Category: Audiobooks and Podcasts

Podcasts / Audiobooks / Audio recomendations

Morning Media

When I wake up, I never know what the world is going to offer up to me. I might laugh I might cry. I might feel emboldened and ready for the day, or ready to retreat to my warm, weighted blanket and hide in a nest of my own making.

This morning was a gut punch.

I ran an errand before work and when I parked in my driveway. I opened Tiktok because of how it feels. As I scrolled through a few things, I landed upon this one.

Now, I’ve seen this question posed before and I love the call-and-response style Tiktok allows for. You never know what the response is going to be. This morning, it was real and it was serious.

Julian Sarafian dropped in to lay down his experience with Harvard Law School and getting out into the world and Making It™. He had the job. The money. The prestige.

But he didn’t have his mental health. He didn’t have a life he enjoyed living. And if you don’t have that, how can you have anything else?

The knockout blow I saw coming. Ear Hustle is a phenomenal show. Ear Hustle is “The daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration.”

The show started in 2017 and came to prominance when they Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor won the Radiotopia Podquest. At the time Earlonne was still incarcerated and Nigel would go to California’s San Quentin State Prison to see him and others.

The prison has a media lab and has some progressive policies to rehabilitation. The episode I started today was about people imprisoned abroad.

Going to prison in your home country can be disorienting enough. What about when you’re new to the culture, don’t speak the language, and are thousands of miles from family and friends? Three Americans describe their experiences of incarceration in Japan, Thailand, and Iran.

Episode 65: Counting Lines — Ear Hustle

Getting to the part in the show about reading the transcripts is what got me. The reach of this show and the good it’s doing in the world is immeasurable. Giving a voice and hope to people locked away in boxes for next to nothing…

The show continues to impress me. Coming from both outside and inside the prison (when COVID allows) it provides a well-rounded picture of experiences from people of all walks of life. When we found it, my wife and I listened to the entire first season on a road trip.

The music episodes are always a treat.

Joe Kenda Returns (to Nerdist)

I started listening to the Nerdist Podcast: Joe Kenda Returns | Nerdist and got about halfway through before I had to restart it and sit next to a text editor as I listened. There are way too many things I wanted to write down from his interview.

Who is Joe Kenda?

Joe Kenda (Homicide Hunter) returns to the Nerdist podcast! He and Chris talk about how would break the news to someone that a family member had passed away, statistics of murders and Joe talks about his interrogation techniques. He also talks about being married for 50 years, his show Homicide Hunter and his new book I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime!

So without further rambling, here are the bits of Joe Kenda’s interview I found notable.

On delivering the worst news someone can receive

It’s a very unpleasant task to be the angel of death.

I didn’t want to face picking someone. Let me torture you today. So I would do it, if I possibly could do it. And I would go to the house and it was in the middle of the night usually. You’re on the porch in a suit holding up a badge. They know when they see you, you can see it in their face someone’s not here that’s supposed to be and now here’s this man on my porch. I would stay away from bullet words. I wouldn’t say murdered. I wouldn’t say killed. I would say your son/daughter/husband is no longer alive. It’s not much but it’s something.

On lying

There’s no hard and fast rule for human behavior. But generally speaking, people will start lying when they’re little to their mother. They’re four or five years old and they’re confronted by the parent. Did you do this? No, no I didn’t do it. They are determined to continue to deny. That has been successful in the past on a few occasions so I’m going to keep doing it. I’m not going to admit to this because A) it’s too horrible B) if I do I’m in real trouble and if I just continue to lie maybe somebody will believe me.

Let me tell you what I hear you saying. You are in the kitchen saying to your mom that you remember being in the kitchen and you were near the cookie jar. And you seem to recall perhaps the lid was not on the cookie jar and there could have been a moment and maybe there was a cookie in your hand. But take a bite out of it. Oh no. Not you.

When you lie as a child, the parent knows you’re lying but they consider it insignificant so there’s no point in getting into a disturbance over it. And they let it go. This reinforces to the child that it was a successful attempt. I lied and nothing happened to me.

Death Drumbeat

The entertainment media. The news media. They beat the drum everyday. Death. Death. Death.
People all over the world are dead.
People in your country are dead.
People in your state are dead.
People in your city are dead.
People in your neighborhood are dead.
We’ll be back after these messages.
Unless you’re dead.

Stay Alive

You need to stay out of bars at closing time. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Do not associate with people who buy, use or sell narcotics.
And try to marry well. Don’t marry a psychotic.

On Gun control

Picture yourself at Broncos stadium during a Denver Broncos football game and it’s halftime. You’re on the 50 yard line. You’re surrounded by 79,000 emotional drunks. On a table behind you are 79,000 guns. Would you give one to everybody or would you be selective on who you gave one to?

On Stress

Take five days off. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t look at social media. You will feel immensely better. You will realize that life just sort of goes on for you.

On Children

It’s always good to say every child has a right to be alive. I’m a right to life person. Ok.
Unwanted children suffer. So what are you going to do about that? Should we bring them to your house? We’ll bring 1200 over to you on Monday. Don’t forget to send them to college.
Now the following Monday we’ll be back with 1200 more.

And a few one-off lines that I found worthy of writing down.

It’s human nature at its worst possible moments. That’s all murder is.

The Internet is a sewer and swans don’t swim in a sewer.

It’s not about being smarter than anybody else. It’s about being determined. I’m stubborn.

I will leave you with the line that stopped me in my tracks.

Emotion overcomes judgment. Murder results.

Warehouse in New Jersey

#99 Black Hole, New Jersey – Gimlet Media

This week’s Reply All episode is about a warehouse in New Jersey where scammers online use to ship internationally. The packages end up at this address at 600 Markley St in Port Reading, NJ. The company at this address is Meest America Inc.. The company accepts packages and sends them along internationally.

What’s interesting about this podcast is I remember receiving a winning bid from something I sold on eBay. I thought it was suspicious and I remembering looking up the address and seeing it was a warehouse in New Jersey. I declined to ship the item nor accept the payment from the buyer because I knew I was either never going to see the money or the buyer was going to reverse the payment through Paypal and I’d be out of luck. It was the same warehouse. I remember the company name, Meest.

The Meest company is aware of this fraud and have tried working with the FBI and the only result was the FBI looked into the company. It’s a good lesson to be skeptical of selling anything online and with the plethora of mapping sites like Google Maps, you can see where you’re sending your item.

In this case, here’s 600 Markley St. This doesn’t look like anyone’s home.

From 33 minutes, 54 seconds in:

Even in the advertising space, you know what, I will absolutely collaborate with Mucinex and Slim Jim and anybody because in a capitalistic society, you’re seeing those advertisements either way. So why not make them funny?
A great insurance commercial should make you cry a little bit. Life is so sad that when Allstate does it right, you should tear up a little bit.
It’s a tiny movie about how sad and hard life is. It’s a 30 second expose on how we’re going to die and we should leave the most we can to those who survive on.

Pocket Casts Timestamped Link: The Nerdist – T.J. Miller #3, 33m, 54s