The Real Brian Show

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Dec 22, 2017

Welcome back, for the last installment of the podcast for the adventure that has been 2017! We're excited to cap off the year with Scarlet Synapse and all the joy she brings to our ears. Even though we listen to music all year long, we eat cookies all year long, and lights are displayed in one way or another all year long, there's just something about this time of year that makes it all fitting. Which is why we're taking some time in this podcast to talk about them all (because there are a lot). Check out the LINKS section of the blog post to get redirected to the music we talk about in this episode.

In This Episode

  • Welcome, Scarlet Synapse!
  • Spiritual Plague: God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
  • Christmas Lights (massive displays)
  • Christmas Traditions
  • Oconomowoc Christmas parade
  • Tree woes.... and LED lights
  • Christmas Cookie Preferences


Looking for all that fabulous music played during the podcast? And maybe a few more for good measure? You'll find everything you're looking for below.

Dec 15, 2017

It's Friday! And we're one week closer to Christmas. It's all too easy this time of year to get sucked into the vortex of presents and shopping, so we encourage you to listen to this podcast while you're doing something non commercial-holiday related. Maybe it's time to vacuum the spare bedroom... or clean out that closet you said you would clean out last year. With Brian and Anna (aka Mangodroplet) at the helm, we're going to be talking about a pretty heavy, and very relevant, topic. Sexual harassment, and the "Me Too" phenom, is a vital conversation to have and I think you'll find that our hosts do it justice.

In This Episode

  • Welcome Mangodroplet!
  • What do you nerd out about?
  • Gaming community
  • Overwatch
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Anna's "Me Too" story
  • Andy Weir's new book "Artemis"

Me Too

Did you know #MeToo isn't all that new? It went viral in October of this year, but the phrase was actually adopted by a social activist on MySpace back in '06! Tarana Burke created the concept as part of her campaign, whose objective was to promote empowerment through empathy among women of color who experienced abuse. The origin of the phrase, in Tarana's usage of it, is quite revealing and still indicative of our culture today. A young girl confided to Tarana that she had been a victim of sexual abuse and Tarana didn't know what to say. Later on, she says, she had wished she said to the girl: Me too.

Talking about sexual harassment is difficult. There are so many victims, friends and family of victims. There are accusers who've been dismissed, and accused who are innocent. There is so much baggage that talking about it can seem fruitless or insurmountable or intimidating. But that often is the case for issues that have such emotional depths tied to them, isn't it? Wherever there are deep emotional wounds there will be issues that are difficult to talk about.

This is one of those issues that I like to say needs to undergo a "demystification process". Talking about it, opening the floor for discussion, and, most importantly, listening to others (particularly those who are trying to articulate how the abuse took place) are all important steps in helping to take the mystery and the insurmountable feeling out of the issue. Providing context for abuse can help others to recognize it, it can correct wrong ways of thinking. But we have to be willing to get a little uncomfortable in order to get anywhere.


Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

Dec 8, 2017

As we draw deeper into the season of giving, of love and good cheer, and, most importantly, of hope, our conversations lead to the heart of matters that affect our relationships and, as a result, affect our community. Here at The Real Brian Show we are advocates for having the difficult conversations, for breaking complex human actions down into smaller pieces in an attempt to understand them, and encouraging one another to be the best version of ourselves. So join us in welcoming Mad Scientist back to the show! We get serious with a talk about the value of sympathy vs empathy, have some fun talking about Stranger Things 2 and Destiny 2.

In This Episode

  • Tis the season...
  • buy, buy, buy!
  • Just kidding. It's the season of love and good cheer
  • Finding other things to do than get and give... DO!
  • Mad Scientist and His Med School Applications
  • Sympathy vs Empathy and when to wield them

Sympathy vs Empathy

Sympathy (compassion, pity for someone) and empathy (personally understand someone) are significant traits to have, but it is challenging to know when to use which one. Looking through the lens of a practicing doctor, the Mad Scientist lays down his observations for why a doctor emphasizing empathy may be less appealing than one who practices sympathy. It's a very interesting distinction and there are many aspects of life in which we may be able to exhibit either sympathy or empathy, but only one will be best for someone else.

Listen in! If you have your own response to the conversation, leave a note in the comments!

Stranger Things 2

Like the Mad Scientist, my cousins and I blew through the new season rather quickly. Not a day quickly, but 2 days over the course of two weekends. It was nice to have the week in between the first half and second half of the season. It gave me time to ruminate, reminisce, and anticipate what was coming. The season delivered on the suspense factor, it matched last season's dorky cuteness, and took some turns with characters to which I was pleasantly surprised defied the typical cliches they might otherwise be beholden to.

