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Man in the Mirror

We move into our house in fewer than three weeks.  Betty and I have been packing at a leisurely pace, in part because circumstances don’t require us to be out by a certain date.  However, there’s a new twist.  Plans are afoot for renting out our current basement suite to university students, leaving us now with just three weeks to move everything out and help renovate the place, September being, of course, the start of the post-secondary school-year for UBC students.  We have to, among other things, re-paint most of the rooms, clean the carpet, re-grout/re-caulk the bathroom, clean the fridge, change and add locks, and fix the baseboards.

I’ve already started with some of the repairs by fixing a leaky hot water faucet assembly (the faucet, however, continues to leak running water from under the sink), and by replacing a toilet handle.  Make no mistake about it—I’m about as handy around the house as a two-legged camera support is useful; I owe it all to the latest edition of Black & Decker’s The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair.

In anticipation of the listening room at the new place, I borrowed some back issues of hi-fi news to catch up on the latest and greatest wares.  This is where it gets depressing.  For one thing, the concept of a dedicated space set aside for the enjoyment of (usually) two-channel music is lost on those in their mid-thirties or younger.  I remember a co-worker, more than ten years my junior, shaking his head in disbelief when I explained that one of my hobbies involves sitting down in front of expensive equipment and listening to music.   I guess I’m a dying breed of a dying pastime.  The same holds true for one of my other hobbies: stargazing.  The local club newsletter is peppered throughout the year with obituaries.  The membership is balding and graying, with no infusion of fresh blood.  It would be a shame if young people never got to experience the beauty and quiet introspection these hobbies have to offer, a respite to temper our increasingly frenetic society.

The hi-fi news Yearbook 2008 issue I have in front of me dedicates more than a few pages to audio from a bygone era.  Mention is made of how men’s magazines such as Playboy used to regularly feature articles about stereo equipment.  There is a four-page writeup about Louis Armstrong’s LP and reel-to-reel (link provided for you kids) tape collection, an article about quadrophonic sound, and a page titled “Retro Roundup”. 

We sifted through my closet last week.  We ended up donating a box of my “no-way-I’m-ever-going-to-fit-into-these-again”  jeans. 

I suppose I’ve been figuratively looking at a mirror lately, and don’t like what I see.  Fuck, I hate getting old.

Free Stereo Along My Alley

Free Stereo Along My Alley

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