PrinceAndFreddieOnBose

Radio Silence

I’d sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio
– “Radio Ga Ga”, Queen. © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

My new job presented (and continues to present) many challenges. Besides adapting to a new corporate culture, coming up to speed on the wide variety of tech systems in use was like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose. While I tried to find my high-tech footing, I encountered a low-tech challenge and ran into a brick wall.

Musical Grave Yard

Recently, I was experimenting with this theoretical concept called decluttering. While my attempt was unsuccessful, I did come across several blast-from-the- past mementos – a collection of defunct iPods as well as a receipt for my first MP3 player in 2000.

Old iPods

Old iPods

This little detour down memory lane reminded me of how far portable music has come in my life as well as how much money I’ve spent on music players. I also fondly recalled the not so distant days gone by when I actually purchased music on a CD, imported it into iTunes on my computer, and created a run playlist which I then transferred to an iPod and later an iPhone.

As technology marched on (or crashed, in the case of a laptop or two) and created the need to migrate my digital music library to newer computers, I grew frustrated at this process.  But as an IT guy for (ahem) 30 years now, I had some sort of badge of honor about systems migration and moving data to a new computer. Painful, but just the way it had to be.

Recently, I did what most people do these days and finally caved on a streaming music service – Spotify. I didn’t do a lot of research. I was already paying for my daughter’s subscription, and it wasn’t much more to convert to a family plan. Decision made.

After about thirty seconds, I was sold. Goodbye personal digital music library headaches. I could find all my old favorite albums, and instantly play them. I could also easily create playlists and download them to my phone. Why had I waited so long? I guess that was the old school in me, which brings me back to that brick wall.

93.1 The Lake

2014 Poultry Fest 5K Winners - Overall and Masters

2014 Poultry Fest 5K Winners – Overall and Masters

Along with the new job came a new office, one with four walls and a door. This presented an opportunity to add my own unique spin to my weekday home away from home. I knew there’d be a running-related symbol of some sort, but I refrained from bringing in my massive Masters Division Winner Trophy from the 2014 Poultry Festival 5K. Seems perfect, I know, but humility and all.

I also knew I wanted music playing while I worked but decided headphones and streaming services were not for me at the office. A Bluetooth speaker would have served the purpose, but I also felt using the corporate Internet connection for streaming music wouldn’t set the best example.

Fortunately, I had the perfect solution from the last time I had four walls and a door. I dusted off an old Bose Wave Radio from the house and took it in. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no reception of any station, no matter where I placed the radio on my desk. Turns out, the office was encased by solid brick walls hidden under sheetrock, keeping me from my music.

I tried to solve the problem with an upgraded antenna. No luck. I even ran the antenna up through the ceiling tiles and through a hole in the brick. Nada.

Frustrated, I was ready to give up when I tried a spot that had not occurred to me earlier. Turns out, I wasn’t looking high enough. I placed the radio on top of the desk hutch, about 6 feet off the ground, hit the remote, and…finally! I had a decent signal, but with some static.

Experimenting, I found wrapping my upgraded antenna around the factory-supplied antennae provided even better reception.  Last, I tried the new antenna combo up in the ceiling tiles, and voila, great reception. For one station, anyway. At least it was my current favorite, 93.1 The Lake, a locally owned station with a penchant for Yacht Rock. Perseverance for the win and high seas for the office.

Prince and Freddie atop the Bose Wave Radio

Prince and Freddie atop the Bose Wave Radio

Thanks for reading,

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PS. Album challenge

If you’re a Facebook person, then chances are you’ve seen numerous challenges which encourage people to reveal some personal info in a post. The latest I’ve seen is the album challenge, where an individual is tagged to post 10 influential album covers, one at a time, without any explanation. Well, someone finally tagged me, but since I’m a party pooper and rarely participate in these challenges, I ignored it. You’re in luck, though. Here are my ten albums, with no comment:

 

5150 BenFoldsLive DawnPatrol Murmur ParadiseTheater PurpleRain StandingHampton Xanadu1999b GetLucky

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