Category Archives: Reviews

Worthy Cause – Media Creators

We receive a ton of free content these days – Free Pdocasted fiction free PDF’s for supporting our writer friends but sometimes we forget a very important part of supporting them – BUYING content.

 

Remember to support our creative friends with buying their commercial works.  This enables them to spend more time creating so we end up getting more content.

It’s tax time many of us will get a little something back… pick one of your favorite creators and purchase something if you already have a copy then gift it to a friend, family member or better yet a library so you can get more people hooked on truly fantastic content.

Getting PWNED by Owner’s Share

Today’s review / Pimpage is on Owner’s Share From Nathan Lowell first off lets get the links out of the way

@Nlowell – Nathan Lowell on Twitter

http://solarclipper.com – Trader’s Diary – The Website for the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper

http://www.podiobooks.com/title/owners-share -Owner’s Share on Podiobooks

And while we’re at it  let’s give a big fucking shout out and thank you to Evo Terra and Podiobooks.com for providing a metric shit tonne of awesome content to listen to – Lots of great Podiobooks in many genres by many talented writers – You can find them at http://www.podiobooks.com @podiobooks @evo_terra

Now on to the meat and potatoes – First off Nathan asks that we not spoil the ending by invoking Article 37… Screw Article 37 I’ll tell you how it ends… Like always – Nathan being a hell of a guy and thank you for listening… If you want how the story ends get off your ass and listen to it yourself… my words can’t do it justice.

Do you want 30 foot T-Rex’s jumping out of scrubbers and devouring half the crew, and exciting flitter chase where Ish dives out of the craft shooting the pirates through the armor glass port and Pip coming out of nowhere and saving him with a rocket pack?  Me too but that’s not the kind of stuff Nathan writes in the Share series, his ideas are a hell of a lot cooler if a lot more sedate.

Again Nathan delivers a great story, with a fantastic read.  You feel the highs and lows of the crew.  You get it through the way the words flow, and you hear it in his voice.  You’ll feel the shock and betrayal when the crew realizes that ARTICLE 37 is the one behind ARTICLE 37.  Oh and when ARTICLE 37 does ARTICLE 37 with ARTICLE 37 it’s just mind blowing.  I mean when ARTICLE 37 let ARTICLE 37 in the back ARTICLE 37 it was like whoa … I mean really how the hell does one get  a ARTICLE 37 into a 3×3 cubicle with ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37  and 4 ARTICLE 37s… okay I went a little heavy on the ARTICLE 37.  Back to seriousness though – Again Nathan provides a great story, with a couple of twists that left an entire busload of people (literally I was on the bus listening to it) giving me dirty looks when I audibly expressed my incredulity at the twists.

As always it’s a well written story performed by a great voice talent.

Didn’t want to jump on the bad wagon yesterday though I kinda did through facebook but I’ll do it here and now and maybe another post on it tomorrow if I have the time… presence of mid to actually remember damned squirrels stealing my thoughts…

Thank you Nathan for not only providing free content but kick ass free content, it’s all too easy to just provide crap for free and make people pay for the good stuff.  Through the years I have sat impatiently waiting the next step in Ish’s Journey.  I still impatiently wait the next step.  Thank you for not wrapping everything up in a pretty red bow and doing the they sailed off into the deep dark happily ever after thing.  The books end how the entire series appealed to me – Feeling real.

Now stop reading and get back to work I can feel the withdrawal kicking in already!!!! More content!!!  errr…ummm I mean more content please Sahr.

From the Vaults – Dreamer’s Thread

We’ll Start the relaunch with a little something retro – And for that let’s go with one of my Favorite podcasts from last year – Starla Huchton’s The Dreamer’s Thread.

If you missed it the First time Here’s what I had to say –

The Dreamer’s Thread – is a fun fantastic journey into the world of dreams, and fantasy.  It’s a fun ride, to me it’s kinda like Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court had a bastard love child with The Never Ending Story and  set it in the land of Dreams.   (And let me mention that I find that to be a GOOD thing I like the Never Ending Story… Don’t diss Bastion…nah… AH…NAH-AH-AH – it was the sequels and the fucked up cartoon that screwed it up the original was pretty decent)  It’s a dreamy (pun intended) tale of Aura a dreamer who get’s pulled into the land of dreams to save the world from the nightmare realm.  I think the voices were dead on, they seemed to fell right on the characters.  It was fun ride, a well put together podcast, and a fun story one that should it ever make it into print I will read to my daughter on a regular basis.

Congratulations on the podcast / story being a wonderful success (least I think it turned out that way) and on the birth of your new minion.  I can’t see what else you’ve got to put out… fiction wise I mean… I don’t need to see the Minions – well unless you REALLY REALLY fell like sharing…

You can follow Starla on Twitter @RiznPhnx or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.thedreamersthreadnovel.com/

 

It is a great podcast and story, and still has a happy place on my Hard drive just in case I have the urge to give it another listen.. and I have.  If you haven’t sat down and given it a listen do so, give it a couple episodes before you make up your mind (I like to give everything at least four eps) because there is a fairly decent stylistic change in the first couple episodes.

If you want to support the author for her hard work and hell of a job you can always shell out the 5 bucks for PDF or 15 for print from Amazon.

