Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ron Paul wants to "End the Fed"

I received a copy of "End the Fed". It's written by Ron Paul, a member of the House of Representatives from Texas.

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chapter 1

"In the United States, the central bank is the Federal Reserve, the instrument by which our money and credit are constantly manipulated..."

"I've written this book to explain why I think the system of Fed domination must come to an end..."

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In chapter 2 he begins to explain the origins of the Fed.

As I am reading, I'm keeping in mind that his opinion is that the Fed has faults.

He states that the gold standard does not allow for credit without limits.

After going through the chapter, I realize that I didn't learn why the Fed exists "in plain English". Maybe it's because I haven't thoroughly studied finance. Early into this book, I'm ready to strongly suggest you take your time reading it so you can try to understand what is being presented and put it into perspective for yourself.

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He recollects some of the financial history during the 1900s of the United States of America. Included is his perspective on money during his life. No matter how you feel about his postions, agree or disagree, to know the events and history of what helped to shape his feelings is interesting.

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In chapter 4 he recalls the creation of the Gold Commission. Which I was not able to find a lot of information about on the internet...and that seemed very weird to me. Maybe when I get over to my branch of the local library...

Paul believes that "If...we had returned to our senses in 1981, the problems and grave dangers we now face could have been averted."

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Chapter chapter 5, Conversations with Greenspan, is nice and meaty...he starts swinging hard:

"...Greenspan...visited the House Committee on Oversight and Reform...

"Most of his testimony was designed as an attempt to protect his reputation and to explain away his shortcomings a Federal Reserve Board chairman. His testimony was pathetic. He made the point that the computer programs that they were using to anticipate...problems were not well designed...

"History will show that Greenspan, during his years as Fed chairman...planted all the seeds of the finanacial calamity that erupted..."

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As I went through the book, it caused me to have a lot of questions about finances and how the government perceives what is in our best interest. I will need time for study to try to answer all of the questions I now have about it all. There more I read, the more I want to pause and learn about...

This book is not difficult to understand. But unless you are involved in financial markets daily, you will need to take your time to understand what Paul is presenting.

I also intend to seek out other opinions of this book: they will be interesting, and might help me to formulate my own opinion that I can explain and fully support.

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"End the Fed" is published by Grand Central Publishing. It's available in hardcover, paperback (large print available), Adobe ebook, CD audio, and downloadable audio.

A podcast, and an excerpt, are available at http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446549196.htm

His MySpace page is at http://www.myspace.com/ronpaul

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

we are a "Blended Nation"




He took the photographs and conducted the interviews.

It is co-produced by Pamela Singh who holds (a Master's in International Finance & Economics from Columbia University and) a BA in social psychology from Connecticut College.

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"Through a series of soulful photographs, personal vignettes, and poignant essays, Blended Nation...explores the experience of being mixed-race in twenty-first century America. As much a work of art as a piece of literature, this book profiles the fastest-growing demographic group in the United States, encouraging both contributors and readers to consider the place, practice, and experience of race in modern society...

"...Through portraits and interviews with mixed-race children, adults, and families, Mike Tauber and Pamela Singh literally invite their subjects to lend their faces and voices to a discussion of race in America. By allowing contributors to offer their own, and often differing perspectives, the authors create an immensely rich collection of thoughts, opinions, and unanswered questions such as: What happens to the identity of those individuals who are a quarter this, a half that, etc. who don’t visually correspond to any particular group when it comes to race, ethnicity and ancestry? Where do they fit? What box do they check? Most importantly, why is this even considered an issue?...

"...several contributors confess how they always felt ‘too black to be white and to white to be black’..."

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It's a great "coffee table book": 11 x 11 inches, 140 pages...

As I began to read the book, initially I felt hesitant to review it "too much": I immediately felt that the story of each individual would be unique. As mine is...

The pictures are gripping. I find myself closely studying the features of each person. I am intrigued. Then, I see the picture of someone whose facial features, in my opinion, look exactly as mine. And, I see that they are a member of the Blackfoot tribe...like I believe I am! I'm not sure what to do or think about that...

I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was when I read the statement from an African-American male who married a white woman...that his family had disowned him. I guess I can still be amazed that some could/would do that. (There are more of those incidents recounted in the book.) I was raised by my great-grandparents until I was nine years old. I don't remember if, when I was a child, I ever knew if there were any people who did not want me around. I suspect my great-grandparents, a White woman and Black man, did all they could to shield me from that. From my teenage years on, I remember incidents of others not wanting me around...

One woman profiled in the book stated that she has identified her heritage as "hybrid" on forms. I wish I had thought of that...I hope I can remember it.

During my formative years the difinitive and accepted term for the times was "Black". And that's what I became. I have nothing against the term African-American, other than it doesn't describe me: I am of African decent, but an American citizen. I can live with "American-African"...

Depending on who has said it, and how they meant it, I have accepted "Negro" as well as "Colored":


Mrs. Case, a white woman, would feed us and make sure we were OK and safe. I don't know what her past is, but Mrs. Case described us as (her) "colored boys": "...my boys will be over this weekend...you know, my colored boys that stay with me." If you ever took the time to get to know Mrs. Case, you would realize that...this is the only way she ever knew and understood as to how refer to us. For whatever reason, she didn't use "black" on "negro". In her defense (which I will always be), maybe because (to her) those terms were demeaning/derogatory/antagonistic. Who knows why, and it doesn't matter why. I expect something in her past led her to use the terminology the way she did. We could tell by her actions that her use of the term "colored" was intended and meant to be used with much love and affection, and we accepted her support. We listened to her heart, and not her words...

(In an episode of Barney Miller, a character refers to Harris as "Colored". Yamana says: "I'm colored. He's black..." That was he first time I've ever heard someone Asian described that way. He's not wrong; until then, I never knew he was right.)

I proudly proclaim to be a "mutt". I can imagine it causes some distress for some of my family members, but it's the term that I am VERY comfortable with for myself. Sometimes my nose is cold and wet, I might bite, and when music makes me happy I will "wag my tail".

Like their daddy, I like to describe my kids as "a mess": they are Black, White, Italian, Jewish, Chinese, Philipino, Mexican, Native...and those are the ones I know of! (Including the kids...)

Sometimes I feel I need to have a doctorate to know what really is the absolute correct word to use in discussions like this. I shall always demand that the answer to the question of race be "human". After that, I need access to a dictionary, and a thesaurus...as well as an anthropologist.

As I look at the photographs in the book all I can think of is how beautiful these people are. Well...that and I'm trying to figure-out which of the women are single. (As if it might matter to me...)

I was thinking about who I wanted to share this book with, and inform about it. One thing I thought of that is kinda funny to me is that I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for some people in my life: "Oh...you poor thing...you're ONLY white...what a shame..."

