Everything Else


Please do not adjust your monitor. Yes, it’s true, after more than a month away, I’m going to try to start posting again. Gasps all around. I can hear them from here.

One change you might notice is that I am going start posting monthly lists of del.icio.us links instead of weekly lists. I wasn’t crazy about how the weekly link posts kind of took over when I wasn’t writing many other posts. I hope the monthly link posts will reduce the clutter between posts of greater substance.

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I’ve been holding out on buying an HD disc player until the whole Blu-ray vs HD-DVD thing gets sorted out. The players have come down in price to the point that they are getting to be pretty reasonable, but I don’t want to start buying media in a format that is destined to be the next betamax.

For a while it looked like the two formats might be reaching some kind of stalemate, but there was a bombshell announcement in the days leading up to CES at the beginning of the month: Warner was switching from HD-DVD to Blu-ray, giving Blu-ray a commanding lead in movie studio support. But would that make a real difference in market share? This morning The Digital Bits posted an amazing graph. On the left is the ratio of Blu-ray to HD-DVD player sales for the week ending 1/5, and on the right is the same thing for the week ending 1/12 (that’s the week before and the week after the Warner announcement). Wow! If this trend continues, the format battle is going to over sooner rather than later.

Blu-ray vs HD-DVD: Before and after the Warner announcement

This is not the kind of information you like to see when you track your package to find out why UPS didn’t deliver it today as expected:

A couple weeks ago I got a new coral for the aquarium. I had some credit at one of the local fish stores, so I went by to see what they had available and found a nice pipe organ coral. I didn’t know a whole lot about that type of coral so I went home and did my research first and then decided it would probably be a nice addition to the tank. So far it seems pretty happy, although I did turn up the water circulation a bit the other day, and I think the coral is a little happier now with the higher flow. Needless to say, Charis is not nearly as excited about a stationary coral as she is about the fish that constantly swim around the tank, but at least daddy likes it.

I’ve always enjoyed the X-Files, but I could never bring myself to purchase the DVD sets at $90 per season. I frequently looked at them in the store and came close to buying them several times, but over nine seasons it just added up to way too much money, no matter how good the show is. But this past week they finally released a box set of the entire series, plus the movie and an extra disc of bonus material, and all of that for not much more than the price of two of the original individual season releases. That seemed like too good of a deal to pass up, so I placed my order. With television choices rapidly shrinking as the writers’ strike continues, now we have a backup plan. :-)

I love Jane Austen stuff. Books, movies, whatever, I like it all. And so recently I decided to try to find a reasonably priced set of hardcover Jane Austen novels to replace some of the worn out paperbacks I had. And after some searching around on Amazon and a few other places, I found a series that included all of the major novels and a compilation of shorter works, plus the price was right, so I went ahead and placed my order. When they arrived I was quite pleased with them, except I was a bit confused as to why one of the books (Mansfield Park) had a completely different cover design than the rest. At first I thought that the oddball book was an older or newer version that Amazon sent because that’s what they had in stock, but when I checked with the publisher, I discovered that they printed this one book in the series with a completely different design than the other books. Why on earth would a publisher do that?

Now that Gilmore Girls has ended, our poor Tivo is mostly empty each week (the only primetime show currently on our list is “The Office”). So after reading several positive reviews, I had our Tivo pick up the season premiere of “Pushing Daisies” last night.

I have to say that it was one of the most unusual, quirky, and bizarre (all in a good way) shows I’ve ever seen on network television. It was kind of a combination of “Big Fish” (great Tim Burton film), “Amelie” (excellent French film with a similar visual style), and “Sixth Sense” (I see dead people). Plus it has Kristin Chenoweth mixed in there, too. But the whole thing was quite entertaining and (for the most part) they kept things pretty clean, which doesn’t always happen with network shows these days.

I have no idea how long a show like this can last on television, just because it’s so different from everything else that’s out there, but if they keeping putting out episodes as good as the premiere, I’ll keep watching it. If you missed it, they are going to replay the episode on Friday night at 8 PM (on ABC).

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