Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the symphony

my girlfriend’s god-sister plays in the boston symphony, and was in town on tour. she asked if we’d like tickets and immediately i said yes. i’d never been to san francisco’s davies symphony hall before, and had been talking about going to check it out about a month ago. i’m not a follower of classical music, but i do enjoy some kdfc (the local classical radio station) every now and then. what i was really excited to experience was the concert hall.

as a huge aficionado of audio gear, experiencing a symphony hall is a geeky dream come true. whereas most live music requires microphones, amps, sound boards, and all the rest of that gear, the symphony is 100% unplugged. the hall is designed so that each sound made on stage hits your ears perfectly. as you can see in the picture, there’s acoustic treatment on every single surface of the hall. there’s pieces of acrylic hanging from the ceiling, bumps on the walls and on the ceiling.

before going i looked up the god-sister, in order to know who i was going to listen to. i spent just as much time looking up what to wear. I learned that a weekday symphony wasn’t nearly as formal as a saturday night, so wearing dark jeans with a collared shirt under a sport coat was very acceptable. most men wore slacks, and most men were 40 yrs older than me. i did see a few acid washed jeans and sf giants beanies (yes a few). sf is known to not be a dress code town, and the symphony followed suit.

in the concert hall i could hear every single movement that happened on stage. it was a feast for the senses, my eyes would see the smallest movement of a violin bow, and my ears would hear exactly that. then my eyes would jump across to the percussionist bang the bass drum and it was is if i could hear with my entire body the low grumble it produced. the separation of instruments was amazing, and then stepping back to listen to everything as a whole sounded just as astonishing. i managed to sit perfectly still and silent for 15 minutes. i cannot recall the last time i did this, while still awake.

that first note came out and sent shivers down my spine, and then back up again. the symphony sounded... like a symphony!

the problem with perfect acoustics is that you can hear everything, so the gentleman snoring exactly three rows back and seven seats over was just as pronounced as the delicate notes of the flute solo were to my ears. and did i have to look three rows back and seven seats over to know where the heavy breathing was coming from? nope.

seated next to me was two short and stubby ladies speaking in spanish. every single chance to talk, they were yappin' away. at one point one had to stop the other from digging in her purse during the mozart piece because she was making too much noise.

afterwards we hung out with the god-sister over drinks. hearing her talk about her work life was fascinating. she spoke of the sound in different symphony halls, the different harps that she owns and plays, and even her schedule for some sf sight seeing before rehearsal.

this all inspired me to wake up the next day and find videos on youtube of cartoons i used to love as a kid that were based off of music from the symphony. i watched peter and the wolf, then lambert the sheepish lion, followed by the ugly duckling. i was re-watching these for the first time, listening more to the symphony playing than the sound effects that i focused on when i was a kid.

overall, not too shabby for a tuesday night.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

digital audio

i find that throughout the years i've been just as into music as i have been into the equipment used for music. a major component for that has been my digital library, which is my source for pretty much 99% of the music that i listen to, (other sources include records, fm radio, and cds).

i thought that this little demonstration was interesting. i can say that theres far more to digital audio than just this little demonstration, but it gives a bit of insight to the give and take that comes along with digital audio.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

wfh ftw!

a few years ago i started working from home on fridays. i loved being able to wake up later than normal, skip the usual morning routine of shower, shave, dress, eat, drive, park, buy coffee, and say the obligatory "good morning" to everyone i'd walk past in order to get to my office. even though i was still working, it felt like more like not working. the best part was quitting time, the moment i shut that laptop my weekend had started. normally a friday didn't start until i packed up, said my goodbyes, and drove home.

slowly i started to work from home more than just fridays. two days a week, then three days a week, then four days a week. until one week i worked from home the entire work-week.

everyone in my office was experiencing the same shift of working from home more and more during this time. it must have been mid 2009 that it all started. little did we know, that somewhere in 2010 we'd all be working from home 100% of the time.

