253: The Thing About Poker with Victor Agreda Jr.

This week’s guest is Victor Agreda Jr, a polymath for hire. He joins Brett to talk startups, poker, comedy, and mental health.

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[00:00:00] Brett: [00:00:00] This week’s guest is Victor Agreda Jr.

[00:00:02] A polymath for hire? How’s it going, Victor?

[00:00:06] Victor: [00:00:06] Uh, it’s going well,

[00:00:07] Brett: [00:00:07] What’s a, what’s a polymath.

[00:00:10]Victor: [00:00:10] you know? Uh, it’s it’s funny. So I’m, I’m actually in a startup right now. We’re we’re in stealth mode. Uh, I don’t know when this will air, but we might be out of stealth mode by then. But the thing is, is that one of our, uh, one of our teammates was putting together, you know, the requisite investor deck, and they put me as polymath.

[00:00:26] I actually had to look it up and it’s basically a nice term for Jack of all trades master of none.

[00:00:31] Brett: [00:00:31] Oh, that is, that’s a way class. Your way to say that. Huh? Yeah, I had that. I had the actual job title, Jack of all trades for awhile. Uh, when I worked at agile, because I couldn’t, because there wasn’t really good at any one thing.

[00:00:48]Victor: [00:00:48] Well, you know, it’s, it’s sort of like, uh, nowadays in it, there’s a bunch of different job titles that will earn you money even like more money, even though you’re kind of doing. A similar thing that maybe 10 years ago [00:01:00] would have just been it admin. Right. And so it’s sorta like that. If you say polymath versus Jack of all trades, I think you can, you can.

[00:01:07]Brett: [00:01:07] So last time you were on systematic. I was 34 years old.

[00:01:12]Victor: [00:01:12] Holy cow.

[00:01:13] Brett: [00:01:13] It has been eight years since, since we’ve talked on the show, we have talked in person even since then,

[00:01:19]Victor: [00:01:19] That’s right.

[00:01:21] Brett: [00:01:21] it’s been eight. I like, I vividly remember talking to you. About, uh, magic and comedy. And I did not realize how long it had been until I looked it up just before we said

[00:01:33]Victor: [00:01:33] Time flies, man.

[00:01:35] Brett: [00:01:35] so, uh, so what are you up to these days?

[00:01:37]Victor: [00:01:37] Well, uh, it’s funny because I’m picking up magic again. Uh, comedy is obviously kind of off the, the. The plan with the pandemic. What I do know people who are doing comedy shows, there are still open mikes, believe it or not in my area. Um, but I’m not going to any of that stuff. I’ve, I’ve picked up magic is kind of a side thing to just kind of play with.

[00:01:59] But that [00:02:00] routed me towards a couple of other things that are somewhat in my wheelhouse as well, which is, uh, puppets. And, um, I’ve, I’ve long been a fan of the Muppets last year. I read the well actually year before that I read the. Biography of Jim Henson and it was very inspirational. And so, uh, aside from my work as a writer and, and doing some PR and doing some other sort of side stuff, I’ve, I’ve really gotten into puppetry, um, and working on a little show with puppets that really talk about feelings and kind of the human condition.

[00:02:34] Brett: [00:02:34] Wow. Yeah. So where I was on, uh, I didn’t interview with a puppet. I believe the name was Maddie. And so that was for this show. You’re speaking of.

[00:02:47] Victor: [00:02:47] That’s correct. Yeah. Maddie is the station manager for QTF M and this is a group of puppets that have come from another dimension, uh, in this weird looking sort of tugboat, this interdimensional tugboat. Uh, I figure if [00:03:00] Dr who can ride around in a police box from the 1950s, uh, these guys can be in a, uh, a tug boat.

[00:03:06] And, uh, QTF em, is this sort of pirate radio station from another dimension. And they’ve come here. Uh, somewhat accidentally, but also kind of on accidentally on purpose, uh, to study human beings and to learn about human beings.

[00:03:19] Brett: [00:03:19] all right. And is this, is this live yet?

[00:03:23]Victor: [00:03:23] Not yet. No, I’m, I’m, uh, I’m going to be slowly working on this, um, in my spare time and I’ve, I’ve conducted, you were actually the second interview that I did. And I’m working on about, I think, six more interviews and then we’ll have, I think four episodes, uh, that we’ll have all kinds of different things.

[00:03:40] So I even have a little bit of magic that I practiced on Instagram live over the summer. When the pandemic really hit the lockdown hit, I was like, Oh, let’s try out some of this, you know, video magic stuff. And, and that was a fun experiment.

[00:03:54] Brett: [00:03:54] Complete. Absolutely. Coincidentally, my last guest was David Wayne, who was also doing [00:04:00] magic on Instagram.

[00:04:01]Victor: [00:04:01] Oh wild. What are the odds?

[00:04:04] Brett: [00:04:04] And, and talking to you right now is making me realize there’s a friend of mine owns LARC toys in, I think it’s Kellogg, Minnesota. But it’s one of the, uh, one of the premier toy stores in the country and, uh, as kind of a creative outlet, he designs all of these puppets.

