Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishing All Confessors, Even the Snotty Ones, the Very Merriest of Christmases

And we should also remember this date for another reason:  On December 24, 1906, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden demonstrated his radical new alternator-based transmitter (as opposed to a spark transmitter) from a tower in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, by playing a recording of Handel, performing "O Holy Night" on his violin, singing a Gounod song, and reading from Luke.

It was the first-ever radio broadcast of entertainment material.

And here we are.

I believe that hardware was later reassembled and installed at Victory Park.

Best to you and your loved ones from My Ticket Confession.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

This is Very Disturbing

Some topics for a holiday weekend:

(1)  Cover Story.  After five years, I hope I have earned the trust, respect, and affection of the Confessor.  Oh, there are those who loathe the site and me, and why they keep returning to disturb our merry discourse I will never know.  (See item 5, below.)  But in general, I sustain myself with the thought that on the Big Subjects, the Confessor and I would manage to find some common ground.

Bart's cars salute as he passes.

 But now, I'm not so sure.

I'm becoming intrigued with those Reagor-Dykes ads.

The ones that start with the high-production-value brassy fanfare and an actual radio voice-for-hire booming in sparkling hi-fidelity:  "REAGOR DYKES AUTO GROUP -- KEEPING IT REAL."  (May not have the wording entirely right -- next time I hear it I'll make a note and come back and correct.)  Followed, however, by the same phoned-in-from-Arcturus spiel from Bart himself, demonstrating the ways in which he keeps the car-buying experience real.

I confess (of course) that this calls my judgment on other matters into some question.

But I find myself kind of getting sucked in to the aw-shucks sincerity.  I find ol' Bart's persona likable.

And anyone who will spring for the high-quality intro but won't take the time or spend the money to get himself into a studio to cut a decent-sounding spot -- there's just something quirky about that that sort of draws me in to Bart's World.

Don't know that I'd buy a car from the guy.

But I'd let him give me a lecture about leasing.

(2)  Gushing.   More ad weirdness:  Those oil-well investment ads.

In the first place, what a terrible time to run an ad talking about ever-rising oil prices, at a time when the world is absolutely awash in petroleum and natural gas (hilariously contrary to the decades of predictions we've heard from the "limits to growth" crowd) and prices are plummeting and are likely to stay low for the foreseeable future.   Unless they're giving shares away, probably a poor time to invest.

In the second place, oil-well investment, like precious metals and other natural-resource investments, are home to some of the most virulent scams out there.  I don't expect The Ticket to investigate the claims of all of its advertisers, but if you are among the numerous very wealthy P1's thinking of making an investment (they usually require some minimum investment, typically but not always in the mid-five or low-six figures), please make your first call to the Texas State Securities Board to see if the investment is registered.  If it is not, find out from the investment company why it believes it is exempt from registration, and have them cite the statute or regulation upon which they are relying.  Don't invest without reviewing a complete prospectus.

In the third place, oil production revenue and taxation are hugely complex topics, and investors at your level do not take dollars off the top.   I'm not going to get into working v. carried interest, depletion, direct participation, and so forth.  If you have the dough to invest, spend an extra few grand and engage a reputable oil and gas lawyer to advise you.

Finally, don't do it.

(3)   T.C. Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon.    Okay, okay, he may not be the favorite of The Confessor.   I get the criticism, but it really does seem overblown among the commentariat.  (I do not delete T.C. criticism unless it is scurrilous, overly personal, or violent.)

But someone out there likes him.

Or maybe his rates are attractive, because he's now doing advertised promotional appearances.  Sponsors have judged that he's a draw, that he'll bring people into their establishment to meet the increasingly famous Source Ragonk, and if sponsors think that, then Jeff C is probably prescient in having taken him back on.

Doesn't mean he's great -- just means he's appealing to certain sponsors.   And I'm guessing if you went to one of his appearances you'd see lots of folks shaking his hand, getting their pictures with him, collecting an autograph, and telling him to keep up the good work with The Ticket and IJB and ragonking the absolute bejeebers out of him.

And that, if nothing else, will keep him popping on.

(4)  Jake.  Sorry.  Still think the guy has got a lot and sounds good on The Ticket.

His sports talk is no worse, and, I think, better than that some of the hosts.  Wrong about everything?  Oh?  Well, if I'm recalling correctly, he was the only Ticket person who thought the Cowboys were going to be improved this year.

