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starcanuck64
2011-Nov-24, 06:07 PM
The saying in the Army is "Never volunteer for anything", but I decided to volunteer some of my time at a local(Alberta wide) listener supported radio station.

http://www.ckua.org/ *

I'll be helping out in organizing the music library, something I assumed wouldn't be that demanding. Last night was my first shift and I was in for a bit of a shock, the station has over 40,000 CDs and over 20,000 LPs, 78s and reel-to-reel tapes in it's library. At the moment they're in the process of digitizing the entire permanent CD library and cataloguing the records and tapes. They'll also be moving in about six months to a new renovated historical building and at some point will begin to pack everything up. After a brief tour I was given a 25 page manual to learn and a quick run down of some of the technical details of the digitization project and what the volunteers will be responsible for. We'll be going through the online database as music is added to check that links to albums and songs are functional and that the dozens of fields for each album and artist in the databse are accurate and to add to those that are incomplete.

I thought I'd be doing a little CD ripping and reshelving.:D

Meeting some of the DJs I've been listening to for the last four years was a little surreal, I kept having the illusion I was inside a radio program. All in all a pretty cool experience and it should be fun but demanding.

*please remove if this is considered spam

Swift
2011-Nov-25, 04:28 AM
The saying in the Army is "Never volunteer for anything", but I decided to volunteer some of my time at a local(Alberta wide) listener supported radio station.

That sounds really cool. I always thought it would be fun to be a DJ. And I'm very big on volunteering, I've been doing it for various organizations for my entire adult and teenage life.

starcanuck64
2011-Nov-25, 05:53 PM
That sounds really cool. I always thought it would be fun to be a DJ. And I'm very big on volunteering, I've been doing it for various organizations for my entire adult and teenage life.

The DJs on CKUA seem to be a pretty cool bunch, some are local musicians and have been with the station for years others are music producers like Holger Peterson of Stoney Plain records and there's a few fairly well known Canadian entertainment personalities like Terry David Muligan and Roy Forbes.

This is my first time volunteering but I've been thinking about it for years, I'd like to find some other good causes to donate some time to.

swampyankee
2011-Nov-25, 06:15 PM
You don't volunteer in the army (or any other military or quasi-military organization) because whatever you volunteer for will be a) dangerous, b) unpleasant, or c) any mixture of the above, and you can't back out when you find out that it will involve rapelling down into a cave full of venomous creatures, high explosives, toxic fumes, and people who actively want to hurt you. I avoided this problem by the simple expedient of neither volunteering for the military nor getting drafted.

Voluntary volunteering, like for a museum or a radio station, can be lots of fun, fulfilling, and, of course, you can quit any time you want. Oh, and for the music cataloging problem? Find some free cataloging software, but prepare for lots of time spent typing. Maybe a nice crowd-sourcing project...

starcanuck64
2011-Nov-25, 06:29 PM
You don't volunteer in the army (or any other military or quasi-military organization) because whatever you volunteer for will be a) dangerous, b) unpleasant, or c) any mixture of the above, and you can't back out when you find out that it will involve rapelling down into a cave full of venomous creatures, high explosives, toxic fumes, and people who actively want to hurt you. I avoided this problem by the simple expedient of neither volunteering for the military nor getting drafted.

Voluntary volunteering, like for a museum or a radio station, can be lots of fun, fulfilling, and, of course, you can quit any time you want. Oh, and for the music cataloging problem? Find some free cataloging software, but prepare for lots of time spent typing. Maybe a nice crowd-sourcing project...

I'll see what the station Librarian has in mind for the cataloguing next week, we'll be heading down into the station basement to start cataloguing the 78s with another volunteer who's supposed to be an archiving enthusiast...we were also told during orientation that some people at the station have had weird encounters with what they believe are ghosts in the basement.:)

PraedSt
2011-Nov-26, 09:34 PM
What's a "listener supported" radio station? No ads?

swampyankee
2011-Nov-26, 09:47 PM
What's a "listener supported" radio station? No ads?

Exactly, although they occasionally ask for money. One of the local listener-supported stations (http://www.wpkn.org/wp/), fairly recently, boasted of having only one paid staff member. The good thing about them is that they've nothing to do with either Clear Channel Communications or Infinity Radio.

starcanuck64
2011-Nov-27, 08:14 PM
What's a "listener supported" radio station? No ads?


In 1997 the station was nearly shut down due to political squabbles, poor management, and attempts at privatization. The station was saved from demise when control was handed over to the public from directors appointed by the provincial government. As of 2005, more than two-thirds of the station's funding came from its listeners in the form of donations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CKUA_Radio_Network

There's a few ads from companies that support the station but for the most part it's ad free.

