Songs from 2019: A Retrospective Playlist

The New Champ, a Hot Apple, a Tabula Rasa, a Hat Head, a Solder Bath, and a Patchwork Test Kit

Thanks, John & Family for bringing this, the “new champ,” to Yankee Swap. It’s shown next to its predecessor (left). This Apple router works, but it gets hot. Time to take it apart and find out why. If I can’t fix it, I can at…

Reverb, Tremolo, and Knobs: Is it worth whatever disease I’ll probably get?

I recently acquired this amp head. When I got it home, I decided to not bring it indoors – and boy am I glad. When I opened it up, the mouse who had been living inside jumped out and ran away. Incidentally, I hear he…

New Song: Wings

Variable Band Pass Filter Idea, using Salvaged Air Dielectric Capacitors?

Testing capacitors today… Below I explain why. I have procrastinated serious filter experiments for too long. Today, after a quick review of some basic concepts, I began to speculate about a variable filter module. Defining the outer edges of a Band Pass filter makes enough…

Testify and One Word

Testify by Bert JerredOne Word by Bert Jerred

Thank You, George Lucas

Episode IV, “A New Hope,” introduced a fictional world to my 6-year-old mind that I’ve now enjoyed for decades. It is sad and exhausting to see so many armchair critics write and say so many negative things about a franchise that is meant to be enjoyed. Therefore, I’m offering a brief counterpoint, disguised as a review.

The original trilogy just happens to overlay my childhood, so for nostalgia alone, I love these movies. I’m not a filmmaker. I’m not interested in the corporate behind-the-scenes stuff. But, as an adult, I can see that a creative storyteller found a unique way to entertain us. Thank you, George Lucas, for doing that. It worked and I hope you feel proud of the accomplishment.

In that first release, one character mentions a previous era, “The Clone Wars,” and we were allowed, for years, to wonder what they were like. For that matter, starting partway through a larger story is an exciting way to set us up, as viewers, to ask lots of questions about the fictional past. With the “prequel trilogy,” we were given some answers. I’m particularly amazed at the way these answers helped develop that very character, Obi-Wan, into someone even more interesting and memorable.

The creators of the final trilogy, then, had their work cut out for them. And you don’t have to be a corporate behind-the-scenes expert to understand that the transfer of this franchise into new hands would present some challenges, but again – in any case, the objective seems to be entertainment. I can’t help but want to say to critics and reviewers, “Hey, relax. It’s story time.”

Last night, I saw “The Rise of Skywalker,” and as you might have guessed by the tone of this piece of writing, I loved it before I went into the theater. I loved it even more by the time I left. Quick side note: Rogue One and Solo are, probably, two of my favorites to date. These, and The Mandalorian, are proof to me that many more side-stories and in-between stories can still be told from this world. That said, The trilogy of trilogies does feel complete.

Thank you, George Lucas. And thank you to the actors and creative people who have made our entertainment your business all these years.

Electronics: 2019 in Review

For a little over a year, I’ve been going pretty steadily at electronic devices: trying to understand them, create them, and deconstruct them. I now know so much more than when I started, though I have exponentially more yet to comprehend. Here’s a selective review…