I don't know enough about my lineage. I've never met my father, and I'm not absolutely sure about all of the different types of ancestors that I have evolved from. That situation will contiue to grow for humans in general: only with meticulous record keeping will some...and I expect it to be very few...be able to trace and detail from which their family came.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

old people listen to NPR

"Stations that have dedicated their format to NPR news attract an audience with median age 52. That is almost exactly in the center of the Baby Boom generational cohort.

"The jazz stations are aging at a faster rate. With median age of 55...

"...half of the classical audience are not Boomers, rather they are Seniors on Medicare.

"Education is the most powerful predictor of listening to public radio, but the continued aging of the public radio audience shows the influence of generational cohorts."

Walrus Research "designs, conducts, analyzes and interprets audience research – especially for radio."

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Friday, December 18, 2009

oldest/longest DJ has a book, and stories to tell


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As I began to read the preface, because I'm a radio personality, I immediately appreciated that the book is written as if he's reading it to me.

He states:

"...what this book you're holding is about--the story of a little guy who wanted to be on the radio since he was a whippersnapper, finally gets in, succeeds greatly, crashes, recovers, and rises to the top of radio again..."

(I have a huge feeling that this roller coaster-of-a-ride story is going to sound very familiar to me...and give me some deja vu.)

"Be warned...this book contains adult situations, graphic language, sexual content, and strong drug and alcohol references..."

(Now, I wonder if he and I ever worked...and/or partied...together.)

---------------------------------------------

As he begins the first chapter, he states that he...like me...never knew his father. And now I have a feeling that as I continue through the book I'll be seeking other incidents that I can relate to, and have experienced. He describes his lineage of having some native ancestry (as do I)...again I'm drawn to having more of a personal connection with the author than being able to just read the book. I'm not sure what my response will be if I get to the end of this book and find that we are distant cousins, or something like that...

At the age of five, he recalls what can be defined as child abuse. Before you assume what may have happened: stop...and don't. What did happen put me a little off balance, but after being aware of events that have happened to members my family (and some friends), I wasn't surprised at all. (I've always hated leaving my children with others. I have always recommened that people don't. Later in life, you might be thankful that you didn't...or regret that you did.)

Kent mentions that one Christmas he received a radio. (Every so often I remember that I did, also.) He also describes building crystal radio sets, receivers with tubes, and more. As I read his descriptions I can sense his excitement about it, and I wish I had done so. Maybe I will...

This book can elighten a lot of people about a lot of things. You can read about how things were in radio broadcasting...which may help you to understand why things now are the way there are. The path some had to take to get into radio. And what we radio personalities had to, and do, go through for our profession. Some of what we think about in regards to the craft of being a disc jockey, and personality...

Half-way through the book it is appears that rest will be filled with stories with rooted in Chicago. Which is fine...it's just that I need to prepare to expect everything upcoming might be of more interest to someone who lived in that area at that time, or now lives there.

He tells a lot of stories about artists, events, and record companies. And how they relate to his personal life. But he will not discuss his one and only marriage. Due to what has happened in my personal life around marriages and engagements, I guess I don't have a problem with that. But, I wish he would have given some information about why he didn't want to talk about it: I guess I don't need the details, but how about an idea about why he won't reveal any details? (For example, there are details I don't want to share because it could involve others in legal problems that they have never been tied to.)

There are a lot of things that Kent writes about that I can surprisingly relate to: activities relating to personal relationships, professional stuggles that affect personal health and safety, and challenges to basic survival.

Kent has been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest career as a DJ.

After reading the book, I found I was correct in my initial assumptions of this review: (with the exception of being in the Guiness Book of World Records) there's a lot about us that's very similar. I would love to spend a week with him and record our conversations about radio and life...where we could compare stories, and debate subjects and issues.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

book review: Burying Don Imus

Thanks to the University of Minnesota Press for providing a copy of "Burying Don Imus: Anatomy of a Scapegoat".

The author, Michael Awkward, is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, at the University of Michigan.

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When I became aware of this book, I was excited to review it. I've been in radio broadcasting since 1979, and somewhat of a fan of Imus.

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In the covering paper jacket of the hardback book, is written: "...Awkward privides the first balanced, critical analysis of Imus's comments..."

OK...we'll see...

In the preface: "This book explores why so many...felt that Imus's symbolic burial was utterly necessary.."

In the first chapter is a nice two paragraph setup of the career and caricature (if you will) of Imus. It's probably good that Awkward did that, because some who have attacked Imus didn't understand what he has done, and what he does: the style of his programs which have been very consistent...and acceptable in the past (until being fired from MSNBC).

Throughout the chapter, Awkward does a great job of explaining the tone of the program before Imus was fired. If you don't know where Imus came from, you probably don't understand how he got to where he was/is.

Something arose early in the book that annoyed me. (And I expected it would for the rest of the book.) I believe the fault belongs to the publisher. To access a footnote: I had to go to the rear of the book, locate the "Notes" section, and find the note that relates to the chapter...c'mon! Put footnotes, that relate to the chapter I'm reading, at the end of the chapter they are in.

Awkward states that he does not agree with the explanation Imus gave about why the Rutgers womens basketball team should not be made fun of. I won't try to speak for Awkward...I think it's best that it be read from his book so you can find if you understand, and agree, with his position. Due to my personal morals, I will say that I can somewhat agree with Awkward on this.

I almost want to close my review here. With Awkward stating that the basketball team is "fair game", I think that alone should be enough for a lot of people to want to read the book.

Towards the end of the first chapter, he states: "My intention in the following pages is to continue what Imus...started: to consider his skit in terms of the broad 'conext [of] what happens on this program'...the responses to it...the art of comedy...I hope to demonstrate that the conclusions at which people arrived about the nature of the nappy-headed hos skit reflect a failure to consider the comedic context..."

And that is VERY important. In my professional, and personal, life...many things have not been considered in proper and reasonable context. To attempt to defend against misunderstandings and misinterpretations, effort intensive and time consuming framing has been needed to keep material clearly defined. Which, after doing so, depreciates the worth of the attempt at comedy and/or "the joke". Bad jokes happen. Get over it.

In chapter six, "The Appeal of Imus in the Morning", Awkward states he was never aware of Imus until the show was on MSNBC. (I've known about, and tried to study, Imus since I began my radio career.) Because of what I've read in the chapter, I can say that Awkward "gets it".

Awkward mentions his memoirs, "Scenes of Instruction"...which I believe helped him to be open to understanding the program and those of us who like it. (I haven't read "Scenes of Instruction", but I suspect that when I write my memoirs they'll have a similar tone.)

At the end of the book, some post-MSNBC incidents are noted: a comment Imus made about Adam "Pac Man" Jones, a joke by Bernie Mac (that the audience at a fund-raiser for Barak Obama did not appreciate), and D.L. Hughley agreeing with Imus (about the appearance of the basketball team).

Good book. If you were of the opinion that Imus was evil, is evil, should have been fired, and should not have a stage...this book could cause you to consider how attempts at comedy can be viewed, and what can be considered acceptable behavior and attitudes in certain environments by some.

