Archive for the ‘This American Life’ Category

By for the aflcio2008 (OH: USW Phone Bank in Mansfield) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This week Ed Baxter announced he is the chosen one.  He got the spot.

Well, he didn’t use those exact words when he informed listeners of Talk910-AM that he has accepted the host position for the 10:00am-1:00pm time slot on the station.  I was happy to hear it.

After the departure of former host, Frosty Stilwell, we listeners endured weeks of rotating hosts, never knowing what to expect when we turned the radio on.  Sometimes we were pleasantly surprised with the professionalism of John Rothmann, other times we had to turn the radio off ten minutes into a show.  Where does Talk910 find some of those fill-in hosts?

It was as if they were letting Gil Gross pick ’em, because you know what a great show he has on Fridays with his wife.  In Gil’s world, if you can work on a crossword puzzle, then the next logical step is to add a microphone and put you on the air.  No one will notice the screeching sound when you speak.  Go ahead, interrupt guests with inane questions and shriek at the top of your lungs every time you disagree with something.  Yeah.  Fun times.  Completely unprofessional, but that doesn’t matter.  If you can come up with the right words on a puzzle, then you are ready for radio.

The only thing worse than hearing Gil’s wife on the radio is hearing the show that comes on before Gil’s show.  Those two guys have to be the worst thing on radio, ever.  And, remember, I’m including Gil’s wife in that assessment.  She has to be the second worse thing ever on the air.  But, you already knew that.  Hearing her once is enough.  It takes nearly a month to get the ringing out of your ears.

This is so unfair to listeners.  It’s as if Talk910 is trying to fail.

This is how bad it is, for the first time, ever, I’ve been streaming WOR710 in New York and listening to Hannity every afternoon at 1:00pm instead of those two guys on Talk910.  Thanks a lot, 910.  At least Hannity takes calls.  That is what talk radio is supposed to be about.  Discussion.  Talk.  Not to yourself.  To people.  Feedback from listeners.

I still listen to Radiolab and ThisAmericanLife, as well.  Sometimes Ted Talks.  But the Hannity show takes calls.  That’s what I want to hear.

For awhile, I thought Talk910 was seriously considering Spencer Hughes as a host.  He takes calls.  I’d never heard him before. I’ve heard OF him.  Not good things, but I don’t let other opinions dictate my judgment.  I want to hear it myself and form my own opinion.

Now I know what people are talking about.  At first, I didn’t mind him.  He talks and talks and talks, starting out saying one thing and then seems to disappear into his own head as he goes off into two or three more topics while still finishing thoughts about the first thing.  It’s strange, all he needs is a big Monty Python hand pushing on his head and a voice announcing “now for something completely different”.  I would not be able to listen to that every day.  There is no focus to his show.

Ed Baxter has focus.  He forms thoughts and can express them in a professional style and he has the intelligence to interact with any guest.  It’s not an effort to listen to his voice, he has a natural, pleasant tone.  He likes to take calls.  On the air, many times, he has said he doesn’t want to be the only one talking.  He wants to hear what callers have to say.  He has always given out the phone number so listeners can call in…

Except for this week.  I noticed there were no callers this week and there was no number given for callers.  Is this going to end up as another show of someone reciting news items from sfgate and bringing in ‘experts’ to talk about them?  Ed’s already doing the Gil thing, bringing in his producer to talk about things.  Come on, Ed, you know that gets boring fast.  Where are the callers?  Some of the most interesting shows on the radio happen with callers.

You know this, Ed.  Get it done!  Give out that number.  Take those calls.

This is no surprise.

I listened to Frosty every day, it was my morning routine at work.  BBC Radio 2, live online, is the first audio of the day (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2).  That hasn’t changed for many years.  Steve Wright in the Afternoon (London time) plays a nice mix of new and old music, along with celebrity interviews.  He even plays Demis Roussos every so often and that makes my day!  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr4r)  Following Steve, is Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq) and he has a Confessions segment that has me hooked.  Right after the Confession (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess), in the first hour of Mayo, there is a short financial report and one more song before the top of the hour.  I wait until the song ends before I shut down BBC and turn on the little radio on my desk.  I do not want to hear one single word of Armstrong & Getty so I always wait for the song to end because I know A&G will be off the air.

