Category Archives: Podcasts

The Poop Emoji Storm (Del Norris 4.4)

Today, there be curveballs.

Here you are on a Thursday night and…what’s this?  A new D2D Podcast!?

Yes.  I’ll be unable to get anything together for the weekend so…here I sit with a lovely tulip of bourbon preparing this little gem for you.

And looking at the podcast…it’s over an hour?  WHAT?!

Indeed.  Now that we’re all caught up with the iTunes and the WordPress and the Libsyn and the Driven2Drink funding (…more like defunding.  I kid. […I don’t kid…]…) I can, for the most part, release the podcasts just about how long I want them to be.

Which is somewhere in the vicinity of an hour.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Are there outtakes again?  I sure like them!”

There are.

Or, “What bumper music is he going to use?”

Rostam.  The guy is amazing.  I heard him first on the Song Exploder podcast.  Also amazing.

Don’t let anyone tell you, “They don’t make good music anymore.”

This is a lie.  Lots of theys are making incredible aural art, particularly in 2017.  So go find it, and consume it, and expand your brain.  Which is a necessary thing, particularly in 2017.

Here you go, “The Poop Emoji Storm (Del Norris 4.4).”

*Remember, that’s a link up there ^^, click on it to get to the podcast if you’re not already using iTunes.  Or the Libsyn site.


BTW, this is my goddaughter, Eden’s, work.  Here’s what she had to say about it during an epic text conversation:

anyway for this piece i wanted to mesh like a japanese traditional koi fish paining with a kind of 70s psychedelic vibe so i thought it would b funny if he was talking so i used google translate (which i knew going into this was an unreliable source)

so the top one was supposed to say “help i have fallen” like the life alert commercial bc i was working with the idea that he was in a waterfall

but of course google translate jacked that up so now it says “help me collapse” which is almost haunting but i think it’s like 10x funnier

the whole point of adding the words was to look poetic and make ppl think like wow i wonder what that fish is saying but rly the whole thing is a big beautiful shitpost

the bottom left one was supposed to say “the water burns” and it surprising still does

and the bottom right one was supposed to say “i will die a hero” but the translation from google took a dark turn and now it says “i hope the hero will die”

i also have to add the text and speech bubbles were all done in cheap glitter gel pens from 5 below

i tried to make it identifiable to my brand

The Calm Before the Poop Emoji Storm (Del Norris 4.3)

Today, D2Dreeps, there be layers.

Every aspect of today’s podcast has been deliberately chosen and placed.

Perhaps you give a poop emoji.

Perhaps you have no additional poop emojis to give.  I’ve run out of them at least every day this month.

Every single goddam day.

But lo and behold there are always additional poop emojis in the recesses of my limitless neurological supply of anxiety and self-doubt.

In either case, the podcast is quite purposeful today, particularly as you prepare for next week’s show, the poop emoji storm.

But for today, we give you, “The Calm Before the Poop Emoji Storm (Del Norris 4.3).”*

*Hey, you need only click on the linked title there and you will be magically redirected to the libsyn site where you can stream or download.**

**Or if you’re doing the iTunes thing, just go get it there.***

***If you only do Audible or some shit like that, I’m not sure what to tell you.  Sorry.****

****Thanks, though.

In the Bell Curve Weeds (Del Norris 4.2)

You may have noticed there was no D2D post this past week.

Actually, if feedback is any indicator, you didn’t notice.

In fact, I’d put money on you, just then, thinking, “Oh yeah.  There wasn’t a post this week.”

And if the stats programs attached to this are accurate and valid, countably few people even care.

I would argue that if we looked at the population of humans who’ve laid eyes on the site, not a representative sample but the actual full population, and considered, as a theoretically quantifiable and measurable emotional variable, “giving a shit,” they would fall WAYYY left. Left being giving fewer shits than theoretically average if all behaviors actually fell on a nice & tidy symmetrical bell curve, right being giving greater shits than average.

See, here’s what that theoretical bell curve is supposed to look like:

And, here’s the population of people who’ve been exposed to Driven2Drink and how much of a shit they give about the actual content:

It’s called “positive skewness,” counter-intuitively enough if you’re just thinking about how it appears.  But skew direction doesn’t match with…

No,  I will not dive too deeply into the bell curve weeds again.

You’ll be there shortly enough as you listen to this second of the four point Del Norris series.

I actually had a point here.

Yessirma’m I did.

