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June 08, 2011

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DrJ

Heartiest congratulations, Cap'n!! Please do keep coming by as time permits.

In other professional news, my company has just executed its indirect rate agreement with HHS. Practically that means we can now recover overhead that we have accrued over the year and a half of our NIH award. This is a fair amount of money, at least to me.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Yippie Capn',

They would be oh so lucky to have you.

Clarice

Congrats, Cap'n.

Extraneus

The comments on that WaPo witch-hunt are running around 100-1 against the WaPo, and the few that support it are incoherent.

lyle

Good luck with the funemployment, Capt.

Captain Hate

Thanks guys; I've always felt like the luckiest person there is but sometimes I feel that way more than others. I'll provide more details as I find them out but this will probably involve a bit of traveling, starting maybe the week after next.

Porchlight

Congratulations, Cap'n, and DrJ! So glad to hear it.

Captain Hate

Btw, does the WaPo's dredging through Sarah's emails remind anybody of the lowlife that used to sift through Bob Dylan's garbage in the late 60s or early 70s? Or am I the only person that remembers that? It's not an acid flashback, honest.

Melinda Romanoff

Ext-

For that sort of work, I'll require being paid and receiving the originals, provided no copies are made in advance.

I'll provide all the reading they want.

No reporting on it, but definitely reading something after my new firepit is broken in.

Danube of Thought

Way to, CH and DrJ. Great news.

Captain Hate

Congrats DrJ; as somebody that did contract work for the Feds I'm very aware of the huge lag that exists between when work is done and when they pony up. In fact, in the ultimate Catch 22, I saw some people with serious medical conditions (or having a spouse with such a condition) be marched out because their security clearance credit rating component went tits up because of their expenses not being offset by a timely receipt of payment from prior work.

Porchlight

The comments on that WaPo witch-hunt are running around 100-1 against the WaPo, and the few that support it are incoherent.

Most of the comments are gone now - deleted? There were only about 25 when I started reading, and only 43 now. I don't see the one Janet mentioned.

Nice work WaPo.

cathyf

Congrats, CH! And DrJ, too! (I wish DrF could get a grant that paid something for overhead...)

Danube of Thought

Politico:

"Newt Gingrich’s top staff quit en masse Thursday, throwing into question whether his already troubled presidential campaign can continue. Two sources close to the situation confirmed that campaign manager Rob Johnson, strategists Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler, and consultants Katon Dawson in South Carolina and Craig Schoenfeld in Iowa have all quit to protest what one called a 'different vision for the campaign. The sources said Gingrich was staying in the race."

Melinda Romanoff

Congrats to CH and DrJ!

Porchlight

Link to WaPo article again:

You, too, can be an official Obama Water Carrier just like the Washington Post

Porchlight

DoT, rumor is that Newt's staffers are jumping to Perry.

cathyf
In fact, in the ultimate Catch 22, I saw some people with serious medical conditions (or having a spouse with such a condition) be marched out because their security clearance credit rating component went tits up because of their expenses not being offset by a timely receipt of payment from prior work.
Yeah -- one time I saw someone make the comment that virtually ALL minority/women set-asides in government contracting HAVE TO BE fraudulent. Because the sort of business that was envisioned -- the "little guy" struggling to make it -- is exactly the business which will be utterly destroyed in short order by the government's sheer incompetence in paying vendors.
Melinda Romanoff

NYT also looking for e-mail help.

No comment from Duranty.

DrJ

CH,

Thanks! Getting paid has not been the issue -- I enter a request, and the next day it is transferred electronically to the company's bank account. That has worked very well.

The issue is that there are grant restrictions that are imposed until the agreement is executed. I'll spare you all the details, but in my case that was direct project expenses plus 10% overhead on labor.

Meanwhile, there is a requirement that all government monies have to be spent within three days of receipt.

That means I had to pay the rest of the overhead out of my pocket. Well, that, and some financial machinations that are perfectly legal but made grant administration nearly impossible.

It almost put us under. It really is pretty similar to the security clearance case you mentioned.

