The Soul Forge Podcast The Soul Forge is a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living, but mostly talks about stupid things he has done because of girls. Topics include life and love, sex and dating, joy and heartache, memories and loss, and so much more! Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as pretentious as it sounds.

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Soul Forge Podcast Welcome to the Soul Forge, a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living! We all want to love and be loved. Am I normal? Are you normal? Is happiness possible? Let's find out together!

  • Tall Girl Problems - 84
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 17, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Christina is 6' 5" and she's got tall girl problems! Having a height advantage can be a wonderful thing, but too much height can cause unique problems. On this episode of The Soul Forge Podcast, Christina shares some personal experiences regarding being a woman of a certain stature. As far back as she can recall, Christina had to adapt to her surroundings. She has always had to endure comments and 'witty' observations. She had to balance out the composition of school pictures. Many people of height slouch and become wall flowers. Tall people have many common personality traits that they develop to get along in a world that was not designed for them. Perhaps this is why they created the International Tall Club. Christina talks about the way in which many men relate to her. She shares wonderful stories about how people have reacted to her. There is a wonderful Klingon story, and a terrific story about working as security in a bar. It turns out that extreme height can be seen as a disability of sorts. Her height has allowed Christina to be much more empathetic towards people who are often viewed as disadvantaged whether it be due to skin colour, sexual preferance, etc. Common tall problems include broken toes and broken sunglasses. It's nearly impossible to pay attention to both head and feet when you reach a certain height. Stay tuned to the podcast for news about Chistina's upcoming book in which she details her experiences as a woman over 6 feet tall. You can follow Christina on social media by searching for Christina Geddes Group. This week's podcast promo: Nerd Bliss Podcast […]

  • Cape Fear - 83
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Cape Fear! Not the movie, nor the remake, but a state of mind. Cape fear is what occurs when you are not comfortable in a particular style of clothing or fashion. The Sunday Morning Coffee Club is a rather new experiment in socialization. The club was founded by your ever-present host, Shawn. Through the club, new friends are made, and interesting conversations are had. Coffee club has lead to several ideas for Soul Forge topics. Cape fear is just such a particular topic. Fashion confidence is a big deal. You may think you can wear anything, but clothing will put you in a certain state of mind. Not everyone can feel free to wear every item of clothing. We are sure there are items in your closet that you never wear. Shawn wants to bring back the cape as a fashion item, but he has a fear that people will laugh and make fun of him. He does not have the confidence to go out in public wearing a cape. Except, of course, for Halloween or costume balls. Looking back at the trench coat incident, his reluctance is understandable. is a website where you can find all kinds of ridiculous products. Shawn recently ordered a cloak to help alleviate his fear of wearing capes in public. At this point in the podcast, we talk about the difference between capes and cloaks. Capes are starting to make a return to the public eye. At the recent Golden Globe Awards, a celebrity was photographed wearing a rather flamboyant cape. Perhaps this signals their return to the fashion world. We wrap up the show by talking about posting certain pictures on Instagram and Facebook. There are generational differences regarding what certain age groups feel comfortable posting and wearing. Types of fear include fear of change, fear of changing jobs, moving on from a relationship, and a fear of people not liking you. This week's podcast promo: Vitamin Geek Podcast […]

  • Shawn's Tarot Card Reading - 82
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 3, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Happy New Year Soul Forgers, and welcome to the first episode of the year! Presented for your listening pleasure, is audio of Shawn's first ever Tarot card reading. Is there a secret source of knowledge hidden by the universe? Can Tarot cards, psychics or tea leave readings uncover this mysterious wisdom? Can arcana be real or is this all just made up mumbo jumbo? We may never know for sure, but we can have fun speculating about it. Join Shawn as he gets his first Tarot card reading. What secrets will be revealed? Without knowing how real this type of magic is, there's no way to ascertain if what Shawn learns can be applied to the real world of career and finances. However, the reading was a lot of fun and some exciting revelations came about. So sit back, put your feet up, and enter the mystical realm of prophecy and predictions. The tarot (/ˈtæroʊ/; first known as trionfi and later as tarocchi, tarock and tarot) is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot and Austrian Königrufen. Many of these tarot card games are still played today. In the late 18th century, some Tarot packs began to be used in parallel for divination in the form of tarotology and cartomancy and, later, specialist packs were developed for such occult purposes. Like common playing cards, the tarot has four suits (which vary by region: French suits in Northern Europe, Latin suits in Southern Europe, and German suits in Central Europe). Each suit has 14 cards, ten pip cards numbering from one (or Ace) to ten and four face cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Jack/Knave). In addition, the tarot has a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit. These tarot cards, without occult symbology, are still used throughout much of Europe to play card games. In English-speaking countries, where these games are not played, tarot cards are used primarily for divinatory purposes, usually using specially designed packs. The cards are traced by some occult writers to ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah but there is no documented evidence of such origins or of the usage of tarot for divination before the 18th century. This week's podcast promo: Pro Wrestling Roundtab […]

