Thursday, August 26, 2010


O.K. I'm back. Let's talk about headphones and how they are a symbol of where my world is going.

Back in the old days (say the seventies), I owned a pair of Sennheisers that my big brother gave me. They had these big yellow foam ear muffs and he had extended the cord so you could sit 20 meters away from the "record player" and listen to Tubular Bells. I still have these, they're downstairs in the box marked "audio stuff".

In the eighties I had this spiffy pair of Koss. I used them every day in the days of Z-Music portable disco. They worked great and saved my hearing (more or less). Even though the left ear has a slight crackle, they still work. I still have these downstairs in the box marked "audio stuff". Both these pairs have that big (TRS) jack that now only fit the stereo receiver. NOTE: They both still work.

In the nineties we moved to California. In keeping with my "world leading, cutting edge" job at SGI I spent a ton of money and bought myself a pair of Sennheiser HD580s along with a HeadRoom headphone amp. Fifteen years later, I still have these and use them at work. I repaired the headphone amp when Gabi plugged it into 220V and blew the input transformer (he still denies this). NOTE: They both still work.

Then came the iPod. This required headphones that could travel. I read that Koss PortaPro was the way to go. I bought a pair. I still have them and use them daily to listen to Time Team reruns when I sit in chair in the bedroom and don't want to disturb bwo watching TrueBlood. True, one speaker stopped working, but I sent them $5 (a new set cost $21 today) and they sent me a replacement. They sound as good as ever. NOTE: They still work.

For walking and listening to audiobooks I found a cheap pair of buds that came with one of the original mp3s players we bought around 10 years back. I have used this pair for probably 5 years. It lives in my bag wrapped around my iPod. They have walked hundreds of kilometers with me and we have listened to all sorts of books from the complete Hornblower series to lectures on biological anthropology. NOTE: They still work.

What's the point you may ask? This morning before school, blackdaughtero marched up to me and demanded a new set of headphones. "Where are the at least dozen pairs we have bought in the last 12 months" I inquired innocently. With a stamp of the morning foot and a father-is-exasperating-and-understands-nothing "OOOF!", she informed me that none of them worked. Now I know that my loving wife's iPhone related ebay fetish has led to at least fifty pairs of headphones arriving at PO Box 980 Raanana. It appears none of these are in working order (or can be found). You can open many a drawer in this house and find a crippled set of earbuds, its one speaker sadly dangling there like a one legged man. There are clumps of headphone tangled wires in baskets, most with raw bits of copper exposed where they were mercilessly ripped apart by careless users. They get no respect.

So what is one to do? I sadly looked one last time at my black earbugs that have walked Israel with me, and bade them farewell. I suppose I will never see them alive again. They have served me well. I just hope their death is quick and painless, a simple ripping apart while the band plays on and not the slow death of being drowned in the washing machine or being left deserted all alone on a bus seat.

p.s. Bwo just reminded me that I left off the story of the "Bose". Some years back a friend of bwo's gave her a set of those remarkable Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. They are a requirement for plane flight. She liked hers so much she bought me a pair - they cost multiple hundreds of dollars. Mine are in their case, nice and flat, in the box marked "Audio Stuff". They, of course, still work and are waiting patiently for my next flight. Just ask bwo what happened to hers (and where they are).


Jozie said...

Ok. Firstly. My Bose headphones came via Todd, then YOU, then me. At least 3rd hand. And I also have to remind you that you were travelling a lot at that point in time.
Most importantly, my lovely Bose did not come in a nice flat case like your top of the line, brand new ones. It had to sort of hang around in the various plane bags, squashed and miserable.
So, it really was not my fault that the puffy part on the left earphone fell off. The glue just finally melted.
I miss those headphones and unfortunately I am not rich enough to buy myself a new pair.
The truth is tho, I have no idea where they are.
Regarding e-bay... shut up.

Blackdaughtero said...

Father dearest.
You are wrong.
Out of all of moms ebay fetish I have only ever gotten 4 things - these being 2 tights, and 2 scarfs.
I have never ever gotten a new pair of headphones in my entire life. EVER!!! I have gotten one pair of ipod earphones, which have that crackle in one ear. a pair of headphones which came with my MP3 player in 6th grade. 2 pairs of skull candies which broke (ok...these were new, but marshalls bought and the each cost like 5 bucks). I have also boughten myself a pair of headphones, but mother being mother, she gave them away.
Maybe if you bought be a new, and good quality, pair of head phones I would take good care of them and they would not brake so easily.

You must be going somewhat senile father dearest as I do not recall the events from earlier on today going exactly as you have suggested. I did not shout or demand anything, I politely asked you to borrow you headphones for a day, and when you said no, showing you have absolutely no trust in me, or the belief that I can respect property or other peoples things, I used my daughterly powers on you!

In future, being sure I will fail, before I have either started, is a very good way to raise a failure.

For your information, your headphones are still completely alive and well!

blackpetero said...

A piece of work. That's all.

Jozie said...

She showed you!!! I cant stop laughing. You are all P.O.W's.

arnieo said...


I love it

joch said...

This "posting only when you have a good post and not forcing it every day" thing seems to have some potential.
And about the headphones - I have a pair of fluorescent pink sports ear buds, no chance anyone other than me will be willing to be seen wearing them in public. You should try that.

Anonymous said...

Hearing you loud and clear !!!!!!!
Welcome back, U were missed.
Shabbat shalom to all of u.

oliviao said...

Wow, I had forgotten what a grump you are - I thought it was only Arnie! Welcome back...