Archive for February, 2012

inspired by downton

February 25, 2012

I have not had a TV in a dozen years.

In 1998 when life (employment) offered me the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, I took it. Never especially had a desire to go to LA,  much less set up a home there – but it was the right thing at the time and before long I happily found I didn’t actually have to live in LA (proper) to work there. I rented a small house in Burbank, around 17 miles northeast of downtown. In those pre-satellite TV days, it was a real bonus that the house came with free cable TV access.

But then the choice came, a year later when I bought a house in another area of Burbank: cable, or no cable? Even knowing that Burbank’s hilly terrain meant that NOT buying Adelphia’s service meant not having TV at all…right there, in the TV capital of the world. ABC, NBC, CBS, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, you name it…just down the street from the house, but not something I’d be able to enjoy without cable service.

I soon discovered that the only option for a cable provider in that area was Adelphia: at $75/month for basic service, which included no premium channels and not even high-speed internet (still a new thing at that time) wrapped in the deal. It would have been  $75/month for the privilege of access to ONLY the usual handful of mundane basic channels. In other words, Adelphia’s “service” was a total racket. Having arrived at the only plausible conclusion that they were crooks, I then opted for having no TV. (N0t familiar with Adelphia? Here’s why: in 2002 they went bankrupt due to…corruption. Surprise! Yeah, not really. They were crooks.)

A dozen years later I have wondered occasionally what I’ve missed. And now, working at a joint licensee TV/radio station, it’s becoming apparent that the answer is more than the annual Superbowl half-time commercials blowout, the occasional  conversation-worthy movie, or the new season of Mad Men. Every day I work with people who are involved with the TV half of our organization, but without a TV I have limited context for their conversations and the very things they do each day in their jobs.

The recent Downton Abbey  phenomenon has also made me feel some tug to get back with it and start keeping up with the latest intrigues of Lord Grantham’s world. If you think it’s big out there in the world, try working at the station that distributes it here in the US! Everyone I work with seems to watch it. Of course “Netflix it!” has been frequently offered as a solution, but there’s a certain timeliness lost in that process. Online viewing is also not an option right now – I’m sure my Comcast connection isn’t up to the challenge. (I can’t even watch YouTube videos or send email without constant buffering delays.) So the time may be coming when I’ll get legit TV again. Maybe.

Until that happens, it has been great fun to be swept up in the Downton whirlwind at the station, including the event we hosted last Thursday night: an evening of music, cuisine and fashion inspired by Downton.  The New England Brass Band joined us for a couple of sets in the Fraser Performance Studio, and presenters and models from Mass Art gave a fashion show in the auditorium. Smashing! Sherry and port flowed through the reception area in the atrium, and many folks even came in costume. Here are a few shots from the evening.

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love live music

February 20, 2012

Since taking on the new job in Boston last fall, there hasn’t much time to keep up consistently with things here.

One of the reasons why, is how much time I’m fortunate enough to spend every week enjoying the live performances happening in the station’s performance studio. We host at least one recital every week and often more than that depending on artists’ schedules and what else we have going on.

Here’s a handful of pics from recent performances. If you’re intrigued after seeing these, you can find the audio from them here.

Music is a gift. Enjoy it at every opportunity you possibly can!

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snow? what snow?

February 11, 2012

Not really feelng the love from winter this winter.

How is it possible to live in New England and count the snow pileup (from the one “storm” we’ve had so far) on less than half of one hand’s fingers?

So I went in search of the white stuff in mid-January, there was a rumor that central Mass. had seen some one week recently. That Sunday I ventured westward to go visit the Wachusett Meadow Audubon Center in Princeton. Sure enough, the further west I got the more like winter it looked. By the time I arrived, there was a good 4-5 inches on the ground. Crusty, but white nonetheless. It was a brightly sunny afternoon and in the single digits but perfect for a long walk through the woods to visit the beaver/otter pond on their land. Didn’t even need snowshoes or skis.

These are some shots from that day, along with a couple taken the morning after our one “storm” this season.

Let’s hope these won’t be the last ones this season before things start to really warm up.

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