Greetings From Indy

Wow! What a year! Well, hello from my new home in Indianapolis! Bob and I have seen a ton of growth in listeners and podcast participants, we've seen another year of success on our Discord, and we've met a ton of new people. 

A few of the cool things that we've seen and experienced so far (this isn't exhaustive, and I know I'll forget stuff): 

  1. We've seen our podcast, "25 Years of Vampire: the Masquerade - a Retrospective," grow in size tremendously in the last year. We have over 100 Patreon backers, over 25,000 RSS subscribers and more than 200 members on our Discord! For some people, that's nothing. But for a little podcast about V:tM, we think that's huge! We've really been blown away by how engaged the community seems to be and we've met so many great, creative, kind and awesome people since we started this 2 years ago! 
  2. Everyone has moved away! Yes, that's right, we are all in different locations now. After nearly 10 years in the same old apartment in the Chicago suburbs, the Labs have taken up new residency. Nathan now represents the Eastern faction of UML in Indianapolis, with Bob keeping his roots in Chicagoland! We make it work through the power of the internet! 
  3. Nerd Words has had its 3rd birthday! Yes, the podcast that started the whole deal is still going strong, mostly because we're unwilling to give up! It continues to grow and draw interest, and it will be around for a good, long time! 
  4. Gen Con 2018 and the UML meet-up! We finally got it together and had our own fan meet and greet at Gen Con 2018! A bunch of our listeners came out to show support, play some rock-paper-scissors and win some cool prizes. Folks from California, New Jersey and even Belgium came to hang out and get nerdy! Pictures will be included below. 
  5. We are swiftly approaching the finale of 25 Years of V:tM, but that DOESN'T mean we're done with the podcast! We will need to change the name, but we'll still be your regular Nate and Bob! Coming early 2019, Dark Ages Vampire! We can't wait to explore all the history of Vampire: the Masquerade and the origins of the Camarilla and the Sabbat! 
  6. Speaking of those two august sects, V5 is out and for sale! Man, we didn't even remotely think that we'd get to see our favorite game have the sort of revival it has, let alone, we'd get to be there when a brand new edition launched! It's been awesome to experience! Check out our V5 review on Youtube or here on the site!
  7. Nathan is working as a broadcasting professional. This is all we are at liberty to discuss. 
  8. We've started a brand new podcast, "Playing Hooky Podcast," with our newest Labs technician, Rachel. As a full-time nerd, she is highly qualified to lead the PHP team to success. 
  9. We've had the opportunity to meet a ton of great artists, writers, storytellers, podcasters and gaming industry professionals over the last year. It's been incredible to make new friends, interview and just chat with some cool people like Matt Webb and his awesome team over at JackalopeLARP, Chad Parish from Dead Games Society (I love playing a Prince at a D&D convention and I'd do it again in a second!), Dixie Cyanide and Mathew Dawkins (who has gone so far as to actually call us entertaining!) from Onyx Path Publishing, Jason Carl and Dhaunae De Vir from White Wolf, Conan from Voluta Tattoo, and so, so very many other people from all over the world! 
  10. Speaking of Jackalope LARP, we will be heading to their Blockbuster LARP, The Night in Question, in November. Nathan will be getting on an airplane for the first time. Shut up. 

Here's to another year of gaming, growth, podcasts, art and friendship with all of you cool people! We've had an awesome year so far and it's all because of you! Keep you eyes open for more new stuff, interviews, podcasts and adventure in 2018, 2019, and beyond! 

Check out some of our pictures from Gen Con 2018 Below! 

We don't hate D&D

In the last couple of days, it was brought to our attention that some comments we made in a previous podcast may have been degrading and kind of marginalizing to our fans that play and enjoy Dungeons & Dragons. After careful consideration, I’d like to apologize to anyone who took offense to our statements. We both got our start roleplaying with D&D, and as time has gone by, we’ve drifted away from the game. While we may have said some disparaging remarks or seemed back-handed about the game, we truly come from a place of love. I assure you, we don’t think any less of you or anyone who chooses to play any game we might not enjoy. Our remarks were not intended to denigrate fantasy role-players or any of our listeners.

