Bonus Outdoor Session 1

With a 14-hour workday under my belt yesterday, and a break in the clouds today, it’s looking like footbag time!

By the time I got out to kick, the wind had kicked up and the day’s heat was fading. I still got some sunshine time though, and no shortage of footbag love. I was approached by 2 more journalism students about using me for their school projects, and one spent some time shooting stills. I Lovz teh attention!
And I loves wireless and internet radio at Speaker Circle too. Most of the time I played to my Last.fm station, but the obscure Timbuk 3 came from my personal library.
And notice another pair of torques – that’s 2 weeks in a row I’ve got ’em on tape. A new best trend!
1:30/48:25 – Thanks for tuning in!

My last outdoor session of the year?

Cool, cloudy days are so perfect for kicking! No shadows, no blinding glimpses of the sun, and I think the more monochromatic lighting improves my vision. It was crowded on Speaker Circle today too, with Mizzouwear vendors to the left and StudentCity.com to the right.

Sorry about the lousy soundrack this time. My boombox was low on juice, but the guys at the StudentCity.com tent were kind enough to provide some jamz from a Macbook Pro and some portable speakers. Not optimum, but it did the job for the first hour or so. Thanks guys!
Then the preacher guy shows up. He just walks into the center of the circle and starts his thing, regardless of what else is going on (including a footbag rally!). Several students urged me to “play around him” so I did. Not close, but I managed 2+ laps around the outside of the circle, stopping and doing little shred ditties here and there, without a drop. sw33t!
This was, after all, likely the last outdoor session of the year. I wasn’t gonna stop till I dropped – my whole me, not just the footbag. And a +1 bonus for covering all my old “bases” today: drifters, blenders, whirls, paradox whirls, and torques – on both sides. Until my legs started cramping. 1:45 today, 46:55 for the year. I’ll take that.
With the preacher still yammering on as I packed up and headed off, one of the students told me, “You’re the only one that comes out here that makes any sense.” All I do is crank up the jamz and hack my little heart out. If that’s what it takes to keep it real, I’m happy to help.
Thanks for tuning in!

The Secret Hideout Season

I spent 2 weeks pretending summer wasn’t over, and refusing to go indoors. With continued rain and cold, I had to face reality. It was a nice summer. 

The “thump” of the door lock responding to my passcode deep underground was music to my ears. Hello, secret hideout. I’m glad you’re here. I forget how nice the amenities are: bathrooms nearby and chest-high shelves for water, boom box, towel; high ceilings and plenty of light …and heat! It’s a shame this place has to be kept secret.
Without the camera, I could make up lots of stories. But technically, this session stank, stunk, we’re talking skunk roadkill. Should I blame the hard shoulder pointer I took from my bike gooseneck when I slipped carrying it up the stairs in the morning? Or maybe the unexplained lower back pain that came in the afternoon? How about… just being plain old, ugly, and haven’t kicked for a couple weeks?
In the absence of torques, what does one do? Go crazy with the dance hacking thing! I dialed straight into Fatboy Slim’s Why Try Harder, and proceeded to jam out an hour ten. I also worked on breaking in my new Abshire bags just a bit. I’m really liking the blue/purple one. Unfortunately, my iPod’s battery seems to have taken a hit from it’s recent laundering. The screen is perfectly back to normal now, but It was fully charged in the morning, yet it died at 11:05pm that night, ending my session.
I’m really bummed I can’t do my usual video blog. I’m looking for a legitimate place to kick, but with little money and a limited schedule, it’s tough. But I’m not giving up just yet. And I might get brave enough to live broadcast for a few minutes. That might be fun!
Thanks for tuning in!

Freshly Laundered iPod – is it whiter than white now?

So yeah, boo-hoo. I had a couple beers with the guys Friday evening. The next morning, I get up, throw in a load of laundry, and start cleaning house. A bit later, I realized there was a “Clunk, clunk, clunk” sound coming from the washing machine. Being fairly certain what it was, I tore downstairs, fuming at the front-loader that takes a minute to unlock the door after shutting it off.

When I pulled the iPod out of the soggy pants pocket, it was still running. But it went black a few moments later. Water was gaily sloshing around between the glass front and the display. OOPS! Any hope of salvation required quick action. The unit had to be cracked open, rinsed, and dried. Right away.
Quick – to them Intarwebs! Searching for “iPod 2g take-apart instructions”, I found… a ton of 1G take-aparts. Some 2G and 3G take-apars that don’t actually show or explain how to do it, just show you the guts. It took me almost 10 agonizing minutes to find what I was looking for, and confirm the obvious: I don’t have the right tool anyway.
So I frantically dug in with my fingernails – the closest thing to an iPod cracker I’ve got. Problem is, I managed to get my fingernails between the glass bezel and the plastic mounting ring that’s glued to the back of it and holds it into the case. As a result, the mounting ring stayed stuck in the case on one side and broke at the top and bottom corners as I pried it open. And of course I broke the little rubber seal too.
But the case was finally open, so what did I do? Ran it under more water! Cold filtered water, to be exact. Because there’s one thing worse than water in electronics – that’s soapy water. I rinsed as best I could, shook out as much water as I could, and grabbed the space heater. Setting the iPod up so hot air from the heater blew across the electronics, I hunkered down for the long wait. Those electronics have to be really dry before you power them back up again.
By late morning the next day, I was convinced I had cooked the thing dry. I plugged it in, and… Tada! It started charging. That’s when I noticed the mottled screen. Once it was charged enough to boot, I got a good look: the display itself was fine, but the backlight looked like billlowy white clouds with dark holes blown in them. And I can’t get the glass front to seat into the case just right. That broken mounting ring and rubber seal simply won’t go back the way they were. Reluctantly, I called Apple and set up a repair. Liquid Damage. $150 bucks. Ouch.
But as I’m waiting for my shipping box to arrive, I’m using the iPod. It’s perfectly functional. I even ran a software update on it. And the mottled appearance of the backlight is fading away. Now it’s more a consistent shade of gray except for some brighter spots around the middle. It’s quite readable, and the more even grey areas look a lot like I remember it before the infamous laundering. Will it finish evening out? It seems to be headed that way. Will it lose brightness? Maybe. Is it going to die soon anyway? Maybe.
My shipping box is here now, so I’m faced with the choice: Ship it off for refurbishing (they might just swap it out), or live with my slightly damaged, but fully functional, iPod? I’m pretty sure I achieved near “best case” scenario for recovery: got it out of the washing machine ASAP, cracked it open, rinsed it out, and dried it up real good right away.
So, what do y’all think? Should I pay the $150 for a refurb? Or, should I wait and see, and start saving for a new one instead? The new 8G 3rd gen is $30 more than the repair of my 16G 2nd gen; the 32G 3rd gen is about $100 more. Coughing up just the $150 for the refurb is gonna be painful enough.
What will it be? Ship it and pay, or hold it and play?