Main menu

"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Radio Active #38: Painting Ghosts, Portable Apps, A Feast for Crows

by Ken Newquist / September 25, 2006

Radio Active starts glowing again as the Great Fall Painting Project of '06 winds down. This time around I've got updates on said project as well as the far geekier AirTunes setup I finally got working. Sites of Note looks at Jonathan Coulton music videos shot using World of Warcraft, the world-building third season of the Harping Monkey's Round Table and the very cool (and very geeky) Portable Apps web site, which provides geeks with self-contained versions of Firefox, Open Office and other programs they can stick on a thumb drive. Finally there's the much delayed review of A Feast For Crows, the fourth book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series.

Note: There was a problem with the show's MP3 when it was first posted that prevented iTunes from downloading it. The problem's been fixed; you should be able to snag the show now.

Getting the Podcast

There are several ways to get the podcast:

Show Notes

  • Nuketown News
    • 3 a.m. Podcasting: If things sound weird it's because a) it's 3 a.m. and b) I'm recording on my Mac's internal mic because all of my digital microphones are at work. Sitting in the ruins of my office, which I think I'll work on cleaning up after the podcast.
    • Painting Ghosts: Slow days for Nuketown, Radio Active and just about everything else as Sue and I focus on repainting the living room and library (though didn't realize until today that it's been a month since the last podcast -- ugh!). Caught up on my podcasts, so I started listening to Stephen King’s The Shining, which I Haven’t read since middle school, or maybe high school (more than a decade at least). Strange listening to it now that I have kids of my own, relating a little to Jack, his temper, and his obsession with fixing the Overlook.
    • Geeking Out with AirTunes: With living room and library finished, got the stereo and TV hooked up again … and finally got to hook up my Airport Express so I can stream music from my Macs to the stereo … very cool! Tonight Jordan was dancing like a crazy girl to the sounds of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" and "Xanadu".
    • RADIATIONS Newsletter: Working on getting this up and running again -- I've got about 400 subscribers out in limbo right now. The new newsletter will be incorporated into Drupal, but I need to work out the kinks. You can also keep current with Nuketown using the "notify" feature -- just login and go tot the "notify" section of your user account.
    • HorrorClix Review on
    • Mount Olive High School Class of 1990 Reunion: Just got a letter about my 20th high school reunion, coming up in 2010 (yes, they’re amazingly organized this time around). Didn’t go in 2000 … but might go this time.
  • Promo: Dragon's Landing Promo
  • Sites of Note
    • Spiff’s World of Warcraft Jonathan Coulton Music Videos
    • Round Table Season 3
      • The focus of this season is world building, culminating with “World Building Month” in January, an event which encourages people to create their own 50,000 word campaign setting.
    • Portable Apps
      • Features portable, flash USB drive-friendly versions of programs like Firefox, FileZilla (FTP), Audacity, Open Office and more!
      • Great for taking your apps (and their preferences/bookmarks/settings) with you wherever you go.
    • Promos Wanted: Had a bunch, but need more.
  • Goblin Broadcast Network
  • Book Review: A Feast for Crows
    • By George R.R. Martin
    • 1104 pages
    • Publisher: Spectra
    • Buy it from Amazon:
    • I listened to the unabridged audio book version of A Feast of Crows throughout June and into early July. It's part of Martin's monstrously huge  A Song of Fire and Ice saga which takes place in land of Westros.
    • It's a land in which magic was once dark and powerful, has since faded with the growing strength of civilization. Westeros is united by a single king, but when he dies civil war erupts. That war raged through A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords with catastrophic and tragic consequences for great and small folk alike. A Feast for Crows picks up in the wake of the great wars, and follows
    • half of the series characters through their penultimate story arcs. I say half because it turns out there was just too much happening in A Feast of Crows to fit in one book, so Martin decided to tell half the stories in A Feast of Crows and the other half in its sequel, A Dance of Dragons, which should be finished sometime in 2006
    • . Like all of the books in this series, it can be gut-wrenchingly tragic and almost painful to read, yet at the same time there are wonders to be found. Terrible wonders to be sure, but still wonders.
    • I liked the book, though for the most part I felt like I was biding time, getting through these stories so I could get on to the ones I really cared about, like Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
    •  The strongest stories were of the twins Jaime Lannister, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. Jaime's slow crawl along the path of redemption makes for a compelling, disturbing read -- compelling because it's so well told, disturbing because, well, Jaime did some pretty evil things in the earlier books.
    • Cersei's tale is one of self-destruction, as a prophesy from her youth unfolds around her. Normally it's hard to watch tragedy's ensnare Martin's characters, but in this case the fall is a welcome one.
  • Outro
Audio icon NuRA-2006-09-25.mp327.85 MB


