Saturday, May 10, 2008

Reader Mail

Q: Do you write about everything thing you see?

A: No I don't. For instance, I recently saw my niece in a middle school production of ANNIE. She played Molly, the lead orphan after Annie. She was great and will make a great Annie in the future if she chooses. This was an authorized production edited for school kids and they actually call the show ANNIE, Jr. The TV production of ANNIE (not the movie) was one of the best things ever on TV.

Q: What about movies?

A: Mrs. 1Ott and I recently saw BABY MAMA starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It’s a piece of fluff with flashes of humor, not as funny as Tina’s 30 ROCK but better than SNL. The last episode of of 30 ROCK was very funny, with Jack (Alec Baldwin) trying to get himself fired from his government job. When I see Tina with a sole writing credit on a 30 ROCK ep, I’m amazed. She was hired to act in BABY MAMA, and some interviewers are confused by that, thinking she wrote it also (it was written and directed by former SNL scribe Michael McCullers). Tina humbly claims to have only four moves as an actress but that’s 2-3 more than most.

Q: What are you reading?

A: I’m reading but having a hard time finishing BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN by Charles Bock. There’s not much of a connected story among the multiple lead characters, but the descriptive language gives you a good feel for the losers in Las Vegas. I’m only half way through it so I’m hoping it will pick up.

Q: Do you still root for the Mets?

A: Ha! Yes, I had flirted with going to the Phils for a year after the existential meltdown of the 2007 Mets (losing a 7 game lead with 17 games to go), like a Catholic trying out the Lutheran Church, but the Mets are like that cowboy buddy movie--I can’t quit you.

Q: What’s on your iPod?

A: I don’t have an iPod but as I’ve written about before, I have an old Rio, the grandfather of the iPod. Lately I’ve been debating myself whether it’s legal to record a stream (not a downloaded file per se, but a stream of data that you would need to record off your system mixer) and whether that is covered in the same way as the courts ruled on VHS taping. We used to tape off the air back in the day with tape decks and FM radios and it seems like the same thing to me. I've been listening to George Jones, Glen Campbell, Charlie Pride.

Q: You still listen to the radio. Why?

A: I like radio. I miss deejays like Ted Brown and William B. Williams. I’m hoping that someone takes an FM HD channel and runs standards like the old WNEW. That would make me run to buy an HD radio. Although, if they continue to offer Internet streamng, HD may be moot. In the meantime, I listen to High Standards on XM73 and hope that the upcoming merger doesn’t affect XM73.

Q: Still running?

A: Yup. The other day I felt something in my left hip that I never felt before. Each new ache makes you feel more alive I tell myself.

Q. How are the kids?

A: Two are coming home from college this week so I guess it's my favorite time of the year.


Anonymous said...

HD Radio suffers from dropouts, poor coverage, interference, and bland HD channel programming - don't be fooled by this monopoly and takeover of our free airways:

Brian said...

Are you near a metropolitan area? I'm within 20 miles of Manhattan and we have good signal coverage according to reports on the NYRMB.

Anonymous said...

“Is HD Radio Toast?”

“There are serious issues of coverage. Early adopters who bought HD radios report serious drop-outs, poor coverage, and interference. The engineers of Ibiquity may argue otherwise and defend the system, but the industry has a serious PR problem with the very people we need to get the word out on HD... In other words, everything you can find on the regular FM dial... The word has already gotten out about HD Radio. People who have already bought an HD Radio are telling others of their experience (mostly bad) and no amount of marketing will reverse this.”

It's too late - first impressions have already been made.

Brian said...

It looks grim and will be interesting how this plays out. More computing power might allow receivers that can translate weak signals but all the power in the world can't help with no signal. As long as a few companies are allowed to own hundreds or thousands of stations, the bland content will continue to be a turnoff. Maybe if they sold some of these new channels to entrepreneurs, which I'm not sure is allowed, it would help programming. The satellite merger/acquisition agreement for example, may result in some channels being spun off.