Storm of … Oh My

Posted on January 3, 2015
Filed Under misc | 4 Comments

stormswordsMTI

I just got to the 60% point in Storm of Swords. Oh. Oh. Yes, I see what the Game of Thrones TV show watchers were on about. I think I have officially outrun the spoilers now on this 15 year old novel. I can read a little easier now.

But seriously, I am glad I made it this far knowing as little as I did. It was impossible to avoid mentions of The Red Wedding in pop culture but I did not see it coming as it did, even as I was getting upon it and completely primed for it. Well done, George R. R. Martin!

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New Years Eve

Posted on January 1, 2015
Filed Under life | Leave a Comment

I spent New Years Eve with a glass of cheap champagne reading Flash comic books and watching Georgia Tech win the Orange Bowl. It was one of the most pleasant ones I can remember.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for November 25 2014 – Detached from my Car

Posted on January 1, 2015
Filed Under audio | 8 Comments

In this episode, I talk about my lack of interest in American car culture or the Beach Boys; I discuss the nostalgia episode of the Digital Human podcast and why I hate nostalgic thinking; I talk about how I misplayed my hand in podcasting and how Serial points to my growing detachment from the mainstream of the medium; I talked about how I hope Reel Reviews publishes a new episode (and he did shortly after this!); I discuss how high production pushes me away from most mainstream podcasts; I float an idea for a side-project collecting references to “when podcasting sucked” and call for action; I talk about what a screw-up I am (and the posting of this episode is further proof).

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, November 25, 2014.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Holiday Willpower

Posted on December 30, 2014
Filed Under life | 25 Comments

I went the entirety of the holiday season, from the middle of December to present, without eating a single sugary snack. No cookies, no brownies, no fudge. No white chocolate covered Oreos, no candy canes, no truffles, no gingerbread, no candy. This doesn’t necessarily make for the most festive season, but this year I felt it necessary.

The list above wasn’t plucked from nowhere. I had plenty of access to each of those things, and it wasn’t my lack of desire for them that kept me away. I didn’t feel like losing a grip on what little progress I have made with my weight so I stuck to the plan. I stayed away from the sugar and largely minimized the damage. I’m right around where I was before we left town to visit family. I didn’t make any progress, but neither did I lose ground. For this time of year, I’ll take that as a big win.

Kubb For Xmas

Posted on December 22, 2014
Filed Under life | 9 Comments

So my brother and I did this over the holidays. I understand now what Garrick van Buren likes so much about the game. Also, my Kubb set received its baptism of rain and music. It is broken in now.

image

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Xmas Jade

Posted on December 22, 2014
Filed Under life | 4 Comments

My 12 year old niece last night: “Santa owes me 12 years of milk and cookies.”  Seems like someone is bummed out about learning a certain fact.

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Even The Cookies Know

Posted on December 20, 2014
Filed Under life | Leave a Comment

2014-12-19 17.20.21

Some things you can’t keep a secret, even from Chinese restaurants in Alabama.

Podcast Community

Posted on December 16, 2014
Filed Under podcasting | Leave a Comment

From Flickr, by Ken Murphy

From Flickr, by Ken Murphy

A little bit ago I decided to bail on the Podcast Community Facebook group. I have actually tried to leave it more than once and either I was re-added by someone or Facebook glitched and left me in. It’s not a rage quit, more of a “meh quit.” Probably 80% of the posts are questions about how to market, promote, manipulate iTunes, etc. In other words, topics I couldn’t care less about. I made the mistake of replying to a post last night and decided that the best it can offer is to waste my time. The information shared is largely irrelevant to me and it isn’t much fun otherwise. If engaging always feel like a mistake, why be there?

