Wednesday, December 07, 2005

TOTP - Top Ten Happy Things That Creep Me Out

We do daily shows and our subscribers go down, we disappear for two weeks and figures go through the roof - is someone trying to tell us something here? Rob got thinking about ten seemingly innocent things that really give him the willies and recorded this mp3 podcast with them all on:-

  • 10 - Music boxes
  • 9 - Peewee Herman
  • 8 - Twins
  • 7 - Brass ornaments
  • 6 - Roosters spurs
  • 5 - Boots makeup girls
  • 4 - Masks
  • 3 - Yoko Ono
  • 2 - Puppets
  • 1 - Clowns

You like these lists? Then send us yours to topofthepods@gmail.com and we'll be sure to read it out on www.topofthepods.com. Thanks everyone for sticking with us while we took time off podcasting, we'll make up for it we promise.

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
bryan-in-greece said...

is this a TOTP I see before me? :-) Good to see you back Jon and Rob!!!!!

Jeremy Vaught said...

I'm not sure I believe it myself! Juice is still downloading it, so I haven't listened to it yet, but I have to say, my mouth literally dropped open when I saw that I started to download a new TOTP!

Hooray

diane s said...

WOO-HOO!!!

FINALLY, I can come off hunger strike...must wobble to the PC and download immediately...

that's better :-)

WELCOME BACK TOTP!!! xxx

Jeremy Vaught said...

Ok, I listened to it. It is good to hear you guys again, and guess what? I heard me too! But you already knew that. Thanks for playing my audio clip! Thanks again for the laugh.

Jeremy Meeks said...

Wheew! Thanks for the fix guys, got scared Jon had eaten Rob or something. Great to have you back.

JH said...

Awesome list!
No clowns for us... those people are sick. Mimes (a subset of clowns) are ultra-creepy. They should be banned outside of France.

I think the creepiest puppets are the ones from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Ewwww.


It was so good to hear you two again! Grin.

Ellen D said...

Great to have you back lads and a funny list. However, as an identical twin I was worried about some of the comments. I was a bit perturbed to find out I was more creepy than that music box!

mark - tartanpodcast said...

I haven't listened yet, but ah, the power of the listeners;

Listeners threaten to do their own podcast, podcasters return with haste.

Bazza said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bazza said...

Excellent show, great to have a new show.

I'm guilty of setting up the con air poll. There has been a massive 15 votes. Here are the results: http://www.easy-poll.com/view_results.php?poll_id=18607

PH said...

Great to have you guys back again.
Wonderful show too.
Brass Ornaments?!!
Have to agree with #1.
The Daily Buzz had a Watercooler Question Of The Day about clowns, because of a news story that said clowns creeped out hospital staff.
I got my email read out on air and included links to IHateClowns.com and IHateMimes.com, mimes are worse, even clowns hate mimes (as can be verified by reading posts on the site(s).
Music boxes too...yeah. There was a Clint Eastwood movie where the bad guy had a watch that played a music box-like tune and when it ran out someone would get killed. Creepy too.
Keep up the good work, lads!

koc said...

Yowsa !

I only started listening to TOTP a couple of weeks ago and began to see myself as some sort of Jonah. As soon as I got hooked, dead air.

Welcome back, lads.

Jonathan said...

Great show - back with a bang.

Wot no funfairs? Sinister blokes running the dodgems, scary carousel horses, ghost trains etc - pretty damn creepy if you ask me.

TomTheTrucker said...

Nice to have you back Rob and Jon. Great but Strange list.

MakfromCal said...

Cool! You're back!

Great list-I have to agree about the clown creepies. Ever since I read Stephen King's It I knew my feelings about clowns were justified. Wasn't there a movie called Killer Clowns from Outer Space? Or was it just a bad drream?

I have to add that I never knew that the Opera Carmen was Jewish. I thought it was about a spanish bullfighter.

Cold in California

Marianne

BlueJackA said...

Itunes has kindly started to download the latest totp's for me, so straight over to here to say hi and thanks to rob and jon!!!

Welcome back, im off to listen to the podcast now!!! :-)

Gordon said...

I'm pretty sure Carmen wasn't Jewish - and I was in the boys' chorus when wee, so I should probably know.

It probably sounds Jewish, though.

Grant - Three From Leith said...

The prodigal sons return ! I just noticed the new show so I'm off to download it now. It'll brighten up my day as I'm coming down with a filthy cold and feeling miserable.

One dose of Dr Jon and Dr Rob's Patented "Efficacious Nasal Effluent Remover" coming right up !

bryan-in-greece said...

Grant - a good phlegmy snort will do the trick m8, and you'll be right as rain (says he here in Greece, where I have yet to turn on the heating for more than about fifteen minutes)!

What do you reckon though, folx, should TOTP be sponsored by Night Nurse or Benylin? - Could be a winter money spinner for Jon and Rob...? And come spring... men's fancies turn to other things etc... The possibilities are endless :-) Until then, how's about we do a few homemade TOTPs winter remedy ads in mp3 format to send in to the lads?

Example:

(said in tired, snot-laden voice:) ...I was sufferin' from a deribble cold undil I lisdened to Dop od de Podz and widin a minid I had blown all de gunk out of my dose ondo my mp3 player in one delly laugh. Dop of the Podz - it undlocks yer dose and ndo misdake - get some adminisdred aurally - DODAY!

and now back to the good doctor...

Marilyn said...

Welcome back Jon and Rob. You have been greatly missed!

Hwei Shan said...

