Posts Tagged ‘AM 1050 WLIP’

A Martian Iguana?

November 14, 2013

Tuesday November 12th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by anything outer space related. I love it all from red giant and white dwarf stars to gas giant planets to especially UFOs and beings from the outer edges of the cosmos. It has fascinated me my whole life, and I’m still interested in all of it.

It was great fun to host “The Mothership Connection” paranormal talk radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI for five years, and I hope I get a chance to do it again. I never get tired of talking about anything interplanetary, and the latest tidbit is the alleged “iguana” found on Mars.

There’s a picture that’s going around of an oddly shaped object that people are claiming could be an animal of some sort. It resembles an iguana, at least according to many observers. I looked at it carefully for several minutes and quite honestly I don’t see an iguana, but what do I know?

To me it looks more like a plucked chicken with rickets. Even so, that’s pretty impressive to be roaming the surface of Mars. If we could have sent anyone there in retrospect it should probably have been Colonel Sanders. He could have breaded it, fried it up and fed it to hungry Martians – and I do believe Martians exist. I don’t know what they eat, but I definitely think they’re real.

I’ve always thought that there was life all over the universe – even in our solar system. Doesn’t it seem a little ridiculous that we’re the only planet out of nine that has anything going on? I have never believed that, and I still don’t. I’m not sure where it is, but I’d bet my asteroid it’s plentiful.

Mars seems like a no brainer, especially with all the weird things they’ve uncovered there since the Viking probe went there in the ‘70s. The ‘face’ is no coincidence in my opinion, and I would be shocked if we haven’t already sent people there to explore. NASA is a lot bigger than us all.

The moon is another interesting case. There are all kinds of rumors flying about why we didn’t go back after the Apollo missions of the ‘70s, and other rumors saying we never went at all. I am not sure what the truth is, but it sure is fun trying to find out. These subjects never get old to me.

One of the most fascinating people I have ever met is a lady named Bonnie Meyer. She’s from Neenah, WI, and she claims to be an alien ‘contactee’ for multiple decades. She was an amazing radio guest, and I was riveted to her every word. If she’s lying, she’s the all time queen of BS.

Personally, I don’t think she is. She’s a very nice lady, and unless she’s a total psychopath she can calmly tell some hair raising tales about her experiences on space craft from other galaxies. I highly recommend her books ‘Alien Contact’ and ‘Unholy Alliance’. They’re fascinating reads.

Is it true? Who can say? I’ve never actually seen an alien, a UFO or even a meteor shower, but I can’t get enough about any of them. That’s why my eyes and ears perked up when I saw all of this about the Martian iguana. I guess like a lot of people, I want to believe there’s life out there.

Well, I actually do believe that, but now I want undeniable proof. If there’s an iguana on Mars, can a skunk on Saturn be far behind? How about a platypus on Pluto? And I won’t even think of mentioning anything on Uranus. Who’d believe that? Everybody knows Uranus is frozen shut.

Does the image on the left found on Mars look like an iguana to you? The one on the right looks like Nancy Pelosi.

Does the image on the left found on Mars look like an iguana to you? The one on the right looks like Nancy Pelosi.

This is the alleged 'Face on Mars' image taken by Viking 1 in 1976. It kind of looks like Ozzy Osbourne.

This is the alleged ‘Face on Mars’ image taken by Viking 1 in 1976. It kind of looks like Ozzy Osbourne.

Joking aside, this is a fascinating book from alien contactee Bonnie Meyer. It's worth checking out.

Joking aside, this is a fascinating book from alien contactee Bonnie Meyer. It’s worth checking out.

The Mothership Lands

June 17, 2013

Sunday June 16th, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

   Life is a series of comings and goings, startings and stoppings. I have no idea if there’s any sort of order to any of it, but for some reason Father’s Day has been loaded with significant goings on in my life. Two years ago today, I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

   What an epic nightmare that whole ordeal was, but for the rest of however long my life may be I will always be extra grateful for my genitals. I was fond of them before, but that incident took it to a whole new level. I was dangerously close to losing my Brussels sprouts – and that’s no joke.

