take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Technically challenged 

I wielded the CD, thinking "Hmmm, a bit of music whilst I cook. Lovely". I stuck it in the CD player, pressed the play button and bustled off.

A few minutes later, I wondered why no sound was emanating from the stereo. I approached it and noted the word "Er" on the LCD. Was the stereo "er"ing on the side of caution? If so, why?

I pressed play again. It whirred for a worrying amount of time. Then "Er"ed again.

I took the CD out and peered at its underside. I gave it a cursory wipe and replaced it. "Er", said the stereo.

I removed that CD and tried another - it worked fine. I was able to conclude that the stereo was not at fault. I gave it a quick stroke to let it know I bore it no grudge for its erring. To err is human, as they say, so why shouldn't an audio device be granted the same allowance, I asked myself.

I took the disc to the laptop to see what it would make of it. It was happy to show me various videos of the artist and his entourage (it was one of those special CDs, y'see), but where were all the audio tracks? How did one access them? I tried the "backdoor" methodology - checking the folders and files on the disc. No joy.

I sat there for probably half an hour, clicking here, clicking there, wondering where all the tracks had gone. "Nooooo! I don't want to see the video, I just want to listen!" I whined. "What the...?"

Big knew better than to intervene and stayed silent in the front room.

Something told me to look in the CD case. You see, it wasn't the standard CD I'd bought, it was one of those hardback-book style cases with a flimsy sleeve to hold the disc...


there are two sections to the sleeve...


If you can imagine a bulb lighting up, but with the film slowed down so that, to begin with, you can only see the tiniest, dimmest glow in the filament which would gradually brighten from a dull red, through orange, yellow and then white, all so very slowly before your eyes...

If you can imagine two cog wheels painstakingly engaging and starting to turn, creaking and grinding as they go...

If you can imagine a tortoise, trundling towards a piece of lettuce several metres away, deliberately yet without haste...

Then you have some idea of the machinations of my brain as it finally worked out what was going on.

I'd bought the special edition CD, with a free DVD.
Whilst CDs can be played in DVD players, the converse is not true.
I'd been trying to play the DVD in a CD player.
The audio CD was actually "hiding" in the other stereo in the loft, where it had been for six months since we moved here.

Sometimes I wonder how I made it to 33 years of age.

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