Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Three Passings

Lately I have been aware of three passings, probably only one of which most of the folks who visit my blog are aware of.

That one would be Paul Newman. He was born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Shaker Heights to be exact. I like millions, enjoyed his movies, and the movie screen was the closest to ever meeting this giant of entertainment. Of course Paul Newman lost his battle with cancer at age 83.

The second of which was a long time radio personality, legendary in my home area. His name was Chris Quinn, "The Mighty Quinn." Chris participated in some of the radio forums I also commented on, using the name "discjacquee." He had worked with others from those boards, who also check in here every so often. I never met Chris, but we did have email contact. He gave me every impression that he was a gentleman. Others on the forums say that he was a pro in every sense of the word and a legend in the industry. Chris died as a result of congestive heart failure and was 59.

The third was a friend and a coworker. Jim was one of the original employees of the company where I work. He taught me some of the things of a job I had when I was a somewhat new employee, and always laughed at my jokes. He was a friend to many there and will be missed. Jim had lung cancer and hadn't been to work in months, but the place still feels a bit empty today. Jim was 58.

I lost my father and my brother to congestive heart failure. I lost my older sister and my favorite aunt to cancer. Outside of my brother, the others passed away years ago. There are times I just wish there would be a cure for cancer discovered where you would take one pill and it's gone. But that is just selfish thinking on my part. The human side of me can't understand why people suffer. The Christian in me knows that after I suffer, there's something better awaiting me.

There's still an empty part of me today.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

***Bulletin***Pilgrim Sighting***

Our good friend Pilgrim, of Peace of my Mind fame, has popped up again and has promised to be back posting again, hopefully soon. Pilgrim's latest post gives an explanation for his absence from the blogosphere.

I suggest you pay him a visit and give him some encouragement! And show him some blogging love!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

From the Pressbox-Homecoming

Cliff Note: This is a little out of sequence, and the last show is still in draft and incomplete. It should be up in the next day or so.

Ahh yes, homecoming, when all the old graduates come back. The court is introduced and the queen is crowned. And a football game is played.

Friday night the young and struggling Rittman Fighting Indians were host to the Hooterville, I mean Norwayne Bobcats. There were some big boys on the Norwayne squad. It looked as though they all had loaded their share of hay on the wagon this past summer. I am just kidding, but Norwayne does have a day during the school year when some of the students drive their tractors to school.

But I will say, the fearless leader of the World's Greatest Band Boosters(tm) did give me my band t-shirt before the game. The back of the shirt does say "It's all about halftime" so we will go straight to the halftime show.

Our guests, the Norwayne Marching band was the first up with a sampling of the show they use during their band competitions. Since their banbd director was a drummer in college, their drum line, although small, is rather impressive.

Their show for this night was selections from Superman and they ended the show in a Superman insignia midfield.

After the Marching Bobcats left the field, it was time to please the home crowd with the seventieth edition of the Rittman Indians Marching Band!

Cliff Note: It was great to be back behind the home microphone after being away for a month.

After opening the homecoming halftime show with "Prime Time," it was time to showcase the talents of one of our student musicians. Senior euphonium player Caleb wrote the marching routine performed to the hit song from "Austin Powers," "Soul Bossa Nova." All I could say was "YEAH BABY!"

The show ended with "Born to be Wild" pictured above with Brooke and Aimee twirling fire batons. The appreciative audience loved it.

I wish to conclude this post by stating that the show band is alive and well and marching in Rittman, Ohio. We are here to entertain.

Oh, the game? Let me say that Rittman is now 0-6.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Notebook

I know, I've fallen behind again. I can explain. Monday I bought my new WIXYmobile. Later this week I fell ill, so Wednesday evening, I spent in my recliner with the television on only as "white noise". Last evening I was working on my "From the Pressbox" for this past Saturday's Lakewood show, when Blogger went down for maintenance. I will get that up sometime tomorrow since the photos are in my laptop at home.

Right now I have this desire to eat everything in sight but my taste buds are dead. That's the phase of my cold now. I should get rid of this shortly, like sometime next April.

Tonight is Rittman's homecoming game against rival Norwayne. No show tomorrow, so I will have it easy this weekend with just halftime tonight. Weather permitting, I can go to the inlaw's and mow their yard.

Mrs74 update: Kathy continues to improve and has started driving short distances. It helps that she got her car back this week.

