The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

That Was Then, But This Is Now – Along With A Poke And A Prod

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As I’m always looking for something to keep me out of trouble during these quiet wintery days, I decided to import all of our CDs into iTunes. I’ve done portions of our collection previously, but this time thought I would just import the whole entire collection. Now that Nat is into using his iPod Nano I’m thinking he may want a change of songs in his Playlist sometime in the future. I began my little project and imported a few CDs each day I had a couple of hours to spare and during the evenings while Nat was watching his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. I completed the entire process within a week, but have discovered there is more to do.

A few years ago I converted all of our record album collection to digital and burned each record to a CD. I also thought I was being quite clever in attaching a copy of the actual album cover by using the CD labels you could buy at WalMart, Staples or any other such store. It took a lot of time and printer ink but I managed to at least complete a good quarter of our collection, when I finally realized that the whole process wasn’t really worth it, just for the two of us. Besides, it was really getting expensive. I stopped what I was doing and from thence forward just wrote the name of the album on each CD with one of those special pens. Needless to say, the project was completed in no time.

That was then, but this is now. As a result of putting labels on each of those CD’s had now become a problem in uploading the songs to our iMac.  Almost 90% of those labelled CDs could not be read and I had to put them aside and think about what to do. I had managed to get a few done until one CD got stuck in the drive and kept spinning like a ferris wheel. It had become obvious that the drive was getting warm and therefore heating up the label and making it unreadable and even unremovable!! Good God, what am I going to do now, I thought. After turning the monitor around with the CD/DVD drive facing me, I noticed that the drive went through the motions of trying to read the CD and then try and eject the same, but the CD wouldn’t rear it’s head outside of the drive enough so that I could grab and pull it out. After a few attempts of poking and prodding (yes, that’s a major no-no, but desperate times call for desperate measures), a portion of the disc would eject enough where I could see it. I tried to grab it several times , but to no avail. I ran for a pair of tweezers, but the ends were too thick for the drive slot. As Nat was watching a hockey game, I was reluctant to bother him, but after a lot of frustration and a few cuss words, I called him into the office and explained what was going on. We waited for the drive to do its rotation again, and (after a couple of tries), I was able to stop the CD from returning back into the drive with a small thin ruler (yes, dangerous I know, but desperate times …. ) while Nat grabbed the damn thing and pulled it out. God, I was so lucky no damage was done!!!!

Lesson learned, I would now stop inserting “labelled” CDs into the drive and rethink how I would recover the album songs it contained. Naturally, this little problem continued to plague me, so after getting the good CDs imported, I did some research on the net. Apparently you can remove those pesky labels by placing them on a clean cloth label side up, lay a cloth dipped into Isopropyl Alcohol (otherwise known as Rubbing Alcohol) over the CD and let it sit for 5 minutes. After a couple of minutes you can give the cloth a bit of a turn, but I found it wasn’t really necessary. When ready, you can then carefully peel that label right off with no residue at all. You then wipe the disc clean and it should be ready for use again. After Nat and I had physically tried to peel off the labels without any success but a lot of tedious labour, we gave this rubbing alcohol test a try. Using a music CD we really didn’t care if we ruined, we dipped a cotton cloth into the rubbing alcohol, placed it over the disc and within a few minutes carefullly peeled away the label, wiped it clean, and then inserted it into the iMac’s drive. Low and behold, the damn thing appeared on the screen, iTunes popped up and I was able to retrieve the songs. With an ounce of skepticism, I was extremely happy this trick worked. It will now be possible to import some of those digitized record albums that we thought were lost due to my overly ambitious labelling. We both felt that yes, we could in fact, re-purchase some of these albums, but that would be an expensive exercise. There are some albums we wouldn’t be able to buy again – long gone, and no longer available. At least now our record collection will be complete and backed-up on the iMac for Nat and i to listen to whenever the mood strikes us.

Today I was up and at ’em, down the road for routine blood work, and once home sat in my easy chair beside Nat and we both fell back asleep. Nat has spent the last few days painting new closet doors and trying to nurse his aching neck, which has been bothering him for a long time now. The Doc thinks it may be some sort of arthritis and he’s been coping as best he can. I think this morning, as we were both up earlier than usual, it may have finally hit us. We both struggled to make it until lunch time, but after a bit of nourishment we’re still struggling to do anything. The weather isn’t as bad as some parts of Southern Ontario (only a bit of drizzle, large snow flakes and more drizzle) but it’s not exactly sunshine that would put spring back into our steps. Why not, we’re retired and we might as well do as our body’s are telling us – relax. We’ll get back to reality tomorrow.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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