Friday, May 28, 2004

When the Bloggers Cause Trouble

It amuses me how the news media goes bonkers over various blogs sometimes. Some examples:

The Blog
Rance: A person who may be a celebrity in Hollywood skewering Hollywood and celebrities in a blog.

The Story
Reuters: "Hollywood Mystery Man 'Rance' Has Internet Abuzz"

The Blog
Washingtonienne (Archived)

The Story
Washington Post: "A Diarist's Safe-Sex Proviso" (Scroll Down)

The Blog
She's A Flight Risk

The Story
Wired News: Blogger-Catch Me If You Can

Being one of the types of bloggers that will probably never get that kind of widespread attention is a good thing. Of course that could all change tomorrow, but since I have no plans to do anything radical that disrupts the planetary alignments, I think I'm safe for now.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Slow Death of Radio

People have often told me that I left my news reporter job at one of the local radio stations just in time. I don't doubt they're correct since the already short-handed staff in the newsroom experienced a downsizing a year after I left. Since I left, the station owner who had promised to keep the then 78-year old radio station locally owned sold it to a Cleveland company. The latest news is just more proof that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is a dismal failure.

The Cleveland-based company, Media One Group, announced this week that they have entered into an asset purchase agreement to buy the other big group of radio stations in Jamestown. This would make the total number of stations owned by one company in the metro area five. You are allowed to own up to six in an area by FCC regulations. If this agreement is approved by the FCC, there will be only one radio station (WKZA) located in Jamestown that is not owned by Media One Group. I exclude WNED and WBFO since they are located and broadcast out of the Buffalo area.

When you consider that Chautauqua County only has 139,000 people and the city of Jamestown (excluding metro area) has 32,000, you can safely say that Media One Group's purchase would create a legal monopoly in this area. This has happened in almost every area that has radio stations. I challenge anyone to identify radio stations that are locally owned in their area.

When you have conglomerates, it means homogenization. Sure, you still get your mix of classic rock, top 40, country, and oldies but when you start traveling across the country you may start to notice that you're hearing the same bumper/jingles for those same style of music stations elsewhere. Your local dj's may be slowly replaced by syndicated, satellite-fed programs with a host located miles away from your hometown. The previous-local station sounds just like every other radio station out there. And even the modern rock, "alternative" rock, top 40, hot adult contemporary, classic rock, and rock stations are starting to sound similar with different artists "crossing" over into genres. There's less diversity of musical artists on the air.

Don't like this? Want to make it change? Contact your Senators and Congress Representatives. Write letters to the FCC. Complain bitterly.

I'll leave this with a copy of the article that appeared in our local paper today:

Media One To Buy Three Area Radio Stations
By John Whittaker

A possible location change is likely to be the only major change for three local radio stations to be purchased by the Media One Group of Cleveland.

Media One Group officials announced on Tuesday that the company has entered into an asset purchase agreement to buy WKSN (AM-1340), WHUG (FM-101.9) and WQFX (FM-103.1) for $4.5 million from the Vox Radio Group.
The company purchased WJTN (AM-1240) and WWSE (FM-93.3) in May 2002 for $5.9 million from the James Broadcasting Co. and local owners R. Michael Goldman and Merrill Rosen.

Now that the parties have agreed to the purchase agreement, Vox Radio Group and Media One Group will submit documents to the Federal Communications Commission. The sale is expected to be closed by mid- to late August.

James L. Embrescia, Media One Group president and managing partner, was in Jamestown on Tuesday to announce the purchase agreement. On Wednesday, he said the companies should be able to co-exist despite being small-market competitors for more than four decades.

"We don't expect any changes at all but a very cohesive blending of these two businesses,'' Embrescia said. ''We want them to be autonomous from that perspective. We might consider, since we have two locations, having everybody at one location. But, we haven't gone through all of that yet."

