Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - TOP TEN OR SO MOMENTS


In no particular order, there are the events that I remember as "great" in the last 12 months.

BIKING
This year I put less miles on the bike than last year but I love it every day. It clears my head when it’s just me and the bike.

My creativity soars and I end up with a cell phone with of “to dos,” but that ok.

Any day with a bike ride is better than a day without.



TERRY FOX

There was a radio conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland in September and I took a side trip to see the sights, the best being the location where Terry Fox dipped his artificial foot in the water to start his Marathon of Hope.

I've been to Thunder Bay where his journey ended, and a couple years ago to his grave site in Port Coquitlam.

I am a big Terry Fox fan and those moments, there in NFLD, brought me to tears.


PRISON BREAK
It's a TV series that ended a few years ago. I never watched it until my son introduced me to it this year. It is four seasons of addictiveness. The characters are wild. The actors are brilliant. The storyline - clever. The downside is that the addictiveness kept me up very, very (very) late, with me arriving at work with dark circles. It doesn't stop there. Four months later, I watched the whole series again, with the same side affects!

HOUSE OF HEROES
It was LIFE 100.3's Air Raid 20, headlined by House of Heroes. After watrching HOH perform “So Far Away” is has become one of my favourite songs. When I hear the opening notes in my iPod I actually get excited!  It reminds me of a very big, expensive and detailed show that came together with one single problem. "So Far Away" reminds me of a great night and a backstage chat with Tim Skipper. I felt very blessed.

BLESSINGS
The song is by Laura Story. It’s a soft song, great for our daytime LIFE listeners but a song this big could be enjoyed by young people, if only there was a Top 40 version. Hmmmm. I asked my son Brett to create it, by using the original track and adding instruments and speeding it up to a dance-mix. He did. We aired it, and still do on LIFE, and I shared it with 15 other radio stations. The best part was with Brett, as he brought up the tracks on the computer, showing me the visualization of each track, so I could “see” the instruments, their placement in the song and the hours of work he put into it, that a listener would never comprehend. I learned so much. My kid is so smart and talented.

88.1
We applied to bring Christian radio to Toronto. The CRTC denied our application but our 20 minutes of fame before the Commission and our radio peers, was a fabulous moment in the spotlight, talking about Christian radio and presenting a very slick video about Christian music and how it encourages a special group of people. The journey was exciting and it kept me feeling up and optimistic about everything.



ON THE DOCK WITH DAN
Before Dan Bremnes started his summer tour in Ontario, (for which I booked about a dozen or so dates), he and the band came to my house for the afternoon before the tour started.

We spenT a wonderful day eating, swimming, racing the seadoo over the waves of Lake Simcoe and talking about music and God, in the sun on the dock. Just us boys. I’m reminded how much I need male fellowship.



THE COMPOUND
It’s a studio in Seattle, owned by Tooth and Nail Records, where Anberlin, the Classic Crime, Underoath, the Fold and several others have recorded. My son Brett worked there on occasion, producing and mixing for artists. Says Brett as we walk through the live room, “That’s the drum kit they used on most of the records.”

Man, it was a total rush to be there before the studio was sold and dismantled.




PLAYING WITH CHRIS

Chris Bray has become a really good friend. He invited me to play djembe with him for a show in Barrie.

Being a frustrated rock star I went into radio thinking, this would be as close to the music I will get.

Performing with a professional recording artist was a very high moment. Thanks Chris!

Mmmmmm..."more each day!"





ELMER



It is good to speak into people’s lives; to encourage them. Other times, they encourage us. At a radio conference in Vancouver, a well-known radio entrepreneur was in the audience.

He took the microphone for a few moments, and in front of everyone, he spoke into my life, affirming the work I do at LIFE 100.3 with specific references he seemed to be aware of. It was a special moment.



WATCHING HER DANCE
My church, Living For Jesus in Orillia is very different. The people who attend are generally out of work, homeless, both, or worse.  Attending is a lesson in compassion. One day, there was a physically and mentally challenged fellow worshipping God. One of the women at church went to dance with him. I watched, amazed, at her compassion, as she led him in a slow, gentle dance, in front of everyone, including her husband who watched proudly. I was thinking “Most people wouldn’t even say hello but this woman acted like Jesus and danced with him.” I hope I never forget that moment.

