all the better to hear you with

Almost 8pm on a Monday night and it’s still light out. I love this time of year, when I can still have light enough to mow the lawn after work. In fact, I think I’ll do just that tomorrow evening – get this jungle of a yard under control before I leave next Monday for Munich. It’s hard to stay on top of a yard when unending rain not only prevents you from mowing, but also works like grass-steroids.

I was actually hoping for a slight respite at work this week, maybe a break from the pace set by my last pre-travel week. Looks like I’ll have no such luck. Things are intense, and look like they’ll remain that way for a while actually. Being a manager is starting to become a little easier, I think I’m getting slightly better at it. I still have a lot to learn, and I think I’ll only take the lessons to heart when they’re real-world things, as all the training and scenario-play can’t really build experience like real experience can. Good at my job or not, I’m certainly consumed by it of late… I think this week will be another storm right up until Friday. I am, however, excited about the trip to Germany… work or not, I’m planning on having a grand time regardless.

Germany! Too bad I’ll be one week too late to miss this show where one of my favorite bands of last year is supporting the Stars, who I’d love to see again too, consequently.

I learned something in recent travels-by-air: I hate my current iPod earbud solution. Having quickly abandoned the ubiquitous stock white iPod earbuds, I’d been using an over-the-ear pair a friend bought to replace a pair he’d lost. They were nice, but they hurt my ear after just a short while. I must have sensitive ears, or not understand how to use traditional earbuds properly… because the vast majority I’ve tried end up leaving my ears sore in short order. Previously, I thought I’d found the solution in those over-ear foam ones (not in-ear, they just rest round foam speakers against the ear). However, on a plane, or mowing a lawn, or doing anything where ambient noise is a detracting factor – they just don’t cut it. You really need that in-ear isolation that earbuds can give to get rid of the outside stuff. And, with my long flight to Germany looming – I figured it was time to get serious and drop the requisite dough to get a decent pair of earbuds.

So, having some Best Buy gift cards stored up – I hit the web to check the reviews. Confident in my research, I went in today after work fully intending to buy the reasonably-priced Sony MDR-EX71SL earbuds. I instead left with a pair of $100 Shure E2c earbuds. I know, $100 for earbuds? But man, let me assure you these things are amazing (and I only paid $30 for them after the gift cards anyway). When they are wedged in, you hear absolutely nothing – Shure’s “sound isolating” tagline isn’t just marketing fluff. I had Sharaun scream at me while listening to the Allman Brothers belt out “Dreams” live at Ludlow – and heard nary a peep, just watched her mouth open in a wide, soundless wail. The bass response is amazing for such little things, and they’re surprisingly comfortable for how “stuck” in your ear they have to be to work right. It is taking me a little while to get used to the increased pressure in my ear, which is a product of the tight seal they rely on – and I can actually “feel” the flex of the small waves of air in my ear canal. But man, even as I sit and type this while doing an extended-listening comfort test, I can’t hear a single keystroke over whatever Deep Purple track the iPod has shuffled to.

Goodnight friends, I’ve no more in me this evening.

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