Friday, September 27, 2013

Episode 02: customer service

Episode 02 of the podcast. I start off talking about why I haven't been at the last two meetings of Concord University's Student Government Association. A trip to Sheetz inspired the topic of this episode - customer service. I talk about a few times I dealt with angry customers and how we should conduct ourselves in those situations.

As I mentioned in the last blog, I'm still learning how to do all of this. The presentation looks a little better this time. One thing I'm realizing is that microphones are meant to pick up sound. So, at random times throughout the podcast you can hear me clicking a pen and scratching my beard. I'll work on that for future podcasts.

Let me know what you think. I'd like to start getting some feedback to see if this is something even worth doing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Norm Macdonald Clip of the Week

Late 1998 clip from the "Dennis Miller Live" show features Norm Macdonald and David Spade as the guests. Norm rips on Bob Dole recently coming out as a spokesman for Viagra. He also talks about homosexuality and his views on the "gay community." Might be some outdated views, but it's still pretty funny. At the end, they also bring up the rumors of why he was fired from SNL.

As a warning, the clip contains some salty language as the kids say. Hashtag NSFW.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Episode 01: Introduction

Here it is, episode 01 of my podcast. It's an introductory piece that basically explains who I am and what I want to do with podcasting. I'm a 27-year-old who is still trying to graduate from college and working a job I hate. That's affected how I operate as a person and I discuss that a little bit. I talk about why I love journalism and why it's important. And I finish up with talking about what I plan to do with all of this.

I mention in the early seconds that I'm referring to episode 01 as the "practice-cast" and that's very true. I'm still figuring out all of this. There are a lot of ways that one can do a podcast. What looks to be the easiest option for me at the moment is to basically make it a YouTube video. I'm still figuring out video editing stuff and whatnot. And I'm still figuring out how to use my computer; the ChromeBook is very picky about what programs and stuff I'm allowed to use. It's all a work in progress. It will get better.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think. Ideas are swirling in my head for future podcasts. I'll share those when the time comes.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Norm Macdonald Clip of the Week

Norm Macdonald is one of my favorite entertainers of all time. He's so awkwardly funny and that's why I love him so much. Instead of looking for a punchline somewhere, he'll often trail off and go nowhere but he does it in a hilarious way.

The "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live is a parody of evening newscasts and cable news. During Norm Macdonald's mid-to-late '90s stint as "Weekend Update" host, he was a parody of a comedian doing a parody of a newscaster. He would regularly make fun of Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson (famously saying after OJ was found innocent - "This just in: murder is now legal in California!")

He was rather infamously fired from Saturday Night Live in December 1997. Nobody is really sure why, but most seem to believe it had something to do with the head of NBC at the time, Don Ohlmeyer, being friends with OJ Simpson.

But we'll get to that at another time. Until then, enjoy this clip of Norm Macdonald on the David Letterman show circa 1998 telling a story of staying at a bed & breakfast in Canada and playing Scrabble. Yeah, he can make that funny. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I feel like I've been running on autopilot for the last few weeks. I'm just burnt out.  For the last 3 weeks or so, I haven't had a day off. I have 13-hour days at Concord on Monday and Wednesday, and every other day I'm at Pizza Hut. It's more mentally exhausting than physically. I'm having trouble handling it.

A few random notes:

People seemed to like the Top 25 Beatles songs blog I posted months ago. I have some ideas for similar posts. Hopefully in the next few weeks we'll see some more of those.

I've been toying around in my head the idea of starting a podcast. I've researched how to do it and I think it would be easy. I've pretty much given up already on being a member of Concord University's radio station. I liked it enough, I guess. Just not enough to really want to give it my all. And I didn't really feel comfortable in the staff meetings. I felt like they were all established as friends and crew members and I felt really out of place and awkward.

What I have the idea for, I want to do things under my own umbrella. I don't want to be a cog in the machine; I want to be the machine. Perhaps if I start my own podcast I could be in control of my own destiny. And plus, I could work on it late at night. That's when I seem to be the most creative.

Speaking of being creative, I haven't been as creative lately as I'd like. I haven't worked on my book in about a month. I'm guessing that Thanksgiving Break and the winter break will be spent playing ketchup on that. See what I did there? Catch up. Ketchup. Catsup?

