Your Vote Counts!

No, this is not a post urging you to vote in your own upcoming caucus/primary (although I would encourage you to do so).  I just have some questions…need some answers…and figured my blogging friends would be good people to ask.  So, here are some of my questions.  Feel free to answer any, all, or none of them.  😉

ipod or zune?
I am going to use some Christmas money (and borrow against upcoming birthday money) to buy myself an mp3 player.  Last night at the gym I tried using Matt’s, but he had no music that I liked.  Well, I liked 3 songs: 2 of them were OK Go (“Don’t Ask Me” fit my angsty mood, so that was a good one), and then “Take Me Back to Your House” by Basement Jaxx.  I listened to those over and over again until, when I was again trying to maneuver my way back to OK Go I somehow flung the whole thing onto the floor in front of my workout machine.  That was a little embarrassing.  What was even more embarrassing was that I then started crawling on the floor searching frantically for the little earpiece thing, b/c I knew Matt would kill me if I lost it.  After several minutes of frantic searching I found it…in my ear.  So, I need my own mp3 player.  I must admit I’m a sucker for aesthetics, so I’m pretty much sold either on a cute ipod nano or a cute zune.  So far I haven’t found any other players that are quite snazzy looking enough.  Aside from the cute factor, I like the ipod b/c it’s, well, an ipod, but the Zune has fm radio, which would be handy to help feed my npr addiction when I’m on the go.  Any suggestions?  And while you’re at it, a list of your favorite workout tunes would be greatly appreciated.  

dirt or donuts?
This week Amélie’s preschool class is talking about the letter D.  I signed up to bring a snack that begins with the letter D.  This is difficult, really.  I mean, there are donuts…Doritos…ding dongs…and…hmmmm, I couldn’t think of anything else.  Anything else except dirt.  You know, the oreo cookie and chocolate pudding and Cool Whip and cream cheese kind that you poke gummy worms into and then stick in a flower pot with artificial flowers.  I had this idea a week ago when I got the reminder note that I was in charge of Tuesday’s snack.  I told myself a firm no.  I was going to do something simple like donuts.  Donuts.  Donuts.  Donuts.  But this morning, I caved.  This shouldn’t take too long to make, right?  Right?  Surely I can make dirt while keeping Amélie from eating half of the Oreos (and me from eating the other half) and Jack from tipping the pot onto the floor in a mess of monstrously dirty proportions.  Right?  (I’ll let you know….)  So, should I have bought donuts instead?
(Here’s something completely unrelated to my poll but just plain funny: while we were walking back to the craft section to buy our brightly dyed artificial flowers to stick in the dirt pot Amélie was fingering all of the bras and commenting on their size.  It was so funny!)

funny or sexist?
On Saturday morning I was watching Headline News while rocking Jack to sleep.  I saw the TV version of the following article from the Guardian.  So, is it funny that these guys have to wear pink jumpsuits and sleep on pink sheets and that the walls and bars are painted pink?  Or is it sexist? 

Pink prison makes Texan inmates blush

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Wednesday October 11, 2006
The Guardian

For some, it may be a sign that prison life has become too cushy. For others, it represents the ultimate humiliation as the final shred of dignity is stripped away.At a county jail in Texas – maximum capacity four males and one female – inmates are dressed in pink jumpsuits. They sleep on pink sheets and wear pink slippers. Even the walls and the bars of the cells are painted pink.”I wanted to stop reoffenders,” the sheriff of Mason County, Clint Low, told the Associated Press. “They don’t want to wear them. Working inmates get a choice to work outside or sit inside, and some choose to sit inside because they don’t want people to see them. They would rather stay upstairs.”The tactic seems to be working, although it has had an adverse effect on the prison’s policy of using inmates for community labour. “I’m not going outside in these things,” said one inmate at the ageing jail. “It’s a good deterrent because I don’t want to wear them any more.”Another agreed. “The county would have more inmate labour without them,” he said.The policy started last year, shortly after Mr Low took office. While the pink jumpsuits are intended to act as a deterrent and stop inmates returning to jail, the pink walls are intended to calm tempers at the cramped prison.The inspiration came from Joe Arpaio, the man dubbed America’s toughest sheriff for his policy of keeping prisoners in Arizona under canvas in temperatures of up to 54C (130F). Sheriff Arpaio fitted his inmates with pink boxer shorts to stem thefts of prison underwear.

“It’s just an easy step that will hopefully make some progress,” Mr Low said. “That’s not the Holiday Inn they are staying in up there.”

The sheriff said that the reoffending rate was down by 70% since he introduced the pink regime. He added that there have been no fights among inmates since the walls were painted pink.

