Thursday, June 20, 2024

Update June 20th for On The Road With Al and Ivy

Podcast update June 20: I've upgraded the graphics for the Podcast with a new main cover image, plus a graphic for each episode. I wasn't entirely happy with using the image that's going to be used for the ebook cover. The new main graphic is surrealistic and the image depicts the opening prologue of the upcoming ebook, which wasn't included in the Kindle Vella version. The ebook has 50% more content that I held back. The new images are live on Spotify and the other sites should update within 24 hours. 

- Al Handa

 Episode 5 of On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast: 

 Also on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, i Heart Radio, and Pocket Casts - Review of Jack London's "The Star Rover." Was it early Science Fiction or a Metaphysical work about reincarnation, mental illness and sanity. 
Podcast update June 20: I've upgraded the graphics for the Podcast with a new main

Podcast update June 20: I've upgraded the graphics for the Podcast with a new main cover image, plus a graphic for each episode. I wasn't entirely happy with using the image that's going to be used for the ebook cover.

The new main graphic is surrealistic and the image depicts the opening prologue of the upcoming ebook, which wasn't included in the Kindle Vella version. The ebook has 50% more content that I held back.

The new images are live on Spotify and the other sites should update within 24 hours.

Also on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, i Heart Radio, and Pocket Casts

- Review of Jack London's "The Star Rover." Was it early Science Fiction or a Metaphysical work about reincarnation, mental illness and sanity.

Yahoo Mail: Search, Organize, Conquer cover image, plus a graphic for each episode. I wasn't entirely happy with
Podcast update June 20: I've upgraded the graphics for the Podcast with a new main cover image, plus a graphic for each episode. I wasn't entirely happy with using the image that's going to be used for the ebook cover.

The new main graphic is surrealistic and the image depicts the opening prologue of the upcoming ebook, which wasn't included in the Kindle Vella version. The ebook has 50% more content that I held back.

The new images are live on Spotify and the other sites should update within 24 hours.

Episode 5 of On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast:

The new main graphic is surrealistic and the image depicts the opening prologue of the upcoming ebook, which wasn't included in the Kindle Vella version. The ebook has 50% more content that I held back.

The new images are live on Spotify and the other sites should update within 24 hours.

Episode 5 of On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast:

Friday, June 7, 2024

Episode 4 of the On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast is now live!

Episode 4 of the On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast is now live!

YouTube Music:


Also on Apple, Amazon Music, i Heart Radio, and Pocket Casts

Topics: The book "Gone To Texas (aka Josie Wales) by Forest Carter, a Homeless Woman's hard choice, outlaw protocols, value of friendship and knowing what's important.

Handa-McGraw International: Joyous Noise At The Burnside Church/Sunday's Moon/Maximum Delta Dirge/Interstellar Blowout

Mark McGraw: Water Into Wine Time

#podcast #josiewales #homeless #books #reviews #music #westerns

Monday, May 27, 2024

On The Road With Al and Ivy-Podcast 3 now live

Podcast Episode 3 now live on Spotify and Apple.


The Godfather by Mario Puzo, Three Musketeers by Dumas, and the Robin Hood myth.

Some thoughts on Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck, On The Road by Kerouac Scroll Version, and The Road by Jack London.


My Dog Dreams And Becomes A Mermaid Techno Mix, Sunday's Moon and Nigel Raga by Handa-McGraw International.

Taylor's Blues by Mark McGraw

Monday, May 20, 2024

Episode 2 of On The Road With Al and Ivy Podcast now live

On The Road With Al & Ivy Podcast: Episode 2 Live on Spotify. 
Will be live on Apple and YouTube Music with a day or two.


 - The homeless literature of Jack London and George Orwell with commentary. 

