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!

  • Robots, Replicas and You: Simulation or Reality - 160
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 9, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Who are you? What makes you, you? How do you know if you're really real? Are we living in a natural world or some kind of a simulation? This week, we take a deep dive into some rather dense topics. First, we look at the concept of 'you' as an individual. Every person you encounter has a different version of who you are in their heads. How do we reconcile all these versions? Technology is progressing at a rapid pace. Are we heading towards the singularity? Are we there now? Perhaps we are in some type of simulation. Is this the Matrix? We touch on the concepts of androids, cyborgs and robots. The Turing test is explained. And we touch on the 3 laws of robotics. Replicas, starring Keanu Reeves is investigated. After a spoiler filled review of the film, we discuss just how possible something like this is. Replika is a new app. It is your AI chatbox; your new best friend; perhaps your lover. We review the app and talk about some of its features and how it relates to the topic. This week's podcast promo: The 42 Cast

  • Is Adulthood Real? - 159
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 2, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Feel like a grown-up? Are you mature? Do you have your life all figured out? Are you someone that other people hold up as a shining example of what it means to live a proper life? Is adulthood really real, like for real life? There are many stages in life where a person may feel as if they have reached a certain stage or level of maturity or independence. But, is adulthood real? How many of you out there feel like an adult? In my experience, it isn't very many of us. On average, most people feel as though they are about 13 years younder than their actual age. And, there are many stages of life where you can be considered an adult. Other things in life may make you feel more mature or grown up, such as going away to school, buying your first car, living on your own, having a child or getting married. All these questions and more will be covered in this episode. Plus, we have 21 things that will help you feel like an adult. This week's podcast promo: But First, Let's Talk Nerdy

  • Cosmic Pizza - 158
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 25, 2020 at 7:41 am

    The Cosmic Pizza Podcast is here! Your Soul Forge host Shawn has started a new endeavour with a couple of British dudes. After recording an episode of Dan's Temporal Trek podcast, the 3 friends decided their chemistry was so good, they should create their own podcast together. A bit of brainstorming later, and the Cosmic Pizza Podcast was born. What you will be hearing on this episode of Soul Forge, is Paul, Dan and Shawn introducing the new podcast to the world. Take a listen. If you enjoy it, head on over to your favourite podcast app and subscribe today! The Cosmic Pizza Podcast is serving you a slice of life in every delivery! This week's podcast promo: Watchathon of Rassilon

  • Role Models: Father's Day Special - 157
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Role models and Father's Day are two topics that go together like peanut butter and jam. Is your father a good role model? Who do you look up to? For young children, parents are most often the first role models we have. We start this episode with a brief history of Father's Day. Once the obligatory research is out of the way, we get into some real stuff. I search my memories for stories of my role models. It turns out that my entire life has been a quest for a positive male influence. Without my dad as a big part of my life I turned to my grandfather. I share many fun stories from my childhood. Believe it or not, TV parents can often make great role models. Many of us were raised on a steady diet of television. In my own case, I looked to sitcoms like Family Ties, The Brady Bunch, and others to give me some of what I needed. Star Trek and the characters on that show were also hugely responsible for the way I looked at the world. This week's podcast promo: Thunder Talk

  • Parcels For Arseholes - 156
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 11, 2020 at 7:15 am

    A day in the life of a Canadian mail carrier. We recently received some correspondence from listener Bill L. Bill wanted to know about the way the post office works in Canada. Because he is an American, Bill wanted to know what Canadians think of Americans, and also what we think of the differences between the two postal systems. Every day we deliver a huge amount of letters, magazines, bills, flyers and parcels. Due to the recent Covid-19 lockdown, people are shopping online in greater numbers than ever before. It is overwhelming, hence the joke of delivering parcels for arseholes. On this episode, I record a snippet of my day as I deliver the mail. There are some sound quality issues due to the wind. The weather is always a factor in the life of a mail delivery agent. Put your headphones on, and put your credit card down. Get ready to learn about the mail delivery process on Parcels for Arseholes. This week's podcast promo: Pop Culture Cosmos

