A Significant Date

Well, lookee there—it’s already October!

When this month arrives, everything under God’s green earth is available in a Pumpkin-Spiced flavor, we start seeing suggestions for Halloween costumes and brightly-colored leaves are tossed into every piece of advertising. As I’ve said before, this is my absolute favorite season, with the return of football and big games on both Saturday and Sunday, baseball and soccer playoffs and so much more, I welcome each day as a favorite relative making an annual visit.

So it seems only fitting that October 1st should mean so much to me. That’s the date, five years ago–October 1st, 2014–that I rolled my career dice to see what would happen.

I was in my late 50s, in a job that was slowly smothering my creativity. Whatever I came up with was dumbed down. I saw projects I was proud of be “corrected” into Pablum. I initially talked about quitting that summer or looking for work elsewhere, but my salary was boosted enough to make me stay, at least for a few more months.  But as the summer wore on, so did my patience. When I went away for an extended Labor Day Weekend, I came back to find out that radio commercials I had creatively written had been slashed down to the 4th grade reading level and targeted towards consumers in the 1980s at best. I walked into my supervisor’s office and gave my one-month’s notice.  That would give them 30 days to find someone else to take on this mental flogging.

As September 30th approached, there were going-away events, tying up loose ends, and cleaning out desks to keep me busy. After all, I had been there 10 years and a lot of crap tends to pile up. I made some life-long friends at this place and stay in touch with a dozen or so of them still today. I actually sat down to count up the number of people I had worked with in that building. It was an even 100, with a staff averaging 16-41 people at any given time. Yes, people came, people went. I was going, but not in any particular direction.

I decided this would be a great time to create my ideal work situation. Rather than going into another full-time job, I wanted to piece-meal and craft some kind of situation where I could do more of the things I love and then just keep doing those until I was ready to hang it up for good. (not that I ever think I will)

For some of those close to me, there was trepidation and concern. There are those who need that sure-thing, full-time job for security’s sake. Having been eliminated from radio positions twice in my career, I found both times that when a job goes away, everything will be OK. You gotta believe in yourself and your skills and know that someone out there is going to appreciate them.

I reconnected with a former co-worker, Corey Newton and joined Create Impulse, a local ad agency. I started Tim Hunter Creative Services and picked up a handful of clients right away, and then spent more time developing other ventures I had dabbled in–voice over work, creating videos, writing more comedy, etc.  And now, it’s been five years since this grand experiment began and I’m so glad I finally took the big plunge. I’m also very grateful that it all worked out.

I remember, somewhere in mid-September of that year, I got a phone call from Fred Herring, a Bothell real estate guy that reached out to me every couple of years to have me speak at the Bothell Kiwanis breakfast. He asked if I was available to come and chat at their next gathering and I asked, “When’s that, Fred?”  “October 1st,” he responded.

“As a matter of fact, Fred, I’m available that day.”

It would be Day One of my grand experiment, so I already had a topic: “Now this is living!”

I live a busy life and every now and then, like this week, commitments pile up and make for an on-the-go adventure. I live for it, yet some don’t understand it. “You’re too busy!”

I laugh and over-schedule in your face.

The day will come when I can’t do this anymore. But for now, I can and so I will.

And loving it. For five years now. Something I heard many years ago was that, in your final moments, you don’t regret what you did during your life–but rather, what you didn’t do.

I’m making that list shorter every day.

Tim Hunter

 

Wacky Week Podcast EPISODE 151

Welcome to the perfect 25th anniversary.

It was a celebration that was supposed to take place in the future, but I felt the odds were against it. It was the Murdock, Hunter & Alice 25th Anniversary Show!  Here we were, 13 years into this radio experiment, around 18 months away from imploding and going our separate ways. Maybe I sensed something, but I thought it would be funny for us to put on our 25th Anniversary show now, rather than wait. I mean, why take chances.

This week’s Wacky Week Podcast is probably my best and most entertaining one I’ve cranked out yet. Truthfully, I was looking for something easy to keep me on schedule. Earlier this week, my computer blew up. It took precious days–days that I normally would be putting together a podcast–and I’ve spent the last day re-installing all my programs.

I stumbled across this CD and man, this is quintessential Murdock, Hunter & Alice. You’ll hear voices no longer with us like Alice and news guy Jim Kampmann. Paul Tosch and his brief stint with us before heading over to KOMO as their “Eye in the Sky.”  There’s Alice, the beer-drinkin’, chain smoking psychic, Mike Evans, Susan the Astrologer, and my good friend Ken Carson, who was the emcee for the morning.

This is a beefy one, so listen to it as you have time. Great stuff and a wonderful collection of just how much could be had on the radio.

Thanks for listening, then and now.

