Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Incubus Album

Please... Go... Get... This... Album... NOW!

I wouldn't say it's their best... but it's right up there.

I'll edit this later tonight to give you a full rundown of the cd.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

GO TITANS GO!!!

HOLY CRAP! DID YOU SEE THAT GAME?!!!

Let me set the mood. Backs against the wall... 4th quarter... TN down 21 to 0... all hope seems lost. TILL THEY STARTING ROCKIN!!!

Pacman played great... couple of huge INT's And I'm finally "convinced of Vince" (yea, I made that up) after the way he handled the fourth quarter comback.

And huge kick for bironous to win it all... totally made up for the 48 yarder he missed to end the first half.

I had almost given up all hope... I wasn't even going to watch the end of it! In fact, I was going to put up a post about how I had given up all hope, and I wasn't going to care about games I watched anymore... I was going to talk about how UK had let me down in the forth on Saturday and stuff... etc. But the Titans wiped all that away with great come from behind play. They might turn this season into something afterall... nah.

On an unrelated note... this was my post on myspace that I felt should get some play here too.
The world obviously changes a little everyday. For everyone!
I woke up this morning and was watching some TV... and I ran across a news story on Tower Records closing up shop. And of course, this begs the question... will all music soon be digital? Will we look at audio CD's the same way we look at tapes and records? I'm slightly conflicted about this. I'm a huge supporter of stuff like Itunes and digital media. But at the same time... when the Incubus album comes out on Tuesday... I'm not getting it online. I'm going to a store so I can touch it feel it hold it and listen to it the way it was meant to be heard from the studio!
So what do you think? Will it be a sad day for you when a music icon such as Tower Records closes their doors do to the changing world?

I had something else that I wanted to get on here... but I can't think of what it was. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Oh yea, my dad got his new car. He had been looking for a while now... and they pretty much got the same exact car they already had... so now Mom and Dad have twin cars. Slight differences of course.

That's not what I couldn't think of... but it'll do.

Friday, November 24, 2006

feels like home…

Sometimes all it takes is a 24 hours to realize and remember where you came from.

I intended to only have the one short post about Thanksgiving, and I had meant to finish this post last night when I got home... but I still have found myself slightly moved by the short thanksgiving holiday I had. So I'll start from the beginning.

After a short day at work, I started my journey home. My mind clearly on other things... but relaxed none the less. And of course, it's the day before Thanksgiving... so traffic is... let's say "busy". I expected Chattanooga and Nashville to be rough, so I wasn't too frustrated. But it does make the drive slightly longer than normal.

Here comes the turning point.

You always know when you're home. You've got things that you pass, and memories start to flood. Adairville square, Cemetary, The old Beaver/WRUS studios, then the new one, Take the shortcut just to see my grandparents/fathers old home, and it just keeps on going... one after another. You see things that change too, but no matter what changes, you still think about the way it used to be for you.
Then you go on the last road to home... you know, the one you bump up the pedal just a little because you know there's no cops, and you're just so close. I'm sure that's different for everyone though.

I pull into my drive, and I open the door. I look up to the sky, and just drop my jaw at the night sky. Just filled with the bright lights of stars in outerspace. Sometimes when you're in the city, you forget just how many stars are in the sky. I can think back to when I grew up, being outside at night, and just laying down in the drive sometimes, or out in a field playing spotlight in the summer, looking up just to stare at the stars. This is a very humbling thought as well. To look up, and realize again, exactly how small you are. No matter how important, or big shot you are... you're still just a spec in the space of things.

I walk into the house to be greeted by my dad. Just a hug from your parents can bring you back sometimes too. We just sat on the couch, watched TV, talking... I'm sure I talked his ear off, but it's just fun to not have to catch up, and instead, sit back and make fun of a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. Mom came home from shopping, then we all just sat back and watched some basketball for a few. Just nice being around them, even if for a short time.

