Friday, October 22, 2010

It's The Great Pumpkin...

So it is getting to be Halloween time, so a couple weeks back we decided to get Eli his first pumpkin to carve. We headed to the pumpkin patch. Sarah found 1 Fun Farm. Not only did they have a pumpkin patch, but they had fun events for the kids. So we got together with our friends, Farm Boy, and Farm Girl, and headed to Farmland to the 1 Fun Farm.

Wow was this place great! They had fun activities for the kids. They had a Corn a sand box, only filled with Corn. They had a huge slide made from a drain pipe. Plus the Cow Train, three little pigs, and the corn maze. One of my favorites was the duck races with the old water pumps. You can see all the fun in the slide show below!

So then a few weeks later, we got together with our new neighbors, who just happen to have a little boy just a little bit older than Eli. Their son needed his pumpkin, so we headed to a different pumpkin patch! This time we headed to
Drennn's Pumpkin Kingdom.

This was another great pumpkin patch. We took a hay ride, got a couple more pumpkins and even picked up some apple cider.
But the highlight for me was the Trebuchet. What is that you ask? It is a siege engine used during the middle ages. It used counterweight to launch rocks, or whatever at the opposing forces. In the case of the trebuchet at Drennen' launches pumpkins!!! How sweet is that! The has a small one, but it would still launch the small pumpkin a couple hundred feet.

Even though I didn't get to use the launcher, it was fun to watch. But we recently carved up the pumpkins we had...and they all turned out really good. That is mine on the left...looking evil. Sarah's is in the middle, and Eli's of course had to be Toodles from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

So the pumpkins experience was a great one!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More fights...

Yeah, another black eye. About a month ago, Eli got me again.

This time, playing on the bed in the "Man Cave." Yes, I have a Man cave in the house, and the bed is there for all the times I make Sarah mad.

So it was about bed time, and Eli and I were back in the man cave playing. We were hiding under a blanket so he didn't have to go to bed. He thought this was very funny. I tell him to yell at mommy.

So Eli pops up from under the blanket. "Mooooooommmmmmmmmy!!!"

From the other end of the house, Sarah yells back, "Eli, I'm gonna get you"

Eli grabs the blanket, and flings himself back onto the bed to hide under the blanket.

BAM. Back of his hard little head into my eye socket.

After I stop seeing stars, I slowly get up out of the bed, and grab a bag of ice, sitting there thinking, yep, he got me again.

I love it when people would say to me, "So what's the other guy look like" I say, "Short and cute with a hard little head"

A little preview, coming soon, a trip to the pumpkin patch, and a trip to Oubache State Park.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Church singing debut...

OK, so I love to sing. And some people say I am halfway decent at it. So when our pastor at Church started to do a sermon series on David, I knew that I should sing a song that I have been listening to for about a year.

I talked with Lance, the bald guy below playing guitar with me, and we worked out the song. He got Bud, the lead picker, to learn the solo part, and away we went. We practiced the Wednesday night before my performance, ran through it a couple times, and then Sunday before we started services, we ran through it one more time.

First service went pretty good, but second service was much better in, my opinion. You can tell me what you think. Here is my video of the song Blind Man written by Tom Skinner, in the style of Stoney Larue.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Black Eye #2

So a few months back, Eli caught me with headbutt and I had the first black eye of my life. Well about a week ago, we were in the "Man Cave" playing around on the spare bed. (Yes I keep it in the Man Cave in case Sarah gets mad at me.) It was close to bed time, so Eli was hiding under the blanket so he didn't have to go to bed. I was under the blanket with him. He was laughing SOOOO much! Mommy was in the living room. I tell Eli to yell at Mommy...

So he pops up from under the blankets..."MOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYY"

Sarah yells back..."I'm gonna get you"

So what does Eli do, he grabs the blankets and flings himself backwards ready to hide again. Well, my face got in the way of his hard little head. It nearly knocked me out...

So from now on, we play a little more carefully!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back from the Circus...

OK, not the circus, but life feels like I have been thrown to the lions. But in a good way.

There have been some major changes at work. First and for most we are now live and local through the day! This is something I was wanting for years. We now program all the music locally, and we have local jocks here. Yee-Haw!

Plus we have a new station website. We are still filling in all the gaps there, but all in all it is GREAT!

