Terry's Blog Terry's Blog

  • It'll get better

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "Hopefully, you hear mine on a regular basis".

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "yesUcan".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/13/10.

    This Blog posting probably doesn't apply to you, but it might apply to someone you know.  Feel free to share it with them.

     

    DOWN GUY

     

    It'll get better.

    Today, you might be working in a job you don't like. 

    For that matter, you might not be working at all.

    Things might feel more than a little hopeless.

    Hey, I've been there too. 

    I've worked as a dishwasher, a toilet scrubber, a Wal-Mart greeter, a cashier, a modular home plant temp, a warehouse pick and packer, a forklift operator, a teaching assistant, a giant bumblebee mascot and a few other gigs that were NOT fulfilling in any way.

    I've felt lost, directionless, and yes, hopeless.

    I've felt like everyone else was living the high life while I was just getting by.

    If that's where you're at today, I need to tell you something.

    You've got what it takes to succeed.  You just have to tap into it.  Are you sad that you're not "Keeping up with the Joneses?"  Hey, screw the Joneses.  They're probably either neck deep in credit card/mortage/car payment debt or they went through what you're going through right now a few years back.  Don't worry about them.  Worry about you.

    Again, you've got what it takes to succeed.  You just have to tap into it.  Everyone has a different mode of access.  I'm sorry, but I don't know what yours is.  I know how you can find it.  Talk to a tech school or University.  Talk to a social worker.  Talk to a pastor.  Talk to a servant, not a salesperson with a magic pill.  You have more options than you think when it comes to work, education, and getting where you want to be.  Explore them.

    Friends telling you that "You can't make it"?  Screw 'em.  They're not your friends.  They just want another slug to hang out with so they don't have to feel so bad about their own sorry state.

    Make this the LAST Friday you wish you had done something else all week.  It won't be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.  It will probably take a few years, but better to be where you want to be instead of where you are right now in a few years.  You can do it. 

    Go.

    JOURNEY

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • From celeb to statistic

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    You may have heard that Corey Haim opted out of appearing in any future sequels to Lost Boys in the most official way possible.

     

    COREY HAIM

    Corey Haim, 1971-2010

     

    I always rooted for the vampires in Lost Boys, so I can't say that I was as touched by the news of his passing as much as a hardcore fan would be.  To be honest with you, I thought that the other Corey was the one that died when I heard the news.

     

    COREY FELDMAN

    "Nope.  I'm still alive.  My teen heartthrob status on the other hand..."

     

    Haim's struggles with drug use are pretty well publicized.  It wouldn't be a surprise to find out that drug use had something to do with his death.  His story could very easily end up being another "Celebrity needlessly wastes his life on drugs" story.

    That's a doggone shame.  Not just Haim's circumstance, but the way drug use is looked at in this country.

    I don't condone pharmaceutical recreation at all, but I also can't condone the way that it's percieved as a failing of character rather than an symptom of an illness.

    If someone is willing to ingest substances known to be highly toxic  in order to escape...something...  Well, that sounds like more of a mental disorder than someone just being a halfwit with drugs.

    Mental health services aren't always covered by health plans.  That could change soon in Wisconsin, but for right now they aren't.  When you can't afford expensive therapy or legal prescriptions, the street pharmacist might seem like a pretty good deal.

    A friend of mine works in the Marathon County Jail.  He was talking shop the other night about how many folks come in stoned to the gills on any number of substances, or for committing crimes to acquire those substances, and how many of them are "repeat customers" of the jail.  I have to wonder, with better access to mental health treatment, would these folks have a better go at life?

    At the very least, with better access to mental health care being available, we would be better able to sort the ones who are getting high for kicks out from the ones who are getting high in a misguided attempt at healing.

    Who knows?  Maybe that Lost Boys reboot could have happened.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "This page is full of it"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "RIPCoreyH".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/12/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Don't get mad. Get better.

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I know a guy who is probably royally peeved about Olive Garden coming to town.  My advertising consulting services are provided on a confidential basis, so names will be withheld for the purposes of this Blog.