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lots of John Hughes on Encore

From the press release at http://starz.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1000

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...the World Television premiere of Don’t You Forget About Me, a poignant search for Director John Hughes (shot a year before his untimely death) by a group of young filmmakers. The engaging documentary includes appearances by Kevin Smith, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Alan Ruck, Kelly LeBrock, Justin Henry, Roger Ebert, Jason Reitman, and Richard Roeper. Don’t You Forget About Me premieres December 25 at 6:40 p.m. and repeats on December 26 at 3:00 p.m.

Big ‘80s Weekend: A totally awesome marathon of ‘80s movies beginning 12/25 at 8:00 p.m.

* · The Breakfast Club
* · Sixteen Candles
* · Weird Science
* · Fletch
* · Back to the Future
* · Lost in America
* · Weekend at Bernie’s
* · Real Genius
* · Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
* · Parenthood
* · The Legend of Billie Jean
* · Don’t You Forget About Me
* · The Goonies
* · Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
* · Fast Times at Ridgemont High
* · Porky’s
* · Scarface
* · Creepshow
* · Girls Just Want To Have Fun
* · Vision Quest
* · The Outsiders
* · Wildcats
* · All the Right Moves
* · One Crazy Summer
* · The Blues Brothers
* · Purple Rain

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is AM Radio Still Relevant?, by Randy J. Stine


Is AM Radio Still Relevant?, by Randy J. Stine


Posted using ShareThis
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Friday, December 4, 2009

I am a curmudgeon

Due to some recent feedback I've received about what I sometimes say, and how I say it, and where and when I do...I guess I gotta explain this for some people.

I kinda enjoy being a curmudgeon sometimes. Most of my (professional) life I've griped, bitched, moaned, and whined for fun. When possible, turning the "joke" on the safest target: me. I try not to be one when in an environment that it would be, or is, inappropriate. But, sometimes my timing has been off...

I've tried to make it obvious that the curmudgeon-like characteristics of my persona and character is along the lines of Archie Bunker and Fred Sanford...if you take a deep look at them, they're not just rude or obnoxious for the sake of behaving that way: they are who they are because of what/where they have come from, and known...and what they currently know, and don't understand...they can be quick to judge and act based on portions of what makes them who they are. It doesn't make them bad people; right or wrong, they are just the type of people that they are.

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(After the following stories that relate to what I said previously about Bunker and Sanford, I shall return to my curmudgeonly considerations below...)

When I was in high school in West Germany, 1978-1979, I lived in a dormitory. I played American-style football on the school team. There was only one person I'm aware of who would allow some of us...who were black to stay with her on the weekends. I remember being prepared by some of my teamates as I walked to meet her for the first time: "...Now...you need to understand...she's an old white woman...kind of set in her ways...she don't mean no harm...Mrs. Case is just the way she is..."

Mrs. Case, a white woman, would feed us and make sure we were OK and safe. I don't know what her past is, but Mrs. Case described us as (her) "colored boys": "...my boys will be over this weekend...you know, my colored boys that stay with me." If you ever took the time to get to know Mrs. Case, you would realized that...this is the only way she ever knew and understood as to how refer to our ethnicity. For whatever reason, she didn't use "black" on "negro". In her defense (in which I will always be), maybe because (to her) those terms were demeaning/derogatory/antagonistic. Who knows why, and it doesn't matter why. I expect something in her past led her to use the terminology the way she did. We could tell by her actions that her use of the term "colored" was intended and meant to be used with much love and affection, and we accepted her support. We listened to her heart, and not her words...

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For a little while I lived in Rantoul, Illinois and became very active with the local citizen band (CB) radio community. One day some of us went to help someone erect a tower at their home. We were a mixed bunch of different kind of folk: male, female, young, old, black, white, etcetera. Later, the owner invited me to dinner.

After dinner, he said he needed to be honest with me, and we went to his bedroom so he could show me what was in his closet: his KKK robes. He asked if I were afraid. I said that I was not afraid of the robes.

Over more beer, we talked about why he was a member: it was his belief that there should be no mixing of heritages. I have never wanted to tell anyone what they can, and cannot, believe. And that was that. We remained as friendly as we could, and...because he continued to have me over for beer and meals...he was kicked-out of the KKK.

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I've met some people in my professional life who I found to be privately, and when around me, greatly bigoted. It was VERY weird: the person was cordial, polite, and personable to those they had a business relationship with...but when Caucasians were not around, they let their true feelings show! "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"...

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(curmudgeon /on)

There have been times that some of the crap I've said when "on stage" was taken much more seriously than it was ever meant. It's happened so much I've asked family members and friends to not listen to my radio shows and comedy routines. I've always tried to make sure that it was very clear that I meant no intentional offense...because, if I ever did, I want it to be very clear that I mean to offend in the most harshest way possible.

There are very few I can openly joke with that know and understand I'm not "taking a swing" at anyone, and I'm just riffing...

Stern, Greaseman, Imus...we've all crossed that line with no malicious intentions, just collateral damage. Lenny Bruce...Don Rickles...Richard Pryor...Crosby, Stills, and Nash...The Dixie Chicks...Michael Richards...Peter Griffin...being creative involves errors in judgement and material in an attempt to try to get it to be what it should for the audience it is intended for. You don't know you've gone too far...until you have.

Having said all of that, I also remind everyone:
you chose to stay for the rest of the show (you could have left, but you chose to stay)...
"There are controls on your radio/television..."
and, you can continue to read the material, or stop reading it and move on to something else.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

eBay Mobile Boutique might be coming to your town


Someone from a public relations company sent some info to me...

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The eBay Mobile Boutique is making holiday shopping simple and fun by bringing a one-stop shopping destination to shoppers in 12 cities across the U.S. The eBay Mobile Boutique will preview the breadth and depth of products available on eBay and highlight today’s hottest gifting trends.

The eBay Mobile Boutique will be touring from Tuesday, November 10 through Sunday, December 20. The schedule includes:
- Chicago (launch) - 11/10 - 11/11
- Philadelphia - 11/15 - 11/16
- Washington, DC - 11/19 - 11/20
- Atlanta - 11/23 - 11/24, 11/27
- Houston - 12/4
- Dallas - 12/6 - 12/7
- Phoenix - 12/12
- San Francisco - 12/15
- San Jose - 12/17
- Los Angeles - 12/19
- Orange County - 12/20

Everyone is welcome to visit the eBay Mobile Boutique. The Mobile Boutique will be open to shoppers from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., local time. The schedule is subject to change...visit www.eBayholiday.com

Items ranging from consumer electronics, collectibles, toys, home accents, clothing, shoes and accessories will be showcased at the eBay Mobile Boutique.

The Mobile Boutique represents what eBay offers holiday shoppers...

The Mobile Boutique will have personal shoppers who are experts on the eBay site as well as eBay customer service representatives. Staff will assist customers at the computer kiosks and handle customer service related questions.

