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!

  • 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

  • True Love: Josh & Kitty - 140
    by Shawn Vanderloo on February 20, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Success in love. This year the Soul Forge is including as many chats with successful couples as it is possible to find. These types of episodes are important in a world that can often seem lonely, cruel and cold. This week, we have a conversation with my co-hosts on my other podcast, The Rusted Robot. Josh and Kitty have known each other since she was 14 and he was 17. Find out when and how they met, and how long their story has been unfolding. They built the relationship on a solid foundation of friendship; friends who shared similar interests and outlooks on life. What started as mutual long-term crushes became official dating on August 18, 2000 at 11PM. Josh would go on to rent a room in Kitty's parents' house. They were practically living together almost from the very start. Kitty knew it was meant to be when she build a sign in shop class with her future last name on it. In all their time together, they have only had 2 minor fights, and 3 somewhat major ones. They have survived living with various room-mates, and have struggled financially. They attribute their success to communication. It is vital to leave emotion out of discussions. Always try to remain calm and rational. They think like a team, as in "how do we solve this problem together?" Try to avoid drama at all costs. Josh's breakup limit rule. This week's podcast promo: Terminus Doctor Who Podcast

  • Total Drama Island - 139
    by Shawn Vanderloo on February 13, 2020 at 8:30 am

    This week's episode is kind of an update show. What has been happening in the life of your host? He has been living and working on total drama island! Actually, his personal life is going pretty well for once. Work, however, is quite another matter. Perhaps this episode reveals a bit too much about the inner workings of the post office. Maybe you will learn a few behind-the-scenes details that you knew nothing about. The main point of this episode is to catch you up with the saga of how your host is feeling towards his employment. So get comfortable, have a seat, put your feet up and grab a tasty beverage. You are about to enter total drama island! This week's podcast promo: Pop Culture Cosmos

  • The Aftermath of Fame With Cory Robin - 138
    by Shawn Vanderloo on February 6, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Cory Robin visits the Soul Forge Podcast to talk about his brush with fame and the aftermath of the experience. In 2018 Cory ran for a seat as city councillor for Ward 5 in Timmins.  Although he did not win a seat, he learned a great deal about how to handle loss and fame. Cory tells us about how he ran his campaign, the money spent, and the heart and soul he put into the effort. Listen in to learn what brought him to his decision to run for council. He talks about his passion for Aboriginal First Nations issues. His political ambitions began by trying to deal with systemic racism in our city. Other topics include the importance of feedback, living through social media and curating an image. Cory tells us about reframing his loss into something positive and he tells us the story of the vote recount. Final thoughts include being honest and authentic, and knowing who you are. Follow him on Facebook at Robin in the City. This week's podcast promo: Nerdlanta

  • About Money - 137
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 30, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Money talks. Money matters. It's all about that money on this week's Soul Forge. Join me as I discuss financial matters. I will be delving deep into my past for a look at how I grew up and how I gained my attitudes towards money. Because I grew up poor, I have always had an appreciation for money. In this episode, you'll learn about the vehicle I'm too frugal to purchase. You will hear about my hollywood dreams. And you will learn how my bank lady is setting me up for retirement. There's a whole lot of information here. It's funny. It's sad. It's eye opening. This week's podcast promo: Nerdbliss

  • Unexpected Magic Is The Best Kind - 136
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 23, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Sometimes the universe gives you exactly what you asked for. However, the universe also likes to play tricks to keep you on your toes. It will not always give you what you ask for in the ways in which you hoped it would. This episode tells the tale of last weekend and the events that occurred. As you will recall from the previous episode, my first love, Stephanie, was having a birthday celebration in Sudbury. There were a lot of unexpected and intense moments. And as the title reveals, unexpected magic is the best kind of magic there is. Do I reveal too much in this episode? Perhaps I do. Does it matter? I do not believe it does. When a person experiences magic, it needs to be shared. No one can ever feel what I felt, but they can know that magic is real. Do you believe? I sure as hell do! This week's podcast promo: Metal Geeks

  • Love, Heartbreak & Poetry - 135
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 16, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Love and heartbreak both lead to poetry. This week, we take a little trip down memory lane. I'm going through my archives and sharing some of my poetry with you. We will be thinking about love, happiness, longing, anger, acceptance, and so many other emotions. First though, there is some feedback to share. And I have a self-help book to recommend, although I do not agree with the term 'self-help' Sit back and relax. It is time to be nostalgic about love and heartbreak through poetry. The 14 poems are as follows: Acceptance? Bitter Aftertaste Blank Page Cherry Encounter at the Terminal Everyday Idealization Love's Resurgence Still The Lone Essential Truth of Human Existence The Muse I'm So Happy! Truth to Tell The Site of our First Kiss This week's podcast promos: the Flopcast, ESO Patreon

  • A Father and Son Chat - 134
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 9, 2020 at 8:33 am

    My son stops by for a quick father and son chat. What does Bishop want to do with his life? What are his thoughts about the future? We discuss what he has been learning in school. Is he actually learning anything? Well, it's hard to tell from what he says, but it does appear some things are getting through to him. We talk about my education, my dreams of opening a bar, and what it would be like if I could start my life over. Bishop gives a definition of what success means to him, and he tells us about the kind of power he would like to have. We round out our discussion by talking about movies and pop culture. I have been trying to round out his classic movie education, and for the most part, he has been enjoying my efforts. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station DCU

