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Podcast title Colin's Last Stand: Fireside Chats
Website URL http://www.patreon.com/colinsl...
Description Fireside Chats is an eclectic interview podcast that endeavors to expose the world to a litany of unique and interesting people. Each Wednesday, a new episode goes live chatting with a different person about a different subject. If you want each episode a week early and completely ad-free, please consider supporting the show on Patreon at patreon.com/colinslaststand.
Updated Wed, 06 Nov 2019 04:33:03 +0000
Image Fireside Chats: The Eclectic Interview Podcast
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Link to this podcast Colin's Last Stand: Fireside Chats


1. Fireside Chats, Episode 114: Writing A Book
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 135.80Mb)

Description: For many people, writing a book is a dream, one that goes unfulfilled by plenty of capable would-be authors the world over. But some especially talented and hard-working people are able to make this dream a reality, many on a part-time basis. Today's guest -- Eldar Basic -- recently published a young adult sci-fi book, and he asked to come on Fireside Chats to talk about the experience, particularly from the point-of-view of someone who isn't (yet) making a full-time living as a writer. What does it truly take to put pen to paper and come up with something great? Take a listen, and find out for yourself.

2. Fireside Chats, Episode 113: The Strategy Gamer
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 100.05Mb)

Description: Today's guest is named Darren MacNally, and Darren has been on a pretty interesting voyage these past few years. One day a little over a decade ago, he fell in love with Creative Assembly's long-running Total War gaming franchise, and even parlayed that passion into a job at the developer for a time. But Darren's true passion is actually in making content surrounding strategy games, not in making the games themselves, and he pursues that passion on YouTube. What makes a creator like Darren tick, and how does someone end up at the studio he or she idolizes only to walk away and try something else? And perhaps above all else: What does it take to make a living being a content creator? What are the trials and tribulations one encounters, how do you make a living, and what's the landscape like for those that may be considering trying to get in today? We've much to discuss.

3. Fireside Chats, Episode 112: Massage Therapy
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 118.94Mb)

Description: It might be easy to poke a little fun at massage therapy, what with the easy Happy Ending jokes and all. But in reality, the art of relaxation is a serious endeavor, especially here in the 21st century, as people around the world become more aware of their bodies, and the curative qualities unorthodox treatments bubble to the forefront. Today's guest, David Merlino, is a professional massage therapist. Well, he was, anyway. These days, he primarily plies his trade as an instructor and author, and happens to be the writer of acclaimed study guides that help massage therapists-to-be learn the craft and pass their exams. It's safe to assume he's the man to talk to when it comes to using your hands for a living.

4. Fireside Chats, Episode 111: Infertility
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 100.80Mb)

Description: For many married couples, having children is a huge part of The Plan. But what happens when biology doesn't cooperate, and you're left unable to have kids like you counted on? This week's guests -- The Mayberrys -- have special insight into an issue that affects millions of couples the world over. While they were ultimately able to overcome the hurdles in front of them and get pregnant (after many thousands of dollars spent on medical care), the journey wasn't easy. In fact, there were plenty of times when it was downright scary, and endlessly frustrating. Hopefully their story will provide valuable insight into the quiet suffering of men and women who want to have kids but simply cannot, and how every once in a while, tales like these can have a very happy ending.

5. Fireside Chats, Episode 110: The Gay Experience
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 118.50Mb)

Description: John Shehan is a 24 year old man who first realized he was gay when he was six, but only came out to his friends and family very recently. Today's episode of Fireside Chats is dedicated to his story, and how he found himself after years of self-doubt and anxiety. The outcome of his journey has been undoubtedly positive, yet the road he walked was an emotionally harrowing one. Thankfully, his experience can serve as an uplifting reminder for all of us of staying power and belief.

6. Fireside Chats, Episode 109: Space Travel
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 109.57Mb)

Description: If you didn't know, I'm obsessed with space and space travel, and obviously, Fireside Chats couldn't possibly end without having someone from the space industry on our show. Let's call today's guest John Doe, an engineer who works at a major American aerospace corporation on projects for NASA (and others), and not surprisingly, he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. What are we doing right this very second to achieve the space travel of our dreams, and what do the near and faraway futures hold for us off of planet Earth, in orbit, or -- if we're lucky -- on the Moon, Mars, and beyond?

7. Fireside Chats, Episode 108: The Game Designer
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 111.21Mb)

Description: At Boise State University in Idaho, a small group of college students in a program called Games, Interactive Media, and Mobile Technology work quietly on prototypes and projects that could very well be The Next Big Thing in gaming. To represent the school and the program, welcome Nicholai Cascio to Fireside Chats. Cascio is an aspiring game designer eager to talk about the craft, the future of gaming, what he's been working on, and just what it takes to make a game from stem to stern, alongside all of the different disciplines it requires.

8. Fireside Chats, Episode 107: American Farming
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 119.97Mb)

Description: Virtually every culture in the world has a tradition of agriculture, but America takes it to the next level. In fact, the United States takes farming so seriously that, even in a country of 330 million people, the country exports around $150 billion worth of grown and raised food a year, making it a powerhouse on which many other nations rely. Today's guest, Will Thelander, is an Arizonan farmer that provides incredible perspective on what it's like to be part of America's booming agricultural economy, and what kinds of demands both society and the market place on family operations like his. From buying water and securing seeds to placing your bet on the right crops and navigating complex local, state, and federal politics, American Farming is quite the complicated enterprise, as you're about to find out.

9. Fireside Chats, Episode 106: The Comic Creator
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 96.23Mb)

Description: Over the last two and a half decades, the Internet has revolutionized the free market, and not just when it comes to cheap consumer goods. For artists, writers, musicians, and other creative types, the Internet has been nothing short of a life-sustaining miracle, allowing those who want to explore unorthodox business opportunities nearly endless latitude to do so. Heck: Colin's Last Stand is a product of this new economy, and everyone reading this description is that economy's consumer. It's a beautiful thing, and yet none of us 10 years ago would have any idea what this even was. Today's guest -- comic writer Curtis Clow -- is the perfect example of what's possible in this New World. Through sheer will, determination, and hard work, Curtis began publishing crowdfunded comics, a feat that would have been unthinkable a decade ago and impossible any further back than that. His journey has been (and will surely continue to be) an interesting one, and will hopefully inspire even more people to follow his lead and let the creative energies flow.

10. Fireside Chats, Episode 105: Sleep Paralysis
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 110.59Mb)

Description: Today's guest -- Eric Dominguez -- suffers from an inexplicable ailment that only strikes when he slumbers. The affliction is aptly named Sleep Paralysis, and for thousands of years, it has left people in civilizations around the world and throughout recorded history completely mystified. To those that suffer from it, however, its effects are anything but mysterious. With your mind awake and alert but your body unwilling and unable to move, falling into a bout of sleep paralysis can be a scary (and even sinister) experience. So let's spend an hour or so chatting about it, and make you aware of something you may not have even known existed... or perhaps give words for the very first time to something you experience yourself.

11. Fireside Chats, Episode 104: Questioning Faith
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 246.03Mb)

Description: A common theme throughout Fireside Chats has been religion. Talking about it, thinking about it, debating it. Today's guest -- Paeter Fransden -- is a knowledgeable, evangelical, friendly, and determined believer in Christ, and out of all of the Christian-themed episodes we've done so far, I (Colin) must readily admit: This one personally made me think about and question my own beliefs the most. Perhaps you'll have a similar experience. Perhaps not. But either way, put on your thinking caps and approach our chat with an open mind. After all, there might be more to this universe than any of us think, and God just might be watching.

12. Fireside Chats, Episode 103: Top Chef
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 153.96Mb)

Description: Meet Jose Horrach, a New York City-based professional chef with a ton of experience, loads of interesting stories, and a whole lot of insight. Our Fireside Chat, not surprisingly, revolves around cooking, eating, and drinking, but for as fun as shoving food in our faces is, tales from the kitchen can be just as riveting. What is it like working in the cutthroat, under-paid, demanding, and daunting world of professional restaurants? And how can newcomers make their way into the field... if they dare?

13. Fireside Chats, Episode 102: Special Effects
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 133.94Mb)

Description: Legions of great films have relied on stellar special effects over the decades, but it's the ones that utilize practical effects that really stand the test of time. Today's guest -- Damon Weathers -- is Studio Coordinator at Legacy Effects, an award-winning practical effects team responsible for some of the awesome stuff you've seen in tons of Marvel movies, the Jurassic Park and Terminator franchises, and even shows like Grey's Anatomy. What does Damon do, and how do he and his team work alongside some of the great filmmakers in the world? Why are practical effects so important in such a digitized world? And what does the future hold for his craft? Listen and find out.

