“Some sounds are so exquisite – far more exquisite than anything seen. Daff’s purr there on my rug, for instance – and the snap and crackle of the fire – and the squeaks and scrambles of mice that are having a jamboree behind the wainscot.”

Such a beautiful day it is today. We have sun, a breeze and some white clouds hiding the blue. Rain is predicted, but I can’t remember when.

I have a mystery. Every day at different times I find the corner of the living room rug turned up. Nothing is on or under the rug so I don’t understand why, and I certainly don’t know who, but Gracie is tops on my list of suspects. I’m thinking it’s a Gaslight thing.

Today I have little to say. The week was a busy one but it was mostly because of medical appointments for me and Fern. Nothing much to report except Fern needs more potassium. It’s coming in the mail.

Lawnmowers are disturbing the quiet of my neighborhood. Even my lawn is getting mowed though it hardly seemed tall enough to merit the cutting. I understand the attraction of gas powered mowers, but I miss the click clack of hand mowers, another sound from my childhood which has disappeared.

Snow on the TV is long gone. I remember my father adjusting the rabbit ears to get rid of the static sound of the snow. The ears were wrapped in aluminum foil to give the antenna greater reach. Lots of houses had antennas on the roof.

I remember when I was in Morocco and sitting at a table on the top floor of a restaurant in the old city. It seemed every house had a dish attached to its roof or to the side of the roof. Even the calls to prayer were computerized. I remember being in Bawku, Ghana living with a family for three weeks as part of my Peace Corps training. My room was close to the small mosque on the street below my bedroom so I could hear the call to prayer. The one around 3:30 always woke me up, but after a bit, I knew when it would end so I could go back to sleep. The call became part of my night. The singing of the prayer was beautiful.

I am not a Luddite. I have all sorts of machines, mostly in the kitchen, which make my life easier; however, I am saddened at the disappearance of so many things and so many sounds. The click clack always brought my father to mind. He never bought a power mower. I miss the bells on Sunday mornings. I miss the clinking of milk bottles, and I miss the milkman. I could go on and on. It is just one of those days. It all started with the sound of lawnmowers.

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14 Comments on ““Some sounds are so exquisite – far more exquisite than anything seen. Daff’s purr there on my rug, for instance – and the snap and crackle of the fire – and the squeaks and scrambles of mice that are having a jamboree behind the wainscot.””

  1. Richard Says:

    “Blue skies / Smilin’ at me / Nothin’ but blue skies / Do I see” … yeah, you write. No rain ’til mid-week. Sad is me.

    Use the Mystery of the Carpet as a moneymaker. Give tours. Write a thriller. Sell the rights to Hollywood. But yeah, it could just be ‘gaslighting’ at work.

    My medical stuff starts Monday with the Ever-so-popular MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). I remember when it used to be ‘NMR’ (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), and had to be changed because the Ignoranti were scared of the word ‘nuclear.’ It’s no better when ‘nuclear’ is associated with irradiation of food to kill bacteria. Ignorance rules our world.

    My radio has snow. No matter how I position the antenna, the static stays and the signal’s obscured. I get around that by listening to radio via iTunes.

    I join with you in the missing of sounds familiar since childhood. The whir of the hand mixer is is one. The quiet chop-chop-chop of vegetables being prepped on a wood block is another. I once wrote a story about the ‘clink-clink’ of the glass milk bottles. Those, too, are in the Ashbin of History. Our milkman’s last name – quite serious about this – was ‘Penis.’ His first name was Benjamin, and he went by ‘Ben.’ He pronounced his last name as ‘PENN-iss’ … I’d have gone to court to have it legally changed. Imagine his name inserted into the lyrics of the ‘Davy Crockett’ TV theme song … ‘Penis / Ol’ Ben Penis / Milk from the Wild Frontier’ …

    Okay. Enough levity and jocularity. Time for Serious Bid’ness – by which I mean music. Since the sun’s out and the Titty Garden’s in bloom by the pool, here’s a bit o’ the old ‘island’-type music to create mental imagery appropriate to the surroundings. Our Guest Artist today is Kohala, and they have chosen to perform their ever-so-relaxing tune titled ‘Always Be With You’ … and now, to begin …

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      It’s cloudy and feeling a bit damp now but no rain. Now they’re saying tomorrow.

      The rug was curled just a bit today so the mystery continues. I swear it has to be the dog.

      They ask what music you’d like to hear. It’s a damn silly question as you can’t hear it over the sound of the MRI. I just close my eyes and hope it goes fast. I suspect it is like you’d feel if cryonically frozen.

      I hear a bit of snow when my car radio is scanning for a station. If I’m on the road, I let it scan until it finds something I want to hear.

      I’d have thought that one of his forebears would have changed it. He had a special way of pronouncing it, but the rest of us wouldn’t say it his way. School must have been awful.

      The song is lovely and relaxing.

