The Soul Forge Podcast

The Soul Forge PodcastThe 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!

  • Bridgerton, Bacon, The Boys and More - 326
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 20, 2024 at 3:05 am

    Food, History, television shows, work, feedback and more on this week's episode. No topic is too obscure for us to cover! The weather is our first mini topic. A veritable heat wave has descended upon us. From hail to humidity, no one is safe from these extremes. Some days it feels as though we are sitting here melting. We had our yard sale this last weekend. Turns out we prefer going to sales, rather than hosting them. There is a lot of prep work involved. Pricing items is quite important, and having an organizational system is key. Item placement will affect your sales. Keeping your items in line of sight is crucial. Leah goes to a work leadership conference this week. She and her co-workers will exchange ideas, and talk about having difficult conversations. There will be skills fair full of differing booths. This is one of the very few times where Shawn and Leah have been apart for a few days. Richard from Australia provides feedback on our restaurant review episode. This leads to a discussion about The Blockhouse, an eatery in the old St. Mary's Paper building. We then discuss the historic Canal District, the Soo Locks and the Agawa Train tour. Our episode ends with a chat about some recent television we have been enjoying. Season three of Bridgerton was a particular delight. The Boys, The Acolyte and The Big Bang Theory are in regular rotation. There is some chatter about sequel series such at Crusade, Star Trek, Young Sheldon, and the Mandolorian. This week's podcast promo: Monkeeing Around

  • Taking Care of Dad - 325
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 13, 2024 at 3:05 am

    Taking care of dad for our Father's Day episode! We start this episode with a brief history of how Father's Day began. Did you know this holiday is not much older than a century? In fact, Father's Day was introduced in 1910. Naturally, it was a response to Mother's Day and soon became associated with retail and commerce. You will learn even more in this episode. Shawn and Leah discuss their fathers. They each have dads, fathers-in-law, as well as stepfathers. Shawn talks about being a father and a step-father. An important aspect of this discussion is their feelings towards these dads. What happened to the step-dads in their lives? Taking care of dad is a major part of the episode. Both Shawn and Leah's fathers are in their 70s. Age brings many things with it, including loss of ability, forgetfulness and wounded pride. Imparting their wisdom also becomes important as dads age. Shawn must help his dad do the things he once took for granted. Leah is helping her father move closer to his wife. Pop Culture and Dads! Robot and Frank, Darth Vader, Family Law, the dads of Disney, Full House, Steven Speilberg's take on dads, Family Ties, Roseanne, Who's The Boss?, Glee, My Two Dads, Modern Family, and Three Men and a Baby. No one wants your stuff! When a dad passes on, what happens to their things? A brief discussion on what to do with all the stuff left behind. Who wants what, and where does it go? This week's podcast promo: Modern Musicology

  • Chuck's Roadhouse Restaurant Review - 324
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 6, 2024 at 12:51 am

    New ideas are brewing at Soul Forge HQ. Shawn and Leah are bringing you more excitement and adventure. The topics are going to be vast and wide-ranging. We plan to bring our listeners an enhanced podcast experience. Stay tuned for the updated format! So, we recently got into meal prep. It seemed like a great idea to have ready-made ideas for a week's worth of dinners. An amazing meal was planned, but time got away from us. Therefore, we decided to go to a restaurant because it was too late to cook. We went to Chuck's and while we were there we discussed podcast ideas. Chuck's Roadhouse restaurant review was born! Plenty of new ideas are coming up. This episode talks about the good and the bad you may experience at a Chuck's restaurant. We're talking about tipping etiquette, half-price apps and a whole lot more. We even had dessert this week! From Chuck's website: Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar and Grill has been a beacon to road travellers everywhere since 2015. We pay homage to the traditional roadhouses by providing not only a great atmosphere, but an unwavering commitment to serving the best quality food for the best price. Due to the high demand from our guests across Canada, Chuck’s Roadhouse continues to expand at an increasingly rapid pace. Food the way it ought to be, priced the way it used to be. Not only a statement used to represent our brand, but a mindset applied to the process in which our menu is crafted. Quality menu items including: AAA steaks, Lobster Tail, Prime Rib Burgers, Ice Cold Draught and more, for a fraction of our competitors’ prices. We appeal to communities who look for that classic roadhouse taste, comfortable ambiance and second-to-none guest experience. We’re a brand dedicated to delivering a hospitable dining experience and creating that comfortable place for everyone to enjoy a meal, grab a drink or watch their favourite team on the big screen TV’s. This week's podcast promo: The Flopcast

