Monday, August 31, 2009

thanks for noticin'

A couple of things struck me as weird on store shelves in St. Louis. My wife and I went to Lowe's to make a copy of the key to Aunt Dee's apartment. It was the first time we had seen Disney's latest effort to reach the latchkey kid market. Several characters were represented but we felt that Eeyore was the most appropriate.

At a Shop 'n Save, we saw another product targeted toward children. The bottled water label must have said "Aquapod," however it looked worse. You tell me what you think it says. I was reminded of the Clean Smart sign and of the brave Alcoa lifeguards that I wrote about last year.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

add Jesus as a friend?

Going to church this morning brought to mind three things, much like one of Fr. Ragan Schriver's homilies. In fact, one of his three things is one of my three things. In today's homily, Fr. Ragan told of some Mormon missionaries who once attended a weekday Mass at All Saints Church. Afterwards, they wanted to talk to him about their faith. He realized they were trying to convert him and joked that there might be bonus points for bringing a Catholic priest into the Mormon fold. Fr. Ragan said he admired that they were proud of their faith and that they dared to be counter-cultural.

My wife and I were reminded of the homily we heard last weekend in St. Louis. Fr. Gary Braun asked the question, "do you identify as Catholic on Facebook?" Somehow Fr. Gary was ahead of the curve. Today's Washington Post has an article called "Soul Searching on Facebook." It also ponders how Facebook users reply to the question about their religious views. Rather than choose the more common "Christian - Catholic" option on Facebook, both my wife and I typed in the more specific "Roman Catholic." There are 22 Eastern Catholic Churches In addition to the Roman (Western) Church.

One of the Eastern churches is the Byzantine Catholic Church. Coincidentally, this morning my wife and I went to Mass in a church where local Byzantine Catholics used to meet. The members of the Holy Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Mission now meet at the Chancery in Knoxville. Previously they worshiped at Holy Family Catholic Church in Seymour. Fr. Ragan Schriver has been temporarily assigned to Holy Family while their pastor is recuperating at Cornerstone of Recovery.

The quaint church was visible from a scenic street called Overlook Drive. Once inside, we immediately noticed two Byzantine icons on either side of the altar. Below the images of Jesus, Mary, St. John and St. Nicholas were bins filled with sand. Someone had traced a Russian cross into the sand of each box.

After Mass, I spotted Fr. Ragan's three things still on the ambo. A parishioner introduced herself and suggested that I also visit the "jail room" as she called it. Just off the small narthex was a room with an iron gate that resembled the door to a jail cell. Inside was the unusual confessional and two shelves holding several more Byzantine items, including two expensive wedding crowns.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

youngest one in curls

Susan Olsen has co-authored a new book about an oft-overlooked aspect of her "Brady Bunch" years. The skeleton in the Brady closet is "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour." The nine episodes they filmed were, in effect, a spin-off of the "Donny & Marie" show.

"Love to Love You Bradys" is all about the disco-era incarnation of the famous TV family. Susan is making the rounds to publicize the book. She will be on the "Today Show" Monday morning and on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning.

Yesterday I recorded an hour long interview with my friend Susan. She and I worked together at the Comedy World Radio Network and have kept in touch ever since. We talked about her Brady siblings, Asperger's Syndrome, kitten rescue, Marshmallow Fluff and more.

You can right click here to download the podcast or click on the play button below to let it stream in your browser. Because I know that not everyone will have time to listen to the full hour, let me tell you exactly where to find the parts that will interest you most.
  • 02:02 - the book and the show
  • 08:34 - what about Ann B. Davis?
  • 10:22 - Fake Jan and Paris Hilton's mother (good stuff)
  • 16:55 - more about the Variety Hour
  • 24:35 - her ex-boyfriend, Pooperman
  • 27:06 - Susan's son Michael and Asperger's
  • 32:19 - what about her Brady siblings?
  • 37:49 - why Maureen and Eve aren't close (don't miss this!)
  • 44:02 - Susan's work with kitten rescues
  • 52:12 - our mutual love of Marshmallow Fluff

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Friday, August 28, 2009

floor plans

The ceremonial ribbon was cut at the new Academy Ballroom this afternoon. The dance studio has completed the move from desolate Downtown West to ritzy Western Plaza, which is close to Sequoyah Hills. The handsome new space allows for beginner and advanced classes to happen simultaneously in separate rooms.

The event was attended mostly by members of the Knoxville Chamber and by several dance instructors, who are independent contractors rather than employees of the studio. Among the refreshments offered were some key lime cupcakes, which were provided by Rhonda Becker. They had a very limey flavor, which I thought could have been in honor of studio owner Richard Bull, a good Englishman.

Jeremy Norris and Emily Loyless asked me to consider repeating (again) my comedic rumba routine with Emily at their Rocky Top Dance Challenge on September 19 at the Knoxville Marriott. That would give me only three weeks to practice. I am going to think about doing it though, because the event is a benefit for Family Promise of Knoxville, a great local charity.

My wife and I plan to attend the Grand Opening party at the new Academy Ballroom on Saturday night. They'll have drinks, hors d'oeuvres and live music. Dancing to live music is a challenge to me. I still have trouble finding the beat, as my wife discovered when we went to a few Brad Walker Orchestra shows at the Kerbela Temple. While the waltz and rumba have a basic box step that is in my comfort zone, it is the foxtrot and swing that I will mostly encounter in real world situations. Heather Tang promised to help me with some basic foxtrot steps at the party. We'll see if I can actually get the hang of it or not.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

hey y'all

Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank, was impressed by the drawing power of Paula Deen. The Food Network star was in Knoxville today as Smithfield Foods made a meaty donation to feed the hungry. There was a strong turnout from donors and media members who wanted to meet the so-called "doyenne of Southern cooking."

Tearsa Smith from WATE and Beth Haynes from WBIR were on hand to interview Paula. I was fortunate enough to also get a chance to speak with her. I thought about having Paula autograph a stick of butter but decided on something more permanent. I printed a few pictures from my September 2005 blog entry about "Tricked Out Tailgating" and got Paula to sign one for me, one for a co-worker and one for the silent auction at next year's Radiothon.

