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Oct 20, 04 08:51 AM

'What Rough Beast, Its Hour Come Round At Last...'


I bought a new computer yesterday; I bought it because on my old one, the hard drive ground itself to death, taking with it a bunch of photos I hadn't backed up. Agony!

It's covered under AppleCare, so they'll fix it, and it'll be back home in two weeks or so (wiped of my photos, my journal...agh). But I've been through the two weeks without a computer before, and I'm just doing too much work nowadays to spend two weeks computerless again.

I feel slightly weird, having dropped 1000 bones, and having basically the same damned iBook G4. I wanted a retail high! No such luck.

Hm, you know what--when I get the old thing back--anybody out there in TV Land want to buy it? It's a 12 inch. It's not even a year old. It's got an AirPort card, and it'll be covered under AppleCare for two years. (does that transfer if I sell the thing to somebody else? I wonder.)

I'll sell it for, like, I don't know, $700?

(with the AirPort card and the AppleCare I paid like $1500 for it.)

The only bad thing about it is it's got those weird discolorations in the beautiful iBook whiteness, where my wrists sat.

About two years ago, some dude offered me $2000 to buy the guitar I used on Ruby Vroom. Now, that guitar is a cheap-shit Yamaha telecaster copy, and Lord knows what shape it's in--as a matter of fact, at one point, when I still lived in Brooklyn, I took a screwdriver to it and attempted to scratch the purple paint off of it. (Yeah, OK, in a bit of a druggy haze)

Feeling weird about selling a guitar in such shitty condition for such big bucks, I turned him down. Now I regret it. Some dude, come back! I have reconsidered!

Posted by Mike at October 20, 2004 8:51 AM

man, i'm so sorry you lost some of your photos and your journal! that sucks!

Posted by: Amy at October 20, 2004 9:03 AM

Mr. Clean Magic Sponges get iBook wrist rests back to pearly whiteness.

The new iBooks just got announced; you missed your retail high, but only by a few months.

Posted by: Sean at October 20, 2004 9:44 AM

Mike, loved your 'rough beast' reference to Yeats "The Second Coming". A friend of mine routinely refers to another line of that poem when discussing politics..."The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Oh yeah, and I commiserate with you about the hard-drive disaster. Now I burn, baby, burn all my photos onto cd and feel so very very deliciously geeky doing it.

Posted by: Deb at October 20, 2004 10:08 AM

Sorry to hear about your computer. I have a good friend in the market for one - I just sent her the info. She's an Apple-loving, 35-year-old student, so perhaps this is a deal she can't refuse.

By the way, love the journal, love the pictures, love it all. I'm going to NYC this weekend and the pics are totally getting me in a great frame of mind for the trip. The writing is also beautiful, it reminds me why I was drawn to your music in the first place. Your political commentary is also right on.

Finally, I saw your mention of the Ethiopian community in DC in your trip posts. Yes, we have a big community here; the next time you are here you should check it out. There are not only many restaurants around the city but also a few Ethiopian shops on 18th St in Adams Morgan. It's all very DC (meaning small and underwhelming) but you might find it interesting.

Posted by: Marine Librarian at October 20, 2004 10:14 AM

I'd buy your guitar for $700. Just a thought.

Posted by: mike at October 20, 2004 10:26 AM

About a month ago I saw a copy of Smofe+Smang sold on e-bay for upwards of $80.00, and it wasn't even autographed. So, maybe you should check out the auction sites, and capitilize on your persona. The writing insturment of Mike Doughty, complete with wrist marks. The guitar used on Ruby Vroom, personally customized by Mike. Or maybe you could start your own rock star auction site. $$$$

Posted by: Lauren at October 20, 2004 10:28 AM

AppleCare does transfer to a new owner; when you sell it, include the registration papers, and have the new owner head on down to his/her local Apple store (or call AppleCare if there's not one around) and switch the registration.

Posted by: rahaeli at October 20, 2004 10:31 AM


The HD on my PC recently commited suicide as well (all right, it was "murder" - six months of hanging from the case in a state of total instability, supported by one small, stripped nickel-screw and my conviction that "it'll be fine" it finally, as you said, ground it's way to a slow metallic state of insensibility). As the grief has worn off (my self-nudes!, So Long!, my POETRY - AGH - *poof!* *Gone!*) it's occured to me that now might be the time to finally slice the Apple hymen and try playin' for the other team.

Let me know if you're serious about selling the old laptop -


Posted by: Kae at October 20, 2004 10:43 AM

I'll buy your guitar. Mike Doughty must have MORE BLING.

Posted by: Ken at October 20, 2004 11:57 AM

man, if i hadnt JUST built a new machine, i'd definitely be interested in your old one; i sooo want a nice mac.

much sadness and sympathies for the lost data; my heart goes out to you.