In my personal life...Sarah is back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 months. That was a hard change for her. She misses spending the day with Eli, but some days she is happy to get out of the house.

Eli is back in Daycare, and loving it...most of the time. He is also in "pre-school" at Day Care. He is counting on his own, trying to do the alphabet, and growing up REALLY fast.

We recently went to a pumpkin patch, he gave me another black eye and more to come in posts coming to a blog near you.

All a fun part of my life in Headphones.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Eli's First Hair Cut

So Sarah (my wife) and I finally come to the decision to cut Eli's hair. It was getting really crazy! The curls were sticking out from his ears. So then we had to decide where to take him. Sarah was talking with her mom, and found out that a place where they lived did a special certificate with the first curls in an envelope attached to the certificate. So we set up the appointment for a Saturday so we could go to the in-laws and get the hair cut and then go swimming. Since I needed a haircut as well, we thought that Eli would do better if he saw me getting my cut.

So we get to the Wooden Nickel Salon and get up in the chair. They break out the booster seat for Eli. I didn't need one. They start of on me. I am watching Eli, and he likes the spray bottle. That is fun! He has his toy car with him. He plays with that, and really didn't pay much attention to the lady cutting his hair in the back.

When she got around to the front, his didn't like it as much, so the ladies cutting his hair, break out the secret weapon...

Yep...Nilla Wafers. He was going to town eating them. As long as he had a mouth full of cookies, he was fine. All except the clippers around his ears. But, really who likes that anyway. All in all he was a big boy, and now looks like a little man instead of a baby. You can see the whole process below.

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

And the final and Eli with our haircuts!

Another milestone for my little man, as I live my life in Headphones....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

King of the Grill!

I refer to myself as "King of the Grill." And most of the time, it is a title well deserved. From burgers and hot dogs to Steak and Ribs, I can whip up a great meal, and not mess up my wife's kitchen.

So last night I thought it would fun to do my first Video Blog. I have been watching a lot of Grilling Week on the food network. And although I didn't do anything exotic last night, I did prepare a great meal. Pork Steaks, Roasted Potatoes, and Bush's Brown Sugar and Bourbon Grillin' Beans. Sound good? Check out the videos to follow!

Sorry for the first video being so shaky. Kind of looked like the Blair Witch Project for a few minutes. I don't have a camera crew to help me out. So I am no Bobby Flay....Yet. There might be more "Grillin' With Big John" I love to cook on my grill. It has to be Charcoal. Maybe next time I will give some Grillin' tips. More to come from my "Life in Headphones."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stereotypical Saturday.

I have to start off by saying I never thought this would happen to me. I never considered myself stereotypical. But read on, you might think I am becoming that guy.

This week was a really busy week for me. Monday just was Monday, but the rest of the week had me gone from home a lot. Tuesday I had a board meeting at our Credit Union. So the meeting forced me away from home for couple of hours on Tuesday evening. Wednesday was the going away party for our boss at the radio station. We had the party Wed. evening at the Icehouse. And just a side note, Dave we are going to miss you around the station, but good things can come from change! So I was gone for about 2 and a half hours Wednesday evening as we said farewell to Dave. Thursday I worked over so I could broadcast from a "Fish and Tenderloin Fry." I was not gone all evening, but I was away from the family more than I normally am. And Friday was the mother of all long days. Every Friday in May we have all day broadcasts to help the fundraiser for Cancer Services of Grant County. I will get into that more in a later blog. But, I was at work from 5AM through about 7PM. That makes for a long day. All week all I wanted to do when I got home was eat, play with Eli for a few minutes, and then go to bed.

I know it sounds like I am complaining, but really, I love what I do, and the extra money comes in handy. That was not the stereotypical part of my story. That happened Saturday.

So I get the chance to sleep in a little. I am super excited about that. But Saturdays are my day to get up with Eli, and let Sarah sleep in. I figure it is the least I can do to help her out after she does it all week.

So at around 7am, I hear Eli on the monitor waking up. Before he wakes all the way up, I slip out of bed, so Sarah can keep sleeping. I turn off the monitor and make my way to the living room. After a quick check of Facebook (what can I say, I am addicted to Farkle) I sit down to watch some of my DVR'd episodes of Pawn Stars. Sarah doesn't like this show, so I have to watch it when she is gone or asleep. After about 20 minutes, I hear Eli jabbering, so I go back and get him. We finish Pawn Stars (which is becoming one of my favorite shows), and then we switch it over to Sesame Street. Then onto Handy Manny, and Mickey Mouse Club House. Of course we have breakfast, and then Sarah gets up.

