Terry's Blog Terry's Blog

  • The caravan's final(?) stop

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    When we last saw our heroes, they were escaping from an apartment that was liberally coated with lead paint.  For the first two installments of "Why Terry Stevens has moved so doggone much in the past 9 years," scroll down a ways.

     

    Fifth Rental:  The Complex

    APARTMENT COMPLEX

    This living arrangement worked much better once humans traded chamberpots for plumbing.

     

    After narrowly escaping the poisoning of our family via lead laden older apartment, the Stevens clan decided to move to the newest thing we could afford.  Mrs. Stevens found a nice complex we could move to at a price that wouldn't leave us foraging for food in the woods.

    There was just one drawback.  This place was a pretty fair distance from work.

    I L-O-V-E, LOVE being able to walk to work.  Those minutes that I get to myself allow me to clear my head from the morning clutter and come in fresh and ready to rock at work.

    Conversely, being able to clear my head in the same manner on the way home helps me be "there" when I'm with my wife and kids.  While I enjoy driving, it doesn't have quite the zen-like effect of a good walk.  Plus, you know, the road is full of idiots who don't know how to put down the [INCREDIBLY NAUGHTY WORD] cellphone and drive.

     

    CELL PHONE

    PICTURED:  World's biggest [WORD SO NAUGHTY THAT YOUR EARS WOULD BLEED]

     

    The peaceful semi-country setting was nice and all, but even Mrs. Stevens found the removal from city life a bit of a drag.  She used to load up the kids and walk to the farmer's market or the library or to a hundred other things, but now she had to pile everyone into the minivan.  Our son and daughter had to share a room here too.  They're still young enough to where it wasn't a big deal, but it would be in a couple of years, so this obviously wasn't going to be a long term deal.

    When we were first married, Anj and I lived in an apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Back then, we were a young foolhardy childless couple who stayed up late and could run on little to no sleep if needed.

    Now though, we were cranky parents who needed a full night's sleep to be even semi-lucid.  As such, we had little patience for one of the potentially worst parts of apartment complex living.

    Loud-@$$ neighbors.

     

    PARTY

    "Hi, we're the jack@$$es that will be keeping you up all night."

     

    When it comes to apartment complex neighbors, there's one thing you can count on.  The younger they are, the worse they are, especially if they're an upstairs neighbor.  I say that with the authority of having been one of those young, loud and stupid upstairs neighbors.

    While the unit itself was nice, the commute and neighbors were enough of a drag that once again, the Stevens clan (and by that I mean Mrs. Stevens) was itching to move.

    So, away we went to...


    Sixth Rental:  The Victorian

    VICTORIAN

     

    It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that my wife likes old houses.  My wife L-O-V-E, LOVES old houses, especially something or other century Victorian homes.  She'll tell you that it has to do with their character and style.  I suspect that she's hoping to have a ghost for a roommate, but I'm suspicious like that.

    Anj ran across this place awhile back, but it was rented before she could contact the landlord.  Then, six months later, she saw that the "For Rent" sign was up again, so she inquired.

    Turns out the last tenant had to be evicted due to not paying rent.  The landlord was motivated to lease, Anj was motivated to rent and I was motivated to rent a place that Anj wouldn't want to move from for at least 5 years this time around.

    I have to say, Anj made a great pick.  This place is within walking distance of work, biking distance of much more and the rent is budget friendly.  It's an older home, but there isn't a trace of lead paint to be found.  The kids each have their own room.  We're the upstairs neighbors this time and the downstairs neighbors are nice, quiet, long term tenants.

    If all goes according to plan, we'll stay here until it's time to buy a house.

    (Before some real estate agent starts spamming my Blog post with "NOW'S THE BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME!" nonsense, let me make a few things clear.  It isn't the best time to buy for me.  I'm not interested.  When I am ready to buy, it won't be from the agent who spammed my blog.  Now scram.)

    If all doesn't go according to plan, I'm saying the heck with it and moving us into one of these:

     

    CARAVAN

     

    Seeing as Anj knows how to read Tarot cards, we'll fit right into the lifestyle.  I'm gonna have to work on my belly dancing, though.

     

    SHOCK

    "OMG!  I just got the most horrible mental image from Terry's Blog!"

