Quick post: American vs. British radio

A friend of mine sent me this article from the Wall Street Journal that discusses how radio lost out so quickly to television. Here's one paragraph:

Americans of all ages ­embraced TV unhesitatingly. They felt no loyalty to network radio, the medium that had entertained and informed them for a quarter-century. When something came along that they deemed superior, they switched off their radios without a second thought. That's the biggest lesson taught by the new-media crisis of 1949. Nostalgia, like guilt, is a rope that wears thin.

An hour after I read that, I got my weekly e-mail from BBC Radio 4. Here are the highlights from their schedule for next week:

Friday 28 August

David Attenborough’s Life Stories, 8.50-9.00pm, repeated Sunday 8.50-9.00am
David Attenborough talks about the Coelacanth, an ancestor to all back-boned animals.

Saturday 29 August

Bryn Terfel Masters Wine 10.30-11.00am
Bryn Terfel takes a break from the operatic stage to meet some of the world’s best wine experts and finds out about what a sommelier does – from tasting to service to food matching.

Lockerbie on Trial, 2.30-4.00pm
Another chance to hear Peter Goodchild's dramatised reconstruction of the extraordinary story of one of the longest, costliest and most complicated trials in legal history. Presented by Sheena MacDonald. With Ian McDiarmid, Denis Lawson and Hugh Fraser.

Loose Ends, 6.15-7.00pm
Clive Anderson’s guests are Kate Humble, Simon Hoggart, and Alexei Sayle. Jo Bunting talks to Gareth Malone. Music from Eric Roberson and from Soulsavers, featuring Mark Lanegan.

Profile, 7.00-7.15, repeated Sunday 5.40-6.00pm
Mary Ann Sieghart profiles Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sunday 30 August

Radio 4 Appeal, Sunday 7.55-8.00am, repeated Sun 9.25-9.30pm, Thurs 3.28pm
Gary O'Donoghue appeals on behalf of ClearVision.
The Reunion, 11.15am-noon, repeated Friday 9.00-9.45am
Sue MacGregor reunites key players in the relief effort mounted in response to the famine in Ethiopia in 1984. With Michael Buerk, nurse Claire Bertschinger, former head of Oxfam Hugh Goyder, Major Dawit Wolde Giorgis of the Ethiopian relief effort and Sir Brian Barder, ambassador to Ethiopia.

Americana, 7.15-7.45pm
Kevin Connolly presents. Items include: the political influence of Irish Americans; the continuing relationship between the US and Sir Winston Churchill; the Iraqi Student Project; disaster buddies.

Monday 31 August

Jeopardising Justice, 9.30-9.45am
New series. Helena Kennedy QC explores how the best intentions in legal reform can sometimes produce outcomes that were quite unexpected, even to the reformers themselves. In this first programme she traces the rise of the victims’ movement.

Newton and the Counterfeiter, 9.45-10.00am, repeated 12.30-12.45
Crawford Logan reads from Thomas Levenson's biography of Isaac Newton and his rivalry with William Chaloner, one of 17th-century London's most accomplished and daring criminals.

Woman's Hour, 10.00-10.45am
A celebration of 100 years of Girl Guides, with Kate Silverton; Denise King, CEO, Girlguiding UK; and Liz Burnley, Chief Guide.

Writing the Century, 10.45-11.00am, repeated 7.45-8.00pm, daily
Vanessa Rosenthal explores the 20th century by dramatising the diaries and correspondence of real people. July 1964. Tom and Stella. Drama student Stella Kaufman travels to Israel on a quest to “find herself”.

Merry Widows, 11.00-11.30am
Women who have been widowed after years of happy marriage describe their sense of shock, the difficulties of starting over and the surprise of finding happiness.

You and Yours, 12.00-1.00pm
Fake UGG boots; Liverpool’s musical heritage; hotel ratings; food scares: BSE; staycations.

What Might Have Been, 2.15-3.00pm
By Joseph O Connor, inspired by Irish immigrants Joseph and Bridget Moore as they struggle to cope in a New York tenement on the Lower East Side in 1869. Performed by Stephen Rea.

Tracing Your Roots, 4.30-5.00pm
New series. Sally Magnusson explores family history with listener Stella Collis, who discovers her father's military records.

Front Row, 7.15-7.45pm
Mark Lawson interviews William Trevor, who celebrated his 81st birthday earlier this year, and whose most recent book is on the long-list for this year's Booker Prize for fiction.

Where Did It All Go Right? 8.00-8.30pm
Philip Cowley re-examines policies once thought highly controversial. In this programme he looks back at the early debates about the national minimum wage. Contributors include Boris Johnson, Michael Portillo, and Jack Dromey.

