The Real Brian Show

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Feb 16, 2018

Whether Valentine's Day is your thing, or you enjoy celebrating love every day of the year, we are happy to welcome you back to the Real Brian Show and an installment that will hopefully satisfy the broad spectrum of our listener base! We're not much for Hallmark Holidays here at The Real Brian Show, but we do love the fun history of the internationally-observed day of love. Mangodroplet joins the Real Brian and they chat about all sorts of wonderful, nerdy things...

In This Episode

  • I wish I wasn't SO DANG SWEET!
  • Watching the heck out of the Olympics
  • Staad Backpack
  • Torchlight Society
  • Nerve conduction study
  • Espresso shot: the more you know...
  • Music, TV and Movies

The Staad Backpack

Looking for a backpack that is both practical AND professional? Plus excellent quality? Check out Staad Backpacks. We are SO impressed with The Staad. Brian had a chance to review and talk about the Bolt Backpack back in August and, while he also really enjoys The Bolt, The Staad is absolute perfection in a backpack! Ok, well, maybe it's just perfect to Brian. Ergonomically, The Staad is fantastic. Not too heavy and just right on the shoulders for even distribution. It's also exceptionally well-made with waxed canvas that looks better as it ages and full grain, high-quality, leather. Truthfully, this bag (as long as taken care of) should last Brian's entire life. If you're wanting to look professional (wearing suits, nice clothes, etc.) and you need something ergonomic, then ditch the high school look and GET A STAAD! :D

Torchlight Society

We've talked about, and even spoken with, the brilliantly talented Brian C. Roll a number of times and here we are again raving about his art. Torchlight Society is an art subscription club, in which you receive a ton of perks on artwork produced by Odyssey art AND receive quarterly shipments of all sorts of sweet stuff. Here's some of the art that Brian has received:


Feb 9, 2018

Welcome back to the Real Brian Show! With episode 100 in the bag, we return this week with a fresh dose of realness from crowd favorite, Mangodroplet (aka Anna). There's a lot on the docket for this episode! Brian has some quality Chinese coffee; Owl City and Plumb top our Now Playing list; and the Greatest Showman comes highly recommended.

In This Episode

  • Espresso Shot!
  • Healthy foods... you are what you eat!
  • Netflix: Altered Carbon and The Cloverfield Paradox
  • Music: Owl City, Plumb, Lights
  • How real can we really be?

How Real

We want to be real, but we don't want to overwhelm everyone around us with hardships...nor do we want to alienate people with updates that have distasteful sense of boasting. Does striking a balance prevent us from being really real?

As I was thinking about this idea, and listening to Brian and Anna discuss, a couple things occurred to me. As they mention, social media does a lot to distort our perception of other people's lives and to affect the way we present our own. Our online persona is the person most of our associations actually see - isn't that bizarre? I interact with an entirely different group of people on Facebook versus "in real life" (i.e. at work, church, neighborhood). For many of the people who know me, what I put on Facebook is all they really know.

How about that phrase lying by omission? Just because we didn't put it on Facebook doesn't mean it didn't happen. I know, I know, crazy! And just because we put something on Facebook doesn't mean we've accurately represented something that happened. Social media is just filtered perceptions, and then comments on those perceptions. It's exhausting.

The second thing that I realized was that in order to really be real, we have to be honest with ourselves... and not just by posting a variety of information. It isn't entirely about striking a balance between sharing hardships (but nothing too serious) and sharing wins (but nothing overtly braggy). It's about resetting our brains to count our blessings when we are hurting the most, or to remember those in need when we are particularly happy. As the authenticity of our online interactions increase, each story we share doesn't become about qualifying our pain or excusing our glee, but about sharing something genuine, without transforming it in order to control the narrative.

I'm very honored by Brian mentioning the anniversary of my Dad's death, and in that spirit I am not sorry to say that I've had to take a serious look at this approach to Facebook myself. For many years, my mantra was "pain is gain" and "suck it up" or "rub some dirt in it". Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people. We all deal with stuff. But I've grown much more compassionate since having to deal with the grief of losing my dad, which has forced me to look for joy even when it seems so far away... and then to also accept the pain of grief as it bubbles up. But it doesn't matter, ultimately, what anyone else thinks about my pain or my joy, what matters is that I don't lie to myself about it. After I quit lying to myself, I quit sharing very cultured stories on Facebook. I quit the random little comments that made it look like I was always having a ball, and I quit posting every time I was feeling sad.

