About WRIP.DB – RippedRadio Smooth Jazz

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Welcome to WRIP.DB – RippedRadio Smooth Jazz. I am your host, Ronnie J.

RonnieJBe-authentic,-be-honest,-be-beautiful,-be-smooth

Smooth Jazz is what I love best in music genres and I will do my very best to bring you the very best in Smooth Jazz past and present 24/7.

I am a “mid-westerner” born and raised in the beautiful city of Racine, Wisconsin. I entered the United States Air Force a month upon graduating from High School (Washington Park High, Racine Wisconsin) and served for 20 years as an Avionics Systems Technician and Technical Instructor.

I received my BS degree in Business Administration and two AAS degrees – thanks to Uncle Sam – during my Air Force Career.

Upon discharge from the service, I worked for a Japanese company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for nearly a year as a Foreman over the “Surface Mount Capacitor Division.” The pay was good, but they worked me to death! 🙂

An opportunity presented itself to work for the United States Federal Government (you know, one of those “good gov’ment jobs) that was a perfect fit for me: As course developer and Technical Instructor of Electronics! That is what I did during my last ten years in the Air Force! “I can do this!”

My LinkedIn Profile

The position would be at a Voice of America shortwave radio broadcasting facility in Greenville North Carolina. I applied for the position. In less than 30 days I received a phone call and the Director there was so impressed with my resume that I was hired right over the phone! To formalize everything, I was sent an offer letter and within another 30 day period, I gave notice to the Japanese company that I have taken another position. They offered me more pay to stay. “Thanks, but no thanks!”

I packed up the house and family (a wife and two little girls) and we head on up to North Carolina. What a turning point accepting that new position was in my life. It was incredible.

My new position allowed me to apply the skills of an Instructional Systems Developer where I developed courses in Electronics, Digital Techniques, and Microprocessors and – get this – I taught those courses in formal instructor-led classrooms to students in foreign countries! These being The Republic of the Philippines, Thailand, Greece, Sri Lanka, Morocco, and Sao Tome and Principe. (I love Sao Tome and have become very fond of it.)

I developed courses and taught them over a span of 6 years. Lots of travel! I spent a total of 16 years at the VOA Broadcasting Facility. When the training program ended, I assumed the position of an IT Specialist there. Love it! I still love Information Technology. Yes, I am a Geek!

In 2005, I was approached by a high-level Senior Manager in Washington DC who asked me, “How would you like to enter into the Foreign Service as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) attached to the State Department in Thailand?”

Well, I never thought about it before. But in during my Air Force career, I spend many years living overseas and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I accepted.

In the lateness of the summer of 2005, I was reassigned as a Transmitter Plant Supervisor at the Voice of America Facility in Udon Thani, a rural city 500 kilometers NE of Bangkok. I fell in love with Thailand and the Thai people. I still have many friends there to this very day! (I could live there. Really!)

That tour ended in 2008 and I was returned to Washington DC where I worked as an IT Specialist from 2008 to 2012. A need presented itself at one of the VOA Stations in Sao Tome, West Africa for a Foreign Service Officer. Since I had a history in Sao Tome having taught there many times, I applied for the position and won out – hands down – over the other candidates was accepted.

In the fall of 2012, I arrived at the Voice of America Sao Tome and Principe Transmitting Station as the new Transmitter Plant and Facility Supervisor (second in charge as there were only two American on the facility of about 100 African employees – many of who I trained more than 20 years ago – when I taught there. What a great homecoming that was! The African staff was elated to see their “old Instructor” return to them 20 years or so later but as their boss! I was overwhelmed with emotion at seeing everyone – my dear African Brothers and Sisters – again. I cried.

Some children in Sao Tome, West Africa seeing themselves on video. The smiles are the story here.

We all cried again three years later when my tour in Sao Tome and Principe ended. At a farewell party, they danced for me. I could not contain myself. I cried like a baby.

After three years of a GREAT tour in Sao Tome, saddened and in a surreal moment,  I was returned to Washington DC to resume work in Information Technology.

I gave all I could give to the United States Government. I gave 20 years of military service and 22 years in Federal service; a total of 42 years! It was time to walk away and live my life on my own terms.

Forty-Two Years! I Did It !!!

No regrets. I am loving the new chapter in my life! 🙂

A Foreign Service Officer in Udon Thani, Thailand. This is my staff. I blend in pretty good. I bet you can’t even spot me!

I am free to pursue the things I always wanted to do but was unable to do because of the heavy time-restraints of a job and taking care of a family. (It is just me now. Yes, I am single … again. 🙂

Friends in Choibalsan, Mongolia. See if you can find it on the map. Hint: Russia is just to the North!

I have time to devote to this radio station and build it up to something special. It is a work in progress. Much more has to be done.

More time to travel and go anywhere I so choose.

I have more time now to embark on the two books that I want to write and publish.

Having become an Investor in the wonderful world of cryptocurrencies, my says are full, busy, relaxing, reflective, and engaging all at once! I smile more! I look younger! I love it!

There is more time to reconnect with family and friends who are spread out all over the United States and the world.

A bust of Joseph Stalin outside of a facility in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

More time for me. More time to become the best I can be in a spiritual way so that I can give my best to and empower others unconditionally. I did this in West Africa. (Someone did not want the African people empowered and feeling good and confident about themselves)

I love space I am at right now.

Smooth Jazz is a part of it. I must confess, it assisted in a way to keep me sane! There were times when I had to go to it to quiet and settle me down and suppress the anger I had for some really bad people who did not like me (I was viewed as a threat to them) because of the color of my skin and for the African people – who loved and gravitated towards me – for the same reason. I have never seen anything like it! To believe that one is privileged to exercise harsh power and control over a people simply because their skin color is different. To make them afraid and fearful by threatening to take away what they most desperately need, a means to take care of themselves and their families.

Award presentation by the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand after a basketball tournament. I represented the Embassy. We lost. 🙁
I had hair!

Smooth jazz keeps me reflective, calm, and humbled that there is a Creator of the heavens and the earth; and, that the world – while claiming to believe in this Creator – is far alienated from Him. It is really bad!

We live in an uptight world that is so full of religion, yet a very dangerous place to live.

I believe that all of the bad (and good) things occurring in the world occur by God’s permission. In His infinite wisdom, He is leading all of the nations to the place where He wants them. Once gathered to “that place” well …

I’m RonnieJ …

Listen to my Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown on Saturdays beginning at 1:00 P.M. EST and on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. EST

Smoothing Out The Edges of Your Day