Author Topic: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel  (Read 12452 times)

The Resilent Dame

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For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« on: July 29, 2014, 06:47:11 AM »
I must make a confession: I'm probably the biggest offender on this entire board when it comes to long clown-car commutes. I really don't care about the face punching. This is just how it is going to be for another 5 or so years. If you want to read why, or how long my commute is, see here.*

What I want to know are some of the ways fellow life-optimizers get the most out of commuting time. Specifically, things like good podcasts, books on CD from the library, etc.

What podcasts do you listen to? I enjoy life-improvement ones. I'd love to listen to some real-estate ones, but don't know where to start. Any tried and true favorites?

Any good books on CD available from the library?

Any other tips?

Any others willing to admit long commutes?

*Currently, I own a business 75 miles away from my residence. So at a minimum, I drive 150 miles per day. Also, I drive for networking/marketing purposes, meeting with referral providers in a territory that spans about 75 miles north to south and east to west. To make matters worse, I drive a 4 wheel drive SUV. To me, it is a necessity in my semi-rural, flat with large snow drift areas in a business where I sometimes need to drive employees to elderly, ill clients' homes. I drove a semi-compact car for a year and a half, was blessed with a mild winter, but it was horribly risky and I relied upon employees with large vehicles driving others. I'm not willing to take that risk anymore. My vehicle also has a "wrap," meaning it is a moving billboard, which I know has led to quite a bit of business. My gas mileage isn't horribly bad, either, for a SUV. I get about 23 on average, and I've managed to eek it up to 26 with some fun hypermiling experimentation.

I will eventually move closer to my business but unless I divorce my husband who is committed to living in the same subdivision as his minor daughters, that won't happen for about 3-5 years (depending upon if he decides he's okay with moving after the youngest gets her license). I could also sell my business, but I love it, it gives me a very good living, and I am building the value over time. When we move, my husband's commute will be longer, though :/ He's more likely to sell his business/retire earlier than me since he's older.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 06:50:59 AM by The Resilent Dame »

LibrarIan

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 08:07:01 AM »
Indeed, your commute is seriously long.

What kinds of things are you into? What's the last book you really enjoyed? Any topics you are or are not willing to give a try in terms of nonficiton or podcasts?

Without knowing you a bit more, it's hard to recommend things because we're all just so different. But I'll at least let you know what I enjoy. I don't have a long commute, but I do listen to some things while at work.

For podcasts, I really enjoy The David Pakman Show (progressive politics), StarTalk Radio (astronomy with Tyson) and The Thinking Atheist (obviously atheist topics). I also really enjoy listening to audio books by the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins, Krauss and other scientists/historians/philosophers. I'm sure your public library carries a vast array of interesting books to listen to. They may even have a digital option if you can do that known as Hoopla or possibly OneClick Audio.

I don't have any real estate tips. That's not a subject I'm familiar with.

Don't forget that this is a great time to try out new kinds of music. Again, the library probably has a good selection of CDs and you can check out a stack and see which ones you like.

hybrid

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 08:11:49 AM »
NPR.

gobius

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 08:20:26 AM »

For podcasts, I really enjoy The David Pakman Show (progressive politics), StarTalk Radio (astronomy with Tyson) and The Thinking Atheist (obviously atheist topics). I also really enjoy listening to audio books by the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins, Krauss and other scientists/historians/philosophers. I'm sure your public library carries a vast array of interesting books to listen to. They may even have a digital option if you can do that known as Hoopla or possibly OneClick Audio.



I will have to check out some of those as it appears my interests are similar to yours.  I have a 35-mile commute each way.  Never heard of David Pakman (although I would possibly like him) but like Tyson and The Thinking Atheist (I actually got to see him live at Skepticon last year).  I also listened to The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe for awhile.

Cromacster

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 08:21:40 AM »
I enjoy listening to podcasts for my commute.  I have a friend who outdoes you with a 82mi one way commute, he chose to learn Spanish with the audio stuff.  He's been at it for a year and can hold a basic level conversation.  So if that is something you are interested in it would be a good skill to learn.

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Freakanomics

zenyata

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 08:54:30 AM »
I like the Grateful Dead channel on Sirius XM...

