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They're just speakers   

Posted by swell_sailor - Dec 27, 2013 - 10:46am

Last spring when I decided to make new speakers I wasn't intending to make speaker building a hobby. These weren't to be the first in a long line of speakers built as a way to pass the time, they were to be the most exquisitely crafted pieces I'd ever attempted. Without the normal time and monetary budget constraints that accompany carpentry for hire, I spent endless hours in the pursuit of utter perfection and enjoyed every moment.  

As an example of how far I was willing to go in my quest, the curved corners of the cabinet could have been machined into a radius with a router. Had I wanted a radius this step would have taken me about 20 minutes total for both speakers. But I didn't want a radius. I wanted an ellipse. I don't have a tool for an ellipse so I chose to call on the experience I gained shaping my own sailboards back in the 80s and shape the curve by hand. This hand shaped curve needed to be nearly perfect, not because the imperfections would be obvious to the eye, but because the veneer to be applied later is absolutely unforgiving of imperfections. If the corner isn't virtually perfect a bubble or crease could form in the veneer, or it may refuse to wrap the corner at all. With this in mind I spent at least 6 hours, maybe even 8 hours or more, working these curves. In the end the veneer wrapped the corner perfectly and I got the ellipse I wanted.  

Other aspects of the project went about the same way. I spent hours under bright lights with +2 reading glasses detail sanding the veneered surface in preparation for finish. Every step was a labor of love. I put every ounce of skill, patience, and craftsmanship (and my heart and soul) into these speakers. Of all the things I've ever created I think I'm proudest of these speakers. I wanted something I could enjoy for the rest of my life. I wanted something that looked and sounded beautiful. I swung for the fence and the outcome was a home run.  

The other night we had some people over for a holiday party. We had a lot of people over, in fact. When I noticed someone had moved a wooden chair directly in front of one of my speakers, about 2 inches away, I cringed. But they're just speakers, and we're all adults, right?  

I was sitting next to the woman sitting in the chair directly in front of my speaker when I noticed her reaching down toward the seat of the chair with both hands. In that moment I thought "Oh no, you wouldn't………" And she did. She abruptly moved the chair back, crashing into my speaker, knocking it over into the wall. I quickly grabbed the speaker and kept it from falling into the media cabinet ( another piece I built that I'm very proud of) and settled it back to the floor upright. I didn't say a word. I was both heartbroken and dumfounded. I noticed the chair was now about 1/4 inch away from the speaker, and I couldn't help but stare at that gap and the damage, and worry about the potential for additional damage from the chair placed so close. The woman never turned to look at the speaker for damage, nor did she glance back at the damage to the wall (a wall that I had patched and textured and freshly painted in September) but instead asked me in a confrontational tone if I was worried about my speaker. I replied, "Well, if you could move your chair a couple inches forward I would feel better." She begrudgingly obliged, then said "Are you really worried about your speaker? You love me more than the speaker don't you?"  

There was never a hint of an apology, nor did she ever look at the damage to the front and the back of the speaker, or at the damage to the wall. She seemed rather indignant, and acted as though I had done something wrong by being concerned.  

I still don't get it..........

Repairing the speaker would take me so much time and effort, and there is no guarantee I'd pull it off. The damage is minor. You have to look for it to see it. I may have to live with it and remember that they were once perfect, or at least, as perfect as I could make them. 

15 comments on this journal entry.

pyrogenica Avatar

Posted: Jan 18, 2014 - 2:53pm

It is a great shame that people show such little respect.

There are times to shrug your shoulders and move on. Ideally without her company
I am. Because you are.......
wallacehartley Avatar

Location: Cape Town South Africa

Posted: Jan 12, 2014 - 12:53pm

There is so much magnificence in what you have crafted, but the world is regrettably no longer geared to entertaining the possibility that 'things ' could be anything other than cheap, machine made Fong Kong 'stuff '. 

You might love her more than the speakers if she was able to fathom the soul that went into their construction........

At the same time, it really is always the way it seems to go, isn't it? 
Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Dec 30, 2013 - 8:26pm

I often do. I'm mostly just tolerated in my social circle.
Oy. That's no good at all. Hopefully there will be new circles....in which you are way more appreciated and respected (consistently). Hopefully they're not the only circle.
swell_sailor Avatar

Location: The Gorge

Posted: Dec 30, 2013 - 7:20pm

Thanks for the comments.......

Whatever her reasons were, the behavior was inappropriate. 

The house was full of people. I think she wanted me off balance and didn't want to bring attention to what she had done. I knew if I said anything I'd come out looking like an ass. I often do. I'm mostly just tolerated in my social circle.  

I get around
haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle

Posted: Dec 30, 2013 - 2:05pm

That sucks.  She saw the speakers as unimportant things and did not see the craftsmanship and love that breathes life into our creations.

To be extremely generous she may have responded inappropriately out of embarrassment, but that doesn't make it right.  
i need a bogle for my glotch.
lily34 Avatar

Location: GTFO

Posted: Dec 30, 2013 - 9:32am

that sucks so hard.

also, i'm with kurt about her visiting...

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting

Posted: Dec 28, 2013 - 6:57pm

Bummer indeed.

She may as well have put a glass down and left a ring on it.  Same difference.  Too many people have no respect for other people's stuff anymore.

And with the response she gave you, I would make it her last visit.
Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana

Posted: Dec 28, 2013 - 8:39am

Your speakers may have been perfect but none of us are. We all have blind spots, character flaws, nicks and scars from accidental contact with the clueless. They aren't imperfections, they're reminders of our history, tales we can tell.

Don't obsess about it. You did your best and that still shows.
Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: Dec 28, 2013 - 7:50am

Some just don't get it....{#Good-vibes}
What Day Is This?
helenofjoy Avatar

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Posted: Dec 28, 2013 - 6:02am

There are people in this world, many of them in fact, that do not have the wherewithall to be concerned about much of anything unless it concerns them directly. Narcissists abound.  I keep thinking the ones I know will change with age and experience, but that does not seem to be the case.  You can only protect yourself, your loved ones, and the things that are important to you from them when you can.  I'm seriously thinking of simply cutting these kinds of people out of my life altogether.  Not that it would bother them mind you!  Unless they need me for something.
Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Dec 27, 2013 - 4:31pm

I'm thinking alcohol may have played a huge part in that behavior.....and I'm also thinking she's the one who needs to know everything you've expressed in the first part of this journal about what all went into the creation of the speakers.

Beaker Avatar

Posted: Dec 27, 2013 - 2:59pm

She has no concept of the value and importance you place on your finished product.  In fact, she pretty much outright discounted your skills and efforts by her inconsiderate statements.  I'd say she's not much of a friend if she's this inconsiderate towards you and your cherished possessions.  says a whole bunch about her, it does.
Strange but not a stranger.
cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop

Posted: Dec 27, 2013 - 1:11pm

I have had a number of similar experiences with speakers. For example, some people just HAVE to smash in the dust covers in the centers of the cones. All of them. I'm considering electrified grills on the next pair.
We're all riders on this train
ScottN Avatar

Location: Half inch above the K/T boundary

Posted: Dec 27, 2013 - 1:04pm

Yeah, and less refreshments and comestibles you need to provide.  {#Arrowd}.

Sorry about your troubled state. {#Meditate}

Red_Dragon Avatar

Posted: Dec 27, 2013 - 12:36pm

Dunno about you, but that woman wouldn't be invited to my house again. She has a distinct lack of decent attitude.