Your Hometown Country Connection


JD's Blog, a place where sight and sound have no meaning, where time and space are illusions, and where a DJ  air personality posts his slightly off-kilter take on this, that, and the other thing.
I was born in Philadelphia and lived many years in the Baltimore area. I've loved radio since I was a kid and consider myself extremely lucky to get paid to do it. I'm a 2002 graduate of the DC campus of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, I'm a writer, musician and cartoonist in my free time. And I'm a huge fan of the Philly teams: the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers as well as the Maryland Terrapins.
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Posts from June 2013
by JD posted Jun 28 2013 6:30PM
When you're a kid summer is a big deal. No school, do whatever you want.

When you're an adult, summer is no big deal. Gotta work, do whatever you ordinarily do. Still I look forward to summer, and now that it's here I'm still glad winter is gone. I don't normally get all goofy about the weather like some people, but for whatever reason I don't mind the heat as much as I do the cold.

And even if I do wage war against the heat in the form of my refusal to install my air conditioner until I absolutely can't take it anymore, it's all in good fun. Is it weird? Uh, yes. Is it really saving me any money? Who knows. I can't make head nor tails out of my electric bill. If you told me they print the electric bill in heiroglyphic, I wouldn't even blink. I just pay whatever they tell me and smile, because I've been without power in the summer and I'll tell you one thing: it ain't a picnic, and I do not want to do it again.

But I digress. I still think summer is the best time of year even if it doesn't mean what it did when I was a kid. Maybe you do too. Cheers and enjoy.
by JD posted Jun 26 2013 6:29PM
So I finally caved and installed my air conditioner. The holdout has ended. I was sitting there Sunday night, my clothes drenched in sweat. I was sucking down glass after glass of water, and I realized that I could expedite the process by just pouring it over my head. I'd drink it and it would come out my pores, seemingly seconds later.

So I trudged in, got the AC out of the closet, and set it up in the window. I wasn't happy to have to do it, but I'll freely admit I was glad when I turned it on and the place began to cool off. I'm thinking about sleeping on my couch, as I did last summer, because it is closer to the window. As it is now, I go to bed and by the time I wake up, I'm all perspired up again, but the living room is cool because the AC, which usually cycles off overnight, is running again. I have it set at 71 degrees. That seems to be about the optimum temperature. Much higher and it becomes uncomfortable. And I'm one of those set it and forget it types. I set the temp and leave it, and when I leave to come to work, I set the timer to kick on right before I get home. I mean, there's no sense running the thing when I'm not home, right? Unless it's cheaper to just let it run according to the temperature....I can never keep that stuff straight.

I'm sure I'll have more meandering thoughts on this topic as the summer continues. Cheers. Stay cool.
by JD posted Jun 19 2013 9:51PM
If you follow my posts on here at all you've probably picked up on the fact that I'm from Philadelphia and am a major supporter of Philly's sports teams.

That said, I lived in the Baltimore area for nearly 20 years, and if my teams are out of the running, I'm rooting for Baltimore. This was true last football season, when the Ravens went on to win their second championship. I rooted for them loudly and in each of their playoff games.

The same is true for baseball. I listened to Orioles radio broadcasts for many years. When I was out and about on any given summer evening, chances were I was listening to the broadcast of the Orioles game.

The first baseball play-by-play announcer I ever admired was Jon Miller, who called the Orioles games from 1983 (the year my family moved to Maryland) and 1997. He's not a homer. He calls a fair game and if the home team makes a mistake, he talks about it objectively. He doesn't defend the home team when they're wrong. And I really respect that. In 1998, when Orioles owner Peter Angelos declined to renew his contract, Jon Miller became the voice of his hometown team, the San Francisco Giants. Now the only time I get to hear him is when he calls the game of the week on ESPN.

And that's too bad. The O's current broadcast team, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel, are very good, and very much in the same vein as Miller. But in my book, Jon Miller is the best.

What reminded me of all this was a quote I saw on Twitter from Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully, a legend in the world of sportscasting, was the sole voice of the Dodgers for over 50 years. He was among the first "non-homer" play by play announcers, and doesn't give praise lightly. The quote I saw was him praising a player's on field performance, and it got me to thinking about the announcers I've come to admire.

Quite simply, it's guys like Vin Scully and Jon Miller that played a part in my wanting to get into radio as a career. There were many others as well, of course, but the rspect and admiration I had and still have for the guys calling my favorite sports made radio seem like the greatest job in the world, and I can now say definitively, I was right about that.
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Topics : Sports
by JD posted Jun 18 2013 6:21PM
Still no air conditioner. It's not so bad. Sure I stink but who cares? It's mitigated by the knowledge that I do have an AC and the option to install it if the heat really becomes unbearable. I'm sure I won't make it through the whole summer, but until I give in and turn the thing on I'll be able to bask in the knowledge that I'm saving a boatload of cash on my electric bill.
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Topics : Education
by JD posted Jun 13 2013 12:11AM

The Odd News File

June 12, 2013

Over the weekend, a couple got married in Chicora, in western Pennsylvania.  One of their invited guests brought a woman named Jennifer Martz as his plus-one.  And she saw that as an opportunity to STEAL from the new bride and groom. During the reception, someone noticed a bunch of cards were missing from the gift table . . . and also noticed Jennifer hustling toward the bathroom. Other female guests chased her down and saw her trying to FLUSH the cards down the toilet while she stuffed $475 in cash and $80 in checks IN HER BRA. The police came and arrested her for theft.  The groom's brother says the entire thing, quote, "ruined the whole time for everybody."

