"Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! Here I am at -- Podcamp Taranah!"
The bane of my sixth or seventh summer was Camp Shagabek, an ancient Saskatchewan Indian term for "The place where the scrotum tightens".
My parents told me it was a Church Camp where I'd be able to run and play, do woodcarving and learn to swim. I spent most of my time running from nine year old heathens and playing dead in the Poison Ivy.
I managed to half carve a wooden squirrel as most of the other kids were using their knives to carve up real ones. And we never went swimming because the water was so cold it retarded the testicle descent of those who did until they were well into their 20's.
"Podcamp Toronto", a conference about podcasting which runs in Toronto this weekend, promises to be far less physically rigorous and much more rewarding in other ways.
It's still not too late to register here, where you can "purchase" a free ticket giving you access to dozens of workshops on the art and craft of Internet podcasting.
And you don't even have to be in Toronto.
I'll be thousands of miles away myself, dabbling my toes in an ocean while my laptop streams live coverage of any podcast subject on which I wish to be enlightened.
For those not familiar with the concept, a Podcast (P-O-D for playable on demand) is a series of digital media files (audio or visual) packaged episodically and available to stream or download.
They have their own library on iTunes (where most are free) and range from broadcast fare produced by NPR, HBO or CBC to ordinary Joes with a passion for telling you all that they know about stand-up comedy, ancient history or how to macramé socks.
Among my favorite Canadian Podcasts are the incredibly insightful and hilarious "Dyscultured" previously reviewed here, and Diane Wild's always informative "TV-Eh?" which this week featured the remarkably insightful and articulate -- ME!
In the last week, I've been inspired by "TedTalks", enlightened by Aaron Sorkin's description of how he wrote 'The Social Network' at "Creative Screenwriting" and learned how to make the perfect Tikka Masala from Jaimie Oliver's "Ministry of Food".
Who needs universities, film schools or even community colleges, when you can get what you want to know directly from those actually involved in the process!
Not since the invention of the printing press and pamphleteering has such a golden opportunity existed for people with a passion for something to reach a massive, world wide audience.
And many of the stars of the Podcast world will be making an appearance at Podcast Toronto, from Leo LaPorte, one of the industry's pioneers to Anthony Marco, who hosts or co-hosts no fewer than five weekly podcasts (including the two Canadian ones listed above). Their workshops will cover everything from how to go about setting up a Podcast to how to handle fame and fortune when they come your way.
This is an essential event for everybody who wants to know more about Social Media and the ways information and entertainment will be transmitted in future.
And you won't need an ocean of Calamine lotion when it's over on Sunday night -- unless you're into that sort of thing and have been wondering if there's an audience out there who shares your particular interests.