The tiny jail, built in 1894, is a historical site, and does not have to conform to all the state’s prison guidelines.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by madness on January 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    If you do decide on an Ipod and don’t mind the random shuffling of songs, think about a micro. It’s light (my mini tends to bag around a lot unless i clip it to my belt, and you probably won’t be wearing one of those in your workouts). And bonus its $99.00. My nephew loves his.

    Sasha Abramsky wrote an interesting book about the U.S prison system you might find interesting called “American Furies”. Here’s an audio excerpt about it:

    He spent quite a bit of time with that Arizona sheriff.



  2. Posted by Todd on January 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    1. I would recommend a iPod Shuffle if you are using it primarily for workouts. To get me through the times I am away from my radio (I’m also an NPR junkie), I download past “This American Life” [rpgrams onto my shuffle.

    2. While I have no opinion, you need #’s to validate your research (and my wife could live on Krispy Kreme). So I will say donuts.

    3. This really makes me think I need to re-evaluate the three button down dress shirts in my work rotation. Wait, no…I vote sexist and the product of a warden with a warped sense of self!


  3. Posted by Todd on January 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Workout tunes:

    It is hard to go wrong with equal parts “Clutch” and “Gwen Stefani” to keep you moving!


  4. Posted by frenchgirl on January 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    #1 I’m just impressed that you’re working out! Go girl! I also own the ipod shuffle, but rarely use it. You can borrow mine if you’d like. The National is a band Matt and I have liked lately. If I worked out, I would work out to them :)!!

    #2 You are a brave woman. I probably would have wimped out and bought donuts. But how boring…I’m sure the kids got a kick out of the “dirt”. And Am commenting on the bras–hilarious!!

    #3 Not sure if it’s sexist, but it seems ridiculous! I’m a bit suspicious of the 70% figure.


  5. I love, love, love my ipod. I have a full size one (I can’t ever remember the names of the different ones) and unlike madness, I don’t notice when jogging or lifting. I listen to a variety of music and podcasts. I checked and NPR has 83 free podcasts to choose from.

    I would’ve picked dirt, but had to stop and pick up donuts on the way to preschool b/c I didn’t get the dirt made. Then months later I would’ve wondered why I had the flowers, flower pot, etc.


  6. Posted by matt on January 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    1. i vote for the one with the radio. or the other one. like the other’s said, you can get podcasts of most stuff (my fav podcast is from kexp). it just all takes time to download. I don’t know how easy ipods make it. I am pretty happy with the quality of music that you find in the itunes lossless media, so that might be nice. but that is a much bigger file size as well. i’m afraid i’m not much help. but if it were me, i’d pick one with more features and wish i had one with more quality and cuteness and less features. i like the nano better than the full because it can fit in small spaces.

    2. dirt with donuts. you could call it compost.

    2a. confession: I’m afraid that I might have something to do with the ‘feeling of the lingerie’ in department stores.

    3. sexist. but defendable in court, especially with a male sexist judge. it’s yet another way our culture swallows sexist stereotypes without realizing.


  7. iPod, donuts, and funny.

    The work out music: manic mid-eighties REM because the music is fast, no one ever knew what Michael Stipe was singing, and you wouldn’t be able to understand them anyway.

    I say funny because I am from Texas and all Texas males have an inbred aversion to pink. Since this is a county jail and they won’t be there for forever I think they can take it for a short time. Cruel…only a little bit.

    “the stars at night are pink and bright…deep in the heart of Texas


  8. Posted by Freestyle Road Trip on January 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    definitley ipod. i have the new nano on which you can also watch movies. you can get a radio attachment that fits very nicely for about $30. recommend led zeppelin, stone temple pilots, billy squire, ac/dc, velvet revolver for workouts.


  9. Posted by matt on January 11, 2008 at 10:21 am

    ok. i’ve done some more looking and think you should go with the nano or shuffle. the zune has radio. that’s cool and hard to combat. but npr has podcasts, and that would force you to use that…and it would be better concentrated listening. the zune has wireless that’s neat, but you won’t use it (and you can get 3 songs for only 3 days from another wireless zune user). the zune has downloads at 15 per month, which is nice but i think all these things are how microsoft works. marketing marketing marketing for a product that was created out of marketing. what i mean is, when the product is geared for marketing then it will lack stability. this has been my beef with microsoft for years. they focus so much on the marketing that they forget that the thing has to work. i digress.

    all i am saying is that the zune says it can do more, but i doubt that the ‘more’ is more fulfilling than a more simple approach like the nano or shuffle has. less is more. and the lossless wma format doesn’t sound as good as the lossless m4p format. of course, good headphones make a difference as well.

    here’s a review on the zune that kind of explains where i’m coming from.


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