 - The Kind Elderly Lady (aka Somebody's Grandmother) Excerpt from On The Road With Al & Ivy: The Anthology Vol. 2 - 2016-2018


 Sunday's Moon by Handa-McGraw International 

 Mississippi John On The Mainline and Taj'n 'Round by Mark McGraw

Intro and outro music: My Dog Dreams and Becomes A Mermaid (techno version) by Handa-McGraw International 

 #podcast #literature #homeless #blog #jacklondon #georgeorwell

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

On The Road With Al and Ivy: Update on Podcast. Changing back to the original blog format

Update on Podcast: Changing back to the original blog format

There's one more change to the podcast format, which is in many of the descriptions of the show, the old title of the blog is going to be used again. It will read "On The Road With Al & Ivy: A Literary Homeless Chronicle."

The reason is that it will allow me to incorporate material from my ebook and past blog entries that relate to homelessness. In other words, the podcast is simply going back to the old blog format that started in 2016 which covered literary and cultural issues occasionally from a homeless point of view.

I may sound naive or clueless when I say that the main reason I had moved to a more literary format was that I actually thought the homeless issue was going to either go away or be reduced by the influx of help and money that was occurring even back in 2016. 

There have been huge sums of money spent and the creation of many local and government services, yet the problem has been getting worse. The reasons are probably complex, but most of you reading this instinctively know what the basic problem is when millions are spent on a problem that just keeps getting bigger.

Another example is the pictures I'm seeing in the media of the present San Francisco homeless scene that have surprised me. 

In 2016, it was becoming dangerous for any homeless who owned a car to go to that city, but that was in a relatively narrow area. There were some tent cities starting up along the freeway overpasses but nothing like what is seen in the media now.

Also, the dominant media images seem to center around drug users and the mentally ill homeless and I still regularly see comments that "people choose to be homeless" or that "they're all druggies" and so on. There's a reason for that and I've discussed it in the blog and the eBook.

There are media stories now that make my blood boil that I thought would be balanced out by more diverse stories and analyses. I also discussed "Van Life" videos in a past blog entry. There's some potentially dangerous advice being given by vloggers, though I'm also seeing a pendulum swing in that fad with more stories coming out about the downside of Van Life.

I'm not going to start preaching or detail grand solutions to the homeless problem. The scene is too diverse for that. The point of the old blog was to add another voice, and that's still the best course.

I confess to feeling ambivalent about the podcast after publishing the first episode. A return to the old Blog format will give future Al & Ivy blog entries and the Podcast a warmer, more human sensibility.

Oddly enough, the delay in uploading a second episode was due to an illness that included laryngitis, so the course correction won't come as a radical change. I should be able to have a new second episode up in a few days once my voice is fully back to normal.

- Al Handa

On The Road With Al & Ivy on Spotify:

Apple Podcast:

#podcast #literature #homeless #blog 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

On The Road With Al and Ivy is now also a podcast!

The first full episode of the On The Road With Al & Ivy is now live on Spotify (and in my subscriber section on X).

1. Hermann Hesse, Marcel Proust and A.I.
2. Riffing on Rites of Passage For Men and Women (Humor)

Music by Handa-McGraw International 

#podcast #literature #essay #commentary #hesse #proust #humor #satire

Sunday, January 28, 2024

The Delta Snake Review: Compilation Issue For January 2024


Note: All material by Al Handa unless otherwise noted. Contents copyright 2024 by Al Handa. All rights reserved.


The Quitturz Preview: Parts 1-3
A.I. And Art: Part 4 - Some Thoughts About Scraping
Boogie Underground Preparedness Primer: Part 1
How To Find The Perfect Headphones: Parts 2-3

The Quitturz Preview: Parts 1-3

The eBook version of "The Quitturz" will be published in December and it won't be a straight compilation of the current Vella episodes.

The most obvious change is the title. The Vella serial is called "The Quitters," which is a good title, but music groups and other organizations already use it. I figured it was best to change the spelling, and the new title better reflects the 70s Punk sensibility.

There are two significant changes: the chapters have been resequenced, and a parallel story has been inserted.

