By: Ken Boone
Since February 2019, I've had the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you. What started as a vehicle to settle old scores, quickly became an objective analysis on how one's perception shapes one's reality.
Today is Father's Day. It 's the 30th Father's Day I can actually celebrate as an honoree. It's the 6th Father's Day with my son being an honoree. He'll probably text me his best wishes, which is better than what I'll do for him or anyone else, for that matter.
Don't get me wrong, I think I'm just as sentimental as the next person. It's just that over the years, my true introverted side has moved to the forefront of my being. I know, because I'm married to a true extrovert. In fact, I sometimes cringe when she starts a conversation with a total stranger. That's until she pulls me into the chat and I end up having a good time.
Since February 2019, I've been writing this little blog. Most of the topics were about me growing up and my feelings back then. Most of them were feelings of inadequacy and loneliness, but I would always end the posts with expressions of modern-day gratitude.
That formula served me well since February 2019. However, now is the time to place a pause on this blog which may or may not be permanent. The reason why is that the world around has taken over a bigger piece of my life.
So, after taking a little break to get used to life as a retiree, I'm coming back with a new blog, which I think I'll title "Much More to Say". It will contain musings by me as well as guest bloggers, if I can snag some along the way.
My podcast, "From Grievance to Gratitude" will still be produced, except now will move to a bi-weekly new episode release schedule. I'm hoping that spreading out production of that show will put more meat on the episodes. At least that's my hope.
As I bring this post, and possibly this blog, to a close, I'd like to thank all of you who took the time to read these silly little musings of mine since February 2019. Your "Likes" are greatly appreciated. For me, it's been a blast!
But wait... there's more!
By: Ken Boone
It's been 21 years since I left the last real job I ever had. Now, I've since worked in many other "corporate situations", as I like to call them. I considered them short-term gigs, although some of them actually lasted for a number of years.
I started my career at D&T prior to the merger of two of the country's largest accounting firms, Deloitte Haskins & Sells and Touche Ross & Co. Back in the late 1980s, companies did a lot of that. Staid accounting and law firms were no exception.
We heard that there was quite a bit of simmering hostility because of two dirty words regarding mergers - job duplicity. That term was the reason given for many careers being derailed. I was lucky that, at the time, I was doing back-office support work. I had much more paper to push.
I was a former Touche employee, and although we had the better office digs, most of the plumb post-merger positions went to Deloitte people . So, the Deloitte people simply packed up their Times Square- adjacent offices and move into our space.
It seemed like yesterday when the Touche General Counsel called us into one of the conference rooms to announce that he was being replaced by his Deloitte counterpart. He also announced that most of his deputies were being demoted. Well, not actually demoted, but their Deloitte counterparts would be outranking them.
It came as no surprise when I was picked to be on the Legal Department's transition team. My job was simple - I was the one-man welcoming committee. Showing you where they kept the paper clips and where to get a good cheap lunch in the area was right in my wheelhouse.
The merger was completed in 1990. My plan was to stay with the merged company for another year before moving on to greener pastures. I won't say that the transition was drama-free, but I can assure you that I did my best to build as many bridges at the new firm as possible.
D&T made it through economic downturns, the S&L crisis, the litigation craze, the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and the spinning off of some of our business divisions. We survived because we stuck together. I even leaned heavily on my friends at D&T when my life was going a little crazy.
That year of staying on quickly became two years, then five years, when I became vested in the firm's pension plan. By the time I finally left the firm to start my media company (for the first time), what as initially a two-week temp assignment ended up being an 11-year stint at one of the most prestigious organizations in the world!
I'm getting nostalgic because I just finished drafting a contract termination letter to my latest, and hopefully final, short-term corporate gig. I know that I left this organization in better shape than when I first arrived. Whether my client agrees with me or not, I still cool. That's because one score and one year ago, I said goodbye to the best, and last, job I ever had!
But wait... there's more!
By Ken Boone:
I'm taking a break from cleaning out my studio space. It's long overdue, and I'm getting tired of stepping over boxes, loose papers and microphone cables. If all goes well, I'll be done with this in a couple of weeks.
