MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 Noon MST... It's Labor Day weekend and you're wondering what happened to the 4th of July and my thought that I'd be on the air by then. Me too. It never occurred to me how many things could crop up at once to waylay my most ardent expectations. The good news is the studio is together and I'm ready to do a show technically. The bad news is I'm still not ready to host it.
In answer to some of your Facebook posts: Yes I'm still with you, and against most things in general… Yes, sometimes I wonder if I'll be back, too-- but I have the advantage of knowing I will, just not when…. Yes, you are hearing replays on the stream. Would anyone in their right mind interview the same people over and over? And over. (The replays are really just a place holder for the live stream which will return. Eventually.) The least I can do is plug Soroya's podcasts in the interim. This is a woman with a full time wholly unrelated job and a real life, and she manages to churn out shows. Puts me to shame. Here's a link to the latest one. To everyone who has called 610-640-6400: you don't want me to return your messages, as it's usually the middle of the night when I'm hearing them-- but I do hear (most of) them, and I thank you for thinking of me.
I really was planning to start the show in July, but Jon graphically laid out my workload and convinced me not to do the masochism tango until the weather was cooler. I'd tell you what's keeping me busy, but the litany would be competition for even the best soporific. If it's remotely related to running a radio station, or a small business with a big tower, I'm doing it-- while filling in for anyone who doesn't show up. Did the news again last week and repeatedly invited everyone to come hear a beloved local dead guy play big band music. But hey, I announced even more incredulous things while filling in for Art Bell in the '90s. This time, I missed the word "late" until it was too late. But I did insert a handful of national stories that major media missed. I won't detail my interaction with the Miami (AZ) chief of police, but I managed to invite some distasteful soul that overheard it, not to listen to the radio station. The next day said soul won a seat on the Town Council. It was not a major political feat as there were four open seats and only four candidates running. Even so, we've made an executive decision not to let me out of the house again.
Just last night, Jon rattled my cage and convinced me to start the show slowly next month with something that takes no effort but yields a lot of fun-- Friday Night Trivia. That will allow me to be back in time for the annual poll of the World's Worst Hit Records. Hopefully sometime after that I'll be ready to expand to other weeknights. No promises beyond my pledge to do all I can to get back to you as soon as possible.
I never in my wildest dreams thought that what I was embarking upon could take so much time that it would be fall before I was back on the air. In some ways my life is simpler. All I do is work and sleep. But it should become more manageable by year's end-- providing I survive. Speaking of which, thanks for asking about my friend Bill. He's still hanging in there-- getting up and doing morning drive, confounding his doctors who are thinking about writing book on his survival. The current team was more optimistic than Mayo but they too can't believe he's still walking and talking. Listeners will loudly attest to that talking part. And I for one am grateful for all of it, realizing that every day he's still with us is a gift.
I'm also profoundly grateful to Jon. For a creative, video oriented guy who really enjoys his insularity, in addition to everything he usually does, he's had to become a people-person, interacting with the community while managing, promoting and selling radio. And he never complains. So I make up for it by complaining enough for both of us. I doubt that meets the definition of doing my part, no matter how I position it.
But none of that is why I haven't communicated. I didn't want to keep giving you start dates I couldn't meet. But now that I've promised by Halloween, I'll be motivated to make it a firm priority to do it. Until then, I'm humbled by your continued interest and eager to be talking to you again.
SUNDAY JUNE 1, 2014 2:00 AM MST… I promised I’d be online as soon as there was something to say. Until now there hasn’t been. But reports of my demise are premature, as the saying goes. There were more than a few moments over the last five months where we thought the irony would be that I came to help a dying friend and wound up succumbing first. It’s been rough physically, but still not an excuse for not getting you an update. The bottom line is even on days when I felt up to it, I didn’t want to say anything until I had a better handle on if the show would resume, let alone when.