Puts me in the perfect frame of mind while scurrying about with the other rodents chasing the cheese.

Difference being that I have a FIRE plan to leave that nonsense behind - while many of those on the treadmill will just have to keep driving harder, faster into oblivion.  I will think of them fondly when i'm listening to the Dead on my time and not part of the machine anymore.

Cinder

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 09:27:16 AM »
I second NPR and Nerdist above.

I'm a programmer, so I've been listening to some technical podcasts, but I have a bunch that are not programming related.

For two very contrasting viewpoints... Sex with Emily vs Mark Gunger Show.  Sex with Emily is a 'sexologist' who lives in the LA area and talks about all kinds of things, while Mark Gunger is a christian preacher who isn't afraid to talk about anything (so the topics that readers email in about usually end up relating to sex).

Get Up and Code - It's audience is supposed to be programmers, but there is very little programmer specific info, but lots of great fitness information... weight lifting, diet, running, etc... 

Following the NPR recommendation above, RadioLab has some really great episodes.

The Dave Ramsey Show - I haven't listened to this as much as I used to, but I found it really great to listen to the stories of people who called in.  The financial choices a 'Mustachian' makes are a bit different then Ramsey's philosophy, but it is good entertainment at the least.   

It's not very long and not updated often, but the podcast that Jessie Meekam (sp?) puts out for YNAB/You Need A Budget has some occasionally useful information. 

dragoncar

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 09:34:57 AM »
No idea what your business is like, but plenty of "road warriors" are basically on the phone while they drive, doing business, making bucks and such.   You could try calling your broker and yell "buybuybuy!  sellsellsell!"

dantownehall

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 09:45:41 AM »
I do more driving than I'd like to as well.

Good audiobooks I've listened to:

-Harry Potter, read by Jim Dale (absolutely the best audiobooks I've ever heard)
-Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit (Rob Inglis)
-A few Shakespeare plays (really helps if you've seen the play already, gets confusing otherwise)
-John Adams (by David McCullough)

I'm probably going to keep going with the biographies/histories; I really enjoyed John Adams.

PloddingInsight

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 09:46:04 AM »
The kindle app for android doesn't have a text-to-speech option, but here's how I get around that to listen to books without being restricted to audio books.

  • Buy the kindle version of the book
  • Convert to epub using the free software calibre (for out of copyright books I just download the epub from project gutenberg of course.)
  • Move the epub file to my android phone.  (laziest method: dropbox)
  • Open with Moon Reader Plus (costs $1 or $2, well worth it)
  • Engage text-to-speech engine (updated with a better voice for $3)

Bonus: you can now switch back and forth between reading and listening, without worrying about keeping your place in the book.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 09:47:54 AM by PloddingInsight »

Scandium

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 09:56:43 AM »
I'd love to listen to something more "useful" on my commute, plus I walk the dog half hour every morning too. Some good ideas here. I'd like a way to learn something, but it's a bit difficult in a driving/walking setting.

Usually I end up with a lot of tech news/analysis podcasts (TWiT, anandtech, MaxPC etc), but get a bit bored of them. And they tend to promote a "you need the latest gadget, nauw!" mentality, but i easily resist.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore history is a great history podcast (obviously). You may have to pay for older shows. His show on the roman republic is amazing.

Bigger pockets podcast is a real estate show. I dropped it after a few shows but you might like it.

catccc

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 10:05:15 AM »
I listen to audio books on my commute sometimes.  I read a lot of fiction as a kid, but until recently, read only non-fiction.  I returned to fiction (as well as some entertaining biographies) recently, and wow, novels are fun and entertaining!  Maybe not the best use of your time, but I'm really enjoying it.  I listen on my iphone (just thru the speaker, it is loud enough for me, but I might get a fm transmitter for my birthday...) and get books thru my library on an app called overdrive.  I really like it, and I can also listen while doing some stuff at home (provided the kids are napping or otherwise occupied) while I do dishes, laundry vacuum.

catccc

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 10:06:56 AM »
Other ideas:  learning a new language.  Learning to play a harmonica or other very small instrument that allows you to keep your hands on the wheel. 

lakemom

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 10:47:43 AM »
Audio Book...The Story (or History maybe) of Money.  I listened to 2/3 while driving my dd to college a couple of years ago.  Really enjoyed it.


senecando

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2014, 10:53:40 AM »
Audio Book...The Story (or History maybe) of Money.  I listened to 2/3 while driving my dd to college a couple of years ago.  Really enjoyed it.