Staff at the Mobile Boutique will be available on-site to help new customers set up a free account on eBay.com and PayPal.

eBay will be offering “Flash Giveaways” – a $50 eBay gift cards to the first 100 individuals who note the password they find on either the eBay Facebook (www.facebook.com/eBay) or the Twitter page (www.twitter.com/eBay). Each city will have a different password, reflecting the hottest gift trend from that specific market. The giveaways will take place on the second day of the tour visit; for those cities where the Mobile Boutique is only in town one day, the giveaway will be offered on that day.

eBay’s trend experts who will be onsite: Constance White, Style Director; Karen Bard, Pop Culture Expert; Cat Schwartz, Tech and Toy Director; Meredith Barnett, eBay’s Editorial Director for The Inside Source; Jim Griffith, eBay Marketplace Expert; and Zem Joaquin, Home & Garden/Green expert.



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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Objectified (on PBS beginning November 24th)


OBJECTIFIED premieres November 24th on Independent Lens...



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Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our relationship with manufactured objects and the people who design them...

...a digital copy of the DVD on a tiny, custom-printed 16gb USB drive...Limited edition of 500 copies, $75...

...DVD package...Limited edition of 500 copies, $75...

Blu-ray Disc...retail price of $34.95.


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"Objectified" is a Plexifilm release now available through Microcinema DVD. To order this DVD and/or other titles distributed by Microcinema, go to: www.microcinemadvd.com

...'Objectified' profiles the people who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis, including designers for companies like Apple, BMW, Muji, IKEA, Vitra, and more...

http://facebook.com/microcinema

http://www.myspace.com/microcinemainternational

http://www.youtube.com/microcinema

http://twitter.com/microcinema

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfItfeKZgVo


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"Beer in Hell" book is worth reading/owning

I received a copy of the book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell from the assistant to Tucker Max. (Thanks, Ian...)

Tucker Tibor Max put together a bunch of short stories about his life. (Due to the success of the book, a movie of the same title was made.) This isn't just any old regular boring biography...created in 2002, his website sets the stage for the stories he tells:

"My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.

"I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.

"But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way. I share my adventures with the world..."

I already like this guy...you know what you're gonna get before you get it. Now, it's up to you to walk away...or deal with it.

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According to posts on Max's website:







I like his attitude. (As a child) I stopped trying to convince people to believe that I was telling the truth: it was a lot of effort for people who just weren't worth it. When you tell the truth, and are not believed...what else do you have to work with? You loose. And how important is it that a particular person believes you, anyway?

Some people will frown upon the actions of this asshole...but not me: the people that allowed him to behave they way he has can be just as guilty for feeding the animal. (A very long time ago I seemed to have lost my ability to be shocked and horrified: I know of too many things people have done that are very much not "normal" and against conservative morals. And, trying to be very liberal regarding some lifestyle choices and activities, I just try to "live and let live".)

For many years I've been looking forward to writing books about my personal and professional lives. Some won't believe the stories, and other will be appalled to know of some things I have been aware of, done and participated in. But, as this book is, I'm sure it'll be good reading...

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I read the first story in the book, "The Famous Sushi Pants Story", and decided to not read the entire book and then post a review. Because these are short stories, and I expect the rest of the stories to be formatted as "Sushi Pants" was, you should be able to read a story when you need to kill some time...and then put down the book and do something else. Buy the book, and keep it handy for those types of times during a day.

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A page on his website I love is the "Date Application": he's up-front about his likes, dislikes, and expectations that hopefully will save him...and other women...a lot of wasted time from having to do what I call the "date dance" (where we spend a lot of unnecessary time with eachother to later find that it really wasn't worth it).

I don't "date"...never have. I've spent time with women...doing "something", and doing "nothing"...but that's it. When I've taken a woman to a movie, it's because one or both of us wanted to see it. When I've taken a woman out to eat it's because one or both of us were hungry, or wanted to try the food at the joint. To feel as if I needed to create an event and spend money to spend time with someone has always been the first sign that I need to reconsider what kind of relationship I should be having with that person. I think this is where Max and I kinda think alike. (You can imagine my attitude towards "Valentine's Day"...and Christmas...I'm more lenient when it comes to birthdays, unless you EXPECT me to get a present.)

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Max founded Rudius Media, an internet-based publishing outlet and management firm. It has closed. Too bad...I would have been VERY interested to see what projects might have come from them...

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I haven't had a chance to see the movie based on the book...the website for the movie is http://www.ihopetheyservebeerinhell.com

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His Twitter account is http://twitter.com/tuckermax, and his MySpace account is http://www.myspace.com/TuckerMax

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Before IHTSBiH (I'm too damn lazy to type the entire title, and even copy and past...yet still write enough verbage that takes up more space than doing the former would) he wrote two other books. The Definitive Book of Pick-Up Lines, and Belligerence and Debauchery: The Tucker Max Stories. He explains: "They are out of print, on purpose. I took B&D out of print because it was nothing more than reprints of stories already on my site. I took The Definitive Book of Pick-Up Lines out of print because it was fairly amateurish, and I didn't want my name on it without substantially improving it. I think you can get these used in some places, but I would NOT recommend buying either. B&D is all on my site, and the pick-up line book is kinda crappy..."



There might be a sequel to I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, titled Assholes Finish First. I'm looking forward to it, and I've only read one story of IHTSBiH! Get IHTSBiH now and you won't need to try to catch-up when his new book is available.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Digital Counties/Cities Surveys

The 2009 Digital Counties Survey...identifies best practices and recognizes those counties with exemplary digital service to their citizens.

Digital Counties Survey 2009 Winners:

500,000 or more population:
1st: Oakland County, MI
2nd: Montgomery County, MD (tie)
2nd: Sacramento County, CA (tie)
3rd: King County, WA
4th: Fairfax County, VA (tie)
4th: Orange County, CA (tie)
5th: Alameda County, CA (tie)
5th: Anne Arundel County, MD (tie)
5th: Prince George's County, MD (tie)
6th: Bernalillo County, NM (tie)
6th: Orange County, FL (tie)
6th: Westchester County, NY (tie)
7th: Los Angeles County, CA (tie)
7th: Wake County, NC (tie)

250,000-499,999 population:
1st: Loudoun County, VA
2nd: Dutchess County, NY
3rd: Hamilton County, IN

150,000-249,999 population:
1st: Roanoke County, VA
2nd: Dona Ana County, NM
3rd: Scott County, IA
4th: Yuma County, AZ (tie)
4th: Peoria County, IL (tie)
4th: Frederick County, MD (tie)

http://www.govtech.com/dc/surveys/counties/90

---------------------------------------------------

The Digital Cities Survey chronicles and recognizes the information technology achievements of cities...

