Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!



Merry Christmas to all of my readers, page-viewers, fans, supporters and others! 

Feeling Blessed


In the pursuit of having 'An Entirely Different Life', I've been spending a lot of time in entirely different circumstances of late. To bring you up to speed, I had lost my main source of income a little over two months ago. This led me to the pursuit of something else to do for a living. One of the things I'd vowed to do was to have an open mind and toss out any negative or preconceived notions I had about myself. I'd applied to all sorts of places, wondering feverishly if I had a place within those organizations. In my situation, there also were hundreds more people pursuing the same things I was and most of them won the big prize. 

My rationale is that the reason why I didn't get those other jobs is because God was prepping me for something better. So I quickly got over my disappointment of not having gotten those jobs and set my sights on the future. The opportunity that I ended up pursuing is a position that found me, more or less. I'd looked into a job site that in the past, I'd given the bum's rush to. But this time, I struck gold. I just so happened to look into a section on that site as more of a 'well, let's just see what's in here, shall we?' and found the opportunity that I've been absorbed with the past month and a half or so. 

I'm not going to name the organization but I do want to impress on you that the people sitting at the head table really believe in people and they are willing to give everyone a chance. They don't push people out for their age, lack of degrees or anything else that has barred me and so many others from moving forward in any industry or company.

One of the best parts of this whole process is how nice and positive the management team has been from Day 1. They are very encouraging to the point that they may see something in you, some skill that you might have overlooked or not developed and they assist you in promoting that strength. I feel very blessed due to this experience. It feels so nice to have someone at the top believing in you. You have no idea how awesome this feels and along with that, I see that I tend to push myself even harder. Encouragement is a very good thing. 

Aside from the management, the people that have been hired along with me are several shades of awesome. When you spend a good chunk of your time in training with these folks, you begin to learn about them and their stories, their lives and their struggles. I feel pretty bonded to a lot of the people that were in training with me as well as my new manager. I'm happy to have taken this journey with all of them. 

You see, because I was being lined up for something so much better, this is why I didn't get those other jobs. I'm not mad at those other companies, in fact they did me a big favor even though I didn't know it at the time. The sky is the limit with this and I think that a future unlike anything I have ever experienced is just waiting down the road.




Saturday, December 21, 2013

All In A Day's Work



Every now and then, I find a blog, essay or written piece in my internet travels that speaks to me. It could have to do with phrasing or a concept. In other instances, I could relate so well to what the person is saying that I just want to leap out of my chair and scream "Yes! This person gets it!" The piece that I am about to run is one such article. 

As some of you might know, I lost my main source of income a couple of months back. My circumstances have changed for the better, thankfully. Along with my being out of work the past few months, a good handful of friends also were. This day in age, the chances of you knowing more than one friend who is also unemployed is more of the rule as opposed to the exception. In as much as ten years ago, this was unheard of. 

The article I am about to run is by a good friend of mine, who I have known almost twenty years. We met at a company I had worked for many years ago. Yesterday, she put this piece together and ran it on her Facebook page. I loved it so much that my first thought was that this article needs to run over here and be seen by a lot of others who might not have the chance to see it otherwise. When I spoke to my friend yesterday, we discussed a few things regarding her thoughts about the process of looking for work and applying for jobs.

 One thing that she wishes to emphasize is that you must keep an open mind when searching for a job. There is hope, there are jobs out there and with a little patience it can happen! So having put forth her words, with pleasure, here is the article written by my good friend Lupe Schillari. 


ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
A non-fiction story by Lupe Schillari
lupe_schillari@yahoo.com

As I sit here, contemplating whether to write about my younger self: A single mom of two boys juggling two jobs, one of which was a hectic career, struggling to make ends meet, it dawned on me that there are probably tens of thousands of women experiencing the same thing I have gone through and that there are dozens of stories written about it as well. Granted, this is quite the tribulation, but at the time I was going through this, I was a naive whippersnapper with high hopes and nothing was going to stand in my way. It was something I did lovingly for my family with no second thoughts.
Fast forward to present day: A gray-haired, middle-aged, former graphic designer who knows nothing about the current digital world or web designing, desperately looking for an identity and . . .  a job.
It has occurred to me that job hunting is a career in itself! You wake up early, just as you would if you had a job to go to, make a pot of coffee, shower and ready yourself for the long day ahead of you. Next, you turn on the computer which by now, you have become so friendly with, you swear it is taking over your best friend’s spot. You proceed to read your emails, the current events of the day, enter a few sweepstakes in hopes you win a trip to some exotic island so you can say you took a vacation this year, all while sipping on your favorite blend of coffee, and then, the grind begins.
If you are like me, you have the job sites come to you. You can have them email you as opposed to you remembering which ones to go to and logging on to them every day. You can set them up to search for the type of job or career you would like and the area you are interested in. Once this is all done, the rest is easy, or so they claim.
You spend hours upon hours searching through pages upon pages, sites upon sites, jobs upon jobs, well, I’m sure you get the picture, whether you presently go through this or have experienced it in the past. You stumble across a position that sounds like something you would be interested in or you know how to do. You fill out what seems to be the mandatory subscription for the actual site this job is on with a user name and a password. It then takes you to the page with the job description, the job requirements, the job responsibilities, the required job skills, the desired job skills, (yes, there is a difference) the benefits included with the job and the possible company info. Whew! This alone is enough to give anyone a headache!
Once you read through all of this, if you are brave enough, you click on the link provided which takes you to a page where you can download a copy of your resume and cover letter, along with an application to fill out. Simple enough you say, not realizing that beyond that application requesting your name, address, and phone number, are questions and an assessment that will take hours to complete. Oh yes, you thought that your test-taking days were over when you graduated college or high school? NOT! Also, don’t be fooled by their insistence that it will only take you 10 minutes to complete. Ha! I have yet to experience that!
By the time you finish applying for job #1, it is lunch time. You stretch your legs, get yourself something to eat just as you would if you were at the office, relax for a bit and before you know it, you grudgingly find yourself staring at the computer screen again, wondering if there are any other jobs available.
I will spare you the heartache of reliving the steps we took earlier, but I will tell you this, it’s another several hours of hard work. Alright, not hard as in physical labor, but hard as in emotionally draining, eyesight depleting, bank account emptying and time exhausting work. The type of employment I wouldn’t wish on anyone, not even my worst enemy! Yet, there are thousands of us
with these career trials, day after day, month after month, year after year, that most people never see, nor understand.
Yes, work is tough, no matter what that job may be, but it is all in a day’s work.

