Attention World, Here’s How You Can Join My spam Filter

Some time ago I started using a commenting system to cut down on the amount of spam I get. The problem is that was difficult for real people to use, for that matter it was difficult for me to use. and the result was that nobody was commenting much.

recently I switched back to the standard commenting system and decided to run some other filtering software that promises to catch the junk from all the forms on my site. Cool.

Is it working?

I guess so. I get more comments now, but there seems to be a certain amount of junk trickling through.

Sorry for the long preface, so here are my tips to follow if you want your comments to go directly to my spam box, and never see the light of day on my humble web page.

  1. Name. I want to know you really exist and have a human-sounding name. If you want to be flagged as a spammer, don’t include the real name of a human being in the name field. I don’t need company names, cutesy or fake code names, URL’s, IP addresses. All these are automatic spam to me, no matter if your comment sounds nice, or even flattering.
  2. Web page link. This is one field you can skip. In fact, if you do, I just may approve your comment, no matter if the other fields look fishy. Why? It means you aren’t pushing a visitor to a web site. You have no product to sell. No agenda to take advantage of readers of my web site. Trust me, if your link sounds like a tacky, useless, unrelated product… go directly to spam. Do not pass Go. Do not collect any of my web traffic. I click links, and if the page is spam, guess where your comment goes. If you say its related, but isn’t… spam. Do you have a blog or a personal site? Great, you’re in, even if your blog is unrelated.
  3. Email address. I can be forgiving for crazy sounding email names or domains, although if it looks like its blatantly fake, it may not be a deal-breaker, it will raise a flag of suspicion.
  4. Comment. Linking to web pages in the comments is a free pass to go directly to my spam box. The exception is if they indeed are related to my general topic of old-time radio, the theme of the particular radio program or episode. Broken English? No problem. As long as you use your real name, your URL is legitimate, and there is no reason a flag of suspicion has been raised. Did you leave a glowing comment of praise or controversy? Nice. But if your URL looks like spam, sorry. At worst I’ll send it to spam. At best I’ll post it, but with no links and a real human name that I make up.

Now you know.

Please world, drop me as many comments as you like. I love the feedback. It is a fun and free way to support me in producing content for the blog and podcast. Just remember my rules. Real (or real sounding) names, no bogus, or unrelated web site links whether in the URL field or in the comment section. If there’s no blatant fishiness going on, even if your grammar isn’t up to being impeccable, you’re in. Love a show? Hate one, or even me? Fine, tell me. I’m here to listen and offer a web page, blogging, and podcasting experience that you want. I know I can’t please everybody, but I try to respond to all requests.

Thanks to the Unnoticed Folks Who Continue to Make Sheltering in Place Possible

With rising temperatures, and signs of Spring well under way, people are eager to break free of cabin fever. Is it a wise move? Under normal circumstances I’d say to go for it.

For those who can manage staying in, keep safe, and give thanks where it’s due.

The fact you can still shelter in place at all means you either have a job you can do at home, or live on some other fixed income or retirement.

The whole idea of being able to take extended shelter means someone is out there working to keep the lights on, the gas for the furnace, water in the pipes, and of course Internet and cell phone services to keep in touch with the outside world.

How long do you think shelter in place would last without those kind of civic services?

I don’t want to take away from the heroic work of those working in medical fields, or as first responders, but I just wanted to give a huge shout out to the unseen, unnoticed folks who made it possible for the majority of us to avoid the germs out there.

I’m Kind of liking the Corona Virus

I know that sounds terrible, enjoying such an allegedly deadly virus, but for now, it has changed my daily routine.

Usually, I get up, do the bathroom thing,, get dressed, have breakfast, and spend the day upstairs in my office. Reading, researching old radio shows, listening to shows and jotting down possible show notes for the web site. Then I emerge for supper, and relax by touching base with various social media on my phone, or cue up some podcasts or an audio book before heading to bed.

Not a lot of public contact, so this hype over the Corona Virus scare, and staying home is just more of the same for me.

Despite the widespread encouragement to stay home, I decided to venture out today. It was great.

I loved it. I went to the bank to take care of signing some documents. No lines. I got right in and out. Next was a visit to a government office notorious for taking a number and waiting. No lines. I got right in and out. I was able to run nearly an entire day’s worth of errands, all before my morning coffee began to kick my bladder and announce it had run its course, and would kindly like to be let out now. After today though, I plan on returning to my introverted, reclusive routine.

I will say, I avoided shaking hands with people though. Not because of any fears of the virus, but due to the fact nobody has had any toilet paper for a while now.

