Category Archives: JoCoCruiseCrazy

I’m on a boat: Welcome your guest bloggers!

I’m on a boat! Or, maybe I’m on my way to being on a boat, or I have recently gotten off a boat, or I suppose I was on a boat at sometime in the past. (Boy, covering all the timelines is a lot of work, you guys. I see the benefits of just leaving things in a superposition… or, at least, I think about seeing them. I don’t want to observe them and ruin a perfectly good superposition.)

So.

Last year, while I was on JoCo Cruise Crazy 2: Cruise Harder, I programmed something from my archives to publish once a day. You know, for kids. Well, this year, I didn’t have the time to search for and curate posts, so I’m doing something a little different: I invited some of my friends to take over my blog while I’m gone. They’ve been instructed to post whatever they want as frequently or infrequently as they want, and I’d like to introduce you to them now.

Meet Will Hindmarch. Will is a writer, graphic artist, game designer, and better at all of these things than he gives himself credit for. If you’ve ever played a game from White Wolf, you’ve probably played something Will put his filthy hands all over. If you’ve played the Fiasco playset we played on Tabletop, you’ve played something that Will and I wrote together. If you’ve read Memories of the Future Volume 1, you’ve seen a cover that Will designed. He blogs at wordstudio.net and is @wordwill on the twitters.

Meet Shane Nickerson. I’ve known Shane for mumblecough years, ever since we did shows together at the ACME Comedy Theater. Shane is the executive producer of Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness. Shane is one of the funniest people I know, and that’s saying something. He’s also an incredible father to three kids, never uses Comic Sans, and has paid me off exactly the right number of times in poker games. Shane blogs at nickerblog.com and is @ShaneNickerson on the twitters.

Meet Stepto. Stepto is probably best known as the leader of The Steptos, and as the former banhammer at Xbox Live. Stepto is a wonderful, thoughtful writer, and once pulled a man’s finger in Reno just to watch him fart. He’s the author of A Microsoft Life, and just released a comedy album called A Geekster’s Paradise. He blogs at stepto.com and is @stepto on the Steptos.

Please welcome this team of talented, funny, smart, and interesting people to WWdN, and make them feel at home. I’ll expect a full report when I get home from my trip, and don’t even try to replace the fish if they die. I’ll know.

JCCC2: in which Settlers of Catan is played on a boat

The boat rocked as gently as a giant boat can rock when it's pushing 19 knots. A fresh breeze made small white caps in the sea. The sun — the Nerd's natural enemy — was directly above us in a cloudless sky.

I sat with Anne on the aft pool deck of the Westerdam, my feet floating in the water.

"It's amazing how just putting my feet in the water cools me down," I said. "I wish my heat sinks in Mechwarrior had worked this well."

She gave me a familiar look that indicated I'd traded English for a foreign language without warning.

"It's an old game I used to play all the time. Forget it"

She gave me a familiar look that indicated she'd already forgotten it.

Seamonkey Matt walked past us on the deck. A few days earlier, he'd asked me if I was interested in playing Settlers of Catan1 with him before the cruise was over. I told him that I was, but I didn't want to be inside when it was beautiful outside, and I didn't know if I'd have time. It turned out that, at this moment, I had time, and we were already outside where it was beautiful.

"Hey, Matt!" I called out, "want to have that game of Settlers now?"

"Yeah," he said. "I'll go grab it from the game room."

Aside: One of the greatest things about this cruise was the 24 hour game room, stocked with a library of games brought by Sea Monkeys that rivaled or exceeded the libraries I've seen at some conventions dedicated to gaming. I'm sure pictures of this game room will be published soon, and when you see it you will understand why I loved going in there so much. It was like Sea Monkey Headquarters, and there were always people playing games down there, having a fantastic time.

At one point, some Snorks2 attempted to invade the room, so a sign had to be set up announcing that it was a "Private Function." This sign was immediately anagrammed into several different phrases, my favorite ones involving Pirates.

