Yay! We finished up our Christmas shopping before the crowds started in the stores. We got the grandkids what they all want for Christmas (within reason) and bought things for his stepkids/spouses and my son & daughter-in-law that we know they will like. the presents are even all wrapped and ready to go under the tree, when and if we decide to put it up. I even got all our Christmas cards sent out last week.
My big project for right now is going through all of DH's CDs that his ex burned for him and labeling them with what songs are on each one. That has shown me that I would not have been a good contestant on "Name That Tune". I would have been the one saying "I can name that tune in.......let's see, it's gonna take playing the whole song and even then I might not know the name of it." Now, I've listened to a lot of music in my 55 years of life, but most of it has been the country music from the '50s through the '80s, classic rock from the same years, and a lot of heavy metal. Music is one of the things DH and I don't have in common. He likes the old rock & roll and country music and doesn't care for heavy metal at all, while I don't care much for the newer country music. Most of the singers nowadays, I can't tell by listening to them who the hell they are. If it's Dolly Parton, or Reba McIntire, I know those voices. The rest of the female singers all sound pretty much alike to me (well, I recognize Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline too). I have an easier time recognizing male country singers' voices, like Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakum, and Marty Stuart. But even so, a lot of the male singers still sound a lot alike to me (can you tell I'm not musically inclined?). So going through all these CDs and trying to figure out the names of the songs on them is a royal pain in the ass, especially since they all say (when you open the CD to get a listing of songs) "Unknown Artist Track#__". Now, if DH is home when I'm doing this, he knows the titles to a lot of the songs, and can tell me within the first 30 seconds what the name of it is. But I've been doing a lot of this while he's at work, so I'm guessing on the ones I've never heard, and some of the songs I've heard, but WTF is up with radio stations now that they play a song and don't give you the title of it or who's singing it? I mean, really, people, if you aren't going to tell me the artist and title of the song, how the hell am I supposed to find it on CD to purchase it? Could that be one of the reasons that CD sales have gone down the shitter?
I have WinAmp on my pc and the free database that looks up song & artist online can't find any information on any of the CDs DH's ex burned for him, and I don't have a clue where she got the songs (she took the pc the songs were on when she left). I don't know if she ripped them from other CDs or downloaded them off the internet. Now, I've used Limewire to get mp3s off the internet and I've ripped CDs that I purchased (I have 9 gigabytes of music on my computer) and every one of those mp3s has song name, artist, and length on it, so I'm at a loss as to how you can have mp3s on your computer and all they say is Unknown Artist Track #1, etc.
I'm running into CDs that have the same song on the CD twice, sometimes 3 times, songs are duplicated on other CDs, the CDs aren't labeled at all, other than to maybe say "comedy", "oldies", "country", "Christmas", etc. And those aren't even accurate, since there might be love songs mixed in with the Christmas music or comedy mixed with oldies or country, and then there's the Boyz2Men or Enya bullshit thrown in for good measure, or Celine Dion (I abhor Celine Dion, she sounds like she's screeching, to me).
DH wants to rip all those CDs and re-burn them so there aren't any duplications, but I don't know if that's a task I want to even think about undertaking. I would be the one to do it because he doesn't know how (he uses his computer for email and Pogo games, that's it). To do that, I would have to rip each CD, rename every track, and then burn them all to new CDs. Now, I have a CD burner in my computer (and I have a CD player that plays mp3s in my minivan), so I could do the CDs as mp3 CDs instead of audio CDs, which would mean I could put 5 - 10 hours of music on one CD, so I wouldn't have to burn as many CDs as I would if I redid all of the current ones (and DH is getting a CD player for his truck next month, right now he has a cassette player and cassette copies of all the CDs). Both of the CD players will play mp3 CDs, so that isn't a problem (and I like having a lot of music on one CD, then I don't have to worry about changing CDs while I'm driving, not to mention I don't have to have a ton of CDs in the van). So there are positives to ripping and re-burning all those CDs, but damn, that's a lot of work. I've done 25 CDs so far, and have another 26 to go (each CD has between 15 and 27 songs on it), so that's a lot of music. At least I don't have to write each song title by hand. I created a template in Excel, and as I'm listening to the song, I'm typing the title in (once I figure out what it is, or what I think it is because I'm guessing on some of them). Then all I have to do is print out the list (I can get 4 lists on one sheet of paper), and use my paper cutter to cut them apart and slide in the slim jewel case with each CD. That paper cutter is the best investment I ever made, back years ago when I was making counted cross stitch greeting cards. I used it to cut the card stock to size, and I've used it to trim photos I print out.
Speaking of photos, that was another project I did for DH. He had pictures of the USS Stark, when it got hit by those missiles during the Gulf War back in 1989. He was on the USS Conyngham at the time (as an HT1) and he helped fight the fires, carry bodies, and gather up the deceased crew members' belongings so the chaplain could see that their families got them. I had scanned them into my computer and burned them to a CD for him, just in case something happened to the actual photos. We sent a copy of that CD to the Conyngham Association for their website (that ship was decommissioned and scrapped, the association is for all the men who served on her over her 28 years of service). So the other day, one of the guys who was on the Conyngham with DH called to see if we could send him the pictures (I had sent him a CD with the pics on it, he took it to Wal-Mart and they couldn't figure out how to make pics off it). So I got the photo paper and printed out the pics to send him. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself......
And I'll tell ya what, I won't be taking any pictures to Wal-Mart to be fixed or printed off a CD. We took in an old photo of DH's parents to have it restored (it's a wallet-sized photo and very old). They won't do it without a release from the photographer, who happens to be dead and the studio is out of business. Wal-Mart said we have to hunt down his heirs and get them to sign a release to have the picture restored. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. My daughter-in-law ran into the same thing with them. Her mother, who is NOT a professional photographer, took pictures of 3 of our grandkids, had Wal-Mart put them on a CD (the CD has Wal-Mart's viewing software on it). Tina took the CD to Wal-Mart to have more pics made off it, and they told her she needed to have the professional photographer sign a release saying she could do that. I don't know very many professional photographers who would use Wal-Mart to develop their pictures and put them on a CD with Wal-Mart viewing software, but that's what they said, that the pictures had been taken by a professional (yeah, my granddaughter was on a horse in her grandmother's backyard in some of those pictures, and in her grandmother's kitchen in others, so yep, that was a professional photographer all right, came right out to the house and spent all day shooting pics of those kids). Whatever. I can print out the photos she wants, I downloaded all the pics off the CD onto my computer. I think I have a couple of gigabytes' worth of pictures on here. She'll just have to get the ink and the photo paper. It takes half of a color ink cartridge in my printer to do 22 - 4"X6" prints, so I'm not sure how much ink it would take to do however many 8 X 10's she wants. I'll have to see what she wants to do when they come up here for Thanksgiving next weekend. We're having it on Friday since DH has to work on Thursday (time and a half plus holiday pay will look good on his next check, he says).