Tuesday August 9, 2005


There are relatively few purchases one makes in life where congratulations are received. I got many congratulations upon buying my first new car. I imagine I’ll get pats on the back and kudos all around on the day I finally buy a house. But it takes a special kind of product to invoke the congratulations of friends and strangers when it is really not that much bigger than a deck of cards.

My birthday was about a week and a half ago. While I am not much of a fan of birthdays anymore, my wife is. Some people enjoy showing love through gifts, and my wife is one of them. On the hunt for the perfect gift for occasions near and far, Jessica has paid close attention to my browsing habits as we have trawled the flourescent aisles of today’s modern superstores.

There was only one thing I consistently stopped and gazed at with a sappy look on my face.

My birthday came, and Jessica asked me one last time if I really wanted this object of my desire. She really wanted to get it for me. I wrestled with the choice for days—maybe weeks. Though we are neither wealthy nor poor, I ultimately choked on the price tag and opted for an equally nice gift at a slightly lesser cost to the ol’ family checkbook. No sense in being greedy, I said.

A week went by and my new stereo shelf unit was getting good mileage. My beloved Philips stereo had broken in the move to Plano (translation: I dropped it while setting it up) and I was happy with the flood of bass-saturated decibels once again filling our apartment. Still, there was this nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, “You know what you really want. Sony can’t scratch that itch.”

I resisted as long as I could. One night I found myself in the grips of insomnia. I tossed and turned, watched Opie’s dad hock SMC on TV, confirmed that Channel 27 really does show Fear Factor every single hour of the day, and fought the urge to give in to my silly desires. But, like a miniature poodle in a Hulk Hogan headlock, I finally got sacked. The next evening we boxed up my stereo and returned it to the store for the inevitable exchange.

Friends, there’s just no resisting the iPod. Once its pristine white and chrome casing comes within reach, Steve Jobs launches an army of frenzied nanoprobes into your eyesockets, refusing your ability to see anything else. They chatter on and on until you give in. And I couldn’t be happier about that. Because Apple has built an entire experience around iPod. It’s like a club. Or a higher plateau of musical dedication. Curse you, Steve! I’m ever closer to becoming a full-fledged Mac addict (be quick about pumping out those G5 Powerbooks, will ya?).


mat » 5885 days ago #

Oh yes, I have been there. I too fell for the pristine white casing. Twice. Oh, how weak we are.

Sadly, they do not publicise that you must purchase additional wizardry to maintain their beauty.

Andrew Kaufmann » 5885 days ago #

So what kind of car is it?? :)

Jared Christensen » 5885 days ago #

Wizardry? Such as protective cases and scratch removers? Or something more dastardly?

Andrew - it was a 2004 Ford Focus. Me likes.

Steve » 5885 days ago #

This has to be your next purchase. It fills your room as only Bose can do.

Bose SoundDock

Abel Rios » 5885 days ago #

You still should have told us it was your birthday, even if it were a dinner or something. Either way, that’s one nice little birthday gift. Welcome to the digital age, my friend. No more 12” EP’s for you! Ha!

Pierce » 5884 days ago #

I have an IRiver. Which I really like apart from the stupid name. I have an irrisistable urge to tell people that when they tell me about their new iPods.

It does feel like I’m not in the club though. I mean, podcasting? Whats that about? It’s just mp3s. Shouldn’t it be called mp3casting? I guess it’s like people calling all cola Coke, or all 4×4s Jeeps.

Nathan Smith » 5884 days ago #

“Congrats!” Actually, I can’t give you a hearty, welcome to the club, pat-on-the-back, having not owned an iPod myself. I’ve never been one for extra things I have to carry on my person, whether that be a music player, necklace, etc. I have a hard enough time remembering to wear my watch.

I can identify with the whole first car thing though. Happy birthday, by the way. :)

Josh Dura » 5884 days ago #

Not cool telling us it was your birthday. Next time we are all out together, dinner is on me (and Abel of course). Welcome to the club.

Jared Christensen » 5884 days ago #

* sniff * I feel the love…

You got it, Josh. ;)

Alan » 5882 days ago #

You won’t be getting a G5 Powerbook any time soon… lol. Jobs publicly announced a while back that they’d dropped IBM for processors and moved to Intel. What does this mean? x86 Macs within the next two years, oh joy.

I’ve never really liked iPods, and I doubt I ever will. lol To me they seem over-priced and underpowered when compared with cheaper alternatives (Creative have a great range).

Also, the Shuffle had to be the biggest joke I’ve ever seen. Only Apple could think it would be able to get away with an mp3 player without a screen, honestly.

Brian » 5881 days ago #

The Shuffle is actually the only iPod I would consider buying. I had a second-generation 10GB, but it broke after less than three years. I doubt I’ll ever buy another, but the Shuffle is just about cheap enough to want…

I just wish I hadn’t foolishly encoded half my music as M4A. I’ll never trust another closed format. sigh

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