After a relaxing morning, I decide to mow the lawn. So as I mow, Sarah and Eli play on the front porch. After the yard looks good, it's back into the house for a shower so we can get ready for date night.

So I just feel like that is what every stereotypical dad does on Saturday. Morning cartoons, mow the lawn, and take the wife out on a date before you head off to church Sunday morning. So am I turning into a stereotype? If I am, that is okay, because I love my life, In and Out of Headphones!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My New Addiction!

I need to start off by saying in no way is this an advertisement for McDonald's. This is totally personal!

So the other day I was on my way to work. Not a lot open at 4:45 or so. I am driving past the truck stop at I-69 and 18. I needed some caffeine. So I pull into the McDonald's for a Sweet Tea. I mean, for a dollar I can get a BIG OLE SWEET TEA! And it is good. It gets me the caffeine and sugar I need to get my day going.

But then the next day, I am just about to the truck stop, and that thought starts creeping into my head. Mmmmmm, Sweet Tea....Must have it! So needless to say, I stopped again. It happened 4 times that week. Saturday, I was on my way to Muncie for a remote at Petsmart...I just happen to drive by several McDonald's. Yeah, it happened again.

I think they might put some crack in the tea. I mean, it is that addictive. When I see the golden arches I start to shake a little. I mean, do they have Sweet Tea Rehab? Meeting I could go to? "Hello my name is John, and I am a Tea-a-holic."

So this week I am trying to stop the madness. But as of Tuesday morning, I am only 50/50. I am working on the problem. I guess the first step is admitting there is a problem. I am looking forward to the denial stage. Anyway, that is what is happening in my "Life in Headphones".

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Outdoor Adventure in "3-D"

One of my favorite hobbies that I don't get a lot of time for anymore is archery. I have been target shooting my bow for close to 20 years. It all started when I was a kid and my dad started bow hunting. My brother also started hunting. I didn't have the patients to sit in a tree and wait for the deer to come in. So I began just target shooting in the backyard.

Of course when I got my drivers license I was way more interested in chasing women, and cruisin' town. Then college came, and didn't have the time to shoot like I should. But about three or four years ago, I started shooting again.

3-d outdoor shooting is my personal favorite. This is a course set up usually in a wooded area, with targets that look like real animals. It may be deer, bear, turkey, alligators, and I have even shot at dinosaurs. Each target has a scoring ring. 11 or 10X is what most would call a "bulls eye." Inside the bigger ring is a 10. If it is the "vitals" of an animal it 8 points, and just for hitting the target it is 5 points. Courses vary from 20-40 targets. There are stakes in the ground to mark where you shoot from. When we shoot, it is anywhere from 20-40 yards.

About three years ago, I was on a league that shot every week. It lasted about 16 weeks. It was a lot of fun. I placed 14th. Which sounds pretty good until I tell you there were only 16 in the league. But I did beat my dad.

My brother is the shooter of the family. Over the past few years he has really gotten into the tournaments and leagues. During the summer he is usually traveling to shoots with friends. And during the winter he is in an indoor league that just target shoots.

I told him I would love to be able to shoot more, so for my birthday he bought a gift certificate for Adventure Outdoors. He has been trying to get me to shoot there for a few months. Well, last weekend I finally had the time.

We head up to Adventure Outdoors, just outside of Warren. We head in the shop, and pay for our outdoor shoot.

After a few shots on the practice range to see if I still have my form down, we head to the targets. Now, Adventure Outdoors has a 30 target course that leads you through their woods. I would say the total walk is between a mile and a half to 2 miles. It is a beautiful course, up and down hills, along creeks, through the woods, and along the edge of fields.

Plus they set up a mean course. Some the shots make you wonder just how far it is. You even have to take a chance or two. I mean, shooting through the "V" of a tree to get to the target. That was one of my favorite shots. Adventure Outdoors has a beautiful course, and really cool set up. If you are into archery at all, give them a try. They have the outdoor range, the 3-d course and an indoor range. If you are looking to get into it, they have a shop there to get you set up. I guess this time, you learned about my life "out" of headphones!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time for an Eli Update.

