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live from baghdad, balad, mosul, ali base, kirkuk, sinjar and tikrit

Sgt. Chris_Kasbah_Eder

I try to avoid the “holiday-themed” blogs just cause they seem trite to me (people often mean well enough but…). This is a unique Memorial Day, however, for two reasons, the first of which is the United States is at war (though we also have standing at the ready military personnel all around the world even when we’re not involved at war, whom we should also not forgot).

The second reason this is a unique Memorial Day is because an international voice over effort was undertaken a few weeks ago to support our troops in the Middle East via the Armed Forces Network and their group of music radio stations in Baghdad, Balad, Mosul, Ali Base, Kirkuk, Sinjar and Tikrit.

Like many commercial radio stations in the U.S., Freedom Radio was planning to run a Memorial Day Countdown of the greatest rock songs of all time. Through his network of voice over friends (which is plentiful) voice talent and blogger extraordinaire Bob Souer was asked to lend his voice. Bob then asked Air Force Sergeant Chris Eder, who oversees these stations, if he needed other professional voiceover help to support the station’s announcers, providing, sweepers, bumpers and ID’s for the channel and its network. Maybe, they’d also wanted some voices to provide intros for songs on the countdown? Chris said sure but he’d asked for help like this before and usually if four people said they’d help, maybe one actually sent something. Chris had not yet heard of VO-BB.

Bob Souer posted the notice of what they needed on VO-BB and Chris nearly drowned is a sea of amazing voice talent who not only said they’d help but made fast work of providing great audio….lots of it! At last count 24 professional voice over talents from around the world, including yours truly cranked out everything Freedom Radio needed for a successful countdown, organizing ourselves as only former and current radio professionals can do…with fast, quality audio.

I fell back into my old production manager role from radio days gone by, voicing and producing some of my own stuff (which you heard in the second paragraph) and then producing for some other great voices including audio’connell female voice over talent D.B. and Kara, the aforementioned Bob Souerand a wonderful voice talent by the name of Diane Maggipinto.

My lesson that I took out of this experience (aside from getting to work with or be teamed with some terrific voice talents) is that my DJ talents, limited as they were even back in the day, have long since abandoned me. Fortunately for the soldiers, my contribution to this part of the project was fairly limited.

The donation of our collective time and talent was clearly something all the voices in the project wanted to do because it was the very least we could do to show our support to the men and women who leave the safety of their families and homes to follow orders around the world all the while putting themselves in harms way on our behalf. And such life and death stuff is never trite.

Our family’s thanks to all the men and women serving on our behalf all over the world (especially the two from our family). God bless you all and we hope you all come home soon and safe.

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the fat lady has sung for the sabres

OttawaSenatorsLogo

Congratulations to the Ottawa Senators who today won the NHL Eastern Conference versus the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres were simply outplayed and outclassed at just about every position.

While my prediction for the series fell well short, I was heartened by the kind comment from Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com:

Peter,

Just caught the final Sens VS Buffalo game – hope you are okay!

Stephanie

She showing the kind of sportsmanship playoff hockey is known for (ever see NFL lineup for a formal handshake between teams at the end of a match?)

Oh well, the hockey season starts in another 4 months!

subscribing to this blog just got easier

social book marking icons

Are you like me…do you hate when you open up a magazine to have 25 subscription postcards drop out? Or even worse when they DON”T fall out and make turning or staying on a page more difficult? It’s most annoying, I find, in magazine to which I already subscribe!

Well, blogs are different. While I’ve written about blog readers in the past, I’ve been wanting to improve and make easier the blog subscription process (so that when audio’connell’s voiceover blog on! has a new post, you’ll be notified you’ll see it in your reader or feed service and can read it when you like…really simple). RSS (Really Simple Syndication) can be secured through a variety of services…maybe “a ton of services” would better describe it. Being a good marketer, I want to be all things to all people so I needed to try and find a service or a plug in (if you don’t know, don’t ask) or something that would allow me to provide this great subscription service. “We write, you read!” I call “trademark” on that phrase!

Well anyway I have two options: first, a service called addthis.com and another service called Social Bookmarks plugin. Both pretty much do the same thing: allow people to subscribe or bookmark using their preferred service (which, as I mention, include a whole lot of choices).

