Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Heart Confessors!

Got a special holiday treat for you.  Confessor Brad Gilbert has responded to the call for volunteer posts with a great bear-trap story and invitation for comments.  My thanks.

Before I begin, a little background on myself may be in order. I began listening to the Ticket as a 18 year-old just out of high school, back in the days when Rocco “like the Beatles” Pendola was on mid-days, movie watching was still a sport, and people were being Sturminated late-nights. I pretty much listened all day while working different jobs that allowed the radio to be on. But, in 2005 I moved up to MI and was stuck listening to the generic sports talk offered up in Metro Detroit. While I managed to get through it, nothing was ever the same.  
But then along comes Twitter, and I begin to see posts about the Hammer and how he was doing after being fired from the Ticket. Whoa! Not what I was expecting. So, as I begin to search the Internet, I find out that you can listen online to the Ticket via its website. This eventually led to smartphones and apps. Now, I listen through iHeart Radio. Even when I am in my vehicle, I plug my phone into a portable speaker to listen. All of that leads me to this story, and I wonder if it has ever happened to anyone else out there:
As I was listening to the Hardline one evening in my car, Corby and Danny were going back and forth on some subject. To this day, I cannot remember what exactly they were talking about due to the shocking nature of what came next.
I am getting ready to walk into Blockbuster to take back some DVDs and I grab my phone to listen via the speaker on the smartphone. It is at this moment, while I pass a female in the parking lot, that Danny blurts out something about females and that certain “time of the month,” and a “used female product.” I have never seen someone stop as fast as she did to stare me down dead in my tracks. The Hardline in particular has taught me that when listening to the Ticket in public, I am better off using my earphones. This is probably one of the reasons why I don’t listen to the Hardline as much as I once did.
Has listening to the Ticket, either in public, home, or the office, ever caused an embarrassing situation for you?
*     *     *
Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Omnibus Reaction to Last Batch of Comments

I admit, this is cheap, but I'm on the run and would like at least to refresh the thread.  A few thoughts on the last batch of comments, which I'll try to recap so you won't have to go back.

(1) Re Fan and (possibly) Ticket changes come 1-1-13 mentioned by a Confessor or two:  Has something been anounced, or is there some suggestion that there will be changes at the beginning of 2013?  There has been speculation for a long time about the results of the merger, but I hadn't heard anything definite.  Where did the "we may see changes in a month and a week" reference come from?

(2)  Re:  Boycott of music-related segments, punching out on music talk.  It might cause a blip on the stream numbers, but, as someone said, if you're not listening online, unless you're hooked up to a meter somewhere, your vote will not be counted. 

And, just so you know, the readership of this site is tiny, very tiny, compared to total Ticket listenership.  I have no idea how many total unique readers I have over the course of a week, but I'll tell you that my minimum unique-hits-per-day is around 100, rarely much fewer than that on weekdays, and my maximum is in the 200-300 range, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, but sometimes spiking to 400-600 (rare).  (Page views much higher, maybe around a third again as many per day.)   My point is:  Anyone is welcome to urge a Ticket boycott here, but this site is probably not the best place to get an embargo started.

(3)   This site has been a fairly consistent defender of Corbally's broadcasting skills, and I was thinking today that his solo + Danny turn today after Mike took ill showed his talents to very good advantage.  Ask yourself -- if Mike retired or left the show tomorrow, would you listen to Corby and Danny over RaGE or ESPN?   I would, and, much as I like Mike and would hate to think I wouldn't be hearing him again, I have a feeling I'd like a Corby + Danny show even if the competition weren't moribund, and I'm not entirely sure that a plus-one would be at all necessary.

(4)  I'm very surprised by the interest in Jake "Z" Kemp, and by the division of opinion.  I'm in the pro-Jake camp.  So the guy has some opinions, what Ticket guy doesn't?  I don't find him obnoxious about any of them, not at all.  Don't agree with everything, but I find him easy to listen to and not as dogmatic as some Confessors have argued.  Again, I feel that we've been falsely conditioned to view Jake through the "space is super-gay" remark, and, as I said in a comment to the last post, he has a timbre to his voice that makes him sound a little like Dylan the Argumentative Teen -- he sounds younger than he is -- and I think he's slightly victimized by that as well.

Hey, Confessors, I really appreciated the solid batch of comments while I was on the road with the family.  Good work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Junior's Dust Bowl Talk

If you can't tune in at 5:30 you can miss some cool stuff on the Muser show.  

This morning, Craig was reporting on his viewing of Ken Burns's documentary on The Dust Bowl, the climatological disaster that overtook portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas in the 1930s.  The drought affected other states as well, but the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles got the worst of it.  

As it happened, Mrs. Plainsman and I also saw the show.

