Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Facebook...

So I don't blog too much on here anymore... I'm pretty much a Facebook addict now.

There are some good things and bad things about it... It's a blast catching up with people I haven't seen in 15-20. At the same time, I could go without all the insipid games and invites to said games. I'm not a games person, unless it's basketball, football, or any other sport I can announce in the radio!

And there are the pages... some are good, like the ones that remember "Captain 11". Others not so good, like the page "F#ck the Troops". Quite a few of my friends are part of a petition to get this particular page removed from Facebook.

Here's my response to one of them...

I won't join this group and here's why...

First of all, I am in complete and unabashed support of the troops. When the 211th left Madison for Afghanistan, I was out there among the crowd, and I even found myself tearing up. I've been embedded with the 153rd when they were training for their deployment to Iraq back in 2004. I have friends who have been stationed overseas and who still currently are. I am in awe of these men and women every single day.

People like the ones who put up pages like "Fuck the Troops" are retards. They are selfish, immature little brats who have never had to work for anything, much less know what it's like to be a part of something greater than themselves and to stand up for for that something. Instead of being involved in honest, frank debate, they decide it's cooler to bash the troops. For this, they are retards.

Despite their despicability, the still have the right to spew their poison. Free speech means even the idiots get a voice... and that's what our troops have been fighting for for over 230 years.

Frankly, I'll use the approach that many did with Air America... ignore them and they'll go away. Don't give the creeps anymore recognition than they already have!

So in other words... keep pages like "F#ck the Troops" up. It just makes the people running them look foolish and like morons.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

New Venture

So in a never-ending attempt to spread myself thin... I am now a contributing blogger to a South Dakota Sports Website.

Sports Buzzard started out covering just Western South Dakota Sports. But as with any successful venture, they are looking to expand. Mike Henriksen of SportsMax Radio has corralled several area media mavens (including me) to contribute reports and coverage on teams from around the area. So I'll be concentrating on Madison, ORR, Chester, Howard, McCook Central/Montrose and the like.

So check it out at I'm under the name "Jack Rabitt1".

Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy Birthday, KJAM!

Well, since my Lake Herman Friend already blogged about it, I figured I'd give a little more publicity to all of my five readers on this thing! LOL

On December 3, 1959 at 8:00 a.m., radio station KJAM signed on for the very first time on an assigned AM frequency of 1390 kilocycles (or for those living in the 21st century, 1390 kHz). Which means the place that has helped me pay my rent and keep me in good faith with my student loan company is now officially 50 years old.

Frankly, it doesn't look a day over 49!

But in all seriousness, with businesses changing hands, opening and closing at the drop of a hat, 50 years is something else. Hell, 10 years anymore is quite an accomplishment. So it's definitely nothing to sneeze at.

Thursday, John Goeman stopped by the station to reflect and to wish KJAM the best of wishes. John has been synonymous with KJAM all these years; when he graduated from Brown Institute back in 1959, he came to KJAM to work as the afternoon announcer and as the station's engineer.... all for the princely sum of $375 a month. Considering the average salary at the time was $2992, John was making some pretty good coin! He would later become the Station Manager and then Station Owner before selling in 2000 to Three Eagles Communications (Not "Communication", Cory!) of Lincoln, Nebraska.

He brought in this great book that was filled with advertisements, and photographs of the station througout the years. In fact the program log from that very first day was in John's collection. By the way... the station signed on at 8:00 a.m., then signed-off at 4:45 p.m., as it was licensed as as a daytime-only station.

But in talking with John and overhearing his conversations, I learned some interesting things about KJAM.

1) KJAM was not the original call letters that the owners wanted when they applied for a broadcast license. The founders actually wanted to use K-M-A-D with the "MAD" standing for "MADison", kinda like KSOO radio stood for "Sioux (or "SOO") Falls". But the FCC rejected the call letters, so the owners used KJAM, with the "JAM" named after the founder, Dr. John A. Muggly.

2) The original location for the station was above what was then Collignon's Hardware in Madison. Don't quote me on that, but I think that's where Central Business Supply is now located. The station moved to it's present location in 1969 when Northwestern Bank (now Wells Fargo) moved to its present Building on First Street and Egan Avenue. Although when something goes ca-ca (as it tends to do once in a while), we joke the the station is located on an "Indian Burial Ground"! LOL

3) Prior to KJAM, there had been another radio station of sorts in Madison. KBRK of Brookings had a satellite studio in Madison, above what is now Dakota Drug. However, when KJAM was established, the owners of KBRK shut down its studio, not wishing to compete with a home-grown radio company. It seems a little ironic that both stations would share the same owners a half-century later!

