BJ Shea

 BJ Shea
Posts from May 2014

BJ'S BLOG 05/30/14 "Working After Giving Notice"
I hope you all excited for the weekend, Rock-A-Holics…because it’s time to get back to work. We need everyone here early for some Group Therapy!
Getting to work is the problem on Ann’s mind as well: she recently gave two weeks’ notice at her current job. In return, her employer scheduled her for seven days of work in a row, including all of Memorial Day weekend. It’s a jerk move, there’s no doubt about it.
Ann’s friends and family were pretty much unanimous in thinking (and telling Ann) that she shouldn’t let her current employer do that to her. Some even suggested that she just quit the job altogether, but Ann felt like she would be compromising her own integrity to refuse the work.
Y’know, I am always confused by people who get angry about the work schedules of their friends and family members. Kids have to eat, bills have to be paid, and those things only happen because people go to work and make money. Sometimes, that work involves less-than-convenient hours, long shifts, and even spending a holiday weekend with your nose to the grindstone.
I admire Ann’s integrity, but I do hope that she isn’t just holding on for a good exit review. Personally, I think the idea of waiting around just to get a high-praise recommendation is a lost concept. It’s like a human Yelp review – ultimately, a letter of recommendation isn’t going to sway potential employers. It’s all about who you are, and what you can do.
What can YOU do to advise this hard-working lady?  I’m curious to hear your answers since the weekend is upon us…or maybe you have to work Saturday and Sunday. I’d like to hear from all sides on this one! 
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Topics: Labor
People: Ann

BJ'S BLOG 05/09/14 "Snooping on Dad's Computer"
We all have secrets. Some are big, others are little, and they all run the gamut from completely mundane to jaw-droppingly bizarre. Rest assured, your secrets are absolutely safe in Group Therapy…as long as you don’t mind sharing them with a legion of your fellow Rock-A-Holics!
I’ll admit something to you, my friends: I’m not too thrilled about this message from Christina. We do our best to help everyone without bias, but this is one of those cases that get me really fired up. Maybe you’ll feel differently…
Christina recently had to use her father’s computer for a work matter during a visit with her parents. As she typed in a URL, she noticed that the address was auto-filling to what seemed like a porn site, so she decided to click through to see what it was. “Curiosity got the best of me,” she claims.
(Wait, what?)
This simple act was the beginning of a trip down the internet rabbit hole for Christina, as she started snooping deeper and deeper into the porn sites that she found in her father’s search history. Some of these sites even featured videos of older men having sex with younger women (gasp!) Not surprisingly, she was completely scandalized and disgusted by what she found.
(Why would anyone do this?)
Christina says that her mother is a completely innocent woman who rarely, if ever, uses a computer, and therefore isn’t likely to ever find out about the dad’s pornography habit…so naturally, Christina is wondering if she should tell her all about it.  
(What are these “boundaries” you speak of?”)
I don’t even know where to start with this one. None of these websites were illegal, but Christina is clearly having trouble coming to terms with the fact that her father enjoys pornography just as much as any other man does. Let’s not even waste our time with the idea that Christina is very likely misjudging the prudishness of her own mother.
Personally, I believe porn is a great component of a healthy marriage. Men and women are different animals, and I’m pretty sure that having your husband looking at porn is a hell of a lot better than directing his desires at other women.
Christina, I think you need to let this go and move on. You’re not the decency police, and your parents were being adults before you were even born (literally, in this case)! Go find something else to be offended by. 
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Topics: Human Interest

