Saturday, August 28, 2021


One thing I do on dog walks - & I make sure to ask the owner permission before I do it - is give treats to the dogs who I see on those walks.  At this point, with many years of dog walks under my belt, in several cities, there are dozens of dogs I've made friends with.  It may not be surprising I don't remember their names.

This pair - I don't remember if they were brother & sister - were two bassets who lived in Lexington, Kentucky, in a home behind what initially was a place that specialized in prosthetics but which turned into, right before we moved, a foot & ankle center.  I guess it was a podiatrist's practice?  Anyway, having beagles we are partial to hounds of all kinds & these two were delightfully loud & sweet.  They of course enjoyed treats, & the owners enjoyed the attention we gave them - we had to walk behind the prosthetic/podiatrist place to visit them, as their backyard did not abut the street - & they were often in the backyard with the dogs.

Dang it, I'm frustrated I don't recall their names.  My wife probably does.  I'd ask her but I don't currently know where she is.

Anyway, I took this picture on a summer dog walk seven years ago today, August 28, 2014.  I know there's a chance they are no longer with us, but I am grateful I don't know for sure.  They were very well taken care of, & that's something I don't always see on dog walks.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Everything's Quiet At The Ol' Five & Dime

(Here's a picture of an actual five & dime store.  From here.)

This week's show - next week's show - whatever - is another of my indiepop a to z shows, so I will have no interviews or other stuff, just songs with me talking in-between.  & since it'll be me in the studio, I don't have to record my airbreaks, which means a little less work for me.  I can't tell you how much work it is to record one's airbreaks.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again: yes, I could just record it live as if I were live in the studio but as I listen back I am compelled to edit out mistakes & dumb things I say & all that.  I am incapable of letting it go when I have the ability to change it.  On my first show back on KBOO, me being a little nervous & somewhat unused to being live on the air, I got a call from a listener who laughed & said, "It's great hearing you making all the rookie mistakes! Your recorded shows were too perfect!"

So this week feels like it'll be quiet for me, but since I was raised in a convenience store, thinking about a five & dime store has made me think a little about my past.  I wish I had taken more photos or somehow saved more data because I can't be sure, for example, how much things cost back then.  Let's say forty years ago, in 1981, a time before I was allowed to work in the store (I was 13) but certainly a time when I was behind the counter observing my mother working.  What did things cost?

Here's what I found looking around the webs:

The price of a pack of cigarettes?  Around 65¢.  I do remember them being that cheap.
A candy bar?  Around 25¢.
A can of soda?  Maybe 35¢.
A comic book? I believe 60¢.  They got expensive very quickly; five years before they were half that.

You might be thinking, hey Gary!  What about things like milk, bread, fruit?  Well, it was a convenience store, & those things were usually priced more expensively than at a grocery store.

One site says gas was $1.25 a gallon in 1981, but surely that's a national average.  In Texas, gas didn't seem to rise above a buck a gallon until the late 80s or early 90s.

It's hard to find that information without looking too deeply which is why I wish I had kept some kind of record.  I honestly expected - as I guess we all do about our lives when we're young - that I'd be around the same things for - if not always, at least for most of my life.

Have I mentioned how many independent convenience stores there are in Portland?  That's a discussion for another day, though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Self Help Radio 082421: Holograms/Catenary Wires Interview

Okay, technically, the Catenary Wires interview isn't an episode of Self Help Radio.  I had the pleasure of talking to Amelia Fletcher & Rob Pursey - two people who have made some of my most favorite music in the entire world - & the conversation was so enjoyable to me that I interspersed it with their music & it came out to be around 90 minutes long.  If you listen to the show on the KBOO website, that's what happens first.  & the first set of songs below are songs I played during the interview from the couple's various bands.

Then in a truncated version of Self Help Radio, possibly the first ninety-minute-long episode I've done in almost ten years, I play lots of songs just called "Hologram" & a few others about holograms, plus talk to my spiritual mentor & to an artist who has an art collective called "The Holograms."  It goes by way too fast - if you blink, you'll miss it.

Side question: can ears blink?

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  For your convenience, here's a direct link to the Holograms show.  & here's a direct link to the Catenary Wires interview.  If you'd prefer to listen to the show at the KBOO website, why, I've already shared that link with you.