The next morning, we get up... and it's the ping pong tourny! Dad and I have a tradition of playing big table tennis matches. The ones on holidays are even more important. Though it's normally one sided ;-) it's still a good time for us. Mom upstairs starting the meal, and listening to the sound of us battle it out for the world on a table.

After that, we went outside to see the work he had done to the forest. He's really done a lot of work actually! I helped him a little including getting ontop of the shop roof to cut down some tree limbs that could have hurt the roof even more. While I was up there, waiting on him to come back with a tile, hammer, and roofing nails... I again found myself looking out in the brisk air, thinking back to memories of home. Even though things had changed, I still thought of it like it was. Like home.

Family started to file in. Dad and I started to decorate the tree. This has become more of a new thing for us since they've made the switch to a fake Christmas tree instead. Poor Westin broke his toe that morning... so my sister Robin had to take care of that all day. But they still made it. My Aunt Barbra, my sister Robin, her two sons Taylor and Westin, Mom, Dad, and myself. Great family, and great company. What's really strange, is looking for those that were missing.

Jet wasn't in the window waiting for atleast a few left overs. Pappy wasn't there to slow down the meal. Nana Betz wasn't there to break out a red velvet cake for an early present for mom's birthday. It's strange how things can change so much, but it still feels like home.

I want to show you a picture of before our meal... and of course, I'm still working on the photo gallery so I can show you all the pictures. But I'll upload this one on picasa so you can see them right away.

Family Dinner


I feel like I can add to this all day and night, but I've already put the post off too long. I could talk about how cute Westin is, even though he's a ball of energy that won't even slow down with a broken foot. (oh, and he made the cutest comment to Robin. "I love uncle Evan, and he loves only me." cute...) I could talk about how good my mom's dressing always is, but you'd just have to taste it for yourself. I could talk about how Taylor is at that age where he's hopefully on the verge of finding out who he is, and what he wants to do. I hope he sticks with the guitar, not only does he have a really good one... but I guess he's got the hair of a rockstar now. (He'll cut it eventually, I did the same stuff.) I could talk about how Robin just refuses to become old, and can still convince people she's young. I could talk a little bit about everyone in my family and how good they are. We don't fight or have many strange moments or anything like that. Maybe I should just leave it with a fact. My parents are fantastic, I have a great family, and there's not a moment that I tell myself otherwise.
So after dinner and such, we relaxed a bit... well, dad and I did/tried. As soon as I got to a decent sleep, Brooke called and woke me up... luckily Westin was just as interested in talking to her, so it gave me a sec or two to wake up while they had a cute conversation. People then started to file out, including myself. I gave the proper goodbyes, and took off. As I left, I had forgotten about all the above. I wasn't remembering anything about the past like I had. I was again, looking to the present and future like I always do. Looking to go back to Chattanooga, getting back to the city lights that I hate sometimes.
I needed to get something to keep me up before I left, so I stopped off at the first open gas station I saw to get some Live Wire and a Take 5. That happened to be the Shell station on the corner. And again, I felt out of my element... like it wasn't my hometown even though I had tons of memories to go with that place. Then I heard a voice from the gas pumps say my name. It was one of my buddies from high school that I played tennis with him, and basically his entire family that was our age! But anyways, we caught up a little while he was filling up his truck. But we didn't talk about the past really... we talked about changes. I got my stuff, he paid for his gas, and as soon as I said, "good to see you Alan" I realized again that I was home, and I should be thankful for a great holiday. It's good to take some time to think back to where you came from to keep you grounded sometimes. Things will always change... no matter how small the town. People leave, people stay, families change, families stay the same in that there's always love, no matter who's left at the table. There's always love, and memories.

