Monday, March 30, 2009

The Method Behind the Madness

I've heard from a number of people who regularly listen to "My Two Cents" here on WOSH or check it out daily on-line at Many are complimentary of the feature--even if they don't always agree with the content. They also have a number of questions--some of which I will answer today.

"Do you really write all of those Two Cents yourself?"
I do indeed write all of the commentaries myself. Ocassionally I will come across an editorial in a major newspaper or on-line that I will cite or quote at length--but nearly all of the content each morning comes from my own tormented mind.

"How do you come up with a topic every morning?"
Like most great ideas, I formulate the next day's "Two Cents" either while in the shower or while lying in bed before going to sleep. When I get to the office in the morning it's a simple matter of typing it out on the Blogspot website.

"Do you really write those Two Cents at 2:30 in the morning like it says on the blog site?
Blogspot is apparently on Pacific time. The blog gets written at 4:30 am--right after I catch up on the overnight news.

"Do the people you criticize ever respond to what you have to say?"
I have in fact heard from several of the people I call out on the air and in the blogosphere. Sometimes they are upset, sometimes they just want to talk about what I have said. I usually try to be cordial and I always assure them that opinions expressed in "Two Cents" are kept out of news stories that I produce the rest of the day (on our News/Talk station anyway.)

"Why don't you double check the spelling and punctuation in the blog?"
"My Two Cents" is written primarily for use on the air. I write down what I want to say rather quickly just so I have a copy here in the studio. If there are mispelled words--or some missing punctuation--I really don't notice while reading the copy.

"Why don't you ban those people who only criticize teachers and city employees from posting responses on your blog?"
I have to admit it's frustrating when a good dialogue on local high school basketball or proper punishment for criminals is derailed by union bashing or cheerleading. I think that comes from my blog being linked to other local blogs--which in turn link their responses to my site. Besides, I believe in giving people just enough rope to hang themselves.

By the way, if you miss "My Two Cents" in the morning--you can now catch an encore every afternoon at 5:40 on News/Talk 1490 WOSH. Thanks for the comments, questions and suggestions for topics--feel free to keep them coming.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ye of Little Faith

First, another My Two Cents update. You may notice a familiar voice on WOSH later this morning. Kate Fetterly, the reporter we had to lay off last month, will be back today filling in for me as I head to Madison for a the Saint Mary Central boys basketball game on our sister station AM 1280 WNAM. We've received permission to use Kate on a limited part-time basis whenever Bob or I cannot be on the air. So welcome back Kate!!

Now to the business of the day.

Why do I continue to doubt the Oshkosh North Boys Basketball team? Late in last Saturday's sectional final game, I figured we would not be doing any state hoops action here on WOSH--since it appeared North was hopelessly out of it against Sheboygan South. But the Spartans pulled it out and made it down to Madison. I'm ashamed to admit, but I didn't think we would be doing a second game today when I saw that North was getting Milwaukee Washington in the quarterfinals on Thursday--but again the Spartans proved me to be a fool--as they vanquished the Purgolders. But didn't you think that when Tank Johnson fouled out in the 4th quarter that Washington was going to go on a big run to send North back home?

Since I'm superstitious about sports, I will again prepare myself--and the station computer--for a North loss today against Racine Horlick. Hopefully guaranteeing a Spartan win. Now I'm torn over what to do if North faces my old team, Bay Port, in the D-one finals. I'm afraid the old school will have to win out in that one.

I'm hoping my lack of faith will also pay off for the Wisconsin Badgers today. I have them losing to Florida State in the first round. In years when I have picked the Badgers to go far in the tournament, they have been bounced on the opening weekend. The years they went to the Final Four and the Elite Eight, I've had them out in my pool early. Perhaps everyone else should be booking hotel rooms in Detroit for the first weekend in April.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pride of Place

First, a My Two Cents update. Regular listener--and Winnebago County Board Supervisor--Bill Wingren sent me an e-mail yesterday telling me that he forwarded my Two Cents from Tuesday about a distracted deputy driving well below the posted speed limit on highway 41 the night before to Sheriff Mike Brooks himself. At Tuesday night's Board meeting, Bill says the Sheriff knew which deputy I was talking about and that the deputy would be "disciplined". Wingren says the Sheriff would not issue a citation because then I would "have to testify". I'd be more than happy to come to court and recount the same thing I said on the air. We were doing well below the speed limit and I could see the deputy working on the laptop in his squad. It would probably help if the driver of the white car that blew by us--then slowed down when he or she realized it was a cop holding up traffic--also came to court to testify. But I didn't catch their license plate number. As I told Bill in my response to his e-mail, I will now be driving exactly the speed limit at all times in Winnebago County, after checking to make sure that all lights are working properly and that I remain in the center of my lane and signal all turns at least a quarter mile before making them.

