Emergency Feeding Program Podcast

Recently Emergency Feeding Program’s Director Glenn Turner, Project Coordinator Belynda Dunbar, and Office Manager Marlene Poland were guests on the Living Well podcast of Seattle Professor Zenobia Bailey.

Hear it here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/btr.shows/show/7/450/show_7450269.mp3

If you don’t know about this special non-profit program listen and learn. Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County is a truly unique organization that is Fighting Hunger By Design, with a supplemental feeding program for those in greatest need locally. You can donate at http://www.emergencyfeeding.org/.

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Your author of this blog is a board member of the Emergency Feeding Program and am proud to donate my time and efforts to help them realize their goal that nobody goes hungry in King County.

My Incredible Morning Run

IMG_8755In my on going efforts for fitness, health, and continued youth I woke this morning, dressed in my sweat suite, grabbed my cell phone and ear plug headphones and embarked on a morning run. After I was done I realized what an extraordinary start to my day I experienced.

It was a cold March morning with temperatures in the upper 30s. As I left my Renton home through my garage I zipped up my jacket all the way to my neck. I plugged my headphone buds into my ears, plugged the cord into my phone, and turned on the music. I like up-beat music as I run, and classic rock is my up-beat music of choice. Journey was the first band I enjoyed.

At 51 years of age with arthritis in my hips and a slightly torn right labrum loosening up for anything physical takes a little more time than it used to. The darkness of pre-6am enveloped me as I awkwardly began running out of my driveway. The first few hundred yards of my runs see me looking quite geeky as I shake off the cobwebs of a nights sleep and free-up my muscles and joints. I’m flapping around like a fish out of water, and my legs are rotating as a wheel with no lug nuts.

After the first song had played Led Zeppelin was in my ears and head. Good Times, Bad Times. I wasn’t feeling great. My hips were growling at me and the cold was nipping at my ungloved fingertips.

I then looked up from the sometimes dangerous cracked sidewalk and saw a beautiful full moon through the Douglas Firs setting in the west. It shown through the trees and was hallowed by a cloudy mist. It was my beacon lighting my dark path on my journey. It inspired me. Between looking down to watch for missteps on the uneven sidewalk I would look up at the glowing orb. Sometimes I had to search for it as it ducked behind a tree or apartment building. Cars whizzed by at 40 mph when I finally grunted my way to a main road with a smooth level sidewalk, the moon still glowing in the west, descending over the Olympic Mountains.

I run a route that’s about 3.5 miles. It takes me about 30-35 minutes. I’m not fast, just steady. As I rounded the Fairwood shopping center I began the journey home. That would take me east. No longer fighting to keep running or feeling stiff from old age and a thorough nights sleep I am quickening my pace. And a funny thing happened. Dawn had broken.

Rush, Seal, and Pink Floyd sang in my ears as the sidewalk became more easily visible in the growing light. As more hills, and the start of a side-ache begin to challenge me I begin reciting the Hail Mary, over, and over, and over again asking the Mother of Jesus to bless me in my efforts and carry me through.

The final 2-300 yards to my home is the steepest hill on my route and a real struggle as I’ve already run over 3-miles. But not this morning. My eastward trajectory and up hill slant had me peering into a glorious sunrise. Pink skies and some blue clouds inspired me to sprint. It was a beautiful morning.

Sunday, daylight savings time begins. So my next run will be in what is now the 5am hour. It’ll be dark, and I won’t see a darkness and a full moon followed by a beautiful sunrise in the east. I realized and asked myself how often, in the Pacific Northwest, will I run on a clear sky morning, with a full moon, and clear starlit skies followed by sunlit blue, and biting and exhilarating cold all during the same 30 minute run.

Is it pessimistic to say I may never experience this glorious combination again? There are only 12 full moons each year, the number of clear skies in Seattle are notably few, I only run 2-3 days per week and because of my age and my arthritis that amount is going to decrease as time moves on.

My morning run was extraordinary, special, inspiring, fun, and possibly one-of-a-kind.