    A few years ago, I visited a restaurant who was interested in advertising on the radio.  It was a locally owned joint and a pricier, fancier one at that. 

    In the course of my conversation with the restaurant's owner, he told me all about his food and how it was some of the best tasting stuff in town.  He showed off his fancy dining room with its romantic atmosphere.  I agreed that it was a nice looking place.

    Then, he proceeded to tell me how upset he was that a certain chain restaurant in town always seemed to have a full parking lot while his restaurant was a ghost town on most nights.  He couldn't believe that people would choose this VERY well known chain over his locally owned restaurant that offered what he felt was a superior menu.

    In his opinion, the people who were going out to eat there were wrong in their actions.

    As he was agitated and I wasn't as experienced a marketer/copywriter as I am today, I wasn't in a position to point out the massive flaw in his logic.

    Today, I will.

    Restaurants aren't about the food.

     

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

    "WHAAAAAT?" said the incredulous man...

     

    Hear me out.

    I can get food at home.  I can prepare it myself to my exact tastes.  I can get food at a billion different restaurants and grocery stores throughout Central Wisconsin.  If you're thinking that having really great food is all it takes to win the restaurant game, you're in for a nasty surprise.

    Restaurants are about the experience.

    There's a certain well known pizza chain that caters exclusively to children (and by proxy, their parents).  Anyone who has ever eaten at this chain will tell you that it is some of the worst tasting pizza on the planet.

     

    BAD PIZZA

    "Ew.  It taste like cardboard and feet."


    Bad pizza aside, the place make a ton of money.  Why?  The experience.

    There's another chain in town whose parking lot is PACKED every time I drive by.  I've eaten there before.  The food was okay.  But the experience, oh the experience!  There were waiters singing and dancing all over the place.  The atmosphere had all sorts of random craziness happening every few minutes.  It wasn't just a meal.  It was entertainment.

    Chicken wings used to be the tiniest, least desired part of the chicken.

    Add some rockin' sauce, a bunch of beer and TVs with sports on every wall and now you have an American institution.

     

    WINGS

    Admit it.  You want some now, don't you?

     

    For a lot of customers looking for place to eat, a great experience with even mediocre food trumps a mediocre experience with terrific food EVERY TIME.

    Getting back to the client at hand, I had actually eaten there once before.  The food was kinda "Meh" for me, especially at the prices the place charged.  The service was kinda "Meh" too.

    During my visit, I also saw that they let a dog hang out in the kitchen.  I'm never going to eat there again.

     

    CHEF PLUTO

    "MOM!  THE CHEF SHED IN MY PASTA!"

     

    Ultimately, the guy tried a couple weeks on the radio, decided that the fact he never advertised wasn't really his problem and went on his merry way.

    His parking lot is almost always empty when I drive by.

    A few reminders for my friends who run a business.

    1)  Don't get mad at the guy who's beating you.  Get better.  Offer something that can't, won't or don't.  Get creative like this guy:

     

    All sorts of joints sell furniture with rock bottom pricing, but nobody sells as much as that guy and all it costs him is a bag of onions every couple of weeks.

     

    2)  The experience you offer is just as, if not more, important as the product you offer.  Whaddaya wanna bet onion man knows how to engage a customer when they walk in?

     

    3)  Advertise, preferably with one of the radio stations I write for.  A ton of people listen to us.  We're worth every penny.  Call 842-1672 and ask for Bob.

     

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "not smart".

    Your Blog Keyword for today is:  "DOWNER".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/11/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • A song that's catching some buzz

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I don't talk about music much on this blog.  Vanessa has that base very well covered.  However, I've noticed this tune popping up a bit on the intarwebs.  It's by a dude named Matt Kennon.  It called "The Call".  Check it out:

     

    He's done some other stuff too:

     

    I've received a few e-mails about this tune and figured I'd provide a spot where you can listen and judge for yourself as to the song's quality.

    Let us know what you think about other country tunes here and you could score free waterpark passes.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is: "red breast".

    Your Blog Keyword for today is:  "exploremusic".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 03/10/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Seden-Terry

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    As of this morning at 0830, I weigh in at 164.4 pounds.  I'm 5'10", which puts me at at a Body Mass Index of 23.6, or slightly on the higher end of normal according to this site.

