Looking for Mr. OFR

Every now and then I find myself trying to resurrect some bit of technology from the past. As Satchel, the dog in the strip Get Fuzzy) once said, “I love living in the past…it’s so predictable.”

I’ve decided it’s time to replace my faithful audio sidekick, a portable radio that I got to help past the time doing carpentry work back in the 70s. It’s still working, but senility has invaded it’s plastic mind: the radio dial is kaput (fine if you like the station at the very end of the dial), the volume knob has a short (two choices: barely audible, and teenager blaring), it no longer likes batteries (contacts corroded long ago), and while the paint spatters offer a nice patina-like effect to the outside, it looks like hell sitting on the bathroom sink counter where I like to listen to the BBC while getting ready in the morning. No problem, except the BBC doesn’t come in on the station at the end of the dial.

Easy to replace, right? Not so fast, boombox breath. Seems like this type of radio mostly exists in the minds of old farts like me (I’m not quite in the old fart category yet, still working towards my old-fart merit badge). Oh, you can find portable mp3 players, boom boxes in all shapes and sizes, and strange looking morphs of plastic and colors that allegedly offer sound (if you can decipher the instructions), but to find a good old portable radio the size of a hardback book is a challenge. At least it has been so far. I’ve been to four stores with no luck.

But I’m determined to find my OFR (old-fart radio), even if I have to start visiting pawn shops and flea markets in the process (or maybe garage sales at old folks homes, but that’s probably a bit extreme…or maybe not!).

I’m sure I’ll find it, and at this point it’s become a principle-sort-of-thing challenge. It may take awhile, but I’ll persevere. Guess when I finally find one, I’ll have to buy two so I don’t go through this again in another 30 years. I can always put one of them next to the Lava Lamp to keep it company.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Gary — I was so excited to get your comment on my blog – my first. Thanks. Unfortunately, you will have to read all my babble to find out about me.

    Just got two terrific portable radios from Grundig. One has a windup generator, in addition to batteries. Google Grundig. Best Dakota

  2. Cappy here!

    And this is the guy I’m supposed to Christmas shop for? So far on this hunt I have pointed to pictures in catalogs and pointed to radios in stores and asked questions of store personnel(real mem don’t ask questions, but it’s at least somewhat o.k. for their other half to do it as long as the guy looks as if he’s never seen you before in his life) as to where an OFR might be found, all to no avail. All I get is “humph” that’s not it and he tromps off mumbling.

    Some nice person has sent him a coment about Grundig portable radios so guess he has checked that out and beaten me out of another idea of something to get him for Christmas.

    It isn’t always easy living with the Inkmuser. He is a computer Wiz Kid while I, on the other hand, have just recently accepted that life will never go back to yellow pads, pilot point pens and typewriters. He can check out a dozen web sites in the time it takes me to find the correct glasses for the computer, turn it on and manage to get to the web icon. Usually, I make no effort to buy him anything that requires electricity to operate but when this OFR thing started, I thought, this would be a great idea. Back in the days when dinasaurs roamed the earth I was actually the manager of the electrics department in a store and knew something about radios, at least, the kind he was looking for so thought this one would work out without a hitch. Wrong again, in addition to not being able to find any in regular stores, I also didn’t think about looking on the web( not yet in my programming) so, once again, I am behind9see the previous commentabout fudge on a earlier page) . Maybe I’ll just get him a book, he does still read real paper and hardboard books when he’s not reading one that he’s got loaded on his PDA.

    This is the dinosaur signing off.

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