Some stories when you come back a second time lose some of the wonder, this one sucked me back in just like it did the first time.

 

Going a little retro pulling some things off the shelf and dusting them off while I’m working on the next stage of things here at Random Pimpage.

GamerChickShow – Fun Webseries.

Just popping in do do a quick pimp for a funny show I have recently been exposed to.  I am trying to get back into a regular posting schedule but meatspace drama is still slapping me down… so it’s just quick mini pimps for now until I can kick the drama beast in the nards…. sorry flashback to Monster Squad….

Friend of mine in meatspace pointed me to a series that he helps out on with Music and other odds and ends the Gamer Chick Show.

It’s a great fun little comedy series, So far five episodes are up, and I understand episode six should be up in the near future.  Season one is slated to be a total of eleven episodes and season two is planned for.

Episodes are very short ( four minutes and change to little over 8 per episode) you can catch up on everything on a slow connection in a couple hours, on a fast connection you’ve seen it all in under an hour (37ish minutes if you watch it straight).

For a completely homebrew production it’s put together well, it’s a lot of fun to watch, and you can tell they have a lot of fun working on it.  After I watched the first couple episodes I realized that I actually knew and worked with another member of the crew in the past as well which was a pleasant surprise.

The only complaint I have is I would love more.  Longer Episodes and more episodes.  Given time I think this can blossom to be a lot better, and I think it’s sweet as it is.

It splits between the gamers and the characters played portrayed by the same actor as the player.  With most of the episodes being “IRL” around the table and adventures in life of the main character – Gia.  It plays on the stereotypes of gamers, but not in a condescending way.  After all it’s a show about gaming  and gamers done by gamers.

My friend Buddy (yes that is his real name) who does music for the show has a cameo in Episode 4 at about 3 minutes in.

Check it out – It’s a fun little show with a lot of potential, and I hope it can gain the followership it needs to truly achieve that potential.

I plan on pimping them again when I get fully back in the swing of things and I’ll definitely hit them up for 8 Qs if they want to play when I get back to that point.

URL – http://gamerchickshow.com/

Follow the show on twitter – @gamerchickshow

Review – Flagship 01 – from @FlyingIslandPre

Jumping back in the ring starting with a review.  Going to start with my friends (well a good portion of them are kinda) over at Flying Island Press and their cloud breaking…(it’s a freaking Flying Island you break the ground and people die…) new approach to a paid E-zine.

In the spirit of full disclosure – This review is fairly spoiler free since it is paid content I don’t want to devalue their product It’s all cool some of it VERY FUCKING COOL to find out just how cool make the purchase it’s only $1.99 for your choice of PDF or MP3 or $2.99 for both- I’m trying out a new format for the reviews lemme know what you think.

Date: 7-13-2010

Title: Flagship 01

Author: Flying Island Press / Various Authors

Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy

Released: July 1st 2010

Price: $1.99 for Either Print PDF or Audio MP3 or 2.99 for Both – Subscriptions available soon

Available At: http://flyingislandpress.com/flagship

Links: http://flyingislandpress.com/flagship

@FlyingIslandPre on Twitter

Media: PDF or MP3

Rating: K for Kick Ass what you want me to pretend I’m the MPAA or the RIAA – Suitable for all ages –  Well at least this Episode

Content: Over all fairly well chosen stories.  Not sure if they were meant to be quick drafts or were finished products but there are definite quality differences in the content.  I disagree with which story they chose as a “Feature Story” but then again I may be thinking along differnt lines then they.

Production: Mostly well put together – Some audio was provided by authors some was done with better equipment / sound quality than others.  Over all not bad, especially for a first issue.

Cast: Varied – Some of the Stories were read by their authors.

Story: Over all I liked the Stories More details under their specific Titles.  The following reviews are as spoiler free as I can make them, after all they’re all good solid stories that alone would be worth the price of Issue one.

Pirate – by H E Roulo – The Featured Story –Good Story though I think it needs a little work.  It’s not bad but I can’t help feeling something is missing.  Very Light hearted in my opinion.  Doesn’t capture me though.  Doesn’t grab on and refuse let go, and other stories in this issue were able to do that.  I think given a little fine tuning the story can be better.  I can’t tell you what is off about it only that something is off.  Like that tasty soup your gramma just made that’s just missing a little something.  If this were pass fail definitely pass, it’s a good story with a nice twist.  Definitely look forward to seeing more from the Author.

Affinity – By Mary Merrell – This was a story that I was about to skip through when it got interesting.  Slow start decent middle and an ending that left me wanting more.  Definitely can’t wait to see more from this Author, and hopefully it will have a little more about what happens to young Talon.  After a slow beginning this story gripped me making me want to know more about the world around our hero.  With some work this could easily become a standalone podcast novel or even a decent podioserial in the vein of the old radio dramas of the past.  Something about this story tells me that expanded and turned into a full cast podcast could be a fun run.

Ruby’s Child – by Phillip Carroll – Not sure if this one made it into the Children of Az series that PG Holyfield released late last year, but if it hadn’t if should have.  I feel this comes a very close second for my favorite of the issue.  Starts strong and keeps pace the entire trip through.  I am going to keep my eyes on this author.