Posted by: pete at October 20, 2004 12:50 PM

Hey, Mike. I'll buy your iBook. E-mail me if you're still offering.

Posted by: Vance at October 20, 2004 1:17 PM

i will buy neither. for i am broke.

but i will agree with marine librarian. this site grooves, and it's a nice way to start the day. thanks for sharing, mikey.

Posted by: rob from colorado at October 20, 2004 1:23 PM

sometimes these material things like photos are burdens. (disclaimer: guitars and other musical instruments are totally EXEMPT from the 'should live without material goods' law).

but anywayz d, so sorry. feel better.

Posted by: marie at October 20, 2004 1:31 PM

You might be able to get those pictures back if you're concerned. Seems I can't post links, so just do a google search for 'data recovery'.

Most of the photos and such are probably still there, but are just currently inaccessible.

Going forward, external hard drives are a big help. The Maxtor OneTouch firewire drives are pretty good and come with decent backup software.

Good luck!
-Tech Support

Posted by: Paul at October 20, 2004 2:19 PM

hmmm... i have a titanium g4 laptop at work and a 2 year old ibook at home. yet strangely I feel like buying yours for typrewriter-karma. You wrote stuff on that machine, which makes it very valuable to someone like me. I believe in that type of stuff, and if you wrote on that mac, it's got the pimp juice. I would pay for that aura.

Fuck it, I'm supposed to be a "writer."

Uh,a nd if you want to sell anything else you've owned. I'd probably buy that too. Seriously. I belive in that shit.

email me about it.

Posted by: chris at October 20, 2004 2:24 PM

ethiopian entries are stunning...i can't really find adjectives for their effect. i love love loved them. better than fiction, totally addictive. if there were fifty more of them, i'd still be reading. so real. i feel like i could slide the stories in my mouth and suck on them. it was really like being there, from inside your head. Pretty spectacular. thanks for a portrait that was more intensely textured than anything in a travel book.

more more more!

Posted by: nicole at October 20, 2004 3:31 PM

While we're still on the topic of the iBook, I'd like to ask if it would be weird selling a piece of yourself like that? In my uninformed opinion though, I guess it's really only a machine.


Posted by: Wribbon at October 20, 2004 3:44 PM

lesson learned

dont buy mac

Posted by: snappy at October 20, 2004 3:48 PM

I love my mac!

Posted by: dave at October 20, 2004 4:21 PM

holy hell that sucks! when not fooling myself into thinking i'm a poet/songwriter/artist guy thing, i work as a computer technician for a company out here in carlsbad,cali. so i know the woes of the data-age. backup is the only remedy for information loss, but it seems like no matter how much you back up, some shit gets lost.

if i had money, i'd buy your i-book for TWO grand...just to help a dude out.

and i'd never sell my autographed copy of rockity roll i got at vasar college this year for anything. it holds some really sweet memories for me. cheers mike!

Posted by: james the s at October 20, 2004 6:19 PM

still selling that ibook? i've been lusting after even the oldest models forever. if you haven't got rid of it yet, i would be your best friend!


Posted by: alix at October 20, 2004 6:56 PM

and um, i would sleep with it under my pillow and whatnot.

Posted by: alix at October 20, 2004 6:57 PM

hey--i'd buy your iBook if your still selling. i was actually trying to figure out how i could get one--i've been eyeing them recently.

just let me know.


Posted by: jim at October 20, 2004 8:18 PM

"those weird discolorations in the beautiful iBook whiteness, where my wrists sat."

It's just a computer...

But, why does it make me feel sad?

Posted by: apoxuponme at October 20, 2004 9:12 PM

//Mike Doughty must have MORE BLING.//

YES! Give him more bling! More bling for Mike! BLING FOR MIKE, people!

Posted by: DJ Mrs. Santa Claus at October 20, 2004 9:50 PM


sorry you lost all your photos. also - i'd jump at the chance to buy your apple if i weren't so terrified of the rejection. what if you picked someone else?! agony, indeed.

Posted by: merryn at October 20, 2004 9:51 PM

I have a powerbook G4...and the hard drive committed suicide this summer. I lost about 3400 photos that weren't backed up and all of my music. I went DAYS without my Doughty until I found my CD's buried in my room. It was a bummer. Turns out, the hard drive was bad in the computer since I got, as was the Combo Drive. Oh well. I made it under the customary one year warrenty by about a week, so I was lucky. First thing I did was get Apple Care.

I'd buy your computer if I didn't have only $260 to my name.

Posted by: ryank at October 20, 2004 10:41 PM

nice shirt and tie!

Posted by: marie at October 21, 2004 9:38 AM

yeah, as much as i love apple products, especially for use on tour, i'm a little annoyed by the whole wrist thing. my powerbook 12" does the same thing. also, some of the keys are getting worn.

but, that aside, i'm really happy with my powerbook.

Posted by: joe at October 26, 2004 8:09 PM