Random Rant #175

Did you ever have an experience that, once you got through it, you asked yourself, “Did that really just happen?”

I had one of those this past weekend that I thought I would share.

So, I went to one of the many, many, many locations of a coffee shop let’s call “Schmarbucks.” The young lady behind the counter who struggled to get out, “May I help you?” was obviously new at her job. I had a son who cut his working teeth at a couple of “Schmarbucks” in his youth, so I get it. We all start somewhere.

When I responded with my order, I said, “I’d like a Grande Oat Milk Latte, please.” A fairly simple order and my go-to choice. She was a meek, shy, timid, slightly bashful, not-really-outgoing person and to make matters worse, she was wearing a face mask. She replied to me, in a soft, hushed tone, “salhwlhwwhefaoh29u9q1qakdenal.” I asked, “What?” and she whispered slightly louder, “salhwlhwwhefaoh29u9q1qakdenal.” After an awkward pause, I finally had to admit I just didn’t understand her and she raised her voice to a loud, hushed whisper, “We’re out of oat milk.”

Oh. So, I instructed her to just make it soy milk. She worked the register for a second and then, another volley of attempted sound came my way: “klj2348y92-ijn buidsxyg0ejnkjewadqg7yaqy9pj??????” Rather than have her think I was a deaf geezer or to keep this conversation going any longer than necessary, I rolled the dice and shot out a “Yes”, hoping it would work in my favor. I paid for the beverage, and then stepped aside to await my drink.

Moments later, I found out what she had said, thanks for an audible Schmarkbucks employee: “Triple Shot Oatmilk Latte for Tim!”


So, now, as I walked away and began caffeinating my brain, I started thinking–wait a minute! This Schmarbucks was located inside a QFC grocery store, where they have an entire refrigerator section dedicated to Oat Milk. Couldn’t one of you just run over to the dairy section and grab a jug? It’s not like there’s a shortage. I almost asked, “If I go over and buy some, then can I have oat milk?”

But I was afraid to do that out of concern what the new girl with the mask might say about me. Especially since I’d probably not be able to both hear it and understand it.

Man, coffee drinking can be stressful.

Tim Hunter

Attack of the Time Vampires 2

Everything seems to have a sequel these days, so why not the topic of Time Vampires?

I first identified this phenomenon back in 2021 in this blog but I’ve made several observations since then, as I continue my study of these unseen creatures that rob us all of our most precious commodity.

Their best work is done over weekends, as I’m sure you’ve noticed how fast they go by. But you would think after a busy could of days of devouring our time on the weekends that on Monday, they might relax a bit with their bellies full and give us a couple of days off.

But you see, the more they eat, the more they want. And Mondays apparently are the unofficial Thanksgiving Day of the work week for Time Vampires.

You wake up, start to plan out your day and the schedule appears to be very doable. Project 1, followed by project 2 and so on. A nicely-paced way to start out a new work week.

But then, an unplanned project emerges, followed by another. You check your email, and there are two more! The time you allotted for the day’s tasks was already fairly tight, but now, it will require strict focus and careful balancing. Then one of the tasks you finished needs a revision and instantly, the hour in which it should have been accomplished is now 90 minutes. Which means, you’ll have to speed through some of the upcoming projects in order to get them all done today. Then you start thinking, “What can I bump to tomorrow?” But if you do that, tomorrow’s schedule has already suffered its first Time Vampire attack.

I’m reminded of the old adage, “Why put off something to tomorrow when you could put it off to the day after tomorrow?”

I’ll be honest, I have never actually seen a Time Vampire, but I asked OpenAI.com to create a picture of what it could look like.

To me, that looks like one of the blood-sucking varieties of vampires, but blood I can spare. My body can make more. Time, niw that’s a valuable, irreplaceable commodity.

I don’t have an answer for Time Vampires. For that matter, I don’t even have a question. I just know they exist and that three more came in the room this morning while I was writing this. I think they’re holding their annual convention in my office.

The bottom line–just know they are real and the more you’re aware they exist, the better you’ll be able to minimize their effects.

Good luck.

Tim Hunter

We Have Nothing To Fear

It’s happened countless times throughout civilization.

For a while, we were shooting arrows with bows until these new-fangled contraptions called ‘guns’ came along.

Sure, you liked your horse, but those new automobile thingies are pretty cool.

And now, following a healthy dose of movies that fueled our fears, like “I, Robot” and the Terminator franchise, we keep hearing all about “A.I.–Artificial Intelligence” and how rapidly it is advancing.

Just today, there was a story in the news about the “Father of A.I.” quitting Google, concerned about where it’s all going. He even partly regretted breaking so much ground. You can read about that here.

I love innovation, so all this talk about breakthrough technology, an unseen electronic brain that can organize thoughts and write on almost any topic, and I’m like a kid in a candy store.

But do we need to slow down and go into this amazing new world a little more cautiously?

I don’t know. But I’ll bet the OpenAI chatbot has a thought or two on this topic. So, I asked it: Should I worry about artificial intelligence taking over the world?

It’s response:

No, you should not worry about artificial intelligence (AI) taking over the world. While there have been numerous works of science fiction that depict this scenario, in reality, AI is not capable of taking over the world on its own. AI is simply a tool that is designed and controlled by humans.

Furthermore, the development of AI is still in its early stages and there are many limitations to what AI can do. AI systems can only perform specific tasks that they have been programmed to do and they lack the creativity and flexibility of human beings. They also lack the ability to make decisions based on moral and ethical considerations.

That being said, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with AI, such as the possibility of unintended consequences or biases in AI systems. This is why many experts are calling for the development of ethical guidelines and regulations for the use of AI.

In summary, while it is important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with AI, there is no need to worry about AI taking over the world. AI is a tool that can be used to enhance our lives, but ultimately, it is humans who are in control.

So, we have nothing to fear, at least according to the machine. But that hasn’t stopped the media from fanning the flames of panic:

There’s the Belgian man who killed himself after a conversation with A.I.

What about those A.I. robots that supposedly killed a bunch of scientists in Japan?

Or this museum in San Francisco.

A.I. is going to destroy our world. It must be stopped. We can’t allow our children to be exposed to it!

Now, remember, I am of an age where we heard the same things about this group called, The Beatles.

It’s another step in our evolution. There will be some who embrace it, others who will fear it. I see it as a tool that can be used. I sure don’t want it to replace my creative efforts or even my joke writing. Wait, let me check.

Hey there, A.I., tell me the funniest joke you know.

We have nothing to fear.

By the way, that picture of the tomato with the salad dressing was created by the A.I.  You can try that out here.

Tim Hunter


You’re Probably Actually Having A Really Good Day

It was in the spring of 1975 that I signed up for the Radio & Television program in the Communications School at the University of Washington. I had put in a couple of years of basic training at the U-Dub and after a breakup with the girl I had planned to come home and marry following college, I realized it was time to pick a direction for my career.

One day, a guy down the hall in my dorm told me how he had gotten involved with the campus radio station. The what? Wait–you can play radio and they count that as an actual career? Where do I sign up?

Well, I found out that you don’t just go into radio, you have to learn about the greater world of Communications and, in this case, you’d study print media, television and radio. This just kept getting better!

So, I got involved with KCMU, the campus radio station that has since been sold to the late Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, who moved it to the Seattle Center and turned it into KEXP. I’ve answered the question, “Why did you focus on radio?” many times, but the quick version is that while TV was fun, when it came time for my senior project, I knew how it was supposed to turn out. However, due to a comedy of errors–the lighting person messing up, the director had a melt-down, the camera person wasn’t in focus and so on–I realized that if I stuck to radio, everything I did was in my control, so the blame and glory all came my way.

Upon graduation, I headed to Yakima to cut my radio teeth with a couple of stations there. Then, it was back over to Seattle for a 24-year run, a decade or so off to absorb all I could in the advertising world, and then, returning to mornings on KRKO, “Everett’s Greatest Hits” just shy of five years ago.

Between you and the other readers of this little corner of the Internet, my radio days are numbered. Part of my desire to get back on the air in 2018 was to prove I could still do it. While I started out my career as a solo act, I was either a partner or part of a team most of my radio existence. In my current gig with KRKO, I record tracks the day before, which then play the next broadcast day with me tossing to a live, in-studio traffic and weather person. While it satisfies my radio Jones, the rest of my world keeps getting busier and busier. So, just like at Disneyland, it’s about time for “low-ride out”–the attraction with the smallest return will be replaced with something more rewarding or profitable.

My plan is to make it to September and then hand off the headphones. It could be sooner, but not later. I just want to do what’s best for the station to thank them for this incredible opportunity.

In the meantime, I’ll continue doing my “Facebook Nuggets”, “Unglued News”, “I’m Witless News” and a slew of other bits and anything else that comes to mind. If you’ve never gotten around to streaming my morning show, do it here Monday through Friday from 6-9am. If you download our app (in the app store of your phone), or just say, “Alexa, play KRKO, Everett’s Greatest Hits”, you can listen to me that way during my summer farewell tour.

One of the best things I do each week is reach out to a KRKO listener who has downloaded the KRKO app and thank them with a $50 gift card to the Buzz Inn Steakhouse. A pretty modest giveaway, but a chance for me to actually talk with my listeners.

This past week, I had a conversation with one listener that really illustrated the reason why I love radio. It’s a connection. It’s you and a listener, enjoying the same music, or me talking about something in my life that connects to their life.

Last Thursday, I was once again trying to connect with a listener, this one, named John. He answered after only one ring, which these days, is rare. Most are thinking, “I don’t recognize the number, so off to voice mail you go” but John answered. I could tell he was driving in his car and it just sounded like he on the way somewhere. So rather than beating around the bush, I just blurted out that he had won the Buzz Inn gift card. You could imagine the smile with his response. He made me feel like I had been the highlight of his day.

It turns out I was. John was driving with his wife by his side. He explained that if I heard her blurt out random words, to just ignore it. She was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

I said I was so sorry and that sometimes life can just suck and he agreed. So, I hurriedly got his address so we could mail the gift card his way and wished him well, thanking him one more time for listening.

I found out later that it wasn’t just John taking his wife for a ride. She was on a one-way trip to a facility that was going to take care of her from now on, because it had become just too difficult at home.

He later posted this message on our KRKO Facebook page.

This is why every time you crack that microphone open, you’ve just got to remember that while your day may not be going perfectly, there’s an incredibly vast collection of life experiences going on out there among your listeners. From heading off to a job they may not like, to taking a loved one to admit them to an adult family home.

That being said, if you actually apply the brakes to your busy, crazy life for just a moment, you’ll probably realize: You’re probably actually having a really good day.

Tim Hunter

Bring On The Bots!

Boy, if you want a topic that brings out emotion, start talking about A.I.–artificial intelligence.

I had touched on this topic a couple of blogs ago, but Sunday night’s episode of “60 Minutes” had a great couple of pieces about what Google is doing in that field and their A.I., Bard. Worth tracking down.

Now, I’m excited about the whole concept, despite the fact I know that when I trapped with my family in a pile of rubble, right before the robots take us out, the final words I will hear will be from my wife, saying, “I told you so.”

It’s my feeling that we’re all adults here. That we should be able to hardness this amazing power to make our lives and our world a better place for everyone. You can go to OpenAI right now and see what I mean. And if you want something really fun, go to Dall-E2, the A.I. graphics brain that will create images based on what you tell it to create. There is some fun stuff going on here, folks.

But this past Sunday, while I was watching the final inning of a Los Angeles Dodgers game, my L.A. bums came up to bat and all three outs were from players called out on strikes by balls that appeared outside of the strike zone. You know, that white box that comes up on your TV screen, to try and explain to you why the umpire called that ball a strike. In this case, all three strikeouts came with pitches that were outside of that white box, yet the visually-challenged guy behind the plate caleld each of them ‘strikes’.

I wasn’t alone in my observation.

And for those thinking I’m over exaggerating, some show and tell photos that will help. These are the three called “strikes.”

As I texted my Dodger fan sister (actually, I have two of them), the umpire must have had reservations at a pretty impressive restaurant.

So, ump: shame on you. Major League Baseball: So, what are you going to do about it?

There’s been talk about bringing in computers to help make the calls. I know the concern these days is speeding up the game, but if you keep the humans behind the plate, but allow 3 computer-view appeals per game, that could work. If they appeal and the ump is wrong, the team keeps their three appeals. I think that may force some umpires to be more accurate.

The players need to have the confidence to know that balls will be balls and strikes will be strikes. It’s tough enough to realize your dream, only to be sent down to the minors when you’re called out on strikes too often when, in fact, they weren’t really strikes.

After that game’s shameful display of bad calls, there’s only one thing I’d like to say: Bring on the Bots!

Tim Hunter

Another Master Gone

Looking back on my life, I don’t exactly know what steered me towards a love of comedy. Actually, in watching my mom over the years, it made me realize that she was probably the one that handed down the comedy genes. She has always displayed a quick wit and if you know Fran, you know she absolutely loves to laugh.

As I grew up in our southern California home, I watched shows on TV like “The Time Tunnel”, “Lost in Space”, and others (I still remember when the school sent home a notice to our parents that we shouldn’t be allowed to watch “Combat” because it was “too violent”), the majority of what I tuned in those formulative years were comedies. “Get Smart”, “Bewitched”, “The Jack Benny Show”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, even “The Mother-in-Laws”. When a Bob Hope special or an Alan King “Friar’s Roast” was on, I’d never miss it. And then, of course, there was “Laugh In.”

As I confessed before, on Tuesday nights, my sisters went to their room, I went to mine and then, shortly after tuck-in, mom would come into my room where the TV lived (which is now “the den”) and she’d flip on “The Red Skelton Show.” I’d get to postpone my sleep until Red’s final “Good night and may God bless” at 9:30.

During my high school years, I bought many a comedy album from the likes of Cheech ‘n Chong (I think I bought every one that came out), Tim Conway, Monty Python and Don Rickles.

Somewhere along the line, I went from watching and enjoying comedy to creating it. In high school, I scratched out a rough comedy film script based on my high school experiences, called “T.H.S.” (which stood for Torrance High School, my alma mater). It’s somewhere in our basement. Also, during those high school days, I would get home from school and head straight to the TV to catch the syndicated “Steve Allen Show” because he was just so darn funny. (I was lucky enough to interview him twice during my days at KOMO radio)

But after college and wandering into radio as my chosen career, I began to seriously study short-form comedy. One or two setup lines, and then a punchline. I’d watch Carson do it every night in his monologue and in the newspaper (an ancient form of communication where everything that now shows up on your phone was printed on paper the day before), I’d always look for content from a guy named Mark Russell.

Mark did a lot of political comedy, but he also came up with some lines on topics regular folks could enjoy. The timing of his career was perfect because those were the last days when you can make fun of both sides and not be labeled as a sympathizer for the enemy side. He was just funny. A couple of examples:

“Sometimes you become so focused on protecting people from danger that you become the danger.”

“No offense, but it seems like the whole point of civilization is to get someone else to do your killing for you.”

“Of course, with any new technology, the question in the back of everyone’s mind is ‘Can I have sex with it or use it to kill people?'”

“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.”

“A Consultant is a guy who knows 125 different ways to make love, but who doesn’t know any women.”

But like I said, he would also get political:

“You’ve got the brain-washed, that’s the Democrats, and the brain-dead, that’s the Republicans!”

“I believe that Bill Clinton’s second term will be good for business… my business!”

“The Republicans have a new healthcare proposal: Just say NO to illness!”

Mr. Russell had his column in the newspapers (always on the editorial page) and did various comedy specials on PBS, as well as touring the country with lives performances. He did what he loved, all the way up to the end, which was last Thursday, when he passed at the age of 90.

He was witty and brilliant and talented. He played the piano at his performances and wrote some parody songs. I hope you were able to catch some of his comedy over the years. If not, here’s just a taste of his style and wit.

I think Mark Russell’s life illustrates what I like so much about comedy. We all hope to leave some kind of legacy behind, for our kids and for future generations. So, when you think about it, how precious is leaving behind ways to make people laugh? That’s gold and a treasure awaiting future generations to discover.

I never had the chance to catch him in concert or meet him in person, but if I had, the first think I would have said to him was, “Thanks Mark, for all you gave us.”

And with that, another Master is gone.

Tim Hunter


A Genuine Two-fer

I wanted to cover a couple of things this week, both from events that took place last Saturday, April 1st, aka “April Fool’s Day.”


This particular week saw two of my longtime friends turning 80. Writing partner, Stephanie Hilbert, who had a nice event Tuesday of that week at the WAC. (Washington Athletic Club)

And then, on Saturday, my buddy Ozzie turned the big 8-0 with quite the gathering at the Leif Erikson Lodge. Oz had asked me to emcee his party and so I was there, gags in hand, waiting for the opportunity to drop a zinger or two at the birthday boy. Among them:

  • Ozzie has become like a great, great grandfather to me.
  • The great thing is by the time you’ve turned 80, you’re learned everything. The trick is in remembering it.
  • Ozzie’s mom named him Osmund. Legend has it that it was because she had a crush on the famous Norwegian singer, Donnie Osmund.
  • Not many people know that Ozzie maintained a 4.0 all four years he attended college. Oh, not his grades. His blood alcohol level.

Ozzie wanted to be surrounded by family and close friends and have a grown up kids party. The grown up part would be the alcohol, but the kids’ part would be the games we played, like “Heads and Tails”, “Ring Toss” (for wine and Jagermeister) and we even had a magician.


Everyone had a blast, especially Ozzie. What a great way to spend an April Fool’s Day.


April 1st is a big day for yours truly, as it’s the day each year I debut another “National Gullible Day News Broadcast.” With this year’s effort, I’ve now done 8 of them and they all live at nationalgullibleday.org.

This year, like all the others, was an adventure in putting together. There’s the writing, then recruiting friends to get involved–some willing, some used to be, some too busy these days–it’s all part of the process. Then there’s coming up with a theme, doing the video production and fine-tuning it to perfection. Or, something close. Each year, I feel like it’s a step up from the year before and it just feels good.

In the event you never got around to watching it, here you go. It’s a fast 20-minutes but I promise you, the ending will crack you up.

A special thanks to everyone mentioned in the credits and, as always, if you think you’d be up to playing along next year, I’m always looking for fresh fools.

How many of these will I end up doing? I’ll let you know when it’s all over.

And there you have it–Ozzie’s Birthday and National Gullible Day. Two blog topics for the price of one.

A genuine Two-fer.

Tim Hunter



Here We Go Again


I have lots of things I look forward to doing every year. Parades, auctions, celebrations, birthdays, you name it.

The ones you enjoy, you keep doing. The ones that just aren’t as fun as they used to be, you just let go. Frankly, it seems like when I let go of something, several things show up immediately offering to take its place.

I live a busy life, each week a carefully crafted collection of duties, jobs, responsibilities and personal projects that easily fill up a 60+ hour week.

But when March arrives, there’s little else I think about but the first of the next month, because that’s the day I post a silly video I assembled every year for April Fool’s Day called, “National Gullible Day.”

It’s a newscast, that gives me a flexible forum in which to create comedy–some original, some borrowed (no one’s getting rich here) and a chance to put the spotlight on some of my funny friends.

This year marks the 8th annual National Gullible Day observance, as the fictious NGD Network broadcasts the various ways that people celebrate the holiday. My reporting staff has changed a lot over the years, between trying to spread the wealth among friends, while also working in those who like to play along. So yeah, watch a couple of them, and you’ll see several encore performances from some of my brothers and sisters in comedy.

The 2023 edition of National Gullible Day News coverage will begin airing at 12:01am this Saturday morning on my YouTube channel. It will also live on nationalgullibleday.org, where you can also watch all 7 of the previous years’ efforts.

So, what’s new in 2023? You’ll have to watch to find out, but I do feel these are getting funnier and funnier each year.

And for the first time, I’ve actually put together a promo for the broadcast:

With all that’s wrong with the world these days, it’s my hope that I can somehow provide an escape–although brief–into this fun collection of silliness.

My thanks to all those who have helped out over the years and especially to those who stepped up this year to make this marvel to share with the world. If you’d ask me, “What’s your passion project?”, I actually have quite a few, but this is the motherlode. I’m just one interview away from having all the pieces, finalizing the production, and setting the phasers to broadcast.

Here we go again! I can’t wait.

Tim Hunter

PS And to cut down on your clicks, here’s this year’s edition of National Gullible Day.

Another One For The History Books

No doubt. I’ve lived a very fortunate life.

I’ve been able to partake in a lot of things that were part of a world seldom seen. I got a crash course on some of those back when I was Larry Nelson’s producer at KOMO Radio, from 1980-1984. Over 4-1/2 years of some pretty crazy adventures.

With KOMO Radio being “Your Husky Station”, I got to meet some of my University of Washington football heroes, like Coach Don James, his wife Carol, and the voice of the Huskies, Bob Rondeau.

