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’).

Episode 13: Ringworld, Sci-Fi Stack Exchange, Assigned Reading, Would You Rather?, Unchained Melodies, and I, Robot.

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by their friend Spencer to discuss lots and lots of very nerdy things. The episode begins with a discussion of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and just goes downhill from there, descending into an exploration of arcane Star Wars and Star Trek trivia (anti-Wookie prejudice, the battle at Wolf 359, and Han Solo’s murderous encounter with Greedo). The trio also give each other some reading assignments, play a few rounds of an old “Would You Rather?” game Steel designed in college, share music from Phox, King Creosote, Torres, Blur, Blue Sky Black Death, and Vajra, and Dave drops some ominous wisdom from I, Robot Isaac Asimov’s classic collection of short stories.



Ringworld is a series of 5 books written by Larry Niven between 1970 and 2002, with four prequels, cowritten with Edward Lerner and published between 2007 and 2010. Read more about the Ringworld at its wiki.

Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

Question #1: About Chewbacca (from Star Wars 4-6)

Question #2: About the Battle of Wolf 359 (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Question #3: About Greedo and Han Solo (from Star Wars 4)

Assigned Reading

Dave assigned Dan Simmons’ sci-fi classicHyperion to Steel.

Steel assigned Sabine Heinlein’s nonfiction Among Murderers: Life After Prison to Dave.

Dave and Steel assigned Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 to Spencer.

Would You Rather?

Way back when Steel was a freshman in college he wrote out a big, strange “Would You Rather?” quiz and administered it to dozens of friends. It’s now been revised slightly and turned into a 50 question Qualtrics survey, which you can take here.

Unchained Melodies

Phox — 1936

King Creosote — My Favourite Girl

Torres — Strange Hellos

Blur — Lonesome Street

Blue Sky Black Death — Threats (Instrumental)

Vajra — Earthscape 2039

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage comes from “The Evitable Conflict,” a short-story in science-fiction pioneer Isaac Asimov’s collection I, Robot.

Episode 12: Furious 7, Sports!, Small Talk: The Sport, Unchained Melodies, and The Goalkeeper

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Spencer. The whole episode is sports themed, so brace yourself for some incredible wingspan and raw athleticism. They discuss Spencer and Dave’s impressions of the latest Fast & Furious film, the NBA sneaker landscape circa 1993, their favorite basketball video games, best basketball haircuts, the most prolific reproducers in NBA history, and their favorite sports friendships and rivalries. They also have a special sports-themed segment of Unchained Melodies, featuring songs by Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Simon and Garfunkel, Skee-Lo, Camper Van Beethoven, and The Duckworth Lewis Method, and close the episode with some poetic reflections on the ignominy of the goalkeeper from the great, and recently deceased, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.



NBA Shoes

The spreadsheet made by 11 year old Steel to document what kind of sneakers NBA players wore in 1993, according to their basketball cards.

A list of sneaker brands currently worn by NBA players, from Hoopshype.

Thinking about buying a pair of Ewings? Check out their latest models.

Favorite Basketball Video Games

Dr. J vs. Larry Bird


NBA Live 1995

Favorite NBA Hair Cuts

Complex Sports has produced several really outstanding lists of NBA things, including the 50 ugliest haircuts of all time.

Best NBA Names

SB Nation’s Dan Grunfield has written an excellent personal exploration of some of the NBA’s most outstanding names.

Most Prolific NBA Fathers

Complex has a list of athletes with the most children by the most women. Some famous NBA names there.

OTC Sports Friendships

You can learn more about Dave’s beloved Core Four, but more reasonable people wouldn’t recommend it.

OTC Sports Rivalries

The Price of Gold, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s rivalry, is well worth checking out.

Unchained Melodies

Belle & Sebastian — Piazza, New York Catcher

Public Enemy — He Got Game

Simon and Garfunkel — The Boxer

Skee-Lo — I Wish

Camper Van Beethoven — Take the Skinheads Bowling

The Duckworth Lewis Method — Nudging and Nurdling

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage came from the recently deceased Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano‘s classic Soccer in Sun and Shadow.

Episode 11: Aliens, OTC Hall of Fame, Lost the Plot: John Wick, Unchained Melodies, Book Wisdom

This week Dave and Steel discuss Dave’s new haircut, four types of aliens, induct the newest member of the OTC Hall of Fame, play Lost the Plot with the film John Wick, share some great music from Andrew Bird, Mississippi John Hurt, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Cat Power, and Roger Miller, and drop some heavy theology from the Book of Genesis.



Dave referenced a couple of books in this segment that are worth checking out. The first is Vernor Vinge’s Fire Upon the Deep, which featured the alien race of dogs which share a common mind. The second is Larry Niven’s Ringworld, which was the source of the Puppeteers, a strange race of highly intelligent beings. Niven has written a larger Ringworld series, which Dave highly recommends.

