Thursday, March 22, 2012

Great Hobby, Lousy Career...

As most of you know, I'm a radio geek. And I'm not shy about making it known when I make an acquaintance of someone who is, or has been in the industry.

About 6-1/2 months ago, I started contacting former WMMS  host, Jeff Kinzbach, via Facebook. I had found out he was going to be the band announcer for Highland High School, where I had graduated. His daughter was playing in the marching band. We had some good exchanges back and forth. I gave him some advice that he had probably known already, but thanked me anyway.

A few weeks later, Rittman and Highland played in the same band show. Jeff came looking for me and introduced me to his wife, Patty. We had a good conversation, probably things he had discussed ad nauseum with countless others over the years. He messaged me the next day, telling me that he enjoyed the Rittman Band's performance and gave me kudos over my announcing style.

About 5 weeks later, after I broke my ankle, Jeff sent me well wishes via Facebook. Safe to say, Jeff Kinzbach is not full of himself. I had written a post several months ago called "After the talent is gone, then what?" Jeff was kind enough to write this response to the post:"From Jeff Kinzbach:Thanks for the kind words, Cliff. I try to tell people that you have to have a back-up plan. While I was in broadcasting I knew that it could be a life-long career but the odds were better that it would not. At the time, being in broadcasting was like being a baseball manager. Eventually you will lose your job. Now, most businesses are like that. I was fortunate. I worked hard and kept my head on straight. But, I was always fascinated by the economy. So I studied it and it became my second passion. I began to think that my next goal would be to work for myself. As time went on, radio started to change. The companies were expanding and buying more properties. However, they started to cut staff and corners in order to make the bottom line look better to shareholders and investors. Key people were let go because they made too much money and had too much vacation time. Creativity was put on the back burner for the safety of playlists. I knew at that point, radio would not be a life-long career for me. I actually wanted a new adventure. I was 41 at the time and had spent over 25 years in the business. I sometimes worked 7 days a week. Anywhere I had to go, whether it was a vacation or for business, I flew because I had to be back for work. One thing I realized more than anything...was that life was not about radio. I wanted more. I wanted to see other places and experience other things. Most people think that being in radio or television is great. You are famous. That was never an attraction for me. For me it was the creative ability to put together sounds, music, news, comedy and to enjoy it. Having another plan was starting to work wonders for me. After having been shown the door in 1994, when I came home, my wife said, "Why don't you just do your investment business?" So I took the plunge and did that. Was it easy? No. But I stuck with it and am glad I did. When I got out of radio I went through a very interesting change. I had never realized how wound-up I was. I started to relax. My wife and I got into the car and drove all the way down the east coast. No agenda. If there was a ferry to take...we took it. One of the first things I did when I was out of radio was to watch the sun come up one morning over the Atlantic in Hilton Head. With a great cup of was super. Soon we were parents to a daughter. We moved to Texas, bought an old ranch and fixed it up. We harvested hay, had cattle, dogs, cats and whatever else showed up. The ranch was way out in the country so we would sit around the firepit at night and listen to the coyotes howl. It was a great place to raise a child. As we got older, the heat and the ranch work were wearing us down. We moved back to Ohio. It is great to be back. One thing Texas lacked was the seasonal changes. The vivid fall colors of Ohio are amazing. We lived through a pretty nasty drought. (not as bad as the one they have now) So rain, clouds and snow do not bother us anymore because we know how important rain is. Would I change anything? Probably not. Are we perfect? Of course not. If I had a dime for every mistake I have made....geez I would be rich. Life is to be lived and enjoyed. However, you have to have a plan and a back-up plan too. A good lawyer once told me, "I don't like surprises." And I agree. You have to look both ways. "What if," should be in your plan."
 Sometimes a response can be longer than my post. Anyway we have had a few exchanges over the past several months, as he has probably done with his over 4000 Facebook friends.