As celebrities came to town and were up for interviews, I got to meet (OK, I’m dating myself here) Steve Allen, James Cocoa, Timothy Leary, Tiny Tim, Rip Taylor, Patty Duke, James Doohan and so many more. There was the time that Larry and I went backstage with Wayne Newton. Prior to the interview, a guy straight out of “Goodfellas” to me to make sure Larry didn’t bring up a certain topic. It was the first thing he did. The guy looked at me like he was about to ask, “What size cement shoes do you wear?”

I learned a lot about broadcasting, the history of Fisher Broadcasting and KOMO radio and heard a lot of behind-the-scene stories. I remember a fair amount. And a certain collection of memories were jostled loose this week when I heard the sad news that Vito’s Restaurant at 9th & Madison in downtown Seattle was closed and may not ever open up again.

One of the greatest writers ever to ink up the pages of the Seattle Times, Erik Lacitis, wrote an outstanding article about several restaurants in town, including Vito’s. This is where I read the news.

Before I dive into my memories of this legendary establishment, read all about the history of Vito’s from historylink.org right here.

OK, now that you know some of the characters, let me begin.

As Larry’s producer, we became quite close. We shared an office that couldn’t have been bigger than 10-feet by 10-feet and because Lar once complained on the radio that we didn’t a window to look out, a listener actually created a window frame with a mirror in it and dropped it off at the station. It hung in our office.

The daily routine for my 4-1/2 years was to arrive at 4am and start writing up stuff for Larry to use, or produce some interviews for him to air. Oh, there could be variations during the week, but at 11am on Friday, it was off to Vito’s Restaurant.

I didn’t go every week and looking back, I’m glad, because frankly, my liver wouldn’t have survived. For Larry and his Friday lunch gang, Vito’s always reserved the “Family Table”, a round table that sat 10 or so in the back of the restaurant. That’s where Nelson and his court would gather to discuss the past week, consume wineries of wine and enjoy the Italian cuisine.

Thanks to my occasional lunches there, I got to meet Larry’s actual godfather, the owner of the restaurant,Vito Santoro. A couple of times, I even got to chat with Vito’s wife, Molly. What a sweetheart!

With each lunch, you never knew who all would be there, although Lar had a cast of regulars that I came to know and am still in touch with to thise day. At least those who are still around.

Vito’s was dark, Italian and private. You minded your own business. My familiarity got me invited to a fundraiser at the Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, a benefit Italian feast for the Jimmy Santoro Scholarship fund, a charity Vito started to honor the memory of his brother. At the event, Larry had a lot of fun pointing out the judges and politicians who attended the event. Enough said.

Ater my KOMO days, visits to Vito’s were few, far and in-between, as the restaurant went through several owners and fought to survive. I managed to once take my wife there, meeting up with one of the old Friday Lunch gang and his guest for old time’s sake.

A couple of years later, my buddy Bruce–part of that Friday lunch bunch–and I tried to meet for lunch at Vito’s, only to arrive and find it closed. They didn’t serve lunch anymore.

While it underwent some remodeling over the years in the dining room, the bar remained a trip back in time. Especially, if you looked on the photo wall, where you could still find a picture or two of Larry Nelson, from back in the heyday. Geeze, we’re talking 40 years ago. Wow.

As the years go by, I keep looking back and thinking, “Damn, I was lucky.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about another one of the restaurants mentioned in that article above, the Northlake Tavern, which I managed to visit one more time before it closed forever.

And now Vito’s is gone. Another one for the history books.

Tim Hunter

It’s The Little Modern Miracles

When you think about it, we do live in a pretty amazing world.

Take someone from the 1960s, toss them into a time machine, and launch them 60 years into the future to 2023 and they would be pretty shocked.

Giant, thin-screened television sets, with more channels than they could ever imagine; Music that has evolved from long-playing albums to digital files; Cars starting to drive themselves; Phones that go where we go and so on.

It’s my guess that while that person may marvel at all of the breakthrough technology that came out over the course of the last six decades, they’d probably be even more surprised that we’re still moving our clocks twice a year between Standard Time and Daylight-Saving time.

Growing up in the 1960s, I’m sure we moved our clocks around, but I don’t remember it. There were so many other pressing issues as a kid like watching cartoons, collecting baseball cards and hanging out with the neighborhood gang.

But as we grew older, our worlds changed and soon, the twice-a-year ritual wore out its welcome. It didn’t help that, as a young parent, changing bedtime by an hour in either direction caused problems. Then, we just got tired of the concept and demanded that our lawmakers bring this madness to an end. We even got to vote for it and voters overwhelmingly approved the idea of keeping the clocks the same year ’round.

Then we were informed that as much as everyone in the state wanted to ditch the spring and fall clock routine, Congress would have to act. I’ll start holding my breath now.

My buddy Brian MacMillan over at Fox 13 interview U.S. Senator Patty Murray last week and from the sounds of that interview, there’s hope that we just might finally bring this insanity to an end.

According to Senator Murray, the Senate approved sticking with Daylight-Saving Time all year in 2022…but last year’s version of the House didn’t feel it was enough of a priority and let the bill die. So, once again, the Senate has approved the measure and sent it to the house and Patty feels that they just might approve it this year! Hope springs eternal.

As for me, I could take or leave it. But there are two parts of the process I really don’t enjoy: 1) The complaining that ramps up for a couple of days among the grumblers and 2) Trying to remember how to reset the clock in my car. Oh, sure, with a quick search on YouTube, some guy named Joe in Indiana will show you. But by this stage of my life, I’m very protective of every minute of my every day. The time change probably robs me of five minutes of my life every year that I’ll never get back.

When I got into my car on Sunday after the time change, I commented to my wife that I thought it was much later than it was. She was quick to point out that it was time-change weekend and my car was now officially an hour behind. I let out a deep sigh and after we finished our errands and headed home, I planned to be sitting in the driveway, watching that YouTube video and resetting my clock.

A few minutes later, I suddenly yelled out, “Oh my God!” My wife quickly scanned the road right in front of us and wondered what was going on. “What? What?”, she asked.

I replied, “Look at my clock”!

Yes, the dashboard clock in my 2020 Subaru Outback had automatically updated itself to Daylight Saving Time! Sorry Joe, but I no longer need you.

And that set the tone for a pretty content Sunday.

It’s the little modern miracles…

Tim Hunter

Just Calm Down, Tim

I try to keep a nice, even keel, even when I’m not on a boat.

Too many people I know are full of emotional highs and lows and it’s just exhausting to watch. I can only imagine what they’re going through, but it just doesn’t look fun. So, I’ve made it so that it takes a lot for me to get upset. Yet, it happened twice over the weekend.

The first “ticker” was having my Instagram account hacked. Friends started contacting me about being asked to connect with a Tim Hunter that shared the same picture as me, but in the name of the account, had an extra _ or something like that. I’m pretty good about having a tricky password and i haven’t been hacked in forever, but this weekend, I was not only hacked once…but TWICE.

There were two phony me’s out there, asking to friend my acquaintances and then trying to get them to buy something. For those not savvy on what to do next, any time you get a phony friend request (and these days, I’m wary of every one that comes in), do these things.

First, check to see if you’re already connected. If you are, let them know they’ve been hacked. If you’re not connected, write, email, Messenger, or even call ’em to see if they actually sent that invite. They didn’t? Well, then, report that phony friend. Let’s pretend I got an invitation to connect from my friend Howie, who’s already among the approved. Click on their profile picture and this pops up.

Notice those three dots in the upper right? (hard to ignore with the arrow, huh?) Click on those.

That gives you these options:

Just block and they won’t be able to bother you again. But click on the Report and you can turn them into the Instagram police. Enough reports come in and they shut that bozo down.

And if you are hacked in either Instagram or Facebook, immediately change your password. And that’s about all you can do. What a ticker!

The second thing that got under my skin occurred when I went to watch the Sounders game Saturday night. I turned on the TV and they weren’t there. Then I was reminded about that new deal they have with Apple TV. Yep, not all, but a good many of this year’s schedule is going to only be available on Apple TV, which I do not subscribe to. For God’s sake, I already pay for Starz, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, Prime, Netflix, Disney Plus and I borrow a password for a Hulu account. I don’t need one more service. They wanted $6.99 a month and then add on another $12.99 a month for “All Access Soccer” so I could watch games across the country that I didn’t care about.

The more I thought about it, the more I decided I was going to give up watching the Sounders. Screw ’em. I’ve got the Kraken and the Mariners and the Huskies (not during basketball season) and the Seahawks. Who needs those stinkin’ Sounders?

The next day, my step-son let us know because we’re T-Mobile customers, we get the full season pass on Apple TV for free. One of the spiffs of being a T-Mobile customer. Well, then, fine. I guess I’m speaking to Drew Carey again.

Then, there was this one other annoying thing I was going to launch a complaint about: people whose car alarms go off and they don’t do a darn thing about it. So, I’m working away at home, and the HONK-HONK-HONK just goes on and on, as if they can’t hear it. I can hear it clear as day while I’m trying to record a radio show or concentrate on something I’m writing. In fact, just today, someone’s car alarm went off and I finally got so mad, I stormed upstairs and went outside to see who the idiot was that was driving me crazy.

Yup. My car. When I sit down with the keys in my jeans pocket, the pressure on the FOB set it off. Gotta remember to take those out of my pants when I sit down.

Just calm down, Tim.

Tim Hunter

I Could Live That Way

There’s a place not very far from Seattle that feels very far away.

This past weekend, my wife and I enjoyed a nice stay up on Whidbey Island. We gathered with friends to celebrate a 70th birthday at an Airbnb that was literally three houses away from the ferry landing. As we exited the boat in our car, we saw a small street and we both thought, “Oh, this can’t be it.” But a quick right turn and the next thing you know, there we were and we were forced to tolerate this view all weekend long.

One of the many endearing things about Whidbey Island is that, yes, you can take a ferry to the island. It’s just a 20-minute zip across the water from Mukilteo. But if there any kind of problem like a ferry strike or something, you can drive off the island up on the north end, across beautiful Deception Pass. How beautiful?


So, Whidbey is one beautiful setting, an “island life” kind of pace, where everything is slowed down and you can go explore cute little towns like Coupeville and Langley. Saturday morning, we went and had breakfast with a couple of my college buddies and their wives who now live full-time up on this chunk of paradise, then wandered over to Langley, only to find ourselves surrounded by their annual Mystery Weekend. For almost 40 years, people have gathered to do some sleuthing and solve a mystery with clues scattered around the town and actors adding additional hints with a theatrical flair.

Add in some fun shops, nice eateries, some great views and the Star Store and you’ve got a pretty nice, relaxing afternoon.

My wife and I also enjoy a little Whidbey Island history. A weekend visit to the Penn Cove Mussel Festival (coming up this weekend, by the way) was one of our first “dates” after having been introduced 16 Februaries ago. I mean, what could be more romantic than a celebration based on something she ate only to be polite and I don’t think has eaten since?

I know several former neighbors from the old neighborhood in Bothell ended up finding their way up there. My friends Tank & Doreen were married on the island in a forest there many years ago. There’s the Greenbank farm, oh, and a bed and breakfast we went to a few years back called The Compass Rose House, which we’ve been meaning to get back and visit.

So, yeah, after a couple of pretty much non-stop work weeks, it was incredibly nice to shut down, to not be on my phone or computer for hours at a time and to savor a simpler life.

We even enjoyed a hail show on our ferry ride back to civilization.

Notice the white sandy beaches in the background? Not sand.

Yeah, it would not take a whole lot to convince me: I could live that way.

Tim Hunter

Hello, New World

Every now and then, technology takes a big leap and we’re mesmerized.

During my expanded lifetime, I’ve seen music go from 78s to albums and 45s, to cassettes and 8-tracks, to compact disks and then digital files. Each upgrade taking us to a new level.

I could say the same about so many other things, especially computers. I still remember taking the big plunge and plopping down just under $2,000 for a monochrome screen and a PC that worked on DOS. It was like I was living in the future. Today, the phone I carry around could do laps around that clunky antique.

And now, here comes AI–artificial intelligence.

Oh, it’s been around. Seems like every day, there’s a new article about it, or how Microsoft AI Chatbot “wished it was a human” and so on. To me, this is exciting stuff. To my wife, it’s just the Will Smith movie, “I, Robot” becoming a reality. (which, knowing what I know now, Will could have controlled the situation so much better if he just slapped that bad ‘bot)

Here’s where we take off.

Artificial Intelligence is waiting right now to help you.

There’s a website called Open AI (https://labs.openai.com) where you can utilize A.I. in a couple of ways. For writing, it’s called ChatGPT (https://chat.openai.com/chat) Pick a topic, any topic–for example, “Suggest a few names for a horse” and, in seconds, this pops up.

1. Stormy 2. Maverick 3. Apollo 4. Shadow 5. Blaze

6. Thunder 7. Spirit 8. Diamond 9. Prince 10. Duchess

Yeah, that’s just like Google, right? No, this monster thinks. Maybe have it write a paper on the benefits of an annuity as part of your financial picture.

And off it goes:

Oh, it’s not done. It will keep going until it has told you everything it knows until you hit that ‘stop generating’ button at the bottom. I hit it when it got to this point.

Otherwise, it would still be going.

What’s wrong with this? Nothing from my standpoint. I, as a writer, am ultimately responsible for what I put my name on, but something like this could sure do a lot of the time-consuming research and heavy lifting.

But there are already concerns about students using this to write their papers. One clergy has already publicly condemned pastors who us A.I. to write their sermons, saying, that “their sermons would have no soul.”

But contain your freaking out until I explain that the above drawing was created by A.I. after I put in the description, “Colored pencil drawing of an African American man fighting a robot.” Yes, it creates images from word descriptions.

What about, “Create a picture of a train on a railroad track in the style of Rembrandt?” In 20-seconds or so, it gives you four options to choose from. Here was my favorite.

Or bees flying around a cow in the style of Van Gogh. Here’s one that it created.

And in-between your projects, it gives you hints on how better to ask for your creations.

And so on.

If you’d like to play along, here’s the website for the graphics AI.

And now you have a couple of powerful new tools in your arsenal, you big go-getter, you. I know I’ll be putting to use. Already have.

I thought you would want to know.

Hello, New World.

Tim Hunter

The Power of an Old Photo

I’ve got photo book after photo book in the bookcase to my right. A couple of them are filled with childhood snapshots, while others showcase my college antics. There are also collections of family shots that I occasionally look at, amazing me how quickly time has gone by.

I’ve seen ’em all, multiple times, and have mental pictures of all of them somewhere in my mind, so I’m not surprised when I see them again.

The other day, I got an email from my high school buddy, Tank. After high school graduation, the two of us headed north together for our adventures at the University of Washington. His sister-in-law had been going through some old photos and came across this one:

I gave a quick glimpse and went, “Wow!” There was me fresh out of high school, along with Tank carrying a bag which I’ll assume were donuts.

In the original email, Tank’s sister-in-law originally asked, “Does anyone know who the girl is?” and as I was originally viewing this on my phone and a much smaller screen, I said, “I wasn’t sure.”

But later in the day, I got a chance to view this on my desktop and a much larger screen and I knew right away.

This was a photo I didn’t have a copy of. It was the first time I had seen it and boy, did it knock the memories loose.

That was back in the day when the fashion sense of my world was jeans or cords and white t-shirts. If we had met in the summer of 1973, this is what I would have looked like. The hair, starting to lengthen as I headed off to college. That Honda Civic I was resting my arm on–my parents bought that for me, brand new, from the Honda dealership in Torrance, California. The price: $2800.

I know the photo was taken in September of 1973 as Tank already owned a blue Honda Civic. Notice my Civic didn’t have a license plate and had the dealer paper in the rear window, so this must have been after we bought it and before I drove up to Seattle in mid-September.

This is when I had the world by the horns. I had gotten into a major university and by getting a Washington State driver’s license and getting Washington plates when I arrived up north, in a year, my out-of-state tuition would go down from $527 a quarter, to a mere $188 for in-state tuition. Yes, I was going to become a Washington state resident.

But back to the girl in the photo. That was my high-school girlfriend, the girl across the street, who I planned to marry someday. This was the girl I had a crush on during my sophomore year, managed to start “going steady” with at the end of my junior year and spent my senior year doing all the things a high school couple did in those days. She had graduated the year before and attended an occupational school during her high school years, so she was off on her career as a dental assistant.

I was absolutely nuts about this girl, but looking back, I know I had a lot of growing up to do. The only thing I knew about relationships was what I had seen on TV and watching what other high school couples were like. With some ups and downs over our first year, in my mind, it made sense for me to go away to school and see if the relationship could survive time apart. While I didn’t come home from college for the first two months, thanks to my dad’s airline employment (he was a ground mechanic for United Airlines), I was able to start flying home for weekends for just $6 round trip. $12 if I wanted to travel First Class.

My learning curve about long-distance relationships included a $114 phone bill for our first month apart. I quickly learned to get that under control.

When I returned home for the summer after my freshman year of college, I worked at the United Airlines flight kitchen and continued my relationship with “that girl.” In the fall, I returned to the Northwest, I continued to fly home every couple of weeks, and again, everything was going according to plan. I would graduate in a couple of years, go to work at United Airlines as a ticket reservation agent, get married and everything would just continue to fall in place.

My old radio pal Larry Nelson liked to say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for your life.”

It was a Thursday morning near the end of my sophomore year at the U-Dub. I had worked in the kitchen that morning, either frying up 1,000 eggs, or flipping 1200 pancakes, when my roommate let me know she had called and really needed to talk with me. Sure, as soon as I get off work, no problem.

By 8:30am, I was done and headed up to my room. I called her number and that’s when everything changed. I was informed she had a sign from God that she needed to break up with me. I tried to talk her out of it, there was crying, but her mind was made up. We were officially a formal couple.

Several months later, that girl and the youth minister that helped her realize God wanted her to break up with me, got married.

50 years later, I hear from friends and relatives that they’re still together, so I guess God knew what he was doing. As I look back with the advantage of hindsight, it definitely was something that happened in both of our best interests. She got the world she wanted and I took a scenic route to the amazing life I enjoy today.

It’s probably why I’m such a big believer in the thought that we are an accumulation of all the experiences we’ve gone through. That includes everything and I mean everything, good and bad, happening for a reason. I look back at that high-school-into-college relationship and while there were many seriously magical moments, the pain of that breakup was brutal. But, as we’ve all learned by now, life is a series of ups and downs–and you just have to savor the ups and deal with the downs.

That picture triggered a lot of memories and took me back to a time I haven’t visited lately. You would-be screenwriters, maybe I’ll get around to it someday, but I’ve got this idea for a clinic that offers “Flashback” treatments. You go in, they use their machine to allow your brain to take you back to a moment in your life that you’d like to visit just one more time–the birth of a child, a breakup, a great moment in your life–and then, while you’re there, you see why things happened the way they did, so you have a better understanding of that critical moment in your life. Then, you can get back to appreciating the life you are actually enjoying today. Or, should be enjoying.

Wow. The power of an old photo.

Tim Hunter

But It Was All Worth It

When I heard the news, I immediately knew I had to visit the place just one more time.

Down in the U-District, not far from Terry Hall, the dorm where I lived during my first three years at the University of Washington, was a pizza place called the Northlake Tavern. Yes, it was a tavern, but their pizza was legendary. Thick, greasy, loaded with toppings, a college student’s dream. Well, at least back in the 1970s.

Because it was a tavern, I didn’t go there very much my first couple of years. But by my junior year, my confidence had grown and I had accessed a fake I.D., so we would occasionally stumble down the hill and order one of those amazing pizzas. However, when I graduated, I headed east of the mountains and just didn’t have the opportunity to swing by there.

When I did move back to the area three years later, I lived in the burbs and just never seemed to make it that way. Over the next 40 years or so, I think I got back there maybe twice, for old times’ sake.

At the same time I had moved on and the Northlake Tavern became just another college memory, a fellow I had worked with in the dorms, Abdoullah, had gone to work at the Tavern, where the owner took him under his wing, taught him the tricks of the trade and eventually, Abdoullah bought the place! He was one of three brothers who had come over from the Middle East, each scattering into their field of specialty and reaching success. In Abdoullah’s case, he kept the Northlake alive and thriving.

But time marches on and now, in the year 2023, the time has come for Abdoullah to call it quits. Sadly, he’s been battling Parkinson’s, so after all that hard work, retirement is probably not going to be as he had hoped. The good news is that he found a buyer, the local pizza chain Mario’s, who will close the restaurant for a couple of months to refurbish it, then re-open it as a Mario’s.

The official closing date was Tuesday, January 31st. When that was first announced, the line began to form. After all, when you’ve been doing what the Northlake Tavern has been doing for 68 years, a lot of people have memories attached to the place.

Including yours truly.

So, a couple of weeks out, my friends Tank, Steve and I agreed to meet for lunch there at noon on Thursday, January 26th. But as that date approached, pictures on social media kept showing up with people saying they had to wait an hour to get in. Then 90 minutes. We adjusted our plan to meet there at 11am, when Northlake opened, so hopefully we could be eating by noon.