You may have noticed there was no D2D post this week.

I’ve decided that I’m just going to post the most polished pieces I can manage whenever they are complete.  If that’s once per week, great.  Once per month, fine.  Three on a singularly epic Monday, sure.  It’s the internet, and you know where they’ll be when you want them.

Podcasts I’ll try to keep on a consistent schedule.  At the very least continuing forward with once per week.  And now that I’m very close to having the Libsyn/iTunes site synced with this, I’ll be able to release episodes that are as long as I want them to be.  Here, I’m limited to 50MB for any upload.  There, the only thing getting in the way of a Truman Showesque Driven2Drink Pod is the amount of money we have in the coffers (…currently precisely zero…) to pay for storage.

Don’t worry, I’ll never do that.  My life, and wife, wouldn’t permit it.

Have fun with this.

“In the Bell Curve Weeds (Del Norris 4.2)”

Oh, and I feel compelled to shine a bright spotlight on the musicians that you’ll hear at the beginning and end.  They’re called, “Band Geeks.”

I’m using this video.  And I’m using this video.  And really, you should just travel on down the Band Geeks rabbit hole.  Kazoo hole.  Whatever.


Tangents (Del Norris 4.1)

I have a distinct memory of the very first time I placed a pair of prescription glasses on my face.

I was about 10 years old, and had needed glasses for some time.  With the prompting of a decent and observant educator, my Mom took me to Sears optical. (“Sears’s,” as my grandmother used to call it.  We Pittsburghers tend to make possessive any store name, as if there is an actual Giant Eagle at the helm of the grocery store, or a dude named K-Mart at the ready when one cannot find whatever cheap shit needs to be found.)

I needed glasses.

After the requisite time for creating said glasses, we returned and I put the glasses on my face in the dimmed, tranquil office of the optometrist.  Sure, there was a difference, but nothing amazing.

We walked out of the office and into a fluorescent, light drenched, color-saturated, maximally contrasted retail maze filled with other active humans with shiny, four-wheeled carts full of distractingly diverse items.

I know I tend toward hyperbole, but this is was the first moment in my life that I experienced hyperbole as an actual thing.  People of a certain age will remember the first time they watched “The Wizard of Oz,” and the scene where Dorothy, along with the entire freaking world, saw Technicolor for the first time.  People of a younger generation might recall watching “The Matrix,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” or perhaps “Inception,” which blasted open some untouched portion of the visual cortex and delivered a thing never before seen or even conceptually possible.

Imagine that…but like YOU actually are Dorothy or Neo, like a dream in which you become that character experiencing the thing that is currently cracking open brains on the other side of the screen…and you can then understand my first moments with those prescription glasses staring at richness, depth, and clarity like I had NEVER experienced.

I ran into things.  I over-reached with my right hand for my left hand. My heart rate rose, pupils dilated…which didn’t help, sweat formed in cracks and crevices.  My brain, in the process of acclimating, was awash with whatever neuro-chemicals cause panic, astonishment, worry, and epiphany.

What does that have to do with this podcast?

Quite a bit actually.

Have a listen.

Of tangents and venn diagrams

What’s STILL Going On?



I simply needed to allow those of you who follow along here to hear the rest of the conversation from the DelNorris three point series without much delay.

So, here it is.

And John Coltrane…because John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” is like my forever mood.  Overcast.  Cool.  But absolutely chilling within the chill.  Floating on the grey clouds and drinking in the aromas of Fall.


Hi Jason. You ARE going to hell, you know?

What’s Going On?

For those keeping track in the manner I began keeping track of the D2D Pod post Penelope, this would be Del Norris 3.3.

For those now utterly confused, welcome to my brain.

I’m sorry.

(Not as sorry as I am.)

Here are a few handy notes as you move through today’s podcast:

  1. Cochlea
  2. Miller Lite
  3. Under the Table and Dreaming
  4. Geoff is a Bahá’í
  5. 4 Non Blondes
  6. He-Man

Follow along, kiddies, it’s great fun.

We present to you, “What’s Going On?”


Playing Without Charts

A former Catholic socialist-leaning Clinton-voting Pitt graduate and a reformed Catholic conservative-leaning Reaganite Penn State graduate walk into a basement with wine and whiskey, have a conversation about intelligent design, politics, philosophy, and faith, and come out on the other side with love.

That ain’t bad, huh?

