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The Don't Assume Podcast
58 minutes | 7 days ago
Episode30 - Bartenders
I was a bartender in college for a while. Really it should be “bartender” in quotes because I didn’t work at an actual “bar.” I was at Chevy’s Mexican Restaurant in Orem, Utah, and I was glorified server who had to make flavored lemonades and milkshakes for every table in the joint. But, at times when needed, I was the guy to pour the beer and make the margaritas. I also made a few Long Island Iced Teas, a Tequila Sunrise, and a Lemon Drop. That’s right, one of each in my entire time there. But I’m a huge Sam Malone, Coach, and Woody Boyd fan. And the kicker: I’ve never tasted a drop of alcohol, outside of recommended doses of NyQuil, in my life. So what better way to actually learn about bartenders than to get the inside scoop from someone with actual, real world, non-Utah bar experience? Justin Benfaida, it turns out, is that guy. He has mastered bartending from a career perspective slinging drinks by night and running a garnish business by day. He also hosts an industry podcast titled Waiting on Fries with co-hosts specializing in hospitality management and ownership. Trent Dawson had to return to the show for his second co-hosting stint to help me ask more educated questions and share some of his own bar stories. We three talked about fake I.D.s, making money, bar fights, how to get the best service, and what your bartender actually thinks of your order. Pull up a stool, grab your favorite beverage (not necessarily alcoholic, alright?), and see if we covered your assumptions about your friendly neighborhood bartender. #podcast #dontassume #bartenders
61 minutes | 14 days ago
Episode 29 - College Professors
A lot of people go to college for seven years. They’re called doctors, according to the classic cinematic masterpiece Tommy Boy. That movie introduced me to a few assumptions before I actually attended school; like college is all about partying, and D’s get degrees. But my collegiate experience was drastically different from Tommy Callahan’s thanks in large part to the unique university culture where I studied and the various professors that shaped my education. I had some truly inspirational and thought provoking instructors. I also had a few legendarily lack-luster professors, and a whole lot who found themselves somewhere in the middle of that scale. For the most part my professors were good, although I’ve judged them on the assumptions I made about them and their profession. My brother-in-law Ryan Gardner and I met in our college town when we lived across the street from each other. Even though we attended the same university, our assumptions didn’t exactly always line up in this conversation in a really interesting way. Thankfully Dr. Gwendolyn Dolske, professor of philosophy at Cal Poly Pomona and host of the Good Is in the Details podcast, was gracious enough to come on the show and let us pose to her all of the assumptions we had. I’ll apologize now for the number of times I brought up business school in this episode. She and Ryan were cool about not calling me out for the excessive mentions… typical b-school guy. [Facepalm]. Dealing with the wide variety of student attitudes professors encounter is one of the many things for which professors don’t get enough credit!#podcast #dontassume #college #university #professor
61 minutes | 21 days ago
Episode 28 - Chefs
Whether we like to admit it or not, food as at the center of our lives. Maybe that’s me projecting a bit, but we all gotta eat! Even for those who don’t let food control their lives and actually have a healthy relationship with what they put in their faces, food has to be something heavily considered in daily life. If you don’t want food to control you, you have to plan ahead perhaps just as much as those who are its slaves. We need food to stay alive, but food is also such a key component to truly living. Family and love and culture and entertainment and mental health and and and are all wrapped up in what we eat. This week we’re talking with Chef Marcus Amison of the Your Food Looks Funny podcast. He was raised in the midwest but has Mississippi roots. He grew up connecting with people from myriad cultures, and that is all reflected in what he plates today. He’s classically trained and works for a large hotelier, navigating the art, science, and business of successful kitchens. Sean Smith returns to co-host this week as we talk about the life and times, ups and downs of chefs. Join us as we dive into the kitchen hierarchy, storytelling through food, and a few nasty injuries.#podcast #dontassume #chef #kitchen
65 minutes | a month ago
Episode 27 - Podcasting
When I set out to start this podcast, I called Richie T. Steadman. He’s been running his own podcast for 10 years, he produces podcasts for others, and helps all kinds of people get their shows off the ground. Once I started really diving in, I’ve been able to meet interesting people all over the world. Alex Whiteley is one of them. He, too, has been running various podcasts for many years and has had the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the coolest people on the planet because of it. So this episode is a little different from what you normally hear. Instead of a co-host who’s as ignorant as I am coming on to help me interview an expert, I figured I’d just bring on a couple of experts, namely Richie and Alex, to help me and anyone else interested in jumping into this arena. Instead of the traditional three segments, this episode is just an hour-long conversation about the ups and downs, ins and outs of podcasting. Do you have an idea you want to explore? Are you interested in why anyone would want to do this at all? Well then this is the episode for you!#Podcast #dontassume
