Posts Tagged dave2

HD Movies: Blu-ray or iTunes?

Blu-ray-logoiTunes-11-icon-medium

I feel like I’ve already ranted about the trend of Blu-ray movies including Ultraviolet digital copies rather than iTunes digital copies, though it apparently wasn’t here on my blog. I haven’t tried an Ultraviolet movie, though I’ve heard bad things, as it doesn’t fulfill one of my main requirements for digital movies, which is to be able to watch them via AppleTV (without having to use AirPlay).

This post isn’t about that.

Recently, a viewing of the Iron Man 3 trailer led to my father mentioning that he had yet to see Iron Man 2. Post haste, I queued it up on my AppleTV and we proceeded to watch most of the movie before he left for the night. At some point it occurred to me (or possibly it was pointed out to me) that we should have been watching the Blu-ray version as the digital version wasn’t HD.

Yesterday, while killing time during my daughter’s cheer practice, I watched The American President on my iPad, having previously loaded my ripped-from-DVD copy via iTunes. The quality was terrible and I made a mental note to re-rip it when I got home, with the presumption that it was an old rip using suboptimal settings or software. Coincidentally, I had also mentally implanted a scene from Dave that was therefore missing, so I went exploring the DVD to see if it was a deleted scene or something. This led to the discovery that the DVD itself is of terrible quality (subsequently confirmed by reading reviews of the DVD on Amazon).

I checked, and the movie is available on iTunes, which the HD version being the same price that Amazon is charging for Blu-ray. I decided to to buy it now, since I had just watched it. Instead, I added the Blu-ray to my Amazon wish list. However, I do not currently have a method of ripping Blu-ray movies, nor do I anticipate acquiring such a method. Therefore, it seems like buying the iTunes version is likely a better idea. However, I am aware that this effectively locks me into Apple’s devices for playback (plus iTunes on Windows systems I suppose).

So which way to go? Get non-combo-disc-non-digital-copy Blu-rays that lock me into using physical Blu-ray players? Get Apple-only iTunes copies that are of known lower quality (though perhaps not usually noticeable)?

Plus, even when a DVD and/or iTunes digital copy are included with the Blu-ray, that still results in the Iron Man 2 situation described above.

At present, it’s pretty clear that the iTunes HD version is my best choice, but what about the future? Or perhaps I can rely on the iTunes DRM being crackable (is it already?) and let that be my escape hatch should the need arise.

Do you think putting a comment in my Amazon wishlist entry for Blu-ray movies that says “I’d rather have iTunes credit” is likely to be effective?

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Browser ABC’s

I don’t typically jump on board blog meme’s, but every once in a while one hits just the right notes to pull me aboard. I saw this one that  B.E. Earl created and decided to give it a go.

His description is, “you type in a letter in the address box of your browser and mark down the first site that pops up in your browser history.  Could be dangerous, could be boring…let’s find out!”

Yes, let’s! (Note, I am using my personal browser on my work system, which doesn’t actually have all that much history.)

A – Google (accounts.google.com)
B – Blogography
C – Citibank
D – Google (docs.google.com)
E – Evanson Asset Management
F – Facebook
G – Google
H – Huffington Post
I – Instapaper
J – JP Morgan
K – kickingbear (read one article there recently, via a link)
L – LeSombre
M – Google (mail.google.com)
N – Google (news.google.com)
O – Capital One (onlinebanking.capitalone.com)
P – Wellness for Life (pvsso… health benefits related)
Q – Quantshare (was looking for investment tracking software)
R – Renagerie
S – some survey site
T – The Daily Show
U – US Inflation Calculator
V – Vonage
W – The Daily Show (www… probably the site I visit via URL the most)
X – no “top hit”, first hit from history is a site explaining Excel’s XIRR function
Y – Your Roth IRA (information resource, not account management)
Z – no “top hit”, first hit from history is a MtG article on a Zombie deck

Hmm… interesting. Or not. By the time I got to “N”, my expectations had been raised to the point that I expected 1/4 of them to be Google. I may do this again from my home system; I’ll just post anything interesting as a comment here as a whole ‘nother post seems ridiculous. 🙂

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Avitaween

As I previously alluded to, I traveled to Orlando last weekend to attend Avitaween. And while that was certainly the main event, it was far from the whole story. It was, in fact, one of nine meet-ups for me during the trip.

First up was lunch at the Orlando airport with several others that were arriving at around the same time. These were all people I hadn’t meet before and we coordinated via Twitter. Kim was already there when we got there and later, Sheila, Employee3699 and her fraughter joined us. Chick-Fil-A was the fare of choice, apparently being unavailable in the far-off land of Chicago. Or something like that. Then it was time to wait over an hour in the Budget car rental line. Joy. That was probably the only negative of my whole weekend, at least the only one that directly affected me.