On Sunday, 17-year-old Keddy Oliver of Westbury, New York quit his job at a Target in nearby Hicksville.  And on the way out, he walked up to a family with two small children in the parking lot . . . and ROBBED THEM. He pretended he had a gun in his pocket and demanded money.  The mother gave him some, then Keddy took off. But it was pretty easy for Target to help the police figure out who the thief was . . . since, you know, he'd quit LITERALLY minutes earlier.  The cops tracked him down at home. He was arrested on two counts of robbery and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Last April, in Hesse, in western Germany, a bank clerk FELL ASLEEP on his keyboard.  At the time, he was transferring $85 into a customer's account.  But when he fell asleep, his hand landed on the "2." And he accidentally transferred 222,222,222.22 in Euros into the account.  That's the equivalent of 295.7 million U.S. dollars.  His supervisor DIDN'T NOTICE, and the transfer went through. The guy who was suddenly hundreds of millions of dollars richer either didn't notice or was TOO ETHICAL to withdraw it all. Another coworker ended up spotting the error and fixing it.  The clerk who made the mistake wasn't fired . . . but the supervisor who missed the mistake WAS.  She'd been an employee at the bank for 26 years. This is in the news now because a labor court in Germany ruled the supervisor only should've been reprimanded, not fired.  So they ordered the bank to reinstate her.     

by JD posted Jun 11 2013 10:11PM
Have you ever known a serial nicknamer? Someone who seemingly can't bear to ever call you by your name? They call you anything but your name. We've got one of those here at the station. I won't name names, but click here if you're curious. I kid...mostly.

But seriously, have you ever known someone like that? Did it bug you? I'm back and forth on that one. I guess it depends on what you call me. If you call me Dummy I probably won't respond. At least I'll look around to see if I'm the only dummy in your sightline.

It's entirely possible that I'm only hung up on this because I've never been one for pet names, endearments, or nicknames or anything like that. Which is a funny thing for someone who is known by initials to say, I suppose, but it's still true. So I'm an oddball, but you already knew that. Cheers.
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Topics : Human Interest
by JD posted Jun 5 2013 6:46PM
I'm fascinated by music formats. That is, the medium on which music is released. When I was a small child if you wanted to purchase music, you went to a record store and bought a vinyl LP or 45 RPM single or a cassette tape. Vinyl records had good sound quality as long as they were properly cared for. You had to store them in their jackets when not in use and only handle them by the edges.

The problem with records was that they were not very portable. Turntables were for the most part stationary, so if you wanted to listen to a record you were pretty much stuck within earshot of the speakers.

Cassettes were highly portable. For decades tape decks were installed in automobiles. My own car, which rolled off the assembly line in 1999, well after the advent of the compact disc, came standard with a tape deck. Which I now use to listen to my mp3 player. So that's progress for you. Anyway, back to cassettes. They were portable, yes, particularly after the introduction of the Sony Walkman and its endless string of imitators. But the problems was that cassettes, being a magnetic tape medium, often had abysmal sound quality, which deteriorated after a certain number of plays. There was background hiss, which was evident even on tapes manufactured by major labels. Another major drawback of cassettes was that they were not particularly durable. I developed an extensive collection of cassette tapes, and I remember several occasions in which I accidently destroyed a tape simply by dropping it. Sometimes you got lucky and were able to respool the thing and sometimes the tape stretched or creased, which either meant it would no longer work or it would have that one spot that sounded bad that would annoy you every time you listened to it. There were albums I bought on cassette three times. I am not proud of this fact.

The invention of the CD changed things, for the most part. CDs did not have the drawbacks of LPs. They were a digital medium, so some of the warmth of the sound of records was lost, but their durability more than made up for it. Also, they were portable like cassettes, without the weakness in sound quality.

And for a while CDs pushed records and tapes out of the market place. I recall a time, a very short time, in which you could go to a record store and buy your favorite album on LP, cassette, or CD. But like I said, that was a very short time. Soon the vinyl record went the way of the dodo. And now cassettes have done likewise. Personally I haven't owned a turntable at any point in my adult life, and the only cassette player I have owned in the last ten years has been the one in my car.

But these things are cyclical, and what was once the popular trend nearly always comes back around, now labelled "retro." A few weeks ago I was browsing a chain bookstore where I spotted a bin full of vinyl records. Most of them were older titles, from the 80s. But some were from current artists. The records were priced at $14.99. Ironically I remember seeing some of the same records in the cutout bin when I was around 12 years old. At that time, they were going for $5.00.

Nowadays, of course, you have the option of going online and purchasing a digital copy of a song, which you can then download. You don't get the packaging or the artwork, but you also don't have to leave your house and brave the masses in some retail environment. So I guess there are pros and cons to that, too. Personally I've embraced the digital revoloution. I only buy the songs I like. I carry my mp3 player nearly everywhere I go, and I can listen to just about any song I want just about any time I want. It works for me. There are people I know who are old-school. They like to see the package and the liner notes and all that, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm wondering what the landscape will look like in 20 more years. Cheers.
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by JD posted Jun 3 2013 6:23PM
My air conditioner struggle continues. I still haven't installed my AC. Last night I sat there and basted in my own sweat, but I was determined not to give in. Nights like that are the worst, though, when it's raining and really humid and moist. I'll wipe my brow with a towel and before long the towel is soaked through.

But I am determined. I will not put the AC in until I absolutely cannot take another second. Having pitchers full of ice-cold Arnold Palmers on hand helps. Cheers.
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