Funding Experiments

I’m the President of the Board of Directors of Agape Broadcasting Foundation, Inc – which most people around here would know as KNON 89.3 FM – the Voice of the People. You can listen online at http://www.knon.org if you’re not in the DFW area. (You can also pledge online, and we’re in the middle of pledge drive. Yes, again.)

However, we’ve pretty much tapped out our core listener base, and we love them, and they are quite generous, but we need new pledgers. This is very difficult to accomplish – especially when there are two PBS stations down the dial with a lot more money to chase money.

It pains me that we have to have a budget to raise money. In the perfect world, people would simply fund us because they believe in the mission of the station (The mission of KNON is to be the Voice of The People in the Dallas area. We provide unique programming to reflect the diversity of the entire Metroplex community.), or they like one of our formats or DJs, or they’re just good people.

This is not a perfect world. 

So, this pledge drive, we’re trying two new ideas.

 

First, we need the de-icers on our tower replaced – when the tower froze last winter (yes, it gets cold in Dallas), we were off the air – our power was so limited, our transmission area was severely compromised. So, I’m running a campaign outside pledge drive to raise money for that specific project – http://www.gofundme.com/warm-tower – and we’re trying to see if people will actually donate just because it sounds like a good cause.

So far, almost all the donations have been from our volunteers. So, the concept of raising hundreds or thousands of dollars instantly may be overblown, or it may be people care about strangers who need a new kidney or a special night out but they don’t really care about a community radio station.

The irony of that campaign – which hit me after I created it – is that people outside Dallas who contribute could listen over the Internet and so they wouldn’t be impacted if the tower froze over. So it goes. Still, we’re a small operation, we’ll take anyone’s money.

The other new technology is Pledge By Text – since everyone has a cell phone these days (it seems), let them pledge with it.

Text “KNON” to 56512 from your mobile phone, and you’ll get a link back to let you pledge. Choose your favorite show, your favorite DJ or just send it to the general fund. 

We appreciate your support!

Fall Break, 2000

Hmm. I had forgotten I ever wrote these reports. If I keep recycling, it looks like I’m creating. (You know this is really old since it says “both pets”.) Also, it’s been long enough ago that it’s funny. Now. 

Fall Break 2000 highlights: Dad, son, step-mom. Two nights train, three nights hotel, two nights in-laws, no injuries, no arrests, both pets survived bunking at the vet’s. Who could as for more?

Fall Break was a calculated risk – in retrospect, with so much to go wrong, it’s a wonder we’re all still speaking to each other. J. R, Virginia and I decided to try to do something that would make each of us happy in the same week, so we took the train (me) to New York City (J. R.), and then drove out to the New Jersey countryside to visit my in-laws (Virginia).

The train ride was fun – we had the family car from here to Chicago and two rooms from Chicago to New York. It was the full Amtrak experience – we were almost eight hours late out of Chicago since there was a power failure a few hours before we arrived, and the train yard where they assemble the trains was in the powerless zone. Since we were that far behind, we went down the Hudson riverbank (the one portion of the trip I had been selling since early March) in the dark. Sigh. Still, the food was good, the crew pulled an extra shift and served an extra meal without complaining (the staff was pretty impressive, given the stress of the extra time worked), so it worked out well. I thought a power failure in the city was a novel excuse for being late, as well.

New York is still New York – like London, there just isn’t enough time to do it justice, so you will always leave feeling you missed something important (and you have.) We spent most of one day at the Museum of Natural History, and probably could have spent the week there. The Museum of Radio and Television has gotten tired of people requesting the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and just shows it on the big screen regularly.

Here’s an exercise the next time you’re in NYC – go to the Museum of Radio and TV, and check out your favorite TV show from childhood. They have thousands of shows online – you pick four you want to see on a Mac on one floor (they have a room full of Macs!), and then you go downstairs to the viewing room to watch your selections in a “private viewing booth.” (Having spent some time in my misspent youth on 42nd street, I think they may want to rethink that particular term.) The cool part for me was that the shows are intact – when you see the Beatles on Sullivan, you see Sullivan, commercials, other acts and all. It really gives you a sense of the era. (It also gives you a sense of priority – the Beatles finish their last number, take their patented bow, and Sullivan brings out the juggling act to close the show.) J. R. thinks we must all have been dweebs if the commercials had any effect on us, at all. Some of them were pretty cheesy, come to think of it.

