New Blog. Who Dis?

by Rich on August 24, 2016

So, it’s been about 8 months since my last post, and frankly, that’s just damn embarrassing. It took reading a friend’s blog to shame me into posting something, ANYTHING, to this little idea catch-all.

I mean, I’ve wanted to. I have had every intention of writing. But, well…sometimes you can’t write about what you want to write about. And I can’t right now. So I won’t. I’ll be able to someday. But not now. But that doesn’t let me off the hook. Because sometimes you just need to write, to get something out there. It doesn’t have to be earth-shatteringly brilliant, or side-splitting funny. It just has to be written. Because that stimulates my “I suck at this whole life thing but at least I know how to tell an amusing story occasionally” nerve.

I’ve grown a beard. (see the above re: earth-shatteringly brilliant) Now, a couple of things…

A) I use the word “beard” veeeerrry loosely. I have facial hair. It mostly covers what you would imagine a traditional beard would cover, just not very thickly. So, I think technically I can say I have a beard, but I wouldn’t argue the fact if I was confronted in the deodorant section at the grocery store by the Beard Police. (Sidebar: that’s a real thing. I swear.)

2) I’ve never had a beard or any other facial hair for any appreciable length of time in my entire life, save that one summer that I thought I could get away with the whole goatee thing. UPDATE: I can’t. Now, the reasons behind this are multiple, but basically it’s because I never thought I could grow a beard, and because I have never really liked beards. Sure, Santa Clause, Paul Bunyan, Abe Lincoln, Tom Hanks in “Castaway”…they have beards you can respect. But for the most part… they guy handling my car loan? The dude selling me shoes? The lady making my sandwich at the deli? I prefer them beardless. Until now.

Blue) This didn’t begin as some grand experiment or organized plan. Nope, this was pure, good ol’ fashion laziness. I just didn’t want to shave one day, didn’t have anywhere to be or anyone to see, so I didn’t. And then I didn’t the next day, either. And then a funny thing happened…

I went to something. A meeting, work, a Redbox run… who knows? Anyway, I had to leave the domicile, and I ran into someone and they said, “Whoa! Rich! You look AMAZING with that AWESOME looking BEARD!!”….or something like that. (DISCLAIMER: it wasn’t anything like that)

Suffice to say that I began to get positive feedback. And that was cool! I mean, for a dude my age who feels totally left behind by the GQ expectations of modern society, it was nice to have someone say something positive about my appearance. And it was my beard! Weird! Weird beard. Seared weird beard. They leered at my seared, weird beard. I was cheered for my seared, weird beard….(sorry, this happens in my head sometimes. It’s been so long since I’ve written that I forgot I could leave that part out.)

It itches sometimes. But then so does my ass and I’m not shaving that, so we can strike occasional discomfort as a reason to get rid of it. But there may be something that makes me eventually scrape the razor across my face. I don’t know, man, I’m not a psychic. I’m just riding this wave, waiting to see which beach it washes me up on. (I know, I know…”upon which it washes me”…geez, grammar nazis, lighten up. It’s a blog)

 

ps. I suck at indexing. I also stole that joke, like, a million years ago, from either George Carlin or Robin Williams, I forget which.  Or maybe it was Dennis Miller.

Pre-beard Dennis Miller….

 

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“…Aaaaaaand We’re Baaaaaack!!!”

by Rich on December 23, 2015

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it’s that we, as a species, hate change. Oh sure, there are a few outliers who “claim” to love it, but we all know the truth. Deep down we hate change. Fear it. Loath it. Despise it. We get comfortable and in a rhythm and we like that. The amount of effort we have to exert decreases the longer we stay in the same place. We learn how to minimize work, streamline processes. In short, we create shortcuts and get lazy. And that’s not always a bad thing. It’s how we are wired and there is a reason for that. Deep in our genetic code, we are programed to conserve energy for when it’s needed the most. But lets face it… none of us are out there every day hunting down a sabre toothed tiger to bring back to the cave to feed the clan. So our instinctive fear of change leads most of us into a life of sameness and stagnation.  Thankfully, we have a great deal of control over that. And if we take advantage of situations placed before us, we can take on new challenges and make changes and grow as people. Doesn’t that sound good? Of course it does.

Except for the whole “change” part…

I got a new job.

Ok, not really a new job. I mean, I didn’t get fired or quit or change companies, but my job responsibilities at work are changing drastically. So, in essence, I got a new job.

