John has some questions about productivity, and Merlin has realized the new dragon is an attractive nuisance.
Merlin has questions about his costly new chair, and John offers some further arm removal encouragement. John's flying monkeys chime in, and Merlin gets a reference in one. Merlin's family watches some _Star Trek_, and technical drawings are considered.
John gives Merlin some stick about his _entirely proper_ USPS formatting. Next, John has follow-up on using the Apple TV TV TV app, and Merlin is very impressed with his results.
Believe it or not, this leads to discussion of problems with using the Apple TV. How do you click left on a diving board?
John agrees to skip talking about the new dragon for now, but, somehow, still manages to work in some side dagger.
The PG&E power debacle is discussed. Merlin assures John that his spreadsheets are safe.
Your hosts return to their Secret Weird Things People Do project. You'll have to just listen and judge for yourself: are John and Merlin secretly weird?
(_Recorded on Tuesday, October 8, 2019._)
Reconcilable Differences 114: Confronted with a Jar
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to raise money for St. Jude!
Your hosts talk about playing Apple Arcade games with a PS4 controller, and Merlin wants to hear John's take on the new Apple TV app functionality. John doesn't want anything to screw up his place, and Merlin never wants to watch something with the Starz app. Believe it or not, this leads to some criticisms of Apple TV.
John thinks he might be getting sick, and Merlin remembers when children were pumped full of cold medicine. John considers mixing up some placebos.
In a mini-topic, your hosts discuss Merlin's chair results. John again makes the case for removing the arms. Games are discussed a little more.
In a side-door main topic, middle school is discussed, and this leads to an exploration of the value of test prep and learning how to understand and exploit systems. Not everybody learns that.
John thinks everyone needs to learn how to find food, and Merlin finally appreciates the gentle wisdom of his high school Drama teacher.
Things kick into gear fast as John interrogates Merlin about his weird reaction to the recent Apple event. Why all the Charlie Brown? John has calibrated his expectations for these things, but Merlin still struggles to articulate what felt so off this time. Maybe it's just not understanding the profile for the Apple customer any more, but who knows?
Then, your hosts return to **Secret Weird Things People Do**, and this week it's John's turn. Merlin wants to learn about the benefits that John gets from keeping his things nice.
John's introduces a _fascinating_ new thought technology involving the swirly circles emanating radiation from sources of pleasure and pain. Merlin thinks minimizing entropy can be a great source of pleasure plus a bulwark against madness.
The benefits of the Tiny Life Improvement Project are extolled, and ways of detecting sources of both radiation and weirdness are examined.
(_Recorded on Tuesday, September 10, 2019._)
Reconcilable Differences 112: Here Comes the But
After some opening remarks, your hosts reveal the _very_ special guest for their forthcoming [member](https://www.relay.fm/membership) episode. They also invite you to please help Relay with a really cool project to benefit [an excellent cause](http://stjude.org/recdiffs).
Merlin has some follow-up on his Apple TV, and John wants to understand why Merlin overpays his bills. Talk turns to the evolution of ecommerce. John assures Merlin he's still a valuable part of the team.
John critiques how well or poorly Merlin helped Roderick fix his computer. Talk turns to the care and feeding of a Synology NAS running Plex.
Merlin gets John to talk a little about Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her TV show, _Fleabag_. This leads to a brief, spoiler-free discussion of this terrific series. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up.
This week's main topic is the backdoor pilot for a multi-episode arc: **secret weird things people do**. _Are we even able to even realize when there's something extremely weird that only we do?_
The inaugural sub-topic is Merlin's strange obsession with making spreadsheets. What is he tracking and why? Does he really need to know the historical price of asthma medicine he doesn't even use any more? Are Halloween costumes and flashlights the sort of thing a normal person would ever need or want to track?
And, importantly, what sorts of things will John be trying to notice about himself? Does he have anything like separate sock drawers, and how even would he know? Tune in next time to find out!
(_Recorded on Tuesday, August 27, 2019._)
Reconcilable Differences 111: Brackets Around the Brackets
John wants to take another shot at promoting Relay dot fm, and Merlin admits a shame. In follow-up, John has an update on _Millennium Actress_. As you know, Satoshi Kon is not the bitcoin guy. Listener response about cast iron skillets was huge.
Merlin has updates on his Apple TV, and John has trouble understanding Merlin's beta obsession. Unsurprisingly, this leads to yet another discussion of the Apple TV's ample room for improvement. Children are not qualified to know which things are good or bad.
In what amounts to a main topic, John interrogates Merlin about his weekly reminder errand. John assures Merlin that he does not ever need this reminder, and Merlin assures John he has his reasons why he does things.
Merlin does not like creating unnecessary work for himself, and John has thoughts about the implicit encouragement to overextend oneself. How are you training your audience?
John knows how this book turns out.
(_Recorded on Tuesday, August 13, 2019._)