Mmmm... You won't believe how nice it is to open up iTunes and find that it's downloading a new TOTP. Great list, by the way; I totally agree about the music boxes and masks.

And to get sidetracked, there is an episode of Chris Carter's "Millenium" that had this guy locked in a cellar of sorts and his crazy kidnapper just kept playing some song over and over again. I now cannot listen to that song (dunno the title) without chills running down my spine...

Anonymous said...

What about slopping, does that creep you out?!

diane s said...

bryan, thanks for putting a pin in my guestmap! :-)

(why does that sound rude?) xx

Grant - Three From Leith said...

Make-up counter ladies !! Why - when they spend all day looking in a mirror - can't they see their faces are bright ORANGE ? They all look scarily like Oompa-Loompas from the original Willi Wonka movie (or if you're in the UK, you have to resist the urge to yell "You've Been Tango'd !!").

Is there a special Max Factor 'Bright Orange' foundation that they apply in 6 layers ?

Ever noticed that they rarely express any emotions either ? It's 'cos if they did, the layers of makeup would crack....

bryan-in-greece said...

you are welcome, diane :-) I am just that sort of guy! ;-)

sam smith said...

wahay its back! good to hear you both again.

Andrew said...

Is it me, my RSS reader (Bloglines), or something else? I'm sure I've seen another show/post during the last week, which has now gone. I've been waiting for someone to say something in the forums, but no-one has. Wibble.

Top Of The Pods said...

Strange, we only did one show last week and you are saying its vanished? Anyone else getting this?

Work has picked up so there might be a lack of shows again for a while I'm afraid, sorry folkes. Things should be better nearer christmas time, sadly the hobbies you enjoy are lower priority than everyday things but we are getting there. I haven't even brought a single christmas present yet...

Rob
TOTP

Grant - Three From Leith said...

Probably for the best - the lister figures have started dropping again after the one show ;-)

BlueJackA said...

same here Rob, christmas is currently cancelled in my household.

diane s said...

you should have brought your pressies with your Firebox voucher like i did! ;-) (sorry) xx

Molly said...

Ah well. Guess this means we might as well start working up to the second 100-comment show in a row!

BlueJackA said...

top of the pods top ten reasons why a podcast is more important than work ;-)

10. Because it improves morale.

TomTheTrucker said...

9. 1134 feedburner listeners are waiting intenly for the sound of Rob and Jons voice and opinon.

Marilyn said...

8. Need a TOTP List with the dulcet tones of Jon and Rob to relieve stress and get a good night's sleep.

Grant - Three From Leith said...

7. Really funny TOTP shows with lots of laughter are proven to dispel depression.

BlueJackA said...

6. High educational values

Richard said...

5. Rambly music spurs the brain into making better decisions, more creative ideas and makes you a better person.

Danielle said...

Okay, I think you missed a BIG one: Claymation. Now that has got to be THE creepiest happy thing out there - the way they melt and pop up again, facial features fall off. Ewww.

Molly said...

I don't know about all claymation being creepy, but Gumby definitely was. I have always hated that show with a passion!

Also...
4. Better benefits. I'll take laughter over health insurance any day!

BlueJackA said...

3. Faster reactions, as the show makes you more alert!!

sam smith said...

2.work brings you to suicide, J+R stop you from it :).

Richard said...

No. 1 - Rob and Jon are good examples of honesty and integrity, which you don't see a lot of in work nowadays.

koc said...

What happened to "our motto is quantity not quality" ?

Seriously, understand work pressures only too well ...

Grant - Three From Leith said...

New TOTP motto:

"Whilst we're unseen, the readership's keen; put up a show, the readership's low"

;-)

PH said...

Ought to change the logo to "TOTP: Fortnightly Top Ten List"?

Hope Rob is able to have some free time before long.
Missing the show. Not listening to *any* podcasts right now.

Hang in there guys.

BlueJackA said...

I still reckon we should do some unoffical TOTP casts, let rob and jon hear them and let them decide if they can go up on the site.

What do you need to do a podcast?

Gordon said...

In total you need a microphone for each 'caster, Skype to talk, one person to record it using something [possibly Audacity, which is free], then some webhosting to put the mp3 up on.

Top Of The Pods said...

Don't worry, my workload is slowly getting better.

bryan-in-greece said...

There is a phrase in Greek which is Το καλό πράγμα αργεί (To kalo pragma argei), which means that good things take time coming, and TOTP is a good thing, so I know everyone's patience will be paid off with some more great shows soon - hang on in there, Jon and Rob, I know what it is like to have a massive workload and not to be able to do other, personal things which are important... Bon courage!

Gordon said...

There's a similar phrase in the UK...

"Good things come to those who wait".

Having said that, it's the marketing tagline for a brand of beer [not that I'm reinforcing the Scottish-alcoholic stereotype by knowing this!]. Not sure which specifically though. Guinness, I reckon.

Aaaanywho...

TomTheTrucker said...

51 Comments Already ! 124 Comments Here We Come.

Fav Motto - Who Dares Wins

diane s said...

1324 listeners!
like your poem grant LOL...

it IS guinness, 'cos you ahve to let it settle for so long before drinking it...yuk.

BlueJackA said...

Blimey about 20 comments in 24 hours. Can skype do conference calls? i.e. 4 users all talking to each other at the same time?

Gordon said...

Yep, it can.

This Week In Tech podcast does Skype shows occasionally, having up to 8 people on talking at once [fun!].

Thom in Oregon said...

