The Signal: EP133

The Signal: EP133 – Exactly 45 minutes of music, smuggled from cyberspace via a jigsaw rigged keyboard in Digitown, South .exe-ville. This time out we’ve got beats (and robot vocalists) from Japan, UK/Jamaican dub, soul from Canada, vapor from the 80s, psycho-surf, hip-hop, and more!

Download by clicking on the link (or image) above. The file is available only for a limited time. If you’re interested in the tracklist, it’s in the mp3 itself, in the id3 tags. Or, if you sign up to be a member of our mailing list, The Tuned In, you’ll be among the first on the planet to know when a new mix is posted, and you’ll get a permanent archive link and the entire playlist, delivered to your inbox.

lost time incident 53 – see something wonderful

lost time incident 53
It’s been a while. How have you been? Still hanging in there?

Okay, that’s enough about you, let’s get the focus back to me.

The thrill of having written and seen published a story about cannibals at a swap meet has worn off. The year itself has been off to a rough start, what with the decline of Western civilization… and we didn’t even get as civilized as I’d hoped we’d get before the backsliding kicked in. You may have noticed. I feel like some of this has made it into the news.

Oh well.

Nothing to do but keep doing what we were doing (plus a bit more when possible).

Along those lines, this morning I sent off a pitch to the weirdos at Horrible Vacuum for a second book. We’ll see if they dig the concept. Fingers crossed. If they do, I’ll be spending a number of weekends, head down, writing. Sure, I could do that anyway, but you have to remember that I’m lazy and surrounded by entertainment options.

[Same Day Update: Okay! They liked the pitch, and gave me the go ahead to write a new book for them. Now I know what I’m doing with my free time for the foreseeable. Nice!]


stuff from twitter

My Twitter creativity has been at next-to-nothing so far this year, as Twitter was transformed from a playground into a vehicle for social outrage, even among the funny people I follow. I’ve retweeted a bunch of stuff, but… yeah. This sigh is the only tweet worth rescuing at the moment.

haunted america
The Ol’ Winthrop Place, Loop’s Hollow, Rhode Island
Ask any kid on a dirt bike and they’ll tell you the ol’ Winthrop place is haunted. But what really haunts this town is children. Who rides dirt bikes anymore? You check any other town and the kids are at home, playing video games, taking photos and applying funny filters to them. Nobody goes outside but these dirtbike kids that skid to a halt in front of you if you get too near the Winthrop place.

Asking “What’cha up to, mister?”

Look closer. One of them is wearing a canvas bag emblazoned with the logo for the Loop’s Hollow Clarion, which stopped publishing in 1972. Here’s an experiment: Try mentioning that you’ve recently visited the beaver dam in neighboring Borington. They’ll snicker and repeat the word “beaver” and that’s how you can be sure they’re out of time. Nobody snickers at that word anymore.

Do not trust them. Do not subscribe to their paper. You’ll never see a single sports page for your money. Those aren’t real kids.

The Haunted Dairy Queen, Downingcurd, Pennsylvania
Several haintologists have visited this site and they’ve all reported unusual readings with their bullshit electronic gizmos. Sure, they’ll spend a night there alone, and report that it got strangely cold, as if we don’t all know there’s a freezer full of ice cream locked away by the day manager at end of shift that might possibly be a factor.

I applied to join one of those crews. Told ’em I could run their social media account. “Do you know how to run a blah-blah-spectro-blah-malizer?” they asked. Heck no. Never heard of one. But I can pay money to a Russian botnet to get their follower count up.

No dice. They wanted fake scientists, not actual help. Their loss. I hope they drop and break one of their stupid clicky recording gizmos and I hope their YouTube channel gets permanently shut down from all the DMCA complaints I filed on ’em.

That’ll teach ’em.

Oh, and the ghost at the Dairy Queen is just some girl who worked there in ’97. Ate too many Blizzards and died. She has more followers on Twitter than those clowns who didn’t hire me.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.
There’s two ghosts here. They seem cool. Say “hi” if you see ’em.


ending theme song
Okay! Hope that was worth the wait after several weeks off. The fact that I’m now committed to write another book may very well affect the timing of the next one… or maybe I’ll be back in the habit. Who knows, who knows.

—Michael Van Vleet

(cover image credit: Richard Winters –

cliche collision

You know what they say. In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man always dances like nobody’s watching.

Unless the blind are doing that weird touch-y thing where they crowd around and try to hold his limbs while he moves, but it doesn’t work very well. No one has hands big enough to take in the entire choreography.

And I have no idea why the one-eyed man feels the need to don a costume for these dances. It’s wasted effort.

Next year, let’s not vacation in the Kingdom of the Blind.

The Signal: EP132

The Signal: EP132 – Exactly 45 minutes of carefully balanced tunes, glittering and perfect. For those that have ears to hear, we’ve got hip hop from the UK, electronic sounds from Mexico, cumbia from Colombia, a doo wop bad boy, Italian horror movie soundtrack music, dubstep, retrowave, and a bit of bedroom pop.

If that sounds good, download away, because this mix won’t be posted forever. If you’re interested in the tracklist, it’s in the mp3 itself, in the id3 tags. Or, if you sign up to be a member of our mailing list, The Tuned In, you’ll be among the first on the planet to know when a new mix is posted, and you’ll get a permanent archive link and the entire playlist, delivered to your inbox.

Wouldn’t that be nice? Don’t you think you deserve that? C’mon. Life is hard enough.

Wolf Renderers III

Last night, I got in a little dreamtime, oneiric thrift store shopping. In the dream, I walked past a cardboard box full of films and a ridiculous title caught my eye. It was something like Wolf Renderers III. Werewolf film.

Names are tricky in dreams. The words swim around. “Wolf Renderers III” is the best approximation of how clunky the title was, but with the key elements of “wolf” and “the wrong word for tearing” still intact.

I was disappointed to find that the box only had Wolf Renderers II and III on DVD, but even in dreams, I know thrift store rules. Someone has always got there ahead of you and scooped up the beginning of any series.

But right next to the two DVDs was a big block of 3 VHS tapes all sharing a single box. Do you remember those? The cardboard forming a sleeve you were supposed to ram multiple tapes into?

It was Wolf Renderers I through III, together at last in an obsolete format. The cover image was of a werewolf standing in some regular-ass bedroom. Not even an especially nice catalog-quality bedroom, but one with some barely-made bed in the background.

The budget was … obvious.

I figured I could throw out the VHS tapes and hang up the box art, so I  bought the box set. I must have got them by exchanging whatever currency is accepted at dream thrift stores. A memory I didn’t have a use for anymore, maybe, like how Bazooka Joe gum smells.

A bargain.