Still playing it by ear with the headphones dilemma
Sometimes, even the simplest technology can bamboozle me.
I was fortunate enough to get a turntable — we called them record players back in the day — for Christmas from The Blonde Accountant. It sits on a small stand — which I had to put together, and we all know how competent I am at those types of things — and takes up a small corner of the living room.
That would be “her” living room. I am only a visitor in her living room and my main contribution to the ambiance of that part of the house is that I take up space. Taking up space I can do, but when I’m doing that in her living room, I need to do it in a manner that behooves the formalness of the room. That means no feet on the coffee table and no assaulting the sofa cushions with gastric indiscretions.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not one of those formal living rooms that we don’t use. Although we spend much of our time in the family room and kitchen, I will occasionally move to the living room to get away from the hubbub to write or now, to listen to records.
After a week or so of listening to my music, it occurred to me that maybe the rest of the family did not want to listen to my music. Although I don’t know why they wouldn’t, it’s music from the 1960s and 1970s and it’s only the greatest music ever made. (Beach Boys, Hall & Oates, America, Three Dog Night, Dan Fogelberg, The Eagles, Elton John.)
It’s the same thought process that I use with the kids. I have no use whatsoever for what they call their music these days, and I don’t want to hear it. So I ask them to use their headphones when they’re listening to that dreck and while they’re at it, to stay off my doggone lawn.
So I decided to get some over-the-ear headphones, which I thought would be both the polite thing to do and easy enough to accomplish. Well, buying headphones was easy enough; the rest of the equation, not so much.
See, I failed to pay attention to detail when I purchased the headphones. The cable that connects the headphones with the stereo is about 18 inches long. The couch is four feet from the stereo. The goal was for me to be able to sit on the couch with my headphones on and listen to my records. I was only two-and-half feet short of my goal. I was not interested in sitting cross-legged Rn WKH flRRU Ln IURnW RI WKH stereo because, frankly, it would be problematic to get up off the carpet at this age without pulling a hamstring.
BuW LW wDV Dn HDVLOy fixable dilemma, or so I thought. I decided to just go back to the Big Electronics Store and get a longer cable. So that’s what I did, I got a 6-foot cable. But again I failed to pay attention to detail. Once I got the longer cable home, I discovered that the cable jacks were the wrong size WR fiW WKH KHDGSKRnHV. &uH vosemite Sam cursing a blue steak.
Tiring of the back-andforth, I took the original cable from the headphones with me back to the store. The strategy was to show one of the tech people there — who know everything about everything electronic — that here’s what I got and here’s what I want.
Apparently, there is at least one thing the tech people at the Big Electronics VWRUH GRn’W NnRw: KRw , finG a blasted cable long enough so that I can sit on my couch and listen to my records with headphones on.
7KH nHxW SODn RI DWWDFN was to go to the website of the company that made the headphones. Surely I would EH DEOH WR finG D 6-IRRW FDEOH — or even a 9-foot cable, that would allow me to lie down on the couch with the headphones on — among the company’s accessories.
But it was another swing and a miss. I was able to engage a company employee on instant message on the wHEVLWH, wKR HxSODLnHG WR PH that the company itself didn’t sell longer cables for its headphones. It was all I could do not to type back to himW “vou gotta be bleepin’ me, pal.”
As a last resort, I threw the problem out to my Facebook friends, who I think have provided a few solutions. Apparently I need an adapter for the headphone cable, which I should be able to SuUFKDVH RnOLnH RU — JR fiJure — at my local Big Electronics Store.
Of course, I’ve got some wiseguy pals — I am not using their last names, but they know who they are — who offered other suggestionsW
Frank — “Move the couch.”
Jay — “Sounds like a redecorating day at casa Morsch.”
John — “Headphones? vou don’t need no stinkin’ headphones! Blast it!”
These guys are all married, so they should know it’s not my living room. But cracking wise is a Facebook staple among my friends, and I resisted their efforts to put my behind in The Blonde Accountant’s sling by making any of their suggestions to her.
The headphones problem isn’t a high priority at the moment, so a satisfactory solution is still pendLnJ. BuW ,’P FRnfiGHnW WKDW , will eventually be able to sit on my couch with my headphones on and listen to my records.
Or maybe I’ll just turn it up. Real loud. Like it was meant to be.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Media and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ yahoo.com. This column can also be found at www.montgomerynews.com.