   That was a life changer to say the least, and I’ve changed everything around since that incident. I haven’t had a Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew in two years now, and I don’t miss any of them. I have gotten off all insulin, and haven’t gone back. It was a wakeup call, and I heard it.

   Tonight was the end of a five year run hosting “The Mothership Connection” paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. It was a lot of fun and I really learned a lot during the run. I don’t regret having done it, but I’ve taken it about as far as I can and it’s time to move on.

   It took a while to get going, but when it did we really got on a roll. People came and went like a band, but I think I got the most out of what and who I had to work with. There was absolutely ZERO budget, and there’s only so far that can go. It was a labor of love, but it has run its course.

   I met some extremely interesting people who I now consider friends, and also lost a few along the way. Unfortunately, most of the people I had the most trouble with were the women. I didn’t want the show to be a total sausage festival, so I included a woman in the mix to give it a flavor.

   It would be the equivalent of a band having a horn section. It’s not required, but the bands that use them have a distinct sound. I felt the same with this mix. What we were basically doing was a hybrid cross between “Coast To Coast AM” and a wacky morning show, and it worked well.

   What didn’t work so well was that most of the women associated with the show eventually got it into their heads they were the star, and acted more than a bit like divas – which flies with me as well as hand grenades fly on commercial airlines. I had to amputate a few tumors, and I hated it.

   Having to fire someone is hard enough, but having to do it from a show where nobody got paid was especially frustrating. There’s a chemistry factor involved in any ensemble endeavor, and no one person is ever bigger than the team – and it includes me too. I just happened to be in charge.

   Sometimes tough decisions have to be made, but they’re the best for the collective even if there are feelings hurt. I had to let the last two women go because they weren’t willing to follow along, and after a while it just got old. It finally came down to just one co-host, the great Greg DeGuire.

   Greg was and is a walking encyclopedia of paranormal knowledge, and he really added to what the show was all about. I think I grew into a competent talk show host, but he knew the topics we talked about like the back of his hand. It was a great mix, and we never ever had one cross word.

   We never ever made one red cent either, and there’s just so long that can go on. I’m not sure if there’s money there, but I can’t do it if there isn’t. I told the station I wanted some time off, but if I can’t squeeze some cash out of somewhere then this was the last ride. I thank all our listeners of five years, but there weren’t enough of them for us to continue. Still, it was a great experience.

Thanks to WLIP for letting the Mothership fly every Sunday night for five years.

Thanks to WLIP for letting the Mothership fly every Sunday night for five years.

Where the name of the show came from - the Parliament album from 1975. Make my funk the PFunk!

Where the name of the show came from – the Parliament album from 1975. Make my funk the PFunk!

Savoring The Sunshine

May 6, 2013

Sunday May 5th, 2013 – Gurnee, IL/Kenosha, WI

   No time for relaxing, even though today would have been the perfect day for it. The weather is finally starting to break around these parts after a long sloppy winter nobody thought would end – and in other parts it hasn’t. I heard there was a late season nasty blast of snow from Kansas City to Minnesota last week, and nobody would have been surprised had it hit Chicago or Milwaukee.

   All of this combined with everything else going on everywhere reminds me how unbelievably delicate the balance of life is not only on this tiny planet but probably in the entire universe with all its vastness. Sometimes I think too much, but how can one not? There’s too much going on.

   The fine line required to sustain life as we know it is fascinating to me. Our planet hosts a huge array of plants, animals and us, and that entails a lot of environment variables. There has to be an ample amount of fresh air for us to breathe and enough clean water to drink and use to generate a renewable food supply. One itty bitty tweak could easily throw it all off and we’d all be history.

   On top of that, Israel is launching missiles at Syria and one wrong move there could easily lead directly to the dropping of bigger ones closer to where we call home. I’m ashamed of my species with our warmongering ways, and I wish someone with power would put a permanent end to the insanity before these idiots put a permanent end to everything. It would be nice to just enjoy life.