Yes, his voice has a Dylan-The-Argumentative-Teen lilt to it.  And I do count myself among those who wish to hear less socio-political-current-events commentary from him, but I wish the same thing about every other talker on The Ticket.   He's smart, he can be funny, he's knowledgeable.  Smarty-smug sometimes, sure.  But jeez, it's just not going to bring down the station like some seem to think.  If he proves to be a fixture on a daily show in the future, I can absolutely deal with that.

(5)  Moderation Report.   Every time I get to a screen I check the pending comments, so hope that hasn't slowed things down too much.  Certainly hasn't slowed the hits to the site, and I hope we can all agree that the conversation has returned to its historical lofty level. 

Just to be fair, let me report that some readers, or maybe only one or two, believe that I am an idiot and a bitch.  And some are unaccountably convinced that I have been doing this so I can be good chums with Ticket guys.  If so, then I am indeed an idiot, if not a bitch, because after close to 700 posts now, I have yet to meet or speak to a single Ticket employee or former employee.

Uh, Rudolph, I've got some bad news for you.
Some of the posts I get are actually amusing in their apparent lack of clarity on the concept of moderation:  profane, furious, violent, and one or two with factual assertions that are demonstrably false.  But all of them still seem to think that someone other than me is going to be reading them.  Their words live on the screen for about 1.7 seconds, most of those words probably unread by me, and they're gone.  What satisfaction there is in this effort on the other end, I have no idea.

*     *     *

Thanks for doing your Christmas shopping at My Ticket Confession, everybody, and have a Holly Jolly Ticket.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Confucius Say

All things in moderation.

In the beginning, the only people who read this site were me, Michael Gruber, and a few others.

It grew a little bit.

Then Barb Smith dropped off a couple of comments after she left The Ticket.

And some guys linked to me.

And it took off.

And a lot of cool folks started following the site and left thoughtful comments.

A few jerks, but not too many.

Then a whole lot more people heard about the site and started reading.

A lot of cool new folks started commenting.

But more jerks, too.

Too many jerks.

The responsible Confessors urged this site to adopt comment moderation.

Good idea.

It was a headache for Your Plainsman, but not a big one.

But after awhile, Confessors said -- we don't like moderation; not spontaneous enough.

OK.  I listen to the Confessor. No moderation.

But as time went by and more people discovered the site, more jerks.

Way too many jerks now.

I really don't want to do registration.

I really don't want to disable comments when things get out of hand, only to re-enable them and watch the whole stupid cycle start over again.

So we're going back to moderation.

Let's keep this site a place where thoughtful Ticket listeners can come and have some fun, throw out some thoughts, engage in irresponsible, but not scurrilous, speculation.  If you remember from the earlier moderation experience, almost everything got through, but it sure got rid of the dils and the guys who were posting notices for the next unlistenable bit on The Fan.

I'll get to stuff when I can.   That may not be more than 1-3 times a day.  If there's breaking news I may dump moderation so people can check in with timely updates, but my guess is that this will be more or less permanent.

Sorry, but I'm keeping this site safe for grownups.

Promise I won't shut this joint down without saying goodbye.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grumpy Quick Hits for Friday, December 5, 2014

Going negative today in (1) - (3), but ending (4) on a hopeful note.

 (1)  The Musers' Cowboys Radio Theater 1310 during the 5:30-6 am segment, where they comment over the replay of the Cowboys post-game interviews, isn't working.  Their level is the same as the level of the interview so they just end up with two (or more) people talking at once at the same volume, and neither their bon mots nor what is being said by the interviewee (which no longer relates to the bon mot, which is addressing what was said just before, so the spoken-over content can neither be heard nor remarked on) can be understood, at least by me, standing at a sink with the Crosley two feet from my ear, water not running.  Also, because the interview responses are entirely generic, there's no material there to joke about, so when what our radio lads are saying can be understood, it turns out not to be innarestin.  Maybe they figure that half-hour is a ratings give-up anyway, so why not goof it.

(2)  It's rare that an ad infects both TV and radio with its colossal, tedious, insulting stupidity, but the Subway "big hot pastraME" campaign succeeds.  At least on TV you get some slapstick.

I ordered one once. It wasn't bad for a chain pastrami; actually pretty good.  I'll regret not being able to order it ever again as long as I live.

(3)  Confidential to Gordon Keith:   Retire the running gag of not knowing how to pronounce words and names.

(4)  Anyone out there detecting an uptick in Mike Rhyner's level of apparent interest in his own show, and in his performance in non-Hardline appearances, since the two recent ratings books?  I think I have -- could be imagining it but would be interested in your views. 

Here's an STD for you:   It makes The Hardline better.

Have a splendid holiday weekend, Confessors.