Then, it’s 10:00am and time for Frosty.

In the same way, I turn off the radio the moment Frosty’s show ends, because the following ‘so-called’ show begins and I don’t want to lose my lunch.  Two guys talking who have nothing to say.  Now, we all know Gil’s wife is gawd-awful, she has tainted Gil’s product (but Gil hasn’t done much to salvage his reputation either), but why a supposed-talk station chose those two new guys for a new show is beyond lunacy.  Keeping Gil’s wife on the air with that shrieking voice only a dog could love is a major blunder, but adding that disaster of a new show is too much.  There is nothing on that station now that is worth listening to and the good thing is I won’t have to hear the same commercials over and over again of that woman yelling about something.  Who knows what she’s saying, I never could listen to those spots.

I do have one shout out: Hellloooo! Lloyd Lindsay Young.  I will miss hearing your voice on the radio.  You are one of the good ones.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Lindsay_Young

Frosty was the last link to radio I had.  That’s it for me.  I’ve been listening online to Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/) and This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) and Radio Lab (http://www.radiolab.org/) to fill in the lack of good talk.  Eventually, someone will put together live podcasts of talk shows, hopefully with callers, that we can stream and customize content according to topic or host.

So, Frosty signed off for the last time on Talk-910AM on Friday, August 1st.

As I said, this was no surprise.  He’d mentioned his on-air anniversary a few months back but made no mention of a contract or another year.  Plus, his lease had expired on his apartment and he’d packed everything up in storage and was living in a corporate, furnished apartment temporarily.  He talked about looking for a new apartment at one time, but hadn’t mentioned it for some time.  See?  No surprise.

He said he couldn’t come to a contract agreement so he’s heading back to LA.

You can see what he says about it on his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/froststilwell

This is his San Francisco page and he says farewell there as well:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frosty-San-Francisco/151619138189638

His podcasts have disappeared from Talk 910AM’s site.  None of my links to his shows will work.  sigh..

I should mention another Facebook page has disappeared.  The Former KGO Listeners Facebook page is gone.  Don’t know what happened, but maybe they became frustrated with the lack of content two years after Cumulus destroyed radio in this market.  What more is there to say?

*

*

Note: I received a note that there is another Facebook option:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

Thanks, H. Bjerre!  I’ll check it out.

By now, you know my frustration with radio content.  Even Talk 910AM no longer has shows to listen to, except for the morning Frosty show.  Some think he’s boring, and he has put on some boring shows, but he’s all that’s left for us now except for online podcasts such as radiolab.org or thisamericanlife.org.

So, I’ll share what I enjoyed hearing this past week when NOT listening to Talk 910AM, except for Frosty.

I heard this following podcast during the livestream of This American Life.  It’s about radio.  It’s an old broadcast from 1998 so there’s no lamenting about the current mess of the radio industry.  There are interesting stories for anyone who used to love listening to the radio.  Here’s the link:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/100/radio

Here’s the recap of it:

For the 100th episode of This American Life, a radio show about the pleasures of radio. About what makes radio so great … and what makes it so terrible.

Act One of this podcast reminds me of an AM radio station I used to hear when I was still young enough to be in grade school.

Before the internet, my window to the world was nighttime AM radio waves. After dark, I heard things on my shiny, black transistor radio unlike anything played on my small town station.

In the deep chill of winter, in the silence of 1:00am, I’d turn on my transistor, hold it against my ear, and hear things that raised the hair on the back of my neck.  It came from halfway across the country.   Every night I searched like an addict for the same station. The dial had to be just right, exactly a hair off from the number on the tuner, to hear those call letters WHAM. That station was like the exploding text on the Batman tv series. POW! KABOOM! I mean, this stuff was wild. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. You’re gonna burn! burn! burn!

