Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This one goes to 11

One of the things I like most about our house is the big attached garage. It's not gigantic, but it is large enough to park two small sedans and still have room for a workbench and an assortment of semi-rusty tools ranging from a hydraulic car jack to a reel lawnmower to, a sledge hammer. Like my dad, I enjoy going out to the garage and tinkering on things, though my version of tinkering usually means attempting to fix something small or cut up some wood, while my dad's version of tinkering often involves a welder, oxygen-acetylene torch, or rotary band saw.  Clearly I have a long way to go.  But last I finally got something put in my garage that I've wanted to get for a long time: speakers.

Behold the mighty speakers as they stand guard over a roll of soffit vent mesh
When I'm on the garage I like to listen to something, usually NPR or a podcast, to keep my mind busy. Most of the time this involves turning the car radio on and rolling down the windows, but if my hands are dirty and greasy it can spell doom for the already worn-out upholstery.  And if I have to disconnect the car battery, there's really no other option for listening to talking heads or tunes. Or both.

So for the past three years I have been engaged in an on-again-off-again search for something, anything, that would let me fill the airwaves with aural bliss when I'm working on something in the garage. We looked for radios and boom boxes at yard sales, and went online to see if we could find a radio or CD player or something that also had a line-in jack so I could play podcasts from my iPod.  No dice.  The ones we found were either too big, too small, or broken.  Recently my wife told me, in one of those I-can't-believe-I-never-thought-of-this-before moments, that I might just look in to buying a pair of speakers.  And sure enough, it seemed like the ideal solution since my old iPod plays podcasts as well as radio broadcasts and NPR programs thanks to the technological wonders of iOS apps.  Only trouble is, I didn't want to shell out good money for new speakers that would just get all dirty and gross in the garage.  Fortunately these sorts of things aren't too difficult to find, and sure enough when we were browsing at the Habit For Humanity Restore last weekend my wife spotted the above-pictured pair of old Gateway-branded Altec Lansings just waiting to be purchased.  They sounded great, and the price? A measly $3.  Cha-ching!

Putting up the speakers also gave me the push I needed to finally get a power strip put up on the side of the workbench, so I can turn on the overhead light (and now speakers) with the push of a button instead of manually plugging them in each time.  Now just I need to get head to Lowe's to get a some hardware to keep all those unsightly cords under control...

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