Hoping to hear more soon, but wishing you the best pre-Christmas catch up on all your work and personal stuff.

Jeremy Vaught said...

I just wanted to throw in my two cents that I'm looking forward to a new show also!

BlueJackA said...

1360 are subscribed now :-)

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to having you back guys! My commute it not the same...

Take it easy over the hols.

Cheers, Owen

Marilyn said...

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Missing you Jon and Rob...

Have a wonderful Holiday Season. Looking forward to a new list whenever you can make it happen.

Molly said...

Hey! How many of you guys have profiles on www.myspace.com? Don't you think Top of the Pods should have a MySpace profile? It would be a fantastic marketing tool...

diane s said...

I agree with Molls! ;-)

Get a profile everyone...especially you, Jon & Rob! xxx

BlueJackA said...

Hey its gone quiet on here, am i the only one alive?

Jes said...

So finally you guys are back, but now it's 11 days later and I'm going thru withdrawal.

Throw me some sugar kids....

marilyn said...

Still alive!
Checking everyday for a new list. The holidays have all busy. Hopefully the New Year will bring new lists.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Molly said...

What time is it in England? There's still hope for a new list today, right? ...right?

bryan-in-greece said...

And worst of all is Christmas and New Year falling on a weekend this year, so for loads of people it doesn't make for much extra time off. I reckon Christmas should be a moveable holiday so it always gives us the maximum amount of time off ;-) Whose bright idea was it for Christmas always to fall on December 25th, eh?!

Bazza said...

It's Jesus's fault for being born on Christmas Day. lol

Grant - Three From Leith said...

I have it on good authority that Rob is still working away like a very busy beaver but the end is in sight. I think we'll be getting new shows after Xmas, so it'll be a nice treat to cheer us all up once we're in the post-Christmas doldrums.

Can't wait ! In the meantime, why don't you (ubiquitous plug warning !) check out the Three From Leith Xmas show which will be up just after midnight tonight (making it Dec 20th over here in the UK) at www.threefromleith.blogspot.com. A jolly Christmas time is promised for all, with some serious and not so serious tracks being given a spin.

Or if you're not easily offended, check out the Santa episodes over at the excellent www.whackmybush.com

Both are great ways to while away the hours waiting for the return of the Two Kings ;-)

Molly said...

Hooray for Christmas shows! Can't wait for the newest Three from Leith, Grant.

bryan-in-greece said...

Have just downloaded your latest shows, Grant, and will listen in tonight for the first time - there, you see what a little plug can do! :-)

BlueJackA said...

the whack my bush ones are funny. I reckon rob and jon and secretly recording tons of top of the pods lists to flood the market with ;-)

sam smith said...

although TOTP is the best comedy podcast my a country mile, whack my bush and clever little pod are great shows.not for the easily offended though!

check out aciditypodcast.blogspot.com please too. its pretty new, but theres some excellent songs on there.

diane s said...

how's the myspace campaign coming along?

PH said...

Everybody done their Christmas shopping yet?
I have one item to acquire then I am done. Ton of stuff shipped (UPS/USPS). 3 items (over)due today.
What is everybody getting for Chrimblemuck?
I believe I am getting a brand-spanking-new PSP with all the trimmings :-).

Molly said...

I have three presents left to buy, and no time left to shop! Also two presents left to finish making... it's really crunch time.

Chrimblemuck? Enjoy the PSP, ph. Those things are pretty awesome!

Bazza said...

I now have a Chinese name. :)

It's bai rui 白锐

diane s said...

you're making presents???! impressive...
I'm done & wrapped (and my pressies are too, ha ha...)

don't know what i'm getting, but hope it includes the words 'series 6' and 'west wing'...we'll see!

ps: hi, bai rui! (why?) ;)

PH said...

I don't know if it is a widespread thing or not. My mate Chaz says (in place of Christmas) Chrimble, Chrimblemuck, Chrimbly, Chrimblymuck, and various variations thereof. I use it because of his use. I guess I could google around to see if it is more widespread than just him and me :-).
Picking up my last item today, got to travel to get it though. Then I am done.
Phew!

diane s said...

we say Chrimble, think that's pretty widespread...the others I like but have never used (before now!) :-) xxx

bryan-in-greece said...

I say Crimbo as well as Crimble, and of course, being a pagan, Yule and Yuletide...

Molly said...

I second Diane's "why," Bazza. Sounds like there's a story behind that!

Chrimbly has a nice ring to it! Any creative alternatives to saying happy new year?

BlueJackA said...

Well no one else has said it yet, so i will.


M E R R Y X M A S!!!

&

A

H A P P Y N E W Y E A R!!!

LEM said...

Folks,

In your spare time (if you have any) check out the following:

Stanley Unwin (re: Chri[u]mbly)

and

www.chinesepod.com
(thanks, Bazza, I bookmarked it but haven't had a chance to focus on it yet.)

And Happy Hollydays to all, especially the Peterborough elves.
-Linda

Bazza said...

If you mean why do I have a Chinese name, it's because I've been learning Chinese through chinesepod.com and the teacher on the podcast offered to translate our names. My real name is Barry and the nearest sounding Chinese syllables to that is bai rui (白锐), which is pronounced like 'bi-ray', it's lateral meaning is 'white sharp'.

Merry Chistmas in Chinese is sheng dan kuai le (圣诞快乐).

Bazza said...

Here is a good link for you Google Earth fans. It's the Forbidden City in the centre of Beijing.

The Forbidden City

JH said...

Over 1400 subscribers now. Wow.

