Humor lost on Grails Podcast

During the last Grails Podcast, Glen and Sven mentioned how they’d received feedback from me on the previous podcast, part two of their interview with Scott Davis. Instead of reading my feedback verbatim, they made the (possibly wise) decision to just summarize it.

The only problem I have with their decision is that I went to a lot of trouble to make my message as funny as possible, and I even included a comment about Dave Klein in it. All of that was lost. So, as a (possibly unwise) service to my readers, I thought I’d reproduce my message here.

My message is below. I also feel the need to embed some of my own comments, which I’ll include in square brackets [like this].

———— Original message [with annotations] ——————
Hi Glen and Sven,

I just listened to your two-part podcast with Scott Davis, and I feel I have to correct the record on a couple of points. In part two, Glen asked Scott about the O’Reilly book that he and I are working on, entitled “Making Java Groovy“. During that discussion, Scott pronounced my name correctly, which is pretty amazing, but he mistakenly said that I live in the Philadelphia area. Actually, I live in Connecticut, and have for the past 20 years. My sister lives outside of Philly, but I don’t think Scott knows that.

[Missed opportunity for a joke: “Wait a minute… what is Scott Davis doing with my sister?”]

Scott also mentioned that the book has been taking a bit longer than we originally anticipated. Actually, that’s true. One of the reasons is that writing this book has been too much fun. I’m really enjoying working through all the different ways to enhance Java systems with Groovy, ranging from Swing user interfaces (as Scott mentioned) to using Groovy to configure Spring beans to building Groovy handlers for JAX-WS web services. These days I’m hard at work on a chapter called “Groovy in the Cloud”, describing my experiences with Groovy and Java on Google App Engine. I’m also working with a lot of XML-based baseball data, which means that Red Sox games are deductible, right?

[Note the subtle interplay of self-deprecating humor with actual info about the book. Plus, I managed to work in a baseball joke, though it was pretty lame.]

Let’s also get real here. Some of the delays are your fault, Glen. You keep tweeting about all the interesting things you’re learning and doing, and then I feel I have to follow up and discuss them in our book. So quit it.

[I thought the “so quit it” line was maybe the best one of the message, but I probably should have put it in all caps. Also, I meant to say that it’s all the news items in the podcast that I find time consuming, since they inevitably cause me to dig into them.]

Finally, you and I both know that producing real quality takes time. It’s hard to write good code, and it’s hard to write good prose, and it’s doubly hard to do both at the same time. So this stuff just takes time. Unless you’re that hoser Dave Klein, who produced his fantastic book “Grails Quickly” so quickly (pun intended) that it’s making us all look bad. He’s a freakin’ loser, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

[Total back-handed compliment for Dave Klein. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? I’m sure he didn’t. As it turns out, the actual title of his book is “Grails: A Quick Start Guide” and can be found through the link at PragProg. Why pick on Dave, other than the fact that he did such an awesome job? One good way to sell books is to generate artificial controversy, and who’s a better target for that than the Klein-meister? Besides, he’s got so many kids at home he’ll never have time to read this message. (Oops! Too over the top? YMMV)]

Keep up the good work and see you both at 2GX,

[Ooh, subtle plug for the SpringOne2GX conference, too. Sweet.]

Ken Kousen
————– End of annotated message ————

See? The message had everything, with even a reference to the 2GX conference, so I was quite surprised when Glen and Sven decided to just summarize the newsy parts. Don’t get me wrong — I was half-terrified that they would read it, and if you listen closely you can almost hear both Glen and Sven uncomfortably debating what to do with it. The result, though, probably left most listeners (almost certainly including my poor co-author) wondering what the heck I was on about in the first place.

Well, now you know. While I doubt it would qualify as worthy of a Grails Podcast “Poll of the Week”, I’m curious to see what you think. Did they do the right thing by leaving out all the good stuff (I mean, “humor”)? Am I not nearly as funny as I think I am? (Wait, don’t answer that one.)

Comments are of course welcome. You can also harass (I mean “tweet”) me on Twitter. I’m @kenkousen over there.

Now back to working on the book…

About Ken Kousen
I teach software development training courses. I specialize in all areas of Java and XML, from EJB3 to web services to open source projects like Spring, Hibernate, Groovy, and Grails. Find me on Google+ I am the author of "Making Java Groovy", a Java / Groovy integration book published by Manning in the Fall of 2013, and "Gradle Recipes for Android", published by O'Reilly in 2015.

4 Responses to Humor lost on Grails Podcast

  1. Sven Haiges says:

    Ouch, sorry for that Ken. I am at least happy to write the first comment to try straighten things. First of all sorry, we tried to summarize it and talked a bit before the show, but when we finally came to it it was just hard to remember.

    I think we should have saved your feedback and created listener feedback episode in a couple of weeks down the road.

    So let’s use this in a constructive way and discuss how we should handle listener feedback in the future? Special podcast for listener feedback? Or should Glen and me try to summarize the feedback close to when we got it, but do a better job? (Harder)? Any other ideas?


  2. Ken Kousen says:

    Hey Sven,

    You’re taking this much more seriously than I intended. I’m just having fun. Please don’t read any of this as criticism of how you’re handling the show.

    To answer your question, I think you’re already doing fine on the feedback. You already have a good way to send in email, plus as I recall there’s a way to add audio replies. That’s plenty.

    Take care,


  3. My recommendation is to shorten the length of your emails. It increases the odds that they’ll actually be read 🙂

  4. Ken Kousen says:

    Snicker. Good point. 🙂

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