Among the papers I found on the floor was a hand written list of blog posts I'd written and published through May 27, 2019. I recalled how high my spirit soared during that period. It was then that I came up with Plan A for the last 30 years of my life.
I was going to build my media "empire" by creating and producing 10 different podcast shows. I was going to write and/or edit a number of interesting blogs. And I was going to cut back on the number of outside clients I would service.
To do all of that takes money, and I had a good idea where I would get it. I was eight months away from collecting a pension from my years at the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche. I was also eight months away from collecting my Social Security benefits as an early retiree. I called it my Plan A.
I knew there would be challenges along the way. Celia was planning to have replacement surgery on both her hips. The first one was scheduled for July, with the second coming in November. We knew it was ambitious, but the surgeon she wanted was retiring at the end of the year and moving to Florida. Hence the tight turnaround.
While the first surgery went without a hitch, I started showing symptoms of what was later diagnosed as congestive heart failure accompanied by uncontrolled high blood pressure. I also found out that my A1C I was two ticks south of a diagnosis of diabetes! That put the kibosh on Plan A.
After a pretty scary September, that included a stay in the cardiac care unit, I was released back into the wild with multiple prescriptions, a new diet, and a new outlook on life and faith. Moving to the top of the list was simply staying alive. So, I tabled the podcasts and blog posts and concentrated on following my doctors' orders. I called it Plan B.
It was New Years Day 2020, and I was feeling great! I regained the pep in my step. In a few days, I was going to return to my doctors for follow ups. I knew they were going to be impressed with the progress I made. They ordered more tests, which is standard. The results were consistent with how I was feeling. It was a wonderful time to be me.
I was given the green light to resume all my normal activities, other than the poor diet. I still had to take 11 pills a day, but the good news it that there were no side effects from any of the medications. In other words, I was free to go to work on Plan C.
Returning to my normal activities, I felt as though I hadn't missed a step. I was cranking out podcast episodes, blog posts, and client deliverables. I was effortlessly climbing the stairs in my house. I was greeted by my friends at Publix who kept telling me how good I looked.
In the eight months since I laid out my Plan A, the trajectory of my life had changed multiple times. The old Ken would have stressed out over the uncertainty. The new Ken had found his faith. The new Ken actually believed in miracles.
So when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, my ears perked up. When I found out that, because of my age and underlying health issues, I was deemed high risk, I was afraid. Some of my best friends also fell into high risk groups. And a couple of them lived alone.
I worried about getting sick. Because one of my clients was a nonprofit whose funding came primarily through grants, I had a fear of financial insecurity. Because a lot of my friends were creative freelancers, I worried about them losing business. I did a lot of worrying.
Then I remembered that I can only control the things that are within my hula hoop. Although I never left the house without a mask and gloves, I didn't make unnecessary trips out of the house. As for my nonprofit client, I prayed that their funding wouldn't dry up so they could continue their work. As for my freelancing friends, I could use my skills as a blogger and podcaster to get their stories out to the masses.
There's still the matter of financial security. Well, a quick peek at the calendar reminded me that I turned age 62 back in January! That means that I'm eligible to draw my pension as well as get early retirement Social Security benefits. That also means that I'm moving on to Plan D. Wait a minute. That sounds a lot like Plan A to me!
But wait... there's more!
By: Ken Boone
Ever since the stay-at-home orders were handed down, I typically leave the house a maximum of twice per week. And never on back to back days. But this is different. I had to go to the UPS Store to notarize and mail my retirement papers in time to receive my first pension payment on July 1st!
I would describe this as nothing short of momentous. I would also like to devote a future post on the fact that this whole thing was both miraculous and unexpected. Yesterday's action officially marked the end of another chapter of my life, and I'd like to get it down on paper. But again, that's a post for another day.
Yesterday was also the day that I posted a new episode of Celia's podcast, "ISO Peace & Healing". I enjoy listening to her show so much that I downloaded all of the episodes to my trusty little MP3 player in order to play them in the car. She is such an amazing host and I can't wait for the world to discover and embrace her message.
Episode 2 of my new podcast, "Freelancer Survival Stories" will be posted to the world on Friday, June 5th. It features Celia interviewing videographer George Don Denis of Thredd Media. He owns and runs the company with his big sister, Nikki. I've seen a lot of his finished projects and he's really, really good. That comes as no surprise to me!
