June 2009 Issue
Early delivery due to travel plans.

Adios Analog TV!

June 12th has finally come and gone, with the long-awaited conversion to digital TV. If you still have an old, analog TV set without a digital converter, you've probably already noticed that "there's nothing on"!

TVs built before 2005 do not have built-in converters and, therefore, cannot pick up the new binary coded signals without a converter box. The digital signals can be received by cable, satellite, or certain antennae. But the converter box is needed to translate the signals back into analog media for the TV to display.

The airwaves have been flooded with notices about the conversion to digital for about two years, and even delayed the scheduled February change-over another four months to be sure everyone had a chance to get informed and get ready.

I love the fact that they advertise that those who didn't know about it can still get a $40 coupon (for a limited time) toward the cost of a converter box by logging onto a govenment web site. Like, "I've got an old analog TV set and didn't know about the digital switch-over. But I've got a computer and can get on the internet... no problem!"

Give me a break. That makes as much sense as the braille keys on drive-up ATMs!

A Very Long Trail...

,,,that started almost five years ago, and has led the Van Riper elders through hostile territory and seemingly impassable (or impossible) challenges enroute to Irene's doctoral degree, is heading into one of the final legs of the journey. Irene has to face a board of academicians and defend her proposed research for her dissertation project.

Their job is, in part, to make sure no harm is done to anyone or anything of consequence by the proposed research. Her job is to answer any conceivable question they may ask, and convince them that it is a worthy exercise. Once that is accomplished, she can do her research (on teaching autistic children to read) and deliver her findings in the doctoral dissertation.

If all goes well, she will be Dr. Irene Van Riper in early 2010!

But, right now, we must once again make the trek to the Keystone State, spending most of a full week on the road. Which s why you got this newsletter today instead of Monday.As usual, the VO work will continue to flow from quiet corners in various motels, via FTP and Source Connect. With any luck, nobody should notice any real difference in the voice work for the next week or so.

Now Hear This!

Can the economy actually be awakening from it's coma? Let's hope things are starting to look up.

My VO business is picking up, and the phone is ringing much more often. One recent project was voicing a promotional video for country music star, Trace Adkins.Who knows where it'll turn up, but Trace's web site is a pretty safe bet. A lot of the work I've been getting lately has been web-bound.

...Like videos promoting a tribute to King Richard Petty scheduled to take place in Daytona during this July 4th race weekend. Video will be seen on NASCAR.com and STP.com, celebrating Petty's record-setting 200th career win in the same race, at the same place, 25 years ago.

The Best Buy/ NASCAR team hires me to voice in-store videos each month to keep fans up to date with Elliot Sadler and the #19 team.

I've also done work for KYMCO, a large motorcycle and scooter company overseas, that is now growing quickly in the states.

What A Tangled Web....

Tis the age of "social networking", and I'm starting to feel like the old fart who couldn't figure out why kids were ever allowed to have calculators in math class! Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Linkd, etc. I've tried several of them, but can't understand how people find the time to keep up with them all! I can get lost for half a day with just a casual glance at Facebook.

But, as with everything else, even these networks are starting to specialize. Two that I ran across recently are VU (Voiceover Universe) and Agency Scoop.

I really like VU. It's an online community of voiceover performers, ranging from newbies to some of the top names in the business. There is plenty of interaction, contests, blogs, classified ads, services, and more.

The Agency Scoop site looked good at first... a way to get an inside track with some of the big ad agencies who are looking for talent for their ads, writers for their clients, or other industry scuttlebutt. Unfortunately, it has also become populated with some very creative hookers and con artists trying to lure the typically "pure and innocent" advertising professonal astray. Ok... so they're probably pretty comfortable among these fellow "prostitutes", but I'd rather not have to pick through the fly specks to find the pepper.

July 4th BBQ Tips

These are tricks I've learned over the years to ensure a very successful barbeque.

First, ribs! Gotta be pork. Gotta be baby-backs. Dry rub or wet sauce ... your choice. The secret to fall-off-the-bone, non-greasy, make 'em whimper rib-goodness is.... plastic wrap! Yes... Saran, Glad, whatever. You simply wrap your wet or dry ribs in self-sealing plastic, and then wrap that in tin foil. After about six hours in a 250 oven, pull off all the wrappings (over a bucket or sink to catch the hot grease), and you've got world class eating at hand. Glaze 'em on the grill for a few minutes if you like, and no, the plastic doesn't stick to the meat or melt into puddles that get in the food.

BBQ-#2... Easy chopped barbeque! Take the best boneless hunk(s) of pork you can find, rub with any dry rub you wish, and slo-cook over cherry wood chips in a smoker for about 8 - 10 hours.When done, shred or chop it up with a cleaver and... here's the secret... stir in a 50/50 mixture of BBQ sauce and Italian salad dressing, until desired texture is reached. Slap it in a bun, and make a joyful mess of things!

Happy Independence Day, y'all!

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