61 And No Asterisk


Me & the bike-riding Norwegian

            Me & the bike-riding Norwegian

This week, the late summer holiday I call SepTIMber rolled around again. Yes, it’s another notch on the birthday belt.

Last year was the leap to a new decade. I remember in earlier years, turn 30, 40 or even 50 was seen as a big landmark in your life. I don’t remember my 30th being a big deal. 40, I believe there was a big party. For my 50th, I was reinventing myself as a writer in a post-radio apocalypse that was my career. That was also a year of life changes and the launch of some pretty emotionally draining parts of my life.

Then, things started to turn.

Right now, I can’t be grateful enough for all that I’ve got, being able to do what I like to do for a living, working with some great people and projects, and it just keeps going.

I remember when 61-years-old was ancient. It was the year before you retired.

Now, with the retirement carrot extended further with an even longer stick, most people turning that decade don’t see anything close to retirement in the near future. I like to say that I’ve been planning on retirement and that I should have all the money I’ll need by the time I’m 122.

But I’m 61, just half-way there. You know the thing I love the most about being this age: I’ve reached it in fairly good health. The body has been cooperating, I’m still able to be active (perhaps, TOO active) but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Each week begins with a checklist of things I’m pushing myself to do. There’s my Wacky Week Podcast, featuring a new episode each week. This week, I not only have a bit we did back in the radio days with former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, but also, an interview I did a few days ago with a Norwegian journalist who rode his bike from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, talking with people along the way. His goal–to try and explain to his fellow Norwegians back home what the heck Americans are thinking in this election.  I told him if he figured it out, to be sure and share with us.

I also write a blog, reminiscent of my days as a columnist for the Bothell Reporter. You know, I turned some of those articles into an actual book you can buy on Amazon. (wow, look at the price on that! Don’t let them know I’ve got a box of ’em. It’s like commodities investing) You can actually download the Kindle version for free.

There’s my weekly Tim Hunter Creative Services newsletter that flies into inboxes each and every Wednesday. It’s a way to remind people about what I do, in the chance that perhaps, one day we can work together.

I’m up at 4am each morning to write for Radio-Online, a show prep service.  I write gags for ventriloquist Mark Merchant and cartoonist Steve Kelley. I do the occasional auction or emcee an event, like the Lutefisk Eating Contest this Saturday at the Fishermen’s Fall Festival.

I’m involved with several clubs & organizations, do way too much volunteer work for my own good but the bottom line is–I can. I’m lucky enough to be doing all the things I want to do.  I’m even hoping a screenplay I wrote years ago might have a chance again thanks to a new door that opened recently.

Yeah, I’m 61, but I’m far from done. You know, years ago, an astrologer did a complete breakdown on me and what the stars said was going to happen in my life. She pointed to some huge success when I was a senior. Looking at it now, she might have just been talking about the ripe old age of 61.  Makes you wonder what a huge success I’ll be when I finally hit that retirement age of 122.

Remember, you’re here. You’ve got a life. Live it.  You’ll be hitting 61 and denying it before you know it.

And laugh a little, would ya?

Tim Hunter


Our Summer Glamping Trip

It only seems right, in this final full week of summer in the Northwest (and, probably where you are, too) that I look back at our summer glamping trip.

No, that’s not a typo.  Glamping is when you camp, but in a glamorous way. You know–cushy RV, elaborate 5th wheeler, a mountain lodge….

Wait? A mountain lodge is an option?

Here’s the story.

Growing up, some of our favorite family summer vacations or extended weekends were spent on camping trips.  We did the trailer thing and not only hit the California spots like Lake San Antonio, Crestline, and a host of others whose names I’m starting to forget. But we also packed it up one year and DROVE up to Washington State.  That was an adventure, especially on those windy mountain roads that looked so straight on the map.

In college, after relocating up here, I even managed to sneak in a few tent camping getaways, including one to the Spokane World’s Fair back in 1974.  While my kids were growing up, we got in a couple of tent trips, some RV vacations and cabin getaways. But the past couple of decades, I think we’ve put up the tent maybe three times.

One of those occasions was during a drive to California a few years back, when I remembered everything…..except the tent poles! Seeing how that can mess up your communing with nature, when we actually reserved a camping spot this year, I was determined to remember EVERYTHING.

We took a Friday off and enjoyed a leisurely drive to the mountains and pulled up to a beautiful, secluded, quiet, forested camp site. However, what was supposed to be two days in paradise was cut short by a must-attend social obligation that popped up on Saturday night.  So, it was get there Friday, enjoy a fun night of camping and then pack up and head home.  At least we were getting in one night of camping.


All was going fairly smooth–the tent went together as it should, all parts included; what we thought was going to be a campfire-free weekend because of a burning ban actually included a campfire, as this campground was on federal land. Apparently, their forests don’t burn like the state ones.

OK, there was one glitch.  I had remembered the air mattress and grabbed the pump. But, in rounding up the 99 things needed, I failed to notice the one thing missing: the tube that connected the pump to the mattress.  I gave my lungs a workout, held the pump next to the mattress and got it 2/3’s of the way full. I figured I’d do the rest after dinner.  Of course, Victoria decided to document this adventure, take pictures and post them on Facebook. I suspect they’ll also be used against me in the eventual sanity trial.


