So, this was one of THOSE weeks. It seems everyone in the office is having a birthday. We love to acknowledge our team, both inside the KOST announce booth and in the business office. We always put up silly signs, hang colored crepe paper, find a cake and sing the Happy Birthday Song. Today was no exception. However, here is where the story turns a bit strange.
There was a cake (actually two cakes) and cupcakes to celebrate. Everybody loves cupcakes, right? Wrong! It's almost 6pm, the office has emptied and there sits the cake and cupcakes in the KOST kitchen. Is everyone on a diet this week?
Who wants a piece of cake? Wait a second, I have an idea. Let's get Mikey to try it!
Can someone explain to me why Thursdays are so popular? Just in case you doubt my question, I'm serious.
It's an unexplained phenomenon. For decades, Thursdays have been the most-watched TV night of the entire week. It's also the most popular radio listening day. Last, but not least, Thursday records a frenzy of activity and numerous posts on Facebook.
So, what makes Thursday special? Experts have tried to figure it out for years. Once, Thursday was the main coupon day and the most active day at the grocery store. Many companies pay their employees every-other-Thursday. Again, you have to ask why?
If you have the answer, please let the rest of us know. And, if you could, make it today. After all, it's a Thursday.
It's not just the dirtiest place in the kitchen. According to some experts, it's the dirtiest place in your entire house! We're talking about the handy coffee maker in the kitchen.
Rather than argue with the experts, I'll take their word for it. There are germs galore from the top of the coffee maker to the reservoir and the glass container below. Not good for your health.
So, how do we solve this dilemma or cut back on the buggies? Here's their quick suggestion:
Mix one part white vinegar to two parts water (it should amount to a full pot) and then run it through your machine. Dump the mixture down the drain, follow with running through one full pot of water and you're set. At least, you're good for another few days.
If it's been a while since you last cleaned your machine, repeat the water and vinegar process up to two times. White vinegar is the most preferred choice. Apple cider vinegar can leave an unpleasant aftertaste. And, nothing is worse than ruining a good cup of coffee.
Now, let's end on a happy note. What's your favorite brew-at-home coffee? We'd really love to know.
When it comes to saving money, we could all use a few helpful suggestions. Here are seven ways to cut expenses. You may or may not agree with each one, but it's worth a discussion.
#1 Drop all the paid TV services. Even the $8 a month for DVD rentals can add up over the course of a year. Plus, many TV shows are now available online free. Remember, when TV came to your home free over-the-air? It still does with the proper antenna.
#2 Quit buying new books and magazines. At the very least, find a good used book store like the one in the Los Cerritos Mall. You can read many bestsellers for $1-$3 each. Libraries are still an option, too. Consider swapping books with a friend who loves to read. Some people have a bigger home library that you would realize.
#3 Eating Out in expensive! You can cook at home for much less. If you miss the social aspect of it, consider taking the family out for dessert occasionally. Especially, when there's a BOGO coupon (buy-one-get-one).
#4 Watch the travel expenses. Do you really need two or three vehicles? Insurance premiums alone are a killer! Is there any chance you could somehow benefit from public transportation? Don't forget how quickly the maintenance costs add up over time. And, let's not even get into new versus used vehicles. Either way, it's your second largest investment and simply depreciates in value from year to year.
#5 Hair and Nails. Oh, no! You thought we would forget. This can save hundreds of dollars in a very short time. Is there a talented hairdresser than doesn't charge as much as you've been paying? Also, consider doing it at home or going an extra week or two between salon visits.
#6 Phones and Internet. Do you really need that landline? You could save as much as $100 a month without it! What about your cell data plan? Are there any new promotions that would cut your bill? As for the Internet, are you paying too much for the download speed that you get at home? Talk with your DSL provider and see if there's a less expensive plan that still covers your email and web surfing needs.
#7 Groceries. Plan ahead and make yourself a list of weekly meal suggestions. It's the best way to save on your grocery bills, without the usual impulse buying. Coupons can trim your bill, or shop at a well-known establishment that offers lower prices instead of coupons. Have you ever done a little comparison shopping for the things you usually purchase? It can be shocking! Some items are DOLLARS less from one store to another. Again, it really adds up over time.
Do you have any additional suggestions? Let us know. We'd love to share your comments, too.
Today, a lot of people have been asking me about the April Fools Day that Karen Sharp and I did the KOST morning show together. It's true! Our boss thought it would be a funny promotion to take advantage of the crazy holiday. In reality, I think we were the crazy ones for doing it.
For several decades, Karen and I did back-to-back Love Songs shows six nights out of the week. We were both "Night Owls" that didn't mind staying up late, often way past midnight.
