Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A man in a booth talking to himself, an author and about music ...

Last Friday I took my second turn at guest hosting The Dave Stieren Show, while the person whose show it is went camping with his family.  The first hour and a half was me alone in monologue.  While I failed to give credit on the air, the theme for the segment came from a quote in a 2010 Wall Street Journal story on the return of Republicans to power in the U.S. House.  The quote was describing what had happened the last time the R's had been in charge of the body:
"... the number of earmarks multiplied from nearly 1,500 in 1994 to a little under 14,000 in 2005—before voters ousted what had become the Grand Old Pork Party. It isn't easy to spend so much money so egregiously that even Nancy Pelosi could campaign as a relative fiscal conservative, but the Tom DeLay Republicans managed the feat in 2006."
If I had to give a title to the segment it would be "Alaska's Tom DeLay Republicans."

The second half of the second hour was an interview with Tom Kizzia, the former Anchorage Daily News reporter turned author. Tom recently has written a book on Alaska's Pilgrim family, Pilgrim's Wilderness:  A True Story of Faith and Madness in the Alaska Frontier.  In my opinion, it joins John Krakauer's book, Into the Wild, as a must read on the type of people that Alaska sometimes attracts, and what it does to them once they come.  The interview with Tom was fun and hopefully informative.

The first segment of the third hour was my take on UAA's recently announced effort to find a new Athletic Director, to succeed the recently terminated Dr. Steve Cobb.  Those familiar with my previous commentaries on the subject could have predicted my take.  In short, my view is that UAA needs to hire an AD who is as, if not more, skilled in connecting to constituencies outside a university as inside.  I will continue to follow UAA's process with interest.

The remaining portion of the final hour was spent talking to Mike McCormick, the owner -- along with his wife -- of Whistling Swan Productions, a production company which is one of the true gems of the Alaska music scene, about WS's past and upcoming seasons.  Among others, Mike is bringing up Leon Russell in September to perform.  I don't recall if I said it on air or off, but Leon's music was one of my steady companions during law school.  I think the hi-lite, to the dismay of my roommates, was playing "Home Sweet Oklahoma" ten times in a row one day (with special emphasis on the line, "I'm going back to Tulsa one more time") -- and yes, I am playing it again now as I write this.

Anyway, it was fun -- but again, it made me realize how difficult doing the job must be when done day in and out.  I barely scraped by coming up with enough material with a week to prepare; Dave does it daily.

In the event anyone is interested in listening to any of the segments -- and as a placeholder for me (and those doing opposition research in the months ahead, wink) -- I attach links to the segments here:

Hour 1: http://www.mediafire.com/listen/cgvbd0wjenbsb2z/Dave_Stieren_Show_Hour_1_7-19-13.mp3
   Guest: Me, in monologue
   Subject: Alaska's Tom DeLay Republicans

Hour 2: http://www.mediafire.com/listen/as4p87tmqxqj4ht/Dave_Stieren_Show_Hour_2_7-19-13.mp3
   Guest: First half hour, me, in monologue; Second half hour, Tom Kizzia
   Subject: Second half hourPilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier

Hour 3: http://www.mediafire.com/listen/0pdbd6dkpq04u60/Dave_Stieren_Show_Hour_3_7-19-13.mp3
   Guest: Mike McCormick, Whistling Swan Productions
   Subject: WS's past and upcoming season