Acquiring the Vox Radio Group stations allows Media One Group to diversify its audience in Western New York and northern Pennsylvania, something that Embrescia said is necessary in the existing radio broadcasting environment.

"WHUG is a country station, WQFX has (Don) Imus and the album rock in a separate kind of format and WKSN is oldies,'' he said. ''Those are entirely different products hitting different core audiences than you have with WJTN, which is a heritage station with more than 80 years on air and SE-93, which is adult contemporary geared toward women as its core audience."

Vox Radio Group is a small-market broadcasting company formed in 1999 to consolidate and operate regional radio clusters in the northeastern United States. Media One Group, meanwhile, owns nearly 60 radio and television stations in affiliated companies in 16 markets throughout the United States.

It is owned by three Cleveland natives: James Embrescia, Thomas J. Embrescia and Lee Zapis.

"We are excited to acquire these excellent stations in this attractive market for Media One,'' Embrescia said. ''These are well-established heritage stations with an outstanding record of performance."

WKSN and WHUG were sold to Trend Broadcasting Inc. in 1980 after changing hands and call signs several times since their creation in 1948 as WJOC by Harry E. Layman and Robert Blalock.

Vox Radio Group obtained the stations in the 1990s along with WQFX. Embrescia said that the stations' listeners won't notice any difference from the new ownership.

"It's a wonderful blending of those formats from that perspective for different core audiences and between men and women,'' Embrescia said. ''It's what our business is about today. That's what made it so attractive. I don't think listeners will notice anything at all. We'll just continue with the same great programming and the same great service that these stations have always provided."

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

If You Support Bush, Shame On You

In November 2000, I voted for Al Gore. Maybe I wasn't thrilled with him as a candidate, but I figured he had a better idea of what he was doing than Bush. Now, in May 2004, I know without a doubt that Gore was the right choice. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court appointed an person who is destroying this country. Former Vice-President Gore made a statement today that everyone should read, and pay heed to. His statement makes me angry, nay furious, at the sham of a government Bush is running right now.

News Coverage of Gore's Speech:

Washington Post
Associated Press
Wired/Reuters

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

YOU ARE AUDREY HEPBURN
WORSHIP! You're inner Bombshell is the beautiful
Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed
with a "certain something" that no
one could describe accurately. You are more
reserved than other bombshells, and that shows
in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing
things for other people and love volunteering
for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift
in this day and age. You don't need to show a
lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your
eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game
watch the movie "Breakfast at
Tiffanys".


Who is your inner bombshell?
brought to you by Quizilla

Fiddling While IHS Burns

Something caused a fire in the new wing of the high school I graduated from today. The photo accompanying the story is a bit amusing.

Christ In A Canoe

In between wedding dress sewing and painting my parent's family room and entry way, Matt and I had time to marvel at the torrential storms that moved through the Western New York and Rochester area this weekend. In the 27 years my parents have lived at their house, I've never seen water come through the basement windows before. You could see a rain water mark 3 inches up on the glass pane the next day. The best part was our determined outing to one of the local bars near the Genesee River. Heidi, Ryan, Matt and me had to find detours around a flooded St. Paul Blvd. and flooded sides streets in order to find safe haven at The Summerville Grill. Heidi posted a picture of me at the bar on her blog. Mind you, I was exhausted at this point in the evening.

Matt and I found out after we came back to Chautauqua County yesterday that several roadways had been covered with water. Chautauqua Lake near Bemus Point is still at flood stage along with the Chadakoin River in the village of Falconer. More rain is expected this afternoon, which will only exacerbate the problem.

