Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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Ken Nordine, 98, dies.

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 4:21 pm
Geoffrey Redick, Ken Nordine, and Bob Edwards
Photo shamelessly stolen from

From the Chicago Tribune: Ken Nordine, 98, dies. Chicago creator of word jazz, with a ‘voice that could give you the chills’

I have no words. You can listen to the Bob Edwards Show program from February 7th, 2011, and read Producer Geoffrey Redick’s comments about that interview.

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Somedays are Arts and Crafts…and the Edwards Show

Filed under: General, Radio Today, Bob Edwards Archives — Charlie Summers @ 2:00 am

Ok, I admit it, somedays I’m a little too involved with the Edwards Show, and the old XM Satellite Radio in general. One of the things that was in the Edwards Show archives, buried in a box, was a microphone flag…it’s one of those things you see on the microphone when someone is being interviewed, identifying the network or organization the reporter or interviewer is from. If you look at any of the studio photos or videos posted on the Bob Edwards Show Facebok page, you’ll see XM mic flags on all of the studio mics. Naturally, I stuck it onto my desk boom (where I record SummersTime). I took a photo and published it on an XM Satellite Radio fan site.

The maintainer of the site asked me if it was real, or if I made it.

This got me thinking just way too much…we have a bunch of equipment here at Chez Charlie, and the more I stared at the mic flag on my boom, the more I thought I actually could make one.

So I started researching. Turns out the hardest part of making an XM mic flag is…the flag blank. Most of the inexpensive blanks originating in China aren’t square-faced; I mean, they are square when seen from above or below, but the face where the printing goes is actually rectangular…roughly 10mm longer than it is high. The XM mic flag is almost square (it’s actually just slightly a trapezoid, with the bottom of the face a teeny bit larger than the top of the face, and yes I really am that anal about it!), so the cheap blanks just won’t work, even though the price is right.

I found and purchased some square ones on fleaBay, and the faces were pretty much perfectly square, but I never actually read the clearly-noted measurements…they were not quite twice the size of the XM flag!

I finally found an almost exact replacement at my favorite New York camera store, Adorama. So the “hardware” was finished, now the “software.” I have a press copy of the XM Satellite Radio logo in my files (downloaded gawd-knows-when from gawd-knows-where). I converted it to a vector graphic, and after editing in Inkscape (an open-source vector-graphics editor) imported into my wife’s Silhouette software.

Now…the vinyl color. To be sure, I ordered a set of 12″x12″ sheets of all five yellow colors available in the permanent Oracal 351. Once they arrived, I selected the closest (not an exact match to the silk-screened color on the original mic flag, but close), and cut four copies of the thing. While I was at it, I ‘created” a mic flag that, so far as I know, never existed; a triangular flag with the sideways XM logo on it.

The result:

The one bottom-left is the original silk-screened flag from the XM studios. The one on the bottom-right is the copy I created spending way too much time locating a properly-sized blank and applying carefully-measured and color-matched cut vinyl. On the top of them, the larger triangular one with the sideways XM logo, which really should have been long before I created the only one currently in existence.

But I couldn’t stop there, oh heavens no. There was one more set of graphics I wanted to see on a microphone flag…the Bob Edwards Show sunrise logo, and the XM Public Radio logo. And so…I did:

This one is actually one of those 50mm high/60mm wide inexpensive flag blanks from China, which clearly worked better (especially for the XMPR logo) than the cube would have. And now maybe you understand why Executive Producer Chad Campbell called me more than once the show’s “Biggest Fan” - I can get a little…obsessive…when something tickles my synapses.

And while I’d love to tell you I am finally finished creating microphone flags, there’s at least one more non-Bob Edwards Show flag I want to make, so looks like my wife’s Silhouette has a little more vinyl cutting it needs to do for me…

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Fred Foy Memoir

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:19 pm

Received the following today from Wendy Foy, daughter of announcer, actor, and friend Fred Foy:

Lone Ranger fans here is a once in a lifetime chance to obtain a very limited piece of broadcast history. As you know Fred Foy was the announcer that opened the radio Lone Ranger program with those memorable words From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver…

Fred had written a book about the inner workings of the program but was unable to get it published before his untimely death. A signed and very limited numbered (250 copies only) First Edition is being offered as a gift in a fundraiser to set up a museum display of his history in radio and The Lone Ranger in particular. For a tax deductible donation of $110.00, or more, to the museum where his display will be established you will receive one of these special editions as a gift. This First Printing is not for sale. It can only be had through this fundraiser. Numbers will be assigned in the order donations are received. Each will be hand numbered and signed by Wendy Foy, Fred’s youngest daughter. The total amount of your donation will go to setting up the display as all of the production costs are being covered elsewhere. Checks or money orders are to be made payable to The Wabash County Museum only (not to any person). The notation line should say “donation.” They are to be sent to:

Wendy Foy
PO Box 1313
Wells, Me. 04090-1313

Be sure to include the address you wish your copy to be sent to.
The book is being published by a non family member, who upon reading it, felt every Lone Ranger fan would love to have it.

