The Nashville Network

It used to be that TNN meant The Nashville Network, and was a cable channel that you were as likely to see programs highlighting Buck Owens as anything else. Twang. Now they have reinvented themselves as The National Network and starting today they are playing mosting 1970s sitcoms and dramas: Newhart, WKRP, Miami Vice, Taxi, The Wonder Years. On the weekends they plan all sorts of “man shows” with names like “Trucks” and “Car and Driver Television.” One wonders if they had to go to the CRTC on this?

Credit Unions

I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating: if you are frustrated with the customer service you receive at your Big Bank I suggest you give your local Credit Union a call. I’ve been dealing with Metro Credit Union here in Charlottetown for 7 years, and have been very impressed with their services and their products. When you call them on the phone, they answer your questions quickly and efficiently and don’t force you into some voicemail prison, or ask you to call a faceless 1-800 number. At the branch, their tellers are great. There’s simply nothing that a bank does better and, when you combined that with the fact that your money is staying in your local community, I can’t understand why anyone would bank anywhere else.

Brother Johnny Okay — Earthquake Hits Guatemala

My brother Johnny is in Guatemala on business, visiting the coffee fields with The Bread Garden, for which he manages a restaurant in British Columbia. Today a major earthquake hit the country and, of course, our first thoughts were to Johnny. Brother Mike in Ontario immediately fired up MSN Messenger when he heard about the quake and brought us up to date on what he knew so far, mostly from TV. We didn’t know where Johnny was, but then we remembered that he’d left a message on Brother Steve’s website, so we found out he was in Panajchel. Scant information on the web or about this place. Kept up to date using CNN, which was basically running the same AP wire story as everyone else. Mike got in touch with Johnny’s office, and talked to a guy who was acting general manager; no help. I tracked down the SEDAR filings for the Bread Garden, Johnny’s company, and talked to the [very helpful and nice] wife of one of the vice-presidents (found the phone number using Canada411); she promised to dig up the itinerary and get back to me. In the meantime, Mike heard from Johnny’s fianceé Jodi, who had been on the phone with Johnny: he’s okay, was in a bar when the earthquake struck, and is flying back Sunday.

Gifts from the Past

100 Prince Street -- Summer 2000 vs. Winter 2001 Charlottetown has been blessed/cursed this week with an inordinate amount of snow, which has, in turn, resulted in an inordinate amount of ice. Yesterday I decided I had to do something about this ice, as much of it is in the form of 4 foot long icicles hanging off the back of our roof. Needing a suitable implement of destruction to knock these icicles off the roof, I went to the basement. There, as if a gift from Brigadier Reid, former longtime owner of house, was an appropriately sized axe, perfect for the job. Once the icicles were gone, I needed to shovel some snow off the mud room roof at the back of the house. Again to the basement. And there was a shovel of the perfect shape and weight for the job. I am sure that there will come a day when I can find a similarly timely use for the whistles which seem to hang in every corner of our house; perhaps there will be some sort of coaching or air raid emergency?

Ear Meat

Back in the late 1980s, while I was a programmer at Trent Radio, our station manager, Joanna Rogers, published a ‘zine called Ear Meat in which she published reviews of independent music releases. I was drafted at one point to review a Ron Sexsmith cassette called Grand Opera Lane and the result was a smarmy sophomoric review that panned the cassette, and insulted the artist. A couple of months after that issue was released, Joanna received a very nice note from Mr. Sexsmith, thanking her for the review, but requesting that I not be employed to review his future efforts. Grand Opera Lane has been reissued by

Microsoft NetMeeting

As ill as I feel towards Microsoft, I must say that their NetMeeting product is pretty slick. When brother Mike and I were setting up his Mike Radio station, I needed to configure some things on his end: NetMeeting lets you simultaneously audio and video share, as well as remote screen share. Snazzy (and free!).