66 minutes | a month ago
Episode 26 - Sleep
There are two things in life that I all but refuse to miss: food and sleep. Some folks can just forget to eat lunch. That is a wholly foreign concept to me. Just as baffling is the elusive “all-nighter” people sometimes pull in order to study, work, party, or otherwise torture themselves for insufficient reasons. No homework was ever more important than eight hours of sleep. Sometimes a good time will get me to skip out on an hour or two, but four-hour nights of sleep are not welcome in my life. Yet as I get older and achier, it’s harder to get a full eight hours. Among the seemingly myriad obstacles to restful slumber is the absence of restful slumber for my children. This week’s co-host Sean Smith is in the same boat in many ways. He’s more of a night owl than I am, but sleep has eluded him at times for a variety of reasons as well. Enter Malia Jacobson, sleep journalist and creator of The Sleep Well Stay Well Podcast. She helps both Sean and me address some actionable items in our lives that could help us get better rest. And she has great suggestions for helping kids do the same! Follow her at @bymaliajacobsen for great tips!#Podcast #dontassume #sleepwell #sleep
63 minutes | a month ago
Episode 25 - Coming Out
Being gay is not a choice. People don’t choose to be the “L,” or the “B,” or anywhere in the “GTQIA+” either. I was afraid to tell my parents and friends that I had a crush the girl down the street because I didn’t want to be teased about it. I never had to face the fear of coming clean about my crush and being thrown out of my home or ostracized from my religious community for it. In fairness, I believe more people are more understanding when loved ones express their sexual identity than they used to be, particularly in religious communities. Nonetheless coming out is still a scary prospect for many people, and some still face harsh repercussions for doing so. Admittedly, I have not always been a supporter of “gay rights.” I talk about that in this episode to my own embarrassment. However this conversation can’t be about me. It also can’t be about my friend and co-host Trent Dawson. Trent is another straight man who has evolved in his support for his LGBTQIA+ friends and neighbors, although he’s been more supportive than I was. It has to be about keeping our family and friends safe and showing love and kindness to all, regardless of political or personal differences. Trent and I had the honor of speaking with Tony Viramontes, a gay man in a conservative pocket of California and Director of Prevention Services for the LGBTQ Center Orange County. Tony tells us his story of coming out and shares some of the harrowing stories of others who have done so. Gay youth face immense dangers and are in dire need of support, as Tony outlines in his comments in this episode. #Podcast #dontassume # LGBT #LGBTQ #comingout
63 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 24 - Skydiving
I’m terrified of heights. Like, I don’t like ladders. Even just 6-foot ones. I’m not so terrified that I won’t go up one, but I’ll only go so far. But my fear manifests itself in weird ways. Like I went to the tops of the Eiffel Tower and St. Louis Arch and was just fine. They just seemed surreal. That’s why I think I might be able to skydive. It might just be so surreal that I could get up there, and then someone could push me out of the plane. Maybe. My brother Hayden Seeley is back for another co-hosting spot on the show, and he’s just as terrified of heights as I am if not more so. He tried to bungee jump twice and had to walk down seven flight of stairs after chickening out… twice. Our guest, Josh Evans, was afraid of heights at one point in his life. But then he went bungee jumping to conquer that fear and didn’t chicken out. As a matter of fact, it led to him jumping out of a plane roughly 7,000 times. Only twice has he had to use his emergency shoot, and he did have to save a guy’s life mid-air, but that’s all in the episode. So are all of our assumptions about safety, pants peeing, cost, and so much more when it comes to skydiving. Check out the links below to see Josh save a guy’s life, do some wind-tunnel acrobatics, and hear an episode of his own podcast where he tells yet another crazy story!Hypoxic skydiver freefall savehttps://youtu.be/W0BrpFALBYoIndoor skydivinghttps://youtu.be/zDRDYVwYbw0The Content Clearinghouse, Josh's Plane Exploded episodehttps://open.spotify.com/episode/40LehQroEi26WNFPujNu26?si=FUVJpRfQQ2ma_GrjK_Jrzw
63 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 23 - The British
