Web links related to the Back of the Book program of February 3, 2003

It's Friday afternoon 2/7/2003 12:30:40 and this Web page is finished. I got to the below topics plus a little more on the program. This was the first time I haven't gotten the Web page up before the program, and I hope it's the last. We put a dent in the new mail backlog and we have an amusing photograph from the program on this page. So it's all done and I'm already preparing the next program. Enjoy, already!

Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. The big meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board has been changed again to February 28-March 2, in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss the bylaws.

Here's the WBAI schedule. Don't blame me if it's not accurate, I didn't make it up I'm only relaying it. Here's a schedule made by a listener who has Web links for various programs and producers.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and an MP3 stream. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.

With this program and this Web page Back of the Book marks five full years of putting up a Web page for every program. Ironically, this was the first Web page for a program that was ever late getting published!

As I announced on the program a month ago, I now have diabetes. So I have to watch my diet carefully and take a couple of pills every day in order to keep my blood sugar levels within an acceptable range.

Of course I, like most diabetics, must now monitor my blood sugar levels. In order to do this I have a little machine that performs the task without a great deal of hassle on my part. My male ex has diabetes and I remember what he had to go through some years ago in order to measure his blood sugar level. In only a few years the practical technology of measuring sugar in the blood has come along enormously. I remember that the male ex used to have to wrestle with a good sized measuring device and he had to make sure that the light levels were all right and go through a lot of bother to get a reading. And he had to do this at least four times a day.

The entire machine I have, along with accoutrements in a carrying case, is smaller than just the device alone that the male ex had. It does make it convenient to carry the thing around.

So I took a blood sugar reading on the air during this program. At 2:10 AM on February 3, 2003, my blood sugar level was 101, which is smack dab in the middle of the target range that the doctor had set for me.

R. Paul sticks a pin in Uncle Sidney to get some blood for a test

The photograph, taken by Pickles of the North, shows me trying to give Uncle Sidney Smith a blood sugar test as well. Unfortunately, I'm still pretty new at all of this stuff and I've messed up a number of my own readings in the couple of weeks I've been using that device. What usually happens is that I don't get enough blood on the special, calibrated strip that's plugged into the measuring device. These strips are what actually does the testing. If I don't get enough blood on the little patch that does the analysis at the end of the strip the machine can't do a reading and that strip is wasted.

As it turned out I couldn't get much blood from Uncle Sidney! In the photograph I'm sticking his finger with the lancet device, which propels a tiny needle into your finger so that you get enough blood to take the test but you don't end up cutting your finger off. The lancet is adjustable and when the first two tries couldn't get enough blood I set it to a higher level. That did get a good drop of blood and we put it on the strip. Unfortunately, the machine shuts off automatically after a while and it had timed out by the time I finally got Uncle Sidney bleeding sufficiently! When we put the blood drop on the strip the machine was off. When I turned it back on it just showed an error reading because the strip wasn't pristine.

So poor Uncle Sidney got stuck three times in his fingers and we couldn't get a reading on him. We certainly hope his blood sugar is all right, and maybe we'll do this again in the future.

Of course a lot of the program was taken up by us talking about the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. As I said on the program, “It is always a brave thing to go into space.” Of course I didn't partake of the religious nonsense that has attended the issue since then. But I noted the sadness of the occasion and said that my opinion was that the astronauts met their end very quickly at that speed.

We did some mail during this program. As usual, here are the E-mails that we read on the air. By popular demand a number of them were read by Pickles of the North.

Subject: sporadic listener at large
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 20:27:40 EST
From: linda
To: rpm@glib.com

hello mr martin,

I have listened to enough shows to count on possibly more than two hands, so I thought I'd “shout a holla” at you (and the ethereal Pickles of the North). You and Bob Fass are two incredible folks on the radio-same station ...coincidence-who knows?-and I enjoy you show immensely...with one exception.. your station/show id declares its location at the a** end of wall st. Well, the world's not perfect and grandma cusses like a sailor, so who cares what I think.

If you ever have the time or boredom to venture up north, visit the State University of New York at Binghamton, where our privatization hungry University president spent millions of our money to change the name of the school from SUNY Binghamton to Binghamton University. Not a good way to spend money when many freshmen had to sleep in converted lounges because there were no more double occupancy rooms to put three people in.

Also, there's plenty of confusion for the Rainbow Pride Union (the cure for my homophobia it is not..yet) Between Gay Bashing in the conservative student group's publication and the fact that the appears to be no colored gay folks around/involved in it, they are lost in a quagmire of “how many ways can we discuss gay bashing between gay people (and “straight allies” I'm guessing I one of those)?”

Alas, few people come to Binghamton other than college students, but it couldn't hurt me to try.

Your show rocks, you, by hearing your opinions, appear to rock as well, and Pickles of the North is just a huh?-I-think-that's-funny name that I love.

Peace, good will, and hope to find a way to hear your show up in Binghamton.


