What the fuck is a Huffduffer?

Huffduffer is a dumb name for a really neat service. Huffduff people – if you’re reading this – nothing personal. The one upside is that once you’ve learned the name, it’s hard to forget.

Huffduffer is a free service for creating an RSS & iTunes feed of random audio files you discover on the internet. It doesn’t have to be a podcast, just has to be an MP3 file referenced in whatever page you’re trying to “HuffDuff” (is it a verb? post-Google, can everything now be a verb? If my website provided a service, would you use my name as a verb?)

There’s also a “social”  and “discovery” aspect to the site, allowing you to browse and subscribe to other people’s feeds.

The subscriber base is HEAVY on design, a plus for me, a designer.

You can create a “group”, HuffDuff uses the term “collective”… eh…  anyway, I’m not sure how that part works. If you set up an account, and use it, “add me” or whatever…

http://huffduffer.com/KevinISlaughter

Listen to me!

Or don’t. I’ve put a new episode of the Variety Hour up. Later than expected and I’m less than satisfied as usual. I explain in the intro that my plans tend to be too big, or complicated, or rely on me writing something really clever (hah)… and things don’t fall into place, the show gets pushed back and then finally I just do some recording one night to wrap it up and send it out. There are some glitches in the recording, where the audio skips and I didn’t catch it and record back over it. I’m trying to listen to the episode now, but I’m just tired of hearing myself talk for the time being.

If I’m putting them out once a month, I want to do something a little more polished and/or complex than what I’ve done. I had my first caller in the show and I was going to do some commentary and that involved a quick interview with someone else. I never got that done, so I ended up having to take the caller out of the show. I think it would have pushed the whole thing well past the hour mark anyway.

I’ve recorded a couple of Ingersoll speeches for an Infidels.org / AAI project where they’re taking works on freethought/atheism and making audiobook versions available for free. The one in the podcast is “Should Infidels Send Their Children to Sunday School?” and it was written in the latter half of the 1800’s. I’ve attached another short one to this post, titled “How to Edit a Liberal Paper“, you know I had to jump on that one – it only runs about 5 minutes.

I’ve recorded a third, but haven’t edited it yet. The recording unedited is over an hour… I was tired of talking by the end of it, and it’s just really long. I’ll post it when I’ve edited it.

TechNerd :: Field Recording Notes

My blog will often feature commentary on what I’m doing with Underworld Amusements. I don’t want to fill the UA blog up with non-essential materials, but that’s part of the reason why I started this. The total listens to the podcast over there is just over 3,500 – with the “test episode” having over 1,000 listens alone (a couple of days after the posting of the HR Giger episode, it has only about 180 listens). I considered pulling it down, but there’s some good stuff on it.

I recently recorded two interviews in the proverbial field (i.e., not over the phone) for UAVH, and figured I’d offer some sound samples and notes on what gear I used. I hardly know what I’m doing. I’ve done a bit of audio recording, but I’ve never had any kind of training or done any serious work with it outside of the few projects I’ve worked on over the years. My ears are as sophisticated as anything not sophisticated at all.

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Below is a quick and dirty edited audio introducing recordings for two sound sources.

The first sample was recorded two ways. The first half is the Samson CO1U USB Condenser Mic connected to my 9″ Dell Vostro running the free audio recording program Audacity, the second half using the Blue Microphones Mikey connected to an Apple iPod Classic. The interviewee was speaking directly into the Samson, and the iPod was there as a backup recording just in case. It’s times like this I realize I do live a dysgenic life, forgoing children to buy electronic junk to record podcasts that few people listen to and hardly benefit mankind. Hah…

The second sample is a babbling brook recorded in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was recorded with the Samon/Netbook but using Adobe Audition.

The netbook/Samson mic is a pretty great portable set-up, but that stand/Shockmount is a real pain in the ass to carry around. It doesn’t really break down into anything portable, and the base IS a big chunk of metal after all.

The big drawback to the CO1U is latency. I’ve installed ASIO4ALL to try to reduce it, but it doesn’t get it to where I can talk and listen with headphones at the same time. This tends to be pretty frustrating, and makes getting recording levels right a bit longer, or I end up not checking them and hoping I can fix them on the back end…

UA Variety Hour – The Satanic Wedding / HR Giger | Underworld Amusements

I literally just spent from 8pm until 6am getting this done. I had a half of a show ready to go, and I thought the “travel” and interview sections would be a little over 30 minutes, but no, they were an hour by themselves! So, now I’ve got a new special and a half-unfinished episode…

Underworld Amusements Variety Hour

2009 Halloween Special

Your host tells the real story of a relationship that begins on 6-6-06 and culminates in a Satanic Wedding that starts in Baltimore on 9-9-09, and ends in at the HR Giger Museum in Gruyère, Switzerland, featuring an interview with dark surrealist artist HR Giger!

via UA Variety Hour – The Satanic Wedding / HR Giger | Underworld Amusements.

