Thoughts on Guardian Angels – and a Drink Recipe

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This is a unique Thoughts episode indeed. And recorded in a timely manner.

We start tonight with a drink recipe: the Doc Saunders. Here’s how you make it:

  • 4 parts Coke (or whatever cola you have on hand)
  • 2 mint Mentos (can substitute with some mint flavoring)
  • a few dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 part Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey
  • 1 part rum (we’re using Bacardi Gold)
  • a little water

Now to the serious part: we remember three persons who had a tremendous influence on our host, and who continue to watch over this podcast today. They are:

  • Cheryl J. Czerniewski, Mike’s mother (we are recording this on the 10th anniversary of her death)
  • Ryland Lundy, one of the many co-hosts of the Winning Side Coaches podcast and President of the Kansas City Young Democrats
  • David Berry, filmmaker and musician who worked with Mike and a few of our previous guests

We miss and love you all, and thank you for looking over this podcast.

Further, we don’t want to get into trouble with the copyright gods, so here is something we wanted to include in today’s episode: David’s song “Kalifornia.”



Twilight Imperium (3 parter)

This is what happens when you play a 6 hour board game – and commit it to a podcast.

The game in question: Twilight Imperium (4th edition)

The box for Twilight Imperium 3rd edition

Twilight Imperium is what is called a space-based 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) where all of the players are looking to control the central planet Mecatol Rex – and score points by completing different objectives. The game is for 3-6 players and can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to complete, so you will need to plan an entire day around it.

In this three-part playthrough, there are five players:

  • Mike (our intrepid host) – Federation of Sol (the humans)
  • Matthew – Mentak Coalition (space pirates)
  • Clinton – Emirates of Hacan (humanoid cats who are masters at trade)
  • John (the owner of this copy) – Barony of Letnev (vampire-like military industrialists)
  • Jonathan (manager at the Game Cafe, where this game was played) – Naalu Collective (telepathic snake women)

Part 1: Click here (releases with this post)

Part 2: Click here (releases February 5)

Part 3: Click here (releases February 19)

Top 20 South Park Episodes

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“Ample parking day or night, people spouting ‘Howdy neighbor!'”

South Park main characters.png

We are huge South Park fans here on the podcast, and Mike (who has seen every single episode) has a list of his top 20 episodes (out of just over 300 produced):

  1. Trapped in the Closet (the Scientology episode)
  2. Cartman Gets an Anal Probe (the very first episode)
  3. Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods
  4. Cartman Joins NAMBLA
  5. Red Hot Catholic Love
  6. The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
  7. Toilet Paper
  8. All About Mormons
  9. Casa Bonita
  10. Good Times with Weapons (“Let’s Fighting Love”)
  11. The Passion of the Jew
  12. Imaginationland (3-parter)
  13. The Ring
  14. Dead Celebrities (Chipotle makes you defecate blood)
  15. Fishsticks
  16. TMI
  17. The Poor Kid (Dr. Pepper is an agnostic beverage)
  18. Butterballs (“Jackin’ it in San Diego”)
  19. Sarcastaball
  20. The Cissy

“Screw you guys! I’m going home!”


Pandemic Playthrough

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What better game to play during a pandemic than Matt Leacock’s Pandemic?

Pandemic, Z-Man Games, 2013 (image provided by the publisher)

That’s exactly what we’re doing on today’s episode.

While Mike does own the board game – as well as Pandemic Legacy Season 1 (completed a campaign in 22 games) – today’s playthrough is being played on the iPad app.


Wendy Davis Revisited

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In summer 2015, Mike was asked (for free, it should be pointed out) to do some video work for the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus. The event in question included a keynote speech from former Texas State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

This is indeed an example of Mike meeting a well-known person of influence.

The complete video from which today’s episode is taken. Yes, Mike did shoot and publish this. No, he was not paid for it.

On today’s edition of the podcast, we are recycling the audio from that speech.


Jim Chappell Revisited

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Remember when we had Tim Crippen on the podcast for the first season?

We talked about the only interview we did for the Winning Side Coaches podcast, with Jim Chappell, who owned Chappell’s Restaurant and Sports Museum in North Kansas City, MO.

Today, we are recycling that episode of the old podcast because why not?


  • Intro music: “Fantasia Fantasia” by Kevin MacLeod
  • Outro music: “Playing to Win” courtesy of (which sadly seems to be defunct)

Lauren Lindsay

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Today’s guest on the podcast is Lauren Lindsay, who shares a couple of things with our host (that can be discussed publicly, of course):

  1. Both are creatives. In fact, that’s how they first met.
  2. Both have Asperger’s.

Today’s episode is largely on the subject of Asperger’s, the autism spectrum, and its effect on those who suffer from it.


Sarmila Venkoba Sah

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Today’s guest is Sarmila Venkoba Sah. Sarmila is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas who also studied at UMKC. She also helped Mike teach chess.

The conversation includes chess talk as well as college experiences, pets, and so on.


2000 Unique Downloads Livestream

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To celebrate 2,000 unique downloads, we did another livestream.

Things to look for in this episode:

  • Errors and omissions
  • Answers to a SurveyMonkey quiz Mike had made to promote the podcast (sadly, no longer available)
  • Mike’s Top YouTube channels

Please excuse the technical difficulties. We had them during the actual livestream.


Top 10 Colleges

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In terms of production number, this is episode number 37 of the podcast. However, we will not be releasing this as number 37 – the start of season 3 has been reserved for the KC Fringe Festival live shows.

So, it is time to address Mike’s tastes in college athletics. Here is Mike’s definitive Top 10 colleges list.

Important to note: every school on this list is NCAA Division I (of which there are over 350 as of this post).

  1. University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)
  2. University of Notre Dame
  3. Florida State University
  4. Duke University
  5. US Naval Academy (Navy)
  6. Miami University (Ohio)
  7. Syracuse University
  8. Dartmouth College
  9. Lamar University
  10. University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)