Weekend Storm News from Around WNY & Beyond:

From WJTN-1240 AM:
Recent rains and high waters lead Sheriff's Department to issue boat advisory
High water levels on Chautauqua Lake for the next several days has caused to sheriff's department to release a warning to boaters. The sheriff's marine patrol is asking any boat owners to make frequent checks on their vessels if they are currently docked on the lake. Those who have boats on a lift are advised to remove the boat if the lift is as high as it will go. The patrol also suggests more slack is given to the boats that are tied so the boat can still float if water levels go up. The weather forcast is for more precipitation over the next few days and prompt attention to these matters is requested. A flood warning remains in effect for Chautauqua Lake for today, and Jones and Gifford Avenue near the Chadakoin River may also see some flooding.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle-5/25/04
WOKR-Channel 13 5/24/04
Time Warner Cable-R News
Buffalo News-5/24/04
WNBC: Binghamton Story on Tornado

Friday, May 21, 2004

Moving Up In The World

Scientific studies have discovered that the melting of a ice sheet that stretches over the northern part of Canada is causing the Canadian land mass to rise higher than the United States. It's a see-saw effect. If you put weight down on one side, the other side rises. The ice was putting weight down on Canada, causing the U.S. land mass to be higher. Now that the ice is melting, the pressure is off the Canadian land mass.

This could mean earthquakes on the Eastern part of the U.S. where there are no fault lines or plate borders. My geological hazards professor at Buffalo State always said he knew there weren't any fault lines running underneath Western New York. However, his next comment that this meant New York State would never see a major earthquake seems bogus now. Note this seismic graph for the past decade. The orange spots are indications of earthquakes. The bigger the spot, the bigger the earthquake. The largest quake recorded in NYS was a 4.8 in Massena in 1944.

Quirk of note: if you look at the Great Lakes area of the map and note the area near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where the green line goes through, they're essentialy saying that Rochester, Syracuse, and Niagara Falls (USA) are on the Canadian side, therefore moving up in the world. In other words, I'm screwed living down here in Jamestown.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Unitarian - A Religion?

The current Texas Comptroller has decided that Unitarian Universalism is not a religion. There's something very un-American about that. Maybe we should invade this rouge state of the south and set them straight. That's what this administration does, right?

The "Pope of Mope" Releases a "Fine Mess"

The beloved, yet seemingly unloved Morrissey has released his first album in seven years this week, You Are The Quarry.

And in support of his new album (and perhaps his birthday which is this Saturday), Morrissey will spend a week-long residency on the "Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" starting Monday.

My love affair with this Manchester lad began in 1991. Today, a book called Saint Morrissey confirms that I was not out of my head to be a fan. Those who could not look beyond the omnipresent doom and gloom they preceived vomiting from Morrissey's mouth missed out on very pithy lyrics. Indeed, Morrissey has been classified as being one of the great lyricists of the pop music genre.

The reviews are the new album are positive. And while almost all the reviews I've read have made mention of the fact that Morrissey has made L.A. his new home, none relate the fact that the album was actually recorded in England. Not only that, Morrissey will be performing his a concert on his birthday in his hometown of Manchester, his first appearance there in 12 years. I'd say the old boy can't quit his homeland entirely. My impression of the album? Glorious. A kind of orgasmic longing that isn't truly fulfilled by the album because you know that its twelve tracks cannot carry on into infinity.

Boston Globe: Review

Telegraph.co.uk: Review

Washington Post: Review

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"Now Spell Answer..."

speak and spell
You're a Speak & Spell!! You nerd, you. Just
because you were disguised as a toy doesn't
mean you weren't educational, you sneaky
bastard.


What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I loved my Speak & Spell! I even had a module based on E.T.. To relive the '80s in that quirky, educational way, check out this Speak & Spell emulator.

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Think the the two prequels to the original, almighty Star Wars Trilogy sucked? Me too. Christopher Bahn concurs and suggests that perhaps a change in directors and a raising of the dead might be a solution to prevent the curse of suckiness from befalling on the third, and final, prequel due out next year.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

How About That Economic Policy, Eh?

The Ohio factory that Bush visited to promote his tax cuts is shutting down, laying off 1,300 people (courtesy of FARK). I'd say a village somewhere in Texas is missing its idiot and it's time to send him home.

