June 2007 Archives

I remember exactly where I was on February 25, 1972. I was eating a slice of Sicilian pizza at V&J Pizza on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne, New Jersey, right next door to the Jerry Lewis Cinema (which later became a porn house), across the parking lot from Robert Hall. The TV was on over the counter, and a sports report said that the Phillies had traded Rick Wise to St. Louis for Steve Carlton, and I remember thinking, hey, Wise pitched well for the Phillies on a bad team- I'm surprised they traded him. Even at that very young age, I was a terrible judge of talent.

V&J still exists, although it has apparently moved. It was among my favorite pizza joints when I was a kid. I wonder if it's still any good.

Word association:

Yes, "acid" is correct.

And speaking of guys best known for off-the-field activities, it's Bo Belinsky's running mate:

For a guy who was semi-legendary for his exploits on the L.A. party circuit, and also perceived as a bust who threw his arm out early, he won 20 games twice, had a career ERA under 3, won the Cy Young Award at 23 and the Comeback Player of the Year in the AL in '67. On the other hand, he was out of baseball by the age of 30. His record for the Mets in 1970? 0-1, 13.50 ERA in three games. This was the 1971 card- by the time Spring Training was over, he was traded to the Tigers, where he didn't last the season. Turns out, by the way, that be became a pretty big deal in the boxing world- he's the president ot the IBA.

Check out the airbrush job on this:

Topps would airbrush out the logos on caps after a guy changed teams. Bunker went to Kansas City in the exp[ansion draft, so they wouldn't have a picture of him in a K.C. cap and uniform. In Wally's case, though, this 1969 card used a picture of him from 1965 at the latest- the uniform is the Orioles' early-60's style. Maybe it was easier to airbrush because the cap peak was black in those days and orange in 1966 and later, but it's still odd to go back four years.

I always associated Wally Bunker with Bob and Ray. It's the name, of course.

On July 5, 1970, at Connie Mack Stadium in North Philadelphia, I saw this guy get a save:

Mets 5, Phillies 4. It was my birthday, and we took Amtrak from Newark to North Philly, walked that scary few blocks to the ballpark, and settled in just a few rows behind the Mets dugout along the first base line. Jerry Koosman won the game, Woodie Fryman lost it, Ron Swoboda hit one for the Mets and Deron Johnson one for the Phillies. The day before, Donn Clendenon had hit one over the center field fence, a massive wallop. The thing I remember most was the last Phillies pitcher, Lowell Palmer, who pitched wearing sunglasses, an unforgettable sight, and Doc Edwards catching- he'd retired and gone into coaching, but got pressed back into service, seemingly ancient, although he was only 33. Frisella pitched two innings and gave up a run but got the save.

It's sobering to realize how many of the guys who played in that game are gone- Tommie Agee, Donn Clendenon, Joe Foy, Deron Johnson, Rick Joseph, Dick Selma, and, of course, Frisella, killed in a dune buggy accident during the off season between the '76 and '77 seasons. I think that was one of the early times I realized that relatively young people could die, too.

I saw this guy pitch, but there's only one thing I really remember about him. Can you guess what it is? Hint: it has something to do with my career:

Steve Arlin's grandfather was a pioneer radio broadcaster and supposedly the first to do baseball and football play-by-play on the radio, at KDKA/Pittsburgh in 1971. Whatever he did as a pitcher, Steve Arlin will always be the guy whose grandfather did the first baseball broadcast.

Does this not look like Al Downing's watching number 715 fly over his head on the way over the left field wall in Atlanta?:

And, finally, I'll bet you thought Rollie Fingers was born with That Mustache:

Apparently not.

We cleaned out some stuff from the garage this week, and while I was pulling boxes of receipts from 1989 out of the storage area I came across boxes I'd been thinking about for quite a while. About 10 years ago, I'd pulled most of the superstar baseball and basketball and football and hockey cards I had from when I was a kid and I put them- the "good ones"- in special sleeves and stored them away.

Those aren't the ones I was thinking about.

When you become an adult and think about the cards you used to own, the ones Mom threw away, you think about the "good ones." You think of Mays and Mantle, of Namath and Jim Brown, of Bird and Magic. But that's not what card collecting was really about. Sure, you got your Willie Mays card, but you ended up with a lot more of these:

Or these:

Or these:

You got the punter. (I know, I know, he was mostly a running back) You got the utility infielder or the middle reliever. You got the guy on the bench. And that's what I still have, because my mother, God rest her soul, didn't throw my cards away. And 40 years later, at the back of a storage closet thousands of miles away from where I first accumulated them, the cards have emerged again.

If I had to pick one card to represent my sports card collection, it's this one:

Ed Kranepool "in action." It is to Topps' everlasting credit that the "action" picture of Ed Kranepool is one of him taking a throw to first base. Kranepool couldn't run. "Action," always a relative term, meant almost nothing to Ed Kranepool. This card came from the 1972 set, after maybe his best season (.280, 14 homers, 58 RBI) in '71. Kranepool was always billed as the Last Original Met, although that wasn't quite accurate- he debuted as a pinch hitter at the end of the '62 season, but he wasn't an "Original" in the strictest sense. Still, as a kid, Kranepool always seemed old. Never mind that in '72, he was 28. He couldn't run, he'd been with the team since the black-and-white Polo Grounds days, and he was aggressively mediocre.

And maybe that's why I kinda liked him. He didn't do anything special- he wasn't horrible, wasn't spectacular, he just... was. That could be how I saw myself- not spectacular, not horrible, just an average middle-of-the-road guy. Some kids dreamed of being a major league superstar. I figured I'd settle for Ed Kranepool status. Someone has to ride the bench- why not me?

I didn't get to ride the bench, either. And sitting in the stands isn't so bad- they bring you hot dogs and beer right to your seat, so how bad can that be? But this card is a good reminder that while we like to think we're all about the Mayses and Mantles, life is more like Ed Kranepool. Average. There are worse things to be.

This week's All Access newsletter was written with one foot out the door...:

So, what's this about you taking a week off?

Yeah, all next week. Seemed like a good time, what with Independence Day and my birthday and stuff.

Did you just troll for birthday gifts?

Would I do something like that? Cash and certified checks are fine, by the way.

You're kidding there, right?

Kidding? Um... yeah, just kidding. Sure.

Got any thoughts about talk radio before you pack it in for the week?

Actually, my mind went on hiatus by Monday afternoon. But I'll try to come up with something.

What's the most common question you're being asked these days?

"Can you get me a job?"

