Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 2125

Dash woke up limping this morning. I don't know what happened during the night, but he is definitely having more trouble with his leg than he was yesterday. Maybe he landed hard when he jumped off the bed this morning. Maybe his knee went out of joint while he was sleeping. I'll never know. I've discovered that a lot of weird things happen to the dogs while we're asleep. So now we have two dogs with a total of six good legs between them. This is going to make life difficult. I suspect the only thing worse than having one lame Dalmatian is having two lame Dalmatians.

Dash makes things worse by being so stubborn. He won't poop in the yard, so I have to walk him really slow to his regular place in the park. He'd be just fine if he understood the concept of walking slow, but he'd rather hop on three legs really fast. I still hope he doesn't need surgery, but I suspect that there will be a visit to an orthopedic specialist next week.

I happened to turn on one of my old multi-track tape recorders this afternoon and discovered that the transport mechanism was broken. Damn! I suspect that the rubber belts and capstan wheels have gone bad, but I'd have to completely disassemble the complex recorder to know for sure. Since the rubber belts were suspect, I turned on an equally old mastering deck and it didn't work either. I did a quick Google search for old analog tape machines with the same problem I was experiencing and discovered dozens of people around the world with the same dilemma. In almost every case, their rubber tape transport belts had become brittle, gummy, or simply disintegrated. It was a sad story on Google. Replacement parts were hard to find and in many cases were just as old and brittle as the belts that needed replacing. Oh, all the repair shops that worked on these old analog tapes machines had gone out of business too. I'm fucked.

It's a familiar story. Sometimes it's an old camera. Other times it's a piece of electronic equipment, or even an old car. Rubber is always the enemy. Rubber hoses become brittle and break in old cars. Rubber light seals deteriorate in old film cameras. Rubber drive belts always break or disintegrate in old video and audio recorders. I spent a ton of money replacing all the rubber transport belts in my Beta SP camera and then I had to reluctantly conclude that the equipment was obsolete anyway. Will I go to an extraordinary amount of trouble to preserve a piece of equipment that saw its best days in the mid 1980's? Or will I just walk away? I think you know the answer.

Old dogs. Old tape machines. Old memories. I do my best to keep them alive. It's just the way I'm wired. Maybe walking away is better, but I don't see the point. I like my world to be comfortable and familiar. I wrote and recorded many, many songs using my old 4-track studio. Who cares if I can now buy a much more advanced 48-track recorder for half the price. The old equipment served me well and it was all I ever needed.

I watched a new episode of Dr. Who tonight. Maybe the reason I like this show so much is that it is old and familiar as well. The show has been on the air for more than 50 years. The special effects are better now, but the Daleks and the Cybermen are basically just the same as they've always been. Tonight's show attempted to explain the Bootstrap Paradox where a future event is the cause of an earlier event that happens in the past. The past event then becomes the cause of the future event, which is the past event's cause. Cause and effect become so hopelessly tangled that nobody can determine what caused the event to happen in the first place. It was too complicated for me to wrap my head around, but it was still a good episode.

Dash is sleeping now. He's a bit of a paradox as well. He needs to walk to keep his muscles strong, but when he walks, he limps, causing his muscles to get weak. Do I rest him or keep him walking slowly? It's confusing.

Neo is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day