Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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11/29/2007


A Cinnamon Reminder…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:57 pm

Dennis Crow, he of all bears four-inches-high, reminds everyone that tonight, Thursday November 29, is the night to begin listening to The Cinnamon Bear. Listen to one episode every evening, and the story will conclude on Christmas Eve, just in time to put the little ones to bed with those sugar-plum visions.

He’s also made available an excellent companion packet, with song lyrics, a map of Maybeland, and all kinds of other goodies. You can download it right here, bless my stuffing.

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11/26/2007


You know, I hate to recommmend this website, but…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 5:29 pm

The knuckleheads at the National Association of Broadcasters put together a website, XMSiriusMonopoly.org, with their own twisted slant on why the merger is a bad thing. Of course, they have their own reasons, reasons which if directly stated would actually play towards the merger…so they have a bunch of reasons they don’t really believe in posted to oppose the merger.

Problem is, they’re right, even if for the wrong reason. I’ve made no secret to anyone my strong opposition to this merger (and sent my public comments to the FCC back in July as well), so for the first and probably the last time, the NAB and I are on the same page.

If you agree with me that the merger of Sirius and XM would be the end of satellite radio, or at least the end of any satellite radio worth listening to, I reluctantly urge you to visit the NAB’s website and follow the links to send your own comments to the FCC, letting them know what a bone-headed move this is. I have no idea whether it will help (with the pro-merger climate in Washington these days), but if nothing else it will make you feel better.

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Can You Top This? - First Topic, Indignation

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 10:16 am

Recently on the Internet OTR Digest there was a discussion about the show Can You Top This?, an audience-participation program where the listeners could send in jokes to tell; the panelists would then try to top the laughter level as measured on the meter, which would determine how much money the joke-sender would receive.

Our friend Jim Widner, he of the Radio Days website, provided a collection of episodes he’s acquired from the Net for running on this podcast. This episode is labeled from December 5, 1947 and has as its first topic “Indignation.”

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Can You Top This? - First Topic, Indignation [27:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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11/25/2007


Empire Builders - Columbia River

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 3:46 pm

As recently discussed on the Internet OTR Digest, here is one of the nine surviving episodes of Empire Builders, sponsored by the Great Northern Railroad and according to Elizabeth McLeod’s Documenting Early Radio page, discovered in the mid-1980s in their corporate archives. This episode, “Columbia River,” aired December 22, 1930.

Our thanks to both Ken Stockinger and Jim Widner for providing the copies of these historical programs for the podcast!

icon for podpress  Empire Builders - Columbia River [29:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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11/19/2007


Can You Top This? - First Topic, Psychiatry

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:20 am

Recently on the Internet OTR Digest there was a discussion about the show Can You Top This?, an audience-participation program where the listeners could send in jokes to tell; the panelists would then try to top the laughter level as measured on the meter, which would determine how much money the joke-sender would receive.

Our friend Jim Widner, he of the Radio Days website, provided a collection of episodes he’s acquired from the Net for running on this podcast. This episode is labeled from November 20, 1947 and has as its first topic “Psychiatry.”

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Can You Top This? - First Topic, Psychiatry [29:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Holy Crap - SanDisk Thumb Drive Turns Computer to Mush!

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:34 am

I purchased this evening a SanDisk Cruzer 4G thumb drive (flash drive, whatever you want to call it) so I could transfer some files between the computers here. Should have been a no-brainer; plug in the drive where Windows installs a driver, copy files to the drive, remove the drive, move to other computer, lather, rinse, repeat.

Instead the computer went bonzo installing some bizarre computer program…without my knowledge or permission, and trying to remove the drive stops the computer from properly restarting! Seriously, avoid SanDisk items of any kind until they have enough respect for their customers not to pull this crap on them.

I have never seen anything like it…it threw up a big button on the machine, an item marked “U3″ in the notification area, and demanded I restart the machine. But any time I tried to remove the drive, it not only failed but then when I restarted it would hang before Windows Explorer was finished loading.

Holy crap. (Details after the jump.)
(more…)

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11/17/2007


Fibber McGee and Molly - Inflatable Raft from Army Surplus

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:10 am

I received a request through the “Contact the Webmaster” button over there on the sidebar for episodes of Fibber McGee and Molly; while I usually post more…obscure programs (I know, I probably shouldn’t, but I’ve been collecting so long I sometimes get bored with the same old Suspense and Jack Benny Programs I’ve heard time and time again, so I’m always looking for oddball programs that you, gentle reader, might not have taken the time to hear before), how can I refuse a request?

But there were no specific episodes in the request, so I was in a quandary - which ones to podcast? One of the most amazing things about being me, running the Internet OTR Digest and all, is that while I am not an expert on any particular program, I almost always know experts for any given show. In this case, I contacted Al Girard, he of the Unofficial Fibber McGee and Molly web pages, and asked him which episodes he would recommend. From his list, this is the chronologically next episode having aired November 11, 1947. Enjoy!

icon for podpress  Fibber McGee and Molly - Inflatable Raft from Army Surplus [28:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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11/16/2007


Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 3:04 pm

From CNN: Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster

From the article: “The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.”