The New WIXYmobile is a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus. It was a two owner car and very well maintained. I paid well below Kelly Blue Book price for it. The previous owner had decided to stop driving as his vision was deteriorating and felt he wasn't safe on the road. It has more leg room than the former WIXYmobile and the cruise control will help me on my drives to work in the morning since I now can move my feet around, preventing cramping. And those who were concerned about the size of the old WIXYmobile will be glad to know that I now have more car around me. I also feel special with the power windows and power door locks. It also has a cassette player and I can again enjoy my MP3's and once again attend "Automobile University." I will take and post photos soon.

The old WIXYmobile? It's been recommissioned as the WIXYjrmobile.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday....

to Kathy, of Kathy's Klavier fame. Kathy shares her birthday with her son Aaron. And today is a milestone birthday for Kathy. Go over there to check it out and to wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

From the Pressbox: Waynedale

This past Friday was homecoming at Waynedale High School and the Rittman faithful were the guests for their celebration.

The Rittman band was there to cheer on the "never say die" student athletes who suited up as members of the Rittman Fighting Indians football squad.

Before I go any farther I want to confess that I forgot the WIXYcam in my rush out of the house Friday evening.

The band gave their usual spectacular performance in front of packed home bleachers of somewhat unappreciative Waynedale fans. I however got both names right when I introduced the majorette feature, putting special emphesis on Aimee's name. There were a few of Waynedale's crowd that knew a good band performance and let us know with their polite applause.

"Can't Stop the Beat," Ode to a Refuse Container," and "Born to be Wild" were among the selections that were performed before our favorite student musicians yielded the field to the Waynedale Marching Band of Gold.

And our favorite student athletes are still looking for that elusive first win of the season as they went down 49-13 on Friday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am very pleased to announce

I have a new(used) WIXYmobile! I will post photos in the coming days.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

From the Pressbox-St. Vincent St. Mary Band Show

I know that I am now a week late and three FTP's behind, but it's been an unusual week for me. In about three posts, I do have some good news to share.

On September 13, the Rittman Marching Band was at the home of the Fighting Irish and the alma mater of Lebron James, St.Vincent-St. Mary high school, in Akron, Ohio to participate in the Fighting Irish Band Show.

The good folks at St.V-St.M were a gracious host to 6 visiting bands, from Mogadore, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Rootstown, Woodridge, East Canton, as well as our favorite student musicians, the Rittman Indian Marching Band. The emcee of the show was Tim Daugherty from WONE-FM/97.5 and WAKR/1590AM.

The weather had been threatening a earlier in the day, as we had gotten the rainy part of Hurricane Ike, but were 24 hours away from the damaging winds. Having a former TV weatherman as emcee probably didn't hurt as we did get cooperation from above for this show.

The audience was entertained from the first band until the end. Mogadore presented a show featuring 60's hits, "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Gotta Get Down," "Devil with a Blue Dress," "Hang on Sloopy," and "Gimme Some Lovin."

CVCA was up next with hit songs from hit movies, "Indiana Jones," "Jaws," "E.T.," and "Superman."

Rootstown brought us songs from the Blues Brothers-"Can't Turn You Loose/Soul Man," "Soul Finger" and "Think."

Woodridge performed songs of the 70's, "Let's Groove," "Bad Case of Loving You," "Evil Ways," and "My Sharona"

East Canton made us smile with themes from our favorite cartoon shows. Included were themes from "Bugs Bunny," "Flintstones," and "the Simpson's."

Our host's, the St.Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish marching band took us to the happiest place on Earth as they performed songs from Disney movies. Their selections included "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah," "Under the Sea," "Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious," "The Bare Necessities," and "Snow White Medley."

And of course, our hometown favorites pleased the crowd with their show. The Marching Indians performed "Rock Lobster," "Dancing in the Dark," "Ode to a Refuse Container," and "Mass Brass."

This was a great show and the audience was very appreciative of the talent showcased.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Now to Catch Up

First, I would like to thank everybody for all your kind comments yesterday. I knew I was going to have a rough time, but I didn't know how rough. When a younger sibling passes on, you get a look at your own mortality. And thinking about the fact that have I lost two siblings already, and they were both in their 40's had me thinking of how unfair life seems at times.

I guess tonight's "From the Pressbox" will be a "two fer," as I haven't written my review from last weekend's St. Vincent- St. Mary show. Tonight's game will be at Waynedale, in Applecreek. We also have a show in Lakewood tomorrow night.

To try to give myself a diversion this week, I purchased Mark Sanborn's latest book, The Encore Effect. Expect a review here in the very near future.

I also have some yardwork to do at the inlaw's home this weekend. Like us, they had some stray branches knocked off trees and some leaves blown off.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Special Announcement

My daughter Martha's blog, Welcome to My Crazy Life, is public again.

