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Audiobook Review – The Way I Heard It

You’re probably familiar with Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and narrator for a plethora of documentaries and other programs on cable TV. The Way I Heard It brings together stories from his podcast and autobiographical musings from his life and exploits.

Emmy Award-winning gadfly Mike Rowe presents a ridiculously entertaining, seriously fascinating collection of his favorite episodes from America’s number-one short-form podcast, The Way I Heard It, along with a host of memories, ruminations, and insights. It’s a delightful collection of mysteries. A mosaic. A memoir. A charming, surprising must-have. 

Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It collects 35 fascinating stories “for the curious mind with a short attention span”. Five-minute mysteries about people you know, filled with facts that you didn’t. Movie stars, presidents, Nazis, rank traitors, and bloody do-gooders – they’re all here, waiting to shake your hand, hoping you’ll remember them. Delivered with Mike’s signature blend of charm, wit, and ingenuity, their stories are part of a larger mosaic – a memoir crammed with recollections, insights, and intimate, behind-the-scenes moments drawn from Mike’s remarkable life and career.

This audiobook is read by the author, and I couldn’t imagine anyone who could have done a better job.  Rowe’s narration and pacing are perfect.  All of his experience in keeping our attention with his warm, conversational tone shines through in each chapter of this book. 

The stories the author tells, both about himself and the other people he captures with his words, range from funny to touching, but are always good enough to keep you in the driveway until we come to their end.  While a few are a bit racy, and there is a bit of rough language sprinkled lightly through this book, I would have no worries about letting my 12 year old listen to them as we drive or while we’re doing things around the house.

If you’re a friend of listening to someone tell tales, especially if that person seems to genuinely enjoy the subject, then The Way I Heard It will be a treat.


Today’s Earworm

It’s a day late for the feast of Saint Stephen, but this hit my brain for some reason.

Thought for the Day

16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. — The Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 3, Verses 16 and 17

Merry Christmas

From all of us, Merry Christmas. It’s been quite a year, but tonight, I hope that everything is right with your world.


  • Only mad dogs and Norwegians go to the grocery store two days before Christmas.
  • I literally had six items on my shopping list, plus several gift cards.  I ended up with a half a truck-bed full of groceries.
    • Not sure why, but that old “Make sure your larder is full” feeling came over me when I was in the produce aisle.
  • At this time of year, communication is key.  For example, Irish Woman and I both bought large bunches of rather ripe bananas today.
    • Guess I’ll be making a batch of banana bread tomorrow, and introducing Boo to banana smoothies in the new food processor.
  • Irish Woman and Boo made some jam thumbprint cookies, along with their normal frosted sugar cookies.  I just finished up two dozen each of snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies.  If I’m feeling froggy tomorrow, it’ll be time to whip up some chocolate chip cookies and the aforementioned banana bread.
    • Food like this will eventually kill me, but I’ll die happy.
  • Irish Woman and Boo spent part of their afternoon going to the neighbors and delivering boxes of donuts from one of the local shops.  From what they told me, their deliveries were quite popular.
  • The weather has finally decided that it’s December, just in time for me to have time to go for walks.  Guess I’ll be that weird neighbor who gets out on the road rain or shine, because if I don’t get out of this house soon, I’m definitely going to be called the weird neighbor, just not for good reasons.

Christmas Movie Meanings

We’ve all heard the old saw about how “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” is the story of how people will make fun of anyone different until they’re useful.  I was thinking about this and came up with some explanations for other Christmas movies and TV shows.

  • Frosty the Snowman – The story of the responsibility a necromancer has when she entraps a soul in the body of an ice golem.  Luckily for her, when things start to go badly, a celestial being swoops down and takes said undead frozen minion to a place where its soul will never be freed.
  • Charlie Brown Christmas Special – The story of how most people have to be shamed into not thinking of themselves, even if for only one day.
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – This yarn explains that you have to convince children that they are under cradle-to-grave monitoring by an entity that can punish them for any infractions.
  • Miracle on 34th Street – Maybe that old man wearing polyester red fur, mumbling to himself on the subway platform, is really Santa Claus.  Hey, Saint Nick can stink of booze and dumpster juice, can’t he?
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – The story of how a man’s life can be almost ruined because his boozer uncle can’t be trusted to keep track of anything important, but he himself is important to many people who would fall apart were it not for his presence.  Think “The Butterfly Effect” and “Somewhere in Time” wrapped in a big Christmas bow.
  • Home Alone – Child neglect and abandonment can be really funny, huh?
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The story of a loner who finally snaps and decides that if everyone won’t leave him alone, he’ll just ruin their holiday for them.  This one is one of my favorites, except for the last 5 minutes or so.


