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Hey Radio Fans… I’ll be on from 10:30 to Noon today…

This will probably be the last time in the next two weeks that I can be on the air, given my forthcoming hospital visit next week. So… I’ll be thrilled to get your call-ins on “Talk To Me” (304-876-5369).b You can talk about anything you want to, as usual, or make an esoteric music request that you challenge me to find in a few minutes… it’s always fun for me.

If you are not in the 50 mile radius of WSHC at 89.7 FM, Shepherdstown WV, then you can go to 897wshc.org/listen-live. There are folks all over the country who listen, now (and a few friends in other countries) and I look forward to playing for everyone.

So, tune in this morning to “Talk To Me”. BTW, my daughter, Cassandra (from Connecticut) is my guest this morning. You can talk to her, too.

– Bill

 

 

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My congratulations to Stephen Skinner…My best wishes to Elliot Simon

The election finished in West Virginia with results I predicted on the air.

So we have a wonderful guy going to the State House of Delegates representing us here in Jefferson County.

Although I consider myself glad to know both Skinner and his opponent, libertarian Republican Elliot Simon, who does the radio programCommon Sense” on Saturday Mornings just before my show, “Talk To Me”, on WSHC radio in Shepherdstown, I must say it is Stephen’s politics that I agree with. It does not surprise me that he won.

I’ll be glad to have Elliot’s full time attention back on our Saturday Morning broadcasts. I’m sure he disagrees with me, but I hope we will still cordially greet each other between shows.

 

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

– Bill

 

Busy weekend for me.

This is a busy weekend as Elly and her Sustainable Shepherdstown group are

The Goddess of House Cleaning

having a pot luck supper at our house and we have to do a lot of cleaning today and tomorrow morning. This morning I was up early and cleaned the first floor bathroom. After my radio show I’ve been assigned to the living room… much better than the kitchen!

Tonight we have a movie preceded by a dinner with an old friend of ours who is coming into town because she ha a daughter at Shepherd. So we have a weekend that is really filled up and I’m still getting over my recent health problems which I’m likely to be doing for the next couple of months. Ain’t life great.

 

 

Saturday Morning and I’m getting ready for the 11 o’clock show…

Our regular schedule at WSHC (89.7 FM) is back this week, so my show, Talk To Me, is on from 11 AM to 1 PM and I’ll be taking calls from listeners at 304.876.5369. Remember, if you are not in our listening area (which unfortuneately ony covers about 50 miles around Shepherdstown, WV) you can listen live on the web site: http://897wshc.org.

As usual, I am putting together the list of songs I’d like to play on the show, but I expect my regular callers and more will call in with hard to find requests (which I usually pull out of the air) and their music, as usual, outplays mine. It’s really worth listening to if you have a desire to hear work from the 40s, 50s or 60s. Those are the years most of the requests fall into.

I also expect Ralph Petrie to show up around noon for one of my favorite parts of the show, The Petrie Dish. Ralph brings in his historic music list which really educates all of us on the history of rock ‘n roll.

I love the Saturday show and I hope you might as well.

 

Fluent Magazine is NOW AVAILABLE!

Take a look at Fluent Magazine, the on-line Arts, Culture and Events magazine for the Eastern Panhandle area.

Yours truly is one of the Associate Editors on it, having written reviews of the CATF season and an article on CATF Director Ed Herendeen.

What’s more there are articles on art, poetry, fiction and much more. And you can subscribe for free!

I hope you’ll take a look at it.

My life has changed… not for the better, I’m afraid

Following my radio show this morning, I’m sitting over at Mellow Moods having coffee while I wait for my friend Cecil to pick me up

He’s over at  workshop at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and are schedules our slightly skewed.

This not being able to drive, what I have been condemned to since my accident, stands a real possibility of going on for the rest of my life. If I were in a city with public transportation to everything going on, it would be one thing, but I’m a few miles out of town in an empty, rural neighborhood where walking to anything is out of the question and there are no buses or anything else.

I’m dependent on family and friends to go out, can no longer do the grocery shopping, which I enjoyed, and, basically I feel trapped. The internet is my only way out, so you, dear blog readers, are now my connection to the world. I enjoy hearing from you whether you agree with me or not.

Think I’ll go buy another cup of coffee while it becomes 102° outside.

