Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Would You Rather?

Yes, it's been far too long since my last post. Sometimes I forget that 5 or 6 people depend on me for several seconds of entertainment during the closing credits for X-Play. Really, I just haven't had any time or inclination for much more than a smart-assed Innertubes drive-by in the usual places. It's not that I'm giving up on this ridiculous blogging thing (hold your applause for now). Rather, it's been the constant, underachieving lethargy that's attached itself lamprey-like to my neocortex.

Not really sick, not really well - I've spent some quality time staring into space the last few weeks. For whatever reason, my reverie has wandered into imagined places where the deep questions of Life are pondered, flipped end over end, and then pondered again.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The problem with answering this question is that I tend to be limited by the filter of pop culture. The superpowers I can imagine have already been imagined by far more imaginative folks than I through comic books, literary classics, and film. How can a Gentleman Suburbanite like myself develop a superpower that isn't just an amalgam (or rip-off) of what someone else has devised?

But I decided it isn't important that I be creative. It's important that I be practical - and not too greedy. If someone or something is handing out superpowers, I don't want to be unseemly about it.

Flying - really fast flying - is the answer for me.

If I could fly at supersonic speeds, I'm thinking I could go anywhere on Earth and in space. Whatever gifts protected my mortal frame from burning up doing the express run from my backyard to the top of the Eiffel Tower will assuredly protect me anywhere Out There, too. It's not really an aggressive superpower since flying large means 'running away from trouble'.

But I think it would be damn convenient and entertaining - and lucrative. I'm guessing there might be some odd jobs that NASA might pay me to do. The travel industry could use a man-on-the-spot service like mine. Got a Balloon Boy troubling you? I'll take the pictures for CNN and save the day all in short order.

Yup - flying would be alright by me. But first I need to do is convince my butt to leave this really comfy chair.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sometimes Hate is Too Strong a Word

And sometimes not. My daughter is learning that Cat Dress-Up is a game with serious reprecussions.

The Rules

All this recent talk about podcasts and those who listen to them have got me thinking about what makes for a good podcast. And when I say 'good podcast', I mean it's one that I'll come back to again (and maybe even again). In no particular order:
  1. Have a clearly advertised theme. Well....duh. While you don't have to limit yourself to a narrow set of topics for discussion, don't veer off into rants about the sorry state of the Beanie Baby collectables market when you're supposed to be helping me grok the finer points of car repair.

  2. Know what you're talking about. Another 'duh', but do a little preparation. I don't care whether or not you're an expert on anything, but do a bit of homework. Understand your topic.

  3. Quantity does not equal Quality. If you're podcasting on a weekly basis, any episode over an hour is too much for me. If you're releasing new episodes on a monthly basis, don't go over 2 hours. Otherwise, I'm just not going to keep up. Do you really have that much to say?

  4. Learn to speak complete sentences. It's not a lot to ask, but for the love of Xenu do not spend your time punctuating each thought with 'umm' or 'you know'. Just don't do it.

  5. Having a few drinks while you're recording is just fine, but having one too many is not. I like to listen to podcasters who are having a good time, and that often involves some 'light refreshments'. But if you cross the line into frat-party territory - you're no longer interesting. You just get boring.

  6. Pay attention to sound quality. If I can't hear you or you sound like you're talking through a length of hose, I'm likely going to turn you off. Even worse: the sound level or quality varies wildly between members of your podcast crew.

  7. Listening to you and your friends 'party' is not as fun as you think. If you're having fun making your podcast, I'm having fun listening to your podcast. But if your crew spends most of the time shouting over one and other and laughing maniacally about nothing apparent to your listeners, I'm movin' on.
So, what have I missed, folks?