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More Nonsense

posted Friday, 8 January 2010

There used to be an expression used by exasperated parents in my younger days to their obstreperous children: “Don’t give me any of that old nonsense!” Whether that was a condemnation of ‘nonsense’ generally, or an implicit desire for ‘new nonsense’, I was never sure. But I decided the latter was more appropriate to me.This snowy day, I’m trying to remember the old nonsense of snowy days when I was just a small toddler who couldn’t even attempt to climb the tall ancient body that is me today, assuming that he and him, me and I, ever could meet across time as well as across the static white-out that buries the empty signal lands between us.

Snow today is a new nonsense that comes in many shapes and sizes. Powdery and thick, eventually to become impacted ice. Or imaginary beginnings of it pregnant within the tea-brown swags of cloud that hang above the coastal rooftops like First World War Zeppelins. A threat of blizzard that is tantamount to a sense of already fallen snow – exploded across the ground as frozen pure-white static-nothingness in random mounds: tracked over by a few brave cars.

They say (don’t they?) that crime doesn’t pay.

I wander out in my fur-lined boots to see if I can panic myself into buying too much food for the duration. Who knows how long this weather will last? The tuning-signal of reality is lost while paradoxically creating from within itself the knowledge that it may never be re-tuned into any semblance of sense. A signal that signals its own no-signal. And, as I trudge towards the shop, I hear the deep gunfire from within my own body. Sharp jagged noises that indicated that I may have fallen off the dial altogether, with no hope of hitting even a broadcastable wavelength let alone the slightest sign that I may be attempting to broadcast a signal upon it. A bursting bombshell of snow-clearing shovels sent in all directions of good intentions, like a metal-splinter sculpture in the empty gallery of my mind.

When buried beneath nonsense, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the nonsense is new or old, does it? And back in the old nonsense days, before all this new nonsense happened, a small toddler that was me was taught that cheating never pays.

But hope is a form of cheating. Hope that he may grow up and become better than he is. Hope that he may never die. Snow or no snow.

Just a single wave along the length of frost-bitten fingers, like snow-trapped rabbit-ears or a crystal-set’s whiskers.
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A note about the crystal detector

It is a fairly simple process to make a working radio using a modern diode for a detector. However, the reason these are called crystal sets is because the detector was originally a piece of crystal. You can still make your radio the authentic way with a crystal and cat’s whisker. Detector stands are still manufactured, one good source being Antique Electronics Supply, 6221 S. Maple, Tempe, AZ 85283-2856 USA (phone 602-820-5411). A crystal detector includes a crystal, a cat’s whisker, which is a special thin wire that contacts the crystal, and the stand that holds the components in place. The most common crystal used is a small piece of galena, which is fairly common, and can be found in many rock and hobby shops. The cat’s whisker is most often composed of phosphor bronze. Once in circuit, the whisker can be moved about on the crystal’s surface to find the most “sensitive” spot. The pressure of the whisker on the crystal is also adjustable. There are some other crystals that will work, so there is much room for experimentation with crystal fragments that you may already have. Also, it is not absolutely necessary to use a detector stand, and the cat’s whisker can be improvised with a safety pin. Although it will be less selective and more difficult to adjust, it can be made to work quite satisfactorily. A small piece of rubber pencil eraser impaled on the safety pin helps to insulate it from your fingers while adjusting.

comments (2)
1. L.P. left…

Saturday, 9 January 2010 8:57 am :: http://www.myspace.com/lpvannessportal

Loved this, Des! We’ve a foot of new snow across the pond in Chi-town. I’ve been outside playing in it all day 🙂

2. Weirdmonger left…

Saturday, 9 January 2010 4:20 pm :: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2010/01/

Thanks, LP. I’ve written a follow-up today (at link immediately above).

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