     

    Your TTPK hint for yesterday is:  "This is no laughing..."

    Your Blog Keyword for today is:  "bellydance".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/24/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • The caravan carries on...

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    This is part II of "Why Terry Stevens has moved so doggone much in the past 9 years."  For part I, scroll down a bit or click here.

    Third Rental:  The School

    SCHOOL

    Wow, this really screams "Home Sweet Home," no?

     

    As a kid, I was not a big fan of high school.  I excelled in class.  My attendance was where things fell apart.  I couldn't wait to be done with it.

    The irony of renting an apartment in a renovated high school wasn't lost on me in the least.

    It was a really nice apartment.  Nice amenities.  Because the developer took some sort of government funding to build the place, they had to adjust rent to a tenant's income.  We were a family of four that didn't make diddly, so we caught a nice break.

    Then I started making diddly.  Full price rent at that place equaled a doggone nice house payment.  If I wanted to pay that sort of money, I would have just went hinder over teakettle in debt with a subprime loan instead of renting.

    Anyhow, we got a whopping 30 days notice that our rent was going to skyrocket.  Once again, the Stevens family was on the move.  We didn't have much time to orchestrate this, which is probably why in our rush to find affordable digs, we ended up at...


    Fourth Rental:  The Lead House

    LEAD PAINT

    Paint, it's what's for dinner

     

    My wife and I aren't going to be hosting our own home renovation show any time soon.  You can fill volumes with what we don't know about home improvement.  That's why I always run a cash register when I work at Home Depot.  Money counting, I know.  Hardware not so much.  Identifying lead paint on sight?

    Well, I know how to do that now.

    A friend of ours brought her son over for a playdate one day.  A couple days later he went in for a rountine checkup with bloodwork.  The bloodtest showed elevated lead levels.  The only other places that her son had been in prior to the appointment were two homes built within the last 5 years and our place.

    We were terrified.  One call and inspection from the Health Department later and it was confirmed.  Our apartment was lousy with lead paint.

    The Stevens family dodged a bullet in this joint.  Rosemary and Ragnar have always been really good about not putting stuff in their mouths.  Their blood tests turned up nothing in the way of lead.

    The landlords let us out of our lease early with no penalties and we moved our merry band along once again...

     

    You know, if Star Wars proved one thing, it's that trilogies are the way to go when it comes to sequels.

     

    JAR JAR

    It's when you get into prequels that the story goes to pot.

     

    The Stevens Family Gypsy Caravan Journey concludes tomorrow.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "Mosinee _________ (for now)".

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "3parts".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/24/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • A moving experience (or six)

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    The Stevens family moved over the weekend.

    Since Mrs. Stevens and I arrived in Central Wisconsin back in May of 2001, we haved moved 6 times.  I swear that my wife has some sort of gypsy or bedouin blood somewhere in her ancestry.

     

    GYPSY

    PICTURED:  Mrs. Stevens a few decades from now.  Still totally hot.

     

    So why all the moves?  Well, aside from my wife's apparent wanderlust, here's a breakdown of why I can plan on having crippling back pain about every year and a half to two years.

     

    First Rental:  The Crack House

    CRACK HOUSE

    Not to be confused with the cracked house, pictured above


    It was a tiny house that we rented online from Ohio.  The landlord warned us it was small and offered us a 30 day lease just in case we weren't happy with it.  Small, we could deal with.  The furnace sitting out in the middle of the living room, the rusty red water coming from every pipe and completely uninsulated bathroom were a different matter. 

    Also, the neighbors politely informed us that the previous tenants sold drugs out of the home for quite some time.  We were wondering why everyone drove by so slow.

    Thank God for that 30 day lease.

     

    Second Rental:  The Loft

     

    LOFT

    It was kinda like this except taller and with more empty cans of beer.

     

    Easily my favorite pre-kids apartment, I knew we were going to live here when Mrs. Stevens walked up the stairs, saw the vaulted wood ceiling and inhaled like my daughter does when she sees Disney Princess paraphernalia.

    This place was cozy.  The rent was right.  It was within walking distance of work.  It was perfect.

    Our friend Kari, (the only one we had made in the month we had lived here), volunteered to help us move.  Our landlord stopped by while we were hoisting a couch the size of a small brontosaurus upstairs and lent a hand too.

