Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yep, almost September

Late August, temperatures are down (63 degrees for the ride in this morning) but with the drop in temperatures comes a new element for the bike ride to work: spider webs. This is the time of year that you start noticing spider webs everywhere when you step outside. Now, this normally isn't much of a problem on the roads or bike paths -- except for the last leg of the bike path at the very end of my ride in.

This morning, since I was probably the only one who had taken that stretch, I got nailed in the face with a big web. Ick. Once I got to my office I took my backpack off and started brushing the web off my head and arms when I noticed it: I'd brought a passenger along with me. Strangest spider I've seen around here. The body was triangular with a big white triangle on the top. Not a problem now but I've got to wonder; if it had bitten me...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thoughts on Endorphins

I've noticed over the last year or so that there is a big difference in my attitude about biking my commute when I have to versus when I just want to. I'm almost grumpy when I know I'm forced to ride and the other times I start the day with a great feeling. Let's chalk it up to Endorphins. There is a natural high in accomplishing something you want to do; kind of like the feeling I get when I check a task off in the Franklin Planner. If you use a planner you may have done the same thing I do when I get a task accomplished that wasn't on my list ... I write it on the list just so I can check it off.

Anyway, it was a beautiful morning and I had a wonderful ride in. Now it is time to get to work checking some of my other tasks off my list. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blink - radio ads

One second radio spots. This must be a traffic department's nightmare. Still, I think we'll see more of this type of ad campaign and, perhaps, more product placement on radio in the future.

Fox taps Clear Channel Radio to market fall TV line-up

Monday, August 21, 2006

Move In Weekend for Peter

So, I helped my second oldest move into his dorm on Saturday. As we were getting close I told him if we couldn't find a spot to park out front, we'd better hope we've been good boys and maybe we'll get a good spot out back. We pull around the front of the dorm and it is, of course, full. Pulled into the lot behind the dorm and I asked him if he's been good; he says he has. We're not seeing any empty spots so I pulled around to the spots closest to the building - and there it is! A bright, shining spot in the first row. We walk into the lobby with one bag and Peter works his way through the crowd waiting for the elevator and finds out he needs to check in with the people up on his floor -- the sixth (top) floor. I hand him the bag and tell him I'll go get another load and meet him up there. As I walked to our prime spot I noticed that it was about three car lengths away from the sidewalk at the corner of the building where a door to a stairway was standing open. I grab two tubs of clothes and started up the six flights of stairs. When I got to the top, I opened the fire door, turned left and looked at the first door I reached and there was Peter's name. I knocked, no answer from the room mate who had moved in the day before. I tried the door knob and it was un-locked so I dropped the tubs off, headed to the lobby where Peter was checking in, got the bag he'd brought up, told him where his room was and that I'd meet him there with another load. All in all, 10 trips up the steps. I only had one trip on the elevator, where I waited in line for about ten minutes for my turn. Good workout!

We grabbed lunch, got his books and I dropped him off. Yeah, within a half hour I was missing him; still do when I'm walking through the house and realize he's not there. Sure, the four others are still around and I'm sure I'll go through the same thing with all of them.

Kinda glad the oldest was back in the house; last night he came out of his room and said he thought he smelled an electrical fire. Sure enough, one of his outlets was melting and the wall above it was hot to the touch and a brown line was showing through the paint. Must have been a problem in the top socket of that outlet because it was completely melted on the inside and the wire attached to it was pretty toasty. Swapped out the outlet and all is well. Again, glad he was around...

Other than that, I had a nice bike ride to my dad's house yesterday (a bit over 7 miles to his house). It was a beautiful, although somewhat humid, day.

So, Country music stations will always have a presence in the K.C. market -- but if Country stations are disappearing in the major markets, will some of the K.C. outlets flip soon?

New Group Seeks to Keep Country Radio in America's Largest Cities

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On the other hand...

I guess it was my turn to pass another biker today. To be fair, he was really taking his time and I was actually coasting and he was peddling when I passed him. Oh well, I guess sometimes the competitive streak needs to be indulged.

As much as I like the Smooth Jazz format and as much as I'd like to see it back in the Kansas City market, I have to agree with this guy when he remarks about the upcoming R&R Convention 06: "Why is it that this gathering of radio industry employees is not being treated to formal talks on the latest online trends, digital communications in sales, or the changing competitive landscape?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

70° this morning with a chance of some rain today – I decided to go ahead and ride the bike in. Like I said, beautiful morning and although I’m taking my time, I’m pushing just a little bit more than I have the last couple of weeks because it isn’t as hot and I wanted to cut a little time off my commute. I pass the same elderly lady that I see every morning at the same point and we wave and smile at each other and say “good morning.” Life is good; I make the turn at the turn-about by the Convention Center and head toward Metcalf when it happens: some other cyclist PASSES ME.

