I Hate This Part

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I am set up for my least favorite job, logging. I’ve done everything possible to put this off… even this blog entry.

“You’re like Steffie in high school,” Helaine remarked as I walked by her for the fiftieth time.

Oh, Stef. If you’ve inherited this from me, I apologize.

After interviews are complete and before a story is written you log the potentially useful soundbites and take notes on story content. A minute of interview can take five times that long. You’re transcribing by hand. Some folks have tried kludges with YouTube making an automated transcript. The results underwhelm.

In order to keep ‘focus’ in my video player (allowing me to use a ShuttleXpress for video jogging) I’ve brought a laptop upstairs for my notes. Two computers, no waiting.

After this comes writing and editing. I enjoy those stages. Not this one.

Who’s An Expert On Highway Lines?

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Helaine and I were driving north of the 405. Two occupants. HOV lane.

As we approached our exit I realized I might not make it over in time. I didn’t want to cross the double yellow line.

But, wait. There’s another line, a white line, adjacent to my lane. Not every section of the HOV has this distinction.

Here’s my question. Can I exit the HOV lane through the double yellow if the solid white line is on my side?

Go.

Beautiful Sunset Even Without Seeing The Sun

From my office window I can see south and west. What I can’t see is where the Sun sets! It’s behind another home.

It didn’t make any difference tonight. As the Sun went down the few clouds above lit up. Usually it only happens in the western sky. Not tonight. Tonight every cloud was brilliantly illuminated.

I wish I was at the beach to see it all unobstructed!

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John Rowland, Alan Freed and CBS

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Oh, John Rowland. You never cease to amaze me.

Governor John Rowland was a moderate Republican from Connecticut. He went to prison for his thievery in office.

I met him a few times. He was charming. Worked crowds well. Likable.

Once at Brass Mills Center he was mistaken for me. He gave her the autograph anyway.

I’m not in Connecticut to really hear about this, but from what I’ve read (especially the excellent piece by Ed Mahony and Jon Lender in the Courant) he was selling his opinion and access to his radio show.

There’s nothing wrong with espousing your opinion. There’s nothing wrong with selling access and support. What’s wrong is doing it secretly.

We allow commercials. We allow infomercials. They must be disclosed as such.

Here’s why Alan Freed’s in the title. Back in the 50′s Freed was hugely influential as one of the first rock and roll disk jockeys.

Freed’s career ended when it was shown that he had accepted payola (payments from record companies to play specific records), a practice that was highly controversial at the time. There was also a conflict of interest, that he had taken songwriting co-credits (most notably on Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”), which entitled him to receive part of a song’s royalties, which he could help increase by heavily promoting the record on his own program. However, Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows insisted Freed co-wrote “Sincerely”.

Freed lost his own show on the radio station WABC; then he was fired from the station altogether on November 21, 1959. He also was fired from his television show (which for a time continued with a different host). In 1960, payola was made illegal. In 1962, Freed pleaded guilty to two charges of commercial bribery, for which he received a fine and a suspended sentence.- Wikipedia

Freed was the whipping boy in the payola scandal. He was destroyed. New laws and rules were implemented.

From the FCC:

Federal law and FCC rules require that employees of broadcast stations, program producers, program suppliers and others who, in exchange for airing material, have accepted or agreed to receive payments, services or other valuable consideration must disclose this fact. Disclosure of compensation provides broadcasters the information they need to let their audiences know if material was paid for, and by whom.

Rowland is responsible, but so is CBS. Guarding the public airways is part of the licensee’s responsibility. It was they who entrusted WTIC to him every day.

CBS actually signed a consent decree in a payola case in 2007. They should know the rules. They are on the hook.

This will be very complex. I hope it’s well reported. I want to follow along.

Skyping Is Like Being There… Sorta… Almost

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I got an email a few minutes ago. No text, just a subject.

You awake? Can you skype?

It’s from a long time friend. She and her husband are making their way through France.

I fired up the app. The cameras came on.

I was poorly lit in a dark t-shirt. They were in white cotton robes sitting in the sun on their patio. A carafe of coffee and two cups sat on the table.

Today’s coffee was good. Yesterday’s not so much.

They are absorbing France. And they’re sharing. Updates and photos come to friends and family in a daily mass mailing.

“Tell Geoff to check his email.” It was husband’s off-camera voice. The photo at the top of this entry was waiting. It’s early morning there, late evening here.

“You’re the only one we could think of who’s awake,” she said to me. We all laughed.

Their vacation sounds great. I love these conversations.

To me, Skype is transparent. That’s its power. Once your conversation gets going (not always easy), it disappears. A conversation on Skype is just like speaking to someone in the room with you.

I enjoyed my quick trip to France.

Staring At The GPS

Helaine and I took a drive this afternoon. Bad traffic while transitioning from the 91 to the 5 (as we Californians say). I slowed down and stared at the GPS. Seriously? UPDATE Now that I’ve had Google show it to me from the air I understand. This state was built for cars.

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Boring Day Update

We had a tradesman in the house this morning. I had a meeting at school this afternoon. Working on a type animation right now. We’ll talk tomorrow.

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Saying Free Doesn’t Mean Easy

I’m a resourceful when it comes to finding free stuff online. I was excited finding lots of free templates for Adobe’s After Effects. After Effects is to video as Photoshop is to stills. Very powerful. Steep learning curve. I figured templates would be shortcuts to understanding… and they are. Meanwhile, saying something is free then […]

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My First Job In The Biz

Some time in 1969 my friend Howard Lapides heard about a job opening at WSAR in Fall River, MA. For $2.50 per hour I became the weekend/fill-in disk jockey at WSAR 1480, Fall River MA. My prior experience: zero. The station stood at the end of a residential street. The address we used was “The […]

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Where I Take Visiting Friends

I like Thalia Street Beach in Laguna Beach because there’s not much of it. Twisting stairs lead down from the street. The walk to the high water line can’t be more than thirty feet. I wade in to my calfs. Well, that’s my intent.

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