In Memory of Rich Conaty

I’ve listened to Rich Conaty most Sunday nights for maybe 25 years now. He didn’t know me, but I feel like I knew him some. He was always there as the week came to its close when I knew I’d have to be getting up in the morning and doing it all again soon. Sadly, Rich won’t be getting up anymore and this is just a quick post of remembrance for him. He will live on in the WFUV collections of the Big Broadcast he compiled over the years and I’m sure I will be listening to them in years to come and thinking of him. If you can’t tune into WFUV locally, you can certainly stream them over the internet. I’ve been pitching the Big Broadcast to folks for years as a great education in the music of the 19 teens, twenties, and thirties and while I will continue to do so now it will be bittersweet. Thanks for all the great tunes, Rich!

In Memory of Rich Conaty, the Big Broadcast WFUV, 90.7 FM NY

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Junk yard radio is good enough

One thing I need in a vehicle is a working radio. It doesn’t have to be flashy, or even have bluetooth or a touch screen – I just need it to be able to tune in AM and FM radio and have a clock in it. The Van of Doom didn’t have a radio. It was supposed to have had a radio, but when I went to pick it up (at a used car lot that sells these kinds of used workhorse vans) the radio had gone missing. Probably it had found its way into another van on the guy’s lot for some reason and by the time I was there and wheeling and dealing I just couldn’t be bothered with that detail. I’d been looking for about 2 months and various vans had slipped through my fingers for one reason or another, and this one was just what I was looking for… minus the stereo. I had some funny idea that I would put one of those amazing new touchscreen models in there, maybe with a backup camera since the Van of Doom is very large and ponderous to back up. But when I finally made it to an audio shop to price it out it looked like I wasn’t getting anything installed for less than about $600 and $850 if I wanted that backup camera. Theres no way I was going to drop that kind of coin into this old hunk – its just for hauling stuff around! So I headed over to the local junkyard.
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Recent status and projects update

Its been a long time since I’ve written about anything here! There are a couple reasons, not the least of which is that I hurt myself and developed some kind of tendinitis. This was probably because I ignored some early warning signs and kept mountain biking despite pain and weakness in my elbows. Its been over a month of no riding at all and I’m still not 100%, and sort of afraid of going out and aggravating it so I’m going to give it a little more time. Writing and playing music have suffered as well as biking.

Pressures at work, and far too many hobbies and interests have also relegated writing to the back burner of late. Regarding the former, its probably best if I don’t go into any details here but suffice to say there has been some measurable increase in stress but am still gainfully employed so can’t complain too loudly anyway. As to the latter, I’ve got a bunch of things I meant to write about and haven’t as yet. I’ll list some of them here in the hope that I’ll get around to writing about them eventually.

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My mini Pennsic

For many reasons Pennsic 39 was a wash out for me this year. There was still a possibility that I’d be able to go out alone for the middle weekend, but that shriveled like my manhood under the gaze of a woman who would not be scorned. So, instead of simply sitting around drinking beer and sulking, we decided to sit around drinking in our tent and sing instead!

Good Times were had by those who attended our mini Pennsic, I think. The “event” started for me on Thursday night, myself having taken off Friday to prepare the yard. By Friday afternoon the tent was set up and skulls and candles were in place for night time festivities. That night was nice, with only one friend and his kids making it out for a little pre-Pennsic party. Most of the fun happened Saturday afternoon into Saturday night as several of my similarly Pennsic-pitying friends showed up to share story and song supplemented by fine food and strong ale.

We found many analouges to Pennsic in my back yard, though the town runs were much shorter and we didn’t have to wait for the honey wagon to clean Mr John. We all commented on how what we really missed about Pennsic the most were all the people who are really almost extended family who we miss very much. We also enjoyed star gazing and the Perseid meteor shower as the night grew older. I spent almost all Sunday out in the tent listening to Ceol na nGael with Eileen Ivers as guest host which made for an absolutely fantastic show and a perfect cap to my personal Pennsic. Finally got the tent down and stowed tonight after work 🙁

Grundig S350 radio

Several years ago I wrote a piece about my old GE portable radio. It was just a cheap portable AM/FM/cassette which got lugged around to keep me company while I was painting or doing chores. That radio eventually got relegated to the kitchen and was usually tuned (to the best of its ability) to the local NPR station during dinner prep. Cathy unplugged it yesterday, told me it was emitting a hum which made her nervous, handed it to me and I realized it was finally time to retire it.
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