Monday, February 01, 2010

Elvis, DVRs and Fast Food Value Menus -- It's A February Editon of Frost Bites

Elvis Presley….DVRs…..Fast food value menus….The return of free form radio…and a shout-out to a good friend. In the time honored dot-dot-dot tradition of the late Bob Talbert of the Detroit Free Press and Larry King’s of USA Today – I now present a few quick takes on things going on in my world with February Frost Bites:

A Hunk A Hunk Of Burning Book: I should have bought it when I seen it on the shelf in the book department at my local Meijer store – but I didn’t and now I’m beating myself up for it – I’m talking about the book “Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him” by Alanna Nash. When I cracked open the book in the store, the first thing that hit my eye was a story about how Elvis had a hard time dealing with a famous Hollywood starlet in bed because she was somewhat loud and vocal in the bedroom. It peaked my interest at that point – but I didn’t want to put down the twenty plus bucks at the time – but now I really want to read it and its no longer in stock in the book department. Damn! I’m getting even more worked up about not having purchased this book after I read the review of it by Janet Maslin of the New York Times. In her review of the book, Ms. Maslin says, “she (Nash) manages to collect all the madness, badness and sadness of the Elvis myth in one exhaustive and (let's face it) embarrassingly tempting volume.” I want this book and I want it now!!!!

It’s Made TV Even Better: I never could understand why people with TiVos and DVRs praised them so much until I got one of my own. Before I got a DVR – I thought that it was just a glorified version of a VCR and nothing more. We have all have lived through the Beta and VHS stages of a VCR – so another video recording format didn’t seem like it would be any different – boy, was I wrong! A DVR makes time-shifting TV so much easier. DVRs are so easy to use you’ll record things and discover later that just don’t have time to watch everything that you have stockpiled on the DVRs hard-drive.

One of the nicest things about a DVR is that you can quickly replay something that you didn’t catch the first time around and being able to zip through commercials in a few pushes of a button is another added plus. I’m addicted to my DVR I’ll be driving around town listening to something on public radio and something will be said that I wish I had my DVR remote with me to replay it back. That’s when I tell myself, “Hey stupid – you’re in your car driving and they don’t make DVRs for radios!” Maybe that could be the next feature on car radios in the future.

Speaking of Radio – CBS Radio is doing something right – On the internet: There was once a time when the only thing you could find on FM radio was beautiful music and then something called “underground radio” was born in cities such as San Francisco, Detroit, and Boston. One such station that I can remember listening to as a kid growing up in the late 60s was WABX-FM in Detroit. When you tuned in to WABX – you could hear everything from B.B. King to The Beatles….Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention to Chick Corea….David Bowie to Bachman Turner Overdrive….and comedy from the National Lampoon Radio Hour, the Firesign Theater and Cheech and Chong. After hearing shouting Top 40 jocks on AM radio – it was a treat to the ears to listen to an underground radio station with disc-jockeys who were creative in their ability to take diverse styles of music and blend them into one enjoyable format. Well… underground radio is back in a new form – on the internet with Free Form WBCN out of Boston.

A CBS owned and operated Radio station -- Free Form WBCN is actually one of the HD channels of WZLX in Boston that is now being streamed on the internet. It’s one of the stations that you can find on AOL Radio and Yahoo Radio or you can click on their line at and a CBS Radio player will pop up with the station preset for you. At the present time the music being played is computer generated with some announcer drops…but they are gradually adding live announcers to the streaming broadcasts. It’s great to click on this station and hear music from Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones , Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Cheap Trick, Curtis Mayfield, The Kinks, Marvin Gaye and the Beatles. If you grew up listening to underground radio stations in the 60s and 70s – I urge you to click on the Free Form WBCN link and enjoy free form radio once again.

I was just thinking – CBS owns WYCD in Detroit – which happens to be the frequency of the old WABX. Wouldn’t it be sweet if CBS Radio Detroit did a local version of Free Form Radio in Detroit with a Free Form ‘ABX on one of WYCD’s HD channels? New programming like that on an HD channel could entice more people to go out and by HD radio receivers.

I’m Your Fast Food Value Menu Bitch, I will admit to you that Madison Avenue has me by the balls when it comes to fast food restaurant advertising. If I see something new advertised on the tube at any one of the fast food places – I’m there – and this week Madison Avenue has me visiting my local Wendy’s. Right now – the big value menu promotional push at Wendy’s is with their Spicy Hot Chicken Nuggets….well, I like spicy chicken nuggets and priced at five nuggets for 99¢ -- I had to try them. They aren’t as spicy as I thought they would be – but they’re pretty damn tasty for the price and you can’t beat them with the ranch dipping sauce. (One order is good to whet your chicken nugget appetite, but the smart thing is order two – hey, what’s ten nuggets between friends, right?)

And if you haven’t noticed -- there’s another big battle going on at your favorite fast food restaurant with each of them wanting you to buy their value menu double cheeseburger. I have tried the double cheeseburgers from the Big 3 (McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s) and my least favorite is the one that McDonald’s offers. The Burger King value menu double cheeseburger is a lot more meatier than McD and Wendy’s and with the flame broiled taste – I give this burger high marks. Wendy’s, on the other hand, has a meaty burger and the plus that it has going for it is that is has that hot off the grill greasy flavor that none of the other fast fooders offer.

It helps to have computer geeks as friends. The modem on my computer died this weekend. This modem has performed admirably through out the years – in not one, but two different computers. There will be no funeral or memorial services for the modem – you are just asked to worship at the altar of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and do what you can to make these two gentlemen happy. Despite what they might tell you – those two geek bastards do control our world and everything in it.

All jokes aside, when it comes to the modem on my computer I am grateful to Sean Richardson – my old radio buddy from my years at RadioFirst in Port Huron – who took the time out of his busy day to install a new modem in my computer. I sometimes kid Sean about the computer world that he lives in, but he’s always been there to help make using the computer a lot easier for me. He doesn’t have to do what he does – but this computer geek has a heart – and a big one at that. Thank you for all of your help, Sean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read Baby Lets Play House. It is SO worth the $20. Order on Amazon or!