  • Let's Host A Yard Sale - 323
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 30, 2024 at 3:01 am

    We love yard sales. Hosting them. Going to them. Finding hidden treasures. There is very little not to love about a yard sale. Or should we call it a garage sale? On this episode of the Soul Forge Podcast, Shawn and Leah talk everything there is to talk about yard sales. They will soon be hosting their own. Have you ever hosted a sale? Would you do so again? What is the best thing you have ever gotten at a sale? Let us know at Shawn and Leah talk about some of their recent acquisitions. Leah collects and searches for vintage Disney items. Song of the South and Splash Mountain are her main focus at the moment. She also actively searches for toys from the 1980s. Shawn is always on the lookout for Hot Wheels, Star Trek stuff, movies and fodder for Etsy. Why do people collect? We break down some of the possibilities. Hosting a yard sale can be tricky. There are many things to understand and think about. Making sure you have enough change is very important. There are weather concerns as well. Let's host a yard sale, you said. It will be fun, you said. Remember that no one wants your old wine glasses. Make sure to price fairly, and display things in an eye-pleasing manner. We also talk about antique and thrift stores. There are some amazing YouTubers out there that have a lot of great information. Shawn recently spoke with some podcast marketers who wanted to charge a fortune for their services. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and How Disney Built America are recent viewing experiences. Find Leah on Etsy at Find Shawn on Etsy at This week's podcast promo: Epsilon Three Podcast #yardsale #Disney #startrek #thrift #antique #collect #vintage #toys #YouTube

  • Wedding Week Adventures - 322
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 16, 2024 at 3:01 am

    Our wedding in Las Vegas and our honeymoon in California. Leah and Shawn flew to Las Vegas to get married. After spending a few days in Sin City, they drove to Cathedral City, California. This episode of the Soul Forge is a day by day recap of their adventures. May 2nd and 3rd: The first day was a travel day. Major delays were the main topic of conversation. Mechanical problems caused a 7 hour delay in travel. The second day was much better. The couple got their marriage license. The line was huge. The heat in Nevada is very different from that in Florida. Supper at Bubba Gump Shrimp was decent. May 4th: Wedding day finds Leah stuffed up and sniffling. The hotel mattress was uncomfortable and the temperature was all over the place. Leah had her makeup done at a beauty school while Shawn and Wyatt picked up their rental car. It was a Mustang! Shawn and Wyatt went toy shopping and picked up comics and hot wheels. Leah and Shawn were married that afternoon. Dinner was at Triple George Grill. May 5th: A full day of shopping. We visited the Coca-Cola store on the Las Vegas strip. We also went to the Hershey store, the M&Ms shop and the Stranger Things Netflix store. Freemont Street was dirty and busy. The premium outlets were full of moments. The Ocean One Bar and Grill was amazing. May 6th: We finally left Las Vegas. Before we did though, we visited the Antique Mall of America. It was huge and we probably spent over 2 hours in there. Afterwards, we drove the 4 hours to Palm Springs. The scenery was beautiful, almost as if you were driving towards a gigantic painting. Cathedral City is a warm and comfortable town. May 7th: We explored the town and area. The roads were fantastic. The thrifting and antique shopping was also amazing. So much fun sticking around our home base. May 8th: A thrilling drive to Knott's Berry Farm. The highways in California are atrocious. Super busy, congested and full of accidents and slow-downs. The amusement park was fun. May 9th: The wedding week adventures are coming to an end. We visited the graves of Frank Sinatra and Sonny Bono. Afterwards we enjoyed a couple's massage. Then we had a nap and some drinks. May 10th: Homeward bound. An early drive to the San Diego airport. We took an alternate route. While it was quite beautiful, it was also treacherously windy and hilly. We were separated for 4 hours on the first plane ride. Fun, but exhausting. We are married! #coach #hotwheels #strangerthings #shakeshack #bubbagumpshrimp #lasvegas #mustang #starwarsday #triplegeorgegrill #coke #hershey #m&ms #disney #puma #vercini #hottopic #lush #tesla #miraclemile  #palmsprings #antiques #songofthesouth #volkswagen #elcamino #cowboys #anxiety #depression #whiskey  #walmart #thrifting #money #knottsberryfarm #themepark #california #amazonprime #rollercoasters #podcast  #startrek #doctorwho #franksinatra #sonnybono  This week's podcast promos: Earth Station DCU, Earth Station Trek, Earth Station Who

