Life on the cutting edge of technology

I’m struggling to deal with some new technology and for that, I blame my wife.

On Valentine’s Day, my wife surprised me with the gift of a new music playing device and some five days later I’m still trying to figure out all of the subtle nuances that come with it.

Last March, when the pandemic first caused my wife, our then 22-year-old daughter Emma and myself to hunker down here at home, the three of us began a daily tradition.

Each day, sometime after 5 p.m. after we finished walking our dog Caicos, we spent about an hour sitting on our three-season porch, sipping wine, reading, and listening to music.

That wine hour was one of the few positive things we took away from the pandemic.

Now, almost a year later, my wife and I still maintain that wine hour although now the hour doesn’t begin until after 6 p.m.

When the weather got colder, the wine-sipping and reading moved inside to our living room but since we don’t have a music device in the room, we dropped the music part of the wine hour.

My wife thought reading and wine sipping without music was some sort of crime which is why she gave me the new music playing device.

The device has a round surface that, when activated, turns around in a circle at one of two different speeds. From what I’ve been able to find out the round surface is something called a turntable which I guess sort of makes sense.

What you do is place a round disc called a “record” onto the turntable. Then you-and I swear this is true-place a special rod-like thing equipped with-and again, I swear this is true-a needle onto the record spinning on the turntable and somehow music comes out of two square boxes on either side of the turntable.


Because I’m a moron, it took me almost an hour to set up my new music playing device but once I got it up and running, I was able to place one of the records my wife purchased for me onto the turntable, place the needle onto the spinning record and listen to the music coming out of the square boxes.

It was magical.

It was like listening to music coming out of my phone but way more advanced. For once in my life, I was on the cutting edge of technology.

Until I ran into a snag.

There I was happily sipping wine, reading a Max Allan Collins “Nate Heller” mystery I downloaded onto my Kindle and listening to a Frank Sinatra record when, all of a sudden, the music stopped.

I put down my wine and Kindle and walked over to the turntable. At first, I couldn’t spot the problem. The record was still spinning and the needle was still on the record but there was no music coming out of the square boxes.

I was stumped.

Then it occurred to me that there might be something on the other side of the record.

So, I stopped the turntable, picked the record up, turned it over, placed it back on the turntable, turned it back on so it started spinning again, put the needle back on the record and-just like that-more music came out of the square boxes.

I know it’s just a quick fix and that, at some point, I will probably have to figure out another way to deal with the problem, but for now, I will listen to music until it stops playing, then I will turn the record over and listen until it stops playing again. When that happens, I will take the record off the turntable, replace it with another one and repeat the whole process.

I will do this until our wine hour is over.

It’s tough, but you know what they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough put down their wine and Kindle and turn the record over.”

I think they say that.

In case you’re wondering (And for the life of me I can’t imagine why you would be) in addition to some Frank Sinatra records my wife gave me some Tony Bennet and Jimmy Buffett records.

I am a man of varied tastes.

From what I understand, now, instead of going through the cumbersome process of downloading music onto my phone all I have to do is go to something called a “record store” and buy a record or, order one online and wait a day or two until the record comes in the mail.

Frankly, it’s getting hard for us to remember what we did for music before we got a new turntable.

Now, if you will excuse me, the Jimmy Buffett music I was listening to has stopped. I think it’s time to turn the record over.

See? That’s what it’s like to be on the cutting edge of technology.

picture of the future of music listening devices (hint it's a turntable)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the future of music listening devices.