Terry Stevens' Point

  • Celeb 2 statistic

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    You may have heard that Corey Haim opted out of appearing in any future sequels to Lost Boys in the most official way possible.

     

    COREY HAIM

    Corey Haim, 1971-2010

     

    I always rooted for the vampires in Lost Boys, so I can't say that I was as touched by the news of his passing as much as a hardcore fan would be.  To be honest with you, I thought that the other Corey was the one that died when I heard the news.

     

    COREY FELDMAN

    "Nope.  I'm still alive.  My teen heartthrob status on the other hand..."

     

    Haim's struggles with drug use are pretty well publicized.  It wouldn't be a surprise to find out that drug use had something to do with his death.  His story could very easily end up being another "Celebrity needlessly wastes his life on drugs" story.

    That's a doggone shame.  Not just Haim's circumstance, but the way drug use is looked at in this country.

    I don't condone pharmaceutical recreation at all, but I also can't condone the way that it's percieved as a failing of character rather than an symptom of an illness.

    If someone is willing to ingest substances known to be highly toxic  in order to escape...something...  Well, that sounds like more of a mental disorder than someone just being a halfwit with drugs.

    Mental health services aren't always covered by health plans.  That could change soon in Wisconsin, but for right now they aren't.  When you can't afford expensive therapy or legal prescriptions, the street pharmacist might seem like a pretty good deal.

    A friend of mine works in the Marathon County Jail.  He was talking shop the other night about how many folks come in stoned to the gills on any number of substances, or for committing crimes to acquire those substances, and how many of them are "repeat customers" of the jail.  I have to wonder, with better access to mental health treatment, would these folks have a better go at life?

    At the very least, with better access to mental health care being available, we would be better able to sort the ones who are getting high for kicks out from the ones who are getting high in a misguided attempt at healing.

    Who knows?  Maybe that Lost Boys reboot could have happened.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Getting mad vs. getting better

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I know a guy who is probably royally peeved about Olive Garden coming to town.  My advertising consulting services are provided on a confidential basis, so names will be withheld for the purposes of this Blog.

    A few years ago, I visited a restaurant who was interested in advertising on the radio.  It was a locally owned joint and a pricier, fancier one at that. 

    In the course of my conversation with the restaurant's owner, he told me all about his food and how it was some of the best tasting stuff in town.  He showed off his fancy dining room with its romantic atmosphere.  I agreed that it was a nice looking place.

    Then, he proceeded to tell me how upset he was that a certain chain restaurant in town always seemed to have a full parking lot while his restaurant was a ghost town on most nights.  He couldn't believe that people would choose this VERY well known chain over his locally owned restaurant that offered what he felt was a superior menu.

    In his opinion, the people who were going out to eat there were wrong in their actions.

    As he was agitated and I wasn't as experienced a marketer/copywriter as I am today, I wasn't in a position to point out the massive flaw in his logic.

    Today, I will.

    Restaurants aren't about the food.

     

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

    "WHAAAAAT?" said the incredulous man...

     

    Hear me out.

    I can get food at home.  I can prepare it myself to my exact tastes.  I can get food at a billion different restaurants and grocery stores throughout Central Wisconsin.  If you're thinking that having really great food is all it takes to win the restaurant game, you're in for a nasty surprise.

    Restaurants are about the experience.

    There's a certain well known pizza chain that caters exclusively to children (and by proxy, their parents).  Anyone who has ever eaten at this chain will tell you that it is some of the worst tasting pizza on the planet.

     

    BAD PIZZA

    "Ew.  It taste like cardboard and feet."


    Bad pizza aside, the place make a ton of money.  Why?  The experience.

    There's another chain in town whose parking lot is PACKED every time I drive by.  I've eaten there before.  The food was okay.  But the experience, oh the experience!  There were waiters singing and dancing all over the place.  The atmosphere had all sorts of random craziness happening every few minutes.  It wasn't just a meal.  It was entertainment.

    Chicken wings used to be the tiniest, least desired part of the chicken.

    Add some rockin' sauce, a bunch of beer and TVs with sports on every wall and now you have an American institution.

     

    WINGS

    Admit it.  You want some now, don't you?

     

    For a lot of customers looking for place to eat, a great experience with even mediocre food trumps a mediocre experience with terrific food EVERY TIME.

    Getting back to the client at hand, I had actually eaten there once before.  The food was kinda "Meh" for me, especially at the prices the place charged.  The service was kinda "Meh" too.

