Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Small Step...

What a time for moonwalks?!

First, Michael Jackson's infamous moonwalk received a ton of airtime following the singer's death recently...

Then, the most famous moon walk of all was honored all day yesterday as we reached the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon for the first time.

Assuming it was all real, of course...

And, eerily, Walter Cronkite just happened to pass away three days prior to the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.

Along with the day John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, his coverage of the moon landing is -- arguably -- the news story he is associated with the most...

Here's a recap of Cronkite's career, as reported on by NBC.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Girls

Today is our youngest daughter, Sarah's birthday. She turns three. Her arrival back in 2006 was the reason I started this blog in the first place.

It was the easiest way to provide an outlet for listeners -- along with family and friends -- to keep updated on how things were going with our newest member of the family.

Today is also the day of our annual family birthday party. In addition to Sarah's birthday today, our oldest daughter, Megan recently had a birthday of her own, turning nine on July 10th.

So, the last few days my wife and I have been doing our best to get our house -- inside and outside -- in, at least presentable condition for our guests (we think we'll have about 30).

If you have young kids, you know it's near impossible to keep the house as clean as you'd like it to be on a regular basis. Not that I'm a neat freak or anything, but a cluttered, messy house is something that drives me a smidge crazy. I'm always picking up this toy, or cleaning off that table, or picking something off the floor, only to have that same location get cluttered again, seemingly, within minutes.

As the party approaches each year, we do our best to get most of the cleaning done during that week. However, most of the cleaning really needs to take place on Saturday -- the day of the party -- so that there ends up being the least amount of possibility that the floor, the tables, the yard, will get messy again before the guests arrive.

Every parent reading this is shaking their head right now.

But these are minor complaints. In the end, the day is always a fun one, filled with lots of laughs, and lots of love.

Happy birthday, girls!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Joe Schmitz

People magazine recently conducted a search for 30 "All-Stars Among Us", each one representing one of the teams from Major League Baseball during the recent all-star game in St. Louis.

Through internet voting, Grundy County's very own Joe Schmitz ended up getting the most votes, and he represented the White Sox -- Joe's favorite team -- Tuesday night at the all-star game.

A great honor for a great man.

Joe is the president of Operation St. Nick, a local organization that raises money for needy families in the area and provides Christmas gifts to children each year, and other services, such as Easter dinners for those less fortunate.

Newsman Jay Capron and I have interviewed Joe several times during this process, and the most recent interview -- recapping Joe's unforgettable three days in St. Louis -- will be aired again Saturday morning at 9:00am during Spotlight On Sports on WJDK and WCSJ.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Like Riding A Bike

One of the rites of passage as a parent is teaching your child to ride a bike.

For several years, we had been encouraging our oldest daughter, Megan (just turned nine) to take off the training wheels and learn to ride for real. She kept saying she wasn't ready yet.

This summer was different, and over the last couple of weeks, we've taken her to a few different flat, empty parking lots, and she's now riding without a problem.

On day one we were at my wife's work lot on a Sunday afternoon. It's not the flattest of spots, but it was certainly a familiar one, and we knew there wouldn't be a lot of interruption.

As with all kids the first time they try to ride a bike on their own, it wasn't easy. I walked with Megan, one hand on the seat to help guide her along.

After a few times around the lot, I'd start to take the hand off, and let her go by herself for a few seconds at a time. By the end of the day she could get a good 10-15 second run going before she'd lose her balance.

One of the advantages to having waited so long to learn is that the bike she's riding -- similar to the Disney Princess model above, and originally purchased for her several years ago -- was little enough that she's very close to the ground, and any loss of balance is rectified with a simple placement of foot on pavement. Almost like learning to swim in a three-foot deep pool, when you're well over three feet tall.

Day two came on a night last week. We found a school parking lot near our neighborhood that was big, flat, and empty. Megan had a lot more confidence this time, and although I walked with her during her whole time riding, she hardly needed any assistance.

Last night we went for the third time, and I should have brought a lawn chair and a book to read. She's getting pretty good at it now, but certainly not cocky about it. She still is going nice and slow, not trying to do too much.

Nothing beats seeing the smile on her face that shows off the fun she's having, plus the sense of accomplishment at learning something that she had put off for so long.