Now, quick side bar. Each of my Monday through Friday workdays are a carefully plotted out collection of various jobs, scattered out through a series of 12-hour days. It’s just how I roll. I try to top-heavy the week so that by Thursday and Friday, I may only work 10 hours. Maybe.

When the big day arrived, I completed most of my radio show prep duties and a couple of projects, and just figured when I got home after lunch, I’d crank out my radio show. Perfect plan.

After a 10:30am Zoom at home, I dashed to the car and drove to Northlake. Not a parking spot to be found. For blocks. For a half-mile, where I finally a 2-hour parking spot and began the walk to the restaurant.

When I arrived, I found Tank & Steve around the corner at the end of a line of about 60 people. That shouldn’t be too bad. Over time, a couple of people were allowed in the restaurant, and the line would move up just a little more.

But inside, the kitchen was overwhelmed. Not only making pizzas for those in the restaurants, who were ordering two pizzas each–one for now, and the other to toss in the freezer when they got home. But there were also to-go orders being phoned in. You can see where this is going.

Sadly, while we waited in line, a woman came up to the restaurant with a printed receipt for some pizzas she had purchased online. It turned out, she had been swindled. The restaurant wasn’t selling them online. Those scamsters work fast.

Meanwhile, back in line, I faced a dilemma. At which point do I decide, “Oh, this is ridiculous!” and just go home. Or, because I’ve already invested an hour, it could be just a few more minutes.

I had lots of time to think about my decision because were not seated until 1:46m. Yes, 2-hours and 46-minutes just to be seated. When a waitress finally made it to our table, she apologized for the wait, said she could take drink orders but that the kitchen was so backed up, it may be a while until we would see a pizza. Beer was ordered, and we went into a new waiting mode.

On the positive side, I had some quality time with a couple of guys who have been like brothers to me over the years. We have been through a friggin’ lot—marriages, health scares, tragedies, life moments, so to that end, I was grateful for the FIVE HOURS we got to share together.

Yep, it was an hour and 16 minutes until a couple of delicious pizzas came our way. We were allowed two per person, but just settled for two of their $31 medium pizzas–a Combo and a Meat Lovers.

I’ll be honest, I had reached out to Abdoullah to see if he might remember us and was secretly hoping for him to say, “Oh, you guys are coming in? We’ll save you a table!” He said he did remember us, but no table offer was made.

Meanwhile, as we sat there in the pizza-ready position, waiting our beer, Abdoullah walked into his restaurant. He looked frail, needed a cane to walk and apparently just can’t verbally communicate well anymore. When I saw him, I yelled out, “Abdoullah!” He turned. I pointed to each of the characters. “Tank! Steve! Tim!”

His eyes widened and he smiled. We said some other things to him, which I don’t remember, but it was how his eyes lit up that will be the moment I cherish from that day.

Yes, that’s a big slice out of a workday. Leaving the house at 10:40am, getting back home at 4:34pm. However, I got to revisit an old haunt from my college days one more time, hang with old friends, see someone I hadn’t seen in almost 50 years and get a smile out of him. Yes, it made for a tough rest of the workday.

But it was all worth it.

Tim Hunter

Where Have You Been All My Life?

This week, I’m going to drag you along on my search for a decent shave.

There was a time, back when this whole shaving thing began, that I was a razor-and-shaving-cream kinda guy. It’s what my dad did, what all the other guys in the dorms at Terry Hall did. Oh, maybe there was a graduate student with one of those fancy electric razor gismos, but for the most part, it was all about dragging this really sharp blade across your face while not being far away from your styptic pencil.

The clunky, old two-sided razor eventually gave way to the new sleek and sexy razors and then, the sleek and sexy disposable razors. The problem was, on those morning when I was in a hurry or distracted, I’d have to take the time to get the bleeding to stop before heading into work.

Then, somewhere along the line, I made the switch to an electric razor. I’ve easily had a half-dozen or so over the years, each progressively better. However, the closeness of the shave was always “ok” and I’d always have to do some careful follow-up work with a Schick disposable.

Eventually, I found myself the owner of a Braun electric razor and it was pretty good. In fact, I’ll bet you anything that I’ve had it close to a decade. But the pattern that developed was this: new blades would give you that close, comfortable shave for a couple of months…until it felt like you were plucking the hairs out of your face. No fun. Then I’d have to see how long I could wait before I’d pony up another $35 for new blades. I’m so damn cheap.

The new blades would arrive and then I’d be happy again….for a while. What helped was that I tried out those Harry’s blades and everything they say in the ads is true. So, that allowed me to put up with a crappy shave from my electric razor, then easily fix the spots it missed with one of Harry’s finest.

However, this time when the Braun blades dulled again, I decided to use that Consumer Reports subscription I pay for but never use and see what their research on electric razors had to say. I couldn’t help but notice that only the mega-expensive Braun was recommended, but there were an awful lot of Panasonics in there. Really? It was a departure in design from what I was used to, but the reviews were in and while Panasonic’s top of the line model was in the $200-$300 range, I found one for $99. Sure, it was the lower-level model without the bells and whistles, but I wasn’t looking for a singing/dancing electric razor, I just wanted a close shave.

And we have a winner.

This is the one. This is what it looks like. It glides across my face, not irritating it one bit. At times with the old Braun and my refusal to keep paying the new blade extortion fee, I’d occasionally get razor-burns. Nope, every morning when it’s time to trim the whiskers, it’s one smooth experience after another. And in the two weeks I’ve been using it, it’s still mostly charged. It even has a gauge on the front to tell you how charged up it is.

So, after an almost 50-year search for the perfect shave, I have finally found it. Thank you, Panasonic. Where have you been all my life?

Tim Hunter

That’s How You Do It Right

If someone asked you to list 100 things wrong with the world, you’d probably respond, “Only 100?”

I’ve noticed that, as you get older, you have to compromise your expectations because things just aren’t done they way they use to do them. Expect a certain level of service or quality and you’ll hear catch phrases like, “supply chain issues”, “we can’t find people to do the job” and so on. You’ve heard ’em all.

So, when a company does something not only really right, but above and beyond the kind of service we settle for these days, I have to shout their praises to the rafters. Well, I don’t have rafters, so you’ll have to settle for it in writing.

It all began when I realized how corroded the burners were in my barbecue. The flames shot up unevenly, which made it really challenging to cook anything. One end of the steak would be black, while the other end was raw. It was time for new burners.

So, I did what any other red-blooded American does these days–I went to Amazon. I found some burners for my Char-Broil grill, placed the order and soon, the package arrived.

They sat patiently on a downstairs desk until I had the time to take on the barbecue. You can’t put new burners in a filthy barbecue, so I removed the old, corroded burners and threw them out. They I cleaned out the barbecue so it would be a welcome home for those new shiny burners. I went to install them and…..they didn’t fit. They were too thick at the bottom.

OK, Life Lesson #14,490–you need to make sure you order the correct burners for the model of your Char-Broil grill.

The good news, of course, is that I could just return the wrong ones. But the challenge came when I went to find replacement burners for my model and they were nowhere. I searched on and off Amazon, carefully comparing the ones for sale with the 9-digit model number and….nothing.

I reviewed my Amazon orders and discovered it wasn’t really THAT long ago I bought my barbecue. It was an Amazon “Best Buy” and I really liked the grill, but if all I get is 18 months of use before I have to buy a new barbecue…..well, then this is definitely going to be my last Char-Broil purchase.

Before biting the spatula and going out to buy a new barbecue (which I might add have gone up significantly in price in the last couple of years) I decided to take a couple of last swings. I would reach out to local appliance gurus Judd & Black, and also write to the manufacturer to say, “What’s up with this?”

Both responded quickly. Judd and Black told me that I would have to contact the manufacturer. Yes, the folks at Char-Broil. And this is where it started getting good.

Char-Broil actually called and emailed me. I missed the call, but when I called the number provided in the email, a friendly voice took my information, and let me know that the burners were actually covered by a warranty. I mentioned that I needed all the guts for my barbecue, and they said, “No problem. What other parts do you need?”

This couldn’t be happening.

In fact, when I was forwarded to their credit robot that would ring up my sale, I tried to punch in the credit card numbers on the phone and got disconnected. I called back, got the same person and he personally took me through the purchase.

Friendly. Treating you like a valued customer. Making sure you really were happy. It was numbing. All in one day, in a matter of minutes, really, and the matter was resolved. The barbecue I was perfectly happy with will live on and I won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for a new one.

But when that time comes, I guarantee it will be a Char-Broil, because they understand customer service.

That’s how you do it right.

Tim Hunter


This Has Been A Tough One

Each week, I try to take on a different topic in this little corner of the Internet, to share an experience, a perspective, a funny story, whatever.

There were lots of directions I could have gone this week. Saying farewell to the Northlake Tavern in the U-District, a special occasion destination back when I lived just up the hill at Terry Hall at the University of Washington. It first opened back in 1954, but now, after all these years, it’s going to be sold to someone who is going to change it into the newest location of a local chain, Mario’s Pizzas. The amazing part of this story is that the owner and I used to work together in the kitchens at the dorm at Terry Hall.  He was one of a trio of brothers, who had come to the U.S. to attend school at the U.W.. Never in my wildest imagination did I think Abdoullah would graduate and then take over the Northlake Tavern and that legendary pizza. I’ve already reached out to him and said I’m going to do everything I can to get in and see him this month before he closes so he can focus on a health issue.

That tends to happen to us around our age. Man, those U-Dub dorm days seem so long ago….

Or, I could have gone in the direction of the Seahawks after that draining need-a-couple-of-miracles Sunday and the fact we’re actually going to the playoffs. I had an idea for another topic–how there are really two of each of us. The person our friends and acquaintances see us as, and the person we know when we’re by ourselves. I promise, that’s going to be a definite future blog.

But instead, I’ve been haunted by the topic of my last writing and the passing of local radio show host, Dori Monson. To keep new readers up to speed, Dori was a home-grown boy who eventually became the most listened-to radio show in the Seattle area. Every weekday, from noon-3pm, he’d confirm to some that there was someone out there who actually thought like they did; others, he would drive crazy, but yet, they’d continue to listen.

Then, while using up vacation time during the holidays, his heart decided to give out on him at the very young age of 61. (and, as I like to say, getting younger every day)

Over the past week, knowing darn well he was no longer with us, I would still react to a story I heard or read with the feeling, “Oh, I’ve gotta email that to Dori!”

Then I remembered.

One friend let me know she a sorority sister to Dori’s wife. I never knew that.

Another friend grew up across the street from Dori in Ballard and when we started talking about him, she recalled the things they did together as neighbor kids. A version of “Work Ups”, a baseball-type game you’d play in the streets with whoever was available; they rode their bikes together around those “mean streets of Ballard” as he liked to say; they played “Batman”, with Dori insisting that he was the only one who could be the Caped Crusader.

Both, stories I would have passed along to Dori via email and then, he would take the time to respond and thank me for sending.

What bothers me so much about Dori’s passing is the suddenness. Living his radio dream, having a family and friends he loved, all that success and then just having it all just yanked out from under him.

He, like myself, was also quite the workaholic.  If it were a contest, he would win, because after getting a taste of six hours of sleep a night, I’ve come to really like it. But for me, still, most workdays are 12 hours long and the ones that aren’t are longer. Yet, when that 5pm mark arrives, I’ve trained myself to shut down and whatever needs to be done can just be added to tomorrow’s workfest.

One of my long-held beliefs is that there is no way I’ll be able to get everything done that I want to do during my time here, so I constantly feel this sense of urgency to get things done.  I don’t want to leave a bunch of un-finished projects behind. So, if I think of something–a new project, an aspiration, a bucket-list item–I’ll put it on the master list and make sure I eventually take that on.

Even in my retirement years, I’m envisioning finally getting back to those screenplays I wrote, polishing them up and submitting them to some folks I’ve met over the years. I want to put my life story down in writing, not for the world, but for my kids, grandkids and those beyond, so they know what all went on during my time here.

In a way, I believe Dori also knew his time here was limited. His radio shows were all archived, with KIRO playing “The Best of Dori” to fill his time slot until they decide on an heir apparent. To his credit, Dori like to push himself beyond his comfort zone, to try new things, regardless of the results. I remember when he put his one-man show together and I really wanted to go catch one of those productions, but I just couldn’t work that into the calendar.  Fortunately, someone smartly videotaped the last show he did down in Federal Way.

This may be more Dori than you’d be interested in, but he did a nice job of getting up in a theater in front of a bunch of fans and telling stories about his life.  This is from 2019, so coming up on four years ago and before the “great pandemic”, so I’m glad he got it in when he did. You’ll notice he occasionally needs to rest his knee that was starting to go out on him.

I was fortunate enough to have had my path cross his, if only in a minor way, but it had a lasting effect on me and how I do things.

Dori would always get uncomfortable when it came to saying good things about him, but sir, you taught me a lot–about broadcasting, about keeping family important regardless of what happens with your career, and the ultimate reminder that our amount of time he is not guaranteed.

Thank you.

This has been a tough one.

Tim Hunter

PS Fellow KLSY-kateer and cartoonist Frank Shiers did this touching cartoon. He was lucky enough to work at KIRO for a while and with Dori.


And Then He Was Gone

Thinking about it, I don’t think I have the right to call Dori Monson a “friend.” I would say a brother in broadcasting, a peer, and truth be told, I would call myself a fan.

Dori passed away suddenly on New Year’s Eve when his heart gave out, at the getting-younger-by-the-day age of only 61 years old. I can only imagine the grief felt by his wife, his daughters and all those who were lucky enough to work with him because I felt that suddenness when my broadcast partner Alice Porter died just months after our morning show blew up at KLSY. She was only 44.

I did know Dori in several ways. Mostly, as a listener who has followed him the bulk of his radio career in the Seattle market. There are others over the years that I would try to catch, to study their craft and how they played on the radio. The broadcast giant Paul Harvey used to make me stay in my car and listen until his noon report was done, back in my KOMO radio days. I’d also catch an occasional “Police Blotter” with KJR’s Gary Lockwood. I’ll confess, there was a Rush Limbaugh phase in there, but eventually he wore me down and I had to leave. I didn’t discover Bob Rivers until the last couple of years of his show, as he was on the air when I was, but broadcast brilliance. Seattle has been very lucky to have so many major talents.

Dori was a master of his craft and you could hear those years of experience paying off with every broadcast. Back in the early days of his show, he had the pre-recorded voice that would say, “That’s Dori, with an I” whenever a listener got his name wrong. (and they did) From his bits, “You be the Jury” to “One on One Against The Nuns” (where he’d do football picks with a couple of local nuns), his on-air parachute jump and so many other great radio moments, I listened with awe. He chatted with his friends on the air, he talked about his family, how he grew up on the “mean streets of Ballard,” how his father was an alcoholic, that his mom pretty much raised him, I heard how he met his wife, heard stories of the early years of his marriage, how proud he was of his three daughters and the impact of losing his sister.  Oh, and he had a thing for Olivia Newton-John. If you listened to Dori, you knew Dori.

But as our country went down the path of becoming so divisive, so did his show. KIRO was mostly left-leaning, and while Dori proudly proclaimed himself a Libertarian, I’m convinced a consultant told him to be more centrist, if not right-leaning. And as ratings went up, he evolved into quite a Trump supporter in one of the bluest cities in the country. At times, the Biden-bashing became so ruthless, it was unlistenable. Criticism is one thing, but brutal negativity and mocking is just not listenable. In recent months, if I hopped in my car between noon and 3pm, I would flip him on to see how long I could keep listening. Basically, an audio form of bronco-busting.

Before KIRO decided that on-air phone calls were not a good thing, I managed to sneak in on the air with him one afternoon. I don’t remember what the premise was, but he went to my phone call and I got out the line, “If God didnt’ want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?” Dori just let that line hang there, didn’t comment, and then pushed the button to wrap up his show.

Whenever a funny line came to mind involving local news, I would email it to him. He would thank me and life went on. Sometimes I would hear the line on the air.

The photo with this blog is from the time Dori and I emceed the 17th of May parade together in Ballard, his home stomping grounds. Over the years, whenever I reached out to him, he couldn’t have been kinder and treated me like a member of the radio club, even though we had never worked on the air together.

Last year, I reached out to him by email and asked if he’d be up for an interview to talk about KRKO’s 100th birthday. He couldn’t have been more excited and when we finally connected via the Internet, it was like old friends getting together. Again, he couldn’t have been more gracious. You can hear that interview right here.

Knowing him more like a listener than a friend, I had no idea that he had been battling some health conditions. Again, on the air, he was a pro. The audience doesn’t need to hear about all the details of your personal life, just the entertaining ones.

It’s just numbing to think the Dori Monson era in Seattle radio is over.

As I mentioned, he grew up in Ballard as did my wife and her siblings. Victoria’s brother Kris and Dori were, I think, the same age and I could see that his passing really shook Kris up.

A couple of other Ballard-raised friends also shared their stories about growing up with Dori on Facebook:

So sad to hear this. Dori and I grew up together at Calvary Lutheran Church, Ballard High School (he was a grade behind me and skipped ahead and graduated a year before me!) He married my sorority sister from the U of W. So sad for his family and our community! — Laurie

I am in total shock that Dori Monson passed away on Saturday. His older brother Liel was one of my best friends growing up.  I spent a LOT at the Monson house in Ballard. Dori was 6 years younger than us so he was a ‘little kid” brother until we all got older. He was a child prodigy as far as his “smarts” zipping through school right into the UW at such a young age. Of course, we were all so proud of him when he became so successful in radio. I would only see him occasionally. He looked so much like his beautiful Mom Sylvia. She was so good to all us kids growing up. I practically lived at the Monson house during the summer. His dad, Orville Monson, was so good to us as well. Always rides to school and later gave Liel his Nash Metropolitan which we renamed the Metro, painting it purple and black & putting ridiculously high lifters on the back axle!  We weren’t old enough to drive so Ron Lindahl’s older brother Steve would drive us all down to cruise Golden Gardens. Orville let us take over the whole garage to play around with the “Monson Mobile”. They recently lost older sister Karla who we all loved growing up. I am devastated over this. Dori was a good man. — Norm

And my broadcast brother, Keith Shipman (the two of us were laid off from KOMO on that fateful day back in 1984), had some great stories to share:

I’ve been struggling with what to write about the passing of Dori Monson, a friend of 43 years, who passed away at age 61 on New Year’s Eve.
We first met in college, when broadcasting a WSU-UW baseball game at Tubby Graves Field in Seattle (he for KCMU-FM, I for KWSU-AM). A few years later we began spending evenings together watching the Mariners (occasionally making a small wager on the announced attendance), Sonics and Seahawks at the Kingdome, which strengthened our bond.
Dori and I eventually worked together at KING 1090 and KCPQ-TV as we chased our sports dreams. He soon embarked on a very successful talk show career at KIRO Radio, where over the past three decades he held court with one of the largest radio audiences in the Pacific Northwest (and for that matter, for a locally produced talk show in America). He was a brilliant broadcaster, studiously constructing and executing a daily program that inspired passion from the far left and the far right and entertained most of us in the middle. Was he controversial? Yes. Did he make you remember what he said? Certainly. He was much like former Seattle Post Intelligencer sports columnist Art Thiel in that manner – you remembered what Art wrote and you remembered what Dori said.
Dori was one of the most intelligent people I ever met, and our conversations rarely, if ever involved politics, or for that matter, sports. We talked about marriage, about friendships, about the interesting people we encountered, about our kids and the communities where they were growing up. Away from his day job, Dori connected people – he built communities among those he crossed paths with – those in the industry, those in athletics, those in his village. He once told me that he wanted to be a great husband and father, host a radio talk show and coach basketball. That would be his perfect life. He did all three – and guided the Shorecrest Girls Basketball team to a state title in 2016. It was a great delight for me to call him not long ago to let him know that he is among those to be inducted into the inaugural class of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Dori was a sensational husband and father and had legions of friends. He was fiercely loyal to Suzanne, his bride of 35 years, and adored his three daughters. My heart weeps for Suzanne, Kelsey, Haley and Keegan.
He was a terrific friend to many. I’m grateful I was among them and shall treasure our friendship for the rest of my days. Rest easy old pal – it was a pleasure knowing you. Much love to you, and the family and friends you’ve left behind.

Dori Monson came into this world and was determined to succeed. In family, in life, and especially in radio. He gave 110% in everything he did, he had his own, unique style and he loved to laugh. Of all the things I’ll hear in my mind when I think of him is that laugh. 

Another broadcast brother, John Curley did an AMAZING job on the first day back after the holidays, hosting a five-hour show featuring clips and stories from his friends and co-workers. You can hear that here.

It’s still not real. It doesn’t feel fair. Dori gave us 40+ years on TV and radio, delivering nothing but his best.

And then he was gone.

Tim Hunter

What the hell was I thinking?

