How to Record a Podcast With An Old Laptop, Bad WiFi, and a Smartphone

People have been asking how I've managed to record Radio BrendoMan and Pop Sickles since I've been living in hotels with very unreliable internet access and my desktop computer is in storage. It took some trial and error as we almost lost a Radio BrendoMan episode in the process. Right now for gear I have an ancient Dell laptop running XP and my Yeti microphone. I tried recording using our traditional method of using Google Hangouts and Audacity on my laptop but running but Hangouts on Air brought my laptop to a standstill and the hotel wifi was practically useless. Next we tried using Skype and Audacity and this seemed to work until I tried to sync our two tracks together. It appears that running both Skype and Audacity caused Audacity to stutter a bit resulting in out of sync tracks. Phil was able to fix it by painstakingly listening to the files in real time and deleting the gaps as he found them but it was not a viable option going forward. Back to the drawing board I went.

Pop Sickles was the next test and this time everything worked. After messing around with Hangouts on my Galaxy S4 I determined that the audio quality was pretty great when using my 4G connection. I plugged in my headphones on the phone, started a group hangout with Derick and Benson, and fired up Audacity on my laptop. The recording went off without a hitch since Audacity was no longer competing for processing power. Everything synced up perfectly. It's not super ideal since you can't use Hangouts on Air with the mobile app so you don't have the YouTube video you can use as backup in case something goes wrong and you don't have the stream for people to tune into and chat on but it gets the job done when the next option is not podcast at all.

Feel free to comment with your suggestions or questions. The main thing I've learned from this experience is that you really can put together a podcast in almost any circumstance and with even the crappiest of gear. Seriously you guys, this laptop I am using to run Audacity is probably 10 years old. It takes a while to encode files but it gets the job done. If you really want to make a podcast, gear shouldn't be holding you back. As I've said before, I recorded the original Radio BrendoMan on my sub-par laptop with a $2 PC microphone and I was behind the Great Firewall of China. Phil uses a Rock Band microphone. One of the first podcasts I listened to on a regular basis was a show some guy recorded on his Palm Treo in his car. If you've got a good idea, just do it. Figure out the rest as you go.

posted by brendoman | 11/11/14| 08:33:00 am| Podcasting| 2 comments »


Funemployment Again

Hello. Is this thing still on? Looks like it. 2014 has been quite the year. We were told at the beginning of the year that our company was moving to Austin and most of us in tech support would be laid off on December 5th. If we stayed until then we would get a retention bonus plus a severance package. For me this totaled up to about 3 months pay. That's a pretty large sum of cash but I had no intention of staying on a sinking ship for almost a year. The company started training a huge amount of new techs in Austin to replace us. People here in San Diego started bailing out like crazy and were not replaced. Our work loads went up. Stress went up with that. If you've listened to the podcast at all this year you've heard my tales of work related woe. Meanwhile I started going to interviews and applying for jobs with little success. Mostly temp positions that paid much less than I was making or I was lacking some of the certifications to put me ahead of the giant pack of applicants. That's kind of the way it tends to go when you finagled your way in the door 5 years ago and have been working non-stop since then with no time to work on those certs you told yourself you'd get eventually.

Things calmed down a bit once the new techs started on the phones and took on some of the workload. I was still trying to find a way out though. Then I got an offer at the beginning of the summer to stay on and move to Austin. It was a pretty sweet deal so I made a verbal commitment and waited for a formal offer letter. Then I waited. And waited. Then I waited some more. Things shifted over the summer at the company and they were trying to cut costs. I found out at the end of September that the Austin job wasn't happening. This both bummed me out and relieved me. It bummed me out because I had come to terms with moving to Austin. Part of me was excited for it. San Diego is crazy expensive. I knew I couldn't afford to stay here if I didn't have a job. I was barely able to afford my apartment even with a job. The relief came because I realized that I could finally do what I really wanted to do, which was get the heck out of tech support, and I could stay in Southern California. The wrench in everything was that my lease ran out on October 19th and I didn't want to renew it since my job was now ending on December 5th. That's where the elaborate plan commenced.

On October 19th I moved out the apartment I'd lived in for two years. It was a bit of a bummer. After crunching the numbers I decided that putting my stuff into storage and living in cheap hotels until December 5th was the best way to go. So that is what I'm doing now. At first transient life took some getting used to but it's not so bad anymore. What's next? On December 6th I am moving to Yucaipa. It's way inland and it's way cheap. It's also where Phil and Janelle live. I am getting a two bedroom apartment for half of what I was paying for a one bedroom in San Diego. Phil and I are going to set up a studio in the spare bedroom to record podcasts and work on our other various projects. I'm also going to be working on certifications and taking online classes. Once I'm done I'm hoping to find some kind of server admin job or something like that. I might try programming again. I do know that I am ready to move on from tech support. The dream is that one of our creative projects will take off. I will always keep that dream. In the meantime I will better my skills so I can support that dream with a good job that doesn't drive me nuts.

