Wednesday, December 27, 2006

msb-0098 What's wrong with advertising?

msb-0098 What's wrong with advertising?

Feedback come first, so...

the stats from my little show are looking:
  • worse
  • the same
  • better
Pick one. (Hint, hint, its the last one. :-)

Apart from that, its been mostly about, and taken care of on, the various blogs I try to visit (Got a blog to add to my list? Email me: charles (at) )

I'm hoping that I might have picked up a few new listeners from the exposure I got from being (or is that going to get from today's appearance) on Sirius Radio. (If you came on board from the promo show, and I figure some of you must have because the numbers are definitely up, won't you let me know by sending me an email: charles (at)

I'm over 5,000 downloads. After only 11 months. With a really special audience. Who'd a thunk it. :-)

---- "Snakes on a Plane The Official Unofficial Theme Song" by: "Former Fat Boys"

Things are pretty dead at this time of year.

Specially at the Dallas Fort Worth airport.

The tornadoes that blew through the area last Friday killed some people as well as our scheduled flight, and my wife's plans for our return.

The weather was really, really bad. Our plane was delayed getting in so that it couldn't take off again.

All of Sunday the 31th of December 2006 was spent in noisy airports and in steel cylinders pretending to be buses and birds before finally landing in the dark back home in Joysee.

Kudos to Continental airlines for having wheel chairs waiting at the gates and for making sure that our luggage didn't end up in Fiji, or somewhere else I'd rather be than in Joysee. :-)

Exhausted, my wife and I finally made our way back to our condo after enjoying over a week off in the wilds of Texas somewhere in between Dallas and Fort Worth.

(Being driven everywhere since I had to give up the car is warping my sense of geography.

I didn't give up on driving directly because of MS but I just didn't want to pay the parking tickets anymore when I couldn't make it down in time to shift to the alternate side or have to park far away and then walk to and from...

Having a car in Manhattan definitely detracts from your mobility.)

I came back to a heap-load of phone messages.

No kudos to [leave name of carrier out to avoid a law suit].

My friggin' phone didn't ring once while I was away and meanwhile people were leaving me all sorts of messages.

That was the whole point of having a cell phone, so people could reach me.

I am looking for a contract so I can get some income, uh, incoming

When I checked I found out that it wasn't working. Grrr...

---- "Roadless Traveler" by: "Anduze"

So ... Apart from the deliberately ambiguous phrasing of the question of this post, I'm going to play some tunes that I just happen to like. (I hope I won't get in trouble with any of you. My tastes are pretty eclectic. But, don't worry "Miss Chris", there's no Country and Western music. :-)

---- "I Dont Like To Travel" by: "Byther Smith"

The phrasing, the accents we place and the weight we give to each syllable, in the title of this podcast was deliberately ambiguous because we have a lot to discuss.

Lets take it as "What's "wrong" with advertising?"; meaning: "What's broken with the advertising model."

Every one of us, as a consumer, hates advertising.

Its intrusive, distracting, obtrusive and interfering. Its in our face and we don't want it there. We'd rather watch what we'd thought the show was about.

Getting fewer minutes of "Friends" doesn't seem fair when we wanted to watch the whole episode. Instead we're getting less content depending on "Friends" popularity.

The very act of liking something means that we get less and less of it because our eyeballs and ears are so fuckin' precious to the channels that carry both ads and content, and unfortunately content is not paying the freight.

Product placement was supposed to alleviate some of this problem by placing a selection of competing products, and the selection would be based on who had the bigger advertising budget.

All that's happened is that there was even more money involved and getting in the way of the content.

---- "Future Travel" by: "Dreamline"

Lets now take as"What's "wrong" with advertising?"

It makes many things available to us, of course.

I could take that as meaning what is broken with the advertisers.

The problem is the clock. In broadcasting that clock is the tyrant. In podcasting, it isn't.

In broadcasting every second that streams by is gone. (Even though TiVO and other catching/time shifting device help in that respect by putting you in control of when you watch, you're still limited by the broadcaster's clock and the ingrained blockbuster mentality.)

This means that every second that your eyes, ears and attention aren't focused on whatever media presentation device they are using is not a good thing. You are required to sit there and passively consume.

They are totally focused on selling access to your senses and they figure that you'll take what ever they're giving for what ever content they trade off for the 86,400 seconds of your time. (Think about that: access to your senses. )

And since they don't make any money delivering you content, the less of their precious 86,400 seconds that content uses, the more money that can make, and you know its all about the Benjamins, baby. Its all about the Benjamins.

In podcasting, you control when you watch, but you have access to so many more possible things to catch, things that couldn't possibly interest enough of an audience (things like a model railroading channel, say, or a special channel for a disease, like this one for MS.)

---- "travelling radio" by: "jr"

Last, lets take is as "What's wrong with advertising?"

The answer is that there's nothing wrong with advertising, if the advertising is relevant and not interrupting the flow of a show.

This is where podcasting can really shine.

Relevance is guaranteed by the narrow focus of this and other podcasts and ads can work if they're discreet.

You won't find car ads and other mass market goods or services here. I don't put them up because they are already successfully done in other media.

And since odcasts are not fighting with every other ad for your attention for that one precious minute, they can really be effective.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

msb-0097 X-Mas Filler 03

msb-0097 X-Mas Filler 03

Feedback comes first so...

There an MSer out there with as wicked a sense of humor as I got. (Yeah, "come down from outer space and molest your cattle" is a great line; specially with my attempt at an earnest delivery. I can't believe I came up with it.)

While I am still waiting for your emails, and pining to get home before I send some replies, I can report that my audience seems to have grown a bit and that my old episodes are being accessed. People are picking up the old shows. Kewl.

(Its always a bit weird to see that. I just hope I didn't embarrass myself too badly on some old episode. :-)

On the employment front, maybe the original client department is through with me but some other department within the same umbrella wants to see/meet me. (That's a big hooray!)

I am cautiously optimistic.

This episode, the theme is Blue, but I'm not... :-)

msb-0097 X-Mas Filler 03

Theme and 'incidental music' from:
by: "Guy David",
no album,
via personal contract

Song list:

"Green Roots Blues"
by: "Alex Lehrhoff"
album: "none"

"Mixing all the Blues"
by: "Angry Red Planet"
album: "none"

"Dark Blue"
by: "Allison Crowe"
album: "none"

"Blue Fog"
by: "Jen Elliott and Bluestruck"
album: "none"

"Ocean of blue"
by: "Marie Crehan"
album: "none"

"Chelsea's Blues"
by: "Pat Zelenka"
album: "none"

"I'm A Blues Man"
by: "Smokehouse Ramblers"
album: "Can't Get Used To It"


Photo Credits:

All images, synchronized with the songs, are of the artists and come via except when they aren't. :-) Those come from Google.





Guy David - intro & theme



iTunes link to download this show

Multiple Sclerosis Blog

This podcast:


You can leave me comments of the episode at // or

email me at charles (at)

msb-0096 X-Mas Filler 02

msb-0096 X-Mas Filler 02

Feelback comes first and there is some.

I got a donation via PayPal. Woohoo...

I can't record in audio but this blog and the podcast's blog are going to definitely note the fact that I received $20 from a fellow podcaster, Brian [name withheld by request] of the procrasticast. I sent him an email at thanking him :-) . That was my first contribution. Yay!

This episode, it the songs are White. :-)

msb-0096 X-Mas Filler 02

Theme and 'incidental music' from:
by: "Guy David",
no album,
via personal contract

Song list:

"Lily White with Hazel Eyes"
by: "Architect Fails"
album: "none"

"White Boy Blues"
by: "the Muggs"
album: "none"

"White Hotel"
by: "Torchomatic"
album: "none"

"White Bread"
by: "Liquid Floor"
album: "none"

"Red on White"
by: "Michael Joseph"
album: "none"

"Waving the White Flag"
by: "Smile Smile"
album: "none"

"Revolution Is Moot"
by: "Lady White Noise"

album: "none"


Photo Credits:

All images, synchronized with the songs, are of the artists and come via except when they aren't. :-) Those come from Google.





Guy David - intro & theme
Dr. Bill Code



iTunes link to download this show

Multiple Sclerosis Blog

This podcast:


You can leave me comments of the episode at // or

email me at charles (at)

msb-0095 X-Mas Filler 01

msb-0095 X-Mas Filler 01

There's going to be three shows, including this one, filled with music only, while I'm gone to my sister's, brother-in-law's, niece's, grand-nephew's and all of the assorted relations.

