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.