Holy Fire/Yer typical Um fan   Leave a comment

Was meant to be helping Sam in kitchen today, but am not due to lingering cramps from presumed “stomach bug”. Mightn’t have been anyway as Syd was puking milk and Thomas The Tank Engine pasta shapes at 9PM last night (he seemed to get a real adrenaline rush of the event) but he’s all chirpy today so he went to school, and somehow I’ve a day to myself to prepare for the Sandpaper Sessions. Day half gone and I’ve done fuck all so far, mind you. I was tidying my room and watching it snow when I became aware of a sort of electrical burning smell, which seemed to be coming from my computer. I panicked and shut down, rueing all those unarchived files etc. After it had gone through its usual business of refusing to shut down and restarting, hanging on a murky brown/black screen and generally acting like another toddler in my life, I powered it up, and when it gave me a “disk boot error – insert system disk” I assumed the worst, as I’m in no financial position to buy a new hard drive (plus whatever else would have been fried), as well as get a new ISP and printer and fuck knows what else – shoes for my kid? Then I switched it off again and let the fucker cool for a bit and carried on tidying my room. Simon and I had established that Loukas’ old Teac reel-to-reel was “fucked” the other night so I was heaving that back into its position next to the radiator when I thought I might as well have a look at the recording heads since everything else was literally going up in smoke around me. Turns out they are covered in what looks like paper that someone has glued onto them, as though in an act of sabotage, rather than being simply dark ‘n’ gunky as you might expect (I’m sorry if I’m boring lady readers), so I got out the surgical spirit and cotton wool that I use for this purpose (and that of keeping piercings clean – no interesting ones, if you were wondering) and gave them a good rub down like tiny magnetic horses. Then I switched on my computer again and was astonished to see it managing to struggle its way into loading Windows (after the usual disk cache errors of course). I immediately started burning things onto CDs and returned to the Teac. Soon I had managed to record on one channel but not the rest, which was the situation I was in when I first inherited the machine after Loukas joined the yogic cult and began giving away worldly stuff. After a bit more tinkering, however, I realized that I was making the kind of stupid mistake that I had suspected I might be making, which is why I called Simon in for a second opinion. Further tests have revealed a Teac A-3440 in decent working order! How nicely it sits next to its a-3440 S sister machine here in my crowded room. Unfortunately I think it’s my Mackie mixer that was burning. They’re meant to be tough old workhorses too. Cheap yank crap. Should have bought Korean. And I’ve done nothing today. This is a typical day – two steps forward, 19.5 back.

Three cheques for Um through the post in the past two days! One from a grey-haired lady who talked me into doing a special edition of “Jerry At The Beach” with “Just Like Kurt” on it, one from a consortium of Belarussians who wanted Old and New Albums, and one from an English expatriate in Berlin who I’ve never met who apparently gets wasted in an ugly East German-style building and dances to The New Album in the middle of the night!

Posted February 27, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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