HFJ Album art

I’m working with a friend to put together some album art to attach to the MP3 files. Here are my favorite rough drafts so far:

If anyone would like to play with us, the photos I take will be kept here.

Back in the 80’s when Late Nite with David Letterman would cut to a commercial, they’d transition with a photograph of the Late Nite logo printed somewhere it shouldn’t be, like the lid of a pizza box or on the side of a police car. I loved those photos. I’d stay up just to see them. So that’s the kind of thing I want to do with this show’s album art. It also gives me an excuse to take photos. Before coming to Japan, I used to be really into photography. Here are a few of my favorite photos I took in Ecuador when I was 17-18 years old.

iTunes 4.9 is out!

Ladies and gentlemen, iTunes 4.9:


Currently, the podcast directory is hidden in the iTunes store. In the navigation bar on the left, select “Movie Trailers” then “Soundtracks.” On that page there’s a link to Podcasts.

Here are the technical details for making your podcast iTunes compatible:


HFJ isn’t available yet. There’s a way to submit a podcast’s RSS feed for consideration, but please don’t do it yet. I’m working on adding album art to all the previous episodes and moving them to another server so I don’t wake up one morning and discover I owe Dreamhost for excess bandwidth.

In the meantime, you can subscribe manually by pasting the RSS feed into iTunes. It’s under the “Advanced” menu.

OK, so forget BitTorrent.

It seems like the commonflicks.org experiment didn’t turn out so well. After an entire day of downloading, my download is stuck at 83% complete. Bah.

Thanks to a tip from Flynn, the Disney Sea videocast (videoblog, inkernet home movie, whatever) is now available at ourmedia.org. BitTorrent client? You don’t need no stinkin’ BitTorrent client.

I’d like to attach the video to the RSS feed so ya’ll who are subscribed will get it, but I suspect that might not be a good idea, considering it’s a 63MB file.

The next piece of media I let loose into the wild will be a podcast.

Tokyo Disney Sea Videoblog

It’s funny, lately I’ve been posting more frequently and promoting my podcast/videocast all over the place, but the number of subscribers is going down while at the same time I’m getting lots of positive feedback. Go figger.

I videoblogged my family’s weekend trip to Tokyo Disney Sea. From the point of view of the video’s host, I should have done more narration, but I was there as a husband and father, so I wanted to focus my attention on my family. As much as I love to share my life with all of yuns (that’s plural for you), frankly, it’s not a something that appeals to my wife and I respect that. I did have her listen to some of the audio I captured with the binaural mics and she was impressed, so at least she can understand the appeal. She is who she is, I am who I am, and that’s that. There’s no need evaluate the situation any deeper than that. That’s where couples get in trouble.

Half way through the day it hit me that 90% of what you hear in Disneyland is, well…fake. It’s a really, really well-done fake, but listening to a podcast recorded there, heck, you might as well be plugged directly into the PA system that’s pumping out all the sound effects. I’m not a Disney hater; they’re absolutely the best at what they do. I’ll save the details for the next podcast.

In the meantime, I posted the video I shot to commonbits.org. To retrieve it, you’ll need to learn how to use BitTorrent. There’s a tutorial here. If you can’t figure it out, don’t worry about it; we’re not talking Oscar award-winning cinematography here. It’s not that great of a loss.

The guy running commonflix.org let me get away with it this time, but the content doesn’t seem to be the kind of stuff that’s normally hosted there. If anyone knows a more appropriate site to use, please let me know.

So the file linked to below is a torrent file that contains data used by programs like iPodderX (Mac), DopplerRadio (Win) or Azeurus (Java) to download the actual video.


Goin’ to Work

I have to make this quick because I’m meeting the family at Tokyo Disneyland today. I filmed my commute to work yesterday. The file isn’t any bigger than any of the MP3’s I’ve posted.

Would you like to see more of these? Yes? No?