THE HOUSE

We moved to Oro Station over a year ago to the beautiful house that is "our dream home". It may not be special to other people but it is to us.

There are so many amazing things about this house. One thing we decided on immediately after moving in, was that we wanted to use the house for hospitality - parties, meetings, bible studies, company and anything social.

We do, and it’s awesome!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I GAVE IT A CHANCE, SORRY


Rarely do I like an album the first time.  I let each track burn thru and over time, certain tracks win me over.

So when “Vitals” by Anberlin was released, actually before it was released, I had my copy and I let it burn through, despite the fact that upon first listen, I really thought it was 45 minutes of clamor. Why? Well, I’ve never become tired of “Never Take Friendship” or “Cities” so with each album that followed, I keep my expectations low.
I’ve read four reviews of the new album - all of them loving it, so I’ll be the odd guy out.

I’m not a big fan of the new electronic sounds on “Vitals”. It adds to the clamor. "Vitals" is a great production but there's too much of it. It's not just a wall of sound - it's like several walls with no room to great a music pause.

Many of the songs sound like previous tracks and that's ok - why change directions when you have something that works. But these new songs don’t take me anywhere new.

“Somebody Somewhere” was the first single.  I couldn't wait to hear it.  “The brand new, long-awaited song” by this band we have all come to love was just “ok.”  A radio-pop song, yes.  But for the lead-off single on the new album?  Ooops.

I have always felt that Stephen Christian's lyrics are overly clever. He's a smart guy. He spends time on each song's message to the point where they are not only deep and profound, sometimes, well, a lot of the time, I really don't know what he's talking about.  Combine profoundly deep lyrics with a double wall of sound, I'm left wondering - did anything happen?

I gave "Vitals" a chance, on repeat for the last 6 weeks and I know the songs. So what songs rose to the top?  To be honest, there’s only one song on the album that I really like and it’s the ballad, “Innocent,” which is funny because Anberlin is a modern rock band.  When I think of Anberlin I think of “Godspeed” or “A Day Late.”  The ballad on each record is kinda like an extra, but, really they’re all pretty good.

Stephen Christian’s vocals are great on “Vitals.”  Probably better with every album. But when other reviewers call it an essential album I wonder if we’re listening to the same record.

Anberlin is an anchor artist in Christian music, even though they don’t seem to be singing spiritual songs anymore. They're an artist that modern art rock fans know well, beyond the songs.  Because they progress musically with each album we expect big things.  Really, Anberlin is the band that other bands love.

I’m an Anberlin fan. I still am. But who's kidding who?  There’s no way that “Vitals” is going to replace “Friendship” or “Cities.” Let be honest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MAKE A CHOICE

God takes me on a journey. Sometimes I wonder where He is and what He’s doing while I stick-handle all the junk in my life.

Most of the "junk" is business, as in “LIFE 100.3" but there's the family and health issues, as well.  Since a few people on our staff read my blog I can’t reveal specific issues but I can generalize a bit.
In my role as the Station Manager, there are three functions on the top of my job description. One is to look after the staff. The second is to cast vision for the future. The third is to make sure the income is greater than the expenses.

The combination of having responsibility of these things and clinical depression can be a really bad recipe.  To be honest, the depression has been brewing a little more often in the last two months. This isn't the pitiful state of hopelessness like in the past, but it feels like the negatives seem bigger than the positives and the weight of that feels heavy.

I was at the gas station yesterday filling up, looking at the grey sky and thinking about the lousy day ahead - the junk, the silly people issues, and the shortfall of revenue at LIFE with only days left in 2012.  I realized that I can look at it all in one of two ways. And I get to choose which way.

I can think about all the things I need “to fix” and let that negativity weigh me down, and take that negative mood into the office and probably bring everyone else down, OR, I can go to work choosing to feel positive, encouraging people and confronting the issues from a positive point of view, expecting solutions are near.

The choice was easy, of course. I smiled.

