DISCLAIMER: CT was on a podcast this week and drank root beer, didn't swear, and talked about teaching others morals using the Muppets. These are not typical qualities of this particular podcast. The Atomic Geeks is not for everyone. iTunes has given them an "explicit" tag and at times they do their best to earn it. Be warned.
I really can't remember who followed whom first, but shortly after joining Twitter, @nerdlunch and @theatomicgeeks began following each other. I was still trying to figure Twitter out (some would argue that I still am), and was becoming overwhelmed with the amount of content that filled my feed. But one day, a tweet came through that announced a Episode 25 of The Atomic Geeks podcast: "It's a Re-do -- Superman Returns." Intrigued at how this would go down, I downloaded the episode, listened, and instantly became a fan of what these guys were doing.
The Atomic Geeks are essentially a group of long-time geek buddies who have all those crazy conversations you have with your nerd/geek friends, but they record them and share them with the internet. When the Nerd Lunch trio wound up moving away from each other back in the mid 2000s, it created a hole that I haven't been able to fill since. It's what this blog is trying to do, but can never fully accomplish. I can't sit with my buddies over a sandwich weekly anymore and discuss the finer points of Wold Newton or the new Battlestar Galactica show. I can't blow an entire Saturday sitting around a table rolling dice and making jokes about how lame the rules are for grappling in D&D. Then along came The Atomic Geeks and suddenly, even though it wasn't completely interactive, I had something that began filling that need simply by listening to others do just that.
I have enjoyed getting to know the four (well, five counting their regular fill-in) Atomic Geeks through Twitter, Facebook, and their website. And not just them...the other fans who interact with them are also a hoot. In pre-recorded material, I've had the opportunity to appear on their podcast twice before. They've picked a topic based on my suggestion. A couple of them have made their "Atomic Picks" something I pointed out to them. I've been mentioned in several episodes. Clearly I'm a huge fan of these guys and what they do because each time I'm referenced on their show, I get as giddy as a school girl (whatever that means).
So imagine how I felt when I received an e-mail from one of the Atomic Geeks, Christian Nielsen, on August 11 asking me my availability to join them for an episode on September 20 since another Atomic Geek, Michael DiGiovanni, would be unavailable for that recording. I accepted right away and it has been 40 days of excitement and nervousness.
I had the opportunity to do a Skype test call with them a couple weeks back before they recorded one of their episodes. We were mainly doing it for technical reasons, but I quickly saw that it was good for me so I could get used to these guys responding when I talked to them. After 83+ episodes of just listening to them, interacting with them was a bit surreal.
As the day got closer, it was determined that Christian would be hosting the show (the four of them rotate through hosting duties) and wanted the next episode to be a part of their desert island series. He still didn't have a specific idea for what exactly he wanted to do with it. I asked if he was taking ideas and he was. So I offered this:
You crash on an island. After wandering around for days, you stumble upon a tribal civilization who crowns you their king. You decide to mold these people into a "native geek" culture and must educate them in the ways of the geek. But you only brought five basic geek items with you. Which five items would be the most important to share with this new culture and become the foundation for their geek society for years to come?
And, much to my surprise, he went with it and made that the topic. So not only was I on the show, but it was a topic suggestion of mine as well. I spent several days thinking about what my five geek items would be and didn't even finalize my list until about 20 minutes before recording.
The recording began promptly at 8 on Monday evening and I had a great time participating. The show was posted late last night and despite the fact I tend to be my own worst critic, I think episode 84 turned out great.
For those that choose not to listen due to the disclaimer above, I plan to someday re-purpose my list for a future blog post. And tomorrow, I will post information about my "Atomic Picks."