Guess it's going to be time soon to save up enough for a new bike for Megan.

And, hopefully I remember where I put those training wheels for our other daughter Sarah -- who turns three Saturday. Soon, I'll be teaching her the finer points of cycling as well. I'm sure I'll remember how to do it.

It's just like riding a bike.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Running Of The Idiots

Please tell me I wasn't the only one rooting for the bulls during the annual ritual of the ridiculous in Spain recently.

And, I couldn't have been the only one to not even flinch when hearing of the demise of one "reveler" who literally messed with the bull and got the horns.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Attack Of The DUI's

Do these come in threes like celebrity deaths? Considering the first celebrity DUI of the week was Joyce DeWitt, it would seem appropriate that we get three.

Three's Company, after all.

That was one of the all-time classic sitcoms, and I don't know if it gets the respect it deserves. Of course, Joyce DeWitt had virtually nothing to do with its success, or why I liked it so much.

It was all about John Ritter, and he carried that thing flawlessly for years.

Joyce's DUI came about at the beginning of the week. Then earlier today I noticed that the Big Ragoo was handed a DUI as well.

Eddie Mekka, Carmine from Laverne and Shirley, was involved in a minor fender bender, apparently after he was on a bender.

At least I think that's Eddie Mekka. Could be Luigi from the Mario Brothers game, but I'm pretty sure he's a cartoon.

So, if these things do come in threes, and the theme this week is old sitcom stars, who's next?

Mackenzie Phillips from One Day At A Time? Nah, that one seems too easy.

Potsie from Happy Days?

How 'bout Epstein from Welcome Back, Kotter?

What's your guess?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fading Lights

I've put together a montage of morning show moments from over the years. It's a bit long, but hopefully you'll enjoy it.

It's set to the tune, "Fading Lights" by Genesis.

Click here to hear it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Stars Of The (Final) Show

Tuesday, June 30th, I did my final morning show on WJDK. It's something I've known about for a few weeks. I've been presented with a chance to work on some new projects within the company -- so, yes, I am still employed -- while maintaining my production and sports duties.

The night before my last show, I realized that it had been awhile since I had aired any audio of my daughters, Megan (turning 9 later this month) and, especially Sarah (turning 3 this month).

Over the years, some of the best -- and most frequent -- feedback I got about the show was regarding my on-air stories about my daughters, and the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Certainly a very relatable topic for most of my listeners.

So, on Monday night, with tape recorder in hand, I sat down with Megan and Sarah and had a very informal conversation with them about their summer, their interests, and just them in general.

The girls were more than eager to talk. Megan gave thoughtful responses about things she is enjoying during her summer vacation, what she'd like to be when she grows up, and also displayed some newly found piano skills by playing a couple of the songs she's been working on at piano lessons.

Sarah gave us a rundown of her invisible friends (Yageg, Yo-yo, Babe, and Hegeg -- all names she has made up), talked about her visit last week to the library, and waxed poetic about her recent trips to the potty to make poo poo.

At the end of the talk, I asked Megan if she had any last thoughts. After thanking her fans -- and she has a bunch of them -- I mentioned to her all the feedback I've received about her and Sarah over the years, I told her I loved her, she said 'love you, too', and then she said into the microphone, "I love you all, bye."

When I got to work the next morning, my original intention was to edit the interview down to about 5 minutes or so, and make that one segment during the show.

I recorded a lot more than I had thought I did, and after doing some editing, I ended up having four or five pretty good segments, that totaled way more than 5 minutes.

As I sifted through the tape, I kept coming back to Megan's last line.

Right before the last show started, I decided to make "family" the unofficial theme of the day. I opened with an old bit of Megan reciting the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and used the segments of the interview with the girls throughout the show. We tied in Jay's son Jack's 6-month birthday as well to fit the theme.

As the last few moments approached, I cued up Megan's final thoughts from the night before. My last show closed with Megan, on tape, saying, "I love you all, bye," followed by me saying the same thing.

Needless to say, 'ol Dad here was unable to hold back the waterworks once the mic was turned off.

It's been a great run. I hope you've enjoyed the show half as much as I enjoyed doing it.