As we watched it, Mrs. P and I remarked on how good we have it these days. It did indeed remind me to be thankful for what I have.

And, as that holiday approaches, I am thankful for all of you supporters and readers, yes, including – perhaps especially – those of you calling for my abandonment of this site for one or another P1 litmus-test failure (see comments two posts back).  I really do appreciate the time each one of you takes to read the site, and to give the blogosphere your usually well-considered thoughts on The Ticket.

Have a wonderful holiday, and please drive with care and otherwise conduct yourselves in a civilized fashion. I don't want to lose any more readers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anyone Interested?

Been on my mind for awhile. 

Thinking about having a party at some swell centrally-located spot for readers.  Set a time and place, make sure there's enough room for a group,  remind people about designated drivers, lay down the plastic, talk Ticket -- maybe even tahk gawf -- and say thanks. 

Is this the sort of thing any of you would be interested in?  Not sure I'm going to do it, but just checking the interest level.  If you'd prefer to email me --

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, all.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Train Station and Other Extremely Quick Hits

--  George DiGianni is doing a show featuring (among other things) genital herpes with a Dr. Cockerell.

--  George can make fun of himself.  His GenoStim ads now feature drops from his show, and today he remarked in the course of the keep-locker-rooms sanitary discussion that he always goes home to shower because, among other reasons, "I don't want to see a bunch of swinging sausages."  Then he paused; then said he was waiting for his engineer/op to make it into a drop.

--  Kevin Turner with Tickerman duties today.  The Mitchell Kerasik Watch is on hold.

--  A commenter on the last thread observes:  "From the comments made prior to and during the letter of suggestions from a listener that Corby read, it's pretty obvious that Rhyner doesn't care for listener input or opinion, period. Which leads me to believe that if he is aware of this site, he must loathe it." 

I think this is probably correct.  Of course, we would all like our favorite hosts to like us.  Even though this site is mostly highly supportive of The Hardline and worshipful of Mike R's legend, it's the slice that doesn't fall under the "mostly" part of the pie that probably rankles.  And who could blame him or any other Ticketarian who doesn't like MTC?  Would you like someone commenting on your job performance every few days, slicing and dicing your every inflection, and anonyously to boot?  No.  So I've never introduced myself to any Ticket host and probably will keep my distance from the larger specimens of that group for the forseeable future.

--  So, are we about to experience another Greggo eruption?  There is some suggestion that he has been mysteriously absent from RaGE the last couple of days.  Dare I type those legendary words: 

Where's Greggo?

Monday, November 12, 2012

So What, Exactly, Was on Mike's Mind?

This site tends to be a defender of the Hardline against the apparently increasing number of Confessors who are dissatisfied with the show.   But I was puzzled at WOMM on Friday.

Mike started out somewhat slowly and hesitantly by saying that he thought he might be interested in the new Bond movie, which he did not name. He had seen a documentary on the franchise.  As soon as he mentioned Bond, Corby jumped in and that was pretty much all we heard about what was on Mike's mind. It was Corby and Danny for the rest of the segment.  With Mike saying one memorable thing:

Up to that point, no one had named the movie.

Until Mike finally did:


Several questions occur to me.

Did Mike really think "Skyfall" was named "Sunlamp"?  Or was this a part of his emerging seeming-more-addled-than-his-actual-years persona bit?

Was the Bond franchise on Mike's mind at all? Or was this a complete Friday give-up?

Was this the OverCorby?  Or (my weakly-held view), sensing that Mike had absolutely nothing on his mind respecting the announced Mind-topic, was this Corby jumping in to rescue a segment that had already begun wobbling dangerously?  

Sometimes I worry less about their show prep exams than their mind prep. Man, that was one mess.

*     *    *
One more thought:   Am I correct in recalling from various remotes of all the shows that Mike is the only Ticket host who does not have the Internet running in front of him? (I have never been to a Norm remote.)  

Given the man's talent and the years of incredible entertainment he's given us, do we even care that he does not much bestir himself for the show sometimes?  That he even seems to take some pride in being culturally unaware?  

I'm not sure I do.  But then, I don't mind the OverCorby as much as some others seem to, and I do think the OverCorby is sometimes just him pulling a segment back from the abyss.  And I don't mind Mike's too-old-too-early bit.  To me, it still has the flavor of a bit and has not crossed the line into disrespect to both his colleagues and the P1.  After all, his "Sunlamp" reference did make me laugh as I was cruising up 75.

But I understand the contrary argument.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Liking Chicken

I think I posted this in a comment and not in a post, so some of you may have missed it:

Here is where George's "I Like Chicken" song comes from, featuring Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean"):

Not the Nine O'Clock News: I Like Trucking

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Danny the Pitchman (Pronounced "PITCH-mun")

Big fan of Danny Balis.  It looks like most Confessors are as well. One hears the occasional complaints about music snobbishness, but they are more than offset by those who think he is the savior of a declining Hardline.  Myself, I don't even mind the aging slacker persona presented on the Orphanage. I don't care how old he is, it's not only a good bit, it's not even a bit.  Like it or not, his radio personality seems entirely genuine.  And he's a funny, witty guy.  He pulls it off. 


