Back in December I injured my back. I somehow screwed myself up by lifting something the wrong way. I've thrown my back out before but this was different. This pain was really bad and I haven't been able to live the same since.
In early January I started physical therapy and it's been helping me out quite a bit. I was making good progress. I was struggling to get through my daily rundowns in January. I had to change the way I was doing everything though. Luckily Howard took a 2 week vacation in early February. During those two weeks I was making good progress with my managing my back pain. The weekend after Howard's first vacation week I was feeling almost normal. That lasted about a day and a half. The back pain wasn't bad that second week but there was still a reminder there that I'm not quite back to normal yet.
When Howard returned from vacation on February 18th I thought I could just go back to doing my daily rundowns. I had prepared by buying a new office chair that I thought I'd be comfortable in. Unfortunately I was wrong. Sitting down for hours on end is the last thing my back can take. By Wednesday after finishing my rundown I had gone backwards with the progress I had made with my physical therapy. The pain in my back was back to being what it was in January. This really messed with my head. I don't want to give up doing what I do with my web site.
After another session of physical therapy on Friday, February 21st, I knew I'd have to cut back on sitting for such long periods of time. I'd convinced myself that I'd have to stop with my daily rundowns completely. Saturday and Sunday I was feeling pretty good with the pain but I know I can't continue doing my detailed rundowns. At least not right now.
My plan at the moment is to do a very abbreviated rundown with limited details. That way I can just type a few details, get up and move around and not go backwards with my physical therapy. I'm not even sure that will do the trick but I have to try something. This whole ordeal has kind of turned my life upside down and I need to get back to normal for my own sanity. I thank everyone for your support over the years and I hope to be able to get back to my usual rundowns as soon as I possibly can.
Update: October 28, 2019
Today I lost a major source of reliable income for the site. It was about 30 percent of the monthly income. Also, since my last update in 2016 I changed part time jobs. It's still very spotty work and not reliable income. I have been able to keep doing my updates but they've been delayed fairly often. Usually just by a couple of hours. I think I'm going to have to find another job with more hours. If that's the case then I may have to stop doing my rundowns.
I think what I'm going to start doing next week, November 4th, is post my daily rundowns early for Patreon supporters. Those supporters would get my rundowns a week early. Then my rundowns would be posted to my site delayed by a week. That way everything is still 'free' but the Patreon supporters would get a bonus for supporting the site. I keep trying to keep the site running but it's getting harder to justify putting as much time into it as I do.
Update: June 13, 2016
I have a job. That should be a good thing. I'm not sure if I want to say where I'm working yet. This job isn't a full time gig though so I should be able to keep going with the Monday-Wednesday Howard Stern Show rundowns. The job is an on-call thing though so there may be times when I won't be able to complete my entire show rundown by the end of the Stern Show like I usually do. On days like that I will try to post what I do have completed with a note explaining that I'll finish up later in the day or the next morning. Hopefully this will allow me to keep the site going for a while longer. This job isn't exactly consistent either. Work may be kind of spotty so I'm still relying on Patreon, PayPal and other contributions to keep the site going. This job may help get me to a monthly income close to what I was looking for to begin with.
In other news... I've stopped doing Wrap Up Show rundowns. The timing was good since it will free up some time for my job on Thursdays and Fridays. Here's what I wrote on May 30:
As of May 23, 2016 I'm no longer doing a rundown of the Wrap Up Show. This is mostly due to my complete lack of interest in the new format which started in 2015. That's when they stopped having staff members sit in on the show and started having celebrity ''superfan'' guests. I've tried for over a year to get through the show every day but I finally got fed up and stopped listening to it completely. Very often I found myself zoning out during the interviews Jon and Gary were conducting. In recent months I was including my frustrations with the show in my rundowns. I don't want to do that anymore so I'm stopping. This is just for the Wrap Up Show. I can listen to 4 1/2 hours of Howard Stern and never get tired of it. On the other hand 45 minutes of Wrap Up was feeling like torture.
Update: April 20, 2016
When I wrote this plea back in January I said I was going to take ''a few weeks'' to make a decision. Well, that's turned into a few months. I wrestle with this decision every day. I'm having a really hard time convincing myself to move on.
In January I had a flurry of action when I first posted this. The contributions were a big help for a short time. There are currently about 35 Patreon contributors who are giving me a little bit more of a monthly income but it's not anywhere near what I need to make. I've been looking for jobs lately. One of these days I'll find something and I will have to peel myself away from this computer and move on. For now I'm keeping it limping along. After doing this so long I can't imagine not doing it.
January 3, 2016 (Updated January 18, 2016)
Five more years. Howard is doing another 5 years at SiriusXM. I'd love to keep this site going for another five years but the last 5 have been tough. Advertising dried up. I'm down to making about $300 a month with the site. Late in 2015 I was considering shutting it down whether or not Howard re-signed with SiriusXM. I still love the Stern show though. I know many people have given up on it because it's changed so much over the past few years but I still enjoy every day I listen and write the shows up. I can't say the same for the changes that were made to The Wrap Up Show but that's another story...
So what's going to happen to MarksFriggin.com in 2016? My guess is that it's going away. I'm going to make one last plea to the visitors to help keep it alive but based on my past experiences there won't be enough support. To keep the site going I need to bring in at least $1500 a month. All it would take is $1 a month from about 1/4 the visitors to the site to make it happen. If I can't make that happen I'll be finding a job and shutting down the site.
Over the last few years I've made a few sacrifices to make it possible to keep the web site running. In 2013 I sold my very low mileage 2005 Mustang GT and bought an older, more fuel efficient, Mazda so I could pay down my credit card bill. In 2015 I sold one of my two motorcycles to, once again, pay down my credit card. I've been a motorcycle rider longer than I've been listening to Howard Stern and there's no way I'm giving up riding. Motorcycle riding is my other passion. It's my only vice too. I don't drink or smoke so since I was 17 years old I've been putting money into motorcycles and cars. These days the car thing doesn't matter so much but the motorcycles do. More than my web site. If I have to choose between giving up the web site or giving up another motorcycle I'm giving up the site.
One option I'm considering is rewarding people who contribute through Patreon.com by giving them access to my rundowns 24 hours before they're posted on my web site. Right now it's just an option I'm considering. I don't want to do that but I might do it at some point.
(Updated) If you are interested in helping please consider contributing $1 a month through Patreon.com. If you'd like to contribute through PayPal please contact me. I can't post a link to PayPal on my site due to the filthy language. They're uptight about that shit for some fucking reason. If you're old school and want to send a good ol' letter through the mail you can do so here:
PO Box 584
Lebanon, NJ 08833
(Updated) Previously I mentioned that Howard's schedule was in question. It appears it'll be basically the same as it was for the past 5 years. That means 3 days a week as usual. If I can keep the site running I'll be doing my usual rundowns.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the site over the years. The few who have come through in the past couple of years kept me motivated to keep going.
Thanks for reading,
UPDATE: January 18, 2016 - I'll keep track of the contributions on this page. Here's the latest:
Februuary 25, 2020 Donald H. $1.00 (Patreon recurring monthly)