Thursday, July 05, 2007

Expanding the Dennis Miller Radio Universe

Had lunch today with the news director of a heritage radio station here in Austin. The discussion centered on what he believes will be a complete revolution of the radio industry in the next 6-8 years. Think having your car and home radio being wi-fi and all streaming audio all the time.

He asked if I listen to streaming audio on the web and I said I did. He asked what I listened to and I said, "the Dennis Miller Show." He then said he was thinking about bringing Miller to Austin and I told him he had me as a listener. I already fit his station's demographic so he knows he already has me, but I hope I helped.


My Dad is ailing. It is a family tragedy and Mom is a basket case but stepping back from all the emotional stuff, it is difficult to lament too much. He's 82 and has had a very full life. Lived through the Depression (and like many of his generation it practically defined him or at least the way he lived...he built my very first bike after finding a discarded bike frame on the side of the road), served in the Marine Corps in occupied Japan, was a professional engineer, married a great woman and raised four kids, even if three of them graduated from aTm.

Having said that, his condition has caused me to think about him a lot. I visited him yesterday after he was transferred from a hospital to a rehab center, the hope being that he can be mobile enough and take care of himself enough that he can continue to live at home. If not, then (gasp) it looks like some kind of nursing home will be in order.

One thing that happened yesterday gave me some strange comfort. My Mom mentioned to me (when I dutifully called home to report in that I made it home safely) that one of my sisters was visiting Dad last night when they brought his meal to him in his room. I guess she asked if he preferred to eat in the dining room with the other rehab patients and he said, "Yes." It may seem like a small thing but I think it is huge. When I think about it, almost my entire life the only friends Dad has had are those who have been thrust upon him by Mom or us kids. The only adult friends I ever really remembering him having were husbands of Mom's friends or parents of the friends of us kids. That he wanted to eat with folks he doesn't know was huge in my mind. I don't remember him ever doing that...ever. That he wanted to do so gives me some hope of his ability to cope if he has to move into a nursing facility.

Side note: when I wheeled Dad into the dining room for his lunch yesterday, the man directly across from Dad was a dead-ringer for Junior Soprano. Bald head, exact same glasses.

On the other hand it caused me to realize that at least for the last 48 years this has been a man dedicated to only one thing: his family. Completely, utterly dedicated. I remember fondly all the weekends (one a month for about five years) he gave up to transport and accompany my brother and me on Scouting camp outs and giving up every Tuesday night for the Troop meetings. I even remember one camp out that a subset of my Troop (a patrol) took. He was the only adult and we were camping in what was then a rural area north of Dallas (now part of the Dallas sprawl near Frisco). Doesn't sound like much until you learn that it was during the middle of a big freeze. I suspect it never rose above 40F the entire weekend. I distinctly recall that the creek running through the farm (or ranch or whatever it was) was frozen enough that we could walk on it. Dad slept in the station wagon. He also drove two friends of mine and me 200 miles for a weekend of spelunking at what is now Longhorn Caverns (used to be open to public, meaning anyone could go in at any time...alone...we had to swim through some parts).

In today's world of what (this childless lawyer perceives to be) hyper-attention to kids...making sure they get to their ballet lessons, baseball and soccer practices, this may not seem like that much, but looking back, Dad was way outside the norm.

It's floodin' down in Texas....

Last weekend I traveled to Houston and during the week I traveled to Athens. I've crossed the Colorado River at least six times and the Brazos and Trinity Rivers twice each. Word today is that Texoma will be over its dam shortly so the Red will be up soon if not already.

42 years in Texas and I've never seen this much water. Amazing.

Re: What a Shock

From Alan Dershowitz (hardly a conservative, whether neo or paleo) at the Huffington Post:

This was entirely a political case from beginning to end. Libby's actions were political. The decision to appoint a special prosecutor was political. The trial judges' rulings were political. The appellate court judges' decision to deny bail was political. And the president's decision to commute the sentence was political. But only the president acted within his authority by acting politically in commuting the politically motivated sentence.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What a shock

Scooter (not ours, the "other" famous Scooter) gets out of doing prison time. I want to meet the person who didn't see this coming....