    Once we got everything upstairs and Kari and the landlord went home, I proceeded to lock us out of the apartment.  One embarrassing phone call to the landlord later and her was back to let us in.

    Steve and Helen Schlinkert were AWESOME landlords who aren't paying me anything to say so in my blog.  In fact, I haven't seen either of them in years.  They were great to the Stevens clan and I'd recommend them to anyone looking for a pad.

    So why did Anj and I move?

     

    RAGNAR

    "Hi!  I'm the reason.  Also, Daddy needs to start posting more recent pics of me."

     

    Anj, Roj and I fit quite comfortably in the loft, but squeezing a little brother in there was going to be downright impossible.  So we packed up and moved off to...

     

    Wow, this Blog is getting long.

    Tell you what.  Howzabout we pick this up again tomorrow?

     

    SEQUEL

    The standard for what's sequel worthy just keeps getting lower doesn't it?

     

    Your TTPK Hints from the weekend are as follows:

    2/19/10 TTPK:  "Sounds the same as what Tony says about the Frosted Flakes."

    2/21/10 TTPK:  "Down the..."

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "sequel".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/23/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Love is unstoppable

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Bad economy be darned, you came through once again.  Thank you so much for becoming a Partner in Hope and supporting this year's Saint Jude Country Cares for Kids Radiothon.

    Your TTPK Hint for last night is:  "No child should die in the dawn of it"

    Your Blog Keyword is "goodjob".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/20/10

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Thanks for saving kids' lives

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Today, you helped WDEZ raise a nice chunk of change for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Thank you for helping us save kids' lives. 

    If you haven't done so yet, please become a Partner in Hope.  You can learn how to do that here.

     

     

    A quick reminder, if the Performance Tax Bill is passed by Congress, things like the Saint Jude Country Cares for Kid's Radiothon will probably go away along with all of the other charitable work of this station.  Find out what you can do to save local radio here.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "hit the nail on the head"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is "back2nights".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/19/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • "What If" Pt. II

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    This is a continuation of yesterday's "What If Congress Passes The Performance Tax?" Blog.  For Part I, scroll down a ways, or click here.

    DISCLAIMER: WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE OPINION OF TERRY STEVENS, AND IN NO WAY IF MEANT TO REPRESENT WHAT MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS WOULD DO IN A POST-PERFORMANCE TAX WORLD. I'M JUST SPECULATING HERE.

    Consequence IV:  Radio jobs go away

    My co-workers and I were told, in no uncertain terms, that Midwest Communications (the company that owns this, and several other stations) would have to fire half its staff in order to afford the new fees this tax would impose.

    As of this moment, Midwest Communications employs 400 people.  That's 200 more people out of work in this country. 

     

    HOMELESS DJ

    PICTURED:  The average post-Performance Tax DJ

     

    The dollars that once provided these jobs would go overseas to foreign owned record labels.  They won't be hiring any new employees in the U.S.  They'll simply use these dollars to shore up their losses from not being able to understand that people don't want to buy albums with one good song and 17 bad ones when they can just download the one good song online.

    Other radio stations would reduce staff as well.  That's a whole lotta lost jobs just to bail out failing record companies.

    Now, you might be thinking, "Hey, no big deal.  I don't work in radio.  My job will be fine.  Why should I care if a buncha DJs go away?"

    Good question.  Let's take a deeper look.

     

    Consequence V:  More radio services go away

    Remember when that DJ plugged the bake sale happening at your kid's school on the air?

    Remember when those DJs raised almost 2 hundred thousand local dollars for the Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital?

    Remember when that DJ shared a story about something that happened in Wausau, Stevens Point, Plover, Wisconsin Rapids?

    In a post-Performance Tax world, that doesn't happen anymore.  The stations that do continue to play music either won't have DJs or they'll use satellite DJs.

    Stations owned by the biggest radio operator in the U.S., Clear Channel, already pipe Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles-based morning show all over the country.

     

    RYAN SEACREST

    Between American Idol, his radio show and E! Television show, I'm sure he'll have time to DJ your kid's school dance.  Oh, wait.  No he won't.