So it seems like forever since I gave you an Eli update. He is now almost 16 months old and turning into quite a ham! He is getting to be so much fun. He has his funny face that he loves to make. As you can see it is pretty funny!

Most recently he has started climbing. And when I mean climbing, I mean, climbing onto anything he can. Our huge ottoman is one of his favorite things to stand on. Any chair, table or person that doesn't move too quick he is going to climb all over it. So instead of writing too much, I thought I would just post a bunch of Eli Cuteness!

Crusin' on a trike / Sittin' in his Elmo Chair

Chillin in the outdoor furniture in Meijer / Showin' his favorite team!

Helpin do dishes!

So as you can see he is getting big and fun.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time for change in my life

Well, it is with heavy heart that I write this blog.

For the past year, my wife and I have been struggling with a very hard decision. After the birth of our son, we have had a hard time financially with a radio income. That has been a factor in this decision.

For the past ten years I have been in the radio business. It is a career near and dear to my heart. From my first days at the former country station in Wabash were I spent 4 years of my life doing afternoons and then mornings, to the past 6 wonderful years at WCJC playing today's best country, I have to tell you I LOVE what I do. Everyday is exciting and new.

My passion for radio came at a young age, when I use to pretend to be a jock in my bedroom talking into the small built-in mic on my boom box, and mixing tapes of current songs. I was "Jammin' John" on WJON. Then in high school radio class is where I was convinced that this was what I suppose to do.

Now, 10 years later, I have met some of the greatest country acts in the world. Shared the studio with some of the best radio people I will ever meet, and spoken with some of the best listeners in the state. I have to say thanks.

But today is the day I will give my resignation to the boss. It is time for a change. I do not know where my life will lead from radio, but it will always be a special part of my life.

One last thing....


Are ya kiddin' me! I would never leave radio! I love it too much...

But I gotcha, didn't I!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A sad day at the Morgan house...

So when we moved into our new house about two years ago, one of the first things we wanted to do was get a dog. Before we had rented, and we were not able to have pets. Sarah and I had both grown up with dogs, so we both wanted one.

We went to the shelter and found a lovable little mutt. We think Alli is a beagle/Jack Russell mix. We got her home, and she quickly became a part of our family. She was a little klingy, but sweet. We were a little worried how she would act around the baby when we brought him home.

So Eli comes, and we bring him home. The dog sniffs him a little and that was that. They got along great! Oh what a relief. Well that all changed as soon as Eli became mobile. He would want to chase the dog. And when he was just crawling, that was okay, because the dog could easily get away from him. But after Eli was able to walk, the dog avoided him most of the time. Now there were times they would play with Eli chasing the dog through the kitchen, into the dining room and then to the living room. Then back to the kitchen. Around and around they would go.

Then a couple of weeks Eli discovered the dogs tail. We tried to keep him from grabbing her tail. But one time he held on a little too long. She turned and nipped at his hand. We punished the dog, and thought maybe Eli had learned his lesson. He DID! He stopped doing that.

Then about a week ago I got a call from Sarah. She said, "The Dog IS GONE!" So of course I said what did she do. Unprovoked she bit Eli while he was just petting him. So we called a rescue near us, and gave up Alli.

We dropped her off. It was very sad. As we walked away we could hear her whining. It was really tough on us both. But when it comes to my child's safety we can replace a dog. And at the rescue they will be able to find her a home where SHE will be happier.

So I thought I would include a little slide show of our little pup we here's Alli...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Winery...

I have to start by saying I have NEVER found a wine I like. And I have tried many. My mother-in-law likes wine. And I would make fun of her over and over again for drinking wine. Call her a wino, ask her if it tastes better out of a brown paper bag. All the wino jokes I could think of. Over the past few months my wife has tried different wines, and found a few she liked. I would try them, and usually either spit them out, or need to rinse down the taste with something better.

This past weekend she asked what we were doing. I told her I had no idea. For the past two weeks she has been looking at the Indiana Winery directory online. So we get up Saturday and drop off Eli off at Mamaw and Papaw's house. And we are off for a date day.

I looked at the directory and tried to decide where to go. I decided to go to Modoc, IN. Modoc is south east of Muncie on Highway 1. Now when I was a kid we went camping in Modoc. They had a nice little camp ground with Chucker Golf. So I look at a map, and come to realize that the winery is just about a mile away from the camp ground.