A few minutes later, Matt returned with Settlers in hand. We found a table that was protected from the sun, and began looking for group. I quickly found my son, Ryan, and asked him to play with us.

"I've never played Settlers," he said.

"Yes you have. We played this all the time when you were little. You'll remember as soon as you see the board."

As we began to put the board together he said, "Oh, I remember this. Wood for sheep!" 

"Yep, that's the one."

We had three players and wanted a fourth. I looked up from the table and saw that my friend Stepto — formerly known as The Banhammer of Xbox Live — was passing by.

"Stepto! Want to play Settlers with us?"

"Sure!" He said.

We finished setting up the board, placed our initial settlements, and began the game. Like all Settlers games, the first few rounds involved many fruitless efforts to acquire wood and brick, but eventually we settled into a pretty good game. Stepto and Ryan began competing for the longest road, and Sea Monkey Matt and I began a minigame involving screwing each other relentlessly with the Robber.

After about 40 minutes of play, we were all separated by two points, with Sea Monkey Matt in the lead. Stepto had run his road into a circle, and Ryan was ruthlessly chipping away, one segment at a time, until he achieved and kept the longest road.

It was Ryan's turn, and he rolled a seven, which allowed him to move the robber. Stepto and Matt had cities on one of the elevens, which I think made Ore. Ryan wanted to screw Stepto and steal from Matt, so it was a logical place to move the Robber. Ryan moved the Robber, stole a resource from Matt, and then traded that resource back to Matt for whatever it was that he actually wanted.

"I'm proud of your evil, my son," I may have said, in a Darth Vader voice.3 

The dice were passed to me, and I rolled an eleven. I should point out that not a lot of elevens had been rolled, because it is only rolled 5.56% of the time.4

"Oh, come on!" Matt said.

"Seriously?!" Stepto said.

"It sucks to be you guys," I said. "I have Sheep for Ore… anyone want to trade me Sheep for Ore?" I took an Evil Wheaton Pause™. "Oh, I'm sorry, it turns out nobody has Ore but me right now, so I guess I'll just trade it to the box for Wheat."

"It's ironic that I don't have any Wheat at all," Ryan said, "Considering our name and all."

I smiled. Ryan doesn't know it, but when he calls me his father, or makes any reference to being proud of his name — he changed his name to Wheaton when I adopted him — I get something in both of my eyes, probably from my heart growing three sizes and pushing leaky emotion fluid out of them.

I passed the dice to Stepto. "It is your turn, sir," I said with a flourish for some reason.

Stepto rolled an eleven.

Before any of us could say or do anything, Sea Monkey Matt held his hands up to the heavens, looked across the table at Ryan, and shouted, "WHEEEEAAAAAATTTTOOONNN!!!!"

A very small group of Sea Monkeys had gathered around us, and were watching us play. They all laughed. Ryan laughed. I laughed. Stepto laughed.

I said, "that was awesome. I hear that reference all the time, but that's the first time I've heard it in reference to a different Wheaton than me, and in context, no less."

I high-fived Ryan. "The world needs more Evil Wheaton," I said.

"I'm working on it," Ryan said.

The game ended shortly after that. I got stuck at nine points, and Matt finally got his tenth point one round before I could catch him.

I was glad that he won the game. Matt didn't know it, but by making that reference, in an entirely appropriate context, to my son who took my name, was the highlight of the entire game for me. It was easily one of my top five awesome moments on the whole cruise, and maybe even number one.

 

1. The Settlers of Catan is a fantastic German-style boardgame, and it is our generation's Monopoly. If you haven't played it, I can't recommend it enough. In addition to the traditional tabletop version of the game, it's on iPad, iPhone, Android, Xbox Live, and PSN.

2. Our code name for the angry, entitled, complaining octogenarians who meandered all over the boat.

3. This didn't really happen, but wouldn't it have been awesome if it had? Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, Writers.

4. Pushes glasses up.

“It’s Like Geek Summer Camp for Adults.”

