Saturday, September 03, 2011

Preface To A Day Of Labor: You Have To Work On Labor Day?

Hey, I'm not the only one. & really, Self Help Radio isn't really work. Have a look at this link: Ten People Who Have To Work On Labor Day.

No, it's not names like Betty, Benny & Bob. It's types of professions, like police, correctional officers, nurses, wastewater treatment plant operators, & air traffic controllers. You know who's not on that list? Convenience store workers. Fast food workers. Community radio station volunteers.

In fact, this article points out something you might not have known about those folks (well, not the radio volunteers - we do it for free):

For millions of workers, Labor Day is another day on the job... The law actually does not require employers to pay any wage premium when they force their employees to work on Labor Day, or any other national holiday. This means that many of the people grilling burgers at fast food restaurants, staffing the checkout counter at convenience stores, or cleaning the bathrooms in hotels, get the same hourly pay when they are forced to work on Labor Day, as they do any other day of the year.

They get no compensation whatsoever for being separated from their friends and family on a national holiday. According to data from the Labor Department, 25.5 million workers do not get any paid holiday time, meaning that they either get the holidays off without pay, or they are forced to work at their regular wage. Similarly, 22.2 million workers have no paid vacation at their job.

Some places do offer time & a half as an incentive for folks to work on Labor Day. WRFL, for example, gives me my regular hourly wage, which is nothing, plus two times that, & a pat on the back. But I have worked at shitty jobs - like in a video store & a gas station - & they paid me time & a half on holidays.

Not that they were nice guys - they simply knew no one would work if they didn't. But in those situations, I was just a kid who didn't really need the job. What if I did?

You should ask, if you visit a convenience store or a fast food jernt on Labor Day, if the folks are getting time & a half. Especially if you get the day off.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Sickliest

There might be some irony in the fact that I did a Self Help Radio about sickness & then, a week later, caught a cold (*). While that is certainly some powerful cause & effect, it might also be that thousands of students from all over converged on Lexington & some of them brought viruses & germs with them from god-knows-where, & a small but significant portion of them came to the radio station & talked on the same microphone that I used on that Monday morning a week ago. In any event, I am fortunate I could take the time this week to goof out on Sudafed & make my mouth sticky with cough drops. I am feeling a little better today.

I can't remember the last time I had a cold, but I also don't remember sickness well. I remember getting a cold in Huntington over a year ago, because I just went to bed at that time until it went away. It also came right after a radio show, but it was at the end of the semester, not the beginning. It was a harder cold than this one, but I knew the proper treatment: take medication to make me sleep & wait until it went away. Anyway, I thought I'd use this blog as a place to mark when I get sick so I could see if I am declining in my old age.

So. I caught a cold August 30, 2011. I did not die.

I did manage to make dinner for my lovely wife last night - it was chili, it was awesome - but because of my sinuses laying on my face like an iron skillet, I couldn't taste anything. I did appreciate the texture & my tongue reported it was spicy. But that's all.

How did I know it was awesome? My wife told me so.

What, more Sudafed? If you insist. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

(*) I am thinking of doing a Self Help Radio about winning the lottery to test my radio show's power.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Ten

The A Joke A Day folks continued their incredible losing streak this week with more sexist jokes about wives loathing their husbands, with motorists trying to fool cops, with boring proto-Dilbert office-work-sucks style jokes, with "hilarious" children (they say the fuckiest things!), & with jokes written by comedians new to the planet. But this one struck me as peculiar, & although it is part of the A Joke A Day system, it feels more like it's supposed to be true, doesn't it?

Insurance Company

A Charlotte, North Carolina man, having purchased a case of rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against .... get this .... fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of fabulous cigars, and having yet to make a single premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that he had lost the cigars in "a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion. The man sued ... and won!! In delivering his ruling, the judge stated that since the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable, and also guaranteed that it would insure the cigars against fire, without defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire," it was obligated to compensate the insured for his loss. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the judge's ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in "the fires." After the man cashed his check, however, the insurance company had him arrested... on 24 counts of arson! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used as evidence against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one year terms.

Needless to say, there's nothing true about this, & it appears to have actually started out as a joke, but made its way, through retelling online, into "urban legend" status. As the page at explains:

As to whether there could be any truth to the legend's premise, insurance policies are generally written so that deliberate actions on the part of the policyholders cannot trigger payouts. Furthermore, destroying your own property isn't arson, as long as the act isn't intended to defraud anyone. If a court had already ruled that the insurance company was required to pay, then obviously no fraud was committed, and thus the burning could not be considered arson.

Not so funny now, eh, Mr. A Joke A Day?

As a bonus, I give you this week's Non-Joke. Oh, it looks like a joke. It even has a certain rhythm like a joke. But is it a joke? No! It's A Joke A Day!

A new miracle doctor was in town. He could cure anything and anybody, and everyone was amazed. Everyone except for Mr. Smith, the town’s grouch So Mr. Smith went to this 'miracle doctor' to prove that he wasn't anybody special. So he goes and tells the doctor, "Hey, doc, I have lost my sense of taste. I can't taste nothing', so what are you going to do?"
The doctor scratches his head and mumbles to himself a little, then tells Mr. Smith, "What you need is jar number 43."
Jar number 43? Mr. Smith wonders. So the doctor brings the jar and tells Mr. Smith to taste it. He tastes it and immediately spits it out, "This is gross!" he yells.
"I just restored your sense of taste Mr. Smith," says the doctor.
So Mr. Smith goes home very mad. One month later, Mr. Smith goes back to the doctor along with a new problem, "Doc," he starts, "I can't remember!"
Thinking he got the doctor, the doctor scratches his head and mumbles to himself a little and tells Mr. Smith, "What you need is jar number 43..."
Before the doctor finished his sentence, Mr. Smith fled the office.

