Thanks To The Gurus In My Life

One thing about the personal PC, it fueled my endless thirst for how those things work and has always inspired me to find out how to fix computers myself.

I know my dad had hoped I would have embraced his knowledge of car engines and how they worked. However, at that point in my life, girls and basketball had a higher precedence.

But there came a time in my mid-20s when the personal computer arrived on the scene. I knew I needed one and so I spent upwards of $1800 to get this monstrosity with a mono-chrome screen, a keyboard, a wired mouse and a mighty 20MB of storage. That seems almost unthinkable. I remember buying it at computer store in Bellevue, bringing it home and starting to mess with it. This is long before Windows–we’re talking the land of DOS, with 5-1/4 inch floppy drives and commands that you memorized so you can type them in and make magic happen.

On the very first day I owned my new friend, I played around with commands and in no time at all, I discovered that “format” was a nifty way to erase everything on the computer. Crap. So, I walked around the corner and reached out to a neighbor that knew all about these things. He reinstalled the operating system and got me back up (with a stern warning about the ‘format’ command). There would be many more neighborly visits in the future.

But that first valuable lesson has lasted a lifetime when it comes to dealing with computers: for the most part, it’s hard to seriously mess them up. There’s usually an undo or some kind of action that will save your bacon and data at the same time. Now, it’s not like I haven’t had the famous Blue Screen of Death or forgotten to save a document, only to lose everything I had been working on. Oh, and there are those hard-drives that I thought would be a permanent storage unit solution for valuable family photos, only to have them crash. But, for the most part, I often encourage someone who is afraid of what they might do to a computer to just take a chance.

Years later, when I moved to a new neighborhood, I met a new guru. Neil probably had the biggest impact on advancing my understanding skills when it came to computers. He was quite a busy Microsofter at the time, but he would always be glad to help me undo something I had screwed up, or install a new piece of hardware. Over the last 20 years, I have probably had to reach out to him three times when I felt I needed his expertise, but thanks to him, a lot of times I have been able to figure things out myself. Not sure when the last time was that I called him for a rescue, but I know it was pre-pandemic.

So these days, I’m sitting pretty and feeling in control of my computer world. Well, except…

I had hung on to some old hard drives that had crashed and much like Disney’s head, I was holding on to them with the hope that someday, the technology would exist to rescue the data on those damaged disks. Plus, I went through a stage where I stored things on something called an iOmega Zip Drive, with funny little disks that could retain pictures, documents and such. I had two of the readers and around two dozen disks sitting around in drawers. Apparently, Windows 10 decided not to let you connect to them, so once I depleted my knowledge base, I needed a guru. I looked online and found that there was a local shop called PC Fix just down the road in Ballard.

I went there and found a one-man shop. The guy that runs the place was laid back, had a pony tail and was great to chat with. On that first visit, he gave me advice and told me what I needed to know, no charge.

Finding a good geek that you can trust and that charges a fair price is a real find. We talked about my dead hard drives and Zip drives and he said, “Bring ’em on down and we’ll figure it out.” I’m excited to see how much he can retrieve.

Bottom line is that I’ve found my latest guru. Just thought I would pass it along your way, in case you’re in need of your next computer expert. Parking is tricky after 3pm, so best to stop by there during the day.

I guess one of these days, I should find out his name. But good guy.

You’re welcome.

Tim Hunter

 

Thank God For History

Like everybody else, I knew that former President Donald Trump would be acquitted in his most recent impeachment trial, and he was.

Not because he wasn’t guilty in the largest example of sedition and insurrection ever displayed by an American president, but because of his organized-crime like hold on the Republican party that he took over four years ago. The evidence of Trump’s guilt was damning.

I still remember when he rose to power, winning primaries when no one took him seriously. His timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as we had reached a ‘fed-up with Washington, D.C.’ stage in our country, where just enough voters were willing to take a risk on this wheeler-dealer and see where it would take us.

As an independent voter and open to either side (it’s all about the quality of the candidate), I spent the period of November 2016 through Inauguration Day selling myself on his promised fresh approach. He spoke of “draining the swamp” and running government as an outsider and I kept my fingers crossed. 

Let us quickly fast-forward through four years of building a wall, harmful tweets that encouraged White Supremacists and racists to feel empowered and step forward, ignoring climate change, hiring and firing White House cabinet members and staff like he was running a Halloween Superstore, more maniacal tweets that made me question his sanity and starting early last year, months before the election, planting the seeds that if he somehow lost the election, it had to be rigged.

When you look at the mob that tried to disrupt the Electoral College vote confirmation on January 6th of this year, it wasn’t a lot of people. Let’s call it  around 2000 people. That is .000609 of the U.S. Population. What do we know about them? Here’s a start. But their actions were enough to put a real scare into all of us that our country’s democracy may be a lot more fragile than we had ever imagined.