I have a friend who likes to jokingly say that he’s my best friend, but I’m not his. Like I like him more than he likes me, and he brings more value to our relationship than I do. I love the British. I love their TV shows, literature, history, military alliance, culture, and idiosyncrasies. But do they love us as much as we love them?In this week’s episode, my sister Jenna Seeley and I talk to my long-lost friend Sam Norton. Jenna was on assignment for work in London for three months at one point and is as well versed as any average American traveler would be with our neighbors across the pond. Sam’s a Londoner now, but was raised in Birmingham. He’s the ideal guest for this episode because of his familiarity with America, its peoples, and its culture. He has interacted with Americans and American culture significantly more than the average Brit through his travels, occupation, and personal relationships. He gets Americans and was quite patient when I asked him why the English don’t celebrate the Fourth of July like we do. Like, shouldn’t they be happy to have such successful offspring? #podcast #british #england
51 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 22 - Passover
Passover 2021 begins March 27 and ends April 4. This is a milestone episode because for the first time we have a repeat co-host AND a repeat guest! THE Cory Mon, the man behind the theme song is back to help me tackle this fun topic. And who better to discuss Passover than THE Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman?!? We three first discussed Chanukah together in perhaps the most uplifting episode of the podcast to date, and this episode certainly rivals its precursor. Not only do we talk about the symbolism of the seder meal and whether or not the Easter Bunny makes an appearance at Jewish homes, we also get to critique the epic Hollywood production of The Ten Commandments.While we touched on anti-semitism in the Chanukah episode, we unfortunately had occasion in this one to discuss it again on the heels of a comment made by Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard. His anti-semitic remark made headlines in recent days, but the sharpness of his word choice had already been etched in the lives of Rabbi Sharfman and other Jews ages ago. This most recent case only serves to exacerbate the problem, but hopefully this episode will prevent it from happening in the future, even if only for one person. #podcast #passover
69 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 21 - Military Life
Not everyone will agree with everything said in this episode, and I’m okay with that. Honestly, I’m still rolling over in my head many of the things that were brought up. I think that’s the mark of a great conversation, an indication that we did what we set out to do when we started this podcast. This week’s co-host is my niece Toni Rallison, a military spouse who recently returned from three years of deployment in Japan. Her husband is an officer in the Air Force who served as a dentist. Toni shared what it’s like for military families overseas, touching on the benefits and struggles of raising a young family while serving. Her insight into daily military life answered many of my questions and raised several more. I could talk to her for hours about her experiences and motivations. Kenny King, a retired veteran, is quite likely the most interesting guest the podcast as seen so far. As a senior in high school in the Bay Area of California, Kenny watched the twin towers fall on TV with the rest of the nation. He spent two years of religious service in Italy after high school and experienced Iraqi families thanking him on the street for what the U.S. had done for his country. He got a degree, joined the big tech industry, and gave it all up at the age of 27 to enlist in the military hoping for an opportunity to serve his country. He went on to learn several languages, build life-long relationships, make literal life-or-death decisions, and suffer a horrific injury that turned his world upside down. Kenny’s passion now is serving wounded veterans and helping them out of the depths of despair. Follow him at @greypigeonyoga, and check out vetcave.org and theheroeshaven.com to learn more about how you can help support.
59 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 20 - Adoption
I have two aunts that were adopted at birth. I also have some cousins who were adopted as babies, and others who were adopted as older children. The motives people have to enlarge their families are varied, as are the motives of those who place children in the care of others. Both endeavors are quite often noble and selfless actions. I’ve thought about adopting children ever since I was one. It was something that I’d ponder, oddly, at a very young age. While I have not (yet…?) done so, it’s still something that lingers in my mind and heart.This episode is not a referendum on the choices individuals and families make regarding adoption from the side of the birth family or the adopted family. Rather this is an exploration of the feelings of connection that come with being a family, whether or not one joins that family biologically. My co-host is my thoughtful and hilarious friend Bob Ahlander. Though he too grew his family the old-fashioned way, he once traveled to a foreign country to help a relative bring home adopted twin boys. This week’s guest is Bill Hobson, Executive Producer and host of the radio show and podcast The Big Impact (bigimpactradio.com), where he tells uplifting stories of incredible people each week. Bill himself is adopted, as is his younger sister. Bill talks openly about his feelings regarding his adoptive parents and the love they unconditionally showed him. He also talks about the many members of his extended family who are also adopted, and what the meaning of “family” truly is.
