Two Vague
Episode 22 - Familia

Episode 22 - Familia

November 24, 2021

This week Ben is joined by Marily for a special episode for the holiday season; it’s all about family (or familia en Español).  Instead of focusing on the negative histories of the holidays they choose discuss the food, traditions and personal stories associated with family get-togethers.  Marily shares her thoughts on family gatherings, making tamales, Mario Kart, and the Christmas gift she wants this year.  Ben talks about the biological classification of organisms, the Pointer Sisters, stand-up comedians, his first console, and cross-play functionality in games.

00:00:20 - Introducing hosts Ben and Marily 
00:01:47 - Ring Tailed Lemur yoga in Florida
00:03:10 - Gender of nouns and societal norms 
00:05:50 - Celebrating Marily’s heritage and family in multiple countries 
00:09:20 - Changing personal perspectives on the questionable origins of holidays
00:10:49 - Michelle Wolf’s joke about smallpox and people being offended
00:13:00 - Technology, communication and being human  
00:17:45 - Having a conversation with someone in a sea of millions of possible participants
00:20:03 - Ben’s ‘Cool Hand Luke’ interlude and… balls
00:22:18 - CFO or CEO? 
00:25:45 - Unconditional love, family, mental health, boundaries, and nuance
00:30:00 - A field of big juicy melons and the biological classification of organisms
00:33:33 - Dogs, legumes, cats, and the book ‘Systema Naturæ’
00:35:46 - The Pointer Sisters and Beverly Hills Cop
00:37:35 - Stand-up comedy: dirty or clean?
00:40:56 - Ben’s Scooby Doo impression, and “why are there so many masks?”
00:42:51 - Marily’s family food tradition… Birria and Chicharrón tamales!
00:48:34 - Fun fact: Hawaiian pizza was invented in… 
00:49:13 - More tamale talk
00:53:43 - Ben’s holiday food favorites, and signature family dish favorites
01:00:30 - Potato salad, Paul’s sausage stuffing, Ben’s weird quesadillas, and tuna salad
01:05:50 - Ben and Adam’s Atari 2600 plan… SUCCESS! 
01:08:57 - Families of game consoles 
01:10:40 - Marily’s childhood game console memories and the joys of Mario Kart
01:13:51 - Marily wants a Nintendo Switch for Christmas
01:16:01 - Talking a little bit about cross-play making console families larger
01:18:15 - Marily provides the “correct response,” and closing the show 

Episode 21 - Context

Episode 21 - Context

November 18, 2021

Due to Ben’s aging issues, there was a “pain delay” on the week’s episode, but to make up for that, it’s a jumbo sized one that goes many interesting places.  Cheyenne joins Ben this week to do some critical thinking and to talk about the word context.  Before digging in to this very dense subject, we address a pressing question from Norah about current gaming platforms.  Then after discussing social media applications, they talk about a very interesting college course Cheyenne is taking.  Ben and Cheyenne’s conversation then turns to the news… quite literally, when they critique a newspaper article on Internet Gaming Disorder.  Finally, they close the show with the topics of Dungeons and Dragons, tabletop games, LARP-ing, collectibles, and context aware gaming.

00:00:20 - Cheyenne bought a vacuum 
00:03:34 - A lengthy discussion about a game system recommendation as a “starter” for Norah
00:15:20 - Cheyenne’s thoughts on Xbox Game Pass and developer
00:17:55 - With or without the comma, “I hope that helped Norah” and on to context
00:20:10 - Cheyenne talks about the “big picture” and zooming out
00:23:00 - A side conversation about social media applications past and present 
00:27:25 - The internet “mob mentality” and ethical concerns of misinformation  
00:31:20 - The breeding ground of trolls 
00:33:45 - “… comedy, discomfort or misunderstandings”
00:38:55 - Blue’s Clues’ cousin and Cheyenne’s Engineering course  
00:42:45 - Context and software development 
00:45:50 - Bad journalism and decision quality information
00:48:40 - The impact of Mr. Thiel’s Journalism class on Ben’s critical thinking skills
00:52:03 - 1 in 20 College Students has Internet Gaming Disorder, Research Reveals
00:55:39 - What is Internet Gaming Disorder?
00:58:46 - False correlations, singling out gaming and not citing your sources
01:01:37 - 3000 students were interviewed for 75 minutes, now that is depressing
01:10:17 - How do you prefer to play video games?
01:11:45 - Ben’s D&D pickup line
01:13:47 - Cheyenne also likes playing tabletop games
01:16:55 - Cheyenne explains PvP and PvE to Norah
01:17:57 - LARP-ing and Evermore Park
01:21:40 - Amibos, Skylanders Figures and the Square Enix Lord of Vermillion arcade game
01:24:25 - Context aware, virtual reality and augmented reality games
01:28:10 - Signing off

Episode 20.?? - Supplementary Soliloquy

Episode 20.?? - Supplementary Soliloquy

November 14, 2021

On this supplemental episode 20 plus your favorite fraction less than 1, Ben soliloquizes about Ghostbusters, comedian Jake Johannsen, getting older, the psoas muscle, yoga, Goat Simulator, Guardians of the Galaxy, Psychonauts 2 and what words are coming in future episodes.