I thought it would be important to share the correspondence I received from a listener who took exception to our remarks. Included is our conversation:


Name: Lucas Greene

Subject: Backhanded Apologies

Message: I'll start this off by saying I really enjoy your analysis of the WoD books. It's obvious you have a lot of passion and knowledge about the subject and it has been great getting a history lesson about the system I've been playing for the last decade.

That being said, I really want to address your commentary at the end of your Gangrel episode about Dungeons and Dragons. Your earlier commentary on Dungeons and Dragons exactly what you proclaimed it to be, disparaging of the system but not the people playing it (outside of the Professor Frink voice). Your apology/explanation, on the other hand, was condescending and significantly more offensive.

I understand your commentary about Dungeons and Dragons being a system with too many charts and not enough moral grey area or encouragement of nuanced roleplay. Those comments are absolutely true. However, your soapbox basically concluded with "I pity people who play Dungeons and Dragons" and "Dungeons and Dragons is for people who aren't mature enough to play REAL roleplaying games." You of course followed this with what came off as "and if you don't like it, fuck you, I say I'm right."

I think the thing that pisses me off the most, however, was your ending comment of "we're all the same here." Your soapbox made it very clear that you don't agree with that, that you consider yourself better than those other nerds.

It may not have been meant to come off that way, but it did. I have two short replies. One, you stated in earlier episodes "each to his own," even mentioning more explicit games like Warhammer with more respect, and I would respect your right to your opinion a lot more if you held it consistent. Two, it really seems like your issue is more with modules and the stereotype of D&D than the game itself. I'm sorry your dungeon masters weren't up to the task of telling a nuanced story. I've seen plenty of ham-fisted WoD storytellers who drove everything to mass combat, and plenty of D&D dungeon masters who knew how to promote character development and nuance.

I'm not expecting for you to change your opinion of D&D, but I hope that you take a moment to think before you make these types of statements in the future. If you want to continue saying "fuck off," then I'll be happy to find something else to listen to (and potentially donate to) that isn't going to shit on me.

UML:
You're absolutely right.
I could say something to the effect of, "if you knew us, you'd know we come from a place of love," but that really doesn't cut it. Our statements being what they are, our intent - my intent - is not to alienate. Having said that, I offer you a sincere apology for offending you. We will address this. I don't want my brand or product to be known for shitting on what others enjoy. That's not the point or goal. Sometimes, we forget that we aren't just shooting the shit with our buds in the living room. I will personally make it my goal that this doesn't happen again. I appreciate your patronage and loyalty, and hope to keep you as a fan.

Know this, at least half of us spent our Saturday night playing D&D.

Thank you for being forthright about this.
Sincerely,
Nathan

 LG:
Nathan,
I appreciate the quick and candid response. I totally understand where you're coming from, and I hope to get to get to know you better continuing to listen to your podcasts. This kind of response definitely helps show your character.
Thanks,
-Lucas


UML:
No problem. We are opinionated, to be sure, but that doesn't mean we have to make people feel inferior for what they enjoy.  Thank you for bringing it to our attention. 


For our fans, I want to reiterate, we do not intend to alienate or offend any of you. If we’ve done so, it has been unintentional and we are deeply sorry for it. In the grand scheme of podcasting and just spewing words for hours on end, offending someone is virtually unavoidable. Having said that, it’s not our goal to overtly (or covertly, for that matter) offend our fans. Our promise to you, the listener, is that we will make the greatest effort to refrain from making you feel like you’re unwanted. Our request to you, our listener, is that you please let us know if you feel this way.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a fan.

Nathan
Utility Muffin Labs  

Updates!

