No More Switchovers, PTL!

Satellite radio is great for the bottom line for station owners, but a bummer for the capable broadcasters who are replaced by it.  There is no telling just how many broadcast entities are manned by less than a handful of people and a bunch of telemetry.  You can usually tell if your choice is live or computer by the lengthy periods of silence at the top or bottom of the hour.  Sports stations are notorious for being ‘automated’.  With inaudible tones, the computer will switch from one source to another, accurately and even check the broadcast signal and print a program/engineering log.  Originally, there was required a large dish placed in an unobstructed location that fed the studio.  From that ‘giant’ to today’s pizza-sized receiver, thousands of broadcast facilities run 24-7 with a small staff.  I know of one East Texas station that has a staff of two. One sells and writes copy and the other programs the computer. Both prepare spots digitally and both work only daytime, five days-a-week.  The automation runs the whole thing.  They both live within minutes of the station and can be on site within minutes if something goes wrong.  The computer will call one or the other whenever there is a glitch. Back in my broadcast days I had a desire to own that station, myself.  KIVY is still on the air in Crockett, Texas.  Automation was  easy to work with, even though a bore, but when there was change of broadcast source it could get ‘hairy’.  That was  the “Switch-over” that the person on duty dreaded.  The most critical one was when switching from day-time power to night.  There never was a time that I didn’t hold my breath until it completed the circuit change.  Perhaps you’ve never thought about the voices you hear on your local stations and that they could be from some person hundreds of miles away, broadcast from an orbiting satellite, miles above the earth at a top power of 4 watts (about the same as a three cell flashlight).  Amazing, but true.  So, along about sunrise or set, when your program continues without interruption, you can celebrate, along with the person on duty by breathing a sigh of relief for another switch-over without a glitch.  It will bond you both in a moment of extreme importance, donchaknow. I do not miss those switch-overs, at all. I would suggest that any digital equipment that is utilized by anyone other than an engineer, be made with BIG “1”, “2”. “3” buttons, followed by “ENTER”. I am pleased that GOD gives us the opportunity and celebrates with us when we do things right! That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Tony’s Pony

I had not ridden a horse much, but enough not to be nervous.  I am a firm believer that animals sense our fear and take advantage of it. My first experience was at my Uncle’s ranch in Oklahoma. He ‘boarded’ horses and planted a crop of potatoes annually.  My cousins and I would spend all of July on the ranch, riding horses, digging potatoes and gigging carp in a swamp nearby. (we never tried fried carp, but the folks who worked the ranch and the Indians did)  I got into trouble by riding two Tennessee Walking horses Uncle Richard was boarding.  He had warned all of us that these two were never to be ridden. He said it would ruin their gaits.  They were the most beautiful of animals with jet black coats, four white ‘sox’ and a flowing white mane and tail. They were very gentle and would come to the pasture fence whenever we offered bits of apple.  I was so bright and a punk, so I decided to sit on the back of one and all we went round the pasture.  I thought, “Well, that was fun”, so I tried the other and it went very well.  When Uncle Richard (by the way he was Sheriff of McCurtain County, Oklahoma), when he got home, the other cousins had to blab.  That was the shortest summer visit I had made to the ranch, and as it turned out, the last one. I had one more bad experience when I was taking my six-year-old cousin on a horse at his grandfather’s farm.  Pat got excited and jerked the reins from my hand, dropping one and spooking the horse who ran under a low branch. I tossed Pat off and took the hit, shoulder high.  He screamed and his mother came out and truly blessed me out for ‘throwing her baby off a horse’. I didn’t ride there again, either. We rode up in the Tahoe Mountains for a “Cowboy Breakfast”, but the most embarrassing of my horseback experiences was while performing in the cast of summer stock at The Point Theatre in Ingram, Texas, I was invited by one of the local cast members to visit his family ranch and go for a ride on one of his most gentle mares.  Tony was a fine athlete and horseman and things went well for a few moments. Then he spurred his mount into a lope and gallop and all-out run.  My ‘most gentle mare’ thought it a race and off she went, just barely keeping her rider in the saddle. Frantically grabbing for the saddle horn, I dropped my reins and had Tony not looked back at my terrified face, this Wade would not be. He returned, took up the reins and ‘led’ me and my steed back to the barn. I shuffled off to his truck and was taken back to our cottage.  As I got out, Tony said, “Well at least you can sing pretty good.”  Yep, I could after my voice returned to it’s normal level.  I’ve not ridden a horse since and that’s a good thing, donchaknow.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.

AMEN

 

When we were Sweet Sixteen

 

This is worth sharing. From  Les Kinkaid, a good friend in Vegas.

“The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought
About the shootings at schools, the computer age, and
Just things in general. The Grandmother replied, “Well, let me think a minute, 

I was born before: 
‘ television 
was mass produced
‘ penicillin
‘ polio shots
‘ frozen foods
‘ Xerox
‘ contact lenses
‘ Frisbees and
‘ the pill
There were no:

‘ credit cards
‘ laser beams or
‘ ball-point pens
Man had not yet invented:

‘ pantyhose
‘ air conditioners
‘ dishwashers
‘ clothes dryers
‘ and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
‘ man hadn’t yet walked on the moon.

Your Grandfather and I got married first, and then lived together.
Every family had a father and a mother.
Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, “Sir.”
And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man
With a title, “Sir.”
We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.
Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.
We were taught to know the difference between right and
Wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was
A bigger privilege.
We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with
Your cousins.
Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the
Evening breeze started.
Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the
evenings and weekends — not purchasing condominiums. 
We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD’s, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.
We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios.
If you saw anything with ‘Made in 
Japan ‘ on it, it was junk.
The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam.Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and instant coffee were unheard of.
We had 5 &10-cent (5 and dime) stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.
And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.
You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, but who could
Afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.
In my day:

“grass” was mowed,
“coke” was a cold drink,
“pot” was something your mother cooked in and
“rock music” was your grandmother’s lullaby.
“Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office,
“chip” meant a piece of wood,
“hardware” was found in a hardware store and.
“software” wasn’t even a word.

