That's Life

Lois Richter’s format for That’s Life is mostly interviews. Recurring topics include Davis activities and groups; work and life choices; philosophy and theory; plus birding, cooking, art, and other passions. Lois occasionally breaks into music — from ballads to the slack key sounds of Hawaii to golden oldies rock 'n' roll — but mostly there is just talk.

To suggest a topic for discussion or a person to interview, text Lois or leave a message in the comments here.

Lois seldom (but occasionally) updates her other website. Check it out at 

Replays Thursday 11am-12pm
Music programs are only online for two weeks after they are broadcast.

That's Life with Kim Stanley Robinson

Renowned science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson is an opinionated person.  And a thoughful one.  And a great researcher.  But mostly he is a very fine writer.  Of the many many books he has written and published since the 1980s, my favorite is "The Years of Rice and Salt", set in an alternate world where the Plague killed 90% of people in northern Europe leaving empty land to be resettled by people from further south and east.  This book is a series of about a dozen novellas tied together by a cast of characters who get reincarnated in different parts of the world amid different  circumstances and cultures.  A most fascinating book!

But then, I also was mesmerized by his possibilities of Orange County's future in the Three Californias trilogy: "The Wild Shore", "The Gold Coast", and "Pacific Edge".  What will happen in OC if (a) we start to recover from a nuclear war while the rest of the world decides that we are too dangerous to allow to re-build? or (b) we stop global warming but continue overpopulation in "an endless sprawl of condos, freeways, and malls"? or (c) we change our culture to a more ecologically-focused future and live in smaller places? These three award-winning books are also filled with fascinating characters.

That's Life for John Puett

Another fascinating story from a friend on After Hours.  A self-proclaimed "dungeon master", John Puett leads a very active adventurous life while sitting down.  "Dungeons and Dragons" is his game of choice and he not only plays D&D, but also designs, hosts, and teaches it.  Join  his Discord server or view his YouTube channel to learn more about the game.

John does a lot more than play, though.   He has a company that does "cyber security".  Not sure what that means?  Lois wasn't either, so listen to this episode to find out more.  We touch on many other things and, again, we had more than an hour's worth of conversation.   John is a photographer and is also very active in the Office Hours / After hours community.

A good talk today!


That's Life with Tom Ferguson

Another very interesting fellow that I met on After Hours is Tom Ferguson.  He is retired from working for the city of Phoenix as a system creator, studio maker, and IT wizard.  (Well, that's not the word HE used, but to me it seems like wizardry!)

The Ferguson family moved to Arizona when he was 10, and he has never found reason to leave.  This is a fascinating interview sparked with bits of tech info and CUTE CATS!  

Cats?  Why cats?  Well, it turns out that Tom has been a photographer for a long time and one of his favorite subjects are his cats.  (That's them in the picture.)  




That's Life as a Creativity Coach

Nikki H is a "Creativity Coach" and her eddress tells it all --  --  Her delight is helping others find THEIR delight.  Her passion is fostering CREATIVITY in many ways for as many people as she can. Her Pinterst account says Nikki H is a: "Delight finder. Creativity coach. Content creator. Event designer & stylist. Dancer. Traveler."

She is also a lot of fun to chat  with!  Listen in as Nikki and Lois head for the wild blue yonder in this episode.

Cat Tales and Animal Stories

"Cat Tales and Animal Stories"

That was what we called the zoom session where our friends came to reminisce about their pets -- current or former.   Lois also collected stories that were told at Jim's last birthday party (also on zoom).  A dozen people tell lots of tales about lots of tails! 

Hope you enjoy hearing about the critters as much as we did.