Inciting Incident. – by Bake M Petit – The pacing of this story just seemed off not sure if it was the story or the read.  It’s a fun Super Origin story that definitely needs some work.  I’d like to see more from this world and get a better feel for it.  That might be truly what I need – Yeah sometimes the info dump helps the story instead of killing it.  The pacing of the audio kept getting in the way of letting me drop fully into the story it distracted me enough where I couldn’t fall all the way in.  Still an enjoyable piece and others might not have my same issue.

Apprentice – by Mike Plested – Easily tied for my second favorite of the issue.  I like the way the master wizard and the abbot think.  Good story, good lesson within as well.  Plus I always love a good twist.  Can’t really find anything negative about this story except that it starts a little slow but understandably so.  Hopefully we can see more of Charlie as the time passes I’d like to see where the author could take him if given the chance.

Snake Skin – by Brand Gamblin – WOW… just WOW… This should have been the feature- Easily my favorite story in the issue.  This shouldn’t have surprised me as I loved his podcast novel, and his Calls for Cthulhu videos.  This story took a very different road than I thought it would, it took me by surprise more than once.  Good twists in the story.  This one definitely needs to continue.

The Skinny from the Fat Guy: Again I don’t want to give away any spoilers so the reviews are a little bland.  But as I stated before each of these stories are well worth the cover price (if not more) on their own, all bundled together it’s a freaking steal.  I really can’t wait to see more from the authors of the individual stories, and from Flying Island itself.  I definitely plan on subscribing once they get that fixed.

Overall I give Flagship a hearty recommendation.

I like the fact that viewing the file on my Ipod it actually told me where I could find the stories by time stamp.

Flagship is a very well put together E-Zine it’s a fun ride.

Ancestor is coming for You from @ScottSigler

Ladies and Gentlemen… When did ladies and gentlemen start reading this blog?  You slumming with me now?  Well welcome aboard don’t mind the dead bodies… just kick them if they start to move… or if they try to eat your skull watch zombies can get tired pretty easy and they get real hungry when tired…  Now to my intended audience – Most esteemed Dudes and Dudettes and those in various stages in between (hey I can’t exclude the TG crowd they are most excellent peeps and usually a fun to boot).  I come to you today to help Pimp the most Excellent FDO our own Scott Sigler.  Sorry I forgot to throw his other label in there New York Times Best selling Author Scott Sigler.

Next Tuesday – 6-22-2010 – Ancestor is released from Crown.  AN-MOTHERFUCKING-CESTOR – Probably my Favorite of Sigler’s works today.  I’ve been dieing to get my hand on a copy and If I wasn’t married with kids I would have paid the outrageous prices I was seeing for the previous edition of this book.  It’s a tossup between this and Nocturnal.

The Podcast of the redone Ancestor is currently dropping in our feed – Sigler hasn’t missed a day of Dropping Sunday content in 500 years… He kidnapped the Doctor and made him take the FDO back in time just so he can lay claim to that title – that’s how dedicated Scott is to his Junkies.

This book is so full of awesome that I’m half tempted to sleep under my desk for a week here at work just to save commute costs and make sure I can purchase this package of SHEER MOTHERFUCKING AWESOME and a few extra copies to give for Gifts… My Wife would kill me if I did that though… but if she waits until after I read the book it might be worth it…

Pre-order today – Help Scott hit #1 onthe NY Times Best Sellers list.  Make History – Help a great Podcaster  show the world that Podcasting Novels does too work, and to great effect.

Scott Sigler – Media

Podiobooks.Com – http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/search.php?keyword=scott+sigler

Twitter –@ScottSigler

His Site – http://www.scottsigler.comhttp://www.scottsigler.com/

ANCESTOR PREORDER – http://www.scottsigler.com/preorder

ANCESTOR SUPPORT – http://www.scottsigler.com/ancestorsupport

Nifty Tech Blog – Review – Pimp from Valhalla Winner

Nifty Tech Blog by Doc Coleman aka @Scaleslea on twitter (but you prolly got that by the @ if not serioulsy how the hell do you find me? And doesn’t he totally look like a villain out of Wild Wild West in his pic?)

Genre – Tech \ Review \ FF Banner

Format – Blog – Location: http://www.niftytechblog.com/

Released – 2-2010 to Present and hopefully / likely for a while yet to come.

As many of you are aware, and hopefully took part in, there was an auction event earlier this year with the proceeds to benefit the daughter of podcastings own Podfather the legend, genius, creative demigod and all around good guy, Tee Morris aka @TeeMonster (put the right number of zeroes on the check this time Morris). The Boom Effect auction named after the Sonic Boom (Tee’s Daughter but you all knew that because you all took place in it right… right… don’t make me get the big stick I said RIGHT???… oh yeah internet can’t hear you… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt this time…. and maybe next time too I am a nice guy after all…) went off without a hitch (well other than they obviously were broadcasting from the TARDIS because of the time dilation effect…) More money was raised than could have been hoped for and has been reported to be in Trust for her. It truly was nice to see the community come together and in such a wonderful way, I tip my hats to you all (yes hats… you think all these personalities enjoy just one style of hat… that’s just degrading…) and thank you for helping out in Tee’s, and SB’s time of need, now for those of you still interested in SB’s time of want I hear that Ponies are real big on little girls’ list of stuff they must own…

As part of the auction Odin / @Odin1Eye of View from Valhalla and I submitted a lot where the lucky (courageous) bidder (victim) would be simultaneously ripped to shre errr… I mean discussed, on both of our blogs. The Nifty Tech Blog was the winning bidder and both Odin and myself appreciate the generosity shown in taking a chance on us and helping in this cause.