Paula kept the picture of me with Michael Anthony Groover. In the interview, she said she's missing him while he rides his motorcycle in Washington.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a matter of life and death

Capital punishment has been the main topic of discussion in Knoxville recently. The first of the trials of the accused killers of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom concluded today. The disgusting, horrific crimes have grabbed the attention of East Tennesseeans to such a degree that jurors had to be selected from the Nashville area. Letalvis Cobbins was eligible for the death penalty after being convicted of first degree murder. The jury sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Social networks are buzzing with news updates and opinions on the trial. I couldn't help but notice that many of my Facebook friends were very vocal about their desire to see Cobbins sentenced to death. On more mundane political issues, I usually agree with their views. However I was moved to post the following status update: "My unpopular opinion: glad for the guilty verdicts for Cobbins but still opposed to the death penalty. My FB friends want an execution."

I found out that not all my Facebook friends support capital punishment. While the jury was deliberating the sentence, I received several great comments from both points of view that are worth reading now and re-reading as each of the other defendants face their juries. I will refer to the author of each comment by first initial only. However if any of them contact me and ask that their names be used, I will happily revise the post to identify them.
A: The death penalty is not something to be taken lightly. I don't side with you on this one (well, glad for the guilty verdicts), but I can respect anyone with a different opinion on an execution. That's a touchy subject.

R: The government can't manage to run a car buy back program effectively. Why on earth should we trust them with the power of life and death?

N: The Government does not have the "power" to execute this trash, the jury and judge do. And they are us.
Frank, look at it from another angle, with children and good people going hungry, why waste the thousands upon thousands of dollars, housing this animal? Compassion is not "babysitting" this animal for the next 50 to 60 years, it is taking that needed energy and money and helping victims of them.

J: If a person commits a crime and is caught and convicted they forfeit their liberty. If the crime is truly horrific they forfeit their life. The state may be the instrument of their death but the responsibility lies with the perpetrator of the crime. That's how I see it and I think this crime certainly qualifies for the death penalty.

S: Count me among the FB friends that do NOT want an execution. Do you have a link for the back story on Cobbins? I don't know the case.

Frank: The details of this horrific case will turn your stomach.

R: Do judges and juries get things wrong? Do prosecutors engage in misconduct? Are cases pushed or dropped for political reasons? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," then our criminal justice system does not perform to the standard required to allow it to take a life.

N: No, the judge and jury did not get THIS case wrong!

T: Well, the problem with your argument is that it costs far more to exhaust the appeals process than to simply house a convict. Also, it's disingenuous to not recognize the jury and the judge are merely arms of the state.
The US Constitution, however, clearly contemplates the death the penalty ("no person shall be deprived of life ...."). Of course, the US Constitution is a floor, not a ceiling, so each state can decide the issue. Still, the death penalty is an ancient and barbaric practice that provides no deterrence and should be abolished.

S: No offense to N, I don't know you.... But one of the fundamental flaws with humanity is the ability to allow a desire for revenge to cloud judgment. If you didn't sit on the jury and hear all of the evidence in the case, you are making an opinion based judgment rather than a fact based judgment. While he hasn't stated such as yet, I would guess that Frank's opposition to the DP is that only God can truly judge the actions of man. Only God has all the facts and only God can claim the right to judge who should live or die.

R: I supported the death penalty for a long time. I reasoned that if I'm willing to take a life in order to defend my own, then the state should be allowed to do the same, take a life to defend the group.
Then I realized that was a flawed comparison. For example, I have the right to use lethal force to defend myself when attacked, or to defend another who is being attacked. I don't have the right to kill somebody because they attacked me yesterday, or might attack somebody tomorrow. And if I don't have the right, then why should I give it to the state?
Particularly when the state has not demonstrated the level of competence required to handle such an imposing responsibility.

N: Disingenuous? Lets read the rest of the sentence together. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law". Also, Sometimes the appeals process is used to stop justice from being completed.
S, I am sorry that you think justice is revenge. I assume that like me you are not on this jury, correct? Then your opinion is also not a fact based judgment? That is why it is called a discussion. God? God did not take Channon's life, this man did.
I am not arrogant enough to suggest what Frank believes, I merely suggested another view. Frank is a good friend and I will stand by him.
What is breaking my heart is that there is more disdain for me in my beliefs than the monster that committed this unparalleled crime.
I must now go back to work so I can help feed this trash for the next 20 to 60 years, so I will be unable and unwilling to comment any further, so say what you will.

AB: The only reason I oppose the death penalty is because we cannot guarantee that no innocent life will be lost. As soon as one innocent person is killed, the whole system has/is failed.

S: I didn't say that justice was revenge. I said that the desire for revenge can cloud judgment (clear reasoning). I also didn't make a statement about the outcome of the case, you did. My point was that people who aren't involved intimately with the case don't have enough information to say if the defendant is guilty or innocent. Your statement that the jury didn't make a mistake was an overstatement because you didn't have the same information as they did.
As for Frank, I was merely extrapolating on his previously expressed Catholicism. I would never say that I spoke on his behalf. I was just pointing out that for some people (like PERHAPS Frank) this is a religious issue and should be respected as such.

T: The purpose of the appeals process is to, hopefully, ensure that the law, including procedural issues, is followed and applied correctly. You either agree to adhere to our civil liberties or you don't. I'm unclear why your being pissy with me. While I disagree with the death penalty, clearly, the US Constitution contemplates that someone can be put to death. What you were being disingenuous about was saying the "government can't put someone to death." Of course, the government -- more appropriately the State -- can put someone to death. The Constitution says so.

L: With the exception of self-defense or defense of another, it is not the province of man to mete out decisions of life or death. That said, I think those that perpetrated the horrific torture on those two kids deserve to have the same treatment done to them. But it is not our place to make it so.

Frank: I appreciate and respect all your comments, on both sides of the issue. Obviously my Catholicism is a big factor in my opposition to the death penalty. To me, capital punishment is the Old Testament way of thinking.
However, I used to feel differently. It changed when Ted Bundy was executed. I got a sick feeling in my stomach and realized that his death would do nothing to bring back the victims he killed.
The arguments about the cost of death row legal appeals and the possibility of executing even one innocent man are powerful to me. Ultimately I think killing is wrong, whether done by a criminal or by the government or by a doctor.

AB: The Catholic Church does not consider the death penalty to be intrinsically evil, nor limited to any particular era or dispensation. However, it does not support the death penalty in a society that has other means to effectively suppress the offender. So according to the Church, it isn't a proper option in the vast majority of cases, if not all cases, in the western world.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The Webster-Kirkwood Times is the very definition of a family newspaper. A typical story might be "Cleaner Stream Thanks to Football Team" or "World War II Statue Dedicated at Jefferson Barracks Park." I enjoyed Mary Bufe's clever column on "swimsuit reform."