** Happily, Lupe has since found a great job in a new field.**



Thursday, December 5, 2013

All The Wines....Two Corks Up!


Today was the day I chose to do something local. A good friend of mine who I had known from my last place of employment recently got a new job that she loves. She is a bartender/ wine taster server/tour guide at the Florida Orange Groves Winery in Pasadena, FL. Prior to her getting a job at the Winery, she was also a frequent customer of the same business. Isn't it nice when a person gets a job doing something they love? I think she's really lucky in this respect.

Anyway, I headed down to the Winery midday. It was not crowded at all and the admission was free. Tonight they are having a wine-tasting for $5 a person. My friend was happy to see me. She offered a tour of the winery plus a free tasting of 8 wines of my choice. Before the tour, she let me watch a video where the making and bottling of the wine was demonstrated and I learned a few things in the process. Bottling techniques were shown as well. The corks that are used at this facility are made of resin and do not fall apart when a corkscrew is inserted unlike other wines, where you get pieces of cork floating in them. Yuck!

A little background about Florida Orange Grove Winery...the Shook family started development of their unique wines in 1991 and the winery opened its door in Sept 1997. The wines made here are not like the wine you'd get at Napa, France, Italy or any other areas known for fine wines. The main ingredients of the wines at this winery are Florida grown such as citrus, tropical and berry wines. All of the wines are 100% fresh squeezed juice. The winery received an honor in 2000 in which the Florida Citrus Commission approved the use of one of its licensing marks on a beverage other than orange or grapefruit juice. The winery was granted the right to use the 'Florida Sunshine Tree' logo on all of their citrus wines.

Some of the products available include Wine Smoothie (Heaven in slushie form!), Port, Sherry, Sangria, Wine and Champagne. The ones I had the pleasure of enjoying today were Sparkling Cranberry (a bottle of which came home with me!); Sparkling Blueberry Blue; Blueberry Blue; Key Limen (which I would make a special trip back to get a bottle of this!); Mango Mamma; Festiberry; Orange Blossom Honey (which is also known as Mead) and Flamingo Fling Port (a head concoction of chocolate and raspberry!). As for the smoothies, I had Orange Creme Extreme Smoothie Mix (tastes a bit like an orange creamsicle with a kick to it!) and the delightful Key Limen Smoothie mix (which my friend told me can be served in a margarita glass with graham cracker crust on the rim! OMG...YUM!)

Everyone gets their choice of 8 wines plus 2 wine smoothies. If you would want more, I believe it's an added $5. I was also treated to a tiny cup of hot mulled wine. The mulling spices are sold in the store along with every wine-oriented gadget that you could imagine. There were glasses; wine bags; jams; jellies; dip mixes; wine bottle stoppers; corkscrews; and other nifty gifts with a Floridian air to them.

So having enjoyed my time there, I give Florida Orange Groves Winery two corks up! I would recommend this facility to anyone here in vacation or locals to give it a try.

The winery is open for tours and tastings daily 10:00am to 4:00pm, Mon-Sat and on Sunday from noon to 3:30pm. To find out more about this unique winery, feel free to visit www.floridawine.com.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Birthday All The Goods!

 
 
 
 
All The Goods officially turned a year old today November 22. A year ago, my life could not have been any different than it is right now, in both positive and negative ways. While at a concert the other  night by a very well-known band, it occurred to me just where the moniker 'All The Goods All The Time' really came from.
 
The real inspiration for the name partially came from a dream I had and also from a line in a very popular song. The song is 'Life In The Fast Lane' by the Eagles and the actual verse is 'Everything all the time'. I thought that would make a great name for a blog due to the fact that what I write about can't be easily pigeon-holed. I cover a wide variety of things within the confines of All The Goods. As much as I loved 'Everything All The Time' and thought how cool it sounded, it just didn't roll off the tongue as easily. So I amended the name to All The Goods with the intention of covering a variety of topics but they had to be either inspirational or positive or a little of both.
 
My plan at the time was that I wanted to stay far away from complaining about politicians or the state of the world. We all know that there is just way too much of that. I think I've been able to maintain a positive mindset with the topics I cover and the people I've interviewed.
 
When All The Goods was born, I had chosen my spot on Blogger but didn't actually begin to write until November 30, so perhaps All The Goods could have a double birthday. November 30 is actually when I decided to set things in motion.
 
Despite what might be happening in my personal life, All The Goods (and the sister sites) will move forward as planned. There are some folks I want to interview in the near future as well as more topics to cover.
 
And just a word about All The Rods...I had the name for that chosen well before All The Goods was even a figment of my fertile imagination. Initially, the idea behind All The Rods was a dream of mine to have a car podcast with that very name. All The Rods is now flying down the highway so fast like a well-oiled machine that I had to give it its own blog separate from All The Goods.
 
All The Creatives is the other sister blog that just needs to be worked on. I have plans for that, details coming soon.
 
Needless to say, I am proud of my three blogs and how well All The Goods has taken on a life of its own.
 
Thanks to all who have visited this page and checked it out.
 
 




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All The Rods has moved!



Just a quick note...if you've come here looking for All The Rods, you can now find ATR here-

alltherods.blogspot.com



Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Fruit Doesn't Fall Too Far From The Tree

(The BeeGees-Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb)

I'm sure you're wondering why I have a photo of the Bee Gees in this blog post. Well, there's a story behind this. As a teen, this group was one of many favorites that I enjoyed. The close-knit Gibb family was one that I wished to be part of. And even though two thirds of the group ave passed away, my love of their legacy has not left me. Barry Gibb, the eldest of the group, just wrapped up his Mythology Tour which took him to Europe and Down Under, where his son Stephen and niece Samantha were part of the band. I appreciate the fact that Barry was willing to get out on the road and keep the Bee Gees brand alive.

Naturally, due to my passion for this band, when I found out that the children of these amazing men were making their own mark in the music industry, I had to check them out for myself. I gotta tell ya, the music that these 'kids' are putting out is nothing short of amazing.