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My Comments to the FCC Regarding the Removal of Net Neutrality Rules

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 7:11 pm

Submitted to the FCC in reference to Proceeding 17-108; specifically referencing comments by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai saying that what matters is the quality, not the quantity of the comments, preferring a single well-argued legal brief over potentially millions of common citizens demanding of the FCC basic protections:

I realize you are on-record preferring a well-crafted legal brief, but I am not a lawyer. I am just one of the citizens whose rights you are sworn to protect. Just some guy who doesn’t want to see my connection to ANY server, using ANY protocol, throttled because I am not using one of the paid services of my Internet provider - which, of course, in the vast majority of the country has no competition in the marketplace. Someone who depends on the FCC to by rule-making govern the public trusts under your control to the benefit of all citizens, not just a few corporations.

The idea that the governed would even need to argue for simple fairness in packet-sharing, something so basic to the proper functioning of the Internet, is astounding to me. Why Net Neutrality would be something to abolish makes no sense to any rational person with any understanding of the basics of how the Internet works.

And that the United States, the country who INVENTED the connection protocols that allow computers all over the world to be interconnected into this thing we call the Internet would even consider placing the whim of the few corporations controlling access over the desperate need of all of its citizens is truly an embarrassment to us all.

But then, I am not a lawyer, and this is not a well-crafted legal brief, so I assume it is your intention to completely ignore my comments. After all, why would I matter? I’m just a guy who is part of the public in public trust.

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AOL is Rejecting the OTR Digest again…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:45 pm

Honest, folks, nothing I can do about it at this point - AOL users are not receiving the most recent issue of the Digest, not seeing errors from other systems at this point (always possible eventually). Nothing I can do…once they decide to allow the Digest through, you can always request a copy from the archive server.

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Another Cloud Storage Service Dies

Filed under: General, News, Cloud Storage — Charlie Summers @ 12:41 pm

A little after noon today I started going through my normal routine, “leveling-up” on the China free cloud storage service 360 Weiyun. But I noticed I couldn’t get the 10 points for file sharing, since it wouldn’t let me share a file. What’s worse, all of the other shares I set up seemed to have un-shared themselves.

I thought this might be some temporary interruption (I am, after all, using this from the United States), but I started doing a little research anyway, and eventually found my way to the forum. There, right at the top, I found the following (translation by Bing):

Dear 360 users:

Hello! 360 head set on the line since the Internet always strictly comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements, and continue to invest substantial human and material resources and technical resources, to crack down on illegal behavior. However, due to privacy of cloud storage, management complexity, some criminals use 360 cloud storage spread pirated, obscene, pornography, illegal files, such as engaging in illegal and criminal activities, serious violations of the legal rights of copyright owners, has brought great harm to the society.

After careful consideration we have tough decisions, closing 360 personal cloud service, Enterprise cloud services. Network disk storage, content validity and security is resolved no longer considered before recovery.

We are about to adopt the following measures:

  • 2016 Between October 20 and February 1, 2017 a member refund. Membership of users, regardless of the remaining days, full refund;

  • November 1, 2016 cloud upload service, upload, transfer and other data including write feature is turned off;

  • 2017 Year February 1, no longer keep cloud data, turn off all users of cloud services and empty data, please be sure to back up your data before downloading.

This has caused you any inconvenience, we apologize and thank you for all the way!

I should mention here that I have just under 100 terabytes of free space I have acquired over the years (97.4 T to be more precise). And it is there I have been storing my offline backups of all of The Bob Edwards Show archives.

And now, I am rather and officially screwed.

Edit: Oh, lord, it gets better; now the web interface won’t allow downloading any file larger than 50M. Of course, that means I can’t pull it to the linux box to put it anywhere else, and basically have to start all over uploading from my home slow aDSL. Really not happy with the Chinese right about now…

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Adventures in Vaping

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:12 pm

Boy, this one is going to take some ’splaining. I have, for quite a while, been watching the vaping (smoking vapors produced by e-cigarettes and other devices) scene. While I am not interested in ingesting nicotine (see below), I looked at it as an interesting and fast way to consume caffeine - anyone who knows me knows I am terrible in the morning, requiring at least two double cappuccinos and sometimes a caffeine tablet as well just to think clearly enough to know which end of the keyboard to type on, and an energy drink in the afternoon to avoid napping at my chair. Since inhalation works so well for other drugs, why not caffeine? It should hit the system much faster entering through the lungs than through the digestive track…and trust me, in the morning I’m all about how fast I can wake up and feel alive.

