I LOVE April!

IMG_8755I have said for years that April and October are my two favorite months of the year. They just bring so much of what I love.

Sure I love Christmas and the whole Christmas season.

Snowy Renton Street

Snowy Renton Street

The parties and the love shared between people is like no other time. The busyness doesn’t bother me. It energizes me. But December doesn’t make my top list because of the weather. In the Puget Sound, where I live, temperatures in the 30s and 40s and a near constant drizzle or grey cloudy days are the norm. No. I want sun shine. Even if its cold, I want sun shine. So, sorry December you don’t make it.

July and August are very high on my list. It’s frequently sunny. I often enjoy BBQ parties with friends. Sunset at Birch Bay, WA And the baseball season is entering its second half, with pennant races looming. The good weather makes outdoor activities that I love more frequently possible. I love fishing. I love camping. I love driving in my convertible with the top down. It’s all good. But in terms of sports…baseball is the only thing going. I love baseball. But there is no college sports. NFL football is only in training camp and exhibition games that no longer interest me like they did when I was a kid. And basketball is fortunately only limited to the women’s game, which I only tacitly pay attention to. Sorry, all you Storm fans. I’m just not there. And sorry Sounders and MLS fans. I don’t hate Soccer like some who complain of its boring low scoring matches. But they have so many, boring low scoring matches. And I still don’t understand what games count, what trophies count, and how you can play in a tournament in the middle of a season that is completely unrelated to the league in which you play. So, July and August are close, very close. But they fall just a tiny bit short.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle SeahawksOctober is great because the weather at the start of the month is still pretty decent. We have FOOTBALL! Both college and NFL football are well underway, promising fun and excitement every weekend. And Major League baseball is conducting its playoffs and World Series with nearly daily intrigue. I can still go fishing. And, while I don’t do it much anymore…I can go hunting and enjoy a weekend with my dog. October also is the start of the NBA season. Since the Oklahoma Raiders stole my beloved Sonics from Seattle, the start of the NBA season means considerably less to me. In fact, it means almost nothing. I am still a bitter Sonics fan. But…I do love October.

And then…there is April. April is the first month since October or even September some years, when you can expect daily temperatures near 60-degrees. ! YEA! Warmth! I’m a fair weather fisherman, so April see’s me out on my canoe on local lakes.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

And in terms of spectator sports for the sports nuts like me? It’s a plethora of enjoyment, a cacophony of choices, a riches of experiences. It all starts with the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball championship. And in years like this when a local team, Gonzaga, is playing deep into the March Madness tournament it’s even better. Baseball’s opening day dawns in the first week with every year promising championship dreams…even when those dreams are irreconcilably impossible. I seldom watch golf or play it. But The Master’s this week and every year is not so much golf as it is an event and tradition and history. It’s often high drama. And for others, as I’ve already mentioned this doesn’t really apply to me…much…their is the soccer season underway with the Sounders here in Seattle and there is the start of the marathon NBA playoffs, the only major sport that takes two months to finish the season after having finished the season. Seahawks logo Lastly, us NFL and Seahawks lovers are given the gift of the NFL Draft in April, with the promise of new stars coming to your team to help take you to the promised land by filling the wholes you perceive your team has.

And I haven’t even mentioned the blooming of flowers and their scents and colors, and the return of leaves to the trees and birds and little animals scurrying about after a winter in hibernation. Life begins again in April. I LOVE IT!

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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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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.

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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Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

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

YouTube vs. Facebook: Only One Of These Still Has An Audience | Betabeat

Is it possible that the King of social media could be taken down? The answer is…its already happening. Click on the link below for some hard facts about your need to put your business on YouTube.

YouTube vs. Facebook: Only One Of These Still Has An Audience | Betabeat.

Total Broadcasting Service puts you and/or your business on YouTube. You can’t use 20th Century business practices in the 21st Century and be successful. Grow your business. Join the 21st Century. Call Total Broadcasting: 425-687-0100.

 

Come to our Website for videos, special deals, and inspiration.

Come to our Website for videos, special deals, and inspiration.

Who Will Raise Your Kids Since It Won’t Be You?

