off to the races

I got my Spectraphon shipping notice Tuesday, and decided to race its arrival to finish the current album — when it shows up, I stop recording new material for it. I’ve got 53:35 recorded so far and it’s due to arrive tomorrow, so it’s in good shape even if I don’t get anything else done.

This album’s particular vibe, besides the synthesized choirs, has been heavy saturation at times, and making a kind of melange of parts that don’t necessarily have a specific harmonic relationship but which work anyway. Like the deli near the office with its “Mad BLT” that includes red onion and peanut butter and it’s amazing. The usual response to “this isn’t quite working” is to strip out elements and realign, do something more pure. But there have been a few places with this one where my response instead was “add something else” or “go heavier.” It might bridge the gap, or add enough different kinds of clashing that it transforms the feel into something else. A dent in a smooth surface is unfortunate, but dozens/hundreds of overlapping dents is texture (and millions is shot peening).

The battery charger I ordered brought my car’s battery from about 25% to 100% in a couple of hours. That struck me as strange because I was expecting it to take a full day. But the charge doesn’t hold and I had to do it again last night. It’s going to the shop Saturday.

Yesterday we had our regular HVAC maintenance/checkup. I mentioned to the guy that when the AC kicks in, the lights dim a bit. He recommended a surge protector for the compressor and wrote up an estimate — but that didn’t sound quite right to me, and Google confirmed my understanding. A surge protector prevents damage caused by excess voltage/current, which can happen during brownouts or lightning strikes. Lights dimming when the compressor starts are because it’s drawing a heavy load. The surge protector doesn’t do anything to even out that load — that’s what the start capacitor is for.

Apparently a little, brief dimming is fairly normal, and more common with older, slightly worn units than newer, smoother ones. It only indicates a possible problem if the dimming lasts more than a second or is “more than 50%” (however you’re supposed to measure that with your eyes in the span of a slow blink). I don’t think ours has crossed that threshold, and those problems tend to be the very things the guy was inspecting, plus possibly wiring or the breaker panel.

And today, we’re supposed to have the driveway resealed. Supposedly you’re supposed to have that done every 3 years. We’ve never had it done, and to be fair, the surface is a little crumbly in spots. Why the driveway is asphalt rather than concrete slabs I don’t know… although as our back patio can attest, that’s also vulnerable to wear, weather and weeds. Nothing’s safe from entropy I guess.

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