Our second day was spent at sea, which would normally mean it's time to sleep in… but we had a Q&A panel at 9:30am (6:30am, according my my jet lagged brain) so I was up nice and early (damn early… too early… according to my brain) to make it there on time.

I'd guess that about 1/4 of the Seamonkey population came out to interrogate all of the performers, and we had as much fun as we did last year. As expected, The Hodgman and the F. Tompkins were hilarious.

After the Q&A… I can't remember what I did. But it's safe to assume that I spent the remainder of the day sitting by the aft pool, reading and sunning myself, and making sure that the inside of the pirate ship still worked.

You know, I realized that I didn't make notes for every day, because I was too busy just enjoying every day. I guess that's why I don't have lots of video of my kids when they were little, because it was more important to me to be there than behind a camera.

So let's just wrap this up like this: The cruise was amazing. Anne observed that it's like Geek Summer Camp for Adults, and I was as impressed by her observation as I was jealous that I didn't make it first. By the end of the cruise, I was looking forward to the next cruise with the same excitement and "is it time to go yet?" excitement that, until last week, had been reserved exclusively for PAX.

Every single one of the shows was great to watch, but it was the "second stage" stuff: the Karaoke, the other Karaoke, the Open Mic, the Joseph Scrimshaw Show, and the two DJ Flans dance parties that really blew me away. These events were more intimate than the big stage shows, and felt like they were more about all of us doing a thing together than they were about us enjoying watching a thing together. If there's one reason everyone should go on a JoCoCruiseCrazy (seriously, enough of us so we can get a whole boat without any Snorks to complain at us about things), that's it.

I'm sure there are other stories to tell about the cruise, but I'm drawing a blank. If there's something from our voyage that you'd like me to write about, leave a comment and I'll see what shakes out of my brain, which is convinced that it's still on the boat.

JCCC2: in which I “sing” Karaoke on a boat.

So this is a thing that happened.

It has everything Karaoke should traditionally have: not-very-good singing, not-very-good dancing, fucking up of lyrics, and the obligatory small glass of magic juice* responsible for the entire thing.

Enjoy… if you dare:

On our performer mailing list, John Hodgman kept saying that he was going to turn this into a Murder Cruise… none of us believed him, but I can see that he was successful, because I just murdered that poor song. Well played, Hodgman. Well played indeed, sir.

Very special thinks to KatyHaile for sharing my shame with the world, and preserving it for future generations.

*A type of "sauce" if you will.

The boat is still moving, even though I am not on it. But there was music when I was on the boat.

I've gotten much worse at writing relevant titles since an hour ago. Oh well, circle of life.*

Previously, on Battlestar Galactica my blog: 

Holland America goes to this private island in the Bahamas that is everything you'd expect from a private beach in the Caribbean, if you were expecting a beautiful white crescent beach with a giant pirate ship on it, and inside the pirate ship is a bar.

We spent the day playing Frisbee and Ball on the beach, with occasional breaks to visit the pirate ship.

"This is the best in the world," I said to Ryan while we were swimming in the ocean. In February.

"Yeah, it totally doesn't suck," he said.

And now, the exciting conclusion to that day…

We swam back to shore and traded the Frisbee for Ball. Ball is what we call this sort of smooshy ball Anne and I bought when we were in Hawaii last year. It's slightly bigger than the palm of your hand, waterproof, and skips off the water when you throw it. I don't know why it's as much fun to play with it as it is, but holy crap Ball is probably the best thing you can do on the beach that doesn't risk getting sand into your neither regions.

After hours of Frisbee and Ball (where we were joined by, at one point, seven or so Seamonkeys), it was time to get back on the boat and set sail for Aruba. We bid the beautiful beach a fond farewell, and rode a tender back to the ship. Which I prefer to call a boat, because it really annoys people who fancy themselves nauticalists, which is a word I just made up to annoy them further.

When we got back on the boat, we cleaned ourselves up and headed into the main theater, to enjoy the Paul and Storm musical programme, featuring the musical music of popular musicians Paul and Storm.