our company allows employees of certain departments to give up their office space to work from home 100% of the time. I no longer have a desk with my name in an office space in a building downtown. my company no longer has to pay for the space i used to occupy, the phone i used to use, and whatever else comes along with leasing office space. i do have access to a 'drop in' office space, where cubes, conference rooms, offices, and tables are available on a first come-first serve basis for local work-from-home folks like myself. so if i ever have the itch to go to work, i can.

my company pays for my home internet and phone (land line). i was also given a catalogue and a small one time stipend with which i could by office supplies, desk, chair, printer, shredder, keyboard, batteries, etc.

i've been working from home, full time, for about two years now.

i've learned a few things about working from home. there are obvious pros and cons, and some that are not so obvious. When i first started working from home on a one day a week basis, i would never shower nor change before logging in. this usually resulted in working a full day showerless and in my pajamas. there would be days where i'd never change out of my pajamas, nor take a shower, since i had nowhere to go after work was over besides the kitchen, the couch, and the restroom. now, i don't open the laptop until i've brushed my teeth, changed out of pj's, and started my coffee. i prefer to take a shower after my lunchtime workout, which occurs 2-3 times per week.

there's no water cooler talk when you work at home. you don't drop by someone's cube to chat for ten minutes about the game last night. the only verbal interaction i have is via the phone, and normally it's on a conference call with more than one other person. i'd estimate that half of these calls i'm primarily a listener, and not a presenter, thus it's only a one-way interaction. however, we do have an internal instant message program, which is where we do the closest form of water cooler talk.

i've become pretty good at hosting audio conference meetings. which is far more difficult than a face to face meeting. every audio conference participant is in front of their computer, the probability that they are doing something else while listening to your meeting is 99%. every participant puts their phone on mute, as to minimize distracting noises like dogs, keyboard buttons, cars, kids, etc. this means that as the host, you're talking with zero feedback. if you crack a joke, people may laugh, but you won't hear it. you can't look at someone's face to see if they like your idea or are steaming pissed off that you've just stepped all over their toes.

there are plenty of perks along with working from home every day. i do laundry in between meetings, i don't have to listen to music quietly or on headphones, i can take naps in my bed during lunchtime, i don't have to buy 'work clothes', i cook for lunch, i do errands at lunch like grocery shopping. when packages are delivered i'm home to receive them, the list goes on. i've tried hard to leverage the working from home perks as much as possible. other friends that work for themselves, don't have jobs, or also work from home full time have come over and worked at my place. it feels like having a co-worker during these times, though they are not an often occurrence.

i'm much more efficient at goofing off while working. allow me to explain. an article you want to read is posted to your favorite website. when you're at the office you have to actively be aware of who can see your screen, and sneak snippets of reading during windows of opportunity so nobody sees you. while you're doing this, you're also trying to continue working on whatever work you "should" be doing. nobody wants to get caught doing personal stuff while on the clock, but in reality nobody works every single minute of the work day. when working from home, i can take the 10 minutes to read that article with no time wasted trying to cover up. this way i get goofing off done fast and i'm back working on that thing i "should" be working on.

another perk of working "from home" is the fact that i don't have to be "home". a number of times i have spent the work week at my parents house a few hundred miles away. we all wake up at the same time, they go to work, and i work from their spare bedroom/office. to my coworkers, i'm still available via phone, instant message, and email -just like when i'm working from my actual home office. i get to spend time with family after work hours, and neither of has to take vacation. i also capitalize on those $39 flights that are advertised but only applicable on tuesdays or wednesdays.

it's not all perks though. networking is extremely difficult when you're at home all day. in fact meeting new people in your company/industry is nearly impossible. we are pushed goals of networking, where we setup interviews with people who are on teams of our career interests. yet, on more than one occasion, my request to talk for 30minutes to someone has gone completely ignored.

finally, i know why they call it 'the grind' when people refer to work. the work itself isn't so much a grind as the people and personalities are. allow me to sketch a metaphor. your finger vs sandpaper. rub your finger across a coarse patch of sandpaper. the sandpaper is rough, and you feel the micro abrasions against the tough skin of your fingertips. but there's virtually no pain. now do that same thing, once every hour for five consecutive hours. now take two hours rest, and then do it again, once each hour for 5 hours. your finger doesn't heal fast enough, and soon you're painfully rubbing a raw bloody finger against sandpaper. youch!

