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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Ericast 301 - Warday's 30th Anniversary

Sometimes a book really affects you... and here's one example, with the twist of a really strange timeline. Curious? 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

It's been awhile. And it's was quite a summer, and quite a fall. Thanks for sticking with me... Or for joining the Ericast family for the first time.  Sorry I still haven't figured out my room noise. Maybe that's what kept me away from the mic.  I'll try to change that.

Starting when I was 11, I spent my summers in Cornucopia, Wisconsin -- and lived up there year-round from age 16 to 18. Had I not been homeschooled, I would have turned the graduating class of the consolidated school district from 13 to 14 people.  Lots of stories there.

But early on -- maybe before we even bought the house and were just passing through -- I spotted a book exchange at the tiny post office.  And in that book exchange was a paperback with the gleaming foil title: WARDAY

By the time Warday had come out in 1984, I had started a club called "Kids For Peace".  I knew about the issue of nuclear proliferation before Special Bulletin and The Day After and Threads.  And I don't think that the following generation -- the "late Gen-X" born in the early 80s -- really understand what it was like to live under the thread of a Soviet nuclear attack.

Anyway, I had never heard of the book, but with some trepidation (simply because it was spooky) I watched Warday pass on October 28, 1988.  And that, was exactly 30 years go.

If this timeline starts to sound messed up, it's because it is.  And it's explained in a Warday review I found thanks to Google, from Mitch Edgeworth.  He does a better job than I could, so I read it.

Thoughts? Reflections?  Reach out at 701-645-3742 or any of the usual Ericast venues.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ericast 300 - It's Episode 300!

Huh. It's been 300 episodes since the Ericast started in March of 2005. Want me to say something about that? 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'm still here, so are you, and I think we both appreciate both of those facts! 701-645-3742 is the listener feedback line even though I don't put much of that feedback in the show anymore, but we'll see how we do.

Can't find my July episode on the computer but it apparently happened. I said it was in "Studio A" so it should be on this computer.  And the theme was "Everyone is quitting..." but I'm not.

I promised that I had nothing special planned for this episode, and I keep my promises!

Since the July 1st episode that apparently happened, I went to Colorado and I have plans for Studio D.  It's been a good, full Summer, with more ahead for Fall.

Questions?  Ideas?  Give a call at 701-645-3742 or reach out any other number of ways.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Ericast 299 - Everybody is Quitting

I'm back with a short (?) reflection on the fact that not everyone is. It's been a great spring and early summer, but without some of the things I thought would be around this year. Want the update? 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

Remember that the Ericast is a "personal podcast"... and I've got an explanation of that phrase late in this episode.  June was a month of stay-cation time. (Back to work tomorrow!)

Technical note: Our old web server, circa 1997, has been decommissioned.  The logo was held on that template and as some point I got a login prompt instead of just an empty graphic.

Other features of this episode: Vocal Fry and some a low-level background hum in Studio A which I think is from my CPU fan (and which I bashed down with a noise reduction filter, which creates issues of its own...)

Ignite Minneapolis
Patrick Griffith
Remodeling Clay podcast

Possible highlight of the summer: Meeting Matt from California in person.  Pro: I introduced him to the Juicy Lucy.  Con: I gave myself a Chris Farley show moment of not driving him up past some of the Minneapolis lakes.

See you in Episode 300!

P.S.  That "header graphic" I mentioned? The one you've seen so many times you probably don't even think about it?  Here it is:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ericast 298 - Recapping #Minnebar 13

It's my annual review of Minnesota's technology un-conference, and this time Candela joins me. Interested in a special double-length stereophonic episode? 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

Technical note: This week's episode was recorded with my trusty old Olympus WS-320M with two lav mics and a "dual-mono to stereo" adapter plug.  It's the quick, easy, and super-cheap way to record two people and split them on the left and right channels. Let me know if you like the sound and interview style; I don't think most interviews are separated on L and R channels to this extreme, but it works for me

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Ericast 297 - So... What Happened?

So, I said last week that Dan's April Fool's episode saved the show. Wondering what I meant by that and what the plan was?  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'm recording this early (which is unusual) and it's an incredibly cold April. But the sun now is the same as it is during the "State Fair" (which is a big deal here in Minnesota; it closes Labor Day weekend) so it's melting off. Recent mornings it's been 10 to 15 degrees, and remember that we do degrees in Fahrenheit around here.

So, I missed March entirely, which is the birthday of the Ericast. We're officially a teenager now!

