DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry Two Hundred Forty-Four.
Saturday, 2022.07.02, 10:51 PM central time.

I'm tired... and, at least for now, the broadcasts are done.
Current Mood:  Contemplative, and lucky, and grateful.
Current Scent:  Blue Jeans by Versace.


Hello, everyone.

Well, I've made a few decisions.  Not everybody's going to be happy with them, but they're my decisions to make, and I believe that they're the best decisions for my well-being.


About money...

First off, I'm going to be honest:  Financially, I've been struggling, and it's my fault.

To be honest, I've always been terrible at managing my money responsibly.  I have strengths and weaknesses, and financial discipline is a weakness.

I was going to give details (I actually had a bunch typed out right here), but I won't.  Just so you know:  No, I'm not talking about drugs or strippers or gambling or anything sordid or scandalous.  I just suck at managing money.

That's all my fault.  Nobody else's.

Yes, I pay child support to my ex-wife, along with gradual payments to make up for some money I borrowed from her during our years together.  These payments are not unreasonable and I don't think she's "gouging" me.  She does great things for the kids, and I appreciate that.  When the kids are with me, I do what I can to make sure that they're fed, entertained, and supported.  I don't want my kids to ever feel like they're not loved by both parents.  They're really fortunate to have the mother that they have, and I hope that they would think the same about me.

But... back to the money management thing.  Until very recently, I was in a downward spiral.  Recently, I tried to sell stuff online, and for a while, I'd getting paid for plasma donations (righteous bucks - seriously) to make ends meet, but it just wasn't keeping everything afloat.

So, yeah - it's my fault.  I fully own that.

The good news is that things are getting a lot better.  I've gotten legitimate help.  Some of my debts have been paid off, others are finally going to be paid off soon, I'm working with someone to manage my budget better, and I'm doing what I can to turn things around.

I don't need any help in the form of charity.  I'm going to be okay.  Things have just been really, really rough.


What happened on Friday, June 3rd?

In early June - June 1st or 2nd - I discontinued my Mixcloud Pro subscription again, not knowing at what date it would actually end.  At $15 a month, it wasn't something that I didn't have the money to pay immediately... but because things were amazingly "tight," that would have meant that I would have to either miss paying bill(s) a few days later, or go ahead and pay those bill(s) and then face a possible overdraft.

On June 3rd, I was getting ready for the night's Radio SRO performance (thinking that I still had time on my last month's worth of my subscription), and after making sure that all of the gear was up and running and the graphics were updated for the new week, I found out that my time had already run out on Mixcloud and I was no longer a "Pro" member - which meant that I couldn't broadcast a livestream.

I had a bit of a mental breakdown and decided not to go forward with the broadcast.

Before anyone mentions them:  For me, Twitch, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, etc. are not valid options.  Streaming live DJ sets over them is supposed to be against the terms of service, and I knew that if I streamed on one of those, my broadcast could get shut down at any time.  I don't want that risk.

So, with people already trying to tune in to the night's broadcast, I posted on the Badger Kelley page on Facebook that because I couldn't afford to continue my Mixcloud Pro subscription, I wasn't going to be able to continue with the night's broadcast, noting that maybe the tips (which a lot of regular listeners never offered) were actually pretty important.

The first comment I received was from a longtime friend (not a Radio SRO regular); it started with something like "Passive-aggressive much?" and went on to mention that everyone was struggling.

Fair enough.

I didn't want to give an immediate response.  Heck, there may have been a valid point there.

So... the next day, after a great deal of thought, I made a decision.  Not only was I discontinuing all of my broadcast streams (Radio SRO/Groovy Train and all of the Hump Day Sessions) for a good long while, but I was dropping out of Facebook.  I felt bad about the whole thing and really didn't want to face any more commentary from anyone.   I didn't announce any of that; I just stopped.  After all, as the all saying goes:  "It's not an airport.  There's no need to announce your departure."  I removed the Facebook shortcut from my phone's home screen so that I wouldn't just tap it out of habit.

At the time of this writing, it's now been four weeks since I last checked Facebook*, and those weeks have been really, really good..

*(I've still had conversations via Messenger, and I've occasionally looked at profiles from people who have been in contact with me or accidentally stumbled onto pages when doing searches for topics on Google... but I haven't intentionally checked my feed or looked at any commentary on my personal page or the Badger Kelley page since June 4th.)

I've found that I've not only been more productive with other parts of my life... but I've been happier.  Facebook is basically a quagmire of negativity, and it's so easy to get bogged down there.  It's nice to not open up an application to see dozens of people telling me why and how the world/country sucks.