So we head south on Highway 1. (actually when I say that to my wife, I sing it like the Journey song) and make it to Modoc in about an hour. We follow the directions to the winery, and pull up to this farm house, past the barn to the winery. Wilson Wines!

It was a small building with a stage out front. We go inside and begin talking with one of the wine makers. We tell him we are both new to this wine thing. I tell him I have never found a wine I like. He says that he is on a mission to find a wine I like. I have to tell you I had my doubts!

So he starts pouring samples of some different white wines. Most were awful to me. My wife found a couple that she liked, but I still was sticking to my belief that I hate wine. So John, the wine maker asked what drinks I like. I tell him, like John Wayne, I want Whiskey or Beer. A smile crosses his face..."I know the wine you will like, but we are not going there yet...Let's try a couple more first."

The red wines come out, and I found one that was really good. It was called Richard Red. I say..."You found it!" John responds, that's not the one I was thinking, try this. It was an Elderberry wine. It was fabulous. It was strong, about 19% alcohol, so it had a little of the burn of whiskey, but was sweet with a great aftertaste. So we buy a couple of bottles. The Richard Red and the Elderberry.

One really neat thing that Wilson Wines does is during the summer they have concerts and B.Y.O.M. (Bring your own meat). They have grills to cook on, music, and of course you can buy some wine. Really neat. If you have a day, head to Modoc and check out Wilson Wines! I'm a fan!

Now my wife is ready to head to another winery for our next date day. I am actually excited to go. I hate to say it but, now I like wine.

Monday, February 22, 2010


For the fifth year our radio station has been a part of an annual event to help the local rescue mission. You might have the same type thing in your community. It is called the "Walk-A-Mile in My Shoes" for homeless awareness and fund raiser. It has been a very successful event.

Now you might be thinking, "Why in the world do you do a fund raising walk in the winter?"

I have a perfect answer. Do those who lose their home have a choice when they are homeless. People are put out when it is sunny and 70, or when it is snowing and 5 above. So this is a great chance for us that have a home to realize, for a little while, what it is like to have to be a victim to the elements.

Like I said, this is the 5th year for this great event. I have been to all five. It looks like they went into my closet for the display of shirts from each walk...

When we started 5 years ago, we had about 85-100 people show up. This year I am happy to announce that we broke our attendance record. This past Saturday over 640 people showed up at the Grant County YMCA for the walk.

It started with a small presentation with from the Director of the Mission, and his wife who organizes the walk.

The Mayor declared it Walk-A-Mile in My Shoes day, and thanks Tom and Debbie Ballard for all the work the mission does over the years. Then we make the mile walk.

The Crowd stretched almost the entire walking route. Here are some shots of the crowd ready for the walk, and then on the walk through downtown Marion.

I would love to tell you that we made more money than last year, but with the tough economic times, even our donations were down a little. But still the Walk-A-Mile raised over $17,000 to help the less fortunate right here in our community. Every penny stays here. So if you have come in the past. Thank you. If you haven't, you are officially invited for next year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A night away from the family...

Being a morning show host actually has a lot of responsibilities. I know, I will give you a second to stop laughing. This time of year we are vital when it comes to school delays and closings. So I HAVE TO be at work. So Tuesday afternoon I am keeping an eye on the weather. They are calling for another couple of inches of snow, blowing and drifting. Pretty bad forecast. I head home for a little while to see the wife and kid. Every hour or so I look out at the highway half a block from my house. As the afternoon turned to evening I see the cars in town going slower and slower. So I know the 19 miles of "country" driving I have to do must be getting pretty bad. I make a tough call to drive back to Marion to sleep in a hotel that the station hooked us up with.

I pack a bag with a couple days worth of cloths. Kiss the wife, hug the baby and head out for the first night away from the wife in almost two years. The drive back to Marion was not too bad. There were spots where the snow had drifted pretty good. So far I think I could have stayed home. But better safe than sorry. I get to the Hotel Marion, and they set me up with a room. I go check it out. It will suit me just fine. Nothing special.

So I do what I always do when I go into a hotel room. I look through all the drawers. The reason, when I was a kid, we were on vacation in Niagara Falls, and I found 40 dollars in one of the hotel drawers. Now, in over 20 years, I have not found a dime since, but you never know.

