Phils weblog


It all started with an amazing birthday surprise from my Wife. She bought me a 60-minute holistic massage. I've had sports massages and Thai massages before — but I don't think I've had a holistic one. The treatment began with questions about where I hold my tension, am I particularly stressed at the moment, etc. Then the masseuse got to work on my back and neck. Where there was a lot of tension. She asked me to drink lots of water, and if I felt emotional, that I should try to sit with those feelings.

I felt really relaxed the first day, but the second day I was a little more emotional. I was also listening to the Focus podcast with guest Jason Snell. I thought to myself while listening, "When do I have no audio in my life?". When do I focus on my thoughts and feelings.

You see, I fill my ears and brain with Podcasts almost all the time. I do switch them off when doing long form technical writing, like tutorials and explainers. But if I'm coding examples, or writing step-by-step guides, I continue listening. So yesterday I decided while I was walking my dogs. I took out my Nothing's and listened to nothing. Now, nothing isn't the right word. I stopped listening to other people's thoughts and words, and started listening to nature and my thoughts.

A screenshot of Pocket Casts auto download settings.

Pocket Casts has a great feature, go to your profile page, then select Downloads, select the more menu …, then select Auto Download Settings. This controls how all your episodes are downloaded. I switched it to off. My plan is to intentionally download podcasts I'd like to listen to and remove all daily news and tech podcasts. They'll only be one daily I'm still going to listen to, and it's only 5 minutes long.

Today's dog walk I had the chance to use an app I downloaded. The app uses AI to identify birds from their bird song. I was lucky enough to hear:

A screenshot of the Merlin Bird ID app. Showing all the birds I heard today.

I also thought I'm hearing in 3D. It sounds strange, but podcasts are in stereo. The real world is in surround sound. I'm going to try to keep this up (at least during my dog walking) for a week. So expect a follow-up later this month.


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