It draws ever closer

(I’m referring to the trip, not Hurricane Charley, in the headline.)

Posted in advance of the weekend: Levi, can you think of any preparations you think I may have forgotten about, some items you want me to bring that I need to dig up in my apartment, or at a store? Things are going to be pretty busy in my life for the next few days, up until the time I leave for the trip on Thursday, so I’m hoping something doesn’t slip my mind.

Original comments…

Levi: Only this: I’m considering replacing my iPod radio adaptor because it’s an aftermarket model that chews through AAA batteries like the Devil Rays chew through AAA players. Your iPod and mine, I think, are the same model now, or at least the same time period, so the Apple one ought to work with both, right?

And you don’t already have a transmitter, right?

Jim: If your iPod has the rectangular “dock connector” on the bottom (which means it would also have the “touch wheel” and the four buttons in a line above it), then any accessories should work equally well with both.

Apple doesn’t make an FM radio transmitter for the iPod, so they’re all aftermarket. Here’s what’s available, although I don’t know which of these are most readily available (i.e., they’d have them at the Apple Store, Best Buy, or someplace like that). Although I’ve heard good things about the Griffin iTrip, it would be problematic to use with both our iPods because of the bizarre way in which works, but it looks like any of the others should work fine. If it were me, I might look at the Belkin TuneCast II, plus their Mobile Power Cord to run it off car DC power, but that might be a little pricey for you.

If we’re lucky, the rental car will have a cassette deck, and all we’ll need is the cassette adaptor I’m going to be bringing (it’s what I use in my car, which is why I don’t have a transmitter already).

Levi: The Griffin iTrip is what Tony has, now that I see the photo. It’s so well-designed that I thought it was an Apple accessory.

I’ll probably try to pick one up next week, if only because lately my luck with rental cars and tape decks has only been about fifty-fifty. And they look at you really funny when you request a tape deck instead of a CD player.

Jim: To use the iTrip, you put audio files onto your iPod representing the various FM frequencies, and play one of them whenever you want to change stations. I’d be a little bit reluctant to attempt to download the files to my iPod from your computer, because of the ever-present danger of accidentally telling your computer to sync my iPod with your music library, thus wiping out all of my music for the rest of the trip.

Levi: Nah, my computer is never set up to automatically synch. That has always seemed like a really useless feature to me–my home computer is always going to have far more songs on it than my iPod can hold, and if I can’t take ten minutes to put what I want on there, I must be a heartless CEO or something, and then wouldn’t I only want, like the Chariots of Fire theme?

Jim: I do auto-sync because 33 gigs of music on the computer plus a 30-gig iPod (actually 27-point-something gigs of actual space) would equal me spending me all my time micromanaging my music collection if I didn’t auto-sync. Besides, it’s fun coming up with the various playlists and smart playlists to populate the iPod with exactly what I want.

It looks like I’m going to have only about 15 MB (yes, megabytes) of space left on the iPod, and now I’m wondering if that’s enough space for the iTrip audio files.

thatbob: Some other things for Jim to bring along:

-reference works on popular culture (to make a point or settle a bet)
-fresh milk (to wash down the Hostess Baseballs)
-live cow (source of fresh milk)
-life savings converted into cash

That’s all I can think of right now.

Toby: How about several sharpened pencils for keeping score at games…

Jim: Keeping score is Levi’s department, although I do have a mini-pencil sharpener I might contribute to the cause. I just have to remember not to put it in my carry-on luggage…its metal edge is sharp enough to shave a thin piece of wood!

maura: jim, do you think you could burn some of your baseball songs to cd? i’m not sure if i’ll be able to plug your ipod into the wprb board. (i’ll do some sleuthing about this, though, this week.)

Jim: I already had the “Baseball’s Greatest Hits” CDs set aside to bring with me in case of emergency. Let me know if there’s anything on the list that’s not on those two CDs that you definitely want to play on your show.

Does the WPRB board have line-level RCA inputs? I’ll bring the dock and the appropriate cable.

Jim: It turns out that everything not on the “Baseball’s Greatest Hits” CDs fits onto two CDs, so I now have the entire baseball song list in CD format.

Jon Solomon: You should be able to run the iPod into the board with an iPod to RCA adapter. I can rig this to go into the mixer. I’ll also pull several baseball 45s to play, and bring some of my sports records if someone reminds me. Get Metsmerized!

Levi: Awesome!

maura: yeah, get metsmerized is awesome!

Jason: Hey! ‘Awesome!’ is Dan’s line.

Stan Lee: Excelsior!

J.J.: Dino-mite!

Richard Nixon: Sock it to me?

GW Bush: America is more safer.

How’s the weather, whether or not we’re together?

Highs in the 60s in Chicago and St. Louis in August? I didn’t think I was going to have to bring a jacket on this trip!

P.S.: I think the Devil Rays should call do-over on their 6-0 loss to the Red Sox today in Boston; clearly, they were distracted by the hurricane approaching their hometown. Actually, I wonder if they’re secretly hoping Tropicana Field suffers damage serious enough that they’ll have to have a new stadium built for them.

Original comments…

Levi: I don’t think FEMA builds stadiums.

I remembered last night that the weather was unseasonably chilly ten years ago this week, when my parents, Pete Bodensteiner, Bob Hanscum, my brother, and I saw what turned out to be the last game of the season at Wrigley Field. The strike started the next day. It was so chilly at Wrigley that everyone wore jackets, but even that wasn’t enough to keep my parents from huddling under the grandstand much of the game.

Man, the strike sure sucked. Fortunately, so did the Cardinals that year. I still feel like apologizing to Expos fans on behalf of human (and corporate) intransigence and greed.

Jim: I have quite a few episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” that I taped in the summer of 1994, with Comedy Central ID bumpers where they’re calling themselves “Official Network of the 1994 Players’ Strike.”

Unfortunately, Tropicana Field is quite a bit further inland than — and probably much more solidly built than — Al Lang Stadium, former spring training home of the Cardinals, and a very nice place to spend a spring afternoon.