   I’m trying to do my very best to do exactly that, even though I’ve been pounding the pavement pretty hard of late. I’m trying to squeeze as many positive things as I can into the days I have left – and nobody knows that number. Every one of us is living on borrowed time, but not many of us are really living. We’re busy farting around with all sorts of meaningless tripe, and I’m there too.

   What really means anything? It’s different for everybody, but I think it boils down to enjoying each day as it comes. It’s hard not to worry about the future, but nobody promised any of us will live to see the end of even this day. As for me, I’m going to savor all the sunshine while it lasts.

   I was scheduled to attend a storage unit auction this morning, but I must have gotten some bad information. I showed up at the place and there was no auction going on. I’d heard about it from my friend Karl Newyear, so maybe he heard it wrong. Whatever the case, I was out and about on a sunny day so it was no big deal. I didn’t have any spare money to buy a storage unit anyway.

   I just went because Karl suggested it, but at some point I’d love to dabble in that area. It has an appeal because of the treasure hunting angle just like hitting flea markets, thrift stores and estate and rummage sales. There’s something exciting about finding a trinket and selling it for a profit.

   I’ve only done it a precious few times, but it was a lot of fun when I did it. In the big scheme of life in the universe, my finding a doo dad for a few shekels and flipping it for a few more doesn’t put the slightest ripple in the cosmic fabric, but it sure makes me feel a thrill for a few minutes so who or what does it hurt? Since I was already up and outside, I spent the rest of the day junking.

   I didn’t find a thing to buy today, but I still had fun in the sun just observing the freak show we call life. I browsed and talked to people and just took everything in that was around me. It was as fun as anything I’ve done in a while, and just being in the moment felt great. I did get to squeeze in a nap, and then went to have dinner with my Mothership Connection co-hosts before doing the show from 8pm to midnight on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. I savored the sunshine all day.  

Showbiz Babies

April 22, 2013

Sunday April 21st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL/Kenosha, WI

    Today was a day to kick back, but only a little. I’m finding myself thoroughly enjoying all that I have piled on my plate – even though the pile is dangerously high. Everything could crash down with a thundering thud at any second, but for now I’m having fun. It’s exactly what I want to do.

   2013 is flying by faster than I can comprehend, but I’m definitely still on my way to having the best year I’ve ever had. I’ve already accomplished a lot, but I see a lot more just around the bend. Decades of preparation have gotten me to this point and I just can’t see wasting even one minute.

   It’s really been a satisfying experience performing the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows. It is exactly what I dreamed about when I first started doing comedy, and even though it took a lot longer for it to become a reality than I ever imagined it is now and it feels better than good to see it happen.

    Sure, there are a lot of tweaks needed but the basic product is there and it’s now out there and ready to grow. That baby has been born, and it has ten fingers and ten toes. There might be some growing pains and glitches, but all babies have those. For the most part it’s a happy healthy infant.

    All of my projects are like babies to me, and they’re all screaming for my attention. I still have troublesome time management issues, and that’s a sad fact. I’d love to dote over every one of my babies one on one, but I just can’t afford it. The more time I spend on one, the others are jealous.

   ‘Schlitz Happened!’ is getting a lot of attention now, but after next week’s final performances I will put it down for a nap for a little while – probably until fall. Potawatomi Casino and I will get together on a plan for future shows, and I feel very confident we’ll be able to work out all details.

   Another baby that’s just waking up from a nap is standup comedy classes. I’ve got some going both at Zanies in Chicago and Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL and I’m finding myself doing them several nights a week of late. I love teaching them, but I’m going to have to organize more.

   Tonight’s baby was ‘The Mothership Connection’ paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. That’s another project I really enjoy, but I’ve really neglected it of late. We had our best year by far in 2012, but now we’re just kind of drifting along. It doesn’t stink, but we’re not growing and that’s not good. We’ve got a very solid vibe between the crew, and we know it.

   We had a few technical glitches tonight, but that happens once in a while. It could have shaken us, but we didn’t let it and we ended up having an excellent show. We also had some last minute guest cancellations to deal with, and we handled that as well. This baby is ready to start walking.