We also saw “Stomp” which was a very, very good show, after getting tickets from TKTS about two hours before curtain. I really didn’t expect to get any tickets, but I thought we should go through the motions, since I really wanted to see a show while we were in town. Then, they had them at 25% off. This means the little fart has now seen off-Broadway theatre, so that’s one more thing crossed off his list.

Time spent with the in-laws was a lot of fun. We’re slowly adapting to each other, since I was on less good behavior than last trip, and may actually be myself soon 🙂 Besides, J. R. was the center of attention this trip, so I just hid in the background.

Here’s why I like my in-laws: Her sister decided it would be really funny to take a photo of Virginia with one of her chickens, so Basil the budgie would think Virginia was cheating on him. First of all, what sort of twisted mind would think to blackmail a person with a bird? Secondly, who else could make Virginia (“AAIIGH! Get that thing away from me!!”) pose with a chicken?

Here’s why J. R. likes Virginia’s family: her sister gave him an 8×10 copy of Virginia’s chicken photo.

We flew home into the Sunday thunderstorm in Dallas, circled forever, ran low on fuel, got diverted to Austin in time for its thunderstorm, and got home only six hours late. Let’s see, six hours late on a four-hour plane flight, with one extra bag of snack mix, versus eight hours late on a thirty-hour train trip, with an extra steak dinner. Hmm… Why do I fly?

AppleSauce

Apple products are famous for their ease of use and greatness of cost. The cost is actually offset by many by the ease of use (and the “coolness” factor if you’re a dork.) 

Most of the time, Apple products just work. They’re intuitive, they do what you want (mostly) and if you’re not a true geek, you don’t need to ever look at internals or manuals. 

However, this means when they fail, they fail in a spectacular fashion. This is what happened to me. 

Actually, it’s still happening. 

My iPad is apparently full. Usually, I get a warning that I’m almost out of space, and I delete some stuff – the problem goes away. This being an Apple product, you can’t just easily expand the space, which would also solve the problem. You can, however, buy a larger model iPad. 

So, last night, my iPad crashed. Hard. In fact, it wouldn’t turn back on. So, I called it a night. 

This morning, it wouldn’t start. So, I Googled for help, and the Apple site said to reset your iPad, press the Home key and the Start key. I was a bit concerned that “reset” meant “wipe out”, like it does in the rest of the computer world, but this is Apple. It just started up and I was ready to go. 

So, I went to the configuration panel to delete some stuff. As soon as I pressed Usage, the iPad went back to the Home page. Then, it rebooted. 

Oops. 

So, I thought – how do I make this into a hard drive, and I’ll just move some of the files off? 

I attached it to my PC and nothing happened. It mounted as a camera, but there wasn’t anything built-in to download photos. So, my Spousal Unit took over. 

At this point, the universe almost turned inside-out. She is not supposed to be IT support for me. 

She plugged it into her Macbook and Photoshop tried to start downloading files. Then, it crashed. 

I updated iTunes on my backup PC and connected it. It started thinking about syncing, then it crashed. 

Finally, Photoshop started on my PC and began downloading photos. I managed to get about forty at a time (out of over three hundred) before it would reboot. So, progress, I suppose. 

At this point, it looks like I’m going to the Apple Store. Their tech support people are called “geniuses.” I always thought this was a bit over the top. However, sometimes, you do need to be a genius to work around a system that is designed to not let people work around it. 

What is annoying to me is that I AM A COMPUTER PERSON. This should not be difficult. I’ve dealt with out of disk space errors on everything from mainframes to smartphones. Why is this so hard to fix? 

The Spousal Unit said she will take it to the Apple Store, but I really want to go along. I want to learn that if you hold the power button with your left finger while facing Cupertino, pressing the Volume button up and chanting Steve Jobs’ name backwards (“Gates.. Gates…”), the damn thing will just mount as a drive. I would really like to know that. 

I suppose I could also just buy a new iPad, which I think is the actual plan for making you go to the Apple Store to see a genius. 

In the meantime, I have most of my photos off the iPad. So, that’s a start. I guess. 

Underwater

Saw a photo of the ballpark underwater this morning – well, the dugout, anyway. Had a flashback to earlier storms during games, watching players head for higher ground. If the bench is under water, it may be a wee bit wet on the field.

Rain delays were always a good time to meet the players – the only dry areas are usually where the crowd would be.

I miss baseball. It’s almost time to start the final countdown to the home opener, May 21st.