I’m pretty tech savvy.

I know my way around a computer. Thanks to some patient techy gurus over the years, I’ve learned a lot about those beastly machines that we stare out every minute of every day.

But not all technology is kind.

For years, I fought the idea of using a Keurig coffee-making machine. Oh, I’ve used them at times when visiting friends that have them and, so I don’t look inept, I learned how they work.

Then, recently, one was made available to me and so I thought, “What the heck?” and set it up on the table around 12-feet behind my desk. I was thinking, “That’ll be so convenient! Now I won’t have to run up and down the stairs to the coffee maker kitchen. I can have a hot cup of coffee anytime I want it in a couple of minutes.”

Or, so I thought.

It sounds so simple on paper. But here’s how it has been working for me. It’s late in the morning or early afternoon and its been hours since I finished my daily pot of coffee and I’m feeling like I could use a boost about now. So, I get up, walk over to the Keurig and turn it on. Yeah, it has to warm up first.

I go back to work. A half-hour or so passes and I think to myself, “Whatever happened to that coffee? Oh, yeah, I forgot to make it.” So I go over, put in a new pod, hit the brew button and go back to work.

Another half hour passes and I’m feeling like that cup of coffee and I realize, “Crap! I never went over and picked it up!” So, I have to take the now lukewarm coffee upstairs, stick it in the microwave for a minute and then, finally, I’ve got my hot cup of coffee.

I take a sip, get back into work and by the time I remember I’ve got a cup waiting to be drank, it has cooled down to tepid at best.

So let us review: 30-minutes Keurig warm-up, 30-minutes after I brew the coffee, I pick it up, take it upstairs and zap it, then bring it back down. Easily 80-minutes of time invested in having a convenient cup of coffee.

What the hell was I thinking?

Tim Hunter

An Amazon Christmas Miracle

There are so many reasons to not like Amazon. The impact it has on smaller businesses, the fact you can’t just talk to anyone there, etc.

I’m old enough to remember when they started back in 1995. They ran radio commercials, bragging how they were the largest bookstore in the world. Just as Nordstrom started out as a shoe store, then went full-on clothing, Amazon kept growing and growing and soon, started selling everything under the sun. As the New Year begins, they’re going to begin drone delivered in two U.S. cities, Lockeford, California and College Station, Texas.

I tend to be a steady Amazon shopper. Did you know that if you use them through the website smile.amazon.com, every time you buy something, they make a donation to a charity of your choice? I have my monetary fragments going towards the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle.

What really appeals to me about Amazon is that you can buy something and they take care of delivery. If you purchased something at a store, you’d have to wrap it for shipping, then take it to the post office. If you’re an Amazon member, shipping is free! For me, that more than pays for the annual membership.

But it’s not a perfect world, and that includes Amazon.

So, this year, for my mom’s Christmas present, I thought it would be cool to get her a new bird bath for the backyard. She currently has an ceramic, perhaps cement bird bath in the center of the backyard that, every year, she would paint again with this sky-blue paint I bought back in 1972 to paint the Senior Pond at Torrance High School, during a pond-cleaning party. After 50 years, the paint finally ran out. (God knows how much lead was in there) So, it’s definitely time for a new bird bath.

Being a fan of hummingbirds, I thought mom would like this one and so I ordered it for her.

Three days later, I was notified that it had been delivered. Yes, on the box, it said “Paper Towels” and I thought, “How clever? So she doesn’t know what it is, they put Paper Towels on the outside. Brilliant!!”

Then the big day finally arrived. And what should appear as my 94-year-old mother opened up this cherished gift from her eldest child and only son?

Friggin’ paper towels.

Well, that tainted Christmas and later in the day, I got online with Amazon to chat with one of their representatives working on the holiday. The first agent was great, apologetic and said mom could just keep the paper towels and they’d get her a new bird bath. Great!

But then he transferred me to a less sympathetic, pissed-off-they-were-working-on-Christmas-Day employee who told me, “Nope! You’ve got to return those paper towels or we can’t issue you a refund.”

I explained and re-explained what happened, that they had screwed up royally, but she said, “Return those paper towels or no refund.” Oh, sure, what could possibly go wrong with that? The UPS guy shows up to pick up a bird bath and the box says ‘Paper Towels’. Or, it gets all the way back to Amazon and they say, “This isn’t a bird bath! He’s trying to scam us!”

Now, it’s not like my mom doesn’t like paper towels. In fact, she said that she actually needed some.

Thanks to sage advice from my youngest sibling, Debbie, I reached out to Amazon again this morning. Debbie’s thought is that when you’re talking Christmas Day, you’re going to get a member of the Customer Service B-team and she was right. Her theory continues that, the later in the day, the lower the grade and by 5pm you’re chatting with the D- or E-Team.

Well, this morning, the Tuesday after Christmas, I was connected with Ashish, who apparently has a Master’s Degree in customer service and by the time we were done chatting, she had fixed everything. My refund was on the way, mom gets to keep her paper towels, and mom’s actual bird bath will arrive on Friday.

It was an Amazon Christmas miracle.

And to all, a good night!

Tim Hunter

The Tradition Continues

Some people have normal holiday traditions, like making home-made eggnog or having prime rib for Christmas dinner.

I make a music video.

With my career in radio, I’ve always created just the audio portion of parody songs and around the time the holiday season arrives, I start thinking that way. What could I do this year?

A lot of times, that would result in me writing up the lyrics, creating the necessary music bed, and then singing it myself. I’m not awful, I’ll hit most of the notes and it’s all for the sake of being silly. Here are a couple of early gems from back in my KLSY days, “Snow Rider” and “Tired of the Snow.”

Yeah, I have fun.

Then, 11 years ago, my buddy at Destination Market, radio brother Scott Burns introduced me to a young lady named Alana Baxter. She was in to do a commercial voice, but it eventually leaked out that she was a singer. A real, on-key singer. I asked if she would be up for working together and suddenly, I had a partner.

In the past 11 years, we’ve created 10 gems that you can view here on my YouTube channel. I’ve created a playlist just for them. In those early years, I was filming with a Flip camera (remember those?), I then switched to a Canon 70D SLR camera but eventually, I just started using the technology available from my iPhone and it worked just fine. I mean, we’re not creating feature films here.

They’re good enough for a laugh.

And that’s the goal of each of those videos. But before I share with you this year’s triumph, while out scouting out scenes to use as a background, we came upon the Nutcracker House in Ballard. Someone actually bought all the props from a previous Pacific Northwest Ballet production of The Nutcracker and they put them up every year for the holiday season. Talk about your ultimate display!

But as we got out of the car, Alana experienced a rush of memories because she, as a young girl, was in many of those productions. When she started telling me stories I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s not waste this.”

So here is Alana’s personal tour of the Nutcracker house display.

So, after filming this tour and a few scenes for this year’s video, “Do You Have What I Have?”, we continued hopping around to various places like Swanson’s Nursery and a newer Seattle holiday attraction, Kringle’s Filling Station and in two hours, we had all the footage we needed to complete the music video.

After six hours of “grabbing edit time when it’s available”, I managed to put together this year’s song and I’m proud. Actually, I’m proud of each of the treasures we’ve produced over the years. To see the complete collection of Alana song videos, just click here.

After you’ve enjoyed this year’s achievement. Have a merry one.

And the tradition continues.

Tim Hunter

A Thought Salad

Yeah, each week, I try to focus on one thing and take a deep dive, but I got a bunch of topics rattling through my brain this week, so here goes.


That’s the Nordic Christmas I emcee every year for the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce at the Seattle Golf Club, pronounced YOOL-uh-bord. Last Friday was the big day and really, the kickoff to my holiday season activities. I went in, armed with jokes for my monologue and another Christmas parody song I had worked up. I took “Whoomp! There it is!” and changed it to “Whoomp! Julebord.”

I started up the music, yelled out, “Nordic people. It’s me, your emcee, back here at SGC, with just the right song for our Julebord today…that goes a little like this…..”


Adding to the fun, I had my musical partner in Christmas music crime, Alana Baxter, join me to rap, and then dance while I wrapped it up.

Oh, and that’s “Shot ‘o Linie”.

The sad part is that I don’t think there’s any video of that performance, but it worked out better than we could have planned. First, to go from a formal dinner to “Whoomp! Julebord!” in less than a couple of minutes and two, we had Alana dress up like part of the wait-staff, so when I handed her the microphone as if to challenge her, she took off. Just awesome.


Yes, I order way too much from Amazon. So, having my Alexa say, “You have a package delivered” is not unusual. But then, I got photo confirmation, and it looked like this:

I see the package and think to myself, “Oh, cool! It arrived.” But then I took a more careful look and had to ask, “Uh, whose front door is that?”

So, I thought I would stroll the neighborhood and I didn’t have to go far. Keeping my eyes peeled for some orange doors, I found the above scene at my next-door neighbor Carl’s house.

Seriously, how hard is it to match up address numbers?


So, Saturday afternoon, we attended the Bothell Sons of Norway’s annual Lutefisk and Meatballs dinner at their lodge on Bothell-Everett Highway. Being in that neighborhood the first weekend of December was not unusual for me, as for most of 16 years, I was the town crier across the street at the now-defunct Country Village Shopping Center.

I used to crack jokes to the crowd gathered at the Village about the Lutefisk dinner across the street and how the Haz-Mat team was over there cleaning up. But now, I’m over on the other side of the highway.

And man, what a treat!

The amazing crew of volunteers there cooks up enough meals for over 500 people in one day, at $35 a pop. And every year–sold out.

I can understand why. It was delicious. The much-maligned cod, when prepared properly, is delicious. I had two helpings, some of the people we were with went back for thirds.

And we were stuffed.


So, you’re aware of this blog. Checking the date, my very first entry goes back to Veterans Day of 2008. So, a new blog once a week, 52 weeks in a year times 14 years and you have well over 100 blogs and counting. (I didn’t want to do the math)

Thanks for the read.

Tim Hunter

Well, Here We Go

I debated as to whether I should tackle this particular topic in this rather intimate space. But I have tried to be an open book here, with my honest feelings, opinions, while also passing along the events and adventures that have gone on in my life, both good and bad.

So, yeah, it’s time to talk about a little bad.

Now, before I pass along the breaking news, this is not a plea for pity. I’ve known several people to go down this road and while we touched the surface of their experience, I’m finding out there’s a lot more when they move you to the front lines. It’s not going to be the only thing I talk about from now on, but there will probably a week or two where I share something that could be beneficial to know for someone fighting prostate cancer.

Up until my diagnosis 10 days ago or so, to me, prostate cancer was that, “Oh, it’s no big deal” cancer.

  • Sure, these days, they cure it all the time.
  • Yeah, a couple of rounds of radiation and it’ll all be behind you.
  • I know lots of people who have had it and they’re now cancer-free!

And so on….

It’s a bit more complicated than that, because no two diagnosis, patients, treatments and results are alike.

We’ve (that referring to me and my personal physician) have been keeping an eye on my situation because of my rising PSA numbers over the past 5 or so years. Since we’re making this an educational class and you may put in for college credit, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in a sample of your blood. They use the numbers as a measurement that may indicate if there is cancer present. If your doctor notices your number has exceeded X, he sends you to a urologist who tells you that an increased number is natural for men as they get older. That happens a couple of times, the PSA continues to go up, so then they do a prostate biopsy. Yes, the fun-filled task of taking a dozen plugs out of various parts of your prostate, to see if they can strike cancer. In recent years, I’ve had two of those with no cancer to be found.

But in my most recent blood work, I must have hit a magic number, which trigged getting an MRI and undergoing an “Artemis Biopsy”, which includes the traditional 12 plugs plus 3 bonus plugs that are taken out of the area where the MRI showed as suspicious. Once again, the 12 were fine, but the bonus plugs put me in that fast-growing club nobody wants to belong to.

The really good news: the cancer appeared to be confined to the prostate and I somehow managed to get the slowest growing cancer available. If you were going to have cancer, this is the one to get.

What’s next? Homework. My urologist ran through all of the treatment possibilities and instructed me to set up consults with two different doctors–one, in case I wanted to go the surgery route and the other, for radiation. Those are in the works.

An almost-relative and retired Seattle urologist graciously offered to look at my lab results and come to our home (yeah, a doctor making an actual house call), taking my wife and I through each possible procedure, the pro’s and con’s of each and answered all of our questions. I’m sure there will be more.

I also wanted to talk to people I knew who had been down this road before. I have a high school buddy that I’ve stayed in touch with, as well as another friend, all of us the same age, both who had to deal with this challenge. They each were diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer but, after Proton treatments, they appeared to have beaten it. Or, so I thought. After having lunch today with my high school buddy, even though he was zapped 6 years ago and considered cured, the cancer came back with a vengeance. Once again, he’s fighting stage 4.

I don’t need to go into details on what happens with the surgery or the radiation treatments, but as one friend said, “Things just aren’t going to be the same again.” The first couple of days after finding out I actually had it, I went from sad, to angry, to depressed, to overwhelmed. There are a lot of decisions to come over the next couple of weeks and then, whatever happens with treatment. Again, with having the slowest-growing variety, I don’t have to rush my decision. But when you’re hearing about the after-effects of which ever direction I go and hear things like “incontinence” and “impotence” and other i-words, frankly, it rattles your world.

My dad had prostate cancer very late in life. So late, the doctor said that he would die of something else before the prostate cancer took him and they were right. He was diagnosed in his late 80s, I’m in my late 60s. I don’t understand why my prostate was in such a hurry.

At this point, I’m going to do everything in my power to continue doing all the things I do and then deal with this in my spare time. It’s therapeutic to dive into my comedy-writing, advertising, video production and all the things I love to do because I actually forget this is even going on. Until I notice that piece of paper to my left which reminds me of the appointments I still need to set up.

I’ve still got a Julebord to emcee this Friday, an annual Christmas CD to put together and I’m working on another holiday parody song with Alana Baxter, plus getting out the annual Christmas letter, the Christmas cards, gotta grab a tree and do some shopping. There’s a lot of really good, fun, positive stuff coming and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

While also dealing with the elephant in my prostate.

Well, here we go!

Tim Hunter


The best thing about getting older is that, of course, it’s better than the alternative.

But as I continue to rack up the years, I see others who don’t get to enjoy that good fortune. We’re all blessed with a certain amount of time on this planet, we just don’t know how much. The only consistent thing is that it’s never enough.


Last weekend, we lost my Aunt Doris. She was the fourth of the six Brandner kids raised on the family farm just outside of Roscoe, South Dakota and in her lifetime, she didn’t get very far away. After getting married, she and her husband worked another nearby farm until he died at a young age and their oldest son, my cousin Clay, took over. Doris moved “into town” which is where she called home up until she passed at the age of 88 last weekend.

The day before passing, my mom was able to have a nice chat over the phone with her. Doris was so excited about being driven over to Ipswich, a nearby town with an actual grocery store. When you’re confined to an apartment in a small town of 269 people, something like a trip to a real-live grocery store can be a big deal.

The next day, following all the excitement of Friday, Doris had a ticket for a performance of the Edmunds Central High School’s production of “Trouble in Tumbleweed,” featuring her granddaughter, Ember.

By the way, Edmunds Central serves 32 students, grades 9-12.

Aunt Doris enjoyed the play, but as it concluded, she went to applaud and couldn’t raise one of her arms. It was the beginning of a stroke and, of course, for an ambulance to get her to a hospital, it had to be summoned from another city. By the time it arrived and Doris made the 45-minute trek to the big city of Aberdeen where the hospital was, things did not look good. In the wee hours of the next morning, she went to her eternal reward.

The last time I got to see Aunt Doris was at a Brandner sisters reunion back in 2019, which seems like yesterday. Doris and her sister Virginia left the Dakotas to travel all the way to Portland, Oregon, where youngest sister Judy lived. My mom and sister Debbie headed north from L.A. and my wife Victoria and I headed south to the Rose City for a couple of days.

I’m sure I have video of that group, as pretty much, when one or more are gathered, it turns into a laugh-fest.

Even though I would only see Aunt Doris and the rest of the South Dakota clan every couple of 5 years or so, when we were together, we just picked up where we left off before. I had kept up on her life thanks to my mom’s updates on the phone, but one of the most endearing things about Aunt Doris: for most of my life, she would always take the time to send me a birthday card every September. And not just a “Happy birthday, Doris” signature, but a hand-written, detailed update on everything that had been going on in Roscoe and her life that sometimes would often spill over to the back side of the card.

I’m pretty sure I saved every one of those cards. I’m going to have to dig them out and read ’em again.

What a sweetheart. Enjoy your rest. You will be missed.


Say what you want about Facebook, and I know you will, but it does allow us to keep up with people from our long ago past. This morning, I saw a post announcing to the world that my high school drama teacher, Mr. Slater had passed away at the age of 90.

I call him Mr. Slater because that’s what you called teachers back in my high school days. His full name was Charles Slater, he was the head of the drama department at Torrance High, and while I wasn’t into the drama thing, there was a time when a friend had written a play and asked if I would try out for one of the parts in his production of, “Nuts!” (hold the wisecracks at least for a moment) I got the role, Mr. Slater oversaw the production and made me as good as I could have possibly been. Acting was not my forte, but being goofy was, and somehow, we pulled it off.

That was my only real connection with Mr. S, but of the drama students I knew, they loved the heck out of him. Picture a Gene Wilder type appearance, with the big eyes and the curly 70s perm, and you have Mr. Slater.

Man, the power teachers have to make a difference in their student’s lives. It’s been 50 years since I roamed the halls of Torrance High School and I still find myself relying on some of the lessons learned there.

To all the teachers at THS, thank you.


Now, wait a minute–Dwight’s still with us! In fact, they held a retirement party for him last Sunday as he hangs up whatever you hang up after you’ve been a sportswriter in the Seattle area for an eternity. Dwight not only turned the big 7-0 last weekend, but his kids organized a retirement gathering for him (on a Seahawks bye week, I must point out) so friends and colleagues could gather in Kent to celebrate his contributions to multiple print media outlets in the area, including the Seattle PI and the Seattle Times. His weekly column, Sideline Chatter, in the Seattle Times was responsible for countless people saying, “Hey, Tim, I saw you in the newspaper.”

Years ago, I decided to add Dwight to my weekly Wacky Week joke list and once a month or so, one of my lines would tickle his funny bone and he would stick it into his column. I will be forever grateful. In fact, there were times that some of my jokes that Dwight included in his Seattle column would show up in other newspapers around the country, so he was apparently being watched. To that end, when his daughter sent me an invite to attend his retirement bash, I had to at least make an appearance to say thanks. While the gathering was heavy on newspaper types, I had a great chance to meet and chat with Dwight’s son Matt, and meet one of his colleagues, Justice Hill. Mr. Hill still writes a weekly column for Cleveland.com but you’ll want to check his main website and follow his travels. Getting around the globe is what he’s doing these days and posting about his adventures right here.

I had forgotten that Dwight suffered a series of strokes last year that set him back for a while, but he got back up on his Sideline Chatter horse and returned to putting out those fun, positive stories for sports fans. I’m sure hoping that someone takes over that column, but if and when that happens, Dwight Perry is going to be a tough act to follow.

Enjoy your downtime, Dwight! You can just see how thrilled he was to finally meet me in person.

And we all move on….

Tim Hunter

It Really Happened

I have to be honest, something like this has never happened to me before.

Oh, there was that time I went “ghost hunting” with my producer, Bryon, at a south end cemetery on Halloween years ago and we talked ourselves into believing we saw some misty figures off in the distance. I wouldn’t swear to it in a court of law, but for the sake of a bit on the radio, sure, I saw something.

And I’m still not totally convinced I saw an actual ghost a couple of weeks ago, but it’s probably the closest thing to it that I’ve experienced.

So, it was a Sunday afternoon. That morning, my wife and I made a rare cameo appearance at a service at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Ballard. We had bumped into Pastor Gretchen at the grocery store the week before and she reminded us that All Saints’ Day was coming up, when everyone was invited to bring along a picture of someone they had lost and put it up in a window of the church. And so, we brought along a picture of my wife’s father, Ernie, who passed away last year.

After church, we enjoyed a rare day of not much to do, watching the Seahawks on TV and then after the game, running a couple of quick errands. As we headed home, we traveled west on 125th Street in Seattle, which happens to run right in front of the Evergreen-Washelli cemetery, where Ernie enjoys his eternal rest. I drive by that spot a lot and always look over his direction, just to make sure all is well. But this time, as I glanced over while I was driving, I immediately got chills. There, in the cemetery, not far from Ernie’s final resting place, was a man of his stature, in a blue oversized coat, just like the one he used to always wear, walking a big puffy white dog. Since I was driving, I’d check to make sure I wasn’t about to run into anything, then over to the cemetery, then back to the road and so forth until the cemetery was out of view. I didn’t stop, as I wasn’t really sure what I was seeing, plus, I didn’t want to say something that might freak out my wife.

But I was pretty damn sure that was Ernie.

