Thursday, September 17, 2009

iPod down

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 2:33 PM

I’m a simple dude. T-shirts and flip-flops. No video games or HBO. Haven’t changed the filter in the Brita since 2007.

Not many assets, either. I’m a renter with a thrift-store living room. Got a mattress with no headboard. Admittedly, other than the truck, the most valuable possessions in my name might just be a fifth generation iPod classic and its Bose docking station.

For a guy with secondhand sofas, you can imagine the extent to which my world was flipped when the iPod suffered a ‘hardware issue’ late this summer. Hell, give me a completely empty house, high quality stereo sound and shuffle mode (and maybe a beer) and I’m content. So this was bad news.

A visit to the Apple store in SouthPark was pointless. Part of me wonders if Steve Jobs himself puts a microchip in these things that triggers self-destruction on the day the warranty expires. I was offered 10% off a brand new purchase, but decided to pass.

So for the past month and change, my home has been devoid of music. It’s a sad state of affairs in Elizabeth. No testing out new tunes on weeknights, like Phoenix’s fantastic new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. No John Fogerty while mopping the kitchen floor on cleaning days. No rainy Sunday afternoons set to Cat Power.

Sure, I have hundreds of CDs overflowing their racks, but nothing decent at home to play them on. Never was into vinyl. If I want to hear music, it’s either the Palladia cable channel or the weak-ass output from my laptop’s built-in speaker. Nothing competes with the Bose.

I get it. The obvious answer here is simply to pick up a new iPod, maybe a shiny new seventh generation. Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards this month and by now it’s become quite evident that I’m just using this space to complain.

I’m just surprised by how dependent I’ve been on the gadget. (Back in ’03, my then-boss bragged about pawning off a thousand CDs so he could transfer his tunes to a handheld electronics device called an iPod. I thought he was nuts).

When I was growing up, the folks always had music on in the house, the sounds of ‘70s soft rock seeping into every room. It was as constant as the bare-assed beat-downs (we had four boys, it was warranted), and it’s probably the reason why I love music so much.

As an adult, the iPod / Bose buddy system has served as my own home stereo, providing the soundtrack to my domestic life. It’s been a truly amazing source of happiness. And now it’s no more.

Although the fun budget may be tight, I can’t take this much longer. I’ve endured a miserably quiet existence far too many days. Pretty soon I’m gonna talk with one of those headset-wearing teens at Apple and just knock it out... Right after I change the water filter.

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