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earbuds, bicycling, Martian

I. Headphones
I keep buying cheap earbuds and they keep breaking mysteriously. I'm not sure this is avoidable, even if you spend lots of money. Well, there is some alleged "Rugged" model out there. I figure as long as they're cheap enough it's okay, but I searched anyway, and found good reviews for the Panasonic Ergo-fit TPM 125. Also some others. Not necessarily for ruggedness, but for sounding good and fitting well at a $10 price point. And Panasonic has a good reputation with me, I've liked all few of their products I've owned (a walkman tape player, a VCR) compared to alternatives. And Consumer Reports rated them very highly for reliability a while back.

OTOH I also like instant gratification, and when I popped into a Dollar Tree the other day, I found earbuds there (despite what the two employees I asked thought) for, yes, a dollar. I bought three different ones.

One is technically over ear -- not like a muff, just hooks that go over your fleshy bit. Sounds okay but not that comfortable, and pops out when I try to wear my actual noise muffs over them. The second one sounded okay but smelled of plastic so strongly that I got paranoid about cheap Chinese products and put it in my spare room to air out. The third one I opened too and left to air as well.

Then I decided to go by Panasonic. Never seen them in a store so away! to Amazon! Next day wasn't that much more compared to basic shipping, so I indulged, and they came tonight. Sound fine and fit well, yes; nothing's going on for me to judge their noise isolation properties. And they don't smell toxic.

Keep in mind I'm no connoisseur, so feel free to be skeptical about my ideas about "sounds fine."

II. Bikes and pedestrians
So when I'm a pedestrian, I hate it when a bike zips by me at speed. "What if I'd stepped to the side for some reason?" I wonder. So when I sidewalk -- which I do a lot, because cars are scary -- I try to pass peds considerately, with enough space that I'd miss them even after a big sudden step sideways. If I can't I slow down a lot; if they look particularly fragile or unpredictable (senior, child, dog) I slow down even more, to pushing with my feet if need be.

OTOH I admit that from the other side, sometimes you can model the ped so that they seem predictable and you don't have to be that chary. Today I had an example: I was taking my safety-cut (I'm not sure it's a short-cut) across Harvard's extended campus, and a woman was crossing from left to right. Totally unaware of me, but given the paths and visibility, it totally made sense that I could zip by her on the left with little risk.

III. The Martian
I read the book a while back and liked it. I've heard the movie is good and sort of thought I should see it. When I realized it had left the Somerville theater (which is nice and walkable) I realized it was starting to fade and I should go see it Now. Happily I got two friends to come with me to the Alewife/Apple Cinmea. It was pretty good. They cut out at least two crises from the book, and may have jazzed up the final intercept a bit, I'm not sure. I'm still skeptical that Martian storms are at all like that. But good. I cried. I was disappointed they cut Mark's boobies emoticon/leet after they told him he was live.

As for the theater, I miss Somerville. Or Kendall. We had to buy tickets from the concession stand, waiting for her to finish getting food for other people. While there's a certain labor efficiency, it's also inefficient for people not planning to buy stuff. And she refused to give me a cup of water. I don't know if they'd have let me bring in a backpack with a water bottle inside. Oddly, there seemed to be lots of other employees standing around doing nothing.

I'm fairly sure that Kendall gave me a cup of water when I asked, and I don't remember grievances against it or Somerville, so probably either got cups or brought my backpack in.

The three of us stood in the lobby talking about it for a bit; right after the other two split off a woman asked me what we'd just seen. I guess we sounded animated and excited, I'm skeptical she was randomly hitting on me.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
scottopic
Dec. 8th, 2015 09:04 am (UTC)
Skullcandy Smokin' have worked out well for me - I have the same curse, but the only times I've had to replace the Skullcandies are when I've lost them or cats chewed on them. They're not the same as my kinda-expensive over ears for home listening, but they do for my neighborhood running and grocery store wanering.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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