Anyway, the April Fools show had been in mind since late last year, and what it was going to be was a parody of a radio morning show.  It's Rick and Karen in the mornings, on KZ10! Karen, tell us what kind of traffic we're seeing from Chopper 10 and the KZ Action News team live over Fargo!  ("We don't have a helicopter, Rick.")  Okay, then we'll assume there isn't any traffic, because there never is.  Remember that when you hear the new Bruce Springsteen song, be the tenth caller to the studio line with the 'phrase that pays': Nobody plays more music than Fargo's powerhouse for today's top hits from Bismark to Moorhead to put the rattle in your cattle, 99 1/2 FM KZ10.

It was going to be great.

So, to flesh it out I went out to YouTube to grab some audio from old Duluth TV commercials that I'd put up years ago...  And they were gone.

The entire account was gone.

The way my brain works is I get some sort of whimsical idea, and then I buy a domain name that goes with it, and then I build a site around it, and then nothing happens with it but I hang onto it forever because I can't let it go.  Welcome to my brain.

We bought our first VCR in 1985 and I'm a packrat, so I have all sorts of things taped off-air, and that means that there are snippets of news shows and commercials in boxes and boxes of tapes.  The thing that marked that era was the gigantic hairspray-based hairstyles -- Google "Faith Daniels" if you want to see the epitome of "the look".  So, I bought a .TV domain and "Big Hair TV" was born!  And I never did much with it, except for uploading about a half-dozen clips of mostly Duluth television to its YouTube account, and threw a Wordpress-based video indexer onto the domain.

Now there's no sign of it.  I never got an email saying it was going to be shut down.  It was originally part of a free "Google for Business" account (so it had the "" email address) and that was tied to a Gmail address.  And all of that got deleted.  (Like, completely deleted -- I have all the credentials and things cached on my computer and it comes up as deleted.)  And when that got deleted, the YouTube account got deleted.  And when that got deleted, all the videos disappeared.

So, those videos and their comments are gone.  They original encoded files for upload are still sitting on my hard drive, but the world will never see them.

That obviously distracted me from getting the radio parody done, and really got me thinking about how our digital content is or isn't managed.

I doubt it was a DMCA take-down, because that should've triggered some sort of notice... and nobody cares about old videos.  In fact, one of the anchors is PR and marketing executive in the Twin Cities and used the screenshot from my video in his presentations (which was fun to see -- he'd been one of my father's journalism students so it was one of those "small world!" things to introduce myself and make that connection).  Point being, it was a weird thing to get a reminder that everything on the Internet is permanent... except when it isn't, and might disappear without warning.  If Kevin ever wants to find that old clip of himself at the news desk with Stacie... he can't.

Oh, well.  At least I can drop the domains and save about $35 a year.  Because any time you buy a .TV domain, you really need the .COM to back it up.  :)

Speaking of... as I was putting these notes together, I wondered what was at "" -- because, who knows; if they want to start a television show, I've got the perfect domain for them!  And this is even more interesting (to us geeks):  Their registrar has gone under.  So, their domain (which has never had anything at it) lapsed a year ago, but the registrar hasn't released it for repurchasing, because the registrar doesn't exist.

So even when you think things are completely safe because you've branded everything under your own domain rather than YouTube or Gmail or something you don't control... it's still not completely safe because if your domain registrar ceases operations, you can't get to the place that owns your name.

All of the Big Hair excitement was right before my trip to Utah with Chloe, which was the main focus for March, so those two things are my excuse for not getting some sort of birthday acknowledgement into the feed.

The Ericast continues to be what it always has been:  A peek inside by brain.  In audio form, so is it still a "peek" or does "peek" mean it's visual?  See, that's the kind of observation (another visual term!) that you find only on the Ericast!  Or maybe you find elsewhere, but it's randomly imposed on you only on the Ericast!

One last note:  A listener request.  We have someone who alleges (with good intent!) that I once did an episode about telephone prefixes and the invention of the naming scheme that led to things like swing-era songs named "Pennsylvania 6-5000!"  Do any of my dedicated listeners remember anything like that?  I don't... but I have almost 300 of these behind me.  There's no secret stash of show notes -- what's written is what's published, so you've got access to the same back-catalog of notes that I do.  It would take some sort of memory of "Oh, that came up when you were talking about such-and-such..." and I don't have that.

Remember, your feedback really matters. Let me know you're out there! 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or any other means of tracking me down and letting me know what you think.