Wednesday, March 29, 2006


(Donna Summer)

This one is a great parody for radio folks, those who need a good laugh, and listeners alike. You really ought to have broadband.


(Neon Philharmonic)

If you ever have listened to radio in the morning, this will put a smile on your face! You'll need broadband.


(Eric Clapton, others)

SHOTS IN THE NIGHT? Sure sounded like that. Bang! Later Bang bang! Then Bang bang bang. Somewhere in the dark, and maybe related, there was a skunk drive-by!

The sound was so unexpected and out of place, I half expected to hear sirens after a while. It was DARK. So if someone was taking a shot at something, they must have a night vision scope.

Of course, it could have been firecrackers, but as we all know, you generally set fire to one at a time, or all at once. Even shooting cans into the air is done one at a time in time-honored tradition.

An odd time to test fire your six shooter. Not enough shots to be a full clip of a pistol.

An unsolved mystery, I suppose.


If you want to be grossed out, turn your keyboard upside down and shake it. Go on - try it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


(Fleetwood Mac)

I was back in radio in a dream night before last... preparing to leave I think...

and I thought up this Billboard (why a billboard in radio I don't know) for a client... woke up almost laughing.


Monday, March 27, 2006


(Count Five)

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Easter Bunny has been sent packing at St. Paul City Hall.
A toy rabbit, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" were removed from the lobby of the City Council offices, because of concerns they might offend non-Christians.

A council secretary had put up the decorations. They were not bought with city money.
St. Paul's human rights director, Tyrone Terrill, asked that the decorations be removed, saying they could be offensive to non-Christians.

New PC version:

The Easter Mammal has been motionally motivated at Person Paul City Hall. A miniature simulacrum of a rabbit, colored or grey chicken ovoids, and the words, "Mood change Spring Acknowledgement" were disinterred from the lobby of the City Council offices, because of concerns they might offend non-Christians.

Not that ST. PAUL would.


(Steely Dan)

Villanova lost rather handily yesterday. Not normally interested in basketball, I felt compelled to watch. Ouch. They were cold. Really cold. If the team tried many 3 pointers I didn't see them! And their 2 pointers were - what - going in only 20 something percent of the time, compared with 40 something for Florida.

Texas is out. Villanova is out. I'm out.

Speaking of Steely Dan, I am now addicted to the new Donald Fagen CD. It's typical for him in that the lyrics are sometimes 'inspired.' The arrangements are wonderful, pop/jazz/rock. A home run. I played a track on my fancy/schmancy system for a neighbor who was over last night. His comment, "It's perfect." Yeah, it is.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


(Pink Floyd)

There are two homes on the next street under construction or just finished... up for $2.2 and 1.9 MILLION. We're going to go snoop and see what all those presidents buy.

I need a job.

... later that same day...

WOW. One home in particular is so incredibly rich in features and trim. I think we had better take the car off blocks in our yard. Or at least turn it into a nice planter!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


(Cheech and Chong)

I swear I'm not into it but I caught the overtime 5 minutes where Villavova just squeaked through to the next round.

And today I happened to tune in at the final 26 seconds of the Texas/ LSU game in regulation time - watched the overtime. LSU deserved that one. Sorry, Horns.

Friday, March 24, 2006


(Allman Brothers)

The new car pool: a single person driving while on the phone.


I tried, I really did, to avoid the story line of the Sopranos this season since we watch on DVD and consume a full season like, well, Tony, eating pasta. So wouldn't you know I found out some of the BIG SECRET on a website that wasn't even devoted to it. I generally have a bad memory but I'll bet this sticks. Why is that?


Talking to our great Home Builder the other day and we started talking about digital cameras - he's VERY into it and I'm a wannabe. It was interesting to realize that Terri was suffering through the guy talk. We could have been arfing a la Tim Allen for all she heard.


37 degrees last night. Revenge of the Winnipegers.


The website optimization biz keeps getting pushed back deeper and deeper into detail - I can't wait for the day when all is actually fully implemented and ready. We'll throw open the cyber-doors and... wait. Not really - a lot of the delay has been in building the marketing plans and modules. But I tell ya, it's hard being the Most Impatient Person on the Planet.


