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Colin's Last Stand: Fireside Chats

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Fireside Chats, Episode 77: Being British

I've always had an immense fascination with and respect for the British people. Their history, their customs, and the Special Relationship we here in America share with our kindred spirits across the pond. But what's it like actually being British? What is it like growing up there and living there? What do British people think of the rest of the world, and what do British people think about what the rest of the world thinks of them? (Got all that?!) To get some insight, I invited my...


Fireside Chats, Episode 76: Getting (and Staying) Fit

Please welcome Sean Clinton back to the show. Last time Mr. Clinton came by, we talked about his history growing up as an American soldier's son in Europe, and how that painted his life both personally and politically. Today's episode is quite different, though, because Sean is a professional personal trainer, and when we met the first time, I told him I wanted to pick his brain about that. This episode of Fireside Chats is dedicated to said inquiry. What's it like to help people get and...


Fireside Chats, Episode 75: The Art of Podcasting

Max Baril is a film buff with a movie podcast called Classic Movie Musts, but instead of having him on Fireside Chats to talk about the silver screen, we wanted to talk about... well... podcasting! How do you get into the world of podcasting? What kind of equipment is necessary? How do you publish your work, find an audience, and sustain interest? How do you make a living doing it? This episode of Fireside Chats is dedicated to the so-called art of podcasting, how we found our way to a craft...


Fireside Chats, Episode 74: Living With Mental Illness

Today's guest -- Chris Wilson (who likes to go by "Wilson") -- is a 36 year old man who openly suffers from a number of mental ailments, ranging from bi-polar and manic depression to OCD and anti-social behavioral disorder. And he's perfectly open to talking about what it's like; especially when it comes to the bad stuff. In discussing his childhood, his teen years, and his nearly two decades as an adult, Chris' candor is both exemplary and cautionary: Exemplary in its openness and...


Fireside Chats, Episode 73: The Video Game Producer

Wanna get into the games industry? Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. Today's guest is Chase Williams, a producer in the gaming industry who has worked at a couple of studios during his few years as a professional (including at Sony San Diego). Mr. Williams just took a job as a games producer in Germany, but before he left the States, he wanted to swing by to not only talk about what he does, but how he got his job, and how you may be able to meander your way into making...


Fireside Chats, Episode 72: Being A Doctor

This week, welcome Steven Neeley, MD to the show. Dr. Neeley is a radiologist at New Mexico University, and is the very first medical doctor to appear on Fireside Chats. Our discussion today revolves around two pillars: What it's like to become a doctor, and what it's like to be a doctor. Two related questions, certainly, but also two radically different things. What's it like to have someone's life in your hands? Is medical school as difficult as it seems? Are family and friends annoying...


Fireside Chats, Episode 71: Asexuality

Meet Max Nibler, a 19 year old college student who -- like all of us at that age -- is finding his way through life. There's a unique catch when it comes to Max, though: He's asexual. As in, he's not sexually attracted to anyone, and sex doesn't interest him at all. We sat down for a discussion about how he found his way to asexuality, what it all means, and what the future might hold for him when it comes to relationships, companionship, having children, and much more.


Fireside Chats, Episode 70: When Your Son Is An "Online Personality"

Right before Christmas, I went back east to visit my family, and I brought my recording equipment with me. One podcast I knew I had to record was with my mom, and I wanted to ask her something specific: How does it feel to watch and listen to your son online? More than that, though, how does it feel to read, watch, and see all the negative stuff? Does it hurt, or do you let it slide off of your shoulders? Today, we discuss that, although the conversation winds from there. Indeed, in the end,...


Fireside Chats, Episode 69: Theological Intrigue

I don't know if you've noticed, but I really like talking religion here on Fireside Chats, and today's guest is incredibly well equipped to do just that. Michael Steinmetz is pursuing his PhD in theology, and has a ton of insight into Christianity, and all that entails. Our conversation delves deep into the life and times of Jesus Christ, and right on up 'til today, and challenges believers and non-believers alike to think critically -- and scholarly -- about something many people know to...


Fireside Chats, Episode 68: One Nation, Divided

Today, Dr. Greg Jackson -- professor of history at Utah Valley University and host of the wonderful podcast History That Doesn't Suck -- makes his valiant return to the show. I'm excited to have him here, because I wanted to pick his brain about one thing in particular: National division. The political rhetoric and behavior on display in contemporary America suggests that the US is being pulled apart at the seams, and I was curious if Dr. Jackson agreed. We delve deep into history and pull...


