Posted by: slartibartifast | November 7, 2017

Guns in America

I’ve waited a long time before weighing in on the “gun situation” in America. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’m now prepared to show my observations to the world through a public forum.

We have just gone through the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the recent mass shooting at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas. Total carnage: 84 dead and 566 injured. Enough.

To say that some angry crackpot with an AR-15 (evidently the preferred weapon of choice for homicidal morons) intent on killing many people is an unusual circumstance in our country is just not true any more. It happens with nauseating regularity now. Enough.

The root causes that create these deadly morons (I refuse to think of them as “people” after their actions) in America are becoming more evident and I want to identify them as I see them:

It’s not JUST guns…but it’s guns. There’s no need for AR-15s, or any similar type of assault weapon (like AK-47s), to be so readily available to average guns owners. These are weapons of war, designed to kill as quickly and efficiently as possible. Period. Full stop. No contrary argument possible. Enough.

There needs to be restrictions on the types of guns available to average citizens. We don’t allow fuel dragsters to drive on interstate highways, we can’t allow these assault weapons to ANYBODY not in the military. Alternatively, if people want to shoot these exotic weapons have them housed at a shooting range and ONLY available to shoot at that range. A lot of people I know will hate this idea. Tough. We live in a (supposedly) civilized society where we can’t all do whatever the hell we want to do. Live with it or move to Somalia and enjoy their lack of restrictions.

It’s not JUST gun ownership…but it’s gun ownership. Look up the stats on who owns them. Most guns are owned by a shockingly small percentage of people; mostly adult white males who stockpile them. These are, usually, the NRA shills who have bought into the propaganda that they can stop some insurrection by the U.S. government or some mysterious “other” power. Enough.

These “hyper-patriots” have bought all of the NRA/Fox News bullshit without any critical thought at all. The Second Amendment was written during a time when slave ownership was just fine and women had no rights like men. Things change. We have to as well.

It’s not JUST the NRA…but it’s the NRA. Bottom line…they’re just a marketing tool to sell more guns. And, DAMN, are they good at it. They are so well funded that they can hire the best ad men and focus groups to write the best propaganda to con their audience into even the most absurd actions. And they OWN Congress through their threats to primary any politician who doesn’t play ball with them. Enough.

It’s not JUST media…but it’s media. Movies, TV shows, video games, music, comics, nearly every pop culture source. They all glorify guns as the solution to EVERYTHING. There was a brilliant episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets a handgun and sees it as the solution to EVERY situation. Bart and Lisa get their basketball stuck up on the roof of their house and Homer shoots the ball flat and it falls off the roof. He then asks if they’d like him to get their cat out of a nearby tree. Lisa shouts “No!” Same thing here. Enough.

It’s not JUST mental health treatment…but it’s mental health treatment. Over the last recent decades Congress (mostly Republicans) have cut billions out of the budget earmarked for mental health treatment. They would rather send these troubled people off to their “prisons for profit” instead. In fact, Donald Trump recently (February, 2017) signed a bill making it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns easier http://time.com/5011519/texas-church-shooting-mental-health-donald-trump/ YAY! A great effort for the NRA and Republicans to sell more guns no matter to who. Enough.

It’s not JUST jobs…but it’s jobs. Over the last 40 years a confluence of factors has decimated good paying jobs in America. Offshoring American jobs to cheaper labor markets overseas, mostly to China, is top of this list. Vulture capitalists who buy and then break up and gut American companies without regard to the workers and their pensions is also near the top. Bad work environments make for depressed and alienated populations. Enough.

It’s not JUST American Exceptionalism…but it’s American Exceptionalism. We think we’re better than other parts of the world. We’re not. We are part of the world, not the owners of it. Enough.

Gun violence in America is as close to an intractable problem as we will ever face. Personally, I don’t see us solving it in this political climate. Trying to untangle all of these American cultural factors is probably impossible now. We should still try.

We live in The Age of Disinformation. There is so much distortion and outright lying in media and politics that it is impossible for ignorant and gullible voters to distinguish fact from fiction. There is a great deal of money to be made in conning “low information” voters. As I often say, “Your opinions are only as valid as your sources of information.” If you get your “news” from an urgent e-mail alert message from uncle Dan, then you are probably too dumb to vote. Stay home and clean your guns.