So, along comes the idea to have us switch with the morning team. No problem, right? Well, except for the fact that Karen and I had to be "live" at 5am following our regular late night radio shows. Meanwhile, the morning team slept in that morning, and showed up at 7pm the night of April 1st for our two shows. Anyone who listened to either show was confused, but entertained.
Did we achieve our goal? I believe we did. Everyone in SoCal was talking about the switch and tuning in to hear the fun on KOST. As for me and Karen, we're still trying to catch up on our sleep.
Okay, I know better. We shouldn't be eating from vending machines anyway. It's snack food, right? But, sometimes you have no other choice. It's starve yourself or have a snack. But, do they have to take advantage of a guy?
Maybe you haven't noticed, but snacks are getting smaller and smaller. However, they just keep charging us the same amount for LESS. If the food bars get any smaller, they'll become food nibbles. We've watched the small one-ounce food bars drop to 0.81oz. Hey, where's my other 20% of the bar?
Of course, some companies have adopted a second option - just make the bag bigger by 80% and charge the customer double what they used to charge. Huh? Do they really think we're that stupid? You don't even need a calculator for that one!
Oh, well. That's my soap box discussion for the day. Maybe, we need a new reality TV show called Vending Machine Wars. We can kick something, get really mad and stomp around the kitchen. Wait a minute, that's already a show!
Growing up, Easter was one of my favorite holidays. There was the usual pageantry surrounding the Christ, which was frequently accompanied by a musical performance at church or (in one case) an Easter Parade through the streets of downtown San Bernardino.
The ritual of coloring Easter Eggs is a happy memory for me, too. However, I often got dye on my clothing, a table cloth or worse. Truthfully, I wasn't a big fan of boiled eggs. So, I would generally eat the candy and leave most of the eggs in the basket. One year, tired of looking at the rainbow basket, I hid it somewhere in my closet - with the rotting Easter Eggs!
I'm surprised that our house wasn't ticketed as a hazardous waste zone. The horrible smell went from a slight odor one day, to an overwhelming stench the next. Today, I can laugh about it. When I was in elementary school, it wasn't very funny.
Over the years, my parents shared the rotten egg story with anyone who would listen. The moral of the story is, don't be a rotten egg. If you don't finish the eggs, you'll end up with a stinky story like mine.
Spring is officially here! That means it's that time to watch for strawberries, cherries and plums. At least, that's what it used to mean. Nowadays, a lot of our fruits come from Peru, Mexico and places south of here. So, we can enjoy fruits all year long. Still, there's nothing better than a plump and juicy piece of fresh and perfectly ripe locally grown fruit.
I remember one summer when I was vacationing with my parents in the Midwest. A friend of ours had an orchard of cherry trees. Guess who spent an entire day climbing ladders and cherry picking? You guessed it. That was heavenly, despite the hard work.
We ate so many melons when I was a kid; I'm surprised that I haven't turned into a cantaloupe. And, strawberries? We grew them in the back hard. How do they get as big as your fist? I never knew, because we always picked them the minute they turned a deeper shade of red.
Grapes are supposed to be one of the best kept secrets for longevity and great health. That's good, because I've had my share of grape popsicles over the years. (I hope that counts!) A famous doctor once told me, the red and purple grapes are better for you than green. Plus, the real fruit is better for you than the juice. But, isn't that true with any fruit?
Last, but not least, there's the kiwi. Where have you been hiding all my life? I love the taste of kiwi. But, blackberries are my new favorite. Sorry bananas, I left you out. Maybe, I've had one too many slices of banana nut bread.
What's your favorite fruit? Chances are, I haven't even mentioned it yet. That's what's so nice about fruits. There's always one more, like peaches or apples, watermelon or persimmons. I'll bet you didn't think of that one, did you?
Before I leave, how do you spell pomegranate? I hated picking through those things when I was younger. Now, I have a tree in my backyard. Just be careful eating them. They can leave a nasty stain on a white tee shirt.
If you've grown up in southern California during the past few decades, then you'll remember Tower Records. Their stores were legendary and almost as famous as the music they once housed. Sadly, when digital hit full stride, Tower Records disappeared.
Now, a Los Angeles author wants to save the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. Domenic Priore, author of "Riot on the Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood," will plead his case before a preservation commission on Tuesday.
Why save this iconic building? Well, for one thing, many of us spent some of our happiest hours at Tower Records. Endless hours we're clocked as we shuffled through our favorite vinyl, then CDs. Before Facebook, it was the best way to kill an hour while waiting on something more exciting. Best of all, they were open until midnight for those of us known as Night Owls.
Just how popular was Tower Records before the bankruptcy? Well, Elton John once joked that if his music failed him, he would work in a Tower Records store. I suppose that's similar to a coffee lover wishing for his day as the barista at Starbucks.
At very least, could we keep just one of the Tower stores as a reminder of the day the music died? And, if we win this one, the book stores are next!
Photograph by Mike Dillon