Podcast Power

Since I got a smartphone with a touch screen about 10 years ago, I have enjoyed podcasts.  When I was a kid, radios and recording devices were fascinating to me.  I began recording myself reading aloud at about age 7.  Radios of all eras, handheld and stand-alone, were audio channels into the outside world.  I began to listen to more talk than music at a young age – even comedians on vinyl and then cassette.  Superman radio broadcasts that had been recorded via Kellogg’s sponsorship were some of my favorites, even though they were at least 20 years older than me.  Then as a young adult, I became a radio announcer for a few years – a dream come true.  More about that saga in future posts.

The Harman-Kardon – great OEM radio in the Paceman! I still haven’t filled all the presets…or figured out how to draw podcasts from my phone. The aux port is not working, I think. But HD stations sound magnificent.

Podcasts are the natural current day evolution of my entertainment and information world.  They allow famous and non-famous alike to make themselves heard.  My son has told me I need to podcast – to create something about my autism that folks could benefit from.  This blog is already stretching me; perhaps in the future I will try to put that idea in motion.

In the meantime, I am still enjoying hearing others do their podcast thing.  I’ve subscribed to podcasts about autism, about health in general, spiritual ones, educational ones, comedic ones, and gripping historical dramas and crime shows too.  I even check out the British comedy podcasts on occasion. They don’t measure up to my Monty Python-spoiled standards – insert here, “You’re no fun anymore!” But in most cases, they still amuse.

I can listen while I work out, or while I work on mundane tasks. I’ve actually logged less podcast hours since moving to an apartment – no leaves and no walls to paint! While driving to work, I occasionally try to finish a podcast that I started at home in the morning.  Because radio has been such an important part of my life, flipping through the stations on the Mini is usually enough to keep me going during short drives.  But on long drives, podcasts engage my mind at a deeper level – and keep me awake, and the Mini between the ditches.

Recently I got a shout-out from one of my favorite podcasts, Autastic.  These two comedians are neurotypical relatives of people on the spectrum, and their show was one of the first podcasts I found on autism when I started looking.  Graham Kay and Kirk Smith have full-time careers in comedy, but they take a half-hour a week to get together, talk about Kirk’s son or Graham’s brother, laughing together over the stress, the difficulties, the wins, the losses, the news, and their opinions about autism’s presence in their lives.  Highly recommend!  Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.  They have a Fb page, but they seem to live on IG and now have begun to vlog on YouTube.  I appreciate their honest sense of humor, something I’ve needed as I’ve waded through the confusing fog of a late-in-life ASD diagnosis.  Here’s my shout-out in return.  Thanks, Autastic!

I recently found a podcast on cars and car repair.  A modern Car Talk (from NPR fame)?  There must be tens of thousands of podcasts on almost everything under the sun.  I have to choose carefully.  They will fill up my phone, or my life, if I don’t exercise a little bit of “choosy.” One or two of each in the categories of mental health, physical health, and spiritual health round out my listening repertoire.

Are podcasts helping me?  Well, they keep me out of trouble; when I’m bored, I can obsess about a lot of things that aren’t helpful.  I like new information, new revelation, and I like to get to know my news sources so I can make sure they are trustworthy.  Sometimes, I have to shift into reverse, and dump a podcast.  These often home-baked regularly recurring recordings are my audio window into the larger world, and it’s good to stay connected to what’s going on.  Autism can lock people into a rut, whether they are on the spectrum, or relatives, or caregivers.  Podcasts help me with perspective; your mileage may vary.

Are you looking for a podcast?  Sign up for my blog’s emails, or message me if you want to discuss or ask any questions.  Searching is easy; choosing is the hard part.  You won’t spend any money, so what’s the risk?  You might even grow.  Might be time to shift gears.

Published by Bart Shoaf

Blogging about victories and challenges as a middle-aged man with a late diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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