A police officer who pushes a solo patrol car, that is alone, with no partner, becomes a master multi-tasker. He must pay attention to traffic while watching for violations, listen to the radio for the next detail and to know where every other officer is and what they're doing, listen to the scanner to know what's going on in neighboring cities, watch pedestrian traffic for criminal activity and peek into businesses/parking lots/etc. for on view crimes. Throw in the occasional civilian ride along who is asking a steady stream of questions and he's mentally processing a lot of information, some of it with life and death implications. With time and experience it becomes second nature. It also apparently becomes a lifetime habit.
I found that away from the job I needed audio input when I drove. I needed someone talking in the background. Same at home. I couldn't simply sit in front of the TV. I also read, worked a puzzle or wrote/read on the Internet. Work with background voices.
I thought when I retired that would end. Turns out that isn't the case. I've been driving a bit alone lately, traveling to and from Utah and my buddy's house in New Mexico. Without Lu to keep me company and fill the silent miles with comfortable sound I had to turn to the radio. I tried XM but hate the expense. I have my collection of music CD's but that's different.
To me music is workout material. I like the most obnoxious rock imaginable when I'm in the gym. When I lift it's a short, directed outburst of effort and energy and bands such as Slayer and the like give me the adrenaline shot I need. I'm an angry lifter and I like angry music about death and war and eating ones enemies. On the bike I prefer classic 60's and 70's rock. BTO, Boston, Clapton, help me put away the miles and meter my energy expenditure so I don't bonk too soon. (Music is also reserved for the Vette. Gotta have the tunes cranked.)
So I turn to AM and talk radio. The problem is trying to find something to listen to across the desert between Bakersfield and Vegas. Frankly it's a mess and during the day so difficult to hold an interesting station. The solution?
Turns out books on tape are the cats ass. I tried it this last trip. The only book I had was the New Testament so I went with it and got most of the way through in about 36 hours of driving. I'm hooked and shopping for titles now. I'm going to be adding a pretty extensive collection but I'm not sure the content matters all that much, I just need the vocal input.
It's said that old habits die hard. I can attest to the truth in that. Still, as habits go I guess this one isn't too bad. It may cost me a few shekels to buy books on CD I already have on dead trees but at least I'm not hooked on what passes for music these days. Kids these days.