The album Astral Weeks was reportedly recorded in an exceptionally short period of time and the musicians, for the most part, did not use lead sheets.  Van Morrison apparently sat in a booth by himself, the band left to improvise around him whims, words, and moods.  But it ends up something singularly wonderful.  It’s free flowing.  Sloppy at times.  Several of the songs need minutes to really find cohesion.  But the emotional core of this record is as cavernous as the universe, or a human soul, both of which may very well be one and the same.

My favorite conversations, the ones that resonate, provide me with insights and depth even as I’m laughing or frolicking about, making sense or talking nonsense, are the ones that flow like that recording session.



No structure.  Just two or more people in relationship, communicating honestly, attempting to work WITH the shared undercurrent rather than against it, recognizing that we’re not in control of anything but knowing that the thrill of human connection gives us access to whatever is.

I’m thrilled to present to you, “Playing Without Charts,” which might well be subtitled: Del Norris 3.2.


Of Coletrane and Cochleas

There are many things worth your time…I’d recommend this podcast as one of them.

Also, and I’m NOT attempting to draw, because there are not any parallels between what I’m laying down and what the following folks have established in this world…Andy Goldsworthy’s documentary, “Rivers and Tides.”  You can watch it free HERE.  If you have any interest in art and/or Ireland and/or Zen Buddhism and/or nature and/or simple human awesomeness, this documentary is for you.

Also, John Coletrane.  If you’re unfamiliar, start HERE.  This is one of my favorite pieces of music ever.  Or, if any of you are Coltrane fans, let me know where you would suggest a novice, or anyone, begin.

When you hear the word cochlea…drink.

Who knew the Driven2Drink podcast could provide the impetus for a fantastic drinking game?  Jason.  Why didn’t I think of this first?  Who cares right?  Cochlea.


Love yinz.

We present to you, “Of Coletrane and Cochleas.”  The music you’ll be hearing is a wonderful new artist, Lianne La Havas, beginning with “Unstoppable” and ending with “What You Don’t Know.”  Also, be sure to check out her Tiny Desk Concert, HERE.


The Sam Harris Problem…Resolved

I’m an only child who has been fortunate/blessed/karmically-enabled with a Dugger-sized family of non-blood brothers, and those of you who know what I’m talking about will get this immediately…blood isn’t always thicker than water.

Jim is my brother.

You’ve already met Brian, R.J., Mark, Guido, and Jason on this podcast.  Tony on Facebook if you hang out there.  They are my brothers.  You’ve not met Phillip.  He’s my brother, too.

But Jim…this one is for Jim.  I was a Resident Assistant in Lothrop Hall at the University of Pittsburgh.  Fall 1994 through Spring 1995.  Jim was a resident.  Jim and I were also members of the Heinz Chapel Choir.  Some of you are former members.  We made music…did we not?  Jim and I were also part of what I’d argue was the first contemporary a cappella group on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  Like, what kids know today from the Pitch Perfect movies or The Sing Off.  It was the winter of 1993.  Having rehearsed an Angeles arrangement of “Always Something There to Remind Me,” we, six people named “The Five Bucks,” prepared to perform at the Friday night improvs in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning.  We got bumped.  Indignant and boisterous, we six 5 Bucks exited the Cathedral, stood at the front entrance, and put on a performance for our friends and whoever was interested enough to freeze their collective asses off in the middle of a blustery Pittsburgh Winter.  (Here is a bit more of the history from the Pitt Pendulums’ website.  There you can follow the inception and progress of co-ed contemporary a cappella at Pitt.)

And through those experiences, along with a trip to Miami for the Super Bowl in 1995 (…I believe Jim’s Mom won one of those contests through a snack brand…enter a code, mail a thing, call a number, eat enough Doritos, you know…for an all expenses trip for two…), the highlight of which was stumbling upon a free Chuck Berry concert (…yes, you read that right…), Jim became my brother.

There are other brothers as well, and my hope is to introduce them to you.  For now, however, let’s finish this conversation with Jim.

We present to you, “The Sam Harris Problem…Resolved.”


The Sam Harris Problem

I trust, if you’ve processed and are familiar with any single element of the title and/or the meme below and if you know me and my connection to those elements, that you understand sarcasm.

However, if that first paragraph simply confuses you, know this…today’s conversation with James has depth, humor, and honesty.  Of course, you’ll be the judge of that, but I hope you do listen.

Oh, and yes Virginia, there is a first official D2D sponsor.

We present to you, “The Sam Harris Problem.”