7500 – It’s all downhill from Pia’s, walking a goldfish, and bees with Dennis Schmidt

Episode links

The Guest

For the third time since the podcast launched, bees are a topic — but only briefly. Former Champaign Dept. of Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt has taken up beekeeping as a hobby. We talk about this for a few minutes before learning how un-flat East Central Illinois is and what the bar Pia’s has to do with it.

COVID-19 One Year Ago

I mentioned a few episodes ago that I have notes and audio going back from almost the beginning of the show in 1996. Reviewing some of those notes from April, 2020 I found this story out of Spain: “MAN BUSTED FOR TAKING HIS FISH ON A WALK DURING PANDEMIC.” The story read:

In Spain, a man was trying to take advantage of a rule allowing pet owners to leave their homes so that the pets can relieve themselves. The man was busted for taking his pet fish on a walk in its bowl. Police tweeted a picture of the suspect sitting on a bench with his finned friend. The previous month, police in Spain caught a man in a T-rex costume roaming the city streets.


Gregory emailed:

My family enjoys listening to your show every week when it comes out and my young son asked if I knew where your ‘studio’ is. Keep doing what your’e doing because we learn something new every week.

Thanks for the email! My studio is in the basement of our central Champaign home. It’s an old house with an updated space with a big TV, sofa and large desk that holds my gear: two Macbooks, an iPad, a couple of microphones, and various types of headphones. My 2014 Macbook Pro is the workhorse. I use it for writing, image editing, and podcast recording and editing. Today you can turn any space into a studio.

What I’m Watching

Ana Kendrick, one of the stars of Stowaway

I just watched Stowaway, the new space drama streaming exclusively on Netflix. Three astronauts — played by Toni Collette, Ana Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim — are at the very beginning of a two year mission to Mars. Shortly after they blast off the trio discover a stowaway, which poses a problem for a mission prepped with enough fuel, food and oxygen for three. Stowaway is a solid space drama which doesn’t rely on the typical space drama plot points. For example (slight spoiler ahead), I kept waiting for the stowaway (Michael) to do something evil and he never does.

Stowaway was good enough that I would have paid to see it in theaters, and I would be happy watching it again on Netflix.

Have you watched Stowaway yet? Let me know what you thought of it.

What I’m Reading

Forbes has a story on the woman behind Liquid Paper — the fascinating account of single mom with a simple idea. Inventor Bette Graham is often used in trivia questions (“Monkees’ band member Michael Nasmith‘s mother is famous for inventing what office product?”), but the story of launching Liquid Paper — first called Mistake Out — started in her garage.

Photo of the Week: WICD-TV