Tuesday, February 10, 2009

where it's at

wtul, of course. we all know that wtul is where it's at, but the question has been raised, where's it at?

i showed you pictures of the studio, but i didn't tell you how to get there. heh. my bad. and sorry about that.

we are back in the bowels of the university center, although it's not the university center anymore. these days they call it The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life (LBC).

the lbc is in the same place that the uc has always been, although rumor has it that it's supposed to be new! and improved! you'll remember that the uc is on mcalister, just off of freret. it's building #29 on the map below.

yeah. it's a crummy map here, but if you click on it you get the full monty version.

the station was previously located on the mcalister side, just off pocket park. since improvement-izing the lbc, the station is now located on the quad side, at the back of the building. sort of the opposite corner from where it used to be. here's what the lbc looks like from the quad side:

some things have changed. for instance: no beer trucks on the quad. no. beer. trucks. not on the quad, not anywhere. tulane is now 'sensative' to possible irresponsibility of students and drinking. so no beer. no. beer. none.

go ahead. click it.

and ok, i lied. one place for beer. der rathskeller. conveniently located next to the radio station.

something that has not changed is the flooding. after a good hard rain, several areas of the basement leak, and water pools in odd pockets around the basement. sometimes the power shorts out, because one of the leaks is over a main electrical panel. don't worry. we have an emergency flashlight in the station for just such contingencies.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A look into the studio

ok ... let's try this.

My intent was to put together a mini ‘how to operate the board’ tutorial. This isn’t it. Instead, I guess it’s just a peek into the studio, a la 2009. Important note: I are not a photographer.

Welcome to the WTUL studio. We cleaned up just last week—really—but it still looks a little messy.

This is a shot of the console looking from the left, where the computer resides. We use the computer to enter our playlists so we can satisfy the FCC, which for webcasting requires that information including song title, artist, and label be available for internet listeners. Or something like that.

This picture shows the phone, main mic, console board, and at the far end, our cd players. (We have 2 microphones, the 2nd, guest mic, can partially be seen hunkered down next to the main mic.

This is little bit better shot of the cd players (left) and turntables (you know where they are). The computer at the bottom left in the crook of the console is cabled to the auxiliary cable, which allows broadcast from ipods, computers, etc.

A closeup of the board. The yellow lights indicate the corresponding device (mic, cd player, turntable, aux cable) is off, or in a waiting status (I guess). The corresponding device is activated by pressing the red button & sliding up the corresponding white knob (as seen just above the red buttons). The green/orange/red band at the upper right portion of the picture indicates that the channel is running too hot. Heh. The board is pretty clearly marked with black Sharpie to show which slider/button goes with each device.

A shot from behind the console. Roomy enough for two (or more). You can see the computer monitor on the left, the board in front of Mark, the bohemian hippie folk guy who’s doing an air break, cd players to mark’s immediate right, and turntables there at the bottom right of the pic. Again, notice the laptop to Mark’s immediate right. He’s got it cabled in so he can play songs from his hard drive. Important note: the table is actually broken. We postulate that someone used it for table dancing or perhaps a launch for crowd surfing. Some things never change.

For the observant amongst you, you might notice the white thing at the bottom of the pic behind Mark’s elbow with an unside-down black sticker reading TOM. (That’s a sticker for The Tomatoes, a local garage rock band.) That’s the monitor for the computer that hosts our connection to the transmitter. DO NOT TOUCH THIS COMPUTER. Thank you.

A couple of things to stop the panic attack now descending on you:
1 Current staff DJs will be on duty in the station during the entire alumni weekend. They will act as your board ops, your vinyl fetcher, your DJ slave (did you guys used to have those for marathon?), or will sit quietly in the other room using the office computer to play games or cruise porn.
2 You will have paper playlists that the current staff DJ will magically transform into online playlists. (We use wtul.radioactivity.fm to post our playlists. It is a very simple procedure which you may or may not want to learn, but that the current staff DJ will handle. Close to realtime posting is required by the FCC for our webcast.)
3 We still file the vinyl numerically & we still have the cookbook. It’s not the same one you used, but if yours was falling apart & missing pages, it will look just like that & you won’t be able to tell the difference. (We also have a soft copy on the office computer.)
4 I can’t think of anything else, but I bet you can. Email me any questions.

A few general pictures of the stacks

This is the left half of the stacks. The empty bins you see in the front are the result of a massive reshift of all the Cds. We moved them around to make room for new stuff coming in. Our MD is a reviewing machine, and we add approximately … 120-200 new CDs every month. The wall on the left is progressive viny, ranging from 0100 to about 9500 or so.