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The Poverty Myth: It’s not for a Lifetime

tbs-avalanche-12-2010-102.jpgWhen considering those in poverty it is far too common to think of them as perpetually poor and forever on the public dole. This sentiment has long existed and been perpetuated by claims of generational poverty; families that have nothing and leave nothing for their kids, thus creating a cycle that keeps the kids poor as adults and their kids raised in unrelenting poverty as well. These people are forever a burden on society and forever in need of our tax dollars being redistributed to them in the form of low or free rent, food stamps, medical care and more. Or so the myth goes…

While its true that many in poverty can stay poor for a significant portion of their lives, that’s often not the case. A 10+ year old study found that a significant percentage of those who were in the bottom third of income earners in the 1970s at some point over the following 20 years actually attained a level of income putting them in the upper third of income earners. This illustrates the point that those in poverty and receiving assistance are often only in that financially troubling position for a short time in their lives. 

This makes sense when you consider that many of those who are poor are young adults or young families who have not yet attained the wisdom, experience, resumes or income to keep them out of poverty. But as they age and gain work experience and the wisdom on how to earn and save money they lift themselves out of poverty and often into financial well-being.

The author taking a break at his 3rd radio job in 1986 when my income rose to the grandiose level of $1000 per month.

The author taking a break at his 3rd radio job in 1986 when my income rose to the grandiose level of $1000 per month.

This was certainly true for this author. I have worked in the radio industry for my entire adult life. I began professionally in 1985 as a 21 year old country music DJ and part-time high school sports play-by-play announcer. This auspicious position paid me the awesome sum of $600 per month. A little extra scrambling for more work usually got my check up to $650.00. And that was gross income, paid to me with only one pay check per month. I worked 50-60 hours per week, 6 days per week; thus not allowing me to hold a second job. I was poor. I didn’t qualify for food stamps. At the time I did apply and was told I made exactly $5.00 too much each month to qualify. I lived on Top Ramon, Mac & Cheese, and Cheerios. Oh…and beer. Priorities, right?

Twenty years later my income climbed to a level in 2004 where my earnings put me in the upper 2-3% of income earners. I owned a home, a rental property, and was raising a family. In 2005 I started my own business, Total Broadcasting Service.

Total Broadcasting owner Michael Schuett does most of the camera work provided to customers, both still and video.

Total Broadcasting owner Michael Schuett does most of the camera work provided to customers, both still and video.

And I’m not special. Lots of people can tell the same story.

The myth that poverty is a life sentence has two deleterious effects. If believed by some of those in poverty it helps keep them in need. It also discourages generous giving from many who could dramatically impact the lives of those in poverty. “Why give if these lazy, drug using poor people are only going to use my money to get drunk and high and buy tattoos and other frivolous expenses? I was poor and I lifted myself up. They should do the same.”…or so seems to be the thinking.

When its understood that poverty is more usually a temporary condition Americans can feel more comfortable generously offering a hand up while not seeing it as a hand-out. If someone is too young to have learned and earned you are more likely to see their potential and give them the assistance you probably benefitted from in your own youth. When its plain that a medical condition has prevented a person from working and they lost their income and haven’t yet found a means by which they will eventually support themselves, you can maintain a much higher level of empathy for their plight. Even when someone’s own poor decisions or foolishness have driven them to the poor house, you can feel a greater desire to help them get back to being self sustaining if you have the confidence of knowledge that most people in their positions will use your generosity wisely to change the direction of their lives and improve their situation.

My faith tells me that its my responsibility to help those in need. But if my faith (or yours) didn’t dictate charitable giving, common sense would. Few people, regardless of political persuasion, like the government’s gun to your head (otherwise known as the IRS) approach to monetary redistribution. And frankly its terribly inefficient anyway. But many non-profit charitable and church based organizations provide efficient and meaningful help to the needy. 

One of these organizations in my community is Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County. I met it’s Director, Glenn Turner, this year. He carefully explained to me and others how EFP fills the gaps in food distribution for the needy. Food banks typically only provide food enough to last an individual or a family for 2-3 weeks per month. The obvious problem being that every month is at least 4 weeks. Emergency Feeding Program will help those who can’t provide for themselves over each month’s final 1-2 weeks with carefully constructed food bags tailored to the specific dietary and ethnic requirements of the recipient. They provide 15 different types of emergency food bags to match their clients. Emergency Feeding Program has been doing this since 1977, and are Washington State’s third largest food distribution service for the needy. And they do it through the generosity of people. They have many people who volunteer their time. And many generous people and organizations who donate food and money. You can help them too. And this writer hopes that you will.