  • Year In Review 2018 - 81
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 27, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Looking back at the year that was 2018 - this is our Year in Review special. Shawn is joined by two of his semi-regular co-hosts, Tracy and Jason. On this episode, the Soul Forge gang takes a peek at some of the most significant episodes produced by the podcast in 2018. Highlights include love, loss, and minimalism. Strippers, booze, and drugs are also mentioned, as is divorce and intimacy. A major topic this year was the idea of sex. Sex appeared in a number of episodes. Shawn talked about his first sexual experience. Whit told his story of being a virgin at age 28, and then several episodes later, he spoke about having sex for the first time. Shawn, Karen and Jason joked about sex in elevators on episode 69. No actual sex was had during the podcast recordings. Other topics included weed legalization and preparing for the arrival of a baby. Shawn talked about buying and selling houses. Tracy talked about survival. Jason talked about his new baby. Karen talked about confidence. Daniel talked about writing books. Many people not mentioned in the show made great contributions to the Soul Forge Podcast this year. We joined the ESO Podcast Network this year. We joined Spotify: We joined Tune In: We're on Twitter: @soulforgepod YouTube Channel: This week's podcast promo: Myopia Defend Your Childhood […]

  • The Power of FANDOM - 80
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 20, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Saving the world while perched on the edge of normal! We're taking a look at how fandom is changing the world for the better. What is fandom? It is a group of like-minded people who come together to form a community of sorts. Social media has been a major factor in the changing face of fan acceptance. Without it, many fans (geeks, nerds, dorks, outcasts, misfits) would have trouble finding their people. Celebrities, often geeks or fans themselves, have used their star power to help unite the various fandoms. They use this power for social change, and to help mitigate the effects of loneliness, bullying anddepression. Chase Masterson for example, is the spokesperson for Pop Culture Hero Coalition | Let's Stop Bullying Together Misha Collins uses GISH to bring hope to the world and change it for the better. What is the difference between sports geeks and fandom geeks? Both kinds of geeks often dress up to show their support for their chosen interest. However, the sports geek is more often given a free pass and not seen as abnormal or weird. When nerds make money, it changes the world. Their interests become the interests of the world (eg. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs) The gatekeepers of fandom. This week's podcast promo: Caster Quest […]

  • The Lonely Shawn Problem - 79
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    The lonely Shawn, also known as, the sad Shawn episodes were a series of Rusted Robot Podcast shows. For a time, Rusted Robot was co-hosted by husband and wife team Shawn and Brigitte Vanderloo. For a variety of reasons, that relationship fell apart. Yet, the team decided to continue on hosting the show together. However, due to various circumstances, this was not always possible. Shawn felt the show must go on, even if there wasn't always a co-host around. Shawn was so dedicated to his audience, that he felt it important to always be providing new content. Episode 79 of Rusted Robot is a prime example of a lonely Shawn episode. On this episode of Soul Forge, Shawn lays out the history and repurcussions of recording episode 79 by himself without a co-host. You'll hear about Karine (at the time she was the new lady in Shawn's life) and her reaction to hearing the episode before their weekend away together. You'll also discover what Shawn learned as a result of hosting a show on his own. So get ready for the first pre-Soul Forge episode. Learn about pop culture from 2015. This is Soul Forge before that was ever even a thing. This week's podcast promo: Pop Culture Cosmos […]