00:00:45 - Gozer worshipers and a slow moving Torb
00:02:35 - Ben’s “athletic type injury”
00:04:00 - The Suez Canal and cat yoga by proxy
00:06:25 - Odd animal yoga and Goat Simulator
00:09:00 - GOTY games for 2021- Guardians of the Galaxy or Psychonauts 2? 
00:13:10 - Coming soon to the Two Vague Podcast…
00:16:05 - Thank you for hanging in there!

Episode 20 - Agriculture

Episode 20 - Agriculture

November 5, 2021

Ben is excited about Marily’s first appearance on the show; she wants to talk about about the word agriculture!  This is a sprawling episode. Topics include: the life of a field worker, childhood stories, the 4H Club, meat sciences, experimental cornfields, pinball, and “Farming Simulator 22.”  As luck would have it, Ben just started playing “Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin” and wants to share his thoughts on it. 

00:00:20 - Introducing this week’s hosts Ben and Marily
00:01:05 - Marily reminisces about her family and field workers
00:03:14 - “The Rural Juror” and the life of a field worker
00:08:10 - Ben spends time at the farm as a youngster with Derek
00:10:19 - It works that way everywhere… on the planet
00:12:00 - Marily remembers driving to and from California
00:14:43 - Who likes lengua?
00:16:35 - Town oder and train stories 
00:19:55 - Feline alarm clocks
00:21:45 - César Chávez and Dolores Huerta
00:26:26 - The crops of Arizona and California, and the 4H Club
00:29:00 - Ben’s college stories and Meat Sciences 
00:31:58 - The experimental cornfield and… the name
00:34:30 - A quick discussion about GMOs and “terminator seeds”
00:37:02 - Marily considered pursuing a degree in an agriculture related field 
00:39:27 - Mango opens a squeaky window (seriously) and conspiracy
00:40:48 - Ben’s Mulligan Stew confusion and some 4H trivia 
00:45:08 - Not a gamer and talking about farming simulations 
00:48:37 - The tractors says hello to Ben and Farming Simulator has ethical concerns 
00:51:16 - Farming supply companies were confused about Farming Simulator 
00:54:30 - Marily bonds with clients as a caregiver
00:56:13 - Marily says the magic word and Ben talks about it
00:59:23 - An agriculture themed pinball machine
01:01:07 - The incredible detail of Farming Simulator 22
01:03:08 - The interest-free loan from slumlord Tom Nook
01:05:45 - Paul’s Christmas present? 
01:07:29 - Ben loves “Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin”
01:12:24 - Closing the show with garlic memories

Episode 19 - HORROR!

Episode 19 - HORROR!

October 28, 2021

It’s a special midnight release of our Halloween episode!  The amazing Techtic (tinkerer extraordinaire) from the Online Warriors Podcast joins Ben this week to discuss horror!  Creepy… maybe, but certainly an appropriate theme for this time of year.  We wish Norah a Happy Birthday by starting with “Questions from my Aunt!”  Techtic gets freaked out by the concept of abduction but will always protect his dog!  The conversation then moves on to their favorite horror movies.  Then they “wrap up” the show talking about horror in video games and virtual reality.  

00:00:20 - Techtic and Ben are the horrific hosts... spooky!
00:02:00 - “An army of grandmas.” What is a FPS?  What is an “open world” game? 
00:05:45 - Techtic’s examples of how not to be reckless in open world games.
00:07:55 - Aliens and Slenderman!
00:10:40 - Techtic is a dog parent… number one!
00:15:15 - Abduction and then… Fangoria magazine! 
00:19:40 - Favorite horror movies: “Pet Cemetery” and “The Serpent and the Rainbow”
00:24:10 - Techtic thinks he needs a “NOPE!” track. 
00:28:40 - Techtic’s snack strategy for long movies 
00:31:10 - “Hallucinations can be anything," and the power of the human brain!
00:34:20 - How many jump scares do you need?
00:38:10 - Scary monsters in video games, the Dead Space franchise, and Techtic’s callback
00:40:20 - Perspiration and evaporative cooling
00:43:50 - “This is going to require some explanation.”
00:45:20 - Horror in VR!
00:48:45 - When you don’t their name…
00:50:40 - Techtic’s parting words of wisdom and have a Happy Halloween!