[00:04:26] And, um, I, I guess they’re all, they’re all puppets. Even if you don’t put your hand in them, right. Like, So these big animatronics and like he has a blast, he has a, a huge troll puppet that controls a smaller puppet, like Maryann that style I should show you this stuff. You guys would get a kick out of each other’s work.

[00:04:48] I’m sure of it.

[00:04:50] Victor: [00:04:50] Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, I I’ve got some, I’ve actually got a raspberry PI and some servo motors and stuff. And so my son is, is really he’s on a robotics team and that’s [00:05:00] something that I think once the robotics season is over, we’re going to play with. Some possible robotic puppets are like assisted.

[00:05:06] There’s actually a guy named Mario the magician. Uh, well, Mario, the maker magician, I think is actually his title and you should check out his stuff because he kind of reminds me of, I can’t remember her name now, but the one who did like the crazy robots, you know, that would like fling cereal and that kind of thing.

[00:05:23] Um, it’s very kind of low tech stuff like that, but he uses them in a magical context and they’re wonderful. It’s, it’s a true merge of electronics and puppetry, but in this sort of cute DIY, you know, low tech, uh, uh, sort of almost like folk art way.

[00:05:38] Brett: [00:05:38] I will find that for the show note. Sounds fascinating. So one of the topics that you pitched for this conversation was poker. Where does that fall into your life? Right now?

[00:05:50] Victor: [00:05:50] So I can say even still in stealth mode that that’s, that’s something that the startup that we’re involved in. And I didn’t know a lot about poker. I mean, I [00:06:00] knew it, I played poker a little bit here and there, but I’ve never, I was never one of those, you know, you went with me to see yes. Uh, I think once or twice maybe, and I’m not a big poker player, I’m not a big gambler.

[00:06:11] And so poker was never a thing that I really got, uh, into, but, uh, a buddy of mine from high school, Called me up last year. And it was like, Hey, I want to, you know, I mean, it’s the pandemic, right? So people were not, especially during the full lockdown, people were not going to poker rooms. And even now, if you look online, uh, I just watched somebody last night, call a poker game and it’s kinda, it’s kinda sad.

[00:06:35] It looks like a moose lodge or something like that. You know, it’s just, it’s not a very. Enjoyable experience. And so we, uh, we got involved in sort of an online poker idea and that’s what we’re fleshing out right now. So I’m kind of getting this crash course in poker, and it’s really fascinating from a psychological standpoint, from the sort of game theory, standpoint and whatnot.

[00:06:57] There’s just a lot of facets to it. And it’s [00:07:00] also a uniquely American game.

[00:07:02]Brett: [00:07:02] sure. So it was funny when, when our check came, when this came up in our chat, I was in the middle of an episode of star Trek, the next generation. And, uh, it was, there was literally a poker game going on. One of those, one of those poker games that they used. It’s like object lessons for data. And it was, it was just funny, the coinciding of a conversation and television at the same time.

[00:07:30] And it made me curious, if poker in this conversation was going to hold a deeper human meaning than just the game itself.

[00:07:40]Victor: [00:07:40] Well, that’s, you know, that’s sort of, what’s interesting, right? Is that you can be mathematically adept. In fact, one of the people that I’ve, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know and work with is a guy named Barry Greenstein. And he, interestingly enough, he started in Silicon Valley. He was one of the early members of Symantec.

[00:07:57] And for people who remember that [00:08:00] company. And as a matter of fact, he wrote a word processing, one of the first word processing programs, and bill Gates tried to snag him from Symantec. He was like, I don’t, I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go to Microsoft. Um, and that’s sort of the stubborn character that Barry is, and I love him for it because he was known as the Robin hood of poker, because he’d already made his money in the Valley.

[00:08:22] And he didn’t need all this tournament money. He just loved to play poker and he’s very competitive. And so when he would win, he would donate most of the winnings to charity. Um, and you know, it’s really cool to work with somebody who’s both. Adept at poker, but is also like their ethics are beyond reproach.

[00:08:39] You know, they really believe in giving back to the community and this kind of thing. And, um, it’s been cool. It’s also been great just to hear his stories, both of poker and Silicon Valley. So, um, but the thing is, is like, he’s obviously mathematically very skilled, but it’s not just about math. There’s a whole human element, you know, that plays into it.

[00:08:59] So it’s like you can [00:09:00] calculate the odds, but people constantly defy those odds.

[00:09:03] Brett: [00:09:03] Yeah. Yeah. Which was kind of like, always like data could understand all of the technical, uh, technical aspects of cards. But bluffing was always like, just out of his grasp, the idea of like, of lying, the idea of trust in betrayal. Like it’s all, it’s all part of the game.

