Everyone should have a Kenmore!

Couldn’t resist! A few months back Emma and I were driving through the neighborhood and saw this old Kenmore canister type vacuum on the side of the road, awaiting trash pickup. Other than a scary dry-rotted power cord, it was in immaculate condition!
Chrome was perfect, logo was intact, paint unscarred. She tossed it in the back of the truck and it sat on our screen in back porch until last weekend, as we started prepping the porch for winter. I visioned it as a odd retro reading lamp beside my chair, and with a few lamp parts and maybe 2 hours of work, voila! The cool thing is, if I replace the vacuum power cord, it still works as a vacuum!

Kenmore Vacuum lamp

Maggies get bass assist!


I’ve been real impressed with the Maggies, but when I played some King Crimson or other bass heavy music I can tell the difference – so – I dug out my old M&K Volkswoofer, dropped in the plate amp my friend Wilfredo kindly gave me, and brought it up to play.
Now, the Maggies are 5 ohm speakers and not real efficient – it take a bit of power to make them sing, but I’m using a vintage Carver receiver that put out 150w/ch – PLENTY of power. None-the-less, I did turn the level down on the subwoofer so it wasn’t over powering – and – its a REALLY good match.
Plus, the Volkswoofer is a gorgeous walnut box – so its nice to have it back in use!

Maggies come to stay!!


I hadn’t heard flat-panel speakers before, but I’ve heard folks speak well of them in some of the speaker forums. So when I saw a pair of American made Magneplanar MG-IIb speakers listed pretty cheaply in Craigslist, I decided I should go have a listen!
I took some Accoustic Alchemy, Aja, some Klezmer, James Taylor, and Sinatra’s “For the Lonely”. Listened for about an hour, I was completely intrigued, made an offer, and soon we were loading them into the CRV. An hour later I was setting them up in our living room, and we spent the rest of the evening listening to various Cds …
Wow. What a sense of space! Emma says its like swimming in the music – sound comes from the front and back of the panels – MUCH different than the sound-in-a-box of regular speakers …
These are older models from the mid-80s – they cut off a bit above 16k and don’t play really low notes – so I’ll probably tie in a subwoofer for low base – but – I am REALLY impressed!

One Song
(Jalallud’din Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks)

All these religions, all this singing
One song.

The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks different on this wall
than it does on this wall,
and a whole lot different
on this wall over here,
but it is still sunlight.

We have borrowed these clothes,
these time and space personalities,
from a light,
and, when we praise,
we put it back in.

Just as one man can be a father to you
brother to another and uncle to yet another,
what you are searching for has many names
but one existence.

Stop looking for one of the names.
Move beyond attachment to names.
Every war and conflict between human beings
has happened because of some disagreement about
the names.

It’s such unnecessary foolishness
because just beyond the arguing,
where we are all one people,
there is a long table of companionship
beautifully set
and just waiting for us to sit down.

Verizon FIOS? Grrr, ARGH!

We’ve had Cox CATV & High speed internet since we’ve been here, but their newer HDTV channels don’t always play well with our HD-TIVO. So, after seeing many ads, figuring its cheaper, and having good feedback from a neighbor, we decided to go with FIOS. I did all this in mid-MAY, and had the install scheduled for Sat May 29th – Memorial Day weekend!

It turned out to be a mess, and the installer had no idea what he was doing …

Continue reading

We DID it, part 2


Of course, once we got our marriage license, we wanted to do something about it.
The marriage had to be done in DC, and I’ve always loved the light and airy space of MCC DC – so Emma pulled some strings, and got it reserved for us on Weds March 31st.
Our Anniversary is April 1st – so that was perfect.
We just wanted a small, quiet ceremony. Rev Kharma Amos was the officiant, our good friend Elethia took pictures, and Emma and I were wed!


New take on Nipper!


The Beautiful South: Miaow

You’ve gotta love this update on the old RCA Logo. But for contractual reasons, this album art was prohibited and the band went with a couple dogs in a lifeboat in a stormy sea.



My upstairs speakers are based on a mid-70s pair of JBL L200 speakers. I loved the look of the cabinets, but the sound was a bit limited. So I added 2405 slot super-tweeters and built new crossovers to make them 3 ways. A few months back I bought a pair of JBL 2397 Smith horns – they are mid-range horns, made of grey painted MDF, and designed for a 2 inch compression driver, tho I’m using them with a pair of adapters and my (cheaper) 1 inch drivers. They replace the “round” horns that are in the cabinets, hidden behind the textured foam grill. They sounded very nice but the grey industrial paint was UGLY. So, I found an audio friend who offered to make me a pair in nice wood, and I chose walnut, to match the JBL L200 Cabinets they sit on. They look great and sound WONDERFUL!