Imagine hearing the full version of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy With The Devil’ for the first time while alone in the dark, when seemingly not another soul was awake.

I was intrigued.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  I was a musical deviant and I wasn’t yet thirteen.  I told no one. This was personal, between me and my radio.

In those young years of listening to my transistor radio, I didn’t get any real sleep except during long weekend drives of family outings, when my father had control of the car radio – tuned to Lawrence Welk’s sound of champagne bubbles or Engelbert Humperdinck.

And I did sleep in the early evenings, until, as if an alarm had gone off, I awoke for the beginning of Steve Salmon’s show. He was my favorite WHAM disc jockey. I laughed into my pillow at Steve Salmon’s commentary and it was thrilling to hear music that wasn’t even played yet where I lived. Life was good.

One night, Steve signed on to tell his listening audience a friend of his had given him a record and he was going to play it “right now”.

“My friend said I have to hear this,” Steve said, “hmmm, Monkey Spanner Version No. 2.”

I heard the needle drop into the groove and after a scratchy moment the song began to play. It was all instrumental, with an upbeat sound. It was the type of song that gets stuck in your head for days.

 

(Here’s the YouTube link to Monkey Spanner Version No. 1 and Monkey Spanner Version No. 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO8-sPbsXaw

As the song played, Steve told us, “Oh my God! I LOVE this song!  I have to listen again.”

The rhythm rolled for another two minutes or more.

I smiled. I’d never heard any disc jockey play the same record two times in a row.

“This is officially my favorite song!” Steve shouted and the song began again.

“Monkey Spanner Version No. 2!” He yelled and played it again.

“I can’t stop playing this. Let’s hear it again!”

And he did. Again and again and again.

For over thirty minutes the song played accompanied by occasional shouts in the background, “I love it!”.

I was upright in bed, looking around, eyes wide, bursting to tell someone about what was happening on radio station WHAM in New York at one-thirty in the morning. I wanted to clap my hands in pure joy. Every time the song started I squealed with glee and hugged my pillow. Or pressed my hand over my mouth. Would he dare do this all night?

After nearly an hour of continuous play, there were sounds of knocking on a door. Steve began the song again. We listeners heard footsteps and the creak of a door opening.

“Stop playing that song!” a guy’s voice yelled and a door slammed.

The song continued.  Steve’s hushed voice told us, “They want me to stop but I have to hear it again.  I will never stop playing it!  Never!”

The song started again and we heard violent knocks on the door. Steve’s voice barely whispered to us, “They are trying to make me stop playing this song but don’t worry, I locked the door.”

As Monkey Spanner Version No. 2 played on, the background sounds grew louder until we heard crashing and the unmistakable sound of a foot kicking the door. Steve’s voice was frantic, “They’re breaking down the door. I will never stop playing…”

Muffled voices of men filled the airwaves along with the song, and noises of a scuffle. I pressed my transistor radio closer against my ear. The batteries were dying.

The high-pitched screech of a needle scraped across record grooves, setting my teeth on edge. And then a loud crack. The sound of a record being smashed against a hard surface.

For the first time on WHAM, there was silence.

I stood, glancing wildly around my darkened room, transistor radio against my ear – listening to silence.

I shook it once to make sure it was still working. Hoping to jiggle the batteries into action.

Then I froze. A deep voice, trained to enunciate, told us his name and that he was our new host. That Steve Salmon was no longer with the station. He played something. Who knows what it was. The Fortunes, ‘Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again’, or something similar.  It wasn’t Monkey Spanner Version No. 2.

I crept back into bed, placed the radio on my pillow, pulled the covers to my chin and closed my eyes. I was tired, but how could I sleep? My thoughts spun over and over again, like that darn record had.

