Camouflage and podcasts
My son is fascinated with the military. A few weeks back, we pulled into Aunt Sue’s, a country meat and three in Pickens County. A convoy of soldiers pulled in behind us. They ate quickly and returned to their weekend mission. As each one walked out, my son looked up from his mac and cheese and waved. To their credit, most of the soldiers waved back.
It’s not uncommon to see convoys around these parts. We saw one just last weekend as we drove down I-26 toward Columbia. Most of the trucks were covered in the typical brown and green camouflage I always associated with the military. Because I’d never thought about it or bothered to do any research, I wrongly assumed all the green/brown combos were holdovers from the Vietnam era. I wondered aloud to a wife who generously feigned interest in my curiosity, “I wonder why most of the vehicles have switched over to desert camouflage. After all, that’s where a majority of our conflicts are being fought these days.” Then I wondered, perhaps a bit more ominously, if the vehicles were remaining in the green and brown for a different reason–maybe a conflict elsewhere in the world or even on American soil.
As I sat down this morning with absolutely nothing about which to write (I am suffering a pretty painful dearth of anecdotes and Otis miscellany), I thought to research and write a bit about military camouflage. Yes, it’s gotten that desperate. As I started to research the subject, I discovered it was both as interesting as I’d hoped and completely boring as you might expect a paper on camouflage to be. I’d answered my question within a matter of minutes (see. U.S. Woodland for a quick answer).
By the time I’d decided what I was writing would be no more than a rehash of a Wikipedia page, I thought, “Man, this would make a great Stuff You Should Know podcast.” No surprise, the website already has a report on the subject.
I made it several years into my digital life before embracing the world of the podcast. I figured I spent enough time reading on and offline. When I went eyes-free (walking, hanging out in dark places, driving, etc), I generally listened to music. As my eyes-free time expanded recently, I started looking for other ways to fill my brain. Audio books were always kind to me. Back in the early days of my relationship with the wife, we lived eight hours apart for nearly a year. Every two weeks, I’d get off work in Jackson, MS at 6pm on a Friday and drive the eight hours to Columbia, MO where she was still in school. Before I left, I’d stop at Blockbuster and rent a few audio books. They were my friends on I-55 for a very long time. I downloaded a few audio books to my iPod at the end of 2008 and they started filling my recent void.
So, a month or so back, a bunch of friends on Twitter made some recommendations and I set about downloading. Before long, I had hours of content that got me through several long drives and other eyes-free time. Among the shows I listen to on a regular basis (or at least as regularly as they update):
It’s not enough. I need more. As I strive to spend less time in front of my computer, I have to keep my brain working. Podcasts seem to be the way to do it, at least for now.
So, here’s where I go all Lazyweb on you and ask, “What are you listening to?”