Monday, November 4, 2013

Morning Valediction #9: What I've Been Reading (November 4, 2013)

Paul highlights some of the books he's been reading over the last year or so. Mentioned: Alastair Reynolds, Lian Hearn, Lev Grossman, Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Len Deighton, Kage Baker, Iain M. Banks, Paul Midler, and others.

What are you reading? What's in your to-read pile? Do your books jockey for position when you're not looking?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Morning Valediction #7: Lou Reed (October 28, 2013)

Paul rambles on about Lou Reed; the loss of a musical genius and icon is unexpectedly moving.

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Morning Valediction #6: Sprawl (October 24, 2013)

Paul rambles on about sprawl and its consequences; is sprawl killing your soul?

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Morning Valediction #5: Apple and the Cult of Hipster Hardware (October 23, 2013)

Paul rambles on about Apple's muddled branding; your obsolete iPhone will not be tolerated.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Morning Valediction #3: Who Shops at Walmart? (October 18, 2013)

Who shops at Walmart, and why would anyone? Paul responds to a controversy on the David Feldman Comedy Podcast.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Morning Valediction #2: Greg Egan, Theorist of Everything (October 16, 2013)

Greg Egan is an Australian science fiction writer. He has won the Hugo and John W. Campbell Memorial Award. You can find his web site, which includes all kinds of fascinating stuff including interviews and many of his stories, here.

The feed is now active. Manually editing podcast feed files is the single most time-consuming part of my DIY approach to podcasting. If anyone knows of an app or command-line tool that would help with this, while still allowing me to host my own files, I'd be happy to learn about it. I may have to write something myself if I'm going to keep doing it this way.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Introducing the Morning Valediction Series, and Morning Valediction #1: Keep Watching the Skies (October 15, 2013)

A New Feed

I am setting up yet another feed for a series of unedited solo podcasts. The idea is that I'm out for a morning walk, after dropping the boys off at school. I'm calling this series "Morning Valediction." The title is a sort of pun on the title of John Donne poem "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning." Mourning, morning -- I'm not a morning person and so I'm generally mournful in the morning. A valediction is a farewell address. I'm not planning to go anywhere, but there is a mourning tone to these musings -- I'm becoming keenly aware of the shortness of life as I get older, and the brevity of childhood as my children get older, but it's not just about that. It's also about saying goodbye to things in the world that are changing -- it's morning in America, and not in a good way -- mourning the change, sometimes holding back the change, sometimes trying to reverse it, and sometimes working to embrace the "new normal."

As for the topics -- well, I'm just going to talk about what's on my mind. Sometimes I have an idea in the back of my mind, but the general idea is that I'll talk until I think of something to say, and then continue to talk until I've said it. The first few I've recorded are about 30 minutes long -- roughly fifteen minutes of finding a topic, and then fifteen minutes on that topic -- but don't hold me to that. When they work right it kind of folds up into a neat bow and sounds like I planned it all in advance. When it doesn't... well, then I'm rambling. I am planning to record several per week, but don't hold me to that either -- we make plans, and God laughs.

There is a new podcast feed, here. Note that this link is for iTunes or other pod-catcher software; this is not the link to the MP3 file).

Morning Valediction #1: Keep Watching the Skies (October 15, 2013)

Paul recounts making a Doctor Who-themed birthday cake for his son Sam, and taking him to look through a real telescope. Outer space isn't quite what it once was.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 9: August 15, 2013

Grace and I bring listeners up to date on our homeschooling, this strange summer of unemployment, and our prospects for the future.

We're in a park; allergy week; autumn in August; homeschooling news; uniforms; a day in the Montessori homeschool life; mourning the metric system; your particular child's cry; a paint-peeling shriek; no Camp Timbers this year; the lost summer; Pippin speaks; when you're out of work, there's no vacation; the wasted year; the last day of unemployment; seven years of retirement savings; the slow process of replacing a job; contract gigs; jobs I can't afford to take; our money picture; selling off the studio; instruments for people to play; working from home; the job market; the housing market; managing a commute; the office is the worst place to get things done; planning for our glorious agrarian future; not much left to sell; what the house is for; the kids remember Ann Arbor; relocation; to be twenty-six with a backpack again; separation from the family; sending money home; make-up sex and celebration babies; some positive things; healthy kids; avoiding debt; we're in great shape in most ways; Paul's nerves are shot; if we're gonna stay here; preservation is maintenance; Montessori materials; Grace's long-term Montessori plans; passionate about the Montessori model; the mainstream model is broken; renting out the house; a remarkable scream; something's got to give; Manhattan; our brood of Amish schoolchildren; making things again; Arduino; getting my soldering merit badge; due in six weeks; stumping for the Smart Car; goodbyes.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