14. Fireside Chats, Episode 101: The Pushbroom Philosopher
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 121.66Mb)

Description: There are only a few questions that have truly consequential answers. "What's for dinner?" is a far more common (and certainly useful) inquiry than "what's the meaning of life?" It's just that one seeks a constantly-changing answer in pursuit of an ephemeral solution, while the other gets at the very basis of who we are, why we're here, and what our purpose is. Today's guest, Robert Bell, mixes the blue collar with the white in an interesting way, seeking knowledge as a means to better himself and his understanding of the world, even if it's not relevant to his job, his relationships, or even his other hobbies. It's insight for insight's sake, perhaps the greatest variety of wisdom there is.

15. Fireside Chats, Episode 100: A Conversation With Colin II
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 149.52Mb)

Description: 50 episodes ago, we flipped the script here on Fireside Chats. Instead of being the interviewer, I (Colin!) became the interviewed. Episode 50 quickly went down as a fan-favorite, and with that in mind, I thought I'd do something similar for Episode 100. Once again, my girlfriend Erin sits in to ask me questions, and not surprisingly, we touch on quite a few topics: Finding happiness in the world, coming to terms with who you are, seeking out analog activities in a digital world, the ups and downs of living a largely reclusive life, and more. Fireside Chats is officially the first CLS product to reach 100 episodes, and it simply wouldn't be possible without you. Thank you.

16. Fireside Chats, Episode 99: Metalhead
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 108.51Mb)

Description: Things tend to lean in a serious direction here on Fireside Chats, and that's all well and good. We often delve deep, get real, and challenge ourselves. But today's episode veers in a decidedly more lighthearted direction. Collin Sparling is a young 20-something music fan who asked to come on the show to talk about his experience singing in a metal band. But our conversation quickly veered into general music talk, our shared love of rock, playing in a band growing up, and how important our parents were (and still are) to our musical development. If you're a music fan and wonder why the subject doesn't come up more on Fireside Chats, you have a point. This episode should smooth things over.

17. Fireside Chats, Episode 98: The Addict's Wife
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 129.34Mb)

Description: Back on Episode 80 of Fireside Chats, we welcomed Kris Hall to the show, a man who was willing to openly talk about his battle with alcoholism, how adversely it affected his life, and how it almost cost him everything, including his children and his wife. Today, we welcome Kris' wife Joanne to the show, so she can give her "side" of the story. While we learned a great deal from Kris about what it means to be an addict, we still have much to explore about what it's like to be subjected to an addict's behavior. Kris and Joanne came out of the other side of their years-long ordeal stronger than ever, but it certainly could have gone another way.

18. Fireside Chats, Episode 97: The Future is Now
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 161.81Mb)

Description: Meet Jeremy Goldman, an expert in computer learning algorithms and AI who has worked for some of the world's biggest tech companies. And boy, does he have a ton of insight into what's going on with Google, Uber, and many others who rely a great deal on knowing and understanding you. Yes, you! For what may seem futuristic and still on the horizon is quickly drawing near at an unexpected and unsettling clip. But one thing's for sure: The likes of Facebook know you a whole lot better than almost anyone in your life. Are you unsettled? Good! Strap in for some real talk.

19. Fireside Chats, Episode 96: Dog World
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 105.43Mb)

Description: People either get dogs or they don't. Heck, sometimes a person doesn't get dogs, and then suddenly, they do (like yours truly). But one way or another, they're an essential part of human life, and have been for thousands and thousands of years. Today's episode of Fireside Chats focuses on our most trusted animal companions, but through a random lens: The world of grooming. Nakita Jenks is an Arizona-based dog groomer, and she comes packing tons of industry stories and a lot of expertise into how to best take care of our furry friends. So let's pick her brain for an hour or so, learn about the ups and downs of the canine world, and perhaps get closer to answering an age-old question: Why can't we resist these lovable, loyal, and silly creatures?

20. Fireside Chats, Episode 95: Trading Toys
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 152.43Mb)

Description: Toys are an integral part of childhood, but for quite a few of us, they remain relevant in some way, shape, or form long after they probably should. Then again, that's what's so fun about toys as we get older: They're plastic encapsulations of a simpler time, before bills, relationships, jobs, and reality took over. Today's guest, Kenny Koepnick, works at a toy and collectible shop in Ohio, and not only does he get to live in a world of nostalgia, but he knows a whole lot about what makes that world tick. How are old toys and collectibles priced? What products are in demand, and what others have no value at all? How do collecting trends materialize and dissipate, and how is it similar or different from other completionist-type hobbies? Turns out we've much to discuss.

21. Fireside Chats, Episode 94: Judaism
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 183.66Mb)

Description: We've spent a lot of time on Fireside Chats discussing the ins and outs of Christianity, but we never ventured into the territory of its sister religion -- or perhaps parent religion, more accurately -- until right now. Judaism is a fascinating point of conversation, because unlike many other global religions, it's both a religious identity and a cultural identity, many times in excess of Irish or Italian Catholics, the Russian Orthodox, and pretty much any other similar fusion (save maybe the Mormons, who are no stranger to this show). To represent the so-called Jewish Experience, please welcome Michael Shamah, a student from New York City who hails from a devoutly Jewish family and lives a devoutly Jewish life, all the while living in a place indelibly (and awesomely) influenced by its Jewish population (and I would know!). In short: What is it like growing up in a community within a community, and is it a burden or honor -- or sometimes both -- to carry thousands of years of tradition, history, and tragedy deep within?

22. Fireside Chats, Episode 93: The Anorexia Gambit
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 149.73Mb)

Description: It's incredibly uncommon for people to hurt themselves out of the clear blue sky and for no reason whatsoever. Even if we can't comprehend why, or understand someone's motives, or make sense of any of it whatsoever, people inflict pain on themselves because they're already hurting. It's one of life's harshest paradoxes. Our guest this week -- John Rossi -- seeks to explore that paradox by telling the story of his years-long struggle with anorexia (a severe eating disorder that sees its victims literally wither away), and how, by employing pain, he hoped to erase all else that ailed him. Not surprisingly, his approach didn't work, but thankfully, he's here with us today to tell his cautionary tale. It's almost always better to work through your pain than avoid it all costs. Here's one story that succinctly explains why.

23. Fireside Chats, Episode 92: Porn Addiction
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 123.48Mb)

Description: People can find themselves addicted to almost anything, whether it's to alcohol or to benzos, to shopping or to gaming, to this or to that. But what happens when your chronic overindulgence happens to align with one of society's biggest taboos, something virtually every adult enjoys (whether regularly or occasionally), yet rarely speaks about earnestly? In short: What happens when you can stop watching pornography? Today's guest -- Matt Plaster -- speaks honestly about his addiction to porn, when and how it started, how it evolved and became worse over time, and how he ultimately got a hold of what ailed him. What do his family and friends think? How has it affect his education and his professional life? And how did his addiction alter previous relationships? We work through all of that (and more!) in what is undoubtedly one of the most flatout candid Fireside Chats yet recorded.

24. Fireside Chats, Episode 91: Teaching America's Youth
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 104.41Mb)

Description: The American education system is pretty unique, especially compared to the rest of the modern world. Instead of having a totally top-down governmental approach, schools in the United States are left largely to the whims of state and local bureaucrats, and the outcomes are as varied as they are fascinating. One such teacher in one of America's thousands of school districts is today's guest, David. David's a middle school history teacher, and I got to pick his brain for about an hour about what he does specifically, but also about the state of America's schools more broadly. What are kids learning? How are teachers teaching? And in what ways do we get it right or need to improve? Eyes front, class. Let's learn something.

25. Fireside Chats, Episode 90: The Passion Project
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 102.68Mb)

Description: In a strange sort of way, this week's episode of Fireside Chats is all about reality. The reality of living your normal, everyday life while also trying to pursue your dreams and passions. To talk about such a common (yet seldom-discussed) situation is Brian Penaloza, a CLS fan who works by day at a car dealership, and by night growing his tabletop RPG Twitch channel. How does Brian balance the necessities of life with the things that make life worth living? And how is he slowly turning a side project into something real? That's what our nearly hour-long discussion is all about, a chat that we hope inspires you to get out of your comfort zone, and pursue your own wild ideas.