That combination of Celia and Don is a force to be reckoned with. If it weren't for the two of them, I never would have got off the fence and started this reincarnation of my business. I probably would have still been emailing my resume's to dozens of employers who would have just hit the "delete" button. You see, I didn't even merit a tersely-worded rejection letter from them. How do you spell "loser" in North Carolinian?
Celia and I met a little over 10 years ago. On our first date at a local Starbucks, I told her about my dream to end my 25 year hiatus from making music. I also told her that I just traded in my shiny, almost new Chevy Avalanche in order to buy some basic recording gear. The purchase was more of an act of faith, because I had no prospects for work, paid or on spec.
It came as a total surprise that in just a few short weeks after meeting, Celia told me about an opportunity to get back in the game. She arranged for me to record the theme song for a college film project. The subjects were students in the Art Department at UNC Charlotte. The producer/director was a super talented senior named Nikki Denis.
It sounded like it would be a lot of fun, so I immediately said yes. In just a matter of days, I had a bunch of art majors piled up in the smallest room of my house, waiting for George the guitar player. Nikki got off the phone and told me that Don would be arriving in about 5 minutes. Cool, two more people squeezing into that tiny space. I guess I could use my bonus room to handle the overflow.
While the gang did "rock, paper, scissors" to determine seating arrangements, the doorbell rang. I opened it to find a young man with a guitar case. "Hey, are you George?" I asked. "Yes, nice to meet you" was his response. He was greeted with a Cheers-like "George" when he entered the recording space. Now we were just waiting for Don to show up. Or maybe not.
When Nikki returned to the room after taking another call, she called out "Hi Don", and to my surprise, George responded "Hey Sis". I see. George and Don are one in the same. Wanting to get to the bottom of this mystery, I asked him what did he prefer to be called, he said call him whatever I felt comfortable calling him. So it's been Don ever since.
The first track to go down was a beat created by the vocalist. Don and his acoustic guitar was up next. What I heard next was some of the funkiest rhythm guitar work I'd ever heard. And it was laid down in one take! Nikki agreed, but asked him to make it sound more like a banjo. He said "cool" and the next pass sounded like a banjo. Wow!
He came back to every session. He added a bass guitar part, some background vocals, and even mixed the finished track with my son, Kenny. He seemed to excel at everything he attempted.
That was our first of many encounters with the great George Don Denis. In later sessions, he played guitar, saxophone, provided lead and background vocals on Celia's debut CD. You can even hear his guitar work on the mid-episode Call-to-Action on just about all of the podcasts I produce for the Descant Music & Media Network!
As I mentioned earlier, Don and Nikki now own a video production company, Thredd Media. Their work is simply stunning! Even the typically dry corporate videos that we are used to seeing are infused with the "Denis Touch". Their live band performances videos seem to take you into the club itself. Unfortunately, their growing business has been impacted by the pandemic with a lot of contracts either cancelled or put on hold.
Because I dedicated my podcast work to giving voice to others, it made perfect sense to create a show that would shine a spotlight on gig workers and small business owners, particularly in the creative arts. It was a no-brainer that one of the first people I would reach out to was Don. While a number of folk told me that they would consider my offer to give them "airtime", Don immediately agreed. That's who he is.
After engaging in some long overdue catching up, Celia launched into the interview via Zoom. I wasn't surprised when Don nailed it in one take! Again, that's who he is. We ended the interview with him saying three things:
I can't wait to check off those three items. I would also like to add seeing his sister Nikki again to that list. While it was Celia who told me about the gig, it was Nikki who had to sign off on it. It was she who put Don and I in the same room. The Denis "kids" make a great team, and I'm proud to consider them dear friends/family! Contact me if you'd like to hire them.
By Ken Boone
It's an overcast day here in Huntersville, NC but my mood couldn't be sunnier. I woke up the fact that I have another podcast out there on the internet! And this one is special, because it was set out to be of benefit to others!
It's not that the first podcast I hosted, "From Grievance to Gratitude" didn't end up being a self-serving vehicle for endless venting. No... it started out that way. It wasn't that I wanted the world to know what pissed me off, because I didn't expect anyone to listen to the show. Or read this blog for that matter.
