Tuesday, May 24, 2005


My husband had an appointment yesterday to record a testamonial for WBHM, Birmingham's NPR station.

I tagged along because, you know, blog fodder.

If you're a local public radio listener you may soon be treated to the dulcet tones that are the basso profundo of my dear husband.

He mostly talked about NPR's news shows (Morning Edition and All Things Considered), WBHM's excellent local arts and culture show Tapestry, and the Ivory Billed Woodpecker Radio Expeditions story that I wrote about earlier.

With luck they'll find something useful between the parts with the chair squeaking, him leaning away from the microphone, or me butting in to tell him what to say. (Sorry, dear.)

My husband (left) with Michael Krall, WBHM's Program Director. Both are infinitely more handsome than they appear in this poor photo.

For the record, I am addicted to all the shows mentioned above plus:
To the Best of Our Knowledge
This American Life
Fresh Air

It's hard to say which is my favorite - I like them all. Click the above links to listen to them on the internet, or here to see WBHM's program schedule. (NPR's full list of programs is here.)

You can E-pledge to WBHM right now. We always do.

Dang, I forgot to ask where Steve Chiotakis sits.

In the interest of full disclosure: I have photoshopped two annoying glares out of the second picture above. Wish I could fix the harsh shadows too. I don't take many indoor shots and here you can see why. The built-in flash on my camera is somewhat lacking. Also, I tend to use "photoshop" as a verb even though I use a different editing program. And, since my husband won't sing to me, I don't really know that he's a basso profundo, but his voice is rather low. Finally, he may or may not actually have dulcet tones. I'm a little biased.


Magazine Man said...

YOU should be on This American Life. Although, I don't think I could do without the pictures...

Anvilcloud said...

Photoshop or whatever is what photograpers have always done in the dark room -- more or less anyway. I know that I often fell inclinded to fully disclose as well, but we really don't need to. Now, if only I could follow my own advice ...

swamp4me said...

I love NRP!

To your list of favorites I would add a few of my own:

The State of Things
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
The Splendid Table
...plus various and sundry others.

I became an NPR fan a few years ago when my favorite music station suddenly, and without ANY warning, went from an alternative rock album format to all country. The change occurred in the middle of the day -- I went to work listening to my favorite DJ and when I got back into the car to come home I was blasted by country. Horrors!! No offense to those who enjoy country, but I hate it.

I guess I really should thank the station for blind-siding me. If they hadn't I may have never made the switch to NPR -- I didn't know what I was missing!

Rurality said...

MM you are too kind... I wouldn't imagine that America at large has quite the fascination for farm animals & wildflowers that I do though. :)

Anvilcloud, I felt compelled in this case since one of them was really a whopper. (I removed an entire shiny 3-light switchplate.) Normally I do adjust levels at least a bit since the pics stright from the camera tend to shift to blue and don't have the contrast that they should. It's sooo much easier to do this digitally than in a darkroom!

Having said that, I have some lovely darkroom equipment that I need to unload...

Swampy I love Wait Wait too, just forgot to mention it. Haven't listened to those others - don't think they carry them here but I'll check them out. Of course I also like Car Talk, Weekend Edition, The Next Big Thing... I really could go on forever.

The one I really miss is the Radio Reader. They'd read a book over the course of several weeks. I used to work flex-time and would always time my exit so that I could hear that show on the way home. Made the drive so much shorter!

Hick said...

Hmmm...I may have to start listening to NPR.

bill said...

don't think we have The Best of Our Knowledge here on the local station.

NPR is practically the only station I ever listen to. Been waking up to it every morning for 15 years.

Dave said...

I would probably feel compelled to post a disclaimer if I didn't photoshop an image! I almost always fiddle with contrast, brightness and saturation if nothing else. I have also found that posterizing a fuzzy but otherwise good photo (as i did today with several) can work out well, at least for internet-quality images. The darkroom analogy is a good one, but a little misleading because one would never go to that kind of trouble with a cruddy little snapshot camera like mine!

NPR: I don't listen nearly as much as i did before i developed my blog habit, but I do enjoy Michael Feldman a great deal (Whaddaya Know) - really quick on his feet, a first-rate wise-ass who actually knows quite a bit about nature, jazz, and other things that matter. As for the news programming - it's not Pacifica, but for most of us in the sticks, NPR is as good as radio gets.

Rurality said...

Hick, one of the best things is, like public TV, no commercials! :)

Bill, To the Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK for short) is great. I actually started listening to it on the internet before it was on the air here in Birmingham. (Someone who works for the show is on an email list I'm on, and mentioned it. Once I checked it out I was hooked.) Anyway, they typically have a theme and then interview different people about it. Usually it's people who've written books concerning whatever the theme is. Sometimes the book seems to have little to do with the theme, but somehow they wrap it all up nicely.

Dave I like Feldman too. The first part of the show where he does a monologue is my favorite part by far - he's hilarious.

cookie jill said...

I LOVE This American Life.

Dean said...

Just a quick note re NPR...Whenever I get to the States, I always check out all the NPR stations along my route so I don't have to listen to other stations. It's the closest thing to our CBC stations up here in Canada. Yes, no commericials! I hate them with a passion and gave up TV years ago just because of them. (OK, I've heard that there are some good things on TV occasionally and that stations even come in in colour these days but who has time to check?)

Rurality said...

Jill, yeah that one really is my favorite I guess, because the stories are so varied and are mostly about everyday people. Well, strange everyday people, as opposed to strange celebrities I guess. :)

Dean I'm a CBC fan too! Their antennas don't reach this far though. Sure did enjoy it when we visited Canada though. Have you heard Doug Gordon's "This Canadian Existance"? I wrote about it earlier in this post. And yes, TV has color now! Sadly though there are no TV shows on wildflowers so far. I'll keep you informed.

Charles said...

NPR, BBC, thank god.

Rurality said...

Hubby is a real BBC radio addict... he can listen via the internet at work. If and when we ever get DSL here maybe I can too. :)