  • Thoughts On GOD - 78
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 6, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Now is the perfect time of year to share some thoughts on God, religion and the Christmas season. This episode starts with ruminations on the Christmas decoration season and goes back into history with a tale of Christmas carol annoyance. We wrap up the holiday talk with a look at how the corporations use the season in their manipulative marketing ploys to get us to spend money on things we don't need by playing to our emotions. We then take a look back at religious education. When they decided to take the Lord's Prayer and teachings about religion out of the school system, society seemed to lose something deeply fundamental. These teachings may not have included everyone, but they were instrumental in giving us some important background information about our society. The idea of a belief in a god or a higher power is tackled. When your son doesn't know what Jesus Clouds are, you have some serious catching up to do. And we talk about the practice of saying your prayers. Everything comes to a conclusion with a look at religion versus science and taking our own human existence as a matter of faith. Do we really exist? How can we really know anything? This brings us to the ideas of atheism and agnosticism. And finally, we talk about whether life is pre-ordained or if we have free will. Can we fool God by going left instead of going right? And the episode ends with the story of how Shawn was saved by a fellow student who took him to church. This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds Podcast […]

  • Sleep and Dreams - 77
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 29, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Sleep and dreams on episode 77 of the Soul Forge Podcast. Shawn and Tracy are discussing their earliest memories of sleep, and talking about bedtime habits and routines. Everyone you know has a unique set of night-time rituals. Napping is a thing that some people love to do, while others have never gotten into the nap habit. Insomnia can totally destroy your enjoyment of sleep. Ideal sleeping conditions also vary from person to person. What do you need for a good night rest? Do you prefer the dark, or do you need some light? Fear of the dark, music, relaxing sounds, white noise, or having the fan on. Recurring dreams and dreams that continue. The Batman dream sequence story. Can you read in your dreams or see in colour? Interpreting your dreams and looking for the mean of dream symbology. Creativity and dreaming. Bad dreams and nightmares. The dream VCR. This week's podcast promo: The 42Cast […]

  • Preparing For Baby - 76
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 22, 2018 at 11:54 am

    There's a baby on the way! There's a baby on the way! When time is running out, and there's a baby on the way, how do you prepare for the arrival? Jay stokes the fires of the Soul Forge with his take on preparing for baby. The first thing we talk about is getting the existing child(ren) ready for a new addition to the family. The obvious age gap between the children is an obstacle or opportunity depending on how you prepare. Kids can feel replaced by baby, but giving them ownership of the situation can make them feel empowered. Preparing and planning for the new arrivial is often a long process. When should you start buying baby supplies? How much is too much? Do you read parenting books or just wing it? So much to think about and get ready for. Finding out baby's gender before she or he is born is a big deal. You have to decide together with your partner if this is something you wish to do. Maybe you want to be surprised. Jay discusses what it's like to be an older dad. There are nine years between his children. Different points in your life will create new and exciting challenges or opportunities. Dealing with the mood swings and demands of an expectant mother can be a real mine field. Jay has some advice for how to navigate this point in the pregnancy. We finish up by discussing all the work that goes into getting ready for the baby once it is here. Working a lot of overtime at work to hoard money, buy nice things and take some time off to spend with the new bundle of joy. And Jay tells us all about what it's like to be the father of a girl as opposed to a boy. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One Podcast […]

  • 75 F@%&ING EPISODES!
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 15, 2018 at 11:52 am

    We are celebrating 75 episodes, and we are doing it by letting loose, cursing, laughing and going totally random! Shawn and Tracy are joined by first-timer Melissa. Jay was unable to make it this time. Canada Post is on strike and we discuss how that is affecting and disrupting daily life here in Canada (remember that Shawn is a letter carrier). Things we will never do again - a topic that deserves its own episode, but we touch on a few things here. Pet Peeves: other drivers is a common peeve, but did you know that hating the sound of other people chewing their food is an actual medical condition? We hit upon a few things that we know for sure. What do you know for sure? Want vs Need and Personal Definitions: We have a big discussion about things we need and things we want and how we may think we need things that we really don't. Does Shawn really need a $1000 Thundercat statue to define who he is as a person? What defines us as people? Who are we? What makes you who you are? BUMPA-ISMS: Shawn's grandfather was a huge influence on him. From the way he thinks to the way he talks and behaves (control behaviour vs relax mode). DNA testing. Tracy tells the story of how DNA testing lead to the catching of a killer. Working from home sounds nice. We briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages. This week's podcast promo: RevCast Shark Podcast […]