Anyway, on to today's real topic....

My wife and I watch the Biggest Loser on NBC. Fans of the show will know that there is a mother and daughter team on there from the Shiocton area. In this week's episode, the teams were sent home for a week to see if they could handle being back in the "real world" and keep to their diet and exercise routines. The challenge this week was to run a half marathon. The local team was filmed running their 13-miles at the Kolf Sports Center here in Oshkosh. The only problem is that when they switched from team to team in their final production of the show, NBC used this "Google Earth"-like sattelite-image effect--and they kept zooming in on "Green Bay, Wisconsin".

Now if NBC had actually used Google Earth, they would have noticed that Oshkosh is about 55-miles away from Green Bay--and is in no way a suburb of that city. Maybe they thought viewers wouldn't notice the big "UW Oshkosh Titans" logo on the wall as the women ran the track. No wonder Oshkosh residents struggle to take pride in where they live--the rest of the world thinks we live in Green Bay.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hoops Hysteria

I sure hope the kids on the Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West boys basketball teams realize how good they have it. Winning all of those conference titles. Playing for sectional championships and state titles every year. A few days in Madison every March may as well be built into the school calendar at West (we could use those as snow makeup days if the team doesn't go to state).

When I was in high school we didn't win squat. We didn't make it out of the first round of the playoffs in any year. It didn't help that we had to play teams with Tony Bennett and Jeff Messenger on them. But for us, just a win in the post-season would have been huge. Whenever I tell coaches that I played at Bay Port, I always have to preface it by saying that I went there before they got good at every sport.

We didn't enjoy the big crowds that will pack the Kolf Sports Center tonight and tomorrow. Average attendance was all of the guys who couldn't stand the coach and didn't go out for basketball--our friends--and our parents. There were some nights we were outcheered by visiting fans in our own gym. Wrestling was the big sport at that time--and they got the big student turnout and the community support.

But that was okay. We didn't quit playing, and I still thoroughly enjoyed my high school sports experience. I think you actually learn a lot more by losing than you do by winning. It's easy to come in for the morning practice they day after you win your 10th game in a row. It shows real commitment when you come in the day after losing your 10th in row. And best of all, you learn that sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes a ref will make a bad call and you lose or someone makes a crazy last second shot. You also find out that some people are better at certain things than others--either by raw talent or hard work. Nobody said "Ashwaubenon, you have won more games than you really needed to--you should give some of them to Bay Port so they feel better about themselves."

So I hope the players and the fans at the Kolf appreciate just how special this situation is because there are a lot of us out there that never got to experience it. May the best team win.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm on Facebook?

I found out last week that I am apparently on Facebook. At first I didn't remember creating a profile on the social networking site. But I guess I must have done it sometime after reading an article that reporters need to be on the site so we can check out what people involved in the news might have on their pages. You never know, the guy accused of running down animals with a snowmobile might have posted video of the event or expressed his hatred for furry woodland creatures.

I was reminded of my Facebook "page" when I started getting e-mails from people wanting to add me as a "friend". Many of these people I haven't talked to in almost 15-years--but apparently they are still interested in what's going on in my life. Why, I don't understand.

Anyway, I'm now thinking about actually making my page something worth checking out. I took a look at some other sites in order to get some ideas of what to put on there. Since I'm not a 14-year old girl, I won't have to take pictures of myself wearing only my underwear. But, it appears guys are required to take pictures of themselves in a mirror using their camera phone without a shirt on showing off their sixpack abs.

It looks like I'll have to come up with some rambling, profanity-laced rant about how everybody hates me and is making my life a living hell. I will also have to find some "homies to hang wit just chillin" to list as my favorite things to do. I'll also need a crash course in text language writing to make my entries as difficult read as possible.

What I dread is having to constantly "update my page" so that my legion of "friends" don't lost interest. I'm sure they will love reading about how I used my snowblower yesterday and how happy I was that the basketball Badgers rallied back this season to finish fourth in the Big Ten. It just doesn't get anymore exciting than that!! And I can't wait for that first "friends poll" on what I'm doing now. TAKING A NAP AGAIN!!

So once I get the site up to snuff I'll post a link on the WOSH website--and everyone can become my "friend". Just don't expect any pictures with my shirt off--I'd hate to have to beat off the ladies with a stick.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Broadcast Rights

I see the WIAA is suing the Appleton Post Crescent over broadcast rights violations after the paper provided live, streaming coverage of an Appleton North playoff football game last year. This lawsuit could raise some real sticky issues that could end up costing the fans in the end.

