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.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 18 – Wacky Morning Show DJ Reunion

A long time ago I spent about a year harassing a radio DJ named MJ from the MJ Morning Show just to try and stir up drama on his show. I guess MJ still remembers this event too because he spent around 15 minutes talking about it on his show recently. In this episode of Brad’s Cactus Shack I will spaz out over every little thing MJ says about me in this completely slanderous video he posted.

After recording all of this, I told a friend about it and he watched the video. He’s the one who got most of the backstory back in my MJ harassing days. He said even before I asked, when he heard MJ talk about my “it’s coming to your door” threat, he didn’t think that was something I would say even back then.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 17 – AT&T 1310 Answering Machine

In yet another episode of Brad Plays With Old Crap, I decide to see what messages are on an old answering machine that Devon gave to me. This is guaranteed to be at least as interesting as when I played my Dad’s old echoplex tape. Not only will you hear old messages, but I manage to contact one of the message leavers from 1989.

I didn’t look too hard for the manual for this machine, so I’m not sure what year it was manufactured. I’d guess the mid-to-late 1980’s. You can attempt to hack into this machine remotely by calling 505-608-6123 or 845-470-0336 and picking answering machine #4 in the answering machine menu.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 16 – Microwave Milkshakes

After spending the past couple of months ripping old 1990’s underground indie punk rock prank call cassette tapes into the computer to add to the biggest archive on the internet and finally finishing with that project, I decided to rip some old cassette tapes I found in my parent’s attic last year to see exactly what’s on them. Between church sermons and band concerts, I found some old “comedy” skits I did, most likely in the very early 1980’s and that’s what you’re about to hear.

This 90 minute Kmart cassette tape is labeled “FIRST BAND CONCERT” in my grade school era handwriting so I was expecting to hear terrible band music by 5th grade me. And there’s a little of that. But it appears that I purposely recorded over the band music to make classic comedy bits, which seems obvious when I take a break for music and you hear a few seconds of the band music that I recorded over. This tape is presented pretty much exactly as I found it, though I did move the Chariots Of Fire song to the beginning for an opening song, and I chopped off most of the music from the second half of the tape.

In this Brad’s Cactus Shack you’re going to hear about the invention of television, the history of radios, the invention of the dollar bill, the history of computers and exactly how they work, commercials, announcements, skits, a celebrity, and more. Right after the “I Love You” song, I will have a co-host named John and occasionally his sister Renae. John will be playing the part of Nothing Momigan and Renae will be starring as Miss Piggy. Sorry, that’s not the real Miss Piggy. The Old Timey tape recorder bit is by John and then it’s back to me with the calculator advertisement. I think I heard a bit of our friend Eric in there too. At the time I thought Microwave Milkshakes were my own stupid invention, but years later they became a real, actual product. I thought of it first, though.

This is the only photo I can find of me and John, which I stole from Renae’s Facebook. Sorry, Renae.

Me and John

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 15 – Calling Pay Phones In The 1980s

In the mid-to-late 1980’s I wrote a program for my TRS-80 Color Computer 2 that allowed me to easily talk to people on the phone using the computer’s speech cartridge. The program consisted of a screen full of commonly used phrases like “How Are You” and “I am doing okay” and “Malfunction, Need Input.” I used the computer to call pay phones and talk to strangers, and to order pizzas from Dominos. Episode 11 of Brad’s Cactus Shack went into more detail about this same thing, but in that episode I didn’t have any actual audio of me talking to people with the computer. In this episode I’ve found a couple of short audio files of me actually talking to people with my computer.

Enjoy this 30 minutes of terrible quality phone recordings where I talk to a girl from my school while she does her homework and I call kids who are hanging around the pay phones at Alton Square Mall. About 11 minutes in I couldn’t understand who she was asking if I knew. During my editing I heard the name clearly. She wanted to know if I knew Sammy Hagar from Van Halen. You probably already know this. I also play a few of my old answering machine messages from 1989 or 1990. The opening song is Welcome To My World by Nerf Herder. The background music is Danger Storm by Kevin MacLeod. The ending song is The Sun Shines Down On Me by Daniel Johnston.


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.

Brad’s Cactus Shack Episode 13 – Drugs Are Bad Mkay

These BCS episodes have reached the level of boring to where I’m going through PAPERWORK for 90 minutes. In this one I peruse the notes written about me by counselors in my drug abuse classes. Apparently I stare at the floor a lot.

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

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.

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