     

    Seacrest isn't going to give you a traffic report for Grand Avenue in Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids or Schofield.  He isn't going to feature a pet of the week from the Marathon County Humane Society.  Sure, we'll run PSAs for that sort of thing, but the human interaction will be a thing of the past.

    News?  Hah!  Unaffordable.

    Weather?  Best look out the window for that.

    High School sports coverage?  Sorry.  It take human beings to run that sort of broadcast and they're not in the budget.

     

    Consequence VI:  Who picks the songs?  Not you

    Yesterday, I wrote a bit on the chilling effect that a Performance Tax would have on new and classic music.

    Today, our song choices are based largely on local research.  We use internet surveys to find out what songs are hot in Central Wisconsin (and conversely, which ones aren't).

    Radio stations aren't allowed to take payment from record labels unless that payment is fully disclosed every time the song plays.  For instance, let's say Tim McGraw's record label wants to pay us to play his new song, "Dude, My Jacket's Too Tight".

     

    TIM MCGRAW

    Seriously, look at that thing.  He's gonna cut off blood flow to his hands fer shure.

     

    Legally, we can take the money as long as we say something like, "Here's Tim McGraw's 'Dude, My Jacket's Too Tight' brought to you by Curb Records," before and after we play the tune.

    Tacky, right?

    In a post-Performance Tax world, some radio stations would do that just to make ends meet.  So, instead of you getting to decide what songs air on your radio station, that decision is left up to some suit at a record label.

     

    OLD GUY

    "I think it's time 'The Charleston' made a comeback, don't you?"

     

    Less democracy, less jobs, less public service, all in the name of bailing out foreign-owned record companies who rip off their artists, sue their customers and now want to destroy free radio. 

    Why on earth would Congress want to support a Perfomance Rights Act?

    Because you haven't told them not to support it yet.  Please do so here.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is: "in the field"

    Your Blog Keyword is "pleasesaveradio".

    Be Cool,

    TS

     

    P.S.  Radar's gonna be doing a lot of behind the scenes work for the WDEZ Saint Jude Country Cares for Kids Radiothon tomorrow and will be unable to host the night shift on Thursday and Friday.  That means I'm back on my regular hours with The Keyword Comedy Club happening at 9:30-ish and the TTPK happening at 10:30-ish both nights.  Finally, after all these weeks, I can say I'm UP ALL NIGHT!

    P.P.S.  If you have more questions about the Performance Tax and what you can do about it, please join all of Midwest Communications for a live simulcast on the subject on Thursday, February 18th, from 8am to 9am.  Your calls and comments are welcome.

  • "What If?" Part I

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I've enjoyed comic books ever since I was old enough to read.  One of my favorite series was a Marvel Comics title called "What If?".  It took established storylines, twisted one thing about them, and then followed the progression of the story post-twist.

    For example, a "What if Peter Parker never became Spider Man?" story line might show Spider Man enemies reigning triumphant over New York City or somesuch.

     

    SPIDER MAN

    And of course, who could forget issue #67, "What If Spider Man Smoked Meth?"

     

    Today, I'm going to play the "What If?" game with the Performance Tax Bill that's winding it's way through Congress as we speak.  This bill would force radio stations to pay a fee that would go to (mostly) foreign-owned record labels every time we play a song.  As you're about to see, there are several possible outcomes.

    DISCLAIMER:  WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE OPINION OF TERRY STEVENS, AND IN NO WAY IF MEANT TO REPRESENT WHAT MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS WOULD DO IN A POST-PERFORMANCE TAX WORLD.  I'M JUST SPECULATING HERE.

     

    WHAT IF CONGRESS PASSES THE PERFORMANCE TAX BILL?


    Consequence I:  New Music gets stifled

    Every song a radio station plays is a risk.  New songs are the riskiest of all.  Nobody has heard it before.  If it ends up being a hit, you're golden.  If it stiffs, you're risking losing the ears of thousands of listeners every time you play it.

    Today, radio takes risks on a pretty substantial number of new artists.  WDEZ plays a ton of new Country.  Our Top 40 station down the hall plays no small amount of new tunes as well. 

    However, when each song becomes another bill the station has to pay, the incentive to take a risk on a new act is tempered by having to pay the electric bill.  Who would want to be the guy or gal who loses money on a song that makes you lose listeners?