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Posted by: slartibartifast | January 31, 2017

I Think I’ve Got It

I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on since the results of the 2016 election were announced. Ten days after Donald Trump occupies the White House and acts insane I think I have figured it out.

I haven’t heard anybody else come to this conclusion, but I don’t know how unique my prognostication will be. If I’m right I’ll be looked at as a political savant. If I’m wrong…ah, so what. I’ve been that many times before.

I think a deal has been struck between Trump and the Republican party to greatly benefit both of them. Fuck the country, of course, but as long as those two entities make out like bandits AGAIN, then who cares?

Here it is- Mike Pence was put on the Republican ticket for a specific reason. Trump was largely a fluke. A tragic fluke, but one none the less. His receiving millions, even billions, of dollars of free press by a beyond-corrupt mainstream press whoring for headlines guaranteed the outcome. That and 10 years of Fox News making Hillary Clinton the enemy of everyone.

So, Trump blundered into the White House and the Republicans are going to make the most of a tragic situation. I think they know Trump has absolutely NO intention of staying president and they offered him a deal he couldn’t turn down.

They said, “Do everything you can to act like a madman until there is such a public outcry that the we, the Republican leadership, step in and, in a very public way, demand you resign or be impeached and kicked out of office.”

Think about it. The Donald gets fantastically rich off of oil deals with the Russians and other backroom deals set in motion months ago AND the Republicans get to appear to “be reasonable” and “save the country” from this madman. And now…President Pence…which was the game plan all along.

It’s like the old joke about the husband who comes home and asks his wife how her day went. She replies that she hit a kid on a bike with her car and killed him. After the husband calms down she tells him that, no, she didn’t kill anybody but that she scraped the side of her car and it needs to be fixed. She adds, “Now the scrape doesn’t seem so bad by comparison, does it?”

Same misdirection going on here. Republicans get to seem sane compared to Trump and slip President Pence in under our noses and Americans are so relieved that we barely notice the Big Con they pulled on the world.

We’ll see.

