I’m Such a Tool Sometimes

June 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm (The Easy Chair)

As one grows older, they realize how little they really know. This is considered a sign of wisdom. I knew everything when I was sixteen. Today I’m blissfully ignorant, but I’ve picked up a few things along the way. I have these mini-epiphanies, “Oh, now I get it!” moments. Then technology comes along and bitch-slaps me back to reality.

I’ve had a couple of side-prejects going on lately. (Ooh, that makes me sound like Dave Grohl or Maynard.) Which may partially explain why I haven’t been writing here so much. While none of it is stressing me, it is spreading me a bit thinner than usual. It doesn’t help when my toys don’t behave as expected.

I’ve been taking photos with my have-gun-will-travel Kodak digital camera, and having a ball doing so. Everything on my end works right, but when I try to upload them to a website, things keep happening and I get frustrated to where my head wants to explode, ala Scanners. I follow the instructions, expect results, then hit a wall. It would be easy to point my finger, yell “Foul filth effing foul filth filth filth!” etc… but I’ve been humbled by my own dimwittedness recently.

Regular readers have suffered through my near-worship of the band Tool, and I consider their album Aenima my favorite. (Confession: I have a lot of favorite albums, depending on my mood, but I can defend this album as a top choice. Although the Lawrence Welk crowd just blinks and says “Huh?”) My first copy of the CD was purchased back in 1997 or so. It endured daily playing for years, and when my nephew got old enough to start appreciating music, he began borrowing it. When the family went to Colorado last year, he borrowed it, much to the dismay of his traveling buddy. (My sister was thrilled, however. She’s a rocker chick.) When it returned, something was wrong. I couldn’t get it to play properly.

The first song, Stinkfist, wouldn’t play at all. Track 6 would come on first, then 7, then it would skip to 9. At track 11, it would stop. Period. To get anything else to play, I’d have to scan backward. Pain in the ass!

Since it *is* my favorite album, I felt justified in buying a new copy. Clarification: a new used copy. I spent $200 taking my sister and nephew to their concert last year. I’ve done my part supporting the band for a while. I found a pristine copy for ten bucks at a used CD shop on Hawthorne.

I got it home, and imagine my dismay when track 2 is the first thing that will play. Then 6, etc… What the holy tapdancing funny business is going on here? After so many plays, do they block or hide the tracks? I made do, but I wanted to hear the songs from start to finish, not just Hooker With a Penis and Pushit.

So, as I’m mucking about with online photography, I put on the album. It started with track 2, Eulogy. I hit stop on the DVD/CD player, then powered off. I started over, and as the player powered back up, I saw the LED read “FTS ON”. Hmm… I’ve been seeing that. I wonder…

I flicked the DVD screen on, which lights up what’s playing on the CD. “FTS” stands for Favorite Track Selection. There they were: 2,6,7,9,10,11. Feature? *On*, of course. One crazy night, when playing with the remote, I had set up a quick playlist. Somehow the feature got turned on. Since this was the only album I’d done this with, it was the only album causing problems. I turned FTS off, and played the album again. Result? The glorious rumblings of Stinkfist, followed by all 15 or so tracks, uninterrupted and in consecutive order.

Properly humbled, I went back to playing with photos. I actually got one to work! Then, when I tried the next one, I promptly hit the wall again.

So it’s back to trouble-shooting. My techie advisors are out doing outdoorsy stuff, as I probably should be. Maybe some fresh air will cause a moment of clarity.

Otherwise, better get a mop. My big brain will make a big mess when it finally blows!


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