The Quitters is my best-selling Vella book and works well as serial fiction. Most of that genre's audience reads the story in parts on mobile devices, so using "cliffhangers" to keep them coming back is essential. That doesn't work as well in a regular book (in my opinion).

...a good analogy...

A good analogy about serials and eBooks would be TV shows and movies. A situation comedy or drama generally gives the audience a situation and resolves it in half an hour to an hour. A movie builds the story over a more extended period.

Remember that I'm talking generally; artists always break those rules with great, mediocre, or disastrous results.

...the book...

In the case of The Quitturz, the book starts before the group's first gig. However, I've always felt that episode 4 should have been the book opener as it fully introduces the main character and a few others important to the story.

Also, I introduce a parallel story, a common literary (and cinema) device. Audiences are familiar with the approach, and it's a good way to add some historical context.

The secondary plot, or thread, is introduced in a prologue. The original story outline written in 2021 included characters in the English and NYC Punk scene to make the book about the whole movement.

The problem with the current body of writing on 70s Punk is that it's growing but still oriented towards stars, and most of the details are glamorized or shrouded in mythology. It’d be easy to cite facts that are controversial.

History tends to move slowly towards truth. An event like Custer's Last Stand at the Battle Of Little Big Horn took over a hundred years to understand, and even today, it's not precisely clear how Custer died there.

Even almost fifty years later, much of what you read about the Punk movement is press release quality and fan mythology. The Punk music scene was a combination of groundbreaking artists, poseurs, and industry prospects and pros inserted into the mix to take advantage of the new trend. It'll take a while to sort out what really happened.

My point is that I don't want discussions about how accurate any historical facts are in the book to detract from the story.

I decided it'd be more interesting if the substory was about events in 1987. The prologue depicts the moment Nym finally has another hit after ten years of being called a one-hit-wonder. The story then cuts back to 1977 and intends to show how Nym changed and the Punk scene as a w

By 1987, new musicians had emerged with different artistic sensibilities than the first generation of Punks. 

One of the most profound technological changes was the availability of inexpensive but capable electronic keyboards like the Casios in the early 80s. Serious piano and synth players scoffed, but it put what turned out to be a significant musical instrument in the hands of thousands of young musicians who ended up being part of the 80s music scene.

What happened in the 80s wasn't unique; new, or more specifically, cheaper technology has always changed music. Inexpensive catalog guitars had a profound effect on the 20s Blues scene.

I'll talk more about how technology affected the original Punk movement in the next part.

Part 2: How Technology Changed Punk And Book Notes

I should note that I've oversimplified the historical aspect to give a quick background on how changing Technology affected the main character in the Quitturz book.

Technology wasn't the only factor that changed Punk. The music would have evolved anyway, as it was already splintering into different categories. 

Kids were learning electronic keyboards and other instruments while all this happened in '77, and there were some Pioneers. Early Punk bands such as Wire had already begun moving into electronic music, and electronic drums and percussion were already in the mainstream.

I won't go deep into musicology because I just want to show what my thinking was at the time in '77 and how the rise of techno music struck me.

One other thing that was part of techno was Disco, or more specifically, dance music. That may seem like a weird observation, but at the time, a lot of early techno was dance music, and it was seen as an extension of Disco, which was good or bad, depending on your point of view.

The history of techno gets complicated at this point as different genres evolved, like Rave music, etc., and of course, it is a vibrant scene with EDM and other styles.

The main thing to know is that 80s music became dominated by keyboard players who cut their teeth on inexpensive Casios and Yamahas, and drum machines became affordable. The music didn't come out of nowhere.

Electronic drum machines were first used in rock and soul in the 70s. Sly Stone was the first to have a #1 hit with "Family Affair," but Krautrock group, Can, Miles Davis and Pink Floyd also incorporated the sound.

One thing that changed the course of New Wave music was the Link LM-1 in 1980, which used digital samples used by groups like the Human League, Devo, Gary Numan, and Ric Ocasek.