But look at that site!  Dinner was heating up on the fire, the campsite-rules-violating bottle of Dusted Valley Cabernet had filled our plastic cups and we were camping. NOT glamping, but full-blown camping.

It was around then that a huge SUV pulled up next to our site and the guy driving yelled out, “Hey, where do you want us to park?” 10-seconds probably passed when he took pity on our extremely confused faces and revealed, “Hey! It’s Wally & Susan!”  It was my wife’s cousin and her recently retired police officer husband that we usually saw only once each year at a family gathering.  But what the heck where they doing here?

It turned out that they had recently bought “a cabin” in the area, about 5-miles away. They had been relaxing, probably not far from bed when Susan saw Victoria’s post about the mattress debacle. She told Wally, he replied to her, “Let’s get in the car and go find them!” and they cruised the campground until they recognized the tent in the picture.  Once a police investigator, always a police investigator.

We all sat around and chatted while we ate our camping dinner and then they invited us back to their cabin to relax and fill up our air mattress with their pump. (they had a hose)  At this point, we had achieved our goal of setting up the camp. Sure, we could head up that way for a while, then come back and enjoy our planned rustic overnight stay.

The wine flowed, the cigars came out, we enjoyed a fire from the propane fire pit on the deck of their 3200 square foot “cabin” that sleeps 21.  Yeah, we weren’t suffering. But it was getting late, so we figured it was time to go back to the campsite. However, when we checked the air mattress, it was flat. At this point, we had to choose between sleeping on the hard ground, or spending the night in their downstairs guest room.

The next morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, I drove over and packed up the campsite and then we headed out on Wally & Susan’s boat for a tour. We had an absolutely amazing time. It was fun to actually hang with Wally & Susan, just the four of us and I fired up the camera and grabbed all kinds of pictures.  OK, while it was more glamping than camping, we still got that healthy dose of the great outdoors I had been craving.




Bottom line is–we made a 2016 camping trip happen. That is a 30-hour stretch of my life I will not soon forget. I’m already looking forward to January 1st, when you can begin making camping reservations for the New Year.  I want to make sure that we grab that same spot and then, make doubly sure to throw away that hose for the pump.

Thanks Wally & Susan for the great time!

Your cousin-in-law,

Tim Hunter

It’s Pool Time!!

This week, KOMO television here in Seattle is celebrating their longtime weather personality, Steve Pool.

Remember, for a time, I lurked the halls of Fisher Broadcasting as Larry Nelson’s producer on the radio side of the KOMO Empire. Occasionally I’d bump into Steve at a cross-promotional event.  Then, when I headed across the lake to work at 92.5-KLSY, it became a tradition to have Steve and the late Kathi Goertzen do battle in our “Battle of the Sexes.” Steve represented the Dawgs, Kathi was the proud Cougar back when it had only one meaning.  Whichever side won theoretically would predict the outcome of the annual Apple Cup.  Not with any accuracy, but it was still a fun gimmick.

While working afternoons at KLSY, my former KOMO connections managed to work me into a “celebrity” edition of TV’s Family Feud game show. While Steve was a part of that adventure, it’s what happened with the rest of the crew that is pressed in my memory.

We actually got to fly down to Los Angeles, check into a fancy hotel and, that evening, have dinner with the host, Ray Combs. The radio and TV folks came in two different flights. I was on the second one and probably, for the better. It seems that on the early flight, one of our radio sisters drank a TV all-star under the table, such that he was unable to be at dinner that night. After dining together in a big group, Ray explained what all would happen the next day—a Sunday, by the way—, so we scattered. I’ll never forget seeing Kathi Goertzen, who I had only spoken to briefly (after all, she was Kathi friggin’ Goertzen) getting all cowgirl’d up to go hit the local country bars with her sister. I can still see her in those cowboy boots.

We were told to be ready to catch the bus to the TV studio by 7am Sunday morning. OK, so I set the alarm for 6.  Shortly after it went off, I heard a slam from my next door neighbor, Robin Erickson.  Living up to her rock jock image, she was just getting home from a night out on the town.

We got to the TV studio and some of us were blurrier than others. A few were a bit stage-struck or full of nervous energy.  I remember it being like a dream.  You know the part where your team poses as your introduced and before you come on stage?  I was amazed to see that the backside of it was covered in graffiti. It’s something they don’t show you on TV.

We did two episodes, back to back, so they could sprinkle them out during the important ratings periods.  My buddy, Larry Nelson, had a serious brain freeze on one of the questions.  We never quit teasing him about it.

Seeing this video makes me realize just how long ago this was. I was honored to be included in the Feud, and to hang around for a while with some of my cross-town radio rivals, as well as the gang from KOMO TV.  The last one of that KOMO TV bunch still on the air is weather guru Steve Pool, the guy who triggered this little stroll down memory lane.  Congratulations, Steve, on your 40-year achievement. Here’s to as many more as you want and as long as you’re having fun, that’s really all that matters.

