Breakfast

Note: This is a boring personal-ish post while mainly to help get back into the habit of writing regularly. If you’re not interested in what I had for breakfast (literally), please check back next week when I’ll have something more interesting to say.

After a few months of trying I’ve managed to get into the habit of making and eating breakfast everyday. A healthy, high-protein, slow-carb breakfast takes me about 20 minutes to cook, eat and clean up. This includes setting up the coffee machine at some point (but drinking the coffee takes a bit longer). 20 minutes is about the length of one episode of any number of TV shows. My choice so far has been the US version of The Office so far. But a few days ago I cancelled my Netflix account for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is wanting to watch less TV. While I’m glad to have the $20 (and the uncounted hours) of savings per month, it leaves the question: what do I do during breakfast?

I could do nothing — just cook and eat breakfast without anything else, but that’s not really my style. While I’m all for being comfortable with solitude, making and eating breakfast in complete silence, all by myself, is a bit much. At the same time, I do enough reading and writing each day as is and I don’t really want to do more of it first thing in the morning. What I would really like is some kind of semi-passive activity that doesn’t shut down my brain in quite the same way that TV does.

To that effect, I’ve been thinking: podcasts. Unfortunately my knowledge of podcasts is pretty limited. I used to listen to some technology podcasts a few years ago, but that kind of thing no longer interests me. (I’d rather be working on the cutting edge of tomorrow’s technology than keeping up with the latest Apple product or Valley startup.) I’ve subscribed to some podcasts that friends have mentioned including NPR Technology, Freakonomics and Debbie Millman’s Design Matters. While I like each of them, they’re generally much more than 20 minutes and usually vary in time. While I enjoy listening to longer podcasts while doing chores and such, my mornings are usually pretty tight and I don’t want to spend more than 20-30 minutes on breakfast related things.

So it’s audience participation time: what are some interesting podcasts that don’t have a popular tech or productivity focus and are reliably 20 to 30 minutes in length? Failing that, what are other mostly passive things I could be doing over breakfast?