Awards are based on the four population categories. The awards reception will be held during the National League of Cities annual convention Nov. 10-14 in San Antonio, Texas.

http://www.govtech.com/dc/surveys/cities/89

-----------------------------------------------------------

The Top 5 ranking cities in the Digital Cities Survey (population 250,000 or more):

1) Corpus Christi, TX

2) Miami, FL (tie)

2) Tampa, FL (tie)

3) Aurora, CO (tie)

3) Louisville, KY (tie)

4) Tucson, AZ

5) Riverside, CA

http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=11384975
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bloggers must be more honest...YEA!

Thank you, FTC! The Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidance regarding endorsements...which now also applies to bloggers.

In radio, we as air talent have been given "considerations" for doing commercials and/or endorsements...whether it be in the form of paid compensation, or services, or products. The only time I've had a problem with that was when the person speaking on behalf of the product was lying. And that can happen in various forms: "...I love it...I use it everyday...I wouldn't use anything else..." When I represented, or presented, products...if I said I liked them, it was because I did. If I could not endorse the product, I just performed a commercial announcement. (And, that includes radiothons and telethons: to work for one, I had to believe in the charity or cause.)

I've worked for program directors who told us, the air talent, that we were to present every song we play as a great song: "We only play the BEST music". (According to who?) It's called a "postioning statement", and the strategy is that if it is repeated enough maybe the audience will believe that it is true. (Yeah...right.) There are all kinds of reasons for playing a song, and it isn't always because the song has any redeeming artistic value or that the audience of that particular radio station likes it.

I hosted, and programmed the music for, a "jazz" show. And for which I was on a national music reporting panel for Radio & Records, a trade magazine. I reported on the songs and artists that I played, and how often I played them. I tried to listen to every piece of music that was sent to me. At the time there was a George Benson album that Warner Brothers was trying to promote heavily. All of the other radio stations and shows across the country were reporting it as "hot" (it was in very high rotation on-air); I reported it as low...because I was only playing one track off of the entire CD. After listening to the album, I decided that there was other (new) music that deserved more airtime on my show because they had more music of the quality that my audience preferred. I chose to serve and be responsible to my audience, on the radio station I was on, and in the city I was in. A vice-president of Warner Brothers called and said to me, how could I consider that I knew better than all of the other programmers across the nation? I was removed from the music reporting panel a few weeks later...and a lot of record companies, who had been begging for me to listen to and play their music, stopped sending it to me.

Bloggers can be considered to be “word-of-mouth” marketers. Now, any blogger who makes an endorsement must disclose material connections they may have with the product or service. And I'm all for it...

I believe that there are products that I have not had opportunities to review because there are other bloggers (and members of the media) who appear to give "consistent" positive reviews. I have compared some of my reviews of products to those of others, and I wonder why they never noted things I did. And, I seem to find a lot of reviews that all seem (too much) alike. Others appear to just be "puff pieces". Some of them make me wonder if they even opened the package and tried the product...

Of the products I have "reviewed" and tested, NEVER was I ever instructed by those who provided it to give ONLY a positive report. It was never implied nor expected that I would. If I found that my experience with a product was negative, I might contact the manufacturer to see if there's something wrong with the item...or if they can give me a reason to reconsider my opinion. Sometimes I can just give a technical report based on specifications. And, there have been times when I felt I was not the best candidate to do the review (and I might refer them to someone else).

Manufacturers and marketers should also remember: if I have not had exposure to your product, there is a chance that I have been exposed to products of your competitors. And so have other potential customers that you may have lost access to.

I'm just sayin'...
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The making of Glenn Beck"

Salon.com has posted a three-part article called "The making of Glenn Beck".

I am familiar with Part 2 of this story: at that time, I was working at Y95...

==============================

And I agree with Bruce Kelly: "...In Phoenix, Beck became known for an outsize and mischievous ego..."

I avoided Glenn...I tried to never: look into his eyes, and speak to him. I never had a problem with other members of the on-air staff; Tim Hattrick was a cool dude...I imagine he still is. But the pompasity around Glenn was deep and heavy.

=================================

(Per the story in Salon.com)

...Beck called Hattrick into his office and laid down the law. "I remember Beck sat me down and pulled out a notepad on which he had drawn a planet being orbited by satellites," says Hattrick. "On the big planet, Glenn wrote 'Me.' Then he pointed to the orbiting satellites and wrote names on them, such as 'Tim,' 'News,' and 'Clydie Clyde.' I'll never forget Beck telling me I was a satellite..."

Beck never grew close to Hattrick, who thought his new partner was talented but full of himself and incapable of thinking of anything but radio and ratings. "Beck lived, ate, drank and breathed radio," says Hattrick, who still works as a DJ in Phoenix. "It was impossible to talk to him about anything without reference to how to bring it into the show. I never once saw any evidence that he could turn it off. In that sense he was a one-dimensional person. But he was great at being a grandstanding, pompous idiot and shaking the brushes for attention."

-----------------------------------------------

In radio, some of us are "jocks"...and we want to be "jocks"! We want to have fun, relate to our audience, and serve our community. Tim is a "jock"...I am a "jock". It's what we've enjoyed, and what we're good at. What's wrong with that?

=================================

Of the following event to be described, I was one of the "agents"...IT REALLY WAS TOO FUNNY TO WATCH!

-----------------------------------------------

(From the Salon.com article)

...KZZP sponsored a free Richard Marx concert at the Tempe El Diablo stadium in downtown Phoenix...(Beck) and Hattrick arrived at the stadium early on the night of the show and gave the sound technician $500 to play a prerecorded Y95 promo moments before KZZP's Bruce Kelly was scheduled to announce the show. As an audience of nearly 10,000 waited for the show to begin, the KZZP mics were cut and Beck's voice suddenly boomed out of the stadium's sound system: "The Y95 Zoo team is proud to present … Richard Marx!" As soon as he heard his name, an oblivious Marx walked onto the stage and began to play. As the KZZP crew stood stunned offstage, scattered Y95 agents popped up and began throwing "Y95 Zoo" T-shirts in every direction to a cheering crowd.

================================

The following I don't have fond memories of, because...in the very short time I knew her...I found her to be a very nice person. She was naive, and she was (again) used...

----------------------------------------------

(From Salon.com)

...In September 1988, Beck and Hattrick invited Jessica Hahn onto the show. That month Playboy was featuring a pictorial of the former church secretary, who had become famous when televangelist Jim Bakker admitted to his affair with her.

"That evening, we took Jessica out to dinner," remembers Mike Horne. "I got up to go to the men's room and quickly found myself surrounded at the urinal by Glenn and Tim, who began lobbying me to hire Jessica as a permanent fixture of the morning show. They negotiated the deal, which was a rental car, an apartment and $2,000 a month."

...The hiring of Hahn as the zoo team's "prize-and-weather bunny" became an international story. Johnny Carson and David Letterman joked about it, editorial writers debated it, and as a result Y95 received a much-needed ratings jolt. When People magazine visited the station looking for a quote, Beck described Hahn's radio debut as "awesome" and explained that she filled the void of a "prize bunny for our zoo." The trio was short-lived, however. After a few weeks on the job, Hahn asked to be transferred to a nighttime slot.