Happy Christmakwanzukkah! (Covers most of your major December celebrations)

or for Seinfeld fans...

Happy Festivus!

Bazza said...

So what other podcasts is everyone else subscribed to?

Mine are:
Best of Moyles
Chinesepod
Ricky Gervais Show

Molly said...

Only four, Bazza? Wow - you must have a life outside of listening to podcasts! heh. Here are mine, in no particular order...

Three from Leith
bitjobs for the masses!
Tripcast Radio
Tartan Podcast
Like a Podcast
Borderline Podcast
The Twisted Pickle Show
They Might Be Giants podcast

Of course, when spring comes and it's warm enough for me to venture out of my apartment, I'll probably have to give up half of them for lack of time!

BlueJackA said...

I have the Chris Moyles one, Jonny Vaughan, Richard Bacon, TOTP, Ricky G, Chris Evans, Breaks FM, whack my bush, podquiz and a few other podcasts that i cannot think of off hand.

Top Of The Pods said...

This is the worst news ever - it appears that the commercial ones are outnumbering indiepodder ones for peoples faves. It looks like podcasting is finally turning into repackaged commericial radio with 'best of' shows - Chris Moyles, Chris Evans, Jonny Vaughan, Richard Bacon. We don't stand a chance trying to deliver content like the real professionals, so whats the point in us doing shows anymore if people still prefer listening to corporate backed stuff? I'm spending my christmas money on an FM Radio for rather than an iPod, its gonna be the same content and a hell of a lot cheaper. Rob

LEM said...

Whoa, Mr. Bah-Rob-Humbug! (however good it is to hear that you're still there!)

Listen to the recently uploaded
"A Podcast Christmas Carol" at
www.apodcastchristmascarol.org
and be renewed in your faith in the medium.

FM-smashing stuff....

And thanks to Phil Coyne at bitjobs who started the idea.

Enjoy, all,
-Linda
(maxing out at 38 feeds, including DarkCompass and PodcastPaul and Coverville AND this Week in Tech, but I do a lot of traveling with my Griffin RoadTrip, so everything gets heard eventually)

Melissa said...

I'm having TOTP withdrawal and I just started listening a few weeks ago. I need my TOTP fix. I think you guys are the best. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bazza said...

Rob, TOTP is still my favourite, when there is actually a show (just kidding hehe). It's good to have a podcast that actually interacts we the listeners, and you actually have a chance of getting a mention on it.

I think the radio show podcasts are good if really like the show and tend to miss quite a lot of it, for some reason or another. And it's nice to listen to them without all the annoying pop songs, that radio 1 only seems to play now, in between. (Unless that's just me getting old.)

I think the best thing about podcasts is that they can be done by anyone from a teenager in his bedroom or a multi-million pound radio show.

Either way, I think podcasts are here to stay for a long time yet.

sam smith said...

rob is so true. apart from the chris evans one (who is god)there all crap with no need for them.they should stay where they belong, on the radio!

i listen to:

acidity podcast
macTV
WMP
TOTP
clever little pod
tartain podcast
podfinder
daily source code
inside home recording
britpod
chris evans

and various other ones that i dont really follow that much.

BlueJackA said...

Ive only started to find main stream ones as im suffering TOTP withdrawal, i often put some old TOTP's on my K750i but after a while you do need new ones (hint hint ) ;-)

Rob and Jon you both do wonderful podcasts and im sure once you both start banging out the podcasts one after the other again soon, that we will all be back to just listening to yours, as we wont have a need to download second hand shows as yours are always first class!!!

Im very sure many listeners will be on over the coming days to tell you both the same as what ive just said!!!

Top Of The Pods said...

Hey everyone,
Jonathan here. Thanks to all of you for your X-mas messages - very warmly received. Y'know, if I had the time right now i would probably listen to all those shows listed even the nasty FM ones!

I still listen to a little FM here and there. i like the Moyles every now and then. didn't know Richard Bacon has a show - but very interested in that as he is a bit of a lad.
Still I like the indie stuff too. that's where my heart is in this podcasting thing.

listen to what you want to guys just enjoy whatever it is you are listening to. as soon as it's boring switch it off and look for some new ear candy.

Sorry we have been so slack recently - I mean 2 shows in a month is terrible. unforgivable. you even nearly had a new show this week, but i had to let Rob down at the last minute - so everyone, you have m apologies.

We are going to record some more stuff soon - just as soon as robs and my schedule actually correspond with each others! Robs is working crazy getting stuff done as well as some pretty major DIY which i am rather jealous that he can do as i am crap at DIY and me, well I have just been busy with work and family.

The end is near thought guys. We've got some major plans for the new year with where we want to take this Top Of The Pods beast - be patient - keep filling the message boards and of course keep emailing us. I promise to start making the time to reply to you lot - i have been a little lacking in the email department recently - mainly because my new office only got braodband 2 days ago and i have been moved in for 5 weeks now!!!!!

Any way....

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all.

enjoy the break....

Jonathan
www.topofthepods.com
Almost Daily Top Ten lists

PH said...

Thanks for the update, Jon.I think we are a patient lot out here :-).
Hope things do work out for the new year.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and yours!
Looking forward to a great 2006.
Take care, guys.

Cheers!

diane s said...

thanks Jon! Happy Holidays (Christmukah) to you & your family- and Happy Xmas Rob!
and to all the commenters too- have a good one! :-)
Love Diane xxxx

ps: Barry, I'm impressed with anyone who learns a language with a different alphabet!

