Friday, December 31, 2004

Putting the fun in dysfunction

I've been meaning to blog my holiday experience w/the family, but my sister beat me to it. She's composed a (quite elegant) description of the dynamic in our family, and how we three siblings cope within that dynamic. Since she's captured it so eloquently, I'll leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

If only I could look this cool ...

In doing a search to discern how to spell "Fu Manchu" I stumbled across this photo. If only my mustache/beard didn't grow in all bristley and walrus-like. If only ...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Chicago Visitor

So my sis JoJo came into town Wed night from Chicago. She doesn't have a car (she bike commutes) so the holidays were an opportunity to 1) visit her big brother in Mpls for the first time in 2 years, and 2) mooch a ride off of big brother to our parents place. I was really looking forward to her visit, and it didn't disappoint.

So I picked her up at the Amtrak station (had to look up where the station is, since no one has ever visited me by Amtrak before.) I thought I had budgeted my time pretty well, arriving at the station at 10:30pm, 5 minutes after the train was to arrive. I figured she'd be waiting for me. Well, no such luck. I ended up waiting 45 min for the train to arrive. Of course, the Amtrak website had no information about arrival delays or anything - Thanks Amtrak!

Anyway, once she finally arrived, things were great. I was pretty beat and planned on turning in when we got back to my place, but we still ended up staying up late and talking for several hours.

Thursday, we had a pretty full day. The brief rundown:

I wanted to go to the YWCA and run, so I got JoJo in on a guest pass. This was only after we nearly froze to death getting there. JoJo wanted to try riding the kickbike (still in full coral snake regalia) and this was the only chance she had. Unfortunately, our Y visit corresponded with lunch hour on the day before a major eating holiday, and the place was pretty packed. I still got on a treadmil for 45min though, which was enough for a good interval workout.

JoJo wanted to go to REI to look for an Illumilite biking jacket, and we also wanted to get Dad a book for xmas, so we headed down to the 494-Lyndale area. What a mistake - that place is a zoo on a good day, and today it was totally mad. Luckily, I have a way of detaching and letting stress like that roll off, taking comfort in the fact that most of those people are way more stressed out than I am. Apparently, I'm becoming easygoing in my old age. Actually, I think it has something to do with the way I observe traffic while riding the bus - it's made me appreciate just how stressed and crazy our streets and society have become, and I make a conscious effort to avoid that kind of thinking/existence.

Then, we stopped in uptown to pick up some model paint from that game/hobby store on Lake and Bryant. I'd never been in there, but I knew they host various war gaming sessions. Well, I was in for a treat - the war gamers were there in force, setting up line after line of little painted warrior figures on a large (several tabletops in area) terrained landscape. I didn't get to see any gameplay, since the setup was taking so long, but suffice it so say that some of the gamers looked like they need to get out a little more. In that regard, the gaming shop didn't disappoint. Got my paints though, and the owner shared some comments about how it sucks to have a lingerie shop right next door, as it freaks out some suburban moms when they bring their kids in to buy magic cards or whatever kids are into nowadays.

Headed to Dinkytown to check out a cafe I'd been meaning to for some time. Cafe 421. There sandwich selection is really great, and at bar-food prices you can't go wrong. The place has a nice cozy ambience to it, and one special table is surrounded on two sides by radiators - I thought this would be great on a frigid day like today, but JoJo wasn't convinced.

From there, on to City Billiards to catch the last hour of free-pool-happy-hour. CB and Brian showed up a bit later, and we all had a grand time. I was hoping Brain and JoJo might have gotten engaged in political discussion, since I know JoJo loves debating politics with those with differing viewpoints, but it didn't happen. Probably for the better.

Friday, spent half the morning putting window plastic up before leaving for the weekend - I took advantage of having an extra pair of hands to help w/the big sheets. Thanks for the help, sis!

For sale: 30 wpc Jolida 1301 Tube Hybrid Integrated Amp

Ok, I really should blog my holiday experience, but I want to get this out of the way first.

The purpose of this thread is to provide a place for me to host a bunch of photos for the Jolida amp I'm selling. In the unlikely event that someone stumbles on to this page without seeing the ad, and is interested, the ad can be found by going to and doing a search for Jolida. You rarely see this model for sale - I think most people who buy them end up keeping them.

Front Panel

Innards of amp - power supply is on left, bottom pcb is tubed preamp stage, upper pcb is mosfet amp stage. Tubes inside are stock Chinese tubes, also included.

Rear panel (CD jewel case shown simply to indicate compact size of amp)

Upgraded 12AX7 tubes: 1 pr Electroharmonix (Russia), 1 pr Ei Goldpins (Yugoslavia)

Close up of inputs on rear panel - note tuner input modded to be Tape Monitor Loop, although it also still functions as an input.

Volume knob - note 1/2 of "V" is worn off as noted in ad

Tough to see, but this is the lower left corner of front panel - it is slightly dinged as noted in ad