inside a drill
Thursday, September 14 2006
It was a rainy day but, during a pause in the precipitation, I managed to get the outrigger tie beam (the bottom attachment line for additional solar panels) in place south of the solar deck. This beam is a sixteen foot long two by eight I managed to haul home from Lowes the other day. It runs from east to west, passing only a quarter inch above the house's ridgeline. I'd considered actually attaching it to that ridgeline, but I've decided not to do that unless absolutely necessary; I don't want to poke any more holes through the shingles than I absolutely must.
Two new bands I've been listening to are Film School and Elf Power. I've been an admirer of Film School for months, but only recently have I been successful in downloading an appreciable number of its MP3s. The music of Film School is in the genre of synth and guitar "wall of sound" post punk. It's a little bit emo, a little bit post-goth, and (in keeping with their name) they've figured out how the music of cinematic soundtracks affect emotions. To achieve their shimmering walls of sound, Film School depends heavily on synthesizers, which have come a long way and are much better at doing this sort of thing than when such things were first attempted by New Wave and proto-goth bands back in the 1980s. (They had the mellotron as early as the 1960s, and it could make wonderful sounds, but it was hard to use and expensive.) Favorite songs are "Intro" followed by "On and On" and then "He's a Deep Deep Lake." That last one is perfect psychedelic prog-rock anthem.
As for Elf Power, they're unique in that they're an eclectic rock band that depends heavily on bowed instruments for sounds that most bands would normally make with electric guitars. It's hard to notice at first, since a distorted electric guitar has a sound that isn't too different from a violin. A bowed instrument lends itself to a somewhat different melodic pacing, one that (in the case of Elf Power) makes so many of their songs so refreshing. My favorite right now is "Old Familiar Scene," which has a creepy menace to it, the sort Neil Young would have put in more of his songs if he could have more accurately and consistently channeled his rage.
I took apart my nearly four year old Black and Decker power hand drill today to see how I might replace its non-replaceable batteries, which are losing their ability to hold a charge. While I was in there, I looked at how the mechanism works. The motor driving everything is surprisingly small, and all the gears and such are held in place with bearings supported in the plastic chassis. It's amazing the powerful forces this seemingly weak arrangement can muster!
And then that's me.
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