After that, more models came out from Yamaha, and the now legendary failure turned success, the Roland Tr-808, which used analog instead of samples and was derided as unrealistic sounding. That didn't stop artists like Marvin Gaye from using it in "Sexual Healing" and groups like Africa Bambaataa (and early hip hop).

What made it so pervasive and influential was the unit became cheap and available after its commercial failure. The Fender Jazzmaster guitar became popular with New Wave bands for the same reason; it was a commercial failure, so many young artists could get a Fender quality guitar cheap in pawnshops and the used market.

The ten-year gap between Nym's hits is so the parallel story can cover changes in the 80s. I won't make Nym's story a decade-long pit of despair; no one survives that long without hope. There'll be a lot of ups and downs, a lot of near misses. 

Also, the book can examine the natural, deep appeal of playing music for a living, even in the face of adversity. Hopefully, it's a tale that anyone can relate to. The overwhelming majority of artists won't become famous, after all, and in reading about Nym's struggle and eventual triumph, one will see that there's a deeper reason a person chooses to create.

That concept is nothing new, the book will simply be my take on it.

Part 3: What is a “Godfather Of Punk”?

We’ve all heard the term, and after over almost fifty years it's taken its rightful place in the Pantheon of cool marketing buzzwords along side of “Legendary” and “Vinyl.”

In the early days of Punk rock, most of the established Rock stars were either bewildered or contemptuous of this new music, though the healing effects of time have made the term Godfather of Punk a suitable laurel to wear in the noble quest to sell back catalogues to the Tik Tok generation and vinyl nostalgics.

I won't name examples of this benign hypocrisy, as we should be kind to those who suffered an onset of geriatric resentment over the tasteless lack of respect exhibited by certain Punk upstarts who I also won't name. 

I mean, after 47 years, who cares?

Well, I guess, this author does, as he has a book based on the 1977 Punk Movement coming out in early 2025, and his best selling Vella serial is about a musician from that time.

Also, there was a time when the main route to stardom was through the media. There were no streaming sites where an artist could go directly to distribution, or an Internet where one could give themselves any title they liked. There was a time in the 70s where having the media call you a Godfather, Legend or even a competent musician made a marketing difference.

So, let's examine the origins of the term Godfather Of Punk. The first question would be, what is a Godfather of Punk?

If you Google it, the answer could be confusing as an unscientific count would put the number of those holding the title at around 1,234,567, give or take.

A Frenchman once said during the American Revolution that there were so many Colonels that it was safe to address any unknown Officer by that rank. So it is with the Godfather of Punk Term; let's just assume that in marketing terms, everybody is one until the threshold for factual accuracy on the Internet reaches 5%.

For the sake of modesty, I exclude myself as one of the horde of Punk Progenitors. My career as a Punk Rocker was even shorter than the Sex Pistols, though longer than Linda Ronstadt or Tom Petty, both of whom sensibly adopted and discarded the moniker for as brief a time as possible.

In the 1977 San Francisco scene, in the Mabuhay Gardens, Iggy Pop was the one everybody talked about the most for his music and as an inspiration. The two songs that were often played over the PA before and after shows were “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “Lust For Life.” I Wasn't there 24/7 so I’m talking about what I heard.

If you read articles written back then about Punk, the main thing is that it was an attitude. Sure, there was the ripped T-shirts (yeah, I wore one when playing), spiked hair (guilty) and cool sunglasses (I still hate the d-weed who stole my cool retro shades off my amp), but if you look at a list of first generation bands, most didn’t look like that.

That smarty mouth Punk attitude was, not surprisingly, a pose. I remember being instructed by my band leader to never smile and act like a jerk whenever a camera was present. Even the rock press knew this, but went along because it was more fun than taking pictures of “smiling happy people” or conducting interviews about music being about Love or other concepts that got in the way of the primary business of selling records.

So, going back earlier? There were rebellious acts in the early 70s, but who truly shocked people and caused widespread disgust and fervent cult adoration? 