There are so many more interesting things I could share about the station, but frankly, the person to talk to would be John Goeman. He has so much knowledge, I really think he should write a book about KJAM. And I think all those great pictures, John, would make for an excellent website for locals and radio historians (like me) can enjoy. John, Cory, what do you think?

All in all, I just want to say "Happy Birthday, KJAM!" And I want to thank all of you who have tuned in for the last 50 years!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Yesterday was the best day and the worst day of my life, all rolled into one. Not to go into details, but my South Dakota State University Jackrabbit foootball team played in its first playoff game in thirty years... and after three heavenly quarters, hell came raining down in the fourth quarter as Montana knocked off my Jacks 61-48.

A lot of hurting folks at the message board, including yours truly.... I posted this as a "look on the bright side" to boost our spirits... I thought I'd share this with all of you..

"I Think We'll Be Okay"...
Sorry to steal this from Filbert, but I thought it made a nifty title.

Yesterday was about the lowest I ever felt as a Jackrabbit fan... and that includes "The Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned." Yeah, Montana was the favorite and the top-seeded team, but we had them on the ropes and we didn't go for the jugular... it sucks... and like I said in an earlier post, I hope there's a special place in Hell for the inventor of the "prevent" defense. The only thing that defense prevents is victories.

With that in mind, an amazing thing happened today. The sun came up... okay, it's overcast, but the sun is up, nevertheless.

I got up at 7:00 to come to work and play Christian music for a few hours, like I normally do every couple of weeks or so. Getting dressed this morning, I made it a point to proudly wear my SDSU hoodie and my SDSU sweatpants that I bought after our triumph over Northern Iowa.

Yesterday royally sucked... and we are all still hurting. Some of us are even angry. I sure was angry yesterday; I'm just glad my 2-year old niece didn't hear some of the words I was spewing out yesterday! But today, I am much better.

When I look back on this season, this is what I see...

1) Our best season record since moving up to Division-I athletics... including one of the best starts in over 40 years.

2) One of the top defenses all season long in FCS, even though the fourth quarter yesterday didn't help. But I think that was more an abberition than anything else.

3) Another record for average attendance... over 13-thousand people in a stadium designed for just over 10-thousand... not too shabby.

4) Renewed interested in SDSU athletics... a multi-million dollar donation for a brand-spanking new Student Athete center that'll no doubt be the crowning jewel in the eventual refurbishing and remodeling of CAS. A new SDSU show on KSFY that has our interest. A new Athletic Director who knows that SDSU is not just the school for Brookings or East River, but for Aberdeen, Rapid City, Pierre, Sioux Falls, and yes, even Vermillion!

5) Something that Pete Retzlaff, Jim Langer, Josh Ranek, and Adam Vinatieri could never do as players... lead SDSU to the playoffs!!!

We have a good head coach in Stig. Unlike other coaches in our conference, Stig isn't content to look for just talent alone when recruiting. He looks for young men of good character... young men who realize that you play for the name on the front of the jersey, rather than the name on the back (figurative, since we don't have either on our unis, but you get my drift). Young men from across the country that have avoided the controversy, scandals, and arrest records that have plagued some of our conference brothers. And who can win.

We still have a long way to go... our budget is pathetic, our facilities need serious upgrades, we are seriously understaffed. But all those things are in the process of being corrected, and we have the forward-thinking administration in place to do just that.

Some idiot from Montana decided to show his maturity and say it'll be 30 years before we make the playoffs again... I know we'll be back next year. We have a dynamic quarterback, a solid running back, and a hungry defense coming back next year... all a year older and wiser... and with major chips on their shoulders. And we'll be something no one would have ever guessed for us when we made this transition six years ago... CONTENDERS.

Yesterday sucked... and we're all hurting... but the progress we have made in so short of a time has been amazing, and the future continues to be bright for SDSU Football and SDSU Athletics.

It is still a great day to be a Jackrabbit!

And to quote Filbert... "I think we'll be okay."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Roll Call

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I started thinking about all the people in my life who have served this country in the Armed Forces. Here's a partial list of all the people I've known that have served.

