On The Road With Dave

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Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave.

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Name: Dave Robison
Location: Mobile, Alabama, United States

From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.

 

 

On The Road with Dave


Friday, April 30, 2010

One Moment Please!




"On The Road With Dave" will be experiencing technical difficulties over the next few weeks as we migrate to a new blogging platform. I apologize to all my readers, (Hey! you two, over in the corner..listen up!)

No posts will appear here until migration is complete and there will be minor glitches after that and design issues that will need to be resolve. Please stay tuned and check back for the re-appearance of "On The Road"

In the meantime, my ventriloquial side-kick is granting me writing privileges at his blog, "Skyler's Gravel Road" and I'll do a a few posts at "Comedy This Exit". Check the newsfeed under the banner here at "On The Road" for updates.

I'll be back here as quickly as possible. Please Stand By and feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

PLEASE STAND BY



This blog is experiencing a contemplation of future articles, writer's block, and an author's hectic schedule. Please stand by. Future activity will resume shortly.



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Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Sunday Thoughts"



"The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it."

--Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895


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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Still Searching For New Blog Home

Since Blogger announced it was no longer supporting FTP blogs and abandoning me, I've been researching my options. Originally, Blogger announced a March 26th date for their date of non-support. Recently they announced they would give us poor saps until May 1, to make the necessary changes.

I've received some good informative comments on my last entry about the issue and a few friends have offered to help me with the upcoming move. I've been procrastinating. I'm glad the deadline was extended.

Blogger is trying to make the move as easy as possible with updates and instructions, but they have said if I follow their procedure, I would not be able to go back to FTP/private hosting with any entries after making their specific changes to their new format. I'm not sure I like the sound of that.

Other options presented to me have obstacles such as downloading some blog format software to my current computer. My current computer is an older model that I had to press into service and it does not support a lot of sites out there on the "Internets". Even YouTube has told me that my current system is out of date and updates are no longer available. (Yeah, it's that old)

So in order to follow some's advice, I'd have to invest in a new computer, too. I'm not ready to do that just yet. So, I'm still procrastinating and still searching for options. I'll figure it out.




Photo by Mattlemmon




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Friday, February 5, 2010

Blogger To Abandon Dave

I've been dumped by girlfriends, had friends no longer hang with me, and horror of horrors; I have even had people "unfriend" me on Facebook and "unfollow" me on Twitter. But today, I think I have suffered the greatest indignity of all--Blogger.com has decided not to support me.

Today I read an email from the blogging service that as of March 26, it would no longer support FTP publishing. For those not hip to the jargon, it means I'll no longer be able to use the simple Blogger software to write my blog entries and then have them seamlessly upload to my www.ontheroadwithdave.com domain hosted elsewhere.

When I first started my blog, "On The Road With Dave"; its design was a Blogger template and written at Blogger and hosted by Blogger with Blogger's BlogSpot address, daveontheroad.blogspot.com.. Most Blogger-hosted blogs have the "blogspot" as part of the URL address. I was extremely proud when I purchased my own domain and was able to still write "On The Road With Dave" with the easy to use Blogger format, but have it hosted at my very own domain with no "blogspot" address. Moving the blog had it's problems, but it was worth it, to call it "My own".

So today, I read that Blogger wants to make me move my blog BACK to their site and their hosting and have me re-direct my readers via a Custom Domain hosting procedure and drop my current subscription with my hosting site, all because I'm one of the few(thousands)of their blogger population that publish to another host.

I'm faced with a host (get it? Host..web hosting...forget it) of problems. One problem for me is that they will not support a directory extension like .com/example. I created my DAVEWEAR page like that. Blogger will insist on subdomains like example(dot)mydomain.com. I hate subdomains.

Another problem is I kinda like having my files at a hosting site that I have some control over. And, if I go elsewhere I want to keep my current website look. Some of the borders and style are taken from adjusted rewritten original Blogger styles. I have no expertise on designing a new style sheet or template. Also, there'd be massive linkage breaks and images to reload. I already did that once. Most of my readers know, I'm limited in my "techy-ness". It takes me hours of looking at my template and figuring out where I insert some HTML piece that I copied from somewhere and inserting it into my design. Once it took me two hours to figure out how to change a background color.