Wedding Bells?

I think it's about time to email my cousin, Bill, and kindly harrass him about when he and his partner, Bob, are going to get married. Especially since he told me almost a year ago that he would consider getting married if gay marriage was made legal in the state he lives in, Massachusetts. Well, 1,000 gay couples have sought marriage licenses in Massachusetts since yesterday, so he better hop to it!

Monday, May 17, 2004

And Nature Carries On...

Our little birdie died yesterday. I knew it wasn't going to be good when I came downstairs to feed him and he had gotten himself into the same position his sibling had gotten into before he died. Carefully using a plastic pen (not the pen end), I manuevered him back into a better position for him to breathe. I tried to feed him some of the food we made (following instructions found on the Internet), but he wouldn't open his mouth. I burst into tears. Matt came downstairs and took a look. We then did something we should have done before, but hadn't thought of it because it had been so warm the past day. We got out the heating pad and turned it on low, placing the pail at an angle on towels on top of it. Matt was able to feed him a little then. We kept checking on him, and Matt tried to feed him a few times, but it wasn't good. Around noon, Matt checked in on our little guy and turned toward me with a sad face, "I think he's gone." Of course I bawled. Matt buried him next to the other bird that died on Friday, marking it with a stone.

It wouldn't have been so bad if the birdie hadn't seemed to be doing so much better yesterday. He was sitting up, taking nourishment, and he even made some squeaking noises for Matt when he fed him. I even dreamt that he had gotten so much better, fluffed out, and we were able to get him to the Jamestown Audubon Society for further care. Matt thought he was sick all along, but I still felt like we didn't do enough for him in some ways. I do feel good about bringing him in at least and not leaving him on the ground where the bugs had started to bother him. I'm still sad about it though.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I AM the Luckiest Girl Alive

My fiance is a truly great guy. While I was checking some flowers I had planted this past Monday, I noticed something moving under one of the bushes by the house. If I hadn't gone to turn on the hose I probably would never have seen it. A little baby bird that apparently had fallen or been pushed out of its nest. I then saw a second little baby bird near it. I quickly watered my lavender plants and tried to decide what to do. The little thing doesn't even have feathers or its eyes open yet. After a minute, I ran inside and called Matt to ask him what he thought. The situation was so sad and the birds so helpless that I started to cry on the phone while I talked to him. He told me to hang on and he left work to come home to see what he could do.

Since both birds were alive, Matt lined a small, silver pail with grass and carefully placed them inside using a shovel. He then used a pen cap to dribble water down the throats of the birds. The one bird was obviously in better shape than the other one and even sat up a little so it could get at the water. We've been checking on it throughout the day. The other bird didn't make it, so Matt buried him next to the house. He changed the grass in the pail, gave the bird more water, and then brought the pail inside for the night since it's supposed to get down into the 50s.

We're not really sure what to do about the bird. I doubt it will survive long, especially without its mother to feed it, but I didn't want to leave it vulnerable outside for one of the neighborhood cats to play with. For those wondering, we haven't touched the bird at all with our hands. You can't be too careful with West Nile Virus being spread through birds and whatnot. It makes me feel really good that Matt would expend that much effort for a little animal that we probably can't help too much anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

As Opposed to Trying to Earn A Toaster Oven..

I don't want a toaster.
Furnulum pani nolo.
"I don't want a toaster."
Generally, things (like this quiz) tend to tick you
off. You have contemplated doing grievous
bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen.


Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Maybe this is the root of my problems. I didn't want a toaster to begin with, much less try to earn one through conversion! By the way, does anyone know the origins of how "earning a toaster oven" came about? I can guess it's based on the idea that once you sell enough in some businesses, cars for instance, that you win a prize. But the saying is so universal that I wonder who started it all.

Gee.. I Was Kinda Hoping For "Kissing Jessica Stein"...

CWINDOWSDesktopGrease.jpg
Grease!