So that's what is going on. Once I am settled in and everything, I plan on writing here a lot more. So you have that to look forward to, I guess. Hope everyone is doing all right.

posted by brendoman | 11/10/14| 08:36:00 am| Thoughts and Ideas| 2 comments »


Hello 2014

Yes it has been 4 months since I posted on here and I think that is a new record but let's forget about that, shall we? If 2014 is half as good as 2013 was for me, I will be stoked. 2013 saw me lose 75 pounds, successfully fund a Kickstarter with Phil for Radio BrendoMan, and fulfill a life goal by being on a panel at Comic-Con, among other things. This was also my first full year back in San Diego after a 12 year absence. It's been pretty great. I miss my OC and L.A. friends every day but this was definitely the right choice. Things are a little up in the air at my current job due to a buyout situation rather similar to the one at my last job, but that is outside of my control so I am doing my best to just enjoy each day as it happens. I hope you all are doing the same. Much love to all of you in this new year. I have so many great memories of 2013 but this is the one that I keep coming back to:

Keep on dreaming.

posted by brendoman | 01/01/14| 02:32:00 pm| Thoughts and Ideas, I'm a Big Geek| Leave a comment »


What's Going On?

It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything. Most of my energy is given to the three podcasts I am a part of, all of which can be found at Benview Network. Things have also really ramped up at work as I am now supporting all of our Web products. When I get home every day I am pretty wiped. I need to stop using that as an excuse though. If I can sit in front of the TV and play Animal Crossing until bedtime, I can probably do things like write, play guitar, work on website stuff. I hate how our brain lies to us pretty much all the time.

On the fitness front I still can't seem to break the 300 pound barrier. It's getting more difficult to stay on track with my diet but that is partially my fault as sometimes when I get home from work I rationalize eating something I'm not supposed to. From there it just snowballs. I am working out every day still so that helps a lot but I just need to keep on the diet and I should be OK. It's really hard though.

I hit a wall with the memoir project due to circumstances out of my control so that is on hold. I am trying to come up with a new idea. It would probably help if I actually sat down to write but Animal Crossing is too hard to resist. I finally started watching Gilmore Girls. I am already on season two and I love it, as I knew I would.

Comic-Con was amazing as always. We talk about it a lot on Radio BrendoMan and Pop Sickles so I won't get into it here. I can't believe we did a panel at the con and it was amazing. Now I have to find a new dream to achieve.

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging. I am sorry if I am not always the most communicative guy. I fall into routines and it is easy to forget there are other people out there sometimes. Hope you are all doing awesome. Know that I love you all and want to hear how you are doing all the time, even if I don't always ask.

posted by brendoman | 08/06/13| 09:04:00 am| Thoughts and Ideas, Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


Read Chapter Three of My Book!

It's a little rough but I feel like it's ready to go out to all 10 or so of you who have been reading it. I will definitely be revising after I finish the whole thing. There's still quite a few chapters to go. Feel free to comment or email with your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

PDF
EPUB
Kindle

Get all the chapters at the book page here.

posted by brendoman | 05/28/13| 05:48:00 pm| Books| 2 comments »


Universal Studios Florida to Build Springfield!!

Universal Studios Orlando Is Building The Simpsons' Springfield - Topless Robot - Nerd news, humor and self-loathing.

If they pull this off it will be more exciting to me than Harry Potter world and I am pretty stinking excited about that. Here's hoping they bring it to L.A. as well!

posted by brendoman | 05/24/13| 11:53:00 am| TeeVee, I'm a Big Geek| Leave a comment »


Calling All Podcasters Headed to SDCC

If you are a podcaster headed to Comic-Con in July and you are looking for a venue to conduct interviews and record your podcasts, I have an opportunity for you! Some colleagues and I have a venue available very close to the convention center and all the gear to record so you would only need to bring you and your guests. If you or someone you know are interested please contact me at brendoman@gmail.com and I can give you more information.

posted by brendoman | 05/16/13| 09:40:00 am| Podcasting, Comics| Leave a comment »


How To Publish a Podcast with Wordpress and Archive.org

I've been meaning to publish this for awhile so thank you to Jason Paul for sending in this email to get me motivated:

Hey man,

Just took your advice and got setup with Archive.org to host my podcast. I have my wordpress site up and running but my question is what do you use to generate your RSS feed? My first thought is feedburner, is that correct? If so how do you make sure the RSS feed picks the podcast up as an audiofile ( I use the archive.org code to stream my podcast on my site)? Also, do you know of anyway to migrate my old rss feed to the new one (itunes subscribers)? Sorry for these random questions but I know you probably know a shit load more than I would find out pecking around on Google. Not sure if this is a show email or not but feel free to respond anyway you see fit.

