Podcast Guru

In case you didn’t know, podcasting is The New Black. Snoskred is always very late to the trends, I know Sephyroth was trying to get me to listen to podcasts years ago and I really wasn’t into it. For me when I am doing chores around the house I tend to “listen” to the TV, and I had quite a backlog of TV episodes I wanted to hear. I didn’t need to see them so much because I had already seen them.

My gateway podcast was The West Wing Weekly. I loved that TV show and I listened to one episode of the podcast and loved it, so spent quite a lot of time catching up on that series. I would download the episodes and put them onto a USB stick which went into my DVD player/set to box, and I could listen to the podcast.

Then someone recommended an app called Stitcher to me. I gave it a try but it was glitchy and refused to play episodes in the order I wanted to listen to them. As I was listening to one podcast, Stitcher would end one episode and then play me one random episode from another season of the podcast. That was a big no for me, so I was on the hunt for a new podcast app.

One of the online spaces I hang out in had a thread about podcasts and a group member recommended Podcast Guru. It has everything I could want with a very easy to use interface and the creator of the app is always just a message away. I’ve messaged twice to ask how to do things and got a response back within 24 hours which is impressive to me.

What I love most about Podcast Guru is that I can choose which podcast I want to listen to, set it going, and it will keep playing episodes until I come back to the phone and stop it. This is especially handy for me at the moment as I am on a decluttering the house kick and quite often am several rooms away from the phone.

So now I have told you about the app I am loving – what podcasts am I enjoying?

You’re Wrong About – Michael and Sarah do a great job exploring subjects we think we know about. The episode “A Dingo’s Got My Baby” is a must listen for us Aussies and the Columbine one is excellent but they are all great.

Clear + Vivid – Alan Alda has a podcast about communication and it is excellent. My favourite episode was with Judge Judy but there was also a great episode with the MASH cast and a deeply fascinating one with Michael J Fox which was recorded not long after Alan told the world he has been diagnosed with Parkinsons. He has quite a range of guests and you never quite know who will appear next. Highly recommend this one!

The West Wing Weekly – this horse race is on the home stretch, they are in season 7 now and on the way to the season finale. I’m really going to miss this podcast when they are done. Also related –

10,000 “No”s – Matthew Del Negro who was a cast member on the final two seasons of The West Wing has a podcast which is very interesting with varied guests across a range of subjects – as it says on the About page – “he gets up close and personal with top-shelf folks from all walks of life about the 10,000 “No”s they’ve had to endure and the struggles they’ve had to overcome on their journey to where they are today”. I particularly enjoyed the episodes with Richard Schiff and Eli Attie but I have not heard a bad episode and I adore Matthew Del Negro.

The Worst Idea Of All Time – Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery watch the same movie and review it every week for a year. I listened to the seasons where I had seen the movie (the Sex and the City ones) but I don’t think you have to have seen the movie to enjoy this podcast as these two have a very unique humour which is so funny. This leads us to –

We Couldn’t Help But Wonder – Mike and Elise revisit every episode of Sex and the City. These two are great and actually live in New York which adds a very interesting element in my opinion. If you were a fan of the show you will enjoy this – if you were not a fan of the show you will appreciate this podcast too.

Not to be confused with I Couldn’t Help But Wonder which I listened to for only a couple of minutes before deciding to hit stop.

NYPD Blue Balls – this one is for NYPD Blue addicts like me. The Asher Brothers talk about each episode of NYPD Blue. I love Kirk and Kyle and DEEPLY ADORE Papa Asher. Not for those without a sense of humour, FYI.

The Chernobyl Podcast – Created as a companion podcast to the TV series Chernobyl, this was a fascinating deep dive into behind the scenes of the TV show and the story of Chernobyl itself, including info on things they decided to leave out and why they changed certain things. Look for this podcast on your podcast app. This podcast led me to –

Scriptnotes – Craig Mazin from the Chernobyl series joins with John August to discuss all things screenwriting related.

