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Craig Sawyers

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Everything posted by Craig Sawyers

  1. Years ago, my daughter sent me a birthday card with that image on it. She reckoned it was a typical stupid dad play on words joke. You are on fire with this series of posts!
  2. In wonderful irony, the awful Anita Bryant's granddaughter in 2021 "...Sarah Green, came out publicly on an episode of Slate's One Year podcast series by announcing her pending marriage to a woman, although she was having difficulty deciding whether she should invite her grandmother to the ceremony."
  3. Steve said: "My parents were racist. They'd never admit to that, and probably actually believe that they were not racist. But I grew up in a house where the "N" word was used often. I remember my Mom telling me not to make friends with Black kids in school, because they couldn't be trusted. Even though I understood from an early age that way of thinking was wrong, some of that prejudice is bound to seep through. That's why racism is so prevalent. Because it's passed on through generations, because kids think their parents have the answers." Which kind of reminds me of the Poem by Philip Larkin. Now all Larkin's poems were pretty dark - sort of the poetry equivalent of Arthur Miller plays. This one is called "This Be The Verse" They fuck you up, your mum and dad They may not mean to, but they do They fill you with the faults they had And add a few more, just for you But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another's throats Man hands on misery to man It steepens like a coastal shelf Get out as early as you can And don't have any kids yourself
  4. Although they are shrouded, the mains transformers of that amp are very close to the deck and cartridge. Reminds me of a problem I had back quite a number of years with an Audio Research power amp I had. It was right in the bottom of the rack, as far away from the deck as possible. But when playing a record, an annoying background hum. Then without the deck revolving, I put the stylus down - hum. It was mechanical. The mains transformer was vibrating and shaking the whole rack. This was Audio Research's design booboo. Designed for US 60Hz, in the UK at 50Hz the transformer takes 60/50 times more current, and starts to saturate a bit. And it therefore mechanically vibrates at 50Hz. And vibrates the whole hundredweight of amp. Hauled it out of the rack - not easy given its weight - and put it on a separate platform - bliss - silence.
  5. I was born in '56, and when I was maybe 14 in '70 the school employed a black guy as a lab technician for the biology department. It is to my eternal shame I never spoke to the guy. You see, in the North East of England that was the first black person I had ever seen - and I simply did not know, in my ignorance how to talk to him. Now of course statistically, with 600 boys and girls, there simply had to be a fair number of gay people - or LGBTQ in a broader and more recent perspective. But if the topic was ever referred to it was in derogatory terms. It took me a long time after that to shake off the prejudices, and the ignorance. But all of them went. I really appreciated your initiating this thread Steve. And I like you thank heavens we are living, certainly in our parts of the world (USA and Europe) in much more enlightened times. But in whole swathes of the world being gay is still illegal and gays persecuted. Like it was in the UK - even in recent times, Thatcher introduced a law called Section 28, which made it illegal for local authorities to promote homosexuality: "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". This was in the UK in 1988. When Thatcher was ousted in 1979 in a landslide by labour, they repealed it within a year of taking office, thank heavens. Wikipedia is your friend https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28 . Now, thank heavens, gay marriage is enshrined in law, and the final barriers have tumbled Back in history, the Roman army were encouraged to take a gay lover, on the basis that a fighter would fight more diligently if he was defending his lover fighting at his side. Back to modern times, and just as a for instance, the one time CEO of the Brendoncare Foundation that my wife took over from, Paul (or Jules) subsequently became a Trustee. I got to know Paul and his partner Vital very well. Vital was a renowned stained glass artist and sculptor, and designed one of the windows in our house. He also designed windows for Oxford colleges and churches. After bravely battling bowel cancer for a number of years, he alas died at the all too young age of 63. This is the guy https://www.vitalpeeters.co.uk/ , and this is the window he designed and built for our house....
  6. Inside those hawser cables is actually bell wire🤡
  7. That was recorded in 1982, when both singers were at the height of their vocal powers aged 38. Astonishingly both of them are now 80.
  8. Alternatively use the speakers to play this
  9. Yes it is loads of dosh. But I think it is remarkable that the same company who made and makes affordable decks, decided to launch the original Reference in 1980, and that astonishing piece of engineering last/this year as the new Reference. An original Reference has just sold on eBay UK for ÂŁ51k in stunning condition
  10. OK found the price - Euro220k. Then you have to buy up to three tonearms and cartridges. And find somewhere that can take the weight. The original Reference was about a tenth that price (converting for inflation) when it was launched in a 100 unit limited run. In today's money about 25k.