Episode 18 - Superstition

Episode 18 - Superstition

October 21, 2021

Just in time for the Halloween season, Nerdbomber from the Online Warriors Podcast joins Ben this week to discuss the word superstition.  There will be no future ghost hunting experiences for Nerdbomber.  Both hosts are amazed with Stevie Wonder’s musical output.  Nerdbomber is fascinated by the Wendigo.  Next, a video game and sports ritual discussion.  To wrap up the show, the hosts talk about the use of tarot card game mechanics, and Ben shares a story about the time he met Queen Latifah.

00:00:20 - Introducing Nerdbomber from www.onlinewarriorspodcast.com
00:00:50 - Superstitions and Halloween stuff
00:02:45 - Norah’s question about haptics and the PS5
00:06:45 - Nerdbomber holds her breath and doesn’t believe in ghosts
00:10:10 - Ben’s old brain, the “Foam Mountains,” and Stevie Wonder
00:16:55 - “When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer…”
00:18:35 - Nerdbomber, the Wendigo, and the Chinese lantern  
00:23:10 - Ouija boards and scary movies
00:26:25 - “Everybody has a camera now”
00:29:20 - Blowing in the cartridges and good luck
00:32:25 - Hockey and sports in video games 
00:42:32 - Ben buys tarot cards for the artwork or maybe to impress girls 
00:46:50 - Sayonara Wild Hearts and that time Ben met Dana Owens
00:50:05 - Rhythm games and DDR
00:52:55 - Games that take 100 hours or more to complete 
00:55:55 - Shin Megami Tensei and Luigi’s Mansion
00:58:45 - “The World Ends With You” and “The World Ends With You Neo”
01:02:02 - Nerdbomber + 2 drinks and her parting words of wisdom 

Episode 17 - Nostalgia

Episode 17 - Nostalgia

October 14, 2021

Sammi joins Ben this week to get nostalgic about miscellaneous pop culture.  This is a heavy storytelling episode, but they eventually get to video games.  Sammie doesn’t like zip-lines or pinball machines.  Thoughts on remastered games from Sammi and Ben.

00:00:20 - Sammi and Ben start getting nostalgic
00:01:00 - The rain, the 80s, GTA, and Genesis
00:03:16 - Nostalgia… “it’s all Greek to me”
00:05:50 - Ben forgets to mention the song Summertime
00:08:10 - “Not the watermelon dude” and the 7 words 
00:11:20 - The amygdala and the country’s best yoghurt
00:13:54 - Berlin and Sammi gets in to Napster
00:17:10 - 80s music videos
00:20:14 - Ben forgets which pill to take
00:23:20 - Sammi and Ben talk about toys and movies 
00:31:51 - Sammi suggests removing the stairs and says nope to zip-lines
00:39:40 - Nostalgic movies 
00:43:26 - “Some other bitch” and N64  
00:48:41 - Tommy scarred Sammi with “abuse and beans”
00:53:01 - Game remasters
00:55:23 - Ben gushes about Psychonauts 2
00:59:51 - Crazy Taxi and putting on the bow 

Episode 16 - Creativity

Episode 16 - Creativity

October 7, 2021

Former teacher turned custom jewelry maker Rachel, joins Ben for a discussion about creativity.  In addition to her thoughts on the subject, Rachel shares how she discovered her creative niche through experimentation with different mediums and how a particular TikTok video she made went viral and jump started her business.  Ben talks about Sigmund Freud, lightbulbs, and games that make him think of creativity.

00:20 - Rachel reveals the topic with such gusto!
00:50 - Rachel passes on the first question and then pleads the fifth 
03:00 - “Body by Frost” started with a viral TikTok video  
06:00 - They are called “jib-bits” (and they are trademarked)
07:00 - Creative vs. artistic 
10:00 - Rachel’s mom is the Helen Young Frost, renown quilter
14:30 - A lesson in American Sign Language and signing songs
17:19 - “Deaf” or “hard of hearing” is not offensive 
20:42 - Fallacies and Freud 
23:42 - The interesting Astrology book title
25:53 - Rachel’s need and opportunity struggle with creativity 
29:10 - Tom the trickster
34:08 - Two stories about boxes of stinky garbage
35:47 - “What’s the deal with lightbulbs?”
38:42 - “No, she’s a lawyer”, back to lightbulbs and it’s not Benjamin Franklin
41:23 - Innovation versus creativity
43:30 - Creative writing and “The Vagina Monologues”
46:11 - The hookers and the honor system 
47:20 - Rachel cheats in the Sims in the name of creativity 
50:37 - Ben’s story about his friend Michaela and the Sims  
52:38 - “Brain Age” and typing games 
54:50 - The cake and the companion cube 
56:30 - A brief history of rhythm games 
59:26 - Ben loves Katamari Damacy!
01:02:26 - Rachel’s video game conversations with her students
01:07:28 - “Boring but nice,” and the last question
01:12:20 - Closing thoughts on creativity