You can imagine my surprise when I got to page 20 of this week's issue and saw an article about a dog grooming business with an odd trade name. I know newspaper reporters are not that naïve. They must have known what they were printing. Maybe the business owners are laughing about the joke they perpetrated on the local community. Or could they possible not realize what they've done?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

malt o meal

St. Louis has an interesting combination of restaurant chains that I recognized from my time living on the East Coast and on the West Coast. Just this past weekend, I saw White Castle, Del Taco, Jack in the Box, Church's Chicken, First Watch and El Pollo Loco.

The flame-grilled chicken at El Pollo Loco is a favorite of mine. Bill Smith, a former co-worker from KROQ met me there for dinner on Friday. Bill is now in a band called Glitch Factor. Our food beat the heck out of the supposedly grilled chicken I had at KFC a few weeks ago.

Without taking anything away from El Pollo Loco, the best meal of the weekend was not at a chain restaurant but at a St. Louis original. A former radio guy turned successful real estate agent, Bruce Butler, invited me to meet him for lunch at the Crown Candy Kitchen, a local institution since 1913. Bruce said the BLT and the milkshakes were "strong." He was right.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

long division

Fr. Gary Braun was kind enough to visit with my wife and me when he was in Knoxville last March. He attended the ordination and installation of Bishop Richard F. Stika. In fact, when one of the local TV stations showed file footage of the ceremony during the Bishop's recent hospitalization, Fr. Gary's face turned up on screen.

We've gotten to know Fr. Gary a little bit over the past year. He seems as morbidly interested in the Body Farm and other aspects of death as I am. Knowing that I would attend his parish in St. Louis this weekend, I couldn't wait to ask him about an unusual funeral.

A young man in his 20s passed away unexpectedly. His body wasn't found for a few days. His parents, who are divorced, decided to have him cremated and to have a Catholic funeral. At the funeral, there were two regular size urns and two smaller ones. The deceased's ashes had been split amongst the four containers. Each parent was going to put an urn in a columbarium and keep a little one at home as a souvenir. I was curious to ask Fr. Gary about the Catholic teaching on such a case.

Fr. Gary was surprised that a Catholic priest would allow such funeral to take place. The remains are supposed to be kept together and given the same respect as a body. I speculated that maybe the priest didn't know about the separated ashes until after the funeral director showed up at the church with the four containers. I imagined a more strict priest going to get a big funnel to reunite the ashes before continuing with the funeral.

I wonder what percentage of people realize that the cremation itself reduces you to brittle bones that still look a lot like a skeleton. As I learned in a lecture by Dr. Bill Bass, the bones are run through a pulverizer to create the dust we think of as "ashes."

At least the family in question used traditional receptacles. I recently read about some horrific urns shaped to look like the dead person's head, without hair. All they need is a couple of photographs from different angles. The eyes are disturbing. The sample shown online stares blankly through you. Perhaps most troubling is the obvious line that separates the lid from the rest of the cookie jar urn. If your dead loved one isn't attractive enough, you can put their bone dust into a replica of a celebrity's head.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

smile and grin at the change

A morning radio bit bummed me out on Friday. My wife and I had each taken the day off from work to bring our son back to college. We left Knoxville early enough that I was able to hear several different morning shows as we drove through Tennessee and into Kentucky. One of the shows did a segment that was either fake or illegal.

Because of the current climate in radio, I am reasonably sure that the bit I heard was faked. I can't imagine that any morning team would risk the FCC fine for a true phone scam. Pretending to be a police officer, one of the deejays placed a call to a man at work. Supposedly his wife suspected him of cheating on her. The fake cop told the man that his co-worker (and suspected girlfriend) was being investigated for theft. The girl's alibi was that she was out with the married man. The mark confirmed that he and she were at a Daughtry concert together on the night in question. Since I was convinced it wasn't real, I lost interest and changed the station.

The FCC's rules on the outgoing phone calls placed by radio stations are quite clear. The radio station must obtain permission to broadcast or record the voice of someone they call. The permission must be obtained before the person's voice is ever recorded or aired. Obviously, this rule makes it nearly impossible for a deejay to place a call and pretend to be someone else. It is not okay to record a prank phone call and then get permission to broadcast it once the joke has been revealed.

During my brief visit to Morning Show Bootcamp earlier this month, I spoke with the representatives from several showprep services. In exchange for running daily commercials, the services provide radio stations with jokes, celebrity news, audio clips and interviews. One of the pitchmen told me that his service now offers a cast of actors to interact with the deejays. The fake listeners are available in a variety of regional dialects. They were pitched to me as "phone starters," opinionated callers who can inspire real listeners to call in. I suppose you could also hire the actors to be on the receiving end of a "Candid Phone" scam.

Ultimately, I changed the station because I felt like the deejays were trying to fool me and the other listeners instead of trying to fool the husband on the phone. Audiences who like phone scams want to feel like they are in on the prank, not on the receiving end of it.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

small talk

If you asked me a year ago, I would have said I didn't need Facebook, much less Twitter. But things change and I joined one and then the other. For a long time, I believed that if any of my friends or former co-workers wanted to find me, a simple Google search would lead them to

At the time I joined LinkedIn, Facebook was still for kids. I found LinkedIn to be rather dry and I couldn't get excited about logging on. Last October, I participated in the filming of a no-budget horror film called "Fish Bait." I quickly discovered that the New York based cast and crew all used Facebook as their networking tool. For show business, Facebook was a better fit than LinkedIn. Through Facebook, I learned that the movie will have its premiere on September 19 at Flat Hollow Marina & Resort.

After a couple of months of rumination, I finally joined Facebook on New Year's Day. By then the service was being overrun with the parents and grandparents of the original audience. For many people, having a Facebook page is now as essential as having a cell phone. I opened an account for people I know from "the business" and another one for me to communicate with listeners. I know of several news anchors who have at least two pages, one for their public persona and another for their families and friends. I post links to my blog entries on Facebook. I also like to post events such as the weekly Einstein Simplified shows and my remote broadcasts. So far I have ignored most invitations to join Farmville, Mafia Wars or whatever flavor-of-the-month application is making the rounds.

Text messaging has been a thorn in my side for a while. I understand supply and demand but it still bothered me that the cellular companies charged so much for texting. Don't even get me started about having to pay for incoming messages. When I got a message that read "Money is tight, times are hard, I just texted you my Christmas card," I called my cell provider and canceled my text service. Recently my wife and I got to the point where we had to increase the number of texts per month that our children could use. The best available option was to pay $30 a month for unlimited texting for the family. Ugh.

