It's cold in this office. I'm a relatively endothermic kind of guy. People tend to notice that about me when they first meet me. As often as not, they'll shake my hand and remark on my ability to regulate my body temperature. Today, that regulation seems to be manifesting in decreasing blood circulation to the fingers, which would be a problem if I had to type something very quickly right now.
Good thing I don't.
The game that I'm playing these days is probably a couple of years old. It's "Counterstrike: Condition Zero". I got that for free in my Half-Life 2 prepurchase bundle. I'm getting a surprising amount of gameplay out of a small amount of content. And, considering that I didn't set out to buy this game, it's all that much more impressive.
They accomplish that special magic that I refer to as "Ingredient X" - that phenomenon where the player will play "just one more" turn/iteration/game until it's 3am and they haven't attended to basic bodily functions for the past 15 hours.
Basic stuff like blinking. Not to mention getting out of the chair.
As I've mentioned, I got me one of them fancy-shmancy computer things that people are selling these days. I spent a fair amount of this past weekend with that computer plugged, circuitously (ha!), into my TiVo. I managed to pull down a few episodes of Dead Like Me and The Daily Show. I proceeded to screw around with burning DVDs from all this content, and discovered some surprising things about iMovie and iDVD:
- if you encode a project opting for quality over speed, it takes a very, very, long time.
- if you play a game that changes the desktop resolution during this process, it will interrupt the encoding process.
- if you proceed to encode the project from an interrupted point, there will be invalid intermediate files left on your hard drive, which will be used until you explicitly request for them to be deleted.
- if your video capture solution provides audio in 12bit format, you need to break your movie clips into video-only and audio-only tracks, which somehow are easier to keep synchronized than a clip that has audio and video together.
- if you want to know if an audio clip is in 12bit format, iMovie won't tell you. Try looking at the settings of your video capture device.
- if you go to the internet, looking for assistance on peculiar iMovie/iDVD problems, you get dire warnings reminiscent of vague terrorist warning announcements (e.g. "Be sure to allow background encoding to complete before pressing 'Burn'").
- if you opt for quick encoding, one (single layer) DVD-R can hold one hour of video. I suppose if I were archiving wedding videos, that's one thing, but if I wanted to archive movies off of VHS, it seems like a very poor decision. Appearantly, the quality (slow) encoding option allows for adaptive compression, which may be adequate.
- if you are interested to know when your computer will spit that DVD out, perhaps you should lie down. Maybe take a nap. I suspect that the encoding process involves searching for compression parameters to optimize the quality/space tradeoff, which seems to mean that they can't predict how long the encoding will take. That's too bad, since customers seem to like that sort of thing.
I do not care for raking leaves.
I had a crazy idea, which I finally acted on this weekend. "Buffalo chicken pot stickers". I mixed buffalo chicken seasoning (from a foil envelope) with chicken and celery (celery and buffalo wings, right?) and stuffed them into gyoza wrappers (round wonton wrappers, if you like). Turned out OK. Not nearly as buffalo-y as I had hoped. I have plenty of extra filling left over, as I ran out of wrappers after around 40 dumplings. Perhaps I'll add some Tobasco sauce to the filling and see if that is more what I had in mind.