Radio Entertainment: Preservation for Future Generations

Or: The Out of Control Thought of Losing It

There’s nothing like the unsettling feeling to realize that nothing was like it was just a moment ago. Out of control, shock, stunned, the confidence of having, then in a moment that hollow, empty feeling.

Once the conscious thought to force the air to begin moving through your lungs returns, the sensation of insides that feel like they’ve just started melting is accompanied by that feeling of heat creeping up your neck. Or like a rubber band around your scalp that’s slowly inching it’s way up in fractions, making the hair own your head feel like it’s doing the wave as it slowly stands on end.

When asked if he was ever lost, the great woodsman Daniel Boone had this to say, “Nope, I can’t say I’ve ever been lost. But I’ve been mighty confused for a few days.”

Now, I suppose that nothing is ever truly lost. Everything has to be somewhere. It never exactly disappears. But sometimes the practical use, or life of a thing is gone. A loved one who has passed away. A toy that has become broken. Missing a turn In the road, and being somewhere unexpected. The physical thing we say is lost, is still there, but the parts no longer work, and the intangible function robs the usefulness of it. The life force, the soul, has departed from the cement that binds it to the human frame, and we lose the interaction with that person, and we grieve the loss. In the case of Daniel Boone, we may lose track of our position on the planet, but we’re still somewhere. Just not where we expected.

Some things can’t be recovered. How can a person recall a soul that has departed? The body remains, but a cycle of life begins that calls it to return to the earth. All we have, if that loved one was lucky, or had the fore thought, is the static images we might find in a photo album. Maybe movies of them are left behind, or possibly audio recordings of somme kind. Slices of time. Moments, mannerisms, voices, capturing them being perpetually young, or at a place along their life journey. It’s not them physically. It’s not a soul who we can interact with, or relate to, other than in memories and imagination.

The physical, tangible form is changing, returning to the earth. Physical objects hold recordings, or might be machines to function in countless ways. Broken? Lost functions can be restored. Take a part out. Replace it with a new one, and lost uses are restored. A simulation of a soul returns. A life that’s not a life, but draws out an imagination that rebuilds it in the mind. The machine lives on as indefinitely as the source of fresh parts holds out.

The inanimate illusion lives on until… a mind concocts a better, more effective, efficient machine. One with better functions. More functionality. Better precision. Then the old one isn’t lost. It gets cast aside. Yesterday’s shine and new, becoming today’s rusty and old. Not lost, but resigned to return to earth in its own life cycle to make way for tomorrow’s invention. A new generation of objects to amuse, or assist humanity in the ongoing, unending task of discovery.

Is there anything lost? In a moment anything can be lost. Everything eventually comes to an end, and usefulness is lost. People can live on as long as their ideas and memories are kept fresh, and shared. It’s not the person themselves, just their contribution to the universe. Some small, others far reaching, but all interesting and important in their own way.

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Behind the Scenes: Committed to the Show Notes

Or: The Sausage Grinder of Show Notes
Or: Today’s Brain Dump, Getting Distracted by My Background Mood Music

Trying to stay committed to writing to the blog, getting some writing done for ongoing show notes, and keeping up on outside projects. Well, they’re outside as far as the activities of the Retro Radio Podcast are concerned. First of all, let’s cue up some tunes to set the mood and play in the background. Ah, here we go, my Marian Hutton collection. What a nice voice, and a cute blonde. Getting immersed in recordings from the era, it’s easy to forget these stars are long gone. well, I was actually around during the time she was still alive. She just wasn’t performing much in the years I have memories of.

In her later years, Marian Hutton became a rehab counselor, helping others with alcohol problems, but once in a while still sane on occasion with the old band. Tex Beneke had taken over to lead the Glenn Miller band, complete with the Modernaires.

She could sing songs from novelty kiddie songs like, Mutiny in the Nursery, to fun boogie songs, to ballads, and in her later career, Who Stole The Jam. A song that a mom might sing to find out which of her kids ate up all the jam. Nothing left but the empty jar, and a trail of bread crumbs. If she finds out, she’ll kick your teeth in… huh? I have to laugh. Isn’t that just the kind of thing a loving mom might say to her kids? Of course, as an empty threat, but one that conveys mom’s frustration.

I wonder what kind of mom she was. I’m sure she had her troubles with success and substance abuse, but she didn’t seem as volatile as her little sister, Betty.

Wow, I’m getting too side tracked, listening to the tunes, and not getting show notes written. Here we go. This is how I do it.

Play the show, and listen for names, places, and what’s happening. Why names? They’re just fictional, right? It’s easier to refer to the people in the show by name than saying: That one guy shot the lady in the red coat. Then the second guy got into a fight with the bartender, and the first guy ran out before the other one could get him.

