Archive for May, 2006

Talk Radio Shenanigans

May 25, 2006

The local talk radio station (which shall remain unnamed, obviously) has been through some interesting incarnations over the years.

Right now the general manager/owner/program director is running a spot wherein he says that up until now, the station has run mostly syndicated programming, with a few local shows mixed in. But now they are going to change directions, and become a mostly local programming station with a few syndicated programs thrown in. So if you want to have your own local talk show, call him for “rates and information.” An updated spot heard just today indicates that you too can do a one-hour weekly show for only $450 per week.

Okay, that’s all well and good, I suppose… but I wonder how many local listeners remember the brou-ha-ha 8 years ago? Back then, the very same station owner declared that local programming was dead, and he was going to switch over to all-syndicated. To prove his point, he declared one particular week “first time callers only week” just to see how many people were listening other than the half dozen or so regular gadflys who called in regularly.

At the time, a good friend of mine had the highest rated locally-produced program in the history of our radio market. The financial arrangement was that local hosts were not paid, nor did they have to pay for their airtime; but if they managed to sell any advertising for their show, they were allowed to keep the revenue therefrom. My friend, because he was delivering consistently high ratings to the station, told the owner that based on his performance, he wanted a new deal–he wanted to be paid for his show. We speculated at the time that “first time caller week” was aimed at him, to prove nobody was really listening other than his 5 or 6 most rabid fans.

Well… when all was said and done, each of the other local shows got perhaps under a dozen first-time calls in the course of the 5-day week. My friend, however, got something like 75 or 80 first-time calls–and he was off the air one of the days because of a prior commitment. So he had an average of close to 20 first-time calls per day to his 2-hour daily show.

The owner idiot in charge actually announced, on the air, in answer to a direct question from a caller, that he had not bothered to actually LISTEN to his own station during first-time caller week, but was relying on reports from other sources to tell him what was going on. This told me that he had already drawn his own conclusions, and was using the entire exercise to get rid of my friend–who drew much higher ratings than anyone else on the station, including the owner on his own weekly show.

So now, 8 years later, he’s pulling a switcheroo–but this time he’s selling his airwaves. This tells me he can’t attract any talent who is worth being paid for his or her airtime; rather, he’s turning the airwaves over to anybody who can cough up $450 a week.

There goes the neighborhood.

Why am I listening to this station, you may ask? It’s a legitimate question. I listen ONLY because it happens to be the local Rush Limbaugh station. As soon as Rush is done, I turn it off. So there.

Fun ‘N’ Games

May 24, 2006

In no particular order….

V. went home on Monday, back to the arms of her family who had lived without her for nearly a month. She was supposed to send out an e-mail to say she had made it safely. Still no e-mail. I hope that means she’s too busy (a) sleeping off jet lag and (b) huddling in the arms of her family to write an e-mail…. (Big kudos to hubby Chris who held down the home fort while sending the stay-at-home mother of his children off gallivanting around the world on the adventure of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing her with the rest of us, pal. I mean that. And V… thanks for the soup!)

UPDATE: She’s home. I just got the e-mail. She’s just let jagged–er, jag-letted–er, jet lagged!

Didn’t know if I mentioned, when we moved our office a couple of months back, we moved out to the sticks, where the wild things are. A couple of weeks ago a staff member on the other side of the building saw a bobcat slinking through the grass above the upper parking lot. Yesterday, another staff member went out the downstairs back door–and an 18-inch rattlesnake rattled at her from where it was basking on the sidewalk. Yeow! Of course the rest of us all had to go downstairs and inspect it before somebody from animal control came and threw it into the grass on the other side of the driveway. Yep. That’ll keep it off our premises…. So if you’re coming to my office, watch where you step!

Spent most of last Sunday trying to configure a wireless router. Spent quite a bit of that time on live chat with tech support–and as it turned out, the reason we couldn’t get it working was, they were under the mistaken impression that I do not have a static IP. Once I figured that out, I got the router working–with the wi-fi laptop, but the desktop computer (the one with the DSL modem hooked up to it) wouldn’t connect to the internet. After yet another e-mail communication with tech support, I found out I was supposed to tell the desktop computer to “obtain an IP address automatically” rather than having the designated one. (I guess the router has taken over the static IP, or something.) Once I did that–it’s finally working, all of it, just like it’s supposed to. Naturally I encrypted the thing so the neighbors can’t spam the planet on my dime. But it appears the default mode on this router is unencrypted… which is probably why, until my next door neighbor moved away, I was piggybacking on HIS wireless connection with my laptop.

And other than the above, there really isn’t much to report.

As you were.

Top Ten Worst Songs Of The 1960s

May 19, 2006

Did you know you can listen to XM Satellite Radio online for free, on Winamp, courtesy of AOL? I listen at work to the 60’s channel, since local radio no longer has a decent oldies station.

Right now, they’re counting down the top 10 worst songs of the 60’s, the Leopold List, as voted by cnn.com readers. And in the interests of public service, I will list them here for your perusal.