Back to the Radio…

I just got into the WSHC (89.7) studio and I’m setting up for my 11 – 1 show. Given the Shepherdstown Street festival combined with the number of trees that came down in the storm last night, getting in here took longer than I expected.

Elly did the driving, since I am banned from doing it for at least six months (assuming I have no more seizures.) It’s another hot day out but the studio is AC’d and relatively comfortable.

If you are outside of our area you can listen on the web at http://www.897wshc.org.

My apologies for not posting…

After putting up the Joseph Stiglitz piece yesterday, the trackpad on my MacBook started playing games on me… going where it wanted to go, not where I did, and opening windows and folders I didn’t want to.

I spent most of the day cleaning the pad, trying all the downloads recommended on the help boards, loading and unloading applications, changing administrative sign-ons, etc., but it was only late in the evening that it started working more-or-less correctly again.  So far this morning there is no problem.

The non-working computer also kept me from finishing the article on the arts in Shepherdstown, WV, that I am writing for the new Fluent magazine… so that will take up a lot of my day today (assuming this baby keeps on course.)

So come on back later this afternoon and I hope something will be here for you.

-Bill

I’m on my way over to CATF this morning to interview Ed Herendeen…

Ed Herendeen

Given his tight rehearsal schedule, I have been lucky to snare 20 minutes with Producing Director Ed Herendeen this morning at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. I am doing this for Fluent, Nancy McKeithen’s forthcoming on-line arts magazine which will appear on or about July 1st.

Ed is a theatre professional that I greatly admire and his festival is one of the reasons Elly and I moved to Shepherdstown. Indeed, because of the CATF even more arts organizations and programs have built up here and, if you can’t live in short travel distance to NYC, this is a great place to be.

Anyway, I’ve got to get out of the house. I’ll be back on line later…

So, it looks like we’ve sold our Town House…

Three months after moving over here to rural Harper’s Ferry, we have just signed the agreement to sell our Shepherdstown town house…not for as much as we wanted, but for enough to move forward in our plans to eventually build a totally sustainable house in the lot next to ours. In Elly’s mind, we are moving again next year, but I’ll just wait and see.

Life is never easy.

 

I’ll be on the radio alone tomorrow morning…

John Case just called to tell me he and his wife are going camping in Pennsylvania and I’ll be doing our joint show, Friday Winners and Losers, alone tomorrow.

If you want to tune in and you are within 50 or so miles of Shepherdstown, WV, it’s 89.7 on the FM dial.

If you are from anywhere else in the great wide world, go to http://897wshc.org and tune in from there.

Sitting over at Mellow Moods…

John Case was still away, so I did the morning radio show alone and unprepared… but it went OK. Now I’m over at the Mood for post-show coffee and talking with local friends who hang out here.

Can’t tell what the weather will be like for the rest of the day. It’s nice out now, but there are some dark clouds rolling over and it is a little windy… if we have rain later in the day I won’t be surprised.

Shepherdstown is setting up for an active weekend. Tomorrow is Eastern Panhandle Earth Day at Morgans Grove Park all afternoon and into the evening. There is the Really, Really Free yard sale on The Wall on German Street both Saturday and Sunday. And, of course, I have my regular WSHC show, Talk To Me, tomorrow from 11 AM to 1:00 PM.

Elly is doing a lot of different things today and, I guess, for the rest of the weekend, so I’m pretty much on my own. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Everything is behind today… I’m walking an uneasy line…

This is how I feel...

I was supposed to be at WSHC at 7:30 this morning to cover for John Case until 9:00 AM, but somehow I missed the alarm and slept too late… and if Ralph Petrie hadn’t called at 8:30 to see where John was I never would have gotten in.

At 7:55 I was on the air and my regular callers (especially Ralph, whose birthday is today… Happy Birthday, Ralph) started ringing in. I held the show an extra half hour to make up for the lateness.

I had a therapist’s appointment a little later… then I got home, fed the dogs and, dammit, fell asleep until 4:00 PM. Now I’m getting a really late start on my house packing and kitchen cleaning, etc.

We’re supposed to be trucking the furniture and boxes to the new house on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll never make it!

And I’ve got to be on with John at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

Two weeks of moving start today…

Elly and Me?

We closed on our “farmette” on Friday, and now we will spend the next two weeks moving, emptying the townhouse and getting it ready for sale (say, are you looking for a nice townhouse in Shepherdstown, WV? Let me know.)