Costing the Earth, 9.00-9.30pm, repeated 1.30-2.00pm
New series. Turbines or Tearooms? Tom Heap asks how campaigners for Green energy can overcome the Nimbys.

Love and Summer, 10.45-11.00pm
By William Trevor, read by Dermot Crowley. Ellie Dillahan finds a whole new world in the arrival of a dark-haired young photographer.

Tuesday 1 September

The House I Grew Up In, 9.00-9.30am, repeated 9.30-10.00pm
New series. Wendy Robbins accompanies disability campaigner Baroness Jane Campbell back to her childhood home in New Malden, Surrey.

Woman's Hour, 10.00-10.45am
Interview with Jo Whiley about who cares for a disabled sibling after the death of parents; Children’s Trust Fund update; discussion about Operation Pied Piper, the evacuation of Jewish children from mainland Europe, which happened on September 1 1939.

Twice Ken is Plenty: the Lost Script of Kenneth Williams, 11.30am-noon
A recently unearthed, never before performed script written for Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams is brought to life by Robin Sebastian and Jonathan Rigby. Includes vintage sound effects.

Call You and Yours, 12.00-1.00pm
Staycations – spending your holiday at home.

Front Row, 7.15-7.45pm
Mark Lawson talks to Margaret Atwood, and reviews two competing TV programmes featuring young men with a mission - chef Jamie Oliver visits America, and conductor Gareth Malone tries to get a Hertfordshire town to sing in his series The Choir.

Wednesday 2 September

Woman's Hour, 10.00-10.45am
Women and policing at large public demos; the TUC debates whether high-heeled shoes are demeaning or liberating; interview with Sadie Jones, author of Small Wars; interview with Bananarama.

Random Edition: Outbreak of War Special, 11.00-11.30am
Peter Snow turns the pages of the Manchester Guardian for September 4 1939, which describes the previous day's declaration of war by Neville Chamberlain's government.

You and Yours, 12.00-1.00pm
UK colleges putting overseas students to work instead of the qualification/training they paid for; Alnwick High Street; café bans mobile phones; Liz Barclay’s consumer complaints panel: rail season tickets; XL airlines’ compensation promises; regional newspapers.

Chain Reaction, 6.30-7.00pm
New series. Robert Llewellyn interviews Dave Gorman.

Front Row, 7.15-7.45pm
Mark Lawson meets Julia McKenzie, who takes on the role of Agatha Christie's renowned sleuth Miss Marple on TV; plus the verdict on the alien invasion film District 9; and an interview with Joanna Lumley.

Thursday 3 September

Woman's Hour, 10.00-10.45am
Lives led by WWII widows; interview with Brooke Kinsella, author of Why Ben?; the role of parents have in pre-school education; “Brigitte Bardot and the Original Paparazzi” exhibition.

Biggles: Adventures through Time, 11.30am-noon
Alexander Armstrong explores the lasting appeal of “Biggles”. Created by Captain WE Johns, Captain James Bigglesworth first took to the skies in 1916 in his FE 2 Pusher and made his final descent 50 years later in a Hawker Hunter.

You and Yours, 12.00-1.00pm
Empty fire control centres; mobile phone roaming charges; alternative ways to detect the green shoots of economic recovery; wi-fi cities, where are they?

Fireflies, 2.15-3.00pm
By Tena Štivièiæ. Chance encounters and strange revelations abound as six people wait in a weather-stricken airport.

Front Row, 7.15-7.45pm
Kirsty Lang interviews Ian Rankin, as he introduces his new detective Malcolm Fox; plus a reassessment of Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing, 20 years after its first release; and can the recent banking crisis be turned into gripping TV drama?

Friday 4 September

Woman's Hour, 10.00-10.45am
Western feminists not vocally supporting Lubna Hussein (in court in Sudan for wearing trousers); Yorkshire’s industrial women; rheumatoid arthritis; moustaches (on men) and image.

Journey of a Lifetime, 11.00-11.30am
Dan Box, winner in the BBC/Royal Geographical Society’s annual competition, explores the remote and low-lying Carteret Islands, Papua New Guinea.

You and Yours, 12.00-1.00pm
The consequences of CRB checks on sports clubs; travel discounts for people with disabilities; row about a National Trust tearoom; the Government’s art collection; Scotland’s Homecoming campaign; iconic recording studios in London close.

Front Row, 7.15-7.45pm
Kirsty Lang reviews Andrea Arnold's film Fish Tank, which won the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes film festival.


Dan Deacon's new video

My infatuation with Dan Deacon has not yet stopped. Last week I let myself download more of his albums for free, ones that are available on his site. Those songs are earlier, and have allowed me a glimpse into how he's evolved as an artist, from a guy futzing around with the same kinds of computer programs I was futzing around with ten years ago into a full-fledged musical guy who appears at Lollapalooza.