Amazingly, as of this past week, I’m back to whatever passed for normal previously, and I can say with authority, that the show will be back. As to exactly when, I’m less sure, though I predict it’ll be reasonably soon. There’s a lot going on at this end, and some of the realities of taking over two radio stations with not much first-hand knowledge of what that entails-- including three different software programs previously unseen be me, doing what entire staffs formerly handled-- has forced me to draw up a priority list. Hosting the show is not at the top of it, but it’s a lot closer than it probably should be.
I was spoiled by the best broadband in America (1 gb, symmetrical). Here the fastest upstream I can get is 5 mb (downstream is touted to be 75 mb, but my reality is 50 mb shy of that). But it’s enough to get me to you (and your phone calls to me), so all will be fine. Thank you to so many of you who have emailed (sometimes repeatedly asking how soon I’ll be back). Once I have a firm date, I won’t waste any time in letting you know.
And a big, big thank you to Luke Davis. You wouldn’t be hearing replays without his kindness. Right now his incredible friendship extends to helping me figure out how to get a fairly universal video stream online so Jon can broadcast high school football in the fall. (And he’s a friend indeed, as he’s learning it as he goes along—can’t think of anyone else who would do that for me. If you think that’s an odd project to tackle, you haven’t heard about the rest of my day. If it needs to be done and no one else is around to do it, I’m nominated— from covering school board and town council meetings (the challenge is not falling asleep and I haven’t met it well) to
compiling the automation logs. (The last time I put a radio station log together the “new” strip system debuted. It entailed a lot of typing, sorting, and inserting strips of cardboard into metal plates prior to lugging them to a copier. No matter how arcane computer logging programs may seem, they’re great in comparison to that.)
Yes, I’m itching to get into the music, particularly on the AM, which is oldies, but I’ll leave that alone until after I’m back talking to you every night (and playing whatever I want to hear during breaks). I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict I can be back on the air before the month is out (yeah, I know, it started today). But hedging my bets, I can guarantee it’ll be before next month ends.
As soon as I know more, you will too. Thanks for your patience. There won’t be a shortage of things to discuss.
In the meantime, check out Soroya’s podcasts. She’s done so many since I last wrote, I suggest you view the facebook page for Velvet Heaven to puruse them here.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2014 4:00 PM MST… Yes, it's been a while. No I haven't abandoned the show At last writing, I was hopeful that I was on the mend and commencing to unpack. Then the norovirus hit. Actually Jon was felled by it first, but within two days I understood first hand all those reports about thousands of cruise ship passengers being confined to staterooms. No need for elaboration. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't already down with the remnants of upper respiratory hell. A few times in the last two weeks I thought I was back to what passes for normal, only to be knocked out at the least opportune time, so I've given up on proclaiming myself healed. I have not given up on unpacking though, and today it is actually happening. I've probably opened 20 boxes already-- though I'd never know it with about 650 to go, but assuming I'm not in bed wondering if I'll make it through the night, I'll keep at it, and hopefully the next email will have a projected start date.
Meanwhile, Luke, who has been so generously updating my stream and keeping it online, has been hit with his own horrors of health woes. He's rebounding and tells me he's determined to get different shows up for you soon. (I told him to take his time. Even though he's thousands of miles away in Philadelphia, his symptoms have mirrored mine, so I know exactly how he feels and I'm hoping he'll take time to heal.)
The promised Jeep update: After a new engine and transmission and assorted minor parts, we anticipated finding it in fine condition. We hadn't counted on the rats. Since the vehicle was parked for a few months, it became home to some very determined varmints. Our first clue was smoke coming out of the hood. Our concern was the fire that followed but luckily we doused it in time to avoid any real damage beyond what rodents can do (and that's a lot more than I realized was possible). They fortified their nest with cactus thorns. Jon was picking them out of his hands for days. As expected, the creatures dined on various wiring. $500 later, we were on the road again. We celebrated by driving to Phoenix. Almost didn't make it back. All the symptoms, which started in September, returned. Considering there was nothing left to replace, we were clueless but thankful we managed to limp home after midnight. It's back in the shop now with word that the O2 sensor was bad. Hopefully there will be no more reports on it. As for the Z-28, I'm almost afraid to jinx the good news, but it is in fine form. (It was the fuel pump as I suspected.)