Here was my response and I am publishing it here as I know others are curious:

If you are on Wordpress you don't need to use Feedburner. Use a podcasting plugin. I use BluBrry Powerpress. It is easy to use and install. http://www.blubrry.com/powerpress/

Do you have control over your old feed? The only way to really do it is to add the itunes:new-feed-url tag to your feed and point to the new URL. You can find more info about itunes tags here:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

Let me know if you need any more help.

posted by brendoman | 05/16/13| 07:02:00 am| I'm a Big Geek, Podcasting| Leave a comment »


Sites are Back!

If you were trying to get to Brax, this blog, My brother's site, or most of the other sites on our server for the last several days you may have noticed they were not available. We've been getting slammed by what looks like a DDOS attack of some sort. I'm not sure what warranted the trouble but I'm kind of flattered. In the effort to patch the hole that caused the issue I spent yesterday evening and most of today updating our main blog software, b2evolution. This is no easy task when your blog has been around for 10 years and has 40 (!) sub blogs and 13,000+ total posts. Also due to the attack some of our database tables had grown insanely huge so the update scripts were timing out. I ended up having to run the update piece by piece and going through the code mostly step by step. It reminded me of the long hours I spent sitting up late at night in my dorm room back at Central going through CGI scripts and various template files back in the early days of the blog. I'm happy to discover those skills are still there. Danny has done a lot of the heaving lifting for the last several years when it comes to the site and it's made me a little lazy. It was fun working more in tandem with him on this project and I think the site is in a much better place because of it.

posted by brendoman | 05/12/13| 03:04:00 am| Site News, I'm a Big Geek| 1 comment »


Download Chapter Two Of My Book!

Chapter Two of my Untitled Memoir Project is now available for download and to celebrate that I have created a dedicated page here for the book. You can get both chapters here. I am currently working on Chapter Three but I am not sure when it will be ready. As I've said before I have a lot of irons in the fire right now but I am taking time each day to write at least a paragraph, usually more. Feel free to hit me up with any feedback or suggestions and thank you very much for reading!

posted by brendoman | 04/13/13| 10:01:00 pm| Books, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


The Hardest Blog Post I've Ever Written

Do you want to know how I know who has listened to me on Bagged and Boarded? Ití»s really easy. I know who has listened to me on Bagged and Boarded because those are the people who know I am gay. I came out on the show 3 years ago during the second episode I hosted. If you didní»t know I was gay until just now, then you didní»t listen to my show and that bums me out a little but I understand because we cussed a lot on that show and I guess that makes some people uncomfortable. I know many people might not understand, especially if youí»ve known me for a long period of time. I doní»t have all the answers you guys. I just know a few things. First, I know that I first thought I was gay when I was very young but I remember my dad telling me that was bad so I put it out of my head. I also didní»t know anyone who was gay until high school so it was easy to think that all gay people were bad people. Then I became a Christian when I was 13 and that made it easy to think I wasní»t actually gay since I was taught no one was really gay, it was a sinful choice they made and they were all going to hell unless they were celibate forever and even then it was kind of a gray area. So I lived with that for years. Always thinking in the back of head that maybe I would be more happy if I could be myself. No, I didní»t want to go out and have gay sex. I still doní»t really want to go out and have gay sex. Sex period kind of freaks me out you guys but that is a whole other thing.