    During my visit, I also saw that they let a dog hang out in the kitchen.  I'm never going to eat there again.

     

    CHEF PLUTO

    "MOM!  THE CHEF SHED IN MY PASTA!"

     

    Ultimately, the guy tried a couple weeks on the radio, decided that the fact he never advertised wasn't really his problem and went on his merry way.

    His parking lot is almost always empty when I drive by.

    A few reminders for my friends who run a business.

    1)  Don't get mad at the guy who's beating you.  Get better.  Offer something that can't, won't or don't.  Get creative like this guy:

     

    All sorts of joints sell furniture with rock bottom pricing, but nobody sells as much as that guy and all it costs him is a bag of onions every couple of weeks.

     

    2)  The experience you offer is just as, if not more, important as the product you offer.  Whaddaya wanna bet onion man knows how to engage a customer when they walk in?

     

    3)  Advertise, preferably with one of the radio stations I write for.  A ton of people listen to us.  We're worth every penny.  Call 842-1672 and ask for Dawn.

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Come for the cuteness, stay for the guitar work

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Seriously, this song and video are flippin' adorable.  Also, M. Ward (the dude in the shades) is an amazing musician that is well worth your time to check out.  And now, without further adieu, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, She & Him:

     

    Explore more She & Him music here:

     

    Definitely explore more of M. Ward's music here:

     

    Oh, and see him live too.  He's AWESOME!

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Just call me senden-Terry

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    As of this morning at 0830, I weigh in at 164.4 pounds.  I'm 5'10", which puts me at at a Body Mass Index of 23.6, or slightly on the higher end of normal according to this site.

    I eat right (for the most part), nor do I smoke.

    There's something else I don't do.  I don't exercise.  At all.

    Aside from my walk to work (a few blocks for sure, but not at a pace or distance that works up a sweat), my lifestyle is best described as sedentary.

    Actually, it would be senden-Terry, right?  Right?  (See?  I'm even too sloth-like to write good jokes.)

    I work at a desk.  When I'm home, I'm watching the tube, writing or reading.

    This HAS to change.

    I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic.  I manage my insulin and glucose levels quite well.  However, that's like trying to sit on a stool that has only 2 legs.  That 3rd leg is exercise.

    "So Terry, why don't you just go exercise instead of boring me with your whiny Blog? 

    RE:  Exercise, I hate it.  Seriously.

     

    GYM

    PICTURED:  Licensed torture facility

     

    I like walking or biking on streets and trails, but that's about it. Those activities are seasonal in nature.  (Get it?  In nature, cuz you have to go outside?  [CRICKETS]  Wow.  Tough room.)

    I don't play sports of any sort, largely because I'm a bit introverted and therefore not inclined to walk up to some cats and say, "Hello chaps.  Fancy a game of basketball?"

     

    JOCKS

    "Sure dude.  We'll play shirts versus nerd.  Guess which team you're on."

     

    Going to a gym and lifting heavy objects or running in place on a machine?  Ugh.  I know it's good for me but it's just so...  I dunno...  dull.  I've tried watching TV and listening to podcasts or music while I do it, but none of that shakes the feeling that I'm dying of boredom.

     

    HAMSTER

    Or devolving into a hamster

     

    Enough of this emo-whine fest.  The fact of the matter is, I need to get some physical activity into my life.  There's nothing too "The Biggest Loser" dramatic about a guy who weighs 164.4 pounds dropping to 163.  Don't worry, this won't become a daily thing on my Blog.

    When I'm faced with a challenge, I like to read about how others faced dealt with similar challenges.  Doing so makes me feel like my mission is do-able and that I'm not alone in my effort.

    If you're facing a similar challenge, I hope that my sharing makes you feel less alone in your efforts.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Why Larry the Cable Guy should never be in management

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Yesterday's Blog was looooooooooooooooooong.  Today's will be short.

    I wanted to share something with you that I read yesterday.  It's quite possibly one of the truest statements I've ever read.

    "If you don't have the time to do something right, you most certainly don't have the time to redo it."  -Seth Godin, "Small is the New Big"

    Keep that in mind the next time someone wants you to compromise quality for the sake of "git 'er done".

     

    GIT ER DONE

    This is not an example of quality control

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Shoplifters will be prosecuted...by Terry!

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Don't know if you caught this story today in the news section.

    The short version is that shoplifters may become more heavily prosecuted in the state of Wisconsin.

    SHOPLIFTERS

    This may or may not be representative of what Madison has in mind

     

    As a guy who used to work loss-prevention for a department store chain, I say, "Right on."

