Audio Eye Contact

I've always found it really hard to explain what I do. I shouldn't, because a) it's not rocket science, and b) I'd be a shithouse radio announcer if I wasn't able to communicate an idea to you.

The simple explanation of my job is that I talk, listen, have a laugh and play songs although back when I was in a darker place, I described my job as a series of questions:

"What am I saying right now? What am I saying in 5 seconds? What am I saying in 5 minutes? What is someone saying to me? What will be my response? Is what I’m saying ok? How are my levels? How long have I been talking? Is what my co-host is saying ok? Am I actually allowed to say this? How long until the news? How long is this song? Is what we’re talking about working? Is what the person on the phone is saying ok? How are my levels now? At what point will I end this and play some ads or another song? Where are my notes? Do I need to do any editing before my next break? I get up really early and I’m tired but I must box on and say things that are interesting and entertaining because this is my job."

Last week, I had an epiphany. A Eureka moment. I figured out what my job is.
When we have a great conversation with someone, we make eye contact with them. The conversation is engaging and memorable, and with that comes eye contact.

Eye contact is awesome. It means you have connected. It can be fleeting, intense, even arousing. It's powerful and awesome when you get it. Problem is, unless we're in the same room, we can't see each other! So we use an arsenal of audio tools, captained by our voices, to be engaging and memorable and make eye contact without eyes.

I've coined this, Audio Eye Contact. That's what people on the radio are trying to do, make Audio Eye Contact with you.

See you in the morning.

RWC 2011

I’m starting to have some concerns about the Rugby World Cup. Not the players, or the coaching or anything like that. The team's fine. I just worry about Auckland and have a weird feeling that they’re going to let us down.

Auckland seems incapable of making a decision on anything. Where’s the party at? Well, nowhere while you keep sodding about. Forget organising a piss up in a brewery, Auckland doesn’t even know where the brewery is going to be built!

Like it or not, Auckland are our flagship next year, that's a given. They have the population base and the biggest stadium but what if they embarrass us by not being ready for the world? Is Auckland going to be the drunk uncle making a dick of himself at the wedding? Are they going to be the teenager who crashes our nice new car? Is Auckland going to be ‘that guy’ at the work drinks? Are they the incapable Manager? Will our biggest city be responsible for the biggest sporting smeg up?

This isn't an Auckland bashing, I love the city, I lived there for 8 years, I have wonderful friends and family who call it home and I truly hope that I'm wrong and look, as far as we know, everything might be in hand. The people working on it may have it all under control and unbeknownst to us, it's running as smooth as a new tool and we, the mob, just don't know about it. It just doesn't like it from where I'm standing.

I don't mind looking like an idiot by my own doing but I don't want to look like an idiot because someone else couldn't get their end of the business together.

I'm going off technology...

An old girlfriend once told me that my cellphone was pissing her off. It rang and it beeped 24/7 and when it did, I jumped to answer it. She was right, I was more attached to it, than I was to her. She was a nice girl, I was just more interested in what the rest of the world had to say, than what she had to say. It's funny, she had a lot to say about my various foibles and she was on the money on a lot of them. Poor thing, she put a lot of work into this crate of bones and saw none of the benefits.

Crikey. Digression.

This isn't a post about her, it's about the fact that recently, I've started resisting technology, and I'm enjoying it.

When I was a young fulla, I was the go to guy to sort out your video. I tuned TVs, set clocks, installed car stereos. Anything technologicial was my bag, baby, and no-one was better.

A couple of years ago however, I lost the ability to even work the video and started to let my wife do it. At daylight savings time, she took over the changing of the clocks - even the oven, and you know that's the worst of all the household timepieces to change!

The clincher though was when I put my cellphone through the washing machine about two weeks ago. I spent two days without it and I didn't actually miss it. If someone needed me, it was tough for them. It was liberating being out of touch. I make all my calls on the bluetooth in the car but for two days, I just drove in silence and it was as blissful as a drive from Wellington to the Hutt can get.

Now, don't think I'm going all hemp trouser wearing lentil eating smelly hippy on you. I have a home studio which I built myself and am always getting my geek on around computers and audio equipment. I am nerdariffic and that won't change. I got another phone and am back to my old annoying self now, it's a case of necessity. I'm very busy and important *ahem* and I need it.

This isn't a new concept by any stretch, but it's a good one, take a break every now and then. Force yourself off technology for a couple of days. Have 'screen free' days with your family. Switch off your phone and go without it for a couple of days, don't log in to facebook for a period. Read the newspaper instead of getting your news from stuff of the TV. It's like taking a holiday.

Right, laptop closing now.

Photo credit |

How not to behave in public...

Today we hear the news that a certain 'once was famous' and now, 'paying the bills and doing ok' kiwi girl biffed a glass of wine over another girl at the premiere of Eclipse in Auckland over a couple of saved seats.

This was disappointing news because I know the girl quite well. I've crashed at her house on occasion, we've drunk much in each others company and I've always thought that she was alright.
The story goes that this woman was upset that some seats were being 'held' for someone and decided that the only way to deal with this was to chuck a glass of wine over her.

Now, there are reasons to chuck a drink at someone. Drunken dumbassness is a good opportunity to cover a blouse in bubbles. Inappropriate behaviour with someone elses partner will earn you a chardonnay upside your head. Even some insults would be well replied to with a shiraz to the gib.

But to throw wine over someone holding a couple of seats at a movie theatre? That's well over the top, particularly when the seats were being held for the people who were at the front door welcoming people to the theatre!

The woman who wore the wine is a great mate of mine. Her husband is my daughter's godfather. She's choice and I'm so disappointed that her night was ruined by someone who used to be famous.

We've all made fuckwits of ourselves at different times in our lives and today it was Joe Cotton's turn. New Zealand is a small country, everyone knows everyone and there's a way to behave, no matter who you are, or who you used to be.