Thursday, December 25, 2003

The Blanket Chest
My brother is setting up housekeeping in my parents' basement. He's decided to sell his house.
He asked me to help him carry a blanket chest upstairs so he would have more room down there. Now I knew this chest was here, and I knew it was old. But I didn't know it was what they call a six-board chest. That is, the main body of the chest is made from six boards; a top and bottom, and four sides. But these six pieces are single planks over 16 inches wide. So you know the thing has to be over two hundred years old because there haven't been trees that big since then.
God only knows what other ancient and interesting things are buried in the clutter around here.
Anyway, I'm more interested in six-board abs.
Merry Christmas to me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

It's So Exciting
First let me say that while I am about to discuss something I have written about before, I want you all to know I found new pictures to link to, so don't skip a nifty link because you think you'll see the same thing twice.
Yesterday my phonograph part arrived that I bought on Ebay. It looks better in person than it looked in the photographs on the website. The item description said "It works," but I wondered if I could get an idea of how well it works. I figured I could spin a record on my electric record player and hold the reproducer on the disc if I could find something to use as a needle.
I've ordered phonograph needles but they hadn't arrived yet. I resorted to taking a plastic-handled push pin and smashing it with a hammer to get the steel shaft out of the plastic. It fit perfectly into the reproducer. I found a 78 I didn't care that much for (Guy Lombardo's orchestra doing "Star Dust") and tried it out. It made sound.
Now if I can just get up to Washington, D.C., with a station wagon, I will have a complete, operating Orthophonic Victrola.

Monday, December 22, 2003

It's Just Like Deja Vu
It's just Like Deja Vu

Exams ended Friday. This place is dead. But I have noticed and have commented on before how when it's dead like this, at holidays and breaks, this is when the freaks show up. I've never been able to figure out if they're here all the time, and we don't notice them because of all the students, or if they really somehow know to come when the students are gone.
But this is what happened. A middle-aged woman came up to the desk, and said, "I got something on the computer that said I won something, and I'm supposed to call this number to find out what it is. Where is your phone?"
Stranger than this alone is the fact that I swear the same woman was in here at least a year ago and came up to the desk then and said the same thing. That's pretty distinctive phrasing, "I got something on the computer," instead of "I received an e-mail."
And who would fall for that twice?