RPadTV 3000 Episode 10: Austin Aries

It was excellent catching up with my friend, pro-wrestler, and greatest man that ever lived, Austin Aries. He’s one of those guys that makes you go, “Damn. We’ve known each other way longer than I thought!” One of my goals with RPadTV 3000 is to introduce you guys and gals to some cool people and I absolutely did that with this conversation. I love that the podcast had very little to do with pro-wrestling and gave you some insight into the man behind the gimmick.

Some of the topics Austin Aries and I chatted about in RPadTV 3000 episode 10 included:

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 7: Jon Radoff

Beamable CEO Jon Radoff is one of the smartest people I’ve met in the videogame business. I remember meeting him in San Francisco at my favorite coffeehouse (shout out to Farley’s!) and enjoying his company while also feeling kind of dumb (in a good way). He’s one of those guys that has a deep understanding of many interesting subjects. One of those subjects is the metaverse.

Technologists, nerds, futurists, and geeks are all talking up the metaverse and how it’s the “next big thing” for the Internet. While the technology is exciting and potentially very cool, it’s also confusing and intimidating. There are many definitions of what the metaverse is and while some of them are from people that genuinely understand it, there are some people pushing dishonest definition of what the metaverse is for self-serving reasons. This makes the very concept of the metaverse difficult to comprehend for “normal” people.

With that in mind, I wanted to have a conversation with someone that’s highly intelligent, good at communicating heady concepts in terms that most people can understand, and heavily involved in the metaverse. Jon Radoff was the first person that popped into my head.

In the latest episode of RPadTV 3000, Jon Radoff talks about what the metaverse is and why it’s important. Some of the points we chatted about include:

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 6: John Foster and Jon Robinson

John Foster was a longtime PR executive for Bender Helper Impact, one of the most respect agencies in the business. He started as an account executive and finished his career at Bender as vice president. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in writing, but got sidetracked by the wonderful and wacky world of videogames.

Jon Robinson was a longtime editor for numerous videogame publications. Many GamePro fans know him as “Jonny Ballgame,” while many IGN fans know him as the editor for IGN Sports.

Both of these guys have become award-winning authors.

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 4: Chris Cross

Chris Cross has been working in videogame development since the mid-90s. He started off in QA at Blizzard, gained notoriety for his work on the critically acclaimed Medal of Honor series, and has led development teams at independent studios and large publishers. From big budget AAA games , to iOS games made by a team of four, to reimagining Pac-Man for Google Stadia, Cross has done it all.

I’ve interviewed Cross several times for various magazines and websites, but those pieces never showed how imaginative, interesting, and fun hanging out with him can be. I think this episode of RPadTV 3000 gets all of that across. Check out the video above to watch Chris Cross and I talk about:

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 3: Karen Chu and Chris Kohler

Good Job Brain showrunner Karen Chu and co-host Chris Kohler are the latest guests on RPadTV 3000! I was lucky enough to know these cats when I lived in San Francisco and we were all part of the games media. At the time, Karen was at 1Up and Chris was at Wired. I respected them as peers and enjoyed their company as friends. One of their favorite leisure activities was pub trivia and they were able to parlay their love of trivia into the ultra-successful podcast Good Job Brain.

In addition to sharing the story of Good Job Brain and how the podcast has evolved, Karen Chu and Chris Kohler talk to me about:

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 2: Jose “Don Fubar” Sanchez and Joey Abitia

Jose “Don Fubar” Sanchez, Joey Abitia, and I have been lucky enough to attend numerous pro-wrestling events, including several WrestleMania and Summer Slam shows. All three of us are lifelong wrestling fans and were thrilled to attend so many amazing wrestling events. With zero exaggeration I can say that I’ve had some of the best times of my life with these two gentlemen.

Millions of people know Fubar from the Electric Playground — the longest running show about videogames. He’s parlayed his following from Electric Playground into a successful (and hilarious!) Twitch stream. I’m normally not a fan of gameplay streams, but Fubar’s is supremely entertaining and I watch him play several times a week. You should too!

Joey recently launched a YouTube show called Infinite G. It started as a way for Joey’s son, Gio, to stream his Fortnite gameplay, but transformed into something more. It’s a really precious father/son show that’s surprisingly honest. You get to see the love and challenges of single father raising a son during a crazy time. Naturally, there’s a ton of pro-wrestling and videogame content in each episode.

In addition to talking about the Don Fubar Twitch and Infinite G, the three of us discuss:

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RPadTV 3000 Episode 1: Chris Taylor

Kanoogi Founder and CEO Chris Taylor was kind enough to join me for the first episode of RPadTV 3000! Chris has entertained millions of gamers with his critically acclaimed strategy games in the Total Annihilation and Dungeon Siege series. His new company is making a strategy game called Intergalactic Space Empire and building a cloud platform that allows independent developers to realize their visions.

In addition to being an outstanding creative, Chris Taylor is a hilarious man that’s excellent to hang out with. Check out the video above as Chris and I talk about:

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Vaping Diaries #372: Blow E-Juice Interview

My interview with Blow E-Juice co-owner Farid Zahreddine comes with an added bonus. As expected, he told me about Blow E-Juice and its three launch flavors. In addition to learning about the company and its tasty dessert e-liquids, Farid went on an inspired rant of how it’s wrong for politicians to equate vaping with tobacco cigarettes. His passionate diatribe was a pleasant and welcome surprise.

