July 5th, 2008


Was a Nice 4th

Made the trip into downtown for fireworks. Went with Luddites, Michele and Richard and a friend of theirs. Had to park about a mile and a half away from the site. Underground parking and take a shuttle bus over to the "VIP" area for employees and guests of the Big Clam.

Before we even got out of the parking garage, Michele got a whiff of some hydrocarbons and had an allergic attach that nearly threatened to shut us down before we started. Couple of shots from her inhaler and she was able to continue on trouper that she is.

Honestly, as many allergies as she has it is a miracle she can leave the house! And they all seem to be hydrocarbon based. Diesel fumes set her off badly. She loses her voice so bad she sounds like a female version of the God Father...The God Mother ~ so to speak. Reduced to a gravelly whisper... There were three or four times that had her sucking on her inhaler.

Thankful I am, I don't have allergies to that extent.

Got to the site with no real issues and found a small tree that afforded some shade and set up a base camp to operate from until the "Big Show" at zero hour (about 9:30)! The four of us took turns wandering through party central. The festival took up quite a bit of the mileage on the approach into downtbetween Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. Allen Parkway was closed to vehicular traffic. And the place was wall to wall with people.

I stuck with Michele for the most of our wanderings. One of the things that is screwed about this (the MOST screwed, IMHO) Food and drinks are handle by a ticket system. Beers were 5 tickets, which was really all we were geting them for. Here's the screwy part: Tickets were sold in groups of nine for 10 bucks. I mean I understand why they did it. Fuckers...Bu still...

We found this dude working behind the counter in one of the beer booths, that every time we bought beer from him, he managed to under charge us...*heh* Obviously a kindred spirit. We made quite a few trips back to see that dude! *grins* Still ended up with an odd ticket by the time we were finished with our second set of wandering. We gave it to some passer by as we were making our way back to our seats just before dark.

Budwieser (the Beer vendor) had set up a sand volleyball court outside of their pavillion. The girls were HAWT. The uniforms they have to wear, though. Nice Glutes!

There was a Beatles cover band at one of the stages that was really terrific. They had people Rockin' and Rollin'

The fireworks were pretty effin' good! Getting out of there was a zoo. Not as bad as I thought it would be. But a zoo nonetheless.

I gotta say though I was a little disapointed in Rich...No camera or anything. (he is a photographer) Can't say as I blame hime though. You bring that equipment along you have to spend theevening keeping track of it!

The folks sitting next to us were taking pictures and Michele gave them our respective email addresses after extracting a promise for copies of their photos.

Live music! Dancin' in the streets, beer, boobs, butts AND fireworks! It doesn't take much to please me!

A good time was had by your friend and mine TexasT's. Didn't get home till after 1:00!

Music, iTunes, iPods. And Let's Throw in a CPAP Machine for Good Measure...

Technology is a wonderful thing. Most of the time. It can (and does) change your life. One hopes for the better. But it isn't always the case.

But I want to address the good part of tech. I was a late adopter for iPod. There were several reasons for this, but first and foremost:
I had pretty much stopped listening to music several years ago. I planted myself in front of the tube pretty much every night after work.

One of the other reasons was I had seen folks that were so engrossed in their phones or music players doing stupid shit (like stepping into traffic) because they were not paying attention to their surroundings. I was determined not to be one of those folks.

All a matter of awareness isn't it?

Depression. The life had been drained from me. I was simply going through the motions. Then my PDA croaked. Looked around for a new one. Ended up with a Palm LifeDrive. This was a sweet machine. 4 GB drive that had the footprint of a postage stamp in it. I found a few CD's (of MP3's that the kids had left laying around. Loaded the music I liked from them onto the LD. I listened to it occasionally.

It was also around this time that I sought help for the depression I was dealing with. I wasn't sleeping well. I had undiagnosed apnea, my professional life as well as my marriage seemed to be unraveling. I was a mess. They were giving me a hard time at work. Lack of sleep and depression were making it impossible for me to perform well.

Had a sleep study, and was diagnosed with Sleep apnea. Fought it for a while. Finally got a CPAP machine. Fought that too. Finally settled in with that and started actually sleeping. Got treatment for depression. Chemical and otherwise. Fought that as well. Finally reconciled myself to that too.

Acceptance can be quite liberating. Thus, I found myself listening to music more and more. And watching television less and less. Except for the news or a show or movie I wanted to watch. Of course I found myself spending more and more time online. Which helped me to goad myself into taking my life back.

Music at one time was a very big part of my life. And it was a tonic for me now as well. I was listening to and buying more and more music. And so it was becoming a bigger part of my life again.

Soon I had to make a choice about the LifeDrive. It was getting crowded. Between data, pictures, music and all the assorted crap that goes along with these...So...

I bought one of those aluminum 2d Gen Nanos. But I absolutely HATED the earphones that came with it. Ended up buying some of those Bose in-ear 'phones. And they sounded great! But... In spite of the fact that they came with three sets of tips, I never could get a comfortable fit. And the damned things kept falling out of my ears. iTunes became a trusted friend. Subsequently I filled the Nano's drive.

In time I decided it was time for a technology upgrade for the house. Bought a laptop for The Queen and one for me as well. I had used Apple computers way back *heh* in the nineties and had liked what I saw then. The Mac OS was much improved by this time. So made mine a MacBookPro. While I was at it, I bought an 8GB iPod touch. What a great piece of Tech!

Bought some Bose on ear head phones. Now these sound wonderful! Great lows - Clear highs - Now that was more like it.

While I was on a trip to visit my sisters in Florida I kept hitting the 8GB wall on my Touch. Very annoying. So a trip to Wally-World found me in possesion of a nice 80GB iPod Classic.

Now the Bose headphones ARE great. But there are times when I'd like to be somewhat discreet. Tried a few different sets of phones. Clips and in ear. Nothing seemed right. They either sounded like crap or they hurt...

Did a little research on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning I went out and bought some VModa Vibe Earbuds. I gotta say, I had these things in for hours and hours, both yesterday and today. They sound great! And are probably the best feeling things I've ever put in my ears! *grins*

iPod changed the way I interact with my music.

Well there was a point and (perhaps) a moral to this rambling narrative...Now what was it? Oh yes...

Technology both saved and enriches my life. I embrace it.

The CPAP saved my life. I believe this with all my heart.

iTunes and iPod saved and preserves my sanity. Could I live without them? Oh yes. I could indeed. But my life would be less rich without them. Music is now such a big part of my life. Once again. And hopefully...Always and forever.