When we broadcast Dreamland from our office at home for the first time on Sunday, February 25, there were some unexpected problems.
Our office is connected to our kitchen, and as I waited impatiently for the dishwasher to finish noisily sloshing the dinner dishes, I worried that I would have to turn it off in mid- cycle if it wasn’t done by the time the show started. I even considered running over and turning it on again during the news.
I did remember to turn down the ringers on all the phones. Since only the first hour of Dreamland is broadcast here in our hometown, followed by 3 hours of paid religious programming, I thought our friends might forget we were still on the air.
Then my son came home from the airport about an hour into the show. I’d planned ahead and carefully instructed him to come in the front door, rather than the back door that leads to the office, and to tiptoe up the stairs. However, I think the “boom” as he tossed his luggage on the floor directly above us was broadcast coast to coast.
Mike and J.D., our engineers in Medford, told Whitley they could hear him breathing into his mike (and a few listeners e- mailed us about that as well). Since Whitley couldn’t figure out how to remedy that, other than to stop breathing, Premiere is going to send him a new headset.
Now that we’re set up at home, we’ve talked about putting up a webcam during the broadcasts. With the video eye watching us, we’re going to have to remember not to scratch in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I’m not sure I’m ready for the world to see the piles of paper cluttering my desk.
One thing we miss is being able to raid the snack machines at the radio station. On Sundays we looked forward to eating chips, candy and other bad things that we don’t let ourselves keep at home. My favorite was Chili Cheese Fritos, but they were so crunchy I could only eat them during the breaks.
One advantage of broadcasting from will be that during the NFL season, I can turn on the Sunday night game with the sound muted, and dash into the living room occasionally to get the score.
Also, Whitley can use his powerful desk top computer during the show and get questions from listeners over hotmail much more quickly. We took my weak little laptop to the radio station, and it had a hard time keep up with the pace. But wouldn’t you know it, hotmail went down in the middle of the show last Sunday. Our webmaster, Louis Steiner of Korax.net, swears it wasn’t due to the large volume of questions for DMT researcher Rick Strassman, but I have my suspicions.
It’s not easy to work at home, but with 30 years of practice, we’ve learned how to do it. When I sit down at the computer, I firmly push all undone household chores to the back of my mind. We keep a regular working schedule and never watch TV during the day. I try to leave the office behind me after supper, but Whitley likes to sneak in there and write.
Now we’ve added another dimension to the home/office mix: Home Sweet Studio. Maybe I’ll stitch that into a sampler and hang it over the radio equipment we have tucked away in a corner. The problem with that idea is, whenever I’ve taken up crafts, I’ve quickly realized that my talents lie elsewhere. I once made a ceramic vase that wasn’t nearly as good as the one my son brought home from first grade.
I think the positive results of broadcasting from home will be subtle ones: we’ll be more relaxed and Whitley’s conversations with guests will flow more naturally. It will be like talking to them in our living room, just a few steps away.
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