that music thing

The other day I was reflecting on music and music delivery. Steps in the technology evolution. My 54th birthday approaches quickly. When I was a kid there was still a few 78 rpm (revolutions per minute) records in the house. My slightly older sister was in love with a 78 of Patty Page singing “The Tennessee Waltz”. There were also 33 rpm LPs (long playing) and 45 rpm records. 78s, LPs and 45s were playable on both sides. 45s had one song per side with the A side being the real song and the B side being filler, although every now and then recording artists found that fans preferred B to A. I never fell for 8 track tapes, probably because I did not have a car in which to place a 8 track tape player. Next on the music delivery technology path was cassette tapes.  Had one of those players in my car. Then CDs. Now we have cassettes gone and CDs going away and all will be MP3 or at least digital delivery to a digital player.

I left out transistor radios and boom boxes.  But what I really miss some nights was my tiny rocket shaped radio which had a single ear plug and a little antenna wire which ended in an alligator clip. The idea was to lie in bed and listen to the radio after attaching the alligator clip to the metal steam radiator in my bedroom. The technical mastery required was to make sure the clip got through the paint and contacted the metal of the rad.  My rocket radio was red with black trim, I twisted the nose cone to change stations.

simplification tables turning

Deactivated my facebook account. Pulled down my art work hanging in a gallery in Second Life. Reducing virtual clutter and distraction in my existence. First day of autumn. I took photographs, fixed a busted bi-fold door and repainted an old sign board and sign post. Turning the sign and post white from yellow.

“Distracted from distraction by distraction.”  T.S. Eliot (if my brain still remembers correctly).

and that old chestnut…..”Tomorrow is promised to no man.”

This Old House, sort of

Today is new roofing start day. Part of the old house saga around here.

The past year has been one of catching up on deferred maintenance.  Starting last fall with the fill the dumpster episode (memorialized in this entry –   ) and followed up this summer by the hunt for real roofers.  Also dialed in was structural repairs to the old wheel chair ramp and the wide steps to the back deck. And then there was the painting. First staining by me using a long extension handle for the paint roller.  We used REZ opaque Redwood stain. Involved a little ladder work, something I have never been crazy about.  To finish off the soffit and fascia boards and to paint in white the wood trim on the remaining original windows, we hired painters. Over half the windows have been converted over the years to energy efficient models.

The local handyman carpenter wannabe designed some nice looking wide stairs for the back deck. I call them the back deck although they face the road and most people call that the front of the cottage. But being contrary and since it is a lake front property, I always think of the lake side as the front. He made a bad decision in the design he came up with. Instead of starting the top step to match the level of the deck, he dropped it down one step. This meant that he fastened the steps to the deck by screwing the deck upwards into the side plate of the deck, a vertical 2×10.  Over time the stairs dropped down a bit coming loose on one side. My interim solution was to drag and position a 12 inch cement block under the side stringer. A band aid solution.  Hired another fellow to fix the problem. When we took the stairs apart, we discovered that it was being held up by just two deck screws. Although my first carpenter had come back to repair it and had talked about using carriage bolts, we found none. So effectively the stairs were being held up by two screws and the two hand rails. The stairs (three) are about 8 feet wide. Not a very solid arrangement. The solution was to raise the stairs. The stairs have an extra deep tread almost double normal. A new mounting plate the entire width was added behind the top step. Multiple long screws (16) were added to fasten the stairs to the deck. New veritical hand rails were cut and added.  It all turned out well.

I found out that it is better to have a floating deck. That is one that is not attached directly to the cottage. The local township will add square footage to your residence if the deck is attached. Therefore increasing your taxes.

The old satelittle dish (a large one) is being taken down by the roofers. 18 years since the shingles were done.

All of it Together – a poem

All of it Together

click here to return to poems' list at the top all of it together
falls into the lake,
the pain,
the memory
and the warmth of a kiss,

it all falls together
into the present
and the past
and the joy is lost
and the future
hangs out over the lake
like an old branch
children have swung on
the tire and the rope
and it is deserted now.


from The Black Cat Walks Down by William Joseph Gibson

Alburnum Press, 1996

My Second Life

Maybe it’s me, but I don’t get it. I don’t get this. I can only dance on a beach so long in Second Life. I don’t want to shop ’til I drop. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time on Orientation Island. About ten years ago I spent too much time on MSN, but had a lot of fun, got to know some interesting people. But SL to me is dull with pretty terrain. I do like flying.  Teleporting is good. But a decent conversation is rarer than common sense. I learned how to “build” some art posters and am showing some photos and other art in a gallery. I have no way of knowing who stops by.  With Flickr I can see how many views my works get, and people leave a few comments. The visual weight of SL seems even funnier than Real Life. Your shape, skin, hair, clothes, gestures, poses and dance steps seem most important. That is who you are.

I will continue my SL experience a while longer. Maybe it is me, not SL.