Gordon said...

Здравствулте to you then, Diane!

Hooray, Firebox delivered some early Christmas goodies yesterday morning.

And the £5 off from topofthepods still works if you put an alternate email address in ¬_¬

Grant - Three From Leith said...

Hurry back soon, guys ! People are starting to drift towards the big business, radio-repackaged blandness of commercial-radio-'podcasts' :-(

Aaaarrgghhhh..... I'm melting..... I'm meeeelllltttiiinngggggg !!!!!

You know what happens to us podcasters when people stop believing in us, right ?! ;-)

bryan-in-greece said...

Ευχαριστώ πολύ, τότε, Diane!

Hey, here's wishing a very Merry Christmas to all you TOTP fans and especially to Jon and Rob, who have worked so hard to make 2005 a fun year. I'm sure when the various work/DIY obligations are over we are in for loads more great treats!

So, where did I put that brandy butter...?

Top Of The Pods said...

Splendid news, today I came first and won a luxury beanbag chair in a general knowledge quiz with questions about the 80's and guessing rubbish TV themes. The clincher was a question about the capital of Canada, which thanks to one of the Canadian misconception shows I was the only one who got it right. I'm joyus, although the beanbag is bigger than my Ford Ka.

Rob

bryan-in-greece said...

It is a bit of luck, Rob, that the question wasn't where Tel Aviv is then, isn't it? ;-)

Beanbags are one of man's best inventions, IMHO... I used to have one, a huge thing, but it had to go out when one of my two cats dcided to use it instead of the litter tray. :-( Then it became a BEENbag (as in "Oh no! The cat's been in the bag...")

Molly said...

Haha! Making fun of Rob for thinking Tel Aviv was in Spain will never, ever get old!

Congrats, Rob! Good to hear from you, Jon! And happy holidays to everyone!

BlueJackA said...

Tel aviv? who's Aviv so i can ring them ? ;-)

Seriously welcome back rob and jon, if you wanna come round and do some DIY at mine then you are always welcome :-p

Look forward to the New Year for the new podcasts!!! Merry x mas again to you all!!

ps this is comment 106 :-)

TomTheTrucker said...

Merry Xmas And A Happy New Year To Everyone On The Comments Board.

Bazza said...

Diane, actually Chinese has no alphabet as such, each character represents a different syllable, I believe simplified chinese has about 6500 characters all together. Most words are made up of 2 or more syllables but some are just one. Strictly speaking though there are no words really either, each sentence is really just a string of syllables.

It not really as difficult as you'd expect it to be though, there's just a lot to remember. In a way it's actually simplier than English because it doesn't lots of different tenses and lots of different forms of 'words'.

Melissa said...

Well, us Canadians have a use afer all. LOL!! Congratulations Rob!!

diane s said...

well, you know what I meant Bazza...you'd think I'd know more as I had a Chinese friend at school and studied Linguistics at uni...obviously my brain has turned to turkey in anticipation of Sunday! ;)

I still think it's hard becasue it's a totally different way of looking at language- at least when you look at French, for example you get some idea of how to sound the word out...

ok, enought yammering! thanks for your kind unintelligible words Bryan & Gordon, trying to impress me eh? ;-)

happy hols! xxx

sam smith said...

herry christmas all!

i know what you feel J+R, i had trouble finding time to edit the acidity chrimbo special, and im 14 with no job!

Bazza said...

Diane, there is a romanized form of Chinese though, know as Pinyin, which is written using english letters and gives a very good idea of how it's pronounced. I think it's only really used for learning purposes and it's also an easy way to type chinese characters on an English keyboard.

I think Chinesepod.com is probably the best possible to learn it, because they broadcast a podcast lesson every weekday which teaches you the audio side and then the website has the transcripts and teaches you written side of it. You have to pay a monthly subscription of $30 to access the written section on site though, but I think it's well worth it. They give a week's free trial. Of course you can just listen to the free podcasts and just learn spoken Chinese but it's easy to remember it after you've seen it written down. It's also a very entertaining and fun podcast.

They're not paying me to advertise, honest hehe.

Anonymous said...

I'd personally like to wish Jon & Rob and all the other folk on here a happy xmas & new year :-) This year has been a long, looooong year for me and totp has made it such a joy :-)

I'm off to Geneva tomorrow for a week (yes, I feel your jealousy!) so have a really great time :-)

Billy.

Gordon said...

Merry Christmas in 24 hours' to Jon and Rob [sounds odd to call them Rob and Jon!] and all the other listeners, here's hoping for a great 2006 too.

Jeremy Vaught said...

Pretty soon Rob and Jon will have to have the tagline, "The Almost Monthly Top Ten lists" :-) Or maybe go to a top 100 format like VH1.

Jeremy Vaught said...

Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone!

Melissa said...

HAPPY CHRISTMAS and MERRY NEW YEAR, Rob and Jon from your #1 fan in Canada.

Grant - Three From Leith said...

Merry Xmas one and all !

And Jon - how did you ever win a general knowledge quiz ? Were there no questions about wasabi or Tel Aviv ?? ;-)

Grant

Marilyn said...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bazza said...

That's 400 subscribers gone, they must have got bored waiting for a new episode.

JH said...

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah to Jon and his family! Looking forward to some new shows in the new year (hint, hint!!!)

digitaldion said...

