Wednesday, October 8

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time ('06-'08) - #23.

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#23 - "My iPod 'Asploded."
(Originally Published August 9, 2007.)

Hi, Gabe.


Last week, I noticed that there weren't sounds coming out of my iPod when I pressed the buttons. This troubled me. Normally, when I pressed the buttons, sound would come out. Good sound.

Since my car doesn't have an AUX input (or a CD player), I've been listening to my iPod through an FM transmitter. Basically, it means that I hear my iPod tunes through a static radio frequency. It hardly ever works, the sound quality is embarrassing and any drive through multiple counties is an excruciating ordeal. Living in a city as large as Madison, merely driving to work means that I'll be toggling the transmitter for 18 of the 20 minutes I'm on the road. Still though, 2 minutes of music time is equivalent to 3.2 Descendents songs, so the trade-off isn't all that bad.

What I was unaware of is a little thing called a 'Power Surge.' You may have heard of such a thing in regards to your television and computer. You buy special outlets to protect your expensive electronics from welding themselves to the nearest metal surface every time lightning strikes near your home. Why, just last week, a Power Surge blew out my TiVo. Everything went dark, numbers started flashing and strobing; I seriously thought that I was about to get abducted by aliens. Power Surges are the real deal; but I didn't realize that they can happen in your car, too.

To make a long story short, I plugged 'Poddie' into the cigarette lighter before I started the car, and when I hit the ignition, it exploded. A device of its delicate size and power, Poddie didn't have a prayer holding up to the amount of energy produced by an '01 Mercury Sable (The Wild Stallion, v4.0). It was utterly destroyed; taken out behind the woodshed and manhandled like an eight-dollar Amsterdam whore. Remember when John Koncak tried to guard Michael Jordan in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals? I think you get the point. P.W.N.3.D.

I was pretty upset. While I always treated Poddie with the utmost respect and care, I neglected to see the warning on the FM transmitter box that read, "There's a more-than-likely chance that this product will lead to the instant destruction of the very device it has been created for." In fact, I'm pretty sure that it never said that on the box at all.

So, my iPod was ruined. Butchered. Ball-gagged and sodomized. I didn't worry too much, however, because it was still under a 1-year warranty from Apple. With that in mind, I marched it right over to the local Apple Store for a replacement the very next day.


He wasn't wearing a lab coat; that should have been my first warning sign.

If you've never been to an Apple Store, all of the employees either walk around with lime green polo shirts or long, white lab coats. I think they do this so they're easy to spot, look like a cohesive and intelligent unit, and create yet another way to express superiority over non-Mac folks. It's a good marketing ploy; I spent most of my visit watching YouTube clips of myself on an iPhone.

Like I said, my representative was far too stylish to be burdened with a lab coat. Actually, scratch that. I think the problem was that he didn't really work there, because he hadn't the damnest clue what I was talking about. Every question was met with a dumbass stare and a look like I was creating my own language of beeps and clicks as I went along. Furthermore, he was one of those douchebags that thought I didn't try basic troubleshooting before I showed up. My teeth were already grinding before he spoke.

Idiot - "What can I do for you today, sir?"

Me - "Oh hai thar. My iPod isn't responding. It's under warranty, so-"

Idiot - "Is the Hold switch on?"

Me (stunned) - " You see, what happened was-"

Idiot - "Did you reset it?"

Me (pressing lips together) - "I can't reset it. It won't turn on at all. There's absolutely no response whatsoever."

Idiot - "Well, let me give you a flier that goes over basic troubleshooting..."

(Idiot hands me a printout from the very same Troubleshooting web page I was on that morning, called 'The 5 R's.')

Me - "Yeah, I've already done all of that. It won't turn on at all."

Idiot - "Let me hook it up to our computer and check it out."

Me (shaking head in disbelief) - "Fine, but it won't recognize it."

Idiot - "Sure it will."

(4 seconds later)

Idiot - "Your iPod doesn't seem to be responding."

Me - "I slept with your Mother."

Thanks for doing your job, ya' ween. To make matters worse, he refused to answer any of my wife's questions, nor find someone else to answer them for her. He sincerely deserved a swift boot to the ballbag with extreme prejudice, and I was the man for the job, but I had forgotten to wear my ballbag-kickin' boots. He got lucky.