Things were progressing nicely. What started as a 75% grievance vs. 25% gratitude split to one where I had to dig deep to find anything to gripe about. In others words, I had a theme show that was running out of things to talk about!
A benefit of doing 35 episodes of a show with a small following is that I can work out all of the kinks in relative anonymity. That means I got very comfortable talking into a microphone, and was able to tolerate the sound of my voice.
When they announced the Covid-19 pandemic, I knew that I was going to have to do something to help my fellow man cope with this new normal. It made perfect sense that I could use the skills I developed in podcasting to give voice to freelancers who have suddenly found their livelihoods threatened.
I quickly recorded three episodes with plan to release one every two weeks until things were back to some semblance of order. I was overjoyed when just about everyone I reached out to was ready, willing, and able to share their stories of survival.
During the recording of the interviews, I noticed a couple of themes emerging. One was that these are a resourceful group of people. They've already started deploying their own Plan Bs, so none of them are starving. They also weren't willing to complain about their misfortunes. They were too busy counting their blessings to gripe. That's a lesson I'm glad that I've learned, at long last.
Well, the first episode, featuring my brother, musician and educator, Mike Boone was released to the world this Friday. He generously shared his story with our audience. So far, the reaction has been positive. Again, nothing for me to gripe about.
In two weeks, I'll be releasing and episode featuring my wife, Celia, interviewing our dear friend, videographer and musician George Don Denis of Thredd Media. That was another compelling discussion and I can't wait for my listeners to hear it. I'm sure it too will be well-received. If not, I still won't gripe about it.
Celia and I are in another one of life's transition periods. Things are uncertain, but Celia is an excellent planner, and I'm a pretty good dreamer. The combination will facilitate a smooth move from where we are now to where we're going to be three months from now. If things don't occur exactly as planned, that's cool. That's because gratitude lives here ~ and there's no place for self-centered griping. You see, I cancelled that show last month!
But wait... there's more!
By: Ken Boone
I get excited just before I publish a new podcast episode. Going to the host page to see the episode revealed to the world to me is the equivalent to hearing your song on the radio for the first time. It never gets old.
It's a different story when I publish a podcast launch episode. That's when I question my sanity. That's when I ask myself why am I still a glutton for punishment. Although I'm convinced I create quality content, I still don't have a solid base of listeners. But that doesn't seem to stop me from creating new shows. Just call me the Ed Wood of podcasters!
After creating 10 different podcasts with nearly 100 combined episodes under my belt, I know the real purposes for taking on this task. The first is that there is always something to say that can be of benefit to others. The second is that they are fun to do! I learned long ago that for me, success isn't measured by the number of downloads or sponsors. It's knowing that I fulfill the need in me to act when there's a duty to act.
It's in keeping with my purpose(s) that I ended my first Ken-hosted podcast to begin another. This new one will shine a light on the stories of independent gig workers as they make their way through this pandemic that's gripping the world.
To kick off the show, I told my own story. I admit that I'm luckier than many other giggers out there, but am facing my own challenges as well. One such challenge was to line up enough people willing to share their stories on the show.
While I've gotten commitments from just about everyone I reached out to, getting them "on tape" has proven difficult. Remember, these are gig workers who list resourcefulness as chief among their traits. In other words, they are shifting to Plans B, C, D, and E to keep their heads above water. And I applaud them all.
In the course of my pre-release social media campaign, I got a Facebook "like" from my brother, Mike. He's an accomplished musician and music educator based out of the Metro Philadelphia area. He's an in demand bassist who's worked in the music space for 43 years! Although I wanted to record his story, I didn't think that our schedules would allow us to pull it off.
It was to my great delight that, after a couple of Facebook messages, he was dialing in to a Zoom meeting I set up late last week. Note to self: don't forget to write about how difficult it was for us to "join" that meeting. And the folks at Zoom made it so easy for us laymen to use their service.
While the conversation was both engaging and informative, it was also long overdue. That's because, as male siblings, it's human nature for us to drift apart. Especially brothers who are in their early 60s. I've always found that odd, because with sisters, they tend to draw closer the older they get.