First up is Samantha Gibb, who is Maurice Gibb's daughter. I discovered Samantha's talent in 2006 when I heard her on MySpace and then sent away for her CD. I was floored by her vocal range. Maurice had mentored Samantha's entry into the world of music and in his honor, she'd named her band M.E.G. (Maurice Ernest Gibb). Maurice's last project before his untimely passing in 2003, was to produce the M.E.G. album in 2002. The album was released in 2005.

I had been blown away when Maurice passed away due to the suddenness of it. When I found out about M.E.G., it made me miss him less. The album is very evocative of the Bee Gees production style. The other members of this band include Lazaro (Laz) Rodriguez on guitar and Nick Sallons on bass. The band got their start in Miami Beach and then struck out for Nashville iin 2007, feeling that Nashville would provide more opportunities for their music. While there, they did a documentary called 'A Nashville State of Mind' which featured many new up and coming bands. While in Nashville, they changed their name to Samantha Gibb and The Cartel. Below is their band photo.

(Samantha Gibb and the Cartel)
You can find out more about Samantha Gibb and the Cartel by visiting-www.facebook.com/sgandthecartel as well as www.reverbnation.com/samanthagibb and follow on Twitter @sgandthecartel. There is also a great article about this band here http://www.americansongspace.com/d02b63cc7c46e907c2e48ac97b6c550d2558c576

Barry Gibb, the eldest surviving Brother Gibb, has talented offspring as well such as Stephen Gibb, who is quite a great guitar player and singer in his own right. Stephen grew up around music from a young age and started playing guitar at age 13. He formed his first band in 1989, calling it NNY which stands for No Name Yet. Stephen was first a guitar tech for his dad while the Bee Gees were on their All For One Tour. He also later played as part of the Bee Gees touring band. Stephen's latest activity was to be part of his father's touring band while on the Barry Gibb Mythology Tour.
Stephen's other musical endeavors include Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society; Crowbar; Kingdom of Sorrow and 58 with Nikki Sixx. You can check out Stephen Gibb's Fan Page here-https://www.facebook.com/groups/59830323299/ . Also you can find out more by going to www.stcgibb.com and on Twitter @StephenGibb. 

(Stephen Gibb)
Barry and Maurice aren't the only ones with multi-talented children. Robin Gibb (who passed away in 2012) has two sons that are both making their way in the music industry. Spencer Gibb is Robin's oldest son. When you first hear him sing, he sounds a bit like Dad in the same way that Dhani Harrison sounds like dad George Harrison and Julian Lennon sounds like John. 

Spencer's music is a mix of old school R&B as well as indie rock with a bit of folk thrown in for good measure. Spencer started writing songs on piano and keys at 12 and then left school at 14 to become a musician. Spencer formed his first band in 1996 called Jez Spencer and then later in 1998 formed 54 Seconds. Currently, he is working as a solo artist. 

(Spencer Gibb)

You can find out more about Spencer Gibb's work by going to-www.spencergibb.com. You can find him here on Twitter @spencergibb and here www.facebook.com/SpencerGibb2012. Also on You Tube at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc3ZmgC6olU. (This is the Spencer Gibb Official EPK 2012.)

I also have to give props to RJ Gibb, who is Robin's youngest son. RJ is an actor, singer, composer and many other things. Shortly before Robin's untimely passing, the two worked together on what became the classical album release 'Titanic Requiem' which came out April 2012 to commemorate the 100th Anniversay of the sinking of the Titanic. 

Check out RJ Gibb here-www.rjgibb.co.uk/biography. Also 

(RJ Gibb)

For more information on the activities of this group of talented people, feel free to check out www.facebook.com/BEEGEES2

As talented as the Gibb clan is, there are a few more musicians and bands that deserve mention in this post. I am a fan of the band known as SPC-ECO. I have everything they've ever put out and each time they do put something out, they just build on what came before. 

(SPC-ECO performing live in London)

SPC-ECO is comprised of the multi-talented Dean Garcia, who used to be part of UK band Curve; Rose Garcia (Dean's daughter) and Joey Levenson. Dean plays bass,drums, guitar and programming, Joey plays guitar and Rose sings. Rose's voice isn't that far from Curve singer Toni Halliday in style, breathless, ethereal and just pretty damn amazing. I guess the best way to describe SPC-ECO's sound other than flipping brilliant is 'Shoe-Gaze'. Past bands of this style include Ride and the Cocteau Twins.

You can find out more about Dean Garcia by checking out this page- http://whenthesunhitsblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/interview-dean-garcia-of-curve-and-spc.html. Also check out this interview with Joey Levenson at- http://whenthesunhitsblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/interview-joey-levenson-of-spc-eco.html.

(Dean Garcia)


To find out more and check out SPC-ECO, visit www.facebook.com/SPCECO2; www.spceco.com and spceco.bandcamp.com. You can find them on You Tube under SPC-ECO and Twitter @SPCECO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cv80PqI58Q  SPC-ECO's 'Delusional Waste' 

(Rose Berlin)

And last but not least is yet another stunning female artist, Lucy Walsh. Lucy is the progeny of musician and singer Joe Walsh. I first found out about Lucy on MySpace about six years ago and have been hooked ever since. 

Lucy is a singer, songwriter, musician and actor. She's played keyboards for Ashlee Simpson and Ry Cuming. As a songwriter, she has worked with Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. Lucy's also part of the organization known as The Art of Elysium which enriches the lives of artists and critically ill children, Lucy plays music and teaches songwriting to the patients. 

You can find out more about this talented young lady by visiting-www.facebook.com/LucyWalshMusician as well as lucywalsh.blogspot.com. On Twitter, you can catch Lucy here @thelucywalsh. To find out more about The Art of Elysium, visit www.theartofelysium.org and www.facebook.com/TheArtofElysium. 



(Lucy Walsh)

This video is for Lucy's song 'Lullaby'. (I don't think this is available anywhere, sorry to say except on YouTube.) 


You can also find Lucy's EP '1882' on iTunes as well. 

I encourage you to check out these great talents, support them, buy their stuff, see their gigs if you can and lastly spread the word. The future of music is looking pretty damn good from where I sit as evidenced by these brilliant artists. 



