Apparently People DO Win Radio Contests

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-08-2011

Yesterday I posted a little inside info about how radio station promotions and contests used to be a little shady.  People certainly won prizes, but not every prize meant for listeners actually MADE IT to listeners.  Some prizes made it to unsavory people…  LIKE ME.  

If you haven’t already, read yesterday’s post first.

And now we have some GOOD NEWS.  Apparently these days things are a little more legit, as reported by one of our fellow Simpletons, Mo at Bella Baby Blahg. You see – she works in radio down in Houston and sees things from today’s perspective:

Hey Dude, as a fellow simpleton and a broadcaster you know I have to throw in my 2 cents on this one. Things have actually changed quite a bit – and you can thank everyone’s favorite ‘Ladies Man’ Elliot Spitzer! Shortly after you filled your trunk with all those Playstations and bailed on our glorious industry… Spitzer made a name for himself in NY by going after the record labels.

Don’t feel so bad for your shenanigans – the program directors and music directors were getting crisp 100 dollar bills inside CD sleeves. It is called “payola” and although it’s always been illegal, record labels found creative ways to get their songs played. Not any more.

 Ladies love DJs. Well… most DJs.

Although I am mainly on the creative side of the biz, I have noticed many changes that are good for listeners and bad for underpaid radio folk who were used to getting perks. Here’s a rundown:

–  No more free trips to conferences and concerts in other cities. Record labels used to use these trips to throw money at program directors. Nowadays, if the station ain’t payin, we ain’t goin. And you know how cheap radio companies are. We all have to stay in town and actually do our jobs. Bummer.

–  No more free lunches. Labels used to wine and dine the whole staff. Now the label rep can’t even buy the music director a cup of coffee. While the MD can probably afford his meal anyway, this was a nice bonus in the past for starving DJ who happened to be hanging around when the label rep strolled in.

–  All prizes are accounted for, and every contest clearly identifies where the prize came from. Do we still get perks that are supposed to go to listeners? Absolutely! The only difference is we have to wait till 5pm on Friday and the staff picks up the scraps from listeners who don’t show up to claim their tickets/CDs/etc. by the deadline.

As for who wins… since the advent of this new-fangled-texting-fad, many stations take “texter 99” so they have to play by the rules on that. What you describe about finding the “10th caller” *might* still go on in some places. Not here of course, I work for a highly respected major market broadcasting conglomerate. We would never do such a thing… but if by chance any of your readers do try to be the correct caller at a radio station from time to time… it never hurts to sound excited if and when the DJ answers. 

Thanks Mo – you have shed some light on things and gave us all hope once again.  I sometimes miss my radio days – it was some of the most fun I have ever had and not a bad way to earn a paycheck, and I still listen radio quite a bit.

Now if I could just get the bastards to play my Duran Duran requests.


The 10th Caller Gets… Nothing.

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-08-2011

I have a special treat for you today and tomorrow… sort of a different take on the He Said, She Said thing.  As I’ve said before, I used to work in radio.  For a few years I was in the on-air side of the business, working as a radio DJ.  I have written a couple funny stories about those days if you’re interested:

And there was the time I had an extremely embarassing moment on air.  

After working as a DJ I spent about eight years in the promotions side of the biz from the late 90′s to early 2000′s and today you’ll get a little inside info on the radio industry and how it used to operate.  Then tomorrow I’ll post a follow up from one of our fellow Simpletons, Mo from Bella Baby Blahg.  She works in radio in Houston and will attest that things have changed in recent years.  

Though they don’t like to admit it, radio stations used to be a bit corrupt – especially their involvement with Record Companies, aka Record Labels.  During my time in promotions I enjoyed lots of awesome perks, including free trips to Vegas, Miami, L.A. and New York City courtesy of various record labels. 

The promotions department are the people at the radio station who handle all the contests you hear on air.  If they are giving away a CD, concert tickets, trips to Hawaii or even cash – all those things are ultimately approved by the promotions department. 

Back in my day the control we had over our contests led to shenanigans.  What does that mean?  I sampled from the prize closet often.  I took so many free CDs, DVDs, concert tickets, sporting event tickets, camcorders, xbox/playstatons and other crap that I couldn’t even use them all.  I’d give them away to friends or occasionally sell them on Ebay.  

Yeah, I know, not the most honest thing to do.  But hey, give me a break.. it was a victimless crime.  

And as for the actual contests – you know when they say the “10th caller” wins?  That doesn’t always happen.  Generally they’d take caller 1, 2, 3, 4 up to about 7.  Then they’d answer the phone and wait to see how excited the person would sound.  