CKUA holds two donation campaigns a year and gets most of it's operating budget at those times and from monthly sponsorship of individual programs by listeners.

PraedSt
2011-Nov-28, 07:16 AM
Started in 1927- must be one of the oldest stations still broadcasting. That's pretty cool.

starcanuck64
2011-Nov-29, 11:17 PM
It's a big part of local and Canadian culture, I think it was the first public broadcaster in this country. When it went off the air in 1997 due to a funding dispute with the provincial government, the public stepped up and raised $1 million to put it back on the air.

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-09, 06:21 PM
Finally got down in the basement to start help organizing the collection of 78s and audio tapes. There's hundreds of taped interviews including people like Annie Lennox, Steve Earle and even Leadbelly(I'd like to hear that one). We lugged some old 78s from one side of the building to the other and I learned that shellac isn't made from petrochemicals, it's a resin produced by scale insects and is damned heavy. No appearance of the station ghost yet but I did have an allergic reaction to all the dust.

One thing I'm finding with volunteering(at least at CKUA) is how happy the staff is to have you there.

Swift
2011-Dec-09, 06:34 PM
Leadbelly, that's cool. Maybe they could transfer some of that stuff to digital media.

And yes, old 78s are very heavy, I remember listening to my uncle's old jazz collection.

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-09, 06:59 PM
They're planning to digitize the audio tapes and 78s, which could mean it's available online at some point...I'll ask next week.

They've got jazz, classical, spoken word, Russian music(I have no idea what it is the writing was in Cyrillic) and much more on 78s with more coming in all the time. Just organizing the 78s is going to take months, then we get to pack it all up for the move next summer.

Cougar
2011-Dec-10, 04:27 PM
They're planning to digitize...

Meaning to .wav or...?

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-10, 10:53 PM
Meaning to .wav or...?

I'm not sure, I know the CDs are being digitized to three different formats including .wav but an outside company is responsible for that job and the 78s and audio tapes are being done inhouse as far I know. We also made sure an old turntable was in operating condition for the 78s conversion, there's all sorts of old electronic equipment down in the basement, some of it looks custom built.

DoggerDan
2011-Dec-12, 05:50 AM
Good for you! I've volunteered for some worthy causes over the years, including a brief stint as a DJ at a non-profit radio station.

Not only does it help worthwhile causes, it can be a lot of fun! I've met some very interesting people.

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-12, 05:32 PM
It really doesn't feel like work, the staff there are so laid back and friendly, and being a long time music lover I'm doing my small part to keep an important part of Canadian culture alive.

It's still a little strange having DJs that have been talking at me for years through the radio talking to me in normal conversation, even if I'm not listening to music at home I sometimes have CKUA on just because I enjoy the sound of the DJs voices, being in the same room with them is tres cool.

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-19, 11:18 PM
I did my first volunteer shift at the new CKUA building this afternoon, it's very nice. I ripped CDs for a couple of hours and will probably be hearing some of the songs over the coming weeks which is cool. One CD was David Bowie 40th Anniversary of Ziggy Stardust, where did all that time go?

You can listen to CKUA here:

http://www.ckua.com/

This is what the new building looks like:

http://www.ckua.com/pages/newhome

Gillianren
2013-Feb-20, 12:46 AM
I was just talking to a friend about the movie Argo; party of my thought process while watching it was the persistent, "Wow, Tom Brokaw looks young!" Followed by, "Wow, Ted Koppel looks young!" Eventually followed by, "Well, of course they look young; that was more than thirty years ago, and I was three at the time myself!" It's funny how we only seem to think about how much time has passed when we're presented with milestones.

Swift
2013-Feb-20, 02:51 AM
How cool is it that I can listen to an Alberta radio station over the Internet.

JohnD
2013-Feb-20, 11:36 AM
I volunteered to be a London Olympics "Gamesmaker".
There were 400,000 people who did volunteer but only 75,000 were chosen, so we felt we were an Elite.

I was lucky, because I'm a medic I was inside one of the Olympic Park venues, sitting in a seat that niether love nor money could buy!
We were right next to the athletes, watching them from only a few feet away!
Many other Gamesmakers never got that priviledge, but spent their time out on the Park, dealing with the spectators, yet I never saw a grumpy Gamesmaker. We were all on a permament high, knowing that we were taking part in something very special that none of us are likely to see again. Indeed, I had a Gamesmaker as a patient, an old man who collapsed and who I wanted to send to hospital, even though he had recovered. "No way, Doc! This is the best thing I've ever done,, and I won't get back in if you send me there!" That could have been true, so we arranged for his duties to be changed to a station right outside the Medical room - and he was fine!

