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Sit Back And Tell Us About Your Childhood

This is one of my favorite things in the world that I do. That I create. The way I see it is podcasting is like being in a band. It has tiers. Joe Rogan and Kevin Smith, Jay Mohr and Joey Diaz. Those guys are the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and the Nirvana’s of podcasting. Your radio DJ’s, TV shows and the niche stuff are your regional acts. Three friends sitting in a home recording studio, recording whatever happens and releasing it to entertain their friends and have a good time…well that’s what it is and that’s what we do. We are the open mic of podcasting. Is this thing on?

Sit Back and Tell Us About Your Childhood:

Comedian, friend of the podcast and all around ginger Brandon Morland sits in and tries to help Chris figure out why China is building ghost cities and half-sized Eiffel Towers. James discusses his 24-hours at Disneyland and sends a T.S.A agent on her coffee break. Dankrobber really wanted to be here tonight but he was at the beach and not returning our emails!


The Burning of Whatever James

I bake a lot. Up until a couple of weeks ago if you had asked me, I would have told you I bake next to never. I spent a lot of time teaching myself to cook. From appetizers to sushi, I know my way around a kitchen. But when you ask if I bake, I immediately think of candies, desserts and pastry chefs. But that is baking like being a chef means that you cook. Pastry chef’s know how to use a flat top and most chefs bake all day long: casseroles, soufflés and any number of amazing roast meat dishes.

I bake a lot. I’m not a fan of the microwave except for snacks and most days I think of lunch as a snack. Dinner should come from a stove or an oven. It can be cold for all I care. I’m just not a fan of, and kind of a snob about, dinner from a microwave. I even bake my T.V. dinners. 

All of this domestic oven use is supplemented by my medicinal baking.  As I am in the state of California, Cannabis is legal for medical use and my preferred method of medicating is ingestion. For those only familiar with the inhale method (or not familiar with cannabis at all), cannabis can be taken in many ways. One of which is extracting the active compounds and suspending them in a fat, in this case butter. That butter can then be used like any other in recipes and dishes. But like any medicine you have to know your dosages and like any butter (or ANY ingredient) you have to be aware of flavor. When all is said and done, I make an incredible medicated butter which I use primarily in muffins. I also try to teach others about ingesting medical cannabis but that’s another post.

I bake a lot. Even if I don’t bake every day, some days I bake more then once, so I think it may average out to once a day. I hate to admit it but I got a little sidetracked since the last time I cleaned my oven and when I finally noticed it a few weeks ago (nothing highlights how dirty something is like returning from vacation), it was clear that I would not make that mistake again.

By the time I was done my stove and oven were near beautiful and my hands were near useless. Being as I couldn’t get any time off from the day job (without boring you too much I handle injury claims all day, every day. I know there was no way to miss work without missing my paycheck) I had to push through. Sadly as blogging, Facebook-ing, twitter and all that jazz is not necessary to my ability to pay my bills it had to take a back seat for a couple of weeks. Yes, I missed the last few days of Blog Every Day In May but it still did what I needed it to do (I’m blogging now). The hardest was not stitching. I slept a LOT on the bus!

Now my fingers are mostly healed just a little discoloration on the skin and fingernails and I am glad to be stitching and typing again. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. First things first: I need to go bake.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

I’ve been on a vacation. You know what they say: it’s great to get away but it’s lousy to come back! We took a shoestring, lightning-fast trip to Disneyland and it was great. I’ve got a few thoughts on it (just a few?) so let’s not doddle.

Last Thursday was the day that would set the tone. This was the day we left the house, go to the airport, through security, on to a plane, take a flight, land at a different airport, ride with a stranger to a hotel with a bed we will sleep in that is not ours. That was everything we have been preparing Kadie for for almost a month. She is definitely my kid.