You sure don't know how designated drivers work.

:P

Thegoblinchief

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2014, 11:03:19 AM »
I don't drive much, but DW likes audiobooks. Our library system has an excellent selection.

ROY2007

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2014, 11:23:43 AM »
I subscribe to a ton of personal finance podcasts and some miscellaneous podcasts for my commute. None of the personal finance blogs are truly mustachian but most are still entertaining.

The Dave Ramsey Show - daily show
Listen, Money Matters! - daily show
Stacking Benjamins - 3 shows per week
The Tim Ferriss Show
NPR: Car Talk

MMM has 4 interviews out there on itunes floating around as well.

Nate R

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2014, 11:27:31 AM »
I'll throw in Clark Howard podcasts, as well as EconTalk. This American Life is often worth listening to. And for Real Estate: BiggerPockets Podcast. Dave Ramsey isn't bad here and there.

tfordon

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 11:30:25 AM »
I love podcasts for filling time.

There have been some other threads asking for podcast suggestions:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/podcasts-audio-books/msg174273/#msg174273
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/podcasts/msg12540/#msg12540

+1 for EconTalk, that's my favorite.

Here are some I like that haven't already been mentioned:
Skeptoid
Dan Carlin - Harcore History
Bowery Boys

Runge

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 11:42:06 AM »
As with many others, I listen to audiobooks from my phone through bluetooth in my car. I use Audible as my service though. Their pricing structure is fairly decent (yes I know it's not free like the public library), and have a very good selection. I've worked my way through all of Game of Thrones (that took a while with each book averaging 50 hours each), Divergent Trilogy, Hunger Games Trilogy. Currently listening to The Stand when I commute with a coworker and just started the Maze Runner trilogy when the coworker isn't in the car.

Since I have a difficult time actually reading, I've found audiobooks are much easier for me to follow while still getting my book "reading" in.

davef

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:59:17 AM »
Since you own a business, read Winning by Jack Welch. One of my Favorite audiobooks on personnel management.
All of Malcom Gladwells audiobooks are good as well. They will teach you a lot about a variety of things, form psychology, do philosophy, to just weird but useful obscure facts.

I'm a histroy buff, I loved:

Dont know much about mythology
Dont know much about history
Lies my teacher told me
Sailing the wine dark sea
How the Irish Saved civilization

Weedy Acres

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2014, 02:24:49 PM »
I bought a business 100 miles away from home, so I feel your pain.  The first year I commuted daily, then we got busier so I drove out on Monday, back on Friday and stayed local.  For 3 years.  Then we finally sold our house last fall and moved here and I can bike the 2 miles to work.  Yeah, I got my life back!

Anyway, I listened to podcasts:
Planet Money
This American Life
Radiolab
Dave Ramsey (eventually got old/repetitive)
Entreleadership

I would have liked audiobooks, but was too cheap to spring for them.

I tried a couple other business-related podcasts, but none were really keepers.

solon

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2014, 02:33:02 PM »
I used to attend "Auto U". I listened to all kinds of stuff. Self-improvement, business-improvement, home-improvement, and audiobooks of all kinds (fiction, non-fiction, etc).

After a while, it got kind of tiring. I guess I reached the limit of my ability to handle new input. So I started driving in silence - not even the radio. The change was pretty sudden, and amazing. I started thinking. Almost like having a conversation with myself. It's not a goal I set out to accomplish, i.e. "OK, self, we need to start thinking more." It just happened - like half my brain had all these ideas and needed to talk about them with the other half, or something.

Since then, I cherish "quiet time". Quiet time is not at all like "idle time". I am actually very active when I am quiet, and driving gives me a lot of quiet time.