BJ'S BLOG 05/28/14 "Helping a Friend Get a Job"
Hello again, good people! If you need some Group Therapy, I heartily recommend the services of your fellow Rock-A-Holics!
(If they don’t help you out, please forget that I ever vouched for them.)
Will contacted us on Facebook, and he’s looking for some advice. A female friend of Will’s recently asked him for some help in getting hired at a restaurant, because Will happens to know the owners fairly well. This friend is a hard worker, even though she’s never had a job before…but there might be a complication.
Will’s friend expressed interest in a co-worker; he recommended that she avoid pursuing a work relationship, but she dumped her boyfriend and is now getting busy with the chef! Will is pretty stressed out about the possibility that this relationship will cause problems in the restaurant, but he’s not sure if he should get involved.
Recommending a friend for a job with someone you know can be a nerve-wracking situation: you don’t know how they’ll perform, and there’s always the possibility that their actions could come back to reflect negatively on you because you recommended them.
I’ve gone down this road before, but I don’t let it stress me out. I make recommendations when I feel they’re merited, but I also don’t feel like I should be held accountable if things go completely sideways on the job. You perform your function as the middle-man, or agent, or whatever…and then you walk away.
How do you feel about this one, Rock-A-Holics? Do you have any advice for Will, or stories of job recommendation tragedies and triumphs? Sound off!
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Topics: Human Interest
People: Will

BJ'S BLOG 05/27/14 "Holograms and the "Billboring" Awards"
Today’s blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders.

I don’t know how many of you watched the Billboard Music Awards the other night. I was not going to. I was happily on Facebook, talking to friends and listening to contemporary folk music. I like folk music; I like rock and roll, blues, and jazz. When you can get a fusion of any of those, you have what I call great music. But I kept getting feedback from friends who were watching, so I had to see what was going on.

I’m no fan at all of dub-beat, though I am a big fan of Reggae, the music form it grew out of, and of its father Bob Marley, who left us too soon. I am a quasi-fan of Robin Thicke and not just because he was arrested for possession of marijuana, which is a bit of a funny story. The singer was arrested on February 17 by police who saw him "smoking a joint while sitting in a Cadillac Escalade near 3rd Avenue and E. 21st Street.” A small amount of marijuana was discovered on him, the reports say, and he was calm during the arrest (why wouldn’t he be?). "He was taking pictures with the cops," a source told the New York Daily News. "They were coming over to him and getting autographs."  His “You’re a Good Girl (I Know You Want It),” dub-beat and overlays and all (no pun intended), has a sound that sticks in my head.

To me one of the worst parts of the Billboard show was the duet by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, which was about as bad as an act can get. It wasn’t country, it wasn’t rock, and I didn’t even like the outfits. However I was totally fascinated by the holograms of Michael Jackson.  That was incredible! I was always enamored by the Holodeck from Star Trek and thought how cool to have a room like that. I could leave Rambling Harbor in the winter for a few days on a tropical Island. I had to wonder how the family of M.J. felt about the holograms, though. How would I feel seeing a departed loved one looking so real?

I’m not sure how you feel, but the “Billboring” awards along with the music was largely a bust, err, well, maybe puns were intended.

There are more thoughts on music and other stuff on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Drift in and give a listen.
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BJ'S BLOG 05/23/14 "Video Games"
We’re taking a day off from Group Therapy in this edition of the blog, but I’m still going to share something that should improve your day.
I’m a big video game fan, so this news item from Ireland caught my eye: an 11-year-old boy named Charlie acted quickly and courageously when his grandfather blacked out while driving. Grandpa lost consciousness with his foot on the gas, and the car quickly moved into the wrong lane against incoming traffic.
Charlie stayed calm, using one hand to steer the car, while trying unsuccessfully to wake up his grandpa with the other. The man didn’t wake up in time to prevent the car from hitting a wall, but this story doesn’t have a tragic end! Even with a fractured skull, Charlie managed to pull his grandpa out of the car, carrying him 50 yards away to get help.
Here’s my favorite part of this story. Charlie says that he knew what to do because he had recently started playing GRAND THEFT AUTO 5…which contains plenty of car-crash escapes and dragging of bodies to help educate the youth of the world about proper safety response techniques!
I find the persistent anti-video-game agenda really exhausting. This isn’t the 1950s! What an irrelevant sense of paranoia! The idea that people are desensitized by video games and turned into mindless killing machines is just ridiculous. Maybe we should share this story with all of those non-gamers who sit around psychoanalyzing the rest of us…
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People: Charlie

