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I voted, just not for President

I voted Tuesday, just not for POTUS.

I’ve been openly mentioning this concept for the last couple of months, mostly because I’ve been trying to convince myself I was doing the right thing.  I was hoping an argument against, one I found to be reasonable and thoughtful enough to change my mind, would surface – but it hasn’t and won’t.

My efforts were focused on all of the other races; national, state and local of which probably will far more impact my reality than the predictable wall of White House noise and gridlock coming our way – no matter who wins.

I take voting a bit differently from some.  I see my vote as my personal stamp of approval.  If I believe a person is qualified, justified and able to fulfill the duties of that office or role, i’ll happily darken the square next to their name.  Voting, for me, is not some means simply to help a candidate “get over the top” in the number of votes they need to win that office.  This isn’t American Idol or a modern take  Top40 radio’s “Make It or Break it!”.  We’re deciding who’s going to lead this nation, and you’d think our selection of this office over the last few generations would have taught us something by now.

When it comes to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump I simply just can not find it in my being to give either my vote.  I find them equally awful, for very different reasons.

I believe one to be wholly unqualified and the other totally disqualified.

So, today – Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – for the first time in my adult life – I did not give my vote to anyone for President of the United States.  I did not write in a candidate, as I did in 2012, and I did not fall back on any of the third party candidates as I did in 2008.  I’ve been told by friend on both sides I am “chickening out”, I need to “man up” and that I am “being irresponsible”.  My retort is to remind them there is no law or obligation to vote in any race.  Your ballot will count for those races in which you place votes.

I did not vote for any to be President, and that’s my story.

Now that’s a radio station playlist

What can be perused below is the playlist from KTXT-FM circa 1991*, the once great college station at Texas Tech University in, of all places, Lubbock.  It is 45 pages and more than 1000 songs of the most diverse programmed radio probably ever broadcast.

The letter “J” alone might best demonstrate the pure range the station expressed.  Hard core, folk, rap, alternative, noise, R&B, house and even classic rock all existed on 88.1.  The station could be challenging but if you gave it a chance, it was totally listenable.  Sure, that really odd Jello Biafra thing would pop up, but then it would be followed by something you really loved – Jane’s Addiction, Jesus & Mary Chain, Joe Jackson, Joy Division, Jungle Bros or The Judy’s – and because of it you found that maybe you liked that Jello Biafra more than you first thought.

I used the word “programmed” on purpose.  Most college stations are free-form, play whatever you like formats.  KTXT, at the time, was part of the Mass Comm broadcasting curriculum and was a programmed station – in the vain of a commercial station.  The point was to learn about the radio business and radio programming.  There were classes, but obtaining an air shift was open to any interested student.  It is the reason I chose to go to TTU.  While visiting on a Senior Day I found out I could also work at the station.  My almost 30 year radio career started there in 1987.

Starting in 1988 the station was flipped from a generic Top40 music format to a hybrid of alternative and college music.  At the time because the alternative format had begun popping up as commercial formats (KROQ/LA, KDGE/Dallas) what had been exclusively college music, started to find its way into the mainstream.  Lubbock had no outlet for alternative, or any music that still fell into the college music category but the fact commercial alternative stations were finding success allowed several of us to convince the powers that be a format flip would be popular.

I became the Station Manager in 1989 and hired Dave White – a large, intimidating, scowly-face of a man – to be the music director (think ‘less ambitious Henry Rollins). He alone deserves the credit for not only building this amazingly eclectic list of music, but also being open minded enough to realize that U2, REM, Smiths, Talking Heads and Depheche Modes of the world could work on the same station as one that also played TAD, 808 State, John Gorka and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  As concerned as my more mainstream music friends were of my choice of Dave to be Music Director, equally was his pack of friends who all, understandably, thought Dave had sold out to the Anti-Christ.