-------------------------------------------------

Her feelings were hurt. She REALLY thought that she would be given a chance in radio. After a few days, I realized what was going on and that she would not get a serious opportunity to build a career. I was pissed-off because I knew her feelings were going to be, and had been, hurt. She was a very nice person, and nice to me. I left Y95 to go to a radio station in Milwaukee, and after I left she had moved to nights. I tried to contact her to see if I might be able to help, but was never able to reach her. We haven't been in contact since. After getting to know Jess, I realized how Bakker was able to do what he did: she is one of those people who wants to trust others, and she will. (I still miss ya, Jess.)


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

November 12, Guinness World Records Day

"If you're currently planning to break a record, why not join the Guinness World Records Day celebrations and schedule your attempt for Thursday November 12?..."

GWR Day 2009! - United Kingdom, Guinness World Records Blog post

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Friday, August 7, 2009

where advertising will decline

...some of the predictions in the Communications Industry Forecast from the private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson, scheduled for release on Tuesday.

The segments where advertising will decline most rapidly in 2009...are newspapers (down 18.7 percent, to $35.5 billion); consumer magazines (down 14.8 percent, to $11 billion); radio (down 11.7 percent, to $15.8 billion); and broadcast television (down 10.1 percent, to $43.0 billion). Veronis Suhler expects a few sectors to increase their advertising dollars this year, including mobile (up 18.1 percent, to $1.3 billion) and the Internet (up 9.2 percent, to $23.8 billion).

“...Newspapers, consumer magazines, TV and radio are shrinking and will not, in that period of time, get back to what they saw before...”

...the media industry...is expected to be the third-fastest-growing economic sector over the next five years, after mining and construction....it will be drawn from areas like word-of-mouth marketing and public relations (with a 9.2 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 through 2013), branded entertainment (9.3 percent) and the Internet and mobile devices (10.2 percent).

...Some of the fastest-growing ones are creative strategies that have lately gained favor among marketers. They include paid product placement, with a compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013 of 17.6 percent; e-mail marketing and in-game advertisements (both 18.5 percent); mobile advertising outside of texting (33 percent); paid interactive television gaming (38.7 percent); mobile advertising and content tied to broadcast television (35.5 percent); mobile gaming and advertising (46.2 percent); and Internet and mobile home video downloads (34.4 percent).

Hollywood will have troubles ahead...DVD sales...declined 5.8 percent in 2008, and they are expected to shrink to $ 19.5 billion by 2013, well below 2008’s level of $24 billion...box-office ticket sales...will dip and rise over the next few years, the overall trend is positive...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NAACP endorses bankrupting black radio

The resolution also attacked a few rich African-American millionaires for exploiting African-American musicians...

Radio Business Report/Television Business Report - Voice of the Broadcasting Industry
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The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

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Turn on radio for new tunes? Young listeners say iWon’t - The Boston Globe

"..If you give people in their teens and 20s a reason to listen, I think they will still tune in..."

...the sense of community once fostered by stations...has been diluted...

Turn on radio for new tunes? Young listeners say iWon’t - The Boston Globe

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The NSA wiretapping story nobody wanted

"Hear no evil...see no evil..."

The NSA wiretapping story nobody wanted

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

racial study

I am an adjunct, Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychological
and Educational Services at Fordham University and I am conducting a research study on interracial couples. The research packet contains
two relatively brief questionnaires and a personal data sheet.
Responding to these questionnaires will require approximately 20-25
minutes.

If you are or have been in interracial relationship (i.e., dating,
living together, married, in a civil union, separated, or divorced)
and you and/or your partner would be interested in participating in
the study, please click on the following link –

If you know anyone who would like to participate in this study, please
forward this message.

Thank you in advance,

Lisa Orbé-Austin, Ph.D.
Adjunct, Assistant Professor
Fordham University

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Monday, July 6, 2009

How Teens Use Media

I was able to glance over the "June 2009, How Teens Use Media" report from Nielsen...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Media Consumption of a Typical U.S. Teenager as measured by Nielsen
"...there is no 'typical' teen-age consumer, just as really there is no typical consumer overall..."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Myth: Teens use media—10 screens at a time
Reality: Teens are more likely than adults to use their media one at a time

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Myth: Teens are abandoning TV for new media
Reality: ...They’re watching more TV than ever
"In the U.S., there’s been a slight shift in teen TV viewing from broadcast to ad-supported cable..."
3 hours,  20 minutes per day
"The most popular genres for U.S. teens are Evening Animation, Participation/Variety and General Drama. Family Guy and American Dad drive the animation category...American Idol...the top U.S. program among teens in 2008—as it was for everyone else..."

Myth: Avid commercial skippers, teens favor the DVR
Reality: Teens prefer their TV live

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

PC use
52 minutes daily (including applications)

Myth: Teens use the Internet in wildly different ways than adults
Reality: Teens flock to many of the same categories and sites as adults

Myth: Teens are the most avid users of the Internet
Reality: Teens browse less than half as much as the typical user

Internet, 23 minutes

Myth: Teens are driving the growth of online video
Reality: They watch less online video than their elders
Online video...If they watched, watched 6 minutes per day

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Myth: Teens are the biggest gamers of all
Reality: Teens account for just 23% of the console audience and less than 10% of PC game minutes

The most anticipated video game among gamers 13–17 since 2005 has been Halo 3...Grand Theft Auto IV tied Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the second most anticipated video game. Mario Party 7 (33%) and Guitar Hero: World Tour (32%) round out the list of the fve most anticipated games...

Console Gaming, 25 minutes daily

Reality: More than a quarter of U.S. teens say they read a daily newspaper and more than a third say they read on Sunday
"...older teens 18–20 measured by Scarborough Research were less likely to read a daily paper than average, but still more than a quarter (29%) of U.S. persons 18–20 say they read a daily newspaper on an average day. About a third, 34%, say they read a paper on an average Sunday.

(Which brings me to the section where I rant) IF YOU GIVE THEM A REASON TO READ IT, MAYBE THEY WILL!!!  No different than TV, radio, vodcasts/podcasts:  give them, your audience, a reason to be interested in your content!  Show an interest in them, and their interests...

Newspaper, 1 in 4 read

I remember the joy of perusing and reading the newpaper with my great-grandparents.  I intentionally would not pay for cable television to force my children to look at the newpaper I would bring home.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Reality: Radio is the top source of music consumption for 16% of teens globally and the secondary source for another 21%.

"In the U.S., a 2008 study by Scarborough Research showed that 'Pop Contemporary Hit Radio' was the most popular format among older teens 18–20 (listened to by 40% of this segment), followed by Rhythmic Contemporary and Country..."

Reality: Advertisers are more likely to target teens with messages about health and beauty

Myth: U.S. teens are the world’s couch potatoes
Reality: Far from true…South Africans and Indonesians take the prize

Myth: The only way to reach teens over their phone is texting
Reality: Teens text at incredible rates, but are EARLY ADOPTERS OF ALL MOBILE MEDIA

Myth: The silver screen is too old-fashioned and expensive for today’s teens
Reality: Teens go to the movies more than any other age group

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems that this demographic is no different than any other:  if you want them, you will need to put in the effort and "fight for them".

