Monday, July 28, 2008

At Long Last

After what seemed like forever, but was really just a matter of weeks, on Tuesday I got my iPhone and on Thursday I got my Fat Boy back from the shop. I got an email Monday that my phone was being sent overnight from Dallas, so I stopped at the AT&T store on my way home from work on Tuesday, as did several other people, so I had a little wait before it could be activated. I got it home and hooked it up to my Vista PC and started transferring music. After a few songs, iTunes froze. I restarted it, it looked okay, and started copying more music. It froze again, i killed iTunes, and when I restarted it, iTunes said there was a problem with my iPhone and it had to be restored. I uninstalled iTunes, rebooted my computer, reinstalled iTunes and it still said it couldn't see the iPhone. The phone itself could play the music that had managed to transfer, but it wasn't talking with my computer. The next day I brought the phone in to work, which is an XP machine, and it could see the iPhone just fine, but I couldn't put any of the music on my machine onto the phone. I did manage to sync with my Outlook calendar, but that was about it. At home that evening it was the same story, iTunes said there was a problem, so I tried its suggestion of restoring the phone, but since I'd never backed it up, there was nothing to restore. At work on Thursday I did a restore, which zapped a number of changes I'd made to contacts and bookmarks. I called Apple and after waiting for someone to talk to, he suggested creating a playlist and syncing that, which isn't the usage model I've used with my iPod, but I tried it and it did work, but I had to force iTunes to do it. At least I was able to get music on my phone. The problem with my work computer is that the music I have ripped on it is in WMA format, which Apple doesn't support. A while back when I first got my iPod I transcoded some of the collection to AAC, but I've gotten a lot of music since then. I started transcoding, which took all afternoon and into the night and filled up my disk. I came in the next morning with all kinds of errors, due in large part to its having re-copied songs already in AAC format. I now have my music about how I want it on the iPhone and spent some time this morning getting album covers, which it turns out is not nearly as automatic as I would have liked.
After work on Thursday I went over to the Harley shop and practically signed over my first born to pay for the repair bill. I wasn't happy that it was ready and they hadn't called me, but I was glad to at least finally have it back. I got a small box of trophies with it- the cam plate and two very scorched pistons, as well as some miscellaneous small pieces. Fortunately the Hurricane Dolly-related rains had subsided and it wasn't raining, but the roads were still wet and dirty, so the wash job was nullified. Riding back to the shop on my bicycle was even more dirty since I was riding on the shoulder of the road some.
After work on Friday I had dinner at Shady Grove, then went downtown. I went to Gingerman for a little, then hoofed it over to Stubb's for the Air Guitar finals, but when I got there at 8:30 thinking the show started at 9, I found out that the doors didn't open until 9:15 and the show started at 10. I went to kill the time at Coyote Ugly, which was fully staffed but not yet full of patrons. It was something like "wigged out Friday" for no apparent reason, and all the girls were wearing wigs. I went back to Stubb's for the competition, which was held in the usual format, pitting the winners from the preliminary rounds and the dark horse round earlier in the week, as well letting a couple other people who pretty much just showed up. The first round was everyone's prepared routines, then there was a break before the compulsory round where the top scorers of the first round had a shred-off to Motorhead's Ace of Spades. There were some great high-energy performances, but the winner by far was "Master of Destruction," and according to the Facebook page, another favorite The Guardian won in Dallas, so he'll be competing in the US finals in NY as well. After the competition everyone got up on the stage for a little air guitar.
Saturday I left the house on my bicycle about 9:30 for the 11:35 showing of Dark Knight at the Alamo. When I got there, there were already people seated in the theater, and it was the smallest theater. I wound up with nobody sitting next to me, but it was about the only empty seat in the place. It was almost 2:30 when I left the theater, got a couple things at REI and rode the hike-and-bike trail for a bit. It was extremely hot riding home around 4, so I took it kind of lazily, stopping along the way to cool off in air conditioned stores.
Sunday I met up with another road captain to pre-ride this Saturday's ride to Cascade Caverns. The ride down there was really nice, good weather, but then it was only 10:30 when we got there. We didn't do the tour, and just turned around after getting some information on the place. Claudia and I separated when I stopped for gas, and I got home a little after noon, before it was scorchingly hot. This ride was also a little test of the Fat Boy and my electronic set-up. Two years ago when I had my Sirius on the bike during my big road trip (I haven't used it on the bike since), the biggest problem was that its loudest volume was just a little bit too quiet for me to hear well. I bought a small inline headphone amplifier, which did gave me plenty of volume, but for one thing it's one more thing to carry in my pocket (which is part of why I got a new phone), and it got intermittent interference from my phone. The interference shouldn't be a problem on my trip, since I'll have my phone off most of the time I'm riding, and I guess I'll deal with all the crap in my pockets like I always have in the past.

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