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The Hidden Almanac

So it happened like this…

A bunch of friends of mine kept telling me that I needed to listen to this podcast called “Welcome to NightVale” because it was delightful and weird. Several of them described it as “Lake Woebegone meets Lovecraft.”

I did indeed listen to the podcast, and it was indeed delightful and weird, and you should totally go track it down because they deserve all the acclaim they get.


It is not at all like Lake Woebegone meets Lovecraft. Lake Woebegone is the town in Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, of which I happen to be a totally rabid fan* and I was going “Oh my god, do any of these people listen to Prairie Home Companion? Because this is not that! This is a very nice little community radio spoof, and PHC…is a radio variety show with a monologue. Seriously! And anyway, if you were going to do a parody on a Garrison Keillor show and make it freaky and weird, you wouldn’t even pick PHC because it’s too long and you’d have to be a master humorist to pull off the small town thing and you can only throw tentacles at a Lutheran pastor so many times before it stops being funny so obviously the one you’d want to parody would be the little short daily podcast he does called The Writer’s Almanac where he talks about stuff on this day in history and then reads a poem and ohshitthisisactuallyagoodidea.”

From this we can conclude that the inside of my head hates and fears punctuation. And that I was staring at the Farmer’s Almanac calendar on the wall next to my desk. And that I clearly don’t have enough to do with my free time.

So, um, from there we got to this. Which is a podcast that I wrote and made Kevin read. Which is about three minutes long, and called The Hidden Almanac, and tells you about what happened on this day in history in a totally fictional world mostly inside my head, tells you what feast-day of what totally nonexistent Saint it is, and provides some questionably helpful gardening tips.

It is about three minutes long and will occur Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, until we get bored or you people start mailing us roadkill to make us stop. (Please do not mis-address the roadkill to KUEC. We will not eat roadkill on KUEC unless it comes in a prepackaged container with heating instructions.)

You can download the latest (there’s only one right now, but we’ve got a couple of weeks in the bag) or listen to it online at

iTunes links will be up and running shortly!


*Yes, okay, Vin Diesel, Garrison Keillor, David Attenborough, My Little Pony…I’m complicated, okay? 

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

Hmm, I could have had a supply of roadkill a couple days ago. However I wasn't willing to fight the Bald Eagles for it yesterday so you can't have it. Nothing like an eagle sitting on the side of the road as cars go by to remind you how big they are.

...Yeah, probably better to pass that one by.

Dang, now I really want wurst. Sadly, I am in the midst of hurtling southward on the Taconic Parkway into the northern reaches of Westchester County. Little wurst to be found there. :-(

Nifty little production. Looking forward to more. :-)

Karl Ehmer's. Not far off the Taconic, on Route 55. Get off at the Route 55 eastbound exit, go a few country miles, it's on the left. Dutchess County, north of Westchester.

Three minutes well spent.

We will not eat roadkill on KUEC unless it comes in a prepackaged container with heating instructions.)

I own both a vacuum sealer and a printer. This is entirely doable.

I will hurt you if you do this. And not in a good way.

Edit : And get Tina to help.

Edited at 2013-09-13 11:04 pm (UTC)

I like your complicated and I subscribe to your newsletter.

XD Ok, I'm interested.

Apropos of nothing, but I tend to describe Night Vale as PHC meets Lovecraft (or the X-Files) myself, even though it's not an exact 1 to 1 descriptor. Night Vale is no Lake Woebegone, true, (because PHC is much more than just the News from Lake Woebegone) but it is the shortest way I can think of to indicate 'these are the local news reports as done for a fictional small town read/performed in a very soothing NPR sort of way, only all the news items are weird because the town itself is apparently the nexus of all things weird, and for the most part the radio host reads it like nothing is at all out of the ordinary."

The creators described it as NPR from the twilight zone in an interview I read, and that just seemed perfect to me.

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I read in an interview that they get a kick out of how people are always slapping Lovecraft as an analogy/descriptor XD!

Dear gods and kittens, I should have known better than to attempt imbibing milk during this.


Obviously when people say "Prairie Home Companion" what they mean is the Lake Wobegon bit.

Minor nitpick: I am now sad because I cannot get any more Red Wombat soaps. Please advertise readily available things, such as Digger kickstarters, Biting Pears, and of course Mur's "Shambling" books, as well as Danny Dragonbreath!! are gonna hate some of our sponsors, man.

I cannot tell you how much I love this. Absolutely brilliant, esp the zucchini part. Haven't listened to nightvale yet, but I, too, am a rabid Garrison Keillor fan. Anyway if you ever want an additional voice I'd love love love to participate! Apparently I have a 'voice made for NPR'...

Ha! And it has an RSS feed! Yay!

Oh beautiful! I listened to a couple episodes of Night Vale, and... yeah, "you can only throw tentacles at a Lutheran pastor so many times before it stops being funny" is 100% my take on it. This feels exactly the right length.

Quite enjoyed it.

A quick note from a performer - you want to have him slow down some. Both for a more "mellow feeling" that would go with the theme, but also because most people process audio-only of new information at a different pace that reading or conversational speech. If you listen to another podcast, a radio news report, or an audiobook, and then compare the pacing with this one, you'll notice a difference.

Not that it's not awesome already - but it's a little thing that you might not know about that would help the existing awesome shine through.

Yeah, I'm still working on the character. The next batch we do (I record about two weeks at a time) will have slightly different pacing.

Fun stuff, looking forward to more! Some years ago for a while I noodled on a project that was a spoof of the Lake Wobegon stories, with some of the small town denizens being aliens, furries, monsters, etc. but nothing much ever came of it. You're right about needing to be a master humorist to pull it off. After listening to GK's monologues for another 15 years as well as studying improv, I know *now* it's all about the characters, truth-in-comedy/comedy-in-truth and all that.

I love you guys.

I started listening to "Welcome To Nightvale" because it's style was eerily reminiscent of the In-Game radio stories from a larp called "Endgame" that just ended up in NH this summer. *pauses to shed a tear of sadness for poor, old Temple* As much as I loved it, it really is longer than I have time to listen to at a stretch (although I follow their Tumblr and Twitter feeds, because I love the concept). This is exactly the right length to fit in to my day, that I can devote my full attention to. Love it. :D

After the subway episode I kept thinking I should mention Night Vale to you, even knowing that I'd probably be the thirtieth person to do so. The mention of the people in business suits wearing masks with the faces of concerned deer just struck me as such a Vernonesque image.

Yay! I'd be willing to send you certain values of roadkill*, but I don't want you to stop.

*For example, I have some lovely pictures of roadkill.

you can only throw tentacles at a Lutheran pastor so many times before it stops being funny

One of many restrictions which, while true in a podcast, should not be assumed to be true in real life.

I don't even know you, random internet person, but I'm in love with you. And I'm going to hell for laughing so hard at the image you put in my head. :)


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