Posted by: slartibartifast | October 23, 2012

A vote for Romney

I want people to understand what their vote for Mitt Romney would cause if he wins the presidential election November 6th this year.
I’m not psychic, I just pay attention. Pay attention to current events, to politics, to history, and to analysis of those topics. A LOT of attention. I read/view/listen to them almost every day for the last 8 years. More than anybody else I know.
My degree and life experience is in media content and analysis. You know, stuff like propaganda.
And so I can offer an educated prediction of what I see happening with the Romney campaign and a future Romney administration based on the past and the people Romney has surrounded himself with.
Let’s face it- WHO we elect for the single office of president is only important because of the Cabinet members they appoint and the staff they have around them. The President is largely a figurehead who only loosely steers the ship of state. The people behind the scenes have MUCH more to do with actual policies that run the country than the President.
This has never been true more than with Mitt Romney. He’s more of a ventriloquist’s dummy than most other presidential candidates in recent history, including George W. Bush. Speaking of which, Dubya wouldn’t have been able to order lunch without Karl Rove moving his mouth and head. Romney is the same way.
You can verify this by the way that Romney appears to have so many varying, and often conflicting, views in a short period of time. He will say and do ANYTHING to get elected. Then the handlers take over and run the country. Do you doubt this? Here is a typical summary of Grover Norquist’s quotes on the subject: http://tinyurl.com/8gfxod9
Even Mitt Romney doesn’t know what he actually stands for any more. He does, and WILL DO, whatever he’s told to do by the people behind him (who we will rarely know about). Whether it is ALEC ( http://tinyurl.com/6hay5ao ), or the Koch brothers ( http://tinyurl.com/98as3p2 ), or Dick Cheney (one of his close policy advisors), or John Bolton (another close former Bush advisor) Romney will be doing their bidding without any critical thought or question.
So, if you liked the Bush administration (and resulting economy crash and international disgraces), you are going to LOVE the new Romney administration. Because they are mostly the same people. Over half of Romney’s staff of current advisors are former Bush officials. http://tinyurl.com/9nj9a8n
So, enough preamble. Here’s what a Romney vote will bring during the four years of his administration’s governance:
#1. Gutting the Social Security program. Republicans have been DYING to get their hands on this pile of money since it was enacted back in the late 1930s. They want to get their greedy little degenerate gambler hands on it so that they can invest (gamble) it away and get their cut (fees) of the transactions. How’d that work out with Wall Street and our housing market? Bush tried to grab this but failed. A newer, smarter, Romney administration grab won’t fail again.
#2. Gutting Medicare. For the same reason as #1. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has already been the champion of killing Medicare in the House. Who thinks that they will be able to get health insurance at an age of over 65 with your average list of ailments??? With or without some token $6000 voucher?? Fat chance.
#3. War with Iran. The Neocons in the Bush administration already had drawn up war plans with Iraq years before 9/11. Do you think that having those SAME people in the Romney administration is going to be ANY different??? People like Dick Cheney have been peeing their pants for a war with Iran for years. How did that turn out in Iraq???
Romney wants to add 2 trillion dollars to the Pentagon budget. This is more than even the Pentagon is asking for! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what having all of that war material sitting around will be used for. Do you love perpetual war? Then vote for Mitt. He will do his best to make even more war profiteer billionaires.
#4. Killing any form of abortion or reasonable birth control for women. Do you remember the slogan of EVERY Republican politician who ran for office in 2010? It was JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! What did they do immediately upon getting elected? Try and kill any abortion programs and kill unions. The first for fundamentalist Christian reasons and the second for the reason that union workers tend to vote Democratic.
Again- say ANYTHING to get elected and then do whatever your insane Right Wing base wants, in spite of ANYTHING you promised before getting into office.
#5. Keep the treadmill of money going from the middle class to the 1%. Romney IS the one percent. In fact, by his past income he is the .1%. His administration will continue looting the working class of their possessions and jobs.  That’s how he earned over a quarter of a billion dollars; looting American companies and then hiding his money in Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts. Why do you think he CAN’T release his past tax forms?? Because he knows the average American would be horrified at his tax dodging.
#6. A Fascist Supreme Court. The next president will appoint between 1-3 Supreme Court justices during his term. Romney will appoint more Right Wing ideologues like Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. If you loved rulings that will kill any remaining form of American democracy, like Citizens United, then vote for Romney.
So…if you got this far into this many words then congratulations! You are probably not the average Fox News viewer, Rush listener, or get your primary information from stupid lying viral e-mail messages.
You are the type of person I am hoping to rationally appeal to NOT vote for Mitt Romney.
And if you do vote for Romney…then you can’t say I didn’t warn you about these coming disasters. You’ve been warned.
Thanks for your time.

Posted by: slartibartifast | October 9, 2011

Bertrand Russell- What I have lived for

At the age of 84, Bertrand Russell added a five-paragraph prologue to a new publication of his autobiography, giving a summary of the work and his life, titled WHAT I HAVE LIVED FOR.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
    I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found.
 With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
    Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
    This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

Without knowing about these intelligent and compassionate words by Bertrand Russell until I was 55 years old I had unknowingly been patterning my life after his words for nearly all of my adult life.
With so many ignorant, selfish, and greedy sociopaths in our society I have often felt like I was alone for much of my life in my beliefs. It’s a comfort to know that somebody as thoughtful and brilliant as Russell had nearly the same beliefs. It makes the whole struggle of life seem more worthwhile.

Posted by: slartibartifast | September 30, 2011

Formula

There is some kind of special category of humor in front of groups, especially professional groups of individuals, that is irresistible to class clown types, of which I count myself.

The best one I ever heard of took place right beside me at a whole staff meeting (meaning tenured faculty, faculty, part-time faculty, administrators, and staff [me in the last group of untouchables]) at the University of San Diego back in about 1999. It was the results of a university-wide ONE YEAR investigation into the matter of whether salaries were too low at USD for the educational market of San Diego. The meeting I was at was one of three scheduled for people to sign up for to attend, according to your schedule.

I sat next to a loose cannon of a goof, a Turk named Koke (short for Kocil, pronounced like Coke-sil), who worked for Academic Computing as a programmer. He and another guy named John (who sat on the far side of Koke from me and worked in Publications) and I were a threesome of chuckleheads who used to go drink beer and eat Mexican food and play pool at lunch at a local bar/restaurant.

The director of Human Resources (that euphemism always made me think that people were being mined, like aluminum) was going over the “findings” of the stupidly long inquiry into salaries at USD. So, she was tap dancing and wasting everyone’s time and finally got to the crux of the matter by saying, “we found that, after using a formula to adjust the San Diego area university level salaries into line with our USD salaries, that the salaries are just about right.”

