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"alice" Is Back...


Well, “Justin” the new computer may not have been such a good deal after all. I believe his power supply has quit now, and that’s a fairly spendy item to replace (and I can’t just swap out one from another computer, because everything in “Justin” is New And Different). I did isolate the keyboard-don’t-work problem: it appears to be a defect in the BIOS (though how it happened, I have no idea). They have fixes for that (which suggests the problem occurs frequently with Dell computers), and I downloaded them—for what it’s worth. Not much I can do with it now.

So “Alice” is back. (Say hi to everybody, Alice.) I will install a replacement CD-rewritable drive, archive a whole bunch of files off the 99.9% full hard drive, and keep her alive a little longer. And “Justin”? He’ll sit in a corner until I can afford to take him to an out-of-town tech—which could be a while. I’ll need a job first. Biggest frustration is I feel I’ve wasted my time (not to mention a little money) these past several days—and I consider wasting my time an unforgivable sin. It’s especially unforgivable when I do it to myself.

On the positive side, the laptop has had its brain wiped and Windows XP installed (no more Windows Vista) so we can start with a clean (and usable) slate. (And no, I didn’t do that myself—I had it done by someone else.) I want to use the laptop for (among other things) mobile recording; it doesn’t need to do anything fancy, just recognize the Tascam as a portable hard drive. (Doesn’t even have to do Internet.)

This will overcome the Tascam’s biggest limitation—the digital-camera chip “brain” that can hold only one song at a time. I can record remotely on the Tascam, mix the product on the Tascam, and then dump it immediately to the laptop—and then wipe the Tascam’s little chip-brain and do it again immediately, instead of waiting until I get back home. Next time I go to southern Oregon, I could accomplish a lot of stuff.

No gigs this weekend (and it’s Labor Day weekend—I shouldn’t let that happen again). I got to go to the Tsunami jam Thursday night and play lead, and I’ll play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, too, and wear my Deathgrass T-shirt and remind people that I am in a band, and both I (solo) and we (band) are interested in gigs. There are rumors that a local bluegrass band might be starting up, and I’ve encouraged that; I don’t know if they’re interested in me being part of that, but it’d be nice.

I sent a couple more promotional CDs off (one to a concert organizer, one to a radio station in southern Oregon). I’ve still got Ahna Ortiz’ “airship mechanic” song to record, and it’s time to move “StuartLittle” out to the garage studio, too (and clean the studio), and see if he can do wireless Internet from there. I keep coming up with snippets for the new train song (tentative title “My Baby’s On That Train”), and we’ll see if something jells in time to be used in the Train Set. I’ve got The Shoes That Play Music (specifically, Donna Devine’s “Sometimes She Could Scream”) to build for the Women’s Resource Center’s art show, too. I did find an *.mp3 player at a thrift store (50 cents); it needs a digital-camera chip (one of the older, larger ones, it appears), and if I can’t get that locally, it’ll have to wait for the next trip to Portland, whenever that is. For the speakers, I have a broken set of headphones I can cannibalize. And the shoes themselves I’ll get from the garage (another reason to clean the garage).

Entry forms have been posted for the Goodnight Kiss Music contest, so I’ve downloaded mine. I think I’ll send “Dead Things in the Shower” if co-writer Bobbie Gallup okays it. I’ll need the new CD-rewritable drive installed to copy it.

For now, though, it’s off to the garage to work. Say goodnight, Alice.



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