Searching for the heart of a nation... in the throat of its people.


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Sidebar 5

Gerard Armbruster and Stetson Tudd are unaware that their phone call has been recorded.

Direct download: Sidebar_5.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:06pm PDT

Contemplating Insomnia After Reading Rudyard Kipling

Photo by Moreau.henri.  Sound effects provided by Freesound Project contributors: laurent, reinsamba, ejazz215, promete, CGEffex.

Unbeknownst to the chumps at Extruding America, this has appeared on their website. 
(IDA Message #44937: Internet Detection Agency)

Direct download: Extruding_America_39_PoemE.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:22am PDT

Empty Head: The Downside

The Wallflower 360, a premium received with Gerard Armbruster's workhorse handheld audio recorder, was introduced in the Extruding America episode entitled Preparation for a Journalistically Superior Report, and was described as "a recording device so sensitive it can even record your thoughts and dreams."  It promised the ability to "constantly record your entire life."  It was discarded on a scrapheap but is apparently still in operation, as evidenced here. - Editor*


*Note - The possibility of a listening device with the power of the Wallflower 360 was being investigated as early as 1949 and outlined in scientific literature (see AUDITORY NATURE IN MOLECULAR STRUCTURES by Folger Edelstein, Yuma University Press 1949) and in extrapolative classical works (e.g. THE BED CHAMBER DREAMS OF TIN TIN LIU by the 13th century Chinese poet Ben Joe).

Direct download: Empty_Head__The_Downside.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:31pm PDT


Gerard is hungry and sees something out of the corner of his eye.

Direct download: Extruding_America_36_Fb.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:51pm PDT

Extruding America 35: Marine Park, October 30th, 2009; Report or Poem or Not? Somewhat amazingly, Gerard Armbruster, beset by what some individuals would consider to be emotional and financial difficulties, continues to work at what some professional broadcasters might consider to be an exhausting pace.
Direct download: Extruding_America_35_E.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:35pm PDT

Extruding America 34: An Open Letter to the World from Battersea, Washington Stetson Tudd delivers an open letter to the world from Battersea, Washington.
Direct download: Extruding_America_34D.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:02pm PDT

Extruding America 33: Gerard in the New Economy Has Extruding America returned and is it new and improved and better than ever?  We're voting for "returned"!
Direct download: Extruding_America_33Really_Final_E.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:44pm PDT

Sidebar 4 Gerard Armbruster and Stetson Tudd are unaware that their phone call has been recorded.
Direct download: Sidebar_4C.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:57pm PDT

Gerard's Nightmare Rejected Title: Disquietude Introduces Itself to Gerard Armbruster's Comfy Chair
Direct download: Extruding_America_33RealC_Final3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:05am PDT

Big Judy Unbeknownst to a frustrated Gerard, his activities have been recorded.
Direct download: Big_Judy.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:50pm PDT

Bonus Track: Lentil Masti Dance Mix Zowie!  Straight out of the heart of Armbruster Recording Studio Enterprises (ARSE) comes this viral dance sensation.  Take that, Armbruster! - Robert "Bob" Robertson.  Goodnight America! (image © 2004 by Tomasz Sienicki)

Direct download: Daal_Dance_Mix_8.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:20pm PDT

Extruding America 32: The Story of a Lifetime Marcus Aurelius was a Roman general.  He was not a rhododendron.
Direct download: Extruding_America_32__The_Story_of_a_Lifetime.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm PDT

Preparation for a Journalistically Superior Report Unbeknownst to Gerard, his preparation for a journalistically superior report has been recorded.
Direct download: 39_Preparation_for_a_Journalistically_Superior_Report.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:01am PDT

Sidebar 3 Yet again, Gerard and Stetson are unaware that their phone call has been recorded. (Image: Natxo 68, flickr)
Direct download: Sidebar_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:31am PDT

Extruding America 31: Seize the Moment and Skip It Across the Pond Gerard Armbruster seizes the moment and Stetson Tudd skips it across the pond.
(Illustration: Alfanhui, flickr)
Direct download: Extruding_America_31A.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:36am PDT

Extruding America 30: Self-Realization Gerard Armbruster successfully teams up with Stetson Tudd over the speaker phone.
Direct download: Extruding_America_30__Self-Realization.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