This is without a doubt the sappiest post I've ever written... and I'm sure it's awful... but for the first time in a long time, I had something emotional and thoughtful that I wanted to share to the not so dedicated audience of ee.com

I hope your thanksgiving was fantastic, and you had a chance to reflect on what's really important to you, your life, and the people that make it special every single day from the past present and future.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

If only…

If only I were a west coast dude, and I lived where Tennis is the status sport almost more than Golf. Then I could join huge companies, and do fun stuff like this! Oh well...

I still think Google will own the world eventually, even though they didn't buy Clear Channel and can't beat Yahoo in Tennis. What's strange is I made the comment about them owning the world BEFORE talks of them buying Clear Channel ever came up. Once again... Nostradamus of radio? Probably not... since that was really about them buying youtube, which is proving to be a nice buy. It's got Microsoft talking, and buying people that can help them out.

But actually, even though they didn't buy any of Clear Channel, you've heard me talk about their relationship with radio, and how they're looking to build it.

UK is off to an awfully mediocre start. They played a semi good second half against UCLA despite a loss. And of course MSU got spanked by SIU... so they get off to a pretty crappy start as well. Oh, and I hate to say that I called the Colts loss, and did not even dream about the Titans win this past weekend.

This must be the most boring and content driven post ever. And I also can't tell if the post was about google, radio, basketball or tennis!

well, it's NONE of those!

This post is about THANKSGIVING!!!

So have a HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Shut up Bill!

I try to agree with anything reasonable... but this is the dumbest thing Bill O'Reilly has ever said... and he's said some pretty stupid stuff. I really try to like Bill... but this kills me.

Hey Bill! Newsflash... the "youth of America" that you worry about being too tech savvy... A whole lot of them are "Killing real people over there" in the most technologically driven war ever fought. Because of tech, "jihadists" can be on a simulation screen first, before we send our troops out to fight them.
Bill, you're ridiculous... You make me so frustrated sometimes. You realize some people make a living out of this tech stuff you hate. Like me! You know what, THIS IS OUR REALITY! Guess what else... I know you hate to hear this... but the youth of America, they ARE learning the skills needed. The world is turning tech. You should know this. You've got a website, and podcast yourself. You're on TV, Radio, Print... But that wasn't enough, was it? Nope... you had to go to where EVERYONE else is! Websites and podcasts are just the beginning... I'm sure you stream on your site too!

You sir... are a hypocrite.

I always hated Savage too... They both always reminded me of the stereotypical mean old man that says, "Damn kids and your computers!" Savage thinks all people under the age of his typical demographic must be retarded because they're not of his Intelligence level. Well, we're not... so get used to it.

Soon, you'll both be too old to even be on any media... so live it up while you can. Because when you can't keep up with the changing world like the changing world of technology... you'll just sound like senile old men bitching and whining about things you don't understand anymore.

Talk about frustrated... sorry. Things are actually good for me right now, despite how this sounds.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Nostradamus of radio?

ok... that might be a little far.  But some things that have happened lately, have caused me to go back and look at some papers that I had written in college a few years back  These papers most likely seemed "out there" at the time, but were things that I really thought could, and very likely would happen.

Here's the strange part... they have for the most part!  Now, I'm not saying that I'm a future teller of radio or anything... but maybe I know more than I give myself credit for sometimes. hmmm... makes ya think!

Anyone who wants to read these "fantastic fortune telling" works... let me know, I'll shot them to you electronically of course.

I guess you're wanting me to say something about the Clear Channel sell.  Well, I honestly didn't see it happening 1.)so quick 2.)to the people it went to.  Here's the story  Chattanooga and a few other clusters out side of the top 100 markets will not be sold despite the wording in the release.  I'm still trying to grasp the situation right now... and I'm still somewhat shocked about all that has happened with our stations and our company within the past month.  When I get a good handle, maybe I'll say something about it... but right now, I really just don't have anything to say about it.

But hey, If you've got some/alot of extra money to spare, pick up a great deal on a cluster of radio stations that Clear Channel is planning on selling.

Personal stuff.

Grandfather is good, pacemaker is pacing.

