PermaLink Unbroken06/22/2006 04:52 PM

Well, it looks like an oil change, flush and new filter cured the Volkswagen, and other things are rapidly unbreaking themselves.  I are pleased.
Last night I put some engine flush in the Volkswagen, then took it over to Jiffy-Lube (which I normally avoid) for a quick oil change.  I gave them the filter to use... the official Volkswagen filters are massive, compared to little crappy Frams and Purolators they install if left to their own devices.  Put it this way:  for bringing in my own filter, they gave me a magnificent one dollar off my bill, and installed the VW filter, which cost ten dollars.  If the filter's only worth a dollar, I don't want it in my car.

Half a block from the Jiiffy-Lube, the oil warning light came on, but I swore at it and it went out by the time I got back to the parking lot at work.  All the way home later, it never stirred once, and while it lit up once on my way to work today, it was brief and I figured it was just getting used to being clean again.

My replacement carburetor for the 1960 International came unexpectedly early.  It was waiting in the mail today, so I'll be able to replace the old Marvel-Schebler carb with a shiny new Zenith.  The original carb is so old that the aluminum has actually warped a little due to heat and vibration, so that instead of being square and true, the carb has a sort of Dr. Seuss/Whoville sort of look about it.

And the little tractor, the Husqvarna, finally got picked up by the dealer so they can figure out why it doesn't want to breathe correctly.

To top it off, a woman at work today is wearing a really sexy sheer black skirt and heels and has legs worth admiring.

So, things are good.

By the way, speaking of good things, did I tell you about Spin It Again?  This is a terrific little piece of software, albeit Windows-only, from a company called Acoustica.  Its job is to record LPs and convert them to MP3 or CD.  Sure, I've been able to do that for years, but this is a ton easier than any method I've used so far.  Basically, you hook up the output from your stereo to your sound card's line-in, start the software, and it automatically sets the sound level for you, then records the entire side of an LP, pauses after a preset number of minutes of recording (25 to 30 usually works well), then you can resume recording after flipping the LP over.  When it's done, you can ask it to automatically break the one big recording into discrete tracks, and you can manually adjust them to get the whole track where you want it.  Last and coolest, it can then automatically purge the recording of noise (tape noise, dust, scratches), re-equalize it if needed, then produce both a directory full of MP3s suitable for pulling into iTunes as well as burn an audio CD.  It's even got its own ASPI that seems to be more reliably on some burners than the XP/2000 ASPI layer.

All this... for thirty-five dollars!

I turned it loose on some ancient LPs a DJ friend of mine has, and the results ranged from good to spectacular.  A 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis album came out sounding like a pure digital recording.  A 1957 Buddy Holly LP that's now a collector's item sounded like it was just pressed.  A 1971 Elvis album that was recorded on that shitty DynaFlex vinyl that RCA came out with sounds much better than I'd have ever expected.

I can now return to my lifelong task of releasing out-of-print obscure LPs to the world, since instead of taking a day each to do, I can do three or four in an afternoon.

Suzanne will be here in barely twenty-four hours.

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