   This image has nothing to do with this update!   Movieposter.com

This image has nothing to do with this update! Movieposter.com

So, I know what you're thinking, "What's the point of a blog if you never update it?" Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. Well, it's been almost ten months without an update to this blog, and that just will not do! 
So let's just get into the damn updates already. On the podcast front, things are going well. We are consistently posting one new Nerd Words a week, and have been now for quite awhile. We are about to record episode 54 this coming Friday, October 21st. We appreciate all of you that listen and share it regularly, and your comments are always welcome. When doing this sort of home-grown production, fan support is super important. We currently spend about $1000 dollars a year of our own money, give or take, and thus far we have not made a penny from doing this. That's okay. As much as we'd love to do what we do professionally, it has not turned into that yet. Podcasting remains a labor of love. 
As of this moment, our biggest task is to generate interest and fans. We continue to push out our product, however goofy or crude it might be, in hopes that new people discover it and enjoy what we do. You, the close personal friends or family, are integral to that process. Online entertainment is very much a communal endeavor; if you enjoy it, spread it around! 
We've recently started a new podcast as well. We got a bug up our butts (thanks to a brilliant, if not daunting idea from a friend) to review the entire catalog of Vampire: The Masquerade game books. We decided to start all the way back in 1991 with the very first edition of the Table-Top game book and do a podcast review for each release. This podcast is released every other week, is a bit shorter than our standard podcast and is a little bit more structured that what you might be used to if you are a current fan of Nerd Words. This is done intentionally. We wanted to create a product that showcases our ability to produce a more professional product and not just record two hours of potty humor. Give it a listen if you're into gaming, vampires, or just enjoy listening to 2 grown men in their 30's wax nostalgic. 
If you're into what we do, come and check us out at some of our other online locations. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Twitch, and Soundcloud. Eventually, we might be able to turn this happy little website into career, whatever that means. We love you all. Expect to see more consistent updates in the future. If you comment, I'll post. Deal? 

Over a Year of Conceptual Continuity,
Utility Muffin Labs

Our Muffins are considerably uniform

Hello, people who care. Blogs can be so neglected sometimes, and this one is not exception. Things just get moving, and sometimes, this little space drops off my radar. 

Here's the info, for those who need to know. 

First, I won the coveted second place spot with my video. If you're unfamiliar with my previous blog post, I had submitted a video to the Illinois Student Silver Dome awards, Presented by the IBA, which honors excellence in broadcasting among students in Illinois.  My video, which is a 30 second TV spot PSA, can be found here. It had a whopping 44 views on youtube, so give it some love and share it if you watch it. 

Next thing, I'm about to graduate from IMS. Nine months down, and I'm about to exit the scholastic portion of my broadcasting career. It has been a great time, and I've met a lot of really great people. 

On that subject, I'm about to start a production internship with Digity Media. I'm incredibly excited about this, and it should open up a lot of opportunities for me to learn and meet new people. I'm working on demo material, and I should have a new demo uploaded within the next couple of weeks. 

Coming in the next few days, you'll see a brand new podcast. This podcast will be a free-form conversation about things going on in our country, city and state. We'll chat about politics, work, news and more. I'll still be doing the Nerd Words podcast, but we'll be doing it twice a month. Check back here for more info. 

Much love and thanks for the support. 

Things are moving along...

In Utility Muffin news, I've been working on the home studio setup, and things are chugging along quite nicely. I plan on going live from home with The Metal Mortuary Radio sometime here in early October. I'll be attempting to connect the station to TuneIn, although I have yet to investigate that concept as of yet. It's very cool to be able to produce, record and edit content from home, without having to rely on other resources. 

The live stream will be available 24/7, and I'm planning on doing three live on-air shows a week, for fans of metal and extreme music. We may even do some live podcasts on the show as well, so keep that in mind. 

I'm working on setting up live calls as well, and I'll post the information about that in the near future. I'm very close to being able to do Skype interviews too, so that's very cool. 

I'm a finalist for the IBA 2015 Student Silver Dome Award which is awesome! Click the link and check it out. 

Here's the video I'm nominated for: 

I conceptualized, wrote, filmed (with Mitch Tyton) and edited the video, which stars Jamie Newell. It has a whopping 41 views on Youtube, so you should check it out! 

 

Updates, Pictures, FTA, etc.

Welcome back to the blog, friends and whatnot. It's been two weeks since last we spoke. Some things to check out: New videos in the video section, new podcasts in the Nerd Words Podcast section - including my sordid review of Full Terror Assault, new interview with Matt from Behold! The Monolith and assorted random other things. 

Here are some pictures I took during my camping trip: 

Here's the almost fully erect tent that housed two people. 

Gas powered stove boiling water in preparation for coffee. 

Inside crazy tent. 

Friday morning picture of the FTA MetalSucks stage. 