Any community picks up a group feeling, and it either resonates with you or it doesn’t. The feeling of this group doesn’t match how I feel about the medium. I don’t blame the community for this, I have my own little bubble that sits outside the larger sentiment of podcasting to this day. I try to avoid full on curmudgeon mode about it, but I feel like a member of an ever shrinking minority that cares most about indie podcasts (or at least doesn’t feel a need to dump on them.) I’m not a booster of the Darlings of the Machine, almost all of which either bore me or annoy me. I’m just guy trying to keep my ears full of the niche topics I care about. Luckily, there is plenty of stuff to keep that going if my 28-day-deep queue is any indicator.

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New Peakecast for XMas

Posted on December 12, 2014
Filed Under podcasting | 3 Comments

Photo by Sam Vignjevi?

Photo by Sam Vignjevi?

A new episode of the Peakecast has been published. This one is the recordings of a set of interviews Thomas Peake recorded in 1996 with members of the RockATeens. The band is playing Atlanta tomorrow, December 13th, so that helped drive the urgency of getting this published this week.

I use this podcast over and over again as a living example of what I see as the true value of the medium. Much is made of the blockbuster successes, the shows with hundreds of thousands of listeners. That it is viable to create this show which is targeted towards at most a few hundred people makes me happy. These shows can be appreciated by anyone who likes music or is interested in the topics but the core we aim for is the set of friends Thomas Peake left behind. I am glad to do this tiny bit of service to that community.

Or in the words of some great philosophers of the 20th century, “Turn it up!”

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Spoiler Zone

Posted on December 11, 2014
Filed Under tv | 8 Comments

I can see I am really going to have to try to power through the episodes of The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to get myself up to the mid-season finales as fast as possible to avoid spoilers. Or, I can read and hear the spoilers and promptly forget them because I am that guy from Memento.

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TED

Posted on December 10, 2014
Filed Under conferences | 8 Comments

“You’ve probably seen ‘s now-famous TED Talk”

I saw this statement in a post, and I can guarantee you that for whatever person you substitute, I have not. TED is yet another thing I am supposed to love without question but is an anti-brand to me. I can’t get excited about forced profundity or delighted that rich technocrats throw the commoners a few crumbs by letting us see the videos of these stilted, affected performances from their parties for themselves.

This is not unrelated to the notion that we are supposed to love high production value podcasts but with shows like This American Life, the production itself is what makes it unpalatable to me. I’ve had enough artifice and slickness, now I’m searching for the visceral, the joyful and the authentic.

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Actual Conversation

Posted on December 8, 2014
Filed Under life | 11 Comments

This actually just happened.

KMart lady: “Well, your name isn’t on the order so I really shouldn’t let you get it. I will this one time though.”

Me: “You have my personal guarantee that if I defraud KMart, it will be for something more substantial than a $10 child’s leotard.”

Not sure if I helped or not, but it was fun.

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OK No

Posted on December 5, 2014
Filed Under misc | 4 Comments

nerdistlogo

I know as a person of certain tribes I am supposed to squee with delight at the idea of OK Go and/or a new song/video from them. But I don’t. I am filled with a giant sense of apathy. I don’t hate what they do, but I just don’t care, not about the music, not about the videos, nothing.

I got to the point in my podcast queue where their most recent appearance on The Nerdist came up. I got through the intro and a couple of minutes into the show and decided that my listening time and attention would better be placed anywhere else. Instead I listened to Mike and Rich of the Flash-back podcast talk in excruciating detail about the first issue of the Flash: Season Zero comic book. I made the right call.

I didn’t delete the file. I’ll give it another shot on a different day and see if that changes my mood. Like all of these things, I don’t feel proud for my apathy. I just feel nothing.

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Xmas Songs

Posted on December 3, 2014
Filed Under misc | 15 Comments

I did a good job of avoiding Xmas songs until after Thanksgiving. I’m OK with most of the traditional ones but the modern rock holiday songs are mostly dreadful beyond belief. I would prefer to never hear McCartney’s “Simply Having …” again in my life. The Eagles, etc etc are all terrible. I don’t even like the Springsteen version of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”.