Yesterday the haircutter grossed me out - telling me about 'that woman who just left' - who used ONIONS in her hair and who also had a SCALP FUNGUS at one time. I started making retch noises and insisted they assure me they sterilize their clippers. My god. Nothing is safe.


Then she said you wouldn't believe what restaurant people do to the food when a customer is a jerk... she had some insider knowledge. I made her stop and don't want to eat or get a haircut anymore. Fodder for The Boy Who Doesn't Trust Easily.


We are changing doctors. The old one has an office that looks like a vet's office to me, and had a surly receptionist, and the doc doesn't listen very well, so we are moving on. It's too easy to think they have the patent on authority when in fact the PATIENT can control things. In this case, we are making a smart move! We did the same with dentists and made a tremendous upgrade.


Chicken Little was eliminated from American Idol and now it's getting serious. I have no idea how America votes, so can't handicap the winner. There are a few extremely good talents in the competition, that's for sure.

And Mandissa is the best looking, uh, really large woman I've ever seen. It'll be interesting to learn if that size issue kills her in the voting. She's a GREAT singer.


More odd voice auditions this week - British (John Cleese type) and a Harley Davidson type, neither of which I can do well. Where are the jobs like I used to do, warm and friendly?



Monday, March 20, 2006


(Tom Jones)

Another song title. Two for two.

As we had two and a half days of rain, things are seriously growing now. And my fall planting of wildflowers will now show or be DOA due to the serious drought we had this winter.

One thing that worries me is that almost the entire front of the house - from house to driveway (where grass was) is now covered in some lacy green/not grass growth. If weeds, we are in for a big crop. If wildflowers, I may have flunked the Johnny Appleseed planting school for idiots with black thumbs.

Well, wildflower or not, there's one big nasty weed that sticks out like a zit in a prom picture... and this Little Shop Of Horrors star is going to drink some Roundup before sundown tomorrow.

A neighbor is a master gardener. I will ask her to come over and hope she doesn't have a nervous breakdown on the spot.

Sunday, March 19, 2006



Wonder how many posts I can make with song titles?

After one movie, I am already sold (gone) on NetFlix. We took advantage of a free two weeks. If you rent DVDs, the only question I have is WHY WOULDN'T you do NetFlix?


No more trips to the video rental store.

No more out of stock.

No more 'forgot to remove the security lock on the DVD case!' (I broke the boxes to get in, but it wasn't easy. Damn things were like bank vaults!)

And most of all, no more returning to avoid late fees.

For years now, on every single visit to HOLLYWOOD VIDEO or the one back in Minnesota - I already forget the name... every visit, I'd hear a voice in my head chanting "this has got to be obsolete."

Now, for less than the cost of what we rented, we get 2 DVDs at a time, endlessly, with no late fees and mail both ways. And they E mail you the latest release list AND also suggest other titles based on the ones you chose.

This is so much better.

And speaking of so much better, as we wait, amazed at its longevity, for our TV to die to run out and buy a new HDTV, SONY has just jumped a hurdle in whispers about its 2006 line. FINALLY sets with full 1080P connectivity are about to be released, along with their Blu-ray DVD payer that will output that full resolution. And while the competing high definition format will down-res HD-DVD into existing HDTV sets (only providing analog outputs at much lower picture quality), Blu-Ray will offer full fidelity. I can't wait (though this is all premature - that gear isn't out yet.)

If you want to read more, go to my Home Theater blog.


My friend Geoff Fox today(see side panel for link to his site) posts about a site which follows celebrity sightings up to the minute, or almost. Makes sense that it COULD what with WiFi and laptops. I'll link to it below.

Geoff's point is that a celebrity (and believe me, he is one locally after 20 years or so in Connecticut, on TV that long) surrenders anonymity as part of the gig.

The thing that impressed me is how few of the people sighted last week I EVER HEARD OF!