They performed their newest songs, which as it turns out are pleas to creators of popular culture named George.

BEHOLD THIS VIDEO THAT IS NOT FROM THE CRUISE BECAUSE NOBODY HAS UPLOADED ANY YET, BUT FEATURES A SONG CALLED THANKSGIVING THAT YOU WILL ENJOY!

(Fun fact: the Han Solo ice cube tray Storm talked about was bought for me, and given to me as a gift. It's currently filled with frozen water in my freezer.)

AND ALSO ENJOY THIS ONE BECAUSE I COMMAND IT!

Ahhh. Wasn't that nice? Some of the great works from canon were performed. Panties were thrown. Then, it was time for a song about pirates! Featuring the additional vocals of me! And a lot of cover band jokes! ARRRR!

WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO SEE IT HERE? SORRY IT CAN'T HAPPEN COME ON NERDS GET ON THIS SHIT ALREADY IT'S BEEN TWO DAYS MY GOD AHHH.

Okay, after Paul and Storm and a little bit of me, there was a brief intermission, and then we had our first actual rock performance by an authentic rock and roll musician: Chris Collingwood, who some of you may know as the guy from Fountains of Wayne, performed a set for all of us. He was super nervous about not being relevant to our interests (I know, right? I don't know why he thought that, but there you go) but he was amazing. And then Paul and Storm got to sing Stacy's Mom with him, which was pretty freaking awesome.

BEHOLD THE VIDEO FOR THAT SONG!

Neat!

All kidding and excessive use of all caps aside, Chris was just amazing. He was kind to me and my family, his set was beautiful and fun to listen to, and if I hadn't already been a huge fan of his band (because I was introduced to Fountains of Wayne by John Kovalic, by the way, which is interesting and name-droppy) I would have become a fan for life.

He closed his set with Hey Julie, which is my favourite** Fountains of Wayne song. 

"Anyone who wants to sing backup with me can come up on stage right now," he said.

This wave of increduility washed over the audience. "Really?" A girl near us said.

A few people — about a dozen, I guess — found their courage and made their way to the stage, where they sang with him.

The wonderful thing about this, that made me smile so much my face was in danger of splitting apart like I was in some kind of Japanese horror movie, was seeing the girl who'd said "Really?" who was probably around my sons' age, singing and dancing and being the physical embodiment of pure joy. It was obvious that she loved this song, knew all the words, and loved getting to sing it on stage with the guy who wrote it. Maybe I'm just a little too sentimental, but seeing how joyful she was made me #FuriouslyHappy, and even more grateful to be part of the cruise than I already was.

I mean, think about this for a moment: where else could you see a real rock and roll musician perform music you love and then invite you onstage to sing with him?

It turns out that this was just the beginning of the awesome things that were going to happen in this theater, and on this boat, for the next seven days and six romantic nights.

More later…

*If you're looking for footnotes to make sense, you've come to the wrong place, Chachi.

**That's for you, Canadians. I love you.

I am no longer on a boat. This is a thing that happened when I was on a boat.

I'm getting better at writing titles that have something to do with the content of the post, I think, and for that I am going to celebrate with a quick spin in my chair.

WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, here's something that happened when I was on a boat. Well, not when I was actually on the boat, but I could see the boat when this happened so…

Okay, fine. I haven't gotten as good at titles as I thought. THERE! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

Day One: Half Moon Cay

Holland America goes to this private island in the Bahamas that is everything you'd expect from a private beach in the Caribbean, if you were expecting a beautiful white crescent beach with a giant pirate ship on it, and inside the pirate ship is a bar.

We spent the day playing Frisbee and Ball on the beach, with occasional breaks to visit the pirate ship.

"This is the best in the world," I said to Ryan while we were swimming in the ocean. In February.

"Yeah, it totally doesn't suck," he said.

I reached up to catch the Frisbee that Nolan had thrown to us. It skipped off my fingertips and floated on the surface a few feet away. While I swam over to pick it up I said, "In fact, I believe that this has been scientifically proved to not suck." 