62 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 19 - True Crime
Why do true crime stories fascinate us so much? From a young age I was watching America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. Dateline murder stories were intriguing as I got a little older, and The First 48 was a staple of mine in college for a while. Adulthood brought on the first season of the Serial podcast with the story of Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee, a story so popular that those names are known in households across the country. The slew of Netflix documentary series and countless podcasts devoted to the subject are clear evidence that we as a culture have a fascination with true crime beyond the scripted fiction mysteries on the small and big screens. Are we just a depraved people? Am I, unbeknownst to me, a latent psychopath because murder stories captivate me? This week we talk with Melissa Morgan, host of the Just the Tip-sters podcast to tackle these very questions. Her interest in true crime was taken to the next level when a member of her own community went missing, and she was part of the search party. Now, after three years of her show, she has shed light on hundreds of other cases, many of them unsolved, urging listeners to send in tips if they have any information that could help solve the cases. One of my oldest friends, David Abegg, co-hosts this episode. Of all the people I know, I know I can count on Dav to show me something off-beat, weird, or out of the norm. We three had a blast diving into the subject of true crime and its prevalence in our society. Let us know what you think about the topic and why you think it’s so ubiquitous today.
60 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 18 - Bodybuilding
Episode 18 - BodybuildingI’m fascinated by people who are willing to dedicate themselves, mind, body, and soul, to building something. Not everyone has the tenacity to push themselves to the very limits. Bodybuilding is one of those endeavors that takes a person’s mind, body, and soul to really excel. I’m at the gym several hours every week, and I’m nowhere near comfortable taking my shirt off at the public pool, let alone ripped enough to compete on stage. So this week I invited the biggest guy at my gym, Clement “C” Marcelin, into the studio to talk about what it takes to get his body into competition shape. C competes in professional bodybuilding events and is the alpha at my local gym not only because of his physical prowess, but he’s also just the coolest dude there on any given day. This week’s guest host is my friend and neighbor Mark Chandler. Mark’s the best basketball player in our neighborhood and certainly an athlete, but he’s far from as fit as C is. Few people are. We asked C all of our burning questions, from diet and steroid use to just how it feels to get all oiled up for the stage. Whether you actually want to get toned enough to compete, or just get enough energy to get off the couch, this week’s episode has some great tips, inspiration, and even a fairly awkward question you won’t want to miss!#podcast #selfimprovement #podcastersofinstagram #conversation #bodybuilding #diet #exercise #doyouevenlift #weightlifting #exercise
67 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 17 - Community Arts
Who do you envision when you hear the word “artist?” Is that person an angsty goth whose work is so esoteric that only the work’s creator actually “gets” it, or a down-to-earth realist whose illustrations capture the most human of emotions? Do you envision a recording artist? Or a painter? Or tattoo artist? What are the artists in your community like, and what are they doing to build their presence there? The Pandy has wreaked havoc on several elements of our culture, and arts are no exception. Art programs are being dropped across the nation due to budget constraints, and thousands of opportunities to display and appreciate art have been postponed or cancelled due to social distancing requirements. One primary assumption I had going into this recording is that the greatest art comes from the greatest conflict or pain. Perhaps some of the world’s best work will come from this awful situation. Co-host Tracy Keck is an editor by trade and works with writers crafting their expressions of art. Guest expert Adam Romano is a tattoo artist, fine artist, and community builder. Another assumption we all had going into this conversation is that supporting the arts in our own local communities takes effort, but is totally worth it. After listening to this episode I assume you’ll agree!#podcast #art #artist #community #communityart #fineart #tattoo #selfimprovement
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 16 - Americans Abroad
Where would you go on vacation if time and money weren’t factors? Have you ever been somewhere foreign and experienced something totally unexpected? Have you ever been treated exceptionally or poorly because you are an American abroad? American culture permeates the world through our movies, music, and politics. There are millions of people outside our borders who love what we bring to the world. AND, Americans do have a reputation for being rude travelers. There are millions of people who don’t love what America and Americans bring to their lands. This week’s co-host, Jason Deelstra, is nothing short of a world traveler. In addition to two years lived in Korea, he’s visited the South Pacific, Australia, several European countries, and several Asian countries as well. He’s seen how Americans are treated far and wide. Our guest expert has experiences that few people have, though. Wade Hansen studied the Middle East in college, was stationed there during his time in the Air Force, and now lives as a civilian with his family in Saudi Arabia. We talk about the benefits of seeing the world and what to expect abroad, including some fascinating stories you only get outside our borders.