See? Confusing, boring, and too many pronouns to keep straight. Writing the names as I hear them, plus place names almost write the notes by themselves. Jotting down some connecting details like what Sam did at the waterfront ties it all up pretty neatly. I try not to add dialog, unless a particular quote stands out, or a figure of speech adds some color to the notes. My big goal is to summarize the action, not transcribe it.

If people are familiar with the show, maybe just the title is enough. If not, a summary might entice a reader to click the button to play the show.

I listen to the episode just one time through, taking notes as it plays. I avoid rewinding, or listening to it again. If the notes need cleared up, other than grammar or spelling, I might skim through to a particular spot to get a name right, or a song title.

Then it’s off to the next show. So it takes me however long the show is, more or less, to do each one. I can knock out a solid four hours when I’m on a roll, maybe as long as five or six. By then a either a stomach is empty, or a bladder is full, and its time to call it quits.

I got sidetracked again. Gotta laugh. My music played to a v-disk that also featured Dinah shore singing Betty Huttons hit. Murder he says. She just can’t do it justice. A nice, sweet, evenly modulated version, but not like bettye stylized way of screaming it out.

OK, back to writing show notes. Where do I go from here. After writing down as many shows as I can I give my fingers a rest. I often binge on a single show, like lining up all the Jack Benny episodes for the month, or more, and knocking them all out at once. Other times, I just go down the big file of stuff for the month. I use various index marks to let me find which shows still need notes, which are done and in need of posting, and a mark to let me know which ones are done.

Along the way, I make sure the files are uploaded, and grab the ftp links for the shows. By that, I mean I copy them from my ftp client, and when I paste them in, the text for the ftp path is inserted. At that point, I need to change the ftp link to http so the links work right.

Yeah, boring tech stuff, but who ever said podcasting was all thrills and chills?

Now my listings are all set to copy and paste them into the dashboard when the time comes. I just don’t worry about the tags until time to post. I decide on the fly what to put down, after the writing process has cooled down. What else do I do? What else? Oh yeah, I give a final proof read when I actually post stuff, so my archives of each month’s shows are pretty messy. Usually the first, or second draft.

Thats about all there is to writing show notes. I try to use ass many literary techniques as I can to make them interesting.

Oops, had to stop for a second to restart iTunes. I don’t know why it stopped, I must have hit a hot key by accident as my fingers of fury knocked out all this junk.

Well, there’s really nothing more to add. A lot of listening, jotting down notes, using character names, and always pushing to see how much I can get done today. Working ahead buys me time to take time off when I need it, or to run those unexpected errands.

The Places of crime

Or: Dragnet 50-10-05 ep69, Big 38.

Robbery Detail. A burglar with a gun is described as being well dressed. Your job, find him. The air is hot on the night shift.
Footsteps echo in the cathedral, as organ music plays. Cops have come to find the choir loft, and bring somber news to match the tone of the music in the air. Joe Friday reports a death. In voiceover, he states that armed robbers always prove to be killers. The crime scene, a cash register, and a clerk in Disbelief. One moment life, and in the moment of a gunshot, death. The shooter is described. Thin, tall, blonde, nervous, twitching, and in a grreatcoat. The questions causer the crime to be relived. Emotions of surprise, cooperation. A gunshot. anger, and a get away in a cab, riding in the front seat.

Silent and cool, technology in the Police lab is applied. Ballistics, fingerprints, and results are tentative. Footsteps echo down the hall. More briefing. The common elements in the case review: Cabs, and 38 calibre slugs. What’s the word from the Crime lab. No luck, no matches.

On the Night watch routine the crime is unending.
Another store, connections to cabs. But with a Different 38. Checking with cab companies, for drivers with matching builds. Tall, and slim. Another crime scene that match the method of operation. Armed with a photo line up. A Face after face in pages of an album, crime personified and ugly. A match is made.

Clues lead to aAn apartment,, and an accomplice is found. Have a seat, calm your nerves, have a beer. Questions hit hard, and the search heats up. The trail leads to a neighborhood, with nice houses, beauty shops, and trees. Cornered and shielded by timid mother and crying baby, gunshots and fists land to end the crime spree.

Only one place remaibs to close the case. A Trial, and finally, the Gas chamber.

Download and listen now.

Behind the Scenes: Where the Podcasting Rubber Meets the Road

Or: Consciously Streaming a Rant

What’s on my plate today? First, let’s check my ongoing monthly line up, Search for the index mark for shows I need to write notes on today.

Wow, so far, so good. The rest of the month is written up, except for any stray Retro Original shows I decide to post. Those are done separately anyway. But I still need to check on shows I want to feature… a job for later. I don’t have time for it now.