    I eat right (for the most part), nor do I smoke.

    There's something else I don't do.  I don't exercise.  At all.

    Aside from my walk to work (a few blocks for sure, but not at a pace or distance that works up a sweat), my lifestyle is best described as sedentary.

    Actually, it would be senden-Terry, right?  Right?  (See?  I'm even too sloth-like to write good jokes.)

    I work at a desk.  When I'm home, I'm watching the tube, writing or reading.

    This HAS to change.

    I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic.  I manage my insulin and glucose levels quite well.  However, that's like trying to sit on a stool that has only 2 legs.  That 3rd leg is exercise.

    "So Terry, why don't you just go exercise instead of boring me with your whiny Blog?  Oh, and when are you going to shut up about this topic and give me a Keyword?"

    RE:  Keyword, it's "impatient" and it's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/9/10.

    RE:  Exercise, I hate it.  Seriously.

     

    GYM

    PICTURED:  Licensed torture facility

     

    I like walking or biking on streets and trails, but that's about it. Those activities are seasonal in nature.  (Get it?  In nature, cuz you have to go outside?  [CRICKETS]  Wow.  Tough room.)

    I don't play sports of any sort, largely because I'm a bit introverted and therefore not inclined to walk up to some cats and say, "Hello chaps.  Fancy a game of basketball?"

     

    JOCKS

    "Sure dude.  We'll play shirts versus nerd.  Guess which team you're on."

     

    Going to a gym and lifting heavy objects or running in place on a machine?  Ugh.  I know it's good for me but it's just so...  I dunno...  dull.  I've tried watching TV and listening to podcasts or music while I do it, but none of that shakes the feeling that I'm dying of boredom.

     

    HAMSTER

    Or devolving into a hamster

     

    Enough of this emo-whine fest.  The fact of the matter is, I need to get some physical activity into my life.  There's nothing too "The Biggest Loser" dramatic about a guy who weighs 164.4 pounds dropping to 163.  Don't worry, this won't become a daily thing on my Blog.

    When I'm faced with a challenge, I like to read about how others faced dealt with similar challenges.  Doing so makes me feel like my mission is do-able and that I'm not alone in my effort.

    If you're facing a similar challenge, I hope that my sharing makes you feel less alone in your efforts.

    Your TTPK Hint for Friday is:  "close it before striking"

    Your TTPK Hint for Sunday is:  "Some have called me the answer combined with head"

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • One of the truest statements I've ever read

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Yesterday's Blog was looooooooooooooooooong.  Today's will be short.

    I wanted to share something with you that I read yesterday.  It's quite possibly one of the truest statements I've ever read.

    "If you don't have the time to do something right, you most certainly don't have the time to redo it."  -Seth Godin, "Small is the New Big"

    Keep that in mind the next time someone wants you to compromise quality for the sake of "git 'er done".

     

    GIT ER DONE

    This is not an example of quality control

     

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "60 in a minute"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "takeyourtime".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/6/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Shoplifters and the people who stop them

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Don't know if you caught this story today in the news section.

    The short version is that shoplifters may become more heavily prosecuted in the state of Wisconsin.

    SHOPLIFTERS

    This may or may not be representative of what Madison has in mind

     

    As a guy who used to work loss-prevention for a department store chain, I say, "Right on."

    That's right.  Back in the day before I was a radio host, I busted shoplifters.

    When I was 16, I visited with some family in Chicago.  My cousin and some buds of his worked as in loss prevention.  They regaled me with tales of their shoplifter-busting exploits.  To my impressionable 16-year old self, it was riveting.

    A couple of years later, I'm moving out on my own and in need of a line of work.  I worked in retail throughout my teens and decided that instead of serving customers, I was ready to nail them for stealing.  So, I applied for a loss prevention gig for the same chain that employed my cousin.

    Somehow, I landed the gig.

    I was trained in the fine art of loss prevention and the execution of a bust.  I wish I could tell you about all the tricks of the trade, but as a member of the sacred order of loss prevention associates, I am honor bound to keep the secrets secret.

