Paule Castro: A Techie With A Twisted Sense of Humor | TheUnion.com

Paule Castro: A Techie With A Twisted Sense of Humor

Special to Prospector

That darn Paule Castro.

One of the co-hosts of the KVMR 89.5 FM biweekly series, "Zen Tech," he and good friend Glenn Far (they met through KVMR, duh) wanted to invent a computer and technology series that wouldn't frighten the so-called Luddites away.

And that was the birth of a long-running radio series now in its teens on alternate Wednesdays. Their next show is Wednesday, April 26 (1 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming)

"We gave it the name 'Zen Tech' because we didn't want to scare people with the technology," recalls Castro. "We wanted to give it a touchy, feely kind of name."

So they did.

"It's kind of (NPR classic series) Car Talk meets Al Stahler (KVMR's veteran science radio series host)", according to Castro.

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QUESTION & ANSWER

The crazed, well, sometimes, questions they take often get answered from the obvious (answer: "is your computer plugged in?") to the oblivious ("It's not that it's not working, you're operating someone else's by mistake").

"The show is governed first by current news and trends," notes Castro, "and then by the callers."

Castro took KVMR's training course at an opportune time. It was 1999, and the station was adding a second hour of mid-day talk and public affairs programming.

Thus, "Zen Tech" was born, with what Castro says is a "you can't possibly take this stuff seriously" attitude.

In fact, his twisted sense of humor is the stuff legends are made of.

THAT VOICE & ACCENT

And, yes, Paule admits he has a very recognizable voice — he's British, after all. From the Hastings area in southeast England.

"I grew up with the BBC because there was no such thing as regional or community radio, but there was pirate radio."

He was drawn to radio drama and the eclectic rock music sounds he heard at the time.

"And I've always been obsessed with the technology," says Castro, "not only is it fun, but it's useful."

He left England at age 21 and traveled around for some 12 years before coming to the States in 1991.

"I ended up at a ski resort," Paule beams. "I drove the snow cats, made sure the well pump and fire alarm were working, took care of the generator."

Not exactly high tech, but sorta.

"And it wasn't technology that brought me here (Nevada County), it was a woman," now his ex-wife. "I must mean business though because I bought a home here five years ago."

But that sense of humor that just makes people smile before Paule can even open his mouth?

"Brits come with one of those built in," he says.

His?

Pretty simple. "Cynicism dressed up as diplomacy."

"It didn't come from Monty Python," explains Castro. "We all grew up with that sense of humor."

SELFIE INVENTOR?

Don't get him started.

"Did you know I took the very first selfie? I think it was back in, oh, 1993."

"You can look it up. Or not."

Uh-oh…

"And I'm solely responsible for the first 200 emoticons, batteries and God.."

Okay, okay, simmer down.

Castro runs his own computer and technology consulting business but says the Nevada City radio station is "the only regular thing I've done."

"I don't like belonging to groups and I don't like routines," Paule says with a smile. "KVMR got me on both fronts."

Whew.

BEER & BEST OF HEALTH

The next episode of "The Beer Show" is Friday noon (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), and co-host Wes Robertson will be reporting live from a brew pub in Austin, Texas.

The show will be followed, either ironically or symbolically, by "Best of Health" with Arly Helm at 1 p.m.

Here's to your best of health.

KVMRx

Shhh. Keep it pretty quiet for now, since they're still testing everything.

But the DJs on KVMR's new indie pop stream — kvmrx.org — have got some pretty far out names.

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City's volunteer-driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org. Complete KVMR schedule available at the station's website, http://www.kvmr.org.The station features an easy-to-use archive of all music shows for two weeks and talk shows for two months at archive.kvmr.org

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