you are the finger, and clashing personalities of the office are the sandpaper. if you just had more time between swipes, you'd never get down to that raw and painful state.

ideally i'd go to work 2 days of the week, and work at home 3 days of the week in conjunction everyone in my department. i'd give up subsidized internet and phone for networking opportunity, water cooler small talk, and office space dedicated to me where i can leave and store belongings.

no! wait. ideally i don't need to work and i can do whatever i want whenever due to a large, stable, steady income that requires zero effort on my behalf.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the monster receiver

lately i've been into vintage audio. i'm not sure where or when it started, but as the days pass i find myself spending far less time on face-twit and more on forum sites, craigslist, and ebay.

i joined audiokarma, probably the largest online audio forum for consumer audio, where i post under the alias 'holysocks'. check out the thread i've up posted about my audio systems here. you may recognize the re-wire portion.

what is fascinating about vintage audio is the fact that you can get very great stuff for very little money. this doesn't apply to any other type of electronics. stereo systems in the mid 70's and early 80's were being made to do one thing, sound amazing. almost every company in business at that time was making stereos with as much quality as possible. during the mid 80's however, that trend died due to the demand for more features and less demand for superb audio quality.

stereos are unlike televisions and computers for the simple fact that they aren't obsolete year over year. what would you use a laptop from the early 90's for, could it even get on the internet? a TV from the 70's? you aren't watching any streaming netflix on that puppy. but audio systems are different. our ears can only hear from 20hertz to 20,000hertz. as long as a stereo system can produce those frequencies and everything in between, you won't know if the system is 30 days old or 30 years.

so with this knowledge i've gone and started my first project, a receiver restore. after spending many hours educating myself in all things vintage audio, i found someone selling what was to be my first project piece. I found an MCS 3275 receiver about 30miles from my house listed on craigslist. after a few phone calls and a 45min drive i had my new (to me) receiver in tow.

this baby is a monster, as you can see i took a picture with my flip cam standing next to it on the table for size comparison. just look at all the aluminum knobs and switches, no plastic here. and the case is made of real wood, it's not (as often referred to on the forums) "bpc" - black plastic crap.

first thing i did was take it apart.

the second thing i did was post questions on forums about my questions. the first thread i posted about was pertaining to a capacitor issue i came across. the second thread about a lighting issue i'm having.

first of all, i love having this community of similar interest people. i ask questions, and not only get answers and suggestions, but also thanks and congratulations on my project. we're all geeking out, but it's ten times more fun geeking out with other geeks that are into the exact same thing.

i also feel that i'm being *somewhat* productive. granted all of the time i've put into this does now show in my immediate results, just another stereo. but the enjoyment factor is not to be discounted, as people spend most of their available time and money on enjoyment.

Friday, August 12, 2011

you a marine, you understand

three or four months ago i contacted a non profit organization that helps at-risk 17 to 22 year old people prepare for the 'real world'.

let me backtrack a second here. one of the many benefits provided to me by my employer is the ability to volunteer for 2 hours during each work week. to me, that meant getting out of work for two hours each week, to go play.  furthermore, my company is on a volunteer high right now so not only do i get to skip work to play but i also get a big pat on the back for doing so. it's a win, win, win (me, company, tutored person). in this case i'm considering teaching math as playing, which may not be true for all people.

things all came to fruit in july, when i heard back from the organization that i had contacted. they were in need of a tutor, and i was in need of using 2 hours of work to go do something that wasn't work, was productive, and above all -fun. a guy looking to get his GED had joined their program, and i was the man to help him out.

to date, i've had about five tutoring sessions. the fellow that i'm tutoring is 22 years old, he's got a 9 month old son. he told me that he dropped out of high school when he was in 11th grade.  honestly, i don't have much information beyond that about him personally. i'm a tutor, not a social worker. i've been told by the staff that he's had a pretty rough time growing up, which i can believe. one of the only other facts about this person i know is that he once mentioned to me his brother was at 2 strikes. i don't ask him personal questions, he doesn't ask me personal questions.

