Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Official Episode 81 Show Notes by Boyana Atanasova

If you never had the chance to listen to the famous Schnauzer Logic podcast before, its Episode 81 is probably the perfect for you to join the crazy group called “listeners”! The radio show was recorded on the 21st of April and now I have the wonderful privilege to tell you a few words about it here.

Guests at the studio were John, Sheri and Parviz and right at the beginning we learned from some of them that it is not OK to answer somebody’s “hi, how are you” with “I’m tired”. That was a cool start of an even cooler show. Among the topics there mentioned were the latest stories around Conan O’Brien and George Lopez, Larry King and his (ex)wives, Tracy Morgan’s comedy style and many, many others. Much time was spent talking about the new iPhone that “leaked” few days ago. It was a strange story with a stupid Apple employee who has left the prototype of the smart phone in a bar. This was the time when everybody in the studio began talking about conspiracies and their influence in our point of view. Parviz was the one who put there the bad story of a baby who was left in the car of its parents for many hours… Stories told by Wikileaks were also an interesting part of this segment. Some of their latest findings are really stunning! Go check them out.

Our lovely host Robin told us also his opinion about the health care system in the USA and about a car accident that was probably caused by him. But the funniest part of the show was when the phone in the studio rang… This was at a time when Robin decided to stop talking, leaving the listeners only to Parviz, John and Sheri. :) There on the phone was John’s French mother who shared her thoughts about maaany things, but mostly about Robin Diane – our wonderful host of the show. I should say this here – it was an amazing pleasure to hear this old lady with her sense of humour and interesting stories to tell!

A small segment was made about the funny videos in YouTube about Hitler which were unfortunately banned from the site. If you are listening to the whole show carefully you may be lucky enough to catch up the last few seconds of it where Parviz was again the host, hehe.

This Episode 81 will be the last for the next couple of weeks so it will be nice of you if you check some of the previous shows that will also show you how a good comedy podcast is made by real professionals.

Until the next time (which will be in about two or three weeks!):

Show Up

Pay Attention

Tell The Truth, and

Don't Be Attached To The Outcome

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Schnauzer Logic Episode 81 is Online!!!

sonovista, my friends! Episode 81 is online and can't truly be described using words from any known language. Surgeon General's Warning: the audio may cause hallucinations, drowsiness and possible seizures (all are which preferable to the show itself). but we do get a call from John DeKoven's Mother!

all the usual stuff applies (show notes, links, etc.) and will follow in due course (or not).

the MP3 file is ::here::

film @ 11


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Schnauzer Logic Episode 81 - We're in the Studio Today

sonovista, my friends... just a head's up... we're in the studio today between 4pm and 6pm california time (approx) to record Schnauzer Logic Episode 81 - feel free to listen on the audio stream (http://audio.str3am.com:5070) or to call in and participate in the shenanigans at 408/335.4755


(Hospital) Room with a View

sonovista, my friends... time for my annual "photograph from the window of my brain surgeon's office" this year an 8 photo panorama taken with my Panasonic ZS3/TZ7, fiddled a bit in photoshop. enjoy!

UCSF 400 Parnassus Avenue - 8th Floor - Looking North
(click on the image to see larger or view full size)

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Official Episode 80 Show Notes by Boyana Atanasova

Welcome back to the Schnauzer Logic official show notes! Two weeks without the podcast and it came time for the 80th Episode, which was recorded on the 14th of April.

It was a funny show with only John and Parviz in the studio. All of Robin’s friends that used to be guests had different things to do at this time, but this does not affect the great spirit of the show. It started with a talk about the new “Nike” commercial with Tiger Woods. John and Robin were shocked that Parviz didn’t see it, because it was commented in almost every tv show in the USA. I should admit – what a strange commercial this was!

Second topic was the article Robin has written some days ago. It is called “The year of living Olbermann” and it tells the story of the fake Keith Olbermann’s Twitter profile Robin created and managed for the past 12 months. It is a nice but really long article that our host read on air so everybody that was too lazy to read it (like me, Parviz and John), to hear it now.