I told Victoria about the sighting later and she found it “cool.” So, she didn’t freak out. If I had known that, I might have slammed on the breaks and yelled out, “Look!” But I didn’t.

I don’t know what’s in store for us in heaven or whatever awaits us after this life, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that wherever we end up, we get to spend eternity enjoying the things we loved. Ernie loved walking that dog, and people recognized him around his neighborhood as “that guy who walks the big, white, fluffy dog.”

And for probably 10-seconds, I got to see him again. Or, I think it was him. It had to be him.

It’s a moment I’ll never forget. And I know, one thing’s for sure–it really happened.

So, I thought I would share.

Tim Hunter

Let’s get political, political…

Yes, I’m going to take a gingerly stroll down this topic on the eve of those infamous mid-term elections.

No preaching, no secret agenda. You see, I’m old enough to remember when people could actually DISCUSS politics, without one thinking the other was a monster for having an opposite view. Flashing back 60 years ago when I was a kid, I recall my parents having friends over and them discussing the upcoming presidential election. (Gee, that would have made me 5-years-old) The phrase that stuck in my brain was, “Someone said that if Kennedy’s elected, he’ll have us all praying to Mary!” (Kennedy was a Roman Catholic. You know, the ones who wore togas)

Zip back a mere 40 years, and I can still see news coverage of President Ronald Reagan having beers with House Speaker “Tip” O’Neal. Yes, a Republican and Democrat, with serious political differences, but remembering the important thing: we’re all still Americans.

What the hell happened and why did we let it get this way?

I have my political beliefs, you have yours. I respect that. I’m not going to try to change your mind and I guarantee you won’t change mine, but that’s OK. Politics is only a part of who we are, it determines our future as a group and the kind of country we live in and will leave for the next generation. But it’s sad how it has become less about philosophy and debate, and more about marketing and manipulation.

As further proof I’m not trying to sway your vote, I’m posting this now. My ballot was filled out and mailed in two weeks ago. I have a feeling more and more people are getting it done early just to get it out of the way.

I’ve got a couple of videos I’d like to put on your radar. The first, this brilliant parody of a horror movie trailer about where the Democrats are when it comes to a future presidential candidate.

So much truth.

And another dose of truth for you here. This one touches on the blinders that some voters strap on and this preacher (yes, you will hear some preaching here) absolutely nails it. Thanks to sister Debbie for passing along.

But as I tell people I know who are freaking out about how these mid-term elections could go, we get the government we deserve. I hope for the best, but if we’re not bright enough to elect the right people, well, we’ll have to live with it.

So much more I could say, but for now, that’s enough.

Know WHY you’re voting the way you’re voting. Is it because of things you believe, or the marketing fears that they’re capitalizing on? Is it conviction on the candidate’s platform, or the talking points sent to them to repeat over and over because of what they found out in focus groups?

But here’s hoping you do vote so you can at least share the credit or the blame.

Tim Hunter

That Guy Next Door

Back when my wife and I first met and we decided to merge our lives into a single home, she sold her Ballard place, I gave up my Bothell residence and we pooled our money to land a place on a private lane in North Seattle.

We love the street, the neighbors, over the years watching young families move in and having kids, getting together occasionally for the “National Night Out” in August and so on. But outside of a couple of organized gatherings, the bulk of our communication with the neighbors tends to be a quick banter in the street or by the mailbox and then we return to our busy lives.

On one side of our house is a guy named Carl, whose parents owned the place until they were gone and he took over. These days, he spends most of his time at his girlfriend’s house, but I have been in his home a couple of times and he has kept it very retro-true to the late 1950s when it was built. Shag carpet, the works.

On the north side of our house was a home not very well kept up, where a guy named Mervyn resided. I knew that from occasionally getting a piece of his mail. My first encounter with him was indirect. The phone rang, and it was one of the utilities asking if I knew my next-door neighbor, Mervyn. I mentioned that we had recently moved in when the woman on the other end of the phone said, “Well, he hasn’t paid his bill for several months and so we’re getting ready to shut off his service.” I told her thanks for the notice, I would try to reach him.

I wandered next door, planning to introduce myself as his new neighbor and to let him know about the call. I knocked and rang the doorbell and nothing. Did it again, waited a few minutes and then walked home. Now my mind is reeling. What if this guy had died in his home and that was the reason he wasn’t paying his bills? That’s a fine “Welcome to the neighborhood.”

So, I called up the Seattle Police non-emergency number, explained the situation and they said they would do a welfare check. Eventually they came, pounded on his door, he answered, they explained what was going on, and it turned out he was just fine. Just a bit of a recluse.

In the 15 years we’ve lived next door to him, I’ve maybe talked with him three times. We swapped phone numbers one time, just in case anything were to go wrong and he needed help. He never called. A couple of years ago, another neighbor who was checking on him didn’t get a response, called the police and they even broke the door down to get in. It turned out he was in his bedroom and didn’t hear the pounding.

Or so he said.

Apparently, on September 29th, Mervyn actually did pass away. We didn’t find out until this week. Draw your own conclusions.

But in reading neighbor’s emails and doing a little online sleuthing, I’ve managed to piece together this collection of facts.

He lived in the house his parents owned. They must have been original owners in our neighborhood.

I had heard when we first moved in that he was working up in Shoreline at Prosser Piano. It turns out, he was an English teacher up north in the Everett School district for 30 years, as well as a music teacher. As one of my neighbors commented, “Merv was quite a musician, player & teacher.”

He passed away shortly before his 86th birthday, living on a teacher’s pension, which explained the low-quality toupee he wore. The last time the police were called and had to break-in, they noticed that his roof had been leaking in the house. His carport was a collection of clutter and two vehicles–one he still drove from the 1970s, the other, I don’t think I ever saw it run.

He had a routine of letting his yard completely go, allowing weeds to soar above the fences. Then, come October, he’d hire some laborers and have them tear out everything down to the dirt. This process happened year after year.

Then was that light on the side of the house that hung there from the day we moved in.

He apparently didn’t have any family left, just a couple of friends who showed up to his home a couple of days ago, saying they were about as close as family to him as anyone.

Searching online, I found that he was a graduate of Ballard High School, class of 1954. Another click, and I see that his full name was Mervyn Dewey Vaught.

In his online obituary, there is nothing. Just his name, date of birth, and when he passed.

We all get to choose how we spend every moment of our lives on this earth. I can’t imagine spending the bulk of my life inside a home, just existing. But that was Mervyn’s choice. I hope he enjoyed some happiness along the way.

And now he’s gone. That guy next door.

Tim Hunter

Just do the smart stuff and ride it out

We were just humming along, life was good and then all of a sudden, a pandemic hit. Besides the health effects, it also gave our divided world two sides to take, as other problems began to emerge like supply-chain issues, empty store shelves, and people began to panic.
With the same political thinking of “It’s the economy, stupid” that helped Bill Clinton defeat the older President Bush, once again, all of the country’s problems fall at the feet of the President, whether he is fully responsible or not.

It’s easy to say, “Oh, Joe Biden caused all this inflation and steered us into a recession with all that reckless spending.” Gee, it must have been pretty reckless because it also caused the entire world to also go into a recession. Economists say that, in England next year, inflation could hit 25%. How did Joe do that?

The bottom line is, there are a zillion factors that go into what makes an economy hum and what sends it into the tank. The trendy thing is to run around and yell, “The sky is falling” and once you do that, you’ll be on the news at 5 o’clock. Just today, a new Bloomberg Economics model is now predicting a 100% chance that the U.S. will be in a recession next year. In fact, with inflation, it’s actually 110%!

Having lived the decades that I’ve put in on this rock, I’ve seen stuff like this before. Picture us sitting around the campfire, a harmonica playing in the background and me saying, “You know, back when I bought my first house in the early 80s, it came with a 14% mortgage.”

Yet, somehow, I lived.

You just make adjustments, keep level-headed, try to think ahead (for example, stocking up on food and things you can store at today’s prices) and you’ll come out on the other end stronger than ever.

There was another financial time I remember when the unemployment rate was really high and it seemed like a lot of people I knew were getting laid off. They would say, “Tim, you don’t seem to be worried about the economy” and I would reply that they were just now living in my world. In the radio biz, jobs come and go with the drop of a hat and if you don’t have a hat, a visor.

It doesn’t mean there won’t be tough times in the months ahead. Every $80 fill up at the gas station is a punch to the stomach. A trip to the grocery store usually results in me saying, “Those cost that much now?”

What one side says is over-spending is the other side’s investing in America. Is it a smart move? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we need to bring it all home and do what we can to make it through the latest economic bump. I guarantee, this won’t be the last one and you younger readers, by the time you reach my age, you’ll have that experience under your belt to better handle things.

Have a good financial advisor, don’t get caught up in the headlines and daily panic, as those are designed to make you stick around and hear what’s now wrong. Inflation is high, but unemployment is low, we’re not being targeted by suicide drones, and even though the Mariners got knocked out of the playoffs, they’ve got a competitive team and a brighter future.

If you have to cut back here, or reduce spending there, do it and get back to the important stuff. To be honest, you don’t really need 8 streaming services.

Just do the smart stuff and ride it out. Be strong.

Tim Hunter

I Stand Corrected

To be honest, in recent years, I’ve been paying attention more to my original Major League Baseball team than our local one.

After all, I grew up in the Los Angeles area where, during the first 10 years of my life, my team–the Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodgers–won four World Series. When I was just 14 days old, the Dodgers put away the New York Yankees in a game 7 at Yankee Stadium.

I grew up with heroes like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, John Roseboro, Maury Wills, Willie Davis, his brother Tommy and on and on. Put me on a game show and ask me to name as many of those players from that day and I know I’d get most of them.

I grew up at a time when baseball games on TV were a rarity and a treat. The Dodgers were never on unless they were on the Saturday Game of the Week, or occasionally, when they headed north to play their rivals, the San Francisco Giants. That was a big deal in southern California. The rest of the season, most evenings around our house were spent listening to Vin Scully on the radio, so we could follow what those Bums were up to.

Shortly after I moved to Seattle, the city was awarded a team to replace the Seattle Pilots, who left for Milwaukee after just one year here. In putting together a brand-new Major League franchise, we landed Dick Enberg’s sidekick on the Los Angeles Angels broadcasts, a guy by the name of Dave Niehaus.

How lucky we were.

So, over time, I learned to cheer on the local team, despite their record. We would always have brief glimmers of hope, only to see them wither away, season after season. That is, until 1995 when the Mariners took fans on the ride of our lives. For the first time, Seattle got to feel what it was like to be in a pennant race, to host playoff games, to have last second-dramatic finishes. But unfortunately, the ride ended short.

In 2001, one of America’s most tragic years in my lifetime, the Mariners managed to win 116 games in a single season. We thought for sure this was the year. It wasn’t.

21 years later, I’ll be the first to admit, I was slow getting to the party. I wanted to believe, but after two decades of frustration and my childhood team putting a winning team on the field, it made it too easy to not take this year’s Seattle Mariners seriously. We had just missed the playoffs last year and of course, the mantra is always, “Yeah, wait until next year.”

But it finally happened.

I’ll be honest. Some of my baseball buddies would tell you that I was running around saying that Mariners Manager Scott Servais would probably be gone by the 4th of July. Once again, we started strong and then had a late-June crash and burn. In my mind, when we needed a new manager sevenf years ago, we hired some assistant coach from the Angels and saved a few bucks.

However, team President Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais had a vision and where so many had failed before, they did those pain-staking, not-gonna-happen-overnight things that get you a competitive team for now and for the future. Not just dragging in a big name or two on the edge of retirement, but bringing in the right position players. It’s that rare crescendo of good scouting, good gut instincts, making a killer trade-deadline deal and locking in some of those key players so they’ll be here for years to come.

The 2022 Seattle Mariners are real, they’re the team I’ve been waiting to cheer for, and I’m now a born-again baseball fan.

Apologies for my lack of faith in this team. And thanks for bringing back baseball fever again throughout the Pacific Northwest.

I stand corrected.

Tim Hunter

Oh, wait.

So, I had finished writing this prior to the Mariners’ first game against the Houston Astro’s. Yes, the one where we had a 4-0 lead and a 7-5 lead as we headed into the bottom of the 9th.

For some God-forsaken reason, for the final batter of the game, Scott Servais chose to bring in struggling Mariners starter Robbie Ray to get the last out. For the Dodger fans reading this, yes, he Kimbrel’d it.

Why in God’s name he chose to give the ball to Ray baffles even the newest baseball fan. Yes, Robbie won the Cy Young in 2021, but this year, it frankly hasn’t been pretty, including recently. A week ago, I watched him give up 6 runs to the lowly last-place Oakland A’s in one of the last regular season games of the year. Then, last Saturday, we saw him melt down against the Toronto Blue Jays and give up 4 runs. Now, you’re going to let him pitch to Yordan Alvarez, who has terrorized pitchers all season long? We had room on the bases. Why not intentionally walk him? This was not a wise decision.

Don’t tell me about statistics, just go with common sense.

But instead, we all watched, we waited and we saw what we expected. Alvarez walked up and knocked out a 3-run home run, stealing a win from the Mariners and the fans who had poured their hearts into that game.

Even psychics say that one was too easy to call.

The disappointment was equal to a certain Seahawks Super Bowl a few years ago when Russell Wilson threw an interception, instead of the team just running the ball a yard.

Robbie Ray? Really? (wow, I sound like Scoobie Doo) Was Bobby Ayala not available? For that matter, maybe the Mariners should have given the ball to Marshawn Lynch. Oh, there goes my blood pressure again. Well, perhaps we can right the ship tomorrow.

So, I now sit corrected.


And now, I’m sitting up straight.

Mariners manager Scott Servais said that the reason he went with Robbie Ray was due to the process that got them to the playoffs that they used all year.  His words:

“Obviously, it didn’t work yesterday, but that has nothing to do with our process,” Servais said Wednesday. “We have a really good process. It’s something that we have developed over time, specifically the last couple years, in our decision-making. … We made the decision we made based on the players we had available, based on the numbers and the information I had available — and stand by it.”

OK, so you’re saying you’re removing the thinking portion of managing and using basically a computer-style model and letting it make the decisions.

Yeah, that’s great. But I will point out, this is why we don’t have self-driving cars yet.  After your car runs over a couple of people, you might want to take the wheel.

Just sayin’. 


OK, I’m done.


For now.

Yeah, It’s Been A While

This pretty much sums it all up.

But I’ll keep going.

In a city starved for a winning team, the magic that comes with making baseball’s playoffs is alive and well again in Seattle. This after 21 long, too many to remember “I thought this was going to be the season” years.

When you figure it out in days, it’s been 7,665 24-hour segments that Northwest baseball fans have endured, hoping beyond hope that we’d be playing some October baseball. And I mean the playoff kind, not facing Detroit to make up some games due to a strike to start the season.

My world was so much different back in 2001. It was the year of the 9-11 attack, a morning I’ll never forget. It was back in my Murdock, Hunter & Alice Days on KLSY. I didn’t know it at the time, but the show had less than two years to go when those M’s went to the playoffs that year.

And you may or may not remember, that was the year that we were so incredible during the regular season. We won 116-friggin’ games (which are much harder than regular games), and then took the then-Cleveland Indians in 5 games, only to lose to the New York Yankees, 4 games to 1. We simply ran out of gas. You take those 116 wins, add in the playoff victories and the Mariners won 121 games in one season…and still didn’t get to the World Series.

For me, the buzz in the city, the excitement of the playoffs, being a part of the most magical part of baseball in the Emerald City, will never be forgotten. If you were there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Somewhere in my archives which I plan to inventory when I retire (Ha! that’s funny!) are photos of KLSY’s involvement at those playoff games. We rented a flatbed truck and set up in the parking lot of that brewery across from the stadium. However, at the time, it was just a parking lot. And we hired “Rick the Peanut Guy” to stand on the truck and toss peanuts to the Mariners fans on the way to the game.

While 2022 continued to look promising all season long, we didn’t make it to our first Mariners game of the season until this past Sunday. Since I’m a big believer in sharing experiences for your benefit, I thought I’d pass along a few tips if you’re planning to head to any of the post-season games.


This is obvious and a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how you get caught up in the excitement of actually going to the game and your dumb-brain takes over. This past Sunday wasn’t even a playoff game, but we knew it was going to be a pretty full game. Yet, somehow it seemed like a good idea to leave 90-minutes before game time. This could easily be the plot of “Dumb and Dumber 3” if they ever make it.  By the time we got there, everything in the stadium lots was taken unless you had reserved a parking spot. So, we went wide and re-entered the stadium district, grabbing the first $60 space we could find which, after fees and taxes, shot up to $75.
Yes, our parking cost more than our game tickets.


Sound Transit spent billions of dollars to build a train that runs not far from our house to an easy walk to the stadium. We didn’t take it because “we didn’t want to do a lot of walking.” The $75 parking lot was as far south of the stadium as the train would have dropped us off on the north side. And, had we taken the sensible mass transit, it would have cost us $2 each. That could have allowed us to spend the remaining $71 on food and beverages.

Friends from the east side came across the bridge and then parked in a neighborhood by one of the train’s stops. It made for an easy in and out and I swear, if I ever try to drive down there again and pay for parking, I’m getting a tattoo on my right forearm that says, “Take the train, Dummy!”


I realize that we have it in our heads how cool it would be to actually be there, to say we were there. But if you add up the cost of the parking, tickets, food and drink, this afternoon at the ballpark cost us over $250. I’m pretty sure I could hire a cook to come in, whip up some steak and lobster as I sit in my living room, watching my 70-inch TV with the sound up for less than that. At one point, my wife decided to wander up and buy a pre-made Margarita. I didn’t see her for three innings. Thankfully, she didn’t miss much. By the time she had gotten back, the Mariners were down 7-0 and I needed a drink. We left after a listless 7th inning and missed the Mariners coming back with three runs. The final score was an ugly 10-3 loss to the 47 games behind first place Oakland A’s. 


As baseball fans in Seattle know all too well, playoff baseball doesn’t come along very often, so make sure you grab this adventure while you can. Baseball is such a tiered sport, that once you get into it, there are so many intricacies and nuances to watch for. I was blessed to grow up up in a baseball home, with a Los Angeles Dodgers team full of players to admire and enjoy for as long as I remember. In recent years, I’ve gotten back to following them and now, there’s the slightest  of chances that they could actually face each other in the World Series. That network nightmare would be a dream come true for me, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

The playoffs start on Friday. This just possibly could be the year, which is always true in baseball, every year. This is really happening, so get on board.

How fun! Yeah, it’s been a while.

Tim Hunter


Mr. Voice of Reason Returns



Alright, alright, everybody, just calm down.

Yes, we’ve got a bit of chaos going on in the Seattle sports world, but tell me when we didn’t. It just seems like it’s happening all at once and on several fronts, so I’m raising my hands to the crowd and asking it to take some deep breaths while I conduct a quick class of what the heck is going on.


Come on, be honest, you had your doubts about this season. After a lackluster pre-season which you dismissed because, after all, it was pre-season, you got your hopes way up after the Hawks somehow beat their ex, Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. I think we’d all agree that was a pretty sweet way to start out a season. However, the following week, reality sank in, and frankly, the prognosis for the rest of the season isn’t so good.

Look, when you’re an NFL team, you need an NFL star quarterback, not the guy that sits backstage hoping that the Phantom has a sore throat. I think the world of Pete Carroll and Seahawks General Manager John Schneider (NOT the guy from Dukes of Hazzard), the folks who brought Seattle’s first-ever Super Bowl trophy to town. The way they assembled a championship team that year with a bunch of overlooked talent that was molded into the “Legion of Boom” and turned a quick, undersized quarterback out of Wisconsin into a scrambling MVP you could love, I will be forever grateful.

But the entire time Russell was with the Seahawks, for some unexplained, God-forsaken reason, Pete did not hire an offensive line. He had this thing about creating one. Taking guys who didn’t normally play that position, and who had to learn on the job. And while he watched from the sidelines, Russell spent way too much time out on the field having to run for his life. When he was younger, very doable. But as he slowed down, the defense sped up and the magic began to fade away. I can’t help but wonder how many championships that team might have won if Wilson had the protection that Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers enjoy every week.

Bottom line–you need a major talent in the quarterback slot, one of the elite, a guy married to a Super Model or that does State Farm commercials, not a career backup quarterback who hadn’t started a season in 8 years. It’s the opinion of this armchair quarterback that we’re biting the bullet so we get a high draft pick next season and nab one of the young arms coming out of college. That’s the only thing that makes sense.

In the meantime, think of how much you’ll actually get done around the house this fall on Sunday afternoons.


They’ve spoiled us over the years. Start strong, have a slump, then, just as the playoffs approach, rally and grab one of those spots. I just don’t feel like that’s going to happen this time around, which is amazing considering the Sounders became the first American soccer club to win the ConcaCaf Championship earlier this year, earning a spot to play on a global stage in the months ahead.

