I never realized how much I could love a dongle. I'm a certified iPod lunatic; I'm well on my way to burning through my 80Gb-er after burning through a 20GB-er. The reason that the iPod, in particular, works so well for me is because I have it integrated all across my life: I can listen to it at home, at work, on a plane, and, most importantly, in my car.
Well, at least I could listen to it in my car, until this little connector dongle doodad broke deep in the innards of the iPod. So I can't listen in the car anymore - who cares? I care! I'm not proud to admit it, but I have a podcast schedule that I stick to rigorously. Each morning, I start a particular podcast on the way to work and then I listen to it in pieces throughout the day, where I'm in the car or it's just me and the 'pod. This whole
arrangement has proven to be informative, entertaining, and, I can only imagine, outrageously attractive. With a defective dongle, what happens? I must listen to the radio.
Have you listened to the radio lately? I hadn't. I certainly didn't expect it to offer anything on the level of the 'pod, which is pretty much an endless loop of the Sound of Young America, Hanselminutes, Use Your Illusion II, and George Jones. I did think I could find something 50% as awesome; after all, I do live in Austin.
Here's what you get in a town that has a few good stations: decent song, slightly better song, mildly amusing DJ banter, commercial for monster truck show, bad song, terrible song, insipid DJ banter, commercial for edible underwear. I can loop through as many stations as I want, but this pattern holds true. It's pretty much what I'd expect to hear in Hell, where the Devil keeps things just interesting enough that I'm unhappy, but not mad enough to stick my ears into the molten rivers of pancake syrup.
I actually figured out last night that, if I place my iPod into a very particular spot in the cradle in my car, it'll still make a connection. It won't allow me to change songs, it'll forget where it was when I turn the car off, and I can't make sharp turns, but for the love of God, it's something. I now just need to find a straight path to work and a 20 minute-long song that'll last the trip. Maybe I'll alternate between Meat Loaf's finer works and American Pie? We'll see.