Enjoy your time off, and hunkering down at home. It’s what I do every day.

daydreaming of Discounted Distractions

I know that was a tacky headline, but I’ve been a horrible blogger. It has been over a year since I last posted something. I like the tool that WordPress offers to let you know your streak in posting. Since it also grabs my show notes from my podcast (hey, it’s really a blog with media embedded) ) I haven’t missed a day in probably a year and a half. Even the days they say I missed (like one day last week that caused my streak to restart) I really didn’t miss. I sometimes repost things I did several years ago. I guess cheating like that doesn’t count.

Here I am, doing a little stream of consciousness rant… taking a break on doing some reading and proofreading a book I had to process using OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Typos and munched words galore! Yippie.

I just thought I’d dig into my archive, and thinking of a way to get some random results, I used the “Word of the Day” from a mailing list I’m on to see what jumps out at me from my podcast notes.

Among a handful of others, including some adventures with Superman, or those fine folks down in Pine Ridge, Arkansas, I thought a vacation sounded fun. That’s how I came to spin up this oldie from the world of “Our Miss Brooks.”

Everybody’s favorite English teacher, Connie Brooks is trying to win a discount on a trip to Europe.

The episode is titled: Planning A Trip To Europe, and it’s a fun mental journey back to July 17, 1955.

Listen to the show by downloading it here.

Or just read my highly intriguing, thrilling, and classy literary summary of the show. (Dang! With such an amazing literary style someone should put me up for a Pulitzer prize right now! At least a book deal). I wonder what Grammarly will tell me when I run this through it? Shut up! My use of commas is not as horrible as all that!)

At home, Connie talks with Mrs. Davis about her Summer plans of going to Europe, and the real likelihood that she actually has of affording to go. Miss Brooks tells about the deal she got from the travel agent. All she has to do is get three friends to pay for a European trip, and she can go for a third the price.

The day gets off to a bad start when Mrs. Davis has to turn Connie down so she can spend time with her absent-minded sister Angela. Who else can Connie hit up? What about Walter? Will his parents like to send him away to Europe? Well, they might like to, but It’s not looking very likely.

Setting her sights on her other targets, school principal Mr. Conklin and the bashful biology teacher Mr. Boynton, Connie heads to school. Meanwhile, Harriet Conklin is doing her own buttering up of dear old dad. Mr. Conklin hints at the promise of a special vacation. Can you guess? Connie isn’t the only one trying to earn a cheap vacation. The rest of the escapade has Connie bouncing from friend to friend that all have their own vacation ideas, and agendas.

Who will win out, and get the trip of their dreams? Just when you think it’s all over, even the head of the school board, Mr Stone gets his hand in the mix.

Features: Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Frank Nelson, and Richard Crenna.

[tags: Vacation, Escapade, School, Bargains]

Showing Support

The purpose of this article:

  • Changes have been made in how to do a one time donation.
  • I changed my Patreon tiers and goals to be in line with the one time donations.
  • All these changes to consider moving my files to a faster podcast hosting service.

Someone recently asked me how to contribute to support the podcast. My “Piggy Bank” icon sometimes shows up (usually after someone asks about it) then it disappears (usually after months of nobody clicking it, even after asking about it). It takes up space on the web page, and I don’t like to always appear to have a hand out to ask for funds.

I came up with some ways too show support for the podcast, meaning monetary support that are more unified in what you get in return.

Showing support for free is easy. You can hit the “Like” button, share something to Twitter or Facebook,, or leave comments and emails. Thanks for making me smile, and giving me a big head.

If you visit my Facebook page, the “Sign Up” button will take you to my Patreon page to become a monthly supporter.

Here’s a direct link for you: https://retro-otr.com/patreon

What? You still can’t find it, or want other options that won’t zap your bank account every month?

I often talk about my “Piggy Bank” button. I just updated it, and gave it its own page on my main web site.

For all the details, visit: Https://retro-otr.com/donate

I made 3 different donation levels. The page explains what you get at each level of a one time donation.

After the last button, I link to my Patreon page, with a short description of the recurring support, and benefits to you.

Either way you choose, there’s possibilities of:

  • Shoutouts.
  • Sponsorship.
  • Helping in programming an episode.

Please consider the ongoing support through Patreon. One benefit it has is in helping in tracking goals, and budgeting expenses to pay the bills for the “free” podcast.

If there’s something extra I can build in for a bonus, let me know. Through Patreon, there are extra possibilities for including you in exclusive community, or special download content.

Breaking the Slavery Ring of Technology. Meddling with Robots

Or: Space Patrol – Frightened Robot. ep163, 541113

At a world ruled by robots, Cadet Happy and Commander Correy aren’t present to meddle in affairs they don’t have any control over. The robots have their own government, and officials.

Why are our heros here then? Suspicion of enslaving humans is rumored. Is it possible to get close to the robot ambassador to get answers, or will Commander Correy find a crack in the walls to sneak through the administration building? Voltar is their inside man who gives Commander Correy what he needs to find his way inside, while Cadet Happy returns to man the patrol ship.