Also, I’d really like to be able to call Herro Flom Japan an “Award-Winning Podcast.” Could you please nominate me for a People’s Choice award in the soundseeing category? I’ll mention it on my next podcast too.


Soundseeing in Akasaka

Warning: This episode is neither work safe nor podsafe. It will corrupt your children and jeopardize your career. And if that weren’t bad enough, it’ll probably hurt your eardrums too.

Last night I had fish & chips with cider at an English pub in Akasaka, took a stroll, talked with a few kyakubiki (customer pullers), and finished up the evening with karaoke. Recently I showed off some photos of me when I was younger, and a friend told me I looked like Freddy Mercury when I was in college, so I chose a song from Queen to sing.

Rich “Freddy Mercury” Pav

Back Behind The Wheel

This will either be interesting or it will be the podcasting equivalent of sitting through a slide show of vacation photos. We’ll see. I’m still figuring this stuff out.

Someone mentioned that my podcast reminded them of the weekly public radio program This American Life, so I decided to check it out. For the past two weeks I’ve been listening to it eight hours a day at work. So for this episode I decided to try to take a lesson from them. No way is it anywhere near as good as This American Life, but then again they have a team of 10 professional producers working full-time on every episode. And there’s no background music in mine. Too much trouble.

Update: I fixed the broken link to the MP3 file.
Update: The last minute or so of the file didn’t get uploaded. That’s been fixed too.

Show notes:

  • There are accompanying photos in the gallery.
  • Calpis (Not “cow piss”)

Podcaster’s Block

If I were a writer, I’d have writer’s block. And frankly, the reason why I started podcasting is because I wanted to confront the thing inside me that causes it.

Everyone has a part inside them that’s broken, and if they were able to fix it, they’d end up becoming a better person. But to fix a broken part, first you have to open the thing that’s not working right, dig around, identify the part, take it out, turn it around in your hands, maybe wiggle it a little, hold it up to the light, and try to come up with the best way to go about fixing it. After that comes the hard part–actually doing the work that needs to be done.

Many people like to keep their broken parts hidden. Or perhaps it’s better to say that they like to believe that nobody–even themselves–can see it. But what I’ve discovered is that the more painful the experience, the more valuable the lesson. And if I can share what I’ve learned with others, then no matter how difficult, painful or trying the experience was, not only was it worth it, but I end up feeling truly grateful that it happened. Even if I wouldn’t wish the same experience on my worst enemy. In fact, if you can see yourself as a student instead of a victim, your worst experiences and enemies can be your greatest teachers. (That is, as long as they don’t kill you.)

By podcasting, I’m confronting my greatest fears. Failure. Success. Criticism. Praise. Attention. Anonymity. Everything. Nothing at all. And simply by admitting that here, I’m taking away some of the power those fears have over me and lending it to myself. Which is funny, really, because the fear is me and the courage is me also.

In a way, I’m doing this for everyone who wants to podcast but is too afraid. The way I figure, one of us had to take the first step.

This morning, after waking up and feeling bad for not having put together a podcast last night, I finally arrived at the point where I really, really wanted to give up. I felt like I had failed so completely and let everyone down so much that there was no way I could recover the confidence and credibility I once had. Feeling that way is a good thing. Next step is to acknowledge those feelings of fear and failure, then go ahead and do it anyway. After that, I’ll be able to look back and compare the fear and the accomplishment side by side, and realize that the fear seemed so big only because I was looking at it from so close up.

I’ll probably go through all this again. Progress hardly ever follows a perfectly straight path. Two or three steps forward and one step back still means you’re covering ground. The thing you have to remind yourself is that anyone who’s supposedly rooting for you–your friends, your family, those in peanut gallery, the voice inside your head–if any of them tries to make you feel bad for making a misstep, they haven’t yet learned to appreciate the wonderful things that failure and fear are able to teach. As you keep moving forward, leave them behind you. Maybe someday they’ll catch up to you, maybe not.

But you know what my real problem is? I tend to take shit waaaay too seriously.