All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy. All work and no paint make Ken a dull boy.

:) Wow - how surreal it must be to work on a sweeping home reno project at crazy hours of the night while listening to The Shining! You're sure to bring on a few shivers that way!

Even though I really enjoy several of the horror genres - vampire and werewolf yarns in particular - ghost stories have always affected me profoundly, unlike Ken. For months after watching The Ring, I was turning on lights everywhere I went in the house. :)

I'm actually damning the torpedoes right now though and facing my demons head-on with guns blazing. I just picked up the director's cut of the F.E.A.R. first person shooter, and am enjoying it greatly, although I really have to keep my imagination in check during the creepy parts! :D

A busy gamer dad shares his thoughts on gaming, geek life, and other eclectic topics of the day.

Wow, dude, that's commitment, getting up in the middle of the night to podcast.

Thanks for the good words on Round Table in your show (and in KotDT).

Very nice show. Very dead-on with the Feast for Crows comments! I share your affinity for Tyrion, Jon, and Danaerys, and also like how you handled explaining Jaime without spoiling it for the noobs. Good work. Happy painting!

Hey, send me a geek-parenting essay for Misfit Brew sometime!


Mick Bradley

Thanks! You're very welcome -- the Round Table and Misfit Brew have gotten me through more than a few hours of home improvement. I may need to start breaking things just to keep listening.

Glad you like the Feast of Crows review ... and I'm glad I didn't spoil anything!

As for the essay ... I've been kicking around a couple of ideas, so once the last of the painting is done you can expect to see something in your inbox.

Yeah, The Ring was nicely freaky. And The Shining was certainly weird to listen to while painting -- all you can hear is the narrator's voice, the creaking of the house, and the slow crinkle of paint being applied to the walls. Very creepy.

When it comes to horror, the only things that really give me nightmares are zombie movies ... probably becuase of the whole "unthinking collective devouring the individual" thing. Ghost stories come the closest to creeping me out, which is probably why I like Call of Cthulhu so much, becuase many of those stories have the structure of a ghost story, even if its really about some unknown horror from beyond imagining. Another good King ghost story is Bag of Bones, in which a writer hides himself away at his Maine summer house after the death of his wife ... but discovers that the house has secrets he never knew of. Secrets that his wife might have stumbled across ... It's like a ghost love story and as a husband I found it to be a very powerful read.

As far as creepy games go, I'm really looking forward to the release of Half-Life 2 for Xbox 360 though with FEAR also slated for that platform it looks like I'll have plenty of scary shooters to play this winter/spring.

I work in an IT environment, as we've discussed offlist, and they lock the apps you can use down as well as the ability to install executables.

Strangely enough, I can take my 1GB sd card out of my treo (great to use and edit on the road, can't say enough about the Treo!) and use it via usb sled into any PC. Bliss!

PS: Way great dedication to your audience (and your creative muse too) for posting at 3 frikkin' AM!!!

PPS: The newsletter sounds like a great idea. Drupal is sounding more and more robust. BUT you'd better be archiving on another box, man! Otherwise I'll know what that primal wail is when you sound off, all the way up here in Canada.


That's me -- all about the dedication to the Art! What I really need to do is get into a dependable routine, so that every Monday something is online, even if it's just five or ten minutes of quick geek news/commentary.

As far as backups go ... I've got top men working on it. Top. Men.

Actually, the database is getting huge -- it's up to 33 mb, so I do need to do regular backups to make sure I don't lose anything. I shoot for once a month, but I'll probalby move that up to once a week once I get some crons running. I've spent too much time getting this thing working to let it all implode now.