"Are you sure?" 

I threw the Frisbee back to Nolan, who caught it behind his back.

"Yes. My control for this test was sitting inside at home last week because it was too cold to go outside and do anything."

"Have you published this report?" He asked.

I hollered to a Seamonkey* who was nearby, "This totally doesn't suck!"

"You got that right!" He hollered back.

"See? Published and peer-reviewed."

"Seems legit," Ryan said.

More later…

*Passengers on JoCoCruseCrazy are called Seamonkeys. For science. You monster.

I’m on a boat: Stupid Cell Phone Videos

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.

Today, I'm linking to the first stupid cellphone videos I did. If you're as easily amused as I am, you can watch them all on my YouTube channel.

We Can't Rewind, We've Gone Too Far

Originally published September 2010.

I'm home for a few days before I go back to Vancouver to finish out the season on Eureka. It's nice to sleep in my own bed, actually see my family, and work in my actual office, instead of sitting at a desk in a hotel.

Doctor Parrish was very heavy in the last episode I shot, so I worked 5 of 6 days, an average of 14 hours each day. It was exhausting work, but I loved every second of it. I wish I could get into the details of it, but that is right in the middle of Spoilertown, so I'll just say that it was a lot of fun, and I got to do a lot of origami.

There's this saying, possibly apocryphal, that actors work for free and get paid to wait. One of my days last week, I was called to the studio early, and then ended up not working for about seven hours. This sometimes happens when the scene before me takes longer than anyone expected, or it turns out that they're not going to see me in the background of a shot like they thought. Rookie actors tend to bitch about this sort of thing, but salty veterans like me have learned to be grateful for the job, appreciate that I'm getting paid to wait, and pack a Bag of holding that's filled with books and games and diversions. (Back in the old days, I'd bring tons of stuff, but now I just bring my iPad and a book.)

On this particular day, I played the hell out of Plants Vs. Zombies HD, re-read Metatropolis, spent some time looking for the end of the Internet, and actually started to get bored.

Once I started to get bored, my brain spit out an idea, that went something like this: "Hey, your cell phone has a video camera on it. You should make stupid videos with it, and upload them to YouTube!"

This sounded like a brilliantly stupid idea, so I did as my brain commanded, producing this:

I told Twitter about it, and there was much rejoicing. A few hours later, I did this:

Then I was finally called to set, where I was no longer bored, and my cretive energy was directed into the very useful and productive task of bringing Doctor Parrish to life.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my stupid videos had been viewed about 7,000 times. "See, we're entertaining more people than just ourselves," my brain said, "let's make more stupid cell phone videos!"

"Yes, sir, Mister Brain," I said. I enlisted the help of some friends, and made this:

I don't know how long this will last, but it's easy, it's amusing to me, and it's a lot of stupid fun, so I'll keep doing it until I lose interest or get distracted and chase a red balloon down the street. If you want to see these stupid things as they become available, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel.

 

I’m on a boat: Romper Stomper

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.

Previews

Originally published February 2003.

I used to be a big fan of South Park. I watched it every week, and anxiously awaited new episodes.

When I heard that they were making a movie, I was thrilled, and counted down the days until it opened. Of course, while the creators poured all their creative energy into the movie, the weekly content of the TV show suffered dramatically. It felt like filler with no creative soul, and I stopped watching.

So it is with WWDN as of late.

All of my creative energy and focus has gone into rewriting "Just A Geek," and racing to get it done in time for a late March release.

I love WWDN, and really enjoy writing for it, but I have limited resources in my head, and when I have to pick, the website takes a back seat to the book. I hope readers understand.

Having said all that, I'd like to offer a small excerpt from the book, so you can all see what I've been working on.

This is from Chapter three:

Writing about the satisfaction and love I felt when I was with my family came very easily. I didn't have to put on a brave face, or risk revealing how frustrated and tormented I was in my career. When I focused on my family, I felt liberated, and found humor and happiness at every turn.

