Speaker Surgery

I’ve got some ancient Radio Shack bookshelf speakers in my office.  These things are at least 30 years old. They sound horrid but until today they were indestructible.  But today, the woofer in one stopped.  No bad noises or anything, just all the sudden nothing except tweet in one channel.

So I pulled the grill off to find the suspension missing.  Whatever crap they make the foam surround out of, it had totally rotted out.  The only thing holding the cone in place was the spider.  Kind of gives a whole new meaning to “air suspension”.

I replaced it with a not so great woofer that I used to have in a tower speaker.  It doesn’t have an adequate magnet, won’t handle a lot of power, but still it’s a step up from what was there, still has it’s suspension intact and still works.  So now bass in one channel digs down to, oh, about 80 Hz.

I was going to replace the other while I was at it, since I have two of these and know the suspension on the other has to be in the same condition, but the little cap that covers the voice coil fell off the other spare so I’m gluing it back in place before I replace it.

Fight Club, Life

Rented and re-watched Fight Club.

I think the most salient moment in the film is the scene where Tyler Durben holds the convenience store clerk, Raymond K. Hessle, at gun point and then after he lets him go he says,  “Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessle’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever had.”

We are on this planet for a relatively brief time and the awareness of that makes the time much more precious than it otherwise would be.

And on that note; I find myself questioning a lot of things lately.  I have half of my family and have alienated the other half.  I miss the other half.  I’ve learned some really hard lessons but I don’t understand why it had to be so difficult, the lessons were costly.

I’m not happy with the way things are going with Eskimo.  I had hoped that once I resolves the service issues, it would take off in a big way, instead it’s just drifted sideways.  It’s stemmed the bleeding and income now covers costs but it’s not generating enough income for me to continue doing this full-time indefinitely, which would be my preference.

The world is changing and I feel like I don’t fit anymore.  I’m not quite 55, and yet it feels like things have changed so much I can hardly stand it.  The Orwellian world described in 1984 is here, the surprising thing is nobody seems to care.

Part of what is messed up is my fault, the time I spent in prison, the alienation of part of my family, and the loss of customers that resulted, but there is also a lot that has changed that isn’t my fault, the rabid commercialism and consumerism that has taken over, the lack of craftsmanship, and the fact that people don’t even seem to care, those things aren’t my fault, and I have a feeling I’d be feeling out of place regardless.

I recently stumbled across this television series on NetFlix called the 4400.  The premise of the show is that people were abducted individually over a about half a century and then returned all at once.  When they were returned, they all had no memory of the time they were in alien custody, hadn’t aged at all, but found themselves out of time, things had changed while they were gone.  It is a feeling I can identify with very much.

My oldest Son turns 30 this year, I turn 55, where has the time gone?  Honestly, I never believed I would live this long, and now that I have I feel like all bets are off.

I like to believe that God isn’t arbitrary.  If he drags us through the muck, there is some reason for it.

Those of you who believe in God, if you would be willing to pray for me, I would ask that you pray for my family to be whole again, for my children that I’ve hurt directly or indirectly to be safe, recover, and thrive, and for God to create in me a clean heart.


Had a dream where several friends over, two of whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of decades, one of whom went on to become a movie producer and doesn’t spend much time here now and I imagine also in a totally different class these days, the other his wife, and a third whom I do see frequently.

This person had produced a video animation and was showing it to us.  We were the first to see it.

My television is still an old school rear projector thing, big thick case, so from the side you can’t see the screen.  I was off to the side when the video started, it sounded like sex sounds, and his wife who just came out of the bathroom and wasn’t in view of the screen yet thought the same thing but I got around to the front where I could see it and actually it was a very cutesy and very clever animation, nothing sexual at all, and I felt kind of embarrassed for thinking what I had thought.

His wife was still not in view of the screen and didn’t want to be, and I’m like, ‘no no no you want to see this, it isn’t what you think (how did I know what she thought).

It does make me wonder what they’re up to these days.  I haven’t heard from either of them in literally decades.

Microsoft buys Nokia

Maybe it’s just me but I can’t see how Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia can possibly portend anything good.

Microsoft was the first company to get in bed with the NSA and join the PRISM program contributing data about their customers to the NSA.

Now, do you want to be carrying around a device with a built-in GPS, microphone, and camera, manufactured by the first company to give your information to the NSA?  Not me!

Smart phones should be carrier and operating system independent.  Just like you can take your desktop PC, load Windows, Linux, or a variety of other lesser known operating systems on it, and then connect to the Internet with Comcast, CenturyLink, or a variety of lesser known companies, you ought to be able to do the same with smart phones, and it ought to be possible to choose and operating system and carrier that doesn’t spy on you.

Of Conflicts and Lies…

In my view, there are several fundamental conflicts that underlie the human condition.

  1. There is the conflict of the individual verses the group.
  2. There is a conflict between the biological needs of men and women.
  3. There is a conflict between the physical and spiritual realm.

Nobody wants to be honest about these conflicts which makes reaching reasonable compromises impossible.  That leaves us with little option for resolution.

The story of Adam and Eve and original sin and getting kicked out of the garden of Eden and having to till the Earth I believe was a metaphor for the beginnings of agriculture which took humans from very tiny groups that lived by hunting and foraging and had little time for anything else, to the beginning of civilization where the production of food was efficient enough that there was time for other things.

The beginning of agriculture created a situation where functioning more on a group level and less on an individual level lead to great efficiencies in food production, distribution, and allowed the production and distribution of other goods and services.

Before, the only thing that was important to an individual was his or her own survival, after agriculture, the survival of individuals strongly depended upon the survival of the group of which they were a member and anything that disrupted that groups survival was sin.

Humans are unique among species in the length of time it takes for our young to become independently viable.  Our brains develop much slower than any other species and it is that slow development that allows our brains to be shaped by our environment to a much greater degree and that had lead to our success as a species.

That slow development also means it is much more important to our survival for both parents to be involved in our upbringing.  As infants and children, we are much more dependent upon our parents than are the offspring of other species.

Men produce million of sperm each day. When men mate, their reproductive machinery isn’t tied up. They can mate with someone else and produce another offspring the next day.  Women produce an egg a month. If they mate, their reproductive machinery is tied up for at least nine months.  Given this, it is biologically more important to them that an individual offspring survives than it is to men.  The choices of a mate with genetics that favor survival of their offspring more important.  This creates a biological conflict between the sexes.

The physical realm exists within time and the spiritual realm exists outside of time.  In time, in the physical realm, entropy exists.  Over time things deteriorate and become less organized, and that includes humans.  You look at any young person, you see smooth skin and sharply defined features.  As we age, our skin becomes less smooth, or features less well defined.  Our DNA deteriorates and the efficiency of all of our cells declines, eventually to the point where life can no longer be supported.

In the spiritual realm, time doesn’t flow, it just exists, as another dimension. In that realm everything exists. Living things don’t die or reproduce.  There is a conflict between our physical self and our physical mortality and our physical need and desire to reproduce and our immortal spiritual selves which has no such need or desire.

All of these conflicts exist and nobody wants to acknowledge them.  Spiritually focused want to believe that everything just blinked into existence and deny the physical reality and our physical evolution through time.  Physically focused people want to deny our spiritual existence and can not or will not try to look at our world from a perspective outside of time.  And there is little compromise between these groups.

We all tell each other and often ourselves lies, refuse to acknowledge that these conflicts exist, let alone try to come to any sort of reasonable compromise.

It would be healthy for us to explore these conflicts, to have a dialogue, and where possible to reach some reasonable compromises.  It would help us understand each other.  It would help us live more securely, peacefully, with less stress and anger in our lives.