I've stood by Koss headphones for a long time now. I rarely use those stupid ear buds. I don't for a few reasons, 1) they don't fit snug in my huge ears, 2) they don't project full sound and 3) they're prone to collecting tons of ear wax, rendering them useless for optimal audio playback. I know they're much more dynamic for activities (including walking to work), but I opt rather for the Koss headphones--the big bulky collapsable headphones--because they keep the ears warm in the 15-degree wind chill, they give you full sound and the five foot of cord gives you the ability to jam your device anywhere on your person (not in) and not have to worry about cord-snag. Also, they're relatively cheap.
SWISS ARMY BAGS
I'm an absolute sucka for backpacks. Sometimes, I buy them compulsively. I realize by admitting this, it makes it very difficult for me to defend my non-backpacker status, but maybe I am a backpacker. Whatever. My volumous purchases of backpacks also confuses the process of finding the very best. Well, I think I found the one that I'm finally happy with. It's a two-compartment Swiss Army backpack. It was bought at a discount retailer, but make no mistake, this bag is ill. It's two compartments take the confusion out of backpacks and simplifies the design and use. It also comes with a series of nylon loops and nets on the exterior for clamping your locking-D (you know, I do a lot of rappelling on the way to work) or stuffing a snot-filled hanky away. It also has a cellular telelphone pocket on the arm straps keeping it close to your ears so, even with rocking your Koss headphones, you can hear the phone ringing and definitely feel its vibration. Also, the Swiss Army bag is tough. I've loaded it with a load in excess of 30 pounds and there was no evidence of strain on it's smaller frame.
Yep, I've walked an estimated 1,500 miles over the last two years just going to or coming from work so I owe a hefty testimonial to New Balance. Like the Zune, they're not as fancy and as light-weight as some of their slicker competition, but comfort is key as a pedestrian. It comes with a fat sole that can absorb an entire nail without puncturing all the way into the inner compartment containing your foot. The reflective trademark "N" on the side is perfect for being spotted by drivers after dark. Of course, some morons in black trucks driving twice the speed in a residential might not see you. Asshole. The tread on the bottom is perfect for getting your sprint on when crossing busy intersections or even busting a crafty jaywalk when circumstances call for it. I haven't fled from police in my New Balances, but I'd imagine they're equipped for at least a good five miles of foot-sprint.
CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP
When diving into hip hop's storied history, it's important to have a readable companion to go along with you on the ride. I've chosen Can't Stop, Won't Stop by accomplished hip hop writer, Jeff Chang. Although I haven't wrapped it up yet, it's been an enchanting read as Chang not only recounts the early beginnings of hip hop, but also puts them in social, political and global contexts. It's an intelligent and comprehensive read and I would recommend it for anyone wanting a schoolling. Also, it weighs a ton so is perfect for the backpack in giving some much-needed, self-inflicted resistance on the walk to and from work. I just got to the Public Enemy era. Yeah, this book is badass. And I never read so as a testimony to this book's greatness, I'm on page 244.