Friday, April 12, 2019

New Job

Not so big news, but after almost 19 months I finally got a job offer outside of radio. I must admit, I didn’t think I’d EVER get another job offer. I got nothing but rejection or there were no calls or emails whatsoever. I was prepared to work in fast food because I’m not too proud. I realize that my rock radio days are pretty much over in this market, but my life is happy right here in Clemmons NC. Some guys don’t get it, but I understand. There’s a time that you’re not relevant on the air anymore or you just can’t hang with the wearing of many job hats at a big cluster. I’m not 30 anymore. And plus, no one has ever had faith in my abilities to carry anything. I usually got stuck as a call screener/producer or a fill-in until they got someone else to take the role permanently.

And I’ve even been a producer for someone that wanted to be a big sports broadcaster and yet had no desire to learn the craft from the bottom rung. Oh no, he wouldn’t dare do his own calling of the guests. He couldn’t be bothered to edit down his broadcasts for podcasting or replays. He wanted to have a staff with a station budget that wouldn’t feed an ant farm for a month. And fits! The man could throw a fit over the slightest thing. Once when some clients needed the main studio to record their show that ACTUALLY brought the station money, he yelled expletives and threw stuff around like an angry 6-foot toddler when the clients were just outside the studio door. Yeah, I had to deal with a real prima donna who had more practice at being a jerk than actual radio experience. But hey, those days are over.

Yep. I got a job where I’m only concerned about what I do. I have no one to deal with except for my bosses. I don’t have to worry about working with someone that thinks they’re God’s gift to radio. I don’t have to worry about someone being able to do their job without it coming back on me. It’s wonderful!

So, what am I doing?

I’m transferring vehicles for a national company. I get a call to transport a vehicle in the morning, drive to that location, leave Roxy (my pick-up truck) there, drive the vehicle to Raleigh, drop it off, and drive another vehicle back to the original location. It’s awesome!

And most of the vehicles have AUX inputs so it’s Spotify on the ride back from Raleigh where I get to spend some quality time with my sweet and finely constructed playlists like “Big House Mix”, “Yes, Virginia… It Was A Top 40 Hit”, “Run For Covers”, “No Lyrics Necessary”, “The LIVE Jukebox”, “Chicks, Man, Chicks”, “Grind Your Axe”, “Earbuds Mandatory”, “Real Comfortable Country”, “Homegrown NC Goodness”, “Oak Tree You’re In My Way”, and “Chasing Down The Blues”. It’s great because I don’t have to listen to the radio!

I know, I still work very part-time in radio, but I still find the majority of it stale. It’s all bland, repetitive, and fairly unimaginative. I listen to a former workplace’s morning show driving to the initial pick-up location and then to Raleigh. But I’d rather ride in silence on the way back or have my eardrums pierced by knitting needles than hear “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” followed by “Money For Nothing” followed by another song that we have ALL heard thousands of times. I wouldn’t even inflict that kind of thing on prison inmates. I honestly don’t know how people can do it every day and keep getting excited as if they are most jamming songs in the word.

“Stop, ladies and gentlemen! Just stop! We have all the perfect rock songs that we will ever need for the next foreseeable eternity. There’s no reason to keep writing more songs. We’re good. And here on this classic rock station, you’ll be able to hear all 400 of them over and over and over again. You’re welcome!”

So thanks to all the deities for smartphones, Spotify, and AUX inputs! And I’m very thankful to our friend and neighbor that suggested the job to me. He put in a good word for me and I got the job. Sadly, I didn’t get to give him my fullest, heartfelt thanks because he died a few days after telling me to get in touch with his supervisor. Thank you, Fred Barton, thank you. I sincerely appreciate your help.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Two Of My Head Scratchers

Here are a few things that I don’t understand…

People who sneeze with every vocal cord. You know the type and chances are good that you’re living with one right now. This individual makes the act of sneezing sound like a split-second dog fight just happened. My father is like that. When he sneezes inside his home, you can hear him at least one hundred feet away from the house. And if you’re not aware that he’s about sneeze with the blasting force of a steam whistle, you could very well change the color and odor of your under garments.

Well, as luck would have it, the MIL does the same thing. The first time that I heard her I thought she had fallen and hurt herself in a bad way. I rushed into the room to find her sitting in her usual spot watching her murder porn. When I asked about the godawful scream that I heard, it was just her sneezing. I hear it all time and yet it always causes me to pause with concern almost every time. I can hear her sneeze from one end of the house to other. I can hear her sneeze when I’m upstairs and she’s downstairs in the laundry room with two doors shut.

So, what is it about folks that have to incorporate their vocal cords into their sneezes? They don’t have to get their voice box involved when they’re breathing, so what’s the deal?

Food truck festivals are another thing that I don’t understand. I got into a bit of a pissing match with some Facebook folks that are obviously infatuated with standing in long lines and waiting a long time to eat food prepared in a mobile kitchen. As a person that eats for sustenance the major part of my day, I don’t get this at all. I have eaten out of food trucks all over the southeast for decades, but it wasn’t all that popular as it is with the hipsters these days. The food was just food. That’s all food really is to me. I’m bun people and I’m quite picky even though my manly girth suggests overwise.

