Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

At a certain point, one needs to accept reality.

Years ago when I was doing The Casting Game, once the gaps between episodes was getting longer and longer, and the votes on the polls fewer and fewer, and the effort to get panelists harder and harder, I realized that it was just time to let it go.

Today, I’ve come to realize that there is something else I need to let go of. Over the past year, disasters have been piling on and on, both financial and technological, and the past three months in particular have been sending me a pretty clear signal.

I just can’t podcast anymore.

Today, I was informed that it’s very likely that as a result of the newest Windows update, my hard drive is dead. And since the disc drives in that rig were already not working, fixing it is going to be impossible. Heck the rig itself was a hand me down after the last computer I’d paid for died unceremoniously last December. My current financial status shows zero sign of improvement, as I can’t even get volunteer work to fill the gap on my resume. Yes, despite everything I am somehow unqualified to read Goodnight Moon to kindergärtners at the Library. if that isn’t a “fuck you” from reality I don’t know what is. Based on that, I can look forward to buying a new computer never.

My family here in California has been too kind to me, so I could continue recording Singular Achievement over here once and Gilmore Girls Re-watch bi-weekly as I’ve been doing the past month, but I just can’t do that in good conscience, regardless of what they say. I’ve taken enough advantage of their goodwill as is.

So, after recording the next episode of GGR tonight, and after it goes out on Tuesday, that will be the end of Arkle Studios. I am retiring from podcasting. The universe, through job loss, three computer deaths in the space of 13 months, sound card problems, illnesses, loss of unemployment benefits, and loss of home has sent me a clear message. It doesn’t want me to do this anymore.

This is not a pity fishing expedition. I do not want any donations made to the tip jar, as even if every listener I had gave something it would not be enough to buy a new rig, seeing as I lost most of my listeners thanks to the Mevio debacle where they shut me down, then lied to me about letting post an episode letting people know we’d be moving. That there was probably another sign that I should’ve quit.

I will still listen to podcasts, and still call in to the ones that have voicemail lines from time to time. That is, until I lose my phone in April, because I know I won’t have a job by then; I haven’t even had an interview since late May, not even for (as I said above) volunteer work which wouldn’t even pay me anything, just give me some extra experience and something to pad the resume with. And I’m sure as hell not going to ask Mom to buy another phone card for me, she’s spent more than $50 keeping this thing that only ever gets calls from mean spirited condescending dishonest debt collectors turned on as is.

Oh, and I’d better let Summer Brooks know I’ll have to back out of the planned re-launch of Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas.

So, yeah. It’s been a good run. I’ve come a long way from my first ever podcast, where I didn’t have a proper pop filter and spent a chunk of it telling the then-kitten Keepsie to stop clawing me. And all things being equal I’d love to not only keep doing SAP, and finish GGR, but I’d have loved to start a Fringe Re-watch podcast with Tara from What The Fuck Is Wrong With You, and I even had an idea for a show about AFI’s Top 50 Movie Villains list.

But the writing’s on the wall. These last several problems have all occurred right at the height of my excitement of getting back into doing a weekly show. Every hard drive death, every job termination, every vicious cold or flu, every website going tits up.

At a certain point, one needs to accept reality.

The website is going to stay up, and I will at some point get back to fixing all the links so that all the available Arkle Studios podcasts episodes can be listened to, but again, starting Tuesday, there will be no more new content barring an absolute miracle. I can’t even say barring a Lotto win as you can’t purchase those with food stamps, which is all I have; I’ve not had hard currency since my Dad sent me some cash for Christmas. And as an Atheist and a Skeptic, I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t even really believe in ‘signs’ per se, there is no malevolent supernatural force out there that is seeking to ruin my podcasting career. It’s just how things happened. I can’t really blame anyone, not entirely (though I still hold some bitterness towards both Mevio and Taco Bell for contributing to the situation).

I’ll still be on-line too, though a bit less frequently. You can still find me on Tumblr, and Facebook, and Twitter, and the TGWTG forums, and in RDA on Monday nights and JesuOtaku’s stream on most Saturday nights except for RPG night with the family. So do keep in touch if you can. And if you are upset at this news I’m sorry, but I’ve been around podcasting long enough to know that most people who face issues like mine give up on it much sooner than I have. For what little consolation that is.

