records. I think that might be my favorite all-time concert.
The farthest I’ve ever traveled for a show was to see Pearl Jam in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The date was September 11th, 2005 and I skipped out on my 10-year high school reunion to go.
The best seat I’ve ever had was for Sammy Hagar in Columbus, OH on June 25th, 2006. I was ON THE STAGE. It was the most I’ve ever paid for a ticket and it was worth every penny.
It’s been a few years since I actively attended concerts. I’ve mellowed out a bit in my old age, but I do miss it sometimes. Thankfully, my job has given me a chance to make some cool new memories.
Being a lifelong radio fan and now a DJ, finally experiencing the Grand Ole Opry was something I’d dreamed about for a long time. It’s the show that made Country Music famous! I got to take my girlfriend for her first Opry show on her birthday this year and it made me happy to see her smile. Old Crow Medicine Show absolutely tore the house down.
Last weekend, I also got to take my son to his first concert when we went to the Big O Music Fest in Owensboro. Parking and walking through the field at Reid’s Orchard to the front gate reminded me of my first long walk to the front gate at Blossom almost 20 years ago. It was kinda like coming full circle, I suppose.
So…yeah, I’m excited for FGL on October 10th!! I hope you are too and I hope you’re able to make some memories like I’ve been lucky enough to do over the years. Heck, we’ll be making them together that night, won’t we? I may even get lost in the crowd one more time.
Froggyland is absolutely buzzing since the big announcement that Florida Georgia Line is coming to the CFSB Center on October 10th. In the days leading up to the announcement, Davey Croakett and I were talking about the show and the opening acts, Colt Ford and Dallas Smith. It went something like this:
DC: “Hey, did you hear who the openers are for the show?”
Me: “I heard Colt Ford. Who’s the other?”
DC: “Dallas Smith.”
Me: “Um…who’s Dallas Smith?”
DC: “Let’s learn together!”
Davey searches Google and the second I saw his picture, I freaked.
Me: “Wait…THAT DALLAS SMITH?!”
Me: “THE GUY FROM DEFAULT?!”
DC: “Surely, that can’t be the same Dallas Smith.”
After a little detective work, we realized that it was indeed the same Dallas Smith.
ANYWAY...Before becoming a Canadian Country sensation, Dallas Smith was the singer for the rock band Default. The band released their debut record The Fallout in 2001 (which quickly sold over a million copies) and their first single off the record was “Wasting My Time”. In the summer of 2001, for about 2 months, this was the greatest song ever recorded. I loved that song. I’m serious. I wore that CD out.
In August of 2002, I got to see Default play live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in beautiful Cleveland, OH. From 2001 to 2002, MTV would film weekly concerts in the summer at the Rock Hall and play them on TV. Tickets were only $5 and they had some pretty epic shows there. It was awesome. Rock bands, pop singers, R&B artists…it seemed like they brought everyone to town and I think I went to almost every single one of them.
ANYWAY, Default absolutely tore the house down which you’ll see in the clip below. (1,000,000 bonus internets to anyone who can spot a young Jumpin’ Jack in the crowd)
As I sit here typing away, I’m listening to that record and I feel like I’m 25 years old again. It serves as a reminder of a great time in my life and will always hold a special place in my heart.
You can check Dallas Smith and his music out here at his website. Time will tell as to what his legacy as a country artist will be. All I know is that, while I’m stoked to see FGL and Colt Ford on October 10th, I’ll be geeking out when Dallas hits the stage to kick off the show.
And Dallas, if you’re reading this, October 10th will be a #ThrowbackThursday. So if you don’t mind, please play “Wasting My Time” when you finish your set. The kid in the back with the yellow Froggy shirt sure would appreciate it.
With the release of Man of Steel just days away, I thought it’d be appropriate to blog today about Superman and what he means to me. Regular listeners of the show and Facebook friends know that I am a HUGE geek and am completely unapologetic for it. Comics, superheroes…I never grew out of that phase. I was always a fan of Spidey, the Hulk, Batman and others.
The new Hardee's/MoS commercial is one of my favorites right now
But, it was the Last Son of Krypton that really captured my imagination. Here was a guy that was everything I wanted to be as a kid; tall, handsome, virtuous, with super speed and strength. He could fly and bend steel and he was bulletproof. You couldn’t really hurt him.