  • 321 - The Final Countdown
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 2, 2024 at 3:01 am

    The wedding of the century is almost upon us. Shawn and Leah will be married in Las Vegas on May the 4th. This episode of the Soul Forge discusses their plans and the countdown until the big day! But first, we talk about smile cookies. Tim Hortons, Canada's number 1 coffee shop sells their smile cookies once a year. This is the big fundraiser that sends kids to camp for the summer. These cookies, while delicious, are not packaged up very well. There may be some drunk singing in Vegas. Leah hopes to get Shawn singing karaoke. The only evidence of Shawn singing while drunk is on YouTube. Can you find it? Other topics this week include seed planting. Leah is on a seed planting rampage. Mostly cabbage has sprouted so far. Shawn enjoyed coffee with his brothers this weekend. Many topics were discussed. Also, Shawn and Leah answer a few random questions found on TikTok. The fedora. Shawn always wanted a fedora. However, he is too self-conscious to wear one. This week he bought one anyway. He's finally reached the age where he doesn't care what people think. That's freedom. Where are we going for the honeymoon? We have ideas. Fremont Street. Alcatraz. DisneyLand. The possibilities are endless. Will Shawn open a comic shop with brother Robin and their friend James? The final countdown is here! This is the link to watch the livestream of the wedding: This week's podcast promo: The Dragon Con Report

  • Animal Consciousness and Other Ideas - 320
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 25, 2024 at 3:00 am

    Are animals self aware? Scientific evidence supports the assumption that it “feels like something” for a fish to be caught on a hook. Shawn and Leah have a bit of a lively discussion regarding animal consciousness. They talk about their dads, wedding preparations, taxes, television shows and more! Scientists and philosophers across the globe agree it is reasonable to assume the vast majority of creatures on Earth are sentient in some way — including lobster, squid and the tiny flies that swarm over drinks left outside in the summer. The New York Declaration on #Animal #Consciousness, released Friday, was signed by 39 cognition scholars at universities from Canada to Australia. It says there is “at least a realistic possibility” that all vertebrates and many invertebrates have conscious experience. The declaration rests on recent scientific studies that show garter snakes can recognize their own scent, crows can report what they see, octopi can avoid pain and fruit flies can sleep — and they sleep best when they’re with other fruit flies. Also on this episode are discussions about fears, and how much work has been recently dumped onto Letter Carriers. #Television shows mentioned include #Fallout, #Crusade, #Robocop and #Star Trek Discovery. Leah and Shawn's dad started planting in the greenhouse. They sat and shared their seeds. This week's podcast promo: Cosmic Pizza

  • Our First Fight - 319
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 11, 2024 at 3:06 am

    Our first fight recently took place. What was it about? How did the issue get resolved? Find out on this exciting episode of the Soul Forge Podcast! This particular episode premieres on April 11, 2024. It was 17 years ago on this date that Shawn joined the Post Office. Since that time, he has delivered hundreds of thousands, if not millions of letters, flyers, magazines and parcels. How many more years will he continue? Only time will tell! On Monday of this week, the world experience a solar eclipse. People travelled far and wide to catch a glimpse of the totality. Here in Sault Ste. Marie, we were not in the path. Shawn did manage to take a video of the partial eclipse. However, it was cloudy. There was not much darkness, although the shadows became well defined. And the irony is that after the event was over, the clouds disappeared and the sky was clear. Star Trek Discovery has returned for its fifth and final season. The first two episodes were decent. Leah created a Facebook group dealing with Jeep ducking. You should all join Soul Forge Jeep Ducks. Shawn and Leah are fairly well prepared for their wedding on May 4th. Flights and hotels are booked. Dinner reservations have been made. They have plans for several adventures. They hope to go axe throwing and go karting. There is a 2 floor candy store to visit and a movie prop museum to tour. They also plan to visit Disney Land and Alcatraz. Our first fight happened over the Easter weekend. What was it about? You must listen to find out. And this episode ends with a question and answer session. Leah found some interesting questions on TikTok. This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds

  • International Love - 318
    by Shawn Vanderloo on April 4, 2024 at 3:01 am

    International love is the tale of two strangers who became friends, and then embarked on a long distance relationship. This multi-year romance blossomed. Soon, it turned into a 90 day fiance situation. A year ago they moved in together. Six months ago they married. This is their story. But that's not all! Luke and Dakota have a story for the ages. He is American. She is Canadian. They once lived thousands of miles apart. Dating for five years over long distance presents many challenges and obstacles. Somehow, Luke and Dakota found a way to overcome everything in their way. Due to their distance, they learned to communicate. This was all they had during the long years when they could not be together. Brutal honesty is their strength. Now that they are living together, this communication ability is a major asset. They have learned about their love languages. Dakota feels spoiled. Her love language is Acts of Service. Luke does everything for her. He ensures she is fed and hydrated. Anything she needs, he makes sure she has. For Luke, is need is Quality Time. As long as he knows Dakota is there, he feels safe. Other topics on this episode include all the government hurdles they need to jump. So much paperwork and bio-metric work can be overwhelming. Fingerprints and photos have been taken numerous times. Shawn and Leah talk about their trip to Milwaukee to visit Luke and Dakota. Leah picked up a much sought after DVD. Shawn gathered a pile of Hot Wheels. Their Jeep was ducked. What's ducking? Find out here! This week's podcast promo: The 42 Cast

  • Relationship Level Ups - 317
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 21, 2024 at 3:00 am

    Relationships go through predictable stages. Each stage builds upon the previous one. Are there 4 stages, five, or seven? This all depends on which particular website or expert you check with. For the purposes of this episode, we will assume there are 4 stages, or levels. The first stage is the initial meeting and attraction. A significant aspect of this stage is the role of hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine, often dubbed the ‘feel-good hormone’, creates feelings of euphoria, craving, and motivation, which are typically associated with the early stages of romantic attraction. Oxytocin, frequently referred to as the ‘love hormone’, fosters feelings of attachment and deepens the emotional bond between partners, especially during intimate moments. Level 2 is the infatuation or romance stage. Infatuation is “foolish” in that we can only see our partner’s light side. We’re in complete denial of their dark side. Early attraction often involves the physical attributes of the potential partner, and include things like outward appearance, body type, interests and personality traits. At this stage, the attraction may not be too “deep” and each half of a couple is generally putting his or her best foot forward. Stage 3 is the enlightenment or stability level. Couples often go “deeper” in their connection. Trust is stronger and more intimacies may be shared at this next stage as couples take away some of their “best face” and allow themselves to act more naturally and relaxed. As intimacy develops between the two people, more self-disclosure emerges, both verbally and nonverbally as couples act in ways that are more like how they are in their daily life. Level 4 is the commitment stage. At this stage in a relationship, couples should have a good understanding of their partner’s values, lifestyle, and goals for the future. You’ve learned to love each other by having to like each other. You choose each other consciously. This week's podcast promo: Watchathon of Rassilon

  • Disney DREAM Cruise Line Review - 316
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 12, 2024 at 8:04 pm

