BONUS Episode #1

From time to time, there will be bonus conversations, clips, and episodes of the show. You can access them by becoming a Patron of the show through Patreon. For $2 per month, you’ll get access to all of the extra material that doesn’t fit into the normal show. The regular show will always come out on Monday and be completely free, but this is just for those who want to hear additional chats and also support the show on a regular basis.

The RSS feed to add to your podcast aggregator is here.

And the first Bonus Episode, with Prashanth Venkat and Jeanne Hospod, is here.

Thanks for supporting the show!

The Planetary Society

If you are unfamiliar with the Planetary Society, please visit their site and familiarize yourself a bit. Not only will you be more connected to Carl Sagan (and Bruce Murray and Louis Friendman), but you’ll potentially be on the front end of helping to make sure that exploration continues. This story about the Pluto fly-by will give you a better idea of just how integral society — and the Planetary Society in particular — can be in making sure that budgets and red tape don’t get in the way of exploring the universe we live in. And you can become a part of it by joining. What are you waiting for?

Hiking to a Glacier

This trip was mentioned on the show recently. I hiked up to the Palisade Glacier in the Eastern Sierras with one of my oldest friends, Jeff.

Beers from the Canceled Tour

As you may know, I recently did a stand-up tour around the U.S. It was also a road trip with my girlfriend, and we sampled some beers along the way. We didn’t always have time in every city, but in the ones we did, here are some beers we enjoyed:

Anchor Steam – San Francisco, CA – It’s been around forever, but it’s still great.
Ninkasi – Eugene, OR – We did a brewery tour here, and everything was good. The Total Domination IPA is their biggest hit, but I enjoyed the Oatmeal Stout more.
Deschutes – Bend, OR – We didn’t actually go through Bend, but they had Deschutes in Portland, and the Black Butte Porter is delicious.
Big Sky Brewing – Missoula, MT – I had some Moose Drool in Minneapolis with Kyle McGinn.
Montana Brewing Co. – Billings, MT – The food was just ok, but the Sandbagger Gold was great.
Bent Paddle – Duluth, MN – They were nice enough to donate a case of the Golden IPA for the show, and it is fantastic. (Thanks to Lezlie)
Rhinegeist – Cincinnati, OH – I had a couple varieties from here, and they were both good.
Yazoo – Nashville, TN – The Pale Ale was really good. We drank that while honky-tonkin’.
Abita – Louisiana – We drank the Restoration Ale in Mississippi and New Orleans. I highly recommend it.
Austin Beerworks – Austin, TX – The Fire Eagle IPA is worth trying just for the name alone.
Revolver – Dallas, TX – I don’t remember exactly which type I had. It was right before the show, but I remember it being good.

So Long, Andy Ritchie

The timing of an episode about cancer research seemed oddly callous to me after Andy passed away on Thanksgiving. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed appropriate. The more we know, and the better we can understand just what exactly cancer is, the better our chances will be in defeating it. Thinking of how quickly it took over his life and altered his ability to be himself, it’s frustrating that there was virtually nothing that anyone could do or say that would have been a proven, time-tested solution. People change their diets; maybe they exercise a bit more. Andy went to seminars and was given progressive medicines that they thought might be on the cutting edge of cancer care. But in the end, they weren’t enough to save him.

Cancer, and especially brain cancer, seems particularly cruel for someone so nice. Andy was a fantastic comedian, and part of being a comedian — at least in my opinion — is having your brain switched on perhaps slightly more often than average. To look around at a world that takes our friends and has so many horrible things in it, and then find ways to make people laugh and brighten their spirits, that’s a pretty unique skill. And no one was better at that than Andy Ritchie. He was a great comedian, and not in a “He’s nice and he does comedy” way. He could have been a complete jerk, and people would have still said that he was funny. But he wasn’t a jerk. He was kind and gentle and hilarious. I’m glad I got to know him. Glad that he was my friend. And glad that he left some comedy behind for us. If you haven’t heard any of his material, listen to his album King Ding-a-Ling. It’s as good as they get. Hopefully it will live on a lot longer than cancer does.

New Music from Rob Crow

Rob Crow (@rob5d4), who you may know from Pinback, Goblin Cock, Optiganally Yours, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable, and a slew of other bands, as well as the composer of the theme song for this podcast, and the music of One-Headed Beast, has a new band called ‘Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place’ which should resonate with Winnie the Pooh fans and particularly Eeyore. They have a new record, and they are taking it on the road. Here is an article about the new project, and there are also tour dates. Get your tickets while you can, and if they pass through your town, try to go see them. And stay tuned to the show. We’ll try to get some sneak peeks of some tracks before the official release. I have seen this new endeavor perform live, and they are great.

Out on the Road

The Canceled Tour is rounding the bend and nearly headed down the home stretch. If you haven’t made it out to a show yet, come say hello before it’s over. Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Phoenix still ahead on the road home. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the episodes. It’s been nice chatting with people who are listening. If you have any requests for images or links mentioned on the show, feel to comment here, and I will post them. Here’s the link for Heath from Reddit’s new website that I mentioned this week. It’s Upvoted.com, and it’s pretty cool. See what you think.