What today would have been.....

As most who read this know, I enjoy birthdays. Your birthday is your personal holiday. Today would have been my brother Richard's 50th birthday.

I think we would have gone to the nursing home with a cake, ice cream, pop, and some presents, probably books, some DVD's and a hand held game.

Ricky was the same way with birthdays. He knew when everybody's birthday was and their ages. This included all of his nieces, nephews, and my three grandchildren. He would call us up on our birthdays and sing "Happy Birthday." If he could afford it he would have one of us pick him up so he could buy presents. Or if he won something playing bingo, he would give it as a gift.

To those new to this blog, Ricky passed away March 4 of this year. Kathy and I were his guardians, as I had promised my mother before she died in 2004 that we would take care of him. He had been unable to walk the last 20 years of his life and his mental capacity had dimished due to seizure activity.

He was a character and he lives on through our memories of things he had said and done.

Also to those new to here: I wrote several posts about Ricky and his life in March.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some Updates

Mrs74 progress report: Kathy is doing better everyday and both her doctor and physical therapist are very pleased with her progress. She should be able to be back driving soon. This leads me to my next item...

I'm in the process of looking for a new WIXYmobile. I almost settled on one yesterday but a couple of red flags were raised. As the salesman was backing the vehicle in the space after the test drive, it was making thes clicking sound from the engine. The other red flag was when they wouldn't come down on price, and this was despite the fact that they were selling it as is. According to Kelly Blue Book(I was doing my homework) they had several hundred dollars to play with. I have time to look so I don't have to settle on the first thing. I also know a few mechanics.

Ike damage: We were very fortunate. We had a lot of wind on Sunday, but at the WIXYranch, we had no damage, just a few dead branches fell out of trees. There were many power outages in Northeast Ohio, and many schools were closed on Monday. I knew several who weren't as blessed as we were and had extensive damage done to their yards and houses, and as this writing there are some in the area still without power. I am sure I will have to clean gutters sooner than expected though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To my blogging buddies

I know it's been a few days since I last posted anything. I hope to be back to posting within the next couple of days. I have some photos from the band show this past Saturday I need to post, and also need to post on the other blog about Promise Keepers.

I've just been busy, no other problems.

I do hope to be posting another tribute post about my brother later this week. This coming Thursday would have been his 50th birthday. We will see what my emotional state is then....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

From the Pressbox: Northwestern

Coming to you from Huskies Stadium, the home of the Northwestern Huskies, here is the first edition of From The Pressbox from an away game, the first away game the Rittman band has performed at since the playoff game in 2005.

Our young, but determined Rittman Fighting Indians took on the Northwestern Huskies this past Friday night. At the end of the first quarter the game was a scoreless tie. After a few miscues by the young Indians, Northwestern went into the locker room at the half with a 13-0 advantage.

But I'm here to report about our favorite high school student musicians, the Rittman Indians Marcnhing band. They took to the somewhat wet field to the delight of the Northwestern faithful, many of which came to the game dressed as empty seats.

The band come on to the field with a rousing rendition of "Rock Lobster" Tonight there was no worry about me repeating my miscue of the past weekend, as for the first time since I started announcing in the 2000 season, there were no majorettes performing. The band performed their circles upon circles to "Dancing in the Dark," and tonight it was our band and not Bruce Springsteen, who was "the Boss."

Our percussion section once again proved that garbage cans weren't just for sanitation purposes as they performed their critically acclaimed hit "Ode to a Refuse Container." The night's performance was capped off by "Mass Brass" featuring the unique maching style of the Rittman Indians Marching band.

Considering the fact that it had been raining all day, the band put on a spectacular performance.

The game? the Fighting Indians were on the short end of a 28-14 tilt and fell to 0-4.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

34 Years ago.....

I was just completing coursework at the WIXY School of Broadcast Technique, in Cleveland, Ohio. I was in class for a two month course, which was the full time schedule for the broadcast-announcer course.

When I had entered my senior year of high school, I knew two things: One was that I didn't want to endure another four years of schooling. The other was I knew if I did want it, my parents could not afford to send me. I knew nothing about grants and thought I was too stupid to get scholarships.

The radio station I listened to most of the time in those days was WIXY/1260 and I heard commercial spots about this school and I made the call there to get some literature. I got it and went for some interviews with the director of admissions. My parents were all for it. Others told me that I was making one of the biggest mistakes in my life. After 34 years, the jury is still out on that one.

Anyhow I started class about July 15, 1974. I would go up to the second floor of the building at 3940 Euclid Ave., get off the elevator, and walk past the glass enclosed studios where some of my heroes did their magic. Sometime they would wave to me and shoot me a smile, other times they were busy in their craft.