Diane, this is not exactly a new alphabet... But it is a very rare language! (Hint... Dutch or German persons should be able to translate it). Jon and Rob, you can just ask one of the Millions of South Africans in the UK to translate it for you ;-). Any local pub should have more than a few!

n' Geseende kersfees vir almal by Top of the Pods. Hierdie is werklik n' wonderlikke podcast. Ek hoop dat Jon en Rob gou weer tyd kry om weer vir ons n' opname of twee te maak. En as U die persoon is wat hierdie vir iemand vertaal... Speel so bietjie met hulle and se dat hulle alle Suid Afrikaners moet groet met die woorde "Jou ma se koejawel". Dit sal beter wees as jy vir hulle kan kry om dit met a Kaapse aksent to se!

Happy new year everyone!

Hwei Shan said...

Merry Christmas to all! (Well, there are supposed to be 12 days to Christmas, right?) And generally happy holidays to everyone who's waiting for a new show from Jon and Rob!

Just adding to the Chinese discussion (if there was one): having studied the language when I was young, I can say this with some certainty: Chinese is easy to learn because the grammar is less complicated than, let's say, French.

But the vocabulary and characters are a real pain to remember. I remember having to slowly draw out the characters repeatedly in school as part of homework, just to remember them...

Interestingly enough, similar-looking characters in Chinese often have similar sounds; usually it's just a different accent to it. So it's not that different from French and English.

*looks around* Yep. Shall stop rambling now. Too bad there's no rambly music around... *grin*

Andy from Des Moines said...

I haven't been commenting on the blog much lately, but I just wanted to step in right now to make the tying comment of 124. Every comment henceforth shall be record setting.

Miss the show, guys. Come back as soon as you can. Also, have a great new years.

BlueJackA said...

well with this comment it has beaten the 124 on the last TOTP thread ;-)

podcastpaul said...

125 is 1/8 of 1000, I know that...

diane s said...

Hi Digitaldon, well I'm guessing it's Afrikaans as you left me enough clues! :)

My parents used to live in South Africa so maybe they can translate...maybe not...

Hope you all had a humdinger of an Xmas, mine was great :) xxx

bryan-in-greece said...

Digitaldion, hi and happy Christmas/New Year! I once did a spot of learning of Afrikaans from a book about 20 years back, and with that, my good knowledge of German and smattering of Dutch, and also a bit of linguistic dodging and diving, I can render the first line into English... Here goes:

Geseende kersfees vir almal by Top of the Pods. Hierdie is werklik n' wonderlikke podcast. Ek hoop dat Jon en Rob gou weer tyd kry om weer vir ons n' opname of twee te maak. comes over as: A happy Christmas to all at Top of the Pods. This is really a wonderful podcast. I hope that Jon and Rob will again get some time to make us a recording or two.

Do I pass? ;-)

PH said...

My New Year's Resolution:...
1280 x 1024 (32 bit)
:-)

Going to get a decent basic podcasting set up and play with it. If we get good enough to be listenable by others we will let you know. Made a shopping list, but I think I also need a compressor? Shopping at MusiciansFriend, seem to have decent prices and selection.
Anyone else out there got a quick equipment list as a guide?
Here's my shopping list so far:
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount (x2)
On-Stage Stands Tripod Mic Stand with Boom (x2)
Musician's Friend Lo-Z Microphone Cable (x2)
Musician's Friend Heavy Duty Basic Mic Clip (x2)
Nady Pop Filter (x2)
Yamaha MG10/2 Stereo Mixer

Additional, not decided upon yet...
Headphones (x2), cable from mixer to PC, cable from music source(CD or whatever) to mixer, cable from jingle source(laptop/PDA) to mixer .

bryan-in-greece said...

jh, Happy New Year to you! I have an iRiver 340 (40GB mp3 player/recorder) which I use to record discussions in my English language lessons and it works superbly - the quality of recording is more than I could have hoped for (even just with the clip-on microphone which comes with it), and it docks to the computer in a sturdy cradle. I have decided to do a podcast beginning in the New Year and will be using that - it's portable, has got a long-life rechargeable battery and is supremely adjustable as regards recording rates and playback options...

podcastpaul said...

PH - I use an Alesis Multimix 8 USB - and a Behringer condenser mic, the quality of the sound is brilliant for a good, reasonable price.

Brian, I'm a minidisc man myself, though I'd love to get a decent iriver.

PH said...

I saw the Alesis Multimix 8 USB. Looked like it was packed with features. Some people took issue with it for various reasons, I am glad you recommend it though. One was to do with them saying you could not multi-track record? Another was to do with some very low hum/noise being present. I gather you have no such problems then. I did like the inclusion of FX and the fact it interfaces directly with a PC/Mac.
Condenser mic does seem the way to go, best for vocals.
Need to ponder more before I order anything.

Another point is...does one need a specially treated environment? Like padding and wotnot. Or will a regular room do? So long as it is not acoustically bad.

sam smith said...

ph, i started by using just a mic and audacity (which everyone should use anyway). not much has changed apart from when i do the odd 'live' show, evere everything is edited, mixed and recorded on the fly (which is like it is on radio, so its kinda 'live'). it is, however, usually better to record voice clips and mix them afterwards. i think top of the pods is done live, which as its a list show needs to be live for jingles and stuff.

what are you doing it on?

PH said...

Most likely a PC, but I do have an iMac, so I have that option (the one that looks like a lamp).

My friend, Stan, used to DJ on WCVT (Towson State University Radio), he highly recommends the Mackie brand, for mixers, as did Rob.

Mackie 1202-VLZ PRO Micro Mixer

Need a new sound card for my PC in any case, still using onboard sound.