Robert G. Ingersoll Oratory Contest, Washington, DC

I’m nervous… in a few hours I’ll be in our nations capitol reading a lecture by the great American orator Robert G. Ingersoll. I won’t be posting this until after the event is over, so I can append a recording of it to the post (assuming it turns out well). No matter what mundane or crazy shit I’ve done in front of an audience, I’ve always been plagued with nervousness before beginning. From making an announcement in a room or doing an interview over the phone, to being cut open in a blood ritual performance or crawling across a ceiling half-naked covered in silver paint – I’m a bit of a wreck until I start doing whatever it is I need to be doing. I’m not an extrovert by nature, but I’ve been performing in front of audiences since I was in Elementary School.

MCing for Three Ring Vixen fashion show. This is a card trick called The Tattooed Sailor.
MC'ing for "Three Ring Vixen" fashion show in April of 2006. This is a card trick called "The Tattooed Sailor".

I think I took this chance to help subdue that fear response a bit, but then here I am waking up at 6:30 am when my alarm is set for 8. Typing a blog post because I need a distraction.

There was a study recently that showed men looking at breasts had a calming effect. I think it was carried out by the University of Something to Tell My Wife, in the Dept. of NoDuh.

I have my problems with his worldview outside of his agnosticism, but that he was well known and well received in the late 1800’s for making remarks on stage that would infuriate most general audiences in 2009 makes me respect him greatly. That I have such a shitty memory makes me frustrated that I’ll probably be doing more reading of a page than proper oratory.

The event is sponsored by a few groups, none of which I am a member. All the details can be found here.

I’ve chosen (predictably) his lecture on blasphemy and I’ve had to heavily truncate it in order to fit within the 3-6 minutes allowed. My greatest concern is that I’ll be the 5th or 6th person to recite some of the same words, and boring the audience instead of entertaining. The orig. text can be found here.

My total time tends to be about 6 and a half to 7 minutes, but the introduction runs around a minute +,  so the actual lecture is within the regulation time limit. There was a joke about half-way through, but I took it out because I didn’t think I could pull it off.

The event will be video recorded (I started writing “taped”, but that’s probably not technically true) and I’ll record the audio as well. As you can see in the introduction I’ve included a “Blasphemy Challenge” – thematically appropriate, and a fun addition.

—back from event—

Before the event, in costume.
Before the event, in "costume".

I just got in from my drive back from DC. I dropped a dear friend who went to support me  at home and I’m trying to finish and post this thing…

Out of the 20 possible contestants only 14 ended up speaking. From the star my chances for winning were statistically better. I drew “12” as my order number, but since there were 20 numbers and 14 people, I didn’t have to wait through 12 speakers. My time was intermittently crouching and listening and pacing and smoking near the back of the audience. When it was my time to go up I was terribly nervous, all the moisture from my mouth vanished when I hit the podium.

At one point my papers flew away in the wind. I think I handled it well, moving on to the next section of the speech without too much of a lapse. I couldn’t get my pages to turn on the last page. I figured that shouldn’t be too much of a problem with only three pages, but I was wrong. Next time I’ll put some sticky tabs on each sheet or something.

My pal Erin was in charge of the camera and forgot to take photos while I was speaking, so we’ve got scant few photos. Her support meant more than her failure to photographically capture the moment, so all is well.

I wore my black suit, fedora and a plantation tie, and everyone assumed it was a costume for the event. I don’t mind that so much, when I was in Vegas with friends in ’06 people stopped us on the street and asked us if we were performing somewhere and if they could get a photo… “no” and “no” were the answers. I thought it was funny though and I took that and changed my introduction in my head a few minutes before I spoke – it allowed me to more personalize the introduction and inject a little more humor. I had two great lines that I thought up and I subsequently forgot to utter, and I don’t think they’d come across well just typing ‘em out here. I’ll just let them lie in some corner of my brain until they dissolve away.

Though many of the speakers were very good, and one even committing his entirely to memory, quite a number of folks left me with the impression that I was certainly in the top tier of presenters. Though I did have to reference my notes, and at one point my papers flew away in the wind, I’m proud of the job that I did – ultimately it wasn’t enough to impress the judges. Even though they gave a tie to fourth place – giving a total of 5 winners out of 14, somehow my speech was scored in the bottom 9.