Jim Driscoll, USA-World War II
Tommy Wilson, USA-World War II
Myron “Mike” Stadem, USN-Korea
Dave Driscoll, USN-Vietnam
Jim Auen, USA-peacetime
Wade Harkema, USA-peacetime
Chad Swenson, USN-peacetime, Operation Enduring Freedom
Steve Clark, USA-Operation Desert Storm
Matt Smith, USCG-peacetime
Tom Verhey, USMC-peacetime
Chris Gill, USA-peacetime, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Cole Dearduff, USAF-peacetime
Scott Richardson, USAF-peacetime
Chris Swan, USA-peacetime, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Darin Huwe, USA-Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Brady Bender, USA-Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
David Ellmore, USA-Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Mathew Wollman, USMC-recent graduate from Basic Training, currently in Infantry Training

Family... friends... classmates. They've all served this country. To them, and to all who have served or are currently serving, Thank You. I list your names here not to cause draw unnecessary attention to yourselves, but to show my honest and sincere appreciation.

Some yahoos like, Ted Rall, and others may drag your name in the mud and spit on you and generally act like real assholes. Rest assured an overwhelming majority of us appreciate all your sacrifice, putting the needs of us ahead of your own. It takes a special person to do that, especially in this “me first” culture. You are ALL true heroes.

P.S. I realize I may not be entirely accurate where and when everyone served, be it peace time or otherwise. If I erred, please contact me and I will correct your information as soon as possible. Again, thank you very much.

Monday, November 09, 2009

On Hiatus

So I haven't been on posting here for a few months... that's because I'm on hiatus from blogging.

Frankly, I'm burned out on the whole blogging thing. With my crazy-ass schedule at the station, I just haven't had the time or energy to blog. And with basketball around the corner, it's going to be even nuttier. Plus with part-time jobs with First Dance and the Old Dutch, I basically have about enought time to somewhat straighten my apartment, do some laundry, cook supper, work out and sleep.

Secondly, I've really become disgusted with the semi-negative tone some of my fellow bloggers have taken... I'm still upset with the way my friend Todd was raked over the coals simply because he wanted to post pictures of women on his blog. Nothing dirty, just women he happens to admire. There are some good bloggers that are quite informative, but then there are some that Lenin would call "useful idiots".

I still read blogs, and I'll still post messages. But by and far, I've pretty much stayed away. After a while, it all starts to sound the same, anyway.

In the meantime, I keep busy with my working out (ran my first-ever 5K this summer and didn't die), reading (be it on-line or with those bound-paper devices called books), work, and even trying to establish some semblance of a social/dating life.

So if you don't see me posting all that often, well, there ya go.

In the meantime, a few things off my chest.

1) I think the ultimate case of Poetic Justice would be for Osama Bin Laden to come down with a case of Swine Flu. I would laugh my ass off... then I'd scream because, hey, my ass fell off.

2) Government is good at protecting us from invaders (for the most part), regulating trade, and settling disputes with states. Education and running health care, not so good a job.

3) Certain people need to remove me from their mailing lists (i.e. Nicci). I got a mass-email from this person last week and it upset me greatly. Nicci, I've done a very good job of leaving you alone and purging you from my life the past 18 months. Please respect my privacy and remove all traces of me from your life as well.

4) Boondock Saints... Best. Movie. Ever. (thanks, Jim Howard!) Why they can't have a wide-scale release of Boondock Saints II is beyond me. Not everyone cares about the latest "Bragelina" movie or some retarded teen-sex romp. In a similar vein... I love Netflix... and Hulu.

5) I'm finally warming up to Fav-ruh as QB for my Vikings. The true test of a great player is when elevates the play of those around him. And looking at what he's done for Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shaincoe, and Sidney Rice says this guy is worth his salt, even if it for only a year as most people are expecting.

And finally, some blogs for you to peruse while I continue my leave of no particular order....

1) Madville Times. My friend Cory Heidelberger's blog. I don't agree with a lot of his opinions, some really even piss me off. But instead of being a complete left-wing blow-hard, he does provide some interesting evidence to support his claims... and his blogging about local people and local topics is thoughtful and sincere.

2) Dakota War College. Cory Heidelberger if he was Republican... and named Pat Powers. Pat's kinda reminds me of the side of beef in Rocky I. Pounded on all sides... Republican, Democrat, you name it. But he also backs up his claims with interesting evidence and isn't afraid to torque off a few in his own party. The Gadfly of his Party!

3) Middle Border Sun. My friend Todd Epp's blog. He's kinda stepped away from the blogosphere to concentrate on other interests, mainly his new-found passion for officiating soccer and basketball and joining the Civil Air Patrol. I don't agree with a lot of what he says, but he's always been very cordial friendly towards this doofus, which makes him a mensch in my book.

4) Fastidious. I know not the identity of Ms. "Fastidious" or her husband cosbysweater08. But she reminds me of my friend and SDSU classmate Sonya. Very outspoken, very opinionated, very intelligent, and a pretty quirky sense of humor.

