September 18th, 2005

wood cat

Week in Review

A very material objects kind of week.

Tuesday the transmission in Chad's car died as he was turning into a parking lot; the replacement was finished by Friday evening, which was faster than we expected, at least. I'd been on my way to get a new iPod and a haircut when he called me; must remember to make another appointment.

On Wednesday I had an inspiration, and after failing to talk myself out of it, acquired a TV tuner-to-USB box on Saturday (along with a replacement iPod. We're, umm, doing our part to help the economy?). I can't presently use the fancy Guide Plus+ software that came with it, which lets you click on a show in a programming grid and schedule recording, because we hooked it in above the cable box, but other than that, it was pretty easy. I am not crazy about the quality of a few test recordings—it's about the same as a VCR recording, but those are pretty fuzzy for us—but since mostly I'm going to use it to record Fullmetal Alchemist episodes, the real test will be Tuesday, when I'll see how an episode that I've already seen looks. (I recorded the new episode Saturday night, but I can't watch it since it's ten episodes ahead of where I am. The file size for the episode, recorded at "DVD quality," was 1.76 GB, which is obviously not sustainable for 51 episodes; I'll be experimenting with import format as well.) If the quality isn't good enough, we'll consider moving the split to before the cable box and/or getting a signal amplifier. Suggestions or comments are welcome.

In other TV news, season three of Homicide continues to be impressive; we watched volume 4 this week, which is the disc with the shooting of three squad members, among other things. Andre Braugher as Frank Pembleton really just owns the screen when he's on; I continue to regret that I missed the first-season episode that's just him and Bayliss interrogating a suspect.

I spent this morning setting up my new iPod and re-ripping my own small music collection, after snagging Chad's collection off his computer. He has tons of stuff that I don't know, so I ended up clearing all his ratings (which took so long that I was afraid I'd broken the thing) and setting up an "unrated" playlist. As I listen to each song, I'll rate it on the iPod and then can sort songs by rating in iTunes. There are currently six thousand, nine hundred, and fifty-eight (6,958) songs in that playlist, so this is what you'd call a long-term project, but it would be nice to have listened to everything at least once.

After that, I watched the Patriots lose to the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of the Superbowl of two years ago; an ugly, sloppy, stupid game. I'd like to think this was just their one lousy game of the season, but they looked shaky in the opener too, so I am not confident. More, Randall Gay was injured, which is not a good thing.

On a happier note, have some links. And tomorrow, there shall be another Sayuki post; and this week, there will be a revamped booklog with automagically generated genre and series indexes, and integrated search (don't worry, it will look basically the same).

  • Why hiccups happen and how to cure them, by Diane Duane in a Making Light comment thread. My personal hiccup cure is to hold my breath while drinking as much water as I can stand (weirdly, just holding my breath doesn't do it), but if that ever fails, I shall go for the sugar.
  • Library Thing has the potential to be the best cat-vacuuming EVER, if I could only think of a reason to have all my books catalogued on the web.
  • marag has written a short Vorkosigan-books/Firefly crossover. Gen, Ivan-POV, a little too in-joke-ish at first, but there's a reason for it and the punchline amused me.
  • Apparently we're going to be getting actual answers about the hatch in the Lost premiere this week, per this New York Times article (reg. possibly required).