26. Fireside Chats, Episode 89: The Stay-at-Home Dad
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 95.50Mb)

Description: Stay-at-home moms are some of society's most unsung heroes. Raising kids is a tough job, after all, and motherhood comes at a cost. But what about society's fathers? Hell, what about society's fathers that bear the brunt of of parental responsibility while their wives go to work? It's not a terribly common situation even in modernity, but it does happen more often than you might think, and that's what today's episode is all about. Chad Lewis is a stay-at-home dad with a professional wife who brings home the bacon. So what's it like to reverse society's expectations? What kind of challenges does such a situation bring with it? And what kinds of rewards can the inverse of your the everyday nuclear family provide?

27. Fireside Chats, Episode 88: The RPG YouTuber
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 109.91Mb)

Description: Being a successful content creator is all about finding your niche, and I must say, my friend Matt Schroeder -- aka MrMattyPlays -- has one of the best niches there is: Role-Playing Games. Matt is a popular YouTuber and podcaster, and he's built his audience by honing in on a genre he loves. But being an online personality isn't all roses; it's a lot of hard work, too. Today, Matt and I talk for about an hour about what he does, what we do, and everything in between. Our chat provides interesting insight into the life and times of the YouTuber and podcaster world, and will perhaps provide a blueprint for those who want to pursue a similar path... or avoid it at all costs.

28. Fireside Chats, Episode 87: Army Man
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 131.37Mb)

Description: Who is Mike Honcho? Well, for starters, he doesn't exist. See, Mike Honcho is a pseudonym for a US Army officer who asked to come on Fireside Chats so we could talk candidly about America's current foreign policy situation. What's going on overseas from the perspective of those on the ground? How do our servicemen and women feel these days about the conflicts they're asked to fight on our behalf? And what's the future hold for an American military in a state of perpetual war? Will we ever emphasize peace and prosperity over endless agitation? Probably not... but we can always hope.

29. Fireside Chats, Episode 86: An American in Germany
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 142.81Mb)

Description: A few months ago, a 21 year old college student reached out with an idea for Fireside Chats, and his pitch was simple: He's an American who, because of his father's military service, pretty much grew up entirely in Germany. In one of his e-mails to me, he wrote, in part: "My experience at home was weird and still mostly American... but in all other aspects I grew up as just a regular German kid, despite not having German citizenship." That alone is a fascinating enough pitch for me, and so we built an episode entirely around it. What's it like calling two places home? What's it like calling two cultures yours? And, perhaps most pivotally, what's it like to hail from a country you don't know nearly as well as the one you adopted? Can you ever go back? Do you ever want to go back? Where do you belong? Let's jump in and find out.

30. Fireside Chats, Episode 85: The (Eastern) World of Tattoos
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 100.25Mb)

Description: In life, few things are as physically permanent as tattoos, and obviously, they're not for everyone. But they're most certainly for today's guest, Jordan. Jordan isn't only a tattoo enthusiast; he's exceptionally enthusiastic about the traditional method of Japanese tattooing, which is all done with hand tools in the most excruciatingly exact fashion possible, in accordance with some old, well-worn techniques. His goal is to one day be covered neck-to-toe, and he's well on his way. So let's chat about tattoos, what they mean to us, why we get them, and why they may or may not be something you want to investigate, whether in the eastern or western style.

31. Fireside Chats, Episode 84: The Southern Baptist
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 142.30Mb)

Description: You may have noticed that Fireside Chats and religious talk go together like peanut butter and jelly, and thus, today's episode of the show delves back into questions surrounding God, belief, faith, and more. My guest is Micheal Bourdeaux, a Catholic-turned-Southern Baptist. Bourdeaux is a Southern Baptist minister, active in the church, and extremely knowledgeable about his craft. So I thought I'd pick his brain, challenge him with some inquiries, and get to know his beliefs better, too. If you're a fan of Fireside Chats' religious conversations -- and many of you are -- well, this one is right up your alley.

32. Fireside Chats, Episode 83: Hockey in Japan
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 106.44Mb)

Description: I love hockey. It's my favorite sport, and -- having grown up playing it -- it's the one I relate to the most. You also may have noticed that I love Japan. So when it comes to today's episode of Fireside Chats, you'll have to indulge me. Meet Chase Matteo. Chase is a college kid from Maine, and he's a talented collegiate hockey player, too. But he doesn't play for UMaine, or UNH, or even my beloved Northeastern University. Instead, he plays for Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, and he's the only westerner on the team. Today's episode is about his journey from west to east, about what it's like to live and go to school in Japan as a westerner, and about hockey as a growing sport in parts of the world you may never have thought possible.

33. Fireside Chats, Episode 82: One Man's Experience With Racism
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 107.44Mb)

Description: Every week, CLS gets messages from could-be guests of the show, and when I received one such inquiry, I knew I had to make this conversation happen. Meet Tyler Bello. Tyler is an everyday kinda guy from South Dakota, but what makes Mr. Bello notable for the purposes of our chat is that he's black. He's pretty much the only black guy in his community, in fact. And what makes his particular story so interesting is that, according to him, he's never experienced a lick of racism in his entire life. Raised (and still living) in a rural America often maligned as being racist (sometimes deeply so), here's one story that's... well... off the beaten path, as it were. Mr. Bello's experience doesn't discount the racism people in America withstand each and every day, of course. His story merely adds texture to an already every complicated social tale.

34. Fireside Chats, Episode 81: Woodworking
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 96.00Mb)

Description: When it comes to Fireside Chats, we don't focus nearly enough on art. Let's change that. Today, we welcome Daniel Vail to the show. Mr. Vail is an amateur (and very talented) woodworker, and he has a serious passion for it. So let's pick his brain. How does someone get into this unique form of art? What kind of tools do you need? What resources are out there for you to learn from? How expensive of a hobby is it? And how do the amazing results of woodworking (from furniture to fine art) help shape our culture, and the world around us?

35. Fireside Chats, Episode 80: Battling Addiction
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 110.96Mb)

Description: Around the world, millions upon millions of people suffer from addiction. It can be an addiction to pills, or heroin, or even sex. But this week's guest -- Kris Hall -- suffers from one of the most common, timeless addictions there is: Alcohol. Today, Kris tells his story, a story that begins normally enough, and then takes some fascinating (and harrowing) turns as he ultimately (and thankfully) finds his way to sobriety. But it was an arduous, uphill battle for him. Indeed, it's an arduous, uphill battle for almost everyone who finds him or herself in Kris' position. So, this is his story, one that will hopefully act as a cautionary tale to many of you, while providing insight into the help that's out there if you, too, are suffering in silence, hurting yourself, and injuring those around you.

36. Fireside Chats, Episode 79: The Future of Consoles
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 118.84Mb)

Description: There's good news for gamers: We're on the precipice of a new console generation, and the possibilities are seemingly endless. But, as many of you know who have been following me for years, I loudly proclaim my technical ignorance, which is where today's episode of Fireside Chats comes in. Joseph Bateh is a computer scientist who is completely plugged-in (pardon the pun) to the world of technological shifts, particularly when it comes to computers and consoles. So, I picked his brain. What does he think these consoles will look like? What will be inside of them? What will they be able to do? What will they cost? We cover all of that -- and much more -- over the next hour. After all, in a vacuum in which there's little-to-no information, what's better than conjecturing?!

37. Fireside Chats, Episode 78: Helping the Enlisted
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 96.60Mb)

Description: Here in America (and elsewhere on the planet), we have a really terrible habit of sending our brave men and women to fight in dangerous conflicts, but not sufficiently being there for them when they return home. Today's guest, Zack Gobie, has dedicated his life to trying to bridge this unfortunate divide, and he's doing so with The Salvation Army, the world famous, 150+ year old charity that does one thing, and one thing only: Helps the down-and-out. Zack was once such veteran that needed assistance, and the Salvation Army's Veteran Employment Service came to his aid. Now he works on their behalf to help those who find themselves in a similar position he was in, seeking educational and job opportunities for people who risked their lives on our behalf. Seems there's some good in this world, after all.

