Stuff I Dig: Jaybird BlueBuds X

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Trust my friend Lauren Dragan to finally find a set of Bluetooth headphones I can live with. The Jaybird Bluebuds X are the first set of wireless in-ear headphones that I like enough to use on a regular basis. Water and sweatproof, they're a great choice for a fella like me that lives most of the year in the wet on Canada's west coast. I can wear them in the rain on the way to the gym, sweat my fat ass off and then crank some tunes on the way home without worrying about their being shorted out by too much exposure to moisture. And with it's three-button control setup, I'm able to control my music's volume, pause, access Siri and accept or reject phone calls. The BlueBuds X come with a whack of different ear cup sizes and a number of silicon fins to ensure a good seal and keep them from falling out of your skull, but I find they seat firmly in my ears without the fins. A definite bonus. 

The only downside to these things, as Lauren pointed out in her Wirecutter coverage of these things, is that you'll have to charge them a few times a week. That can suck if you forget to sort this out before leaving the house, but as I tend to roll with a USB battery in my backpack, it's not a big deal. Roughly an hour's worth of charging will get you roughly eight hours of tunes. Not bad at all.

The real test for these things will come in February when I take them with me to Costa Rica. If they survive the salt water, sand, and massive amounts of sweat I'll be subjecting them to, I'll be very impressed. 

Fiction: Slingshot

Jason Raso is one of my oldest friends. He tolerated me during high school, and for some reason, has stayed in contact with me for close to twenty years. Aside from having terrible taste in friends, he's also one of the finest musicians I know.

For his quartet's last record, Slingshot, Jason contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in writing a short story for the liner notes. After listening to a few tracks, I came up with Slingshot: a story about insomnia, the soul of a musician and unrequited lust. I was happy to be a part of the project and left it at that.

For a few months.

Last October, during a show at the Guelph River Run Centre, The Jason Raso Quartet and Mr. Kevin Sutton performed Slingshot before a rather sizable audience. I had no idea it was going to happen, and when I saw the video for the first time, I have to admit I was a little gobsmacked. It's flattering to think that someone--especially a fella I respect as much as Jason--liked something I wrote well enough to include it in his own art. There's few higher compliments than that.

Anyway, before I go getting all weepy, here's the video, preserved on my site for prosperity's sake (that's code for 'so my mom can find it.)