atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#7416: Rainy

Rained pretty much all day today. If it had been a few degrees cooler, though, it all would have been snow, so I'm just as glad it wasn't.

* * *



Heard that on Pandora, instantly loved it, bought the MP3 album from Amazon within 48 hours of first hearing it. (The album I bought was Bossa Nova Christmas, not Christmas in Rio. Anyway, it's really good.) Posted over on fatzboob that I was either old, or a hipster, and that I hoped I was just old. Heh.

I've been listening to Christmas music on the "Holiday Instrumentals Radio" channel on Pandora, which is replete with this kind of music. It occurred to me that there are no "easy listening" stations on the radio any longer...and I kind of miss them. Here in the Chicago area, 93.9 FM was the "elevator music" channel for many years. When I got my first stereo, Christmas of 1981, I'd put that station on, very softly, when I was going to sleep. Its format now is light pop, serenades, love songs, etcetera, and Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Boxing Day. Closest thing to "easy listening" was 95.5 when they were WNUA--mostly jazz fusion--but they went country, then christian, now rock.

* * *

So, borrowed a couple of laptop DVD drives from work. These are drives which--if any normal person was doing my job--would have gone into the electronics recycling bin with the laptops they came from. I've learned that the company pays a fee to have this stuff hauled away, too--as if it were trash--which is the opposite of what I thought the case was. I thought it was something like taking scrap to a recycler, where they pay you some nominal rate per pound and they of course resell the scrap at higher prices. Nope! Company pays a flat fee, per pallet, to have it disposed of in an ecologically responsible fashion. So me taking these drives home to experiment on doesn't cost anything, since none of the new machines has optical drives, and I don't even need them as replacements.

Anyway the interface I ordered works a treat. First thing I tried to do was to burn an audio disk (the bossa nova Christmas thing); I downloaded Ashampoo (free version) which is my go-to app for that, but it failed. Didn't have a lot of time to mess with it, though, so it wasn't until today that I really did anything.

It has no trouble reading disks. Ashampoo wrote a data disk without so much as a hiccough. Then I used the built-in and craptastic Windows tool, and was able to burn an audio disk that way, which makes me even more confused. I've made plenty of audio CDs with Ashampoo, so why is this one not working?

Fiver says the newest version of the damned thing is crippleware. The web site says the free version can only burn CDs (not DVDs or BDs) but it looks to me as if it's limited just to data CDs.

* * *

Or was it Ashampoo that I used? I've got CDBurnerXP on the drive from Floristica, but I can't really remember which one I used more often. So I'm giving CDBurnerXP a try now.

* * *

Anydangway, did not get anything done today other than washing dishes. The bedroom is masked, so I'm hoping I can get the walls sanded and wiped down on Sunday...but I won't hold my breath. I'm expecting we'll probably go get a conifer tomorrow, after all. Christmas is now a bit less than two weeks away.

* * *

I've been, as usual, trying to decide on a Christmas vignette, and so far haven't had any ideas.

I have one pretty simple rule for my Christmas vignettes: it's got to be a happy story, or at least very light on tragedy. So I can't write a story where someone dies, nor can I write a story about someone being utterly screwed (even if it has a happy ending). Christmas Dinner is about the limit for heavy drama.

Long before I started blogging I wrote some Christmas stories, but I can't use them for that reason. One story, the main character meets a girl who lives with her mother in a house with no electricity or gas or anything because they're utterly broke, and the main character (who is a college kid from a moderately affluent family) basically spends his pizza money to fix their lives. Another story, the main character throws a Christmas party for family and friends but no one comes.

Blech.

No, and that's what makes it such a challenge every year: writing something which is just right takes a lot of careful thought and effort. But I'll do what I can!
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