The really nice presenter whose name I forget and the judges that judged me unworthy.
The really nice presenter whose name I forget and the faceless judges that judged me unworthy.

I got quite a few hearty “congrats” immediately after speaking, and one lady even turned to me and said “that was so wonderful, you gave me goosebumps!”, but when they were calling out the winners, my name was no where to be heard.

The kicker, walking to the car a guy who introduced himself to me earlier that day before I talked was walking back toward DuPont Circle. I guess he’d stepped away at some point and was returning, missing the awards. I must have made an impression because he called out my name from a distance, “Kevin!”

“How did it go?” he asked.

“Pretty well, I enjoyed myself.”

“Did you win?”

“No, I didn’t even come in fourth.”

“WHA?!?” he seemed to express sincere disbelief.

Again, other speakers did a great job. I don’t know what the scores were, and I’m generally very humble about my work and performances. This, I think I should have at least placed. But I didn’t, and I’m not complaining. It was a beautiful day in the park, and I publicly blasphemed, on film (and audio)…

One of the organizers videotaped the event and will theoretically be putting some portions online. If I make it, I’ll post it here, of course.

I have pasted the text that I took with me to read below. Where I’ve added or changed a word, it is set off in brackets. Where I’ve truncated in the middle of a sentence I’ve used the ellipses. Of course, what I have below and what I ws able to actually get out of my mouth diverge somewhat slightly…

Click to Play

UPDATE: I found a few photos on facebook from someone who was there, so I was able to add a few of me actually speaking! The photographer has given me permission to use the images here and here is a link to all his photos from the event (on Facebook)!

photo by Brian Engler
photographer: Brian D. Engler
photo by Brian Engler
photographer: Brian D. Engler


UPDATE 2: A few more photos of the Devil’s Angry Man… photos below by Bruce Press

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UPDATE 10-28-09: The videos…
CFI edited every speaker down to their own video, here is just my part:

The AHA took the winners of the event and a few other speakers and edited to about an hour (I’m at the 35 minute mark):

Ingersoll’s Lecture on “Blasphemy”

Edited and introduced by Kevin I. Slaughter
for the
Robert Ingersoll Oratory Contest
Washington, DC, October 4th, 2009

According to the rules I may give a brief introduction to why I selected this bit of text. How do you truncate the words of a man who would sometimes spend three hours pontificating on a topic into 3-5 minutes. All the speakers here have done an admirable job and I hope that I have distilled the essence of this speech on the topic of Blasphemy to fit into that time.

My name is Kevin Slaughter and what follows this preface are Ingersoll’s words alone, but I take them as my own. I am not just honoring a great orator and thinker, I am telling you how I feel. Before I begin to speak his words, I will make it utterly clear: “I deny the Holy Spirit.”

This rejection of god means not just that I am a free thinker, but standing in our nation’s capitol today, it it a pronouncement that I am a free man!

Ladies and Gentlemen   …what is the origin of the crime known as blasphemy?

It is the belief in a God who is cruel, revengeful, quick tempered and capricious;
a God who punishes the innocent for the guilty;
a God who listens with delight to the shrieks of the tortured and gazes enraptured on their spurting blood.
You must hold this belief before you can believe in the doctrine of blasphemy.

[You see,] God was a kind of juggler. He did not wish man to be impudent or curious about how He did things. You must sit in audience and watch the tricks and ask no questions. In front of every fact He has hung the impenetrable curtain of blasphemy. Now … all the … reason that … man ha[s] is useless.

To say anything against the priest was blasphemy
and to say anything against God was blasphemy—
to ask a question was blasphemy.
Finally we sank to the level of fetishism [and] we began to worship inanimate things.

If you will read your bible you will find that the Jews had a sacred box. … To touch this box was a crime. [And] You [may] remember that one time when a… [man] thought the box was going to tip he held it.

God killed him.

It always has been blasphemy to say “I do not know whether God exists or not.”
In all Catholic countries it is blasphemy to doubt the bible, to doubt the sacredness of the relics.
It always has been blasphemy to laugh at a priest, to ask questions, to investigate the Trinity.
In a world of superstition, reason is blasphemy.
In a world of ignorance, facts are blasphemy.
In a world of cruelty, sympathy is a crime,
and in a world of lies, truth is blasphemy.

Last night there was a fire in Philadelphia, and at a window fifty feet above the ground Mr. King stood amid flame and smoke and pressed his children to his [chest] one after the other, kissed them, and threw them to the rescuers with a prayer. That was man.
[This book says that on] the last day God takes His children with a curse and hurls them into eternal fire. That’s … God as [this book] describe Him. [And] If this creed be true, God is the insane keeper of a mad house.

