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.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I'm feeling a bit guilty for making you feel guilty for our souvenirs after seeing your obvious fascination/admiration for your mini-disk player. I'd have been much happier with my Japan Airlines complmentary toothbrush if I'd have known your money was buying you the galactica.

I love you. And the lessons you learn. And your funny personality.

Anonymous said...

cali, i'm still disappointed that all i got was a complimentary toothbrush when you bought such a fine piece of equipment for yourself :). I can still sing along with "we didn't start the fire" but i can't keep the order straight if i do it on my own. i love you


Sam said...

I bought this kind of stuff when I visited Japan last 2000. Just like yours, mine is still working till now. :)

cathy said...

okay Cali, I have got to stop reading these in the wee hours of the night....I wake the children up with my nonstop laughing. YOU ARE SO DARN FUNNY! And to make it even better, the comments from your Mother and siblings are the icing on the cake!
Oh my gosh, I forgot to add that the comment from your last post from Ande was ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!! Who knew that she was the "sex maniac" of the family? I guess there has to be one in every family huh? And so darn funny that she says that your Mother thinks she is but she really isn't!! And then she goes on to talk about the "boy haircuts"........I seriously have to start wearing a Depends for when I look at your blog.
Also, the comments about the toothbrushes for trip gifts was quite humorous too.
You are definately one of my FAV blogs to read, along with your sweet, amazing Mother. You need to convince Ande to start a blog......TRIPLE the laughs!!!

HeatherM said...

I LOVE the complementary toothbrushes from J.A.L. - these teeth haven't had as good a scrubbin before or since. Ungrateful wretches . . .

Cali said...

YEAH! You tell them Heather. I thought the J.A.L. toothbrushes were cool. And just for the record, the toothbrushes weren't all I gave them. There were key chains, candy, and... other cool stuff.

Cali said...

Oh, and yeah, me too Abe; sometimes JFK gets blown away before Einstein, James Dean, and Brooklyn's got a winning team.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

Cali I am glad you found this little gadget! David got one on his mission and I use it all of the time. I think people probably look at me weird when i take it to the gym, it isn't as small or cute as all of their little Ipods, oh well!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not your mother and have to explain phrases to you-- because at 49 years old, I still have no idea what that phrase means. When you get the memo will you forward to me?

'Preciate it.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I believe you. I think you don't feel one bit of guilt that you gave me a present that your host family gave you...which was only a key chain none the less. And just for the record I can also sing along to "We Didn't Start the Fire." That was one awesome mix though. I remember I would "borrow" your mini-disk player and listen to that mix. I love you, even if I did only get a free toothbrush and free key-chain.