What resulted was a few years of the best music education I ever got.  Every once in a while I will meet someone who also was at Tech in that time frame and they end up telling me how much the loved the station and how many bands, musicians and genres they learned about because of KTXT.  It really is the highest indirect compliement I could ever get.
I remember learning from the music director who came before me that the station operated entirely differently from a typical college radio station, where the DJs got to choose their own music. KTXT was operated as though it were a regular commercial station, in order to give the Communications majors some hands-on experience in a real world setting. The music director’s job was to select every song played. So I knew I wanted to make it was varied as it could possibly be, given the constraints of the music library we had. I made it my personal, not-so-secret mission to figure out a way to destroy the “programmed” idea without interfering with the practical aspects of people working in a training environment.  So I overloaded the playlist to make it *seem* as though people were making random choices from the music library. Each day the big computer would spit out the day’s playlist and I took my pen to it and eliminated songs that were being played too often and added lesser known songs. I also made sure that as much weird variety was taking place as Lubbock TX would allow in 1990. I look at this list now and mostly what I see is the gaps, the places I failed to beef up the presence of a particular worthy band or artist. I remember people yelling at me a lot. Also, I remember doing a lot of yelling myself.
savektxtAt some point after graduation Mass Comm at Tech lost its accreditation and the University decided to remove the station from any curriculum and put it under the general Student Media department.  The station then became the more traditional free-form format and a cost center.  In December 2010, due to budget issues, the station was shut down, almost out of the blue.  There was a futile out-cry, the station was gone and at that moment I divorced myself from Texas Tech.  It returned as an on-line only station and I’m now told it has returned both to its 88.1FM position and back under control of the Mass Comm department.  Still, I will never forgive Tech.

*the 5/8/92 date at the top represents the date this was printed.  this list actually ceased being added to by Dave in ’91

Yes, the station had a playlist of over 1100 songs – which is unheard of today.  If you look at the column on the right listed as ‘Type” that was the category the song fell into and decided the likelihood it would play.  Now, this version of the list was printed in 1992, but Dave informs me it’s actually a list from 1991, so the songs that were heard the most during a 18 hour day (station was on only 6am-midlnight) were the ones listed with “PWR” (Power).  This was probably 30 songs that were recycled through 3-4 hourly slots.  So, in 18 hours  those songs were played about 72 times, meaning they would play about 3x a day, each.  That actually is really low compared to a hits station which would have a similar category, but with fewer songs and more slots per hour.  The other categories NEW/ACT (newer stuff, up and coming) DWN (down, former PWR) and then the “recurrents” (REC1, REC2 REC+) were the library’s depth with various classic hits (Pretenders, Bowie, Big Star) and newer more recent classics of that decade (Smiths, Cure, REM) and then Dave’s amazingly curated list of great music.  So, the odds of hearing any particular song was pretty low, but it added to the amazing randomness and listenability of the station.

other notes:

  • No, I don’t know what the highlighter marks are for, just Dave stuff (DAVE: YEAH I HAVE NO IDEA)
  • We had to convince the student advisor, the late, great Dr Kinghorn, to allow us to play Jane’s Addiction/”Stop” when it debuted because it had the lyric “…god damn radio…”  He was a Mormon, but a reasonable man. (YOU DID ALL THE CONVINCING. I LAID AS LOW AS POSSIBLE.)
  • B——- Surfers, yes, is for “Butthole Surfers” because we we’re not allowed to say “ButtHole” on the air.  We lost that battle with Dr K.  He would have none of that.  (DAVE: EMBARRASSING TO THIS DAY)
  • Because of the old school dot matrix printer, the band 808 State regularly was stated on-air as “Bob State” (ON AIR STAFF MANGLING BAND NAMES, NOT JUST THIS ONE, WAS A SOURCE OF DAILY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE)
  • “Sliver” was the first Nirvana song we played. Remains my favorite Nirvana song. (NOT TRUE: WE PLAYED SONGS FROM ‘BLEACH,’ NOTABLY THEIR COVER OF ‘LOVE BUZZ.’ I’M NOT SURE WHY THAT STUFF ISN’T ON THIS LIST)
  • Dave did rap proper service and would put our additions up again any station in this timeframe (THE SHEER AMOUNT OF RACIST REACTION I ENCOUNTERED FOR THIS DECISION STILL BLOWS MY MIND 25 YEARS LATER)
  • There is a lot on this list I don’t remember: “Cringer”? “Field Trip”? “Jax Wobble”? (DUNNO WHAT THIS IS EITHER)
  • Notice for the most part there are few bands listed with “The” because our software would have listed all of those bands who had “The” starting its title as such.  The lone exception is, of course “The The”.
  • “Burn & Rob” by Pale Face almost got us in trouble with the University.  We played off its silly theme in some promos and t-shirts and some old dude thought we were actually trying to incite looting.  (again, Dr K was a reasonable Mormon) (DR K DID, IN FACT, DEFEND US QUITE A BIT, AND I’M SURE HE GOT MORE FLAK THAN I EVER DID.)

