Friday, June 02, 2023

Self Help Radio 060123: Meteors

Oh no! Coming crashing into your radio atmosphere completely unwanted is Self Help Radio's show about meteors! It spent so long in the emptiness of space as a Self Help Radio show about meteoroids & now that it's wrecked your radio it's a show about meteorites but look how it burned so bright as a show about meteors!

Sorry I'm so proud of myself learning the proper terminology. I might be the only person who learns anything from my ridiculous radio programs.

Listen to the show! Now & whenever! It's at the Self Help Radio website! Remember you'll need a username & a password. Those are SHR & selfhelp. It's two hours of shooting star fun, & everything on the show is listed below.

Watch your head!

Self Help Radio Meteor Show
"What Is A Shooting Star?" Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans _Space Songs (From Ballads For The Age Of Science)_
"Meteor" Day Sleeper _When The Meteor Comes_
"Meteors" The Seals _1/3_

introduction & definitions

"The Wayward Meteor" Man Or Astro-Man? _The Sounds Of Tomorrow_
"Meteor Shower" Seely _Julie Only_
"The Biggest Meteor I've Ever Seen" Laura Brino _How We Survived_
"Meteor Shower" Tanya Donelly _Swan Song Series_

our resident cinephile Chuck stops by to talk about meteor movies

"Born Under A Meteor" Everything Everything _Raw Data Feel_
"Rock Paper Scissors Meteor" Joel Plaskett _44_
"Meteorite" Zombina & The Skeletones _Taste The Blood Of Zombina & The Skeletones_
"To A Meteorite In A Museum" Clock Hands Strangle _Distaccati_

interview with my friend Josh Roberts, who's afraid of meteors

"A Meteor At A Time" The Walker Roaders _The Walker Roaders_
"Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites" Love Is All _A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night_
"Meteor In Your Mind" Shaft _Meteor In Your Mind_
"Meteora Blues" Yves Tumor _Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)_

interview with Eustace Connor, founder of the Junior Meteors Amateur Astronomy Group
memories of my days as a Junior Meteor

"Riding Meteors" The Happy Bullets _Blue Skies & Umbrellas_
"Meteors" The Happy Hollows _Concordia_
"Meteorites" Warm Jets _Future Signs_
"Meteorites" Echo & the Bunnymen _Meteorites_

interview with meteor monitor Reuben Green
also! conclusion & goodbye

"Backwater" Brian Eno _Before & After Science_
"Meteor Boy" David Steinhart _The Almighty Nest_
"Meteor Rock" The Cassettes _O'er The Mountain_
"Meteor" Masters Of The Hemisphere _Masters Of The Hemisphere_

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Whither Meteors?

(image from Wikipedia)

In a story I might have told before on this blog, I was driving through Nevada in the summer of 1995 when I stopped on Highway 50 (the one I discussed here) at dusk & lay on the very warm hood of my rental car & watched the sky turn black. Amazingly I could see quite clearly for the first time this thing called "The Milky Way" I had read so much about. But what was really stunning was that, at a rate of one every two or three minutes, I could see shooting stars.

At first I though I was just tired & maybe even imagining, as I had been driving all day. If I stared enough into a section of the sky, it would seem like a star would become dislodged & leave a tiny trail as it disappeared from the darkness. There would have been a time when humans, looking up, would have found this commonplace, maybe even imagined stars lived & died as they did. It was a beauty that I couldn't believe I hadn't seen before.

Lying there, in some quiet Nevada valley on a lonely highway, I almost fell asleep, when the only other car on that road (for over an hour) zoomed past me, & the driver leaned on his horn. Because the temptation to be an asshole is everywhere & always a strong one.

This doesn't explain why I'm doing a show about meteors today. But maybe it explains why I love them.

