Friday, December 16, 2011

WCRI 95.9 FM Rhode Island: Massive FAIL OR Mere Mediocrity?

I have been meaning to blog about this classical radio station for a long time.  Where I live in North Stonington it is difficult to access classical stations (even WGBH in Boston, which has gone down in quality since the death of Robert J. Lurtzema, its former morning host).  The computer has made it a bit easier; however, even though I do like the news provided, many of the  public stations have gone  over to "hot-air-24-hours-a-day" programming where rhetorical questions abound.  This leads me to WCRI.

Where to start?
1.  No live programming.  Everything is pre-taped and is played over and over again.  The same is true of the commentary, though it is on a different tape.  This can get very interesting at times when the engineer puts in non-synching tapes.  Oh, joy!  What are they going to call this piece now?  In addition, this can also happen with the news and weather, as it did the week after Thanksgiving this year when all of a sudden my husband and I were regailed in the car with the weather prognostications for the three days after the holiday a week later.

2.  The reason I made the snarky comment about WGBH is that WCRI is utilizing one of its on-air "talents".  This guy sounds like the worst used-car salesman you could ever imagine -- and, then, he talks down to the listeners.  After a little bit of trivia he says, "I thought you'd want to know about that."  The use of this little catch phrase, which is so over-used that I almost throw-up whenever I hear it, is a real BIG CLUE that the programme is taped.  In addition, it gives the impression that only he has the "inner score" on what was just played.

3.  Since the programming is pre-taped, certain composers show up much more frequently in the rotation, especially Dvorak and Copland (sometimes every to every-other day and twice a day at times).  There is so much classical music that this type of repetition should not be happening.  So, yes, when I can receive the signal on my car's antenna, I will listen to the New London broadcast antenna for WMNR out of Monroe, CT, or WSHU from Fairfield, CT.

4.  This is a commercial station, which would not necessarily be a bad thing; except that there are some exceptionally bad commercials which do not blend at all with the type of programming.

5. This now leads into the so-called "special" Sunday Programming which is sponsored by a private investment firm.  I would think that they would want  real programming and not the usual pre-canned content of everyday -- but, that is what they get.  One-size-fits-all.

6.  Parts-Is-Parts:  Yes, on occasion they will play the 3rd movement from a Beethoven symphony - or the 2nd.  I have YET to hear an entire rendition of the Eroica during the day -- and forget any Mahler.  They probably believe that their audience has as short an attention span as they seem to have.

7.  There is no vocal music except during the month of
December (except when they very occasionally play the Beethoven 9th for the Evening Classic -- they have yet to play the Carmina Burana)!

8.  I love music too much to be quiet anymore.  From the Middle Ages to the present,  I have listened and studied music's history.  I know how difficult it is to play a musical instument.  I just hate seeing the music I love being made into a mediocrity by people who should know better.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Can Go Too Far: Nemesis Bites Murdoch's Ass -- Can The Furies Be Far Behind?

There have been many days when I have bewailed the brand of evil stupidity brandished by Rupert Murdoch.  The degree of his arrogance and hubris, which has allowed him to be a public purveyor of out-right lies as well as giving safe harbour to others who have no education (ie. Palin, Bachman, Beck. etc.), has been more than any mere thorn in the side.  It has, in fact, compromised the very commonweal of this country.
The claim that Faux (err, Fixed) (err, Fox) News was " fair and balanced" was a lie from the very first.  He gave "myth" a bad rap.  One only had to take the cotton stuffing from his ears to realize this.
Finally, after the blow up in Great Britain, we are now finally investigating the immoral, illegal, and unethical practices of this bully from Australia.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

52 In 52 Challenge: 26 Weeks Gone: 92 Books Read!!!!!

Well, a half-year has rapidly finished; and, since I have been reading at lightning speed (92 BOOKS!!!!), it seems that it might be a good thing to bring my readers up-to-date now on what I've read and what I've thought of it.


Adams, W.: The Eden Legacy(4)*** (N.B. has absolutely Nothing to do with Biblical archaeology)

Byrnes, M.: The Sacred Blood(2)**+

Byrnes, M.: The Sacred Bones(1)**+

AUSTENALIA: Sequels; Prequels; Variations

Adriani, S.: Affinity and Affection**++(N.B. fairly good variation; too erotic for a teen-ager)

Aidan, P.: An Assembly Such as This(1)***++

Aidan, P.: Duty and Desire(2)***++

Aidan, P.: These Three Remain(3)***++

Altman, M.: Mr. Darcy's Great Escape(3)***

Altman, M.: The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy(4)***+

Altman, M.: the Darcys and the Bingleys(1)***

Altman, M.: The Plight of the Darcy Brothers(2)***

Angell, L.: The Sheik of Araby**+

Aston, E.: Mr. Darcy's Dream** (N.B. a green-house!!!! Gah!)