38. Fireside Chats, Episode 77: Being British
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 121.35Mb)

Description: I've always had an immense fascination with and respect for the British people. Their history, their customs, and the Special Relationship we here in America share with our kindred spirits across the pond. But what's it like actually being British? What is it like growing up there and living there? What do British people think of the rest of the world, and what do British people think about what the rest of the world thinks of them? (Got all that?!) To get some insight, I invited my Brilliant British Buddy Paul Joyce onto the show. He was visiting the States a while ago, so we went and grabbed dinner, had some drinks, joked around, and ended up recording this show, too. I hope you find it as enlightening as it is self-deprecating.

39. Fireside Chats, Episode 76: Getting (and Staying) Fit
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 148.14Mb)

Description: Please welcome Sean Clinton back to the show. Last time Mr. Clinton came by, we talked about his history growing up as an American soldier's son in Europe, and how that painted his life both personally and politically. Today's episode is quite different, though, because Sean is a professional personal trainer, and when we met the first time, I told him I wanted to pick his brain about that. This episode of Fireside Chats is dedicated to said inquiry. What's it like to help people get and stay fit? And how does one navigate the world of health, with so many options, often conflicting? Turns out, there's much to discuss.

40. Fireside Chats, Episode 75: The Art of Podcasting
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 128.68Mb)

Description: Max Baril is a film buff with a movie podcast called Classic Movie Musts, but instead of having him on Fireside Chats to talk about the silver screen, we wanted to talk about... well... podcasting! How do you get into the world of podcasting? What kind of equipment is necessary? How do you publish your work, find an audience, and sustain interest? How do you make a living doing it? This episode of Fireside Chats is dedicated to the so-called art of podcasting, how we found our way to a craft we love, and how you might find success, too, whether you measure that in listeners, money, or simply knowing you're connecting with an audience that cares about the same things that you do. So throw on your headphones, step in front of the mic, and let's chat about chatting.

41. Fireside Chats, Episode 74: Living With Mental Illness
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 123.45Mb)

Description: Today's guest -- Chris Wilson (who likes to go by "Wilson") -- is a 36 year old man who openly suffers from a number of mental ailments, ranging from bi-polar and manic depression to OCD and anti-social behavioral disorder. And he's perfectly open to talking about what it's like; especially when it comes to the bad stuff. In discussing his childhood, his teen years, and his nearly two decades as an adult, Chris' candor is both exemplary and cautionary: Exemplary in its openness and cautionary in what happens when your mind is wracked by issues you simply have little control over. Relationships can be adversely affected, education and employment can become perilous, and normalcy can be hard to find. Let's chat, shall we?

42. Fireside Chats, Episode 73: The Video Game Producer
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 143.82Mb)

Description: Wanna get into the games industry? Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. Today's guest is Chase Williams, a producer in the gaming industry who has worked at a couple of studios during his few years as a professional (including at Sony San Diego). Mr. Williams just took a job as a games producer in Germany, but before he left the States, he wanted to swing by to not only talk about what he does, but how he got his job, and how you may be able to meander your way into making games, too. The latter half of our conversation delves into the philosophy behind creating and playing games, as well, giving this episode a two-part kind of feel. We hope you enjoy.

43. Fireside Chats, Episode 72: Being A Doctor
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 151.58Mb)

Description: This week, welcome Steven Neeley, MD to the show. Dr. Neeley is a radiologist at New Mexico University, and is the very first medical doctor to appear on Fireside Chats. Our discussion today revolves around two pillars: What it's like to become a doctor, and what it's like to be a doctor. Two related questions, certainly, but also two radically different things. What's it like to have someone's life in your hands? Is medical school as difficult as it seems? Are family and friends annoying when they want you to look at something? And -- perhaps most fundamentally -- is the American health care system broken? If so, how do we fix it? We cover all of that and much, much more.

44. Fireside Chats, Episode 71: Asexuality
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 93.55Mb)

Description: Meet Max Nibler, a 19 year old college student who -- like all of us at that age -- is finding his way through life. There's a unique catch when it comes to Max, though: He's asexual. As in, he's not sexually attracted to anyone, and sex doesn't interest him at all. We sat down for a discussion about how he found his way to asexuality, what it all means, and what the future might hold for him when it comes to relationships, companionship, having children, and much more.

45. Fireside Chats, Episode 70: When Your Son Is An "Online Personality"
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 129.87Mb)

Description: Right before Christmas, I went back east to visit my family, and I brought my recording equipment with me. One podcast I knew I had to record was with my mom, and I wanted to ask her something specific: How does it feel to watch and listen to your son online? More than that, though, how does it feel to read, watch, and see all the negative stuff? Does it hurt, or do you let it slide off of your shoulders? Today, we discuss that, although the conversation winds from there. Indeed, in the end, it ends up being about all of you guys and gals that listen to CLS shows and support the company... and how awesome you all are.

46. Fireside Chats, Episode 69: Theological Intrigue
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 169.73Mb)

Description: I don't know if you've noticed, but I really like talking religion here on Fireside Chats, and today's guest is incredibly well equipped to do just that. Michael Steinmetz is pursuing his PhD in theology, and has a ton of insight into Christianity, and all that entails. Our conversation delves deep into the life and times of Jesus Christ, and right on up 'til today, and challenges believers and non-believers alike to think critically -- and scholarly -- about something many people know to exist, yet cannot prove. If God exists, why doesn't he make himself (or herself!) known? And if I'm a good person, yet don't believe, where does that leave me, in the grand scheme of things? We discuss all of that, and much, much more.

47. Fireside Chats, Episode 68: One Nation, Divided
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 162.73Mb)

Description: Today, Dr. Greg Jackson -- professor of history at Utah Valley University and host of the wonderful podcast History That Doesn't Suck -- makes his valiant return to the show. I'm excited to have him here, because I wanted to pick his brain about one thing in particular: National division. The political rhetoric and behavior on display in contemporary America suggests that the US is being pulled apart at the seams, and I was curious if Dr. Jackson agreed. We delve deep into history and pull useful anecdotes and stories that indicate that while our heated nature is very real, it's certainly nothing new. Forget the Civil War. Just ask the Founders, instead.

48. Fireside Chats, Episode 67: Jumping Into Game Dev
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 136.18Mb)

Description: It's been a good, long while since we've talked about video games here on Fireside Chats, hasn't it? Well, let's stop the streak. Today's guest is Will Goldstone, a Product Manager at Unity. What is Unity? It's an incredibly important, versatile, and popular game engine that many a video game is created on. So let's pick Mr. Goldstone's brain about game development, the tools of the trade, and what it takes to make a living doing this hard (and dare I say important) work. For the many millions of us that love playing video games, it's people like Will -- and perhaps even you -- that help bring these products to our consoles, PCs, handhelds, and mobile devices. Perhaps our chat will inspire you, Potential Game Developer, to take the next step.

49. Fireside Chats, Episode 66: The Great Russian Disruption
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 132.22Mb)

Description: I don't know if you've heard, but Russia Hacked the Election. Well, kinda. The entire fiasco has become more of a nebulous talking point designed to score political points than anything we can focus on and sink our teeth into. But here's the thing: Russia really did launch a coordinated operation to disrupt our system, and through all the muck and mess, we still have to deal with it. Today's guest is an ex-US military Psychological Operations Specialist with an incredible amount of insight into what happened, why, and perhaps most importantly, what we can do about it. Is Russia an existential threat to the United States? Well, no, they're not. But by fomenting internal divisions, they may, in the end, get exactly what they want: A significantly weakened America defined by infighting and internal distrust.

50. Fireside Chats, Episode 65: The Mormon Perspective
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 165.71Mb)

Description: Christianity is full of different sects and divisions. One such sect is Mormonism -- also known as the Church of Latter Day Saints -- founded in the United States in the 19th century. Unlike many Christian offshoots, however, Mormonism is misunderstood at best, and ridiculed and joked about at worst. To give some perspective into the religion -- into what it means to be a Mormon, what their beliefs are, and more -- an everyday Mormon named James asked to come onto Fireside Chats. Naturally, I said yes. Our discussion is a winding one, with quite a bit of disagreement along the way. But, well... it turns out we can't all see eye to eye on everything, can we?

51. Fireside Chats, Episode 64: In Defense of Socialism
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 172.25Mb)

Description: Socialism -- particularly of the Democratic Socialist variety -- comes up fairly often on Fireside Chats, and not typically in the most glowing of terms. More than a few listeners have taken issue with that since the the show began, but only one -- Sean Clinton -- offered to come on the show and make a spirited defense of the political ideology. Better yet, Sean, who was born to an American soldier and a German mother in Europe, and lived in Germany for most of his life, benefited a great deal from a system that he thinks could, in turn, benefit plenty of people in America (and elsewhere). Not only does he offer a different way of looking at the European experience. He thinks that experience, in many ways, may be the superior one.

