A friend recently pointed me to a blog post about the best rock soundtrack of the 90s. One of the movies mentioned was Angus. I had never seen nor did I remember the movie. I did some poking around on wikipedia and found the movie had George C Scott in it, and had a Weezer song on the soundtrack. Well I’ve never met a George C Scott film I didn’t like, and Weezer, well its Weezer…so I went to Netflix to bump it to the top of the queue. A search for Angus came up empty, which got me thinking. Did Netflix kill the lesser known classic. Its probably easy enough to argue that if Netflix can’t find a rental market for it, its rubbish, but what about other stuff. The same friend who sent me the blog post mentioned he couldn’t find an old 30s version of Count of Monte Cristo. If Netflix is killing off the local video stores where are all of these titles going to end up? I came to the conclusion that owning movies just isn’t practical and I don’t want to have to buy an obscure movie just to watch it once. What’s a curious viewer to do?
April 3rd, 2013 · No Comments
April 2nd, 2013 · No Comments
Outside the antics Sagan pulled this weekend, and forgetting if it was OK or not (it wasn’t), I’m shocked that I can’t find a single article condemning the sport for its arcane practices that bothered to find the name of the “podium girl”. If she is more than an object of desire, she has a name. What is it? Some serious googling turns up Maya Leye. To everyone furious about objectification, put a name to the story.
October 21st, 2010 · No Comments
Hooray is all I can say. Yesterday I turned on my TV and was welcomed with the message that Pandora was now available on TiVo. I’vve been waiting a very long time for this, and was excited to free the music so to speak and get it on my stereo speakers.
Well all I can say is that it came as a slow dawn as I sat and listened to a few of my favorite channels (they are MY channels after all). Pandora is encoded in Dolby Pro Logic. After having listened to music in stereo for my entire life, and only having had brief encounters with 5.1 channel music, this is an odd experience. I have to say that I’m a little disappointed that the bulk of the mix is in the center channel, since my left and right speakers are built for music, and I am wildly distracted by rear channel effects. In fact after 10 minutes of listening I have a mild headache, that I think is from trying to focus on the center past the surrounds. I will likely get used to it, but I’m on the hunt for any settings that would allow me to listen in stereo.
That said, its been a long time coming, and I’m glad to have the music. Now if Netflix would get their act together and roll 5.1 out to more than just the PS3, I would be a happy camper.
March 11th, 2010 · No Comments
Figured this might be useful to some.I was discussing the new jacket with my riding buddy yesterday and was showing off the headphone guide loops on the inside. His eyes lit up and he said, yeah that was great when I had those in my ski jacket, and I could answer calls on the mountain without ever getting my phone out of my pocket on the lift. I thought, “yeah, why didn’t I do that?”, and remembered my iPhone remote was “broken”. I did some looking around today, and found this post. Turns out my headphone jack was full of lint. I guess thats what I get for leaving my phone in my pocket all the time. Might look into something like this, but that seems like it would get lost pretty easily. If anyone has ideas for keeping pocket lint out of the phone, I would love to hear about them.
March 10th, 2010 · No Comments
As the lingo goes in the cycling world, I have new “kit” today. A brand new Rapha Softshell Jacket shipped direct from London. This was a toe dipped (my big toe for sure) in the water of the Rapha line. Rapha is billed as a maker of luxury cycling apparel. Known for mixing fashion with performance, which in mind ususally ends up with ugly, underperfoming outoor gear, Rapha has built a cult following of style minded riders that claim it all lives up to the hype.So here I am with my shiny new softshell. It certainly fits the bill from the style perspective. I’m a big fan of little details that nobody will ever see, but that show an attention to quality and finish. The pink loops inside the jacket, and the piping as well as the pit zips and the rubber on the storm flap detent are all fine examples. The jacket has Rapha stitched into the arm in a very muted black to match the jacket. Again a huge plus in my mind when the brand isn’t plastered all over the garment. Nothing I hate more than a Polo guy on a breast pocket or the word Abercrombie plastered across a chest.
The jacket is made of Schoeller fabric, and given other backpacking garments I own that are made of the same stuff, I know its tough stuff. hopefully I will never find out if it stands up to falling off a bike at 20mph and sliding across the pavement (likely it wouldn’t fare all that well, as nothing ever does), but overall I am guessing it will be pretty bombproof. It has a retractable mudflap for riding in wet conditions, and elastic-ish thumb loops, which I didn’t even realize were there until I put it on. Additionally it mimics a standard jersey with some nice gear pouches and a little side pocket that I have yet to discover a purpose for. Overall I think it will perform outstanding.I’m wearing it on my ride today, and I can’t wait for a bit messier day where I get to wear it in the elements. I will report back with some more info after a bit of wear. Update: Rode today in some wet nasty conditions. Normally this would involve me being cold and having a wet strip going down my back right onto my butt. Today was quite pleasant. In fact, even in the light rain that fell, I was quite comfortable. Given the number of times I stayed home last year due to weather like this, I think I’m going to get a lot more miles and rides in this year.