5) South DaCola. Scott is the "wildcard" of the bunch. Just when you have him pegged as a flaming liberal, he'll turn around and rail against higher taxes in Sioux Falls and very much speak like a fiscal conservative. Warning... if you have an aversion to snarkiness, best to take him in via small doses.

6) Terry Vandrovec and Matt Zimmer. Both sports reporters for the Argus Leader. If Terry and Matt could be best described in TV terms... I'd consider them "The Odd Couple." Terry reminds me of Felix Unger... Neat, prepared, erudite, well-mannered. Matt reminds me of Oscar Madison... Outspoken, a little disheveled, about as non-diplomatic in terms of talking about sports. He's not afraid to drop a few f-bombs to prove a point or get a laugh.... which means I should think twice before having him on the Sports Spotlight?

7) Doug Lund and Steve Hemmingsen. These guys pretty much defined my weeknights at 6:00 ever since I was knee-high to a quart bottle of beer. Even though both now enjoy the bliss of retirement, they both keep pretty busy with blogging about everything and anything... from their battles with the bulge, to living life on the lake, to travels across the United States, to even a little politics. The Elder Statesmen of broadcasting and now South Dakota blogging. When they speak, people listen.

In closing, I leave you with these words of wisdom from talk radio host (and 2009 Radio Hall of Fame inductee) Neal Boortz.

Look, life is insensitive, and the truth can be highly offensive. To hide from either is to hide from the reality of life. Take comfort in the fact that I am an equal opportunity offender. You today. Someone else tomorrow. You have no Constitutional right not to be offended and I'm here to make sure this non-existent Constitutional right is honored.

--Neal Boortz "FAQ".

Stay groovy, kiddies!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Goodbye, "Uncle Walter"

"That's the Way It Is."

For 19 years, that familiar phrase was heard in millions of homes across the United States on a weekly basis. The words ended the evening newscast of the man called the "Most Trusted Man in America," Walter Cronkite. From 1962-1981, "Uncle Walter" gave a concise telling of the days events in a voice that was a combination of authority, objectiveness, and trust.

This weekend, that voice was stilled forever... Dead of complications from Dementia at 92.

I doubt Cronkite's death will have much media impact as, say, Michael Jackson's death and the carnival surrounding it. While Jackson was a very good entertainer, Cronkite offered more substance... informing us of the major stories of the day and sometimes even impacting the stories himself.

Two big examples of that include his 1968 comment on the Vietnam War, where he said the best we could hope for was to leave the conflict with honor. President Lyndon Johnson was reported to have said afterwords, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." It was a major factor in LBJ's decision not to run for re-election in 1968.

Another example was Cronkite's interview in the late 1970's with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Cronkite asked Sadat what he thought would be a "throwaway" question, or a question that most people knew the answer to and wasn't of any real substance. That question was would Sadat be willing to visit Israel? Sadat surprised a lot of people, including Cronkite when he said "Yes". That set the wheels in motion to what became known as the Camp David Accords in 1979, the first peace treaty between Israel and one of her neighboring countries.

Despite reporting on the events of the day (and sometimes playing an incidental part of them), Cronkite always kept his opinions and biases in check. Sure, he would offer up the occasional commentary on his newscast, but he kept it at the end of the newscast, never during. And he made sure people knew it was simply his opinion and not any official stand. Reporters from CNN, Fox News, and the major networks could stand to learn a thing or two from that objectivity.

That attention to objectivity, and detail, might have saved Dan Rather's job. When he reported on the memo about George W. Bush not reporting for the National Guard as ordered, he relied on his producer and didn't check the facts of the story himself. Had it been Cronkite who was going to air such a politically-charged story, he would have made darn sure to check the facts himself... after all, it was his butt on the line. Rather got lazy. That, combined with the fact he had come out a few years before as a die-hard supporter of the Democrat party, put the idea in many minds that the story was a "hatchet job", sparked by political bias. It cost Rather his credibility, and eventually his job.

Not to say "Uncle Walter" didn't have his political beliefs. He was very much a die-hard Liberal, even going so far as to advocate a limited "world government". But during his time behind the anchor desk at CBS, he kept his politics in check, and didn't publicly express those opinions until well after he left CBS. In fact, he was a registered Independent so his detractors couldn't accuse him of bias one way or the other... But the greatest testament to his objectivity was the criticism from the Left that he was biased towards the Right, and vice versa.

Nowadays, with inundation of instant news via the Internet, cable and satellite news, and the plethora of screaming talking heads like Chris Mathews, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olberman, I doubt we'll ever see someone as "fair and balanced" as Walter Cronkite delivering our news... in a non-biased, apolitical, objective fashion.

And that's truly something to mourn.