If the caller sounds boring the DJ might say “sorry, you’re caller 8″ and hang up.  But if the person was excited, saying something like “DID I WIN?!?!!” the DJ would say “YES!  You’re caller number 10!” regardless of whether or not they were.  Keep in mind it’s pre-recorded, not live on the air.  Music DJs wouldn’t put a listener live on the air… EVER.  You have no idea what they’ll say.  

Also… we liked some DJ’s better than others, just like you and your co-workers I’m sure. We ran contests where we’d draw a listener’s name at random and announce them on the air.  The winner would have a limited amount of time to call us back to claim a cash prize.  We did this throughout the day so each DJ would have a chance to give away money.  For the DJ’s we didn’t like, we’d always give them foreign names that were hard to pronounce.  Hey, I was easily amused.

The good news is things have changed… check back tomorrow for Mo’s take and to find out how a perverted New York Governor actually made things better for all you radio listeners.   

Oh, and the countdown is on…  7 days until my birthday.  You have plenty of time to get me something nice.



Deep Fried Fantasies

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-08-2011

If you have been reading my blog lately you know that the Minnesota State Fair is going on right now, and the company I work for has some booth space at the fair, so I get the pleasure am forced to work out there a handful of days throughout the Fair’s 12 day run.   am headed out there now, and I’m excited to have one of my favorite foods this morning, the breakfast crepe.  I’ll tweet a photo of it I am sure.

And yes, I have already seen lots of the following:

- Families all wearing the same shirt

- Fanny packs – including some who wear one above their fanny and ANOTHER on their stomach

- Mullets – Dear God there are lots of mullets

- People riding motorized scooters – not because they are disabled or injured, but because they are too fat to walk

Gotta love the Fair.

As you probably read in my last post, our State Fair is famous for not only being the biggest in terms of daily attendance, but also having a wide array of new foods to try.  Over the years things like deep fried candy bars, Mac & Cheese on a stick and deep fried Twinkies have all had their place in the State Fair sun.  A lot of the food out there is good but there is some that is awful.  For some reason I still try it anyway.

One of those awful foods is something new this year… the Breakfast Lolipop:

This thing is a chunk sausage and some scrambled eggs deep fried in pancake batter… then stuck on a stick.  It comes resting in some maple syrup for your dipping pleasure.  Sausage and eggs deep fried in pancake batter sounded good to me in theory… I love all three of those elements.  But the sausage was processed crap and the eggs were almost non existent.  About the only thing that was ok was the syrup..  but Aunt Jemima doesn’t screw up syrup so that was bound to be ok.

The Lady Friend is going to join me out there on of these days and we want to try another one of the new foods… Sweet Corn Ice Cream.  You can choose different toppings, one of which is a bacon-caramel mix.  Seriously!

I know this probably does not sound good to some of you… and I am not sure it sounds good to me either… but I am TOO DAMN CURIOUS to not try Sweet Corn Ice Cream.  So look for a report on that – maybe next weekend!

To keep up with the shenanigans, follow me on Twitter:  @TheSimpleDude


The State Fair Experience

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-08-2011

Ever since I was a kid I have loved going to the State Fair and the Minnesota State Fair is the second biggest in the country – only Texas has a bigger one.  But they cheat, their fair lasts twice as long as ours.  In terms of daily attendance the Minnesota State Fair is the biggest, averaging about 150,000 people per day. 

What does this mean to you?  Not much.  It just means that we have all the things you come to expect from a State Fair, but a hell of a lot more of them.  Animals, rides, vendors, concerts every day and a hell of a lot of food.  Last year at this time I was only a few weeks into my blogging experience and I wrote about the fair and what it means to me.

So I am going to share with you and oldie but goodie post going back to the early days of The Simple Dude.  Here is a snippet of the State Fair post:

“I’m sure at some point you’ve been to your State Fair or at least a county fair, carnival etc. Here in Minnesota we have our annual State Fair going on right now. But this is not your normal fair, this is whatever you imagine a State or County Fair to be… but all hopped up on caffeine, steroids and a giant bucket of deep fried bacon grease……”

Read the rest of that post by CLICKING HERE.  It’s one of my favorites from those early days… and as I mentioned in that post I work for a company that has a presence out there so I’ll be at the Fair a handful of days in the next week – including tonight.

I intend to share pics and fair experiences via Twitter so to stay up to speed on all the madness be sure you’re following me!  @TheSimpleDude

I have a couple State Fair stories from my youth.. so maybe I’ll share one of those next week. 


My Sexual Preference: Yes

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 25-08-2011

Have you seen my video blog post from the other day yet?  No?  What are you afraid of?  You’ll get to see my banana.  Yeah, you know you want to click.  

So yesterday was my Sprocket Ink day and I posted an article about sexual preferences.  Well, sort of anyway.  Mostly it’s about being bisexual.  NO… I’m not saying I am bisexual.  I am not.  I am straight as an arrow.  The Simple Dude loves the ladies.  And they love the Simple Dude.  Well, the Lady Friend does anyway. 

