May 11, 2009

Hold The Gluten But Not The Fun

Edited and posted Maureen's latest show tonight, Episode 23 of Hold The Gluten. She's been doing this for eleven months now, and she's doing great with it. Definitely had a few slowdowns along the way, but life sometimes gets in the way of hobbies, doesn't it? Each month, except for one, has had more show downloads than the previous one. That one month was because she was just able to record one show and not the normal two shows. It was a crazy month, and we all took turns getting really sick. We all share in our family, we're close. Two kids, lots of germs.
Maureen dedicates time to not just the podcast, but her blog as well. Easily once a week she tries out and posts a gluten free recipe, passes on some news in the Celiac Disease world, or takes the time to post information that she felt was important to others living a gluten free life. She's also involved in the social media world of twitter and facebook, connecting with others that share her food intolerance. I have to say, it's becoming quite a good community, and so many people are willing to help out each other, welcome the newbies, and respond to help requests. I can definitely see that being active there can, and has, helped out those that are struggling.

So Maureen's podcast is eleven months old, her blog is almost a year old, EaglesFanCast (my podcast) is 21 months old, and I have a new blog project launching in a couple of weeks. (More on that in a post very soon.) I love this type of thing. But it's kept me from posting here on a regular basis. I know I said earlier this year that I would try, it's just been tough. So many things to do, ya know? Time does seem to go faster now that I'm older. lol I'm quickly approaching my ten year anniversary, and my youngest child just turned four. Amazing. Well nothing's going to slow me down if I can help it. More to do, including fun... don't forget the fun.

Jan 7, 2009

EaglesFanCast Episode 48 is live!

We recorded our 48th show last night. It's so much more fun when the Eagles are doing well, ESPECIALLY when they're in the playoffs! Listeners are writing in more, which is amazing. It's still a little weird to me that people listen to what we're doing. They definitely seem to appreciate our honesty, and they can tell we don't take ourselves too seriously. The best part is we get feedback from people mostly outside the Philly area. I try to read every email during the show, play every voicemail, talk about the game, the upcoming game, and juggle all of that while trying to keep it relatively short. I know if the show's too long we'd probably lose listeners... not to mention I want to keep it interesting for people.
I chose to stay home for the game, despite a part of me wanting to head out to a pub or friend's house to watch the game. I think it was mostly because I wanted to instill a little of the Eagles fandemonium into my two little Eaglettes. Unfortunately I think I scared them instead. LOL When Brian Westbrook caught McNabb's pass then ran for 71 yards for a touchdown, I lost my mind. My son was looking at me rather nervously, but my daughter got it.
So the Eagles beat the Vikings in the first round of the playoffs, and now move on to play the New York Giants for the Divisional Playoff game. I'm feeling confident about this one, but it's all going to depend on coaching. I think the players are ready and mature. But my fear is that the stubborn, not-able-to-adjust Andy Reid will show up if the Eagles fall behind early. I know they can win, they just have to pull it all together like they have been the last few weeks. I can't wait! E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!

Jan 2, 2009

New Years Determinations

Everyone seems to make them, the dreaded "New Years Resolutions." Even those that determine not to make them, have thus made one. The definitions vary on what the whole concept is, and I guess we all make the mistake of only making them at the very beginning of the year. So do we all just either finish or abandon them, then just skate by the last few months? There's even plenty of talk about how they are not even good for you to do in the first place... that whole "setting yourself up for failure" thing. But just about every blog, news source and site have their own resolutions for you to read.

I'm jumping on board this year, and I'll see how I do throughout the year and revisit it in December. I'll group them into two categories: Personal and Professional. Under the "Pro" I'll lump in my full-time job as well as my blogging/podcasting side of life, so as not to make it too complicated.

  • Be a better Father, Husband, Son and Friend
  • Become Healthy
  • Go (more) Green
  • Confront a "demon" and move past it
  • Learn more about who my natural Father was
  • Reach out to more family on a more regular basis
  • Spend less
  • Teach my children about our world as a friend, not a parent
  • Enjoy the moment
  • Organize more, be overwhelmed less
  • Pursue more technical training
  • Help my friends with their projects
  • Take EaglesFanCast to next level
  • Expand HoldTheGluten into more
  • Centralize my online presences
  • Launch a new online project
  • Blog more

Podcasting 2008

The year is gone, just like that. No, this won't be any kind of retrospective on my part, just touching on a few things in the podcasting realm. EaglesFanCast had a great year-over-year improvement and there were a lot of positives on it. We had our first (and hopefully not the last) sponsor for the blog. I'm sure it was an experiment on their end, as they weren't interested in sponsoring the podcast, where 95% of our focus is right now. It is definitely good, and pays for some of the costs incurred by this little hobby of ours. We also have a lot more interaction by the fans, which is great... more emails have been coming in, and it's all been positive about our show, even though the Eagles themselves haven't been a positive thing all season. But through some amazing turns of events, they made the playoffs, and will be playing in Minnesota this Sunday in the Wildcard game. Awesome!
That is one of the toughest parts of this niche that we're in. We're hyper-focused on one targeted audience... the Philadelphia Eagles. It's not just sports, or football, but a specific team, and we're not sports talk radio (those that spout constant stats and analysis), nor team lapdogs... and then on top of it, our listeners have to sit through a full show, which is usually 45 minutes on average. I've definitely seen more interest when the team is doing better, and a dropoff when the team is struggling. Probably the best aspect of it is that our listeners are writing in from all over the world... wayyy outside the core Philadelphia area. My guess is that the "locals" have the inundation of several radio and TV stations to satiate their Eagles fix. Partly in thanks to Eagles punter, Sav Rocca (who hails from Australia), we have a number of Aussies that are fans of the show, plus we've heard from England and closer markets such as New York, California (San Fran, L.A. and others), Texas, Hawaii, Maryland and more. I have to say it's very cool that so many are interested in hearing what us three goofballs have to say about our favorite team. We'll keep doing it, that's for sure... 47 and counting!

