The Slow Reader – Episode 1

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.

The Slow Reader Podcast

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!

Listen on Google Play Music

Managing my Podcast Lists

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.

Culling Shows

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.

Self Reflection with the help of Podcasts

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.

Interesting Podcasts

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 🙂 

Recent Podcasts

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.

Avoid creative block

It’s funny – just this afternoon I was feeling an urge to be creative – I just didn’t know what I wanted to create.  I still don’t, actually.  But I thought opening up my WP dashboard (for the first time in weeks, admittedly) would be a good place to start.

I figured, “Why don’t I type my way through?”  And then on my Dashboard I saw that I had this draft sitting around, with a link to a Reddit post from /r/Blogging called “How to Avoid Creative Block and Have A Good Supply of Writing Ideas”.   It’s been a while since I read it, so I had another go.

So, go on and read the article below.  I hope that it helps or inspires you!  I can’t say exactly that it’s helped me, but I’m going to take some ideas from it.

(Oh – and the image I uploaded for this post?  I was going to create a graphic using Canva and a creativity-related quote, and one of the templates I found I just happened to like.  So I didn’t even create this one!)

How to Avoid Creative Block and Have a Good Supply of Writing Ideas from Blogging

Happy International Podcast Day!

I just found out two nights ago that today, September 30th, is International Podcast Day (an event that even has its own website!  https://internationalpodcastday.com/).  It’s an event that even has sponsors making it all possible.

If you want to read the full history of the day, check out their “About” page:
https://internationalpodcastday.com/about/

For my part of celebrating, I don’t really have any new content; so instead I’ll send you to my various posts about podcasts: https://noformatblog.ca/category/podcasts/ 

I also wrote on /r/podcasts about a recent Lifehacker article.  Read that little write-up here: https://www.reddit.com/r/podcasts/comments/72lp05/lifehacker_staffs_podcast_picks/

Beyond that – have a great day and listen to tons of podcasts!!

Podcast Goals

If you’ve been reading any of my posts for the last little while, you probably know I’m really into Podcasts.  I host my own show, Alternative Airwaves, which is a quasi-monthly music podcast where I play Creative Commons songs exclusively.

Along with my friend Mike, I also co-host Futurama Pedia, which is a “release when we can” model; it’s tough to find time to record together, but when we do, we have a good time.

Beyond that, I’m always thinking in the back of my mind that I’d like to put a podcast together that requires less production time – I can just hit “record” and stitch it together.

Tonight (Monday, the 25th) I completely planned on recording a new episode of Alternative Airwaves; but to do that, I’d need to listen to several tracks (in my process, I usually listen to 15-20 songs per show, and only 12-15 make it), do some research about the artists, and then finally record.  After that, I need to put the show together, track-after-track.

I thought about it some more, and realized that I didn’t want to put in the effort to do it.  With that realization came the notion that I want to go back into turning it into a blog primarily, where it used to be both a blog and a podcast.

I have some thinking to do, about whether I even want to do that much (make it a blog).  It’ll essentially cost me nothing to keep it going minus the cost of renewing the domain name, I just need to put time into it.

Podcast Update for June

Here’s your podcast update for June!  There’s actually a lot going on for what is usually considered an “off-season” for entertainment.  If you want, you can see my subscription list at https://podstand.co/profile/lwgrs

Dropped Podcasts

I don’t recall dropping any subscriptions.  Good news!

Returning Shows

This list is somewhat long!  That’s really cool.

  • The Pitch is back!  Three new episodes came out, and while I was disappointed with the unannounced break I’m pretty happy there are new shows to evaluate.  Season 3 started June 14th and is now part of Gimlet.
  • Grant Lawrence is back on CBC Radio 3!  Which is now “Canada Sounds”, which I need to listen more for a proper evaluation.  I guess they got tired of doing the usual show of just playing cool music with the occasional feature.  Now it sounds like something tied even more strongly into Canada.  Episodes are short, it seems!
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton is trying to keep to a weekly schedule.  So far so good.  I’ve always liked this show, and it’s pretty much an audio version of his blog.  A show I usually listen to first as soon as it comes out.
  • Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder – season 2 seems to be looking at the Daniel Morgan murder from a slightly different perspective, assuming that the listener is familiar with the story.  Leans heavily on the host’s new book.

Recommended Listening

  • Overthinking It Podcast episode 464: E.T.: I Learned it from You, Alien Dad! 
    • Why this episode?  Because for a long time I’ve been meaning to re-watch E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.  I keep seeing it on Netflix and I don’t think I’ve watched it in 20+ years.  This episode is a deep dive on what’s going on with the movie E.T. (as opposed to covering the apparently terrible Alien Covenant), and was really fun to listen to.  They touched on so many aspects that I’d never noticed before so I had to watch it.
    • Pair this listening with a viewing of E.T.  You won’t regret it!

New Subscriptions

Just one – Back to the Futurama.  For the longest time, Futurama Pedia was the only Futurama podcast around but that’s changed!  Back to the Futurama is going through all of the Futurama episodes in order, from what I can tell.  I haven’t listened through everything, and still need to finish listening to their Space Pilot 3000 episode.  But it’s pretty good!

Got any podcasts you’d like to recommend?