Monthly Archives: October 2014

Parliament Hill

I wrote this on my stations Facebook page after last weeks shooting in Ottawa.

Today is a very heartbreaking day for all Canadians, as we try to process the attack on our Nation and the tragedy surrounding Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who lost his life standing by a memorial for those who have done the same.

I’m also devastated to hear people say that things will never be the same. There is some truth to that, I just hope it doesn’t change the spirit of Parliament Hill and our beautiful country.

While in most other parts of the world you’re not allowed near the main government building, Parliament Hill is where people go to play frisbee. People are free to protest and celebrate there, and on 4/20 thousands of people go there to smoke pot without any interference from police. Not only that, they hand out Doritos.

How many other countries would allow that to happen?

My favourite story of Parliament Hill is that Tom Green, before he was famous, would often announce on his late night radio show that he wanted to get a game of soccer going. Then in the middle of the night, Tom and random strangers would get together on Parliament Hill and play until the sun came up.

To me that’s as Canadian as it gets.

I know things will have to change after today, I just hope it doesn’t change us.

Countdown to 30 Post #13

#DougRalphShow #CountDownTo30RealityRadio

I’ve never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving. Probably because I can’t remember the last time I celebrated it. To me, Thanksgiving means working or being away from home.

I can live with that though. I just do my own thing, and try to ignore it. But Facebook has made that hard to do. All weekend I would log on and scroll through my newsfeed and see how happy and thankful everyone was to be surrounded by great food and family. Drove me crazy. So why didn’t I just stay off of Facebook? Because like many people, I’m addicted to it. It’s my go to when I’m bored, and want to “connect” with people.

It was great at first, reconnecting with people I haven’t talked to in years, and for staying in touch with family and friends when I moved away from home. But lately it hasn’t been a positive experience. It just makes me jealous of other people’s lives, and self conscious about what I post based on the amount of likes I get.

Not to mention the games Facebook is starting to play. I don’t get updates from the pages I like, and more and more my feed is filled with stuff I don’t care about.

I’d up and quit it completely if It wasn’t so helpful with seeing what’s going on in the world, and keeping it touch with all my family and friends who live far away.

What I am going to do is limit the amount of time I go on. I’m going to try and use it like we did when it first came out, not every 20 minutes like most of us do now. I’m going to post less, and not read as much as often.

What are your thoughts on Facebook?

Countdown to 30 Post #12

#TBT to 2011..

Almost 4 years after graduating from college I got my first real job. It was only part time, but that didn’t matter, I felt like I had finally made it!

I had hit the big leagues. More listeners, more buttons, and a lot more at stake. I quickly learned that there was a huge difference between this station, and the one I volunteered at. As someone pointed it out to me, it’s hard to be fired from a job you do for free.

That was a lot of pressure. I was working along side the people I had grown up listening to. Not only that, I was now partly responsible for their success. It was exciting, but also very nerve wracking. So I decided to put everything into that job. I needed to, this was the only career opportunity I had been given since graduating from college in 2007.

That’s when I really started to become a workaholic though. I spent all my free time at the station. I never said no to a shift, which meant that I was always saying no to family and friends.

Work came first, always. No excuses. That served me well career wise, but like I stated at the beginning of this whole countdown to 30, it sent be down the path I’m on now. The path of not having a life outside of the radio station.

I’m slowly working on breaking that habit, but I have a long way to go.

Countdown to 30 Post #11

This past weekend I spent a lot of time in an aisle I usually only go down to grab toothpaste and soap.

I stared at cleansers, scrubs and lotions that completely confused me, and would likely just make me smell like a flower. But I had to buy something, because my chest is a disgusting mess.

The waxing I did last week spawned a giant acne breakout. I’ve learned that this is very common, which made me feel better, but still I need to spend a little more time on my skin for the next couple weeks.

That got me wondering though, should I be doing this regularly? Are there other things I should be doing to improve my overall hygiene?

There are plenty of skin care products for men, and when words like “exfoliation” and “lather” seem foreign to me, maybe it’s time I clean myself up with more than just a bar of soap.

So my question this week is, what should guys be doing for regular maintenance?

Or rather, what would you women like us to be doing to make you happier?



Countdown to 30 Post #10

Last week I told you about 2009, the year where I stopped waiting for life to happen, and decided to do things on my own terms. I took my show on the road, and traveled our beautiful East Coast.
After that I really kicked things into high gear with my radio show. I interviewed more artists, got more hours on the air, and started hosting a weekly band showcase at a local bar.
Everything that had to do with my hobby of radio was great, but I still was determined to not be a college graduate working at a coffee shop.

During my job search, one that had now been going on for three years, a job came up at the community radio station that I volunteered at. I thought, that’s it! There’s a job that I could actually get. I mean, I had already been working there for free for years! One problem though. You had to be bilingual to get the job, and I don’t speak much French.