    Sure, I would, but that's because I'm a dumb as a bag of hammers and therefore, not in charge of the music around here.

    Taylor Swift, U2, The Zac Brown Band, Shania Twain and thousands of other artists are where they're at today because some radio programmer took a chance on their music.

    FRANCE

    There's a place for cowardly radio, but it ain't America


    Consequence II:  Old Music disappears

    If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me "How come you don't play any of the old country/rock/etc. on the radio any more?" I'd have enough nickels to build a life-size replica of Thomas Jefferson, innards and all.

     

    JEFFERSON

    Like this, but with nickels.

     

    The ratings in Central Wisconsin have proven it over and over again.  Stations that play new music destroy stations that play old music in the ratings.  Seriously, it isn't even a close fight.  We're talking Godzilla versus Bambi bad here.

    If the Performance Tax bill passes, the Oldies and Classic Country songs you love could end up having a lot in common with a certain deer.


    Consequence III:  Music disappears

    What do Rush Limbaugh,

     

    RUSH

    Sean Hannity,

     

    HANNITY

    Michael Savage

     

    SAVAGE

    and Howard Stern

     

    STERN

    have in common?  They host some of the highest rated, highest profit radio shows in America right now and they don't play a single song when they're on.

    If the Perfomance Tax passes, I hope you like talk radio.  A lot.

    The Part Where I Plug Tomorrow's Blog:

    Those are just a few things that could happen on-air if the Perfomance Tax passes.  If any of the above makes you think a Performance Tax on radio would be a bad idea, please visit this page, and find out how to let your representatives know that you support local radio. 

    Tomorrow, I'll take a look at what could happen off-air.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is:  "Musical fruit"

    Your Blog Keyword for today is:  "noradiotax".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 02/17/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • A deal with the devil

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender"

    -Proverbs 22:7, NIV

     

    When an artist signs with a record label, part of the deal involves receiving an "advance".  The "advance" is a princely sum of money that the record label lends the artist to record, promote, tour on, and publish their album.

    As anyone who has even been in a lender/borrower relationship knows, the lender does not enter said relationship out of the goodness of his or her heart.  He or she intends to make a profit.  The record labels are no exception to this rule.

    Let's say the advance is 250,000 dollars.  Now you're probably thinking, "Wow 250,000 dollars is a big 'ol chunk o' change!  There's no way I could blow that much making a record!"

    You would be surprised, my friend.  Don't take my word for it, though.  Let's link over to the man who produced Nirvana's album In Utero.  His name is Steve Albini and he knows more about the inner working of the record industry than I could ever hope to. 

     

    STEVE ALBINI

    However, he knows nothing about repairing holes in one's jeans.

     

    A word of warning.  Albini's a bit of a potty-mouth.  If you're offended by that sort of thing, just believe me when I say that by the time an artist is a quarter of a way through their contract, they're in the hole to their label far above and beyond their advance.  The Albini article is here.

    Albini isn't the only one who has a beef with the way record labels do business.

     

    DON HENLEY

    "The recording industry is a dirty business – always has been, probably always will be. I don't think you could find a recording artist who has made more than two albums that would say anything good about his or her record company."

    – Don Henley, The Eagles, July 4, 2002

     

    PRINCE

    "Young people...need to be educated about how the record companies have exploited artists and abused their rights for so long and about the fact that online distribution is turning into a new medium which might enable artists to put an end to this exploitation."

    – Prince, 2000

     

    In the past, the big record labels could offer their considerable promotional support in exchange for an artist taking on a crippling amount of debt.  "You boys/girls just make music.  We'll have our people call the radio station/magazine/video channel and beg them to play your song and we'll get your record in the stores."  It was a gamble, but seeing as the big labels had the best, and really only at the time, method of distribution in town it was a gamble a lot of artists felt they had to take.

    Today, there's a better game in town.  It's called the internet.  It's called home recording equipment being so good, you could produce a pro-sounding album in your house and distribute it to customers without even having to shower.

    It's called NOT NEEDING A RECORD COMPANY ANY MORE!