Gawk away at Gawker Stalker!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Amazing how tightly woven the world has become. Last night at a party, we met some neighbors - the husband's sister lives in the next town over from where I grew up. We met another couple from the next town over from where Terri grew up. (Both towns at least 1500 miles from here.)

When we came home and walked the dog, I heard Willie Nelson singing about 2 miles from here at an outdoor venue.

One day in Minneapolis we came within a mile or two of President Bush as he was in Air Force One (fantastic sight, btw.) flying out of the airport.

I know I've been within a mile of President Clinton when he visited Minneapolis - based on where he was speaking and where I was at the time.

In Montreal, the Canadian Prime Minister's WIFE (separated) lived somewhere above me in my building. Guy LeFleur parked in my building there, as the Montreal Forum was right across the street. All the stars who played there in concerts or games were - what - 200 yards from me in my apartment.

I was talking to a woman the other day while waiting for my car to be serviced and she told me she had seen Sarah Bullock down the street at Starbucks.

I spoke with Jimmy Kimmel at a friend's party in LA.

John Belushi pushed his way through a crowd and brushed by me at a convention, apologizing as he went.

Dan Rather and Jane Fonda both were in the hall outside my office in Buffalo, as they were visiting the attached TV station. (Different visits.)

Jim Haslett (former coach of the New Orleans Saints), Chuck Knox, Scotty Bowman, all worked for me at that station in Buffalo. So did Warren Moon while in Houston.

I read today that singer Jack Ingram is opening Texas dates for Sheryl Crow. I haven't met him yet but he's building a house just down the street. His neighbors include The Undertaker - a wrestler; and a Heisman Trophy winner. Another award winning singer - Larry Gatlin, lives 3 houses away.

Met about all the country stars from 1993 to 1998 or so. Had dinners with several. Clint Black, Shania Twain, come to mind. Lunch with Sara Evans and others.

Josh Groban, Jessica Simpson, Michael McDonald, Donnie Osmond, Duran Duran, Dave Koz --- the parade of folks outside my office door or our studio was long, while in Minneapolis.

Many more if I'd think about it long enough.

Marty Feldman google eyed me through the glass in Montreal at that radio station. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Donald Sutherland had coffee with us.

I sat beside Sly Stone at a club, right next to him at his keyboard (though I was behind a rack, but that close.)

I worked with The Turtles on top of a custard stand at an amusement park (providing the sound system.)

So the story is the tightly wound world... and how in it the famous travel everywhere, ARE everywhere, sometimes colliding, paralleling, and touching the lives of the rest of us.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Growing up there were two seasons. Baseball at the playground and Football in the street. Once in a while there'd be a brief excursion to someone's hoop, but not for long.

When I was in grade school, about 5th or 6th grade, the nun (!) was playing basketball with the boys at lunch. She threw the ball to me. I was under the empty basket - as the other boys ran toward me, I tried for a basket. Missed. Had time for another throw before they got there. Missed again. Maybe that stopped me cold. I am still embarrassed! I can see that moment so clearly. If there are peak experiences there surely are valley experiences and that was one!

I've tried. I just can't dribble.

And if I have to move with the ball, I lose it. No coordination. I envy the guys who still play, all macho and elbows...

Somewhere way below the post is a picture from my early 20s, as a disc jockey in Pittsburgh at the big Top 40 station - I scored so little that when I finally DID they stopped the game and announced my first ever basket. Another valley.

So that takes us to the March Madness. I usually don't care at all. When coerced I'd enter the office pool and simply pick best records... usually I would do well, but never win. I don't watch or care about basketball.

THIS year, though, and much to my surprise, my alma mater, Villanova, is highly ranked (2) and seeded. I like it when the school gets any good press. It validates my diploma. I want people to nod knowingly if they ever ask where I went to college.

The president of the school taught me several classes in high school. About 20 years later, upon his appointment, I shot him a letter - just a "good for you" letter.

HE ANSWERED IT and remembered me and cited classes he had taught me! Clearly he has a great memory and is a people person (though we weren't close or anything when I was a student and he was a young teacher!)

They have a great on-line tour, btw! Nice facilities. Beautiful grounds. I did graduate, but radio at the campus radio station actually changed my life more than the courses I took.