   They all are. Standup comedy is my adult child since it’s been in my life the longest, but I love that like a baby too. Unfortunately, I can’t devote all of my attention to any of them right now so I’m trying my best to at least give each one a hug whenever I can. Being a daddy is no easy task.

   Then there’s The King of Uranus. That whole project has completely come to a halt, and that’s not at all to my satisfaction. I know it’s a goofy idea, but it too has enormous potential. I get that reminder every single day when someone behind me in traffic snaps a picture of my license plate and bumper sticker with a big grin on their face. That idea could be the biggest of them all, but if I don’t do my due diligence as a father that baby will die. They all could, and that’s why my time needs to be spent wisely. I’d hate to see any of these ideas die. It’s up to me to give them breath.

Smart Business

April 8, 2013

Sunday April 7th, 2013 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but not in my busy world. I had a comedy class to teach at Zanies in Chicago this afternoon, and then ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show tonight at 8pm on AM 1050 WLIP. I love doing both of those things, but my mind was focused on Schlitz.

   I’m thrilled with how the opening night went, and all of my energy needs to be centered on this for at least the rest of the run. I’ve been notorious for not being focused and other bad habits, but it doesn’t mean I have to repeat the pattern. This is my chance to do things right, and I intend to.

   The main thing I know I need to change is my attitude toward the actual show. I’ve been such a stickler for the onstage content throughout my life, I’ve missed out on several giant opportunities I totally should have gotten. That’s not going to happen this time. I’ve got a much clearer vision.

   The truth is, the public doesn’t care anywhere close to how much I do about how any particular show happens to go. They’re MUCH more forgiving than I’ll ever be should I happen to forget a joke or do something out of the intended order. The only one who cares is me. I have the power.

   This is something I’ve had problems with for a long time, and have seen others succumb to as well. I have come off stage countless times to thunderous applause, only to pick apart what went wrong with the set I just did that the crowd loved. They loved it, but I didn’t. That’s acceptable.

   It’s only a problem if it’s the other way around. I’ve seen performers with an exaggerated view of their own abilities, and they think they’re superstars when in fact the audience sees them a lot differently. I’ve never had that problem, and I hope I never do. I’m about constantly improving.

   There’s a fine line of how much energy to devote to the actual show versus the business, and I feel I’m right on track with this project. I’m glad I went to Atlanta last week and got to see things from the perspectives of excellent business minds like Steve Hofstetter and James Gregory. They are both light years ahead of me when it comes to handling their business, but I’m catching up.

   This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for me to implement what I learned, but also harvest the decades of hard work I spent out on the road learning to be a performer. I nailed those shows on Saturday as far as the audience was concerned, even though in my head I know I can make it better by leaps and bounds. I intend to do exactly that, and it will grow organically in due time.

   The old me would have looked for a small venue to do this and piece together a masterpiece of a product over years of struggle. WRONG. I did that with my standup act and am nowhere close to getting the results I hoped for. That was the wrong way to do it, and I won’t repeat that error.

   Getting on the big stage and working out the bugs is the way to go, and I’ve got three weeks of work ahead that I’m really going to focus on. These next six shows will all be better than the last, and by the end of the month I hope to have another run scheduled so I can keep it all rolling.

   I love working at the Northern Lights Theatre, and hope to continue. If the numbers keep up at the rate they were last week, I believe I will. Still, that was only one week. Now word has to get out, and it will take time for it to take root. All I can do is keep working to improve, and I will have a kick ass show to deliver for anyone who decides to take a chance and come out. I can feel myself being much more mature than I’ve ever been, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Twice In One Day

March 19, 2013

Sunday March 17th, 2013 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   What would life in Mr. Lucky land be without an unexpected crisis coming every day or two to make sure my tension levels are always at their highest? BORING, that’s what. Believe me, I am craving a boring life more than a vampire craves blood, but it’s just not in the cards for this chap.

As if I needed more car trouble, I popped a tire on the freeway on my way to teach my Sunday afternoon comedy class at Zanies in Chicago and am lucky I didn’t kill myself. It happened right as I was arriving in the city and I was in fairly heavy traffic in the middle lane. That’s dangerous.