I’m reluctant to comment further, since I may inadvertently blaspheme.

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Empire Builders - Armistice Day Reunion

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:27 pm

As recently discussed on the Internet OTR Digest, here is one of the nine surviving episodes of Empire Builders, sponsored by the Great Northern Railroad and according to Elizabeth McLeod’s Documenting Early Radio page, discovered in the mid-1980s in their corporate archives. This episode, “Armistice Day Reunion,” aired either November 10, 1930 or December 1, 1930 - see the Digest for continuing discussion on this issue. (I am using the November 10 date for now, primarily because of the newspaper articles posted to the Digest by R. R. King. I am always open to correction, however…)

Our thanks to both Ken Stockinger and Jim Widner for providing the copies of these historical programs for the podcast!

icon for podpress  Empire Builders - Armistice Day Reunion [27:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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11/14/2007


I’ll never drink Starbucks again without a chuckle…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 3:06 pm

Our car was giving a break-pad warning light; now I know it’s probably a sensor, but I don’t screw with breaks, so I got an appointment to have ‘em checked this morning. While it’s there, I walked across the street to a Starbucks (with as many of them as there are, it’s a wonder there isn’t one in the back of the shop…)

Those who have been reading these pages for a while know how I feel about Starbucks…their motto should be Coffee for People Who Hate Coffee. I drink cappuccino, which is espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk…the correct recipe is one-third of each, but Starbucks cappuccino is closer to one-seventh coffee, a wet cafe latte. So whenever possible, I find a local alternative.

Which is where the chuckling comes in. Like I said, I decided to spend my wait at the Starbucks instead of the shop, since I brought a bunch of work along with me, and a weak coffee is better than none. As I was getting my second, the “barrista” (Starbucks is well-known for pretentiousness even though most of these kids couldn’t pull their way out of a wet paper bag) said to me, “I hope it’s ok, but let me know if it’s a little light.” (The correct term should have been “wet,” but never mind that now.)

I couldn’t help it…I started to laugh. I mean an embarassing belly-laugh, it struck me so funny. All I could choke out was, “Well, yeah, it’s Starbucks…it’s supposed to be light.” To which the poor child said, “But I don’t want you to be unhappy with your drink…I can add some milk to it.”

I almost dissolved into a chortling puddle the floor. As I type this, still sitting in the Starbucks listening to the three kids explaining the different coffee drinks to an unschooled patron, I’m still chuckling. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a Starbucks cup again without laughing…

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11/13/2007


Can You Top This? - First Topic, Bus

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:37 pm

Recently on the Internet OTR Digest there was a discussion about the show Can You Top This?, an audience-participation program where the listeners could send in jokes to tell; the panelists would then try to top the laughter level as measured on the meter, which would determine how much money the joke-sender would receive.

Our friend Jim Widner, he of the Radio Days website, provided a collection of episodes he’s acquired from the Net for running on this podcast. This episode is labled from November 7, 1947 and has as its first topic “Bus.”

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Can You Top This? - First Topic, Bus [29:34m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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11/12/2007


Intelligence deputy to America: Rethink privacy

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:50 pm

From the AP via CNN: Intelligence deputy to America: Rethink privacy

Wow…talk about frightening. From the article: Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence says, “Our job now is to engage in a productive debate, which focuses on privacy as a component of appropriate levels of security and public safety…I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but [also] what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that doesn’t empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere.”

Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that defends online free speech, privacy and intellectual property rights, rebuts, “Anonymity has been important since the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms…the government has tremendous power: the police power, the ability to arrest, to detain, to take away rights. Tying together that someone has spoken out on an issue with their identity is a far more dangerous thing if it is the government that is trying to tie it together.”

I’m with Mr. Opsahl - just because you have nothing to hide doesn’t mean you want your government to know all about you. I’m imagining the same arguments about, “We need security, so we have to mildly limit some civil rights” have been made time and time again, by the world’s greatest dictators and worst police states.

There’s a d*mned good reason to have the Constitution - it’s to protect the weak from the abuse of the strong. Congress should pass no law giving the powerful the ability to abuse the weak.

I don’t care if the government knows how I feel on this issue (indeed, I have forwarded a link to this posting to Senator Arlen Specter of the Judiciary Committee…I do care if the government places this information into an electronic dossier to keep an eye on me for “subversive thoughts,” or even if it simply records and parses the information as I send it from my office computer across the Internet to my server without cause or warrant. And that, kids, is the direction Mr. Kerr seems to want to take us.

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11/9/2007


Return of Fox’s ‘24′ postponed by strike

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:49 am

From the AP via Yahoo: Return of Fox’s ‘24′ postponed by strike

Ok, now I’m ticked off. Although this will at least give Kieffer some time to pay off his dept to society…

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