draining a cast iron radiator
Friday, October 17 2014
I'd left my headphones over at the Wall Street house, so this morning when I walked the dogs in the forest, I had to use a crappy old FM radio with earbuds. Its battery must have been weak, because it was receiving stations very badly and doing a weird thing to the audio mix. The vocals of the songs were almost completely muted, while various tracks from post-production were unusually loud. So, in a typical country music song, instead of hearing the bass, drum, and lead guitar, I'd hear the synths, little sound effects, and perhaps a distorted guitar that had originally been subtly layered in. I suspect that what was happening was that I was only hearing the waveforms that weren't present in both channels of the stereo signal. It was an interesting way to hear music and made it seem fresh and interesting, particularly a song like "Watching Airplanes." I should add, though, that "The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll" by Huey Lewis & the News was just as terrible this way as it always is.
As I neared the Chamomile from the south, Eleanor (followed closely by Ramona) suddenly and excitedly ran up the steep slope to that high terrace above the Stick Trail to the west. After a few minutes, I heard barking, whimpering, and squealing. It sounded terrible (I thought one or both dogs were being badly injured). But when I got to Ramona, she was fine, looking way up into a tall tree. That was when I saw it. It was just a Fisher, patiently waiting, looking from Ramona to me with his little triangular head, and being surprisingly cute. Evidently those sounds of pain were just Ramona being super excited. Relieved that the excitement wasn't being caused by a bear, I headed back home. Behind me, the Fisher must have moved or something because Ramona started barking and squealing again. But I knew that there was zero chance the Fisher come down that tree. This was something even Ramona seemed to know, and after a few minutes, she gave up. Back at the house, Eleanor was waiting for us. Apparently she'd only smelled the Fisher.
I didn't go to the Wall Street house today, but this evening I drove down to New Paltz to attend a party hosted by Mark (or Mark & Maresa, though they've recently broken up). He'd just sold his house so that he could be, for awhile at least, a nomad, and this was to be the last hurrah before all that began. For some reason I decided to go to New Paltz via the Thruway, but that doesn't make much sense when to get to it I have to go five miles north only to turn around and go 17 miles south. Also, freakishly, there was a patch of highway north of New Paltz where the traffic was moving slowly, occasionally less than 40 miles per hour. I'm never doing that again; from now on if I have to go to New Paltz I am heading south on route 32. Indeed, I should probably begin all south-bound drives that way instead of driving north to the Kingston Traffic Circle.
Gretchen, who had been down in the City, was already at Mark's place when I arrived. Mark had bought four or five huge tins of vegan Chinese food for the assembled guests (the noodle dish was kind of mushy but everything else was great). Only one person hadn't gotten the memo that this was a vegan event and had brought slices of apple with cheese on them.
At first we didn't think we knew many of the people there, but then when we talked to them, it turned out that we were connected in various ways and even knew who one or both of us are. As for Mark's house, having worked on the Wall Street house, I recognized the style of construction to be typical of the 1920s and 30s. The most interesting thing about the house was that, before Mark bought it, it had been used as both a marijuana grow operation and also a retail marijuana selling operation. The neighbors remarked that a steady trickle of people would visit the house briefly and then leave, and that occasionally a sign would appear in the window reading, "Back in ten minutes." Though unfinished, the upstairs had been wired like a welding shop. Mark is selling it to a young man from Jersey whose family needed to reinvest in real estate for tax purposes.
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