Saturday, October 26, 2013

An Entirely Different Sort of Life


Today is  really the first day that I've had the time to actually sit down and take stock of my life and my current situation. Yes, the idea behind today's blog has been percolating in my brain for a few days now but I lacked the time and the inclination to get it together. I had so many other ideas for the first ATG blog post, including one that I wanted to call 'Fallen, Not Broken'. 

Two weeks ago, I did indeed feel 'fallen, but not broken'. I'm not sure if I really feel that way now. I'm pushing more towards seeing things through new eyes instead hence the current name of today's post. To get you up to speed, a couple of weeks ago I joined the not-so-exclusive club shared by many Americans called 'Unemployed'. (Yes, aside from doing this blog, I had a 'normal' job that basically paid the bills.) 

My mindset about this is not negative. I don't hate my former place of employment and am very grateful for what I learned there, the experiences I had and the things I took from it, in particular the people. The employees are always such a big part of wherever I've worked and thanks to social media, we all can stay in touch and on occasion, spend some time together. 

I think one thing that helped in this situation is that I somehow knew that the layoff was coming. And when it did, I was neither angry nor blindsided, as I'd been in past situations. I pretty much hit the ground running. I was prepared in a way that I hadn't been before while in the same situation years back. 

It's not to say that I haven't felt the pull of sadness, wondering 'what if' and 'what could have been.' I think those ideas reside in all of us to some degree. A great word for this feeling is what I'd found on Facebook of all places.

Hiraeth-

(n) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past. 
pronunciation- (HEER-eyeth)

I have spent a good portion of the past two weeks thinking not only of my most recent job but the ones I've had before this one. The yearning I felt for those good memories was almost physical. I call it a 'pull'. 

Luckily, I don't spend all my waking hours living in the past. I couldn't function if that was the case. An important thing that I focus on is that I need to give up the life I had to go for the life I want and this includes getting rid of preconceived notions about things and having a more open mindset. It seems that everything I thought I really wanted is ending up not really being that, if that makes any sense. I'm finding that I am pursuing new ideas, trying some on for size and when they don't fit, shedding them and moving on. 

It's becoming easier to move on when something doesn't work for me. In the past, I used to dwell and beat myself up something fierce. Sometimes when things don't work out, it really has nothing to do with you personally, it just might not have been the right thing for you at that time. 

I had lost my job five years ago from a company where I thought I'd retire from, I had been there nearly twenty years. I was completely blindsided and when it happened, my world dropped out from underneath me. It's been said how devastating job loss is for people and I believe it. At that time, I had skills in one industry but not enough to really take me where I wanted to go. At that time, I had no self worth at all as an employee. I didn't think I had much if anything to offer anyone. I would not want to live like that again. 

Yet, I am unemployed but this time it is different. When it happened this time, I had a long talk with myself. I was not going to make the same mistakes I'd made in the past. Last time, I did not enjoy my life at all. I had felt as if I didn't deserve to because I felt like I was 'bad.' I felt defective. I took it very personally, even though the reason really had nothing to do with me. I wasn't as well-rounded then as I am now. I didn't have the resources for support then as I do now and I just felt beat up and it immobilized me to the point where fear ruled my world. 

But, now? I'm not doing that. I am enjoying my life. I am not so attached to the outcome of things as I had been before. I've gotten away from the thinking that something needs to go a certain way to make me happy. Yes, I'd like things to go in a positive direction for my life but I feel that when one door closes, another opens. I'm learning to be happy now and not delay my happiness on some future event that may or may not ever happen. I think the concept I'm referring to is known as 'living in the present.' 

Because I feel and think differently, things are happening now that are for my greater good. Even if the situation or thing is seen as negative, I can always learn from it and do better next time or choose differently. I find myself not worrying quite so much and just taking things one step at a time. For a one-time chronic worrier, this is big. Worry really serves no purpose at all. I used to think that if I worried about something in the future that when the thing happened, I'd have covered all the bases and would be okay. Yes, this is how a brain on worry works, at least mine did. Not a great way to live life. I'd found that I miss a lot of what's happening in the present when I'm worrying about something in the future. 

I can't spend my life worrying. It is just a waste of time. There is nothing wrong with thinking things through but when it turns into over- thinking or worrying, then all is lost. 

Another thing is keeping a positive outlook. I am not listening to the news like I used to. I'm not hitting any of the news websites. I'm consciously seeking out positive people, messages and mindsets. I'm also providing positive, uplifting messages and friendship towards a lot of my other unemployed friends as well as people that seem to need it now. I'm working very hard to see the good in the world as opposed to all the doom and gloom. 

So having said all that, I am living an entirely different sort of life. I find myself doing a lot of things these past few weeks that I might have given a pass on before. I really don't know what's coming up and I'm going to keep my mind open to what it might turn out to be. I could say in all honesty, that living this 'entirely different sort of life' has been rather fun. 







Friday, October 25, 2013

New content coming soon!



Major life changes going on lately which have taken my time and attention away from this blog. I will be back soon. (Oh, and podcasts will still go on as well.) So, stay tuned! And as always, thanks for all the pages views, reads, watches and support! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

All The Rods and Flying Cars Too!

New podcast under the All The Goods umbrella!


Hoy, everyone! I'm the Big Mag and the host of the all new Big Mag Show! On this first episode, I tell you about me and what I've got going on! So feel free to check me out! Thanks and have a great week! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

ATR BoB Video 15

ATR BoB Video 14

ATR BoB Video 10

ATR BoB Video 7

ATR BoB Video 6

ATR BoB Video 5

ATR BoB Video 4

All The Rods BoB 1

ATR BoB Video 3

Looks+like+one+of+Mater's+friends! via ATR!

Looks+like+one+of+Mater's+friends!

ATR hangs out with Bumblebee!

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ATR and several shades of awesome! '41 Chevy Over-Cab

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ATR presents Just Stangin' Around!

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ATR presents All Pony All The Time!