We don't need the validation of Facebook. We should not look to these mediums for validation or relief. It is a massive network, now, that seems unstoppable in terms of what it enables us to do with "community", but the fact of the matter is that if we feel a need to cultivate a persona... it should not be considered community. Several weeks ago I talked about finding a tether - someone, or several someones, who bind you to the earth. That is where it matters to be really real. Everywhere else is just a smokescreen, no matter how much people try to convince you otherwise.

In the words of e.e. cummings: "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." Fight the battle for your own identity by fighting against that tendency to carefully craft every outward-facing story and comment. You be you, and I'll be me. I'd rather not try to be you.


Feb 2, 2018

We've arrived at the 100th episode! It's a milestone for any podcast and few make it all the way. We're so thankful to everyone who has made this show possible and to the amazing participation of our community. In this installment of the podcast, Brian goes solo in order to reminisce on the last 100 episodes and play some sound bites from the community. If you didn't get a chance to pipe in, leave a comment on the blog post!

In This Episode

  • 100 episodes!!
  • Where we started... embracing your inner nerd...
  • Still nerding out, but rebranded
  • Two sides to us all
  • Podcast journey closely paralleled with personal journey
  • Sound clips from the community!
  • Keeping with variety

100th Episode

In the television world, 100 is an important number. It means that a show is viable for syndication. I was reading a bit about this and it's advantageous because the network can run consecutive weekday reruns for a longer period of time without having to repeat episodes, meaning that viewing audiences will feel like it's less repetitive.

However, there are a handful of shows which purposefully ended their run early to avoid being put into syndication, realizing that it is possible to over-saturate the market or that the value in each episode might decrease if they're overplayed. Reaching 100 episodes is difficult. In America it typically requires remaining on the air for five seasons (because there are 22-24 episodes per season). And then, even when that 100 episode mark is reached, there's no guarantee that syndication will be successful.

The point being, there are a number of factors that go into determining success. And though we love quantity, we also value impact and quality. Had we, at The Real Brian Show, valued sheer quantity and an unrelenting consistency, we actually might have reached the 100-episode threshold sooner. We acknowledge that this is an important milestone, but also acknowledge that numbers mean nothing without the quality of each one being met to the standards our community expects. As we look ahead to the next 100, 1000 or 1M episodes (a girl can wish), we strive to deliver content that is encouraging, beneficial, humorous, serious, nerdy, smart, clever, mouth-watering and memorable.

Thank you for being part of this journey! We look forward to sharing much, much more with you in the upcoming years.

Jan 26, 2018

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We're excited to have Anna, aka Dr. Mangodroplet, join us again for another riveting discussion. With Brian's coffee roaster in full swing now he is adequately caffeinated and enjoying Papua New Guinea beans from the Sigri Estate. These two have a lot on their watchlist, including the Shannara Chronicles Season 2 and Star Wars Rebels. We're going to talk about pizza places in Fort Collins and an Australian company that is making video game hologram rooms!

In This Episode

  • Welcome back Mangodroplet!
  • Coffee roaster is up and running!
  • Shannara Season 2, Star Wars Rebels
  • Fort Collins conundrum: Mod Pizza vs Pizza Rev
  • Espresso Shot: back by popular demand

For Your Protection

Did you know that coffee was originally chewed and not drunk? Yeah, a cool little piece of coffee history is that some East African tribes used to grind coffee cherries (some sources call them berries) and roll them into animal fat. They were used to provide energy for their warriors going to battle.

West African history has some fun coffee history, too. One story, from Yemen, claims that farmers noticed their goats were full of "pep" after eating the berries of a particular plant, who's properties had never been assessed before. The people described the goats as "dancing" due to intoxication from the berries. So, naturally, they had to try for themselves!

There are dozens of stories of different groups of people around the world discovering coffee, and its effects. There are even more stories about coffee concoctions being used to cure diseases and connoisseurs planting beans in areas of the earth where it didn't grow naturally, only to see it thrive!

So yes, we drink coffee for your protection! Drink coffee: do stupid things faster with more energy.


Jan 19, 2018

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! It's our privilege to welcome back Mangodroplet for another amazing Superhero Friday installment. We've got a taste of everything for you this week... Brian's new coffee roaster (and tips on getting started yourself), the opioids craze, the new film Jumanji, and, of course, five things you can actively do to make your 2018 great!