Lately, Jeff has made a return to radio. He has begun to do fill in work at WNCX/98.5, classic rock station in Cleveland. People have been able to get small doses of what had made radio great in "The Rock N Roll Capitol of the World." And I'm sure it has revived interest in WNCX. As he said in the above comment, he has moved on in life, but he gets to do something he has loved, now on a part time basis.

This week, the regular morning show host on WNCX, Slats, is on vacation. Jeff has been filling in to the audience's delight. Would this work on a long term basis? Probably not, but for me and many others, it's dessert. Better had in small servings. Today he also has in studio, his longtime on air partner, Ed "Flash" Ferenc, reliving past glory days. Good listening. Always good to hear one of the good guys who has never forgot who and what had made him popular. Cliff Note: Photo above was courtesy of the WNCX website.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I have been accused of doing much of what I do here on the internet purely for the attention it brings me. Sometimes that's true. But when you see some of the things posted on Facebook, I have to admit that what is posted by myself and others who have a blogging backround is much more original than the usual "repost this if you love Jesus" posts that we all have the tendency to see. And believe me, I don't have to prove I love Jesus by reposting a message.

Now that I have my rant out of the way, let's get to the subject of the post. I have noticed others around me are wanting to start working out. I was told by one coworker that I have inspired her to come to work early and spend about 15 minutes working out. Another coworker wants to check into Weight Watchers. I received an email last week from a friend who reads this blog. He told me that he joined Weight Watchers.

Top all this with my wife wanting to get walking, but not with me at 4:30am, and I feel that I'm doing a fair job encouraging others. This encourages me to do better for myself.

Another bit of encouragement came in the comment section from my last post. Syd always gives me a good word, and Busy Bee Suz always brings me a smile. There was a comment from someone who come to visit for the first time, Strong Beauty Val. After a little bit of following links, I found that Val writes a blog on women's fitness. So for someone like that to come over to this blog and offer the encouragement that she gave me, I felt that was a privilege.

So if at all possible, offer someone some encouragement today.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's Working Out!

I'm writing this post after returning from a 14 mile bike ride. One I've taken before. But this time I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.

We will back up to my workouts. I had spent the prior 3 days utilizing the fitness center at my work. My aim is to be working "in the zone", or working up a good sweat at about a level 7. With several machines at my disposal, I could mix a variety of exercises, all designed to build up my legs and drop pounds along the way, that is if I can manage to eat right, and believe me I've also been working on that.

Yesterday I went in the fitness center about 7:15am. I wanted to get a good workout in before I started work at 9. I decided to reverse the order of machines used, and got on the treadmill first. I ended up spending 25 minutes on the treadmill, then after a rest, 30 on the stationary bike. Then after a shower, off to work. In my mind, a good workout.

Today is the first day of daylight savings time, and with a high in the 60's not a bad day here in Ohio. Considering I started the winter on crutches and had to transition back to walking, it wasn't a bad time to have a mild winter. I was going to go for the usual 1.7 mile walk I've been taking lately, but the bike path was calling my name.

Now for those unaware, the bike path I ride is also known as the County Line Trail, which makes no sense because the county line is a mile north of the trail. Where I get on the trail is 1/4 mile before the 1 mile marker. It's also about a mile from my house. My original intent was to turn around once I got to the town of Sterling, about half way into the trail. I got there, found a bench to sit on, then decided to go all the way to the end, which is in Creston.

Once in Creston, I decided to go to the Circle K convenience store. I bought me a Polar Pop, or a fountain Diet Coke, and a banana. I took my grandson on this trail last summer. Rested at the same place. When we got back to my house, he found some pizza coupons and said we could eat pizza while we rested the next time. I told him that would defeat the purpose. Good news is there is a Subway inside the Circle K, and I'm starting to like some of their salad possibilities.

On the way back to the trail, there was an accident with my water bottle and I lost about 2/3 of the water in it. I thought I would stop at a restaurant in Sterling and refill when I got there. No dice, restaurant closed. And I didn't have any money for the vending machine in front. So when I needed water, I could just take a sip. Good thing it was getting cooler. Was also a good thing that I could coast a lot along the way. My legs were starting to feel like lead. And I also need to get a wider seat for the bike.

