Monday, January 06, 2014

In the Ear

Back to work again (hopefully for real this time) and that means back to my iPod. I spend most of my day off in my own corner of the shop. I've been here over 5 years at this point. I reached a point with listening to the can only hear the same songs day after day for so long before it drives you batty. And then my shop radio died. Enter in the iPod. It's just an old 3rd generation Nano but it does what I want. I initially requested an mp3 player so I could listen to audiobooks. I was given an iPod, which is a very nice gift, but at the time it wasn't compatable with the library's audiobooks. So it sat tucked away until Apple and whomever worked their issues out. Now that thing is stuck in my ears nearly every minute that I am at work.

I started with audiobooks but then after a while I found that what was available at the library didn't quite interest me. Enter the Podcast. 

When I find a new podcast I will go back and download the entire catalog and listen from the beginning. Unfortunately my iPod doesn't like to cooperate with that kind of listening and will only list then from the newest first, meaning I have to click over after every episode. First world problems, I know, but it can be an issue when I am elbow deep in texture goop. Warning, podcast listening can start a chain reaction and you can quickly have a listening queue as big as your stash. I'll often find other podcasts from the ones I am listening to and then it goes from there.

These people have become my friends. They are the ones I spend my days with and make me laugh, make me think and just generally make my days pleasant. So here are a few of my favorites.

Craft Lit -Heather Ordover has found a fabulous formula for podcasting. She is probably the strongest single host cast that I listen to. She carries it so well. First you have a little bit of crafting talk and then onto the literature. All public domain works enhanced with Heather's enlightening bits of history, explanations of archaic language or context and just wonderful general commentary on the books. Here are some of the books I've listened to on this show:
  • The Age of Innocence
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • Jane Eyre 
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • Flatland
  • The Women in White
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Persuasion
  • Little Women
  • The Scarlett Letter
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Turn of the Screw
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Tristan and Isolde
Quite a list, no? I don't think I ever would have read (listened to) A Tale of Two Cities on my own. And I loved it. She's helped me realize just how much I love Dickens. I've even stuck around through the books I didn't enjoy quite as much (Connecticut Yankee and Turn of the Screw). I find myself talking to her while I listen (as if she could magically hear me) because the whole thing is done in such a conversational manner. I'm getting the subscription for my birthday because Bleak House is one of my all time favorite books.

ChopBard- Shakespeare is another love of mine, and never before have I been witness to it being done so well. I'm recommending this to all the people who have high schoolers. This is a fabulous way to introduce them to the Bard, and foster a life long love of his works. Ehern doesn't go for the over thought, pretentious interpretations. He shows us what is there and gives us the tools and the opportunity to interpret it for ourselves. I also like his looking at it from an actor's perspective. Being of the theatre myself, it speaks to me. Found him through CraftLit.

Rex Factor- I found this one through ChopBard. (it is an endless cycle). A wonderful review of all the kings and queens of England. I love me some history, especially when it is done with such fun flair. I had a professor who taught in this fashion and I took every class of his I could. After a bit of biography they rate the monarch on Battleyness, Scandal, Subjectivity, Longevity and Dynasty and then decide if they possess the 'Rex Factor'. I'm sad that they've now reached the end. (Personally I think they should keep going with other countries and/or the Popes)

Brass Needles- One of the first podcasts I started listening to. It has the mixture of knitting and geekery that I enjoy. First half is crafting, second is anything from sci-fi movies/tv/books, to cosplay to steampunk to whatever suits her fancy. She recently had a baby so the schedule has been a little erratic.

Knitmore Girls- Found these lovely ladies from Brass Needles above. A mother and daughter podcasting duo. I love these ladies. They remind me of me and my mum. And they may be single handedly responsible for pushing me to up my knitting game (once I get the energy again). Their book reviews are honest and informative. I'm constantly running over to my computer to look up a pattern or a yarn while listening to them. I've learned a lot of great information. They cover knitting, spinning, sewing and much, much more.

Knit1Geek2-I could totally see me hanging out with the ladies who host this podcast. Knitting and geekery galore. This is the podcast that pushed me down the Dresden Files rabbit hole. Each episode is filled with knitting/crafting, geek culture and other things to crush on. These Canadian ladies can get a little rowdy, so not for those who like their podcasting prim and proper. Just my kind of girls.

Geek Girl Crafts- One of my early podcasts as well. They have turned me onto some really good books. I do have a few issues with the show but not enough to stop listening.

SteamGeeks- I found these guys searching searching for steampunk podcasts and found so much more. Hosted by The League of S.T.E.A.M, this show covers topics related to steampunk, such as history, cosplay, artists and craftspeople in the community. They also have fabulous product reviews (a must listen if you like any kind of spirituous beverages). A fun group and I'm glad they are back from their hiatus.

The Ratchet Retrocast- I found this one after a join podcast they did with SteamGeeks. They examine popculture with the caveat that it must be at least 20 years old. The added bonus is that one of the hosts is only in her early 20's so some of this is a first time adventure to her. It's like living the best parts of my childhood all over again. They are a part of the Earth Station One network.

Earth Station Who- Another Earth Station One gem. All Dr. Who. A fabulous look at both the classic series and the revival. I loved how they went through all the Doctors by looking at their first and last episode. Now that I am caught up on the new series I can listen to the rest of the archives.

Stuff You Missed in History Class- I think I stumbled upon this one from mentions by the Knitmore Girls. Short episodes focusing on random bits of history. For a history geek like me, this is perfect. And it just makes me want to read more about a hundred different things.

Masters Cast-So this is where I really so my geek. Yes. This is a podcast about He-man and She-ra. Yes. I am a geek and I love the toys from my childhood. They cover everything from the new toy releases (yes, they are still making He-man figures, but more for the collector), comics, and the various cartoons involving He-man and She-ra.

So there is an incomplete (!) list of what is typically in my ears on an average work day.

I must to bed. This has been a lot of typing and the amount of red squiggles accompanying my words (thank you spellcheck) tell me that I've extended my personal bandwidth for the day.

1 comment:

Rachel Cutler said...

Allrighteythen... you have just added 3 to my podcast list.
If you and Aaron are into Star Trek at all you might like one called. "Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast." Rod Roddenberry, the son of Gene produces this and one of my fave Mac podcasters and another guy John Champion take each episode starting with Original Series and analyze it in a good way. It's very interesting.

Your Geek Friend (who might be a little Wibbly Wobbly)