After many weeks of toil, we’re ready to show off a preview of the latest prairie dog project. A group of us at th’dog have been working on putting together a podcast. We’re calling it The Dogcast. It’s your basic round table of prairie dog regulars discussing events and issues we find interesting. It’s kind of like one of our writers meetings only with slightly less swearing.

In researching how to make a podcast, I read advice from a veteran of the form suggesting that when starting up, you should record three podcasts and throw them away because it won’t be until episode four that you’ll know enough to not completely embarrass yourself.

Taking that to heart, we’ve recorded three podcasting trial runs and numbered them starting at negative three. Below, you can download two of those: episodes negative two and negative one. (Negative three is unlistenable thanks to some weird buzzy distortion that runs throughout. Apparently cell phones and an active wifi link will interfere disastrously with certain microphones.)

In about a month, we’ll unveil the first official Dogcast: Episode Zero. And after that the goal will be to post new episodes biweekly (in the weeks the paper prairie dog doesn’t come out). For now, click on the links below to download these preview episodes (the mp3s are about 20MBs), have a listen and give us any feedback you feel we need to hear. About the only thing we don’t need to be told is to get a better microphone. We’re working on that.

The Dogcast Episode Negative One (recorded March 16): We discuss rent controls in Saskatchewan, the court case between Jack Kirby’s heirs and Marvel Comics, Brad Wall putting the kibosh on a daylight savings time referendum and we look at the glut of superhero parody films. Even though we had two episodes worth of podcasting experience under our belts, episode negative one was plagued with technical difficulties. Okay, one technical difficulty. Me. I totally screwed something up in setting up for the recording and things came out sounding, as Aiden put it, like I’d clicked the tin can and string filter in Audacity. What I had done was just about that stupid. Download with caution. Sitting at the Dogcast table were host Aiden Morgan, Vanda Schm√∂ckel, Shane Hnetka and me. Running time is about 40 minutes.

The Dogcast Episode Negative Two (recorded March 1): We discuss the Oscars, the protests against affordable housing in Coronation Park, Kevin Smith’s Red State and the death of Regina’s domed stadium dreams. This was probably the best sounding episode we’ve done so far. Some people come in kind of quiet but we’re working on that. At the table were host Aiden Morgan, Elan Morgan, Vanda Schm√∂ckel, Shane Hnetka and me. Running time is about 30 minutes.