We were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.We volunteered to protect our precious country. 
No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap.” 
You wonder why my wadings in the water may be strange, well this was AMERICA when I was a teen.  You probably think we are better off today and that’s what concerns me and That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

 

 

Nicknames

Nicknames were very popular in my family. My dad’s was “Sambo or Bo” among his brothers, “Sweet” to my mother and “Papaw” to my children. Daddy’s father was “Buster”. His half-brothers – Jack (flop), Billy (Son), Dennis was “D. T.”, but Joe was just “Joe”.  I was “JimDoogin” to my Aunts and “Bimmie” to my Mom, “Stick” to all my friends and “Canary” to all my enemies.  (I was called “Jungle Jim” and “Nayatahn” by my students in Bryan and ‘Hitler” by my step-daughter). To her sisters, Mother was “MottieTobb”. My Cousins, on my Mom’s side, were “Ollie Ott” (Charles Wyatt and his mother Valma, was “Honey”), “Tinkle” (Ruth Catherine) and “Skeezix” (Rev. Morris Shepherd Tabb). (Strangely enough, all these cousins celebrated birthdays in February, as well as my Dad, my Son and myself. “Tinkle” and I were born on the same day.)  Within my own children, the nicknames are still used: Martha is “Mahdain”, Steven is”Teebin”, An d’Lis is “D’Booie” and Jeanlizabeth is “NeeniePoo”.  All my girls were born either in April or May. My first dogs had special names given by Daddy. “Tippie” was my first Fox Terrier and Rowdy was called “WeeWee” for obvious reasons, much to the disdain by my Mom. (Both were poisoned by neighbors). I must share our experience with all the pets later, but as you can see, Nicknames abound around, all around.  Just thinking about them is like a ‘family reunion’, donchaknow.  Memories blessed by a Loving GOD.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Gratitude to the “Righteous”

I have the greatest appreciation for the Righteous.  I know that I am not one, so I can step back and consider just what they have done for America. Since only GOD knows the heart, HE is the only one who can identify them.  You and I, or should I just say, I, can’t say for certain who ‘they’ are, but there are those with whom I have had contact that I would think they are.  Since I am unsure, here is how I would describe a Righteous person:

  • Totally humbled to the will of GOD.
  • Above reproach, even at home.
  • Consumed by the fire of worship, all the time.
  • Discreet in the treatment of all other.
  • Totally attuned to the voice of GOD.
  • Under close scrutiny and cleansing of the heart.
  • Praying without ceasing.
  • Seeking GOD’s face in every decision.
  • Loving, without reservaton, of all others.
  • Harvesting souls comes first in their mind.

There must a few of these Righteous Souls.  Otherwise, this nation would be a misty memory, donchaknow.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN

From my friend Don out in Idaho

In response to my IRS wading:

‘Better be careful: with those horses, you’re likely to be visited by animal control, PETA, and the HSUS. They’ll be accompanied by the EPA with warrants for your arrest for polluting the environment with the oily rags. There’ll probably also be a staff of medical assistants to make sure you’re not too far along with that ‘box of chocolates’ for your own protection from the excess sugar and caffeine. Oh, they’ll probably also be accompanied by a full-fledged anti-terrorism SWAT Team. (Just in case you decided to get violent with them!) They’re all ‘just trying to help’, you know!

Foo Paw

I see there is a very close scrutiny of statements by our presidential candidates.  The latest was Donald’s quote from scripture at Liberty University.  Instead of announcing his choice of verse, instead of ‘second’ Corinthians, he said, ‘two’ Corinthians.  That raised a big red flag all over the place.  A good Presbyterian would certainly know the proper way to identify a verse in Corinthians-First or Second. The whole thing reminded me of my many gaffes while broadcasting.  My first was on KPDN in Pampa. Mead’s Fine Bread bought a quickie just as we made our station breaks at the top of the hour.  Their slogan was, “Always demand the Best in Bread, Mead’s Fine Bread, the time is—-“.  I was running a second or two behind, so hurriedly I transposed the Be with the Br…ouch…however the reponse was surprising, the advertising agency got so many hillarious calls, they suggested  that I be more careful, next time. Another was for another quickie at a station break for Schiltz Beer. Instead of , “The next time you go shopping, buy Schlitz”.  I, again, got the whole thing wrong, “The next time you go shlopping ask for……..” While doing doing a break on Channel Three in Bryan, I did two doozies. I’m from East Texas, donchaknow, and the doggone things were “Vyeena” sausages. In a grocery store add, I said it like it always had been. The engineer fell off his chair and I could hear him laugh through double glass windows. Bummer. Then at the same place, for Beverly Braley’s Exclusive Ladies Ready to Wear spot, I said, ‘Chick’ instead of “Sheek”.  That also brought the house down. In Vegas  I was announcing an event at a local Horseman’s Park. I called it ‘dressage’ instead of DreSahje.  The person in charge kindly corrected me. My comment about the poem “Trees” embarrassed, I was corrected when I congratulated Joyce Kilmer  for ‘her’ great poem…Joyce be a man. All I can say is that I learn quickly and got away from sounding too ‘East Texasie’, even though I be one, donchaknow.  So, Donald is in good company. What surprises me is that I was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001.  So there is Grace abounding somewhat, somewhere, sometimes, but not as good as GOD’s Grace!  This clearing-of-the-air comes from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN