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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Next Stern Test

Talk about daggers!


You would think there's no pressure on me, just sitting in WITF's training studio to train for "Morning Edition."


WRONG.


There is a lot to do before you even open the mic in the business of radio.  A little thing called "prep time."


As I'm learning a whole new system, I've been awakening at 2:30 am to get ready for this.  I am if anything a firm believer in being on time, early if you can.  Generally, the local host does not need to get in until about 4, but I do need to get up, get dressed, get coffee, drive 30 miles, etc.  Usually I'm awake by then.


Of course, I couldn't sleep last night; readjusting the body clock at my age does not go over so well.  So I did not sleep; my cats did not help.


Qi shakes the entire bed when he scratches himself, because he is so big.  Also, he still has this obsessive-compulsive need to scratch himself to the point he's mutilating himself.  We don't know why; I'm gonna de-flea the little rodents today, but that doesn't seem to stop him.


Then Namid feels the need to be dominant female, and launches attacks at Sofia every chance she gets.  To Sofia, it's a game, which involves making as much noise as humanly possible while all 14 pounds of Namid galumphs after her to no avail.


Okay...back to it.  In the air studio, there's a lot to download, to set up, to prepare for.  Lots of buttons to push, to pre-set, to do this and that to.  It must all be right before you go; you hope.


With the new technology not only comes the margin for a comedy of errors, but also a darkly-humorous look at the Web.  We need web pages for certain things; wonderful, when certain ones don't work.  Ever.


Welcome to radio, folks; where even the best equipped of stations have breakdowns of the most simple of things.


Don't ever take your Internet for granted, friends...ever.


Then at the news desk, you need to see what's run yesterday, what was killed (no longer useable), what's new on the wire.


Now...you might think WITF is hoity-toity, because we generally don't do crime stories.  The axiom "If it bleeds, it leads" is not always the case here.  Not because we're worried about the sensitivities of our dear listeners, but because we look for more than ambulance chasing stuff.  Years ago, I would have called Bullshit, but I can see why there's a different view of it now.


Wow...maturity?  C'est possible?


Basically, it's get everything together and ready before you go in there, because you're not gonna have much time to do anything else.  Timing is the key for "M.E.," in that you have to know what the network is gonna do, and when.  They are generally very good at that.


The audience changes, too;  the 5 am audience is not the same as the 7 am, by and large.  At least we don't seem to believe so; anyway there's always someone listening.


Anyway...after a semi-disastrous first hour of the dry run, I slowly began to pick it up.  Still not 100% right on everything, and I am having to retrain my mind to think in a different way.


It's a mad world, up there.


Right now, I'm exhausted.  I arrived at the Office just in time for the doors to open, and the early crowd is here.  CP is in need of an audience; I recently learned where most of his former audience went, but I shan't say.


My brain and body both tell me I should just head home and crash.  Still who knows when I'd wake up?  I don't know how sane I'm going to be at the end of all this.


Oh, interesting...now, we use instrumental music at times, like the network does.  Most people are not discriminating about what they use as a bed, for their traffic reports, etc.


Me, I'm not like that.  As a former DJ and musician, I have ulterior motives.  I don't know if I'm going to be allowed to use my music tomorrow, but suffice to say it's not bad stuff.


I used Ronnie Earl's "Spreading the Love," his new one...beautiful instrumental guitar blues, jazz and other stuff.  Ronnie is the finest guitarist ever...and that's to me a fact.


Also picked up a semi-local guitarist.  Eric Astor has a CD that he put out about two years ago; I think he's from around here.  Anyway, that CD, "Coolfire," just sat in the rack all this time, and I finally took a chance.


Great stuff.  Eric Johnson influence to be sure; and he covers Chick Corea's "Spain."  Nice.


I'm gonna try and slip those in tomorrow...heh...heh...heh.


I will now be nervous as all hell leading up to this.  This is a big deal; it's not a sports report, this is live action and on a station where people expect an awful lot.  I'm up for it.  Wish me luck.



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