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Journal of No. 118


December 4th, 2005

Up-dating @ 06:49 pm

Sigh. We are down to zero cars now. Rebecca's is still in the shop (though due to be paroled soon for good behavior) and on Friday, my check engine light came on, shortly after the car started exhibiting some unusually frisky behavior while idling. I took it in to the dealer on Saturday morning and they tell me that I must've blown the car's head gasket. And the car didn't even buy me dinner or flowers...
Everything's closed on Sunday, so it looks like Monday will be an interesting cross-Los Angeles ballet involving two people, two cars and two rental cars. It will be like one of those puzzles with a rowboat, a head of lettuce, a goat and a tiger.

To try to take some of the sting out of the bad carma, Rebecca got her birthday present a few hours early. I left little note-clues around the house until she had finally assembled the complete present. Going into more detail might give people the impression that I am sweet and lovable, so I won't go on. I shouldn't mention what the present was where Aaron might hear, but the most important part (though described as decorative glassware on the customs form) rhymes with Crabsinthe.

After coming back from the dealer on Saturday morning, we did a little yard work. Since our house is located on a mini-black hole, the recent wind caused several tons of leaves to be deposited on our property (and no one else's). We filled up a trash bin with the leaves and branches from the front lawn and the worst leaf-drifts in the back. Fortunately, since the bin was full, that meant we couldn't do any more work in the yard, so we came in.

Today, I've mostly spent in eating and watching football, though I did help put the secular lights up on the house and drilled a hole in the wall for a picture. Since I'm getting rid of the old stereo tuner, I spent a little time testing out my theory of how to digitize audio cassettes. My theory appears to work. Most of the cassettes are just junk that I haven't listened to in ages, but there are a few things that needed to be preserved. I'm not sure this is one of them, but for the benefit of posterity, I share it with you all.
 
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From:randbot
Date:December 5th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
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Wow, I had no idea your dad was Jimmy Stewart! :)

Just out of curiosity, what IS your theory on digitizing audio cassettes?
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:December 5th, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
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I know there was a funny bit that probably no longer exists where Dad imitates Kermit the frog when he interviews me.

My audio-digitizing setup is now cobbled together from a variety of things I found tangled together in the cables box. In brief, audio output from the cassette/tuner is sent into the microphone jack on the computer. Then, of course, you need software to record the audio. I'm using Metro, a pretty full-featured commercial MIDI software for the Mac that I use (all too rarely) with my synthesizer. Metro can make it into an AIFF file (and iTunes can convert AIFF to MP3 if need be).

The topic came up recently on enigmachat and Ian mentioned Audacity, an open source piece of freeware that looks like it can do the job.
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From:randbot
Date:December 5th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
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I've actually used Audacity myself a few times; it's simple and pretty easy to use for basic-to-moderate sound editing and mixing.
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From:bestepisodeever
Date:December 7th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
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Without getting into the boring specifics, that's basically what I do too.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 6th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
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I *WILL* transfer all my albums and cassettes to CD before I die. I *WILL! I *WILL*! I *WILL*!!!!! Even "The Forbidden Zone" soundtrack starring Danny Elfman and Herve Villachez. Even my Batman The Movie 45 rpm single. Even those tapes of me reciting a home-made Tunnels and Trolls module into my 1976 Realistic tape recorder wherein I aimed to revolutionize the indutry by replacing "If you attack the troll, turn to page 4b" with "If you attack the troll, fast forward this cassette to 5492 seconds." I could have been rich!!!

Pat,
http://popepat.blogspot.com/
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From:bestepisodeever
Date:December 7th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Wait, I'm finally listening to that file "minimike".

Is that really you? WOW! When did you start talking like Comic Book Guy? How old are you there?
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:December 7th, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
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That's me at two and a half.
And that's the edited highlights. You should hear the part where it's clear I don't know the names of our pets. Oy vey!
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From:bestepisodeever
Date:December 8th, 2005 06:16 am (UTC)
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Some of it I totally don't know what you're saying.

But at least you can count to 20!
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:December 8th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
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No kidding, I'm totally babbling nonsensically. Rebecca patted me on the head and told me that I've gotten better.
From:aaronjv
Date:December 11th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC)
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I shouldn't mention what the present was where Aaron might hear, but the most important part (though described as decorative glassware on the customs form) rhymes with Crabsinthe

You know, I was already building up my mental chi to avoid a repeat of this year's New Year's (was it this year?), but now, I'm nø† so sure.

digitize audio cassettes
I've hit a few of mine, but then, I also have a car with a tape deck innit. I find that a similar method works fine (walkman to computer input, audio capture using, I think, Final Cut Pro for me), but that it helps to do a lil' bit o' mixing for it.

there are a few things that needed to be preserved
Your dad was a game show host, was he? That's awesome.

Journal of No. 118