May 30th, 2004



I still have one, or maybe it's a new one. Yesterday's didn't entirely go away.

Long weekends are a challenge. I want to be able to say I did something. Did something useful or good for me or whatever. The hike was something. And last night Paul and I went to the Great American Melodrama, saw a play called Epic Proportions and the usual vaudeville entertainment afterwards. I always think these are fun, just because everything is exaggerated and silly. The performers work like dogs to put on these shows, and could not do it except that they are actually paid. It's a full-time job, paid a pittance but enough to scrape by on. I think most of them do it because it's great experience, and lots of it.

My new toy

My Sony MD walkman MZ-NZ07 arrived yesterday in the mail. It was missing the manual and a few minor things but it looks beautiful. It is smaller than I expected, a couple of inches square, oh maybe three inches. It is blue, fairly thin. Among the accessories was a thing that looked like a microphone. Small, looks like a T with two microphone heads forming the top of the T and the plug the bottom.

There was no minidisk enclosed so I couldn't try it right away. Finding a recordable minidisk was the first challenge. Fortunately, the guy at BestBuy actually knew where to look. I bought a pack of fifteen, enclosed in three plastic boxes, each disk so beautiful, wow wow. Rather like a floppy disk but smaller and more elegant and just so beautiful.

I went to Borders, hoping to be able to record there. But I wasn't able to get it to work. I had found the right size battery (the rechargable one was also not included; I intend to ask the seller about these things). But for whatever reason it just wasn't functioning.

Today, though, I printed out several pages from the manual, which of course I found online, and actually got it to record! Two tracks so far, just me talking and various sounds in the background.

It is so clear and clean! I am so incredibly impressed! I am sure the microphone is a cheap one but that doesn't seem to matter much at all. It will be that much better when I get the mic with the longer cord and more functionality. Now I want to go out to noisy places around town and find out what I pick up, how well I do just recording my voice over the din.

I love my new toy! But I am using it for more than a toy, at least potentially. My plan is bigger than that. I want to do audio interviews, and have a few in mind. For starters, though, to test and practice, I am going to record myself reading a book, a children's book. I"ll edit it, add music, copy to a CD. Then if I feel like it's worth it, I can send copies to Joey and to other little ones in the family. I'm excited!! This is going to be so much fun!

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I took the recorder downtown and recorded random sounds. Lots of conversations, cell phones, other sounds. IT was clear but probably too much gets picked up. Yet maybe not, because when I spoke into the mic my voice was the loudest, even though I spoke softly.

I am interested in uploading these files to my computer and learning how to edit them, but I don't have the right software. I can't find it online, either, not yet anyway. I'm still hunting, and I have written an email to the seller to ask if he's still got it. Frustrating but I didn't really expect to do much until I got a "real" microphone anyway, so I'm not so far behind. What I am noticing is that this is really what I've been wanting to do for years. I am always listening in and wanting to tape conversations and get sounds and now I can.

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I seem to have faked Sony into recognizing the software on my system that I had downloaded from an unauthorized place, so I was able to upgrade it for free. The software seems to be working except that I have been unable to transfer files from my recorder to the computer. I am starting to think it may have to do with the usb cable, which came from a camera. I dunno.