Think of how unified our country would be right now if the attackers had been from a foreign country? We would all be calling for the death penalty and would look forward to locking those people up forever.

But these were Trump followers, blinded by his rhetoric. MAGA Confederate flag-waving racists, anti-sematic, hate-mongers that were fueled by the words of a sitting American president. He sent them, said he’d be with them as they marched to the Capitol building, and the carnage was launched.

Our Senators and the Vice-President had a front-row seat. It’s only luck that it didn’t get even uglier. Mitt Romney was this close to running into the mob, who were also chanting, “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!”

But even though seven brave members of the Republican party voted ‘guilty’, there were not enough votes to convict former President Trump of the obvious. How?

Some claimed it was unconstitutional, as impeachment was meant for someone currently holding office. So, like when they originally wanted to vote, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said we’ll wait until the next Senate convenes? So, Mitch, you said you voted against Trump being guilty because of the vote that resulted from your inaction? And then, you came out after the vote and said he wasn’t going to get away with it?

The ‘trial’ was a mockery. If you paid attention, you could see Republican Senators checking their phones, not looking at the screen when videos were being shown, or being absent. If you want more details, read this.

Here are a couple of powerful memes.

This one’s from last Friday, February 12th:

And this one helps anyone struggling with the concept of partisanship.

It saddens me that this many United States Senators sold their souls to the Orange Devil. Why? They knew if they crossed him, he’d seek revenge. You watch and see what happens to the 7 Republican Senators who were bold enough to do their duty and choose the U.S. Constitution over party.

So, you Senators in complete denial: Are you saying that a president can get away with anything during the final week or two of his term, because it takes too long to impeach him or her? Or, that only applies to Republicans?

Former Reagan speechwriter and columnist Peggy Noonan had seen enough.

We are all entitled to our opinions–that’s what makes this such a great country. But this display of ignoring the facts for saving one’s political bacon are about as absurd and disappointing as it gets.

Gazing into my crystal ball, I can tell you what’s going to happen, at least to Independent-minded voters like myself. The Republican party just died. If it’s the Trump Party (which last weekend’s voted demonstrated), your candidates are no longer even a serious consideration. 

There’s talk of 100 or more Republicans spinning off and starting their own party, which would be more true to the original ideas before it was Trumpified. Of course, that would fracture conservative voters and make it very hard for a Trump Republican or a New Republican from ever winning another election. 

Maybe this is what Trump meant by “Making America Great Again”: destroying the Republican party. Because that’s exactly what he has done.

Yes, Donald, you got acquitted for a second time. That may be great for your political donations and fanning the flames of that loyal fan base of yours. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that, over time, we’re going to learn everything about what went on in your White House and during the final days of your reign of terror.

Because truth and history eventually wins out. 

Tim Hunter

 

 

 

Preserving Those Lost Memories

It’s funny how aging works. There are you, reaching your 30s that quickly become your 40s and then all of a sudden, your 50s show up.
I’ve always described the 50s to friends on approach as the decade I’ve seen people really reach their stride. By that time, the kids have started migrating out of the house or are already gone, you’re putting the finishing touches on paying for their college (or contributing as much as you can) and now you’re on approach to retirement, but with a doable chunk of years to go.
I know that it was in my 50s where I had to make a crucial life choice–continue living the way I had been living or make a break towards something better. Looking back, it was one of the wisest yet most difficult decisions I ever had to make, but I thank God I had the guts to do it.

That being said, I’ve reached the next tier. In fact, I’m in the mid-60s now and with lots of friends and relatives already participating in future decades, I’m seeing their memories begin to fade. A totally understandable phenomenon, as if you think about our brains being giant file cabinets, you really only have so much room.

I know that in my brain, I’m still retaining so much information I really don’t need (like the instrumental opening of “Breakdown” by Tom Petty is 27 seconds and the song is only 2:29) but there was a time when that was really useful info, especially when talking over an intro on the radio.

All this to say, there are some fun nuggets from my childhood I’d like to hang on to and rather than relying on my busy brain that will eventually fail, I’d like to tuck away a few of them right here:

I grew during a time BEFORE area codes. Our phone number had a name: it was FRONTIER 5-1777 (not the real number. C’mon, give me a little credit). That meant FR5-1777 and when you reached to the rotary dial to dial a number, you’d do the F (3) then the R (7) and the rest of the number. But before you dialed, you had to pick up the receiver and listened to hear if there were people talking or if there was a dial tone. We were on a “party line” that meant others used the same dial tone and if someone was already on, you had to wait to make your call.

