Cuppa Chat Time Interview

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that Rory from Earthly Comforts did a mini interview with me. He informed me that the interview has posted on his site. The link to it follows:

I’m posting it here, too, so I can have it archived on my page as well. For regular readers, there is info I have mentioned in the past, but also some new info. Thanks again to Rory for allowing me to take part. Please check out his site and give a “Follow”

The Cuppa Chat Time Mini Interview

Hi, I’m Keith. I write a little blog called Various Ramblings of a Nostalgic Italian here on WordPress. I am a former radio DJ who now works as a sleep technologist. Back in the days of MySpace, I would blog and write about things in my life. My ex-wife hated it. Eventually, I stopped writing them.

While going through my divorce, it was suggested that I begin writing again. Originally, my thought was to keep a private journal. Then I remembered the reactions I would get from people who read my blogs on MySpace. I decided that I would use my blog as a place to write down memories of my childhood, stories about my kids, book suggestions, tributes to people who mean a lot to me, movie reviews, and other things that made me – well, me. To a degree, my blog is my autobiography with a few extras thrown in.

I guess my writing style would be considered subjective writing. I write about personal things and personal observations. My writings contain my thoughts and opinions, very much like the material that I would use on the radio. I feel like I have accomplished something when a reader comments with something they connected with in my writing.

I read some of the previous interviews posted here and enjoyed them very much.  Many of the writers who have participated are MUCH better than I am.  I only hope to write something you like.  I thank Rory for posing some interesting questions and hope you find my answers worth reading. 

What would be number one on your bucket list? 

Without question, I want to visit Italy.  My grandparents are Sicilian and I still have cousins who live there.  There are so many places I would love to see.  I have seen amazing photos of Venice, Florence, and Rome.  There is so much history there and I have wanted to go for a very long time.   

It is my hope to take my family there in the next 5-10 years.  I would definitely have to do it through a travel agent, so they can map out the vacation and stay.  I have a feeling if I try to plan it myself, I will miss too much.   
How do you feel about failure, and how do you cope with it?   

Life is full of failure.  When you are faced with it, you can easily get caught up in the feelings that come with it.  One of the hardest things to do is to take the failure and turn it into a lesson.  It can be difficult to look at what happened and learn something from it.  Where are the positives in the negative?   

I was at church one time and they read a passage from Romans.  It said, “tribulations worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”  That always struck a chord with me.  Tribulations (trials and hardships) can actually bring about patience.  And with the patience you get from all those things, you chock it up as experience.  The more experience – you have hope.  That being said, it isn’t easy, but those failures can actually help you when you learn from them.

What are some of the essential skills for a sleep technician? 

I am entering my 10th year as a sleep technologist.  The field is ever evolving.  There is always something new to learn.  

First, you have to have some understanding of neurology.  We watch brain waves all night.  Those brainwaves tell us whether the patient is awake or asleep.  If they are sleep, they tell us what stage of sleep they are in. Each stage of sleep has very unique brainwaves.   

We also have to have some understanding of the respiratory system.  While we watch the brainwaves, we are also monitoring a patient’s respiratory effort and air flow. We primarily are looking for sleep apnea (when a patient stops breathing while sleeping).  When a patient stops breathing, they lose oxygen and it can cause many cardiovascular issues.  Sleep apnea is linked to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and many other health problems. 

If a person has sleep apnea, they return to our sleep lab for a PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) titration.  The air keeps the patient’s airway open and allows them to sleep soundly.  I have sleep apnea and I use CPAP, which really helps me when I have to prepare patients for using it. 

What is the ideal sleeping position, and do you practice it? 

If you do a search of the internet on this question, there are a lot of answers.  The most common one is that it is best to sleep on your left side.  They say that doing this helps with stomach acids and such.   

Another common answer is to lay on your back.  For people with apnea, this is difficult.  Apnea tends to be worse when you sleep on your back because of the position of the airway, tonsils, adenoids, and tissue in the throat.  Most people with apnea sleep on their side (although you can have apnea in all sleeping positions). 

I am not sure that doctors agree on an “ideal” sleeping position.  Most will tell you that sleeping on your stomach is the worst position though.  Sleeping that way tends to cause strain on the neck. 

I was always a side sleeper.  This is probably because I had apnea and didn’t know.  Today, I tend to sleep more on my back, but will occasionally still sleep on my side.

What inspired you to pursue a career in radio? 

When I was 17, I worked at a boat marina.  I live in Michigan, so boating season is literally 3-4 months long.  In the off season, there wasn’t much to do and there were often seasonal layoffs.  There was always a month or so when we did inventory in the parts department.   

One day I was counting parts from the various bins and was listening to the radio.  There was a guy I listened to every day.  He always sounded like he was talking directly to me.  The more I listened to him, the more I thought, “I could do what he does!”   

