I left work early, and ended up spending the evening with my son for "Black Friday" in Tyson's Corner. It wasn't too bad. I mean, it was crowded, but manageable. We weren't there for long, because it was kind of impromptu, last minute, "not going to West Virginia" thing, but the Lego store was having a "this day only" sale, and I had a $25 gift card to burn from my birthday. My son also had report card money coming to him. Many Lego sets were bought, and in addition to the 10% off today, there was also, "If your sale comes to over $50, you get a free box of Legos... after Dec 26th." They give you a collapsible box you bring back later, and get bulk Legos. Awesome.
I looked at iPods again; this time I got to touch and feel one in the Apple store in Tyson's. I'll be totally honest, I do want an iPod, but I can't justify spending $349 on an entertainment device that will go bad in 2-3 years (non-replaceable battery), and possibly break in my rather rough and tumble Metro experiences. Or stolen. I wanted to hear the sound quality with their headphones, and I have to say, I was surprised my SanDisk 256mb MP3 player I got last year has almost equal if not better sound quality than the iPod. My player's been banged up, and the earphones now have duct tape on them, but compared to the iPod... frankly, the iPod, even at top volume, was not as loud as I'd like it to be. For instance, the demo videos on it were almost unintelligible over the background noise of the store, and I'd say the store was as noisy today as a typical Metro rail ride. Also the "hi-gloss" display gave the iPod a terrible glare across the screen, and I had to keep tilting it to see any videos that had a dark background without the overhead display lights being almost mirrored in the finish. The real only "I wanna" desire is to see videos on the Metro, and that seem dicey now. I also didn't like the wheel-around interface. I guess you get used to it, but when I pay $349 for an electronic appliance? I don't want to have to get used to nothing. My fat thumbs on that wheel were like steering RC cars with oven mitts. And I don't know anyone who would just give me one, so no iPod in my future.