TV and I grew up together around the same time. By the time I was in elementary school, the networks began pushing limits to try and get more viewers. When I was in 3rd grade or so, I remember a note being sent home from the parochial school I attended, urging parents not to let us young, impressionable minds watch the TV show, “Combat.” (not sure why they also didn’t warn us about “My Mother The Car”) I don’t remember my parents’ reaction, but I know it remained my favorite Tuesday night TV show. C’mon, it was about wars and guns and battles. A common birthday present during those years were cap guns or air rifles that didn’t shoot anything, but made a popping sound. These days, kids get all that from their video games.

Not sure if it’s still true today, but as a boy growing up, I had plenty of lapses in good judgement. There was the time when I was five that I bit the cheeks of a fellow kindergartener because they looked liked “peaches.” (seriously) Her big brother met up with me on the way home from school the next day to make sure it didn’t happen again.

And then was my classic case of Kid Karma. Once, while playing Hide ‘n Seek with classmates on the playground at Immanuel Lutheran Church, a girl named Laurel Scherer was about to touch the flag pole and yell, “1-2-3 on Tim!” For some reason (and this is where that brain of poor judgement kicked in again), as we both approached the flag pole, I gave her a shove. She fell face first into the pole and broke a front tooth. Of course, I felt horrible and despite my actions, we remained friends for the rest of our elementary school days together, but WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Oh and, for the record, I was ‘safe’.

Back to the Kid Karma. Years later, I was hanging out with my fellow Cub Scouts in front of my parents house (mom was a Den Mother) when one of them threw a rock that perfectly hit one of my front teeth and broke it in half. I’ve had a cap on that tooth ever since.

I guess it’s time to whip out the old philosophy I dig out often–what we are today is simply a culmination of everything and I mean EVERYTHING that has happened in our lives to this moment, good and bad. That includes those really bad decisions or events that occurred over the years. They all combine to make up what they call “a life.” We’ve all had a wealth of experiences and I’m a firm believer in that it’s not what happens to us, but how we handle it.

I’ve already written a few movie scripts and have others in mind. But maybe one of these days, I’ll write one that will include a collection of these long-lost stories in a film about my life. However, before I take the time to write a complete screenplay, I’ll have to check and see if Brad Pitt would be willing to be the lead.

Allow me my delusions. I’ve got quite a collection.

Tim Hunter

PS–Second row, boy on the far right. (in the photo, not politically)

What a Friggin’ Coincidence

So, I started the week at the eye doctor for my annual check-up. Truth be told, this exam was scheduled a couple of Fridays ago and I just flat-out spaced and missed the appointment.

I set 126 reminders on my phone, on Alexa, I wrote notes, I was not going to let this happen again. I arrived 15-minutes early and was among their first patients of the day. Since they hadn’t seen me for over a year, they handed me a printout and asked me to verify that all of the information on the paper was correct.

I started with the phone number. Nope, that’s wrong. I checked the address, wrong again. Up and down the page, none of this information made sense and that’s when I headed for the name.

Right there, as plain as the nose on my face: Tom Hutyler.

That’s just down right freaky.

You see, three decades ago, Tom and I worked together at KLSY. Tom had been the afternoon guy, but the station decided to take me off weekends, put me in afternoons and shift Tom and those dulcet tones to the mid-day slot.

But you couldn’t have Tom Hutyler on the radio, followed by Tim Hunter and the station’s first suggestion was for me to change my name. I had never used an alias (or “radio name”) on the air in my career, so I offered an alternative. What about adding my middle initial as a differentiator? They bought it.

So, for a while on 92.5 KLSY, it was Murdock in the Morning, followed by Tom Hutyler, and then me, Tim J. Hunter.

Most of the disc jockeys I’ve known over the years arrange the shifts in this hierarchy: if you can’t have the morning show, grab afternoons. If afternoons are available, put your foot into mid-days and then wait. Well, Tom wasn’t about to wait and the next thing you know, he was off to a successful run at KUBE and then, he wound up over at KOMO radio, where he still anchors the news today. That is, when he’s not being the voice of T-Mobile Park for the Seattle Mariners. Yep, when you hear that stadium voice, that’s Tom.

Back to this bizarre coincidence. I shot Tom a quick Facebook message and let him know about what had happened. He let me know that he had an appointment later that same day.

What are the odds? We go to the same eye clinic and had booked appointments on the same day.

I figure when he got there for his appointment, they probably had him review my contact information. You know, come to think of it, I haven’t seen Tom in person for a long time. Maybe I better book another eye appointment?

Tim Hunter

Not a Rainy Day or a Monday

Yeah, it was the one of the most challenging 24 hours I’ve had for a long time.

