Why do we INSIST on making sure WE are always entertained?

OK…this dad is obviously having a good time. Is it because of the skateboard-stroller, or the fact the The Good Lord made him to look like Matthew McConaughey? It DOES look like fun, but is “fun” suppose to be a part of protecting your kid from injuries? If he hits something, or someone pulls out, the kid is the “bumper” on this thing.

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Here’s the link explaining this thing:

http://www.boredpanda.com/baby-carriage-longboard-stroller-quinny/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=Newsletter

This brings me to a pet-peeve of mine:

We, as parents, deny ourselves nothing when it comes to parenting time. I see Moms pushing a stroller with one hand, the other with a phone to their ear. Very often not paying attention to traffic and what’s going on around them. Can’t your phone call wait? Can’t you stay “in the moment” with your kid for a few minutes while you push them through the neighborhood? Don’t you want to talk with them? Make observations to them? Show them things?

I see Dads leading a family convoy on bikes, out in front of the pack!  Leaving the kids un-observed from behind while cruising city streets and crosswalks. Dad just has to get his workout in.

Then there’s the restaurant scene featuring adults having a conversation while a child sits mute…bored expression on their face while they play with their own personal iPhone or Pad.

Why do we have to multi-task? Why do we put such little value on interacting with our own kids? Especially when we insist they are “special”…gifted and creative. Are we living in a culture that gives us a pass on self-denial?

I heard Deena Centofanti on Fox2 mention the other day that their kids have to go “device-free” from 4-8pm every day.  WOW! I’m sure that new rule didn’t go over big with the little ones. In fact, that’s a good point: By insisting your kids interact with other humans (or even pets) you’re doing your kids a HUGE favor in teaching them social skills…but not without cost…TO YOU, the parent. The amount of whining and complaining over a “no device rule” would be enormous…and that means parents have to suffer through it. That in turn affects a parent’s serenity…their own personal time.

Can you be a good parent without a little sacrifice? I’m a big fan of parents/grandparents who do things with their kids that are very low tech. Not just finding something to keep them “busy” so they don’t make noise.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m a classic “cranky old guy”. I get aggravated by a slow bottle of ketchup. I don’t have much patience. I don’t like to deny myself much.

But like the old saying goes “God keeps giving me opportunities to develop it.”

-Jim

Thoughts?

Happy Birthday to all of our Marines!

This is a great article on our US Marine Corps you may want to read. I found it gave me an even greater understanding and appreciation for the women and men who are American’s Elie.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/marine_corps_240th_birthday_no.html

Many of you helped The Marines every year at Christmas when we did our live, Toys for Tots program. It was fascinating to see “the other side” of a branch of the military we’ve always respected for being among the toughest, most disciplined fighters we have. Here’s a couple of pictures from our morning show broadcasts to show you the warmer side of our Marines.

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Please share so all the Vets we love know about this…

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Despite all the politics, the division, the back-and forth on everything from Presidential candidates to what color your coffee cup should be, almost all of us support our men and women who have served in the military. If you don’t…well I don’t know what to say to you, but I was really impressed by how many different companies offer great deals to veterans. I sent this to Mike Bradley from our old morning show and he knew about a couple of these, but was unaware of most. I can think of no better way of supporting our troops this year than sharing this so as many people as possible see these discounts and freebies. And if you know of any others, or are with a business that offers perks to Vets, please post it. Thank You Veterans…Happy Veterans Day and many of us consider fixing the VA a VERY important issue. God Bless You.-Jim

Click this link for discounts for Vets.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/veterans_day_2015_discounts_freebies.html

People Poll-Question for The Ladies….

Alright, let’s hear it…what do you Ladies think about “The Man Bun”?

Man bun

It’s kind of a Hipster-thing…mostly younger guys who have enough hair in back to put it in a bun of sorts. I remember years ago when I was deep into Kung Fu, my teacher wore one. He was not Asian. It looked pretty cool in the dojo.

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But when a guy is wearing a man-bun and contemporary clothes, you usually don’t think of Martial Arts.

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I can tell you some of my best Guy-Friends have worn it that way. They have pretty long hair and it looks cool. I don’t think I could ever pull this off. I wouldn’t even try. I think we all agree, when a guy gets over 50, and is “thin up front”, it looks pretty pathetic when he grows it long in back and makes up for going bald by sporting a ponytail.

But it’s up to YOU, Ladies…you could be doing us all a huge favor by weighing in here. I’ll post your comments so please join in. And if you do end up loving the man-bun, I’ll be online ordering this for the upcoming Holidays…

clip_on_man_buns_grouponThat’s right…CLIP-ON man buns are now for sale on the web!

I’m gonna try doing this around town…

smile

When you think about it…we’re all SOOOOO SERIOUS these days.

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Nobody is walking around with a smile these days. Why? Is it because despite all this technology to help us, entertain us, make life easier, we are losing touch with being simply happy? Is it because things are pretty damn serious these days?

lifeIsGood

Talk to anyone who’s gone through a health-scare…or just got a job after months of  being unemployed. Or just welcomed a Grandchild into the world. They are often the only ones left walking around smiling.