Can you?

I'm not an employment agency, no, but it doesn't hurt for me to know who's available and who's looking to fill spots. Sometimes, I can make suggestions. Often, they're ignored. Occasionally, things work out. But if the talent isn't there, there's not much anyone can do.

How do you know if the talent's there?

You just know. You hear something that sounds right, you hear someone's personality and point of view and sense of humor pop out of the speakers. I admit, however, that I'll hear some shows that are on the air in major markets and I'll be at a loss to explain why they're even on the air in the first place.

Wanna tell everyone which shows they are?

No.

Okay, so I'm a host looking for a job and I know there aren't many openings and I want to stand out. How do I do that?

Seriously, put the gimmicks aside and just make your aircheck as strong as it can be.

But PDs seem to be all over the map about what they want in an aircheck- how long should it be? What should I put on it? Scoped or unscoped?

All good questions, and all close to irrelevant. The thing on which you need to concentrate is the first, say, thirty seconds. That's about as much time as you have to sell yourself. A good PD may not know in that first thirty seconds whether you're good, but he or she will know in seconds if you're bad. That opening segment needs to be as strong as possible to keep the prospective employer listening- you need to come right out of the box on fire, funny, smart, compelling, unique, all in that first shot. And you need to keep it up all the way through, but that first impression is what will either sell you or doom you. That reminds me: I've heard a lot of demos that start with produced openings, theme songs, deep-voice guys doing intros, that kind of extraneous stuff. Get rid of that. Your imaging guy isn't applying for the job, YOU are. When I was hiring, any tape with a long intro ended up being flung like a Justin Verlander fastball into the "no, thanks" pile- unfair, maybe, but I didn't like to be kept waiting. Just get to the part where you show me you're a star. Scoped, unscoped, twenty minutes, an hour... whatever, just hit me with the good stuff. If I want more, I'll ask you for it.

You're sure you won't say which shows you don't like?

Yes, I'm sure. At least, not HERE. Get me at the right time in the right place and the right mood and I might let it slip. But not here.

Oh, okay, fine. What's in All Access News-Talk-Sports' Talk Topics column this week?

Glad you asked. Besides items about the big stories- immigration, the presidential race, the economy, Paris Hilton, the Chris Benoit case, the NBA Draft- you'll find links and comments and stories like a list of the most ridiculous band names ever, the Spice Girls reunion (nooooo!), the 40th birthday of the ATM, the stockbroker-turned-Hell's Angel-turned-America's Most Wanted, a reason not to get permanent makeup, the "father-daughter purity ball," why prisoners are flushing their uniforms down the toilet, who your teenage son is convincing to buy beer for him, the briefcase-on-wheels trend, a reason people are queueing up for days that doesn't involve the iPhone, the nightmare that is ABC's renewal of "According to Jim," the... the... you know, my mind is already taking off, so let's just mention "10 Questions With..." KXL/Portland PD James Derby and the Talent Toolkit with July 4th material and the rest of All Access with news and columns and the usual excellent resources like Mediabase and the Industry Directory and whatever. Free.

Are you outta here?

Like a Ryan Howard homer. Have a great Independence Day, a great Canada Day, and a great week.

SLOW MELT

You get close to some time off, and, of course, you start to slack off early. I could swear this was Thursday, but it wasn't. I start a week off work on Friday evening, and it cannot get here soon enough- these 3:45 am-to-9 pm days are feeling more exhausting than ever. What's left of my brain feels like it's melting. I can't concentrate on anything. The finish line is in sight. I have senioritis. There's another inning to play, but I'm already in the clubhouse.

So my mind is drifting, wondering, for example, why not one but two seniors in the Torrance Y locker room always hum to themselves. I wonder if all senior men hum atonally. I wonder if I'm seeing my future. I wonder, if I'm lucky enough to make it to 80 or so, if I'll be wandering around humming to myself, the tune sounding in my mind like, say, "Since I Fell For You" or "Blitzkrieg Bop" but sounding to the rest of the world as if I'm just bleating out random notes. I'm not sure if this is endemic to the entire male senior population. There are worse problems to have, but it's strange.

And I've been alternately watching and listening to the Phillies game tonight, which is at present in a rain delay, and... Geoff Geary. Ryan Madson. Will the madness never end? Pat Gillick was in the TV booth early in the game, and he was smart enough to be there when Chris Wheeler and Gary "As Well" Matthews were on- no Harry, nobody to ask him tough questions, like if we knew that the bullpen was going to be this bad, why he didn't make a move in the Winter instead of waiting until there was no hope and no help anywhere. He can talk injuries all he wants, but Geary and Madson were part of the equation even before the injuries. The injuries rid the Phillies of two closers (one of whom was already pitching horribly poorly for the entire seond half of last season), but the bullpen can't get them to the ninth anymore. It's a matter of hoping that the offense piles up enough runs to compensate for the nearly guaranteed bullpen meltdown. But why should we expect better from the Phillies? They're the Phillies. They'll hang in there, slump for a while, make a late run, win about 85 games, and fall short of the wild card again. We know this will happen. It always does. For a very interesting story of how the Phillies got to the precipice of 10,000 losses, check D-Mac's Philadelphia Weekly cover story this week here.

Are those items random enough? Wait until you see tomorrow's "The Letter." Consider yourself warned.

COOL VIDEO: DON CARDWELL'S NO-HITTER

How cool is this one?

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago put this up- WGN-TV Chicago on May 15, 1960. Don Cardwell had just been traded by the Phillies to the Cubs two days earlier. This is the 9th inning of his first game with the Cubs- a no-hotter. It was the peak of his career, other than being one of the '69 Mets.

And check out Moose Moryn's catch to end the game.

I am totally unmotivated.

Oh, Perry! Look!

Fran's calling me from the living room. I don't even have the energy to respond.

The raccoons are back!

Saw one this morning.

One's almost swimming! It IS swimming! It just shook itself off!

Wet raccoon. Uh huh.

There are THREE of them!

Moe, Larry, and Raoul.

One's going up a tree! And another!

I could grab the video camera, but I'm too tired.

Oh, he's climbing on our chair. He's on our chair. He's sitting on our chair. How cute!

Okay, it sounds like Animal Planet in our backyard. But I'd have to get up.

I wish I had a video camera.

Oh, all right.

This summer's least-awaited non-blockbuster: "Raccoons II: The Power of Four."

Sequels are never as good as the original- this is no exception. Four interminable minutes of raccoons in the back yard, with a guest appearance by Ella the World's Most Famous Cat, an eerie apparition in the window, and four- count 'em, four- raccoons. It's great if you're really into raccoons.

