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I have a semi-irrational loathing of Apple. I don’t like their phones, I don’t like their computers [I know how to use them–there’s very little mystery when you started your computer-using life on a C64, so shut up]. I don’t like their hardcore users [and I reflexively defend against them whenever I talk about my dislike of iProducts].

I refuse to set foot in an Apple Store, because that place combines everything that bugs me about Apple with several deep-seated anxiety issues.

But my dislike is not universal. I am willing to admit that, for my purposes, they do one thing extremely well–better than anyone else [possibly by way of patents-and-lawsuits].

The iPod.

I took a chance years ago and got myself an iPod Nano–the first generation of iPod Nanos, actually. There were cheaper options, but I decided to go with the Nano. Something about it intrigued me, and, while something with expandable storage might’ve been a better idea, it might’ve also been a mistake.

I was worried that I’d hate it. That the click-wheel would not make sense, and that four gigs would not be enough.

Four gigs was not enough, as it turned out. But the click-wheel was brilliant and intuitive. And it hooked me for one reason: the handling of audiobooks.

I’ve had several iPods since then. All Nanos.

My first Nano still works, although the battery will not hold its charge for very long at all. That was expected.

My second was a gift from my parents. It was a 5th generation Nano, 16 gigs, and absolutely glorious. It just died one day, and refused to resurrect.

My third was a cheap, refurbished 6th Gen Nano. The teeny square touch-screen. It was a mistake, but at least it wasn’t a full-price mistake. Although, honestly, if I could find it, I could probably fix it up and have a spare around.

My fourth, my current, my precious is a 7th generation Nano. It was a giftmas present from my parents.

They bought it directly from Apple, and had it engraved.

It’s the only engraved thing I own. Possibly the only engraved thing that I’ve ever owned.

And I lost it.

I discovered that it was missing after getting fed up with my phone’s handling of library audiobooks. No ‘remember playback position’? Fuck you. And you’re going to take up so much memory that my phone literally just can’t even? Seriously? Stop that. No, just…just…fuck you.

I know that my phone is only a Galaxy S4, and that it’s, like, a year old now and there’s an S5, but I do not need to fucking upgrade. My phone still works. There’s just no excuse for this shit.

Also, battery life issues. Phones do not have awesome battery life when they’re being used. And there’s no ‘pause after this length of inactivity’ in these apps. And the way they handle the files beyond the ‘no remember playback’ shit means I have to spend an hour going back thirty seconds at a time.

But I have an iPod, and OverDrive claims to support iPods. I don’t know if OneClickDigital will, but I almost never use them.

To the backpack! Get the iPod!

Wait. Where is it?

Why isn’t it in here?

Oh shit.

Where did it go? And where are my EarPods?

Tangent: I initially thought the EarPod design looked like the worst possible earbud design ever. Worse than even the classic design, which I cannot wear at all. Turns out, I was dead wrong. They actually fit me fairly comfortably, and I was so sad when mine broke that I bought a new set. I love the in-line controls, but I hate the positioning.

Return to topic: I check my other backpack. Not there. I check my old sling bag, that I haven’t used in months, and there’s no reason for either the iPod or the EarPods to be in there. Nothing.

I check the space between the foot of the bed and the mattress.


I begin checking all around the edge of the bed.

I check the floor at the foot of the bed.

I repeat-search all of these places roughly fifty times over the course of the night.

I empty my smallest sling bag–where I last had the iPod for-sure–no less than three times. I flip through the sketchbooks I keep in there. I check my pencil roll.

I check the car.

I check the roommate’s car.

I ask my friend to look for it at her place.

Days pass. I start to give up. You can tell, because I actually asked whether anyone had turned in a lost iPod at WalMart.

That day, after we get home, I reach into the main compartment of my tiny sling bag [it has three zippered compartments, and it’s really very small’, and…feel something. Something familiar.

Something impossible, because this is the bag that I emptied repeatedly, and literally turned inside-out.

My iPod.

What. The. Fuck.

And it’s certainly mine, because it has the exact same engraving on the back.

And it still has battery. Hooray. No waiting for it to charge up enough to connect to the computer. Let’s try out this OverDrive-to-iPod shit, and stop using my pho–what do you mean you can’t see it, you stupid piece of…wait, where’s iTunes?

Oh. Guess I need that. Heh.

Also, I need to find a way to make sure I never lose this thing again. For that, sadly, I will need to make it bigger.

Now, I hate putting cases on things. I hate making gloriously little things bigger. I hate changing the feel and the weight of technology, and my only deviation from this hatred has been for my Galaxy S4–that thing just feels so ridiculously fragile without something on it, and my OtterBox has saved it so many times.

I had a carabiner-sleeve thingie for my first Nano that just did not get used after a while, because I hated it for all those reasons.

And I rather extra-hate it now because it covers the engraving. But any embiggening-for-not-losing solutions I’ve been able to come up with so far? Have required some sort of skin or case.

My first solution, while waiting for the skins to show up, did not quite work out.


I already had a CurvyMan, and the headphone jack is super tight, so I wrapped the excess headphone cable around the curvyman and clipped it to my dogtag chain. This did not hold up very well. It would randomly come unraveled, which was annoying.


Then, this showed up. A multi-pack of silicone skins from Amazon. It was cheap.


For some reason, it was also stapled closed through the ziplock. Possibly indicating that it’d been opened and re-sealed.


If it was re-sealed so they could throw in cleaning cloths and screen protectors? I’m fine with that.

I actually managed to apply one of those screen protectors in one attempt, by the way. No repositioning, no bubbles. Major corporations, I am available for high-paying positions, because I am obviously highly skilled at getting things right accidentally, and that shit is obviously what you need!


The home button is completely covered by these skins, but there’s an impression of it molded into the skin.


The necessary holes are there for the ports, so these skins are obviously not all that protective as far as water goes.


The ‘on/off’ button is covered, but there’s a sort-of molded version where it’s supposed to be, so you can feel where you’re supposed to press. It works.


The volume up/play-pause/volume down button is also there, but it’s very indistinct, and you have to take a moment to figure out exactly where you’re pressing. This is a flaw, but, hey, they’re cheap.


The white one is translucent, but not enough to show the engraving. So I ended up going with the black one. For now.

After some thought and fiddling, I managed to come up with a workable variation of my ‘headphones-and-curvyman-to-reduce-loss-risk’ system.



Those pictures are from a failed experiment that led to the current system.

I looped the earbud cable through the headphone and lightning jack holes [in through earbud, out through lightning], creating a loop when the earbuds are plugged in. This leaves room to use both ports, and anchors everything a bit better, I think. Then, I threaded the loop over the CurvyMan [sorta weirdly, with the lower half being on one side, and the upper on the reverse side], and wrapped the extra cable to hold it all in place.

It’s still clipped to my dogtag chain for now, but it can be removed easily enough. And, obviously, I have not lost it.

It’s good enough for now, but I’m going to try to come up with other ways of making sure I can’t lose it again.

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