My eyes flew open.  I heard his voice. Steve’s voice. He whispered that he’d sneaked back in when the new guy went for a bathroom break.  He had another copy of Monkey Spanner Version No. 2. Sure enough, that crazy, now familiar song started to play.

I sat up and punched my fists in the air. He’d done it! My hand went to my heart. Steve was back and, by God, he’d done it.

The needle scratched and a different song began. Steve’s voice growing softer and softer into the background, repeated, “But, but I have to hear my song!”

And then he was gone.

I’d tried finding that station after that night, to see if Steve was back. But I was never able to locate it again. I’m sure I was just a hair off from the number on the tuner but I never managed to get it just right. Or maybe I just didn’t recognize the voice of the new guy that sounded like all the other voices out there.

I haven’t traveled the nighttime airwaves for decades. How could I? I’d never find anything to compare with the guilty pleasure of those early days listening to Steve Salmon on WHAM radio.

Do you have any radio stories?  Share them!

Now to get back on track with more podcasts that might interest you.  I heard another good podcast on the livestream of This American Life.  It’s all about love.  The problem is, I can’t find it.  I don’t have the time to go through and read the recaps of all of the shows that include the search term ‘love’ so, instead, I’ll give you a link to the results.  You want to go looking for love?  Maybe you’ll find it:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/search?keys=love

 

Another podcast I read about in one of the gossipy columns of sfgate.  Joan Rivers produces a web show ‘In Bed With Joan’.  She talks to celebrities (I’m unfamiliar with many of the names).  I watched the one with Jason Biggs and listened to the Drunken Phone Calls.  As you’d expect with Joan, there is profanity so be careful if you listen at work:

 http://inbedwithjoan.com/

 

How could I leave without a link to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown?

 

Here’s the link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCTaxGhRC5M

And, here’s what Wiki says about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crazy_World_Of_Arthur_Brown

 

As well, how could I leave a link to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and not include a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins video?

 

Here’s the link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orNpH6iyokI

And, what Wiki says about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screaming_Jay_Hawkins

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

 

When a movie doesn’t hold a preview screening for the critics or, in the old days, when it went directly to DVD, there’s a good reason for it.  Anyone who actually wastes their time watching the movie can confirm the reason why.

I thought it odd when Talk 910-AM made no announcement of their replacement show for The Randi Rhodes  Show.  I no longer find it odd.  ’nuff said.

So, what other options do we have?

I’ve compiled this list in the past but I think it’s time to post another reminder where to go when local radio programmers slop out lazy talk shows that leave us wishing we could, for once, tell them where to go…

Of course, these alternative options are not optimal because some of these programs do not have a talk format – they have more of a story-telling type of delivery that is less engaging than a caller-driven show (even when the storyline is interesting).

No one takes calls anymore, anyway.  Today’s talk radio is bland with no one talking except the host.  And, even that is PPM doing all the talking.  Even when the listeners are no longer listening.  It’s the sad state of radio today.

Following are some other options:

This American Life

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

Note: Under the menu tab ‘WAYS TO LISTEN’, select ‘LIVE STREAM’ and then click the link included in the first sentence on the page (’24/7 stream’ is the link that takes you automatically to a tunein.com player) and it will stream 24/7 episode after episode, mixing new with old.  If you don’t mind varied topics, this is the best way to listen.

If you prefer selecting the subject matter, then browse the archives:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

I heard one interesting story on This American Life about a pimp from Oakland.   This one is not for everyone.  It’s about the life of a pimp.  How he got into it, what was his experience, and why he got out.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/127/Pimp-Anthropology

 

Radiolab

http://www.radiolab.org/

Radiolab posts one hour podcasts.  It’s annoying to have to select another podcast every hour, but, hey, it’s one thousand times better than hearing Gil’s wife on the radio.  I can’t even listen to Gil’s show any longer because, unbelievably, he has his wife call-in during his show during the week, not just on Fridays, so he can talk to her about some lame subject like what’s happening on a television show.  That’s when I turn off the radio for the day.

