What is something you learned recently?

Throughout the month of January, WordPress is sending participating bloggers a writing prompt each day. It’s a way to find some creative inspiration and perhaps make connections with other bloggers. My entries in this blogging challenge will appear here under the tag #bloganuary.

[Dang. I really wanted to write every single day of the #bloganuary event, and yesterday (Sunday, January 29) I spaced it. My excuse is football. I was forced to sit down and watch both conference playoff games yesterday, and once my beloved Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC, I forgot all about writing. My bad.]

Scarcely a day passes in which I don’t learn something new, because I thrive on learning new things. I am wired up in such a way that my brain is constantly in search of new information, which is one of the explanations for my numerous hobbies, for the wide variety of materials that I choose to read, and for much of the clutter in my life. From where I sit here at this writing desk, for example, I can see over my desk to the wall opposite me, where under the window, in a little four-foot wide nook there is a small computer desk that is my amateur radio station. To the right of that nook is a long, shallow closet with folding doors that are open pretty much all the time, filled with electronic parts, old bits of electronic gear that I have salvaged in hope of using them to make new electronic devices, etc. On the wall to my right is my music studio area, with synthesizer, various mixers and other audio gear, some of it rack-mounted in a 19-inch rack that I built myself. Two of my guitars are on stands in the middle of the room. To my left is a table that is my electronics workbench, and the shelves above are populated with all manner of test equipment, small parts cabinets, and tools for making electronic things. Behind me are three sets of shelves that hold books that relate to all of these hobbies and interests, plus many, many books on theology, ministry, social justice, and history. On the floor behind me are several pieces of very old audio equipment that are begging me to restore them to working condition.

My life is crammed with things to do, things waiting to be done, and an insatiable appetite for learning new things. I can’t watch a movie without consulting the IMDB app on my phone to learn more about the actors or the production of the film (in a past life I was a budding filmmaker). WikiPedia is so important to me that I routinely send a little money to them when they ask for it–I can’t really imagine my life without WikiPedia.

When I was a child, we had two sets of encyclopedias in our home–one was the Encyclopedia Brittanica, which I used throughout elementary school and secondary school to write papers and such, but also to read for fun. (Yeah, I was that kid.) We also had another set of encyclopedias that we obtained by redeeming points or stamps or something each week at the grocery store. I don’t remember the name of this set, but each volume was smaller, more lavishly illustrated, and definitely written more for children. I devoured them. The full set was rarely on the bookshelf, because I always had at least a couple of volumes in my room, or among the other bathroom reading materials.

So what’s something I learned recently? I recently learned that the Roberts model 144 reel-to-reel tape recorder from the 1960s (I have one on the floor behind me waiting to be restored to working condition) was the exact same recorder as the Akai model 33/220.

Hey, I said I learn something new almost every day, but I didn’t say it was useful, nor interesting to anybody but me.

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