[00:09:26] Victor: [00:09:26] Exactly and, and not to tip our hand, I guess, punted it, but, but th that’s, that’s sort of the crappy thing about online poker right now is that it. Is very much a math game and people play like 20 tables at once and they have these head-up displays that can help calculate the odds. And remember, Oh, this guy is always bad on a certain, you know, before the river, this guy always does this thing or whatever, and it just sucks the fun out of it.

[00:09:54] So it’s a mathematical thing. I mean, you could, I think that you could pretty easily create a bot that would just go through and [00:10:00] play thousands of tables perhaps at once, you know, Yeah, and it, it’s just not, that’s not enjoyable. I mean, that’s not a game at that point. That’s, that’s like Bitcoin mining or something, you know, it’s, it’s just, you’re a node on a network and you’re just running the odds.

[00:10:14] Um, and so we’re really trying to bring the fun back and the human element back to poker online.

[00:10:20] Brett: [00:10:20] all right. I will be curious to see how you do that because I do see these, uh, these commercials for these big online tournaments and they, they do not seem to have any of the appeal. Of the, the real, like I’ve watched professional poker. I’m not a huge fan or a follower of professional poker, but there is a lot of, uh, kind of suspense and a strategy that I don’t see a well conveyed in online poker.

[00:10:50] So this’ll be interesting to see.

[00:10:52]Victor: [00:10:52] I can’t wait. I can’t wait to take the lid off this thing and show people cause it’s super fun.

[00:10:58] Brett: [00:10:58] nice. [00:11:00] Um, so they’re you on social media? Uh, have talked a little bit about depression and I you’re, you’re a very open person and I’ve been, uh, anxious to kind of broach this topic with you to just hear, uh, what what’s going on in your own life. How are you, uh, how does depression affect you?

[00:11:21] Victor: [00:11:21] Yeah, it’s interesting. And I don’t know if it is a function of age or maybe just awareness. But, know, I started going to therapy, I think about less than 10 years ago. Which is kind of remarkable, but, in my family, we never really talked about feelings. We, we were not, I wasn’t even allowed to express negative emotions really in the home.

[00:11:44]And it was just, so I think a lot of people have had that experience, you know, where, where we weren’t. Certainly generation X in particular, if you’re raised by baby boomer parents, then like there was this definitely in a lot of cases, I’ve looked at this, there’s this sort of [00:12:00] aversion to dealing with your feelings, and expressing the feelings in a certain way, in a positive, you know, or in a.

[00:12:06] I should say, uh, just an expressive way, you know, and, and, and talking and working through that stuff. And so, uh, if I did feel depressed before that, I just didn’t acknowledge it. Maybe I drank it away or smoked it away or something like that, or just repressed it with other, you know, uh, mechanisms. And so really confronting when you feel a certain way and understanding that, um, you know, this is, I don’t want to say it’s normal, but it’s, it’s natural.

[00:12:35] You know, it’s something that’s going to happen. Um, and in my case, um, in the past few months, I wound up in a very tumultuous relationship that, uh, was with someone who was alcohol dependent and, you know, you get into situations like that and you think like it’s going to work out, right. You know, you have these positive feelings of like workout and then when it doesn’t work out, [00:13:00] that can really send you down a certain road.

[00:13:02] And, um, We had not communicated in a long time. And then I posted something on Valentine’s day and she responded. And I think that that was a big trigger for me, uh, because I kind of worked through a lot of the emotions and it’s little stuff like that. Maybe not little, but, you know, it’s, it’s things like that that you, uh, you don’t even think about until they happen.

[00:13:25] And when they do, it’s like everything around your world has to kind of slow down so that you can take care of you. Um, but it’s difficult. You know, we live in a very fast paced 24, seven world. So it’s really hard for you to, to justify sometimes taking time for yourself to just exist right. In that moment of sadness.

[00:13:46] Brett: [00:13:46] so are, are, do you have, uh, what would be considered like clinical depression or do you just have highs and lows that you’re not are that you’ve had to learn new skills to deal with?

[00:13:57]Victor: [00:13:57] Yeah, I think, uh, I don’t know. [00:14:00] I have not been, uh, fully diagnosed, uh, with that. And I will say to my credit that I don’t, um, I probably haven’t engaged with healthcare. Professionals as much as I should, you know, to, to get proper diagnoses. Cause I think everything I’m looking at nowadays tells me I have ADHD as well.

[00:14:19] And the stuff that I’m learning about that through Tik TOK videos of all things, um, which I, I will say, I mean, like that’s been remarkable. My, my daughter who’s now 19 has shown me a lot of this stuff and it’s like, Holy moly, there’s so much good information. That’s actually being shared on these things.

[00:14:36] Um, but yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s highs and lows and I’ve been very fortunate to have more highs than lows. Uh, but it is also one of those things where it’s like, you have to learn coping skills because the world doesn’t stop, you know, when, when you need it to,

[00:14:52] Brett: [00:14:52] Yeah, no kidding.