Unfortunately, next came life a kicking us in the nards. Yup, believe it or not, two vikings managed to drop the ball on somethign that should have been an easy event… hey when you’re as damned good looking and witty as Odin and I you can’t always be on the ball. We both ended up with life issues that prevented us from providing the intentioned roast of the winner’s content. So, you will get my take on it here, and Odin has already posted his “over there”.  I do apologize for how long this took. There have been personal issues that I’ve been battling, which if you’ve been following me for any length of time already know.

This is a little out of my norm for a review well because this is a little (okay a lot) out of the norm for the kind of content I generally peruse.  I mean there is not a hint of Vikings, or car chases, or space ship fights or smart assed pirates giving what for to snarky queens ANYWHERE.  I mean epic fail there, but as it’s a Tech review and not fiction content we can’t all be perfect, but as far as it being a tech review it’s actually full of win and even the parts of it I didn’t like so much came up draw rather than lose.

This is a site dedicated to Tech – He claims Nifty tech and I’ll agree with the non Mac tech… but that’s becaused I’m a biased prick and despise all things Mac (okay except for an Ipod touch).

Tech Blogs and reviews are not my cup of tea – Yeah I’m a tech support geek by trade yet I don’t go all gaga over tech reviews. I’m tech support by virtue of talent and knowledge, not for the love of all things tech / computers. I know tht even before the auction Odin had a ken for Doc’s Blog but I first heard of it when he won.

Now let me say this upfront – Were I more of a tech / gadget freak this would totally be my ball of wax.

Content –  Doc has a nice array of items that he (and some guests) have posted on. Apps for Iphone – Itunes – Solar powered speaker thingy some nutjob just couldn’t stop raving about  ;P.

Plenty of information, screen caps, and pics so you can see the tech in action not just read about how freaking cool this is. I give it high marks as far as being a good place to find out about cool toys, and being very informative.

There are plenty of useful gems out there – Dropbox is one that I use myself and appreciated seeing someone else tote on about it. He’s had a chance to review the Apple Cornelius (I still maintain that Cornelius is a much less silly name than IPad) and I want one even more, he’s reviewed  Google Voice andother service I personally use and enjoy, and there’s Delicious Library – a Mac only product that makes me scream I want I want I want, even though Mac is the DEVIL, (I will maintain that stance until I can afford one, or one is gifted to me and I have a chance to work with it.)

Doc includes a FF section you guessed it every Friday to inform people about cool peeps to follow in twitter. Lot of fun peeps to check out, if you’re not into the toys as much at least check it on Fridays for some quality people to follow on twitter, along with some good info why they’re so freaking cool.

Production – Well it’s a blog, so it’s not like we can talk about sound quality or casts or sound effects or anything like that but there is production value, there is layout and there is time spent making sure it looks the way he wants. I personally like the site it’s easy on the eyes, there isn’t a lot of distracting sparkly banners and motion. The true star of the show is the content not the flash and glitz of a “kickass site” (which most “kickass” sites make me want to kick the designer in the nards for making the thing too damned busy). Doc did a very good job putting the site together

Over all – Even though I’m not the tech blog kinda guy, it’s an enjoyable read, there is plenty of good information, it’s a little on the dry side but then again that’s how I feel about all tech blogs which is why I tend to avoid them. EVEN THOUGH I am not a tech blog kinda guy I do have this one on my RSS feed, and though I don’t check it religiously I do give it a once over every week to week and a half.  Now that’s kinda like getting a kid that hates broccoli to eat it one meal a week and ASK for it if it’s not been served in a while.  There really isn’t much I can bitch about.  It’s good solid and well thought out delivered in a decent layout with a well thought out review with good images so you can see the product as well as read about it.  Had I not been directed to it I would have overlooked it, but I am glad that it got my attention.

While it may not be a wild thrill ride that I can’t get enough of, it is a well written, and valued part of my week.  I thank Doc for a job very well done, and I look forward to seeing where things go from here.

Disclosure: As mentioned above, this review is being provided in an effort to make good on payment rendered. I would like to state however, that I really do like and  endorse The Nifty Tech Blog and label them as a good read.

Random Pimage Presents 8 Qs with @AlRuff and @Obajoo

Well it’s Monday once again and you know what that means…  No it’s not time to feed your sibling to a volcano to appease the fire gods… though on second thought I still owe my sister for telling on my about sneaking out when I was.. err nothing… Love ya sis don’t pay any attenion to the Mayan death cult on it’s way to your house…   No it’s actually time for more 8 Questions.  This week I bring you another double stuffed 8 Qs.  The wonderful talent behind the Gearheart Podcast Novel.  If you haven’t given it a listen really what are you waiting for?  … No really why haven’t you listened to it yet…  You’re gonna make Alex Cry and he’s good peeps…. Again like I was saying before… ooh SHINY!!!! This week I bring you the talented and and just totally freaking awesome couple behind the Gearheart Alex and Renee White.