From the beginning, this show has reminded me, in all the best ways, of Fringe. This season brought up some themes that were even more strikingly similar. For you super fans out there, do you remember Season 4 Episode 3 "Alone in the World"? In this episode, a young boy develops a psychic bond with a fungus. The fungus saves him from bullies, leading to their untimely deaths. When the boy is connected to the deaths of these boys, our favorite FBI team is brought into investigate. Walter, ever so keen to the fringe sciences, hypothesizes that a psychic link formed between the boy and the fungus after the boy's gradual exposure to the fungi's spores. When the FBI tries to exterminate the fungus, whatever they do to the fungus has a similar effect on the boy. Including trying to destroy the fungus with blowtorches.

It's one of my favorite episodes from season 4, and I always thought the story was too fascinating to contain to a single episode, so this season of Stranger Things was a bit like fan fiction for me. It fleshed out this story of a psychic connection to a living organism, took bizarre and unforeseen turns... I loved it, through and through.


Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

Dec 1, 2017

Under commitment, over commitment. We see it all in modern society. Carl, Brian and Emilee take a whack at dissecting what it is getting in our way, why we make promises we don't intend to keep or why we hold back from making any promises at all. It's Superhero Friday, though! Which means we're going to have a blast talking about all our favorite things, including Justice League (we promise only minor spoilers).

In This Episode

  • Emilee (Miss Ice) and Carl (CJ Thunder) join Brian!
  • Act your age, not your shoe size
  • coming. Peppermint mocha, anyone?
  • Emilee has never had Eggnog?!
  • Commitment: we over commit and under commit
  • Being intentional about promises, about things we commit to
  • Being willing to have uncomfortable conversations
  • Honesty versus a perception of sparing someone's feelings (this can be done in a respectful way)
  • Justice League!

Just Quit

Remember the adage, nobody likes a quitter? Sometimes when this is used, it takes an action completely out of context. As I thought more about it, I was curious to find a couple interesting ways to consider how quitting is used to define and entrap people from making decisions.

Being a quitter could be viewed in two ways. 1) Someone who quits one particular thing at a particular moment in time. 2) An identifier for someone who gives up too soon. When things get hard, do you buckle down, reassess and try to figure the situation out? Or do you bail? We talk about commitments in this installment of the podcast and how, as a society, we tend to inadvertently undervalue other people in the long term in order to satisfy an immediate need to please others. Example: saying yes to something when asked, in order to make someone happy, without any intention on following through.

Is there a solution? Likely there isn't a one-size fits all solution, but I do believe we make terrible habits out of saying one thing and doing another. Often we're not intentionally being hypocritical, we're just trying to be nice. But I do think it stems from a mindset of being me-oriented instead of others-oriented. I have been very guilty of this in the past, and it's taken significant intentionality to learn how to kindly and patiently be honest with others even if the answer I have for them, or a response I have for them, is not what they want to hear.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Leave a comment below!

Nov 17, 2017

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! On this installment of the podcast, before a brief hiatus as we break for Thanksgiving, we welcome Shear Terror (Morgan) back to the show. Did you know that Brian is 13" taller than Morgan? Yeah. Seriously. But height makes no different on a podcast, right? Our differences make us unique and give us unique experiences and give us a variety that makes life so well rounded. But our differences also cause bias, division and derision. Why? Oh, let us count the ways.

In This Episode

  • CSU Basketball
  • Guild Wars... and making money
  • What Feminism really means
  • Stop the hate!
  • Communication is suffering

Stop the Hate

Morgan and Brian (not to be confused with USWNT superstar Morgan Brian) have a great discussion about how the claws of feminism have turned something that is intrinsically good - the fight for equality in the value of human life, regardless of differences - into something that hurts the people who the cause claims is hurting them. Equality embraces differences, looking beyond what makes us unique, and valuing each person as a human being, as a unique individual.

Maybe you think that it's easy to say because I'm [fill in the blank]. Or it's easy to say, but harder to do. But just like everything else in life, how we treat others is a choice we make. If, when you think on it, you realize that the way you treat others is more reactionary than a conscious decision, then maybe it's time to step back and teach yourself some new habits. I'm thinking of someone in my life, as I type this, who I've developed a bad habit of snapping at when I can't easily convey my point. I'm very aware of the differences between us and even why I snap, but I become so impatient that it causes that divide between us to keep expanding.

The biggest takeaway from the episode, we hope, is an encouragement to acknowledge the differences between yourself and the people who surround you and learn how to work with them instead of against them. Maybe it means listening to a point of view you disagree with, maybe it means keeping your mouth shut when you were about to say something mean. Words can be used to create and destroy, and if they're doing both at once then something is not right. If by building one person up, another is brought down... a new approach needs to be had.

Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

Nov 10, 2017

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! This week we've invited Lee Stephen and Andrea Deck to join the discussion. We last spoke with Lee in Episode 86 and were eager to get him back. To add some flavor, we also recruited Andrea Deck, who is a voice, film and stage actor currently living in Great Britain. Together we chat about video games,what it's like being an American and living in England, voice acting, and Type-1 diabetes. Ready for some fun?