As for the company itself, Blow E-Juice started in mid-2015. The owners are people that are passionate about vaping and got into the scene. In addition to appreciating the fact that vaping got them off of tobacco cigarettes, the owners were fascinated by the vaping community. As with many new and rapidly growing industries, the vaping business is relatively small and has a sense of family. The owners of Blow E-Juice seem to genuinely enjoy that aspect of vaping.

Moving onto the three Blow E-Juice vaping e-liquids, the company’s most popular flavor is Om Nom Nuke. It’s a savory dessert blend that combines toffee custard, vanilla ice cream, and caramel. It’s a very rich flavor that’s bursting with complexity. Vapers that enjoy simple, straightforward flavors will likely be overwhelmed by Om Nom Nuke. The bit of it I vaped was quite delicious.

Dolce Fuel is the company’s strawberry cheesecake e-liquid. While not as rich as Om Nom Nuke, it’s still quite flavorful. The company did a good job of mixing the cheesecake creaminess and the bright fruit notes. While there are a lot of strawberry cheesecake flavors on the market, I believe that Dolce Fuel is certainly worth a try.

To my surprise, my favorite Blow E-Juice flavor was the company’s simplest blend. Orgasmic Aftermath is a straight-up cheesecake. Perhaps I was influenced by its fantastic name, but I really enjoyed this straightforward cheesecake vape.

For more information on Blow E-Juice and to hear Farid’s fantastic rant, please check out the interview below.

Vaping Diaries #371: Hold Fast Vapors Interview

When I first met the Hold Fast Vapors crew, I was excited by the prospect of meeting a group of pirates that made vaping e-liquid. Sadly, Hold Fast Vapors doesn’t have any actual pirates on staff (or so the company claims), but what it does have is a bunch of delicious flavors. Senior account executive Connor O’Brien spent some time with me to talk about the company and three of its flavors.

The newest addition to Hold Fast Vapors is the Ironclad line. The Ironclad e-liquids use a higher percentage of vegetable glycerin (VG) for more vapor production. The first Irconclad flavor is Key Largo, a yummy Key lime sherbet. I very much enjoyed this e-liquid’s blend of light sweetness and tanginess. It was my favorite of the three flavors covered in this interview.

One of the earlier flavors in the Hold Fast Vapors line, Mutiny is a blend of pear, berries, and cream. It’s an interesting mix that stands out from the numerous berries-and-cream concoctions on the market. Mutiny’s use of pear gives it a tasty edge. While I’m generally not big on fruit vapes, I do enjoy fruit-and-cream blends. With its pear kick, Mutiny was a pleasant surprise.

The last flavor in the Hold Fast Vapors lineup is a dessert mix called Port Royal. Vapers with a sweet tooth will enjoy this medley of cake, maple sugar, and nuts. I love me some dessert vapes, so I was instantly drawn to this flavor and enjoyed the bit I had during my meeting with Hold Fast Vapors.

Connor told me to expect two more flavors in the Ironclad lineup, which makes sense considering that many vapers have moved to sub-ohm tanks. The extra VG will help them fog up some rooms with delicious vapor. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t reveal much about the flavors. Off camera, he said I’d have to walk the plank if he told me what the new flavors were. See, I knew they were pirates!

Vaping Diaries #370: Foggy Gnome Interview

Foggy Gnome had a number of interesting products for vapers on display at Vape Nights. Mark Gutensohn, the company’s head of sales and marketing, walked me through them. First, let’s talk about the three types of Foggy Gnome cotton. The company doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach for cotton, so if offers three varieties of wicking material. Gutensohn doesn’t believe there’s a “best” one of the three, but rather different types of vapers will have different preferences. Beyond that, the same vaper might find a different type of cotton will match a certain juice.

As for the three specific types of Foggy Gnome cotton, first up is Southern Blend Organic Fogwick. This mix of short-fiber and long-fiber cotton retains the natural oils and waxes. For those looking for the purest flavor, Southern Blend Organic Bath is a good choice. It’s similar to the previous cotton, but undergoes an organic bath to remove the oils and waxes. Last, but certainly not least, is Sub-Ohm Gold Organic Fogwick. Aimed towards vapers that love low-resistance coils and high temperatures, this short-fiber cotton has the highest heat resistance of the three. Gutensohn was quick to point out that all Foggy Gnome cotton is American grown and mechanically processed in the United States.

On the box mod front, Foggy Gnome offers the Fogg Boxx. This parallel box mod is made from extremely sturdy 7075 aluminum. Gutensohn showed me a video of a Fogg Boxx being run over by a large truck. After driving over the Fogg Boxx, the driver got out of the truck and vaped on it. The box mod is available in seven different colors and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The Fogg Boxx is manufactured and assembled in the United States. In addition to its sturdy construction, I love that the Fogg Boxx looks different from all the Hammond-style box mods on the market.

To learn more about Foggy Gnome cotton and the Fogg Boxx, check out my chat with Mark Gutensohn below.