Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Round is not a shape!

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from someone. Part of the joke says "I'm in shape. ROUND is a shape!"

Well, I've gotten a little too roly-poly for my liking, so I'm doing something about it. I've decided to get more active and try to be a bit more sensible in my food choices.

Why now, after so many years of being lackadasical? Two reasons... actually, a couple of women that are dear to me. One just turned one and I'm sure she'd like to see her uncle around for a long, long time. The other is just a bit older and she told me this weekend that it'd be nice for me to be around for a while as well. And since I'm in love with both, I'm pretty well screwed in terms of putting up any resistance--I'm a bit of a sucker that way!

So I joined the Community Center in Madison yesterday... not nearly as intimidating as I thought. I'm probably going to take some water exercise classes and do a little weight circuit training to start. And as I get more in shape, perhaps more strenuous stuff. The best part, my dues break down to the cost of a pizza a month!

But the big thing I'd really like to do is to get a bike when I get my rebate check from ol' Dubya. With gas expected near 4-bucks a gallon this summer, it makes sense to not drive my car as much. Granted, if I have a game to do or if I have a remote to do, I'll take the ol' buggy. But to go to and from work is an easy 20-minute workout daily. Only problem is if it's really hot out and I start sweating profusely. Perhaps my boss can look at putting in a shower at the station? LOL

I'm also going to try and watch what I eat, too. I looked at my garbage can and saw a LOT of fast food and pizza box containers. YOWZA!!! I'm never gonna eat broccoli, even if a certain person I'm in love with tried to entice me with it. But I can do a lot more home cooking and not have do deal with the added cost of take out. And if my friend from Lake Herman gets a bumper crop of carrots or corn in his garden, perhaps he'd be willing to share in the bounty?!?

Anyway, I'm a bit nervous, and excited at the same time... and it's not from the Hydroxycut I'm taking either. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Work Kudos

I enjoy what I do for a living... there is nothing I would rather do to make money than to talk in front of a microphone, entertaining thousands of listeners on a daily basis, be it in a studio, on the gridiron, in the gym, or on the diamond.

To be honest, I've never thought of my career as "work". I've had plenty of "jobs", from working as a dispatcher for a now-defunct delivery company in Sioux Falls, to working as a technical writer for a display company, to even trying my hand at teaching in hig school. With the exception of the teaching, each of my jobs were just that, jobs. Something to go in for 8 hours a day and collect a paycheck every two weeks.

But being in radio has been different. I've felt a genuine sense of pride and satisfaction in the five-plus years I have been at KJAM. Whether it's a state tournament game, or updating folks about a thunderstorm at 11:30 at night, I feel like I really make a difference in the lives of our listeners. Add the fact that I absolutely enjoy what do for a living, and sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm actually getting PAID for this!

And now, it seems I've received some recognition to boot!

The South Dakota bureau of the Associated Press has decided that I'm a good enough writer to get an award. First place in the Sports Story catagory for the State AP Radio Contest, to be accurate. Turns out, I edged some heavy competition like Steve Imming and Jerry Oster of WNAX, and Craig Mattick and Bob Lasowski of KWSN.

To be even named in the same breath as these radio icons is one thing, but to have actually surpassed them... well... it's quite humbling. Especially since I worked with Craig on numerous occasions and I ALWAYS have my radio tuned in the fall to WNAX to catch Steve and Jerry and my beloved Jackrabbits on the gridiron.

I guess what this award tells me is that I did make the right choice in my career. Granted, I felt I made the right choice early on, but to be recognized by one's peers is quite special.

While I appreciate the award, I don't look on it as a high point in my career. If anything, I'm more proud of my fellow co-workers Jim Otis and Dylan Steen. They've been in radio a combined three years and got an "Honorable Mention" in the Talk/Public Affairs catagory with their "KJAM Sports Sandwich" program. These two young gentlemen took some initiative early in their careers and they got some well-deserved recognition for it. And for that, I'm very proud of them!

Sadly, my trip to Chicago and a freak snowstorm has kept me from getting my award. But as soon as I get it in my hot little hands, I'll take a picture (I found my camera!) and post it here.

A little worse for wear...

Well, kids, I'm back from vacation... rested, but a little worse for wear.

I did enjoy Chicago. I loved going to the museums, and spending time with my friend Nicci. Unfortunately poor timing and injuries put the kibosh on my complete enjoyment.

Injuries... hmm... biffing it in Millennium Park and a twisted ankle that kept me holed up in bed put a damper on my trip. I mean, if I wanted to sit and watch TV, I could have stayed home and not have spent all that money.