 

28 August, 2001
Romper Stomper

From an e-mail I got this morning:
Wil:

I'm writing a book about Romper Room and came across a TV appearance of you on a California show with Miss Nancy. You told the hosts you used to watch Romper Room ?religiously."

I'm writing to people who were on the show, or who watched the show, to get their impressions of Romper Room. I'm hoping you can answer some questions. What made you watch it? What's your strongest memory of the program? Were you ever on Romper Room?

My response:

I was never on "Romper Room", but here is my clearest memory from watching it as a kid:

I would sit on the floor of our house (which was really a chicken coop behind my grandparents farmhouse. Yes, we were that poor), my fingers dug deeply into the golden shag carpeting, my tiny fists balled with anticipation, as Miss Nancy would hold up her magic mirror and ask it to tell her, "did our friends have fun at play?" I would sit up straight, stare into the glorious black-and-white 13-inch Zenith TV and wait patiently as she saw Steven and Jody and Tina and Todd and Michael and every-fucking-body except WIL! Hey! Miss Nancy! I'm sitting right here! I've had LOTS of fun at play! I did the DooBee dance! I ran around pretending I was a fireman! I HAD FUN AT PLAY! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE ME?! AM I INVISIBLE?! *pant* *pant*

I never watched TV shows like the ones I did when I was four. Jesus, does anyone?

 

Writing that made me laugh out loud. I hadn't planned on it turning into a rant, but I was doing lots of improv at the time, and I just wrote what came out of my head. I thought it was really funny, so I called my mom as soon as I was done to read it to her. When she picked up the phone, I could hear wind chimes and a waterfall. She was gardening in her backyard.

"Hey, it's your son," I told her.

"Hi Willow! How are you? Are you feeling better?" My mom always sounds happy to hear from me, and her voice is comforting — like a warm blanket, fresh from the dryer.

I was able to answer truthfully. "Yes, much. I wrote something funny for my website and I wanted to read it to you."

"Oh, honey! That's great! Let me turn off the hose." I heard her set the phone down, and I closed my eyes, picturing their backyard: the beautiful redwood deck my dad and brother built, covered with potted flowers and tomato plants, the railing draped with white twinkle lights. I heard the jingle of their dog Kona's collar, as she chased a butterfly, or the water falling from the hose. I saw water cascading into their swimming pool, and recalled the long summer afternoons spent floating in that pool, and the warm summer nights I spent as a teenager sitting in their spa, looking up at the stars. I breathed in, and I could smell the star jasmine which still grows under my old bedroom window.

"Wil? Did you hang up?"

"No, sorry. I was . . . lost in thought. Can I read you what I wrote?"

"Yes!"

I told her about the e-mail I'd gotten, and read her my response. I paused dramatically, and lowered my voice for the final sentence. I eagerly awaited her response.

"Oh, Wil," she said, "why do you need to have such a potty mouth?"

I resisted the urge to tell her that I had no fucking idea.

"It's comedy mom, and it's not always pretty."

"Well, it's very funny. I just wish you didn't have to cuss so much."

I beamed, knowing that I'd made my mom laugh, and — more importantly — made her feel proud of me.

"I gotta go answer emails, mom. I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie. Bye-bye."

 

 

I’m on a boat: Summertime

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.

Summertime

Originally published June 2002.

Today is Ryan and Nolan's last day of school.

I can't believe that it's here. The end of elementary school for Nolan, and the end of 7th grade for Ryan.

I recall those days when time was measured in terms of school years, but when I look back at my childhood, the only times I remember with any clarity are the summer vacations.

I remember the oppressive heat and still, smoggy air in the San Fernando Valley where I grew up.

I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I forced myself to stay awake nearly all night the day I got out of school in 5th or 6th grade, watching VHS tapes of wrestling on the top-loading VCR, just because summer had started, and I could sleep in.

I remember the progression of water-themed toys: The hose, the thing with the clown hat that spun atop the stream of water that you jumped through, the slip-n-slide, and finally the swimming pool.