    Today, the big record labels are trying to get Congress to tax radio stations every time we play a song by one of their artists.  They say it's so their artists can be fairly compensated for their work.  The money from this tax would be distributed as follows:

    50% to the record company

    45% to the artist who performs the song

    5% to the backing musicians on the song

    If this tax is supposed to support the performers, why in the heck does the record company get the majority of the dough?  I'll tell you why.  It's because the record companies are failing and this tax is just one more bailout to save an industry that isn't viable any more.  We may as well bail out buggy whip manufacturers.

    If you're an artist, you don't need debt and you don't need a record label.  You do need radio to get the word out about your work.  (Can't download what you don't know about.)  There's only one condition.  Don't ask us to pay to play your music.

    If you're a radio listener, or an artist for that matter, don't let the record companies kill off music on free radio to bail out their dying industry.  Please visit this page, and let your Congress person know that you oppose a Perfomance Tax on radio.

    If this tax passes, radio will survive.

     

    RUSH

    Doesn't need music for his show.  Does need Oxycontin.

     

    Will artists be able to say the same without radio?  The internet helps, but compare The Black Eyes Peas' or Brooks and Dunn's bank accounts with the one of your favorite indie/MySpace/garage band and let me know which one you'd rather have.

    Tomorrow, we'll look at life after a Performance Tax Bill passes.

    Your TTPK Hint for Friday is:  "You have to do this to a pump sometimes"

    Your TTPK Hint for Sunday is:  "By any other name would smell as sweet"

    Your Blog Keyword is "debtfree".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/16/10.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • The lemonade stand

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Imagine that you had a friend who wanted to start a lemonade stand. 

     

    LEMONADE STAND

    "Hi.  I'm a record company and/or musician without radio support."

     

    She asked you if you could help her grow her lemonade business.  She would take care of paying for the raw materials and the production of the lemonade.  All she wanted you to do was advertise this business.  She couldn't pay you for the advertising, but in exchange, would allow you to have lemonade whenever you wanted it.

    You, being the kind hearted lemonade-loving soul that you are, agreed to help.

    Time passes and thanks to your incredible ability to reach the ears of thousands of customers, your friend ends up selling A LOT of lemonade.  Thanks to this incredible growth, your friend is able to improve her lemonade stand in order to serve more lemonade to more customers.

     

    LEMONADE STAND 2

    "Hi.  I'm a record company and/or musician with radio support."

     

    You're doing pretty good too.  Word of your excellent advertising abilities got out and now more people want to use your services to market their products.  Life is good and you're still getting free lemonade.

    However, like the rappers say, "Mo' money.  Mo' problems".

    It seems that the providers of your friend's lemons, sugar and water want a bigger cut of the money in play.

     

    LEMON TREE

    "Hi.  We're songwriters"

     

    Your friend asks you if you'd be willing to pay for the cost of the raw materials that go into making the lemonade.  You see that the raw material providers really are getting the short end of stick on this whole deal.  You also see that this lemonade business is really good for your advertising business so you agree to pay the raw materials cost rather than damage you AND your friend's business.

    More time passes.  Your business is doing quite well.  You've even started developing new advertising and marketing services to work with all of the new technology that's available.

    Your friend, on the other hand, has just kept coasting on her past success, not bothering to develop any new revenue streams beyond selling lemonade.  Not only that, but she treats her employees rather poorly, signing them to contracts that make them little more than serfs.

    Then, the unthinkable happens: 

     

    LEMONADE STAND 3

    "Hi.  We're the internet."

     

    Your friend's customers figure out that they can make lemonade at a far lower cost in their own homes.  Not only that, but your friend's customers also figure out that they can have lemonade customized to their individual tastes.

    All of a sudden, your friend is losing money hand over fist.  She's panicking.  Her life of riches and excess is coming to an end!  Her customers won't pay her inflated prices any more.  She still has to pay her employees something, but she won't do it at the expense of her opulant lifestyle.  Not only that, but many of her employees have started breaking away to start their own independent beverage companies.

    Then she gets a bright idea.

    She goes to you and asks you to pay for the priviledge of advertising her lemonade business.  When you refuse, she goes to Congress and asks them to force you to pay for the priviledge of advertising her lemonade business.  Congress, being largely composed of dullards and nincompoops who are easily swayed by fistfulls of cash, agrees to take up her case.