What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

A Look to The Future

It's a year or more late, but City newspaper's look at Rochester's future: 2003-2013 is pretty funny. I had the best laugh over the Golisano item.

Julia In Central Park (November 2003) Posted by Hello

"That's So Bloggable!"

So I'm checking out some of the many things on the Internet when Richard calls.
Conversation:
Richard: "So what's up?"
Julia: "Not much. Just reading the Internet."
*laughter from both*
Richard: "That's hysterical"
Julia: "I've been at it all afternoon. Gotta test on it tomorrow."
Richard: *laughter*
Julia: "Yeah, you should see the index on this mother!"
Richard: "You know, that's so bloggable. Actually, you can buy a t-shirt over at Think Geek that says 'I'm Blogging This'."
Julia: "Really? I just might have to get it!"

So yeah, I changed my template in order to solve some of those nasty commenting problems. Spiffy for sure. Leave a comment damnit!

So Much For Population Control

Australians are throwing any ideas of world population control out the window with their government encouraging reproduction. Apparently they haven't heard how countries, like China, who have huge populations have taken extreme measures to reduce the country's population. We do not need more people than necessary on this planet! The planet's natural resources are already stretched thin as it is.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

New Blogger

This new blogger stuff is freaking me out. Nah.. I'm just saying that because I'm punchy (as in tired). I lost my comments when I tried to switch over to blogger's commenting system. Hopefully they actually respond to my Help email I sent them. So if you see commenting back, leave one. Otherwise email me or leave a note in the guestbook (one of those links on the right side). In other news, I'll probably switch my template soon since there are so many other choices now. Or something. All in all... life is peachy. I need sleep. Good Night.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Three Questions AKA It's a Slow Effing Day

I'm getting this from Patrick, who got this from some other people, who apparently also had nothing better to do on a Thursday. If you know the creator, let me know and I will post the links them.

3 Questions


I want everyone and anyone who reads this to ask me 3 questions, no more no less. Ask me anything you want and I will truthfully answer it here on this blog. Then, I want you to go to your blog, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including myself) to ask you anything.

Friends

I can count on one hand how many times I've joined a group of friends to watch a tv program. The only one that sticks out in my head at the moment is the coming out episode of Ellen. Tonight will be the next moment as some of our usual Thursday drinking crew gather at our house to watch all the Friends finale hoopla.

Admittedly, I didn't start watching the series until Matt and I started dating. But in a funny twist of fate, the series premiered on the birthday of a guy I had just met who was beginning to become a great friend. It was my senior year of high school and I was more interested in watching My So-Called-Life. In the early years, all the hype about the show seemed a bit overdone to me. I knew groups of music students at Baldwin-Wallace that would tape each episode to watch on Thursdays after they got out of orchestra rehearsal. It wasn't until I started watching the show weekly sometime in late 1999, early 2000 that I began to understand.

And since I am a sentimental bastard, I'll probably be weeping into a tissue for chunks of the final episode tonight. It was a good run all in all.

Getting Out of a Ticket? Priceless (courtesy of FARK)

A sense of humour and ingenuity sometimes will get you out of a speeding ticket. Or just make you laugh on a slow work day in my case.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004





You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe
But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated

You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys

Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.

And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.




What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz :-)


Quickies

Our meeting with the Pastor who will marry us went well.

I think we have all the music for our wedding picked out. I just need to produce our processional and recessional.

The wedding dress finally looks like a wedding dress. More fittings and lace applique sewing coming up.

How unbelievable, yet entertaining, was 10.5? Apparently 20.4 million people agree.

I have an interview on Friday at Home Depot. Don't know what job. I'm thinking they mixed up my resume with someone else's unless I'm lucky enough that they have an office job that pays a livable wage (by my terms).

Away, Away

We're on a mini-vaca in an area where they're experiencing forest fires (thanks asshole arsonist). It's an area that makes Clift...