Thursday, February 19, 2009

I hate the technology age.

Sounds odd from someone as young as I, but I do. I don't hate the technology itself. Its quite convenient stuff. My phone allows me to communicate everywhere I go. My iPod holds more music than I'll ever listen to. My GPS tells me where to drive. Wonderful stuff, this technology.

What I hate is keeping up with it. I figure it out about six months late, after I've bought something that I thought would fulfill my needs. Not saying any of those items don't do what I need, but I develop a desire for the newer thing that everyone else has. Call it keeping up with the Joneses, but it seems to be a trend for me.

My GPS is great. No complaints.

My cell phone is a 7-month old flip-phone. Works great. When it was time for me to pick a new phone, I thought I didn't need a Blackberry, or an iPhone. I still don't. But they sure are nice, and I realize now I should have picked one up when I had the chance.

My iPod Nano is great. Problem comes with using it. It comes with the headphones and the charging/interface cable. So I can use it while I work out. Awesome. For driving, you need a $20 accessory that plugs into the headset jack and broadcasts it on FM radio for you car radio to pick up. Not the highest quality sound, and it doesn't charge it. For that, its another $30. If you want quality sound, you need to plug it directly into the head unit. That's also $50, but it'll take a week to ship.

Leading me to my next point.

You can't buy anything in the store anymore. Everything has to be ordered online. If a store has it listed "in stock" on their website, you don't know if its at the store, or if they have it in a warehouse somewhere and its just "in stock" online. Quite irritating when you need something NOW.

So, yeah, after deciding today (2 days before I drive halfway across the country) that I cannot survive 9 hours in the truck on 3 CD's and a slew of country stations, I needed a way to make my iPod talk to my head unit. I hate the idea of the FM transmitters, because of the aforementioned crappy sound quality, so I went to Best Buy for a hardline connection. Aparently, the part required for my stereo isn't just a simple wire, its a whole "interface" and they don't stock it. 5 days to order it. Dammit.

After running around town for an hour or so, I finally found the $50 FM transmitter that would charge the damn iPod as well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Next Chapter

Well, its almost that time, folks. After what will be almost exactly seven months in Little Rock, its finally time for me to hit the road. Its bitter sweet.

I'll be leaving a lot of stuff. Friends, for one. Some military, some civilian, they're all great folks that help each other and have given me more than I can ever repay. I will miss the fine group of people I have met here the most. I'll see some of them again, down the road, or downrange, but others I'll have to come back to The Rock to meet up with again. And I will.

I'll be leaving a great apartment building. Its only a year old, parking garage, right downtown, within stumbling distance to my favorite watering holes, and everything else downtown has to offer. The management is great to work with, pro-rating and extending leases for us unpredictable military folks, and working with our odd situations in general. They've been great. But the building is a great little community. A lot of the residents know each other, socialize, and my friends were only a few minutes away, if that far. Great place to live.

I'll be leaving some great watering holes with great staffs who know me and always have a cold one waiting for me. The Flying Saucer and Cregeens will be tough to leave. Thanks for the beers, guys.

But some things are best left behind. I'll be leaving the Black Jack 20 and SR232, for a few years, at least. I'll be leaving the most worn out airplanes in the fleet, albeit for some that are only slightly less worn out. I'll be leaving AETC (Air Education Training Command), for a while, anyway.

I'll be gaining some things, too. A whole new group of friends and colleagues awaits me in Texas. I'll have a reunion with some old friends I haven't seen in a while. I've got a new apartment set up and a home of my own in a few months time. I'll get all my stuff that I last saw in Florida, almost two years ago!

I'm sad for all the stuff I'm leaving behind, but I'll replace it all-no replace is the wrong word. I can't replace this place and these people. But I'll find others to fill their slots in their absence, make new friends, find new bars. I'll make the most of it, as we military types do every time we move. It'll be one hell of a ride.

So, thanks for the beers, the good times, the french toast, the spare room, and everything else. I'll see you all down the road.