Learning Curve

September 16th, 2005

So we were just about to tape today's show -- with Burning Man founder Larry Harvey (a deep guy -- check out this wonderful speech he gave a few years ago) -- and right before the interview I realized that I needed to take a quick bathroom break. And as I crossed the hallway to the bathroom, I was very careful to do what I'd been advised before my first day on the job: always turn off your wireless mike before you relieve yourself! Otherwise, anyone listening in to the taping (and apparently a number of folks at KQED can follow the taping from their office monitors) will -- you know -- hear you. (There's a great scene in one of the "Naked Gun" movies that uses this very gag, to great comic effect.)

So I carefully reached around to my back pocket and pulled out the little battery-pack thing and turned the power switch to "off." And then, a minute later, feeling much relieved, I made sure to turn the switch back to "on." And we did the interview, with me feeling quite smug about my professional handling of the whole bathroom-break-audio situation.

And then, after the interview was over, I started un-miking myself. And that's when I remembered: this time, unlike at previous tapings, they had put two mikes on me -- each with its own battery pack (and on-off switch)!

Ah, the best-laid plans of mikes and men. ...

ADDENDUM: I had just posted this item when my wonderful producer, Lori Halloran, read it and informed me that the correct spelling is "mic," not "mike." Apparently, the way I spelled it further reveals my lack of broadcasting experience and savvy. I think I'm just going to cut my losses and go home (micless -- I hope). ...

Entry Filed under: let's digress,tv episodes


  • 1. Trevor Smith  |  September 16th, 2005 at 4:32 pm

    That’s one for the podcast, right?

  • 2. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 16th, 2005 at 8:24 pm

    Actually, it strikes me as crying out for streaming video.

  • 3. Sue T.  |  September 18th, 2005 at 10:00 pm


    Both my TiVo and I love your new show. I set it up as a season pass, which means the TiVo automatically records each new episode so I don’t have to remember to be in front of the TV every Monday at 7:30. However, despite the fact that I’d specified that only the new episodes be recorded, TiVo faithfully captured every rebroadcast of both your debut shows (there were at least six of them). It’s never done that before. I guess you can consider that a thumbs up from the inanimate object community.

    Cheers from a big JK fan!

  • 4. Bill  |  September 19th, 2005 at 10:51 am

    Hi Josh – I missed your request for Burning Man experiences. I have been going for 8 years and I love it. The Art is impressive and the people that go are quite ecletic. I am looking forward to the interview. When will it air?


  • 5. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 19th, 2005 at 1:50 pm

    Bill: I’m not sure when the Larry Harvey interview will run — I’m guessing two weeks from today, but I don’t know for sure. Please check the “TV Program” link at the top of this blog in the near-future; I bet it’ll have the info.

    Sue T.: Thanks — to you and your very supportive TiVo!

  • 6. Cindy F.  |  September 23rd, 2005 at 3:39 pm

    Just why IS it spelled “mic”? Did she explain why? It doesn’t make sense when reading it–in my head that’s pronounced “mick.” “Mike” is a more sensible way of spelling it, so please do go on doing so.

  • 7. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 26th, 2005 at 2:37 pm

    Cindy, with your support I am going to pluckily stick stick to my guns on the whole “mike/mic” question — thanks!!

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