But the SI article is about people who ARE bisexual.  Got it?  Just CLICK HERE to go read the damn thing.

And I have some other good news to share… we have a second sponsor at The Simple Dude.  Mellzah is a blogger who purchased my e-book “Grow Your Blog” and is putting some of my suggestions to work to build her following.  Her blog is called Serious Fun and from what I can tell that’s exactly what you get.  She has some recent posts full of pictures of a kite flying festival near her house…  and the pictures make me totally wish I lived near a beach – you should check them out!

But she’s also trying to gain a few readers by sponsoring us Simpletons, as you can see by her button on the right side of my page, below Belly Billboard – our other Simple Sponsor. 

So go visit her site and see what you think!

Guess what today is?  The first day of the Minnesota State Fair.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) the company I work for has a booth there so I’ll be hanging out at the Fair about 7 of the next 12 days. 

Expect some interesting Twit Pics and other tweets…   are you following me yet?  You better be: @TheSimpleDude.

Seeya Simpletons!


My First Video Blog And The Amazon Winner Announcement

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-08-2011

As you may recall, last week was my one-year anniversary writing this blog for the viewing pleasure of all you Simpletons.  And unlike most anniversaries, YOU were the ones who were getting the presents.  Well, one of you anyway.

All you had to do was wish me a Happy Anniversary through your blog, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and you were entered into my drawing for a $50 gift card to Amazon.  Yep, it was just that easy.

To be sure it was truly a random drawing, I did the drawing live on video.  After a year of blogging, I finally did my very first video blog!

Here it is…  along with the announcement of who won the Amazon gift card.  Please go easy on me.

Congrats to the winner… email me so I can get this sucker to you!

Last Friday I posted about my latest sponsor, Belly Billboard.  You can see his button on the right side of this page and you can read the post by clicking HERE.  In the comments to that post lots of people had funny responses and questions about the services offered by Belly Billboard’s main Belly, Gutmeister.

People wondered about whether he’d consider waxing, whether he’d ever write a message on his ass instead of his belly, and if he’d be open to using other colors. 

He responded with some answers but I thought it was worthy of including them here – just to clear the air on some of your… uhh… concerns.  Here is Gutmeister in his own words:

Let me first thank the Simple Dude for the great introductory post here. Next, I’d like to clear up a few issues:

1.  My wife writes this on my belly for me. 

2.  No, I buy my own lipstick, thank you very much. I am a gentleman. 

3.  Waxing would run about $1,500 to start.  And I’m a sissy. 

4.  My ass isn’t nearly as interesting or as offensive as my gut is. 

5.  I might be able to accommodate certain color requests, who knows?

Thanks everyone!

Gutmeister was nice enough to give me a free Belly Billboard message and it’s hilarious… I’ll share it with all of you next week.  And he’s more than just a pretty gut, he’s also a very funny blogger.  Be sure to check out his site:


Don’t Make Stuff Up To Sound Important

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-08-2011

How is your weekend going?  Any drunken, embarrassing stories?

Maybe your kids have embarrassed you?  I don’t have kids myself, but if they are young I know that happens.  The good news is you’ll get the chance to embarrass them once they become teens.  What goes around comes around. 

Of course they’ll get the last laugh when they commit you to a nursing home, but you’ve got plenty of time to kiss their asses as adults and spoil your grand kids before that happens.

Anyway…  this is a half-assed weekend for me in real life, so what’s more fitting than a half-assed post.  Remember… you can grab my Half-Assed Weekend button over on the right side of my page and use it yourself anytime you feel like Half-Assing your weekend posts!

What I have for you today is a photo I took at a stop light this week.  You may need to click on the photo to make it bigger.  Then you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

Supposedly it’s from a company called Arrow Cryogenics.  Isn’t that the company that froze Walt Disney’s head?  Maybe not.

This truck has a bunch of things listed that they claim they do.  Obviously they are just trying to impress people by putting a bunch of random crap on the back because we’re not smart enough to know the difference.  For instance, there is no way Shot Peening is a real thing.  And if it is?  Count me in.

Some of the other services they claim to offer, and what I think they actually mean:

Passivating - This is when a dude makes a pass at a girl, who then turns out to be his long lost cousin.

Electropolishing - I’m thinking this may be a dangerous phenomenon involving masturbating with an electric sander.

Cryogenic Deflashing – Have you ever come across a guy wearing nothing but a trench coat hanging out inside of a walk-in freezer?  Lets just say, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.   

Vibratory Deburring – I’m pretty sure this has something to do with sex toys in the great outdoors.

But really… don’t just make up a bunch of shit and put it on the back of your truck to impress people.  We’re not all idiots…  right?