OTC Hall of Fame

Steel inducted Miami lawyer and immigration reform advocate Nora Sandigo, who was recently featured in this outstanding Washington Post article by Eli Saslow. Sandigo has become the legal guardian for more than 800 children whose parents have been deported for illegal immigration over the past 6 years.

Lost the Plot: John Wick

The very violent trailer for the cinematic release of John Wick

Unchained Melodies

Andrew Bird — Three White Horses

Mississippi John Hurt — Here Am I, Oh Lord Send Me

Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me by Mississippi John Hurt on Grooveshark

Alvin Youngblood Hart — Here Am I, Oh Lord Send Me

Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me by Alvin Youngblood Hart on Grooveshark

Cat Power — Colors and the Kids

Roger Miller — Oo-De-Lally

Song – OO-De-Lally (Roger Miller) by Robin Hood [Soundtrack] on Grooveshark

Roger Miller — Whistle Stop

Whistle Stop by Roger Miller on Grooveshark

Roger Miller — Dang Me

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage was The Akedah (The Binding [of Isaac]), taken from Genesis 22:1-12.

Episode 10: Baby Birthday Parties, To The Limits, Ask OTC, Small Talk, Diesel: Running on Gas, Unchained Melodies, and Montaigne's Essays

This week Dave and Steel discuss some pro tips for successful birthday parties for infants and toddlers, talk about some incredible feats of human achievement (including Yeti sightings and some of the longest walks ever recorded), introduce you to the paranormal educational opportunities available at Arthur Findlay College, discuss Turning Point and Radio Diaries, answer great listener questions about vanity plates and rectal tubes, share some great music from Martha Wainwright, The New Christy Minstrels, Bahamas, and The National, and drop some humility from Michel de Montaigne.


To The Limits

Sławomir Rawicz’s book is called The Long Walk. The book was the ‘inspiration’ for a 2010 film called The Way Back with Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.

Here’s Elizabeth Weil’s NYT magazine article about the Swiss adventurer Sarah Marquis. Ms. Marquis maintains a website where you can hear interviews, find her TED talks, and see several videos of her exploits.

Small Talk

WSJ article programabout Arthur Findlay College, a Spiritualist-run school for psychics and mediums. The college also has its own website.

Dave highly recommends BYUTV’s programTurning Point.

Steel recommends Joe Richman’s podcast Radio Diaries, especially their recent episode about songwriter Rose Marie McCoy.

Unchained Melodies

Martha Wainwright — Everything Wrong

The New Christy Minstrels — El Camino Real

Bahamas — Lost in the Light

The National — So Far Around the Bend

So Far Around the Bend by The National on Grooveshark

Book Wisdom

Today’s passage was “To the Reader,” the brief preface to Michel de Montaigne’s classic Essays. Steel recommends the Donald Frame translation. You can also listen to the essays, as they’ve been recorded by LibriVox volunteers.

Episode 9: Ostrich Fest, March Madness!, Lost the Plot: Backdraft, Unchained Melodies, and Raise Hight the Roof Beam, Carpenters

In this week’s episode Dave and Steel discuss Ostrich Fest, their favorite March Madness memories, Steel’s idea of what the movie Backdraft might be about, they share some music by the Silver Jews, Serengeti, Night Beds, and Angel Olsen that’s grabbed them recently, and Dave drops some familial love from a classic J.D. Salinger novella.


Ostrich Fest

Ostrich Festival’s official website

Grand Funk Railroad

GFR’s touring schedule
They’re an American Band

So very American

Nathan Valencias & The Wheel of Destiny

March Madness


An explanation of where the NCAA gets its money (from the TV rights to the annual men’s basketball tournament, basically).

1998: Bryce Drew, “The Shot”

1995: Tyus Edney coast to coast in 4.8 seconds

2007: Eric Maynor

CAA Tournament Championship Game

NCAA 1st Round Game Against Duke

2006: George Mason’s run to the Final Four

2010: Ali Farokhmanesh (and Lucas O’Rear!)

2011: Jimmer!

52 Points in MWC Tournament

Against Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament

Gregory Echinique

1991: Kansas Jayhawks and Mark Randall

What Mark’s up to these days

Name of the Year

You can find hundreds of magnificent names and several years worth of past NOTY brackets at the Name of the Year website.

Lost the Plot



“You Go, We Go”

Unchained Melodies

Silver Jews — We Could Be Looking for the Same Thing

Serengeti — Dennehy

Serengeti — Rhythm of Devotion (live)

Night Beds — Head for the Hills

Video for “Even if We Try”

Angel Olson — Some Things Cosmic

Book Wisdom

This week’s Book Wisdom comes from J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.