The sky was still grey but inside of me the sun was shining.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

LINCOLN - GO SEE IT!

The fan reviews for the new movie "Lincoln" have not been good. Most complaining about the length of the movie and lack of action.

When I saw the trailer on TV I knew I had to see it. Daniel Day-Lewis is made up to look exactly like the famous image we've all seen of Lincoln.  The make-up alone is worth the price of admission.

In short, it is the story of Abraham Lincoln trying to have the Senate pass the 13th amendment, for the freedom of slaves.

I'm not one to follow politics, especially American politics. (Arrrrg don't get me started on these so-called leaders who name-trash each other for four years!)  In Canada, we know little about our own involvement in wars, let's be honest. Where as in the States most Americans know their history of battles like their times tables. So as a Canadian, much of the script went over my head.

The movie is long - nearly 2:30. And, there isn't much action after the first scene - the rest is court room drama. Still, the long roster of stars, some who only have one or two scenes, and many faces you've seen but maybe not recognize by name, was enough to keep me interested.

Perhaps, aside from the stellar make-up, it is the personality through which the character is portrayed that really steals the show.  Day-Lewis plays a character who is gentle, kind, humourous, strong-willed - but mostly, kind, which makes the Lincoln character quite endearing, even to a Canadian.

Would it be a spoiler to say he dies in the end? No, you knew that, right?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PRISON BREAK - SEASON 5

If you're a fan of Prison Break, then you already know that no new episodes have been created since 2009's "The Final Break". I don't know if the producers are going to continue the story - it appears they aren't -- so, I'm taking charge!

Prison Break-ers....welcome to Season 5!

EPISODE 1

Season 5 opens with LJ Burrows, now 22, free and working for Blue Viper Records in Vancouver as the A&R rep. In the first scene, LJ is at a concert in L.A. with the hiphop artist he discovered - Jelly Bean. At the show LJ meets Taylor Mahone (daughter of FBI agent Alex) who is a professional photographer. We fast forward through a building relationship to present day when LJ and Taylor hook up and quickly move in together.

We meet a new character - Slade Johnson and learn that he was convicted of dealing drugs and previously imprisoned for two years at White Rock Penitentiary in B.C.  Slade is now president of Blue Viper Records - and LJ’s boss.

Sucre and Maricruz Delgado are happily married, living in Chicago and have adopted two twin boys from an orphanage in Puerto Rico. Sucre is enjoying life as a model citizen and working in construction.

Flashback five years - Sara Tancredi is making her prison escape from Miami-Dade State Penitentiary and her husband Michael Scofield is left behind as a sacrifice to enable her escape.

Now, present day, Sara lives in Panama in order to evade American incarceration. Sara, pregnant, is still grieving over the loss Michael whom she was married to for only 3 weeks at the time of his passing. Sara is seen cuddling with Mikey (their son) who is talking on the phone with uncle Lincoln Burrows.

Lincoln and his wife Sophia Lugo (whom he met in Panama) are at a party in Chicago, along with now-friend Alex Mahone and his love interest Agent Felicia Lang.  The party is hosted by Sucre and Maricruz Delgado who celebrate the arrival of their two boys whom they adopted from a Puerto Rico orphanage. Email greetings arrive from LJ, C-Note (former Fox River inmate) and former Fox River Prison Warden Henry Pope when suddenly there is a shoot-out next door; one of Sucre’s boys dies from a deflected shot, and in the chaos, Mikey is kidnapped.

THE CAST
Lincoln Burrows
Sophia Lugo
LJ Burrows
Taylor Mahone
Slade Johnson
Jelly Bean
Sara Tancredi Scofield
Mikey Scofield
Fernando Sucre
Maricruz Delgado
Alex Mahone
Agent Felicia Lang
Needles
Chris Cole
C Note
T-Bag
Paul Kellerman
Henry Pope
Caroline Reynolds

(Fan fiction by Scott Jackson)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 - LET ME PICK THE HITS!

In about 30 days, LIFE 100.3 will be presenting the Top 50 songs of the year. In fact we have two versions - the daytime (adult) version and the slammin' Christian hits version.