In addition to answering the six open-ended questions I posed to him, Mike and I played a wonderful game of catch up. We talked about our spouses, our kids, and our grandkids! That one is hard to believe -- GRANDKIDS!
I also came across an CD that he recorded 10 years ago, performed by a trio consisting of Mike and two of his best friends from the Philly jazz scene. I'm going to use the first track as a bumper to go at the end of our interview. Great job, Mike!
In the coming weeks, I'll be recording more interviews from some fascinating people. I'll probably publish them in the same date slot as my recently-ended podcast, "From Grievance to Gratitude". However, I'm not sure whether this new show will be published weekly or bi-weekly. As I said earlier, I'm fortunate that demand for my gig has increased.
Even though there is no guaranty that anyone will listen to my show, I'm going to press forward and publish it real soon. How soon? You'll just have to stay tuned. But it is coming soon. Why? Because I: (1) still have something to say, and (2) it's still a whole lot of fun!
By; Ken Boone
I just finished editing, mixing, and scheduling a brand new episode for a client, and I have to admit the shows are getting better. As Celia always says, "practice makes progress". And I'm getting better and faster at my craft as well. I'm not yet ready to advertise my services, but I'll be able to respond to the call if asked.
I was given a tight deadline, which required me to work over the weekend. I never wanted to do that, but the increased workload requires it of me. Weekends were when I would devote a lot of energy to the creative pursuits of the residents of my humble abode. But to date, our endeavors don't yet translate to cash in a significant way. So, I'm still on the clock -- reluctantly.
While the economy is on a bumpy ride through fiscal quarter after fiscal quarter, some segments have experienced an uptick in demand. Fortunately, mine is one of those segments. In my past, I've never been that fortunate. Although not always the first eliminated, I always seemed to get caught without a chair when the music stopped playing. Except when I put myself first.
Getting accustomed to a new way of doing business requires adjustments from everyone. As for me, I have to make the conscious effort to prioritize the needs of my business to at least be on par with those of my clients. I want to win at Musical Chairs occasionally. And because I'm finishing this blog post one day before publication, I'm slipping on the job!
So what am I going to do about it? I will not be falling for the "be lucky you have a job" implied threats. Been there, done that! Through multiple economic downturns, I've been able to keep the job that I had at the time. I will continue to fulfill my fiduciary duties to my clients, but now I'm treating myself as a valued client as well.
I've already adapted my podcast business to include a new show that shines a spotlight on the gig workers out there and what they're doing to cope with this uncertainty. To be honest about it, that topic does more for the public good than any of the work done by my paying customers. Sorry guys.
My wife, Celia, was more forward-thinking than all of us. She geared the content of her podcasts toward coping, self-soothing, and adapting to change. The response to her messages has been overwhelmingly positive. That's why she's the brains of this operation. And she has to record an new episode for release this Friday.
Now, back to my new show. Celia graciously agreed to help me produce, write and host it. I'm excited to get started, and although many states are beginning the process of re-opening, I do believe that the show will still have relevance for foreseeable future. However, I still have to pick up the pace or I'll miss the boat. Again!
Paying clients are great. They provide me with the resources to pay my mortgage, buy our medicines and groceries, and help us maintain a decent quality of life. But our work is equally as valid as theirs. So today I vow to no longer neglect or short change our mission and ministry just to make a buck. I can both support my work as well as that of my clients -- as long as I remember to pay myself first! Now, back to work!
By; Ken Boone
Ok, I just finished a super busy week at my little production company. And a crazy one at that. It's Saturday morning and I'm thinking that I can look forward to a relaxing weekend. Or maybe not. I feel like something's missing.
Yesterday, I recorded, edited, and published Celia's latest podcast episode in slightly over two hours. That's a record for me! All of this while creating a series of social media posts for a Facebook Live event sponsored by a client. And I did all of the above without my take-out pizza getting cold!
Earlier in the week, I posted a couple of podcast episodes for a client who, because of the pandemic, was forced to radically change their business model. I'd suggested they record podcasts as a way to reach more people without driving all over the state for meetings. That was two years ago. Now they are taking credit for creating and producing their new show. As pissed off as I am, I'll leave it to karma to settle that score.