Coming from a broken home as a child, it was that last one that really stuck with me. You couldn’t hurt him and he always beat the bad guys. Man…if I could be Superman, I’d never have to hurt again. Cartoons and comics were a vehicle for escape that I still kinda use to this day.
The very first time I saw a real-life Superman was with Christopher Reeve’s iconic portrayal in the 1978 movie. I was only about 3 when I saw it and I was captivated. In fact, I was so emotionally invested that in the scene where Lois Lane falls from the helicopter, I actually dove off my couch to try to save her!! I’m pretty sure that when my Mom was alive, she told that story to every girl I ever dated.
I’ll never forget the way that movie made me feel and, as an adult, that’s the way I look at superhero movies. I don’t care about how it matches the comic or how they changed the outfit or anything like that. I just want to get lost for a little while. I want them to make me feel like a kid again.
"I totally tried to save you this one time..."
Compiling and reading the news everyday, I see all kinds of death, destruction and all-around bad news. This is exactly why it’s the perfect time to be reintroduced to the Man of Steel. Clearly, the world still needs a Superman. He may not always be the coolest or the edgiest. He may not be snarky and witty or an anti-hero. I’m okay with that. He’s still MY hero and “truth, justice & the American way” will never go out of style.
Now, if only I could find some adult-sized Superman footie pajamas…
“…on my soul, I swear that until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice are the reality we all share, I'll never stop fighting. Ever.” - Superman
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Hickman County Spring Chicken Fest in Clinton, KY. It was my first year going and I was REALLY excited after hearing how much fun Windy Waters had the last 2 years out there. The poster says it’s, “A Feather Rufflin’ Good Time,” and I was ready for it!
When Windy was there last year she competed (and did really well) in the Chicken Dance Contest. Given my past as a professional Chicken Dancer, I knew I could do at least as well as she did. Maybe even a little better. I embarked on an intense 3-week training regimen to get ready and felt I was well prepared. More on that later.
(Flashback pic: Windy last year)
We made the hour long trek to Clinton and I was pretty nervous. It rained cats and dogs pretty much the whole drive there. I was afraid we’d get there only to find out the event had been rained out. Much to my relief, things were going forward as scheduled when we got there and we got right to setting up.
Something pretty incredible happened after we got our tent up. Mr. Froggy was a little upset about all the rain and decided to do something about it. He chicken danced. This was no ordinary chicken dance, though. It stopped raining as soon as he was done.
It didn’t rain a single drop the rest of the time we were out there. I don’t know if there was something mystical about the way he did it and I wasn’t about to dwell on it. It was time to have some fun!
And a fun time we had. Considering the weather, there was a great amount of people there checking out the booths of arts & crafts, the games for kids and the chicken. Oof. There were food vendors cooking a million kinds of chicken and it smelled sooooooo good. It was pretty yummy, too! It was hard not to spend all of my money on all that tasty chicken.
Shortly before noon, they held the first of many events that day: the kids chicken clucking contest! Willie Cluckin’ Nelson kicked off the contest and the kids had a pretty good time. After that, I started warming up for the Chicken Dance contest. I double-knotted my Adidas and got my “wings” a flappin’. My confidence was at an all-time high. Little did I know, I was about to come crashing back down to earth.
I was approached by a representative of the southeast division of the APCD (Association of Professional Chicken Dancers). She proceeded to tell me that I had been disqualified from that afternoon’s competition and had been suspended indefinitely.
I know what you’re thinking. “What? This is a travesty of justice!” Well, in the spirit of “National Honesty Day,” I have to come clean and say that I got busted for cheating. Yep. Banned substances.
Whilst in the middle of my training regimen I realized that I’m no spring chicken and my days of competitive chicken dancing were long behind me. That, combined with the pressure of trying to compete with Windy Waters, led me to use PEDs. You know: Performance Enhancing Drumsticks. I was also caught with pine tar under my wings…er…arms for a more smooth flap. I’d like to extend my sincerest apologies to my fans, my family and the APCD for my actions.
Still, a good time was had by all and I hope to be invited back next year too!
(*Okay…being that this is “85% of a true story,” it’s clear that part of this story is made up. I’d like to set the record straight on that now. I wore Asics that day, not Adidas.)
Ever since I was a little kid, I've been an avid reader. My Grandma started reading to me when I was a baby and by age 2 1/2, I was starting to read back to her. I absolutely LOVE to read. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, comics...it doesn't matter. I'm always happy to have a book in my hand and I'm notorious for being in the middle of 2 or 3 books at the same time.