I love both formats so, in a combined list of 2012 Christian hits, here are the 20 best songs, which still burn in my iPod.

Group 1 Crew/He Said
Samestate/Hurricane

Anthem For Today/Inside Out
Dead/House of Heroes
House of Heroes/Touch This Light
Innocent/Anberlin
Heartbeat In Melody/The Wedding

Holly Star/Don't Have Love
KJ-52/Brand New Day
Abandon/New Year's Day (cool in studio version)
To Tell/Be Ok
Tenth Avenue North/Losing
TobyMac/Me Without You
Laura Story/Blessings
House of Heroes/Lovesick Zombie
Dan Bremnes/Hear Your Voice
Flame/Let Go
Pioneer/Treason
Starfield/The Kingdom
Halle/We Alright

Thursday, November 15, 2012

THE BIBLE MAKES ME WONDER

The more I pursue the Bible, the more I am amazed. And, if I'm honest, it raises a whole slew of new questions. The Bible is a multi-complex book covering such a wide variety of topics, that, Christianity aside, I'm amazing by the logic and wisdom. You don't have to be a Christian to read the Bible to learn about life.

We all go through dark times - because of a family death, or a disability, or rules we cannot bend, and all of that is described by people who experienced the same things.

Take the book of Proverbs - about wisdom. While most of it seems simply logical, the wording and depth of thought is quite profound. It isn't one page - it's dozens and dozens of pages of single thoughts, each one more enlightening than the last.

The crucifixion of Christ is of course well known with its own place in history but his last day became more clear to me from watching The Passion where the words became visual scenes of inhumanity. Did the Romans really kill people like that? Not just to Jesus, but to anyone outside the law? Wow...what a way to go!

The disciples called by Jesus were everyday people. If Jesus picked disciples today, they could be me and you. Jesus might have walked into the Christian bookstore and picked the guy behind the counter, or a secretary in an office, a vet, a farmer, maybe even a radio guy. An unconnected group of people.

The epistles books tell us about how to live a good life, how to raise our kids properly, how we can be a good companion to our spouse and how to manage our money.

The songs in the Psalms were written with such passion that for centuries, especially over the last 20 years, musicians have added music and rearranged the verses into lyrics, so we can sing them as songs and play them on the radio without losing the original message. Songs about our dreams, our troubles and our loves.

When I toy with the idea, just for a moment, that the Bible was fabricated, two things immediately justify it to me.

First, for 2,000 years it has been read, loved and held in the highest esteem. If it is fiction, as my Dad still thinks, it surely would have been exposed by now and forgotten. I mean, 2,000 years is a long time to be on the best sellers list! It is read by dumb and smart people who both come to the same conclusions.

And secondly, there is such a wide variety of ideas that I can't conceive that a small group of dumbos could write in detail, with as much passion, and wisdom, and variety about life and God, the past and future, so much so, that it converts the lifestyle of the reader.

When I think of some of my smarter Christian friends, or Christian rock stars, or big names in the history of the world who have all decided that the Bible is real - to me, that's quite the endorsement. It leaves me thinking, if these smart people all believe it's real, maybe it's real. Because if the Bible was fiction, it wouldn't have lasted this long.

I struggle with many verses that seem to contradict each other but because I've decided this is actually God's Word, it is very possible, and highly likely, that my confusion about contradiction comes from my own misunderstanding.

The Bible makes me wonder - about everything. The more I wonder, the more questions I have. It appears that my questions are interpreted as me losing faith. Ok, yes I have doubts about some Biblical concepts.

Like, how can a guy live in the belly of a whale for three days and not die?! Wouldn't the fluids or lack of oxygen kill the guy? I just shrug my shoulders.

Here's the irony; there isn't any real tangible evidence of anything I believe. Just stories and history - and faith. Hmmmm. All I have to do is look up and see creation around me and admit that somehow this all happened by a higher power.

If God made it all happen then the amazing Bible stories that have survived thousands of years are probably true, too.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

"THE WONDERDOG SHOW" - PHOTO SHOOT

We work really hard at producing great radio, at least our inteniton is that it would be great. So with processors and compressors and equalizers to enhance the music and our voices, we then use the same philosophy to create great visuals, for the website and Street Team banners. And that's where a professional photoshoot comes in.

