Wednesday, August 31, 2005


In 1997, after being fired from my flying job, I jumped back into radio, my second home. I went to work for a NewsTalk station in Redding, KQMS, KQMS/Redding Radio as a board operator. I worked my way up from weekends to being a reporter to the evening then the morning news anchor slot.

I loved it.

What I really wanted to do was be a talkshow host. I wanted the 1-hour morning slot or the 2-hour afternoon drive. Heck...I'd have even taken one of the Saturday morning slots. I was engineering all of them anyways.

What I found out was that I wasn't ready for it. My wife says I had become arrogant and frankly, she didn't like me all that much in the two years I was working at the radio station.

But now...I see an opening I've been wishing for for a long on!

Talk-show host Roberts says KQMS booted him
By Marc Beauchamp, Record Searchlight
August 31, 2005

Radio talk-show host Ray Roberts, a fixture of KQMS for the past seven years, was fired late Monday afternoon, the veteran broadcaster said Tuesday.

Roberts, 69, was co-host of "In Conversation" from 3:15 to 5 p.m. weekday afternoons. The show will continue with co-host Steve Gibson and Jim Bremer, who will temporarily replace Roberts, General Manager Lisa Geraci said.

The abrupt departure of Roberts, who also served as the station's program manager, doesn't presage a format change for KQMS, Geraci said. "It's a business decision," she said. "Radio is constantly evolving."

KQMS is one of six radio properties Regent Broadcasting of Redding owns.

"I was blindsided completely," said Roberts, a native of Memphis, Tenn., who has been in radio since the mid-'50s. "It floored me ... there was no warning, no argument, nothing." On Tuesday afternoon, the station's Web site still featured a photo gallery of Roberts' summer vacation to the Oregon coast.

Asked about his plans, Roberts said, "I love Redding. I'm not going anywhere."

Reporter Marc Beauchamp can be reached at 225-8221 or at

Copyright 2005, Redding. All Rights Reserved.

Ray Roberts. My wife calls him "marble mouth". He's hearing impaired, wears hearing aids and has a tendency to talk fast and mumble. He's also from Memphis so throw in a southern dialect and you have one very interesting character. I've enjoyed him on the radio, he is opinionated, but at his age, he's allowed to be. Now it's time for new blood.

And I think I might throw my hat into the ring.

We'll see...


Sunday, August 28, 2005

In A Little While...

This phrase is repeated time and again in the Epistles when the writer is talking about trials, temptations and tribulations. Peter says it. Paul refers to it. James talks about it. Jesus tells of of it and the writer of Hebrews tells us all about the saints of old who dealt with it.

Bad news for those of you who think this life is supposed to be a bowl of cherries.

It ain't.

And despite what Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen say, this life can suck and suck big time. You WILL experience hard times. Even people who seem to have soloed under a lucky star have hard times. They must just hide it better than most.

Especially for Christians. It's almost a sin to admit your are going through a hard time. It's almost a sin to admit you're struggling with your faith. And if you do admit it, you must put up a good front, wear your troubles like a badge of honor showing how much more spiritual you are than the next guy.

But you will experience trials. Jesus told me. Paul reaffirmed it. (Not only in words but by experience!) Peter and James told us what it will gain us. And for three weeks straight, all the sermons at church have been about trials, tribulations and our response to them. What it should be and what it usually is.

A couple of thoughts have come to mind regarding this issue.

1. I'm a putz. I'm worried that it's been nearly 3 months since my suspension and the gov't hasn't decided my fate. My future is in limbo and I'm dealing with personal issues that I have ignored and hoped they'd go away. It is a trial for sure but I'm reminded there are those who's trials are a hell of a lot worse than mine.

What about the guy who's got a wife and two kids and cancer? What about the woman who gives up everything to care for her senile parents? What about the mother of a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice in war?

I'm a schmuck whining about my problems. Not that my problems aren't real or aren't causing problems, it's about perspective.

In a little while they will be gone.

2. I've noticed that I have become more cynical after each trial. Less trusting of my fellow man. Less trusting of God. times, I don't trust God. I get mad at Him. I scream and yell and cuss Him out. I tell Him he has no idea what He's putting me throught, again, and that I've had it.

Like I said, I'm such a schmuck.

God is slowly grinding away all of the crap that evangelical Christianity has shoved down my throat for the last 40 years. Real Live Preacher tells his story and I find I'm sympathetic to it. It rings true to me. Follow this link... RLP's Story

Bono echoes some of this in the song "In A Little While" from the album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind". He's talking about a girl but the first two verses, at least through my ADHD filter, follow what Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 1:3-8...