A wonderful surprise was the call on the phone from Mark Zinkle who has listened Schnauzer Logic from right from the beginning four years ago. Mark was then 14 and now he has his own radio show, he is building an airplane and he is probably the most attractive boy in his class, hehe… You can find more about his activities on his official site. What a nice boy he is!

The second call at this 80th episode was from Mary, who has won free tickets for Bunjo’s comedy club! More details on Facebook!

A conversation was made about the recent events around Conan O’Brien and the news the he will probably join the forces of TBS. Different opinions, comments and positions were all gathered in Schnuzer Logic Radio Show, Episode 80!

Parviz had his own segment before the end of the show where all – Jackson’s doctor, Hugh Hefner comment about Tiger Woods and Jesse James, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, adopted Russian kid, John Tesh and Oprah and Sigourney Weaver, were mentioned.

The show ended with a Bulgarian song by Stoyan Yankoulov and Elitsa Todorova called “Water”. Jeff was the last caller at the studio and again with his amazing sense of humor added interesting comment about the recent issues with Toyota. He also told us about the “Star Wars: Uncut”.

That was it – Episode 80!

Until next time!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Four Score and Zero Podcast's Ago...

sonovista, my friends! gotta keep this quick (and will update with more details and links as time permits)

Schnauzer Logic Episode #80 is Online in all the usual places. This past Wednesday Jason was out with the flu and Sheri, Jeff and Rachel were all caught up in work emergencies, but John DeKoven, Parviz and I soldered through the week's events. In addition, the SchnauzerStudioPhone (408/335.4755) got a workout with surprise calls by Mark Zinkle (teen radio host/ultralight pilot extraordinaire), and Mary from Everette (by way of Castro Valley) who won tickets to Bunjo's!!! who regaled us with tails of warm lobster rolls available -here- on the West Coast.

Plus good tuneage including Bulgarian rock courtesy of Boyana.

This show deserves copious links but yesterday was Tax Day here in the US and after having my finances examined I had to drive up to UCSF to have my head examined (yearly brain scan - pictures coming soon!) But on a happier note, my SF Giants are leading baseball with a 7-2 record, so Go Giants!

more soon and if you can't find what you're looking for, post a comment or drop me a line.

in the meanwhile
Show Up
Pay Attention
Tell The Truth, and
Don't Be Attached To The Outcome


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coming this Wednesday (what? what?) A New Schnauzer Logic!

sonovista, my friends! i know its been a few weeks since we've been in the studio to record a new show, but 'fingers crossed', we should all be back this week with more Schnauzer'y goodness!

in the meanwhile, a couple of photos to show that i've at least used my truancy for good and not evil...

opening day for the 2010 San Francisco Giants

(btw, you can see all my Giants Photos and a couple of Videos (1) (2) from Opening Day)

see ya all Wednesday and feel free to leave any question, comments or requests on the Schnauzer Hotline @408/335.4755


Friday, April 09, 2010

The Year Of Living Olbermann

(A Cautionary Tale for the Genuine Article)

It began innocently enough, as most great adventures do. Alone and drunk and sitting in front of a television, I stared as the man, the myth, the legend that is Keith Olbermann declared, “Twitter”, the day’s “Worst Person In The World.” I was gob struck, a term I was technically not allowed to use as I had opted for MIT instead of Cornell, but damn convention, this was basic cable, and it was serious. The host of the news program I had enjoyed during the entirety of the 2008 Presidential election campaign, the man who had combined humor and intelligence in the coverage of our quadrennial ‘Sturm und Drang’ had just dumped all over the latest social networking phenomena because someone had sent him an email that referenced a tweet that was apparently addressed to a fake Twitter zzzzzzzzzzzz. I don’t remember the facts. I was well into the Slivovitz at this point and only capable of one thought: This can’t be the “real” Keith Olbermann. The real Olbermann has a sense of humor and this guy on the TV was using the same bat he swung against stupidity and hypocrisy and cruelty to swat at a silly little bird. But if the fellow on TV wasn’t the real Olbermann, that left a void! So picking up my computer, I did the only thing any right-thinking American would do. I created another fake Olbermann account, named it in honor of both Puff Daddy and Spartacus, and declared for all the world to see:


