Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sharathon 2012

Our 13th Sharathon is over, with an overwhelming achievement thanks to Central Ontario donors!

Volunteer and staff passes

Going into each Sharathon, I always get "a vibe", which is not an indicator of the outcome. Certainly not prophetic! Regardless, my vibe this year was one of uncertainty. We were trying something different with the monthly goal. Like last year, the goal was $23,000 but instead of starting with the on-going givers which takes us to about $21,000, we decided to announce the difference which was $2,200. In the end we reached $24,518, beyond our expectations!

Ben Davy

Janice Baird - Keep track of donations

In the monthly we originally were going to stay at $100,000 so as to not appear greedy, but in truth, our fundraising initiatives has not gone well. So, to make up for it we set a goal of $125,000 which, by the end of Sharathon, became $148,487. We usually get 95% of the pledges so we'll be in good shape for another year!

L-R Chris Bray, Kyle Jenkins (volunteer runner), Naomi Jones, Brad Jones (back), Rozz Maassarany(promotions), Tim Maassarany, Crystal Summers (back), Janice Baird, Maria Lopez (front), AJ The Wonderdog, Marliene Cathline (reception, front), Billy Chase (volunteer runner, behind), me Scott Jackson, Jordan Cruz (behind), Evan Duran, Steve Jones (up front), Junky Rhodes, Tim Van Dky (producer), Ben Davy.
Chris Bray and me

Many of you may know that I suffer from clinical depression and take meds each day. It was my hope that I would not have any bouts during Sharathon, where I am needed on the air and as a team leader, but I was not so lucky. At 4pm Wednesday I crashed and could not recover so I went home to take a nap and sleep it off. It didn't work so I didn't return to Sharathon that day. The next day started where I left off and after two disastrous on-air breaks, I went to the Georgian gym for an hour. It worked. The workout refreshed my spirit and I was feeling "on" for the all-important 5-7:30pm wrap-up shift, which we call "the home stretch".

Maria Lopez

Phone Central - decorations by Crystal Summers and Janice Baird

Me and Steve Jones

March 28-29 - "Lift Me Up" - Spectacular days!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shy Boy and Simon Cowell

From "Britain's Got Talent", with Simon Cowell as judge, here is another example of "don't judge a book by its book" kinda situation.

Watch and be surprised!

Shy Boy

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chris and Me

The last few months been a bit exciting for me, in terms of drumming. Several invitations have come along, all a surprise, each different, all good fun.

Today Chris Bray was scheduled to play at West Oro Baptist Church. This was his return engagement, performing worship songs from his new CD "Hope Arise" - including "Salvation Belongs To Our God", "More Each Day" and several other familiar songs. West Oro is an enthusiastic church - small but mighty! And Pastor Rob Spicer enjoys all kinds of music. I even spotted him rockin' out at Air Raid 20! Haha!

While hanging out in the afternoon at my house, I gave Chris a tour of my future "man cave". My Roland kit was still unpacked from the last gig and along side was my djembe. Chris asked if I wanted to play tonight. "Oh I don't know!" I said, actually hoping he would ask me at least once more.

At the church, after loading in, setting up merch and doing the soundcheck of Chris and his guitar, he asked me to get my djembe from home, and without a soundcheck and without even having played together - ever - there we were. "Called" (Chris' own song) "Mighty To Save" which I was familiar with from my previous band Ascension, (albeit on a full kit, not a djembe), and "How Great Is Our God". Man, what a hoot!

Chris is a great songwriter, with a gift for mixing heartful worship songs about God with a pop vibe that sounds great on the radio. I know there's lots more catchy songs to come!

Today/Sunday, I'm subbing at Willow Creek in Midhurst at 10am. Hmmm...maybe I could tour?!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"This is the most talented group of any season!" Ya, ya. Heard that 10 times before! And still, I watch American Idol. Honestly, I enjoyed "X Factor" much more. Idol is targeting an older audience, still using old and tired Aretha Franklin and Michael Bolton songs. But I guess that's what the audience wants. "X Factor" let contestants audition with 21st Century artists, which made the show - fresh.

But, back to AMERICAN IDOL - SEASON 11.

Now that we know the top 10 contestants, here is my take on each.

Colton Dixon - will win. He's modern, the girls like him, he can sing and knows how to perform.

