Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Toshiba Quits HD DVD Business


I guess I shouldn't care too much that my Combo DVD/HD-DVD discs don't play well in our A3 HD-DVD player. I can file them with my old Betamax tapes when we eventually replace them with Blu-ray.

Still gonna hold off on a blu-ray player for a while -- prices are still high, and even if we get past that, I'll want to wait for either the studios to drop the whole region-encoding bullshit (unlikely) or for the release of a true region-free player.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Quote Quotes

Reading Asimov's Foundation and Earth and came across this:

"If we only obey these rules that we think are just and reasonable, then no rule will stand, for there is no rule that some will not think is unjust and unreasonable. And if we wish to push our own individual advantage, as we see it, then we will always find reason to believe that some hampering rule is unjust and unreasonable. What starts, then, as a shrewd trick ends in anarchy and disaster, even for the shrewd* trickster, since he, too, will not survive the collapse of society." -Bliss

Thinking about it in the context of this.

The response to which should be doing this.

2008Feb18-UPDATE: Of course, quoting a character from a work of fiction doesn't really have any particular weight. In the book, the response to the previous quote is as follows:

"...Rules, established with reason and justice, can easily outlive their usefulness as circumstances change, yet can remain in force through inertia. It is then not only right, but useful, to break those rules as a way of advertising the fact that they have become useless -- or even actually harmful." -Trevize

Nevertheless, it *is* food for thought.

And really, more than anything, I bemoan the lack of discourse that really goes on these days. The lack of thought, the lack of substance. Everything is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the emotional hook, "my way or the terrorists win."

Sorry, the world is more complicated than that.

And that being said, the thing about a quote is that sometimes it resonates with you and is able to articulate a thought that would otherwise stumble when it tries to come out of your own (my own) mouth.

So for the record, looking at the issue at hand in both contexts, I still agree with Rebecca -- call your congressman. No immunity for illegal wiretapping.

* I don't believe that "shrewd" is a necessary qualifier for the douchebagindividual currently under consideration.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I like to pay attention to my surroundings when I run. I still find it meditative, but I enjoy noticing the sights and sounds around me, not to mention smells.

Actually, specifically to mention smells.

Often when I run after work, I can tell people are making dinner as I'll catch a whiff of a savory smell that will make me think of rich tomato sauces, juicy steaks, roasted chicken.

So tonight was not so unusual when I caught a noseful of something that made me immediately think of...



Actually, it reminded me of the smoked meats we found in Hollins Market in Baltimore.

Seemed like kind of a strange time of day (and really, time of year) to be making barbecue, but hey, it's a free country. And we're no strangers to the whim of a random food craving.

Then, a few minutes later, perhaps another mile along and in a totally different neighborhood, I smelled... more barbecue?


Chimney smoke from people's fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.