In This Episode

  • Thanksgiving in England
  • Questions about living in England
  • Currently nerding out about....
  • Video Games: Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Alien: Isolation
  • Voice acting
  • Type 1 Diabetes

Andrea Deck

You may recognize Andrea's voice before her face... Though she is known for film and television roles, she's also voiced a couple characters on well known video games! On Alien: Isolation she voiced the character Amanda Ripley and Martha Wayne on Batman: Arkham VR, as well as characters in Strike Suit Zero, Carol, and Star Wars Battlefront.

As a Type-1 Diabetic, Andrea shares some much-needed context for those of us who haven't been touched closely by this disorder.After being diagnosed at a young age, she needed to learn how to deal with something that would become life-long. Diabetes doesn't just present itself physically, emotionally as well. We get to zoom in on someone's personal experience with the disorder and how she's learned to work with it instead of fight against it.

Show her some love and follow on Instagram!


Photo by Adrien Ledoux on Unsplash

Nov 3, 2017

Happy Superhero Friday! In this installment of the podcast, I step out from behind the veil of the blog posts and co-host with Brian. We have a lot of fun with this discussion, including diving into one of my favorite topics... personality tests! There are several unmistakeable truths in this life: 1) the world is always changing, 2) sometimes things happen to us, and 3) we need to interact with people. Personality tests don't have an answer key, but they certainly produce tools for us to understand those 3 unmistakeable truths!

In This Episode

  • Wild Weather
  • Animated movies
  • Voice acting
  • Personality Tests (Enneagram, MBTI)
  • Learning to adjust with life changes
  • Sci-Fi November! Stranger Things Season 2, Dark Matter

Sometimes I Try To Be Normal

Let's be honest, whenever we try to be normal... there's usually some colossal fallout. Right? Oh, maybe you can be successful at it, but whenever I try to be like everyone else all I end up doing is making people feel awkward! One of the reasons I love personality tests is because I've been able to learn a lot about myself through them. And not just in the typical introspective way, but in ways that made me realize that how I am isn't wrong or bad or even abnormal!

Learning about ourselves isn't enough, though. We've got to learn about ourselves in order to take an interest in other people and learn about how our personalities can get along better with other personalities. And knowing our own nuances can help provide grace and understanding to other people's nuances.


Oct 27, 2017

Welcome to the Harry Potter episode of The Real Brian Show! From beginning to end, front to back, this is Harry Potter through and through We're drinking butterbeer, eating chocolate frogs (or nuance chocolate...), talking about our favorite (and least favorite) Harry Potter things. Basically, if you love Harry Potter, you're going to have a blast joining in this week.

In This Episode

  • Introductions all around!
  • What does Harry Potter mean to you?
  • Favorite characters! Least favorite characters!
  • Taste testing Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans

Harry Potter

If there was ever a conversation I wish I could have been a part of, it was this one! Harry Potter is such a unique book series in how so many different people from so many walks of life can connect to it in different various stages of life. In one of the most powerful world-building series ever written, we can completely lose ourselves to a story of misfits, of outcasts, and of severe friendship.

So because I want to join in on the fun, here are some of my favorite Harry Potter things!

  • Book: & the Prisoner of Azkaban (because we're introduced to Sirius Black and Harry learns the truth about who betrayed his parents. And there's time travel.)
  • Movie: ugh. If I had to choose one I like... Prisoner of Azkaban. It's the least awkward. And there's time travel.
  • Primary Character: Hermione. Duh. Book smart, goofy, she does her thing and always does what she says she's going to do.
  • Secondary Character: Remus Lupin. It's almost a toss up between Remus and Sirius, but in some odd ways I identify with Remus... and he's such an integral part to Harry's education (and continuing education)
  • Subject: if I could enroll in Hogwarts, I would spend all of my time in Transfiguration. That is so friggin' cool.

...And my least favorites

  • Book: & the Sorcerer's Stone. It's just oddly written. If JKR was given a chance to produce a "second edition", I hope she'd focus on that one and clean it up.
  • Movie: just one? Uhm. Whenever Dan Radcliffe started drinking. Was that the 4th or the 5th? I also dislike the ones before he started drinking.
  • Primary Character: is it possible to hate a primary character? I guess in the movies I dislike Harry.
  • Secondary Character: Vernon Dursley. The fact that he was an abuser was never addressed, which is totally fine... but what a rotten person who never got what was coming to him. It was only because Harry was who he was that he even survived.
  • Subject: Divination. It's a wooly subject.

Interestingly, even though these books came out when I was a kid, I didn't read them until I was in college. I remember sitting in the cafeteria with a friend who was telling me about these "Harry Potter" books. The sixth book had just come out and she was in fits. I told her that I didn't know what she was talking about, but I wasn't planning on reading them, so she told me what happened at the end of book six. (And we all know what happened at the end.) Well, months later when I actually picked up the books and read them... I totally forgot about that conversation until maybe a chapter before IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. It didn't ruin it for me, I just started crying a couple chapters earlier.

Share your favorite Harry Potter memories, characters, movies or books in the comments!