When a good friend heard that I had reactivated my texting, he immediately sent the following message: "Hey glad 2 hear u r textable! U want a palm treo phone I don't use anymore? Let's hang out soon." Here's my feeble reply: "Hello! let's chat soon. I Am not good at texting. FRanj." He gave me the Palm Treo but doesn't have the power cable. My son joked that the free phone was "without charge." At this point, I'm not even sure if I will be able to use it. My cellular provider may insist that I carry a data and email package in order to use a smart phone. All I want it for is the QWERTY keyboard. By the way, I"ve been surprised by the number of people I've met this week who didn't know that the QWERTY keyboard gets its name from the letters on the first six keys.

Now that I have unlimited texting, I may as well get my money's worth. I'm usually on the computer early in the morning and late in the evening. I am usually offline from the time I leave work around noon until after dinner. On nights that I have an improv show or other activity, I often don't get back on the computer until after the performance. Some of my Facebook friends with smart phones are able to update their status from anywhere. If I joined Twitter, I could tap out an update on my alpha-numeric keypad and have it simultaneously show up on Facebook by using the Selective Twitter Status application.

Twitter has its own pros and cons. My friend Bean mentioned on his Twitter feed that I had joined and 20 of his followers immediately started following me as well. I haven't quite yet mastered it. I still need to figure out how to send a picture to Twitpic and how to receive messages from certain people but not everyone on my phone. As of now, Twitter is a one way street for me, which is not how it's supposed to work. Just the other day I read a "tweet" that said, "LinkedIn is like your office. Facebook is like your home. Twitter is like a cocktail party."

I agree with all those who think that the words associated with Twitter are embarrassing. Who wants to Tweet? Not me. Tweeple? Give me a break. The Tworld Twide Tweb? Okay, I made that last one up. After a week on the Twitter, I have yet to write anything memorable. It's harder to on some days than it is others, probably because of my pre- and post- improv show sleep schedule. I look at Twitter as a series of disposable comments that were not intended to withstand the test of time. Here are some of the more riveting Tweets I am responsible for (sarcasm intended):
  • Why did "Chad Ochocinco" kick an extra point? They have the TV volume muted here at Backyard Burgers.
  • Note to self: search the YouTube for an a cappella performance of "I Gotta Feeling." Could be funny.
  • Surrounded by thunder and lightning at Turkey Creek. #fb
  • The manager of Pimento's finally asked us to leave at 9:00 p.m. Turns out they had closed at 8:00. #fb
  • My near daily dilemma: it looks like rain just as I am ready for the pool. I need to figure out how to reset my circadian swim rhythms. #fb
  • Some people think that Feast with the Beasts should be a vegetarian event. When the lions stop eating meat, so will I.
If after all that gibberish, you are still interested in seeing my updates, feel free to follow FrankMurphyCom. If I can figure out how, I'll place a widget on this page to show the most recent efforts.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

people pile

After every trip, I have some unused photos left on the memory chips in my phone and camera. Sometimes I remember why I took the picture, sometimes not. All I recall about seeing a bucket of Good Luck Mini Babies is that they freaked me out. They were in the gift shop at Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I found out later that the same company makes a whole line of animal replicas, which I understand. But what are you supposed to do with tiny rubbery infants?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

in an octopus's garden

Turkey Creek felt more like a theme park or aquarium on Monday. I went to an advance screening of "Under the Sea 3D," which opened this morning. The film has already been showing at other IMAX theatres, many of which are located at science museums or aquariums.

The filmmakers spent thousands of hours underwater to get 40 minutes of footage, most of which seemed to be about cuttlefish. The "masters of camouflage" were screen hogs. The only thing I really knew about cuttlefish prior to this was that my sister had a parakeet named Gladstone who gnawed on a cuttlebone.

There were some shots of cute sea lions and a cameo by a great white shark but it was the sea snakes and the eels that stole the show, partly because they got the best musical score while they were briefly on screen. One kid starting crying when a frogfish ate a smaller fish that had just escaped another predator.

The obligatory global warming message was palatable. Jim Carrey's voiceover was the medicine and the pretty pictures were the spoonful of sugar. Not so pleasant was the cover version of the Ringo Starr song used for the film's close. Betsy Pickle and Wayne Bledsoe, who were seated in the same row as me, both expressed their dislike of the song as we were leaving the theatre.

According to Fandango, tickets for "Under the Sea 3D" cost $14.75, the same as for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The IMAX Experience." Perhaps they can justify the price because the 40-minute fish movie is longer than the 12-minute 3D portion of "Harry Potter." When Harry arrives at the Burrow, three red symbols appear on screen telling you to remove your 3D glasses for the remaining 141 minutes.

Despite the crying kid, "Under the Sea" is intended to be a family film. Oddly the showtimes for Wednesday and Thursday are 11:20 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:10 p.m. Maybe they forgot that school started Monday in Knox County. I suppose they could be going after the field trip crowd.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

y'all come back now y'hear?

The Brian Setzer Orchestra is coming to Knoxville! This is a huge deal for me. I so badly wanted to see their show in Nashville a few years ago but couldn't make it. Sixteen weeks from now they will bring the Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza to the Tennessee Theatre. I must somehow get tickets to be there on December 8th.

The BSO released two new songs on iTunes today. Two more will come out next week in advance of the new album, "Songs from Lonely Avenue," due October 13th. Megan from Surfdog Records was kind enough to send along copies of the first two tracks for me to hear.

"Trouble Train" is an uptempo song that warns "if you hear the devil call your name, don't get on that trouble train." The powerful horns on the album were arranged by 87-year-old Frank Comstock. He wrote music for many big stars of the past and also wrote the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" theme.

"Lonely Avenue" is a slow number that captures the film-noir feeling that Setzer is going for. The new album is the first entirely written by Brian himself. The disc will include ten vocal tracks and three instrumentals.

My wife and I saw several Brian Setzer Orchestra shows when we lived in California. I have great memories of the concerts at the Greek Theatre, the Universal Amphitheatre and the House of Blues one New Year's Eve. Obviously, it's been a long time since then. I have been hoping they would come to East Tennessee for years.

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Monday, August 17, 2009


The folks at Dollywood invited a few of us from the radio station to ride their new SkyZip ziplines. We brought along some lucky listeners too. The ziplines normally cost an additional $40 on top of the price of admission to the park.

