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February 26, 2006 - March 4, 2006 Archives

February 26, 2006


This weekend, while some people were making like Bun E. Carlos, I was frantically trying to get the computer back to near-normal and catch up on work. Not quite there, and I still have to start packing for a trip later this week for which I am woefully unprepared.

So here's what I've learned this weekend:

Dell sucks.

You are better off doping a problem out yourself than calling Dell and being patched through to some guy in Bangalore who's reading inappropriate solutions out of a book. Had I listened to them, I'd have lost all my data. Instead, I spent a little over a hundred bucks and not only was back up and running with a clean Media Center install within a day, but preserved all my data; now, I have double the hard drive space, which I really didn't need, but a hundred bucks to be up and running within a day is worth the money and effort.

Did I mention Dell sucks?

Of course, the problem is that there's no other way to go, and by that I mean that I'd love to go with Apple but too many programs I need just don't work on Macs, and I'm going to have to wait and see how Intel and OS X play together before switching allegiances. That's not to say that I'm not intrigued. It could happen. Just not yet.

And with that, it's time to do laundry. See you tomorrow.


February 27, 2006


It must be Diversity and Sexual Harassment Seminar season, because I keep hearing about friends having to deal with those interminable scold-fests, from the Clear Channel Atlanta Diversity Training program to a friend having to give "the talk" to the employees at her company this week.

Things were different in 1972. From the NBA All-Star Game program (at the Fabulous Forum in lovely Inglewood, CA):

"Males and females - We've several of both on our programmer/analyst staff. The males are sharp. Ditto the females. But they're a lot prettier- like Miss Dylakor."

Put that in an ad today and watch the fun unfold.

Turns out that if this Dylakor is the same Dylakor mentioned as being acquired by Sterling Software in 1983 in this article, the president of Dylakor was a woman. She did not look like Miss Dylakor, but she apparently had plenty of computer and business knowledge.

Unrelated note: in all but one spot in the program- in the roster, in the picture gallery, everywhere- the name of the Seattle Supersonics' All-Star representative is spelled "Spencer Hayward." Is 34 years too late to let them know it was "Haywood"?


February 28, 2006


I am not good at packing for trips, because I end up carrying more- way more- than any one person should carry. There are extenuating circumstances, of course, because I have extra stuff that has to be lugged.

There's the computer, which is an electronic albatross to which I can't wait to find an alternative- as soon as there's a Treo on Sprint with EVDO and WiFi, a browser that handles the pages I need to access without screwing them up, and a document handler that can read, save, and FTP pages that aren't .doc or .txt files, I'm in business; maybe the HTC PPC-6700 will do that, but I have yet to find one in a store that's been activated so I can test it out and I'm not crazy about the chunky form factor. Still, if the Treo 700 or the HTC phone do the trick, I will be very, very relieved, and my shoulders will be grateful, too.

There's also my exercise habit. I run- more like a plod, but the effect is equally sweaty- and that means packing running shoes, shorts and t-shirts for every day, and, when I'm, as now, headed to cold weather country, sweatshirts and jackets and hats and gloves, all of which add bulk to the luggage.

And there's the jackets and khakis. I don't wear suits and ties, but when I have to do these conventions, my usual t-shirt and jeans attire won't cut it, so I drag out the sports jacket and khakis and dress shoes. Without those, I can stuff a bunch of color t-shirts in a bag, maybe a sweater or two, and I'm good. But I gotta do the jacket thing, so that means stuffing a garment bag with several options, because I always end up short a dress outfit at these things.

So I'm looking at four bags now, the regular case, the garment bag, the computer briefcase, and the tote bag in which I throw the running shoes, noise-cancelling headphones, and other stuff I'll need on the plane. Good thing the big bags have wheels, but it's still a lot to lug. One day, I'll figure out how those frequent flyers who seem to breeze through airports with a simple carry-on and a briefcase do it. Right now, that's not an option.


March 1, 2006


Another March, another talk radio convention.

Operative word: tired. Flew from Long Beach to Dulles, and, for once, everything went smoothly- no traffic to airport, plenty of parking, fast check-in, fast security check, plane left on time, flight landed slightly early, got off plane fast, caught shuttle to terminal by 10 seconds, bags came out very fast, got cab immediately, no traffic to hotel, checked in immediately. I haven't had a smooth trip like that in years. Nearly perfect.

Nearly, that is, because when I plugged into the hotel broadband, it didn't work, necessitating two calls to tech support before they fixed the problem. But I was prety worn out and hungry, so I went to the Hell CVS (the one in Chinatown where you get aggressive panhandlers hitting you up for cash IN the store and cursing you out if you decline) for some "room food" and bottles of water and grabbed a burger and fries from the Five Guys around the corner (memo to self: next time you hit Five Guys, remember NOT to get the large fries, because "large" there means "more fries than any human being can possibly be expected to eat in a week"). Decided to skip the Wizards game- just three blocks away (a block from the CVS) but just too much trouble for me tonight. Got some work done, then felt guilty and went down to the gym to work out while watching the insane Duke-FSU game (Stephanie Miller and her sidekick/voice guy Jim Ward came in to work out, thus mortifying me, since I was dripping sweat and looking, er, not so fresh and definitely not wanting to be seen. Hi, guys! Pardon the smell!). And now I'm here, mopping up the work for the evening.