Photo Gallery

Oct 20, 2017

When circumstances dominate us it is easier to notice how the things we think manifest in our lives. Let's talk about balance and how we can turn the negative outcomes into positive ones! Camron is back from the city that never sleeps, so he and Brian dive right into another fantastic Superhero Friday installment of The Real Brian Show.

In This Episode

  • Do you like Autumn? Hopefully more than the Nightfox...
  • Guinness and Gouda Bread, courtesy of Great Harvest
  • Will Smith's motivational sky diving speech
  • What we think about ourselves and about our situations manifest
  • Happiness is a choice
  • Alien: Isolation and Overwatch comments


“What you sow in thought, either useful or useless, manifests itself sooner or later in your circumstances.”

Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am. It's a phrase people toss around like candy at an Independence Day parade, thinking there is so much pride in thinking and, thus, being. The phrase, originally penned by Rene Descartes (philosopher from the 1600s), was fascinated by the idea that in order to contemplate doubt our existence, we also must have the capability of doubting (thinking), which thereby negates any doubt we can have over our existence.

In the centuries since Descartes' day, many people have taken his words in many directions, have argued semantics and have been skeptical of proper definitions... but if we strip all that away for a moment and just meditate on the basic premise, we're left with a stunning realization that we're only capable of questioning the things we have enough knowledge on to know any different way of being.

Follow? It's kind of interesting. I had the issue as a kid of being well-read, but lacking formal instruction around pronunciation. I read a lot of stories and inferred many words from context, but the building blocks of language were only beginning to come together for me and, as a result, I didn't know how to pronounce a lot of the words I was reading. The one that I always remember most vividly is the word facade. Properly pronounced, it sounds like fuh-sawd. The way I pronounced it was more like fah-cayd. But I never questioned the word, or pronunciations in general, up until I said the word in public and was lovingly chided. I didn't know enough to question the pronunciation, but after I did... it became quite consuming and is still something I work on getting correct to this day.

Brian and Camron talk a lot about how our situations perpetuate our thought process, and vice versa. What we think about ourselves and our situations begins to manifest. Like biting the same spot on the inside of your mouth repeatedly, we inadvertently point ourselves to the things we think even when it stuff we don't want.

Inversely, as Brian points out, we are fully capable of producing positive effects from this tendency! When we can be confident about decisions, about who we are and why we know what we know, we can think about things that point us to what we want and achieve those goals. Having the capacity to question ourselves is a great tool, but it should be a tool we wield in order to grow and better ourselves and our circumstances instead of it becoming a road block.


Oct 13, 2017

Happy Superhero Friday! While the Nightfox is hittin' up the City that Never Sleeps, Brian recruits Lee Stephen to fill in his shoes. Great expectations is definitely a theme here, but we also venture into the traditional nerdy topics about video games and television. We talk about ways we relieve stress, pet peeves about storytelling, and inspirational health tips.

In This Episode

  • Fancy coffee is for GIRLS! Real men drink black coffee straight from the pot
  • Stress relievers
  • Pet peeves about storytelling
  • Great Expectations (no, not the novel)
    • When what we EXPECT is different from what happens
    • Mastering expectations.... is tough
  • Hugely impacted by Pain Reframed podcacst


Did you ever listen to Dashboard Confessional? I can still sing along to every song on the album A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar. A couple of their songs are randomly integrated into a couple of my spotify playlist, so they're still relatively on my radar. Spotify does this thing where it creates a playlist for you based on artists you listen to, and I almost never listen to it because... yeah, I like having more control than that. But I was listening to it this week and a song comes on that is very clearly the lead singer of Dashboard Confessional (Chris Carrabba), but is not your typical Dashboard Confessional song. It's not emo, it's not punk... it's rock and a little rap.

At first I thought the band sold out, like The Killers or Panic! At the Disco. But it turns out that Dashboard was just featured on another artist's song. Talk about relief! Turns out I kind of like the band (nothing,nowhere). I don't usually like this degree of foul language, but they've got a good beat. So I'm not going to listen on repeat, but I've got a few more songs to work out to.

Brian and Lee talk about expectations in this episode, a really good discussion and one that we can all resonate with. Expectations are so strange in how they affect our perception of reality. Like taking a drink of something, expecting water and actually tasting something else can make it taste disgusting! Then in the next sip, when you realize what you're drinking, tastes totally fine. Or taking a bite of something expecting it to be sweet but it's actually salty! Oooh, bad surprise!


Oct 6, 2017

Kids these days! They have no idea. That is what we're talking about this Superhero Friday! That and so much more, like how important it is to stop and smell the colors...and take care of your health.

In This Episode

  • Stop and smell the colors!
  • Star Trek: Discovery, The Orville
  • Ad hoc TV viewing
  • Staying healthy
  • How Turmeric and Coconut Oil are good for us
  • What the Health?!

