William Tell

Here’s Loyal Reader Number One trying to emulate William Tell’s son earlier this morning. Not a good idea. Fortunately, I didn’t get a bow and arrow for Christmas.

Speaking of which, Merry Christmas! I trust all my loyal readers are having a great day with their families. I know we are.

I have good news about the blog! I received a beautiful Olympus SP-350 digital camera for Christmas. Eight – count ’em – eight megapixels. Now my Great Art will be even better than ever. Today’s picture is from the old camera (taken just before we started opening gifts), but look for the new one’s work to start showing up Real Soon Now.

Spent some time playing two-player Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator against Mark. Of course, he totally and completely smeared me. No contest. It was fun, though. He’s enjoying it because he received a new video card for his computer and it has really pumped the old machine up. His old graphics card was a part of the motherboard, and it’s amazing to find out how much computing power it was sucking up for pretty mediocre results. It seems like a brand-new machine now. And those graphics are really pretty.

I also spent a lot of time ripping music and video for Gary’s new iPod. It’s the 80GB model – the best one they make – and I really like it. The video is surprisingly watchable, just like everybody says. We ripped and downloaded several albums and barely made a visible dent.

Perhaps the best part is that I figured out how to rip DVDs and convert them to iPod video. I’m using an application called Mac the Ripper to get the files from the DVDs and then one called Handbrake to massage the files into iPod-viewable form. It took a few tries before I got the format right, but I found some helpful information in Handbrake’s online forum. The only problem now is that it takes an incredibly long time to encode the files – plan on the computer working overnight to encode a movie.

And that’s the end of a relaxing and satisfying Christmas day. Merry Christmas and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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