    After being fully trained, I was ready to rock.  I was going to bust the baddies and save the world, one shoplifter at a time!  I felt like one of these:

     

    HEROES

    No, not a dork in a costume, a superhero.

     

    But after a few weeks on the job, I realized I was one of these:

     

    MALL COP

    Ah, mall cops.  All of the uniform.  None of the authority.

     

    Even worse, I was BORED!  BORED, BORED, BORED!

    Loss prevention is one of THE most boring jobs EVER!  You know why?  Because by and large, most people are pretty doggone honest.  I was being paid to watch people shop.  Big, blinkin' yawn fest is what it was.

    It was too bad too, as I was about as undercover as it got.  Back then, I looked kinda like this dude:

     

    METALHEAD

    "Dude, Metallica, you know?  Like, Metallica.  Hell yeah."

     

    I looked like the guy who was there to rob the store blind!

    Alas, while I had more than a few close calls,  I only scored one true bust.  Some idiot kid was trying on a bunch of different stuff right in front of the mirrors on the floor.  He would grab a shirt, put in on over the shirt he was wearing, take it off and then do the same with another shirt.  I thought for sure that he was going to just leave one of the shirts on and try to walk with it.

    Instead, he grabs a pair of Polo gloves, looks around furitively, yanks the tags and jams them into his coat pocket.  I picked the tag up from the floor while he wasn't looking, followed him and his mother outside and announced to the both of them that he was going to have to come with me.

    Mom was not pleased.

     

    ANGRY MOM

    "YOU are grounded forEVER!"

     

    Then I had to call the cops.

     

    COPS

    Unfortunately for the kid, officers Busty and Chesty weren't on duty that day.

     

    They hauled him off, angry mom in tow. 

    The saddest part of the whole deal?  If the gloves had been worth a buck-fifty less, I could have let him off with a warning.

    About a week later, a gal left the store with a shopping cart loaded down with about a grand worth of stuff while I was filling out paperwork.  A couple days later, a co-worker was beaten into "I need a hospital" condition over a sweater.  I decided that loss prevention wasn't really my calling.

     

    SWEATER

    PICTURED:  Not worth a savage beatdown


    A job where I had to expect the worst of humanity was too draining as was the sheer boredom.  I handed in my resignation and never looked back.

    Sometimes to find the thing you want to do, you have to figure out what you don't want to do.

    Here's hoping that you're either doing the thing you want to do, or on your way there.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "Marshfield has a round one."

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "busted".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/5/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Long Distance Love Letter 2

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    As mentioned in yesterday's Blog entry, I filled in for Vanessa Ryan on the Country Music Panel Countdown this past Saturday.  She was in Nashville, hob-nobbing with the big time country stars.

     

    VAN AND LBT

    PICTURED:  Vanessa Ryan hob-nobbing with Little Big Town before the show

     

    PASSED OUT

    PICTURED (L-R):  Wine, Vanessa and citizen of Nashville the morning after the show

     

    Whilst filling in, I did a bit called "Long Distance Love Letters".  You can hear the first one in yesterday's Blog and the second one down below.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "$0.44 for now".

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "LDLL2".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/4/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

    Long Distance Love Letter 2

  • Long Distance Love Letter 1

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    This past Saturday, I guest hosted the Country Music Panel Countdown for Vanessa Ryan while she rubbed elbows with country stars in Nashville.

     

    VAN AND BLAINE

    Van and Blaine Larsen, pre-cocktail lunch

     

    VAN

    Van, post-cocktail lunch

     

    I had mentioned in a previous blog that I idolized Casey Kasem's American Top 40 and always wanted to host a show like it.

    So, in tribute to a childhood hero, I did a couple of tributes to his "Long Distance Dedications".  Due to some technical limitation that I don't entirely understand, I can only post one at a time.  I'll post the other one tomorrow.

    Enjoy!

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "dippin"

    Your Blog Keyword for Today is "VanwillpunchTer".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/3/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

    Long Distance Love Letter 1

  • Change o' plans

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    My plan on Sunday was to not find out I had an abrasion on the cornea of my right eye.  Alas, the best laid plans were laid to waste.  Also, my eye hurts.

