Chapter 53

The Farmer And The Dell

Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:11:57 PM EST


 
Last Thursday I opened the Illinois Typo to find a good place to hear some live music over the weekend, and... there wasn't any. Yeah, Breadstretcher's was having a Playground Heroes CD release party, but the place would be packed with snot nosed teenagers. Including my daughter.
So I copped a six pack from the gas station and went home and opened a shoutcast stream, and posted a link on K5.

 

 

 



Saturday morning I got up, drank some coffee, and drove downtown to Recycled Records. As I walked in the door I cursed; I had forgotten those DVDs. My damned old eyes had done me wrong and I'd bought the fullscreen version of LOTR3 instead of the widescreen, and what I thought was the now-illegal The Exorcist was, in fact, the second sequel. I hadn't known that they'd even made a second sequel. The first sequel was bad enough.
Oh well, I could get a couple of bucks for them some other day. Today I wanted a cassette deck. See, I have six cases of tapes, each case holding two dozen tapes. That's a lot of music I couldn't hear, and haven't been able to hear since Evil-X hocked my tape deck in 1995.
Most of you think cassettes are low quality. In fact, the very first ones were. And the very last ones were. I bought an off-brand walkman a couple of years ago for the express purpose of sampling my cassettes, and only sampled one - and deleted the file. Looking closer at the FM, or “fucking Manual” for those of you non-nerds who may be making the sad mistake of reading this book, and how did you make it this far? In this case the “FM” was a a piece of paper that came with it, and it was no wonder the sample sounded like shit, the newer walkmans have a frequency response of 1khz to 3khz. Shitty shitty shitty. Makes a low quality MP3 sound good by comparison.
So I picked up a used deck with a response of 50hz to 18khz. That's a better response than CD, with its zero to 22khz response but only a zero to 10khz undistorted response. Aliasing sucks almost as much as tape hiss.
My pig farmer friend Mike called as I was driving home. “Comin' down today?”
Well, yeah. My turntable was at his house, as I have nothing to actually plug a turntable into. And I had more vinyl to digitize. This time, I shouldn't have to take my computer along, as his wife just bought a brand spanking new Dell, dude, and paid fourteen hundred bucks for it. Mike's still pissed at his wife for spending all that cash.
On my way to Mike's farm in Columbia, I stopped by “Gange Farmer's”, just outside Dupo. No luck; his pickup truck was gone. Oh well, Mike and I would have to make do with beer.
I have decided I hate Dell, and I hate XP. I go to plug Mike's stereo into his Dell, and there are five damned jacks. I put on my reading glasses to read the little squiggles... hey Mike, turn the light on, would you? I finally resolve the squiggles... and they're still squiggles. God damned fucking icons. Meaningless icons. That one looks like the schematic representation of an antenna, this one looks like a ground... WTF???
“American” company, my ass. What the hell is wrong with labeling shit in plain English, you fucking Dell morons??? Christ, but I hate globalization. None of them worked as an input.
“Where's the fucking manual?” I ask. “These things aren't marked. Well, not in English, anyway.”
“Hell, I don't know. She knows where it is, she should be home in half an hour.”
We ate stew and waited for his wife. She found the FM and I found... nothing. This model had a sound card, not an onboard chip, and the manual didn't say jack about the card.
Like as if your car's manual didn't tell you where the spare tire was when it's in a non-standard place, saying only “Your spare is in the trunk, unless you have an add-on spare.” Well, duh, YOU ADDED IT ON! Fucktards. I hate Dell.
But the plug for “mic” in the chipbound Dells was pink, according to the almost useless manual, so assuming the card's mic input was pink as well... viola! Distorted, monophonic sound.
Hmmm. Maybe the one right next to the mic is the aux? It was.
Now to adjust the volume... where's the volume control? Not in the tray. OK, start... damn fucking Microsoft changed the Start Menu around for XP. “All Programs?” OK... drill down five menus below, just like 98. Open the volume control and... unlike 98 there's no check box for putting it in the system tray.
I copied the icon to the desktop, cursing. May Bill Gates die in poverty, and his evil lawyer parents, too. And his kids. And all his friends. And anybody else who had a hand in designing that piece of shit operating system. And especially the trolls and shills who post on messageboards that Gates is God and XP is better than sex.
Yes, I hate XP. I will NOT be buying a copy. Or even stealing one.
So I put Demons and Wizards on the turntable and sampled it with EAC. I opened it for editing, cut out the blank parts, marked the track skip points, and went to burn the CD and...
EAC couldn't see the Japanese CD burner, OR the Korean DVD burner.
Shit. So much for sampling. I burned the .wav file to a CD as a data file with the incredibly crappy software that came with the Dell, so I could take it home and burn it on another CD as a redbook audio CDA album.
So, so much for sampling albums today. Mike and I decide to go visit Gange Farmer. We get into Mike's car and drive off the bluff, down to Dupo.
GF was home, finally. GF asks, “got any papers?” I had come prepared, buying two books of Zig Zags before I left Springfield. “Yep,” I answered, dug into my pocket... and I'd left them in my flannel shirt, in the car. In Columbia.
“Well, looks like Mike's outta luck,” GF says. Mike doesn't like GF's pipe. “Wait a minute...” he remembered where he might find some papers.
Unfortunately for me and especialy for Mike, GF's crop wasn't doing so well. He could only sell me twenty bucks worth, and Mike was out of luck. But he had enough to get us both loaded.
Saturday and Sunday I worked on my bankruptcy. Wells Fargo had sent me a bill for ten thousand dollars for the car they had repossessed last year. And the mortgage company will probably send me an eighty thousand dollar bill for the house they repossessed. So I'm worse than broke.
And I still don't have a girlfriend.

 

 


Chapter 52
Index
Chapter 54

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