Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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12/30/2006


AMAZING Deal on XM Satellite Radio - but hurry!

Filed under: General, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 7:43 pm

There is an amazing deal on the Nexus 25 XM Satellite Radio, but it’s only good for another 28-hours or so. If you’ve been considering an XM subscription, go to Crutchfield and do a search on “Nexus.” You’ll find the Nexus 25 (the same radio I received for Christmas) for $59.99. If you’re going to activate it (new subscriber or added to the Family Plan) you quality for a $50 rebate, so the radio costs $10 after rebate.

But there’s more. Crutchfield will give you a $55 XM Service Card you can apply to your XM account, meaning with the rebate you are paid $45 bucks less the ~$7 shipping to take this deal! Even without the rebate, and including ground shipping the radio costs only about $13 total once you apply that $55 service card!

But you must order the radio before the first of January, so if you’re thinking about subscribing, or adding a radio to an existing subscription, do it now.

(No, we make no commission on this deal, it’s just awfully darned good!)

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12/29/2006


Howard Culver Performs “Auld Lang Syne”

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:40 pm

The program today was recorded from a red promotional 45-rpm record (you youngsters might not remember when sound was recorded on flat disks with grooves…) recorded by Howard Culver (Straight Arrow, Strange Wills, We Deliver the Goods, others) with Bob Mitchell at the organ. As Lois Culver explains:

Howard was doing a radio show on KFI Los Angeles for several years, called ‘A Joy Forever’ - previous to that it was called ‘Stairway to the Stars’ and first ran on KFRC San Francisco, with George Wright as the organist.

It was a fluke beginning….Howard and George were lushing it up pretty good one night late…went into the KFRC studios and threw out all the programming and did a poetry show with organ interludes. Expecting to be fired the next day, they were surprised that many people had called raving about the show….so, they put it on on a regular basis.

The Program Manager there subsequently moved to Los Angeles as PM for KFI, and the show started up there with Bob Mitchell at the organ. This disk was cut for purpose of getting a mail count….just write in and request it, and it was yours! They were completely amazed at the response, but it still remained a sustaining program.

Lois has given permission for this recording to be placed on the Net for everyone to enjoy, as a way for us to say, “Happy Holidays!” and to thank you for stopping by The Nostalgia Pages and the Nostalgic Rumblings blog, and subscribing to The Internet OTR Digest this past year!

icon for podpress  Howard Culver Performs "Auld Lang Syne" [3:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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12/28/2006


Opinion : Social network users have ruined their privacy, forever

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:14 am

From HEXUS.net: Opinion: Social network users have ruined their privacy, forever

Anonymity down the drain - “students at the University of Bristol have recently been warned of the dangers of posting to social networking websites. They aren’t the first to hear these warnings, and they won’t be the last.”

Of course, profiling yours-truly will only find what everyone already knows: I’m a curmudgeon.

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12/27/2006


Hello…and goodbye…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:14 am

The two “portable” XM Radios tuned to…ah heck, what did you expect?

I received for Christmas this year, from my wife and daughter, a brand-spankin’ new Nexus 25 XM Satellite Radio, to replace the Roady2 (yeah, the Roady2 I needed to repair and detailed here not long ago). For the blog, I wanted to take a pic of the radio, currently sitting with the Tao XM2Go that is usually in the car.

This radio is not a “true” portable, that is it cannot receive “live” XM unless docked in the home stand. But since it’s a replacement for the Roady2, it’ll be mostly docked anyway, yet I can pop it from the cradle for my walks even when Annie has the Tao.

What’s really cool is that when this radio makes a recording, it automatically changes stations (the Tao doesn’t - it must be turned off to record a scheduled recording), so I can listen to Watercolors or The Blend during the afternoons and not worry about watching the clock for The World at 6:00 pm on XMPR.

As I was taking the photos, however, the camera’s flash tube flashed way too brightly and made a loud “popping” sound, and (as one would expect) no longer flashes. (*sigh*) I’m thinking it may be impossible to repair the camera (it’s an Olympus D-510 Zoom, with a massive 2.1 megapixels, but it has been a good and faithful servant), so for a while I’ll probably be photoless except in the sun.