But compare this season to the last 10 and it’s just not the same. it just feels different. We’ve got some great players, but the chemistry just isn’t there. Oh, there are moments, but with only two regular season matches left as of this writing, I’m just not feeling it. But, to keep us busy this fall……


I’ll admit I’ve been among their harshest critics in recent years, due to two decades of promising us a competitive team, only to get the same disappointing result year after year. But this 2022 collection of players seems like they just might have the mojo to make something happen. Maybe not a championship, but at least going to the dance and maybe go up a rung or two and take a big step in the right direction.
I’ve been a baseball fan longer than any other sport, and one of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that every championship team will have a slump or two during the season. If you remember that 2001 season when the Mariners won 116 games, they came in blazing hot and then crashed in the first round. The key is to get that slump out of the way late in the season, late August or early September, and then hit the playoffs running. By then, some of the better teams are getting tired, the veteran players falling by the wayside with injuries and so on. Over the last week, the M’s have had some pretty poor performances, none worse than blowing a 9-run lead on Sunday and losing 13-12 to the Kansas City Doormats.

With us being set to welcome back some injured players and a team due to get hot, I’m thinking, “You know, this just might be the year.” Stranger things have happened.


This is my team. Of all the sports, of all the teams, if I could only have one, this is it. I don’t have a single tattoo on my body but if I ever were to make that commitment, it would be a Husky logo on my left arm, up by the shoulder.

It’s the team I watched with my buddies in college. For the four years of working at KOMO Radio, it’s where I got to hang out with the likes of Bob Rondeau, Gary Johnson, Keith Shipman, Don James, Jim Lambright, and so many others. Going to a game at Husky Stadium still feels special. I was actually a season ticket holder for a few years (thanks to a friend who let me buy her tickets) but after that 0-12 year, I said, “Enough abuse.” Yes, we’ve experienced some dark times in recent years, with mysteries thrown in. Why did Peterson suddenly leave? Why did he leave the team in the hands of someone who should have continued the upward trend, only to crash and burn in record time? And how did we get so lucky to land Coach DeBoer and his program, providing us a creative offense and defensive toughness that is Husky football.

For God’s sake, he’s only four games in, but there is a lot of good stuff going on. The temptation is to leap to, “Oh, we’re going to be National Champs” or “It’s going to be the greatest Husky football team ever!” Look, I remember that ’91 Championship team and even though they had to share the Championship due to the continuing west coast bias, that was one great team. 12-0, baby.

We didn’t set out to be National Champs that year, but it just happened. For now, I’m just going to enjoy having a front row seat to the building of an incredible new program and when we win a game, that’s great. But then, focus on who’s next and who’s next only. One game at a time. One win at a time.

And maybe, just maybe…..


The NHL’s latest expansion team is heading into its second season and I am having a blast. Expectations are in check, as we build a team and a new tradition in the Seattle area, but the more I watch NHL hockey, the more I realize it’s the only sport I observe on TV where I’m constantly yelling things, as if they can hear me. Dang, it’s fast.

I was growing up in Southern California when Los Angeles got the Kings and eventually, the Mighty Ducks, but my hockey viewing was pretty limited to occasionally getting caught up in a Stanley Cup playoff game. I’ve been to some Thunderbirds and Silver Tips games, I even got to take part in a Microsoft challenge one time, getting my own Thunderbirds jersey with my name on it and watching Kiefer Sutherland up close play on a celebrity team. 

I don’t know all the Kraken players names, but I’m trying to learn the rules, loving the fans, the enthusiasm, and the 100% carbon neutral Climate Pledge arena where they play. I’ve yet to take in a game in person, that’s on my bucket list for this season, but it’s just so awesome to have the big game in town. And ownership seems to be doing things right. It just takes time. Go Kraken!

And with that, Sports Fans, Mr. Voice of Reason has spoken. Class dismissed.

Tim Hunter


The Places I Go, The Things I See

We went to a 50th birthday party last Friday.

And that’s where the typical comes to an end.

Special decade birthdays have evolved over the years. I can faintly remember attending some 30th birthday parties where people complained about feeling “so old.” Little did they realize, that feeling was just getting started.

Then there were the 40th birthday parties, which usually amounted to people gathering and complaining about the latest issue with their bodies. “My knee hurts…”, “My back went out last night….”, etc.

The all-time record holder for the best 40th birthday party has to go to Mark Shoener, an attorney who lived in the neighborhood. He and his family lived a culdesac over and our neighborhood was “one of THOSE neighborhoods” that went all out at Christmas. I’d say, 75% of the houses all decked out in Christmas lights by the day after Thanksgiving. Well, Mark’s birthday was in early December and his wife thought it would be funny if, for the party, she hired a stripper for the birthday boy.

Oh, sure, inside, laughs were roaring as the dancer tried to embarrass the birthday boy. But outside, I could only imagine the family slowly cruising through the neighborhood with the kids looking at all the Christmas lights, when they came upon one house, where a stripper was performing in front of the huge picture window. I could hear the father saying, “Honey, we gotta move to this neighborhood!”

Back to the birthdays. It was a treat being invited to a 50th party. We’ve hit that time in our lives when some people don’t want other people to know how old they are. There’s kind of a blackout period for the 60th and 70th and then, if you’re lucky enough to make it, it seems like it’s suddenly O.K. to celebrate an 80th. We’ve been to a few of those. In recent years, we’ve celebrated several 90ths, including ones for my parents, as well as Victoria’s.

A couple of things made our Friday night outing especially fun. First, the whole 50th thing. We found ourselves surrounded by people both above and below 50, so some fresh blood! Although, truth be told, we hung mostly with a couple (she was with Trophy Cupcakes) who were in “our age bracket.” (think late 40s and don’t ask questions)

But the coolest thing of all was the venue. Actually, it’s a future venue, going through a transition. Because the Georgetown Steam Plant is a historical structure, it’s not going anywhere. And thank God!

First off, it is the last remaining steam plant of it’s type in the world! Here’s a website that will tell you more and let you can take a virtual tour. We were able to wander around, go upstairs, to the boiler room, and yes, there will need to be some major work done. Funny, but the birthday invitation urged people bringing their kids to the party not to “lick the pipes or walls.”

I talked with the president of the Georgetown Something or Other and he’s heading up the drive to turn it into a museum and entertainment venue. Rather than boring you with more details, I think the pictures will give you an idea of what a massively impressive venue this is, and will be in the future.

I’m glad we don’t just tear down everything. Oh, the places I go, the things I see….

Tim Hunter

With Apologies To Facebook

I don’t know about you, but Facebook remains my go-to social media platform. Frankly, I forget about checking Twitter; Instagram is one of those things where I notice the logo on my phone and go, “Oh, yeah!” I visit Linkedin twice a week to post my weekly biz newsletter and my jokes.

But when I’m on the go and I see something cool or a funny sign, or I get one of my silly ideas, I shoot the picture or video with my phone, think of something dumb to attach to it, and then post it on Facebook.

You know, like this:

                                                                                                                                                Oh, yeah, like I was just going to walk by this…..

Now for the first time that I can remember, I’ve actually got some pictures piling up in my photo collection that never reached their usual destination. So, with apologies to Facebook and with the goal of getting all caught up in one fell swoop, here are just a few of the gems I meant to post there, but just never got around to it. (Or, I may have, but I don’t remember)

LET’S START WITH WHIDBEY ISLAND–A couple of weekends ago, we went there and stayed at a waterfront AirBnB and it was so out of the way, we HAD to relax. One of the evenings, Samantha, my daughter-in-law, was playing around with her time-lapse feature of her iPhone and I thought I’d do it, too. So, I captured this beautiful Northwest sunset.

This doesn’t even really do it justice.

However, lesson learned–Tim, would you stop being so impatient!!! If I had just let it go, it would have eventually ended up here.

Uh, yeah….

PLAYING TOURIST IN YOUR HOME TOWN–When you live in a cool spot, as we do, there are always a ton of fun things to do. But you’re living life, working a job, on the go, commitments, etc. and you just never get around to the fun stuff. For example, my wife and I have yet to experience “The Great Wheel” along the Seattle waterfront, even though it’s been down there 10 years.

But with a couple of Victoria’s cousins in town–Judy and her husband Bill from Santa Barbara and Francine from Oklahoma–we hit a couple of those hot spots.

First up were the Ballard Locks, where ships from the salt water Puget Sound come to be raised up 25 feet so they can enjoy the fresh waters of Lake Union and Lake Washington. That’s importing or flushing 8-million gallons of water in just 8 minutes.

As part of the locks, you can go to the fish ladders and watch the salmon traveling to their place of origin to spawn and die. Each one traveled hundreds, if not thousands of miles during their life’s journey. Just amazing.

And of course, right next to the locks is one of our favorite places, The Lockspot. Had to experience that place, famous for their fish & chips.

I’m the one on the left.

The next day, we headed to the Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair, which Francine remembered attending as a little kid.

We opted not to go up the Space Needle, but did explore the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum and not just words, but pictures also don’t adequately convey the eye-candy you get to experience there.

Looking up the master, Dale Chihuly on Wikipedia, the guy’s actually 81-years-old now and still creating visual masterpieces out of molten glass.

By the way, I discovered a hack you may have already known about when it comes to taking pictures with your phone. I wanted to get a group shot that was close, but that would include the entire Space Needle. I laid down on the ground and this was the best I could do:

Then I thought, “What if I use the Pan feature, but instead of doing it horizontally, do it vertically.” It worked beautifully.

A MINI-REUNION–I enjoyed a great lunch the other day with a couple of other former Destination Marketing refugees. Some of us left willingly, others were ‘retired’. Funny, but whenever we get together, new stories about a place I haven’t worked at for 7 years continue to emerge. Ironically, both of these gentlemen became recent authors. Scott Janzen penned about his days in the ad industry, while Chris Settle did a more inward reflection that included some stories from that previously mentioned agency we all share in our resume past. He changed the names, but some of the un-named knew who he was referring to and weren’t happy. Ah, life.

So, this week when I sat down to write my weekly blog about what going on in my life, I realized that Facebook wasn’t a part of it. I was actually busy being present and enjoying all these events as they happened and not doing a play-by-play on Facebook, to keep people posted on everything I was doing every minute of every day.

And I kinda liked it.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Now you’re all caught up with me and Mark Zuckerberg will never know.

Our secret. Sorry about that Facebook.

Tim Hunter

You Can Go Home Again

When you’re a kid and growing up, the world is such a different place.

Your world is so small, yet it seems so big. Instead of worrying about the latest bad news from the TV or a website, your biggest concerns had to do with when the cartoons came on TV or who else was going to be invited to your friend Mike’s birthday party. Your most valuable possession could have been something as simple as a bike or a baseball card.

Over the weekend, I got to go home again, to the place my parents raised me in Torrance, California. Mom is the only one left and doing fine, thank you, as we helped her celebrate her 94th birthday. She is about as timeless as it gets, looking the same as she has as long as I can remember.

Oh, we have home movies of those growing up years, when she embraced the fashions of the day. There was the “I love Lucy” look, the beehive hair style of the Kennedy years and so on. But mom has been mom from my teen years on.

Now, the house–there are some changes. What used to be my bedroom has been rebranded “the den.” I never questioned way we called their pantry area “the service porch”, but that’s what everyone in the family knew that area as. What was my sisters’ room has become the guest room.

Outside, that same red cinder block wall around their property still stands, although with a few cracks here and there. I remember dad building the cover for the deck and, as trends went in the 1960s, putting in a cement deck on the lower patio, with special cement where you added colors. It looked good for a while, but in time, it began to crack and was replaced with red brick.

But let’s go back to the den, formerly known as my room. It was my headquarters from awareness all the way until I left home at 17 to head north to the University of Washington. It was the room where I rode out the big earthquake of 1971. (I actually was asleep and thought it was my mom waking me up for school. But when I looked up, she wasn’t there. By that time, it was over.) I don’t know how I did it, but during my teens, I managed to sneak out my bedroom window, go visit my girlfriend in the middle of the night across the street, and return home. Two out of the three times, I didn’t get caught.

Literally, that little home in Torrance, all 1200 square feet of it, purchased back in the early 1950s for just under $12,000, was the center of my world. It was where my Aunt Jan and Uncle Bob showed up one afternoon in tears, because my grandmother had just passed away. In the living room, many pre-event pictures were taken with me in a tux, as I prepared to head off to one of the formal high school dances.

And the kitchen. Well, that was mom territory. If you went in to do something, she’d watch you like a hawk to make sure you were treating her dominion with respect. That was where she made food magic happen. If you were pouring a soda out of a 2-liter bottle, without missing a beat she’d say, “Don’t plop.” In the early years of my life, it was the time when the husband worked, the wife stayed at home to put her farm smarts to work and make the salary of an airline ground mechanic pay all the bills and feed a family of five. Coupons were clipped, S&H green stamps were saved, and national brands never saw our cupboards.

Yeah, a lot happened in that house and I am so thankful I could be there for just shy of 18 years. So whenever I go back, you’ll see me just sit there and stare a lot at the many things that trigger one memory after the other. I did that quite a bit during this last visit.

Especially this time, it was really, really nice to go home again.

Tim Hunter


I’m content.

I sat down this week to keep my blogging streak alive of letting the thoughts in my brain spill out on to the Internet, when I realized that I had no bee in my bonnet. (And to be honest, I haven’t worn a bonnet in years. People talk.)

Nope, which coincidentally is the name of a movie in theaters these days, I’m good. Our weather, by Northwest standards, has been exceptional. Too hot for some, but a nice blend of 70s and 80s, with a brief wet down last week and no forest fire smoke, which in recent years, had become traditional.

The work/life balance isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. Projects keep showing up on top of my weekly duties and, if I’m not done by 5-ish, the rest can wait until the next day. A regular work day begins before 5am, so a “normal” day for me is 12 hours long, but at the pace I like and can control, and mostly, made up of things I love to do.

Being older and wiser (more old than wise), I’ve been working on not getting riled up on everything there is going on out there in our world. With our over-abundance of information constantly being fed to us, it’s so easy to be upset about this and concerned about that and even worried about the other thing.

Nope (there’s that word again), I’m not going to allow myself to get caught up in that. It’s not up to me to save the world, or point out to other people why they’re thinking the wrong way (and they really are), I just want to take it all in, good and bad–acknowledging the bad, but savoring the good.

I’ve always had this crazy theory that all of us receive the same amount of good news and bad news in our lives. It’s just dispersed in various size doses, but when the clock hits zero, we will have all experienced an equal amount of good fortune, and pain and suffering. Maybe you’re the type that had a lot of hard hits in your younger years, but now have a nice steady life going. Or, perhaps you hit early success, but things haven’t been very good since then.

Then there’s the third type of person that spends their life striving for balance. Sure, they don’t get as many highs, but they also don’t sink to monumental lows. I like to think of myself that way. I’ve never been driven to become famous. My goal has always been to be comfortable financially and spend my time doing the things I like to do, including making people laugh and feel good.

As Walter Brennan used to say back in the days of “The Guns of Will Sonnet”: No brag, just fact.

It was a western that only lasted two seasons, so maybe you weren’t as impressed with the show as I was.

Going back to where this all started, right now, I’m really content and doing my best to hang on to that. I’ll savor what’s left of summer, and I look forward to flying to my hometown of Torrance, California, later this week to help my mom celebrate her 94th birthday in the only childhood home I ever knew.

And so, with everything just rolling along, I really don’t have much to blog about this week. Then again, it just took me 585 words to say that.

Oh, well. So, I’m a writer.

Tim Hunter

August Is A Rough One

I remember back when I was growing up, watching all the big names of entertainment begin to disappear. Hope, Crosby, Sinatra and so on. It seemed like, after a while, you couldn’t go a day without hearing about the passing of a famous name. And almost immediately you’d hear, “So who’s going to be next? They always happen in 3’s!”

It seems that these days, they’re getting group rates.

The month of August already makes me do math because when the 7th rolls around, that was the day my dad left this earth. He came up in conversation over the weekend and I realized that on the 7th this August, it had already been 7 years. Yet, it seems like yesterday.

In the past couple of weeks, August 2022 has claimed some of the headliners in my memory bank, including the likes of Bill Russell, Tony Dow and just today, Olivia Newton-John.

But the biggest stunner of this year’s class of ’22 has to be the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully.

Even the most die-hard baseball fans around the country will never really understand what impact that man had on my life and so many other fans of those ‘Bums’. He began his broadcasting career with the Brooklyn Dodgers before I was born and continued bringing each game to life on the radio and eventually TV every year of my life as I was growing up.

He wasn’t just “that guy on the radio.” He WAS the Dodgers. Vin didn’t just describe the action we saw on the radio, but he spent a lot of his time spinning baseball yarn after baseball yarn, with stories that would sometime go an entire inning. Think how amazing that is–he broadcast Dodger games for 67 years on the radio. I turn 67 next month.

He was the voice calling the game when Sandy Koufax, my childhood idol, pitched one of his four no-hitters. I can still hear Vin saying, “Swung on and missed! A perfect game!”

In the days when games on television were a rarity, when they did show us the Dodgers and Giants tangling up north in Candlestick Park, we’d be glued to the TV and were able to enjoy Vin’s voice with pictures, being able to actually see Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, Johny Podres, Ron Perranoski, Maury Wills, Jim Gilliam and Wes Parker. Oh, and the Davis brothers, Tommy and Willie.

The one game that stands out was the time the Dodgers and Giants were going at it and some bad blood between San Fran pitcher Juan Marichal and Dodgers catcher John Roseboro erupted with Juan taking his bat and attacking Roseboro. As the benches emptied and madness ensued, I can still hear Vin saying something to the effect of, “You Little Leaguers at home watching at home, that’s not good sportsmanship.”

Wow, Vin was talking to ME!

Back in the 1960s, there were three television networks and a couple of local stations. That was it. Most nights during the summer, our TV remained off (come on, they were showing reruns) and the time I had before putting on jammies and going to bed was spent listening to Vin Scully and his partner, Jerry Doggett, delivering the pitch-by-pitch details.

Memories eventually fade. Next year at this time, we’ll be mourning the loss of another round of people I grew up with. However, two of the sounds I will never forget are my dad’s classics like, “What in the Sam Hill?” and “Go ask your mother,” and Vin Scully’s declaration that something special was about to begin: “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”

I’ll always hang on to those, especially this month. Yeah, August is a rough one.

Tim Hunter

My Accidental Meeting

It was the least-likely way I ever expected to meet a legend, yet somehow, it still happened.

I was off to Costco on a stock-up run, and to see what else I could find that I probably could live without, but at that price, how do I say ‘no’? It’s why they say that the most expensive vehicle to operate these days is a shopping cart at Costco.

I had just entered the store with my cart, my mind trying to recall all the things I so vividly thought of while I was at home, when I noticed an older gentleman sitting at a table near the books. Curiosity got the best of me, so I went over to see who it was.

It was Bill Friggin’ Russell.

Yes, the Boston Celtics legend that broke my Los Angeles Lakers heart on multiple occasions during my childhood years. Yet, here was this Hall of Fame basketball legend in the middle of a Costco, with no one in line, no one talking to him, just sitting there. It was like someone was setting a trap for me.

As I walked up to him, I kept thinking a door on the floor would open and I would be taken prisoner. But no, Mr. Russell just looked up, smiled and said, “Hi, how you doing?”

I did what any other red-blooded sports fan would do in this situation. I started blubbering about how nice it was to meet him, how great he was and yes, I’d like a couple of books. He asked who he should sign them to, and I think I either asked him for one for me or my son, but definitely I had to have him sign one for dad, who witnessed all those Lakers defeats with me. And besides, this was Bill Friggin’ Russell.

I thanked him and wandered away, stunned that I had just met him in a Costco book department. However, it was not surprising once you realize that Bill chose to retire in our area and had a nice place on Mercer Island, just east of Seattle, on Lake Washington. He was fairly active in the community, once even lending his voice to a Seattle Children’s Theater production.

The book was a great collection of stories of how it used to be, his fondness for his coach, and other stories from the times, that were not good. I’ll let you read all that stuff for yourself. But just the mention of his coach’s name, Red Auerbach, knocked loose one of those little memory nuggets tucked away in my brain. Back in the 1960s, the N.B.A. was a world away from today’s version. I’m not making this up–Bill played for the Boston Celtics and his coach had this tradition, which I witnessed many times on those nationally televised games. Whenever the Celtics had a big enough lead and a win was secured, Coach Auerbach’s tradition was to light up a victory cigar. Yep, there was the coach, with a big smile on his face, smoking his stogie on the sidelines as he watched the final minutes of a game roll off.

Of course, today, the coach would have had to leave the game and stand at least 25-feet away from any entrance. Not as effective.

Here’s the book he autographed for me.

As you can see, he really wanted people to know about this special relationship with Auerbach. After reading the book and seeing how Red stood up for Bill on multiple occasions during those extremely racist 1960s, it made all those Laker losses a little easier to take.

