Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Whither Umbrellas?

(Image from here.)

Every week right before my show, I take a moment to reflect upon why this week's show is about whatever theme.  Sometimes it's hard to say - ideas for shows come at the weirdest times from the weirdest places in the weirdest ways.  But not this week!  I know exactly why this week's show is about umbrellas.  Because Jenny Adkins requested it!  In fact, she had such confidence in the subject that she entitled the email she sent me, "Brilliant theme idea alert!"

You didn't hear that from me.  But you will hear a show about umbrellas tonight from 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central, on WLXU 93.9 fm in Lexington & online at Lexington Community Radio online (make sure you pick WLXU)!  You be the judge of Jenny's theme-picking skills, & not, as usual, of my radio-making skills.

Oh, & by the way - I won't be able to put the show up on the website till Sunday.  So if you need a show about umbrellas to keep you warm - please listen tonight!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Preface To Umbrellas: A Short History Of Gary's Umbrellas

The ephemera in our lives - the clothes, the shoes, the things we have - there's something weird about how ultimately little they mean to us.  Because except for extraordinary items - expensive things, perhaps, or things we really, really wanted - we forget all about them.

Or maybe it's just me.

Because I was searching my memory to see if there were some umbrellas I've owned of which I was fond.  & frankly I can only remember the umbrella that my wife had which we used to keep in the car.  I don't know where it's gone now.

But there had to be other umbrellas in my life!  It does rain in Texas from time-to-time!  Bought or stolen, borrowed or found, umbrellas have definitely been in my possession or somewhat nearby when needed for most of my life.  For example, I've never bought an umbrellas in a store after I've been caught in the rain.  That's kind of a cliché, right?  The umbrellas are more expensive then?  But I can't remember doing that.

Ever heard of a memory palace?  I don't have the patience to do something like that but I have been, for the last few minutes, thinking about places I've lived, & wondered where the umbrella I must've owned was.  Mostly I think I've had those small, cheap, black umbrellas that are small & easy to carry (& lose).  Where are they in my bedroom when I was in the 11th grade, in 1985?  In the duplex I lived in in 1995?  In the house in Austin in 2005?  In the rental in Lexington in 2009?  In this house in which I now live in Fort Worth?  I have no idea.

Maybe you have a better umbrella story.  I hope so.  I'm doing a show about the damn things tomorrow!

Monday, April 17, 2017

This Was In Our Neighbor's Yard This Weekend


That's a Great Plains Rat Snake.  This weekend we were in Dallas seeing Morrissey (this was the third time we'd bought tickets to see the Great Man; he had cancelled two previous shows) (here's a web site that lists all his cancelled shows up to 2014) & the neighbors called us to tell us they had seen a copperhead in their yard.  They took pictures & even video.  They were warning us to keep our pups indoors.

The neighbor came over tonight to tell me that he went to the zoo & talked to a herpetologist, who identified the picture right away as not a copperhead but a great plains rat snake.  I am confused as to whether I should capitalize breeds of snake.  According to this website, "[A]nimal names are not capitalized ('I spotted a red-tailed hawk,' not 'I spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk'), except when an element of the name is a proper noun, as in 'Steller's jay' & 'Siberian tiger.'"  So, Great Plains rat snake?  & copperhead?

We live very close to a lake, so I suppose I knew I'd be seeing snakes from time-to-time.  I'd totally freak out if I saw that baby up there, who's not venomous, but who will bite.  I also found myself admiring the snake specialist; I'd love to be able to know a snake type on sight!

The herpetologist believes the snake made its way back to the lake or in the ground.  In any event, it's not a threat to the pooches, & is only a threat to me inasmuch as I would ruin a perfectly good pair of pants if I saw it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Now With Captions!

Hilarity may ensue.

You may perhaps know that Self Help Radio has a Tumblr page.  I am not entirely sure what Tumblr is or how it's any different from other things like Instagram & Blogger, but I jumped on the bandwagon at some point &, having nothing really to say about the show, I just started posting pictures I took on it.

You see, I like to take pictures.  I am completely aware that I have no natural skill at it, & also that the camera I use is not that great, but it amuses me, plus as I collect pictures, I am able to use them, if I happen to look back at them, to see what I might have been doing or where I happened to be at the time.  It's a help to a fading memory.  Initially I just randomly posted them, including pictures of my dogs & cats as well, since I take as many pictures of them as most parents take of their children.

Something hit me a few weeks back.  I thought, "Why don't I caption them?"  & then I thought, "That's boring."  Then I asked myself, "Why don't you caption them in an amusing way?"  I thought back to myself, "But I'm not very amusing."  Then I thought, "Oh well, what'll it hurt?"

So now I randomly post them, but I add captions.  Innovation!

For example, the caption to the picture above reads, this picture would have been much better if dallas would just stand fucking still.  Is that funny?  I thought so.  Maybe you'd find my pictures interesting & my captions funny.  If so:

Self Help Radio on Tumblr.  It has nothing to do with the show, which might recommend it to you after all.