Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vinyl Records

Hope chest, according to my butler Jeeves, is defined as, “a chest used by a young woman for clothing and household goods, such as linens and silver, in anticipation of marriage.” Last week I was digging through my hope chest (which contains NO clothing, linen or silver and should more appropriately be named Toy Box) and found this:


I don’t think many of you know what this is. It’s a mini-disc player, and at one time it was the pinnacle of the electronic world. Let me put it into perspective. It was the ball point pen when everyone else was still smearing ink with feathers then sprinkling sand. It was the Windows® with Solitaire when the rest of us were still keeping C prompt (C:) cheat sheets. It was what the starship Enterprise still is to Star Trek fans. It was mind-blow-ing-ly progressive.

What features made it SO much better than it’s predecessor the discman? Well, it possessed enough for me to make a top 5 list:

5. Size: It wasn’t named a mini-disc for nothing. As you will notice, this mini disc is half the size of a compact disc. Yet it can still hold 84 minutes worth of music. It’s also housed in an un-open-able plastic case, making it impossible to scratch. Remarkable.

penny used for scaling purposes

4. Editing Abilities: You could easily remove portions of a song or join songs together on it. On Everclear’s “So Much for the Afterglow” CD, all the songs were accidentally joined together. That means that if you wanted to listen to “Father of Mine,” you had to fast-forward to 14 minutes 52 seconds. It also means that all blasphemy and swear words could be removed; once edited you’d instead hear a small “wrrrp.” Astonishing.

3. Remote Control: It wasn’t really a remote control because it was still attached to the cord, so not very REMOTE. However, should you need to fast-forward, rewind, pause, or PUMP-UP the volume and your pocket was too far away, you did have another option. Miraculous.

my remote control got smashed in the car door

2. Power Options: Not only does it have a rechargeable battery inside it, but you can clip on that little disposable battery attachment and power it for 12+ hours on only an AA battery. It was like having the company gas card… so liberating. Unbelievable.


1. Music Selection: I know you’re also wondering where these mini-discs were purchased. As far as I know they only sold pre-recorded ones in Japan. However, from 2000 to 2001 you could buy blank ones at the Moses Lake Walmart. This brings us to the #1 reason I’m not disappointed all my spare Japanese yen went to this music machine. It resulted in some incredible mixes. Since last week when I rediscovered my mini-disc player, I’ve ROCKED OUT (use that term VERY loosely because my head did not bob… at all) to the Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right to Party,” Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” OAR “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” James “Come Sit Down,” and Marcy’s Playground “Deadly Handsome Man.” Believe it.

BONUS: It opens up like the old VCR's used to open. That's kind of cool.


So Dad, sorry I teased you about the boxes of vinyl records sitting in the rafters of the shop. I think I’d like to have them someday. Maybe they can be my dowry. Here is a heads up, for Christmas I’d like Rosetta Stone AND a record player.

Answers to the questions I know you're thinking:
Yes Abe, I still know all the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire." Do you?
Yes, I do feel guilty that by spending all my leftover yen on this mini-disc player, I had to go economical on my souvenir gifts for all of you. Despite what I wrote above, I feel REALLY guilty. Just remember I learned from it. I've NEVER been that selfish since.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I Missed the Memo


June 8, 2008

When I was 9 years old, I spent a week with my Aunt Marcia and cousin, Haley, in Nevada. During that trip, my Aunt Marcia took Haley and me fishing on some docks. As we sat there trying everything we could think of to make the fish bite, I suddenly got an idea. There's a Sesame Street episode where Bert and Ernie are fishing. Ernie teaches Bert that if you want to get some fish, all you have to do is call them. Ernie shows Bert how to yell, "HERE FISHY FISHY FISHY!" and the fish jump into the boat. On that dock, I decided to try my luck. I made a few adaptations, however. I decided to yell, "HERE BASSturd BASSturd BASSturd!" Bass because a bass is a fish... made sense. Turd because the fish were being stubborn, therefore deserved the label turd. Someone forgot to tell me that bastard was NOT a literal translation.

Well, I feel like I missed a similar memo. The one where they defined or at least implied what “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” meant. I'm still not even sure what it REALLY means, but I'm told it has something to do with the birds and the bees and I should ask my mom to explain it. I’ve been singing it under my breath at work, saying it to my parents, and most embarrassingly of all…

I went up to Alaska two weeks ago to go Halibut/King Salmon fishing with friends and their family. (Side Note: I've never met their family and supposedly a first impression is lasting.) So back to the story; apparently, when a fisherman gets a fish on the line they yell, “Fish On!” Well, no one told me that and I thought I heard them yell, “Let’s get it on!” Just hearing those words caused Marvin Gaye to croon “Let’s get it on” in my head over and over all day long. When a song is stuck in your head, it eventually escapes via the mouth. It’s inevitable, really. Well, I unavoidably ended up singing that song for the rest of the day. When it came my turn to finally yell, “fish on!” I made the obvious substitution of “Let’s get it on!” I then followed it up with the (unbeknownst to me) awkward victory shout of, “Bow Chicka Wow Wow!”

I guess the point of the story here is… are there any other memos I should be watching out for? If so, a comment would be appreciated.

p.s. Microsoft Word does not recognize bastard and turd as words. How refined.