I’ve been listening to radiolab.org podcasts, as well as the thisamericanlife 24/7 stream, after Frosty’s show ends.  The only problem is that I listen to these podcasts while at work and sometimes miss sections of the story and have to go back to listen again when I have time.

Some of the interesting Radiolab podcasts I’ve heard:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/

…the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) –  has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the “war on terror.”

http://www.radiolab.org/story/308403-blood/

 This hour, we consider the power and magic of the red liquid that runs through our veins.

Note: Within this episode, there is a fascinating look at what happens to your donation after giving blood.  Did you know they re-sell the blood you gave for free?  It’s a big operation (no pun intended).

Here’s the text section on giving blood that corresponds to the podcast.  The audio about blood banks is near the end of the hour-long podcast:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/308780-blood-banks/

Here’s the Episode Archive of Radiolab:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

 

Ted

https://www.ted.com/talks/browse

I haven’t listened to any Ted Talks for awhile, but I’ll be on there more in the coming months and will share any talks that I find interesting.

 

NPR

http://www.npr.org/

http://www.npr.org/programs/

 

BBC

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/lbc-goes-national-as-uk-s-first-new-talk-radio-station/057452

 http://www.lbc.co.uk/

Here’s a fun listen, not very long (under 30 minutes), and posted weekly on BBC Radio 2 – Simon Mayo’s Drivetime Confessions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess

Simon Mayo considers listeners’ darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, as they beg for his forgiveness.

Here’s a list of old Confessions in Simon’s Confession Archives (up to May 7, 2011):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/simon-mayo/confessions/

 

I read this article recently:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/05/01/huge-archive-of-old-san-francisco-historical-newsreel-footage-loaded-onto-youtube-british-pathe-mediakraft-networks/

A British media firm has uploaded a huge archive of old San Francisco footage and history onto the company’s YouTube channel.

It would be fun to look at some of this old footage.

Speaking of vintage, I heard about this interesting book on BBC Radio 2 – Steve Wright in the Afternoon show when he interviewed the author of ‘Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek’.  I found a link about the book from the Today Show:

http://www.today.com/books/popular-1960s-style-approach-becoming-cool-modern-world-2D79513955

Here’s the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Popular-Vintage-Wisdom-Modern-Geek/dp/0525426817

That’s it for now.  Have any suggestions?  Share  them!

Enjoy the long holiday weekend, everyone.

 

 

 

What is going on at Talk910-AM?  Are they trying to see how low their ratings can go?

I was happy when they removed Rush from the schedule.  Not so thrilled that they gave Armstrong and Getty an extra hour.

Frosty’s show was moved back two hours. I don’t mind Frosty.  I enjoy his show.  But, he discusses many lite-news items.  He loves to talk about Bieber.  And, weird, trending news items along with audio clips of 911 calls or odd interviews.  Things that are interesting for a one-time listen but they are topics you hear once and there is no need to listen again.

That was evident when Frosty was on vacation during the week that began with St. Patrick’s Day.  Mid-week the station played a ‘Best Of Frosty’ show.   It was all about Bieber’s bad behavior.   Do we really need to hear that again?  sigh…

That is a flaw when presenting a news-lite program with no callers.  But, I do love it when Frosty shares personal stories.  When he returned from vacation, he said he ruined the St. Patrick’s Day parade of a small town in Ireland.  I listened to his entire show that day just to hear that story, but he didn’t share it.

Thankfully, the next day newsreader, Lisa, asked him about it.  Frosty didn’t have time to share it on Monday, but he finally told it on Tuesday.

Want to hear it?  It begins around 17:30 on the podcoast:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-032514-hr2-kids-these-days-24528288/ 

Frosty has some great personal stories and that is what I usually share.

Also, when he returned from vacation, he read a listener’s email on-air.  It said, simply: Frosty, do not ever take another vacation again.