The Resilent Dame

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2014, 03:33:29 PM »
I used to attend "Auto U". I listened to all kinds of stuff. Self-improvement, business-improvement, home-improvement, and audiobooks of all kinds (fiction, non-fiction, etc).

After a while, it got kind of tiring. I guess I reached the limit of my ability to handle new input. So I started driving in silence - not even the radio. The change was pretty sudden, and amazing. I started thinking. Almost like having a conversation with myself. It's not a goal I set out to accomplish, i.e. "OK, self, we need to start thinking more." It just happened - like half my brain had all these ideas and needed to talk about them with the other half, or something.

Since then, I cherish "quiet time". Quiet time is not at all like "idle time". I am actually very active when I am quiet, and driving gives me a lot of quiet time.

This is EXACTLY what I've done lately--it is great "meditation" time. I drive a rural freeway/highway route so not much stopping & starting. However, I'm back to wanting to use some of this time.

The Resilent Dame

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2014, 03:38:32 PM »
I bought a business 100 miles away from home, so I feel your pain.  The first year I commuted daily, then we got busier so I drove out on Monday, back on Friday and stayed local.  For 3 years.  Then we finally sold our house last fall and moved here and I can bike the 2 miles to work.  Yeah, I got my life back!


I was the opposite when I first bought my business. I bought a small lake cottage when I first opened it and stayed there. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was 75 miles away, but that was mostly weekends and the odd day during the week. We kept this up even after we got married and until about 1 month before I had my son. Life is definitely more hectic now, but hopefully our "dream home" (sell the lake cottage, sell the suburban home, merge into 1 home on a lake or acerage) will be much closer. We may eventually sell his businesses because they are in bigger markets, more stressful, and will bring more $ in the sale and keep my smaller market business. This whole process could take awhile to unravel though.

dodojojo

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2014, 04:10:37 PM »
Quote
Any good books on CD available from the library?

As some have mentioned already, if your library system has Overdrive, you can borrow audio books and listen to them on your phone.  All you need is your library card number (and maybe the password) and download the Overdrive App to your phone.  There are separate Overdrive apps for ebooks and e-audio.  I use Overdrive to download the books but listen to them via the Smart Audiobook Player app.  The latter has better features.  The most important one being the book will automatically stop and resume after Google Maps gives directions.  The Overdrive app will just keep playing while GM gives directions--which is super inconvenient of course.

I don't have a car, but when I do rent one, I really enjoy listening to books while driving.  I don't envy the long commute, but I do wonder how many books I could plow through with all that driving!

MountainFlower

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2014, 04:20:52 PM »
I do audiobooks as well.  A good part of my drive has no cell service, or I would use the time to connect with family too. 

I used to get books at the library, but there were a few that they just didn't have, so I joined audible.com.  One thing they don't tell you is this:  they let you freeze your membership for 3 months once a year.  I tend to listen to long epic books, so 9 credits easily lasts me 12 months.   You have to contact customer service to put your membership on hold.  Oh, they still let you  use your credits during that time. 

Threshkin

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2014, 04:42:13 PM »
No idea what your business is like, but plenty of "road warriors" are basically on the phone while they drive, doing business, making bucks and such.   You could try calling your broker and yell "buybuybuy!  sellsellsell!"

This is also a very good way to wind up in an accident.  Distracted driving is as bad as drunk driving statistically.  And don't buy into the fallacy that handsfree is safer, it is not.

References:
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

dragoncar

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2014, 05:01:52 PM »
No idea what your business is like, but plenty of "road warriors" are basically on the phone while they drive, doing business, making bucks and such.   You could try calling your broker and yell "buybuybuy!  sellsellsell!"

This is also a very good way to wind up in an accident.  Distracted driving is as bad as drunk driving statistically.  And don't buy into the fallacy that handsfree is safer, it is not.

References:
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

So I guess OP shouldn't be maximizing road time at all?  Just 100% focus on the road.

sedura

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2014, 11:02:17 PM »
My two favorite podcasts are:
Bigger pockets
Freakonomics

I'm going to have to check out some of the others that were mentioned here!

The knitter

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2014, 05:26:15 AM »
I don't have a long commute, but I've been painting every room, door and piece of very large trim in a house for several months, alone.

