HHI Audio Engineer (with Frank Leon)

F-R-A-N-K, is there a more beautiful combination of 5 letters in the Latin alphabet?  Frank and I have been friends since we were 8 years old.  He is, and always has been, one of the most genuine and giving people that I know.  When I had the idea for my podcast 2 years ago I called Frank and told him all about it and asked it I could have his help with editing the audio of the show.  Frank, you see, is an audio engineer for a living.  Since I had just quit my job to start the podcast I had nothing to offer Frank other than digital high-fives and my thanks, and yet, Frank being Frank said that he would love to help in any way he could.  He proceeded to chop together an awesome intro for me that made the show feel ‘real’ and to this day edits the audio on every episode of the show.  Today we get to take a look at the man behind the curtain, Frank.

Customer Support Manager (with João Moreira)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you have had some not fun times with customer support in your life.  Perhaps even reading the words customer support makes you have flashbacks of one such time that really takes the cake?  Deep down we know that we should be happy that companies even have customer support, and yet you’d be hard pressed to find someone that has a favorable opinion of their time spent on the phone trying to solve a problem.  Today’s guest, João (Joe), is the manager of a customer support team for an international travel website.  He’ll give us the inside scoop on what it’s like to deal with all the haters and live life on the other side of the telephone.

Commercial Fishing Inspector (with Natalie Posdaljian)

Do you ever wonder where your food came from?  What sorts of approvals and checks and balances it had to pass before making its way to you?  As we recently learned in the ‘Organic Farmer’ episode, getting produce on your table is not as simple as you might think.  For better or for worse, if you live in the Western world your food will endure quite a bit of scrutiny before it ever makes it to you.  Today we learn about another side of this food chain.  Natalie was recently employed as a North Pacific Groundfish Observer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division (FMA)…quite a mouthfull.  Natalie’s long title meant that she lived on fishing boats off the coast of Alaska and made sure that everyone was following the rules.  Thanks to people like Natalie sustainable fishing that makes minimal impact on the overall ecosystem is a reality in the majority of the United States.

Creative Brand Director (with Mike Giles & Chip Allison)

I have a question for you.  What is the one thing that permeates EVERY aspect of consumer interaction with a company?  If you looked at the title of this episode you can probably guess that the answer is the brand.  Think about it.  When Chipotle decides to add a new menu item the number one question they need to ask themselves, even more important than ‘Does this taste good?’, is ‘Does this new item fit in with our brand?’.  When Apple decides to appoint a new employee as a speaker at an event, ‘Does this person represent our brand?’.  When Target decides to update the lighting inside their stores, ‘Does these lights feel cohesive with our brand?’.  It’s pretty crazy when you really think about it.  The bigger and more successful the company, the smaller and more mundane the change that needs to pass the brand test.  Today we learn all about this test and how we can better cultivate our own brands.

Organic Farmer (with Doug Kaba)

Food.  It’s pretty important, ya know?  There’s the whole entire ‘don’t eat it and you’ll die’ thing, but for most of us food is so much more than just death prevention.  It’s our means to feeling good physically.  It’s our means to feeling comforted mentally.  The invention of agriculture was our main reason for coming together in large scale societies.  Pretty important stuff.  It’s no surprise then that we’re always trying to think of ways to make it better.  Currently, better means organic.  Today we speak to a large scale organic farm manager, Doug Kaba, to get his perspective on what better means, and learn more about the farm side of the farm to table movement.

Sex Educator (with Amy Baldwin)

I know, I know, we just recently had two episodes about sex…but something those episodes taught me is that sex is a giant topic with so many ins and outs and little intricacies that it can never really be fully explored.  It also taught me that we all have our own relationship with sex, our own knowledge of it, and our own lack of knowledge of it.  It is with those lessons that I decided to invite this week’s guest on the show and do another sex filled two part interview.  Amy Baldwin is the owner of Pure Pleasure sex shop in Santa Cruz, CA, and is also a certified sex educator.  Different from a typical HHI interview, I put out a call to listeners to send in your sex related questions.  In part one we mostly cover questions sent in by women, in part two, men.  Enjoy.