I’ve had so many things go wrong on this ‘free’ car I got from my friend Rich that I assumed it was out of ways to torture me. It’s already emptied my wallet and self esteem, and like a woman scorned it has done so with a heartless vengeance. I thought I had gotten out of her line of fire.

WRONG! I had the presence of mind to keep both hands on the wheel and stay in my lane, but slowing down too much would be dangerous as I’d have a good chance to get road sodomized at high speed. I wouldn’t mind at all to get hit, but not by a semi going 70. I would be human soup.

I did manage to get out of traffic safely, and checked my trunk to find a spare little donut with no jack or lug wrench. I know I should have checked this when I got the car, but I go through so many vehicles sometimes I don’t get around to it. I get confused, and assume I have everything.

I called Bill Gorgo to cover the first part of class, and drove on my shredded tire probably two miles at slow speed until I was able to make it to the parking lot of a hotel. I asked the desk clerk if maintenance might have a tire jack, and sure enough a guy came out and helped me. I’ve tried to help people my whole life, and having it come back when I really needed it was appreciated.

I even tried to slip the guy $10, but he was totally cool about it. I’ve done things like that many times for other people so I didn’t feel guilty at all. I sincerely thanked him and made it to Zanies to finish the class. I thought my car problems were through for the day and focused on comedy.

WRONG AGAIN! I needed to be in Kenosha to host ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show on AM 1050 WLIP by 8pm, but just as I crossed into Lake County on I-94 the donut popped and I was back to trudging along at five miles an hour. I knew I didn’t have a jack, and tried to make it to a spot that wouldn’t require a tow in the morning. Nothing was going to be open on Sunday.

It took a long time, but I nursed the car to a tire shop in Waukegan where I have done business before. I turned on my flashers and rode the shoulder all the way, feeling the piercing looks from everyone who passed me as they gawked at my ratty two tone car with ‘URANUS 2’ plates and a ‘I (heart) URANUS’ bumper sticker. Being the center of attention this way is not what I desire.

So to review, I had two flat tires in one day. That doesn’t scare me. It’s typical for Mr. Lucky’s odds. One time I got two speeding tickets in the same day – in WYOMING. No joke. How many cops are patrolling Wyoming? I found them both. I’ll get past this, but for today it was a hassle.

Flat Tire #1

Flat Tire #1

Flat Tire #2

Flat Tire #2

Mothership Dilemma

March 4, 2013

Sunday March 3rd, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

   Part of the frustration of the entertainment business is that things run hot and cold. Sometimes a project can suffer simply because it’s not the right time for it, and that’s what I’m feeling with ‘The Mothership Connection’ paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. Next week will be our fifth anniversary, and I’m not sure if I should keep the show running or not.

When I started, paranormal themed shows on TV – especially ghost hunters – were all the rage. There’s also ‘Ancient Aliens’ and a whole slew of others that have been on the air for most if not all those five years, and I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve played themselves out. I don’t know.

I’ve always been interested in offbeat topics like this, and I would tend to think a large number of others are too – but there have been all kinds of outlets to watch and hear about it all in media and I’m not sure there’s room for my little show especially if I’m looking to make a buck with it.

‘Coast to Coast AM’ with George Noory is the undisputed grand daddy of the paranormal talk radio world, and deservedly so. They’ve been around for years, and I’m a fan of the show myself when I can listen. I was a huge fan of Art Bell – the one who put this kind of format over the top. He had unbelievable charisma, and like a Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern really carved a niche.

George Noory is fine, but he’s a different personality than Art was. He has many if not most of the same interesting guests Art had, and many of those very same people have been on our show as well. There isn’t all that big of a community in those circles, and most are glad to get air time.

‘The Mothership Connection’ is the hybrid cross between ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and a morning show, and it really is fun to do. We’ve got a crew of regulars, whereas George Noory tends to fly solo. He has regular and semi regular guests just like we do, but there’s still a difference in how each show operates. He’s McDonald’s, and we’re the local burger joint. There’s room for both.