I enjoyed it so much, that I've volunteered for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Volunteering is great!
John

Swift
2013-Feb-20, 03:01 PM
I volunteered to be a London Olympics "Gamesmaker".
There were 400,000 people who did volunteer but only 75,000 were chosen, so we felt we were an Elite.

I was lucky, because I'm a medic I was inside one of the Olympic Park venues, sitting in a seat that niether love nor money could buy!
We were right next to the athletes, watching them from only a few feet away!
That is way cool. Which venue were you in and what sports did you see?

A fellow I work with went to the games as a visitor and I remember him saying that the volunteers were great. He said that anywhere you went they were there to answer questions, give directions, help you queue up. He was very impressed by how well organized everything was.

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-20, 06:59 PM
I enjoyed it so much, that I've volunteered for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Volunteering is great!
John

It is great, especially when it's with an organization you have a strong emotional attachment to.

I love music so I fit right in with the people at CKUA and they make it clear how much they appreciate the support.


How cool is it that I can listen to an Alberta radio station over the Internet.

Not just any station, it's the Mighty CKUA.;)

Some people here consider it to be Alberta culture it's been around so long and influenced so many musicians in this province and across Canada. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings were the musical act for the official opening.

It's cool seeing new CDs from artists before anyone else has also. If you hear Spencer Day or Tristan Prettyman I also ripped their CDs yesterday.

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-20, 07:41 PM
Just listened to a song from this CD on the "radio", it sounds like a very interesting project with Stephen King and John Mellencamp teaming up to create a musical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Brothers_of_Darkland_County

Swift
2013-Feb-20, 09:13 PM
Stephen King and John Mellencamp teaming up to create a musical.
:surprised:
Wow, there are two names not usually used in the same sentence.

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-21, 07:41 PM
And T Bone Burnett is also involved in some way, I think he's played with Bob Dylon and a bunch of other artists. They do get some very interesting stuff at CKUA.

I ripped this CD there last spring , it also sounded unique.

http://torontoist.com/2012/04/sound-advice-easterween-by-john-southworth-and-andrew-downing/

ASTRO BOY
2013-Feb-21, 08:24 PM
Nothing wrong with volunterring........
In my lifetime so far I have volunterred for many things such as......
Firefighting during bushfire emergencies, helped out at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games [the best games ever as proclaimed by the President of the Olympic Federation] donned rubber gloves and broad brimmed hat for helping out at the Annual "Clean up Australia" campaign, been active with "meals on wheels" orginization, looked after Labrador puppies in preparation for their "seeing eye " dog training, stiff-armed a thief running from a 7/11 store, jumped from a topsail yard arm while drifting in the doldrums on the Equator and grabbing a line hanging over the side of that boat to drag myself back on board...........all contribute to gaining experience in one's life

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-22, 12:12 AM
stiff-armed a thief running from a 7/11 store, jumped from a topsail yard arm while drifting in the doldrums on the Equator and grabbing a line hanging over the side of that boat to drag myself back on board...........all contribute to gaining experience in one's life

It sounds like you were volunteering with the Errol Flynn Foundation.;)

ASTRO BOY
2013-Feb-22, 05:29 AM
It sounds like you were volunteering with the Errol Flynn Foundation.;)

Hehehe......Let me elaborate some.......The 7/11 store incident happened about 10 years ago when I was fifth [and last] in a queue waiting to be served when 5 hoons around 15 or 16 years old, came bursting in, tipping over a slurpy machine, stuffing their pockets full of goodies and then started to run out.
To do that they had to past the queue I was a part of. The two girls behind the counter were terrified and the others standing in front of me were just staring while these lot went on their mission of destruction....As the last ran by me, I just instinctively stuck out my arm at about neck height and caught him around the throat area...He went down like a ton of bricks with me on top of him...Police came and took him away and that was that.

The other about jumping from the yard arm of a Barquentine occurred in 1974 while I was crewing it from Cristobel [Panama] to Sydney and while in the "doldrums" we decided to have a swim in the blue Pacific.
Since it was my idea, I was given the honour of going first.....The other 20 odd crew soon followed me.

ps: We did have someone standing by with a rifle in case of sharks.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Feb-22, 01:05 PM
I volunteered to be a London Olympics "Gamesmaker".
Thanks JohnD, you helped make the Olympics great.


I enjoyed it so much, that I've volunteered for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

See you in Glasgow!