I'm allergic to something at work. I was washing my hands a few weeks ago and noticed what looked like a scratch on the inside of my right forearm. Later it was gone. Washing my hands at work again later it was back. And now I've noticed I'll breakout in a couple red scratch marks on my arms sometimes. And maybe this is just paranoia or something, but I felt like I was biting the sides of my tongue a lot, like it was swollen the other day.

It's starting to get cold at night and in the morning now. Not a fan. I don't care for being cold. I don't understand people who say Autumn is their favorite season. It gets cold and I watch the leaves die. I like to see whose posting Facebook statuses to the effect of "It's the season for leggings and sweaters and pumpkin-flavored stuff" because I can silently judge them and think to myself, "You're a stereotypical whore." I'm very mean in my head.

That's all for now. I'll check back with more later. Follow me on twitter - @chris_slater - I'm a lot more interesting there than I am on Facebook and here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SGA Meeting Notes [09-11-13]

I know there was at least one other SGA meeting on Sept. 11 since I've been attending Concord. I don't remember which year, but I remember somebody saying something about it during the meeting. Click here to see read a blog I wrote a couple years ago about where I was on Sept. 11, 2001.

I didn't catch much of Matt Belcher's and Grace Hurney's administrations, so unless they ever missed a meeting, the Sept. 11 meeting was the first in nearly a decade that the SGA President was not present and the Vice President chaired the meeting. There have been a couple instances where the President was in a meeting and the VP chaired for the first 15 minutes or so and also times where the President would defer to the VP so that they could make a point in debate. But this is the first time I can recall where the President was absent. VP Greg Stamp noted that President Chelsey Rowe had a death she was dealing with.

Correct me if I'm wrong on that. While we're on that point, something that I bring up in every blog is a general statement of some sort saying that if I get anything wrong to let me know.

I spoke with Sam Dobson after the meeting. He brought up that I misquoted him a couple weeks ago. In the 08-28-13 blog I mentioned that I overheard Sam saying that he was going to become the Secretary, implying that the job was his before going through any interview process. I thought that was interesting so I put it in the blog. Had he become the Secretary, we then could have had some sort of proof or reason to suspect some shady dealings in the SGA.

Sam told me that he didn't say that and that he wanted me to make sure people knew that. It's entirely possible that he didn't make that statement and I misheard him. Who knows. I'll pay more attention to things in the future.

If anybody ever has any issues, let me know. I've had people in the past tell me that I've intimidated them upon first impression; I'm harmless, just say hi to me. I'm a little quiet until I get to know you, but I'm not aloof by any means.

# # #

Anyway, onto the meeting.

One of Greg Stamp's first acts as acting SGA President was to swear in some fellow Executive Board members. Joey Sharpe was sworn in as Parliamentarian, Melinda Hatfield as Secretary, and Zack Whitfield as Ombudsman.

Greg later needed to step down and gave the floor to the new Parliamentarian, Joey Sharpe. There's Melinda Hatfield and her enormous computer off to the side.

Board of Governors representative Cody Boone gave a report of Tuesday's BOG meeting. Some HEPC stuff was passed so that students can now get degrees in Beckley. He didn't say when that would start. That's a good story for The Concordian to expand on.

He said the BOG also approved the guidelines for the Presidential Search committee to use to decide who will be the next CU President. He said that Luke Stevens was the student representative on the committee. I'm not sure who that is. That's something else that The Concordian should be looking into.

Business Manager Genevieve Hatcher discussed with those in attendance that since the overall budget for this academic year was less than in the past that there might not be as much to go around for every organization. If anybody has any questions, her office hours are Monday and Thursday both from 5-6 p.m. in the SGA Office (3rd floor of the Student Center).

Greg Stamp announced three members of the Homecoming Election committee - Joey Sharp, Carl Mullins, and George Meyers. The HEC makes sure that groups participating in Homecoming activities follow the rules. The next two members needed to be voted on by organizational representatives and senators. It was a secret ballot. When giving instructions, Greg said "On your slip, write down the name of your organization. Actually, scratch that; it defeats the purpose of the secret ballot." After counting the votes, Sam Dobson and somebody whose name I didn't catch made it onto the committee. [That last sentence is hard-hitting journalism at its best]

Some Senators were then approved. George Meyers was named the commuter senator. Ronnie Wood, Annie Johnson, Jesse Jeffries, Saul Harlow, and Adam Jael-Ee-Oh(?) were made regular senators. If I got any of those names wrong (and I obviously got one wrong), somebody help me out.

