Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Joplin may be another story, sadly.

That Chatter guy had a post about the latest ratings from fall '06 in the Springfield radio market. The numbers are interesting, and Davis breaks 'em down succinctly. But I couldn't help noticing how well KQRA and KZRQ -- Springfield's two current-rock stations -- performed in the Fall '06 numbers.

Q102.1 was Midwest's top performer, pulling a 5.7. Z 106.7 was Journal's worst performer, pulling a 4.2. (Of course, when you're in the same company as KTTS, you'll never be the head of the family.) Both stations are up about 3 points each from last year. Though Q slipped .3 points, it is still No. 5 in the market. Z is 1.5 points behind Q, coming in at No. 9. Both stations beat US97 and The Cave. Q also beat Alice and two country stations.

The downside: In stations targeted to younger demographics, Q and Z finished last. Power 96.5 still reigns at the top of that chart with a 6.7, and its format can attract a broader base of listeners.

Since every radio station spins its own success story out of the ratings, the Mailbox will do the same. The Mailbox sees current-rock formats thriving in the Springfield market. For a culture once dominated by country and chatter, it's good to see that Q and Z are bringing noise to the ratings.

Unfortunately, KJML 105.3 in Joplin isn't faring so well. According to the the spring '06 numbers, the Columbus, Kan.-based Rock 105 has been sliding down the ratings, after a stronger showing in spring '05. The fall '06 numbers for the Joplin market should be out by Friday, and we'll see if it can gain ground in the ratings.

Yeah, the Mailbox is biased with this post. The Mailbox loves its rock and wants hard radio stations to bring the noise and pound its earholes between Springfield and Joplin.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


OK, this is admittedly old, but I laughed anyway. Michelle, official friend of the Mailbox, posted this video on her blog. I can only hope that some of the talking heads in Joplin are as creative and fearless.

The Mailbox is a big fan of the original "Lazy Sunday." For the most part, the video is funny, despite being painful at parts. Best part: "And I'm gone like Snyder!" The line about Dowe and Justice was pretty funny, too. Apparently, the Mailbox has a lot to learn about Joplin's Medialand (with apologies to Ron Davis).

Labels: , ,


Darn, those masses.

I knew I wanted to stay away from MySpace, which is today's equivalent of AOL. It's a great way to send dumb forwards and surveys to people, while keeping them out of your e-mail inbox.

I resisted as long as I could. I should have got into MySpace a couple of years ago, before it went nuts. Jenn-Jenn, official friend of the Mailbox, told us about it. She showed us how to become a friend of the Barenaked Ladies. I also used it to discover Coheed & Cambria and Scale the Summit (that band actually asked to be my friend). But, I didn't set up a profile until recently.

I still don't use it that much. My page is unpimped, I have three pictures and no videos posted and I refuse to fill out my MySpace blog (especially since this one is oft-neglected, I see no reason to torture myself). And I ignore all those scary TV news reports about pervs on MySpace that roll around during sweeps week. If you have a brain and use it, you'll be safe from creepy people on MySpace.

Now, it's a decent way to keep up with friends -- no, that's not true. It's a great way to advertise who your friends are. I find myself immaturely shuffling my "Top Friends" according to strange rationale: "OK, he's my cousin, so he has to be in the top four at LEAST...of course TLP is No. 1...where do I put these two guys? Haven't known him long, but he's a better friend than her...and why is SHE here? I don't even like her." And if you have someone famous (Mike Portnoy is a friend of mine), then the ethical implications multiply.

The Mailbox doesn't quite understand where MySpace fits in to the whole digital world. It's a meeting place of sorts...a place where, using ugly templates and bad layout, you can show other people how great your life looks, and force your musical tastes upon them. Seriously: Two of my friends have MySpace pages and design news pages for a living. Their pages are ugly because they are ALL ugly. How the hell do they tolerate looking at their own pages? How can anyone READ this?

I'll stick with MySpace for the time being, because it's still kinda fun. I've put in friend requests to Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin and -- my hero -- Johannes Kepler. I hope they all approve me.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 29, 2007


Um, yeah. Yawn.

