Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Here's that more lighthearted post I referred to yesterday -- A bunch of unrelated observations:

1 ) Cable game. I've got two iPods, a Nano and one of the new Shuffles. The shuffle is that little postage stamp-sized one with a clip integrated into the back of it so you don't lose the thing. So, I have two sets of the iconic white headphones, and it was only a couple of days ago that I realized that they are different lengths. One has what seems to be the standard three feet of cord, and one is longer, probably just shy of 4 feet.

You have no idea how much of a difference that foot makes. Three feet is JUST long enough to go from a front jeans pocket to my ears without binding. Barely. It doesn't work well running from my back jersey pocket, down under the front, and into my ears, or a back jeans pocket, or any other arrangement. I think Shaq would be SOL. With the 4-foot cable, all of those things work fine. Except perhaps Shaq, but you'd have to ask him.

I wish I knew what the deal was with that. Is one the old version, and the longer version on newer ipods? Vice-versa? Does the little crippled cable come with the neo-shuffle, some kind of tiny little cost-cutting measure?

2 ) Stuck on Band-Aid (brand) -- These guys have done a great job of convincing us all that self-contained adhesive bandages are what everyone needs. Seriously, how much blood does that pathetic little pad absorb? I just have a roll of that athletic adhesive tape stuff, it was a few dollars for a very large roll. Throw over minor cuts on its own, or add some gauze if you actually need to soak anything up. But, if you must use a self-adhesive bandage, certainly don't buy an off-brand band-aid style bandage. Those stick for about five seconds.

And, yeah, Tegaderm is great stuff. It is also pretty darn expensive. I hear DuoDerm is even better. It is silly expensive.

3) Hotmail -- I use Gmail for almost everything these days. Evil or not, it's by far the best system of the free e-mails. None the less, I maintain the hotmail account I have had since hotmail FIRST came out, since it's the contact information for me that a lot of old friends have. Besides always lagging behind yahoo, gmail, et al., in programming slickness and memory capacity, it seems like the sucker is down half of the times I try to use it. C'mon, Microsoft. You can do better than that. Likewise, for all of you people with MSN spaces blogs, I don't even bother with yer clunky comment system.

4) Goodbye moto -- I had, up until recently, a Motorazr flip phone; the "Razor" that everyone seems to have. I got it probably for the same reason as the rest of them: I liked its sleek looks and metal frame, and I presumed that, due to its popularity, its general functionality had to be about the same as everything else. It was not until the thing was stolen a couple of weeks ago that I really realized that it wasn't. Being stolen from always feels like an invasion, and my phone becoming someone's drug money is a frustrating proposition. Still, I don't miss the thing. I've switched back to my old brick of a Nokia, and I've realized all the stuff that was not so great about it:

* The battery life was pathetic. Seriously, you got about an hour and some of talk time. If I didn't plug it in every night, I'd be out of juice the next day. A sacrifice to make the sucker thinner, I know, but that was just sad

* The front screen was just illegible. It just didn't light up. Hoo-ray for TWO color LCD's, which I'm sure added to the price, but if you were outdoors you had to hold the thing into your cupped hand to even read it. Swell.

* Predictive text dictionary had about 10 words in it. Seriously, text messaging on this thing was an absolute bear. Combine the sad, sad little dictionary with the flat Star Trek-style keypad, and it was a frustrating endeavor to text anyone. The "delete" button was just beside the "hangup" button, the latter of which would abandon the text message entirely. Great. That's what I needed.

There are more little details, too, like the fact that it had a camera, but it was impossible to use properly because of the angle that it was set at when unflipped, or the whisper-quiet little speaker, but, sheesh. I'll keep on with this Nokia for a while, and maybe buy another Finnish contraption when it goes.

For the moment, let me avoid the subsidized-with-contract issue on cellphones entirely.

Finally, what's going on with this whole racism-on-the-radio debacle? I don't listen to Don Imus, so I didn't hear it live -- as a matter of fact, I had never even HEARD of Imus before this whole bruhaha, or however you're supposed to write that word. Is it related to brujah -- "witch" in spanish? In any case, it seems like the problem is his reference to a collegiate womens' basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." It seems as though the protests center around "nappy-headed," which they feel is a racist insult as most of the team is african-american.

I'm confused. Is "nappy" really an racist insult? Am I just out of the loop? I worked in natural foods stores for several years, and I frequently heard the term bandied about. Almost always, it was a reference to hippies and their "dreadlocks," the owners of which were mostly caucasian. Personally, I'd be more offended by calling a bunch of student-athletes "hos." From the sound of it, too, isn't the whole gig with Imus's show that it is insulting? I don't know.


  • At 9:51 AM , Blogger josh said...

    i like my razr. it is less stupid than the chocolate. how can you take a phone seriously when it is called chocolate?

    i wonder what legnth my ipod headphone cord is. granted im not really tall like you, but it is plenty long enough to wear in the right ear only, run down my back inside my jersey, and then pop out and up into my jersey pocket (where my ipod resides)...

    and yes, you are out of the loop.

  • At 10:21 AM , Blogger Andrew said...

    The best feature of the new shuffle (and the iPod Video Remote) is that it is a clip. You just put it on your left bib strap and you have all the controls at your fingers. No more fiddling in the pockets to fast-forward past the crap songs that sneak into the playlist. 3' is plenty from there.

  • At 10:58 AM , Blogger Argentius said...

    I like the clip a lot.

    I also like that the controls are all-analog -- no touch screen.

    This means I can fumble about with gloved fingers and still hit the buttons.

    But, I still don't trust not having it ensconced in a pocket. I worry that I will have a very expensive bunny-hop...

  • At 2:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Leave the Seattle area and try going into the inner city of Detroit or the South side of Chicago and start yelling "Nappy hos".

    After you do that let me know if you still think it is racist or not.

  • At 8:11 PM , Blogger stokediam said...

    Don't you guys have radio pockets on the bib part of your bib shorts? You know, where you put the team radio when you're racing? What kind of clothing sponsor did you get? I love the pocket on my bibs!

  • At 10:15 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

    1. The way you do scantrons is wholly remarkable. And I thought I was fast. :)
    2. I can't fucking believe that you find the default ipod headphones tolerable. :)


  • At 12:14 AM , Blogger Argentius said...

    Andy --

    Well, they came with the ipod, which means they were free. I think they sort of suck, but they are tolerable. They are better than many cheap earbuds.

    Got a better suggestion for not more money than my ipod shuffle cost?

    I will use them while riding my bike, so they must be earbuds. I have a pair of over-the-ears type for home.

  • At 11:51 AM , Blogger Andrew said...

    For cycling, I have sony mdr-ex71 in-ear earbuds and am VERY pleased with them. They actually act like earplugs, blocking out pesky noises like the wind. They also have a better dynamic range than I thought possible with earbuds. They ran ~$50. If you want to spring for even higher quality, I would suggest checking out Shure's (sp?? fucking Germans...) line of in-ear phones, although their bottom of the line product is something like $100 at standard retail outlets (you could probably find cheaper on the interweb).

    Oh, another thing.
    1. It seems like we have similar perspectives on ADD as a "disorder". Your take is actually supported by empirical research.
    2. Also, I mean, you're not in too bad a place, I think. You're doing something you love many hours a week.



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