    Disney Dream cruise of March 3-8, 2024. This is Shawn and Leah's report! The Disney Dream is a cruise ship operated by Disney Cruise Line, part of The Walt Disney Company. The first of the Dream-class, she is the third ship of the overall fleet, the other four ships in the fleet being the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wish. She currently sails four-day and five-day cruises to the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean calling at Cozumel and Grand Cayman, as well as Disney's private island Castaway Cay. In May 2023, the Disney Dream sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and began sailings in Europe. She entered service in 2011; her sister ship, Disney Fantasy, was deployed in 2012. This was Shawn's first ever cruise, and Leah's third Disney cruise. On this episode of the podcast, they give you a day by day breakdown of events. Highlights include: trivia, the food, the people they met, and the weather. The fish extender gift exchange was a fun feature. Derived from the fact that outside every stateroom on a Disney Cruise, there is a fish that is used to hold communications from the ship to you. People started making a pocketed cloth container that hangs from the fish (thus Fish Extender) to collect little gifts from others that were cruising on the ship. Everyone who signs up for the Fish Extender is also volunteering to create or buy a gift for everyone else in the group and leave it in their Fish Extender during the cruise. The gifts can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like them to be. There are no rules about what the gift has to be. Shawn and Leah also tell you about the broadway-like events they witnessed. Believe and the Golden Mickeys were great fun! Rum tasting left them tipsy, but happy. Castaway Cay and Grand Cayman Island were beautiful to see. The crystal cave tour was a sight to behold, although the tour felt rushed. Pirate Day, and Marvel Day at Sea were fun to experience. This week's podcast promos: Modern Musicology, ESO Patreon, Monkeeing Around, Monster Attack, Tales from Hollywoodland

  • Not Packed, But Ready To Go! 315
    by Shawn Vanderloo on March 1, 2024 at 1:21 am

    Talking about our first cruise together. This is Shawn's very first cruising experience. Leah has been on several. While this episode has a heavy focus on travel, there are several other topics covered as well! One of Leah's favourite parts of going on a cruise -- multiples stops and visits in one trip. Seeing a good amount of different places on the same vacation is rather enticing. Shawn is excited to see a new part of the world. A major factor in travel are the airports. Layovers can be a challenge. Leah believes a longer layover is not necessarily a bad thing. Longer layovers afford you the opportunity to wander the airport, go to the bathroom, and make your way across the terminal without missing your connecting flight. In 2 months we will be going to Las Vegas to get married. Our original honeymoon plan was to fly to Hawaii. However, we have decided to explore California in a rental car. We have not packed for our trip this weekend, but we do know what we are bringing to both Florida and Vegas. We are not packed, but ready to go, yes we are! This episode comes out on Leap Day. Leah's dad's wedding anniversary is on February 29th. He thinks it is hilarious that he only has to celebrate once every 4 years. Shawn and Leah talk about their first Valentine's Day date and what an experience that was. Leah recently had a root canal and some fillings. She is now awaiting a crown. Travel is expensive, and their is discussion about credit card debt, pensions and retirement money, and only living once so you may as well enjoy it. Shawn and the boys from the Epsilon Three podcast recently wrapped up their review of Babylon 5's final season. This has a fun tie-in to emotion. Leah does not think Shawn is expressive and she's definitely correct. This week's podcast promo: The Flopcast

  • Public Displays of Affection - 314
    by Shawn Vanderloo on February 14, 2024 at 4:29 am

    Public displays of affection is the topic on this special Valentine's Day release! This is episode 314 so naturally we talk about pie. Why pie? 3.14 is the basic formula for pi. That's something to do with math and circles. Shawn and Leah joke about doing an entire episode about pi and pie. This is not that episode. Next up is a brief review of the movie I.S.S. From its website, a brief description: Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station (I.S.S.) as a worldwide conflict breaks out on Earth. Reeling, the US and Russian astronauts aboard each receive orders from the ground: take control of the station by any means necessary. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite brings together a stellar cast including Academy Award®-winner Ariana DeBose in this high-stakes space thriller. Did Shawn and Leah enjoy the movie? This episode of the Soul Forge Podcast has that answer, and many others! Leah will be having a root canal in the near future. That procedure will require a 3 hour drive to Sudbury. As if we didn't have enough travel planned. Upcoming trips include a Disney cruise in March, an Easter visit to Milwaukee in April and a flight to Vegas in May for the wedding. For some reason we are talking coffee. And smoothies. The main topic of conversation is public displays of affection. While visiting Traverse City recently, Shawn and Leah were stopped by strangers more than once. It turns out that PDA is rare in northern Michigan. We were looking for antiques and hot wheels. And we made quite the impression with our hand holding. We're precious! Do you hold hands in public? Let us know at This week's podcast promo: Epsilon Three

