Monday, October 29, 2007

Though it's a three ring circus.. sounds like they are having fun

According to O'Reilly's Digital media,"The term podcasting derives its name from Apple's iPod, but to create a podcast or even to listen to one, you don't need to own an iPod, or any portable music player for that matter. In a nutshell, Podcasting is a new type of online media delivery. You publish selected audio files via the internet and allow your users to subscribe via an RSS feed to automatically receive new files. Podcasting lets you create your own syndicated online talkshow or radio program, with content of your choosing."

With this said I must confess I'm a podcast junkie. Every time I get into my car, as faithful as a Husker on game day, out comes my ipod. I can't go anywhere with out it. The quiet sound of the vehicle makes me nuts.(OK, I know what you are thinking - "How could her vehicle be quite with 5 kidlets? Believe it or not there are things called naps.) I MUST listen.. of course my addiction is all my husband's fault. A faithful APPLE user, he had started to listen to podcasts about the same time this new device called an ipod nano came out. I, at the time, was a PC user and knew nothing of this new thing called, "PODCASTING". A few months later, tired of PC virus h*ll, I got my own Powerbook G4. It was then I start learning about Itunes and this fascinating new medium. However it wasn't until my husband purchased me an 80GB Video Ipod for my birthday that I became addicted.

At first I didn't know what to listen to. I didn't want to listen to the same podcasts my husband was listening to, yet I didn't know what to listen to? (No offense. I love Leo. That's just not what I want to listen to while chauffeuring kids around) I downloaded Adam Curry's Daily Source code. It was great to hear a familiar voice. Yet, however great Adam's show is, it was/is not so kid friendly. Then I discovered Podshow's Podfinder - I really loved this show. (After a handful of episodes he stop producing them.Though he recently started again) What a great way to find new podcasts. It was here I heard about 2 new podcasts, "Screaming Halibut" & "The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd".
"Screaming Halibut" was a SNL like skit cast. It was hilarious. They had characters which would appear in every episodes and then new ones each show. Black Pete the Pirate, Luella the Psychic, Smith the office worker and Morag the evil creature who wanted to take over the universe, even though he was cursed with a girl's name. However there weren't many old episodes & I had to wait a whole week for a new one. So once caught up on past episodes, there wasn't enough to fill the whole week.
I decided to then give "The Radio Adventures of Dr.Floyd" a shot. I downloaded it & played it in the car. When my kids heard it, that was it. "Dr. Floyd, Dr. Floyd" they would chant when we got in the car. (I would answer with Dr Grant, Dr Steve, Fidgert and don't forget little Chips) We listened to every episode and then again. However, we soon ran out of episodes. Now what??? What to listen to? Well back to itunes.. hit and miss, hit and miss. Nothing I downloaded seemed to be kid friendly and entertaining to me as well.

Then I
stumbled across "Dancing with Elephants". I remembered this show getting mentioned a couple times on Dr. Floyd and thought what the hey. So I downloaded the current episode at that time - 056 - Shoot for the moon - At first I wasn't quite sure what to think. Here was a podcast where they included their kids. I listened to Greg tell "The story so far"... where he recanted the tale of his childhood, Star Trek and his meeting Tonya all thanks to this classic Sci Fi program. I listen on as Greg and Nik talked about space and the exhibits at the museum they were visiting, and then their kids went to bed and Toyna joined Greg in the podcasting studio. Listening to Tonya I was hooked. Here was someone I could relate to. The more I listened the more I went wow. I had found my new favorite podcast. I decided the best way to catch up on everything I had missed was to follow the advice of the Mad Hatter in Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland "Start at the beginning and when I came to the end Stop."
The more I listened, the more I could relate to this couple and their kids. They talked about potty training, various forms of organization- piles on the table, the fear of bees & spiders, birthday parties, holidays, Greg's love of cooking, Tonya's lack of time, their kids interests, being exhausted.. the only difference was they were in Chicago - a big city with their 2 children and I was in NE with my 5 kids in a rural/suburban setting. (OK there are more, that's a big one though).


Needless to say I was hooked on this podcast and it's circus.. It made my own fun under the big top seem a little more normal. The best part was
they were having SO much fun in the process of sharing their lives with us. As an added bonus I was being introduced to other couples with podcasts - Love Long and Prosper, Pizza Go Here, Tech talk for families and the list goes on.. I soon had listen to all the DwithE episodes and I ventured off to listen to these other great podcasts. Only to find more couples with kids and problems & adventures I could relate. After all 5 kids have a lot of adventures and problems. From them I discovered more podcasts - Redboy, The Big Show, Barely Podcasting ...and on top of it all they were all playing podsafe music.(More for me to listen to, oh my.)

Now I would now like to make another confession - I'm not the ONLY one addicted to podcasts. My 3
middle kids (9, 4 & 3) are addicted too. Spensir will ask me to stop DwithE when he gets out of the van to go to school and asks me to resume the show as soon as I pick him up. He loves listening to everything that NIk is doing and has to say. He can totally relate to him. (He was very jealous to hear NIk had gone to the Star Wars Exhibit) He also recently commented that he thought it was a "good move" to now including Caleb in the show. "It's time, he's old enough." In fact, recently when I finally mustered up the courage to email Tonya, I told him I had received email from her. He said,"Tonya who?" and then immediately stop and said,"You mean DWITH!??? You wrote her?? What did she say???"
Both of the girls can identify the DwithE logo. When we are traveling in the van they will say,"Are we going to listen to Dancing With Elephants or Love long and prosper?? When it's done can we listen to Dr Floyd??" So there is a whole another podcast generation being created as we speak. My teenager listens, but Lowgaen is usually just annoyed that I'm listening to podcasts. He would much rather I listen to music. However I'm still working on him. (Thank you Beatles a rama now if I could just find a Def Leppard a rama show :))
Speaking of writing Tonya at DwithE.. if you listen to their latest feedbag show (73) we're mentioned. I need to listen to hear what is said, but I saw in the show note a link for our company - JALAPENO DESIGNS.. needless to say I'm excited.. Woo Hoo!
I digress though, I am now looking at taking the next step in the podcast world, which is doing my own podcast. I think it might be interesting to offer the life of a family of 7 in podcast form.. but I'm still working out the kinks on that one, especially since I spent a large portion of my time in my car.

So in conclusion, before this gets much longer and I think I'm beginning to babble,
I would like to offer a rating DwithE Style.. podcasting - 10 peppers (I don't have as many thumbs as young Nikolai) DwithE - 110 peppers (That would be equal to 10 for each person in our family = 70 plus 10 for each cat =20 plus 10 for the dog plus 10 for Charlie Bird that would equal 110 thumbs or would that be thumbs, paws and claws?)

On the "Official Chile Heat Scale" we give Dancing with Elephants the Habanero, cause as far as we are concern it's one hot pepper. Keep up the great work Greg, Tonya, Nikolai and Caleb. If you haven't listened to DWithE, what are you waiting for? You won't know what's up under the big top till you do.

Have a spicy day!

p.s. if you have something you would like me to review please feel free to email me.

p.s.s. Tonya Rocks! :)