Sunday, July 01, 2007

Stayin' Busy and Out of Trouble!

Wow, it's been a long time since I wrote anything. Time flies when you're over the hill!

Let me catch you up with all my adventures!

First I bought a new computer and it's taking LOTS of my time and energy. It's a Dell XPS 710 that I call "Overkill" because it's far more computer than *I* need, but when has that ever stopped me? My roots are based in Commodore and consequently you can't insult me with too much RAM or harddrive space. This one has THREE harddrives internally and TWO externals! One of the externals is just until I'm sure I got everything off of it that I want and the other one is what I've been using as a backup drive for over a year now.

One of the internal harddrives is going to hold photos and graphic files and the other is for music. More about that later... I'm running Windows XP Media Edition and have only had one problem so far. I wanted to label some disks last night with the Roxio that I bought with this monster box and it crashed the program. That really irritates me because I had the older version that worked perfectly on my older computer. Now I'll be forced to play Dell Hell trying to figure out who can help me squash the bugs. It's always been my experience that 'A' will send you to 'B' and 'B' will say it's 'A's' fault and I ended up feeling like a ping pong ball.

I also bought a turntable that easily fits into the "Overkill" description. It's the AT-PL120 made by Audio-Technica and it drove me crazy trying to get it all tweaked, then like a bolt of lightening it all of the sudden found the correct combo it liked and the rest is all history now. I've got a least 50 LP records that have been well taken care of and I've always wanted to rip them into MP3's and be able to play them on my computer whenever I want. Of course it'll be great to put them on my iPod too.

I ended up using the great program that came with my SoundBlaster card called Creative Smart Recorder. After I've ripped the side I run it though Audicity to cut the individual tracks out of the larger file. Then I use MP3 Tag Tools to plug in all the info on the song so that iTunes won't show them as 'unknowns'. LOTS of work and very painstakingly slow, but it gives me a project and I'm lost without a project.

The purest among us would most likely turn up their noses at the quality of my rips, but I'm tickled pink and amazed with how good they sound. The Creative Smart Recorder even takes the hisses and pops out for me. The only problem so far was that my Mario Lanza record is horribly warped and it's just not going to work for me to get any good tracks off of it. I have a CD of his and that will have to suffice.

My tastes is music gravitate to music from the 40's probably because *I'M* also from the 40's! But I have, believe it for not, some rap to go along with the country and rock and rock 'n roll. I have some jazz which I don't normally care for, but like all music there are certain tracks that I like in small doses when the genre as a whole leaves me cold. I don't haunt the Blues section at the music store and yet I loved Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and others like Etta James and Billie Holiday. I have a bunch of music videos too and love Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats and pretty much anything by Toby Keith. I bought his newest CD Big Dog Daddy and just love Get My Drink On.

I've also been lucky enough to see some outstanding Astros baseball games. I was there when Craig Biggio got his 3000th hit. It was magical. It was the finest baseball game I've ever been to and that's saying plenty because I've been going to ball games my whole life. I was there the next night too when there was yet another walk off homerun to win the game. That game was shaping up as the single most boring one I'd ever seen clear up until the cowhide hit the Crawford boxes.

So that pretty much explain my absence. The rub is not only am I not posting I'm doing very little responding and visiting. I got a tad burned out because one of the ones I read is going through some D-I-V-O-R-C-E pain and it's distressing to read at the best of times and so far this has just been horribly one sided and she could use either a boot to the butt or a couch to lie upon and some chill pills. She's surely not thinking of the welfare of the kid they both produced no matter how much she's convinced herself that she has. I always feel for the kids. Grown ups are supposed to be grown up, but kids don't get to BE kids much anymore especially when their security gets a boot to the head.

Oh well, it's times like those that make me hum Maurice Chevalier's song from Gigi...I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore!

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