Brad’s Cactus Shack is quite possibly the largest collection of Brad-related material you could ever hope to find. Don’t trust any other websites on the internet for your Brad fix. Everything you need is here. Click on the menu options above for things, or just start reading and listening below.

Blackout

Was just finishing up editing a show this afternoon when the power went out. Which is completely normal here, it happens at least once a month and comes back on within a minute. But this time it didn’t come back on, so I scrambled to save all my work before the UPS ran out of battery. Which involved figuring out which plugs I had put in the wrong place because my monitors turned off but my ceiling lights stayed on. Whoops. The power was out from about 5pm to 8:30pm. Traffic outside my window was crazy, backed up because of the traffic lights being down.

It came back on just long enough for me to finish up the show editing and get it posted. Then it went out again. This time it was dark out. I immediately got some shoes on and went for a walk toward downtown. No street lights were on and very little moon was out, so it was awesomely pitch black. It took over five minutes to cross the Ellsworth intersection because it was very busy traffic and the traffic lights were out. I had to wait for the cars to be completely gone so I didn’t die.

Since a lot of stores weren’t able to close down properly I kept bumping into their sidewalk signage. There weren’t a lot of people out, so I guess the bar never bothered opening. I’ve walked downtown before when they had the power shut off to replace all the streetlights, but this was a lot cooler than that since there was no light in any direction. I was able to see tiny LED lights for cameras or security systems or whatever else would be on the sides of buildings. The best part was being able to see the stars from downtown which is usually impossible. I wish I’d brought my glasses.

The outage didn’t last quite an hour and I was on 2nd when everything turned back on. A lot of the businesses forgot to turn off their inside lights when they closed down during the outage so it was extra bright. A lot of OPEN signs were still displayed. I got to see several ATMs attempt to boot back up. I walked around a bit more to admire the weirdness of everything being on at night, then headed down 3rd Street toward 7-Eleven.

A cop car pulled to the side of the road across the street from me. A minute later I notice a lady cop walking on the other side of the street right across from me in kind of weird stance. A second later I see another cop has parked on my side, crossed the street on foot and was meeting her at a building. As I passed the building, they were both at the door, I think looking in, possibly with guns drawn. No idea what the building was. I didn’t hear any craziness behind me for the next few blocks, so I guess that turned out okay.

7-Eleven said they worked at cleaning the store during the outage with flashlights, which sounds hilarious. So that’s my night. Now I’m listening to Justin play Ween on Mixlr, reading Facebook and writing this. Good times! Here’s a video I posted a day or two ago.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 14 – Sara and the Echoplex

Here’s another episode where I activate old man story mode and tell you a thing or two about how the 1980’s were. Part One involves a machine called an Echoplex, which I used for all kinds of fun and shenanigans as a kid. The Echoplex segment isn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped it would be, but it’s still fun to play around with an old machine and listen to the things it can do.

Above is the Echoplex hooked up to the Gibson amplifier, but not working because of a burnt out tube in the amp. Below is the setup I was using to record the Summer of ’85 portion.

Part Two is all about my neighbor Sara, who used to embark on all kinds of evil missions with me in the evenings. The missions included, but weren’t limited to, toilet papering trees, stealing porch light bulbs (or just loosening them to make them appear burnt out), peering in windows, setting things on fire, knocking and running, and avoiding police cars at all costs even if we hadn’t done anything wrong, which usually meant being chased by them because they thought we were up to no good. We’d rearrange people’s lawn furniture, we’d hang strings across the roads to confuse motorists, once on trash night we stole everybody’s trash and put it in one person’s back yard. In the trash area, not the yard. But it was about 5 blocks worth of trash in one single yard. I bet the trash men were a little confused about that one.

We started a club at some point, called the BASLC. The Brad and Sara Lab Club. Because my garage was the lab. We had monthly dues, but I don’t think we ever actually spent the money on anything. In fact, I never got my share of the money back after we went our separate ways. I was ripped off! We were hoping to save up for a set of intercoms to put in our rooms so we could talk to each other. Our windows faced each other, but were on different floors. So we had to contact each other by shining flashlights, throwing rocks, or doing half-rings on the telephone which annoyed our parents. I don’t think our “club” ever actually did anything besides collect dues and write songs.

She played guitar, and we recorded quite a few tapes of us singing and talking together. I think she ended up with most of those, because I only have one of them now. We wrote a few songs together, mostly weird parodies. I think I still have lyric sheets to them somewhere around here. I know we did a lot of hits of the time too, but the only one I can remember is Islands in the Stream. We were into the duets.

I spent weeks during the days drawing a colored, detailed, scale (more or less) map of our block to help us on our missions. This map was on a small piece of posterboard and included every rock, tree stump, garden, car, clothesline, etc. in everyone’s yard. I suppose the map didn’t really help, it was more just to make it all more fun for us. I even bought those pin flags, to mark important things on the maps.

My garage was command central, we carried walkie-talkies, we had code names, we had our own secret handwriting that we could read and write fluently. I still can, in fact. Anyway, we did these things for a couple of years. She finally grew up and became interested in a boyfriend so we stopped hanging out so much and I found new friends. We hung out a few times during jr. high and high school, but we’d outgrown our nightly missions by that point.

That’s a picture of us, in the attic, probably taken a year or two after 1985. Thanks, Mr. Biggs, for creating the guitar loop for me since I never got around to it. The ending song is The Moon Is High (And So Am I) by Roger Miller.

