Frustration.

It’s hard to believe I started this blog when I was still working in radio. It’s  been over 15 years since I was doing my thing as “J.P. Marks” on the radio waves on the Mohawk Valley in Central New York. Despite the decade and a half of time passing by, I still have a “radio dream” a couple of times a year. Last night was one of those nights.

My radio dreams usually manifest themselves as a frustration dream, and to the best of my knowledge this type of dream was common amongst DJs. The scenario always heads toward the same place. I’m my present age but I’m back on the radio. I’m trying to keep the music playing, answering the phones, and making sure commercials and jingles are lined up as required by the “clock” (schedule) dictated for the station. In these dreams I always end up with panic moments: I can’t read the catalog numbers on the carts, music is ending way before it’s suppose to and bringing about the dreaded “dead air”, or the phone is ringing loudly when I’m trying to talk on the mic. Sometimes I can’t read the spot log, or I knock down the hour’s worth of carts I would always stack to the right of the console (I was pretty anal about being prepared back when I was really on the radio). I’m trying to enjoy being back on the radio but I just can’t get it together.

These types of dreams are usually a symbol of something else going on in my life. I don’t miss my days on the radio. I loved being on the radio back in the day but I don’t really miss it. Once in a while I’ll listen to local radio when we’re traveling just to hear what other stations are doing these days. I know all of the segues are being controlled by computer now and there’s a really good chance the DJ isn’t even live or local. Voice tracks are timed to always sound flawless. I don’t find a lot of fun in that, but hey, that’s where we are today.

The song that kept having problems in my dream last night was “Sleeping Satellite” by Tasmin Archer. A great track, and in my dream I even remembered that it was cart #133 (Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway” was #144 at the station I worked at), but I couldn’t hear the entire song in my dream last night. So here the song as found on YouTube.

Geek.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had discovered Free Geek Chicago, an organization devoted to recycling older computers, saving consumers money, and saving the planet by breathing life into computers that would normally find itself in a landfill. One of the laptops I purchased is a Lenovo ThinkPad T410. It’s a respectable age. The keyboard is a little worn looking but otherwise the laptop is in beautiful shape and has been working well. I am currently running MX Linux on this computer, and I’m using it to type this blog entry.

The hard drive is a decent 256 GB, which is fine for my needs. However, it was an older spinning hard drive. Having used Apple products for the past several years, I had forgotten how easy it can be to update components in your favorite laptop; this generation of ThinkPad makes the task very easy. I have a 2014 Mac Mini on my shelf that can’t be upgraded at all, and to me that’s rather wasteful.

Our local Micro Center had a sale on SSD (solid state) hard drives, and I picked one up today for $35 plus tax. Within 10 minutes of arrive home, I had swapped out the hard drive and was restoring everything to where I had the laptop before I decided to make the change.

The new hard drive has really kicked the performance of this older computer up quite a few notches. This ThinkPad T410 is now flying along like it’s less than a year old, even though it’s probably closer to seven or eight years old.

While Apple does great things for consumers, and I believe they are trying to do great things for the planet, the idea of having to buy a new computer every X number of years or upgrading your phone every year to the latest and greatest gadget is not fitting in with my recent line of thinking.

I’m feeling like I can embrace this nifty little ThinkPad for the next couple of years. I feel like I’m making a contribution to keeping a perfect computer out of a landfill.

Small steps.