Sports Reporter (with Angela Lauren)

Sports is generally not known for having high caliber reporting.  In fact, most of the time when I’m watching I’m amazed at how boring the questions seem that are being asked on the sidelines.  But despite this perceived laid back nature there is a ton of work that goes into sports reporting.  I’m talking stats.  I’m talking about demanding an interview from someone that doesn’t want to talk to you right now.  I’m talking about trying to say something intelligent while not overwhelming the interviewee and trying to keep everything under 30 seconds.  There’s a whole lot that goes into it.  And that’s just the sideline reporting side of things.  Today we speak with Angela Lauren, who has been there and done that with just about every job in the sports reporter field. 

Sex Worker (with Maxine Holloway)

Sex.  It pretty much makes the world go round.  They say that nearly every major invention ever can be traced back to a desire to impress someone that you are sexually attracted to.  Moreover, adoption of new media and tech over the past 50 years has been heavily influenced by sex and the porn industry.  One of the major reasons VHS won over the Betamax format was VHS was the main format for porn.  By the late 1970s, erotic film accounted for over half of all VHS sales in the United States.  On the internet 13% of all searches are for erotic content, somewhere between 4-30% of all traffic is for porn, and at any second 30,000,000 unique people are viewing porn online.  Online payment was invented to collect money on porn sites.  Makes you wonder what the future will hold with virtual reality and artificial intelligence…actually it doesn’t, it’s going to be a lot of porn and sex.  Something this all encompassing takes a lot of time to talk about, and this will be the first of many of those talks.  Today’s guest, Maxine Holloway, is a porn actress and director, live show actress and director, an escort, a sex activist, and a college level sex educator that has her masters in public health.  As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about.

Social Media Manager (with Jake Repko)

Social media is such a pervasive fixture of modern society.  You may love it, you may hate it, you may think it’s a waste of time…but there it is.  Seemingly not concerned with peoples’ varying and ever-changing opinions of it, it remains, stronger than ever.  Today we interview a social media manger for a major fitness brand, Beach Body.  Jake will tell us about the ins and outs of trying to manage something as amorphous and massive as social media, and he’ll make us all feel a bit better about the social media hustle.

ESL Teacher (with Holly Taylor)

Most of us have the luxury of being able to speak our primary language every minute of every day.  If we choose to speak in a language other than our native tongue, it’s usually that, a choice.  We may learn to say things like “Where is the restroom?” or “Nice to meet you”, but rarely are these phrases necessary.  They’re usually learned to make conversations on vacation more easy, not with any real sense of urgency.  However, children all over the world are immigrating to countries where they simply do not know the language.  For economic or other reasons kids and teens find themselves in a new land, with no ability to speak the language.  In these instances they MUST learn the language, and there is a very real sense of urgency.  Today’s guest is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Phoenix, AZ.  Holly teaches teens that are brand new to America, with no prior experience in speaking English.  She’ll tell us about what it is like to try and teach students like this and how the classroom dynamics play out.

Sheriff (with Matthew Barton)

It is an interesting time to be a member of law enforcement in America.  There have been many events in the past two years that have drawn the ire and suspicion of the greater public regarding the people that are hired to serve and protect them.  This is on the one hand good, as we should question everything all the time, and audit our government employees to make sure they are serving the purpose for which they were hired.  This is on the other hand bad, as public sentiment and backlash fracture the country further.   Worse, it can cause good law enforcement officers, who risk their lives to help make our cities safer, to feel ostracized and looked down upon.  Today I interview one such officer, Matthew Barton, a sheriff from Yavapai county in Arizona.  We’ll discuss what it’s like being a sheriff in today’s world.

Independent University Manager (with Laurence Favrot)

Think about how different the world is from how it was 100 years ago.  A century ago we barely had cars, paved roads, or phones.  The world wasn’t connected by air travel, television, computers, or the internet.  Revolutionary advancements make the modern world unrecognizable from the not so distant past.  Yet there are certain places you can go where the impact of progress is less felt.  If you were to enroll in a university and go to class a century ago things would flow in a very similar way to how they do today.  The clothes and culture would stand out far more than the format of classes and education as a whole.  Today’s guest, and the university he works for, is aiming to change that.  Laurence works for Minerva University where the progress is the norm, the world is your classroom, and skill mastery is on the agenda.  It’s time for revolutionary advancement to come to the world of education.