To be honest, by the time Monday rolled around, I was happy to have made it to the work week. Things just seem a lot calmer during my jam-packed work days. 

Last Saturday, thanks to my daughter, my wife & I were able to get our first Moderna COVID-19 shots down in Olympia at St. Peters hospital. We were thrilled to have the opportunity and so we made the 90-minute one-way trip to the state capitol. After getting our arms poked, my wife and I then had a chance to hang with my favorite nurse and get caught up on her family and such. Then, once we cleared the 15-minute wait period, we headed north back home.

Initially, it wasn’t so bad.

But when Sunday morning arrived, my left arm was SORE! I equated it to feeling as though someone had swung a baseball bat as hard as possible and hit your arm. However, that’s only where my fun weekend began.

That very morning, I went to flush the toilet. A common, normal thing to do in a home, but upon pushing down the handle, the water didn’t disappear. Ruh-oh. I gave it another flush and it wasn’t going anywhere. Then I heard water backing up in the laundry room next door and I knew we had a blocked drain again.

Yes, it’s happened before. We have an older home and that’s one of the things that comes with the ‘charm’ part. Occasionally, water that tries to flood our basement and a main sewage line that occasionally clogs. A couple of times I’ve had to call out a plumber to do his magic, but before surrendering to a $300+ fee, I went outside and retrieved my 50-foot auger.

It was completely in the pipe with no luck but I gave it one last little twirl and a push and WHOOSH! The drain opened up. Working with sewage is really not one of my favorite things, but you do what you have to do and I chalked that up as a win.

But before the champagne could be chilled, it was snack time! That was when I reached for a handful of pistachios (after showering and washing my hands multiple times). A couple of chomps and OUCH! I hit something hard, which I assumed was a shell that slipped past the factory. I pulled out the object and would you look at that–half a tooth! Yep, it was half of a former tooth of mine from the lower right corner of my mouth. It had apparently decided it was time to split.

And, oh yeah, my arm really, really hurts!

As luck would have it, I was very fortunate to be able to get into my dentist who made magic happen. He told me I was lucky because there were all kinds of ways for that tooth to have cracked that would have caused a lot of problems. Of all the possibilities, I had won the broken tooth lottery. It’s a nice way to win something, without all that messy money. And not anything that, after insurance coverage, $499.18 couldn’t fix.

So I guess in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t that bad of a weekend. I’m still breathing, I’m halfway to being inoculated against the coronavirus, and in a couple of weeks I’ll have a new cap in place and no one will be the wiser.

It’s all about how you view things. And it wasn’t rainy or a Monday. So, let’s get down!

Tim Hunter

Another Collection of Mini-Rants

Each week before I sit down to write a blog, I look at what I’ve written lately and if I’ve gone too political, I try to head back to the lighter side for one or two weeks. This week, there were too many things I wanted to comment on. So, instead of a long-winded piece on a single topic, I’m going to conduct self-therapy and give you my thoughts on a trio of things I felt compelled to write about.

MINI-RANT #1

I’ve slowly abandoned KING-5 news after watching them push out of the names I knew and found myself migrating over to KOMO, channel 4.
Of course, back in my KOMO Radio days, I watched our sister TV station all the time, with the likes of Ruth Walsh, Bruce King and Ray Ramsey. Then Dan Lewis and Kathi Goertzen came along and made me stick around. But when they left, I went to the surviving long-time folks over at KING. As they disappeared, I headed back to the new, likeable kids over at Channel 4.

A commercial that has played a lot over the past couple of months is a spot recommending prayer to the down-trodden, hosted by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin. He kind of sounds like his dad and every time it came on, it reminded me of Billy and those days when he was the spiritual counselor for every president that came along, regardless of party.

So, that gave Franklin an edge with me. He had a positive message and I thought, “Well, that’s cool. He didn’t turn into a Jim Bakker or anything. He seems alright.”

I’ve had a change of thought.

As if the right-wing militia’s carrying and holding up Bibles as they stormed the Capitol Building a couple of weeks ago wasn’t bad enough, the Revered Franklin Graham just blew up his reputation by saying….

Oh, I can’t even repeat it. I think it’s best you read it for yourself, so you don’t think I’m making it up. It’s all right here.

Seriously? Seri-ous-ly? So, Rev, you’re equating Donald Trump to Jesus? 

You’ve lost 100% of your credibility and your mere voice makes me sick. I suppose that’s why God invented mute buttons for TV. 

By the way, just curious–How much did your soul go for?

MINI-RANT #2

I’ve been scammed.

So, I wanted to issue this warning about buying anything that looks too good to be true on Facebook. 

Facebook offers are like those candy bars by the cashier. They’re impulse items. Do you really need one? Nope. Would it fun to own one?  Sure. Does it really cost that much? Not really.