M-Audio Revolution 5.1
User comments say it blows away Audigy etc.

Want to get a good quality set up, not too high cost.
Software suggestions would be welcome also. Audacity is my default, since I am already using it.

Cheers!

PH said...

Happy New Year, Britain!

Melissa said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Rob and Jon!!!!

podcastpaul said...

Happy New Year all

podcastpaul said...

PH - I use Audacity too... you can mult track record...check out my podcasts at www.podcastpaul.com - you can hear me on the fly there

PH said...

I am just doing that now, PodcastPaul. Cheers.
You are from South Birmingham? I am from Coventry. Small world, eh. Folks are in Styvechale, just off the A45.
Thanks for the input!

Adrian Pegg said...

Happy 2006 boys.

When are you coming back?

BlueJackA said...

Big HAPPY NEW YEAR shout out to Rob, Jon and all the listeners of TOTP's (Adrian, Andy, Bryan, Ellen, Diane, Gordon, Grant, danielle, Bazza, Mark, PH, JH, Jeremy M & V, Koc, Tom, Marianne, Richard, Jez, Marilyn, Sam, Melissa, Paul, digitaldion, Molly and anyone else ive forgotten)!!!

May 2006 bring you all happiness and success!!!!

Bazza said...

Why only May? What about the rest of the year? hehe

Happy New Year Everyone.
祝大家新年快乐

BlueJackA said...

Yeah just caught on Bazza :-)

bryan-in-greece said...

Happy New Year Bluejacka and everyone else, from January to December (including May)! :-)

Grant - Three From Leith said...

A bit late, but Happy New Year one and all !

marilyn said...

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
Jon and Rob please some back as soon as you can, life just isn't the same without a Top of the Pods list.

Melissa said...

Where
oh where
is our TOTP
oh where oh where could they be.

bryan-in-greece said...

well
said
Melissa

let's hope the lads are back soon!!

BlueJackA said...

over 148 comments in less than a month, of which we are still waiting patiently. Rob/Jon we need our podcast fix :-)

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BlueJackA said...

Link dont work molly :-( BTW you not near them nasty fires are you?

Molly said...

Happy New Year, everybody! While you're waiting for Rob and Jon to come back, why not check out my new blog? It's all about ways you can help promote your favorite podcasts and/or bands. I'm just starting it, so I don't really know what I'm doing yet, and I welcome your suggestions!

(Fixed the link - thanks, bluejacka! I was in Texas over the holidays, but I was in Houston - no fires there, and certainly none here in Omaha!)

Andy from Des Moines said...

Happy New Year to the TOTP family, on behalf of the state of Iowa!

Ben from Cedar Falls said...

Nice to see others from Iowa listening! I thought I was the only one.

Anonymous said...

pleeeeeeease put another one up? pleeeeeeease?

Bazza said...

Don't forget it's a new month, time to vote again at PodcastAlley. We're currently at no.135, I think we can do better than that. If all 1619 listeners vote, we'll easily make to number one, in fact only 206 votes are required.

We're 23rd in the Feedburner most subscribed list and still the no.1 top rated podcast at Podfeet.net.

Unfortunately we're no longer in the itunes top 100.

You can also rate the show at Yahoo

podcastpaul said...

I ave a feeling that thehre may be another show up soonish?

;-)

Melissa said...

I am waiting with great anticipation.

BlueJackA said...

up to 115 now :-) keep voting everyone

PH said...

Coming soon(-ish) to a browser near you...

totalpodcastrophe.com

Pilot podcast (when we eventally get around to it).
We only just secured the domain, so don't hold your breath (or you will turn blue, and, quite possibly, require medical attention*).
*not included in price of admission.

...quite possibly the worst thing that has happened to your iPod...EVER!

Molly said...

Looking forward to it, ph! Be sure to let us know when it's up.

PH said...

Will do.
Kind of a 'hodge podge' of ideas.
And you'll get both British and American in the mix.
It will *sound* superb, even if the content sucks to the extreme :-).
Self deprication means you can't be disappointed, because you have been warned.
If we suck too much, we'll admit defeat, but we don't know till we try, and we are fools enough to do that.
Lowering the bar for podcasting, that is our aim.
:-)

marilyn said...

Stopped by podcast alley and voted, now up to 93!!

Melissa said...

My vote is in. TOTP is number one.

BlueJackA said...

Come on everyone only 14 votes so far :-( get voting and make TOTP's number one and show rob n jon how much their podcasts mean to us!!!

BTW we at 92 at the time of this post

Andy from Des Moines said...

Ben! From Cedar Falls! My Iowa Brethren!

Hurrah!

Time to go vote.

I've started listening to other podcasts that plead for my vote... but my vote will always go to the boys from Peterborough.

PlusDrew said...

Hey look, I have my own account now! From now on, Andy from Des Moines shall be known as DrewMG.

Molly said...

DrewMG - Podcast Alley lets you vote for as many podcasts as you want, I think. But if you are too lazy to vote more than once ;) then hooray for your good taste in voting for TOTP!

PlusDrew said...

Consider it a statement - Only TOTP gets my vote! Even if they only released one show a YEAR!

Note: please release more than one show a year.

Bazza said...

74th now, only 20 votes though, where's the other 1668 listeners? ;)

Bazza said...

Chinesepod could do with a few votes as well, they're in 900th place at the moment.

Grant - Three From Leith said...

The boys always get my vote, as do all my other regular listens. Out of interest, who do you vote for ?

