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 audible.com 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.