Dave offer this recollection:  one of my favorite off-campus stories:  I was at Main St Saloon one night and someone introduced me to an employee of Lubbock’s classic rock station. The radio station person was informed that I was KTXT’s music director. The guy, in that West Texas way where you laughingly insult someone to their face to try to alpha them, said, “That’s where y’all play all that bullshit?”  And I said, “Yep. And funny, that’s what we say about y’all, too.”

KTXT 1992 Playlist.compressed

If you’d like to download or view in a better viewer, use this Scribd link.

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Don’t Tread on Me for Profiting

Mom & Dad Really Wanted Her To Win Gold

Wu Minxia won her third goal medal for China in the sport of diving, and it was then that her parents decided to inform her of her grandparents death – that happened a year ago.

Not wanting to interfere with Wu Minxia’s training for the Olympics, her parents chose to withhold from her not only the news of her grandparents deaths, but also her mother’s battle with breast cancer.  When you consider that Minxia left her parents at a very young age to begin training, and the lengths and mentalities of the Chinese towards their training you can maybe understand the decision to withhold the information.  It should be noted that with the mother’s cancer they actually did tell her before the Games, but not until the mother had gone into remission.

To best frame her parents’ state of mind concerning their child, here’s a quote from mom, “We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong entirely to us,” Wu Yuming told the Shanghai Morning Post. “I don’t even dare to think about things like enjoying family happiness.”


What’s Up With the Zombie Stuff?

After this past weekend’s face-earing incident in Miami, now there is a report from New Jersey of Wayne Carter, 43, who threw his own intestines at police.

Police were called to the home of Carter because he reportedly was threatening to hurt himself.  He’d barricaded the bedroom door and once police got entry into the room Carter was found holding 12 inch kitchen knife.  They asked him to drop it but Carter began to stab himself repeatedly in the chest and abdomen, the wounds began to expose his innards and as police approached to stop him Carter actually began to grab at, and throw, his intestines at the police.

Police retreated from the scene when pepper spray was unable to stop him, and a SWAT team was called in to final get the man under control.  Despite his injuries Carter is still alive, but in critical condition in a local hospital.  Police are unsure if drug, mental issues or a combination of the two lead to the incident.  But Carter has had run-ins with police before and has been taken to the hospital for psychiatric reasons in the past.


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Man Didn’t Know Nail Was in His Brain

Dante Autullo is either crazy tough, incredibly stupid, super clumsy or just the luckiest guy in the world.

Autullo actually shot a 3 1/2 inch nail into his brain with a nail gun while working in his garage last week, and didn’t even realize it until the next morning when he awoke with nausea.

He says that while working with the tool he thought the nail had whizzed by his head, because when he looked at where the gun had come into contact with his head there was only a small wound.  He thought it was where the body of the gun had hit him, but in reality it was the entry point for the nail.

He looked for the nail to see where it had gone, but claims that there was so much other stuff on the floor of his garage he didn’t think twice about it.

The next day he felt terrible, and it took 36 hours before doctors decide to take an X-ray of his skull and the image you see here was revealed.

He survived the surgery to remove the nail with no problems and is expected to make a full recovery.


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LiLo’s Probation Revoked, again

No, this isn’t old news… I mean it is, but it actually happened again today.  Lindsey’s probation was revoked and she

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Lindsay Lohan a...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

was placed on bail of $100K, which of course she will somehow pony up and get out later today.

The judge was upset that Lohan hadn’t been living up to the terms of her probation (community service etc) and decided to go through this media circus once again.

Oh, Lindsey’s teeth are really gross.

via NYPost

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Woman Sues Over Ryan Gosling’s “Drive”

Sarah Deming of Michigan has sued the distributor of the dark, gun trafficking movie, “Drive”.

She claims that because of the trailer widely shown in the weeks up to the flick’s release, she was led to believe it was more of something Vin Diesel appear.  Her attorney is actually claiming the movie and the trailers (which do paint a different story than what the movie is like) violates Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act.

via Click on Detriot (w/ video story)










Barnes & Noble Drops 100 DC Graphic Novels

DC Comics announced they would release 100 graphic novels in an exclusive deal for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Bookstore, Barnes & Noble have taken exception to this since this means you won’t be able to find “Watchmen”, “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Sandman”, “V for Vendetta” and many other titles on their handheld Nook Color.

The result is the report from “Bleeding Cool” that B&N have told employees to pull any and all copies of these same 100 titles from their shelves.