Being born in 1980, I am just a couple years too old to have been at a doctor when Asperger’s Syndrome was the diagnosis of the day. As an adult I have actually had my doctor refer to me as “aspergery”. Regardless if I am aspergery or just an ass, Kadie is just like me. Well, without all the control and repression that comes with being an adult and having them both forced onto you since youth. Hopefully she continues to differ in this way. Add to that the individual traumas we all collect in life (our goodbye ritual is still a minute long, down from four). We’ve had this trip planned for a year. We have been preparing for this day for one day less then a year. It was a ritual in itself:

“In eight more sleeps we are going to get up, ride to the airport, go through security and scan our stuff to be sure it’s safe to fly, walk on to the plane…”

Every night, most mornings and every time Kadie herself wanted to over the list. For over two weeks. All to prepare to leave for our vacation.

The trip went so smooth you could slide across in your socks. The biggest issue we had on the way down was Mrs. Whatever forgot how queasy she gets before, during and after take off and landings. The biggest problem on the way home was Whatever James Vs. T.S.A. but that’s another post (spoiler: they had to call for back-up).

Movie Love

This is the almost-totally Star Wars-free edition of my Top 5 movies list. That’s not easy to come by.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Yep, I dressed up, went out atmidnight and partook in strange sexual activity. I also sang songs in the aisle and threw buttered toast at the movie. Aside from so many great childhood memories, this Rocky makes the list because I love musicals. I could list the classics (Oz and Willy Wonka come to mind) or I could list the further-out-there (1776, a musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence) or even the questionable (Cannibal: The Musical) but I am listing Rocky because Richard O’Brien covered all the classic styles of Rock and Roll. I have FOUR different soundtracks and that’s not including the Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show cover album. Plus I made an MP3 of the DVD feature where Richard walks around the hotel that was Frank’s castle and plays an acoustic version of songs played in the various rooms they were filmed in. The movie may or may not just be an extended soundtrack to me but sometimes I like to watch a music video.


Back To The Future Trilogy: We all know it and we all love it. I don’t need to explain it. But for me it comes down to this undying fascination with how people are different in youth to adulthood, especially my own parents. When Marty is being seduced by his mom and she says she is going to let her kids do whatever they want and he mumbles something about wanting that in writing I remember thinking of all the things I would get my hippy mother to sign off on if I only had the chance.
back to the future


Jurassic Park: I was 14 when this came out. It had realistic dinosaurs eating people in the most plausible scenario possible to bring dinosaurs and humans together. This is Science Entertainment.


The Other F Word: A little known documentary about punk musicians raising kids/families and the dichotomy of telling a crowd full of kids at a show to fuck the system and then reminding your own children they have to listen to you because you are the adult. It is beautiful and touching and honest.
other f word


The Goonies/The Princess Bride: Two geektastic classics that tied for fifth place because I have started watching them with Kadie. She loves the pirate adventure of The Goonies and we can’t walk through a row of more then three trees without her thinking we are in the fireswamp and asking to “play Buttercup”.


And with no need for explanation or reasoning, here is my complete Top 6 Star Wars Films (in order):
1: Empire
2: Jedi
3: Sith
4: Clones
5: Hope
6: Phantom Menace

Music Love

I was really not sure how I would do this list. First, do I do songs or albums? Music means as much to me as stitching and I don’t know how to pick a top five anything. But I will try.

Johnny Cash – Live at Folsom Prison: My father drove a big work van. We all sat upfront and he had an 8-track that was pretty old back then. I got introduced to Tex Ritter and all the rest from a very young age. Live at Folsom Prison was the first album I can remember listening to in its entirety. Yes, we were under 10-years-old so we thought “Boy Named Sue” was the epitome of songwriting. But we would listen to the whole thing. My father switched over to cassette around the time everyone else started to discover CDs. Live at Folsom Prison was the first cassette my father played in the van. For a while it was the only cassette we had in a box of 8-track tapes the van was no longer equipped to play. I knew it was special then and there has been no change to that status in the 25 years since.
Johnny Cash


Nirvana – Nevermind. I was eleven when this album came out. I don’t remember when or where I heard it for the first time. But by the time I was 13, Nivana was the catalyst for everything. Yes, yes. If you listen to the album you will hear how badass Nirvana still is but I backtracked from Nirvana. Through interviews, video and liner notes I found The Pixies, I found The Frogs, I found 80’s punk and I found myself. I didn’t know what any of it meant but I found it all.


Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: If Nevermind taught me that I could play music, Mellon Collie taught me that I could play all the music. I have always liked orchestras, broadway musicals, acoustic rock, searing metal guitar leads, sing-alongs and bubblegum pop (I’m not complicated). When I heard Nevermind I knew I could grab a guitar and go. Mellon Collie taught me I didn’t have to keep all the songs separate. I learned to put it all out there and I have done so ever since. I actually like to cover the song “Bodies” from the second disc. When I used to play live we would play the opening riff to “Today” before dropping the hammer on their ass with the crushing drop-d rhythm.


Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True: The One True Elvis. If I had been in charge of naming Kadie, her name would be Alison. Since her name is Kadie, my electric guitar is named Alison.


Hurricane Season – Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room: I have a soft spot in my heart for Alkaline Trio. I had never heard a song of theirs until I saw them live. They were opening for NOFX at the Rock Against Bush show and I was an instant fan. Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio released this album and there’s a lot to talk about. There is probably a blog post all it’s own in the listening of that album. In the song “From This Oil Can” there is a line: I used to drink so much I let me heart just float away. I wanted to stitch it last year for my first year alcohol free. I wanted to stitch a purple heart on it as the start of a border and every year sober, I’d get a piece back (clever, right). I didn’t because I was so afraid I wouldn’t make it to year two and I would forever see this with one heart. It is almost time to start stitching it.

Game Love

As I write this, Microsoft is announcing the Xbox One. As Microsoft is announcing the Xbox One, I am stuck on a conference call which I have been told, I don’t actually have to be on. To celebrate all this game goodness, and to celebrate something more useful then my output at the day job, here is a list of my Top 5 influential games. Not Favorite, not the best, just ones that I remember for a specific reason or another.

Super Mario Bros. (NES): Come on, its-a Mario! Seriously when I want to turn on something and just run around, nothing beats a Mario clone. I have never actually beat the first one but I have played every single one. My favorite would still be Super Mario World for the SNES but this was the first platformer I played and it is still the one I benchmark all other platformers against. I spend a lot of time playing Xbox Live Arcade Indie games with Kadie because they have a lot that allow you to use your Xbox avatar character. We have a lot of fun watching “us” jump and do crazy things. I don’t know thing one about programming but if I did I would program an indie game where you use your avatar to run through, essentially, SMB. Does anyone know an Xbox programmer?

Super Mario Bros

Berzerk (Vectrex): Do you even know what a Vectrex system is? Or was? This is the first game I can ever remember playing, Humanoid.



Ape Escape (PlayStation): I love games with interesting controls. I honestly do not know if this is why I like Ape Escape or because of Ape Escape. You can fish, fly, use an RC car, catch monkeys in butterfly nets and so much more. It was a simple premise that was just so much fun. All the gadgets were controlled through the dual thumbsticks and this was an amazing way to play the game.

Ape Escape


Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (Xbox): This allowed you to play some kind of psychic super warrior turning against his evil controllers and saving the world. I don’t know. You could grab guns from the enemy, throw the enemy or environment and even come up with your own ways to interact with the game with your mind. Honestly when I played this I thought “Finally, the technology for a real Jedi game”. A few years later we got The Force Unleashed.

Psi-Ops The Force Unleashed


Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (Gamecube): This game fucks with you. I don’t mean just you, your character. This game fucks with YOU, the player. As your character starts to go insane they start to see strange things (the room/graphics turns upside down) but the fun starts when the game tries to drive you crazy. If your sanity meter drops too low (yes, sanity gets measured) flies start flittering on your screen. When you get up to shoo them away…they are in the game. The controls reverse making left turn the character right and good luck figuring out the buttons. My favorite part is when the game blanks out and a message comes up saying your memory card is being erased. They break the third wall! Of course if I was playing it today I wouldn’t be as worried about my save files for The Wind Waker or Quidditch World Cup so maybe it wouldn’t be as scary.

Eternal Darkness

It’s All Over But The Packing

I know I have missed a couple BEDM entries but I am preparing for a real family vacation. It’s birthday season in the Whatever household. Mrs. Whatever is turning the big 21 again next Tuesday and Kadie hits the big 0-5 a few days later! I will be entering some Top 5 lists just to keep things going.

Anything I should be writing about? Got a topic suggestion or request, do the voodoo you do in the comments!