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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shopping With Daddy

You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore.

October 1999 SSU Casa Futura room 6

I was fumbling around on my computer with my door open when my freshman roommate Joe, stops by. Joe and I pretty much hated living together, but we were decent friends even after that crappy freshman year.

“What are you up to?” Joe asked
“I’m just surfin the net.” I said with a sigh
“Yeah, have you heard of Napster?”
“Nah what’s that?”

And that’s when Joe proceded to download the program and info needed for me to download napster. I didn’t know what it did or what he was doing. Joe was really *really* good at computers and everything having to do with them so I didn’t ask any questions.
As he was tapping away on the keyboard and saving things he would give me this walkthrough of what it would do.
“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And this blah blah,blah, blah.” was how I would understand it coming from Joe.

Finally everything seemed done and sat there waiting at the computer,
“Alright, what song do you want?”
“Song?” I said.
“yeah I can get you any song you want in one minute in cd quality.”
“Ah….um….. Like a Prayer!” It was the first song that came to my head because I had never heard of such heavenly technology before.
“Ah what? No, I’m gonna give you some Limp Bizkit.” and that’s when he typed the name and pressed enter. Within a minute of high speed school network service, the song was being played over my computer and saved.

That’s when it hit. That’s when I figured I could find any song I wanted. The feeling was heavenly and I couldn’t wait to start downloading.
It was a lot like me being very little and going grocery shopping with my dad.

I remember being a wee toddler sitting in that seat thing by the shopping cart handle bars. Usually my Mom would take me grocery shopping but this time it was my dad for some reason. One main difference was my Mom would carefully stroll through all the aisles starting from the first and weave her way until she reached the end. My dad would haphazardly go from aisle 3 to 14 to 7 then back to 11 and 2 but that was okay because I loved spending time with my Dad.

It was at the produce section when my Dad taught me a valuable lesson. He reached out to grab a cherry and actually ate it in the store.
“Daddy, don’t you have to buy that? I asked curious.
“Naw, I need to taste the cherry to see if it’s good to buy.” he replied
“Can I have one?” and to his approval I leaned over and grabbed a cherry and stuck it in my mouth. I was then wondering what I should do with the pit and that’s when I saw my dad spit his on the grocery store floor. I then did the same. I grabbed another cherry, and another, and some more yet. Pretty soon the floor was full of pits.

The next time I went grocery shopping my my Mom, she stopped to buy cherries and I ate one. She slapped my hand and yelled at me,
“Naughty! That’s very naughty! You have to pay for that!”
“Daddy said I could and he had more than me!”
She had this distant stare and proceeded to move on to the grocery shopping.


Napster was my cherries (er it was my dad leaving the cart next to the cherries or wait…). It hit me hard and I downloaded, and downloaded, and grabbed damn near 500 songs until I reached the point where I downloaded everything that I thought of. 500 was a lot but it was a far cry from my roommates 2000 or so.
Oh it was great. I could have any album I wanted including bootlegs, outtakes, audio files of anything.

Since those great Napster days I haven’t downloaded anything because of the RIAA crackdowns, pay for such downloading, and Lars but I have found something similar and more legal.

It was last week when I signed up to join a Pink Floyd “Hub”. I logged on and it was very similar outlook to the old Napster. A “Hub” is a specialized network of buddies where you can trade “information”. In this case it’s bootlegs of Pink Floyd concerts and other acts. There’s no money involved and no ones taking any profits away from anyone, it’s just sharing.

Ummm……there’s like 300 concerts on this hub that I can download from any era.

It’s like me working at a cherry factory and getting all the bruised ones… or something

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