I'm reading this extremely interesting book called "This Is Your Brain on Music. The Science of a Human Obsession" by "Daniel J. Levitin". I'll have a report on it and the science behind it when we resume our (ir-)regularly schedule.

I'm also working on something large concerning advertising, our collective relation with it, our specific relationship with it and my relationship with it. I figure this will break up three upcoming shows with my banter and blather.

Feedback and MDMHvonPA's Roundups will have to wait until the new year.

Until then, I'll be pushing for the ol' "Red White and Blue".

This episode, its Red. :-)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

msb-0094 I got da Blues, I got da Blues.

msb-0094I got da Blues, I got da Blues.

Feedback come first, but there is really any.

Not directly anyway.

I got a new page hit counter back in November and its reporting that 80% of my visitors are first timers.

Either that's an anomaly caused by the fact that the page counter just doesn't have historic page load yet, or its really right and there is a lot more curiosity about this disease, or this podcast, than I had thought. (Nah. Its gotta be the stats.)


Well ... it finally happened.

My last client is no longer a client.

They were very, very good.

No, I'm not going to name them, but they know who there were.

I wish I could have done more for them, but there were corporate and corporate culture changes, and the presence of consultants was no longer required.


On the plus side, I've just applied to a Gummint Relations Committee (as described in the Winter newsletter of the Greater North New Jersey chapter of the National MS Society.)

We'll see if I get accepted. It would be a chance to get to influence and make a difference on the life of MSers in New Jersey and potentially beyond.


Its always a bit of a downer to be let go around this time of year...

Good luck finding anybody who's going to make a decision about hiring anyone at this time of year.

To quote that prolific writer, "Anon.":
"I'm sorry but we don't see any openings until May or June.

Oh and Merry Christmas to you and your family
and not to forget:
"Recession is when the other fella loses his job.

Depression is when you lose your's."
(I think that last one is actually by "Will Rogers", [it certainly has that laconic pace and "mordant"wit,] but Google can't find it and political humor isn't my library's "forté".)

So I'm doing some ravelling reveilees, without any comment, for the next few episodes
except to remind you all of the upcoming crip invasion of the "Pacific Coast Hellway"'s "Serius Stars 102" time slot on January 2nd, 2007.


That'll be a thrill. An MSer on the air. ("Fuck Corporate Radio"), as "C.C. Chapman" likes to put it. ( is another URL to get you to )

I'm really sorry I didn't get to go to a couple of events where he was but with MS I really couldn't go.

We'll just see what that brings as far as new listeners.


No, I'm not bringing my mobile studio with me because I really don't trust the airline security staff to not screw with it, and me, and I can't afford to FedEx it.

In the past, you know I would have done it, taken my stuff down there, but now, with all the travel and personal baggage restrictions, "no fuckin' way!"

I'll just read from and write to you guys on the blogs until I get back. (Then again I may bring my Samson mike and record the shows with CastBlaster on my brother-in-law's computer.)

I'm putting four shows in the can (well up on the server anyway, :-) and I'll be releasing then on the days when they would go out anyway. But they just won't be the same.

MDMHvonPA's Roundups will have to wait until I get back to the studio/home office. (Unless of course he got some equipment for Christmas with which to record his own dulcet tones. :-)


I'm sorry to be so boring but I'm been reading a book which is definitely "not" boring, so my excuse is that I've been in "absorption mode".

The book is "This Is Your Brain on Music" by "Daniel J. Levitin" (ISBN: 0-525-94969-0).

Its a fascinating, heavy slog, forcing me to learn new terminology for things that I thought I knew, and explaining certain things to me that I had wondered about since taking music classes at Dawson College in Montréal in the early seventies.

Cognitive science has made some real advances and some real discoveries with the development of PET scans and other MRI techniques.

I won't go into it with you but suffice it to say that the processing of music and the mapping of the audio processing in our brains is a lot more distributed than I'd ever suspected;

enough so for me to know that Mullah Omar and his ban on music was fundamentally doomed to faillure because our fundamental physiology, the very core of our beings, is dedicated to the processing of music; and as we evolve, it's only becoming more so.

I'm going to read this book twice at least and will likely revisit it through the years like I did "Systemantics" by "John Gall".


Note to serving president Bush, or his successor: read "The Prince" by "Niccolò Machiavelli" (ISBN: 0-226-50044-6).

It explains exactly what needs to be done to conquer Iraq (or anywhere else for that matter.)

You won't win until and unless you "move there" and properly occupy it.

The insurgents/rebels don't respect what they, rightly or wrongly, currently perceive as an absentee landlord. Neither does the populace. (And neither do "we".)

Prepare to move the seat of the "American Empire" to Iraq, or prepare to write it, and the billions of dollars expended and the thousands of lives lost, off as an unfortunate adventure.

But move into Saddam's Palaces and you've won. Its that simple ... and that complex.

Monday, December 11, 2006

msb-0092 Uh, I won... Holy crap I won!

msb-0092 Uh, I won... Holy crap ... I won!

Feedback comes first so...

Thank you Miss Chris for your sentiments on the last episode: "msb-0091 Serious Sirius Christmas Fantasy". (Go to the blog and read the comments if you want to know. But, yah! I am da man! :-)

Brain Cheese seems to be under the weather, as does Friday's Child, or at least her partner, so go over and drop them a note of encouragement.

MDMHvonPA will shortly be regaling us with his roundup of the blog-o-sphere.

I gotta tell ya, it takes me a long time to record those because I'm always cracking up at some point or other.

The expressions and "tour de phrase" he uses are priceless. Sometimes I'm trying to read his stuff for the tenth time, and I'm still guffawing.


Onto other news:

The "Your big break! Be a Sirius DJ For a Day - For Charity" contest didn't quite turn out the way my life usually does.

Uh, I won... I won! I won? :-)

I'm still waiting on Mark Yashimoto Nemcoff to get in touch with me regarding the money (My credit card paymentwon't go through? Should I send a cheque?)

I'm also hoping to get an MP3 that I can actually use from "Don Lafontaine" (The man who's done all those "In a world where ..." movie, tv shows, tv ads (Geico is the most memorable one,) and radio promos. [ ] :-)

"In a world where disability strikes 10 per cent of the population,
only one man has the guts to take on the powers that be,
and raise his voice in a challenge to media demagoguery
and the tyranny of the mass market.

That man is Charles Rovira and he can be heard at
That would be "sweet". (I'm also dying to find out what is that mike is that he uses [the picture is on his site] :-)

But I'm going to "Be a Sirius DJ For a Day" this January. Yay!

Sirius have about 6 million listeners.

After doing some math, like who's listening at specifically that time, I figure that works out to maybe 50 MSers who might catch the show, maybe. Maybe I'll be able to pick some of those up.

(Then again, who knows if there might be some potential advertisers listening.)

We'll see if I actually reach some new MSers with this show.

Woo, hoo...


I'm also commissioning a cartoon figure of "Ixy" walking around with a red cane.

"Ixy" will be my stand-in. Complete with my red cane.

I figure it's got to be more appealing, representing us coping with MS, than "Larry the Lesion" representing the disease of MS. (Google for "Larry the Lesion" and you'll get to "Mandatory Rest Period" [], Tod and Kim Maffin's more medically oriented MS web site and podcast.)

Tod and Kim Maffin tread where I don't want to go. Mostly because I'm am "not" qualified.

What I "am" qualified to do for us MSers is to listen to any and all of us and to put out some entertaining shows, while opening the door to information we do need.


Here are some facts about me:

My IQ is in the 150s (Sure, sure. So why do I feel so stoo-pud. :-)

My cholesterol is in the 160s.

My weight is in the 170s.

My height is a meter, 80. (okay, okay. I may be, uh, stretch-ing, it a bit. :-)

And my health, in general, is excellent.

Apart from the sclera affecting my motion, I'm in the absolute pink of health.

So why do I live with a constant, nagging sense of dread?

Why do I keep expecting to hear the other shoe drop?

Its part and parcel of being a realist, I guess.

I always remember that "In to every life a little rain must fall" and, just like buying mutual funds where "past performance is no indication of the future", I have been hit by a shit load of, uh, shit loads.

But that doesn't mean that I'm suddenly due for a turn around.