52. Fireside Chats, Episode 63: The Hospitality Grind
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 120.17Mb)

Description: As we move through the years, many of us end up temporarily -- and sometimes permanently -- working in a front-facing job, whether that's at a restaurant, or in retail, or in some other capacity. But few people have to work in an environment where the quality of a customer's experience hinges on a ton of things going just right, potentially for consecutive days or weeks at a time. Today's guest is a manager at a global hotel chain, and his insight into the workings of a hotel (and the many challenges they face) offers an awesome glimpse into the world of the business and leisure traveler alike, and the challenges the hospitality industry faces in meeting the demand, and keeping that demand from slipping through their fingers in an ever-competitive (and cheapening) market.

53. Fireside Chats, Episode 62: Assessing the Midterm Elections
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 166.18Mb)

Description: Here in the United States, the 2018 midterm elections are behind us, and so our long national nightmare is finally over. Right?! Wrong! To make sense of the split decision rendered by the American people, I've brought in popular guest Jeff Cannata to talk through the results. With the House in Democratic control, the Senate in Republican control, and the US obviously more Balkanized than it's been in 150 years, it seems like things may just get worse before they get better. So join us for a robust, fair, and even-keeled discussion on just where we stand now, and where we collectively hope to be in the future.

54. Fireside Chats, Episode 61: Fighting the Culture War with Roaming Millennial
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 163.96Mb)

Description: You may know today's guest, Lauren Chen, by her digital pen-name (of sorts): Roaming Millennial. Lauren was born in Hong Kong, moved to Canada as a kid, and heavily engages in politics both at home and in the United States, primarily through her YouTube channel and through her work on CRTV. So naturally, I invited her for a Fireside Chat all about the political climate in The Age of Trump. As a Christian and a social conservative, Lauren and I come down on the opposite side of quite a few issues, but we also found plenty of agreement. In discussing her faith, women's choice, transgender rights, and more, we investigated quite a few interesting topics of note, and prove that conservatism does indeed come in many shapes and sizes.

55. Fireside Chats, Episode 60: Saving the Innocent
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 126.31Mb)

Description: In the United States -- and around the world -- millions of animals go unloved, uncared for, and discarded. Bryan Finck works on behalf of The Pixel Fund, a Florida-based non-profit that tends to dogs, cats, and other animals that have been abused, abandoned, and put in otherwise awful situations. Through his care, and the care of his colleagues, animals that would have otherwise never found a loving home (or would have outright died or been put down) are living vibrant, happy lives, all thanks to the time and money of volunteers who care for the animals that, in turn, care so much for us. If this Fireside Chat reminds us of anything, it's that there's real pain and suffering in this world that goes well beyond the realm of humanity. Good news, though: We can all do something about it.

56. Fireside Chats, Episode 59: The Black Moderate
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 146.29Mb)

Description: Rondale Williams is a veteran of the US Navy, a software engineer with a college degree in history, and a moderate black man in contemporary America. It's the latter point that makes him unusual, at least from the perspective of modern politics, which often considers minority voters reliable blocs, and not individuals with unique thoughts, ideas, aspirations, and ideologies. Rondale and I sat down for a little over an hour to discuss his unique path through life, growing up in Hartford, Connecticut around black nationalist influences, right on through his time here in Southern California, where he found himself in a tech industry being overrun with a virulent strand of PC culture, the kind of culture that long ago lost sight of what egalitarianism and merit is all about.

57. Fireside Chats, Episode 58: Getting Political With Laci Green
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 193.06Mb)

Description: Laci Green is a popular YouTuber, sex educator, feminist, and author. She's also a personal friend of mine. I initially invited Laci to Santa Monica for a Fireside Chat about her new book (Sex Plus: Learning, Loving, and Enjoying Your Body), and intended on discussing sexuality, feminism, and all the rest. Instead, though, we had a wide-ranging political conversation, touching on topics from the deeply divisive Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation and the fight between pro-choice and pro-life elements, to the role of crime in America and our radically different views on the death penalty. Buckle in for a civil conversation between a liberal and a conservative. Unheard of, I know.

58. Fireside Chats, Episode 57: A Sit Down With David Jaffe
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 176.97Mb)

Description: It's only in recent years that the gaming industry has become louder, more vocal, and more visible. But in quieter times, David Jaffe led the charge when it came to what we today term "being a personality." Jaffe is most famous for being the driving force behind Twisted Metal (pardon the pun), and was the director and creative visionary behind the original God of War, too. These days, however, Mr. Jaffe lives a quieter and more subdued life. We got together in his hometown of San Diego for a candid chat about video games, video game development, and video game journalism, not to mention politics, spirituality, and much more. It turns out putting two guys well-known for speaking their minds in the same room is a good idea. (You may notice that the audio quality is different than usual. This episode was recorded in a friend's studio using his equipment, and I'm grateful for that opportunity. -Colin)

59. Fireside Chats, Episode 56: Fireside Chats X Not So Common
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 175.03Mb)

Description: I've admired Pat Contri from afar for about 18 months, now. Pat and I first started chatting around the time I started Colin's Last Stand, and while we've kept in touch via DM and text, we never had the pleasure of meeting in person. Well, until now. Pat is a fascinating guy, a prolific collector of retro games and memorabilia, a skilled podcaster, and the author of two amazing Nintendo books. We sat down in his San Diego home for a lengthy crossover between his podcast -- Not So Common -- and my own, and had a wide-ranging chat about games, growing up out east, and politics galore.

60. Fireside Chats, Episode 55: The End of America (and Other Questions)
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 140.37Mb)

Description: It was only a few months ago that I had US Navy Lieutenant Michael Autery on Fireside Chats. I liked our conversation about the Constitution so much that I invited him back to the show for a game of Five Questions, all surrounding American history and politics. Is American Exceptionalism real? How would he amend the Constitution if he could? America's greatest President was...? Is anything going right in America? And the big one: How will America ultimately end? We cover all of these questions (and more) in a deep back-and-forth.

61. Fireside Chats, Episode 54: Is TV Dying?
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 132.57Mb)

Description: When TV programming began reliably broadcasting in the 1940s, the world changed forever. The advent of radio decades earlier already made the world smaller, but with television, you didn't only listen. You watched, too. Fast forward some 70 years, though, and TV seems outright quaint, and the evidence of its decline is everywhere around us. Or is it? Today's guest -- Ethan Anderson -- works at an NBC affiliate in the Dakotas, and it turns out that, depending on your market, the kind of content you're looking for, and the type of audience you're catering to, there's still a tangible demand for the way things were. Indeed, it could very well be that rumors of television's demise are just a bit premature.

62. Fireside Chats, Episode 53: Small Business Catharsis
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 123.93Mb)

Description: Owning a small business is hard work. Really hard work, actually. Today's guest, Kyle Eastman, reinforces this notion with his story of determination and grit. Eastman owns a used games and sports equipment store in Oklahoma, but his journey in getting there is an interesting one. Telling that story requires us to ask a series of questions, though. Is college really that important? Should people leap into uncertain situations with equally uncertain outcomes? What's more important: Money or happiness? We discuss all of that and more. But in reality, this episode consists of two small business owners trading war stories and commiserating. Small Business Catharsis, if you will.

63. Fireside Chats, Episode 52: Neither the Left nor the Right Will Do
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 178.93Mb)

Description: In today's exceptionally hostile us-versus-them political environment, nuance often slips through the cracks. From immigration and economics to foreign policy and the social contract itself, everything is presented in a binary, and there simply isn't room for discussion or compromise. It's all black or white. One or zero. A or B. Reality, of course, is far more complicated. In today's conversation with Tiana Lowe -- political commentator and podcaster who first appeared on Fireside Chats this past March -- we delve into the fractured American psyche from an admittedly conservative point of view, but a point of view that asks an open question: Can the moderate right and the moderate left put aside their differences, unite with one another, and destroy the extremes that are engulfing them both?