  • How Social Media Changed The World - 74
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 8, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Social Media has changed the universe of human interaction. What is social media anyway? There are many types of social media, including: MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, chatrooms, etc., How does social media improve your life (connections and interactions) and how does it destract from your life (addiction, lack of attention span, cyberbullying) Social Media and its obligations can feel like a part-time job, and applications such as Second Life can lead to a false sense of reality. Dating apps such as Plenty of Fish and eHarmony are also discussed. This week's podcast promo: The Geekly Oddcast […]

  • Meditation: A Brief Introduction - 73
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Your meditation and meditating guide is here! This week we're talking about what meditation is, what it entails, how and where to do it, as well as our personal experiences with it.  It's alright to feel ridiculous at first. We will fill you in on the techniques, the kinds of meditations there are, the apps, and the equipment you can use. What is meditation used for: comtemplation, reflection, concentration, heightened spiritual awareness, breathing, etc. Kinds/uses of meditation: falling asleep, self-esteem, acceptance, managing anxiety, (breathe, unwind, restore) Meditating is good for students, athletes and those who wish to clear their minds. Similarity between meditation and affirmation. Meditation apps, classes, where, when, how. Techniques, crystals, candle flames, pillows, singing bowls, beads... MEDITATION: IT CAN'T HURT! This week's podcast promo: The Flop Cast […]

  • 72: Just Survive Somehow - Suicide
    by Shawn Vanderloo on October 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Suicide. It is a delicate topic. There are no easy ways to talk about it, other than directly. This week on the Soul Forge Podcast, Tracy makes her return to the show and opens up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, and guilt. In this emotional episode, she shares her story, her history and what lead her to try taking her own life. You will hear the story as it was recorded. There was no editing of any kind. There are no ad breaks or promotions. This is Tracy's story. […]

  • 71: Weed Love To Talk
    by Shawn Vanderloo on October 18, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Weed is now legal; welcome to Cannabis Canada! No matter what you call it (Pot, Weed, Blunt, Chronic, Wacky Tabacky, Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja, Mary Jane, Dope, The Devil's Lettuce) roll up a fancy cigarette and listen to our breakdown of the topic at hand. LEGAL STUFF: where to purchase, legal age and restrictions, zero tolerance and penalties, possession rules and limits, parcel packaging and delivery rules, We discuss our personal experiences with weed and other drugs, including the first times we tried smoking up.  We explore some family history, our initial opposition to cannabis and our eventual acceptance. We talk about 'pulling a whitey' and feeling the actual experience of being high. Also included in the discussion are the ideas of bongs and other smoking paraphernalia. The episode concludes with a brief chat about the meaning of 420 and some of the medical benefits that cannabis provides. This week's podcast promo: Watchathon of Rassilon […]

  • 70: Adult Friendships
    by Shawn Vanderloo on October 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

    How to make friends: a brief outline! The Soul Forge is tackling the tricky world of making friends as an adult.  Some people say developing new friendships in adulthood is really difficult.  We take on that idea and turn it on its head. Jay used to have a hard time making friends, but now he talks to everyone.  You too can talk to strangers.  Have a single-serving friend today! Shawn and Yohann created an intense friendship, but it did not start on that way.  Also included: having a coffee and watching the world, slowing down to enjoy life, people watching and more! We have an update on friend of the show Whit from episodes 44 and 61. Podcast talk and listening in reverse order and what that can reveal. This week's podcast promo: Metal Geeks […]

  • 69: SEX
    by Shawn Vanderloo on October 4, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Sex is this week's topic.  What else could we be discussing on episode number 69? Shawn is joined by Karen and Jason for this brief look at sexuality. We talk about how old we were when we lost our virginity, as well as where the event occurred and who it was with.  Then we transition over to public sex and the possibility of getting caught while doing the deed.  Sex in public parks is a great location because of wind on skin, and sex in a car or on the side of the highway is also a great place. Fire escapes and rooftops are a great idea for being outside but unseen.  A lengthy discussion about elevator sex and other fantasy locations ensues.  We joke and laugh about partaking in an elevator sex road trip and having coitus in as many different elevators as possible. We round out our chat with a few specific instances such as handjobs in movie theatres and blowjobs in cars.  There's talk about orgies and threesomes and the type of etiquette involved in these situations. And finally, we offer advice on being safe and respectful.  And as it turns out, sometimes being open about your sexuality can lead super creepy people to try to make advances towards you.  Don't be creepy. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station Who […]

