October Mindfulness Challenge – Day 16 – Analog Love


Oh boy, I’m so excited! My sister sent me a transistor radio in the mail today! (No, this isn’t a blog post from 1987.)

Why would anyone want a transistor radio nowadays, you ask? Apparently, you don’t have kids whose completely misguided and inconsiderate soccer league administrators, for some ungodly reason, decided to schedule games at 1 p.m. on Steeler Sundays. (The nerve of some people!)

The problem is the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t let you listen to their radio broadcast on any of those newfangled apps for your smartphone. So if I want to follow the game, I have to keep checking the score online. It’s very unsatisfying, not to mention a huge drain on my monthly smartphone data. Now I will be able to plug in my headphones and listen to the live broadcast of the game, free of charge, while I watch my offspring chase after the ball out on the pitch. (That’s soccer lingo for “field.”)

It’s funny, I can still remember my own dad — black Sony transistor in hand, single ear bud running up to his ear — running up and down the sidelines and yelling to me to “Kick it!” and “Go get the ball!” (He’s a real soccer aficionado, my dad.) Only, he was more concerned about the over/under rather than whether or not the Steelers were winning. Now I can impart the same sage soccer advice to my own children, while at the same time following the trials and tribulations of my beloved Black & Gold.

Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking, Hey Val, maybe you should be paying attention to your kids and not worrying so much about the Steelers. To that I reply: 1) you must not know me very well, and 2) apparently you’ve never been subjected to a youth-level soccer game before. I’m a Steelers nut, even though I know it’s silly to care about a bunch of gazillionaires who couldn’t give a you-know-what about me. I can’t help it. It’s in my DNA. And as for my kids, who I adore more than anything in the world, unfortunately they’re still at the age where the level of play is not what you’d call “highly skilled.”

Besides, I don’t need to actually be listening to the game in order to enjoy watching my kids play. In fact, having ear buds in will help me drown out those other parents — you know the ones — who get a little too into the game, if you know what I mean. (“You better get that ball or you can forget about dinner tonight!!”)

I know it’s all about “streaming” today and that radio, much like the newspaper, seems to be going the way of the Dodo. But I’m an analog type of guy. I still listen to vinyl records, and I still enjoy listening to live radio.

And as a freelance writer who works from home, I can feel a little isolated at times. Radio makes me feel like I’m still connected to the outside world. And during this Himalayan-monk-like October Mindfulness Challenge, when I’m feeling completely disconnected, it’s nice to turn on the radio and hear the voice of a real, live person talking to me. (I’m so lonely!)

And besides listening to football, now when Armageddon happens (probably sometime in the next couple of years, if current events are any indication), I’ll be able to follow the end of the world on the A.M. dial, a pocketful of double-A batteries in my pocket, while the rest of the world is holding their now-powerless and useless smartphones.

And when that happens, I’ll blog about it on one of my vintage manual typewriters. (Snail-mail me to get on my End-of-the-World mailing list!)

(Thanks, Sis!) ~


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Copyright © 2018 Valentine J. Brkich

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