Monthly Archives: December 2008

Chilling Radio

The first Iraq War brought the horrors of war directly to our television sets.  CNN reporters broadcast from rooftops. Cameras showed explosions in Baghdad as Allied bombers made their nightly runs.

It all seemed somewhat surreal at the time.  A made for TV movie that rolled during US TV Prime time, which was early morning in Baghdad.

More chilling was hearing first hand reports on shortwave radio of scud missiles being lobbed into Israel from Iraq.

KOL Israel is the national radio service which at the time could be heard on shortwave here in the US.

This was live  radio  telling Israeli citizens to put on their gas masks and stay in their homes.

That coverage has always stuck with me.  It was far more compelling than the television coverage with all its pictures.

This was  first hand coverage illustrating the real life horror of war.

The Gaza Strip has again erupted into violence with Israel pounding Hamas locations with brutal force.

KOL Israel can’t be heard in the US on shortwave anymore.  But all of the coverage is available on WIFI Radio.

Recivia offers 39 Israeli stations.  Some broadcast in English.

The Israeli National Talk channel is filled with coverage of the conflict.  It gives a totally different perspective of what is happening and why.

Certainly the coverage is from the Israeli point of view.  But like that night listening to KOL Israel, you’ll get the idea of what life is like when your country is in the middle of conflict.

The programs are sometimes intense and emotional.  Based on the sound of things there will be plenty of chances to hear war coverage first hand in coming weeks.

It’s another example of how the internet is becoming the source for breaking news leaving local radio and newspapers in the dust.

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Posted by on December 28, 2008 in Radio programming


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Help Someone With Paws This Christmas

The house seemed empty after the kids grew up and moved out.

So, we decided it was time for a second family.

Our oldest is now about three.

The baby is almost eight months old.

They are adopted.

The older one lived in our bushes.

The other was found in a tree with a brother and sister.

In case you haven’t guessed our second family is two young cats,  Meow and Maggie.

Meow is the perfect child.

She  is a brown tabby who loves to sleep in the sun rays that come  through the bedroom window each afternoon.

Maggie is well, challenging.

She’s silvery gray.  Her sister June is all black and brother Wallace  is  bright orange with a beautiful coat of stripes.  All have stunning gold eyes and except for their coloring they look exactly alike.

Maggie is all kid.

Human toddlers don’t climb to the top of the refrigerator and to the top of cabinets that are even higher.

Young cats know no boundaries.

Cat ‘toddlers’ can wear out their parental guidance.

They are worth every second.

Whiskers is an adult black and white cat. She lives outside Walgreens around the corner from our home.

Whiskers is a homeless stray with a litter of kittens depending on her.

Sadly this year many pets become abandoned when owners lose their home and leave everything including the animals.

We think this might be what happened to Whiskers.

The store manager and customers feed her.

We have asked a local rescue organization to lend a hand.

Our hope is to have her family cared for and then adopted by loving families.

This Christmas animal shelters are over flowing with pets needing homes.

Many are like Whiskers with kittens or puppies attached.

If  you wondered what to get yourself this year, consider saving a life.

Adoption is serious business.

So if you consider a pet, make sure it’s not a whim and something you’ll regret later.

I was never a cat fan.  But Meow changed that.

Now, I am their biggest fan.

Maggie is a very different ‘person’ than Meow.   We learn from them and  laugh at their antics everyday.

So this holiday think about adoption as the ultimate Christmas gift.

And if you can’t adopt, make a generous contribution to a local ‘no kill’ shelter.

Oh and keep an extra can of cat food handy.  One of Meow’s friends might drop by.

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Posted by on December 21, 2008 in Homeless Cats and Dogs


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Making It Right

Almost every Hall Of Fame is somewhat controversial.

There are always lists of people who some think should be enshrined, but somehow never make it.

The baseball veteran’s committee wrestles with this question every year.

Take Ron Santo former third baseman for the Cubs.  He put up great numbers, and had great years but is still waiting for the call.

The knock on Santo is likely to be more about the bad Cub teams he played on on, than about his own statistics as a player.

