Friday, December 31, 2021

Trip Around the Sun

This week, The Audiophile’s personal odometer clicked over to a new decade of life. Apparently, this was his “diamond jubilee” birthday, which sounds a lot snazzier than the “get off my lawn” birthday or the “don’t touch the driver” birthday. Since there aren’t many songs about diamonds being a boy’s best friend, I decided to give him a road trip jubilee.

This trip was supposed to include live music—the symphony, a concert, a female solo artist performing safely behind her microphone, a dude with a five-string guitar—anything, really. Sadly, all the live musicians in the kingdom of everywhere take the week after Christmas off, and all the dead musicians are content to live off their royalties.

The closest we came to a performance was a DIY guy who had cleverly mounted a boom box to the back of his bike. He seemed to have a preference for bass-heavy beats, and there was more than a fair amount of distortion in his woofer, but at least it did not require shelling out seven figures or kidnapping a female vocalist.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Hallelujah Chorus

Dear audiophile, 

Did you remember to book an overweight, middle-aged white guy dressed in fake fur to jam himself down your chimney with an item for your wife that is not 13”x18”x6”? Of course you did. You are a renaissance man, a man with exceptional EQ, a man who appreciates a nice warm bed over the sofa—unless the sofa happens to be in a ménage à trois with a pair of high efficiency you-know-whats.

This, I understand, is presumptuous. Maybe your wife likes rectangular items. Maybe SHE is the initiator? You’ll know this if she has ever said something like, “Hey, babe, why don’t we just get that darTZeel amp for each other and call it a holiday?”

That is not exactly what I said to The Audiophile, but I must have made some vague affirmative gesture, or the Fyne Young Cannibals never would have shown up just in time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And, now that I think about it, there are quite a few biblical references to the importance of listening, which implies the Lord God Almighty is an audiophile. Wait, that would make HIM The Audiophile. Sorry, babe.


Friday, December 17, 2021

He Drives Me Crazy

The new speakers arrived, and holy exclamation point, Batman, they are huge. There’s no need for a play-by-play on the unveiling just suffice it to say no wives were harmed in the process because they did not touch the drivers or breathe on them or even make direct eye contact with them.

The Audiophile stood back and boldly declared, “These speakers are going to eat the Dollies as an appetizer.” That provides you with a clue regarding his sensitivity score on a scale of zero to ten, and it also provides the context for my naming them the Fyne Young Cannibals.

If you are wondering just how huge these speakers are, I can tell you, according to my calculations, the sweet spot is somewhere near Fayetteville. Perhaps there is an audiophile in northwestern Arkansas who can swivel his Listening Chair in an easterly direction to confirm this truth—assuming he is willing to wait the requisite 800 hours for the FYCs to burn in, digest their finger food, belch loudly, and be ready for the main course.


Friday, December 10, 2021

Funeral for a Friend

If you don’t mind, let’s all partake in a moment of silence to honor the departure of my dearly beloved speakers. Their finish was Ruby Macassar. They complemented the aesthetics and scale of my living room. I loved them. They loved me.

Now for a little Q&A:

Where did the Dollies go? This and more, I do not know, but I am reasonably certain the new owner will not coo over them and whisper sweet nothings into their drivers like I have for the past number of years. And, for those of you keeping score at home, this is the second time I have HAD but failed to KEEP a pair of Dollies.

What is the name of the replacement speakers? No idea, but for now I am calling them the You Are Dead to Me speakers.

Will I forgive The Audiophile? Probably, because if I were a superhero my powers would be patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control even though none of those superpowers come with a cape.

Final words of wisdom: Do not fall in love with audio equipment if you also plan to fall in love with an audiophile.


Friday, December 3, 2021

Head Over Feet

Last week The Audiophile and I were having a lovely time sitting on the sofa, listening to music, in the dark, like mostly normal people. He leaned into me and whispered, “Did you notice what’s different?” I leaned into him and whispered, “You toed in the speakers a little.” He nodded. I smiled.