Will I be back on Facebook someday?  Probably.  In the meantime, I don't know what people there have been saying about me, and I don't care enough to go back in and check.


DJing is work - especially the way I do it.

I love DJing.  I really do.  It's something I've done for a long time.  But, I can't keep doing it online on a regular basis, to a very small audience, for very low tips.

"BuT u LoVe DjInG bAdGeR, wHy DoNt YoU wAnT 2 dO iT 4 FREE?," one might ask.

Look at it this way.  Let's say that you loved... woodworking.  Let's say you worked for six or seven hours slowly carving wood and putting pieces together until a project looked just like you wanted it.  Would you then proceed to sell it for only a few bucks, because - after all - it was something you enjoyed?

If you loved baking cakes - LOOOOVED it - would you offer your cakes for close to free to everyone who wanted them, just because cakemaking was something you enjoyed doing?

Let's say you loved working on your car.  You knew everything about car parts and you absolutely loved keeping your car in the absolute best shape possible for optimum performance.  Well, then, wouldn't it make sense that you should perform oil changes and other maintenance for everyone in your entire neighborhood, for barely anything?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  Just because someone loves doing something... doesn't mean that they should provide it as a service for everyone for barely anything.

My main point here is...




That right there is what I think most people don't understand.  When you tune in, you get to see "Showtime Badger" bouncing his ass back and forth behind the gear, grabbing records and CDs and cueing them up and hitting the button for the fog machine and turning the lights on and off and all that good stuff.  Am I having a good time?  Usually I'm having a GREAT time.  Is it still work?  Hell, yes, it's still work.

"Showtime Badger" is (hopefully) a blast to see while performing.

What you don't see is the Badger who gets to tell his kids, "Hey - I'll be busy DJing tonight, but maybe we can do something fun tomorrow if the tips are good."

Or, when I don't have the kids, the Badger who tells his girlfriend, "I'd love to get together... but I've already committed to DJing online tonight."

You don't see the Badger who shutters himself away in his office room for a while because the new graphics for the next episode have to be finished up.  You don't see the Badger who's taking time to maintain the Fascination Street club effects, refilling the fog machine and/or replacing expensive light bulbs because it'll make the overall experience of the streams better.  You don't see the Badger who's fretting because he just received a request for a song that he doesn't have, because he doesn't like letting the listeners down.

You don't get to see the Badger who's mentally trashed for the first half of a day because he was on his feet playing music on camera for six or seven consecutive hours the night before.

You don't get to see the Badger wincing as his bank account balance comes up on his phone or computer screen because he knows it's not going to be pretty.


The tipping wasn't the only thing.

Money wasn't the only problem.  The broadcasts were honestly not very popular.  On a regular night, I might have had twelve or thirteen people tuning in at any given time.  (If you think that I had 150 or 200 per night on a regular night, you were seeing a cumulative number of connection attempts spanning across the entire perfomance - not the current listener count.)

I often said:  If you can't tip, at least try to bring in more listeners.  In the Radio SRO broadcast before June 3rd, we finally breached 20 consecutive listeners for the first time this year, with the addition of some new people, whom I really appreciated.  But... it was too late.  The damage was done.

It was tough to keep putting so much time and effort in every week for such a small audience.  So, yeah... the money wasn't the only thing.  I really wanted more listeners, but (despite what people said they were doing) the word wasn't spreading, and people just didn't care to tune in.


I had a few good tippers.

Don't get me wrong... some of the tippers were good.  I had one fellow - GREAT guy - who would interact a lot during the broadcasts and would send me a good tip every single time he tuned in.  The funny thing was... if he had stopped donating for a while, I wouldn't have been upset with him, because he was SO great at the interactions in the chat and he'd already given so much.  I had another few people who tipped almost every time they joined in for the evening, but for (very understandable) reasons, they just couldn't tune in every time.  That was fine!  And, some people tipped every once in a while and tuned in more often than they tipped.  Those were great by me, too.

In addition, there were some in the past who went wayyyy overboard on tipping.  A couple of guys, in 2020 or 2021, both gave me tips that were hundreds of dollars each.  I was overwhelmingly thankful, and I hope they both know that.  They may not realize this, but at the time, they really saved my ass.

And there were even some people I told not to tip.  For instance, one occasional listener had some REALLY heavy-duty medical problems, and she was overwhelmed with medical bills.  She would ask me where to send money.  I'd tell her not to - because I wanted her to use her money to address her medical needs.  As I often said to everyone on the broadcasts, "Don't miss a bill just to tip me."