Enjoy.

GO AHEAD, SKIP A DAY

There's nothing lamer than a post explaining why there won't be a post that day.

So I won't explain.

iWON'T (YET)

You can get in the queue for the iPhone now. Looks cool, but, sadly, it just doesn't do what I need it to do. Maybe version 2 or 3. Not this one. And going to AT&T/Cingular would mean almost no signal in my neighborhood.

My smartphone wish list:

*3G. Non-negotiable. EDGE isn't adequate.
*A browser that doesn't suck. iPhone's Safari has promise but no 3G. Pocket IE sucks. Blazer sucks more. Opera doesn't work quite right. The new Microsoft beta browser looks interesting.
*Push e-mail that works and doesn't require all sorts of hacks. Just make it work, please.
*A QWERTY keyboard. I'm very skeptical that the touchscreen iPhone software keyboard will allow any kind of speed at all, let alone accurate thumb typing. Just give me a little keyboard.
*Wi-Fi built in. The Wi-Fi card I use with the Treo 700wx doesn't cut it- it won't let me use WPA-PSK, or at least it refuses to take the password.
*Sling Player. Non-negotiable. No Sling, no iPhone.
*Non-crippled Bluetooth. Stereo, please.
*Wireless sync via Bluetooth or IR. How difficult should this be?
*A decent case. You shouldn't have to go aftermarket.
*A decent screen. The iPhone's may be the one. It sure ain't the Treo's 240x240.
*A decent OS that does everything without crashing. Maybe the mobile OS X is it, but the whole idea of closing it to third party apps except those developed as Safari extensions/widgets is not a good sign. Windows Mobile 5 isn't the one. Windows Mobile Smartphone is awful. Palm- dying. Symbian- not slick enough, not enough apps. Maybe one of the Linux versions will be the one.
*A battery that doesn't drain three-quarters of its juice in a single phone call.
*A removeable battery. Non-negotiable. If you can't pop it open and change the battery- I went through that with the pre-650 Treos- then I don't want it.
*A decent instant messaging client that doesn't require you to use some sketchy centralized server for redirection.
*If it's GSM, make it unlocked. I'd rather pay full freight and be able to use it anywhere.
*Thin and light. I am way tired of carrying a brick in my pocket.
*A full-sized SD slot.

Now, is that too much to ask? And why do I get the feeling that there are phones that fit the bill in Asia and they just haven't made it to the U.S. yet, if ever?

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE? NOT FREE

Two more FM talkers bit the dust today, San Diego and Phoenix. The San Diego takedown took down my friend Jim with it; the station stunted for two hours with oldies before going to a Starbucksian adult alternative/adult contemporary hybrid under one of the few names heretofore not used as a radio station nickname, "Sophie @ 103.7." I listened to the switchover; one of the sweepers involved the station being "like an iPod."

Yeah, that's perfect. You want a radio station to be like an iPod PROGRAMMED BY SOMEONE ELSE. Terrific. You know, my iPod doesn't have lame Coldplay and Fall Out Buy tracks on it. You keep your like-an-iPod and I'll keep mine.

I don't have to explain the problems that waylaid the Free FMs- bad corporate programming decisions, long-term deals with the wrong talent, the local guys not being given enough time, money, or ability to hire local talent. I just hate the idea that the mistakes made in this operation may have eliminated any chance that someone will try again and do it right the next time. I hate it not only as one of those present at the creation of what became the FM talk concept, but as someone who knows that radio will encounter massive competition as a jukebox- competition it will find hard to beat. The long-term road to preserving the viability of terrestrial radio in a world of iPods and streaming and satellite is to do personality radio- hosts who talk- and sign up unique talent and the right people to guide and coach them. (Okay, since I would qualify as someone who's successfully found, guided, and coached talent, I may be biased here) The mistake CBS made wasn't in going with talk, it was how they did it and, in some cases, with whom they did it.

And now we're back to more hits in a row, because that's easy and safe and the general manager won't get any complaint calls and you don't have to wait for it to get numbers and even if it doesn't, you can do it so cheaply that you're in the black right away. Good for them. Not for me, thanks.

This week's All Access newsletter builds on last week's with some sage advice (translation: restatement of the obvious):

Last week's edition of this thing drew an avalanche of responses, and I still haven't gotten the chance to get back to all of you. Thanks for your patience.

But what came through in a lot of cases is the very fear and resignation I discussed last week. Some people are giving up on radio, while others are sticking with it but want guidance on how to make it through this dry spell. And it's heart-wrenching, because I can't get everyone hired and can't snap my fingers and make station owners and GMs look beyond this quarter and can't... fix it. Sorry- that's out of my hands. All I can do is write this thing and hope it's having a long-term effect.

But what I CAN do is hand out advice, solicited or not, on what talent needs to be doing in this situation. The first part was last week's topic- persistence, networking, all that stuff. Then there's the matter of what you're selling. You need to make sure you have what stations and PDs will want. How do you know if you do?

I thought about that this week while pondering where everything's going and what works and why. I was reminded why some hosts become successful, some don't, and some can't get hired in the first place. The core of it is simple. Here's the main thing you need to be a better radio host:

A distinct personality.

Here's the other main thing you need to be a better radio host:

Something to say.

That's it.

Yeah, it's obvious, but if it IS that obvious, it doesn't explain why I hear so many shows that sound like someone's been plucked off the street and stuck in front of a microphone with a copy of the morning paper or a prep sheet and told to just talk. There are variations, like TWO guys stuck in front of a microphone. Someone thought that would make good radio, but it doesn't. The successful hosts- the stars- ALWAYS have something to say, an opinion on everything, and they have distinct personalities that pop out of the speakers.

Here's an exercise: can you describe yourself from just what people hear of you on the radio? Can listeners get a good feel for who you are and what you're all about? What IS your image? If you can't pinpoint that, or you find yourself having a hard time describing what you project, that's something you need to consider. It might be as simple as "sarcastic grump" or "bombastic know-it-all" or "pragmatic everyman," but it has to be SOMETHING that listeners can instantly grasp and sense from your presentation. (And that's also important if you're trying to get a job- do you want to be one of a pile of "guys in front of a mic" or do you want to stand out when a PD is plowing through the job submissions?)