The elusive Elizabethville. 

Nuclear Age during their set on the Last.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Nuclear Age during their set on the Last.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Altered Existence During their set on the LAst.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault 

Altered Existence During their set on the LAst.fm stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Coathanger Abortion During their set on the NRR stage @ Full Terror Assault

Updates For Ya!!!

Uh oh. It's been two weeks since I've updated my blog.

I'm not slacking, I swear.

I remember a long-ago time when if I went a day without writing in my blog, I'd get crazy. I was also writing in a very different style and from a very different perspective than I write now.  Most of the stuff I write on this blog are simple updates and such, but when I was young, I was a heated, angry mess!!! 

Anyways, some things going on right now:
1. I'm working on a music video for school. Tomorrow, I start the editing process. Expect to see it soon. 
2. On the tenth, I go to the legendary Cave-in-Rock, IL for the first ever Full Terror Assault festival. I plan on taking many pictures and talking to many people. Expect to see detailed information here. 
3. Podcasts. I put two up this evening. Listen to them. Share them. 

Please tune into my metal show - The Metal Mortuary - on Tuesday and Thursday at noon CST. I'm working out a way to start posting new podcasts on my site, so stay tuned for more of those at some point in the future. 

Much love. 

AP Style News Stories

This is a recent writing assignment I did for my online class. I thought they were humorous. I had to write four 200 word AP news pieces. This is what I wrote. 

TOKYO – Giant Lizard Trounces Coast
After what was initially thought to be a powerful earthquake, Tokyo’s Kōtō City ward was rocked by a giant aquatic reptile which emerged from Tokyo Bay at approximately 4:15 a.m. today. Early reports from The Japan Times estimates the size of the creature to be nearly 122 meters tall. The damage to Kōtō City is grave, and many building have been greatly damaged or toppled.

 "Gojira 1954 poster 3" by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha) © 1954 - movie poster made by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha).. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg#/media/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg

"Gojira 1954 poster 3" by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha) © 1954 - movie poster made by Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-kaisha).. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg#/media/File:Gojira_1954_poster_3.jpg

Anonymous sources on the ground have indicated that the angry Kaiju erupted forth from the bay, emitting an ear-splitting wail, and began rampaging east towards the Edogawa River. CNN spoke with ward mayor, Ishirō Honda, who said “The God of Destruction has come to reclaim his lands! Flee! Flee!” Honda then pointed eastward and began waving the survivors away from the destruction.

It is currently unknown where the immense reptile originated from, but the internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories. One prominent site called Ocean Watch posits that the reptile is part of a government experiment gone wrong.

U.S. President, Barack Obama, authorized emergency deployment of troops to Japan this morning, to assist with Tokyo’s defense efforts. White House officials had no comment this morning on the marauding Kaiju.

 

MEGACITY –
Dozens of police were killed and many more wounded during a daring mid-day attack on Megacity Federal Building by the hacker-terrorist group known as “The Children of Zion”. Two unknown assailants raided the 34 floor structure, opening fire upon the main foyer during shift change. Shortly after the initial attack, the terrorists then commandeered a military helicopter from the roof and utilized the vehicle’s firepower to cause structural damage to the 17th Floor.  

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/tt2times/2568645910 Some Rights Reserved

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tt2times/2568645910 Some Rights Reserved

Shortly after the attack, the alleged terrorists fled in the helicopter, but seemingly lost control of the vehicle, crashing it into a nearby building located at 1204 West 16th St. Casualties have been reported there, but estimates remain foggy. The current status of the suspects is unknown.

The evening previous, federal agents and city police had captured the alleged leader of the terrorist group, known by the alias, Morpheus. An anonymous source within the city police claimed that the capture of Morpheus was the result of a months-long undercover operation to bring down the elusive terrorist organization. Our source speculated that the daring raid was to free the radical terrorist leader.

Megacity News attempted to contact Agent Smith from Federal headquarters, but he could not be reached.   