The Sunland of my elementary and early middle school days only exists in those summertime memories of ice cream trucks and afternoon naps underneath the wall-unit air conditioner.

Back when the livin' was easy.

 

I’m on a boat: Radio Free Burrito

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.

I miss doing Radio Free Burrito as much as the people who ask me every day if I'll do another one. Reading all the old entries that I've published this week has inspired me to write more, so maybe linking to some of my favorite RFBs will inspire me to record some new ones.

Radio Free Burrito

Hi there. I'm Wil Wheaton, and I'm from the Internet.

I grew up in Los Angeles, listening to great broadcasters like Jim Ladd, Richard Blade, and Doctor Demento. I listened to radio stations like KLOS, KROQ, and KMET, all during their glory days from the late 70s until the late 80s. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't love music, and didn't want to be on the radio.

I got a little sidetracked by an acting career, but even when I was at the height of my acting success, my dream of broadcasting never entirely went away. I was never able to make it into actual radio, but when the internet made podcasting possible, I seized the opportunity to play music, tell stories, and finally satisfy my delusions of DJ grandeur.

Radio Free Burrito is an infrequently-updated podcast, mostly focused on podsafe or creative-commons-licensed music. The first 13 posts here at the RFB homepage are considered the archives, and they cover a time period from 2005-2008. Comments are closed on all the archive posts, but as new episodes of RFB are added, those comments will be open.

A note to the listener: these podcasts are old, and the e-mail addresses I mention in them were sent to the land of wind and ghosts a long time ago. You can send all the mail you want to them, but it's just going to bounce.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the Burrito.

Episode 26

Holy Crap, it's time for a new episode of Radio Free Burrito!

At long last, the planets align, I have time and ideas, and the GDMF construction next door is quiet.

Show Notes:

 

  • The logo was designed by WWdN:iX reader Marc, who asked that I not link to his "in progress" website. Thanks, Marc!
  • Radio Free Burrito doesn't work as hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag as Memories of the Futurecastdoes, but it still manages to upset mom and get Twitter breakup messages from sensitive people. You have been warned.
  • This week's theme music is from The Legend of Zelda, one of my favorite video games of all time.
  • On today's show, I read two stories from The Happiest Days of Our Lives, currently available from Subterranean Press as a special edition.
  • There is also an audio version of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, if you'd like to hear me read even more of it to you.
  • Movin' Right Along was performed by 15-16 Puzzle. If you have some time to check out hismusical archives, I believe you will find it worth your while.
  • I decided that this episode was brought to you by coffee … specifically the amazing cup of Sumatra that I made using beans that were roasted by my friend Aric. He's @WayOfCoffee on Twitter, and you can even order your own amazing beans from him at FremontCoffee.net. Did I mention that they're amazing? They totally are.
  • I just realized that I have friends who do awesome things, and I should make them the unofficial "sponsors" of RFB each week, so RFB listeners can discover nifty things. I hope I remember to do that next week.
  • When I read Close Your Eyes and Then It's Past, I played music from Robert Rich as a bed. He has a ton of albums at Magnatune.com; I used music from Calling Down The Sky today.
  • Actually, well over 90% of listeners said the audio levels were messed up, and that the music, which I'd hoped would be a nice background bed, was actually way too loud and distracted from my reading. Since this podcast is all about me, I remastered the episode and removed the music. 
  • Of course, if you didn't get this episode right when it was released yesterday, you probably won't notice the difference. Ahhhh … BLISSS!
  • This episode is about 69.5MB. Yikes.
  • This episode is about 48 minutes long.
  • I am aware that the tags are screwed up and the feed doesn't validate, so unless you're grabbing RFB from iTunes or getting it directly here, it's a giant hassle to get it. I am aware of this problem, but it's a gigantic pain in the ass for me to correct it, given the tools I have available to me. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and I'm very annoyed by it, but I can make a podcast, or I can be a bug-squashing code monkey. I can't do both, and I quite frankly prefer making the podcast. Listener Dave K. built a workaround that you can learn all about hereThanks, Dave!
  • Again, no embedded artwork. This distresses me, but it's Apple's fault, not mine, and it's too much of a pain in the ass to get it done. Hopefully, they'll fix the bug REALLY SOON.
  • This is the end of the notes. 

