Jettison the escape podcast

28 March 2012

The new episode of The Joseph Richards Show is now available!

Listen to it here.

Did you miss the last 12 episodes? Well, go back and listen. 

You can also follow the show on Twitter.

Additionally, we’re thinking about starting a Facebook page for the show. Are you interested? Let us know here, on Twitter or by emailing us – thejosephrichardsshow (at) gmail (dot) com

I don’t really ‘Like’ this

27 February 2012: DC Exile Day 34

What do an occasional spelunker and I have in common?

We both sometimes cave.

Nearly two weeks ago, I departed from Facebook, tired of the social networking platform. Since then, several friends have shared their difficulty in keeping up with my Cone Alone project without the easy reminder of Facebook.

I believe in Cone Alone and want people to find it. Therefore, as I usually end up doing in my life following my habit of extreme pendulum swings, I find myself working toward the moderate compromise again.

Therefore, by popular demand, you can now follow Cone Alone on Facebook by liking the Cone Alone page. (You can also still follow @ConeAlone on Twitter.)

Because I enjoy contests, the first person to “Like” the page on Facebook will win an autographed Cone Alone picture. Exciting!

I have not rejoined Facebook as Joseph Patrick Richards. Instead, I adopted an alternate appellation I created many years ago. No, I will not tell you what it is. Yes, you can probably figure it out at some point.



Cone Current Popularity

16 February 2012: DC Exile Day 23

As you may have read, I left Facebook yesterday and am already seeing one effect of departing from such an integral (yes, I said integral) part of our daily lives.

On Tuesday of this week, I returned with a new post of Cone Alone, my traffic cone-based art project. That day, I posted the link on Facebook and ended up having the highest-traffic day in the site’s existence with 73 views. Today, I uploaded another new Cone Alone post. I shared the post via Twitter and this blog. So far, the site has had no views.

Do I mind? Only slightly. While the blog is meant for persons who enjoy it, it is primarily a way for me to have fun and do something I enjoy. Yes, I do hope individuals will read it and enjoy it and share it. I have fun with it regardless.

That said, I do have a simple goal. I want one famous person on my list to mention the Cone Alone blog in some shape or fashion (even to say they absolutely detest it and would rather hear about the risks of rumble strips than pay heed to the plight of pylons). My list includes Hank Green, John Green, Ellen Degeneres, Jena FriedmanKristen Bell, Josh Robert Thompson, Mo Rocca and Amanda Hess.

I also want to thank all of you who show support for Cone Alone and like the spot. I’ll keep you updated on Operation: Cone Alone Fame. (Please help me come up with a better title.)

Timeline out of mind

15 February 2012: DC Exile Day 22

[Author’s note: I initially wrote this blog over a week ago as I prepared to leave the Facebook platform. I had last-minute doubts about departing the site when Cone Alone had its most views yet yesterday. I do not know if persons found the blog because of Facebook, but I felt a moment of intense panic that people would never be able to find the blog again if I left Facebook. I thought about going back on my challenge to myself. I thought about saying, “My mistake” or “By popular demand, I’m staying.” In the end, I am moving forward with my decision. I sincerely appreciate every single friend on Facebook who has read and shared Cone Alone and my work. Thank you so much. I hope I can continue to produce stuff that you like and that you can continue to find it.]

I keep telling myself this step is not a big deal. In fact, it is not really a step at all. In reality, I wrote “step” to have something for “this” to modify. I didn’t wish to have it (this) just hanging out with nothing to do. This starts loafing then this turns into vandalism and gang violence and who knows what else. This cannot be left alone.

Today is the day I deleted my Facebook profile.

I did everything I could to prepare for this day. I tried to find my friends on Twitter via their handles. (Do you think [Karen] Handel’s handle is @handel or @messiah_h, baroquen_handel or something else?) I posted way too many posts on Facebook telling my friends that I was leaving and telling everyone to follow this blog (Cringingly Personal), follow the Cone Alone blog, follow my current three Twitter profiles (@mentalmacguyver for the quotidian, @JoeRichardsShow for updates about my podcast and @ConeAlone for the latest on traffic cones around the world) and email me at either or

Was it enough? I have no idea.