64. Fireside Chats, Episode 51: A Westerner in Japan
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 111.76Mb)

Description: Japan is a country with a complicated history. Once closed off to the world for centuries, Japan was rapidly exposed to the west in the 19th century, went on a decades-long conquest in the early 20th century that helped plunge the planet into World War II, and then rebuilt from the ashes of conflict, creating one of the most successful societies in the modern era. Yet, even today, Japan remains rooted in homogeneity and tradition, which is why the perspective of an American living there is so incredibly interesting. It's through the eyes of an exceptionally smart 20 year old that you're about to learn more about the island nation so many of us have a keen interest in.

65. Fireside Chats, Episode 50: A Conversation With Colin
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 140.16Mb)

Description: Nearly a year ago, CLS changed directions: It became a brand, and not just a show, and that all began with Fireside Chats. Originally designed to be a short, weekly spoken op-ed about something random, Fireside Chats quickly morphed into the eclectic interview series it is today, and has since exposed dozens of interesting, unique, intelligent, and diverse voices to the world. To celebrate its 50th episode, though, it's time to turn the formula on its head, because today, Colin is the guest. Better yet, he's interviewed by his girlfriend, Erin. Episode 50 holds laughter, crying, and just about everything in between. But above all else, it's an honest look at what was, what is, and what's still to come.

66. Fireside Chats, Episode 49: Understanding eSports
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 110.17Mb)

Description: I've never been a fan of eSports. Or esports. Or Esports. Or however you want to type it. Yet, I also acknowledge that it's a gigantic blind spot in my gaming knowledge, and I want to do something to rectify that. So I figured, why not bring my old friend Leah Jackson by for a Fireside Chat? Leah and I worked at IGN together back in the day, and in 2014, she joined the ranks of Riot Games here in Santa Monica, the massive developer behind League of Legends. Leah's entire professional life revolves around something I understand almost nothing about. After our hour talk, I'm confident in saying I know quite a bit more than I did. After you listen, you'll probably feel the same.

67. Fireside Chats, Episode 48: Trump, Russia, and The Future with Jeff Cannata
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 155.55Mb)

Description: Last October, Jeff Cannata -- well-known online personality, podcast and video host, and actor -- joined me on Fireside Chats to talk about Donald Trump and the political landscape of the United States. I invited him back, 43 episodes of Fireside Chats later, to revisit our conversation. What does Jeff think about Donald Trump and the whole Russia fiasco now? And, most importantly, what are his solutions to fix the serious problems we now face? Let us show you yet again how two people who don't agree with each other politically can speak respectfully and constructively, and even find lots of common ground in the process.

68. Fireside Chats, Episode 47: Blake Harris and the Politics of Entertainment
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 155.76Mb)

Description: Blake Harris is a world-renown writer best known for Console Wars, the written authority on the Nintendo-SEGA drama of the early-to-mid '90s. You may have also seen Blake and his work on ESPN, IGN, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, NPR, and other acronym-obsessed news outlets. But for this episode of Fireside Chats, Blake came through SoCal to talk about, well, whatever! Our conversation veers in and out of games, entertainment, and the politics engulfing just about everything these days. I'm a pessimist. Blake's an optimist. Together, we find consensus on just what's going on all around us. Put on your thinking caps, and join us.

69. Fireside Chats, Episode 46: The World Traveler
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 119.39Mb)

Description: For many, traveling the world is a luxury, but for Jacob Spellman, it's a passion he's willing to sacrifice and work for. From Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, to Australia and India, to Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and beyond, Jacob hasn't only seen many of the world's sights. He's actually lived for a time in many of these cultures, and has a lot of stories to tell. Before he makes his next trip to Spain and elsewhere in Western Europe, Jacob swung by Santa Monica to regale us with tales of his exploits, and to encourage others to see the world... even if it's well outside of your comfort zone.

70. Fireside Chats, Episode 45: A Conversation With Bunty King
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 183.17Mb)

Description: Annand Virk -- better known online as Bunty King -- is a Canadian social commentator, and a bit of a lightning rod online. But in reality, Bunty is an extremely friendly, personable man with a great energy and a fantastic spirit. So Bunty came to Santa Monica to have a Fireside Chat all about who he is, what he does, and the state of Canada, the US, and the world in general. Oh, and we talk about video games, too.

71. Fireside Chats, Episode 44: Growing Up Iraqi
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 144.67Mb)

Description: Many of us can only imagine what it's like growing up in a warzone, but Mason Mallak didn't have the luxury of imagining it. He lived it. Born in 1995, Mason was only eight when the United States invaded his country of Iraq. Ten years later, in 2013, he moved to the US, and is on the verge of becoming an American citizen. But it was a harrowing and difficult experience getting from Point A to Point B. This is Mason's story about coming of age in a war-torn country, and what it's like living in the nation that helped tear his own land apart, a nation that he nonetheless deeply admired from afar, and now gets to be a part of.

72. Fireside Chats, Episode 43: The Life of an Indie Game Dev
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 164.16Mb)

Description: Jools Watsham has been a game developer for two and a half decades. He cut his teeth at Acclaim before co-founding popular Nintendo-centric indie studio Renegade Kid in 2007. These days, Jools operates Atooi, a tiny operation that makes games for Switch. During E3, I invited him to take the short drive to Santa Monica to sit down with me, so we can chat about his life. How did he get into gaming? How did he land his first gig in the industry? And what has it been like operating two different studios over the last decade? Jools has shipped 22 games since he went independent, so he has a ton of experience. Let's pick that brain of his, shall we?

73. Fireside Chats, Episode 42: The Small Town Mayor
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 125.35Mb)

Description: Allow me to introduce you to Ben Smith. Ben is a small business owner, a father, a husband... and the mayor of a small, western Pennsylvania city called Butler, just north of Pittsburgh. I invited Mayor Smith onto Fireside Chats to talk about what it's like to be the mayor of Anytown, USA, and to discuss what problems his community faces, and what he's doing to remedy those issues. We talk a great deal about why he decided to run, what it was like running both the primary and general election, and how it's going now that he (unexpectedly) won. This is an awesome glimpse into local politics through the eyes of the man who runs the show.

74. Fireside Chats, Episode 41: A Naval Officer's Constitutional Love
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 156.19Mb)

Description: Lieutenant Michael Autery is a US Naval officer, the host of the UNALIENABLE Podcast, and a man with a passion for all things liberty. In his military role, he's charged with defending and upholding the American Constitution at all costs, something that intrigued him so much that he became obsessive about the document, the men who wrote it, and the rights it bestows upon all Americans. I invited Lt. Autery to Santa Monica for a Fireside Chat not only on Constitutional adoration and a respect for the Bill of Rights, but to reflect on a time and place -- today, right now -- that seems hell-bent on stripping and diminishing some of those rights.

75. Fireside Chats, Episode 40: The Divisive 'Solo'
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 144.96Mb)

Description: Late last year, my brother Dagan Moriarty -- Lead Animator and Designer at Sesame Workshop (for which he and his team recently won an Emmy!), and co-host of the retro/nostalgia podcast CLS: KnockBack -- sat down with me for a discussion about the Star Wars film The Last Jedi. To follow that up, Dagan and I went to see the new Star Wars movie Solo while we were recording Wave III of KnockBack in Philadelphia, and sat down to record a Fireside Chat chronicling our thoughts. Don't worry: We won't hold you to a life debt if you agree with our opinions.

76. Fireside Chats, Episode 39: Living With Tourette Syndrome
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 106.00Mb)

Description: Tourette Syndrome (also known as Tourette's Syndrome, or simply Tourette's) is a neuropsychiatric disorder that many have reduced to a caricature of a person screaming loudly and shouting curse words. But Tourette's is much more than that, a disorder that affects 1 in 100 school-age children, an ailment that shares heavy overlap with ADHD and OCD, and something that can alter one's ability to learn, find acceptance, and succeed in life. So I invited Anthony Flarida to have a Fireside Chat with me. Anthony not only has Tourette's; his son does, too. We discuss his experience dealing with this syndrome, how it has positively and adversely affected his life, and what it's like raising a child that suffers from the same problem.

77. Fireside Chats, Episode 38: The Plight of Postmodernism
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 178.58Mb)

Description: Professor Greg Jackson holds a PhD in history, teaches at Utah Valley University, and hosts the podcast History That Doesn't Suck. I invited Jackson to Santa Monica to discuss modern academia, and what it's like teaching in a contemporary collegiate environment that, from the outside, seems to be burning to the ground. And so we focus our talk around the scourge of postmodernism. We also discuss history as a pursuit, a passion, and a profession. Why is history taught so poorly, and what can we do to make a new generation of young people passionate about the past?