I ended up going to the doctor so I can hopefully enjoy turkey day coming up soon.

And thinking about all that fantastic food has me hungry right now... so I will leave.  That actually sounds good... Mashed Potatoes and Corn for lunch anyone?

Before I leave... yes, possible big news coming up sooner than I expected.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

never brag…

You should never brag, you should never even think that things are going well for you... EVER!  I'm going back to the just "eh" attitude.

First off, say a little prayer for Papa, (my grandfather) who had a pacemaker installed for his heart.  Installed... listen to me, I'm talking like he's a car!  Hope things get better there.

Second... say one for me too.  I sat and watched the rest of the staff here in Chattanooga get sick the last couple of weeks, and I thought, wow!  I'm not sick at all!  guess what?  Yea, it's that time of year, and I should just expect it... but still, I hate being sick.

I'll finish this one off later today.

Friday, November 10, 2006

oh crap…

This isn't good...

Things are starting to not go so well.  Maybe I got spoiled by things being go good!  The sports gods are not happy with me anymore.  UL lost last night in a close game that I couldn't even watch the end of it.

Yesterday was just an awful day.  really really really bad.  It's been a pretty crappy week actually.  And it just seems to be a downhill stuggle too.
I'm really hoping this weekend goes well.

Just because I'm such a negative person, I feel that I need to mention positives.  I'll mention the negatives in ( )
-I still have a job (though several good people I know, don't now)
-possible fantastic weekend  (though I'll still be working most of it)

-Life will go on (even though it feels like it was crashing down quickly)

And the loss for UL was just the last kick in the gut last night.  I never thought I'd see a defence change some things and shut down the cards offense like that.  I hate this because I really think that the only way a big east team would have had a shot changing the minds of everyone that thinks it's still a weak confrence, was UL running the table.  I can hear the sports guys talking already.  Coherd, I know will say something like... "see, I told you... not that good.  I just haven't bought in to the big east.  This is why" blah blah blah.

Why do we have stereotypes?!  It happens all the time!  It happens in sports in situations like this... and it happens everyday even with friends and loved ones!  People see something once, and no matter what happens, they revert back to their beliefs.  Brooke and I had this converstation yesterday... we do the same thing to each other as well!

Words of advice... people change, situations change... everything is different, so look at everything with a new eye.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

More news on the radio front

Just as some people in Clear Channel are starting to feel the squeeze, we get a deeper look at what really might be going down.

Story

It would be a move in new direction. But realistically, that new direction is starting to happen right now. Radio is feeling the shift, and though it might be several years down the road... Clear Channel has always been a front runner in media. And of course, "the power house" knows, the first ones in the room always get the seats. Don't be left standing.

These new techonlogies can really change radio as a business.

Things other than technology can change radio as well... like business.

I'm really bummed right now... and it wasn't even me that got it.  Good luck guys... I know you'll be fine.  miss you already.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Ready for a long one?

This will be one of the longest posts I've ever done, with a lot of information... so don't expect anything for a while after it.


First off… how awesome are my teams doing?! My UL Cards getting a big win and looking at a possible championship this past Thursday!  Even the Wildcats got a huge SEC win! It just keeps getting better and better! If the Titans win again this weekend… I’ll know the “sports God” is smiling down on me.


So you know I got to take a trip Tuesday and Wednesday… Great visit with everyone. Seriously… let me run down the list of people I got to see.


Brooke, Bittel, Eric, Kyle, Ashley, Katie, Josh, Billie, Liz, Joe, Calvin, KG, Stark, Nate, Neal, Krista, Shelby, Little Zak, Emily, Christan Ann, Dee, Kendra Ann oh my this list is getting too long. Anyways… Thanks for everyone who took some time out to visit.


Great food that I miss from Murray, and a great concert on Halloween night… yes… only “a” great concert. HA! Sounding good "Goodbye Grey"



For the rest of the week, it's been interesting. Nothing good yet... just interesting. oh, and BDK! Happy 21st bud... you throw a pretty good party!


