Show #031: Buttafuoco Pants

boomboxThe thirty-firstnd episode of our podcast, Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average), is now online.

This week’s episode: dissecting the Fake Joss Whedon Birthday Onslaught (and the possibility of a real Joss Whedon sighting); engineering a geeky train wreck; our imminent switch to cloud hosting, and what that means for your donations; the joys of Buttafuoco Pants, the Harlem Globetrotters, and other great gifts; and popping balloons and Ronaldi Modaldi. Also, be sure to check out on Friday, March 13th!

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: Tell us about a particularly memorable (for good or ill) birthday memory and/or present.

Featured post-show song: “Where is the Cake?” – Matan Ariel & Friends

Show #031: Buttafuoco Pants (Some content NSFW)


Enjoy the podcast? Maybe donate, why don’tcha?


  1. Julie
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Operation Blue Mountain was great fun, and I’m really looking forward to the next minion task! Are we going to get a chance to see some of the cards the minions sent?

  2. Julie
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    And look at me forgetting to do the audience participation part. I don’t really remember this particular birthday party very well, but it’s really the most memorable of all of them because of the pictures taken. I was turning 5, and I hated having my picture taken at that time, so I’m angrily looking at my mother in every single picture. I had all kinds of kindergarten friends at my party giving me confused looks like, “It’s your birthday, why aren’t you happy?” And during the presents portion of the pictures, I’m hiding my face with the presents. Looking back, it’s really hilarious, but my mom has told me that she was just as angry with me that day as I was with her.

  3. Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Hey, I’ll give you a twofer – a great gift AND a birthday memory. One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was from my husband when we were still dating. He bought me a special edition copy of the book The Princess Bride just because he thought I would like it. No occasion. That’s my favorite type of present. (Runner up: a homemade Joe Versus the Volcano soundtrack, complete with cover art, liner notes and a custom CD label.)

    Birthday memory: When I was maybe 12 or 13, our neighbor made me a doll cake, where the doll is in the center with the cake as her skirt. My older brother went to cut the cake and was sawing away at it in a way that one shouldn’t to cut mere cake. I should explain that when one makes a doll cake, one puts a paper plate in between the cake layers to hold the doll up until the frosting can hold it in place. Our neighbor had frosted the entire cake and forgotten to take the plate out.

    P.S. I would like to direct my server donation to the “New Song” fund, please. 🙂

  4. Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    P.P.S. I somehow missed out on Operation Blue Mountain, even though I’m a Minion and on the email list. I hope I don’t miss future Minion mission missives! 🙂

  5. Posted March 11, 2009 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    My birthday is two days after Christmas, so I don’t really have many memorable birthday moments for good or for ill because it was always overshadowed by Christmas. The only party I can actually remember is a dual birthday party for me and a friend who lived near my grandparents’ house who had the same birthday as me. It was at McDonald’s, back when they actually hosted birthday parties, and my mother had made a Pac Man cake with a little blue ghost with the part of the round cake she had to remove to make it Pac Man.

  6. Posted March 11, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The Swanky Frank story reminded me of the time my friends and I threw a Birthday Party at McDonald’s for my friend Pat Dodge. The McDonald’s had a deal where you could schedule a birthday party VERY cheaply … like 10 bucks for the cake plus $2 per kid. (This was 30 years ago!) For this, McDonald’s provided a hamburger, drink and party favors for each kid; plus the cake, balloons and party games. This was designed with preschool kids in mind. But we were intentionally zany High School Juniors with a strong sense of irony and no sense of shame. I remember the McDonald’s employee saying, “Do you really need me to lead the party games?” And of course, we did.

  7. Cybermudgeon
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I attempted to participate in Operation Blue Mountain, but it appears that my e-card disappeared in the ether (e.g., never received notice that it had be received and read). I am filled with shame, and will beat myself about the head and shoulders with bacon until The Overlords tell me to stop.