This is not the post where I actually write that out, as I'm still working on a story I'm about to publish for my job, but I felt the need to get this video out there. This is "Paddling Ghost" from the album Bromst, and it's something that really makes me smile on so many levels. (Facebook readers: You have to click through to the original post to see this)

Training update for late August

There are only eight more weekends left until the Richmond Marathon. I'm not too worried about the tightness in my left ankle. I can stretch it out, and today is not a running day. I ran too fast last night because I'd been in a terrible mood all day and I needed to burn off the frustration. So, I went my the five miles prescribed to me by Coach Lorenzoni, and came home, had my protein in the form of a Morningstar riblet and fell asleep by 10:30.

Am I ready for the marathon? Not sure. I'll know at the end, won't I? This weekend I'm looking at a 16 mile long run, and it will be the first time I've run with the group in a month. For logistical reasons, I've been running the same lengths here in town which is not nearly as much fun but as long as I put in the miles, I should be fine.

And, I'm putting in the miles. I occasionally have to pay a babysitter on Thursday nights to make sure I can get my four or five miles in. In September, I'll have to find a way to cover my Sunday runs when I add my fifth day. By the end of September, I will have run 20 miles in one day, adding up to 42 for one week.

Today is a non-running day. I've not been very good about getting to the gym, but I'll go later on tonight for a quick work-out. I don't get the same rush of confidence at the gym, because my work-out is kind of boring, and I'm not doing it three days a week anymore. I know this will change in December, when I begin weight-training in a serious fashion.

To be honest, though, I've not been doing as well of late. For whatever reason, the reality of my separation has put me in a dark hole for much of the last two weeks. Running helps me climb out and makes me feel like I have some self-worth. It is very important I cross that finish line.


Long run switcheroo

This week has been a lighter week in the marathon training program for me. This morning I was only to do 11 miles, so I decided to do them in town rather than drive out to Keene where the group was meeting. Of course, that means I have to calculate my miles in Google Earth, and wasn't really able to figure out my pace while en route. But, oh well. Sometimes you have to make accommodations.

The reason for this switcheroo is that I had my kids last night, my Super Awesomes as I seem to call them. In my head, we're part of a superhero team. I don't know what their powers are, but I'm sure they are to materialize. Their mother was nice enough to help me by coming over this morning to watch them while I hit the pavement. I'm amazed at how cooperative our relationship is at this point, and I'm very pleased.

I'm also happy at the relationship between my mind, which decided to run the marathon, and my body, which actually has to run those 26.2 miles in just under 100 days time. Today, my body was not entirely happy for the first 4 miles. I was sluggish, tired, coughing, feeling sorry for myself for having a slight cold. I had some moments today when I didn't think I was going to make it, but I managed to run my way through them. Running is a good test of the hypochondriac in me.

What's weird, though, is how the pains and pessimism cleared up as soon as I took a power-gel shot outside the Ultimate Bliss store. Strawberry-Banana flavored. I'd never taken one before, but, wow. I'm going to need to get more of those. Within about 20 seconds, I felt this sense that my body had what it needed to go the rest of the way. My legs felt like well-oiled pistons, and I shot over across U.S. 29 as fast as I could.

I must cut this short, because me and the Super Awesomes have to go fight some crime, but I did want to tack on this picture from last year's birthday. Me and my friend Jeffry at Court Square Tavern.
For some reason, I don't look terribly overweight in that picture. Maybe it's the fact that there's a delicious beverage in my hand. I know I'm the same person as I was this time last year, but my life has gone through a radical change or two. I'm pushing myself harder than I ever have, physically. I'm not working as hard as I want to, and I have a lot of organizational work that I need to do. But, I'm learning to pace myself. Learning how to go the distance.


August thoughts; birthday invitation

August is a month many people would like to ban. I've seen this meme thrown around in Facebook status updates, blog posts and in the occasional e-mail poll. It's too hot, people say. It's too slow, people say.

However, I say August is okay in my book. After all, I'll turn 36 on Sunday. I seem to be a bit more introspective with the approach of that somewhat august milestone. My clock is about to reset, and I can finally feel myself beginning to move on from can only be described as a year of intense transition.

I spent my 35th birthday at Court Square Tavern. My ex had prepared a fantastic surprise party for me, and I really had one of those "It's a Wonderful Life" moments where I felt home and welcome. I'm so thankful to her for setting that up for me, and for giving me two fantastic children.

And here I am, about to celebrate my 36th birthday in the same place. This is an invitation to anyone who reads this to come to the Tavern tomorrow night beginning at around 8:00 to wish me a happy birthday. And see the place. Why not, I say? I'm going to be there until 10:00 no matter what.