A side benefit (???) is that I've been turned into an accountant, and have become very familiar with 45 CFR Part 74.

Extraneus

Most of the comments are gone now - deleted? There were only about 25 when I started reading, and only 43 now. I don't see the one Janet mentioned.

How about that. There were 391 when I read them. Now there are 77, and the originals are gone.

DrJ

the "little guy" struggling to make it -- is exactly the business which will be utterly destroyed in short order by the government's sheer incompetence in paying vendors.

Yeah, modulo grant restrictions vs. payment.

The major problem is that my current NIH award is through a grant vehicle where the awardees are, with very, very few exceptions, academic institutions. Those few exceptions tend to be well-funded private companies. Those organizations have a bevvy of people in place whose sole job is to take care of this sort of nonsense.

They also have in place an existing body of knowledge on how to do the various aspects of grant management. This is a huge advantage, as NIH is so segmented that no one knows what goes on in a different area.

FWIW, I've found NSF to be a lot easier to deal with. Sadly, NIH has more money.

Porchlight

That is wild, Extraneus.

glasater

Porch-

Steely Dan--I've got a vinyl of SD in storage:-)

And great news for Captain and DrJ.

My better half has become an accountant also in after hours just as you have become DrJ.

daddy

Jane,

Thanks for telling us what John Stewart left out:

"we go deface all of my neighbor's sharon angle yard
signs…then when we are really hot we go to the bookstore and cover all of the glen beck
books with copies of "the audacity of hope!"


Isn't it revealing to see what facts the unbiased John Stewart finds are non-pertinent and just too hard to work into a satirical comedy routine supposedly poking truthful fun at the Left.


Porchlight

Steely Dan--I've got a vinyl of SD in storage:-)

Well, get it out!

I was a late convert to SD. I hated them in h.s. and college, and they were so easy to make fun of. But then I had an epiphany. I recognize the goofiness, but I don't care.

DebinNC

Congrats, DrJ! Wonderful news, CH! I'd never know from your hilarious, bombastic posts this past year that you were experiencing a great trial. That kind of courage-under-fire is very rare.

daddy

"The comments on that WaPo witch-hunt are running around 100-1 against the WaPo, and the few that support it are incoherent."

But of course. So hit the link below to see who else is joining the WaPo in doing the same thing.


NY TIMES: Help Us Review the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced details for the second in what he said will be a series of hearings on Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious. The hearing, set for Wednesday June 15, will examine “reckless decisions” and “tragic outcomes” as a result of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) programs.


Barbara

Steely Dan--I've got a vinyl of SD in storage:-)

"Well, get it out!

I was a late convert to SD."


Me too, Porch. I think I'll get out the CDs and play them.

Jane

Daddy,

I'm gonna make this week's show into a podcast because I want all those kudos to the Sturbridge heroes on record. If you are interested, I'll let you know when its up.

daddy

Great news CH and DrJ.

As for the Sarah E-Mail thing. Out here that has turned into a big stink. Due (I think) to mandatory redactions the e-mails have been turned into print copies, and to get a copy of the 24,000 print copies delivered to you personally you have to pay about $1,000 for the printing and the shipping costs from Juneau. This has resulted in an E-MailGate about E-MailGate, with congenital Palin haters lining up and demanding the Alaska Government pay to provide individuals those e-mails.

daddy

Please do Jane.

I'm your most distant fan!

glasater

"Well, get it out!

I was a late convert to SD."


Me too, Porch. I think I'll get out the CDs and play them.

I will get it out but the turntable is buried. At least I can look at the fantastic cover;-)

glasater

Just heard a quick comment that Hillary is seeking the World Bank president position!! From Reuters.

Extraneus

Thanks for the NYT link, daddy. What a bunch of scared rabbits. Have you ever seen such fear of a lightweight ditz? Outside of Junior High School, I mean.

Btw, the NYT comments there are primarily negative, too, and the negative comments have more Recommends. And you have to be registered with the site to post! Who knew there were so many TMs out there?