Child play

I can only imagine the guilt and pain that comes every day a mother or sometimes a father drops their young children at a daycare facility where people they barely know care for their off spring. People that seldom have more than a high school education, and seldom have much life experience beyond high school because day care workers tend to be young. The times when the young ones cling to their mommy and/or daddy and plead “Do you have to work today?” has to be one of the most heart retching experience any parent must face. This is hard and made harder by the knowledge it’s not necessary if the parent makes the right decisions and displays courage. Our experience with AdvoCare has presented to me lots of examples of parents who no longer have both parents working out of the home and entrusting the raising of their kids to some other mostly unknown persons.

Paques01

The importance of being present for your kids is one my wife and I learned early on. And I’m proud to say our kids saw virtually no time in daycare. Being there for your kids is a gift to them you can never give at a later time. That’s why it’s called a “present”. My beautiful wife and I have raised three kids. Though using the past-tense is a little premature since 1) Our youngest is just now entering high school, and 2) Do you ever finish raising your kids? But we have “raised” our kids past the age of any needed daycare. I’m proud of the decisions we made to sacrifice the extra income and status that could have come from working outside the home and leaving the responsibility of raising children to those whose values may not be ours.

Let’s start by stating what must be said. I am sympathetic to the argument that parents only do this because they must. I’m sympathetic not because the statement is true but because it is so common and thought to be true and too many people have fallen into the false belief that no options exist to allow for reasonable, mature adults to bypass the daycare lie and spend the necessary 10-18 years giving of themselves the most valuable community gesture they can. All of society benefits from a well-raised child. And every study over many years and common sense shows that kids raised with at least one parent in the home are far better adjusted and far less likely to travel down dark paths as they grow into adulthood. And such kids are far more likely to be successful as adults and possess the positive values instilled by parents who were present.

LYS87girls

And to the hyperventilating Liberal haters out there who will falsely claim I’m just advocating a 1950s society where the little woman is the care taker of the kids and subservient to the husband I say quite loudly SHUT UP. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. In my house it was me who was home with the kids, most of the time. We became parents October 31, 1987 and in the 26 years since my wife has usually worked 40+ hour per week jobs outside the house. I too worked 40+ hours per week, and continue to do so. But I either worked out of the home or in jobs that had me home by early to mid-afternoon before kids returned home from school. For about 2-3 years before my son was old enough we had a Nanny come into our home even though our combined incomes were only middle-class. But even during this time I was still home early in the afternoon before my oldest daughter got home from school. Since opening our audio and video production company Total Broadcasting Service in 2005 we’ve twice tried to bring Mommy home only to find the lost outside income and health benefits she had while working for someone else too much to overcome. The result- I coached my sons and daughters in softball, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. I, thus, got to know their friends and the Moms and Dads of their friends. I saw to it that they got to their homework after school and that they didn’t come home to an empty house. They were safe and happy.

Your kids deserve the opportunity to be kids. They deserve the opportunity to sleep until they wake, instead of being woke at the crack of dawn, hustled to the car and driven to that house or daycare facility and hurriedly left in the hands of someone who isn’t mom or dad. Wouldn’t your kids eat better when you’re preparing their fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks and parts of meals than day after day of mass-produced mac & cheese? When they fall down and cry wouldn’t their boo-boo be best nurtured by Mom or Dad than by someone who needs to quickly put them down in order to tend to someone else’s child?

And since day care is so darned expensive just how much is gained by parents not being there? According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) the cost of daycare for infants and toddlers is $300-$1564 per month (and I don’t even want to think about the $300 places. YIKES!). The state of Washington, where I live, is the seventh most expensive state in the U.S. for infant-toddler care at over $10,000 per year. In 2012 the average working woman made only $35,000. So, in a 2-income household the average working woman was leaving care and raising for her youngest kids for an extra $25,000 or less. Probably more like $20,000 when the unnecessary expense of gas and car maintenance and mileage, as well as eating out are subtracted.

Could you work at home part-time, raise your own kids, and make $20,000? With Advocare you definitely can. Again using myself as an example we’re working a plan that will have us earning $12,000 in our first year representing Advocare’s high quality health, nutrition and weight loss products. And we have only been able to devote about 5 hours per week to the effort. Naturally we expect that will grow in year two. Our friends and mentors started with AdvoCare almost four years ago and worked it on a more full-time basis and earned $60,000 their first year, and over $166,000 in their third. Could you raise your kids on $60,000 per year? How about $166k? And consider this, are you in a job where you could realistically expect to grow your income to $60k annually in 3 years? How about $166k? Most people will say no.