Replacing my 360 Systems Instant Replay SCSI Hard Drive With A Memory Card

Earlier this month a very generous listener of The Snow Plow Show was nice enough to send me a sound board machine. It’s called an Instant Replay Hard Disk Audio 2.0 and it’s manufactured by 360 Systems. I’m told that radio stations across the country used these to play sound clips and promos during the 1990’s and early 2000’s before upgrading to something new.

It’s an awesome machine and works great. The buttons have an instant response time which is a nice upgrade from the Android tablet and soundboard app I’ve been using for years. This thing will make doing live shows much easier for years to come. The only problem with my 360 was that the hard drive wasn’t sounding too good. It made a high pitched noise the entire time it was running, which could be heard while recording shows. It also clicked loudly at every single button press. It seemed likely that the hard drive could die at any second.

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Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 12 – Dial-A-Pay-Phone – The Couch Gang

Here’s another hour of listeners calling my pay phone in a contest I like to call Who Can Saying The Weirdest Shit Possible To Me. During post editing I solved the mystery of daylight savings in Indiana. It wasn’t the Mandella effect after all. “From 1970 until 2006, most of Indiana in the Eastern Time Zone did not observe daylight saving time, but the entire state started to do so in April 2006 after eight counties in western Indiana were shifted from the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone.” Opening music is Welcome To My World by Nerf Herder. Ending music is Emo Swag by Emergency Pizza Party.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 11 – TRS-80 Color Computer 2

After playing a few random sound clips I found on my hard drive last night, we jump into the mysterious world of 1986 where we jam out to the Neutron Dance, where I say everything I type into the computer for the listening audience just like I was taught in movies, where I torment the teenagers that hang out in front of 7-Eleven, where I get shot in the chest at point blank range, where Domino’s finally quits taking phone orders from non-human voices, and where everyone is so concerned about that damn box.

Here’s an old post I made about writing TRS-80 program variables on the wall in my closet. FML means First Middle Last, 2008 Brad. Derrr. Here’s a 2007 post mentioning things I’ve found on old cassettes. Here’s another post about importing my old tapes. Here’s Pauldotcom’s Security Weekly Show on his fancy new domain. Here’s a website that obsesses over TRS-80 Color Computers. Their setup is much fancier than mine where I had it plugged into an old TV, but you get an idea of the hardware we were using.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 10b – Addiction Counseling

Back in February I was surprised to find out that I was sentenced to 12 weeks of a drug and alcohol abuse class, even though I’ve never had an issue with drugs or alcohol. I know you guys think I pound the 4lokos 24/7, but really I might drink a couple beers per week, usually on separate nights with my dinner, occasionally taking a break from all drinking for months at a time. I mostly drank during live shows at night, which I’ve mostly stopped doing because daytime shows are more convenient for me.

My crime didn’t involve weed or alcohol, but for whatever reason they seemed to think I need not one weekly 2-hour group session, but TWO weekly 2-hour group sessions, stretching out for 6 full months. The first class seemed aimed more at casual DUI and meth use offenders, but the second focused not only on overcoming your drug addictions, but adjusting to life on the outside after being in prison. I’ve also never been in prison.

I made this show the night after I came back from my first group session on February 21st, 2018, just trying to make sense of it all. I had planned to make a few more of these, but never got around to it.

For more information about my stint at the drug and alcohol classes, listen to episode 13 of Brad’s Cactus Shack, and watch episode 10 of the PLA Show.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 10 – Small Talk in Celina Ohio

In this show we get to know residents of Celina, Ohio on a very personal level with some hard-hitting questions.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 9 – Dino and OCI

This episode of Brad’s Cactus Shack activates my old man story mode so I can tell stories about old men. Then I play some old 90’s Dino audio that can barely be heard, but it’s okay because I tell you small parts of what he probably said, then drone on and on about OCI for a bit. We wrap it up with voicemails from an ex-employer of mine that I remembered being funnier back when I recorded them. The opening bit is from old Q106.5 broadcasts, background music is Walk Of Life by Dire Straights, and the ending music is I Am Very Happy Right Now by Bonecage.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 8 – Skunkworks Conspiracy

Cody NoName sent me a link to a conspiracy video that I really want to watch, but I’m too afraid to watch it by myself because conspiracy videos are scary, so I’m bringing you guys along to watch it with me. This is a conspiracy theory about the Skunkworks situation and what those underground tunnels really mean.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing in the video that you actually need to see. It’s mostly video of text that Evvonne is reading with the very important parts highlighted in yellow highlight pen, because that’s an important thing to do with you’re talking about conspiracies.

Here’s a link to Evvonne’s Skunkworks video

Subscribe to her channel and support her on Patreon

Here’s the FOX 5 article about Skunkworks

Here’s another article with a bit more information. This one claims that Skunkworks met the other guy as an adult, so I’m not sure where Evvonne saw that they were childhood friends. Maybe I was confused about what she said and it was actually a childhood friend of Askia Khafra who was talking about the incident.

Here’s the June 29th, 2010 episode of The Phone Show where Skunkworks calls in to ask for vocal chords

Here’s the June 22nd, 2010 episode of The Phone Show which was played near the end of this show. There’s a little more to it, but it seemed boring so I stopped playing it.

Haha, JUST as I was about to hit the publish button for this episode, I got a call from Maryland! It was a lady from the dumpster company that I called last night, saying she noticed they missed a call from me. I explained that I saw her number in a conspiracy video and was just calling to see if it was a real number. She was probably actually a CIA agent just checking up on me.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 7 – Take The Money And Run

Mike sent me my arrest report from 1993, which details my crimes against the 7-Eleven I worked for, so this entire episode is me reading the report. Music is Take The Monkey And Run by Steve Miller, and Dizz Knee Land by Dada.

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