BJ'S BLOG 05/22/14 "Ex+Sexting = Bad Situation"
Today’s Group Therapy session deals with sexting. I had planned to come up with some kind of proof that I’m cool enough to handle proper sexting, but the whole thing is just too complicated for me. I ended up just typing 80085 into a calculator and giggling about it to myself.
Kevin’s ex-girlfriend has been sending him dirty text messages, and he’s seriously considering letting her current boyfriend know exactly what she’s up to. Before you find yourselves too scandalized by this behavior, let me go ahead and tell you that the ex-gf got together with her current guy while she was still dating Kevin, and they’ve been together for about a year.
For the past few months, Kevin’s ex has been sending him sexual text messages, despite having dumped him. He never replies, because he has absolutely zero interest in getting wrapped up with this woman all over again. Kevin knows the boyfriend; they have some mutual friends, and Kevin says he’s a nice guy. That’s some high praise for a guy who was fooling around with your girlfriend behind your back, Kevin.
This is a tough spot to find yourself in, no doubt about it. Does Kevin owe this guy some man-to-man courtesy, or should he just let him find out the hard way?
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Topics: Human Interest

BJ'S BLOG 05/21/14 "Blow Up Doll or Girlfriend's Wishes?"
Welcome back, people! As you know, Group Therapy is all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, so let me just find the air nozzle, and you can help me blow up this “special companion” I’ve been hiding in the storage room for the last decade or so…
…uh, maybe we should just move on.
Today’s Group Therapy topic comes from Shannon. She and her boyfriend are just about to move in together, and that led to a discovery while they were going through his things – specifically, a blow-up doll. Shannon says the doll is out of the package, and has obviously been blown up. The boyfriend said it was a prank gift from college.
Shannon was pretty disturbed by this, and told her boyfriend to throw it out. He refused, claiming the “sentimental value” of his inflatable friend, and then told Shannon that she was jealous of the doll! Needless to say, these two are at one of the weirdest impasses ever.
What in the hell is going on this guy’s life that he has sentimental feelings for what is essentially a sexy balloon animal?
What kind of attachment does this relationship carry with it? Did he once consider marrying his hot air honey?
Am I the only one who thinks that a blow-up doll should never be in a position to destroy a relationship between actual humans?
I have questions, my friends. Please tell me that you have some answers!
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BJ'S BLOG 05/20/14 "Would You Help a Friend Get Their Ring Back"
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called Group Therapy.
Max’s friend is the Hard Luck Kid when it comes to potential spouses: just recently, Max’s friend caught his fiancee cheating on him. Even worse is the fact that this has happened to the poor guy twice! Max was going to be in the wedding, but that’s not happening now.
The ex-fiancee will not return the engagement ring. Max’s friend is upset for the obvious reasons, but he would also like to get some of his money back if he can. Engagement rings aren’t cheap, and eating the cost of one, especially after you find your bride-to-be cheating on you, is adding insult to injury.
Another friend who lives with the ex-fiancee has offered to just take the ring, which is in a drawer. This friend has no qualms about retrieving the ring, because the cheating ex actually brags about causing her former boyfriend anguish just by keeping it. Barring the involvement of the roommate, Max wonders if he should just find a way to snag it himself.
Guys (most of the time) spend a ton of money on engagement rings, but they often find themselves on the losing end of the deal if the relationship doesn’t reach the altar. Prenuptial agreements have been a common thing for many years now, but maybe it’s time to start securing the investment a little bit earlier. After all, an engagement ring does signify a very specific agreement, in and of itself. If athletes can lose their signing bonuses, maybe the game of love can have some draft pick financial penalties as well…
Max really wants to help his friend, but I am having a hard time endorsing the idea of just stealing the ring outright, and that’s really the only idea I’m hearing at the moment. It’s too bad, because this ex-fiancee sounds the like textbook definition of “a real piece of work.”
How do you feel about this one, Rock-A-Holics?
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Topics: Human Interest
People: Max

BJ'S BLOG 05/19/14 "Hit Me, I Need Your Attention"
Today’s blog comes from one of my mentor’s, Dan Sanders.