After hours of Pandora got old, I decided to listen to lectures from a MOOC about the U.S. Constitution.

Normally the lecture heavy MOOCs don't hold my interest, but as something to listen to during a tedious task, it was amazing.


The Resilent Dame

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2014, 06:39:00 AM »
These are all great ideas.  For all the hate on long commutes on this site, I'm happy to see these positive responses.

As a business owner and mom to a 5 year old, I have little to no time to myself. Sure, the commute gets tedious, but used well, the time CAN be well spent.

I can certainly conduct some business on the phone, but nothing that requires me to write things down. I think today I'll take care of a few phone calls--things like returning a call to my credit card company because of a fraud alert (I know it is from an expensive software charge that I need for my business), setting up an appointment for new tires for a company vehicle, etc.

DocCyane

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2014, 06:44:12 AM »
I like The Doughroller Podcast.

Fishingmn

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2014, 06:55:13 AM »
I listen to a ton of podcasts in my car using Stitcher. That app has an awesome feature which allows you to listen at 1.25 speed which I really like as I can listen much faster than the normal person talks. You can also skip ahead 30 seconds with 1 button which is nice when the podcast is discussing their show sponsor.

Real estate - Bigger Pockets

General Info - Freakonomics, Radiolab, Planet Money, KCRW This is Interesting, TED Radio Hour, Hardcore History

Entertainment - The Moth, This American Life

Politics - Common Sense with Dan Carlin, The Young Turks, KCRW Left Right & Center, Slate Political Gabfest

Fantasy Football - 4for4, ESPN Fantasy Underground, CBSsports fantasy football & Footballguys
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 06:57:58 AM by Fishingmn »

Trudie

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2014, 08:42:41 AM »
I enjoy listening to podcasts for my commute.  I have a friend who outdoes you with a 82mi one way commute, he chose to learn Spanish with the audio stuff.  He's been at it for a year and can hold a basic level conversation.  So if that is something you are interested in it would be a good skill to learn.

Savage Lovecast
The Survival Podcast
Marketplace Money (now Marketplace Weekend)
Marketplace
RadioLab
This American Life
Planet Money
The Nerdist
Freakanomics

+1 to FREE NPR Podcasts.  I especially enjoy Freakonomics.

blackomen

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2014, 10:13:40 AM »
My commute is 40-60 minutes so I've been listening to a ton of audio books in the car.  I usually check them out from my local library which is part of a county-wide system..  and living in the most populous county in the country, I've been able to find 90% of the audio books I wanted to "read" by putting them on hold and picking it up at the branch.

Sometimes, I'll switch to something entertaining (i.e. episodes of NPR's Car Talk burnt on CD.)

Right now, I'm looking for a solution to listening to large volumes of audio in the car.  Currently, switching CDs is an annoyance since my car audio doesn't have MP3 support or an audio jack.  I've tried one of those FM adapters but quality of the audio is pretty fuzzy.  I'm considering replacing the stereo but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be keeping my car so I don't want to spend a great deal here.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 10:18:11 AM by blackomen »

davef

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2014, 04:51:11 PM »
No idea what your business is like, but plenty of "road warriors" are basically on the phone while they drive, doing business, making bucks and such.   You could try calling your broker and yell "buybuybuy!  sellsellsell!"

This is also a very good way to wind up in an accident.  Distracted driving is as bad as drunk driving statistically.  And don't buy into the fallacy that handsfree is safer, it is not.

References:
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

It also a fallacy that small cars often advocated by folks on this site even with high "safety" marks are "safe". They are only compared with other cars in their size category. And the Bar is constantly being lowered by creating smaller categories.
http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/MSS/2013/2.5-Nolan_2013.pdf

MountainFlower

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2014, 10:23:43 AM »
Right now, I'm looking for a solution to listening to large volumes of audio in the car.  Currently, switching CDs is an annoyance since my car audio doesn't have MP3 support or an audio jack.  I've tried one of those FM adapters but quality of the audio is pretty fuzzy.  I'm considering replacing the stereo but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be keeping my car so I don't want to spend a great deal here.