Austen, J. & Nazarian, V.: Mansfield Park and Mummies***

Austen, J. & Nazarian, V.: Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons***++ (N.B. delightfully diverting!)

Bader, T. & Bader, M.: Desire and Duty*+ (N.B. the authors bring in a type of "are you saved" religiosity which is very painful, although I realize that Methodism was gaining at this time, Austen herself was not interested in this; other parts of the story are very nice)

Baxley, M.K.: The Cumberland Plateau(1)***?

Baxley, M.K.: The Mistress's Black Veil*** (N.B. erotica was very understated, which I liked; another what-if Mr. Bennet had died)

Bonavia-Hunt, DA: Pemberley Shades*** (N.B. first published in 1949; this was the 2nd Austen sequel ever written)

Brocklehurst, J.: Darcy and Anne***

Childers, C.: Twilight of the Abyss**+ (N.B. a long novella)

Cole, B.T.: White Lies & Other Half Truths**+ (NB: many copy editing errors, which is a usual problem with many self-published books; story actually is fun)

Cox, K.M.: 1932**++

Croft, J. Marie: Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge** (N.B. I really was annoyed with the word play (alliterations and puns) that are on nearly every page of this novel.)

Elyot, A.: By a Lady***+ (N.B. time-travel & Bath in the Regency with our own JA as a character)

Ford, M.T.: Jane Goes Batty(2)***++

Granger, A.: Captain Wentworth's Diary**+

Hamilton, M.: Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman***

Kaye, S.: For You Alone: Frederick Wentworth, Captain, Book 2*** (N.B. I would have done the ending differently)

Kaye, S.: None But You: Frederick Wentworth, Captain, Book 1***

Lilian, L.: Rainy Days***

Lilian, L.: Remembrance of the Past***

Louise, K.: Only Mr. Darcy Will Do***++

Nelson, KL: Pemberley Manor***

O'Brien, S.: Blame It On The Tea** (NB: copy editing was almost non-existent; author really needs help for her ending)

Oakland, R.P.: My BFF (a friendly romance)***

Odiwe, J.: Mr. Darcy's Secret***+

Reynolds, A.: A Pemberley Medley*** (NB: 5 short stories)

Reynolds, A.: From Lambton to Longbourn**++

Reynolds, A.: Morning Light**+ (N.B. I don't know why she makes her modern heroines so neurotic (grr); however, it does get on my nerves. I think this is actual a half-n-half book: half a continuation of Pemberley By the Sea and half a new story. I really cannot see Persuasion in the new story.)

Reynolds, A.: To Conquer Mr. Darcy**+(N.B. previous title Impulse & Initiative -- this was a re-read for me -- I don't know why the publisher changed the title, as the new one is not as good as the first in my opinion)

Sanchez, L.: A Noteworthy Courtship***

Saunders, K.: A Modern Day Persuasion**++ (N.B. I really really disliked the occasional (about 5 or 6) short sops to "conservative" Xians -- all could have been removed painlessly!)

Simonsen, M.: For All the Wrong Reasons**+ (novella)

Simonsen, M.L.: A Wife for Mr. Darcy***

Simonsen, M.L.: Mr. Darcy's Angel of Mercy: A Romance of The Great War**++(N.B. short novella -- I don't think I am a real fan of this genre as I felt there could have been a very interesting novel here)

Simonsen, ML: The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy***+

Ward, Eucharista, OSF: A Match for Mary Bennet***+

Wasylowski, KV: Darcy and Fitzwilliam***+

Webb, B.J.: Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man***(N.B. a different variation)

Wegner, O.: Moonlighting**+(N.B. P&P and werewolves; Lizzy is NOT blonde!; author has Lizzy and Jane acting like blondes, though L does recover; so much more could have been done)

Wells, L.: Chance Encounters**+ (N.B. I believe that there is too much explicit erotica in this variation

Wells, L.: Fate & Consequences** (N.B. too erotic)