The praises continue to pour in about Bill and his life, and the more you learn about him, the more you realize what an amazing person he was.

And, to think, I got to meet him, at Costco.

Tim Hunter

Does That Make Me A Bad Sports Fan?

I have a confession. I cheat.

I grew up a major sports fan–playing Little League baseball, dreaming that one day, I would be the next Willie Mays or Sandy Koufax. I was also a big basketball fan, watching every Lakers game. I played endless games with dad out in the driveway that prepared me well for four years of high school b-ball.

While my kids were growing up, I ended up coaching or assistant coaching most of their teams. Hadn’t planned on being a soccer coach, but when none of the other parents stepped up, I committed to attend a coaching seminar, quickly learn the rules, and see what I could do.

I didn’t really follow football while growing up, but have really become a big NFL fan, although a huge college game beats that any day. I keep up with my L.A. Dodgers, while trying to support our local Mariners. Until recently, that was really tough…but this year, there’s some magic in the air.

Then our town got its own NHL hockey team, and of course, we’re the home of the Seattle Sounders soccer club.

In recent years, I’ve actually learned how to play and enjoy watching golf on TV.

So, that’s a lot of sports to follow and those of you who know my frantic schedule will understand that I just don’t have a whole lot of free time. Basically, these days, I can sneak in sports in little parcels of time. And that has led to a practice that works for me and my schedule. But is it right? Does it make me a lesser fan?

I’m a fast-forward freak.

Sounders played tonight? Oh, yeah, I know that. Got it on the DVR. I sit down when it works for me, turn on the game and hit 4X forward. Keeping an eye on that score box at the top of the screen—Oops, there’s one! I rewind to see the setup, witness the goal and then return to fast-forwarding.

The Kraken and the Mariners both had a game tonight? Hand me that remote. I can watch a 2-hour Sounders game, a 2-hour U.S. National Soccer team game, a 2-hour Kraken game and a 3-1/2 hour Mariners game–at least the parts where they scored–in about an hour. And that includes a bathroom break.

Huskies kicking off at 12:30?  That gives me until around 2 to take care of duties around the house, then hop on the DVR and fast-forward my way through the game. Me and the world will finish around the same time. I’ll just have watched much fewer commercials.

I mean, what’s the harm? I get the moments you watch a game for, in a nice fillet-o-event with no commercials and just all the good stuff.

Frankly, with retirement in the near future, maybe I’ll go back to watching sports the old-fashioned way, live and drawn out. But in the meantime, my fast-forwarding game plan works well in allowing me to enjoy the sports I love in a time window I can easily accommodate.

But I have to ask: does that make me a bad sports fan?

Tim Hunter


There are lots of things we haven’t done in three years.

When we kicked into COVID mode and shut down almost every tradition and festival imaginable, things went away with no guarantee they would come back.

Two of those things that were put on hold was the Ballard Seafoodfest and the FIshermen’s Fall Festival and that meant I wouldn’t be hosting any lutefisk eating contests as part of my annual collection of weird crap I do.

In fact, the Fall Festival people have already canceled this year’s edition and so last Sunday, when I grabbed the microphone at Seafoodfest, the corniness, the bad jokes and puns, all came rushing back to me like Marjorie Taylor Green at a Qanon garage sale.

But then I realized when I say Ballard Seafoodfest, it may come off as just another summer festival. Far from it. And so, I thought I’d do a quick seminar on “How to Seafoodfest.”

The Salmon Barbecue

They do it every year, and the aroma just pulls you in. The salmon is prepared in their secret, amazing way, with lots of alder smoke present in the end result.

A Quick Stop at Skal

It’s a Viking bar in Ballard and one of our faves. We watched it being built and admired how the owner, Adam, hung in there with every curve ball you could imagine. For special occasions like Seafoodfest, they offer “Walk-up shots”, where you can grab a quick shot of aquavit and a polse (a Norwegian hot dog, wrapped in lefse)

Booths and Ballard Businesses

Besides the Lutefisk Eating contest, Sunday is a bonus day because you get all the booths, the live bands, and the beer gardens, plus all the stores you probably never got a chance to explore are open, AND, the Sunday Ballard Market is opening for business.

            Now, Let’s Talk Lutefisk

Yeah, there was pent-up demand for the annual Lutefisk Eating Championships. Normally, I’ll get there prior to the competition and we have to beg the crowd for a few more competitors. This year, all 10 slots were filled, including these two.

Sorry, I don’t remember their names but they were from Santa Barbara. While on the flight up, their mom saw the competition coming up Sunday and knowing they’d be there, she signed them up. They were incredibly good sports and made a go at it, but they were bumped out on the first round. And I should mention that their mom told them it was a SALMON eating contest.

Special thanks to Debbie, Cory and the gang at Mountain Pacific Bank who always staff the contest every year, as well as The Landmark, which dares to allow their kitchen to be used to prepare it. Oh, and of course, that lutefisk is from THE place to buy yours, Scandinavian Specialties in Ballard.

Congrats to one of the usual suspects, Al Johnston, who showed up to regain his title this year, and special thanks to Seattle City Councilman Dan Strauss who helped out as a judge and kept his distance.

Yeah, if you’ve never been, I know northwest summers have lots of options when it comes to festivals, but I hope you’ll include a little lutefisk in your summer plans next year.

We’re always looking for new competitors.

Tim Hunter

Not Too Busy To Weigh In

Man, the last couple of weeks have been crazy. Life stuff, work stuff, the holiday disrupting the routine, you name it. But I have maintained my forever tradition of getting out at least one blog post a week.

Yet, as I sat down to write this week’s edition, I noticed a couple of things. Last week’s edition was still in draft form and I never published it. For Pete’s sake! And then, the week before, I had published it but not pinned it to the top, so it showed up lower in my blog feed and may not have appeared as something new.

I’ve been holding off on diving into the Roe vs. Wade thing because I have friends and family on both sides. Living on the left coast, most of our connections out this way were appalled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent reversal, sending back whether abortion should be legal or not to the states.

It sounds so nice on paper.

I was raised in a fairly conservation Christian church, Lutheran to be exact. And not one of those “Let’s make women pastors” type of synods, but rather the type where the men ran the church and women were not allowed to vote in church matters. Yep, that’s man’s stuff.

I can feel a couple of readers tensing up right now.

With that upbringing and Roe versus Wade being decided in the year I graduated in high school, I spent my early adult years believing that getting an abortion was probably wrong, so I probably shouldn’t get one.

Being a guy, you can think that way, especially when you’re 18.

Say I evolved, say my mind grew, whatever–it wasn’t long before I realized that it just didn’t matter what I thought. It wouldn’t be my choice, it would be that of whoever was carrying the fetus.

OK, about now, I’ve got some relatives writing up some signs to march and protest in front of my home. I realize that there is nothing I could say to you, to change your mind. You have your feelings about the topic and therefore, you can choose whether or not you would ever have one. Meanwhile, there are countless incidents where a pregnancy is not in the best interest of the mom or the eventual baby.

Those against abortion have convinced themselves that they’re fighting for the rights of the unborn. They’ve made them human and consider them existing lives. If you truly believe that, then don’t get an abortion.

But not everyone shares your view and talk about a can of worms. So, the fetus is a person? Then that pregnant woman pulled over this week should have her ticket dismissed for riding in the carpool lane by herself. Or, at six weeks, let’s remove the fetus and see if it survives.

Oh no. You can’t do that. It’s not a real person yet, but it will be some day, so we must protect it at all costs. And if that means blowing up abortion or forcing these procedures to the back alleys to protect the sanctity of life, so be it.

Then, once abortions are banned everywhere, we can take on alcohol. I’m sure we can find some place in the Bible that drinking it makes it a sin. Ignore the Last Supper or the fact that Jesus turned water into the stuff. Oh, I know we tried once before, but now we have a Supreme Court who will back us up!

Again, there’s no way I’m even attempting at trying to convert anyone to any point of view. But what this all has to do with is respecting each other to make our own decisions and then, if not correct, endure the consequences.

To summarize–it’s an incredible polarizing topic but trying to enforce religious views on a non-religious population is insanity in its purest form. Oh, sure, yours is the one true, correct belief and everyone else is all wrong, but……oh, please.

I wasn’t even planning to go this deep on the topic. But what I have been doing over the past couple of weeks is saving the memes that passed through my Facebook page. They reflect my beliefs, but out of respect (yeah, the ‘r’ word) for those with differing views, I didn’t put them out there in front of the masses to fuel the hate speak.

But this is my little corner of the Internet, so I can do whatever I want here. And so, I’m posting these.

I did hear one proposal, where all men would be required to get a vasectomy at age 18 and then, when they’re ready to have children, they could get it reversed.

But then again, we would never tell one gender what they should have to do with their bodies.

OK, there. I got it all out of my system. Yes, it’s been an incredibly busy last three weeks for yours truly. But not so busy, that I couldn’t weigh in on this topic.

Tim Hunter

When It’s The Last Time

If there are any creative inventor types that follow my weekly therapy sessions on this blog, I’ve got a couple of ideas I’d like to offer up.

First, we need to invent fireworks that track where the person lives that bought them and logs the time they were lit off. Then, by using the free app, “Revenge Against the Bastard” (available in the app store of your phone) you could repay that bozo who thought it was funny to light off an M-80 at 6am on the morning on the 4th of July, or who kept blowing things up until almost midnight.

The other invention I’d like to see is a bit more futuristic, but it would somehow let you know when you’re about to do something for the very last time.

Because, if it really is going to be the last time, but it’s a negative experience, those are easy to recall. I remember the last time I was let go at a couple of radio jobs like it was yesterday. Then there was the final day of another job I couldn’t stand, so I quit. And, of course, there’s the last time the Seattle Mariners were in the playoffs.

But then there are those life events that you would have enjoyed and cherished so much more, if you had only known this was going to be it. The last time you hung out with the neighborhood kids, the final time you got together with your high school crowd, or even when you went to visit someone who was sicker than they admitted, and you never got to see again.

For a decade, one of my annual routines was doing the play-by-play for the Bothell City Cable Channel’s coverage of their annual “Freedom Festival” parade on the 4th of July. I think it was in 2008 that Joyce Goedecke, the city’s Public Information Officer, invited me to co-host the parade with her. Being a radio guy, I seized the opportunity to do some on-camera work and we had a blast.

Soon after that, Joyce left for greener and sunnier pastures, so I inherited an annual tradition that I looked forward to every year. Having lived in Bothell and raising a couple of kids there, going to the parade each July 4th meant I would run into some former neighbors, or people from the Little League days or when I was a member of Bothell First Lutheran, and so on. It was like a family reunion.

And with Joyce gone, I was matched up with a series of different co-hosts over the years–Joyce’s PIO successor, Joy Johnston; Bothell Municipal Court Judge Michelle Gehlsen; Dr. Eric Murray, President of Cascadia College; former Bothell City Council member Tom Agnew; and last but not least, serial Bothell civic leader Mike Rue.

Over time, the 4th of July turned into an all-day event with friends in Kenmore hosting an after-party, where they would take in the parade, and then we’d retreat to their house, just hanging out, getting caught up and celebrating the 4th as you should, with a barbecue. It was a nice, thick slice of Americana.

In 2019, Mike Rue and I were paired up again, not knowing about the looming pandemic that would cancel the parade for the next two years. We also didn’t know that when the parade would return in 2022, the city would decide to go a different direction and we would no longer be a part of it. People at City Hall change, I don’t live in Bothell anymore and apparently, it was just time to go in a different direction.

So, when the holiday rolled around this year, I’ll admit, I was a bit bummed. That is, until I decided to go to YouTube and watch the coverage of the 2019 Freedom Festival parade. Within a couple of minutes, a smile returned to my face. I spent the early part of the 4th this year being sad, thinking about that being the last time I would do the parade. But, as I watched the fun Mike and I were having, I couldn’t have been any prouder of our efforts three years ago. In reviewing myself, I’d have to say it was one of my better times in front of the camera. The team of Tim & James did their usual stellar job of capturing the parade and making us look good and frankly, I was at peace with the whole thing.

And so, I thought I would share it with you.

Even just watching the first couple of minutes, you can see we were having a blast.

Thanks to everyone who made the 10 years I was able to emcee the parade some of the most fun events of my life, with special thanks to Joyce, the city of Bothell, Tim & James and my assorted co-hosts, especially Mike Rue.

I will speak well of you all in the old folk’s home. And I’ll definitely use the “my crew” joke a lot, since I had only used it one time.

And I couldn’t resist chatting about it with Maury the Movie Guy on my KRKO morning show. Here’s that exchange.

This experience has just reinforced one of my personal beliefs: never just walk through something. If you are going to do something, do it big, like it could be the last time.

Because if it ends up being your finale`, at least you know you gave it your best shot.

Tim Hunter

The NW Just Got A Little Less Funny

By this stage in life, you’ve no doubt met hundreds of people during your years on earth. Some, one-time events, others are in it for the long haul and they become a part of your life. For me, Scott Burns is one of those rare life-long friends who will always feel like a brother, no matter how far apart we may live.

Including Las Vegas.

After spending the last 41 years in the Seattle area, gracing the airwaves around here on such stations as KJR, KUBE, Young Country and KBSG, Scott and his wife April have packed up and headed to the sunny southwest on a new adventure.

I don’t want to repeat too much of what you’ll hear in this podcast, but for the last couple of decades, the times I’ve laughed the hardest were when I was with Scott Burns. He was the audio production guru at Destination Marketing, where I hung out for just shy of 10 years, both of us recovering Seattle radio personalities. In other words, we weren’t introverts.

Besides the above podcast, here are a couple of audio collaborations I worked on with Mr. Burns:

At one point, I was hoping Scott and I could finally partner together on a radio station, and so we pitched KRKO back in the day with this demo that included the late Debbie Deutsch.

Scott was always willing to help me out with some of my crazy projects, including this open to one of my annual Christmas CD’s.

But perhaps our biggest collaboration was when he willingly put on the green paint and sweet-talked his wife April into help bring my song, “Bimbo #5” to life. It was my first-ever music video that I shot on a Flip camera. Here’s the 10th anniversary special I put together.

What a proud family moment!

All this to say, I’m going to miss you Scott Burns. And I was just handed a special thank you note signed by all of the H.R. Directors of the radio stations where you worked. They sincerely appreciated the job security over the years.

In this stay-connected-no-matter-how-far-away-you-are stage of our existence, I look forward to the next time we connect and laugh our rear ends off.

In the meantime, the Pacific Northwest just got a little less funny.

Tim Hunter

This Week, I’m Stepping Back

Next year, it will mark 50 years since I roamed the hallways of Torrance High School, down in southern California. So much happened during those four years there–I learned so much about me, started grasping how the world worked, fell in love for the first time and met friends that I still stay in touch with all these years later.

Most I haven’t seen in almost half a century. Again, Facebook allows us to connect, see what we now look like, and what all has happened in our lives since those days. There have been the occasional class reunions, but I honestly can’t remember who I saw and who I didn’t.

Today, one of my FB friends from those days, Paul Wolcott, shared the story of his life and the meaning of today’s date. I thought I would share it with you:

Forty years ago this morning I woke up in the hospital, couldn’t move, IV’s everywhere, pain everywhere, some kind of orthopedic apparatus sling around my hips. I remembered what happened. I didn’t realize it was actually worse than I thought it was when it happened. I wanted to know how Gary was doing. He didn’t look so good when we were hit earlier in the morning. 0140 hours in the morning to be exact. Nobody would tell me anything more than he was at another hospital and being cared for and I was doing fine.

June 1982, 1800-0200 night shift motors, Hermosa Beach, California. Me and my partner/best friend, Gary Dean Moss. Working the best assignment in law enforcement, police motorcycle duty, extra pay, take home bike, motor boots, leather jacket. It was all good.

Gary and I had attended the LAPD Motor training school six months prior. A difficult school taught by veteran motor officers. The training was two weeks of intensive drills, skills, cone patterns, 40 MPH decel, combination braking, friction point, stress and dirt. We loved it.

The Saturday night shift started out routine enough, prowling the city for CVC violations, DUI’s, suspicious characters. Writing tickets, taking T/C reports, boundary disputes, backups the usual routine stuff. Weekend summer night in Hermosa Beach, plenty of people rolling into the city to have a good time.

Towards the end of our shift we set up on Ocean Dr at Aviation Blvd to cherry pick speeders and possibly a DUI. Gary and I sat there on our bikes and just talked about our day and what we were doing when we got off shift and what we were doing on our days off. We talked about our girlfriends, Gary had a new one. He felt bad because they had had a fight earlier in the day before work. He was going to make it up to her and apologize for being a jerk. I was seeing Carol Glover, I was going to her house after work. We’d been seeing each other for about seven months, I met her on her birthday, introduced by mutual friends.

As we sat on our bikes, we poked fun at each other, laughed about stupid things, the usual chatter between friends.

We heard the whine of a couple of motorcycles headed towards us from PCH, two rice rockets moving fast, east on Aviation. Instinctively we fired up our bikes and gave chase.

Approximately 60 MPH as we crested the slight rise in the road at Prospect, solid green. Light traffic was moving west, the two speeding bikes were just ahead as we were about to light them up.

A white Ford Fiesta was going west on Aviation, suddenly, without signaling the white car turned left crossing our path just before we reached Harper Ln. the border with Redondo Beach. (He was going to the Jack in the Box)

No amount of braking or evasive moves was going to do us any good. (I only laid down 18’ of locked wheel skid). We were doing 60 MPH. Simultaneously we slammed into the car. Gary hit the space between the front bumper and the right front tire. I hit the passenger door. Momentum kept us in motion. I landed approximately 90’ from the point of impact, Gary a little further slamming headfirst into the south-east curb line of Aviation and Harper. I was in the middle of the street. I was conscious. I felt pain. My arms and legs didn’t work. But I was in pain, a good sign. I could see Gary lying there, not moving. I tried calling out to him, nothing. I tried to check to see if my gun was secured, I couldn’t move my arm. I tried to get to my radio to call for help. I couldn’t move my arm, my hand. What are those sticks poking out of the top of my glove? Completely helpless.

A citizen who was behind us saw the whole thing and stopped to help. He got on the radio on my bike and said this “Officer Down, Aviation and Prospect”. That’s it. Redondo Beach officer Mike Higashi responded, “Was that officer down or what?”.

Gary still wasn’t moving.

Debris and wreckage strewn all around us.

I could hear sirens. The citizen that called for help came to check on me. Told me to lay still. Go check on my partner.

The first officer to get to me was Hermosa Beach police officer Phil Keenan and his trainee. I asked him how he was doing, I told him I was fine, go check on Gary.

More officers were arriving. Redondo Beach officer Paul Burch arrived on scene. (Before joining the force he was an RN in the ER at South Bay hospital). He evaluated Gary and made the decision not to wait for paramedics. He and Phil Keenan bundled Gary up put him in the back of Burch’s black and white and rolled Code 3 to South Bay ER. I could hear the radio, Burch demanded a gurney to meet him at the ER entrance. Gary was in full cardiac arrest.

More units arrived. Officer’s I had gone to the police academy with, familiar faces. Comforting faces. Stressed faces.

I’m still waiting for paramedics. I learned later there had been a mix up in dispatch and the paramedics didn’t get the call right away. One officer yelled into the radio “GET THE GOD DAMNED PARAMEDICS HERE NOW!”

There were four people trapped in the car. My bike intruded 3 feet into the passenger door. My body crushed the roof line in. Thank goodness for my vest.

The paramedics arrived more familiar faces. The ambulance arrived. More familiar faces.

Redondo Beach officer Mike Kaye arrived at the scene, we went through the academy together, I asked him to go to Carol’s house in Manhattan Beach and let her know I was going to be later than expected.

They took me to Little Company of Mary hospital in Torrance. The pain was getting worse, but I was still conscious and aware of what was happening. Chaos in the ER. Nurses, doctors, staff, police officers, vitals. More pain, everywhere. No pain meds till after X-Ray’s. They cut off my boots, my leather jacket, my breeches, shirt. Cold. Shock.

X-Ray’s, more pain. Mike brought Carol to the ER. I told her it was no big deal I’d be out in the morning. The nurses gave her the task of putting ice on my pelvis. I didn’t know why. Learned later, internal bleeding.

Finally, the gift of morphine. Pain was gone. Can I leave now?

Six hours of surgery.

Both arms broken, both wrists fractured and dislocated, compound fractures in my left hand (the sticks), fractured pelvis, broken back, both knees fractured and as a bonus, fractured right patella that was removed during surgery.

More morphine please.

Gary is in intensive care at South Bay hospital they told me, being cared for.

On June 24th, officer’s Jim Chizmar and Spike Kelly came to the hospital.

Gary died this morning…………

Gary’s memorial service drew hundreds of police officers from all over the state. Police helicopters flew past my hospital window in the missing man formation. Body Glove donated their boat to spread Gary’s ashes at sea off of Torrance beach.

