Problems & What To Do About Them

I spent a while yesterday bleeding. Nothing terrible or unusual. Spring and fall, my nose turns sensitive and bleeds. Yesterday my nose was a bother but cleared up eventually. More problems were to come.

Last night I put a record on my beautiful U-Turn Audio Orbit turntable, connected to a 1977 Kenwood KA-5500 integrated amplifier and Boston Acoustics A70 speakers I bought at Gordon Electronics on Erie Boulevard around 1981. (The record was Sufjan Stevens Illinois for those dying to know.) I was ready to sit with a record, really listen, and feel great. You can guess where this is going.

I turned on the amp and a horrible electrical crack erupted from the right channel speaker and continued. A capacitor in that old amp was discharging willy-nilly. Even with the volume turned down to nothing, cracked loudly enough to terrify the cat who knocked her water bowl onto herself bolting for safety. I shut the amp off and flipped the switch again. Same result. I tried other solutions, but all proved useless and my amp is out of commission until I get it repaired.

Damn it.

I stewed but not too much. Like a bloody nose, it's no big deal. Not like the storm that soon after slammed into the neighborhood. Rain went sideways, pounding the windows, siding, and roof. It's the type of storm that somehow finds its way into our dining room ceiling and runs out of it. Bloody noses are stopped with tissues and patience. Amplifier can be repaired for a hundred bucks. A new roof is in another league. I put a bucket beneath the leak. The storm blew past in half an hour, but lingered in me for hours and invaded my dreams.

I woke thinking about the roof and got good an anxious. Shaking that off for the moment, I considered the amplifier. Thinking about it wasn't enough. I needed to write in order to move from worry toward action. Stating the problem — the amp in the living room is broken so I can't play records — reminded me that only the living room amp is broken. The amp in the kitchen works and can be moved to the living room. I even have a crappy old amp in the storage closet to tide me over in the kitchen. A plan appeared on the page:

  1. Take video of the amp malfunctioning to show at the repair shop.
  2. Replace the kitchen amp with the crappy old one from the storage closet.
  3. Disconnect the living room amp and replace it with the kitchen amp.
  4. Play a record and live a life of fulfillment, transcendance, and enlightenment (something like that).
  5. Take the living room amp to Ohm Electronics when I have time.

The bloody noses have stopped. The turntable sounds great. Until the next storm, the ceiling isn't leaking. I'll try the amplifier approach with the roof, breaking things down into pieces I can manage. I might be able to turn it into little more than another bother and set to making it better. That's difficult to believe at the moment, but that may have more to do with not having started working the problem than it does with the situation itself. Everything, it turns out, is easier once I begin and almost everything feels simple once I'm done.

I should probably get started. First step, look up some roofers. Have you got any suggestions?