Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Summer Time
Matt Seinberg

To most people, the summer time means lazy days. It means going to the beach or pool and on vacations. To me, it's time to work outside on various projects I have put off for longer than I can remember.

Two projects come to mind, refinishing a desk sitting in the garage. It's for my daughter, Melissa. Understand this piece of furniture has been sitting in the garage since I took it off the curb four years ago; a neighbour moved out and left it at the curb.

The other project is sanding and painting the basement window and repairing the outside molding. This isn't a desirable project when dealing with eight-year-old windows.

Oh, and these projects must fit time off from my day job.

Now, combine just those two projects along with all my other normal chores around the house. Those include laundry and vacuuming; cleaning the litter-box that Daphne the cat uses, working on my website and transferring air checks.

People don't understand how time consuming it is to convert an analog cassette tape to digital media. Each cassette must run in real time onto the computer, using Adobe Audition 3. Each digital file needs editing, saving to a hard drive and burning onto a CD.

Many times editing involves cutting out that "swoosh" noise that radio station air check skimmers make when the microphone is turned on and off. That is the most time consuming part of any conversion. Then noise reduction comes into play to improve the sound quality. Finding the right effect and then applying it can take anywhere from a minute to hours. Then I just walk away and hope for the best.

Another nice thing about summer is all the outdoor concerts. Unfortunately, concerts at the Jones Beach Theatre, near me, have become so expensive that to buy just two seats in the orchestra section can run $400-600. I cannot justify spending that kind of money for one show. I wanted to see Jimmy Buffett; two seats would have been well north of $600. As much as I love seeing Jimmy in concert, he's not worth that kind of money to me.

Summertime is also vacation time, and while many people think that planning it is the easy part, they don't have to deal with my wife Marcy. If I said we were going to go on a cruise to Bermuda tomorrow, she would jump for joy. However, since we have cruised that last two years, I want to do something different this year.

We were debating on two different places to visit. One is Lake George, New York; the other is Washington, DC. The capital won.

The fun part, of any vacation, insert lots of sarcasm here, is finding a place to stay. Our requirements include a pool, breakfast of some sort and, of course, a good location that is central to all the important sites and monuments.

We plan to spend a good deal of time at the Smithsonian Institute. We want to see the Air and Space Museum. We also want to see the original museum called The Castle.

I have been to Washington, DC, three times. The first time was when I was in sixth grade, age 12; I don't remember much from that time. The other two times I visited my old friend Greg Monti, who was living in Arlington, Virginia. Having a personal tour guide is a very good thing. This time around, we'll have maps and, hopefully, recommendations from AAA.

The other interesting thing about summer is how radio stations try to make it a special time with promotions to movies and concerts. Our local Top-40 station, Every year, WBLI-FM 106.1, the West Babylon, New York station, owned by Cox Media, runs the "106 Days Of Summer" with lots of giveaways to movies and concerts. They even give away a car! Don't forget the t-shirts.

So, pack up your picnic lunch, load up your iPod with lots of music and hop in the car for a trip to your favorite beach, lake or park. Have a great summer.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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