Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I went to Wreck-It-Ralph with my daughter on her birthday a few weeks ago, and really, really enjoyed it. However, I enjoyed even more the short cartoon, "Paperman", that preceded it. I went searching for it on YouTube to share it with Rish, and was only able to find a terrible version that someone had recorded with their cell phone.

But, just today, I saw that this cartoon has now been posted by Disney Animation on YouTube for all to watch.

It's frigging great. Watch it and enjoy. Maybe you'll even shed a tear like I did. Sometime I'll have to look inward at my dark and twisted soul to discover why it affected me so much. But for now, I'm just going to watch it and enjoy.

Watch it! Love it!

Oh, it was nominated for an Oscar the other day. Just sayin'.

Still No Anklecast?

I know that all my thousands upon thousands of listeners are concerned and upset. Why is there no new Anklecast? Didn't he promise us to do one a week? What is wrong? Is he trying to duck the reckoning that he has to make for not fulfilling his goals that he trumpeted from the hilltops?

Well, there's nothing wrong, and I'm not trying to avoid that reckoning that I'll have to make. In fact, the real problem has been the weather. A podcast shouldn't be affected by the weather, I mean it's not a baseball game after all, but my podcast is one of the few that has to deal with it, because I record it on my drive to work. And for several days in a row, my drive to work has looked like this:

And because of that fact, I haven't felt safe in recording a podcast. If the bluetooth headset I bought had worked, then maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion, because I could have just recorded it hands-free, but it didn't. Not sure why, but there you have it.

Kind of crazy that we've had three days in a row of big snowstorms all hitting at around the same time so that the morning commute is a huge mess. I fully meant to record on Monday morning, but skidding on the freeway when traffic suddenly ground to a halt in front of me put me out of the mood. And I decided that I'd have to wait until there was a better day for it. Still waiting.

Anyway, this is a hugely rambling entry in which I say the same thing over and over again, so I'll cut it here. Only one other thing to say, this entry is really rambly, and I keep repeating the same information, so I'll stop now.

Thanks for being there and for caring everyone. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I've mentioned on here several times that when I get the recordings of the NMX panel Rish and I were a part of as well as the panel Renee, Bryan, and Marshal were on that I would make them available for listeners/readers. Well, if you don't read both my blog and the main Dunesteef blog, then you might not know that I have posted them over there. Here's a link to both of them. This is Renee, Bryan, and Marshal's panel. And this one is the panel that Rish and I did with Abbie and Scribe. Check 'em out if you'd like.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Anklecast 3

So, I'm sucking. I haven't even gotten past the outlining stage of my first story for 2013. I talk about my difficulties, beg for a little help from my listeners, and give a synopsis of my story in this latest Anklecast.

Listen, and then comment, please.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Photo courtesy of ultraBobban


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jump, Jive An' Wail

I use that as my title because I know how much Rish hates the music from the swing revival of the mid to late nineties, and I love to bug him. Also, it kind of appropriately describes what we did on the last night of the trip to Vegas for the New Media Expo.

Rish was determined to go to karaoke one night, and now that there was only one night left, it had to be this one.

On the first night in Vegas, we went in search of karaoke, not to actually do the karaoke thing, but to make sure we had found a place that did it, so we could invite any Dunesteef listeners that live in the area to come and participate with us.

Rish remembered having done karaoke at a casino he'd stayed at for New Year's Eve two years prior. He wasn't certain, but he thought it was at the Mirage. However, inside the Mirage, there was nothing that resembled karaoke at all. We wandered for a few minutes, and finally I resolved to man up and ask someone.

There was the hostess to an in-hotel restaurant standing at her podium at the restaurant's entrance who looked to be unoccupied, so I walked up to her and asked her if she knew where we could find the karaoke room at the Mirage. Before approaching her, I hadn't realized what I had gotten myself into.

She was very kind and helpful, she said there was no karaoke at the Mirage (and never had been, not even for one moment in the entire history of the casino. Not even once had a guest at the hotel gone so far as to sing in the shower), but she was so helpful that she looked it up for us on the computer at her podium. There was karaoke at the Imperial Palace, a casino that was directly across the street, every night of the week. There was also a really great place called Ellis Island with nightly karaoke as well.

She was so helpful that I felt like a complete lecher in her presence. Such a nice girl, and all I could do was stare at her chest.

But I couldn't be blamed! Her chest was impressive, and it was almost completely bared for me to see. She was wearing a dress with the most plunging neckline I've ever seen. It wasn't super low like that dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammies that one time...

...but it was one of those necklines that I believe they may call a scoop neck, really wide, but then also really plunging...mid-rib cage more or less. There may have been some of that fabric tape or spirit gum involved in keeping that thing on, because gravity seemed to be completely against her breasts remaining inside that dress she wore. I've seriously never seen more of someone's breasts without them being completely out in all my life. It was like an amazing feat of engineering, and also, THEY WERE BOOBS!, so I just couldn't take my eyes off them. I tried my best, but it was really, really hard (that's what she said). I felt like a total creep ogling this girl, but I really had a hard time not doing so. I guess I'm just a typical male pig, despite all my efforts to be otherwise.

