Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Studio at The Clanton Hacienda

Some of you have asked how I am doing, and why I am doing the show from home this week. The next question that always pops up is HOW we’re getting the show from The Studio at The Clanton Hacienda onto the airwaves and to you.


And lots of luck.
And even more patience and accommodation by my bride.

We arise at 4am, which is sleeping late for me! I start three computers booting, and take care of the unique plumbing requirements of my recovery from surgery (you really don’t want to know those details.)

By 4:15, I am “re-plumbed,” and sitting in a soft cushy chair, on a softer, more-cushy pillow, which by the end of the show might as well be a piece of granite. Mit Tai, my Producer, has sent me a list of my guests the day before, and I begin to assemble the notes and thoughts that I want to include in the day’s show.

A glance at Matt Drudge’s website, the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, the Ft. Worth Star, all make up part of my routine “beat” each morning. I filter through the various e-mails that have arrived overnight, too. FYI, comments from this Blog are automatically routed to my e-mail inbox.

By 5am I have a working outline for the show, and Buddy Cantu, my Studio Producer, arrives at the station and we link up first by Instant Message. At that point the magic really does begin. My bride gets up and cooks me breakfast.

But there’s more.
The companies that operate the BizRadio Network have created a private fiber network that connects offices in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. From my home, I tap into that network on a secure, encoded line, and link the house with the station.

If you’re into technical stuff, I am using a Groove Tube GT-55 mic, fed into a Eurorack 1202FX mixer, which feeds into the computer that’s making the link from here to there.
It’s deceptively simple.

At the station, Buddy sets a few switches and sliders, and feeds back down the line to me an audio stream from the station. We usually listen to Jazz CD’s while we’re prepping for the show.

At 5:30a, Buddy and I re-confirm our connections, and Tim Wolfe links up from his news center. At that point it’s a race against the clock. At 6am, more magic—a computer deep within the bowels of the broadcast complex switch our control room to “live” status, and we begin our broadcast day.

Buddy fields the phone calls, cues the orchestra, and brings my guests and the feed from the house up on the master console in the control room. For three hours, we take calls, coordinate guests, feeds from Tim, and IM’s and e-mails from you.

By 9am, I am spent.
I need more meds, and Buddy is already working ahead to Michael Norman’s show, fed in similar fashion from his secret lair on Wall Street. And that plumbing issue needs to be tended to.

I will return to the doctor on Monday, when the “plumbing”will be removed, and I can begin the final phase of healing from my operation. I get stronger each day, but still tire easily. I am one of the lucky one’s. I will not require chemotherapy or radiation. Besides, the show must go on.

See you in the morning on the radio.

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