  • Sticks and Stones - 313
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 31, 2024 at 10:15 pm

    Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can hurt just as much. Sometimes they hurt more. This week, Gaelyn, the owner of Amore joins Shawn for an intimate chat. Amore is Sault Ste. Marie's premier adult toy shop. You can find them at 331 Korah Road. As Shawn walked into Amore to record this episode with Gaelyn, he overhead something about a human auction. The better part of valour suggested that he wait until the conversations was over before asking anything about it. Turns out there will be a fun fundraiser. The human auction is to raise money for the Scarlet Affair Annual Drag Show. This is a fund raising event for Harp and families or individuals that have been affected by HIV or AIDS. Tickets are on sale at Amore for the event. So essentially, there will be a celebrity auction to raise funds. The event will be held on February 17, at the Soo Moose Lodge. You can bid for a date with a local celebrity. The date will be held a month later. These dates will be in a public space for safety reasons. Jay's Piston Broke Pub and Amore's St Patrick's Day fashion show is where the dates will be taking place. There are some new products coming into the shop! The emojibator comes in many different shapes and styles. As stated on their website: The most evocative emoji of all, and our most popular toy, the Eggplant Emojibator is the ultimate party starter. Inspired by the eggplant emoji, this adorable toy offers 10 vibration patterns in a waterproof design that's safe for bath and shower play. It will leave you buzzing all night long, and will never leave your texts unread. Sticks and stones are often less hurtful than words. It is still possible to get bullied after leaving school. Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions. The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying. Different types of bullying There are many different types of bullying: The different types of bullying Verbal bullying Name calling, teasing, putting someone down, threatening to cause someone harm. Physical bullying Poking, hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping or pushing someone, breaking someone’s things, pulling faces or making rude hand signals. Social bullying Lying, spreading rumours, playing horrible jokes, leaving someone out on purpose, embarrassing someone in public. Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is using technology like email, mobile phones, chat rooms or networking sites to hurt someone by sending hurtful messages, pictures or comments   This week's podcast promo: Earth Station Who

  • Attacked By Monsters - 312
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 25, 2024 at 4:01 am

    Awesome feedback received this week! Jim from the Monster Attack podcast wrote in to say he is listening. There has been much sickness in the house, but that has not stopped us from making plans and doing the things! From Jim we learned that our show is engaging and enjoyable. Shawn and Leah have great chemistry and this is apparent when listening. Jim will keep on listening--there are a lot of episodes to catch up on. We will be listening to his Monster Attack podcast. Everyone in our house has been down with the sickness the last month. We are on the road to recovery, but it is taking longer than expected. Shawn even called in sick to work and that is quite a rarity. There was a recent birthday dinner. Curtis, one of Shawn's brothers, had a birthday in December and this past week, the 3 brothers were able to mesh their schedules and go to Chuck's Roadhouse to celebrate. Bathroom renovations have been on hold. The leaky sink has sunk our motivation to continue. We are however, planning a cruise, a visit to Milwaukee for Easter, and a trip to Traverse City this weekend. Some time away is required after being sick and taking care of Shawn's dad. There are some fun plans for the next few months! Check out our Etsy shops! Leah's store can be found by searching Collect and Cast On. Shawn's store is Rusted Robot Toys. This week's podcast promo: Monster Attack

  • The Iron Claw - 311
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 11, 2024 at 4:00 am