Wells, L.: Perfect Fit*** (N.B. modern with erotic elements; I did like some of the characterization changes for some of the minor characters)

Whelchel, L.: Rocks in the Stream***

MYSTERIES / NOVELS: Ancient Greece

Corby, G.: The Pericles Commission(1)***+

Pressfield, S.: Last of the Amazons***++


Downie, R.: Caveat Emptor(4)****

Downie, R.: Persona Non Grata(3)****

Downie, R.: Terra Incognita(2)****

Saylor, S.: Roman Blood(1)****(N.B. 1st volume of the Roma Sub Rosa series)

MYSTERIES / NOVELS: 18th Century

James, E.: When the Duke Returns***

Norman, D.: A Catch of Consequence***+(1) [N.B. author also writes under the name Ariana Franklin (Mistress of the Art of Death series); I think that the title here is quite ironic and the heroine (Makepeace Burke) is a very different kind of woman]

MYSTERIES / NOVELS: Regency Period

Jeffers, R.: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor(1)*** (N.B. the first in a new series by the author of many Austenesques)

Kelly, C.: The Admiral's Penniless Bride**+(N.B. this is the first Harlequin Historical that I've read, nice light read)


Alpert M.:The Final Theory(1)***+

Alpert, M.: The Omega Theory(2)***+ (N.B. the what-if in these 2 novels concerns the possibility that Einstein actually DID complete the Unified Field Theory)

Berry, J.: The Jefferson Key***

Cussler, C.: The Kingdom(3)***(Fargo Adventure)

Gruber, M.: Night of the Jaguar(3)*****

Gruber, M.: The Book of Air and Shadows****

Gruber, M.: The Forgery of Venus****

Gruber, M.: The Good Son****+

Gruber, M.: Tropic of Night(1)*****(N.B. 1st volume of a trilogy of mysteries)

Gruber, M.: Valley of Bones(2)*****

Khoury, R.: The Sign***

Koontz, D.: Your Heart Belongs to Me**++ (N.B. better than many of his extreme black vs white novels and the psychopaths which haunt them)

Rollins, J.: The Devil Colony (Sigma Force)***


Carriger, G.: Blameless(3)***+

Carriger, G.: Changeless(2)***

Carriger, G.: Soulless(1)***++

Fahy, W.: Fragment*** (N.B. genre of lost continents)

Farnsworth, C.: The President's Vampire(2)**? (N.B not as good as the first; however, there were a few moments...)

Hallaway, T.: Dead If I Do(4)**+

Hallaway, T.: Dead Sexy(2)**+

Hallaway, T.: Honeymoon of the Dead(5)**+ (N.B. author states that this is the last for this series; however, I find that there can still be more stories "conjured:" still don't think Sebastian should use slang)

Hallaway, T.: Romancing the Dead(3)**+

Hallaway, T.: Tall, Dark & Dead**+(1) (N.B. a lot of fun; however, it is terribly flawed)

Harkness, D.: A Discovery of Witches(1)**** (NB: Wicca and the so-called Triple Goddess are MODERN -- this is the only quibble I have with the book)

Harris, C.: Dead Reckoning***(13)

Kowal, M.R.: Shades of Milk and Honey*** (N.B. how do you categorize a Regency from another universe which allows a person to reach into the strings and ribbons of the universe itself in order to bring "glamour" to the visible?)

Stoker, D. & Holt, I.: Dracula the Undead (The Sequel to the Original Classic)***

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Diogenes Report: The Live Vile Evil Awards

Every day I feel like poor Diogenes, holding my lantern high in the impossible hope of finding true intelligence, honour and virtue.  Hannah Arendt wrote in "The Banality of Evil" about how holocausts are indeed not only probable but possible to commit by so-called ordinary people.  I have even coined a term for this particular disease: Cranium Contenta Implet Visceralis or Stercorem Pro Cerebro (SFB).  Of course, there is a cure for this disease; however, it requires the effort of shoveling out what has taken the place of the cerebrum and cerebellum, allowing the pinched off neurons the ability to retake their proper place; a quantity and quality of reading which has never been done by the sufferer;  checking and double-checking all sources for Real Proof and not propaganda or wishful thinking; understanding that greed/avarice truly are EVIL, leading towards anarchy, selfishness, cruelty, fundamentalism, and everything which is not virtuous and honourable.
There are so many to whom we can give these awards.  So, now in reverse order, the Awards are given to:

Bernie Madoff
Investment Bankers/Stock Exchanges/Mega-International Corporations
All Fundamentalists and their SpokeMouths (who are by nature hypocrites)
The Heritage Society, The Cato Institute, The Evil (er, Eagle) Forum, etc.
The Tea Party
The GOP (in all and in Congress) 
The "Roberts' Court"
Fixed-Faux Noise (99.99% of all "news" readers and commentators including its owner)
Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and all other liars 


1st Place goes to: JOHN BOEHNER

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Challenge Result ~~ 58!