That being said, there were some people who tuned in for years, almost every week, and never tipped.  Maybe they had legitimate reasons that they couldn't, and that's understandable.  I wasn't pissed at them.  I was really glad that they were listening!  I'm still earnestly glad that they took the time to tune in and enjoy the music with me.  It was, at its core, a free broadcast - and I enjoyed having them participating in the chat.

All that being said:  Even if I'd only had twelve listeners every week, and each of those listeners (on average) had offered a mere $5 per broadcast every time - less than the amount of two potato, egg and cheese breakfast taquitos at Whataburger - I would have kept Radio SRO going pretty much every week from here on out.  But, after bringing Radio SRO and the Groovy Train back earlier this year, sometimes I found myself getting a grand total of $35, $25, or even $15 total per week, for several hours of work on camera and plenty more time in planning off-camera.

At that rate, I had to sit down and really evaluate whether it was all worth it.


Do I miss the broadcasts?

Oh, of course I fucking do.


Will I bring them back?

I don't know.

I mean, I know myself - and I know how much I get the "itch" to broadcast again.  I've still got the music, obviously, and I've still got the sound and light gear.  I love the "SROcialites" who would join me, and I love Tim Barraza for ever letting me slap the SRO name onto the broadcasts and offering his extremely valuable guidance (as well as for giving us KTOW Progressive Radio, Beat Club, Reggaefest, etc., etc.).

So, I can say "I don't know," but honestly, there's a possibility.  Maybe.  Possibly maybe.  Tim and I have chatted a bit since June 3rd, and I still have his blessing and support to continue the broadcasts.  I don't want the music and the gear to go to waste, and it seems like I'm the only person in the world who can provide the broadcasts that I provide.  I was able to re-ignite memories in people just by playing music, and that was a whole different rush of "value" than getting a few bucks worth of tips.  That was magical.

My main worry is that I've embarrassed myself enough online that people just won't want to tune in anymore.  I know that I'm supposed to be the type of person who "doesn't care what people think of me," but I can't help it.  I'm human and I don't like embarrassment.

I don't want to be like Art Bell was in the late 1990s and 2000s - announcing that I'm done, and then starting back up again, and then announcing that I'm done, and repeating the cycle until it becomes borderline comical.  I don't want people to be pissed at me, and I don't want to become a punch line.

I also don't want people to say, "Oh, look, Badger's broadcasting again.  He must need money."

So, currently, Fascination Street is functioning as a place for me to store a bunch of boxes while I move stuff around and straighten up the house.  Maybe I'll record some mixes there soon, but right now, I don't feel like any live streams.

Like I've said before... maybe it really is best to just let memories be memories.


Amazingly, DJing is NOT the same thing as a messenger service..

Another thing... over the course of the broadcasts this year, multiple people started trying to use me to send messages to other listeners.  To clarify:  People who knew the other listeners and could send them messages via Facebook were asking me to deliver messages during the broadcast.

I like what I did with Radio SRO.  I played good music and I know that I often chatted way too much.  That being said:  I didn't like it when people asked me to deliver messages to other listeners.  Even within the 24 hours following my announcement that I couldn't broadcast on June 3rd, I had someone contact me on Facebook Messenger asking if I could send a message to another listener (whom she also could have reached directly on Facebook Messenger).

So, I'm going to make this perfectly clear:



I'm not a fucking beggar - and like I promised before on Facebook, I'm not going to beg.

Over and over and over again, I would go on the air and tell the listeners (paraphrasing), "Well, things are pretty tough this week - and your tips would be REALLY appreciated."  I would also tell the listeners, "If you can't donate, if you know people who would like this programming, at least spread the word so that more people will know about the show and tune in."

I'd gotten to the point of practically begging on Facebook before - long ago.  It was embarrassing.  This time around, I got pretty close to doing it again.  But, like I promised on Facebook long ago, I won't do it again.  Right now, I'm doing really well, and I could easily restart the broadcasts at any time if I wanted to.

I did these broadcasts for two main reasons:  to share memories, and to feel valued.

When I didn't feel valued enough anymore, I ended the broadcasts.

If you want to call that "passive-aggressive," well, have at it.  That's your right - and you're welcome to try to provide a similar broadcast for $15 or $25 per night, if you'd like to.  Have fun with that.

In the meantime, I have plenty of other current projects upon which to work.

Thank you.


[The site is still forthcoming.  The views and opinions expressed in my posts are mine and mine alone.  No posts on this site, nor any of my posts on social media, should be considered representative of any company for which I work, nor any company for which I've ever worked, nor any company which I own or have owned.  Also, since you're already here reading this:  Don't rent cars from Dollar, Thrifty, or Hertz.  Thanks.]