In a little while
Surely you'll be mine
In a little while...I'll be there
In a little while
This hurt will hurt no more
I'll be home, love

When the night takes a deep breath
And the daylight has no air
If I crawl, if I come crawling home
Will you be there?

In a little while
I won't be blown by every breeze
Friday night running to Sunday on my knees....

Slow down my beating heart
A man dreams one day to fly
A man takes a rocket ship into the skies
He lives on a star that's dying in the night
And follows in the trail, the scatter of light
Turn it on, turn it one, you turn me on

Slow down by beating heart...

In a little while I'll be out of this trial and not long after this one is over, another will come down the pike. Whether it's punishment for disobedience or a building of character I don't know and I've given up caring. It's a fact of life and I'll just accept it when it comes. Some day, my best life now will be beyond night...


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Back To School...

My kids started school yesterday (Monday). We moved them out of the local K-8 school to University Prepatory School, a local charter school. (It's for smart kids!) Looking at the requirements for the various classes I was seeing stuff that I had done in college. Mind you, college for me was in 1983-85 but still...having a sixth grader do mean, median and mode computations and figuring probabilities is...well...hard! I was telling my wife I might have to go back to school with these kids just so I can help them with their homework!

The school actually offers classes throughout the year for parents who have been away from school for a while so they can help their kids with homework. I might have to visit the math classes...the language art/social studies and science classes I seem to remember.

I asked my 7th grade son how school was and he said "fine". I asked him if he had met anyone he knew and he said no. I then asked him if there were any hot girls and he grinned saying, "YEAH!" (I did that just to bug his mother!) He also informed us that the guys were "nerds". I went with him on the first day and sat with him until they dismissed them to their various counselors and he's right. Most of the guys are nerds and the girls are hotties. They didn't make girls like that when I was in Jr. High, I'll tell you that for nothing!

I think the learning curve is going to be steep for both kids but I'm confident that they'll be better for it by the end of the year. Whereas they kind of breezed through Public School...this may be a bit of a challenge for both of certainly will be for their parents.


Friday, August 19, 2005

A Reason Is Not An Excuse...

....but it is an explanation.

ADDers can seem rude or ignorant, lazy, or rowdy. Often it’s assumed that a person with ADD is hiding some deep rebellion, and his lateness or lack of discipline is a passive-aggressive way of taking revenge. But people with ADD are as frustrated with their problems as those around them. -T.A. Whiteman

This was quoted over at the ADDForum I'm frequenting these days. Now if I could just give this to my employers/friends and have them understand, things might be different.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Took A Test...

....not what I expected....

Eric, your career personality type is ISFP

That means that based on the standard measure of personality traits, you are well-balanced and place equal importance on work as on your personal life. You are dedicated to maintaining a level of culture in your life and therefore won't sacrifice interesting work for high pay.

With your high energy and chameleon-like adaptabilities, you seek work that is fast-paced and ever-changing. Working directly with people, especially in a capacity that benefits them, provides you with that outlet.

You prefer to live in the moment and appreciate what life and work offer now. The future is unknowable and does not draw you in like the present. Part of your easy-going outlook towards the future has to do with knowing that you can adapt to whatever comes your way.

The reason employers and recruiters might be on the lookout for you is that only about 5% of the U.S. population shares the unique characteristics of your personality type. Research shows that businesses succeed when employers create a good balance of personality types in the office. And since only 5% of the U.S. population shares your type, that means employers are looking for you.

But what I find I really am, based on the descriptions at Myers & Briggs I’m more…


Go figure…


Found A Cool Quote...

It's like as if around age 6, everyone else on earth got a lesson in life that I must have been absent for.

Holy Cow.

I have found a place that has been an oasis for me. It's full of people who are JUST LIKE ME!!!


What a relief to find others who are going through the same things I am. Finally, someone, besides my counselor, who really understands what it's like being inside my head!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Alpha, Beta, Theta...

No...I'm not learning the Greek alphabet. Those are brain wave patterns.

Found out today that some of us ADHDer's have a problem shifting into Beta mode. Let me explain.


Let me sum up.

Alpha waves - think of it as being in Drive on your car. (This is how it was explained to me...made perfect sense.)

Beta waves - think of it as being LOW or First gear. You need it when you need to buckle down and concentrate.

Theta waves - good old cruise control.

