Wednesday, November 25, 2009

verdammt die aepfel sind nicht versunken in meinem versunkenen apfelkuchen...

how hard can it be?

2 days ago I tried to transfer some money from my account to the account of a friend in san diego. Online banking makes it easy and only charges you 10$ for a next day processing.

so I say ok transfer money, 20 minutes later I get a comformation that the funds are being transfered.

2 days later my online banking doesn't work anymore and the money is still in my account...

So I try to call the help line to figure out what's going on.

Great a voice activated system... Since I'm in no mood spell my name for the next 45 minutes I go to the bank to let them sort out this stuff...



me: hi I have an issue with online banking
teller: please call the help line
me: the help line does not accept my accent
teller: please wait, we get somebody to make the call for you
me: thanks

assistant: how can i help you?
me: this is my prolem
assistant: no problem

45 minutes later. Assistane was transfered from customer service to online service to general service to wire service and back to customer service...

So I have a comfirmation for a transaction which never happened. At this time I just order a secoond coffee and think glad that I don't have to do these calls...

75 minutes later she tells me she can't do anything about the transfer and she can't help me with online banking.

So I'm back at calling the customer service....

Which repeatatly hangs up on me. 30 minutes later, I'm trying the online chat system, Which seems to be a stupid robot. Which does not get the message.

Example of the chat log:

Faith: Do you remember your passcode? Please do not disclose it to me.
You: yes
You: but the passcode is not the problem
Faith: Wonderful!
You: the error message I get since 3 days is: ' * We're temporarily unable to process this request. Please try again.'
Faith: Please click on the above link to sign in.
You: i still get the same error message
You: ' * We're temporarily unable to process this request. Please try again.'
Faith: For security of your account we never store your passcode or have acess to them, I apologize, however, I will be glad to provide you a new temporary passcode immediately which allows you to change it to a permanent one, once you access the site. Will that be alright?
You: yes, sure
Faith: Sure, one moment please.

Surprisingly it worked. Only wasted 2 hours of my live and now running late with baking my cake...

update: just got an email that the none existing transfer was canceled...

Monday, November 23, 2009

today I finally managed to find the time and desire to update my little dot mk1 with some better componets which I have laying around since a couple of weeks.

Well what did I do?

and how did it changed the setup?

First of all the amplification dropped a lot with the 'new' tubes. Instead of the 25% I now need to increase the output to 85% for the same amplification.

And the sound did get much worse, specially at higher amplification levels. Right now I'm going to burn the tubes in for the next 48 hours to see if it improves, but I don't really think so.


opamp was worth it,
tubes, were a waste of 40$ for this amplifier. Maybe one day when I get my hands on a little dot mkIV I have better chances? We will see. I actually lust more after a mk VII or even Woo Audio 6 Special Edition which has all the features I could think off, maybe in a year or so when I also got some grado SR-325is or RS-1. My reward for another visa?

Hey I can wish and dream, but first comes a vacation in utah and antelope canyon! Maybe finally hawaii...

Right now my wallet has to recover for the next 6 month. These last 2 month were way to expensive and fixie left me flat broke...

correction after listening to these new tubes 5 more minutes. They sound absolutely awful to my ears.

So I will try to burn them in the next 5 nights and see how they perform. Afterward I will try to use the other opamp I got for comparison.

5 hours later and the sound becomes worse and worse. They are getting more and more static noise and I think they are broken. Time to send the seller a complain...

15 hours later and it's obvious the tubes are just really bad and I guess I stick with what I have till my hearing is more improved. So I can actually take advantage of the finer details in the music.

so my currrent expirience without a car is slightly frustrating.

Example I had togo to woodland 3 times this weekend at very odd times

friday 5pm - 11pm
saturday 6am - 1pm
sunday 6am - 1pm

Now since it was ridiculous cold I ended up renting a car for these days, which translates into another 200$ spend for renting the car and gas, frustrating at best...

So I'm looking now into the so called zip cars to see how this concept works. Which is basically a car sharing approach and could be cheaper. Not sure about it yet.

Why didn't I ride my roadbike out to woodland?

