Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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9/30/2004


REPS Showcase Report Part 4: Saturday

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:34 pm

Follow “More” link for complete article and photographs

Saturday began with my…er…oversleeping for even the Pacific time zone; I could kick myself for arriving at the convention site too late for the “History of Mutual” panel, which included a visit by Elizabeth McLeod “via landwire hookup.”

Another day filled with panels and recreations…with all respect to Imagination Theater, led by Jim French, my favorite performance of the day has to be The Shadow, starring Paul Carnegie as Lamont Cranston, and Jean Rouverol Butler as the lovely Margo Lane. (Ever notice how impossible it is to simply refer to the character name without the ubiquitous adjective?)
(more…)

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9/26/2004


REPS Showcase Report Part 3: Friday

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:34 pm

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Friday started as a beautiful day…I slept in for the Eastern time zone I had left while getting up early for the Pacific time zone I was living in; after a bite of breakfast and a few words exchanged with some of the Showcase guests in the breakfast nook of the hotel, it was off to the Seattle Center and a day filled with panels, re-creations, and chatting with fellow conventioneers.

That was, honestly, the best part of the convention for me. Since I’d never been to Seattle before, and a lot of west-coast folks haven’t been to the eastern conventions, I met a bunch of OTR Digest subscribers for the first time. So many, in fact, that I have to admit by the end of the convention names started to become something of a blur…if you email me, please remind me that we met at the Showcase, and try not to hate me for my failing memory.
(more…)

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9/23/2004


REPS Showcase Report Part 2: Arrival

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 12:43 pm

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I arrived in Seattle Thursday afternoon after “borrowing” an extra three hours on the way out (I’ll need to pay them back when I go home) and a short stop in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I was met at the airport by a representative of REPS, who took me to my hotel and kindly pointed out to me on a map where the heck I was relative to the buildings in the Seattle Center where the bulk of the convention was taking place. It wasn’t until I walked it the first time I realized how close the hotel is to everything… especially on a beautiful early-summer day.

After parking my bags in the hotel room, I decided to check out the area before freshening up; I figured the walk would do me good clearing the last of the stale airplane gases from my system, so I wandered up Roy Avenue in the general direction of the Seattle Center.
(more…)

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9/21/2004


REPS Showcase Report Part 1: Seattle Sightseeing

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:09 pm

I’ve been wanting to write a wrap-up of REPS Showcase 2004 for a while now, but I needed to wait until I came down a bit from the weekend, and then there always seemed to be something that came up to get in the road. Finally, I’m pushing myself to get these photos posted so those who were there can re-live the weekend, and those who weren’t can peek in on the goings-on. First off, pics and comments on the city, and over the next few days photos and thoughts on the convention itself.

Seattle, at least the areas I had the time to explore in my too-brief time there, is a truly beautiful place. While I was there the weather was gorgeous, highs in the mid-70s with a warm sun lazing in an almost cloudless sky. A cool breeze accompanied me almost everywhere I went, and the evenings were beautifully cool.
(more…)

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9/20/2004


Review: Rodney

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:09 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Rodney; ABC, Tuesday Nights 9:30 pm

Sophisticated comedy this ain’t.

Rodney has a wife, two kids, and a dream. Oh, and a southern drawl that comes and goes depending on the scene.

If you’re looking for sophisticated humor, keep looking; this show makes Married with Children look like Frasier. No, really; the big joke of the pilot is walking naked through WalMart, and the merry mixups that occur (like running into the Preacher man). Oh, yeah, I forgot the gay oral sex joke, which is forced and contrived but still accompanied by a huge guffaw from the canned laugh track.
(more…)

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9/19/2004


An Open Letter to Hugh Panero

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 8:27 pm

Last week, I sent a “Thank You” letter to Hugh Panero, the CEO of XM Satellite Radio. I also copied the letter to various folks at NPR - no, of course I don’t expect it to do any good, I only wanted them to know that 1) six months down the road, some of us haven’t forgotten how badly they are managing the network, and 2) there are more and more alternatives to their network.

I enclose it here to make it a matter of public record.


To: Hugh Panero
Subject: A Thank You…
Cc: (Ken Stern), (Kevin Klose), (Jay Kernis), (Ellen McDonnell),
(Mark Handley), (Ellen Rocco), ombudsman@npr.org

Mr. Panero;

As a newly-minted XM Radio subscriber, I am writing to thank you for XM
Channel 133, XMPR, and the upcoming “The Bob Edwards Show.”
(more…)

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9/18/2004


Review: Veronica Mars

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:25 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Veronica Mars; UPN, Tuesday Nights 9:00 pm

After reading the promotional material for this show, I assumed it would be another of the many teen-angst-run-rampant shows we’re subjected to nowadays. And I suppose it could end up being one, but the pilot episode is a surprisingly strong story about interesting characters in an unforgiving town. If it weren’t for the punk hairstyles, I’d almost be tempted to use the term, “noir.”
(more…)

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9/17/2004


I’ve been walking with a cane lately…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:05 am

I’ve been walking with a cane. Seems I pulled some thing-a-ma-bob in my right knee by sitting down (yeah, I know - imagine what damage I could have done had I actually been doing something), and it has my whole knee soft and untrustworthy. They say I’ll be fine in a week or two (tell that to my knee), and I’ve been getting around the house pretty well without it the last day or so, so I’m not worried about having to use the cane forever, but I do have some observations about using one of these things.