What do you enjoy listening to?

Podcast

Zero Gravity

How I loved this song once I knew the story behind it. They did a great Australian Story episode on it a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to catch it. What an amazing idea and those dancers look like they were having a great time. I’d love to have a crack at that. They are actually suspended in the air on poles.

The Other Half is NOT at all a fan of this song. I think partly because it is very catchy and it does tend to get stuck in your head, and partly because it has operatic parts to it which he does not enjoy. He would prefer I do not listen to it in his presence which really means the only place I can play it is at work. I’ve just finished making a new work playlist with nearly 260 songs on it.

Another song which got stuck in my head this week was Brain Damage by Pink Floyd, which appeared in the Westworld season 3 trailer.

While looking for these two videos I stumbled upon this video of Julia Louis Dreyfus talking about fashion from her life.

A couple of weeks ago, unhappy with the local options for brooches, I went online and ordered a bunch of brooches direct from China. They have not arrived here yet, but can you guess what happened as soon as I did that? BROOCHES. BROOCHES EVERYWHERE. Most stores I went into yesterday had 5 or more options when previously they had just one. Obviously I prefer paying less than $3 for a brooch and if these turn out to be fabulous I may order more eventually.

The election went well and I truly enjoyed my day as second in charge. I was relentlessly cheerful. It didn’t matter what got thrown at me, I handled it with a smile on my face. I got to wear the yellow “supervisor” tabard instead of the purple “staff” one and I chose my outfit to match.

There were at least 10 of us in the booth all from different backgrounds and political leanings. There was one moment in the day where I got to make an announcement and everyone clapped and cheered – the news came in that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had lost his seat.

For me I had always disliked that man because he insisted on imposing his religious beliefs on Australia. I do not think that is appropriate.

The moment that turned my dislike to utter hatred was when he sat at his sister’s wedding with a face like he was sucking a lemon. Tony was anti-same sex marriage and his sister was marrying a woman. He couldn’t even pretend like he was happy for her, not even when the cameras were watching him the whole time – it later aired on Australian Story, I think.

Yet when he lost his seat of 25 years last weekend, she was standing behind him, tears in her eyes, sad for his loss. She deserves a better brother.

There was one not so great leftover – I had to take someone to get dinner as they had not brought it and did not have a car. It wasn’t until we were in the car that I smelled.. them. A delicate bouquet of stale cigarette smoke, BO, long unwashed clothes, and perhaps foot odor. In total they were in my car less than 15 minutes, but when I returned to it at nearly 11pm, the smell hit me like a truck.

The smell did not leave over the following days, and I personally believe it attached itself to me at least once this week and followed me wherever I went. After that happened I took my car seat covers off and washed them even though it did not tell me I could wash them (hopefully I can put them back on) and then I took my car to be washed and hit with the fragrance bomb, and then I added a couple of scented things yesterday. I hope it will be gone today.

Anyway there you have it, a bits and bobs post. I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to write a couple of larger ones! ;)

music, work

The Long Weekend

Our Easter long weekend was mostly a lot of lazing around. This year so far has been go go go for both of us, a lot of family outings, quite a bit of work for me, work and uni for the other half, just busy-ness in general.

Living in an area where a lot of tourists – referred to by some locals as another T word much less flattering – visit on long weekends, public holidays and school holidays, a staycation is your best way to avoid long queues, busy restaurants, sometimes badly cooked meals or meals you had to wait a very long time to arrive, and much traffic.

Once I left work on Thursday, we did not go near another shop and I will not until I go back to the shop tomorrow. Part of that is thanks to getting back into meal planning and a fortnightly shop.

We did go out for one long walk down to our former neighbourhood Callala Bay / Beach. We chose that instead of Huskisson as they were having a rather large event. They do have quite a good network of walking and cycling paths down that way now, so it is always a more peaceful option we can use if Husky/Vincentia is crazy busy.

