He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Happy New Year! I’m hoping everyone made it safely to 2011. I had a decent New Year as the weather stayed nice and I had free tickets to a couple of area events. I started the night watching the Rochester Razorbacks get defeated in OT by Dayton. The Razorbacks are the semi-pro basketball team in my area and winners of three titles in the past 5 years. Not quite as fun as a Shock game and almost as interesting as the current Pistons. Afterwards, there were fireworks outside the stadium and then it was over to the Main Street Armory for the Playboy Erotic Ball and Casino Night. The Erotic part of the show was pretty lame despite having a local playmate in attendance. I got my free drink and spent the remainder of the night playing poker (not strip) for prize tickets. Won about 16 tickets for various raffles and called it a night. The best part of the night was the armory itself which my dad served in when he was in the military. It has been revamped and is mostly a concert hall (think St Andrews) now but it was nice seeing part of my father’s history. I hope to see a concert there sometime in the future.
Speaking of concerts, here are some upcoming shows you might want to check out:
Friday (1/07) - Sarah McLachlan @ Caesar’s Windsor, Anti-Freeze Blues Festival w/Alberta Adams @ Magic Stick
Saturday (1/08) – Anti-Freeze Blues Festival w/Blasters and Laith Al-Saadi @ Magic Bag, Jill Jack Birthday Bash @ the Ark, Ashes Of Soma @ Hayloft
Sunday (1/09) - Flatfoot 56 opens for Authority Zero @ Magic Stick
The Blasters are definitely a great band to see live with a nice mix of blues, punk and rockabilly. I saw them at the Magic Stick a few years back and they really rocked the joint so if you get the chance, check them out. Here is one of favorites by them, “I’m Shakin’” (an old Little Willie John hit).
I am a big comic book fan and recently stumbled across a collection of the Windsor McCay (famed for early animated feature Gertie The Dinosaur) of “Little Nemo In Slumberland” which ran in the New York Herald from 1905-1911. The strip was basically the dreams of a young boy which ended each strip with him waking up in bed. The strip featured Nemo and friends on many adventures including a trip of the biggest cities in the US and Canada. The March 26th, 1911 strip was interesting as it was the date where Nemo and friends landed their airship in Detroit in front of the Wayne County Court House and later paraded down Woodward Ave and went to Belle Isle for a picnic (there was mention of Grand Circus and Windsor across the river). At the time, Nemo’s character said Detroit is the “prettiest city in the US” which is hard for us to envision today but thinking back at the cities roots, this city must have been something special to be nicknamed the Paris of the West. That was its nickname back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when many of the city's Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose and when Washington Boulevard was electrified by Thomas Edison. I wonder if Detroit can ever establish itself back to that glory. In my five years in the city, I saw some work in that direction but there seems to be a lot going against those efforts also. I wonder what sights Nemo would visit today if going to Detroit (one guess would be the Henry Ford Museum)?
Being here on the East Coast, there was a lot of talk on the news concerning the big airport delays in NYC after the big storm. I was surprised that the little amount of snow was able to cause so much havoc. With over 9,000 flights cancelled, a lot of people were left wondering how they were going to get home which got me thinking of a few things.
As a society we are getting used to getting things quicker due to cell phones and computers. Then again, if you ever tried to get through a companies automated system, one might question that since it can get hard to reach a live person. I was amazed at the number of people on TV screaming into their cell phones to reservation agents trying to get their issues fixed. Of course, technology affected that by the number of people who prefer to book online. Yes, you can get some great deals, but the downside is a reduced number of agents on the phones to help out in a situation like this. American Airlines, for example, United Airlines has gone from 17 reservation offices (15,000 jobs) in 2000 to 3 reservation offices (10,000 jobs) in 2009 which is a lot fewer people handling the incoming calls for all these stranded people. Continental and American Airlines also recently reduced staff and closed centers as well as eliminated flights and grounded planes to help boost their profits during a tough time.
So when people wait on line for 4 hours and can’t get anywhere, frustration gets the better of them. People were upset when they finally got through and were told they had to wait a few more days. Most argued they should have some sort of back-up plan, but what more could the airline have done? You can’t hire new people and put them on the phones with no training. It does take a bit of training to answer phones no matter how easy it sounds. You want the people taking calls to know how the computer system works or you will have more issues. A number of people ended up booking themselves onto a bus or train and in some cases having people drive to NY to pick them up and take them back home.
One story that stood out for me was that of a mother in NY that was happy to have her kid (yes all adults are kids to their moms no matter what their age) home for a few more precious days. She was telling the reporter that she doesn’t see her daughter as much anymore and you could see the joy in her face when talking about her extended stay. The child however wasn’t looking too happy and declined to comment which almost really sums up life. We have an older generation that has learned that you need to take things in stride sometimes and make the most of a situation and a younger generation that wants things right away and looks annoyed when they don’t get it. I fall right in the middle of that shift. I have tried to avoid the annoyance of having a cell phone. I had one for work for 2 months and hated it. All of a sudden people get angry when you don’t answer right away and having to remember to turn it off when at a concert or play. I like to buy things at a store and not online. I just like to hold the item in my hand I’m going to purchase because I know that not everything online is perfect. Heck, I don’t even like ATM’s or using my credit card at the pump. I like dealing with people face to face whenever I can. I even like doing my interviews live that over the phone if possible.
The other thing I don’t like about technology, is how easy it can be to corrupt. This New Year, I was at the gas station when I found out my credit card company cancelled my card and was sending me a new one because one of the places I shopped at before Christmas had gotten hacked. This meant going out for New Years without a credit card handy which was a first. Luckily, I got my new card today and I didn’t have any issues that required having lots of cash on hand, but it was still annoying that it happened. Also, glad I had enough cash to pay for my gas.
Well that is enough waking poetic here in the New Year. I am looking forward to getting some good interviews lined up. Waiting to get some questions back from the Concretes and working on Betty Poison and the Supervillians. Here’s to a great 2011!