I know what you mean about the CDs.  Also, I got tired of getting into a book and then finding that one of the CDs was damaged by another library patron.  Some of them looked like they had been used as a plate for someone's glazed donut.  LOL! 

Do you have a tape player?  If so, the Phillips Tape Adapter works spectacularly well with an mp3 player or phone.  That's what I have used for a couple of years.  It was only $7 when I bought it on amazon, but now it's $15 because it has been discontinued.  There are other brands out there, but I happen to know that this one works well.  I would buy it again for $15; it is worth it. 


Glenstache

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2014, 10:42:30 AM »
I end up with occasional long days on the road getting to remote field locations for work (3.5 hours one way kind of things). I've developed a low tolerance for the local NPR programming as it has a lot of filler (here's a 2 minute blurb about a 5 minute bit you will hear in 23 minutes... arrrgh), and the pieces they are putting on have decreasing information content. <ending NPR rant now>

I've taken a liking to downloading full lecture courses. You can download courses from Yale, Harvard, MIT, etc for free on a variety of topics: history, finance, etc. They tend to be quite good, although they don't have the production values and flair of something like Radiolab. Finding those courses was a  real game changer.

I also use that time to immerse in music that I might not get to listen to in blocks at other times.

Glen

dodojojo

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2014, 01:25:24 PM »
Right now, I'm looking for a solution to listening to large volumes of audio in the car.  Currently, switching CDs is an annoyance since my car audio doesn't have MP3 support or an audio jack.  I've tried one of those FM adapters but quality of the audio is pretty fuzzy.  I'm considering replacing the stereo but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be keeping my car so I don't want to spend a great deal here.

One option could be a portable USB rechargeable speaker.  That's what I use when I want to listen to the rental car's satellite radio but also want to use my phone for navigation.  So that means I can't connect my phone to the car system via bluetooth or cable.  I plug a portable speaker to my phone and crank it up so I hear the directions.  The only downside is that portable speakers are usually mono.  Though they all be connected like a daisy-chain and create the stereo effect. 

ak465318

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2014, 02:52:18 PM »
I'm from the UK and spend my daily 60 minute (45 miles) each way commute* listening to podcasts from the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts).  I use an FM transmitter picked up on ebay for 5.

The BBC website has a wide variety of content available to download for free.  I think that this can be downloaded from anywhere in the world but stand by to be corrected.  Some of the domestic programmes probably won't be of interest to a US audience but there are some programmes which focus on international issues (e.g. From Our Own Correspondent).  I usually listen to personal finance, business, news and analysis programmes.

*My employer requires me to change jobs every two years or so but makes a significant contribution to travel costs (i.e. enough to cover petrol but not wear and tear to my car).

madmax

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2014, 04:58:58 PM »
www.zombiepodcast.com - We are alive has been my friend on many a commute. The sound effects and production values are second to none. Very sad to see it finally end.

Now I'm listening to wormwoodshow.com

Also, like on of the other posters above, I listen to Dave Ramsey for the entertainment value sometimes.

Trudie

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2014, 10:10:24 AM »
As for the "hate" on long commutes on this site, don't let that bother you.  I have a long commute as well.  If truth be told, I would give it up if it were an option.  Your description of your various businesses was illuminating and reveals something about how we all have different considerations and constraints.  And how making changes in our lives (consolidating properties, selling businesses) takes time.  There are other people to consider, a different range of options depending on where you live, and "real life" enters in.

I suspect that most of us that have long commutes who've been reading for any length of time on this site understand the cost (financial and otherwise) and don't relish the time behind the wheel and are looking to change it.  But change takes time -- and piling on with face punches doesn't help.

strongmag

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2014, 11:15:06 AM »
+1 for Car Talk.

I love novels, some of my favorites for auidobooks are:
Ken Follet's Century Trilogy (historical fiction)
Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford (crime thrillers)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (excellent accents)

As for streaming podcasts without an aux cable, my favorite method is through a bluetooth speaker attached to the visor. They're really for phone calls, but something like this has worked well for me:

http://www.amazon.com/Jabra-DRIVE-Bluetooth--Car-Speakerphone/dp/B005A0B7CA/ref=sr_1_1?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1407427408&sr=1-1&keywords=bluetooth+speaker+car

minimustache1985

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2014, 11:38:37 AM »
I may have to download some of these!  Might be nice on occasion for a change of pace.