    Thankfully, I’ve never had a bad birthday experience. One of the nicest (as I look at it in hindsight) occurred during a family vacation ride through southern New Mexico. We had dinner in some little local restaurant, during which I had to use the restroom. On the way back, I noticed my parents talking to the waitress…sure enough, a little later I was presented with a dessert and a song. As a little kid, I felt embarrassed but enjoyed the dessert. 🙂 Now that I’m older, I appreciate it much more than I did then.

  8. Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    First of all, thanks for the reassurances re: the “trying too hard” issue. 🙂

    Storm, I think Operation Blue Mountain was a great idea! MitchO, thanks again for the heads up for those of us who didn’t get the e-mail.

    My portion of the server fund $ = put towards whatever you want, particularly if what you want is “Paul and Storm have even more concerts in Michigan.” (Where, of course, you’ll get even more of my money; it’s a win-win situation, guys.) 😉

    As far as gifts, one of my favorites is one that my husband (then fiancé) gave me for my birthday in 2007. He told me that we were going away for the day, but he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. Our destination turned out to be the Steam Railroading Institute and it involved a ride on an steam-engine train. Now, this may not sound like a big deal, but I *LOVE* trains of all sorts (especially steam-powered ones). It was a really cool experience, and a thoughtful present.

    I can’t think of any specific bad gift experiences aside from the year where I accidentally found my dad/stepmom’s Christmas shopping list. Under my name it said: socks, underwear. Under my brother’s: Sega Genesis. It turned out that the Genesis was actually for both of us, but I remember feeling terrible in the days leading up to Christmas when I thought they loved him more.

  9. Posted March 11, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    MitchO, thanks again for the heads up for those of us who didn’t get the e-mail.

    Ah. So, that’s the price I pay for my hiatus from the social networking. :-p

  10. Simalot
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who don’t understand Hebrew and want to capture the deep, beautiful meaning of this week’s song, here goes:

    There’s no, no, no partying without, without, without cake
    Where, where, where, where, where, where, where, where is the cake?

  11. Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Matan Ariel & Friends? I have a CD of theirs of Israeli Memorial Day & Independence Day songs. I wasn’t aware they recorded in English.

  12. Posted March 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Did you say overlord? You meant protector… Sorry, cheesy Coulton reference.

    Yeah Paul FTW – happy firbday.

    I have run a checked, Veronica is running “Apache/2.2.3” you guys are as well, albeit yours identifies itself as “Apache/2.2.8 (Ubuntu) PHP/5.2.4-2ubuntu5.4 with Suhosin-Patch mod_ssl/2.2.8” so actually you guys win.

  13. Alana Duran
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    My sweet sixteen was probably the worst birthday I’ve ever had. One of my friends thought it would be funny to fill my locker with condoms and lubricant- and of course the Vice Principal had to be walking by at that exact moment. Another friend gave me hair dye because I had a serious case of “ugly face”. The topper was my mother’s gift: a bag of assorted socks and a few packs of ramen and the classic “muwhahahaha- you’re never getting your driver’s license while you live under my roof!”

    The best gift, however, was just a simple chain necklace my boyfriend gave me. I still wear it everyday.

  14. Caroline S
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I missed the news about Operation Blue Mountain (and I’m a centurion) but it was fun hearing about it.

    My most memorable birthday memory is that of my only true birthday party (age 7) in which I invited everyone I knew and 1 person showed up. No one had even informed me that they would not be coming and my mom went all out on the food and decorations just to have no one come. Since that day, 11 years ago, I have never had a real party.

  15. Posted March 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh, jeez. Alana’s story reminds me of my own “sweet sixteen” party. A few days before my sixteenth birthday, my mom left for a weekend trip to northern CA with her then-boyfriend. That evening, she calls from the road and tells me that they’re in Vegas. Beat. Beat. I say, “Are you in Vegas for what I think you’re in Vegas for?” The answer is yes, and please don’t tell your brother and sisters (who are all living on their own at this point). So after they get back, they decide to throw a wedding-reception-slash-sweet-sixteen party. Yeah. How weird is that? The only detail I seem to remember about it is that there was some really good seven-layer bean dip. :-S

  16. Zach Totz
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys, I’ve got the recording from the show in Ann Arbor online finally.

