Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Touching base

Life has become somewhat full of not much. You know how it is: you spend all your time in frantic business and can't possibly account for it in accomplished tasks.

We upgraded our car stereo this weekend, which was considered a justifiable expense in the light of this summer's drive from North Carolina to Vancouver Island. Let me explain: we've developed a family tradition where we listen to audio books on long drives. We generally buy an audio book from for every major car trip. An audio book generally plays for 8 or 15 hours, and costs between $12 and $25. We load them all on the iPod and play them on our drives. Audio books keep everyone in the car quiet as they listen; and unlike the ubiquitous car DVD player, an audio book teaches the kids to listen. We've got a half-dozen or so Redwall books on the iPod, as well as one or two others. Our drives are characterized by listening to books or podcasts, rather than music.

We've been using one of those FM transmitters to pipe the iPod through the stereo, but after a couple years, I've become convinced those transmitters are a waste of money. For close to $100 I have to look for free channels every 30 minutes or so, I get to hear the iPod through radio interference, I can hear people's radar detectors, and I have to turn the stereo way up to hear it at all.

So after some research, we upgraded the whole stereo head unit to an Alpine stereo with native iPod input. It's nothing fancy, but we have an older Suburban---we're not trying to pimp our ride. But the improvement is worth every cent we spent. And half-way across North Dakota, we'll be thankful for it.

In other news, we've made some friends in our daughter's soccer team. We had dinner with a very nice family on Saturday, then cooked out at their house on Memorial Day. It's always a pleasure to meet another Christian family with small kids.

Finally, there are complete episodes of The Splendid Table available as podcasts from Apple's iTunes Music Store. How cool is that? It's a great program, but it comes on Saturday afternoons, right when I have better things to do than listen to the radio. Podcasts are the greatest thing since Batter Blaster.


Shan said...

"Batter Blaster" references are always good.

I'm a podcast devotee too.

But I also want to marry my car DVD player, so we don't have THAT in common.

Gwen said...

We are totally loving the Narnia audio books you gave us for Christmas. Some of the books I much prefer to listen to, now, rather than read. Thanks again!

Our library has just upgraded their whole system, and we're now able to download audiobooks on their website. Of course, you can't burn to CD or upload to iPod, but it's still pretty cool. And free!

Ames said...

We are not trying to pimp our ride??? Then, why do we have the purple glow underneath?

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hmmmm, Joe and I are audiobook junkies ourselves. We spend a lot of time in the car as part of our job (just drove back from Nashville) and spent most of the time listening to audiobooks. We are also moving and are trying to figure out what to do with our stuff, we have tons and tons of audiobooks that we're wanting to give away, do you want them. By the by, I only got 15 on your nerd test so I don't know what a Ipod is (perhaps a can to put your self esteem in) they are all on dvd, would you be interested in them. Let us know and we can send them out fairly quickly.

Dave Hingsburger said...

sorry, they are on cd, not dvd, I get those things mixed up. I'm over 50 and think that technology is just witchcraft ...