I take the little guy on at least two 1,5 hour walks a day if we are just hanging out in Discovery Bay, or if we go on a task in Hong Kong or Kowloon, we are out all day. During that time, if the little guy is strapped into the Baby Bjorn, I try to talk to him and keep him involved, but not nonstop (nobody, not even a baby, wants to be talked to nonstop). And if we are using the stroller, it’s not so easy to talk.
I have a few options: listen to music, listen to books, listen to podcasts, or just think about things. I like listening to music, but try to do that at home with the little guy (he’s on a Billy Joel kick right now). I also like listening to books, but a good one can be around 36 hours – that’s a big commitment of time and focus. I am a “thinker”, so thinking about things is good, but it can go down the wrong path of “over thinking” easily if I am not careful. Enter the podcast.
I missed the memo about 5 years ago when podcasts were at the peak of their popularity. So, I had no idea about them at all until I was talking with my brother and asked him if he had any books to recommend, and he suggested a few podcasts. I didn’t know what it was, so he explained it and I just started looking around on the podcasts app on my iphone.
For those of you who are not into podcasts, they are basically like listening to radio shows. Yes, with all of our technological advances, we have evolved back to 1940, and the radio show is still a popular medium. They come out every few days or every week, depending on the podcast. Some are serials, some are comedy, there are a lot of interviews/talk shows, and there are also topic-specific podcasts (investing, sports, etc.). Most range from 30 min – 1 hour. I have found a few that I really like:
- Stuff You Should Know: Just 2 guys talking about a variety of topics that they have researched, ranging from “cinnamon” to “how jetlag works”, and everything in-between.
- Mike and Tom Eat Snacks: Yep, it’s just what it sounds like. 2 guys talking about random things for the first 1/2 of the episode and then finally eating and reviewing a specific snack. Very funny.
- Topics: Also 2 guys, talking about random things, but they are comedians and they talk about a chosen topic in a way that is funny because their approach is clearly done in a way to mock people who try to sound deep.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class: 2 women talking about interesting topics from history.
So, when the little guy and I are out for a walk, or on a task around town, I will put in the earphones and listen to few podcasts. The ones that are funny are entertaining, but do not really help me get any smarter on this time as a stay at home dad, so I am finding myself gravitating towards the Stuff You Should Know and similar podcasts to help me keep on growing. Gotta keep moving forward mentally while I am at home with the little guy, right?! 🙂