The Baseball Hall Of Fame selects a broadcaster for the Frick Award each year.  Tony Kubek former Yankee, Blue Jays and NBC announcer was selected this year.

Kubek certainly deserves the honor.  He was the premier color man of his era.  In some ways you can say he was the model for the role of today’s color commentators.

He is also the first broadcaster to enter the Hall whose broadcasting career was spent entirely in television.

The writers who vote know Kubek’s work first hand.   They saw the games he covered on television.   They heard his observations.

Baseball has  overlooked perhaps the most important broadcasting pioneer of all for the Frick Award.

Graham McNamee was the first real baseball play by play announcer.

McNamee’s career started by accident when as a whim he stopped into New York’s WEAF and auditioned  for an announcing job.   He was hired on the spot.

This was 1923  there were no rules for announcers and no one to copy.  All who performed on radio were originals.

McNamee broadcast everything from opera, to boxing and baseball.

Dick Enberg called McNamee “the father of us all” referring to his importance in broadcasting sports.

He covered the national political conventions and announced for entertainment shows.

McNamee was the all around utility man and the biggest name announcer of the era.

He was a star.

McNamee broadcast 12 World Series beginning in 1926.

It was McNamee who set the example for broadcasting baseball and other sports.  He was ‘the guy’ during radio’s formative years.

Graham McNamee should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  But he missed again this year.

Perhaps it’s because his success occurred long before most who vote for the Frick Award were born.  None heard his work first hand.

My guess is that compared with today’s baseball broadcasting his work might not sound so slick.  How could a guy without the polish of a modern announcer be any good?

Graham McNamee lead the way so all the others could make their own mark on radio broadcasting.

There are others also deserving of a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dizzy Dean and Joe Nuxhall come to mind.

Graham McNamee should have been the first to be awarded the honor.

It’s never too late to right a wrong.

Hopefully someone on the Veteran’s Committee will take a long hard look at who’s missing from the Hall.

Just a suggestion…

Perhaps all of  the Frick Award winners should be showcasted in “The Graham McNamee Room” just across from the giftshop on the second floor in Cooperstown.


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Finding The Next Gig

Rarely does a day pass that an email or call doesn’t come from someone who has lost a job.

We know times are tough when companies are doing layoffs in large numbers.

NBC cut 500 jobs last week.  Washington Mutual dropped 9,000 positions.

It can happen to any of us at any time.

Email and internet are the way many people will connect with future employers.  But how they write and what they say about themsleves makes many sound amaturish and uninteresting.

If you are searching take time to get professional advice about your cover letter and resume.   Often the cover letter sent via email is enough to chase away any potential employers.

You must be smart about it.

I like informality but not from someone I don’t know who is seeking a position.

It is amazing how often people don’t read ads for open positions carefully.  They then wind up applying for something completely different than advertised.  A waste of time for everyone.

Here are some thoughts that I hope will help with your job search.

  • First, network like crazy!!  Pick up the phone and talk to people. One call could lead you to a possible job opportunity.
  • Finding a job is full-time work.  Get up early, plan your day and take it on like you are being paid to find a job.
  • Don’t be shy, ask for help.  Have people read your resume and cover letter.  Get advice from people who have been through it.
  • Don’t send two or three line emails expecting a potential employer to respond.  That approach gets you ‘file 13’.
  • Talk about your strengths and have a written list handy to keep you focused.
  • Make a list of your interests. It’s possible your next job will be in a different field, what things are you doing in your free time that you could turn into a job?
  • Your first goal is to get the interview.  The job comes later.
  • Prepare yourself for the interview.
  • Dress professionally.  I might be wearing a golf shirt and jeans when interviewing you, but you’d better look like you want the job.
  • Have solid references lined up and make sure you’ve talked to them to get their permission.
  • The company that turned you out might have a program to help  you with many of these things.   Find out what is available from your HR department.
  • And I stress one more time, job hunting is a full-time job.  Don’t expect to find something quickly or great by working at it two hours a day.
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    Posted by on December 7, 2008 in Radio programming


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