After a couple of songs, I quietly stood up to retrieve a little more vino for my glasso and WHAM, exiting stage right was no longer viable in the dark without sacrificing a toe on the side table.

It would seem in addition to toe-ing in the speakers a hair, The Audiophile also moved the sofa over by quite a few hairs making stage right an undesirable route to refill anything except one’s account at the Bank of Profanity.

Since that time, I have regularly wagged my toe of many colors in the direction of The Audiophile thinking he might want to pamper me with tender loving care, but he seems to have directed his attention to the more important matter of putting the sofa back where it was prior to toemageddon even though it probably compromises the sweet spot. A hair. 


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving Song

In this season of reflection on all the people and things that spark joy, I would like to acknowledge my eternal gratitude for the following:

In the course of buying and selling, The Audiophile does not collect. What I mean is, typically there is only one amp, one preamp, one set of speakers, one power thingy, and one or two other rectangles that do something critical in the overall experience of listening to a simple song.

Sure, gear comes in, but after a short A/B do-si-do, the gear goes back out. He does not have precariously balanced towers of audio stuff lurking behind closed doors or sleeping under old sheets in the atticas far as I know, anyway. If I ever go to the attic and learn otherwise, I will cut eyeholes in all the sheets and play haunted music on a lo-fi boombox until The Audiophile cleans the place up.

Fortunately, the likelihood of this happening is extraordinarily low because our eHarmony compatibility chart basically states we are both obsessive compulsive with an unhealthy need to keep things nice and tidy. And clean. And symmetricalwhich is a mighty fine character flaw when it comes to speaker placement.


Friday, November 12, 2021

The Candy Man

Here’s a story. Of a lovely lady. Who was roped into a date that was basically a two-hour listening session with a guy from Music City.

Now, this wasn’t just any guy, this was a dealer. Let’s call him The Candy Man, shall we? It’s difficult to know where to even start with this experience, so I will focus on the gloves, for starters.

Remember yesteryear when I carried on and on and then ON about being forced to use a SLIPPERY COTTON DIAPER to assist with speaker placement, so my filthy female hands didn’t eat through the veneer, and blow out a tweeter? Yeah, that, well when it was time for The Candy Man to swap out the speakers in this listening date of ours, he casually slipped on a pair of specially designed Speaker Moving Gloves as if it was no big thing. These gloves were obviously a gift Jeff Bezos thoughtfully brought back from space. They had a soft yet grippy surface. They fit like a glove. And, I saw absolutely no fear in The Candy Man’s eyes as he gracefully placed the Wolf von WangJangles into position without spilling a single drop of fluid from their midrange.

I believe I speak for audio wives near and far when I say this is all we want for Christmas. No, not the Wolf von WangJangles, THE GLOVES. We want the gloves and also all the other things we want including, but not limited to: a puppy.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Love Shack

Now that The Audiophile and I are both retired, every day is Friday. This means we can have date night on, dare I say, a Tuesday, LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE, if we want to.

Recently, on a Tuesday, we decided to be crazy and lazy, which meant date night would be held at home. Perfect. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that there is no reason to ever leave a house if it has wine and cheese and a high-fidelity sound system. Check, check and CHECK.

And speaking of check, I noticed The Audiophile was repeatedly checking his phone. Ahem, if I’m not mistaken, this violates Rule Numero Uno in the Date Night Code of Conducto book. But wait, there’s more… after I gave The Audiophile the universal raised-eyebrow signal for “turn off your phone,” he said the reason for obsessively looking at it was another audiophile was coming over to pick up a box. On date night.

I don’t know if this box contained audio gear, unmarked hundos, or kittens, but The Audiophile wisely put the box on our front porch with a love note. Then he turned off his phone and all the inside lights to make it look like we were away on a real date. And now that I think about it, I’m wondering if this was all just a ruse to ensure date night required candles along with that wine and cheese and high fidelity.