And, with a hastily crafted profile photo sporting the requisite ‘evil twin’ magic marker beard, I simply began typing things into the twitterverse, addressing no one and talking about nothing. No followers necessary, I just started tweeting. Random things. Silly things. Obviously insane things. For example, when the genuine KO appeared the next night on “Real Time with Bill Maher” I tweeted the ‘inside scoop’:

“bill maher smells like sweet pickle chips, the kind you put on your burger. i kind of liked it... there, i said it! i am olbermann”

And soon, like bits of cosmic flotsam and jetsam, Twitter followers, living, breathing human beings, began attaching themselves to me (or the me that was the fake Olbermann). In the beginning most appeared to be in on the joke and seemed to appreciate tweets like:

“and now, as promised, a special comment: To lower your stress, get a kitty. Lucky Numbers 6,49,5,11,2,3 i AM olbermann”.

Now to be honest, after the kerfuffle over the first 'fake' Olbermann (the one that resulted in the Countdown WPITW rant), there were those who doubted my authenticity. A few folks even asked me to “prove” that I really was Keith, which I did by taking a photo of a computer screen displaying an MSNBC KO publicity shot, clearly reflected in a hand mirror, and claiming this was a photograph of ‘me’ right after shaving that morning. The arrow cursor visible in my hair may have detracted from the air of legitimacy I was hoping to convey.

You see, in one of my many other identities (see the banner at the top of the blog) I’m a comedian and writer and posting as @iAMolbermann became an exercise to see how long I could maintain a funny Twitter stream from an alternate universe where a Bizarro World Olbermann dwelt. A tweet stream of Keith Olbermann's "id", if you will. At one point, early on, I even wrote to the producers of Countdown confessing my shenanigans and observing that I was finding it exhausting having to be Keith Olbermann for just a few minutes a day, and wondering how the real KO kept it up 24/7.

But as Nietzsche might have said (in 140 characters or less), “If you tweet long enough into the abyss, the abyss will begin to tweet back at you”, and eventually the hate tweets arrived. Angry people looking for a place to vent their frustration or confusion or just looking for a bogeyman they could lash out against. And the strange thing was how much it hurt. Personally. I knew I wasn’t Olbermann and that they weren’t directing their vitriol against me, but I had taken on the role of ‘in loco celebrity” and was, therefore, fair game.

And so the first lesson I learned in my year of living Olbermann was that people are willing to say things on the Internet that I don’t think their upbringing or religion or just good manners would permit them to say face to face. I wish this weren’t the case, but we all know its true. And it may speak more to our need, as human beings, of having our thoughts and feelings ‘witnessed’ by others, than it does to our capacity for anonymous cruelty. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to know. Remember, I’m the one who didn’t go to Cornell. But I do know that being a public figure, even an obviously fake public figure, comes at a cost, and as the real person behind the false identity, I can assure you the brickbats leave marks.

The second lesson I learned in my year of living Olbermann is that for every jerk with a nasty comment, there are hundreds of kind and compassionate folks who will offer their genuine love and support when life presents its toughest challenges. As regular viewers of Countdown know, Keith sadly lost both his mother and father during the past year, and as a jokester, I found myself unprepared to deal with issues of real loss and grief in the midst of my comic facade.

On the one hand I was writing a parody/comedy tweet stream that had no basis in reality, posting tweets like:

“OlberFunQuiz: chicken breed or name i've been called? Dorking, Clownface, Buttercup, Jersey Giant?”


“Went to see Avatar at the IMAX. Did you know they charge extra for 3D? I paid, but watched the film with one eye closed, in protest.”

