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imperial beach

Epilogue

After a storied three-year run, we have decided to close the books on the Mousepad Heroes podcast. I wish I could say I’m deeply saddened by the decision or that I’m writing this with furrowed brow. None of that would be true. The truth is that we’ve had an incredible experience making a podcast and now it’s time to move on to the next adventure.

I started the MPH podcast because I have a fascination with the medium and the accessibility made it easy for me to act on my inspiration. Studying everything I could find, I descended in to full nerd-mode researching and selecting gear. The original idea for the MPH podcast was a pop culture and gaming themed show. (Because there aren’t enough of those available, right?) Our angle would be to pair Abby and I together as hosts discussing our shared interests from different generational views. Witty banter would highlight the contrast of our perspectives and hilarity would most certainly ensue. Naturally that’s not how the plan unfolded.

The flu laid Abby low the weekend we were set to record our first show. Proving yet again that my wife is better than your wife, Liz stepped in to make sure that her man-child husband could still play with his new podcasting toys. That weekend we recorded what became the first episode of the MPH podcast. Liz had unintentionally usurped Abby’s cohost seat before first appearance. It didn’t matter and that dynamic only made it more fun for us in the end.

Over more than thirty episodes we learned quite a bit about the process of producing a podcast. We learned that it’s incredibly difficult just to produce a podcast, never mind one that’s actually listenable. Technical execution is not enough. We could spin gold riffing for hours when there’s no pressure, but it’s a different story when you have to do it in front of a microphone. That pressure began to shape the experience and we both agreed it was time to try something new. We’re not expecting any iTunes Podcast awards but are rewarded for our efforts with hours of recordings featuring our family talking and laughing with each other that we can save forever. Years from now we can go back and listen to what our lives sounded like and that is pretty damn cool.

mousepadheroes.com will continue to live on indefinitely. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the site but the relatively cheap cost of web hosting means we can leave open until we have a better idea. The podcast episodes will continue to be available as well. I’m hoping to find a low cost hosting option to serve the shows indefinitely but that may not be possible. Otherwise, you can continue to follow us on all the same social media accounts. I’ll continue to use our MPH Twitter and Instagram accounts (likely under my personal name), so you can still get your fill of retweeted Lost memes.

The best thing about turning the page is discovering what lies in the chapters ahead. Of course we’re a little sad to see the MPH podcast go, however we’re more excited about what’s to come. We have more ideas and more adventures ahead of us to share. On behalf of Liz, Abby, Wyatt & Catdog, thank you for supporting us and for being a part of this journey.

Jay, Liz, Abby, Wyatt & Catdog

MPH Podcast S2E9 – The End

In the series finale, we wrap up the MPH podcast with appearances from both Poparella and Wyatt. It’s been a slice of heaven and we really appreciate all of the support! Keep an eye on us on Twitter (@mousepadheroes) for news on our next adventure.

MPH Podcast S2E8 – The Lost Beach Tapes

In July of 2017, the MPH crew traveled to the Maryland shore for a much needed break from the stresses of podcasting. For years it’s been rumored that a special episode of the MPH podcast was recorded on the beach during this trip. The micro SD card this special episode was supposedly recorded on was also rumored to have been lost in a freak Hooters float accident. That was until now.

Please enjoy this very special episode of the MPH podcast, presented as it was heard with minor edits for excessive background noise. Our apologies as we didn’t spring for the wind guards.

No Skate Park for Old Men

A growing line of cars has taken up position behind me. I’m unconcerned by their presence. The cars wait patiently for a chance to slide by on their way to the pier or wherever it is they’re headed tonight. I guess they’re tourists because locals would simply zip past me without a second thought. Out-of-towners tend to be more cautious. I’m navigating the bike lane on Seacoast Boulevard whilst listening to The Kinks and in-general not paying much attention to traffic. I am an Ape Man and traffic does not concern me. I am too busy watching the Pacific burn under the heat of our setting Sun. If the world feels like it’s sliding by me on a track that’s because it is. I’m perched atop a skateboard, which just a few short weeks ago would have seemed highly unlikely. So, perhaps I should explain how I came to occupy the bike lane without a bike.

