September 2008 Issue

How Dry I Am Was!

A year ago, one of my favorite restaurants on Lake Wylie was almost not "on the water" at all because of severe drought. There were all kinds on restrictions on water usage, and people started drinking their whisky neat.

Lately, we've been getting lots of rain. So "T-Bones" is on the water once again. And so are several apartment complexes businesses, and parked cars.

Of course, there are still all kinds of restrictions on water usage. And the public's cooperation in conservation efforts has been so effective, that Charlotte City Utilities isn't making enough money and has been forced to raise it's rates! Oy!

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Wanna Bet?

Voiceover people always seem to fall into some sort of category... Medical Centers, Banks, Real Estate, etc.

With me, it's been casinos! Yep... I've been voicing spots for various indian tribes and whatnot for years. In Fresco, California, I'm the voice of Chuckchansi Casino and Resort. It sounds so good, I'm ready for a weekend there myself!

Then there good old Las Vegas, and my voice is luring 'em into a whole group of gambling venues... The Station Casinos! Funny thing is, I've never been to either Fresno or Las Vegas!

Client Salute

Years ago, I was a studio engineer here in Charlotte, NC, as well as voice talent. I got to work with some talented people, including a young fellow named Jason Hausman. Jason now owns his own company, Hot Sake (like the Japanese wine.)

I've had the pleasure of working with Jason again this year on a couple of projects, including a little clip you'll see at the beginning of a lot of college football games on TV. It's the "Raycom Sports" ID, and Jason made me sound really good!

Looking for custom music, sound design, or anything audio? Order a round of Hot Sake! ...Smooth, with a kick!

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Screwed Up Wine

Speaking of Sake (above) brings to mind another thought: Wine in screw top bottles! Not long ago, people who drank screw top wine generally lived under bridges in cardboard boxes. But things have changed.

Irene and I discovered this a year or two ago when a moderately expensive wine we ordered at a restaurant was twisted open by the sommelier, instead of being uncorked. (Mia's Playground... a very nice California Merlot) And we've noticed that more and more good wines are going away from the traditional cork, in favor of the more reliable, simpler screw top. What next?

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Selling Cop Cars?

We saw this sign in Scranton, PA last month. Hey... whatever it takes to get 'em in the door, right?

I'm AT&Teed Off!!

Telemarketers are a tenacious lot... the crabgrass in the lawn of advertising! And trying to avoid them is usually an exercise in futility.

I had high hopes when the National Do Not Call Registery began five years ago. But the crabgrass found ways around that very quickly. Another site, RemovePhoneNumber.com promises that it can close that "existing business relationship" loophole for you. But they'd like a small donation to do it.

My philosophy is, "Why should I spend money to stop people from hassling me to spend money?" I know it's naive but sort of sensible, right?

But there is one telemarketer in particular that sticks in my craw. The call always has the return number blocked. The calls generally come early in the morning or late at night, and they are always pre-recorded. "Praise the Lord, this is Master Prophet Elijah Mohammod...etc."

I called AT&T to see what could be done about it, and was told that, without the return number, there wasn't much I could do. I asked if I could have anonymous callers blocked and was told, yes... but I'd have to pay for the service!

"Wait a minute! You give telemarketers the ability to block their Caller ID for free, but you're going to charge me to screen them out?"

Uh-huh. So I paid. They screened. And Elijah called again. With Caller ID turned on! A New York City number. I called the number, ready to do battle, and it was answered.... "Praise the Lord, this is Master...."

Sigh...

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