Monday, October 31

Plus I Dropped the Remote

I routinely wake up with something stiff and throbbing, and Sunday morning, as has become more the rule than the exception, it was my back and my right heel.

One of the by-products of last weekend's furniture rearranging frenzy was the elimination of the rear speakers. I'd been using a pair of Yamaha 8-inch two-way bookshelf speakers which were too large for the job, and the new arrangement reduced the separation between them and the couch to next to nothing. And I'm addicted to home theatre sound, something which came as a complete surprise to me. The solution (already anticipated before the furniture started moving) was to mount speakers on the back wall or the ceiling, which the Yamahas were too big for.

Okay, no big deal. I've got a half-dozen speakers floating around unused, including a pair of 8 x 4 jobs that'd work just fine. I quickly eliminated the idea of mounting shelves; just go find a couple of those speaker mounts that swivel, and check the prices of those teeny satellite speakers in case they're so cheap I can't pass them up.

Ha ha ha.

I wasn't going anywhere out of the way, just anywhere that wasn't WalMart. There's a Radio Shack just up the road. Twenty bucks for a single fucking speaker mount. Those were the cheap ones. They ran to about $50 for a model which apparently involved the handling of plutonium in the manufacturing process. And by the way, more expensive has nothing to do with how much weight the things support.

And that wasn't all. Radio Shack, at least the only one I was going to bother travelling to, doesn't sell speakers. Well, they do, provided you want to buy an entire fleet for a surround-sound system. Otherwise you're SOL.

Okay, no big deal, just a fuck-you to Radio Shack and a bop over to Best Buy where I don't hold out much hope for cheaper mounts but at least I can rummage through their speaker room and check prices. Get to the front door and find one of those faux-apologies for the inconvenience of the mess as they rearrange the store the better to serve me. A vital part of that service, it seems, required the elimination of the speaker room, although I could still stop nearby and permanently deafen myself in the car-speaker section. Stereo systems, including speakers, had moved en masse, along with the DVD players and such, to several aisles where you can't stand back far enough to hear what they sound like. The selection was reduced by a good 65%. Thanks for the inconvenience.

Well, this was really just a stop on my way to Target anyhow. Once again, nothing but speaker systems. I guess you're supposed to just toss all five if one goes bad. But this time I was offered an alternative to $20 single mount packages: the $35-for-five deal. At this point I was pondering whether any jury would convict me if I just shoplifted a couple.

I finally found a pair for twelve bucks at a second Target, got 'em home, dealt with the instructions which were originally written in English before being translated into Korean then back into English, found a replacement for a missing set screw, went up and down the ladder a couple dozen times, spliced the wires, didn't hear anything, fucked around with that for twenty minutes, got 'em to work and attached them to the ceiling. So far they're still up there.

This is all by way of explanation as to why I was sitting in front of the teevee in the middle of Sunday morning with my foot on an ice pack and the vibrating heating pad on my back, and watching Meet the Press when they announced that morning's panel: David Broder, David Brooks, Judy Woodruff and William Safir(e). Four Republicans, two of whom are dead. Results below.


Anonymous said...

My partner bought actual Ikea tables, a foot and a half deep by four feet long by three feet high, upon which to place two of the surround sound speakers. The speakers are about the size of a paperback book, and not, like, a good paperback or anything, we're talking strictly Clancy-IP- written-by-Chinese- novel-writing- sweatshop-labor, here.
One to a table. I don't remember how much the tables were, but at a guess more than twenty bucks each.

Me, I watch TV with the sound all the way off and the closed captioning on, but that's more a migraine thing than anything else. Theater-sound seems to be another way of saying "Hey, listen to all these cool explosions and Coke commercials; dialogue is boring anyway. And isn't it awesome how the floor shakes every time someone shoots someone?"
But I'm bitter.

Not so bitter I think I cursed your setup by mistake, though I suppose you never know. I hope your foot and back feel better, even if I didn't cause it with my irrational hatred of all things speaker-y.

Tell me, does the Revenant Of Bill Safir/e come across more hollow and shrouded, so to speak, with better quality sound?

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

The surround-sound thing is for music, mostly; things sounded pretty thin when there weren't any back speakers for a couple days. Since 90% of the movies I watch are all talk, all the sound comes out of the center speaker anyway, so I just listen through the teevee. I do crank it up when my wife watches one of her sci-fi/horror faves, but that's mostly just a continuation of the Two Old Married People Annoying Each Other game.

Anonymous said...

as for watching meet the press ...

why the fuck do you watch that shit?

i have a suggestion to better spend your time:

listen to some of your recordings.
or watch some of your movies.

Brando said...

doghouse, I know the disease, I think it's an electronic variation of Dire Straits's "Industrial Disease." I moved into a wonderful house last year, and yet despite the experience has been dulled somewhat because the living room setup required me to put my rear surrounds on end tables right near the back couch, way too close to my ears. Now I'm about to get a new pair of bookcases, and I'm not nearly as excited about putting books into them as I am about positioning those fucking speakers in a more ideal spot so the arrows in "Gladiator" woosh more realistically.

I need a support group.

Nice blog, BTW, and I liked your post on Alito.