    That's right.  Back in the day before I was a radio host, I busted shoplifters.

    When I was 16, I visited with some family in Chicago.  My cousin and some buds of his worked as in loss prevention.  They regaled me with tales of their shoplifter-busting exploits.  To my impressionable 16-year old self, it was riveting.

    A couple of years later, I'm moving out on my own and in need of a line of work.  I worked in retail throughout my teens and decided that instead of serving customers, I was ready to nail them for stealing.  So, I applied for a loss prevention gig for the same chain that employed my cousin.

    Somehow, I landed the gig.

    I was trained in the fine art of loss prevention and the execution of a bust.  I wish I could tell you about all the tricks of the trade, but as a member of the sacred order of loss prevention associates, I am honor bound to keep the secrets secret.

    After being fully trained, I was ready to rock.  I was going to bust the baddies and save the world, one shoplifter at a time!  I felt like one of these:

     

    HEROES

    No, not a dork in a costume, a superhero.

     

    But after a few weeks on the job, I realized I was one of these:

     

    MALL COP

    Ah, mall cops.  All of the uniform.  None of the authority.

     

    Even worse, I was BORED!  BORED, BORED, BORED!

    Loss prevention is one of THE most boring jobs EVER!  You know why?  Because by and large, most people are pretty doggone honest.  I was being paid to watch people shop.  Big, blinkin' yawn fest is what it was.

    It was too bad too, as I was about as undercover as it got.  Back then, I looked kinda like this dude:

     

    METALHEAD

    "Dude, Metallica, you know?  Like, Metallica.  Hell yeah."

     

    I looked like the guy who was there to rob the store blind!

    Alas, while I had more than a few close calls,  I only scored one true bust.  Some idiot kid was trying on a bunch of different stuff right in front of the mirrors on the floor.  He would grab a shirt, put in on over the shirt he was wearing, take it off and then do the same with another shirt.  I thought for sure that he was going to just leave one of the shirts on and try to walk with it.

    Instead, he grabs a pair of Polo gloves, looks around furitively, yanks the tags and jams them into his coat pocket.  I picked the tag up from the floor while he wasn't looking, followed him and his mother outside and announced to the both of them that he was going to have to come with me.

    Mom was not pleased.

     

    ANGRY MOM

    "YOU are grounded forEVER!"

     

    Then I had to call the cops.

     

    COPS

    Unfortunately for the kid, officers Busty and Chesty weren't on duty that day.

     

    They hauled him off, angry mom in tow. 

    The saddest part of the whole deal?  If the gloves had been worth a buck-fifty less, I could have let him off with a warning.

    About a week later, a gal left the store with a shopping cart loaded down with about a grand worth of stuff while I was filling out paperwork.  A couple days later, a co-worker was beaten into "I need a hospital" condition over a sweater.  I decided that loss prevention wasn't really my calling.

     

    SWEATER

    PICTURED:  Not worth a savage beatdown


    A job where I had to expect the worst of humanity was too draining as was the sheer boredom.  I handed in my resignation and never looked back.

    Sometimes to find the thing you want to do, you have to figure out what you don't want to do.

    Here's hoping that you're either doing the thing you want to do, or on your way there.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Rube Goldberg would be proud

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    A bunch of kids from UW-Stout made the Rube Goldberg National finals.

    If there's one thing I love, it's Rube Goldberg Machines.

    If there's another thing I love, it's music by OK Go.

    Combine the two and you have total win for Ter.  Enjoy!

     

     

    Explore more of OK Go's music below.

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Winter fun is almost done

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Time is swiftly running out for winter fun.  If you're going to squeeze in some sledding over the next couple of days, please play it safe by following the advice of this authetic Canadian:

     

     

    In case you're not familiar with the Canadian in the above video, let me introduce you to a band that has one of the most "this is an acquired taste" lead vocalists of all time.

     

     

    Seriously, if Rush had someone else singing, I'd be way more into them.  As it stands, I can only take that sort of thing in limited doses.  To each their own.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Doctor, my eyes. What the heck's wrong with 'em?

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Over the weekend, I was treated to a sensation that was not unlike an ice pick jabbing my skull via my right eye-socket.  One trip to the doc later, and I learn that I managed to give myself a corneal abrasion.

    As I do nothing in the way of woodworking or any other small particle spewing activity, I can only assume that I poked myself in the eye while sleeping and having a dream about being in a fight with the Three Stooges.