We've used a few different photographers but our recent choice is Edward Ambrosius in Toronto. He does a lot of work for fashion magazines and modelling agencies so his eye for a great look is super tuned in. He coaches the models so each shot is flattering, making awesome use of multi-lights from various angles. A make-up artist is on hand for the entire shoot, doing touch-ups between scenes as needed.

There's a new morning show coming to LIFE 100.3. The Breakfast Club is gone, "The Wonderdog Show" is coming December 3rd! Thus the need for new photos.



We went through several scenes with varying wardrobes for winter, summer, and other fun things that we can make good use of over the long term.  With digital photography we're provided with 500 shots of AJ to choose from - so much better than loading a roll of film!



Maria Lopez joined us as another 500 or so shots were taken! She's a pro!


You'll see the final results in a few weeks on the LIFE 100.3 website and on Street Team banners when we're on location. Woo hoo!




Sunday, November 4, 2012

AIR RAID 21 - REFLECTIONS

Air Raid 21 Poster
With 21 Air Raid shows under my belt, I have lots to reflect on. Each has its own stories of surprises, trouble and blessings. My staff knows this already but listeners likely don't - Air Raid is a pet project for me. I learned a long time ago that Christian concerts are not money-makers but there are two wonderful things about them. First, they are a promotional tool for LIFE. And secondly, we provide an alternative concert - a fun night of music with Christ woven throughout.  It is for these two reasons that Air Raid is a pet project.

Abandon/Anthem Lights/Finding Favour - it was a show already on the road. We bought this date and added Unlikely Heroes as the local opening act. Previous Air Raids are often put together by us at LIFE - we select all the bands, we hire the production company, etc. But this time, it was a package deal that was too good to pass up.

LIFE 100.3 - Evan Duran emcee.
Going into each Air Raid, (and probably all events) we pray for success.

We pray for a break-even number so we don't lose money but recently I've changed my prayers asking God to bless the event and that it would be fun for everyone, regardless of the number of tickets sold. That prayer was answered for Air Raid 21. From the day we confirmed the bands and signed the deal, everything went smoothly.


We made a couple of expense changes a week before because of the slow ticket sales but otherwise, it appeared that everyone had a great time and enjoyed the bands.

Me, in middle with Unlikely Heroes who opened the show.

Blake NeeSmith - Finding Favour
The tour traveled from some small tour near Pittsburg so it was about an 8 hour drive to Barrie. They arrived at 9am at Mapleview and LIFE provided a crew of guys to help unload the gear. Everything was inside and set-up by Noon or so. They didn't stay overnight but traveled overnight to Indiana. Luckily they have a bus driver who just drives.

I don't like buying shows already on tour because we have less control over the show agenda. Often the Nashville guys - the manager and sound engineer - are truly difficult to work with.  It's better for us and the artists if we hire a local sound guy who isn't playing favourites on the sound board.  Because of that Unlikely Heroes didn't get any show lighting and only a basic mix, but the band pulled off their 2-song mini-set well.


Anthem Lights - Caleb Grimm
 
The fans!

Promoting this show required an air-time value of $20,000. That's what it takes to promote a big show with an artist line-up that is not instantly recognizable. LIFE plays Abandon and Anthem Lights regularly, (and more so in the last two months!) but Finding Favour were total unknowns to our audience. They brought the sound and lights to the tour and, in my opinion, were the dark horse performer - and they were awesome! FF led by Blake NeeSmith, are a modern worship act, who posted the lyrics on the screen, drawing the audience in, instantly. And, they were super-nice. It would be a pleasure to have them return to an Air Raid, or another future event.

Me in middle with Anthem Lights Caleb Grimm and Chad Graham


Before the show, I introduced myself to the performers in the band room. Usually at Air Raids there is one or two guys who I hang with and get to know a bit better. This time the bands just hung together. The tour manager "Brett" was great to work with, unlike most Nashville managers who have been to LIFE shows and act like a defense zone.

 You may have noticed "The Red Man" entertaining the crowd, with glow sticks and puzzling dancing. Something new we'll probably do again. The mystery man was definitely goofy!

