Randomly Monday night

It doesn’t matter how many times I look out the back door. There’s not going to be a cute orange cat there. And that sucks.

Happier thoughts and subjects:

  • I just booked my room for New York in January, although I may extend my stay by one more day since I got such a good deal. If anyone wants to hang out, please let me know.
  • Pondering my post-Christmas travel plans as well and whether I should continue my Virginia Beach tradition into its second year or opt for a different beach…or no beach at all. I really do like winter beach trips and Virginia Beach is a good choice because there’s a city there too, just in case I get bored. I opt for the cheap oceanfront room where I read all the books I didn’t have time to read the rest of the year.
  • In case you were wondering, I’ve had a really successful soup season this year. Okra seems to be the running theme.
  • For your amusement, the top twenty Toronto music videos of all time, at least by somebody’s count.
  • I’m finally getting back to the home video project. I finished digitizing all the analog stuff earlier this year and now I’m making MP4 derivatives from those masters for easy access on the Roku, etc. It’s much easier and “batchable” than the initial project was and I hope to be done by New Year’s. This will also make it easier for me to post old video on the site and/or YouTube if anyone cares (which I kind of doubt).
  • Despite my rotten state of mind Saturday night, my friend Jeff dragged me out to College Hill and other assorted destinations and I actually had a really great time. The secret to doing that in Greensboro is to remember never ever to go to the queer bar.

On a vaguely musical Sunday

Nick Heyward
On a Sunday (1983)

It’s cold and it’s raining but the predicted icy Armageddon has not yet occurred. All the same, I’m staying inside cooking, watching movies, playing with databases, and otherwise being geeky and warm.

  • I don’t really either like or dislike this song but why is it that every time I hear it I think it’s the second coming of The Outfield? I guess the Saturday Night Live sketch a couple of weeks back helped me make the connection. Or not…
  • I do kind of like this “new” two-year-old song by Bear Hands although I’m not 100% sure why.
  • Despite the fact that I’m not really doing Christmas anymore, this is always worth a look.

OK. That’s enough. Back to my blankie now…

I think Mom would approve…


…of the new Groceteria-inspired kitchen display.

I had a very dignified and grown-up house in Winston-Salem and I think I’ve decided that’s not really what I want in Greensboro…as I currently fancy myself neither as especially dignified nor as particularly grown up.

But it’s way past my bedtime so I may discuss that more tomorrow. Or sometime over the next eleven days that I’m off. There are certain perks to being university faculty.

I should probably go to bed…

The H.264 thousand dollar question

So as the video project winds down for the holiday (and because I’m almost done), I’m finding that the stuff from 2010 to the present is taking much longer and requiring much more hand holding than the older stuff. And why is that?

  1. High definition video takes a lot longer to encode than standard definition. That one’s a gimme and it’s made worse by the fact that I really need to buy a new computer. Apple hardware lasts a long time but this one is really past its prime.
  2. Pre-2010. most of my stuff was identical formats at identical pixel dimensions. That’s really easy to batch and doesn’t really have to be hands-on at all.
  3. Post-2010, though, I use many different devices, all spewing forth different resolutions, codecs, audio formats, and wrappers. I merge all my video into one file per day and combining all this stuff has been challenging. I have a program that can edit and merge many types of MP4 files without re-encoding, so there’s no loss of quality and it’s much faster. But it doesn’t work for all of them.
  4. Some MOV files are pretty much MP4 files wrapped up with a different file extension. Change the extension and they’re fine. Not all, though.
  5. It’s especially cumbersome to mix DV files at VGA resolution with more compressed HD video files that have different dimensions. Mind-numbingly so.

The process is basically just as confusing and annoying as watching cable or broadcast TV on different devices for the past five years or so. But soon I’ll have nice MP4 access copies of all my home video (I’ve shot a LOT of video over the years) and I’ll be able to plug a hard drive into the Roku and watch them with ease on the TV in the living room.  but I’ve had. Assuming I ever want to see them again after this.

I could also stream them wirelessly but Ive had…um…mixed results with this.

Videolog: Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart (1981)

I think I have made it abundantly clear that I’m pretty much done with Christmas. Nevertheless, there are certain traditions that must be followed lest the universe become unbalanced and start to tilt in an unpleasant way. This is one of those traditions.

Apologies for the half-assed fake video…