Wednesday, November 17, 2010

tomorrow's derby

Howdy y'all;

Tomorrow's derby will involve some tunes, some rejoicing about the weather, some lamenting about the state of the petro-nation, (probably) some funny stories about stupid things I've done in the past, an update on the Bike Root's struggle for space, and:

* TICH - hopefully it has to do with the Vanier Cup, dog mushing, or the Coleman Frog.
* Dinos Sports Update
* A piece on unschooling by Ashad
* An interview with Dianne Chisolm, and English Prof from UofA and tomorrow's main event at the UofC's Paget/Hoy Lecture Series. She'll be lecturing (and talking to me) on the topic: "Landscapes of the New Ecological West: Writing and Seeing Beyond the Wilderness Plot"

There ya have it,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

other incentives - and china banks

Hi everyone - 15 hours til the funding drive edition of the Derby! Kat and I are meeting this evening to align our ducks and tally up all the extra goodies we've gathered to encourage you to pledge.

There are a couple of recent developments (since the last post) that I'd like to share:
  • Our good friends at the Bike Root have donated a sweet, previously owned and lovingly restored bicycle, that they'd like us to add to our other "grand prizes" (see below). So for the second year in a row the Derby will be giving away a bike! Awesome? You bet it's friggin awesome!
  • I just got back from a visit with my pal Zev, who among other things works as the distributor for C1RCA shoes and stuff. Zev donated an awesome plaid jacket (in my part of the world we'd call it a "Zealand Tux" or a "Miramichi Dinner Jacket"), and a very rare print of a David Broach photgraph of one of the most iconic spots in skateboarding history - the China Banks. Here's Jake Phelps to break it down:

and here's some other hijinx:

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hi Everyone;

Well, it's that time of year again - CJSW's annual funding drive is going on this week, and ends at 6pm this coming Friday (October 29th). I'm writing to encourage you to do what you can to support this vital hub of the Calgary Community, and one of the best little independent radio stations on the planet.

It costs a lot of money to run a radio station - even one that is fuelled almost entirely by volunteer people-power. We're trying to raise $200,000 this week, which would cover the station's capital expenses this year and give us some cash to invest in a new transmitter, bringing more "wattage to the cottage", a broader reach into Calgary's rural hinterland, a clearer signal in the downtown core, and less interference from our neighbours on the FM dial.

CJSW has celebrated some major successes this past year:
  • After years of hoop-jumping, skulduggery, and inches of hairline recession on our station manager's scalp, in November 2009, we moved on UP! If you haven't already done so, Funding drive is a great chance to come check out the new digs and be blown away by our swanky, professional-looking (but still down-homey and honest!) studios. The new CJSW has been built almost entirely through the generous support of listeners just like you!
  • There have been a lot of changes to the CJSW broadcast schedule, and it's helped us become more dynamic, inclusive, and representative of the vast panoply of Calgary culture.
  • CJSW's news and spoken word programming has jacked it up several notches, including the award-winning daily "Today in Canadian History" segment and podcast, and unrivalled coverage of the 2010 Calgary Municipal Election. We interviewed every mayoral and aldermanic candidate that ran!
  • CJSW continues to build community through sponsorship of lectures, films, festivals, and concerts, including the flagship CJSW Summer Concert Series.
It's been a big year for the Soapbox Derby too - now in a new time slot (7-10am MST), the show has been honoured with sponsorship from the Arusha Centre, has started a collaboration and monthly feature with Alberta Views Magazine, and has hosted countless interviews with musicians, politicians, rabble-rousers, and the awesome people in your neighbourhood. Kat Lord has just started as an alternating host of the show, and she's all fired up to make things even better on the derby.

We'd love for you to pledge on our show this Thursday morning. As with the past few FD Derbies, our goal will be to get 50 pledges during the show - help us get there! Kat and I have prepared all kinds of special incentives to encourage and reward your pledge - here are just a few highlights:
  • This year there will be two grand prizes - custom knitting from me (choice of two: toque, mitts, or scarf), and a custom-made quilt from Kat and her Grandma. every $25 pledged on the derby gets you one entry in the draw. The draw will take place on air in early December, and the first name drawn will get first choice.
  • The good folks at Alberta Views are offering up a free 3-issue mini-subscription for every single person who pledges on our show! Holy smokes! They've also offered up two full-year subscriptions.
  • Other home-made goods including a dangerously delicious bottle of crabapple wine from me, some hand-painted stoneware from Kat, and hand-knit toques from my Auntie Annie.
  • Mix CD's from me (1) and Kat (2).
  • All kinds of other goodies: some clothing from Element, lots of commercial CD's and books, gift certificates for yoga, food, booze, etc.
  • Probably some other stuff that I can't remember right now!
Please Please Please, call 403.220.5000 and pledge your support for CJSW during this week's funding drive - you have to call during the Soapbox Derby to get at the extra incentives listed above, but I hope you call some time before Friday, and get behind radio that matters for Calgary and beyond! You can also pledge on-line at

Thanks a million for supporting independent radio in Calgary - and thanks a million more for listening to/coming on/supporting my radio endeavours in kind or in cash!

Talk to you Thursday!

PS Please pass this on to your friends and family who may also like to support the Derby/CJSW!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

out of the blue...

Howdy y'all;

After a long hiatus, I think it's time to revive the soapbox derby blog. There's a lot to say if I want to cover everything that's happened since the last time I posted here, but for now, I'll just tell you what's coming up on the show.

Here's what's on deck for this week's soapbox derby (Thursday September 30, 7-10am) - it's gonna be a busy show:

7:30 - Today in Canadian History! (in all likelihood*)
8:00 - Michale Lang, Executive Director of the Whyte Museum in Banff, is coming by to talk about the Whyte, and the role of art/museums in enabling social discourse. Heavy.
8:30 - I'm in a one-man tag-team (obscure cjsw programming history reference) against Mayoral Campaign front-runner and brow-furrower, Ric McIver. Oil and Water, my friends! Or hopefully, rubber and glue...
9-10 - My friend and Alberta Views Editor Peter Worden is coming by for the hour to co-host our regular monthly segment and talk about the upcoming October issue of ABViews. We'll also be talking (by phone) with two of the issue's feature authors: Sheila Pratt (about the muzzling/emasculation of the Province's outgoing Auditor General), and Ian Urquhart (about whether or not AB is a "petro-state"). And wanna know something cool? This ABViews hour of the show will be syndicated, at least to CKXU (in Lethbridge) and maybe to CJSR (in the "City of Champignons"). Any more pinko radio dominance by CJSW and CSIS is gonna start tapping telephones...

Hopefully I'll find a minute to spin a tune or two somewhere in there....

In other Thursday morning news (maybe this is no longer really news, but anyway...), Ola has flown the coop, and has headed over to Beijing for an internship. Kat Lord is the new alternating host of Thursday mornings (welcome Kat!), so look for awesome new stuff from her. Ola and I talked about maybe having her phone in once in a while to touch base, so hopefully we can make that happen.

Talk to ya Thursday,

* TICH will be on, provided Joe doesn't get hammered on Wed night and drop the ball. That would be a low blow, if it hadn't already happened to me. Twice. Okay, in fairness, Marc was the culprit one time. And I wouldn't really care except TICH is really cool and I'm bummed when I can't air it.