Extruding America 29: 1000 Nights and a Night and an Early Evening, minus everything except the Early Evening (Rejected Subtitle: 10 Cent Scheherezade)
While this may not be an example of journalism or even editorialization, if you're listening to this on a podcatcher or computer equipped with speakers, it is affordable.
(dedicated to Paul Yamazaki.)
Direct download: Extruding_America_29AE.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:21pm PDT

Extruding America 28: Filing a Report A report is filed.
Direct download: Extruding_America_28D.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:46pm PDT

Extruding America 27: Unhinged? Is Extruding America’s podcasting host Gerard Armbruster, former host of Happy Trailer Parks To You, What’s Wrong With That Dog? and Out Of My Way, and proud alumnus of The Dwight Bertram Correspondence School of Reporting Technique and Vocal Inflection, becoming slightly unhinged?  Let’s find out.  (Music cue: Aao Twist Karen by the great R. D. Burman, from the film Bhoot Bungla (1965))
Direct download: Extruding_America_27C8A.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:51pm PDT

Extruding America 26: Old Dog, Old Dog - Subtitle: The Pit of Hell Gerard Armbruster has a dream mildly reminiscent of an old radio show.  (Music cues from Suspense, broadcast  12/05/46, probably by the great Bernard Herrmann, possibly by Alexander Semmler, Lucien Morawek, or Wilbur Hatch, also composers for the show.)
Direct download: Extruding_America_26_Final.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:36pm PDT

Extruding America 25: Peeling Back the Layers to get at the Truth and The 87 Club Volume Two Gerard gets a clue and it’s adios Stet!

The 87 Club Volume Two Roster:
A Dark Night’s Passing by Naoya Shiga
A Desire to Learn by Eric Moon
Soviet but not Russian by William M. Mandel
The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
The Soil by Nagatsuka Takashi (translated and with an introduction by Ann Waswo)

Direct download: Extruding_America_25C.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:57pm PDT

Extruding America 24: Climb Aboard Gerard continues to battle his demons.  Stetson goes on a business trip.
(Illustration: Tom Sanislo, for the Washington State Dept. of Transportation)
Direct download: Extruding_America_24__Climb_Aboard.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:41pm PDT

Extruding America 23: The 87 Club Gerard smells the smell of fear.  Stetson introduces something new.

The 87 Club Roster:
The Gods Will Have Blood by Anatole France
Hitler's Army by Omer Bartov
Best Russian Short Stories edited by Thomas Setzer (The District Doctor by Ivan Turgenev)
Mountain of Fame by John E. Wills, Jr.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Direct download: Extruding_America_23__The_87_Club.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:17pm PDT

Extruding America 22: For the Birds A confluence of events puts Gerard's multimedia multitasking mettle to the test.  Stet states a truth.
Direct download: Extruding_America_22__For_the_Birds.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:40am PDT

Extruding America 21: Who is the Fourth W With a glorious assist from the Dwight Bertram Correspondence School of Reporting Technique and Vocal Inflection, Gerard Armbruster quells a querulous Stetson Tudd.  A magnificent display of the journalistic arts ensues.
Direct download: Extruding_America_21__Who_is_the_Fourth_W.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:19pm PDT

Extruding America 20: A Brief Vacation After a brief vacation, Stetson Tudd recalls his brief vacation.  Gerard listens.  (Image: El Palo Alto, circa 1910)
Direct download: Extruding_America_20C__A_Brief_Vacation.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:42am PDT

Extruding America 19: Independence The last M-80 is spent.  So are Gerard and Stetson.
Direct download: Extruding_America_19__Independence.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:00pm PDT

Extruding America 18: The Wallingford Chronicles Part Three: Apotheosis The odyssey that began with the ringing of a phone ends with the harsh scream of a Sea-Tac bound airliner.

Extruding America 17: The Wallingford Chronicles Part Two The semi-historic meeting of friends Gerard Armbruster and Stetson Tudd proceeds as smoothly as one would imagine.  The gigantitude of the immensity of Gerard's personal journey becomes self-evident, to Gerard at least. (Photo: Carmen Dean)
Direct download: Extruding_America_17__The_Wallingford_Chronicles_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm PDT

Extruding America 16: The Wallingford Chronicles Part One Terrific news!  People and events collude to engender the greatest transformative odyssey of Gerard Armbruster's life.  Stetson Tudd rides shotgun.
Direct download: Extruding_America_16Real.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm PDT

Extruding America 15: Tabak Borek Gerard Armbruster wakes up.  Stetson Tudd goes for a walk.
Direct download: Extruding_America_15__Tabak_Borek.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:09am PDT