10. These boots are made for walking – Nancy Sinatra

9. Ballad of the green berets – Barry Sandler

8. Last kiss – Jay Frank Wilson

7. Teen angel – Mark Dinning

6. Tiptoe through the tulips – Tiny Tim

5. The lion sleeps tonight – The Tokens

4. Sugar sugar – The Archies

3. In the year 2525 – Zager and Evans

2. Yummy yummy yummy – Ohio Express

1. Macarthur Park – Richard Harris

Some of the notable “honorable mentions:”

Honey – Bobby Goldsboro

Ringo – Lorne Greene

Dominique – The Singing Nun

I never could stand Honey, or any of the dead teenager songs. But I actually like The lion sleeps tonight, silly me, and we loved playing “MacPark” as we called it in high school marching band. That’s a song that’s so bad it’s good. When Sugar sugar was unveiled as the number one song of 1969 I was appalled. But since then, the song has become far less obnoxious to me, and now I think it’s kind of cute.

But… I will take any of the above songs any day of the week over rap. Does that make me intolerant? Bloody straight it does!

What songs do YOU hate?

Well, There’s A Fly In That Ointment

May 18, 2006

So I head for the restroom–and sure enough, one of the pregnant women is in it. So I head for the other one–and another staff member, also shut out by the PW (pregnant women) has beaten me to it.

So I head back for the first restroom, and the current PW has left it. Then I hear my phone ring, so I rush back to my office–but the caller has hung up. So I head back across the hall–and the other PW has beaten me to it.

I can’t win.

I’m about to head out to the bushes in the parking lot… but with my luck, there will be a pregnant woman using those too.

Good News / Bad News

May 17, 2006

Bad news: Not one, but two pregnant women along our corridor. None of the rest of us can EVER get into the restroom.

Good news: I can always use the extra exercise. Let’s see how many pounds I drop walking to another restroom….

Good news: V. is due back today.

Bad news: She’s only here for 6 more days and then I won’t see her for years and years. 😦

Anyone else got any good news/bad news to share?

Sometimes…

May 16, 2006

… don’t you just want to clonk two people’s heads together?

A young couple of my slight acquaintance had been together off and on for something like 5 years. They talked about commitment. They talked about future marriage. But nothing was set in stone.

She moves away to take a new job in a new town. He doesn’t go with her, preferring to stay right where he is. He also states that he doesn’t want to do a long distance relationship, so they should see other people, but keep their future options open.

Taking him at his word, she sees a few other people. So does he.

Now she’s thinking about moving back so they can be together again–but he’s acting all heartbroken and jealous over the fact that she has seen other people. Meanwhile, he has a new chickie whom he SAYS is just a friend. Chickie says otherwise. According to her page on myspace.com, he loves her desperately, they are made for each other, and the white picket fence and 2.3 kids are just around the corner. He, on the other hand, maintains that he has never even kissed her. Uh huh.

Aargh. Was I ever that young?

Is It Friday Again Already?

May 12, 2006

Lots of stuff going on in the Cranky corner of the world….

V. will be back on Tuesday or Wednesday. Guess I’d better think about buying the ingredients so she’ll make us another pot of her famous soup. 😉

Last weekend, several members of my local writing group went to a conference where there were lots of editors and agents lined up just waiting for us to pitch our work to them. I pitched six people altogether; four agents and two editors. Three agents and one editor said send them a synopsis and 50 pages or 3 chapters. So I’ve been frantically brainstorming with various people, mentors and other, about how to pull this thing together. One mentor suggested I should not brainstorm when I am brain-dead. Unfortunately, I am rarely in any other state these days….

One of our people must have done the world’s shortest pitch. (Rose, if you’re reading this and I heard it wrong third-hand, feel free to jump in on the comments and correct the record!) The way I heard it, she sat down with the editor and got out only two words–“Two assassins–” and the editor held up her hand, wrote “full manuscript” on the back of one of her business cards, and said “Send it to me!” As far as I know, just about everyone in our group got multiple invitations to submit. Depending on how long it takes for the editors and agents to get back to us, I expect that at some future meeting we will have a HUGE “kudos and woes” portion to get through. Reminder to self: Restock the chocolate supply for the inevitable woes.

It’s Her

May 2, 2006

Old friend and frequent commenter Bum wanted to know who V. is.

Actually… she’s this guy’s wife.

She’s gone off to join her friends for their overseas vacation tour as of today… but will be back here in 2 weeks for another 6-day stay before she goes home to the midwest. We have had just a marvelous time. The other day she asked me if it was “all right” if she made a big pot of her famous chicken and vegetable soup.

Let’s see… somebody offering to cook for me. Gee… I’ll have to think about that one… NOT! And as I write this, I am nuking a bowl for tonight’s dinner. It’ll clear my sinuses… she forgot my biggest soup pot is much smaller than hers, so she spiced it the way she would in her pot, with the result that it really packs a kick. But it’s delicious nonetheless. And the microwave just dinged… so I’m off to eat!

She Said I Could Announce It

May 1, 2006

My young co-worker Stacy, after countless hours and dollars spent on medical interventions, has just announced she is (ta-da!) pregnant.

Great big congratchamalations to her and her husband Nick! You go, kids!