I mostly use car time for "quiet time" and thinking, or talking to my carpool-mates.  I also have a long commute, but the bright side to working in the middle of nowhere is that people are willing to carpool from town (and the nearest restaurant is ~15 miles away, so no peer pressure to "go out" instead of brown bagging).

The Resilent Dame

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2014, 06:28:00 PM »
As for the "hate" on long commutes on this site, don't let that bother you.  I have a long commute as well.  If truth be told, I would give it up if it were an option.  Your description of your various businesses was illuminating and reveals something about how we all have different considerations and constraints.  And how making changes in our lives (consolidating properties, selling businesses) takes time.  There are other people to consider, a different range of options depending on where you live, and "real life" enters in.

I suspect that most of us that have long commutes who've been reading for any length of time on this site understand the cost (financial and otherwise) and don't relish the time behind the wheel and are looking to change it.  But change takes time -- and piling on with face punches doesn't help.

I truly get how you should closely examine commuting options and questions assumptions and excuses. But there may be some of us comfortable with our decisions to do a lot of driving. Of course, if I could teleport, I WOULD take that option, but the option for a shorter commute in reality does not exist short of uprooting everything I've built. I employ 70 people, help countless people with the services my business provides, and as I said don't want to live separately from my husband. In addition, my car is a business expense and advertises my business. I am just looking for ways to maximize the time I spend behind the wheel.

blackomen

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2014, 11:30:33 AM »
Right now, I'm looking for a solution to listening to large volumes of audio in the car.  Currently, switching CDs is an annoyance since my car audio doesn't have MP3 support or an audio jack.  I've tried one of those FM adapters but quality of the audio is pretty fuzzy.  I'm considering replacing the stereo but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be keeping my car so I don't want to spend a great deal here.

One option could be a portable USB rechargeable speaker.  That's what I use when I want to listen to the rental car's satellite radio but also want to use my phone for navigation.  So that means I can't connect my phone to the car system via bluetooth or cable.  I plug a portable speaker to my phone and crank it up so I hear the directions.  The only downside is that portable speakers are usually mono.  Though they all be connected like a daisy-chain and create the stereo effect.

Sometimes when I'm lazy,  I'll just load audiobook and podcast mp3s on my tablet and crank the volume to full to listen on the commute.  Might consider the speaker idea if I can find cheap quality ones from Goodwill..

Meggslynn

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2014, 12:35:08 PM »
My commute is only about 20 minutes in the summer and about 30 in the winter. I work in a industrial park and live in the closest town to that park. I often listen to"self help"
/ "life improvement" audiobooks from the library. There are lots of good ones. Just google what you are interested in and see your library has the audiobook.

Chranstronaut

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Re: For the Commuters: Maximizing Time Behind the Wheel
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2014, 12:58:50 PM »
I suspect that most of us that have long commutes who've been reading for any length of time on this site understand the cost (financial and otherwise) and don't relish the time behind the wheel and are looking to change it.  But change takes time -- and piling on with face punches doesn't help.

I believe this is correct and it's the case for me.  I still want to move closer, but it involves doing what's best for my SO as well, so it's not a decision that I get to make over night and implement in the morning.  We're working on it though.  MMM did help change my perspective and made me more open to look at alternatives, though.  I know drive 1/3 of my commute and vanpool 2/3.  Not a perfect solution, but it lets me read for the majority of the ride.

When I was still driving an hour commute (or 1.5 hours in bad traffic), I loved audiobooks from the library.  I worked my way through all Harry Potter books which made for a very pleasant few weeks, and would highly recommend the extended version of Max Brooks' World War Z.  The voice actors are quite good and it's documentary style, so you can easily find places to stop between "interviews."  I would stick my phone in the cup holder of the car as a natural amplifier.

I also practice singing.  It was a hobby of mine in school and something I want to get back into.  It's a little embarrassing to do weird vocal warmups when stuck next to someone in traffic, but I don't care.