Fall Workouts

I am the master of avoiding the gym. There is nothing appealing to me about getting on a machine and sweating it out inside... or lifting weights in front of a mirror. I will do everything I can to workout outdoors. For almost 15 years, my go-to was running! I ran 4-6 miles a day, 5x a week. I never needed anything else. But as many know, I have been unable to run much anymore because of bad knees. It took a little over two years to fully transition off of running to something else that I could really throw myself into the way I was able to with running, and I've finally discovered it: jumping rope.

If you want to get a KILLER full body workout wherever you are, I highly recommend jumping rope. It is one of the best core workouts I've ever done. It tones muscles and is a great mechanism for weight loss. It is not good for building muscle, but for staying lean it has done wonders for me.

Since transitioning from running, however, I've discovered a need to be more versatile with my workout regimen. I do jump rope 3-4 times a week, but I often pair it with playing basketball or going for a walk. Other days of the week I will do yoga or do leg-centric 20-minute exercises (i.e. squat routines). I used to be super into P90X and incorporate a lot of the cardio and Kenpo routines into my living-room workouts (it does rain here from time to time).

The hardest time of year to workout is in January when it is 12 below zero and the roads are pure ice. The Frozen Tundra is no joke! I end up returning to P90X workouts during the coldest months of the year.

The hardest part with any workout is finding something that works for you. I can recommend anything, but our bodies are all different. Saving our health, like Brian and Camron talk about in this episode, is relative to everyone and it's important to not just do what everyone else does, but really pay attention to what your body likes and doesn't like. There are some foods that make us feel sluggish or lethargic and there are some foods that invigorate us... which may have the exact opposite effect on someone else.

Do you workout at home? What is your workout of choice? What sorts of things do you do in the middle of winter when you can't go outside? Let us know in the comments!


Oct 2, 2017

In this special interview installment of The Real Brian Show, we have the privilege of speaking with Dr. Daphne Scott. We know of Dr. Scott from her podcast, EIM's Inside Leadership Podcast, but there are a host of reasons she is this week's guest! From physical therapist to corporate coach, Dr. Scott brings two decades of experience to help her clients and listeners achieve success through relationship building and creativity!

In This Episode

  • Welcome, Daphne!
  • Where have you come from, where did you go?
  • Training with the Second City Improvisational Conservatory Program
  • Bad at leadership led Daphne into a deep dive of the subject
  • A coach is often cast as a hero
  • Brain challenges standing in our way to ultimate success

Character Traits

When considering a job or a position with responsibilities, there are certain character traits that necessarily go along with it. Often, I think we confuse character traits and skills; where a character trait may be "resourceful", it's skill counterpart may be "proactive". Really, the first thought that came to mind when thinking about this is the difference between being disciplined and detail-oriented. Character traits are fascinating because the same type of trait is never the same between two people. We are all so unique that we apply and carry out our traits in very different ways.

One of the points Dr. Scott makes in this interview is the fact that there are some traits, particularly around leadership, that can be learned.Just because someone is naturally bossy or naturally good at delegating doesn't make them a great leader. That boldness is a great trait to have, but unless the skills of leadership are applied, the trait of being a leader falls short of what it can be.

So listen in! Dr. Scott points out two essential character traits for leaders which are not only learnable, but unequivocally achievable. If you've ever doubted your ability to overcome some perceived vacuity, Dr. Scott will be able to encourage you to be empowered and seek after the tools that can help you build up those traits.


Sep 29, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all! Brian and The Nightfox are back with another Superhero Friday installment to kick off what appears to be a glorious weekend ahead. It is only by listening that you'll truly understand the featured topic of discussion: HasBen and Jackwagons! But we've got a well-rounded discussion for you, ranging from Batfleck to Toys R Us to helping the homeless.

In case you missed it, this Monday we released an awesome interview with Jonathan of Harbinger Coffee. If you love coffee, love passionate people, or love stories about growing a small business, this interview has a lot to offer and we highly recommend you check it out.

In This Episode

  • Fall is upon us!
  • Allergies
  • Arrow Squad MERCH!
  • Toys R Us is filing for bankruptcy!
  • Let's talk about the homeless

HasBen and Jackwagons

In the last week I, your TRBS commentator, found a couple things that I just can't keep to myself. I've been on a recipe-trying spree and finding a ton of great keepers, but every once in a while I try that overly-simple-but-just-can't-not recipe that turns out to be a diamond in the rough. I love grilled cheese sandwiches, but this week I switched it up just a bit because... it's autumn, and things are changing.

What you need:

  • 2 slices of your favorite grilled cheese bread
  • cheese
  • apple
  • bacon (already cooked thoroughly)
  • honey mustard (or just mustard)

What you do:

  • Lightly toast the bread, coat "insides" in butter
  • Layer: bread, mustard, cheese, apple, bacon, cheese, cheese
  • FRY IT UP! Let that cheese melt.
  • Eat immediately

Super easy. Super quick. And super yummy. Try it. Tell me what you think.