And around the 2 mile marker is a shelter. And in the shelter is a bench. And once I got there, I entered the shelter and parked my butt on that bench. Stayed there awhile, probably wasn't a good idea since my legs felt heavier when I got back on the bike. Even though, it wasn't that far now, I thought I would never get back home. But let's take some inventory: I'm 56 years old, have an artificial left knee, and I'm 4-1/2 months removed from having a plate and 9 screws in my left ankle. All in all I'm not doing all that bad. And since the shelter had no wifi, you can see I made it home.

Now after a shower and granola bar, I'm sore but am feeling good about my accomplishment. And I intend on becoming more familiar with the County Line Trail.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

New blog: Charm of Nail Polish

It's been a while since I've introduced a new blog. A former coworker of mine named Courtney, also known as Zombie Mommie, has started a blog called "The Charm of Nail Polish."

Courtney is a single mom of 2 and she is going through some changes in her life. She has decided to go to school to become a nail tech, which has been a passion of hers for some time now.

Anyway, above is an example of Courtney's work. Check out her blog and say "Hi" while you're at it.

Self Esteem Issues

In the past 5-1/2 years since I began blogging, I have encountered many people with their share of of esteem issues. And I'm sure those of my friends who write recovery blogs have documented their own.

One of the descriptions of myself that I have had to promise myself I would quit using is when I have referred to myself as "the fat kid from the other side of the tracks." To be honest, I used to think this would get me some points. At least one of my friends called me out on it.

Problem is sometimes overweight people serve as comedic foils for other people dealing with their own self esteem issues. And as a Christian, I think this sort of behavior is as wrong as slandering your fellow man. Really serves no useful purpose.

Food is too often used as a recreational drug. Can give you a false sense of satisfaction when you are dealing with feelings of guilt or when someone causes you hurt. When I was growing up, I used to take out many of my frustrations on my stomach. Of course being a minor, that was the only legal way to handle it. Combine this with being a faithful follower of TV Guide, this was the perfect recipe for obesity. I wonder how many other have followed this non plan through the years.

Cliff Note: The last four sentences of this post was deleted as upon further review, they really had nothing to do with the spirit of the original idea behind this post. The only thing I do want to say is that if I offended any recovery bloggers who read my blog, I am truly sorry.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

An Observation

While in the washroom at work today, I noticed something: My clothes are starting to grow.

Makes me glad I've been taking time to exercise, but guilty I have been missing my walks for the past couple of days. Also makes me glad I've been taking the time to read nutrition labels and to actually taste the food I'm eating instead of shoveling it down. Lately I've been eating to live instead of living to eat.

And now I'm starting to encourage other people.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Repost and Some Memories

Four years ago today at 3:07am, I was getting ready for work when the phone rang. It was the nursing home where my brother, Richard had resided for the past 4 plus years. the nurse had informed me that Ricky had passed away. He was 49 years old and my second sibling to have died before the age of 50.

For the next several days I wrote several posts, introducing those who read my blog to my brother, who had been wheelchair bound the last 20 years of his life. He was probably either borderline or mildly retarded. My parents never had him diagnosed and my mom was in denial. Many in my family have this inherited condition called neurofibromatosis. with Ricky, it caused splotches on his skin. It also caused him to have seizures. He could never have what would be considered a normal life. Ricky managed to make the most of it. The following is a post I originally wrote March 7, 2008.

FRIDAY, MARCH 07, 2008

An adult with the mind of a child and a heart of gold

We had moved to the west side of Cleveland, Ohio after Ricky graduated from high school. Ricky was unable to work a traditional job but my parents did get him into a sheltered workshop for a time. On my days off, I would listen to what he was saying about his work. He was proud of what he was doing. On his time off, he would keep himself occupied with the sports section and sports magazines. He would devour them and be able to talk sports with most who could understand him, as he had a habit of talking too fast.

