Dealing with the ordinary

December 2, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

Newspapers and media don’t report what’s ordinary and every day. That’s not news!

And neither do the audio reviewers. They want to bring you the latest, greatest, and whatever it is that will attract your attention.

Ordinary does not attract our attention.

Yet, it is the ordinary that makes up the majority of our lives. The ordinary everyday music, friendship, smiles, and great sound on our systems.

Sometimes I sit in Music Room Two and just smile. It works.

Music sounds great.

Life is good.

I have my health.

I have you.

The ordinary can be pretty newsworthy when you think about it.

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52 comments on “Dealing with the ordinary”

    1. I have a feeling Steve Simon and others of his kind are going to be history if you know what I mean. This is not the same country I came to from behind Iron Curtain in 1980. Before I say too much I better stop. (witch is also a new thing) ohhh

    2. Fat Rat…

      “Nothing ordinary about Steve Simon…the man’s got BALLS.”

      So, I see you belong to the Australian national transgender society? I told you they should get a physical before being given membership..

      Some people never learn.

  1. Due to a house move, and a year from hell, my only music sources at the moment are a cheap android phone, and a small cheap Panasonic cd radio. I’ve been listening to cheesy Christmas music with my wife and young kids, lubricated with mulled wine. Very ordinary, or even below-par set-up, but music has never sounded better 🙂

    1. Hi Drifter,
      I don’t actually know why but I was touched with your post. I think you’ve got the right balance I guess. It’s not the way you listen to music thats overly important, it’s your Hi Fi dreams and journey you will one day achieve, I hope.
      Best wishes for a better year.

    2. He-e-ey drifter,
      Haven’t heard from you for ages.
      Glad that you’ve resurfaced.
      Sorry about your troubles this year.
      I hope that next year is a much better one for you.
      Drop-in here more often if you can; don’t be a stranger 😉

  2. The ordinary = routine, mundane, the usual — at least things seem that way.

    Then you read ‘todays’ Paul’s Post while having your morning coffee, or during an afternoon break, or sitting on the couch very near the end of the day. You get all fired up with comments, observations, thoughts and opinions. You supply yours in the written word. The responses come… some are ignored, some turn confrontational, some are informational. Some responses are sarcastic, some are funny, some go against every grain of your being.

    The ritual becomes a routine. But with-in that routine there are glimpses of the ‘promised land’ and enough turmoil to make those moments anything but mundane and ordinary.
    At some point the music gets turned on. Then for a relatively brief point in time you let yourself be transported to some place other than what you consider ordinary.

    Thank-you’s to Paul and all who respond to the posts here.

    1. Good morning Mike!
      What you said in your comment, is right on the point here!
      Sometimes, we all have to tune out the noise that’s going on around us.
      But if the way of tuning out the noise is turning on the music and just kicking back, and relaxing, by all means, do what you have to do!
      Because after all, life goes on.
      And most of the time, we don’t have any control over life as we really know it.
      And so, we just do the best we can, with what we have.
      That is, until something better comes along.

      1. Works for me Paul. Can we rent out a micro brewery (I’ll chip in) and do it early – mid Sept? 😀 ✌️ In memory of RMAF, and to celebrate Octave Records….

        The only big decision will be…. is the football round or oblong?

          1. I think it depends on the conversation. But quite often a place much farther east of the British Isles and more north than west of his country of residence…. (If I have my basic geography correct 😉 )

            1. Two words, both wrong. All Brits are lovely people, and there hasn’t been a British Empire since I don’t know when. We are now merely a group of islands floating off the coast of Europe.

          2. I think he’s referring to China. Australia have had big Covid issues with China and an increasingly aggressive trade and tariff war, quite damaging to the Australian economy.

            The Aussies and the Brits love each other, we really do, even though we are about to go to war on the cricket pitch. Hostilities begin next Wednesday.

            1. Yes of course it is China. Steve Simon is the head of the the woman’s professional tennis organization and is boycotting China due to their treatment of the female tennis star.

          3. Paul,

            You aren’t alone, I had to resort to google. I’m sure you’ve already seen Tony’s response so no need to repeat it. I’m playing catch up late in the day.

    2. Fantastic post Mike!

      We should have a contest for best posts of the year.

      I am nominating your post right here, right now. Remarkable! Thank you for this morning’s insight. Perhaps you can post one one every day? On second thought, perhaps that’s too ordinary 🙂

      You just made my day extraordinary

    3. Very nicely put Mike… first thought when I read this over eight hours ago. Obviously that view hasn’t changed but my praise is a bit late to the party. Fortunately the time the music gets turned on is fast approaching 🙂

      1. No praise was sought Richtea 🙂 But thank you very much. (It’s close to tunes time here now. Woo Hoo!)

        For some reason my thoughts made it to my thumbs coherently today. 😉

    1. Very good point. Along that thread I recently came across the music of Patty Griffin (late to the party, I know). Her song Long Ride Home from 1000 Kisses (2002) makes your point via a sorrowful lament from a husband of 40 year’s perspective, having just buried his wife. Being reminded that one has a “best if used by” date can focus the mind? Then again, “People Ain’t No Good” by Nick Cave comes to mind too.

