Tag Archives: Travel

Yes, I need one more set of headphones!

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.

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Impressions of Bhutan

Bhutan. Land of the Thunder Dragon. Some call it a modern day Shangri-la. I call it a beautiful country steeped in tradition that my wife and I had the good fortune of visiting on our most recent vacation. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh yeah, Bhutan…that’s where now?” The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small (around the size of Switzerland), land-locked country nestled in the eastern range of the Himalayas between India and China. Its history is rooted in protecting its sacred traditions but the last forty years has seen its monarchs slowly open the country to the modern world while simultaneously safeguarding its heritage. Continue reading

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Episode VI: The Return of the Blogger (Part 1)

It’s been a long, long time since I last published a post on this blog. I could say I had a good reason, but the truth is I let my busy work schedule be an excuse to do other things…like watch “Blacklist” and “Agents of Shield.” The truth is that I think deep down I felt like I had said all I wanted to say about my time at the Army School of Music – I was there for five years after all – and was hoping that a return to the “operational” domain (i.e., serving at a band) would inspire me to write again…almost true. I did feel inspired to write again, but I also felt a little overwhelmed with moving to a foreign country and the new job, so I again made excuses. No more. For the five of you who have been hoping I would return to this space, the wait is over. Continue reading

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