Isn’t it easier to help knowing you are actually helping. Isn’t it best to look at those in poverty as merely folks who are down on their luck and with the kind and generous assistance you provide they won’t stay where they are; they’ll rise up support themselves and in the natural evolution of their lives help others; maybe even you, should you someday be a victim of misfortune, poor health or unfortunate decisions. 

We can’t and shouldn’t rely on government to carry us through. We’re a free nation. And we should be free to help those we want to help. And we should help. It’s in our best interest as well as the recipients of our generous money and efforts. 

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As an addendum: Emergency Feeding Program is hosting its first ever Summer musical event to raise awareness and donations. Jazz on the Houser will be from 3-9pm Saturday August 23rd. Click here to learn more: http://www.emergencyfeeding.org/events-wedge-details/354217/1408824000

Seahawks Will Win the Super Bowl

On September 6, 2013 I wrote the blog Seahawks will win the Super Bowl if…
As you can see…I have removed the “if”. 

The Author in 2013 age 49

At the start of the NFL season I predicted in my blog that Seattle would finish 12-4 or 13-3. Nailed that one.

I also said if they get home field advantage in the playoffs they would go to the Super Bowl. Well, with Sunday’s win of the St Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field the Hawks have indeed secured home field advantage through the playoffs. Win two games on their home turf and nirvana is upon us.

Seattle goes into the playoffs with five other NFC teams who are all fully capable of going to the Super Bowl and beating whoever the AFC representative is. And the AFC representative will undoubtedly be Denver unless Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots pull a minor upset. The Broncos are a good team, and their quarterback Peyton Manning is THE best. But they’re vulnerable to a tough defensive team like Seattle, San Francisco, or Carolina.

Seattle’s road to the New Jersey Super Bowl could be made easier if they are lucky enough to avoid playing San Francisco or Carolina. Playing both of them, which is a possibility, will be particularly tough. The Seahawks January 11th Division round game will be the lowest seeded survivor of the Wild Card weekend games; either San Francisco, New Orleans, or Green Bay. The Saints and the Packers don’t concern me. Neither has the defense necessary to stop a Seattle offense that moves the ball and scores pretty well when not facing a big strong front seven like the 49ers, Panthers, Buccaneers, and Rams.

The NFC wildcard games feature the 49ers in Green Bay versus the Packers, and the Saints traveling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.  I’m fairly confident S.F. will beat G.B. which would send Jim Harbaugh and his Bay area miscreants to Seattle IF the Eagles take advantage of their home field advantage and beat the road-weak Saints. New Orleans and the Saints are simply not the same team on the road as they are in the Superdome. AdvoCare National Spokesperson Drew Brees will have to turn around this trend if they’re going to “win” a trip to the hell hole that is CenturyLink Field.

I expect Seattle to be playing their greatest rival in their first playoff game. Too bad how the NFL playoffs are set up. Because if this happens the two best teams in the league will meet in a Division round game and not even a Conference Championship. Seahawks logo

The Seahawks can feel confident in playing the 49ers in Seattle since they have thoroughly throttled S.F. in the Clink the past two years, and Seattle’s two losses in the Bay area have both been close. My concern is that a team as solid as the Niners are bound to figure it out at some point, right? I hope not.

The news yesterday that wide receiver Percy Harvin will practice this week is GREAT news for the 12th Man. Harvin is so talented that his presence on the field can tilt the whole field for the Seahawks. Six weeks ago Harvin played his only game of the season against Minnesota. But it was so obvious that the Vikings adjusted their defense for Harvin when he was in on those 16 offensive plays; Harvin becomes a weapon even if only as a decoy. But if fully healthy he’ll be more than that. Harvin in the game makes a Seahawk win that much more assured.

Carolina beating Philadelphia is near certain. My prediction anyway. A successful prediction would send Carolina all the way across country to Seattle. Playing in Seattle is tough enough. Doing so in January when you’re a warm weather team, and doing so when you have to flying across country is no easy task. The Seahawks have beaten the Panthers narrowly in Carolina each of the past two seasons. Doing so at the Clink will be easier. Seattle will be going to the Super Bowl for the second time in their history.

