We keep our own schedule.
After a few months of complete insanity with regard to planning, then getting married, and following it up with a two-week Honeymoon, we settle into a mellow “catch-up” podcast, where we talk about what we’ve been up to when we weren’t on our latest adventure.
Part I: Who Doesn’t Like A Little Short Circuit Now And Then?
As many of you know, the reason we haven’t had a new episode out recently is because: We Got Married! Uhm, yeah. It’s sort of a big deal. Between the Bachelor & Bachelorette parties, the preparation time leading into The Wedding, and the two week Honeymoon, we were just too busy to post a new episode. But we had a great time doing it all ourselves, and we’ll come back to all the various wedding bits as the week’s progress.
It is true, Marla did all the cooking for the entire wedding, and we’ll probably discuss that in a little more detail on another show. However, we did mention the special BBQ Sauce by Marla’s friend Daren, who custom made enough jars of his special sauce for our entire wedding party, and then some. (We have a ton of leftovers.) Daren only makes this for friends, and it is not available in stores, but we may have a special contest for listeners who can then win a bottle of this sauce if there is interest and demand. It was really nice and made the party that much cooler.
As mentioned, this is our favorite time of the year, and first on our holiday cavalcade is Halloween. We’re not yet decorated for that, but you can find our Halloween 2014 photoset here, where there are photos (and videos) of our set-up. Once we get our decorations up for this year, we’ll make sure you get to see some pictures.
It is true, I am a huge fan of one piece of Disney merchandaise that is not lame, and of course I’m talking about the album Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of The Haunted House. This is the only album that I will buy multiple copies of, and I currently have six in my “Halloween” collection. One of them comes with the fantastic record sleeve that I’ve also included here, which offers great information on DIY party invitations and games you can play at an authentic, Disney-sanctioned party circa 1964. There is a later, ’70’s version of the album that I am not familiar with, that has different audio and a different cover (as I understand it). But the original is pretty dope if you ask me, and I love it. I should add that, as mentioned, you might have some luck if you use the information within these parenthesis, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. (blasphuphmus.valquez.com/Disney1.mp3 & blasphuphmus.valquez.com/Disney2.mp3 might get you somewhere, I think?)
We also mentioned our trip to Bauman Farms last year, and how much fun we had going there. The photos here are from our trip we took in 2014, just before Halloween. We had a lot of fun, in spite of the fact that the farm is clearly geared for children. Still, it has a great, friendly atmosphere, lots of fun stuff to do, and the apple cider and donuts are excellent. We will, hopefully, get to compare it to another local farm, but the link above has a video of our hay ride, and a ton of photos of Marla. I’ve also assembled them into a “story” so you can see our adventure as it unfolded.
We also discussed in this segment Marla’s love of puzzles, particularly vintage puzzles, though she enjoys putting
them together provided they are fun. We’ve been through several since we moved into this house: Star Trek: Next Generation, Vintage Beer Cans, Vintage Vegetables, Vintage Candy Wrappers, and most recently: The Christmas Cats! What we failed to mention in the show is that there is a single piece missing from the Christmas Cats Puzzle, which is very common for these kinds of puzzles. However, the previous owner was so cute that they included a note, indicating that there was a missing piece, and where the piece was missing. This was such an old-lady move that I really thought it added to the value of the puzzle.
You can always follow the photos that Marla takes on her Instagram account, at marlarp. To close out this first part of the show, here’s a photo of the new art we obtained for our hallway, which I had not put up at the time of recording, but is now hanging beautifully for anyone in our home to see. We also hinted at our fun weekend in PDX, but we’ll have to save that story for another time.
Marla claims that I get a silly look on my face, and that it makes her laugh. I’m not sure what she’s talking about, but you can take a look here and tell us who makes the sillier face.
Marla drives for a living, and since we last spoke, she has managed to get through quite a few books on tape. To my knowledge, most of these are available at your local lending library, but the links here are to audible.com that should get you the book in an audio form, if you are so inclined. I would also suggest finding an eBook or physical copy, depending on your preference.
