Mike North Leaves The Score….We’ll See…

North, WSCR part ways

First, I’ll take the above news seriously.

Well, it makes sense. After five years in the morning, Mike North seems to have gotten himself out of a job. And a lot of people seem to be happy about it.

So, what happened?

Evidently it started with an attempt to remake his show into a sports version of the Don and Roma Show on a competing station. He would be the “Don Wade” conservative to Anne Maxfield’s “Roma Wade” Liberal voice, and they’d add sports to the mix. Couldn’t fail, could it?

Well, turns out Anne Maxfield couldn’t take the heat. Nor did Mike North want her to; he was aiming for the “Sense-making conservative vs. Light-brained liberal” that the Don and Roma Show displays without the love that Don and Roma show each other on their show. Thing is, sometimes you gotta let the other side speak, and expect your side to stand up even when the other side makes sense. Even with his defending her (which he did when the listeners wanted her hung to dry), the concept didn’t work because he wanted a scripted story every time: High School Dropout Righty dominates Good College Graduate Lefty.

When Anne left, Mike North wallowed more in his likes and dislikes. Frank Sinatra and Connie Francis became his focuses. And Jen Jen…let’s just say the amount of abuse she has put up with all the time she’s been with him, one has to think he overpaid her (or paid her for other things, as some of the posters in some of the Comment sections suggest).

In the end, his ratings were not only bad, but there was evidence that people were tuning AWAY from him. When a competing sports show has a dropoff in the middle of their segment, it definitely makes people interested. Wattie and Sylvie had that dropoff; as it happened that dropoff coincided with the changeover from Mike North to Mullie and Hanley.

So now he’s presently without a job.

Presently.

I look at the Score web pages, and Mike North still has a page up. So is Jen-jen’s page.

So are they gone? I’m not so sure. I’ll just stand back and watch on this one.

  • UPDATE June 28: Looks like Mike North’s page and name are gone, although they’re now having Fred Huebner as running the morning show. Either Mulley and Hanley couldn’t handle the morning duties (the Sun-Times doesn’t want them to take on the new duties) or they’re still saving the slot for Mike when he returns.

    Or they have especially sloppy website managers.

  • UPDATE July 1: Their front page now shows Mully and Hanley as their Morning Guys.

    So now it’s sure.

A Short Posting, A Serious Thought

Something quick, something simple:

What happens when the United States of America is no longer able to export food?

Seriously, we import so much other stuff (whether directly as in Wal-Mart through China) or through subterfuge (as in our “american” cars being made in Mexico). And now we’re getting to the point where all the corn we’re using is going towards ethanol instead of feed or fuel.

What happens when we no longer can grow all the food we need, or choose not to (just as the American Elite seem to have chosen not to make anything with or by americans)?

Broadway is Dark Tonight…

Broadway is dark tonight –
A little bit weaker than you used to be.
Broadway is dark tonight…
See the young man sitting in the old man’s bar
Waiting for his turn to die

Somedays something comes up and reminds me of what it is that I miss.

Like this song: Broadway, by the Goo Goo Dolls.

The cowboy kills the rock star
And Friday night’s gone too far
The dim light hides the years
On all the faded girls
Forgotten but not gone
You drink it off your mind
You talk about the world
Like it’s someplace that you’ve been

I remember hearing this song a lot on the radio before the person I now live with suffered her stroke and I moved in to help her. I always wanted to like this song, but something always blocked me. Part of it may have been the cryptic quality of the lyrics. Or maybe their darkness. After all, we’re talking about a guy who pretty much has given up on the world and now only takes up space. Don’t think he’s homeless yet, but he only sleeps at home and somedays he believes the money wasted on rent would be better spent on a final drunken spree that would bury him.

Never mind what would happen that would bring him to that point, he’s made it there. And he probably isn’t that young – he’s probably in his early thirties, seeing himself doomed to failure at a time when many people are beginning to rise up and gain honor in their world.

And it don’t help that the Broadway here isn’t the shining light of NYC (or even the lively conduit of Chicago) but instead a road that’s seen its glory days come and gone and is now wider than it needs to be. A Broadway whose blocks may have buildings, or grass on flat lawns; but little being kept up or glitzed up.

You choke down all you anger
Forget your only son
You pray to statues when you sober up for fun
You’re anger don’t impress me
The world slapped in your face
It always rains like hell on the losers day parade

And I’m wondering whether this song would be able to make it onto the radio today. After all, this is one of those songs that doesn’t give itself upon the first listen. You have to listen closely, and sometimes it only works after a few years, when you hear it again and experience shows you something you missed before.

You see you’d love to run home but you know you ain’t got one
‘Cause you livin’ in a world that you’re best forgotten
And you’re thinking you’re a joke
And nobody’s gonna listen to the one small point
I know you’ve been missin’ round here

Nowadays it seems everything new on the radio has been simplified. Simplified to the point of being obvious to all but the dimmest of people. Obvious and dependent on hooks and beats and attractive people dancing in front of an audience/camera.

Thing is, I couldn’t care less how cute the singers are. I just want some songs with a bit of depth in them. Something that’s not obvious or simplified at first listen. Something that wouldn’t fit on “American Idol” if it wasn’t already a hit.