And then there's "something to say." I find it hard to describe how the lack of something to say manifests itself; I know it, however, when I hear it. I hear hosts kind of meander around several subjects without committing to one, or without committing to an opinion. I hear it when the host's opinion sounds suspiciously like something he or she just pulled from someone's blog without thinking it through. I especially hear it on some of the "lifestyle" shows that try to do the trick where the show revolves almost entirely around the allegedly "wacky" exploits of the show's minor characters and sidekicks- you can point to shows where that works, but those shows have been around for a decade or more, and the characters and personalities have developed over time. You can't just pop on one day, talk about nothing but the board op's dating woes, and expect the audience to care. That has to develop organically, with enough time for the audience to learn about the cast and care about them. Until then, doing that makes it sound like you came to the studio without anything meaningful to say- you're leaning on supporting characters to make you a show.

(By the way, here's another annoyance I'll just get off my chest while I'm talking about "something to say": the VH1 Syndrome. "Paris Hilton... heh heh... what's up with THAT?" That's what happens on all of those VH1 shows with comedians commenting on celebrity gossip: half of the comments are pretty much "what's up with THAT?," because, well, it's hard to come up with a witty wisecrack sometimes. And hack standup comics assume that's all you need to say to get a laugh, or at least a knowing nod and chuckle. But it isn't. Nevertheless, you'll find the "what's up with THAT?" stuff going on in every market. It's especially popular on some music morning shows. "Lindsay Lohan... what's up with THAT?" "The guy from 'Grey's Anatomy'... what's up with THAT?" "Single-payer health care... what's up with THAT?" If you don't have an answer for that question, don't bring up the topic. Okay, end of rant)

All right, now that you've got a handle on how to project your personality and have something to say, you'll need topics, which- yes, it's time for the weekly plug- means you'll need Talk Topics at All Access News-Talk-Sports, where you'll find the best news items, provocative comments, and kicker stories lovingly hand-picked by a real live person who's done real live talk radio, so you know it's farm fresh. Or something. Anyway, this week's specials include items about stolen cars that won't stay stolen, a tragedy that recalls the basic story line of your basic Yogi Bear cartoon, what the career of Carl Pavano says about, er, Carl Pavano, that noisy-kids story, the freegan lifestyle, proof that your older sibling is smarter than you, what your ringtone says about you, possibly the worst transatlantic flight ever, a particularly interesting teacher-student affair story (with extra added marriage!), Herman Munster's identity theft problems, the super-secret Disneyland club, overrated bands, a pair of really evil babysitters, the problem with Yankee fans and L.A. City Attorneys (separate stories, for now), the ultimate beer glass, and lots of nekkid people, plus "10 Questions With..." WOR/New York afternoon co-host (and longtime TV personality) Lynne White and the rest of All Access with the industry's leading source for the latest news, "Net News," where you may find out your station's changing format before the boss tells you about it, plus Mediabase charts, message boards, the Industry Directory, Arbitron ratings, and much, much more, all for the price of zero. You're welcome.

Again, to everyone who wrote- and there were a lot of you!- thanks, and I will try to get back to everybody. Don't hate me because my Inbox is overflowing.

DRIVE, HE DIDN'T SAY

Every time I try to go further than, say, Torrance, I remember why I don't like to do that.

Long line of traffic waiting to go from the 110 north to the 101 north. Reason: Cops chose the top of the ramp to pull people over for minor violations.

Red lights galore on Vermont.

Only street parking available within short walk of restaurant in Los Feliz was one-hour limit.

Large truck chose green light moment to veer directly across my lane to make an illegal u-turn, forcing me to test my car's braking ability.

101 south crawling.

110 south crawling.

Cars backed up about a mile getting off at Pacific Coast Highway.

Truck spewing black clouds of carbon crawling uphill in front of me on First Street.

You commute? My sympathies. I don't know how you do it.

Lunch was very nice. Getting there and back wasn't. I'm staying right here for the rest of the week.

I had no idea ABC was this prescient. In 1974, 31 years early, they aired this:

They were a little off- the real one hit the Mississippi coast on August 29. But close enough. This one was based on a novel which was itself based on Hurricane Camille, and it starred a post-Jeannie, pre-Dallas Larry Hagman and Martin Milner (as "Major Hymie Stoddard"!) as hurricane chasers out to rescue the locals. Also notable: Frank Sutton- Sgt. Carter!- in his final "movie" role- he died that June, and the show aired in September.

I bet the TV movie version of the hurricane wasn't even as devastating as Katrina really was. Haven't seen it, though. Turns out you can get it on DVD- but as part of a cheesy collection of 9 TV movies. Even at $6.99, I think I'll skip it.

Today's visit to the singles shelf turns up an absolute horror:

One word: HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was 1988, so you might want to give him a break. But I won't. I had long hair in the 70s, but I never had hair like that. And it's even more unforgivable when you get a look at the back cover:

You can't find pants like that at Kohl's. There's an ammo belt, too, juxtaposed with a peace-sign t-shirt- I'll bet they spent hours deciding on that one in the photography studio. The hair, the shoulder-pads, the guyliner, the feeble attempt at a "tough" expression... kids, this is what metal was like in the 80s, all laughable fashion and leaden covers of pop songs on green vinyl.

I saw a copy of this exact record- promo version, just like this- selling online for $4.99. $4.99? Someone must love this one. Not me.

(UN)SOLD CANADIAN!

I celebrated Father's Day today by doing something my own dad wasn't known for: I finished putting up the towel bars and toilet paper holder. Wielded a mean power drill. Got 'r done. Very Bob Vila-like. Tim Allen. TLC. Not really HGTV- those shows tend to be a little less, well, masculine. Lots of guys fussing about colors. Not much brute force.

But I do like HGTV anyway, especially the show I call "Angry Greedy Canadians." It's actually called "Buy Me," and it starts with a creepy guy intoning a "Outer Limits"-style narration on-camera, followed by, well, angry greedy Canadians. Each episode establishes why the homeowners want to sell, shows them interacting- initially in a pleasant manner- with their agents, shows them setting their price. By the end of every episode, the house is in shambles, they have no offers or are settling for well under their price, they're not talking to each other, and toxic substances are all over the basement.

In other words, it's real life.

Unlike "Designed to Sell" or any of the house-flipping shows, "Buy Me" features owners unwilling to renovate- or do anything else- to sell their house. They're greedy- they stick to their dream price even in the face of absolutely no market interest- and they won't lift a finger to help matters, even by cleaning up the mess in their closets or in the living room. Mold all over the place? Cracks in the wall? Too bad- they want their 300,000 loonies, and that's final. The real estate agents are left to weep silently in their Lexuses.

