Love in the Time of Robotics

I’m putting the medication talk aside and moving on to more fun topics for a while.

Part I – Digital Love

Yesterday when I got home from work there was a package waiting for me. Normally I’m not a fan of the mail because I get too many bills and too few cards with robots on them but yesterday was an exception as I received no bills and a stack of cards with robots on them from JustJenn. Thank you JustJenn, you are super amazing! The cards are so awesome I’m afraid to post a picture of them for fear that the monitor will go up in flames(Updated 6/28: This fear has proven silly so here is a pic).

You can see more here. While you are there I suggest that you buy some as you won’t find more awesome cards anywhere on the planet.

Part II – Analog Love

When I was about nine years old I inherited an old Philco tabletop radio from a relative. It was AM only and it would hum when it was first turned on as it warmed up, then a brief burst of static before the signal would slowly start to rise like it was getting closer and closer until the humming stopped completely and I could hear the station clearly. The label on the back said it was made in 1948 but to my ten year old brain it read “You have a crappy old radio…and you need a haircut”. I began a campaign of begging for a newer radio and when I got one, I threw out the old Philco because I didn’t know any better. Cool things are wasted on kids.

A few years later I became interested in vinyl records and old record players. By trying different combinations of equipment I began to appreciate the difference between modern transistor amplifiers and older tube amplifiers. I liked the sound that the older tube based equipment made and for several years it was the only way I played records. While newer equipment meant less distortion, I felt there was something a little too cold about “digital” sound. After a while I decided I wanted to get an old tube amplified radio again just like the one I threw out when I was a kid. Thanks to the internet old radios are easy to find but finding one that works well is another story, over the years I’ve looked at many of them but never took the plunge and bought one.

Last week, a few days after my birthday a package arrived for my wife. She had told me that there was something on its way for me but I didn’t think of this when I signed for the delivery and then left the house to play poker. When I came home from work the next day there was a gift waiting for me on the table and after I was impressed by the copy of Inside Detective magazine from September 1949 I was wowed by a vintage Philco AM radio. When I turned the radio on the AM display glowed over the gentle hum it made as it warmed up. There was a short burst of static and then there was nothing but the warm sound of a baseball game being played over a tube amplified radio.

(not the actual radio but mine looks similar to this one)

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