AHDHer's have a hard time getting into Beta mode. We live in the Alpha/Theta range. But when we do get into Beta, sometimes we become hyper-sensitive, ignoring time. Of course sometimes when we're concentrating really hard, even the slightest distraction can yank us out of Beta.

Clear? I thought not.

While medication is out for me (would kill my career as a pilot), there is a bio-feedback method of training the brain. Rewarding you with a "beep" everytime you get your brain into Beta. Think Schick-Schadel Stop Smoking Clinics from the 70's. They wire you up and zap you everytime you took a puff from the old cancer stick. Some people continued smoking just to get the least...that's the Urban Legend.

I don't know where all this will lead. A lot of what has been suggested by the counselor I've been doing. Retraining myself to exist within society's box. And yet, every few years or so, I explode out of the box and it gets messy. Time to teach an old dog new tricks.

I hope that I'll hear from the USFS what they plan on doing to me. The waiting is driving me nuts. I've finished two books and practically surfed the entire internet (not really....just feels like it!).

I've also completed my application to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in their On-Line Degree Completion program. We'll see what I have to do to finish the old Bachelor's Degree. Then I'll decide what's next...maybe a career change. Maybe not.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

What? Me Lie....

(This is in a response to a comment posted over at The Door Magazine Chat Closet...>

Conspiracy theories aside, I still have problems with using the words, "another man's lies" when I comes to George W. Bush and his Administration.

Regardless of how we got into the current war we are involved in, the terroists attacks on American's and American Embassies in the 90's and coming to ultimate affront known as 9/11, we live in a different world.

We are no longer the sleeping giant who was awoken. We weren't slumber as a nation. I think we were emasculated by bowing to much of what can be called out and out hatred of the American way of life. People who succeed, whether on the backs of others or through diligent work, are often seen in a negative light. I think this has to do with people wanting a hand out, not a hand up.

I certainly see that in my life. There are days when I despise my wealthy friends their wealth. Most of them earned it. I rail at God for not granting me the opportunities to succeed knowing full well that I have squandered many such opportunities though fear.

But in our country, our soldiers volunteer. No one puts a gun to their head and makes them sign. In High School, I took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). I got the 2nd highest score in the nation. (I cheated...kept working after "time" was called on each segment of the test.) The "reward" for my cheating? I was contacted by recruiters for a month. The Army and Navy were incredibly insistent. Calling on me a couple times a week. If I wasn't so caught up in teenage rebellion against authority, I might have succumbed to the high pressure sales job. (In hindsight, I kind of wished I'd gone the military route, might have made a dent in my ADD and made me a different man.)

I can understand a parents anguish when their child dies in a war that isn't as defined as, say, WWII. It's my opinion that longing for a "clean" war like WWII is useless. We may never have a war like that ever again. The world climate is changing. The gloves are off and rules don't matter. Honor on the battlefield is a notion forgotten.

It also galls me that people on both sides of the issue will use a parents grief to further a political agenda instead of helping to ease the parents pain. Instead of trying to bring closure, comfort and acceptance, they are wrangled into so kind of pseudo-political, "I-feel-your-pain", protest. What a waste of compassion. What a diservice those people do.

War is hell. It will never be clean, pretty or sanitary. Even smart bombs leave death and destruction behind. There will always be one group of people who hate another group and will convince themselves that violence is the only solution. Just ask Hamas. They claim the withdrawl of Israeli's from the Gaza strip was brought about not by negotiation but by the violence of terrorism.

Maybe it's true. I doubt it. But even though, they are not happy with any concession. They will only be happy with a Palestinian Nation. And not just a Palestinian Nation but the caveat of "..with Jerusalem as its Capital" serves only to stir the already roiling pot.

Do I think our young men and women are giving up their lives for a lie? No. Do I think the Bush Administration made decisions based on weak information? Sure. Do I think there is a bit of tit-for-tat in the invasion of Iraq? Sure. Was it the deciding factor? No. Was our invasion of Afghanistan justified? Hell yes.

Are there easy answers for grieveing families? No. Will there ever be? I don't know. Only time and history will tell.

My two cents. Take it for what it's worth.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Many Years Ago...

....I wanted to be a teacher. A history teacher. A seventh grade history teacher, specifically.

Why 7th grade? World History...The Renaissance...Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. The story of the world from Day One to now has always fascinated me. Especially the past.