Life doesn't work that way.

Only Goofie, down at the entrance to "Disney World", sings "Oh, the world owes me a living..." and only a two dimensional cartoon character could possibly believe it.

Lets look at the economics of the situation with a sense of social as well as fiscal responsibility.

According to the W.H.O., the World Health Organization, 10% of the world is disabled. ( (I'm quoting some real world facts so you don't think I'm just pulling numbers of of my ass.)

That's about 600 million people, six hun-dred mill-ion people, of all ages, sexes, races and cultures. (That's twice the population of these United States.)

Right now, we're ignoring that ten percent of the world, for their consumption, and still paying out ginormous sums in health care, which is:

  • health insurance, (companies which make sure that they don't pay out because that impacts on their bottom line,) and
  • health care providers (also companies which make sure that they don't pay out in drugs and services, because that impacts on their bottom line.)
Meanwhile we, the health care users, are getting the short end of the stick because we're immediately suspected of malingering, and then, to add insult to injury, we are prevented from contributing except as guinea pigs.

That is so stupid, short sighted and wasteful (and I hate wastefulness. I regard it as a personal offense to my sense of parsimony.)

To combat this attitude, I am running this podcast.

It can be a boon for the drug companies and the other paraphernelia and service companies.

But, it can be an even bigger boon to us MSers. We can find out what is out there for us.


I went into a kind of denial after my recoveries from my two first episodes...

I lived in blissful ignorance of MS for almost 15 years after my first undiagnosed episode, and then for another 15 years until I had a third relapse and had to learn to cope with walking with a cane, and by then denial was "not" an option.

And the mass media was an unwitting co-conspirator in my eventual disability.

There were no media outlets for information about the disease and the treatments that could have abated it.

It was "far" too easy for me to bury my head in the sand.

If there had been a show like this, one where I could tune into and they weren't depressing my ass off with jargon and terminology, I might have taken better care, appropriate care, and I might have prevented my having to use a cane to "schlep" around, slowly.

What made me attractive to my employers over the years, my brains and my ability to use them, are now hampered by what has happened to my body, and to my central nervous system.
(And once you fall off the radar ... well, you've fallen off the radar, haven't you.)

But I'm no less intelligent (and neither are all the other MSers I've encountered in the blog-o-sphere.)

But human beings rather waste what doesn't fit in, wouldn't we, rather than just "listen" to any ideas from those who no longer fit in.

Well this is "that" show, and hopefully the first of many, where the square pegs start, not just moaning and groaning, bitching and whining but start to contribute to the wider discussion about what can be done about us (beyond Hitler's "final solution",) with us and for us.

10% of this country is not making it and 5% of this country can only make it part of the way, part of the time, because the rest of us, the 85% of this country that are not currently disabled, are not asking what we 10%ers, and what we MSers, 'can' contribute.

We have brains and we have experience and we are 'not' being consulted.

We are rarely seen and we are treated like shit because this country has never known what the Hell to do with anybody who is 'other.'

Yes, we are 'other.'

Stop being scared of our differences.

We aren't Martians.

We won't come down from outer space to molest your cattle.

We aren't a drag on the economy, unless your economy isn't being 'realistic'.

This show is about injecting a little reality into all our lives.

And I'm not going to sit here and preach to the choir.

I'm trying to use the internet and this podcast to promote some efficiency into the commercial reality of our existence.

That's what winning this promo spot means to me.

I have a model, and like all models, it being honed and refined through what I experience.

Its a model of communications in the internet age, far from the tyranny of the numbers; the concept of "the hit show" being shoved down our thoats, when its just a reduction of a whole bunch of focus groups.

Its a way for MSers to take their place and their opportunity to get the information we need out here.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

msb-0091 Serious Sirius Christmas Promotion

msb-0091 Serious Sirius Christmas Promotion

vvvv Not in the show vvvv

If you've been listening to Pacific Coast Hellway, you'll no doubt have heard my name, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, "Chuck the Canuk," mentioned on the show concerning my high bid for his charity auction.

This episode is a fantasy piece, because somebody's bound to bid more that I did, but, in the meantime, I've gotten all that free advertising. :-)

Who knows, with millions of listeners, that may translate to a listener or two who might enter the URL in their browser and subscribe to the show.

And to be honest, this is being done for the advertisers ears more than its being done for our ears.

^^^^ Not in the show ^^^^

Welcome to a very special edition of the MSB Podcast. For a moment, we're stars in a portion of the Sirius firmament. (That constellation, "Canis Major," just happens to be one of Orion's hunting dogs. ... Son of a Bitch ...)

Many thanks to Mark Yasimoto Nemcoff and the Pacific Coast Hellway for having run this promotion for the David Foster Foundation (The links are all on the show notes at Or, if you're listening using iTunes, this is an mp4 so they're 'clickable'.)

This episode will be divided into two segments:
  • one twenty-four minutes long for the audience who are listening on Sirius Starz 102,
  • two for the spill over which will be on the normal podcast at
So what's this podcast about?

First and foremost, its about putting some podsafe tunes out there, usually picked around a theme, that people can enjoy. This episode, its all about Christmas.

I'm not a doctor, I'm an MSer. I don't talk about MS. I leave that up to the pros. I talk about how its affecting my life, my perception of life and things related to disabilities in general.

(And if you're driving home right now, watch out where you're going, or you could end up in a different kind of car crash than MSers did, or stepping in front of a bus, or something; so watch your ass.)

Second, it's about providing a specific niche channel for advertisers, the makers of products, goods and providers of services, that people who have this disease need to know about.

I've even got an advertising model that keep me out of their faces by giving a separate show per ad, and keep them out of my face.

Third, its a chance for me to have some fun with all of you, though that sometimes involves me bitching and ranting about things. (Mark Yashimoto Nemcoff definitely does not exclusively own that privilege.)

Lets start this off with a rocking tune: "Not So Silent Night" by "Charlie Crowe"

---- Not So Silent Night by Charlie Crowe

The gummint is an endless source of stories for me.

Between one thing and another they always fascinate with their endless opportunities for fuck-ups, fuck-overs, and general systemantic laws and flaws ( ).

Systemantics color my perception of the entire world.

Its about systems displaying antics, also called systems opposing their own function, or known as semantic anomalies, as described by Alfred Korzybski ( .)

Like, why did Egypt build the Aswan dam?

To control the annual flooding of the Nile and produce electricity.

And it certainly does that... But!...

So what happened?

Well, in stopping the flooding of the Nile, they found that the soil around it in the delta was becoming very poor.

What did they expect? Its only sand. Silicon dioxide. Useless to carbon based life forms.

The annual flood was the source of nutrients that the plants could use.

So that now they need to make fertilizers, which just happens to use up more electricity than the entire damn dam produces.

The net effect of the Aswan dam is a negative.

The Egyptians would have been better off finding some other way of coping with the annual flooding of the Nile; like moving out of the freakin' flood plain and building some levees way the fuck out. (Something that would've helped with Katrina too.)

But not to worry...

The dam, and lake Nasser behind it, is silting up.

The turbines are choking on muck, which may very well dispose of the problem by rendering them useless.

This will eventually make for a swell movie featuring the Aswan damn dam being blown to Hell and back.

Other examples are:

"Health care," which should properly be called "health don't care". Living with it as I do, I know what it really is. And its not pretty.

"Life insurance," which doesn't insure that you'll have one. Just that if you stop breathing before they stop your coverage, (and believe me they work out the odds so that they'll stop your coverage just in time,) your survivors get a consolation prize.

"Disability Insurance" which requires an extremely un-disabled, rugged constitution and almost super human stamina to jump through all the hoops, loops to make it over and past the kooks, to even apply for (and if you really need it, you can't even contemplate doing it.)

Thr really fun part are the tests that they require. By the time they approve the last one, the results from the first are too dated. And meanwhile, you're doing this entirely with out any income.

(Remember, its disability insurance. You can't work. And if you can't work, you'd better have some money put away to live on; which will screw you on the "means" testing; which means that if you can somehow scape enough to live through the entire process, you obviously don't need it. Been there, done that. Fuck 'em all where they breathe. They're moils who use their teeth to circumcise you.)

And so on...

Lets give a listen to something festive: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by "Chris B."

---- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Chris B.

As long as I've got the Sirius listeners here, there's something I need to get off of my chest.