March 8th, 2010 · No Comments
So…TiVo just released TiVo Premiere. I’ve been a TiVo user now for 6 years, I can’t imagine life without it anymore. Going to other people’s houses, I see commercials and start searching for the remote to fast forward. I even watch live sports on delay any more. I own two TiVo HD boxes and have a Series 2 box sitting in my crawlspace (know anyone who wants one?). I think its safe to say I’m a loyal customer.I was surprised today to see that TiVo just launched the TiVo Premiere. Not so much surprised that they have a new product, but that it doesn’t do anything new. Its got a new remote (which as far as I can tell will be available for existing boxes), its got Pandora coming (which as far as I can tell will be available for existing boxes), and its totally rewritten in Flash. Flash? Really? I find that strange. I know some will say its got 1080p, but with no broadcast content available in 1080p, and none ever expected to be available, that leaves Netflix movies. Netflix has yet to commit to 1080p streaming, so I really don’t know what the big deal is.It seems to me that the big missing feature from TiVo is still the ability to upload your own content, or even better view your own content from a network share. Unfortunately I just don’t see how this ever happens. Maybe the brand new Flash interface and the dual core box TiVo is dumping into living rooms will prove to be the answer, but for now, it looks like a TiVo HD in a new package, and thats not getting my money, at least not yet.
January 5th, 2010 · No Comments
I love Google Calendar, its a great interface, easy to use, feature rich tool. It does everything I want it to, except sync. Well, OK it syncs, but sync sucks. Calendaring is more and more becoming the line in the sand for every big software company out there. I have an iPhone, use Google Calendar and have Exchange for work. I would like one simple thing. Give me a place to manage my calendar on the web, a view of it on my phone, and my work calendar should be visible everywhere, but my personal calendar should stay off the work calendar, unless I want the time to show as busy at work. My boss doesn’t need to know the details of my medical appointments.This should be incredibly easy. In fact it IS incredible easy, except for one thing: nobody wants to give away my data. Calendaring is not hard, the data is uniform, and sync is well understood 99% of the time. Why can’t everyone agree on an interop standard, create a subscription interface and share my data? Someone explain? Hint: I already know the answer is monetary.Today was an exciting day though, I created a new calendar account at google, synced my work calendar to it, and gave my personal account permission to manage it. I think I am 99% of the way there. now if the iPhone would just allow more than one exchange account to be sync’d I would be in calendar heaven.
September 25th, 2009 · No Comments
I upgraded to Snow Leopard this week, and was rudely greeted by an error message when booting Aperture for the first time yesterday. Aparrently Aperture 1.5.6 is no longer supported under Snow Leopard. I have been holding out upgrading to Aperture 2 because I am hoping Aperture 3 will have some features like non destructive dodge and burn, and I can pick it up without grabbing Aperture 2. I was content to limp along hoping all would be fine, but then Apple cut me off at the knees. Its so bad that I can’t even open the app to read my projects to get export the pictures.
So here I am stuck in roadmap limbo. With no smoke signals coming from Cupertino, I have 30 days to run the trial of Aperture, after that I have to have all of my projects converted, so that I can get my pictures out of Aperture libraries. Then its on to Lightroom. Its a shame, because despite the risk of having a file format go obselete (see the above paragraph) I much prefer my files stored in databases rather than on the file system, and I really like the way Aperture feels. But despite all of that my next chunk of change will go to Adobe. At this point I know Adobe is behind their product, that they will continue to release updates, and whatnot, plus I have the comfort of knowing I’m on the industry standard platform. I can’t say a single one of those things about Aperture.
If anyone has any experience migrating and how to get some of the data off the platform and into Lightroom (as if I would get any of my edits…) I would love to hear it.
May 17th, 2009 · No Comments
After I got the TV the first thing I wanted to check out was the DLNA capabilities it has. Its taken a while because standing in my way was a pesky little home wiring project, and a time sink known affectionately as having a baby. The baby is settling into a routine, and the last wires were pulled through the walls this morning, so its on to the fun part. I’ve been testing out Twonky Media Server.
Twonky is a DLNA reference implementation and it serves up media on Mac, Linux, and PC. Its esentially a web server that keeps a database of all of your media and streams it on demand. So far I’ve been able to use it to view pictures, watch youTube, and play MP3s from my MacBook Pro. All of this is great, but the real challenge is video. Its been a dream for a while to have a system for watching movies from a server on the TV without a vga cable strung across the room. DLNA seems to deliver on this promose. The biggest hurdle is getting over video formats. Video_TS, ISO, MPEG-4, wmv, H.264, whats a technically savvy but video stupid guy to do? Ideally you would rip your DVD to thefile system as an ISO or something and the server would serve up whatever format was necessary. Thats close, very close actually, but not quite there. And the not quite there is a royal pain in the ass.
I think this afternoon I will have all the kinks worked out and a m4v file will be streamed to my TV with sound played over my stereo. I don’t have rear speakers wired up in the ceiling yet, so I won’t be able to verify 5.1 sound, but soon, very soon. Keep your fingers crossed and I will report back soon.
May 3rd, 2009 · No Comments
I went down to the local criterium today to watch the pros face off and take some pictures. It was a pretty exciting race with two guys off the front the whole time. They managed to stay away and it was an impressive display of strength. Here is what I snapped