Episode 18: Name of the Year, OTC Vacations, To the Limits, Unchained Melodies: Fight Edition, and White Noise

This week Dave and Steel offer their congratulations to the 2015 Name of the Year (won by Idaho’s finest citizen!), discuss the allure of road trips, their dream vacations and vacation dreams, and are joined by Dave’s wife Arianne for a special To the Limits segment, in which the trio discusses Born to Run, Arianne’s visit to the Tarahumara tribe in Northern Mexico, and Aron Ralston, the man whose experiences inspired the film 127 Hours. Dave and Steel also try to answer two very important questions in a lengthy segment of Unchained Melodies which features music by Spoon, Mötley Crüe, Dizzee Rascal, Ratatat, The Gipsy Kings, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Okkervil River, and Stylophonic, and Dave drops some book wisdom from the great Don DeLillo.


Name of the Year

Our sincerest congratulations to Amanda Miranda Panda, the 2015 Name of the Year. You’ve made Caldwell, Idaho very proud, Ms. Miranda Panda. Very proud, indeed.

OTC Vacations

To the Limits

  • Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, which features the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico.
  • Some photos from Arianne’s trip to visit the Tarahumara people in 2006:
    A landscape in the Tarahumara’s native homeland.

    A Tarahumara male. Notice the colorful shirt and plain white skirt, well suited for running.
  • Aron Ralston’s story, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times.

Unchained Melodies

Spoon — I Turn My Camera On

Mötley Crüe — Kickstart My Heart

Dizzee Rascal — Fix Up, Look Sharp

Ratatat — Loud Pipes

The Gipsy Kings — Bamboleo

Rodrigo y Gabriela — Hanuman

Okkervil River — Last Long Song For Now

Stylophonic — If Everybody in the World Loved Everybody in the World

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage of Book Wisdom comes from the section in Don DeLillo’s White Noise about the ‘most photographed barn in America’.

Episode 17: OTC Vistas, Small Talk, Walden, Unchained Melodies: Summer Songs, and Cat's Cradle

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Dave’s friend Rosie. Together the trio describe the most beautiful places they’ve ever been and discuss the greatness of Lonesome Dove, the latest in shipping crate swimming pool construction, and the legend of Mingering Mike, an imaginary soul singer who made good in the latest edition of Small Talk. Rosie and Steel also try to explain the greatness of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden to a skeptical Dave, and they have a bit of fun with a fill-in-the-blanks game. They share great summer tunes from Son Volt, Loudon Wainwright III, The Bowerbirds, Fountains of Wayne, crash, and The Drums, and Rosie drops some book wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Cat’s Cradle.


OTC Vistas

  • Rosie: The Spiral Jetty [an earthwork by Robert Smithson] in the Great Salt Lake, Utah
  • Steel: Gandria/Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland
  • Dave: Marion Lake, Wyoming
  • Small Talk


    I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

    Read the book.

    Unchained Melodies

    Son Volt — Windfall

    Loudon Wainwright III — The Swimming Song

    The Bowerbirds — Overcome with Light

    Fountains of Wayne — Leave the Biker

    crash — Mad at the Clouds

    The Drums — Let’s Go Surfing

    Book Wisdom

    This week’s passage (read by Rosie) came from Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle. Wishing you all a ton of boko-maru in the coming days.

Episode 16: Disney World, Small Talk, Ask OTC, Expert Testimony: OTC Comics, Unchained Melodies, and The Phantom Tollbooth

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Oliver. Together they discuss Dave’s recent family vacation to Disney World (including a refreshing stop at Club Cool!), explore the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, learn more about the Rocky Mountain Land Library, speculate about the return of Full House (it’s going to be called Fuller House!), offer listeners moving advice and dance tips, discuss Dave and Oliver’s shared passion for cartooning and comic books, share their envy of the voices of Antony Heggarty, Prince Nelson, Van Morrison, Vic Chesnutt, Charlie Puth, and Bobby Hatfield & Bill Medley, and drop some wisdom from Norton Juster’s classic children’s adventure novel The Phantom Tollbooth.


Disney World

Duffy the Disney Bear
Club Cool

Small Talk

Transcendental Meditation

The Rocky Mountain Land Library

TV Show Reunions

Expert Testimony: OTC Comics

Unchained Melodies

Antony and the Johnsons — Dust & Water

Prince — Kiss

Van Morrison — Ballerina

Vic Chesnutt — Flirted with You All My Life

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth — See You Again

Righteous Brothers — Unchained Melody

Book Wisdom

For this week’s book wisdom, Oliver shared a lovely passage from Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth about how the watchdog Tock got his name.

Episode 15: Over the Top: Top 5 Action Stars, Comic Book Battles, Unchained Melodies, and The Humane Imagination

This week Steel was out, so Dave was joined by his old friend Jordan. Together the pair discuss the top 5 action heroes working today, speculate on what would happen if various fictional characters from comic books and movies were to face off in battle, share great music from CHON, The Tallest Man on Earth, Bill Evans, and Three Dog Night, and drop some wisdom on imagination and the good society from Charles L. Black’s book The Humane Imagination.


Over the Top

Unchained Melodies

CHON’s live sxsw set

The Tallest Man on Earth — Sagres

Bill Evans — My Foolish Heart

Three Dog Night — Mama Told Me Not to Come

Book Wisdom

This week Jordan read a passage from Charles L. Black‘s The Humane Imagination

Episode 14: Poetry, Expert Testimony, Small Talk, Ask OTC, Unchained Melodies, and Charles Reznikoff

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Katie (a female nurse!) to discuss a huge panoply of things, including Steel’s love for poetry, Katie’s college softball career, A League of Their Own, the return of the brontosaurus, Wonder Woman’s freaky creator William Moulton Marston, and the difference between anabolic and boring steroids. Katie also leads the guys through a set of rapid fire ‘lightning round’ questions, and they take listener questions about home buying, flu shots, and high school math classes, and then share some great music from Cayetana, Lucius, Blackstreet, Alice Boman, and Jason Isbell, and Steel shares two poems from the criminally underread Charles Reznikoff: “[During the Second World War …]” and “Te Deum”.



Three of the life-changing poets that Steel talked about:

  1. Charles Reznikoff
  2. Lorine Niedecker
  3. George Oppen

And here’s a bunch of articles about Emily Dickinson’s “Master” letters:

Expert Testimony

Katie’s Indiana University softball athlete page

A League of Their Own

Small Talk

The Brontosaurus is back! (an article by Elif Batuman in The New Yorker)
William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, was a weird dude. Exhibits 1, 2, and 3.
More on the difference between boring steroids and anabolic steroids.

Unchained Melodies

Cayetana — Hot Dad Calendar

Lucius — Wildewoman

Blackstreet — No Diggity

Alice Boman — Lead Me

Jason Isbell — Cover Me Up

Book Wisdom

This week Steel read two poems by Charles Reznikoff: the first an untitled vignette, and the second a short poem called “Te Deum” (a Latin phrase literally translatable as ‘Thee, O God’).