Episode 27: Ode to Summer, Great Moments in Advertising, Small Talk, OTC Money, Would You Rather?, Unchained Melodies: Unrequited Love Edition, and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Howard. Together the three of them discuss their shared love of water parks and share recent child-related misadventures in public pools, cover some great moments in 1990s advertisements, cover the eight benefits of saunas, what it’s like to write political speeches for a dishonest moron, and the return (to Netflix) of Reading Rainbow. They also introduce a new segment, OTC Money, in which they give advice for buying a car, play a few rounds of would you rather, share heartbreaking melodies of love and loss by Dr. Hook, Van Morrison, Biz Markie, Pepe Aguilar, Phil Collins, and The Contours, and Howard shares some book wisdom from the storyteller Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years about how to make your life into a meaningful story.


Great Moments in Advertising

Wendy’s — Where’s the Beef?

Listerine — Tarzan Song

Mountain Dew — Do the Dew

Honda — The Cog

Small Talk

Unchained Melodies

This week we tackled songs on the theme of ‘unrequited love.’ Watch out, there were some real heartbreakers.

Dr. Hook — Sylvia’s Mother

Van Morrison — Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do

Biz Markie — Just a Friend

Pepe Aguilar — Directo al Corazon (Por Unas Monedas)

Phil Collins — Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

The Contours — Do You Love Me?

Book Wisdom

Howard chose this week’s passage from Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

Episode 26: Summer Fashion, OTC Friendship, Unchained Melodies: 90s Hip-hop One-hit Wonder Edition, and Master & Commander

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by Dave’s nursing compatriot Katie. Together the trio discuss the latest in summer fashions (including the longstanding battle for GOAT between seersucker and white linen), Off the Chain friendships, share great timeless music from Nate Dogg and Warren G, Tag Team, Wreckx-N-Effect, Coolio, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Vanilla Ice, Partners in Kryme, and Wee Papa Girl Rappers, and dave drops some amicable hilarity from Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander series.


Summer Fashion Musts

Here’s Steel’s & Dave’s guide to this summer’s must-have’s

  • Seersucker [classic]
  • White Linen Suits [will literally never go out of style. God himself wears these.]
  • Polo shirts with animals embroidered on them (like Izod, Lacoste, etc.)
  • Any male short with at least 4 inches of skin above the knee
  • Espadrilles
  • DIY/Home-made jorts and tank tops
  • Overalls. Just great for people of all ages. But not sexy overalls. Just regular ones.
  • Athletic shorts +black crew socks + slip-on men’s sandals
  • Mom jeans. High waisted, of course. Bonus points for pleats or acid/stone wash.
  • Puff paint t-shirts, XXL or bigger.

OTC Friendship

  • Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin. Who are these guys? Only the greatest friends in all of literature, that’s all.
  • Han Solo and Chewbacca. Renegade and wookie who owes a life debt. What more could you ask for.
  • Seinfeld and Costanza. The very model of neurotic, outraged, nebbish friendship.
  • Elliot and ET. Interspecies comraderie at its finest.
  • Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat. Not all friendships are healthy. Remember that.

Steel also wants to recommend Charlotte Delbo’s amazing Holocaust memoir, Auschwitz and After.

Unchained Melodies

Nate Dogg & Warren G — Regulate

Tag Team — Whoomp, There it Is

Wreckx-N-Effect — Rump Shaker

Coolio featuring L.V.– Gangsta’s Paradise

Sir Mix-A-Lot — Baby Got Back

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony — Tha Crossroads

Vanilla Ice — Ninja Rap

Partners in Kryme — Turtle Power

Wee Papa Girl Rappers — Wee Rule

Book Wisdom

This week Dave (and Steel) read two passages demonstrating the literary friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander series.

Episode 25: Summer Movies, On Death and Dying, Ask OTC, Unchained Melodies: Funeral Music, and Preparing for Death

On this week’s episode, Steel and Dave are joined by Katie, Dave’s friend and fellow nurse. Together, the trio discusses favorite summer blockbusters from their adolescence, discuss their views on death, modern medicine, and what constitutes a good death, answer listener questions (in which Dave confesses his most embarrassing medical secret) and endure another of Katie’s lightning round of questions. They end the episode with great music from Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Silver Jews, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Neil Diamond, The Weather Girls, and Lisa Hannigan, and some deep wisdom from the Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus’ treatise “Preparing for Death”.


Summer Movies

  • In God’s Hands [Steel]
  • The Goonies [Katie]
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace [Dave]

 On Death and Dying

Unchained Melodies

Bonnie “Prince” Billy — I See A Darkness

Version Two:

Silver Jews — Random Rules

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole — Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Neil Diamond — Hell Yeah

The Weather Girls — It’s Raining Men

Lisa Hannigan — Safe Travels, Don’t Die

Book Wisdom

Today’s passage came from Desiderius Erasmus’ classic treatise De Praeparatione ad Mortem [Preparing for Death].

Episode 24: Life Hacks, Small Talk, Expert Testimony: Mississippi, Duke Basketball, and Buffalo!, OTC Authors: Thomas Nashe, Unchained Melodies, and The Genealogy of Morals

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s graduate school buddy Eric. Together the trio share some recent life hacks, discuss the New Horizons spacecraft’s visit to Pluto (and its cargo of human remains), Sepp Blatter’s pope-blessed gold cross, and the strange phenomena of enormously popular online videos of other people playing video games. We grill Eric about all things Mississippi, his past life as an executive at Steve & Barry’s and a proud inhabitant of the Krzyzewskiville tent village, and his longstanding love for the Buffalo Bills, and Eric introduces us to the wild world of late 16th century English satire via the esteemed personages of Thomas Nashe and Gabriel Harvey. We round the episode off with great Mississippi-connected music from Bob Dylan, The Weeks, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Mavis Staples, and Mountain, and Eric drops some book wisdom from Friedrich Nietzsche about the dangers of believing that we can achieve objectivity.


Life Hacks

Small Talk

Expert Testimony

Thomas Nashe

Unchained Melodies

Bob Dylan — Oxford Town

The Weeks — Dear Bo Jackson

Muddy Waters — I Can’t Be Satisfied

B.B. King — 3 O’Clock Blues

Mavis Staples — Down in Mississippi

Mountain — Mississippi Queen

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage of Book Wisdom comes from nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals.

Episode 23: NBA Draft Fashion, Jurassic World, Lost the Plot: Escape Plan, Overlooked Biblical Names, OTC Hall of Fame, Unchained Melodies, and The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

This week Dave and Steel discuss highlights in NBA draft fashion, Dave’s opinion of the film Jurassic World, play another version of Lost the Plot with the Stallone/Schwarzenegger film Escape Plan, share some unjustly forgotten Biblical baby names, induct the newest member of the Off the Chain Hall of Fame, share some great America-inspired music from John Wayne, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Brother Ali, and James Brown, and drop some moving wisdom from a famous July 4th speech by Frederick Douglass.


NBA Draft Fashion

Lost the Plot: Escape Plan

Biblical Baby Names

Recent trends in baby Bible names.

OTC: Hall of Fame

Dave inducted The Gummi Bear, and not Haribo founder Hans Riegel.

Unchained Melodies

John Wayne — Why I Love Her

Ray Charles — America, the Beautiful

Neil Diamond — America

John Mellencamp — Pink Houses

Bruce Springsteen — Born in the U.S.A.

Brother Ali — Uncle Sam Goddam

James Brown — Living in America

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage of Book Wisdom came from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro