Sunday, February 20, 2005

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I'm suffering from gratification frustration.

My local coffee shop offers free wireless, so I use them as my ISP.

While I'm working, I usually listen to Sugar In The Gourd, which is all old-timey, all the time. There's no talk; to find out what's playing, you have to go to the web site and look.

Mostly, it's just background music, but every once in a while, a cut stops me in my tracks. I'll say, "Who's that?" and have to pause what I'm doing to go peek.

One surprise has been how often it's been the same person that's brought me to a screeching halt before. For some time now, I've been getting bowled over -- and over, and over -- by cuts from Reed Martin's Old-Time Banjo and from Palmer and Greg Loux's In Good Company.

I just looked again on Amazon.com. They don't carry the first, and the second
is marked "unavailable."

Aargh.

Earlier, after fumbling with an advanced mathematical technique, "high-school algebra," it occurred to me that a symbolic algebra package could solve my problem quickly and accurately. I just wanted to simplify one ugly equation.

I spent some time looking on the web for a page that would let me type in an equation and simplify it: sort of an Algebra 1 analogue to Google's Web Translation tools.

Every single site I tried was a broken link.

I suppose Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are right, and I'm just waiting to learn what I need.

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