Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Banishing A Constant Source Of Annoyance

I work alone 99 percent of the time.

I am not a solitary man by nature. There is an adjective made from my name that means sociable, after all. But the world does not make the best use of much of anything anymore.

I rarely wear safety glasses while working. They are superfluous most of the time. But the noise; oh, how I’m tired of noise. Everything makes noise. Unpleasant, loud noises. There is a hook next to the saw with big ear muffs on it and I reach for them constantly. I would not willingly insert more noise into the admixture. But I wouldn’t mind some music. That’s not so easy.

A woodworking shop will eat most any electronic device alive. Table radios sturdy and disposable enough to last can’t cadge anything out of the ether worth listening to. I refuse to listen to most radio stations anyway. I ask you (to no one in particular):does anyone really ever have to hear Margaritaville, or Wonderful Tonight, or Old Time Rock n’ Roll, or any one of a million other organized noises that grew tiresome when they were halfway over the first time, ever again? I know I don’t. And to have it mixed in with the truckling of radio hosts and importuning of car salesman every ten minutes pushes the effect over into hurling heavy objects territory.

I can’t pay attention to it, either. If it requires reloading or any other attention, it’s no good. And injecting noise directly into your ears is insane if you’re sitting on a hard plastic seat on a subway. Having an apparatus on your belt with a dangling wire with corks banged into your ears where real work is done is way, way past insane.

There was a blessed interregnum with the last tabletop POS, when I played CDs in it for an hour or so at a time, until the shellac and sawdust in the ether did its slow work on its guts. My wife couldn’t understand how I could leave the same disc in there for a month at a time. I’d press the button and if it worked, I didn’t dare change it, and kept pressing the button to pass a happy hour in peace. Changing the disc might consign you again to the prison of the machine noise alone. I never got tired of the disc, at any rate, because I’d never hear more than five minutes out of five hundred with all the other things drowning it out. Who gets tired of Mozart, anyway?

It died utterly a while back, and I worked alone in the silence and the noise and the cold  for a spell. It got me to thinking, which is never desirable.

I blew forty bucks on a solid state hard drive with a little screen on it. It has not fruit on it. The fruit is for people with more money than sense. I took a cable left over from who knows what and stuck it in the stereo jack where a lunatic plugs in their earbuds, and put the other end into a set of computer speakers of the type you accrete by buying desktops every decade and wondering what you’ll do with another set. They are worthless, and so are precious to me because I don’t have to worry about them.

And I will have my goddamn Mascagni today while I hit my thumb, and that’s that.

7 Responses

  1. Nothing wrong at all with listening to the same piece over and over; real music creates a space wherein there is nothing of the random, and creative work benefits thereby.

    Headphones filled with Bach cantatas made it possible for me to be an assembler programmer for a couple of years, FWIW – and simultaneously internalized a number of bass arias, effortlessly.

  2. Ah yes – over and over again. Never could tire of it. I was fortunate to find a 50 disc changer before they became obsolete and it has held up – I'm not a woodworker however – but my thought was that if I was on my death bed I could load it up and listen without having to get up to change things and enjoy whatever I wanted for the duration of my death watch (I know I'm more than a bit macabre but nursing is a profession that brings that out in me). Even now I enjoy pressing shuffle all and finding new gems daily. I'm happy you found a solution for your noise problem. Your choices of music are the glory of life, are they not? Take care.

  3. Who gets tired of Mascagni? I could listen to this piece over and over, all day long….and I probably will, now, thanks, Mr. Sippican.

  4. Lovely – – – I often wonder which is better, Mascagni or that fine bottle of red from Tuscany.
    I think there is no difference . Both to be enjoyed , preferably together.

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