Laying down some hot tracks in the cerebral cortex. Or not.

No Bike Day at the Capitol for Your Humble Narrator. Instead, it’ll be Bike Day in Duke City.

Herself is slowly getting past that cold, though she still has a cough.  She’s made it to work the past couple of days, but is skipping her usual Saturday workout class, the way I’m skipping that trip to Fanta Se.

Goddamnit, he’s set up another checkpoint in the hallway.

Hoping to dodge contagion I’ve been kipping on the far side of our sprawling compound, which annoys Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), who is deeply suspicious of any departure from standard security protocols.

My practice has likewise been upended, and I’ve felt slightly off all week, even more so than usual. Not sick, but not biking, not blogging. Creatively constipated. Irritable. There’s sand in my oyster, but no pearl.

I’ve been trying to get some ignition in my cognition by fiddling with GarageBand, but can’t get any kind of rhythm going (rimshot).

OK, so that wasn’t bad. The oyster bit was OK, too. Maybe I’m on the road to recovery. If not, at least I can get out on the road. …

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13 Responses to “Dognition”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The oyster and garage band bits were good. My past week has been much the same as yours. No miles on two wheels. No brain storms, or brain farts for that matter. Just life and helping our neighbors cope with macular degeneration.

    But the Soma ES is prepped for tomorrow. But, the new version of Garage Band is a mystery to me. Tried but gave up after about 30 minutes. I am thinking of installing High Sierra on this late 2013 iMac, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Pat. Good on you for helping the neighbors, too. “Just life,” as you say. January is life too, though sometimes I have my doubts.

      Let me know if you have any revelations regarding GarageBand. It gets less intuitive with each fresh release, especially where podcasting is concerned.

      Ever look at any of the alternatives? There’s a ton of ’em. Cubase, Pro Tools, Tracktion, etc. Audacity and Felt Tip’s Sound Studio are the ones I have the most experience with (not much).

      I’ve been looking at Hindenburg Journalist, which seems interesting, but I don’t know that I want to invest a hundy in this little side project.

      Did I mention that I’ve been riding now and again with a gent who plays banjo? We’ll have to put the two of you together next time you’re in town.

      I’d hold off on High Sierra if I were you. I don’t hear much good about it. Maybe someone else in the audience might have some thoughts?

      • David Rees Says:

        I updated to High Sierra – now up to 10.13.3 – nearly as soon as it came out and it’s been faultless for me, running on a late 2015 iMac. Same thing on the better half’s 2016 Mac book Air. There’s some very nice features added to it that I quite like. I do a Time Machine backup at least twice a day though, just cuz you never know…

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        David, did you do a clean install or go over the top of Sierra? The change in file systems seems to give some folks The Fear.

        We’re not running anything newer than 2014 here (my MacBook Pros). Herself’s MBP is a 2012, the MacBook Air is 2011, the Mini 2010 and the iMac 2009.

        I use SuperDuper to back up the Macs weekly, but sort of drifted away from Time Machine. You find it valuable? I used to do both but basically got lazy (and more or less simultaneously ran out of drives).

        • David Rees Says:

          I updated right over Sierra – took awhile, but nary a hiccough – same on the Air.

          I swear by Time Machine myself. I’ve had to use it just once on a Mac Book Pro that puked (that Apple replaced FOC) and was amazed at how complete and total the re-install was; down to the exact same photos and icons sitting in the exact same place on the desktop. It truly was a picture of what was on the old unit.

          I’m not sure what SuperDuper is, in terms of it being like a photo of what’s on your machine, but last year a friend of mine, running an older iMac, who thought the on-line backup sites like Carbonite and Backblaze were the only way to fly, found to his immense dismay that though his stuff was backed up and was all there, he got it back in a jumbled mess. Took weeks to sort out.

          Now that external drives are so cheap – I use a 2TB Seagate that was under $100 – it seems a no-brainer. I keep it plugged into the iMac, there’s an icon of it on the desktop, and twice a day or so I go up to the toolbar, hit the “Backup Now” button on the dropdown menu and Bob’s your uncle. No muss nor fuss.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          SuperDuper makes fully bootable backup copies of your drive, David. You can schedule them for whenever, and the Smart Update feature updates only those bits what need updatin’. Pretty good little utility. I use it with a small RAID setup.

          No cloud backups here. Our upload speeds suck. Local storage only, though if I were smart I’d hand a disk off to the neighbors once a week for safekeeping.

          Glad to hear your High Sierra experience has been positive. Maybe I’ll test drive it on the 11-inch Air, which is the beastie that gets used the least around here.

      • Dale Says:

        I like Audacity, although I don’t use it much anymore. I just update it now and then; and the price is right.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I used Audacity and Sound Studio both until I discovered that GarageBand could tap into the iLife suite of sound effects — jingles, foley and stingers — used by iMovie.

          Naturally, that useful aspect has been excised from subsequent versions, which have even dropped the simple “Podcast” template in favor of piling arcane tool windows one atop the other until the app completely fills a 21.5-inch monitor and you can’t even read the damn’ script.

          It reminds me of what happened to MacWrite and AppleWorks. Once simple word processors, they began exploding with bullshit as Apple tried to compete with Microsoft Word, an app I despise.

          When I write these days I usually start out in TextEdit and then move to Pages. For basic image manipulation I use Preview, which is not ideal but otherwise infinitely preferable to the now-subscription-based Adobe Photoshop.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Good morning Patrick. When I first starting fooling about with GarageBand, I was using the Magic GarageBand feature. It allowed you to build a virtual stage, pick the instruments for the band, and pick the style of music, like a 12 bars blues loop. You could change the key and tempo, then adjust each instrument for volume and tone. I used it to build some background tracks to play my guitar with. As far as I can tell, that feature was dropped a few GarageBand iterations ago.

        If your banjo playing riding bud can put up with a perpetual guitar beginners, a jam session would be fun. If the spring ride comes together, I will be up again. Maybe even if the ride doesn’t happen. Loved riding the “full lollipop” on the bosque trail.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          “That feature was dropped.” Maybe Apple should use that as its catchphrase instead of “It just works.”

          Have you ever fiddled with the iOS version of GarageBand? That used to be a nice, simple app, but the last time I looked it appeared to have been “enhanced” as well.

  2. Herb Clevenger Says:

    Mostly concerned with those checkpoints. Do you have to show the correct papers? Offer kibble bribes? What exactly happened out there in the high desert? A take over coup? With two cats of my own I’m very disturbed about these goings-on and hope like the damn flu they don’t spread East.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No coup, Herb. The Turk has always been in charge. Now and then Miss Mia Sopaipilla tries to depose him but it’s like watching Roberto Duran go against Muhammad Ali. She’s got the moves and the speed but he’s got the weight and the reach.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Like my old, hulking buddy from back in the 70’s used to say, “Being big ain’t much, but being little ain’t shit.”
        Well, time to put on the tights and take the ES for a spin up the canyon.

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