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ATR Video 2 from BoB (Check out the Datsun Z)

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All The Rods Video 1 from Best of the Best 10-6-13

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Closing in on a year



Been awhile, hasn't it? A while since I've sat my butt in a chair and wrote the blog. A lot of things going on, some to do with All The Goods and some not. I can say one thing with certainty and it's that All The Goods as a brand has gone so much farther than I ever could have imagined. I'm closing in on the year since this blog came about and it's been quite a ride. All The Goods has been a good friend to me. This year has had more changes than I can keep track of and through all of the outer world highs and lows, I always knew that this blog was a constant, meaning that it was always here for me, no matter what happened. I can count on All The Goods more than I've been able to count on a lot of other things. I don't see it going away anytime soon thankfully. I still have a lot of mileage left and so much more I want to do with this. 

I used to be a person who was afraid of change and a good bit of my personal life has reflected this. I really don't think I'm any different than most other people in this regard. Even the most seasoned veterans of change get thrown off occasionally. Now that I'm doing this blog, I know that it needs to change and change is a form of growth. Had I stuck to just doing interviews all the time and nothing else, this blog would have grown stagnant. So I can say with all certainty that I'm blessed and fortunate to have had change and that this blog has a lot of mileage yet to cover. 

One of the dreams I had about four months into doing the blog was taking it to another level...in this case, radio. Or radio as it exists now these days, in other words podcasting. The desire waxed and waned with me mostly due to fear of it being too expensive to do. It was only within the past month that I couldn't calm the persistent little voice in my head that kept banging on about podcasting. I finally summoned up the courage and sent a general notice out on my Facebook page, asking my techie friends if they knew how I could get this started. My good friend Dave pointed me in the right direction. The software was free, the only cost I incurred was for the mike.

Dave patiently walked me through the set up, gave me some tips and then sat back and let me at it. I gotta say, it's kind of fun. I have a blast doing the podcasts. This has opened a whole new other world for me and I've found myself in a whole new realm. Some of the people who do podcasts that I admire and listen to all the time have been very supportive with this new venture of mine.

Along with doing the podcasts, I found that I wanted to do some sort of video and that's now taking flight. Some of it is still tricky, like when  my equipment has a major fail but for the most part, I've also been  enjoying this as well. I've also got a lot of ideas for upcoming video cooking away in my mind.

I can't keep going without mentioning the new baby which is called All The Rods. All The Rods (or ATR) is part of the All The Goods brand. All The Rods focuses strictly on my love of all things auto. I've been to a few of the bigger carshows lately to shoot video and chat up people about their cars. I've also done a few ATR podcasts as well where I talk about carshows or general car news that I find online.

I have plans for all of this but you'd be surprised to find out that a good bit of this is usually just a flash of inspiration that just seems to pop up out of nowhere. I always have a pad and pen ready to go wherever I am because I always have to write these things down. I have stickies all over the place with show notes on them or people that I want to interview and in some cases, questions for potential interviews. I feel like if the iron is hot, you strike.

Anyway, it's been quite a ride and there is so much more yet to come. Before I close, I have a list of people to thank....but before that, I want to say thanks to all of you who come and check out my page. Thanks for the support.

Now onto the list-

David Tolar-for his help and encouragement. He is the one who helped me get going with the software for the podcasts. I also did one of my first interviews on the blog with him for his album 'The Path of Least Resistance'. David and I have known each other over 30 years and has always been there for me. I am proud to call him a friend.

Joy Hawkins-for also always being there for me and being one of my biggest cheerleaders. Joy and I have been friends for a few decades now. We began as coworkers, became friends and are still at it. Joy is an artist whose jewelry is amazing. (I hope to shoot some video of her working on her pieces soon; she just doesn't know it yet.)

Barbara Lewis-is another friend of long-standing. Barbara has always been in my corner, first with my own art and now with the blog/radio/video. Barbara is also an artist in her own right. She will be the topic of an interview within 2014.

Cathy Berens Paxton-also one of my biggest cheerleaders. She listens to the podcasts, watches the videos, reads all these blogs and is one of my most ardent supporters.

Terri Mills; Richard Jansen; Ron Gay; everyone else at PPAS that I haven't mentioned; Jill Morrison; Teresa Walker; Polly MacKenzie; Sharon Van Hout; mOw; Don Moore; Elaine Salter; TMOS; Slow Robot A Go-Go; Joseph P. Genera; Marilyn Martin; Robb Spewak; Michael J. Elston; The Marc and Lowell Show; The Don Geronimo Show; Tech 411; Mary Barbara; Pepito Valdez; The Wed Miracle Group; Phil Hendrie; Sean Merritt and Matt Loyd to name a few. (I'm sure I left someone out and will be back to edit later.)

*Some of the people on the above list, I have not met personally but they've inspired me in a lot of ways, therefore they're included.*

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rock Star visits Volkswagen Poznań Factory

All The Goods-All The Rods Hybrid Show!

https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/atr-show-3-hybrid

Did a little combo tonight, a little All The Goods talk spiced with lots of All The Rods chit-chat! I discuss various automotive Twitter sites as well as auto stuff in the news! Come and listen! Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

All The Rods Podcast Show #2 is now up!

https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/atr-show-2

You can click the above link and that will bring you right to it. Thanks in advance for listening!

Adventure on the high seas aka going where few have been....the Sean Merritt interview

(Dolphins playing in the ocean-Azores. Source tellegraph.co.uk via Google images)

This is the interview that I'd been hinting at in the last few blogs/podcasts. Sean Merritt  is someone I know that's had a rather interesting life and one big part of it is that he's made a Transatlantic voyage by boat and I'm not talking cruise ship either. It takes a special sort of person with a special sort of courage not to mention adventure to even want to take on such an undertaking. But he didn't do it alone as you will soon discover but that doesn't make his tale any less interesting.

ATG-What made you decide to do this? Or was this a job to transport someone's boat from Point A to Point B?

SM-The opportunity came about by being at the right place at the right time, as I ran the kitchen at an infamous Irish bar in St. Pete and I knew the captain's daughter.

ATG-What sort of boat and how big/long was it?

SM-The 'Murphy's Law' is a 62' motor-vessel with a 18' beam and has a 9' draft; that's how deep it sat in the water.

ATG-How big was the crew?

SM-There were four of us: the captain and his wife, the first mate and I was the purser and ran the galley.

ATG-When did you do this?

SM-We left late Spring of 1990.

ATG-Which port did you sail from and what was your destination?

SM-We cruised out under the old Skyway intending to circumnavigate the world.

ATG-How long did it take you to do this?