A Hell of a Town Gerard cranks up a reverie...
Direct download: A_Hell_of_a_Town.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:08am PDT

Extruding America 14: Technical Difficulties SNAFU begets High Art in this light-hearted romp through the morbid and the unexplained.
Direct download: Extruding_America_14__Technical_Difficulties.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:11pm PDT

Ragu alla napoletana Meat Sauce from Naples

Serves 6                      

While the ragu from Bologna has meat and barely any tomato, this version from Naples is tomato sauce flavored with only a little meat.  Most Neapolitans cook the meat in the sauce, remove it, and serve it after the pasta.  But if you want the meat in the sauce, you can start with chopped meat, or you can chop the meat after it has been cooked and return it to the sauce as many Italian Americans do.  Neapolitans usually serve this sauce over ziti, but you can also use rigatoni or fusilli.

1/3 cup olive oil
1½ pounds beef brisket or chuck, in one piece
½ pound boneless veal shoulder, in one piece
½ pound boneless pork shoulder, in one piece
1 yellow onion, chopped
½ cup dry red wine
2 cans (28 ounces each) plum tomatoes with juice, chopped or pulsed in a food processor (Stetson note: San Marzano tomatoes)
Pinch of chile pepper flakes (optional)
Meat stock, if needed
Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried ziti, cooked
Grated pecorino cheese

In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.  Add all the meats and sprinkle with salt.  When the meats have given up their juices, after about 15 minutes, add the onion and stir well.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meats are browned and the onion is golden.  This might take as long as 15 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed into the meats, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and the chile pepper flakes (if using) and stir well.  Cover partially and simmer, stirring often, for 2½ hours.  Check from time to time to see if more liquid is needed, adding stock or water if necessary to prevent scorching.  At this point, the sauce should be thick and the juices should coat a spoon.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and reserve for another dish, or chop it and return it to the sauce.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve.  Pass the cheese at the table.

WINE:  Stay local with an Aglianico from Campania.  Look for Taurasi from Mastroberardino or Feudi San Gregorio.

From Italian Slow and Savory by Joyce Goldstein

Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 9:28am PDT

Extruding America 13: Gustation A proud graduate  of Dwight Bertram's Correspondence School of Reporting Technique and Vocal Inflection recaptures lost glory with sledgehammer-like precision.
Direct download: Extruding_America_13__Gustation.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:34am PDT

Extruding America 12: Bifurcation "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" - Yogi Berra
Direct download: Extruding_America_12__Bifurcation.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:43pm PDT

Extruding America 11: Pop Quiz Gerard's investigation into the formation of thought is interrupted by a pop quiz, per doctor's orders.  (Image: Flag of Sardinia)
Direct download: Extruding_America_11.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:43pm PDT

Sidebar 2 Once again, Gerard and Stetson are unaware that their phone call has been recorded.
Direct download: Extruding_America_10Sidebar.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:39am PDT

Extruding America 10: Imagination Gerard introduces the amazing Sound Effects 3000, and Stetson opens a can o’ worms…
Direct download: Extruding_America10__Imagination.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:01am PDT

Sidebar Unbeknownst to Gerard and Stetson, their phone call has been recorded.

Direct download: Sidebar.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:09am PDT

Extruding America 9: Shirley's List The oaken doors of the Armbruster Recording Studios are thrown open in a pageant of atonement and celebration of a life well lived.
Direct download: Extruding_America_9.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:03pm PDT

The List of Fifteen 1.   Alabama
2.   Arizona
3.   Arkansas
4.   Florida
5.   Georgia
6.   Illinois
7.   Louisiana
8.   Mississippi
9.   Missouri
10. Nevada
11. North Carolina
12. Oklahoma
13. South Carolina
14. Utah
15. Virginia

The above list is certified factual and true.  Click here for further information.

Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 10:29am PDT

Extruding America 8: Mayhem Gerard conducts an audio tour of the abandoned medieval-themed restaurant The Dark Ages, now the Armbruster Recording Studios, and Stetson concludes his thoughts on Slaughter and Mayhem introduced in the previous episode.
Direct download: Extruding_America_8__Mayhem.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:57pm PDT

Extruding America 7: Betrayal and Slaughter A fuming Gerard is distracted by Stetson's literalist interpretation of the NFL's monstrous mythology.
Direct download: Extruding_America_7__Betrayal.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:57pm PDT

Bonus Track: Ma Po Dance Fu (Robert "Bob" Robertson Mix) Zowie!  Straight out of Hollywood and the heart of Armbruster Recording Studio Enterprises (ARSE) comes this wigged-out sample-crazy underground basement sensation!  The Master of Knobs, Robert "Bob" Robertson takes the Ma Po Dofu craze of Episode 2 and turns it into a dance floor riot!  (Sampling copyright violation litigation pending)
Direct download: Ma_Po_Dofu_Dance_Mix.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:35am PDT

Extruding America 6: Forbidden Fruit Gerard delves into the darker side of the human appetite for the taboo crop, and a new longform format accidentally evolves when hard-hitting journalism collides with movie gossip and a bedtime story. 

