The telephones are still sitting on my living room floor. Don’t worry, mom, they’re staying in Chicago, just like you hope. As I’ve been looking through various instructions of things to do with them, I’ve been analyzing my ability to actually do the electronic work that is required. I took “electronics” class in high school, but my soldering skill is still… At the amateur level.

I really don’t want them to come to nought. Many projects like that do– including this diesel-punk headphone mod. The parts are all sitting in my bedroom, but instead of finishing it, I just bought a pair of Koss Porta-Pros. They sound great, if you’re wondering. In fact, some say they’re just about the best headphones you can get for under $100. 

So really, I’m a little disheartened by my lack of progress on this sort of thing. As much as I’d like to create, my ordinary banal life often gets in the way. But I was heartened to read this article on Wired (yes, I’ve been reading a lot of Wired. I’m probably going to take out a subscription):

“Why am I so inept? I used to do projects like this all the time when I was a kid. But in high school, I was carefully diverted from shop class when the administration decided I was college-bound. I stopped working with my hands and have barely touched a tool since.

As it turns out, this isn’t a problem just for me — it’s a problem for America. We’ve lost our Everyman ability to build, maintain, and repair the devices we rely on every day. And that’s making it harder to solve the country’s nastiest problems, like oil dependence, climate change, and global competitiveness.”

The author, Clive Thompson, goes on to explain that he gets better, and hopes that the rest of America does as well. The full article is here.

I’m keeping the post rather short tonight, as I have to get downtown to learn about web-design by 10:30 tomorrow morning. That’s precious few hours away. So here’s the music.

I don’t usually like the electronica-tuned mash-ups that I find. This first track is an exception, however.

Taking things a bit slower is this second track. Once you get past the opening, it really gets good.

Why not have Aaliyah again, right? Here she is, wrapping it up with this final track, for a third time.


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