Something I believe is you can’t judge a book by its cover—or a blog by its title. I disagree with Willie Shake when he asks "What's in a name?” A rose is a rose, for sure, but a story title is not a rose, and I’ve been watching very closely the hits I get on my blogs and podcasts. Of particular interest was the most recent one titled “Ride Me through America.” Obviously this title was a bit misleading and somewhat suggestive since the blog was really about seeing America, not some traveling bedroom. On the other hand, my blog titled “Teach Your Children How to Spend” about the $1,000 dress from Frozen went largely ignored. I wonder if the results would have been different if I had called the piece “Would You Take Her Dress Off for a Thousand Dollars?”

As many of you have discovered, my blog and podcast often deal with different subjects. For me, it’s difficult to write several hundred words about a subject and then spend 15 minutes talking about it. I would never want to sound like I am giving a lecture. My podcasts are spontaneous and unrehearsed, erupting from my mind as I speak. It doesn’t matter what’s inside my mind, though, unless I attract yours first.

When you’re standing in line waiting to pay for something, there is a treason, err, reason the magazines by the checkout feature women and men in various stages of undress. Sex sells. If you come up with a sexy gimmick and put it on YouTube, you might make millions, getting paid for the number of hits you get.

So, you might ask, what’s my point? The point is radio, podcasts, blogs, TV, movies, books, and newspapers depend on how many hits they get for survival (and I’m grateful for everyone reading this now), but I have a couple of questions. Did you start reading this because the title is “Hit Me, I Need Your Attention”? Would you have read it if I had called it “The Importance of Titles”?

There’s a little more on this and other subjects on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Give a listen.
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BJ'S BLOG 05/16/14 "Moving In Together...or NOT"
Your fellow Rock-A-Holics would love to spend some quality Group Therapy time with you, if you think you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level!
Here’s a little something from Julia, who contacted us on Facebook:
Julia has her own apartment, but her boyfriend never wants to stay with her. Instead, he always wants her to come to his place…specifically, the place that he shares with his mom, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and some pets. Julia’s boyfriend has even suggested that she should move in with him, and become yet another name on the long list of occupants who share his living situation.
The boyfriend’s place is always loud, with a frequent rotation of arguments, blaring TV noise, and barking dogs. Julia admits that her place isn’t the Grand Hotel – it doesn’t have sufficient cooling and heating, or a TV set -- but she has plenty of booze, and she still thinks that her situation is better than the alternative.  She has no intention of moving in with her boyfriend and his family, but she’s looking for a solution to the issue.
I don’t have a problem with the idea of sharing your home with family – people do it for various reasons, mostly financial – but I do find it strange that he would want to add another warm body into the mix.
Has anyone out there had a similar experience? How did you work it out?
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Topics: Human Interest