JohnD
2013-Feb-22, 05:29 PM
Thank you, Swift! Joke was that everyone in London, every media source was being a Cassandra before the Games. London was going to gridlock, the opening ceremony was going to be a complete disaster, we weren't going to win anything, ..... And Lo! Sorry, Astro Boy, Sydney was the best Games ever - until the London games. Official. But I can tell you that LOCOG modelled their Games on Sydney's, so we had a good act to follow, and thanks to you too!

And Heid the ba'; I was a specialist GM, in a special place. As Swift's friend found, it was the "ordinary" Gamesmakers who made the Games. People like this girl, who was supervising the queues leaving the Park at about 2200 - goodness knows ho long she had been up!

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2997/dscf1388small.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/442/dscf1388small.jpg/)

I was at the Aquatics Centre, Swift, "Field of Play" team, to rush out and retrieve any fallen athlete.
We were so close to the athletes! I stood next to Mark Phelps, as he waited to go out for his 'special award' from FINA; I watched Rebecca Adlington lose her Olympic Championship and be a comfort to Katie Ledecky, who was completely overwhelmed. I even sat next to Tom Daley on poolside as he changed his swimmers under a towel, like you would on the beach! But I never treated anyone!

I also served at the Paralympics, at the wheelchair tennis. WoW! Never seen that before! You'd think it would be a soft, lobbing game - NOT! It's hard, fast and thrilling!

Looking forward to Glasgow 2014 - anyone else who wants to volunteer, do so quckly! The window closes on the 28th February 2013 - next Friday!
Holiday in Scotland? AND see the Games?
See here:
http://volunteering.glasgow2014.com/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Volunteering+-+1+week+to+-+FTAF&utm_content=Volunteering+-+1+week+to+-+FTAF+CID_b219ba001862d9408d17ad68dcd73ca5&utm_source=Email%20marketing&utm_term=1%20WEEK%20TO%20GO

John

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-22, 05:45 PM
Reading your post is getting me even more inspired to volunteer John, I think this year I'm going to try helping out at the Folk Fest.

http://www.edmontonfolkfest.org/

Swift
2013-Feb-22, 05:57 PM
We were so close to the athletes! I stood next to Mark Phelps, as he waited to go out for his 'special award' from FINA; I watched Rebecca Adlington lose her Olympic Championship and be a comfort to Katie Ledecky, who was completely overwhelmed. I even sat next to Tom Daley on poolside as he changed his swimmers under a towel, like you would on the beach!
OK, that's way cool.

Back in the 1980s I was active with an environmental group called Clearwater (they are still around) that works on Hudson River issues in New York. They are most well know for Pete Seeger being one of the founders. I did a lot of volunteer work for them, including working at their annual folk festival called The Great Hudson River Revival. That gave me the chance to get in close proximity to such people as Pete, his wife Toshi (who I drove around in a golf cart once), Paul Winter's band, and and lots of other musicians, and to be present at the very last performance the Weavers ever did together.

@ starcanuck64 - That looks like a blast.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Feb-22, 08:33 PM
Thank you, Swift! Joke was that everyone in London, every media source was being a Cassandra before the Games. London was going to gridlock, the opening ceremony was going to be a complete disaster, we weren't going to win anything, ..... And Lo! Sorry, Astro Boy, Sydney was the best Games ever - until the London games. Official. But I can tell you that LOCOG modelled their Games on Sydney's, so we had a good act to follow, and thanks to you too!




We also had the same pessimists forecasting the same when Sydney was preparing.
It's a similar thing for any Innovative scientific idea......Some see a problem and throw their hands in the air in despair...other's see the same problem and start working out solutions to overcome it.
And yes, the London Olympics were great...Comparable to Sydney's??...Yep sure, except of course we did have beautiful Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera house as backdrops, :-)

It was great though seeing England win so many medals on home soil in such splendid fashion.


I was lucky enough in Sydney to see some of the Athletics particularly watching that tiny slip of a girl Cathy Freeman winning the 400 mtrs Gold medal.

starcanuck64
2013-Feb-22, 08:38 PM
@ starcanuck64 - That looks like a blast.

I was able to attend three days last year which was amazing.

I get excited about hanging out with the DJs at CKUA, meeting Pete Seeger must have been pretty special.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Feb-25, 05:10 PM
It was great though seeing England win so many medals on home soil in such splendid fashion.


England won no medals at all in London, though they have high hopes for Glasgow in 2014.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Feb-25, 08:11 PM
England won no medals at all in London, though they have high hopes for Glasgow in 2014.

Apologies for that slip up......I obviously meant Great Britain.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Feb-26, 01:03 PM
That's ok, several BBC commentators were prone to the same slip up. :)