“Hello, Alice. Welcome to Wonderland.”

Welcome to Arkle Studios’ new site, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are … OK, no children on staff.

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The best laid plans of mice.

The Good News: There WILL very much be a September episode of Singular Achievement Phenomenon.

The Bad: It won’t be on time. Once again, real life has gotten in the way. Coincidentally, for both hosts it involves the moving process. A very large number of packages containing my belongings came yesterday, and it was very hot, so going through them was a very drenching process. Sweat was getting in my eyes, it was bad.

The Also: I normally put these in separate posts, but hey, while I’m here I might as well. Announcing the songs for the next Singular Achievement Phenomenon.

Nobody by Sylvia (1982)
Personally by Karla Bonoff (1982)
Goin’ Down by Greg Guidry (1982)
Pac-Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia (1982)

I’m sure you’ll notice the theme there. 😉

*facepalm* Arkle Vlogs

I forgot to put them up here, but I have videos now. You can find them on blip.tv/arkle, or just watch them here. Here are my first two vids, the 2nd of which just went up today.

See You In February

As some of you may be aware, Arkle Studios suffered a catastrophic existence failure last week (my hard drive died). Luckily, this is not the utter disaster I feared such an incident would be, but things are still out of whack. The good news is, the unaired episodes of Gilmore Girls Re-watch that Angela and I have recorded are safe, and ready to be edited (including the Season 3 wrap-up that was due this past Tuesday). Also, the next episode of Singular Achievement Phenomenon was not recorded so nothing was lost.

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Regarding my cousin, anger, & grief

ROBIN MELINDA Le SECH Obituary

Like I said on Facebook, it still doesn’t feel real. I keep expecting it to turn out to be a creepily real dream or even a really cruel prank. But I am ready to talk about it now.

I wasn’t as close to her (or her brother, or my cousins in Texas) as I wanted to be through no fault of my own. In addition to sadness, I feel angry. I feel robbed. Her mother and my grandmother were fighting about something, years ago (like 15 years I think, I know that’s the last time I saw Robin). I can’t even remember what it was, but as a result, I was basically cut off from a large chunk of my family for a lot of years. Until Facebook, I really had no idea what my cousins Robin, Matthew, Zach, Caitlin and Megan were up to. And even after Friending there, we still didn’t talk to each other. I probably should’ve tried to initiate but I couldn’t think of anything to say. As for why they wouldn’t talk to me, I would hope that they just had the same doubts I did and this wasn’t just some sort of assumption that I was on “Judy’s side,” whatever that was. I was living with my grandmother at the time, and even though I was like 11 years old, I got caught up in it all against my will. I had Becky and Michael around occasionally, but we started to drift apart too. This family, which had seemed so close when I was a kid was fracturing and I was nothing but an observer, as useless as the Monitors in DC’s Countdown. As of early this year, the only cousin I had any contact was Michael, and half our conversations were about weed and why the hell does he like Twilight? I didn’t even know my cousin Becky, who’d been like a sister to me, was married and pregnant until she was showing.

I had always hoped that one day I could do something to get all us Webber-Le Sech kids back together. Naive maybe, but there it was. But now I won’t get that chance, and I’m sad, and I’m angry, and I’m sad that I’m angry. And I wish I could discuss these feelings with my family (or at least the Webber side of it), but I remember what it was like back then and I fear accusations of “taking the wrong side” or some other bullshit like I would hear when I was younger. So here I am, opening up to people I’ve never met in most cases except for those of you who’ve bumped into me at BaltiCon or DragonCon.

This post wasn’t planned out. I just needed to say something. I’ve been relatively quiet on the social networks since Wednesday evening when I got home from work and I got the phone call telling me that Robin, my 23 year old cousin, was dead. I’ve been thinking about how I feel, wondering why it happened, and going through the motions of listening to my daily podcasts but only half listening. It was time to stop bottling this up. Especially since I record new episodes of Gilmore girls Re-watch tonight and a taciturn Arkle does not make for a good show.