There are three modern holiday songs that always perk me up and I can listen to in whatever Target or Walgreens I find myself in without freaking out:

1) The Waitressess, “Xmas Wrappping”

2) Run DMC, “Xmas in Hollis”

3) Darlene Love, “Xmas Baby”

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Santa Faced Pancake

Posted on December 2, 2014
Filed Under life | 12 Comments

Santa Pancake

Around Halloween, IHOP had a promotion doing “scary face pancakes.” We never did go and get one, but that excited Punkin so we made some of them at home using chocolate chips, marshmallows and candy corn to make various features. Last night, we read the Curious George story where he cooks pancakes and she said she wanted them for breakfast. “Santa faced pancakes!” she specified.

I gave it my best shot. It certainly isn’t wonderful. I am learning that a single chocolate chip never works well for an eye so I either need a few for each eye or to get some oversized chips. Also, she insisted on using big flat sprinkles which is why Santa has random colored spots on his face. If I do this again, I also won’t use a whole cherry for the nose. It gives it too much height and makes the face cook funny. I’ll chop it in half so the whole thing has a lower profile when I flip it and cook it. The best part about it was the shape, which was pretty good considering I did the whole thing free pouring batter into approximately what I wanted.

On the upside, she basically ate the whole thing plus several strips of bacon so that is a new breakfast eating record or close to it. If we do it again, it should be a better likeness. Live and learn.

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Thanksgiving Observation

Posted on November 28, 2014
Filed Under life | 7 Comments

Thanksgiving turkey - with recipe

For the second year in a row, we got a smoked turkey from Little Pigs, a BBQ joint in Socastee. It was so tender that trying to move it from the pan to the platter made it mostly fall apart into shards of turkey meat. I picked up a few bits and ate them and at one point realized “I totally am eating this turkey’s butthole. And it is delicious!”

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Google Maps Fun

Posted on November 18, 2014
Filed Under podcasting | 1 Comment

slammer

On the October 26th episode of Penn’s Sunday School, the boys were discussing self-driving cars and then Penn’s route to work at the Rio. The couple of streets mentioned give a hint as to which part of town he lives in. It then took me about 90 seconds with Google Maps to locate his house armed with that much information and what little I know about his house and nearby environment.

No, I won’t give you the address. This is part of the fun. I don’t plan to do anything with the information, it was just an exercise. I have thought the same about Marc Maron when he talks about his neighborhood but I never got around to dinking with it for him. It’s amazing how little information it takes to bootstrap this kind of search nowadays. Be warned, citizens.

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Podcast Queue Update

Posted on November 12, 2014
Filed Under podcasting | 8 Comments

Reel Reviews Radio

Two notable things from today’s podcast listening:

1) You can tell I’m making progress when a single day’s listening includes three episodes of Nathan Lowell’s dailyish podcast tommw.

2) Holy crapping crap! New episode of Michael Geoghegan’s Reel Reviews Radio! This has been on my Xmas request list to the podcast world every year for the last 4 or 5 years and now I got it. Thank you, Michael! I do believe that he might have set the record for longest time between podcast episodes at 5 years, 10 months. Check the paperwork on that.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 30, 2014 – Mansplaining and TV

Posted on November 11, 2014
Filed Under audio | 6 Comments

In this episode, I wonder aloud if I “mansplain” to my friends; I discuss the difference in how men and women tout their own achievements; I discuss how the much maligned “political correctness” is just an implementation of Will Wheaton’s “Don’t be a dick” motto; I talk about how I can’t even watch television anymore; I talk about my growing “nerd apathy”; I talk about my inability to consume media and my mainstream media lockdown.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 30 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Punkin Head Fake of the Day

Posted on November 6, 2014
Filed Under life | 7 Comments

calavera

I had this exchange with my daughter the other day after having been to the Dia de los Muertos event at the Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.

Punkin: “Daddy, your calavera is pretty …”
Me: “Well thank you.”
Punkin: “Pretty crazy looking!”
Me: “Oh.”

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