The second awesome thing I found this week was a Spotify playlist called Acoustic covers. There is a lot of music out there I hate because the whole song is taken over by auto tune, electronic sounds, and vocal dubbing. This playlist is filled with talented artists who take OK songs and really emphasize vocals and beautiful melodies. If this sounds cool... check it out.


Sep 25, 2017

Welcome to the Real Brian Show! In this installment of the podcast, Brian goes on location to Harbinger Coffee, a home-grown Fort Collins coffee roaster and cafe, to chat up founder Jonathan Jarrow about his passion and mission. We love passion here at The Real Brian Show. We love passion and we love coffee, which means we go bonkers for people who are passionate about coffee. Even if you aren't a coffee drinker, we think you will find this discussion fascinating because in it a lot of really common questions get answered about dark vs light roasts, what a lot of the coffee tasting jargon means, and how to know whether you're getting a good cup of coffee.

In This Episode

  • Intro to Jonathan Jarrow and Harbinger Coffee
  • Jonathan's origin story
  • Where did Harbinger begin?
  • Let's talk ROASTING
  • Cupping: say what?
  • How to get some 'a that coffee we're tasting

Harbinger Coffee

Harbinger (n.): a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another

Coffee roasters are as common as breweries in some cities and Fort Collins, CO is no exception. Having visited the city myself, under the careful tutelage and supervision of The Real Brian himself, I can attest to the fact that there is some excellent coffee in the city. With so many options, it doesn't take long to be overwhelmed by options. Where do I go? Who is the best? Why one over another?

To be honest, at a certain point it becomes subjective. But wherever we choose to patron, it becomes an increasingly personal experience when we take the time to learn about the vision and mission behind an independent coffee shop. When we can learn more about a business's approach to their craft and experience the passion they have to provide a good product, plus strive to stay at the top of the industry, it taps us into another dimension of enjoying something we love.

So listen in! Learn something. Visit Harbinger's website. Order coffee. Then go hunt down a roaster or a cafe in your area and get to know them!


Photo by Jason Betz on Unsplash

Sep 22, 2017

Look no further! Within you will find 4 ways to be happier and more fulfilled. Plus, we get real about when it's OK to swear, how off base the critics are about The Orville, and everything we love about LIGHTS and The Script. The Real Brian and The Nightfox join forces once again to bring you an episode filled with serious craziness and crazy seriousness.

In This Episode

  • The Orville is Star Trek meets Galaxy Quest. Yes, we went there.
  • Letter from Patty Spivot makes us ask... when is it OK to swear?
  • Music: Derek Minor, LIGHTS, The Script
  • A little advice from Jim Rohn on how to be happier and more fulfilled

Be Happier

From the mouth of Jim Rohn and through the filter of the Real Brian Show, we have for you four ways that can lead you toward being happier and experiencing fulfillment.

  1. If you change… everything will change for you. Change starts with YOU.
  2. If you want to have more _____, you have to become more _____. Success isn't something you pursue, it's something you attract.
  3. Don’t wish it were easier.  Wish you were better. Be better.
  4. Do the easy things if you want to be “successful”. Being disciplined is simple, what's hard is dealing with the fallout of complexities that result from ignoring the simplicities.


Here are links to a couple things we've been listening to!

Photo by Ariel Lustre on Unsplash

Sep 15, 2017

Being alone together! That's what pocket screens have done to our society. We can be together, have the world at our fingertips and also shut it out at the same time. For this Superhero Friday, this episode is best listened to blasting from a boombox held high above your head as you take a walk down a residential street. Bring the town together! Or, ya know, headphones and a dark room will do too.

In This Episode

  • Throwing litter in the bushes is not cool
  • Getting up to Estes Park
  • Healthy routine is BACK!
  • Pocket screens are making social gathering anti-social. Travesty!
  • New music! Check out ODESZA and Triton
  • Hurricane Irma


Sep 8, 2017

From hurricanes to forest fires, the U S of A is being ravaged by Mother Nature. She can bring beautiful gifts, like introverts, in one moment, and then the next she's reminding you why They call her Mama. Returning in this Superhero Friday installment are The Nightfox and Shear Terror, where we talk about so so much. Not just natural disasters, but also introverts (it won't surprise you that I, your fearless blog post author, match about 95% of the facts about introverts), and the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and about aggressive drivers.

In This Episode

  • Forest Fires (The Western U.S. is on fire)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte is back. Already.
  • The Introvert video... and 10 facts about introverts. Where do you fall?
  • Snakes, spiders, scorpions, oh my.

Forest Fires

The northern border of the USA has been rather smokey for several months now, but in the last week more fires in the Pacific Northwest began popping up and contributing to the seemingly endless haze. Here in Minnesota we get a small taste of that fire, appearing like fog across open plains and highways, but I know that it's nothing in comparison to the real thing. Oregon looks pock-marked right now with the various fires wrapping the state, and over 1 million acres of Montana burned this fire season.

