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Two things I’ve appreciated yet lamented as the US swings back into full pandemic mode:

1) This is the time to sell a house. Before we could even list my mother in law’s house, we got three offers, and we sold for more than our asking price. And we get unsolicited offers on our house every few days.

2) Electronic musical gear repairs are booming! Yay! They are booming so much that of the ELEVEN repair shops I contacted, all eleven told me to check back after the new year. Boo!

Anyone know of a good synth repair guy that has some free time?


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It may be something easily fixable, like a loose connector or corrosion on contacts. While you don't want to make something worse in the process of repairing it, you can take off a cover and eyeball it to see if anything's amiss.

The best example I can think of was when my OB-8 started acting crazy. Just shipping it would have cost a small fortune. I looked at it closely and saw that the pins of an IC and the socket in which it rested had dissimilar metals, and very fine crystalline hairs were growing between the two. Once I got rid of the hairs, the OB-8 was back in working order again.

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Tin whiskers in a synth? That's the first time I've heard of this. I know Hammond B3 and similar scanners get these and cause the "motor boating" effect. But in a synth?

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There's some upside to what's otherwise for many the worst tme period in their lifetimes.

I've gotten a lot more work done, finishing my second book of night photography, writing for Photofocus, creating music videos, learning new technology, and packaging up stuff to sell. Things like that. And most of us have breathed considerably cleaner air than before.

I try and look on the bright side since a lot of it is effin' miserable unless you think that tons of people dying of a virus, losing their jobs and houses, suffering from anxiety and depression, and so forth is a pretty great existence. grin

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I've met a ton of people because of video chat meetups that we never had before, including with fellow members of the Keyboard Corner forum and my alumni association. That's been pretty excellent and like at Keyboard Corner Forum Hangs and NAMM 2020, I hope I get to meet them in person when it's safe to do so. I've also gotten to attend some virtual events that I've wanted to attend the real one but it was cost or travel prohibitive at the time.

I wish I could say I've gotten more practicing done, but why would that ever change? facepalm

Last edited by Joe Muscara; 11/15/20 02:13 PM.

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I'm beginning to realize that I'm suffering from a couple of effects that I've only heard about on NPR. One is "cooking fatigue." Cooking for myself, eating by myself, day after day. I've tried some takeout from favorite restaurants and it's just not the same. The food doesn't taste the same and the atmosphere - even if I'm dining alone, which is most of the time - isn't the same. I've decided that it's just a waste of money. There isn't much that I eat out that I can't (and haven't) cooked for myself at home. And it's just poor economy, to say nothing about storage, to buy $25 worth of ingredients that I'll only use part of to cook something really interesting, the sorts of things that I used to cook for friends coming over for dinner.

Another thing that it's taken me a long time to realize, is that I just miss company. No old time music jams, no trade shows, and friends not wanting to go out for fear of catching The Virus. Virtual friends just don't make it for me. I enjoy chatting with people on forums, but it's something that I've always done. It doesn't fill the void of what's missing now.

I'm not going crazy yet, but I'm working on it.

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Originally Posted by Markyboard
Tin whiskers in a synth? That's the first time I've heard of this. I know Hammond B3 and similar scanners get these and cause the "motor boating" effect. But in a synth?

We should start a new thread about this if you want to pursue it. "Tin whiskers" can happen anywhere. It's more prevalent with lead-free solder, which puts it in a last-ten-years time frame, but it doesn't take much to get it started even with old circuit boards.

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While I am not fond of the new reality, I abide by it. "Rather be safe than sorry" as the proverb goes.

I have gotten a great deal done improving my humble home recording studio.

And I've been selling many fine items that have been laying around here for too long. Hopefully others will use them, that makes me happy, clearing out space makes me happy and $$$ can't buy me love but it's better than not having it. Speaking of, I was offered a part time job, I worked at the same company a few years ago. Office environment, very Covid cautious and by the end of this week I'll be set up to work remotely from home so I won't have to go there as often. Very nice people and enough to stay busy 3 days a week - perfect.

It most certainly could be worse!


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Nothing good about this sorry episode. So many loved ones lost, whether from COVID or from having to postpone their checkups and preventive care and screening. Last year at this time I was playing 16 well paid gigs a month, now I'm one of the luckier ones to have 4-6. So I have been revisiting that classic musician's horror flick, Day Job (although in my case it is equal parts comedy/tragedy).

However it is a good time to experience the great outdoors, something that costs very little, provided you have already invested in some gear. Through visiting family in Western NC, I had some familiarity with that area and in Sept, went on my 1st ever overnight backpacking trip, a 12 mile loop in the more secluded Southern Smokies, around Fontana Dam. I made it over a mountain and camped in a deserted backcountry campsite ($4 for a permit), the grand prize being that I avoided being eaten by a bear (another solo camper some 10-20 miles N, sadly, wasn't so lucky- although cause of death was unknown, he may have had a heart attack in his tent). It was a great experience and since no motel rooms were necessary it cost little more than the gas to drive there. Can't wait to do it again although I will try to have a companion next time. Anyone interested?

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Markyboard
Tin whiskers in a synth? That's the first time I've heard of this. I know Hammond B3 and similar scanners get these and cause the "motor boating" effect. But in a synth?

We should start a new thread about this if you want to pursue it. "Tin whiskers" can happen anywhere. It's more prevalent with lead-free solder, which puts it in a last-ten-years time frame, but it doesn't take much to get it started even with old circuit boards.

IIRC we had to screen for silver, also a problematic metal on satellites where growth is accelerated in a vacuum. I remember when we lost a couple of satellites and “tin” whiskers turned out to be the root cause. I just did a quick Google search and forgot about dendrites which are somewhat different from tin whiskers.

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What a horrific year it's been at our home!

