A couple of weeks ago I got a digital voice recorder to use when I do interviews. I got tired of keeping track of tapes (do you know how hard it is to label those little-bitty ones?) and of running out of tape just when the conversation got good. So here’s what I use now:
It stores up to 130 hours of sound and you can organize everything into different folders. Then you can upload the files to your computer so that they stay with the story you’re working on and be stored with it forever. It also came with software that you can use to play it on the computer at any speed so you can slow it down for transcribing. (And the weird thing is that the person’s voice doesn’t sound distorted at high or low speeds. It just sounds like they’re really excited or maybe having a stroke.)
Here’s another thing I love: Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breasts. Each package comes with six chicken breasts of just the right size, individually wrapped.
The chicken breasts you get in the styrofoam trays always have 3 or 4 to a pack so if you’re cooking for two you have to figure out what to do with the extras. (Also, don’t those chicken breasts seem awfully thick? They take forever to thaw out.)
And last but not least, Freakonomics. Patrick and I listened to this on a car trip a couple of weeks ago and it was just fascinating.
The premise is that this guy who had a really great mind for economics was unfortunately bored to tears by all of the subjects it usually addresses. So he used what he knew about studying trends and correlations to study some really interesting questions, like:
- If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers?
- Which is more dangerous to a house full of kids — a gun or a pool?
- Why did violent crime plummet in the mid-90s, right when every prediction was that we were headed for a “bloodbath” of gang violence?
There was also an interesting section on baby names that explained why some names are incredibly popular for a few years, and whether a bad name predicts a bad outcome.
I am a posting fool these past few days!