I hope you enjoy.  Here's a pic of Amelia & Rob from the Catenary Wires website:

& here are the playlists:

Self Help Radio Catenary Wires Interview
"Talulah Gosh" Talulah Gosh _Backwash_

"I Fell In Love Last Night" Heavenly _I Fell In Love Last Night_
"C Is The Heavenly Option" Heavenly _Le Jardin De Heavenly_
"P.U.N.K Girl" Heavenly _P.U.N.K Girl_

"Itchy Chin" Heavenly _The Decline & Fall Of Heavenly_
"Ben Sherman" Heavenly _Operation Heavenly_

"Hopefulness To Hopelessness" Marine Research _Sounds From The Gulf Stream_
"Oh Katrina" Tender Trap _Film Molecules_
"6 Billion People" Tender Trap _6 Billion People_
"Do You Want A Boyfriend?" Tender Trap _Dansette Dansette_

"Intravenous" The Catenary Wires _Red Red Skies_
"Sixteen Again" The Catenary Wires _Til The Morning_
"Face On The Rail Line" The Catenary Wires _Birling Gap_

"I Sold My Soul On EBay" Swansea Sound _I Sold My Soul On EBay_
"Swansea Sound" Swansea Sound _Swansea Sound_

Self Help Radio Holograms Show
"Hologram" Urinals _Negative Capability...Check It Out!_
"Hologram" Iko _I Am Zero_
"Hologram" Purrbot _Civil Unrest_

introduction & definitions

"Hologram" Katie Herzig _Apple Tree_
"Hologram" These New Puritans _Hidden_
"Hologram" TV Set _Farewell_
"Hologram" The Lennings _Inside_
"Hologram" Lydia Ainsworth _Right From Real_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Hologram" Dirty Ghosts _Let It Pretend_
"Hologram" Yacht _I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler_
"Hologram" Axel Tosca _Axel Tosca_
"Hologram" The Horrors _V_
"Hologram" Tacocat _This Mess Is A Place_

interview with Theophile Jones of the Holograms

"TVC15" David Bowie _Station To Station_
"Gerry & The Holograms" Gerry & The Holograms _7" Up!_
"Dating The Hologram" Ad Frank _The World's Best Ex-Boyfriend_
"Her Hands Were Holograms" Fred Thomas _Kuma_

conclusion & goodbye

"(Un)Happy Hologram" Nits _Knot_

Monday, August 23, 2021

Whither Holograms?

(This is your holographic brain on Self Help Radio.  Image from here.)

Tonight's Self Help Radio will be a trick of the light.  It was also be shorter than usual, & start later.  But why?  Is this because holograms are kind of annoying?  Well, no.  It's because...

Earlier this month I had a chance to talk with Amelia Fletcher & Rob Pursey of Catenary Wires, & it was a wonderful conversation which spanned their career, which includes Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap, & concurrently with the Catenary Wires, Swansea Sound.  I will take the opportunity to play songs from the over thirty years (!) they've been making music as well as chat.  That will be the first part of the show.

The second part will be holograms.  Will it be real?  No.  Will it include holographic Tupac?  Sure.

Tonight! Midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO & online at  Oh no.  I just heard hologram Tupac is double booked.  I guess we'll get the EMH from Star Trek Voyager instead.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Preface To Holograms & The Other Thing: The Other Thing

(image from here)

Okay, yeah, this week's Self Help Radio is going to be about holograms but before the show I am going to spend a little time - probably an hour - talking to & playing music from those two up there.  That's Amelia Fletcher & Rob Pursey & they've been making the kind of music I love for well over thirty years.  I had a chance to talk to them a couple weeks ago & I'll play most of that conversation for the first hour of the three I am given on Tuesday mornings.  They have nothing to do with holograms.  Unless - did I talk to holograms of them?  That can't possibly be!

Me, I have no idea if I am a good interviewer but I one time read or heard someone say you didn't have to be when you're talking to interesting people, & luckily Amelia & Rob had great insights, great stories, & I'll play many of their great songs in-between.  I was a bit amazed I got to talk to them, actually.  But I will keep myself mostly out of it, & play what they said.

& then, you know, my dumb Self Help Radio show, this week apparently about holograms.