After that I kick on the TV and find Fox so I can watch American Idol. Call the wife, and give her all the info about room and phone number. We watch Idol together talkin' about who we like. After that I decided to go see if there is any one I know at the bar downstairs. After about 20 minutes of the smoke, I go back to the room and sit back watch some TV and play around on my laptop.

Finally bedtime. Of course I knew I was not going to sleep as good as I would at home. But let me just tell you...the heater in the room rattled like an earthquake every time it shut off. Which woke me up about every 45 minutes. Ugghhhh! Then at around 12:30 or 1:00am....some brainiac from the bar decided to do laps around the parking lot on his snowmobile. Double Uggghhh...Alarm goes off at 4:15 and I am up for the day.

Ends up the roads were fine for me to drive in that morning, and I could have slept in my own bed. But this is the price you pay to have a "Life in Headphones."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Plumbing Woes at Big John's house...

So we moved into our house about a year and a half ago. A week in our new home, we get things unpacked, and we have all the fun of deciding where everything is suppose to go. One morning in the new home, I go to get in the shower. No Hot Water. Long story short, we needed a new water heater. Well, lucky for us, when we bought the house it included a home warranty. So for a hundred bucks we get a brand spankin' new water heater installed. Great deal right! Nothing to worry about for a while in that department....WRONG!!!!

About two weeks ago, I get up on a Monday morning really stinkin' early for work. Hope in the shower, just about done when the water turns ICE COLD! Now that is not a good way to start the day. Rinsing off with freezing water. I get out of the shower, get dressed, and head for the breaker box. That has to be it! Turns out it was, so I kick on the breaker, and head back to my closet to get dressed. I hear the water heater kick on. (it is in the closet) No worries.

After my wife gets up with the boy, she asked if I had trouble with the hot water. I told her what happened. Since I drained all the hot water from the lines, so we had a little air in the lines popping. After a couple of days I figured it would be fine!

After a couple of days we started realizing that we didn't have as much hot water as we should. I open up the hole in the closet were the water heater is, and start looking over the paper work. Ahhhh, under warranty, call the company that installed. They let us know that it is probably the heating element. After a YEAR??? OK, so parts are covered, labor is not. Ouch. $135 dollars, and they tell us that we need a water softener or this will happen again in about a year and a half.

What really bothers me is that we are on CITY WATER. And it has that much lime in it. So there goes our tax check when we get it. Fun fun!

So we think all our plumbing problems are done. Not the case...

So Thursday night is one of Eli's bath nights. So in our "guest bath" we have him in the tub, which he loves to play in the tub! We never use this tub. This is just for Eli, or guests. We get him all washed and go to let the water out of the tub. As it starts to go down, we hear the toilet gurgling. What is that. Flush the toilet. No water going down. Now the gurgling is back in the tub. I grab the plunger. Maybe it is just a little stopped up. Plunge the toilet. Water goes down. Plunge the tub, and gurgling back in the toilet. Hmmm, what to do know. Go back into our bathroom for the other plunger, and oh, the smell of sewage could knock you down. Water had come up in our garden tub, and around the base of the toilet. This is a major problem. I am no plumber, so I have my wife call her dad. Steve is a handyman, and really helps us out in these situations. Well, I know our pipes are stopped up, but is there anything I can do tonight to fix the problem.

We have a plan. In our master bath he tells me to plug up the tub, and the sinks and start plunging really hard in the toilet. No problem, I can do that. So stop up the tub and sinks and go to town plunging the toilet. I can hear the water in the pipes sloshing around. Once or twice I pop the plug in the tub. So Sarah, my lovely wife, comes in to hold it in. We hear a gurgle, and then....sewer water comes up in the shower behind me. Yuck. It is about 10:30pm, and I need to get to bed.

No shower in the morning as I head to work. While I am at work, Steve and my brother-in-law Shad comes over, after renting a sewer auger, and cleans out the blocked pipe. Everything is working fine, and instead of calling a plumber and it costing around $200, it cost me about $35 thanks to Steve and Shad.

Sarah fixed her dad and brother lunch after they got done. She was very thankful for the two of them fixing our problem. Her dad says, "Wait 'til you get my bill!"

Sarah shoots back, "Well, I bet your lunch bill is way more than your plumbing bill."
I talked to my father-in-law after he got it fixed, I asked what do I owe ya, he tells me nothing...I say good, because I ain't got much

This is actually good for us in one way. We were planning on re-doing our master bath, and now that the carpet smells a little funky (why do people put carpet in bathrooms to begin with?) I have some motivation to get working on that project.

