Screech, hiss, screech, ka-bam.
No, it’s not a speeding steam locomotive pulling freight cars sliding off the rails at the station and crashing into another train waiting to head out into the wider world. But the effect on the psyche is similar. My computer is infected with some sort of sinister attacking virus that has turned nano-seconds into minutes and tasks that once took a few keystrokes into a major cyber operation.
Yes, I’ve been trying to fix it myself. No, I’m not blessed with geeky talent.
This week’s column will have to be short (is that applause I hear?). I’m using a borrowed laptop. It doesn’t feel right to the fingers and I’ve had to zoom the print up to the 125-percent size to see it.
I once had a long conversation with a man who invented computerized laser equipment to file and polish steel frets on the fingerboard of a guitar down to absolute level perfection. His shop in Nashville, Tenn. serves the biggest names in the music business. As we talked, he worked on rock star Peter Frampton’s invaluable Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. I asked him why levelness only a few trained eyes could see mattered?
A lot of these musicians spend a large part of their waking time with these instruments, he said. They can feel the slightest differences. Those tiny differences matter to confidence and playability that can make the difference between merely good or being great, or at least it feels that way. Feelings matter in the soulful and spiritual world of music.