I am going to be OK in the end. We weren’t that close, and it had been years since we’d done anything but confirm Friend Requests on Facebook. But that’s the thing isn’t it? Because her Mom and my Grandma fought about something that can’t have been that big of a deal if I can’t remember it when I can remember my first act of political activism (at age 6), I never knew, and will never get to know, what kind of person Robin was. She was family, but I didn’t get to know her. That’s not how it should go, especially when they weren’t that many of us to begin with. We’re not Catholics, we’re not like my buddy Nate at the Moral of the Story podcast who said he’s got more than 20 cousins. It shouldn’t have been this way, and I shouldn’t have had to suffer that lost connection. I was a kid dammit!

OK, it’s time to stop this now. But I felt I had to write something, so I did. It’s probably not very good, but then again did it have to be?

The next time you hear from me it will be about happier things. Be seeing you.

Announcing the Songs for the June 11 episode of Singular Achievement Phenomenon

  1. Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite (1990)
  2. Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp) by Barry Mann (1961)
  3. Collide by Howie Day (2005)
  4. Cry Me A River by Julie London (1955)

Again, the episode will be coming out June 11 barring any technical difficulties. See you then.

Introducing the newest show in the Arkle Studios repetoire

This new podcast which will be hosted by myself (Arkle), podcast novelist T.M. Camp, and a guest co-host each episode will discuss a topic near and dear to all music lovers; one hit wonders. 😉

The show is still in development at the moment, but the format as it currently stands is each month on the 11th a new episode goes into the feed wherein the hosts discuss 4 randomly selected one hit wonder songs (using the standard of any artist/band to have only one song break the Billboard Top 100 charts).

Before each episode comes out, the 4 songs will be listed here so you can have a chance to listen to them yourself (if by chance you haven’t heard them before) before the episode comes out.

Coming up in the next week or so, we will have an Episode 0 where we only discuss one song, done twice. Yes, we’ll be not only covering a one hit wonder, but a one hit wonder that was a cover of the first one hit wonder. The song in question is that song that you have danced to at least once, even if you will never admit it in public, Funkytown by Lipps, Inc. from 1980, as well as it’s 1986 cover by the Australian group Pseudo Echo. This episode will mainly be done to work our some of the kinks in the show’s format, and decide what might and might not work for the show.

Now, as it stands we will not be discussing any songs from after 2006 (2007 for next year, 2008 for 2013, etc.) since T.M. and I agreed that that’s enough time for some of those alleged one hit wonders to have a second shot at the charts. But, if there are any one hit wonders you just HAVE to hear us talk about, use the contact info on the right hand side of this website, and, although I won’t promise we WILL do it, it will certainly be considered.

Episode 0 will, with more than 90% certainty, be out sometime next week, while Episode 1 should be out on May 11. The songs planned for that episode are;

  1. Sh-Boom by The Chords (1954)
  2. Who Let the Dogs Out? by The Baha Men (2000)
  3. Cars by Gary Numan (1980)
  4. Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm (2001)

Not goodbye, just “smell ya later.”

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the post from my Mom about my home computer. It appears to have died on me. Best case scenario is that my warranty still covers it and I can send it in to get fixed, but that would mean I’d still be without Internet access for at least a month, not counting when I can get over to my Dad’s place, where I am writing this from right now.

To add insult to injury on that front, with my iPod having been stolen this past Sunday, I am now completely unable to keep on podcasts. I can’t just swing over here and fill up the Nano anymore. And now that I’ve been failed out of college I can’t take advantage of the Macs in the computer lab for the same purpose. Nor can I use my Student ID to ride the bus over here whenever. I have to take out $4 every time I want to take the bus anywhere ($2 there, $2 to come back) which is not viable since the bulk of my paychecks go towards Rent, Energy, Cable/Internet, and Food. I can come over once or twice every couple of weeks, and that’ll mostly be me checking my e-mails. My Dad’s computer is a temp job and isn’t equipped to handle podcasting. So don’t expect to see me on Twitter or Facebook much, except maybe to update you all on where I’m at computer wise.