I sure there will be more fun blogs about that to come, in my Life in Headphones.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big John Vs. Wal-Mart

I recently recalled a tragic moment from my college days. The memory was sparked when I recently read an article about returning items to the store after you realize that you don't need it.

Let me give you a little background about this story. When I was in college, my senior year at IWU I hosted a show on the campus station. Now being a Christian college that was what they "prefered" you play. Now, me being the country fan that I am, I talked it over with my professors and we came to an agreement. If I stuck with country music that didn't mention cheatin, or drink they said it would be ok. Now, I know what you are thinking. It must have been difficult to compile a playlist that would fit the critiria. But with the massive knowledge of country I possessed even at point in my radio career, I made it work.

This being said, the campus station only had Christian music. So all the music I played during my 3 hour shift once a week had to be provided by myself. Needless to say I spent a lot of money buying music as to not repeat the same music every week. This led to my tragic experiance at the local Wal-Mart.

I wondered into the music section, trying to see what was worth the money a college student could afford to spend. Alas, I compilation album containing 12 current hits that were not in my collection. "Drew's Famous Country Radio's Most Requested." A goldmine to a poor college radio jock that had to provide his own music. I snatched it up so quick and raced to the registers. The purchase was quick and simple. I hopped into my car and sped back to my dorm room to listen to this piece of country music gold.

Upon returning home I poped the new CD into my CD player. Savoring the taste of sweet shopping success. As track one starts I listen to the musical intro...

Something is wrong.

That doesn't sound like the original. I continue to listening.

The singer starts. That is not Faith Hill. I am truly puzzled. Maybe it is bad recording. I skip to track 2. Again the music is slightly different. Hmmmm. What has gone wrong with my musical senses? Could it be my CD player? No, it couldn't be. Well to make a long story a little shorter, the CD was not the original artists. My blood boiled. I promptly ejected the cd, wanting to throw it against the wall. But I knew that good ol' Sam Walton would not let me down. I gently put the CD back in the case, not to scatch it so I can return it and get my money back.

Geting back in the car I make the return trip the Mecca of good deals. Walkin' into Wal-Mart, I am welcomed by the greeter who puts that stupid little sticker that goes on all returns on the case of this disgrace to country music. Walkin to customer service I am pondering in my mind which of the other CD I would get in return for this recent mishap. No line, wonderful. Right to the return process. This is how the conversation went. Now, it was over 7 years ago, so I will try to remember to the best of my ability.

"May I help you?"

"Yes, I need to return this CD. It is not the original artists, and I need to use it at a radio station. It is no good to me!"

"Sir, once a CD has been opened, we can not take it as a return."

"But you don't understand. No where on the CD does it say 'Not the Original Artists.' How can I play this on the air?"

"Sir, there is nothing I can do. Our policy is once a cd has been unwrapped we can not give you a money return. You could have copied it.We can replace it with the same CD, but that is all we can do."

"I didn't have time to copy it!" I pull out the my receipt and my drivers license. "This show what time I bought this piece of junk, and where I live. Look at your watch. I didn't have time to copy it!" (This was before the age of really fast CD burners)

"Sir this is our store policy. There is nothing I can do."

"THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!!! Let me talk to your manager"

Yes, I pulled out the let me talk to your manager. Hoping my volume would get the attention of others. Some people did turn and look, and with the time I was taking a small line had formed at Customer "Dis-Service". The Manager arrives and asks what the problem is. The Associate behind the counter begins to tell the story, saying how I am being disrespectful. I jump in giving my side of the story calmly as I had before. The Manager starts to quote company policy. Saying how they can not refund my money, can not exchange it for a different Cd. The only thing they can do is give me another copy of the same CD.


"Sir, please keep the volume down. There is nothing we can do."


"Sir calm down or we will ask you to leave." I notice the original associate on the phone now.


At this point I see an off duty police officer approaching behind me. Considering the options I knew there was nothing I can do. I make one more attempt.

"All I want is my Money, or a different CD. Why is that so hard to understand? I can't use this!"