New England beat Denver in the Mile High City November 24th. So they can do it again. But I don’t think they will. The Patriots had Rob Gronkowski at that time. The All Pro tight end is now gone for the season and won’t be there as Tom Brady’s favorite target. The Patriots can win. But I think the Broncos will.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first out-door cold weather Super Bowl in its history. It might snow. It will almost certainly be cold; freezing cold. I can’t imagine a more welcoming situation for Marshawn Lynch and the Hawks grunts on the defensive line. Manning is defensive about the claim that he doesn’t play well in cold weather. Too bad. He doesn’t. No quarterback does…at least most of the time. A ground and pound defensive, cold game favors the team with the number one defense in the league and the game’s most violent runner.

February 3rd will be a non-work day in the Northwest for most everyone. Because Seahawk fans will still be celebrating their 28-24 win over Denver.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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What I’d Would Tell the 16 Year Old Me

Some time ago I had a strange conversation between myself now and the 16-year-old me from 1980. August 1981 - 17 Years old, 181 lbs.

This farcical conversation was wide sweeping and dealt with the changes in the world that include the introduction of the home computer, cell phones, cable television and 24 hour news and sports programing, and the fact that nuclear weapons have not been used by anyone anywhere in the time since 1980 when such a good revelation would come as a bit of a surprise.

We talked about our mutual love of sports and the pain and joy it has wrought like the fact that my local Seattle teams have never won a single championship in the 34 years since the Sonics won the 1979 NBA title, and the fact that the Sonics no longer exist.

Sonics game, probably 1978

Sonics game, probably 1978 (Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives)

But the most important part of our conversation had to do with my advice to him as he gazed into an unknown future.

“So what have we learned? What can you tell me?”, the 16-year-old me asked. 
“You want to know what I’d do differently?” I responded.
“No.” he said wisely. “I figure what you’ve learned will answer that question. I just want to know what you’ve found out; how you’ve grown.”
“First” I said, “I’ve learned to happily accept friendship wherever it’s offered and never worry too much if the person offering the friendship is the coolest, or the best looking, or even the most fun. Friendship is a treasure under any circumstance.”
He asked, “Are you saying I’m a bad guy because I’m not friends with everyone?”
“No. But you are unfulfilled because you have turned away from possible friendships for any number of reasons ranging from not thinking someone was cool enough, or pretty enough, or they were too cool or too pretty and you somehow didn’t think you could measure up.” I answered. “Friendships color your world, your life. And you can have more of them.”
Secondly I said, “I’ve learned to move past disappointments. I’ve learned they are inevitable and that if you embrace them too hard they become part of you. If you let them go they’re only part of the past.”
“Anything else?” he asked.
The Author in 2013 age 49 I told him, “I’ve learned to do what makes me happy.” I said, ”Time between where you are at age 16 and where I am in 2013 at age 49 has been a short period of time. And now I know that the time between now and the day I die, whenever that may be, will be even shorter. The time we have is fleeting and valuable. Spending it being angry, worrying about money, or stagnant with immobilization caused by fear or procrastination is a waste of time and a detriment to your happiness.”
“All that seems so simple.” he said.
I closed our encounter by telling the sixteen year old me, “It is simple. And it’s hard.” 

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Total Broadcasting Service. When you want marketing help that you can understand and afford.

Total Broadcasting Service. When you want marketing help that you can understand and afford.

The Go#$%! Clusterf*$k of a Circus That Is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong’s Mariners | Seattle Sportsnet

The Goddamn Clusterfuck of a Circus That Is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong’s Mariners | Seattle Sportsnet.

The Seahawks Will Win the Super Bowl IF…

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

I have been an avid sports fan, and specifically a Seattle sports fan, for over 40 years and I have never seen, heard, felt, or experienced the enthusiastic anticipation of the coming Seattle Seahawk NFL season. It’s as if the team has already won a Super Bowl Championship and we’re all just reveling in the euphoria. But let’s be perfectly clear, the Seahawks haven’t done squat yet. However, I have no desire to pop this still inflating balloon. I too think my team will make it to the ultimate sporting event in frigid, frozen New York City next February, and they will beat whoever the AFC offers up as its sacrificial lamb for slaughter to the clearly superior NFC. But first things first. The football team that calls my city its practice home must first win its own division. Should it do so an NFL Championship is something that I feel is almost a foregone conclusion. However, ending the season with a better record than San Francisco’s 49ers, St Louis’s Rams, and Arizona’s Cardinals is not a foregone conclusion. In fact, I’m not completely sure it will happen.