So, Go Wildcats! I'll watch when they go all the way.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


South by Southwest (SXSW) is under full swing/rock/pop/rap/film/workshop/gig/ahowcase. It's huge. A billion bands and filmmakers and stars twinkle into town and strut their stuff for agents, bookers, hookers, industry heavies and pretenders. Described as an important step in building a career, there are bands from all over the world performing in - what - 70? locations around town almost non-stop. I attempted to count performances - I stopped at over 700 with pages to go! They say 1400 bands play during this event!

It makes you proud, and helps keep the edge that Austin embraces as its specialty.

I admit that working 15 miles away from downtown where a lot of the action is, I am tempted to hit a bar or coffee shop just to see who I might run into. I think Neil Young is in town today. Charlize Theron yesterday. Lyle Lovett the day before. Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Herbie Hancock... and many many more - I can't even begin to list them all. I'll put a good link here.

And - I note today - that Austin is putting in Hi Speed wide area Wi-Fi networks to cover downtown and beyond, free, in the very near future! Not bad!

Monday, March 13, 2006


We watched and heard it last night! It made us look at each other in disbelief - did we really HEAR that? Oh yes. In fact, there were two commercials, one voiced by a male, another by a female.

...for the Ma Harshi Enlightenment Center. Yup.

Supposed to be MA HA RI SHI... speaking of 'enlightenment!'

Doesn't anybody review these things? I mean, in a TV spot it's a gang tackle, not like radio where only one person can get it all wrong by him/herself.

Transcendental would probably be The Trains and Dental.


Saturday, March 11, 2006


BOND in Mud

I like Daniel Craig. Can't remember the first movie title in which I saw him, but believe me, he'll be fine. And I saw a clip somewhere were he emerges from the sea (remember Ursula Andress? No? Halle Berry?) Well, this'll be a treat (and fantasy) for the ladies. The man is cut. Damn him.

But I do like him - he's got a little Steve McQueen cool in him, some mystery. As they take the Bond franchise back to the earliest Ian Flemming Bond book, they will lose a lot of the gimmicks, Moneypenny, Q, and instead show Bond become an 007, licensed to kill. They say we'll see more of a human side.

There will still be big stunts.

The latest movie in a 44-year franchise that has grossed almost $4 billion since "Dr. No," starring Sean Connery, was screened in 1962, "Casino Royale" will be a return to the roots, said co-producer Barbara Broccoli.

What do they do with all that money?

I didn't like Roger Moore. Brosnan was good. Connery set the mark very high though. Dalton was good for me - Wayne Newton as a bad guy was inspired casting.

I remember after seeing the first Bond st the seahore movies in 1962, my friend Jim and I went to the boardwalk machine-gun shooting (bb) range and felt testosterone for maybe the first time and we shot the place up. But it was the 60s. I don't know what that means except to say I'll bet 6th graders now get testosterone surges.
We were in high school.

I even bought the soundtrack album.

I did read several of the Bond books while travelling with my parents in Europe, so they seemed even more real.

Friday, March 10, 2006


My $12.95 color USB camera has arrived. Unlike many other toys, it loaded the driver quickly and caused no grief. I now SKYPE with video feed. The first person I tried it on - the same guy who got me to load Skype (always free) way back in the frontier days - freaked! He was going nuts. His Skype camera is on order.

It really does deliver that sense of being there that must be experienced to be believed. If you want one (and I get no piece of this, I assure you - here's the link.

Skype is too good to be free. I say that thinking that they might think that too. I FEAR they do, because it is addictive, especially with video. Free calls anywhere in the world (over broadband)... with video!

The AT&T people are trying to figure out how to get a piece. Wouldn't surprise me if our guvimint makes it so someday. I'll bet the lobbyists are recruiting the extra special hookers now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


When I was doing commercials and narrations in Buffalo, New York, in the 80s, I did work that was for NORWAY and SOUTH AFRICA, among the local and regional usual suspects.

And after moving here from Minnesota in 2005, I found myself doing work for a banking institution today - which is in WISCONSIN!

