Diving at Blue Hole

It was a Scuba/Deadwood weekend… On Friday, a small group of us from our local dive club — www.ziadivers.org — took a trip out to Santa Rosa, NM to do a night dive at Blue Hole then a dive at Perch Lake on Saturday. Rhonda (from Los Alamos), who I took my advanced open water class with, happened to be there that weekend and joined us for our dives. My wife Deborah provided topside support (haven’t talked her into diving, yet). A good time was had by all. Perch Lake is really cold in early May below the thermocline (at about 40 feet) — brainfreeze!

I got almost caught up watching HBO’s Deadwood, a very interesting new series about a gold prospectors town in the 1800s (?). Worth checking out. Soprano’s is also pretty good this season — not the best season but not the worst.

Caught about 30 minutes of NBC’s “10.5” earthquake disaster mini-series. I may watch a little more of it but the beginning was a dog — seemed poorly written and acted and obviously nobody with a scientific background helped with the script.

Currently I am playing with a very neat project — HTMLArea which lets you develop web pages with a HTML TEXTAREA on them but you get a full blow HTML editor. Worth checking out. Make sure you download the latest version (3.0 RC1 at the time of this writing).

Kingdom Hospital and Divx

Watching Kingdom Hospital… just watched last weeks episode where the anteater gave the fat lawyer the heart transplant and all I can say yowzer! While I knew something strange was going to happen, this put a new spin on the anteater that I never expected. I understood his general function as healing or killing but he always seemed pretty passive about it before. Very interesting. If you are a Stephen King fan you really should be watching this show… very well done and very Stephen King-ish.

Now a question I will just throw out to the universe about Divx video that contains VBR encoded MP3 audio… it seems when I load a Divx into VirtualDub it complains about the audio portion and that sync will be off, save as wav, blah blah blah. Pretty much whatever I do with these files (save to wav, convert to CBR MP3, etc) when I rebuild the video it is out of sync (and it seems sync gets progressively worse as the video progresses). When I use Dr. Divx 1.04 (with 1.6b fix) to just reencode the video which will make it have CBR MP3 by default, the sync is just fine and then, of course, VirtualDub likes the video just fine. First: Any soltuion to this other than Dr. Divx? Second: If the toolks generally handle AVI with VBR MP3 poorly (or at least VirtualDub and maybe TMPGEnc) why are people using VBR MP3 in their AVIs? I have never (personally) been a fan of VBR MP3, so maybe this is a personal bias.

Who I Am

Wow. My first blog entry. First about me…

Professionally I am a software designer and developer focusing primarily on database-oriented web applications.

Athletically (term used loosely) I am scuba diver (55 dives as of this writing) and am currently taking Taekwondo — I will test for my yellow belt in June, 2004.

Recreationally I am am into video games, movies, and books (both printed and audio books).

Computationally I enjoy playing with audo and video editing and conversion.

This week I am playing with lots of video conversion stuff. MPEG2 to Divx and Xvid including the addition of subtitles both burned onto the AVI file and the exclusion of external subtitle files (.SUB, .SRT). My primary tools have been Dr. Divx (1.04 plus the 1.6b patch), VirtualDub, and AutoGK — these are all great packages. The destination of these is my new set-top Divx/Xvid player (RJTech RJ1500D player), a neat device.

This last weekend I watched The Punisher: Two thumbs up if you like violent, over the top movies. If you had blood in your movies you will hate this movie. Also recently we watched the Triplets of Bellville, a great movie. Finally, we are working hard to catch up with the TV show “The Shield” — highly recommended.