     

    RED EYE

    Dag, kid.  You may want to get some drops for that

     

    My plan for today was to post some audio on my Blog.  However, I don't know how to do that (yet), and the folks who can instruct me as to how to do that have gone home for the day.

    That's why instead, I'm going to post some goofy vid I found on YouTube:

     

     

    Sometimes you just have to ditch your plans and embrace the chaos life brings your way, ya know?

    Your TTPK Hint for Friday is:  "win it".

    Your TTPK Hint for Sunday is:  "college students weave them underwater"

    Your Blog Keyword is "WTHvideo".  It's good for 1700 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 3/2/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Countdown to a dream

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    More than a couple folks have asked me, "Terry, when did you decide you wanted to be on the radio?"

    I think I was about 6 or 7.

     

    DJ KID

    Generally, career decisions shouldn't be made until your age hits double digits

     

    My brother Ed and I each had our own boombox.  I would take a couple of cassettes with my favorite tunes and cue them up the song I wanted in one boom box.  Then, I would insert a blank tape into the other boombox and make a radio show.  I'd introduce the songs, often with some insightful banter like, "I like this song.  It's really good."  (Hey, I was 6 or 7.  Give me a break.)  Alas, those tapes are lost to the sands of time, but the memories of making them are still with me.

     

    CASSETTE

    For those of you under the age of 30, this is a cassette.

     

    I'd listen back to the tapes afterwards and daydream about being on the radio for reals.  Maybe even doing a show just like my favorite one at the time. 

    Back in the day, my brother and I made a certain Top 40 countdown hosted by Casey Kasem a weekly listen every Sunday morning.  We'd keep track of where songs were on the charts, rooting for our favorites and cheering ecstatically when they hit that coveted number one slot.  (Ed was a big Huey Lewis and The News fan and had quite the run when "Sports" came out.  Genesis was pretty kind to me when "Invisible Touch" was their big album.)

    My radio career has allowed me to fulfill a lot of dreams and tomorrow adds another checkmark to that list of childhood fantasies.

    With Vanessa Ryan being in Nashville this week, I've been tasked with hosting the Country Music Panel Countdown on Saturday morning from 9am to Noon.  Oh...heck...YES!

    Mr. Kasem's song rankings were always determined by charts and sales figures and junk like that.  That's all well and good, but I prefer the Country Music Panel's ranking system.  The songs are ranked according to how much YOU like them.  (Pretty innovative, right.)  How do we know you like them?  Easy, you tell how much you like them in the Country Music Panel.  Click here to make your voice heard.

    I hope you'll join me tomorrow as we count down the Top 30 songs on WDEZ, play some of the hot new tunes that could be your next favorite, and who knows?  Maybe I'll even sneak in a "Long Distance Dedication".

    Here's hoping that you get to live a dream today.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "for the hills"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "CMPTop30".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/27/10.

    As Mr. Kasem would say, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars"

    As I always say...

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Tying up a loose end

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    With the Performance Tax Bill rearing its ugly head again last week and the Stevens Clan's merry Gypsy Caravan making another move over the weekend, the results of the last Terry's Bonus Point Poll got lost in the shuffle.  So, here they are:


    475 Respondents

      132 Males
      343 Females

    In what stage of an artist's career do you prefer seeing them perform?
    Total Percent M F Answer
    121 25.5% 27.3% 24.8%  When they're an up and coming artist. (ex. The Dirt Drifters, Easton Corbin)
    262 55.2% 56.1% 54.8%  When they're more established with a few hits under their belt. (ex. Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts)
    92 19.4% 16.7% 20.4%  When they've reached legendary status. (ex. George Strait, Garth Brooks)

     

    While a majority enjoy seeing an artist of the height of his or her game, the next highest score went to the up and coming acts.  That's nice to see because we have a habit of inviting those up and coming acts to play shows in Central Wisconsin and they have a habit of accepting those invitations.  Stay tuned.

    There's a brand new Terry's Bonus Point Poll.  You can find it here.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "Pointless without locks"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "chew".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/26/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS