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Two by twelves.
February 5th, 2000

Layla, Anyone?
I received Rien's CD Thursday, I think, and found the motivation to wire together my stereo system this afternoon. An old Sony setup with lots of components requiring cables I'd packed away in a box somewhere, one box of many still sitting on my living room floor. Good for me. I had the speaker wire I'd bought at Radio Shack, I don't know, sometime last year for the project. How have I lived all these months without a stereo? I spent what was then the down payment on a house for this stereo system after I got out of the army (No, I don't regret spending it on the stereo instead of the house. I didn't know it then, but I'd made a life choice and buying a house wasn't one of them. You know, one of those things you'll never do until you do?) and played it to death, went through two or three tape decks and accumulated a pile of lp's, all of which sit now to my right on a floor to ceiling record rack built out of two by twelves.

Let me tell you, a three foot shelf of lp records is heavy, but a three foot two by twelve doesn't even flex. I painted the fucker pink, floor to ceiling, five shelves and it actually looks OK in the room. (Well, opinions vary, but mine's the one that counts.) Rien included the music tracks on the CD he'd referenced in Reality Asylum along with Reality Asylum itself and I'm listening to John Bender at this exact moment. I would suggest to Rien that if he keeps listening to this stuff it will cause him to wear black clothes and never buy a house. Ever. Not. Now, excuse me while I turn the volume up.

Yes, it's raining, been raining all day. As I sit here at 4:30 in the afternoon the sun is shining through clouds and a very wet Magnolia tree, water dripping from the edge of the balcony above. I did my shopping at Safeway just before seven, bought a two liter bottle of Coca-Cola managing to avoid the temptation of popping for the "four two liter bottles for five dollars" special. Coca Cola has become more like its namesake over the years, some little Coca Cola do while loop running in the back of my subconscious that kicks in now and then and I suddenly find myself with a 20oz. bottle of Coke, cold, plastic, pouring down my throat. It could be gin, of course. I have friends who had the gin do while loop. Some quit to save body and mind, many had their body and mind quit on them. Thank you for small favors.

Rien's CD has put me in the mood. Let's see how far this goes into the evening. I read an High technology TV set at the apartment. article on a startup company south of here called Napster in Salon magazine yesterday. The article concentrating on two facts: Napster is being sued by the RIAA and every college student in the world is using this software right now to saturate their school networks with MPEG3 files. What in the hell was it (I asked)? I went to the site and downloaded the beta client. Oh. Essentially, you log onto their server and point to any directories in which you have MPEG3 files (songs) you want to make available to the Napster community and the Napster software reads the file names and includes them in a database on their server(s). You can do a search against that database and download song (MPEG3) files from any of the Napster users that may be connected.

I did an arbitrary search on Eric Clapton's Layla and found a site with a T3 connection (out of twenty sites that came up on the screen) and downloaded it. 5.9 megs, but with DSL, who cares? Now I understand why the music industry is suing them. As Napster says, there's lots of MPEG3 songs out there you can download without breaking any copyright laws, but Layla, my friends, is not one of them. (I own Layla on four or five separate recordings, so my possessing this file is not illegal, but having it on my hard drive available for download through Napster is, I would think, so I will exit Napster, much as you shut down an online chat connection, and see about buying an MPEG3 player. The question I have is how a site with a T3 connection can be offering up Layla? People who have T3 connections have money. People with money can be sued. I don't know how the music industry is going to enforce their copyrights other than to sue sites (with T3 connections, maybe, unless they're located in Russia) offering copyright restricted material and I don't even know if that's feasible. Layla, anyone?

The banner photograph was taken with the digital just now. The photograph of the TV set was sitting in the camera, so I must have been screwing around and shot it in the last couple of weeks. Need to do more of that.