    The Iron Claw tells the story of the professional wrestling family, the Von Erichs. Shawn and Leah just saw this film in theatres, and are here to share their thoughts on the movie, and recall their wrestling memories. Of the two, Leah is a bigger fan of wrestling than Shawn. She has met many professional wrestlers. One time, Shawn saw Hulk Hogan walking up some stairs. The bulk of Shawn's wrestling knowledge is from the mid-1980s to about 1991. Leah has had much more interaction in the world of wrestling, including going on a wrestling inspired cruise. The Iron Claw starts in the nineteen-sixties, when Fritz, a struggling wrestler, splurges on a Cadillac to foster an illusion of success, while imbuing his two young sons, Kevin and David, with a gospel of fanatical self-reliance that’s also an imperative to be the “toughest” and the “strongest.” The movie’s protagonist, and its occasional narrator, is the grownup Kevin, the family’s oldest surviving son. Kevin’s older brother, Jack, Jr., died in an accident at the age of six. Jack’s death is one of the key reversals that shadows the family, leading to the pervasive, publicity-fuelled notion—one that the Von Erichs take grimly seriously—of a family curse. The heart of the drama begins in 1979, when Kevin is making a name for himself in the ring—namely, the Sportatorium, a small Dallas arena that Fritz owns and operates. “We loved wrestling,” Kevin reminisces in voice-over, and it shows, even as the rest of the movie depicts how that love was lost, along with many of the people he loved. “The Iron Claw” is as exuberant as it is mournful, and the high spirits of performance and achievement are inseparable from the price that they exact. Kevin is disciplined, focussed, and grounded; he’s a vigorous and enthusiastic performer, leaping from the ropes, raging, slamming, punching, and putting on a show with the maneuver—the skull-squeezing Iron Claw—that made his father famous. But for Fritz it isn’t enough that Kevin is locally successful; Fritz, who believes that he was wrongly denied the sport’s heavyweight championship, lives for the day that one of his four sons—and, indeed, preferably all of them, in succession—will win that belt.  Fritz’s pecking order is far more than merely professional. Because his very identity—as his family’s protector, the redeemer of its name and the breaker of its curse—is bound to the prospect of his sons’ successes in the ring, his professional favor is also a paternal popularity contest. At the breakfast table, Fritz unabashedly announces his ranking of his four living sons, adding that the ranking “can always change.” The young men, ranging from adulthood to adolescence, are competing, above all, for their father’s love. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station Trek

  • Decade - 310
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 2, 2024 at 10:12 pm

    Decade 2014 to 2024. This week is the 10 year anniversary of Shawn's podcasting journey. Join us as we look back at some of the highs and lows of this decisive decade. It all started in 2012 when Shawn got a second-hand iPod. A co-worker introduced him to the world of podcasts. Beginning with Star Trek pods, Shawn soon began to expand his interests. There were so many different shows, formats, genres and types of hosts. That's when he realized he had opinions he could share with the world. His wife agreed to co-host and the Rusted Robot Podcast was born. Leah wonders why Shawn wanted a co-host. After talking about the need for a co-host, they talk about what transpired. The marriage fell apart, but they tried to keep the show going. After 90 episodes, the show was retooled and Josh became co-host. The Robot had a tumultous 7 year run. In the meantime, Shawn searched for his wife's replacement. He looked everywhere, but the feelings could not be recaptured. This lead to many moves and adventures and possibly incorrect decisions. Eventually Shawn found himself back home in Sault Ste. Marie. After some mild excursions, Shawn and Leah found themselves together. While Shawn was stuck in Timmins, Leah was finding out who she was. A decade of podcasting leads to many adventures. Meeting all kinds of people is exciting. There has been a lot of miles traveled in 10 years. A lot of firsts experienced, and many more to come! This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One