I absolutely LOVE doing the show every week, and we’ve got a fantastic crew assembled after five years of constant evolution. This is by far the best crew we’ve ever had, but no offense to all the others who gave of their time to be part of it. Like a band, we’ve evolved in a positive way to the point we are now, and it took the efforts of everyone involved to develop it all to this point.

The question now is what do we do with it? We’re on the air every Sunday, and we get a lot of calls from the same people. That’s great, but we’re not growing and that’s just not going to cut it as far as making a living goes. Kenosha is about 100,000 people, and the station’s signal isn’t the 50,000 watt blowtorch Coast To Coast tends to be on all over the country. It makes a difference.

We do have a following on the internet too, but it’s not where it needs to be to start cashing any big checks any time soon. We do well for what we have to work with, but I have enough hobbies to last me the next six lifetimes. I need to make a buck, and this just isn’t doing it right now. I am going to have to make a decision soon, and I really don’t want to quit but that may be the correct answer. Five years has gone by in a blink of an eye. That’s enough warm up. Time to get paid.

Just Another Day

January 22, 2013

Sunday January 20th, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

   Today was one of those days that when it’s all over will go down as one where nothing at all of any substance or significance happened. We all have thousands of those in our lives, kind of like pulls on a slot machine. Once in a while a jackpot might be hit, but more often than not – zilcho.

I didn’t get home from my show until just after 3am. We’re having a brutally cold spell of late, and my car heater doesn’t blow as much heat as I’d like so I was freezing the entire way home. It felt great to slide under the covers and I added an extra blanket so I could warm up and nod out.

I had originally planned to get up early and get my walking in, but when 7am came I could feel the arctic blast as I got up to get dressed so I crawled right back into the toasty rack for what was supposed to be just a few minutes. The next thing I knew it was 11:30 and my day was half over.

I’ve been all over the place lately and not sleeping a lot, so I guess it was good to get in a solid chunk like that because I felt great upon awakening. It felt so good that a few minutes later I was out again and didn’t wake up until 4:30. That was probably a bit much, but that’s what happened.

Now I was mad at myself for wasting a whole day, and my phone and email message stacks I’d planned on shrinking were instead growing by the hour. A lot of friends know they’ve got a good chance to reach me on Sundays, and it’s often my busiest day for hearing from several of them.

There was no way I could get to all the messages, as I needed to get to Kenosha by 8pm to host ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show on AM 1050 WLIP. I haven’t spent much time on that project of late, and it’s good I didn’t because there was a malfunction at the station due to severe weather and the satellite was down and there was no national news feed at the top of every hour.

That’s the time we use to take a break for a couple of minutes to get ready for our next guest or hit the head or whatever we need to do to keep the show moving. Not having that made it harder to maintain a flow, and it was a pain in the ass quite frankly. Too bad, as it wasn’t to be fixed.

As with that or the faulty sound system at the comedy show yesterday, all there is to do is deal with it and move on. Radio and comedy and life in general is just a series of individual events of various length, with again very few having a particular identity. It all blends in to the big picture.

Our show tonight wasn’t particularly horrible, but we didn’t blow any dust out of the speakers or make Marconi proud of his invention. We got through the four hours, and that was about it. It was fun, but at the end of my life I can’t see myself reflecting on this day one way or the other.

I slept most of it away, and the time I was awake I didn’t do anything special. I didn’t change the world, and I barely changed my underwear. It was just a day, like so many others we all have where nothing particularly good or bad happens. I guess it could always be worse, but it could be better too. I like to shoot for the days that stand out, but there just aren’t that many of them in the lives of most people. I’m learning to take each day as it comes, but this one failed to stand out.

The Cosmic Beatles

December 4, 2012

Sunday December 2nd, 2012 – Kenosha, WI

   I am thoroughly pleased with the remarkable amount of positive progress that has been made in regards to ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show on AM 1050 WLIP this year. We have made a noticeable leap forward in consistency and quality of product, and I intend for that to continue.

