Thursday, February 15, 2007

CyberGal Now Owns An iPod Shuffle!

Yesterday was Valentines Day. I had a moment of two regretting that I had no boyfriend to get me candy. But I got over that aborted pity party remembering what a pain-in-the-backside a bad relationship can be. I'm not ready for romance. I know that God gives me everything I need and I can buy my own candy.

My Plantronics headphones bit the dust. Since they're still under warranty Plantronics was doing overnight shipping. This meant I had to get to my P O box. I'm getting over this cold, but am still not really back to well yet. I wanted to get in and out quickly, as I had other errands to run. So, my mailbox lock assembly broke and wouldn't release my keys, or open my box. Oh, sigh! I love the Security company I rent from, but so do most of the other people who live in the Bay Area. This place is always very busy. It took almost a half hour just to bring my problem to someones attention.

Of course, my mailbox was not an easy fix. I got my mail and keys, while they fiddled with my box. But, my expected package had indeed arrived! Ya gotta love a company who does overnight shipping FOR FREE in both directions! So, with new headphones in tow, I headed for my Kinkos / FedEx shipping buddies.

Once in line, (they're another great, but busy business), I opened my new headphones, ready to do the swap with my broken old set. But, the box wasn't right. A bit too small. Before leaving my P O Box, I made sure this item was really addressed to me. But the sender's information was just a stamped number.

Upon actually opening this box I had another shock. "Apple (logo) Certified...". Huh? The inner box was the size of a package of CDs! For sure, I know when I order something, and I hadn't ordered anything from Apple! Plantronics wouldn't be mailing me stuff from another company. What the heck? Realizing I had to do some serious investigating, I got out of line and went over to an empty work table.

Upon opening the second box I was totally confused. Some string, like expensive shoe laces, a CD, printed manuals, tiny headphones and a little white plastic rectangle, the size of a small remote control! I located the invoice only to realize I couldn't read their cryptic half-line of information. The price stuff was missing. It IS a gift! But, what in the world is it?

My Boston buddy could be the only one behind this. Since I love gifts of any kind, I felt the beginning of that lovely state of delight which gifts always bring. I totally enjoy the key chains, tacky ceramic goo-gos and post cards from places my friends have visited. But I also like bigger things. This was tech, but I tried to remember if I'd ever mentioned wanting a remote control for my iTunes listening pleasure.

So, I find the manual and darn near fainted. An "iPod Shuffle"! Holy moley! I just got a 14-day cat-sitting gig and could sure use this! Way cool! Well, since I didn't need to ship anything, I headed to a coffee shop, before continuing to Radio Shack. Had to get a USB extension cable and a cheap set of USB headphones to have on hand as a "spare".

Oh the mysteries of pricing. $10 for a Skype-ready headset with mic. $29 for a 10-Ft. USB extension cable! What did they make the connectors of, gold? Then to Walgreens to track down some orange juice. Almost $5 for a half-gallon! But its not even concentrated, I'm paying for water! I know, I know, close my eyes and swipe that little debit card.

Upon arriving home, I had tech toys to set up. After unpacking cable, headphones and my little tiny iPod, my room looked like I'd been in a tornado! Finally figured out I needed to use the extension cable for the iPod, as my USB ports are decoratively recessed in my computer in a space too small for the USB connector on the bottom of the iPod. Got her all charged-up and ready for loading. I can even use it as a data storage device - should I choose this option.

Oh, I already feel like I've made a quantum leap into our culture! An iPod I don't have to try and read. I checked out the screen of an iPod and figured it was hopeless. Just can't quite read the menus. I return to the exciting present day.

I can now oil furniture as I listen to the talented patter of my friend in Boston, as he spins out a pod cast, or two. I can party down with some of my music - which I sorely miss when I'm away for weeks at a time. I can listen to lectures I've been saving for... well, you know, I want to listen to them, but not right now. This is too much fun.

Back to the mysteries of pricing. Apple provides a "dock" for this little iPod, $29 something. Too large, made of plastic and not liked by a few reviewers. I needed a SHORT extension cable. When in doubt: I swear, that site carries everything! Now, check this out. I got two 6-inch cables for $5 something with $5 something for shipping. Am I good or what? Also saved a 3-footer to be procured next month for, not $29, but $8 something! Oh how sweet it is!

My mind roams over more plans. I can download some of my friend's pod casts for sweet Maria to listen to and enjoy. She and I will have some fun "posing" action shots of me with Cybershuffle oiling a piece of furniture, vacuuming or even cleaning a floor. Yeah, I know, an ego that knows no bounds!

So here is a photo of Cybershuffle. It is very hard to capture the subtleties of this small music player. It is only the length of a teaspoon handle and as wide as two of your fingers pushed together. I mean its SMALL.

Remember,the box is only the size of a CD.

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