It really chaps my ass that subway riders that won't move over to give me the seat nearest the exit doors.

I don't know which is more stupefying, being stared at right in the face by some gum chewing, fat cows' bovine eyes or when these people pretend that I'm invisible.

I've got a cane and its painted red for Christ's sake.

Stand the fuck up. You can afford to lose they weight.

I can't afford to break a hip tripping over the parcels you leave at your feet, in the aisle. (But I have used those parcels as a landing cushion.

"Merry Christmas chil'. Sorry but some cripple fell over an' sat on your dolly's head." :-)

And don't put your fuckin' face down in your paper.

Do you really, suddenly need to look at it as much as you usually stare into your handkerchief, like it was a book of revelations.

Fer Christ' sake, its only "The Post". I'm sure Rupert Murdoch won't mind this once.

Instead, I have to teeter my way to eventually park my ass in the middle of the bench of seats and find some way to turn around and get my heiny down without falling over.

That when there even is a free seat in the middle.

The reason the handicapped need the fuckin' seat is so that we can actually maneuver our asses down while hanging onto the damn pole. And getting up is as much of a bitch too.

Fuck, Al Qaida should feel real safe.

We'll never see a fuckin' terrorist with a knapsack filled with explosives on the subway because we don't look at anybody.

Any more than we look at each other in the elevator.

And to make sure that you're listening to me here's: "Do you hear what I hear" by "Dusty Hughes"

---- Do You Hear What I Hear by Dusty Hughes

But we don't have it all bad.

MS may be an auto-immune disease,
which causes scarring on the myelin sheath around our nerves,
which gives us a noisy nervous system,
but if you play your nerves right
and ride the razors' edge between too little sensation and too much,
modulating the noise, as it were,
the amount thereof can be used to cause absolutely mind blowing,
toe curling,
crawl out of your skin,
cascades of orgasms.

You think you know sex?
You don't know diddly.

My sex life is indescribably ... Well words just fail me.

But trust me. I pity you... :-)

So lets listen to: "Just Stockings On'" by "Munk"

---- Just Stockings On by Munk

Again many thanks to Mark Yasimoto Nemcoff and the Pacific Coast Hellway for having run this promotion for the David Foster Foundation.

Say Goodbye Sirius listeners. You're probably never hear from me again, unless you tune into .

Oh! Since, according to the World Health Organization, you're nine time more likely to be healthy than not, next time you park in a disabled parking spot, remember that my cane has a nasty spike on the end of it that is perfect for puncturing the side walls on your tires.

If you're not helping, then stay the fuck out of our way.

---- 24 Minutes are over

Okay gang.

I just want to wish
that you have, or had
(these shows are evergreen so they can be downloaded for simply yonks,)
a Merry Christmas,
or a Happy Hanukah,
or a Happy Kwanza,
or whatever,
and a Happy New Year.

I look forward to being with you, and hopefully, though tragically, with more of you in the coming year.

That's it for this episode..

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

msb-0090 "Shall we play a game?"

msb-0090 "Shall we play a game?" ... "How about global thermo-nuclear war?"

Feedback come first so...

No I haven't gone nuts and/or emumurate on you. The missing episode numbers on this blog are not caused by my lesions or by gaps in continuity. The whole shmeer, the whole schmegeggy, the whole magillah, is on tap This is my writing blog.

Its not in here if a podcast episode involves something else or something from somewhere else (like, let say, an ad, [ oh, just let me find a sponsor, just one ... pleeeeze ] :-)

I got an e-mail from Sherry telling me that she wasn't able to enter comments on my site. Hmm. Which site? Was it on, a.k.a., or was it on . I know that blogger was down for a few hours and even I was left waiting for it to come back.

We're about to play a few "Best Of..." shows to tide us over until new years because I'm going to spend time with my sister and the relations. Hoo-freakin'-ray. (I'm probably going to go through DTs from not recording this show for the holidays. I'll miss doing it, like you wouldn't believe.)


I just went to the monthly meeting of the MSers' support group. It was a little pre-Christmas bash; a real blow out riot full of booze and babes.

Okay. There was no booze and the babes were all fellow MSers. We were home by 20:30 (8:30 PM) after having some Popeye's chicken, my wifes' salad and some delicious homemade deserts.

Its was a fun little meeting to wrap up the year with.

I got to meet some other MSers who hadn't been at the last meet up. (I discussed this in msb-0077)


On Wednesday December 6, 2006, I was sitting in my favorite hang-out when I heard, (well I actually saw it because the sound was off and the transcription of MSNBC was scrolling across the top of the screen,) that some major corporations and the gummint are actually thinking about my idea of having everybody's medical information be web accessible. (Actually, lets be honest, I am on about the $150 laptop for empowering the disabled, and keeping the records straight. It looks like "ol' grinchy" is going to screw us out of the laptop. Fuckin' great!)

This morning had an article about it. (Which heans that C-NET will be podcasting it shortly.) The gyst of it is:
Five major companies have joined forces and invested in what appears to be the ultimate personal medical-records database.

Applied Materials, BP America, Intel, Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart Stores have sunk an undisclosed amount of money into the Omnimedix Institute, a nonprofit organization that developed and will manage the database, called "Dossia." (From:

If those five companies see the benefits (pardon the pun) of reducing their benefits, you can bet the gummint sees that this would definitely be of, uh, benefit.

Remember what I was on about in msb-0088?


Told you that if we saw any benefits, they would occur as a fringe, uh, benefit, of the need for keeping accurate record keeping. (I know ... I know ... "Wipe that smug grin off your face.")

The HMOs and health care providers are not exactly on board with the idea but they can see some cost reduction benefits, not least of which are the avoidance of duplication of medical records and the clerical errors that creep in with every entry and re-entry and re-re-entry.

They're thinking of creating a secure separate internet (or at least a secure, [viz. encrypted, ] virtual web,) to handle the traffic.

That has some implications for the connection and IP providers and for the thousands of doctors, clinics, hospitals and so on. For one thing, if the records are going to be stored in a secure centralized database, possibly national and possibly international, that will free up the data storage space at the point facilities (and its going to be a great time to invest in data storage hardware makers.)

I'll miss listening to the modem at my GPs practice as he is still in the dial up age... NOT!

In the mean time, I expect some "intense" lobbying from the larger drug and medical supply companies to try and kill this and "nip in the bud" any attempts to discover the shenanigans that they are up to, and that have been driving the cost of health care through the stratosphere.

Great! I feel prescient.

Maybe they'll even be forced to discover podcasts like this one, laser focused on their respective market, to use as a far more efficient means of reaching their audience.

(Its yet another systemantic axiom that people don't experiment with anything unless it doesn't cost them anything now, or in the future.

They will "stay the course" at any cost as long as they're not the ones paying it.

But if you want to see them innovate, there's nothing like a huge cost saving, or a prison term, to motivate their stupid, fat, lazy, obstructionist asses. Even then its like watching a demolition derby with steam rollers.)


According to an article from the BBC ( most of world's disabled webbies are being poorly served by the web.
"The World Health Organization estimates that there are around 600 million disabled people worldwide, which represents about 10% of the world's population. Of these, around 80% are believed to live in developing countries.
That still leaves 120 million people in developed countries, that's us folks, who are being poorly served by sites which are poorly designed.

Its not that they couldn't be designed properly, its just that the website designers are all healthy little pricks who don't even realize that their lovely, flash enabled creations are pains in our collective butts.

They just don't know how to do their jobs.

They need checklists which would guide them in building the darn things. Stuff like "Designing More Usable Web Sites" ( )


For no particular reason, the title for this episode is from "WarGames" ( a movie starring Mathew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Ally Sheedy and others, shot back in 1983. (Before a few of you were even born, I'll bet.)

I've been mentioned on the Pacific Coast Hellway, by Mark Yashimoto Nemcoff, because I bid $510 to be the top bidder (a temporary state I can assure you, but for the moment, I'm enjoying a few day's free publicity, :-) on the charity auction for the David Foster Foundation ( of his time slot for a day.

I sincerely hope that is not the end of the auction, but you know I'm going to do a fantasy show about this next. :-)


I've been learning different things about how to get advertisers on board. And my business model keep us out of each other's way.

The trick, if trick it be, is that I have to sell them a relationship. (I'd go on about this but that would be giving things away. :-)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

msb-0088 "Dave's Insanity Sauce"

msb-0088 "Dave's Insanity Sauce"

Feedback comes first so...

