Blu Vinyl

My mighty home entertainment center

My mighty home entertainment center

One of my favorite mental exercises is finding answers to the question, “OK, we know David’s a geek, but exactly what sort of a geek is he?”

Post-Christmas, my home entertainment system definitely answers that question. I’m quite proud of the fact that the stack now includes everything from a Blu-Ray player (center shelf, top) to a LP turntable (very top). I don’t think the VHS player still works, but, even if not, I can still play vinyl records, audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and Playstation games, along with whatever other formats those players support (mp3s? VCDs? jpg? Who knows.)

I’ve not had too much opportunity to play with the Blu-Ray player yet, but — so far, so good. I’ve been watching the copy of Independence Day my youngest brother gave me, and, yeah, with the surround sound turned up, it’s a rather enjoyable experience. I’m noticing, though, that Independence Day is probably the best movie in my collection right now for really showing off what the set-up is capable off. I can’t wait for Star Wars or Lord of the Rings to be released on Blu-Ray. I’d be tempted to get the Matrix set, but even on a good DVD player the flaws of the special effects, especially in Reloaded, begin to be apparent.

And let me just say, I’m enjoying having my turntable set up again. It’s completely a pointless indulgence; having to get up every three songs and flip the thing over is archaic in the day of the plays-for-days-without-repeating iPod. But I’m loving it just for the sake of doing it. And, you know, despite having heard about it, I wasn’t really expecting music to sound much different on vinyl. I used to listen to vinyl, and didn’t remember it sounding any different, or remember noticing music sounding different when I started listening to tapes or CDs or mp3s.

But one of the first times I listened to a record — my new copy of Joshua Tree, to be specific — it just sounded kind of weird. I thought maybe something was wrong with the record or player, but it wasn’t really wrong, just … different. Almost like there were sounds that were somehow outside the song, if that makes sense. And I think that’s basically what it is. I’m used to highly compressed music, with very little audio range. Freed from that constraint, the music takes on greater depth, and, indeed, there are sounds outside the relatively flat range I’m accustomed to. Right now, it’s still just a trifle for me, but I’m enjoying it. And when I was at Barnes & Noble the other day (along with Best Buy, one of two chain stores that I’ve discovered have started stocking records again) I noticed that they have some records that come with free mp3 downloads of the songs. If I could buy vinyl without missing out on the option of ripping the album to my iPod, that suddenly becomes very tempting, and makes LPs competitive with CDs. Interesting …


Leftover wings from Beauregards. Mmmmm. Just testing the iPhone WordPress app.

New Old Friends

I’m going to a wedding this weekend.

I’ve met the bride once. I’ve never met the groom.

I know one of the bridesmaids. There will be two other people in the audience I’ve met once. And that’s it.

And I asked to come. I’m driving seven hours, by myself, on Saturday, to attend.

One of the main reasons I’m going is that I’m dating the one bridesmaid I know. So there’s that. And the two attendees I’ve met are her parents, whom it probably wouldn’t hurt for me to spend more time with.

But the other big reason for going is that the bride is Susanna’s best friend, Jen. And I had the realization this week that while right now, I am somewhat interested in attending Jen and David’s wedding, there will probably come a day that I will be very glad I was there.

The wedding will be the first time I meet “The Other David.” (Well, realistically, I’m probably the “other” David, but this is my blog, so I get to decide who’s what.) And it’s just sort of weird that, because of the role Jen plays in Susanna’s life, these people are going to end up being a part of mine. It’s weird to think that I’m going to go meet someone for the first time Saturday, knowing from before I do that he’s going to be one of my good friends. And I’ll be glad to have been at their wedding.

So, here’s to making memories that will one day be important.

Beginning Again

So, a new blog…

… with a new name, a new look, a new location, etc.

Why? Because it’s not the old blog. I’ve not completely officially abandoned ATW, and may or may not do so in the future. But that blog was created with the idea that it could be read by anyone, whether they know me or not, and be interesting. Frankly, at the moment, it’s apparently not even interesting to the people that do know me.

That blog was about stuff I’m interested in — space, Macs, entertainment, media, etc.

This blog, on the other hand, is about me. I rarely wrote anything personal on ATW, in part because I was writing for a larger audience, and in part because I couldn’t imagine anyone would care. And the latter is probably still the case, but I’m going to try it out to see what it looks like.

Plus, reverting back to a cookie-cutter blogging system will let me blog from my iPhone, which should open up a few options as well. We’ll see.

OK, enough blogging about blogging. Welcome to the new blog.