About 3 weeks ago, I was invited to read to Ms. Sheila Cooper's 1st grade class at Southwest Elementary School for Dr. Seuss week. I was incredibly honored and jumped at the chance to share my love of reading with these little tykes. It was, without a doubt, the coolest, most rewarding experience of my DJ career. I read the Dr. Seuss book, "I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today." I had the full attention of the class the whole time and we did a cool little Q & A session at the end.
I left the school that day with a skip in my step. I had a blast and it really felt good to make the kids laugh and smile. It was a very rewarding experience and I look forward to doing it again in the future.
Well, I got another reward from the experience today. A big yellow envelope came to the station today full of "thank you" letters from the kids in Ms. Cooper's class. I haven't stopped smiling all day long and I have to share these with you here. So...I scanned all 10 letters and I'm including them in my blog today. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
(Author's Note: Challenge Accepted!)
(Author's Note: Only when the air conditioning is broken)
(Author's Note: This was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Hopefully next time we can bring Mr. Froggy.)
As a radio DJ, I get a lot of work perks. It's definitely a cool job. This might just be the best work perk. Ever.
You know, I normally try to find things fun or unusual for my blogs. I figure that we all deal with enough serious stuff every single day that sometimes you need to check out something entertaining to take your mind off of it and brighten your day.
This week’s blog deals with the serious stuff. More specifically, it puts the serious stuff in a bit of a different light. It’s about The Gratitude Jar.
TheGratitudeJar.com is a website that’s made quite a splash recently on the internet and the concept is pretty cool. It’s a chance to not only read uplifting messages from others, but it gives you a chance to share what you’re grateful for in your life.
From their Facebook page: Expressing gratitude for your blessings has been scientifically proven to create optimism, decrease health problems, and protect your heart against heart attacks... It has also been unscientifically proven to create more things to be grateful for... true story!!!
It’s really easy for people, especially me, to get caught up in the stress of day to day life and turn mole hills into mountains. Car trouble, money trouble, feeling sick, something goes wrong at work, trouble with a family member…sometimes all you can focus on is the negative stuff that’s happening. I do it more than I’d like to admit. I have a lot to be grateful for, though. I have 3 amazing children that I am very proud of. I have the most incredible woman in my life. I’m doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing and I get paid to do it. I’ve got some really great friends. I’ve got a roof over my head and food in my fridge and shoes on my feet. Life isn’t so bad.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” -Thornton Wilde
That quote is straight from The Gratitude Jar’s homepage. It’s a message that we all should remember as often as we can. What are YOU thankful for? Feel free to tell me at email@example.com
Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away and while it’s supposed to be a time for love, it can also be a time of great stress and agony. Especially for guys.
There’s so much pressure to deliver on Valentine’s Day. Do I get her the chocolates? Do I not? Am I picking out the right jewelry? What if she’s allergic to the flowers I pick out? How can I be original without being cheesy? It’s even harder if you’re romantically-challenged like me. She might say it’s not a big deal or any gift is better than no gift but if you fail to deliver on V-Day, you’re gonna be in the doghouse buddy.
Or maybe you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day alone this year. Is there anything more depressing? How do you handle that?
Of course, maybe we’re just trying too hard. Maybe we’re over-thinking the entire holiday. After all, isn’t simple sometimes better? And who has a more simple approach to over-thought adult problems than kids. Ryan from Guyism.com hit the streets get some advice from kids about how to handle Valentine’s Day. You’ll laugh...you’ll feel awkward...you’ll want to give this dude a hug. Check it out.
Whatever you decide to do, just have fun with it. Happy Valentine's Day, Froggyland!
As someone who works in radio, I have the privilege of working with some incredibly talented and creative people. Whether we’re thinking of cool little on-air bits, commercials for a station client or promotions for our listeners, the one constant is how much fun we always seem to have. I’ve been joking around since I got into the business that I’ll never work a real job again.
However, once in a while we run across someone or something that makes us say, “HOLY COW!! HOW DID WE NOT THINK OF THAT FIRST?!”
The Wall Street Journal had a cool little article the other day that did just that. The article was about a group of guys that have been locked in an intense game of “tag” for 23 years. No, that’s not a typo. THEY’VE BEEN PLAYING “TAG” FOR THE LAST 23 YEARS. You know “tag,” right? Kid game. Playground. One guy is “it” and chases everyone until he catches someone else, who then becomes “it.”