78. Fireside Chats, Episode 37: Defending the Star Wars Prequels
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 178.83Mb)

Description: Alex Schmitz likes the Star Wars Prequels. In fact, he kinda loves 'em. As a one-time film student who now works in the movie industry, Schmitz is especially well-equipped to defend what he views as underrated and underappreciated gems in the ever-growing Star Wars universe. So I invited him onto Fireside Chats to do just that. And believe it or not, he makes a pretty convincing case...

79. Fireside Chats, Episode 36: Chatting With Patreon CEO Jack Conte
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 112.95Mb)

Description: Patreon co-founder and CEO Jack Conte changed my life. Twice, in fact. When I first met him in 2014, his new company was a largely-unknown upstart, but today, Patreon is a world-renowned name with $100 million in venture capital and a singular mission: Fund the Creative Class. I sat down with Jack for an hour-long interview to pick his brain about the past, present, and future of the service. What mistakes have been made? What new features are coming in the future? How many more lives can the service touch like it touched mine? His answers are across-the-board exciting.

80. Fireside Chats, Episode 35: A Real Canadian Hero
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 123.55Mb)

Description: Marc Boggio is a good man who found himself in a profoundly unfortunate situation. While serving as a medic in the Canadian military, Corporal Boggio fell ill, and the unimaginable happened: He lost his leg. But this podcast doesn't tell a melancholy story. Quite the opposite. It's instead about how Marc snapped back, grabbed life by the horns, and made lemonade out of the lemons he was dealt. Prepare to be uplifted.

81. Fireside Chats, Episode 34: How to Survive a Disaster
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 142.22Mb)

Description: Let's call today's guest Drew. Drew is an EMT, but more importantly for the purposes of this podcast, he's an expert in surviving horrific disasters. He takes a particular interest in surviving Southern California-centric disasters, most notably earthquakes. Our conversation revolves around just that: A hypothetical earthquake hits LA. You're far from your home, perhaps on the way back from work. Then what? Steel yourselves. This one gets a little frightening.

82. Fireside Chats, Episode 33: Kelly Carlin and Modern Philosophy
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 139.58Mb)

Description: Kelly Carlin is, like her father -- the famous comedian George Carlin -- a sort of modern-day philosopher, a rarity in today's climate that calls things exactly as it is. I invited her to Santa Monica to come talk to me about, well, everything, from politics to comedy, and everything in between. This a thought-provoking -- and dare I say important -- conversation, and I hope you enjoy it.

83. Fireside Chats, Episode 32: Social Media Takeover
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 133.65Mb)

Description: Matt Canoy went to Full Sail, where he thought he would make video games for a living. But that's not what he wanted to do. Instead, he wanted to engineer, and is currently working on two apps so secretive that we can't even talk about them. What we can talk about, though, is what one of those apps will cater to: The Social Media Market. And that got me thinking: Just what does the future of social media hold for all of us, anyway? Matt's an expert, and he's got some answers.

84. Fireside Chats, Episode 31: Gushing Over Dogs With Ryan McCaffrey
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 123.89Mb)

Description: I met my pal Ryan McCaffrey when he started working at IGN in 2012, and we quickly became good friends. I wanted to invite him on Fireside Chats not only to discuss our days together at the world's biggest video game website, but to dive deep into his love of dogs, and my fledgling love of pups, too. His two Boxers -- the sadly deceased Maggie and the new baby Daisy -- have filled his life with love and joy, as has Lola in my life. That's what this podcast hinges on, and I hope you enjoy the conversation.

85. Fireside Chats, Episode 30: Money, Managing Your Finances, and Building Wealth
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 116.76Mb)

Description: Kristin Wong is an expert in personal finance, and her new book -- Get Money -- is an ode to how anyone can grapple with cash, even if it seems daunting. So naturally, Kristin and I sat down for a conversation all about those dollars! How should you spend your money? How do you save? What do you do with credit cards, bills, and other impediments to financial growth that stand in your way? Whether you love personal finance (like me!) or are new to the game, you're going to learn something listening to today's show... and I bet you think about money just a little bit differently when you're done listening.

86. Fireside Chats, Episode 29: One-on-One With Dave Rubin
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 196.23Mb)

Description: As moderator of the popular Rubin Report, a much-sought after public speaker, and an all-around political firebrand, Dave Rubin is one of the busiest and most active people I've ever met. He's also a good friend of mine, and has been a tremendous force for good in my own development as a political YouTuber, and podcaster. Today, Dave and I sit down for more than 100 minutes to chat about politics, his show, his personal life, his ups and downs, and much more.

87. Fireside Chats, Episode 28: The Cryptocurrency Movement
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 115.18Mb)

Description: The buzz around cryptocurrency is growing louder with each passing day, which is incredible since the buzz has been audible for awhile now. But it's a confusing and unusual world, one I don't quite understand. So I invited Reilly Smith onto the show to explain his craft to me. Mr. Smith works for LBRY, a crypto company with an interesting directive. I think you'll learn a lot listening to this episode of Fireside Chats. I sure learned a lot recording it.

88. Fireside Chats, Episode 27: Gun Control, Trump, and A New Conservatism
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 156.74Mb)

Description: Allow me to present Tiana Lowe. Tiana is the co-host of the podcast The Political Pregame, a writer at The National Review, and the Founding Editor of both the USC Economics Review and The Tab at USC, with work appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and on Fox News and Reason. Oh, and she does all of that while studying economics and mathematics (she's only 22!). On today's episode, we discuss Donald Trump, conservatism versus liberalism in America, the degradation of education in the US, gun control, and much more. Buckle in!

89. Fireside Chats, Episode 26: Recording a Podcast or Writing a Book? You Can Do It!
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 154.50Mb)

Description: Today's guest on Fireside Chats is Jono Pech, an Australian podcaster and author with an optimistic outlook on life. In our nearly hour and a half conversation, Jono and I touch on his positive, work-centric podcast, what it's like to be a published author (he released a novel last year), and how hard work doesn't always pay off... but that it often does. (We talk about Australia and gun control, too.)

90. Fireside Chats, Episode 25: Getting Fat is Easy, Staying Skinny is Hard
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 113.97Mb)

Description: Today's episode of Fireside Chats stars my old friend Brian Albert, current Twitch employee and dedicated Destiny nerd. Brian is an interesting guy with an equally interesting story to tell. Today, we delve into his struggle with his weight, how he shed the pounds just to gain them back and then shed them again, and why he (and I) are both challenged by eating too much. (Then, of course, we end up talking about video games.)

91. Fireside Chats, Episode 24: The Meaning of Art, Life, Death... and Skateboarding
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 180.04Mb)

Description: With an all-new CLS series (KnockBack) just around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to introduce you to the show's co-host, my brother Dagan. Dagan is the oldest of the four Moriarty kids, and was (and is) a massive influence in my life. In this game of Five Questions, Dagan and I explore what art represents, what it means to live and die, why we're so proud of being from Long Island, how everything changes when you have children, and why skateboarding has been essential to Dagan's happiness.

92. Fireside Chats, Episode 23: Faith and Religion in the 21st Century
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 158.75Mb)

Description: Meet Matt Patrick. Matt is a 25 year old Colin's Last Stand fan who also happens to be a Methodist Pastor. He reached out to me to see if we could chat about religion on the show, and naturally, I said yes. If you're looking for a deep-diving, philosophical, and thought-provoking chat on modern religion and the nature of faith, look no further.

93. Fireside Chats, Episode 22: Workaholism and Finding Success With Destin Legarie
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 86.99Mb)

Description: Destin Legarie is very easily one of the hardest working and most industrious people I've ever known. On today's episode of Fireside Chats, we talk all about that. Why are we driven to work so hard? And what costs come alongside our admitted workaholism? We touch on lots of other issues, too, including online harassment and abuse, the grind of being a creative-minded person, and the unfortunate loss of normalcy in the social space.

94. Fireside Chats, Episode 21: Daemon Hatfield and the Evolution of Games Media
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 107.30Mb)

Description: Daemon Hatfield isn't only a good friend; he also happens to be one of IGN's longest-tenured employees. I invited him to record an episode of Fireside Chats with me to discuss all sorts of topics, from our shared years at IGN, to how games media is evolving, to how politics is finding its way into every nook and cranny of our lives. As you'll find out when you listen, few professionals in games media have the experience, the knowledge, and the wit of Mr. Hatfield. So lend us your ears!

