It’s Nice To Be Appreciated – New Podcasting Equipment!

First – some news. Perth SkeptiCamp is now officially in the works, and it is being run by the UWA Atheists and Skeptics Society (which I’m a supporter of, since I’m not a university student there anymore; I hope to help with some small way with the event regardless).

Speaking of donations – I got a donation via Paypal. A rather significant amount, or at least it was significantly larger than anyone has donated to the podcast ever before. I’m very, very grateful for it and for the other donations, let alone being astounded that people tune into my show, enjoy it and then subscribe to it. But this big donation was a genuinely nice surprise and an enormous boost to my rather downcast mood. I consider it a shake-up to my “End of 2011 Malaise”.

Rather than make a huge fuss about it at the time (although I immediately emailed a big thanks and gave them a shout-out on my show), I thought I’d do something suitable with the donation. I’ve never had anyone donate anything to my podcasting efforts before I started the Token Skeptic show; I have brought used equipment from one podcaster, but that’s pretty much it.

Today, the final piece arrived and I felt it was right to set the whole thing up and sort out my office space to fit it in. This really felt as if it was a serendipitous windfall that I could use to not only do some good with, but also boost my spirits.

Then something I interpreted as grossly unfair (and, quite frankly, cruel) happened and I nearly popped everything back into their assorted boxes in order to post the whole lot to a friend, with a card saying “Here, why not start a podcasting career and try to contribute to skepticism – you couldn’t do worse than I did!

I loathe passive-aggressive garbage. I’d rather focus on the good and try to be a bigger person (and hopefully a better one), as I’ve been trying to do for the past year or  more. Longer than that, actually. Besides, I shouldn’t assume malice where incompetence, ignorance, misguided intentions, misunderstanding or just plain not-knowing-the-whole-story might apply… I should get a poster with that printed on it.

You can take a deep breath. You can go on a long, long walk. You can find a new song to sing along to on your iPod and delete yet another artist from your playlist, until it no longer has bad associations. Hey, it’s not 2012 and the End Of The WORLD yet, right? Sheesh, get a grip and stop typing in the third person and think that maybe it’s not YOU with the problem. Reminder: go see a movie this weekend with a friend, bitch about the world and inhale a whole bucket-full of popcorn.

Therefore, I’ve taken a photograph of what this donation has brought to me. It has lifted my spirits. It has encouraged me to continue to focus on the future, which is the new podcast project I have in the works for 2012. Which is what I’ve been doing all along, but eh, this is both practical AND symbolic with its purchase.

I now have a mixer, an actual microphone (rather than yelling at the screen to be heard by my interviewee, using the rather dodgy MacAir internal mic!) and a pop-filter. The dinosaur nose and fangs that you can see in the corner of the screen do NOT come with the package, but he does wear my earphones when I’m not using them. Here is a picture of him, reading a book.

Here is a picture of my desk – the sticky-note on the screen says “DJ Grothe: 2am. Sharon Hill: 6am. Viv Smythe: 3pm.” That was all in ONE day of podcasting. Little wonder I need better equipment if this is what my work ethic gets me…

The framed picture on the side is of Steampunk Chell (as in Portal).

Here’s the other side of my desk; you can see my “Quoting Shakespeare” poster (from the Globe Theatre, London) and the Marc Chagall print from the Guggenheim Museum. You can also see my James Randi Doll (which I was given at TAM5) and my bass amplifier.

Thank you very much again, Richard C, for donating to my podcast. I hope that I will continue to produce episodes that you enjoy and please know that it really helped me today and in the future.

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