Who Needs Sleep?

Well, I do, but /scripts/easyapache is taking about, oh, five times longer to do its thing than it ever has before. This should have run in 10-15 minutes, worst-case. My body is telling me to go to sleep, but my brain doesn’t want this Apache script to hork and take the server down until morning. Oh well, it gives me time to work on laundry, right? Right.

The final Blogathon tally was $1,914. Thanks to all who sponsored, who peppered me with comments, and who otherwise supported me. It was beyond my wildest dreams, and when I told Derek about it on Monday night, he did a double-take. “That was totally worth wrecking your whole weekend!” I just laughed. I really enjoyed this year, and it’s disturbing how I felt normal the next day and how I’ve really felt fine the rest of the week. [I mean, I’m tired tonight, but there are many, mostly stress-related, reasons for that.]

Still working on my email setup; had time tonight to sit down with FM’s FAQ and figure out what I needed to do first. They’re crunching on my DNS resolution request, and then I’ll do the DNS switch on my end. My only concern at this point is going to be on-server incoming mail, because I doubt that it goes all the way out to the DNS box at my hosting provider only to then come back onto the box [although I could probably read full headers and know that]. By the time I get FM up and running, I’ll be terribly behind on getting to my email backlog—I come home to 30 or more new messages every day, and after I file and delete the stuff I don’t need to respond to, I still have enough to get back to on a week where I’m already very time-limited at night that I just don’t have the energy for it all. That’s a dynamically unstable place to be, but there I am, at least until the weekend. Of course, I’m going out of town for the weekend, but at least my folks are on DSL and have the wireless router I installed last time, so I can do some late-night email-fu, assuming that I can stay awake.

Yes, I’m quite rambly, but come on … this is me. When is this ever new? 🙂

I Think My Body Just Kernel Panicked

Church wasn’t too bad. Okay, so I nodded off once or twice during the first service sermon. I heard the whole thing, but my eyes kept closing and my head kept falling off its perch and towards my right shoulder. Sunday school hour was fine, as we were singing during all of it and I could lean against the altar rail. Second service was actually easier, because I had someone watching me to keep from nodding off.

I proceeded to go to lunch with our choir director and her family, something that I’d been wanting to do for some time. So no, no naps, because we had to wait for a table at a very busy (and understandably slow) Macaroni Grill.

The Blue Notes from the Huntsville Police Department? What they lack in polish, they make up for in flair. Those guys are great. We had to follow them, no easy task, and during the last song—the one with the lowest register for the bass—is where my body just started giving out. I was too tired to keep good posture, which collapsed my breath support. I went to sit on a pew, gathered some resolve, and drove home. I’ve now recycled entry … damn, laundry … and I have clean sheets ready to go on my bed. I need a shower before I can do that, though.

The perverse thing is that I’m sure that I’ll have to take this 3mg tablet of melatonin in front of me to get to sleep. My body is ready to just … flop … but my brain is just going and going.

33 hours of wakefulness. All in all, I feel pretty good. I should be fine in the morning…

Eighty-five and done.

Fittingly, I posted 109 entries last year; this year, I did one less per hour, finishing at 85. It wasn’t out of fatigue, but rather the reverse; I posted last year largely in a desire to stay awake. The Diet Mountain Dew that I bought around midnight on my drive home from the Granades’ still has a little bit in it; I never did open the large bag of sunflower seeds that I bought to chew to help me stay awake. [That’s my secret to the midnight drives.]

I want to thank everyone who pledged to sponsor me in the 2006 Blogathon; over $1850 was pledged to support Blood:Water Mission. That is awesome. It is an honor to be a bit player in being a conduit to helping fund B:WM. If you still want to sponsor me, you may continue to do so, at least for the next 24-36 hours. [I looked to see when the cut-off point was, but I couldn’t find it.]

Now, if you will excuse me, I must go run to get some food and to head off to choir. If you’re of the praying type, prayers would be appreciated that I remain coherent for the next eight to nine hours. 😀

[If you’re curious, this is a three-fold increase in sponsorship from last year. Whoa.]

The Final Question

The Blood:Water Mission folks asked one last question:

Why is it so difficult to wait for long term results, especially when they are hard to translate into a simple paragraph of inspiration? What is involved in being in this for the long haul?

I think that answer is pretty clear: we live in a society of immediacy. In fact, I’m sure that some donors to Blood:Water don’t feel that it’s immediate enough—we’d like to think of ourselves as American benefactors enriching the lives of our African brothers, and maybe in our heads, we expect our donations to coalesce together and suddenly build a well. There’s a small part of me—and it’s not the insomniac part that’s been awake almost 25 hours!—that kinda half-expects a well to be built tomorrow with our funds … but that’s so, so unrealistic.