The actual ride was pure joy. In fact, I've been on roller coasters that were less comfortable. The most difficult part of the experience was hiking uphill and that wasn't too bad at all. If I had a fear of heights, it might be a different story. I was comfortable walking off into thin air, knowing that the zipline would support me. The guides told us to lean back, like we were in a recliner.

The four zip lines form a rough square, so that we finished near where we started. Even though I wasn't wearing a microphone, I still made sure not to make any odd sounds like Beth Haynes did when she rode the ziplines.

There are photos of our group on the radio station's website. Here are a few of me, crossing the rope bridge and zipping away.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

prayer chain

Posts on social networking sites are requesting prayers for Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika. My wife saw Facebook status updates from a deacon's wife and from an employee of the diocese that said the bishop had a heart attack. While that may turn out to be true, we don't know for sure. Bishop Stika did have bypass surgery in 2004 when he was still a monsignor in St. Louis.

I did a few quick online searches and found a Twitter posting from Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga that said, "Please pray for Bishop Richard Stika. He had a medical emergency while traveling and is currently in intensive care, in stable condition." The Diocese of Knoxville sent a similar Twitter update.

Posts to a Bishop Stika fan page on Facebook offer unconfirmed details on his condition. Some make it sound more dire than the official word from the diocese. The man posting the bad news says Bishop Stika fell in while in Florida. However the schedule on the diocesan website has him in San Antonio most of this month for Spanish language training.

Fr. Christian Mathis, who occasionally posts comments on my blog, posted an email from the Chancellor on his own blog. I just sent a text message to another priest asking if he had any more information. If I learn anything, I will post it in the comments section of this post.

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nothing but flowers

A week ago I bought milk at the Weigel's on Fox Lonas Road near All Saints Church. Today, the building was a pile of rubble.

The store that is no more gained notoriety in the Johnia Berry murder case. After Johnia and her roommate were both stabbed, the roommate ran to the nearby Weigel's for help. Sadly, it was too late to save Johnia.

I suspected something was up when I noticed the Michael Brady Inc. sign out front a few weeks ago. I hope the architecture firm will build a new Weigel's store with an innovative design. Maybe it will be as nice as the Weigel's on Campbell Station Road. That's one good looking Weigel's.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

feast of the consumption

Even though Michele Silva has taken herself off the air and gone into sales, I was happy to continue my tradition of posing for a photo with her at Feast with the Beasts. She was sampling some foods with Beth Haynes, who was nice enough to have her picture made with me again (and again). My wife and I also enjoyed another visit with former WBIR reporter Jim Ragonese and his wife Jaime. We last saw them at an event I think of as "indoor Feast with the Beasts."

The most interesting thing that I saw at the annual fundraiser for the Knoxville Zoo was a woman in a leafy costume on stilts. My best guess is that she was dressed as kudzu. We watched her make several graceful moves. There's probably a ballet dancer or gymnast under that green makeup.

I could have used a zoo map to help me find some of the food booths that we heard about from other party goers. The ribs at Texas Roadhouse had completely fallen off the bone, as usual. Someone said to be sure to go to The Crown & Goose for raw oysters.

The "homemade" turkey and cranberry sandwiches at Kroger featured the Martha Stewart-like tip of the day. They used pretzel sticks as toothpicks to hold the sandwich together. By the way, somebody should tell the people who put together Kroger's current advertising campaign that a truly homemade TV commercial would look more like a YouTube video and less like Terry Gilliam's style of animation

My wife thought her piece of alligator from Bayou Bay Seafood House was too tough and too spicy however mine was just right. I normally don't like to eat reptiles because I am such a fan of them when they are alive. On the other hand, a cake shaped like a turtle would be perfect for me. The folks from Mango Cakes were auctioning off a sweet tortoise. They said it was a copy of a groom's cake they had made recently. Unfortunately it's pose reminded me of my beloved pet Mo after he had died but before I had him preserved.

One of the people we chatted with was a popular local Twitterer who goes by the name The Fool Monty. He and his wife warned that the gumbo at New Orleans on the River was very spicy, which made me want to try it all the more. They said the Cajun food was in a booth just past The Carousel. I was surprised that particular bar was represented at the event and wondered what they were serving. Turns out Monty meant a real carousel.

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Friday, August 14, 2009


The women vastly outnumbered the men at the David Cook concert tonight. Well, at least they did in the first 15 or so rows at the Tennessee Theatre. The "American Idol" winner inspired girls to bring signs and dress up in shirts with his name. It was the 100th show on this tour and we all got free commemorative t-shirts.

My co-worker Gretchen and I introduced the show. We thought it would be funny if she tried to apply guyliner to me while I was reading the safety announcements. Unfortunately she forgot to bring her eyeliner. We had to use my wife's mascara instead. As she put some of the goop on my lashes, I said "David Cook doesn't wear mascara. Adam Lambert wears mascara!" The crowd loved it. In fact the audience was very receptive to Gretchen and me. As we posed for photos with listeners at intermission, I felt more like we were at a station event (such as a StarJam show) than at a "normal" concert.

Earlier in the day, Gretchen had interviewed David. She challenged him to learn to play "Rocky Top." He suggested that she bring a CD of the song for his sound guy to play as the band's intro music. Back at the radio station, I burned a disc with the song on it. We gave it to the right people and it got played just as David and the band took the stage. The sound guy was a little angry that I had mixed a Star 102.1 Go Vols jingle onto the front of the song. It turns out that he's a Florida Gator fan.

The concert was fantastic. He played mostly songs from his album and at least one that didn't make the cut, called "Souvenir." I got to hear my favorite David Cook song, "Come Back to Me." He referenced the way he had reinterpreted songs on "American Idol" before launching into an unrecognizable cover version of Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight."

At the meet and greet after the show, David said he was surprised by the dance mix of Rocky Top. He expected it to sound like a John Denver song. I explained that I brought the version we play on our station, not the version they play on the old-school country station up the dial.

Several fans waited in the street outside David's tour bus after the show. I didn't notice the girl with the Gene Simmons tongue until after I got home and looked at the photos on my computer.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

prawn shop

The trailer and television ads did not make me want to see "District 9." Instead it was the Entertainment Weekly story that motivated me to get tickets to a preview screening. The magazine cover called it "the must-see movie of the summer."

Security personnel had to turn people away from the packed theatre. The only trailer before our screening was for "Zombieland," which looks like a lot of fun. Then again, I laughed at "Night of the Living Dead."