SM-Our trip lasted just over a year and we had to come home (USA) because of the first Gulf War to free Kuwait.

ATG-What were your ports of call?

SM-In order-Key West; Ft. Lauderdale; Bermuda; Azores;Portugal; Spain; Gibraltar and the Balearic Islands. My side trips included France; Germany; England; Morocco and on the way back Madeira and the Canary Islands before landing back in Puerto Rico.

ATG-Did you hit any inclement weather such as hurricanes, typhoons, etc?

SM- We had a bad patch between Bermuda and The Azores that made us deal with a tropical storm that caused 15' to 20' seas that were double stacking behind us as high as 40'. This following sea caused us to have the stern (the back of the boat) to lift up first and drive our bow (the front) deep into the bottom of the waves. As you can imagine, this is very dangerous.

ATG-Were there any instances where you were scared to death?

SM-This caused one of the stabilizers to break off and we had to fix this in driving rain and to be off the side of the boat to do this. As the waves would cover over half my body, this was the closest to death I've ever felt. We fixed the problem and soon came out of the bad weather.

ATG-What kind of animals did you see out there, i.e. whales, sharks, etc?

SM-Many days saw porpoise playing in our bow wake and we saw two different sperm whales near The Azores.



                                                    (Atlantic Ocean. Source-Wikipedia)

ATG-Did you keep a log or some sort of journal?

SM-I kept a journal on the way over but didn't keep it up on the trip back.

ATG-Are there any interesting things that stood out for you? (Amusing stories, etc).

SM-Too many to recount here with this first installment to your blog.

ATG-What was the best cure for seasickness and did you suffer from this?

SM-Just puking your guts out and getting it out of your system. I did so on the first day and then didn't have any more trouble with it.

ATG-How did you deal with 'sea legs'?

SM-You develop them over the time when you are constantly moving 24 hours a day and it takes a couple of days to lose them when you''re back on land.

ATG-Do you have advice for someone who might wish to take this on?

SM-Pick up some of the trade journals or Sailing magazine or know someone in the maritime trade

ATG-What did you learn by having this experience? Any good life lessons?

SM-That travel is the greatest educator in the world and nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it and commit to it. Going to sea was an easy way to commit to it as there's nowhere to go once you leave shore. Once home, I realized no other thing I've ever done left me feeling as empowered as going to sea and making it back safe and sound.

ATG-Would you do this again?

SM-Absolutely! There's always a little voice in the back of my head calling me back, sirens maybe.

ATG-Do you have a website that I could refer people to where they can learn more?

SM-No website but if I do get one, I will let you know.

Many thanks to Sean Merritt for doing this interview with me.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

All The Rods checks out the Tesla Model S!

All The Rods Cars & Coffee Video 1 9-21-13

All The Rods and a Tesla too!

video-2013-09-21-08-48-28_zpsbe3c4613

A little Tesla overview! Consumer Reports sez this is the 'best car ever', garnering a 99 out of a score of 100. It's fully electric.

All The Rods and Aston Martins and more!

video-2013-09-21-09-29-13_zpsd5f468d3

Footage from this morning!

All The Rods...Vettes and Stangs! Oh my!

video-2013-09-21-11-00-00_zps8c6bb359

From the Quaker Steak and Lube cars show in Pinellas Park, FL.

Jim+Carroll+&+his+1983+Delorean

Jim+Carroll+&+his+1983+Delorean

Jim Carroll talks up his 1983 Delorean 'Time Machine'.

All The Rods,. including Deloreans!

video-2013-09-21-11-02-08_zpsf4ade091

Enjoy this look at an old classic, if you will...the 1983 Delorean. just like in 'Back To The Future'. Interview with Jim Carroll, owner of this great cars. He'd painstakingly put this together and the result is nothing short of amazing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All the Goods Show #2 is up!



https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/atg-show-2

https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/atg-show-2-pt-2

Had to do 2 parts because Part 1 of 2 cut off abruptly. This show is about great podcasts and those that host them! Enjoy and as always, thanks for the support!

Monday, September 16, 2013

All The Rods 1st Podcast is up!


Yes! All the Rods' 1st podcast is here! Hurray! Come one, come all and listen here https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/atr-all-the-rods-show-1

Thanks in advance!

Also I attended the show at Timeout Bar & Grill this past Saturday. It was hotter than Hades and I didn't last long but before I skedaddled, I managed to get some good video, including a very loud Camaro as it rolled into the parking lot. You can see that video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5KFgvBA_yM

Here's a video of more of what was going on in the parking lot on Saturday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Vki62eyfs . For my being there such a short time, I did manage to get some fairly good video.

This week's podcast, however, features the event known as Cars and Coffee which was started by Paul DuPont, who owns the DuPont Registry. (See also www.dupontregistry.com and also CarsandCoffee on Facebook). There are other Cars and Coffee events in the US but this one in particular is local to the Tampa Bay area. This event is held every 3rd Saturday of the month at the DuPont Registry (3051 Tech Drive, St. Petersburg, FL) and it runs from the very early morning hour of 7am until 9am. (This would be before it gets scorching hot outside.)

The Viper photo above was taken at the June 2012 Cars and Coffee event that I attended. Not only do you see beauties like those above but others as well such as all years of Mustang, Camaro, Maserati, Lamborghini, Tesla, Fisker and all sorts of things in between. Not only are the cars at Cars and Coffee magnificent looking but the ones on the road leading into the event as just as amazing.

Last year, when I went I took probably 100 pictures or more. If you love to take photos of cars, this is definitely the place to go for that.

Oh by the way, before I wrap it up...you can find me in other places, under Facebook Groups, a new All The Goods group was started and I created a new Twitter account which is @allthegoods13

Thursday, September 12, 2013

All The Goods radio is up now!


Yes, indeedy, after so many months, so many decisions, the time has come! Just uploaded the very first All The Goods Show #1 via Soundcloud.

You can find it here https://soundcloud.com/allthegoods/all-the-goods-show-1

Thanks for your support and for listening! (I promise, it's going to get better. Just had a few glitches, that's all!)

I will still be writing here and shooting video when I can.

Upcoming print interview is going to be with the very interesting Sean Merritt, in which we shall discuss at length his adventures on the high seas. Why is he 'the very interesting' you may wonder...well, he is the first person I've ever met who's crossed the world halfway twice. When I heard him talk about it, I just knew that there was a story just dying to get out.

