Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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June 2009
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Your Sirius XM Bill to Jump About $2

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:20 pm

From the New York Times Gadgetwise Blog: Your Sirius XM Bill to Jump About $2

Gotta love this pull-quote: “It’s not a conundrum: prices go up, services go down, and I go back free FM.”

And if you read my comment on the Gadgetwize blog, you’ll see I’ve decided - July 29th, I will no longer be a full XM Satellite Radio subscriber. More on what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and how you, too, can stop paying the ever-increasing rates for less and less service in the upcoming weeks.

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Been a Little Under the Weather…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:19 am

The last few days, I’ve been down with this URI that has me hacking more than when I used to smoke. I’ve only been crawling to the computer once or twice a day (if that), and am way behind in my email, so naturally things conspired today to require me to push two issues of the Internet OTR Digest out to get important information to the subscribers. I promise, as soon as I feel a bit more human, I’ll catch up on the email. I’ll also have some thoughts about the two great friends of the Old-Radio hobby that were reported lost to us today, Ken Roberts and Gale Storm.

But for now, it’s back to bed.

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Ed McMahon dies at 86

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:59 am

From CNN: Ed McMahon dies at 86

From the article: “Ed McMahon, the longtime pitchman and Johnny Carson sidekick whose ‘Heeeeeeerre’s Johnny!’ became a part of the vernacular, has died. Ed McMahon had suffered several health problems in recent years. McMahon passed away peacefully shortly after midnight at the Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center, his publicist, Howard Bragman, said Tuesday.”

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Secureserver Rejecting the OTR Digest

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:59 am

Not certain why, but is currently rejecting The Internet OTR Digest with, “The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content.”

I have no idea what’s triggering the filter, but I do know handles mail for a number of hosting sites and small personal domains, so if you haven’t received a Digest in the past week and you have a small personal or business domain, might want to check with your provider to see if your mail goes through secureserver.

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E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:52 am

From The New York Times: E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

From the article: “The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.”

1984 is comming a little late…

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BREADBOX64, a Twitter client for the Commodore 64

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:48 am

BREADBOX64, a Twitter client for the Commodore 64

Oh, yeah, building clients for those modern machines. How comes no one has written one for the Sinclair ZX-81, huh? Can’t fit it in 1K of RAM?

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Paging Rick Spurlock…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:24 am

Jack French, he of the Metro Washington OTR Club and author of Private Eyelashes, sends the following:

Up until a few years ago, Rick Spurlock was a regular poster on the
Digest. His family recently contacted the Metro Washington OTR Club
with a request to get in touch with him. Our only contact with him
was publishing in the August 2000 issue of RADIO RECALL his list of
radio shows that made it to TV. We’ve had no contact with him since.

So, Rick, if you’re out there somewhere, please email me and I’ll
relay the family message. Or if anyone has any current
contact information for Rick, please let me know.

Send the info to me personally via the “Contact the Webmaster” form on the left, and I’ll see Jack gets it ASAP.

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SiriusXM Raising Prices…AGAIN!

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:25 am

Stop me if you’ve heard this before…

A few months ago, SiriusXM violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the FCC ruleset governing the merger by raising the rates on secondary radios in the family plan by $2.00/month, and by adding a $3.00/month charge for the on-line “service.” This caused me to reluctantly cancel one of my three subscriptions.

Then they began to charge a $15 fee for equipment swaps (these have always been free, at least on the XM side) they don’t even tell their subscribers about! This means if you buy a new radio for any reason and change the ID of the subscribed radio, they will charge you $15 for the privilege, just as they charge a $15 fee to initially register your radio. I don’t quite understand it, but you need to pay them for the right to pay them (?!), even if your radio is stolen or lost, and you spend a boatload of money to buy a new radio.

Now continuing the “nickel-and-diming” of their loyal subscribers, effective July 28, 2009 they are raising the rates for primary radios for everyone not on a lifetime plan by $2.00/month (actually $1.98), and “family plan” radios by $1.00/month (actually $0.97). Of course, they are prohibited by the FCC until next year from raising the rates, but they are doing it anyway.

How can they get away with this?

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Fox News reports David Carradine Dead at 73

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:16 am

From Fox News: “‘Kill Bill star David Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room Wednesday, his manager told FOX News Thursday.

His manager told FOX News that it is believed the actor died of natural causes.

Carradine, 73, was staying in Bangkok while shooting a movie. The film crew became aware of his absence when they went to dine out at a restaurant yesterday. When a producer went to his room, he discovered that the actor had died.

Carradine was best known for his role in the television series ‘Kung Fu.’”

It’s finally happened; I learned about something by watching the trending topics cloud on Twitter via Twitscoop. CNN doesn’t have confirmation of this as of this writing.

Edit 10:29am: AP now reporting the death a suicide, according to unnamed Bangkok police sorces, as per The Nation’s web site.

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KFC Responds…eventually

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:29 pm

A while back, I mentioned how KFC screwed up twice, first by providing a coupon without considering the all-too-obvious consequences, and then compounding their error by denying the coupon at their restaurants. While I whined about it here, I also contacted them directly to let them know the level of my disgust.

They finally got back to me today, and in one of the most ironic responses I’ve received from “corporate america,” offered me…wait for it…a coupon. Yes, that’s right, kids - if I rush and get my full name and address into their systems by end-of-business on Wednesday (hum…it took them over four weeks to respond to me, and now I have to answer them in two days?), they will send me a coupon for the same thing they refused a coupon for at the beginning of last month.

My response:

No, thank you. Your company has made it abundantly clear it may pick-and-choose
whatever coupon it wishes to honor on a whim, making any coupon from you effectively
worthless - you denied the others for no reason, why would I believe you would honor
this one? I will continue to patronize restaurants I can trust, avoid those I clearly
can not, and urge others to do the same.

So consider yourself urged. ;)

NB: Picked up chicken the other night from Royal Farm stores, a gas station with a kitchen in it, along with some excellent potato wedges for a little less than KFC, and it was closer to the house, too. The only loser here is…yep…KFC.  –cfs3

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