Back to the monthly file. Search for my index mark of shows that need proofread, and posted. Uh-oh, good thing I checked. I gotta get a few out before tonight, or the podcast feed will come to a crashing halt in the morning. No problem. Here we go.

Fixing typos, fixing clunky wording, but it’s mostly OK. Fortunately, I already have the media links pasted into the notes, so away we go.

  • Open my WordPress dashboard. Getting logged in, of course.
  • Copy and paste the note from the file to the dashboard.
  • Put the title in the right place.
  • Put the body text in the right spot.
    • Oops, missed a typo or two.
    • Add line breaks for paragraphs.
  • Tick the category boxes.
    • One for the channel.
    • One for the show.
  • Drop in the tags.
    • The year.
    • The show title,
    • Pick keywords or themes from the show, based on the note.
    • Don’t overdo it.
  • Paste in the media link.
  • Give it a quick test to be sure the file is good. No errors.

Almost done.

This one is for tomorrow, so change the date to tomorrow. Let’s see, it aired in 1942, so set the time to 2 AM. Bump the minutes to 20-something. Hit Publish.

O wait. “Why did you do that?” You ask. I use the second digit in the year to post the hour from 1AM to 10AM, with a few exceptions, like when more than one show might end with the same digit. I may alter the hour when that happens. “And the minutes, why specifically 20-something?” I can hear you ask. The era of radio shows that exist range from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. I divided the hour into three parts. One for each decade. “Then why not use the full third of an hour” I hear you ask. Some shows lingered, or were broadcast later. I’m a little more loose in the hour and minutes for those decades, but I fudge them in there to keep things spaced out a little.

Here comes the tedious part. It took just under ten minutes to do the copy, paste, link test, and date the shows. Wash, rince, repeat. If I can keep from being interrupted, I might be able to crunch out most of the rest of the month. Yeah, like that’ll happen. Likely, my browser will start bogging down, and take forever to load pages.

I wonder how to clear the cache. o I’m sure it needs, if I can’t remember how long it’s been, or how to do it. I’ll have to Google it… sometime later. Not right now.

For now it’s a matter of repeating all the above steps for the next few shows to see how far I can get. At least try to get stuff posted up to sometime next week. Yeah, that should do it to give me some cushion to work on other projects. t

Oh. You know what I forgot? I really need to start collecting stock images to insert in the posts. For now, i’ll grab my javascript form to insert an Amazon ad. Oh well, i’ll skip this one I’ve already got done, and do it for the ones coming up. No need to do every show. I already have ads on the Welcome page, and in the side bar, so it’s not like people don’t see them. They just don’t click and buy stuff. Oh well, maybe one of these days.

Well, there you have it. A typical, boring day of data processing, typing, and getting shows posted. It’s not the glamorous, glorious life, filled with exotic Retrobots like you thought it was… ain’t it.

But there’s more.
This has just been where the rubber hits the road in transferring raw notes into a finished post.

Keith Heltsley

The #roots of Mousey #gray

Timid and soft spoken is his usual way,
Until love ignites his inner rage.
The surface calm that Mousey Gray had;
Belies the turmoil that makes him so mad.

One power punch is all he wrote;
To knockout his rivals, and elope.
Now Gussey is his, and shares his name,
but will Mousey continue on to fame?

In Pine Ridge Mousey has begun to prowl;
As the night watchman who likes poetry, and owls.
For him Lum and Abner are like no other.
To him they feel just like a mother.

PS: To listen to the events that introduced Llewelen Snavely Gray to the cast of characters with Lum and Abner in Pine Ridge, have a look at these shows from December 1941.

Red Skelton- #avid Spring Cleaning. 490429

It’s Spring cleaning time for a comic named Red,
Even for Clem and Daisy June as a maid.
While burning letters in the ash can,
Some were sent by an avid fan.
The curiosities just won’t go to bed.

Rod O’Conner and Red go for a ride,
To meet with Fritzie the fan on the side.
They meet Junior the mean little kid,
“If I dooddit I’ll get a whipping,” he said.
ut wil Fritzie get Red in trouble with his bride?

<a href="http://media.blubrry.com/retro/p/retro-otr.Download

Red Skelton- #avid Spring Cleaning. 490429

Sharing the Love for WordPress Bloggers

I’ve been podcasting for quite a while, with steady growth all along the way. People who enjoy old time radio shows may have found me as they search directories like iTunes, or Podomatic. Others may have found me by a simple search on the Internet for a favorite actor, or radio show. For all the steady downloads, feedback is much mor rare than you might think. Enter the world of WordPress bloggers. 

