Episode 71: We’re Baaaack!

It took Steel three weeks to get this episode edited (which explains all the Valentine’s Day references in early March) but we’re back! This week Dave and Steel make a new induction to the OTC Hall of Fame (congratulations public libraries!), give you some new topics to discuss in another installment of Small Talk, praise two everyday heroes, shared six great songs from Esmé Patterson, Graham Parker & the Rumour, Saintseneca, Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam, Dr. Dog, and Keaton Henson, and drop some book wisdom by the satirical French novelist David Foenikos.


Off the Chain Hall of Fame


OTC Hall of Fame

This week we’re inducting the public library into our Off the Chain Hall of Fame! The greatest idea in the history of Western civilization? The last bastion of pure idealism in the United States? Yes and yes. We think you’re great, public libraries. Thanks for everything!

Small Talk

Everyday Heroes

  • Bike Batman, this otherwise pretty boring normcore guy in Seattle who confronts bike thieves and returns the bikes to their rightful owners [Steel].
  • Scott Mills, the man who stood inside the U-Haul truck while we emptied my house and somehow found a way to fit all of my family’s possessions inside this truck [Dave].

Unchained Melodies: Songs for each other

Book Wisdom

Steel read a passage from David Foenikos’ hilarious satirical novel The Erotic Potential of My Wife [thanks to Ewa Miernowska for the recommendation!].

Featured image by Jan David Hanrath

Episode 33: Small Town USA, Small Talk, To the Limits, Great Moments in Advertising History, OTC Hall of Fame, Unchained Melodies: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and "Pig in First Person"

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Jordan to discuss Dave’s recent move to a small town in Arizona, cover some small talk topics, describe some extraordinary feats of human endurance, great advertisements featuring pro athletes and attorneys for local markets, induct the newest member of the OTC Hall of Fame, share great music from The Bacon Brothers, Arcade Fire, Stan Rogers, The Tragically Hip, Fujima and Miyagi, and Kenny Loggins, and share a wrenching poem by John Levy, a Tuscon-based poet who works as a public defender.


Small Talk

To the Limits

  • Terry Fox ran with one leg across Canada to raise money for cancer. The 30 for 30 documentary Into the Wind tells his story. 

  • Filip Müller was a Jewish prisoner of Czech origin who was forced to serve on the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz. He was one of a very few crematorium workers to survive Auschwitz.
  • Hesham Modamani and Feras Abukhalil, two Syrian refugees who recently swam from Turkey to Greece.

Great Moments in Advertising History

Athletes in Local Commercials

Scottie Pippen for Submarine sandwiches

Some Incredible Lawyer Commercials

OTC Hall of Fame

Lawyer Mike

This guy is incredible. Just watch his videos and you’ll understand.

Unchained Melodies: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Book Wisdom

Today’s selection for book wisdom, “Pig in First Person” is a poem from John Levy‘s collection Oblivion Tyrants Crumbs.

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

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 7: Time Travel, OTC Hall of Fame, Ask OTC, Unchained Melodies, and All the Pretty Horses

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Ryan to discuss two important time travel franchises: Bill and Ted’s & Back to the Future, learn more about DIY time capsules, induct their first class into the OFF THE CHAIN Hall of Fame, share some recent music that’s impressed them, and drop some beautiful prose from Cormac McCarthy.


Time Travel

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Trailer [1989]

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey Trailer [1991]

Back to the Future I Trailer [1985]

Back to the Future II Trailer [1989]

Back to the Future III Trailer [1990]

Off the Chain Hall of Fame

We were overjoyed to induct our first two members of the OFF THE CHAIN Hall of Fame during this episode. Enormous congratulations to RecSpecs and Paul Walker.

A few years back, Steel wrote a blog post about Rec Specs (complete with image galleries) that pretty much captures most of their greatness.

Unchained Melodies

Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis: Baby Bye Bye

Scenic: Hours on End

The Heligoats: Goodness Gracious

Book Wisdom

This week’s installment of Book Wisdom came from the final page of Cormac McCarthy’s novel All the Pretty Horses.