  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with ice pellets falling and customers calling and WAKING UP AT 5 AM TO GET ON A 6 AM CONFERENCE CALL ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT THEY INVITED ME BY MISTAKE!
    • I was invited to the follow-up meeting the following morning AND ONLY SAID 3 WORDS THE ENTIRE HOUR!
    • Some days I think I should have listened to my mother and gotten a job as the piano player in a whorehouse.
  • One problem with not being a Christmas person is that it falls to Irish Woman to decorate the house.  Most years, it’s Whoville and my sanity and electric bill both have issues.
    • This year, due to most of our Christmas junk still tucked away in stacks of identical cardboard boxes, it’s more minimalist.  By more minimalist, I mean that only about 50% of the surfaces in our home have something seasonal laid upon or tacked to them.
    • I have hope that my requests to not purchase more yuletide dreck will be granted.  It’s a forlorn hope, but a hope nonetheless. Maybe there’ll be a Christmas miracle or something.
  • It would appear that the best way to meet the new new neighbors is to just wait for them to bring Moonshine or Derby home after they’ve decided to do some unscheduled, unaccompanied exploring.
    • Another hit seems to be when the neighbors come out on a frosty morning to see why a strange man in bear-print pajama pants, an old tee shirt, and no shoes, is jogging a couple of yards behind a labrador retriever at 7 in the morning on a Sunday.

Today’s Earworm

Fine. ‘Tis the season and all that


  • If you answer “I’m free most nights and weekends” when I ask when you can meet with a vendor, please don’t be surprised when I schedule a meeting with the vendor for 7 PM on Tuesday.
  • Note to Self – If we want to survive until the end of this year, the words “Brown lumps in gray sauce or gray lumps in brown sauce?” should not go through our lips when entering the kitchen and smelling dinner.
  • I took my semi-annual look at my retirement account, and if things keep going well for the stock market, adjusting for inflation, I should be able to retire sometime in my mid-80’s.
    • When I hit the milestones that allow me to retire from the current day job, I think I’m going to explore a new career as a reprobate.  That seems to pay well, at least for those reprobates with titles like ‘Senator’ and “Congressman’.
    • My 401K grew by about 25% this year due to the, IMHO, overheated stock market.  The feeling I have in my gut right now is the same as I have when I’m in the first car on the rollercoaster and we’re approaching the crest of the first big hill.
  • As the holidays approach at breakneck speed, we are all thinking of what to give our loved ones.  This year, be practical – give those you cherish ammunition, magazines, and booze.
    • I’m not saying things look bad when I look into my magic 8 ball, but I’m considering cutting a piece off of an old flag and putting it into my wallet, just in case.
  • Irish Woman and I had our annual “Please don’t buy me anything for Christmas”…. ‘discussion’ the other night.  I took a different tack this year by listing all of the things she and the kids have bought me for Christmas over the decades that met their fates at Goodwill or the bottom of a dumpster when we moved this year.  I’m hoping that this message convinced her that there is absolutely nothing I need nor want and that a good breakfast and some quiet music is all I ask for on Christmas morning.
    • It’s a forlorn hope, I know, but maybe one year I’ll wake up to a hug, a hot cup of coffee, and nothing more waiting for me.
  • Irish Woman tried to convince me to just buy her a bottle of the shampoo she loved back in the 80’s for Christmas, and I laughed in her face.  I don’t have much to live for, but I’m not going down like that.
    • Might as well watch her unwrap a set of steak knives and then go take a nap.

MacBiden IV


Wherefore was that cry?


The republic, my lord, is dead.


She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and… something,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to… you know, the thing
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And Cornpop shows all his homies
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a dog faced pony solder, a poor player
That drools and stumbles his way through a speech
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, kept in his basement,
Accomplishing nothing.

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