Ready? Then put down your kazoo, step away from the punch bowl, and 

Download Radio Free Burrito Episode 26!

Episode 20

Holy Crap, it's time for a new episode of Radio Free Burrito!

I must say, I'm pretty proud of my ability to get this one out on time. If I keep this up, I may have to remove the phrase "infrequently updated" from the show's description.

Show Notes:

  • The logo was designed by WWdN:iX reader Marc, who asked that I not link to his "in progress" website. Thanks, Marc!
  • Radio Free Burrito doesn't work as hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag as Memories of the Futurecastdoes, but it still manages to upset mom and get Twitter breakup messages from sensitive people. You have been warned.
  • This week's theme music is Super Bon Bon by the legendary Soul Coughing, fronted by the equally-legendary Mike Doughty.
  • On today's show, I read a story from the forthcoming special edition of The Happiest Days of our Lives, called Green Grass and High Tides Forever (and ever and ever and
  • If you liked that story, you may want to check out the audio version of The Happiest Days of our Lives.
  • Green Grass And High Tides can be yours for 99 cents at Amazon. That's, like, 10 cents a minute, which would have been a big deal in long distance pricing back when digital watches were a pretty neat idea.
  • You know what's cheaper than building a time machine and going back to 1977 to watch Wizards? Yep. Watching it on DVD right here in the future.
  • I don't know why Thundarr The Barbarian isn't out in a deluxe Criterion edition, which it obviously deserves. We will just have to console ourselves with the Dungeons & Dragons animated series.
  • The Dark Tower at Boardgame Geek.
  • The Dark Tower online.
  • The Dark Tower commercial featuring ORSON FUCKING WELLES.
  • Flash version of The Dark Tower.
  • This link that has nothing at all to do with The Dark Tower.
  • This episode is just over 27 minutes long.
  • This episode is about 26MB.
  • This episode doesn't have artwork embedded, because I still can't figure out how to get it into the goddamn file without exporting as .m4a and converting to .mp3, doubling the filesize in the process. I mean, I could probably figure it out if I spent a lot of time working on it, but that's not nearly as fun as just producing the show.
  • This is the end of the notes. 

Ready? Then put on your awesome dragon shirt and

 Download Radio Free Burrito Episode 20

And finally, the RFB Mixtape, Volume One

As long as I can remember, my friends and I made mix tapes for each other. We'd grab stuff off the radio, record each other talking, tape tracks from records, and even grab stuff off the television.

A few minutes on the Internets revealed that I was not unique at all in this activity, which is as unsurprising as it is totally awesome.

I found myself in an empty house this weekend, and I became inspired by a midnight viewing of Videodrome to audio hijack some dialog from the film, drop in some of the weird audio I've scraped off the tubes in the last couple of months, and put it all together just like I did with those magnetic tapes so many years ago.

The audio levels are not as equalized as I'd like, but that's the way it was back then, too, so try to think of it as part of the charm, instead of an annoying technical failing on my part.

There aren't any show notes for this one, because we didn't bother to make show notes back in the old days. There are some titles embedded in the file, though, so you can imagine that they're scrawled on the TDK cardboard insert in blue Bic pen.

This was fun as hell to make, and I hope you like it. If you can spare a mirror, I'd be most grateful, because the file is quite large to preserve the audio quality.

Torrents, from Brian May:

High (orig):http://athena.unearthed.org/torrents/radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one.mp3.torrent

Low (mono, VBR bit rate range 0-24, 5.6 megs):http://athena.unearthed.org/torrents/radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one-low.mp3.torrent

Download radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one.mp3

TRT: 32:30
Filesize: 29.6 MB (Yep, it's all music, so it's huge, even encoded at 128).

(Image via Make)