Saturday, September 30, 2006



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Seizing An Opportunity

By Michael Charles Messineo

On March 17, St. Patrick's day, I woke up with the knowledge that KHOW radio host Peter Boyles, was doing a live remote broadcast in Downtown Denver. Peter is the voice of Colorado and is a nationally known talk show host. The radio add said, join Peter Boyles as he broadcasts live from Fado Restaurant on Wednesday, March 17th, from 5 AM to 9 AM. at 1735 19th St., next to the Denver Chophouse.

I knew that Peter had heart surgery a few years ago, and after his recovery had reevaluated his life and bought a Harley. His reevaluation of his life is the basis of what my book RIGBY'S ROADS characterizes and I knew my book and his life would find a parallel similarity.

So as I debated to whether to go or not, I remembered the words of the song LOSE YOURSELF that won both the Grammy and Academy awards ... If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip? ... Those words by Eminem have become sort of a mantra for me. So at 4:40 in the morning I aimed my car for downtown Denver in an effort to push my way into the live broadcast to hand Peter a copy of my book RIGBY'S ROADS along with one of my PR gimmicks - a business card that has a motorcycle wind-chill chart on one side, and the plug for my book on the other side.

I drove behind the restaurant and saw the satellite dish truck with its dish raised high above the building. It was still dark at 5 AM and almost no one was around except for a radio station technician near the communications truck, so I asked him ... I have a book for Peter Boyles, how do I get in there to drop it off? He responded ... follow the cables... and he pointed to the cables from his truck leading into the back of the restaurant. But first I had to sign the book for Peter and of course I was hit with a temporary setback as not one, but two pens ran out of ink within the first two letters I tried to write. Panicking, I got out of the car and I followed the cables from the satellite truck, down the alley, to the back door of the restaurant, inside through the kitchen and finally into the restaurant main area.

I pushed open the swinging doors and Peter was sitting in the corner and had just started his 5 AM broadcast. As I entered, his entire crew turned and looked at me since I was the only person to be there at 5 am. I quickly assumed one of my characters in my book and scouted out the room for the one person who looked like they were in charge of the remote broadcast and walked right up to him. I looked over at Peter while he was ON-THE-AIR and waved to him as if we had been friends forever, then I turned to the guy in charge and said, ... Do you have a pen I could borrow. And he looked at me and then said, ...sure.

I signed the book and waited for Peter's first commercial break, and then walked right up to him and introduced myself and handed him the book. Then I gave him the motorcycle wind chill cards which he loved, and I explained to him how I created them. He asked me to sit down next to him and he pointed to a set of headphones with a microphone, and I became lost in 1,000 thoughts. Was he going to talk to me on air (I wish), what would he ask? What would I say? I was nervous but waited for the chance to talk. I reached for one of my PR cards and had to read my own words on the back to try to get back in focus ... What happens when a mild mannered man, who is about to end his life, gets mixed up with motorcycle gangs, the FBI and a chase for terrorist secrets?... Oh Yeah, now I can cheat if he asks me what my book is about.

It was great to sit right next to Peter and watch him work. His notes and newspapers scattered in front of him, ready if he needed to consult them. Watching Peter working close up and taking calls while he delivered a well rounded and logical response to the callers made me appreciate his knowledge and work ethic. But what I took away from that meeting was that Peter is just an amazing guy, extremely intelligent and who has truly found his nitch in life. At every commercial break and during the news break, we talked about our commonalties of riding, dyslexia, and the discovery of the Harley mystique.

I knew that if I stayed a little longer I would get my chance to be on the air, but I had to get to work. I told him that if he enjoyed the book to let me know, and would he point me to a book reviewer who rides, because they would enjoy the book at a different level than a reviewer who might just be a critic and criticize it. This has always been my plan.

His final words to me were...I can't wait to read your book, I'll call you and we will go riding ...

Now I wait patiently for him to read it and respond.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

About Your College Loan

The cost of college loans has just gone up … in a big way. Earlier this year, Congress voted to overhaul the federal student loan program. As of July 1, 2006,

* interest rates on federal Stafford loans to students increased from 5.3 percent to 6.8 percent (a fixed rate that replaced a variable rate).

* interest rates on PLUS loans to parents increased from 6.1 percent to 8.5 percent.

* a graduate paying off a $20,000 loan at 6.8 percent over 10 years pays $7,619 in interest. paying the same loan over 30 years requires nearly $27,000 in interest--more than half the total payment.

Loan rates used to be determined by the market. Borrowers could consolidate loans when rates were low and lock in that rate for the life of the loans. Now, the higher rate will be fixed for the life of the loan. Lenders can keep the difference as profit.

Today's students who borrow money for college carry an average debt of nearly $20,000, according to the College Board. But many students graduate with more than $40,000 of debt. The average debt for a college graduate has gone up 50 percent in the past decade, according to the Project on Student Debt.

Source: Career World, Sep2006