We are never quite sure if a decision will be a good one until we are on our way there. In this case we feared the worst because the traffic was quite heavy on the way down but once we got there the people all went different ways and the walking paths were mostly free of insanity.

We did a 10km run/walk. I like to split my 10kms into two halves because the first 5km is where I usually run – in this case it was the first 2km and then some sprints – and the second 5km is a bit more leisurely. It was very hot out – almost 30C (86F) so we paced ourselves.

Part of this was through the neighbourhood known as Benton Sands which is a very lovely development. They have a community centre and pool and I believe the plantings were all supposed to be Australian native plants which does make for a more natural environment. It also does mean a bit more hayfever at this time of year, at least for us.

We passed this large group of swans feeding. I’ve never seen this many swans in one place at one moment before.

We ended up at the Boat Ramp on our way back to the car which is always great entertainment on a long weekend. It was absolutely packed with cars and boat trailers. BOATS AKIMBO. Absolute madness!

At home there was much coffee..

And cake.. which made me fit in another 5km run on Monday around our home block, in which I encountered a very large spider just hanging out on the ground for no apparent reason and let out an incredibly loud scream as a surprise to myself and though I did not ask I suspect also as a surprise to the spider. I went back and took a photo, which I suppose is a step in the right direction towards not being quite so terrified of those creatures. I will not share it here because That Is Not How I Roll.

At home there was The Bus at least once a day, AKA Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m not much into the Marvel universe at the best of times and I couldn’t tell you anything about the movies but I love this show and their bus – aka the massive plane – is super cool.

I also binged Season 5 of Bosch which was deeply excellent, caught a few episodes of various shows which I am watching weekly at the moment in particular Line of Duty, LOVING Project Runway with Christian Siriano as the mentor, 24 Hours in Police Custody, COPS, and my one hate watch, Sister Wives. I like the wives, I just HATE the guy and therefore it is beyond my understanding how he has collected up 4 wives who can stand to spend as much as one minute near him.

Sephyroth and I caught up for a lovely video chat in which he updated me about a work conference he went to, sounds like it was awesome. I caught him up on all our happenings here.

I brought home the work laptop for the weekend so I could try and clear out some extra space on there, deleting useless games and various Windows junk which nobody wants or needs.

I also sat down with the Spreadsheet Maestro AKA The Other Half and we created a couple of things which will make my work life a lot easier. I’m fired up and super excited to get back to work today, then I have a couple of days off in which I will run quite a bit, and then a little more work.

How was your weekend – long or short? :)

coffee, exercise, food, Home, television shows

Lawns & Order

This may be one of the funniest things I have seen on the interweb – not so much the photo but the text. If you haven’t seen an episode of Law & Order, SVU, it starts with –

In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.

In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.

Somewhat oddly, back in September I started recording Law & Order SVU on the Foxtel Box after I flicked past during an episode and got interested in an ongoing storyline of one of the main characters. I’d watched a few episodes over the years but I was more a fan of the original Law & Order. I’ve seen all the Law & Order episodes many times now, though I always find them still great even if I have seen them before.

I hit record on the regular Law & Order as well, and now I have 30 episodes of each all ready to watch, when I get a spare minute. If. If I get a spare minute. :)

television shows

Hammer To Fall

On my last free day before the Christmas Nightmare began, I chose a day of pampering for myself. I had a mani pedi. I got an eyebrow & leg wax. I had lunch in a cafe. I went home and got into warmer clothes because airconditioning can be cold, and drove myself to the movie theatre, where I enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody one more time.

Oddly, the song that got stuck in my head for the next 24 hours was Hammer To Fall. Queen played that at Live Aid. In the last 20 minutes of the movie, they actually recreate the Queen set at the Live Aid concert, and by recreate I mean eerily, spookily. There is a viral video where they show just how closely they recreated it. There is also a longer version on youtube but not sure whether that will stay up long term.

