Friday, February 29, 2008
I know I've already used this picture, but it's the 29th of February. That makes today, in this Year of the Frog, Leapfrog Day, and so I'm rerunning the picture, dammit. Besides, it's been too damned cold to take any new pictures and I wanted to give you a break from my radio sketches.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I confess: I've been playing fast and loose with the facts. That Nordmende radio in the last post? It's not mine. I don't own it. It's in Roxe's basement in Ottawa.
This little yellow radio, however, is indeed mine. Although I put one in Roxe's Christmas stocking many years ago. Gave one to Marge too but she could never get any reception in her old office at Virginia Tech. (Well, duh, Marge!) She was just going to leave it behind when she packed up her VT office before she moved west to the land of aspiring writers in Iowa City, but I grabbed it. So this might IN TRUTH be Marge's ex-radio but it's mine now.
It's one of many radios, portable and otherwise, I own. (You can't have too many radios.) If I start to run out of material to post, I might just inflict my full portfolio of radio sketches on you.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
So now BBC World Service has shut down its shortwave service to Europe and north Africa. The end of an era. I wonder when they'll cut off the remaining 100 million shortwave listeners in the rest of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
The story in the Guardian quoted Simon Spanswick, the chief executive of the Association for International Broadcasting, as saying, "Everybody now has to use different ways to engage listeners. Nobody in the developed world listens on noisy, crackly shortwave anymore."
Oh yeah? I do.
BBC World Service transmissions to North America ended some time ago. Now apparently Europe has been deemed a "highly developed marketplace" in which listeners can access the BBC in "a variety of ways, including FM, satellite and online," the Guardian story said.
In addition to this old Nordmende (that needs a tube replaced), I have a small collection of portable shortwave radios. It's not always convenient to fire up the ol' laptop and dial up the CBC or BBC. I've used my little shortwaves to try to pull in a broadcast from Radio Canada International when I've been away from home, or to find the BBC World Service when I've wanted to hear an English-language newscast. It just isn't the same, at the end of a hard day of sightseeing or travelling, to curl up with a laptop under the covers and listen to the radio. I don't always travel with a laptop anyway.
Radio should be listened to on the radio, dammit.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
It was snowing like mad when I woke up on Friday, and, anticipating the storm, I had brought work home with me on Thursday night. In fact, I was tipped off when I overheard a colleague say that he was going to bring work home with him and not come in if we got the storm that was forecast.
He (who shall remain nameless, but not blameless) did indeed brave the snow and wind and showed up for work on Friday, but I, the lone wuss of the office, stayed home.
As I worked, I gazed out my window through the storm and saw my across-the-lane neighbour barbecuing lunch.