    Anyhow, I always liked this version of the song too.

     

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • He would have been 67 today

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Everyone, myself included, loves "My Sweet Lord".

    "The Pirate Song" runs a VERY close second for me.

     

     

    R.I.P., quiet Beatle.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Journey's end (for now)

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    When we last saw our heroes, they were escaping from an apartment that was liberally coated with lead paint.  For the first two installments of "Why Terry Stevens has moved so doggone much in the past 9 years," scroll down a ways.

     

    Fifth Rental:  The Complex

    APARTMENT COMPLEX

    This living arrangement worked much better once humans traded chamberpots for plumbing.

     

    After narrowly escaping the poisoning of our family via lead laden older apartment, the Stevens clan decided to move to the newest thing we could afford.  Mrs. Stevens found a nice complex we could move to at a price that wouldn't leave us foraging for food in the woods.

    There was just one drawback.  This place was a pretty fair distance from work.

    I L-O-V-E, LOVE being able to walk to work.  Those minutes that I get to myself allow me to clear my head from the morning clutter and come in fresh and ready to rock at work.

    Conversely, being able to clear my head in the same manner on the way home helps me be "there" when I'm with my wife and kids.  While I enjoy driving, it doesn't have quite the zen-like effect of a good walk.  Plus, you know, the road is full of idiots who don't know how to put down the [INCREDIBLY NAUGHTY WORD] cellphone and drive.

     

    CELL PHONE

    PICTURED:  World's biggest [WORD SO NAUGHTY THAT YOUR EARS WOULD BLEED]

     

    The peaceful semi-country setting was nice and all, but even Mrs. Stevens found the removal from city life a bit of a drag.  She used to load up the kids and walk to the farmer's market or the library or to a hundred other things, but now she had to pile everyone into the minivan.  Our son and daughter had to share a room here too.  They're still young enough to where it wasn't a big deal, but it would be in a couple of years, so this obviously wasn't going to be a long term deal.

    When we were first married, Anj and I lived in an apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Back then, we were a young foolhardy childless couple who stayed up late and could run on little to no sleep if needed.

    Now though, we were cranky parents who needed a full night's sleep to be even semi-lucid.  As such, we had little patience for one of the potentially worst parts of apartment complex living.

    Loud-@$$ neighbors.

     

    PARTY

    "Hi, we're the jack@$$es that will be keeping you up all night."

     

    When it comes to apartment complex neighbors, there's one thing you can count on.  The younger they are, the worse they are, especially if they're an upstairs neighbor.  I say that with the authority of having been one of those young, loud and stupid upstairs neighbors.

    While the unit itself was nice, the commute and neighbors were enough of a drag that once again, the Stevens clan (and by that I mean Mrs. Stevens) was itching to move.

    So, away we went to...


    Sixth Rental:  The Victorian

    VICTORIAN

     

    It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that my wife likes old houses.  My wife L-O-V-E, LOVES old houses, especially something or other century Victorian homes.  She'll tell you that it has to do with their character and style.  I suspect that she's hoping to have a ghost for a roommate, but I'm suspicious like that.

    Anj ran across this place awhile back, but it was rented before she could contact the landlord.  Then, six months later, she saw that the "For Rent" sign was up again, so she inquired.

    Turns out the last tenant had to be evicted due to not paying rent.  The landlord was motivated to lease, Anj was motivated to rent and I was motivated to rent a place that Anj wouldn't want to move from for at least 5 years this time around.

    I have to say, Anj made a great pick.  This place is within walking distance of work, biking distance of much more and the rent is budget friendly.  It's an older home, but there isn't a trace of lead paint to be found.  The kids each have their own room.  We're the upstairs neighbors this time and the downstairs neighbors are nice, quiet, long term tenants.

    If all goes according to plan, we'll stay here until it's time to buy a house.

    (Before some real estate agent starts spamming my Blog post with "NOW'S THE BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME!" nonsense, let me make a few things clear.  It isn't the best time to buy for me.  I'm not interested.  When I am ready to buy, it won't be from the agent who spammed my blog.  Now scram.)

    If all doesn't go according to plan, I'm saying the heck with it and moving us into one of these:

     

    CARAVAN

     

    Seeing as Anj knows how to read Tarot cards, we'll fit right into the lifestyle.  I'm gonna have to work on my belly dancing, though.

     

    SHOCK

    "OMG!  I just got the most horrible mental image from Terry's Blog!"

     

    Be Cool,

    TS