Soroya's been busy. Here's a lnk to Podcast #8, one for #9 and one for the special edition Arjan mix. (Arjan knows his stuff, so it'll be interesting to see what Soroya chose.) Check it out. I pledge more regular updates. Now we'll see if I live up to it. Thanks for your emails and posts too. I hope to be reading everything this week. I appreciate your patience.
SATURDAY JANUARY 25, 2013 3:00 PM MST… I made it to Arizona without incident in time for the unloading. Considering the volume of goods and the remoteness of the location all went remarkably well. It was about a 14 hour uneventful unload. Wouldn't have happened without the help of a handful of key people and I'm indebted to every one of them. Meanwhile back in the desert…
After getting on the road, post-transmission rebuild, Jon and the dogs in the Z-28 were motoring along until Thursday morning (the 16th) about an hour out of a spot on the map in the middle of nowhere when the car lost power. Jon was towed back to the aforementioned spot on the map where something resembling a Chevrolet dealer was located. Upon arrival, the car started right up. To me, this was a symptom of fuel pump failure, to the dealer it was proof of no problem (I kid you not). With no easy way to fix it there, what ultimately resulted was Jon driving for 50 miles followed by stopping for an hour. It makes for a long trip, over a few days but it was reliable-- until after midnight in the middle of an indian reservation when the equation became stop for an hour, drive two miles. It was Sunday morning before he found someone to tow him home. Meanwhile…
After the unload Thursday night I decided to reward myself with a long soak in a hot tub at a resort out of town. Not my best idea. Emerging from the water, what looked like chemical burns and felt like fire, kept me shaking all night. Turns out it was an allergic reaction, but no less painful. As bad as it was, it paled by comparison to the respiratory infection, which followed. It's been the usual scenario-- a few days afraid I'd die, followed by a few days afraid I wouldn't, followed by several more days of getting better. Life is ironic. We're here to help our friend Bill, and his health right now is better than mine. Thank you for your prayers for Bill. They're working! I'm constantly amazed by how much he does and how good he sounds every morning. As for me, I expect to be on my feet by next week, and then slowly the unpacking will begin. I can't venture a guess for the date of the next live show, but as soon as I can, I'll tell you here. A very big thanks to Luke Davis for keeping audio on the stream in my absence! Without him, you'd be hearing silence. Next time, I'll update you on the Jeep. (Remember the Jeep from our last trip? The saga isn't over.)
Sad news: Joe Donovan died. He was the overnight jock on WHAS in Louisville for 20 years (1977 to 1997). He was on my mind before I heard the news (thank you Chad in Kentuckiana and Cris in Columbus). Feeling not so well, I was dialing around on my wifi radio. It's wonderful how many stations there are to hear, but what would really be great is if I could hear their signals from decades ago. Back in the day, the greatest medicine to feeling lousy was being able to hear the personalities who understood entertainment and intimacy, becoming a kindred spirit through the music they played and what they said. Joe was one of the last of them. His 3 AM "Odd & Obscure" hour unearthed songs rarely heard anywhere anymore, let alone on the radio, always produced at least one oh-wow record for me. I was sad when he was gone from the air. Sadder now that he's gone entirely. RIP Joe. Wanting to end on a happy note, I tell you Soroya's latest Velvet Heaven podcast (#7) is up. Get it here.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 15, 2014 1:00 AM MT… I'm almost in Arizona. It goes without saying there was a dose of last minute drama before loading, but nothing we couldn't handle (and the human body heals so quickly, anyway). The loading itself went well (albeit all day, but when you're shuttling 16 tons of stuff off a hillside to a waiting semi and then packing it with precision, it doesn't move quickly). You'd love my driver. James is up to the minute on everything we talk about on the show (and he's not even a listener). And of course Gary at Broadway Express makes my life so much easier. So with all that going for me, what could go wrong? I'll tell you what…