[00:14:54]Victor: [00:14:54] okay. Yeah. As freelancers we know, especially, you know, it’s like, you can’t just be like, Oh, I’m sorry, can [00:15:00] we move this deadline a week?

[00:15:01] Brett: [00:15:01] yeah. I, so I’ve had to engineer my, my own kind of work life around the fact that, uh, with bipolar, I, I, I have to take. Like a week off now, and then, uh, sometimes longer because I just become incapable of, of functioning for, you know, one to two weeks at a time. And, uh, and the world I don’t, because of that, I don’t function well in, uh, even, even, uh, like remote work environment that doesn’t, that isn’t willing to accommodate that kind of, work schedule and that’s, I mean, that’s a big part of why I independently published software and work towards passive incomes that can withstand bad weeks.

[00:15:55] Victor: [00:15:55] yeah. Yeah. Time off. Absolutely.

[00:15:57] Brett: [00:15:57] Yeah. Um, I would [00:16:00] say based on knowing you, uh, for years, that I’ve always wondered if you were ADHD.

[00:16:08]Victor: [00:16:08] Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, there, there, there is no question in my mind. Uh, I, I just really need to get to my doctor, which I haven’t seen in a while, partly because of the pandemic, you know, and all that. It was just a lot of questions about, uh, I actually had just changed doctors. Um, I think about a year before the pandemic kit.

[00:16:28] And so, you know, I’d done my. Physical and all that. And I was like, okay, cool. Everything’s great. And then, so I didn’t really, no, if they were following protocols, you assume, right. Because they’re healthcare professionals, but let me just tell you where I live. That’s a false assumption. Um, there, there are plenty of healthcare professionals where I live, who are very brazen.

[00:16:46] We have a whole group that says, yeah, these guys are following protocols, these aren’t, and I’m appalled by how many just recently have basically fallen off the wagon and said, we give up. Um, and yeah. And so, um, you know, I was [00:17:00] concerned about that and you don’t know, I mean, telemedicine was still fairly new when the pandemic hit, so it’s like, you don’t know if they’re even set up to do, you know, some doctors are technology phobic, and, um, so it’s been one of those things where I’ve just not gotten a diagnosis.

[00:17:15] And I will say that I am, uh, sketchy about getting on new medications and, um, You know, it’s one of those things where it can be a little scary to say, well, I’m going to, I’m going to have to take a pill, you know, to feel normal. Right.

[00:17:30]Brett: [00:17:30] Yes. I understand that fear very well. Um, in my own life, uh, I never felt like myself until I was treated for bipolar first and then really discovered. What it felt like to feel like everyone else when I got treated for ADHD, um, I began to understand, Oh, this is how normal people do what they do. All these things that had baffled me my [00:18:00] whole life.

[00:18:00] How can people, how can people do the things they do, uh, when it’s so hard for me. So I, yeah, getting diagnosed. It’s a big step.

[00:18:12]Victor: [00:18:12] It’s it is an, it’s a, it’s a journey that I think I’ve just started, you know, just learning some of the coping techniques that people have said on, uh, uh, Twitter. Tick-tock whatever. I just discovered, uh, an author, uh, this past week, as a matter of fact, Who I’m looking into and she’s got some great books and, you know, it’s, I’m just trying to educate myself and then we’ll go for a medical diagnosis this year.

[00:18:36] And, you know, if, if medication is called for that’s, what I’ll do and I’ll see how it goes. But I’ve always been impressed by like, people like my dad, I will say who, I don’t think have ADHD and you know, he’s so studious. Like I remember I was a little child while he was getting his PhD and. You know, just the, his ability to sit there and basically memorize a chapter.

[00:18:58] And he’s not got a great [00:19:00] memory, but he would just slog away at it. And you know, for me that was like some kind of alternate reality or something like I can hardly remember what happened six months ago. You know, I joke that my brain is like Swiss cheese and I don’t have a lot of continuity. And I thought that that was some kind of weird thing.

[00:19:18] I mean, maybe it is weird and that’s statistically, right. But it’s, it’s apparently a thing, you know, and some people don’t have that continuity of memory. Uh, yeah, it’s weird.

[00:19:30] Brett: [00:19:30] It was mind blowing to me as I kind of, as I learned more about ADHD after my own diagnosis, uh, and talking to my father, finding out that it he’ll, he’ll probably never get tested, but by all measures that I know of, he has ADHD and he grew up and became a mechanical engineer. Uh, despite. So what w uh, uh, pretty serious learning disability.

[00:19:57] Like, I always knew him as [00:20:00] someone really good at math and really good at detail and really good at remembering things, but like turns out that takes a lot of effort for him. Like, those are very, uh, intentional learned behaviors that he had to struggle through. And that was it’s fascinating. Like, it’s no wonder that I wasn’t diagnosed as a kid, because to him that was just normal difficulty.

[00:20:21]Victor: [00:20:21] Yeah, that makes sense. I think mine has gotten worse with age and I mean, I don’t know, maybe that’s years of drug use, maybe that’s just, you know, normal decay or something like that.

