Does anyone want to by a slightly dented (well, okay then - VERY dented) Dell laptop? No? Oh well, good thing I asked BEFORE I took my trusty "No. 1 Spanner" (aka a 15lb sledge hammer) to it.
Allow me to explain. These technological devices that we put ourselves at the mercy of are starting to take over our lives. In my case, every sermon that I have ever preached in the last three years is sitting on my laptop, together with many gigabytes of TEEC assignments, sermon resources, e-books - even MIDI files of most of the old Methodist hymns are lurking on my hard drive.
And it is the latter that is causing my frustration at the moment.
The church that I will be conducting the service at tomorrow morning is in Despatch, one of the three towns (together with Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth) that makes up the Nelson Mandela Metropole. This particular Society does not currently have an organist (any takers? Please contact me), but they do have a sound system on which CDs of mostly contemporary-style worship are played. Since I've been reliably informed that there are a number of older folk in the congregation who are yearning to sing some hymns last heard when LP records were replaced by compact disks, I thought that (seeing as I am a lover of hymns as well), I'd cut some of my MIDI files to a CD so that the congregation can sing along.
This is where the trouble started. For some weird and wonderful reason, the software that I'm using (Sonic RecordNow) cuts the files onto the CD, but takes an absolute AGE in "finalising the session" (that's computer-geek-speak for "getting the CD to a state where it can be played in a normal CD player"). Already one CD has gone spinning across my office, having been slung with a venom that would give the "powers that be" in the Church some doubt as to my salvation, and a second one is currently hissing away in the CD drive (in synchronicity with the steam hissing out of my ears).
But come hell or high water, I WILL get these files cut onto disk, because we WILL be worshipping God in Despatch tomorrow!
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