Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 27 2015. This is my interview with Garrick van Buren about his book Rebuilding Blocks. It is a fascinating book that combines personal anecdotes with a business and self-help book as well as a strategy guide for the game of Kubb.
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One of the things I picked up from Jamie and Garrick talking nerd stuff on this episode of the Open Loop podcast was a reference to the open source project Piwik. Despite this thing having millions of downloads, I had never heard of it.
Basically, it is an open source version of Google Analytics that you can self-host. I have it running on this blog now, and it is pretty cool. Even better, via the WP-Piwik plugin, you can see the stats directly on your WordPress dashboard page.
I had a problem where I thought the thing wasn’t working for a while. I saw the stats on my dashboard but not going directly to my Piwik installation. It wasn’t until I dug around that I discovered that I had five entries for this blog, four of which were not receiving stats. Switching it to “Show all sites” then brought in everything I wanted. I am not sure exactly how the other four got created, but that issue is resolved now. It’s a neat little package and fits squarely in my goal lately of bringing more control in house. I like it. Thanks, Jamie and Garrick!
I had occasion to correspond with Garrick van Buren. I had made a post a while back that I missed his First Crack podcast. He focussed on people and businesses local to him, and they were always interesting. When my daughter was born I went back to look up the nut who had the Daddyator workout, where you do resistance training with your child as the weights. Sadly, it was offline by the time I needed it. He interviewed coffee people, brewers, the people who were opening an artisanal peanut butter store at the Mall of America. It was nuts in the best way.
He pointed me to his newer – if not new – podcast Open Loop. I listened to all nine episodes of it. The thing about it, he and his cohost Jamie talk beer, technology, programming but more than anything else, they talk Kubb. I had no idea what this was until I looked it up.
Now, having heard them and read up on the subject, I want to play the damn game. It seems like a great combination of Jarts, croquet and bocce. You have to be able to throw accurately to make anything happen, but there is a strategy at play. Every decision that you make has immediate repercussions, and trying and failing at certain bits gives your opponents a big advantage over you. It seems like so much fun I want to play it. Jamie expressed his disdain for playing it on the sand and expressed snow as his preferred field. I think it would be a truly awesome beach game.
Jamie runs the Planet Kubb website, which has lots of information about the game and various teams. I found an Instructable for a simple way to create a set out of a few lengths of dowel and 4X4s. I happen to be sitting in a building with a table saw downstairs right now, so that would be doable. Grand Strand people, who is up for some Kubb with me?