Lisa Lately

Random musings about life, family, and crochet

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Name: Lisa
Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a perfectionist. What more do you need to know?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Children of Hurricane Katrina UPDATE

So I flip on CNN this morning and what do I see? The news channel is using the left side of its screen to show pictures of missing children! Each kid gets about ten to fifteen seconds of screen time. When the news cut to a commercial, CNN ran a splash screen saying these photos would air all weekend.

Who knew my little blog would be so influential!

Well, okay, I suppose other people could have independently thought of this idea too. But however they came up with the idea, I was quite pleased to see this on the air this morning. Kudos to CNN for using their powers for the forces of good this weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Children of Hurricane Katrina

"As of noon Wednesday, the latest total available, 2,709 children had been reported either missing or found without caregivers, with 701 of their cases resolved."
CNN article "First Lady Urges Families to Prepare for Disasters,"
Friday, September 16, 2005; Posted: 1:16 p.m. EDT (17:16 GMT)

Look at the numbers: 2,709 children missing or alone, with 701 resolved, means 2,008 children are still missing or alone. Two thousand and eight! And that's just as of Wednesday. This number has gone up each day as more people realize that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the place to submit names. The website is, but it's often overwhelmed and hard to log on to.

Can you imagine the fear of the children who are alone?

Can you imagine the panic of the parents whose children are missing?

How do you begin reuniting your family if members could have been evacuated to anywhere in the entire United States? And evacuation to anywhere would be the good news. What if your child wasn't evacuated? And how would you know which occurred?

I know where my daughter is, and still my heart freezes at the very thought of imagining how I'd feel if I was one of these hurricane families with missing children, the thought of not knowing where Brigid is, of imagining all the terrible things that could have happened to her, that might still be happening to her.

Every evening Ron and I flip channels between Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, watching for the latest on Hurricane Katrina. Occasionally one of the channels will run a story about these missing kids. The media seems to enjoy showing a reunion or two, and I admit I love seeing these happy endings. But after the happy ending fades, the children still missing haunt me.

But last night Ron mentioned something that really resonated.

Why don't these twenty-four-hour news channels devote one hour every evening — just one measly hour out of their twenty-four hours — and do nothing but post pictures and verbal descriptions of these missing kids?

And then we wondered: Why don't all the major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX — join forces to make a coordinated effort, just like they did for the 9/11 and hurricane telethons, and devote an entire Friday night to these missing kids?

Wouldn't you want all the help you could get to find your child?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Radio Paradise

I have discovered the joys of Internet radio.

I'd tried listening to Internet radio a year or two ago, but I was unhappy with the Microsoft Media Player experience. We have cable Internet, so our broadband connection should be enough to handle the streaming music. I don't know whether the problem was in Media Player or in the particular radio stations I tried, but the sound kept skipping and pausing, which just doesn't make a good listening experience.

Then my daughter got her iPod and added iTunes to her computer, and next thing you know I've got iTunes on my computer too. My entire CD collection now lives on my hard drive, and I can listen to anything I own in whatever order I like quite easily. Sometimes I'm in the mood for something in particular, so I load up my playlist with these songs or albums and let them go. But usually I just want to listen to random music, so I generally listen to my whole library in a variety of orders: alphabetical by song title, alphabetical by album title, alphabetical by artist, . . . Okay, so I'm an alphabetical-order not-so-random-order kind of girl. I have enough CDs that listening to my entire collection takes about a month and a half to two months, but after almost a year of that now, I'm getting a bit tired of my collection, even with all the tunes I've either downloaded for free on Free Music Tuesdays or outright bought from iTunes.

I like listening to the radio, especially the unpredictable nature of what I'll hear next. Unfortunately I can't get good radio reception here in my dungeon office, but that doesn't really matter, because radio around here sucks big time. Most stations have a playlist of about 100 songs, it seems, and of this list, they play about 10 of them repeatedly throughout the day. For songs I hate, this is torture to listen to. But for songs I start out liking, this is just plain cruel, because the songs suffer from overplay and get old too fast. And don't get me started on the commercials.

Last week iTunes released an update, which I downloaded promptly. Rather than just hitting Play for my current playlist, however, I decided to poke around the application a bit. Previous versions of iTunes have included Internet radio stations, but I'd never found one I really liked. Admittedly, I try listening to a station for only about a minute or two. If the station isn't playing something I like immediately, I click on the next one. Sometimes a station will play a decent song, but then its next song sucks, so click and I'm off to the next station. After about five or ten minutes of flipping through the various stations, I give up. None of the stations play anything sufficiently compelling to keep me listening longer than a song or three.

Until now.

I am completely in love with a radio station called Radio Paradise (click here). It bills itself as "DJ-mixed modern & classic rock, world, electronica & more." I've been listening to it for several days now, and I don't think I've heard any songs repeated even once during that span. This station plays plenty of groups I've heard of but plenty more that I haven't. It plays much much deeper cuts off of albums than what most stations play, even the local so-called alternative independent radio station. So while I might have heard of a particular band, I usually haven't heard the song before — unless I happen to own the CD. But mixed in with all this new-to-me music is also a bunch of classic stuff I know intimately. To me, this is the best of both worlds — cool stuff I know along with great new stuff.

Here's its playlist for the past hour (Pacific time, since that's where the station is located):
1:09 pm - Chris Isaak - Dancin'
1:05 pm - Squirrel Nut Zippers - Blue Angel
1:01 pm - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Johnny Appleseed
12:57 pm - John Lennon - Watching The Wheels
12:52 pm - Gooding - For Love
12:49 pm - Sonny Landreth - South Of I-10
12:45 pm - John Hiatt - Drive South
12:41 pm - Gomez - Miles End
12:38 pm - Rheostatics - P.I.N.
12:32 pm - Ray LaMontagne - Forever My Friend
12:27 pm - Daniel Lanois - I Love You
12:23 pm - Mindy Smith - Jolene
12:18 pm - Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
12:12 pm - Snow Patrol - Run
12:08 pm - U2 - The Ground Beneath Her Feet
12:04 pm - Grey Eye Glances - Close Your Eyes

If you have iTunes, you can find this station by clicking on Radio, then opening either "Alt/Modern Rock" or "Eclectic" and scrolling down to Radio Paradise. If you don't have iTunes, why not? Geez, join the 21st century already! Okay, if you don't have iTunes, go to Radio Paradise's website and you'll find a variety of listening options.