- Crunch time has arrived. From now until mid-October, I will be
working very hard to finish up the new book. I'll post a new journal
page here every week, but the updates will likely be short and
I won't have much time to read or respond to mail or to post over on
the messageboards. I'll keep an eye on things, but not much more than
Netflix seems to be working out okay, although we're still in the trial
period, which is to say the honeymoon period. The other night, Barbara
and I watched The Nine Tailors,
a two-disc Lord Peter Wimsey episode. These are the ones from the early
1970's, starring Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter. We'd seen them, probably
15 or 20 years ago, and they're as good as we remembered.
Alas, the video quality leaves something to be desired. It appears that
they scanned and digitized the DVD from a relatively poor work print,
which I suppose may be all they had available to work with. The
episodes were obviously shot on film, because scratches and other
artifacts are visible on the DVD. They were also obviously shot on
color negative film rather than Technicolor, because the DVD showed the
selective dye fading typical of color-coupler based films.
- Hurray! The shuttle has landed safely. We may never launch
another, but at least this one delivered the crew back safely.
Boy, my dad was lucky that his sins pre-dated CNN on-line.
There's an article
up on the CNN front page about a guy in Italy who drove off,
leaving his wife at the gas station where they'd stopped to refuel. My
dad did that to my mom. Not once. Not twice. But three times.
Fortunately, my mother had a sense of humor.
One time, they were driving on the Interstate and stopped at a rest
area. My dad merrily drove off while my mom was still in the restroom.
Fortunately, a cop arrived at the rest area shortly afterward and set
off to give chase. With lights flashing and siren blaring, he
intercepted my dad several miles down the road
and asked him if he was missing anything. Oops.
The second time, my mom and dad were in the grocery store. As my mom
stood in the check-out line to pay for the groceries, my dad went out
to the parking lot to get the car and pick her up in front of the
store. My mom wheeled her cart out and watched as my dad drove out of
the lot and in front of the store. Unfortunately, despite her
waving and shouting, he didn't stop.
That time, he drove all the way home before he remembered. Oops again.
And the third time. Well, I can't remember what happened the third
time, only that there was one. That time must have been really ugly.
It wasn't that my dad was absent-minded or had a poor memory. It was
that he could start thinking about something and focus on it to the
exclusion of all else, a characteristic I inherited from him. I've
never left Barbara standing as I drove off into the sunset, though.
That's because when we're together she almost always drives.
simply incredible. More information has come to light about the digital
restrictions management to be implemented with Blu-Ray discs. Most of
it simply confirms matters that were already believed to be true, but
the news is bad enough.
Basically, Blu-Ray players will be crippled, able to play only
"approved" discs that include a cryptographic watermark that can't be
produced by optical writers, Blu-Ray or of any other sort. So, your
shiny new Blu-Ray player will be useless for playing any Blu-Ray discs
other than ones that have been stamped approved. And even that approval
is conditional. Blu-Ray players will be updatable on-the-fly to disable
the playing of particular discs, or indeed to disable the player
There are only two minor problems with this scheme: (a) no one is his
right mind is going to buy a Blu-Ray player or any Blu-Ray discs, and
(b) it isn't going to work. Of course, the same is true for HD-DVD.
What a bunch of morons.
- Writing, writing, writing. Nothing else to report.
- More of the same, writing and shooting images. Intel sent me
some processors and motherboards yesterday, so I'll soon have a Pentium
D dual-core system running here. I need to contact AMD and get one of
their Athlon 64/X2 processors, which I'll probably install in an ASUS
A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard. I also need to get some current video
cards, hard drives, and other pieces parts in before I start building
- I've been mistaken all these years about the breed of dogs we
own. I thought they were Border Collies, but, as it turns out, they're
Lithuanian Treat Hounds. The mistake is easy enough to make. As the
images below show, they're very similar in appearance.
Lithuanian Treat Hounds
I finally twigged yesterday when I went in to the kitchen to get some
Coke. As always, when I turned around from pouring the Coke, there sat
Duncan and Malcolm, looking up at the treat jar. I said, "You're not
actually Border Collies, are you? You're Lithuanian Treat Hounds."
Malcolm barked, confirming my suspicions. Duncan snarled at Malcolm for
giving the game away.
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Robert Bruce Thompson. All