December 4th, 2006


cute radio

I bitch about the most meaningless things sometimes. And this is one of those times.

I love my xm radio. But there are some programs or snippets I cannot abide. I yell at the radio when I hear them. Among them:

Celestial Navigation: these are short pieces narrated by a man who sounds like he's from the wrong side of the tracks. Little stories about his ventures here and there, and for some reason really irritating to me. Almost as irritating as Baxter Black, the cowboy poet, who can be heard on public radio from time to time. Usually the little stories take the guy into some difficult situation, accompanied by music that climbs to a fretful climax, and then everything is resolved and the same peaceful music comes on. Every time the same music.

Colonial Radio: Colonial radio offers drama that mostly takes place in the 18th century, but does venture into other areas at times. Sometimes it's fine to listen to. But one of the group's newer creations, named Dibble, drives me up a wall. He speaks like some sort of gnome or elf or some other short person, and gets into all kinds of trouble. Sometimes the program takes Dibble in the direction of various fairy tales - like CinderDibble. And it gets more and more irritating. I think what bugs me here is that I can sense the "look how funny we are" in the acting.

ZBS: The home of Ruby, the gallactic gumshoe. Ruby traipses around other worlds, encountering creatures that she describes with incredulity and that seem to be created just for the strangeness. Sometimes writers think that they are doing the right thing by creating weird-looking creatures, but in my opinion only Dr Seuss has the right to this type absurdity. Ruby is related to the folks who play the Dibble characters on Colonial Radio. You can hear the haha in her voice.

This is Audible. A person named Josephine Reed (I have not looked up the spelling) hosts this show, which is essentially an hour-long advertisement for There are interviews with writers, and snippets of audio books. Unlike Random House audio, Audible never gives us a whole book on the radio. Only a few pages so we want to go buy it. But I don't. Even if I like what I hear I don't want to go there because their flagrant advertising pisses me off.  Oh, and Josephine. Her vocal inflections bug the hell out of me. I want her to go away.

All of the above are on Sonic Theater. I listen to Sonic Theater as much as I can because I love a good audio play, and I am very disappointed when I can't get one. Perhaps another time I will list the shows I dislike on other channels - but believe me, there aren't nearly as many. 

"Free" is the name of the game

I offered a school clarinet on craigslist, under "musical instruments". In that ad I said I preferred to give it to a school or student. Two or three people responded. One came by, a junior high student, and said it wasn't the same as the one she uses at school. I don't think she had much knowledge of clarinets but there were some things that were different and she couldn't seem to reconcile them. So I accepted the offer of a man who said he used to play clarinet, was a musician, would love to have one again. But he failed to pick it up. The first time he said he couldnt' find my place. When I gave him specific directions, though, he did not respond at all. So the hell with that.

I just this morning posted it in the "free stuff" section. People are falling all over themselves, asking for it. I promised it to the first one who responded, who says she'll pick it up this afternoon. Until she actually picks it up I am keeping the ad up - or maybe I shouldn't. I have several names to go to in case she flakes. Yeah. I'll delete the ad.

damn Halliburton

It's hardly original to find Halliburton a distasteful company. But today I found yet another reason. I am near the end of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and I just read of the cats. Inside the green zone there actually is wildlife, mostly unnoticed. A biologist hired for another purpose did notice it, as he also noticed the occasional feral cat and kittens. Residents of the green zone started to "adopt" these cats. They sneaked food for them, brought them inside, took care of them when they could. But Halliburton officials had another idea. They thought the cats were a danger, that they would spread disease. Never mind that they had no proof of this. The biologist disagreed with their conclusions, said that if they did pose any danger it was infinitesimal. But no matter. Halliburton directed the marines to hunt down and kill every last one. It was undoubtedly like the bible story of the killing of the infants. People tried to hide them but the marines busted in and got them.

a change

Today the tide turned. I gave away a bed frame and a clarinet and I sold a slice of RAM (cheap). I will meet with a landscape installer at about 5:30 to get an estimate on my yard. Something's getting done.