Archive for February 18th, 2009


Podcasting From The Island

February 18, 2009

I listen to a lot of podcasts. You all know that. I’m not just a fan — I’m an addict. When I was given a new iPod for Christmas, I was finally able to fit my entire music collection on it — thousands and thousands of songs, more than my old 20gb iPod could hold — and here I am, nearly two months later, and I haven’t played a single song on it. Not one. I just listen to podcasts.

If you look at my links down below, you’ll see the top of the podcasting heap as far as I’m concerned. There are a lot of others I listen to that I really should add down there; Galactica Quorum is one. Remind me to do that later.

But for a few months each year, my primary podcast listening revolves around Lost. As I have described in detail on my own podcast, Weather Station 3, I am a man of faith when it comes to Lost. It’s a big deal for me.

I used to listen to every Lost podcast I could. That’s not hard to do; they’re easy to find, and there are a lot of them. A LOT. I appear on a Star Trek podcast, and we’re among several, but Lost is a whole other kettle of podcasting fish.

This year, I culled my list down to five. That’s not to say I don’t listen to other shows here and there; I just ran out of processing speed when all those shows started clustering in my iTunes download space. I had to limit my listening.

So here they are, the five survivors of the purge:

  • The Lost Podcast, with Jay and Jack. This is the first podcast I really listened to, and the doorway to what has become a big part of my life. Jay and Jack are an hilarious father-and-son combo who know the show, know their audience and present two perfect podcasts every week. There’s a reason these guys have achieved the level of success they have. It’s talent, professionalism and hard work.
  • The Transmission, with Ryan and Jen: This is the second podcast I really listened to. This married couple, based in Hawaii, are podcasting pioneers who really helped the medium grow into what it is today. Part of the appeal of The Transmission is its location; the hosts are close to Lost locations, and often have “inside information” on what’s going on. But they don’t spoil things; they’ll often describe how they watched a scene being shot, but not until after it’s aired. I admire that.
  • The Dharmalars, with Ralph and Ben and Producer Ryan: I get a real kick out of these guys. They’re funny, they know their stuff, and they notice a lot of things I tend to miss. Their rivalry with Jay and Jack — played for laughs — is a high point, too.The Dharmalars also offer a midweek show, a short look at the music of Lost, which I find really entertaining.
  • LostChatter: I just found this one this season when they started following me on Twitter. It’s a slickly produced show, very professional, and I enjoy it a lot. The only place I think it suffers is its timing; by the time it comes out, other shows have covered the same ground. But they always notice something the other shows haven’t, so that fills everything nicely.
  • The ODI Lost Podcast: Another newcomer to my playlist, the ODI is hosted by a guy called the ODI, and a woman named Karen who maintains a very nifty website. I like this one a lot, but it suffers a bit from the ODI’s delivery; he’s a little wooden. But that’s offset by Karen, who has this over-the-top New York accent (I’m hoping it’s New York, I could be wrong), and they have a good rapport. These folks are major fans, and it comes across in the show. When Jorge Garcia was on a few weeks back, I thought Karen was going to explode all over him.

These five shows offer a decent, rounded look at each week in Lost. If you’re not a podcast fan, but you like Lost, give one a listen. I just wonder what all these people are going to talk about next year, when Lost ends. Ah, maybe they can get tips from some Galactica podcasters …


Facebook Works For Me

February 18, 2009

My friend Sissillie, who is from the US, not Australia, and teaches in Korea, has tweaked her blog a bit. The new version is very nice, and she has a neat new post about Facebook games. You can find it here.

Oh, those Facebook games.

I played Scrabulous like mad when it launched a couple of years ago. And that was strange; I have never enjoyed board games, and my Scrabble experience was really limited. But the ripoff Scrabulous caught my fancy; I guess its turn-based structure worked for me. At one point, I had close to 30 games on the go. Now, nothing.

Most of my Facebook applications are gone. No Scrabulous, no Flixster, no music player, nothing. The bloom is off my Facebook rose. The initial novelty is long gone (you can thank my mother for that; when your mother joins Facebook, all the fun dies, and hey, I’m 40). Now it has become, for me, what it was meant to be: a communications tool.

All this time later, I still marvel at its structure. Photos, notes, updates, links. The chat feature added last year actually has me chatting online, something I said I would never do. And now I’m Mr. Chat.

It’s easier to use Facebook than email most of the time. The photos application is the best on the web; I have more than a hundred albums, and continue to add photos.

Which brings me to my point. There’s a lot of buzz going on right now about the terms of service, and a recent adjustment that seems to give Facebook rights in perpetuity to anything you post. Many people are upset about this. I am not.

Let’s look at the things I have posted on Facebook:

  • Original music
  • Photos of my family
  • Fiction
  • Commentary
  • Reviews

If Facebook really wants these things, that’s fine. Facebook wants to use them to promote itself? Fine. I’ll get something out of that deal: Attention. Oh no, Facebook used my photos for promotional purposes … wait, no they didn’t. That isn’t the way Facebook works. And I knew this when I posted those photos. Because I knew, going in, how to use Facebook, and the Web, to meet my needs. I understood privacy settings and Facebook’s excellent controls. The information I gave to Facebook was the information I was comfortable with the world seeing. It’s my spin on my world. Trust me, if I uploaded every photo of me to Facebook, I would have about three friends.

I’m very aware of my presence online. Facebook, Simply Syndicated, MySpace, Twitter, podcasts, the Weather Stations … there are multiple versions of me out there in the digital ether. Person 1 has my voice on his iPod. Person B has my photos on Facebook. Person C is reading this now. They may not line up exactly. That’s the nature of the web and Web 2.0. It’s called social media for a reason. It’s about reaching out and being social, but it’s also about presenting a version of yourself to the world that makes you comfortable.

If you’re uncomfortable sharing information online, then unplug. Write letters and shoot Polaroids. Otherwise, dive in and rock on.

Meanwhile, Sissillie’s blog post makes me re-think my stance on Facebook games. Some of these look pretty good.


2Days Moroon: Duglis County Schole Districk

February 18, 2009

The Duglis County Schole Districk around Danver is canseling the spelling B bcause of bujit cuts. What a mistake! Every1 noes spelling B starts kids off rite with the bilding blox of good grammer and spelling. Competing for honers for bing good spellers helps kids go on to collige and land them high-paiding jobs, like banker or presadent.

But the schole districk says no mony for the spelling B, so thast that.

In relatid news, I heared the Duglis County Schol Districk buyed new stuff for football guys and the principel gots a new set of gulf clubs.