Thursday, March 30, 2006

Potpourri, Flanders-style

I am, apparently, not very good at coming up with general topics to blog about. The last two weeks at Various Stages of Mormondom have been my topics, "giving up" and "coincidence." There have been a total of 2 other posts out of a possible 10. Yikes. But in better news, my latest post about Mormon coincidences is now up. Check it out, as it just may be the very last post ever on VSoM. I'm kidding. At least, I hope so.

In other news, I need some advice from my readers.

Dilemma 1: I am ashamed to admit it after all my carping recently about my money woes, but my wife recently earned a nice windfall and bought me an extravagant present. A black video iPod. Does anyone have any suggestions about cases/screen protection? Apparently, the black ones scratch super-easily, and I've just come from reading several hundred product reviews for iPod cases on Half of them say, "this case scratched my iPod and made the wheel sticky" and the other half say, "Lies!! There is absolutely no stickiness and it saved my screen." Suggestions are welcome, otherwise, I'm sticking it in a sock, but not a thirty-dollar one.

Dilemma 2: Since Maude is a lawyer, I have to attend a few lawyerly functions with her. So far that's only consisted of one office Christmas party. Unfortunately, this weekend we have to attend a formal gala and have dinner at a senior partner's house. What I need are topics for conversation.

This is what I have so far: "So, I hear you clerked for Justice Marshall? I work at a garbage company."

Also, I have a series of "knock knock" jokes prepared should the dinner conversation lag too much. What do you think?


a random John said...


My wife brought home a black video iPod the other day. I took it back in anticipation of the April 1 announcement. The web is full of faked photos of the new iPod, but I believe it is coming soon. If you want it for music then keep it. If you want it for movies then I would guess that a much better one will be out in a few weeks.

Beijing said...

In my experience, law partners generally like to talk about sports, vacations, and material possessions. Good luck.

NFlanders said...

John-- I am not an early adopter kind of guy. My current mp3 player is a 19 gig Creative that my parents got me for Christmas 2000 and weighs about 8 pounds. Also, I'm not very interested in the video applications besides the occasional Saturday Night Live clip. But, I still haven't taken it out of the package...

Beijing-- Thanks. I think this guy is more an NPR/Whole Foods/PETA type partner, but I'm sure he has a lot of material possessions to talk about. Maybe he uses iPods as coasters.

Katie said...

Aren't online reviews rather funny/useless? Today my nana decided she wanted to buy me a breadmaker. I was to comb through the reviews on amazon and epinions to find the best one. But of course the problem is as you say about the ipod case, some people hate it and some people love it. Some people say "This bakes the most delicious bread! It is so easy to use!" And then others say "The worst breadmaker! Burnt my loaves to high heaven. Attacked my two year old and cut off his arms!" It leaves me so confused.

Pris said...

Seriously, you work for the garbage company? That is so cool. Being completely serious, "Garbageman" is #2 on my list of "Jobs I Want." Curse you, Flanders, for living my dream!

m said...

black ipods as coasters...brilliant!

i have some software that i can send you for ripping dvd's to ipod-able video files, in case you're interested.

Eddie said...

Hiya Ned. Long time no blog (I just hit my blog with the defibrillator, hopefully I'll be around more often these days).

I bought an iPod Nano last week. I bought the white one because I've heard that scratches show up on the black ones rather easily.

I laughed out loud when I saw on the apple site that you can buy an expensive sock. Ehhhh... no thanks, guys.

Anyway, look at you. You're a rock star these days.. on VSoM, etc. Good to see you're still around.

Eddie said...

Oh yeah, I've read some reviews, too.. lots of people cursing the Nanos, lots of people singing their praises. To each their own. Some complaints are superficial, some are people who have no idea what they are doing, others are of a more substantive nature.

Hellmut said...

Beijing is probably right on. Evaluate the decoration and furniture in the house to determine these folks priorities. Then ask questions about one of the items. "That look fascinating? How did you find it?"

Capt. Obsidian said...

No input on the iPod thing, but how about this for conversation:

What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 80?

(wait for it...)

"Your Honor."

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress...

Chad and Val said...


I have an iPod photo and I bought some Belkin screen protectors - the transparent ones that you stick on the screen. I cut it to size and it works perfectly. Meanwhile, keep it in a sock.

a spectator said...

You blog and you don't know what to talk about?!? Tell them the story abou the Valentines flowers--I'm still laughing about it.

annegb said...

Oh Ned, I wish I could be there with you. I could be like that guy with the big nose telling the other guy what to say.

Ask about them. People always like to talk about themselves. Say things like, "what made you decide to do that, what motivated you?" DON'T say, "what were you thinking?" Also, you can comment, "gee, you feel very strongly about that, don't you?

Therapists say that last one a lot. So I used it on my last therapist, and he didn't even realized I was playing him, he just went off explaining and felt very validated and I sincerely smiled.

It also helps if you indicate an interest in their topic, for instance, if they say they have a dog, you can say how much you love dogs and tell what kind of dog you had as a kid. When they talk about their dog, you can say, "I didn't know about that, tell me more, I've always wanted to understand that."

You know for your other blog, I would like to hear about prophetic dreams, about dreams in general. I've had a couple and I wonder how they compare with others. I would be glued. (unless I forget).
There you go. All done now.

annegb said...

does anybody know how I can make my picture bigger?

annegb said...

Ned, tell him how much you loved your childhood yellow lab retriever.

Better yet, send me a plane ticket and I'll come be your shill at the party -- ies.


NFlanders said...

Katie-- About the online reviews, amen, sister. It's understandable that different people have different opinions, but they disagree on points of fact (i.e., whether certain iPod covers leave a sticky substance on the click wheel.

Pris-- When you say garbageman, do you want to be the guy chucking stuff in the back of the truck or the driver? I find out something new about you every day. I am sorry to disappoint you, buy I temp for a garbage middleman. We don't actually pick up any trash ourselves, we contract it out. We are the jerks squeezing the margins on the garbage haulers.

M-- That would be cool, thanks. Unfortunately, you know how rudimentary my tech skills are. I'll try not to screw it up.

Eddie-- Nice to see you, again. When I was looking for a cover, I couldn't believe how tiny the Nano is. I hope you like it.

Hellmut-- I will try it and report back. I have to leave in a couple hours.

Capt. Obsidian-- I think a full gamut of lawyer jokes would go over great.

Chad-- Thanks for the input. I am leaning towards just a clear screen cover. Do you cover the clickwheel as well?

A spectator-- Thanks. I have to post an update on the flower story later.

annegb-- Great ideas. I think you would be the best Cyrano de Bergerac ever. If I could, I'd totally have your voice in my ear.

Square Peg said...


I'm a total iPod junkie (I own both a Nano and an iPod video--how pathetic is that?), and I've tried all manner of different covers, cases, and enclosures over the past couple of years.

The one I like best is the Invisible Shield, a kind of transparent space-age polymer "skin" you apply directly to the surface of your iPod. There's one piece for the front and one for the back and sides.

Kind of hard to explain, but it really provides excellent protection for every square inch of your iPod--without adding any bulk or forcing you to hide the cool design behind a clunky case.

Anyway, you can check it out at The Web site is sort of amateurish and lame, but the product itself is great.