Friday, February 29, 2008

Do the Shuffle

I may have solved my problem of falling over and getting all tangled up in my ipod nano (previous generation -- the longer, narrow one) wires while working out. I bought a refurbished shuffle, which i can clip to my shirt or shorts, thus bypassing having to deal with wearing a device on my arm, from apple this week. It's a great little device -- it's tiny, about the size of my thumb -- but you can't see what song is playing since it has no screen and you can't really make playlists on it, since everything you put on it is part of one big playlist. 

Still, since i just needed something that i could wear unobtrusively and which i could just put workout-type music on, it does the job (so far, since i've only had it a few days) and is a good deal for what i paid for it. Since everything that i listen to for cardio kind of sounds the same anyway, it's not of great importance that everything is grouped together. (And i've discovered some great DJ podcasts, so i can drag a few hour-long mix podcasts onto it and get into a good workout trance.)

Now i can dedicate my nano to podcasts, which i prefer to listen to while riding on the CTA (as well as waiting for those trains and buses to arrive) and driving music. And i've got my eye on an ipod touch this summer, once i get my IRS rebate check and, according to the rumors i've heard, the price of the touch drops a bit. Yeah, i'm drinking the apple Kool-aid, but i love the devices, especially since i'm still astounded that you can carry something around that's smaller than your hand and have hundreds, or thousands, of songs on it. Now if only there was a more aesthetically pleasing way of viewing, keeping, organizing the mp3 files on my hard drive.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bear With Me

Like a lot of what I do, I've entered the blogohighway with some intention, a little direction, but no road map whatsoever, except for the mirrors I use to take (hopefully not too many) clues from the bloggers who are on the road with me. I hope I'm not driving so slowly as to elicit the ire of those I dare to call my fellow bloggers as they speed on past me. My first couple blog posts haven't looked remarkably professional, I haven't quite figured out how to insert pictures, sound and video (but watch out when I do) and some of what I've attempted has had the effect of looking like it was put together by an 8-year-old (or, more likely, these days, by a 40-year-old), but I promise in time I'll find my footing (or my "voice" to steal a term from the master stealer Hillary Clinton), and I'll give you a reason to come back regularly and see what I've been up to, what I've come up with and what's gotten me in an uproar. Enjoy the ride. Just don't change my radio station, OK?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Don't Tell Me Words Don't Matter!"

Hope is not passive, hope is not blind. Sens. Clinton, McCain and everyone who says Barack Obama is getting people's hopes up, giving people 'false hope,' sound less like the people who should lead this country and more like the bitter, angry townsfolk in movies like "Footloose" and "Pump Up the Volume," telling us what we can't do and can't hope for instead of helping to lead us to where we want to be. 

Barack Obama is finally answering the criticism and the fear-mongering like a fighter, like a Chicagoan, [the above quote is from a speech he gave in Wisconsin this past weekend], and it is enough to have me cheering for him.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I am Prufrock! Via troystopher's blog, I found my way to this short and sweet 'what book are you' quiz. I thought the questions were rather broadly drawn, but what do you know, the answer seems to fit me. Try it, it's fun, and only takes a few seconds. 

You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Rediscovered, and it feels all new

Earlier this week I was surfing the mp3 blogs and found an entry on The Railway Children, a mid-late 80s English band. I downloaded the tracks to the one big hit album, "Reunion Wilderness," and finally, tonight,when I should already be sleeping, transferred the songs to my itunes library and began listening. 

I remember buying their album, on vinyl, probably atone of the import alternative record shops in Evanston where I also bought Generation X records and copies of Melody Maker and NME, when I was in college, and I remembered that I liked the band and their music, but I had no idea until I heard it again tonight of just how good their sound was. If you like the songs "Life in a Northern Town" and "Whisper to a Scream," which pretty much have a similar sound to the most laidback as well as most energetic songs of "The Railway Children," you may like this group. 

As far as the name goes, I'm not sure, but it may be inspired by the English film "The Railway Children." Here's what the wikipedia says (with my edits) about that movie:
"The story concerns a family who move to a house near the railway after the father is falsely accused of selling state secrets to the Russians, and imprisoned for five years. The three children amuse themselves by watching trains on the nearby railway line and waving to the passengers. They become friendly with the station porter, who is eventually able to help prove their father's innocence and the family is reunited."

The band released three albums before they broke up in 1994.