Certainly you’d have to say David Bowie, I'm not sure there was anyone close to being as outre in the mid-70s. Even the Revolution Now 60s crowd was weirded out, though we now know it was because the Love Generation were closet sexists whose latent manhood were threatened by this suggestive and sexual ambivalent English Dandy. [Citation needed; the blogger’s account is suspect as he claims to actually remember that time as opposed to being in a drug or alcohol haze]

David Bowie’s music and act had one key message that resonated with Punks; that you be anything and create your own look. That wasn’t a unique point of view, every generation went through a stage of challenging convention.

On a personal level, the band that opened the door to the future was Roxy Music in the early 70s. Seeing them live began the process where by 1977 I actively sought out Punk music. It was at a show at Winterland; Roxy was the opener. It was their first SF appearance and the band still has Brian Eno as the synth/keyboard player. After that, my musical palette widened.

I’ll go deeper into Roxy and the Glam Rock era in Part 4. The March 2023 Delta Snake Review has an article about the Top Ten Glam Rock albums that will be of interest also.

A.I. And Art: Part 4 - Some Thoughts About Scraping

One of the main concerns about A.I. is "scraping," which, for humans, is a legal activity unless the acquired knowledge is used to create works that violate copyright laws or steal intellectual property.

The objections overlook one fact that people scrape all the time, and while much of it is legal, such as creating derivative works, some isn't, like plagiarizing original works or tech piracy of electronic media 

If I take a Devil's Advocate position, the amount of thievery, uh, I mean scraping, that occurs in the Entertainment World would land thousands of people in jail if it were any other industry.

Theft or unauthorized use of copyrighted material is common practice at the street level or not seen as harmful by many in the real world.

For example, without permission, many "creators" on a particular social media site routinely use commercial music, images, voices, movie excerpts, and media footage in their videos. This practice is considered acceptable because it seems like a common practice, or OK if people add a disclaimer stating that they don't own the rights.

My point isn't that people are evil or immoral. If an A.I. Bot is doing unauthorized or unethical scraping, it's always at the direction of a human who thinks it's OK. The notion that the Bot will steal on its own is just plausible deniability by its creator.

The fears or reality of intellectual property theft by technology didn't start with A.I. People worried that capable graphics programs like Photoshop would increase forgeries and deep fakes, and the music industry considered the inexpensive tape recorder an invitation to bootlegging. That harm did come to pass, but both weren't legislated out of existence because people believe the technology to have more benefit than harm.

It's also about access and availability to the tech. No one worried about the automobile until the inexpensive Ford Model T., which led to the demise of industries based on horse transportation. People are killed by automobiles every year, but the general consensus is that the good outweighs the bad.

Another way to put it is that Capitalism brings about change (and profits) that always cost some (or many) people their livelihoods. The process looks so brutal because, thanks to modern media and the Internet, we see the human suffering it causes.

Again, I'm not judging the morality of the process; it's just what happened historically.

The fact that we see all this controversy in the media is a good thing. Historically, a new technology is implemented as a fait accompli. In the old days, self-driving cars would have been kept on the streets, causing havoc. Instead, the widespread reports of media and Internet problems caused enough outcry to stop the public beta test, as recently happened in San Francisco.

A.I. is already here. The real issue is whether this new evolution will be as cruel a process as America's Westward Expansion in the 1800s or implemented responsibly.

Artists often have to overcome significant obstacles to create. Most will deal with problems with A.I. and, in most cases, harness its power. 

A.I. isn't a new God. Bots still need to be guided and educated by humans, so they'll only be as good or valuable as programmed.

One final note: The advent of Motor Cars didn't bring about the extinction of horses. Technology won't make true artists obsolete.



Note: Reprint from a 2015 satiric article by the late Professor Ivy of Shitzu U. All of the facts in this article meet the most stringent 2023  Internet standards of inaccuracy.

There's been a lot of talk about economic crashes, the breakdown of society, civil unrest, Global Warming, giant meteors, and the final battle with Satan by at least two major religions.