    No covers yet, but here’s the Paul and Storm set:

    And the main show:

    The titles for the whole thing is “It’s Better Than Pontiac: Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm – Live at the Ark (Ann Arbor, MI – 3/6/09)”.
    The individual sets have the titles “A Bottle of ‘Aww’: Paul and Storm – Live at the Ark (Ann Arbor, MI – 3/6/09)” and “Two Meme Audience: Jonathan Coulton – Live at the Ark (with Paul and Storm in Ann Arbor, MI – 3/6/09)”.

    Covers will be coming when I can get a couple things either scanned up or a good photo of the full thing’s “longbox” style cover.

    Let me know if “Someone is Crazy” got screwed up, I’m afraid it might’ve uploaded wrong or incomplete or something.


    As for the audience participation thing:

    -Best Birthday Present: The Beatles “The Beatles” (the White Album for those who don’t know). I was 10 at the time. It kicked so much ass. Now that my musical tastes are much wider and deeper, I STILL consider it the greatest album ever recorded.
    Runner-up 1: Death Star AND Millenium Falcon miniature figure playsets. For my 6th Birthday. (They would be #1 but a lot of the tiny pieces got lost pretty quickly and they eventually accidentally got broken while the White Album is still in great shape and gets a lot of listens.)
    Runner-up 2: An acoustic guitar. 12th Birthday. I never got lessons and have terrible dexterity in my fingers or that would probably take the #1 spot as well.

    -Worst Birthday Present: A couple scratch-off lottery tickets with incomprehensable rules. That was for my birthday this year (20th Anniversary [of my Birth]).

    -Best Birthday Memory: Major Magic’s (a Chuck-E-Cheese type place) was rented out by parents/grandparents for a few hours. Video games, pizza, and creepy singing animatronic critters galore! 7th or 8th Birthday.

    -Worst Birthday Memory: Having to spend my 17th Birthday “Party” with relatives I barely know at a boring restaurant with crappy food. No presents at that dinner either. There was cake, but it was neither delicious or moist.

    -Best Birthday Cake: This year. A mint ice cream cake from Coldstone.

    -Worst Birthday Cake: Also this year. A half-assed cupcake with an unlit candle on it (had seperate parties and celebrations due to a split family).

    -Most Awesome Mundane Thing I Did on a Birthday: Registered to Vote (on my 18th Birthday).

    -Suckiest Mundande Thing I Did on a Birthday: Algebra Test, 14th Birthday.

    -Most Awesome Present That I Didn’t Recieve But Later Found Out I Could’ve Gotten: Tickets to see David Bowie on his Reality Tour (2003-2004). 14th Birthday. My mom planned to get a pair and take me, but she hesitated too long and both nights he was in town were sold out.

  17. Zach Totz
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I forgot to mention a 4th place for best present that would certainly qualify as pure awesome: $100 Shopping Spree at a Mall. (15th-18th Birthdays, $80 on my latest birthday). Only not pure win because of the way-too-high crappy prices at malls that prevent me from coming home with loads of awesome stuff.

  18. MitchO
    Posted March 12, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    For the record, Erin and Colleen are talking about the Minions of Paul and Storm Facebook group: . I will continue to try to disseminate information on Minion tasks as they occur there, feel free to come and join us!

  19. MitchO
    Posted March 12, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    When I was 11, my mother announced that I needed a new mattress for my bed, and that grandparents had “volunteered” to purchase said mattress. For my birthday. As a present. In case it isn’t obvious to everyone, clearly my opinion is that you do NOT buy an 11 year old child a MATTRESS as a BIRTHDAY GIFT. This is like getting the ultimate socks and underwear package, and by ultimate, I mean even worse. I pitched the biggest fit I remember myself ever having, until they relented and said “Fine! They’ll get you a toy gift instead!” I had won.

    The amusing thing, to me, is that not only did they not purchase the mattress as a gift, but I actually NEVER ended up getting a new mattress. I think a few years later I got a hand me down mattress from an Uncle.

