I tend to be somewhat of a non-conformist. I like to buck most current trends. Play to the beat of my own drum. Zig when everyone else zags. As such, I SWORE to myself I would not write about Covid 19, aka, Coronavirus. Yet here I am doing exactly that.
By the time this article publishes, I hope this insidious virus is well past us all, a bitter memory of what can happen to society. My feeling is that if our country and the world remains for much longer in some sort of lockdown and “social distancing,” someone better invent a slew of new and entertaining things to do to occupy our collective time. Not to mention finding money to pay bills because the job suddenly closed.
Money aside, it has become difficult finding ways to entertain one’s self for weeks on end of hardly leaving the house. I mean, I can only watch movies, derived from any source anyone can name, for only so long. I find far too often I am pressing pause on the remote so I can go scrounge around in the kitchen to see if there is a sliver of a chance I missed some delectable goodie I didn’t see when I was doing the same thing five minutes earlier. My neighbor told me he now has pants that are getting tight due to the eating / boredom syndrome that inevitably comes as a result of being cooped up inside while medical science fights something none of us can even see.
More than one of my neighbors have said to me “at least you have your stereo system.” And it suddenly dawned on me my audio system is yet another way to be a non-conformist – and help occupy my time while waiting out the twenty first century variant of the Black Death.
Charlotte is in Mecklenburg county in NC. Our county leaders recently issued a stay at home order. The county order was immediately followed by a likewise statewide order. Everyone was encouraged to remain at home. Of course, I’m not spelling out some disaster no one else has experienced. Shoot, a huge segment of the country’s population is on a lockdown, many for much longer than North Carolina, and myself, have been. I am certainly not the exception to the rule in that regard. While certain necessities are allowed, like banks, grocery and drug stores, such activities pass far too quickly. As far as the grocery store is concerned, there’s not much to buy once you get there. My fave little store has looked more like Communist Russia in the 1970’s rather than the merchandise spilling over the shelves version it did only a few months back.
I’ve been playing what I have come to call the toilet paper game. I pick a different store every few days, arrive when it opens, and hope they will have toilet paper. If so, buy some. If not, try again very soon somewhere different. Necessity is, after all, the Mother of invention and my necessity is not using the Sears & Roebuck catalog in place of my Northern Ultra. TP shopping is at least a diversion and allowed by the state.
Music is also a welcomed diversion. Just yesterday, I whiled away an entire afternoon listening to an assortment of music brought to me courtesy of my Roon library. I never realized how welcomed a feature a computer program could be.
I even filled up my KLAudio Ultra Sonic record cleaner with distilled water, cleaned some albums and enjoyed vinyl for a few days. I’ve been experimenting with different speaker positions, and likewise moving the listening chair around to see if what was offers the ideal sonic picture.
I’ve been thinking about revamping the wall mounted acoustical panels in my audio room. However, that mandates a level of boredom I have yet reached. So for now, the panel moving experiment will have to live to fight another day.
I have gone through my Roon library and cleaned up all the little mistakes I’ve found but never cared enough about to correct. These include adding missing album covers, getting artists names spelled correctly, updating my “Five Star” list, or my personal collection of favorite tunes, grouping like albums together under one artist when Roon saw them as separates, and well, all those type projects.
I’m not especially a Roon expert so figuring out how to actually do such things is, blessedly, somewhat time consuming. Just the other day I spent the better part of an entire afternoon cleaning up my library and surprisingly, kept finding mistakes I didn’t even know I had. Even doing all of this has an expiration date, however, and soon enough, boredom once again rears its ugly head. Back to the kitchen I go.
I hope by the time anyone reads this some measure of humor may be attached to such trying times. I hope we all can find ourselves at our favorite restaurants enjoying a meal, a chosen beverage and the company of good friends while telling our own version of toilet paper stories. Most of all, I hope everyone, everywhere, makes it through these trying times safe, sound, well and of able body and excited to welcome normalcy.
And for those of you with a much loved, wonderful sounding, enjoyable audio system, one that brings joy and serenity, I wish you happy listening. Probably lots of it. And maybe a little bit of “zigging.”