Ericast.com Podcasts - DWEEB THOUGHTS

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Ericast 257 - A Million Hamsters

Have you ever misheard a song lyric? Sure you have. Can you turn that into an entire podcast episode? Let's find out.  Here's your show.

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Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

When is our birthday?  The first Ericast episode was March 7, 2005. So it's this week, or next. When you're this old, forgetting when your birthday is could be a "theme."  Next week might be a fairly deep-ish topic on "arrogance" lining up with Episode 2; we'll see.

Background:  I like "dance music" -- e.g. Ace of Base. (On Pandora, it's epitomized in my "Ace of Base Radio")  But my current Pandora favorite is Basshunter.  (Note that it's pronounced Base-hunter; it's not music related to fishing.)



"Tweets do not imply endorsement"...?  Pandora stations are somewhat the same for me.  But I can endorse these: My oldest is "Eric's Dance Radio" and you can also enjoy "Eric's WI Memories" from "the golden age of dance music - 1990, give or take a year or two."

So, that explains the music part.  You also need to know that when my wife and I were first married, we had a pet hamster.  (More than one, actually. But not at once.)


This episode topic crossed my mind.  And then I mentioned our hamster piterest in Jeff Goins' MOOC.  And then Paul Debeddings mentioned hamsters:

Paul DeBettignies | February 28 at 10:13pm · Minneapolis, MN

For the next 36 hours I am going to stay away from any topic that can turn into a debate. So I am only going to post hamster videos and Kenny Chesney videos. If you don't like hamster & Chesney videos, well... that's on you ‪#‎36HoursOfHamsterChesneyVideos‬


That clinches it.  I needed to do a podcast episode about this.

So, that brings us to "Paradise" by Sam La More, originally from Sydney Austraila. (He's almost exactly one year younger than I am, which means he's old.)

I know he's not talking about hamsters... but, you have to admit, it sure sounds like he's talking about hamsters!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ericast 256 - The Choosatron Adventure

Reminiscing is fine... but how 'bout we bring the next generation along for the ride down memory lane? In a modern way?  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 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Featuring The Choosatron, which I fell in love with at the August 2013 MinneDemo in Minneapolis.

The Choosatron Deluxe Adventure Matrix is a Wi-Fi connected Choose Your Own Adventure®-inspired story printer, blending digital and analogue storytelling. It is designed to be easily assembled by kids into a small interactive fiction game box, and encourage social reading, learning, and play.

And I have one.  Now.




Also... I have to admit, it's really weird seeing "256" as an episode number on the Ericast...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ericast 255 - Driving the Beam

You know those "iPad-on-a-stick" robots like the one Sheldon was driving in "The Big Bang Theory"? Ever wonder what it would be like to drive one of those?  I did.  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 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

This past week has been a really strange blip in the personal and professional schedule.  (See "Gus T. Guppy" as an example, though you have to listen to the episode to find out how that's even relevant to anything.)

Note to non-Ericast-fans: The core of the Beam discussion starts at the 8:00 minute mark.  If you want to skip the context on who I am and what I think of remote conference attendance, you can jump to that point.  But if you can spare eight minutes, I'd suggest listening to the whole thing...

So... the primary focus of this episode is my driving a Beam Pro robot from Suitable Technologies.  (Which is quite a bit more elegant than Sheldon's "Mobile Virtual Presence Device")

The venue?  The EduCAUSE ELI 2015 conference in Anaheim, California (which generated a lot of Tweets with the #eli2015 hashtag...)

How'd I get picked?  I said "Yes".  I'm not sure if having met Malcolm Brown had anything to do with it, but I had indeed met him in Madison, Wisconsin at the 2008 EduCAUSE "Learning Technology Leadership" program.
  • Driver's Education memories.  Scary, unfamiliar.
  • Robocop reboot movie mirror "reveal" moment.  Clip below (not for young kids!)
  • Paparazzi. Now I know exactly how the stars feel, except that I totally don't.  Being a Beam driver was a privilege, and I'm not complaining, but it's still distracting to have "fans"
  • Accessibility.  Being dependent on a technology-mediated experience and human "handlers;"
    • I knew I was being awkward/embarrassing to those around me -- trying to have the experience but also trying to be out of the way.
  • Cool to encounter people. "Felt" like making connections Malcolm Brown and Veronica Diaz when I saw them in front of me.
  • Might not be terribly practical, but most F2F stuff isn't.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Ericast 254 - Try Exposing Yourself!

If you don't say anything to anyone, you won't hear many complaints. But is that a good way to live? 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 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

This week: A week-in-the-life. (And, my studio chair squeaks. FYI)


Years ago we asked a post-event review question of "Is there anything that could've made this better?"   Someone's answer?  "Get rid of Eric Larson as a presenter. He uses too much self-deprecating humor."

It's at that point I decided to stop doing that, and to start deprecating others.

That weird bitter shot gave me my best self-deprecating joke ever! It's awesome!  I would've done just fine without that feedback, and I do just fine with it.  So don't fear feedback.

"With all those windows on the west side, in the afternoon, that side of the 4th floor just gets baked"

"Yeah, I've heard.  But what about the sunshine?"

Panel Discussion on tips/tricks/experiences with "synchronous online learning," where I was facilitating (vs. moderating).

Say you want to buy a car.  Ford vs. Toyota.  How not to get ripped off at the dealership.

"Wait!  I don't buy into this whole 'car' thing"

That could be outdated bias -- "My uncle sells buggy-whips and he thinks sales are picking up!"
Or that could be wise insight -- "Have you seen light rail and the bike-share programs?"

But that's not the right world -- not the right direction or set of questions -- for the people who've decided they need a car and are going to walk in a dealership and need some tips on negotiating or brand comparison.

Did we miss-market the event?  Well, if we'd been really specific and targeted really well, we could've had a quarter of the numbers in the room and they'd have all said we were awesome. And that would've eliminated the bottom 10 percent who made some really snide complaints

But what about that extra 50, 60, 70% in the middle?  Who got exposed to some new stuff and thought it was pretty good and have some new stuff to think about?

This isn't a call to be sloppy or unclear.

But if you've got a message you believe in; if you think you're doing good work, if you think you have something to offer to the right people... be willing to expose yourself to the wrong people, because that's what it's going to take if you speak up and seek out the right people.

Reflection:  I've got my stuff together and want to do _____.  Maybe you do, maybe you don't. "Humble learner" is a difficult position.  Coaching someone into humility doesn't work; that's basically seen as the definition of arrogance (and maybe it is).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ericast 253 - Searching for Bre

What happens when your friends lose, and then find, someone they love? Find 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 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Coming in under the wire for this week, but still on the calendar!

Full disclosure:  I don't like this episode.  It's bumbling.  It's awkward.  But it's a topic that ought to be discussed, and I'm not going to let my lack of eloquence keep us from starting the conversation.

That's what I mean by "Find out." Period.  Find out how these things unfold now, before you need to know.

This week's topic began with a tweet from Kate-Madonna Hines.  While we disagree pretty passionately on abortion and the work of Planned Parenthood, I trust her judgment and ethics. She'd fall into the category of one of my personal "thought leaders" over the years.

In the process, I Twitter-met Alison Feigh.  (Word-of-the-week transforms into Name-of-the-week:  Would it be "FEE," or "f-EYE"?)  Alison Feigh serves as the program coordinator at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, a program of the National Child Protection Training Center.

When dealing with a missing person, where do you go?  Twitter.  Facebook.  Whisper (where, it turns out, someone said he used to know her).  And then, go back to spread the good news that she's been found.