Podcast Title Suggestion

Back to Work

I started listening to this episode of Back To Work. They have really been losing me lately with lots of talk about how hygienic hotel rooms are and other topics of percieved grossness in their environment. This might be overcounting because the subject bugs me enough that it seems like all the shows are about it, but I’d wager 75% of shows in the last few months have some of this talk. In this episode, sure enough by minute 3 they are discussing how people touch the lids of the disposable coffee cups. Come on, gentlemen, it’s time to reach deep inside to find a little bit of inner cowboy.

Because the show is teetering towards being more about that than helpful work topics, I think they should rename it. I’d suggest MAS*H, and they can even keep in the asterisks if they like. It stands for “Middle Aged Squeamishness Hour”. Seems right to me.

Quote From Life

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The minute or two before we went live with our video chat, Evo was moving his laptop to optimize the image. Paraphrased from my terrible and deteriorating memory, we had an exchange like this:

Evo: “How does this look?”
Me: “Dude, y’all are in an empty apartment. It’s going to look like a hostage video no matter what you do.”
Evo: “Fair enough.”

EGC Interview Saturday Jan 10th at 10:30 PM EST with Evo and Sheila

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I did an interview with Garrick van Buren via Google Hangout last week and had an absolute blast doing it. That interview will be published to the podcast as soon as I can get it together. I wanted to do it again,and give people a little more warning this time.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 10th of January I am going to do another Hangout with Evo Terra and Sheila Dee. They are leaving their home in Arizona, not for California like Loretta but for … nowhere and everywhere. They are going nomadic, starting in Europe and making it up as they go. We’ll talk about why, how, wtf? All the burning questions.

The hangout page can be found here. It will be broadcast live on YouTube. I will try to get the user interaction stuff working. I’m a relative novice to this but my guests know more than I do so maybe they can talk me through it. This will be at 10:30 PM EST, 0330 GMT and whatever that is in your local timezone. The recording will be available afterwards for those busy or asleep.

I’ll even put this little embed here. My understanding is this will show the conversation live when it is happening. We shall see.

New Podcast: Alphabeatical

AlphaBeatical_logo_600

I am a fan of the Ink Panthers podcast. I love the cartoonist hosts Mike Dawson, Alex Robinson and frequent guest-host Tony Consiglio. The show is on my list of ones that always made me happy to hear an epsiode. In February 2014 they sort-of closed up shop on the podcast, ceasing weekly production. However, I stayed subscribed and was pleased to find they still publish an episode every now and then.

I just got to the “Winter Special” from November, and in it they mention Alex’s other podcasts. He has long been a co-host of The Star Wars Minute, a killer concept where in each episode they discuss in depth 60 seconds of a Star Wars movie. The newer one is what I subscribed to, called Alphabeatical.

Alphabeatical is another OCD type completist podcast. In it, they discuss every Beatles song in alphabetical order, “from 12 to Y” as they say in the show. The shows are generally around 10 minutes an episode and come out two or three times a week. With the episodes relatively short, I just downloaded them all and am listening to a few every day before I get into my regular episodes. Eventually it will just shuffle into my standard chronological queue.

I am usually hard on multi-person podcasts, and even though they have four hosts I don’t mind the interactions. It is not a constant race to the next in-joke, and I like the differences in insight amongst the guys. Even more interesting is that there can be wildly varying opinions about the songs. Some of the guys didn’t like “A Day in the Life” so it is not as if they are hewing to common wisdom. It is waning for me as I age, but at one point I was enough of a nut to own the book of the Abbey Road studio logs which they refer to repeatedly in the podcast.

If you like Alex Robinson’s graphic novels and/or are a serious Beatles fan, try this show. You might like it.

Podcast Community

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.

New Peakecast for XMas

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!”

Google Maps Fun

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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.

Podcast Queue Update

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.