The most basic issue is whether the paper should have had to pay the broadcast rights fee for the contest. I can tell you that whenever Bob or I do a playoff game on one of our stations, we have to pay $50. And given current corporate policy, we have to pay that out of our own pockets--then wait for re-imbursement a few weeks later. That can add up pretty quick when you do five or six games in two weeks during the basketball playoffs. The cost really goes up when you go to state--as the per game fee jumps to $90--and you have to pay 75-dollars for "installation" of a phone line that is already in the Kohl Center and Camp Randall Stadium. According to the lawsuit, the paper didn't pay the $50 fee for the football game--apparently on the auspices that it wasn't doing a "broadcast"--but was rather just showing live videon on its site. I'm going on the assumptiong that some business was sponsoring the "non-broadcast, live feed"--so they should have been paying the broadcast rights fee.

The thornier issue in this lawsuit is that the WIAA wants the judge to declare that it has exclusive rights to all images, descriptions and writings for its playoff contests. That is a bit scary--as it would allow the group to limit media access to such contests--or to censor those covering the games. For example, let's say Bob Burnell says the refs hosed Oshkosh West on a call in their next game. The WIAA--if awarded exclusive rights to playoff contests--could say "WOSH, you are no longer broadcasting any of our playoff games." Or if a newspaper called into question the seeding process, it's reporters could be banned from gyms the rest of the year. Who wins in those scenarios? Certainly not the fans--especially those who can't make it to every game--or who might live far away from Oshkosh but rely on internet streams to follow the team.

The WIAA tried a similar power play a few years ago when it announced plans for its own "playoff radio network"--which would have had exclusive rights to state championship games. The WIAA was going to lock out us local play-by-play guys and make stations wanting to carry their area teams to broadcast ALL of the games that week--meaning that we would have had to carry Lodi versus Spread Eagle girls if we wanted to broadcast Oshkosh West and Milwaukee Vincent. Local stations balked at the plan and the WIAA backed down. But, I fear armed with a legal decision, the WIAA could follow through with those threats in the future. And if the fans can't follow their teams how does that benefit the kids?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Positive Spin

I need a break from all of the negative economic, weather and social news--so let's focus on some of the positives today.

93-percent of people in this area have a job.

90-percent of people in this area are current on their mortgages--and are at no risk of being foreclosed upon.

It's now light out past 6:00 at night.

There is a very good chance that Oshkosh will send a boys' team to the state basketball championships again this year.

Milk is back to $2.50 a gallon again.

Gas is still less than $2.00 a gallon.

More people are realizing the dangers of debt and are making the concerted effort to get out of the hole.

The Boston Bruins continue to have the best record in the NHL's Eastern Conference and would have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. (That one is a bit personal).

U2 comes out with a great new album today.

Brett Favre is still retired.

Those who are deciding to enter the investment markets today have nowhere to go but up from here.

Hopefully these won't be our "Good Old Days".

Let's try to go out there and make today a little bit better than yesterday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Shop Talk

You no doubt heard over the weekend that radio legend Paul Harvey has died. Harvey had been on national radio since 1951--and was one of the most popular radio hosts here on WOSH. I was never a big Paul Harvey fan--jokingly calling his "News and Comment" "Comment and Advertisement" as it always seemed to be a little light on hard news--and heavy on Paul's opinion. But in my 8+ years here at WOSH, we never received a call of complaint about something Paul Harvey said on the air--so listeners apparently liked what their heard.

ABC Radio has not told us yet if "News and Comment" and "Rest of the Story" will continue following Harvey's death. Since he had not hosted them in more than two years, I would imagine they will continue featuring his son Paul Harvey, Jr. Some of his most popular "Stories will air all this week during the WOSH Evening News Hour. We will also carry an hour-long career retrospective from ABC News tomorrow during the 8:00 hour.

In a totally unrelated matter, Rush Limbaugh addressed the Conservative Political Action Convention over the weekend--and now there is a grassroots movement to have Rush run for the White House in 2012. Let me go on the record right now as saying I am vehemently opposed to such an idea. Rush Limbaugh is a cash cow for radio stations that carry him--as sponsors specifically request to be part of his show. Rush gets great ratings during Republican administrations--and even better numbers during Democratic ones. Even the "opposition" listens in--as proven by the calls we get from liberals demanding that we pull Rush from the air because of what he has said. Question libs: If you hate Rush so much, why do you keep tuning in?

Besides, do you think Rush really wants to go through another round of grilling about his prescription drug scandal a few years ago? Or having to answer more questions about his comments on Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb? Besides, Rush would have to take a major pay cut to run for office--and given the taxes people in his bracket will be paying the next four years, he will need all the money he can make.