George Myers and Annie Johnson were then announced as being part of the Judiciary committee.

Zack Whitfield and James Blankenship were appointed to the Concord University Student Affairs committee (abbreviated CUSAC, pronounced Q-Sack).

A motion passed that would send Richard Babich and Monica Rahall for an interview before the Judiciary committee, which is the first step toward becoming a Justice.

Members of various committees were announced. If you're not one of the people involved, it's not really important to know who is where. One thing that did catch my attention was that members of the Budgetary committee were appointed. In the past all members were voted on by the SGA members in attendance. Did that change or maybe they voted last week when I wasn't there?

Library employee Connie Schumate gave an update on money that last year's SGA gave the library. She noted that they had not spent any yet, but had earmarked some to be spent. If you want to know more about that, hopefully somebody from The Concordian reads this and decides that's an interesting article to write.

That's it from the meeting. A couple random notes:

There's a student group called, I guess, COY. I guess it's an acronym. When I heard their name, I thought to myself, "C-O-Y? or like the fish?" Then the "coy koi" line from "Where Is My Mind" got stuck in my head for a minute.

I counted 6 people in the room with either lip or septum piercings (and a couple had both, I believe). Seven if you count me. You usually don't see that many facial piercings in one room like that. Side note: girls with lip rings are hot. Guys, not so much (sorry Greg Slone). 

Here's my disclaimer: I import these blogs into Facebook. 

That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know. 

There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Day I Tried To Live

The #1 most played song on my iTunes Top 25 playlist. Not sure how I feel about that. The last semester I really tried at Concord - the fall 2011 semester - I would arrive at the parking lot, plug my iPod into my ears and typically play this song as I walked onto campus. It was how I felt. It might still be how I feel; I'm not sure yet.

Monday, September 9, 2013

SGA Meeting Notes [09-04-13]

But, Chris, how can you write about the SGA meeting if you weren't there? It's a pretty simple concept: ask somebody what happened. I messaged the SGA President and she was busy with some other stuff so she deferred me to the Vice President. Below is a brief synopsis of the Sept. 04 meeting of the SGA from Greg Stamp's perspective:

"In short we only discussed a couple points of business. As I mentioned the week prior, we were pushing to consolidate some of the committees. We discussed and voted to combine the ADA with the Safety committee, the Housing with the Dining committee, the Publicity with the University Publications committee, and the SGA Affairs with the Green Sustainability committee. We had to suspend the bylaws to expedite the process but we voted and approved the change. 

"After that we discussed the possibility of moving the SGA meeting place to either the 3rd floor of the Rahall building or to the stage in Subway Sides. I had been given new information from Andrew Sulgit [Student Center Director] about possible upgrades to the State Room coming in the future. We discussed the three options - third being stay where we were - and we took an informal poll. The clear majority wanted to stay in the room so it was dropped until further notice.

"I took up everyone's top three preferences for what committees they wanted to be on and we appointed Andrew Miller to Attorney General at the end of new business."

So, there's that. Barring any unforeseen circumstances I plan on attending the 09-11-13 meeting of the SGA. 

Here's my disclaimer: I import these blogs into Facebook. 

That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know. 

There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Comedy as Social Commentary

Comedy has always been one of the best tools for social commentary, to say that something is wrong with the way we operate. In this clip, deceased comedian Patrice O'Neal made a point about how the media latched onto certain stories and don't give as much attention to others.

The actual amount of laughs in this clip is kind of meh, but around the one-minute mark there's a wide-eye "holy shit" moment when you realize what he just did. It makes you think.

If you want to watch a funnier clip, below is Patrice talking about why men cheat on their girlfriends.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

All I've Got

I'm having trouble thinking clearly. I don't remember the last time I slept well. I close my eyes at night and wake up like nothing happened. I haven't been refreshed or clear-headed in weeks. Months? I don't know.