5 Podcast Episodes That Blew My Mind

Happy start to your summer! If you’re like us, you’re likely venturing out on the road these next few months, you may be looking for ways to pass the time in the car. If you’re a podcast listener (and if you’re not, you really need to be!), I wanted to some standalone episodes that absolutely blew my mind and made me reconsider that subject, spawning some great conversations afterward.

99% Invisible – #346 – Palaces for the People

Those who know me (or read some of my previous posts) know that I feel strongly about libraries, so much so that I sometimes wonder whether I’m on an island of obscurity. Imagine my joy when one of my favorite podcasts did an entire episode on the importance of libraries, in the broader context of communities now needing to invest in social infrastructure, the same way we invest in municipal infrastructure. “Palaces for the People” does a great job articulating the evolving needs and services of our libraries, giving people access to resources they otherwise may not have.

Episode Link

Bonus 99% Invisible Episode: #318 Fire and Rain. Now that we’re unfortunately entering into fire season, this episode does a great job explaining the lessons many haven’t learned when designing and rebuilding their communities.

Switched on Pop – #112 – Country at the Crossroads

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Switched On Pop is a relatively new discovery for me, and you don’t have to be a musician to appreciate the way they deep-dive into the facets of the music and the song-writing process. This episode dives into the controversy surrounding Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” and its removal from the Billboard Country Chart. They breakdown the basic aspects of modern country music and whether the song fits into those traits. It’s a really fascinating listen, especially if you’re a modern country music fan. If anything, it’ll give you a deeper appreciation for this more recent hit.

Episode Link

Twenty Thousand Herts – #62 – The Booj

Warning: Listening to this episode will forever ruin movie trailers for you. The “Booj” refers to the sub-woofer bass pitch change that you hear during modern movie trailers. This podcast covers the evolution of the movie trailer, especially into this decade, and the way they all use the same formula (especially in the sound design) to entice you to see the movie.They walk through the construction of a mock movie trailer using that formula. After listening to this podcast, I challenge you not to actively listen for the “booj” in the next trailer you see.

Episode Link

Disect – S2E6 – Power by Kanye West

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Whether or not you dig rap music, listening to this podcast will further your appreciation of rap. You don’t have to like Kanye to appreciate the intricacies of his music, and the decisions he made in the composition of the song. “Power” was already one of my favorite Kanye songs, as it’s perfect for running. This hour-long podcast examines everything from the sampling and the production elements to the backstory of all of the references made, line by line within the song. It should be noted that the song itself uses explicit language, and the podcast includes explicit references as well (so don’t listen to this one while you have kids in the car).

Episode Link

Revisionist History – S1E5 – Food Fight

This episode is a few years old, but has only become more relevant in the wake of the recent College Admissions scandal. “Food Fight” references the contrast between dining halls in Bowdoin College in Maine and Vassar College in upstate New York, illustrating how colleges are building extravagant amenities to entice students to attend, but decreasing the affordability of college to many. This really launched me into a lot of contemplation about college affordability and the place of higher education in our society.

Bonus: Check out the sequel, My Little Hundred Million.

Episode Link


These are but five standalone episodes, but I would be happy to provide more suggestions of a few ongoing series or seasons – just drop me a line! I’m also on the lookout for any other mind-blowing podcasts, please drop a comment if you have one!

I’ve moved!

I just wanted to announce that I’ve moved… my blog to a new URL.

Back in the early 2000’s I adopted an internet handle “RomeyInFC”, which stood for “Romey In Fort Collins”. I took a lot of pride in being in Fort Collins and based it off a nickname that my friends gave me. Whether you’d email me or visit different sites throughout the web, chances are you’d find me there as RomeyInFC.

The problem is that I haven’t lived in Fort Collins for the last 7 years.

Since I’ve moved to Windsor, I’ve shifted away from using RomeyInFC. If I managed to claim “jeromey” from a few major places, like Twitter and Facebook, but in other places where I couldn’t I became “BalderRomey”. In one of the final steps of transitioning to that username, I decided to cash in on any Google Juice SEO that my site has acquired, and shift it all over to BalderRomey.com

So welcome to my new home on the web, it looks a lot like my old home. As I’ve been blogging for nearly 14 years, I appreciate those who have popped in over the course of my posts, and hope to entertain those as I continue to write.

Don’t Stair At Me–Help Me Fight For Air

Hey friends, I could really use your help! Please help me fight for air, so others don’t have to.

On Sunday, March 4th, I’m going to climb 52 floors of stairs for the American Lung Association to raise funds for healthy lungs and healthy air. When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.  

The funds raised will help provide patient education and support important research and advocacy efforts for everyone living with lung disease including COPD, lung cancer and asthma.