Humans are the lower class workers in the world of robots. When Correy is discovered, he has a difficult time convincing his fellow humans that he’s there for good. With the help of an anti-gravity belt, and a nudge from Cadet Happy, they are on their way to free the 500 people from laboring in the mines.

Danger awaits as the robots are confronted, and a lesson is to be learned. When done correctly, robots can serve men, not making men their slaves. Hey, if people are enslaved by their technology, it’s a voluntary slavery. Now stand away from your computer keyboard. Put down that iPhone, and go do something outside!

Lum and Abner – Playing Checkers By Phone. 441120

Download, and listen now.

Abner is not only quarantined, he has come down with his own case of measles, and is stranded at the Johnson place. Today, Lum still has the trouble of the visiting school official. He explains the developments to grandpap when he pops in at the Jot Em Down store. Abner is feeling well enough to want someone to come out to play checkers with him.

Phinus arrives to lend a hand in the store. Lum runs out to deal with his school woes. Grandpap and Phinus worry over Abner’s health, and Phinus tells about someone he knows who got married over the phone. The idea sparks a notion in grandpap to play Checkers with Abner over the phone.

The board is all set, and grandpap makes the call. With a board set up on Abner’s end the game begins. Phinus keeps distracting grandpap to tell about other folks he knows. Will the party line pick up any spectators to the action? The moves get closely monitored. What happens if someone needs to order groceries? Complications pile up that grandpap didn’t count on.

Racing Against Death, at the Speed of Lightning Jim

Remember the days when a hero was a hero? Especially in the realm of Westerns, where the good guys didn’t wear spandex suits with capes. They ore a big hat, carried a six shooter, and never missed with their bravado, and sense of justice.

One nearly forgotten hero was Lightning Jim, and his trusty sidekick, Whitey Larson. . None of the shows I have are dated, but come from sometime in the 1940’s. Kids were the target market, so there’s plenty of horse chases, gunplay, and fist fighting action as the hero steps in to befriend the helpless person in need.

In the case of: Lightning Jim – Races Against Death. Episode 5.

The story opens with a murder trial. The condemned rancher claims he’s innocent. His father in law, the sheriff, believes him, but can’t see how to rescue him. Then Lightning Jim rides into town. Through flashback sequences, Jim is told the real story.

Doing his own investigating, Jim turns up evidence and motive that the court didn’t have in the trial. To set things right, Jim and Whitey set out to solve the mystery, and find the real killer. Can they do it before young Gil faces the gallows?

Ride along on this Western adventure, full of chases, cattle rustlers, ambushes, gunplay, and bad guys. Race the clock with our hero to make sure justice is done.

Download: Race Against Death. Episode 5.

Lightning Jim and Whitey Larson publicity picture

Get to Know Your Podcaster – Driving or Riding

From the “Ask Keith Anything” Department.

Question: Do you prefer to be the passenger or the driver? Are you a back seat driver?

First, I’m not a backseat driver. I only navigate as well as my GPS system, so if you don’t like it, don’t ask me to tell you where you’re going. If you complain about the directions, or criticize the GPS, why did you bother me in the first place? I’ll still monitor it, but just so I can get an idea of where we are, and how lost you might be. But I won’t tell you, “I told you so.”

Being the passenger is fine for me. As much as I enjoyed driving, I don’t miss it that much. Trust me, you don’t want me to drive, unless its in a bumper car, or some other safe outlet where bumps, and crazy driving is the norm. However, if you really, really want me to drive… give me your keys, and I’ll drive you in your car. Your insurance is paid up… right?

Back to the question of being a back seat driver, here’s my typical outlook on the matter. I get in the car at home, and when it stops… I’m magically at my destination. How did I get there? I don’t know. What did we pass along the way? I don’t care. It must not be worth while if it wasn’t noteworthy enough for you to mention it.

One thing though. When I mention that it might be nice to visit that interesting place we hear advertised on the radio every day, don’t act so shocked when in response to your comment that we pass by there every single day, and I say that I never knew that. If you don’t say so, ever, how do you expect I should know it?

As for the topic of drivers and passengers in old radio days… Guess what? I did a search on the web site. You’re shocked… I can tell. 🙄 Now, there’s probably tons of things if you search for just one or the other. I cut it down by searching for both keywords.

Lum and Abner had some trouble with the topic as they dealt with etiquette, and the wartime problem of ration books. All the fun and propaganda of the day can be found in the episode: Etiquette Book. 430225

Philip Marlowe has run ins with the daughter of a wealthy client, and her dare devil boyfriend in The Feminine Touch. ep32, 490507

After that, the westerns rule the day with lots of stage coach adventures with the likes of Lone Ranger,
Tonto, Wild Bill Hickock and his sidekick Jingles, and all the Gand from
Dodge city when Matt Dillon tries to keep the stage coach rolling with the scent of gun smoke.