I feel like Ií»m dropping a bunch of bombs right now on my friends and loved ones and I am sorry. Ií»ve been so scared to share this with anybody, let alone you guys so I hope you can forgive me. I love everybody and I doní»t want anybody to be mad at me but I know thatí»s an unrealistic thing and I just have to get over it. So what changed? So much changed. I could write a whole book about it and in fact I will once I finish the book I am working on right now. When I got back from China in 2005 I was a mess. As I slowly rebuilt the pieces that were once a Christian leader named Brendan, I realized that guy wasní»t really me. I wanted to still love God, I wanted to follow Jesus but I had done that all the way to China and I only found pain, emptiness, and misery. Again, that is kind of a separate topic so Ií»ll move on from that since this isní»t about religion or anything like that. This is about a guy who was trying to figure out who he really was and one day his friend got him a job at Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. I loved it at Disneyland, for the most part. My favorite thing to do was work guest control during parades because I got to talk to people and walk around and I got to watch the parade. It was great. One day on my parade shift I met this guy named Greg. We started talking and realized we had a whole lot in common. We had pretty religious backgrounds that we were both trying to move on from, we both never really dated, and we had a passion for life that most people just didní»t seem to understand. We quickly became best friends.

It was probably a few months into our friendship that I realized I was falling in love with Greg. While our relationship was never physical and we were both afraid of what our relationship meant given our backgrounds, it was more intimate than any relationship Ií»ve ever had. He was the only person Ií»ve ever felt I could truly be myself around, that I could truly be vulnerable. He was the only person who knew everything and he never judged me. The more we talked, the closer we came. If thatí»s not intimacy, then I doní»t know what is. I knew it was different than a normal friendship because I already had a best friend, as most of you know. Phil is my best friend. But as Jay always says in Kevin Smith movies, he is my í░hetero-lifemate.í▒ While Phil knew me pretty well, better than most people, there were still things I kept from him. Both out of the fact that we were two friends and I respected our boundaries and also just because ití»s really hard to show your full self to anybody. Greg told me he loved me, and I know he meant it. No one besides my family and some very close friends had ever said that to me and not in this way ever. It was the happiest I have ever been in my whole life but the whole time I still was so conflicted with my own sexuality that I tried to be straight. I tried dating women. And doní»t get me wrong, there are some beautiful ladies out there and Ií»m still not 100% sure Ií»m completely unattracted to them, BUT I know I doní»t want to date them really or have sex with them. I think women are cool though and my female friends are awesome. So please doní»t think I hate the ladies. I just know when Ií»m with a girl I have to force it and even then it is awkward at best. Every girl I have ever attempted to have a relationship with can definitely attest to this. Any of my friends who have ever witnessed me try to date a girl or woo a girl can attest to this. The main reason is because I was playing a part the whole time. Doing what I thought was normal, doing what I thought I had to do otherwise I would be labeled UNCLEAN or god forbid a í░faggotí▒ a word I had heard all too often when I was younger. So I would make attempts to date girls, they would fail, and I would be angry single guy for months on end. A lot of that anger came from the fact that I had no idea who I really was or what I really wanted. That all changed when I met Greg. Then it all went to hell.

As most of you know, Greg killed himself in 2007. Aside from the death of my father, that day was the worst day of my life. The worst thing about it was that I had to hide my true grief since I couldní»t tell people the love of my life had just abandoned me. I could only say my good friend died. And no one knew the truth. Nobody. I fell back into a depression that would last for years. I also thought I had gotten my answer about whether or not it was OK to be gay. It seemed like that was a big no. So I just withdrew from dating period for over 3 years.

Then some other stuff happened and I ended up on a stage on a Friday night at Smodcastle, telling my story in front of a bunch of people and for thousands of listeners of our show. I told some friends, I told my brother, but that was it. I was too scared to tell anyone else. I was kind of out, but not really. That all changed today. Due in part to the recent supreme court hearings over Prop 8 and DOMA and due in part to the facebook postings of some of my less tolerant friends, I decided I can no longer ride that fence. I am standing by my fellow gay brothers and sisters with my head held high. As I wrote on my friendí»s facebook wall just a few minutes ago:

í░I'm tired of being afraid of my own friends, I'm tired of hearing people I respect say stupid things about fellow human beings. I'm just tired man.í▒

Thatí»s basically what this all comes down to. Ií»m tired. Ií»m also sorry I havení»t done this sooner. I love you all. Thank you.

posted by brendoman | 03/27/13| 08:34:00 pm| Thoughts and Ideas, Anything Else| 4 comments »


Please come to my Battle Royale screening in San Diego on April 10th!