This was the year that "Happy Days" made it's debut on ABC. I walked past the studio one day and Michael Collins, mid morning DJ, was interviewing Ron Howard and Anson Williams. Another time I walked past and saw a young Michael Jackson in the studio. That was a bonus.

We were taught by some of the well known media people in Cleveland. Some of the WIXY DJ's come in to teach some classes. Others were taught by some of the television people. The late Joel Rose instructed us on freading news copy. One of the instructors was Steve Lushbaugh, who was the late evening DJ at WMMS, He was also a graduate of the WIXY School.

We were taught all aspects of the radio business, announcing, production, news, sports, traffic(not what most think) and sales. We were also taught about FCC rules.

The school had many up to date resources, including 5 fully equipped studios,complete with two turntables, a cart machine, and a reel to reel tape recorder, that were able to be used on air in emergency situations. We were also connected to ABC News. We could write our own news, using wire copy off United Press International. We were required to have so many hours of supervised studio time in order to complete the course.

As a broadcast student, I was told I would go to a small town radio station at a low rate of pay, working long hours. In those days, you had to pay the dues to make it to a major market facility. Some were willing to pay the price, others, such as myself, weren't. The halls of the school were lined with letters from graduates of the school who were working at stations, such as WPRT, Prestonburg, Ky., WXEE, Welch WV, and others. I had one interview out of state, in Sullivan, Indiana, WNDI. The interview didn't pan out, as In retrospect, I was ill prepared. I went to many small stations in my home area, dropped off my audition tape and resume, to no avail. I had an interview scheduled at WPRT, but a case of laryngitis took care of that.

So, I never worked in the "biz." Does that mean I didn't get my money's worth out of the course? Not necessarily. To this day I continue to get things out of the $995 I paid for the course in 1974. I have used some of the skills I learned in my usage of public address systems in jobs which I have worked, and in my current capacity as band announcer. I use some of what I learned about writing commercial copy in my blogging. Do I make a ton of money? No. Do I affect people in a positive way? Definitely!

I still have a dream of someday doing something on the air, but I also enjoy the things I do in my announcing and in my blogging.

It's no good to not dream.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A few PK highlights

This past Friday my son, Adam(aka WIXYjr) and I went to the Wolstein center, in Cleveland. The attraction there was Promise Keepers. They have been to Cleveland 4 times. I have been at 3 of the conferences. This is Adam's second. It was at Adam's insistence we went. At first I balked because of missing a football game. I relented. I'm glad I went; otherwise I would have missed many tremendous blessings.

I did get to see a football player. The emcee for the event was retired New England Patriot Don Davis. He even showed off one of his two championship rings,as he figured folks in Cleveland never saw one(Cliff Note:Probably won't for awhile)

We were treated to a visit from no other than......John Morgan, who did a dead on impression of our commander in chief, whatsizname.

Although I didn't go to the football game, I did see people make very important decisions in huddles. Decisions that would have an important bearing on their lives.

In addition, I also got to see a band, the Promise band and worship leader Steven Newby. I promise in the next few days to give some of my impressions from Promise Keepers. Stay tuned over at Seek Him First.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

From the Pressbox-Garaway Show

The end of a very busy two day period brings me to Sugarcreek, Ohio for the 37th annual Garaway Band Review. Rittman was one of 6 bands appearing in Saturday night's show. Other schools represented in the show were Indian Valley, Newcomerstown, Strasburg, Conotton Valley, and your host, Garaway.

Rittman was the fifth band to appear this evening and my favorite student musicians rocked the house. Following "Rock Lobster" by the B-52's was the majorette feature, " You Can't Stop the Beat" from the movie "Hairspray." More later on the majorette feature.
The Bruce Springsteen hit "Dancing in the Dark" was played by the Marching Indians while they performed circles upon circles. The percussion section took center stage, showing their unique talent to make music with trash cans. That selection was called "Ode to a Refuse Container."

"Mass Brass" recalled the big band era of the 30's and 40's. The Rittman marching style made the selection a fan favorite. The band closed their show with "Born to be Wild."

About the majorette feature: Boy did I mess up. When I introduced the feature I called one of the majorettes "Abby." First problem is her nameis Aimee. Abby was a majorette who graduated from Rittman 6 years ago. Second problem is that Aimee is the daughter of majorette advisor, Becky Cline. The person recording the show has said this will soon be on YouTube.

Cliff Note: Promise Keepers posts will be up in the next few days on both this blog and Seek Him First.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Two announcements and a disclaimer....