I had the privilege of visiting many places by the time I was 16. I lived in England and Saudi Arabia. Visited Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Switzerland (twice), and Greece. (My siblings added Singapore, Thailand, Kenya and Hong Kong to the list.) I thoroughly enjoyed each trip. I saw the Parthenon, the Coliseum, the canals in Amsterdam, Loch Ness and Inverness, the Alps, and the Greek Isles.

So, at age 40, I'm thinking about making a drastic career change. I'm researching colleges (online and local) where I can finish my Bachelors and exploring the process of being credentialed in California. When I see the words "student teacher" as part of the process I chuckle. Most student teachers are in their early 20's. I'll be in my early 40's!

But I've taught in the past. Sunday School and flying. While they might not be on the same level as Middle School History, both imparted knowledge. And I think I'm fairly good at it. I know I could be better with training.

My wife is behind my idea. Initially. I don't think she has thought through the whole idea. She did bring up costs but I do qualify for many scholarships and student loans. I have yet to research grants but know there's money out there for education. It's simply a matter of finding it.

Why did I abandon the path towards educator? I sucked at college. I wasn't ready. Didn't have the maturity to knuckle down and do the work. I know I can do better this time around. It will be harder. Working full-time, wife and kids, denying those things I've let myself enjoy like going to movies, eating out, vacations; all of that will vie for my attention.

(In my research for scholarships I discovered that with my varied work background, combined with my wife's, my kids will have many more opportunities to fund their education than simply out of my pocket! This is good news!)

A lot of this hinges on the USFS's decision whether I'm getting a slap on the wrist or terminated. The next week or so should tell...


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Good Haircut... a thing of beauty!

Many years ago I was flying freight and sleeping in the back of an airplane 5 nights a week. My long(ish) hair was usually a disaster in the morning and I grew tired of messing with it. I asked the gal who was cutting my hair at the time to take it really short...she balked. He boss, a 70 year old hispanic gentleman, came to my rescue. He gave me a flat top.

For about 7 years, that was my hairstyle of choice. Much to my wife's chagrin. She missed running her fingers through my long, blonde hair. So, when I started work at the Forest Service and became too busy or on the road to get my monthly hair cut, I grew it out. In that time I found only two gals who could cut my hair the way I wanted it. "A Number 3 along the sides, short on the top, then blend it."


The first gal, Nicki, is a friend of my wifes. She is just getting back into the hair styling business and was using my kids and I as guinea pigs. She did a great job. Took her time. Worked at it.

The next gal was at a salon in Mesa, Arizona. I asked for the same thing and, taking her time, she gave me a great haircut.

(I did, momentarily, go back to a flat top last May. While in Santa Barbara I needed a haircut. So I took some time off and ran down the street. There was a "super cuts" type place and a local joint. The local joint was run by a family of Mexican', uncle and son. I asked the son if he could do a flat top. "Not a Marine Corp job, just straight up the sides and flat on top."

20 minutes later, I walked out with a dandy flat top.

So, after nearly 5 years, I went back to Louie. He had some time and proceeded to give a flat top. We chatted about this, that and the other as we had in the past and it was like I'd just seen him last month. We talked about "bad haircuts". He said there is no such thing as a bad haircut because most people these days want their hair to look like that. He related a story where one of his collegues said the client wanted a specific hair style. He said, "Louie...I don't know how to do that!" Louie replied, "Just give him a bad haircut." The other barber said he didn't know how to give a bad hair cut. Louie told him, "Sure you do...just do it like you did when you first started!"

The client was happy. Go figure.

My joke, when the stylist has been nervous about the haircut she just gave me, is to tell them, "You know the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut?"


"2 Weeks."

That, and as a male, I can get a flat top or a buzz and start all over!

Now I'm "mostly bald" as I told my wife last night when she commented that I was bald. There is a difference. All bald means there's only one thing to do...go through his pockets and look for loose change!!!

On the other front...had my big meeting with management at Sacramento. One vote, from the Safety Officer, to recommend termination. Management side of the house hasn't decided. The Union Rep says I have good legs to stand on but, without saying so, he made it sound like a 50-50 chance of me keeping my job.

I really want to keep my job. For many reasons. Not just pay but stability for my wife and kids. She finally feels, after 40 years, that she's finally found a home with friends, co-workers...the whole nine yards. My kids have known no other place as home as Redding. I never had that stability growing up and neither did she. I, being ADD, don't mind the moving, the adventure of something new. I like that.

She doesn't. It scares her, stresses her out. I chose to ignore this thinking she would adapt as she always has done in the past. She has chosen not to adapt anymore. This is home. I really need to keep my job. Or find one that allows me to stay in Redding.