59 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 15 - Real Estate
Did you know, the average American will buy six houses in her/his lifetime? That’s the stat this week’s guest Lori Fleming quotes. She has numerous accreditations, sits on state and local real estate boards, and touts 26 years of experience helping people buy and sell their homes. This week’s co-host, my friend Derek Cornia, may or may not be in the market for a new home, but there are so many factors in play that it’s hard to know when to pull the trigger on such a big decision. Lori says she’s seen guys like Derek before, and has had to play more than just the role of real estate agent. She’s been the counselor, accountant, babysitter, and divorce lawyer for hundreds of people, all while they navigate some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. The market is booming in Utah, where we live, right now, and it’s a hyper competitive landscape. However the principles she shares are true, and the anecdotes are hilarious, no matter where you live. What assumptions do you have about real estate agents and the work they do? Listen in to see how this particularly energetic agent tells her story!
61 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 14 - Guns
Guns are a controversial topic. They carry lethal force, and yet owning them is specifically protected by the Constitution of the United States. This discussion is not about the merits of the Second Amendment, per se, although that discussion deserves its own episode (which will certainly happen). Rather this discussion is about what guns are and should used for. It’s about gun enthusiasts, and where their passion comes from. It’s about gun safety, and how to be responsible when in the presence of guns, whether by choice or not. The episode’s co-host, my dear friend Chip Horman, is considering purchasing his first gun. Neither of us have spent much time around them. In this episode we learn that I’m what the pros call a “recoil sissy.” The episode’s expert, Steve McIntosh of Run and Gun, gives us a ton of insight into how to approach the notion of gun ownership and use safely and responsibly. Steve’s a competitive shooter, a lifelong hunter, a concealed carrier, and a server of wounded veterans. Whether or not you own a gun or believe a person should be able to own a gun, this episode gives insight into how and why many do.
66 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 13 - Flight Attendants
Do you travel a lot, for work or for pleasure? Has your work or life ever revolved around travel? Doesn’t it look like flight attendants have a pretty cool lifestyle, galavanting around the world while getting paid to do it? Or do you think it looks like a miserable existence, waiting on the rudest people in tight quarters and never getting time at home? Well, according to guest Pablo Perfecto (yes, that’s his given government name), both of those things are partially right. My brother- and sister-in-law, Jeff and Alysse Whitaker, and I chatted with Pablo about what life as a flight attendant is really like, if they get to see the world as much as one might think, how disgusting some passengers are, and if the “mile high club” is a real thing. (Spoiler alert: it is, and he shares stories.) He also gives some tips to get in good with your in-flight crew and take your flight experience to the next level!
62 minutes | 4 months ago
This one is personal for me. In this episode, I talk about three people in my life that I lost to opioids, including my own father. My dad didn’t die from an overdose, but he contracted a disease sharing needles, and that eventually led to his demise. Two of my friends in college also passed away directly or indirectly from opioid abuse. I know people need pain relief options, but I do all I can to keep opioids out of my home even when prescribed. There are 1,000 different angles we could take when talking about this topic, and this likely won’t be the only episode we do on it. This conversation focuses on addiction and addicts. Guest Andrew Hager is living in recovery from a decades-long addiction. His addiction led him to criminal behavior, prison, the death of one of his own children, and eventually to a ministry helping others to sobriety. His story is fascinating, and he’s doing a lot of good in the world. How should we be viewing and treating those who are not yet sober?
65 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 11 - Chanukah
O.J. Simpson is not a Jew. Adam Sandler taught me that. He also taught me that the holiday that I thought was the Jewish equivalent to Christmas was celebrated over “eight craaaaazy nights.” As I grew up I learned a little about the menorah and latkes, but my highly religious community is not highly diverse. When my niece converted to Judaism, I learned only a tiny bit about that process and that, surprisingly, Chanukah is not the Jewish Christmas. I mean, it’s not the most significant holiday to Jews, like Christmas is to Christians. In this, perhaps my favorite episode so far, the man behind the Don’t Assume Podcast theme song, Cory Mon, and I talk about just how much we don’t know about Chanukah and what our Jewish friends celebrate. My niece’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman, was kind enough to educate Cory and me on history, food, Jewish celebrations, and the salvation of our souls.
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