The people next to me left about an hour into the film. An usher later told me that they weren't the only ones. About thirty people left, some complaining that the cinéma vérité style gave them motion sickness. The filmmakers wanted the science fiction plot to be believable. One person I know left early because his last row seat was uncomfortable and his back hurt. He plans to go back to see the rest.

Another person I know stayed to the end but didn't like the shaky camera or the gory scenes. My son and I reacted differently. We said "ohh" in mock horror every time something gross splattered on the camera lens. My son said it might be his favorite movie of the summer. I liked it too but wouldn't rank it above "Star Trek" or "Up." Come to think of it, I also really enjoyed "The Proposal" and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Julie & Julia." It's been a good year for movies.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

preparation r

A sticker on the packages of cupcakes at Sam's Club seemed weird to me. Rather than buttercream icing, the cakes and cupcakes are decorated with something called But-R-Creme.

Either some of the packages could have qualified for Fail Blog or I did not recognize what white chocolate looks like nowadays.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

sacré veinard

"Who is Gilles Marini?" asked one of my Facebook friends when I posted that I was going to interview him. I assumed everyone knew the debonair Frenchman from "Dancing with the Stars."

He may have lost to Shawn Johnson but his career has definitely benefited from the exposure. He is soon to be seen on "Brothers & Sisters." Thanks to his good looks, he was asked by record producers if he could sing and is now working on recording an album. I was interested in his childhood because I read that he practically grew up in a bakery. Mmm... cake.

Anyhow, I played some highlights of my interview with Gilles on the air this morning. The Internet gives me the opportunity to post the entire 8 minute interview for all the Gilles fanatics out there. The best part is probably when he says he learned English from listening to hip-hop music. Really.

After I put down the Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, I asked Gilles to show me some moves I could take to the dance floor.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

focus on the family

The recognizable voice of John Waters was on NPR this afternoon when I got in my car. I knew that I knew the voice but it still took me a minute to identify it. When I tune in to the middle of an interview, I like to play "guess the guest," a game made possible because so many of us in radio are bad about identifying interviewees once the conversation has begun.

In today's case, it was a trifle more challenging because Waters was not talking about himself but about the Tate/LaBianca murders. Apparently he has befriended Leslie Van Houten, a member of the Manson family who was convicted of the murders of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. Waters says that Van Houten has been rehabilitated in prison and should be paroled.

The broadcast was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the murders, which took place August 9 and 10, 1969, a mere three weeks after a much happier event. While looking online for another link, I found a blog that commemorates the murders. It has a lot of recent entries because of the anniversary but was actually started over four years ago.

I remember reading "Helter Skelter" while in grammar school. Years later when I met Vincent Bugliosi at KLOS, I told him that I still had a vivid memory of a crime scene photo in the book. In it, Leno LaBianca's body was whited out but a fork was still visible protruding from his abdomen.

My friend Lisa Burks, who writes "Adventures in Grave Hunting" among other blogs, sent me a DVD titled "The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter." It is hosted by her friend Scott Michaels of Dearly Departed Tours and Scott serves as tour guide and takes the viewer to the crime scenes, the homes of the other victims and more significant locations. The most effective parts of the film are when he retraces the steps of the murderers.

I found Scott's trip to Barker Ranch in Death Valley to be especially creepy. I was also surprised to learn that Sharon Tate and her friends ate their last meal at El Coyote, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants during the time I lived in California. It wasn't until I moved to Tennessee and started watching "The Beverly Hillbillies" reruns that I appreciated Sharon Tate's talent as an actress.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

down by the schoolyard

It was a Julie, Julie and Julia weekend for my wife and me. On Saturday night we laughed a lot at the very funny Julie Scoggins. She performed at Side Splitters Comedy Club. It would be well worth your time to see her show the next time she's in town.

On Sunday, we saw the terrific new movie "Julie & Julia." I really enjoy watching Amy Adams in just about anything. One of my family's favorite films is her first, "Drop Dead Gorgeous." The real Julie Powell's blog is still online. If you had the time, you could go back to the beginning and read the whole thing.

Once again, it was loads of fun to hear Meryl Streep's voice. Certain syllables rang especially true. The only thing missing for me was the John Morris theme song I remember from later episodes of "The French Chef." The theme music used in the movie was the same as in a black and white 1964 episode that PBS has posted online. They had time for Dan Aykroyd's memorable "Saturday Night Live" parody but not the music I wanted to hear.

Julia Child came to KLOS once. Around that time, we had a string of food experts on as guests on the Mark & Brian show and I was looking for ways to set their segments apart. When Debbi Fields came in, I had her book publicist send along a food stylist who set up little Pyrex dishes with various ingredients. While she was being interviewed, Mrs. Fields mixed together a batch of cookie dough. Emeril Lagasse was also promoting a book. I arranged with a nearby IHOP for all of us to show up and have Emeril surprise some patrons. He added some "Bam" to their breakfasts while broadcasting live.

Before Julia Child's visit, I thought about what would be the most intimidating thing when meeting a famous chef. She would be promoting a new "Baking with Julia" cookbook. I challenged Mark and Brian to each choose a page at random. They had to prepare the dishes at home and serve them to Julia the next morning. Either the food tasted good or Julia played along. She was nothing but gracious to us all.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

dream a little stream

If money were no object (but it is), I would drop a hundred bucks or more on one of the fancy new WiFi clock radios I've had my eye on. In addition to receiving AM and FM, they can receive any radio station that streams online. One model can even record audio, like a DVR does with TV.

For years I had gotten along just fine with a regular clock radio. I would awaken to the audio simulcast of WATE. Before the digital TV transition, any station on channel 6 would bleed through onto the FM band at 87.7. I learned in college that the entire FM band sits between channels 6 and 7 on the old VHF dial.

At 4:00 each weekday morning, ABC World News Now gave me a good dose of news that helped prepare me for work. Plus listening to talk helps me wake up whereas music puts me back to sleep. Now that WATE has gone digital, the 87.7 simulcast is no more. Obviously I could put a TV in my bedroom, but I really don't want one in there.

Since June, I've been trying different stations searching for something I like. Because I'm not a conspiracy freak or a believer in UFOs and the paranormal, I find the the overnight programming on the local news talk station to be unlistenable. I tried listening to Fox Sports Soup on the sports talk station but didn't like the way all the hosts yell, including Matt Smith who used to work with me at KROQ. The NPR station is still playing classical lullabies at that hour. Even the uptempo music on Star 102.1 didn't wake me. I needed a talk fix.

