The Mortified Podcast

The Mortified Podcast

Podcast Info

Name: The Mortified Podcast
Website URL:
iTunes URL
Hailed a “cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek and celebrated by This American Life, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Wired, The AV Club, The Today Show (twice), and beyond, Mortified celebrates stories revealed through the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids.

Witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.

What I Think

This is my favorite podcast. The sheer silliness of hearing people read from the childhood diaries. On stage. In front of an audience. Posted on the internet. Isn’t that the opposite of what a diary is for? I, for one, am thankful people are doing it!


As I said above, this is my favorite podcast, so DEFINITELY listen to it if you are looking for a new one!



Podcast Info

Name: S-Town
Website URL:
iTunes URL
JOHN DESPISES HIS ALABAMA TOWN AND DECIDES TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. HE ASKS a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.

What I Think

At first, I loved this podcast. A buddy and I listened to the whole thing on a road trip to Minnesota and back, and quite frankly we were totally into it. I’m not sure where it happened, but as we progressed through the podcast…I lost the point of it. I won’t spoil it for anyone that somehow hasn’t listened to the whole thing yet, but – it starts out as a Serial-type investigative podcasts and ends up as almost a soap opera, with the same amount of loose ends.


Would NOT recommend this one.

A Second Look At Kaepernick

I admit that I’m not proud of my first reaction. I saw “Kaepernick sits during National Anthem” and did what any person with a computer does – fired off a tweet. It read “What a turd”. I know. Eloquent, thought out, well-written.

But then came his explanation:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Now, I’m pretty sure I am the turd. I owe Mr. Kaepernick an apology. If I thought for a second he’d read that tweet I’d apologize to his face. Instead, I did the next best thing: I deleted it. Now I’m writing a long thing to try and figure out WHY…and maybe I can you help you out in the process, dear reader.

Reactions to Reactions

Let’s start with some common reactions I saw on twitter, facebook, etc.

How dare he disrespect our great country! If he doesn’t like it he should go someplace else!

Nope. BECAUSE this is a great country, he has the right to say what he said and do what he did. He doesn’t have to leave the country because you disagree with what he says/does or how he says or does it. You also have the right to disagree with him because ‘Murica.

How dare he disrespect the men and women that died to give him his freedom!

Nope. Nowhere in his statement did he say anything about the military, veterans, servicemen and women, etc. I’m guessing that was your interpretation of his actions, which means you assumed the worst before hearing his side of the story. Why is anger your default response?

He’s not even that good of a quarterback. Maybe he should spend more time in his playbook and stick to football.

I’m…I’m not sure what this has to do with anything. Do only good football players get to voice their opinion? I’m not a football player…does that count? Aaron Rodgers had an interesting take on football players and social issues

I think some guys in the NFL are probably worried about repercussions on speaking their mind from the league.

He’s talking specifically about NFL repercussions, but I think it works here too. What happens if no one ever talks about issues, or things that are bothering them, or things that matter to them? NOTHING CHANGES. Do I agree with his stance? It doesn’t even matter. What matters is that he has the ability, platform, and right to do something, even if he KNOWS backlash will follow.

Oh, poor million-dollar quarterback feels oppressed, boo hoo.

Nope. He didn’t say he was oppressed. He said “oppresses black people and people of color” – go back and read it, I’ll wait. With all the headlines we see about shootings, rounding up immigrants, racially profiling someone because they’re Muslim…it doesn’t seem like he’s off-base.


OK, wrap it up. What’s the Point?

I think people as a whole would do better to listen more and talk less. Why did I call Kaepernick a turd? I didn’t think. I saw. I reacted. I tweeted. It’s easy to do! What’s not easy, is hearing things from someone else’s point of view. I don’t know anything about being an oppressed person of color. Or being poor. Or being rich. Or being famous. Or being a pastor. Or being a woman. You get the idea. All I know is my point of view. So if someone has a different point of view, my response SHOULD be “Why is that your point of view?” and then…listen to the answer. I’ll learn something. I don’t have to agree with it, but at the very least I’ll learn something about the person I’m talking to. I’ll realize “hey…this is a person”, not a “they” or a liberal or a conservative or whatever the “other side” is.

It almost seems the way most people handle someone else’s point of view is trying their hardest to out-shout them about how they are right and you are wrong because of x. It’s not a personal attack on your beliefs or thoughts, it’s just different. It’s how deep, stimulating conversation happens. But we dont’ seem to get to that point.

Why do we do it? There are so many sayings, proverbs, and verses that warn us against not listening:

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.             — Proverbs 18:13


Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. — Proverbs 19:20


Not a Bible person? OK.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

Whew. OK one more.

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” ― Zeno of Citium (Greek Philosopher)

For a moment, I forgot what it meant to be an American. A good person. A decent human being.

Did you?


Completed: July 18th, 2009

It had always been a goal of mine to try skydiving. So when Pastor Mike (yes…it was my pastor’s idea) asked who wanted to go, I jumped at the chance! We found a local group called Seven Hills, paid our money and showed up ready to go. We went for the tandem jump, thinking it was safer jumping with someone who had done it before, and then we didn’t have to go through the several weeks of training you’d have to do in order to jump by yourself.

We got things started by watching probably one of the most awkward “training videos” you’ve ever seen. The dude narrating it was and older gentleman with a ZZ Top beard. I honestly couldn’t tell you anything the video said, because we were too busy laughing at the ridiculousness of it.

After that…we waited. And waited. And waited for about 2 hours, while they waited for the professional jumper to show up. But, he did eventually show up!

I went first, and it was everything I hoped it would be. You start with getting into the plane and climbing to…several thousand feet (I don’t remember exactly), and then the jumper attached himself to me, and told me to kneel next to the door. Before I could ask him what happened next…we were out of the plane and free-falling. It. Was. Amazing.

It was hard to tell where too look – at the horizon as the sun was setting, or down at the ground and see JUST how high up I was. I think we free-falled (free-fell?) for about 10 seconds before he deployed the parachute and we glided down to the the landing area.

And that’s…where things went awry.

He told me to pick my legs up and I would land on my backside. However, at the last second, we dipped downward, pointing my feet directly at the ground just as we were about to land. This unfortunately caused me to do a full on splits at a decent speed, do a flip, and land on top of the the pro jumper.

I walked funny for about 2 days while my muscles put themselves back together. Ouch.

Overall, I loved it and would do it again, but would strongly attempt to NOT land so poorly!

See All 50 States

States To Go

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Washington DC

States I’ve visited

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Gray Tide In The East

Read this one over the course of about 2 weeks (was usurped in line by Retire Inspired). I have to admit, I wasn’t aware how little I knew about WWI. A very useful part of this book was his note at the end that basically compares what ACTUALLY happened, and what happens his version. It’s certainly not an in-depth-everything-WWI or anything, but even if you don’t know much about WWI (like me) you get enough information to contrast reality and the alternate version. Armed with this knowledge after-the-fact, you can really tell the great blend of historical facts/people with the fictional story line/plot/actions.

I also love the multiple points of view throughout the book. I like the contrasting thoughts of the same event or buildup to an event. Would’ve liked to have seen a little bit more of the Russian side, as it rather felt like the story was “Russians = inept, unwilling, disinterested, but courageous”.

I would definitely recommend this book!

By: Andrew J. Heller

Gray Tide in the East