So, I have a problem. I love gadgets and technology. The techier (that’s a word right?) the better. If I can buy something with Apple Pay, I will. If I can put a ticket in my Apple Wallet, it’s a no-brainer. Use Alexa to turn on my home theater? Check. Use my Apple Watch to take a phone call so I can talk to someone like I’m Dick Tracy? Hello.
And when it comes to headphones, I really have an issue. I have a set of earbuds that I keep at work. I have a set of noise-cancelling earbuds to watch movies when I fly (which is often). I have a pair of Bluetooth bone conduction headphones that are great for listening to music or podcasts while out and about because they don’t cover my ears and I can stay alert to what’s going on around me. I have a pair of Bluetooth earbuds that I was using for working out (but they have a wire connection between them that’s annoying when I start moving around).
At the beginning of this last tour with the Field Band, one of my van-mates took out his Apple EarPods. Now, I’ve thought about buying the AirPods but always decided against it because they are basically the same shape as the earbuds that have come with the iPhone for years and they just don’t stay in my ears. But there I was, minding my own business, when he took out his EarPods with the wingtip things similar to the ones I use with my Bose earbuds that help keep them in my ear. That blew my mind. Yada, yada, yada, and a few days later I bought a set and had them delivered to one of our hotels.
I won’t go so far as to say it’s been life-changing, but it’s been pretty darn useful. If you’re an Apple person and are on the move a lot, you need to look into these. While on tour, I use my iPad to play workout videos; having the EarPods immediately made that more efficient and less painful. They automatically connected to my iPad when I put them in my ears and they stayed in my ear during the workout without any cords. Phone calls and FaceTime took on a whole different deal. I don’t like being on the phone mainly because I dislike holding the phone up to my ear; the EarPods eliminate that issue…and if the person calling you is in your contacts, the EarPods will tell you who is calling. Pretty cool.
The sound quality is pretty good but these are a functional tool more than a vehicle to listen to music. If you are part of the Apple ecosystem and want to be able to use Siri, take calls, listen to music or watch stuff on your devices, then I’d look at the EarPods.
A couple of weeks ago, the Field Band returned from our Spring tour of the Northeast. It was my first time with the Field Band in that part of the country, but of course not my first time there! I enjoyed our time in New England and upstate New York particularly, since I grew up about 20 minutes south of Boston and earned my Bachelor’s degree in upstate NY. As a result, I enjoyed meeting up with friends and family throughout the tour! Continue reading
So, I noticed recently an uptick in my readership, which I don’t understand because I am awful at this blogging thing. Considering we are now a month out from our Spring tour, I thought it was about time to write about our Fall tour of the West Coast. Continue reading
The Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus’ three-week summer tour took us through parts of the Midwest, one of the highlights being concerts alongside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for their annual “Salute to America” during the Fourth. But we began our tour in beautiful and historic Chautauqua, NY, a lake-side resort community that is home to the Chautauqua Institution. The Field Band has performed at the Chautauqua Amphitheater 36 times since 1973, often performing the opening concert of the season as we did this summer. Continue reading
Everyday carry or EDC has gained popularity over the last few years; there are countless blogs and websites dedicated to the subject and tons of videos on YouTube with guys doing the “pocket dump,” showing what they carry and why. I have to admit I’ve watched my fair share…and it has nothing to do with my obsession over gear. One of my favorite things to do when I’m passing time on my iPad is to go to the Everyday Carry site and check out the gear people are carrying. Continue reading
Last month, I accompanied the Soldiers’ Chorus of the Army Field Band during their goodwill mission to Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes that hit the island, it has been a slow recovery. But, what was evident during our short time there is that the people of Puerto Rico are resilient and can truly serve as an inspiration to us all. Continue reading
So, it’s been three months since my last post…I’ve been at my new assignment, The U.S. Army Field Band, for over six months and haven’t done a blog post about the job yet…you could say I’m terrible at this blogging thing and you’d be right! But better late than never.
I’ve been with the Army Field Band since September and have already gone on two tours – one, a 21-day tour of the Midwest; the other, an 18-day tour of the Southeast – both shorter than their usual 30-40 day tours. I have to say it’s been nice to be eased into the touring thing with these shorter tours! A rude awakening is coming next spring when we tour the Northeast. I know; I’ve seen the draft schedule.
Shortly after I arrived (and after taking some PCS leave after returning from Korea), I hit the ground running as the Band was preparing to do a recording of Leonard Bernstein’s music in celebration of his 100th birthday in August 2018. My role was to organize and run the schedule as well as assist the lead engineer in the booth during the recording sessions. It was a great learning experience working with a Grammy-nominated engineer. The Band played well and I was immediately impressed with their nuanced musicianship. It’s funny how when a band is stabilized and performs a lot together, they sound really good. Huh… Continue reading