I vote for:

TOTP
tartanpodcast
Whack My Bush
The Bob & AJ Show
Bandtrax
Extra Super Action Show
Tea With Hungry Lucy
Accident Hash

and, of course myself:
Three From Leith !!!!

These vary depending on what I've enjoyed most each month from all the shows I subscribe to. Some are too infrequent to vote for each month ! TOTP is the exception to that rule, though ;-)

PH said...

Anyone listen to Comedy365.co.uk?
I downloaded the BestOf2005.mp3, and FluffyTv video.
Does anyone find them funny?
TOTP is hilarious.
Those guys...I don't get at all.
Is it just me?
I miss TOTP, that is why we are making our own podcast.
Equipment is being ordered. Domain is secured.
Got my Voice Over man too!
Plenty of ideas, plus we will accept suggestions :-).

koc said...

I promise to vote for TOTP if they release more shows in January than December :-)

BlueJackA said...

At 72 now, 1 ahead of Ricky Gervais :-)

Just need rob and jon now to release a podcast and send this flying up to number 1 :-)

Bazza said...

I've voted for TOTP, Chinesepod and Englishpod.

Melissa said...

We need our TOTP fix!!

BlueJackA said...

Come on everyone get voting http://www.podcastalley.com/one_vote2.php?pod_id=2992

PH said...

Coming soon(-ish):
Total Podcastrophe

Blogger page is up with domain secured.
Equipment ordered.
Voice Over guy secured.
Ideas formulating.
Stay tuned for pilot podcast.

Bazza said...

Good name ph, I think I'll check out the pilot. :)

Melissa said...

That's an awesome name, ph. I'll be listening.

mark - tartanpodcast said...

I've phoned both Jon and Rob today and they assured me - each of them, independant of the other - that they'll be back together on Monday 9th January 2006 to record a new ToTP.

Now they'll probably want to shoot me for posting this, but hey, if they give me any gip about it I'll post their mobiles phone numbers up here and all of you guys can hassle them in person... ;-)

Bazza said...

Yay, I hope that's true.

Maybe if we get the number of comments on this one up to 200 that might give them more encouragement, or get the number of subscribers up to 2000. ;)

TOTP is now in 71st place on PodcastAlley.

PH said...

Thanks for the heads up, Mark!
If they do a show every now and then, we won't have to start doing our own top ten lists ourselves :-).
After a month with no shows, daily is no longer expected, once in a while will do me just fine.
When they post a new show, I will vote for them.

Molly said...

January 9th is only 3 days away! This is potentially very exciting...

Melissa said...

OMG, this better not be a joke.

bryan-in-greece said...

I think it is an indication of just how good TOTP is that so many comments are still appearing a month since the last show... It will be grand to get another show through, and I agree that a daily show is by no means expected, even just one a week would be greatly appreciated!

BlueJackA said...

I was listening to anoter podcast today where they do lists, 2 american guys and i cant remember what it was called now, but anyway, in simple words they were rubbish. rob and jon have set the standards and we all miss them like hell. Perhaps when they get the next podcast out it will help push TOTP's to number one on the podcastalley chart!!!

PH said...

Apologies to the two commenters who posted on TotalPodCastrophe
We forgot to turn off moderation of comments :-). Oops!
It's all new to us.

The Mackie 1202 VLZ Mixer arrived!!! Exciting!!! [jumps up and down with glee]
Along with the Alesis 3630 Compressor/Limiter+Gate, mic cables, and insert cables.
Hopefully the Mics etc. will arrive tomorrow.
Can't wait to set it all up. Getting this instead of an Xbox360, going to be WAY more fun.
Been working on tidying the studio (my office). Ten years of junk sitting around (old computers, and their insides - The graveyard is no more).
Going to do the background music and jingles myself with ReNoise, but I need to buy it first so I can render to WAVs. Might be a bit basic at first, I only have loops right now. I am sure I can knock together some short sweeps etc. for jingles and such.
This is so cool.
Hope we don't suck too much :-).
Really hoping Rob & Jon are back on Monday, as per Mark's inside info.
Can't hope to be as good, but we have something to aim for, eh.

marilyn said...

Thanks so for much for the update, Mark.
I was really becoming concerned about our duo from Peterborough. Can't wait for
Monday and the return of JON & ROB!!

PH said...

Saw this, thought I'd post here for fans of the Top 10 List :-)
Ten Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek

BlueJackA said...

Rob and jon to return from hybernation, things are on the up !!! :-)

TomTheTrucker said...

I thought id give all the Top Of The Pods fans in England that Con Air is on the beeb tonight 21.00. Anyone else listened to everyone of the back episodes of TOTP or is it just me? Cum on Rob and Jon, well only one day to go till a new list and show :D. My fingers are crossed.

BlueJackA said...

ive listened to them over and over again, some im starting to know off by heart lol

Melissa said...

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

Can't wait for more TOTP!!

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Molly said...

Hey, guys! While you're waiting for Rob and Jon's return, why not head over to bitjobs for the masses! and listen to episode #54? The featured guest is none other than yours truly! So you can hear my tacky American accent and squeaky voice. :) Also mentioned on the show - TOTP friend Podcast Paul. Check it out!

BMS said...

Great show just started to listen to it, i want another show though considering it is the 8th of January and the last one was the 7th of december

marilyn said...

It must already be Monday in the UK! Can we make it to 200 comments before the return of Jon & Rob? This should make 199.

Melissa said...

200!!!!!!!!
Can't wait for the return of Rob and Jon on TOTP.

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