Show #107: Cheese Puffs Are for Poor People

The hunnerdseventhth 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: Storm’s been moody; Paul wants to go see Larry King’s stand-up; an exploration of “stuck songs” (or “earworms, if you will), and the extraction of same; Storm overcomes his contrarian streak to get a new Macbook Pro, which leads to a brief discussion of other previously-longed-for technology; we get all excited about our friend John Scalzi’s movie option deal; more w00tstock teasing; cheese puffs elitism; and yet another Theoretical Challenge. Also, we recommend Molly Lewis’ “An Open Letter to Stephen Fry“. (Also also: yes, we know about the hiss; should be gone after Storm gets his new recording setup running)

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: How do you get rid of a stuck song? Also: what console games have you had?

Post-show song: “Nights on Broadway“, The Bee Gees

Show #107: Cheese Puffs Are for Poor People



  1. W Klink
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    The RSS feed is broken.

  2. Aileen
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m 39, and had basically the same console path as you guys. Atari 2600 to Atari computer (800XL) at which point I graduated to text based games and played through the entire Infocom catalog. I was the neighborhood badass with a ‘printer’, which was a Brother electric typewriter and an expensive cable. I wasn’t interested in a console again until the PS2. Now I live in the future with a device that lets me flail and magically interprets it into dancing on my tv. I still occasionally yearn for Zork or Leather Goddess of Phobos.

  3. Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…La la la la la, I’m in love with lovely Johnny…


  4. Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    My gaming console timeline:

    1979: Sears Pong
    1980: Atari
    1984: NES
    1987: IBM PC Jr. (regular keyboard, not chicklet keys)
    1991: IBM PC
    1998: N64
    2000: Game Cube
    2010: Wii

    I also loved playing friends’ Commodore 64s, Intellivisions, Colecos, and Atari 4800s. I missed the SNES because of being a poor undergraduate student. Oh, somewhere in there I also had a Game Boy and Game Boy Color.

  5. Jack
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    “Yellow Submarine” all the way through once kills earworms dead.

  6. Paul and Storm
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Theoretically/hopefully, the RSS and iTunes feeds are fixed. Might take a little bit for the iTunes feed to re-propagate.



  7. W Klink
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    RSS feed still appears broken. Returns a 301 (Moved Permanently) and redirects to

  8. Paul and Storm
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    @W Klink:

    Dan, our awesome IT guy, has theoretically fixed this now. (May have been related to a WordPress upgrade) Let us know if you still have any problems.


  9. Non-specific Minion
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I’m another 1970 baby, and I also skipped from the Atari 2600 to the PS2. Nintendo was popular when I was in college and a) too busy b) doing most of my gaming on PCs. My cousin (a year and a half my senior) had an NES, and I played it a little when visiting, and several of my neighbors in the dorms had them, but I never really got into it.

  10. Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    The best earworm remover that I know is “The Final Countdown” by Europe. But then, it tends to take the place of whatever was stuck in your head to begin with, so use with caution.

    Also, crunchy Cheetos FTW (especially the Flamin’ Hot variety).

  11. W Klink
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Woo hoo! RSS is up. Thanks Dan the Awesome IT guy.

  12. Another Josh
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Hooray for the TI-99/4A! I’m 37 and my family had the following:

    Some kit computer my dad assembled
    Zenith easy PC
    NES (had to share with two younger siblings)

    N64, bought at a store liquidation sale

    Somewhere shortly after getting the TI I also took a summer computer class on Atari 800XL. I rocked that class because of my excellent typing skills from the TI Touch Typing Tutor cartridge. The later my school had a Commodore 64 lab.

  13. Andy Arenson
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, exactly. Console games just seemed limited compared to getting a computer. I’m 40.

    Had this exact conversation earlier today, by coincidence.

  14. CallieMo
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m a 43 year old (just this month) female and my console path goes something like:

    Coleco Telestar Combat (damned tanks would get stuck and spin around uselessly all the time!)
    Atari 2600 (actually belonged to my geek brother who is 7 years older than I, but I got to play some when I kept on his good side)
    PC that my now husband gave me while we were dating (he’d upgraded to something newer)(I first played Leisure Suit Larry on that thing…good times!)

    Interesting note: When I saw the Merlin as the podcast image and heard you talking about it, I remember that I *still* have mine and dug it out from its resting place in one of my desk drawers. I have to find batteries, but I’m 99% sure it still works. I used to totally kick ass on the Magic Square game on that.

    And I’m with Paul in the plain chip camp (although I like both regular and wavy chips.) My husband is a Doritos man. I can eat like one or two of those and that’s more than enough for me.

  15. KayneTower
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Best song killer is anything by “The Weebl” on newgrounds, but, as with others, they will replace existing earworms. 🙂

  16. Posted February 26, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I don’t have any specific song, I just listen to a lot of different songs.
    The quantity of music seems to work for me. Also, on an unrelated note, how long does it take to become a Minion? I sent in my picture on December 4th after the Atlanta show with JoCo, and I’m still not in the gallery.
    Just wondering.

  17. Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be 46 in 6 weeks. My path went like this:

    Merlin (I still have mine, and it WORKS last I checked.)
    Timex-Sinclaire 1000 (technically a computer and not a gaming console, but anyone who has SEEN one will know why I include it)
    TRS-80 Color Computer I (CoCoI) – also technically a computer and not a gaming console, but I had a bunch of games, and it had a slot for game cartridges. So I count it.

