Friday, January 20, 2012

Murphy's Law and Other Random Thoughts

Here are some random things that I've been thinking about lately:

Murphy's Law of Rainy Day Workouts: You decide to do an indoor workout at the gym because it's raining hard. You change into workout clothes, stretch, then start working out. Within a few minutes of starting your workout, it stops raining.

Murphy's Law of Winter Running: Any day you decide to wear the shoes with the ice spikes the trails are clear. But just when you think the trails really are clear, and you wear the shoes without the spikes, they're covered in ice and hard-packed snow.

The View: I was wrong that The View is a show just for women. When I was at the gym a week ago Friday, there was a man on one of the machines next to me. He asked me if I was watching the TV in front of me, which was on a college basketball game. I told him that he could change the channel if he wished. He changed the program from college basketball to The View. Maybe his wife or girlfriend told him to get in touch with his feminine side. I can't think of any other reason why a man would voluntarily watch The View.

Weird Parents: My son tells me that I'm weird. I tell him that all kids his age (13 in March) think that their parents are weird. No matter what I do, I'll be weird in his eyes. I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing and one day he'll realize that I'm perfectly sane.

Bad Music: What was it about the '70s that made it the decade of bottom of the barrel music? Rick Dees' "Disco Duck, " The Captain and Tennille's "Muskrat Love," and Paul Anka's "Having My Baby" have to be among the very worst songs ever written. All three are from the '70s. What compelled these people to write songs that are comical because they're so bad? The video for "Disco Duck" is especially funny. Here are videos of those songs. If you can make it all the way through them, you're a stronger person than me.
Disco Duck:
Muskrat Love:
Having My Baby:
Even the Germans had bad songs in the '70s. A real classic is Dschingis Khan, by the group of the same name. It was Germany's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979. The group formed about 2 months before the Eurovision Song Contest. The song was was about Ghengis Khan's military, sexual, and drinking prowess. It placed 4th in Eurovision out of 19 entries. Yikes! -Here's the video:

Barry Manilow was a Man Ahead of His Time: While I was taking that trip to the Copacabana....OK, I was on YouTube and watched the video of Barry singing about what happened at the Copa. This particular concert was from 1981. Watch the people in the background starting at around 2:06. Pay attention to their arm movements.  Now watch this clip from the German movie Traumschiff Surprise, which was made in 2004. Notice what the men are doing with their arms at 8-9 seconds into the video. Barry was not only 20 years ahead of his time, he was an international trendsetter.

Memory is Always Better: For the past month or so my son has been craving chicken nuggets from McDonald's. The last time I took him there was about 4 years ago. Imagine his excitement last weekend when he and two of his friends made plans to see a movie and have dinner at McDonald's afterward. When he came home, he said that he had chicken nuggets and fries for dinner. But he said that the chicken nuggets weren't as good as he remembered. I have the same experience when I go back to California and have Mexican food. I have memories of great Mexican food. But it never seems to be as good as the food in my memory.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy iBirthday!

My silver iPod Nano will be 5 years old this month. I don't remember the exact date that I got it. My husband bought it for me when he was in San Diego for his father's angioplasty in January 2007. It was a very nice surprise gift. An even bigger surprise is how long it has lasted. It must be because it has a flash drive inside instead of a hard drive. My husband, who's a software engineer, seemed to trust flash drives more than hard drives. At least he did when he bought my iPod. Before I got the iPod, I had an old Rio MP3 player that held a whopping 120 megabytes of music. I still have that MP3 player, which still works.

Even though my Nano was probably obsolete within a week of getting it, I love it. A couple of years ago one of my friends teased me about having such an old iPod (it was 2.5 years old at the time). It is still going strong after all this time, which is amazing for an electronic device with built-in obsolescence. The battery shows no signs of wearing out after five years. Between listening to music while running, working out in the gym, and skiing, plus listening to Russian language podcasts at work, it gets used just about every day.

My Nano has been my faithful workout companion on two continents and four countries. It has been to the USA, Germany, Austria, and Italy. My little iPod is also very hardy because it has been subjected to extreme temperatures. It has been with me while skiing when it was -15 C (4 F) and in the California desert when it was 40 C (104 F). It has been in all kinds of weather conditions from bright sunshine, rain, snow, sleet, and fog. Just last Friday it came with me while I ran in a snowstorm, tucked safely away in my fleece overshirt pocket. When the weather is wet, I put it into a Ziploc bag to keep it dry. The Nano has been to the top of Germany's highest mountain and at sea level in San Diego.

What I really like about my ancient Nano is its size. It fits nicely in one of the side pouches on my water bottle carrier. The drink carrier is also a relic, but that's another story. It also fits perfectly in the inside pocket of my ski jacket, running jacket, and fleece overshirts. The new Nanos hold 8 and 16 gigabytes and can do more things than mine. Mine "only" holds 2 gigabytes of information. The new Nano models look like they're the same size as my husband's Shuffle, which is a little too small for my taste. They also have a touch screen instead of a click wheel.  I like being able to navigate with the click wheel instead of touching the little screen to get to my music playlists or podcasts. The only feature that I don't like about my iPod is that the screen is small and I need reading glasses to see it clearly. But I can live with that. I don't need to see the screen while I'm running or skiing.

I'm sure that my Nano won't last another 5 years. But if it somehow does, it will be considered a classic instead of a relic. I intend for the Nano to be my workout partner until the day it dies. When I replace my iPod with whatever the latest model will be, I hope that it will last as long as my little Nano.