Wormwood

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Wormwood


A Serialized Mystery
By Habit Forming Films, LLC.
Wormwood Postcard
(this post is dedicated to the memory of Rob Grindlinger…)

Way back in 2007, I was fortunate enough to join a very talented group of audio drama professionals.
Unlike many productions, we all met – in person – to record.
It was an amazing experience, and I think the end result shows it… I hope you enjoy it!

Synopsis:
When a strange vision of murder sends him to a small town to investigate, Dr. Xander Crowe discovers that Wormwood is far from ordinary. Secrets lurk within every resident, from the innkeeper to the town librarian to the waitress at the diner. The seemingly idyllic surface of Wormwood hides a mystery unlike anything Crowe has ever experienced — he finds himself drawn into a web of dark conspiracy, strange romance, and arcane mysticism. As Crowe begins to unravel the mystery at the heart of Wormwood, he finds that his very presence there may not be a coincidence at all…

Wormwood is a full-cast serialized mystery delivered as an MP3 podcast on our website and via the many podcatchers on the web, including iTunes. Wormwood offers a quirky ensemble drama with elements of supernatural horror and mystery. With its odd, small town setting and tragic lead character, Wormwood is designed to appeal to fans of True Blood, Twin Peaks, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the works of writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Edgar Allan Poe.

You can listen to all three seasons below, or if you prefer, they’re also on iTunes here.

Wormwood – Season 1: The Drowned Woman

Wormwood Episode 1: The Coming Storm

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Wormwood Episode 2: Small Town Drama
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Wormwood Episode 3: Feels Like Falling
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Wormwood Episode 4: Inquisition
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Wormwood Episode 5: Muck and Mire
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Wormwood Episode 6: Where The Bullet Hits…
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Wormwood Episode 7: The Sacrificial Lamb
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Wormwood Episode 8: By Small Hands
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Wormwood Episode 9: Teenage Wasteland
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Wormwood Episode 10: The Funeral
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Wormwood Episode 11: The Wayward
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Wormwood Episode 12: Karma
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Wormwood Episode 13: Questions and Rumors
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Wormwood Episode 14: Place of Pain
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Wormwood Episode 15: Alone At Last
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Wormwood Episode 16: The Long Shadows
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Wormwood Episode 17: Asunder
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Wormwood Episode 18: The Hunt for Julian Calendar
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Wormwood Episode 19: Necromancy and the Art of Making Friends
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Wormwood Episode 20: Run
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Wormwood Episode 21: Parts You Don’t Throw Away
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Wormwood Episode 22: Opening Books That Can’t Be Closed
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Wormwood Episode 23: Dead Beat Down
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Wormwood Episode 24: Tea and Sympathy (for the Devil)
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Wormwood – Season 2: Crossroads

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 1 — One Month Later…

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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 2 — The Rescue
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 3 — The Missing Month, Part One
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 4 — Thinning, Part One
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 5 — A Sentimental Nature
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 6 — Ghosthunters of Wormwood
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 7 — A Bedtime Story
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 8 — The Missing Month, Part Two
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 9 — Red Right Hand
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 10 — Thinning, Part Two
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 11 — Albatross
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 12 — The Wolves of Lyonsville
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 13 – When Chip Met Dale
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 14 — Jack Nicholson’s Nose
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 15 — Weeping Doctor, Wilted Demon
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 16 — Haitian Bleu
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 17 — The Supplanter
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 18 — Sweet Intangible You
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 19 – Something Funny in Everything
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 20 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 1
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 21 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 2
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 22 — A Farewell to (f)Arms
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Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 23 — Cold Satisfies the Couple
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Wormwood – Season 3, Part 1: The Five Fingers of Glory

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: The Thief of Sepharvaim

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Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Memento Mori
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Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Dead Man’s Hand
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Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Celery Farm
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Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Left
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Wormwood – Season 3, Part 2: Portraits

Wormwood Portraits: The Minstrel’s Tale

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Wormwood Portraits: The Queen’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Merchant’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Bishop’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Farmer’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Criminal’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Lover’s Tale
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Wormwood Portraits: The Hermit’s Tale
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Wormwood – Season 3, Part 3: Revelation

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter One

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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Two
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Three
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Four
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Five
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Six
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Seven
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Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Eight
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Creators:
Wormwood is produced by Habit Forming Films, LLC, a dynamic film production company dedicated to producing uncompromising works of entertainment outside of the traditional Hollywood studio system.