So I had to convince them to take me on, with the promise that I would learn to speak French. I put everything into that application, thinking that it was my last and only shot at a career. I remember the night before I had to submit it being so emotionally exhausted that I needed to take a nap. I felt drained, and I knew that if I didn’t get this job, I’d be stuck working at a coffee shop forever. I was wrong.

That night, the night before handing in my resume to the station I volunteered at, I got a call from one of my hero’s from the big rock station in town! Someone I had spent years listening to on the radio, had somehow gotten my number and called me.

I couldn’t believe it. Not only that, he was calling to offer me a job. You see, I had sent him my resume in 2008, but there was no openings. I just thought he wasn’t interested in me, wrong again. He had kept my resume on file, and two years later he pulled it up once there was an opportunity for me.

I barely slept for days, I was too happy. I was living with my sister at the time, and she said there was a glow to me that she had never seen before. For the first time in years I felt like my college education and volunteer work at the community station wasn’t for nothing.

But getting a job at a real radio station had it’s challenges. More on that next week.


Countdown to 30 Post #9

This past weekend I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, go to PEI. I think what stopped me from going sooner was the fact that I couldn’t justify spending the money.
But I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone lately, so I forced myself to go.

That didn’t however stop me from adding up all the money I was spending as I went.

 That night while sitting in my hotel room trying to convince myself that it was ok for me to take the trip, East Coast Music Unplugged with our very own Darrin Harvey came on the tv! It was the episode where he interviews Ben Caplan. Darrin asked Ben about his live performances and how he was able to give so much during them. Ben then explains that he can give his all because he focuses on nothing but the show. He’s completely living in the moment, with no concern about what has happened in the past, and what may lie ahead of him. It’s all about the present moment.

That struck me. Why am I worrying about what my bank account will look like in the future? Why am I thinking about all my issues that I left behind in Nova Scotia? Right now I need to focus on the fact that I’m in PEI.

 Those thoughts were highlighted by the fact that I was having all these memories from my first trip to PEI. As I retraced my steps, I found myself remembering all these issues I had back then. All these problems that mean nothing now, and that I shouldn’t of been thinking about on a trip.
Doesn’t mean I don’t need to worry about this stuff, it just means that I need a break from it. I need to focus on the now, and only worry about everything else when I’m in a position to fix it.
You have any advice on how to not worry so much?

Countdown to 30 post #8

Previously on the Doug Ralph story..

I was a year and a half out of college working at a coffee shop when I was robbed at gunpoint. Soon after that I developed anxiety, and was eventually rushed to the hospital after having a panic attack.

I was at the lowest point I had ever been in my life. I had no idea what to do, and no one was able to help me. But something had to give, so I decided to at least change what I had control over.

Starting January 1st 2009, I decided to give up drinking for an entire year. The idea was that I would focus all of my energy and spare time into finding something. Anything but the situation I was in. With one condition though. I was not going to give up my 2-hour radio show at 2-4 in the morning (on Thursdays) without finding something as rewarding. If I gave that up, I’d have nothing but a crappy job.

About five months into focusing on my job search, nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I said eff it, I’m just going to do something fun. Around that time, a friend and I came up with the idea of being a traveling radio show. We got a bunch of our favourite local musician’s music, made cd’s and went on a two week tour of the East Coast (I was living in Ottawa at the time). We promoted their music while going on mini adventures and discovering what the Maritimes had to offer. It was my first real exposure to Atlantic Canada, and I loved it!

Returned home, and just coasted for a bit knowing that I did something amazing. For the first time in a long time, I had something to brag about.

Looking back over the last 7 years, those two weeks are easily my favourite.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

Countdown to 30 Post #7

I’ve gotten into this habit of sleeping in. On average I’ll get up at 1 in the afternoon, which isn’t horrible considering I work till midnight, and typically go to bed around 3-4 am. But it’s hard to motivate myself to change things when I sleep half the day away. So yesterday, after waking up at 1 pm, I challenged myself to make the best of the day anyways.

I decided to go hike Caps Split, and started my hike at around 6 pm. About an hour in, I had that feeling that I should turn around. But I fought it, and told myself I had to make the most of the day. I got to the end, and saw a gorgeous sunset.
But then the sun completely vanished. I walked two hours in the dark without a flashlight. Every stump looked like an animal waiting to attack me, every reflective mile-marker looked like a set of eyes. My heart raced the entire time. Although nothing happened, I put myself in a bad situation.
I could have been attacked, I could of twisted my ankle, I could have had to spend the night in the forest. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I was to get to the end of the trail. Two hours in the dark by yourself sucks.
The lesson here? I need to stop sleeping in, and beating myself up when I have days where I do nothing. Also, to always bring a flashlight.
Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.