BJ'S BLOG 05/14/14 "Lame Birthday Gift"
Some Rock-A-Holics are just plain hard to shop for. If you’re stuck for perfect gift ideas, we recommend Group Therapy! It’s one-size-fits-all, and has been described as “better than nothing” and “pretty much always available”.
We heard from Chloe, who started off with a story from her childhood: when she was 12, all she wanted in life was a copy of the Alanis Morissette album Jagged Little Pill. Unfortunately, her parents considered the album inappropriate, and wouldn’t allow her to have it.
Flash-forward to just a few days ago: it’s Chloe’s birthday once again. She told her husband that the only thing she wanted was a fancy knife to use while she’s cooking. Chloe says that she also mentioned the Jagged Little Pill fiasco to her husband “in passing.”
(Okay, hang on. In my experience, women don’t just casually mention major life stories “in passing”, but who am I to assume anything?)
So, in reviewing the information above, I think we all know what Chloe’s husband gave her for her birthday…right?
If you said “a copy of that Alanis Morissette album,” you’d be right. Please note the absence of the words “and a fancy knife.”
Chloe is furious about this. She says that she believes her husband was trying to be sentimental, but she’s also wondering if it’s okay to tell him that his gift is lame. I feel reasonably safe in assuming that Chloe made her desires clear, but her husband clearly didn’t pick up the hint. On the other hand, maybe she was a little bit too heavy-handed with the album story, and the message was garbled from “buy me a knife or I’ll be disappointed like I was when I was a kid” into “I’d probably cry a little if you fulfilled my childhood music wish.”
That kind of code can be tough to decipher sometimes. I’m not feeling too much sympathy for Chloe in this case, and if she’s this upset about a lame birthday gift, maybe giving her a sharp object isn’t the best plan of action now.
What do we think about this, good people?
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People: Alanis Morissette

BJ'S BLOG 05/12/14 "Pitiful Painful Patent"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders.

In the never-ending world of greed, money-grabbing, get-what’s-mine-and-what’s-yours corporate world, here is one you may not have heard of yet.

At stake, potentially, is the freedom of podcasting to exist as a category of personal publishing unburdened by a licensing cost for the basic platform of downloadable audio. An organization called Personal Audio, which apparently operates out of an empty office somewhere in Texas that no one ever goes to, has already sued Apple and others claiming it held patents on the concept of playlists, and it actually scored some victories. Well, the get in, cause confusion and chaos, and grab-all-the-money-you-can company, Personal Audio, is at it again, suing podcasters, including giant Adam Carolla's ACE Broadcasting, HowStuffWorks, and Togi Entertainment. Personal Audio claims it created a system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence, which later became the industry standard for podcasting—in terms of the field of communication it means to broadcast a message to the public without direct feedback from the audience—and it has the patent to prove it.

All podcasters depend on the number of hits they get to generate revenue. Even a radio station website generates revenue from the number of hits coming in from readers and listeners. A podcaster can also create a network of suppliers, so to speak: Dan Sanders talks about everything under the sun, but on that same website, Gordon Geek has a blog about the latest video games. Gordo may get 500 hits, and Dano may get 500 hits, but together they and the website have a thousand hits, which advertisers pay more for because of the exposure. That was a quick lesson in how to build a podcasting network.

Now enter the leeches claiming to hold the patent, Patent 8,112,504 (check it out), which Personal Audio LLC itself refers to as thepodcast patent, a “system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.”

If you’re a podcaster who has been hit with a letter from Personal Audio, contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, a non-profit digital rights advocacy group. EFF is offering its legal and support services to podcasters.

There are more thoughts on this and other topics on the shores of Rambling Harbor, which, as of Mother’s Day, hit 50,000 visitors, thanks to all of you. Join me once again and give a listen.

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Topics: Business_Finance
Locations: Texas
People: Adam CarollaDan SandersGordon Geek

BJ'S BLOG 05/05/14 "Mentors"
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders.

He wore an ascot. Even in the early 1960's very few people wore ascots and none I had ever known. It takes a certain flair and a lot of chutzpah and mounds of dignity to wear an ascot, and wearing an ascot in New York City in the early 1960’s could only be accomplished by the cream of class.

Standing on a windy corner in Manhattan in the middle of January as I had done on many mornings, waiting for the man who had become my mentor, it seemed the wind did not bite as much and the cold did not cut as deep. I knew he would round the corner at any moment, sporting his brightly colored ascot and scarf and warm smile. He was never late, and I was there to learn my craft from someone who knew what it would take to make it.

