Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Trumpets and Demons

I miss my trumpet. I really do. I’ve been so busy with work and family and (insert favorite time sucker here) that I’ve just not had much time to play.

My trumpet, that is.

Part of the problem is that the most “free time” I have is at night, after the wife and kids go to bed. I really don’t want to wake them up. My Lovely Wife turns into Monster Mom when she doesn’t get enough sleep. My children, being her offspring as well as mine, have inherited this species trait. Instead of being angry, though, they get whiney. “Dad, you woke me up,” they whine and then, instead of going back to bed, putter around until I have to turn from ordinary Dad into Demon Dad. This self-transformation is important. I have to do it to communicate effectively enough that they actually go back to bed. Normal human languages have no impact on my children one they have been disturbed from sleep.

Maybe you’ve discovered the same thing with your children.

I’m about ready to buy a “Silent Brass System” from Yamaha. It’s a mute with a mic pickup that you stick in the end of your trumpet. It dampens the sound from the horn, and funnels it through the mic so you can hear yourself on a set of headphones. I’ve just not convinced myself to fork over the $150.00 it lists for. I mean, “Hey, I’ve gotten away without it for the last 30 years, why start now?”

Of course when I started 30 years ago it was my parents saying, “John, get in here and practice.” (I got my own demonic traits from them, you see.) That only lasted about a year, though. Then it was “John, quit practicing and go outside.”

I miss those days.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lost Without the Internet

I’ve lost my internet connection today. Some technical glitch with my service provider has caused me to revert to the time of my childhood where computers were really nifty things, but the internet was the stuff of science fiction. No big deal, right? I should be able to go on about my day secure in the knowledge that I can work on other things and all will still be right with the world. Besides, I’ll get my connection back soon, right? Won’t I? Please?

Why are my hands shaking? Why do I feel like I can’t get anything done? I can’t get the information I want at the click of a mouse. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. Oh no! No internet! My life is without meaning and direction! I think I’ll go jump off a bridge now.

All silliness aside, this experience has taught me just how dependent on the ‘net I’ve become. Anytime I wanted to find some information, or a quick diversion, it was off to Google for a quick search and suddenly a “new exploration into worlds of hitherto unexplored media!” Now I can’t do any of those things. I can’t check my email, I can’t update my website, I can’t even blog. (Well, I can still write. I’m doing that now. I just can’t syndicate myself until my connection comes back.)

I’m not the only one. It amazes me how many of us have come to rely on the net for information, services, products, and entertainment. What’s even funnier is that I know there are things I can do, projects that I can work on. I just don’t.

As ubiquitous as the ‘net is becoming these days, a recent meme thread I came across asked about the future of the ‘net. Some say it will disappear, sort of. It will fill so much of our daily living that we just won’t notice it any more. It could be. As video and computer technology get better we may a near zero loss of information.

Wait a minute. Isn’t that what we call “reality?” Hmmm . . .