Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quasi-Blizzards, Heart-Health, and Scottish Ale


"Dear, Lord", I thought, "please don't let my heart give out today, not like this. Especially with the Cavs playing so well." You know the story. The one where, after a massive amount of snow falls, the relatively-healthy guy goes out to shovel the driveway and then keels over from a massive heart attack. Sure, it's not the most pleasant thought, especially amongst the quiet beauty of the 15 inches of snow that greeted us this morning. But I wanted to make sure that I at least had the car dug out, in case Donna had to, you know...transport the body. Ok, I'll stop.

There have been dire predictions for the last 48 hours about this storm system that was on the move through the Ohio Valley and up the east coast. I knew states like Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and eastern Pennsylvania were supposed get slammed pretty hard, but nobody was exactly sure how much snow we would get. I was surprised when I tried to let Maggie out this morning. There was so much snow that she couldn't even get to her regular spot. There was also no newspaper by the front door this morning, so I knew the roads were probably not good. So, I read Time magazine while I sipped my coffee this morning and then, with my meager shovel with the broken handle, joined the cacophany of neighborhood snow-blowers.

The week had been a fairly busy one, at least from a technical trial-and-error-aspect. Our Dial Global client, the syndicated classic rock channel, had some work for me to do this week. Josh, the guy who produces their content after I voice it, has been concerned about a "sound" he's been hearing in my audio chain. Josh is much more competent than I am in these matters. And although I couldn't "hear" it exactly, I agreed to do a series of experiments in order to try to isolate what could be going on. We switched some things around, took my old preamp out of the chain, inserted an alternate one, and did a series of test-recordings. After a couple days of upoading sample files for him to hear, we finally agreed that, like most males who want their voices to sound "bigger" than they really are, I was using an over-abundance of compression from my Universal Audio 6176 unit. So, we scaled things back a bit and, hopefully, solved the dilemma. Now, unfortunately, I just sound like....me.

Donna is recovering nicely from her slipping-on-the-ice incident. She still has a small degree of puffiness on her right eye and there's still a bit of a purple hue, but, all in all, she's doing fine. Also, this past week, we officially became "Ohioans" again by getting the tags changed over on the Nissan X-Terra. After moving from state to state over the past 20 years, I'm always amazed at the differences in protocol necessary to get these things done. For instance, a "vehicle inspection" in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires, seemingly, every nut and bolt to be tested and analyzed so that it's certified as being "safe for travel" in the Keystone State. In Maryland, even a small crack in the windshield, a "visual impediment", means replacing the entire thing before a vehicle in considered worthy of traversing the Free State. In Tennessee, you can get your drivers' license changed over at a mall on a Saturday. Meanwhile in Ohio, a "vehicle inspection" means running the VIN through a computer to make sure the car isn't stolen. Cost? $1.50.

Between tweaking the gear in the studio and writing out checks to the state of Ohio, I've been meticulously savoring and rationing my case of Dale's Pale Ale. It's been a wonderful couple of weeks, beer-wise. On the way down to Canton last week for the Aquinas-Central game (where the Knights trounced the hapless Crusaders, thank you) I stopped at Erik's Grocery Bag and walked away with a few of the remaining bottles of the Hoppin' Frog Christmas Ale, an oaked Arrogant Bastard, and a bottle of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. Then, on our way back from the Penguins game in Pittsburgh last Sunday, we stopped in Wexford at 3 Sons Dogs and Suds. I picked up a 6-pack of Penn Pilsner for my father, and also bought several cans of Oskar Blues Old Chub, a Scottish-Style Ale that I had never tasted before. It was malty and extraordinarily delicious. Also, our friend Jeanne mentioned this week at Primo's that there's a new brewery on the westside of Cleveland. Now that we're a little more settled, I think it's time for a Cleveland microbrewery road-trip.

So, as I check my provisions in the beer 'fridge, I'm grateful that the Cavs have notched their tenth win in a row and that, for all intents and purposes, I'll be able to see them go after win number 11 this evening. Even without a snow-blower, it looks like we survived this early February blast of winter...and my satisfactory coronary condition remains intact. Should LeBron and the boys advance to the NBA Finals and then give Cleveland it's first championship since 1948, though, I can't guarantee that the 'ole ticker will survive the bedlam.

-30-

* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com

No comments: