Saturday, July 25, 2020

Preface To Heroes: Define It

So...  The show this week...  Self Help Radio this week...  It's already done.  I'm not saying so on the air - I find there are few benefits to mentioning one's show is prerecorded - but I'm saying so here because (if it's possible) less people read this blog than listen to the show.  & almost no one listens to the show.

One thing I like to do for my themes is define them.  You might expect I would have done it for this week's show.  & I tried to, really, I did.  But I was interrupted.  Which sometimes happens.  It would be nice if it happened comically, but I doubt that's the case for this week's show.  In any event, I did not get to define the word hero.  Which, should you tune in Monday, you'll discover.  Should I have said "spoiler alert"?

However, we have time & space for definitions here.  So, without further ado, here's what it says on the Wikipedia page for hero:

A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage, or strength. Like other formerly solely gender-specific terms (like actor), hero is often used to refer to any gender, though heroine only refers to female. The original hero type of classical epics did such things for the sake of glory & honor. On the other hand, are post-classical & modern heroes, who perform great deeds or selfless acts for the common good instead of the classical goal of wealth, pride, & fame.

It goes on to mention - you can read it yourself - that the word comes from the Greek heros which meant "protector" or "defender."  One of my favorite sites, the Online Etymology Dictionary, notes these things:

Meaning "man who exhibits great bravery" in any course of action is from 1660s in English. Sense of "chief male character in a play, story, etc." first recorded 1690s. Hero-worship is from 1713 in reference to ancient cults & mysteries; of living people by 1830s. In Homer, of the Greeks before Troy, then a comprehensive term used of warriors generally, also of all free men in the Heroic Age. In classical mythology from at least the time of Hesiod (8c. B.C.E.) "man born from a god & a mortal," especially one who had done service to humankind; with the exception of Heracles limited to local deities & patrons of cities.

That's all I wanted to say today.  Something I didn't get a chance to say on the show.  Which airs on Monday.  But which I finished yesterday morning.  Not to be too confusing or anything.

Friday, July 24, 2020


(Taken by Jim, my Fort Worth neighbor, over two years ago.)

You probably don't read this blog regularly, or at all, so it's weird to refer to old stories I have written about.  This post concerns a cat that my neighbor rescued in December 2018 who recuperated in our garage.  I told that story here.  When I wrote that story, the cat - called "Simba" by my wife - had not been rescued.  The story of his rescue is written here.  Too long, didn't read: a graduate student at UNT adopted him.  When I was still in Fort Worth, I'd volunteer to look in on Vince - the grad student gave him that name because of his ear - when needed.  I liked to go over there, hang out with him - he was a very loving cat - & occasionally sit on the balcony with him.  Vince didn't seem to mind being indoors - he seemed to have a sense that he'd spent so much time outdoors that he should be an indoors cat from now on.

The truth is, there was very little feral about him, so he must have once been an indoors cat.  The theory is that some family who lived in the apartment complex near where he spent most of his life probably abandoned him when they moved away.  He was a tough guy - his face told you that story - but he loved to cuddle, he loved to simply be near humans - heck, he even seemed to lose his trademark hiss after a time.  It broke my heart to leave Texas & not be able to see him again.  But I knew he was in good hands.

The grad students (whose name is Holden) doted on Vince.  He apparently started an Instagram account just to show him off.  (I don't do Instagram so I don't know where it is.)  When the pandemic started, Holden drove to Ohio where his family & his girlfriend are, & my wife told me the cat simply rode in the back seat - without a carrier - &, when Holden stayed at his girlfriend's, Vince was forced to live with three golden retrievers, all of whom were immediately made aware who was in charge.  You want proof?  Here's proof:

The wife tells me Holden actually walked Vince on a leash.  I was already dumbfounded about a cat that would travel without a carrier - my own cats would go nuts in a car left alone to wander - but I could no more walk my cats on a leash as I could teach them how to fly.  But Vince was exceedingly chill - the almost-perfect house cat - & certainly the best first cat for a young person like Holden.

It goes without saying that living rough for years - I'd say Vince had been a "feral" cat for eight years or so - took its toll.  Vince was FIV positive, which never bodes well, & he had other issues related to the injuries that brought him to our garage in the first place.  The infection in his cauliflower ear was never resolved, & it moved from time-to-time to his eye.  There were other issues that I am not entirely privy to - but suffice it to say, keeping Vince well meant more than a few vet visits.

Of course I'm speaking about Vince in the past tense now.  We found out today from Holden that early Tuesday morning Vince had a seizure from which he never recovered.  From what I understand, it happened too fast to get him to an emergency vet, & since it was the very early morning when Holden woke to discover his condition, there was no telling how long he had been seizing.  That's a nightmare for every pet owner, & I can't even imagine what Holden has been going through.  I lost my first cat to feline leukemia when he was just five years old & I don't think I've ever gotten over it.  Here's what I texted Holden when I found out:

So sorry to hear about Vince.  You adopted him knowing he had years of hard living that eventually would catch up to him.  But his last year was the best of his life & he obviously was happy & well-adjusted.  Thank you for giving him the housecat life that was denied him for so long.