As I started thinking about how much I could use a WiFi clock radio, an alternative idea came to mind. I realized I could save $100 or more by leaving my laptop in sleep mode on the nightstand. In the morning I could pop it open and listen to a radio station online. But which one? Perhaps I should try some stations from the places where I used to live.

When I first started working the early morning hours at WAVA, I would wake up to Larry King's overnight radio show. I especially loved it when he had showbiz old-timers on as guests. When Larry gave up the radio show, I started listening to Bill Mayhugh on WMAL, not so much for him and the cheesy Roger Whittaker album he often played, but for the rambling live news reports phoned in by Larry Krebs on the police and fire beat. When I moved to California, I tried a few options before settling on KNX.

The CBS streaming player works well. I can choose a station before bed, start streaming, close the laptop and it resumes when I open the laptop in the morning. WTOP in DC uses the Microsoft Silverlight player which failed to restart when I opened the computer. In my sleepy haze, I don't want to have to navigate around a website to find the "listen live" button.

One night I started streaming KFWB and really liked the way they have shifted their focus to include a heavy dose of entertainment news. They now use the slogan "Hollywood listens to KFWB." However during the 4 o'clock hour (Eastern time) they air a refeed of "Doug Stephan's Good Day." I switched to KNX that morning.

I also tried WINS in New York and will sample other CBS stations. Listening to WINS was a little disconcerting. They play most of their commercials individually rather than in a cluster. Each on-air commercial is replaced by a different commercial on the stream. Unfortunately the transition isn't smooth. It wouldn't be as bad with a cluster of spots.

On Friday I clicked onto WMAL in DC. From 3 to 5 a.m. they air The Midnight Trucking Radio Network. While I expected a lot of talk about carburetors and such, what I heard would have fit nicely on any conservative-leaning talk station, such as the news talk station in Knoxville. At 5:00, I heard a few minutes of The Grandy & Andy Morning Show before I had to leave for work. In case you were wondering whatever became of actor-turned-congressman Fred Grandy, know that he sounds like he's enjoying himself as one of the very few live and local hosts on a station full of syndicated programs.

When I got home from work on Friday, it was still early enough to catch some of the Kevin & Bean show. In the 11:00 a.m. (Eastern) hour, I empathized with Bean's anxiety over his wife wanting him to take a dance lesson with her. I doubt that he will cave in like I did. At least my wife doesn't expect me to attempt the super-difficult Argentine Tango.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

beau faux

The free newspaper I picked up at Patrick Sullivan's said it was not intended for the general public. Naturally, that made me all the more interested. "BOH - FOH News" is a publication for employees of the restaurant business. The initials in the name stand for back of house and front of house.

One article in the summer issue is by a server who writes that she always blames the kitchen for any mistakes with an order, even if the error is entirely her own fault. Another writer, who is a kitchen worker, describes his dislike for making club sandwiches because they require ingredients from every station in the kitchen.

I found the most interesting article to be one about an upselling technique called the Sullivan Nod. Its creator, Jim Sullivan, urges servers to smile and slowly nod their heads while suggesting an item such as a more expensive brand of liquor. The BOH-FOH writer thinks the Sullivan Nod could be used to convince bad customers that they don't want dessert.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

punt, pass & cake

Maybe Google Maps was in a playful mood the other day. All I wanted were the directions to Comcast's office on Asheville Highway. Google said I should take I-640. I wanted to see if it would be faster to go through downtown on I-40. I dragged the blue line from 640 to 40 but Google had me getting off the Interstate and taking surface streets. I dragged it back and Google reacted with yet another detour. It took me a moment to realize that the almighty Google doesn't know that SmartFIX40 has been completed since June 12th.

I had been invited to a press conference on the day that additions to Comcast's sports line up were activated. They now carry ESPNU on channel 735. Their high speed Internet customers now get access to at no additional charge. Locally, Comcast will televise seven high school football games. The last game of the season will be chosen by viewers' votes at If you don't have a dog in that fight, do me a favor and vote for Bearden at Catholic once the season starts.

The food at the press conference was themed like a tailgate party. They had mini corn dogs, chips, dip, sandwiches and a cake. The cake was actually two cakes. A football made of pound cake sat atop a field made of sheet cake. I wonder if they got the idea to use pound cake from watching "Cake Boss."

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

shop around

There's a particular brand of fat-free salad dressing that I have been buying at Food City for the past few years. I have made a point of only shopping at the specific locations (Bearden and Morrell Road) that stock Henri's. The cost per ounce made it more affordable than smaller bottle's of Ken's fat-free dressings.

Food City recently raised the price of my favorite dressing to well over $4 a bottle, which gave me reason to try another brand. The honey mustard variety of Eating Right Salad Dressing looks watery but for the price, I'm willing to put up with it. The current sale price is $2.50 a bottle. It's flavor is more mustard than honey, whereas Henri's is more honey than mustard. Eating Right dressing has ten fewer calories and 135 fewer mg of sodium than Henri's.

It's a little odd to me that Food City carries products from Eating Right, which is a Safeway brand. Food City recently denied rumors that they might be sold to Publix.

I've also tried a cheaper barbecue sauce, hoping my family will like it. I had been paying over $3 a bottle for Sticky Fingers Memphis Original Barbecue Sauce. It tastes great but to save some money, I bought a one-gallon jug of Corky's Bar-B-Q sauce at Sam's Club. When we finally finished the jug, I went to Sam's to buy a new one. As is their habit, they had discontinued the item.

While at Food City, I started comparing labels and prices of the different BBQ sauces on the shelf. Some had too many calories. Others had too much sodium. Most cost too much. Sticky Fingers has only 35 calories and 240 mg of sodium but the price is high. Corky's had 40 calories and 310 mg of sodium. After considering the Jack Daniel's sauces, I finally picked up a bottle of a store brand and was surprised by what I saw. The Valu Time BBQ sauce has 45 calories per serving and only 190 mg of sodium. Best of all, it cost 96 cents. Although my wife and son still prefer the name brands, the taste of Valu Time is completely satisfactory to me. I should have tried buying it a lot sooner.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Going to the Starlight Bowl was one of my favorite things about living in Burbank. On summer Sunday nights, we would pack a picnic dinner and head up the hill to see a concert by a cover band such as Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries. Occasionally a nationally known act like Rockapella or an "oldies act" like Don McLean would appear.