95. Fireside Chats, Episode 20: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Star Wars
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 147.36Mb)

Description: As a child, I was obsessed with Star Wars. The primary reason for that was because of the influence of my brother Dagan, who was (and is) also a huge fan of the franchise. We sat down for a meaty, nearly-90 minute discussion centered around The Last Jedi, a talk that quickly spiraled into a chat about the other movies, and the Star Wars Universe as a whole.

96. Fireside Chats, Episode 19: Game of the Year 2017 Discussion
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 191.16Mb)

Description: The calendar just flipped over into a new year, so it only makes sense that we chat about what the best video games of 2017 were. In order to make the conversation great, I invited SIFTD's Shane Satterfield to Santa Monica to talk about what we thought were the cream-of-the-crop titles of the previous 12 months. This is a great companion piece to the Best Games of 2017 video that went live on Side Quest's YouTube channel, and fleshes everything out over a meaty 100 minute chat.

97. Fireside Chats, Episode 18: New Year's Resolutions, Moriarty Style
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 86.41Mb)

Description: One night over Christmas vacation, while my family was hanging out at my mom's, I set up some audio equipment in a spare bedroom and, one-by-one, asked everyone that was there to come talk to me about New Year's Resolutions. Do they believe in them? Do they think they're worth anything? Do they have one for 2018? 18 members of my family sounded-off, from my parents and siblings to my nieces and nephews. This proved to be a great excuse to introduce my audience to some of the people I love most in this world.

98. Fireside Chats, Episode 17: Guns, God, and Culture
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 106.45Mb)

Description: It's once more time to play Five Questions, this time with my good friend Erick Castro, fellow entrepreneur and owner of the James Beard Award-nominated craft cocktail bar Polite Provisions. Today, we focus on deep questions. Do humans have an inherent right to gun ownership? Is God real? Which culture gets it most right? Are dreams meaningful? And what is nostalgia all about, anyway? This is a good one. Strap in!

99. Fireside Chats, Episode 16: RPGs/The State of Games Media with Alexa Ray Corriea
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 117.52Mb)

Description: For years, Alexa Ray Corriea has impressed games enthusiasts with her passion for RPGs and her deep knowledge of the industry. Today, she joins Fireside Chats for a discussion about the games of 2017, the role-playing genre we both adore, and the meteoric success of the Nintendo Switch. We also delve into a chat about games media, and whether it's in as much trouble as it seems to be, and whether many sites' adversarial tone and seeming lack of knowledge will simply drive more lapsed fans to YouTube, Twitch, and podcasts.

100. Fireside Chats, Episode 15: Comedy in the Age of Trump with Brian Altano
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 149.06Mb)

Description: Today's episode of Fireside Chats features my old friend from IGN and The Comedy Button, Brian Altano. Brian and I have a frank talk about "The Joke" that spawned CLS to begin with, and discuss our differences over what happened, how it was handled, and its lasting effects. We also find plenty of common ground, particularly when we discuss comedy in the Age of Trump, where sensitivities are at an all-time high, and everyone seems offended by everything. But are they really?

101. Fireside Chats, Episode 14: Inside the Life of an LA Sugar Baby
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 110.05Mb)

Description: Meet Jane Doe. Jane's job is a little unorthodox: She's paid $7,000 every month to date a much older, gratuitously rich man. Thankfully, Ms. Doe is an open book when it comes to her unusual life. Indeed, it seems no question whatsoever is off limits.

102. Fireside Chats, Episode 13: Easy Allies' Brandon Jones
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 124.02Mb)

Description: This week, Brandon Jones sits aside the fire for a conversation about... well... lots of things. How's Easy Allies doing? What's it like thinking back on the Game Trailers days? How difficult is it running a successful Patreon? And, of course, what was it like dealing with the entire ordeal surrounding this podcast happening in the first place?

103. Fireside Chats, Episode 12: The Best TGIF Show, SNES vs. Genesis, and More
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 169.63Mb)

Description: We haven't played Five Questions in awhile, so let's do the damn thing. My best friend Ramon Narvaez returns to Fireside Chats to answer whatever I throw at him... like what the best '90s TGIF show was. We're going deep! (We even talk about SNES vs. Genesis. Like I said... deep.)

104. Fireside Chats, Episode 11: Fitness, Entrepreneurship, and the Nomadic Lifestyle
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 164.56Mb)

Description: Today's guest is Stephanie Lee. You may know her from her years at IGN, but I've known Stephanie since we were high school kids writing on GameFAQs. We haven't seen each other in a few years, and we have many topics to discuss, like how we came up in the gaming industry, why she abandoned her path as a nutritionist, how she found herself working in Idaho for a well-respected fitness outlet, and why she shifted gears a couple of years ago, decided to live a completely nomadic lifestyle, and found her way to entrepreneurship. You can find Stephanie's newest work at https://thefyslife.com/

105. Fireside Chats, Episode 10: Tarot Cards, Mediums, and the World of Astrology
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 132.58Mb)

Description: Candace Looft is an accomplished and respected western astrologer and psychic medium. Today's episode of CLS:FC is dedicated to Candace's world, and all of the strange and mysterious things that come along with it. You can find more about Candace at her website: http://www.beyondtheveiltarot.com/

106. Fireside Chats, Episode 9: The Life and Times of Chris Ray Gun
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 167.98Mb)

Description: Chris Ray Gun -- aka Chris Maldonado -- is a prolific political and social YouTuber who delivers his commentary with comedy and wit. We sat down for a 90 minute conversation about politics, social issues, YouTube, content creation, video games, and much, much more.

107. Fireside Chats, Episode 8: Nerding Out With Kristine Steimer
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 122.09Mb)

Description: Kristine Steimer has worked everywhere in the gaming industry. She did PR for Xbox, spent years as an IGN Editor, designed Facebook games for BioWare, worked community for PlayStation, helped shepherd The Witcher franchise at CD Projekt, and now spends her days at YouTube Gaming and evenings at What's Good Games. Did I mention that she was my roommate for four years, too? Today's episode is all about games. No surprise there.

108. Fireside Chats, Episode 7: The Personal Journey of Miss Movies
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 113.94Mb)

Description: Brianne Chandler -- known online as Miss Movies -- runs a YouTube channel, hosts a podcast, and has two kids and a loving husband. But, as with all of us, there's much more than meets the eye when it comes to Brianne. Today's episode of CLS:FS focuses on mental health, various oddities in the movie industry, and much more.

109. Fireside Chats, Episode 6: Craft Cocktails and Being an Entrepreneur
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 102.94Mb)

Description: One of my closest friends on this planet is Erick Castro, one of the world's great craft cocktail bartenders, owner of the James Beard Award-nominated bar Polite Provisions, and an all-around great guy. We sat down to chat about his new documentary, what it's like to own businesses, and why alcohol is just so damn good.

110. Fireside Chats, Episode 5: Talking Politics With Jeff Cannata
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 190.91Mb)

Description: My buddy Jeff Cannata -- well-known podcast host, actor, and gamer -- swung by Santa Monica today for a discussion that revolved almost entirely around politics. I come from a moderate right position. He comes from a moderate left position. The results are... well... a really great, totally reasonable chat about The Age of Trump.

111. Fireside Chats, Episode 4: Living A Musician's Life
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 155.41Mb)

Description: Colin met his best friend Ramon through their shared love of music, and today, Ramon makes his living as a musician. This extra-long episode of CLS is dedicated to Ramon's musical journey, and why music (and all art) is so important.

112. Fireside Chats, Episode 3: Finding Happiness Through Sadness
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 31.98Mb)

Description: I feel there's a responsibility with my audience to be real. Part of that realness is talking about my own struggles. How I cope with them may just be of some use in your own life.

113. Fireside Chats, Episode 2: Five Questions With Mr. Moriarty
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 77.56Mb)

Description: What happens when Colin asks his dad five completely random questions? This episode of CLS: Fireside Chats happens. (Apologies for dad's low audio; he's a soft-spoken man, and he doesn't know what "stay on the mic" means, apparently.)

114. Fireside Chats, Episode 1: Rediscovering Gaming
https://soundcloud.com/colinsl... download (audio/mpeg, 33.10Mb)

Description: Colin's Last Stand's spinoff is finally here! While CLS on YouTube is dedicated to history and politics, the supplemental podcast is dedicated to... well... everything else! Episode 1's focus is simple. It's all about how Colin rediscovered his love of video games.