Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I found a place to live.


A nice, kinda big, basement suite. $600/month, and that includes utilities. For $625/month, my landlord will even let me tie into his high speed Internet. Only drawback to that is I've got to run out and buy a wireless network card for my laptop. Bad news: One will run me about $60-$120, and none of the mom and pop computer stores in town carry one. Good news: I can buy one online, $60-$120 is about the installation fee for high speed Internet anyway, and I'll finally get to use that card slot in the side of my laptop!

But here's the crazy thing. The guy would only sign me to a 6-month lease. He figures that, with me being in radio and all that, I'll probably be promoted and/or leaving town to a better job in six months. I admire the guy's optimism, but it did force me to ask myself a central question.

How long am I going to be in Athabasca?

That question did come up when I was chatting with my new boss. Back then, I told my boss, "Well, I'm at the point in my life where I don't want a job...I want a career. Hopefully, Athabasca will be the start of that career. I'll be here as long as my career demands it."

It sounds like I was dodging the question, but it's true. I have no idea how long I'll be here...at this job. Yeah, I want a career, but I've kinda been making it up as I go along. I've got no master file saying, "1.5 years in Athabasca, 2.4 in Edmonton, 3.1 in Halifax, and then...WORLD DOMINATION!"

Odds are, I'll be here as long as it's right for me, and it's right for this station.

I move in tomorrow. I could have moved in today, but today is a crazy day. I'm at work right now, getting ready to op my first Oilers game.

Let me pull back the curtain and explain some of that radio magic again. Everytime you hear a live broadcast (ie an Oilers game) or a syndicated radio show (ie some weekly top 40 hosted by a celebrity), there's got to be some guy at the radio station, sitting behind the mixing board, making sure everything goes OK and playing the commercials at the right time. That guy is called "the operator."

The only time Athabasca needs an operator is when we broadcast the Oilers game. I'm here now, I'm working here, so naturally, I want to do it...pull my own weight and suchforth.

It's really easy. We play the central Oilers feed from Edmonton...I listen for the announcer to say the outcue (ie "You're listening to the Oilers on the Oilers radio network!"). When I hear that, I mute the feed and play our own commercials. Commercials are done, I turn up the volume on the feed, kick back, and listen to the game.

Three little words make doing it worthwhile: "Over Time Pay."

Anyway, still got some time before the game starts, so I'm running off to the convenience store across the street to get me a Jolt cola. It's gonna be a long night.

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