Fireside Chats, Episode 67: Jumping Into Game Dev

It's been a good, long while since we've talked about video games here on Fireside Chats, hasn't it? Well, let's stop the streak. Today's guest is Will Goldstone, a Product Manager at Unity. What is Unity? It's an incredibly important, versatile, and popular game engine that many a video game is created on. So let's pick Mr. Goldstone's brain about game development, the tools of the trade, and what it takes to make a living doing this hard (and dare I say important) work. For the many...


Fireside Chats, Episode 66: The Great Russian Disruption

I don't know if you've heard, but Russia Hacked the Election. Well, kinda. The entire fiasco has become more of a nebulous talking point designed to score political points than anything we can focus on and sink our teeth into. But here's the thing: Russia really did launch a coordinated operation to disrupt our system, and through all the muck and mess, we still have to deal with it. Today's guest is an ex-US military Psychological Operations Specialist with an incredible amount of insight...


Fireside Chats, Episode 65: The Mormon Perspective

Christianity is full of different sects and divisions. One such sect is Mormonism -- also known as the Church of Latter Day Saints -- founded in the United States in the 19th century. Unlike many Christian offshoots, however, Mormonism is misunderstood at best, and ridiculed and joked about at worst. To give some perspective into the religion -- into what it means to be a Mormon, what their beliefs are, and more -- an everyday Mormon named James asked to come onto Fireside Chats. Naturally,...


Fireside Chats, Episode 64: In Defense of Socialism

Socialism -- particularly of the Democratic Socialist variety -- comes up fairly often on Fireside Chats, and not typically in the most glowing of terms. More than a few listeners have taken issue with that since the the show began, but only one -- Sean Clinton -- offered to come on the show and make a spirited defense of the political ideology. Better yet, Sean, who was born to an American soldier and a German mother in Europe, and lived in Germany for most of his life, benefited a great...


Fireside Chats, Episode 63: The Hospitality Grind

As we move through the years, many of us end up temporarily -- and sometimes permanently -- working in a front-facing job, whether that's at a restaurant, or in retail, or in some other capacity. But few people have to work in an environment where the quality of a customer's experience hinges on a ton of things going just right, potentially for consecutive days or weeks at a time. Today's guest is a manager at a global hotel chain, and his insight into the workings of a hotel (and the many...


Fireside Chats, Episode 62: Assessing the Midterm Elections

Here in the United States, the 2018 midterm elections are behind us, and so our long national nightmare is finally over. Right?! Wrong! To make sense of the split decision rendered by the American people, I've brought in popular guest Jeff Cannata to talk through the results. With the House in Democratic control, the Senate in Republican control, and the US obviously more Balkanized than it's been in 150 years, it seems like things may just get worse before they get better. So join us for a...


Fireside Chats, Episode 61: Fighting the Culture War with Roaming Millennial

You may know today's guest, Lauren Chen, by her digital pen-name (of sorts): Roaming Millennial. Lauren was born in Hong Kong, moved to Canada as a kid, and heavily engages in politics both at home and in the United States, primarily through her YouTube channel and through her work on CRTV. So naturally, I invited her for a Fireside Chat all about the political climate in The Age of Trump. As a Christian and a social conservative, Lauren and I come down on the opposite side of quite a few...


Fireside Chats, Episode 60: Saving the Innocent

In the United States -- and around the world -- millions of animals go unloved, uncared for, and discarded. Bryan Finck works on behalf of The Pixel Fund, a Florida-based non-profit that tends to dogs, cats, and other animals that have been abused, abandoned, and put in otherwise awful situations. Through his care, and the care of his colleagues, animals that would have otherwise never found a loving home (or would have outright died or been put down) are living vibrant, happy lives, all...


Fireside Chats, Episode 59: The Black Moderate

Rondale Williams is a veteran of the US Navy, a software engineer with a college degree in history, and a moderate black man in contemporary America. It's the latter point that makes him unusual, at least from the perspective of modern politics, which often considers minority voters reliable blocs, and not individuals with unique thoughts, ideas, aspirations, and ideologies. Rondale and I sat down for a little over an hour to discuss his unique path through life, growing up in Hartford,...


Fireside Chats, Episode 58: Getting Political With Laci Green

Laci Green is a popular YouTuber, sex educator, feminist, and author. She's also a personal friend of mine. I initially invited Laci to Santa Monica for a Fireside Chat about her new book (Sex Plus: Learning, Loving, and Enjoying Your Body), and intended on discussing sexuality, feminism, and all the rest. Instead, though, we had a wide-ranging political conversation, touching on topics from the deeply divisive Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation and the fight between pro-choice and pro-life...