Needless to say, I'm hooked. It's up there with your better spectator sports- you sit there and feel superior, thinking, "if that was MY house, I'd slap a coat of paint on everything. And I'd just take everything, throw it in a U-Haul, move it to storage. And I'd put some Glade Plug-Ins in there, too." They never do, and it's more entertaining for that.

Beats watching the Phillies lose again. But I did that, too.

Happy Father's Day, everyone.

Today's project: replace the bulbs in the ceiling fixtures in the living room (high ceiling) and install towel racks.

Stage one: Go up and get bulb out of fixture so I know what to buy. Ladder is frighteningly wobbly. Steady myself against ceiling beam, pray, get bulb. Climb down. Thank God for safety. Place bulb aside.

Stage two: Mark off where holes need to go for hand towel rack. Read instructions: 5/16 drill bit needed. Look for 5/16 drill bit, purchased a couple of months ago. Fail to locate it.

Stage three: Drive to Lowe's, purchase drill bit and bulbs.

Stage four: Climb ladder, pray, manage to replace bulbs without falling. Thank God again.

Stage five: Put battery in drill, put drill bit in drill, drill hole, watch part of wall crumble. Realize that paint masked particularly good wall patch. Powdered wall patch everywhere. Curse.

Stage six: Drill holes safely above patch area. Drill begins to run down. Wasn't battery charged? Apparently not. Break out manual tools, install towel bar. Sweat profusely.

Stage seven: Vacuum up powdered wall, resolve to head back to Lowe's tomorrow for more patch, check to see if we still have Honolulu Blue paint. Find can, note presence of remaining paint, sigh with relief.

Stage eight: Shower.

So, you think this has some potential for an HGTV show?

BUT JULIUS LA ROSA LIVES ON

Well, yeah, actually, I do. Thanks for the tip, Artie.

It's amazing that you can be so famous that your name need appear nowhere in an ad and everyone will know who you are, yet within the lifetime of some of the people who see that ad, you'll sink into obscurity, not forgotten by your fans but just not known by later generations. How many people under the age of about 40 would recognize that face?

Fame is indeed fleeting, but my head hurts too much to talk much more about it.

THIS WEEK'S "THE LETTER": GET A JOB

Don't know when this week's All Access newsletter will actually get into the mail- the folks who do that are shorthanded today- but here's a preview:

I was talking to a friend at that talk radio convention last weekend when he asked me if I'd noticed something.

"Noticed what?"

"Nobody's here."

I looked around the room. It looked reasonably busy. "What do you..."

"The jobseekers. They're not here this year."

And he was right. In past years, you'd see a sizeable number of people looking for work- pros and wannabes, the confident and the desperate. This year, it seemed like they weren't around.

Where did everyone go? I know for sure that there's a long list- getting, sadly, longer- of talent looking for work. But they weren't around this year, they weren't buttonholing PDs and syndicators in the lobby, they weren't pressing business cards and CDs into the hands of anyone who paused near them. What happened?

I wonder if some of them have given up. I've heard that from some of the folks who have gotten tired of waiting for that elusive opening in the syndication-saturated lineup of some station or another. I've heard it, too, from people who are employed but want to move up in market size, daypart, or salary- they're ready to throw in the towel, hang 'em up, go do something else. And it's a shame, because these are good, talented people who love radio, who have it in their blood, but they just don't feel like fighting the tide anymore.

Meanwhile, I hear a different story from PDs. They'll tell me that they aren't finding a lot of developing talent out there. They say that the farm system is depleted, that the changeover of smaller market talk radio to all-syndicated, turnkey-automated radio has left them having to look outside the business for talent, and that doing so is way more chancy because, well, everyone THINKS they can do this but, as you know better than anyone, it isn't as easy as it looks.

So, what advice can I give to the jobseekers who are giving up, and the PDs who can't find the right talent? Let's see... first, for the jobseekers: persistence pays. Networking, as I've told you before, pays, too. Do not give up because 100 attempts to get a job have failed. Don't stop knocking on the door. Don't stop calling unless you're told to stop (and threatened with a restraining order). And don't assume that just because you've mailed and e-mailed and FedExed your stuff to a PD, he or she's seen or heard it. Keep trying. Send the stuff to stations you know have openings and stations that don't. You never know when something might open up. And if there were PDs complaining that they can't find the right talent out there at this convention, perhaps you should have been there to present yourself as the solution to that problem. (You may not be what they're looking for, but if you don't make an effort, you'll never know)

Besides, just when you think you're out, they pull you back in. You can't escape. The longer you try to stay away, the more likely you'll end up doing 20 minutes on the immigration bill into the drive-thru order mic at Whataburger.

Next, for the PDs: looking at nontraditional sources for talent is hard. It takes a lot of work and a lot of trial and error. You may need to try out or otherwise check out every TV news anchor, newspaper columnist, podcaster, blogger, and bartender in the market. And you may need to actually listen to every single one of those CDs and MP3s that have piled up on your desk and in your e-mail box over the years. It will take a ton of direction and coaching. It is hard. But that's what you do. And I'll remind you that some of the most successful names in the talk show genre started out as, among other things, top 40 jocks, hot dog joint proprietors, tin knockers, lawyers, sportswriters, prank callers, and, of course, disgraced politicians. It may take a long search to find what you're looking for... which is why, if you DON'T have an opening right now, it's the perfect time to start looking. Ask the Imus stations what happens when you don't have a Plan B in place.

Summary: For talent, there are fewer opportunities. For PDs, the obvious pool of talent is smaller. For everyone, keep trying. However exhausting or discouraging it may be at times, persistence is the key.

And if you're currently on the air (watch how deftly I segue into the plug), the key is show prep, and the key to show prep (here it comes) is Talk Topics at All Access News-Talk-Sports (there it is), which so far this week features items on Bob Barker's mic, a really stupid world record, how Britney Spears is helping out all of the world's amateur comedians, how cell phone video and YouTube have encouraged questionable social interaction, a 37 year old cat, the rise of the fake wedding cake, why "Sir Clowns-a-Lot" isn't happy with his teachers, a guy who got arrested for DUI twice within five hours, the trouble with "reform math," why most workers commute alone, why some people sue over roaches in coffee while others enjoy lollipops with insects embedded within, the side effect that will probably keep a weight-loss drug from being approved for America, the bomb scare at my very own high school alma mater, how to prepare your dog for July 4, a town that banned saggy pants, Mario Impemba vs. full disclosure, Paris Hilton, the Sopranos, Paris Hilton, the election, Paris Hilton, Gaza, Paris Hilton, and, especially, Paris Hilton. Also in the N-T-S section: "10 Questions With..." comic, syndicated host, and extremely outspoken labor advocate Jackie Guerra, and the Talent Toolkit with some unusual sites about father stuff in time for Father's Day. And over in Net News, you'll find the radio industry's best, fastest, and most complete coverage- why wait until tomorrow for part of the news when you can get all of the news right now at All Access? Plus, the Industry Directory, managed by the King of Information, Paul Cartellone, lets you find everyone in the business, the Mediabase charts tell you who's playing what, and you'll find Arbitron numbers and message boards and more, all for free.

