November 24, 2002

Word of Mouth

~ Journal: 25 Nov 2002 ~

Yesterday I replaced my $3.00 pencil-microphone that Mr. Dell so graciously provided -- at no extra charge! -- with my system four years ago with a more-or-less real powered microphone from Radio Shack. Now I don't have to have the microphone actually touching my lips to get the desired decibel recording volume and without hearing those huffing noises with each breath... heavy breathing is very distracting when you are trying to sound natural, casual, and conversational.

Task: Fragments represents the sum total of my written self, less emails, Masters thesis, and a couple of shopping lists. I have the necessary tools to do it, so I am going to select a CD's-worth of my little veggie tales and backroad belly-button reflections to read into my new and improved mic, copy this glop onto a CD, and bestow on the unsuspecting (family) as Christmas gifts. They will make nice, shiny coasters, and should one or more survive after the initial listening, one day latter-day Firstlets can hear ol' Dumpa Dumpy in his own voice. A Legacy, or a travesty. It will remain for history to judge. I do hold the thought, however, that there are two meanings to the term 'burning a CD'.

If I was really creative, and also if I had not waited until the 11th hour to get started on this, as is my tradition with things Christmas, it might have been nice to add some musical transitions between or background behind the spoken words; or to play/sing a few of my 'old standards' with the guitar so as to make listeners think, by comparison, that perhaps the narrated stories are not the worst part of the disk.

To record properly, I will have to wait until the house is quiet... no kettle hissing on the stove, or dog paws ticky-ticking around. I have to get this done this week. Which, considering the season, probably means I'll do it next week. Or later.

Posted by fred1st at November 24, 2002 07:56 AM

what an absolutely fantastic idea! and what a great gift... i had recorded Thanksgiving dinner once, when i was about 6 and had just discovered tape recorders. wish i'd kept that tape around, as i'd still be able to hear my grandfather's voice.

Posted by: beth at November 24, 2002 09:35 AM

I dunno -- I kinda think the kettle and the dog should be a part of it.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at November 24, 2002 11:18 AM

oh - yeah - agree with scott - the sounds of life!
so you have a year's head-start on next year's gifts with the background music and old standards.
can't wait for the fragments store so I can purchase one. the next garrison keillor - and we blogged you when.

Posted by: connie at November 25, 2002 05:15 AM

Yeah, I got to thinking about ambient noise. Wish I could open the windows and pick up the creek in the backgound. The stove makes a comforting tick-clink-tock noise, but to one not familiar with woodstoves, it is likely to sound like toddlers playing with welding tools.

In my most megalomaniacal moments, I have dreamed of having enough to say, saying it well enough (in a Keillorish rhythm complete with deep sighs and pregnant pauses) and living long enough to do something worth leaving behind, written or oral. Then I come back to earth and am satisfied with doing what I can with what I have in the days I'm given, and that is enough.

Thanks for comments and your earnest encouragement.

BTW, Connie: if I am remembering where you live, wouldn't you fall under the classification as "Appalachian"? See map in today's post.

Posted by: fredf at November 25, 2002 06:14 AM

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