I seem to have touched a warm and fuzzy spot with the bloggers with my last post. (I don't know if they're responding to my blog or my podcast but since one is virtually the other, it doesn't matter.)

My mail was overwhelmingly positive and proved my point: high-tech equals empowerment over a disability.

Of course "we" know all about that. We're bloggers and, in a couple of cases, podcasters.

But that's just us. We never hear from, or almost never about, those people who aren't plugged in. (If we expected to, that would called a systemantic flaw. [But since I am aware, it just means that I have to use another communication channel.])

That got my wife, Lee, to start on at me about helping people get computers.

There are all kinds of ways to get free or nearly free computers for the disabled.

If you're in the Chicago area, look into helping people who need them by logging onto

Jim Mullen is a Chicago police officer who was left disabled, paralyzed from the neck down, after getting shot in the line of duty.

There is FreeByte ( ) which lists resources of all types throughout the world.

The audience from across the pond might have friends who could benefit from this. There are resources for them as well, though this involves Googling around.

The general consensus with all disability groups is that the use of computers, and specially of the use of the web, is very empowering and can make the difference between isolation and a feeling of abandonment and being able to successfully cope with the disease, regardless of what it is.


To Joyce:

we're all, uh, concerned about BrainCheese, but she's actually okay.

I laughed out loud at her blog post from Sunday, December 3rd, 2006. "ABC = Already Broadcasting Crap; CBS = Clearly Broadcasting Crap; and NBC = Nicely Broadcasting Crap." A brilliant and succinct summary of the value of modern broadcasting media. :-)

But seriously, maybe we should instigate a "buddy system" of MSers, sort of like having a LoJack for the unwell. (Though if we were all wired, we should be wired to somebody who can actually do something. Concern is touching, but ineffective when you need a tourniquet instead. :-)

About your idea about my idea about giving us all a PC.

I'm just thinking that for $15o, its actually the lowest cost way to ensure a certain minimum of connectivity and since they small and portable, these laptop PCs make a pretty fair base line.

Actually, I'd make one small addition: a port to a SRAM dongle so you're not stuck carrying the whole thing around all the time.

It would be useless waste of money in my case. I already have lots of machines and techie toys.

The MS Society is the wrong vehicle for giving away these PCs. Let the MS Society do what the MS Society does; hold fund raisers and bike-a-thons and walk-a-thons and read-a-thons and what ever else they do. That's their job.

But it would be good for the gummint to give one to every patient, current, and recurrent (I'm not suggesting past and future since that would require them to care or to be prepared and nobody's ever going to accuse the average bureaucrat of prescience,) so that they can have complete records.

We don't matter worth a sh*t to them (or to anybody else.) That's just the way it is. Deal with it!

But the gumming wants to keep their damn records straight. That we would be the recipients of their goodness isn't important here. Its a side effect of getting us to keep our records straight.

(Getting a procedure done or a prescription filled? Let the hospital or doctor or pharmacy or clinic update your records.)

And the hospital or doctor or pharmacy or clinic can have access to the complete records. That would get rid of answering the same stupid questions over and over and over again.

Who knows, we might get it wrong. The gummint wouldn't like that...


Oh, by the way, Joyce, you don't need an iPod to listen to my show.

That's only good if you want to carry the show around.

You don't even need iTunes (though you can get it for free at )

But its not the only podcatcher out there. (There's also iPodder at )

Its just extremely convenient to use iTunes.

If you had it, you could just open a web page on my podcast at
) and say yes to all the questions until you see my late, great cat Wiki and then simply subscribe.

Its the easiest way really.

Some people keep going back to time and again when its so much easier to just let iTunes do it and download whatever is new.

---- You don't need a iPod

Onto some other news.

The production schedule of this podcast is about to go through some irregularities (like its regular now? :-) as I have to rewire my home office to integrate a brand spanking new Behringer Xenix 1204FX mixer console. (I "love" buying these swell, geeky toys; there's all these knobs and sliders and cross-connections and plugs and switches and buttons and crap like that. :-)

I'm going to have to learn how to integrate this into my recording work flow (rear: routine) or how to alter the work flow (read: routine) to accommodate the new equipment and capabilities.

I am also going to have to learn how to use the effects properly. Things have changed considerably since my high-school days. (Like, what ever happened to the VU decibel meters that looked so cool as the needle went back and forth with the volume?)

I must confess I have no idea what some of these effects are or what they do to the sound.

Well maybe I do but they may have had different names back then.

It also might be that what I learned about sound playing with a Moog synthesizer no longer applies, (attack, sustain, decay, reverb and echo loops, Doppler phase shifting [the sound you get from a Leslie rotating speaker on a Hammond organ,] and so on.)

This is a chance to play around, get it wrong until I get it right, and learn.

The end result will be a better sounding show with a richer, warmer sound, (I've got these two great XLR AKG C1000S microphones that are just "beg-hing" for me to use them :-)

I also want to work on Skype call integration so I can achieve better technique for recording interviews. Then I'll be able to record shows with a partner (hey podneh?)

As well, I'm going to use the opportunity to start bouncing some of these spam emails; so my email account is going to be out of reach during Christmas. I've cut my limits down to nothing so things will start bouncing back to them like the accounts are dead.


What's with the title of this episode?

Am I endorsing "Dave's Insanity Sauce"?

No I am not, but I have to tell you that my wife made some oven baked potato chips with it and they were absolutely delicious.

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C).
  • Slice a potato into thin slices or slim wedges,
  • spray with olive oil (we just got a Misto prayer,)
  • sprinkle with "Dave's Insanity Sauce" and
  • bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until they are crisp.

Salt to taste, (since we're both Québecois, we sprinkle some vinegar on them [it cuts the grease]) and "enjoy!"

But watch out how much "insanity sauce" you put on them; your tongue can get numbed and there are, uh, other problems later. (Its got one Hell of an "after burner" caused by a bad case of "flamin' a-hole". :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

msb-0087 MS Expressions and Expressions of MS

msb-0087 MS Expressions and Expressions of MS...

Feedback comes first so...

I ran into "Mother Cooper" at a Rotary Club meeting today (November 30, 2006).

I'd attended a church art show back on September 15th, 2006, (which I covered in "msb-0069 Bier, bier, Ich liebe mein bier",) and she gave my card to someone in Jersey city who's been recently diagnosed with MS.

This lady, being Spanish and relatively poor, (like who can actually freakin' live off of a disability pension,) she could very well make use of something I'm going to cover later on.

As to other feedback, it either doesn't concern the people in this blog/podcast, its a personal and confidential nature, or it a whole lot of pump-n-dump stock spam.

(F*ck these guys annoy my ass off. I'd favor the death penalty for these ass-hats!
They're scum and I spit on every one that makes it through my ever evolving Spam filters.
Like I'm gonna buy stocks from somebody who's name doesn't match the actual sender name and who's address doesn't resolve properly. Puh-leze.)

Dang I wish people would look a my site and PayPal me some money, buy some stuff off of CafePress or fill in my audience survey. I'm pretty much resolved to the fact that MSers are a quiet bunch (except for you MDMHvonPA and you Miss Chris. :-)

Money speaks volumes and since I'm still the only one who's paying all the bill around here, I'm going to play what I think deserves a listen.

So to punish you, or to praise you, I'm going to play some songs that I've played by the X-Ray Dogs as well as burn your butts with a few new ones. (I really, really like them. :-)


I love palindromes. It goes back to when I was first learning English as my second language.

I loved with how you could play with the written form of the language and with how plastic and deformable the vowel sounds were.

Lets tackle the first part of the palindrome:

One of the problems with putting things on the internet is that they are immediately global.

There is a new site called MS Expressions which is a production of the MS Comprehensive Care Center of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases (at 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003 [telephone: (212) 598-6305 ])

While I intend to involve myself with it, possibly with podcasting their missives and possibly with commercial advertising for, it should be immediately apparent to anyone familiar with the internet that it calling the site immediately places it in the international sphere.

So be it. It might be a New York University web site but its reach is beyond whatever boundaries are artificially imposed by borders. This will definitely cause some friction and redefinition of the scope and mission of the web site.

I am asking that all bloggers of which I am aware, regardless of where they are, and all members of my audience, on both sides of the Atlantic, to help me test out the site and make it the best it can be.

Just keep it under your hat, MS Expressions is not for general consumption, and don't expect everything to be perfect because you are, in effect, beta testing the site before it goes public.


I know that MSers are definitely not short of coping skills, good cheer (in spite of every thing we put up with,) and talents.

Man! We are a skilled bunch of disparate individuals.

This disease is an equal opportunity pain in the ass.

Doesn't matter what sex you are, what color your skin, what language you speak or what religion you believe in, or not. If you've got a nervous system and an immune system, your myelin is up for grabs.


Now lets tackle the second part of the palindrome.

That's gets us into several levels.

I don't want to speak at the physiological level.

I'm frankly not qualified to even entertain the thought. And, like Clint Eastwood said as Dirty Harry "A man's gotta know his own limitations".

I don't know which is more depressing; that I'm old enough to remember him saying that line (heck I was already married to my first wife then,) or that some of you blogging about having MS weren't even born yet.

Which does get us to segue into, by a round about way, the level I do want to speak to you about: the pedagogical level.

Before you ask, you're not being tasked to learn anything. There will not be a test, written or oral, after this episode of the podcast.

Today, November 30, 2006 the New York Times ran an article entitled "For $150, Third-World Laptop Stirs a Big Debate" (

I found it a very tight read and, since its about hi-tech, which I love, and its about kids, which shall forever remain a total mystery to me, I found it very entertaining.

But who do you think is worse off?

Someone who has been stricken by poverty and ignorance? (Both of which are vincible, not easily but it can and does happen.)

Or someone who has been stricken by MS? (Which is an equal opportunity disease, entirely unpreventable and potentially tragic.)

Now combine the two and it is tragic. Not only have you got someone who is blocked from upward mobility by economic impairment but also by physiological impairment.

(Its like the sign on the sides of the seats on the PATH trains "Please, wont you give this seat to the elderly or disabled."

Maybe but I guess if and the feel free to let me stand since I'm "elderly and disabled".

Who knew so many people were logicians and understand it as an exclusive or operation.

These people really chap my ass. <sigh≷)


I happen to come from the early adopters, the folks on he bleeding edge of technology.

I'm sitting here at my desk, surrounded by multiple thousands of dollars worth of high-tech geeky goodness;

computers, laser and color printers, flat panel display, pre-amps, audio recorders, mixers, microphones, and some advanced audio and computing paraphernalia;

all of it connected through high speed communications to a world of other machines, which are augmenting the corporate and the corporeal, (if you're reading or listening to this you know who you are and how shitty, or not, you felt this morning.)

The situation is just swell for me. I'm the first to admit that and that my life could have turned out much, much suckier. (Of course, I could never have contracted this disease, still have been a total ass hole and have had a car crash of a life. But I did and yet I didn't!)

My life has some technology in it. Okay its got a lot of technology in it. With this technology I am able to communicate with anybody who's connected.

My disabilities become my personal inconveniences. Its because I can augment myself, through the use of computing devices and the internet.

But what if you aren't connected? What if you are isolated and unable to do anything about it?

Well, its time to address the suckiness.

Its time to make sure that when people leave a hospital with any devastating diagnosis, such as MS, that they are able to function in some fashion after they leave.

They don't all have to be at my level but they have to be able to connect.

Well guess what?

The perfect $150.00 "consolation prize" is at hand.

Now MS and other devastating illness sufferers don't have to face their fate alone, hanging on in quiet desperation.

It can be part of of the requirements of their rehabilitation before being sent home from getting their dread diagnosis, that they be provided with the means, if they don't already have it, to connect, a simple online address, and the training to use it as part of communicating with the medical facility.


I can even give them the name of somebody who could use it; well actually a couple of people.

One of our neighbors is a woman retired on a health disability who spends her days at a public library to get on line and you can't really print out stuff at the library. But because she's on a fixed income, she can't afford a decent computer or a decent connection.


These $150 machines should be available to both of these people, and if we extend the classification, to all people in the same information starvation straights as them.

Bureaucrats are so inefficient.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

msb-0085 Vodcasting for & by kids makes the news.

msb-0085 Vodcasting for & by kids makes the news.

"Fourth grade students in Mrs. Zerafa’s class have been communicating via email with “e-pals” from Willington, England. Ms. O’Brien, technology specialist, established this activity in November with the children writing letters to one another. The third and fourth graders from England then sent pictures of points of interest in their community.

Washington Irving’s fourth grade students took a walking tour of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow and photographed historic landmarks and places of interest. In the computer lab, the children researched and recorded the information to be “pod casted” to our friends across the pond. We hope they (and you) will enjoy our final product."

(from: )

Well, its official; podcasting is moving into the mainstream.

First came the developers and early adopters; they were the "firsters", the guys, and gals, who were just playing with stuff because it was new, (had to be, they were making it,) and new is cool.

Next came technophiles; guys and girls who were seeing the bleeding edge of something empowering. People like Kim and Todd Maffin, (who ran the multiple sclerosis podcast but who haven't put out an new episode since July of this year so it seem they have podfaded, [hey, life is like that, you get busy with other things,]) and people like myself, who see something that can reach beyond the tickle that makes it through the traditional mechanisms of our concepts of media.

Now there's school kids who are using the tools as toys that help them rise to a whole new level of communicating through the net.

Pretty much, the entire thing depends right now on amateur effort (the term "amateur effort" is not a pejorative, its a term for people who really care about using this technology for everything and anything that it can do. They truly love it.)


But there are the beginnings of a podcasting profession, of podcasting as a media job option.

I recently applied for just such a position for CBS/GE. Being a bleeding edge adopter, a technophile and understanding the future of the media business out there, I'd normally stand a chance.

I know that I'm not going to get it, but its out there.

Really, given a choice between someone who has MS and knows it and anybody else of unknown illness potential, who would you choose?

More to the point, what would you say to your shareholders when asked: "Couldn't you find somebody healthy?" The sad part is that they're really asking: "Couldn't you find somebody who you don't know is sick?".

At the same time, its an opportunity for advertisers of MS specific products to reach their constituency, us, the MSers who could use their products. (And I have a model of advertising so that they can reach us when we want to be reached instead of us being annoyed by ads.)

Under the current broadcasting, clock synchronized system, neither they nor we get a break. But the use of the internet means the end of the "tyranny by demography".


As if you needed further proof, The New York Times this Saturday, November 26th, 2006, is running an article ( ) called "Media Frenzy: Seeking Executive to Tame the Digital Future"

I just checked my stats and I'm up over 4000 downloads. Hoo-friggin'-ray!

I have just sent an email offering my story and my podcasting services to the MS Expression website that the MS Center at New York University is starting up.

I get a feeling that things are beginning to look up. :-)


I'm keeping it short today because I got some good news.

I have to go to MCNY and pick up my diploma. I'll have to make some photocopies and scans of my "sheepskin" and send them to everybody who supported me in my many little battles with the education system.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

msb-0084 MDMHvonPAs' Roundup-06.11.22

Here is MDMHvonPA's eagerly awaited Roundup-06.11.22:

"What to say, what to say?

Recently, I've been running into some commentary regarding the fiction of free will. One author postulated that we are merely a gaggle of fleshy robots grinding our way through existence though the whim of our programming. We only do things that our brain has been set up to allow us to do. If we are genetically predisposed to be an alcoholic, a pedophile, be overweight, a gambling addict and so forth, then it will be so.

What this nihilistic philosopher of the electron bully pulpit has forgotten is that we have the free will to choose NOT to do these things. If you like to eat (like me) and you see that cake, you know it will be particularly delicious. Sure, you can shove the whole thing down your maw but you'll know there are CONSEQUENCES for that hedonistic engagement.

Likewise, if you are genetically marked to get MS, what happens after that (if you should be diagnosed) is really up to you. You can lie down and die or you can take charge and move on. I get really wound up whenever some bit-rate blow-hard jumps on the kitsch pop culture bandwagon and blathers that we are just mindless robots moving through a time-line.

No, I have will, I have choice and I have a goal. To fail so absurdly to adhere to critical thinking is a crime ... a capital crime, against the higher mind. So let these myopic twiddle-bots spout their slander against humanity, I have not the inclination nor the self-doubt to sop up their vitriolic spew.

With that, I will engage in some free will and selfless acts that are NOT within my programming. Charles was the recipient of a cry for help and I feel compelled to pass it along.

