Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sacrificing My Pinky

As much as I have fought against the encroachment of 21st Century technology into my training (GPS, HRM; even treadmills, a 19th Century invention) I could not abate the ascent of digital music into my program. Music has always been a strong part of my development and my heritage as an athlete. My earliest runs were timed out to the cool Cockney count of “One,two,three,four;five,six,seven,eight” by Keith Moon at the intro to “Slip Kid” [“Who by Numbers” 1975]. I remember taking sweet warm summer rain runs through New Jersey after warming up to “Rio” or “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran.

“Where the Streets Have No Name” U2??? C’mon. Who doesn’t want to get out the door after haring that???

Every couple of months, one sort of “music thread” or another will show up on CoolRunning or Slowtwitch, to which I am compelled to reply.

But as hip and as cool as I imagined myself to be; I still was warming up to a big bulky CD player … sure it supported MP3’s but I still needed to burn them to CD.

The appeal became too great; I had to bite, even though I’m sure I could have held out until the Christmas sales. But, at BestBuy, for $39.99, I got a nice little SanDisk 1/2 Gig Flash drive powered MP3 player.

Did I mention that it weighs only slightly more than my Delray Beach Yacht Club Zippo, and [with the volume jacked, and AC/DC in the mix], blows my fuckin' head off???!!! It's full blown Camaro Rock, top down, case of Michelob in the back, on demand; you just need a little foresight to up-/download the proper playlist beforehand.

Why buy now, why not wait???

Very simply … when I get to mile 11 at the Distance Run, with 2 to go, if I have no juice left, I am going to pull this little player out of my pocket, plug in, turn on and tune into a play list, specifically programmed to get me down BoatHouse Row and up the hill behind the Art Museum, without inflicting any [major] soft tissue damage, and getting me home in one happy piece, to enjoy a cookout and DFH sometime around 2PM.

Okay, R, this is well and good, what’s with the finger???

Well, as archaic as it seems, one of the appeals to me of searching out digital files and compiling them on my computer (at work) to transfer to CD later for home use was that I designed and executed my own custom packaging; CD labels especially. One template for Phish, one for Talking Heads, one for The Mermen, etc.

With the MP3 player, all the files live on my computer and only take up temporary residence on the little thing, as 1’s and 0’s. I have no further need to make stickers, to find a nice typeface for each artist, to design a theme for each band ….

I have essentially cut off one venue of personal artist expression from myself, for the sake of portability.

Unless I need a CD to listen to on a long car ride …

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