SO much frustration, and ways to amuse myself in a bedroom with blankets and a microphone...

My plan was to write for a few hours tonight on my NaNoWriMo project, the story of a Seattle guy and his con-artist friend.

But real life decided to kick me in the head today, and so I just want to get to bed and sleep off my frustrations. After I vent.

The RadioShack toy store will be opening up in KGM tomorrow. So we've been getting ready for it. Setting up a new location. Counting 300 boxes of stock. Cleaning up the main store for a visit by RS CEO Brian Levy tomorrow. Pricing.

My job for the past while has been to set up the toy store computer.

It was a matter of installing the Point of Sale system and Unix as well. It wasn't a big deal until I found that I'd need to back up my store's POS and reinstall it onto the toy store comp.

We don't have a working backup. We haven't for a year. So, for a year, we'd been living on a computer system ,that, if there was a power surge, would lose all of its data. There would be nothing left.

So I had to backup the system onto another computer, and then reverse the process for the toy store computer.

So far, this task has taken me over twenty hours to do. And about ten hours to Calgary.

And I end up being frustrated, because there's NOTHING I can do to fix it. AND I have to stop to help customers. AND I have to answer questions from both inexperienced new staff members and dumb, unlearning old staff members. AND answer the phone. AND tell Jeff that I can't do any work on the computer because I've got four customers in line, and THEY come first.

At least i'm getting good sales due to Christmas shopping.

Today I was ready to throw in the towel, just quit without any notice. It's not the first time I've felt this way. But the last time was in February.

* * *

Last night, Kow started the process of recording a CD.

We enlisted the help and skill of our friend Grank, who has his own computer and sound recording equipment.

We went over to his house and found one bedroom converted into a soundroom, with blankets hung on the walls, and a microphone in the middle.

We'd start off by recording a base track, with all of us singing. Then each of us would record a separate track by singing along to the base track.

It worked fine with the first two songs we recorded (Little Red Riding Hood and Hitching a Ride). Once Coney Island Baby was decided as our next song, things got difficult.

Coney Island Baby is a barbershop standard that requires us all to watch each other and listen for blend. But there's so many pauses and rubatos and speeding up, we found out it's impossible to anticipate where everything is laid out during our separate stints in the sound room.

We had to stop and start five times, and Grank recorded them all. So when I was in the soundroom laying down my voice track, I was trying to figure out which one was the real one.

"Okay. This isn't it. Next part of the song."

Then I heard my mic cut out.

"I'm not hearing myself anymore. Am I just on mute? Or am I not singing? Hell, I'll sing anyway."

So I start and stop along with the base track.

At the end, I ask into the mic, "Okay. I think I should try that again."

Dev pokes his head in the bedroom.

"Did you just say that you should try that again? Were you singing the entire time?"

"Of course," I reply.

Yeah. My mic was off.

So I try again. But keep on screwing up.

The rest of Kow told me they knew we were done recording for the night "when we hear Jago cursing like a sailor."

Still, it was pretty fun and a big learning experience. Now we know what to do for the next session: Have everything planned out.

And Grank found out that he should keep the recording going all the time, because he loves our banter and doesn't want to miss out on a particularly funny bit that we just improv.

Well, I'm looking forward to next week...

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