Episode 15 - Substance

Episode 15 - Substance

September 30, 2021

After some pre-show lunch, Ben and Sammi talk about the what the word substance means to them.  Ben goes to the UK, buys New Order albums and acts like an ignorant American at the amusement park.  Sammi talks about the substance of people and things.  Then she shares her struggles and triumphs dealing with substance addiction.  The conversation then moves to video games and haptics.  It gets a little naughty at the end, but Sammi insists that you Google it.

00:20 - Sammi and Ben and the vegan Sonoran Hot Dogs
02:22 - Substance, but “…next time, the word ranch” 
05:10 - Ben’s “ignorant American kids” amusement park story
06:40 - Talking about 80s new wave music
10:25 - The Depeche Mode concert story and Sammi talks about the substance of a person
13:35 - Mercury not coffee and has Sammi ever done Tai Chi 
15:05 - Folding space
17:00 - Sammi talks about “Squid Game,” and Ben talks about “Only Murders in the Building”
26:46 - Sammi shares her drug and alcohol abuse stories
31:30 - Celebrating sobriety and no raves
34:45 - A solid support system is essential, and music helps
37:04 - ICD 6C51.0 and 6C51.1; a discussion about video game addiction, abuse and disease 
41:45 - Babies operating iPads and online social interactions
45:15 - Sammi loves Skyrim, COD WW2 and narative  
47:08 - The Assassin’s Creed franchise 
49:11 - Ben hates walking on ice in games 
51:05 - “Open world games have more substance than FPSs” 
53:40 - Ben talks Horizon: Zero Dawn  
54:35 - Haptic feedback rumblings in arcades and at home
01:00:15 - A discussion about vibrators and sex robots
01:01:35 - The future of haptics in video games, VR, and real life applications 
01:05:59 - Sammi’s final thoughts on the word
01:07:00 - Closing the show… “GOOGLE IT!”

Episode 14 - Achievement

Episode 14 - Achievement

September 23, 2021

Cheyenne joins Ben this week to talk about the word Achievement.  Ben shares facts on scouting, movies and how he amassed his sewing kit fortune.  Cheyenne asks about knots and wants a badge for building traps.  They both share stories about how uncomfortable it was going door to door in their youth.  A discussion on dumb and satisfactory game achievements ensues.  Ben thinks he knows what the first video game achievement was.  Cheyenne shares her definition of time traveling and opinions on why she doesn’t use exploits.

00:20 - Ben and Cheyenne: “Achievement Unlocked!”
01:55 - “… in Sans Serif font,” and Ben’s hot take on the US educational system
03:35 - Tiny house talk and Earthships
06:30 - Cheyenne is not a knot person but wants to build traps
09:34 - The Big Lebowski; the Dude is a real person 
12:24 - Nathan Arizona or Jim Click?
13:18 - Philip Seymour Hoffman and Natalie Wood 
17:45 - Exploring the definition of the word achievement
19:29 - Cheyenne plays devil’s advocate and has a pose picked out for graduation
23:36 - “What is the escape velocity of the graduation cap?” 
24:37 - Ben amasses his sewing kit fortune
27:25 - Going door to door is uncomfortable as a tweenager
29:37 - Ben’s paper route, and Cheyenne says “do people read papers?!”
32:04 - Reward yourself and Ben’s a Double Fine fanboy
34:54 - Sixteen years later…
36:16 - Pointless achievements and dumb trophies 
41:42 - Ben is mixed on his opinion of trophies and achievements 
43:38 - Cheyenne and Stardew Valley
45:28 - Ben and Cheyenne ponder; “What makes a good achievement in video games?”
47:23 - Ben’s achievement origin hypothesis… Atari 2600 and Activision PATCHES! 
49:20 - A short PSA about gamertags. 
51:43 - Cheyene’s sewing kit callback and thoughts on Gamerscore 
55:31 - Cheyene’s thoughts on speed runs and using game exploits 
59:15 - A definition of “time traveling” for Norah
01:03:01 - Cheyenne’s parting thoughts on achievements and trophies

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App