A major reason for it is the competence and cohesive chemistry of the others on the show along with me. After almost five years of trial and error, I feel we’ve got “the band” together and could really take this whole thing to a higher level. Exactly where and how to do that is unclear, but we definitely do have the pieces in place to make it happen. I’d love to be able to develop it further.

Our show is a unique hybrid. It’s kind of a cross between ‘Coast To Coast AM’ and a morning show, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of the team. We’re getting consistently solid guests – many of whom have been on Coast To Coast or network television. We treat everyone with nothing but respect, and word has gotten out that we’re the fun show to do so guests are now approaching us.

This is exactly how I pictured it to be when the show started in March of 2008. Everything was different then, from the host lineup to the time we were on the air. It seems ridiculous now, but at first we were on the air from 1 to 3pm. Nobody wants to hear about werewolves or flying saucers when the sun is up, and we were so new that filling two full hours every week had its challenges.

We eventually got on at night where we belong, and two hours stretched to three and now four as it has been or a couple of years now. Cast members came and went, and some have come back on more than one occasion. I’m sure it’s a lot like the evolution of a typical band, but now we’re ready to be The Beatles. I can feel this is by far the best lineup we’ve ever had, and it’s exciting!

My immediate co-host is Greg DeGuire, aka ‘Ubergeek’. I say that with total respect, as he has an unbelievably diverse range of paranormal topics he can go off on and be fascinating about for hours. He knows amazing in depth information on everything from the Kennedy assassination to Star Wars to Star Trek to 9/11. He’s a walking conspiracy theory. I couldn’t find a better copilot.

Scott Markus is living in L.A. now, but he’s been back on the show a lot of late. He’s an author, film maker and truly talented on many levels. He fits right in, and is a welcome cog in the wheel. His website is www.whatsyourghoststory.com and he always adds to the mix when he’s with us.

Mary Marshall is a perfect fit as well. Her website is www.theparanormalmd.com and she does paranormal investigations and teaches classes about it at Harper College in Palatine, IL. She’s on when her schedule allows, but always brings something of interest to the table whenever that is.

Dave Hendrickson a.k.a. ‘The Two Bit Guru’ is our newest member, but I’ve known Dave for 30 years. He’s very spiritual and has always been into subjects that fit perfectly on the show. His website is www.twobitguru.com and his webmaster Nate Kroll is working on a site for the show. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but at least the main players are in place. Join us on a Sunday from 8pm to midnight Central Time at www.wlip.com/listenlive. The Mothership is flying high!

Car Trek

October 2, 2012

Sunday September 30th, 2012 – Columbia, SC/Kenosha, WI

   There’s nothing like an 832 mile seven state epic trek in a rental car to blow the cobwebs out of one’s brain pan. I knew I was in for this drive today, so I tried my best to prepare for it. In the old days I used to make drives like this all the time, but those days are over. Now, I’m just plain old.

I tried to take as long of a nap as I could this afternoon, but it wasn’t that long as I rediscovered Columbia, SC after being away for so many years. I tried to find where The Punch Line club was located, but I couldn’t. I did manage to run across a delicatessen called ‘Groucho’s’ that has been open since 1941 and I remember eating several meals there with comedians when I worked here.

It was a favorite hangout for comedians because it was loaded with gorgeous college girls who worked there as servers. The food was mediocre at best, but the women were incredible and we’d eat there frequently. Hooters has made billions with the same formula, but Groucho’s did it first.

There was a new crop of scorchers working who may well have been the daughters of the ones I flirted with in my 20s, but now all I wanted to do was get a meal. My waitress was smoking hot in the looks department but ice cold everywhere else. She knew she didn’t have to work at being a good waitress and she didn’t. I’m sure she thinks cuteness will get her by forever. Don’t we all.

The opener last night was a nice kid out of Washington D.C. named Jimmy Meritt. He handled himself quite well, and totally reminded me of myself when I was starting out. There are a whole other set of circumstances to deal with from the opener’s standpoint, and he’s cutting his teeth as we all have to do. I wish him well, as I do the other guys who opened for me the rest of the week.