May this backfire into their faces after she proves to be totally clean. Hard to imagine they won't find something to gnaw on, though. Surely they'll be cataloging some spelling mistakes, at the very least.

If she gets in, and Perry doesn't, she'll be the most vetted president in history, by far.

Btw, if she doesn't get in, I'm for Perry. I just wouldn't want them to split the conservative vote and let someone else luck into it.

Porchlight

Ah, glasater, I have turntable problems too. It's out in the living room with the rest of the hi-fi (heh) but the belt disintegrated.

If you still buy CDs (I do), the Citizen Steely Dan boxed set is really well done. Someone did a killer job mastering it; it sounds terrific.

http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-Steely-Dan-1972-1980/dp/B000002ORE

(note the number of 5-star reviews - and SD fans are picky picky)

Porchlight

I don't see Palin getting in if Perry runs. At least, I would be surprised if she does. They're friends and she said at the beginning of all of this that she wouldn't run if she thought there was another conservative who could win.

daddy

Ext,

My guess is that the e-mails will allow famous Palin hater Andree Mcleod the opportunity to launch another dozen Ethics Investigations, whether there is anything in them or not.

She has been given a soapbox by HuffPo and I think Andree will now have unlimited funding and become the go to girl for the Times and the WaPo from here until November 3rd, 2012.

Extraneus

As an ex-budding rock star guitar legend, there's no way to ignore Reeling In The Years.

Extraneus

If they're really friends, I wonder if they're big enough to strategize together, Porch. Probably too good to be true, but one can hope.

Melinda Romanoff

Porch + glasater-

Kevin Bruce does a nice job with new, reasonably-priced turntables. He set me up with a new three speed, because I needed the 78 to burn my collection.

I can't tell you how helpful he is.

pagar

IMO, the proPalin side could set up a contest to have people go thru the Wash Post/NYTs back issues and award a prize to any one who finds an article ran by either of them that was not 100% leftist propaganda. Their dislike and contempt for decent Americans is only exceeded by the Obama Administration or the Democrats themselves.

glasater

Thanks for the link Mel.

Years ago I was fortunate to photograph the Cain and Cain workshop.
Terry Cain had a studio designed for the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.
Somewhere in the bowels of my photo files I have a picture of his two plus inch plexiglas turntable -- a thing of beauty!
Terry Cain passed on some years ago at a much too early age so I imagine his speakers are now considered works of art.

DrJ

Ah turntables. Here's the one I use, the SOTA Sapphire. It might not be suitable for Mel, since it is only 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. And goodness has its price gone up.

GL, you were taking pictures in the outer fringes of audio freekdom: the back-loaded horn and triode amplification. I have always been more of an electrostatic loudspeaker guy; I currently use old Quads.

About a decade ago I tried to help resuscitate the Beveridge electrostatics. The fellows proved to be too hard to work with, so I walked. But they deliver the best sound I ever have heard. Truly stunning. Sadly they are priced at $40K to $80K for a pair (!); our fundamental disagreement was that I wanted them to focus on a "value" $10K pair after their flagship was done.

Melinda Romanoff

glasater-

The range of prices for those glas turntables go from $20K to $200K.

$20K:

$200K:

both cool, but a smidge on the impractical side, if you ask me.

DrJ

Mel, that's beyond impractical -- it is insane. Sadly that's what's happened to audio: the high end has to charge stratospheric prices to make any money at all (computers and home theatre have killed their market). So they get more and more outrageous.

Melinda Romanoff

I view most cars the same way, FYI.

glasater

you were taking pictures in the outer fringes of audio freekdom

Heh DrJ-

Yes, I misspoke when I wrote speakers. Terry Cain didn't do the innards at all just the cases. But the innards were from Seattle as I remember. At the time of the photo shoot he was working on equipment that was to be sent to a fabulously wealthy man in Indonesia who was paying a fabulous price:-) The woodwork was exquisite...
If I ever find the turntable photo I will send it to your email address just 'cause I was lucky and caught the light pretty well and it might be something you would enjoy.