Bad timing... my friend Nicci, whom I like more than a friend. Fact of the matter is, I'm still in love with her, even after all the crap we've been through. Fact is, I tried to propose to her. I told her I would give up every thing in my life to be with her... my job, my friends, everything. But she wouldn't let me propose. So it put me in a bit of a funk.

I can see why, though. She has a lot of stuff coming up over the next six months and the last thing she wants to worry about is being engaged or married. She also says she has feelings for me, but I think she's also putting up a shell around herself when it comes to me. I can see why... after all we've been through, I guess I'd be a little cautious too. She says she needs time... I can see that. But I told her that I've felt this way for a long time and that six months isn't going to change that anytime soon. And that after we've been friends for a while and I've worked on myself (she knows what I mean), I'm going to ask again. And if after that she says "no" (she never said "no" this time, just didn't let me ask), well, I guess I gave it the ol' college try.

It wasn't a complete disaster, though. I did get to spend time with her, which is worth the plane ticket itself. I also got to have dinner with Dan and Jenn, two friends of mine from college whom I haven't seen for a LONG time. Dan, Jenn, when are you two coming out to see me in South Dakota? LOL

But now I go back to work today... perhaps not totally refreshed, but hey, I get three weeks of vacation a year, and I'll take another one after football! Besides, we have a new news director starting (I hope) and I have an award to pick up!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hoisting the Anchor...

No, this is not about boating... or my upcoming vacation to Chicago. I'm actually going to do a positing on my industry, broadcasting. More specifically, the situation at CBS news.

There has been a lot of talk lately about CBS News... the crown jewel of the "Tiffany Network" has been taking a lot of hits over the past few years. First of all, it was the "Memogate" episode in which host Dan Rather aired a dubious document about Dubya's time in the Air National Guard. That gave CBS a pretty big black eye in the terms of credibility, but it looked like things were on the upswing after Rather stepped down from the anchor desk and Bob Schieffer took over in the interim.

Frankly, I liked Bob. He knew he was in a "storekeeper" mode with the show until someone "better" came along(I know that feeling all too well!), but he really seemed to build back a lot of trust that had all but disappeared just a few short months before. In fact, viewer numbers were increasing as well. I think in a lot of ways, Schieffer reminded a lot of people of Walter Cronkite... an elder statesman that stuck to the facts, without personal bias or hidden agendas. People like me really appreciate that, especially since we have Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olberman, Rush Limbaugh, and Ed Schultz constantly bombasting us with their opinions.

And then there was Katie.

It seemed like a novel approach. Take a very popular host from a very popular show to freshen up the news cast. I was looking forward to seeing Ms. Couric take on a more serious tone, to really let her journalistic chops fly. In fact CBS even got good ol' "Uncle Walter" off his sailboat long enough to record the introductory voice-over as a symbolic "passing of the torch".

After an outstanding first month of ratings, the program dropped like the proverbial stone.

I think a lot of it has to do with image. For the better part of two decades, Couric was the perky, giggly person who got people's mornings off to a good start on "Today." I think that image, combined with an emphasis on "soft" stories put in the minds of many people that Couric, whether accurate or not, lacked the gravitas to do hard news. And it eroded the credibility of CBS even further.

Now the scuttlebutt is that CBS is looking to replace Couric before her contract is up. Some speculate that it may even happen before the political conventions this summer. While both Couric and CBS deny the rumors, enough buzzing is going on about it that makes one wonder if there isn't some merit.

IF Couric leaves, as has been suggested, the question becomes "Who takes over?" Schieffer says he's not interested in the big chair, citing his age. Frankly, if I got dumped on my derrière like that, I probably wouldn't be too keen on going back for more, either. Others like Randall Pinkston, John Roberts, and Lara Logan keep popping up as in-house reporters who have anchor experience and could take over.

But here's a little bit of juicy speculation, especially for you conspiracy buffs.

Right now, CBS is looking at outsourcing much of the news department's work and resources to CNN. If this should happen (and from the reports of CBS News laying off personnel, it just might.), I wonder if someone like Anderson Cooper or Christianne Armanapour could find themselves at "Black Rock"?

It could be a win-win situation. CBS would regain credibility in the news world with an established journalistic presence but at a much-lower price than Couric's $15-million a year asking fee. It would also cement the agreement between both networks, should that come to fruition. It could make CBS the big kid on the block once again.

Or it could blow up in their faces, and CBS will have to spend the next 30 years trying to climb out of the cellar while pundits bemoan the demise of a once-great organization.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Really "Fowl" Balls

Sometimes, things just come across your desk that makes you stop and scratch your head for about four or five minutes. Such was the case this afternoon.