Why is that odd? There are a lot of songs in the movie and some of them are more well known to me. Some of them are less well known but are quite haunting in their own way and since seeing the movie the first time they have been added to my playlist, most notably Who Wants To Live Forever and The Show Must Go On.

I grew up listening to Queen. Music was a big thing in our household. Every Saturday morning we would turn the stereo up loud and do our household chores as a family. Out of all the songs Radio Gaga was probably my favourite back in those days. These days I would have a lot of trouble picking one favourite. I pretty much love them all.

On the same day I went to see the movie for a second time, my parents were at a conference in Melbourne and Mother was considering doing exactly the same thing as I was. She did not go because it was a Gold Class cinema and she thought she would fall asleep in the comfortable chairs, given their lack of rest time recently. But she does want to see it again, and my Aunt is taking her Adelaide people to see it this weekend.

I was not the only person in my session seeing it again. From the conversations around me, several people were watching it for a second time. If you have not seen it yet, you might still have time. Get thee to the cinema!

What Queen song do you enjoy the most?

music

Bohemian Rhapsody

I have been looking forward to this movie ever since I first heard Rami Malek would be playing the role of Freddie Mercury. We had tickets to see this with my parents and my aunt on Sunday night but as you are likely aware, Sunday was a very bad day for us. We ended up cancelling – they still went because they thought the tickets were non-refundable, but it turns out I could have swapped them for a different session, and when they got there that is what they did for our two tickets.

Today we really needed a break from everything that has been going on here, so after giving Kitty her afternoon dose of antibiotics, locking up the chickens a little bit early – with a third of a cabbage, some cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and blueberries to keep them entertained until dark time – and re-baiting our fox trap as two very hot days had rendered the bait somewhat stinky and quite.. Not Great.. we set off.

I was not sure on the way there. In fact I was a little worried. Rami does not really look very much like Freddie, but then again nobody looks like Freddie, he was incredibly unique. I should have known that Rami would not let us down, he was fantastic. The reviews have been somewhat unanimous in that one respect – Rami does an amazing job in this role. In fact I thought all the actors playing Queen were rather wonderful.

The reviews have been interesting, talking a lot about the director controversy and mainly focusing on what was not shown in the film. Well lets be real, how can you condense several years of someones life into two hours? There have also been comments about how much the film gets completely wrong. There have even been discussions about how audiences are ignoring the reviews!

If you like Queen at all, you will likely love this movie. If you are – like The Other Half and I – Rami Malek fans, you will definitely love this movie. As we were walking out, I said I want to just go back in and see it again.

Fox Lights

For anyone keeping chickens who does read this blog, particularly anyone in Australia, you might be interested in this. Had we known foxes would venture to our yard, we would have already bought one of these. It seems for every possible problem, some intelligent inventor has created a solution.

On the way home from the movies I actually spotted one of these out in the fields. Perhaps we should be using a lot more of them.

movies

Tonga

I am sure you will be aware that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are touring Australia and various other places at the moment. Yesterday they arrived in Tonga.

I have no idea why this skit from D-Gen The Late Show has stuck with me all these years, nor why I still find it so hilarious now. But this was the first thing I thought of when Tonga was mentioned.

funny

Shabby Sheik

1. I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Hello, you are ON THE INTERNET, use the dang thing to find out what that word means before you post it to the general public!

2. Is the cushion surgically attached? No? Then why don’t you take it off before taking the photo, then you don’t have to tell people it is not included.

I guess Shabby Sheik is better than Shabby Chick. :)

funny

Get Moving Mix

Recently The Other Half did some work on a dance/trance playlist for the car and also for his playlist at work. He finds that kind of music keeps him awake while driving – I find it impossible to keep still when this kind of music is playing, and I recently did a day of work with him where we got so much shiznit done thanks to this music it was unbelievable.. Here is one of our favourite tracks at the moment.

music