Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, October 09, 2020

Four Things

Image by Curtis MacNewton, via Unsplash, license.
Thoughts about recent improvements to and experiments regarding my routine.

1. It's hard to believe it, but between holiday obligations, the pandemic, and a change in my routine that shortened morning alone time, my very productive wee hours routine of organizing the garage abruptly ended, unfinished, nearly a year ago.

Only a couple of weeks ago did I find a good time to start doing this again: right after dropping the kids off to school, while it's still cool, and before I start the day's work.

Things only got more crowded and disorganized in there during the "lockdown," so finding a way to do this painlessly again has been a big relief.

2. I love beer, but found myself in the odd position one evening early last month of realizing that I was not really enjoying my evening quaff. So I decided to borrow a page from the Brits and abstain from alcohol for a month.

I have nothing spectacular to report: this wasn't particularly difficult to do and I felt neither noticeably better (nor worse!) during the time.

Happily, but unlike after other, shorter breaks of a week I have taken in the past, the biggest thing I can report is my mild surprise at noticing that I didn't enjoy yesterday's first beer dramatically more than usual.

My tentative conclusion is that I had fallen into a rut, and that it must be time to find a new "go-to" beer for the evening. My tastes have changed before...

3. In tweaking my "space planner," I decided to find a "quote of the day" related to the day's goals or something I learned from the previous day. My Twitter followers seem to have enjoyed quite a few of these, too.

4. Podcasts aren't just for commutes.

My usual time for listening to podcasts is when I am driving somewhere alone, but fellow parents may also find them useful at another kind of time during the pandemic.

If you have to schlep your kids to some indoor activity -- Mine take an art class for an hour every Tuesday. -- you may find either that the waiting room is closed or that you're not comfortable sitting in one. An hour is too short for most errands, but long enough to accomplish something, if you have a book or small electronics handy. (I used to write (or get started on) the next day's blog post on a small laptop, but that's hard to do in a car.)

Reading is an obvious option, and one of the things I do now, but I often find that I am not in the mood for that at that time of the day. Podcasts have been a great alternative.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, GUs, you write, "My usual time for listening to podcasts is when I am driving somewhere alone, but fellow parents may also find them useful at another kind of time during the pandemic."

I've never liked podcasts much, and I've liked them less and less as time has passed. Unless a person is a highly trained elocutionist, I find I have come to have no patience for their monologues or dialogues, never mind how much more quickly I can glean information from the same time reading. Indeed, the times I'm out and about and have down time (usually when I've taken my wife shopping), I read, either webpages I'm set aside for the purpose or short stories. Always in the mood for that.

Gus Van Horn said...


I'd prefer to read most of what I encounter in podcasts, but rarely find transcripts.

Usually, it's a big improvement over radio, and good for 15-20 minute pieces of time. I have my phone set up so that the podcasts I have loaded have similarly-named note files so I can jot things down soon after listening.