i approach this challenge with one goal, do what i can to equip him with what he needs in order to pass the GED. what i am not is a mentor, role model, miracle worker, problem fixer, or anything else. with only a few hours per week, there is no time to waste trying to do anything besides academics.  and of course, i'm not qualified to do much more than teach math, science, and english.

a normal tutoring session will start off with 30 seconds of chit-chat. how was your week? anything exciting happen since i saw you last? then i break right into it, because we're not here to talk, we're  here to learn. i start off with a review of what we did last week. i just make up a problem or exercise that uses concepts that we covered last week. here's the latest example:

there is a sale on your favorite jeans for 35% off. they cost $300 dollars normally. how much do you pay for these jeans if sales tax is 9.5%?

this may sound trivial to most, but the people who go through this program have dealt with anything from homelessness, to juvenile detention time, to substance abuse, to all of the above and then some. i had attentive and caring parents who lovingly shoved this type of information down my throat at the earliest capable age until i got it. not everyone is as lucky as i am.

other problem concepts include square roots, volumes, surface area, geometric properties of triangles, and fractions.

i like to think of myself as a san francisco version of robin williams character, sean maguire, in the movie good will hunting. the only difference is that i'm not trying to fix my tutee's severe emotional problems. and i'm not the hidden and forgotten best of the best in my field. and my tutee isn't a troubled genius. so really, there's very little similarity because will hunting was a super math genius, but that feeling of helping someone who needs/wants the help is there. and we both get something positive out of it.

two sessions ago about 10 minutes into the session i sensed quite a bit of negative energy. he was feeling frustrated and ready to just throw his hands up and quit. i stopped mid problem and said let's take a 2 minute break.  we both sat down away from the white board.  after 30 seconds of silence i told him that i'm ready to go over the same problem as many times as we need to and in as many different ways as possible until he understands it.

two minutes later a completely different person was standing at the board trying to grind out math problems. the rest of the session time flew by. one week later i was greeted by a smile, and a handshake. i greeted him back with the question "how do you take a percentage of a number?", and when "uhh... oh, multiply!" blurted out of his mouth, i returned the smile.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The End Starts Today

almost two months ago i started a music blog titled, The End Starts Today

i had been contemplating the workload that came with a daily music blog for the past few years, each time telling myself that it was too large of a commitment for me to undergo. then in feb of 2010 i found myself sharing a song a day with a fellow music loving friend, and jon commented that i should have just started a blog with all this effort. i hate to now say that he was right.

i wasn't sure that finding a song and emailing it to a friend was the equivalent of creating a blog, uploading a song, linking it, writing my thoughts and feelings about the song, and searching for and adding a picture to accompany the post.

but somewhere in the past few months, i decided to quit creating excuses and just go for it. i registered a blog title, devised an efficient process for uploading, tagging, linking, and posting my song, text, and a photo. i even sketched the black and white graphic above as 'album art' for each song that i post.

nowadays i spend about 15 minutes per day posting to the blog. i spend almost all day listening to music, via peel, my new best friend but this is usually during work, lunch, or after hours. i haven't changed my music discovery habits one bit as a result of the music blog, which was also a concern of mine.

on top of my 5 posts per week, jon posts one song per week on his "select sundays" category for the blog. you could say he's my re-occurring guest contributor, but he's more than that. he's helped with the blog layout, and a trusty consultant all things blog (he did publish a book on blogging).

since day one, i've had a blue sticky note that sits on my desk helping me blog. i wrote two sentences on the sticky note "if someone only listened to my music blog, what songs would i post?" and "discuss what i like about the song, and how it makes me feel"

i wrote these sentences to help me focus on what songs to choose and what i write in each post. plenty of blogs i follow post songs and their version of the band's bio, or some neat factoid. i figure that factoids are posted everywhere, but what i personally feel about the song is not posted anywhere, so instead of creating redundancy on the internet, i'm adding something unique and personal. now don't get me wrong, i'm not writing pulitzer prize novels about songs. i write a few sentences and move on, i mean, it's a music blog!