And on the other hand, a real person, someone who I admired, had lost one (and then the other) of his parents.

Now it turns out that I had lost both of my parents during the past few years, as well, and again found that the real life events of my doppelganger had a direct impact on me through my faux Twitter identity. Many of @iAMolbermann’s followers, apparently unaware that they were not writing to the original Olbermann, sent lovely notes of
condolence and consolation and I took care to respond to each of them, noting that I was a comedian and not the real KO, though still a fan, and suggesting that they send their well wishes directly to Keith at MSNBC. And so, as hurt as I was by the misdirected bile sent my way in the name of fair and balanced discourse, I was equally heartened by outpouring of unsolicited prayer and support and kindness directed towards my namesake as comfort against the universal experience of grief and loss we all, at one time or another, share.

And it was this second lesson that lead directly to the third and final epiphany I had during my year of living Olbermann:

Reading may be Fundamental, but "Reading" and "Reading Comprehension" are Not the Same Thing!

During my year of living Olbermann I managed to go from a handful of followers to somewhere close to 11,000. And a strange phenomenon I noticed along the way was that even though I repeatedly tweeted both subtly (and not so subtly) that I was NOT the real Keith Olbermann (a fact easily confirmed by simply reading the tweets authored by @iAMolbermann), the number of followers who believed I was Olbermann continued to rise. In fact, at one point I noticed that every time I tweeted I lost followers and so, after tweeting this precise revelation, I simply shut up and watched the count go even higher.

And so it went, parallel universes in perfect harmony, until April 8, 2010 (the night I originally wrote this piece). While packing my bag in anticipation of traveling to the home opener between the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves (yes, I happen to love baseball, too), I turned on the TV to catch the end of the 5pm Countdown broadcast and noticed Keith talking to John Hodgman about his intention to ‘finally’ enter the Twitterverse with an official account
@keitholbermann. And, after a brief OMG/WTF moment, I quickly logged in as @iAMolbermann and tweeted:

“HOLY CRAP!!! the jig is up!!!”

and waited for my number of followers to drop. Except that they didn’t. Finishing up this article a bit over 2 hours after the “OG” Olbermann posted his first tweets, I discovered that I had even more followers than I did before, many of whom were, yes, ‘welcoming’ me to Twitter. (sigh)

As Walt Kelly wrote in Pogo,
“We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us.”

Us, and a significant lapse in our reading comprehension.

And so, Mr. Olbermann, along with the thousands of others who will undoubtedly subscribe to the 140 characters of ‘Keithiness’ that will make up @keitholbermann, I too welcome you to the show (the other, weirder, more egalitarian show where everyone has made the roster and seems to be taking batting practice in all directions, simultaneously.) I hereby turn the @iAMolberman nation over to you, in good health and good spirits, no worse for the wear and tear and fake magic marker beard.

As Tooter Turtle might have said, “Please Mr. Wizard! I don’t want to be Keith Olbermann any more!” And as kindly Wizard the Lizard would hopefully have intoned, “Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome; time for zis one to come home.”

Good Night and Good Luck being Keith Olbermann, Keith Olbermann. Its a task best left to those chivalrous of spirit, pure of heart, and clean shaven (Cornell degree optional.)

And in closing, I’ll ask that -you- answer the lovely Ann Molison @amolison of Colorado who tweets:

“So - which Olbermann do we read! This one with a hairy face! Or the clean cut - new one who finally logged in today! :)”

Keith, we both know its probably better that she hear it from you.

Article and Photo Mosaic of @iAMolbermann Followers
©2010 Robin Diane Goldstein


Thursday, April 08, 2010

We All Playin' Hooky

a conflagration of solar flares, sunspots, and cocoa butter resulted in the gang playing hooky yesterday, so please accept our apologies for the lack of original comedic show material (i know... this applies to pretty much every week, show or no show!)

in the meantime, please to enjoy this pretty picture from the beach at santa cruz , california, yesterday at exactly the moment we should have been in a small, hot, crowded room.

next week we're back!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Schnauzer Logic’s NoNothing Review: The Apple iPad

As with all NoNothing reviews, it's important to be clear right from the start. I don't own an Apple iPad. I've never touched one, felt one, lifted one, held one. I've never seen one in person and haven't spoken directly with anyone who has. Now, on to the review.