Blasphemy is a padlock which hypocrisy tries to put on the lips of all honest men. At one time Christianity succeeded in silencing the infidel, and then came the dark ages, when all rule was ecclesiastical, when the air was filled with devils and spooks, when birth was a misfortune, life a prolonged misery of fear and torment, and death a horrible nightmare. They crushed the infidels, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, wherever a ray of light appeared in the ecclesiastical darkness. I want to tell [you all gathered] that that day is passed. All the churches in the United States can not even crush me. The day for that has gone, never to return. If they think they can crush free thought in this country, let them try it.

I’ll tell you what is blasphemy. It is blasphemy to live on the fruits of other men’s labor, to prevent the growth of the human mind, to persecute for opinion’s sake, to abuse your wife and children, to increase in any manner the sum of human misery.

I’ll tell you what is sacred. Our bodies are sacred, our rights are sacred, justice and liberty are sacred. I’ll tell you what is the true bible. It is the sum of all actual knowledge of man, and every man who discovers a new fact adds a new verse to this bible. It is different from the other bible, because that is the sum of all that its writers and readers do not know.

Ohana! Tiki Weekender in Lake George, NY

Upper New York State is not the first place I think of when some mentions tikis, umbrella drinks or surf music – but there is indeed a gathering every year with bands and vendors at this great 1960’s hotel. Because we booked this trip before we booked our Switzerland trip the weekend before (more on this later), we had to cut this trip down to a day and a half instead of the 2 1/2 it goes on for.

They publish a magazine and it gives the history of the Tiki Motor Inn. It claims that it’s one of the last two tiki themed motels with Polynesian dinner show still in operation – the other being Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

I suppose if we had the full time there to relax it would have been more relaxing, but the company was great – seeing friends from Canada, Vermont, New York and elsewhere – and doing it all “under the radar”.

Tikis all over the place. It’s actually a decent hotel.. the rooms themselves are rather normal, but everything else was fun.

There was a dinner show in a downstairs dining area and misc performers in the upstairs bar. The Dinner show was broken up into two sittings because of the number of attendees.

The food was terrible. Dry chicken chunks in a weak sauce. Tough pork slices and a couple-a grilled slices of Spam were accompanied by overcooked rice and carrots.

Stephanie Crabe won a Tiki Drink, Christopher has the look of a psycho killer (qu’est que c’est).

They did a silent auction and live auction – the proceeds went to benefit The Easter Island Foundation.

The show was okay though, not great. Kudos for the live fire and it being a family act. The few times I stepped out for a smoke diring the dinner show I think the bar had better entertainment.

I used my “Mikey” from Blue microphones to record a sample. We were near the back of the room and I sat the iPod down on the table. I’m really impressed with the quality given conditions.

Satanism Today – Guest Hosting

This is an extended version of the episode of Satanism Today that I guest hosted. It’s almost an hour and a half long.

Kevin I. Slaughter of Scapegoat Publishing guest-hosts this weeks episode of Satanism Today. Pre-recorded over the last week, he discusses the Westboro Baptist Church, the James Watson Race and IQ controversy and has a surprise interview with Artie Philie of the bands “The Shemps” and “Celebrity Murders”.
Kevin has also prepared an extended version of the show, with exclusive content for the podcast edition, available after the show.
Mr. Slaughter will be available in the APEC Radio chat room during the airing of the show.

Relevant links to this episode:

Hoof Prints – Podcast Episode 2 – Jim Goad

Kevin I. Slaughter of Scapegoat Publishing gabs with Jim Goad (ANSWER Me!: The First Three) in a casual conversation on the cusp of his tour with Hank III. Kevin doesn’t pretend to be a professional interviewer, and this proves it. What we wind up with is a discussion and not an interrogation, with Kevin providing his own views on subjects. He thinks he edited all the really offensive stuff out, but often realizes his perspective on what most folks find offensive is out of line with reality.
Hoof Prints Podcasting

Some of the highlights of the show are as follows:
Atlanta’s Favorite White Person (for Blacks), Baltimore – City of Incidents, I’m a White Boy – Merle Haggard, Radio Voice, George Plimpton, Jim “The Nashville Cat” Goad, Boiled Peanutz – Interracial Hip Hop, ANSWER Me! – The Concordance, I Feel Your Pain Ike Turner, Felching, Imprisoned Mexican views on homosexuality, Males and Wimmels,,Dusting off the testicles of Red Sovine, Dante’s in Portland, Photo of Flappy Vagina, Encyclopedia of Race, Segregation in Prison, If all there was is Bosnians in the World, Every Single Fucking Show, Stack-O-Lee

Hank III and Big Red Goad on tour