Rock and Roll Twitter

Steve Conte NYC

Yesterday was a big day in my intersection of rock and roll and Twitter. First, I listened to Rock and Roll Geek Show episode in which he did a track by track of the Steve Conte NYC album. I really loved that episode and the album. It is now my all-time favorite of his track by tracks. My previous favorite was the one where he and Berton Averre went over Get the Knack.

Funnily enough, I tweeted to Steve Conte yesterday and he retweeted it.

I think that is pretty cool that I got a retweet from a New York Doll. True he is not an original Doll, but 60% of them have passed on so I’ll take what I can get. This album is truly terrific. It is good solid American rock and roll, and I highly recommend it. Go to the Amazon MP3 page for it and just do the preview. A few seconds of each song will be enough to let you know if you want it. (Spoiler alert: you will.) Steve Conte, you rock – figuratively and literally.

Back To Work Squeamishness

Back to Work

I am a listener of Back to Work on the 5 by 5 network with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. In general I enjoy the show and sometimes get some real profound insights from it. However, they have a recurring topic on which they lose me. It feels in recent episodes they spend a lot of time talking squeamishly about the dirtiness of environments. They had multiple episodes talking about what they will and will not do, will and will not touch in hotel rooms. On episode #184, the one I am listening to right now, they are talking about public bathrooms.

I am leaning hard towards just hitting skip anytime this kind of topic comes up. This may be that fatherhood has inured me to grossness, although both of these gentlemen are fathers of similarly aged children. I know things are gross in my environment. My personal goal is to avoid the relatively-rare health and life threatening situations and to actively ignore everything else. Gross but benign – put it out of my head. Life is too short to think about this too much, especially when you consider the ubiquity of the things that trouble them.

Mileage may vary. Cataloging neuroses is like talking about dreams: yours seem important and everyone else’s are tedious.

Open Loop Podcast

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?

A New Podcast Goldrush?

Gold Rush - Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

I have noticed an increase in the number of people asking in various podcasting fora about how to make money in podcasts, the best way to get a large audience fast and questions of that ilk. Is this something we can thank Podcast Movement for? I don’t know an enormous amount about that conference but it seems in line with the focus as I understand it.

I won’t claim my focus is better or worse than any others, but I will say it is different than that. It’s a tricky thing to maintain and express my indifference towards those topics without contempt. I understand some people do care and some might even need to care because they are under different economic conditions than I am. Still, it gets hard to reconcile the big tent sometimes when I feel like I am in the wrong one.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 10, 2013 – “My Life in Fandom: Issue #9”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 10, 2013. This episode is about our fanzine in Augusta Georgia in the 1980s (which was technically an APA).

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.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for April 10, 2013 – “Forgetting History”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, April 10, 2013. This episode is again one recorded in my car. I talk about crashing my laptop, failing to organize a conference, my poor sleeping habits, recording podcasts I never publish. In a now resolved controversy, I discuss the then big controversy about the digital censorship of the Saga comic book, and finish up talking a little about podcasting history and revisionism.

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 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Endings

Over the course of this summer through the last week, a number of podcasts I subscribe to have come to an end. In a way, these announced endings are relatively rare. It seems more common that people just trail off their production schedule and at some point they podfade without another episode being published. Here are the ones from my list, in no particular order.

I was a listener to several of the Poker Road shows, but I came very late in the game to Two Jacks in the Hole. Unlike all the other shows on that network, this was not poker related in content but a purely comedic show hosted by guys who hosted other shows on the network. That show came to an end, rebranded itself as Huff and Stapes off the network, joined up with the Toad Hop Network and then over the summer came to a finale. Scott Huff moved to New York and they decided that the show wouldn’t be the same over Skype so they executed the “Thank you, good night” maneuver. It was a shame, I really enjoyed this show and at times was brought to hysterics by it.