I was about to find out that my one-year warranty didn't really cover anything at all; it was merely a window of opportunity to purchase Apple Care, a support service offered to those who spend the $60 within their first year of iPod ownership. At this point in the conversation, though, I was more than willing to write a check to make all of the bad noises go away.

For my $60, I get to mail my iPod back to Apple so they can take a peek at it. They might fix it, they might send me a new one, or they might give me the finger and tell me to stick it. Seriously, this is what your money (and your warranty) gets you; the mere task of cracking Poddie open and determining what I've known for over a week now. I also saw a disclaimer that read 'Does Not Cover Accidental Damage.'

Wait, what? So you'll only cover the repairs if I break it on purpose? I didn't even realize that non-accidental damage even existed! What in the hell is going on, here?

Poddie shipped off to Apple yesterday, and there's a very good chance that I'll never see it again. In the meantime, I'm listening to my 1GB Shuffle ('Artie') and making sure that I start the car and wait 6 hours before plugging it in.

As far as the FM transmitter goes, I'll be through with that as soon as I find out what Apple decides to do for me. There's a kit that you can install that essentially gives you an AUX input in your car, so you can listen to your iPod at digital quality. It costs $200 for purchase and installation, but it'll be worth it to listen to my entire record collection in The Wild Stallion.

Thanks for listening, Emocat. You're always there for me.

Emocat feels bad about the iPod.

"No problem, man."

I flipping hate those damn FM transmitter things. It is the most worthless piece of garbage I have ever purchased. Husband and I were so excited when we were setting out this summer on vacation, all naive and innocent, thinking it was okay that we didn't lug all our CDs with us. I plugged it in, then read the directions and I was like, "That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. How the hell is that supposed to work when I'm in a car and constantly moving?" How am I supposed to listen to "More Than a Feeling" when it keeps getting overtones of Shania Twain?
Berryjo-I think you have an idea there...Shania Twain should cover Boston. Make sure you get royalties.

I wish I had a reason to wear a labcoat to work. I have often thought teachers should just wear scrubs and labcoats to school. Then I would have to worry less about making sure my clothing somewhat matches.
The only cool thing about FM Transmitters, and I mean the only cool thing, is that if you're driving next to someone that is using one, you can hear their music on your radio.

For example, I was driving home one day with my wife driving right in front of me. I was using the Transmitter, listening to the iPod, and she was scanning the radio frequencies. When we got home, she said to me, "I found this really cool radio station that you'd love. They played Less Than Jake, Saves The Day and The Faint all in a row!"

I was all, "Weird, because that's what I was listening to on my iPod."

See what happened there? Feel the awesome power of RADIO WAVES!
I personally just thought I had stumbled upon the lames radio station ever :)
How is everyone's mix coming? I'm desperately trying to choose between to takes on my phrase.

Damn damn DAMN!
My mix will be finished very late on Friday. I'm getting there, and it's been rad, but I've just been extremely busy and whatnot this month. Luckily, my Mix recipient is usually at my house four nights a week, so it's all good. mix is all in my head at this point. I apparently managed install something detrimental onto my laptop, which is where the magic happens. I must admit that I will probably not get my mix out until Monday, though I am aiming for Saturday. I am sending one to my original recipient, the originator of the phrase, and CDP. Anyone else want a copy while I am at it? There will be vast array of music spanning many genres and tastes. You will think I was heavily medicated while creating this mix, and you may be correct. It has been a long week.
I'm burning the last copy of my mix as we speak. I had a hard theme, but I thought I took a good stab at it. I even have a great cover picture.

It has artists that I have been trying to squeeze in for a while. And it happens to have a bit more Saddle Creek than my last ones. That's not a bad thing, but it wasn't on purpose.

Of course, I have to get it in the mail tomorrow since I'm leaving early Friday morning and will be gone all weekend. So don't think I'm overachieving.
JT - whatever you choose will be great, I'm sure.

I'm just about set on the mix I'm making, too - songs are all picked out and in order, just have to burn the CD itself and polish up the notes - but I think mine will be hitting the post Saturday morning, because I'm probably going to need that free time I usually have on Friday nights to finish it all up.
Working on this mix has made me realize that I don't own nearly enough songs about drinkin'.

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