Without even considering raising his hand to be called on Koke shouts out, “What was your formula? Divide by 2?”

I’ve never heard a crowd of about 300 people laugh so boisterously and instantaneously as then. It was a thing of performance art.

Of course it was spot on for accuracy and relevance. The Director of HR literally froze with what people always call the deer in the headlights look. But, you’ve NEVER EVER seen it more appropriately applied than here!

I instantly laughed as loud as anyone for a second and then couldn’t resist pointing to Koke as the source of the comment, not to duck any blame for it, but to give credit for the best laugh line I’ve ever heard in public. I WISH I had said it out loud!

I bow to comedic genius.

Posted by: slartibartifast | April 27, 2011

Change

It happened 35 years ago today. April 27, 1976. It happened in the classroom I had been taking an Art History Survey class for nearly two semesters already. We were two weeks away from the final exam.

As usual we were sitting in the dark and watching slides that Eugenia Lee was showing us of art, sculpture, and architecture from around the world, beginning with the cave paintings of Lascaux up to the art movements of the early 20th century. I loved the class. Eventually I made Art History my minor for my undergraduate degree.

We were viewing other slides, probably paintings by Cubist artists like Picasso.

Then I saw it. A painting by Marcel Duchamp called Nude Descending a Staircase #2.

Nude Descending a Staircase #2, Philadelphia Museum of Art

If you pay attention enough you can feel your world change in a second. It can be from an almost infinite array of sources. For me this change was Nude Descending a Staircase #2 in a dark classroom in Colorado Springs, CO, at UCCS.

As I listened to Eugenia describe the painting and what Duchamp was trying to convey to the viewer I was transfixed. The effect Duchamp was illustrating, the movement of a human body going down a staircase, as if still frames were being taken and frozen as the figure continued down, seemed magical to me.

In that instant my world expanded and encompassed new horizons and I actually looked at the world differently after that moment. As if the world around me had a new dimension to it. In fact, it did…a new dimension of aesthetic understanding and appreciation.

After class, at the end of that day, I went home and found a B&W plate of the painting in my textbook, Art Through the Ages, sixth edition (which I kept and am looking at right now), and silently stared at it for maybe 20 minutes. I could feel the painting looking at me as well.

My seeing of the world has been different ever since that day, now 35 years later. The painting, Nude Descending a Staircase #2, over those years became the Change itself; became the moment that my life and my appreciation of it changed to a new reality.

I understand that the painting is housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I intend on going to see it some day to complete that circle.

Posted by: slartibartifast | February 24, 2011

Respect

I am rarely surprised by life any more. I am pleasantly surprised by it even less. I am almost never impressed by it lately. That makes a short drive I took from Solomonville, Arizona, to Thatcher, Arizona, last Monday even more of an anomaly.

My mother-in-law died ten days ago and we went to Safford, Arizona, where she was born and raised, to attend her funeral ceremony. The actual ceremony was held at a smaller nearby town, Solomonville. We had to drive in the funeral procession from Solomonville to Thatcher, to the cemetery where her husband already waited for her arrival.

Along the way we passed an oncoming car on the back country, two-lane, road we traveled, behind the hearse. It pulled over to the shoulder and stopped. I noted it, but said nothing to my wife in the car with me.

Then we passed another oncoming car and they did the same. And another. And another. And another. And another. In all I estimate that 15 out of 18 cars we passed did this on our sad drive. Midway I made a comment that it was remarkably respectful of the local people to do this.

At about the midway point of our conveyance I saw something to my left, alongside the road, that will stay with me, forever burned into my memory because of its slow motion, surreal, serene, nature.

There was a small grove of pecan trees and in it stood three men, at still attention, between 45-60 years of age, looking for all the world like they were made out of leather they were so tan and worn, all with their sweaty baseball caps off and held over their sweaty shirts…over their hearts.

Silently stunning.

That image has been simmering in my psyche since I witnessed it.

So long Ella Mae. Thanks for being so nice to me and everybody else. I miss you.

Peace.