This is not strictly a podcast, but it fits with the general theme so what the heck. I was a reader of the Cerebus comic book for much of its run, although I still have never finished it. (I read Rick’s Story this year and am slowly working through the rest of the series.) Around the time the baby was born I discovered Cerebus TV, which was an odd duck of a new media product. It wasn’t on demand or downloadable, but streamed on an endless loop so you either started in the middle or as I did, turned the sound down and waited for it to loop back around to the beginning. It was mostly Dave Sim in his house addressing the camera, sometimes in monologues, sometimes while drawing. It also included interview segments done by some of the producers and other odd bits. I generally enjoyed the show although found it shocking that such a staunchly Canadian man could do the absolute worst Bob and Doug Mackenzie impression I’ve ever heard.


I had also been reading his post-Cerebus comic series glamourpuss, also an odd duck. It was a comic that was half parody of fashion magazines (including beautfully rendered ultra-realistic drawings) and half an exploration of the history of photo-realistic cartooning. In issue 26 is an editorial in which Sim discusses how he his shutting down glamourpuss as a series, his Cerebus Archive series and Cerebus TV. Apparently he’s going into career suicide mode, which is sad for such a talented individual. I intereviewed him when I was 17 years old at one of the early HeroesCons and he couldn’t have been nicer about it. I hope that his life and career do not go into worst case mode. I believe that some or all of the Cerebus TV episodes are going to be put into some purchasable form and I’l try to support those if the pricing structure is at all realistic. I went a while without watching Cerebus TV and now I don’t get to go back. I always enjoyed catching the first run when possible, and I liked it when in the intro he said “It’s 10 PM on Friday in Kitchener Ontario” and I actually was watching Friday at 10 PM. It’s the little things.

I became a fan of Mike Dawson in a roundabout fashion. First I heard him interviewed on Indie Spinner Rack about his graphic novel Freddie & Me , then later heard about him hosting an interview podcast series for The Comics Journal called TCJ Talkies. I subscribed to that, and later to his personal podcast with Alex Robinson the Ink Panthers show. From there, I bought several of his graphic novels and I quite liked all of his output in all of these media. Earlier this year, with a busy schedule and a second child on the way Dawson decided to cease production of the TCJ Talkies show. I certainly understand, having shut down an interview show myself I know the dynamic. The 30 – 90 minutes in conversation are the best but all the preparation ahead of time and post-production are the worst. He found he didn’t have time to devote to all of that, his children and his cartooning so this is the bit that had to give. I understand, but still miss the show.

The most recent of these shows, just announced in the last week or so, is the end of Ed Champion’s Bat Segundo Show. I’ve been a listener for a long time, and a (very) occasional correspondent with Mr. Champion. I’ll admit that I don’t listen to every episode of this show because his tastes are more rarified and intellectual than mine. I keep an eye out and listen to the specific shows with guests with whom I’m familiar and like a lot of those. In particular I’ve liked a lot of his shows with cartoonists. His conversations with Alison Bechdel were terrific and one of his last episodes is with Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. I’m looking forward to that as a great capper to almost 500 episodes of insanely well researched and literate talk. As with Dawson, I completely understand why he found the need to do so. Champion does so much research that I can’t even fathom the hours these 500 shows required of him. I wish him luck in his future endeavors and thank him for all his great work in the past.


New Episode of Pull Box Picks

The newest episode of the show I do for Derek Coward’s The Reader Feed has been posted. It is a Pull Box Picks in which I discuss the series Saga from Image Comics. Summary: I love it! It’s one of my favorites currently being published.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether I should add those episodes to this feed. Generally I support keeping feeds as granular as possible. If need be, people can subscribe to more than one. However, this particular episode and this particular comic I really like, so I’m just adding it. I’m still undecided on any future episodes, but this one will be in the feed.

Flattr and Free Money For You

This blog has been been Flattr enabled for close to two years. I still think Flattr is a great idea and I’d love to see it get wider adoption, both from the content creator side as well as the consumer let-me-give-you-money side. Thanks to the fine folks at Flattr, there is a scheme to help prime the pump and get the idea out there. You can follow the above link to find out more about it, or just go to Flattr directly. It’s basically a micropayment scheme that hides the micropayments from you as if it were a Digg/Reddit liking scheme and is pretty darn clever.