Tugg - Battle Royale in San Diego, CA on Wednesday, April 10, 7:30pm

I am hosting a one time only screening of Battle Royale on Wednesday April 10th at AMC Fashion Valley. I honestly thought it would be sold out by now due to the fact it's Battle Royale. Instead I am the only person who has bought a ticket and it's bumming me out you guys. If you know anyone who would be interested, please pass this along. I just want this to happen. I don't make any money off of this but if it goes well I am hoping to turn it into a screening series. I think it would be fun! If 71 people don't buy tickets in 6 days, the screening doesn't happen so jump on it!

posted by brendoman | 03/27/13| 04:37:00 pm| Movies, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Tips For Starting a Webcomic

I got asked for webcomics advice on Reddit yesterday. It made me feel pretty good. I thought I would share what I wrote to the guy.
In Record Time. : comics

Here are my tips:
1) Start with a schedule you know you can keep. Can you keep up with a daily? If you don't think you can, might want to dial it back a bit. The key to retaining and gaining readers is making a schedule and sticking to it. Nothing will cause your readers to disappear like missing several updates.

2) Have fun and make sure you have something to say using your material. If you're constantly struggling to find ideas, this may be a sign you might want to re-evaluate your subject matter.

3) Just keep going. Write like no one is reading. At the beginning, be aware that not many people are and be happy about this because this will give you the chance to hone your craft.

4) Honing your craft takes time. Not just days, weeks, or months, but years. Seriously.

I love webcomics and I write them because of that. I don't write to get famous or be rich. I think that is the key. Enjoy it! It is so much fun and things WILL happen if you keep it up. I am just now starting to see good things from my work after doing our strip for 4 years now and 400 strips. I still haven't seen very much money, but my partner and I have gone to tons of cons for free (including SDCC for the last 4 years), done panels at major conventions, met tons of cool people, published a book, and tons of other little cool things. It is beyond worth it. Never stop learning, never stop adapting, and you will be golden. I hope that helps man.

Also, I highly highly highly recommend the book How to Make Webcomics by Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, Brad Guigar, and Dave Kellett. They are all super awesome and helpful dudes, both online and in real life and this book is the thing that got me and my friend from an idea to having our comic up and now 4 years later with 400 strips and a book. And we are two dudes with little motivation and follow through and neither of us are artists. So if you take anything away from this, take that. Buy that book, it's 10 bucks and I guarantee it will teach you and motivate you.

Here is his comic. I think it's pretty funny and he has lots of potential. Find more great webcomics and share your finds at Webcomics Advocates.

posted by brendoman | 03/13/13| 08:18:00 am| Anything Else, Comics| Leave a comment »


Video of the Day: How I Fell Down a Canyon and Saved Two Dogs

This was something that happened to me while on my walk yesterday. It was pretty nuts. My leg still hurts a little bit and I have a gnarly bruise on my back, but other than that I am fine. Just scraped up a little. It was worth it though as I don't think those dogs would have made it out of the canyon. Be sure to keep your dogs' tags up to date! If I hadn't been able to get a hold of the owner, I'm not sure what I would have done. I probably would have had to take them to a shelter or something.

posted by brendoman | 03/04/13| 07:54:00 am| Anything Else, Video of the Day| 1 comment »


Link of the Day: Game of Thrones - The King's Roadmap

This was emailed to me today and I thought it was really cool. Spoilers though. If you want to get a quick catch up on the events of the TV show just scroll through it and it will take you all over Westeros, episode by episode.

Game of Thrones - The King's Roadmap

posted by brendoman | 03/01/13| 11:06:00 am| TeeVee, I'm a Big Geek, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Radio BrendoMan Kickstarter Just Passed $1000! HOLY CRAP!

I'm kind of speechless right now. I'm also really feeling the love. We just passed the $1000 mark and hit our third stretch goal on our Kickstarter. Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged and shared and retweeted. You guys did this, not just Phil and me! To reward you for all your hard work we've added additional rewards and stretch goals. There's tons of cool stuff to be had!

posted by brendoman | 02/28/13| 07:06:00 pm| Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Download the First Chapter of My Book at Archive.org

I am in the process of writing a book. It is something I have been wanting to do for basically half my life. It is basically the story of my youth and the death of my father and how that affected me. There's both humor and heartbreak. I want to thank my team of folks who read the treatment for the book and gave me a lot of great feedback. This is very much a work in progress but I feel pretty good about chapter one. You can download it at archive.org here. I am working on getting the PDF converted to other formats. If anyone wants to help me with that, feel free. The PDF is CC licensed, no commercial, share and share alike.

Update: My buddy Ish Plata made a Kindle version in Amazon format which can be uploaded directly to your Kindle. You can download that here. The archive.org link now has other formats available including mobi and epub.

posted by brendoman | 02/26/13| 07:47:00 am| Thoughts and Ideas, Books, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Radio BrendoMan Kickstarter

Hey there everybody. I guess this is my first post here of 2013. I find myself posting things I used to post here on Facebook instead. I don't know how I feel about that. I do have some plans for this blog this year. I will probably be posting more long form stuff here and maybe some of my writing projects that I am working on.