I'm really getting hairy... It's "No Shave November" and it's been 5 days now. Only once have I gone more than a week... So who knows. Where Papa left off, I may pick up... not really. We'll see how long it lasts, but I doubt I'll be able to handle all of November. My "no grow" patches are starting to show pretty bad... if it starts to look too awful, I'll have to break it.


My plan for now is to be done with the new website by Monday. I just haven't found exactly the look I'm going for... so it could make for a long weekend.


oh, and if Clear Channel is going to sell... I'd be cool with this. When they bought Dmarc who had bought parts of Scott Studios who had bought Computer Concepts who had created Maestro, it was a welcome change to have some good backing.



And now… time for the main event!


This will be geek talk, so if you're not interested in radio... find something you are



HD radio... could it bring about a new revolution to radio? Or does it just again improve something we've used for a lifetime now? The trick will be getting it out there this time as well.


This review will kind of be a combination of a view into HD radio , but, hd radio specifically on the JVC KD HDR1


You most likely haven't heard much about HD Radio... you may never have actually. But being in my industry, I obviously have. And being in my position, I feel that I must be on the bleeding edge of technology. Hence the reason I decided to get, to my knowledge, the only affordable car stereo that hashd radio built in. And though even Chattanooga only has one hd radio station, I am super happy about my purchase. Here's why.


HD, can, and will make a huge wave in time. Here's a short and simple explanation of HD radio.


It uses radio's existing frequencies to transmit digital signals instead of analog. This in turn theoretically can make a station sound better, and give them an option for other "channels" on that frequency. This is called multicasting. Mosthd radios are capable of receiving a stations hd2 signal, and in very few cases, an hd3 signal.


I have some real issues with the way HD radio is trying to sell it though.




  • FM stations now with CD-quality sound

  • AM stations now with FM-quality sound

  • Crystal-clear reception with no audio distortion


No, no, and not really. These are close, but not quite true.

"FM stations now with CD-quality sound" Absolutely not. In most cases of HD music stations, I really heard the digital encoding on most stations. Granted, the average listener will not hear this... but an audiophile can tell. The other issue is that stations are having to "re rip" the music to make it easier to encode and sound decent on a digital signal. I could tell a big difference from brand new cuts that sounded decent, and older cuts that sounded like I was listening to a 128kbps mp3 or something. I also noticed that HD signals that were not multicasting didn't have this issue... that in my opinion gives them another advantage over multicasting stations. we'll talk about the other later. I would assume that this all goes back to the technology. The more information you're pumping across your signal, the less quality you're allowed. After all, there's only so much "bandwidth" to work with.

"AM stations now with FM-quality sound" no way! not even close. Yes it is an improvement... but not even close to FM quality. This is what I was most excited to try out too. Going in with the expectations of FM quality... I was sorely disappointed. After listening a while to the one HD-AM in Nashvegas, i can safely compare it to a decentinternet radio station. There is a noise/frequency that won't shut up on it... and becomes very annoying. Much like normal AM. :-) The only saving grace is that it might have just been the station. It was way high on the band, and it's signal wasn't the greatest. I'd be really excited to hear a clear channel AM (lower on the band, not company) with a big stick and power out try and go HD to see if there is a difference. I do think however there is still an improvement and it should be embraced and implemented as quick as possible for AM.

