Friday, April 29, 2016

Day 2327

I enjoyed breakfast this morning. I returned to the hipster cafe and for a moment it felt like I was back in Seattle. It was a dark rainy morning and the place was filled with young people in plaid shirts sitting silently nursing their coffee while some slide guitar blues played on the sound system. Forty years ago I used to eat breakfast in the original Starbucks at First and Pike before I went to work at a downtown ad agency and the ambience felt the same. Everything old is new again I guess.

Occasionally, I really miss Seattle.  This is where I made the transition from architecture to advertising. Young architects don't make much money and when I realized I could double my salary almost overnight by becoming an advertising copywriter, I never looked back. It was surprisingly easy to get a job. Nobody majored in advertising in college back then. I once had an art director partner who used to be a Navy fighter pilot. One of my supervisors used to be a wrestling coach. Everyone was an extremely good bullshitter. I didn't have much of a portfolio at the beginning. I just told them I was an architect and I was in. Good times. It was just like that Mad Men show on TV.

Seattle was where I discovered music. I started writing jingle lyrics at the ad agency and decided I wanted to become a songwriter. I met a lot of musicians and had a great time, but never became the next Bernie Taupin. I did gradually start acquiring gear like I saw at the studios where we recorded the jingles however. Some of the gear, like the vintage multi-track recorder that just came back from the repair shop, still exists. I spent quite a bit of time on Google this morning searching for a PDF copy of the instruction manual for this recorder. When it returned from the shop, I realized that I no longer remembered how to use the machine. I've been using Pro Tools for so long now that using an actual analog tape recorder seems a bit like alien technology. After quite a bit of searching, I found a copy of the manual and downloaded it. Wow. This was a complicated machine. I must have been a lot smarter in my twenties and thirties.

Since it seemed a bit ambitious to re-learn audio engineering before lunch, I moved on to something much simpler. I installed the new cartridges in the big production printer and began the cleaning routine to unclog the lines. The printer works again. The tape recorder works again. I'm not sure that I'm running on all cylinders though. I find it harder and harder to begin anything that is remotely arduous or ambitious. I hope I don't become like my Dad. He was an excellent wood carver and continued to buy carving tools almost until the day he died. Somewhere along the line he got Parkinson's Disease and could no longer use the tools. They just sat there and accumulated dust in their original boxes. I don't want my gear to wind up that way. It needs to be used.

There were more tornado warnings today, but the really bad weather stayed to the West of us as it traveled rapidly to the Northeast. We got enough rain to scare Dash, but not enough to wake up Dot. Since she is almost deaf now, she slept peacefully through the storm. I'm glad I figured out my air conditioning problem yesterday, because it would have been hard to get a technician to come to the houes today. I canceled the emergency service call and rescheduled a regular Spring system checkup for early next month.

It's hard to believe that April is almost over. Summer will be here before you know it. I need to learn to appreciate the rain because it isn't going to last. In just a few months from now, I'll be begging for rain.

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