I was impressed by the quality of this year's headliners, which include three artists whose success was more recent than the acts I remember seeing at the Starlight Bowl. Colin Hay from Men at Work performed last month. The season closes out when Gin Blossoms take the stage on August 16th. The concert I wish I could attend is booked for this coming Sunday. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will play the Starlight Bowl on August 9th.

My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on New Year's Eve 1999 in Pasadena. They were the opening act for Chicago at a Disney gala for "Fantasia 2000." Because of fear of Y2K, a lot of people who bought tickets to the black-tie event decided to stay home. As a result, some friends of ours were offered tickets and were able to get another pair for us.

According to the Starlight Bowl website, Sunday's show is called "100 Years of Cab Calloway featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy." I've been a fan of Calloway ever since I saw him in "The Blues Brothers." One of my Facebook friends recently posted a link to a great video of Cab singing "Jumpin' Jive" with a dance performance by the incredible, gravity-defying Nicholas Brothers. I am tempted to spend some time looking for Cab Calloway videos and Nicholas Brothers videos on YouTube. To bring it all full circle, I met Fayard Nicholas twice, once at Burbank on Parade and once at the Starlight Bowl.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

what happens in vagus…

Now that it's a month later, it's obvious that there were no lasting side effects. However three-and-a-half hours into our road trip, we almost called off our vacation to New England. I was riding in the back seat of our CR-V with my feet up on a cooler. When I shifted positions, my left leg cramped up. The pain was so bad that I couldn't speak. There wasn't much room for me to stretch my calf muscle. When the pain eased some, I told my wife and son that I felt lightheaded.

The next thing I knew, my son was saying "Dad, Dad can you hear me?" It was like he was trying to wake me from a deep sleep. I had passed out. By this point, my wife had already taken the next exit on I-81. We were somewhere in the vicinity of Radford, Virginia.

In addition to being lightheaded, I now felt nauseous . My wife called GOOG-411 to find the closest hospital. She couldn't tell them where to look because we didn't know exactly where we were. She had pulled into the parking lot of an office building with no visible landmarks. She called her brother, who was able to access the Internet and give her directions to the New River Valley Medical Center in Christiansburg.

While my wife was on the phone, I laid down on the back seat with both doors open. The cool air felt refreshing and I didn't want to get up. The late David Bloom was on our minds although I thought I had walked around enough at our last bathroom stop to prevent a deep vein thrombosis. I silently said a bunch of Hail Marys, with an emphasis on the line "now and at the hour of our death," just in case.

When we got to the hospital, I got into a wheelchair and was pushed into the emergency room. I was tired and thirsty and honestly thought I might get out of there with a diagnosis of "dehydration and exhaustion." They eventually gave me a bag of saline solution and some anti-nausea medicine that they normally give to chemo patients. The nurse didn't get it when I joked, "you don't mess with the Zofran."

They asked my wife and son if I looked pale when I fainted. It was hard to tell because I had gone to Sun Tan City the night before to get a VersaSpa treatment. Later, when they peeled the EKG electrodes off my chest, a layer of tan came off too.

When the doctor asked me what day it was, I confidently replied "Friday." Wrong. It was Thursday. In my defense, the last thing I did before leaving work on Thursday was to voice-track Friday’s midday shift. I recorded several announcements saying it was Friday and to meet the station staff "today" at a contest registration event.

The doctor diagnosed my incident as a vasovagal syncope. The intense pain caused my heartbeat to slow down. I wasn't getting enough blood to my brain and I passed out. Apparently something, possibly my swimming, has lowered my resting heart rate. The pulse oximeter showed my heart rate to be around 58 beats per minute. Reclining in the hospital must have gotten the blood flowing back to my brain because I thought of the title for this blog post while lying on the bed.

In talking with the doctor, we realized that this had happened to me once before. Several years ago I was trying to help my father-in-law replace the InSinkErator in our Dale City townhouse. We were about to put the house on the market for our move to Burbank. While trying to remove the old disposal, a shard of plastic broke off and punctured my right palm. There was very little blood but a lot of pain. I felt lightheaded and nauseous so I went into the bathroom to throw up. Instead I passed out. I woke up to the upside-down sight of Aunt Dee headed toward me on her walker to take my pulse.

By the time we left the hospital, it was too late to continue driving to my mother's house in Northern Virginia as planned. We went to a Denny's but I was nauseous again and had no appetite. A full night's sleep at the nearby Holiday Inn Express cured me and I was able to enjoy their complimentary continental breakfast. We re-routed our trip from there directly to Saugerties, with a stop for lunch in Hershey.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

padres nuestros

Fr. Antonio Giraldo was introduced to the faithful at All Saints Church on Sunday. His arrival also means the addition of una Misa en Español on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

Fr. Tony Dickerson returned to All Saints after two years in Chattanooga. In his sermon at the 8:15 a.m. Mass, he joked that many parishioners like to come to the early morning service so they can get to Cracker Barrel before the Baptists.

For his first day on the new job, Fr. Antonio was actually in Kentucky Helenwood for the vigil Mass at St. Jude. The All Saints priests will take turns covering the 5:30 p.m. Mass each Saturday at the remote parish.

I thought it was funny that a Quinceañera Mass was celebrated at All Saints on Saturday night. Instead of Colombian Fr. Antonio, the priest was Irishman Fr. Michael Woods.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

digital examination

A few old pals were in Nashville for Morning Show Bootcamp this past week. Some additional responsibilities at work kept me from attending on Thursday or Friday but I was able to stop by today for the final two seminars.

I especially enjoyed the Digital Media Forum and not just because today happens to be my blog's fourth anniversary. The session was moderated by Jeff Dauler. The panelists were John Peake, Kipper McGee, Joel Denver, Daniel Anstandig and Michael Gaston.

I came out of the meeting with a list of things to look up when I got home. Some had funny names like Twellow and Twuffer. One of the panelists uses Scribe4You to update his blog. Others recommended that website owners take a look at BrowserShots, Feng-Gui and Quantcast. If I had an iPhone, I would be interested in the FaceMic application, which was suggested by one of the attendees, Justin Kaiser. Justin also likes BlogDesk.

The panel said that it was only a matter of time before automobiles will have dashboard Wimax receivers. When that happens, we'll be able to drive around and listen to any radio station that streams on the web. It's up to each radio show to establish their own brand identity so they'll be ready to compete with thousands of choices during the morning commute instead of the just the others on the local AM and FM dials.

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