[00:20:30] Or, or maybe it’s just me being more aware. Uh, but yeah, it’s, it, it is something that, um, you know, people try to tell you, it’s like, Oh, maybe it’s this. Maybe it’s that. And it’s like, they don’t, but they don’t know you. So you, you have to figure it out on your own, especially if you’re, you know, you’re not talking to a doctor about it.

[00:20:50] Brett: [00:20:50] Yeah. So one of the other things you mentioned on social media that I, I think that makes it public knowledge, but you’ve, uh, you’ve gone, uh, since [00:21:00] new years without drinking alcohol. Is that right? what, what went into that decision?

[00:21:06] Victor: [00:21:06] Well, you know, I was, I was never much, uh, I mean, I, I enjoyed a drink. I remember you and I had some drinks at a club DNA and, uh, San

[00:21:17] Brett: [00:21:17] much more than you, but yeah.

[00:21:19]Victor: [00:21:19] but that was the thing, right? Like I, and I remember, uh, getting drunk. You’ll appreciate this Brad Hill. Um, who is one of the most patient human beings? I think I’ve ever met.

[00:21:29] Um, the first year I went to South by Southwest with AOL, Brad was there and I think a couple other people from download squad and, um, I remember getting really drunk. The first night we were there and feeling so embarrassed the next day that, you know, I was like, this is a work trip. What the hell are you doing, man?

[00:21:49] But, you know, I was in an awful marriage and I never got to go out. So that was like me finally getting to enjoy life. Right. And, um, [00:22:00] away from the screaming kids. Now, my kids are great, but. But the thing is, is that I, it just doesn’t, it just didn’t serve me anymore. Um, and with, with bars, you know, sketchy right now and whatnot, and honestly that relationship that I was talking about, uh, that ended on new year’s because she drank too much and she attacked me and I was like, If this is the road that I’m going to go down, it’s not going to end well, you know?

[00:22:29] And so I was just like, you know, for me, it’s an easy decision to just not drink anymore because I don’t like to get drunk. And if I’m going to drink something, that’s going to put pounds on my gut. It’s going to be sweet and it’s going to be bubbly. And you know, it’s going to be bad for me in other ways, I don’t need add the alcohol to it.

[00:22:49] Yeah.

[00:22:49] Brett: [00:22:49] Yeah. Oh, yeah, I I’ve lost count of how long it’s been since I had a drink, but, uh, I did go sober again sometime in the last couple of years. [00:23:00] Um, it hasn’t been, it hasn’t been difficult for me. Uh, I do have, I absolutely am an alcoholic and a drug addict and all kinds of addictive things. Um, But so it’s a, like you, you’ve never struck me as someone chemically dependent in any way.

[00:23:18] So I was just curious, uh, what your, your personal reasoning was. Mine is definitely more of a, if I don’t do this, I’ll probably die kind of thing. Yeah.

[00:23:30] Victor: [00:23:30] Yeah, no, I, I never, uh, I don’t think I’ve ever been alcohol dependent. Um, I was a binge drinker in high school. Uh, and that was weird because again, I lived in a very repressive household. So when I would go out to a party, I would just grab every, I would just smash cans over and over, you know, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

[00:23:51] Like that. Right. Yeah. And a little bit into freshman year in college. And then I discovered pot. I didn’t discover it, but I, I decided to wait until I was 18 to [00:24:00] start smoking pot. Uh, yeah, because I was trying to be responsible. Um, And, you know, my brain was still developing and I was, I think, which the alcohol was really great for my brain, of course, in hindsight, uh, nevermind that whippets and all that kind of crap, but, uh, but yeah, so I didn’t start smoking pot till I was 18.

[00:24:17] Um, and I would say that funnily enough, even though I write about cannabis, it’s one of my freelance gigs is I write, uh, some marketing copy for a cannabis company and, uh, or a cannabis marketing company, I should say. Um, I, uh, I would say that’s the closest thing I have actually to a chemical dependency is, is weed.

[00:24:35] I can put, I can stop for weeks on end, but there’s something about, and it’s not just the, like getting high, what it is for me. It’s almost like the tea ceremony effect, right. Where there’s like a, a, a physicality to grinding it and packing it or rolling it or whatever. And it’s like, I like that sort of a natural aspect to it.

[00:24:58] Um, that’s, that’s sort of, you know, [00:25:00] pattern right. Uh, is very soothing to me, but that’s also where I discovered building models. Again, it’s like, there’s something to that working with my hands. That’s just very calming and maybe that’s tied to the.

[00:25:11]Brett: [00:25:11] uh, yeah, it very well could be, uh, uh, sensory, any, anything that, uh, self-soothing and sensory stuff can be, but that’s also true, pretty much all kinds of, uh, neuro atypical behaviors. Yeah, let’s just, let’s just call you, uh, since no one hears the doctor. We’ll we’ll just call you neuro atypical.