To be fair (to me) the guy has those professional cyclist legs and is cranking along in the highest gear. Still, some competitive streak in me seems, somehow, offended by his audacity. I bump up to the next rear sprocket and then it hit me – I’m not in a race, I’m enjoying my ride in. I drop back a gear and coast while he is peddling like crazy. I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the ride in. Passed another deer that was grazing within 10 yards of my path. Cool.

A couple radio links from the past couple days:

Sprint offering major league baseball games on some of their phones for $5.99 per month. How will this impact sports radio stations in the future? Tough to say, but worth watching.

"A Short, Yet Provocative Treatise on a Possible Future for Music Radio"
Yes, it is a bit of a pitch for their own research company services, but still -- well worth the read.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Much Better ... For Now

Nice break in the weather; started the day with a bike ride into work with a temperature of 61 degrees F and the forecast is a high of 85. I'll take that over 80 something in the morning and 104 for the ride home. I noticed my water bottle still had a little ice in it after I got to work. That hasn't happened for a long time... I'm not going to get too excited though, the forecast calls for temperatures climbing back to 100 by the end of the week. Still, a nice break.

I can add another species to the list of wildlife around our office: bobcat. Big one too; much bigger than I expected. We'd heard, last year, that a bobcat lived close by but hadn't spotted it until yesterday. I've got to admit, on the way in this morning I kept my eyes on the woods a little more than normal.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Webelos Camp

Spent Sunday through Tuesday at Camp Naish for my 8th and final Webelos Camp. There are some lovely pictures of the camp at (which I can't access at the moment - just do a Google Image search for Naish Scout and there are a ton...)

Temperatures were 104 degrees on Sunday, 101 on Monday and 98 on Tuesday. Brutal, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard teachers or coaches say that in all the years they've been doing this, this year's kids were the best. I never believe them. I'm tempted to say it about this year's boys though, but I don't want you to doubt me so I'll put it this way: the boys were great! Well behaved, fun in camp, respectful. The first and second year boys played well together. I couldn't have asked for a better group of boys for my 8th and final Webelos Camp.

Special thanks to Parker O. who took one for the team and volunteered to be our entry in the belly flop competition.

Special thanks for Jared R's sharp eyes; missed stepping on a copperhead by thiiiis much. That caused quite a bit of excitement in my campsite at 9:15 p.m. as the snake slithered under my tent. I explained to the boys that it was long gone by 9:30 and most of them gutted it out and handled it well.

We got 2nd place in the desert cook off - but I think our chocolate covered strawberries should have won 1st. We had a couple other packs come up and ask a bunch of questions about how we did the in-camp cooking ("walking tacos"); one pack even took pictures so they could do the same thing next year.

I had an absolute blast and got a little misty as I was leaving. Webelos Camp has been a big part of my life as a dad - I've been 8 times out of the last 12 years and I will miss it. Some of my boy's best memories have been the times it was just them and me out at camp.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

It was 103 degrees outside when I left the office last night to ride my bike home. I don’t know what the heat index was and I don’t want to know. I made sure I had my bottle full of ice (for now) water and headed home.

Surprise 1 – Just outside of the driveway for our building the road has a nice wooded area next to it where the first 3 or 4 feet are mowed and then there are weeds about 3 feet high. I startled one of the fauns that lives close by and for about 10 yards it ran right next to me about 3 feet away. Kinda cool.

Surprise 2 – To the owner of the building close to the Overland Park Convention Center where they’ve not quite got the angles on the sprinkler system figured out: Your error in calibration was much appreciated. The blast of cold water was shocking, but at 103 degrees with 20 minutes on the asphalt, WOW, it felt good.

Surprise 3 – So, I’m three houses away from my house when my youngest (10 years old) met me in the street with his friend and friend’s dad. They wanted to know if they could ride their bikes to the pool, but since the electricity was out … !?!? he couldn’t get his bike out of the garage. So, 104 degrees by now and no air conditioning I got the garage open, but without electricity the pool would be closed. They rode around for a bit and I made a HUGE glass of iced tea. Within an hour the power was back on.

A couple radio links that I’ve found over the last couple of days:

Tip of the hat to for the link to is a nice little tool that allows you to enter your zip code and see what songs the stations in your area have played within the last 24 hours.

Short article on a station that is “selling their morning show” on eBay.