Obviously, it would be a little weird for a bunch of grown men to be chasing each other around on the playground. Besides, that’d be way too easy. No, my friends, these gentlemen take it to a whole new level.
One guy starts off as “it.” There are no geographic restrictions. That means that you can move to the far corners of the Earth and still play the game. For the month of February, the game is live. These guys travel around the country and show up in the most random places just to tag one of the other players (One guy sat in the bushes outside his friend’s house for 2 days. 2 DAYS!!). They enlist the help of wives and co-workers and anyone else they can find. The last one tagged stays “it” for the rest of the year.
One of the more interesting stories from the article was this one:
One February day in the mid-1990s, Mr. Tombari and his wife, then living in California, got a knock on the door from a friend. "Hey, Joe, you've got to check this out. You wouldn't believe what I just bought," he said, as he led the two out to his car.
What they didn't know was Sean Raftis, who was "It," had flown in from Seattle and was folded in the trunk of the Honda Accord. When the trunk was opened he leapt out and tagged Mr. Tombari, whose wife was so startled she fell backward off the curb and tore a ligament in her knee.
"I still feel bad about it," says Father Raftis, who is now a priest in Montana. "But I got Joe."
At 35-years old, I always get playfully teased by my girlfriend, my friends and my co-workers about never growing up. Stories like this make me smile because I know that I’m not alone.
One of the things I’m most proud of about working Froggy for is all of the work we do to benefit the kids at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The hospital was founded by Danny Thomas in 1962 and they’ve done some amazing work to fight the battle against childhood cancer. They’re internationally known for all their pioneering and cutting edge research and treatment of kids with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.
I think my favorite part about the hospital is that no family pays for anything at St. Jude. Ever. Not for food. Not for lodging. Not for medicines or tests, treatments or surgeries. Not a nickel. They’ve done some truly amazing work there and the discoveries they’ve made in research and treatment has benefited not only St Jude patients, but patients all over the world.
Froggy 103.7 is part of Country Cares for Kids. We, along with hundreds of other stations across the United States, take part in fundraisers with 100% of the proceeds going to St. Jude. Our Radiothon last September was a record for us as we raised over $81,000 for the kids at St. Jude. That’s a huge number. Everyone involved was incredibly proud of the total raised. The Dream Home is underway again, I have another walkathon coming up in Stewart County, TN next month that I’m excited to take part in and I’m also a Partner-In-Hope due to my personal monthly donations to the hospital.
This weekend, I’m headed (along with Windy Waters and Eddy Van Scalen) to St. Jude in Memphis for what looks to be an exciting and memorable weekend. I’ll get to tour the facility for the first time (which I’m really excited about) and attend several seminars that will help me better serve the kids and folks that work so hard to fight childhood cancer. In addition, we’ll have a casino night along with a songwriters event, both attended by a surprise list of country music stars that also support St. Jude. We have some cool items to get signed that we’ll give away during our next radiothon. All in all, it’s gonna be a GREAT weekend. I can’t wait!!
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a nice weekend. To find out more about the hospital, check out stjude.org. I’ll see if I can get some cool pictures and post them for everyone to see when I get back
I found what may be one of the greatest YouTube videos in the history of ever over the weekend. First, some back story.
I’m sure most of you (if not all of you) are familiar with the movie Toy Story. It came out in the Fall of 1995 and captured the imaginations of kids and grown-ups alike. It spawned 2 incredible sequels along with video games, animated shorts, toys (duh) and so much more.
In my opinion, the Toy Story trilogy is the most brilliant of all the Disney/Pixar films. It is also my opinion that the star of these movies is that loveable dinosaur, Rex.
Come on, you KNOW he stole those movies. Whether he’s trying to defeat the evil Zurg in the Buzz Lightyear video game, being used as a battering ram or is just being insecure about his lack of ferociousness, Rex is the coolest dinosaur that’s ever lived.
He's even a budding radio star!
But I digress. This blog is REALLY about the Live-Action Toy Story Project. Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta got to work in June of 2010 on a shot-by-shot remake of the first Toy Story movie using real people and real toys. It’s a 2 ½ year labor of love that hit YouTube just a couple of days ago and it’s already had over 1 million views. This video is incredible and really has to be seen to be believed. I got about 60 seconds in before I started texting my friends about it.
I can’t imagine how hard it was to put this thing together, but as a Toy Story fan I can say with no hesitation that it’s one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever seen. My hat’s off to everyone involved in working on it.