On the other half of the podcasting realm, Maureen's show, Hold The Gluten, is improving it's numbers month after month. We published her first episode at the end of June, and for the subsequent six months has hit a new record for total downloads. The chart is a nice one to see, that's for sure. We started that off as a weekly show, and realized it was too much, so we changed it to bi-weekly. Maureen definitely gets it. I've introduced her to the blogging world, and all the ways of getting the word out there and interacting with her listeners and readers (Twitter and Facebook for two). I say "readers" because she dedicates as much to the blog as she does to the podcast, probably even more. Her blog has become a place where she posts all kinds of tasty gluten free foods and recipes. Every single recipe she tests out at home (then takes about a dozen photos so she can find the right one for the blog post). All of the recipes stem from her mistakes and successes, and almost every one has some kind of story to go along with it.
The podcast has almost become a supplement to the blog, but she recognizes that it's almost a different audience, and treats them both accordingly. She's really made it her own, writes amazingly, is doing a lot of networking, and most importantly, is helping others in the process. All of that, and she's raising two wonderful children.
There are definitely more things in store for Hold The Gluten (and Maureen as well, but more on that later) for 2009. Hopefully we'll be able to expand it out more and utilize more tools to make it a better experience and destination for the site's visitors and listeners to the show. There have been 15 shows in the can so far, and she has ideas for plenty more! Personally, though, I do need some kind of automated "ummmmm" and "you know" audio remover to make my editing much shorter. LOL

So we definitely have plans for an even better 2009 for both shows... it's just a matter of how are we going to find the time to do it all?

Dec 4, 2008

EaglesFanCast Show 44

We recorded our 44th episode of EaglesFanCast tonight, and it wasn't the most fun show... kind of negative considering we had such a great win against the Giants. I won't go into it too much here, as I brought up that very point on the show. It just kind of sums up how frustrating this season has been, and how talented this group of players is. Because of coaching, specifically Head Coach Andy Reid, we lost (and tied) games we should have won. So instead of playing for the Division win (which the Giants clinched despite losing to us), this Eagles team is now scrambling for a Wild Card spot. Just frustrating.
I'm also not in the Fantasy Football playoffs as I lost my last regular season game last week. Now I have to pay for trades during the season. Salt in the wounds, as they say.

So the show's up, you can either subscribe in iTunes or Zune Marketplace, or listen right on the site at Enjoy! It's not ALL negative, it's still filled with ballbusting, sarcastic fun.

Nov 26, 2008

EaglesFanCast Episode 42

It's definitely getting harder and harder to put together a positive, fun show if the thing you're talking about is nothing but negativity. The Eagles lost this week to the tough Baltimore Ravens, but the main thing that everyone is talking about is how Eagles Coach Andy Reid benched our franchise Quarterback, Donovan McNabb. From what we're hearing, Reid didn't even tell McNabb that he was going to sit the second half. Add to that Andy Reid's poor coaching and play calling throughout the game, and the fans are now calling for his resignation!
We try to put some of the pieces together, but right now this team, and especially the coach, is a big mystery to us. At this point it's tough to even look toward the next game against the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving. I'll be at the game, but despite the temperature, it's going to be a cold night a The Linc.
Check out our latest show over at EaglesFanCast.

Nov 20, 2008

Nov 18, 2008

Latest EaglesFanCast Is Online

Well this week's EaglesFanCast was an interesting one, as we left behind all semblance of "we're having fun" and just brought out all the anger and frustration at Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid.
  1. Seriously, we tied the Cincinnati Bengals (the 1-8 Bengals!)
  2. Seriously, QB Donovan McNabb didn't know a game could end in a tie??! WTF?
So we get through it with a lot of disbelief, sarcasm and a bit of raging. Cool thing is we had the most feedback of any show so far. We had a bunch of comments on the site's blog, three emails to read, and my friend Paul over at Caffination sent me a very cool bumper for the show. All in all a good show, and it went longer than I wanted. I figured we'd rage and be done in 30 minutes. Guess we had a lot more raging to do. :)

Well, I've been sick with a nasty stomach virus the last few days, and just need to head to bed. Midnight isn't as bad as some other nights of editing, at least. mmmmmmmm, bed

Nov 14, 2008

New Hold The Gluten Show

Maureen just recorded her latest Hold the Gluten podcast and we uploaded it yesterday. A few days' late because of some external issues, but it's now live and in all it's glory.
In this one, she talks about the upcoming Thanksgiving season, and how it's a field of gluten-filled mines for the unsuspecting Celiac sufferer. She gives some hints as to what to look for when buying all the viddles, as well as how to handle going to someone's house for the festive Holiday. It's good stuff, and now I'm feeling hungry myself.
The best part of her doing her podcast and blog, is she's testing out new recipes and baking like crazy. So she's making some gluten free foods for her, which is great, and sometimes I get to eat some damn good home-made food. I say "sometimes" because Maureen never learned how to share... but that's another post entirely.

Nov 13, 2008

EaglesFanCast Episode 40 is out!

We recorded Episode 40 a day late this week. Partly because Todd's family had plans, and partly because we had to be mentally ready to talk about the Giants loss. :D It was a very tough loss this week, and we talk about a lot of issues with this Eagles team. We especially touch on how the fans have now turned in full force on Head Coach Andy Reid. His repeated questionable playcalling and history of poor clock management have finally taken their toll. This Eagles team lost yet another game that they could have won if they were coached better.
So head on over to EaglesFanCast and listen to our latest. There's info there about how to subscribe to the show as well.