It was just to cold and dark, that's the only reason. But this is something of the past. Cause after renting the car I had the possibility to go shopping at REI, Cycle gear and Ikea which translates into

  • very warm heavy jacket
  • very warm light jacket
  • very warm heavy pants
  • underarmor shirt and pants
  • a new blanket and covers (Extremely warm and comfy, but makes it harder to get up in the morning)
  • candles, gluehwein and chocolate...
  • very warm gloves
  • sturdy pair of leather gloves
  • and some other stuff
so this should keep me warm in Germany and specially here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

and the car is sold. The funny thing is I would buy another Passat without hesitation again.

cost of ownership in 7 month: 7,754 - 3500 = 4254$ a bit much for my taste.

So no car for the next 12 month :(

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

mhm maybe I was a bit greedy.  I had a buyer for the passat today who offered me 3500$ and I turned him down because I wanted 4000$. Maybe I should had just sold the car to him and have one problem of my mind?

Well there is always another day...

Monday, November 16, 2009

after being back from new jersey and san diego I finally had enough time to figure out what's wrong with my car and got it running, after spending all friday afternoon under it and being covered in grease.

I even managed to replace the broken mirror controls and get it to pass the emission tests. So now I have to sell it in the next 90 days.

I just hope that it was the missing spacer which kept killing the speed sensors. So far it starts and runs fine and after an oil change feels like new.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

now I'm playing with the AH-D5000, my Denon 1940CI and little dot mk1+ since less than 24 hours and I'm deeply in love with the combination.

It's just so nice and relaxing to come home and listen to one or two cds with a glas of wine or to finish up some work. The only problem is. I don't enjoy my Shure headphones at work at all anymore. I mean they are nice headphones and sound great. But compared to my home setup they are just plain boring.

I just can't wear them and forget about them. Right now it just happens that I play 'Dark side of the moon' or 'Diversion bell' and totally loose track of time, till the music stops and reminds me that another hour just went by and I need to change the CD.
Now I just need the dac to arrive to connect the laptop to the amplifier. And how do LP's sound again? Help I'm addicted again and need more CD's...

I guess I'm taking my Mylene Farmer CD (California) with me at Christmas time or make a high res copy on the laptop...

The difference of a little amplifier is just amazing.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

today my little dot MK 1+ finally arrived which is the smallest headphone amplifier in the little dot program and it's right now unmodded.

And I just have to say I'm deeply impressed by the sound of it and currently only listen to it with the Shure SRH840 and can't wait for the Denon AH-D5000 to arrive.

Once I have the setup completed and learn the sonic profile, I will start to mod it a little. I already have the parts here, since they were rather cheap. I mean tubes and opamp cost like 5$ a piece.

What is missing?

I'm a bit unsatisfied with the bass and the highs are a bit missing. But that's more related to my low quality mp3's I think. Still waiting for the DAC and SACD player.

but it's really relaxing to just lay in the dark, have the tubes glow and listen to some Pink Floyd.

Monday, November 02, 2009

so after talking with the DMV this morning I'm not allowed to sell a Non Working Car in the state of California except to a Junk Yard.

Looks like I'm stuck with the passat a little while longer. Maybe I just put it into NON OP and cancel the insurance on it. And save till march for a newer car...

But the jeep with 70k miles down looks really nice and 4k is a pretty good price. Sure it's a 96, but 70k miles and 4WD, what do you want more.

and it's red!

Sure a 4Runner would be more reliable, but also twice as much and 4k I could easily save in 3 - 4 month, if it holds. It could even tow my passat to the junk yard...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

since the passat is more or less sold. Sale should be final tomorrow evening. I'm researching other cars. And most likely it's going to be a low mileage wrangler (<100k miles) or a high mileage 4Runner (160k around) and manual transmission.

Short anything with a 4WD and rated to be very reliable, since snowboarding season is coming up and I really want to go to Death Valley and UTAH next year.

There is one 4Runner which looks really nice, but 240k miles (it has a new engine and most parts replaced) kinda scare me a bit. I don't want another fixit car...

Oh we also got tickets for christmas.