Streaming Music Is Winning

Tucson is turning me into a bigger fan of streaming music.  It’s unfortunate but true.

I’m old fashioned – I love my CDs.  I like the quality and my own mixes of music.  I like that it doesn’t cost me a thing to listen to them.  Some of the burnt CDs in my car right now are fifteen years old and sound like they are new.

Tucson has some pretty great radio stations as well but radio is a business.  Radio commercials play constantly and they know when you’re a captive audience – rush hour.  The times that I do listen to the radio are during the daycare drives and normal commutes.  I do like to hear a bit about what’s around town and the traffic but I don’t buy mattresses often enough to hear an ad for them more than once every five or ten years.

CDs are still the best in my mind but Tucson has a bigger problem.  Our roads are miserably bad.  There are streets that I turn down and immediately turn off the CD and go to the radio because it’ll just skip around and be a mess of sound.

Do we raise taxes to fix the roads or do those who drive just pay for the more frequent vehicle repairs?  That’s a question to put on the ballot but not what I’m here to talk about.

Many years ago I ripped all of my CDs and continue to when I get new ones.  Yep, I still buy them.  I cloud-store them and can easily stream them from my cell phone, TV, Xbox, and any browser.  It’s wonderfully convenient.  Why is this then my least preferred method for music delivery?

It’s the cost.  It’s the security, the tracking, the dependency on the internet.  I don’t like any of that.  The good thing about listening to a CD that I burned years ago is that nobody on earth knows how many times I played it.  It didn’t cost me a “data” fee, upkeep fee, storage fee, or any of the other millions of bits of personal information I blindly click on “Agree” to get my sweet, sweet services.

Convenience eventually wins it all.

I used to store my passwords in a file – offline – that was encrypted with my own key that I had to carry everywhere on a USB stick.  You needed to steal it from me and know how to use it and crack my code if you wanted a single password.  It was extremely safe but a massive pain to use.

Now I use LastPass.

And I use Pandora and Groove.

These aren’t the popular services but Groove is free and works with my OneDrive storage very nicely.  Pandora is something I get heavily discounted because I was grandfathered into a plan.  It’s a long story but I think it’s a pretty good service and the app installs anywhere.

So why am I saying all of this?  I feel like I’m being forced to either sit in my Honda, banging around and listening to loose gravel and potholes or rig up a bluetooth receiver to a 14 year old car so that I can listen to music through a data plan while I commute the Old Pueblo.

In most cases still, I prefer the potholes and gravel.


Ray Manzarek died today. This is one of my favorite Doors songs.

New Job

I feel like an update is owed because it has been so long. I’ve been a busy guy this month.  Now that this month is closing on a weekend, I can finally reflect on the last few weeks.

For starters I have a new job.  I started March 1.  I’m liking what I’m doing however there’s always a steep learning curve with something new.  I have already come a long way.  I like my co workers and I feel like I’m in a place where I can move and make a difference.

I have been to the desert museum twice in the last two weeks.  Here are some photos.

Lindsey and Lisa came out for a visit last weekend.  Lindsey had a horrible idea for a game which resulted in full stomach vomiting and a general not-feeling-too-good feeling all weekend long.

Here is the setup:  Each person participating (four of us) chooses one can of food for each day that we plan on playing.  We played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so each of us bought three cans (plus a bonus drink).  Each can is labeled with the buyer’s name and a sequential number which matches a piece of paper which is put into a pile to be drawn from.  Each day, everybody draws a piece of paper and they eat what is in the can.  The idea is to find the grossest/weirdest food that you can find keeping in mind that you might have to eat it yourself.  I found that out the hard way.

Also, you can not prepare the food.  You may heat or chill it but you can’t mix it with anything.  It must be eaten straight.

We each went to unusual stores to find our food.  I bought some coconut milk from Thailand, pickles from Israel, and pickled vegetables from Mexico.  My first drawing didn’t seem so bad on the outside.  I drew my own coconut milk.  For some reason it was terrible to me.  Every mouthful made me throw up.  Full lunch puke.  It was awful.  I had to resign on the first night with my first food item.

As punishment I had to “drink” ten servings of instant espresso dissolved into enough water so it wasn’t crunchy…about a shot glass worth of water.

I don’t like coffee and I sure didn’t like drinking this mixture.  It was pretty intense and I was up very late that night.  We went out for pizza and Lisa commented on how much I was tapping my legs.

Lindsey ate cubed hearts of palm.  A whole can of them.  It looked terrible.  It sounded sweet, sour, and fibrous.  Lisa lucked out and got some baby corn and Erin tried to eat straight tomato paste but only made it so far.

The following night I drew my pickled vegetables.  I was excited about that because I like them but it was a huge can.  After eating about a pound of the 28 ounces, I was done.  It was too much vinegar for me.  I still have some in my refrigerator that I have been picking at.  I do like it.

Erin drew artificial cream used to make fudge.  It is still sitting on the counter, unopened.  Lindsey got some thick cheese sauce that was supposed to be used as a soup or something.  Lisa got corned beef hash which looked and smelled a lot like cat food.  It was on the second day that we drew drinks also.  I ended up with some weird Mexican yogurt drink which was insanely sweet.  Lindsey got a gallon of tomato juice, Lisa got some canned drink that was hard to drink and Erin got a Mexican lime soda.

I had a backup drink which I called the gruesome twosome. It was prune juice mixed with a five hour energy drink. Nobody wanted it.

The third day I drew a can of tiny corns which is awesome because I have always liked those.  Erin got sloppy joe sauce, Lindsey drew the Jewish pickles, and Lisa got something else.  I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time remembering what Lisa got.  Maybe she can tell us what she got in the comments.

It would actually be fun to hear everybody’s account in the comments.  Tell us what you thought, how much of a baby I was to throw up five times, and your thoughts on the whole game.

I wouldn’t want to play again even though it still sounds like fun even after I played it and didn’t like it.  I think that it would be fun to play a modified version with things that could be too good.  Who wants to eat a whole jar of peanut butter?  Nacho cheese sauce? Pie filling?  That could be a good game.

I’ve been playing a lot of pogs also.  I see my old co workers less of course now that I don’t work with them but we’ve been keeping in touch and doing things when we can.  I’ve gone out to lunch with them and we have been trying to bring pogs back.  The little cardboard circles.  They’re extremely cheap on ebay and it isn’t devastating to lose them like it would have been when you were a kid and when they were expensive.  I bought a thousand for $25.

I know that they aren’t cool any longer but I don’t care. I was on Wikipedia and found that the original website for the company who made pogs big in the 90’s was now unregistered.  I now own and it was only eight bucks.

If anybody has any old pogs or wants to get in on it, send me an e mail.  This is fun.  Two weeks ago I actually played for six hours straight.

Erin’s parents are visiting next week and my buddy from New York is visiting the day after they leave.

My buddy has never been out to the southwest and it’ll be fun showing him around the cactus and other desert dweller stuff.

Temperatures are hitting 90 now regularly but it is a bit cloudy today.  I’m pretty sure that we’re done with the winter.  My bushes are growing out in the front yard and weeds just don’t seem to stop.

I will continue to be busy for the foreseeable future.  I am recording a podcast tomorrow to talk about a movie called Hollywood Cop.  Take a look.

I’ll post a link after we record it and it gets posted.

I bought a few new CDs.  I highly recommend An Anthology: Duane Allman.

I need to change my laundry load.  Take it sleazy.

hot dog