That was something I was thinking the week he was gone.  The guest hosts were uninspiring at best, and mind-numbing horrible radio at its worst.  That happened on Thursday.  I’d never heard of the guy before, at first I thought it was Gabbert, he has a similar voice tone to Gabbert, but the guest host on Thursday spewed so much vile for discussion points I had to turn off the radio.

What is going on over there, Talk910?  That guy on Thursday nearly made me throw away my radio for good.  Who needs it?  I can’t listen to Gil’s Friday shows because his amateur wife shrieks through it, and when she’s not screeching and interrupting guests, she’s talking slow to enunciate her words trying not to shriek, but she always reverts to her true nature and that voice gets unleashed no matter how careful she tries to control it.  It’s awful.  And, Gil’s topics rival what one hears on The View.  Such as, what is happening on the latest installment of some fashion show I’ve never seen or even heard of before.

Really, Gil?  Really?

If it wasn’t for Frosty, I’d continue to listen to BBC Radio2 all day.  I can’t easily abandon my talk radio habit after so many years, though.  I do stream This American Life on Fridays so I don’t have to hear one syllable of Gil’s wife’s voice.

I sometimes listen to the show that comes on after Frosty, the Randi Rhodes Show, but I turn the volume down so it’s simply background noise.  I usually turn her off.  Same with Gil.  During the week, Mon-Thurs, he’s just background noise.  If he starts telling his stories I’ve heard fifteen times before, I turn him off.  If he interrupts an interview to throw in a lame joke, I turn him off.  If he, once again, interrupts an interview to tell a lengthy story about himself, I turn him off.  He gets turned off a lot during the week.

Even the promos they now play of Gil’s show are laughable.  That’s the content they’re promoting?  Really?  They played one promo for weeks about Gil discussing sex and marriage and vacuums.  It was sad.  That’s the best they can find?  It really shows how he doesn’t care about presenting a quality show any longer.

If he doesn’t care, why should we?

Someone at Talk910-AM is sleeping during programming meetings.  Do they know what goes out on-air?  Maybe they don’t care, either.

If they don’t care, why should we?

 

 

Souce: biocurious.com Posted by Toshio Ando CC-By SA 3.0

He sings: “I used to care but things have changed.”

When I was young, I listened to music on the radio.  I used to turn it down low and fall asleep with it playing.

As I aged, I listened to talk radio whenever I visited my grandmother.  It was always on in her house.  She played it loud and loved the crazy callers.  We’d drink coffee at her small wooden kitchen table and listen to her small black radio, its  antenna pulled all of the way up and tilted to the left, next to the toaster on the counter.   She’d laugh whenever a call escalated to name-calling and then flick ashes from her cigarette into a big glass ashtray.

I don’t recall when I began listening to talk radio.  Probably on a sleepless night I searched the radio dial for something to distract me.  Maybe it was Ray or Bill or Bernie that hooked me, or maybe it was the fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen, but talk radio became my listening habit and my radio dial was always tuned to KGO.

That is, until December 2011, when Cumulus Media came to town and destroyed radio in this market and many others.  I would not listen to KGO now.  Not even if Len goes back or they somehow manage to convince Rothmann to host a show.  As long as Cumulus owns that station, I will not listen.  I will tell others not to listen.  Why would talk radio listeners support a company that doesn’t care about listeners, only money in their executive pockets with no benefit to the local community?

So, I was forced to find another outlet for my radio time and thought Talk910-AM was going to step up their programming and build a talk station worth its listeners’ time.  I listened to them everyday from 12:00Noon to the end of my work day.  They hired Len and Gil to host shows.  Then they dropped Len, who knows what happened there, and there was something very wrong with Gil’s show.  It was him talking and talking and talking, the same tired format day in and day out, no callers, and he even brought his wife on the show every Friday.  yikes.  Fridays were the worst.  His wife does not belong on any radio, not even Nighttime Theater of Horrors.  Her voice is ear-splitting irritating and her laugh is downright goosebump scary.  I’m sure it hits the dog whistle range.  ugh!  I shiver in agony just thinking about it.