Alex White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I got into podcasting because no one would read my novels.  I don’t know if people thought they sucked or what, but I could almost never get someone to finish a book.  I think everyone has been burned by having a writer friend who makes them read something truly awful.  I eventually decided that it was the medium- reading off a computer screen kind of sucks- and I thought I’d podcast the book.  After all, if you can combine it with something you have to do anyway, like manual labor or commuting, it would at least be a diversion.  So yeah, I started podcasting because I thought it would suck less than reading it off a computer screen.  Naively, I believed that I had a new idea.  Imagine my surprise when I found a blossoming community of awesome people!

2 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing poetry as a little boy.  I loved limericks and I avidly consumed Shel Silverstein.  When I got a little older, I had a girl I wanted to impress, so I wrote a story about an adolescent werewolf named Percy.  She liked it, so I kept writing horrible short fiction for girls in the hopes of impressing them.  Wow.  This question has made me realize that my artistic life began as a very base pursuit…

3 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

It’s great fun!  At first, things were pretty crazy, and it took us a long time to get into the swing of production.  Poor Renée… she’s always getting dragged into my hairbrained schemes.  I’ve put her in prank movie trailers, comic projects, music and now this.  Other than our marriage and our child, The Gearheart is the longest running project we have ever undertaken.  I’m proud of the working rapport we’ve built, and I think it serves us very well.  Things weren’t always easy- creative disagreements were had, but we came out ahead.

4 ) You’re also a graphic artist does that play for or against your writing crative efforts?  (Are you ever working on one when the urge takes over to be working on the other?)

I’m a writer who happens to be good at graphic design.  Every other talent- music, design and marketing- is geared toward making more people hear and enjoy my stories.  I pay the bills with my design, but if I had my druthers, it would be the other way around.  So I use my honed skills to enhance my writing.  If you need a fancy cover and a soundtrack to make you read/listen to my book, I’ll make it for you.  I just want to be taken seriously, and I think presenting my ideas in a way people understand will help.  The mass media is capable of such a slick presentation, and I don’t want to be stifled by the fact that I can’t match their values.  I’ll just try to learn how they do things and make it myself.

5 ) If I remember correctly you do your own music for the podcast too.  Is there any part of the production you don’t do yourself (other than the female parts)?

Renée handles the all-important detail of making sure we believe in the tension between the male and female characters.  I make sure that when the spotlight is ready to go on, everything is in place.  I handle graphics, web design, music, mastering, mixing and tagging.  Also writing, but who cares about that?

6 )  I’m going to make an ass out of u and me and assume here that you have a fascination with old time radio because of the “commercial” you’ve done for the show – What are some of your favorite old radio dramas and what drew you to them and your style of podcast?

Well, I had a boxed set of tapes of The Shadow that I used to listen to all the time, but not a lot other than that.  I always liked the promise of old radio dramas, but I never really got into the execution.  That’s probably why I don’t actually do a full-on radio drama for The Gearheart.  I did look at a lot of movies and TV, such as “O Brother Where Art Thou” for the “Pappy O’Daniel’s Flour Hour.”  I like those little things.  The commercials started out as a fun diversion, and I wanted to make something in the vein of the era I was going for.  I wanted pulpy 20s, so that’s where those come from.

7 ) I saw on twitter you were working on a Agustus short story, any chance we might see a little more of the other characters’ pasts like maybe that of the mercenaries?

Well, I don’t want to spoil anything.  Let’s just say we learn a LOT about them in the next book.

8 ) Now that the Gearheart has finished up – What’s next?

Next? I don’t get to take a break?  *sobs*  Actually, I’m planning to begin production on my next podcast very soon, with a planned Fall release.  It’s called “Festival of the Bizarre,” and it’s a near-future noir thriller.  It should entertain those of you with more… shall we say… violent streaks…  I’m also working on “Maiden Flight of the Avenger,” the Augustus short story, hopefully to be released soon.  Lastly, I’m working on a secret Gearheart project that should please everyone.  I’ll try to drop more details as I firm things up for publication.

Thanks for the opportunity, Robert! Keep on pimpin’!

(btw it’s Rich… not Robert)

Renee White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Honestly, I’d never thought about it until Alex started doing The Gearheart podcast.  Originally, he was doing all the voices on his own.  He had asked me if I wanted to help, but I said no because I had never acted before.  The extent of my voice talents at that point were making silly voices for Ari’s stuffed animals.  But after listening to Alex doing the female voices, and honestly thinking he sounded completely ridiculous, I decided to give it my best shot.  I knew how much this story meant to him, so I wanted to help him make the best product he could.

2 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

At first it was really weird!  I still get a little shy around him like some star-struck teenager.  I’m told that will wear off in time.  I made a rule in the beginning that he couldn’t look at me when I was acting.  Silly, I know, but I felt so self-conscious!  Unfortunately, that shows in the beginning episodes when my “acting” was really just dryly reciting lines.  As the podcast went on, I learned to ease up and really get into the characters.

3 ) Is it difficult keeping all the characters straight that you have to do for the Podcast?

Oh goodness, yes.  Ever had a conversation with yourself, but trying to use two different personalities?  It’s bonkers.  I don’t just have to worry about the voice pitch, but also the cadence with which the characters speak.  If it gets really difficult, we’d record all of one character and then the next character afterwards, and edit them together in post to make sure the voices stay consistent.

