... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These aren't exactly magnets, but they were off of a wonderful wall at my friend diane's house in England...and there are a bazillion of them.

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* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


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Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

Paul Monette


Nothing; I'm hooked on iMesh


Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page

and four more are posted at Beechbrook Cottage

Pictures from our The England and Orkney trip are on my own Club Photo page.

Not to be missed:  Steve has uploaded some of his new songs to the web.  Check 'em out

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That's it for today!



16 October 2001

That's it. There's no hope for me.

I somehow managed to avoid the Napster revolution. People everywhere were downloading hundreds of music files but I still had a wimpy computer that had zero room on the hard drive, so I never even attempted to find out what Napster was all about.

When I bonded with the new computer and that gazillion gigabyte hard drive, I decided it was time to check out Napster. But, of course, the courts had just come out with the ruling, and when I tried, there was a note saying that nothing was available indefinitely.

So I gave up on downloading music from the internet.

But when I couldn't sleep last night, I turned on Computer Chronicles, a show which used to be on at some normal time of day--I can't remember now--but in the last years has been banished to the time slot usually reserved for Informercial Heaven. But I was awake, and Stuart Cheifet was smiling at me once again, and I figured that I'd fall asleep listening to obscure geeky stuff that I no longer understand. (There was a time when I could follow all the technological advances, but I've gotten hopelessly behind.)

However, I happened to catch a show about downloading music off the Internet. The guys were speaking plain English, not technogeek speak, and I could follow along. The first guy demonstrated iMesh and it looked like something I might even be able to figure out.

This morning I had no work, and the ants were taking care of the kitchen (more on that later), so decided to try downloading iMesh.

What can I say? Wow.

What has kept me from getting too involved in this Internet music revolution is that anybody will tell you, I am a musical square. I couldn't tell Madonna from Whitney Houston and don't know if Abba is a person or a group. I frequently have the TV on in the background and hear singers, but rarely look up and at them, so when I actually catch a glimpse of a singer, I'm usually surprised to discover that the person I thought was one race, is actually another race. Or that nebulous range voice with the generic name is really the opposite gender from what I thought.

I grew up in the 50s in a household which was filled with music of the 30s and 40s. So ask me about Bing Crosby or the Andrews Sisters or even Carmen Miranda, but my musical education ended somewhere around the time Elvis was gyrating his way to the top of the charts and I was still listening to Perry Como.

The smattering of knowledge I have of popular music has come mostly from the kids (I can actually identify David Byrne, most of the time--at least his older stuff), or from Peggy, who has taken it upon herself to expand my musical tastes and has sent me a few Napster-generated CDs which I am surprised to find that I actually enjoy. (I even got so enamored of Shania Twain that she made me a whole CD just of Twain's music.)

So with this kind of rather stunted musical background, what could I get out of the likes of Napster or iMesh? But the guy on Computer Chronicles made it sound easy I thought I'd give it a whirl.

When I got the software installed, I sat there looking at the screen. I knew what I had to do to find music. Push that little "search" tab and type in what I was looking for. Problem was--I didn't have a clue what to look for.

For some reason, "Danny Kaye" popped into my head. Danny Kaye doesn't often pop into my head and I'm not sure why he did this afternoon, but that sounded like a good, obscure place to start. I typed in "Danny Kaye" and up popped a whole list of wonderful songs! I chose a few and started downloading.

Who else could I search for? How about some of those French songs I like? I quickly added my favorite Edith Piaf and Yves Montand songs to the list.

Then I just started tossing in really weird names. I got a huge list of John Denver songs, but I already have most of them on CD anyway, so I didn't attempt to download any. But there were all those great Perry Como songs I liked. And a bunch of Rosemary Cloony.

Hey--I could be just as stunted on iMesh as I was before the Internet. I could still find myself back in the 30s and 40s, because obviously there is an audience out there for those songs as well.

The problem is that I can see that now that I have put all of my digital photos into slide shows (92 of them!), I have lots more goofing off time at the computer and I'm going to have to give some serious thought to what I want to download.

That recording of Liza Minnelli singing "New York, New York" as a duet with Luciano Pavarotti is surely worth the time it takes to download any day!

As a follow-up to the ants, today was beyond what any normal person should endure and I finally decided the hell with safe, non-toxic solutions. I was going for the big guns. I called The Exterminator. He gave me an estimate and I got instructions for what to do before setting a date for him to come and spray my whole house with poison (hey--I figure it might be safer than anthrax). The problem is that to get ready to have your house sprayed with toxic chemicals, you have to clean away everything--all the food, dishes, pots and pans, etc., etc., etc.

With the way I clean around here, those ants may yet live a long and happy life.

One Year Ago:
They Will Not Be Forgotten

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 10/15/01 by Bev Sykes