I listen to Frosty.  I like his show.  He doesn’t take callers, so it’s not optimal, but it’s the only thing out there now.  I don’t listen again to his podcasts.  I don’t have to.  Gil discusses the exact same news items in his show a few hours later.

This is what we are left with.

I seldom listen to Gil’s show now.  I usually turn to radiolab.org (http://www.radiolab.org/) or thisamericanlife.org (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) instead.

I did hear Gil recently when he had a guest on to discuss Pete Seeger’s death and it confirmed what I don’t like about Gil.  He had a guest on who knew Pete Seeger and Gil took up half of the interview telling the guest about the time he, Gil, saw a Pete Seeger show.  It was unbelievable.  Here, he had a guy on the line who knew Seeger personally, and could provide more insight into who Seeger was, and Gil interrupts to inject himself into the conversation about how he once went to a Seeger concert.  By the time Gil was finished with his long, drawn-out story, it was time for news.

I thought his wife was a horrible addition, and now I’m at the point where I can’t stand Gil’s name-dropping stories that he thinks are interesting.  It’s pathetic.

For weeks now, they’ve been playing a clip of Gil and his wife on a promo spot.  Are you kidding me?  It’s like they want to drive away any listeners they have left.  When I hear it, I turn off the radio and go back to BBC.

So, now I’m down to listening to Frosty’s show.  That’s it.  Three hours in a day.

I tried the Randi Rhodes program, but it’s an angry show with sound effects that seem to come from a machine shop.  You know the sound of welding?  It’s like that.  Along with clips of Limbaugh.  She has some good discussion points, but it’s all that other stuff in between that’s annoying.  I tried, but I can’t listen to it.

Here’s the Wikipedia link to her show:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Randi_Rhodes_Show

Thankfully, BBC Radio2 has decent programming.  I guess I’ll have to go back to listening to a music format again.  I started out with ‘things have changed’ but I probably should have said ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.

Image by amalon619 CCA-SA 3.0

It was so busy at work this week, I didn’t really listen to Frosty or Gil’s shows.  They were on in the background, but I have no idea if Frosty had callers or if Gil cut off Valerie in mid-sentence to talk about himself.  Of course, I did remember to turn off Gil’s Friday show.  Once you hear his wife’s voice, you don’t forget to do things like that for your sanity.  Is she still screeching and shrieking her way though the show, cutting off guests to ask in her oh-so-slow, trying-to sound-professional, prattling voice?  ugh!  Please, Gil, have Valerie sit in for your Friday shows.  You’ll get some listeners back!

Why would they get rid of Sebastian Kunz and keep Gil’s amateur wife on the air?

Doesn’t this make anyone else angry?  If it wasn’t for Frosty taking calls and seeming to care about his show, and for  the few times Gil really does show up for his show mentally, I would opt out of listening to radio.

So, why did I bring this up again?  Because on Friday, during Gil’s show time, I was listening to This American Life and heard a great online segment.

They have something on their website now that I’ve been hoping for, a 24-hour live-stream of their show segments.  You can listen to continuous shows now for 24 hours if you want.  Just click once and let it run.  Love it.  It’s almost like turning on the radio without the commercials.  No more having to stop what you’re doing to find the next hour-long podcast and click on Start.  This American Life now has the option to click once and you’re good to go.

Here’s the website:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

Try the 24-Hour Live Stream.  It’s directly under ‘This Week’ podcast information on the front page, click it and enjoy the program variety.

Here’s the show I heard.  It stays with you.  For once I’m glad Gil’s show is so bad on Fridays or I would have missed it:

Within the podcast ‘The Cruelty of Children’, there is a 17-minute story titled The Man in the Well.  Find it under the third segment down the page, as Act Two.  Click the Play arrow next to the story summary to listen to this story only:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/27/the-cruelty-of-children

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I took another ride on Muni this weekend and confirmed the website listed on those SF Sewer Department ads.  Listed under such ad slogans as ‘We deal with the crap so you don’t have to’, and ‘Your #2 is our #1’ is the website sfwater.org/sewer.  Unbelievable.  Why are we wasting (get it?) funds on this questionable ad crap?

http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=165

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My Muni ride this weekend took me to community day at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.  It was Community Open House, the tickets were free, and children of all ages were welcome.