I mentioned above what the best case scenario was. Worst case? My PC is deader than disco, and even if I take out the maximum amount out of my checks that I can set aside and still eat, feed the cats, and keep a roof over me, it would take at least 2 years before I could afford a new computer.

This is all so unfair. My PC died after what was just an awesome day. I was looking forward to two fun interviews for my podcast, I was looking forward to NaNoWriMo, there were only 3 episodes left in Mur’s Heaven series, I was going to start listening to Half Share by Nathan Lowell after NaNo was over, but now it’s all, just gone to shit. The universe just can’t let me be happy can it?

I don’t want to say this is goodbye, that I’m podfading, and that you’ll never hear me on any other shows again (or for at least 2 years which might as well be “never again”). But I can’t say that I’ll be back either. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the end to Geek of all Trades, The Casting Game, or all my other projects (most of which I’ll have lost forever if my computer is more than mostly dead). You can still shop at my on-line store, or buy my book, but until the amount of royalties I make cross the $20 mark I won’t get any checks for it. My e-mail inboxes will be insanely full I imagine, so don’t send me any message for awhile until you can hear back from me.

I don’t even remember what I was originally going to write here. I’ve spent much of yesterday and a chunk of today going back and forth between rage and tears. Those of you who heard the 30th episode of my podcast know how much the podcasting community means to me, and to be all but completely cut off from it as I’ve been now, by a combination of theft and hard drive failure hurts. For most of my friends, the Internet is not just my primary but my only way of communicating with them. I can still contact my family (and in the case of my Colorado relatives I can see them in person), and I have my good friend Diomira’s phone number. I have books, cable so I can keep up with my shows and the news, I have a bunch of CDs and a working DiscMan (yeah, they still make those. 😉 ) so it’s not like I have nothing, but I can’t podcast, I can’t write (my laptop won’t work with my flash drive, and probably won’t work with my printer either), and I can’t listen to anything that isn’t music or TV (c’mon, radio in America today mostly sucks).

I’m sorry if all this comes off as rather whiny, I’m trying to spread the word to my friends and fans why I’m going to be away for awhile and vent my frustrations all at the same time. Before I get too “pity me” on everyone, let me just say that if I don’t make it back, it’s been a helluva ride, and I know that, as miserable as I am now, I’m still a better person for having been a part of this community, and knowing people like Hutch, and Mur, and Tee, and Pip, and Encaf, and the Jaffees, and Tosus & Leanna, and the Farpoint Media crew, etc. ad infinitum, and missing all you peeps is better than not having ever known you.

So if this is goodbye, goodbye. And if not, if the best case scenario comes to pass, I may talk to you again before Christmas.

Spread the word to anyone who you even think might not have gotten this message.

Forever a podcaster and writer in spirit if nothing else,
Brian “Arkle” Webber

Hang on, if this is the end of my podcasting/writing career, let’s at least end it on an upbeat number. 🙂

Unplanned Hiatus

Hey there, Arkle here coming to you live from the computer lab on my college campus.

Why?

Well, my home computer has crapped out on me. It’s not dead dead, but it won’t let me get on-line anymore, and it’s stopped recognizing several of my USB devices (though oddly not all. Hmm.)

But worry not, this unplanned hiatus for the Geek of all Trades podcast will be a short one as I have already acheived a new computer. After some neccesary stuff from the old one has been saved and transferred, I will get back on-line, and immediately post a Geek of All Trades special episode I’d been working on. Originally this bonus was suppsoed to go in the feed AFTER the 2008 in Right Wing History episode, but that one is on hold too until two of the people I contacted about participating respond. I don’t even care if they say no, it would just be nice to get a response. Now, Jack Clark from Blast the Right has an excuse, he said on last week’s episode that he is about a month behind on e-mails, so he probably hasn’t even gotten to mine yet, and Soccergirl just got engaged so I’m sure she’s focusing more on that than on e-mail at the moment.

But just so you know, otherwise it’s coming along well. More than half the year has been written (the rest I can do once I have internet back), and both Tosus of the Der Geek podcast and Tristan of the Wholly Pointless Podcast have sent in their submissions, and my Dad should be sending his shortly.

So until then, enjoy the Arkleless ride. 😉