Protect your gear for 15 dollars


I recently bought a 14,000 RPM Diamond Engraver Pen on Amazon, HERE. It’s AC-Powered, UL-Listed and comes with 3 tips. I’ve been using it to carve my name into personal property that I don’t plan on ever selling:


Libertarianism is based on property rights. Your property is more your property if it has your name carved into it. And cops will never get your stuff back if it’s stolen. But if you have your name carved into it, you might.

Some people recommend carving your social security number into your property because it’s more of a unique identifier than your name. I recommend against it. First, because thieves seeing your SS number on your stuff or in a photo of your stuff makes it easier to steal your ID. Second, most people don’t carry their SS card, but do carry their ID card, so if you ever have to prove you are the person connected to the property, you probably have the ability to do it on you at all times. Third, do you really want to use your FDR socialist government number to ID your stuff? I don’t.

If you have a fairly common name, like I do, add your middle initial, especially if if’s an uncommon middle initial like mine. (I do share it with George W. Bush, but don’t hold that against me, I didn’t choose that. And it’s not in his honor. W was an unknown 17-year-old prep school F-up when I was born and named.) If you don’t have a middle initial, use your name and your website address.

Wear eye protection and some sort of air filter mask (even just a cloth over your face is better than nothing) while using the engraver, it gives off a little cloud of particles while you’re using it. (Metal, plastic or whatever you’re engraving into.) If you have sensitive kitty ears like me, you’ll also want to wear hearing protection. The sound of a diamond drilling into hardened steel is pretty loud and horrible.

I also recommend keeping a record of the serial numbers of all your property too. But adding your name is an extra layer of security. If there’s ever a disagreement on who owns something, you may simply have to show some arbitrator your ID, rather than go home and get your list of serial numbers.

Disfiguring your property with your name also makes it less likely that you’ll try to sell it when you’re short on cash, because people are less likely to want to buy something that has someone else’s name carved in it.

–Michael W. Dean

MWD’s new article in Talkers magazine: “How to Help Your Remote Guests Shine”

deanmichaelw How to Help Your Remote Guests Shine.  Radio is a busy business and sometimes hosts must process guests with a level of assembly-line speed that doesn’t always allow for the kind of attention to detail that can make the difference between a quality broadcast and a tune-out.  Many interviews on radio sound like there was no forethought to audio quality.  And many guests sound like they were thrown into an unfamiliar situation with no preparation.  In a very helpful, extensive advice piece posted today (4/1) Genesis Communications Network (GCN) talk show host Michael W. Dean (“The Freedom Feens” and “Michael Dean After Dark”) offers advice on how to maximize the quality of your remote guests covering everything from programming content to technical delivery in today’s frenzied radio environment.  To read it in its entirety, please click HERE.

That “boing!” sound from your spring-loaded mic stand bothering you?

Originally published in Talkers.

Scissor arm with scarf

That “boing!” sound from your spring-loaded mic stand bothering you?  “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean has a quick solution (see photo): “Wrap a scarf around the springs of a microphone scissor arm to prevent ‘boing!’ sounds from leaking into the mic when you move it.  Plus it looks totally rock ‘n’ roll, kind of 70s freeform FM music radio. And visual cues can inspire shifts in talk style.  An influence of 70s freeform FM music radio can be fun and useful in talk radio.”

Addendum: Keep table noises out of a mic on a table stand by folding a T-shirt twice and putting under the mic stand:

mic with t-shirt

Big Sound from a little guitar amp


file above (theme song for my upcoming second radio show “Michael Dean After Dark“) was done with this tiny 15-watt tube guitar amp, a Fender Squire SP-10 (get it for 34 dollars! HERE. or get it WITH THE GUITAR I USED, A FENDER SQUIRE! FOR $199, HERE!), I mic’ed it with a $55 NADY RSM-4 RIBBON MICROPHONE, get that HERE. The mic stand is from my Audio Technica 20 SERIES AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. I overdubbed a few tracks of the guitar playing the same thing, added another part, and mixed. Enjoy!


Best cheap mic for using with a video camera

Will vastly improve your audio. I used this on my last two DVDs. The Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone. $19 on Amazon.

You’ll also probably want to get a 3.5mm Stereo Male to 3.5mm Mono Female Adapter. It doesn’t produce stereo sound (you don’t WANT stereo sound for dialogue in a movie, even Hollywood records talking in mono), but it will record your mono mic as two tracks of mono, rather than one track, which will save you a lot of pasting and panning in the editing. Here’s one for five dollars.