As stated earlier, there will be no "From the Pressbox" for tonight's halftime show, as I will be "on assignment" at the Promise Keepers event, taking place at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland tonight and tomorrow. I will write a few posts in the days following about it on my Seek Him First blog. I do plan on being at the band show tomorrow tonight, in Sugarcreek at Garaway High School. I will be well travelled in the next 48 hours.

New Buckeye Baby Boomer Blogger Buddy. This blog has a new friend. His name is Doc Lehman. doc hails from nearby, Orrville and has a blog on Word Press. We share a lot of the same interests and have some of the same cultural memories, including racing and music.

And now a disclaimer: I would have given Eric Mansfield's blog the same recognition if he had gone to a John McCain appearance. As I announced earlier this week, I will not use my blog as a political statement. I enjoy the Have I Got News For You blog because Eric is a member of the so called "mainstream media" who is able to communicate with the blogging community. Other media types who blog treat it as a necessary evil and do it because they have to and their writings show it. Eric's writings hint that he enjoys blogging.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A quick follow up......

Last post was about news reporter Eric Mansfield. Yesterday he was in New Philadelphia, Ohio covering Barack Obama's campaign stop for WKYC-TV. He wrote several posts about the time before and during the appearance. He also had the chance to personally ask him two questions.

I mention this for a couple of reasons. One, I have had a lifelong interest in the media and thought this was interesting. The second reason is that Eric Mansfield has an indirect connection with this group.

I know that several in this group are Obama supporters, but no matter what your politics are, I think you will enjoy his posts.

Click here to go to Have I Got News For You!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to work notes.

You think your job is busy? One of the blogs that originates in my home area is called Have I Got News for You, written by Eric Mansfield. Eric works at the Akron bureau of WKYC-TV3, Cleveland. He gives a behind the scenes look at some of the work he does in putting a story together for the news. Today he wrote a post about getting two stories when he was only going for one. Also gives the reader a look at how potentially dangerous the job can be. I also think Eric Mansfield and Struke were coworkers at one time. Cliff Note:Eric's latest post is about Ohio national guard troops being sent to the hurricane zone. He was one of the guardsmen sent to assist with relief for Katrina in 2005.

I made myself older this morning. As I was leaving a comment on Brenda's blog, I said that I was turning 55 in less than 14 months. The truth is that I am currently 52 and not 53, with my birthday being towards the end of next month. So I won't turn "double nickels" for close to 26 months. Hold off on that Golden Buckeye card for awhile. But because I'm not a fan of Just for Men, I get the senior discount automatically quite often.

Another birthday to celebrate

I just noticed that Jen, of Unglazed fame is also celebrating her birthday.

How did that one get past me?

Go over and wish my favorite log cabin dweller a happy birthday.

Birthday time again

Today is Brenda's birthday! Go on over to Snicker*Snicker*Snort, her blog, and wish her the best. She deserves it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day laborings

Okay, today being Labor Day, I had the day off from my job, but not from work. First I has to cut some grass over at my in laws. Mrs74 went to see them, which was the first time she had seen her parents since the surgery. They also got to see their great grandchildren and had a ball playing with them. While we were there we had a small cookout. During dinner, though several sets of eyes were glued to the Weather Channel as hurricane Gustav had made landfall. Me, I was playing with the grandchildren, but praying for all my friends in the coastal states.

Back at home, I decided to check my email and blogs on the main computer and it started shutting down, due to overheating. I got a can of air and blew it out through some of the vents, but made it worse. I then called Best Buy, where I bought the computer. The Geek Squad "agent" who took my call told me that it could be many things wrong and the dust inside the computer could have caused extensive damage to the computer. I then called a friend who works on computers on the side and left a message on his voice mail. Meanwhile I decided to do the unthinkable: fix it myself. I went to get some tools. Cliff Note: Some in my family feel that I should have my tools registered with the local police department.

I then very delicately took the cover off the cpu and noticed one of the fans was partially blocked by dust. I took my can of compressed air and blew out all fans and wiped out all the dust I could reach. I plugged the computer back in and listened to the fans hum. The computer stayed on for several minutes. I then hooked up the monitor and mouse and instructed Mrs74 to properly turn the computer off. After putting the cover back together and hooking everything back up, we turned the computer back on and at this moment it is still running. Call Mr.Ripley. He won't believe it. I actually fixed something! BTW, I am writing this post on my laptop. No problem,we are just running Spy Bot on it.

I hope all had a good holiday and I hope all my southern friends have stayed safe and dry.