[00:25:33] Victor: [00:25:33] There we go. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, and you know, it’s interesting. My daughter lived with me for a little bit last year and she introduced me to a show called atypical, which is actually about a

[00:25:41] Brett: [00:25:41] so good. Yes.

[00:25:44] Victor: [00:25:44] in that. Great. I love that show and it’s just wonderfully written, wonderfully acted. Uh, and so, yeah, it’s about a young man who has autism and I think they do such a fabulous job of, of sort of showing you his world, you know?

[00:25:56] Um, so yeah, it was that, that was really cool. And she, and I really [00:26:00] bonded over that. I think.

[00:26:01] Brett: [00:26:01] I do think it’s renewed for another season, but I haven’t heard anything about it since the last season.

[00:26:06] Victor: [00:26:06] The production has been delayed. Uh, but they are going to wrap up a final season. They announced last year. So this, this will be the ultimate, you know, season for it. And they’ll kind of, cause you know, I think he was going off to college, you know, he, he had spent a year in college and so I think they’re going to show kind of.

[00:26:21] How that’s progressing and whatnot, but yeah, I love that show. And funnily enough, I was watching a little bit of Chappelle show last night and had completely forgotten that Michael Rappaport was on that too.

[00:26:31]Brett: [00:26:31] Yeah. I forgot that as well. Oh, yeah. I’ve been listening to, uh, Keegan Michael keys, a history of sketch comedy on audible. Who’s not a sponsor of this particular episode, but full disclosure. Um, but no, it’s pretty good. I think it’s a 10 episode series that he does on, uh, kind of the very beginnings of, of sketch comedy in, uh, we’ll call it ancient history [00:27:00] up through.

[00:27:01] Up through the state and modern, like the, the birth of more modern streaming era sketch and yeah, no, it’s good. You should check it

[00:27:09] Victor: [00:27:09] Oh man. Yeah. I’m going to have to check that out because I mean, that’s what I’m doing really with the puppets is like it’s all little bitty sketches and I’ve been watching the Muppet show. It just came out on, on streaming. Uh, and, and that too, you know, it’s little sketches with puppets. And so I, luckily I can call that research.

[00:27:26] Brett: [00:27:26] Speaking of sponsors.


[00:27:28] So that brings us run to the top three picks. Are you, uh, are you, did you do your homework?

[00:27:35]Victor: [00:27:35] I did do my homework. Hold on. Let me find my notes here.

[00:27:39] Brett: [00:27:39] Oh, he has notes.

[00:27:40]Victor: [00:27:40] Well, okay. Hold on. Where did you message me about that? Was that in an email?

[00:27:46] Brett: [00:27:46] believe we have most of our conversations on Facebook messenger

[00:27:50] Victor: [00:27:50] Ah, yes. Okay.

[00:27:51]Brett: [00:27:51] and occasionally on Twitter, DMS.

[00:27:54]Victor: [00:27:54] that’s right. Yeah.

[00:27:56] Brett: [00:27:56] I also have your cell number who knows.

[00:28:00] [00:28:00] Victor: [00:28:00] Well, that’s the thing, you know, I have people who have like 20, I think Mike Rose, I have like 30 emails or 30, uh, uh, uh, phone numbers for him or something. It’s so crazy. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:28:12]Brett: [00:28:12] All right. Well, uh, this is going to be all you, we’re going to discuss your three picks in whatever order you want to present them. So, uh, what’s your first pick.

[00:28:24] Victor: [00:28:24] Okay, wait, hold on. I got it. I just realized I have these in Google docs and I’ll bring it up here. She’s the lease.

[00:28:32] Brett: [00:28:32] so Google docs is the first pick

[00:28:35]Victor: [00:28:35] Yeah. Um, well, okay. Uh, well, no, that’s not it either. Okay. Hold on. Here we go. Okay. Yeah, I can do this, uh, my top three. All right. Number one, I will say. And, and I think you’re going to appreciate this because, uh, you could call it a toy. Um, it was definitely something I did not necessarily [00:29:00] need, but I really, really wanted to have.

[00:29:03] The first one of these and because it’s been a long time since I bought the first-generation of anything from Apple.

[00:29:11] Brett: [00:29:11] okay.

[00:29:12] Victor: [00:29:12] And so I had to get me a Mac book, air, and the M one Mac book air,

[00:29:18] Brett: [00:29:18] Nice.

[00:29:19] Victor: [00:29:19] and dude, it’s awesome. I, I absolutely love it. Uh, big servers still have some problems, but every macro West has some problems.

[00:29:27] What are you going to do? And God knows I’m going to find the problems, but, uh, but the Mon Mac man, the touch ID, the like the, the, just the heft of it, like you can tell there’s a crap ton of battery in there. Uh, the battery life is ridiculous. The speed is, I mean, I put, I haven’t played with final cut pro on there yet, but I’m going to later today I did put logic pro on there.

[00:29:50] And it just, I mean, man, it’s just, it’s like butter as Steve would say, you know, it really is wonderful.

