Saturday, March 07, 2020

Preface To Every Day: What Do You Do Every Day

That's an interesting question - what do I do every day?  I asked the internet that question & instead of some social or psychological answer, it proceeded to tell me what I should do every day.  For example, this web page from had thirty suggestions "that improve the quality of your life."  Let me go through the first few, may I?

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!

Wow, is this web page sponsored by the coffee or tea industry?  I don't like hot liquids, & I try to stay away from caffeine if I could.  I do drink caffeinated sodas when I am up late/early to do radio, but luckily I haven't felt addicted so far.

2. Wake up earlier.

Spoken like someone who doesn't have to be awake at 3am to do a radio show.  & if you wake up earlier every day, won't you be waking up around your bedtime?

3. Clean out your email.

As someone who does this, I don't think it improves the quality of my life.  I'm just a tad OCD, & when I spend a few minutes to go through email, I often think to myself, "God, I'd be so much happier if have an inbox with a thousand emails in it didn't make me uncomfortable."

4. Make a friend smile.

All I can say is that my cats are humorless fucks.

5. Read the newspaper.

It's interesting it doesn't specify which newspaper.  I have a few I check out online, but most recently I've become aware of a local paper that seems to collect the most horrible stories you've read on Next Door.  If I read that every day, I'd be afraid to go outside.

6. Hug someone you are close to.

Again, I could use some new cats.

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes.

Is this even English?

8. Write a diary entry or a blog post.


It is true that I don't write in this blog every day - I usually do it five days a week.  Isn't that enough?  Seriously.  Isn't it?

Or is it already too much?

Friday, March 06, 2020

SXSW & The Single Coronavirus

It really shocked me today when I found out they cancelled South By Southwest in Austin this year.  Until I discovered that the people behind South By Southwest didn't cancel the festival - the city of Austin did.  Read more here.

Which makes sense - South By Southwest (SXSW) makes millions of dollars for Austin, why in the world would any capitalist enterprise cancel any event for health reasons?  This is not to say it won't be without consequences - local businesses, especially local venues, will suffer the most.  They usually operated with such a slim profit margin, a music festival might float them for the rest of the year.  I have read reports about venues which have ordered lots of beer for the festival - which was to begin next week - who cannot return the order if there are not thousands descending on Austin for the week.

At the moment, I don't think I'm nervous about going to see shows - there are a few in March here in Portland I might want to see - but if this keeps happening, what will our future concert calendars look like?  Will the folks who bought wristbands & badges for SXSW be reimbursed for their purchase?  Will the folks who booked flights to Austin (& reserved hotel rooms) back out, or come anyway?  I had read that some bands cancelled their SXSW showcases - what about the bands that didn't?

Now, I know I don't live in Austin anymore, & none of this matters to me in the abstract (I most probably won't visit Austin ever again).  But I feel a strange kinship to the folks who live at the edges of the monstrosity that the South By Southwest music festival has become.

Mostly I want everyone to be safe.  Is this something that will become more awful with time?  If so, good!  Cancel the music festivals!  If not - well, let's be glad we were safe.  All the people I know in Austin will be safe.  That's good enough for me.

Thursday, March 05, 2020


As is my wont, I discussed the coronavirus on Sugar Substitute this week, & it's something I read about occasionally (all right, constantly) when I am surfing the net.  Outside the world seems pretty much the same - spring is coming tentatively to Portland, people are still waiting for buses & walking their dogs & driving way too slow - but at Costco they were out of toilet paper (!) & as I was leaving I heard to employees say, "Well, that was the last of the Clorox wipes!"

Now it says twelve confirmed dead in the United States.  There are many cases just north & south of us here.  It's a bit frightening.  But, again, I am not seeing folks in masks, I don't know a person who's been unwell, & though I am taking precautions - wiping down consoles at the radio stations before I use them, for example - I feel a little silly doing so.

But, yes, I'm anxious about it.  I watched Bill Maher last Friday & he seemed a bit freaked out.  I watched John Oliver on Sunday & he was a bit more helpful.  In fact, I'm going to watch that segment again.  Want to watch with me?  Cool.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Self Help Radio 030220: Quite A Show

Yes, the first Self Help Radio on from 8-10am on Freeform was indeed "quite a show."  Do not make a drinking game out of the foul-ups, bleeps, & blunders, or you'll have alcohol poisoning before the second hour begins.  "Quite" as an adverb here can mean so many things, it's sweet if you assume it means something intensifying, as in "quite good," but more often than not, for this show anyway, it goes the other way: "that's not quite right."

