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    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    Lately, I've been wondering if my mind is turning to overripe yogurt.

    A few days ago, my lovely wife and I met anther couple, who were walking a small poodle. They were approximately the same age as ourselves, maybe a bit older. My wife asked the name of the dog. "Alma" was the response. Whereupon, I could not resist breaking into the chorus of "Alma, tell us/All modern women are jealous/ Which of your magical wands/ Got you Gustav and Walter and Hans/ The other couple looked at me as if I'd gone insane. I responded that it was a Tom Lehrer song. More blank stares. I explained that the song described a woman, Alma Schindler, who'd managed to marry Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius and Hans Werfel. More blank looks--never heard of them. They probably left thinking that they'd encountered a Very Strange Man.

    Okay, forward to today. I mentioned that I'd just read that the Navy Seabees had constructed a desk from wood salvaged from the last renovation of the USS Constitution--which sent me off onto reciting "Aye, tear her tattered ensign down/Long has it waved on high." My LW gives me a blank stare. Now she's a Stanford-educated history teacher and was completely unaware of the poem that I had to memorize when I was in fourth grade. (I've probably not recited it since then).

    This is beginning to feel like an episode of "The Twilight Zone". I'm starting to feel like "chocolate pudding for brains" man.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I know. My son didn't recognise the Rubaiyat. The culture is fading away. (You can tell from the trends in the "what are ye listening to" thread).
  1.  
    A culture is fading away, yes. Many cultures are, and many are fading nigh. The Culture is constantly morphing, carrying us along with it -- or not.
  2.  
    I listen regularly to the NPR music show "From The Top" which features young musicians playing the classics. (No, not Led Zeppelin and Cream.) I'm always amazed. Kids are still pursuing that musical culture and applying themselves to learn their instruments, with some real virtuosity. Likewise with Jazz. When a 20 year old pianist is playing Monk in some dark dive, or a pick-up trio of college kids with guitar, bass and drums is playing standards from a fake book and holding the audience's attention, you know that culture hasn't quite faded away just yet.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I noted the other day in TV listings that one of the classic movie channels was showing the 1951 film "Happy Go Lovely" (David Niven, I think). I didn't bother; I'm not a fan of the ultra-santized 50's British films. I did catch the name of Mischa Spoliansky as the musical director and arranger. I got to thinking about old Mischa's songs and how his 30's works sound a lot like Victor Herbert's work. Take, for instance, "Heute Nacht oder Nie.

    I mentioned this in a comment to another and got a "Victor Herbert?".

    Today not only is culture fading, but it's being replaced by a single, commercially-produced product. Or so it seems to me.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I too have heard some great jazz from teenagers. The orchestras depend on the youth orchestra movement for new players - cf The System in Venezuela. But the opportunities are fewer and fewer. The culture is fading away to be replaced by Petrie dish full of HipHop.

    And is there anyone left who can bias a transistor?
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    Well, I know who Mahler is. The rest was lost on me.

    Though I'm from the UK and probably a generation younger, which might explain it.
  3.  
    Heck, nowadays my bigger problem is just _seeing_ the transistors.
    They look more and more like coarse ground black pepper.
  4.  
    Posted By: BigOilRepWell, I know who Mahler is. The rest was lost on me.

    Me too. Well, add Victor Herbert and Tom Lehrer for me. And David Niven and old Omar of course.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I can even bias a triode--without a "C" battery.


    Posted By: alsetalokinThey look more and more like coarse ground black pepper.


    I've given up repairing a lot of electronics; even though I can see the components with my stereomicroscope, I lack the manual dexterity to do anything about it.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I nearly typed "pentode" instead of "transistor". How about it? Screen-grid voltage and all that stuff?
  5.  
    I can see the old ARRL handbook on my bookshelves but I can't reach it...
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    Leave it there, al. Some things are better forgotten.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: AngusI nearly typed "pentode" instead of "transistor". How about it? Screen-grid voltage and all that stuff?


    ISTR that RCA, in particular, contrasted "pentode" with "beam power tube" in that there was no suppresor grid per se, but rather a set of "beam forming" electrodes, usually directly tied to the cathode. One used to be able to get 1625 (12V version of the 807) tubes by the big carton, from WWII surplus dealers for cents per jug. One of the tricks was to drill into the base and separate the beam electrodes from the cathode lead, so the tube could be used in a grounded-grid configuration.

    I miss the red-and-purple glows of overworked transmitting tubes--and the bright light from a bunch of 866 rectifiers.

    I used to peruse the old RCA data books (not just the receiving and transmitting tubes); there were some strange animals in there. The big red "Radiotron Designer's Handbook" was a goldmine of information.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I also know of Herbert, Mahler, Lehrer, Khayyam, Niven et al. I am also immersed in the classical music making of the young. You’ll just have to wait until it all comes back into fashion-after all, the most popular song around at the moment is a sea shanty.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    I'll confess that I was never one for Werfel--too damned depressing, Bernadette and all.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    We just received a new batch of checks for our checking account. The register is no longer sent with them--you must order one separately. I suppose nobody engages in balancing the checkbook nowadays.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    What’s a check book?
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      CommentAuthorgoatcheez
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    This too shall pass.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: loremanWhat’s a check book?


    "cheque book" to you East Pondians.