DeAndre Brackensick - not in the top 3. "Master Blaster" was a good pick for him but "Endless Love" - he couldn't hold the tune. I think he's out of ideas.

Jessica Sanchez - #3

Elise Testone - good voice, likable. As a vocal instructor she probably going to be around for a few weeks. I liked her version of "Let's Stay Together". Probably not top 3.

Erika Van Pelt - she could be the dark horse. Good voice, but not outstanding, yet.

Heejun Han - he adds personality to the show. Always ready to say something silly but, "this is a singing show" so I think he's next to go.

Joshua Leget - #2

Hollie Cavanagh - super-talented but not enough personality to woo the audience.

Jessica Sanchez - Top 3, for sure. He version of the Whitney Houston song was absolutely amazing!

Joshua Ledet - Top 3, oh ya! "When A Man Loves A Woman" was outstanding. The song has been sung on Idol 100 times but not like this!

Phillip Phillips - Original, yes. Well Casey Abrams did the same schtick last year, so maybe not original. Love how he reinvents all the songs but his voice is starting to grade on my nerves. Too much of a good thing.

Colton Dixon - Winner

Skylar Laine - the real country girl. Let's hope she doesn't sing a rock song like "Stay With Me" again! But as a country artist, ya - I think she's got it. Not Top 3 but very talented.

Mark my words!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dick Van Dyke Got Married! He's 86!

Loved the Dick Van Dyke show in the 60's! When I think of "classic" TV, that's the show that comes to mind. Great timing, clean, polished script.

So, Dick is 86 and got married again. Here's the story.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

iPod Spins

In my iPod, right now.

Group 1Crew - She Said
V. Rose - Battery
Owl City - Angels
TobyMac - Start Something
Kari Jobe - We Are
The Black Crowes - She Talks To Angels
Royal Tailor - Make A Move
Jason McCoy - I'd Still Have Everything
To Tell - Be Ok
Watch That Man - David Bowie
Whosarmy - Alive

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Records

I’m doing something I’m afraid I might regret. I’m selling my 45 rpm record collection.

I started buying all the songs on the CHUM top 30 chart when I was 12. Starting with The Guess Who and Three Dog Night and building the collection. As I listened to the radio, I knew all the songs, all the words - and even the intro times!

As a teenager I worked at Sam The Record Man and my boss paid me (partly) in records, I the collection of 45's and LP’s grew, significantly. I acquired coloured vinyl and 45's with artist covers.

I was too young to know the late 50's and 60's but, as a music fan, I went back and learned the songs, like Buddy Holly and Little Eva and bought them, too, so my music trivia of the 60's thru the 80's is pretty solid. (Anyone wanna challenge me to Trivial Pursuit!) Some are original vinyl; others are reprints.

When I went into radio I continued to buy vinyl but with each relocation to another city, it made sense to leave my treasured 45's with my parents in Toronto rather than pay a moving company by the pound. When my parents moved into a retirement home about 10 years ago, the 45's came back to me, still in the original boxes from 25 or so years ago.

I’m torn between keeping the records because I’m a collector and they're part of my history, and selling them because their taking up space and I don’t even own a turntable so I’m not going to listen. My wife says I love the actual songs more than the hard vinyl so hopefully this massive sale will not be too hard on me.

Tomorrow a radio guy is coming to load all my records in his truck.

I will either feel relieved or sorry.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pop Music Stats

A buddy from a secular radio station sent me this. As side from the artist comparision, the actual statistics are surprising - especially the Beatles.

"12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Pop Music"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fasting Monday

Over the last little while I’ve been trying this new concept I call “Fasting Mondays”. Not every Monday - maybe once a month.

Often a fast is abstaining from food but it can be anything, really. Anything you want to sacrifice for God. At times I’ve fasted food because when I’m hungry I get incredible discernment. I mean, situations requiring a decision are critically clear to me.

In radio, weekends are often workdays where I sometimes speak in churches or colleges, visit LIFE events, client meetings, CRTC stuff, work at home, etc.

For me Fasting Mondays is a full day of no decision-making, no communication with work, no listening to the radio. My time is spent with God and doing peaceful stuff.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do every Monday because I have this job that gets in the way! But once a month feels really good!