SOLD!

So, here’s what the ad looked like that appeared in my Facebook feed right after the New Year:

Look at those giant inflatables. That would be cool to own one and stick it out in the front yard next year. Heck, at that price, I’ll order two. It’s a mystery box, but I’d take any of those 6-foot tall decorations and be the envy of the neighborhood. So, I placed my order.

At first I thought, “Wow, $16.98 for shipping. That seems like a lot. But then again, if they’re these huge inflatables, they’re probably heavy.”

Imagine my surprise this week when these two things showed up in my mailbox:

I steamed for a while, then I went to Pay Pal to report the company. Here’s how that conversation went:

So, this company:

  • Claimed that they didn’t misrepresent the merchandise.
  • Told me that what I received was ‘randomly’ selected. (funny how I got two of them. What are the odds?)
  • They offered to make it right by giving me $5 back. (Then I would only be out $31 for $4 worth of stuff)

We’ll see what happens, but if that’s their final offer, if you think like me, it’s my total responsibility to give them at least $31 worth of bad publicity and warn people every time I see one of their ads, to post this blog right next to it. I figure if I warn away just two customers from this scam, it will cost them what I’ve been shorted. 

And hopefully, there will be more down the line.

AN UPDATE:

So Pay Pal reviewed the transaction and apparently understood how I could feel scammed. The company agreed to issue me a complete refund if I returned the product.

However, to put a cherry on top of this Internet scam, fraud, rip-off and thievery and any other keywords I can attach to the Shenzhen Sixincheng Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, they required me to return the items to CHINA!

Yep, they said, “Mail it here!”

518000广东​深圳市​宝安区新安街道兴东社区72区德至高科创园8A2栋二楼210室China

Oh, sure. My guess is that the shipping costs would make the refund a wash.

So, I’m back to making sure any time I see them advertising them on Facebook, I give them enough negative reviews to cost them $36.94 in sales.

That’s a promise.

MINI-RANT #3

We’re all heading through Inauguration Week, holding our breath, waiting to see what happens.

There is such an opportunity to regain control of our country, to return to being Americans with differences of political opinions and try to undo some of the serious damage that’s been inflicted on our nation and our society over the past four years.

A local FOX news commentator did an amazing thought piece this week. It’s only a couple of minutes long and I think people on both political sides could stand to watch this. So, here you go.

https://www.q13fox.com/the-divide-with-brandi-kruse/brandi-kruse-say-goodbye-to-political-baggage

Great stuff, Brandi. You said it best. Godspeed to everyone as we try to right this ship.

Tim Hunter

I just don’t get it

Last Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, was one of our darkest moments in American history.

Not only because of what happened in our nation’s Capitol Building, but because of the response of so many people I know. This week’s blog is for you, although I seriously doubt you’ll get very far into it.

There was violence and death and everything that comes with a seditious act that was directed by the leader in power. Kim Jong Un couldn’t have been more proud. Vladimir Putin probably sent Trump a congratulations bouquet.

The unthinkable happened and it all happened from within. If this attack had been the results of international terrorists, the country would have gone ballistic! But because it was a biproduct of the populist banter that’s been going on for the past four years, for a sizeable portion of our population, it was just ‘unfortunate’. But, you know, those kinds of things happen when you rig an election.

First off, regarding this ‘rigging’ lie: that was put out there starting in the spring so Trump would have an excuse if he lost in the fall. (for the record, he’s technically lost two elections for president, if you’re talking popular vote) He doesn’t like to lose, we’re told. Research this all you want, but all 50 states verified their results, some after re-counting their ballots multiple times. In Republican states with Republican governors and secretaries of state. And seriously, if you think they somehow rigged it, why would so many Republicans in lower offices have been elected? Do you need to re-listen to Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State and the threats he made? Over 50 courts tossed out Rudy Giuliani’s claims of fraud, some of those Trump-appointed judges.

The problem was the top of the ticket. But let’s get back to last Wednesday.

We have oodles of footage of the low-intelligence, misinformed masses that invaded our halls of democracy. They overwhelmed the Capitol police, beating some of the police officers with poles–poles with American flags on them. They stole government property. They took selfies. They wore Camp Auschwitz sweatshirts. They chanted, “Hang Pence!” Hang Pence!” They put up a symbolic gallows. They brought along zip ties hoping for hostages. They mocked our nation.

Is that today’s Republican party?

One conservative friend I talked to went immediately to one of the defenses the right must have put out during their last meeting: “I heard that was actually a bunch of ANTIFA (left wing extremists) dressed up like Trump supporters.”

Even FOX News says that’s not true.