i've made a facebook page, a twitter account, and a feedburner for everyone's blog following preferences. so follow along and enjoy [what i think is] good music daily!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

eating non-chinese with the chinese

i love going out to eat chinese food. everyone sits at a round table and we order a large variety of dishes. food starts coming out to the table as each plate is prepared, every few minutes something new lands on the table accompanied by oooh's and ahhh's. in the center of the table is a lazy susan, and each dish is rotated effortlessly around the table for all to take a scoop, piece, or chunk of whatever is still available while the plates orbit the table.

usually we discuss what dishes we would like to eat while casually scanning the menu before the waiter comes. when it’s time to order, the waiter interacts with only one person, the table representative. this person's job is to consolidate everyone's input and create a final order presented to the waiter. i have only been this person once or twice, as this task is usually appointed to the person who is most senior and of chinese ethnicity. bonus points if the complete ordering conversation is done without any english.

i remember the first time i ate this style of dinner, i was completely out of my element. see, i grew up eating only the one dish that i ordered at a restaurant, perhaps once in a while i'd take a small bite of someone else's meal simply to taste it. if we all wanted to eat the same dish at a restaurant, then we'd all order the same dish. it wasn't uncommon for a waiter to read back "okay so we have three orders of the ribs and two orders of the salmon". most of the time i had no idea what the others were going to order until i heard them tell the waiter what it was they wanted.

i also grew up following rules such as, when at a restaurant, nobody was to start eating until all orders had reached the table. this is similar to the rule that when eating at home nobody eats until everyone has served themselves. for example, on spaghetti night, nobody starts eating until the bread, salad, spaghetti, have all been passed around the table and everyone has had the opportunity to take what they like.

at a chinese restaurant, the moment a plate hits the susan, it’s dished and eaten. there’s no waiting for all the food to arrive, or waiting for everyone to serve themselves. in fact, there is a hurry to get all of one dish served as to make room for other incoming dishes.

now, when things get interesting, is dining at non-chinese restaurants with a predominantly chinese table. it is a hybrid of both experiences, and interesting for me to observe just how things pan out.

first of all, orders are discussed and coordinated prior to ordering with the waiter. there are two reasons for discussion prior to ordering.:

1.) to make sure there is not a duplicate order.
2.) to make sure that everything on the menu that people want to try, has been ordered.

in reference to #1, if two people want the same dish, then it is assumed that they will split it. ordering two of the same dishes is unimaginable, and may result in immediately terminated friendships. yes it's that serious. the only exception to this rule is when one order of a particular dish is not large enough to allow each person who wants a taste. for example, if an order of crab cakes comes with 3 bite size crab cakes, and there are six people at the table who want some, ordering 2 orders of crab cakes is acceptable. and it is understood that nobody wants 3 bite size crab cakes to themselves. it’s almost as if the ultimate goal is to have each bite be different than the next until you are completely full. a redundant bite is simply a waste of stomach space.

not disclosing what it is you plan to order, prior to giving the waiter your order, may also land you in hot water. without knowing what you plan to order, other members of the table will have to guess what you are ordering, and plan their collective order accordingly, this can cause frustration for the table.

#2.) if you were to record what one person consumes at a chinese restaurant, it would show a few bites of many dishes. if you were to do the same at a non-chinese restaurant, it would be 100% of one entrée and possibly an appetizer or salad. it’s easy to see just how different these two palates have evolved?

moving on, when the food at a non-chinese place comes out, each person has an entrée in front of them. this is when the two people who wanted that one same entrée, divide that entrée in half and split it. the other entrée that they ordered is also cut in half, so they end up with two ½ meals each. most everyone else will consume 80-90% of the entrée in front of them, the 10-20% is dedicated to giving bites those who ordered something else.

this effort is done to somewhat mimic the chinese restaurant experience of having many small pieces of larger entrees. i’m not one to say it does or does not work, but it does not replicate the experience fully. occasionally asking for a few extra plates will help attain a more chinese restaurant experience at a non-chinese place, but only for a few individuals and not the entire table.

understanding this dynamic has helped me dine harmoniously. for myself, understanding why something occurs, helps me understand and accept it. i know why i have to disclose what i’m ordering to the table before the waiter comes. i am ready to give 20% of my dish to everyone at the table, and receive a bite of everyone else’s dish even if i’m not all that jazzed about what they ordered. and i know that unless i want to make enemies, i’ll be sure to order a dish that hasn’t yet, and will not be ordered by anyone else at the table.