4 ) What Exactly is a “Domestic Scientist”?

“Domestic Science” was the term used back in the 50’s for “homemaking” when they taught it in schools.  I wanted a term that was kinda geeky sounding, but also encompasses all the crafty stuff I do.

5 ) Okay I see the geeky and awesome looking Baked goods pics at your blog, and your Avatar on twitter – Any other cool baked goody projects in the planning / execution stage?

I REALLY want to do a Dr. Who cake for my birthday in April, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do it.  I’m also planning on making a D20 cake tutorial for @kyledockery (http://twitter.com/kyledockery) sometime soon.  Life has been a little insane these last few months, so I haven’t had a lot of time to make really crazy stuff.

6 ) What other creative hobbies help you pass the time?

here are too many to name!  I seem to make a hobby of collecting hobbies.  If I see something cool on the internet, I want to learn how to do it.  I picked up knitting, crochet, and cross-stitching just to make video-game related crafts.  (You can see those at my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/obajoo/sets/900086/)  I am learning photography, and I also draw a bit.  I’ll hopefully be using that last one to make some art for a potential Gearheart game Alex and I have designed.  It’s still in testing, but it is going very well!  I also love board games and video games.

7 ) What are the biggest changes you’ve had to make to adjust to your son’s diagnosis?

It would almost be easier to answer what HASN’T changed.  When your kid has autism, your entire life is turned upside down.  Since I feel that we need to concentrate on Ari’s therapy, I’ve basically put my life on hold.  No going back to school for me, no having another kid for at least 3 years, no job to bring in extra income.  And that’s the long run stuff that’s easy to ignore.  It’s the day to day routine that can completely wear me out.  For instance, when he is thirsty and wants some juice, I can’t just give him the juice cup.  He has to vocalize for it.  Just one little syllable: “ju-” is all we need.  But that is so hard for him, that he’ll break down into tears, screaming and kicking, because he’s so frustrated that he can’t communicate what he needs.  And I have to wait the tantrum out, patiently repeating “Juice?  Want juice?  Say ju ju ju….”  Those tantrums can go on and on.  Not the normal 2 year old fits, but like 30 minutes and counting.  He ran around randomly crying off and on after lunch today for over an hour and I still don’t know why.  As for other changes, our lives are filled with therapist meetings, doctor appointments, researching articles on sensory integration disorder and autism, reading book after book on autism, listening politely to “advice” from people who read an article one time so now they think they’re experts.  Luckily he’s not that bad in public, but when he has his bad days, we have to deal with people staring at us for one reason or another, judging us.  If he’s acting up they stare with a sneer, obviously thinking I’m a bad parent that can’t control my kid.  If he’s making weird sounds, or shaking his head violently despite my efforts to calm him down, they stare wondering “What’s wrong with him?”  I try not to let it get to me, but it still hurts.  But things are looking up!  His therapy is going very well and can now use 4 words.  He works harder than any other 2 year old I know, and I love him more and more and couldn’t be more proud of him.  Together, we’ll get through this.

8 ) What does Obajoo stand for / mean?

It’s a nonsense word, actually!  When Alex, our friend Joey, and I were making up nick names for ourselves for a freelance design group, I couldn’t think of a thing.  I think I saw an Odwalla truck or something earlier that day so I said “Quick!  What’s a three syllable word that begins with O?” being silly more than anything.  And Joey pops in with “OBAJOO!”  So it stuck. 🙂

You can Find them both on Twitter Alex as @ALRUFF and @TheGearHeart and Renee as @Obajoo

You can find more on the Gearheart at it’s homepage – http://www.thegearheart.com/

and you can find Renee’s Blog The Domestic Scientist over at http://www.thedomesticscientist.com/

Double Review – Dreamer’s Thread and Cybrosis.

Random Pimpage is back on track again and for now… Because of the lack of content for the past couple weeks I promised this week to be double content week.  To that end I’ll pimp two great Podcasts.

We’ll Start with Starla Huchton’s The Dreamer’s Thread.

The Dreamer’s Thread – is a fun fantastic journey into the world of dreams, and fantasy.  It’s a fun ride, to me it’s kinda like Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court had a bastard love child with The Never Ending Story and  set it in the land of Dreams.   (And let me mention that I find that to be a GOOD thing I like the Never Ending Story… Don’t diss Bastion…nah… AH…NAH-AH-AH – it was the sequels and the fucked up cartoon that screwed it up the original was pretty decent)  It’s a dreamy (pun intended) tale of Aura a dreamer who get’s pulled into the land of dreams to save the world from the nightmare realm.  I think the voices were dead on, they seemed to fell right on the characters.  It was fun ride, a well put together podcast, and a fun story one that should it ever make it into print I will read to my daughter on a regular basis.

Congratulations on the podcast / story being a wonderful success (least I think it turned out that way) and on the birth of your new minion.  I can’t see what else you’ve got to put out… fiction wise I mean… I don’t need to see the Minions – well unless you REALLY REALLY fell like sharing…

You can follow Starla on Twitter @RiznPhnx or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.thedreamersthreadnovel.com/

Seriously check it out it’s a hell of a great story and a fantastic cast.

