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Autobiography of a Schnook


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Well, friends, the time has come...

Autobiography of a Schnook has officially launched!

The truth is, though, it launched last week. The preface (or, as some podcasts call it, "episode zero") was released, but I didn't want to make an announcement until the first episode (or "chapter") was available as well, just to get both an introduction and some context out there.

The podcast is available on all the major podcast providers...except Apple Podcasts / iTunes...because, well...Apple takes up to two weeks to approve podcasts. Heck, even Google Play only took *hours*! But hey, it's out. :)

What's it about? Well...for years it's been my observation that you can go to a library or book store and find biographies of...famous people...but no biographies of just your average, everyday schnook of whom nobody's ever heard. I figured I should publish an autobiography and call it Autobiography of a Schnook. The reality is...I'd never actually finish it. But eventually it occurred to me: why not do it as a podcast? So...here it is.

Despite my two video game podcasts and my frequenting of video game fora, my first love is actually music, so every episode will have a segment called "Music for Schnooks." (Spoiler alert: a future episode will have a "Music for Schnooks" guest many of us have heard of. :) )

Having said that, I will NOT be posting here every time a new episode is out. In an effort to be as on-topic as possible, after this point I will only post when an episode has a video game topic. I just wanted to announce this podcast for now.

I don't know if this podcast will be any kind of success, but I really don't care; I just want to do it, and I invite you all to give it a listen. The home page is schnookpodcast.com. RSS feed is https://schnookpodcast.com/feed/podcast/. There's a Facebook presence, so you can "like" the page at facebook.com/SchnookPodcast if you do the FB thing. Episode links are below:


PREFACE: Welcome to the world of a schnook.
Sean isn’t anybody rich, famous, heroic, or otherwise remarkable; he’s just a schnook. And he’s here to not only tell his story, but also to refer to himself in the third person.



In the first chapter of Autobiography of a Schnook, Sean focuses on Thanksgiving-related topics:
– A Thanksgiving Curse?
– Music For Schnooks: Don’t Meet Your Heroes (Troubled Genius Edition)


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Chapter 10 features a segment that's almost on-topic for AtariAge. :)


In this episode:

  • My SENIOR Year in High School - answering a frequently-posted social media survey
  • The Mysterious Phantom Pac-Man Game - For years Sean has insisted that a sequel in the Pac-Man franchise existed, yet nobody believed him.
  • The Doors Without Jim - What's the point? Well...


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  • 1 year later...

Another chapter that has an almost-on-topic segment for AtariAge. 8)


Another month, another episode! In chapter 25:

  • No, my computer is NOT my girlfriend! An exploration into the joys and sorrows of a 13-year relationship
  • Digital Alopecia – What? Does this mean that someone lost finger hair? Well…you’ll need to listen to find out!


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  • 1 year later...

I normally don't post episodes here, but this time it's a bit fitting for AtariAge. :)


Aww, as if I was going to let Christmas go by without a present to you? One reason you need to listen: the final mix was not auditioned before release, so you know it’s full of mistakes! Anyway, here’s what’s on tap:

  • Old School Games – a schnook stuck in the past?
  • Music for Schnooks: That Thing You Blast! – a cinematic analysis on managing a band



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  • 1 year later...


I know it's been quite a while since this thread was current, but I wanted to publicly acknowledge Sean's efforts regarding his Schnook podcast over the past four-and-a-half years. I'm not even sure why, exactly; I could just write him a private "Thank you." A bigger thanks than that is indicated, however, especially considering that Chapter 45 opens with a message to listeners that a long break is probably imminent. I guess any such hiatus is understandable, as these podcasts to which we love listening are labors of love; are not cheap on creation time; are not as easy as they might sound to plan, record and edit; and are probably best devised under low-stress conditions, i.e. without promises of strict release schedules that can cause the cast-masters to pressure themselves out of experiencing any creative enjoyment (and if that becomes the case, what's the point?).