Realistically, unless you own a tank, you're screwed, but B.U. Spokesdog begs to differ (dogs are always begging) and offers these easy-to-do tips to survive any disaster:


1. Keep an ample supply of food. 

Survivalist businesses offer expensive foods in high-end puncture-proof packages, but that's just another way American business makes you pay for packaging. 

Instead, use that money to buy a massive amount of canned beans. I mean cases of it. Ignore the fart jokes by those who'll be paying 50.00 for an apple from black marketers later on. Canned beans require no added water, which will be in short supply anyway, and any objections to a monotonous diet can be overcome by the same method people use on dogs and cats to force them to eat crappy dry cereal food:

Just don't eat for a week, and when you look around and see that there's no other food around and, McDonalds is closed due to societal breakdown and your money is worthless, then canned beans will taste like steak.

This method has worked on countless pissed-off dogs and cats, so if they can eat little brown nuggets that look like dry turds because some Vet says it's better for their teeth, then you can eat beans. Don't worry about your teeth; there won't be dentist offices anyway, most being looted for radioactive X-ray isotopes by terrorists to make dirty bombs.

2. Don't worry about water

Global Warming will melt the icecaps, flood most of the coastal areas, and provide heavily dilluted sea water, which will be safe to drink for at least a week before kidney failure. It will also be an excellent time to stock up on sushi with all the fish trapped inland.

In Part 2, Ivy will show you how to function without paper money or ATMs.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are by a little white dog and reflect her opinions only and not those of B.U., X, Shih Tzu's in general, or God, which is dog spelled backwards.

How To Find The Perfect Headphones - Part 2

The thing to remember about earphones is that they simply deliver the sound from your device to your ears. It's a hardware device, so parts like the speakers, Bluetooth, wires, and ergonomics make a difference up to a certain point. However, headphones are mostly only as good as the device or sound system.

So, before spending a lot on earphones, consider what you will use as the music source. If it's mainly your cellphone, then it's not just about cost but also what type. 

Plus, there are intangibles. If a Beats or Apple set is what you want, it's simply a matter of getting the money for it. It'll generally sound great if it's a brand you like or is in style. The fact is, mojo is important.

Undoubtedly, different brands of the same type of headphones can sound different. That's due to both the choice of components and ergonomics. 

Ergonomics is important. The sound is improved if the headset is comfortable and sits on or in the ears correctly.

You can try an experiment with lighter headphones or buds. Play your music, cup your hands over your ears, and seal in the sound. You'll notice an increase in bass and volume. 

The best ergonomic design comfortably gets as much of the sound as possible into your ears. That's why most earbuds include two or three sets of different size ear pads to ensure a good fit.

You probably already know that stuff. I'm just covering it to ensure the next set of info makes sense.

If you're buying a lighter type like buds, bone conductors, or sports-type headphones for use on the phone, you'll probably buy within a budget. Most headphones in the 20.00 to 40.00 range will do fine for Spotify, Amazon, or Apple sites.

Those music sites stream mp3-level music or lossless (CD-type quality), and you can improve the sound by setting the app to the maximum rate of quality. 

Check if you have it set to max quality before buying new headphones. You may find that the improved sound makes it unnecessary to upgrade.

It may not be set to higher levels by default to save on data charges on your phone plan. I wouldn't set it to maximum quality unless you have an unlimited data plan. If you're using wifi, then that's not a problem.

You have two choices if you're playing MP3 files on your phone and want it to sound better. 

Get an mp3 player (best to get one in the 40.00 to 60.00 range and with a touch screen). Even a relatively inexpensive player can outperform many phones. You may find your earphones sound better using a decent-quality mp3 unit.

The other choice is downloading a sound equalizer like Poweramp or Audify and learning to use it. An equalizer is much less complicated than a video game. I'm used to those, so it's easy to say, but Poweramp, for example, has presets that emulate various headphone brands like Sony. You can adjust the tone with simple dials or go Rambo and use the parametric equalizer.  

