Show #094: Flophouses and Cat Herders

The ninety-fournst 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: we break down the general process that goes into choosing w00tstock locations, which seems to mostly involve herding cats, soliciting the philanthropy of billionaires, and puzzles; picnics and carnivals, and the not-funness of them; fruit muck; and Storm’s lengthy hotel nightmare tale.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: What things do you do that are supposed to be fun, but actually aren’t? Also, do you have any hotel nightmares?

Show #094: Flophouses and Cat Herders



  1. Posted August 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Bring w00tstock to Jaffrey, New Hampshire! I’ll give Storm 2 dollars, Adam $1.50, Wil 25 cents (His recent defection knocks off a quarter), and Paujl, well throw him in for free.

  2. Oluutaa
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I play WoW. It’s supposed to be fun, but it’s incredibly tedious and I hate it. Damn you addiction!

  3. Grahm
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Hotel Nightmare: Stayed at a Motel 6 wherein my room contain exactly one light bulb. I had to unscrew it from the living room lamp and take it to the bathroom with me. Bonus points for irony if you remember Motel 6’s slogan…

    Fun/Not Fun: I used to be addicted to Mafia Wars on Facebook. It’s not the least bit fun and I made quitting it my New Year’s Resolution. I’ve been clean for over 7 months now.

    Bring W00tstock back to the Midwest! Chicago show was epicmazing! Play St Louis, Iowa City, Quad Cities, DeKalb, Chicago and Milwaukee and I’ll follow you like hippies follow the Grateful Dead.

  4. Posted August 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for answering my question on the podcast. Paul pronounced my name SO GOOD.

  5. Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I have two hotel nightmare stories. #1 My brother was driving us home from our colleges. His car started having trouble late at night. He wanted to just pull over and sleep in it until morning, but we were in the middle of nowhere and I was a bit too spooked to do so, so I insisted we find a hotel. The hotel nearest us was disgusting. The orange shag carpet was sticky, the towels were a bit too. We had to share a bed. Once we settled in, the headboard in the room next to ours started banging on our wall, accompanied by moaning sounds. Ick ugh.

    #2 My husband and I were flying with a stopover in Atlanta. Our flight was late and we missed our connection. It was after one in the morning when they gave us hotel vouchers and sent us and many others off to wait for the shuttle bus. The shuttle bus took a looooong time to arrive. It was full already so we had to wait some more for another one. We waited 45 more minutes and finally got on to go to the hotel. It was around 20 minutes to the hotel. The hotel was pretty bad, and we only had about an hour and a half before we had to get up again to catch a shuttle back to the airport for the morning flight. We were pretty grumpy about it but managed to settle in for a nap. We were just drifting off when a large bug crawled across my husband’s face; his yell woke me up, of course. Somehow we did manage about a 45 minute nap before having to get up again. It was helllllll.

  6. PAul Chamberlin
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Hotel story… A whirlwind trip to the Orlando theme parks ended with a planned one night stay near the airport. I drove my family to the hotel, checked them in and left to return the car to the rental yard. Rental shuttle took me back to the hotel. Not realizing he had dropped me next door at an identically built, but abandoned hotel! Same drive, same pool, same door… just empty & locked! These hotels were built back to back, both facing the same highway, one facing the northbound lanes and the other south. I had a really creepy walk around the abandoned hotel to where my wife and kids were. Turns out… the room we had checked into had no A/C so in the intervening half hour I was messing with the car, my wife had switched rooms. No cell phones at the time. The adventure didn’t end there though… at 2 AM, housekeeping started vacuuming the room above us. An angry call to the desk garnered an apology and the excuse, “We don’ have no other time to do it… we are really shorthanded”
    6AM came WAY too soon that morning.

  7. Paul Chamberlin
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Supposed to be fun, but really isn’t… Camping. Heat, moisture, mosquitoes, smoke, forest noise, hard ground… no fun at all

  8. Piefightery Minion
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I hate to say it but a fun yet not for me has been the Munchkin games. Its not like I’ll spill beer on it (peed or not), but it seems like it goes way too slow for my taste to actually play. I love the concept and actually find the cards themselves fun to read and look through. I can appreciate jokes like “The Gentleman’s Club” and “The Broad Sword” and LOVE the fact that it encourages ‘cheats’ by wearing T-shirts or using their bookmarks to give you extra bonuses when playing even at official events.