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Indiepop! For You!

As you know, a long time ago, thinking I might live forever, I came up with the notion, thanks to the folks who maintain the band pages at TweeNet, that I could make a few nice radio shows playing indiepop bands from a to z. I decided to include bands they didn't, & also, just to make it interesting, some bands who I thought influenced indiepop in some way. Now, thirty-three episodes later, I am still on the letter G, & will die (I know it) before I get to the letter S.

Ah well. I think it's a lot of fun to research & try to be as complete as possible, & I hope it's fun to listen to. To get as much done as possible, I hijacked the freeform show that precedes Self Help Radio (which I also do), called Sugar Substitute, so I could play three hours of indiepop today, from Gentle Tuesday to the Gol Gappas. It's a lot of fun music.

The show is therefore in FOUR parts instead of two, since it's two shows divided in two. The entire show is at Self Help Radio dot net, of course, but the individual links are as follows:

Indiepop A To Z # 32, Part I
Indiepop A To Z # 32, Part II
Indiepop A To Z # 33, Part I
Indiepop A To Z # 33, Part II

What's in each section is below. Remember, the previous editions of Indiepop A To Z can be found on the Self Help Radio Archive page. In case you want to check my alphabetization skills.

Indiepop A To Z # 32 Part I

"I've Never Been So Poorly Insulted In My Life" Gentle Tuesday _I've Never Been So Poorly Insulted In All My Life 7"_
"Weathershow" The Gentle Waves _The Green Fields Of Foreverland_
"Fluid" The Gerbils _Are You Sleepy?_
"Color Vibration" The German Measles _A German Joke Is No Laughing Matter_

"Geek The Girl" Lisa Germano _Geek The Girl_
"I Like It" Gerry & The Pacemakers _The British Invasion: A History Of British Rock_
"Isolated" Ghost Society _The Back Of His Hands, Then The Palms_
"Painting By Numbers" The Gifted Children _Painting By Numbers 7"_
"Favourite Song" Gigantaur _LemonLime Volume 1_

"Alone At The Pier (with Rose Melberg)" Gigi _Maintenant_
"Renaissance Girl" Gilroy _Renaissance Girl_

Indiepop A To Z # 32 Part II

"Goldfish" Ginger Bottles _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Vol. 6_
"Frances & The Dancing Fairies" Girl Alliance _Summer In Berlin_
"The Soundtrack Of Your Life" A Girl Called Eddy _Tears All Over Town_

"Warm Around You" Girl Of My Best Friend _Warm Around You 7"_
"Circus" Girl Of The World _Wonderboy_
"Please Wait While We Try To Connect You" Girlboy Girl _Fresco_
"Smoke Ring Cool" Girlfrendo _So You Are Here Again, Shadow?_
"Lust For Life" Girls _Album_
"Never Enough" The Girls At Dawn _Never Enough_

"Getting Nowhere Fast" Girls At Our Best! _Pleasure_
"When You Cry" Girls Names _Dead To Me_

Indiepop A To Z # 33 Part I

"Ride My Star" The Girl With The Replaceable Head _Ride My Star EP_
"This Is Love" The Gist _This Is Love_
"It's Raining All Of The Time" The Git Shields _A Chance To Shine_

"Today... Please" Glaring Surge _Just For A Day_
"Paper Airplanes" The Glasses _Birdsongs, Beesongs: Eardrums Spring Compilation_
"No Reason" The Glee Club _Mine_
"Stars Above" Glo-Worm _Why Popstars Can't Dance_
"New York Boy" Gloss _New York Boy_

"Punish Me With Kisses" The Glove _Blue Sunshine_
"Streets Of Your Town" The Go-Betweens _16 Lovers Lane_
"Go Between's Gig" Go Go Charlton _Beaucoup Schlager_

Indiepop A To Z # 33 Part II

"Vacation" Go-Go's _Vacation_

"Flight Of Angels" Go Hole _Flight Of Angels_
"Listening To Marmalade" Go-Kart Mozart _Tearing Up The Album Charts_
"I'm Still Crying" Go Sailor _Go Sailor_
"Real Life" Go! Service _It Makes Me Realise EP_
"Your Back Yard" Go Team Throw: The Yoyo Studio Compilation_

"Funny Little Frog" God Help The Girl _God Help The Girl_
"We'll Keep Our Chains" Vic Godard _Long Term Side-Effect_
"Your Future" Godzuki _Your Future_
"Copycat" Going Stagg _Ocean Park Paradox! U.S. Pop Life Vol. 6: California_
"St. Lucy" Gol Gappas _Bellissimo! él Records The Singles_

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 32?

Actually, it'll be Indiepop A To Z #s 32 & 33. I'm hijacking Sugar Substitute for just such an occasion.

Um, I might as well keep going, right? All those indiepop bands who've been waiting for me to get to them - their name starts with J, or N, or V. How can I stop now?

I'm still in the Gs. I'll still be in the Gs at the end of three hours. I may be in the "golds." But who knows? Not me.

You should listen. It's from 6 to 9am tomorrow morning (that's Monday) on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington. You can listen online at in anywhere else. You can listen to previous episodes (Indiepop A To Gentle D) in the Self Help Radio Archive.

I promise not to talk about Happy Days anymore.