Which is why I get such an enormous kick out of his solo advertising spots. You can hear the struggle in his voice:  On the one hand, he wants to keep faith with his sponsor and convey a sincere interest in persuading the listener to purchase the product. On the other, he wants to convey to his fans that he hasn't sold out. On top of this, he has to cram a lot of words into a short period of time, not his customary mode of expression.  The result is a not-unpleasant but somewhat unctuous semi-ironic tone, vaguely intimate and strongly inflected, that hopes to please the sponsor while nudging the P1 in the ribs.


I had to laugh listening to the Park Place Mercedes-Benz ad driving in the other day.   I pictured Danny returning to his apartment in his 2-Series after a long day of broadcasting, producing, and careful show prep.  He turns on his laptop and sees  a long list of P1s who have e-mailed him at his Park Place address, requesting his urgent assistance in purchasing a new Mercedes-Benz as he invites them to do in his ad.  I picture him opening each email, carefully examining the preferences and desires of each Mercedes-needing listener (they must be countless in The Ticket's demo), cross-referencing that data with the inventory at Park Place Mercedes, and selecting the exactly appropriate sales consultant to arrange an introduction for the corresponding P1 – or, in Danny's phrase, to "hook you up."  It's an amazing service Danny offers, allowing the P1 to take advantage of his close professional connection with the doubtless hard-to-reach members of the Park Place Mercedes-Benz sales department.


Love it.  It's Great to Shop at The Ticket.
Danny B with Another Fine Park Place Brand
Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310
Email Your Plainsman:

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

-   -   -

     --     I had never heard the "Motorcycle Greggo" bit before.  It was played after the Hardline closing theme and before the cavalcade of ads before poor T.C. has to cram his Top Ten into the time allotted time.  (T.C., who really lights up the Top Ten with his between-bit patter, was forced into auctioneer-speed talking tonight.)    Is this an old bit?  It was incredibly savage.  Wondering if The (Incomparable) UnTicket has it (it may want to run it by its attorneys first); I'd like to hear it again.  Let's see -- there was a reference to white trash, a whore, and, the most intriguing reference:  something about Greggo somehow acquiring money that belonged to Ticket staff members.  I can't remember the wording of that last gag, but it was astonishingly bitter and astonishingly inside; would love to know what that joke was about.  Surely this is an old bit, and some of the references would probably mean something to longer-time listeners.  I was entertained, but it was really, really harsh about a guy who isn't even a pimple on The Little One's ass.  Can anyone provide us some context here?

     --     I still don't get Corby's Scot Harrison impression.

     --     I was impressed with Corby's knowledge of NBA rosters during the discussion of the accusations of overwhiteness against the MN Timberwolves.  He could have been reading the info off his screen, I suppose, but I don't think so.  Maybe he knew what was going to be on Mike's mind and studied up.  Or, quite possibly, he knew what he was talking about.

     --     I noticed that one of the followers on this site was a gentleman named Dana Porter.  In his minibio, he said that his thumbnail was a painting by his late grandfather, Henry C. Porter.  Intrigued, I Googled "Henry C. Porter" and discovered that he was noted artist with some really fascinating and beautiful images, both representational and abstract.  You can check them out here.

Dana, thanks for calling this to our attention.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Remembering Casey

-  -  -
As noted in the last post, it struck me a few days ago that I hadn't heard Casey Millen on the air in a long time.
In a comment, KT advises that Casey is "out of radio."
This both saddened and concerned me.
Saddened, because, while Casey had a controversy or two during his Ticket tenure, he was a pretty solid JV player and becoming a familiar voice on the station, at least on weekends.  Perhaps a bit too obviously ambitious -- I caught his sig other giving him props on this site -- but talented.  Knew his way around a mic, had some OK patter.  Smart.
Concerned, because he seems to have vanished.  He may be out of radio, but his (apparently inactive) Twitter description and LinkedIn summary still list The Ticket as his current home.  I find no news of him elsewhere.
I have no interest in prying into his personal life if he has suffered some misfortune, and if I learn that this was the case, I will take this post down.  But I recall that when Barb Smith vanished from the traffic scene a couple of years ago and readers were questioning her whereabouts, she dropped us a comment and let us know all was well.  (Put this site on the map, I might add -- surfers still visit this site looking for Barb.) 
Casey has corresponded with this site in the past, so I'm hopeful he will do so again and let us know that he's out there swinging.  In any event, very best of luck to him.