 Tim Hunter

It’s Getting Really Old

Growing up in the 1960s, I was very much aware of the racial struggle going on in America. Those were the days of Civil Rights Marches, the Watts Riots, George Wallace and areas of the country that still embraced segregation.

Decades later, I find myself in a country where we elected a black president to two terms. Where racial barriers seemed to be finally starting to fade.  At least in my immediate world and my family and friends, racial bigotry is unacceptable and not a part of our lives.

However, things are broken. Young black men are being gunned down or killed while in the custody of police. There are no excuses. That is unacceptable and we need to take steps to prevent future such events from happening today.

Last weekend, a washed-up NFL quarterback decided he’s going to help solve the racial problems in this country by sitting down during our country’s national anthem.  To me, that act is similar to pouring gas on a fire hoping it will go out.

A friend on Facebook just posted that what Kaepernick did was “brave.”  Oh, brother. How we modify the words to make us feel better about things. I remember when brave was going into a burning building to rescue someone or bring back a wounded soldier from the battlefield.  There’s no way you can convince me that sitting on your rear end in a disrespectful gesture and then attaching it to a cause is brave.

Then you’ve got one of my all-time favorite basketball players, Kareem Abdul-Jabar defending Kaepernick and saying that if we have a problem with what Colin said, then WE are the ones who don’t know what it’s like to be an American.

I have three words: “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”

Stop it right there. I’ve hit my maximum tolerance level of people telling me how to feel or interpret anger or disrespect because I don’t understand. I get it completely.

Colin Kaepernick is the farthest thing from a great American and we won’t even get into his ability to be a good football player.

It’s been brought up that the great Jackie Robinson took a similar stand in his autobiography and, after checking into it, that’s absolutely true.  However, that’s where the similarities end. Jackie actually lived that struggle and had amazing success in spite of overwhelming obstacles. He had to battle hate from racist Americans, teammates that didn’t even want to play with him, death threats and in spite of it all, he played Hall of Fame style baseball.

Jackie had every right to be bitter towards a racist country that made his life a struggle.

But we, as a nation, are trying to evolve.

I look around at the shootings going on around the country and it’s like we’re back in the 1960s again. America is not perfect, absolutely not. But we collectively strive to make this a better place for everyone. With 325-million people all having a different idea of what exactly that would be, you know there’s going to be compromise.

Colin Kaepernick is a classic case of the ugly American. Ungrateful, pompous, conceited, entitled and so many other adjectives. He was a mixed race kid raised by two white people who excelled in a sport and rode it to the top. But last year, he struggled. He far under-performed his gigantic salary and now rides the bench, hoping to come back. Maybe there wasn’t enough struggle in his life, so he could better identify with those who didn’t have it as good as he did.

The bottom line: there are a billion ways to help make this country better and causes to get behind other than being disrespectful to his nation and then, call attention to it to make sure we all noticed. By the way, Kaepernick had sat down during the first couple of pre-season games for the anthem, but no one noticed.

Colin, let me help. You could:

  1. Donate some of those millions of dollars you earn each year to Black Lives Matter, or the families of the many shooting victims
  2. Join a protest march (that would require standing up and walking). Your celebrity would cast a positive light on the cause.
  3. Meet with the leaders of Black Lives Matters and work together to get your message out there even more.
  4. Team up with other players in the league as a symbol of unity for the message you’d like to get out there.

Right now, you’re going to all the trouble of just sitting down for two minutes and calling that your noble cause.  Maybe it’s the money and comfy lifestyle that has warped your thinking.

There will always be rude, ignorant people on this planet. Colin just reminded us that they come in all colors, shapes and sizes and it’s up to us to dismiss them.  He’s gotten a lot of attention this past week. This blog will be the last he gets from me.

I could go on and on, but the sportscaster below, Tomi Lahren, has done a remarkable job of saying what I feel.  I have no idea who she is, but I’m completely impressed by her words and message.

Somewhere along the line, being patriotic and proud of one’s country became “not cool.” At least, to some people. Not me. Take a look around the world and what you’d have to give up in order to live there. Why do you think, in spite of all of our problems, millions of people keep coming here, year after year?

Thanks for speaking for so many, Tomi. Colin, for you, one word: karma.

God bless America.

Tim Hunter


PS–Oh and one more thing.



Wacky Week Podcasts

Look at that!  We’re setting up camp here, so you can get them all in one spot.  I don’t know about you, but I feel safer just knowing that they’re all in one spot.

Wacky Week Podcast #1

So, back in 2006, I started a podcast. Got a few episodes in, then met a woman I had to spend more time with. So, these fell by the wayside. 9 years later, we’re still living the dream but with a recent career change, I set aside more time for projects that really mean something to me. This is one of them. Enjoy this first episode of the “What a Wacky Week” podcast and, after episode 11, we’ll be fast-forwarding to 2015, where I hope to keep this going. This week’s special guests include Scott Burns, Bill Swartz and the amazing Alice Porter.


Here’s the first episode that kicked things off: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wackyweek/Wacky_Week_Podcast_0001.mp3