Today was extra wonderful because Michael Dowdle spent the whole day with us, his magical fingers laying down track after track of beautiful guitar work. I've written before about his masterful skill at learning and playing my songs, keeping the integrity of my arrangements, and adding just the right sweetening. He is just so talented, so professional yet down to earth nice, and a blast to be with.
When you spend 8 hours in a studio with each other, repeating songs over and over, the conversation can get pretty diverse and always interesting. At one point we got to talking about codes, and how in different industries we use terms that others might not understand. We use terms like track and punch and midi, words like sweetening and BPM's (beats per minute) in the recording studio. We are not talking about trains or party drinks or the skirts just shorter than maxi skirts, nor are we referring to sugar when we sweeten. It's recording code. Families have codes. Religions, and clubs, and kids who have pricked their fingers and become blood brothers and sisters, secret codes giving them admission to hand built forts in the woods beyond the back yard. We all use code.
We pass each other in the hall at church, or at the store, or at the Book Fair in the school library, and when our eyes meet we smile and ask "How are you?" But really, How are you is just code for Hello, with an extra measure of You are my friend. We really don't have time nor energy to hear how we really are doing. Not then, at least. It's just code. Just like the response of "fine" is code for, I understand you don't really want to know…at least not now.
My friend Jason White was gigging with me one night. We were backstage with the band, nibbling on backstage grub and having backstage chatter. He told us about working at a company that dealt with consumer computers. One day someone came in with a problem. Some issue with his computer, which to the guys who worked there was an obvious fix. But the customer was sure he knew what the issue was, and how to fix it, only it wasn't cooperating. Jason stood at the desk and listened, nodding his head, allowing the fellow to vent. Then Jason calmly responded, when the fellow paused to take a breath…"I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is. Hold on and I'll see if I can get someone to come take care of it for you." So he calls his co-worker out and says: "I think what we have here is an I.D. Ten T issue. Can you take care of it? "
He hands the guy the computer, and he takes it in the back room and comes back in five minutes with it all fixed. The customer, thanks them, tells them he knew that this was the problem, pays his bill and leaves.
"More often than not, problems with computers end up being ID 10 T issues."
So I ask Jason what an ID 10 T issue is and he smiles. He looks up at Mark Robinette and repeats…ID 10 T. ID10T. Mark laughs out loud, so loud we all whisper hush cuz we are backstage and there's an audience out there.
I sit there, smiling, feeling clueless.
Mark raises his eyebrows and repeats. "ID10T. Turn the numbers into letters, Cori."
It takes me longer than it should. But I finally get it.
The most common computer problems are not the fault of the computer. It's the person using the computer. The ID10T.
ID10T. Code for idiot.