This may be the last picture I took of him before I left Texas:

He was a beautiful cat with an amazing personality.  The folks who abandoned him have no idea what they lost.  Honestly, if I knew we were staying in Texas, we might have adopted him.  As it was, he came to us when he needed help, & we were miraculously able to give him, like I said to Holden, the life he so deserved.

Goodbye, Vincent.  I'm glad you found Holden & I'm glad your retirement into senior housecat living was so glorious.  We should all be so lucky.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Self Help Radio 072020: One Thousand

Radio shows about numbers can be kinda lame.  I wonder how many numbers Self Help Radio has explored?  I seem to remember zero.  & there was nine.  It feels like recently I did a show on the number seventeen (though it was over two years ago now).  Also, one hundred.  Does it count if I focused on a single number like one million miles?  It doesn't?  Ah well.

This lame radio show focuses on the number one thousand.  Not one thousand of any particular thing, just, you know, one thousand.  Here's something I just realized: I don't think I said the word "millennia" once during the show.  How about that.  I might have, but I don't recall.  I wasn't really listening, though.

Should you want to listen - there are almost certainly a thousand reasons not to - you can do so at Self Help Radio's website.  You'll only need two bits of information to hear the show: a username, which is SHR, & a password, which is selfhelp.  You can see what happens on the show, songs & interviews, below.

As always: a thousand apologies.

Self Help Radio One Thousand Show
"A Thousand Stars" Kathy Young & The Innocents _The Sound Of Kathy Young_
"A Thousand Love Songs" Tiny Tim, The Eternal Troubadour _Terra Serpentes_
"A Thousand Shades Of Blue" Ron Banks & The Dramatics _The Dramatic Jackpot_

introduction & definitions

"A Thousand Hours" The Cure _Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me_
"Hold Back A Thousand Hours" The Gentle Waves _Falling From Grace_
"A Woman Went One Thousand Miles To See A Man" Rev. D.C. Rice _Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order (1928-1930)_
"Thousand Miles Away" Otis Redding _The Immortal Otis Redding_
"Thousand Mile Blues" Jean Ritchie _None But One/High Hills & Mountains_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Land Of 1000 Dances" Wilson Pickett _Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits_
"A Thousand Lovers In A Day" Future Bible Heroes _Eternal Youth_
"1000 Dreams" Miss Kittin & The Hacker _Two_
"A Thousand Words" Styrofoam _A Thousand Words_
"La Valse Mille Temps" Jacques Brel _Infiniment_

interview with author Albert Bierstadt

"$1000 Wedding" The Mekons _Slightly South Of The Border_
"A Thousand Burning Bridges" Edna McGriff _Start Movin' In My Direction_
"Land Of A Thousand Boys" Brenda Holloway _The Motown Anthology_
"A Thousand Ways" La Sera _Music For Listening To Music To_
"A Thousand Trees Were Dancing In The Dark" Gary Wilson _Alone With Gary Wilson_

the weekly Self Help Radio challenge Elliott Kliffnerd interrupts!

"A Thousand Wonders" Archie Bell & The Drells _After Hours: The Collection (Northern Soul Masters From The Vaults Of Atlantic, Atco, Loma, Reprise, & Warner Bros. Records 1965-1974)_
"My Thousand Years With Robots" From Bubblegum To Sky _Me & Amy & The Two French Boys_
"Man Of A Thousand Faces" Regina Spektor _Far_
"One Thousand 20th Century Chairs" Kahami Karie _K.K.K.K.K._
"Like 1000 Violins" 1000 Violins _Like 1000 Violins_

conclusion & goodbye

"1000 Stars" Big Country _The Crossing_
"One Thousand" The Maybellines _The Maybellines_
"Life Of A Thousand Crimes" Echo & The Bunnymen _The Fountain_
"A Thousand Shadows" The Seeds _Future_

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Whither One Thousand?

(Image from here.)

This week on Self Help Radio - one thousand songs!

Wait, let me clarify - there will be one thousand songs although the number of songs on the show will probably not be one thousand.  Usually we average about thirty songs per episode, give or take.  Depends on how long they are.  & how much I talk.  In any event, let's say we'll have around thirty one thousand songs on the show this week.  Still, on the show, there will be nothing but one thousand songs.  Songs about things that number one thousand.  Gosh, I can see how that might be confusing.  If only there were a cleared way to express that.  But I suppose there isn't.

Therefore!  Listen to Self Help Radio tomorrow from 8 to 10am on Freeform Portland - 90.3 & 98.3 fm in the city, everywhere - to hear one thousand songs!  Only one thousand songs!  Nothing but one thousand songs!*

*Again, though, the actual number of songs won't be one thousand.  I mean, just doing the math, each song would have to be no longer than seventy-two seconds each, & that would be without any talk at all, which, if you've heard the show, that will never ever happen.