Wednesday, January 31, 2007

24 on my iPod

I start with a mpeg file of 24. This is recorded with Beyond TV and a Hauppauge PVR 500 TV tuner and is about 2GB in size. I take the mpeg and drop it into Adobe Premiere Elements. After letting the file get indexed I add it to the time line and it looks something like this.

After spending a few minutes removing the commercials I have this. I've removed 20 - 22 minutes from the show.

Now comes a boring part. I have to export the file as a MPEG in 480x480 resolution. On my PC (Athlon 64 3000 o.c.'d about 25%) this takes about 45 minutes. At this point the file is about 850MB.

When that is done I let Videora convert the file into one compatible with the iPod. This kills another 30 minutes and takes the file down to ~260MB.

Once that is done I add the file to iTunes and sync to my iPod.

And play.

Minor note to self - If you have the Cygwin bash shell open Videora won't work. It sees the cygwin1.dll in memory and exits quietly. Turn on the debug option if this happens to you.

A True Bears Fan

A man had 50 yard line tickets for the Bears' game. As he sits down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him. "No," he says, "the seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Bears game, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Bears game we haven't been to together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."

Go Bears!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BloodRayne II

Yep - the first one wasn't bad enough. Thing1 reports there is a second one in the works.

Ok - maybe the first movie wasn't that bad but a sequel?

Big Storm Coming

Go Bears!

Hurricane Dit-ka or Hurricane Lovie?

Jim Gray Missing

Who is Jim Gray?

Jim went sailing yesterday and hasn't come back. I'm hoping and praying he finds his way home to his family.

My connection to Jim - I've done a little bit of work with him on one of the projects I support at my day job.

24 - Hour #6

Another slow hour - must be setting us up for something big.

I found it interesting that Nadia can't be a terrorist because she's a registered Republican. Couldn't help but notice the slight smile on her face when she started using Milo's credentials to do work. (You know - for a security pro he's pretty stupid) Me thinks she's up to something real bad. Or just has a thing for Milo...

I think Jack's still waking up from being in China. No way he would have fallen for his brothers crap had he been totally with it. It looks like Jack's dad will take the fall/sacrifice himself for Jack to get free and take out his brother - with extreme prejudice. Jack will probably get his wife as a reward.

As always - see Blogs4Bauer for all things 24. Where, btw, I'm 0 for the season on the kill counter...

Coming later - how to put 24 on your iPod.

Caution - No Eating

While watching this video.

Thoughts on Obama #2

From Barack Obama's remarks at the Democratic convention - July 2004

    "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

If he truly believes this why is he a member of the Congressional Black Caucus - given that he stated that we are all Americans and color should not matter? (something to which I whole heartily agree)

Think about it. The CBC does not allow non-black members of Congress to join - even if they represent a significant black population. To me this is a racist organization.

I'd be willing to bet money if a Congressional Caucasian Caucus existed there would be some major meltdowns occurring.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sun

From webpics

I was trying to get this beautiful red-blue-green tint running through the clouds. Didn't quite pull it off. I guess the camera phone isn't as good as my eyes.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Another Month, Another MG Concert

The wife was on the Montgomery Gentry fan club site last night and someone posted about a MG concert at the Holiday Star Theater in March. Online purchases started today. There was nothing close starting at 12:00 noon. The wife was bummed.

So she's sitting on the couch surfing the Ticketmaster web site and finds three seats in the 4th row - but she only wanted 2. She released them and went back for 2 - nothing close. Frustration was setting in. I headed into my office and hit the TM site. Using a couple of tabs I got holds on 2 individual seats for her and her sister. A couple of clicks later and they were mine.

Tabs are cool!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ed Argent

He's the conservative pro-hunting aging rocker on last nights Veronica Mars. Hmmm - I wonder if they were referring to Ted. He even shows up with long hair and a cowboy hat.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Vista Effect

I like Vista. Not enough to run out and buy it but I will move to it at work. Home, if it ever happens, will take awhile.

For those thinking about the upgrade - well this looks like of interesting:
    For every $1 spent on Microsoft's new operating system, businesses and consumers will spend $9.33 on hardware $5.35 on software $3.93 on service providers

So if I were to buy a $200.00 Vista upgrade license IDC expects that I'll spend $1,900.00 for a new PC, over $1,000.00 on new software, and $800.00 on service providers? The first two make sense. One needs a decent PC with lots of memory and a excellent video card to take advantage of Vista. Software will need to be upgraded. But service providers? Unless IDC thinks that more people will go online with Vista?

Ubuntu is looking better every day.

Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed

Imagine the uproar from the media, Brother Jesse, Reverend Al, etc, if it were the other way around?

    Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional Black Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a white lawmaker was not welcome.

More at the source.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bear down Chicago Bears

Congrats to Lovie Smith and his Bears! NFC Champs!

I was worried that Bad Rex was going to come out in the 2nd half give the game away but the defense kept the Bears in the game.

On to Miami!

Kudos to the Saints for a great season and to Sean Payton for an excellent job coaching them.

Here's hoping

that the cheesehead that wrote this response is out of a job tomorrow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ring tones

My Christmas present to the family was new phones. Since I wanted to simplify things I decided to get the same model for everyone - Motorola Razr V3M's from Verizon. We've been with Verizon for 3 years but I dislike they way they remove features from the phones in order to sell more of their own. I was tempted to change services but the wife has a friend who is a Verizon user and they talk alot so we stayed.

A couple of days ago I got a email from Verizon offering a free download of the music manager software. Ok - at least I could put some Windows Media music on the phone to listen to when I didn't have my iPod. So I started thinking - how could I put a mp3 ring tone on using the Verizon software?

