For my job, I occasionally get the benefit of what we call external training. What this amounts to is training from an outside source at their fascility, as opposed to using our classrooms and inviting one of their educators. The last one I went to was for an automation and monitoring tool (computer stuff) and it was in Newton, Massachusets, right outside of Boston. I was there for about 8 days, including Saturday and Sunday. Since I was there only one time before and for only three days, I did not really know what to do except tour Harvard and MIT.
I then realized "Hey, a couple of my fellow tube enthusiasts live here!" So I looked up one name that stood out in my mind that gave me the idea that he was in Boston, since his email address was at Harvard. Tim Reese.
THE GRAND TOUR
After emailing him, we planned the day and time, and he sent me directions both to drive (I passed on that one!) or mass transit, what they call the "T". Since I had gotten lost just trying to get downtown, I decided to use their mass transit system. I got lost still! I went one direction, and then thought, I might as well go the other direction that he gave me. It turns out both were correct, and I just got off at the wrong stop the first time.
I then took a shuttle to his place of employment. It was in the Navy Yard in Charlestown. This is where the USS Constitution was docked. It is a beautiful ship... from the outside. I did not get the chance to tour it on the inside.
I got to the NMR building of Massachusets General Hospital. It is nice inside. They are remodelling, and have the usual things one sees when an office is being remodelled, but the areas that are not under construction indicate that this is a visually appealing building.
I then met Mr., no, Dr. Reese (full humble respect intended) at his office. He showed me his temporary nook. He had at his desk what I wish I had at my desk. A tube tuner and amplifier, hooked up to an old... I forgot already what the speaker was. It looked like an AR-1. Sounded good though. A far cry from the Zenith Transoceanic (the solid state IC one. TR-6000?) I have at my desk. He then took me on a truly fascinating tour of his fascility. Showed me all the NMR magnets. This brilliant man then described the function of them and how they made the images, etc. I was arrested with all this information. As some may know I am fascinated with and study neurology and quantum physics and how the two work to make memory, thought and consciousness, among other things. So much of what he told me was not too far over my head. It also confirmed many of my thoughts on magnetism affecting the molecules within our bodies among other things. But I digress.
We then went over to his home. This was only two blocks away. Oh how I wish I lived walking distance to work! There he showed me his neat equipment, his test equipment, his circuit boards, and his massive CD and LP collection. He has a pair of Ariel inspired speakers. He says that they are 6" longer than they are supposed to be, but they sound very good and full. It gave me the impression of being in the balcony of Carnegie Hall. He played several tunes through his SE amp (I forget the configuration, but the chassis is very neat and aesthetically layed out, and the wiring underneath is truly professional looking). He played one of the tunes from the movie "The Matrix". It handled the music quite nicely and with precision and musicality. He then played "The Barber of Seville" for me. Having been in a choir, I know how voices sound, and the voices were very pure. Again the effect was that of being in the Hall. There was the sound of deep bass, even though the spec says not much lower than 80 Hz, yet is was somewhat far off, again like being in the balcony. But I think that the extra 6 inches is doing this. I was very impressed with the quality of the sound altogether. The LP he played for me was also very good sounding. It had the same dynamics as a CD (the good qualities of CD's that is. Low noise, punch, dynamic range).
We then went out to dinner at a nice cosy Italian Restaurant. It was exquisite. It was called Gabrielle's. Well, that is the female version of my name. So it is easy for me to remember in case I want to go back there if I get to Boston again, assuming I do not get lost on the way!
Though I do not think he thought so, I had the best time. I should have done it sooner. It was fun talking tubes and listening to some great tunes, and even talking about MRI and a few other technical things.
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