Please listen this afternoon, noon to 2pm Portland time, on 90.3+98.3fm in town & online at Freeform Portland dot org. The show won't be anywhere as lovely as a meteor but it will be just as ephemeral.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Preface To Meteors: An Embarrassing Confession

(image from here)

Self Help Radio has been on the air for over twenty years now. Mostly it's not paid attention to, so I am the one who needs to monitor the themes I've covered. A few years ago, I made what I call a table of contents which is just a list of the subjects the show has explored. I haven't counted them - please don't make me count them - & to add insult to injury, I've started adding links to other shows I do (like the Dickenbock Report) if the theme has not been explored on Self Help Radio. Usually if it took the whole show. I use this list, this "table of contents," to make sure I don't repeat a theme on SHR.

That's important, because I don't mind repeating a theme on the Dickenbock Report. I think of it as a kind of updating. & because the format is slightly different, my airbreaks will be different. If it's a theme, for example, that I covered on SHR which featured a lot of interviews, it will feature more of me talking on the Dickenbock Report episode. It doesn't feel to me like a repeat.

However. While I was listening to songs this week about meteors, the songs seemed too familiar. I checked & double-checked the list on the website. It says I have never done a show about meteors. But at some point there was something like déjà vu happening too often so I checked the individual year pages & scanned the old playlists.

Well damn. Apparently, almost exactly three years ago, songs about meteors were part of an episode of The Dickenbock Report when it was on KBOO. At that time, the show was two & a half hours long & I had other segments on it. So it never occurred to me to note it on the "table of contents" page.

This has caused me some anxiety so I have attempted to find more new meteor songs for this show but I suspect I'll play some of the ones that I played three years ago. There will be new interviews & I'll be doing the show live at the Freeform Portland studios rather than recorded or remotely during a pandemic. But some of the songs will be the same.

You may be asking, "What's the chance someone who heard the show then will hear it now?" I don't know. I don't have any idea who was listening then or now. But I have already done a lot of prep for the show so it would be dumb to just not do it.

It's really embarrassing though.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Meteor Shower Story

(image from here)

This week's show's theme is "meteors." I always thought it would be romantic to take someone out to see a meteor shower. I hadn't actually witnessed one, always living in an urban area where the light pollution made it impossible. In fact, it wasn't until I was on a road in the middle of Nevada in 1995 that I even saw the actual Milky Way - & in fact saw a number of meteors as well. It was lovely & thrilling.

A few years later, wanting to hang out with a woman I liked, I had a rental car from a recent visit to Dallas to see family, & I had checked some astronomical website & I found a place far enough from Austin where I thought we might be able to see some summer meteor shower - possibly the Perseids. She agreed & off we went, driving west from town on some small highway.

Not very far outside of the city, probably near Cedar Valley, I caught a sudden sight out of the corner of my eye & very quickly felt the impact of something striking the car on the driver's side, right at the corner where the windshield met the body of the vehicle. I don't recall if the car spun but I do know I got it as quickly as possible to the side of the road. I haven't been in many car accidents in my time. I hope I reacted well.

The driver's side mirror was gone, & there was a large dent in front of the door (which opened with difficulty). More horrifying to me was tufts of coarse hair stuck in place where there were cracks or folds. We were not alone on the highway, though other cars were few & far between, & a kindly driver stopped & asked if we needed help. They had a cell phone (something that was a rarity in the 1990s) & called the Highway Patrol. I looked around & the creature that struck the vehicle was nowhere to be found.

When the law showed up, they escorted us off the highway to a closed shopping mall & got all the information. They opined about the deer - whether it would live, how big its antlers must have been to scratch up the car, how sad if it died & "all that venison went to waste." I wasn't comforted by their conversation but needed their report so I wouldn't be charged for the damage at the rental car place.

The experience was draining & I just took the woman home. It occurred to me as we rode in silence that in the blackness of the highway, waiting for the cops, I never once looked up at the sky. & I had bad dreams that night about the deer, hoping against hope it survived its head-on experience with the car.

& wishing I had seen my first meteor shower instead.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Waiting For A Sign

A picture I recently posted on Facebook. I'll later post it on Tumblr. It's not all that clever but it makes me feel a little clever. & that's nice.