Recently, Marla has made it through: Dune by Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris. We talked about these, in addition to the four books she has upcoming (checked out but not yet “heard”): Children of Dune by Frank Herbert, Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Day Shift by Charlaine Harris. She is still waiting on someone who has not yet returned The Waste Lands by Stephen King to the library (and if this is you, please return it!), and has, instead, picked up Revival by Stephen King, which is really good so far, and she will tell us more about next time.
I had guessed that she had listened to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, but I was mistaken, as it was something we had promised to hear together, which we have yet to do. However, before we can do that, we need to finish Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, which we listened to half of while we were on our Honeymoon. We offer a quick rundown of the premise, and some of our initial thoughts. We both really enjoyed the book, but with so much of the novel ahead of us still, it is hard to weigh in one way or another. As someone who can really only say I’ve ready In The Beginning Was The Command Line & Snow Crash, I might not exactly be the best person to judge Stephenson’s books. But I’m enjoying this one, and we’ll finish it up soon.
In another series that sort of fell by the wayside, I review the third issue of the Transmetropolitan series that I’ve been reading, written by the very strange writer / artist duo of Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson. The first three issues are written in a style that is somewhat different than the rest of the series, as these three were part of an interlocking story that was clearly written well before the series had been “launched.” What follows (in future issues) is more like a serial narrative that has a different rhythm than these first three. The first three issues are available in a trade collection titled Back On The Street, which you can find both in physical form as well as digitally. We also want to give a shout out to Chelsey, our friend who is a big fan of the series, and who sold me all of her old comics. I will work on my essay about the series, and offer up a link to ya’ll when it is ready.
On the subject of things that I do, we end Part II with a little plug-o-rama for my own creative work. For those who are unaware, I host a weekly podcast: WTBC Radio: Wanting To Be Cool in Beautiful Anywhere, Anywhen. The show features collage cut-ups, music, and documentary style radio with my own particular quirk and twist. So far we’ve been offering up a music & radio “History Lesson” series, some remixed versions of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, and we’re just starting to get into the October Season. (Also, as mentioned in the show, here is a link to a show from 2012, “Blues For Planet Mars,” where I do a tribute to the Martian Rover that had just landed, since we got a little Mars-y recently.)
With that in mind, you should keep your eyes peels for our #HalloweenSpooktacular2015. If you subscribe to Austin’s Annual Halloween Spooktacular in iTunes (or in another podcatcher of choice), you’ll get access to Halloween retrocasts from past years, a different one delivered every week day during the month of October. This includes our new shows every Tuesday, and Halloween Blog Posts over at acronyminc.org, where we publish five times a week anyway. I’ve been really working hard to make this year special, and I would love it if you checked out the shows and read the posts. You won’t regret it.
On the subject of Halloween, I should plug my Spoken Word Album, “The Ways of Ghosts.” This is a collection of four ghost stories – with music and sound effects – mixed to perfectly complement the holiday season, and it a creation of which I’m quite fond. Put this on, late at night, and get ready for the wind to shake the windows, the fog to roll in, and plenty of sounds from outside that seem far too close and must be investigated. “The Ways of Ghosts.” I’m quite proud of this, and picking up a copy not only helps me keep doing what I’m doing, but is a direct way you can support the cause.
And on the subject of support, if you’re feeling very generous, then why not support me in the old-fashioned sense? Gimme your money! Point your browser to patreon.com/austinrich, and you can opt to support me at a level that feels right to you. While I have not officially launched my Patreon Campaign, Capital Couple listeners can get the jump on this opportunity, and give me a chance to do all of this work without a shitty job. I will not turn down any support of any kind at any time, and hopefully you won’t turn down a chance to offer it. There are cool rewards for people who do support me, and for everyone else, don’t worry: you will still get all the same shows and stuff to read that you got before. This will not stop, but will only get better… with your support.
The final segment of our program this week is a sample from The Great American Road Trip: Southwest Edition, an audio journal we kept during our Honeymoon trip to various locations in the Southwest, and a stop at Disneyland on the way home. You can find all the photos that cover this introductory section of our trip in this photoalbum: Honeymoon 1: Planning & Take-Off. I like to make videos of the scenery outside the window as we drive, so you can get a sense of what it was like to be in the car with us! (Yes, exciting, I know.) The audio was recorded using a Zoom H2n Handy Recorder, using two-channel (stereo) mode.
