The iPod Shuffle: A Paean

[Amazon Link]

This wonderful little device was a Father's Day present from the Salad kids. I've only recently outgrown thinking of "Apple Computer" as synonymous with "overpriced proprietary crap". But this beast, while (mostly) proprietary, is not out of line pricewise with other flash players, and is not crap. Sound is fine to my ancient ears.

I plunked down for a $15 tape cassete adaptor at Best Buy, and that makes it sound great in my car too. (There's a little clickety-clack noise from the casette mechanism itself, which is too bad, but what the heck, that's why we have a volume control: drown it out.) I haven't listened to the radio in my car for over a week now.

It holds about 17.7 hours of music each time I fill it up at the laptop. (I previously, and fortuitously, used iTunes just as a CD ripper/music player there, so I had already accumulated about 4 Gig of music.)

And when I plugged it in to the USB port on the laptop, it Just Worked. I love it when things Just Work. (Well, I kind of like it when things don't Just Work, too, because I enjoy futzing with it. Assuming that futzing is effective. Assuming it's not: Just Doesn't Work.)

And I am totally married to shuffling (you don't have to shuffle, but I've not done anything else); there's something sweet about a Jimmy Webb ballad being followed immediately by "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. I don't think I'd ever find a radio station that does that; and of course, now I don't have to.

Bless those little urchins. They don't have to get me anything for Father's Day ever again.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 11:51 AM EDT

All the Flowers Are Dying

[Amazon Link]

This is the latest Matt Scudder novel from Lawrence Block. I'm a longtime fan of both the author and this series, so it was a must. It's very "gritty" with quite a bit of violence, including sexual violence, including pedophilic sexual violence, explicitly described from the perpetrator's POV. So: not recommended if that's going to put you off your feed; it seems more graphic in this regard than previous Scudders but I might be just getting old and easily shocked. And it builds to an unusually harrowing climax.

Just to show you how much I'm into the series: I worry sometimes whether enough crap will fall on Scudder to make him start drinking again. (Hey, maybe that happens in this book. I'm not going to spoil it for you.)

And Scudder, I think, is probably the best fictional detective in the business, amazingly diligent at picking up clues and following them to the bad guy when nobody else can. I swear, Matt could find Osama if they put him on the case. And if Matt weren't, um, fictional.

For what it's worth: I picked out the bad guy right away, once an important clue was provided. You can too, if you pay attention.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 11:51 AM EDT

URLs du Jour (6/28/2005)

  • 'God Bless You, Dude.' Go read.
  • Unconvinced that Paul Krugman has completely devolved from economist to demagogic partisan hack? This post by Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution might do the trick.

    Paul Krugman used to be a liberal economist; no longer. His abandonment of economics has long been plain, Krugman's abandonment of liberalism was announced in yesterday's commentary on China.
  • And yet another Kelo-related URL: heh. (Via Hit & Run.) UPDATE: Glenn agrees: heh.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 11:56 AM EDT