I received a press release from the Sioux Falls Canaries in my work e-mail. Normally, these releases talk about promotions planned for the season or players that are signed, traded, or have been signed to a major league club. But this one... well... here are some of the "highlights"!

The Sioux Falls Canaries and [name removed to cover my ass] are teaming up to this summer to bring Fowl Balls to concession stands at the Birdcage. The venture makes Sioux Falls Stadium the first sports venue in the country to offer their fans a chance to enjoy turkey testicles.

Turkey WHAT?!?!?

The breaded and fried nature of the Fowl Balls make them a great appetizer to enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce as an alternative to onion rings or mozzarella sticks.

I can just see it now... "Sorry darling, but the concession stand ran out of onion rings and mozzarella sticks. So I got you the deep fried reproductive organs off a male turkey!"

“The Fowl Balls will make a perfect compliment to a cold beer at the Birdcage,” said Canaries Director of Food & Beverage Bill Sedelmeier.

A lot of beer, Bill... a LOT of beer!

The food item is considered a delicacy in China and Japan.


Two morals to this story.

1) I really need to get out more.
2) The next time you go after a foul ball, make sure you specify which balls you're after... I might just need you to get me another beer!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So long, Conde School.

Conde School Votes To Dissolve

Barring some miracle, the Conde School District will cease to exist by 2009.

That means this years' sophomores will not graduate from their home school. Rather, they will get their diplomas from Northwestern, Doland, Groton, and Warner. A shame.

It also means that the Doland/Conde athletics cooperative will also cease to exist. Doland will no doubt go back to its old nickname of the "Wheelers". Or they may continue to honor their partner school and former rival and continue to be the "Chargers". Doland could find itself co-oping with Clark (rather doubtful, considering they are already planning a co-op with Willow Lake) or head west and set up shop with Redfield.

I was a part of the Doland/Conde Athletics Cooperative for a year, serving as the junior high football coach as well as a volunteer assistant for the varsity team. One of my fondest memories was driving back from a game in Langford (about a 2-hour drive) in a Suburban full of statisticians, student managers, and about 35 dirty shoulder pads and jerseys. Needless to say, we drove all the way back to Conde (and eventually Doland) with the windows down!

And though my time in education was brief, I sure enjoyed being a Charger. I realized how much I loved coaching and always thought how nice it'd be to do that again. Of course, with my current occupation and the fact that my Fridays are pretty booked with football games to announce, that doesn't seem very feasible.

I'm not sure what rhyme or reason I'm giving to this post. Perhaps it's just my own thoughts and reflections at 2:30 in the morning. It could be that I'm lamenting a part of my past that is fading away. Or it's my way of honoring the soon-to-be memory of a little school in the northeast part of the State that fought to the last battle.

In any case, my issues now resolved with that part of my life, I wish the folks of Conde well. And I tell the students... "Go Chargers!"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday, Monday

I know, you're getting a treat! A post from me less than a week from the last one!

The weekend went fairly well. I caught up on a lot of sleep, which is always good. It seems that during the week 5-6 hours of sleep is the norm for me and then I end up sleeping away the weekend. I don't seem to mind it and since I'm not married, or dating or anything, it's not like I have to be accountable to anyone. So there!

Friday was Zoey's first birthday, but we all got together on Saturday for the party. She is an incredible little girl! I did get a gift, a $50 savings bond. Probably not the cutest gift, but considering these things collect interest for 30 years, it may get her something more memorable in the future. At least I hope so! Besides, she has more than enough clothes and toys.

It got me thinking about what I want to do for the future. Like I've written in previous posts, I'm quickly becoming a not-so-happy bachelor. In fact, I was told this weekend that a certain person I have very strong feelings for does not have the same feelings for me... in fact she said its highly doubtful she'll ever have those feelings for me again.

The worst part is it's my own fault. When I had my little temper tantrum, she said, "you ripped out my heart and destroyed any feelings I may have had for you." And considering that she had a fantastic date with someone else this weekend is a pretty big sign that not only did I screw up royally, but that I should forget all about her. Not an easy thing to do, considering how much I love her. I could probably do all the "mea culpas" in the world and do all sorts of bloodletting, but it won't make one bit of difference to her. Smooth move, Matthew!

The sad part is, of all the people I've met and dated, she's the one that I would want to start a family with. To marry her and settle down and go from being a not-so-happy bachelor, to a happy husband.

But as she said, "It's a bit late to be thinking these things."


But... I also realize that my life has more to it than just one person. I still have some awesome friends (a couple of whom I'll be seeing in Chicago next week), a great job (how many people can say they look forward to going to work and MEAN it?), and a great family.