  11. If you are going for a record deck, Thorens have just launched a new version of the legendary Reference turntable. Price unspecified. If you need to ask the price you probably couldn't afford it. https://thorens.com/en/thorens-news-infos/302-thorens-204-news-en-mobile.html and https://thorens.com/images/presse/reference/Reference_Brochure_05_2023.pdf And in the flesh
  12. Well that was click bait - I had not come across the term "baby backs", and the image that came to mind - well you can guess.... Anyhoo - they look delicious
  13. Very happy birthday Shelly!
  14. That Finnish entry was wonderfully outrageous! Oddly un-Finnish. I've worked with the often dour Finns and visited the country on business many times (once when it was a ridiculous -40C or F). One guy that was on a project I was running sounded particularly miserable all the time. I said "Are all Finns as miserable as you Mikko?" he replied, slowly and miserably "Oh - I'm known as the cheerful one" It is also high on the gun crime and gun suicide rankings. 18% of suicides and 15% of homicides. The country only has 5.5 million inhabitants. Per 100,000 it is second after the USA.
  15. Similar thing happened with Tektronix back in the day. A big part of their business was supplying to the US DOD. But in an attempt to reduce cost the DOD placed an order with Hickock and Lavoie, saying that they wanted them to copy the Tektronix scopes. Tek got wind of it and started putting a random hole in the rear panel of the vertical plugin. When this appeared in the Hickock copy, Tektronix sued the UK government in 1961. Took a while (18 years!), but Tek won $4.5m in damages from the US Government. Described here https://vintagetek.org/clone-scopes/ So "mistakes" can show up a plagiarizer of the design.
  16. I remember his role in Boys from the Black Stuff in the early 80's Gizza job - go on gizza job
  17. The horns are a Nelson Pass design https://www.passdiy.com/project/speakers/the-kleinhorn-part-1
  18. Broadcast by the BBC in 1959 https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/hi-fi-fo-fum/zjt6kmn
  19. Indeed. From https://www.mylondon.news/whats-on/whats-on-news/outrageous-life-notorious-chef-marco-21602394 "Allegedly, Marco even once made Gordon Ramsay - renowned for being a tough chef who regularly causes jaws to drop on shows like Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - break down in tears. Australia's news.com.au reports Marco trained Gordon at his restaurant Harvey's, and "exposed [him] to daily rituals of humiliation, foul language, flying knives and almost unbearable pressure," according to a 2006 profile in The Telegraph. Marco said: "I can’t remember what it was about, but I yelled at him and he lost it. The next thing I knew he was sobbing in the corner, holding his head in his hands, with tears rolling down his cheeks. "He was saying things like, 'I don’t care what you do to me. Hit me. I don’t care'." The problem is that the bullied and humiliated become the bullier and humiliator. I've had two bosses who fell into that category, alas (Both now safely dead). The poet Philip Larkin wrote a bleak poem called "This be the Verse" that describes this sort of process: They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another’s throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don’t have any kids yourself.
  20. Thing with Ramsey is that he is a very serious chef. His main restaurant (Restaurant Gordon Ramsey) has three Michelin Stars. His "persona" in the various shows he does is just that - a persona. I'll bet that the three star kitchen he has is calm. The chef team cannot cook at that level if the main guy in the kitchen is yelling at people. In Le Manoir au Quat'saisons, Raymond Blanc's three star restaurant, it is very definitely calm. The first time we went there, it was a mate's significant birthday. Now he trained as a chef, so I had a quiet word, and organised a kitchen tour for him. They had just spent a quarter million refitting the kitchen. And there were the same number of chefs in the kitchen as there were diners. And that is why it costs loadsa money to eat there. It will be the same in Ramsey's three star. Calm.
  21. RIP those stabbed to death in a Sydney mall https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-68805401 Story is still emerging https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-australia-68805458 currently 5 confirmed dead and many injured.
  22. Think back to ancient prehistory when Telex messages were a thing. In those far distant days, I worked for a technology consultancy company. Now noise on a Telex line could give rise to garbled messages. This is one I received from a client company: "WHATEVER HAPPENS, THE ASSEMBLY MUST FIT IN A QWAK NOT P-KNOB"
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