Anyway I have until March 26 to decide what to do and complete the changes. I may go back to Blogger and use their solution, or migrate to another service such as WordPress. (Geez, another learning curve) Either way, I fear change and the probable pain and expense that will ensue.

Blogger may abandon me, but I'm not abandoning blogging or writing. Stick around and enjoy my suffering. You know you like it.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Trouble With Skyler

I don't think I like my ventriloquist sidekick.

That's not entirely true. How do you spend 28 years with "somebody" without liking them? Okay, and I know he's not really "somebody"; he's a puppet, a dummy--he's not really alive. But, I'm having trouble with Skyler.

Skyler started out as an idea from a rough sketch I drew. His inspiration drawn from the poster boy of Mad Magazine, Alfred E Neuman. Legendary ventriloquist figure maker, Finis Robinson took on the task of carving out my idea into wood and creating my sidekick.

Finis wrote to me upon Skyler's completion, "He's a fine boy, but more
mature material will be needed for him." I'm sure that Finis didn't mean "dirty" or "blue" material, but rather Skyler would not be suitable for cutesy kid's parties. I was okay with that at the time, I was 18 and had visions of comedy clubs and TV appearances dancing in my head.

Things between Skyler and I started out okay. We were doing gigs, making people laugh, flirting with girls. Skyler went to college with me, joined me at some parties and generally was a good ventriloquist sidekick.

After I got married and put performing on the back burner for a while, Skyler spent a few years tucked away in his trunk; only to be brought out occasionally to entertain house guests or to undergo some routine maintenance. I would bring him out at times to do some ventriloquism practice, just to be able to say I was still a ventriloquist and to display some semblance of expertise.

That was when the trouble began. Working with Skyler became more difficult. Not with his mechanics or operation; he was and has always been a thrill to operate. His expressions were great, he was fantastic to manipulate, and his personality seem to flow out even before I put words into his mouth through ventriloquism. But, he seemed to be...how do I put this...mean.

As a ventriloquist, you have to practice daily on lip control, manipulation of the ventriloquist figure, and timing as well as the comedy act between the ventriloquist and the dummy. The dialogue between the ventriloquist and the dummy is a one-act play. A script is followed that allows the ventriloquist, in most cases, to be the "straight man" to the dummy. The ventriloquist sets up the jokes and the dummy delivers the punchline. Not so with Skyler. For some reason, Skyler doesn't stick to the script. I tend to argue with him during practice. Practice ain't fun with him. His "put-downs" seem spontaneous and evil. He berates me. His verbal jabs hurt. In short, I don't think HE likes ME anymore.

Now, before you start psychoanalyzing me and calling the good folks at my local mental asylum, I know that all his words are coming from my mouth. I know I'm arguing with myself. His cynicism and sarcasm and meanness is all coming from my mind. I have heard of ventriloquists outgrowing a dummy and moving to another character, but I don't think this is the case. It's more like, there's a frustration within myself that I have ignored Skyler that personifies itself as Skyler being annoyed with me. I've let his personality that I originally created for him atrophy to the point that all that exists is evil meanness.

I'm sure other ventriloquists out there may have gone through something similar, maybe not to this degree, but we all tend to project an inner personality through our dummies. Our dummies display that part of us that we tend to shy away from. And as a comedian, I'm often told that comics are a sad lot, deriving humor from their inner turmoil. If you ask me, all this introspective, reflective crap gets in the way of just telling funny stories and making people laugh.

So, if I want to add ventriloquism to my comedy gigs, and make it unique and funny, I need to come up with a solution that will satisfy my "inner Skyler" and use my longtime sidekick to make people laugh once again and not just piss me off when we practice.

It's either that or hire a local voodoo priestess to get rid of Skyler's evilness.


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Monday, July 20, 2009

40 Years Ago: "The Eagle Has Landed"



Today marks the 40th Anniversary of NASA's Apollo 11 landing on the surface of the moon. Astronauts, Neil Alden Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. had left the Earth's surface just 4 days prior on July 16th. Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above them in the Command Module.

