Sunday, April 06, 2008

You Know You're Old When...

Do you want to know how to make a 43 year old woman cry if you’re a stereo salesman? Turn on the fancy stereo at your store so she can hear the difference between the 9 zillion speakers you have and when the rap music comes on apologize profusely, rush over to the controls, pull the cd out and put on the classical music. All I could think was jeebus just how old and unhip do I look? I wasn’t even wearing a crazy dog lady outfit.

Do you want to hear about my ongoing stereo woes or the dog agility trial or my ambulatory status? I guess we’ll start with the trial. Remember how I said I was just as excited to go to volunteer and spectate as if I was running a dog? Well, I lied. As soon as I walked in and saw the rings set up and the people walking the course I felt bad that I wasn’t competing and I missed having the dogs there. But I had a good time anyway. I’m one of those weirdo freaks that loves working the scoretable so they set me up in the masters ring for most of the day. I did a little timing and scribing too. I worked from 8 am until 4:30 or so and had no problems with my foot. It got a little ‘hot’ at around 3:00 and I was planning to leave but it turned out they really needed a scribe in the Steeplechase ring so I agreed to stay. I thought they’d relieve me for Speed Jumping but everyone was so busy trying to run Master pairs in the other ring that I stayed for that too. Would have been better if I’d brought my ice pack in but I wasn’t planning on staying so long. Came home and had about 4 minutes to change out of my dusty dog clothes, brush the dirt out of my hair and wash the stinky dog slobber off my face so we could meet some friends for dinner and I wouldn’t be a total embarrassment. It was nearly bedtime by the time I finally got some ice on my foot and it was fine, a bit stiff this morning but feels o.k. right now. I had no problem with the distances I had to walk at the trial and I must have been hardly limping at all because while people asked me why I wasn’t running my dogs nobody asked me about the limping. Here’s a handy tip, if someone tells you they had foot surgery don’t ask them the details of it. One poor woman made that mistake and she was getting green in the gills when I got to the part about them cutting off my toe.

I thought my foot would be sore today but it feels even better and, shazam, I can suddenly walk, just like that. It’s sore and I still have to think about keeping my weight even but I took Cody for a short walk and was able to go fast enough to move him into a trot. I went for a short bike ride today too and not on the trainer. It was such a beautiful sunny day I couldn’t bear the thought of being inside like a hamster on a wheel so I went for a 3.3 mile spin through the neighborhood on the Wonderland Trail. There were a couple of short steep hills in the neighborhood but they were no problem. I’m sure by next weekend I can shoot for an hour or so. I even did a little weave pole practice with all the dogs in the yard today. It finally feels like I’m through the worst of it.

As for the stereo system, well, here’s the thing about owning ancient stereo equipment-it does not like to be moved around. Because of the size of the new turntable I had to completely rearrange the other pieces of stereo equipment in the cabinet and move one of the speakers. My stuff was all so old that the second I moved it it disintegrated to dust. The CD player not only stopped working but ate at least 2 CD’s, including my much loved ‘Doughboys’ CD, and refuses to give them back. I push the eject button and it whirs electronic profanity at me and refuses to open. I tried some profanity of my own as well as the tried and true method of banging it with my fist but to no avail. Then the brand spankin’ new turntable played some records nicely but others sounded awful. We narrowed the problem down to records that had a lot of bass but why? Why only the bass-y records? I called the stereo store and asked them if they had any suggestions before I brought the thing back to them and they said that if the speaker is too close to the turntable it will pick up the vibrations, esp. if there is a lot of bass, and you will get feedback. Is my speaker near my turntable? Uh yeah, it’s sitting on top of the cabinet that houses it. So we moved the speaker and it still sounds like crap, a terrible farting sound coming out of the speaker closest to the turntable. I say move it farther. Jonny opens up the speaker panel to reveal the following problem:

See the big gap where the green rubbery stuff should be? That would explain the farting. I’m just hoping there isn’t some horrible stuff in there like asbestos or some other deadly substance that was banned 20 years ago. It was probably fine until I moved it then the big chunks of cracked rubber fell away. It’s time to say adios to my 30 year old speakers. I suppose I could look into fixing them but I decided that maybe it was time to treat myself to a nice new pair. I’ve never had a new, decent pair of speakers. When I was younger I promised myself someday and today is the day. It seems like a late Sunday afternoon trip to the stereo store is becoming a tradition around here.

Finally we have everything hooked up and it all works and there is no speaker farting and the sound is amazing. Neither of us can believe it. We didn’t get super fancy speakers but they’re not 30 years old with gaping holes in them so yeah they’re going to sound amazing. Jonny is like a kid at Christmas, pulling out record after record to hear what they’re really supposed to sound like. My new project is to listen to all my albums on the new speakers. Now if I could just get the freakin’ CD player to give me back my Doughboys CD.


  1. Hey cool, we're the same age. Except that I don't still have the same speakers I had in college ;-)

    I'm still wondering if I could go to an agility trial and not run my dogs. I think it might make me cry!

  2. Roxanne9:52 AM

    Since Lilly & I will likely never compete, I know all too well the total bummer it can be to volunteer at a trial ... except in my case it's questions like, "Aren't you guys running yet?"

    I'm glad to hear your foot has turned the corner. That's a big threshold. It'll only get better from here.

    Gotta love electronics. It's like a house of cards. Fix one thing, cause more drama. I'm going through that with my iPod & computer lately.

  3. Sadly those weren't my speakers in college but probably one of my aunt's. I found them lying around my grandparent's house and judging from the font on the instructions I'd say they're from the 70's or earlier. Jonny and I were both saying how grown up we felt finally owning new/non-hand me down speakers.

  4. I think I've commented before how speakers were one thing I bought when I first moved out on my own. In 1977. They still look great from the outside! Now you've got me scared that I don't want to take off the cover and look at the inside. I hardly ever play my stereo, though, and the speakers make nice plant stands.

    Sounds like your foot is coming along GREAT. I've discovered that using my knee keeps it better than just sitting. If I do too much of the latter, it disintegrates. Doing more & more hiking & walking is making it even better. Go figure, if its main problem post-surgery is supposed to be arthritis. Anyway, it must feel wonderful to discover that you can get around.