My theory is that we are in a state these days where we suffer from the anxiety of daily life, while at the same time wanting and needing to appear “totally together”…we’ve fooled ourselves into believing if we’re not living as large as the Kardashians, we must be failures. That combination takes so much concentration, we feel if we walked around with a smile, we’d look insane. When you are thinking serious thoughts, a smile is very unnatural.

But think about what you FEEL when you see someone else walking down the street with a big ‘ol smile…

smileKid

A smiling person looks not only happy, but confident, peaceful, and more attractive. Most of the time, it makes us smile in return…with little or no effort.

I remember years ago they used to say smiling takes less muscle effort than and other facial expression. Why does it now seem like it takes a LOT of effort? Why are we so intense now that if you were to walk around smiling, someone’s bound to ask “Why are you smiling?”

I’m gonna try using the “smile-tear-off-sign” at the top of this page. I’ll let you know after a week if there are any little tabs left on the page.

jimcarnival-Jim

Drive Time Radio

So here’s what we’re thinking: I am going to broadcasting in the morning, during morning rush hour from the car. Driving to work along with you. It will be LIVE and you’ll get a heads up here on FB before each show. I’ll try and make it possible to answer questions and get feedback from YOU, just like when we used to take phone calls on the radio. You can listen/watch LIVE ON YOUR PHONE or iPad, laptop etc. or watch a re-broadast here anytime it’s convenient for you. That’s the plan…hopefully starting next week. And we’ll call it DRIVE TIME RADIO. Stay tuned…this is gonna be funchevy

Well worth watching.

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Last night we watched the much anticipated documentary about singer Amy Winehouse, “Amy”. It was On Demand and I’m sure will pop up on all your favorite movie watching channels and websites soon. It was really well done. Whether you were a huge fan or not, I think you’ll be impressed by this project. It’s much more a documentary than a film…every scene is either private videos shot by friends and family or candid photos we’ve not seen before. And all of the narration is from the people who were part of her life from childhood until her tragic end. It does not have a “host”, all of the story is told by the people who were there.

But it’s NOT all sad.

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And it’s not an exploitation of Amy. In fact, I think there were more happy, smiling moments than most of us can remember seeing when she was alive. Most of our memories (outside of her music) are of the end of times for her. The pictures in the gossip rags…the videos of poor performances…the heartless jokes. The film does show her decent into darkness, but it doesn’t live there.

We see a young woman who there but for The Grace of God, could have been any of our daughters, nieces, or friends…that’s the part I found really sad. “Amy” does such a great job taking us back to when she was just another VERY talented teenager…normal weight, normal personality, with endless potential. There never seems to be a time when she became full of herself and her talent. You don’t see any “diva-moments” of her yelling at employees or talking like she’s an extraordinary artist. She’s pretty lovable all the way though.

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And to me…that’s the tragedy of Amy’s life. She was a true “artist” in the way you can’t fake. All of her songs were about her own experiences. Her musical style was based on her appreciation for jazz, 60’s Girl Groups and later on even Rap. The highlight of her life seemed to be singing a duet with Tony Bennett.

amyTony

She was totally humbled in his presence…Mr. Bennet was like a warm, supporting Grandfather during the session, while at the same time in awe of Amy’s gift for song. And this was after quite a few “slips” in her life…like most of the people we know with drug and alcohol problems, there were times when she got back up and nailed it.

I found a few things to be very revealing about Amy Winehouse  and life in general from this documentary:

  1. Bad Parenting can really mess up your kids. Her folks were just not good at being parents. You’ll hear and see this right away in the film. They were separated  when she was quite young. Her Mom didn’t want to discipline her…her Dad only came back when she got famous and exploited her at every  turn. (still does. see pic)     AmyDad
  2. . If you pick the wrong ‘soul-mate”, you’re giving them the keys to your life. And if your soul mate is destined to destroy you, it’s only a matter of time.                 amyBoyriend
  3. There’s no such thing as casual crack or heroin use. Sadly, too many of us know this to be true.  It will suck the life right out of you…especially the joyful part.     amyKid          Being a Child of the 60s myself and a Jazz-fan all my life, I’m a sucker for a beehive and heavy mascara. I fell in love with Amy in the first 10 seconds that I heard “Back to Black”. But I feel differently now about her after watching “Amy”. In addition to  great affection and admiration, I now feel I know her true heart…her real personality. In a way I feel less sad for her because I know her life wasn’t all bad. I feel more empathy and shame for how we all just “watched”, waiting for her final performance. That’s a sickness in our culture.   To be honest with you, I cried while writing this blog…not while watching the film. That’s why to me, “Amy” is worth watching,                                                                                                                                                                               amyBeehivelinks to the movie previews        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3lZcrzzcM                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJKIwNtLgwk

Dream Retirement.