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12/26/2006


Frank Stanton, Broadcasting Pioneer, Dies at 98

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:23 am

From The New York Times: Frank Stanton, Broadcasting Pioneer, Dies at 98

From the article: “Frank Stanton, a central figure in the development of television broadcasting in the United States and the industry’s most articulate and persuasive spokesman during his nearly three decades as president of CBS, died Sunday afternoon at his home in Boston, a longtime friend, Elizabeth Allison, said.”

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12/25/2006


The strangest thing…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 4:07 am

Just as I was getting ready for bed this evening, I passed the tree we have up in the corner of the room. And I could have sworn I heard a sound coming from a small ornament on the tree. It sounded like the ornament, a small bear with a green bow, was softly singing…

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12/24/2006


We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:57 pm

 
…the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth St.

VIRGINIA, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

— Editorial page of the New York Sun, September 21, 1897

From our entire family to yours - Annie, Katie (who knows perfectly well there is a Santa Claus), and yours truly; no matter what you are celebrating at this truly amazing time of the year, Happy Holidays!

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12/23/2006


Random Stuff…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:30 pm

Does it count if the cards are mailed before Christmas?


Bumper sticker I saw today:

God Bless the Entire World.
No Exceptions.


If there’s peanut butter in peanut butter cookies, and ginger in ginger snaps, why is there no sand in sand tarts?

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12/22/2006


Howard Culver Reads “The Christmas Story”

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 12:25 pm

The program today was recorded from a red promotional 45-rpm record (you youngsters might not remember when sound was recorded on flat disks with grooves…) recorded by Howard Culver (Straight Arrow, Strange Wills, We Deliver the Goods, others) with Bob Mitchell at the organ. As Lois Culver explains:

Howard was doing a radio show on KFI Los Angeles for several years, called ‘A Joy Forever’ - previous to that it was called ‘Stairway to the Stars’ and first ran on KFRC San Francisco, with George Wright as the organist.

It was a fluke beginning….Howard and George were lushing it up pretty good one night late…went into the KFRC studios and threw out all the programming and did a poetry show with organ interludes. Expecting to be fired the next day, they were surprised that many people had called raving about the show….so, they put it on on a regular basis.

The Program Manager there subsequently moved to Los Angeles as PM for KFI, and the show started up there with Bob Mitchell at the organ. This disk was cut for purpose of getting a mail count….just write in and request it, and it was yours! They were completely amazed at the response, but it still remained a sustaining program.

Lois has given permission for this recording to be placed on the Net for everyone to enjoy, as a way for us to say, “Happy Holidays!” and to thank you for stopping by The Nostalgia Pages and the Nostalgic Rumblings blog, and subscribing to The Internet OTR Digest this past year!

icon for podpress  Howard Culver Reads "The Christmas Story" [3:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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I’m really behind this year…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:27 am

I can’t seem to catch up this year for some reason. There are still presents unwrapped, our Christmas Cards haven’t yet been addressed (if we’re really lucky, they’ll get mailed Saturday), and even the tree isn’t up and decorated.

But if I get nothing else done this morning, my little Christmas present to you, gentle reader, will be here a little later today - thanks to Lois Culver, a sound file of Howard Culver, with Bob Mitchell on the organ, reading The Christmas Story. Look for it in this space a bit later.

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12/21/2006


Harry Shearer on The Bob Edwards Show

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:55 am

For those XM Satellite Radio subscribers who appreciate the comedy of Jack Benny Program alum, Simpsons voice talent, funny guy, and almost-Morning Edition-host Harry Shearer, he’ll be stopping by The Bob Edwards Show studio next Friday, December 29th, to take a humorous look at the highs and lows of 2006.

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12/20/2006


A small “Oops…”

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:35 am

I’m not exactly certain what happened, but there’s been a small glitch in the old blog software…recent comments were placed *silently* into the moderation queue instead of sending me email so I can check to make certain they aren’t spam. I just approved two comments, and apologize to the posters for not realizing they were sitting in the queue.

I’ll see if I can track this down over the next few days, inbetween shopping trips to finish up the holiday shopping.