Anthem Lights took us by surprise. While we know their songs "Outta My Mind" and "I Wanna Know You Like That" we didn't know they are a boy band!

Drums and guitar were the only live instruments during their set - the rest of the music was tracked, allowing the four guys to all be lead singers.

I have many great memories of 21 but perhaps the second best (Finding Favour being the best) is seeing almost the entire LIFE staff helping out at food and LIFE concessions, or taking tickets, or pouring hot chocolate, lifting gear, managing the stage, shooting video - we've done alot of shows and it's cool when the team comes together as a group.


Abandon - the headline performers at Air Raid 21 - November 3, 2012 at Mapleview Church in Barrie.
AWE-some!  Thanks to Andrew Hamilton and Tony Thompson for the photos.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

THE MAKING OF AN AIR RAID

We're only days away from Air Raid 21. (Abandon, Anthem Lights, Finding Favor and Unlikely Heroes. You can probably recite the commercial by now.)

Did you know, the first Air Raid, wasn't called Air Raid 1?  Nope. Believe it or not, it was called "Youth Concert". Wow! Isn't that clever!? Haha! It was at Bethel Community Church in Barrie. As I recall we had over 250 people attend, which ain't bad for no radio promotion! The idea of Air Raid 1 was to raise money for the future LIFE 100.3. Little did I know that concerts are not a money-maker. Actually, they're a money-drainer! But, they're fun!

(From this point on, we'll call it Air Raid 1 just for clarity.)

At Air Raid 1, the Cheese Monkeys From Planet Nine opened the show. Bassist Daniel Biro is now the bass player with Hawk Nelson and drummer Marcel Preston is now the mastermind behind Sky Terminal. The rest of the show was booked and organized by a friend so the bands were unfamiliar to me. (Lyman, Lorraine Peters and Rise.)

It was at that show when I first caught the "worldly versus Christian vibe". Ya. Several teens were moshing and crowd surfing. Apparently that is worldly. I let it go while a few parents and pastors grumbled in the back row. As I look back on the photos, man....it was fun!

Air Raid 2 and 3 were also pre-LIFE events where I soon learned they were great promotional tools, but not money-makers. (I think we've made money on 5 Air Raids?!) AS we've evolved, we've tried to make the shows like an event, not just another concert. At each show, we bring out a bag of tricks - lazers, balloon, batlights, free food, QR contests - plus a healthy production of lights, sound and video.

Now, here we are ready for Air Raid 21! Get your tickets here!  We're back at Mapleview Church in Barrie - a great venue for shows!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

YOU DON'T LIKE CHRISTMAS?

Every year, someone says, "only a month until Christmas" and a bunch of people start groaning. Why is that?

From a Christian standpoint, Christmas represents the birth of Christ, so as a Christian, we should be thinking, "what an awesome time of year."

Christmas dinner is usually a big turkey, and a huge buffet of food that takes days to plan and prepare and we gobble it down, only to put on a few extra pounds over the holidays. But we don't mind because - well, it's Christmas! And if you have in-laws, there's often more than one Christmas dinner.


Christmas is about family members traveling a long distance to see each other after many months apart. Christmas is a time to give a gift to your friend - a gift you know they'll absolutely love and you'll make them smile. 

Christmas has it's own music, too. What other holiday has it's own music library?  There's Santa - a character that represents "being a good boy and girl".

There's TV specials like "Rudolph" with Burl Ives - that's always fun! Tom Hanks in "The Polar Express"
Ok ok.  You don't like the commercialization of Christmas.  The same thing happens at Hallowe'en but nobody says, "Arrrg - all the candy and witches!"  I've never heard someone say that. How about July 1? Talk about commercialization!  There's lots of marketing for Canada Day - red and white "everything". Plus, parades and fireworks! People's faces painted in red maple leafs. Huge newspaper ads. Politicians all proclaiming national unity. Nobody complains about Canada Day.

So why Christmas? Christians complain. Non Christians complain. Christmas is supposed to be fun.

When I hear someone say "humbug" it makes me wonder why they oppose all of those wonderful things. What a miserable attitude. Please, go away.

