New Shoes in the Rain

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Can you hear me now?

Greetings to everyone.  More strange weather here in central Kentucky, featuring massive temperature swings, all manner of precipitation and forceful winds.  I won't say it's unusual for February, as there's hardly any weather pattern that's actually "usual" any longer.

Had a recent oddity with our home telephone.  And, yes, before you gasp further, we DO still have a landline at our house.  I think I've mentioned here that it's easier to keep it as is for now, but as time passes, we have fewer and fewer compelling arguments for it to remain in service.

Anyway, Thursday I noticed that the phone would ring, and on the other end would be what sounded like a call that I had dialed attempting to connect.  A lot of static and interference, but the unmistakable sound of a phone ringing was present.  If you hung up, you'd get a callback almost instantly.

For some reason it stopped at the close of the business day on Thursday, so my wife and I wondered if it was a fax machine erroneously attempting a connection with our number.  Wouldn't have been the first time, of course.  It started again on Friday but halted after 6:00 PM as it had the day before.  But on Saturday, it started and continued right on, so we unplugged our phone.  Naturally, my mother-in-law attempted to call, and when she didn't get an answer called our son with understandable concern.

By Sunday morning, the line had only a hum to it, and connection of a different phone and phone line changed nothing.  The problem was outside of the house, so I contacted our local phone provider, which has been a problem historically.  But to my astonishment, they had a technician on scene and had it repaired by 10:30 yesterday morning.  Said something about lines being crossed and a "bad pair."  All I know is that it's working now.

The title of today's visit holds true for Sunday night's Grammy awards, as we watched some of it.  Between Adele losing her place to the Lady Gaga/Metallica performance being marred by a nonfunctioning microphone to generally bad sound mix, it was disappointing.  Biggest night for the music industry and it overall didn't sound good.

I did learn, though, that Kentucky native and rising country star Sturgill Simpson has some chops.  I'm listening to his Grammy-award winning album "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" on Spotify right now.  Baritone voice, witty and thoughtful lyrics, a sound more bluesy and Americana than traditional country, and the guy doesn't feel the need to wear a cowboy hat.

I also was reminded of how good Adele is, despite the hiccup in her George Michael tribute, and how good Bruno Mars is, in his Prince tribute.  And was surprised to see the Best New Artist, Chance the Rapper, does not even have a deal with a record label, as he relies totally on his own team and streaming services to spread the word.

I won't add any specific comments about what's happening in Washington right now, except to say that the Senate continues to astound me that they're blithely confirming the people who were nominated for various cabinet posts despite how inappropriate so many of the choices have been, for the offices they aspired to or any other.  And I see this morning that the Trump administration is looking for a new National Security Advisor, one who hopefully isn't quite so chummy with the Kremlin.

A satirist recently said that this current scene in Washington stands to put him out of work, that what's happening is already so absurd in so many ways that he can't top it.  And that's saying something.

Time to go to work.


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