Bedtime Stories

Because I choose to stay up late to do improv on Tuesday nights, I take a nap almost every weekday afternoon. I’m not talking about a catnap on the couch or in my recliner. I crawl under the covers and go to bed. Lately I have been listening to podcasts as I drift off to sleep. With two bedtimes a day, I have had the opportunity to try several different shows. I used to add more podcasts to the folder on my WiFi clock radio.

After seeing Fr. Christian Mathis at the Java TweetUp on Monday, I made a point of listening to his most recent podcast with Jim Wogan. In it, they quoted one of the priest’s former professors who compared the seven deadly sins to the castaways on “Gilligan’s Island.” Let’s see how many I can recall. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Gilligan was sloth, the Skipper was gluttony. The millionaire and his wife were greed and pride. The movie star was lust and the professor and Mary Ann were wrath and envy. Like Fr. Christian, I don’t get how the professor represents anger except that all the other sins were already taken.

On Thursday afternoon, I listened to a good chunk of the Kevin & Bean podcast from Tuesday. Their guest was Chris Hardwick of Web Soup. He promoted his own podcast on, which I will sample soon. I realized that I was listening to a podcast of a radio show that was talking about a different podcast. The media landscape is changing quickly, isn’t it?

I have repeatedly heard the first few minutes of a podcast on the New York Times site called Freakonomics Radio. As the name suggests, it is hosted by one of the co-authors of the excellent Freakonomics books. Because my radio is designed for streaming, not podcasting, I can’t pause or rewind or fast-forward through podcasts. When I fall asleep during a show and later want to hear the rest of it, I have to restart the podcast from the beginning.

I am kind of excited about the Ripley’s Oddcast. I was motivated to browse their website after “winning” a pass to Ripley’s Tennessee attractions. The Oddcast is right up my alley and the one episode I’ve heard so far was very good. A new show should be posted on May 1. However, there is something different about the way their RSS feed is read by my device. Other podcast feeds give me several past episodes to choose from. Ripley’s offers only the most recent. I wrote to Tim O’Brien, the VP of Communications, hoping he could fix it. He wrote back right away, saying that he would forward my questions to the IT department. Believe it or not!

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