Friday, August 23, 2019

High Voltage Sounds

Every now and then when we're out at the marsh and walk past the high voltage wires, I hear a crackling sound. Roger doesn't hear it out there. I once tried to record it using the video/audio setting on my camera, but it really didn't pick up the sound. On Thursday we were out there and I heard it again. I set our iPhone on video record and got this. Roger listened to the recording and heard the sound for the first time. It's only 15 seconds of it, but I got it. Turn your volume way up!

I moved the phone around to see if one direction might pick it up more  than another. It sounds louder on the phone, but this does in some way convey that crackling sound. Scientific American did a piece on this sound, it's called the corona discharge.
The degree or intensity of the corona discharge and the resulting audible noise are affected by the condition of the air--that is, by humidity, air density, wind and water in the form of rain, drizzle and fog. Water increases the conductivity of the air and so increases the intensity of the discharge. Also, irregularities on the conductor surface, such as nicks or sharp points and airborne contaminants, can increase the corona activity. Aging or weathering of the conductor surface generally reduces the significance of these factors.
As you can see from this short video it was a foggy morning. What you can't see is that it was also pretty humid.  It wasn't crackling hot out there, but the high voltage wires were definitely crackling away.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

the emperor's new fence

we finally tired of watching blackberries slowly swallow the house next door. we've been here four plus years. the house we view while washing dishes has been unoccupied for at least seven years. someone owns it and pays the property tax, but pays the house no mind. we have never seen anyone there, nor have the neighbors who have lived here longer than we have. it is a bit weird to live next to the eyesore of the neighborhood.

we are replacing the fence between our houses with a taller fence with a foot of lattice above. the top of the original was about where the third lateral down is in the picture, so we could see the sea of berry vines. the top space will be filled with lattice. the rest with solid boards. we will adorn it with fence art. more fence art.

Friday, August 16, 2019

50 Years Later

I originally posted this on the blog ten years ago, on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Here we are ten years later and a full half century past that weekend in 1969. It's interesting to look back and be utterly grateful that we took a chance, my sibs and I, and headed out that Friday morning on a trip that would be remembered for a lifetime. My twin brother and I were 17 years old; my sister was 16; our older brother was 20. We didn't bring food or a camera. We borrowed sleeping bags from our neighbors because we had never camped out in our lives. We weren't ready in any way for what we were about to experience, but we went with the enthusiasm of the moment and were not let down. We only spent one night and one morning there. Friday night we heard Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, and Joan Baez. We didn't really sleep Friday night at all. The sound of a half a million people is pretty interesting. There may have been music Saturday morning, but we were sidetracked by looking for food, standing in long lines for the outhouses, and listening to Wavy Gravy tell stories and messages from the stage. We left on Saturday afternoon for the trip back home, smiling the whole way. We went to Woodstock!

When this book first came out ten years ago, the sales page website had a quote from me on it. I was so thrilled. Still am!
They came from the city, they came from the country, they drove hundreds of miles and hitch-hiked across the state to be there for day one of a three-day music festival built on a platform of peace. Learn about the experiences, the adventures and the lasting memories from the people who spent three days in a farm field, in the mud and rain and witnessed the transformation of three ordinary days into an extraordinary event known as Woodstock.

"Everyone looked just like us," remembers Robin Chanin, then a 17-year-old from suburban New Jersey who was among the nearly 500,000 attendees. "It was a great equalizer. No one stood out. There was a moving river of blue jeans and flowing hair, lots of beads, embroidery and flowers. We parked our car in a field with others, and not knowing where to go, we joined the throng and the movement simply took us there."

That's me they're quoting. I really am almost famous!

I looked through the book again and found this as well.

When I wrote this post ten years ago, I had sent a copy of the book to my mom. She was also using the internet back then, so I sent her the link to the page advertising the book with my quote. I asked her after she had seen the webpage advertising the book, "Now aren't you glad you let us go?"

"Yes and no, Robin, yes and no." I think she secretly loved that we were the rebellious young people she and my dad had raised us to be.

We went to Woodstock, my sibs and I. Wild young people we were back then. Fifty years is such a long time ago. Some dreams persist.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Monday, August 12, 2019

Looking For Distractions

News and politics are driving us crazy. Seriously. We seem to be in such dire straits here that we're seriously considering moving to Canada (if they would take us temporarily) if the worst case scenario actually happens in November 2020. As I typed the number 2020 it made me think momentarily that we may be okay; we'll have perfect vision (in England that would be 6/6 perfect vision); we'll know the truth; we'll rescue ourselves. Then I realized how absurdly ludicrous that thought is. We need a back up plan, an escape. I'm in a heightened state of panic. We went to the marsh for a walk,  to forget the daily barrage of bad news, to breathe the ocean air, to see if the birds had returned from their summer sojourns to the north. The air was beautiful, but the birds are still mostly gone. We did see this heart that a few birds made for us. We rejoiced in the gift. Forget politics it said, we'll make you smile. And this was true.