Paul Newman has died

Paul Newman in his Datsun race car
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I was reading The Washington Post this morning when I read the headline:
Academy-Award Winning Actor Paul Newman Dies at 83

Paul Newman, 83, the actor and sex symbol who surged to stardom by playing loners as well as criminal and moral outlaws — anything to downplay his astonishing looks — died of cancer Friday at his farmhouse near Westport, Conn.

of course, I’ll always remember him, cool and relaxed, waiting on the start line at Summit Point, from this photo I took many years ago …

Doggone car is blocking the driveway!

Yeah – new addition to the fleet – found this up in Abingdon, MD – some kinda 1.8 liter econo-car from Germany – rated 38mpg on the highway …
Its not a NEW car – its from 1995 – but squeezing gas is a GOOD thing these days!

M3_1001.jpg   M3_1000.jpg

I’ve got a few things to do and get it through inspection, but – based on the nearly 2 hour drive getting it home, what a FUN car!!

Reverend E Lee Chattin has died, at age 87

06/23/08 - Piper at the funeral

I’ve just gotten back from my father- in-law’s funeral outside Richmond, VA. He was a warm and generous man, a retired Methodist minister of 60 years in the pulpit, and the blessing of his passing was that it was brief, he was not in pain very long, and he died peacefully at home with his daughters beside him. His family has a Scottish heritage, (Clan Chattin) so it was only fitting that he be piped out in style.

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HerstoryVA website is now online!

Earlier this year we went to the Herstory Conference near Harrisonburg, VA. This is a women’s conference connected to the Shenandoah Presbytery and has been held annually since 1994.

Emma had been asked to do a workshop and speak on diversity, but we took the weekend as a mini-vacation and really had a great time there. Its held at Massanetta Springs Conference Center an absolutely gorgeous retreat center

Unfortunately, my annual winter cold hit on Saturday (which turned into bronchitis as soon as I got home) so I missed what was one of the more interesting worship services and discussion sessions, but I plan to attend again next year!

Interestingly enough, I got an email 2 weeks ago asking if I’d help them move and update their website, in preparation for next year. Because I enjoyed it so, I really wanted to give something back, so …

What is there now is just their previous site updated to CSS standard (for accessibility) and copied to a new domain. But I do plan to do more in the way of upgrades when I have some time.

The Next step forward

I had been shopping for a better quality active crossover for a while, and a week ago, I won an Ashly XR1001 on ebay – and yesterday it arrived. took a while to swap cables around but once I power it on – well, it really was like a veil had lifted off the music!

02/23/08 - Small pix of the biamp rack in the music room
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JBL – further evolved

02/23/08 - Current config of the music room
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Well, I still haven’t built grills for them, but I’ve got a JBL active crossover and a pair of amps to feed them, so the woofers are very tightly controlled, standup bass sounds like it should, and the rest of the frequencies – quite nice! I need to toe them in a bit, and we really should have them further from the sidewalls, but – its what we have right now, so I guess I’ll suffer as best I can …

Pope-Leighey House

10/07/07 - Heather sitting outside the Pope-Leighey house
As usual, click the image to see a larger size version.

I’ve had an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright-design homes for years, but most are in Illinois or Wisconsin. Except one – the Wright home designed for Washington Star report Loren Pope. Originally built in Falls Church, VA, later scheduled for demolition to make way for Route 66 construction, it had been moved to the grounds of Woodlawn Plantation in the 60s. I’d been meaning to visit the home for years …
Well, today we did it!

… Life is too short to be losing friends this way!

I’ve been trying to find out what’s going on with some old friends I’d lost touch with over the years. Lots of different reasons, but – our paths diverged.
So – I’d google their name and see what came up. Usually nothing – most of them had no real web presence.

But today I got info I had been dreading … I’d lost an old friend …
Peter Lackler – Deceased.

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More big big JBL fun …

Studio Monitor fits sideways in my 2004 CRV

Ever since I got those old JBL 4320 Studio Monitors in Philly for $300 for my birthday last year, I’d added parts and collected bits and done a series of upgrades from the original 2 way design with horns, to a pair of DIY JBL 3-way studio monitors, and finally into DIY 4-way monitors. I’d found a schematic for a model 4333 (passive) crossover network, built that, and had gotten a nice improvement from all that.
I even got an electronic crossover, dual amps and biAmped them.
But, it was still a kind of hack.

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Children of Abraham unite?

Last night we had an interesting evening. Emma heard that the Washington Hebrew Congregation was having a special presentation of the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi – a special Sufi sect from Turkey. Ticket sales were open to the entire community – what a diverse crowd – and what a presentation!

03/17/07 - Happy St Patrick's Day at the WHC
As usual, click the image to see a larger size version.