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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Ericast 330 - The January Rollercoaster

This year has not started out the way I expected. Want some family updates and a couple calls? Here's your show.

Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I'm down to the last few minutes of January and would like to wrap up my day, so here's how things have gone. And if you've got things to share, 701-645-3742 still works (as this episode will prove!) We had "great expectations" kicking off on the very first day of January. Then my birthday came, when we got a bunch of snow and Dad went into the hospital with what turned out to be pneumonia. He bounced back pretty well but was left with some muscle weakness so he's in a rehab care center for that. But the person you don't want getting pneumonia is my mom, because she's had lung issues for years so that's the thing that's going to get her. Well, spoiler alert, she went into the hospital last week with "severe pneumonia" and is now on comfort care with hours -- maybe days, definitely not weeks -- left. So, wow, that was a wild swing of events and means that I don't know how we'll I'm going to be maintaining the Ericast schedule in the months ahead. Maybe I'll be a lot more regular as a place to reset and connect with all of you, and maybe I'll be juggling way too many other things. We'll see.

I'll tell more stories about Mom another time, but for now I'm going to see if I can return to the tradition of the last week of the month being "listener feedback"... like the call from Chad that seems like it might be referencing our last episode. And we can always count on Matt in California.

If you've got your own feedback to share, you know what to do! 701-645-3742 or email or catch me on the flipside socials.

Bonus: Here's someone's compilation of the AT&T commercials that I mentioned at the end of this episode:

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.
  • 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!