The Alphabet Machine

A close-up of a machine used to raise a house off its foundation

The machine I use to generate the letters and numbers that go into the posts you see here is an old one, full of knobs and dials and pneumatic valves. I’m a little jealous of the speed and convenience of keyboards I see on people’s laptops when I’m on the train, able to tap a key labeled ‘B’ and see a ‘B’ appear on the screen. But where’s the noise, the drama, the emotion?

A close-up of a machine used to raise a house off its foundation

It may be time to upgrade though. My machine can’t generate ‘@’ or ‘#’ signs, which is really holding me back on social media. I’ve been hoping the company would create an add-on (they call them Helper Outlets), like when Q, R, S, and T were added to the English language, but sadly that’s not going to happen.

A close-up of a machine used to raise a house off its foundation

I first came across this machine when I didn’t have my camera with me, it was being used to raise a house up several feet off its foundation. I kept forgetting to go and photograph it but finally got some pictures on a Friday when I had a few extra minutes in the morning, and took a few more on the way home at the end of the day. I’m glad I did, I next walked past two days later while walking Ellie and the machine was gone.

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