  • Fat Shaming Shenanigans - 155
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 4, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Controversy in our town! Local couple's fat shaming shenanigans goes viral! Recently in the city of Timmins, local power couple Jess and Billy (Mr. Tattoo) released a video podcast. This has been a new ongoing project for them as they look to expand their empire. They are known around town as the go to artists for ink work. Actually, Billy doesn't do anything. Jess does all the actual tattoo work. Well, in their latest video they answered a question that asked if they would prefer to be 60 pounds or 600. It was all downhill after that. Soul Forge Podcast has the audio in question. You will hear the controversy and be able to decide for yourself. Just how bad was the reaction to their fat shaming shenanigans? Did the town react properly? This week's podcast promo: Nerdlanta

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin - 154
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 28, 2020 at 6:56 am

    A short story. This week on the podcast we are avoiding anything too serious. We are all due for a bit of light-hearted fun. Uncle Tom's Cabin is a short story that I wrote back in my university days. At one time I had ambitions to be an author, or a novelist or some kind of something in the arts world. So for this week, I present to you, a part of my final project in my creative writing class. I hope you enjoy my take on the story form. Uncle Tom's Cabin from 1998. This week's podcast promo: Nerdbliss

  • Tragedy of Marc Maron & Lynn Shelton
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 21, 2020 at 7:27 am

    This past weekend, director, editor, actress Lynn Shelton died unexpectedly. Shelton died of a previously unidentified blood disorder in Los Angeles on May 16, 2020, at age 54, after several days of ill health. She directed several award winning films: 2006 We Go Way Back   2008 What the Funny   2008 My Effortless Brilliance   2009 Humpday   2011 Your Sister's Sister   2013 Touchy Feely   2014 Laggies   2017 Outside In   2019 Sword of Trust   This episode of the Soul Forge acknowledges her passing, but the main focus is on the man she left behind. Marc Maron has been a major influence on me and the podcast for the last several years. Although I have never met him, I feel a strange type of connection to his personality and his life. Lynn's passing and his grief have affected me on a fundamental level that I can't explain. So listen to this, but be warned that there are several clips of Marc's WTF Podcast. The emotion is real and it's raw. This week's podcast promo: Metal Geeks

  • Weight Loss Surgery - 152
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 14, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Thinking of getting weight loss surgery? We have a handy guide with practical handson experience. Listen to Julie's story and decide for yourself. Gastric bypass is surgery that helps you lose weight by changing how your stomach and small intestine handle the food you eat. After the surgery, your stomach will be smaller. You will feel full with less food. The food you eat will no longer go into some parts of your stomach and small intestine that absorb food. Because of this, your body will not get all of the calories from the food you eat. Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach along the greater curvature. The result is a sleeve or tube like structure. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach, although there could be some dilatation of the stomach later on in life. The procedure is generally performed laparoscopically and is irreversible. In general surgery, a Roux-en-Y anastomosis, or Roux-en-Y, is an end-to-side surgical anastomosis of bowel used to reconstruct the gastrointestinal tract. Typically, it is between stomach and small bowel that is distal (or further down the gastrointestinal tract) from the cut end. We answer such questions as, "Is weight loss surgery cheating?" and we go over some of the possible complications, qualifications and mental adjustments you must make. The one thing to remember is not to compare your experience with anyone else. This week's podcast promo: The Flopcast

  • Mighty Morphin' Podcast Rangers - 151
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 7, 2020 at 7:15 am