Saturday morning 10 miles from our starting point, the Z-28 transmission decided it didn't like third gear. The bottom line is it had to be rebuilt, and nothing was gonna happen before Monday morning. That left me with a few options. (I'll spare you the details.) After weighing all of possibilities (from the logical to the insane), I eventually headed out on my own, leaving Jon and the three Bernese Mountain Dogs to rectify the problem. (They've done so and are catching up quickly.) The saga delayed me enough that my sole focus has been on getting to where I'm going in time to be there for the unloading Thursday morning, which should be mighty interesting as I usually don't know where I am in the morning, let alone where my stuff should go, and Jon will not make it in time to save me from myself…
All this is to apologize for not attending to the stream. I don't know what you're hearing (and for a bit of time, you weren't hearing anything, until my buddy Luke rescued me, again). I'm going to ask Luke to run whatever he wants (I've got about 70 shows loaded into the server), as it will undoubtedly be the weekend before I can even think about it, if then…
Soroya, meanwhile, is moving right along with her podcasts. Here's a link to Velvet Heaven #6, and here's a link to the Special Edition she did for listener Chad. The music in that ought to be great. Chad, by the way, unceremoniously informed me the appellate court ruled against net neutrality. This is not good news on so any front. You can bet we'll be discussing it whenever I'm next in a position to discuss anything. In the meantime, thanks to The Mad Scientist in Portland, here's a link that goes far to explain why I'm sulking.
THURSDAY JANUARY 2, 2013 1:00 AM ET… You can come out now. The Rollye James' I Hate the Holidays Club is official closed for the non-season. We'll open again on Thanksgiving… Great to talk with so many of you last night. Caused me to completely forget all the stories I was going to share. We did go over Iceland, coming up with their constitution, in part, online, soliciting input from social media sites. Here's the story…
We didn't get to yet another dog killing by the cops. They were going to arrest a prostitute. They had the wrong house. They talked to the homeowner. After the conversation, he shut is door and sat down, only to hear gun shots in his backyard. You can guess the rest, but as for all the details, no one knows. Here's what we do know… Then there's the Pennsylvania woman taken out of her home for failing to show up for a preliminary hearing for disorderly conduct. Next thing you know, doctors have to remove her arm. If this isn't chilling, nothing is. She's asking a mere $75,000. There isn't enough money minted to compensate something like this.omeone for that kind of loss…
HHS ordering 14 million doses of potassium iodide, which protects people from radiation poisoning. Could it be Fukushima? Actually, could it not? Reactor 3 is about to melt down-- plumes of radioactive smoke are in evidence… The irony of this should warm your heart: Global Warming Alarmists Stuck in Antarctic Sea Ice. 'Nuff said… The Mad Scientist weighed in with quotes from Catherine Austin Fitts. I couldn't easily find 'em online, but the bottom line is Catherine, who knows her stuff, thinks 2014 will be a great year-- a breakout year, in terms of the economy. Personally I don't see it, but I hope she's right… And many more, thanks to The Mad Scientist, Woody, Donna and several of you who always get me great links… Soroya's released Velvet Heaven Podcast #5. Check it out here…. And it's back in a box for me, as packing continues. Last night's show was the last live one until we're relocated, but watch this space. I'll be giving you updates along the way. Thanks for your interest!
Wednesday January 1, 2014 12:45 AM ET... Happy New Year! It's gotta be better than 2013.
Tonight (10-Mid ET) will be our last live show until we reassemble at our new location. I hope you can join us. Better yet, call in! Thanks.
Looking for what I said in December 2013? Click here.
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Looking for what I said July 16-31st, 2013? Click here.
Looking for what I said July 1-15th, 2013? Click here.