The Habit Forming Films, LLC. Production staff includes:
Christa Nahhas (Executive Producer, Chief Financial Officer)
Dee Rogers (Associate Producer)

The Wormwood Creative Staff includes:
David Accampo (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Jeremiah Allan (Staff Writer)
Jeremy Rogers (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Lance Wolf (Illustrator)
Paul Montgomery (Staff Writer)
Rick Bata (Staff Writer)
Rob Allspaw (Staff Writer)
Tiffiny Whitney (Staff Writer)
Todd Hodges (Composer)

Cast:
Andrew Ramirez (Dexter Nolen)
Anna Maganini (Lynette Bradley, Peggy Nolen)
Arthur Russell (Doctor Xander Crowe)
Ben Boodman (Mister Carrefour, Chip Drexal)
Cheyenne Bsaies (Lemora Haskell, Katrina Edison)
Chris Blaylock (Doctor Pete Meno)
Dave Johnston (Deputy Drexal, Jonathan Kitter)
Joe J. Thomas (Hank Mason, Phineas Thibert)
Joy Vanides (Sister George)
Koralee Nickarz (Deidre Frost, Emily Saunders)
Nicole Rayburn (Harmony Barrister)
Peter Dirksen (Jimmy Details, Jonesy)
Rob Grindlinger (Sheriff Bradley, Cedric Bloomington, Don Marino)
Robert W. Allen (Special Agent Voitek)
Samantha Turk (Henrietta “Henry” Howe)
Scott Olynek (Jacob Kitter)
Sonia Perozzi (Sparrow, Rachel Nolen)
Zachary Foulkes (Brent Saunders, Charles Edison)

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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America’s “Enough” Problem

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Amerca’s “Enough” Problem

America's "ENOUGH" Problem (logo)

Enough. It’s counter to much of the way America operates. We’re a country of excess… and it’s literally killing us. Here’s just a few examples:

Food
Obesity is a major health problem in the United States. It contributes to heart disease, diabetes, vascular issues, and more. Although we probably don’t get enough exercise, a large factor is the sheer amount and types of food we eat.

Processed foods. Excess salt, sugar, and fats. And the ridiculous portion sizes we’ve come to think of as normal. It doesn’t help that the cheaper food (dollar menu anyone?) is often not the best for you.

My wife and I will routinely split one (1) entree, and add a couple salads or an appetizer. That is where our “enough” is. Other things we do to avoid this food trap are cooking more at home, avoiding fast foods and overly processed foods, and of course plenty of exercise. Add in adequate water and sleep.

Money
It’s easiest to see our lust for money in the salaries of CEO’s compared to workers… and in Wall Street… and in our worship of billionaires.

But the problem is much more pervasive. People are working multiple jobs in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Granted, some of it is a necessity due to wealth inequality. But that too is caused by others hoarding the money for themselves. Where is enough? 1 million? 10 million? 10 billion? How many cars can you drive? How many houses can you live in?

Perhaps we don’t all need a house. Or a $50,000 car to show off our status. Maybe each of us can get by with less. Maybe our kids can fund their own way through college.

There has to be a work/family balance. Otherwise, what are you working for?

Money is also way too much of a factor in our election and elected officials. The way to “enough” there is to remove the money all together. Get corporations and billionaires out of our politics. Give it back to “We The People”.

Drugs
Drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, definitely play a role in our overall health. But when is it too much?

With the rise of the opioid epidemic, drug-resistant bacteria, and general over-prescription, America has a legal drug problem.

I’ve had my share of pain, for example. But some amount should be tolerable without popping a pill. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs attention. There are longer-term solutions to many of our problems, but all too often we just want a quick fix. It’s when we rely on it as a crutch that the chance of becoming addicted rises.

Guns
Some people in America like guns. Some don’t. I get it. I’ve shot guns for target practice and used them in outdoor shows. They’re fun. And for many, they use them for fun, or hunting, or feel that they need them to protect themselves and their loved ones.

But where is the line? When do we have enough? Enough guns. Enough firepower. Does anyone need a weapon that could take out a dozen people at the press of the trigger? If you live in an area where that’s needed, it’s a war-zone… and that’s a bigger problem.

Much of the “need” for the higher power guns, the semi-automatics, the illegally altered fully-automatics, the high capacity magazines… it all comes from one thing: Fear. People are afraid. Afraid of other people with guns. Afraid that the government will come and take their guns. Afraid of liberals and media and people who think differently, or look differently, of believe differently.

There are some simple paths to enough. Enforce the existing laws. Close the loopholes. Ban weapons that nobody needs for protection or hunting or target practice.

If most of America wants these things, and our representatives are not enacting them, then maybe our government isn’t much of a representative democracy.

Possesions
How many things do you need? Want? Have?

In our disposable society we often tire of things before their useful life is really spent. Smartphones are a prime example. As are clothes. Accessories. Electronics.

