Benediction 2.0

Last month's PRPD conference in Atlanta was so much fun for me. The sessions I attended were filled with lots of great information.  It was a lot of new information about radio production I didn't know before. I got to see many old friends. One of them I've known since 1986.  I had an opportunity to meet many new people who I now count as friends.

And getting away from the daily grind and getting to see a new city was a blessing. Indeed it was a great conference but the last session floored me.

The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, brought a special magic to the closing session called Benediction 2.0.  The audience participated by reading actual complaint letters from listeners, there was a real, live high school marching band and it was capped off with fresh pie for everyone in the room. It was the perfect end to a perfect week. Let's go to the videotape -

I'm not sure this closing of the PRPD conference can ever be topped. And I'm really happy to have been there to see it in person.


A New Way Forward

I was recently turned on to a series of exciting new storytelling projects. It's a whole new way to look at public media.

The different projects are referred to as Localore.

Here's a bit from their website...

"AIR's nationwide Localore production accelerates innovation at public radio and TV stations and sinks new taproots into local communities with "full-spectrum" models that blend on-air, screen, and street media. Together, Localore's 10 lead producers—with their stations, interactive storytelling partner Zeega, and a team of more than 230 collaborators—are laying the ground for a more inclusive 21st-century public media."

I got to listen to some of the Localore producers speak at a recent conference and they described an environment where public media R&D can occur, where new tools are used to create new ways of telling stories. I've heard some of these stories on the radio and they blew me away. Sounds awesome.

Here's a link to a shorter 34 minute version on Vimeo

Here's a 1-hour + LONG YouTube video that describes Localore.


GPB Is So Friendly

On the first evening of the recent Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) conference in Atlanta, Georgia Public Broadcasting held a welcome reception. I estimate about 200 people attended. The food included tasty small desserts, meats and cheeses, breads and a station where they made a gourmet corn salad dish.  The open bar got everyone really loosened up.

It was really fun and a good informal venue to meet new people.  I got to meet the "public broadcasting" famous Rick Steves. There was a great jazz band there laying down a smooth jam.  It's a great gig that gets your band in front of a bunch of radio station programmers!


PDs Make it Better

In September I attended the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD) annual conference. This year it was in Atlanta. No, I'm not a program director. I'm a member of a related organization of radio producers.

If you listen to public radio the PDs make decisions about what and when programs get on the air. They do audience research and analysis to see what programs listeners like and dislike. They help with training to make the on-air hosts better. If you send hate mail or make a phone call they are often on the receiving end of your communication.

To learn more about PRPD and how program directors make radio better visit their website at or read the PRPD Blog.

AIR is Everywhere

For the past year or so I've been wanting to do more radio production. I've been away from it for a number of years so I thought it would be a good idea to get plugged back into the producers community.  Maybe I could meet some people, see what others are working on and learn a few things.

I joined the Association of Independents in Radio or AIR.  What a great resource! There are just over a thousand members spread all over the world. It's a good mix of station-based and independent producers. Probably the best thing about AIR is the mailing list AIRDaily. 

I get a daily digest of all the messages. Producers ask questions, talk about successes, offer technical tips and much more about audio production.

To learn more about AIR visit their website.


Home Siding and Painting - 2013

There were 12 siding panels that had rotted across the front of the house. And 2 in the back that also needed to be replaced.

Here's a short photographic record of the panel replacement followed by a complete house painting. This work was started May 6 and was completed on July 25, 2013.

It was a very rainy spring and summer which made the house painting job a struggle. Here is a slideshow of the job.



Horse Racing is Not for Everyone

Chris reads a passage from the manic, first-person article that is the beginning of Gonzo journalism.



Tasteless Space Food

Apparently food in space has little or no taste. That's according to International Space Station astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Modern Seinfeld

Only the funniest GD thing ever. What if the show Seinfeld was begin made today with texts, tweets, cell phones, the internet, etc... Hilarity ensues.

Kramer and Jackie Chiles' case against the NYC soda ban gets the law overturned. Kramer thinks Bloomberg is having him followed.

Modern Seinfeld @SeinfeldToday


Conspiracy of Fools

There are a lot of things that irritate me but one of the biggest is conspiracy theorists. There’s nothing worse than an idiot who thinks he’s smarter than a bunch of experts who've spent their lives gaining deep knowledge of some subject.  These are not people who are not interested in learning the truth. They fail to appreciate that humans can’t know everything.  They are people who simply create “facts” that are made up to fit their preconceived notions.

A third shooter on the grassy knoll, 9/11 was an inside job, Roswell and Area 51. Back in the 1960s many people believed Hitler was still alive. Why don’t you don’t hear that one anymore?  Don’t get me started on people who literally believe in the Bible.  A flood covered the earth? Really?

One of the biggest conspiracy theories is that the moon landing was faked.  I found this wonderful video by filmmaker S.G. Collins that shreds the faked moon landing bunk by simply pointing out that given the technology we had in 1969 it was actually easier to go to the moon then to fake it. The video is about 13 minutes but well worth the time.

I can’t believe in conspiracies because people are incapable of keeping a secret. People can’t do it. You can never kill everyone involved because then you have to kill the killers, etc., etc.  Someone somewhere is ALWAYS going to talk.

The most insightful part of the SG Collins video is his statement regarding real conspiracies.  Clinging to bogus conspiracy theories blinds you to real conspiracies like unlimited detention, the financial industry bailout, the Patriot Act and one he didn't mention, increasing drone strikes that kill innocent people. Those are the real conspiracies.

As long as people are spinning their wheels on faked moon landings and faked 9/11 attacks and Obama's birth certificate they are not focused on the real threats.  And that's just how the government likes it.

The 10 Best Conspiracy Theories of All Time


Jason Statham as Parker

I see there's a new movie coming out on January 25 called Parker with Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. After seeing a few seconds of action from the commercials I thought this strongly resembled a 1999 movie staring Mel Gibson called  Payback.

It turns out both movies are the same and also different. Both movies are spawned from books by the late Donald Westlake. Payback was adapted from the novel The Hunter published in 1962 under the pseudonym Richard Stark. The movie Parker is based on the Westlake book Flashfire

The two plots are incredibly similar. Flashfire was published in 2000. This quote is from Amazon -
In Flashfire, Parker’s in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions; when things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped—and forced to rely on a civilian to survive.
If you know anything about Payback you can easily confuse the two plots.

I might see Parker but only because I like Statham as an action actor.  He's real and believable.  But if you're interested in this story and want to see some world-class acting from Hollywood's best you must see 1967's Point Blank with Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Keenan Wynn.  Here's a quote from IMDB
Without delving into psychology or motivation, the film places emphasis on action and surface appearances, superbly capturing the glossy, depersonalized feel of a 1967 Los Angeles--a nightmare landscape of concrete, glass and coiling freeways.
Marvin is icy cold and so believable as a killer. Dickinson is sexy but hard-as-nails. The film is in color but is shot in a film-noir style.  Don't see Parker or Payback without seeing the stunning original, Point Blank.


New Jimi Hendrix!

OK. This makes me so happy. I've been quite uninspired to write anything for a while but this is postworthy.

NEW Jimi Hendrix music that is still raw and true. That ringing guitar. Those snapping snares.  Hendrix always make me happy. I think because it brings back feelings of optimism that the world was going to get better.  The nightmare of the  Vietnam war would end. I had a life of experience, exploration  and achievement ahead of me. Things were going to be great.

Where do they find this stuff? After 40 years the sounds take me right back to 1970. Jimi will always be 27, will always rock and will always live in my heart.

Somewhere (Audio Only) by Jimi Hendrix on VEVO.