Fifteen-year old me would be happy

Skateboarding began it’s ubiquitous cultural journey more than sixty years ago in the surf towns of Southern California. Imperial Beach is one such surf town and living in here had me reminiscing about the Bones Brigade days of my youth. “Adult skateboarding” is not viable in the northeast US for a multitude of reasons, so it’s been a mere twenty-five plus years since I’ve ridden a board. Caught up in the magic that is IB, I asked myself a question: If you could be skateboarding, then why aren’t you skateboarding? Who would prefer to walk?!   I was developing an eye for the cushy long boards often ridden by happy looking people with a dog on a leash nearby. I wanted to count myself among them but picking up a skateboard after so long seemed like a non-adulty idea in my adulty-conditioned brain. That changed when Wyatt said he wanted to skate. Liz & I have always tried to encourage the kids with any sport they show an interest in learning. Skating with Wyatt would help get him out of the house and give us a chance to spend time together. I thought I was taking one for the team when I bought that sweet long board in the Surf Hut window (actually it was in a pile in the back room), but I was really doing myself the favor.

Picking up any sport after a long absence requires some amount of re-tuning. For me, this process was lengthy, painful and quite revealing. Wyatt knew that I skated when I was a kid so of course he expected me to step right back in to it with ease. I succumbed to the dad-pressure and began trying to find my balance again. This is a good time to point out the obvious: re-learning to skateboard at forty-two means being in constant fear you will end up explaining how you fell to an emergency room nurse who’s setting your broken arm. It turns out that 28 years was enough time for me to become terrified of falling down. That fear got in my head. Nevertheless, I was unwilling to accept that I could no longer do what I once was able to do many years ago. We have good health insurance and dad-pressure is real, so away we go.

In search of smooth pavement

My confidence was slowly coming back when Wyatt asked me to take him to the skate park one afternoon. The trip would involve a ten block ride across town. I crossed my fingers and we took to the streets. After a few early yips, I was quickly reminded of how great it feels to glide down a road on new bearings and smooth pavement. It was even better when I looked over to see Wyatt keeping pace while doing tricks on the curbs. Fifteen-year old me would be very happy seeing how things worked out.

I was hooked by the time we skated back from the park that afternoon. Lately I’ve been happy to get home from work with a sliver of daylight left so I can ride down to the beach and back. Doesn’t matter if the boy is with me or not. I set out for the pier on one such recent evening with a carefully curated playlist in my pocket. James Taylor, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffet…really cliche skate music I know, but it was a sunset ride. I was stopped on my board about a block or two from the pier (playing Pokemon Go) when I noticed a sheriff’s vehicle stopped in the road. A sheriff emerged from the cruiser and asked me if I was “Greg”. (I am not) I responded accordingly and she reluctantly accepted my answer.

I can’t remember the last time I was approached by the local constabulary, so the exchange was a little weird for me. I skated another block towards the pier and then saw the sheriff pulling over. She stepped out and motioned for me to stop, which I didi. I’m starting to get a bit nervous when she tells me that I match the description of a person she’s looking for. She asked me for ID and in that moment I was provided with a good example of privilege. I wasn’t carrying ID, because why would I need ID to cruise up and down Seacoast in IB? I’m guessing if I wasn’t a middle-aged white guy, that alone might have been enough to put me in the cruiser. Instead, I tried to prove I wasn’t “Greg” by showing her my work email, because who would lie about working at a bank? She still insisted on confirming I didn’t physically match “Greg’s” description, which she revealed to me was, “white guy on a skateboard.” I’m thinking she’s going to have a busy night.

My magic carpet ride

Eventually the sheriff, who was quite nice I should mention, let me go on my way. Apparently I didn’t match the description and I was sent along with a sincere, “Thank you.” My insistence that I was just a boring, middle-aged guy acting like a fifteen year old on a skateboard may have helped my case. “Greg” remains at-large.

What started out as semi-selfish attempt on my part to spend more time with my kids became something that reminded me of something I had forgotten. Wyatt & I skate together every week, usually back and forth to the skate park so he can engage in the tribal rituals with his friends. That frees me up to cruise around town in search of those choice side streets where the pavement is as smooth as glass. (I’m talking about you Elm *smug look*) I’m still living in a persistent state of fear that I’m one pebble away from a faceplant, but I’m glad I’m not letting that stop me. Even with the police breathing down my neck, I’m still out there getting it done and repping middle-aged guys everywhere.

MPH Podcast S2E6 – Singularity

The crew returns after a brief hiatus and the discussion topics are wide-ranging. Our hosts lament winter in San Diego as they discuss the new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy and the cult video game hit Undertale. We’re also treated to live Daytona 500 commentary from Pop.

Show Notes:

  1. Cover art credit: @mphpoparella
  2. The Umbrella Academy source

MPH Podcast S2E5 – Are Kitchen Tables Old?

In this episode, Liz explains why millennials have ruined the bar scene on the night before Thanksgiving.  Pop drops in for a few minutes as well to tell us she’s bored with dropping in.  Happy Thanksmas!!

Show Notes:

  1. “The Poddys” from SNL
  2. Sea 180, scene of our now infamous and spectacular Thanksgiving dinner