Monday, September 28, 2009


I can't remember where I read a description of someone walking into a room, and just by their presence, the room went silent.

I have witnessed this three times.

ONE: A crowded bar in Pittsburgh. I worked at KQV Radio, where the executives (separated from and far above the mere mortals on the ground floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building) had a sexy secretary/assistant, who had some sort of sexual charisma. She was like Joan in Mad Men, but not as busty.

Rumor was she was a 'possession' of one of the group VPs in NYC.

I distinctly remember watching this young woman go to the rest room in the crowded bar in which I found myself, and telling my table companion that he was about to experience something unusual. When she emerged, the crowded, noisy room, suddenly went quiet. Not dead quiet but it was like an audio eclipse. Amazing.

I befriended Louie, a new salesman at CJFM in Montreal, who, at the time (1975) looked a lot like Robert Redford in his Butch Cassidy days. We'd go to lunch when our schedules permitted. Into a crowded (packed!) Brasserie we'd stroll in downtown Montreal, and the place would drop into a hush as every woman with a view stopped talking. It was dramatic, and since it never happened to me alone, well, ahem. This was not a one-time thing, either.

Nina, the then-wife of Robert Rich (Rich Products, then-Rich Stadium where the Buffalo Bills played) was an account exec at a local Buffalo Ad Agency which represented our radio stations, WBEN and ROCK 102. I was the product guy so we'd have meetings. One winter day I took her to lunch, (or maybe she took me - yeah - that's the ticket!) and, as this good looking blonde in a full length fox coat walked into the restaurant, the place went quiet. The eyes were upon us.

Her son played a young Robert Redford in the movie The Natural which was filmed in Buffalo. There's some degrees-of-separation thing going in this post.

Once, on a snowy night, while we had much liquor with dinner at a steak house on my birthday, I told Louie how much I envied him. His response, as was typical for Louie, came straight from the heart, and surprised me. He said, "I know how I look. But I envy YOU. Women see me and think my mind is as good as my looks. I envy YOU who can go on the air and know what to say." Point made, Louie.

Friday, September 18, 2009


It seems as if many in the world have forgotten what the rules are for "it's" versus "its." I see errors in places where you'd have to figure they should know better. Ad copy. Newspaper stories. TV crawls.

"It's" is a contraction for IT IS. "Its" is a possessive, as in, "The dog chased its tail so many times there was a funnel in the floor where it used to go in circles."

I wonder about "It's" as a contraction for "it has." Maybe I was in the bathroom in school that day when Sister Mary Thorn-In-The-Crown Jesus Wore explained that one. It seems correct, as in, "It's been seven lonely years since the dust storm blew away my family."

Some contractions are pretenders: "I'm" for "I am" only saves one space. Who thought that up? It is hardly efficient. (You thought I'd use "it's," didn't you?)
"Couldn't" - another loser. Maybe it has to do with how people mumble? "That's" saves only one space. Stack those spaces up and you aren't going to hit the moon quickly, that's for sure.

In the same vein, there appear to be - by common usage - new rules. "CD's" meaning several of them, for instance. To me and the chain of Sisters Of Mercy authorized to feed my mind as a child, that's a POSSESSIVE case, as in "The CD's case was left on the floor where my foot found it and skated across the rug like Peggy Flemming in her day." But no, you see a flying apostrophe thrown after many words as if someone got a truckload wholesale, discovered they expire, and is trying to get them out of there before they stink up the place!

I am confused enough already.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


What if you could get to hang with a favorite musician? What if you could hear him play in his own home? What if he had a musician-guest in, every time you visited - some known, some not yet, some just coming up? All good!

Well, if Daryl Hall is one of your favorites, you can do all of that above. Posted every month via email, is a link to the latest.

Performances are mixed with banter; usually some guest chef is in the kitchen cooking something you can almost smell and certainly want to taste.

Each episode is about 8 songs long.

Daryl appeals to me more from his NON-Hall and Oates side, but perhaps that's because he's a 'blue-eyed soul (meaning: white) singer' and is from the environs of Philadelphia, my home town. So is Todd Rundgren, in this latest performance, which I enjoyed so much.

It's free. It's fun. There have been 23 of these so far.

Here's the link. Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I used to like Jay Leno. I've seen him live twice, but a long time ago, maybe 30 years for the first time, at Buffalo's Tralfamadore Cafe.

Since he took over the Tonight Show, not so much. I find his explanation of the jokes after the punchline irritating and pandering, showing either no confidence in the joke or the audience. He's much more likable showing off a car from his collection.

JAYWALKING is really People Are Funny spun one way. That's really old TV, People are ignorant, which I don't find funny, but worrisome. JAYWALKING wasn't part of the big premiere.

We tuned the new show last night, wanting to see how the retread would work. For me, it doesn't. The montage opening is weak and it rolls along familiar tracks afterwards, with a tad more haste.

But who's the fool here? How many tens of millions has Leno made so far? He was popular - is popular - works hard. Jay is not the fool.

I believe NBC will regret its decision to drop 5 hours of prime time for this discount-programming. That's the game - cut expenses/make money. A week of Leno costs less than ONE hour of episodic TV. The first day will rate highly from curiosity, the first week, too. Then the show will settle. NBC will call it success if they can turn a profit.

I won't watch.

After the less than overwhelming open, Jay comes out and shakes hands with audience members, then does jokes. There's a new set, but that opening format looks like his old show after-the-news to me. I watched enough to know I didn't like it - or would watch occasionally to catch a guest.