Since I couldn't remember a word she'd said by the time we were done talking, I asked her to write down the name of the places she'd suggested, and we walked unsteadily away.

I did remember her saying "right across the street" about the Imperial Palace, so I suggested to everyone that we plan on going there, and we set the date for Tuesday night, and posted it on Facebook.

When the day actually arrived, we were late getting out the door because we were recording the post-show episode for Rish's story that we'd recorded the day before. Abbie didn't come, because she was on the verge of vomiting like the little girl on The Exorcist, and Marshal had to go catch his flight, so our group had dwindled to only five.

We went looking for the Imperial Palace, and absolutely could not find it. How could a casino on the Las Vegas Strip be hard to find. They're all lit up with 50 foot screens, replicas of the Eiffel Tower, and real working volcanos. Yet we couldn't find this one.

We walked back and forth, then back, then forth, then back and forth, and still could not find it. We asked for directions, followed them, and still could not find it. Then, we used Scribe's phone's GPS, went to a building that was covered with signs calling it The Quad, and discovered that apparently The Quad is some sort of code for Imperial Palace, because that was the right place after all.

However, the internet had led that pair of big breasts astray, because there was, in fact, no karaoke at the Imperial Palace, and hadn't been since the Ming Dynasty. The security guards were happy to give us directions to Ellis Island, though, which was the other place those breasts talked about the night before.

We got into Rish's car, wandered confusedly for a while, until we finally managed to find Ellis Island, and the karaoke began.

Well, that might be an misleading statement. We actually had, as the DJ said, at least an hour wait before our first song would come up in line. We sat around at our table, singing along with other people's songs, having a good time, taking pictures of each other making silly faces while wearing the free glasses we'd all gotten for being speakers at NMX, before anyone ever got up to sing.

Rish is a big karaoke fan, so it was no surprise that he got his song slip in first, and was the first to hit the stage. I suppose I should have guessed that he'd pick Elton John. It just seems fitting.

He even kind of resembles Elton with those glasses on, don't you think?

I guess it would be better if they were red with rhinestones in the corners, but they weren't giving that style away for free to the NMX speakers this year. I think they ran out of them at last year's convention.

Scribe, who is an excellent singer (as you may have noticed from her high notes on Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations), was next.

It was hard to follow that. Luckily, there was a bunch of other folks between me and her, but as far as our group went, I was next.

"Rio" by Duran Duran is a song that I've always liked, but I don't think I've listened to it enough times to sing it karaoke. I don't know if you can tell, but I got lost somewhere in the middle, and realized that I was supposed to be singing the words to a different melody. Then again, it's karaoke, isn't that how it's supposed to sound?

I suppose I was intimidated by folks like Scribe who sang like top 10 contestants on American Idol. There were a few others who sang even better, including this one woman who did the most amazing version of "Proud Mary" that I've probably ever heard. She made Tina Turner and Credence Clearwater Revival sound like first day American Idol contestants.

Renee seemed a little more reluctant to get up there and sing in front of everyone. She finally found a song that she was willing to sing in front of everyone, but wouldn't tell us what it was beforehand. But then she got called to the front, and it turned out to be:

"La Bamba" is not what I was expecting, that's for sure, being that it's a song in a different language and all, but then again, Renee lives in California, and Spanish is so prevalent there that you can't help but pick a bunch of it up.

Bryan Lincoln only listens to Death Metal, and said he couldn't find a song that he knew well enough to sing. We tried to convince him to do a normal song in a Death Metal style, but he wouldn't bite. We even found "Dragula" by Rob Zombie on the list, but still no dice. I guess karaoke isn't for everyone.

At this point, the night was starting to wind down. I was super tired, due to our long walk to find the Imperial Palace, and I didn't feel up to singing another song. Scribe did sing a second one.

And she blew us all away again, but she lived in Japan for years, so I think that just gives her an unfair advantage. It's just in the water over there.

Rish also sang one more song.

And then we all headed home.

It was a good time, and they said they want us back again next year, so we'll actually be prepared ahead of time. There won't be any lost wanderings. We'll know where to go, and we'll get there with enough energy to turn it up to an eleven.

January 2014, mark your calendars.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The NMX Panels

We spoke at the New Media Expo. I feel like I've forgotten to mention that. Maybe it's because we had lots of fun doing other things, but there was a point to this trip, other than just to have a vacation.

Yes, we were in fact, speakers.

That was pretty cool. It was kind of a big honor to me. I've been to conventions to sit and listen to speakers, but I don't know if I ever thought I'd be a speaker myself. So, standing there at the big cardboard display announcing my panel, and seeing my name, if misspelled, underneath it was kind of a rush.

