The Lonely Shawn Problem - 79

December 13, 2018

The lonely Shawn, also known as, the sad Shawn episodes were a series of Rusted Robot Podcast shows. For a time, Rusted Robot was co-hosted by husband and wife team Shawn and Brigitte Vanderloo. For a variety of reasons, that relationship fell apart. Yet, the team decided to continue on hosting the show together. However, due to various circumstances, this was not always possible. Shawn felt the show must go on, even if there wasn't always a co-host around. Shawn was so dedicated to his audience, that he felt it important to always be providing new content.

Episode 79 of Rusted Robot is a prime example of a lonely Shawn episode. On this episode of Soul Forge, Shawn lays out the history and repurcussions of recording episode 79 by himself without a co-host. You'll hear about Karine (at the time she was the new lady in Shawn's life) and her reaction to hearing the episode before their weekend away together. You'll also discover what Shawn learned as a result of hosting a show on his own.

So get ready for the first pre-Soul Forge episode. Learn about pop culture from 2015. This is Soul Forge before that was ever even a thing.

This week's podcast promo: Pop Culture Cosmos


Thoughts On GOD - 78

December 6, 2018

Now is the perfect time of year to share some thoughts on God, religion and the Christmas season. This episode starts with ruminations on the Christmas decoration season and goes back into history with a tale of Christmas carol annoyance. We wrap up the holiday talk with a look at how the corporations use the season in their manipulative marketing ploys to get us to spend money on things we don't need by playing to our emotions.

We then take a look back at religious education. When they decided to take the Lord's Prayer and teachings about religion out of the school system, society seemed to lose something deeply fundamental. These teachings may not have included everyone, but they were instrumental in giving us some important background information about our society.

The idea of a belief in a god or a higher power is tackled. When your son doesn't know what Jesus Clouds are, you have some serious catching up to do. And we talk about the practice of saying your prayers.

Everything comes to a conclusion with a look at religion versus science and taking our own human existence as a matter of faith. Do we really exist? How can we really know anything? This brings us to the ideas of atheism and agnosticism. And finally, we talk about whether life is pre-ordained or if we have free will. Can we fool God by going left instead of going right? And the episode ends with the story of how Shawn was saved by a fellow student who took him to church.

This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds Podcast


Sleep and Dreams - 77

November 29, 2018

Sleep and dreams on episode 77 of the Soul Forge Podcast.

Shawn and Tracy are discussing their earliest memories of sleep, and talking about bedtime habits and routines. Everyone you know has a unique set of night-time rituals. Napping is a thing that some people love to do, while others have never gotten into the nap habit.

Insomnia can totally destroy your enjoyment of sleep. Ideal sleeping conditions also vary from person to person. What do you need for a good night rest? Do you prefer the dark, or do you need some light?

Fear of the dark, music, relaxing sounds, white noise, or having the fan on.

Recurring dreams and dreams that continue.

The Batman dream sequence story. Can you read in your dreams or see in colour?

Interpreting your dreams and looking for the mean of dream symbology.

Creativity and dreaming.

Bad dreams and nightmares.

The dream VCR.

This week's podcast promo: The 42Cast


Preparing For Baby - 76

November 22, 2018

There's a baby on the way! There's a baby on the way! When time is running out, and there's a baby on the way, how do you prepare for the arrival? Jay stokes the fires of the Soul Forge with his take on preparing for baby.

The first thing we talk about is getting the existing child(ren) ready for a new addition to the family. The obvious age gap between the children is an obstacle or opportunity depending on how you prepare. Kids can feel replaced by baby, but giving them ownership of the situation can make them feel empowered.

Preparing and planning for the new arrivial is often a long process. When should you start buying baby supplies? How much is too much? Do you read parenting books or just wing it? So much to think about and get ready for.

Finding out baby's gender before she or he is born is a big deal. You have to decide together with your partner if this is something you wish to do. Maybe you want to be surprised.

Jay discusses what it's like to be an older dad. There are nine years between his children. Different points in your life will create new and exciting challenges or opportunities.

Dealing with the mood swings and demands of an expectant mother can be a real mine field. Jay has some advice for how to navigate this point in the pregnancy.

We finish up by discussing all the work that goes into getting ready for the baby once it is here. Working a lot of overtime at work to hoard money, buy nice things and take some time off to spend with the new bundle of joy. And Jay tells us all about what it's like to be the father of a girl as opposed to a boy.