[00:29:56] Brett: [00:29:56] I, I did have the, I had the first gen of [00:30:00] the Mac book air. And to this day I consider it the best computer I have I’ve ever had for its time. Like I couldn’t run it today, but still as far as form factor and speed and capability, it, it was in its day. Hands down my favorite machine ever. And, uh, I am getting a $500 credit from Apple to, uh, to spend towards my next M one max.

[00:30:26] So I will take this, uh, I will take this under advisement. I was leaning towards the mini. Partly because a $500 gift certificate certificate would almost cover it. Um, and I love that they made like a $600 machine to go out with these first M ones, but what’s, what’s the, uh, what’s the starting price for the air.

[00:30:47]Victor: [00:30:47] I got in the very, very cheapest one I could get. Uh, but I also bought a little adapter, um, from Apple. So it was like a little over a thousand bucks, uh, you know, and some change, um, which you know, is fair that this computer is broken. Gonna [00:31:00] last me a long, long time. Now it’s two 56 onboard, uh, storage. But, you know, with, with music being mostly streaming now and all that kind of thing, I’m like, eh, no big deal, you know?

[00:31:12] Brett: [00:31:12] I highly recommend these, uh, these one terabyte, SSD externals, like the USBC ones. They’re so fast. Like

[00:31:21] Victor: [00:31:21] Okay. So yeah, I got a little sand disc and I’m holding it in my hand right now. And it’s a 500 gigs, but I used it. I’m using it mainly as a time machine backup, but it’s got enough room, you know, for other stuff. And dude, this thing is it’s. It’s the size of a, uh, Oh gosh, what was that little tiny, uh, phone?

[00:31:40] The pebble it’s like the size of a pebble. This thing is amazing. I cannot believe it’s so small and cute. And it’s like, you can put it on your key chain.

[00:31:48]Brett: [00:31:48] Yeah. Uh, like it, uh, I remember the days of FireWire externals, where if you wanted, if you wanted 500 gigabytes and they were so slow compared to [00:32:00] these SSDs, but all right, what’s your second pick.

[00:32:04]Victor: [00:32:04] So my second pick would be a book that, um, uh, I’m actually listening to right now that is called magic is dad. Um, and I’m looking up the author right now. It is, uh, is going to show me. It’s not going to show me, is it? Yeah. Ian Frisch, Ian Frisch, uh, magic is dead. And, um, it’s really interesting. It was a little bit controversial in the magic group that I I’m in.

[00:32:32] Um, that includes like amateur magicians, all the way up to full-time professional magicians that have been doing stuff for like years and are sort of legends in the field. Um, and it was written by a guy who’s a journalist who started in bed, you know, he was just going to write a story and he had. I think had a little bit of a experience.

[00:32:51] Now, he actually played poker with his mom. His dad died when he was very, uh, fairly young. And so he and his mom, uh, just the two of them grew up and [00:33:00] she loved to play poker. And so he had a little bit of experience with cards, but he got into the sort of secret society, uh, of, of underground young magicians.

[00:33:11] And these are the folks who were very inspired by like Penn and teller and. You know, pushed aside all of the top hat and tails and all the sort of, you know, old school, uh, things about magic. And, uh, it’s, it’s really good. It’s, it’s a very intriguing view of somebody who’s an outsider coming into, uh, uh, a group of people who are really trying to innovate in a field that is very anti innovation in some ways.

[00:33:36] And yet in other ways, magicians have been traditionally really good about. Embracing new technology and that stopped happening about 30, 40 years ago. And so they’re trying to kind of bring that back. So it’s, it’s a really engaging book, I think

[00:33:49] Brett: [00:33:49] Nice. All right. Non-fiction right.

[00:33:51]Victor: [00:33:51] non-fiction yeah.

[00:33:53] Brett: [00:33:53] Yeah. Cool. I’ll check it out. So,

[00:33:57] Victor: [00:33:57] All right. So the third thing,

[00:33:58] Brett: [00:33:58] yes.

[00:33:59] Victor: [00:33:59] so [00:34:00] the third thing, uh, is something I just started, uh, this week and it is ukulele.

[00:34:07] Brett: [00:34:07] Oh my, that, for some reason that adds up for me.

[00:34:11]Victor: [00:34:11] Well again, the funny thing I’ve been watching these Muppets show episodes, and there’s a, there’s an episode I just watched where, uh, Arlo Guthrie is playing a ukulele. That is, that is made to look like a Flamingo. And it was Gonzo’s ukulele and he’s like, Hey, can you play this sport? You know? And they do a little number together and whatnot.

[00:34:33] And so, but there’s a great masterclass, uh, with a guy who’s teaching ukulele. And it’s just like, you know, 10 lessons. I mean, not that ukuleles like that difficult to pick up and learn, which is what I like about it. Uh, but I really needed something musical in my life. And, um, and this kind of scratches that itch, plus I can use it with puppets.