For those with even more money it may be houses, cars, motorcycles, boats, jewelry.

Even “essentials” are not that essential in truth.

Overall, we can be very wasteful. And that leads to a lack of appreciation for the things we have. And maybe a blurring of the understanding of what should really matter to us long term.

It may be difficult, but for anything you think you need – do you really *need* it?

Entertainment
How may channels can you watch? How many games can you play? How many movies need to be made (most of them in a handful of derivative series)?

With the rise of social networking came the competitive response. What’s popular? I have to see it! I have to play it! I don’t want to feel left out!

Pause. Take a break. In a year, a month, or even an hour, there’ll be something else you can miss out on instead. Maybe “enough” entertainment should be determined by what you want to spend your free time on. Not what’s popular with everyone else.

And On, And On, And On
… and the “enough” list goes on and on: Diets, Fads, Commemorative Plates.

But there’s one thing I’m certain I’ve had enough of. And that’s Fools.

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Voice 2012: Joe’s Full Presentation

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Voice 2012: Joe’s Full Presentation

Agents, Demos, Marketing, Networking, VO Work, P2P, Unions…

Hear how I got into voice over, my philosophy on business, acting, much, much more!

The full 86 minute presentation is yours FREE!

(and stay for the questions at the end… very informative 😉 )

Thanks to everyone who attended, and those who asked questions at the end.

Joe J Thomas: Banana Baby

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard Photoshop

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Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard Photoshop

(click on any picture for a full size wallpaper version!)

It all started with shaving my beard off as a Valentine’s day gift for my wife:
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (original)

… then, things got a bit out of hand:
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (destruction)

It was time to cool down:
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (undersea)

… maybe this is a bit *too* chill?
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (yak)

Going for an Andy Warhol vibe on this:
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (pattern)

… but my wife said the colors looked like balloons, so:
Joe J Thomas: Weird Beard (balloons)

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Pay-2-Play Parody Song

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Pay-2-Play Parody Song


by Joe J Thomas

(parody of “If I Could Read Your Mind, Love” by Gordon Lightfoot)

… and if you like this one, you might also enjoy this:

Alone Again, In The Booth

~~~ Lyrics ~~~
I joined a pay-to-play site
‘Cuz I got my voice to sell
They send me lots of auditions
And I’m doin’ really well
Then I reach the part where the paycheck comes
A dollar ninety three
Are you frickin’ kiddin’ me?!?!?
This headset mic is really boss
It’ll take me twenty bucks to pay it off
~~~
If I could read your copy
For a product you’d like to sell
Be on a national commercial
The kind that pays my bills
Maybe I could be on a cartoon show
And be famous on TV
Or a hero in a game
The Simpsons or an Anime
Can’t you see I only need a break
~~~
My fans would think I’m a movie star
With a mansion on the beach
Or maybe even two
With lots of green, I’m on the scene with paparazzi crowding all round me
But for now I should be real
I never learned how to act on stage
And I’ve got to say that they just don’t get it
I don’t know where I went wrong
But my money’s gone and I just can’t get it back
~~~ (end) ~~~

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Persistence

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Persistence by Joe's Dump

Persistence:
We Aspire to it in Ourselves,
Admire it in Our Friends,
and Abhor it in Our Foes.

But when is it appropriate?

As the saying goes, nothing feels better than when you stop banging your head against the wall.

Sometimes, knowing when to quit can be just as important as knowing when to push on in spite of the odds.

Only you can make the decision on if you should persevere or throw in the towel. Take the advice of trusted loved ones, friends and mentors into account. If they’re all saying the same thing, maybe it’s time to listen.

If you’re stubborn like me, that can be the hardest part.

Besides, that wall will always be there. Maybe just a bit of a break to clear your head…

Adapt, Adopt and Improve,
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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The Path of the (Yodeling) Pickle

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The Path of the (Yodeling) Pickle

*** UPDATED 4/30/2018 STEPHEN FRY TWEET! (at the bottom) ***

Yodelling Pickle by Archie McPhee

      Joe's Yodel (Joe J Thomas)

How did learning to yodel lead to Weird Al, George Takei, The Today Show and Gorillaz?

It all began in 2006, with a contest by the Seattle novelty company Archie McPhee.

They were searching for a yodel.

I was a singer, but had never yodeled. So I consulted the internet and found YodelCourse.org

After some free lessons, I submitted my contest entry and forgot about it.

… until 100 rubber chickens showed up on my doorstep!
Archie McPhee - Deluxe Rubber Chicken

I’d won the contest, and the prize was 100 rubber chickens, plus my yodel in a toy.