How it happens, I have no idea.

Pass the cheese?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Kellie Pickler

MINX n : a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men [syn: coquette, flirt, vamp, vamper, tease.

Last night Simon called a contestant, Kellie Pickler, on American Idol "a Minx." She's so unhip (and charmingly, disarmingly naive, she thought he said MINK. When corrected, she had never heard of it.) --- If this is an act, then skip Idol and cast her in film right away! Later Ryan Seacrest asked her what new food she had this past week - she replied, "SAL mon."

I think Simon misused the word and may indeed need to apologize.

I root for her. Mandissa is awesome though, and it'll be a tough slog to the win against her - she WAILS.

My name is Bob and I'm an American Idol addict.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


There it is, men, the trick answer.

"Are those new shoes?"

"No, I've had them for a while."

Ah ha! We have found the trick. I believe I saw the rabbit.

You see, men, women, according to my new theory, actually buy and STOCKPILE shoes, so indeed, that statement isn't untrue.

And if, like Terri, your wife handles the money, well, you'll never know exactly.

What to do about it?

There's nothing you can do. Smile and nod. Say "They're nice." For extra credit say, "They make your legs look fabulous." But beware the trap: "You mean my legs don't usually look good?" Your response should then be: "Always, great. Now, fabulous." Just know that this might send her back to the store to look for that same model in other colors.

At our house, I tend to hold off on buying small, inexpensive things... And go for that new digital camera for $1,000.

And so, there's no way I could ever object to shoe hoarding, unless Terri sees this and uses it against me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

TV CAMERA for $12.95

I remember the college TV "Station" in which various forward-thinking profs videotaped certain lectures. It was 1967 and 1968, and RAW. The cameras were huge and took a ton of light (and only then put out a fair black and white picture.) The VCRs were big heavy beasts which took reel-to-reel tape and were touchy as all get out.

Flash forward: Sunday a friend in Connecticut and I "skyped" - this is a free computer program that sends full fidelity voice over the internet (broadband), in effect a telephone call though a giant leap more 'present' as it sounds as if the person is in the room. It requires microphone and speakers on both ends, and the free software.

I had been slow to come to the party as another friend raved for a solid year before I got Broadband and actually tried Skype. It's as addictive as any toy I've used.

But wait, there's more. It gets better.

Sunday, I mentioned to my friend Geoff that we could do video on the latest upgrade of Skype, if we only had a camera. He said, "Wait a minute," and dug out his tiny, marble sized, wireless, color camera, and hooked into Skype. This thing put out an amazing picture with sound and he then took it/me for a walk downstairs and out of the house, with only a little breakup!!!

This is a killer application!

With Geoff's help, I then located a color USB camera and ordered it for $12.95. I can't wait till the whole world has these things. What a communication revolution!

Remember the 'picture phones' once defining the far edge of the future? (You do if you saw the 1964 World's Fair.) This is better. And real. And cheap. Give me a few days then Skype me and you'll see!

Download Skype Free.


78th annual... and still boring.

Read a phonebook. It's the same thing as watching the Oscars, except you get to see stars do it, as they prattle on listing their (WHO CARES?) thank you people. You want maybe a little insight into your favorite star - you watch - you lose!

The only moment I caught was Jennifer Garner slipping and not even embarrassed - she simply said, smiling, "I do my own stunts, too." Class. DAMN YOU Ben Affleck.

Bad red carpet interviews on ABC. Then... A super special effects thing with famous lines delivered from their original films, stripped of backgrounds and put into a clever "this is Hollywood" digital composite. Then a great funny clever opening, with former hosts, then a dream sequence with John Stewart. That hinted of great to come. It didn't. The later montages were boring and overdone (except maybe the gay lines in old westerns.)

They ran fake commercials in which competitors tore at each other - good idea, only half baked.

And John Stewart... boring beyond the opening 'dream.' I give him credit. He took his time and remained calm as the ship sank. Or it did for me. Our floor was wet under the TV. If only it had sparked, there would have been some excitement in the room.