Travel Blogger (with Collette and Scott Stohler)

Raise your hand it you like to travel.  Everyone?  I see.  Now, raise your hand if you like to spend time with your boo thang.  Everyone that has a boo thang (sans those who just got in an argument right before reading this)?  Just as I suspected.  We’ve interviewed for a lot of fun and desirable jobs on Half Hour Intern, but how about getting paid to travel with your boo?  That’s gotta be the best job in the world…tied at the very least.  Getting flown around, wined and dined, free stay here, free tour there, not too shabby.  We all know that travel blogs exist and we’ve probably all wondered, “who the hell are these lucky people and why not me?!”  Today we meet the lucky travel blogging couple of Roamaroo.  They’ll explain how they got so lucky and what life is like on the other side of the rainbow.

Food Writer (with Emma Christensen)

Nothing brings people together quite like a good meal.  This makes today’s guest somewhat of an important person.  You could say that Emma is a food writer and that she comes up with amazing recipes for a living.  You could, in a more indirect way, say that Emma is a happiness dealer that knocks over the first domino en route to good times and lasting memories.  I mean, without people like Emma over the years we’d all probably just be eating the same damn thing every day, and there’d be nothing happy about that.  Today she tells us how she comes up with her wonderful recipes and gives us a behind the scenes look at the food writing world.

Catalog Buyer (with Sarah Plovanich)

They say that what you own owns you.  If that’s the case then I sure do hope that whatever owns me comes from the 167 year old Hammacher Schlemmer catalog.  Consider being owned by a batman golf cart that shoots flames out the back…I’d be okay with that.  Or how about a personal submarine, that’s also a sports car?  Not too shabby.  Yep, thanks to people like today’s guest, Sarah Plovanich, Hammacher Schlemmer, 167 years after it’s creation, is still a hub for high quality, very unique gifts.  Sarah is a buyer for the catalog where she does everything from evaluate invention submissions to travel the world in search of the next great products.  She’ll tell us all about what it’s like to have the coolest job ever.

Moveable Feast Retreats (with Laura and Tim Sullivan)

Life is a journey best spent with your whole heart and mind invested.  Hold nothing back.  Love fully.  Travel far and wide, and learn and experience with an open mind.  Eat great meals with people that make you smile.  Experience deeply.  Through all of this, live with a light heart that is focused on the present.  These beliefs were the foundations of a wonderful idea and are now the blood and bone of a wonderful company, Moveable Feast Retreats.  Uber amazing couple Laura and Tim Sullivan come on the show to share their grand vision for the ultimate vacation, and tell stories from the recent inaugural retreat.

Author (with Michael Goorjian)

Nothing beats a good book.  A great fictional story can sweep us up in a make-believe world, blurring the lines of reality and the extraordinary.  A great nonfiction book can disseminate wonderful ideas that we can logically digest and grow from.  But why limit our lessons to the work of nonfiction?  Perhaps the best of all book genres is the highly under appreciated philosophical fiction. Sewing seeds of growth while wearing the disguise of entertainment.  When we are wrapped up emotionally in a narrative both sides of our brain can interpret a lesson, and a level of deep growth can occur that is difficult with nonfiction alone.  Today’s guest understands this concept well and has written an amazing piece of philosophical fiction that speaks to the collective struggle of our time.  He’ll discuss why philosophical fiction is such a great medium for distilling down complex topics, and explain what the whole book writing biz is all about too.

Vacation Rental Mogul (with Ryan Bradley)

They say that home is where the heart is, but what about when you rent a home on vacation?  Suddenly your heart becomes more vulnerable.  You want a home that treats your heart like the love of your life…but even better.  Dare I say, like how your grandma would treat you.  Anticipating your every need, and always having more in store than you could ask for.  Homes like this are what today’s gust specializes in.  Ryan saw the need for a home rental company that went the extra mile for both home owners, and guests on vacation alike.  He pairs up amazing properties with people looking for a “grandma home” (damn I’m good at marketing).  He’ll explain the ins and outs of the luxury rental business and tell us about his decision to quit the corporate life and pursue his own business.

Auto Mechanic (with Steve Honaker)

For most of us having a properly running car is a necessity.  If our car isn’t functioning correctly, our lives can’t function correctly.  We’d be late to just about everything…if we even had any chance of making it at all.  Luckily for us there are wonderful people like today’s guest.  Car not starting?  Engine overheating?  Bizarre clicking noise that you’re afraid might be animal living in your undercarriage?  Steven has you covered for all of this and more.  He’ll find out what the problem is and have you back on the road in no time.