Saturday, July 25, 2009

Talk Thursday: Morning Glories

Or in my case, morning not so glorious. I have started this post, now for the third time. The other two starts were at work, and after you read you’ll understand why it never finished.

Wednesday morning at 6:50am my phone rang. I had dead air on my AM station by the time I turned the radio on, the audio was back in glorious stereo. Usually I would climb back into bed and feign a few more minutes of sleep. Where my mind was that morning I’ve no clue, but I did the totally unusual for myself and crawled bleary eyed into the shower.

Ten minutes later, yesterday’s mascara and eyeliner (no I don’t take my make up off the night before – never have) tracking in black rivulets down my face the phone rings once again. Turning off the water, I dry my feet, wrap a towel around me and trudge to the living room to find my AM is not back on the air. Crap! I go back to the bathroom – still no Music of Your Life streaming in from the living room, wrap a towel around my head, smear Noxema under my eyes in attempt to wipe off the black remnants of the day before – what a mess. I struggle to get a bra on my not too dry body, pull, wriggle, jiggle into a pair of old jeans, grab a clean tank top, sweatshirt, and step into my old slippers. Keys in hand I walk out the door. Dog not fed, coffee pot on, radios (some silent, some not so) turned on, bathroom lights and fan on. Needless to say I thought I was coming back soon.

In the golden days of radio many shows were done from ballrooms or studios with live bands. One of my DJ’s actually tells me stories of his glory days in the bowls of different radio stations across America’s west, the different shows he’s had, adventures and people along the way. It fascinates me. When I first started radio you had to have a license; today any verbally adept monkey, that can do two things at once (talk and push buttons,) can sit at a console and man a station. When I first started (which was not that long ago – twenty years) we still used cassettes, carts, and reel-to-reel tapes, CD’s were just about to come into existence. Now everything is satellite and computers. Yes we can still supplement the playlist with CD’s, vinyl, and tape but for the most part when new music comes out, I get a CD and record them into the computer, compile my playlist daily and go from there.

The problem this morning with my AM station – a Microsoft download didn’t. Or did partially, but it has corrupted something so my playlist is constantly rebooting. Through trial by fire I’ve become the companies “computer person” this despite the fact my boss drug me scratching, biting, and screaming into the computer age - he did not follow me, I still have to defrag his computer monthly. In attempting to diagnose the AM’s problem I reboot, reload, unload, reboot and do it several times over. Everything seems there, but wait – the status bar by the time in the lower right hand corner seems… well not right looking. Oh and the VT-Converter icon seems wonkie (very technical term.) By 7:30am I’ve called tech support in Los Angeles. He has me lookie loo, reboot, reload, unload, reboot, lookie loo a little bit more. And we collectively scratch our heads and wish for more coffee.

He’s not sure he’ll call me back. By this time my other duties of the morning, because yes folks I have a full other part of my job that includes producing out someone else’s show and then having my own live on air show, is being taken over by someone else on staff. Thank you Bubba because yes, I could have done it without you, but it wouldn’t have been pretty. Him picking up the ball gave me the opportunity to concentrate solely on what I’d not been yet able to fix.

Of course it could have been that I’d not brushed my teeth or used deodorant three hours before when I rushed to work. While waiting for Kevin to call me back I rushed to my office for my toothbrush, paste and deodorant I keep in my desk for emergencies. The deodorant is petrified and unusable. Crap! The tube of Pearl Drops must be a good fifteen years old, but it still works. But no deodorant is an intolerable predicament, so I did what any self-respecting woman would do, I sprayed some of the Pure Citrus bathroom deodorizer on to my fingers and rubbed my pits. Ouch! But I smelt nice and citrusie for the rest of the day. The towel had long since fallen on to the floor of the AM studio, my hair had settled in a gnarly medusa formation which brush and comb could do little to rectify – and hey, I’ve been to beauty college thank you very much. So I put it in a ponytail, $4100 dollars well spent.

Five hours later I can smell the burning coffee from my home a mile away. Arlo is howling for his breakfast and steroids. The AM is blaring in an audio duel from three radios and folks my bed is not made – an obsessive compulsion I must complete every morning for mental sanity – generally before going to work. The Pure Citrus is beginning to fail.

A production computer has now gone online as the AM on-air computer, the commercial load has been made up, and the entire calamity (I left out the inspirational Pure Citrus application – he can see the rest of the days progress for himself) has been explained to my boss. I totally suspect the culprit to be a dual failure between hard ware and software, but that official diagnosis and the prognosis will have to wait until the computer arrives via Fed Ex in San Pedro next Tuesday. Until then life is back to “normal.” And you’ve been spared a Talk Thursday post where I blogged about my inability to grow the Morning Glories that Sid sent me. TWF? They are weeds and I can’t grow them. There I said it.



foundinidaho said...

OMG, I so feel for you! I think i mentioned I have a friend who's a program director...dead air is BAD, I know that, this sounds worse.

I haven't been blogging either due to a) work b) dysfunction in the family c) my inability to deal with a or b.

Hopefully this weekend. Take care. I hope your blood pressure has returned to normal.

Cele said...

Hey Fii, it was pretty nerve wracking at the time, but it's my job. And yeah, dead air is bad, bad, bad. My girls still yell dead air at the TV when a station is having problems, or at the radio when their is more than three seconds of dead air.