Well - you can't. But thanks to the wonders of the Google search engine I came across the AfterDawn forums and some decent instructions for making a mp3 ring tone on a Verizon V3M. Using iTunes to convert a couple of songs to mp3 (O.C. Supertones - Unite and Barlow Girl's Grey) I downloaded Audacity and the Lame MP3 encoder to edit the mp3 files. Followed the instructions from AfterDawn and now when someone from home calls my cell I get the opening horns from Unite. If Thing1 calls I get Grey - as it's his favorite color.

While this works it's way more hassle than it should have been. I guess when the Verizon contract expires we'll look for a carrier that doesn't muck with the phones so much.

Karate testing

Last night was Thing2's test for 3rd degree Orange. It was going to be a long test as all students, regardless of rank, had to do all the moves from White belt on up. She was in good spirits as we checked in and she warmed up. And then we saw Sensei Greg come in. Uh oh!

Sensei Greg was the instructor for the sparring class Thing2 took last year. She ended up getting sat down as she was hitting too hard and mouthing off. I'm pretty sure she was worried that he would remember... I just smiled and said to expect a good workout.

And I was right. By the time she was tested it was 2 and 1/4 hours later. That girl was tired. The higher belts still had another 45 minutes to go.

I think she did pretty good. We'll find out next week if she made it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The wife is a member of the Montgomery Gentry fan club and won some stuff in a random drawing.


It made her day. Maybe her week!

I sent Thing1 the picture and he commented:
    What is the square plastic thing? I've only seen them in history books.

What about Barack?

Thing1 sent me a link to an amendment to S.1 that he found nasty. It related to bloggers being paid to advocate a position and how they would be treated as lobbyists. Not being a lawyer it didn't look too bad to me. I did send the link to Althouse to see what she thinks. We'll see.

Back to Barack. While I was looking around on Thomas for the information that Thing1 had sent I decided to see what Barack was up to when he wasn't campaigning. Since being elected he has introduced 152 bills/resolution/amendments. One, S.2125, is public law. Three resolutions, S.RES.291 : A resolution to congratulate the Chicago White Sox on winning the 2005 World Series Championship., S.RES.516 : A resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing the sense of the Senate that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future., and S.RES.529 : A resolution designating July 13, 2006, as "National Summer Learning Day" were passed as well.

Not very impressive for a guy who wants (or thinks he wants) to be POTUS.

One resolution jumped out at me. S.CON.RES.53 : A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that any effort to impose photo identification requirements for voting should be rejected. It looks like his time in Chicagoland has affected him...

Personally - if you want to vote - show ID. Even Mexico requires this. Why can't the United States?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

American Idol

I watched with the wife and Thing2. Payback for ignoring them the last two nights while I watched 24.

It was bad. Very bad. So bad it was sad. I realize that the contestants know going in that they might end up on tv no matter how bad they are but why would you put yourself through that?

I wish House had been on...

Jack's back

Jack is back on tv. The first 3.5 hours had it's ups and downs but that last 30 minutes - wow. Jack's emotions are all over the place as is the action.

More at Blogs4Bauer.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

That didn't take long

Apple being sued by Cisco over the iPhone.

Nice toy for those with money to blow. T'would be nice if you could replace the battery...

I'll stick with my Razr and my iPod.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Power of Bauer

Thats what the preview said during House tonight.

Five more days!

Be sure to check Blogs4Bauer for all things 24.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Summer Vacation

Two of them: one with the family and one just with Thing2.

The family is going to Tennessee in June. Something about the Country Music Fan Fest or something like that. The wife will have fun and the rest of us, well, we find something to do.

The trip Thing2 and I will be taking is a bit different. Our church's senior high youth leader is working on a trip to the Gulf Coast (probably Mississippi) to work with Lutheran Disaster Relief in rebuilding homes.

Have you ever had something come up in your life that you just felt you had to do? Thats how I felt last night when the leader was describing the trip. Like many Americans I donated money post Katrina and Rita. But that seems distant. Spending a week there actually having a positive impact on someones life? That is just too awesome of a challenge to pass up. I hope everything works out so we can go.

Mississippi in July - should be a bit on the warm side. Probably humid as well. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

We Are Marshall

Thing1, thing2, and I went to the movies this morning (the local AMC is $5.00 for the first showing of each movie before noon) and saw We Are Marshall. The true story of the Marshall University football team and it's return to play after a plane crash in 1970 kill all but 3 players and 1 coach.

The story is inspiring and well done. The actors do an excellent job of portraying the anger and hurt that overtook the town and university after the crash and the anger and resentment the return to playing football brought.

4 of 5 stars

Deans List

Second time in five semesters for Thing1.

When he was a sophomore in high school I promised him a new car for graduation if he had at least a 4.0. He ended up with a 3.947. I ended up paying for college. About a Z-06 worth.

This semester I made him another deal: Straight A's for one of these. I hope I'm buying one in May...


On the way to the movies with Thing1 and Thing2 (We Are Marshall) today I realized that Thing1 is listening to the same music I listened to when I was 21 on the same radio station. Scary

Snakes on a Plane

Yes I'm talking about the much hyped Samuel L. Jackson movie from last year. Thing1 and I watched it last night. I laughed, I (almost) cried. Sure the plot was a little on the stupid side but overall the movie was fun. Yes there are some brutal deaths but some are just so funny - well funny in a unbelievable way. If you watch this movie pay attention at the end as to what is flying.

3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Buffy the model

Not a penguin but a scarf from a vendor

Probably a good thing as the penguin was getting cranky.

Your tax dollars at work

Isn't it cool?

Good to see the Navy can have some good clean fun.

Blogger comments broken?

Lets see

Tuesday, January 02, 2007