Home for Chicks

The thought of entering a life as somewhat of a farmer has been entering my consciousness as I plan to repair the very old chicken house on the property so we can go out in April (or earlier) to get a dozen or so live chicks. Sure looking forward to eggs by the end of the summer.

If this makes the blog come out at odd times of the day in the next week or so (no internet connected to the new house yet) then we will have to live with it.

Take a break…

A wonderful film for a Wednesday Night:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

This has been nominated for a short film Academy Award and I think it is surely worth it. Make sure to watch it at full screen.

Have a great time… more fun than watching politicians.
For those of you who are my radio listeners I’ll be on WSHC (89.7 FM) tomorrow morning from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM substituting for John Case(on the web at http://www.897wshc.org).

Great Responsibilities tonight at Shepherdstown Film Society…

Elly and I volunteered to turn out the houselights and do the head count at Shepherdstown Film Society tonight at 7:00 (Reynolds Hall at Shepherd U. – FREE). The film is Atlantic City with Burt Lancaster,,,one I haven’t seen in a couple of decades.

That means we can’t go to the opening of Sweeney Todd, also at Shepherd U. We’ll have to go on second night tomorrow.

_____

We finished the official inspection of our new house this afternoon… also got a quote on the deck we’re building in the back… now we have to wait for the bank and the lawyer to engineer the closing. After that we’ll get Dave, our fix-up guy, to put in a couple of days correcting the faults found in the inspection.

I’ll also have to pick up two rolls of welded wore fencing and the steel stakes to put in the dog fence for Nestle and Byron.

___

Radio show on WSHC (89.7 in Shepherdstown, http://www.897WSHC.org around the world. 11:AM to 1:PM.

Almost time for my Saturday radio show…

I’m in the outer studio at WSHC FM getting my playlist ready for the 11 AM show (we’re up until 1:00 PM.) The station is 89.7 for those of you within 50 miles or so from Shepherd University (our owner) and on the internet at http://www.897wshc.org. Feel free to tune in… or call in at 304- 876- 5369.

We’re probably going to talk about some of the dreadful things Newt and

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Mitt have been hurling at each other in Florida this week, among other things. Also, there is a production of Sweeney Todd opening next week at Shepherd, which I’m looking forward to… so they’ll be a little theatre discussion.

I expect that Ralph, Mark or Stu or some other of our regulars will be calling in as well. I also have my usual eclectic mix of music.

Have a nice day… I’m signing off for a couple of hours.

Sitting in the radio station after crawling through ice to get in.

Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive. Fortunately they had already plowed King St. and I could park quite close to WSHC‘s studio in Kunicke Hall.

There’s about 2 inches of snow layered with a half inch of ice.  It took me a few minutes to scrape my car off, but it looks like the worst is probably over. The Weather Bureau says the temperature will go above freezing and we’ll have a little light rain and then overcast sun later this afternoon. Can’t wait.

Given the weather, I’m not sure if any of my regular walk-in guests will be on “Talk To Me” today. Hopefully folks will call in to 304-876-5369 and say hello.

The internet is up, so if you’re not in the Shepherdstown, WV, area you can tune in at http://897wshc.org. I’ll be on from 11AM until 1 PM ET.

Since it’s a great day to stay inside and snuggle up with your sweetie take advantage of it. There has been so little winter this year that this is almost like a vacation.

Are you ever too old to be creative?

Although it is Friday the thirteenth, this may be an unusually lucky day for me. I’m sitting over in Mellow Moods with John Case (post our 7:30 – 9:00 AM radio show on WSHC) where we are meeting on a proposed revision of Clifford OdetsWaiting for Leftywhich we are framing

CraftWorks

inside the Occupy Movement. With music, yet.

Later this morning I have an appointment at CraftWorks over in Charles Town WV where they are looking for a part-time guy with arts administration experience (like me) who’s willing to be paid for ten hours at a low rate but actually work for twenty or thirty. A retired guys’ dream. I hope I do well at the interview… had a good conversation with their Director yesterday.

A Lubalin Masterpiece

I started getting interested in doing some type-oriented graphic design work, something I haven’t really done since the U-Design years in Hartford. One way to get inspired for that is to ramble through the works of my favorite graphic designer, Herb Lubalin. He’s been dead for three decades now (he died on MY BIRTHDAY, May 24), but many of his designs and logos are still being used and much of his work will live forever.rpiece

Bradley Sanders

I get such a thrill out of seeing what Lubalin did with type (he’s one of the reasons I started designing typefaces in the 80s… Avant Garde kicked me over the edge when I saw what letters could do when they interact.)  I’m going to work on a couple of experimental pieces… one supporting my Saturday show on WSHC… then see if any of the local non-profits are willing to giver me a try.