I tried to make it a point to spend at least a few quality minutes talking with all the openers this week, as I recall how good it felt when headliners would talk to me when I was in coming up the ranks. Not all of them did, and I totally see why now. But back then it made me feel like an ass.

I didn’t realize back then all that goes into being a comedian, and sometimes it’s just nice to be left alone to one’s thoughts. I’m sure a lot of those headliners who ignored me then didn’t do it to be mean, but now that I’m in that position I always try to find time to at least say a sincere hello.

Funny itself has surprisingly little to do with the comedy business in those early years. It comes with time, but the early years are about getting used to everything else. There’s a lot to learn, and I look at kids like Jimmy and wonder if I’d do it all over again if I had to. I can’t say I would, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t either. I’d do a lot of things differently, but that lure of stage is strong.

Being on that stage when it’s going well is quite simply the most thrilling feeling I’ve ever felt. People say the same thing about sex, and I guess there are a lot of similarities. A lot of effort gets put forth making circumstances just right so it can take place – but then it’s over way too quickly.

At least with comedy a lot more people feel good, and I’m glad I chose to make it a part of my life for this long. I’ve taken it from total beginner status to now being one people go to for help.

I don’t mind that role at all, and in fact I relish it. I love being the big brother figure to as many young comics as I can, because I totally get their mindset. Most of them are dented cans like me, and I can talk to them on a level few others can reach. I’ve done exactly what they’re aspiring to.

What I didn’t aspire to was making 832 mile drives, but that comes with the territory. I needed to get back to Kenosha, WI by 8pm today to host The Mothership Connection radio show on AM 1050 WLIP. I had a jam packed lineup of guests ready to go, and it was too late to back out now.

I was packed and ready to leave right after the show, and thankfully the club manager squared up with me quickly. Once in a while they fart around and make us wait, and there’s nothing to do but sit around and stew. They’ve got the power, and we don’t. Tonight it worked out perfectly.

I’d already gassed up earlier in the day – another lesson I learned the hard way. Columbia isn’t a small town, but sometimes it’s hard to find a gas station open late and more than once I’ve had to sleep over in a town when I wanted to get on the road and start driving. But that was long ago. It’s been years since that’s been an issue because I always gas up as soon as I arrive in a town.

I did allow myself a treat and stopped for a quick bite at Waffle House on my way out of town. Any northerner who misses a chance to experience the Waffle House misses a lot. It’s a Southern institution, and I’ve loved them for years. My diabetes diagnosis makes it a lot tougher to choose acceptable menu items, but since I hadn’t been there in a long time I knew it wouldn’t kill me.

Food is only part of the Waffle House experience. Watching the array of unusual humanoid life forms continuously wander in and out is endlessly fascinating. These are definitely not the pretty people in life as a rule, and it sort of reminds me of an indoor carnival or bus station with meals.

I’m not saying they’re bad people, they’re just interesting to observe. For example, my waitress this evening was a lady named Rainbow who had a Mohawk. No joke. She was a very sharp lady actually, and my order was perfect in every way. It was a dinner/show combo, and I enjoyed it.

I would have loved to go back to the hotel and relax, but I knew I needed to cut mud and drive. I didn’t need any GPS because I knew the route from my years on the road. I-26 to I-40 through Asheville, NC and into Knoxville, TN. Then I-75 north to Cincinnati and I-74 up to Indianapolis.

I wish I didn’t have to miss the scenery around Asheville and Knoxville by driving at night, but I had no choice. I listened to some country music on the radio, and let my thoughts wind through my brain like my rental car wound through the mountain roads. I got lost in thought and kept the car moving until I couldn’t stay awake anymore which was about an hour north of Cincinnati.

This trip really put a lot of closure on many things in my life. I was able to get a good measure of how far I’ve come in comedy and life, and know that I’m not going to be pounding it like this much longer. The shows are still fun, but what it takes to get there is just not worth it. I’ve had a hell of a run, but now I need to prepare for whatever is next. This was fun, but it was also work. I like working, but this isn’t very efficient. If I’m going to drive like this, I should be a trucker.