Thursday, July 25, 2013

Piddlin' While Driving

Drop off 1 kid to college campus for camp. Pick up 2 kids from home, drop off to swimming pool for practice. Wait one hour. Pick up 1 kid, drop off to sports camp. Piddle around a little bit. Pick up kid 1 from college campus. Pick up kid 4 from sports camp.

Added up? About 4 1/2 hours of driving and waiting.  Lots of time for piddlin'. But you kinda have to pay attention to the road, too. So crochet is out, reading is out. What's left? Coffee. Yes, thank goodness you can still enjoy coffee and eat snacks.

During the hour wait time, I usually hung out on the adjacent track. Running; and then when the temperature hit 90+ degrees by 9 a.m., walking; and  then after a couple of laps on that hot, black track,  crawling. But I got in a workout.

The drive time?  I could talk to my kids. But some of the time, I was actually by myself or they were sleep or passed out from their grueling day. Had I thought ahead, I would've downloaded an audio book. Of course, I had this idea every morning as I was pouring my coffee, getting ready to walk out the door. Then - ta-da - my discovery of the week! Perhaps, admittedly, I am slow to grab the newest technology and "it" thing.

You can dowload the audio of TED Talks to listen to offline. What? Yes.  And yes, I do know that TED talks verge on the nerd-y side, but it beats drive-time radio. I hate radio ads, weather reports bore me, traffic reports are useless because I'm not usually on the highway and the times I am, I don't know whether I'm going east-bound or west-bound on the inner or outer loop anyway, and listening to the tweets from other radio listeners annoy me. (Side note - whenever TV or radio shows read or scroll tweets it annoys me - I am on Twitter, I can read them for myself if I care, too, thank you.)  It's too much to muddle thru waiting for 1 song every 15 minutes.  Instead, I can listen to random, and sometimes famous, people talk about education and technology and stuff.  I even found one for my son about making a remote control skateboard and how to be a yo-yo expert. 

What about Slacker and Pandora? I like them, too, but sometimes, I'm really not in a musical mood.  So, TED it is.  I downloaded a few talks on my iPad and then hit "play" when I got in the car. And its very simple - no more distraction than tuning your radio, if you are concerned about driving safely. There's even a "play all" option so you don't have to fidget with it at all.  Some of the talks were interesting, thought-provoking. Some made me wonder how this person got chosen as a speaker at all. But it was better than another ad about cheap car insurance.

How? This is how it works on iPad - Select your TED Talk. Under the featured image, there's a "Save" option. You will be offered whichever is available: "Save video for offline viewing" or "Save audio".  They will be saved under "My Talks".

Now, between Bruno Mars on permanent rotation on the iPod and TED downloaded, I can make it through a few more chaffeuring runs.

Keep piddlin' with us on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

Last year, my husband listened to CDs of Italian lessons on his morning commute. They inspired him to plan a family vacation to Italy (yay!), where his skills really helped us get around. Now if I could just convince him to learn Hawaiian ;)

Mommyx4 said...

What a great use of his time! Yes, now get him to perfect "Aloha" and learn "pass the mai tai." Wait, that's not Hawaiian. well - there's your next trip!

Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families said...

I love listening to music to pass the time. Pandora is one of my favorite online stations. Sounds like you are a busy mama.