Well, the battle was over. I could walk out now on my own, or be escorted out with a new pair of shiny silver braclets. I choose not to get arrested for a meager $8.49. I was defeated. I scooped up my worthless CD and made my way to the door. But I did get my one parting shot that I am still proud of to this day. Before leaving the Customer Service Dept( with the cop right on my heels) I turn to the manager, and look him straight in the eye and yell at the top of my lungs,


So what ever happend to this CD? It is still in my collection. Do I ever play it? NO. But it always sparks great memories as I took on Corperate America....and lost.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trompin' through the woods

I grew up in the country. And when I say country, we were so far out, we had to head towards town to hunt. OK, not really that far, but that is one of my favorite sayings. Anyway, being from the country, I feel right at home in the woods. Behind my parents house is a 10 acre woods. It is connected to three other woods. This past Sunday, it warmed up a bit. So I told my wife that after church, I was going to take my Muck Boots and go back in the woods.

So after church we head to my mom and dad's....which we do at least every other Sunday. We have lunch, and just like when I was a kid, I rushed out the door, and headed for the woods. I crossed the bridge over the creek, headed up the hill and went up and down the trails I remembered so well.

I saw the tree I use to lay in and read when I was a kid...

I had a ladder (that has since rotted away) propped up against it, and it was my quiet place to just hang out.

From their I headed farther into the woods. Found the swamp...

This area of the woods is constantly wet. So there were nice patches of ice for me to slide all around on. My trek through the woods also let me to find all kinds of fun pictures. Here are a few more for you!

But I also found two really cool things while back in the woods. First I tree that had a complete wind block still had its leaves, and they were almost white!

And then on the way back to the house, after I was tired from all the walking, I came across an old garbage dump. After all these years of playing in this woods, I don't remember ever seeing this. When I say old, these bottles had to be at least 40 years old. Really cool.

I found a few that hadn't been broken. An old Ball jar, a blue glass jar (they don't make blue glass that much any more) and even an old turpentine bottle. A really cool find.

Anyway, this is how I like to relax from my life in headphones.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meeting Larry Gatlin, and a nice surprise.

So a couple of months ago I got a call from the Honeywell Center to do an interview with Larry Gatlin. He was set to do a show. Now let me start by saying I grew up hearing my mom sing Gatlin Brother songs. All the Gold in California, Broken Lady, Midnight Choir...So many great songs. Needless to say I was a little nervous.

So I am in the studio will all my prep, and questions set for his call into the studio. Now I pre-record these things so I can go back and put the songs in afterwards. It makes it go a little faster and makes it better for the artist.

Right on time the phone rings...
Me: WCJC, this is John, can I help you.
Larry: Big John...Big John, Big Bad John (singing the Jimmy Dean Song)
Me: I have to admit, I am a little nervous to talk to ya...
Larry: Well ya should be, I'm pretty famous. Then he started laughing!

So we talk about how I want to do the interview. And we get started.

Let me just say he was a joy to interview. We talked about some his biggest hits. We talked about new music. We talked about the upcoming concert. But what happened near the end of the interview really surprised me.

We were in the break between interview segments, where I was going to later insert the song. He then asked me about the song he was singing to start the interview. Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean. What I didn't know was that Larry got his start working with Jimmy in Las Vegas. He was telling me all this, and then he tells me how he goes and sees Jimmy a couple times a year. He asked me if we could talk about that a little bit and play the song.

Now this came as a shock to me. The reason being, this interview was suppose to be about Larry and his concert, but he goes on to tell me that Jimmy lives up in his cabin in West Virgina, and Larry said that he feels like everyone forgot him. So I go along, and Larry and I start talking about Jimmy and that great song that I grew up listening to. So we play the song, and Larry is so excited. He tells me that he needs a copy of the interview so he can take it to Jimmy this spring. It was amazing how he wasn't thinking of himself, but instead of an old friend. He told me that I just made an old man's day!

He then asked me if I was coming to the show. I thought wow that would be great! He wanted to meet me and get the CD of the interview. So I tell him that I could use a pair of tickets, with meet and greet passes. I am so excited. I get home and my wife, with not a lot of enthusiasm says..."ohhh, great." I can tell she really didn't want to go. So I call my mom, if will remember from the beginning use to sing the Gatlin's all the time when I was a kid. So I invite her for the show. We had a wonderful time, and as you can see, we got to meet the Gatlins, which my mom thought was really cool. But for me, it was just another day of my "Life in Headphones."