Back in 1996, I wrote about my memories of that great day when all of the world shared a collective experience of joy, wonder, and a future filled with possibilities.

FROM ONE GIANT LEAP:

Everyone has special dates in history that they can't help remembering.

For my dad, it was December 7, 1941; the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

For others, it was November 22, 1963; the day America lost John F. Kennedy to a sniper hiding in a book depository.

For some, the day that music died was August 16, 1977; when the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, took his final bow and "went home" to be with his mother.

Many shed a tear for the astronauts and one teacher that died aboard the space shuttle, Challenger, on January 28, 1986.

In today's generation, the date September 11, 2001 will be a date that made America cry in fear and unite in patriotism.

For me, July 20, 1969 will be a date that I shall always remember. A date where we cried in joy, and shouted with pride, and stared in awe as the first human being stepped foot upon a celestial body other than Earth.

I remember gathering around the black and white television set my family had and watching in amazement as Astronaut Neil Armstrong said those immortal words,

"...that's one small step for [a] man...one giant leap for mankind."


During the next few years, every school project I undertook had something to do with space travel or science. I read everything I could about men and women who had great ideas and saw them through to reality. I realized that so many things existed outside my small Mississippi town.

Yes, I too, remember what I was doing on that date. I was realizing that life was changing before my eyes, and reaching for the stars was no longer out of our reach.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

"And Walter Cronkite Was There"

Shortly after 9PM tonight, a cable news program alerted me to the news that Walter Cronkite, once hailed as "The Most Trusted Man in America" had passed away at the age of 92.

It struck me as regrettable that Cronkite had missed the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing occurring later this week. Walter Cronkite had covered the Space Exploration program for CBS News from the very beginning. I was also saddened to learn his cause of death had been cited as complications from dementia. Losing a father to those same complications, I felt a great empathy for Cronkite's family.

Over the next few days, a casual reader of the news sources available, will see broadcasted tributes to the legendary newsman on every newscast and commentary show and will read countless printed tributes to the man. I'm sure I could do no better than these esteemed colleagues and peers of the man.

I read that Cronkite had began anchoring the CBS Evening News in 1962. Many of the journalists who will be offering their tributes will no doubt say they, and much of America, grew up with Walter Cronkite and the evening news. Since I was born in 1962, and remember Mr. Cronkite on our family TV every evening when I was a kid; I, too, feel like I grew up with Mr. Cronkite.

While I do not remember Cronkite's emotional announcement in 1963 of the assassination and death of John F. Kennedy, I still have faint memories of the CBS News coming on in my living room each evening on Channel 4 and hearing the teletype machines in the background and Walter shuffling papers on camera as each reporters' name and evening's location was typed on the screen. I also recall an announcement of the number of soldiers in Vietnam dead and wounded during the day.

Of course, Walter's tagline of "That's the way it is" ended each newscast. I can't say I remember actually hearing him say it, but I do remember every comedian and impersonator of the time, using it on comedy and variety shows. It was part of the national vocabulary.

For me, as a kid growing up with Walter Cronkite, he had another more memorable tagline. Besides being a solid newscaster and journalist, Walter was also an educator. His fame for me lay in the Saturday morning children's programming of CBS.

After cartoons had finished for the day, Walter came on TV for kids. Reviving a 1950's radio program, Walter Cronkite and a team of reporters covered events in US history as reenacted by television and movie actors. No reporters were at the Alamo when Texians fell to Santa Anna's army in 1836; nor were there TV cameras on Howland Island in 1937 awaiting a missing Amelia Earhart. But CBS brought those events alive through Walter Cronkite and reporters covering the "stories" as if "You Are There"

The following video contains the opening and the closing for that television show....




.... ending with Walter Cronkite's other famous tagline:

"What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times...and you were there."

Walter Cronkite was there for all of us. Good night, Mr. Cronkite.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Buffer Zone

It's no secret that I haven't been blogging much. Truth is, I have a really bad case of "writer's block". Lots of things seem worth writing about, but few topics have captured my imagination or inspiration enough to put the words in print.

