Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Mar 28

What I Want From My Podcasts

Podcast listening has taken over my life. I mean, okay. Not literally. But I’ve more than doubled the number of podcasts that I subscribe to in recent weeks, and not all of the new additions were hits. A podcast has to hit all the right spots to be a hit with me

The Host

A good podcast host needs to embody several qualities:

  • Have a pleasing voice
  • Ask insightful questions
  • Guide the show along and keep pace

Rarely will I tune into a podcast more than once if I don’t enjoy the host’s voice and pretty much never at all if the host is distracted or unable to shape to lead the episode with the proper guidance.

Production Values

I don’t need intros and outros. Simpler is better. But sound production needs to be up to par. Sync up volume between the host and guest, for example, so the show doesn’t suddenly become louder or quieter when the person who is talking switches.

Time Block

For the life of me, I cannot understand why any podcast is over an hour long. Even when listening on double speed, this is painfully long. Furthermore, a few shows seem to be pretty inconsistent in terms of length. While one show may be only 30 minutes, another may be well over an hour. Not cool, guys. (Yes, I’m talking ’bout Planetary Radio).

Guests

Lexicon Valley hasn’t had many guests since the host switch in summer, and the quality has surely declined. It’s nearly unbearable to listen to the same single person speak week after week. If the podcast has multiples hosts, it’s easier to swallow, but I like guests.

I don’t have any hard and fast preferences regarding guests. Celebrities might be a perk (I enjoyed Aziz Ansari and Trevor Noah on Freakonomics, for example), but they’re not necessary. The guest simply needs to be interesting enough — and the host needs to make that apparent — if it’s an episode about the guest, or the guest needs to have authority and knowledge on the subject that the episode is on.

This brings me to my final point.

Education

Save for a single podcast (We Paid to See This), all of my subscriptions exist to teach me something about the world or, perhaps, myself. I want to learn. There’s an endless array of podcasts out there if you want to laugh, cry, listen to stories or simply be amused. And while I enjoy the water cooler talk of some podcasts, what I want is to talk away smarter.

So while some podcasts are fun and funny, they’re just not my thing. And I’m not their intended audience.

That’s why I’ve loved Freakonomics for over a year (in fact, I like the podcast better than the books!), subscribe to Lexicon Valley, listen to space policy episodes of Planetary Radio and tune in to Sex Out Loud.

Most of those podcasts manage to check off all the boxes, but none of them miss more than one (at least not consistently).

Oh! If you think you can recommend a podcast that I’d like based on this post, let me know in the comments!


Mar 09

How to Fix Infinitely Loading Videos When Streaming from Plex to the Wii U

Plex fan here. I enjoy this program and have used it for years. I typically stream to my PS3, but an issue with transcoding prevents me from enjoying one of my favorite channels on the system. No problem, I can just use my Wii U, right?

I’d never connected to Plex from my Wii U before. You need to log in from the browser and not the app. Again, no problem. All my channels and media were listed.

But anytime I tried to load a video, I’d just see the orange spinning disc forever. It never stopped.

This seems to be an issue that started after a specific update last year. It has to do with the amount of memory required by Plex, which may sometimes be too much for the Wii U.

But it’s not actually loading forever. In fact, your streaming video isn’t loading at all. Plex doesn’t autoload, and you need to touch the loading disc on the screen to kickstart the video.

That’s all.

Awesome, right?


Jan 30

How to Imitate My Signature

It has just dawned on me that I put absolutely no effort into my signature. It doesn’t look like cursive. I don’t even try, honestly. It’s been this way for a while, though, so I doubt anything will change.

The plus side? Anyone who actually forges my signature as a name is going to be painfully obvious.

In case you wanted to try it for yourself, here’s the 411 straight from the horse’s mouth.

Don’t write my name in cursive. Don’t you dare.

I would never do this. Try this, instead.

  • Draw a hump (or two, there’s room for creative license) to create that first N.
  • Follow it up with some squiggly lines.
  • Break up the first and last name with a space
  • Draw another hump or two for that M.
  • Finish up with some squigglies that end, more or less, in a straight line.
  • Pull it all together with a superscript dot somewhere over the first “word.” Alternatively, you can throw a cross (stem) somewhere over one of the squiggles in the second name. You must never under any circumstance do both. Got it?!

 


Jan 19

Merry Giftmas to Me

Christmas 2016 was interesting, not in that I did anything other than usual. Rather, I decided to be proactive and help people who wished to buy me things do so in a way that would be satisfactory for us both. They wouldn’t see the disappointment in my face when they took a stab in the dark.

The result was an Amazon wishlist from which almost everyone shopped (those who didn’t lucked out, fortunately). Perhaps because I made it easier, more people than normal purchased me presents. And I found myself excitedly trying to guess what people had purchased from my list, no less surprised and excited by the results.

My Christ loot included:

Christmas Loot

nerdy things and games and books, oh my! (For Christmas)

  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy BBC Radio Play on CD
  • Punderdome
  • King of Tokyo
  • DC Bombshells Coffee Table Book
  • DC Bombshells plying cards
  • Epic Mickey 2
  • $50 to GameStop, which I used for Paper Mario, Yoshi’s New Island and Professor Layton
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas Clue

I’ll be entertained for quite some time thanks to all these gifts, not to mention games and comics that I recently purchased myself!

I’ve started two of the video games, finished the DC Bombshells coffee table book and fell in love with the H2G2 radio play. I’m on the third phase (season) thanks to my library’s ebook system. Bonus: I’m marking it off as a book for my GoodReads challenge!

So, yay, me!


Jan 03

Ode to 12016

It’s time to say goodbye to 2016
The year that everyone thinks is so mean

2016, you took those close to our hearts
And constantly strive to make our lives hard

I listen to my loved ones as they commiserate
I confess I cannot entirely relate

I took trips out of town so I can see zoos
And saw concerts and museums, too.

You let me see a band after a band play upon the stage
And introduce me to your friends whose laughter filled my days

You gave me strength to do things that scared me
And I survived even if they didn’t turn out pretty

When I thought I was lost and unsure of myself
2016, you stepped in to lend your help

You reminded me just how much I love to read
And just how significant learning is to me

Will all kinds time for comics, games, and other little things,
2016 did much happiness bring

My anxiety I was finally able to mitigate
Confidence I no longer had to imitate

No year has been any better to me
Yet I can’t help but feel a bit guilty

Perhaps the difficulties that others were sent
Enable me to be a much better friend

Regardless the reason, I must say goodbye
And eagerly wait for 2017 to arrive


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