  • Lone Ranger – Night Stage To Dalton. ep807, 380330.
  • Lone Ranger – Butterfield Stage. 470117.
  • Wild Bill Hickock – The Vengeance Trail. ep32, 1951.
  • Wild Bill Hickock – The Shadow Hill Gang. ep10, 1951.
  • Gunsmoke – Trust. 550611.

Check them out, and feel free to keep on asking me anything. If its printable, I’ll do my best to answer you.

A Question of Competition

or… The fun and Fury of Competition

Question: Do you think you are competitive? In what areas?

To a point. It’s nice to share similar talents with someone else. Setting goals, raising the bar, trying to do a little better, it’s good to improve and pace yourself with others. If it comes down to it, and winning means doing it at the sake of an ego trip, I don’t need it. I mean, winning is good. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. Sometimes you’re up against someone who isn’t out to compete fairly. It’s only fair when the rules go their way, and if they don’t, the rules get trampled on. They’re not in it for the sportsmanship and competition… go ahead… win… if it means that much to you to cheat to get it, or throw a tantrum

There’s plenty of room to compete, and help each other to achieve goals along the way.

What areas? The vague answer is in the areas I like. The things I’m good at, or know about. But even so, I know I don’t know it all, or am all that good at it. If its something outside what I think I know about, I’d rather not contribute, and silently sit on the sidelines.

Since this is a blog about classic, old time radio shows, I took a glance through that world to see how competition stacks up.

Lum and Abner find themselves in competition with Squire Skimp over any business venture that hints at success. Then there’s frequent battles of the sexes, when Lizabeth and the ladies of town rise up against their men, often over a misunderstanding with a marriage bureau, or after a rumor that Lum may have spread in an attempt to apply psychology over them. The manipulation never goes well for him.

In the acidemic world of Madison High, Connie Brooks is most often in subtle combat in areas of love, against the oblivious, and bashful Philip Boynton. Then there’s the outright clashes with the catty Miss Enright, usually for those same affections, but sometimes in being in charge of the English department. Hers isn’t the only rivalry to come out with a humorous end. Throckmorton P Gildersleeves is always embroiled in fights of a fickle nature. Beginning with his role as Fibber McGee’s neighbor, and their conflicts on par with two schoolboys arguing over the same toys, to his many impetuous relationships with the cast on his own show. He managed to lead by example in the ageless parenting woes with Leroy and Marjorie, and not always a good one. His bickering with judge Horace Hooker went from awkward rivals, to being good friends.

Life on 79 Wistful Vista was always jam packed of verbal sparring, puns, and the like, when Fibber McGee crossed paths with his many neighbors and friends in the neighborhood. The confirmed busybody had the skill of just about any form of literary style imaginable, bent to the shape of comedy. Many other comedy shows played on conflict and competition, based on some misunderstanding or other. Possibly the biggest and best rivals of all time was that between Jack Benny and Fred Allen. Begun as a joke or two at each other’s expense over a child violinist, it was thought the momentum would come to an end in a few short weeks. It would be a feud to last for well over 15 years.

As you might expect, westerns are chock full of rivalries, the kind that lead to countless gun battles. Jealousies, loyalties, and personality conflict drive the action. Rustlers, buffalo hunters, and all manner of ne’er do wells get their come upance at the hand of Marshals, sherifs, lone rangers, or just plain good guy heroes with a six shooter.

Here’s a form of competition where the hero of the show manages to stay out of the fray.

Box 13 – The Better Man. 490102

Download

Dan Holiday is a freelance author who gets ideas from people who write to him at Box 13 at the Star Times. His adventure this week is in response to a wealthy man with an interesting proposition. He has hidden several hundred dollar bills around the city. It sends Dan on a treasure hunt.

Though Dan isn’t interested in the cash, the challenge has him hooked. If he can find the stashes of cash, the rich man will let him have it, and donate that much more over to charity. There’s some competition. Among the total of four people, one is a person who is not above killing for his stake in the money, and ignoring the benefit to give to charity, or split with the other three. The game is played by finding a stash, and using the clue there to find the next one. It’s a deadly race, and the treasure hunt is on.

The first clue has Dan doing some star gazing. The next clue comes with a warning, and news that not all the participants have survived the first clue. The next clue is a stumper, and Dan has an encounter with the last remaining participant. What does he want? Will Dan play along and join forces with him to take all the money and run? Whatever game the rich man is really playing starts to make Dan wonder if it’s worth being a participant.

With the clues mastered, what awaits him at the old man’s house? The game isn’t over just yet. Dan has to fight for his life, but he’s able to put the old man on the spot, and get his own brand of revenge.

Keith Heltsley
keith