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

All of the Emerald City is enjoying the numerous jokes made at the expense of the Bay area team, and is clearly in full-hate-mode over the Niner’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. The non-NFL Seattle fan is oblivious to how very, very good S.F. is, and what an exceptional coach the former University of Michigan Quarterback actually is. San Fran played in last year’s Super Bowl. They didn’t blow a lead in a playoff game they took with only 30-seconds left in the game. Seattle did. Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta The fact is the 49ers came 3-points and a late 4th quarter goal-line stand from Baltimore from the largest Super Bowl comeback win in history. They feel they should have won and they will be hungry to get back to where they came up so close, but lost.

Quick; which of the four teams in Seattle’s NFC West Division had the best record within the division. Would it surprise you to know it wasn’t the division champion 49ers, or the Wildcard playoff entrant, second place Seahawks. Under first year Coach Jeff Fischer the St. Louis Rams finished 4-1-1 against S.F., Seattle and Arizona. Their 7-9 record was a huge leap from the 2-win (2-14) team of 2011. St Louis still has former Heisman Trophy winner (and AdvoCare endorser) Sam Bradford at QB. But for the first time in his short career he has someone to throw to. With their first round draft pick this year Fischer chose the best receiver in the draft in Tavon Austin. Austin has crazy speed (4.2 time in the 40) and electric moves. He’ll also help the Rams return game. Fischer is a very good coach, and with one year under his tutelage the Rams will be better…how much better remains to be seen.

The Arizona Cardinals are probably the 4th place team in this division, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be formidable. Many think the Cardinals new QB, Carson Palmer, is too old and past his prime when he was in Cincinnati.  I’m not so sure. He managed to throw for over 4000-yards last year for a horrible Oakland team. And now he has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to. Arizona also improved its weak offensive line in the draft and added the Honey Badger to its defense.

The key to a Super Bowl trip for Seattle will be winning the division, like they did in 2005, the only other time the Northwest’s team went to the Championship spectacle. Win the division and secure the 1st or 2nd best record in the NFC and Seattle needs only win 2 playoff games to win the NFC Crown. And they would have at least 1 playoff game at CenturyLink Field where they do not lose. They didn’t all last year.

English: Picture of the 12th Man Flag at Centu...

Fail to secure the 1st or 2nd best record in the conference and Seattle needs 3 playoff wins to make it to the Super Bowl, with the likelihood that all will be on the road; not an unprecedented achievement, but certainly a lot tougher. Besides, given their sky-high expectations, if Seattle doesn’t have the 1st or 2nd best record in the conference four months from now I will assume that something has gone wrong, perhaps an injury to Russell Wilson or a defensive line that can still not put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks; making a 3 game run to the Super Bowl less likely.

Seattle has everything it needs to win now, even with one of the youngest rosters in the league. They will continue to pound the ball with Marshawn Lynch leading the way. And running the ball wins playoff games…and a lot of regular season games too. They finally have a All Pro potential quarterback in the exciting Wilson. Remember, he was in a quarterback competition all through training camp last year and was severely restricted in play calling by Pete Carroll last year. He’ll be even better this year. A defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last year allowed the fewest points in the NFL during the just concluded preseason. And defense wins championships.

In looking at the Seahawks schedule I expect an improvement from their 11-5 record last year to either 12-4 or 13-3. Please…let go of the fantasy of an undefeated season as I’ve heard far too many people throw-about as a possibility on Seattle sports radio stations. An undefeated regular season should never be a goal. Just ask the 2007 New England Patriots how helpful it was for them. Only road games in Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, and possibly St. Louis would I predict at this early stage as losses. Though Seattle could win any or all of them. But games I now predict as wins could be losses too. Games against Carolina in Charlotte, the Colts in Indianapolis, and home games against the Vikings and Saints won’t be easy. Lose those games along with the ones I expect and this dream of a Super Bowl season will come crashing down to a non-playoff mediocre 8-8 season…just like the 1985 Seahawks who were also being talked about as Super Bowl contenders. See…it can happen. I repeat Seattle hasn’t won anything…yet. But they will. I predict. Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100