  • Shawn, You Move Too Fast - 309
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 21, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    Welcome to the final episode of 2023! On this show, Shawn and Leah look back on the year that was. After the break, they talk about some future plans. Were you aware of everything that took place in their lives? Are you rooting for the success of their lives together? Shawn, you move too fast is something Shawn has heard more than once. Is he dumb, or does he have unlimited hope and confidence in his decisions? Only you can decide the answer to these questions. The future is wide open, and it seems Shawn and Leah may have gotten it right this time! In January, Shawn was dating and living with Melissa. By the end of March that relationship was over. Shawn was trying to live his best life, but the universe had other plans. When depression or unhappiness sets in, there's only one thing to do! You must start a new collection. This time it was Hot Wheels! Meanwhile, Leah was living her life and planning cruises! In April Shawn and Leah had dinner together. Shawn put his property in Timmins up for sale. By May, the pair were a couple and planning a future. In June, the house Shawn lived in with Melissa was sold and Shawn's stuff went into storage and he was sharing an apartment with his brother Robin. However, most nights were spent with Leah. The summer was gone before we knew it. September saw the pair go to Disney World and get engaged. In November they announced their engagement as the ring they ordered was finally delivered. As for the future, Shawn and Leah are going on a cruise. This will be Shawn's first time on a big boat. They will be going aboard the Disney Dream. In May, they will be going to Las Vegas to get married. The hope and the goal is to honeymoon in Hawaii. After that, the future is wide open! This week's podcast promo: Earth Station DCU

  • Road Trips, Renovations & Romance - 308
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 4, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    Shawn and Leah were on holidays this week. Rest assured, it was no vacation. While Shawn took a tour of the great Canadian north, Leah stayed home to renovate the bathroom. What they thought should have taken a few days, became an ongoing saga. However, there are many good times ahead. The road trip! On Sunday, Shawn drove up to Timmins. He lived there for 19 years, and his doctor is still there. Finding a new doctor is all but impossible. Two days spent in Timmins. Shawn visited his son, a few friends, and cleaned out his building which recently sold. Then he went to see Frank and Martha. They live about 5 hours from Timmins. Frank collected about 2000 VHS tapes for when Shawn was going to open a junk store. The tapes were picked up, and Shawn went on to North Bay and Sudbury. He finally made it home late Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Leah was busy taking down the old tiles in the bathroom. The previous remodel was not done properly. Lots of dust and dirt, followed by painting and the removal of old stuff. As it stands now, there is still painting and flooring to do. The tiles are up, but the grout remains. The good news is that the entire job should come in well under budget. Leah booked a cruise for this coming March. Shawn has never been cruising before. They will be aboard the Disney Dream. Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they will be seeing the Grand Cayman Islands and Castaway Cay. In other news, Shawn and Leah are engaged. Shawn proposed in front of Cinderella's castle when the couple went to Disney World back in September. The wedding will take place in Las Vegas on May the 4th. Trying to get an engagement ring is a major drama all by itself. Listen to the episode for all that information. This week's podcast promo: Cosmic Pizza Podcast

  • Buy, Rent or Renovate - 307
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    Buy, rent or renovate....these are the options that face us today. Shawn and Leah discuss the possibilities they have as they progress in their relationship. The upcoming week is full of adventure - Shawn is driving up north to see friends and family, while Leah is staying home to redo parts of the bathroom. Decisions for the future are looming. Shawn's building in Timmins has recently sold. This means that he is mortgage-free, and is free to buy a home in Sault Ste. Marie. The happy couple has been looking at homes in town to see what's out there. Brand new construction versus older homes. New builds have no charm and character. Older homes may have wet basements and smell of rot. So many options and decisions. When to buy and when to renovate Remember the following are what to look for when buying a house or renovating your current property. Market environment – when you’re selling your house and looking to buy, it’s important to research what the current resale market looks like. Many market factors can impact the price of real estate and the market demand. Depending on where you are in Canada and the market conditions in that area may dictate if moving to a new property or renovating is the best solution for you, Overall costs – it’s important to consider the overall cost of a move and of a renovation. While renovations normally require less monetary support than purchasing property, sometimes it’s best to let the house go and move on to a new house for an exciting new adventure.  Especially if family or personal circumstances have changed that may make moving a necessity. Mental well-being – an unexpected aspect to consider is everyone’s well-being. House hunting is a process that can take longer than expected, so it could take a good amount of perseverance to find something that fits your standard. On the other hand, living in a house undergoing renovation can also be tiring. Either way, be sure that you’re prepared for the work ahead of you. As with anything, buying something new to replace the old is very exciting, and houses are no exception to that idea. However, renovating brings a different kind of excitement when you see your own designs and vision become reality. Buy, rent or renovate....the choice is yours! This week's podcast promo: Tales From Hollywoodland

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