The Daily Belmore

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It might be a soft j…

I ordered a Nike+ and an iPod Nano the other day, and they arrived this afternoon for my enjoyment. (Don’t know what a Nike+ is? Go here) It’s so easy to use, just put the sensor in your shoe (and you don’t need the expensive, injury-prone Nike+ shoes, just buy this) and plug the receiver into the Nano, and definitely makes running much more entertaining. Instead of focusing on every single step (and I don’t mean your form) you can just tune out (pun not intended) and let music guide your way. And at the end of the run, plug the Nano into your computer and see how you did on Nike’s web site. The damn thing keeps track of every single step, so you can look back on runs for as long as you’ve had the Nike+.

So how did my first run go? Well, I’m a bit out of shape, so it wasn’t what I hoped. But I did make it through the whole run without stopping (except for brief pauses at stoplights; I bet it works much better to run somewhere less urban), which I could never do the first few days of Cross Country practice back in high school. I ran for 3.11 miles and took 27:57 (that’s 8:59 per mile for those keeping score at home), leaving plenty of room for improvement. I must say, however, that I’m very impressed with how well it works. I don’t even have the pouch yet that I linked to earlier, and instead put the sensor by my toes and hoped for the best. It moved around quite a bit, but still worked as well as I could have hoped for. Once the pouch arrives I’m really going to have some fun, seeing as how it’s not very comfortable having a small pebble rattle against your foot for 3 miles.

So what did I listen to? Excellent question! I have my Nano set up to sync to two playlists, one that is filled with the latest additions to my library, and another that is filled with the most listened to songs from my library. Here’s what good ol’ shuffle gave me:

1. Northstar – Broken Parachute (off of “Is This Thing Loaded“)
2. Blackalicious – If I May (off of “Nia“)
3. Viola Wills – I Got Love (off of “Boss Soul“)
4. The Distillers – Distilla Truant (off of “The Distillers“)
5. Wolfmother – Woman (off of “Wolfmother“)
6. The Cramps – Human Fly (off of “Bad Music For Bad People“)
7. Brand New – Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades (off of “Deja Entendu“)
8. Taking Back Sunday – The Union (off of “Where You Want To Be“)
9. Art Brut – My Little Brother (off of “Bang Bang Rock & Roll“)

One other thing I forgot to mention is that I weed out songs I know won’t work for running, so I only have fast paced songs on the Nano. I don’t think Norah Jones popping up in the middle of a run would really get me going, do you?

So that’s my first effort with the Nike+ system, I’ll keep you posted as to whether I hit my eventual goal of 6 minute miles. I think I have steep hill to climb before that happens (pun intended).

October 17, 2006 Posted by | Music, Musings, Sports | , , | Leave a comment

Why I Love Music

For close to 10 years now, I have been in an extremely serious relationship. Not with any girl (or guy for that matter), but with music. When I wanted to get pumped up for a race, I turned to music. When I was feeling down and wanted to lighten my mood (or revel in my sadness, whatever the case may be), I turned to music. When I met someone for the first time, I would ask him or her about music. Music has been a huge part of my life (even more so now), and I can’t imagine myself being more involved with anything else than I am involved with music.

But it wasn’t always this way. I know the exact moment I decided that I was going to be more than just a casual listener. It was when a friend of my sister put So Long & Thanks for All the Shoes by NOFX in her car’s CD player.

I know what some of you are thinking. NOFX? Really? Not Dylan or Coltrane or The Clash or Hendrix? Nope. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started listening to any of them (outside of my dad’s Highway 61 Revisited tape we would listen to in the car…which reminds me, I really need to buy that album). NOFX was my first taste in music that did not come from the radio. I hate to say this, but up until then I don’t even know if I had bought a single CD that I did not first hear on the radio. Once upon a time the radio was the end-all-be-all for music, now the music elite shuns it. But I digress.

From start to finish, So Long is pure entertainment. Topics include the decline of punk music and music in general, problems with government, even family issues; and yet it is all done with tongue stuck firmly in cheek. The overall message, at least as I felt when I first heard it, was, ‘This shit is happening all around us; let’s play music and make the best of it.” And so I did. I played music, I listen to music, now I even work for a record label. Music has become one of the most important things in my life, and oddly enough I have NOFX to thank for that.

October 4, 2006 Posted by | Music | , , , , | 1 Comment