By Kevin Kelley
When West Life last reported on Len and Nora Peralta in August, the Westlake couple was raising money through the Kickstarter website to relaunch its Jawbone Radio podcast, one of the first such recordings to be posted on the Internet.
If they raised $5,000 through Kickstarter, they promised to produce 10 more podcasts. In September, they recorded and posted a new podcast, their first in two years. But they didn’t stop after 10. In January, they did their 298th show since 2005. Now they’re looking forward to show No. 300 and beyond.
“We don’t have any plans to stop,” Nora told West Life.
The $5,682 they raised from 122 donors through the Kickstarter campaign enabled Len to purchase a new MacBook computer and microphone.
“The recording of the shows became easier technically because of the new equipment,” Len said.
The shows are recorded in Len’s attic office, where he tends to his growing career as a nationally known illustrator.
Topics discussed on the show range from items in the news to the real life adventures of the couple and their seven children.
Your West Life reporter sat in last month on the recording of Jawbone Radio’s 299th show and talked about the fun of life in the journalism business. Another topic, highlighted by a recent newspaper article, was the question of how long customers can loiter in fast food restaurants without buying additional food. A listener’s voice mail about the couple’s practice of assigning nicknames was played.
A December program featured a discussion of the family’s Christmas preparations, and whether families should feel obligated to make multiple visits to relatives on Christmas Day. Nora discussed how she hates shopping at Target because of the temptation to buy too much, as well as her wish for “Mama’s Little Christmas,” in which children are satisfied with gifts that benefit the entire family, such as repairing the dishwasher.
With the busy life involved in raising seven kids, Nora said the podcast has become a way for her and Len to schedule an hour or so of time just to talk to each other. Often, she said, she’ll make mental notes during the week of topics to discuss during the show.
“I’ll see something interesting during the week, and I might hold it back until the show,” she said.
Len’s career as an illustrator is also an occasional show topic. Through Kickstarter, he’s raising money for a fifth installment of his “Geek-A-Week” series, in which he interviews celebrities from the geek culture for a podcast and draws trading cards of each subject. Just as with public television fund drives, donors to “Geek-A-Week” receive various gifts depending on how much they give.
Len’s favorite geek interview was with comic book creator Stan Lee. Other subjects of the series were “Weird Al” Yankovic, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and the cast of “The Big Bang Theory.”
Len recently illustrated a children’s book written by Trace Beaulieu, the actor and writer who operated one of the robots on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Len and Beaulieu will sign copies of their book, “Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children,” at 5 p.m. Saturday at Negative Space Gallery and Studio, at 3820 Superior Ave. in Cleveland. There’s a $10 charge at the door.
Donations to Len’s Geek-A-Week Kickstarter campaign can be made at kickstarter.com. Episodes of Len and Nora’s “Jawbone Radio” podcasts can be downloaded from iTunes or at http://jawboneradio.blogspot.com/.