Been meaning to do this for a while…

I present to you, my intrepid readers, this snapshot of those things in the vast media stream that much distract me and amuse me to no end.


(I listen to podcasts a great deal these days. Here are my favorites.)
Bilibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword – a top rated audio book about a fantasy dwarf playing the part of a hard-boiled private detective in Chicago of the roaring 20s.
It’s All In Your Hands (Satacracy 88) – an audience controlled science fiction video serial. Each chapter ends at a crossroads and the audience chooses the direction the story will take. A little wierd, violent and paranoid– but a modern day answer to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to collect.
Car Talk (Call of the Week) – a clip from that week’s show highlighting Click and Clack at their funniest.
NPR: Driveway Moments – selected pieces from NPR nominated by listeners for their engaging quality. Not all of them are my cup of tea, but many of them are fantastic.
This I Believe – a new piece every week from people famous and otherwise about what they truly believe. FANTASTIC!!!
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – a comedy quiz show about the week’s news.
Real Time with Bill Maher – comedy and frank discussion of recent events. (If you don’t want the whole show, they also podcast just the New Rules.)
Renaissance Festival Podcast – a collection of music from those that play the renaissance festival circuit. I like it for the humorous songs… but there is quite a variety. (I really enjoy the Limey Birds.)
Savage Love Podcast – an audio version of Dan Savage’s frank (almost too frank) sex advice column. The audio and printed versions do not overlap. Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended.
Slice of Sci-Fi – the most popular sci-fi related podcast out there. Funny and informative.
The Ethicist – an audio version of Randy Cohen’s advice column on ethics.
The Geeklable Podcast – a show by a bunch of “stealth-geeks” (geeks who have grown up, gotten married, have real jobs– yet still try to remain true to their geek selves). It is a shameless ongoing plug for their geek t-shirt company, but if you can get past that it is delightfully geeky and amusing. (The shirts are kind of cool. I gave myself a handful of them for Christmas.)
The Onion Radio News – short audio “news” stories from our favorite source of news, The Onion.
This American Life – Another wonderful show from NPR. A collection of stories, real and fictional, on a chosen theme presented in 3-4 acts. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, always engaging.

    Television Shows

(A quick look at some of the things on our TIVO Season Pass list. “Some” only because we currently have 71 items on our list on the main TIVO. Sad, isn’t it.)

Robin Hood – a new version of the classic story by the BBC. (Not great, but good enough. And C&C are suckers for swashbuckler sorts with swords or bows.)
Heroes – only the 2nd best show currently on television. Makes me want to run role-playings games again so bad my teeth hurt. Are you on the list? (First – The site with this quiz requires you to type in registration information. Don’t know how obnoxious they will be with it. Caution advised. Second – The damn quiz pegged me as Mr. Bennet. Sigh. I should be getting used to this sort of thing. The Sorting Hat put me in House Slytherin. Of course, that was the old quiz. This new one put me in Ravenclaw. Some days, I’m amazed C even associates with me.)
Battlestar Galactica – this would be the best show currently on television. Considering my absolute fanaticism for all things super heroe related, just imagine how good this show must be to be above Heroes. Science Fiction doing what it does best– cloaking the important, difficult questions of our times in stories of other wheres and whens.
Survivor: Fiji – the original “reality show”. Last time they made race a focus of the game. This time, they are making class center stage. It is the Haves vs. the Have-Nots. Fascinating.
Doctor Who – More good sci-fi from our friends at the BBC. One of the longest running sci-fi shows on television. I confess, I’ve lost track of how many incarnations we are at now. It has been on hiatus in the States, and I miss it.
Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 – not as good as they were, but still good sci-fi. This is SG-1’s final season and that saddens me.
The Dresden Files – this translation of the mage-noir novels set in the modern day (also in Chicago) is actually pretty good. Dresden is a wizard who sets up shop as a “consultant” (think private dective) in a world where magic, demons, and other monsters exist–though we most of us don’t realize it. The novels are better and some episodes are better than others, but I think it is worth sticking with.
Medium – when I first heard about this show “based” on Allison Dubois, I was more than skeptical. I don’t believe in most of the “psychics” that I see or hear about on TV. But, as a story, as a good story with good characters, this show rocks. C and I both watch it and I think the actor playing the husband is amazing. So are the kids.
Mythbusters – I just love this show. Watching the Mythbusters crew try to prove/disprove various myths is a hoot. And I’ve even learned a thing or two in the process.

(There are more, but most of them I’ve either listed before or aren’t worthy of listing here.)

    Bonus – Favorite Commercials

(I really appreciate a well crafted commercial. These are the ones that make me stop fast-forwarding my TIVO.)

Traveler’s Insurance – Nope, didn’t remember what they were selling, but I sure do love the unfolding story and the twist at the end. The look on his face is priceless.
Aflac Insurance – I’ve about had it with the stupid duck, but this commercial just makes me giggle. It has added to my “favorite quote” list for everyday occasions. “This is not good.”
Dairy Queen – always makes me laugh. First time I saw it I said, “Why are talkng while they inhale? That is very uncomfortable and not good for your vocal cords.” (I used to do it a lot when I was a kid. I thought it was funny.) Then they answer that question and it reminds me of one of favorite sci-fi book series, Wild Cards. In the books, a virus infects part of the population. Nasty little bug, it kills 90% of those it infects. 9% live but are mutated in some nasty way (referred to as Jokers). .1% of those infected are mutated in some cool super heroe way (they were called Aces.) The remaining .9% were mutated in a way that gave them a super power, but not a terribly useful one. (Deuces). I imagine that the ability to breath flames like a small flame thrower uncontrollably whenever you exhaled would be Deuce power. Doesn’t make me want to buy the sandwhich, but it does make me giggle.