I kill an hour every day. Minimum.

I get in the truck and drive half an hour to work. That’s a round -trip hour of staring through glass. Used to be I’d listen to Bob and Tom but the commercials were insufferable. Ever watch the last bit of the nightly news or Oprah?

Welcome back from commercial. We’ll be right back.

Like half the people in Charleston, I race to work so I can get there 3 minutes earlier. But it’s not so much to save time, it’s something to do. It’s winning the race to the next light.

We don’t want to die but we’re constantly treating time like it’s a burden. Half the time I’m lost in daydreams. It takes a great deal of effort for me to stay present and only lasts several seconds when I do. On the meditation cushion, I’m in my head at least 97% of the time. As a writer of fiction, that plays in my favor.

Daydreaming gets a lot of writing done.

For a while, I killed time with audiobooks. I read (past tense) a lot of books (That’s what I tell people, that I read a book when I listened to it. Is there a difference? There is, but still. I read it.). In fact, when I was reading a good one, I couldn’t wait to get back in the truck. I didn’t mind traffic. I went the speed limit.

Now it’s podcasts.

They’ve been around a while, I know. But not until I got Bluetooth in the truck did I really dig in (if you don’t have Bluetooth in your car, get this nifty jumper, it’ll change your life) . You can download this app (Overcast) and choose from thousands. Currently, here’s my queue:

The Joe Rogan Experience

Rogan is good. Uninterrupted, long form interviews. Everything from Neil deGrasse Tyson to Ron White. They get drunk, they get high, they go on for hours. Rogan is not afraid to challenge his guests, he’s funny as hell and can carry a conversation with any person. This is my go-to.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Relatively new, Dax’s podcasts have soared up the charts. He’s my wife’s favorite. He is a Howard Stern superfan (Stern is, hands down, one of the best interviewers. If you haven’t listened to him in a while, try again.) and sort of emulates his style. He’s dead honest, completely transparent, and witty as hell. Sober 14 years, it’s different than Rogan but just as captivating.

Waking Up with Sam Harris

One of the most notable modern day atheists, Sam’s podcasts are often well above my intellect. I know his guests are speaking English, but I have no idea what they’re saying. I don’t get through many of his podcasts anymore, but occasionally one drops down to my average intelligence. The thing about Sam is his command of the English language. I sometimes just want to hear him talk. His word choice always seems so perfect. His delivery, though, is as dry as a saltine and, at times, sounds arrogant.

I know, I know. There are way more and better podcasts out there. Trust me, I know. There’s only so much time in the truck, though. I can barely get through all the Rogan uploads. In fact, I’m way behind now. I just finished Rogan’s interview with Banachek. What makes Banachek so interesting–besides the mindblowing magic–is his dedication to exposing fraud. Like Penn and Teller, he tells you this isn’t real magic, he’s not actually reading minds, there is no evidence of real telepathy. He’s using deception to make it appear that way.

But man, it sure seems like it.

Banachek has quite a few episodes on exposing charlatans who claim to speak with the dead, who see the future, and, more importantly, swindle people out of money. He’s well known for exposing a televangelist who was straight up conning people to throw away their medicine and fill his baskets with money. Banachek is an honest liar. And a damn good one.

Temporarily, I’ve returned to audiobooks. The producer of The Roots of Drayton has submitted his files. I’m using truck time to listen for quality control. The hard thing about having someone else read my books is hearing it match the voice I had in my head when I was writing it, whether it’s the sound or the quality or even the emphasis. This guy is pretty close to what I heard. And a bit of a Morgan Freeman vibe sometimes.

The Roots of Drayton audiobook will probably launch in October. Just in time for Halloween. And I’ll be giving them away. So it’s sort of like Halloween meets Christmas. Not the Krampus kind though.

Just the presents.

The Bertauski Starter Library

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