20 October 2017

I am a podcast addict

I don't even remember when it started it has been so long ago.  I think the forerunner was when I discovered a place you could go to download old time radio programs.  I love those things.  In my search for those I found that there are people that are making the equivalent of radio talk show programs with current news and topics that you can download and listen to at your own time and convenience and best of all for me at your own listening speed.  I have been hooked ever since.

Just to let you know, my favorite app is still the for Android Podcast Addict.  It takes a little time to learn but it is intuitive enough.  It does a pretty good job of finding and managing pods and my favorite part is you can take it too 11.  Okay not quite 11 but 5X if you are so inclined. That is fast even for me.  I can run many things around 3X which means I can get it an hour program in about 20 minutes, just about right for a nice walk.  Except for Tony Robbins who gets excited and talks faster than most or Roy H. Williams whose Monday Morning Memo is so rich and deep I have to slow it down so I can take it all in.  I can set each pod to play at its own best speed and adjust on the fly if I need to.  It occasionally goes fuzzy at those higher speeds when the screen goes to sleep on my old Amazon Fire phone but beyond that one thing it is a solid app.

I am still looking for the best solution for my Apple iPhone.  They have a player but it only goes to 2X which is a step backward for me so right now friends and family look at me funny and are always asking me why do you carry around two phones?

So what is a Pod exactly?  The best way to describe it is a mini radio program though some are starting to delve into video.  The topics are all over the place and there is sure to be something you would be interested in, and it is easy to subscribe to an individual Podcast where you can work your way through all the episodes they have produced or just select individual episodes from whomever based on your favorite subject matters just search on a word and see what comes up.

If you are into lifelong learning there are pods that will teach you just about any subject you can think of.  If there is a passion you have in any area of life, there are others that share that passion and are producing a podcast about it.  If you are into self-development, religion, science, planes, trains and automobiles, politics, business, health, fitness, language, winners and losers, and everything in between you can probably find something that someone has done a show about it.  And if you can't find something then feel free to start producing your own.  Just came back here a let us know about it.  I am loving it.

Many people have gotten their introduction to podcast by word of mouth from friends and many get their first taste from one of the highly popular Pods such as Tim Ferris of four hour work week fame, Freakonomics, or This American Life or one of the NPR productions, such as Paula Poundstone Institute or the Ted Radio Hour though I think I prefer the actual Ted Talks themselves which you can also find.

The production values are better with the bigger budgets but I find the that smaller self produced stuff is every bit as good and often has higher quality content, especially if you are getting burned out on political correctness and people with an agenda.  Don't get me wrong, there is some junk out there...a lot of junk and of course some of it I will listen to anyway like a wreck you can't help but look at but my bar is getting ever higher as I realize that 1. I am not getting any younger and so time is a factor and I want to spend time to the best value added activities possible and 2. It is a big world out there, a really really big world out there.  If what you are listening to now ain't cutting it then go ahead and move on.  There is a good chance that the next thing will be better.  The more you experience, the better able you are to recognize and make the better choice.  (Hint: always make the better choice.)

This was my intro entry.  I plan on adding some other entries later telling you what I have been listening to.  I have some can't miss Pods that I look forward to anxiously.  I already mentioned Roy H Williams and his Monday Morning Memo.  I have been following him over 10 years now.  Others I have started at episode one and binge listened till I was current, or at least well on my way.

More to come.

This is Ed Nef with a view from the Farrwest.

13 August 2017

I heard this...

...the other day and found it rather profound.
           "A dog never barks at a parked car."

At first hearing it caught my attention and then I began to ponder upon it.

I have been barked at by many a dog in my days.  I have seen dogs bark at leaves, bark at the moon, bark at other dogs, and cats.  I have seen dogs bark at the wind, and unseen forces on the other side of fences.  I have seen dogs bark at basically anything that moves and some things that didn't but that they thought did (get of the couch and take your dog for a walk).  I have seen dogs bark for no other reason than that they have heard another dog barking.  However I can't say that I have ever seen a dog bark at a parked car.

I have been chased by dogs, some with intent to do me harm and some for play.  I have been chased on foot, on bike and on motorcycle and car.  I have never enjoyed it much when being the chasee, but the chaser seemed to be finding some satisfaction from it even if there was little chance of capturing the prey.  And if the dog caught the car what would it do with it?

I have heard that we have a tendency to notice motion, that our eye is attracted to it.  I am sure someone will be more than willing to say it is a link to our hunter/gatherer forebears that was a survival instinct that was handed down from the days of living in caves.  Personally I think it is handy for noticing when someone loses a ball that is coming into the street and braking or swerving before the little someone that lost that ball heads out to retrieve it.

Regardless of the source or reason, the ability to notice movement is swiftly followed by the decision to act on it...or not.  The fact that movement or action is more likely to be followed up with more movement and action is kind of a way of life.  That is why they call it reaction.  It is easier to react to something that is already in action.  The term 'critical mass' is basically a moment when the amount of reaction goes 'viral' and then everyone is doing it.

Everyone is doing it.  How often do we read a book, see a movie or tv show, vote for a candidate or proposition, recycle, eat kale, run a marathon, park in the wrong spot, criticize a group, boycott a store, protest a cause just because 'everyone is doing it'?

I will freely admit that I have in the past and in the present and in the future done things based on the recommendations of others, but with age and experience I have also not done things based on the recommendations of others.  I still prefer to choose my own walk.

Since the parked car does not react to the dog barking at it, the dog losses interest and quits barking at parked cars, but if the car is moving it must of course be reacting to the dog barking at it.  And if the dog is only barking at moving cars and ignoring the parked ones, it is only in reaction mode even if it things it is the one causing the movement.  In order to get the dog to bark, motion must be added to the equation.

Therefore is it better to be the dog that thinks he is driving the reaction of the car by barking and chasing it or to be the chasee that is causing the initial motion that attracts the dog that gives rise to the chase in the first place?

Another saying goes, 'If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes', but even if you are the lead dog that is leading the 'chase' the view may be different but it also never changes.  At least until you are winded and you can return to the home-front knowing all is safe and well again.

This is Ed Nef with a view from the Farrwest.