2005-05-31 21-14

I think most Americans dream about their retirement. Unfortunately, it’s not the same dream our parents had. Gone are the days of good pension plans, matching stock purchases, or selling your family home to use as a nest egg. I honestly don’t know very many people over the age of 50 who are comfortable with the idea of not working. In fact most just hope they can hang on to the job they have, or they plan on working at something as long as they can because they can’t afford to live with any amount of comfort if they had to retire anytime soon. Add to this the fact that if you’re over 45, a good “career-type” job is difficult to find and you have a lot of Americans taking part-time work and maybe two of those jobs to keep things going. Plus, many people our age have adult children and grandchildren living with them because they can’t find jobs that pay well.

For my money…this election should be about the economy. But this isn’t a political posting.

2007-11-09 19-10

I always dreamed we would move Up North and just kind of bounce around great small town like Petoskey…living an easier, quieter life. We go up when we can, but Lynn’s still working and we’re just not ready to cut our ties with Metro Detroit. Not yet, anyway.

But it’s not easy to retire these days. Not without cutting your expenses and living a little less glamorous than you might have dreamed of.  I know a few Parents who kind of work as “daycare” for their grandchildren. Maybe they get a little cash for doing that, usually it’s to help their own kids save money.

When I first retired, everyone told me “Better find something to do…otherwise you’ll go crazy or drive your wife away!”. Someone even pointed out to me that American men sometimes only live 18 months past their last paycheck. Mike Bradley helped me find a small building to rent and before I did my last radio show, Lynn snuck in and cleaned it up so they day I left my career, I went from driving to the station to driving to my shop. With 2 months I started as the world’s oldest metal shaping/welder apprentice. with Eric Gorges, host of the hit PBS-Detroit TV show “A Craftsman’s Legacy.”

It took me about a year before I realized I never really retired! I was just spending the productive part of my day doing something different. I still get up at 4am..I still take a long nap in the middle of the day, and I still stay up till midnight. Just as I’ve done for 44 years. DSC_0117

So now I suppose, retirement is just a word. In the classic-sense, I am retired from broadcasting. But now I’m playing around with this blog, so I’m not so sure that’s accurate. In the back of my mind I still have the need to do “a show”, just like everyone who posts on social media.

But one thing’s for sure: Whatever was important to you BEFORE you stop working, is still just as important afterwards. 

This is how I spend my time, 3-4 times a day…rain or shine.

In Defense of The Internet…

internet

It occurred to me the other day, while I was having lunch at home with my beautiful Wife, that even though we don’t have phones or laptops in front of us while we eat, as soon as we’re done, I grab my laptop (still sitting at the table, dishes cleared) and poke around on the internet. I started wondering about how “healthy” this is. When we watch TV at night…simple sitcoms and news shows, our laptops are open and we are both surfing the web. In the morning while I’m jumpstarting my day with coffee and morning TV news, I grab my laptop as I sit down in the living room…splitting my early time between the TV and the web.

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Some time ago I came to the conclusion that being connected on the web must be the result of a never ending desire for constant stimulation. Like TV-channel surfing used to be in the 90s…I don’t want to know what’s ON the web..I want to know what else is on the web. (apologies to Jerry Seinfeld)

But then it occurred to me that no matter what I’m looking at…whether it’s junk email or the most complicated essay on relativity…I am reading and I am learning. Maybe the internet is making us all a lot smarter?

Almost everything you care to do now, you can do more wisely by virtue of being able to “look it up on the internet”.

-Before you order a product on Amazon, you can scroll down and read the customer reviews.

-Before you hire someone to paint your house you can check their reputation on the web,

-Before you take out a loan to buy a car, you can read professional reviews and even find a better price on the internet.

-Before you agree to go out with someone on a dating site, or so business with someone new, you can check their background on the web.

Maybe it’s making us all geniuses in our own way?

Einstein-Quotes-23

Someone asks you why aluminum is stronger yet lighter than steel? Look it up…BAM! you know why and it’s committed to memory.

Having access to the web is like having a personal, genius-assistant at your service 24/7.

And…on the internet you can “be” whomever you decide to be. Want to look young and fit? Post your best, photoshopped pictures. Want to appear warm and loving? re-post pictures of babies and dogs and inspirational sayings and pictures. You don’t have to be yourself. You can be the self you really wish to be.

internetDog

Granted, you can wast precious time doing unproductive things on the web. I think games may be relaxing, but they sure eat up the clock without much to show for it. And chasing down gossipy-stories or getting sucked into what Hollywood is doing doesn’t add much to your brain-power, but you are still reading…learning…working your mind.

Now…putting all this knowledge to use and making ourselves wiser, more understanding, more inclined toward productive unity, understanding and love?….I’m not smart enough to figure out how to do that…yet.

Make it a great day!-Jim

I’d Love to Change The World…

But I can’t do that much. I could complain and post angry opinions, (I’m capable) I’ve learned though that doing that makes me feel good and empowered for about a half an hour, and then I realize the people who agree with me cheer me on, but an equal number of people who disagree, take offense and dig their heels in on their side of the issues. Seems to me not much will change if that’s the dialogue between us.

So today…(one day at a time) I’ll try something new…I’ll try simply being a good friend.

SDIM0176

Kindess…patience…understanding…being a good listener. These are the qualities that keep people talking and keeping an open mind. On ALL sides of Life.

Hope you have a good day.-Jim