Posted by: slartibartifast | May 4, 2010

The Mechanical Universe

Way back in 1985 I had to make video recordings of an off-air broadcast TV show, which was called The Mechanical Universe, twice a week for a Physics professor at the university I worked at to show to his Introductory Physics class. So, I got to watch all 52 parts of this show, necessitated by checking all the episodes for quality/continuity. This is for real, not one of my lame comments. It always amused me that part of my job was watching TV while being paid.

Anyway, we got a Dish Network satellite system about a month ago and I’ve been watching some of the episodes on channel 9411, the NAUTV (Northern Arizona University channel). I had forgotten how truly wonderful the show was, even for being 25 years old.

Dr. David L. Goodstein is the “ghost host” (as he referred to himself in an interview I saw one time) and the programs were made to accompany his Physics 1A and 1B courses at CalTech. The shows have made extensive us of state-of-the-art (then) computer graphics to illustrate many of the lecture topics. Between these animated sections and Dr. Goodstein’s sense of humor and brilliant lecture style I thought it was easily the best instructional shows I’ve ever seen.

Watching some of the episodes on NAUTV has rekindled my admiration for the series.

So, I looked online and found a couple of sources to watch them. GOOGLE Video has many of the shows (although for some reason they’ re in random order when you do  a search for them by show title). The Annenberg site has all of the titles, but they are in a small-screen format, but free.

Over my time as a college student and as a university employee, over 21 years total, I saw a LOT of professors give lectures and Dr. Goodstein is one of the best five I ever saw.

Enjoy…or not.

Posted by: slartibartifast | March 18, 2010

War story

My father was one of the World War II U.S. Marines who landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, in the second wave of beach assault craft (BTW, if you want to ever read about what hell–on–earth was like pick up a good historical account of Iwo Jima. This is one, of three, that I have read but there are several other good ones as well). Some time on the second or third day on Iwo Jima (February 20 or 21) my father was walking along with other men in his squad, near the base of Mt. Suribachi, when a Japanese soldier popped out of a hole dug into the loose volcanic ash (the Marines called them “spider holes”) immediately in front of my father. He yelled and lunged at my father with the bayonet on his rifle. My father shot him and he fell dead at his feet. He died bravely and quickly.

The Marines were under orders to search bodies for documents of any kind in case they might be of any strategic value in the battle for the island. My father removed a photo from the pocket of this young Japanese soldier, of him in uniform, and turned it in to the Intelligence officers for inspection. They examined it and decided it had no strategic value. My father asked for the photo back and the officer gave it to him.

On the back of the photo are the words (in my father’s handwriting) “Taken on Iwo Jima.” There is also a stamp from the Intelligence officer stating that it had been inspected. There are also the Japanese characters hand written (removed from this posted photo to respect the family’s privacy), but I don’t know the origin of them. I had them translated to give me the name by a Japanese language professor at the university I worked at.

My father kept this photo with him his entire adult life, until he gave it to me in 1992. As he told me this story he started and stopped many times and had to wipe tears from his eyes and face several times. He told me that he had nightmares about shooting this young Japanese soldier every night for several years after the incident, even after he returned to the U.S. after the war. He said that after four or five years the nightmares became less frequent, but that he still had them every few weeks or months up until he died, at age 68, in 1993.

My father was, in some ways, not a very good man. In his young life he was an alcoholic, a frequent liar, had a terrible temper, and was a violent man much of the time. He and my mother divorced when I was about 8 years old and I only saw him every few years for the rest of his life. Near the end of his life he visited me and told me the story behind the photo of this young Japanese soldier. It helped me to understand some of the bad experiences and demons in his life that occurred during WW II, which I believe made him, at least in part, the kind of man he was.

I don’t know why my father never did anything with this photo during his life, whether out of guilt or fear or hatred or what. When he gave it to me he didn’t even say that he wanted me to do anything with it either. So for sixteen years I kept it and looked at it and contemplated what to do with it.

Back in May of 2008 I contacted the Japanese Consulate in Portland, Oregon, USA, to see if I could return the photo of this young Japanese soldier to any surviving family members. A little over a year later they contacted me and told me that they had located some family members in Japan and that they would like the photo back and to know the details of how and where he died.

So, I wrote a letter detailing the circumstances (mostly the same version as here) and returned both the letter and the photo to the Consulate so that they could give it back to the family. I would have liked to receive some correspondence back from the family, but haven’t at this time.

