Allison Two Speakers

Sarah’s dad was a 1960s/70s audiophile who liked fancy stereo equipment (fancy equipment of most kinds, actually — video, ski, camping, etc.) and when she was growing up, the family living room featured these two enormous Allison Two audio speakers. Allison was a cult/boutique audio company based in Boston (I think).

Five years ago we asked Sarah’s parents about the speakers and without very much warning, and at significant expense, Sarah’s mom (Moonraking readers may know her as Grandma Suzy) had them shipped to us. We got a few good years out of them and then they stopped working so well and we put them in the basement where their condition further deteriorated. Recently Sarah brought them to an audio store in town that came up with a $500 estimate to fix them.

I finally decided that these collectors-item speakers (or so I like to think of them) should find a loving new home with someone who can fix them, so I put an ad on Craigslist asking for $50 or best offer. Nothing. Very disappointing.

Then a couple weeks ago I check my spam filter and find two urgent week-old messages from a guy somewhere south of Chicago who is VERY interested and has a friend who could come to town to pick them up for me. I end up responding to a few questions about the conditions of the woofers, tweeters, and “mids,” and taking some bad photos with my laptop. Apparently it all passed muster, because he sent me a check for $50 and is going to get them over Thanksgiving.

Here’s the photos I showed him:photo-305photo-306

It sounds as if he may end up cannibalizing them for parts, but I still like the thought of some piece of them rocking on.  Sarah’s dad would have been pleased, I think.

Freedom (from the internet)

Via my sister-in-law Miranda via Boing Boing via Lifehacker, I just learned about an application that I’ve been specifically looking for:

Freedom serves a simple purpose: It disables all wireless and Ethernet networking on your Mac for up to six hours at a time. After the time you specify is up, Freedom re-enables your network adapters and display a confirmation.

The genius part of it is, once you set it up to disable your connection for a certain amount, you cannot restore it without rebooting your computer. So, you decide you want to work without distractions for 2 1/2 hours until lunchtime, and set Freedom to 150 minutes; an hour later you develop an irresistible urge to check email; tough luck, unless you want to go to the trouble of rebooting.

I felt slightly humiliated to find this comment on the Lifehacker site: “Someone who needs this has much larger problems in their life.” I definitely need it. There was a point this spring when I was trying to work at home and my email/web compulsivity got so bad that I hit upon the solution of going down to the basement and turning off the DSL modem. Unfortunately, it turned out that we get DSL from a neighbor, so this didn’t really work. (Btw, starting Moonraking was conceptually related to this web compulsivity issue: I had been thinking of starting a blog, but worried that doing so would be fueling the fire; I eventually decided that blogging would be more constructive than the random emailing and surfing I’d been doing. Maybe that was the false logic of an addict, not sure.)

Seriously, I’m excited about this. It’s true that there may be occasions when I actually do need to check something quickly online, but overall I think it will be really helpful for me to cut myself off semi- irrevocably. Thanks Miranda!