Today is Sunday and no Sunday escapes me that I don't feel the pressure to at least publish a "Sunday Thought". The problem I faced today was that I had not blogged since last week and the publishing of that day's edition of "Sunday Thoughts". That creates the problem of publishing a "Sunday Thoughts" back-to-back...and that just doesn't look good.

So, I'm writing a "buffer zone"; a small blog entry to place in-between last week's "Sunday Thoughts" and today's edition.

It's cheating in mind, but maybe if I at least write this explanation then I might break this vacuum that my mind seems to be in. I could have re-posted some video from YouTube, or some news story that every other blogger might be using instead of writing something; but I'm choosing this route.

You can bet that today's thoughts will be centered around writing, for sure. In fact, let me leave you with a quotation I found about writing a diary, which is what a weblog was at the term's inception.

"It seems to me that the problem with diaries, and the reason that most of them are so boring, is that every day we vacillate between examining our hangnails and speculating on cosmic order.

--Ann Beattie, Picturing Will, 1989

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Being Tony Bourdain

Lately, I have become a huge fan of chef, traveler, author, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. So much so that for the past week I have been trying to write about my most recent trip to New Orleans in a "travel writer" style. I know exactly what I want to say, but have no "fricken" clue how to write it.

Well, that's not exactly true; I write a bit of it and then get distracted or frustrated or tired. It's been a long week at my "day job" of doing things totally removed from the life of a travel writer or comedian or even a lowly blog writer; and after I have arrived home, it seems that the inspiration can't break through the fatigue.

But, now it's the weekend and I'll be finishing that travelogue, so keep a look out for it.

Also, for all my readers still interested in my opinions about Multi-level Marketing and Quixtar there's a new entry brewing for next week.

Stay tuned.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

We'll Miss You "Wild Bill"



It starts off like most obituaries:

William Wright Sorrels

William Wright Sorrels, age 83, of West Point, passed away on July 12, 2008 at the Veterans Home in Kosciusko, MS. He was born on July 28, 1924 in Cordova, TN.


I had to read it a couple of times. I always thought that this man was to "ornery" to die. Maybe he wasn't all that ornery. He wasn't really mean; he was cantankerous, he was stubborn, he had values, he was--he was a journalist. He was a teacher. He was my teacher.

"After finishing high school in West Point, Mississippi he joined the United States Navy where he served from 1943-1946 with the Seventh fleet in the Southwest Pacific. After returning from his tour of duty, he attended Mississippi State University, then transferred to the University of Missouri where he received his Bachelor of Journalism. He was an honor graduate and a Kappa Tau Alpha and Sigma Delta Chi Scholarship winner. In 1969 he received his Master of Arts degree from Memphis State University. He was also an exchange journalist in Venezuela. He was an accomplished newspaper journalist. He worked from 1949-1953 at his hometown newspaper, the Daily Times Leader in West Point. His next assignment came from Honolulu, Hawaii where he worked with the Honolulu Star Bulletin. From there he went to Memphis and worked for the Commercial Appeal for 23 years. He served as their managing editor from 1969-1977"


Bill was at the Commercial Appeal for the assassination of Martin Luther King and the death of Elvis.

"Then he went to Evansville, Indiana and worked for the Evansville Press, where he was their editor and president until his retirement. His second career began at Mississippi University for Women in 1984 where he held the Harriet Stark Gibbons Distinguished Professor of Journalism Chair. He loved this time spent with his students, who called him "Wild Bill". On many occasions, he was known to say that when he began teaching at the W, his mother told him that she had never been prouder of him. He was the Author of seven published books, including The Maroon Bulldogs and The Ole Miss Rebels. He also worked for Life magazine as their Mid-South correspondent from 1956-1960, and was the editorial adviser to the Craft & Art Market magazine."


From 1990 to 1993, "Wild Bill" Sorrels was the Advisor, Editor and Teacher for Dave Robison. Don't hold that against "Wild Bill"; he tried his best.

We butted heads on a weekly basis as I honed my skills as a Reporter for the MUW campus newspaper. Later, I held a disastrous position as the newspaper business manager. I'm not sure who cried and pulled their hair more--Wild Bill or myself.

