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Date: 11 December 2014. Music aboard Seaweed (Alzheimer's too)

Although by no means can anyone call me a musicologist, I do enjoy tunes on occasion. Especially during the holiday season, hearing the crooners of  yesteryear brings back memories of an earlier time. I do so love listening to songs like "It's a Marshmallow World" along with Burl Ives' "Frosty the Snowman" and Bing Crosby's "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".

For me, Christmas is about the music, decorations, giving gifts, and remembering.

These angels came from Grandma and were on our 40'er when I was a child.

But to listen to the singers I prefer in this millennium would be difficult over the air-waves. I solved that problem.

Prior to departure I bought many CDs and turned them into MP3's. All are stored on a spare hard-drive along with in my computer. CDs afloat, well, they take quite a bit of room. As digital files I can have as much as I want. Therein lay the first problem.
 

Too Much of a Good Thing

 

Initially I gathered every song that I liked or thought someone might enjoy listening to aboard the boat. One day I woke up with 100+ gigs of music, most of which I didn't even like!

For me it's all to easy to be overwhelmed by minutia, and having that many choices wasn't working. So I deleted, and felt better for it.

 

Side Note: Mother had Alzheimer's and part of the reading I did suggested that music listened to when she was young would help her feel less lost. Thus I have a rather extensive collection of older songs.

After listening to the crooners she loved for years however, I came to appreciate them too.

It's weird: I'm young to have Dean Martin as a favorite, yet the sounds of the 70's and later? Well, I don't be-bop, trucking is out, but the love songs of old? Just perfect, thank you.

Still often I feel alienated. No box fits and though I might like some rock-n-roll, I find it's never playing on the radio aboard Seaweed. What is coming through my speakers are the older songs speaking of love, good memories and simpler times.

 


So after deleting 3/4th's of my MP3 collection, I'm quite satisfied with the ones left behind. That's still a lot of songs, mind you.

For the first couple years on Seaweed I had no radio. The computer was my music player. It's not that satisfying either. No doubt my bad hearing helped make the experience less than it could have been.

Fortunately that was resolved by a fellow on a sailboat throwing away a Pioneer car stereo. It's mine now.

The reason he was disposing of the radio was because of his iPod. There is a slot to plug the gizmo into the radio and have music come through the speakers. Nifty. However, after a couple years of use the connecting pins started to become loose. Jiggling the iPod each time he wanted music worked, but not well.

He upgraded, and I gave a home to his old radio. Because I intended to use digital music via a USB outlet in the front of the radio, I wanted to avoid the issue he'd had. My solution is a USB extension wire that is permanently plugged into the radio. I simply swap out the SIM card adapter or flash drive as required from the other end.

Eventually that wire end may give out, but the radio shall be intact and ready for another cord. I make stuff last as long as possible, thus saving money.



From left to right, the weather station, AM/FM/CD radio, fuses (accessible) and a flash drive of music.
 

A friend I made back in Apalachicola, Pam (who owns a small gift shop, and she has books -- inexpensive ones!!) even swapped my two larger speakers for three smaller ones. I've wired them around the cabin. I'm tickled to have surround sound.

Pam's business is called Reel Memories. [Phone: 850-899-1281] As a native of Apalachicola she also offers sight-seeing tours and fishing trips on her boat. Yes, Pam is a licensed captain too. How cool is that?!?

She's also a real nice person. I bought the prettiest tea set for my Grand from her. Although just two, the baby loves that darling little tea set and I'm so happy she is allowed to play with it. When too many pieces break I'll buy her another.

Pam also had a lovely Austrian hand-painted dish that relocated to my boat. I've got a plant in it right now. My tree twig croaked but one of these days I'll find a bonsai for it. Here's a picture from last year of the pretty dish sitting in front of Santa's Workshop:
 

 

Regarding my music: The only problem I have is the Pioneer stereo (an older unit but does have a USB outlet) doesn't seem to play all the selections on the flash drive, or SIM card as the case may be. It probably gives me a couple gigs of music and then repeats.

Yes, I have tried with both random on and off. It still doesn't seem to play everything. I have used thumb drives, SIM cards and even a spare SATA drive with the music. None play all the songs for some reason.

This is still lots better than having a stack of CDs aboard.

So I swap out the music on flash drives and call it good.

P.S. - I think I'm in love with Dean Martin.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?
And, when do you usually put up and take down your Christmas tree?

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Categories: Characters, Entertainment, Gear, Locations, Money, Recommendations

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