Saturday, October 10, 2009

Something Something Columbus Ohio Something

Hey! I was totally working on a new Self Help Radio Extra today (don't click on that link! I haven't made one since July or something!) but then the wife & me went to Columbus for no apparent reason. I didn't get to see much of the town as it was shrouded in a dense green fog (that's not true) but we did manage to go to an awesome vegetarian restaurant run (apparently) by scrawny vegan women. It was so much better than pretty much any place to eat in Huntington that it was worth the tangle of highway & the dense green fog (there was no dense green fog!). For its reputation as the 16th largest city in the United States (just behind Austin), the place reminded me a little of Dallas. Not in anything except the sprawl. Obviously, the trees & the weather are nowhere near as pretty in Texas as in Columbus. Fun Columbus fact: "Columbus is located within 550 miles of half of the population of the United States." Austin can't say that.

The restaurant, by the way, is the Whole World Natural Bakery & Restaurant. I highly recommend it. I'm not sure what an unnatural bakery would be like - maybe like the canteen at Monsanto? I think a supernatural bakery would be cool - all those magical things flying around, right into your stomach. Mmmm.

I also saw a real live pumpkin patch. My first ever. Here's me & the wife being ridiculous & the pumpkin patch behind:

Pumpkin Patch Photo

Tomorrow! A new Self Help Radio Extra! I promise.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The View From Glastonbury Tor

I hear it's phenomenal. Here's a picture of it. I wonder if I'll ever get to see it in-person-like.

What I can do in-person-like is a radio show (although it's not all that in-person-like, as listeners & I are connected only by sounds traveling on the airwaves) which I did do this morning which is now available at There are actually two shows, though I did them back-to-back without even a break for cake & tea, but they have been separated for fear of cross-contamination. Details are:

1) This week's Self Help Radio, which is about spoons; &
2) This week's Sugar Substitute, which is about pop!

Please download, listen, enjoy & then repeat.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Your Weekly Reminder, Forgetful

Beep beep beep beep! Turn on your radio at 6am tomorrow (that's October 7th) (also, that's in Huntington, West Virginia) & don't go back to sleep but tune it in to 88.1 fm which is WMUL which features two great shows starting at 6am - well, one great show starts at 6am, then there's another one at 7:30am - you understand, why be such a pest about it? - Sugar Substitute is on at 6am with Self Help Radio following at 7:30am. Wowy zowy! Don't go back to bed! Get some coffee & listen very carefully. You will grow as a person.

Beep beep beep beep! Did you go back to bed? What? You're not even IN West Virginia? Not Kentucky nor Ohio? Oops. Go back to sleep. Just WATCH THIS SPACE for announcements about when these shows will be put up on - because they will be. Soon after they've happened. Bet on it.

Beep beep beep beep! Oh for the love of God can you turn that damn alarm off. Jeez.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Whither Spoons?

Just look at this. Just look. At this. From (of all places!)!

Q: What drugs can be used using a spoon?
A: Most drugs used intravenously that need to be transformed from powder to liquid. Most common being Heroin, Cocaine, & Speed. There are also several types of pills that may be crushed & used IV or IM including Dilaudid or Oxycontin.

Spoons! Spoons aiding & abetting drug users! Is it any wonder that the marvelous spoon is considered the least important eating utensil in the world today, lagging vastly behind the inscrutable fork & the homicidal knife? In some polls, of silverware & cutlery, even beaten by the bastard spork? Why? Why should that be?

Because of the relationship of spoons to drugs. That must be the reason!

Self Help Radio this week vindicates the spoon! The reputation of the spoon shall be rehabilitated! Soon the world shall look upon the spoon not as a junkie's helper but as the brave implement that shovels food into the mouths of us citizens & our precious children once more!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Preface To Spoons: Nothing At All About Bands With "Spoon" In Their Name

Self Help Radio has only a few rules, most of which could be regularly violated & no one would give a flying flip. But they're not. This week, there was some discussion of one of the rules that has been in place since the show began - seven years ago, & we celebrate next week! - & that rule is kinda simple: whatever the theme is, don't play bands or musicians whose names happen to be the same as the theme. (If the theme is the band, however, that rule doesn't apply. For example, a show about the Velvet Underground, which has happened in the past, could & did include a song called "Velvet Underground.") If the bands themselves have songs named after themselves, like someone of them do, that could be & has been included. But it's included because of the song, not the band.

A few people have written to ask if this week's show, the subject of which will be spoons, will include either of the bands called Spoon (from Missouri or Texas), or the Canadian band The Spoons, or old skool rap sensation Spoonie Gee, or new skool electronica producer Spoon (of Jam & Spoon), or even bands like Spoonfed Hybrid or Fischerspooner. The answer is no. None of those folks have a song about spoons - or even related to spoons - although Spoonie Gee does have a song called "Spoonin' Rap" which almost made the cut. I wish that some of the bands above had in fact written a song about spoons, but they didn't. Too bad.

Speaking of, another rule of Self Help Radio forbids (knowingly) playing different versions of the same song to pad out the playlist. This particular rule is sort of in response to a practice by an Austin radio personality who, it is safe to say, is loved & loathed in equal parts (though it's pretty easy to ignore him, since one can change a channel, unless one has to work in some place where his is the station of choice). One of the reasons for such ambivalence is that he had (assuming he might have changed this habit, as the Self Help Radio team hasn't heard his show in many, many years) a habit of playing numerous covers of a certain song in a row, playing the original version every other song. Wrap your head around this. He'd play, for example, "Day Tripper," by the Beatles. Then a cover. Then the Beatles' version again. Then another cover. Then the Beatles' version again. Then another cover. For over an hour. Sometimes for two whole hours, if his interns found him enough covers. Unbelievable. Maddening.

But some folks did like it. Not over here, which is why he hasn't been listened to for many moons in these here parts, even when these here parts were still in Austin. So the "no repetitive covers rule" was established, & it has been enforced with remarkable consistency - the idea being, if a radio show can't be filled with all different songs, it's suffering from a lack of imagination, & the theme should be altered, edited or dropped.

However, this week's show breaks that rule - sort of. It involved a blues song about a spoonful & its transformation over the years. But. Too much has already been revealed. The rules are in place. The show is taking shape. All is right with this tiny little part of the world.