(Explanation of my fear of nicotine - I am a smoker. Ok, it is true that I haven’t had a cigarette since the day my daughter was born in 1998, about 10:30am outside the Hershey Medical Center to be precise; but I still consider myself a smoker, just as a smart alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in decades never considers himself “cured.” My addiction to nicotine was very difficult to beat, lasting a year-and-a-half after my last cigarette - and like that recovering alcoholic, I know I am always only one drag away from a two-and-a-half-pack-a-day habit. I have no interest whatsoever in ever going through that again.)

More after the jump…


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So then this happened…

Filed under: General, Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:21 pm

Meant every word, BTW…it’s tough to find for those of us south of the (Canadian) border, but well worth the effort. Snappy dialog, lead actors willing to commit to the scene no matter how intense or silly, and at the center of it all, some real heart. Not to mention an awesome supporting cast, and guest stars like Natalie Lisinska (InSecurity, a favorite sitcom), Ennis Esmer (The Listener), and Nicholas Campbell (I know you think I’ll go with Da Vinci’s Inquest, but nope, my fave is 1987’s Diamonds, which shows I watch a lot of Canadian television). Honest, you won’t be sorry if you track down episodes of Private Eyes and spend some quality time with these people…

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What better way to leave Italy…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:41 pm

…than to see this while leaving the hotel for the airport…

More pics will be coming over the next few days. Bless the child, she took over two thousand high-res photos during her week in Italy!

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While we wait for the girl to get home, Scenes from Sorrento

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:16 pm

As I write this her plane is winging its way across the Atlantic. Here are some scenes from Sorrento on Thursday…after seeing these, I think I want to retire there…

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Team Godfrey

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:52 am

“Team Godfrey,” last evening. Not surprisingly, in front of a gelato shop. ;)

Front Row: Audrey, Tony, Kate. Back Row: Robert, Team Leader Michelle Godfrey, Jack.

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One More Picture from Florence

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:44 pm

The girl. Note the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, The Duomo, behind and to the left of the redhead.

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Florence, Italy

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:21 pm

The girl is in Florence until tomorrow, when she travels to Assisi and then Perugia.

Have you noticed the pattern in these photos she sends? There will be a tour of a gelato factory tomorrow, so they may lose her completely should she decide to move in. To the factory, I mean…

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Daughter Kate, Having an Italian Adventure!

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:32 pm

Some pics from Kate’s excellent adventure; she was in Verona today:

More pics at the SummersTime website!

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Copy to close down. I am annoyed.

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 9:53 pm

Copy, the Barracuda file-storage and sharing system, is closing down on May 1st of this year. I am not amused.

Ok, I admit, I didn’t use Copy for my personal stuff. Considering that I have 2 TERABYTES of free cloud storage at Baidu, 10 TERABYTES at Tencent, more than 57 TERABYTES at 360 (that is more than the hard drive space I have accumulated over these many decades!), and theoretically unlimited storage space at Lolabits, I have other places to store my stuff. Problem is, these sites are not in English, and so would be intimidating for my friends and clients to use. (Me, I have no problem if the Chinese government listens to my backups of The Bob Edwards Show, or looks at my vacation photos…I mean, it’s better than the NSA, after all.)

But others may not be so comfortable navigating systems in non-English languages. So I need to find an alternative. Problem is, like I said, I need something clients and friends will be comfortable using. I’ve started researching the alternatives, but am a little saddened to realize that some of the systems I have space on (Tresorit and SpiderOak, for example) no longer provide free accounts of any size, or have time-limited accounts, which is even worse IMHO. Once I choose a replacement based on ease of use and decent space allowances, I’ll post here. Meantime, I been working on replacements, for those (like me) who collect cloud storage space like some people collect bubble-gum cards. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.

I admit I always thought that Copy was relatively safe, having Barracuda behind it. But clearly it was a mistake to trust Copy from the outset…imagine how embarrassed I am that family, friends, clients, subscribers to the Internet OTR Digest, and everyone else I touted the company to is stuck with a useless product that will be eating their files come May-day.

Let me ask you, Barracuda, what do you think the odds are that those of us who are IT professionals will recommend any of your products in the future?

I’ll be posting results of all my testing soon…

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Snow Day…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 11:06 pm

A couple of pics from today’s snow day, and the two members of the family who refused to help with the shoveling.

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Making progress…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:18 am

Yes, I can now see my driveway…

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Frelling Winter Wonderland…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:28 pm

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Another Issue of The Digest Rejected by AOL…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:05 pm

Folks, I have no idea what causes AOL to decide the Internet OTR Digest is spam, but issue #96 has been rejected to all addresses controlled by AOL. Hopefully this will clear before the next issue releases, but who knows the mysteries of America OffLine?

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Another Massive AOL Bounce on the OTR Digest…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:44 am

Sorry, folks, but AOL has decided yet again that the Internet OTR Digest is spam, and rejected to all addresses under its control. This usually clears itself out after a day or two, but there is nothing I can do about it - this is all on AOL.

Hopefully once they stop blocking the server, you can retrieve the missed issue via the archive server.

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