Friday evening was the occasion of a wonderful dinner hosted by Faiqa and Tariq. In attendance were several bloggers I’d already met and was thrilled to see again: Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and Dave2. I also got to meet many more: Britt & Jared, Heather & Tyler, Finn & Mister, Hilly, Lisa, Karen and Becky. There were some others present, including some kids, but I’m sticking to bloggers (and their spouses) here. Great food and great times!

toojaysSaturday morning’s arrival meant breakfast. I love breakfast. Kim joined several of the dinner attendees (Finn & Mister, Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and me) at TooJay’s. After breakfast, we discovered that Robin’s rental had some issues and she and Rachel had to go exchange it (after dropping me back at the Hilton, where I wasn’t staying, but had met up beforehand). Bummer that their plans got messed up by having to drive back to the airport, but watching Robin work it on the phone was pretty impressive.

Back at the Hilton, I sat around chatting with various attendees until it was time for a late lunch. Sheila, Employee3699, Fraughter, Nicole and… grumble… I’ve gone and forgotten their names. One other couple. 😦 I even tried looking through photos, to no avail. Anyway, we went to Bahama Breeze. I was still full from breakfast, so I didn’t order any lunch and then had a dessert. It was some sort of banana bread-bananas-caramel-ice cream-whip cream concoction that ended up not being as good as I had hoped. Oh, well.

invaded_boxBack to the hotel to get ready for the main event, Avitaween 2009: INVADED!!!! Words fail me, so have a look at the Flickr stream. Okay, I’ll come up with some words. Or one word. Absomazingtastibulous! [Edit: I forgot to mention that there are also a couple of karaoke videos.]

As the festivities were starting to wind down (though plenty of people looked like they’d be there for a while), a group of us decided to head over to Denny’s for post-party, late night food. My steak & egg burrito really hit the spot. Let’s see how well I can recall who was at Denny’s. Poppy & Dawg, Robin, Rachel, Shiela, Kim, Employee3699, Fraughter, Finn & Mister, Karen and Adam‘s friend Chris. I think that’s everyone, but I could be forgetting someone at the other end of the table.

Sunday morning pretty much went by while I slept, which was fine since I had breakfast the night before. Marci and I were able to have lunch with Mike & Susie at Five Guys, and then sit and chat with them for a couple of hours back at the Hilton. Getting to know other people is one of my favorite parts of these trips, so I really appreciated this opportunity.

At that point, we needed to check into our new hotel. We were switching to the hotel where Marci would be spending the rest of the week as she was staying in town for a conference. We were planning to meet up with Marty & Reba, but the way things ended up working out I had dinner with Adam. Just the two of us at Chili’s, where we had a good opportunity to actually have some interesting conversations — no time for that for Adam at his own party, of course!

hard rock orlandoI still needed to meet up with Marty — I had a package for him, plus, he’s state of inebriation at the party pretty much precluded conversations — but I wanted to stop by the Orlando Hard Rock Cafe first. This was a bit of an adventure as it required parking in the Universal Studios parking garage ($3 from 8pm to 10pm) and a bit of a walk. I walked around the restaurant for a bit looking at the various memorabilia, but I didn’t want to spend too long as I wasn’t sure how late Marty wanted to be out. I bought my requisite Hard Rock shirt and headed back to the car.

I finally met Marty at TGI Friday’s where we caught up and I had a much better dessert, a Chips Ahoy! Ice Cream Sundae. And half-price Long Island Iced Teas for Marty!

As I said earlier, my favorite part of these trips is hanging out with other people, so I was thrilled that I had so many different opportunities to do so. Looking forward to the next one. Did someone say something about Vegas in December?!

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Davestin

Bad Monkey Keeping it Weird

 

Bad Monkey Keeping it Weird

 

On Friday night I went to my very first blogging event, Davestin! I had a great time at Opal Divine’s. I even took the bus downtown from work, though I hitched a ride back with Wayne. I think there were thirteen people there, including myself, though I may have lost count of some of the later arrivals. I spent most of the evening talking with Dave, Karla, Mags and Badger (and, of course, Wayne and Christy).

 

In addition to the custom badge and cool button-flair pictured to the right, Dave also handed out decks of playing cards featuring his artwork. I had wanted to order a deck of these cards before, but figured Wayne had probably ordered eight — which he had. I was going to get one from him, but now I don’t have to — Yeah!

By the way, the shrimp tacos at Opal Divine’s were the best I’ve ever had.

It would be nice if I could take the bus more often and more places, but it just doesn’t work out that way. The nearest stop is five miles from my house and requires a transfer to get to work. There’s also the issue of picking up my kids and delivering them to whatever after-school activity they have that day. Oh, well.

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