Egad! I hope that Back of the Book can cure homophobia! I've never been to Binghamton, that I can recall. I suspect that Linda is our only listener up there. As for my quarter hour references to WBAI being situated on “The ass end of Wall Street!” well, that's just the truth of the matter. The language can't be that offensive or the FCC would come after us, and I hear a hell of a lot worse on TV these days.

And welcome to Linda as a relatively new listener!

Next we have a short note from someone who wants to know my thoughts about theosophy. I don't really have a damned thing to do with theosophy and I think it's just another little adjustment for those who want to belong to an organized superstition. Pickles of the North read this one on the air as well and we found the postscript amusing. As for the theosophy Web site offered, I don't think I'll be signing up.

Subject: your view of theosophy????
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 01:32:33 EST
From: Fenderhead
To: rpm@glib.com

dear R/p/m,
i wanted to always ask you about what you think about theosophy??and what do you make of it?? i will give you the websight of what i mean www.ult.org i look foward to what you think about it. thanks dude l look foward to your show .p/s say hello to your chick bye

Next we have a couple of E-mails regarding my announcement on the January 6th, program that I have diabetes.

Subject: Re: Back of the Book Jan 5-6, 2003
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 18:45:17 EST
From: Black Lotus
To: rpm@glib.com

R.Paul (a.k.a. “Sweety”) --

Welcome to the community of the diabetic! (I was diagnosed about six months ago.)

Seltzer is an acceptable substitute for sody-pop. Have you tried some of the “diet” sodas? I've actually grown to LIKE the taste of “Fresca” (ummm! grapefruity!)

It's a matter of <portions>, mostly. No more binging. I still eat cookies, but I'm only allowed two or three instead of half the bag.

If you're constantly thirsty, your body will attempt homeostasis by releasing more urine. I went through a period where I had to pee at least once every hour, and lost over 40 pounds over a 3 month period. (The medication slowed that down, thank goodness!)

At least you're not addicted to caffeine -- I can do without coffee, but I've gotta have Cola every few days, and chocolate is one of MY “basic food groups.”

Remember, the Nutritionist is your friend. <grin>

I've only got Medicare, so I know precriptions are a big expense, but ask about the American Diabetes Assocation -- they provide diabetes medicines and paraphernalia for free or for cheap. Actor Wilfred Brimley (I think that's his name -- the hunky grandfatherly cowboy?) does commercials for them.

Pickles! Don't poke Paul's pancreas!

Feel better,
-- Len/ Black Lotus

Diet sodas have always been yucky to me. Seltzer is okay, but it's way to gassy to drink while on the air! I found that out the hard way in January. I never ate half the bag of cookies. I would eat the whole bag. I guess those supermarket cookies that sold for $1.69 for two pounds are out of my life forever now. I've experienced some times over the past month where I've had to go to the can every half hour or so. Hard to settle down and watch TV, or whatever, with that going on. As for my pancreas, pickles of the North has indeed been chasing me around the apartment poking me in the pancreas with a stick. Quite a sight.

Subject: blood sugar
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 05:50:01 EST
From: Xxlasher
To: rpm@glib.com

hey dude sorry about that blood sugar thing lay off the carbs and all the good crap you love to eat. p/s the ufos are real,aliens are real,reincarnation is real,god is real ,and most of all we are all real .to each other p/s sat hello to your chick ,knowing you if she doesnt watch what you eat you will end up eating cookies cakes.ice cream.pasta. oh my i think i should have some now.lol take care r/p/m.

Actually, I think Xxlasher and Fenderhead are the same guy. Yeah, I've got a different diet these days. As for the UFOs, etc. I'll wait until they land and do a guest shot on Letterman before I start believing.

Our next couple of E-mails are from a regular listener who is now in London. I'm hoping that the problem with the WBAI Web stream is fixed by now.

Subject: Wbai stream
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:16:01 -0500
From: Neal
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi r. Paul. This is Neal again. I was just wondering? What doing with the wbai webcast?? I know that it isn't me.. I can access all other streaming audio.. My web provider is up and running. I even tried accessing all the different kinds of streams.. Realplayer, mp3, .. And they all work for every streaming source except WBAI.. Is it that the powers that be just decided to call it quits? Is the station still there???

Subject: Re: Wbai stream
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 06:56:02 -0500
From: Neal
To: "R. Paul Martin" rpm@glib.com

Well not sure what's going on. But maybe there is some kinda ban on wbai on the internet here.. None of my friends can hear wbai over the web over here any more, (London), but we have no problem hearing anything else... VERY STRANGE!! oh well, we are so sad to miss your show... I will keep you updated.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

Another list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast. Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list. With that warning in mind, you can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too, although you'll have to deal with Yahoo! to do so.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. This one has a great many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary board that's just totally out of hand.

The “Goodlight” Web based message board has expanded to cover all Pacifica stations.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2003, R. Paul Martin.