GPP 100: Gift Cycle with Ried Stewart Waring Myer

"Gift Cycle is a moneyless, earth-minded initiative that strives to redirect otherwise landfill-bound supplies to communities."

Gift Cyclist Ried Stewart Waring Meyer visited us here in Saginaw, Michigan and we took a few minutes to interview him about the project. We were not able to record this in the studio, so the audio quality is not quite as good as I would have liked, but I hope you will enjoy the discussion anyway.

See the Facebook page here.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 8: July 21, 2013

Grace and I bring listeners up to date on the job search, the money situation, and the prospects for staying in Saginaw.

Part 1: the situation today. Part 2: what we set out to do when we moved here; what we've achieved. Part 3: what do we do next?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 7: April 16, 2013

A walking conversation on a spring day about how modern conservatism is really just mean-spirited liberalism.

In this episode: Mr. Talky-talk; the eggs are piling up; at least the kids don't have lead poisoning, ha ha ha sob; WIC food; health coverage; 3 inches of rain; conservatives as mean-spirited liberals; Grace talks about the conservative and liberal traditions; freedom and responsibility; you don't actually want a conservative amount of sex or a liberal amount of arsenic; what a truly liberal food safety net would actually look like; neoliberalism; packaged and processed food; quantity over quality; the opposite of elitism; insistence on quality as a fundamentally conservative value; a clean diet for the rich and processed starches for the poor; CSAs; cow's milk; breastfeeding; there is no low-fat goat's milk to be found in Saginaw county; it's not about calories; eating whole foods; juices; the WIC rationale; what a truly conservative food safety net would actually look like; someone stole our rocks and our trash can; the modern year-round CSA; driving a market; the WIC training class at Wal-Mart; Grace's homework assignment; learning the basics; I'm not ungrateful; life skills; nobody should be grateful for toxic garbage; giving your first fruits; what we're really grateful for; it's not a gift; our social investments and what we get back from them; investing in skills; getting our teenager launched; education in Belgium; dignity written on our butts; investing in people; Barack Obama has a student loan to offer Paul.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 6: March 15, 2013

Audio for this conversation is of reduced quality because it was recorded with an Olympus LS-10 digital recorder in our car, while driving.

Part one: sixty-nine in two miles; the job of no job; the company that cried wolf; requiem for a job; investing in your employees; a difficult position; working from home; job search strategies; outsourced human resources; screening applicants with blunt instruments; wage slavery; they don't pay you out of altruism; being angry at a building; jaundiced eye for the software guy; the whip in the overseer's hand; cracking the health care nut; not having a job is a full-time job; what I'd like to do now; the gym as therapy; planning for both the best- and worst-case scenarios; unemployment cooties; my life as a parasite; our calorie burn rate; everything but the cluck; oxtail stew; chewing the fat.

Interstitial music: nylon-string guitar accompaniment for Jonathan Coulton's song "When You Go" (performed and recorded by Paul).

Part two: on the road again; some positive feedback for the nerd who makes stuff work; vacation days; working from home worked; be nice to the administrators; health care crises; the surgeon that runs away; health care hell; we can't ensure our insurance; our tall dwarf, revisited; de facto health care rationing; in other news; grilled cheese sandwiches; a brief side trip; Eastern Accents, the end of an era; thirteen years ago.

Interstitial music: guitar accompaniment for Jonathan Coulton's song "Shop Vac" (performed and recorded by Paul).

Part three: three steamed pork buns and two cups of ginger tea; tables and chairs; a clean, well-lighted place; on our way home.

Closing music: opening bars of King Crimson's song "Discipline" (performed and recorded by Paul).

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