There were also a number of agenda items that I didn't want to bore you with. Some were billable, some were done on gratis. And it looks like this will be my hectic life for the foreseeable future. However, I still feel like something's amiss.
Sipping on my first cup of coffee, it dawned on me that next week will be the first one where I won't be posting an episode of my podcast, "From Grievance to Gratitude". I'm not counting the weeks that I didn't record or publish while I was recovering for my health situation. No one could have done this under those circumstances, so I'm cutting myself some slack.
As I've said hundreds of times, I didn't set out to make the podcast a marvel of broadcasting. My goal wasn't to get thousands of downloads. Nor was it pick up a bunch of sponsors. It was a means for me to practice my craft while getting a bunch of crap off my chest. And in that regard, it was wildly successful.
After 35 episodes ranging in quality from garbage to mediocre, two things happened. First, I was running out of grievances. I realized that I have a lot to be grateful for. Second, COVID-19 swept in to change life as we know it. Family, friends, and strangers alike were thrusts into unfamiliar territory.
Forced to shelter in place, the lucky ones were able to work from home. Another group of them were able to collect unemployment, so they could at least cover some of their expenses. The third group were the independent workers who had no safety net. They are forced to scramble to find new means of support. That third group is the one I think I can use my skills to help.
Since I've been a gig worker exclusively since I moved to the Charlotte area in 2009, I'm well positioned to speak to their issues. Since 1999, I worked a either a consultant or a contractor for a number of corporations, large and small. With over twenty years of independent employment, I know that I'm well-equipped to hear their stories and bring them to light!
Here we go again. While starting this post to "grieve" the end of my little show, gratitude kicks in to show me a different perspective. Which brings me to the capstone events of my week. I pitched my idea of the new podcast, titled "Freelancer Survival Stories" to a few people I wish to record for upcoming episodes. They all agreed to take part in this endeavor!
The format is still coming into focus. But one thing I know for sure - I won't be conducting any interviews. Not just believe the prospect of asking dumb questions terrifies me. It's also that I think it will be more powerful to hear my guests' stories, in their own words, without someone trying to herd them into certain responses. I'm instituting a "No Gotcha Questions" policy for this show!
With God's grace, we will launch the podcast the week beginning June 1, 2020. I plan on creating episode up to and including a time when things have been restored to normal. But you never know. ABC's Nightline was suppose to run until the Iranians released the American hostages in 1980, and it's still going strong!
By: Ken Boone
It's always good when a person like me finishes something he starts. It punches a big hole in the idea that I'm wishy-washy. Although not true, that reputation was something I had to live with for a long, long time.
It's hard to believe that I'm putting the finishing touches on the 35th and final episode of my podcast, "From Grievance to Gratitude". Yes, that's the same title I use for this blog, since it was meant to a companion to the blog. Since I consider myself more of a writer than a talker, my plan was to use the podcast to fill in the blanks.
The first few episodes were painful to record and probably even more painful to listen to. But since I didn't expect the show to garner a large following of listeners, I was able to toil away in anonymity. One can be quite bold when one knows he's not being heard.
The main purpose of the show was to give me experience behind the microphone. Since I produce several podcasts hosted by other people, I felt it would be a good idea to practice what I preach!
The first few episodes featured me mouthing off about the perceived slights I endured in both my early and later years. However, I would intentionally double back and express the gratefulness I felt when I found the silver linings. At first, the gratitude was pretty hard to spot. But over time, it began to take over the episodes, as well as this blog!
Through sickness and health, these two outlets were welcome companions. I couldn't wait for Monday mornings to post links of my latest blog post on social media. Wednesday mornings were reserved for posting the podcast episodes. I'd swell up with pride when I found the posts and episodes when I would conduct simple Google searches. I guess that made me "bona fide"! For us old heads, it's like seeing you name in the phone book for the first time. But I digress...
The only time I took a break from blogging and recording was when I was recovering from a serious illness last Fall. I was in such bad shape that I had to be hospitalized for five days. When I was being admitted, I was asked what activity I did that gave me most pleasure. Without giving it any real thought, I blurted out "creating podcasts". That information was posted on the white board in my room. It was also entered in my medical files. In fact, every time I meet a new provider from Atrium Health, that factoid always comes up. What an amazing ice breaker!