This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One Podcast



November 15, 2018

We are celebrating 75 episodes, and we are doing it by letting loose, cursing, laughing and going totally random! Shawn and Tracy are joined by first-timer Melissa. Jay was unable to make it this time.

Canada Post is on strike and we discuss how that is affecting and disrupting daily life here in Canada (remember that Shawn is a letter carrier).

Things we will never do again - a topic that deserves its own episode, but we touch on a few things here.

Pet Peeves: other drivers is a common peeve, but did you know that hating the sound of other people chewing their food is an actual medical condition?

We hit upon a few things that we know for sure. What do you know for sure?

Want vs Need and Personal Definitions: We have a big discussion about things we need and things we want and how we may think we need things that we really don't. Does Shawn really need a $1000 Thundercat statue to define who he is as a person? What defines us as people? Who are we? What makes you who you are?

BUMPA-ISMS: Shawn's grandfather was a huge influence on him. From the way he thinks to the way he talks and behaves (control behaviour vs relax mode).

DNA testing. Tracy tells the story of how DNA testing lead to the catching of a killer.

Working from home sounds nice. We briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

This week's podcast promo: RevCast Shark Podcast


How Social Media Changed The World - 74

November 8, 2018

Social Media has changed the universe of human interaction.

What is social media anyway?

There are many types of social media, including: MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, chatrooms, etc.,

How does social media improve your life (connections and interactions) and how does it destract from your life (addiction, lack of attention span, cyberbullying)

Social Media and its obligations can feel like a part-time job, and applications such as Second Life can lead to a false sense of reality.

Dating apps such as Plenty of Fish and eHarmony are also discussed.

This week's podcast promo: The Geekly Oddcast


Meditation: A Brief Introduction - 73

November 1, 2018

Your meditation and meditating guide is here!

This week we're talking about what meditation is, what it entails, how and where to do it, as well as our personal experiences with it.  It's alright to feel ridiculous at first. We will fill you in on the techniques, the kinds of meditations there are, the apps, and the equipment you can use.

What is meditation used for: comtemplation, reflection, concentration, heightened spiritual awareness, breathing, etc.

Kinds/uses of meditation: falling asleep, self-esteem, acceptance, managing anxiety, (breathe, unwind, restore)

Meditating is good for students, athletes and those who wish to clear their minds.

Similarity between meditation and affirmation.

Meditation apps, classes, where, when, how.

Techniques, crystals, candle flames, pillows, singing bowls, beads...


This week's podcast promo: The Flop Cast


72: Just Survive Somehow - Suicide

October 25, 2018

Suicide. It is a delicate topic. There are no easy ways to talk about it, other than directly. This week on the Soul Forge Podcast, Tracy makes her return to the show and opens up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, and guilt. In this emotional episode, she shares her story, her history and what lead her to try taking her own life.

You will hear the story as it was recorded. There was no editing of any kind. There are no ad breaks or promotions. This is Tracy's story.


71: Weed Love To Talk

October 18, 2018

Weed is now legal; welcome to Cannabis Canada!

No matter what you call it (Pot, Weed, Blunt, Chronic, Wacky Tabacky, Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja, Mary Jane, Dope, The Devil's Lettuce) roll up a fancy cigarette and listen to our breakdown of the topic at hand.


  • where to purchase,
  • legal age and restrictions,
  • zero tolerance and penalties,
  • possession rules and limits,
  • parcel packaging and delivery rules,

We discuss our personal experiences with weed and other drugs, including the first times we tried smoking up.  We explore some family history, our initial opposition to cannabis and our eventual acceptance.

We talk about 'pulling a whitey' and feeling the actual experience of being high. Also included in the discussion are the ideas of bongs and other smoking paraphernalia.

The episode concludes with a brief chat about the meaning of 420 and some of the medical benefits that cannabis provides.

This week's podcast promo: Watchathon of Rassilon


70: Adult Friendships

October 11, 2018

How to make friends: a brief outline!

The Soul Forge is tackling the tricky world of making friends as an adult.  Some people say developing new friendships in adulthood is really difficult.  We take on that idea and turn it on its head.

Jay used to have a hard time making friends, but now he talks to everyone.  You too can talk to strangers.  Have a single-serving friend today!

Shawn and Yohann created an intense friendship, but it did not start on that way. 

Also included: having a coffee and watching the world, slowing down to enjoy life, people watching and more!

We have an update on friend of the show Whit from episodes 44 and 61.

Podcast talk and listening in reverse order and what that can reveal.

This week's podcast promo: Metal Geeks