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12/19/2006


Hear It Now - The Premier Broadcast

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 12:11 pm

I missed…I wanted to have this show posted on the fifteenth, as it was the 56th anniversary of the program. On December 15, 1950, a new kind of radio program took to the CBS airwaves, a program borrowed from the format of a series of records released in 1948; a program whose importance is less its own longevity, but more for the experience and experimentation it gave the producers, Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly. Less than a year later, these two would take this program to the CBS Television Network, where the show renamed See It Now became part of both television history and folklore. (The younger generation was introduced to that program and its staff through the film, Good Night, and Good Luck.)

In listening to this particular program, the first in the series, I am struck by how little things have really changed within my lifetime. Many of the conversations the country was involved in then still resonate with us today.

This program, along with thousands of others, is available for purchase in high-quality audio CD from our good friends at Audio Classics - tell ‘em Charlie sent’cha!

icon for podpress  Here It Now, December 15, 1950 [60:15m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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12/18/2006


Jonothan Thomas and his Christmas on the Moon

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 6:54 pm

I am here re-running the entire series of Jonothan Thomas and his Christmas on the Moon - earlier this year we ran the series on the podcast, so to avoid possible duplication I’ve avoided adding the files to the RSS feed. However if you missed the shows the first time ’round, you can download them the old-fashioned way, yes, depending on your operating system right-click or click-and-hold the “Download” link, simply by following the “More” link below. And Happy Holidays!
(more…)

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12/13/2006


Peter Boyle of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ dies

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:58 pm

From CNN: Peter Boyle of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ dies

From the article: “Peter Boyle, the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in ‘Young Frankenstein’ and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ has died. He was 71.”

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12/11/2006


He’s at it again — Roady2 Disassembly

Filed under: General, Radio Today, Electronics Disassemblies — Charlie Summers @ 10:51 am

Yesterday when I moved my Roady2 and replaced it, I discovered a problem - no right channel. Now anyone who has studied the Roady2 knows that the one thing that makes it unique among XM radios is its one fatal weakness…the lack of a propriatary cradle connector and the use of reletively standard connectors on the side. I was pretty sure I knew what was wrong, and I have a spare Roady2 in the basement, but I didn’t want to do a radio swap right now (please don’t ask why). To make sure I was right, and to hopefully fix the problem, I needed to…you guessed it…take it apart. Photos and commentary after the jump…
(more…)

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12/10/2006


Clifton Fadiman talks to Fred Allen

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:22 am

I know, gentle reader, I have been considerably lax in blog/podcast entries lately, but forgive the personal matters which prevented me from staying on top of things as much as I’d like.

A while ago, there was considerable discussion on the Internet OTR Digest. about the humor of Fred Allen. Some folks on the Digest appreciated it, others did not. Our friend Bill Scherer provided us with this episode of Conversations with Clifton Fadiman, aired as a tribute shortly after Fred’s death, where Fred Allen and Gilbert Seldes discuss comedy in general, and much more.

Whether you are a fan of Allen or not, I think you’ll find this to be a fascinating interview.

icon for podpress  Conversation with Clifton Fadiman - Guests Fred Allen and Gilbert Seldes [29:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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12/4/2006


I hate spammers…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:25 pm

As most of you know, spam made it yet again into the OTR Digest; while the percentage of spam in the Digest over the years is ridiculously tiny, even one is too many for my taste, and over the last year there have been three. And I’m angry. Not at myself, although there is always a sense of personal failure when spam gets there, but mostly at the spammers who make me spend so bloody much of my time dealing with their crap…it’s turning into a full-time job, and taking up way too much of my time.

For those of you who don’t understand how spam gets to you, let me give you a quick overview. (Feel free to scroll down through some of the log entries I’m placing here…they’re gonna be long.) Spammers are thieves, it’s as simple as that. They use various means, mostly trojan programs installed on your computer without your knowledge, to steal your resources. Your machine becomes part of a “botnet” of hundreds or thousands of machines, each sending spam. Where at one time cracking your computer was done by “crackers” (I’ll explain the difference between a “hacker” and a “cracker” on another day) for the heck of it, it’s now done for a real profit motive, sometimes by criminal organizations.

Anyway, once your machine is part of one of these botnets, it will send spam for as long as it’s connected to the Net, almost always without the user’s knowledge. The software that’s installed includes a mini-mail server, so it comes directly from your machine to the target email server (for the Digest, that’s my server). So what can I do about something like this?
(more…)

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