You want a cookie with that?

Today we went to one of our regular Friday restaurant stops. Boston’s is not inexpensive, but we like going there once every few weeks. A few months ago they had a menu change in which all the prices were raised. Why don’t the prices ever go down? One of the big changes was that they no longer included a cookie in the standard kid’s meal. It was a nice big chocolate chunk cookie.

Now, for a mere 50 cents extra, you can get a cookie and decorate it yourself. They are selling the experience of “making” your own cookie. Not only do we get the prices raised, they also don’t give you as much for your money as you used to get.

Needless to say, Boston’s never gets the extra 50 cents out of us. We can go to Costco and get a huge ice cream for $1.50.

My four iPods

I have recently replaced my original 20 GB iPod Photo with an iPod nano*. I got the Photo back in the summer of 2005 and have been very pleased with the iPod experience as a whole. There has rarely been a day that I have not used it. When I first got it, it was before the podcast revolution. I loaded it up with most of my music. I had the poor hard drive maxed out.

I set up a play list that would allow me to randomly listen to every song on my machine before listening to any of them twice. When I was not hankering to listen to something specific, I loaded up that play list and enjoyed the random goodness. I made it through 20 GB of music 4 times. Then podcasts came along.

I had been reading about podcasts, but had not really understood them. This was still before Apple had official podcast support within iTunes. I downloaded a few shows and dropped them onto my iPod. One of the first shows I listened to was TWiT. My fascination with the show was mainly because of the personalities involved. There were fewer than 10 shows at the time. I went back and got all the previous episodes.

Since then I hardly ever listen to music. I subscribe to 80+ podcasts these days. If it weren’t for some weird requirement of the nano, I would not have any files on it that weren’t podcasts. For some reason, the nano will not show you any songs or files on your machine if you don’t have at least one normal song loaded.

In the intervening time between my iPod Photo and nano, I have had two first generation shuffles*. The first one just stopped being recognized by the computer. I took it to a local Apple service center along with the receipt. They replaced it for free, but I only had a couple of weeks left on the shuffle warranty. I suspected that the shuffle died due to my ability to sweat soak anything around me. When I got the replacement shuffle, I also got a water proof case for it. Within a couple of months it died of the same fate. Even with the Otterbox case case I kept it in, it still had rust stains at the base of the USB connector.

I still used the Photo as my main player during all of this. I have probably run 1500+ miles in the last 2 years carrying the Photo.

But the Photo has finally gotten to where it is only holding a charge for 20 minutes sometimes, and sometimes less. I just purchased a new battery for it today and am eagerly awaiting to see if that was the whole problem or if it is more serious. I have to wait a couple of weeks for the battery to arrive.

I have had the nano only about a month. I have a waterproof OtterBox case for it as well. I don’t know how people strap these things on their arms and not sweat them to death. I can’t risk that.

*Why does Apple not capitalize the names of these products? Idiotic.

Missionary Talks 52: Chris Robertson

Chris Robertson is a church planting missionary on the opposite side of México from me. I thought we met for the first time in March when we were back in the States for a mission conference. However, while talking to him for the interview, we discovered that we worked together one summer in a camping ministry. Funny thing is I don’t really remember him, nor he me.

This interview was plagued with Skype dropouts. For the most part it is understandable. I was able to cut out some sections that were unintelligible without losing the context. I did leave a couple in because they were not that bad.

If you go back and listen to all the Missionary Talks shows one week apart, it will take a year. I finally got 52 episodes done. I have not averaged the one show a week scheduled that I wanted. But, I am excited to see the audience growing each week anyway.

Rice Krispies

Steph and her Rice KrispiesLast week we were in the cereal aisle at Wal-Mart and found something that made my wife giggle with joy. I was at the other end of the aisle and had to trot down to where she was to see what the excitement was about.

She found Rice Krispies!

It is not that we have never had Rice Krispies here in Mexico, but they just suddenly disappeared. Since I am not a Rice Krispies eater, I never paid attention to when they came and went.

I did notice two interesting things with this box though. First is that it was printed in Spanish. Many of the cereal boxes we have are the standard US box with a Spanish language nutrition information sticker plastered to the side of the box.

The second thing I noticed was that the box had a little blurb in the bottom corner that said “We’re Back!” (or something to that effect). That makes me think that they are going to be on the shelves as a regular product now. Good for Rice Krispies lovers.

Feeling guilty about running

I have been thinking over the last week that I am spending quite a bit of time running. While I don’t spend as much time as an elite athlete, I have spent 2.5 to 5 hours a week over the last few weeks on the road. I was thinking that that is a lot of time that I could be dedicating to something else.

But, I have consoled myself with the fact that I don’t watch much TV. I watch 5 shows a week which are recorded. So I only use 40 minutes per show. 5 X 40 = 200 minutes. Just over 3 hours (on average) a week.

What prompted me to confess that this was a concern of mine was that I heard a report this morning that said the average American watches 29 hours of TV a week. 29 hours!

That means I can easily up my running to 20 more hours a week before I should feel guilty about wasting my time.