This type of software is pretty cheap, too, and lets you create playlists, etc. The experience is pretty similar to an iPod.

So, if you've done all that (or don't want to bother with it) and still want to upgrade your headphones or get a type better suited to your lifestyle, then you'll want to read Part 3.

I'll cover the various types, from sports types, bone conducting, lightweights that cover or cup your ear, buds, studio, and so on. I've used all of those and can give you an accurate survey of what's available.

How To Find The Perfect Earphones - Part 3

It would require a small book to cover the types of headphones available now fully. It's not like the 70s or 80s, where there might have been a half dozen types if that.

I won't make the usual lists of every type, one for each price range or comparisons of brands. There are plenty of those online; most are only marginally beneficial to the average consumer. Most of the real-world factors are subjective or based on ergonomics.

Besides, I'm sure most of you have realized that this series is more about how to listen to music than hardware. Hardware quality gets more vital as you get into the higher priced stuff and in the recording studio, but not for leisure use.

If you want the best sound, just get the best-wired set in the desired price range.

The perfect set will have good ergonomics and decent sound for the environment (in which it'll be used). Where you'll be listening will determine what type to get.

I'll list by environment as much as by type.

If it will stay plugged in, like when sitting, get a good wired set for gaming and music. For audiobooks, same thing. Once you start moving indoors or out, then there are various alternatives.

Ear Buds:

There are different types, but I'm talking about the small ones that fit snugly in each ear (sometimes called true wireless) or are connected by a thin cable with a small controller with the on/off button, volume control, etc.

Those have wires, but "wireless" means no cable connecting it to the device.

Bluetooth buds deliver good sound if fitted correctly but can have reception problems depending on quality and compatibility with the device, which is generally a phone or mp3 player.

If the fit isn't perfect, you will have less sound, notably bass, and the buds will move about or fall out of your ear. That can be a big deal if that happens on a hike, at a job site, or while riding a bike or skating.

I quit using this type after having to backtrack once too often to find one on a trail. Plus, if I'm going through the trouble of listening to music outdoors, things like cutting out degrade the experience (for me).

I have two sets like that but prefer the older types connected by wire. Those have better Bluetooth reception (generally), and I prefer the controls to be easy to reach on the cable than messing with tiny buttons on the buds.

Since fit affects sound and comfort, most manufacturers include different-sized ear pads. If you read online articles about fits, the advice can be contradictory. Some advise a deep fit, etc., but the main thing is to ensure a tight fit. 

That tight fit is essential, but it does affect ergonomics. The buds can become uncomfortable after a while. It all depends on your ears, of course.

The advantages are super lightweight, immersive music experience, and easy storage.

The disadvantages include lack of awareness of the environment due to immersion, more chance of ear damage due to volume, and poor ergonomics (one of my ears can't securely hold a bud unless it's twisted in).

Sound quality is relative if there's noise in the environment. Your hearing will also degrade (usually temporarily) after listening for a while due to volume. That's why DJs playing vinyl discs will change the needle cartridge from cheap to high grade over an evening to compensate.

Ear Buds are generally part of the "sports" category, including various lightweight designs, from bone-conducting, helmet or hat speakers to extra light types similar to the 80s Walkman style.

The main things that sports headphones have in common are some level of waterproofing to protect against rain or sweat, extra neck or ear clips to prevent falling off, and other safety features.

It's the most diverse and interesting of the categories. Being the gadget geek, I've pretty much tried them all. I'll cover these in part 4.



Here's info on some of my Vella books:

The Quitturz (title not changed on ad yet)

I, Ivy

The Forbidden Lost Gospels Of Murgatroyde

The Boogie Underground Think Tank: How To Survive The End Of Civilization

The Adventures Of Queen Khleopahtra: Ruler Of Egypt, Time Traveler, and Literary Detective

Please check out and listen to my music on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and other music sites. Please add any cuts you like to your playlists!