These are the stacks from the right side. We have about … 6 maybe? … rows of CD shelves, which hold CDs by genre, i.e., progressive, jazz, classical, electronic, cheezmuzik, and a few others I can’t remember right now. The vinyl against the back wall is progressive continued, which now goes to somewhere around 14000. I think.

Against the wall to the right, which obviously you can’t see, are LPs by genre: jazz, country, classical, hip hop, and electronic. We have a few of the blues albums broken out into a separate section, but whoever started that project lost steam & never finished.

This is a view from the stacks into the studio, against the far wall of the studio. From the left, we have local, country/folk, blues, and world CDs. Continuing around the corner are metal and merits, then compilation CDs.

So now you have an idea what WTUL looks like in 2009.

Friday, June 6, 2008

r.i.p. skitty

spring 2006--may 23, 2008

(i know this isn't may 23, but i'm keeping skitty at the top of the blog for now.)

i had to put my skitty to sleep today. he's been acting ... not right ... for a few days & i was keeping an eye on him. i came home from work, walked to the back & opened the door, and was headed to the front when skitty came in, took two or three steps, and collapsed in the foyer in the back.
i picked him up--he weighed almost nothing, which i found out later was due to severe dehydration--and immediately called the vet. we were in the office inside of 15 minutes, and 15 or 20 minutes later, it was over. they never gave me a cause, but it was obvious he was dying.
i like to think he died peacefully.
a katrina casualty, he used to sneak in the house and steal food while i was working in the tenant's side. he got his name honestly; when i'd appear, he'd disappear. after i finally won his trust, he already knew he had a new home.
he was the last to join my trio of kitties, and niether billmurray nor big boy ever really took to him. he took to me, though, and used to fall asleep on my chest every night. he was a sweet, sweet, kitty and i miss him.
bill & big boy were wary for the first few days, waiting for skitty to once again appear. once they decided he wasn't coming back (i *tried* to explain to them that that he'd gone to the big litter box in the sky), they've loosened up and loved up to me like never before. they are, almost literally, dancing on skitty's grave. i'm happy that they're happy, but it's also very sad.
pets. you gotta love them. but they'll break your heart, too.

inspection passed!

i passed my plumbing inspection today! now i can close the walls & get the electrician back to finish his thing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

catching up

yes. i'm a crappy blogger. i should be updating this thing at least weekly, but between cats going kaput and overzealous contractors sanding through cables and severing my connection to the digital world, it's been tough.

there has, however, been mega-progress made. we've removed the furnace,

put a new floor in the hallway where the floor furnace used to be,

and sanded the floors.

(the brown area to the left is butcher paper, put down to somewhat protect the newly sanded floors.)
lots more to report, and i'll try to do so soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

the bug man cometh!

tomorrow. stay tuned. this should be a doozie.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

bye bye floor dragon

so houses in new orleans typically don't have central air and heat. especially those built around the turn of the century (19th into 20th century, that is). instead, they used the house design--shotgun houses were built so that the breeze moved through from one end to the other--to aid mother nature in cooling the place. heating, however, was done first with fireplaces, then took a giant leap into gas furnaces. the gas furnaces, though, were usually designed to heat only one room, and were built into the wall. the wall unit took a giant leap into whole-house heating with the floor furnace, aka the floor dragon. i had one of these, in the hallway outside the bathroom. the grill got really hot, but it worked really well. unfortunately, it also took on water after katrina, and it looked like this:

yeah, yeah. it was old and unattractive before it took on water, but the water caused (more) rust. as some of you might remember, margo came down to help with some of the post-katrina clean up, and she volunteered to shop-vac the water out of the furnace. not a pretty job, and just one reason she decided to trash her clothing when she left to go back north.

this shot actually looks like it was taken right after katrina, but the mess on the floor is sheetrock dust from other work being done in the house. i've had the floor dragon covered up, but with the coming of the plumbers (same guys who snaked & cleaned out my sub surface drainage), i uncovered it for easy access.

they did some banging around underneath the house, capping off the gas line and unscrewing the furnace from its supports. it (obviously) took both of them to lift it out. they said it weighed about a hundred or so pounds.

now i have a big old hole in the floor. i just covered it back up with the grate, and when the floors get redone (this week, i hope), my contractor will cut some new boards to go in the hole. should look like there was never a furnace when he finishes.

the removal of the furnace also allowed the shoring people to come back in and brace the hallway. so now the house leveling is complete, and we move on to floor refinishing.