As I've made abundantly clear in the past, I dread conventions, and talk radio conventions like this one are especially uncomfortable because it's more of a White Guys In Suits deal than some of the others. The NAB Vegas show has lots of techies in jeans, the Fall radio show has more PDs, but this one is a celebration of Ye Olde Tyme Talk Radio, the kind with said White Guys in Suits bloviating on the port deal and federal policy and all that stuff they talk about on Ye Olde Tyme Talk Radio, even when the host isn't particularly Olde. I'm sure there'll be a lot of talk about how the miserable month for Free FM bodes poorly for "FM Talk," because there won't be too many of us FM Talk types here, but just because someone's doing a very poor execution of the format doesn't mean the format won't work. It does and it has, and as one of the people to blame for the format, I know how to make it work. But nobody's asking me (and, more critically, paying me for the information), so I'll keep it to myself. Suffice to say that this kind of convention celebrates the kind of talk radio that gets a 1 share. And there's always a lot of Inside the Beltway talk, because they assume that everyone's just enamored with the workings of the federal government and gossip from Capitol Hill.

Not me. I'm here because I gotta be. I gotta represent my company, show my face, get the word out. And see some good friends who invariably show up. And drink beer and trade gossip about radio people and visit my friends in Virginia.

Okay, it's not all bad.


March 2, 2006


The day at this talk radio convention was highlighted when Rush Limbaugh opened fire on the audience at the keynote address, mowing down hundreds of people with his Kalashnikov while screaming "Phil Boyce made me do it!"

Okay, I made that up. Maybe I hoped for something that exciting. What really happened was this:

I woke up.

I worked.

I went for a run. It was cold and drizzly.

I went to lunch.

I worked.

I went to the keynote. Rush was Rush. No automatic weapons fire.

I talked to some nice people in the hallway. A camera crew from PBS' "Frontline" taped me self-consciously exchanging pleasantries with Salem's Tom Tradup. I'm not sure why they were taping it. I know they didn't appreciate my constant references to their taping me. I am certain that if they use the tape, they will make me look like an ass. This will not be difficult, since I provided them with enough material to do the job.

I went to the cocktail party, talked to some more nice people, began to get that I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW feeling, wandered aimlessly for a while, left.

I tried to get dinner but every place I went had lines snaking out the door. I decided I wasn't all that hungry anyway.

I came back to the room

I worked.

The end.

There are parties tonight, including the "official" one sponsored by ESPN Radio, but I'm not invited to any of the private ones. I got that uncomfortable deal from a friend who asked if I was going to one major syndicator's bash and I had to say I wasn't invited. I'm never invited to any private radio parties, because I'm not a program director and therefore they don't think I can be of use to them. I'm a waste of schmooze, they think, because I can't put their shows on my station. But what do you say when you discover someone else isn't invited to the party you just said you were going to? Yes, of course, you say "I'm sure you can get in if you want," and maybe that would be true, but I hate crashing parties. I don't really want to be somewhere where they don't really want me to be. How can you have a good time when you know that you weren't important/liked/special enough to be invited?

Whatever. I'm here to show my face and keep connections alive, not to have a good time. Good thing, that last part. I like easily-met goals.


March 3, 2006


It's late and I just got in from a smoke-filled lounge, so I'll keep the Friday talk radio seminar thing short. Here's what I learned:

Never wake up early for the breakfast address. Use the time to sleep in or work out.

Talk radio for women will make a boatload of money. This was repeated throughout the panel on talk radio for women, and I believe it, too, but nobody really quite defined "talk radio for women." You know it when you hear it.

Turns out that Ann Compton interviewing Fred Thompson isn't all that exciting.

Turns out I just don't have the heart to really hold up signs in the front row to distract Jeremy Coleman on the FM Talk panel. I said I'd do it, he thought I was gonna do it, didn't do it. Bark worse than bite.

Those Brazilian places where they carry meat on big skewers and you just keep taking slices from each as they come to your table? I like 'em. Unlimited meat and good company- what's not to like? (Thanks, Tom!)

Free beer is good.

Tomorrow: Oh, I don't know, the exciting conclusion or something, if I get back in time. Gimme a break, it's late.


March 4, 2006


This was the final day of the talk radio thing, but I have to write more about it tomorrow. All I'll have time to note at the moment are the armed guards.

Explanation? There is one. Tomorrow.


About February 2006

This page contains all entries posted to PMSimon.com in February 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006 is the previous archive.

March 5, 2006 - March 11, 2006 is the next archive.

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