Hoping to do a story and/or video this weekend of a local carshow and there's huge event coming next Saturday as well, called Cars & Coffee. Stay tuned for pictures and possible video!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

5th Annual VW Beach BASH, 9/1/2013

All The Rods-All VW today!



And the air was alive with the sound of air-cooled engines. So many cars, so many vans, so much to see, be inspired by, people to chat with...my, my. my. What an amazing day! The event was the 5th Annual VW Beach BASH held in Pass-A-Grille Beach which is part of St. Pete Beach. Yes, it was hotter than Hades out there today, probably a heat index of close to 100 degrees if not more. All The Rods was determined to stick it out for as long as we could. I was there for about 3 hours and it was long enough to get what I needed to and then some.



As you can see, there were a lot of really cool cars down there today. The majority of the vehicles were the VW Bugs, closely followed by the always personable VW Buses. There were old beaten up cars with a lot of character, long journeys and untold stories and there were some cars that were works of art in their beauty.


There seemed to be quite a lot of the VW van-to-truck conversions in attendance today.



Another Van Truck conversion


What an absolute beauty! Fully restored VW bus. 


The lone Herbie. I was really surprised to not see any full-sized Herbies. This one was a remote-control car.


All Van, All The Time!


How could you not love a face like this one?


In the three hours I spent at the event today, I took photos, some video and shook a few hands, while passing out business cards promoting All The Rods/All The Goods. I am also going to veer off for a moment to talk about some of the really cool people I met today.

First, I chatted with Johnny Jalopy. He does some of the best car drawings I have ever seen. The one below is case in point as to what he does-


You can find out more about Johnny Jalopy by going to his Facebook page. Just look for Johnny Jalopy and you'll find him. You can also contact him at Johnnyjalopyllc@gmail.com.

I also had the pleasure of chatting with Paula Crossley who owns Crackerhill Arts and Crafts. She does some of the most unique VW crafts I have ever seen. Below are some examples of her craft-


She makes stained glass VWs as well as needlepoint. But the thing that caught my eye were these adorable and very cool windchimes-


Such a cool idea! Whenever I see anything like this, the wheels begin to turn in my own mind as to what sort of things I could come up with. If you like these cool little VW items, you can get in touch with Paula here crackerhill1950@hotmail.com. 

Another person I spent a few moments talking to was Aaron Joslin, who is a photographer. He runs a site called VDub Prints/Photography and his specialty here is Vintage Automobile Photography. Or as I love to say...'Awesome!' Below shows a display he had today-


I always have an admiration for those who can take amazing photos of cars. You can find out more about this artist by visiting these places-www.vdubprints.com and Facebook.com/Vdubprints. You can also check out Aaron's other work by going here-www.aaronjoslinphotography.com and facebook.com/aaronjoslinphotos

All in all, this is an event that I would attend again without a doubt. I am proud to promote such a great event. 

If you're interested in seeing the rest of my photo album, feel free to go to www.facebook.com/AllTheGoods?ref=hl



Saturday, August 31, 2013

All The Rods will be visiting the VW Beach BASH tomorrow


Hoping to see at least a few of these bad boys tomorrow at the 5th Annual VW Beach BASH in Pass-A-Grille, FL. Camera battery is fired up and ready to go. Kinda looking forward to it, fingers crossed that the weather is okay.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Matthew Christopher's Abandoned America - An Autopsy of the American Dream

Matthew Christopher's Abandoned America - An Autopsy of the American Dream

Cool site I found whilst searching for photos of planes! Check this out, it's got some interesting photos on it.

All The Rods...this time it's VWs, my friends!



All The Rods is excited about attending the VW Beach Bash which will be held Sunday Sept 1st in Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL. I will be taking tons of photos and hope to speak to some of the folks that will be showing their cars. I think that this is going to be a great way to spend a Sunday. 

I adore the old-style VWs, especially the VW Bug or VW Beetle. My mom had a 1974 yellow Super Beetle and I believe that car is the one that got my interest started in them. My cousins also had a blue one and my grandfather got on the bandwagon and also bought a tan VW Beetle. They are just so cute and you can always tell when one's nearby. The older Bugs/Beetles have a ringing sound to their engines that sets them apart from other cars of that era. I once had someone from a VW Club tell me that it's because the engines are water-cooled. The engines of that era were always in the rear with a generous trunk in the front of the car. Whenever I saw a hood up on a VW Bug back then, it always reminded me of a giant mouth being opened. 

I am always thrilled to see a vintage VW driving on the roads around here. I ponder how old that particular car might be. They are usually in very good condition. I also tend to see some vintage VW buses around here as well. I see one on the way to work, that makes me turn my head to watch it pass every time. That one is a turquoise green and tan color. It's beautiful. I hope that whomever owns it shows up at the upcoming VW Beach Bash. I am dying to get a picture of it. 

VW Bugs and Beetles prominently figured into my childhood for many reasons. It seemed that everyone in the world had one or knew someone that did. When taking long trips by car with my parents and brother, I would count the amount of Beetles we saw enroute to wherever we were heading. One time I counted 100 for an hour's trip. This is also the car that was used for me to learn how to drive 'shift' or 'manual' as it's sometimes known as. The appeal of this great little car crossed over into the film industry with the 'Herbie-The Love Bug' franchise. ( Yes, I have the box set). In 2005, a newer Herbie movie came out, 'Herbie-Fully Loaded' which starred Lindsay Lohan. I was probably one of the few that actually thought this was a great movie. One can find many Herbies at various carshows. I'm sure that I will see plenty of them at the upcoming VW Beach Bash.

Another thing that was great about the old 70's versions of the Bug/Beetle was that space between the back window and back seat, which my family dubbed 'The Well'. The Well was made more for storage than anything else. But one fine summer day when I was a teen, my friends and I settled the age old 'How many people can you fit into a VW?' question. The answer was seven. We did lap-sitting and the smaller of the kids fit nicely into The Well. We were in a parking lot and we did not take to the road. If I recall correctly, I don't think we even tried to drive the car. Too bad that camera phones, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist back then, we would have had a field day!

Whenever I see a great looking VW in a parking lot somewhere, if I can, I try to get a picture of it.