          1. FR, Most boys measure themselves against their father. My father dropped out of school when he was 13 ( this was 1926 ) to start working so that his mother would not loose the home they lived in. Given the path my life was taking it was difficult to measure myself against my father so I chose a father figure who was my Ph.D. advisor. He went to his grave unhappy because he never won the Noble Prize in physics. If that is the standard you measure yourself by it is really hard to be extraordinary.

  3. “Yet, it is the ordinary that makes up the majority of our lives. The ordinary everyday music, friendship, smiles, and great sound on our systems.”

    I don’t think it’s the ordinary, it’s the “familiar”.

  4. After reading all the comments including my own, I think I’d like to take the contrarian position. Thinking about this for a moment I realize that ordinary may be a double edge sword. Everything that Paul spoke about rings true but and there is a but, I believe that besides the ordinary we need to think about new, different, exciting and intelligent new things in our lives. And yes, I absolutely know that Paul and many of you know and do new and different things daily. It helps to give us a feeling that our lives have purpose.

    Did any of you folk ever notice that as the years pass and we become adults that the days seem to get shorter and shorter and before you know it it’s time for bed? That’s because we do too many ordinary, repetitive tasks every day. I am working on a new life plan in my retirement to come up with new ideas, interest and friends to break this definition of ordinary and bring more happiness into my life besides music and the arts. It’s actually working so I’m going to leave the ordinary and add the extraordinary to as many days that I can until I can’t anymore.

    Getting back to ordinary, I’d like to mention a song composed by one of my favorite composer singers, John David Souther .… “Simple Man, Simple Dreams”. It’s short, makes his point and is anything but ordinary. When it comes to music of this genre, yesterday I was reminded of very simple composition “God Only Knows” by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys actually brings Paul McCartney to tears every time he hears it. When it comes to lyrics, simple and ordinary can be extremely touching and beautiful.

  5. I enjoy the peace within the ‘ordinary’ life I’ve worked a lifetime to achieve. It wasn’t always ordinary and my wilder youth most certainly loved the extraordinary bumps & curves in the road it took to get here. I look back fondly and without regrets at the adventures I had; I’m glad I took the chances & leaps I did. Now the roller coaster is near the finish, there’s still a couple hills and twists left – just not quite as steeply crazy.

    Ah, who am I kidding, LET’S GO AGAIN!! GIMME ANOTHER TICKET!!

    And the news? It’s not news anymore, it’s moronic victims with PSA warnings (I gave $195,000 to a Nigerian princess – don’t let it happen to YOU!), contempt finger pointing and celebrities, celebrities, celebrities!! “And in the news today, (insert random celebrity here) was spotted walking with a Starbucks Crapuccino wearing a red hat…”
    Good gawd could someone PLEASE pass me my spray pump bottle of industrial extra strength Markle-Be-Gone!! 😉

    1. Kip,
      A big part of ‘the ordinary’ is training yourself to ignore the mountains of bullsh!t that various forms of media dish-up daily as news & stories of public interest.

    2. If you’re using the Chrome browser there’s an extension called Good News that let’s you block things by keyword. I use it extensively for the constant barrage of celebrity bs and I have to admit to a certain satisfaction from hitting the “Add” button and knowing I’ll never see anything about Will Ferrell or whoever again. Will just happens to be who I blocked today. Here’s a link:

      1. Oooh, ya… Taylor Swift, Oprah, the Kardashians, AND Tarantino-Be-Gone!!!! Woo-hoo!

        Now I just need a device that will initiate an immediate destructive explosive charge in my television the INSTANCE the Big Bang Theory mistakenly appears on my screen.

    1. I completely agree, no one here is ordinary. However, under advice of legal counsel, I am not going to say exactly what I think of anyone here. 😉

  6. Restaurant reviewing has a toxic problem.
    If it is ordinary…pass.
    No credit for perfectly concocted steak and chips with bearnaise.
    Never fails to please

    Only report on new exciting never before dishes, hot today forgotten next year.

  7. The funny thing is that our ‘ordinary’ was once our ‘awesome.’
    The so called ordinary things we own in audio were at first surprising and flat out amazing when we first purchased them.

    Through the passage of time our perceptions and feelings change. Most of us feel we want more and the latest and greatest, but most of us know that in audio that can be a very slippery and expensive slope. 😉

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