Friday, October 22, 2021


A postcard arrived in the mail this week with an enticing offer to re-subscribe to the magazine I lovingly call “The Sound Pile.” The Audiophile had let his subscription lapse years ago over something egregious like a biased <gasp> review of a power cord or one of their advertisers dropping the scantily clad model straddling a subwoofer in exchange for a middle-aged woman wearing her undergarments under her garments.

Anyway, I was still at the mailbox, holding said postcard, and I had a choice: use my middle and index fingers to dramatically fling it into the recycling bin or…

…surprise The Audiophile with a renewed subscription. I decided the postcard needed the attention of my bifocals, at minimum, so I brought it inside and read this, “The entire cost of this subscription may be tax deductible if used for professional purposes.”

I’m no professional, but my purpose for the next two to four weeks is to patiently wait for The Audiophile to return from the mailbox, Sound Pile in hand, just so I can see if he immediately flips to the advertising section or “reads the articles.”


Friday, October 8, 2021

Mr. Sandman

A few nights back, at about 2:00 a.m., I awoke with an epiphany. Prepare yourself by sitting down if you have any underlying health conditions because this is big. Here it is:

The Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are the same tune—EXACTLY THE SAME TUNE.

Naturally, I was awake for several hours attempting to confirm this truth in my mind without humming or moving or otherwise disturbing the acoustics of The Audiophile’s REM cycle. The following morning, I shared this nocturnal stroke of genius with him expecting a nod of admiration or maybe applause, but The Audiophile did not seem impressed in the least.

So, I decided to outsource my need for verbal confetti and walked a few doors down where a more appreciative neighbor was awaiting someone of my caliber to engage in convivial conversation. Neighbor guy was delighted, if I must say, to be invited to sing the Alphabet Song while I sang Twinkle. Our duet culminated with both songs’ final syllables synchronized as perfectly as you are imagining. Astonishing, right?

Wrong. Just now, I went to the Googles and learned someone else owns the copyright on my epiphany, and I am not a super genius. Yet.


Friday, September 24, 2021


There is one artist in The Audiophile’s harem who has taken me a long time to embrace. The reason is because her self-titled debut album included a pop hit that nearly destroyed my last nerve with the frequency of airplay it received in 1979. The Audiophile knows this is a wound that just won’t heal, and he seems to derive sadistic pleasure in playing the song almost as often as KFMQ did back in the day.

To wield a counterattack, I have become very, very fond of a different song on this same album. He doesn’t know this. I’m stealthy like that. Catlike, even. So, when The Audiophile tickles his own fancy by turning up the volume on Chuck E and his amor, I quietly wait. I wait because near the end of the album there is a fabulous song that rewards those who excel in patient endurance.

I’m not sure if every audiophile’s wife has the patience of a saint, but I recently met one from the Memphis area who certainly did. She doesn’t know it yet, but we are going to start a club, and it will include a well-appointed, climate-controlled treehouse with snacks and adult beverages. And as soon as The Audiophile reads this post, there is no doubt he will take it upon himself to search for a Treehouse Sound System with the mistaken impression that he will be invited to climb the ladder, whisper the secret passcode, and take a turn in the “sweet spot” that doesn’t exist because ALL the spots in the treehouse will be sweet.


Friday, September 17, 2021

Take This Job

Tap, tap, tap. Check. Testing one... two... three... Sibilance. Sibilance. Is this thing working?

There is no reason audiophiles, or their wives, should trust me. In addition to exaggerating the truth and making up nouns, verbs and many an adjective to suit my needs, I go silent now and again for ridiculous periods of time.

Fear not, friends, The Audiophile has not perished, and our marriage is still mostly alive and well. I simply had a job that consumed all of my brain, all of my clock and part of my soul. “Had” is the operative word there, for those of you who may have missed the intentional and glorious use of the past tense.

Before I resume my regularly scheduled programming, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the bean counters who flew in from Beantown and decided my frijol was ready for retirement after decades of dedicated service. Turns out, they and their abacus were absolutely right about that.