Interesting fact, Smokey the Bear and his infamous slogan first made an appearance in pop culture back in 1944. It was during this WWII era when paying attention to fire was most important because all of the able-bodied men who typically attended to such forces of nature were over seas serving in the armed forces. The black bear standing on his hind legs and wearing his signature jeans and a campaign hat became an American marketing staple.

All over Minnesota we have Smokey standing next to a Fire Danger sign (with Low, Medium or High warnings). In my life, I cannot recall there ever being a High warning, but I've seen a few Medium warnings. Barring instances, asThe Nightfox mentions, where lightning starts a fire, humans are the leading cause of forest fires (some national reports say about 84 percent are caused by humans, others say as low as 60).

It's just another reminder to be constantly vigilant! Pay attention to what you're doing and don't be negligent! The same goes for driving, eh?


Sep 1, 2017

Thank God it's Friday! The Nightfox is back from his trip to Las Vegas and while he waits to hear updates on his niece, he joined Brian behind the mic for this week's Superhero Friday installment. If you've been looking for a Monday episode recently, you're not alone. Due to busy summer schedules and real life stuff, Monday episodes have been on a little hiatus.

In This Episode

  • Hurricane Harvey & how to help
  • The Nightfox got a mattress recommendation... Casper Wave
  • Reading about healthy living... and the advantages of drinking water
  • Marvel's Defenders: We like it
  • Star Wars Clone Wars: Finally finished!
  • The trip to Vegas
  • Know how much Brian likes country music?

Like a Hurricane

Hurricane Harvey left billions of dollars in damages in his enormous wake. There are relief efforts going on all across the nation and there are many, many ways for you to contribute. On Monday (August 28), JJ Watt (DE for the Houston Texans) started a relief fund to help the community he serves and plays for. In just four days, his foundation has raised nearly $10 million from nearly 90k donors. Watt and his teammates are back in Houston now delivering much needed supplies to the most devastated areas of their community and it's very clear that when you contribute to this fund, the money is going directly to relief efforts.

To learn more and contribute, or share if you are unable to contribute financially, please visit JJ Watt's YouCaring website.

Marvel's Defenders

What have you been watching lately? Even though the Nightfox doesn't have time for such frivolous things as binge-watching Netflix, Brian and I have been making our way through Defenders. As I've gotten more into reading comics over the last two years, I wholly believe that the more I know about the comics world, the less I enjoy any adaptation of those characters. I've been immersed in the Rebirth world for a year now, getting to know characters all across the spectrum, and their small screen (or big screen) counterparts are definitely lacking something.

All that to say, I also really enjoyed Defenders. There was a lot of build up, but the reluctant team who joins together over a common enemy is one of my favorite types of stories. Aside from Danny Rand perhaps (Iron Fist), the other three are very much the "I work alone" types. The dynamic between them all shifts constantly and the enemy's plans, though fairly grandiose and reminiscent of Arrow Season 3 in some ways posed a legit threat. Casting was well done, CGI was a little obvious, but on the whole there were great fight sequences with very little gratuitous violence.

Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash

Aug 25, 2017

While The Nightfox tends to a family emergency in the city that never sleeps, Captain Influence joins The Real Brian for this installment of The Real Brian Show! That means... Happy Superhero Friday! Lots happened in the world this week, including the eclipse which stretched across the United States and Netflix's release of Marvel's Defenders. Also on the agenda are some tidbits about healthy eating, the data backup software Crashplan, and talking about how annoying it is when gaming feels like work.

In This Episode

  • The Eclipse happened
  • Gaming: fun vs work
  • TV: Marvel's Defenders
  • Movies: The Dark Tower
  • Crashplan (data backup) is going away
  • Coffee roaster is toast

Out of Coffee

Since Brian's coffee roaster died, I received a nice big bag of coffee beans from a local Colorado roaster called Beagle, which I must say is quite fantastic. The building in which the company I work for rents space is also home to a coffee roaster, here in Minnesota, and  that process is a quite deceiving. Based on the end result, you'd expect that the whole roasting process would release luscious, intoxicatingly seductive scents. But it doesn't. I've gotten used to it now, but it kind of smells like burning wet hay.


Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Aug 18, 2017

We're glad you're joining us on this glorious Superhero Friday! As the historical lunar eclipse approaches, we won't squander the opportunity to talk about it. Have you heard that it's supposed to be the most photographed, most Tweeted, most Facebooked event in history? I suppose it's not all that surprising, given Moore's Law, and yet there is no greater time for such an event to take place. As people flood to the 70 mile strip of land that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina to witness the Great American Eclipse, the first one to touch the U.S. since 1979, those of us who do not fall right within its path are eager and hungry for what will inevitably be a inducing sight.

In This Episode

  • The Terran Eclipse
  • Camron's reaction to Monday's episode
  • August 21 Eclipse
  • Got some incredible feedback from Monday's episode, THANK YOU!
  • Minimalism Documentary
  • The Bolt Backpack!
  • Movies: Dark Tower, B Movies on Netflix

The Eclipse

If you fall within the ideal line of the solar eclipse, please send in your photos! I'd love to post and share your amazing photography with our listeners (and you will, of course, be credited). I'm incredibly disappointed I'm not going to be in the narrow zone next week, so I need to live vicariously through the rest of you!

For more information, check out some of these links!

Aug 11, 2017

After a short hiatus, the Real Brian Show crew is back to explain why beard nets are all the rage, among your other favorite conversations. Brian and his wife traveled through Seattle on their way to Alaska (scroll down for a photo gallery!). We'll review Dunkirk and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Then, as such things are always on our minds... we'll talk about our favorite delectables.



Jul 28, 2017

In a world that increasingly blends reality and fantasy, why not tack on a Star Wars Themed Resort? We talk about the Star Wars resort that Disney just announced during this installment of The Real Brian Show. Imagine the possibilities! If you've been to the Harry Potter themed park, you'll understand how fantastic that immersion experience is. Check out the links below to learn more.

Note: There will be no episodes released the first week of August. We'll catch you back here on August 7!

In This Episode

  • Brian takes a ride in a B-17 (pictures below)
  • Disney announces a Star Wars Themed Resort'
  • There's spicy food, then there's spicy Indian food
  • Back issues... and beds.

B-17 Experience

You'll have to listen to the podcast in order to hear the full story! Here are the pictures from Brian's experience in the air.




Jul 24, 2017

In a recent episode we spent some time talking about whether or not we care what people think of us. On some level, we all let the words of others affect us and it's important to recognize it, accept it, and then process it. Closely related to this is the necessary task of living a life of balance. So many of us go through extremes: ups and downs, feast and famine, rest and overwork. In this episode we’ll spend some time exploring how balance is essential for our professional side as well as our let-loose side.


The image used for the banner in this episode is one of many, many pictures depicting a hobby known as Rock Balancing. Clever name, I know. This image shows pretty standard layering of rocks, but there are some artists who seriously excel in this craft. It becomes less of a hobby and more of a discipline, requiring patience and creativity. To see some incredible sculptures, search the Internet for Michael Grab.

Whether you’re into rock balancing or some other hobby, there is this unspoken realization that the more you practice that hobby, the better you get at it. It can be so fun or so interesting, however, that it begins to consume you. Brian uses the example of video gaming, but it’s not exclusive to that. My hobby is writing, and when I let myself get lost in a new story, it becomes all I want to do. I start ignoring my family, friends, and my daily responsibilities start backlogging.

Sometimes in order to complete a project well, you really do have to throw yourself into it entirely. And in the realm of creativity, that is OK! What we’re addressing in this episode isn’t a criticism of focusing your artistic mind, but drawing attention to the fact that when something, anything, becomes all consuming so that other essential and important aspects of life get ignored, it might require us to pull back, refocus, distribute our attention, and then dive back in.


Jul 21, 2017

It's that time of the week, again. Hump day is over and done. That awkward day between hump day and the weekend is also gone. Which can only mean that it's SUPERHERO FRIDAY and we have a podcast ready for you to enjoy. Thanks, once again, to the faithful Nightfox for his wonderful presence on The Real Brian Show. We hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

In This Episode

  • Tell us, Nightfox, about your Golf Rage
  • Feedback we received on Episode 70
  • Shockingly polarizing reactions to dressing and how it illicit responses from everyone around us
  • That leads us into our serious topic... do you care what people think of you?
  • Moves: Spider-Man. Valerian (you know, with the guy who was in the last Spider-Man reboot).


Jul 17, 2017

Represent yourself! In this episode, Antonio Centeno joins Brian to discuss personal branding. He has a fascinating backstory, from a U.S. Marine to Philosophy major at Cornell to an entrepreneur, Antonio now finds himself in the niche of a lifestyle and business coach, His approach to personal branding is not outlandish, it's not absurdly expensive, it's actually based on a very customizable approach to dressing: Find It, Own It. By establishing some basic parameters, like wearing clothes that fit, Antonio demonstrates that transitioning into a person brand isn't all that difficult.

In This Episode

  • Intro to Antonio Centeno
  • First attempt at business yielded interest in an indirect way
  • Diverted from selling suits to selling tips
  • Starting Menfluential Media
  • MINDSET! Moving from scarcity mentality to abundance mentality
  • Choosing optimisim

Personal Brand

Antonio Centeno is the founder of Real Men Real Style and a co-founder of Menfluential, a men's lifestyle and business conference. He has created thousands of articles & videos on men's style and is the creator of the internet's best style course for professionals - The Personal Image Blueprint.

Though Antonio's advice is geared mostly toward men, a lot of the principles he defines are excellent advice to both men and women. Perhaps most of his videos, like What Does Your Facial Hair Signal and 20 Things Men Should Never Wear, aren't exactly translatable between genders, but his tips extend beyond specifically dressing better. Antonio has a ton of resources around communication skills, traveling, and, most significantly mindset (like How To Reset A Bad Day). Go check out his website! NOW!


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