In my previous post about poncing around in the Benz, I gave the wrong information about subscribing to 3MBS-FM. I said $30; it is actually $85 for a Classic subscription. Didn’t check this — my bad. To make it up to you, though: if anyone following the blog wants to join 3MBS at the Classic rate, I will rebate them $55 from their first subscription. So you get it for $30 bucks as a one-off. This is a totes genuine offer to the first six to contact me. Expires at end of December. Check out the subscriber benefits and ask yourself – is this the best $30 I’ll ever spend? If you answer “yes”, just subscribe as normal and let me know. (My contact details are available from the sidebar.)
(Don’t live in Melbourne? You can listen to 3MBS via streaming radio on the internet, anywhere in the world. It hasn’t worked so far on VTuner in the stereo receiver, for some reason. It works just fine via my Google Home-enabled devices, though, which use TuneIn Radio. Or just use any laptop, phone or tablet. How will I send you your dough? I will use Paypal . All I will need is an email address or a mobile number. OK, if you don’t have a Paypal account, you will have to set one up, but this is free. Once the money has come through to your Paypal account from mine, it should take 3-5 days to transfer to your bank account.)
We have had a bit of turnover in some of our appliances. So I have some new gadgets to play with. The first was a pair of Pioneer bookshelf speakers. (These are for the living room stereo, which all fits inside a cabinet. This led to much neurotic measuring of the available space.) Anyway, after turning them upside down, toeing them in a few degrees, and sticking them down with Blu-tack (the audio nut’s friend), they sound a treat. Quite a bargain for around $250! (See description ; I didn’t buy them from this site, so this is not a plug for Kogan.)
Why turn them upside down? The tweeters are supposed to be about at ear level. The shelf on which they sit is maybe 8 cm above that, so if they are right way up, the tweeters are 15-20 cm too high. Could I move them onto the lower shelf? It would be quite a squeeze. Also, that would put them beside the TV, and they’re not magnetically shielded. We are having our new coolers installed soon; one (the split system) will have to go above the aforementioned cabinet. So everything in there will have to come out to allow the cabinet to be moved. When all is finally re-installed, I will see if I can bi-wire and/or move the passive subwoofer into a corner, to get a bit more out of that.
Another one is a new blu-ray recorder. Our old DVD recorder finally gave up the ghost last night, after about 10 years. (When we got it, we still had a big old CRT TV.) So after some more research, I headed out to Hardly Normal, as Harvey Norman is affectionately known hereabouts, for a Panasonic blu-ray recorder. When I pointed out that JB HiFi was selling this model at the same price, they threw in a 2 year extended warranty (on top of the 12 month factory warranty) and a $20 discount to the already-reduced price. Deal!
When installed, in the same cabinet as the stereo, it won’t yet connect to the network. I think I can fix this, but if I can’t, it is not a big deal; our Chromecast does all that. All the other setup went fine, ditto the main functions. What does it do? Record three programs at once – in high definition – record captions, set up series recording all in one go, and play blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs of all descriptions. All seems to work as expected; the interface is quite logical, and the picture, being HD, is notably sharper than the old one. There are cheaper ones with a smaller hard disc drive — this one has 2TB — but we watch time-shifted programs quite a lot. So getting the top model seemed a reasonable thing to put the extra money into. (We missed out on recording the first two episodes of War and Peace, but caught them from SBS Iview via the Chromecast. It is great!)
Things tend to come in threes, and the remaining novelty was a new kettle and toaster. (OK, this is four! Just seeing if you’re paying attention.) We had bought a new Kitchenaid kettle a few months previously. The lid latch became progressively more reluctant, until it finally didn’t open the lid at all. So we returned it to DJs and got a new Smeg kettle and matching four slice toaster. (The slots in two slot toasters are not long enough to take breadsticks or long slices.) The Smeg range is available in about six colours. We checked out the DJs web site and chose the powder blue; according to that site, Chadstone had stock of both. This being where we had purchased the Kitchenaid, I headed over there to effect the swap-over.
This was not as straightforward as expected. They accepted the old one back without cavil, and issued a refund. They didn’t have either of the Smegs to sell, however; the ones showing up on the web site may have been their floor stock. They did have this combo in store in polished chrome, almond green, pink, and cream. A rapid phone consultation ensued with my beloved, in which these colours were rejected in favour of the powder blue originally sought. DJs tracked down what we wanted at their The Glen store in Glen Waverley, only a short distance from Chadstone. After a fortifying coffee and almond croissant, I fired up Google Maps on my mobile phone, stuck it on the magnetic holder on the car dash, and embarked on the not-so-epic trip to Glen Waverley. All good — only took 2.5 hours for the round trip. Smashed avocado on toast for lunch!