The Bystander

Dammit, people, stop giving me opportunities to post poetry.

On my soul a deep infection preyed,
A burden cold of contradiction laid
Upon my heart so fickle and so weak,
That from my path I almost strayed

And in a flamewar nearly took a part!
Never can I end what others choose to start,
So learned I did the proper time to speak
And when to silent case my verbal dart,

For when the bloggers act like drama queens,
And trick like idols dying to be seen,
No matter what the course I seek
I only worse the dismal scene!

But perhaps I can not-quite-waste my time
If I turn to slapdash meter and obtrusive rhyme. . . .

(Originally posted at the Cuttlefish’s place.)

5 thoughts on “The Bystander”

  1. Hmmm, whatever could have given you that idea?

    Anyway, the only holy object I’m in the mood to desecrate right now is my iPod nano. If I come up with a sufficiently cool method of destruction, that’ll provide more entertainment than the device did while it was functioning.

  2. Can’t you just get your iPod replaced under warranty? The hardware problems you’ve mentioned sound pretty unambiguous.

    I appreciate that an iPod isn’t a good fit to Linux, because you can’t even run iTunes (or at least, not without something like wine to help, which sounds like a recipe for headaches). Despite starting off with about 150 albums of vinyl (and a couple of dozen CDs), I’ve actually had a pretty good experience with iTunes and an iPod shuffle. Using Audacity (freeware for Win, Mac & Linux) I digitised the vinyl and saved it all as lossless .WAV files on my Mac’s hard drive, in directories organised by Artist and Album. That was the unavoidably tedious part (including manually dicing the album sides into tracks). But then a simple AppleScript fed all those .WAV files into the iTunes library, tagged them with Artist and Album information, and converted them to compressed AAC files; the iPods can play .WAV files, but for reasons of space it’s nice to have compressed versions.

    So now I can play the lossless .WAV files on the Mac, and the compressed files on the iPod. Given that 1,837 songs were involved, it was all remarkably quick and painless.

    I agree that it would be nicer if the iPod supported more codecs. But a batch conversion under Linux of Ogg files to MP3s shouldn’t be that hard.

  3. It started switching itself on after I turned it off, recently, so I set it aside and didn’t use it. After a couple weeks of this, I realized that I didn’t miss the ability to hear music while I walked places, and this morning it occurred to me that I’d prefer the fond memories I’d get from destroying it in a suitably spectacular fashion (that capacitor bank ain’t gonna discharge itself, you know, or at least not very quickly).

    The earbuds coming apart was kind of the last straw.

  4. I don’t like music when I’m walking either; I much prefer to think without any distraction. The main reason I bought an iPod was a way to block out unwanted music from neighbours without resorting to duelling stereos (and last weekend my neighbours were playing loud music and shouting from 7pm Saturday to 10 pm Sunday, literally without a single break). But if I can ever find some foam earplugs with a high enough attenuation factor that don’t irritate my ear canals, I’ll use them instead. When it’s silence you’re really after, nothing is nicer.

    Anyway … do take precautions and get some expert advice if you’re going to blow the thing up. Fond memories are one thing, but scar tissue or vision loss might not be so delightful.

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