Direct download: Extruding_America_6__Forbidden_Fruit.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:54am PDT

Trotter Shots From the Logjam Saloon, as served by Lenny Schopenhauer (1939-1999)
(bar snack loved by the Chapman boys; not necessarily for everyone)

3 bite-size pieces of pickled pig's feet (Hormel or Faraon)
Hot sauce (Tabasco, Trappey's, Crystal, Cholula, Tapatio, El Pato, etc.)
One large glass of ice cold lager (Budweiser, Miller, Rainier, Pabst Blue Ribbon, etc.)
Napkins, towel, or Wetnaps

Fill 6 oz. glass or other small container with 3 bite-size pieces of pickled pig's feet.  If you have to cut them be careful; there may be bones.

Apply liberal dash of hot sauce (see above).

Put entire piece in mouth.

Spit out any bones.  

Take a large gulp of beer (see above).  


Great on a hot day.

Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 8:32pm PDT

Extruding America 5: Superstition An expedition upon the shadowy sea of Superstition flounders in even deeper, darker waters.
Direct download: Extruding_America_5.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:51pm PDT

Extruding America 4: Memory Gerard and Stetson explore the landscape of memory, ultimately forgetting the way back.
Direct download: Extruding_America_4.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm PDT

Extruding America 3: A Very Extruded Christmas Christmas comes to Battersea, as a storm hits the American Northwest.

Direct download: Extruding_America_3A.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:59am PDT

Ma Po Dofu for All! Many of you have expressed concern and/or outright puzzlement concerning Episode #2 and its manifold references to the Chinese dish Ma Po Dofu.  For edification and satiation we are including the following recipe - Gerard


3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic or to taste
3 teaspoons hot bean sauce (or chili garlic sauce)
3 teaspoons black bean sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 pound fresh soft bean curd (or medium or firm) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped scallions, including half of the green tops
Salt and ground Szechwan pepper to taste

(IMPORTANT NOTE: the Szechwan pepper tree, in China, has, in recent years, been infected with a canker of some kind, and the ban on importation of this beautiful spice has only recently been lifted.  As a result, do NOT roast the pepper, as is required in many recipes (because the pepper now has to be heat-treated before it leaves China.).  It can be added (and should be finely ground) to recipes, but usually near the end, or, at the very least, unroasted.)

In wok over high heat, heat the oil.  When hot, add meat, stir fry until lightly brown (2 minutes).
Add ginger, garlic, hot bean sauce and black bean sauce to taste.
Add rice wine and stir fry for 20 seconds.
Pour in stock, bring to boil.  Simmer, stirring frequently 3 to 4 minutes to blend flavors.
Add cornstarch and cook, stirring slowly until thickened (about a minute.)
Fold in bean curd and green onions. 
Heat gently, seasoning with salt.
Transfer to warm bowl, season generously with Szechwan pepper and serve immediately.

Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 8:47am PDT

Extruding America 2: Isolation Gerard phones Stetson for his weekly impressions of life in Battersea; Stetson introduces more of the memorable denizens of this hermetically sealed community with an odd culinary detour.
Direct download: Extruding_America_2A.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:30pm PDT

Extruding America 1: Introductions Won't you join me, Gerard  Armbruster, as we search for the heart of a nation in the throats of its people, as they tell the stories that are... Extruding America.  This week, our first call to Stetson Tudd for his Postcard from Battersea sets the stage for all that is to come.
Direct download: Extruding_America_1.m4a
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:36pm PDT

Outside Looking In by Gerard Armbruster Not long ago, in order to keep an outsider's perspective on our own culture, I decided to cultivate an interest in the South Asian cinema, more specifically the body of work produced in the city of Mumbai.   This oeuvre is of course more popularly referred to as the films of Bollywood, though that nickname is based on the city's previous title, Bombay, so named by the Portuguese in 1534, as Bom Baia, or "good bay".  It is a firm conviction of mine that, when Bombay was renamed Mumbai, the popular name Bollywood should have been changed to Mumblywood.

