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Monday, January 09, 2023

Ericast 329 - Don't Use Negatives

I don't want to turn into a crotchety old man sitting on my porch yelling "Get off my lawn!" Instead, I'll be yelling "Stay on the street!" Wonder why? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

This was inspired by my visit to a local megachurch which sang the song "He Won't". If you're not familiar with what a church service is like in these kinds of churches, it's basically a concert in a TV studio. They've got a dolly track so they can truck a camera in front of the booth. Now they have a scissor jib. That's an environment I'm very comfortable in because I did TV production work in college, but I admit it's weird for me to pair that with a church.

These concerts are expected to be participatory - you're not there to watch the performers (though it is a performance) but to sing along. But if you don't know the song well, you're going to be singing along with the second part of each line as they put it up on the screen and your eyes catch up and you know where they're at.

Let's pair that with the understanding that "the brain doesn't process negatives".

So, let's look at the lyrics of "Firm Foundation (He Won't)". It's a very pretty song. But what is it doing to our brains?

(Here's an example of how this is sung in a congregational context - not the church I went to, but the same kind of performance)


Thoughts on someone overthinking the psychology of straightforward statements? Share them! Call, text, email, whatever you're comfortable with!


Sunday, January 01, 2023

Ericast 328 - Great 2023 Expectations

Let's kick off the new year with rundown of what's in my podcatcher and a couple tips for organizing the next 365 days. Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

Who's out there? I don't want to be the weekly podcast that comes out once a month (or once a quarter) - let's see if we can make it weekly! Listener Matt has already engaged and inspired me - anyone else left? Digital Dan? Jonzer? Chad? Rob?

This is a "personal podcast" which is a phrase I use not as a patent-troll dodge but because this is a bit of communication with me, as a person. I wish all my friends did something like this. If you do, let me know and I'll listen!

A bit of housekeeping: I found our missing episodes from 2005. I'll be updating the blog and they might pop back into the feed depending on how Feedburner handles that. Yes, Feedburner is still working!  Also, at some point (maybe for our birthday in March?) I should switch things over to "https" because even though we're not really passing interesting hackable stuff around, today's web browsing environment likes that. In fact, Google complains with "Your site is not mobile friendly!" and I should consider a different Blogger template... but there's only so much I want to do to break the site (and, frankly, the "mobile" perspective on a podcast homepage is a weird world because podcasting is happening through directories and podcatchers...)

Tech tip of the day: If a website behaves in goofy fashion, take a look at "http" vs. "https" and see if that makes a difference.

Those organizational tips I promised. 1) I'm going to read "The 12 Week Year". 2) Cut up a calendar and tape it to your wall with blue-tape (which is a particular kind of masking tape that doesn't dry out or tear off paint) so you can see the year laid out visually. Mine is in the hallway outside Studio A because it's dead space (can't hang a picture or a whiteboard) but very visible.

What am I listening to right now as we start off 2023?

  • Marketplace Tech - I've been listening to this for years and years, ever since it was on the radio as "Future Tense" with Jon Gordon as host. This is basically the "Ship of Theseus" of podcasts because not a single thing about it is the same as it was 20 years ago yet I still think of it as the same one. https://blogs.publicradio.org//futuretense/2010/04
  • Techmeme Ride Home (Matt in California gets full credit for turning me on to this one and it's terrific)
  • The Jordan Harbinger Show - I come and go with this one and it's back in the rotation
  • The New Evangelicals Podcast - nobody will listen to this because the non-religious will think it's a church-thing and the religious people will think it's WAY too irreverent. That makes it exactly right. Plus or minus 10% if you hear something from that host I probably agree with it, quite possibly with a hearty passionate agreement
  • Daily Boost Motivation and Coaching - heard about it on the Jordan Harbinger Show. Great if you want a smooth, 10-ish minute daily musing

My own church doesn't have a podcast (their sermon videos are online) but I do listen to podcasts from:

  • Our former church
  • The new church of the former pastor of our former church, which he started after he was caught in a scandal and resigned and promised he wouldn't start another church
  • The "competing" church which opened a satellite campus just a couple miles away
  • That church's "leadership podcast" because the hip thing to do if you're a megachurch is start a "leadership network"

I really don't mean to sound cynical here; there are good folks in these communities, but there's also some flawed stuff -- sometimes to the level of "toxic" -- and I think it's important to know what's going on with the people you're connected to, both good and bad.

