Personal Update: Work and Podcasts

I've been back at work for three weeks now.  No major problems with the arm, so long as I take regular doses of analgesics to keep it from aching badly.

Before I went back to work, I'd started a practice of taking about an hour's walk each night, and listening to podcasts during the walk.  This was mostly for the various online SF magazines like Lightspeed and Clarkesworld that also do audio versions of some of their contents.  I've also been listening to the BBC Drama of the Week, which are usually interesting. Those walks usually let me listen to five or six hours worth of podcasts each week.

At work, I'm allowed to listen (so long as I only use one earbud) to radio or other audio while doing my night patrols.  It's a big help in staying awake in the wee hours.  So I've been listening to a lot more podcast material, adding other SF content (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex), NPR content like The Splendid Table, and I've also been trying out some of the audiobooks from Librivox.

Librivox is an interesting project, recording public domain books by crowdsourcing chapters or sections to volunteer readers.  Because of the volunteer nature, the quality of reading can vary a lot from chapter to chapter.  Some of the readers come across as very professional, with clear voices and enunciation; some of the other readers... well, it's nice that they volunteer for a worthy project.

But instead of five to six hours of podcasts per week, I'm now listening to probably at least twenty hours.  This turns out to use a remarkably large amount of the data limit on my smartphone, enough to put me over that limit.  Meaning extra charges.

Humph.  I upgraded to a larger data plan (5Gb instead of 2Gb), but I should probably try and keep a better eye on my data usage.   One thing I can try is downloading podcast material on the home computer and loading it onto my Droid before the work week.  I say "try" because I've tried loading library audiobooks (via Overdrive) onto the phone that way, and I haven't been able to get it to work. I'll have to give it another go.

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