Friday, May 20, 2011

choose (your screen name) wisely

do you remember the first time you read this:

"enter a unique username and press continue to create your account"

what was failed to be mentioned in those instructions was the fact that this unique name may or may not be your internet identity from now until eternity. the internet has given us the chance to name ourselves, again.

when my friends and i were 17 years old, we started creating accounts for stuff like email, icq, and aol instant message. with these accounts we were able to keep in touch. college does that to high school friendships. but with the help of the internet we were able to easily keep in contact. little did we know, that every time we'd sign up for a new service or account that made keeping in contact even easier, the first unique username that would come to us is the last one we created. and the last one was created from the one before that,

unlike your birth name, screen names are self generated. a screen name sure tells a lot about how someone sees themselves. or, maybe it goes out of it's way to hide something about them. is lilho really a little ho? is penn15president really a president? is paradigmpimp really a pimp? or do they think that this is how people perceive them? or is this how they want to be perceived?

this reminds me of a hilarious story my brother once told me about his college roommate. 'benny' was his name (which i changed to write this post). one of benny's classes had an online forum where questions could be posted and answered virtually. benny decided on the screen name soakingwetgirl69 as his screen name. of course he then bragged about receiving ample help for all questions he posted in the forum. and you guessed it, mostly from guys.

but i digress.

i've observed a trend. in the 90's and 00's people lived double lives. online they were hippoprinsess, in real life they were yancy wang. there was a clear divide between the two, and no search result would tie the blog, im account, or friendster page from the hippoprinses to the user's real ms. wang -that is, unless she wanted the two to be associated together.

lately, these two worlds are coming together. people's usernames are becoming their birth names. pictures of a users actual face is replacing buddy icons of unicorns and soccer balls. the anonymity of the internet is fading away. people are less and less living two separate lives. people now have two aspects of the same life: online and offline aka 'real life'. though, i'm not sure how much longer people will refer to in-person as 'real life', considering the internet is very real.

but we have residue of these screen names lingering still. in fact, the whole reason i decided to write this post is because dannon81 was sick of his screen name. he felt as though it didn't represent him anymore the way it had initially represented him. i suggested a few alternatives, like .:r32dan, damnitdan81, and my personal favorite sanfranciscobikecomputercarclothesfeelingsdaniels. i guess i liked the ring to that last one when it's blurted out real fast.

where are screen names going to be in a few years? i don't know. will we have a universal login someday where we only have one screen name? facebook seems to be doing a pretty good job of creating the closest thing to that at the moment. maybe everyone will be known by their facebook login in the near future?

if that's the case, then yes, i'll be attending cole trickle's bachelor party later this year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

produce run

This is the first time I've ridden my bike to the produce store and
carried a few bags worth of groceries back home via the rear cargo rack and
bungee'd milk crate. It was a huge success!

Monday, April 25, 2011

greeting cards

on friday i volunteered at meals on wheels, where i helped make greeting cards for the clients. i took a snap of some of my hand made greeting cards.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4 icons pt.4

round 4 of 4 icons. james.

for about a decade james has had a unique version of the phrase "i love to snowboard" as his primary personal email account address. he is a professional photographer, amazing guitar player, and recently developed a rather green thumb.

snowboard :: camera :: plant :: guitar

i only drew one binding for the snowboard, and then used photoshop to copy&paste the second one so they would look exact. i'm not sure if i feel lazy or efficient about that.

completely rewired

this weekend i tackled the daunting task of rewiring my desk. most people i know own laptops, the only wire on their desk is the power plug. i have a few more items, their desk rewire would have taken 5 minutes, mine took 5 hours.

