I mentioned yesterday that I started a new podcast called The Slow Reader. Here’s the first episode! I will probably keep posting these whenever they’re released. You can find it also on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.
I have been talking this year about finally starting and following through with a project; at first that was going to be a writing project, but I ended up deciding on starting a new podcast.
I present to you: The Slow Reader – A Podcast About Books. It’s basically an audio version of my GoodReads updates. Right now the first two episodes are scheduled, and should be a bi-weekly podcast. They’re short, but I think eventually I’ll get into a groove and expand on the length a little bit. I know that I rushed my delivery a lot in these first two episodes.
The trailer is available today; the first episode will be out tomorrow (Thursday). Right now the podcast is only live on Google Play, but it should be available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well. I’ll probably submit it to Stitcher soon.
Enjoy the trailer for now!
For the last year and a half I’ve found it very difficult to keep up with my podcast listening; for quite a while now I’ve been “behind” my list for many shows – in most cases, by several months’ worth of content.
What I find difficult is that the shows that are current – which means, based on either sports or current events or current TV shows – tend to get priority when I choose to listen to something. This pushes ‘evergreen’ content – that is, it’s relevant no matter when I listen – further down the list.
This is completely a “me” problem and at first, it did bother me; but I’ve come up with a new approach to listening that really takes care of the perceived problem.
The first thing I’ve taken to doing is to simply stop listening to shows that don’t hold my attention anymore. If I haven’t listened to it in 3 months, is it likely that I’m going to listen to it anytime soon? Still, there are shows I consider to be “high value” that I’m staying subscribed to. I know that I’ll get to those episodes one day soon.
But I have become a little more ruthless in the process. I’ve cut shows that I used to listen to regularly. I used to feel a little guilty when unsubscribing, but that’s not the case anymore. If I want to make the time to listen to podcasts, sometimes that means cutting out the stuff that is either A) too long or B) uninteresting. Or a combination of both.
Dropping Individual Episodes
The other thing I’ve started doing is dropping individual episodes if they don’t look appealing based on the description. Since I don’t have the same amount of listening time as I used to, I don’t need to worry about “running out” of episodes to listen to (this used to be an issue for me).
This is actually a pretty major change for me. I used to be pretty compulsive about listening to every single episode of a show, but as I’ve learned recently, it’s not always important to catch each one. It’s sort of like the old days of TV – sometimes you missed recording on your VCR, so you didn’t catch that week’s show. In episodic times, not the end of the world.
It’s not perfect – I still have ~100 episodes to listen to – but it helps my peace of mind.
I listened to three podcast episodes recently that I thought were really good at sparking a line of thought for self reflection and/or improvement. Two of them were from the same podcast, the third was a different one.
Overthinking It – Episode 531 – You Are Not Worse Than You Are and Episode 532 – The Dragon Bookmark.
Normally Overthinking it spends time picking apart popular culture, but for the weeks of September 3rd and 10th they didn’t deem popular culture worthy of being picked apart. Episode 531 was all about self improvement, and the ideas inherent to those words themselves and other ways people go about trying to improve themselves. 532 was something else entirely – it was about the experience of being alone with your thoughts (to put it briefly).
I really wish I wrote down what prompted me to start this post at the time that the thoughts came, but suffice it to say that I was very much engrossed in these episodes and figure that other people can get something out of them as well. Even if you’re not focused on self improvement at the moment, it doesn’t hurt to engage in some self reflection.
The Hilarious World of Depression – Imposter Syndrome: True Tales, Tricks, and Tactics for When You’re Feeling Fraudulent. I get this a lot – I feel like my efforts aren’t good enough at all when it comes to making things. And it doesn’t even have to be in the creative realm – that was a revelation I heard while listening to this podcast. Often times I believe myself to be less than what I am in other people’s presence.
I remember being busy cooking while I was listening to this episode, so I might need to listen to it again when I’m less focused on another task. But sometimes it is helpful just to hear that other people struggle in the same way that you do, so that’s the primary use behind this episode for me.
Bonus Podcast: I forgot about this one when I started working on this post. Raise the Bar – Season 2 Episode 2 – One Kwe. This was basically a long interview with the owner of One Kwe, Kathryn Corbiere. She’s in the process of opening her own storefront soon on Manitoulin, and has had her work featured in many different places (most prominently, Manitoulin Brewing Company). It was very refreshing & inspiring to hear her story.
I’m working on a slightly longer blog entry about podcasts (that seems to be a recurring theme, lately) but for now wanted to share something fun I whipped together.
Over on /r/podcasts (reddit) there was some demand for showcasing a random podcast each day from the weekly link sharing thread; it would be next to impossible to listen to each one in there and recommend something in a personal matter, so I offered the next best thing: an automated, randomly selected podcast of the day.
The long and short of it: Each day I run a Tasker task I created to find the weekly episode thread, and randomly select an episode. Then I create a new post.
That’s it, and it works pretty well. I’m curious to know what kind of shows come up each day. Fun times!
I can’t remember the last time I did one of these, so that must mean it’s time to write one!