And we’ve found the “selling” of Advocare easy. And so will you. It really comes down to using the products. My wife and I lost over 100 pounds combined in 8 months using the 24 Day Challenge and Advocare products thereafter. After using the products, you simply tell people of your experience and encourage them to try them too. How hard is that? What makes it even easier is that Advocare provides you with an incredible training program that should you choose to participate, listen and follow will make success and a good income inevitable. You can do this.

Your kids would want you to. Your kids want you to be healthy and to have the energy and the time to devote to them. And that’s what you want too. Like all things it will require you to try. You must try. If you don’t try you’re guaranteed to fail. Simple.

Call me to learn more: 425-687-0100.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Obama’s weak record on freedom of the press | Editorials | The Seattle Times

To the Seattle Times and other media outlets that are appalled at the Obama Administrations lack of openness all I can say is, “Welcome to the party!” But lets ignore the fact that you’re a late comer and just embrace the fact that you came at all.

Click on the link below for a good, but obvious editorial the Seattle Times has decided to present…finally.

Editorial: Obama’s weak record on freedom of the press | Editorials | The Seattle Times.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

Conflicting Feelings For a Parent.

Your author, step-mother Terri, my Dad Jerry Schuett, and brother Jeff.

I’m not the only one out there with conflicting feelings about my parents, or any specific parent. I can’t be. And this blog and other blogs I’ve written confirms this for me.

Today, had he lived my Dad would have been 75 years old. Unfortunately he was only on this planet until he was 64. At 48 years of age I can say with far more assuredness than I felt at the time of his death, that’s too damned young.

My Dad died of liver disease brought on in part by medical malpractice and in part, I’m guessing, with his life long habit of enjoying a cocktail whenever he felt like enjoying a cocktail.

Jerome Mathis Schuett was born September 26, 1937 to Delores and Shelby Schuett in Bellingham, Washington. He was born to people of moderate income and moderate everything else. Which is to say…he was born an American.

He was fiercely proud of being American, but his pride came from little effort of his own. He lived a life in which he tried to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and be damned anyone who in any way inhibited his selfish desires. He was American.

I clashed with my Dad through much of my teens and early adulthood. I never felt he was racist, but in today’s context few would say he wasn’t. He opposed me marrying a black woman. I distinctly remember jokes told in a family setting in my childhood that were racially tainted and disturbed me. But I also remember him speaking highly of people of color who impressed him. I remember him calling me Jackie Robinson for having ignored his opposition to marrying a black woman and saying, “You showed that it was all right”.

I felt he lacked ambition. And I felt a lack of respect for him because of it. But he worked for himself the last 27 years of his life, running his own business. Having done the same for the past seven years I have a new-found respect for how difficult that can be.

My Dad lost his temper far more than anyone would like. He never showed a reverence for Jesus, that I feel. My Dad seldom showed much reverence for anything that didn’t immediately serve his specific need or purpose. But he always counseled me not to hurt others. He always counseled me to NEVER start a fight, but if I did I better finish it.

It’s hard to imagine how my life would be shaped without him. But 25% of our nation is raised without a father. It’s frustrating to think of all the angry episodes he displayed for me in my formative years for all to see; and how in spite of my vow to not do the same how I have on far too many occasions done so.

What I can’t get over, what I can’t reconcile in my heart and in my mind……………………..is how much I miss him and wish he had been available to me for counsel during some of the more trying times in my life.

My Dad was an extremely flawed man. Which, I guess, means that I am likewise. Because I will never forget his death-bed. At one point when he could no longer talk I said, “I hope you’re proud of me.” Though he couldn’t speak he almost cried, and with his reaction told me all I needed to know to forgive him his many flaws, and to love him the rest of my life.

You have parents. Hopefully they are loving and free of the contradictions that cause my conflicted emotions for my father. But as I’ve written before, if he/she is there, if they are present in your life, they have fulfilled more than what more than 25% of American fathers fulfill. Be grateful. Because someday, like my friend Rob McBride told me a long time prior to my own fathers death and a short time after his own father’s death, “forgive him for your own sake. You’ll miss him/them when they’re gone.”

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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