I would play on his love of Cleveland sports and for his birthday one year I took him to a Cleveland Browns game. We took the rapid transit into downtown Cleveland. Before the transit got to the Terminal Tower, Ricky went into a seizure. I got him off the train, but he was still confused and tried to pull me back on while the train was moving. Oh, that day the Browns beat the New York Jets and we did enjoy the game.

There were also times we went to Cleveland Municipal Stadium to watch the Indians play baseball. Those days a crowd of 3,000 was considered large. The stadium seated over 70,000. We would be enjoying a game and one of the Indians top hitters of that time, Andre Thornton, would come to bat. The "crowd" would be unusually quiet when Ricky would stand up and yell at the top of his lungs "HIT A HOMER!" Now it's a known fact that I'm not the quietest person around, but I would sink in my seat as we would hear this at least once more. Cleveland Stadium had a wicked echo when empty. But he would also keep score while watching the game, something I've never been patient enough to do.

But speaking of loud voices, one time my older sister went to the movies with us to watch "Smokey and the Bandit." Ricky and I both had a hearty laugh, and we were watching a very funny movie. Bev, our sister, moved to the other side of the theater and swore that she would never go to the movies with us anymore.

Wasn't the last time we would irritate Bev. May 15, 1981, Kathy went to a baby shower as we were expecting our first child(who now has her own blog), so I went to my folks house to visit. That night the Indians were on TV playing the Toronto Blue Jays. I turned to the channel the game was, only half expecting to see any baseball as it had been raining all day. Baseball was on and Bev stormed out of the room. Ricky and I were getting into the game and it appeared to be a special game. One by one Len Barker was getting the batters out with no one of the Blue Jays reaching base. I was realizing this about the fifth inning. By the sixth inning, my dad come into the room and I told him that Barker was pitching a perfect game. Ricky then chimed in saying that he might get a no hitter too. That's about as bad as the time I told someone that Ray Fosse hit a grand slam with the bases loaded. We cracked up and Ricky, who had this habit of not taking himself too seriously, laughed too. Barker did pitch a perfect game. Watching that was something Ricky never forgot, but he remembered that as the game we watched when "Bev went out of the room, mad as hell."

When I came up, he would always have something he saw in a paper or magazine that he thought I would be interested in. After my daughters were born, he always had something he wanted to give them. Ricky loved all his nieces and nephews. He loved seeing anybody from his family. But no matter what, nobody had better not talk bad about Cliff and Kathy. Ricky would stick up for us and our children.

Photo at the top is Richard, my sister Deirdre, and our niece Aleta, who left a comment on a previous post. Photo was taken in 1977.

Friday, March 02, 2012

This day will really be so great
The man above is one oh eight
What did I do to mark this day
Go to Whattville, go I say

Thursday, March 01, 2012


I woke up this morning and my hip was hurting. I've been suffering off and on with bursitis in my hips for over 30 years now. Thought there was no need to walk, as the bursitis would probably be aggravated.

Then I got to thinking. Sometimes that can't be a good thing. Today it was.

I got to thinking about my employment situation, how I've never been close to achieving my true passion. How I've let other people and environmental situations mold my life. How I've been ridiculed out going for what I've wanted in life. Needless to say, I'm not satisfied.

I decided not to let a hurting hip keep me from taking a walk. If it get aggravated, so be it. I only work 4 hours today and it's 4 hours sitting on my down. I loaded Dan Miller's latest 48 Days to the Work You Love podcast in my iPhone, hooked up my ear buds, and took off walking.

I found that it took 14 minutes to walk around the block, so the next walk will include the 3 cul de sacs which I pass. I'm now sitting at home(you probably figured that) writing this post. I'm also happy to say that my hip doesn't hurt.

I proved to myself in the past 10 days if I force myself to do something, I will get it done. I have written 13 poems on my Whattville blog in that time. New month and I still have inspiration. I plan on writing one for tomorrow, as it's an important birthday to celebrate in Whattville.