Having been mutually musically fanatical text pals with Sean for twenty years, I've always been keen to listen to the shows with which he's been involved, beginning with the perfect-for-classic-game-obsessives Pie-Factory Podcast (with another online buddy -- hiya, Inky!) and soon following up with the Jean Shepherd-like nonfiction narration of Autobiography of a Schnook. There's a couple of others, of course, and if you're into the Beach Boys or '60s rock in general, and you're not listening to Tune X, you're welcome for the link.


Focusing exclusively on Schnook for the moment: From the clever and original idea of designating Chapters instead of Episodes (it's an autobiography, after all) to its actual execution, this has been a consistently entertaining, eloquently presented, and even mentally edifying show since the beginning, featuring professional sound quality, great original musical interludes and Sean's characteristically direct, whether-you-like-it-or-not honesty, which manages to sit comfortably among the genuinely funny observations and the often touching stories.


Upon proofreading the above, I realize that I might come off more like a Sean fanboy than a friend, but I really don't care -- the fact remains that certain podcasts warrant a listening investment that's on par, proportionately at least, with the huge time investment behind them.


That's not to mention that when one has listened for a while to a show he likes, the host(s) become like friends, even if one hasn't previously communicated with them. If you change jobs, change homes, go through something sad, experience something happy, endure through a nerve-wracking period for any reason, etc., your friends are still there in Sound Land, offering something constant, remaining dependable as the sun (you can re-listen to any episode, after all) and inevitably being the people you've come to like, still willing to lend a laugh or tell you a good story. And Sean is a great storyteller.


The "commentary while listening" manner of the most recent Music for Schnooks sidebar really works. I hope that makes more appearances in future Chapters. And I've never heard over-compression explained so succinctly. Great job. We can apparently thank Oasis for provoking the so-called Loudness Wars. Now that that band has receded into the relatively distant past, hopefully the brick-wall trend will fade with it. At least it doesn't seem to have persisted into the Beatles or Beach Boys' boxed sets and reissues.


Anyway, I can't leave out gratitude for the quacks! How can a listener not appreciate quacks? Ducks are funny as hell. Especially that one.


Incidentally, those of you who fly on Southwest, including Sean, might be glad to know something. It's a bit off-topic to bring this up, but I work in a facility that builds and tests airplane landing gears. I trace part histories and do the "detective work" needed to make sure every component's cycle count (number of takeoffs and landings) is accurately recorded, so the thing can be replaced when it's supposed to be, according to each airline's policies. The Grand Prize Winner for Most Concerned About Takeoff and Landing Safety is, I'm firmly convinced, Southwest. They require that an existing part be replaced with a brand-new version, even if it's a perfectly strong bolt, a simple nut or a tiny pin, after only half the cycles typically specified by other clients (including the military ones). They also require us to test durability by applying hundreds of PSI more than anyone else. That's not to say the others are dangerous or negligent; Southwest is just the most diligent.


Back on topic: Thank you, Sean.


Regardless of the lengths of between-chapter bookmarks, I selfishly hope Autobiography carries on, in some capacity at least. The good does indeed go around.


Regardless, "Africa" by Toto still sucks.




Edited by Chris+++
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Awww! (blush) Thanks so much, Chris+++++! There will be more schnookery, don't worry -- just not right now. (In fact, we just got back from New Orleans [SWA again!] -- during our flight out there, I typed up a new script!)  I don't think I'm going to do another one of those comment-as-I-listen things -- that was a be-yotch and a half to edit! (That's why it took the episode so long to come out.)

I usually don't post about new episodes here unless they're at least distantly related to Atari stuff, which is why this thread seems abandoned. (The reason I post about every episode on atari.io is because the mods asked me to.)


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I'm glad to hear that the Schnookery will continue at some point. I hope you and Lisa had a great time in New Orleans! I've never been there, so that should be a very interesting (and, as usual, illuminating) story to hear when you're able to return to the show. Thanks again!


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