Saturday morning, 9am - Back at the radio station to meet Harold Snure to see if we could get a Barix STL to work. No go. Here's my advice to any radio operators thinking of using the Barix system to connect to a remote studio. Sure, the Barix is cheap. But you have to know a lotta knowledge about firewalls, connection speeds, VPNs, bit rates, gateways and static IPs to get them to work correctly. There are a lot better products out there that might cost more at first but might be cheaper in the long run.
I told Puente about Thursday when I entered into a conference call with the CEO of a video streaming company that we might do business with. "Now don't get freaked out by this, but I do have my technical advisor. Her name's Christina Cortez and the party for her graduation is this weekend."
"Congratulations," said the CEO, "What college?"
"No," I interrupted. "Not college. HIGH SCHOOL. But please don't be put off by that. She's entirely competent."
And as the conference call progressed, Mr. CEO understood what I was talking about, as Christina asked about copyright infringements and ad placement and the floating price per gig of bandwidth and storage. She's been with me since she was 15. Quiet, unassuming and a complete whiz kid. Kinda like Angel Jimenez in that regard.
"Why the heck are you up at that hour?" I asked.
"Can't sleep. Now I've got Coast to keep me company."
And Knish told my wife about scrambling to tune in an Iowa radio station to get "Coast to Coast" in past years. It also reminds me that I'm on a crash course with all night radio. My aunt Irene tells me she wakes up several times a night and gets at most five hours. It's a curse. You either got it or you don't. Like right now. It's 1:16 on Sunday morning and sleep's just a rumor right now. I also run into Norm Houser and wife Sherry, who say they listen all the time in the morning. Sherry likes the traffic, since she drives 40 minutes in the morning.
"And you listen because I'm so funny also, right?"
"You know, you and Joey Chruby running around the neighborhood causing trouble." Oh, that Joan Buvala. From across the street when I was a kid. Joey Chruby is probably the funniest and most mischievous person on the planet. We grew up next to each other and there wasn't a moment that he wasn't thinking about making trouble. If you think of Eddie Haskell, times it by infinit
"Anything you want, Leo, as long as it tells the story of the Calumet Region."
You be the judge if he got it right. He did this black and white thing with a million times a million dots. There's smokestacks and a view of Chicago and a farm silo and this glove like guys wear in the steel mills and a bunch of other stuff. We had prints made of it but the reproduction wasn't fine enough resolution to pick up that the whole thing's made of dots. You gotta see the original one day to get the full effect.
Anyways, with Leo, as with just about with everyone else in my life, it comes back to radio. I'd go to his house in Munster sometimes to visit him - when he wasn't drinking - and he'd show me his collection of old radio tapes. If you're at all in to the rich tradition of radio, then you'd have been amazed. In a rather unkempt house in a rather unkempt spare bedroom, he had stacked cassette tape after cassette tape of old radio shows. All kinds. Jack Benny, Jean Sheperd, all sorts of old shows with comic book characters like Flash Gordon and Superman. And lots of old mysteries. He really like mysteries. Each tape looked like a work of art, with exquisite calligraphy on perfectly aligned white stickers. All four walls, floor to ceiling, were covered with tapes.
"Leo, what the fuck do you do with all of these tapes?"
"I listen to them, Jimmy, what the fuck else do you think I'd do with them?" But since it was coming from Leo, God rest his soul, it came out like.
"I lithen to them, Dimmy, what the thuck elthe do you think I do with them?" He really was a great artist. I wish, when he died, that I would have bought all of his collection, the art work and the radio work. But as with most times in my life, I'd hit a rough patch and didn't have the money. Someone else swooped in and bought the shit. At least that allowed Joey to pay me back that little, you know, loan from days gone by.
.... Oh yeah... On Gladish's driveway there was also a little "MadMac Haters Fan Club" brewing. Five people - three guys and two women - got into a high-volume rant about "what a dick MadMac is. What a hater." One guy actually got up and started pointing and yelling, saying that he would like to punch MadMac in the face.
So who is this "MadMac" that could draw such ire? He's a longtime caller to WJOB. MadMac will say the most outrageous thing one minute. And the next he'll make a poignant observation that may be so right on that it gets a lotta people really pissed. So it goes, my friend. 24 hours of a radio life. In radio as in Vonnegut, so it goes.