insidious_plots
aka christopher, aka zane
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ICQ: 199853486
AIM: insidiousplots
YIM: insidious_plots

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Name:insidious_plots
Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Monday, August 30
  problems with LaserDiscs and HDTV

Watching Laserdiscs in the Digital Age
great, detailed, new(!!) article by Josh Zyber on dealing with the problems trying to get laserdiscs' analog video to look good on modern digital monitors...
wish we had had this article when we went shopping...

in our case (large-ish, much loved laserdisc collection and seven players; less than a hundred DVD's and a progressive scan DVD player; multiple video game consoles; almost nothing VHS; small space, modest home theater system), we decided to go with EDTV (Enhanced Definition TV, 480p) and wait for HDTV to be worth the trouble...
specifically, the Samsung TXN2745FP (if that page redirects you, just hit back and it loads fine), which is definitely a step up from a standard interlaced image and flatscreen is great, but, though there are days we love it, we aren't very satisfied with it most days... the choice to go EDTV was probably a sound decision (again, in our case, ymmv), but, the model we got has what appear to be power supply issues that are very common for this model from what i read online from other owners...
and thus far, we have not gotten around to doing much about it but complain amongst ourselves...


and for anyone who is wondering what the big deal is, here is a fantastic article that explains video definition differences pretty clearly and defends EDTV as a better choice than HDTV at this time...
ProjectorCentral.com - The Difference between HDTV, EDTV, and SDTV


Thursday, August 12
  great geek/techie bumper stickers

http://www.jinx.com/scripts/stickers.asp?affID=-1

some of the best are..

Social Engineering Specialist
because there is no patch for human stupidity

stop laughing.
computers are cool now.

talk nerdy to me

this is NOT my boyfriend's computer

it is pitch black.
you are likely to be eaten by a grue

i was young, i needed the gold pieces

that last one reminds me of something i have been saying for years: "you can't buy love, happiness, or experience points"

and i saw a t-shirt the other day that says "it is now safe to turn off your computer"...

personally, i would like a dreamcast sticker, a pso t-shirt, and i have had this idea recently that i want a t-shirt with the last words of final fantasy ix on it, white words on black just like they appear on the screen... maybe a pic of zidane and garnet on the back or the game logo or something...

of course, the problem is that i don't wear t-shirts, but, i could hang it on my wall or something...


Wednesday, August 11
  Ten things that Microsoft and TiVo must each do to win the living room

http://features.engadget.com/entry/1882345133499767/

there is much to agree with in both the article and the comments thread...


as an added bonus, there is a great anti-microsoft rant in a user comment...

among the highlights:

If you told a stranger to Earth what they get away with on the desktop, they'd think their babelfish was broken.


  sexiest sci-fi babe ever?

great debate going on over in a fark thread about it, with plenty of evidentiary pics :)...
(needless to say, being fark, and being fark'ers discussing women, the discussion gets a little raw at times, you were warned...)

the article the thread is about strangely declares jane fonda's barbarella the honor...

personally, my first choice would have to be milla jovovich as leeloo in the fifth element...
also on my list would definitely be zev (and xev) from lexx and padme, the star wars inamorata for this generation...
and, not that i have exactly sat and watched an episode of the show all the way through, but, as an honorable mention, gabriella from xena is cute...
and, though a video game, not only is space channel 5 unquestionably sci-fi (imdb agrees), ulala is unquestionably a sci-fi babe...


/haven't seen nicole kidman in anything sci-fi yet


  insidious_plots

i found myself explaining the other day why i use this screen name (and now domain name) and it was not the first time and i find it useful to blog things like that so next time i can save my breath and just point...
however, i am not going to fully explain, i have a lot to say about it, i would be here all day...
but, i will copy/paste a couple things...

the first time i tried to briefly explain it was after a couple confusions where people thought it meant i was trouble of some kind, mistakenly thinking that "insidious" means evil or something, so, "insidious_plots" means "evil intentions" to them, i guess... so, i hit a thesaurus and came up with the best synonyms for how i am using the term, then put it in a subtle place on our homepage where i could point to it in the future without it being prominent to every visitor...
(mouse over the underscore in the word "insidious_plots" at the top of our homepage...)

so, here is that...

our usage of "insidious_plots" is meant to denote intentions or motives that are subtle, cunning, seductive, devious, crafty, wily, sly, guileful, circumventive, even dishonest, disingenuous, or deceptive, but not necessarily evil or malicious...
in short, the name is not meant to reflect a desire on our part to do harm...

in fact, it is sort of our public summary of the human condition in general...


and if you really want to hear the details as to why, you can email us or something...


when i explain this elsewhere, i usually end up saying something like "even a person's seemingly kindest deeds are often little more than self-serving insidious plots, at best"...

or, as this guy says it...