But that's neither here nor there.

What is germane is that I sought out and found, in the city of Artesia, southern California's Little India, a neighborhood cinema that showed only movies of Bollywood.  Finding my seat, I experienced the dimming of the lights with a somewhat skeptical outsider's perspective, and began to make the acquaintance of the heroes on the screen: the Big B himself, Amitabh Bachchan, the suave rogue and trickster Shahrukh Khan, the boyishly earnest Hrithik Roshan.  Caught up in the heady and somewhat arrogant rush of the cultural explorer, I unwrapped a tinfoil packet I had purchased at the snack bar, and found an intensely green leaf folded into a triangle, stuffed with sweet spices and seeds labeled "mitha paan: Fresh!"  Imagine my surprise when, in the very act of sampling the exotic treat, I witnessed Shahrukh Khan on the screen, pop one of the very same delicacies into his mouth and start acting goofy, dancing with wild abandon, rolling his eyes, winking knowingly as he addictively consumed the little green triangles, his gyrations becoming absolutely manic and hysterical. I froze and stared at the treat in my own hand.  Had my tongue suddenly become numb and tingling at the same time?  Were the colors of  the saris on the screen just a little brighter  and more intriguing?  Had everything in my immediate vicinity just become far more profound or at least hilarious than it had been just moments before?

With a gasp, I fled the theater in horror, images flooding my mind of myself as a lone dope-crazed dancer, running wild down the aisle, prancing and cavorting in front of the screen, to the complete cultural and personal embarrassment of all involved, being asked politely by the management to leave, possibly leading to my arrest and subsequent vilification in the press, and blacklisting by the podcasting community.

As I dried my tears in the alley behind the theater, and tried to steady the spinning world, a profound depression settled upon my reeling frontal lobes, which pervades still.  Seduced by the illusion I could remain an impartial outsider, I am now trapped by the span of my lifetime.  Shahrukh or Amitabh will never lay a hand on my shoulder and call me brother.  I will stare at them across a cultural divide as wide as the world and as deep as the bottom of our souls, and wish that I could stand with them on the other side, in that colorful, vibrant land of adventure, music and life.

Category:Armbruster's Musings -- posted at: 10:20am PDT

My Town's Name by Stetson Tudd My town's name is Battersea, roughly 39 miles south of Seattle, and, strangely, with a population the size of Tacoma's my neighbor 2 miles to the south.  Oddly, we show up on no maps, even though we are the sixth largest seaport in the contiguous U.S.  We are an hermetically sealed, sometimes racist, always hard working, hardscrabble community, pretending, occasionally to be hip, always failing at that, with nary much in the way of culture.  We were poised to be the largest city in the Northwest, until the Great Northern Railway blasted its way through Stevens Pass, in the Cascade Mountains north of Seattle, back in the late 19th century.    Put us almost out of business, and definitely out of the way.  Not irrelevant.  Just hardworking and sleepy at the same time.

Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 11:00am PDT

Mission Statement by Gerard Armbruster Every week I, Gerard Armbruster, ask you to take a wrong turn with me off life's interstate, and discover the straight story about the bend in the road, where nestle the small towns with big characters, to tug on the common thread that unravels the hand-me-down sweater of our national zeitgeist, and extrudes the truth of our lives.
Category:Armbruster's Musings -- posted at: 10:57am PDT

Contact Info

To contact Gerard Armbruster or Stetson Tudd, or for behind-the-scenes information:

Bruce Dean designed the Extruding America logo.   His impeccable artistic sensibilities can be viewed at:

Category:Contact Info -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

Behind the Scenes

Eric Luke (Gerard Armbruster) and Stetson Tudd (not at liberty to reveal identity at this time) have enjoyed a long and hardy acquaintance.  Their collaborations include the seminal storefront performance group The Meat and Soap Theatre (with Christopher Mills) which played to sold-out houses for one summer in San Francisco's North Beach, but ended in a New Year's Eve show for Singles Over 40 that they still consider one of the most disturbing events of their formative years.  Their times in Mar Vista with the inestimable Ken Sailor continue to inform their lives and creative efforts.

Contact them at:

Bruce Dean designed the Extruding America logo.  His impeccable artistic sensibilities can be viewed at:

Category:Behind the Scenes -- posted at: 3:28pm PDT