Tim Hunter

Be A Tourist

When you feel like time is blurring by…when you find yourself saying, “Wow, it’s already February!”…when you have to stop and think, “Uh, what day is this again?”: be a tourist.

It dawned on me the other day at Universal Studios Hollywood. While my wife and I have a strong affection for Disneyland, Universal is the place we just don’t go to that often. But when we do, we have a blast and I turn into a kid again.

Norman Bates loading something in his trunk. He must be spring cleaning.

During that four-hour visit, despite the world-famous Los Angeles traffic to and from our destination, I had a non-stop smile on my face. We went on fantasy rides in the Harry Potter area, enjoyed that Simpsons adventure (which is just hilarious) and even made it through the “Walking Dead” zombie house. I was grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time and when I took so many pictures and video that my phone died, I became detached from the outside world.  No emails, no text messages, no news updates. I didn’t know what the stock market was doing or what the president had said or anything happening outside the park. I was present, enjoying the California sun and just having fun.

The experience reminded me that, being a tourist is probably something we should incorporate more into our day-to-day lives. That care-free, forget-about-the-problems-of-the-world outlook that I’m sure does my mental health a world of good.

I was being a tourist in southern California, but thousands of people do the same thing in Seattle where I now live. You can be a tourist anywhere. It’s more of a mental than physical thing and I have a feeling there are some rewards there that we all should be tapping into.

So, some friendly advice, as you navigate your way through another busy, crazy hectic work week: when you can, set aside a couple of hours for yourself, go some place fun and treat yourself to an escape.

Be a tourist.

Tim Hunter

Copy and Paster’s Guide To The Holidays

I’ve been noticing that more and more people are posting pictures on Instagram instead of Facebook. My current theory is that all the politics that have permeated the Facebook platform have driven some people out, or at least, limited their interest in friends trying to persuade them to a political point of view.

Over the past year, I’ve become very serious about blocking and hiding posts, which has made Facebook all that much more enjoyable.  I usually start with blocking the source, even if it’s a reputable one, because if I figure if I ever want to view that source again, I can do so on my own. Not surprising, you can actually live without seeing a lot of those posts.  Step 2 is hiding someone’s bitter, caustic rant, because I don’t want that energy in my feed.  Then, if the person just won’t give it a rest, they’re unfriended. It’s that easy.

However, somewhere during my generation, people have decided to tie their political awareness to their real-life happiness. The result is that they’re simply not happy. Watching the day-to-day antics of the political arena and allowing that to determine if it’s a good day or not is a ticking time bomb.  Plus, that causes you to ignore all the good things happening around you (and, they are) all because of what’s going on in Washington, D.C..

Well, even though that’s an insane way to live, you’re entitled to exist that way. It’s an unhappy, stress-filled, depressing existence, but that’s all you, baby.

So, it is at this most festive time of year that I would like to offer a Copy & Paster’s Guide to the Holidays.  A convenient way to continue your discontent by simply copying and pasting these responses to some of the more commonly-used holiday and seasonal expressions. You’ll be the hit of Facebook!

 

When someone says…

Copy & Paste This

“Merry Christmas”

Oh, for you! #45 is still president and there is so much injustice in this world. We’re killing the planet and fires are burning up California. You call that merry?

“Happy New Year”

How is it going to be ‘happy’? Unless they impeach #45, the tax cut will give more money to the rich, the planet is dying and we’re at the brink of nuclear war. How dare you be happy!

“Look at this picture of my new niece”

And look at the world she’s going to grow up in. With #45 as a president, she’s not going to have much of a world left. I feel sorry for her. Put that away!

“What a beautiful sunset!”

Yes, but we’ll wake up to another day of #45 as our so-called president. God knows what he’ll do to our country tomorrow, if he doesn’t begin a war and there is no tomorrow. How do you live with yourself?

“Excuse me”

Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?  That was intentional, just like #45 said those awful things on Entertainment Tonight. Excusing yourself is just asking for permission for something you meant to do. You monster.

“The snow is beautiful”

You sick bastard. It’s just earth’s way of covering up, just like #45 is doing with the Russia investigation.

Think of all the time you’ll save and the people you’ll convince!

Or, you could prioritize your life to the positive realities around you. Yes, there is a lot of fixing to do in our world. This just in–there always has been. You think the 1960s and the decades that followed were perfect? However, positive changes occurred, influenced by people who cared and that you must always do. But funnel your energy to methods that will actually cause change. Donate to a group, volunteer hours, believe in positive evolution of our world.

Whining, living a bitter life, those kind of things don’t inspire people to adopt your point of view and you’re better than that. And while all that is going on, you’re missing out on some beautiful sunsets, snowy winter mornings and the sweet cooing sounds of a newborn baby.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tim Hunter