By the way, whatever I learned about hard work and persistence came from the example set by my father. He's no longer with us, but Sunday will be another opportunity to remember his love and wisdom and inspiration. And if your dad is still around and showed you the way, too, make sure you honor him on Father's Day and every day. That's what unlimited cell phone long distance is for.

To all fathers everywhere, have a great Father's Day.

Damned if I know what this one is all about:

I know what Fraternity Records was and is. "Gary Forrester and Clear Cut," on the other hand, is a mystery. This is a single from 1988, and the postcard that came inserted in the sleeve looked like this:

Memo to the folks presently at WJLK- sorry, and you're welcome to have your record back.

The A-side is "The Freedom Wall," and the B-side is "A Stranger In the Night," but not THAT "Stranger In the Night." Both songs are listed as having been written and produced by Gary Forrester and Tom Spirk. I Googled them. Tom Spirk- nothing. Gary Forrester... well, I'm not sure. If this is the guy, he's a lawyer, writer, and bluegrass musician, but there's absolutely no mention of "Clear Cut" or these songs, so I don't know if this is the guy.

But in 1988, someone thought this was worth committing to vinyl. There's a good chance you won't find this record anywhere. But because one pack rat accidentally took it with him when he left WJLK and it managed to hide in a stack of 45s for almost 20 years, here it is. I wonder where Gary is now.

We have a couple of mystery records in the crap pile today, a couple of singles I just couldn't place. I didn't know what kind of music they are, I don't know the songs, I had nothing. This one's "John Wayne" by something called Zuma II, and this side's the "Ollie North Mix":

Who was Zuma II? Still not sure, but the leader was a fellow named Richard Gibbs, and I was able to find him fairly easily here. He does movie/TV music now, but he was in Oingo Boingo before striking out on his own with this band (one album) and then as a session guy. I've never heard the song. I doubt I want to.

Nor do I want to hear this:

Jimmy Lifton? "Touching You At Night"? The "Sensual Mix"? Eeewwwww. I KNOW I don't want to hear this one. But, again, the guy wasn't hard to find: he's here, producing movies you've never seen, composing, still in the biz.

You change offices, you throw everything (which, in radio, includes tons of promotional records and CDs) in boxes and go. You move, everything goes in more boxes and you go. You do it for years, then you discover that you have Zuma II and Jimmy Lifton records. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I have several shelves of old 45 rpm records. Kids, these were 7 inch flat circles of vinyl that played individual songs. Yes, like MP3s, except on, like, physical discs. Anyway, I've had them there for years, and I don't think I've so much as looked at them since before we moved to California- they've moved from town to town with us, and they were amassed in both Fran and my years working in radio, which ment that we ended up with boxes and boxes of freebies, most to which we never even bothered to listen, because we thought they stank even then. But you start to get stacks and stacks of them, and insted of weeding them out you just pack 'em all and move 'em, which is how we amassed a pile of some of the most obscure and worthless crap ever committed to vinyl.

And that's how we arrive at a new series: Crap On 45, scans of records and sleeves you won't find anywhere else, because nobody would want to remember them.

Today's steamer: Ferry Aid's cover of "Let it Be," from 1987:

Doing it for charity doesn't justify bad music. Assembling a gaggle of stars and lesser lights doesn't guarantee quality. This record hit number one on the UK charts in 1987, helped by the Sun's campaigh to sell it to raise funds for the paper's charity for the victims of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster on March 6, 1987. Just look at the luminaries who appered on this record:

Okay, it's too small to read. You recognize Sir Paul McCartney, and Boy George and Kate Bush and Mark Knopfler, too. Others on the list you'll remember with varying degrees of fondness and revulsion: the Alarm, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Bucks Fizz (!), Difford and Tilbrook of Squeeze, Frankie Goes to Hollywood (!!), Go West, Nik Kershaw, Mel and Kim, Gary Moore (!), the New Seekers (?), Suzi Quatro, DJ Mike Read, Edwin Starr, Bonnie Tyler, and Kim Wilde. Others, well, I don't remember who Debee Ashby or Al Ashton or Jay Carly or Roy Gayle were. There are a LOT of those on the list.

I have it. Picture sleeve, slightly wrinkled and torn in one corner, never played.

And speaking of charity records, I have no idea why I have this:

What was it? An anti-drug song, of course. And the "T. Reid" listed as co-writer is none other than Venus Flytrap himself, "WKRP in Cincinnati"'s Tim Reid.

I've never played it, but you can see it here. I don't think it stopped any madness, actually.

There will be more of this. I'm giving you fair warning.

SO FLOG ME, TOO

It's a few hours later, and I'll have to give David Chase credit- I can't stop thinking about two things:

1. The ending, and

2. Goddamn "Can't Stop Believing."

Larry's right- a traditional ending wouldn't have been right, and the way it ended is one that'll be more memorable than a regular plot wrapup. I say that because it's still replaying in my mind, I'm way overdue to be sleeping, and I imagine it'll be there for a long time.

Other than, say, "Newhart," I can't think of a series finale that had this effect on me. Or maybe I'm just over-exhausted from the flight this morning and work all day. Either way, as frustrating as it was, damned if it isn't working.

The first critic to write about how brilliant the ending of the last episode of "The Sopranos" was should be summarily flogged.

Although I have to hand it to David Chase for the most spectacular F-you ever given to fans of a show- he ended it by, um, not ending it. He built tension and then copped out by cutting to black. How does it all end? It doesn't. Nothing. (A lot of people on the Net seem to assume that the cut to black is Tony's death- that it's what he would be perceiving. That would only work, though, if the show was seen from Tony's perspective, but it wasn't)

But Phil Leotardo's demise and the cat stuff were good.

And we have our Sundays back.