Merry (early) Christmas!


Friday, October 26, 2012

CHRISTIAN RADIO - PROTECT IT


This message was originally sent to people working in Christian radio.  I wrote it in the aftermath of one of our friends in Christian radio who had his broadcast license revoked by the CRTC because he failed to obey the broadcast act. Here's the edited version.

*********

Hey Friends:

When you’re driving on the highway, if you exceed the speed limit, and get caught, the police will fine you. If you speed again and get caught, you’ll probably get demerit points. If you speed again and get caught, you’ll probably burn off all your points and they’ll suspend your license. That’s how the law works. And we submit to those in authority, r-i-i-i-ght?

I’m aware that many Managers and Program Directors have never read the Broadcast Act. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to read it, soon. How can you uphold your license if you don’t know what’s expected? I read ours every year to stay fresh.

If you’re a manager, or PD, do you know your’s?

Once a year, I read our Condition of License for LIFE 100.3. And I ask my PD to read it, too. If you don’t know what the C.O.L.is, it’s the last thing on your CRTC Decision notice. These are the things you absolutely must adhere to, in addition to the basic Broadcast Act. It is a condition of having a broadcast license.

We are called to be above approach. If we try to weasel around any of the regulations, that’s being a sneak and we don’t honour the Lord. Do what’s right, always.

I’m told I have a reputation of being the Simon Cowell of Christian radio. Haha. Simon only says what everyone is thinking, right? “If you can’t sing get off the stage!” Likewise, if you don’t know the CRTC rules for radio, I say, you don’t deserve to have a license. Like it or not, that’s how it works. There are too many sneaky people, dodging the rules, getting spanked and bringing shame to the rest of the licensees.

It’s kinda like this. If you play hockey, you gotta listen to your coach and if you don’t you’re kicked off the team. Same deal in radio. Learn the rules, follow them to the tee and let your light shine before the Commission. (Gosh that sounded religious - I’m sorry.)

Got it? Good. Now let the dart-throwing begin.

Friday, October 19, 2012

YIKES! IT'S THE DENTIST!

OH MY! THESE ARE SO FUNNY!


They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services: 
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The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
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The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
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Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
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Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
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Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
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Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
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For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice
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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
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The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
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Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM.. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
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The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

YOUR TANGLED WEB

Jesus.  He’s our Lord. We love him, we follow him, but sometimes our super-busy lives are like a tangled web. Long days on the job, relationship troubles, bills to pay, waking up early and never getting enough rest. It leaves us stressed and maybe, sometimes at the end of our faith.

When your heart waivers, ask God to keep you steady. When fear takes over, remember God is the master-planner and can unweave your tangled web.

Let your heart flourish. God is still on the throne.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IS IT ORIGINAL

I love Christian music. I love it because I like to sing along to songs on the radio. People tell me NOT to sing, but I don't mind. Haha.
I've heard people say, "Christian artists always copy mainstream artists - Christian music isn't original."  Well, mainstream artists don't have a copyright on "a mainstream sound". And alot of it is very good. Music goes through cycles of styles, like boy bands, or punk music, or girl-rockers or dance songs - every few years those cycles re-emerge.

But if Christian music sounds like secular music, what's wrong with that? As Christians we want to be relevant so why not use a music style that's relevant?  If Christian artists have a sound like a mainstream artist, that's great.

Other people say the opposite. I hear "Christian music doesn't sound like mainstream music" - and that's also true. No artist, that I'm aware of sounds, like The Newboys. And nobody in mainstream sounds like Chris Tomlin. So there we are the two biggest selling artists in Christian music, loved and adored, and there is no mainstream counterpart. I guess that makes them "original".

Hmmm.  There's critics on both sides.

As long as I'm still singing along with Christian music (and nobody stops me!) I think it's all good, regardless of style.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ST. JOHN'S PHOTO GALLERY

NEWFOUNDLAND - It was a short visit, but one we've been waiting to do for a few years. In fact, this trip was delay by two weeks because of the hurricane blowing across the island.

