beerMy life must be boring, since it has been two weeks since I have posted anything. Working nights has some benefits, such as the ability to run errands during the day. But, my weekends, even though they are as long as anyone else’s weekend, seem shorter.

I went to bed about 1PM yesterday to catch a nap and slept straight through til 2AM. The nice thing is that I was able to sit on the patio and enjoy a cold beer, with temperatures in the high 70’s – a cool desert breeze.  It has been hitting 110 during the days – that makes it a tad bit uncomfortable outdoors.

Liz and I have decided that the next major project on the house is to extend the patio. Her nephew Mike has promised to help as I add four upright 4×4’s and build the framework. I will have to rent an auger for an afternoon, as the desert ground is not easily penetrated. A hole, a 4×4 and a bag of Quickquete will be the beginning for an unattached addition to the patio. Framing the roof will be more challenging – I suppose the corrugated will be the most expensive part of the project.

A few weeks ago we celebrated her new job, and also some relaxing of my personal financial situation with dinner at a local bar that features 30 craft beers on tap.  The establishment is the Handlebar Pub – a small beer and wine joint in AJ. All of the beers and wines are microbrews and craft wines. They feature live music, mostly soft jazz style, a refreshing change from the typical country and western and blues that is the standard fare in AJ.

MP3 Player Saga

Many years ago I purchased an inexpensive SansaDisk MP3 player. It cost somewhere int he $40 range.  We had made the mistake of buying an iPod at an inflated cost – it died a few days after the warranty expired. iPods suck.  I needed an inexpensive player and did some research, the Sansa had great reviews. With 8 gig of resident memory, it held more than enough music. As I filled it to capacity, I invested in a 32 G MicroSD card, and increased the library.  I basically ripped my CD collection so that I had a portable player.

Well, earlier this year my Sansa Clip+ finally bit the dust, kicked the bucket, returned to the primordial ooze. I had connected and disconnected the mini stereo jack so many times that the conection wore out. Suffice to say, it worked well under many years of hard use.

When I needed a replacement, I did not hesitate to go with the same brand. The Sansa Clip Zip cost less than $30, and had more features including a crude but effective screen that displayed album cover art. Coupled with my Canz speaker, I had a portable music source to keep me entertained at work for 8 hours a night. Both the Canz and the Sansa Clip held a charge and provided music all night long.

Last week the Sansa began exhibiting some problems – first it was a elayed boot up time that increased from instantaneous to a 15-minute lag before streaming music. Then it finally refused to boot up at all, giving me nothing but a green screen upon power up.

I figured that I was screwed, after all, if Apple doesn’t rpovide an adequare warranty why would Sansa?  I was wrong.  I contacted Sansa support and described the issue, and was informed that the RMA package is now enroute to my mailbox.

I did a lot of research in the iterim, looking for an affordable MP3 player – and it seems conclusive that Sansa is the best out there. There are cheaper ones, as cheap as $13 – but they have limited resident memory with no ability to add.  The Sansa accepts 32G MicroSD cards – and some people have been able to add 64G cards.  My 32G card is only half full – with well over 3,000 songs. Apples customer support was less than helpful, Sansa responded immediately and it seems the replacemnt process is painless.


While I on the subject… I needed a very smal speaker for my MP3 player so that I could enjoy music at work without the nuisance of earbuds. the Canz is a small but powerfu speaker half the size of a can of beer. For $30 you can get the lower-end bluetooth model.  They have models that will synch – if you buy two and can have two wireless stereo bluetooth speakers.

Indoors, the volume is loud enough to cause people to complain. Outdoors it is loud enough that I often have to reduce the volume to have a conversation. Sure, this is not high end audio. However, for less than $30, you can’t go wrong. If you go to your local Walmart, you can get them cheaper now, as it seems that they are being phased out. A shame, because it is a quality prduct at an affordable price.

GoGroove Bluesynch MC

I am still working on a solution for the studio. Currently we have cheap computer speakers that Liz hooks her Smartphone to for music. I saw an offer from GoGroove recently in a computer magazine – it was a portable albeit powered speaker frm GoGroove.  They were selling this speaker for $19.99 (shippin included). It has a wood cabinet, and is Bluetooth compatible. I ordered one, and it was delivered to my doorstep in four days.

Granted, it has to be connected to a wall outlet – but the sound is warm, and  it fillls the room with sound. This will fill the void until I can build my amplifier and connect the DC player. Plus, I can connect my non-Bluetooth MP3 player via stereo jack!


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