THE LAST FIVE ...

Closing up shop
- Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006

It may be time for a change
- Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Entry in the air
- Friday, April 21, 2006

Still here
- Thursday, April 20, 2006

Music of the moment
- Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Or ... BE RANDOM!


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101 in 1001
American Road Trip, 1998


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Friday, April 21, 2006 - 12:32 p.m.

Entry in the air

When I turned on my computer somewhere 35,000 feet over Arizona, I was surprised when it told me there was a wireless network in range. The name of it was something long with lots of letters and numbers, and it was unsecure, so I doubt it was any kind of top-secret military network or -- my favorite fantasy possibility -- a satellite, but I was amused nonetheless.

But then, as we're currently en route to San Diego, the iTunes goes ahead and shuffles to "Goin' Cali" by Bruce Springsteen. Of the 1,046 songs I have here on the computer, 391 of them are Bruce songs, so the odds are he'll get a lot of play. But to play that one among the first two or three? I think iTunes is a lot smarter than we think. Casey's iPod has a knack for knowing the moment, too, and Jessica knows what I'm talking about. I think iTunes has some inner brainwave-reading technology or something developed by the government at some top-secret installation in the desert that, technically, doesn't exist.

Now it's on "Badlands," and while we're not technically flying over South Dakota, we are still over the desert, and the desert is Badlandsy. And I can't stop bobbing my head -- it's a live version, with an extended instrumental at the end and you can hear the crowd "oh-OH-oh-oooah"ing in the background. At least I didn't thrust my fist into the air when he sings the title of the song.

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