MacGyver’s Competition: Pete Dominick


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I remember riding next to my Dad in his old blue Buick with cushy seats and bouncy shocks down the turnpike.  I always thought it seemed so boring listening to his news shows that he liked where people talked on and on in monotone voices. It bored me to tears and seemed like such a grown up, old person thing to listen to nonstop.

Until I became an old person.

Hello my name is LifeonWry and I am officially a news radio addict. The first step is admitting it right?

I can’t remember the last time I listened to actual songs on my car radio. Which sounds sort of sad. But then, addiction always is.

I have one person to blame for my splurge of a subscription to XM radio and his name is Pete Dominick.  And I think I am in love with him.  My heart races a bit just writing his name, like I should start doodling my first name along with his last name…  LifeonWry Dominic …. TLA 4Ever.

MacGyver is aware of my obsession and luckily he just thinks it’s funny.

It all started with a free trial XM Radio subscription and 2008 election coverage.  And Pete Dominic on the POTUS station.  Since that time I have maintained my extravagant subscription and tried to listen to him almost every single weekday. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get out of the car when he’s talking.  I even followed him from POTUS to his new channel Indie Radio which I’m not a fan of except for his show, Standup with Pete Dominick.  All I can figure is that a big pay raise or a more flexible schedule lured him away from POTUS.  But I digress. I have remained a stalker of his loyal listener.

Pete (we’re on a first name basis but he doesn’t know it) has a background as a stand-up comedian and he is smart as hell.  He calls it like it is and is incredibly real, smart,  perfectly sarcastic, open minded, spot-on with human being behavior, and hilarious.  He’s also self deprecating to top it all off. Stop me, I’m swooning.

His show covers topics related to our world, our economy, and our issues and concerns as a society.  The other day I learned from his show that a quarter of humanity, or 1.3 billion people (in addition to the hundreds of millions who face regular blackouts) have no access to electricity and therefore must use dangerous methods like kerosene for light which poses health risks comparable to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. I also learned that WakaWaka is not only a phrase that Fozzi Bear on the Muppets used to say, but it also the name of an organization that offers low-cost energy solutions for those living off the grid to help them be self-sufficient, sustainable and safe.  Oh, and WakaWaka means ‘Shiner of Light’ in Swahili.  Who knew?

The best part of Pete’s show is that on it the staff has a great time and Pete demands respectful and intelligent debate with his guest and call-in format.  He also asks for facts when callers make wild claims or generalizations, which often produces brief and awkward but wildly entertaining moments of silence.  But he does it in a respectful way, which is a fine line that he has mastered.

Pete says he is not of any political party and that he doesn’t want people to get hung up on labels and spout party lines. He works to have callers and well educated guests from both sides of the aisle.  Potentially irate  or rude callers don’t make it through his screening system (a script which I would love to read). It’s just not that kind of show.  Clearly Pete leans a direction that I am drawn to, but he seems open to all arguments and even questions all sides of each issue to spur conversation.

He is also is a regular guy, with a wife (darn, he’s married but then so am I) and kids that he clearly loves. He also seems to have great compassion for human beings which lurks just below the surface of his bold and pointed humor.

I’ve had the call-in number ready to dial several times on my phone.  I think I even dialed it once, only to abort after becoming flustered and worried that I might sound like a stalker if I actually got to talk to him.

So there you have it.  Pete Dominick is MacGyver’s competition.  But don’t worry.  MacGyver, and Pete’s wife for that matter, have nothing to fear.

I will forever be MacGyver’s sidekick.  And his list of similar qualities makes me swoon all the more.

Plus, MacGyver can fix a carburetor with a paperclip and a toothpick with one hand tied behind his back while reading a book and three magazines, listening to jazz and making me the perfect martini.

Now I just need to get him his own radio show.

On Manners … “The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.” ― Oscar Wilde

etiquetteMy parents worked hard to teach me good manners and for this I feel quite fortunate and grateful.   As always, I am a continuous work in progress and I have far from perfected all forms of manners.  I do however strive to set a good example for my kids when it comes to simple etiquette and common courtesies.

I stand wholeheartedly behind the power of manners and courtesy.  I will take on anyone who rolls their eyes about the importance of  teaching these skills to their children, for they will be sending their offspring out into the world with a severe disadvantage.  I guarantee you that, when it comes to job interviews and promotions and just plain life, simple etiquette and common courtesy will take children much further in life than the guy or gal who knows not of manners.

These skills – learned primarily by example – help children to be more genuinely grateful rather than entitled, to have more friends and meaningful relationships, and to realize that we are all interconnected.  Quite simply, manners help us to be more human.

These are a few of the many skills that children of all ages – and frankly humans of all ages – will do well by understanding and working toward practicing as much as possible:

  • When, how and why to thank someone.
  • How to listen and not interrupt, and to let others speak (I am always trying to improve on this one).
  • Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact.  Why it matters.
  • The importance of introductions and inclusiveness in group settings.
  • How to be thoughtful.
  • How to eat at a formal dinner table and sit still at a restaurant.  Even just the basics will empower kids later in life.
  • The art of being humble rather than boastful and aware of others’ feelings (This one is a peeve of mine.).
  • How to make note (whether electronically or otherwise) of important dates or events for other people and recognize them every once in a while.
  • Respect for elders (No matter how old school they might seem).
  • To politely greet and acknowledge a new person in their home or environment.
  • To hold a door open for a person behind them when they are in close range.
  • How to actually apologize (It’s amazing how many people really don’t understand how to genuinely apologize.  You’re not apologizing if you don’t truly own your actions. See The One Minute Apology.) And no child is too young to learn how to apologize and recognize others’ feelings.
  • Letting someone go ahead of them in a long line every now and then.
  • How to say please and thank you consistently and nicely.
  • How to be compassionate.
  • Helping those less fortunate or ill, whether it be by raking their lawn, shoveling a walk or making a meal.
  • Being helpful at a retail establishment even when it’s not your job (I’m baffled by how shocked grocery checkers are at my local store when they are short-staffed and I roll up my sleeves and start bagging my own groceries instead of standing there watching.  How is this not a given?)
  • Occasionally helping strangers who may have simply dropped something or who may be unable to reach or do something.
  • Why, when and how to say excuse me when you bump into someone or walk in front of them, interrupt them, etc. (Another peeve of mine.)
  • The art of writing a simple thank you note.
  • How to give someone your full attention.
  • When to PUT THE PHONE AWAY.  (When having a conversation or meal with someone, when at a restaurant (get up and take the call outside), when at a social event. Trust me, if it’s important they will call more than once.)
  • How to not be condescending to service people or wait staff no matter how old you are or how important you think you are (I’ve always thought of this as a sure way to really know if I like someone).

Thanks to the gals over at Grown and Flown for their post today which spurred my manners rant post:

What is your biggest manners pet peeve?