The next question is: if they both pretty much do the same thing, which one do I choose to feature on the blog? Add This is featured under the “rss feeds” header in the upper left hand column of this page. And at the bottom of each post right now are the icons featured in the social book marketing plug in.

My first thought was having both would be subscription over kill (akin to the 25 subscription postcards falling from a magazine). But I now think it should be up to the consumers to decide (btw, if you’re reading this, YOU are the consumer….just wanted to clear that up). I do not expect a flood of voting but I do welcome your opinions.

And if your reading this sometime long after I’ve posted it and you can’t find one or the other of what I’ve just written about…you’ll either know how the vote turned out or that technology has changed again and we’re all subscribing via the computer chips the government has implanted in our ear lobes. Whether it’s the right ear lobe or the left ear lobe will determine the “tribe” you’ll be assigned to….stop freaking out, I made up that chip/ear lobe thing.

yet another reason why i miss “calvin and hobbes”

calvin & hobbes

This wonderful animated short from a talented Italian animator reminded me again of just how great a cartoon Calvin and Hobbes was!

when will the audience be to blame?

Condoleezza_Rice

So I’m checking my Treo today and up flashes as “news bulletin” from All Access, a radio industry e-zine.

XM SATELLITE RADIO has suspended OPIE AND ANTHONY for 30 days, effective immediately. The suspension follows the airing of the “HOMELESS CHARLIE” rant about Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE last week for which XM and O&A apologized”. That “rant” included a guest musing about raping Secretary of State Rice, First Lady Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth, according to the New York Daily News. I did not hear the broadcast.

It went on to note that the suspension was a result of recent statements that O&A made on air that “put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the (“HOMELESS CHARLIE” broadcast) matter.”

Yes, this IS satellite radio that these former terrestrial radio shock jocks got suspended from…the very “panacea” that was to be the safe haven of “naughty” former terrestrial radio shock jocks everywhere. I’ll leave it to the more suspicious of you out there to determine if this firing had more to do with the mix of politics and business (i.e. the pending merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio which would need governmental approval the FCC commissioner had previous to this incident indicated he is loathe to offer) rather than anything resembling broadcast standards.

Back track a few days earlier when WFNY/New York (former radio home of Howard Stern and terrestrial home of O&A) fired on-air hosts Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay of ”The Dog House with JV and Elvis” show. Their bit involved calling Chinese restaurants and making obnoxious and insulting statements. I did not hear the broadcast.

Comedian Donnell Rawlings was fired from New York’s Power 105.1 FM last week for making an anti-Semitic remark on air. I did not hear the broadcast.

And then you remember the whole Imus thing.

So with all these disc jockeys fired or suspended, when do we get to fire the audience?

Yes, the audience.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if a radio station General Manager thought he or she could make their company money by broadcasting knitting and crocheting 24/7, you’d be listening to “Yarn 105.3” right now!

But people are listening to what I consider crap radio. Lots of people. And advertisers are spending money to have their products and services featured on these shows. Lots of money.

So since these listeners have made a choice that they are free to make and these advertisers have made a business decision that they are free to make, why are we blaming the disc jockeys?

Sure what they are saying is vile and crude and abhorrent to most of the citizens of the free world. Their humor is at best sophomoric most of the time. The problem is there is an audience…a big one…for these types of broadcasts.

Who is taking THEM to task?

It is the audience who is the truly guilty party in these matters. it certainly isn’t only about the broadcasters and the stations. In fact, I don’t think it’s even mostly about them.

I’m not sure if the audiences for these crap radio shows are getting what they want or getting what they deserve. I’m just glad there’s still an “off” switch and that I know where it is.

officer carl andolina wins america’s most wanted all-stars

Buffalo, NY Police Officer Carl Andolina

Thanks to the efforts of people around the country and in at least in the case of one reader of this blog around the world, Buffalo, New York Police Officer Carl Andolina wons the voting in America’s Most Wanted All-Stars, it was reported on WBEN-AM radio this morning.

Thanks to all of you who read about him here and elsewhere and voted, not only for Officer Andolina but for any of the deserving nominees.