So Vista, the new Windows OS, is supposed to be as graphically beautiful as Mac's OS X. It retails for $100-$400. And it's going to cause everybody to upgrade to DirectX10, buy new motherboards and be ticked off that they STILL can't run World of Warcraft while copying and burning DVDs of Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage.

I can't say I'm going to rush out and buy it. I'm hardly excited. Heck, if I were a software pirate, I wouldn't be excited about stealing it. Seriously: Look at the demo. Their introduction piece does nothing but advertise the different software packages. It doesn't explain how Vista is easier, more efficient or worth the upgrade at all. Those of you who use Macs know the truth: Mac's OS improved things like MOVING FILES from one folder to another. It's just a better system. Vista is finally catching up to where OS X is. Not like Apple is doing anything to advance its OS. Too busy with iPods, I guess.

The most bizarre thing about the release was Bill Gates appearing on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart tried his best to joke with the guy and talk to him, but it didn't work. Gates ended up leaving the set before the cameras faded.

Of course, with Windows releasing Vista, that means Mac will have to compete. That means watching more of these tools.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 26, 2007


The above video is not safe for work, unless you use headphones or want to get fired.

Though I'm a big video game nut, I'm behind the curve, because it's hard for me to justify dropping upwards of $40 on a game. Even my old girlfriend had to wait for me to get a sloppy seconds version from the used-game store. I say that so I can say this: I'm working on getting through Kingdom Hearts 1.

MC Chris says it much better than the Mailbox could (except the Mailbox doesn't "masturbate to f'd-up flipper baby porn" like MC. Ew). I can believe what he says about KH2 taking forever, because KH1 takes forever to get anywhere. The game is a bizarre melange of Final Fantasy characters and Disney characters. It starts out simple enough: Engage in some practice duels, find some coconuts, develop a secret crush on a female, then the whole world splodes all bad 'n' stuff.

Tara, official friend of the Mailbox, loves it. We both thought it would be a good game for TLP to play, so Tara loaned me her copy. The very first part is pretty cool, actually. But once the game gets to a point of substance, it gets massively complicated. You start collecting things that you won't use for hours. You fly around in a spaceship and can customize it.

Like a jerk, I played past where TLP saved. I'm a bad boyfriend.

Kingdom Hearts is a wankfest of details and combinations, such that fun in gameplay falls faster than wishing upon a star. Seriously: Summoning Simba to put a smackdown on Oogie Boogie is drug-induced. What game designer popped a woody by envisioning Donald Duck and Goofy fight Jafar? So I'm not even going to try KH2. I respect Tara's opinion, but zhen dao mei, the girl got her face stuck in World of Warcraft so bad she can't even play Half-Life 2. Where's her priorities?

Meanwhile, I'm playing Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal and having a blast. Juvenile humor combined with cool weapons and ways to blow lots of stuff up. How can you go wrong?

Labels: , ,


The Mailbox is always amazed at what people will buy. Apparently, enough of y'all are buying "Lips of an Angel" in both rock and country flavors. It needs to stop.

I about drove into a ditch when I heard a country singer singing, "My girl's in the next room, sometimes I wish she was you." Jack Ingram had to go and remake a song that was just released last year by Oklahoma City band Hinder.

"Lips of an Angel" -- the Mailbox will say it -- is the worst song ever. The lyrics are cheesy, bombastic and immature. And, though the band denies the song is about cheating, the song sure sounds like it's about cheating.

The Mailbox read the lyrics to the song and wonders if girls really buy into this crap. "I never wanna say goodbye / But girl you make it hard to be faithful / With the lips of an angel." The song made it to No. 1 in the Top 40, meaning that a whole bunch of people bought it and bought into it. TLP, official girlfriend of the Mailbox, says it best: "Any woman who would find that song romantic is an insult to the species."