    And then nothing. I caught the bug of WRITING code instead of playing games, and I never really got into game consoles after that. I’ve enjoyed playing a friend’s Wii, but that’s about it.

    As far as earworms (I call them mindtracks)…you folks can CURE them? Seriously?! I literally have a constant soundtrack playing in my head (hence “mindtrack”). I get more suggestible the tireder I get, and all it takes is a couple of words or even a rhythm to infect me with a song. I get medleys where one song merges into another.

    I have yet to find a cure. There was one 13-day period a couple of years ago where I woke up in the morning with “Dance with Me” by Orleans in my head, and went to sleep with it at night. It played constantly. Nothing I tried, including the Hiroshima-level application of “It’s a Small, Small World” didn’t make a dent. Not even “We Built This City.”

  18. Posted February 28, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    (Haven’t heard the whole episode yet, just commenting on the earworm business for now).

    A year or so ago, my SVM (Song Virus Manager) got a really mean streak. I was getting “Lonely Goatherd” from Sound of Music in my head. I don’t like the song. I certainly don’t hear it very often (only when my wife wants to watch Sound of Music). I can’t (and probably don’t need to) tell you how ANNOYING that was!

    Eventually I figured out what the cause was. I had recently received a Blackberry from work and had selected a suitably jazzy alert tone for email (I’ve recently been told they can be used for voice calls, but I don’t believe it). Well, it turns out that some of the notes in said jazzy alert are quite similar in key and tempo to the first few notes of Lonely Goatherd, and my SVM riffed on that to play LG for me.

    Obviously, I had to change the alert. Pity really. I rather liked it.

  19. Attempted Overlord Co-Abrogation Minion
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I’m 42 (43 in May). I followed the same basic path as you guys, and skipped Nintendo while growing up. Didn’t actually have my own Atari, but had several friends who did; then I got a VIC-20, and my friends got Atari 8-bit computers and TI-99/4A’s and Coleco Adams, and it was all computers from then on. Never played Nintendo until I started dating my wife, who is four years younger (and has a brother four years younger still); they were smack dab in the middle of the Nintendo boom.

    However, they made a convert of me, and I have now in my adult life owned one of every Nintendo console: NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii. Plus a GameBoy, a couple DS Lites, a DSi.

    Also had and loved Merlin. “Where’s Merlin, where did it go? / Jenny’s got it playing Tic-Tac-Toe. Now where’s Merlin? When last seen / It was out with Dad playing Blackjack . . .Thirteen!” You can buy them again at toy stores – they’re quite a bit smaller than they used to be. And there are simulators online, including one written and hosted by the original creator of the circuit board.

    I have a friend who swears by “Girl from Ipanema” as the ultimate earworm-slayer. I don’t know the song well enough for it to work for me…

  20. Alma
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Earworm extractor: Brady Bunch theme song… or for those in a more instrumental mood, I also find that Take Five works well…

    Console Games:
    Atari 8600
    VTech Socrates (I think I was the only one on Earth with this one)
    Windows 3.1 (Castle of the Winds and One Must Fall FTW!!– okay, fine OMF is technically DOS)

  21. robgonzo
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    the best earworm cleanser has nothing to do with another song but more about distracting your brain.
    Try multiplying two 3 or 4 digit numbers in your head (or whatever long math problem is solvable but takes a lot of concentration). Don’t stop till working it you get it.

  22. Posted March 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Game consoles pretty much end up being the vehicle for a particular game or two I want to play. I’m 42.
    Thus, the Atari of my youth ended up being almost exclusively for Yar’s Revenge
    Then it wasn’t until my 30’s I got a PS2 for Dance Dance Revolution and Katamari Damacy. Few other games were played with it.
    Then 2 years ago we got an Xbox 360 for Beatles Rock Band. I’ve barely used it for anything else, besides Rock Band.

    (before all that my brother had Blip that I really liked, and I have this tiny handheld Tetris game I used to play constantly on long car rides in my 20’s)

  23. SisterLeo
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Loved my Merlin!!! Also played my Texas Instruments Little Professor calculator/math quizzer to death.

    Earworms: Blah Blah Blah (Ke$ha), I Don’t Feel Like Dancing (Scissor Sisters), Chicken Monkey Duck (Phirman)
    Earworm Busters: America (West Side Story), Perry the Platypus Theme from Phineas & Ferb, Pucca theme song.

    PS:Anyone remember a commercial with a “good for you” hook, ending with “good for you! nanette fabray!!!” It’s been driving me mad for weeks.

  24. John Russell
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Your Merlin there reminds me that I still have, stored in a box somewhere, a Coleco Head-to-Head Football game (

    The graphics were awesome. You were a little red dash. The opponents were identical little red dashes. You could tell your player apart from the other players because – and this is the genius bit – *they were moving in the other direction*.

  25. Posted March 25, 2011 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Your picture is seriously making me ache for my childhood.

    Now I shall go sulk.

    You suck infinity!!!

  26. Tor
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    @ the simpons indian musical
    ”Haha! It’s funny because they got different clothes than I do!”
    – Homer Simpson, Cut out Scene from, ”Homer and Apu”, Episode 1f10, Season 5, Episode 14.

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