  • 2020 Vision - 133
    by Shawn Vanderloo on January 1, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Radical honesty and the future of the Soul Forge Podcast. So we all have an idea of what our lives are supposed to be; a vision for what we want, what we need, and how we wish to be seen. This year, I've put a lot of thought into who I am, who I am becoming, and my 2020 vision for the podcast. The plan is to focus on success stories. Past episodes have focused on mental health. That is all well and good, but this year I want to take a look at people who are already where they want to be. Not all episodes will have this focus however. There will still be the usual kinds of shows. Sprinkling success stories every few episodes will be a nice change of pace where we can all see the good that is in the world. I am also embracing who I am. Radical honesty is a new concept for me. Previously, I have been concerned with not rocking the boat. Well, those days are limited. It is time for me to be who I really am. This may involve swearing more, showing my cynical side and who knows what else. We are all in this ride together. So get ready for a year of unexpected diversions into everything real! This is my 2020 vision. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station Who

  • Unapologetically Me - 132
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

    2019 taught me a lot about myself. In fact, this has probably been the most progress I have made in a year since 2015. So this episode will detail some of the realizations I have come to. Also, this episode is filled with all kinds of media clips. I have tried to even out the sound levels and think I have mostly succeeded. My apologies if it is not perfect. However, none of us are. Some topics included in this episode are fear, love, relationships, being an introvert and my new found knowledge that I am, and have always been, an empath. Using various clips from music and pop culture, I try to highlight these topics in an amusing, yet poignant way. Alternate titles for this episode could have been: Laws, Lessons and Revelations This Is Who I Am 47 Minutes of Bullshit This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One

  • Robin's Rambling Rant
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 12, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Brother Robin opens up about his struggle with mental health. He lights up a fancy cigarette and unloads many years worth of thoughts. This is Robin's rambling rant! Robin moved in with his eldest brother about 6 months ago. This was an attempt to get his life back on track. More and more, he has been focusing on his mental well-being. As a cab driver, he often speaks with his clients and tells them about his life and his reasons for moving to Timmins. This is not a proper therapy session, but does allow him to release some of his pent up feelings. A big part of our conversation deals with his depression and suicidal thoughts. Robin tells us just how close to came to ending everything. He details a horrible childhood, and talks about trying to overcome his limitations. Robin also talks about how he used alcohol as a coping mechanism. There is also some talk about marijuana. Other topics include losing family members, seasonal depression and his feelings of failure. A main throughline in this rambling rant, is his superhero persona. Brother Robin would often emulate Spider-Man in order to cope with life. While not perfect, sometimes his spider sense saved him from trouble. This week's podcast promo: Double Edged Double Bill

  • Mister Rogers & Children's Television - 130
    by Shawn Vanderloo on December 5, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Mister Rogers is played by Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Where are the television shows for kids these days that are similar? They simply do not exist. Having gone to the theatre to see the movie, it got me thinking about my own childhood and the shows I grew up on. In this episode, I give a quick review of the movie, and then go through the list of similar shows that I was brought up on.  Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was originally misterrogers in Canada. Therefore, Fred Rogers played a version of himself from 1962 until 2001. Mr. Dressup was played by Ernie Coombs. The series ran from 1967 until 1996. The show was similar to Mr Rogers in that the host spoke directly to the child watching. Both shows included songs and stories, arts and crafts and imagination games. Captain Kangaroo ran from 1955 - 1984. The Friendly Giant which aired from 1958 to 1985 included puppets and had a go slow, gentle nature. Fred Penner's Place succeeded The Friendly Giant and ran from 1985 to 1997. This was a musical show that educated kids in various subjects. Sesame Street debuted in 1969 and is still going. Polka Dot Door 1971 - 1993 Today's Special 1981 - 1987 Under The Umbrella Tree 1986 - 1993 There are likely many other regional shows that never came to national attention. One thing that the most popular shows had in common was that they treated children as individuals with value. Sure, most were hosted by middle-age white men, but that is a product of television history. This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds Podcast

  • Masturbation: A Handy Guide - 129
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 28, 2019 at 9:00 am

    An open discussion between 2 men and 2 women on the nature of masturbation. It's normal, it's natural and it's been around since the beginning of time. Not always an easy discussion, yet most people do it. Masturbation has been depicted in art since prehistoric times, and is both mentioned and discussed in very early writings. On this episode, your 4 co-hosts cover a wide range of topics having to do with masturbation. This episode is probably not safe for work, and you may not want to listen with your kids. At least not until after you have had a chance to listen first. Men and women have vastly different experiences when in comes to masturbation. Boys generally talk or joke about it from an early age. Most women do not discuss it until much later. Also, the age when pleasuring oneself is discovered can vary as well. Guilt and shame are often experienced by both genders. A lot of this may have to do with religious prohibition on such matters. Getting caught is also a consideration. We also discuss frequency of masturbation, techniques, dangerous situations, games, toys, and places in which to do it. What's the deal with porn and imagination? All this and more on episode 29 of the Soul Forge Podcast. Stay tuned to the end for a fun scene lifted from the movie I Love You, Man. This week's podcast promo: CasterQuest

  • Home Again! Home Again? - 128
    by Shawn Vanderloo on November 21, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Can we go home again? This week we explore the idea of returning to our roots. The idea of going home again can be very powerful and intoxicating. We must realize, of course, that we are not the people we once were. As time moves on people change. Our homes, even if our family is still living there, are not the same. The structure may be identical, but everyone involved has grown, matured, or changed in some way. So yes, you can go home again, but you need to be aware that everything is different. Your experiences will not be the ones you had before. The episode is a flow of consciousness type of experiment. Shawn looks back at his life to see how far he has come. There is speculation on what life would be like if Shawn were to return to his home town. Many factors come into play when deciding to make a major life change. Some of these include career path, leaving friends and family, as well as where to live, and the logistics of moving hours away from your base of operations. Home again! Home again? There are no right answers, however, Shawn has realized he cannot let fear control his decision making any longer. This week's podcast promos: 42 Cast, ESO Patreon