Marlene Askew asks for assistance in finding 2 escapees from NO-Katrina. Last seen in flight from I-610, in the Gentilly section of the city. No names, just a young Man and his MS wife. I'm pretty sure it is not Friday's Child (who has just moved back into their home ... cheers!), but if you are out there, just send a note to Charles to let him inform Mrs Askew that all is right in the world. In this age of stolen identity and medical data clearance ... bloggers have become the Ham Radio Operators for finding lost souls.

Sancho Knotwise (jm) has found that MS is full of little nasties. One of the less damaging, but entirely annoying symptoms has been his unwanted companion of late. A pestiferous nagging companion at that. As a fellow sufferer of facial tics, I really can identify with his annoyance. Especially with it is one of those sensitive muscles about the eyes. That kind of thing is only interesting when the Tough Cop Movie Anti-Hero has an uncontrollable facial tic, not when you are trying to read a book.

Speaking of small annoyances, Mouse (no, she is not a small annoyance ... SHEESH!) has been spending some time with a new hobby. Squirrel Spotting. Now, the abundant population of these buggers on the Haupertonian Grounds tends to result in an aggressive Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom Live Trapping and Relocation program, but when they are not chewing up the bird feeders or digging up the flower bulbs they can be quite a treat to watch. See what she has to note about her crafty clutch of furry neighbors.

Of course, Miss Suzy has her own issues with the varmint population near her homestead. Like that strange cousin from out of state or the Creepy Uncle who likes to use the bathroom without closing the door, the uninvited and unwanted guests are stating to show up for thanksgiving. Of course, even the most egregiously uncouth relative does not leave dropping in the cereal or chew holes in your pantry provisions. Like white blood cells chewing at your myelin, they (the rodents) tend to spoil everything. Of course, this is has more to do with the pockets of little boys than anything. Give it a read, I had a pretty good laugh.

Back to Free Will. I seem to write much too often about Miss Chris. The Ever Patient Mrs is starting to get jealous! Of course, the affection is a mere interest regarding children and karate. Recently, the Scion of Chris has been dealt an administrative defeat in a martial arts tournament and the nature of fairness in the world is a hot topic in her comments. In an academic sense, it has analogies to MS that can be quite obvious and not very pretty. Life can be quite unfair given the nature of man. But much like our attitudes regarding MS, it is how we handle our defeats that defines us as successes of failures.

Thank you MDMHvonPA for your roundup of what's been happening in the blog-o-sphere.

Have a happy "Thanks Giving" because, in spite of it all, we have much to be thankful for, its just that some have more than others. (Hey, we could be "Iraqis". Now that would suck!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

msb-0083 X-Ray

msb-0083 X-Ray

Feedback comes first so ...

There isn't any. There hasn't even been time.

Its no use. I'm not podfading, I'm bursting at the seams. I just got to put this out now and screw this once a week format.

This episode I am torn between playing all of the X-Ray Dogs (at ) or just playing you some teasers.

I think I'm going to do what I should usually do when I'm faced with this situation.

I'm going to S.T.F.U. and just let them play.

To paraphrase Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Cry Havoc and Let Loose The X-Ray Dogs of War!"

---- Alta Plaza

They seem to be based out of London England and I "love" them. The musical influences that I pick up on from listening to them are all over the map.

I'm fact I'm going to ask jm (a.k.a. John-Mark Cullen,) who's in Liverpool, (entirely on the wrong side of England, [but at least he's on the isle, so he's much closer than I am,) who's a fellow MSer to see if he can find out more about them than I can from their website and the very few other sources on the web. Maybe the Brit issue of N.M.E. has something on them. I certainly hope so.

---- Slaughterhouse Blues

And don't waste your time with the American X-Ray Dogs. ( ) That's a musical outfit that's based out of L.A. that does music for movies, television and commercials.

They're slick professionals and grind out a good, creditable tune but they're craftsmen, hit-makers, people who research their music with focus groups and the antithesis of spontaneous.

They're manipulating their audience, not tantalizing them. The music is engineered, not composed. And its eminently forgettable.

They'll give you exactly what you expect from a music score for your movie, TV show or commercial. But that's rarely music. People rarely walk out of a movie theatre or sit in front of the TV humming along to a shows' music.

Guess what I want? ... Exactly the opposite...

I want something that sticks to my ears and tells me things, maybe even things I'd rather not know. That's why music is caught between the old & familiar and the new & strange. Music can either be baying at the moon or accompanying vespers. There is something about a bunch of notes that affects us. And eventually, we get it and it stops being necessary for this generation to get it... Next...

---- Dead not Quick

I know that all of the music off of the album Alta Plaza album is available for free at soundclick ( ) I'd have paid them for this musical gift. (Guess what's coming through my earphones as I write this at 01:00? ... Right! I haven't been able to get away from them since last week when I was putting the music together for "msb-0082 Echoes".)

---- Supershine (Live in Las Vegas)

Until next time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

msb-0082 Echoes

msb-0082 Echoes

Feedback comes first so ...

Before somebody asks me what happened to msb-0081, it was MDMHvonPAs column. Since its his content, I didn't feel it was right for me to stake any clam to it by hosting the text on this blog.

Someone is on a serious quest:

"I am writing for advice. Over the past year, I have been searching for someone with MS and, understandably, privacy issues have prevented help from official MS organizations.

On the Thursday after Katrina, I was rescued from the bus depot in downtown New Orleans. I should say outside the depot, since we were ordered out of the building by a national guardsman.

There was a young couple in the group, Al and his wife. I cannot remember her name. They were airlifted; she was completely non ambulatory, unable to sit up.

I had met them on the I-610, in the Gentilly section of the city. Al had arrived asking for someone to help carry his wife to the high area of the interstate. They had been trapped in their sweltering attic, as we had been.

If you saw any of the images from that time, you can imagine her immense suffering. It was an experience of terrible extremes and fears. I think about them constantly. If there were someone who could just send them my contact information, I would be very grateful.

Marlene Askew"

My reply:

"Hello Ms. Askew

you needn't worry. Your email address will not be published unless you want it to be. And maybe not even then.

I think you might want to ask someone who is closer and might stand a chance of having met them.

[... contact info removed ...]

As for the MS Society's privacy issues...

I find it quite difficult to believe that their privacy issues would prevent them from acting as intermediaries since they would be in complete control of all information and communications between the couple and the wider world.

However, I find it quite easy to believe that they would not want to expend their resources to do so since, even after more than a year, the situation in New Orleans is still dire.

Look on the bright side, since they were airlifted, you can be sure that they were alive.

And where there is life, there's hope.

I will be leaving your message posting on my blog and podcasting it.

Maybe somebody out there can help...



Well, whenever I think I'm, just wanking off, I look an my stats and I discover something new.

I have just hit over 4,000 downloads by some measure and almost 5,000 by some other. Thank you. Your repeated downloads are my inspiration and my vindication.


Thursday 16th of November 2006 is a day that marks a significant turn in media.

ClearChannel has agreed to be bought out, which marks an about face in the media conglomeration that we have been been witnessing for the past while. (Why so soon after the loss by the Republicans, I wonder?)

Poor Rush Limbaugh's market is being sold out from under him. Don't they have any loyalty? Well, no more than the inevitably, inexorably vanishing audience I guess... :-)

ClearChannel have been losing money and staggering under the onslaught of the new time and location shifted media, so Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital Partners LLC have bought them out and are going to break them up and sell the assets.

The previous owners are declaring a victory, taking the millions and hightailing it out of there.

[dead pan voice] Hoo-ray!


I see from my stats that more and more of you are taking my advice and using iTunes (and some of you are even using iPodder ) to download the show.

How 'bout sending me an email ( to charles at ) telling me what you're using to download this very show.

I don't sell your email addresses or send out spam. I loathe the stuff being afflicted with it myself. (I have to keep an open address myself since I don't know which of you out there will be writing to me.)


Things in the blogosphere seems to be going well, as reported by MDMHvonPA last week in his Roundup. (

The advertising model for this show is to refer people back to a relevant episode and charge advertisers by the download. [ I can dream, can't I? ]:-)

For those who think I'm a freakin' awful news reader, myself among these, I would just remind you all of the bumbling, faltering, imbecilic, unprepared, totally off-the-point presentation that Senator Ten Stevens (R-Alaska) made about the net neutrality of internet (The audio show will have selected pieces of that speech [Credit: C|Net which itself credits: Comedy Central which itself credits CSPAN which itself credits sheer imbecility of Senator Ted Stevens, which he credits to his parents not strangling him at birth, which they credit on their great self-restraint.])