Despite the specter of covid looming all year I went about life to the most normal extent possible, however, it finally caught up with us on Halloween. It was a night I would have preferred to stay home, watch a couple scary movies, toss out some candy and go to bed but the wife insisted that we costume up and run with the geriatric party parade. At a host home we certainly got the covid. The following Tuesday at work I detected a mild sore throat and cough so immediately isolated myself. The following day we got tested and my results came back positive on that Friday. My wife's results, oddly enough, were negative that first time but she was retested and positive.

The cold/flu type symptoms (scratchy throat, cough, fever, headache) were mild and brief for me only lasting 3 or 4 days. There was something else though, a tightness in my chest that reminded me back to the days many years ago when I was still a smoker. That symptom still lingers but is beginning to subside and will hopefully dissipate soon. I'm scheduled to return to work on the 18th after 14 day quarantine.

It took a little longer for the effects to grab hold on my wife but it became a nightmare. She's more vulnerable due to an asthmatic condition. Her temperature was over 100 for several days, she had headache, bad cough and no appetite. It became apparent she needed to go to the ER and I took her early last Saturday morning at 5am. When you check someone in you don't see them again and it was terrifying! She had viral pneumonia but they began treatments on her immediately with oxygen, steroids, Remdesivir and some other meds, devices and procedures. Fortunately I was able to video and text chat with her. She was responding well to the treatments and we were all ecstatic earlier when the doctor said he was going to release her today. I brought her home around 5pm but she's not out of the woods just yet. We had an oxygen machine delivered and she's still taking some steroids as well as doing other treatments for an indeterminate amount of time.

Coordinating with all that we still have extensive damage due to the Derecho storm that ripped this town to shreds on August 10. We lost a lot of shingles and had a lot of water damage inside the house. It was difficult to get work done because this whole city was devastated and workers were in short supply, we have skilled workers from all over the country and they are busy. We did get a new roof, demo was completed and we've had most the drywall work done. This is November in the upper mid-west however and getting insulation up in our attic is a high priority now. After that there is still bare floor where carpet had to be ripped up and lots of finishing and electrical work that needs to be done.

So, how can there be any good news?
Well my wife and I have worked all year with no concern of job or income loss. I'll return on Wednesday and my quarantine time is covered 100% by "covid pay". It will take longer for my wife, of course, but she has a great deal of sick time to use, can do much work from home as she improves and we'll stay strong financially.

A great benefit we will be able to provide is that we will both be able to donate covid anti-body plasma (it was part of the treatment she received in the hospital) and we'll both be happy to do that knowing it could be very helpful to others.

So in conclusion, 2020 sucks but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
(incredible and terrifying story...)

Yikes Greg, glad you and your wife have made it through the worst of it!!!
Be safe, Kuru


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Originally Posted by Greg Mein
(incredible and terrifying story...)

Yikes Greg, glad you and your wife have made it through the worst of it!!!
Be safe, Kuru

Thanks Kuru, it's the crazyist year ever and positive vibes are in short supply so I appreciate that!

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Wow, so sorry to hear about your travails. I'm glad you're pulling through, and it sounds like your wife is on the mend. And the house issues on top of that!! Man, if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, you'll have bulging biceps and abs of steel.

But it's a strong reminder that even if a Covid infection doesn't lead to death, it's something you don't want. I get nervous when people say "Sure, infections are skyrocketing, but the death rate is lower." Lower death rates is good, but that's only part of the story. It's also a reminder that going to someone's house for Thanksgiving might not be such a great idea.

Here's to a super-speedy recovery to your wife, and no lingering effects for either one of you.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Here's to a super-speedy recovery to your wife, and no lingering effects for either one of you.

Thanks for the kind wishes Craig! I feel very fortunate in that I believe my recovery is nearly complete but it's a scary feeling to get a positive test result. My wife is improving but it will take some time to beat the viral pneumonia.

Some of my earlier posts may have seemed flippant to some but there was never a question of my going to work and doing the things that needed to be done. I'd managed to avoid it and could have this time if only we could have just dialed back the social interaction knob a couple notches, sigh.

At this point though it appears cases have really been exploding. If people would just isolate at the first sign of any symptoms it would probably go a long way to help.

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Greg, I hope you and your wife have quick and complete recoveries with no permanent damage.

Notes


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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
At this point though it appears cases have really been exploding. If people would just isolate at the first sign of any symptoms it would probably go a long way to help.

There you go, being rational again... smile

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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Greg, I hope you and your wife have quick and complete recoveries with no permanent damage.

Notes

Thank you Notes I appreciate the kind thoughts. I feel confident we're going to pull through and be fine but it sure would be better to not go through it! I'm 60 but it's fortunate that I'm reasonably healthy. It's clear to me now why people with any type of compromised respiratory system can find themselves in serious trouble, it goes direct for the lungs. I certainly hope these vaccines will get out there and be available soon.

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About a month ago, the schools in my area went back to "green" status. The new superintendent is so conservative that he told female teachers that he expected them to wear skirts and dresses, and although he has never said it publicly, it's clear that he is a COVID denier(I live in a very red state). Anyway, the kids went back, including my kid (and my wife is a social worker at the high school). Less than a month later, we skipped yellow and went straight to red since the entire football team and cheerleaders tested positive (except for just a few) and almost half the Jr High was quarantined. Now, in my town of 30,000, clearly 10% of people have tested positive, and the largest hospital in my area is out of beds. In contrast, my other kid goes to Indiana University, and I have to admit that, while their administration was clearly not ready to deal with COVID, they at least test very regularly. My kid has been tested at least once every 10 days, and they are swift to contact trace and segregate.

If you are still reading this, I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm glad you all are as safe as you can be. We are heading into another spike, I fear, and it's not going to get better at least until the summer. Hang in there, folks.


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