  20. Zombie Charles
    Posted March 12, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I never noticed the echo but now that you’ve mentioned it I can hear it on Paul’s voice all the time. And it does vex me.

    I don’t suppose your uber-mixing software has a button you can push to suppress echo?

  21. Posted March 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Ok, birthday stories (I just actually listened to the podcast – I had to put Kate on a plane home first):

    1. Freshman year of college. My father drives down from Northern Virginia, as does my high school friend Noura and her father. It’s early April, it’s 90 degrees in Williamsburg, so we decide to go to Virginia Beach. By the time we get to the beach, the temperature has dropped 40 degrees and it is freezing.

    2. Sweet Sixteen – my friends and I decide to hang out at Reston Town Center. Just recently, the police had busted a teenage prostitution ring using Reston Town Center as their place. So we’re standing around, hanging out, talking – and suddenly, up comes a cop, worried that we’re all teenage prostitutes.

    Wow – I just listened to the song…it is in Hebrew. Never mind the previous comment. Do either of you actually understand the words? I can translate if you want.

  22. Posted March 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    For my 11th birthday, I wanted a pony or a pie in the face. Tough choice for the parents right?

    I wore a black trash bag over my clothes and stood in the backyard while all my aunts and uncles and cousins chanted “PIE! PIE! PIE! PIE!” There was a dramatic countdown, and my mom laid it on me. It was coconut cream and very delicious.

  23. Posted March 13, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    @Colleenky: I was avoiding work by visiting Cake Wrecks, and this post made me think of your doll cake memory: Doll Cake Wrecks

  24. Robin
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Paul, I’m glad you enjoyed your Whedon-y birthday festivities.

    Gifts, while always appreciated, come and go. But my very favorite birthday memory is from my 19th. A bunch of friends/dorm-mates took me out for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. At the end of the meal, I was presented with an enormous slab of chocolate “cake” (actually more like fudgy mousse) and the waitstaff sang Happy Birthday. In Italian. In three-part harmony. And then we went to see some more friends in a campus sketch comedy show. The next night, my boyfriend at the time took me out to a fancy restaurant at the top of a very tall building. The food was amazing, there was a live jazz band, and a great big full moon was shining right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. Many birthdays before and since have been fun, but nothing has compared to that one. (Yet.)

  25. Posted March 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Hey I don’t remember if it was here or in last cast where you recommended the works of John Scalzi the sci-fi author, but I contacted the author himself via Facebook and asked him for a recommendation of where to start having never read anything he’s ever written and he recommended “Old Man’s War.” Just thought I’d pass that info along.

  26. Ann
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Once again, much thanks to MitchO for not only making the Minion Facebook group, but for spreading the Operation’s news to those of us who didn’t get emails. No Minion left behind!

    The thing with my birthday is that since it is at the very end of April (for those of you who want to get me a present) is that for much of HS and college there always seemed to be something else going on: dress rehearsals, concerts, studying for exams, taking finals…) where it got to the point of me giving up, going “whatever” and not really doing anything to celebrate. So at my 1st job out of college, 3 of us had b-days within a few weeks of each other. While I was busy plotting against them, they teamed up to get me:

    When I walked into work on my birthday, they had entirely gift-wrapped my area, and I mean hard-core wrapped: individual books on my bookshelf, stacks of paperwork, file folders, my t-squares, cork board, art supplies, pens, photos, all of my toys…everything individually wrapped. Inc. the phone and the handset which they taped down so every time I tried to answer the phone it would hand up on people. It took me hours to dig out. Then they hid a boatload of super bouncy balls in my top cabinet and I’ll leave that scene to your imagination. Later that night they took me to happy hour for my 1st b-day party in years. And yes, I got them both back on their birthdays.

  27. Posted March 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Ann: My birthday is at the beginning of September. I can’t tell you how many school years started on my birthday, including my first year teaching!

  28. Posted March 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Ann: My birthday is at the beginning of September. Several school years started on my birthday, including my first year teaching!

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