Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Looking Over My Shoulder (In more ways than one)

I've been dragging my feet again.  Seems like there's never enough hours between trips to do all the stuff that needs say nothing of the stuff that HAS to be done.  Little things like spending 5 hours shoveling the driveway last week.  My shoulder still aches from that one.  I must be getting old...I've pitched snow and every other material that would fit on a shovel by hand since I can remember what a shovel was, now it hurts.  You know what I call this blog: "Adventures in Middle Age"...well, this middle age crap is not much of an adventure sometimes.  I wish AARP would take me off their mailing list so I wasn't reminded all the time.
Another milestone is coming up next week but I'll just let that one go by without much comment.  It's one of those 'as soon as you turn 50 you have to do this' things that have suddenly crept up on me.  I don't even want to think about it.

Billy Connolly describes the process so much better than I could anyway so I'll let him take it from here...Parental Guidance Suggested!

I can't wait.

In the meantime, I actually have been busy doing stuff around the Ponderosa.  One example:  I finally got around and wired the first and second level for sound over the last couple days.  I missed having music playing all the time and that was one of the things that'll make this house my house.  It wasn't absolutely necessary but it sort of feels more like home.

Chasing Monster Cable through the walls and figuring out series/parallel wiring brought back memories of building speaker arrays back in my DJ days.  I built up a set that could bring on auditory destruction and possible hemorrhages at short range.  I miss those big stacks of but they were a little much to keep for a home stereo when I got out of the business so I let them go.  Wish I hadn't.  There's a whole population of future scions of industry and government that will never hear high frequencies or possibly much of anythng else because of that gear.  Those tweeters sounded like bacon frying at 120 decibels when you got too close and having your head six inches from the cabinet with everything in the red was definitely much too close.  It felt like icepicks in your head to me so I rarely ventured out front when I was really on the sliders hard but the drunk and foolish couldn't feel their eardrums disintegrating and so partied up close and personal with the cabs every time.  I saw extensive future sales of Miracle Ears down the line every time we played one of the Greek houses.
The highs and mids were factory but I built the bottom ends from scratch out of used 3/4" plywood, sawing away after hours at the Buildings and Grounds shop I worked in at the time.  They were cut from some old Altec Lansing A-7 'Voice of the Theater' plans I scrounged up somewhere and took most of a winter to cut, screw, glue and sand.  They were always pretty rough looking in plain old hardware-store flat black even when they were done but I loaded them up with new Peavey Scorpions that moved enough air to rattle the frat boys' piercings and pushed a pair of 1200 watt Crowns to the limit driving them.  It wasn't to unusual to have stuff shaking off the walls in the early evening followed by visits from Campus Security before it was over.  Even from my perch out of the line of fire behind them, my teeth would vibrate sometimes.  It was impossible to play records anywhere near the lows without cutting way back on the equalizer to kill the feedback through the tonearms.  How anyone could be out front for four hours at a crack was beyond comprehension.  I loved those babies but they were huge and even a house as big as Old Drafty just couldn't handle the mass.  It was a bad day when I sent them down the road.

In hindsight, I should have kept at least a pair of my secondary system's SP-2s and a CS-800 to fill in some of the corners of the living room had I known how everything would shake out.  That old 20/20 thing...
After all the head-scratching and wire stringing this week, I've got it sounding pretty good for what I've got these days.  It ain't too bad but that pro gear was the stuff so the glassware and wall hangings will be safe.  Eventually though, I'll get the place set up so I can zip the lid off the turntable case at the drop of a hat and 'put the needle on record' like old times.  It won't be the pounding of the frat party days but it'll do.  The neighbors are going to hate me.

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