LATER: Larry gets the flogging, except he does make some sense, so I take back the flogging guarantee. But the "lights out" explanation seems to be the one carrying the day, and in the light of a few hours' consideration it's more reasonable as an ending. It robs us of our ability to see Tony's brains splattered in the onion rings, though.

MEMORY LANE

The convention? Okay. Saw a lot of friends and good folks, was ignored by not-so-good folks, and, well, more when I get back from New York.

But the highlight was an appearance by...

Joe Franklin!

He lives!

How could anything else top that?

The bizarre host of the most bizarre talk show ever to grace actual broadcast TV. Words can't describe how weird Joe's show was. This doesn't do it justice.

Here's a taste of the magic:

You may remember him as a punchline in "The Aristocrats" or as the subject of an SNL sketch. Uncle Floyd caught the Joe Franklin mystique the best, but I doubt there are any clips left of that, considering that Franklin sued Floyd over it (but when Billy Crystal did a lamer version on SNL, no lawsuit). Anyway, he's alive and he was here. Awesome.

This was SUPPOSED to go out earlier today to the All Access newsletter subscribers. I don't think it did, and I don't know why, but you didn't miss much:

You know what? I'm traveling, I am totally pressed for time, and I still wrote a while version of this newsletter... and then I read it back and I didn't think it was so good. Evidently, flying cross country sucked the humor and coherence and intersting observations right out of me. Or maybe it was the Paris Hilton story (which formed the basis for the original version of this thing). Either way, I ditched the whole thing and now I don't have time to write a better version.

So I'll summarize what I was trying to say in the original version:

1. Paris Hilton IS news.
2. It's important that your station's newscasts sound like the fit with the rest of the programming- same tone, same area of coverage and interests.
3. General reminiscing about fights with news directors that I decided I'd rather not revisit.

And that's it. See? I just saved you about 10 minutes of your life (or 10 seconds, if you'd seen it and just deleted it immediately).

In a similar vein, let's skip the lengthy plug and just say that All Access News-Talk-Sports' Talk Topics column is the place to go for show prep with items this week about the latest geek dream-come-true, why the dude drove his car into the shopping mall, the rise of torture movies, more plastic grocery bag bans, why (again) not to go camping, the wrong (but effective) way to complaimn when your pizza delivery's late, a nine year old pro video gamer, the evils of communal dining, why Americans don't want those tiny sub-subcompact cars, and all sorts of stuff about the TB guy and dirty pizza places and the guy who had an unusual reaction to a health drink, plus, of course, Paris Hilton. And there's a return visit with regionally syndicated sports talker Dan Sileo at "10 Questions With...", and lots of news and message board action and music information at the rest of All Access. It's all good, and free, too.

Next week: Why your station's news department needs to immediately establish a Lindsay Lohan bureau.

HOT ADULT IN THE CITY

Whenever I return to New York and I begin to really enjoy the city and its energy, I snap out of it for one very good reason: it's too damn hot and humid in the Summer. A short walk from my hotel to a breakfast meeting had me sweating like a full cardio workout, and we're still about 15 degrees short of the expected high. There are things to do and places to go and I don't want to leave my air-condtioned hotel room.

But leave I must. I still have to write the All Access newsletter- about what, I dunno- and there's more to do and no time for it all, so bear with me here...

ESCAPE TO NEW YORK

Yeah, I made it. More tomorrow.

PRE-FLIGHT ASSESSMENT

On this morning's flight:

Dude who sat next to me and instantly took his shoes off, making the plane instantly smell like feet: check.

Guy carrying sombrero: check.

Confused elderly folks unable to figure out seating arrangement: check.

Another typical JetBlue flight to New York.

Okay, the next couple of days are gonna be light blogging time because I'll be heading to the Talkers convention in New York. Here's a little traveling video:

Yogi being an artificial Yogi and Phil Rizzuto chiming in for the WABC plug. Yankee games haven't been the same since Rizzuto stopped doing the broadcasts. They're more like this:

And we won't even go into the horror that is John Sterling's "Yankees win" call.

See, THIS is what I'm talking about:

See, while Ellen kinda sorta tries to bring back the daytime variety shows of our youth, this is what it was really like. Merv- you didn't need to say "Merv Griffin"- had Angie Dickinson! A disco group! A magician! An astrologist! And Lorenzo Freakin' Lamas! All on one show! You can just imagine Merv, Angie, Doug, and Lorenzo (and maybe all of the Sylvers) huddled around as Sydney Omarr predicted their future ("for you, Angie, I see a frog-like talk show host named... Larry. And for you, Lorenzo, I see... obscurity"). Meanwhile, on channel 3...

...a maniacal Erin Moran! Horror icon Christopher Lee! Baseball's own Sparky Anderson! Sylvie Vartan! And on Mike's show, you know they all ended up on a kitchen set trying to make Baked Alaska or something. I always liked Mike's show better, because he was less Hollywood-smarmy and more cheerfully clueless, and he always roped major celebrities into doing ridiculous things ("Today at 4, watch Mike, Henry Kissinger, and David Brenner race tricycles!"). See? It wasn't just that these shows had celebrities, but that they booked celebrities with absolutely no consideration given to whether the stars belonged together on one show in the first place, and often got them all on stage at once, sometimes even singing some embarrassing standard. The unintentional comedy potential of variety shows hasn't been tapped since.

What we need is not an Ellen DeGeneres who's aware of the camp nature of her show. We need a clueless old pro, someone who'll genially preside over chaos, someone who'll get, say, Britney Spears, Alberto Gonzales, and John Kruk taking turns singing a finger-snapping version of "That Old Black Magic," or Justin Timberlake, Don Cherry, and Rev. Al Sharpton competing in Wii Bowling. It's all in the sincerity.

From the same month in 1979, here's something especially for my Boston friends (hi, Johnny!):


"Dance Fever." Deney Terrio, guest Chaka Khan, and celebrity judges Erik Estrada, "Battlestar Galactica" co-star Laurette Spang, and... and...

Bucky F'king Dent.

On "Dance Fever."

If it was on YouTube, I'd post it, but all I could find was this:

Celebrity judges Doris Roberts, Jon Wamlsley, and...

FRANK ZAPPA.

Yes.

Oy vey.

That's entertainment.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO TO YOU?

Update on the UPS situation: the sender says that it finally got through to UPS and was told that the item "wasn't in the box." Now, at 2:47 am on Friday, it was scanned and placed on the truck, so ostensibly it WAS "in the box" at that time, but at some point it "fell out of the box." Uh huh.