    It was only that I successfully ground a game night to a halt when I tried to introduce that and just stopped after maybe 10 turns to go back to the usual of Apples to Apples. I also played pickup game of Munchkin Quest at Rincon last year and even though I won, it felt way too bogged down in figuring out mechanics especially for a game that is a spoof on RPGs. I just seem to like my non-story based games to be faster paced like Bang and especially Cthulu Dice (where you can drive everybody mad in 3 minutes and then start right back up again).

    As for a hotel story, I’ve got a story from the “read the listing more carefully” department. One year when I was looking to book a room for San Diego Comic Con a few years back, I found a place that was not only in good walking distance, but was only $100/night. Awesome deal, right? Well I didn’t notice until I was printing out my confirmation as I was about to head out to San Diego that it mentioned “Common Bathrooms” and I then started wondering what I got myself into. Turns out that my single twin bed room contained basically just that, a single twin bed. There was also a small desk, chair, and dresser and the room itself was only 6’x12′. Heck, I just pulled up the website for the place and the picture of the room looks nice but doesn’t really let you know that they took a picture of the ENTIRE room and not just one small corner by the window. To top it off, only one of their two VERY SLOW and SMALL elevators was working for the duration of SDCC while the place was packed. So yeah, I apparently got what I paid for and learned something to boot.

  9. Jim M
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Must unfun fun thing ever: Corn maze.

    Ten seconds after entering we were pretty much completely lost for the day. The corn is above your head so you can’t see anything but the immediate section you’re in, making sheer luck the only thing that can get you out. This was some “advanced” maze in MA somewhere and it was huge and separated into sections with bridges and things, making the “keep your left hand on the wall and you’ll eventually escape” trick non-applicable.

    Everyone we passed was miserable, some were even crying. It was a million degrees and we had my young son, who needed to be carried, and my aging mother, whom we almost just left to die in among the corn.

    Eventually we escaped out the roped-off passage they use to carry off victims of hyperthermia and starvation.

    I thought it was going to be the Most Fun Thing Ever but every moment of it sucked.

  10. Robin (the Mini-Minion)
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Un-fun fun things — A group of my friends gets really jazzed about pub crawls, but I really don’t enjoy them. Or any activity where the end goal is drinking a lot, for that matter. I mean, I enjoy getting my drink on when hanging out with friends, but it shouldn’t be more important than the friends themselves. Plus, I tend to drink darker beer, which makes me drink slower / less and hold up the Bud Lite contingent from moving on to the next bar.

    Fortunately, I don’t have any really bad hotel stories. … Yet, I’m sure.

    Factory of Despair is my Nine Inch Nails cover band. (Man, I love this game.)

  11. Robin (the Mini-Minion)
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    @Jim M — One of my college friends keeps trying to get a group together to go to that corn maze! Now I have a first-hand account of it’s suckitude to back up my apathy. So, thanks. Your suffering will not be in vain.

  12. Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree on picnics. But Jim M’s corm maze story is awesomely unfunnny. Thanks for sharing it!

    Also, thanks for the clue-in on Eureka. Except I’m an only-OTA TV guy, so your recommendation has driven me to a life of crime. If I buy the DVDs when they come out, does that compensate?

  13. Maureen K
    Posted August 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The Strand Hotel is now a new luxury hotel in Manhattan. Not sure if that’s the same location or several blocks away. I know my boyfriend back then had poor musician friends who did some time living there.
    That was an awesome story, and a great suggestion!

  14. Posted August 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    For folks just finding Eureka, be sure to also watch from the beginning: this season is a bit of a…reboot. Knowing the original stuff makes this season much funnier (esp. Fargo).

    Dammit Paul, it took me 20+ years to get that damn Milford Plaza commercial out of my head and now…arrghhhh!!

  15. Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Ann; if you’re new to Eureka, you owe it to yourself to check out the earlier seasons of the show.

    Something that is supposed to be fun that isn’t: lady parties. By that I mean “parties” where someone is trying to sell jewelry/food/Tupperware (sorry, Paul). They never end up being as fun as the hostess thinks they’ll be. I either feel guilted into buying something I don’t need/want or feel like a cheapskate for being the only one who doesn’t buy something. How is that fun?

  16. Robin (the Mini-Minion)
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    @Erin — I mostly agree about “lady parties”. (Excellent moniker for them, too. Reminds me of Sarah Haskins’s ‘Target Women’ segments from CurrentTV.) The one exception I’ve encountered was a friend’s bachelorette party, which was a combination wine tasting and lingerie/adult toy party. Being much less skittish about such things than some, I had a great time watching many of the other women squirm when samples of the merchandise were passed around. Ah, schadenfreude. 🙂

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