As I Step Up to the Challenge, I would love for you to help me! Every amount, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your generosity! 

You can donate by visiting http://bit.ly/JeromeyClimbs

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Raising False Internet Hysteria

Reacting to some neighborhood drama:

“Hey Water Valley friends, neighbors and taxpayers. There has been a lot of Internet hysteria and hubbub about Water Valley changing the lake ownership to ‘public.’ Please relax and remember YOU as metro district taxpayers OWN the lakes. NOTHING is changing. The PTMD board is simply housecleaning the rules to properly define ‘non-resident’ use.

Please come to the 9 a.m., Thur. April 27 meeting in the Pelican Lakes Banquet Room and learn the truth and facts about how this beautiful place operates.

Enjoy your weekend, don’t allow false Internet hysteria to cause you any concern. Water Valley is a proven winner and its districts are ridiculously successful in preserving your values and amenities!

Enjoy the weekend see you next week.”

Martin Lind
Water Valley Land Company CEO & PTMD Board President

I really appreciate Martin Lind’s reply and addressing these issues that have concerned many of us. I also am grateful for what he’s done to ensure we have a very nice place to live and play. However, I am disappointed with the disdaining implication that residents like myself generated “false Internet hysteria”.

The lack of context surrounding the introduction of these policies set the stage for vast confusion. The lack of communication, followed by vague statements fertilized the confusion into concern and conjecture. With little information available, concerned residents were forced to resort to speculation based on the limited information they could find.

Nextdoor wasn’t responsible for this. Facebook wasn’t responsible for this. The lack of information, communication, and the challenging of long-held assumptions are the culprits in this confusion.

This document isn’t perfect. My primary concern was surrounding the wording around alcohol usage. The PTMD acknowledged it was a mistake and has committed to correcting this. It’s crucial that all residents review all aspects of the policies – especially those that potentially impact them – and send concerns and comments through the appropriate avenues. Some residents have sacrificed their own time and money to ensure their neighbors are aware of these proposed policies and have their opportunity to comment. To encourage people to participate in the process and ask questions is not raising hysteria.

I am glad that the PTMD is encouraging people in attending their board meeting and moving it to a larger location, although I do wish that a meeting so crucial to the residents could be held at a time that would enable residents to attend and learn the truth and facts.

At the end of the day, we can all agree that our community is best served by informed and involved residents. The PTMD has requested review and comments, and it’s my hope that every resident is aware and supportive of perfected proposed policies, as we’re all expected to abide by them.

Is the Ninja Coffee Bar A Dud?

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Last Christmas I got my wife a new coffee maker and settled on the Ninja Coffee Bar (ours was Model CF081).  When we first bought it, we were extremely happy with it. It was consistently making great coffee.  Now about 4 months later, we’ve seemed to have stumbled into what’s becoming a common issue with the coffee maker.

Recently the display has gone to display “CLN” (which stands for Clean) and has really prevented the coffee maker from working or brewing consistently. After following the directions to clean the coffee maker, the clean notification never turns off.  I tried to Google this information over the last few days but hadn’t seen anything definitive on the web. I had to dig a little deeper to find numerous comments on their Facebook Page and on Amazon Reviews.  There seem to be a significant amount of users complaining about the issue, and each comment on Facebook has been met with the same canned response, asking users to private message them a number on the plug prong and that they’ll email you specific instructions on how to clean it.  Presently I’m awaiting those instructions, but I have my doubts that there’s a magic sequence that solves the problem.  Based on updates from other commenters, it seems they are recommending that people clean with their specific cleaning solution (now that’s convenient), and in some cases, they are sending out replacement units (although I’ve heard that some users are being charged a $20 shipping fee).  I’ll provide an update once I hear from their support.

 

If you are experiencing this issue, be sure to click on the comments on the above Facebook post.

This is starting to seem like a systemic problem, something that only is now appearing to really manifest itself with these coffee makers being in the wild for a few months.  I’m not sure if this has been fixed in later models, but people are presently commenting on the same issue in the Amazon reviews of the current for-sale model. I’m not sure if their cleaning sensor is malfunctioning, or if there are genuine issues with calcium buildup that is not being solved by their cleaning methods. Nonetheless, this is pretty disappointing.

Are you a Ninja Coffee Bar user and experienced this problem? Do you have any tips in how to solve this?

Update: Ninja Support did send me a link to a PDF that had cleaning instructions that differed from the manual, that had specific details of how to execute post-clean flushes.  The key was that the flush had to executed within 15 minutes after a clean cycle, or it had to be started all over again. We’re a few days into making coffee again.