The saddest pictures to come out of the encounter were the nutbrains who brought Confederate flags with them to carry around once they got in the building. And it was all thanks to Trump supporters.

Your next line is something along the lines of, “Well, he’s not perfect, but at least he’s against abortion.”

Really? You voted for Trump because he’s against abortion, or at least that’s what you understand. You’ve been duped.

For the Christian Evangelicals using that as a reason to support this disturbed man, it’s part of a package deal. This is what you’re telling the rest of the world that Christianity is all about. This is “your side.”

Here’s what the late Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, had to say about it all.

What’s a good Christian to do on Inauguration Day? Huh. You and I both guess wrong.

And on a quick side note, Joe Biden is a practicing Roman Catholic. Abortion? For years that church was even against birth control. I guarantee he’ll never have one, but he doesn’t think he has the right to tell anyone else they can’t. OK, well, since Hindu’s believe cows are sacred, we’re shutting down all the McDonald’s in the world, right? What? Oh, your religion is the right one and has all the answers. Keep telling yourself that.

I know, I know, those are “Libtard” news sources. Or, “I’m sure that was written by ANTIFA.”

I declared my own war on Facebook the day after the attack, and so far have unfriended a dozen friends and relatives. If they want to spend their time on that social media platform parroting what the president claims or passing along his twisted lies as fact, I’m done. Seriously, done.

One of them posted this comment:  “To be clear, this isn’t about violence. This is about Big Tech trying to control what we think, what we share, how we communicate.”

Ask the officer’s family who was killed if this was about government restrictions. Ask the other officer who was so traumatized from the events of the day that he killed himself if this was about Big Brother. “Big Tech” stepped in to remove the ability of manipulative people to get others to think about overthrowing the government, sharing plans on how to do it, and communicating that they were going to attack the Capitol Building to disrupt our democratic process.

I was raised in a Republican family in California, a state where you have to declare a party affiliation, so it just made sense to be a Republican. In 5th grade, I remember riding my bike over to the Del Amo Shopping Center in Torrance, California, to watch Ronald Reagan give a speech on the back of a flatbed truck, as he ran for governor. In high school, I was a “Young Republican for Nixon” and campaigned for his re-election. Over the years, as that party de-evolved, I became more and more a centrist and started voting for the better candidate, regardless of party. I voted for Hillary in 2016 because I just didn’t trust The Donald. But when he won, I was going to give him a chance and see what he could do. I’ve always felt we needed more of a business style leader than a politician in that office.

But the problem did not lie with what we knew about Donald Trump, but what we didn’t know and what we saw for four years. The borderline insanity of his tweets. The revolving door of cabinet members. His silence when there was racial injustice, his “there are good people on both sides” quote during one of the early neo-Nazi confrontations. He was simply unable to distinguish the difference between being on a reality show, and being President of the United States.

The good news is that history will judge. We will learn even more about what happened during his tenure and his legacy will be forever cemented in the halls of dysfunction. I can only imagine the giant sigh of relief by the Nixon family, as Trump takes over the title of being the worst leader our country has ever had to survive.

With the Capitol Building incident, I find myself going from a centrist to a conservative Democrat. Rather than supporting the spineless party that saw itself taken over by a carnie and then continued to suck up to him every step of the way out of fear, I’m going to see what I can find on the left side of the aisle for a while. Even if the Republicans survive, it will be fragmented. There will be Trump Republicans and Sane Republicans, which splits the party and that means they’ll never win another election, at least in the near future.

Retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced last week he was done with the Republican party. Arnold Schwarzenegger was pissed enough to post his feelings on YouTube.

Both my life-long Republican mom, at age 92, and my youngest sister are actively applying to switch parties. They’ve been disgusted by what they’ve seen over the past week and I’m proud to see them do something about it.

One of the cynical questions I hear from right (not as in ‘correct’)-minded people is, “Yeah, but do you actually know of anyone who has died from it?”

I’ve heard of some distant family connections, but one closer to home occurred today.

Both my wife’s aunt and uncle were hospitalized due to COVID over in Idaho. Of course, that’s Trump country and it turns out their daughter and son-in-law were the ones that gave it to them because they didn’t believe in masks and such. In time, the aunt got good enough to come home, but not the uncle. He already had the classic ‘secondary health conditions’, but we hoped for the best. For a while, it seemed like he would pull out of it, but his lungs kept getting worse and worse. He came home to a hospice setting and passed today.

When my wife passed along the news to her Facebook friends, the daughter immediately posted a comment that he DIDN’T die of COVID. Oh, no, it was COPD and had nothing to do with the coronavirus. So, my wife took down her post, and that family can pay homage to their fearless leader by believing it’s all a hoax and amounts to nothing more than a bad cold. (the aunt actually said that)

Damn you, Donald Trump.