So let's see, what else? Oh... taxes are done, a whole two days before the filing deadline. What can I say? I'm getting them done earlier and earlier! I do have a nice refund of MY money that's forthcoming, so I'm pleased about that. Don't believe the politicians... this is money that they take from YOUR paycheck before you even get to see it on payday. And some of these people that grouse about the stimulus check not helping us... hell, I'll take $600 of my money any day! I just wish it was a permanent thing. It's not welfare, it's my money that I paid in to Uncle Sam for fruit fly mating research and Minnesota Zoo improvements (though I live in South Dakota). Can you tell I'm getting a bit miffed about this!

Still some remaining vestiges of Thursday's blizzard. But Mother Nature is doing her best to have it all go bye-bye this week. I HOPE that's the last of the snow for a while!

One more week until vacation! And not a moment too soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lessons learned; Lessons forgotten

One of the biggest influences in my life when I was growing up was Randy Nelson, my high school English teacher. Mr. Nelson was my teacher for three years at good ol' Dell Rapids High School: German my sophomore year, German II and junior English my junior year, and College-bound English my senior year.

In addition to instructing me on the wonders of the English language, literature, and the beauty of the German language ("Auf Deutsch, Herr Hendrickson, Auf Deutsch!"), Mr. Nelson taught me a lot about life and about being a good person. Although he never sat me down formally and told me what I needed to do, he still taught me by being a positive example. He never lost his temper, he always followed through on his committments, and he always treated everyone with respect. He could be strict, but at the same time he wasn't mean about it.

He was THE teacher that you never wanted to disappoint. Other teachers could get mad at you, and that happened to me quite a few times in my illustrious high school career. But you never, ever wanted to have Mr. Nelson disappointed in you, because he was (and still is) such a genuinely good person. It made you feel rotten when you did.

Case in point, my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to splice into my neighbor's cable, which is a bit illegal. We would have split the cost and be able to watch TV in our dorms. I let it slip to Mr. Nelson what I was planning and he said the words that have stuck in my mind ever since.

"Matt, you're a better person than that."

I was so ashamed of myself that I immediately scrapped that idea.

One of the biggest lessons he taught me was that the human mouth was much more destructive than a nuclear weapon. What we say and who we say it to can cause more damage than a gun, a knife, or a fist. And I always liked to think I followed that maxim... but I haven't.

I've said some pretty hurtful, damaging, spiteful, and just plain mean things over the past few weeks and months. Some on here (quickly erased), but also on e-mails, phone calls, and in person. My friends have read and heard my poisoned words and even the ones who weren't the targets looked at me like I was crazed. I've made people mad, I've made people sad, and I made someone very near and dear to me cry.

Because of MY words, I made her cry. She was inconsolable. All because my feelings were hurt and I was petty and so self-centered that she had to pay. I don't know what Mr. Nelson would say to me about that, but I have a pretty good idea:

"Matt, you're a better person than that."

No, Mr. Nelson, it would appear I'm not. I've hurt people with my voice. And no amount of self-flagellation, pennance, or apology will ever change that. And the fact that I apologized and haven't been forgiven goes to show just how much I hurt her. Maybe I don't deserve forgiveness. And if that's the case, then it's what I deserve.

I should find Mr. Nelson and re-take high school English. It's all too apparent I forgot some important lessons that I need to relearn.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A little something to make you smile this Monday!

The Smithereens had a few big hits in the late 80s and early 90s with such songs as "A Girl Like You" and "Blues Before and After." They're still together (28 years strong!), and they came out with a tribute CD to the Beatles' first album, called "Meet the Smithereens."

Here is the video to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


In this twisted, crazy emotional roller-coaster that is my life, the past week or two has taken a decided upswing.

First of all, I'm all set for my trip to the "Windy City". I will be leaving on April 23rd and return on the 27th. I thought about staying longer, but five days is really quite enough. I think Ben Franklin said that "Fish and company start to smell after three days." If that's the case, I'll be a ripe piece of mackerel!

But I'll take plenty of pics... if I can find my farking camera!

Work is going well... still no news director. We almost had one before they pulled a disappearing act. So now we talk to another person hopefully less flaky. I also found out that I'm to recieve a fairly prestigious award from the Associated Press, so I'm puffing my chest about that. Of course, fate being the trickster it is, the award presentation will take place whilst I'm in Chicago. Oh well, someone from the station will accept for me and besides, I stink at golf!

Personal life is okay... it hasn't gotten any better but then it hasn't sucked, either. I'm friends again with my friend (look back on prior posts if you're clueless). Of course, she's giving me some much-deserved ribbing for my little temper tantrum. And my little "Swee Pea" is turning ONE next Friday! THAT'S gonna be COOL!

Well, that's about all for now. Enjoy your day.