"Crystal - clear reception with no audio distortion" eh... you're just reaching for a third reason. The reception is decent when you're in range of the station. It obviously shortens the radius covered because you either "have it, or you don't" when it comes to the signal. This is one of the many reasons why terrestrial analog signals will have to continue to be on in my lifetime. (in addition to digital) I didn't hear distortion because the processing was so light, not because of the signal. I think what they're trying to get across is that when you're locked into anhd signal, there's no fading like with analog.

hmm, where to start.
Ok, it may sound right now like I already don't like hd radio... but I really do. Please don't mis read this as a bashing. I like it, I think it will change our business again. But I know there are bugs and issues, and I have to address them... that's just what I do.
Here's some observations.
multicasting can be a fantastic tool. One of the great examples I thought was WUBT in Nashville. Urban on their Analog and HD1 Signal... flip to their HD2, it was a Smooth Jazz format. And it sounded FANTASTIC! to me, it sounded better than the HD1 signal. Which makes sense because it's a clear channel owned company, and CC offers a feed for hd2 stations so they don't have to be programmed in house yet. therefore, everything was ready for that digital signal. Other stations did similar formats on their HD2. WRVW had only the newest music on their HD2 to complement the CHR format on their analog and HD1. So If a station chooses to extend their format, or put a whole new one on... you're still reaching a new audience and chances of TSL to your station increases in both cases.
What I didn't like about multicasting. Here in Chattanooga, the one HD signal is WUTC. No multicasting, and it's NPR stuff. So when I would lose the HD signal, it would flawlessly, and seamlessly just switch to the analog. You could hardly even tell it happened. Back and forth with ease when I got on the out skirts of it's signal. But with multicasting stations in Nashville, there was at least a 2-3 second delay if not more. And when the radio seeks the analog signal first, even when searching specifically forhd signals, it grabs that, plays it, then switches to the hd signal, which is 3 seconds or so behind the analog. Once again, I'm assuming this comes down to the amount of bandwidth given, and how much information is being transmitted across it.

The text was good. It was just like RDS really. I don't however think traffic or advertising would be a great idea like I originally did when HD radio was more of a concept. The scrolling of radio displays would just not be good for driving.

I realize this is also about the JVC radio... but I really don't have much bad to say about it. at all. I wish I could change the back lighting of the buttons to Green... but I guess red/amber will have to do. I really thought it would look like Christmas all the time, but I honestly haven't noticed. The volume knob could be a little better in my mind. It's somewhat too flush with the face... though it's not hard to change the volume, I just would like a little more finger room, and maybe make the "att" button there instead... and make the "att/power" button a "play/pause/power" button since there is no "play/pause" button. I thought I'd really miss it... but it honestly hasn't bothered me too much. Plays CD's well... MP3 discs workok . The fast forward on it is somewhat slow for me because I like to put 4 hour pod casts on discs and listen to them on my long drives. 10 seconds at a time seems slow when you're holding it down and accidentally hit it and make it skip to the next track... DOH!
For the price, it's a fantastic radio. And because it's JVC, you're not paying for the name... just the quality. I recommend it highly.

Back to HD radio. I really think it's coming along. quickly too! I'm really surprised that some stations didn't have it yet. Though a lot of the power house stations are holding out on new transmitters because of the lack of power right now available in solid state transmitters. That is quickly being solved from what I've heard from transmitter manufactures.
Though I don't think we will be able to get rid of Sattelite radio with it... it could be a killer if used correctly. But already we've marketed it incorrectly.
If we were going to try and get rid of sat radio, we should have put all stations with HD2's on first, ready to go, and then sold the radios cheaper, and as a subscription type thing, but a one time charge instead. Keep the HD2 signals commercial free music and have great programming. But hey, it's cool the way we're going to be able to see it progress in the public eye. But all I can say is, Owners... keep your AM stations... they'll be a valuable commodity soon. I can already see towns that try and cover more than one high school for sports, but need another station to do it... this is the answer to your prayers.
HD radio is coming, slowly but surely it will be the new way you listen to radio. You don't know it yet... but it will be.

That's the beef of the review. There are going to be other things I add to it as I have more exposure to it. I really really wish I could have had a working unit when I went to Indy with Brooke a few weekends back. Oh well.

I really need to get to work on other stuff, so I'll leave you with this till I have a bit more time to add to it.