In This Episode

  • Welcome back, Mangodroplet!
  • Coffee roasters and roasting coffee
  • Managing Pain...
  • Opioids Crisis in America
  • 5 Things to Make Your 2018 Great!
  • Jumanji!

Make 2018 Great

On the whole, what we talk about in this episode can be applied to any year, not specific to this year, but in the spirit of setting intentions it helps to call some things out, give them a name, and give ourselves something to strive for. How do we make 2018 great? Well, what's most important in your life? Work. School. Family. Business. Hobby. Maybe it's a combination of all those things. Start thinking about what you know of this year, already, some of the things you know are coming, and apply the five points to those things.


Jan 12, 2018

Happy Superhero Friday! We're so glad you're joining us for this Miss-Ice-Takeover installment of the podcast. Over the last couple months we've talked a lot about different aspects of community and about being involved in the process that brings people in and makes them feel like they're part of something. This week is no different, except that instead of talking about community in the abstract, Brian and I get really real. Ready?

In This Episode

  • Sports... Pro vs College
  • Fantasy Football and the MASSIVE MONEY MACHINE
  • Spotify (did you know Brian's public playlist is collab? Yeah.)
  • Real and Deep Q&A

Real and Deep

While it is never our intention to make you feel uncomfortable, we hope that you can appreciate that sometimes it means getting a little uncomfortable in order to break down the barriers of conversation. Over the last couple years, really since my dad died, I've been noticing the array of topics people won't talk about (even outside of politics and religion). They're often unique to each person, or subset of people, but almost always have the common ancestor of requiring vulnerability.

Being vulnerable is difficult. By its own definition, it makes us vulnerable. It's like putting on armor to go into battle, then taking it off right when the fighting begins. The interesting thing I've found as I've learned to be more vulnerable is that part of what is so liberating about it is that I'm not lying to myself about what I'm capable of. Armor makes us feel safer, even though it does not protect us 100%. Removing that armor reminds us that we are only human and that there are a lot of things we are susceptible to. And as a result, we live (or we fight) differently. Without armor in a battle, we'd take a different approach than we would if we had that layer of protection armor offers.

The intention with our discussion in this episode was to give you all a glimpse in to how Brian and I see community. We see it filled with open discussions about difficult topics. We see it as being transparent and honest about actions and thought processes, and then letting one another speak into our lives so that we can grow from where we are.

We hope you enjoy our discussion!

Jan 5, 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018 and the year of intentions! It's not that resolutions are bad, but new year's resolutions can often carry a relatively negative connotation. It's something you resolve to do at the beginning of the year which ends up getting discarded a couple months later. In this episode of The Real Brian Show, Martin (the Flash) and Brian talk about their intentions for 2018. They also talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Christmas music classics, and all the good nerdy stuff you've come to love from this show.

In This Episode

  • Happy New Year!
  • Welcome back to The Flash (aka Martin)
  • Delivering the BEST for 2018
  • Young at heart mentality
  • Christmas Music: Everything or the classics?
  • Getting back to eating healthy
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Last year, my new year's resolution was to drink a gallon of water everyday. The cool thing about that resolution was that the more water I drank, the more my body craved it, and it ended up being something I carried with me the entire year! I can't say that I've experienced that very much. Wrapped up in this resolution, however, was a desire to be more intentional - whether I realized it or not. I wanted to make a change that would positively impact my health.

The results of that resolution have motivated me to make another one. I looked at something "simple" (not a lot of overhead) that I could do consistently, which would greatly impact me without also requiring significant change on top of it. The best thing about drinking more water every day was that it encouraged me to do other healthy things. So this year, I'm going to intentionally eat breakfast everyday.


I know. I have not consistently eaten breakfast for almost 12 years. I'm 31 years old, if that gives you some context for when this nasty habit began. I don't usually leave myself a lot of time in the morning to do anything else other than down a pot of coffee. My argument is that I'm usually not hungry until 10 a.m., but by then I don't eat something light and healthy, I go for whatever is on hand (which is usually the snack closet at work, let's be honest). Similarly to drinking water, I think that I will develop an appetite in the morning by consistently feeding my body good nutrients within an hour of waking up. We'll see! I'm excited to look back on this in another year and see the impact it has on my diet and general health.

What is your intention for the new year? Drop us a line in the comments or leave a message on our Facebook Group!