daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
Over the past year my old but trusty CD player in the living room had developed a serious skipping problem. At first I thought it was the disks, but then I realized that those same disks played just fine on the really cheap player I have in the kitchen, so that probably wasn't it. This left me with it being the CD player. It being unlikely to fix itself, I realized that I was going to have to get over my disinterest in how any of my electronic toys worked and figure out what the problem was and what I needed to do to have it not be a problem. I hated this, but as I lack a boyfriend to foist stuff like this onto I would have to do it myself.

After googling I determined that the most likely (and, happily, easiest to fix) cause was that my CD lens was dirty. It had never before occurred to me that the insides of a CD player needed to be cleaned, and given that I've had this unit for years and years I had to acknowledge that it was probably in desperate need of care. More investigation showed that basic cleaning was easy: you bought a special kind of CD cleaning disk, played it in the machine, and you were done.

Getting the CD was easier said than done. Between my work schedule, the location of the nearest electronics store, and the deficiencies of the Lincoln city bus system, I spent over two months thinking, "I'll surely be able to pick it up next week" and not picking it up. Last week I gave up and ordered it off of Amazon. (You want to stop losing my sales tax money, Lincoln? Get worthwhile public transit!)

The disk arrived yesterday, and as soon as I got home I took it out of the box, studied the directions, and put it into the CD player. I played it the prescribed 20 seconds, took it out, and put in Chris Whitley's Living with the Law, one of the CDs that had skipped the worst. On the first song it stuttered in a few places, but there were no outright skips. I put the cleaner for another cycle, then again played Living with the Law. No skips, no stutters.


Now I can start planning soundtracks for my Judgement Night game again.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
'Cause you held my number, you held my name
You held my body through the thick and thin
On a bed of roses in the big sky country
Spread out to love you, love you in your second skin

Many many years ago, by which I mean in 1991, a song called "Big Sky Country" came out by someone named Chris Whitley. It immediately became one of my Favorite Songs Ever, but because of the way my brain works it did not occur to me to find the album (Living with the Law) it came from and listen to it. On Saturday afternoon while looking for something else entirely I found the CD of it and decided that I should check it out and give it a try. This was either a very good idea or a very bad one, because I pretty much have been listening to it nonstop since then and on Monday I ordered the CD off of Amazon because the city library had the (not unreasonable) expectation that I was going to give theirs back and I'm not sure I want to be without it I can't be without it.

Musically speaking, it is exactly my poison. Whitely's voice is smooth, smokey, raw, and in a range I can sing. (I am strongly biased towards artists who make songs I can sing along with. As a result, there are very few women artist I collect because I can't do the soprano thing.) There is lots of twangy guitars--I love guitars. And then there are the lyrics.

I just...don't know how to describe song lyrics.Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
I spent a very large fraction of today either shopping or waiting for a bus. It was odd.

At the root of it all was my flex account, and the fact that I still had multiple hundreds of dollars left from 2012 in it: I (QUITE HAPPILY) managed to not have any emergency room visits last year, so I needed to find a way to use that money up. Since I wear glasses, this isn't hard.

I went to my eye doctor place and ordered my first ever prescription sunglasses. They are polaroids with spiffy metal aviator-style frames and, since I was burning up money, I also got the mirror finish that makes people see themselves, and not your eyes, when they look at the lenses. The mirror finish serves no purpose other than looking cool, and I decided that I could afford to pay a little extra for some cool. It will also make them take longer to arrive, as it was explained to me that there is only one lab in the US that can apply the finish. My glasses will be ground in one lab, then shipped to the mirrorshade lab, and then finally back to my eye doctor's place. A well-traveled pair of specs!

Sunglasses will be nice. Up until my current pair of glasses I had always gotten photograys, but for that pair I needed to get bifocals (this was not a surprise, believe me) and having sprung for the fancy transitional grind I decided to skip the photograys. I spent the last summer wedded to wide-brimmed hats, and though I don't object to this a pair of sunglasses will give me options.
And hey, mirrorshades!

More traveler's tales )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
For [personal profile] yhlee, an amusing L5R drawing.

PBAL note: Wore Rome again, and am wondering if I like it enough to put it on my bottle list. It's a lemony-herb-pine thing on me, and I liked it. I still have some in the imp, so I have a few more tries to make a decision.

I still haven't figured out my DMC3 problem, much to my continuing irritation. It seems to be leading me into a skein of software issues that require me to actually care about how my computer works. (As a dedicated Apple fan, this is foreign to my nature.)

I consoled myself by downloading a free compilation of Catholic heavy metal songs titled Praising Him Loudly. Reader, you may be surprised that such a thing existed but as soon as the idea occurred to me I realized it had to exist: Catholicism is filled with metal ore. I was thrilled to find PHL, as it gives me a chance to sample a bunch of different bands and decide who I want to hear more of. My early favorite is a thrash-metal group called Seven Sorrows, but I'm not rushing to judgment. My only real disappointment so far is that the bass lines seem a little pallid, but this might be an effect of my MacBookPro's sound capabilities. I'll probably have to figure out a way to get it on a CD playable disk so that I can give it a spin in my real sound system.

ETA: Whoa, iTunes has an equalizer. Who would guess? Set it to 'rock' and will listen to the album again tomorrow.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
My most recent L5R story is up (finally! I was so horribly late with this one): Autumn Chronicles.