My hope in posting this story here is to give people unfamiliar with war and the long lasting effects of actions taken during those extreme times a sense of what may stay with you for a very long time- maybe forever.

As a postscript I would like to add- I occasionally call up an image in my mind, when I think of those events from so long ago, of my father and this young Japanese soldier, both about 20 years old, sitting on a black sand beach, NOT in uniform, laughing and telling each other funny stories from their long, full, lives. And every time I do…my eyes well up with tears. If there is any kind of a just afterlife, that is what they are doing right now…in peace…hopefully forever.

Posted by: slartibartifast | February 28, 2010

Cans, part II

In an earlier post, Cans, I ran through my latest collection of earphones and earbuds and reminisced a bit about some older sets I have owned. This time I want to run-on at length about a new set of earphones I bought, technically inner-ear buds, from Lenntek- the Sonix Micro.

Without getting into sub-micro political details and online squabbles about what they were copied from or where they come from, I would just like to say that they sound wonderful. That’s all that matters to me for an under $40.00 set of ear buds.

COSTCO online has been running a half-off deal on these ear buds for months now, making the selling price $19.99. I bought one pair of them back in about August of ’09 for that price and thought that even if they sucked it wouldn’t be a great loss. After living with them for six months I decided to order a second pair as a back-up because I liked them so much.

Here’s how they come from COSTCO:

Here’s what’s inside the package:

To the side of the plastic tray is an included extension cord (a 2 foot long male to female micro extension) and a carry bag.

Here’s how they look ready to use:

They are 4.5 feet long from the tip of micro plug to the ear buds.

The sound- I was surprised on first listen at how much bass they seemed to have. At first it bothered me a little that they sounded bass heavy. After listening to them for six months I greatly appreciate their overall bass emphasis.

Normally I’m someone who thinks that all earphones should be ruler flat in frequency response to transmit what the musicians and sound engineers intended the music to sound like in the first place. BUT…these Sonix Micro earbuds are really intended for use with an MP3 player or cell phone or laptop and they sound much better, to my ears, over time by having that bass emphasis there. I have a set of Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 ear buds that have little bass emphasis, in fact by comparison have a bass cut, and too much high-end emphasis and they become fatiguing to listen to for long periods to me. I likey the bass on the Sonix Micro.

The Sonix Micro instruction sheet that comes with the ear buds instructs you to make sure that you get a good seal in your ear with the supplied five different sized sets of ear tips in order to maximize their sound. They’re not lying- it’s essential to them sounding good. Depending on the shape of your ear canals (my left ear is a weird shape and I have constant trouble getting the seal, and therefore balance and frequencies, correct) it makes a huge amount of difference as to how they sound.

Once you get them inserted right try some tunes. Because of the added bass emphasis I generally listen to the music a little quieter than I used to with headphones. This is probably a good thing, but only if you plan on being able to have your hearing be the same in 10-15 years from now. 8^)

The Sonix Micro earbuds sound detailed without “hearing” everything, which usually just means flaws, like digital artifacts and hiss. They smear the  sound a little, but with small MP3 players this is generally a good thing. The imaging is truly wonderful, if you have them sealed correctly in your ear. They put the music right into your head, between your ears, with hardly even noticing it. These things feel invisible after just a few minutes to the point that you completely forget that you even have ear buds in there.

Two points that don’t effect me and the way I listen to these ear buds (which is just sitting, or laying, there quietly)- I’ve read online criticisms about the fact that people who are moving around (exercising, walking, etc.) claim that they transmit sound through the cable to the ear. Also, they have a nylon wound braid on the cable, which is supposed to cut down on the cable tangling because of less surface stickiness. Truthfully, I don’t think that it helps much more than being made out of rubber; the cable still tends to knot and tangle as much as rubber. It’s the perverse nature of those damned cables!

Bottom line: They work well, sound wonderful, and haven’t given me anything but pleasure so far. I can’t say that about many things these days. As I said, I even bought a second pair to have if something happens to the originals and they sounded exactly the same as the first pair. What more can you ask from a twenty buck pair of ear buds????

These are the ear buds that Apple SHOULD have put in the box with their iPods and iPod Touches, instead of the crappy ones they do.

Disclaimer: I have nothing whatsoever to do with COSTCO, Lenntek, or Apple. Buy these little beauties wherever you can. I hope you have as good of luck as I have had with them.

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