Trust the Gene Genie

Friday, September 30, 2005

iPod: Week two

I know no one cares, but I figured since no one really reads the blog, I could go ahead and give an update on my second week as an iPod owner. So take heart brave reader and soldier on. It'll be fun, I promise.

Gigabytes used: 7.84

Number of Songs: 1967

Number of podcasts: 3

Most random recording: "A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy -- it's the infamous disco-fied version of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It speaks to me.

Most eclectic recording: "Guadalajara" by the Mariachi Mexico -- it sounds like it was recorded in the early 40s and is just awesome.

Favorite recording currently (it could change at any moment): "Bring on the Night" by The Police

Most embarrassing recording: "Are You Lonesome" an Elvis cover by Bryan Ferry. It's pretty bad.

Most embarrassing artist: Linda Ronstadt

Number of U2 songs: 283

Number of Neneh Cherry songs: 1

So there it is. A snapshot of Rob's iPod. Good times, good times. Enjoy your weekend, I know I will. I'm coming home, Becky! I'm coming home!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

They're magical

It's all about the album art. Well, it used to be. You see CD jewel cases are considerably smaller than LP album covers. I don't think people pay attention to album covers as much anymore. Well, for some, that's a good thing. I was recently direceted to a little Web site called Show And Tell Music -- it's mind-blowing in its thoroughness. Some guy with an album collection to match the Library of Congress has scanned in thousands of LP covers from his collection that he deems to be some of the most abominable album covers known to man. They're absolutely hilarious. I've provided a couple of examples. I'd like to think Laverne is what happened to Nick Andopolis 10 years after high school. Anyway, check out the site when you've got some time. You can thank me later.

On another note, "Veronica Mars" premiered last night and it was brilliant. Exceeded all expectations. Becky and I got hooked on the show during the summer when UPN was playing the reruns. Hands down, it's the best drama on TV right now, UPN be damned. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Trust me.

And as long as we're talking television, "don't talk nonsense to Bob Loblaw." If haven't watched "Arrested Development" then you don't know what it means to laugh. Another great show that really shouldn't be missed.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Old friends

Now that I've got my iPod, I'm trying to decide what to do with my minidisc player. I got it back in the late '90s when every showboater with some cash and a shallow yet loudly professed love of music was buying CD burners. I would smuggly tell them minidiscs were infinitely re-recordable, that they could be edited and programmed and that they were so much cooler than burnable CDs. They still are, by the way.

Anyway, that ship has sailed. Now, we all now, if your music isn't an electronic file, you're the new dope. I love my minidisc player. I've got dozens and dozens of candy-colored minidiscs with sonic treasures all over the place. They used to get us through the long road trips from Roseburg to Salt Lake, from Salt Lake to Richland and even from Portland to Sharm el Sheik.

In fact, because my MD player was also a recorder, I used to plug into my computer's headphone jack and record all sorts of soundfiles from various Web sites -- bootlegged U2, Wilco radio interviews and even NPR stuff. Before we took long road trips I used to go to the This American Life homepage and record three or four shows to listen to while we traveled. For a while my MD was a part of the family.

But, I'm afraid, the little guy is obsolete. The mix MDs I spent hours making are now playlists on my iPod. Most of the jewels, the really rare stuff I found back in the Napster hay-day, I've either found elsewhere or is now available on iTunes. My Md player and MDs are literally obsolete. So do I sell it? I can't imagine there's a market for them and mine is very used. do I bury it in the backyard, with a ceremonial bagpipes and canon fire? That doesn't seem right. Maybe I'll just pack it away, hold on to it for a rainy day, when the iPod breaks down or itself becomes outdated and I need a little something something. Maybe I'll have it bronzed and hang it on a plaque on my wall. At any rate, the time has come to bid it a fond farewell.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

30 is the new 18

Three weeks just seems like a good time in between posts. Not really. I'm lazy. Have I mentioned this before? Anyway. Yesterday was the big day. I turned 30. No longer in my 20s, I feel my youth is officially over. But, even so, it was an amazing day. And, lucky for you, I'm going to tell you all about it.

The day started early. The girls, it seemed could feel the electricity in the air signaling that the 21st of Septemeber is a special day and just couldn't stay in bed. Not unlike Christmas. Anyway, they came bounding into the bedroom and Claire, who had been aware that my birthday was coming, asked me if I was now old. She then told me I didn't look old. It was kind of funny.

At that point, we hear the strains of "Las Mananitas" floating up the stairs and I realize: the day is here. Becky had gone downstairs and started the music. The girls and I came down and we decided, after a little deliberation, to open my big gift there and then. Yes, it was a brand-new 20gb iPod and it is glorious. But, believe it or not, the good stuff was still to come.

Becky slipped into the kitchen and started breakfast. She made pecan-stuffed waffles -- a new recipe we've discovered -- and they were awesome. Don't worry, for the waffle part of the recipe -- which actually calls for frozen waffles -- we use mom's classic waffle recipe. So after dawdling for an hour or so with my iPod, I decide to actually go to work.

As I walk in -- the employee entrance brings you in near the back of the newsroom -- I see people kind of up around rather than sitting at their desks and then I notice that it's over some commotion near my desk. Three balloons floated above my computer and stuck to every free surface are 30 red, construction-paper hearts that open to reveal heart-shaped snap shots and little messages detailing the 30 reasons why Becky and the girls love me. It was better than the iPod. Really.

The reaction from my co-workers was classic. A few are married, but even today, I'm still getting comments about how amazingly sweet and considerate the gesture was and how lucky I am to have someone who would do that for me. I, of course, remind them that they're just as lucky to have me. But they just laugh at me. Seriously though, it was something else. Being a newsroom, our photo editor was there so he gabbed his camera and got shots of the whole scene as it unfolded. That was pretty cool, too.

Later that night we had dinner, opened cards and my last gift, sang the three verses of the birthday song and had chocolate suicide tort with gaunache. It was stellar. I thought 30 was going to be a hard birthday, but this was really, really good. I certainly have no doubt about how much Becky loves me.

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