Our Next quick review is going to be a work in progress there still 7 wellafter tonight I think it’ll be 6 Episodes left to drop on a weekly Friday release schedule.  Cybrosis is an awesome hold on to your pants or you will be blown out of them (and really do you want to be blown out of your pants and just stand around in your undies and an Ipod you’ll likely be put on a list and not allowed near schools or petting zoos anymore) technothriller / cyberpunk action filled ride.  And that’s the first Episode it’s gets much better from there.  PC Haring did a great job with his cast and I think the production is great.  At times I think the music kinda overwhelms his narration but I find those few and far between and may actually be the way I’m listening they seem fine on my earbuds but when I go over my car speakers okay minivan speakers 😛 is when I have some trouble hearing him over the music…  It’s kinda like the Bionic Woman done right.  Teh characters have a realness to them that makes this one of the few Cyber Punkish novels / stories that I actually will finish.  I’m normally not a fan of the genre.  Then again I spend all day screwing with computers I really don’t need uber tech crap in my novels that just frustrate me and remind me of end users I use reading as an escape not a prison.  It’s actually making me wonder how many other Cyber Punk novels I should try to give another chance.  So yeah this one story is actually making me reconsider my stance on an entire freaking genre.

Thanks PC it’s a wonderful story so far and I can’t wait to get the last few episodes I really need to get that damned time machine finished and … wait here’s a note.. it has a totally kick ass ending I’m not going to spoil it love Future me… dammit book Blocked by meself …  RIIIIIICH!!!!!! I really need to kick future me in the nads if I meet myself…. but anyway… The action is fun, and is easy to bring it to the mind’s eye it’s a very cinematically written work… is that even an adverb… screw it, it is now!  It translates very well.

You can Follow PC on twitter @PCHaring or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.cybrosisnovel.com/

Both of these novels are very well done, both have a cast that I cannot think of any way to improve on that doesn’t make me sound like an egotistical ass (which I am) and that’s just because I’m jealous at how well these shows were / are done.

PC and Starla keep up the good work can’t wait to see what is next from either one.   I lucked out with Dreamer’ Thread I got to listen to it straight through, but I’m jonesing for more Cybrosis.. I might have to add PC to the don’t listen to until it’s done because it’s so distracting waiting for the next freaking episode.. and the dude releases ON TIME and I still can’t wait for the next Episode… I mean it’s not even like Sigler who get’s hit from out of the bleachers and you just wait and wait and wait for things to get back on track this is an on time weekly schedule.   I will gladly say that to this date in 2010 Cybrosis is 95% likely to be the best Sci Fi Podcast Novel I’ve listened to so far this year and Dreamer’s Thread easily takes a top 2 Placing just behind Nathan Lowell and Ravenwood (by a scant few points at that.)

Take it lite folks see ya on the other side.

Rich

Double sized 8 Qs with @MickBordet, and @KMLaw

It’s Monday and you know what that means right?  Yes I get off my lazy ass and post up 8 Questions – This week since I’ve been busy dealing with other things life has thrown my way I will bring you a double sized 8 Qs and an apology for letting life get in the way, but the only cure for that means you don’t get any more content from me either… hey put that pistol down… stop I mean it.. MOMMY!!!!

Without any further Ado here we have the Frightening minds behind Every Photo Tells their collaborative effort as well as their individual efforts of Some Other Scotland and Luscious Leftovers Mick Bordet and Katharina from Vienna

1 ) What prompted Some Other Scotland?

When I finished writing my first novel I had learnt so much that I wanted to get straight into writing the next one, but didn’t really have anything planned. This coincided with my first encounter with podiobooks.com and it seemed natural to create a podcast novel that would get my writing online and heard by an audience. I figured that if I was going to benefit from using the internet in this way, I might as well make use of its interactive nature to help form the story, hence asking people to choose a topic from recent news stories. Setting it in Scotland was just a way of keeping the locations and characters familiar to me and avoiding having to read too many news feeds.

2 ) A Lot of what Americans know about Scotland comes from movies and BBC programs that make it over here – Do Scottish folks actually eat Haggis? And what exactly is it? And if it’s what I think it is Why?

Let’s put it this way: the average Scottish supermarket probably dedicates about 0.05% of its chilled meat cabinets to Haggis, until the week before Burns’ Night when it leaps up to about 2%. I guess it is comparable the peak of popularity of turkey around Thanksgiving. Haggis is a spicy mix of minced sheep offal, onion and oatmeal, traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach and served with neeps and tatties (i.e. turnip and potato) – the description does put a few people off, but it’s not that far removed from a sausage and is, quite frankly, damned tasty.

3 ) What was the scariest moment in your life?

Going for a walk along a river where the sides of the valley became steeper until I ended up stuck on a near-vertical cliff face with a long drop below me, about 6 inches of ledge under my feet and no way to get back the way I had come because of the angle I had approached it from. Not expecting to find myself in that position, I had no climbing gear or anything that would help me get out and this was in the days before mobile phones. I knew that if I made one wrong move I’d be dead or severely injured; it was one of those ‘life flashing before your eyes’ moments. In the end I pulled myself up using exposed tree roots, hoping that they would hold my weight. Apparently they did.