The above group photo was taken at Daytona's Spring Fling 2005.


^^^ This little sexy was spotted at a local mall parking lot. I love the eyelids over the headlights; it gives this car a lot of personality.


The above photo isn't mine. I found this on The Road to ME Facebook page. The lady who runs that blog (Teresa) uses a lot of VW Bug/Beetle imagery in her posts. It was one of the things that drew me to her site. 

As you can see, the VW is one of the All The Rods favorite cars of all time. 

Wacky Shenanigans!


'Wacky Shenanigans!' is an expression that is used early and often on the great podcast known as Slow Robot A Go-Go. If this name sounds familiar to you, this may be because earlier this year I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with one of the hosts mOw. (You can find mOw's interview under 'Podcasts, B Movies and Asian Influence-Oh My!' which ran on 2/13/13.)

Recently during a listen to Slow Robot A Go-Go, I felt compelled to write about them again only this time, I would be mostly concentrating on how much I love this show and why you need to check it out. Slow Robot A Go-Go is nothing like anything else I've heard and that's a good thing. Sure, there are a lot of podcasts and radio shows dedicated to the discussion of movies. I've heard a few great ones but for one reason or another, I cannot seem to get enough of this one and it's become my 'Go To'.

This show is manned by mOw and his cohort Dr. Morbius (from parts unknown). These two guys really sound like a couple of old friends just hanging out, shooting the breeze about movies and a whole lot of other interesting topics. The fact that they sound so unrehearsed and real makes the show even more appealing.

A few notes before I delve into this show review...You should have a pad and a pen ready to make a list of movies. The reason being is because once these two guys get going discussing movies, you might just be intrigued enough to find out more about or just to watch whatever they discuss. My Netflix queue has tripled in size due to a lot of the movies that mOw and Dr. Morbius have discussed on their show. Having an open mind is also a great idea. If you're looking for someone to discuss the latest thing at the box office, you may be disappointed. (Yes, at times, they DO discuss current movies but that's really not their stock in trade. More on that in a minute.)  My movie viewing horizons have been broadened due to listening to this show and I'm watching things that I might have passed on previously. Last but not least, if you're a lover of the old black and white films, really obscure stuff or just flat out love B movies, this podcast is for you.

The format of this show is that mOw and Dr. Morbius (from parts unknown) review and mull over B-Movies of all eras. Some of their movies are complete stinkers and others are beloved classics. The show will usually begin with information on where you can find and listen to this show. (I will include that info at the end of this review.) After that, the two then discuss what they've watched in the prior week. The things they watch are sometimes movies and at times, just documentaries or football shows among other things, often with hilarious commentary.

One of the current things that mOw has been spending a lot of time with is his 'Van Damme A-Thon' where he is watching every single Jean-Claude Van Damme movie from the first one to the most recent. He then discusses each movie and his thoughts about them.

The two hosts also will sprinkle a good bit of chatter about music in amongst their movie talk. Both mOw and Dr. Morbius have avid interest in music and really delve into the merits of a band, musician or musical style, often in great detail.

After they've gotten that out of the way, they settle into more of a formatted show. Some of their pre-mpvie reviewing patter includes a 'This or That' list which may or may not have to do with movies. An example would be 'Coke or Pepsi?' or 'Mustang or Camaro?'. Other times they have a Top Ten List(s), again movie related or not as this past show demonstrated where they both had their own lists of 'Favorite NFL Football Players of All Time'.

They also have a 'Versus' format to the show where they each pick a film and compare and contrast their opinions of the movies that they've chosen. Normally, however, they just choose one movie and break down the good, the bad and the ugly of the chosen movie. They're not always in love with everything that they've picked out for the week's show and they will lay out their reasoning in an amusing yet honest way.

Both mOw and Dr. Morbuis are fans of such things as Roger Corman movies or flicks that the great Ray Harryhausen worked on for example. I love the fact that they are willing to discuss more of the classic movies as opposed to the newer, flashy, CGI-laden products that one finds at any given theater. The show seems to harken back to the movies of older eras, where the action wasn't so ' in your face' and you could also use your imagination more. Due to listening to this show, I've gone back to watch a lot of older horror movies such as 'The Abominable Dr. Phibes' and 'The Island of Lost Souls' which came out in 1932. I've also rented such things as 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms' and the original version of 'The Fly' to name a few.

When it comes time to take their two breaks, you can bet that mOw and Dr. Morbius will run a trailer or two of some super obscure or Grade B movie from 'back in the day'. I do not know where they find these trailers but in my eyes, they are B Movie Gold.

This past show, the guys watched three versions of 'King Kong', the 1933, 1976 and 2005 versions. They compared and contrasted each one. I've seen all three of these and was wowed by how great the original was, knowing that back then we didn't have the technology that exists nowadays. Dr. Morbius' viewpoints on the 1933 version was that he liked this version the best and went on to say that this was 'one of the best movies ever made' and one of his 'all time favorites'. Both he and mOw then discussed the 1976 version noting that there was a lot that alluded to the 1970's culture within the plot and dialogue. mOw also shared that a 40 ft King Kong robot was created that ended up not working. (One of the best parts of listening to this podcast is all the trivia that the guys love to share with the listener. I eat that stuff up!) They had this to say about the 2005 version of the movie that Peter Jackson was very faithful to the source material and that the CG was well done and the movie well casted. After they rated the three films, they then threw out names of other movies where an ape/chimp/monkey dominated the plot, including 'Mighty Joe Young' and 'Son of Kong'. (You can bet I will be adding these to my Netflix queue.)

This show runs for an hour but I could easily listen longer. The patter between the two hosts never gets dull and I find myself learning something along the way. My rating for this podcast would be two thumbs up. (Or 5 stars.)

You can find out more about Slow Robot A Go-Go by going here-

slowrobotagogo.wordpress.com or bunchofdorks.com. You can find them on Facebook at the Slow Robot A Go-Go Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter at @slowrobotagogo. You can listen from links on each of these places.

You can also hear them on Slice Radio as well as Stitcher Radio. (stitcher.com) and iTunes.

So, go ahead and check them out! If you like what you hear, feel free to hit them up on any one of those links above and tell them yourself. They will be happy with any new listeners that find them!