I am not sure why I associate drinking tea with writing a blog post. In my mind the two seem to go together. Tonight I have gone back to my old favorite, Good Earth Sweet & Spicy. It really is a spectacular blend.
Come to think of it, I’ve blogged before but this is really the first time that drinking tea has been a part of the process. I think it is really this blog that I am associating with tea, and that does make a certain sense.
I love tea, especially hot tea. I have loved tea for as long as I can remember. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of drinking tea. I remember a time in my teens when every night before I went to bed, my mother and I would have tea together and talk. If I am remembering correctly the tea was usually Constant Comment or Lipton’s Orange Pekoe with lemon. The discussions were of whatever was going on at school or her work or politics or whatever we were thinking of. I already loved the tea for its own sake, but being the middle of three children, this was about the only time I had my mother’s attention. It is a nice memory
Despite my love of tea, I can look back and see that there have been periods of months and sometimes even years when I barely had a cup if at all. Whatever was going on in my life during those times, tea didn’t play a part. Then I would suddenly remember, and I would have a cup and fall in love all over again. Kind of like reconnecting with an old and dear friend with whom too much time has passed.
What I am trying to do with this blog and with my life is to appreciate the small things in my life because too often the big things are out of my reach. Tea is a perfect symbol for what I am doing. It is a small thing to be sure, but I have collected a dozen or so different teas that I love, and the enjoyment I get from a simple cup of tea is no small thing. It is better than a symbol. It is a metaphor. It is even good for my health.
You might think that the transition from tea to computers would be quite a jump, but not necessarily. The tea can be a metaphor, but so can my computer. My computer is in fact many things. It is a library. It is a social hub. It is a source of entertainment. It is my recording studio. It is my art gallery. It is my canvas. It is my window onto the world.
My wonderful wife understands this which is why she bought me a new laptop for Christmas. It is an incredible gift not just because of the cost, but because it shows just how well she understands what it means for me now and what it means to me going forward. She’s done this before.
If you will excuse a brief interruption in my narrative, I want to go back a year and a half. It was my birthday, but I was seriously ill. On top of all my other ailments, I had pancreatitis. I spent the better part of two months in and out of hospitals. Part of my birthday gift was a very nice and very expensive chef’s knife. I can imagine someone might wonder, “Why give a chef’s knife to someone who can barely get out of bed let alone stand in a kitchen chopping vegetables.” The gift wasn’t so much the knife as it was a tangible statement that what I was going through wasn’t going to be forever. I was going get better and at some point I would be back in the kitchen chopping away, and when I was, I would have really good knife to do it with. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received, and this computer is comparable.
To understand why this computer is so important, I need to tell you about my old computer. My computer previous to this looked good on paper: plenty of memory, plenty of disk and a fast processor. In reality, it was less than good. It had what for the time was a new processor: an Intel i7 quad core. It was plenty fast, but it ran hot. Very hot. It wasn’t so bad when I first bought the computer, but it got progressively worse. It would get to a certain point then the whole thing would just shut down. For the last six months, I wasn’t able to watch videos, play games or most importantly record music. As I mentioned my my About section, I am a musician and composer. Having that means of expression taken away from me was incredibly frustrating. Having this new computer gives that back to me. That is why this is such an amazing gift.
The computer itself is very much like a blank canvas. By choosing what software to put on the computer makes it into a kind of self portrait. I bought my last computer nearly three years ago, and I have become a very different person during that time. My needs, wants and abilities have changed drastically. That is why this computer needs to be set up differently.
That is what I have been doing over the last few weeks, setting up this computer. The lion’s share of the work has been installing music software. Music is by far the most computer-intensive thing that I do. I have an enormous collection of music software that I have collected over the years, some of it bought, some of it free (all of it legal, BTW). Much of it is absolutely excellent. Some of it is just crap taking up disk space.
I have been taking my time. I have considered which things I want to bring forward and what to leave behind. For the things I bring forward, I have to make sure I have the latest version, I have to do the install, then I have to go through whatever authorization process each piece needs. Each process of course is different. It is all very time consuming, but experience has shown me that a poor setup leads to poor workflow. A little extra time, thought and effort pays dividends over time.
I have the bulk of what I want finished, and I will fill in the little things as I go forward. I have started reacquainting myself with all of this software, and I expect to be writing and recording new music soon. When I do. I am sure I will be sharing it with your here as well as with my friends on Facebook and Soundcloud.
If you would like to hear some of the music I’ve done in the past, you are welcome to check out my Soundcloud Page. I hope you enjoy what I’ve done and what is still to come.