From time to time [livejournal.com profile] yhlee and [livejournal.com profile] helen_keeble make mention of having music lists for stories when they are writing, and for my most recent story I decided to try it.

The list I came up with is probably not optimized, if indeed that concept can be applied to a project like this. The list was assembled from songs I happened to have loaded into my MacBook at the moment, and I didn't go through any of my CDs to see if they had anything appropriate. It was fairly entertaining, and when I do get my music collection in order it might be fun to come up with lists for other stories I've done. I can't really say that it helped me write, but I've had so many problems with this story (and most of them non-writing related!) I'm not sure if that is conclusive.

For the curious, here's the list:
The Chain, Fleetwood Mac
Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Taylor
Courage (For Hugh MacLennan), The Tragically Hip
Too Good to be True, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Devil Inside, INXS
Silvio, Bob Dylan
The Dark of the Sun, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Three Pistols, The Tragically Hip
Zombie Zoo, Tom Petty
Kick, INXS
Divinity II, Advent Children soundtrack
All the Things She Said She Said, Simple Minds
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm listening to a Clash song right now. It's being played on a 'classic pop' radio station.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today PT played a version of the Brahams(sp?) Piano quartet #1 that Arnold Shurnberg(sp?) had rearranged for orchestra. (Apparently Shurnberg didn't like the piano in the original, a sentiment I can certainly sympathize with.)

It was very interesting to listen to, so find a copy of it. While you are at it, go back to the post you did about that concert you went to with Karin and Ami and find what the name of that quartet(?) was that you liked so much and get it too.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
A few years ago I was driving around town and flipping through the radio stations when I hit the local country music station, which was (quite unexpectedly) playing "Good Hearted Woman". I felt like I'd gotten hit in the head by a bokken--I hadn't heard that song for years, and there I was rolling down 27th street singing along with Waylon and Willie at the top of my lungs. I felt--alive. And I really have been hit in the head with a bokken, so I know what I'm talking about. )

Day 6

Aug. 3rd, 2007 11:04 am
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell

Today Karin and I went to the beach. Despite living so close to it Karin rarely goes, because Ami is not a strong swimmer and doesn't like to go into the ocean. I'm not a strong swimmer in the competitive sense, but I like water and feel secure in my ability to keep my head above it. And I'm fascinated by the ocean. I grew up in beautiful land-locked Nebraska, and never saw an ocean until I was in my 30s. I was (and am still) impressed by it--so much water, and it's all moving. Swimming in the ocean is a salty, eye-stinging treat.

The first order of business, when we got to the beach and spread out our towels, was to anoint ourselves with sunscreen. I slathered it on thick, because I never go sunbathing, rarely go swimming, and have 100% German ancestry, resulting in large expanses of pasty-white, easily-burned skin. Then we went into the water and played our favorite game of finding a place where we were just over our heads if we stood on the bottom and try to keep our heads above water when the waves came in. There's an art to it, you see--you are floating on the surface of the water, and looking seaward you can see the waves move in, and when a big one approaches you jump or swim or whatever to keep above the peak and as the wave passes you have a moment of being on the crest of the wave, looking down as it passes. If you mistime your jump, on the other hand, you get slapped in the face by a mass of salt water. It's a lot of fun.

In between wave-jumping sessions we wandered up and down the beach and Karin helped me look for pretty sea shells. Some of the nicest ones I threw back because they still had inhabitants. But in the end I got a few handfuls, some of them intact shells and others interestingly shaped fragments.

We also discussed what we considered one of the nicest features of the beach: It has a horizon line. This probably only makes sense to other children of the Plains, but growing up in Nebraska one takes for granted the fact that half the earth is made of sky, and that the end of the world is a flat line off in the distance. The tree-choked hills of New Jersey are pretty, but too close in for comfort. Karin's lived in the East for about 15 years now and still hasn't completely adjusted. But on the beach everything is flat and covered with sky, which renders it homelike, in spite of the unnaturally large amount of water lapping around one's ankles.

Eventually we packed up and headed home. After a shower and a change we quickly made dinner (grilled sausages, grilled sweet corn, tomatoes with fresh basil, and Balinese cucumber salad) and the three of us headed off to Karin's university where there was a free chamber music concert by a group called the Simon String Quartet. I know very little about classical music but I like to listen to it, and since most of my collection is of symphonies listening to quartets was an adventure.

The program was Hayden's String Quartet in F Major, Opus 20, no. 5; Ravel's String Quartet in F Major, and Beethoven's String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132. At the intermission Ami mentioned that the Ravel was his favorite string quartet ever, and I liked it the best of the three I heard. The Beethoven was also very nice, but I'm afraid the Hayden didn't do much for me. I saved the program in hopes of finding a recording of the Ravel quartet at a later date.

When we got home I checked the state of my skin and was pleased to see that I had only a light touch of pink on my face and shoulders. I would have preferred to have gotten away sun-burn free, but I'm not going to complain. We are supposed to go to a picnic help by the rpg club Karin and Ami belong to on Sunday, so I will wear a hat, or sunscreen, or both, to keep things from getting worse.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] heiwako, I can now start assembling my life soundtrack. ;-)

Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC

"Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"

Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!


daidoji_gisei: (Default)

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