Last night had a LAME bit where Jay 'asked' President Obama questions which then showed answers from another interview. Har har.

Guest Jerry Seinfeld - still funny - should have been given more uninterrupted time. He 'brought on' Oprah via Video which was another waste of time (as Jay was unable to get a word in...) Har.

A comic then 'entertained' a car-wash patron, singing to her as she waited. Reportedly, there are other folks on board for more out-of-studio 'bits.'

Kanye West choked up trying to 'splain why he did what he did, interrupting that poor Taylor Swift at the MTV video music award show the night before. That was semi-poignant and semi-literate at the same time. Maybe if he rapped it, it would have worked? This was almost surreal, especially when he couldn't speak and Jay (wisely) let the silence extend. Instead of a hoople-head shouting at the President in an address to Congress and the nation, here's where a healthy "You Asshole!" from an audience member would have made impolite sense.

Rhianna, Jay-Z and Kanye then sang or rapped.

You could argue the new show hasn't found it's feet yet, but after 3 months to think stuff up, this was bland, bland, bland.

A bizzare thing intruded - we thought it was a schtick at first. We were watching on TiVo, about 5 to 10 minutes behind the real time timeline. At one point, the channel switched to an EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION on another channel, which crawled in English and Spanish across the top of the screen, announcing a child abduction in waters 20km from the coast... which is a couple hundred miles from here. It seems the emergency notification was really a combo of weather and Amber alert, with no real details. I've never seen TiVo hijacked before. Somebody pushed the wrong button at KXAN-TV. They also blew the news promo slot as their rehearsal or taping of it also just popped on in mid-Leno, then popped off. When it came time to run it, they didn't.

But wait: Others seem to share my opinion:

"The answer: No desk until the last five minutes. The question: What is the difference between the new 'Jay Leno Show' at 10 p.m. and the former 'Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at 11:35 p.m.?" -- The Gazette

"The menu of the new show is awfully familiar ... [and] an unsettled sense that they're throwing things on the wall to see what sticks." -- Hollywood Reporter

"Without Kanye West, and his conveniently timed controversy from the MTV Video Music Awards, NBC's 'Jay Leno Show' premiere Monday would have been even more of a cut-rate, snooze-inducing, rehashed bore. If Leno's desire is to help fans get to sleep earlier, desire satisfied" -- USA Today

"Leno's funny, but in the safest way. He's adheres to the center of the exact middle road, so it's wrong to expect a revolution here. He has all the draw of buy-one-get-one-free smoothies. His comedy is bubble-wrap; its appeal needs no explaining. He goes with Dan Brown novels and Marriott Rewards points and repeat viewings of the cinchy CBS crime procedurals he now finds himself programmed against: Who doesn't like all of those things?" -- Washington Post

"The first 'Jay Leno Show' was reminiscent of nothing so much as a typical 'Tonight Show with Jay Leno,' with ... [though] superstars were upstaged by what turned out, through pure dumb luck" -- Kansas City Star

"There isn't much difference between the new show and Jay's 'Tonight Show.' There's more comedy, though it's of the bland, topical variety that Jay is known for..." -- Newsweek

"NBC and Leno have delivered something pretty 'Tonight'-like ... they're giving old Jay fans what they like ... interspersed with enough of Whatever People are Talking About Today to get a churning drive-by audience" -- Time

"Exactly like we all should have known it would be ... If this is as good as it gets with three months to work on it, what's it going to be like once the night-after-night grind sets in? Or even more to the point, what's Jay going to do without a Kanye West moment every night?" -- Dallas Morning News

"It's not a good sign when the Bud Light commercial is funnier than the comedy show it interrupts ... his opening monologue seem[ed] like an attempt to cash in on the current vampire fixation -- comedy of the undead" -- LA Times

"The jokes felt familiar, the monologue, too. Someone, however, might want to alert Universal lot security: The couch was missing.Otherwise, what was so different between his last gig and this one, besides the hour?" -- Newsday

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Something we haven't seen in QUITE a while - RAIN running down the window. It rained hard today. People away form this area cannot easily comprehend how low we are - the big lake, Lake Travis, is about 32 FEET below average.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


In Austin, UT football is really REALLY big. Last night we were invited to the first of this season's games. Now, you have to understand that they had 101,096 people attend. That the team could go to be national champion. They are REALLY REALLY good!

College football is - to me - better than pro ball - there's a lot less showboating, there's a spirit of fun despite the intensity - there's no alcohol in the stadium - and the coach talks about his "kids." To me (and some will laugh) college football is purer. Yes, there are scandals, etc., just like everywhere else in modern life, so I acknowledge that for the cynics.

Which doesn't take away from the wonderful time we had.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Not a storefront, but a huge (and slow) program. With over 9000 pictures in there somewhere, it's time to 'tidy up!' But it's not that simple, apparently (thank god I read up on the process!) WHY it's not real simple is beyond me - I'd expect this to be a common desire.

Apparently you can lose files when you do it the wrong way. The right way has been described simply (with a warning to try on a small number of the files first - just to be SURE...) and also in a long 11 step process. I don't understand all of the steps, either!

So I sit and wait for the "Reconnect missing files" command to do about 100 searches - this could take all day. Then I have to carefully (like an egg on a spoon) move them to the outboard drive.

From what I read, if you don't do this properly, you'll 'blind' the program to the pictures. Or, you lose them.