Melinda Romanoff

I did, however, really, really liked MT's idea of putting amps at the ends of my speaker runs. Just like Edison;s DC substations before Westinghouse's little engineer's idea about AC. Oh what was his name? Oh, yes, Nikolai Tesla. My hero.

glasater

Mel-

As I remember -- the turntable I took the photo of was relatively clear with no metal edge.
You've made me curious and now will have to dig...

DrJ

Maybe that's why most of my stereo gear and my car are over 20 years old.

But the high-end really is insane these days. When I was in grad school 30 years ago, I cobbled together something pretty reasonable for about $2K, though much was used. That was less than two months of my stipend.

These days the stipend roughly has doubled, and $4K does not buy you much unless you are really careful.

DrJ

GL, do send them to me if you find them. I'd enjoy it.

scott

"As an ex-budding rock star guitar legend, there's no way to ignore Reeling In The Years."

Got that right. Superb Randall Strat renderings on that one. I clicked on the Cain link and saw he uses a Dimeola/McLaughlin/DeLucia record for test. I saw this show in the late 80's in Poughkeepsie, NY. As a young player I listened to Dimeola for hours and hours. I actually wrote him a letter when I was around 18 and received in the mail a book of chords, scales and arpeggios which I still have and a note which I have somehow lost over the years. The book had a list of guitar players to listen to and the only name I recognized was Dickey Betts. I spent years after that listening to and memorizing all Dickeys solo's. My wife and her college roomate still laugh about me locking myself in the bathroom till 3 AM with Blue Sky going over and over. Good times, man. Wouldn't trade it for anything. Thanks for the memories!

Captain Hate

I'd never know from your hilarious, bombastic posts this past year that you were experiencing a great trial. That kind of courage-under-fire is very rare.

Eh, some of the bombastic posts were railing about the economic policies that all of us are laboring under that happened to directly impact me. I never wanted anybody to feel sorry for me because that would be wildly inappropriate; so I kept things zipped on that. But I can say now thanks for the nice words. It really worked out well for me because I'm at the type of place where I want to be in contrast to some of the things that fell through; if I'd have ended up working for a large company or the feds I'd be contemplating it with barely disguised dread. We'll see how things go but right now I can't imagine things being better.

glasater

Here's the turntable photo:
Cain Turntable 3988

It will be cropped but can be opened in a new window.

DrJ

That is a beautiful piece, GL, but it is too tweaky for me. Too much engineer in me, I guess.

Still, it must have been a fun job!

Melinda Romanoff

DrJ-

I think that's home built. Those are 2X4s for the base, with what looks like a high attenuation motor, timed with a laser on the cuttings on the base of that epoxy platter.

At least that's what it looks like to me, and would be close to what I would do if I had the lab to fabricate it.

Which I don't.

And it is way cool.

Porchlight

As an ex-budding rock star guitar legend, there's no way to ignore Reeling In The Years.

And the piano, don't forget the piano.

My goodness y'all, I just have a crappy used Technics I got for $35.

But I do have a killer Adcom amp and preamp. They're 20 years old and counting. And when I go to my folks' house I get to play with the Macintosh stuff.

Porchlight

Oops, make that Mcintosh, I ain't talking about no Apple devices. (They have them but I don't touch the stuff.)

Porchlight

Some Telecaster Steely Dan action for the guitar heads:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DivGUhX-5Y&feature=related

Melinda Romanoff

Porch-

Macs and tubes, oooooh.

My high school buddies and I ran a set of 1950's era movie theater ElectroVoice speaks, powered by Macs, outside. Almost five feet tall.

We started with the Allman Brothers "Hot 'Lanta", then Lynyrd Skynyrd, Robin Trower, some Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, and finished with ZZTop.

It was loud.

And it was very, very good. I still have the reel to reel we played.

DrJ

Mel,

I think that's home built.

Most of the nose-bleed stuff is. I still find much of it to be suboptimized. You find this in the transducers: loudspeakers and turntables, and to some degree, CD players. I much prefer the approach of Linkwitz.

