With the weather weird, I’ve been spending a lot of time amusing myself with various toys. Last night, while simultaneously ripping my entire CD collection to my new external hard drive so that I can use the music on my new iPod, I installed a new bike pump on my road bike (which is still on the trainer). Century Cycles had a deal on bike pumps so I had procured a pretty nice new one for just $12 (it was half price). Fortunately for me, it was a nice black pump with some red painted-metal parts–thus, it matches the color of the Giant. So I decided to put the new one on my road bike. It had been in my plan anyway because Michael had jury-rigged a pump mount for my existing pump (I had lost the original mount because I used to keep it in a backpack I no longer always wear when riding) and sometimes the pump would slide around or fall off if I didn’t put it in the mount in an exact position. So now I plan to put my old pump and mount on the Beast, but I haven’t done that yet since the Beast was in the garage and I didn’t feel like dragging it into the house.
I’m having great fun playing with my new 8GB iPod Nano (in PURPLE!!!). As I indicated above, I’ve spent the last several evenings burning my entire CD collection to the 500GB external hard drive I purchased. I’m really surprised how many CDs it takes to even get to 4GB. I’m now glad that I only got the 8GB Nano because it seems as though my CD collection isn’t as vast as I imagined. As of right now, I can put everything I’ve burned so far on my iPod. I removed a couple CDs from the iPod because they are holiday music and I don’t want to hear Christmas songs amidst the shuffle mode of music, but still… I’m starting to feel as though I’m really a music dullard. I should have more music than this! I still probably have about 100 CDs to burn yet, so maybe I will make it to 10GB. I guess I can use the external hard drive to store some other stuff, too.
I also spent some time looking at what Podcasts I can subscribe to for free. While I can’t get entire episodes of A Prairie Home Companion as I’d hoped, I can get “News from Lake Woebegon” and “A Writer’s Almanac” which is another Garrison Keillor feature where he reads poetry and gives a little talk about it. That’s pretty exciting! I love Garrison Keillor–I think he’s a genius. I know he’s a little odd-looking, but I actually find him kind of cute. I think it must be his intellectual genius and his great folksy story-telling abilities. If he taught at a university, he’d have one of those classes where time just flew by because you were so involved in listening to him.
I wanted to subscribe to the “Coast to Coast AM” with George Nory (formerly Art Bell) podcast, but apparently you have to become a member of Streamlink which costs money. “Coast to Coast AM,” in case you don’t know, is a late night radio show that discusses seriously any weird phenomenon you can come up with–ghosts, aliens, government conspiracies, alternate universes, telepathy, etc. It’s great! Ear-candy, really. I don’t actually believe in any of that stuff, but it’s nice to image that life is that exciting. To me, it’s like listening to science-fiction anyway. Can you imagine me, in the dark, holding up a lighter and screaming, “I want to believe!!” like that UFO poster on the wall of Fox Moulder’s office in the X-Files.
“Coast to Coast AM” saw me through the miles between Ohio and Colorado on multiple trips out west because it’s the only thing that you can find on any channel once the channel you’re listening to fades. You just hit scan on your radio, and–woof!–there it is again. I did most of my “commute” between Ohio and Colorado in one sleepless twenty-four hour shot so I needed something to keep my ears entertained while I was chugging coffee and driving across that boring Nebraska wilderness at night. Just the type of place where you might expect to see a UFO in the empty high plains wilderness. I never did see one, but I sure would have loved to!
Anyway, I’m not devoted enough to become a member of Streamlink–the official “fan club” of the show for all the paranoid schizophrenic people who take that show seriously. I wish I could find a way to get the podcast for free; being that I am not up that late so much any more, I miss my regular dose of psychotic ear-candy. I guess I’ll have to go back to reading those government conspiracy and alien books posing as nonfiction that I spent a few months reading several years back. You know, these books that appear in the non-fiction area of the bookstore under “meta-physics.”
My DVD player is completely kaput. I had thought I needed to replace a fuse (and such had been suggested by more electronically-minded folks I know), but that didn’t do the trick. The DVD player is deader than dead. Of course, I want to watch DVDs now more than ever because it’s not working. Especially in the evening when there’s nothing on TV. We’re in that void period of television programming where some shows are in some weird break and I have no clue when they will come back and, if they do, it will be only for one or two weeks. I know, I should just go to my office and, while ripping CDs, do some writing. I’ll get there. But the problem still remains that when there’s nothing on TV, I’ll have nothing to distract me when I’m using my trainer and I need something to watch to get me to sit on my bike for 40 minutes.
So I started browsing Best Buy for some DVD players. I don’t really want to spend the money on it. But with my VCR also broken, I’m starting to think I should replace both–get one of those “two in one” units. Then, of course, when looking at a few of these type, I came across ones that have writable DVD players. And I’m thinking that I could use it to record shows and stop subscribing to my DVR service with the cable company, thus reducing my monthly cable bill, though it’s hard because a DVR is really nice since it finds a show whenever it is on and records it without having any further programming… Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should just buy a regular DVD player with VCR and then much, much later purchase my own DVR.
Ugh!! But why do I need to watch so much TV?! I’m a junkie. Maybe I should just take the broken DVD player as a sign from the Powers that Be that I need to find something more constructive to do with my time. Though, I don’t think the Powers that Be considered my lack of motivation for using my trainer–good exercise in the winter–when I don’t have some show to distract me. It’s not like I’m not doing any reading, though; I’ve read quite a few books this winter. So I’m not watching TV all of the time. Just for Gossip Girl, Heroes, The Real World (yes, I’m addicted, I can’t help it, I suck), Fringe (thanks, L), Ghost Whisperer, and Battlestar Galactica. That’s not that much.
So. I kind of suck because I excitedly await each week for Century Cycles’ next “hot deals for cold days” which is what led to my purchase of the aforementioned bike pump and a Giant jersey the week before. Even though I already know that in the spring I’m going to need to purchase new bike shoes…
I won’t feel guilty about getting hung up on material items–my toys for the enjoyment of life. I did resist the urge, so far, to buy snow-shoes. However, I got an e-mail from Appalachian Outfitters–an outdoors store in Peninsula–that they are having a post-winter/pre-spring sale this weekend on, yes, snow-shoes… They claim 60-75% off!
Yeah, I know. I’m sunk. But it feels so good!!