  • The Fairly Spiritual Show - Doug Bursch hasn't put out an episode since May of 2022 and I keep hoping that he'll come back, just like the Ericast has time and time again. You're never really done until you declare that you're done, like...
  • The Reply All Podcast - I don't listen anymore, because in June they announced that they were done and that their episode 189 would be their last.
  • Zestology: "Energy, Vitality and Motivation" - this is another one that comes and goes from my feed.
  • Social Media Secrets with Rachel Pedersen - nationally known in social marketing circles but happens to be based here in the Twin Cities, and I listen to her more for the random "life advice" insights than the professional marketing tips since I'm not doing professional marketing.

What's missing from last year? Hal Elrod, Jeff Sanders, Mark Mason, Ray Edwards, Brian Hardin, Michael Hyatt.  Great content, good people, not always 100% correct about everything, nobody ever is. But there's only so much "intake" I can do before I need to focus on some "output".

But, all of those people have content that I can download and stream on demand. I just did with Ray Edwards, and got the update on him and his Parkinsons and the "deep brain stimulator" that he had implanted and is doing terrific things for him. So, just because there's not a "constant automatic subscription" doesn't mean I can't check in once in awhile.

And you can do the same. The key is, I really do want to hear from you.  Call 701-645-3742. "Oh, I don't want to bother him with a call!" Really, it's no bother at all! "Okay, but I don't want to try to verbalize a message!" That's okay - shoot me an email, or a text, or whatever. Just let me know how you're doing. If things are good, that's good. If they're not, I'll take the conversation wherever you like, including just leaving things sit at a place where life is rough. That's okay to.

I've got a growing list of podcast topics that I'm looking forward to working on... so, until next week, take care!


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Ericast 327 - Merry Christmas, 2022!

I'm not sure how long I can take an unannounced hiatus from the podcast before you think I've pod-faded, but I haven't. However, 2022 is a year I don't mind saying goodbye to. Ready to send it off? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I really don't like the idea of this podcast becoming nothing but a self-referential commentary on the existence of this podcast, but sometimes that happens.

2022 was "fine" but in Minnesota "fine" isn't usually "good".  In my use it might mean "terrific!" which is something that we used to teach our debate students years ago - until you're on the bus ride home and you know that there aren't any opposing debaters or coaches or judges within earshot, every round went "fine". Not "awesome and I totally crushed that loser!" and not "terrible and I probably got negative points in it!" but "fine".

Fall semester flew by, and December flew by even faster.  I spotted an "Advent Beer Calendar" at Sam's Club - the reviews were correct that it wasn't very good, and that's saying a lot coming from me, but it was on sale even cheaper than Miller Lite so it was worth a shot -- and the best part about that is it helped me keep track of what day it was and how long it would take to get through December.

Candela is home for break. It's great to see her and Chloe playing the nostalgic Wii games - apparently they "won" Active Life Explorer? - and as usual my break is filled with attempts to declutter and clean and re-organize parts of the house.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ericast 326 - And... it's August

No, I didn't pod-fade... but after a busy summer of life-events, I'm just checking in to let you know I'm alive and well. Well, there's one piece of bicycle-related news. Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

Questions? Comments? Life updates? Call 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or reach out to me through any variety of social media channels including the old-fashioned email of me (eric) at ericast.com.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Ericast 325 - Seventeen Years Young

I don't want to sound sappy but the Ericast is now 17 years old. What's that mean for us? I'm not sure. Want to help figure it out? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

The Ericast was born on March 6, 2005 and somehow the way math works, calendars line up every so often, so this really is numerologically the same week as when the Ericast started. So, now what?

A lot has changed in 17 years and a lot is exactly the same. I had a 128MB iRiver. I now have a 128GB iPhone which, in addition to holding podcasts, is a magic piece of glass streaming video from the planet. 

Here's my newly slimmed-down list of podcasts for 2022 that I'm listening to on that magic piece of podcatching glass:

Questions? Comments? Celebratory remarks? Call 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or reach out to me through any variety of social media channels including the old-fashioned email of me (eric) at ericast.com.