      • Richard Says:

        I already asked about the music and they have the Allman Brothers available, so I’ll ask ’em to plug that in … maybe somethin’ like ‘One Way Out’ …

    • Bob Says:

      Nuclear shouldn’t bother you because the dose is very low and you won’t glow in the dark. Just don’t try to cross into the U.S. One of our instructors in Toronto had a nuclear stress test. The next day he and his wife decided to drive to Buffalo NY to go shopping. When they drove into the U.S. Customs lane the border agent asked him if he had any medical procedures in the last couple of days. He forgot and answered no. They were going to tear his car apart because they had detected nuclear material in the car. After remembering about the nuclear stress test resulting in a call to his physician by the border agent and he was free to enter the U.S. Without them tearing up his car. Because of his incident I feel much more secure.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had a rather pleasant day here, mostly cloudy but the sun broke through every now and again and it was fairly warm too. It just started to drizzle some, something they hadn’t predicted though.

    Over here it is robot mowers which doesn’t make a sound that has taken over. I would like one but they are a bit expensive and mine would just get stuck in one of the holes Nova and Sune have dug to get dandelion roots, their favorite snack 🙂

    We are a few that have electric mowers though, with cords. Works pretty good as long as one remembers to mow away from the cord 🙂

    Everyone had an antenna outside their apartments where I grew up, some had two because when we got our second channel they rather bought en extra than an antenna which could take both channels 🙂 Digital tv’s don’t get snow, they just freeze and that is almost more annoying to be honest 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The clouds have moved in, and the sky is grey. The rain never materialized but will tomorrow. I don’t know how much.

      My landscaper, my neighbor, has a variety of mowers but none are robot mowers. He doesn’t use an electric mower. One of my friends bought one, and the first time he used it, he went over the cord and severed it.

      My cable doesn’t freeze. My complaint is despite the number of stations, I sometimes can find nothing worth watching. Right now on BBC I’m watching Star Trek TNG. It is a first season show, and so much is different from its later evolution.

      Enjoy your day tomorrow

  3. Bob Says:

    Many sounds have disappeared never to return. The clicking of a rotary telephone dial, the clacking of a manual typewriter or the whistle of a steam locomotive. Modern diesel locomotive horns just don’t cut it for romantic movie sound tracks. One of our instructors told me that a young pilot in his class asked him what the checklist ment when it required pulling a ‘T’ handle and turning it 1/4 turn clockwise. He didn’t understand the word clockwise.

    TV in the late 1940s and early 1950s was only on during the evening hours and only available in big cities. I remember as a young child in NYC staring at the test pattern while waiting for five o’clock when the Howdy Doody show began the evening TV schedule. There were only three stations, NBC, CBS and Mutual.

    We were one of the first families in our apartment building to have a TV and the neighbors gathered in our living room on Tuesday nights to watch Uncle Milty. The TV set was huge compared to the 10 inch grainy black and white scree. When you turned the TV off the image contracted to a little white dot at the center of the screen which eventually disappeared. The inside was packed with vacuum tubes that burned out periodically. Almost every drug store had a tube tester with a supply of replacement tubes inside the cabinet. Believe it or not, high end stereo amplifiers still have vacuum tubes. The only country that still makes them is Russia. Real audiophiles say the sound is warmer than amplifiers that have solid state components. I can’t hear any difference in the sound.

    A beautiful warm day with scattered clouds and temperature in the mid 80s.

    • Richard Says:

      Yeah, good times … maybe it’s a good thing the instructor didn’t mention ‘anti-clockwise’ … sounds like some of the stories my brother told me from his 20 years in the AF …

      • Bob Says:

        Digital clocks don’t go clockwise nor counter clockwise. A 25 year old person might also not understand what winding a watch means. They may have never seen an escarpment watch movement.

        Pilot’s used to carry an aviation circular slide rule to help them with navigation and wind correction problems. They were called an E6B and were developed during WWII. Today’s pilots have never heard of any kind of slide rule. Now there’s an App for solving navigation problems and onboard GPS for navigation with moving maps. Obviously, the FAA still requires all aircraft, including the B787, to have an old fashion whiskey compass in the cockpit. It works if everything else fails.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I know digital clocks are just there, a number without any numbers around it. My first watch was a Cinderella watch. I remember learning how to tell time.

        I found the slide rule information really interesting.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I do miss all those sounds. I liked the rotary phone sound and liked watching it circle. My sister and I were talking about how kids can’t tell time. The watches are digital and they do all the work. It isn’t quarter past hour any more. It is 5:15 now.

      I remember best the Indian test pattern, and I remember watching The Mickey Mouse Club in the late afternoon. A couple of times when I was ten or so I made it to the end of the television for the night.

      https://archive.org/details/HighFlight_577

      I remember watching the white dot disappear. I also remember my father taking out the tubes and going to the TV repair shop to figure out which was bad.

      Sorry, mid 80’s isn’t my cup of tea!

  4. sprite Says:

    At my last job, I worked at a college in the building (not the chapel, interestingly) that housed the university bells. My office was just below the bell-loft where students and a faculty member would come up and (vigorously) ring out songs, via foot pedals. I can never hear church bells now without wondering if someone is stomping out the melody somewhere.

    As one of my parting gifts from that job, my colleagues presented me with a cd of music from the school bells. I should figure out where it is and play it again.

    • katry Says:

      sprite,
      Our church would ring the bells on Sundays when I was a kid. I don’t know if they still do. I’ll have to ask my sister as she still lives in the same town where I mostly grew up.

      I remember reading The Nine Taylors by Dorothy Sayers. It was a mystery centered around the traditional ringing of the bells.


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