Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Podcasts for winter driving

I've recently acquired some more stores so in addition to Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska I now get to go to Fargo, North Dakota and Grand Forks, North Dakota. If you dig out an atlas you'll notice a distinctly northerly trend in those two stores. I'm leaving some out but those are two biggies. Here'a beautiful picture of my drive today. Notice the blowing snow across the road. It was as cold as it looks in this picture. And flat.
How does one drive across the midwest in winter? Easy!
  • Don't use cruise control or you could hit ice and die. 
  • Leave plenty of stopping distance between you and the next car. 
  • Don't make any sudden moves on the steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator.
  • DO listen to podcasts because you're going to run out of radio before you run out of road.
So, to help you, noble reader, find the best podcasts on the web I will share my podcast listen list with you. This will do two things. It will give some link love to my favorite podcasts as well as giving you, noble reader, a glimpse into my interests!

So, in no particular order I give you my:
December 2008 Must Listen List of Podcasts You Must Listen To Or I'll End This With a Preposition!
(still working on the title to make it a bit snappier)

1) Podcacher - this combines my love of geocaching and my love of listening to genuinely nice people who seem to like each other. Sandy and Sonny are people I can see wanting to know. I wouldn't want to know them TOO well, because I think I'd feel inferior a lot. They get SO much done and are so nice, and just really make me want to live up to their standards... this, by the way, isn't something I say about a lot of people so don't think I have an inferiority complex, I really don't. I mean this as a compliment to them, not a detriment to myself. Geocaching is my favorite hobby right now and I wish I could do it more than I do.

2) NPR's Cartalk and NPR's This American Life are two great shows on National Public Radio. I don't manage to catch them when they're on and now I don't have to. This American Life may be the best hour on public radio. It ranges anywhere from funny to heartwarming to poignant to inspirational. It really is a wonderful radio show. When I got to be on BBC2 for my Quit Smoking Journal back in February of 1999 before blogs were blogs, all I could hear as I was doing the interview was the beat and rhythm of the host of This American Life in my head. I know I talked mostly about This American Life here, but Cartalk is something that has to be experienced. It's hard to describe. Two guys take calls to diagnose car problems on the radio. Wow. It was easier to describe than I thought it would be. And yet that's entirely not why I listen to the show.

3) Quick and Dirty Tips Networks' Get-it-Done Guy, Grammar Girl, and Nutrition Diva's podcasts are all short, 6-10 minute long podcasts on the topic their name describes. None of those topics are interesting enough to me for a half hour podcast every week, but they make nice podcastettes in a drive. They're informative, short, to the point, incredibly well written and produced, and examples of some of the best podcasts on the web from a production point of view. Even their sponsor-ads are nicely done.

4) The Phileas Club is a podcast by a frenchman who invites guests from other countries to the show to talk about the months' news from each countries' perspective. It's a monthly podcast and the boojum ate the November show so I'm jonesing for my Phileas Club udpate for the month. It's a really great idea, excellently implemented, and Patrick, the host of the blog, is someone I'd like to meet in real life and have a cup of coffee with some day. He's far too famous (having been a VIP to Blizzard at Blizzcon and all that) but I can dream right? If you are a blog reader, and you should be if you aren't... check out his blog as well. He doesn't post shallow crap like me. He's actually pretty thoughtful.
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