A lot of time was spent in physical therapy or “pain and torture”. More surgeries. I regained use of my limbs, my left hand was functional. I got to learn how to walk again. I could finally go home after three months, two at LCM and a month at Daniel Freeman hospital for PT and OT and more surgeries.

The number of visitors to the hospital slowed, but Carol came every day

I spent three months in the hospital. The nursing staff was incredible and caring. They had to do everything. They fed me, changed my bedding, bathed me, gave me my meds, everything.

Carol and I got married on Gary’s birthday, March 19th.

Hermosa Beach Police officer Chuck Griffitts, Gary’s academy classmate, son was born at LCM, he named him Gary. He became a police officer.

I was forced to take a disability retirement in June 1983 when my 4850 time ran out. More surgeries, more PT.

The deuce that hit us had a .13% BAC. He was found guilty by a jury of one count of misdemeanor DUI and given probation.

In July 1985 I returned to full duty. I went back on motorcycle duty in 1995 and took a service retirement in 2008

We learned much later, the two motorcycle riders we were chasing had committed a robbery in another city.

Carol and I divorced but have stayed friends. I will, for the rest of my life be grateful to her for getting me through the most difficult, significant, life changing event I’ve ever experienced. Nothing before or since has been this bad.

I think about my best friend Gary Dean Moss every day.

I’m sure if every one of us were to take the time to write down a compilation of our life’s most traumatic moments since we left the safety of high school, the friends we’ve distantly stayed in touch with would be amazed at what we’ve been through. Some are willing to share, others prefer their privacy. But by this stage of life, all of us from the class of ’73 have a unique story to tell. I’m thankful Paul was willing to share, because I had no idea of all those challenges he had been through. Wow.

It’s why, this week, I’m deferring to my fellow Torrance High Tartar, class of ’73. Thank you, Paul.

Tim Hunter

Go To A Graduation

I came to a major realization over the weekend. One of the most uplifting, positive and inspirational things you can do is go to a graduation ceremony. And the higher up the educational chain, the better.

Of course, these days, everyone graduates from everything. I see people post pictures of graduations from pre-school to kindergarten. Second to third grade, etc.  In my lifetime, I personally experienced three graduations– 8th grade, going into high school; high school going into college; and then college, heading off into the real world.

And I as mentioned a couple of times on my radio program, while I don’t have many regrets in this life, one of them is not walking in the ceremony when I graduated from the University of Washington back in 1977. At the time, it felt unnecessary and a bother.

As far as other ceremonies I’ve experienced over the years, there were the high school and college graduations of my kids, step-kids and in-laws. This past weekend, I attended the graduation of my daughter-in-law as she walked and got her degree from the UW’s Foster School of Business. My son and his future wife, graduated together from that school a couple of years ago. Part of the festivities is a pre-ceremony reception where classmates excitedly got to see each other one more time before launching off to parts unknown. You’d see them hug and then, introduce their family to the student with something like, “Mom and Dad, this is the Steve you’ve heard me talk so much about!”

There were different ethnicities and cultures, blue collar, white collar, all the collars, smiling and posing for selfies and organizing group shots and with a genuine excitement about life and the future that you just haven’t seen in our world over the past couple of pandemic-laden years. This wasn’t my day, this was all about the graduates and so I just soaked it all in from my front-row seat.

While watching the events of the day, I couldn’t resist thinking back to those three graduations of mine:

The 8th Grade Event

I had gone to a small Lutheran school for grades 1-6. So, when it suddenly shut down at the end of my 6th year, I found myself thrust into public school during some of the cruelest years for new kids. 7th & 8th grade, I attended Sam Levy Elementary in Torrance, California. At long last, I got to go to the same school as all my friends on our street. But at the same time, I was a new kid, which meant getting picked on a lot. I’ve long psycho-analyzed myself to that being what flushed out my serious comedy side. The bullies would pick on you, but if you made them laugh, they’d pick on you slightly less and eventually say, “You know, you’re all right.” In time, we became friends.

High School Graduation

I had a high school relationship that was full of ups and downs. She was the girl across the street, an adorable cutie, one year ahead of me. There was something inside of me that said I should probably get away from this situation, and so I applied and was accepted to attend the University of Washington along with my buddy, Greg “Tank” Lucas.

As challenging as those 7th & 8th grade years were, high school was a bit of a fresh slate. There were four elementaries feeding the high school, so you basically didn’t know 75% of the student population. I gotta say, those were great years for me. Got to play basketball, made life-long friends, did the rah-rah thing and was Senior Class President (my election speech was a stand-up routine) and A.S.B. Vice-President (no opponent, didn’t have to make a speech).

The Grad Night experience for all of us at Torrance High School and many other So Cal high schools as well, was to walk and get your diploma, hop into a bus and go to Disneyland for the night. Yep, they kept the park open all night for students to stay out until 5am, then take the bus back to school. I don’t remember the details, but I do recall feeling on top of the world.

College Graduation

I got to college ready to graduate. My master plan was to take 18 credits a quarter, instead of the usual 15, and that way I’d only have to go three years plus one quarter. If only breaking up with a girlfriend, partying and having fun hadn’t caused me to actually fail a math class my sophomore year. I still did graduate a quarter early, which also contributed to my decision of not walking in the graduation ceremony. I was really done with the idea of school by this time, and I was anxious to get out there and actually do what I wanted to do–and play radio. I went through the ads of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters, drove over for an interview, got hired and moved to Yakima. Come to think of it, I was probably there while people back in Seattle were donning their caps and gowns.

Now, back to present time and my realization that this would probably be my last graduation until the grandkids revive the tradition. All my kids and Victoria’s kids have done what they set out to do and so we’ll be giving up that experience for a least a decade or so.

But what an experience it can be, to be completely surrounded with hope and promise and dreams and goals, swirling around so much, you can feel it. Here’s a little video I put together from Sam’s walk last week.



Give yourself a serious boost of positive energy–go to a graduation.

Tim Hunter

Well, I’ve Reluctantly Joined The Club

You can’t say we didn’t try.

My wife, Victoria, and I had spent the better part of the past two years and 3 months doing what the CDC recommended, following every word of St. Fauci, wearing masks when others had decided they were through, never wandering into a grocery store with a bare face and yet this past week, we got COVID.

We found out on Monday, Memorial Day, that we had been exposed to someone with the virus on Sunday. Then, we learned we had also been exposed to two more people at a wedding the previous day on Saturday. (aka, the bride & groom)

And with that, our luck ran out. I kept telling myself for several days that it had to be a cold. I mean, for God’s sake, there are still colds and flu’s out there. Not EVERYTHING has to be COVID!

But on Friday morning, after testing every day since Tuesday, I finally got the double bars. Victoria earned her stripes on Sunday.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Friday, I was scheduled to be the reader, music man and goofball for an auction in Everett benefitting the Campfire program of Snohomish County. Then, Sunday, I was on tap to once again be the auctioneer for the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle Fish & Meatball dinner. Victoria was equally crucial to that event, but had to harness her delegation powers

Shortly after my positive test, I spent the morning scrambling to find replacements for me, so that the shows could go on. Kudos to buddy Ken Carson who took on the Campfire thing solo, and then showed up to wow the crowd at Sunday’s Norwegian gathering. Ken, they loved you. Looking forward to working with you at the Bothell Boosters Auction in less than two weeks. I should be clean by then.

Meanwhile, back in sick bay, I figured I would pass along what knowledge I’ve acquired during my unplanned travels down this road:

I’ve been sicker: The symptoms seem to come in waves. A plugged nose, followed by a runny nose, a slight burn in the lungs, tiredness. But when you get down to it, it feels more like a mild cold that I’m pretty sure is thanks to having my two Moderna vaccines and a booster. We were planning to get that second booster but wanted to wait until our schedule slowed down a bit, in case there were any side effects.

We’ve also had several friends also catch the crud over the last week say exactly what I’ve said–“I’ve been sicker.”

If you can get Paxlovid, get it! That’s the Pfizer product that helps speed up recovery and I’m hoping it does. There are several qualifying factors that allow you to get it–being over 65, having certain health conditions, etc.–but if you qualify, it’s a game-changer. What I can tell you about it–the biggest warning is that it doesn’t play well with a lot of other medicines. So, if you’re taking something regularly, you may have to stop for the 5-days you’re Paxloviding. (ooh, look, I made it a verb!) I had heard that when you take it, you start feeling better on the second day. That may have been true, but I wasn’t feeling that bad to begin with. I’m now on day 3 and to me, the headline is that the story I heard about how you get a metal taste in your mouth–absolutely true.

Prepare to be amazed how word spreads–Seriously, we had told less than 5 people that I had tested positive on Friday morning and by 9am, I had gotten messages of support from two people who had absolutely no connection to those 5 friends. This is why I have my secret identify plan ready for when I finally do win the lottery.

You’ll be forced to rest–Geeze, I got in all the episodes of “Stranger Things”, caught up on “Barry” and discovered how great “The Lincoln Lawyer” is on Netflix. So, there is an upside.

It’s the world in which we live. Another friend who caught it this week made the frequently made comment, “Well, if you haven’t gotten it yet, it’s just a matter of time.” As part of a team that was doing SO good about avoiding it, I’d have to agree. But even though it seems like it just won’t go away, we’ve at least worn it down so it’s now a lighter form of the original and the vaccinations seems to be doing their jobs.

If you have any questions or want thoughts from someone who sits in the front row, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d use my radio address, tim.hunter@krko.com because it’s the least busy of them all.

Glad to help in any way I can, especially now that I’m a member of the club.

A very reluctant member. Meeting adjourned.

Tim Hunter

You’ll Never Know How Truly Grateful I Am

As I grow older, I’m turning into a mush pot of emotions when certain events roll around.

Take, for example, Memorial Day. At the time of this writing, it was yesterday and due to our busy schedule, I didn’t have time for something I really enjoy doing every Memorial Day–visiting the military section of nearby Evergreen Washelli Cemetery.

Now, it’s not because I want to get to know the neighbors, as my future is in the fifth row of a mausoleum across the street. But for each of the major patriotic holidays, I feel the least I could do is go over in person and say thanks to all men and women who gave their lives for this country.

For years, Memorial Day weekend to me was what it is to so many people–the official kickoff of summer, when you’d pack up the car and go on a road trip. Maybe a camping adventure to see how much rain your tent could absorb or going across the mountains to a cabin on a lake somewhere. As Americans, we’ve been trained that Memorial Day weekend is that special time when cars go on sale, or that it’s a great weekend to buy a new appliance. After watching all the commercials, you almost feel guilty if you don’t have some kind of barbecued meal. I mean, to not have some kind of a barbecue is almost un-‘Merican. (yeah, sometimes when you’re waving the red, white & blue, you drop the ‘a’ in America)

But I would say the past 5 years or so, with that amazing patriotic display less than 5 minutes from our house, I find myself drawn. To take pictures, to read the headstones, to reflect.

That’s why today, the day after the holiday, I zipped over while the flags were still up. If you want to feel the holiday, it’s simply the way to do it. And this year, I randomly wandered into a special row and started reading the headstones.

Notice the theme. This row included multiple service members, all of whom died in 1969. That was the year I graduated from 8th grade and was bracing myself to head off into high school. Some were World War II or Korea war vets. But most were 20-somethings that were drafted, shipped off to southeast Asia, and sent home in a flag-draped pine box.
Where that hits home with me is that in 1973, I graduated from high school. That same month I picked up my diploma, the U.S. military draft officially ended.

That was close.

Even though they stopped drafting people and the Vietnam war wound down, they still drew numbers for people born in 1955.

My birthday put me in at #233. I’m not exactly sure if that meant I would have been sucked in, or missed it, but no matter.

How different my life would have been.

The graves before me were those of people who died in the service of our country. You may not have approved of the conflict or the politics of the time, but the way I look at it–they served so I didn’t have to.

To the active and retired military who may stumble across these ramblings, I just want you to know I get it. I sincerely appreciate everything you have done to keep the rest of us out of harm’s way.

To those who think you don’t need to worry about things like that anymore, I offer you one word: Ukraine.

The Washelli cemetery is just one of hundreds of place where our soldiers have gone to rest. Whenever I drive by, I’m always reminded of their sacrifice. But when Memorial Day and Veterans Day rolls around each year, I just can’t help but stop by for a visit to reflect, one more time.

Age increases my appreciation. The phrase, “Thank you for your service” takes such little effort to say when one of our military is standing in front of you. But it’s a powerful way to show you get it and that you sincerely appreciate what they do.

In the meantime, thanks dad, Uncle Bob, Uncle Chuck, Uncle Larry and father-in-law Ernie, Cousin Rick, and to all the veterans we have lost over the years–thank you!

You’ll never know how truly grateful I am.

Tim Hunter

What Else Is There To Say?

I don’ t want to live forever, just long enough to see random mass killings by a mentally deranged person never happen again.

They say our country is experiencing a mental health crisis. That’s how we try to explain why an 18-year-old with automatic weapons can walk into a Texas elementary and mow down 20 kids. Or how we dismiss another teen going to a grocery store in Buffalo to “kill black people.”

I can’t do this again. I’ve gotten up on my soap box before, preached the gospel of reasonable gun control and the idea of preventing mentally unstable people from going out and stocking up on the tools they need to commit mass murder. Preventing this from happening ever again just makes sense. Every single time. Yet, the N.R.A. continues to use the politicians in their pockets to prevent anything from changing. Damn, they’re good.

So, instead, I’m going to share a few of the more poignant and powerful Facebook posts I read after this latest mass execution at a place that was supposed to be safe. Starting with a photo of just some of the victims.

So true, George.

NBA Coach Steve Kerr said everything for me instead of talking about game 4. 

Until Tuesday, Irma Garcia & Eva Mireles were 4th grade co-teachera at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, looking forward to a well-deserved summer vacation. They were two days away.

And if you didn’t know, Uvalde, Texas, is the home of actor Matthew McConaughey.

Hey, congress, why don’t we start with trying to figure out how someone with severe mental problems could go into a gun store six days after his 18th birthday, buy two AR-15 style automatic rifles and ammo, and then two days later, go to an elementary school and shoot kids?

I’m fairly certain that’s not one of the rights our forefathers were trying to protect.

Seriously, what else is there to say?

Tim Hunter

PS I guess there are a couple of other things left to say.

Zero Degrees of Separation

You know how it goes. You meet someone you’ve never met before and while chatting, you realize you have a mutual friend or aquaintance.

Let me tell you a story….

So, on Tuesday, while I was Norwegianing (I swear it’s a real word, Spellcheck) my brains out at the annual Syttende Mai celebration down in Ballard, I noticed a guy chatting with my wife, and it seemed like he was referring to me. I was in the middle of a conversion with someone else, so I continued chatting until we wrapped up. Within seconds, this fellow came over and introduced himself.

“Hi, my name is Alex and you used to work with my mom!”

Well, if this was a movie, this could have gone all kinds of ways. But to answer the first question you had–and I had thought of it, too–no, he wasn’t my son.

It turns out that Alex’s mom was Heather Muphy, a woman I worked with years ago when I was at Destination Marketing, when we were making TV commercials. Heather was a production director or something like that, just great people and over the years, we stayed in touch the way most people do–watching each other’s Facebook posts.

But that’s just where my connection to Alex began.

Besides working with his mom, Alex said he had known my brother-in-law Kris for years. Then, I found out that he also knew Bruce Johnson, the Rowland Studio photographer, who was the official photo guy for Syttende Mai. Alex had gotten to know Bruce and my late radio buddy, Larry Nelson, back in their Chandler’s Crabhouse days.

It keeps going.

I was then introduced to his wife, Barbara. Not only had she worked at KING-5 for a while, but these days, she was at a company called Tri-Films. More connections. I had interned years ago at KING on the radio side, (although, I did chauffeur around the owner, Dorothy Bullitt for a week once while her regular driver was on vacation) but for a time, I was also a contributing writer to some of the projects Mark Dickison and the team did at Tri-Films.

They informed me that Mark had passed away years ago from pancreatic cancer. One of those cases where, here one day, diagnosed the next and gone within months. So sad. Mark once gave me the opportunity to write some jokes for the 75th birthday party that Bill Gates was putting on for Warren Buffett. One of the coolest things I’ve ever done, writing one-liners for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Diane Sawyer and others, back in 2005. I always wanted to get a copy of that gig, but never did.

Oh, yeah, back to Alex. Apparently, he followed his mom’s footsteps into the entertainment industry and besides being a stuntman, he has a stuntman agency here in Seattle that he operates with Barbara, called Seattle Stunt Company. Check out his IMDB, and you’ll see he did stunts on a lot of the movies you’ve seen.

And may I add, all this, and a really nice guy.

So, how did Alex discover this connection between his mom and yours truly? Apparently, he’s a member of the Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard–just like me–and while showing his mom photos of a recent lodge event, she saw a picture of me and said, “Hey, that’s Tim Hunter!”

Such a small friggin’ world!

Tim Hunter

And So It Begins…

It’s funny. During your younger years, retirement seems like forever away. Those “Golden Years” will arrive eventually and I’ll deal with them at that time.

In your 20s, you can’t even imagine it. When your 30s roll around, people keep telling you that you should be stashing money for that eventual phase of your life. Yet, it’s still hard to comprehend.

I was in my 40s when I started feeling obligated that I should be doing something towards the cause. After all, it was just a short two decades away and by that time, you’ve put four of them in the books.

Then in your 50s, you start to worry that you didn’t do enough, that it’s too late, that Social Security will run out or not be enough. Next thing you know, your 60s arrive and it starts to get serious.

I’ve had a very, very diverse career path, starting out mowing lawns, then a real job at Sears, some United Airlines flight kitchen stints during summers while in college. And then, I graduated and headed out into the world to play radio.

My first college radio broadcasts were in 1975. I can count up 8 sets of call letters that I’ve been a part of, with the most recent being KRKO in Everett, aka “Everett’s Greatest Hits.” This was really a bonus gig, as I had decided years ago that I didn’t want to plunge back into radio full-time again, especially after the collapse of the Murdock, Hunter and Alice show in 2003.

That was the beginning of my personal reinvention. I went from goofball radio personality to copywriter, comedy writer and picking up another half-dozen skills from my near decade at a local advertising agency. I had already been using Tim Hunter Creative Services as an umbrella for all my freelance work, but I started to build that up while also working as the creative director of my buddy Corey Newton’s agency, Create Impulse.

My basic thinking was, rather than put all my eggs into one unstable radio basket, I would diversify and have a lot of different irons in the fire. These days, I have at least 8 different sources of revenue coming in that allow me to have a pretty accommodating schedule. However, the work still needs to get done.

Back in 2018, Everett’s KRKO flipped from a Sports Talk format to a “greatest hits” format, featuring songs I grew up with and that I played on the radio years ago. I sniffed around about maybe cutting some tracks for them and the next thing you know, we were putting a deal together for me to do the morning show.

Now, I had been on the air before solo, but when the KLSY thing blew up and I found myself on “The Wolf”, I realized that it wasn’t just being on the radio that I missed so much, as it was the playground of two or three people playing off each other. That’s why after a year of playing country music at The Wolf, I let radio go and did the reinvention thing.

But all these years later–basically, 14 years after my last shift at The Wolf–I still had the radio bug and I wanted to prove to myself and everyone listening that I could still do this. When a station makes a change like KLSY did and just upends your career, you have that feeling of “I want to show those bastards I’ve still got it” and for the last five years, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

But now, the amount of time it takes each day for me to do a morning show full of fun, original comedy and quirky bits–which is what I love to do–is just too much. If I give up the morning show, I will reclaim a minimum of 60 hours a month to do other things, or even just make the multiple jobs I’m doing now easier to achieve.

So, I’ve notified the station that I’m done. Oh, not right away, but I would like them to find someone to take over the gig. I’ve given KRKO nothing but my best for almost five years and I could keep doing this if I scaled things back or did lesser breaks, etc, and just become a talking voice. But that’s not a Tim Hunter radio show.

I hate when you refer to yourself in the third person. Really? Me, too!

You know, after KOMO radio squeezed out my old boss, Larry Nelson, they were far from gracious. When that happened, I kept telling Larry, “You need to get back on the air! People miss you!” and he replied, “Timmy, I’m done.”

I didn’t understand it then. I really get it now.

Once you get rid of that need to prove yourself to people and realize you’ve already done that over the span of your career, you can let go. I will continue writing for Radio-Online which I’ve been doing for a couple of decades now. That will keep me up on current events and its basically writing a radio show every day, just not having to record and produce it.

KRKO has been informed of my intent, a press release will eventually follow and the search for my replacement will go on. My hope is for sooner than later, so that I can trim back the rather hectic pace of my current lifestyle. In the meantime, I’ll try to savor my last couple of weeks in broadcasting, as I get ready to hang up the headphones for good.

Retirement. It won’t be a declared “Retirement Day”, but rather a series of identifying things and letting go, one by one.

And so it begins….

Tim Hunter