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Garmin Alpha Review: Still the top dog?

A review of the Garmin Alpha 100 dog tracker
The underdogs and I like to go places.  Remote places...places no man has gone before.  At least no man not wearing blaze orange.  This means being prepared for the unknown.  The unexpected.  The lost.  This means gps tracking.

The Garmin Alpha is the Thundarr Barbarian of the dog tracking world.  Rugged, a little rough around the edges but the technology it wields may just bring peace in a post apocalyptic world.  This thing opens doors just not possible prior to owning it , and does so while sweating testosterone.  Yeah, I like it just fine.
As a reminder, my reviews are not technical specs or full of scientific testing.  My reviews are about how any given product may fit into or enhance the life of a mid-life fool like me.  There may be a few like-minded souls out there.  The wise ones, I call them.  Those who know to really disconnect, you need* technology.   Those of us battling mortality can often take solace in the distraction of ou…

Rockin around the clock

Do I even have a way to play cds?

There is a light that never goes out....

So I just ordered and delivered a CD player for my son.

No, I wasn't boomin*.

He actually asked for a cd player.  Apparently he has been shopping old time record stores and started to build a cd collection.  You know...the same thing we did like three decades ago.

I love it.

I was a beta tester for nearly every streaming music service ever formed.  Don't get me wrong, streaming music was life changing for me.  I am nothing if not cutting edge...even in my boomin ways.  That said, my son wanted a cd player.  I walked a little bit taller today.  To let him filter through my library of hundreds of cd's...well, I felt like a sort of god.  It also reminded me just how glorious the physical media really is.  The inserts.  The photos.  The lyrics.  Actually fondling this physical object in unhealthy ways.  I felt so connected to it all.  Do I even have a CD player for all of these cd's?  I need to head to Amazon.  I need a CD player.  I was walking down a path and I liked the view.

You see I have always been intimately tied to my music collection.  It has defined my life.  It is a time capsule.  It all started in the mid-70's.  I remember it like it was yesterday (play the weird jingle in your mind that takes you back in time...)....

It all started with a group of kids.  Kids with a particular set of skills.  Skills that made us dangerous for people like you.

Yes, you guessed it.  We had an uncommon ability to dress up as KISS, apply our makeup, and play the tennis racquet in a way never seen before.  Never seen since.  It wasn't the actual songs, it was just a tribute.  It was the greatest air tennis KISS impersonation in the world.  It was my youth.

Of course my interests became more specific.  I refer to this as the 45's.  It wasn't about the musicians, it was about the songs.  45 singles was the game, and I was good at it.  There was the Thomas Park pool REO Speedwagon taking it on the run.  There was Freeze Framing Super Skate.  Centerfold, Mr. Robot, I Love Rock n Roll.  More than anything, there was Jessie's Girl.

I took a lot of abuse for my Rick Springfield time period.  I have no regrets.  I was REALLY in to Rick Springfield.  I had a wager with my grandma that he would outlast John Denver.  I won that bet. I don't feel especially good about it.

I was becoming independent.  I needed to spread my wings.  I needed more from the artists.  I needed cassettes.  Def Leppard, The Fixx, Quiet Riot, Journey...it was the MTV age and I was devouring it.  I remember the actual order of cassettes I purchased for...like...ever!  It felt like this age lasted forever.

Time went by.  High School entered.  My antisocial stage.  High School was very rough for me...the subject of future blogs no doubt.  Still, I had alternative music and cd's.  Oh the wonderful discs and the incredible sound they produced.  Anything representing the struggles of life...I was so in.  Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths.  Feed me...I need more.  I still love this music from the time where you felt everything just a little bit more.

College was grunge, a little industrial, anything on college radio.

Starting a family was, well, some sort of combo?  What genre was it?  Blue October...Live...Third Eye Blind...Radiohead.  Tool of course.  So much music.  It was a constant and dance parties with my little toddlers was the rule of the day.    It was just really good music, and while it was a stressful time it was the best time.

I hit 40.  I pretty much went country.  Just the oddest of moves.  I never liked it.  This is when I started spending all of my time outdoors and on the river.  I started spending less time in my head and more time reflecting and remembering.  New country sort of works for that.

Sigh...where was I going with all of this?  Oh yeah.  Well imagine my pride when he elected to take some of my collection back to college.  I mean there was gold here.  He was scooping them up as fast as I could dish em out.  It was like handing the keys to the 67 Mustang to your kid and saying "it is your world now...make me proud".  He was really warming my heart even as these gems were leaving my possession.  I was leaving a legacy.  He is my son after all.  He showed he had good taste.  Until he didn't....

Two notable exceptions I will never understand.  I can't peddle my extensive collection of The Smiths on anyone!  I just don't get it.  Morrissey...those lyrics....the pure sarcasm and wit behind every...single...word.  Yet, he refused.  "No thanks, dad".

He has failed me for the last time.  Right when he was on the cusp of greatness!

One other omission really puzzles me.  He has no interest in my complete Nine Inch Nails collection.  It makes no sense.  You see...if I drew blood from my sons their type would be ones and zero's.  Their DNA is the stuff of video games.  I am fairly sure they don't bleed, their health meter goes down.  Yet they deny the very pioneer of the video game soundtrack?  Seriously the boy was adopted.

After he left I sort of sat down with it all.  It is like all of my life was laid out in musical leanings.  Touching it, looking at the inserts, reading the lyrics.  Sometimes its the little pleasures...

Then I put on my son's playlist on Amazon music.  Man he has some great stuff.  Catfish and the Bottleman, And especially The Foals....so amazing.  It is almost like full circle.  I have to admit...he is my kid after all.

The padawan has become a Jedi.  The keys are in good hands.

On another note, I pointed out to Autumn Bacon that she is factually middle aged as defined.  46-65.  That may have been our last conversation today.

I have been watching football alone in the shop ever since.

Ok, that isn't entirely true...she laughed it off when I told her.  What is there to be afraid of?    As I type this she is inside playing PUBG.  I mean she loves her PUBG.  She is always the first to die.  The first of the gang to die.  But she loves her video games.  We all cope in different ways and hers is undoubtedly healthier than mine.  Then again peanut butter goes really well with chocolate.

*Boomin:  A derogatory term used by my spawn anytime I do anything that resembles an old person.  I am not a baby boomer.  Their humor is lost on me.

I see Boomers! 


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