Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remember books?

The writers seem to be settling in for a long strike against the money grubbing dirtbags who run the TV and movie business. Producers seem to believe that the American public will be content to watch crappy reality shows and reruns until the sun blows up. They think that writers and others responsible for content are about as necessary as trained apes .

My advice to the network and studio bigshots is: Take a look at what has happened to the radio business! Ratings are going down faster than a Sears tire and advertising revenues are in free fall. Why? Because owners and managers thought content didn't matter. People will listen to the radio...because they always have, was the thinking. Why pay good money for talented people when you can have a dog fart the Star Spangled Banner for minimum wage???
That kind of thinking is the reason you can now buy a radio station of your very own with your MasterCard. (Good luck trying to sell it in a couple of years.)

So, until the creeps in charge of Hollywood and the major networks wake up and give the writers a fair deal, here is a plan: READ A BOOK!

I have one for you... Race You to the Fountain of Youth.
It's a funny read about how men and women cope with the ravages of aging. You'll laugh a lot as you recognize you and your really old friends. It's written by Brad Dickson and Martha Bolton, both seasoned longtime writers for the likes of Jay Leno, Bob Hope and lots of other people you see on TV and in the movies that you thought were funny on their own. They're NOT! Writers put those words in their mouths.

"Race You to the Fountain of Youth...I'm not dead yet, but parts of me are going fast"

You can order it from Amazon. can hear Brad Dickson interviewed on "Clark & Copper" Tuesday December 4 at 11 AM Pacific time on

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Like so much cotton candy...

Somebody had the TV on in the locker room at the gym today. Come to think of it, the damn thing is usually on and tuned to something so incredibly stupid it hastens my shower and egress to the parking lot. It must have been one of the more gifted members controlling the tuner on this Sunday after Thanksgiving because there was actual NEWS on the box for a change. As I was dressing I heard a reporter intone from somewhere on the frontier of journalistic commitment that "There are nearly five million people airborne today as they return from the Thanksgiving holiday."
FIVE MILLION fellow humans jammed into those increasingly sticky and dirty sky coffins we are forced to use if we want to get to our respective destinations in a timely manner? WOW! All I could do was feel good about NOT being one of them. What a miserable way to spend a Sunday.
Remember when it was a BIG DEAL and somewhat glamorous to fly? You dressed up, looked forward to a restaurant quality meal, weren't frisked like a common criminal and most always got to your destination on time.

My kids began flying as babies. On the other hand, I never traveled by plane until I was nineteen or twenty. It was a memorable trip that expanded my small town Midwest being by not only giving me wings but also providing me my first look at the Pacific Ocean and a palm tree. Heady stuff that I thought at the time would be something I would look back on "through the mists of time" as I grew old.
Boy was I stupid!
I remember it like last week! Life really is too short.

My Aunt Shirley, now somewhere north of eighty, told me a couple of years ago that she has never been on a plane. Odds are her meter will run out before that changes. She said that she just never wanted to try it. Maybe she missed the good years and some good times, or maybe she was just more prescient than the rest of us. Think about it the next time your wasting a day at the airport. "Time to spare? Go by air!"

Speaking of life being WAY too short...
The Chargers are on TV. Screw them!
I'm going outside.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home Cookin'...The old One Two Punch

I believe that this picture of my son-in-law, Doug, says it all.

I smoke a mean Thanksgiving turkey!

Or, was it perhaps the Snickers cake and the other 40,000 calories that Katie's husband consumed that induced this digestive coma?

I hope that all of you reading this had an equally traditional glutinous fat ass American Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas is coming...Al is getting fat

It has been awhile since I've spent some quality time with my pal Al the alligator lizard who roams the nooks and crannies of my backyard patio.
Going back to work cuts into important things like "pal time".

Al has been living outside my back-door for at least two years now. He was here when we moved into the house; so I'm not certain what kind of relationship he had established with the previous owners or just what kind of deal he cut with them regarding amenities. I've basically told him that ANY bugs or other varmints he cares to capture and ingest on the ol' Copper spread are his exclusively. It looks like he has been taking advantage of my largess as he has gained considerable girth over the past two years. Some of the "wide load" quality is due, I realize, to his impending hibernation. His speech has become slurred of late and he moves with the speed of a glacier. Perhaps some of this near catatonic state has been induced by the play of this year's Chargers, but he has always been more of a baseball fan and I know he'll be scurrying around the patio like a gerbil on crack once Spring training begins. Al's first appearance from hibernation usually coincides with the reporting to Peoria of Padre pitchers and catchers.

Also, the addition of several new members to Al's lizard family has probably made for an exhausting season for the aging veteran. I couldn't help but notice that this year the Mrs. popped out at least three little Al's...Or, were they Alices?

One new member of the brood has a distinctly orange cast to him which makes me wonder about how seriously alligator lizards are with regard to fidelity. (Mrs. Al has never seemed especially warm to me.)

"Norbert"....Al's son? What do you think???

This week I'll be smoking a turkey in the old dependable Weber kettle for Linda, me and our daughter Katie and her husband Doug. Thanksgiving day is generally the day Al and I say our good-byes for another season. He will waddle by as I fight off the hickory smoke to baste the bird and say, "Have a nice holiday, Ken...I'll catch you when the Padres' season is new and full of promise." I'll wish him a pleasant hibernation and promise to move the Malibu outdoor light that can sometimes wake him too early.

