J Larsen

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Posts posted by J Larsen

  1. I have a very fast growing beard with a texture fairly close to the quills of a porcupine. After about 12 hours of not shaving, my face feels like course grade sandpaper. I have learned the hard way that electric razors, even the most exorbitantly expensive, are completely useless to me. The Quattro tends to draw blood. The Mach 3 Turbo is the best blade I know of, next to a straight razor. Shaving with a Mach 3 against the grain, I look fairly civilized for about 12 hours. With a straight razor, I can be okay for about 24 hours.

  2. The idea of having two stages 20 feet apart with simultaneous performances, often each involving some sort of loud instrument, seems problematic to me. That aside, I'll at least go Saturday night. I'm not sure I'll get festival passes this year. Last year I had a bit of hippy fatigue towards the end of the week.

  3. Thanks for all the replies. I'll call around on Monday and if I don't get a much better rate, I guess I'll just fork over the grand. It's less than one of my speakers, and my cat is obviously a lot more important than that.

    The problem with Manhattan is that no matter what crazy price someone decides to demand for any given service or good, there will be somebody willing to pay it. This is the land of $1 million studio apartments, after all.

  4. The vet just told me that my cat has dental disease and needs his teeth cleaned, which of course requires full anesthesia. I was told that the cost would be "about" $1,000. I'm willing to pay this if it is necessary, but it seems to me that this must be absurdly high compared to what most vets charge. It's hard for me to believe that everyone who gets their pet's teeth cleaned has to pay this much. Anyone have to go through this before?

  5. Thanks. There is nothing glaringly wrong with the sound, so I'm assuming nothing happened.

    The audio version of the placebo effect can be a very nasty thing.

    BTW, the static sound was actually part of an awful experimental cd someone lent me. It is intentionally inserted in the middle of a song with no warning.

  6. Can a short, fairly loud blast of very nasty static damage speakers?

    If such damage were done, would the results be obvious or could it be subtle?

    Since said event occurred, I haven't had the chance to crank my speakers and really check them out.


  7. what about the (7)thousands of poor BS employees who lost both jobs and stock?

    My post above notwithstanding, NOBODY who worked at BS and received stock compensation was poor. You're talking about a firm whose average annual compensation was probably around $400K (the overall WS average is over $300K, and BS was certainly above average). The guys getting huge bonuses were making millions a year. That's not to say that it isn't painful for them to lose 80% of it, but they certainly weren't poor, and if they are now it's because they lived a very, very rich lifestyle while times were good.

  8. BS bonuses could get quite large - they could account for around 90% of total comp (which actually isn't unusual for wall street firms). But I've been told that the really big bonuses at BS were typically around 90% restricted stock that couldn't be liquidated for five years. So basically you have people who have lost 80% of their total compensation from 2003 to present. I had a classmate who took an offer from BS four years ago and worked his way up to VP, a low-level senior position. I've been afraid to call him.

  9. I don't claim to be a "jazz expert," or even to know what it means to be a "jazz expert," but out of all the BN albums I've heard, this is one of my very least favorites (along with The Scorpion). That said, LD in general kind of loses me after 1960 or so.

  10. VAT here, and in most of Europe, is 17.5%

    Yes, it's between 15% and 25%, which are the minimum and maximum rates fixed by the EU.


    It's interesting that, while in the EU countries try to harmonize VAT rates as much as possible (and there is the same rate in the whole country), in the US the indivdual counties are allowed to fix their own level of sales tax.

    Not 100% true - counties and cities are able to add fractions of percents to the state sales tax as they deem necessary. But they have to charge whatever state law calls for. Which makes me wonder what the largest bump a local or county government has approved. Has any county had the stones to bum the state tax up another 2%?

    New York City sales tax is 8.375%. I believe that the state tax rate is only 4%.

    Also, the sum total of NYS and NYC income tax comes awfully close to my federal income tax obligation, and the property taxes are nothing to sneeze at, either. They sure don't make it easy to get ahead around here.

  11. The Virgin Megastore in Times Square still has a decent selection of jazz. I enjoyed going there on my last visit to New York. I would be sorry to see it close.

    I don't have any information that Times Square is closing, only Union Square.

    I do - I hear that the entire chain is on the way out. The realty company that bought them is more interested in the space they occupy than the CD business.

    Did they ever find anyone to rent the space that Tower on E4th and Broadway, NYC was in? NYC Union Square is only a few block from there. Is anybody renting the old CBGBs? How about other venues in that part of town? My guess is no.

    In the case of CBGB's, the answer is no, but there is a caveat. They originally had the space on the market for $30k/month (which got you all 500 or so sq ft of it), but apparently they have recently decided to sell the entire building. That being the case, I'm not sure that they are even trying to lease CBGB's anymore.

    They temporarily rented the 4th and BWay section of Tower to Toys R Us at Xmas. They were there for about two months and vacated a couple weeks ago. The 4th and Lafayette section of the store was temporarily leased to a Halloween costume store similar to the ones up on third that are open year round. They cleared out in November. Both spaces are now back on the market with an unbelievable asking price, even given the location.

  12. I doubt laypeople really know much about what goes into playing the saxophone.

    Science isn't exactly an academic journal, y'know.

    Sure it is. Science is definitely an academic journal, with more popular interest-type of material at the beginning of each issue, written more for the layman. The latter two thirds or so are usually very academia/professional scientist oriented. As a professional scientist, I reference Science and Nature occasionally in my work.

    Not sure what area you work in, but in the world of physics Science, Nature and Physical Review Letters are THE three most prestigious journals to publish in (Science and Nature are regarded as particularly prestigious among experimental physicists).

  13. In addition to the scam Rooster mentions, the big one in South Florida - The Sun Sentinel did several stories about it - is on "local" moves:

    Quote a price on the phone.

    Show up and load up the truck.

    Go to the new home/apartment.

    Demand an exorbitant amount of money prior to unloading the truck, far in excess of what was quoted. Tell the person you're ripping off that according to the law, the stuff on the truck is the company's until they are paid, and this is what you are paid, blah blah blah.

    Generally, people are so desperate to get their stuff, they pay anything.

    FWIW, this is a very common scam in NYC. I haven't experienced it (I've only had trouble with the "oops you mean we weren't supposed to throw/drop that?" movers), but I personally know three people who have.

  14. I used to climbing, so I am not scared of height, but I am scared of stupidity. That is stupid.

    Especially for a guy who looks like he weighs about 150, with a 34 inch chest. Though I guess the less you weigh, the less challenge it is to your muscles but that is probably offset by the increasing tug of gravity at that height. It really goes beyond everyday stupidity.

    Gravity doesn't increase with height (the gravitational pull of the earth is actually incrementally weaker up there, since it is an inverse square law).

    Anyway, if this isn't trick photography it is truly stupid - a failure of natural selection.

  15. It isn't quite my style, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at it as a gift:


    I was waiting for them to say, in the small print at the bottom, "no pets, no children", but they didn't.

    Five wood burning fireplaces! And staff quarters, so you can employ your own live-in lumberjack to cut down half of Central Park :)

    Can you actually BUY firewood in Manhttan?


    At a purchase price of 70 million, the $38000 a month maintenance is chump change. :wacko:

    I'm kind of surprised it only lists "park views" "city views" and "river views". What about views of New Jersey and Long Island?

    It has a view of me, too! (I can see this apartment from my office.)