Former journalism students of Bill's can easily recite from memory two of Bill's favorite expressions, "WHO SHOT JOHN?" and "TWO DEAD, THREE HURT IN CAR CRASH".

Simple lessons of journalism. Get to the point. The "story" should give you the facts in the first line--the first paragraph. Tell the reader first, "Who shot John?"; and after that, flesh the story out. As most of my readers know, I rarely follow that rule. BUT! I always remember it, thanks to Wild Bill.

My wife and I both attended MUW at the same time and actually took a Journalism class together on Media Law. Bill took a liking to my wife(as a student)and that led to another expression I often heard from "Wild Bill".

"DAMMIT ROBISON! DO I HAVE TO GET YOUR WIFE IN HERE TO WRITE THIS STORY?"

My wife, as a law student, wrote the facts. I tended to add a bit more commentary.

"ROBISON! First you learn to be a reporter, THEN, you can be a feature writer!"

Well, dammit Bill, you'll probably hate this blog entry, but I had to write it and I had to write it tonight. This is one story that I have to meet the deadline on.

"DAMMIT ROBISON! Have you ever met a deadline on time?"

Yeah Bill, This time I did.

William Sorrels is survived by his wife, Joyce Cade Sorrels; two children, Deborah Sorrels Webb (husband Randy) and John Clark Sorrels; three grandchildren, Shannon Williams (husband Charles), Clare McCreery, Logan Sorrels; two great grandchildren, Leven Williams and Catherine Williams; two brothers, C. H. Sorrels and James Sorrels, and a sister, Catherine Crosby. He is preceded in death by his parents, M. Lorene Wright Sorrels and Chelsea Howard Sorrels, Sr.; one brother, Ed Sorrels, two sisters Margaret Smith and Virginia Williams.

Graveside services will be Wednesday at 11 AM at Greenwood Cemetery with Rev. Steve Davis officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10 to 11 AM at Robinson Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be John Sorrels, Randy Webb, Joey Vallarian, Bill Cade, L. Q. Patterson, Lee Coleman and Charles Williams. Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church EPC, PO Box 366 West Point, MS 39773. Robinson Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

How To Switch To FreeLance

I stumbled across a great site for Freelancers of all types while researching rates that writers charge.

Freelance Switch offers a blog, forum, resources, and books for the person looking to make the switch to a freelance career in their field of expertise.

The Rate Calculator was helpful to me as a writer and as a comedian.

I've added Freelance Switch to my "Links I Like"

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Monday, May 16, 2005

I Love Writing!

If ever a group of people were known for their propensity for being right, it would be that group known collectively as, "They"

"They" say, "Find what you love, and then do that". They are right, again.

T.S. Eliot said, "Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers."

I've done some editing in my day, and now I occasionally consider myself a writer.

I haven't put a limitation on my writing yet, that would gauge whether I'm a failure at it or not, but I do know, I love writing.

The exhilaration that a marathon runner feels as he breaks the tape at the finish line must certainly be the same feeling that sweeps over me as I finish a paragraph.

The feeling of accomplishment that an actor receives as he bows to the applause of his audience might just compare to the feeling of myself reading a note from a reader who tells me. "I learned something from you" or "you made me laugh".

I have many interests; many things I feel the need to accomplish. Only one supersedes my love of writing.

It's sad to see any blog that I enjoy reading not updated for several days. I wonder what trials and mental blocks the blogger must be going through. I admit I have a skipped a day or two in my blogging venture, but usually I can not fathom going a day without finally hitting that "Publish" button and sending my latest ramblings out into the blogosphere.

My heart races just a tad faster if I know someone has posted a Comment to something that I have penned. And all the troubles of the day seem to melt away, if I hear or read somewhere that my writing has been recommended by someone.

I'm thankful for each one of my readers of "On The Road", and I sincerely hope that they get as much enjoyment from these daily postings as I derive from writing them.

I LOVE WRITING!

Which means whether you return here tomorrow or not, I will still log on to this site and anguish over some topic, hoping to convey some useful thought, or bit of humor or day-to-day trivia. And I will breathe that sigh of satisfaction once again when I feel from the first word to the final punctuation is just "so".

(sigh)

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