this is how the desk looked before i started my attack

notice the left speaker is hidden behind a screen, also the speakers aren't equidistant from the sweet spot (where i sit). this was one of the many driving forces behind spending my sunny saturday indoors.

the bird's nest of wires filled me with anxiety, not to mention, i'd accidentally kick the components sitting atop the small chest of drawers under the desk.

with everything taken off the desk and unplugged i started my rewire.

first i placed all of the components in a location where i wanted them. this is when i made the decision to not use one of my 19" screens. the previous setup included my work-issued dell computer connected to a dell 19" monitor along with a mac mini desktop computer with an apple 30" cinema display and a dell 19" monitor. in total two computers each with two screens. i decided to simplify this a bit, especially since my apple cinema display is huge. my new setup would be work computer (laptop) two screens, home computer just one bit one.

now it's time to line up the components that used to sit on the ground. these are going to be hidden under the desk in my new arrangement. the wires are getting a bit hairy here, and i could feel the anxiety coming back, but i held strong and pressed forward.

some 24" zip ties secured the modem, router, external hdd, and plenty of power bricks to the back of the desk crossbeam support.

this is all the cables/wires/cords that need to be plugged in and organized. the big brick on the ground is my u.p.s. - uninterrupted power supply. it weighs in close to 25 lbs, leaving it on the ground was the best option.

here we are, bundled, zip tied, and even incorporated the conduit for aesthetics.

i even bundled the laptop connect wires in leftover white conduit to minimize cables to/from the laptop.

and here we have the before and after pic. the before pic is on the screen of the big monitor.

i feel more at peace now that the wires are hidden from view. i also enjoy more desk space due to one less monitor, though i do have less desktop space (virtual not physical) but it hasn't been a big issue for me. in all this rewire took 5-6 hours and spanned two days. i couldn't have done it without the help and guidance of my a-class project management team.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

blown away (guy)

in 1983 maxell ran a commercial about the audio fidelity integrity of maxell tapes.

(notice that blown away guy casually catches his wine glass before it falls off the table's edge.)

this ad went on to represent maxell and become a pop culture icon of sorts.

you've seen this right?

recently there was an article about the youtube fellas, check out their take on the "blown away".

once the family guy references something, that thing is solidified as a pop icon (to some degree).

even the jackass guys are in the know!

i love how he grabs for the glass at the 0:13 second mark even though the entire table is blown away at 0:03 seconds.

since i've been building the ultimate stereo system, i ordered the maxell poster for display above my stereo shelf. pics to come, as i have to get it mounted before the wall is dressed with blown away guy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

my shelf has spikes

my new retro stereo is starting to come together. but as i've been acquiring the components for the stereo, i'm finding an increasing need for a shelf of some sort for the stereo to live. initially the amp and tuner were placed on top of my technics turntables inside their boxes.

the speakers are designed to stand on the floor as they are, but using my two turntables inside their boxes as a makeshift shelf is wrong on two accounts. first account, it looks pathetic. second account, if i use my technics as a shelf, that's a $1,000 shelf.

so i contemplated making a shelf. many of the diy shelf threads on the few audio forums i scoured had all somehow come back around to "the rack". the rack is a diy shelf made of plywood, large threaded bolts, and nuts.

the rack performs well, but just didn't have the aesthetic i was looking for. so i searched a bit more. this is when i learned about vibration dampening, and the spikes that come along with it. each shelf sits atop 4 sharp spikes, thus minimizing surface area contact and mitigating unwanted speaker generated vibrations from reaching your audio components. the first shelf of this genre i found for the small price of $1399.99!!! i'd be damned to have a shelf that costs more than my entire stereo!

then i found the vti-bl404 shelf for $250! three color options and four shelves. i couldn't go wrong. so i ordered it and took pics.

i've received a few compliments so far, and i'm really enjoying how pretty my shelf is. i still need to get a few more components for my stereo, and as you can see, i have the shelf space for it!

next up, to get those technics turntables out of their boxes and onto a tabletop.