It saddens me that so many people have drank the Kool Aid and are willing to go to all lengths to maintain this psychotic delusion. He has proven he is in over his head. He set the stage for almost 400,000 Americans to die from a disease we could have at least contained if he had recognized it. He threw America under the bus for his own advantage, saying that COVID would “just disappear.”

I’m not saying stop being a Republican. If you hold those values, embrace them but distance yourself from Donald Trump. He is NOT a Republican. I can only imagine what President Reagan or John McCain would have to say about the events of the past week. By the way, Conan O’Brien has an excellent podcast with Ron Reagan, Jr., talking about “Insurrection Wednesday’. Definitely worth a listen.

Tim Hunter

The Party’s Over

Crap! You’re forcing me to bypass on an otherwise fun and whimsical blog for the sake of making a commentary on what’s going on in our crazy world. Again.

Seriously, there will come a time when politics is boring and where people will disagree, sort of, but the outcome ends up being a strong, ‘whatever’.

That’s how politics used to be. It was the minority side of you. What people knew about you was that you were a Beatles fans or that you watched “Dallas” and were there for that big night when you found out who shot J.R., or a gazillion and one other identifiers that summed up your major priority.

Today, it’s blue versus red. You’re either one or the other. If you’re with me, you’re right. If not, you’re wrong.

I have to confess that I am….or, was….a Republican. Why? Responsible with money, living within my means, helping people who needed help, but not just handing out money so you create a dependent class…that kind of Republican.

I was a “Young Republican for Nixon”, and voted ‘R’ for most of the elections through the 1980s. Then the party began to evolve. Suddenly, the party that was so for personal freedom and against government intervention into our personal lives made being against abortion their major issue. If you wanted to protect the sanctity of life, you had to vote Republican.

But wait. You’re saying an unfit parent who would beat their child to death in a drug-fueled rage…their right to beat that child Trumped the right of the mother who knew this was coming? Yeah, it gets messy.

Abortion. Yeah, that’s an entirely different and heavy issue. Look, I’m against abortion and I would never in my life choose to get one. But guess what? I’ll never have to do that. I’m amazed at the Biblical Monday Morning Quarterbacks who have decided that if you conceive by mistake, you are to be penalized for life. Why? Because the Moral Police say so.

Wow, did this go south and quickly.

All this to say that, as a kid that was raised in a Republican household and that voted Republican most of his life, I’m saddened and embarrassed by what the Donald Trump Republicans are doing in the final days of this presidency. Here’s where I reach for strength:

I believe in the system. Our amazing Founding Fathers (and I’m sorry that Founding Mothers weren’t more involved, but those were the times) created a system that could survive despite a lunatic like our current president. If you’re struggling with the description ‘lunatic’, please listen to his phone call to the Secretary of State in Georgia.

All this to say, the blind loyalty to Trump after he took over the party has come back to roost. Now, you’re either a Trumper or not. That means, there’s a fraction in the Republican party so that now, it’s almost like there are two Republican parties. For now, there’s only one Democrat party and while I’m far from 100% agreement on everything they want to promote, at least they’re including more and more Americans.

At this writing, I don’t know what happens in Georgia. I know what I would like, but that doesn’t matter. It’s what the people of Georgia decide and I’m good with that.

I watch what Trump has done in his final months–pardoning cronies, ignoring the worse pandemic the country has ever experienced, continued to whine about false claims, etc. It would make me sick, but I’ve learned to let it go. History is the greatest judge of all and I only hope those who followed him, and believed him live long enough to realize the amazing scam he pulled off.

But do remember. He’s the only person ever to lose the popular vote for president twice. Yeah. That’s impressive.

Tim Hunter

PS–this was written the day before the nightmare at the Capitol Building. I’m going to let this speak for me:

A Gift For Someone Else

We’re in the final days before Christmas. If we’re not working fiendishly to get as much work done as possible so we can relax over the holiday, we’re donning (a seasonal term) our HAZMAT suits to go to the grocery store and buy everything needed for our upcoming feasts. Then we double check our gift lists and realize we’re a couple of gifts short, or even worse, the neighbor comes over and gives you a nice fruit basket. So, you panic, run over to the tree, rip off a name tag and hand them a present. Hopefully, it wasn’t that Fitbit you bought for your wife.

Our modern problems. But even as negotiations continue with the various family members on how to get together in a socially distant and responsible manner, there’s a world outside of ours filled with need.

For as much as 2020 was a challenge and setback to most people reading this, there was a gut punch to millions of Americans who were really hurt through no fault of their own. Jobs disappeared, unemployment benefits were used up and waiting in a long food line to get whatever they can to feed their family has become way too common. Governments, charitable organizations and people with far more resources than I are trying to help, but we’ve still entered an entirely new territory of need.