And it scares the *&%*@ out of me. (Fun Fact: that symbol, or group of symbols, is called a “grawlix”. Look it up)

Almost 5 years ago I got a call from a good friend with whom I used to work. There was an opportunity at his network to start a brand new sports call in show. Was I interested? My experience to that point had been what most people think of when they think of a radio DJ. Playing songs, doing little bits, reading the weather, playing requests…you know… “WKRP in Cincinnati” kind of stuff. So it was a major change to jump into a 2 hour sports talk format, and it was frightening. But I took a shot and, due in no small part to the incredible amount of help I had, and some wonderful co-hosts, the show took off and has become something of a success. So much so, that the leadership at my network of stations would like for me to create something new on one of our sister stations. A brand new, 3 hour, entertaining morning show.

Ok, then.

So, beginning January of the coming year, I will be the co-host of a brand new morning show, The Wings Weekday Wake-up with Rich and Jeremy. And I am totally pumped.

This new show is something I have never tried. It is in a music format that I have never really been in, and I will have a full time cohort. All of those things frighten me. But the possibilities are truly exciting! No longer confined to the world of spots (which I love, by the way), Jeremy and I will be able to stretch our legs and talk about what interests us and our listeners. Everything from food, to sleep, to movies and TV and music and food. We will probably talk about food as well. I like food. A lot.

A little about my co-host. Jeremy Henderson is brilliant. One of those brilliant people that bursts at the seems with smarts and creativity. He is a gifted writer, a perceptive historian and one of the single most hysterical human beings I have ever met. There has never been a time that Jeremy and I have talked, either on the air or in private, when I haven’t found myself doubled over in laughter at some point in the conversation. He is not a “radio guy” and I mean that as a high complement. He’s just dang smart and dang funny and that combination is priceless.

If you want to get a little picture into the mind of Jeremy, do yourself a favor and check out his web page

I am so grateful to the people who are allowing this to happen. The ownership and management here at the station, along with my coworkers and sales staff, the advertisers who signed on to sponsor something they had never heard before, and the guys on my current show. All of these people are making this a positive and exciting move.

I will still “cover” Auburn sports for our network and will still be involved with that side of things, but the day to day operation of a sports call in show will now be handed over full time to some great people who will continue to grow the show. Bill Cameron and Zac Blackerby know more about sports than I ever will and our listeners are in for a treat with Bill at the helm and Zac there beside him.

It’s quite a Christmas gift to me personally, and a great way to start off a new year. Change.

Now I just need a new alarm clock…

 

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Diver Down

July 14, 2015

Long before YouTube and Google, in a time without The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, there was National Geographic. Growing up in the 1970s, I was fortunate to live in a home full of National Geographic magazines. My grandmother Jean, a lovely, cultured southern woman, gave my family an annual Christmas gift of a yearly […]

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Throw Like A Girl

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You will have to forgive me, but what follows is social commentary. I know, we get preached at enough from all corners, but in this you will have to indulge me. Auburn University (my alma mater) has a softball team. It’s had one for almost 20 years. And to be perfectly frank, I have not […]

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It’s A Long Story

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It was almost 11:30 at night when the man overboard alarm sounded. I remember that because I was just signing off on the final fuel readings and waiting for Lessard to relieve me as Oil King of the Watch. The alarm was loud and insistent. It demanded your attention. The sound dove into my spine […]

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Getting A Read On It

October 7, 2014

I was having a conversation with an intern this week, about books. I asked if she ever read nonfiction and she indicated that she had not, outside of required reading for school. Like many readers (myself included) she prefers the escape of a good novel. She did relate to me, however, that she wanted to […]

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The Silent Cheer

October 2, 2014

I am an Auburn Fan. If you have read any of my previous pieces (articles? blogs? posts? What do you call these things, anyway? “Pieces” makes them sound like works of art. Which, of course, they are. I am way too humble to point out this obvious fact, yet there it is. But I digress…), […]

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Shed a Tear With Me

December 6, 2013

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Damn You, Auburn…

November 27, 2013

Damn you, Auburn. Damn you for making me care. Damn you for being irresistible. Damn you for making me fall in love with you. Not your football team, but you. All of you. Your campus, your city, your academics, your history, your townspeople and your culture. Damn you for being as close to perfect as […]

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Order Up!

September 22, 2013

After taking the summer off, I’m back. It’s perfect jeep weather, so let’s go for a ride…   Frequent passengers here in the jeep know that I enjoy cooking. Now, I’m not especially talented or professionally trained in this area, but I do enjoy it. I enjoy the process, and I really enjoy presenting the […]

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