Sherry Griffin, the Station Manager invited me to come, meet the staff, explore "the rock" and see VOAR after many years of only connecting via email. It was such a great visit, we loved it so much, that we're planning a return next summer to go whale and puffin watching!

Dinner at "Relish", hanging out at Battery Road, the view of the Harbour, Petty Harbour, Signal Hill, the Terry Fox site, Witless Bay, VOAR - dinner at Tina's!  Aside from the guy cutting his nails at the airport, it was all awesome!

Here's a video from Signal Hill. Probably the highlight, Cabot Tower, location of a bunch of wars but also the location where Marconi got his first radio wireless message from England, in 1901.


video




Signal Hill - Cabot Tower. The video above was shot from the top left.
At Cape Spear - the most easterly point in North America.

Petty Harbour at sunset. It's an active fishing village.

OZ FM - mainstream radio.

VOAR, me with Station Manager and tour host Sherry Griffin
On Battery Road, Signal Hill on the left, overlooking the mouth of the Harbour.

Signal Hill, Janice and me.

Cape Spear, the lighthouse overlooking the ocean, just south of St. John's.


Returning from Petty Harbour, looking over the city of St. John's.

Ok, so another highlight - the location where Terry Fox dipped his leg in the ocean on his 1981 run.
OZ FM - with Lindsey Andrews - "big cheese" - had lots of time for me.

Quidi Vidi - an active fishing village.

Monday, September 24, 2012

REMEMBERING SAM THE RECORD MAN

I see many postings about the passing of Sam (Sniderman) The Record Man. His store was what music was about in Toronto. Sam died yesterday -age 92.

I began collecting 45 records in 1969 and continued until the demise of the 45 in the early 90's. Needless to say, I (still) have a lot of vinyl!
Me and Janice - about 1972.
My first job was as a part-time clerk at Sam The Record Man, first in the Newtonbrook Plaza in Willowdale (Toronto) and then we moved to Towne and Country Square, next to my high school. I worked there for five years.

Before getting hired, I wrote down every song on the CHUM chart posted about the 45's in the store. I noted the label and distributor - thus the start of become a teen Top 40 musicologist. It began at Sam's.

There aren't too many things I regret in life and those which I have are small, and probably silly to anyone but me. One of them is the night Elton John played in Toronto. It was a Monday night; I had to work at Sam's. It was the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" show. At the time, even as "Bennie and the Jets" played on the radio, I wasn't sorry about missing the show. But over time, as GYBR became a fixture in 70's music, and remains my all-time favourite album to this day, (with Ziggy Stardust being a close number two), I so wish I had been at that show. Haha - the 12-inch platform shoes, the Liberace-type glasses. "Oh Candy and Robby have you seen them, yet..." Ahhhhhh.


Janice and I would make many trips to Sam's main store on Yonge Street. We'd take the Cummer bus to the subway, then subway to Bloor. From Bloor, we'd walk south on Yonge Street, going in every poster and t-shirt store, with the final destination being Sam The Record Man where I would load up on "oldies".

Sam's was a hot spot for rock stars, too. Elton John was one of the many rock stars who shopped after hours, and then signed the wall. Sam put a frame over all the rock star autographs.

It was the only part-time job I had, before radio. Good job, great musical benefits. And $1.10 an hour.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WE SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO MR. BELL

My last blog observed the ridiculousness of digressing from 35mil photographic quality to a blurry iPhone photo - and thinking it's cool.

Here's another one. Texting.

How often do you text instead of phoning? I text at a 20:1 ratio. How long does it take to write a text, wait for a response, respond as best as you can in a text and wait again? A simple conversation about meeting for dinner takes about a dozen texts to convey, in 10 minutes.

A phone call would take 10 seconds. Bam! Dinner is confirmed.

But still we prefer to text rather than phone!

Are we hiding behind a text and avoiding the verbal communication?  Maybe it's our way of filtering? Whatever it is, we are now typing with our thumbs, vastly mis-spelling every other word because of our fat thumbs and allowing the typo-correction-police who live somewhere inside the phone, figure out the correct spelling, which by the way, is often a very "wrong word"!

I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think of that!

I bet the iPhone 6 won't have a microphone.