Still, it was quite the time this morning, what with English computers interrupting, & old dissolute mentors calling in.  There was music, poetry, secret call-ins, & I almost - almost! - revealed Masonic secrets that probably would've gotten me killed, if not audited.

You can listen now at Self Help Radio dot net.  As always, it's quite inconvenient that you'll need to know a username & a password, but as usual it's SHR & selfhelp respectively.  What happens on the show - which too two hours, quite a lot of time! - is listed below.

All right.  That's quite enough for now.

Self Help Radio - Quite A Show
"Quite Early Morning" Pete Seeger _The Essential Pete Seeger_
"Quite Ugly One Morning" Warren Zevon _Mr. Bad Example_
"Quite All Right" The Reputations _Electric Power_

introduction & definitions

"Allright/Not Quite" The Apples In Stereo _The Discovery Of A World Inside The Moone_
"Not Quite Burning Bridges" Bunnygrunt _Wish I'd Kept A Scrapbook: A Tribute To Tullycraft_
"Quite Quieter Than Spiders" Joy Electric _The Ministry Of Archers_
"Quite Disappointing" 999 _The 999 Singles Album_
"Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" Ruff Diamond _Mary, Mary Quite Contrary_

an English computer interrupts!

"Quite Unrehearsed" Colin Newman _It Seems_
"Quite Ahead Of My Time" David Bowwow _439 Golden Greats: Never Mind The Originals Here's The HeeBeeGeeBees_
"Standing Quite A Long Way Away" Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie _Saturday Live, Vol. 1_
"Almost But Not Quite There" Traffic Jam (Status Quo) _Quotations, Vol. 1: The Beginning_
"The Hour Of Not Quite Rain" Buffalo Springfield _Last Time Around_

idioms - with a Ned Dry interruption!

"Quite Content" The Soup Dragons _Scared To Get Happy (A Story Of Indie-Pop 1980-1989)_
"She Seems Quite Free" The June Brides _She Seems Quite Free_
"Not Quite Right" The Cannanes & Steward _Communicating At An Unknown Rate_
"Why I Am Quite Handy With The Ladies" Emo Philips _Live From The Hasty Pudding Theatre_
"Not Quite A Lady" Miss World _Keeping Up With Miss World_

Gary's old mentor, Pat "Stinky Pete" Millburn, calls in!

"I'll Never Quite Get Over You" The Hep Stars _We & Our Cadillac_
"Not Quite A Yes" Arab Strap _Philophobia_
"Quite Like You" Andy Shauf _The Party_
"Not Quite The Same" Temples _Hot Motion_
"Quite Unusual" Front 242 _Official Version_

conclusion & goodbye

"Quite Naturally" The Jellydots _Hey You Kids!_
"Quite Good Time" 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong _Baby Trash_
"Quite A Reputation" The Chymes _Girls In The Garage, Vol. 2_
"Quite Fast" David Moses & Group _Swinging London: The Accidental Genius Of Saga Records 1968-1970_
"Must Be Quite A Show" Marvin Gaye _Motown Unreleased 1964_
"The Picture Became Quite Clear" The Manhattans _With These Hands_

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Whither Quite A Show?

(Informative information to inform you here.)

That's correct: this week's Self Help Radio theme is "quite a show."  Which means of course a bunch of songs that prominently feature the word "quite."  If you don't know how to use the word "quite," you will get many examples on this week's show, & you can also watch the video I linked to above.  It's actually quite entertaining & informative.

There's something else going on, of course - Self Help Radio is changing timeslots for the new Freeform Schedule (which began this morning at midnight!).  We're moving up from 6-8am to 8-10am.  & I felt it would be a good introduction to the show to any new listener to let them know that Self Help Radio is "quite a show" - but also that the show does dumb things like spend an entire show playing songs & talking about an adverb.  It does that from time-to-time.  That's how Self Help Radio rolls.  It's quite ridiculous.

The show is on tomorrow, Monday morning, new timeslot! from 8-10am on 90.3+98.3fm Freeform Portland freeform portland dot org.  Will it be quite entertaining?  With "quite" as the theme, it better be!