  • 68: The Brigitte Episode
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 27, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    The long awaited, much anticipated Brigitte episode is finally here! Listen in as Shawn discusses the relationship from its very beginnings right to the end.  Remember, these are Shawn's memories, and are accurate to the best of his ability to recall the events mentioned. Topics include how Shawn and Brigitte met, where they worked, and the start of a very interesting friendship. There will be talk about subconscious attraction and how that manifested and developed. What did a Christmas parade conversation have to do with setting things in motion?  Getting to know someone beyond the superficial can certainly have some long lasting repurcussions. And that brings us to the break-up of Shawn's relationship with Trish, the mother of his son Bishop. Next we talk about the progression of the relationship with Brigitte and how that came to be.  Complications and guilt become a factor in everything that comes after. Shawn and Brigitte get married. They have a second fake marriage with their friends in attendance. Instead of a honeymoon, they renovate their house. 2014 sees them throught many dramatic moments. These moments lead to a communication breakdown and an eventual split. Naturally, like the relationship at its core, the split is unconventional. We conclude the episode with the soundtrack of heartache. Also, Shawn falls into a deep funk, but with the help of his son, he eventually bounces back. And we part with some final thoughts and feelings. This week's podcast promo: We Podcast and We Know Things […]

  • 67: Pumpkin Spice Everything
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 20, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Hallowe'en is just around the corner and that means pumpkin spice is in the air! This episode is a friendly chat between Shawn and Tracy about local events, the pumpkin spice season, favourite podcasts, and a bit of Brigitte stuff. Our Hallowe'en talk includes such topics as the proper age for Trick 'r Treating, and the types of candy we do or do not enjoy.  In a surprise twist, we do not mention anything about costumes or parties. Shawn had an encounter with a bear this week.  We talk a bit about that, the Facebook reaction to the bear video, as well as dog attacks. Both hosts had a brief encounter with Brigitte recently and we discuss that, plus we tease the topic for next week's episode. Our main topic is podcasts and podcasting habits.  There is a great discussion on some of our favourite podcasts, and our listening habits are talked about also.  Included in our chat are the following podcasts: My Favorite Murder, WTF with Marc Maron, Mission Log, Movie Crush, Behind the Bastards, and Someone Knows Something.  Of course, no discussion would be complete without talking about all the Star Trek episode review shows that are out there in podcast-land.  The true crime rabbit hole is another major topic! This week's podcast promos:  Transmissions from Atlantis, The Classic Original Show &nbs […]

  • 66: Would You Rather?
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 13, 2018 at 10:59 am

    What will you do?  Choices.  Decisions.  Deliberations.  Choose your own adventure!  This week, Shawn and Tracy pose a series of questions to each other.  These queries range from the philosophical to the downright silly.  One thing all the questions have in common is that they will make you stop and think.  Is there a better option?  Why would someone pick that choice over another, perhaps more advantageous option? Join the Soul Forge this week and ask yourself the same questions.  We would love to hear your answers.  You can always contact the show by email at Or Tweet us!  We're on Twitter with the handle @soulforgepod And remember, like us on Facebook at Of course, you can follow Shawn on Instagram at We can be found on Spotify at And if you would, please leave a 5 star review for the podcast in your chosen podcast app.  Our app of choice in iTunes, which you can follow this link for the Soul Forge Podcast: This week's podcast promo: The Monster SciFi Show […]

  • 65: Other People's Kids
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 6, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Kids. Children. Offspring. Yours, mine, and ours.  This week we tackle the topic of living with kids that aren't biologically yours . We are going to use the term step-parent even though many of the stories and situations do not necessarily involve marriage between the couple. Buidling a relationship with a step-child, Blended families and becoming a step-parent, How do these kids react and behave? The Brady Bunch Illusion - expectations versus reality  Gender: How a man bonds with kids, How a woman bonds with kids, The gender of the child in relation to the gender of the step-parent, The age of the child/children will have a great impact on the relationship between the other person's kid(s) and the new step-parent. Discipline styles also differ and this can have an affect on the child. Supper, homework, and bedtime routines can be vastly different. Remember: communication, tolerance and understanding. This week's podcast promo: The Nerdy Laser Podcast […]