Blogged with the Flock Browser

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

newspapers survive and thrive?

The Chris Matthews Show

How can the American newspaper industry evolve to ensure its survival?
What are some promising new sources of investigative journalism?

You can watch the full episode on the website: http://www.thechrismatthewsshow.com
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

educational podcasting survey

I don't think the sender would mind that I put this in my blog...it should be posted in the Google Groups "Podcamp AZ" group.

================================

Date: Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:02 AM
Subject: [ PodCamp AZ ] Podcasting Research Study

I am a doctoral researcher, conducting a study on the use of
podcasting in education. I would like to request your participation
in a study to assess the instructional design practices being used in
the development of podcasts and their use in instruction. To that end,
I would like to ask you to spend approximately 10-15 minutes to share
your experiences developing podcasts and/or teaching with them by
filling out the survey at the following link:


...The study closes on Monday, July 13, 2009.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

resignation letter

I was going through some files on a hard drive, and found this. It was sent to some employees of Convergys. I have removed names...

===========================================

Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2001 5:26 PM
Subject: Goodbye to All

Today is my last day with Convergys, formerly Keane AZ. I have accepted a position with another firm.

DISCLAIMER: The following is the sole opinion of...and does not represent Keane Inc, Convergys, Microsoft, or any of the employees who work for these companies. The purpose of this letter is to present personal opinion.

My experiences with Keane were nothing but extrodinary (sp): I learned a great deal, made many friends, and enjoyed a professional environment that made working here highly enjoyable. The past seven months (of the 8 months I've been here) have been a
great working experience. There was a time when I told people that Keane was easily one of the best companies in Tucson.

However, since the Convergys take-over, IMHO, things have definately (sp) gone down hill. Gone are the feelings of a united group of people working togather (sp); this has been replaced with micro-managing. Gone is the enjoyment of each new day; this has been replaced by a Gestapo-style system of time management and the continual loss of research time and other things. In short, the working aptnosphere (sp) has become filled with tension and politics.

I would like to thank the following people for their assistance, leadership, and commitment...You are all excellent at what you do and are a huge asset to this company and Microsoft. I hope that you all get the respect that you deserve.

I'm sorry if this letter angered, annoyed, or upset anyone. But I decided not to emulate some of the hypocritical people who have, in the past, given accolades to the company while at the same time announcing their decision to leave. I DO hope that all who are here will achieve success in their futures and will strive to be true to themselves. I'm hope I have the pleasure of working with you again.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

no such thing as publicity

I asked a (cellphone) company if a phone that is due to be released would be available for "review": I use the phone and the service it's tied to, and publish information about it (video/audio, blogs, print, etcetera). Here's the response I received:

"Just read a review online. There must be some out there."

I should parrot what others have said, didn't say, tried, didn't try, missed...

I'm shocked. The responder doesn't "get it". Oh, well...I'll just promote more what your competition will provide.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

review of One-Eyed Monster

Thanks to Brian Gross, the president of BSG Public Relations for arranging for a copy of the movie to be sent to me. (We Virgos gotta stick together...)

The DVD arrived from Liberation Entertainment...

===========================

Synopsis

In a darkly comic homage to "Alien" and "The Thing", the cast and crew of an adult film, stranded in a blizzard, must band together against a mysterious and deadly alien, which has possessed the actor with the biggest part--Ron Jeremy (naturally). Now, with the monster on a killing spree, the race is on to trap and destroy it before there are more victims of its peculiar skills.




==============================

The preview on the website gave me the impression that it would have a horror-based plot...(but not taking itself too seriously) with some comedy. Five minutes into the movie I noticed on the DVD box: "A comedy by the Fields brothers". ("Doh!...")

It runs over one hour and fifteen minutes. Due to language and subject matter, it is for adults...there is some nudity...no "bloody messes", though.

I consider it a movie to be watched with "friends": get it from Netflix, grab some food and drink, relax, and put it on. As with anything: don't expect "too much" from it, and it's possible you could enjoy what you receive.

============================

Notes I made while watching the movie:

I wasn't sure what to expect regarding production quality...most of it was good, like any other movie you'd expect to see in the theater. There were some poor effects, but they appeared...I noticed...and really didn't care.

(After you watch the movie, the following observation will make sense...) Some of the dialog between Ron and Veronica seems to be introspective...

I think I've seen most adult sexually related devices, and the "neural tactile simulator" seems familiar to one now on the market, but with some added processing power I think this thing could be a consideration for some...

In general, I liked the dialog...

Halfway through the movie, I began to lose (some) interest...

Then, Charles Napier appeared...and I expected things to perk-up some: more horror, comedy...or both. For me, it did (I won't spoil his "break-out" scene)...

It does have some (kinda) "scary" parts...

Some parts of the movie (plot) are weak. I kept hoping the movie would hold together to the end. It did (kinda).

The acting of one guy doesn't get better, and becomes monotonous rather quickly...

Some events in the movie, to my surprise, were "wrapped-up" at the end.

If you watch all of the credits, there are some interesting facts that are verified.

==================================

I have not watched the Features of the DVD:
Commentary
More Celebrity Holes (Outtakes)
Porn Yesterday: A Conversation with Ron Jeremy and Veronica Hart
Spotlight On: The Dick Wrangler
Deleted Scenes
Photo Gallery
Trailer and Teasers

================================

Here are some related links:

Facebook

MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/oneeyedmonstermovie)

An Artist's Journey: The Blog of Ron Jeremy's Dick
The Official Blog of Ron Jeremy's Classically Trained Dick as it navigates its way through the hairy world of Show Business


Twitter, "Attached to Ron Jeremy - yes, it's really me!"

On their website are free wallpapers for computers, and ring tones for telephones (here's one I hope to remember, 'cause I will use it: http://www.oneeyedmonstermovie.com/download.php?file=ringtones/Im_gonna_roll_you_like_a_carpet.mp3).
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Friday, May 22, 2009

(sexy) standup cutouts

Sexy Standups are five to six feet tall cutouts made of heavy cardboard with an easel attached. The image is of photo quality...