I'll also urge him to quiz the wife about the orange one.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The "Clark Gable" of radio turns 90

Jack Vincent is ninety.
Nobody who toils in the entertainment "carny zone" of radio hits that milestone. Do they?

Jack was one of the princes of the radio realm in that venue's halcyon era of the nineteen- sixties and he's still going strong as he begins his tenth decade. Remarkable...

I've met Jack a couple of times and took an immediate liking to him. Everyone does. He's just one of those guys. He's charming, in good shape, and still has the command of that great set of pipes that kept him employed at legendary stations such as KCBQ for many years.

Jack, and guys like him, were the reason many broadcasters of my generation got into the biz. They were men like our dads...only cool. They made radio seem exciting and romantic as they spun the hits and spoke to you...and only you. It was magic!
Most of them are gone now and radio is no longer cool or even sure of what it is... or could be.

There was a party for Jack last week at my friend "Shotgun" Tom Kelly's house. (Rumor has it that whiskey and cigars may have been on hand.) "Shots" is, I believe, the only radio pal of mine still actually honking the hits. He does a superb job of keeping the era of the sixties alive and well every afternoon on K-Earth 101 in Los Angeles. He has been a great friend to Jack.

I couldn't make the party. Linda was in the hospital at UCLA, but I plan to be there for Jack's hundredth. He's a living tribute to the most intimate medium in an increasingly isolated and disconnected culture.

Happy birthday, Jack!
I miss what radio once was and I miss so many of the radio troops from Jack's generation and from mine. Many left the airwaves and this world way ahead of their time. That seems to happen to people who are secretly sensitive in a creative yet hardass enterprise.
I miss them...but, I'm damn glad I don't have to miss Jack Vincent.

Many more Jack...many more.

Will the real Jack Vincent please take a bow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This year I'll get it RIGHT

Let's face it...
Women can do this; men can't.
In fact, you can take it to the bank that most members of the fair sex are probably flashing that Mona Lisa smile at the guys in their lives because they know that they're done and we are most certainly NOT.

Christmas shopping divides us as much as the Stooges and that "asking for directions" thing. Women have the uncanny ability to find appropriate and much loved gifts for everyone on their list because they...well, I don't know why. That's the problem. Why do they get it and we just DON'T.

This year it will be different! I'll start early and shop carefully.
I'll start this weekend.
What games are on TV?
Maybe I'll wait until next weekend.
How many days until Christmas?

Here are some of my not so well thought out gifts from Christmases of yore.
Kind of embarrassing, no?

My nephew Walt did like his X.T.C. Elmo. I'm not real clear on his mother's reasons for not letting him play with him.

Nothing but boffo gift-os coming from the ol' Kenster this holiday season!

How many shopping days left?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Affairs of the liver...

I have not been neglecting this blog.
I know it seems like it, but I haven't. Things have been going on.
Friday, just as I was about to rant about something important, no doubt only to me...we got the call.
Linda was up again.
"Up" being next in line for a liver transplant at UCLA Medical Center. She has been on their list for a number of years now and because of her blood type has rarely been close to getting a new liver.
There just aren't that many livers around and, unfortunately, somebody has to die to free one up. It's a fact of life we have learned to live with. The irony of the situation is that the only member of the Copper family who ever abused their liver enough to wear it out Linda's problem is genetic and not anything she could have prevented.
Who said God doesn't have a twisted sense of humor?
Anyway, we spent the majority of the week-end hanging around the hospital. Linda at least had a bed. I made camp on one of the most uncomfortable chairs ever created. I'm sure the designer used to work for the Marquis De Sade. Not only was it impossible to sleep in this horror, it wasn't even a decent place to plunk your ass for more than a couple of minutes. I did a lot of aimless walking around.
People watching at a hospital is almost as much fun as feasting your peepers on the crowd at a county fair or carnival midway. Geezus...what a freak show!! Half of the crowd was on cell phones too; so that provided the added bonus of insipid one-sided conversations as a backdrop.

Here's another situation I've noticed in hospitals like UCLA's: The food in the cafeteria is almost entirely unhealthy. There are islands of cheese pizza and fried chicken, but almost no decent items at the salad bar. I'm guessing that this is all part of the medical establishment's master plan to keep us all in the hospital and our wallets in their "caring" hands. ( I noticed that the patrons of the cafeteria with the most grossly unhealthy items on their trays were....DOCTORS. ) Maybe they know something.

One more observation: I have long noticed that it is almost a given that wherever you go in this country there WILL be some kind of bad music playing in the background. Muzak in elevators, (nothing sounds as cool as 101 Strings rocking out with their version of "Ain't No Woman Like the One I've Got") and people with radios tuned to stations programed by corporate morons. In my years of playing the hits on music radio I thought I had heard all of the REALLY bad songs it was possible to pour into your ears, but NO. In the past year I have been hearing the worst piece of audio garbage EVER produced! It is some insipid tone poem called: "You're Beautiful" by a screeching stooge named James Blunt. I first heard this retarded riff at the gym and dismissed it as a spoof. No such luck. It really is a song and it really blows monkey chunks! It is the worst song EVER!

I would rant on but I've decided to leave while there is still light. I'm going to hunt down James Blunt and SHUT HIM UP!

James Blunt: singing moron

I wonder if he's using his liver? Hmmm....