Henry Bartel taught voice in New York City, and he was an on-air working professional at no less than a classical music station, a classical music station in the world’s largest city, New York! Henry taught me how to properly pronounce names like Igor Stravinsky (you must roll that name), although I aspired to be more like Wolfman Jack, Murray the K, Cousin Brucie Morrow, and Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg, the Big Jocks who helped make Rock and Roll what it is. It’s easier to say Lennon than Stravinsky.

You might think that Henry, a man of accomplishment in an ego-infested industry, would have such a big ego he would not have time to teach a young upstart, but just the opposite was true, and it was not an easy task. Born in the south, I had a slight southern accent, not the kind of sound that would be accepted in the major markets of our country. Added to that, I was one of the most timid people on earth, and most professional teachers/broadcasters would probably have suggested I get a job in a library.

One morning I waited for his arrival, expecting to see that big smile and brightly colored ascot come around the corner, and Henry was late. Henry was never late and was the first to tell me there is no word for “late” in Broadcasting, and I have lived by that my entire life.

As time passed, another professor walked by and asked “Dan, why are you here today?” I began to answer, and he stopped me and said, “Henry had a heart attack in the back of his cab this morning. I’m sorry, Dan, he is dead.” During the rest of my time in New York, the wind was harsher, the cold relentless, and the days a darker gray. I never had a chance to tell Henry Bartel what he had meant to me and how much I had appreciated his help, but I went on to live my dream. The shy kid with the southern accent worked in some of the best and biggest cities, including New York.

I don’t think there have been many times just before throwing the mic switch to “ON” and “GO UP, LIVE! ON AIR!" that I do not remember the man who helped make it all possible. I will always remember Henry.

There are many more thoughts on mentors and other topics on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Give a listen.
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BJ'S BLOG 05/01/14 "Too Much Wine..."
Trust isn’t just given out freely…it’s earned. Rest assured, you can always put your faith in Group Therapy! Our legion of Rock-A-Holics can’t be wrong!
(P.S. - No refunds.)
We’re going to see if we can help Kate, who recently uncovered a big secret that her husband of three years had been keeping from her. Apparently, Kate had a couple of glasses of wine, and ended up snooping through her hubby’s email while he was asleep. She says he left his laptop open (which, as we all know, gives someone a legal and moral right to start poking around in their mate’s private business.)
Kate says she is completely aware that what she did was wrong, but that didn’t stop her.
I don’t know if we’re off to a good start here, with “too much wine” and “open laptop” as excuses for snooping…but let’s see where this goes.
Kate found a folder on her husband’s computer marked “Random Stuff”, but the contents of said folder were anything but random: inside, there was a profile for a gay male dating site. Can you guess whose profile it was? I bet you can…
The account was made before Kate and her husband got together, and she also admits that it wasn’t active when she went online looking for it. Still, she confronted her husband about it, and his reaction came in the form of equal parts anger and embarrassment.
He said that it was all a joke, part of a contest between a few of his male friends to see which one of them could get the most responses from a gay male singles ad. After the contest was over, they all deleted their accounts.
Kate is having trouble believing her husband’s story, and she wants to know if she should check with his friends to verify the claim!
I have to be honest here: this makes me absolutely livid. Just reading over this blog post again makes me punching, kicking, yelling, and breaking stuff ANGRY.
(I’m not going to do any of those things in real life, and neither should you, but I am doing some serious damage to the air around me right now. I should probably stop all this pretend punching and kicking, though, because the studio isn’t very big, and our equipment is expensive.)
You want to talk about trust? I’m sure Kate’s a perfectly decent person, but this is a complete violation of the good faith between a man and a woman. The snooping was bad enough – and you automatically lose points when you blame it on the wine – but getting your question answered and not putting enough trust in your partner to believe that answer is NOT GOOD.
I can’t even deal with this. Let’s hear your open and honest feedback, Rock-A-Holics!
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People: Kate


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