Useful Commuting

What would you do with a 1 hour driving commute at the start and finish of your day?

Since starting my job in Lexington, I’ve developed a few strategies to pass the miles. Most recently, I’ve found the joy of Dragon Dictate for Mac – a program that allows me to dictate emails, memos, to-do lists, ramblings, and the occasional cursing of a car in front of me while driving. I just open my laptop and leave it on the passenger seat while I dictate into a headset. I don’t think it worsens my driving, but there’s not much to run into on 24 Highway once you get past 291, anyhow.

I’ve also delved into books on CD. Right now I’m listening to Roger from Mad Men read A Farewell to Arms. I just finished “60 Feet, 6 Inches“, which was basically a conversation between Reggie Jackson and Bob Gibson about baseball. It’s a great way to widen the world while driving – and all these books-on-cd and more are available for free at the Mid-Continent Public Library or the Kansas City Public Library.

Similarly, I’ve been studying Italian, thanks to the Mid-Continent Public Library. They have the Pimsleur series available for a host of languages, and I’m working my way through. I’m not good yet, but I’ll get there.

Podcasts are also a great way to pass the time – I have a wide range on my iPod from homebrew recipes to the “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon” monologues of Garrison Keillor.

I’ve also taken lessons in American Literature and Music Theory from the Great Courses company. It’s like taking the best courses from the best professors in the world, and there aren’t any tests. Also check out iTunes U for great, free courses.

Finally, I bought a harmonica in New Orleans in preparation for a drive through Texas, and it’s still on my dashboard. Every now and then, I crank some blues and jam along. Not ready for anyone else to hear, but I love it.

5 Responses to “Useful Commuting”

  1. kcmeesha says:

    I started listening to podcasts while I walk long time ago, but recently switched to audio books. I find that I drift off on occasion and miss a few minutes here and there looking at birds. I am pretty sure I couldn’t concentrate on a book while driving, so I still listen to the radio when I am in the car. Have you considered subcontracting for some sort of deliveries to Lexington? You could deliver packages or blood samples :-)

  2. gonemild says:

    If anyone needs anything delivered to Lexington from Kansas City, I have a vehicle that I purchased because it can hold a homebrew keg standing up.

  3. Noble Rot says:

    I’m about to finish up The History Of Rome podcast series. It’s a bit dry, but very interesting.

    Also, I highly recommend the podcast Hardcore History. Probably the best-produced podcast I’ve heard, but it only comes out every six months or so. Still, there’s a really great set of back episodes that are highly entertaining and educational.

  4. Nick says:

    May we assume you’re using the Hohner HH154 holder (or equivalent)? Would hate to read a deer ended your life while you were trying to work out a Sonny Boy Williams bend…

  5. gonemild says:

    I can drive one-handed, so I can play without a holder. I can’t use my hands to muffle effectively while driving, unless I time my solos perfectly for that strip of 4 lane east of Levasy.

Leave a Reply