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 25, 2007


It's been nice getting back into reporting. As of today, I've spent nine days as a reporter for the Joplin Globe. I'm covering the education beat, which is an area of government I've always enjoyed covering. In my experience, it's the one bureaucracy that people care about. The new position forces changes to the blog, however.

A little history: Some of my friends have a penchant for sending me strange stories. I also have a head for retaining absolutely stupid things and developing opinions about them. Kinda like George Will writing a column about how Greedo shooting first is revisionist history.

So the Mailbox was born. It started as a weekly humor column in the now-defunct Nixa News-Enterprise. Basically, the Mailbox was an anthromorphized receptacle that held all these weird bits of info and opinions. I was the medium throwing the cheesecloth and calling it ectoplasm. Eventually, the Mailbox started this blog and continued its weirdness. After I left the paper and became a copy editor/page designer for the Globe, I missed writing. So the Mailbox got more serious: It ranted, opined and wailed about all the injustice, whatever.

Since the move to Joplin, I haven't known exactly what to do with this blog. I thought I wanted to report news with it, but there are already so many other bloggers that do news better than me, to the point where I don't want to join the cacophony. I also thought I wanted to plaster my opinions here, but that won't help me do my job. So I'm returning this blog to its roots. A return of the Mailbox, all Lord of the Rings style. The Mailbox is going to cover what it finds interesting: Weird news, interesting issues, occasional debates about the media, the New Orleans Saints, video games, movies, TV, music, geeky things and how wonderful TLP is.

If you're looking for juicy gossip about the Globe's employees or KOAM's talking heads, look elsewhere. If you want to know where Michelle Sherwood is hanging out or what Greg Holman is cooking, click to the side. If you're looking for rants about Nixa and a smoking ban, or Christian County and building codes, they won't be here anymore. The Mailbox used to be a fun humor column, and I'd like it to return to that.

Take a gander at the links to the side: Those will change a little bit. Also, visit my fellow bloggers. They work much harder on their blogs than I do on mine.

Enjoy, and leave comments.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


No, no... I'm not going to stop blogging. But the blog is going to be different soon. Those of you who follow the Mailbox know how weird and infrequent it is. The Mailbox has been in a unique position without knowing it's position. It knows it's lost but doesn't mind the alien scenery. However, that's about to change.

As of January 6, I accepted a reporter position with the Joplin Globe. I'll have more details about it when my beat is officially announced and after Randy Turner takes credit for breaking the story. (self-depreciating joke, there...I'm hardly story-worthy.) I'll say this: My beat is a field with which I'm very familiar and enthusiastic to cover. I'll have a great boss and be surrounded by great reporters.

Sitting on the copy desk, watching the news go by, was a needed break for me. Making the transition from a weekly to a daily was good for me overall. It taught me humility, patience and that spell-check and AP style are really good things. Now, I'll be getting back into the thick of things and I can't wait.

That means the blog will change, though. I don't know if the Mailbox will become a reporter's notebook, dishing out my biases and takes on the stories I cover. Maybe the Mailbox will revert back to its snarky, "Best Week Ever" wannabe style. Maybe it will do nothing but debate whether bloggers are really journalists. Maybe the Mailbox will be about my adventures in City 17, fighting the Combine. Or about my frustrations with Pirates of the Mysterious Islands. Or doing nothing but trying to get a point in the death game. I don't know.

What I do know is that there will be a renewed vigor when I figure out what that will be. So, for all of you who have checked here and cursed from the lack of new content, thanks for your patience. It will be rewarded with a redesign and regular updates. And I'm not forgetting my fiction, either. A wise man once told me that every journalist has a story inside them, and that's where it should stay. I'm still going to try to prove him wrong...Project Ghost will be finished one day soon. Maybe I'll post some of it.

To my family and friends: Thanks for your patience with me and my wishy-washy decisions over the last few months. My road lies clearly in front of me now. Doubt is gone. Challenge awaits. I promise you large MoJoe-burgers and imbibements when I get moved into my new house.

To TLP: Thank you, ma soleil. You make me want to be a better person. I love you.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]