I’m pretty sure you’re like me in that you don’t want to just toss money at it, then return to your fortunate life and feel better. You want to make sure that whatever you donate actually reaches those people battling these incredibly hard times.

Through my job as the morning guy at KRKO/Everett, I’ve gotten to know the folks at the Volunteers of America/Western Washington. When I first heard their name, my first questions were, “Who?” and “Can they get the entire name on a t-shirt?” The past couple of holiday seasons, we’ve stood outside of a Fred Meyer up in Everett and gathered items in a fun “Stuff a Bus” promotion benefitting the VOAWW. Well, due to COVID and other reasons, that collection drive didn’t happen this year. So, take the existing need, add the pandemic bonus need, and you’ve got an organization scrambling to serve as many down-on-their-luck people as possible. And it’s a lot.

I encourage you to think about supporting your local food this year, maybe a little more than in years past. As much as I detest those donation solicits on Facebook when someone’s birthday rolls around (I just want to wish you a happy birthday, I don’t want to donate to fight your disease of choice that will put me on an relentless email list and so, instead of wishing you a happy birthday, I pretend I didn’t see your post), I’m going to give you the opportunity to help out the folks at VOAWW. On the radio for the next couple of days, I’m challenging anyone who enjoys the music we play on KRKO to donate $13.80 to the Volunteers. Of course, that’s in reference to the frequency of KRKO, 1380am.

Jessica Moore is the Director of Development at Volunteers and if you’ve got a couple of minutes, listen to my interview with her on Tuesday morning to hear about all the good they do in Snohomish County.

This year, more than ever, our extra help is really needed. Like I said, if you’ve got a local food bank or a favorite charity, take a moment to visit their website and give them even just a small dose of love. If you’d like to donate to the VOAWW, I promise you they’ll put your $13.80 to work and help the most people possible. Click here to donate.

Thanks for reading this and if you’re uncomfortable about me using this platform to ask you to donate to this incredible organization, remember my trick: just pretend you didn’t see this.

Merry Christmas.

Tim Hunter

It’s Christmastime again

Well, here we are once more.

The calendars are running out of days, we’re about to shift from fall to winter, and the various forms of Christmas surround us.

Some might say there is only one Christmas, but look around at what we go through every year. It’s an annual blend of “Awesome! Isn’t this great!” and “Oh, my God. How am I ever going to get all this done?” Add in, “No, we’re going to do it THIS way” or, “No, we were with your family last year” and there are unlimited combinations of ways for it to go wrong.

Christmas has become a blend of joyous events, parties, Santa pictures, holiday treats and gatherings, paired with deadlines, stress, expectations and hardline requirements on what makes a perfect Christmas.

Oh, I have a perfect Christmas in mind. It would be me and my kids and their kids all gathered at the house, with grandma getting a chance to see her descendants in person instead of just on Facebook. But grandma lives in California and these days, traveling is just not an option. Both my kids and their families are playing it safe and minimizing their holiday celebrations, out of concern for the safety of themselves and the family. I get it. Perfection will have to wait for another year.

Over the years, very, very few Christmas celebrations have ever been perfect. But if you look for the good, think of all those great moments you did get to experience. I start with those days as a child, when I was the one so anxious to see what Santa had brought me. Then suddenly, you find yourself a parent and get a front-row view as a dad. I remember driving one night in the Bothell area on our way home from somewhere when I saw the flashing red light on a tower at the Country Village Shopping Center. The kids were in the back seat and I pointed out the light, saying, “Look! It’s Rudolph’s nose! That means Santa is on his way. We better get home and get you to bed!”

What a great, great moment.

This year, even more than in previous years, there are ample ways for things to go south. Some families want to still get together regardless of the threat of COVID, while others are hunkering down, hopeful that playing it safe will keep them safe.

I think what a lot of people are missing is that every year, a great Christmas and a complete disaster are both there for our choosing. We can expect holiday perfection and be disappointed, or focus on just the good things that occur during this time of year.

I’m all about the latter. I’m doing everything in my power to cherish the festive lights, the great wine, the movies we watch again, the music that churns up the memories. Folks, it’s Christmas and if you need a little mental attitude adjustment, may I recommend listening to my holiday blend of music and fun this year, called Ho Ho Brother 20. It’s the 20th year I’ve put together one of these collections, and I feel it’s my best one yet. But then again, I say that every year.

Here’s to a healthy & happy holiday season. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put my imagination to work so I can spend a few minutes at that perfect Christmas I told you about earlier.

Yeah, that’s nice.

Tim Hunter