I saw Bradley Sanders of the Folly when John and I came into the Mood earlier and told him I’d like to learn how to weld. I have some ideas for metal sculpture that I’d like to carry out and Bradley was encouraging. One more thing to keep from the boredom of retirement.


So at 65 I’m getting ready to move ahead.

Night of the Living Dead…

I’ve had to get up really early every morning this week, what with WSHC calls and doctors appointments… tomorrow is no different. My big problem is that I don’t get any sleep at night. I tend to wake up in one and a half hour increments and by the time the 6 AM alarm goes off I’m more tired than I was when I went to bed at 10 PM.

As the week goes by I feel much worse. Usually I come back after my Saturday radio show and sleep off the afternoon… but I can’t this weekend since Elly and I have to drive down to DC for a party at an old friend’s house.

That means tonight will be utter misery, even if I go to bed at 9… even if I take a useless sleeping pill.

I need a vacation (hiding in my bedroom).

Utterly surprised…

…to get a call from an old theatre friend from Northwestern… Dan Einbender, who hails from upstate New York. A brief bio:

Dan Einbender

DAN EINBENDER  has spent much of the last 32 years working with folk-music legend Pete Seeger’s Clearwater organization, whose efforts have helped to restore the Hudson River, while also creating a new generation of environmental leaders. Einbender was also the Grammy Award–winning producer of Seeger’s 2010 album Tomorrow’s Children. Einbender lives in Wurtsboro, N.Y. His work takes him all over the world, primarily to Hellebaek, Denmark.

Danny was in my first Systems Theatre group at Northwestern in the 60s and was one of my favorite performers then. I really admire his work with children over the years, and you can learn more about him at Kid Friendly Music.

Not having spoken with Danny for over 40 years, this was great having him call into the Occupy Movement discussion on WSHC this morning.
Hope I hear from him again as I sit trapped and retired in West Virginia‘s Eastern Panhandle.

Getting ready to go on the air at WSHC…

It’s about ten after seven and I’m warming up the board for John Case’s  Tuesday morning show (we go on at 7:30). John is spending a couple of days in DC and I’m covering today and tomorrow… so I’ll be here until 9:00 AM.

If you want to listen, we’re at 89.7 FM in Shepherdstown, WV, but our signal doesn’t go very far… we are really meant to cover Shepherd University and the Town… but people all over the country listen to us at http://www.897wshc.edu. We know that because we get calls from New York, Montreal, Chicago and other places (like DC).


Anyway, I’ll get back to the blog when I get home… right after I walk the dogs.

I started thinking about Old Greenbelt, MD, this morning…

Greenbelt  Theater

… where we lived when we first came down to the mid-Atlantic area because I was then working for CSC. While the row townhouses in Old Greenbelt are not terrifically stylish, they are small and comfy and we really enjoyed living there. You are within walking distance to stores and movies and community theatre, and it’s a short drive to large supermarkets, malls and the DC subway.

We sold our townhouse when we went to Hagerstown and then to Shepherdstown.

This morning I woke up missing being in Old Greenbelt. Turns out that Elly misses being there to, so, tentatively, we are putting it on our househunting/retirement list and will be exploring the possibility.


Who knows?

Just got back from WSHC…

Hard to believe, but I substituted for John Case on this mornings Winners and Losers show on WSHC radio. Thankfully, Shepherd U. police came over to unlock the door at Knutti Hall and let me into the studio, where I spent the morning playing Thanksgiving songs (mostly about Turkeys) and talking about what I was thankful for.

At 2:00 we’ll be over at my Daughter Penny’s for Thanksgiving dinner. However, right now I’m watching the Macy’s Parade, which I try never to miss (back when I lived in NYC, I always tried to see it live and in person… a great event.)

Shepherdstown is pretty dead right now… most of the students from Shepherd are home for the weekend and most of the businesses are closed. No street parking problems, though… just nowhere to go.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Be kind to an Indian today… and apologetic.

And don’t go to any stores that start Black Friday today. They are un-American.