"We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them."
- Francois De La Rochefoucauld

i have considered using that as a sig for a long time...

but, read all the above carefully, "insidious" is basically a neutral descriptor, not necessarily defining something as kind nor evil, just probably not what it appears to be, and intentionally misleading, at that...


and i will leave it at that for now...


  new pics uploaded

took quite a few in this last visit to my parents' house, and uploaded some that have been sitting on our camera for awhile...
so, the new ones are in photos/2004-aug, the older are in photos/2004-mayjune, and photos/2004-july is going to stay the way it is, with just four pics in it (from the dead body in the suv incident), i have already linked to those pics, so, it is a bit late to change it...

anyway, i will comment on some, but not all of the new pics, so, to see them all, follow the links above...
more importantly, this will be a two-part post... i am posting one part and miss mary is posting the other, so, be sure to read her post as well... (i will remind you of this again at the end of this post, btw...)


firstly, from the mayjune subdir, the laserdisc turtle...

i cannot find this image on the net, oddly enough, so, i took a pic of it on our tv... for those not in the know, laserdiscs that only used one side of a disc had this turtle on the other side, as the message in the pic suggests...

and now on to the more recent pics...


this is the view from my parents' back yard... these are the sorts of pics that make me crazy that i still don't have a real digital camera...

the reason i went down was to help out while my mom was in hospital, all the pics from the hospital are in the photos/2004-aug subdir and are labelled "GCRMC" (gerald champion regional medical center), but, here are a few i wanted to comment on...


she did not have a private room like dad did, and there was usually someone in the other bed... that can really ruin your day... one was a woman in moaning pain, the next was a woman with gasping-for-air attacks... mom does really well in the hospital and surgery, so, at times we were more concerned about the person in the next bed...


the smoking patio... i have spent much time here during my now two hospital visits... smoking is not really allowed on the grounds of the hospital anywhere, but, this is where staff sneaks away to and a nurse pointed it out to me during my first trip...
you get to meet staff and other family members who are visiting, so, needless to say, you hear some very sad stories...


this is mom on the last day, waiting to be released... she had her gall bladder removed (same as dad did back in march) and, as usual, bounced back remarkably... she's a real trooper...


waiting to be released is boring... they say you are leaving today, then you have to wait for paperwork to be done...

i think that was all the ones i wanted to comment on, you can see the rest of the pics at the links at the top of this post... or just go to our photos, which are all grouped by date...

i was there about two weeks and miss mary was there with me for the last week or so, and, on our last day, we went to white sands national monument and took a couple pics...
as i said above, this is a two-part post, miss mary will tell the white sands story and show the pics, it was her first time there and it was a magnificent experience...


Tuesday, August 10
  Splinter Cell rocks!!

that is all...


(available on pretty much everything, PS2, XBox, GC, PC, even GBA, and more, though i have only tried the ps2 and gc versions...)



update: link probably doesn't work... (dammit, cjayc, make your searches linkable!)


  our laserdisc wishlist

well, since we no longer have the amazing laserdisc market in dfw to go and hunt down new treasures, i have finally gotten around to putting our LDDb.com wishlist to use...
the lddb (laserdisc database) is truly well on its way to being the definitive source for ld info and we have had our collection listed there for quite some time, but never really used the wishlist...
after collecting for over a year now, over 350 laserdiscs, we have 99% of what we want and some rather much-sought-after items (the thx demo disc, the toy story box set, both u.s. star wars box sets, etc.), but, there are still a few we have not yet acquired, such as the matrix, fight club, shock treatment, the jfk box set, the anamorphic unforgiven (yes, they made a few 16:9 anamorphic laserdiscs), star wars phantom menace (it is the theatrical cut in dolby digital ex), and the criterion theatrical cut of blade runner... mostly stuff not available on dvd, some just because...
i also threw in a few that we are not THAT hot over, but would be nice to get a trade offer for, such as some of the various japanese-release-only metallica discs out there...
the only things we have gotten offers for to this point have been our godfather box set and our silent running/colossus: the forbin project double feature set... and those were buy offers, we prefer trade... we will see if having our wishlist online changes things...

anyway, with no further ado, i give you...

Our LDDb LaserDisc Wishlist

(once there, you can click on "view all by title" for an easy overview...)
i may add this link to the sidebar, or maybe just to our shared homepage...



btw, yes, miss mary and i are working on what will be cross-linked posts about our recent trip, but, that is not ready yet...





UPDATE

GRRRRAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!

so far as i can tell, the wishlist feature is private and cannot be changed to public... for now, i will leave this post and look into it...



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