     

    CONGRESS

    "Hai!  I is Congress"

     

    So where does that leave you? It leaves you begging your friends to call their Senators and Representatives and please ask said elected officials to vote "no" on two bills that, if passed, will put you out of business.

    I would call my Congress Critter to save your business.  Will you call your Congress-Critter to save mine?

    Please visit this page and save local radio.  Thank you.

    Your Blog Keyword is "CountryTime".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/15/10.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is "Great Scot!".  Fat lot of good it'll do ya' as the word's expired.  Sorry about that.  If you got stumped, e-mail me at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com and I'll make it right for you.  Starting today, all TTPK words won't expire until 11pm the following day.  This way, I'll actually be able to get the Hint to you in time.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Another bailout from Congress

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Some of your elected representatives want to pass a bill that would eliminate hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and send millions, if not billions of U.S. dollars overseas to bail out a broken business model.

     

    CONGRESS

    PICTURED:  The intellectual composition of Capitol Hill.

     

    Details here.

    If this bill passes, the ramifications for free American radio will be huge.  I'll Blog a bit more on this topic over the next few days.

    Your Blog Keyword is "notdeadyet".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/12/10.

    As I was out yesterday, there wasn't a TTPK.  Also, there wasn't a hint for Tuesday's TTPK.  If you got stumped, let me know and I'll make it right.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Seeing the world like a kid

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    PART I

    ROSEMARY:  "I know what color Alaska is."

    ME:  "Uh, really?  What color?"

    ROSEMARY:  "Yellow."

    ME:  "What makes you say that?"

    ROSEMARY:  "That's what it looks like on the map."

    ME:  "You think that's what color their soil is?"

    ROSEMARY:  "Don't be silly daddy.  It probably looks just like ours."

     

    ALASKA

    PICTURED:  Alaska, not yellow (except for where the huskies go).

     

    PART II

    While driving to work, I saw a kid standing at a bus stop, fascinated by the sight of snow falling on his outstretched glove.  Pure wonder in his eyes.

     

    WONDER

    Like this, only older, more bundled up and in color.

     

    PART EYE EYE EYE:

    While driving to work yesterday, I saw a kid being dropped off of his schoolbus next to a bar.  He proceeded to walk into the bar. I wonder what fills that kid's world with wonder.

     

    BEER KID

    Coming soon to a police blotter near you...

     

    Your Blog Keyword is "3parts"  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/10/10.

    Your TTPK Hint for yesterday is "darkest"

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Gettin' random today

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    A few random thoughts this Monday:

    1)  I see that today is our bi-monthly "OMG!  WTH HAPPENED TO FACEBOOK?" freak-out day.

    2)  I think I enjoyed Super Bowl ads more when I didn't write ads for a living.

    3)  It's a shame that the Super Bowl Halftime Show was somebody's first exposure to The Who's music.  They were a really great rock n' roll band.  Honest.

    4)  Roj and I had a great time at the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the Y this past Saturday.  She danced divinely.  Her father?  Not so much.

    5)  Your TTPK Clue for last Friday is:  "near".

    6)  Once upon a time, I went to Broadcasting School.  This school actually closed due to snowy conditions a couple of times.  There is no such thing as a "snow day" in the real world of broadcasting.  Unless you're dead, you'd better be at work when your shift starts.  By the way, school closings can be found here.

    7)  Your TTPK Clue for Sunday is:  "and field".

    8)  Ever go from the being "The best dad/mom ever" to "The meanest dad/mom ever" in the span of one 15 minute car ride?  Either I'm bi-polar or my daughter is.

    9)  Your Blog Keyword for today is "Ter15random".  It's good for 250 WDEZ Club Points until 1700 on 2/9/10.

    10)  Taylor Swift is definitely more country than pop.  She's taking time off to work on her voice.  A pre-fab pop star would just let auto-tune do it for him/her.

    11)  Here's the part where I post a video that provides an example of auto-tune:

     

     

    12)  Here's the part where I post a goofy picture:

     

    ANGER

     

    13)  Here's the caption:

    "WHAT DID THEY DO TO MUH FACEBOOKS!  RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

     

    14)  Here's the sign-off:

     

    Be Cool,

    TS