iShouldn’t Have But iDid

Since the word count on my last freelance gig generated me a few additional ducats, iRewarded myself with an iPod Shuffle and the wonder is what took me so long. Part of the reason is that recently they went from above a hundie down to around sixty bucks. The other part is that it’s not like we’re iPod deficient; we have two in the house already. There’s a second-generation 20-gig model that actually still works quite nicely. And as a wedding present mom bought us a 60-gig iPod Photo last year.

With the exception off using the latter to store our digital photos on vacation in Africa in ’05 and on our roadtrip vacation last month, both units pretty much spend their time in my desk drawer because frankly the prime time for me to utilize them in the music delivery realm is while riding my bike or walking the dog… nd as space and weight are at something of a premium on my bike (plus iWorry about dropping or jarring them), most of the time they stay put.

Thus iWent and iGot me me this new one. No hard drive surfaces to damage, no screens to scratch and a reported 12 hours of battery functionality. At an almost ridiculous few ounces and less than the size of a pack of gum I just drop it in my pocket like of gum and ride. Plus the minimal instrumentation means it’s operable sight unseen through the fabric of my clothes. No muss, no fuss.

It went for its inaugural spin during the trip to last night’s bike ride and it worked great… but clearly my desk is another venue for its use and iAm obviously too capable making a fool of myself with it there:

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Surprise Surprize!

Cross-posted from Blogging.la

So I’m all set to brave the heat and the madding crowds of Costco just now and I bust out the front door to find a DHL box on the steps. At first I figure it’s something for my wife since I certainly wasn’t expecting any deliveries, but when I pick it up nah, it’s got my name on it. Full of curiosity I see it’s come from an M. McGuire at KFWB-AM and immediately I’m all “no frickin’ way!” loud enough that the old unneighborly neighbor examining his overly manicured front lawn across the street looks up at me dourly as if I’ve just confirmed to him that indeed I am a raving loon.

I give him a half wave and bust back inside, practically giddy. In fact I was entirely giddy because I knew that inside the yellow box was the prize for a contest I had entered around the middle of June, and one that I had figured I hadn’t won since there’d been neither a personal notification sent nor nothing I could find on the KFWB website.

The contest? I can’t remember the exact title but it was something like “Super Shooter” and the station was looking for photo submissions that focused on “favorite moments at Dodger Stadium.” And while I have plenty of fave moments from the many games I’ve watched there over my lifetime, there’s only one that I captured digitally, and that was this one taken Sept. 17, 2001, from the top deck prior to the start of the first baseball game to be played there after 9/11 terrorist attacks.

So I dug it out of the archives and sent it in:

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Shot with a dinosaur of a two-megapixel camera I just happened to be in the right place at the right time as the young man in front of me with flag in one hand and Dodger dog in the other did all the work. I just triggered the shutter. And almost six years later it garners me one of these guys somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 retail:

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Can’t wait until the batteries charge so I can see what this baby can do!

Thanks For The Warning

From the “One Should Never Fail To Acknowledge Kindness” file:

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July 17, 2006

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Officer Woolbright / Dist. 3 No. 34
P.O. Box 39
Flagstaff, AZ 86002-0039

Dear Officer Woolbright,

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for the courtesy you showed in issuing me a warning after we met on Highway 64 the morning of July 14. Had you instead cited me it would have brought a disappointing (and expensive!) end to what had been an incredible 16-day and 4,500-mile vacation through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona — including our first-ever visit to your Grand Canyon.

Please be assured that I was very conscientious about my traveling speed from the moment we parted through the remainder of our 500-mile trek that day and my wife and I (and the four discarded pups we rescued off Highway 163 in Monument Valley July 11) arrived home safely and soundly and in deep appreciation of your consideration and understanding.

Regards,

Will Campbell
Los Angeles, Calif.

Two One Two

I was hesitant to step to the scale, but not enough to keep me from it. The numbers read 212, but what they said “there is nothing you are incapable of when you believe.” In the 21 weeks since I began dieting, I’m two pounds away from having dropped a total of 50 pounds, and I haven’t been this weight since I was 19 years old.

Damn but don’t I want a Foster’s Freeze vanilla dip cone right about now! But before I go (noooo, not to Foster’s… to tennis!), let me tell you the story about these pants:

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I love these pants. Had them several years. They used to fit when I first bought ’em, then I outgrew them laterally, then in 2003 when I biked 2,200 miles that year they were too big (though not near as big as this) and from then on I started filling them back up until the day — or night rather — last year that they almost made me cry when I should’ve been laughing. See a group of us blogger types and spouses/significant others got together to go see Wil Wheaton doing some sketch/improv comedy at the Acme Theater on La Brea. These pants and a light sweater had been my go-to night-out outfit for awhile, but man my girth had become such that I’d finally achieved the breaking point. In other words, I couldn’t button them if I wanted to breath at all that evening. Even unbuttoned, they were reaaaaalllly snug, but I was resigned to just suffer he indignity.

We get there and Wil and his fellow comic actors are fun and funny, but all the while I’m sitting in my seat up in the back hating my uncomfortable self as I try to keep my gut sucked in enough between guffaws so the zipper — the primary means of pant suspension and retention — stays in its full and upright position instead of screaming southbound.

Needless to say at the end of the performance despite plans for the group to hang out with Wil, I’d been reduced to a self-loathing anti-socialite and I couldn’t get my fat ass out of there fast enough, if for no other reason than to get home and get these pants off and hung up in the back of the closet never to see the light of day again, or at least until the next time I would be forced to endure such personal and private humiliation.

Never again. And thank gawd the only thing I have to consider now is whether they’re worth taking to the tailor for shrinking.

Lock Rhymes With Rock

Trivial topic to be sure, but I’m in need of a temp diversion to kill a bit of time before I get crackin’ trying to wrangle interviewees for an article due soon… so the subject is: bike locks. Specifically the happy ending that resulted in me obtaining this brand spanking new one for absolutely free yesterday:

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The story begins back in 1999 when I purchased a Kryptonite u-lock at a Pasadena bike shop, where it was put into regular and successful use ffrom that point forward securing my various bicycles and preventing them from being stolen. At some point along the way I lost one of its two keys, and I’m that type of personality that always likes to have a spare around. I kept on putting it off until I was finally spurred to action when I unearthed the original Kryptonite paperwork (I tend to save crap like that for reasons just like this) and discovered I could re-order a replacement key directly from Kryptonite for a nominal fee (like ten bucks or something).

Onto their website I went, navigating my way through to its key ordering section, where I met a mysterious deadend. Though the model of lock I had was listed as having replacement keys available, when I’d click to order the keys I was greeted wiith a request to contact Krypto’s customer service. So I did via email wondering why I was encountering trouble and got a rather cryptic reply directing me to a specific page of their website for more information.

It was there I learned about the company’s recall-and-replace campaign brought on by a class-action settlement in the wake of the ugly proof that a number of Krypto’s so called unbeatable lock models were easily defeatable with simple plastic ballpoint pen caps. I remembered back when all that crap came down and I considered swapping my old lock for a new and improved one, but I never got around to it and figured the window of opportunity had long since closed. Fortunately it hadn’t, and by following the online process I ultimately wound up with a pre-paid shipping label and all I had to do was pack up the old lock and drop if off at a UPS store and wait for the new one to arrive, which it did yesterday. With two keys.

Long story short: instead of $10 for a spare key for an old proven-fallible lock, I done got me a sweet new one. So the moral of the story is if you’ve got an old Krytpo u-lock hanging around, you might want to venture over to the Kryptonite Settlement websection and get yours while the getting’s good.

OK, time to get to work.