I was pretty worried about the panel beforehand. Probably just because I'd never done anything like it before, but I kept expecting to be sitting there on the stage blabbing away only to have someone in the audience stand up and start shouting, "Fraud! You are a fraud! You don't know anything! Boo! Boo! Bow down to her! Bow to the queen of filth, the queen of slime, the queen of putrescence! Boo!"

That never least outside of a movie it never happened. Of course, there weren't a lot of people in attendance at the panel, and even fewer that I or one of the other speakers didn't already know. So, that might explain the lack of crazy old, wart covered witches calling me the queen of slime. But also, I really do know what I'm doing. I've done it for years. And I even had a hand in the development of everyone that came with us to the conference. So, I ought to be proud and confident, instead of fearing an unmasking to reveal the fraud beneath. But, I guess that's just my insecurities refusing to go away.

At least Scribe brought her apple along, so everything worked out in the end.

The panel was very sparsely attended, which is a bummer, but something we were prepared for, because we'd just finished sitting through Renee, Marshal, and Bryan's panel, which garnered similar attendance.

Which is a real shame, because both their panel and ours were really good. They contained a lot of good information that could have been used to create a great fiction podcast. But maybe next year, I guess. I mean, that was their point, to build up something that people would bother attending because it speaks to their interests and needs.

And what speaks more to your needs than these guys? Amiright?

Well, anyway...Abbie made a recording of the panel, and also the NMX folks said they were making recordings of everyone's panels and would be sending us links to those when they become available. So, when that becomes available, I'll make a post that will show you what you've got to do to hear them if you'd like. For now, all you get is pictures. You'll have to imagine how the panel sounded.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making Sausage

They say the two things you'd never want to watch being made are laws and sausage. So I guess this wouldn't, therefore, count. While in Vegas, Rish and I forced all the podcasters present to sit down and record a story and an episode to go along with that story.

We had Bryan Lincoln narrating the story.

L. "Scribe" Harris and Renee Chambliss were the two main characters.

Marshal Latham was reading one of the more major characters.

And Abbie Hilton had a few smaller parts in the story too.

And of course, Rish and I insisted that we play a part or two ourselves. Because we're really into ourselves, y'know.

If you've ever wondered, this is what it looks like when podcasters go someplace to have fun. Surrounded by all the lights and attractions of Vegas, we did this:

I thought it was totally fun, but maybe watching us do it might be similar to watching sausage made? I don't know. I took video of it all the same.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be in the room as a Dunesteef show is made, it'd be kind of like watching this video.

Or this one.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Anklecast 2

On the drive to work today, I Anklecasted another one. I talk a little bit about my trip to Vegas with Rish for the New Media Expo. I also report on my success and then my lack of success on keeping up with the goals I set for myself in 2013. Good thing they reset each week, so I can get started on them again.

But make sure not to miss this one, or you won't hear the story of the dead mouse.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Photo courtesy of Elisha Marshall


Thursday, January 10, 2013

He's Back, The Man Behind The Mask

Not actually a mask, but I did get new glasses.

That post title is a reference to an Alice Cooper song that was the theme song to Friday the 13th part VI: Jason Lives, but also refers to me. I'm back from New Media Expo. I had a great time, got the chance to meet several of the people that I have worked with on the podcast in real life, and nearly died when Rish tried to drive on the wrong side of the road.

I'll try to post a bunch of photos and videos over the next few days...perhaps even weeks, considering how backlogged I have become due to the holidays plus this trip. So, if you're interested, check back again and again and drive my traffic through the roof (can you tell that I paid attention at NMX?)

We did a lot of things that I think might interest listeners of the podcast from TGMG episodes recorded in transit, live readings of several stories and skits, to a karaoke night complete with incriminating evidence. All coming your way soon.

Here's a tiny little teaser for you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Anklecast 1

Because now has never happened before, and it only lasts for now. Live for now.

It's a stupid commercial slogan for Pepsi, but it resonated for me anyway. It didn't make me want to drink Pepsi, because I don't like that stuff at all really, but it did make me think I need to get on with my life, and achieve what I want to achieve.

Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to set out some writing goals for 2013. Here they are:

Record story planning session each trip to work.
Transcribe recording upon arriving.
Read a chapter in a writing improvement book once a week.
Write 30 mins each lunchbreak.
Write at least 30 minutes a day.
5000 words a week.
20000 words a month.
25 stories a year, 2 per month.
Report about it on the blog.

While on my drive to work today, I pulled out my tablet, and recorded myself talking about these goals. It's something I'm hoping to do once a week. It'll just be me talking about whatever I feel about talking about. I'm going to call it the Anklecast. So, here is episode 1. Enjoy it if you can.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Photo courtesy of soccerkrys

Oh, and yes, I know the quality of the sound is total crap. I think I can improve it, but I'll need a few things to make it happen, so I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to do that. Hopefully right away, or close to it. We'll see. But bear with me, and things will get better. They sure can't get worse, right?