Now, why couldn't UPS tell me this when I called on Friday and Saturday? Why did they insist "it will be delivered" when there was a note in the system that the item had disappeared? Why did they lie to me and wait until the sender checked before admitting they'd "lost" the item?

The sender is making up another copy of the item and sending it as soon as it's done. Meanwhile, I have zero confidence in UPS right now. You'd think they'd even offer an apology, however insincere. Instead, they've stonewalled me. Yeah, this makes me likely to ship stuff through them in the future. Sure.

COMEUPPANCE WEEK ON HBO

There's nothing like a good bloodbath to top off a pleasant Sunday evening.

Finally, bullets are flying on "The Sopranos." Tony's on the run, Bobby's history, and Little Steven finally gave a convincing performance as "Unconscious Bleeding Guy." Naturally, Tony's attempt to get Phil Leotardo before Phil got him was horribly botched, because, as Phil noted, Tony's operation isn't all that well-managed. But while I thought A.J. was coming around to being just like Dear Ol' Dad, he's back being resuced to a quivering, depressed pile of half-formed Jell-O. And, finally, Melfi is out of the picture- it only took seven years and some research paper on the criminal mind (having never occured to her before to maybe do some research on how to treat criminals) for her to realize that being the shrink for the head of the Mob in New Jersey might not be a good idea. This sets up what one can only hope will be one spectacularly violent finale. After the many slow, uneventful episodes of the past season, they owe us as much.

Meanwhile, on "Entourage," the boys had to sell their house to raise the money to make "Medellin," putting Vince in the Mondrian (yeah, that's slumming it), E in his girlfriend's house (with predictable relationship tension), and Drama and Turtle in a condo on Burton Way that they can't afford. Lots of pr0n in this one, too, the best being the couple bouncing in the background by the pool while Vince and E joust with the comically overdrawn "Queens Boulevard" director, now reduced to a 25 picture deal shooting adult videos. But the key came in the previews for the rest of the season, which indicate that Vince goes totally broke and the movie shoot in Colombia goes very wrong. It's about time something bad happens to these clowns. If the final episode had the four of them and Ari left beaten by the side of the road in some third world hellhole, that would be too nice. You can't root for these smug schmucks. They forgot where they came from a long time ago. (Walking around in Knicks and Yankees attire doesn't count) They're overprivileged, overpaid, and annoying as hell, pretty much like everyone out here. The show will be a lot more interesting if they end up failing, but the show's a Hollywood production, so you know that somehow they'll pull off a happy ending.

But that all comes later. Next week, there's only one show. "John From Cincinnati" ain't it.

I had a package coming to me via UPS Friday. According to the tracking information online, it was put on a truck in Gardena at 2:57 am Friday. At 7 pm, I had not yet received it, or a notice, or anything, so I called UPS and told them that it was past 7:00 and, well, they say they deliver up to 7 pm, so, well, what's going on?

"It WILL be delivered."

"But when? It's already after..."

"It's on the truck. We said it will be delivered on June 1st and it WILL be delivered on June 1st. If it hasn't been scanned back at the station, it WILL be delivered. Our trucks stay out until all packages ARE delivered."

"But it's getting late. When... are they gonna deliver it up to 11:59?"

"Yes. It WILL be delivered."

"Um, well, okay, but if there's a problem, who should I..."

"There WILL be no problem. It WILL be delivered. It's on the truck, it WILL be delivered."

I waited two more hours and it was about time to go to bed. No package, so I called again and got a different customer service representative.

"If it says it's on the truck, it's on the truck," she said.

"But... what time do the trucks leave the station?"

"About 9:00 in the mornin', maybe earlier."

"So this guy's working over a 12 hour shift?"

"There is no return scan, so it WILL be delivered tonight."

"Is there any way to track where the driver is? I mean, it's getting ridiculous..."

"No, if it says it's on the truck, it WILL be delivered before the truck comes back."

"But it's already dark! It's 9:00 and nobody's going to deliver anything now!" I went into about a 5 minute explanation of how I've been using UPS for years and not once has a package ever come after business hours, ever. When I was done, I heard silence. Nothing. I could hear the call center noise in the background, but the CSR just went silent. I did, too. After about 60 seconds of silence, I said "So there's nothing I can do?"

"Nuh." Click.

I stuck a note on the door and went to sleep. Woke up at 5 this morning, no package. Waited until 8 our time and called again.

"You didn't get it?"

"No."

"Oh... I see it hasn't been scanned. Well, you'll have to call the sender."

"The sender? Can't you track it with the, um, tracking number?"

"No, only the sender can."

"But it's Saturday, they're not open, and they have my money, so they aren't motivated to rush. Why can't you track the package?"

"Because we need information only the sender can provide, like the invoice number."

"But you HAVE the invoice number- you have all the information. It's all connected to the tracking number. You even know who sent it- the address is in your computer."

"I'm sorry, sir, if you're not the sender, you can't track the package. You have to arrange for the shipper to give you a refund."

"But the package may just be sitting on your truck! We don't even know if it's lost! I don't want a refund, I just want my package!"

"Let me send you to the department that handles this. Please hold."

I held for a few minutes and someone else came on the line.

"There's nothing we can do," she said.

"Nothing? You promise delivery, you fail to do it, and you can't help me?" I didn't raise my voice- I was just asking out of puzzlement.

Click. Not even an answer. Just a hang-up.

What can Brown do for you? Apparently, not much.

Next time, FedEx or DHL. Even the USPS is better than this.

THE OKAY SHEPHERD

As usual, I gotta cut it short today, because it's Friday and, well, it's Friday. Also, we have to watch the rest of "The Good Shepherd" before we return it to Blockbuster in the morning. I know folks who loved it, but it's long. Very long. And predictable. And Matt Damon is just not convincing as, um, an adult. And everyone in the movie mumbles- that's supposed to make them seem like serious actors, I guess.

But it's an okay movie. I'm just glad I didn't see it in a theater, because I'd have fallen asleep halfway through. Here, I can stop it, sleep, and pick it up later. Which is what I'm going to do now. 'Scuse me.

March 2012

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Who?

    Perry Michael Simon. Talk radio guy. Editor of the News-Talk-Sports section at AllAccess.com. Editor and writer at Chris Hardwick's Nerdist.com. Former Program Director, Operations Manager, host, and general nuisance at KLSX/Los Angeles, Y-107/Los Angeles, New Jersey 101.5. Freelance writer on media, sports, pop culture, based somewhere in the Los Angeles area. Contact him here. Copyright 2003-2012 Perry Michael Simon. Yeah.

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