 

HEIDELBERG, Germany –
After six weeks of searching, all five of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets have finally been located. The winners of the elusive candy proprietor’s contest prepare to be the first people to tour Wonka’s site since the magnate dropped from the public eye three years ago.  The winners have been announced as: Augustus Gloop from Germany, Veruca Salt from England, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee, both from America. The fifth ticketholder has not been named. The four winners are set to appear on a nationally televised event on Saturday as part of the contest prize.

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wonka_(2908978240).jpg Some Rights Reserved 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wonka_(2908978240).jpg Some Rights Reserved 

Willy Wonka’s contest caused a flurry of media coverage as his famous candy bar became increasingly difficult to find. Thought by some to be a paranoid recluse, Mr. Wonka set out to recapture the buying public’s imagination after his long hiatus. Speculation still swirls as to where Mr. Wonka might have vanished to, and where Mr. Wonka has procured his current labor force. Mr. Slugworth, Willy Wonka’s main competition had this to say about the contest, “If Wonka wasn’t a raving lunatic, he wouldn’t have to perpetrate this brazen publicity stunt to sell his candy! Try Slugworth Chocolate!”

Mr. Wonka could not be reached.  

HOLLYWOOD –
Five people are wounded this morning after a daring jewel heist was interrupted by Los Angeles police. The culmination of a months-long sting operation by LAPD Special Affairs, the unnamed robbery suspects opened fire upon patrons of Tiffany Gems as authorities arrived. As the armed robbers fled, officers began pursuit, killing at least two suspects in the gunfight. Police officials have estimated that the robbers absconded with nearly half a million dollars in diamonds awaiting transport to Antwerp, Belgium.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MrPink.jpg Some Rights Reserved 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MrPink.jpg Some Rights Reserved 

According to Officer Holdaway of LAPD’s Vice Unit, “This operation required months of undercover work by one of our best officers. He is a hero who derailed his entire life to bring down a notorious crime boss named Joe Cabot. Now the entire case has been blundered by department mismanagement. Let’s just hope our man comes out of this alive.”

Attorneys for Mr. Cabot have denied any wrong-doing by their client, an affluent local business man. Five years ago, an associate of Joe Cabot’s son Eddie Cabot, was found in a warehouse owned by the Cabot family containing stolen merchandise. Eddie Cabot’s childhood friend, Vic Vega, was sentenced to five years in Pelican Bay Prison for possession of stolen property.      

Godzilla
The Matrix
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Reservoir Dogs

 



Update!!!

So, today I had my first show on Evolution Pop, which was a ton of fun, but utterly technically silly. We had a ton of issues with the programs and trying to learn a new sound board. No biggie though. We're hoping that at some point they add a phone in the studio so we can have call-ins. What good is a show about the unexplained if you can't have freaks call in? I'm going to fluff up the show some and upload it here for everyone (someone?) to enjoy. Next week, I plan on the topic being UFO's, and hopefully we'll have better luck staying on-topic and filling two hours. The show is every Wednesday from 4-6 PM, CST. "Tune-in" to hear me say "uh" a whole bunch! 

We're working on the Tricaster in class, and producing a 30 minute game show. I've been given (volunteered for) the duties of host. Today's dry run was exciting and fun, even though the trivia questions I cobbled together were far too difficult. I mean, they were some outright "Final Jeopardy" questions. It's cool to work in front of the camera, and to learn I really don't get nervous working on camera. I've never worked in front of an actual audience, so that could be completely different. I guess I'll find out as I go. 

I'm uploading a video to Youtube of a really silly video project we did in class last week. I got to be a guest on a mock talk show. I can't even explain it. It's too much. You'll be able to find it in the projects section of my site. 

That's all for tonight.  
 

 

This Ride

Hi all. 
So, radio show is going, podcasts are casting. Speaking of casting, I just spent the last three days learning how to use the Tricaster and having involved discussions about being a professional dolphin waxer. I'm starting internship duties at school (three days of radio shows a week.) I am going to be doing TMM twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, and I will be doing a talk show on Wednesday with a fellow classmate. It's going to be called, "The World of Weird", and it'll be about bizarre and unexplained phenomena. 

I'll most likely be posting that show online as well, and possibly be making some minor alterations to the site in the coming weeks. 

I'm hoping to do some interviews with local bands and artists, so if you've got something you want to get some coverage for or if you want to join me on my radio show, drop me a line.