I made the mistake of not taking a lunch with me to an event that I was covering with a radio station that I was working with about five years ago. Since I was hungry, I decided that it was time to eat and headed for the corral of hungry, hungry hipsters where the five food trucks were parked. Since this was a small event, I only had to wait 30 minutes to place my order. And when I told the people inside the truck that I wanted a simple, no frills cheeseburger, they gave me that look… You know the look. The look that comes down their nose of high and mighty sophistication. They couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want grilled, Transylvanian virgin onions or passion fruit jelly on one of their mobile kitchen prepared cheeseburgers. And then I waited another 45 minutes to pick up my order.

What turns me off the most, I think, is the waiting time involved. Your beverage has been exhausted by that point. You’ve only grown hungrier and you’re staring at feral cats across the way as a possible appetizer. I just don’t get it.

And when you put a lot of trucks together in one location, hipsters swarm the joint like locusts feeding in the plains. I cannot imagine the waiting times involved, but hey, it’s their time to waste.

I seriously believe that if someone were to serve warmed up Pop Tarts for $5 and bowls of cereal with various assortments of milk available for $7, those hipsters would line up around the block for the privilege to fork over their disposable income for overpriced food like I described. It seems just that ridiculous to me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hard Sale Hannah

My wife and her son were out shopping the other day and stumbled across some young lady selling her homemade candles. They said that she was a little pushy, but quite adorable. Kind of like a used car salesman without the overly offensive amount of cologne, unbuttoned shirt, hairy chest, gold chains, and pinky rings. But I’m sorry, I don’t do well with pushy. I would have simply walked off. I’ve done that to a countless amount of folks at record shows. You know the types… They spot something they think they can latch on to you with and toss whatever they have for sale at you.

I don’t know if Sam purchased a candle or not, but “Hard Sale Hannah” got her hooks into Jamie for one candle. Yep, a candle scented like Black Tea made it’s home debut on the game room table. And yes, it seems like tea brewing. I must say that it’s very pleasant. But my wife told me about some of the other scents “Hard Sale Hannah” had available… Bacon and Buffalo Wings.

Jamie said that the Buffalo Wings candle smelled like a pair of just worn hot August panty hose. I don’t know about you, but that I don’t think that I’d find that scent all that pleasant.

I think “Hard Sale Hannah” needs to branch out in the vast arena of smells. Perhaps some political candles like “Trump Sweat”, “Border Wall”, “Liberal Tears” (smells like the ocean), “Snowflake”, and “Hillary’s Emails”. You can imagine the first two, but “Hillary’s Emails” would have that electronic burning smell, ya know. Hell, throw in a “Stormy Daniels” scented candle with a small “Trump Wick”.

Here are some other ideas that I had…
Hot Dog Water
First Drunk
Old Chuck Taylors
New Car Smell
Matthew McConaughey
1970s Grateful Dead Concert
Deer Gutting
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
The Big One at Talladega
and Neglected Swimming Pool

“Hard Sale Hannah” was on the local news a few days after my wife purchased a candle. Here’s the LINK to that local story if you’re so inclined.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The MIL & The Tortoise

Well, the breakdown of machinery continues around the big house. Oh, it’s loads of fun having one thing repaired only to have something else go “kaput”. It’s as thrilling as a red ant enema.

My truck Roxy was in the shop when I had to pick up some prescriptions and groceries. So, I took the Taurus that the MIL has been driving. It’s pretty much her car, but since she rarely leaves the house it’s up for grabs for anyone that needs a vehicle to drive.

For me, it’s not that fun to get in and out of. For a man of my girth, it’s like crawling in and out of a fox’s den. It drives good, but the windows can’t be used right now. Why?

Because we didn’t have the good sense to tell the MIL about the switch that keeps windows locked. The switch is just past where the elbow naturally rests on the armrest. So, when she was out and about picking up prescriptions, electronic smoking devices, “Linda-Ritas”, and cheap little bottles of Sutter Home wine she rolled her window down and apparently triggered the window lock switch with her elbow. So, when the “up” button didn’t work, what did she do?

She did what any old lady with a lack of working knowledge of what her vehicle does… She wrestled it like that bear and Leonardo DiCaprio in the film ‘The Revenant’. My wife and I got a kick out of thinking about the MIL getting out of the car and wrestling that window with nothing to show except for a window pulled out of its track and sweaty clothing.

I pulled off all the interior to see if I could get it back on track myself, but there were some cross panels that hindered my progress. Instead of messing something up that I don’t completely understand, I gave up. I had the window in a fixed position and decided to unplug the electronics to keep her from doing it again. So, she can’t go in drive-thrus.