Now, the first toy (Feb, 2007) was not the Yodeling Pickle, but instead was the “Remote Control Hopping Yodeling Lederhosen” (with a knockwurst remote, of course):
Remote Control, Hopping, Yodeling Lederhosen

Then in April of 2007 came the now famous “Yodeling Pickle”:
Yodelling Pickle by Archie McPhee

In December of 2008, the Today Show with Cathy Lee and Hoda reviewed the pickle:
Yodeling Pickle - Kathy Lee Gifford
Kathy Lee Gifford sang with it and said “Nothin’ beats the Singin’ Pickle!”

Sales of the Yodeling Pickle were great, and soon they came out with other yodeling products (more on those below).

On December 26, 2010, the Grammy winning band “Gorillaz” album “The Fall” featured the yodel on track 15: “Seattle Yodel”:
Gorillaz - The Fall - Front Cover

You can download the whole album for free at: Gorillaz – The Fall (at Archive.Org)

      Gorillaz - Seattle Yodel

 
On August 5, 2011, Archie McPhee released their own video of the track:

On March 26, 2013: Archie McPhee announced “International Yodeling Pickle Day“!!!

On May 22, 2013: George Takei posted his comedic review of the Yodeling Pickle on Amazon:

My latest Wednsday Weview. This item was NOT what I thought it was. At all. http://amzn.to/14Rz5aU

Posted by George Takei on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yodeling Pickle - George Takei + Weird Al Reviews

And on June 17, 2015: Weird Al Yankovic tweeted this (along with a review on Amazon)
“You can have my electronic yodeling pickle WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD FINGERS.”
Yodeling Pickle - Weird Al Yankovic

On June 2, 2017: Gizmodo posted an article on Gorillaz and the Seattle Yodel Track:

On July 16, 2017, George Takei included the Yodeling Pickle in a video review from Knowable:

Weird Products From Amazon

Because who couldn't use a yodeling pickle? via Knowable

Posted by George Takei on Sunday, July 16, 2017

And on April 30, 2018: Stephen Fry tweeted:
 
“I don’t know what a Yodelling Pickle is, all I know is that I want one. And in an instant absolute and foot-stamping Veruca Salt kind of way”
Yodeling Pickle - Stephen Fry Tweet 20180430

Other Yodeling products from Archie McPhee:

Gerkin for a living,
Joe “Yodelling Pickle” Thomas

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 3)

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 3)

Afternoon Tea Adventures presents a brand new Doctor Who audio drama in 3 parts.

Chapter Three: Marching as to War
Welcott prepares to march his undead army to 1950’s England, to wage war against the Establishment. VTI Security Forces have been ordered to destroy The Space, and all the colonists living there. Julia Shahid is losing her mind. And the Doctor is finally opening her eyes to what’s going on.

Doctor Who - Widen Your Gaze - chapter 3

Listen to part two here:

Also available on iTunes (click here)

And on YouTube:

(did you miss part one or two? here they are 😉

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 1)

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 2)

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze – a science fiction ghost story.

“The mind is its own place, and in its self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
–John Milton, Paradise Lost.

Palestine 1975: The Doctor’s companion, under surveillance by CIA agents, writes a letter to her younger sister in New York City.

England, 1955: a grieving father obsessively searches for the ghost of his dead son.

Hyperspace, the 22nd Century: Something is threatening a community in thrall to an ancient alien technology, shrouded in myth and legend.

As all three events collide, the Doctor finds herself in a bloodied life-or-death race to piece together an inter-dimensional mystery that threatens to tear open the divide between sanity and madness and the living and the dead.

In a spectral, hostile darkness, sometimes the best thing you can do to survive is to widen your gaze.

Chapter Three: Marching as to War
Welcott prepares to march his undead army to 1950’s England, to wage war against the Establishment. VTI Security Forces have been ordered to destroy The Space, and all the colonists living there. Julia Shahid is losing her mind. And the Doctor is finally opening her eyes to what’s going on.

CAST
The Doctor … K. Woo
Julia Shahid … Valina Cutler
Welcott … Joe J. Thomas
Fair Hair/Soul … Justin Fife
Lupez … Lisa Michaud
Selina … Fazia Rizvi
Cruz … Al Gordon

Written by Vince Stadon
Doctor Who logo by John Callaghan
Art by Valina Cutler
Many thanks to freesound.org

Afternoon Tea Adventures‘ Doctor Who series is a free, not-for-profit fan production and is in no way associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was created as a celebration of the series, without intent to supersede or infringe on existing copyrights or intellectual property. Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and other registered sounds and concepts remain property of the BBC.

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