I am pleased to be able to offer free money to the first 100 people who respond to this offer. Email me at dave@evilgeniuschronicles.org and let me know you want the free money, and they will send you a voucher code that will add 4 (that’s Euros, Americans) to your account. This is not a random amount, it’s two even months of their minimum contribution. It would be great if you could throw me a click or two, but it is entirely not compulsory. Do what you want, friends. It’s your money, free and clear. Just be aware it might be a few days because I’m batching together emails. If you don’t get the voucher immediately don’t worry, it’s my fault not theirs.

The one podcast in my listening list that I know is Flattr enabled is Thomas Gideon’s The Command Line. It would be great if you could throw him a click or two as well, but again, your money. Just for fun, I believe I’ll start collecting together a wiki type podcast directory for those who do have Flattr on them. Because of the current state of critical mass it can be a challenge to find stuff to click on, so I’ll see if I can’t help a little with that. I do encourage bloggers and podcasters to sign up and put the badge on your site. Let’s see if we can’t spread some money around to each other.

An Interview with Me

A few months back this was posted but in the low blogging summer of 2011 I forgot to ever post it. Paul Fischer of the Balticon Podcast interviewed me there a few years ago, and it was recently posted. We talk a lot about life engineering, optimizing on happiness, new media and other fun stuff. Give it a listen!

“There Are Too Many Skeptic Podcasts”

I’m catching up on blogging things from the past. A few months ago I heard the episode of Skepticality that was the audio of Tim Farley’s presentation from Skepticamp 2011 in Atlanta. It was entitled “Please Don’t Start Another Blog or Podcast!” I like Tim Farley’s stuff on Skepticality, but I’m going to say right up front, I think the entirety of the sentiment and content of his presentation was pure assholery.

The basic gist of his talk was that there are already lots of online skeptical venues, many blogs and podcasts and websites so you, newly minted skeptic with enthusiasm, you should not start another one. Because there are too many. Bullshit. I’ve been hearing this kind of sentiment for as long as I’ve been involved in the blogosphere. When I went to Bloggercon in Palo Alto in 2004, people were making that kind of statement, that there were “too many blogs.”

There is a cruelty inherent in this kind of statement. It says that there is a time period that one can join the party and after than that, you are shut out. Sorry kid, you should have been involved in 2005 and then you could have a skeptic podcast but because you missed it we don’t need you. Sorry, person who wants to blog but we filled all those positions in 2002.

These stances are clearly nonsense on the face of it and driven by the fallacy of full consumption. That is to say – any amount of production more than I personally can consume is excess. This is a selfish and solipsistic view and is inconsistently applied. People will say there are too many podcasts on topic X because there are more than they can listen to, but they never say “There are too many television shows being produced” or “Too many books being published.” These rules only apply to the hoi polloi and their citizen media, not the serious professionals doing serious work.

I’m on record as saying there are never too many of any of these things. There are not too many blogs, not too many podcasts, not too many skeptic podcasts, not too many comic book podcasts, not too many stand up comedian podcasts or any sort of category you can come up with. Back at Bloggercon 2004, I made the statement that “I don’t think there are too many blogs if there are ten billion in the world, one for every single person and some people having a few. I’m not required to read any more than the ones I care about, which is all anyone is asked.”

I’m sure Tim Farley has good intentions with his presentation and has the goal of making the skeptical community a more efficient entity. However, the methodology he is using to state that is downright harmful. Telling people you can’t get involved in the way that excites you because other people are already excited and doing that is not an effective motivational message. Creating a class system where the early adopters get to do whatever they please and the late comers are relegated to helper roles is not cool, and is the opposite of everything I believe about citizen media.

If you care, create. If your creation isn’t that good, it will find it’s own level. More importantly, as you log the flight time it will get better. Telling people not to start is telling them not to log that flight time, not improve, not develop skill sets. It is stunting tomorrow’s superstar creators because today has superstars. It is short-sighted, not fun, not cool and a terrible message for any kind of community.