I called the station and asked how someone got into the business.  I was told that I could go to a broadcast school or I could come and intern at the station.  I chose to intern.  I was basically a gopher for the air personalities.   

Eventually, I began to do more hands on things and one night was put on the air.  It was supposed to be a temporary thing, but the program director thought I had potential and kept me on the overnight shift.   

I met so many great people in the almost 30 years I worked in radio.  I met many famous people.  We raised money for charities.  It was truly a fun job.

What do you think is the most critical aspect of radio broadcasting? 

Being local.  This is the most critical aspect of radio broadcasting.  They used to say “Local wins!”  That is a truth.  People would much rather listen to someone from their hometown that someone who is generic and knows nothing about where they live.  Radio is about connecting with your listener.  It is like a blogger who connects with their reader.   

Think about it.  “I saw this lady at the mall yesterday” is generic.  But if I say, “I was walking through the Midland Mall yesterday and saw the funniest thing.”  You connect with it because you know the Midland Mall.    You might say, “I was there yesterday!”   It is about the connection.   

It is also important to be LIVE.  So many shows are prerecorded today.  Sometimes the shows are recorded days in advance.  This is fine and good if nothing important happens.  But if there is a weather or traffic emergency people want to know about it.  Live and local will win every time – when it is done right!

What is one of your favourite quotes from a famous actor/actress (line from a movie)? 

This is a hard question to answer.  Not because I can’t think of one, but because I can think of many.  I use movie lines in daily conversation!  I could probably quote about 50 from The Godfather alone.   

The one that came to mind immediately was from a fantastic James Cagney film called White Heat.  “Made it, Ma!  Top of the World!”  If you’ve never seen the movie, the quote means nothing.  If you have seen it, it is one of the best scenes.  Cagney is so good in it.

How many films do you think you watch every year, and how many do you think you have watched throughout your life? What are five of your many favourites, and what makes them unique to you? 

I have easily watched hundreds of films in my life!  I have my favorites and I have my list of classics that I still haven’t gotten around to seeing.  I would say that I watch about 10 a year now.  That isn’t a lot.  I think that is because the movies that they are putting out today rarely interest me.   

I feel like most of the new movies are remakes of old ones or another unwanted/unneeded sequel.  It has been a long time since I watched a preview that made me want to see a new movie.   

Asking for five favorite films is like asking me to pick a favorite child.  How do you narrow it down to just five?  On my blog, I went through movies released for every year of my life and tried to pick just one favorite for each year and that was quite a task!  I will pick five, but I also know that when I am done, I will want to rethink them.  (1) The Godfather and (2) The Godfather Part 2.  People are quick to say that they are just mob movies.  There is so much more to them.  The transformation of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is such an amazing thing to watch.  (3) Airplane!  Pure silliness with a great cast.  I’ve seen it so many times, but I still keep catching little things in the background.    It will always be funny to me.  (4) Back to the Future.  I love a great time travel movie.  Christopher Lloyd’s performance as Doc Brown is worth the watch.  (5) The Blues Brothers.  It has one of the best soundtracks, and fantastic cameos.  It is another one that I have seen countless times, but it will never get stale.

Are you a person who likes to answer or ask questions?   

Based on how long my answers are to some of these questions, you would think I’d rather answer them.  However, my days in radio brought me the opportunity to interview many singers, comedians, authors, and actors/actresses.  I really enjoyed researching and preparing for those interviews and asking them questions.   

A lot of the time, especially phone interviews, a star was going from one 10 minute segment to another.  I always thought that they would be asked the same questions over and over again, so I really tried to throw something out of the norm at them.  If I could find a local connection, I’d bring it up.   

It’s very much like Rory did with this interview.  There are questions that he catered especially to me.  That always makes for a good interview, when you are genuinely interested in learning about someone. 

Well, those are my nine questions.  I hope I didn’t bore you too much.  Thank YOU for reading.  Thanks to Rory for allowing me to be a part of Cuppa Chat Time.  I look forward to reading answers from the next interview subject!  

Until next time, in the words of Wolfman Jack, “Keep smiling.  A smile is just a light in the window letting people know your heart’s at home.”

10 thoughts on “Cuppa Chat Time Interview

    1. He offered up 15 questions and I got to choose 9. They were all very good questions. Maybe I’ll answer the other 6 in another post. It was fun, and if you’re interested, he’ll create questions for you.

      Been thinking about opening up another “Ask me anything” blog or having another “guest” blogger. I’m not sure I could ever be as creative enough to host a feature like Dave or Hans, at least not yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going to ask bloggers at the end of the month…to write about their favorite Beatles song…I’ll tell you why when we talk or text next…would you be interested?

        Liked by 1 person

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