That's Life with Ray Maxwell

Ray Maxwell is a fascinating man.  He has done so many wonderful things, we'd need a month to even  summarize them!  In this episode we touch on a few -- hot air ballooning, finding minerals by looking at vegetation from space, how wind moves over mountain peaks and what those aerial waves and ridges can be used for, changes in vision after cataract surgery, setting up a studio, teaching people to fly (motor planes, gliders, remote control planes, and drones), Vancouver BC Canada, lots of tech, and philosophy.  Although Lois and Ray met thru Office Hours, Ray has many other years of broadcast experience -- radio, tv, podcasting, web streaming, and Youtube.  You can see his face online at: 

Maxwell's House -- "Stop by the house of polymath Ray Maxwell and see what he's investigating today. Ray is a teacher, color scientist, pilot, photographer, Photoshop wizard and raconteur who each week takes on different real-world applications of complex scientific notions."

That's Life with Rupert McRae

Rupert McRae !!!!!   'Nuf said.

Well, actually, that's not enough.  Rupert is one of the great panelists on "Office Hours", which is where Lois met him.  He has had a long, productive career in other people's companies and is now his own boss. 

It's too complicated to try and describe everything in this summary.  Better you should just listen to this show.

(Note: You can also SEE Rupert McRae on various episode of Office Hours on their website.)


That's Life with author Anne Da Vigo

Author and journalist Anne Da Vigo joins Lois to talk about her books and her process.  

Anne's journalism career (specializing in feature writing and crime reporting), spanned more than a dozen years at newspapers throughout California. Her latest -- Bakersfield Boys Club -- was loosely inspired by the Lords of Bakersfield murders of the 1970s and 1980s. Da Vigo covered the trial in the first of the Lords murder cases.

She is the author of a previous thriller -- Thread of Gold -- and numerous short stories.  She is also part of the Blue Moon writers' group that meets weekly in Davis; and, as always, continues to write.

The finale of today's show is two Merle Haggard songs about Bakersfield.

(This aired two weeks in a row -- 2 Dec and 9 Dec 2021.)

That's Life: author Bill Pieper

Local author Bill Pieper is today's guest.  He has published many works -- mostly short stories.

His most recent book -- Borders and Boundaries -- is a series of ten short stories which reads like a novel.  While each story could stand on its own, the thread of characters and locations ties the book together into a greater whole. 

Listen to him reading from Borders and Boundaries  along then hear Bill and Lois talking about ... well, just about everything.  Bikes? Yup.  Drumming? Yup.  Publishing in the midst of a pandemic? Yup.  Sci-fi porn? Yup. Reading books onstage? Yup.  The effect of places on people and culture? That, too.

Bill lived in Nevada City for many years, and his stories often are set in a western locale.  Now he lives in Sacramento and comes to Davis weekly to be part of the Blue Moon  -- a writers' group hosted by Scott Evans*.  

Bill Pieper is working on writing a new book (no date  set yet); and he is hoping to resume the promotion of Borders and Boundaries  once restrictions ease and a new tour can be arranged.

You can see a list of his books at:

That includes his popular Belonging - A Tale of Downieville and California's Modern Gold Country  and Forgive Me, Father: Twelve Stories.

But if you want to walk on a wilder side, read his most-popular-story-ever, at:

PS: This episode also aired on Thanksgiving, 11-25-2021.

That's Life: author Fallon O'Neill

Davis author Fallon O'Neill is today's guest.  He has published two of his  "Geist" trilogy so far -- "Geist: Prelude"  and "Geist: Intermezzo" -- and the third -- "Geist: Scherzo" -- is coming out in 2 weeks (15 Nov 2021).  Fallon is working on the fourth book now; with more expected in the future.  Writing is his life's work.

Another writer who is part of the Blue Moon Thursday Group, Fallon found them in high school and credits that group with encouraging him to write, continue, and improve as an author. 

For more about him and all his books, visit:

UPDATE!!!  Geist: Scherzo has been released!  Here is the Amazon link.

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I love listening to your Hawaiian music choices and your comments on Hawaii when you play Hawaiian music. :-)

-- Arielle

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 1:16pm

I forgot about all this great music...thanks for reminding me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/16/2009 - 10:42am

Great show! Never knew so much about green building...great guest. [Casa Verde]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 10:31am

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