But last week when I was out fetching my prescriptions, I noticed an issue when I got to one of my two destinations. Steam was rising from the passenger side of the hood. If NASCAR has taught me anything, rising steam from an engine is not a good thing. I checked under the hood only to find out that figuring it out on my own wasn’t going to happen. I called Bait for a hand and he came running with some water. We got it back home and from the smells, he pinpointed the problem as a busted water pump. So yeah, just another piece of machinery that has decided to cause us problems all at once.

But there was some good news… My truck Roxy was ready to be picked up!

I took the “Tortoise” to our mechanic yesterday with the MIL giving me a hand. She FLAT OUT refused to drive my wife’s Honda CR-V. She didn’t want the responsibility of driving the newest car in our stable. I didn’t want her driving the “Tortoise” because if it were to have problems in transport, I thought she’d go off the rails into a panic. After all, this is a woman that panicked after bumping into a car in a CVS parking lot.

Yep, she hit a parked car with someone in it. She backed up and, in a panic, got out of the car before putting it into park. The “Tortoise” backed right into a truck as she’s desperately trying to get back in to stop it. Thankfully, the “Tortoise” only hit the trailer hitch and there was no damage. And when I arrived on the scene from 4 blocks down the road, she was visibly in a panic.

The incident is referred to as the CVS Demolition Derby here around the ‘hood.

But she managed to get it to the mechanics shop without any issues that would cause panic to overtake her.

I finally got a glimpse of her driving, and it wasn’t great. My stepsons have told me a few things and I thought they were exaggerating. Well… They weren’t exaggerating. The MIL loves to hug that yellow line and spent about 30% of the drive on or over it on the way to Hire’s Automotive about 5 miles away. Her speed was erratic as well. It kept varying between 5 MPH to 15 MPH under the posted speed limit. She never got anywhere close to the posted speed limit.

When we got into the entrance she just stopped. I had to pull the CR-V in sideways behind her to get out of everyone’s way on Highway 150. I’m in the car shouting, “What are you doing?! Why aren’t you driving in?!”

She was making hand gestures as I’m hitting the horn in order to prod her into moving forward. Then she appeared to be getting out of the “Tortoise” so I hit the horn again. That worked! She moved forward, got into the lot, and parked the car.

For some reason, the pallet factory right next door was confusing her. She thought we were pulling into their lot. So yeah, I lost a small clump of hair dealing with that.

If I ever have to ride with her, I’m going to be rich! I’ll stick a lump of coal between my butt cheeks and by the time we get to our destination, the pressure from all the clenching will produce a large diamond.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Billy Martin Breakdown

Do you ever have those times where everything breaks down at once?

Well, we’re having a doozy here at The Big House.

I’ve been noticing some issues going on with the outside heat pump unit, but everyone was calming my fears about reverse cooling and phrases like “it’s designed to do that”. But one cool morning while taking the dogs out to sling urine and pinch loaves I noticed that the fan was having some issues. And as it turned out, my fears were there for a real reason. So now we’re just waiting on a service technician to check it out (ironically is now en route as I’m typing this). Sure, the system has some age on her. I suppose that it has been a long time coming. Hopefully, it’ll be a quick fix until we can actually replace the thing once the oldest is out of school.

I did the wrong thing… surprise there, huh?

I didn’t tell my wife about all of my suspicions concerning this situation. And I made the mistake of informing her as I’m about to head off to produce a Carolina Thunderbirds game at WTOB. Nope. It did not sit well with her. She was more upset with me keeping her in the dark than she was with the possibility of the unit crapping the proverbial bed.

And I admit it. I wasn’t protecting her as much as I was protecting myself from a bout of anger about something that we have no control of. You know what I mean?

She’s been under a lot of stress lately with work. She has a cousin that was found unresponsive and sent to the hospital in an ambulance on the evening of the Big Game. Her father had a hip replaced along with the checking in on him. We’ve been dealing with some internal issues that arise from time to time because of someone’s deteriorating mental state. After changing the brake pads on Roxy (my Ford Ranger) with Bait doing most of the work, it has developed a new problem. And it’s the kind of problem that will make your sphincter tighten up and fear for your life. It is now sitting at our mechanic’s shop awaiting assessment and repairs. So yeah, you’d think not only was Mercury in retrograde, but it could’ve been doing cartwheels while appearing to travel backwards. But Mercury doesn’t go into retrograde until March 5th. So, we don’t know what the heck is a going on.

I guess that we’re in the monsoon point of the “when it rains, it pours” adage.

I tend to underestimate my wife and how she’s going to handle things. She didn’t bat an eye about Roxy needing to visit the mechanic. So, my feeble attempt to shield myself from a “Billy Martin Breakdown” concerning the heat pump only got me some grief from my wife that can clearly handle anything.

I’m also hoping that the issue with my truck is a simple, easy fix. My father-in-law with his hip replacement isn’t really a big concern anymore. He’s on the mend. The internal issue will always have to be dealt with. Jamie and I are talking about seeking council in order to deal with those wild swings or irrationality. And the cousin thing doesn’t look like it is going to get all that better either, but we’re still maintaining some optimism.

We're maintaining and crossing our fingers that all will be right in our world very soon again.