Archaeological Mystery-Thriller

Adams, W.: The Alexander Cipher****(1)
Adams, W.: The Exodus Quest****(2)
Adams, W.: The Lost Labyrinth****(3)
Brokaw, C: The Atlantis Code**- (n.b. this book had poor production copy editing; in addition, the Pieta is not in the Square, it is the art work above the first side altar on the right in St. Peter's - been there twice)(N.B. I started his second -- YUCCH!! -- he is permanently off my preferred author list) 
Gould, J.: Greek Winds of Fury***
Knox, T.: The Genesis Secret ****
Sussman, P.: The Hidden Oasis*** (3) (n.b. I was shocked that this book had the worst production copy editing I have ever seen - especially considering that it was published by the Atlantic Monthly Press)


Adams, A.: First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride & Prejudice***
Angelini, S.: The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy *** (n.b. delightful R-rated modern rendition)
Caldwell, J.: Pemberley Ranch***++
Fairview, M. : The Other Mr. Darcy***+(1)
Fairview, M.: The Darcy Cousins***+(2)
Ford, MT: Jane Bites Back ***++(1)
Grange, A.: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre**++ (n.b. much better than I thought it would be)
Jeffers, R.: Captain Wentworth's Persuasion ***
Jeffers, R.: Darcy's Passions ***
Jeffers, R.: Vampyre Darcy's Desire*** (NB: horrible title; actually a good story)
Jeffers. R.: Darcy's Temptation ***
Jeffers, R.: Phantom of Pemberley***
Louise, K.: Darcy's Voyage***-
Mushatt, M.A.: Darcy and the Duchess**+
Reynolds, A.: Impulse & Initiative**+
Reynolds, A.: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World***
Rigler, LV: Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict****(2)


Gregory, J. & Tintori, K.: The Book of Names***
Gregory, J. & Tintori, K.: The Illumination***

King, S.: Duma Key***
King, S.: Under the Dome***+
Trussoni, D.: Angelology: A Novel**(1) (review will follow soon)(this was supposedly a "novel-of-the year", personally, I don't feel that it came up to that standard -- too much hype)
Weldon, P: Phantasm**+(3)
Winkowski, MA & Foley, M.: The Book of Illumination***(1)

Winkowski, MA & Foley, M.: The Ice Cradle***(2)

Mysteries/Novels: Ancient Rome

Davis, L.: Nemesis****
Downie, R.: Medicus****(1)
Kane, B.: The Forgotten Legion*****(1)
Kane, B.: The Silver Eagle *****(2)

Mysteries/Novels: Mediaevel Europe

 Franklin, A.: A Murderous Procession***+()


Bowen, R.: Her Royal Spyness***(1)
Evanovitch, J.: Wicked Appetite***

Hamilton, B.: A Marked Man****(2)
Hamilton, B.: The Ninth Daughter****(1)
Isaacs, S.: As Husbands Go***+


Berry, S.: The Emperor's Tomb***+
Berry, S.: The Paris Vendetta***
Child, L. & Preston, D.: Fever Dream****
Child, L.: Death Match***
Child, L.: Terminal Freeze***
Cussler, C.: Lost Adventure: A Fargo Adventure(#2)***
Cussler, C.: Spartan Gold***(#1 Fargo Adventure)
Cussler, C.: The Spy***(#3 in Isaac Bell series)
Cussler, C.: The Wrecker (#2 Isaac Bell)***
Cussler, C.: Lost Adventure: A Fargo Adventure(#2)***
Cussler, C.: Spartan Gold***(#1 Fargo Adventure)
Cussler, C.: The Spy***(#3 in Isaac Bell series)
Preston, D.: Impact***
Rollins, J.: Altar of Eden***+
Thor, Brad: The Athena Project **-


Cronin, J.: The Passage****
Farnsworth, C.: Blood Oath***
Harris, C.: Dead In The Family***+
Huston, C.: Already Dead***