One of my favorite things in the world to do is discover cool and unusual things on the internet. I'm a bit of a junkie. When I'm not at work (and sometimes when I am), I spend hours scouring "teh interwebz" for anything I can find that interests me. Being a pretty big music-junkie, it's especially exciting when the 2 cross paths.
This brings me to the band Walk Off The Earth.
Walk off the Earth is an Indie band from Canada that's probably most famous for a cover of the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye. The video for that featured all 5 band members playing the same guitar (at the same time) and got millions of hits in a relatively short time on YouTube. They've been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show and just about every video they've put out has gone viral in a matter of days.
Not surprising, their talent and internet popularity led to them getting a record deal last year.
The latest WOTE offering is a collaboration with KRNFX, who is a ridiculous beat-boxer, to rock an a-capella version of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble." Friends, this is an incredible cover that's already viral on YouTube with over 3 million views after 6 days!
Hey Froggyland! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and safe travels!
As always, I went home for the holidays. If you didn’t already know, home for me is beautiful Cleveland, OH. I always get teased about being from there. If it’s not the crummy sports teams, it’s the burning river or some other nonsense. I think the jokes are all funny but I truly believe with my whole heart that Cleveland is the greatest city in the world. There are a lot of things that we Clevelanders are proud of, and one of those things is that parts of the holiday classic A Christmas Story were filmed there.
The exterior shots of the neighborhood along with the old Higbee’s Department store all made it into the film. Higbee’s is no longer there (pretty sure it’s a casino) but Ralphie’s house still stands strong on West 11th Street. A Christmas Story is my girlfriend’s all-time favorite Christmas movie so when she found out about this, she demanded that I get her pictures while I was home.
In 2004, a fan of the movie bought the house and restored it to look like it did all those years ago and it’s now a pretty popular tourist destination. It’s open all year round for tours and the house across the street was turned into a museum with props and costumes. There’s even a gift shop to pick up some pretty sweet memorabilia from the movie. Yes…you can buy your very own leg lamp.
How cool is that? If you ever get the chance, I recommend visiting this piece of cinematic history. You can also find out more about the house by clicking right here.
Ding-dong, Hostess is dead. Terrible pun, I know. It’s been a couple of weeks since we received the terrible news that not only was the Hostess company going bankrupt, but it was liquidating all of its assets as well. No more Wonder bread. No Twinkies. No Ho-Hos. No Ding-Dongs.
The world reacted immediately to this awful news in several different ways. First, you had those who reacted with genuine sorrow and mourned the loss of these once great snack cakes. This was the category I fell into. My snack food life will never be the same.
Then you had those eager opportunists who ran out to the stores and bought as many Hostess products as possible, only to later sell them on eBay or use them for other nefarious means. Davey Croakett falls into this category. He’s got a secret stash of Twinkies and Cupcakes and Zingers locked away in a secret location that I’m sure he’ll use to force us all to jump though hoops for his evil pleasure.
I went to DC earlier today to get a picture of his secret stash for my blog and I was denied. In fact, I wasn’t even allowed in his office. Instead, he sent me this picture via cell phone.
Then there’s Furious Pete. His story is pretty inspirational. He overcame anorexia a decade ago and has become an incredibly fit dude who is also a competitive eater/athlete/motivational speaker/TV host. Furious Pete has dozens of videos online featuring everything from fitness and nutrition tips to his crazy eating adventures.
The Furious One paid tribute to the discontinued processed snacks by eating more cupcakes and Twinkies than most of us could eat in a lifetime.
I’m pretty sure I became a diabetic just watching that video. Also, milk in a bag? Only in Canada.
For more on Furious Pete’s crazy eating adventures, click the links below.
Halloween is just a couple of days away, and Windy Waters and I have been talking a lot about scary movies and playing lines from our favorite ones on The Morning Jumpstart. If you were to make a list of the greatest scary movies of all time, I'm pretty sure 1973's The Exorcist would make everyone's Top 10. It was scary for its era and has certainly stood the test of time. In addition, some of the on-set stories make it seem like the set and the filming were cursed too.
The gang over at Film School Rejects decided to take this classic film and reimagine it as an 80s sitcom. Because a laugh track makes everything funny, right? You be the judge.
WARNING: Sure, they mess with the movie and poke fun at it. Still, these are scenes from the original film and it still might scare the pants off your kids and....well, everyone else too. Viewer discretion is advised.