Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Grab bag

DIGITAL RECORDER

Any day now, the new digital voice recorder I ordered from Amazon.com should arrive. It’s a low-end model, but supposedly records a couple hours of high-quality audio and is Mac compatible.

I plan on using it as I would any other tape recorder. But there’s something else I hope to do – beef up my weekly radio news report.

I currently write a script and record myself using “Garage Band,” a program on my computer. When I’m all done, I create an Mp3 file and email it to the station.

This works, but the downside is that my short news segment is just me yammering away. It would sound a lot better with sound bites, short interviews, etc.

I’m fully expecting that when the recorder arrives, there will be several technical obstacles to overcome.

Once I figure everything out, I might even produce some extended audio features. I don’t know if the radio station would be interested in running them, but if nothing else maybe there’s a way to post them on the website. (Isn’t that what they call podcasting? Beats me.)

For example, if I had this tape recorder earlier this year, I could have made a great extended news report on the Mad River and how its threatening some riverfront homes. I interviewed a lot of folks and was hanging out near the river for hours. I could have created something interesting with the recorder – something kind of “NPRish” with gurgling river sounds, background noise, people talking, interviews and narration.

GO FURTHER

After putting out the paper, I was flipping around the channels last night when I came across someone on the Sundance Channel riding a bicycle down the exact same road I had traveled earlier in the day.

That got my attention. Turned out I was watching a documentary called “Go Further” featuring Woody Harrelson. Woody and his friends smoke a lot of pot as they travel down the coast, sometimes on bicycles, and sometimes in a giant bio-diesel bus. Along the way they stop and preach to people about eating organic, protecting the environment, etc.

“Go Further,” of course, is a reference to Ken Kesey’s infamous bus adventure.

Before I render my verdict on this documentary, based on the portion I watched, keep in mind a couple things. First, I consider myself an environmentalist. Second, I have a dog named Kesey.

That said, “Go Further” is a self-righteous, pretentious, lame, simple-minded, idiotic pile of dog shit.

There’s something likeable about Harrelson, but when he talks about environmental issues he tosses out simple-minded sound bites.

Don’t drink milk, it’s full of blood and pus. Huh?

At one point, he confronts a security guard in Scotia and says “I’m against logging.”

Against logging? All logging? What about sustainable, eco-friendly logging? I mean, we all use toilet paper. Does he read newspapers?

At one point a fellow, who may have been Woody’s brother, hooks up with a woman. He seems to lay it on a bit thick. Then they flee the scene in a Jeep SUV, presumably to boink.

So while Woody and Co. are bragging about their biodiesel bus and bicycles, they’re actually part of a caravan with gas guzzling SUVs! Wow!

Maybe they should go “further” themselves.

DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR TV

I heard that this is Turn Off Your TV week, or something like that.

You’re supposed to unplug the TV, read a book and chat with family and friends.

Don’t do it. It’s bad advice. People don’t need less TV, they need more TV.

So relax. Grab a jumbo size bag of Doritos, plop yourself on the couch and starting watching TV.

There’s nothing on? Don’t worry about. Any programming will do. If all else fails, you can watch Hitler’s army being decimated on the History Channel.

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