Porch,

And when I go to my folks' house I get to play with the M[]cintosh stuff.

That's what I use, but it does need some rebuilding. The ones I own are not the last word in fidelity, but they sure have held up over the years.

Threadkiller

All the audiophile talk and Iggy, Mel and Ch wanting me to expand my horizons, I have to chip in on this one.

Is anyone using Dodson digital to analog converters?

Here is a link to a review of the product. There are more reviews and specs at the first link.

Ralph Dodson is a family friend and has been building these units one at a time for some time now. I have heard them in operation, although I do not own one yet. Unbelievable. You will forget you are listening to a CD.

Silversmith cables were Ralph’s preferred cable too. I have not talked to him in a while so I am really glad this OT became the topic. I will call him this weekend.

DrJ

TK,

I've no experience with the components you mention, but if you like them, buy them.

In my opinion, the most important thing in the audio world is the room/speaker interaction. Room damping or compensation (through digital methods) is overlooked, but it should not be.

One reason that the Beveridge sounds so good is that it launches a cylindrical wave into the room, as opposed to the spherical wave of most conventional cone loudspeakers. This excites the room (and its resonances) differently, and by and large it is a good thing. This is particularly true since most electrostatics use a dipolar radiation pattern for the bass.

Cables are a second-order effect if you use multi-amplification and crossovers that are placed between the preamp and the amp, and include the response profile of the drivers you choose.

You can get much better sound with mid-range components and proper room treatment than the nose-bleed stuff with no attention paid to this. Ultimately audio is an acoustics problem, and that usually is not addressed.

Take a look at linkwitzlab.com if you want more information. Siegfried is a good engineer and a nice guy. And is work is excellent.

glasater

Here's Terry Cain with a toy...

Terry Cain 3981

I hope someone can help me remember what that all is in front of him.

glasater

I think this is a vacuum tube.

Cain Vacuum tube 4009

And it was an interesting photo shoot DrJ. I have a ton of photos of his speakers and the creating process. Will have to do a tribute to the man with a gallery and perhaps an Animoto slideshow.

DrJ

I think this is a vacuum tube.

Yeah, and I'd bet it a wired to produce power in a triode configuration. That's the norm for the horn guys, since they don't need much power to drive their speakers.

I prefer other approaches, but that's just me.

Horch.

Martin-Logan Speakers.
===========

DrJ

kim,

I have a great affection for what ML does -- they do a lot right, and their products have been quite good. I like force-over-area transducers, though Siegfried would disagree for very good reasons.

In my opinion there are better ways to do what they want to do, but I won't explore these since there simply is more money in biotech.

Capitalism is a cruel mistress. But she is right.

glasater

Here's one more photo I thought was interesting...
Cain set up 3980

It shows one of the bigger cases.

Extraneus

That's a guitar cable at the bottom of 11:47, so it's most likely either a tube amp or pre-amp, or possibly a dynamic effect like a compressor.

Extraneus

Cool pics, whatever they are.

glasater

Thanks Extraneus. It was an interesting photo shoot and the sound was exquisite.

macphisto

don't even get me started on the Steely Dan guitar solos. one of these days i have to get a proper transcription of the solos in the song "Aja" so i can work out the chord substitutions and stuff...i think that everything i want to understand about jazz guitar soloing concepts is contained in what Dias and Becker do on that track. i've always been a huge fan of Dias ever since i first heard SD in the 70s, even though i'll never get within artillery range of his technique.

i've always thought that they, like Frank Zappa and a number of other artists e.g. Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Sex Pistols, have been grossly misunderstood due to the tendency of the critical community to 1) mistake reportage for advocacy and 2) focus on the perceived negative/weird nature of the commentary rather than the actual content, which in all the cases i've cited is startlingly compassionate and humane once you dig past the "controversial" crust that these artists used to gain attention. even the Pistols' brutal and seemingly pointless damage was at the service of Johnny Rotten's deathly serious screeds against abortion, the idle dissipation of British youth, and the looming horror of the Berlin Wall.

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