4 ) What prompted the idea behind your joint effort with Katharina – Every Photo Tells?

We started writing a story a while ago where we took it in turns to write blocks of 500 words each, which I began based on inspiration from a photograph I took years ago. Katharina came across a blog with stories based on pictures and suggested we could expand on the idea as a joint venture.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I started with listening to the Spellbound theremin podcast (http://spellbound.purplenote.com) and was keen to try something similar myself, but didn’t just want to focus on music. When I came across the concept of serialised audiobooks, the idea just fit perfectly with what I was doing at the time.

6 ) When did you start writing and Why? Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing for my own enjoyment when I was about 13 – I wrote a series of short stories about a man with no bones in his body and his friends… a guy with a 6 foot long leg, a plastic bag and half a tin of spilt baked beans (called Marantaz for some reason). I wish I still had them – they were pretty ridiculous, but a lot of fun.

7 ) Are there any stereotypes about Scots that aren’t true really gets your goat?

I’ve never really been concerned about stereotypes; it’s just human nature to try to label and categorise things. Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that not every Scot wears a kilt, has a sporran full of haggis and does the Highland Fling all day long. I mean, I know at least two people who don’t 😉

I do enjoy taking a stereotype and playing with it to come up with something new, though.

8 ) What’s the Day Gig – and Does it Influence your writing, and if so how?

I do commercial crime pattern analysis, which is pretty interesting, but hasn’t influenced my writing (yet). It does take me around the country fairly regularly, which I think has an impact on some of my writing. I had a few years of travelling almost every week between London and Edinburgh, which became a major plot point of my first book, because it messes with your head after a while.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

0 mph (at least it was at the point of impact with my living room window. Stupid bird.)

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

How many songs have you written that now make you cringe?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

… try being second.

thanks for getting the grey matter moving 🙂

And Because I promised a double sized week this week I also include 8 Questions from Katharina from the Luscious Leftovers Podcast and the Every Photo Tells Podcast.

1 ) I have to say that Luscious Leftovers is the first podcast I have encountered with it’s mix of sensuality and food.  What prompted the Idea for the Podcast?

Other than the obvious: I could live on sex and food! I think nowadays both are widely under-appreciated, under-enjoyed and under-done. Whatever I can do to change that.

2 ) What was the worst trouble you got into as a child?

Pre-Skype times… extremely high phone bills and a weird thing for long distance relationships.

Oh, as a KID you said? Uhm… Pretty much the same. Only weird pen pals back then. I should’ve stayed away from the internet. Or maybe I am just AS weird…. Hmmm…. Need to think further about that.

3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I got that story told so many times, I don’t even know anymore if I remember it or if it was just my parents telling it so often….

It was my grandfather’s 60th birthday, I was about 4 years old. One night I woke up my dad, telling him I wanted to write my grandpa a story for his birthday. So my dad had to get out the old typewriter and I dictated him the story. It was about a hedgehog and another animal. Too bad I wasn’t able to find the story in my grandpa’s papers after he died…

4 ) Okay replace that Q with Who have you not been able to have on the show yet that you’re really wanting to be a guest?

Before I got him on the show I would’ve said Tee Morris. Now, to be completely honest, the ONE person that I really want on my podcast is my husband.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I listened only to MuggleCast and PotterCast for a long time. When I got into Lost, I started to look up podcasts according to the things I was interested in. Ended up on the forums of a big Lost podcast. That’s where I met a lot of people who wanted to try it out. So, about 2 years ago, I started my first podcast.

6 ) Okay I have to ask… Mozarts Balls?  Leave it to Austrian Scientists to clone a mans Genitals stuff them with Marzipan and Dip them in Chocolate…Why?

You know how there’s the tongue of this saint on display in a church in Italy?

No that’s not the reason – the German word “Kugeln” (Mozart Kugeln) does not mean the balls as in genitals in German. It just get’s lost in translation somehow. In German, “balls” are “eggs”. Don’t ask me why, though. ☺

7 ) You were hoping the episode you did with Pip would be too hot for Itunes?  Did you succeed and if not are you guys gonna make another run to get dropped?

No, I haven’t been banned from iTunes yet, and I am utterly disappointed to be quite honest. Yes, the goal was either to get banned from iTunes, invent the PORN tag or melt the whole internet in its entirety.

I will definitely try again – maybe I need to chance to some boy-on-girl-action this time… We’ll see. I haven’t given up yet!

8 ) And I might be losing you with the pop reference form here in America but just what would you do for a Klondike bar?  (Figured I’d throw one in for Mick’s sake)

I can imagine what the pop reference aims at. All I can tell you is what I would NOT do for it.

1) Give up the kilt

2) Give up Apple

3) Give up meat

Other than that…….. Uhm…….. ☺ Make me an offer!

Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

**Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

13.5 kilometres/hour

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is the highest number in LOST?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

I am trying my hardest not to say “make someone else do it instead” 😀

You can find Today’s wonderful guests online at the following locations.

Some Other Scotland – http://www.someotherscotland.com and over at podiobooks http://www.podiobooks.com/title/some-other-scotland

Luscious Leftovers – www.lusciousleftovers.com

On Twitter @MickBordet & @KMLaw

And Every Photo Tells – http://www.everyphototells.com/