MrVO on the Web

The internet has become the new public media. More and more companies are using audio and video on their web sites to promote themselves, and I am delighted to be representing BMW automobiles in that venue. I’ve recorded a ton of modules for the Beemer USA site, but not many have been implemented yet. One that is now in place is the “Performance Driving School” item. Click on the “watch the highlights video” icon.

New, at McDonald's!

I guess "fast food" isn't really fast anymore.

BBQ Ribs Trick

I'm hopeless. I love to cook, I love to eat what I cook, and I'm always dieting! So, in this issue, I wont harp on diet and exercise for a change. Just in time for July 4th, I'll give you a great tip for cooking fall-off-the-bone fabulous BBQ ribs. I got this from John Isley and Bill James, better known to morning radio listeners in several states as "John Boy and Billy".

Choose either a dry rub or a favorite sauce and coat the ribs well. Then wrap 'em in Saran Wrap! Yes... a self-sticking plastic wrap! Then wrap all that up in tin foil, sealing it well. Pop 'em in a 350 oven for three hours.

When you unwrap the ribs, the plastic will have melted a bit but is easily removed and doesn't stick to the meat. But, thanks to the tight seal provided by the plastic and the foil, those ribs have kept their moisture and lost any hint of toughness while soaking up flavor galore! Plus, most of the fat goes down your shirt as you unwrap the ribs, so they're not as greasy as most. Can't say the same for your shirt, however.

Finish by glazing 'em lightly on the grill with a little sauce. Then stand back and don't get caught in the stampede! I made these on Memorial Day and they evaporated at the table like smoke in a hurricane!

Link Correction

In last month's newsletter, I had a bad link . I didn't get the code right as I tried to bring up a Thomasville Furniture spot I voiced. Because I'm sure that you have been on tenter hooks since then, here is that TV spot for the Bogart Collection.


June 2006 issue

Studio of the Month

A few years ago my better half, Irene, spent most of a week in Lansing, MI, at an orientation session for charter school teachers. We decided to drive rather than fly, and I hoped to visit with my cousin John and his wife Judy who live just a few miles away. Naturally, while there,I was needed for a voiceover that couldn't wait for my return home. So I hunted around for a nearby studio that was ISDN equipped.

That studio was SoundPost, in Grand Rapids, MI, a short drive West of Lansing. Steve Poltrock and his engineer, John (shown here in Studio B) were great to work with and the studios, on Old 28th SE, are equipped for just about any kind of work.
They liked what they heard as I did my session, and kept a demo CD when I left. Soon after returning home, I got a call from Grand Rapids and have been doing long-fornat industrial voiceovers for SoundPost ever since.

Oh, and, yes, I did get to visit with John & Judy, and Irene survived her orientation week.


Kids Stuff

I love doing work for Mattel! The toy people aren't afraid to go "over the top" in goofiness and schmaltz in order to reach their audience: Kids. I got to growl, snarl, whoop and holler my way through a demo-spot for a new item they're developing for their Matchbox series of toys
I won't say any more than that... except that it's going to be perfect for little boys who like spectaular distruction and ruin. That'd be just about all of 'em!

Music For The Ribs

This seems appropriate music to go along with the rib recipe on the left. I wrote this song as I approached 350 lbs. several years ago, and my old friend, the late Bill Hicks, lent his voice to the effort on a slow weekend at Jay Howard's studio. The "chicken-pickin" guitar was contributed by Bobby Donaldson. It's called "Baby, I'd Rather Be Fat"!

By the way, since then I've lost an entire small person... I now weigh 227 lbs., standing 6'1" and I'd no longer rather be fat!

Hero Worship

We all acquire personal heros in our lives. They are the people whom we admire and respect, from whom we learn much more than the "tricks of the trade."

For me, one such hero was Steven St.Croix. He was a true Rennaissance man: an accomplished and much-in-demand guitarist whose licks haved graced many hit albums, an audio technician with a golden ear whose credits include a couple of Stevie Wonder's biggest albums, and an inventor whose true family name, "Marshall", became a respected brand name, recognized for excellence in the audio equipment he designed and built! He also was a pioneer in the field of forensic audio,developing equipment and software to restore otherwise hopelessly noisy recordings.

But I believe his greatest talent was as an author... a columnist for Mix Magazine, from whose pages his wit, intelligence, and outspoken criticism of all things "cheesy" sparkled for nearly two decades. He taught, he entertained, and he broke new trails for us all. He was a long-haired, Harley-riding, push-the-envelope, throwback to the 60's, who should've used sunblock.

Steven St. Croix died May 6th at the age of 58. Melanoma. Damn! I'm gonna miss him and his column.

A Card-Carrying Member

Is it just me, or is the whole "VIP" card thing getting out of hand? I sat through a movie the other night, painfully aware of my wallet digging into the "glutes". How could this be, I wondered? By the time I had paid for tickets, popcorn, and drinks, there was certainly no large wad of bills left in there, So what could be such a pain in the ass?

My "preferred customer" cards to several different grocery stores, a couple of home centers, clothing stores, bookstores, coffee shops, etc., etc.! When I sorted through the more than two dozen slabs of plastic, and actually found one for a Jockey underwear outlet, I decided things have gone too far.

Somebody once had the bright idea of getting a consumer-targeted mailing list and database for their company by offering "VIP" status in return for the information, and the game was on! My first card was with Harris Teeter more than a decade ago. I still have it. But I also have 14 pounds of junk mail every week, and enough e-spam to choke a small computer, not to mention a steady flow of telemarketing calls, in spite of the national "Do Not Call Registry." And most of it was spawned by those damned cards.

I can only take just so many bargains before I'm ready to scream. I'm starting to lean toward a "cash-only" life as a consumer. Now if I only had some cash...


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