    We podcast because we love it. We are the Mighty Morphin' Podcast Rangers! Ok, ok, so we are not all that mighty. And we definitely do not morph. But we do adapt and change over time. Also, we aren't really rangers of any kind. Fine, you got me...we are not super heroes at all. However, we do enjoy the world of podcasting. That's what we do! On this episode, Shawn, Paul and Dan go behind the scenes. This is a conversation they had after recording an episode for Dan's Temporal Trek Podcast. You can hear the raw and unedited version of that podcast on episode 289 of The Rusted Robot Podcast. However, what you will be hearing on this episode, is what took place after the main recording. The gang were just talking and this amazing conversation about podcasting took shape. We here at the Soul Forge hope you enjoy this look at what podcasters really think about this format. This week's podcast promo: ESDCU

  • Just Like Sex In Your Mouth - 150
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 30, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Shawn and Julie celebrate 150 episodes of the Soul Forge Podcast! Podcasts are evolving entities. What was originally intended for a show can, and often does, change over time. On this episode, Shawn takes his girlfriend Julie on a tour of the Soul Forge. They talk about the original intention behind the podcast. And they talk about some of the episodes that mean the most to them. Has the podcast served its original intent? How has it changed over the course of its existence? Join us for introspection, laughter, cussing and so much more on this 150th episode! This week's podcast promo: Earth Station Who

  • Robin's Year In Timmins - 149
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 23, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Robin left home a year ago. He moved from Sault Ste. Marie to Timmins, Ontario. This is about a 6 hour car ride away from his home. The idea was to move into his older brother's house. As the older brother, Shawn felt it was his duty to take care of his youngest sibling. The idea was for Robin to take stock of his life. The time had come to put everything in order. Robin felt as though he had used up all the goodwill that his hometown had to offer. Would Timmins be any different? Would he be able to abandon his toxic behaviours and put right what once went wrong? Listen in as Shawn and Robin discuss the entire situation. You will learn exactly what brought Robin to this point in his life. You will also find out how far he has come. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One

  • Dead Celebrity Resurrection Project - 148
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 16, 2020 at 9:26 am

    What if you could return a dead celebrity back to life? Would you do that? This week the Soul Forge tries out a thought experiment based on this very idea. Here we present to you, The Dead Celebrity Resurrection Project! Your mission: pick 3 dead celebrities. Divide 50 years of life between the 3 of them in whichever way you see fit. The catch: the death must have been accidental such as a plane crash or a heart attack. Therefore, older celebrities dying from cancer or similar are not included. The game is not as easy as it sounds. Who will you bring back, and how many years of life will they get? It's the Dead Celebrity Resurrection Project! Some of our dead celebrities include: Aaliyah. Elivs, John Ritter, Jesus, George Michael, Jessi Combs, Jack Layton, Steve Jobs, Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, Robin Williams, and Heath Ledger. We also have a wish to give Betty White 50 bonus years right now. Grab some friends and try this little thought experiment for yourself. It can provide hours of fun! This week's podcast promo: Dr Geeks Lab

  • Suicide Is Painless - 147
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 9, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Paul joins us via Skype to talk about his son's recent attempt at suicide. Our friend Paul lives in the UK with his wife and two sons. I have known Paul for approximately 6 years. Although we have never met in person, i consider him a close friend. He has been with me on my podcast journey for quite some time. He's been a guest on Soul Forge Podcast, and has contributed many times to my other show, The Rusted Robot Podcast. This week, Paul shares his recent experiences with his youngest son. Dominic is quite intelligent. He has been tested for autism, but is so near the bottom of the spectrum that it does not really qualify. However, he is somewhat socially awkward and is immersed in the world of online gaming. A short time ago, Dominic made an attempt to take his own life. Paul shares this story with us. We learn what lead up to the attempt, and everything that came after. It is an emotional story, but luckily one that has a positive outcome. This week's podcast promo: Doulbe Edge, Double Bill

  • Sons Of A Mother - 146
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 2, 2020 at 7:59 am

    All about my mother. The 3 brothers sit down for a chat and talk about their mother who passed away 6 years ago as of this week. Remembering mom's angry face and her punishment style. Mom's sense of humour and love of life. The things we miss about her now that she's gone. Mom was the historian of the family. Rusted Robot Podcast link for episode 18: Support the podcast at This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds

  • Engage Safety Protocols - 145
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 26, 2020 at 7:30 am

    A light-hearted look at staying safe during the Covid-19 Corona Virus pandemic. Engage your safety protocols and give us a listen! We are all going a little bit crazy during this time of social isolation. For some, the safety protocols put in place are not being followed. People are staying in and get bored. So they go out into the community putting themselves and others at risk. We have seen line-ups outside of the liquor stores. These people are not standing at least 6 feet apart. The same goes for those people waiting for the bus to pick them up. We have a run down of the essential businesses that do not need to close during this crisis. Apparently, most workplaces are essential. It seems the only places closed down are the horse buggy whip makers. Some positives have emerged from the crisis. People are reaching out to one another. Phone calls, texts, Facetime and other communication methods are being used like never before. Also, pollution has been reduced as more and more people work from home. This week's podcast promo: DragonCon Report

  • End Times Fun - 144
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 19, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Yeah, okay, so we all know that the only thing on all our minds is the Covid-19 corona virus pandemic. People are hoarding toilet paper and bottled water. We're all washing our hands as if we just learned how to do that. On that note, it is appropriate we all take a break and have some end times fun! On this episode, I will be concentrating on overcomng our fears. As such, I have some answers from various people to the question of, "if you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do?" 12 years ago, I wrote a note on Facebook. Apparently I was worried about the end of the world. I read and comment on this note, entitled, Surviving the Coming Apocalypse. A fun thought experiment about preparing for the end times. To wrap up, I have some quick tips on managing anxiety during a pandemic. This week's podcast promo: The 42 Cast

  • My Dad Is Mad At Me - 143
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 12, 2020 at 8:10 am

    So I recently found out that my dad is mad at me. This occurred as a result of my recent episode titled, About Money. I haven't actually figured out why my dad is mad at me. The only hint I have received is a message from dad's girlfriend telling me that she let him listen to the episode. All I can surmise is that I did not mention him enough in the episode. So, this episode is an attempt to correct that oversight. This week, I speak to my own son and we discuss our relationship. I also tell my son about things that I have done with my father. My dad and I have gone on several vacation-type trips. I mention these trips to my son on this episode. Potatoes are my father's favourite. So naturally, I tell my own potato story. My dad is mad at me, but this episode is an attempt to reach out and clarify a few things. We shall see if this works. This week's podcast promo: Watchathon of Rassilon

  • The List - 142
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 5, 2020 at 8:52 am

    The List of important qualities to have in a partner. I have been teasing the reveal of the list I made a couple of months ago. In early January, my friend Rene told me that I should make a list of all the qualities I want in a partner. I was very resistant to the idea for several weeks. However, after he brought up the idea on multiple occasions, I finally decided to do it. I made the list. And now, for the first time, I am unveiling the list for all the Soul Forge listeners. Tracy joins the episode to discuss the finer points and details of all the requirements I have made. Do you have a list? Did you make one before you found your partner? You will be amazed to learn how my life has changed once I actually wrote down my list of important qualities to have in a partner. Don't forget to send us your comments and questions so that Tracy and I can do a book review of Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. This week's podcast promo: Thunder Talk

  • Success Redefined - 141
    by Shawn Vanderloo on February 27, 2020 at 8:45 am

    What is success? How do we as a society define success? We here at the Soul Forge think it's time that success gets redefined. Shawn and Tracy ask each other if they feel successful in their own lives. Why do they give the answers they give? They answer by thinking of some of the things they have or do that make them successful in their own ways. It is important to realize that our definition of success can change over time. As a young man, Shawn found it necessary to collect as many action figures as possible. This was success to him. Now, success is selling off his collection and emptying totes. Ask yourself what society expects from a successful person. Are you measuring up? Does it even matter if you are? It is possible for you to define success for yourself. Do you have role models of success? Can you use yourself as your own measurement for success? Success is different from region to region and person to person. This week's podcast promo: The Monster Sci Fi Show