Opera costumes were on display, from The Merry Widow and other productions.  Tables were set up so children could create their own props, such as flowers made from crepe paper and pointy paper hats decorated in glitter and ribbons.  There were long lines of people who were able to try on some costumes and get their pictures taken wearing them.

There was a question and answer session with General Director, David Gockley.  There were live orchestra performances and sing-alongs.  Even a scavenger hunt.  There were soloist and duet performances from The Barber of Seville, currently playing at the opera house.  A Costume Demonstration presented by Assistant Costume Director, Christopher Verdosci, who shared some opera performance secrets, presented a highly-entertaining program and talk.  My favorite event, though, was the back-stage tour.  Really makes you want to slap on the face paint and give it a go.  ha ha.

This was the second season of an open house by San Francisco Opera House to celebrate National Opera Week.  It was possible through funding by Chevron, OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences Grant Program, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Here’s the website:

http://sfopera.com/Home.aspx

If you get a chance, attend the open house next year.  It’s fun for the entire family.

I’ve loved some performances there.  One memorable one was Hansel and Gretel.  The Gingerbread Witch was played by a man in a dress and apron and it was so campy.  He jumped on top of a massive table and waved a big wooden spoon over his head as he sang.  Loved it.  One of the Faust performances I attended had an incredible set, with men dressed in black slinking down the sides of high, white walls.  I was mesmerized once by a production of Wagner’s Parsifal.

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So, now we go from high art to pop culture.  I’ve never understood the popularity of Tom Cruise.  Happy to say I’ve never spent any money supporting his films.  So, it was surprising that I really enjoyed this blog post about him:

http://open.salon.com/blog/tinkerertink69/2013/11/08/tom_cruise_i_will_always_love_you

It’s too bad that with so much imagination Tinkertink uses it on someone like Tom Cruise but I’m glad he did.  This is the most entertaining story I’ve seen on Cruise to date.

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Since I didn’t hear most of the talk on Frosty’s show this week, I’ll comment on something he brought up a month or so ago.  My Muni ride made me think of it.

I was sitting on Muni, minding my own business just looking out of the window, and a guy got on on the bus, walked past me and said b*tch.  I couldn’t believe it.  I wasn’t doing or saying anything.  Just sitting on the bus and this guy chooses to call me that.

Not to mention that he sat in the back, and I could hear him proceed to sell drugs to some guys back there.  I didn’t turn to look, but I heard him.  And, of course, the guys were interested in buying what he had to sell.

It reminds of a segment on one of Frosty’s shows, one in which he asked why are women complaining about being noticed by men when women dress specifically so men will notice them?  A woman caller told him that she is harassed daily by strange men who accost her on the street and want to talk to her or ask for her number.  She said it’s scary, especially when these guys follow her.

Frosty could not understand why women would be offended by that when what they want IS for men to notice them.

He doesn’t get it.  Most women do not want strange men to notice and interact with them.  Who knows why that guy on the bus decided I was the b*tch out of everyone there?  I wasn’t dressed for attention.  I was dressed for comfort.  But, whatever I was wearing was enough for some guy to assume it was okay to call me whatever he wanted.  I was not there to be noticed, I was there to get to my destination.  Is that too much to ask?

Riding Muni is the perfect endorsement on why NOT to ride Muni.  No amount of PR can change that.

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Even the anti-pope wrote about women and men this week:

http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/11/09/what_women_want_in_menand_vice_versa

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sigh….

Maybe I’ll call Frosty this week and ask ‘What are you wearing?’  See how he likes it.