My site automatically posts to my Twitter feed, and Facebook account. Sometimes I get a ‘Like’ or an even more rare retweet, or share. I’ve made some friends like Jimbo, Sara, and others who enjoy shows ranging from Superman, to Vic and Sade, to Philip Marlowe. But… Enter the world of WordPress bloggers. 
I maintain two related sites. One strictly for the podcast, with show notes, and a media file to listen to. My other site is for blogging additional thoughts on classic, old radio shows. My stats for the podcast are busy, but despite that, the feedback is slow. Enter the world of WordPress bloggers. 
Dramatic changes have come to my small, little blog. The traffics there is quite, but thanks to the community of WordPress bloggers, and the challenges to writing, poetry, and blogging, I’ve met some very engaging people. My ‘Like’ button hasn’t been so lonely, as folks who span the globe take time to click it. Thanks to you. 

Whether you love classic radio, movies, or TV. Whether you’re a writer, or a student, or someone with something to say, thank you for taking the time to ‘Like’ my articles. 
Comments have a nice system to respond back to you. Likes are a nice, one way street to give me an encouraging thumbs up. They make me smile, and I wish there was a way to like the like back. 
Since I can’t, here’s a thank you note for all those likes, and for the ones to come. You know who you are. Thanks so much for the smiles, and encouragement. 

Stopping the Unstoppable

Another installment of peeking behind the curtain, and glimpsing behind the scenes of the podcast.

Environment is so important. Sometimes there isn’t any control, and when there’s work to be done, mental preparation can make the difference. Bad weather, noisy room, the need to leave that comfortable chair and desk, working on the road, off the grid, without tools, or very few of them. Creativity is still locked in the head, but it takes more effort to pry it out.

Not that creativity can’t be expressed. It just takes conscious effort and well… creativity to get it out in the open.,

For example, today I’m not at home. I’ve had to be on the road to take care of business. Going to the city to accompany a relative at a doctor appointment. continuing the day’s adventure 80 miles down the road to my house that I’ve been trying to sell. We have renters instead, and lease agreements to look over, sign, and arrange for them to take possession. While my wife shows them the property once again, I take a break, squeezing in a few moments to crack open the laptop, connecting to the world using a hotspot, and at least take time in writing a few lines for the Retro Radio Blog. It isn’t my usual work space. I’m out of the office, out of my creative comfort zone, but if I can’t record a podcast, or even listen to anything, or work on my line up for the upcoming weeks, at least I can write.

I’d rather be in my office chair, with the nice back support. I’d rather be able to finish that editing project I started on the weekend, but had to put on hold for the moment. I’d rather have access to my home network, and the archive of stuff I have there for resources. I’d rather be able to do some audio editing on the software I have on my home work station, than the set up on my portable environment.

I could do some of those. I try to be prepared. Instead, I write. I need the practice. And now you know a little more about the behind the scenes of what happens at the podcast.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be unstoppable, and crank the creative juice to full impact. I love the time I spend in my little Church House Studio. But maybe life will sneak in with lawn mowers that need fixing, backyard jungles to weed whack, laundry to do. and other demands on time management. Then I’ll slip upstairs, put on the headphones, fire up the microphone, and slice and dice audio files until the evening grows late.

Note: Inspired in part by the #DailyPost
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/

[categories Inbox, Writing]

Featuring: Our Miss Brooks – Weekend At Crystal Lake. ep7, 480919

Rewritten show notes, thanks to #everydayinspiration

Download the audio.

There’s something peaceful about a lake. On the surface, clean, shimmering water, with wind kicking up little ripples on the surface. Ducks swimming, or waddling near the shoreline. A row boat quietly heading to a shady fishing hole. Couples holding hands as they walk the path to stroll the circumference.

How could such an idyllic seen, on a late Summer day, hold anything but rest and relaxation.

As we examine one of the couples more closely, we find they are a pair of high school teachers, invited by the principle and his wife to their lakeside cottage for the weekend. The situation has overtones of tragedy and jealousy, like a torrid romance novel. Will the wonderful weekend to the wild woods end in worry?

The optimism of Connie Brooks is challenged at every turn. The power of suggestion plants seeds of stress in the mind. It would certainly be an American tragedy, if all the plot points in that age old novel were set into play. The dreams of private seclusion with her love interest, Philip Boynton are shattered. But wait! Will he have passionate interests in Connie for once? Has love finally won the day in their hearts?

Someone needs to tell those around them that the silly comparison to the tragic love tale is only in the mind. The stodgy principle, Mr Conklin, takes a heroic step. His efforts are noble indeed. However, the misguided helper soon reverses the tender moment, snatching cupids aero from its target, and sending our lovers into an order of life or death, of being lost at sea… or at lost in the lake.

Salvation comes with Mrs Conklin, and the rays of truth shining through the clouds of mental anguish.