Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The saga of the iPod

iPods need recharging, or at least the 30 gig models do. I can't comment on the shuffles and minis; I've never seen one of those.

So we thought to ourselves, given that Andrew would bring his iPod along on this trip, that it might make sense to buy some method of recharging it other than connecting it to this laptop. I don't know if connecting it to an innocent laptop with neither iTunes or an iTunes library might cause the iPod to lose it's collection but it was cheap enough insurance against the possibility of a wailing boy to purchase a car charger.

We've (meaning I've) long since established the principle that we *may* buy him something once but we sure as hell won't buy it twice. In other words, lose it and tough, baby! Thus the handing over of a charger a week or so ago along with the necessary admonishment to take care of it.

Does it come as any surprise that it seems not to have even left the apartment? We were just on the point of leaving Waukegan[^] when he, belatedly, remembered that his charger was in his suitcase. We had a whole day of driving ahead of us so it seemed reasonable to take the opportunity to recharge it. But it was nowhere to be found! Uh huh.

Somewhere during the drive through Indiana we stopped for coffee and there for sale were iPod chargers suited to the purpose. Some calculation took place balancing the twelve or so bucks a replacement would cost against the absolute certainty of 11 days with a flat iPod. I'd have thought it a no-brainer but it seemed as though he were going through the most incredible angst. Need I say that the major source of the angst was that the twelve bucks was coming out of his pocket?? I thought not! :-)

Charger eventually bought we set off and he plugged it in. Somewhat later we stopped again for a coffee, a leg stretch and various other necessities. Locked the car and walked away. When we came back there was the iPod in all its glory, clearly visible to anyone who happened to walk by. Time for a lesson in opportunity cost! So we carefully explained the unwisdom of leaving valuables clearly visible in locked cars. He seemed somewhat unconvinced.

So unconvinced that a couple of hours later he left it in full view again! Another lecture fell upon stubbornly deaf ears. It probably didn't help when I told him that I couldn't care less if they nicked his iPod but I certainly didn't want to have to pony up the excess (deductible) for the insurance cover on the car.

The third time he did it he had the misfortune for me to have noticed it before we left the car. His further misfortune was that he didn't see me noticing! So I pocketed the thing. When we returned to the car loud was the wailing and deep the grinding of teeth. Poor bastard didn't even put two and two together and realise that if the car was locked, unbroken into and both the headphones and the charger were still there it was most likely an inside job!

An hour or so later, just as we arrived at the hotel in Cleveland, I handed it back with the warning that in future I'll confiscate it for a week if he doesn't take better care of it.

Hard hearted of me? Of course. But at nearly 15 I can think of no other way to impress on him that it's time he took responsibility for his own stuff. And a 30 gig iPod ain't a cheap toy by any means!

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