Broadway is dark tonight –
A little bit weaker than you used to be.
Broadway is dark tonight…
See the young man sitting in the old man’s bar
Waiting for his turn to die

What I Could Have Gotten Instead Of An EMT License:

Just finished getting my EMT license. Now I can start catching up to what I spent and missed earning.

(Yes, I know that the EMTs are supposed to be there to save lives, and that is definitely part of the job. However, I see becoming an EMT as in part a change in driving jobs, from Taxi-related/Paratransit to Medical Transportation. A simple way to calculate it is Fewer Rides, Greater Responsibilities. I’m taking on a responsibility towards my client’s health, as well as a simple getting them from point A to point B. And Ambulances ARE USED in getting people who would have trouble otherwise from one place to another.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve been taking EMT class for four months. Four months of Tuesday and Thursday 8am-5pm, missing work two days a week plus a couple other days missed in between for class-related items. Eighteen weeks of missed work days, plus costs:

  • Price of class: $650
  • Work earnings: $1800 (assuming a post-tax and post-deduction income of $50/day, thirty-six days missed. And that’s conservative, as I often worked more hours than would have been necessary to bring in the mere $50/day, post-deductions).

Total Cost: $2450 (conservative estimate, likely a bit higher)

What I could have gotten instead of taking the class, and how it could have benefitted me:

  • My Student Loan: $1,000 would knock off $33.00/year in interest, $2,000 would knock off $66.00/year in interest. Plus I would be that much closer to paying off the debt; getting near the point of my being tempted to use the 401K to knock off the rest of the debt.
  • Extra Savings: $750 would expand my emergency fund to three months of $750+, $1500 would give me three months of $1,000+ for emergency needs. While the upper limit would have been merely half the six month cushion most experts suggest, it’s more than many have.
  • “New” Car: $2500 would remove the sight of rust on the rear panel near the fuel tank.
  • Moped: A $2000 moped would change my gas bill from 3-4 gallons/week to less than 1 gallon/week. From $12-16/week to $4, easy (and conservatively). Savings: $30-50/month (again, conservative).
  • New Computer: $1,000 gets my housemate a computer to fit her needs and a screen, $1400 gets me a new iMac and $2,200 gets me a MacBook Pro and the ability to WiFi. No matter what, we won’t need to do both dial-up and broadband (as she’ll have an updated computer able to handle broadband). Savings: 10-15/month (depending on how shift works) plus simplification of stuff.
  • Vacations: more earned $$ means chances to skip certain days to do stuff, as well as weekends off (just missed happenings in Detroit and Southeast Indiana because of this).
  • Retirement: Having been setting aside 10% of my gross for the past few years, I figure that I’ve lost $250-300 in 401K/IRA money due to earnings missed. It may add up to nothing (or its equivalent, a money that’s worthless) but it may add up to something useful, as we’re still talking 20-30 years before retirement.
  • New Lawn Mower: They now have battery operated ones; I could use one of those and mow much quicker, with less worrying about the cord.
  • A Mix of The Above: A battery-operated lawn mower, more savings ($750, bring up to 3 X 750), and payments on a new computer would work out well. I can also see other combinations working themselves out; especially if we’re talking about a higher level of earnings in lieu of EMT class.

And yeah, I’m looking towards more $$. That and less time at work. Right now it’s 6 days, 10+ hours/5 days (with a decent amount of work on the 6th day). Makes for earning money, but doesn’t add up to any real free time. Once I can get 2-3 free days, I should be able to find things to do (other than vegetating at the computer) with the time.

I’m also looking forward to earning overtime.

That’s right. I haven’t had a job that paid overtime. I’ve either had part-time jobs, or transportation jobs that were excluded from the overtime requirement. An EMT job pays overtime, and from what I’ve heard a competent worker will ALWAYS be able to work overtime.

GM Finally Sees Writing On the Wall…

G.M. Shifts Focus to Small Cars in Sign of Sport Utility Demise

That’s right, friends, General Motors, the champion of the SUV and owner of the Hummer, is now closing down some SUV factories and working to produce smaller cars!

Thing is, seems every time GM (or ANY USA domestic producer) tries to produce smaller cars they trip over themselves, make big mistakes and end up falling further behind in things. They haven’t been able to make a good small car since 1965 (with the exception of Dodge’s Omni GLH) and now have to IMPORT their subcompacts.

< end snarky commentary >

Looking over the article reveals some interesting bits of information:

  1. The graph shows that SUVs have lost market share, while small cars have gained. Crossovers and Trucks have also lost a bit, but not nearly as much as the SUVs have.
  2. Looks like the Volt will still be a go.
  3. GM will be making yet another half million fewer cars this year. It would appear that they’ve DEFINITELY given up on being #1, at least for the next few years.
  4. Hummers have shrunk mightily since 2006. From 71,000 vehicles in the 2006 model year to 14,000 this model year (so far)

The sad thing about this is that I still fear that the USA automobile companies may end up disappearing or changing over to a foreign company. Fact is, the American Automobile Industry has been at its best when it’s built supersized vehicles. 1959, 1972 and 2004 were high-water points for the American Automobile Industry, also the times when big, gaudy cars/SUVs were at their zenith. Small cars were always their weakness, and now that fewer people want the big cars the American Automobile makers are at a severe disadvantage.

Here’s to hoping they actually get things right. However, I wouldn’t bet on it. Don’t be surprised if Toyota comes in a year early and better range with their Volt-esque car (God knows they’re going heavily into hybrids).