For all my speech hiccups I certainly don't sound as bad as he forever will. I may slur my speech at times and occasionally loose my place in my script, (I simply must get or make myself a teleprompter,) but I at least have a clue.

How much are we all paying this fool to so-called-ly represent you, Michelle? (at )

(I may not be a citizen but I pay my local/municipal, state and federal taxes. [So much for the principle of "taxation without representation" on which this country was founded, eh?])

A fun little tweak of his nose called DJ Ted Stevens Techno Remix: "A Series of Tubes" is to be found at " "

Thank [insert name of deity here] that he doesn't have a full in office term left.


I am the recipient of the most ghastly act of arboricide.

B&H Photo•Video•Pro Audio just dropped a huge chunk of dead tree smugged with inks. I am appalled. 468 pages and there was nothing I wanted.

Music123 sent a much more compact catalog and I dog-eared two pages... I'm not going to buy anything but at least they were 'wantable' enough that I dog-eared them.

But I shop online and I'd rather keep the trees alive, thank you very much.


I'm thinking about, but won't bore you with, the "Branding strategy" for this podcast, sort of a "Who am us anyway?" But it will inform my understanding of what I want to accomplish with this podcast.

In it I am asking questions like "Who do I want to reach?". (You of course, but I'm also thinking of how and why?)

Taking control, keeping control and other issues in MNS and in life...

I'm not worried about podfading. If anything its the other way around.

I am frustrated by trying to keep it down to only once a week.

I keep having to select my target and end up missing giving other targets my full attention. I keep throwing away topics and the scripts to go with them because of 'selective timing'.


I have changed the theme, style and content of this show yet again.

This episode was going to feature "geek speak" and be heavily laden with object-oriented jargon. As I am winding down this IT career, I wanted to get down, in a copyright-able form, some thoughts I have had over the years. (Actually, since I started as a student of architecture)

It was a reaction to an article in the New York Times issue of Sunday, November 12th, 2006, on web 3.0, aka the semantic web.

But I find it no longer matters to me.

This episode is called "Echoes" because of the music selections but it could have been called "Charlotte's Semantic Web." Be thankful it no longer matters to me... :-)


This morning as I write this, I found myself lost in "Fanfare for the Common Man" in a PBS show about "Aaron Copeland". If only I could play it for you.

Its incredible how a series of notes can encapsulate and embody the American spirit. In the same spirit, "Appalachian Spring", with its simple, spare and elegant melody, is like balm to soothe and uplift the soul.

You can't help but feel emboldened by Copeland.


Have a happy thanksgiving. (Catch your breath before Christmas shopping.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

msb-0080 Inherent Sence of Justice

msb-0080 An Inherent Sense Of Justice

Feed back comes first so ...

My emails and comments are telling me that people just love MDMHvonPA's Roundup column. (See MDMH, maybe you should be speaking up for yourself. :-)

The link to it is:

(By the way, that's the model for running an ad on this show. I just tell you about it and refer you back through the link to actual the media file, which can be any kind of file and as long/large as it needs to be. No more "squeezing" it to fit into a 5 or 10 or 15 or 30 or 60 second spot, according to your advertising budget. You can take the time it needs. :-)


Now I'm asking you all for feed back.

I'm wondering about what you, my gentle MSers, thought of George Hrab.

Let me know. I've got a few more tunes that I would play by him but I'm wondering if you liked him too. Its your show too since you are the audience (Notice the continuing absence of Country and Western music Miss Chris? :-)

I know most of you liked Erik Kjelland's music. The email's I've been getting have been all good.

Any of you gone to and bought the album?

Any of you recommended it to anybody else?


The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting feature in their Friday, November 10, 2006 issue.

Thet had a column, the Science Journal, headlined with "Animals Seem to Have An Inherent Sense Of Fairness and Justice."

Two female capuchin monkeys, "Sammy" and "Bias", seem to behave with a sense of moral obligation towards each other.

In a rigged experiment Sammy got some food but in doing so, deprived Bias from getting to her food. Bias screamed blood hell of course.

Sammy then reached out and helped Bias reel in some food, despite the fact that she wasn't under any contractual obligation to do so.

Sammy did so out of a sense of fairness. It wasn't fair that Sammy's actions in getting food deprived Bias from getting her own food.

That behavior violates the "I Gotta Get Mine and Screw You," kind of actions we observe everywhere around us.

That two capuchin monkeys "got the point" while we, the supposedly more enlightened human beings, would either not see any point to collaboration, or would deliberately choose not to collaborate, puts us humans to shame.

How unlike the comportment we see in business which holds that "Its not enough for me to win, the other guys have to lose."


Where am I going with this?

We humans put systemantic obstacles in the path to collaboration, cooperation and our own wider goals.

Any help the system gives is given only grudgingly and after the supplicants have somehow managed to jump through all of the hoops the system placed at higher and higher heights and further abased themselves to such a degree, like they've spent everything and have nothing left, that the system just lets some ever diminishing amount of aid issue forth from the collective cloaca.

The people in the system tell themselves that, since they apply the same rules to everybody in our system, they're "being fair", but fail to realize the unnecessariness and unfairness of the entire system in the first place.

Nor do the people in the system recognize that, since its not the only system out there, or even in here, it is unfair to anyone stuck with that particular slice of the health [don't] care system.

For instance, Congress as a great health [don't] care system. But if you're not in congress, and if you're catching this podcast, odds are you aren't, you're mileage may vary, a lot. Like Prius to Hummer a lot.

Any system which is supposed to hand over charity to the needy and has the needy applying suffers from the same systemantic flaw. Those systems are blind from the start, deaf to the pleas of their own constituents and quite dumb.


This morning, Saturday, November 11th, 2006, on "The Open Mind" on PBS, they had a medical information show.

Our health [don't] care system is a wonder of schizophrenia and systemantics.

Canada, England, Mexico, even Cuba, might have waiting lists for certain treatments, but the United States of America, home of the wonder drugs and the skilled surgeons, has over 50,000,000 uninsured (and therefore on a "Don't bother showing up!" waiting list,) and around 100,000,000 under-insured (and therefore on a "Its not covered by your plan." waiting list.) And that's out of a population of 300,000,000.

1 in 6 Americans has bupkis, (nothing) "fall off the wagon and we'll run you over" coverage.

1 in 3 Americans has tsuris, (aggrevation) "fall of the wagon and we'll let you get back on" coverage.

That means that less than 2 out of 3 Americans has adequate "fall of the wagon and we'll help you get back on" coverage..

And that's only the insurance.

When we try to collect on that insurance, we quickly find out that there are wide disparities between the country side and the sui- uh, city side.

Unless you're in a major urban area which just happens to specialize in your ailment, you're looking at a long, uncomfortable bus trip. (You're sick aint'cha? [Or did you want to get there on your own dime. {Insurance companies only book airplane trips for their own executives.}])

Health care really is health care if you're in the 1% of the population who can afford to pay. For the rest of us, well we're hanging on to that wagon.

While I can rail freely about systemantic flaws, I can only grumble about systemic ones. Geography is geography.


I've been listening to podcasts of CBC Radio's "Quirks and Quarks," the science show, and the BBC Radio 4, "From Our Own Correspondent". The former is positive and hopeful while the latter is depressing. Make that depressingly cheerful and cheerfully depressing.

I am struck by the almost schizophrenic contrast between the news, and the news.

One podcast was sounding hopeful and optimistic about the vanishing fish stocks (I was reminded of "Soylent Green" and the discovery by Charlton Heston's character of "Robert Thorn" of the report that found that "The oceans are dying!")

while the other podcast was being brutally honest, describing the condition of the road (not roads, road,) into, La Paz.

La Paz is in the bowl of a valley, three miles up, carved out by freeze-thaw cycle erosion, not rain or glaciation, hurled up by tectonic collision and loomed over on all sides by the Andes.

The switch-backs leading down the sides of the bowl are pretty much impassable arroyos, except for a very few suicidally steep roads.

The poor neighborhoods live up the sides of the bowl and there are "no" suburbs because there are these friggin' mountains everywhere and they're all going "up, way up".