With the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, podcasting has suddenly become an important part of the corporate communications strategy for companies large and small. Demand for quality production to go along with corporate messaging has translated to a busy time for me in the near and possibly distant future. I'm ready, willing, and able to do my part.
A casualty of this spike in activity is my little podcast. It doesn't have a huge following, but I used it as a barometer of personal growth. As mentioned several times recently, the gratitude began dwarfing the grievances. I found myself with very little to complain about!
I will be replacing my little podcast with a new show with a possible launch date in June, 2020. It will focus on survival stories of people working in the gig economy. While I will cover many industries, the main thrust will be on the creative freelancers, like musicians, videographers, writers, etc. I'm excited about this new chapter, but I hope that the show is short-lived, for obvious reasons.
I'll continue writing this blog with new posts every Monday. And I'll continue my current practice of groping around in search of grievances. And I'll continue to measure success by "great job, Honey" I get when my wife Celia hears the episode playbacks. I also measure satisfaction by the smile that's reflected back at me every time I look in the mirror! Stay blessed, my friends!
By Ken Boone
The news was great. The results came back negative. However, judging by our reactions, it seemed like we received a different outcome. Don't get me wrong, not having a potentially life-threatening virus should make anyone's day. It just wasn't the scenario we gamed out.
Celia and I have been through a lot medically over the past few years. Let me rephrase that - we've overcome a lot during over the past few years. So we weren't in the mood to have to deal with COVID-19. Just tell us how we can keep ourselves safe and we'll go from there. In fact, take your time in finding a cure.
Like just about everyone who doesn't think that this is a hoax, we've watched every news program and scoured the internet to get the latest information. The main thing we wanted to find out is "how do you catch the damn thing"? It seemed that no two sources brought the same expert opinion to the fore.
Initially, they were in agreement about who was most susceptible to acquiring the virus. And lucky me made the list due to age and underlying medical conditions. What gave me comfort was that my heart guy, Dr. V., said I was well enough to postpone my April 7th doctor's appointment. I was proud to "donate" that slot to someone with a greater need!
While watching a stream of medical and science experts on more Skype connections than I care to remember, I noticed one early symptom they could all agreed upon - that nagging cough. Like the one I've had since March. Like the one I've had every Spring for the past forty plus years.
While my brother suffered from hay fever since he was a child, I developed allergies in my early 20s. The first thing that made me sneeze uncontrollably was toner from copy machines, going downhill from there. The cough was both a leading and lagging indicator that I was in the midst of an allergic flare-up.
I also was able to glean from all of coverage was that it was a grand idea to frequently take my temperature, which fortunately stayed within the normal range. But that damn tickle in my throat didn't go away. Okay, it's six in one hand, half dozen in the other!
When I noticed that these networks had created bumpers and stingers consisting of heavily cinematic music and scary graphics, that I saw the entertainment underpinnings of there coverage. You see, it comes down to ratings for these people. But what about the little tickle in my throat?
Although Celia and I dutifully adhered to the shelter-in-place and social-distancing recommendations, we were exhausted by the hype. I started watching the local news from our cable carrier (Spectrum). They seemed to be able to give us the same pandemic-related news while covering a lot of other human interest stories.
The meteorologists were kind enough to provide pollen count information along with temperature and precipitation forecasts. That bit of information reminded me that I suffered from allergies that mostly consisted of sneezing and coughing.
We also increased our intake of Hallmark movies, although they have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. In addition to their ever-popular Christmas movie marathons, they are wrapping up their block of "Spring Fling" movies. These movies used flowering fields as a visual backdrop for their standard "Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl..." storylines. While I typically enjoyed the romance piece, looking at the flowers seems to make my nose itch.
After I publish this blog post and before I publish my latest podcast episode, I will begin to compile my grocery list for my weekly foray into the germ-infested environs. I'm currently virus free and with the help of masks, rubber gloves, and the Good Lord, I'll be protected. You see, the masks and gloves keep the germs from spreading, while the Good Lord reminds me that the tickle in my throat most likely is attributable to the allergies I've dealt with for decades!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.