Our goal for this beginning stage of the trip was to reach Winnemucca, Nevada, which is exactly half way between Salem & Arches National Park. Had we gotten there that day, we would have stayed in the Water Canyon Recreation Area, however we knew full well (even as we recorded the introduction) that we might have pull off somewhere else, earlier, because of the delays in getting started, and the natural difficulties of traffic and travel.
One thing that is captured in this recording that is relevant to the rest of the trip: we saw a lot of road kill. If there is one thing I can say about America, there is just road kill everywhere.
We scaled back our camping gear from what we would use for a regular trip, but still the car was packed pretty tight. We were aided tremendously by the Keeper, a car-toper carrying device that allows you to strap down belongings, zip them up, and keep the from taking up space inside the car. I highly recommend this item if you drive a station wagon of some kind, or even if you just want your stuff to stay dry in the back of a truck. You do need a roof rack to strap it to the top, but the straps are tight and allow a lot of maneuverability for fitting in different items. I quickly got into the habit of which gear went “upstairs” and which did not during our trip, which made for easier loading / unloading.
We packed our cooler with frozen left over wedding food, including some amazing brisket which we bring up all the time because it was so good, which we used as “ice” at the beginning. I liked this cooler a lot more than the previous one I describe in the show, which was about the same size but with a whole lot less space, no drain, and unnecessary wheels. This one (pictured) is just your average cooler, and it worked perfectly in that respect.
Our “take-off” song was “Rumble” by Link Wray, because to me, Link Wray is perfectly American, and great cruising music. As mentioned in the recording, we got new tires for our car (the USS Blubaru) before take-off, from a place called Bob’s OK Tire Store. Needless to say, the sign was amazing, the tires worked out great, and we got a good deal, so I would recommend them. (Especially if you’re a “car” person, as the owner might cut you a deal if you can talk cars, like he did for us when he talked to Marla’s dad.)
The trip was mapped & planned by Marla using freecampsites.net, a really cool website that gives you detailed maps to a number of sites across the country. Users upload information about the camp sites. You can see the “notes” we had to work with that she wrote down when planning our trip at home. Most navigation in the car was done using these notes and the GPS / Google Maps in our phones.
While we talked about it a length, we actually did not use the port-a-potty that we took with us. It became a bit of a joke, as it took up a lot of space in our gear, and ultimately went unused (and after the first few days, didn’t even make it out of the back of the car). However, I’m glad we brought it just in case. I can’t speak to the usefulness (yet), but maybe we’ll need it next year.
The battery pack, however, got extensive use, and worked out very well. While we were able to use the car’s battery to recharge our phones during long stretches on the road, the RAVPower 16000mAh External Battery Pack kept us going once we had settled into our camp sites. The battery charges through a micro-USB cable, and has two USB ports for charging devices on the front. We never tested it with more than one device at a time, but the documentation says that you absolutely can charge more than one thing at a time. When this pack fully charged, I got three complete charges for my iPhone off of it, and since we got back, I’ve used it in my bag when I’m out and about and my phone is loosing its charge. It is a real champ of a utility, and it isn’t much bigger than my phone itself, nor is it that much heavier. (Perhaps twice the weight of the phone.) I have no idea if it will have any longevity as a power pack, but at a $30 price point, they work great in emergencies and trips like this. At that price point, even if it only works for a few weeks, it is still a good deal if you have no access to power of any kind.
And that’s it for us this week. Hopefully we will return to a twice monthly schedule again, or something closely approximating that kind of routine. It would be nice, anyway.
In the meantime, you can find us at thecapitalcouple.wordpress.com, or @blasphuphmus, and of course Marlarp is on Instagram. If you want to subscribe to our program, you can do so at: bit.ly/CapitalCouplePodcast. That link will work in iTunes or any other Podcasting device, but you have to manually add it to your feed catchers. Hopefully we can change that in the near future.