Originally I was going to dedicate an entire post to Make Dad Read Comics; I would still like to do that, but I’m still feeling a little conflicted because I don’t want to draw too much attention to the fact that the titular Dad (Patrick Sr.) passed away in July. I cannot share this podcast enough, and while it is sad that it won’t be continuing, the massive backlog of shows is well worth listening to for two reasons:
- The conversations Patrick and his Dad had are often hilarious and heartwarming. It’s also great to hear the progression Dad makes from the beginning of the show to the end. His understanding of comics was on display and it’s a real treat to listen to the shows where he really likes a book they read.
- You can learn about some new comics / books to read that may not have been on your radar. I’m currently reading Black Monday Murders, which was the second to last episode they did together. It’s fantastic. Previous to that I read I Kill Giants. Both of these books were highly rated by Patrick & Dad. I just saw today that I also have Persepolis waiting for me at the library.
Twenty Thousand Hertz – I’ve talked about this podcast in the past, so I thought I would highlight a particular episode that I really enjoyed: Episode 46 | Slot Machines. The sound design in this episode was amazing. The producers did a great job of replicating the casino sounds (there was even a moment where they layered in the various sounds of the casino one at a time, and ended up with what it actually sounds like at a casino). It was fun to learn about some of the techniques they employ as well, and the history of slot machine music. Very fun, I highly recommend it. And it won’t leave you jaded about the slot machine industry.
The Big Story – this one is produced by Rogers Media (I work there, I have to mention that), and is a Mon-Fri (except holidays) daily show that covers the “big topics” (hence…the Big Story) of the day. The episodes are about 20 minutes in length, and up until this week I’ve been listening to all of them. They’ve been pretty interesting so far, but some topics I decided I can skip – I don’t need to be a completest here.
Based On A True Story – I haven’t listened to any of the most recent episodes, but checked out A League Of Their Own and The Social Network. The gist of this one is the host watches movies that are, well, based on a true story, and researches the true story behind them. I’ve picked out a few movies I’ve seen and want to hear his take behind, and as I go through the list I realize that there are more I missed the first time and need to add. The episodes are short and easily digestible (usually around the 30 minute mark) so they make for a fun break between my usual episode list.
What else have you got that I haven’t listed here? Maybe I can check it out in 2-3 months when I’ve caught up on my 90+ shows 🙂
I’m at a topping point, I can feel it.
I’m going to have to start deleting podcasts from my subscription list.
It’s not because certain podcasts are not as good as they were before, or that quality levels have changed. It’s a question of time commitment.
You see, we just moved from one small town back to a larger city. When I went to work in the small town, my commute was about an hour each direction. I also worked from home, and remotely from a different office. So I had a lot of time available to listen to podcasts. That’s changed now, though.
Now, I’m visible as being in the chair. It’s easier to interrupt me at work. My commute is only about 30 minutes each way. Instead of being a green light that someone can email, I’m just a quick holler away. So sometimes a 30 minute podcast can take a few hours to listen to.
I’m now sitting at 32 unread podcast episodes, a few shows are now 2 weeks behind (at least). Sometimes I don’t feel like I can devote any time to listen to the longer episodes. 70 minutes? I might as well forget about it. My walks aren’t that long. Well, I guess I can change my habits, a little bit.
I remember running into this problem when I first got promoted. I used to have the problem of not enough podcasts to listen to in a day, now I’ve got too many. And the episodes keep coming in.
This is definitely a privileged problem to have, but it’s still bugging me. It’s honestly one of the reasons I produce fewer podcasts than I used to. I just don’t have time to produce content for all of the stuff I want to consume.
Alas. I probably won’t end up unsubscribing to any podcasts. I’ll just have to make do for dated references and just keep on top of my sports shows when they come in.
So my free webhost (DirectHosting) changed servers on the weekend and I neglected to make the changes to the domain name right way – which in turn meant that since Sunday some time this blog has been down. Woops! I hope you weren’t in dire need of an update (which there was none this week). I was also on a whirlwind trip moving some things across the province so was a bit busy.
Anyway, I thought I’d mention some podcasts I’ve been listening to lately. Something I haven’t done in a while.
- 372 Pages We’ll Never Get Back – This started off as a podcast reviewing Ready Player One. As a follow-up, the hosts (Mike J. Nelson and Conor Lastowka) decided to read Ernest Cline’s follow-up, Armada. Unfortunately they aired their final episode covering Armada this past Friday. I’m not sure what they’re going to do to follow up these books, if they are in fact doing anything. Disclaimer: I enjoyed both RP1 and Armada, but I also enjoyed how Nelson and Lastowka ripped apart the books.
- Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton is back! In episode 51 he talks about a crippling depression he faced in 2017 and how he’s gotten better. I recommend listening to back episodes but hopefully the fact that he put out a new show is a sign indicating more new shows to come.
- Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo – An investigative podcast from Connie Walker, and a follow-up to Missing and Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams? All episodes are available to download, and it’s turning out to be an important podcast series rather than “just another true crime podcast”.
- Incoming Game: A ReBoot ReWatch – With The Guardian Code (trailer) coming out in the US in March (and June, in Canada), ReBoot is suddenly relevant again. Listening to this show prompted me to start my own rewatch. The hosts are still getting their rhythm down but it’s entertaining.