Sunday, March 18, 2007

VCU Rocks!

If life were like the movies the men's basketball team from Virginia Commonwealth University would be headed to the NCAA Basketball Tournament's Sweet Sixteen. Unfortunately, as we know too well, life is rarely like the movies. I do want to take this opportunity to praise VCU for their incredible performance last night against the Pittsburgh Panthers (as a Syracuse fan they're the team I love to hate). VCU advanced to play Pitt by beating the perennial power house, Duke. Yesterday's game was something else.

I caught the last minutes of the first half that CBS broadcast while other games were in halftime. Taking one look, I could see that VCU was clearly doomed already struggling against the much larger Panthers. During the Vanderbilt/Washington State overtime, I noticed the score on the Pitt game at the top of the screen: their 19 point lead had been cut to 10 points with slightly over 5 minutes to play -- a virtual eternity in "basketball time."

I stopped watching the broadcast game and tunred my attention to the numbers on the score board as Pitt's lead continued to melt like the ice in my driveway on a sunny day. VCU tied it up, coming back from a 19 point deficit to force the game into overtime. I'm very sorry that VCU couldn't hold on to defeat the Panthers, but it was an exciting "never say die" moment I'll remember from this year's tournee. Congrats to Eric Maynor, Jesse Pellot-Rosa, Michael Anderson and B.A. Walker (shown in photo) and the entire VCU team and staff for proving that size doesn't always matters unless you're referring to the size of your determination.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

They're at it Again!


"On March 2, 2007, The CRB approved royalty rates that will bury any small webcaster, and create a heavy burden even for big broadcasters like Yahoo, AOL Music and Pandora. How high will these rates be? Around 100% of a small webcasters revenue, give or take a few points, in most cases. What?! That's impossible to pay! Yep, it sure is..

How did this happen? The RIAA told the CRB thats what they wanted, and the CRB just gave it to them.

Your're probably thinking, hey that's awful, but who are the the RIAA and CRB?
RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a lobbying group formed by the five largest record labels. They are embedded in Washington D.C. They make sure laws are written to keep them rich, no matter what. They made headlines a few years ago opening lawsuits against elderly people, single mothers and children for trading music online, even though some of them didn't even have computers. Check out the
latest RIAA headlines.

The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) is part of the US Copyright Office. The Board is charged with determining the royalty rates that would be determined by a willing buyer and a willing seller in a marketplace transaction. They decided to jack the rates beyond a broadcasters means despite decades of royalty rates being 1 - 2% of broadcaster revenue.
Raise your right hand if you want to take away consumer choice, hurt working artists, damage small record labels and put small webcasters out of business. "

So won't you please help me along with my fellow avid listners of net radio keep these independent voices alive? I've met some great friends through internet radio chat rooms and forums. Net radio provides much needed competition to pathetic local broadcasting provided by companies like ClearChannels and to satellite radio (for those of us who can't afford it).

Please visit and contact your Congressional representative as soon as possible. We can't let the RIAA and CRB continue to keep bullying independent artists, record companies and webcasters around.

Also check out the new logo I designed for my favorite net radio site:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So Wrong, So Very Wrong

While I've got my rant hat on I just wanted to draw your attention to the cover of this week's Vanity Fair. I saw it while in the check out line at the supermarket yesterday. It's wrong on so many levels, I'm not sure where to start. But I'll start with my biggest bug-a-boo, James Gandalfini! My girlfriends and I want to know who decided this guy is a stud muffin. No, George Clooney is a stud muffin. Jude Law is a stud muffin. Clive Owen is a stud muffin. James Gandalfini is NOT a stud muffin!!!! I've got uncles who are more attractive than his guy. Second why a naked blonde woman (who should be signing herself up for Nutrisystem) perched on his lap? This has anything to do with anything except boosting Vanity Fair's sales. I mean who's going to buy a magazine with James Gandalfini's ugly mug on the cover, unless you put a naked woman on the cover with him. Besides, who cares The Sopranos has "jumped the shark" anyway.

This makes me mad!!!!

There's a Nutrisystem commericial getting a lot of air right now that really honks me off. It features several "Desperate Housewife" wannabees. The first woman says, "My husband says I look sexy." Oh, yeah? And I wonder if she can tell him the same thing. Besides if your husband really loves you he tells you you look "sexy" even if you look like a Winnebago. Then the next one says, " I haven't had a body this smoking hot since I was in college." So, I have the same body as I had in college. Yes, of course I was 25 pounds overweight in college, too.

What's really disturbing about these ads is the "Before" photos don't look like the usual sideshow fat ladies. They actually don't even look very overweight; these "before" ladies just don't look as if they'd be showing up on a Hollywood soundstage. Cara, shown here in the web site ad is a good example. I'm sure that there are plenty of guys who'd not only find the buxom version of Cara sexy, but in fact prefer her over the nutrisystemized Cara.
I understand Nutrisystems' marketing model here. They way their system is set up, the average person on the program could only hope to lose about 10 to 20 pounds. So starting out with a client who is obviously obese is not going to show dramatic 'smokin' hot bod' results. What I just don't understand why someone would be driven to pay big bucks to have someone else tell them how to starve themself. It seems it's not a weight problem these women have, as much as it is a self-esteem issue.