Here’s a story. The time I may have almost died. You see, we didn’t know that the boiler had to have its chimney swept from time to time, just like a normal fireplace chimney.


must also be cleaned from time to time

One night, I was sleeping downstairs. The year was around 2001 or so.

20051008 - camping rained out again - party at Clint & Carolyn's - 100-0029 - Stacy, Clint passed out

this story happened about in this exact spot here

The music that is normally playing 24/7 in our house stopped.

I awoke to the beep of a carbon monoxide detector going off. It took awhile to wake me up.

I woke up, and the house was full of smoke. Sick, choking fumes. Burning heating oil (which is the same thing as diesel truck fuel).

Freaked out, opened up the door, ran upstairs and turned the thermostat down so the boiler would turn off. Possibly used the emergency cut-off switch (red light switch), but probably not.


This is the room I was in (sans addition), and it was about this smokey.

We had to call a chimney sweep and have them service our boiler’s chimney before we could use it again.

And the reason I heard the carbon monoxide alarms? Simple: The smoke had gotten thick enough to obscure the laser on the CD player.


angry old boiler from 1930s wants you fucking dead

In fact, the CD player never worked right again. Not Carolyn’s 100 disc changer, not my 200 disc changer. Best Buy fucked me on the warranty too, refusing to replace it on the 4th repair by retroactively declaring the three previous repairs to simply be cleanings. $400 CD player + $30 warranty, and it had only lasted 4 or so years.

199811 - Clint's room - before moving out - hardware stuff - b4c7

This seems to be my only picture of my 100-disc changer, which is the bottom black component on the huge stack of hardware on my TV here. I think the VCRs are the only things still alive in 2010 (when I wrote this post).

This experience saved me some money. I permanently stopped patronizing Best Buy, except for that time I did something that profited me and screwed them. Can’t say what it is. I permanently stopped buying CD players. I decided I’d never purchase a standalone hardware player again. This experience is ultimately what moved me to mp3s.

And mp3s? Way more rewarding than CDs. You actually get statistics, you get instant access to everything, you get amazing playlists. Nine years later, I’ve finally created the proper programs, infrastructure, systems, and best practices to get the most out of my mp3s. It took a decade, but I got used to doing things the mp3 way. I now feel I have more control over what I listen to than ipod users, or even other people who have mp3s. Explaining the whys and hows would be kind of boring.

But anyway, out of the ashes of our boiler’s stinky oil smoke, rose a new way of doing things. We have a heat pump now, too. This story can never repeat itself–for multiple reasons.

20081231 - 2008 music graph - top 15 - OVERVIEW / LESS DETAIL - 2wk - min zoom

only possible with mp3s -- you can't do this with analog music listening habits. No automatic data logging!

Mood: annoyed
Music: Atari Teenage Riot – Deutschland (Has Gotta Die!) (Remix)