As you stare the Africa HIV crisis in the face—6,300 a day! 45 deaths every ten minutes! the U.S. casualty count from 9/11 every twelve hours!—you want it to all just stop right away, but that’s not feasible. The money that we give isn’t going to save the folks with full-blown AIDS; without timely and proper medical care, they’re doomed to die AIDS’s painful death. Maybe we can save the HIV-infected folks by providing them clean water that doesn’t have parasites that can quickly and easily defeat their radically weakened immune systems. Certainly we can make a difference in the lives of a few Africans, our brothers and sisters, by helping them to clean up their blood supply from communicable disease. We will not make a difference to everyone, but the chances are that we can make a difference to someone; we can only hope that the someones we save will help us to save the someones that we’re currently not able to save.

A long-term approach is why I came back again this year to sponsoring B:WM. It’s why I’d want to support it again next year in another solo effort at the Blogathon. We didn’t get to this crisis point in a day, a week, a month, or a year, and we won’t get out of it so quickly, either. We must be as the sculptor, chipping away where we can.

My Bootleg Processing Process for the Mac

I’m going to do a fuller treatment of this on GFMorris.com, with screenshots, soon, but here’s my process on the Mac:

  1. Take the downloaded bootleg [FLAC, SHN, etc.] on CD and pop it in the Mac.
  2. Use Quicksilver to invoke xACT.
  3. Decode the files from the CD into a folder in Documents/Audio/xACT Decoded Files in the AIFF format. This folder is a temporary waypoint in my process. [I’ve taken to using AIFF over WAV because, on rare opportunities, I’ve had issues getting WAVs to save, but have never had a single issue with AIFFs.]
  4. When xACT is complete, go to the appropriate folder in Finder, select all the files, and drag and drop into iTunes’s Library. [I always ensure to drop them right into the Library.]
  5. Scroll to the bottom, where I can quickly tag Artist, Year, Title, Total Tracks, Disc Number, Total Discs, and Genre [for which I always use “Concert Bootleg” to help with my Smart Playlists].
  6. Find the files where they now are in the Library, iTunes having renamed them as well. [Yes, I let iTunes rename my files. I’m okay with it.] Title the tracks if I’m feeling generous.
  7. Copy the AIFFs into as many 80-minute CDs as it takes to get the whole bootleg burned. Good tapers will help you track these out and tell you where to do your splits.
  8. After making audio CDs, run the process to convert all the boots to AAC. [I have an iPod nano, and space is at a premium. I might enjoy ALAC, but … you know? Who cares.]
  9. Add album art, if any.
  10. Use iEatBrainz to fix the metadata from MusicBrainz‘s database. [Often, I’m the one who input the bootleg into MB in the first place. I do a lot of that. It makes me feel good. No, really.]

That’s the process. It’s long and laborious, but at this point, it’s pretty automatic, so I can do a bunch of other things while working on this. And yes, I use Tasks to handle the process, which keeps me on track of where I am. I have a template that I invoke from the moment I first see a bootleg I want to grab. It lets me be sure that I’ve done every step along the way. More on that at a later date.]

Eighty-one

Right now, I feel as I do when I’ve been awake a half-hour after a good night’s sleep—that is to say well-rested and ready to start the day.

This is awful disturbing, but also pretty darn cool if you ask me. 😀

I’m warming up right now for the singing that I have to do later this morning. For having been awake 24 hours [this is when I woke up yesterday], my voice shows no ill effects. The question, of course, is going to be whether I can hit the E’s and the D’s off the bass clef with any authority this morning. I was ripping them out on Wednesday night, to the point that someone compared me to Harold Reid of The Statler Brothers. I’m not going to go that far—I still feel like I’m a baritone pressed into bass duty, mainly because I could sing all our second tenor parts at any time and probably the first tenor parts in a pinch—but I was pretty happy with how it sounded for being out of my range. I want to keep developing that if I can.

I have no chance of making it to 100 posts this time around, and I won’t roll over post 3,000 as I’d thought. I’ll be okay if I finish with 85. Really. 🙂

My House




My House

Originally uploaded by gfmorris.

Mom has been after me to take a photo of the front of my house for some time. The red Ford in the driveway is Ande’s car; he was driving a Chevy Malibu with Morgan County tags when he left. I’m not sure what all that was about, but … hey. [This just answers the question as to whether I’m here by myself right now. I most certainly am.]

View the actual photo on Flickr for some notes on what’s what in my house.

Exporting Photos

I’m upping my photos to Flickr now. Could be slow going, what with 30kB/sec going to BitTorrent as well. 🙂

I finally took a photo of the front of my house, just for Mom. She’s been after me to do that for a while now!