Month: December 2019

2019 Year In Review

January: The year started with our late-night New Year’s Eve party. Eva’s had a brief violin stint but it was too frustrating for her at her age.

February: After a snow-free Fall and Winter and after the last scheduled snow makeup day, 13 inches of snow began falling causing several days of school closings and, as a result, the school year was extended several days.

March: Gay went away for a spa weekend to Miraval for her 49th birthday and then we celebrated it together.

April: We went to NYC for Spring Break and Mark & Lee + Henry and George visited from London. Havana turned 12 on the final day of the month.

May: Havana had her birthday party. Game of Thrones ended.

June: Hudson graduated from elementary school and then we left for 3 weeks in Italy.

July: We continued our vacation in Italy and days after getting back all the kids went away to camp for a week so Gay and I were child-less for the first time in over 12 years.

August: Eva got her lower braces on. We wanted to have one final trip before the end of summer so we spent 3 days in the San Juan Islands. Hudson turned 11.

September: First day of 6th grade for Hudson and 3rd grade for Eva and first day of 7th grade for Havana. We sold our Jeep Commander that we’d had since 2007 and was the first car Gay and I bought together.

October: My mom had a health scare but has since been fine. Barley turned 6. I got Tonal so I could do weight training to complement the Peloton, on which I did my 1000th ride.

November: I turned 50 and two weeks later Gay and I had a fun trip to New Orleans. We celebrated Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, with the Carders.

December: Eva got her braces off and turned 9. We took a quickly-planned trip trip to Mexico with friends for New Year’s.

I feel like this was one of our most eventful years with more traveling — 5 trips for Gay & I, 4 with the kids — than we’ve done in a long long time, if ever.

Beolab 50 speakers

My real 50th birthday present from Gay arrived today. It took 6 weeks from when I ordered them because they are made to order and then shipped from Denmark.

Gay intended for me to get the intriguing Beolab 90 speakers, which were made to commemorate B&O’s 90th year, but I figured that the Beolab 50 speakers are the model to commemorate my 50th year.

Bronze and smoked oak Beolab 50
The tweeter’s acoustic lens rises when they turn on

They have 7 separate amplifiers in each speaker, one for each driver: 3 mid-range drivers, 3 woofers and 1 tweeter. Each amplifier can be controlled independently and the tweeter has an acoustic lens to change the focal point of the sound to the room and listening position. It’s impressive technology that B&O developed first for the Beolab 90s.

I also got the Beosound Core and Beosound Essence tabletop remote.

Because they arrived minutes before our Boxing Day get-together, I couldn’t set them up until Friday. They are very heavy, about 140lbs, so they’re hard to move. I had to use furniture moving pads and slide them to where I wanted them. And it took me several hours to get them and the Beosound Core working after doing the B&O iOS app configuration. It’s a long story but I eventually figured that I could reset them — by holding both buttons (Network and WPL) for 15 seconds or so — and they started working. The default volume is 42, that can’t be a coincidence.

They sound fantastic. I only got an hour or so to listen to them before having to pack for Mexico tomorrow.

Stevens Tree Sale

Gay and students waiting for the tree delivery

Gay is running the Stevens Christmas Tree Sale this year after being a volunteer and learning the ropes last year. It’s a surprisingly difficult task to put up an online order system, processing paper checks, managing the orders for all the different types of trees, ordering the trees, getting other volunteers together to work the tree sale, plus the bake sale that goes on at the same time, doing the marketing to make sure people know about it, begging for volunteers to help out with customer service, tree-cutting, tree tying to cars and the deliveries to homes.

Jon (whose kid doesn’t even go to Stevens) and I were one team of delivery drivers. He brought his pickup truck and we delivered trees, including ours, all over Capitol Hill for a few hours tonight. As I thanked the tree buyers for supporting the school, most of which were repeat customers for years, it was nice to hear how much they appreciated the school, sent their kids to the school, etc.