It feels a bit strange to depart from Facebook, but at the same time it feels ever curiouser that departing the social networking site should be such a massive task. Of the 200-plus persons who are my friends on Facebook (of course some individuals have multiple profiles), I wonder who will remain in contact. I assume most people will be happy to have me out of their newsfeeds, if they had not “unsubscribed” from me already. [I really should avoid such unnecessary self-deprecation.] I admit I did enjoy the ability to “unsubscribe” from a person. Like being in their online presence was too much of a burden and hinderance that I had to take myself off the list of their public friendship. I think I shall begin carrying a black marker with me at all times. When I get into public and have to “mingle” with “new” “people” I will simply use the marker to make a check mark on the forehead of these “people” from whom I wish to unsubscribe. Observe:

[Our scene opens on a crowded party. Drunken and tipsy socialites and snotbags are pouring alcohol into their boring mouths. Mitzy and Tad chat incessantly about the awesome sports play they saw yesterday. Wasn’t it so awesome how Quarterback Phelps threw a hurling spiral-back twisty into the reaching hands of PomPom McGee? Oh, yes it was Mitzy. (The author apologizes for placing so much dialogue in the scene set-up italics, but the author just does whatever the fuck he feels like, even if it makes no sense.) Our handsome, winsome, lonesome, awesome protagonist, JPR, walks into the scene and winces visibly. The undeniable din of Good Charlotte’s Greatest Hits blares through the speakers from the host’s mp3 player device. Fuck, this is going to suck.]

Chip – Hey there JPR. Have a shot of this balmy nipple. It’s got Schnapps and Schwepps and Starburst and rubbing alcohol and WD-40. And Country Crock.

JPR – Hold still Chip.

[JPR uses a black marker to make a check mark on Chip’s forehead, indicating that JPR has unsubscribed from Chip. Chip withers back into the corner mumbling the lyrics to “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous”]

This has been a practical application. Brought to you by Mark-O’s Markers. Writing unwanted marks on strangers’ skin since 1992. (When an unknown fan wrote on Eddie Vedder’s arm prior to their Unplugged performance.*)

So. I am no longer on Facebook. I guess I’ll keep you informed of what that means for me in the months ahead.

*This statement may or may not be historically accurate, but is absolutely inaccurate.

Crisp in glover compartment

24 September 2011

Good Saturday and almost Sunday friends and lovers. Yes, the title is a stretch, but so is…um…something really stretchy (whether you Lycra it or not).

Tonight’s post features headings!

Zip, Zapp’s, Zop

On Thursday of this past week I travelled to Richmond, VA. I drove on I-95. On the way back from Richmond I decided to stop at a Wawa in Fredericksburg, VA to purchase road trip junk food.

I am not sure of the appropriate nomenclature for the population we derogatorily refer to as “white trash.” I don’t think an alternative using the word “trailer” is suitable. The term “Redneck” is too broad and does not take into account the groups living throughout the country and not just in the US South. For now, they shall remain an unnamed group in this here blog.

A young man belonging to the unnamed group walked into the Wawa directly behind me. (The man was directly behind me. The Wawa was directly ahead of me.) He said, “What’s up,” and I could not tell if he was actually speaking at me, but I answered anyway. He then turned into a human homing missile, stumbling dazedly into my path as we zigzagged our way to the toilets.

After I “nipped to the bog” (you’re welcome UK readers) I went to purchase a soda and a bag of chips. (I also bought a terrible buffalo bleu chicken wrap that made me wonder why I am not still vegetarian.) This particular Wawa had Mountain Dew in a 12 oz (64 m) can. Those of you who are my most passionate and intimate lovers know my Mountain Dew hierarchy (primarily because I cannot help but spout about the soda nearly every conversation) and know how pleased I was to find the 12 oz (114 dB) offering of purportedly penis-shrinking pop. (Was not that one of the biggest conversations among adolescent youth in the 1990s? Perhaps it was just among me and my unnamed group friends who consumed enough Mountain Dew for the company to legally change the name to Range Fog if they so chose.)

My most intimate lovers also know my proclivity to purchase potato chips. While many humans expecting disaster may stockpile water, bread and batteries, I gather cart loads of chips.

I am always willing to try a different flavor of chip, no matter how off-putting the name or description.

Hence, my decision to purchase a chip called “Spicy Cajun Crawtators.” (Note: I am unsure how two ounces equates to a “super size.”)

A chip off the old block(ed colon)

Verdict on the chips: Surprisingly edible and cause only minor heart palpitations and digestive dis-ease.


I held out so far, but I do not think I can refrain any longer from weighing in on the latest Facebook changes. The only thought I really have (other than we maybe should not really expect any privacy from online networking sites) is considering if I can remove myself from the Facebook universe. I primarily use the site now to promote this blog and other creative activities. Perhaps I can disengage myself as a mere human from the site and engage myself solely as a creator and entertainer. Not sure. So I put the question to you, dear readers: Shall I remain on Facebook or make like a tree and disappear?

Whatever you decide, you should still be sure to follow me on Twitter. @mentalmacguyver


Stay tuned for the next post when I show and tell of the recent trip to Olive Garden.