After months of delay, Apple's long awaited tablet computer, the awkwardly named "IPad" has finally been released, and much like Apple's previous tablet computer, the "Newton", this overpriced/under-featured bit of fanboy flotsam left me wanting. With its bright, clear, large flat glass screen, I was surprised to see that after picking it up, turning it over, and handing it around to all my friends, the iPad's display was covered in fingerprints. Cleaning the screen with the same lint free optical cloth I use on my iPhone, MacBook and Oakley sunglasses proved to be an unexpected source of irritation, especially when these same friends repeatedly asked, "how do you keep the screen clean?"

Equally troubling is its size. With a screen 5x larger than an iPhone, the iPad is far too big to put in your pocket. And while Apple "claims" that the WiFi version of the iPad weighs only 1.5lbs, after holding it at arms length for much of its 10-hour battery life, mine felt much heavier. Speaking of which, come on Apple… no user serviceable parts? This isn't like an electric toothbrush or an electric razor or hairdryer or the new Flip cameras or MacBooks or MacBook Pros or any iPod or iPhone ever? Its important to me to know that I –can- replace the battery myself, regardless of whether I'm ever likely to do so.

Turning next to the software, the iPad is severely limited to only those applications Apple, itself, decides to supply, or one of the few of third-party apps you're forced to purchase from Apple's iTunes store. And while Apple doesn't set the pricing for any third-party apps, I nevertheless felt ripped off when I learned that some developers are charging –more- for an updated/enhanced iPad version of the same app (some up to 300% more, charging $2.99 for a life saving CPR instructional app that previously cost only 99 cents).

Continuing to explore the software, while attempting to browse the web on the supplied Safari browser (the only browser available, by the way. Apple still won't allow Microsoft's Internet Explorer to run on the iPad) I was surprised to learn that the iPad does not support Adobe's Flash, making it impossible to view any YouTube videos, unless you use the supplied YouTube app that comes standard on the iPad. Begining with the original iPhone, first launched in June of 2007, and continuing through to today, Apple has refused to support Flash on the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch, making Apple's lack of Flash on the iPad all that much more frustrating. One wonders how much longer Apple can maintain this clearly untenable position.

Finally, no review of the iPad can be complete without a discussion of its durability, need for a 10 watt charger, virtual keyboard, case and how quickly its large flat display attracts fingerprints. So here goes: my 5 year old can watch all her Disney movies on the VCR in our family room, but I wouldn't let her take my iPad to her pre-school class, and you shouldn't let her take yours either. It's not clear what Apple was thinking, but this isn't a product aimed at the Ravi set. With respect to power, Apple supplies a specialized 10 watt charger, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't expect to be able to charge my iPad by plugging it into any USB port on any product ever made. As Johnny Cochrane might say, "If the plug does fit, you must charge it!" And last, but not least, no matter what you might have thought, typing on the iPad's virtual keyboard is simply not the same as typing on a dedicated, stand alone, keyboard, resulting in the unpleasant experience of getting fingerprints on the display.

While you may find the iPad a perfect complement to the web sites, magazines, email, films, tv, music and digital books you enjoy every day, in my opinion, if the unfortunate name isn't enough to keep you away from this $500 entertainment 'toy', the easily smudged screen should be.

Robin Diane Goldstein
Schnauzer Logic NoNothing Reviewer

Friday, April 02, 2010

No new show this week

Hi there, Schnauzer Logic fans and friends!

This week there won't be a new Episode, but you can always listen to one of the previous, right? :)

Until the new Show - Happy Easter and wonderful holidays to you all!