Trust the Gene Genie

Friday, August 26, 2005

iPod, youPod

Yes, I took the plunge and bought an iPod yesterday. I've been aching for one for a couple of years, but as we all know, they're really dang expensive. It's been a long, difficult journey for me. When the U2 iPod was released last year, I thought I would die. For $350 I could be the ultimate U2 fan and have an iPod. But the price tag killed me. Last winter, with my combined Christmas money -- mostly because of generous in-laws -- I probably had enough to get one. But when it actually came down to buying it, I couldn't spend $300 for what is essentially a very hip, very pretty Walkman. But the desire was insatiable. By February, I had signed up at in a pathetic attempt to get one, hence the link on the right side of the page. By June, I had sold my XBox as a means of generating funds to buy one. I sold books and DVDs on to bring in more cash.

Then last month, the next generation of iPods was released. The photo models with the color screen. They look great. A co-worker got one just last week and it's been the envy of all the newsroom. Yesterday, I got back on to to drool a little more over the virtual iPod I had sitting in my wish list. Yeah, that's wish with a capital "W." Anyway, the older generation iPod, the one with the b&w screen had dropped about $60 in price. If I ordered it through Amazon, and signed up for the Amazon Visa, I could get the iPod for $209. It was a big dilema. I mean, who doesn't want the new one, the fancy color screen one, the latest on the market? And I still had that hope in the back of my mind I could somehow get the U2 version. But Amazon, in it's description of the b&w screen iPod, used the ultimate selling tool, "while supplies last." And I knew it was true. At the most these things were selling for an unbelievable $239. With the Amazon Visa discount, $209. I knew they would go fast.

So I conferred with Becky, decided I could always upgrade if I ever had the money, and bought the iPod. I'll use some birthday money to buy it, so, even though it comes Sept. 6, Becky's making me wait until the 21st to open it. But hey, I've waited this long, what's another few weeks? I'm hip already, right?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back to School

I've been neglecting my blog. Because I'm lazy. "Tell me something I don't know," many of you are thinking. And correctly so. If I weren't lazy, I would be my brother H.L., clerking for a hot-shot judge in the DC circuit court. The only way to best a clerkship like that is to actually clerk for the Supreme Court. Actually, I probably wouldn't be a lawyer if I wasn't lazy. I've be ... a better reporter? I dunno. Sometimes I think this isn't the profession for me, but I always come back to how perfect the job fits my likes and passions. Maybe if I weren't lazy, I'd just be freelancing on the side for big-time magazines or writing a book.

Anyway, I'm making no sense. The real news is this: Claire started kindergarten yesterday. That's it. I'm old enough to have a child in the public education system. It will only be a matter of time before she's graduated high school and left for college. It's so surreal. Part of it, I'm sure, is my inability to accept my station in life. In my mind's eye, I'm still a 21- or 22-year-old.

But what surprised me about taking Claire to her first day of school was realizing that I was relenquishing control of her life. She is now in someone else's hands, for better or for worse. That's hard. But I know this is the best thing. It would be infinitely worse to home-school her, stunting her emotional and social growth by never giving her the chance to get out on her own. Parenting blows my mind. I think that's the only conclusion I can come up with.

Age is a weird, slippery thing. I turn 30 next month. I used to be dreading it, actually, for the same resons I can't believe I have a child in school. I've been dreading it for the past three years, actually. And because of that, as my birthday approaches I've become more comfortable with it. But it's still weird. Weird because there are memories fresh in my mind from elementary school that make my childhood only seem like momemts ago, not decades ago. I always thought that when I got old I'd feel old. But that's not the case so I'm not sure how to deal with it. I'm guessing the key is to not deal with it, but to just go with the flow -- just keep trucking down that road of life and don't look back too often. And I guess that's my problem. I like to look back. I'm unhealthily nostalgic.

It's all so strange. And I have a canker that won't go away.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This is classic. I was clearing off my desk today and came across a stack of hand-written thank-you notes from a class of junior high school kids. I was at their school in May for career day and spoke to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders about journalism as a career. Most of the notes were short, some were insincere and a few made no sense. But one was classic:

To: the Journalist,

Thanks for coming to our school. Most of the kids probably thought your presentation was boring but I thought it was o.k. Even though I don't want to be a journalist I still wanted to find out what it was like to be one. Maybe it isn't as bad as it sounds.
Anyway, thanks for coming.

From: Leine

p.s. I have a newspaper class I have to take and it's really boring. But your job sounds neat.

So there it is. What's funny is I left that day totally convinced I rocked their little junior high world. Guess not. Anyway, I'll throw one more in for good measure. Should give you some confidence in our public school system:

Dear record serchlight resechor

I whold like to say than kyow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This may be a little self-serving, but it's so entertaining it's hard to deny. This is basically Skutch defined. Follow the links, one by one, to watch the story unfold:

Skutch, a group ... of students. The Skutch reference appears about two-thirds of the way down, next to the pictures of the rafters.

Skutch in the news. The debate starts at Message 20. You'll have to scroll down a bit.

Skutch defined. Cody clears things up.

And here, of course, is Cody's creation.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It's been a long week. My Dad and Mom came to visit last Tuesday and just left yesterday. It was a lot of fun giving them a peak of Rogers life in Redding. But it's still kind of wierd to have your parents visit you rather than the other way around. It took a good two days before everyone was relaxed and acting pretty normal. I'm not sure why. We loved having my folks there but it seemed like it took them a while not to feel like they were invading our space or shaking up the routine. Anyway. It's easier going to visit them. Which we'll be doing in November when we fly out to Washington, D.C.

It's funny, I never realized how little there is to do in Redding until I had to entertain guests for a week. Maybe that was the problem -- I thought of my parents as guests I had to entertain rather than, well, my parents. Anyway. We took them on a tour of the Shasta Dam. We had to kill time. And admittedly it was pretty interesting. We took them to Whiskeytown Lake, which was pretty fun. Though neither wore swimsuits or got wet. Anyway. They're off to Seattle to visit my sister and her family and we'll see if they have a better time there. I'm guessing they will. It's Seattle.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

In honor of John Bolton's new job, I wanted to offer my hearty congratulations:

"Senator George Voinovich, the Ohio Republican who became one of Mr. Bolton's strongest critics, said yesterday that he planned to send the new ambassador a book on how to be an effective manager. It couldn't hurt, but this may be the first time a world superpower has used its top United Nations post as a spot for the remedial training of a troublesome government employee."

Like the New York Times' editorial page, we here at the Rob Report send our best to John Bolton in his new job. Keep those staplers on the desk, John!

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