The reason I am posting today is to alert you to the Radio BrendoMan T-Shirts Kickstarter that Phil and I launched last week. We already reached our $500 goal and will be posting some awesome stretch goals soon. I would highly recommend checking it out. Also please give the show a listen if you haven't yet.

What's going on with everyone on this side? If you're not on Facebook, you probably aren't aware that I have lost 36 pounds since December 30th and I am on track to lose much more. I will detail that sometime on here. I also successfully migrated Radio BrendoMan off of Podbean and we are now hosting our files at Archive.org. I learned a lot through this process and also plan to share what I learned sometime soon. I've got a lot of irons in the fire right now though so I can't promise any timeframe.

posted by brendoman | 02/13/13| 09:39:00 am| Site News, Linkworthy, Podcasting, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Psy is Y2Kai

Finally saw Gangnam Style by Psy tonight.

All I could think of is "Y2Kai is all grown up!"

posted by hundiejo | 12/29/12| 08:36:00 pm| Tunes, Video of the Day| Leave a comment »


2012 Year in Review

This morning I was thinking about highlights of 2012 for me and the thing I kept coming back to was this: I was in a dance circle with Felicia Day, Amber Benson, Brea Grant, Adam Savage, Alexis Denisof, and Joss Whedon. Yeah. That alone makes 2012 pretty damn cool. And also this:

Comic-Con crazy happenings aside, 2012 was a pretty banner year. Here's to 2013!

posted by brendoman | 12/28/12| 08:26:00 am| Thoughts and Ideas, I'm a Big Geek, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


We need to start talking about mental health issues

I wasn't going to post this here because I wanted it to get read and I don't think people read blogs that much anymore. However, I wanted to be able to share it with folks on Twitter and make it easy for others to share it who aren't on Facebook. So here you go.

I was going to post this on my blog but I don't think people read blog posts anymore (maybe?). I have been wanting to post about this for awhile and I think today is as good a day as any with the tragic events in Connecticut. No, this is not about gun control. I will let others pontificate on that one.

We need to start talking openly about mental health issues. As many of my close friends and
family know, I have struggled most of my life with various mental health issues including clinical depression, anxiety disorder, ADD, suicidal thoughts, and other not fun stuff. I have been in and out of therapy, on and off drugs, done both in-patient and outpatient treatment. I am lucky to be able to say that for the most part I have gotten the help I need when I needed it. Many are not so lucky.

Even with my very good HMO plan, mental health is like the red-headed stepchild. I can only visit a therapist once a month. I have to jump through several hoops to get certain medications every single time I need a refill. I have to drive twice as far to my psychiatrist as I do to my doctor because there is a severe lack of psychiatry offices. When I moved to San Diego, I almost had to re-do all my evaluations (which would have taken numerous doctor visits and a co-pay each time) because of bookkeeping issues. After calling about five different people and working my way up the chain, they finally agreed to "make an exception for me" and allow me to continue treatment un-interrupted. I can't tell you how stressful this whole process was and how close I came to just giving up for the time being.

And I am one of the lucky ones with adequate health coverage. When I had no health insurance, I didn't get any treatment because it was completely unaffordable. Without insurance, my meds cost hundreds of dollars a month. Doctors visits are out of the question. I suffered for a few years in silence. Things would get really bad and then they would get better for awhile.

Many are also afraid to talk about their mental health issues because of social stigma. "Stop being depressed!" How many times have we heard that? I know I've heard it a lot. If someone is asking you honestly for help and you respond in that manner, you are part of the problem. For those of us who are clinically depressed, positive thinking and cheering up and all that other stuff will not work. It won't. Sorry.

So what can we do? We can encourage our politicians and our healthcare providers to make mental health a priority, especially in this era of health care reform. We need to create an environment where people aren't afraid to talk about these problems with their friends and loved ones. That is a big step in getting the help we need. I know it was for me.

All right, end of soapbox. I hope that made sense.

posted by brendoman | 12/14/12| 01:55:00 pm| Thoughts and Ideas, Anything Else| 1 comment »


I'm Still Here

Hey there. A lot has happened since my last blog post. In late September I got a call from one of my company's competitors asking me to interview for a position there. The catch was they were located in San Diego. This lead me to almost reject the offer outright because I liked where I was. The more I thought about it though the more it seemed like something I should at least consider. So I drove down to San Diego after doing two phone interviews. The company, Websense, is located very close to where I went to high school. I've always wanted to move back here at some point in my life. So when they offered me a job, it really was a no brainer. They paid for my move from Irvine, they offered a significant raise in pay, and there are a lot of opportunities for me to grow in my career that I really didn't have before.

