Once again I’ve discovered that something I’d always more or less ignored is actually a pretty good idea. I have a habit of doing that, unfortunately. When something new comes along I tend to think it’s just a fad, and has nothing to offer me. I guess I’m the opposite of an early adopter. . . maybe a tardy adopter?
In this particular instance, I began noticing more and more mentions of “podcasts”. I had little interest in digging too deeply, figuring it had something to do with iPods, which I’ve never had. And even after I learned a little more and began to understand how podcasts were being used on smartphones, I still thought I didn’t want to waste time listening to a couple of boobs babbling to each other. Boy was I wrong. Not about the boobs but just the whole idea that it was that simple. Once I decided to take a closer look I discovered an almost endless variety of programming.
I began by using the standard Google podcast app but soon moved to an app called Castbox. It has more flexibility and control, which suits me. As for my listening choices, I’m subscribed to the usual things – news, sports, music, etc – but also some that might surprise you. For example, I sometimes listen to the original Gunsmoke radio shows from the late 1940’s. William Conrad played Marshal Matt Dillon and did it very well — a good actor with a tough-sounding voice. And all the characters we got to know later on the TV show are there too — Doc, Kitty, and of course Chester.
I also listen to other old radio shows occasionally, such as Dragnet and Twilight Zone, but I’m not just doing the old stuff. One of the newer breed that I enjoy is a reimagining of Star Trek called Lost Frontier. It’s very well done, with several good actors and actresses, solid plots, and is complete with sound effects and skillfully used music. And finally, I’ve discovered a rich mix of humor. Everything from the abrasive Bill Maher to milder stuff like Mo Rocca or Mike Rowe.
I’ve also realized that it’s a good way to help deal with something many of us fight — insomnia. Using anything with a screen, like reading a Kindle or viewing something on a tablet, has been proven to make insomnia worse. But just listening to something does not. In fact, there have been nights I’ve listened myself right to sleep.