So, you cooked the Tweeter in your PSB Image series speaker…

PSB Image 5T , Image 4T, Image 1B, Image 2B, etc…

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This particular generation of speakers from PSB had an occasionally unreliable tweeter. I’ve personally swapped out a few, as have some other people I know. Vifa no longer makes that tweeter anymore, though you can still order NOS from PSB, I think. So I went on a hunt over the internet for a possible replacement. It turns out that Tymphany (recent parent of Vifa, Peerless, Logic and Scan-Speak), manufactures a few newer fabric dome tweeters that are “drop-in” compatible: Vifa BC25SC08, and Vifa BC25SC06 , both of which are available in a 4ohm and 8ohm version.

The face plate, screw holes, and rear protrusion are all the same as the PSB TWI-2AN/P. Replacement is incredibly simple, remove the four screws on the front of the tweeter, pop off the wires (blue + , yellow -), then the same in reverse with the new tweeter.

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The newer tweeter, according to the spec sheet, is more sensitive, can handle more power, and has a heat sink. The TWI-2AN/P’s tendency to die is probably why they added that. So, I’m going to order a BC25SC08 for the bargain price of $29.60 CAD each, and I’ll report back. If you’re looking for an even bigger bargain, the BC25SC06 is even cheaper at $17.09 each. I expect they’ll sound more “forward”, less “dark” and less harsh than the metal dome they’ll be replacing.

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If it’s not Toyota, it’s crap

Car research is a tricky affair, because everybody is biased… JDP is paid for by the auto industry. Consumer Reports takes money from the audio industry. Lemon-aid is written by one guy who inexplicably loves the Crown-Vic. Everyone has their own anecdotal loves and hates. Some are driven by nationalist reasons, etc… The only source I’ve been able to find that does away with bias via statistics, is the LTQI. When a car is traded in, it’s almost always sold directly to an auction house. The US has a national standards body for assessing these vehicles before they are put on the auction block. Every vehicle is assessed by a professional (of which there are thousands, so any bias is washed out by the shear number of people), and the results are put in a DB. The LTQI started mining this database for indicators of overall vehicle quality, especially on the long term. What came out as a clear winner was Toyota.

Year over year, their cars are always better than anyone else’s. Before the LTQI, I based most of my research on the Lemon-Aid guide, he rated my 626 and my Accent at 5 stars, very rare for him. I’ve been lucky, both cars have been extremely reliable. My Accent is up to 150K and runs like new. My 626 was a rust bucket, and it turns out that model has lots of issues with the slushbox, but luckily it was gone before I had to deal with any of that.

Anyway, to surmise, Toyota/Lexus last forever, and Honda are a near 2nd, but have increasing issues with their automatic transmissions over the last few years. I think you really only have one choice, the Toyota Hybrids, with the regular Toyotas as a close second (with the associated higher fuel consumption and C02 emissions).

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Unirondack broke my faith in Unitarian Universalism

Now, I’ve followed this campaign over the last few years, and have considered donating, but something always held me back (and it wasn’t the feeling that the board would just waste it on gold plated faucets). I’ve realized that what was holding me back was the bad taste that Unirondack left in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place, and I have made many life-long friends from my time there, but there is a dark underbelly that nobody ever seems to want to talk about. My time at Unirondack completely destroyed my faith in Unitarian Universalism. I have always been an atheist, but strongly believed that the UU principles meant that I was a welcome member of that community. It really started to dawn on me that not everyone abides by these principles when someone publicly questioned my place at Unirondack in the middle of the dining room at lunch. It was twenty years ago, so I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it was suggested that, as an atheist, I did not belong. My commitment to UU started to unravel.

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I wouldn’t be surprised, that’s for sure

I recently received an email asking how I would feel if Unirondack closed. Obviously, I would be sad, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised. Even as a naive young staffer I could see that the board cared more about Unirondack’s role as their own private 4 seasons conference centre than as a summer camp. My occasional visits over the years has solidified that feeling. Yes, I understand that a lot of the buildings are very very old and require a lot of upkeep. Some of my own friends spent an inordinate amount of time just keeping the plumbing going. So replacing them was probably necessary, though renovation would have probably been much cheaper. My issue is with the buildings is what they decided to replace the old buildings with. Now, as a foreigner, I’m ignorant of NYS building codes, but I suspect that, for example, the shower house didn’t need to be replaced by a giant 4 seasons heated and insulated house. Also, take the pavilion. It’s ten times too fancy for what the summer camp needs. A concrete slab, half the size, and a roof, that’s all that was needed. My point is, at least on the surface, it looks like the board is wasting lots of Unirondack money on vanity projects. If Unirondack fails, the fault will fall squarely on the board, not on ex-Campers and ex-Staffers not donating money.

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The True Public Cost of the Ottawa Senators Arena: $200M

People claim that The Palladium aka Corel Centre aka ScotiaBank Place aka Canadian Tire Centre was built at no cost to the public. That the owner paid for everything themselves. This is a flat out lie. The Palladium actually cost Canadian, Provincial and Ottawa tax payers, over $200 million dollars. This cost isn’t readily apparent because it has been hidden in tax breaks, low/no-interest loans from the governments, and debt forgiveness.  If the absolutely insane idea of moving the arena to LeBreton Flats happens, it will cost tax payers hundreds of millions more. Ottawa’s downtown infrastructure will not be able to deal with this increase in load. LeBreton flats is nowhere near a major freeway, and the existing roads can’t handle the current load of people moving between Ottawa and Gatineau. People believe that the LRT will provide the required transportation, but that will only happen if they provide no parking. We all know that Ottawan’s are in love with their cars. They won’t take the LRT to games, they will drive to games, they will clog up the side streets in Little Italy, China Town, and Mechanicsville creating total gridlock for hours before and after games. We have to put a stop to them moving the arena downtown.

Citations:

$6 million grant from the federal government, $69M here $16M there, $100M here, and provincially subsidized $25M low interest loan here.

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