So yeah, I moved to San Diego and started a new job last month. It's been a bit nuts but things are settling down. I have a pretty cool apartment in Rancho Penasquitos. I have 50 mbps internet, which is freaking awesome. My drive to work is pretty easy and it is weird because I take the 56 freeway which connects the 5 to the 15. The weird thing about it is that when I last lived here the 56 didn't connect and so no one used it since it didn't go anywhere. Now that it connects Carmel Valley and the surrounding area pretty much exploded since now you don't have to drive on a dirt road or go way out of your way if you want to go somewhere inland. It's still pretty wide open though, which is cool.

I have been doing these little excursions on the weekends that are like mini-time traveling trips. Last weekend I wanted to check out the new Arclight in La Jolla and I discovered it was at UTC. UTC is a mall that has been around my whole life so going back there was pretty cool. A flood of memories washed over me as soon as I started walking around. I also drove by my old high school and my old house, which both look mostly the same. I miss all my friends in L.A. and Orange County but I also feel like I really am "home" here. Whatever that means.

So that is what is going on with me. I am headed out to Tuscon tomorrow to go to Brian (AKA Gringo's) wedding and Danny is coming too so that will be sweet. Danny and I (and maybe Brian if he isn't too busy) are going to record an episode of Radio BrendoMan so that should also be cool. Hope everything is good with all of you guys out there.

posted by brendoman | 11/14/12| 10:53:00 am| Anything Else| 2 comments »


Some Days I Want To Punch All The Things

Hello brendoman.com, I am sorry I am neglecting you. I am busy working (argh...) and also playing too many video games and watching too many reality shows involving storage units and large collections of things. I'm doing a call out for post topics. Give me an assignment people! Maybe then I'll actually do it!

posted by brendoman | 08/31/12| 12:31:00 pm| Anything Else| 5 comments »


Comic-Con was awesome

I am finally recovered from Comic-Con '12. It was super awesome. If you want to hear more about it, just listen to our Comic-Con megacast. Here is a player so you don't even have to go anywhere:



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Pretty neat, huh? Anyways, I got home on Monday night last week and I couldn't talk so I took Tuesday off work. Thursday I got in line for Dark Knight Rises at 5:30 PM and there were still like 250 people in front of me. Why did I get in line so early? Because my awesome friend Ross paid for me ticket in exchange for me getting there early to wait in line. I was joined by Derick, Ross, Paul, Kim, and other assorted friends and was promptly separated from them when it became clear there were no blocks of seats in a good area. I loved the movie. I guess some people didn't. Oh well.

In other things, I am post comic-con broke so I am spending a lot of time at home catching up on movies and TV and I also started playing Team Fortress 2. If you haven't added me on Steam yet my handle is brendoman (duh). I am having a lot of fun running around not knowing how to play really. I am also almost done re-reading all of the Harry Potter books, which only took about a month. I also re-watched all the movies. Harry Potter is awesome. That's pretty much what is up with me. What is up with you guys?

posted by brendoman | 07/24/12| 09:58:00 am| I'm a Big Geek, Anything Else, Comics| 2 comments »


Sunday Comic-Con Schedule Highlights

Comic-Con 2012 :: Programming Schedule

10:00-11:00 Fringe Screening and Q&A? Fringe returns to Comic-Con for its farewell panel to celebrate its fifth and final season. Series stars Anna Torv (The Pacific), Josh Jackson (Dawson's Creek), Lance Reddick (Lost), Blair Brown (Altered States), Jasika Nicole (Take the Lead), and John Noble (The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King), along with executive producer J. H. Wyman (Keen Eddie), offer a Q&A with fans and an exclusive video presentation. Don't miss the discussion about the climactic conclusion of this critically acclaimed thriller. From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8c on FOX. Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 4. Hall H

11:00-12:00 Digital Comics Price Fight? Every one is talking about what the "right" price is for digital comics. Should it be full price for same day as print, or should every comic be 99 cents a la iTunes? The conversation has been heated online and today it jumps into the physical realm! Join legendary comic writer Mark Waid, webcomics innovator and PvP creator Scott Kurtz, IDW Publishing's ePublishing director Jeff Webber, and Top Shelf Productions' director of digital Chris Ross for a lively discussion on the price of digital comics. Moderating this fight is comiXology's Chip Mosher. Room 7AB