They are available in the catagories of:
Adult Entertainers
Almost Nude
Chippendales
Costumes
Mini Skirts
Bikinis
Bras and Panties
Sexy Lingerie
and "Cartoons"

drumstickspolice

And, they do accept custom orders...
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

FCC

FCC’s Warrantless Household Searches Alarm Experts

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Friday, May 15, 2009

TOP 50 U.S. WEB PROPERTIES FOR APRIL 2009

Social Networking
MySpace Sites led the category...followed by Facebook.com...Twitter.com, now the third ranked social networking site...

comScore Top 50 Properties (U.S.)
April 2009
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
1 Google Sites
2 Yahoo! Sites
3 Microsoft Sites
4 AOL LLC 107,469
5 Fox Interactive Media
6 Ask Network
7 eBay
8 FACEBOOK.COM

http://www.comscore.com/content/download/2273/24215/file/comScore%20Inside%20the%20Ratings%20April%202009.pdf
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radio delivers less news than TV, internet, and print

Regarding the amount of time spent each day on gathering news and information...Television is the most intensively used medium, with an average of around 43 minutes a day, perhaps an edition of evening broadcast news together with some background information from more in-depth programming. Newspapers were ranked second, with an average time spent per day of 33 minutes. Consumers who pay for online content spend on average 20 minutes a day on the Internet, while users of free online content spend 15 minutes. Time spent on magazines and radio averages less than 10 minutes a day...

page 16

(Maybe if radio provided much better content and substance...)
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

FriendFeed

"...is a service that makes it easy to share with friends online..."

You can get a "customized feed made up of the content that your friends shared — from photos to interesting links and videos to messages just for you. And your friends get their customized feeds, full of the cool stuff that you've shared."

"...You can subscribe to updates from individuals and groups, such as your family or a team of people you work with...you and your friends contribute to a shared stream of information — information that you care about, because it's from the people that you care about.

"...your friends can see what you're sharing without creating an account, and you can embed your feed in your home page or blog. FriendFeed also lets you pull in updates from other sites around the web, and even publish your feed to services you already use..."

They support SSL encryption...but it appears it's just at login.

You can login using your Twitter, Facebook, or Google account. I logged in using my Google logon. As soon as I did, I noticed I had 21 friends...I don't know why. Some I follow on Twitter...but I did not use my twitter account to login with.

I did not make my account/feed "private"...and initially, it appeared that you must be a member of Friendfeed to see it. But, after a time, it seems that you/anyone now can.

"Connect the services you use to FriendFeed. For example, if you add Flickr, your feed will automatically update every time you publish a new photo...."

It does seem to automatically update. (Twitter related applications I use are http://sideline.yahoo.com and Tweetdeck.)

Here are some of the services they support:
LiveJournal
Tumblr
delicious
Diigo
Digg
Google Reader
Flickr
Facebook
Gmail/Google Talk
Twitter
Last.fm
Pandora
12seconds
Dailymotion
YouTube
Amazon.com
LinkedIn
Netflix
Netvibes

http://friendfeed.com/?auth=i5OZ1mjQu5z8SHKw&format=atom

I chose to only connect to Diigo...because, at this moment, I don't want to integrate all the other services I use into FriendFeed. I think it's a great service, but not for me to use on a regular basis...not now...maybe one day.

I wish they supported OpenID (I'm still also waiting for Facebook to).
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SteelSeries headsets

We at TechtalkRadio have had the great pleasure of reviewing headphones from SteelSeries, and I do mean "pleasure"...

---------------------------------------------

The first set I tried was the SteelSeries 3H.



This is an entry-level product for gamers that is a foldable/collapsible, lightweight gaming headset designed for easy transport.

Headphones:
10 - 27.000 Hz frequency response
7.1 virtual surround sound
The "closed" headphones are optimized for specific gaming sounds like: gunfire, weapon reloads, footsteps, and other crucial sounds...

Microphone:
Retractable, non-directional microphone system
50 - 18.000 Hz frequency response
6.5 foot cable

The cord comes out of the right headphone. On the cord there is an "On/Off" switch for the headset, a mute switch, and "volume up" and "volume down" switches.

http://www.steelseries.com/us/products/audio/3h/information

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The SteelSeries 5H v2 USB headset is designed for gamers with onboard soundcards, and/or gamers who regularly find themselves playing at third party computers.

The "open", full-size, ear cushions fit around ears and are very comfortable. The headphones can be dismantled into three separate parts (so they can fit into a bag or a carrying case).



"...This headset was developed and optimized specifically for in-game sound frequencies found in the most popular shooters - making in-game sounds like footsteps, alerts and gunfire especially clear. You will be able to hear and pinpoint the location of your opponents...you can boost and lower frequencies of your own choosing, allowing optimization..."

Headphones
- Frequency response: 16 - 28.000 Hz
- Cable length: 10 feet
- Connectors: 1/8"

"...Our...soundcard...was designed for gamers who either use systems with (often crappy) on-board soundcards or players who travel a lot."

"The soundcard features a processor which frees up CPU power...More free CPU power equals more CPU power for your game application..."
- USB soundcard with 7.1 virtual surround
- Equalizer: 12 channels
- Operating systems: Win XP/Vista/Win 2000/Win 98/Win ME/Mac OS

Microphone
- Pull-out microphone system (it is much easier to grab and extend than the 3H...)
- Frequency response: 75 - 16.000 Hz
- Pick up pattern: Uni-directional

There is a seven foot extension cord for both the headphones and the microphone.



The SteelSeries USB Soundcard software provides options for:
7.1 virtual surround sound...
microphone boost...
environments (padded cell, auditorium, cave, arena, hanger, hallway, drugged, dizzy, psychotic, and more)...
an equalizer...
and karaoke functionality (with vocal cancellation).

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The SteelSeries Siberia USB Headset was designed and...

"...developed in cooperation with professional gamers to ensure that the soundscape, specifications and comfort is suitable for long gaming sessions. But the SteelSeries Siberia USB full-size headset is also designed for multi-functionality.

"This headset is bundled with a USB soundcard featuring virtual 7.1 surround, extremely suitable for gaming, music and movies...The 12 channel equalizer allows for tweaking to personal preferences, while the built-in effects processor can provide ambiance and other effects.





"...this product has been designed so gamers can use it with their favorite MP3-player, handheld gaming device or practically any other kind of portable digital device.

"...the headset features a separate microphone (and a separate soundcard)...and comes with an additional extra long cord for use with stationary computers."




The choice of colors are black and white.



Headphone
- Frequency response: 18 - 28.000 Hz
- Impedance: 40 Ohm
- SPL@1kHz, 1V rms: 99 - 104 dB
- Jack: 1/8" (a 1/4" converter is included)
- Cable length: 9 feet (with extension cord)

I measured the cable coming from the headphones to be 3 feet long. (The extension cord is 6 feet long.)

The headphones use a suspension design to sit on your head. Because I have an obscenely large afro...unless I restrain my hair by tying it in a ponytail...I put the headphones on, and then take my hair out of the headphones.

Microphone
- Frequency response: 80 - 15.000 Hz
- Impedance: 2K Ohm
- Pick-up pattern: Uni-directional
- Sensitivity (1V/P@1 kHz): -38 dB

The microphone cord is 9.5 feet long (115 inches), and can be connected alongside of the headphone extension cord with the clips that are on the extension cord. There is an "on/off" switch on the microphone. It has a clip so you can attach it to clothing, or the supplied "screen hanger" (which can be attached to a surface/monitor with Velcro...which is also supplied).
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

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