[00:34:54] I can use it with magic. I can use it with comedy. Um, I mean, I know that there’s a magician who does a trick with a [00:35:00] ukulele. It’s like his opening trick. That’s really cool. Um, and of course, you know, like I said, Gonzo plays ukulele. Why not me? So yeah. Yeah. Ukulele.

[00:35:08] Brett: [00:35:08] Are you a fan of Amanda Palmer?

[00:35:11]Victor: [00:35:11] Oh yeah, yeah. A long time fan of Amanda Palmer. My ex-wife actually, when she came to Knoxville back in like 2005, 2006, made her a cake, this cool cake with like her signature. I. You know, makeup stuff like on it. And, uh, and so, and she got a tour. She didn’t get to meet her, but she got the cake to her. And so there’s this great photo of Amanda, like biting into the cake, you know, just like taking a big chunk of it with her mouth.

[00:35:37] And it’s pretty cool. Yeah,

[00:35:38] Brett: [00:35:38] There are very few artists that are as good at, uh, connecting with their fans as Amanda Palmer.

[00:35:45]Victor: [00:35:45] absolutely. Yeah,

[00:35:47] Brett: [00:35:47] Well, she’s really good with ukulele, which is why I mentioned her. Um,

[00:35:52] Victor: [00:35:52] I grew up with tiny Tim also, by the way. So it’s like, I, I remember that being very popular when I was little bitty and my [00:36:00] parents used to sing that stuff. I think, uh, when I was a little kid that tiptoe through the tulips and silliness like that,

[00:36:05] Brett: [00:36:05] I don’t know, tiny Tim to me is just a character from a Christmas. Carol. What is, uh, what is tiny, Tim? Okay.

[00:36:12]Victor: [00:36:12] there’s definitely a sort of generational divide there. I think that tiny Tim, uh, was like, Well, there was, Oh, I’m sorry. There was a tiny Tim ukulele playing singer of the 1920s. Um, and then there was a, uh, Herbert calorie. Yeah, tiny Tim, 1932 to 1996. Uh, This is very confusing that I am DB, uh, information here.

[00:36:40] But if you look up tiny, Tim he’s like this long haired guy with curly hair, he kind of looks like weird Al’s brother. Uh, a little bit. Yeah, it looks like a cross between like weird Al and Howard stern or something. But, um, he, he was this just very quirky 1960s. Um, You know, performer who kind of made his Mark by playing [00:37:00] the ukulele.

[00:37:00] He was one of the, I think, first people to really popularize it, uh, after the guy from the 1920s, I suppose.

[00:37:06] Brett: [00:37:06] all right. All right. Cool. Well, Victor, thanks for being here today.

[00:37:11]Victor: [00:37:11] Of course, Brett. Hey, thanks. Uh, thanks for having me on here. And, um, I don’t know if, uh, we discussed anything that’s relevant to your listeners, but I’m hoping they got something

[00:37:20] Brett: [00:37:20] Oh, totally, totally. Um, where can people find you?

[00:37:25]Victor: [00:37:25] They can find me@victoratgretta.com. Um, and that’s, that’s probably the best place to just find all my managers. You can look me up on, uh, Twitter at super pixels and on Instagram at super pixel five,

[00:37:39]Brett: [00:37:39] Oh, how many were there? Four other super pixels?

[00:37:43]Victor: [00:37:43] It was actually super pixels on Instagram. And when my daughter was, I think, 11 or something, she had an Instagram account. Somebody ratted her out because they had the rule. You had to be 13 and they deactivated her account, which was useful for me because as a divorced [00:38:00] dad, I was able to see her stuff, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:38:01] I got mad and in a fit, I closed my account down. But if people know, once you. D like once you deactivate a Instagram account, you can’t get that username back.

[00:38:12]Brett: [00:38:12] Yeah.

[00:38:14] Victor: [00:38:14] So super pixels is just gone forever, I guess.

[00:38:16] Brett: [00:38:16] So, so it’s soup. It’s, it’s a five instead of it. Nass is that?

[00:38:20] Victor: [00:38:20] Hey exactly. Lead speak.

[00:38:23] Brett: [00:38:23] Gotcha. Leete. All right. Well, I, uh, that it’s, it’s a slightly shorter episode than usual. I guess we didn’t spend as much time on top three picks as I expected, but that’s okay.

[00:38:36]Victor: [00:38:36] Well, I mean, I, I would play ukulele for your audience, but I think it right right now I can only play one chord. So it was very boring.

[00:38:44] Brett: [00:38:44] Cord and you’re on AirPods, which don’t pick up a

[00:38:48] Victor: [00:38:48] Oh,

[00:38:48] Brett: [00:38:48] well, as well as one might think.

[00:38:50]Victor: [00:38:50] that’s true.

[00:38:52] Brett: [00:38:52] All right. Well, I hope to catch up with you again in less than eight years.

[00:38:57] Victor: [00:38:57] Definitely. Thanks, Brett.

[00:38:59][00:39:00] Brett: [00:38:59] All right.