Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Saturday, December 3, 2011

With the Speed of Now Impossible to Play

I'm feeling my age this week. Angry Assassin Arthritis did a hit job on my right foot. The problem with Mr. Arthritis is he doesn't come by once to stick a knife in. He hangs about and keeps twisting the blade. I haven't had an attack for a while. This one was very vicious, I guess to make up for Arthritis long neglect. It began on Tuesday evening in my arch and it was scream-out-loud painful by bedtime.

At 11:30 I hobbled, with grimace and groan, out to the kitchen to pop some pills, in this case Ibuprofen, not the pill of my choice, but the ones available. The fix of my choice would have been Tylenol Arthritis, but you can't get it. It was the only stuff that really worked for me. The Ibuprofen eased the pain some, long enough for me to get to sleep, but it was back full-bore in the morning and I have been popping pills all week, alternating between the Ibuprofen and Aspirin with one hit of Motrin thrown in by the mercy of a co-worker. (Yeah, I have been working this week at my on-my-feet-all-day job.)(

The two days I was off I managed my walks, too, because you can't give in to the Assassin  or next thing you know you give up the walking; you find this excuse or that.

The pain almost went away on Friday and in fact, it left my arch entirely by Friday evening, only to sneak into my big toe and ramp up again. So I took my two Ibuprofens a half hour ago and the pain has lightened and I expect to take my morning amble, but man I am feeling all of my years physically right now.

But last week I was feeling age in a different way. Now I am going to start off sounding like an Old Foggy rambling on about the "Good ol' days of yesteryear," except my yesteryear is more like yesterday.

I've got about 200 CDs stacked up on racks next to my desk. I used to listen to my music all the time as I wrote. For some reason I got out of that habit earlier this year, but last week I decided I wanted to hear my music again. I plopped on my earphones, selected a CD and placed it in my CD player. Silence and the message on the player said, "No Disc".

No disc?  This silvery round thing with the hole in the center looked a lot like a disc to me. I understand sometimes a smudge upon the surface can wreak havoc. I pull the disc out and examine it. There does seem to be a something maybe perhaps there. I wipe it across my sweater and plop it back in the machine.

"No disc."

Okay, I'll try a different singer and a different song. I put this new choice in and close the lid. Whirl, whirl, and the number 01 shows in the window and then, "No disc".  Hmmm. I pull out this disc that apparently doesn't exist and look it over. Ah, yes, definitely something stuck along one edge.  I take it to the kitchen sink and wash it, dry it and return it to the player all pristine and clean, and assumable presentable.

"No disc."

I go to a higher authority, my wife. "Hon," I ask, "have you been having trouble with the CD player?"

She has her own cache of CDs, especially Bon Jovi and The Who, which she does exercising to. She uses the player much more lately than I have.

"Yes," she says.

Tat settles it. She wants her exercise beat and I really do wish to listen to my music. I grab my hat and head out to purchase a new CD Player. Yes, the current one has some years on it now and obviously it has worn itself to a frazzle and cannot perform its duties up to snuff anymore.

First stop, fully expecting it to be my only stop, is Target. I'm looking for cheap, truth be told. I go straight to the electronics department, you known that place one dominated by TV sets, but now a vast warehouse of cell phones. I go up and down aisles, over and over as if some stock clerk might have hurried out to restock, but no CD Players anywhere. There are iPod Docks and MP3 gizmos and for some reason a lot of alarm clocks, but no CD Players.

Now it is down the highway to a Best Buy.

I figure the most logical place to start is the section selling CDs. Wouldn't you put CD players near what they play? I wander about. They have a bunch of karaoke machines (why for heaven's sake!) but I do not see a CD player. Finally I do see a sales clerk, so I ask.

"Sure," she says and leads me off.

We wind our way across the store. "They keep moving things around," she says.  "I think they are over this way."

We have moved over to the far flung sections of the store, over to the desert where once computer software ranged. This is the land of the endangered species and sure enough at the end of an aisle are CD Players.

I thank the clerk and wander into the aisle expecting an array of various CD players to pick from. Ha, there are no CD players down the aisle. No, what there is is only on those shelves on the very end of the displays. I have my choice of ... of... one!

One, and there aren't many of that one left either. I buy the one, an Insignia. It's compact. It has a CD player. It has an AM/FM Radio receiver. It has...well, that is what it has. There is no tape player as my old player had.

Let that be a warning, I think. The tape cassette is gone, gone the way of the 8-Track or the record (vinyl) of the wax cylinder. Soon the CD will also be gone and so will the means to play them.

It is speeding up. Their use to be some manufactures slogan (they are probably gone now too) that said, "Tomorrows Technology Today!" I think the new slogan must be, "Today's Technology Yesterday!"

When I was a little boy my parents had these records. They where about ten inches in diameter with a little hole in the center. They were called 78 RPM records. When I got a little older I got my own record player for Christmas. It played these things about six inches in diameter with a large hole in the middle called 45 RPM Records. Next came the 33 1/3s, which were about twelve inches across and back to a small hole in the middle. I built a large collection of these various records over the years. When I got married we bought this nice Fisher Hi-Fi Stereo

That Fisher lasted a long time, but we had lightening strike one night and it blew out that stereo. I bought a new record player and noticed something. It no longer had a 78 RPM speed. Those old records could not be played.

Then we came to a time we could't find nettles. Then we couldn't even find record players.  I am not talking some long ago, I'm talking less than 20 years here. Cassettes were ruling. (8-tracks kind of come and went quickly.) Now the tape players have disappeared and the CD players are becoming rare.

I am not against progress and new technology, but I have a lot invested in my music collection. I have about 2,000 33 1/3 Album representing a broad spectrum of American music as well as hundreds of 45s and 78s. I had dozens of tape cassettes and as mentioned, 200 CDs. I don't ask time to stop, I simply ask they keep the old technologies around my lifetime so I can still enjoy the media I have.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Ah yes, welcome to the New World. I too have discovered that the warp speed advancement of today's technology in accessing music is leaving me in its dusty wake. Recently I began downloading my music in iTunes. I quickly discovered that downloading music is very addictive, so much so that I am downloading music I already own in CD form and some instances (Led Zepplin) LP form. I download to my iPhone (which works as an iPod) and it is so much easier to access and play, thus relagating my now ancient LP and CD's to irrelevance. You can't find record needles? Heck, I'm looking for those photo corners for my photo albums! Try the Internet.