12:30-1:30 BBC America's Doctor Who? The Doctor and the Ponds land in San Diego. BBC America's Doctor Who stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill join award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock) and award-winning executive producer Caroline Skinner (The Fades) for a Comic-Con panel and Q&A. As fans eagerly await the new season's premiere, BBC America is making sure Steven Moffat brings new footage to reveal on the big screens in Hall H. Ahead of the new season, BBC America will premiere new Doctor Who specials-The Science of Doctor Who, The Women of Doctor Who, The Timey-Wimey Stuff of Doctor Who, and The Destinations of Doctor Who-as part of the Supernatural Saturday programming block starting Saturday, August 4 at 9pm/8c. For those new to Who, the previous two seasons from Steven Moffat are available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. Hall H

2:00-3:00 Max Brooks: Zombie Survival 101? Max Brooks, screenwriter and author of bestselling books The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, is the world's leading authority on the defense against a ghoulish uprising! Renowned for his campus and convention lectures nationwide, Brooks comes to San Diego Comic-Con to share his insight into the rotting minds of the undead, reveal how the Zombie Survival Guide came into existence, and field questions from zombie-phobic fans! You dare not miss this lecture -- your very life may depend on it! Room 7AB


2:15-3:15 Buffy Turns 20: Celebrating 20 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Once upon a time, Buffy Summers became the Slayer, the Chosen One who proved a young heroine could battle the forces of darkness instead of playing damsel in distress. Stars from the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Nicholas Brendon, Clare Kramer) join forces with Dark Horse editor Scott Allie, writer/producer Jane Espenson, illustrator Georges Jentry, and the original Buffy herself (Kristy Swanson, star of the 1992 motion picture), not to mention a surprise guest or two, to celebrate 20 years of slayage. Room 6BCF

3:00-4:00 Axe Cop? Ethan Nicolle (Bearmageddon, Chumble Spuzz) discusses the growing world of Axe Cop, including the new President of the World miniseries from Dark Horse comics and his involvement the TV show in production at FOX. With a possible appearance in person or digitally from his brother/co-creator Malachai Nicolle plus possible surprise guests. Room 6DE

3:45-4:45 Drew: The Man Behind the Poster? Screening a premiere clip from the feature-length documentary about movie poster artist Drew Struzan, which includes exclusive interviews with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, and many others. Followed by a Q&A panel that will include artist Drew Struzan, actor Thomas Jane, director Erik P. Sharkey, producer Charles Ricciardi, composer Ryan Shore, co-cinematographer and supervising editor Greg Boas, editor Jeff Yorkes, Stephen Saffel of Titan Books, and Zach Martin of Skywalker Sound Studios. Room 5AB

4:00-5:00 Full-Time Creative Work on a Part-Time Schedule? Learn the secret to using part-time collaboration to achieve full-time results! No matter which industry (comics, illustration, movies, design, animation, costuming/cosplay), breaking into today's media is a full-time job, even if you have only part-time hours to accomplish it. Topher Davila (art director, GeekdomWear.com), Aleister Gilgrim (head of product for Readz/Star Labs Ltd), Sean Glumace (digital arts instructor at Golden West College), Tara Strand (co-founder, Gotham Public Works), Mario Martinez (co-creator, TomatoTV.net), Kevin Flessing (TheGeekGirlProject.com), Ron Coleman (molecular geneticist and writer), Jody Patterson (main contributor, RatBoxProductions.net), Cat Smith (voice actress, CatSmith.net), and moderator Chad Welch (illustrator, ChadWelchArt.com) talk about how they successfully juggle time between the creative and business sides while being involved in goal-oriented groups and discuss the process, pitfalls, and potential of part-time collaboration from their experiences in illustration, writing, design, animation and costuming/cosplay from a variety of levels of administration and sizes of organizations. Whether you're a hobbyist or looking to go pro, if you struggle with deadlines, need help finding collaborators, want to know how to effectively work with a team without mortally wounding each other, or simply want to know how to get your foot in the door, this panel is for you! Room 24ABC

That last panel is my buddy Topher's panel. I highly recommend checking it out. Other than that, the only thing I really care about on Sunday is Doctor Who. This will be my first Doctor Who panel. I am so excited! I will be waiting in line bright and early with a bunch of my friends so Sunday should be fun! Now all there is left to do is double check my packing list and play the waiting game. See you in San Diego!

posted by brendoman | 07/02/12| 11:45:00 am| I'm a Big Geek, Comics| Leave a comment »


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