First off, the rest of my body hurts. My left leg hurts from trying to do the work of two, my shoulders hurt from walking with my arm (although I’m a little confused why my left shoulder hurts, since I use the cane in my right hand), both hips hurt from the position of my body I’m unconciously using to protect my right knee…basically, I’m hurting all over just because I boo-booed one small part.

Next, my hand is bruised. I never realized how much force would be transfered from the ground to the heel of my hand through the cane. After a day on the thing, I can barely get my hand around a mouse (and those who know me know a mouse is a routine extention of my arm).

Another thing I was surprised to learn: canes ain’t glamorus. I don’t know how all those guys in the black-and-white movies manage to look suave swaggering around with a cane or walking stick, but I look a whole lot like a dork waddling around with this thing. There’s just no way to be smooth while stumbling around trying not to fall on one’s face.

I’ve been seriously wondering if I wouldn’t be better off with a knee brace, a rollar skate, and some ski polls.

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9/14/2004


Bob Edwards at Metro Washington OTR Club

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 6:55 pm

This is a rare blog entry, one that properly fits in both the Radio Today and Old-Time Radio categories. I was pleased to attend the Metro Washington Old-Time Radio Club meeting last Friday evening, where they hosted Bob Edwards, host of Morning Edition for twenty-four years six months, and the author of a book on another iconoclastic newsman, Edward R. Murrow. Before I talk about Bob Edwards and his presentation, and share some photos of the event, let me make some comments about the MWOTRC.
(more…)

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9/13/2004


Review: LAX

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:13 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

LAX; NBC, Monday Nights 10:00 pm

Will someone please stop giving Heather Locklear television shows?

This show opens with the suicide of Emmit Champion, director of California International Airport (we assume with the renaming from HUB that this will be changed to LAX) committing suicide by standing in front of a landing 747. And by the end of this hour, you’ll envy his early exit. Two folks are up to take his place; Harley Random (Locklear), the plucky (yeah, I know she’s long past plucky, but she hasn’t figured it out yet) Airfield Chief, and Roger (Blair Underwood, City of Angels who’s character doesn’t seem to have a definitive last name yet), the Terminal Manager. Of course the decision will be a political one, and of course these two will battle for the job, and of course they will end up co-operating the airport, if not co-operating with each other.
(more…)

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9/8/2004


Review: Medical Investigations

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:36 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Medical Investigations; NBC, Friday Nights 10:00 pm

“The National Institutes of Health, the world’s foremost medical research center, has for the last hundred years been on the cutting edge of disease prevention, diagnosis, and cure. The following is inspired by true events.”

Uh-huh. Sure it is.

The pilot starts in New York City, where a man with a dysfunctional family life falls over and turns blue. But what starts as a single case soon becomes an epidemic, requiring the aid of Dr. Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough, Boomtown), the head of a mobile medical team from the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) and the owner of a pretty dysfunctional family life himself, and his team. What caused the discoloration? Why are these people dying? And what can be done?
(more…)

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Review: Joey

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 10:22 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Joey; NBC, Thursday Nights 8:00 pm

What do you do if you’re NBC and losing some of your best comedies (Friends, Frasier)? You create a spinoff so you can keep at least one of the franchises alive, of course. I mean, it takes time, energy, and creativity to create a new show; all it takes to create a spinoff is for some existing cast members and producers to sign contracts. Much simpler.
(more…)

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9/7/2004


Review: Dr. Vegas

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 8:11 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I知 going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Dr. Vegas; CBS, Friday Nights 10:00 pm

Ok, I’ll admit it. I don’t see the fascination television has demonstrated over the last couple of years for Las Vegas. I mean, it was interesting when CSI chose it as its setting, but when NBC last season premiered Las Vegas, I thought it was a bit much (even though I admit to liking the show). And now, this…I guess CBS was feeling a little left out. All we need now is for UPN to premiere Star Trek: Las Vegas.
(more…)

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9/2/2004


XMPR, Here We Are!

Filed under: General, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 7:25 pm

XM premiered its Public Radio channel (133) this week, and I’ve been listening to it. The beginning was a little rocky, with cuts between the shows and the BBC newscasts a bit rough, but things have since smoothed out a bit.

The schedule is interesting; right now rebroadcasts of On Point are in the 8am-10am slot soon to be the home of The Bob Edwards Show, and WBUR’s The Connection airs live. I haven’t had the chance to listen to WBUR’s Here and Now yet, but I’m looking forward to an afternoon newsmagazine that doesn’t treat me like an idiot. I’m a little ticked off at the time they have the CBC’s As It Happens scheduled, since I’m rarely in my office at 11:00pm, and there’s no replay.

And I’ll admit it…I can live without the archived editions of This American Life, a show I occasionally find interesting but frequently just pretentious. And the music shows I can do without…I mean, my lord, there are a hundred channels of music on XM radio, so who needs Sounds Eclectic?

But all in all, I’m pleased with XMPR, and for those times I’m not interested in the program, the BBC World Service is right next door. And come October 4th, mornings go back to normal for the first time since April.

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