Why I Want an iPod: End of message

I’ve tried to convince myself that when my “egg money” built to a certain level, I’d look at getting an iPod. Why? Because radio reception is crummy between the house and work (though sometimes the static only enhances the mood of the oldies station from Wytheville.) And I have six CD’s in the built-in stereo. And NPR always comes in good, even the other side of Pilot Mountain. So maybe this isn’t a very good reason.

But I’ve thought man, it would be great to have an iPod to be able to listen to audio books when I travel. That would make the miles zip by. But other than to work, I hardly ever travel. And when I do, it’s usually not very far.

And I have a CD player in the car–and the easiest way to get audio books is on CD from the library. (Tip: Converting CD’s to iPod files) And I generally would rather be thinking about something I wanted to write about than being entertained by somebody else’s thoughts.

But then, there are some really interesting looking podcasts available for download that I would never sit and listen to stuck behind a computer. Where would I listen to this kind of audio program except driving to work? — so we’ve come back to caveat number one.

Well then. I feel better having had this little conversation. And I appreciate your contribution to the egg money fund by following sidebar ad links to the Biltmore House, Blue Ridge Parkway, Crooked Road, bed & breakfasts, and the good links to Virginia.org visitor information like the Virginia Travel Directory. (Sorry for too many that sell land or law or irrelevant junk, but they’re getting more contextual over time.) I’ve been curious myself where some of these lead–like “hiking in Virginia”–but I can’t go there per google’s rules.

So the egg money fund will grow on little bit by bit, and I’ll most likely look to invest in something related to either the photography or the writing. Or find a suitable local charity. When I decide, I’ll let you know, and thanks again.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. So far Fred, I haven’t felt the need for the ear jewelry. I spend most of my day beside a computer at work so podcasts are generally listened to there. I do though, burn some to cd’s for taking along on trips and find I like them better that way. I don’t like the isolation that come from have the ear buds in all the time, so I want my music and my podcast coming out of speakers.

    Then there’s the myth building quality of having others hear the eclectic mix of words and songs that come from the (really good) speakers on my desk. Not that I care how they feel about what I listen to, but the reactions can be fun…Jewish Rap to Krista Tippit on Faith, The Gestalt Gardener to Meet the Press, The Dixie Chicks to Tori Amos, Bluegrass to Blues…I think I am up to close to 40 gigs of mp3’s and none came from the internet unless they were offered by the artists. If nothing else the NPR podcasts are the most interesting and most I cannot recieve over the air here.

  2. I like this term “egg money.” I’ve said that I’ve been freelancing some of my writing for “printing ink” money. You know at $80 a pop for all four colors, I want my writing and blogging to at least pay for that.

    But I think I like the term “egg money” even better. T this point, I sell my books for “egg money.” You may laugh, but you haven’t seen my egg bill. We have a tab with Ed and Randye and we go through a dozen week. (They’re eggs are organic and not so cheap).

  3. My husband travels a lot and loves the books on tape, so he got an ipod – our library has a website with free downloadable books to ipod… But he found out the hard way that when he turns his unit off, the next time it has gone back to the beginning of the book, and after some reseach found that to save his place he needs a unit with a ‘bookmarking’ feature… ironic, just like reading a real book, huh? Anyway – just a heads up on that feature you might want to look into before making a purchase.

    As far as egg money, my grandmother saved her butter and egg money to buy a house in town… which brings us full circle, as this is part of my Where I’m From.

  4. You might want to look in to satellite radio, XM or Sirius, to keep you company while driving. A receiver can be had for around $100 and the monthly bill is around $13.

  5. Whew!! You had me worried there for a paragraph or two as how you could possibly mesh eco-awareness with owning an iPod. While I appreciate technology; the iPod is just more unnecessary, single purposed, fossil fuel dependent junk. We really must begin to draw the line on consuming unnecessary technology and the iPod is a glaring example of vanity consumption.

    If you really feel the need for a portable mp3 device then trade up your cell phone…they are much cheaper than a decently appointed iPod and the current generation of smart phones have iPod-like features and hands-free, in-car play/connectivity now. As well as GPS, maps, email,and web.

    Cell phones are a justifiable safety device if you commute alone, in harsh climates, at night and/or on rural roads. Of course if you are trapped in the car, injured, off a rural road you can listen to the iPod while you wait for someone to find you until you or the battery expire. *G*

    BTW- there are many online sources for audio books, either to download and burn to a CD or transfer to a mp3 device for free or rentals in the Netflix mode delivered to your mailbox. Some of the best for fee sites have free libraries too as they encourage popular authors to share the wealth. This is my fav SciFi/techno audio portal…which I am sure isn’t to your liking *G* and of course Audible is the mother-of-online for purchase audio. I have good friend who is too dyslexic to read for pleasure and loves Simply Audiobooks.

    Another cultural misuse of technology that really annoys me:

    Remember when you took along a reusable thermos bottle or a canteen when you thought you might want water on a walk or car trip? Now everyone is carrying around disposable plastic water bottles…are we really so dehydrated that a trip to the supermarket requires water rations?

    Pure foolishness.

  6. I don’t have an iPod, but I’m finally uptown and the proud owner of an MP3 player. Problem is–I can’t figure out how to use the darn thing. I’ve had it for a while and never been able download music. I drag it out every once in a while and try again (to no avail). The technical support folks at the 1-800 number can’t even help me out. Should I just sell it on e-bay? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.