Minus 1

Plus 1. It's a shorthand invite for bringing arm candy to a party.

Today's post reads minus 1 and the arm candy subtracted from our ongoing hifi party is Mrs. Wagenknecht's hubby Glen. Here's what happened:

Hello Srajan, sunglasses are off and the light sensitivity is mellowing but eyesight is still a little fuzzy. Maybe I'm fine but the world is out of focus? Glen 

Glad to hear that the gangsta-in-the-night thing has mellowed. Hopefully focus will return to normal in short order. Any idea yet what brought it on or even better, what it is? Srajan

Managed to get an appointment with an eye doc this afternoon. Did tests. Gave me a prescription to take to emergency. Probable stroke. Guess she didn't like the retro sunglass look. Still have my virtual appointment lined up for tomorrow morning. On a lighter note, was out shopping. An old-timer in a wheelchair asked for help reaching his Viagra on the shelf. Guess there's always someone worse off. Glen

A stroke you didn't notice? If true, that would seem to be the best kind considering. Srajan

Taken to emergency Thursday night. Got a full barrage of tests and doctors. Just got out of hospital. Stroke confirmed. I was told I would have died if I hadn't come in. Follow-up tests scheduled through end of August. Driver's license suspended. Perhaps it's best that my name be retired from the duty roster. Don't think it's fair to you or the manufacturers to do otherwise. I'll try and tie up some loose ends with Daniel and SOtM and bid the game farewell. Time to close this chapter. It's been a rare honor and a privilege to work with you, and it's also been fun. Best wishes, Glen

Damn! And congrats for beating the hangman's noose this time. Sounds like it was a close call. I presume that makes time feel more precious now so anything that doesn't serve that appreciation (like writing audio reviews or critical listening) ought to get tossed. I'm right with you. Thank you very much for your long support and excellent contributions. You shall be missed. Soon it'll just be ye olde me running the show. But when I started I never thought otherwise so that would just be back to the beginning.

I hope and wish for the best where your ongoing health is concerned. My wife had emergency heart surgery for a defective mitral valve many years ago. Crack open the rip cage, the works. Ever since she's been very aware that her time is limited and, not in a doomsday but healthy way, feels death is looking over her shoulder. Occasional arrhythmia aside, that part had its benefits of not taking things for granted. Having to physically abstain from big exertions was one price to pay but that kinda came natural with getting older in the first place. So enjoy your retirement, Glen. Hopefully you'll have many more years of it! Srajan

Should you wonder why Glen no longer lists on our contributors' roster, now you understand. Life happened which needn't include having our hifi in a permanent state of disarray from endless comings and goings. And what madman ever bequeathed our collective hifi community with the bizarre notion that critical listening was a worthwhile pursuit? Critical sex anyone? Reviewers must do it. Everyone else ought to just do it for pleasure – listening that is. Turn the other stuff into record-breaking Olympics if you must but for music consumption, leave the efforts and critique at the door. No nerds allowed inside. Easy does it. Now Glen will do just that. Good man!

Not that he wasn't before. Here's his bio which accompanied his reviews while he was active. Now it's appended here for posterity:

Life never seems to move in a straight line. Ask any tourist who has slipped down a side street in Paris. You never end up where you expected to be.

Born 1953 in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. BAA in Motion Picture Ryerson 1976.

My passion is film and audio. My profession in the hind end of television. Life's convoluted path has led me from production origins to critical technical evaluation at the last point in the line. I've held microphones and cameras, sat at consoles both audio and video and worked with a wide array of pro gear. I have been there for the birth of stereo audio for television (when it was a major simulcast event with FM radio), surround sound and HD. I have risen with a multimedia dynasty and flipped the final switch at its demise. I am not a recording engineer although I call some good friends.

But at the end of the day I come home to find refuge in my collection of films and music. The gear is merely the means to an end. And for me that end is emotional investment. Pure and simple. The music selection is small by some standards but varied. Standard audiophile test discs, classical, soundtrack, 'pop', jazz, vocal. The real joy is always the discovery of something new. An artist slipped between the cracks. A fresh composer about to make their mark.

The home setup has evolved over the years. Not having a large sum of money to throw at this hobby, I have had to make intelligent compromises choosing the least expensive product which will do the job right (or close to that goal). Cones, hybrids and panel speakers. The Magnepan 2167 F, Tympanis, various Apogees to name a few. Electronics with names such as Audio Research, Mark Levinson, Spatial Coherence, Paragon, Audire, Michaelson and Austin, Bel Canto. Analog front ends have now departed this abode but are oft missed.

Every reviewer brings a unique perspective. I can tell you what a component is doing within the context of a system. I can generally fathom why in simple 'nuts and bolts' terms (but I claim no great technical expertise). No absolutes. These are voyages of discovery. If my descriptions pique your interest, then the voyage has been worthwhile…