There was/ always is a huge long parade of winners you never heard of and couldn't care less about (Sound editing, special effects, set decoration, more and more.) And a lecture about why going to the movies is still good (I guess the academy president has special seats. I get seats next to the coughing man, the candy in noisy plastic gobbler, the talkers, the smell-bad. Then 20 minutes of pre-show entertainment/ads.)

The rap performance (not the dancing or set) was actually very good.

Some favorites won. Crash as best picture was a surprise, not being the 'frontrunner' but it's very very good. Brokeback didn't sweep (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

There were a few good jokes. Some better than average acceptance speeches, but the average was lowball. Nice gowns. Keira Knightly is incredibly beautiful. Clooney, P.S. Hoffman, Weitz gave good speeches. D. Hoffman went off card and was funny. Or real. Thomlin/Streep did a hard-to-do piece which was trashed in our paper - they didn't get it was 'doing' Altman which it was FOR.

Why trash without offering a solution? Here it is: Do only these awards on TV: best actor, actress, supporting actor, actress, director, film. Save the best documentary, foreign language film, etc., for after midnight. Or downloading.

Show more of each nominated film and performance. That serves Hollywood, and gets folks out of their chairs who still haven't seen the movies. Have each nominee do a pre-taped piece about the film for which they were nominated and what it meant to them - the best and hardest parts maybe... let us get to know them a bit more.

Stop glorifying the past. It is or isn't what you want it to be. Let it lie there.

Stop dragging out an old Hollywood icon to show they are still alive. Lauren Bacall was embarrassing. Maybe she was trying to get cast on LOST. If it was booze or drugs or age, well, it wasn't good for her or the show. Sorry.

The Academy Awards are stuck in tradition. They are self-serving and boring. If you could count almost 12 years in Minnesota now 1+ years here in Texas, I guess that puts us attitudinally in Iowa, as middle America as they come. Please, somebody fix this show - it could be so much better!

Friday, March 03, 2006


Simon says the contestants need CONFIDENCE to do a great job. (I admit, I am now addicted to this run of American Idol... completely sucked in, with the very important help of TiVo so I can skip the fluff.)

And that's how I've felt ever since my last VO session (VoiceOver, i.e.: commercial). That's really what it IS - selling something with conviction. And that takes confidence. It's almost a psychic thing. It influences how words come out. Why the new confidence? Well, it was as if, after a time of dormancy, I came back at full power.

I went through a period of "silent' reflux that was eating away my vocal chords, but now it's completely healed. Something must have accompanied that in my self-image, because I feel at the top of my game again. Now we'll see if confidence somehow wins me more jobs!

I love losing myself in performance. It's cathartic.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


My new business is open for business.

offers website optimization and consultation. MANY websites need it! Few understand how the web can be put to work for their service or business. A lot of people put up poorly functioning sites and then think the web doesn't work. Big surprise: pretty doesn't equal good!

It's simple: people search for information on the internet. If search engines rank you among the 'finds', you are browsed. If your content is compelling, you can convert the visit to business.

Getting found is relatively simple. Being high on the list of finds is more difficult - there IS competition, and technique to follow.

That's why KEYWORDS (searched words or phrases) are so important. I have the metrics that can tell me demand and supply per keyword!

There's so much more - check my site if you wish to learn this new medium - it's a pretty darn good education!

(We also build relatively simple websites, like INTERNET MARKETING ADVISORS or even Great Home Theater)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Remember Beta vs VHS? Well, a new war - a format war - will be fought between two high definition DVD camps: HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Each has proponents, major ones, studio backing, etc., and each has its own set of wonderful features, but of course - they are incompatible so far. It's thought the world will wait till the war is won before jumping on a bandwagon.

I know what you are asking: yes, they are both backwards-compatible with 'normal' DVDs.

There is one heck of a lot of money on the table. This could make the HDTV market even hotter. They say that nothing is as good as a great high-definition DVD.

Well, today, the first unit is out - Toshiba's HDA-1, at $499 list. That's a LOT less than I expected. If you want to buy one or read about it - I have it covered on my Home Theater website.