October 30th, 2014

Coupling - Stuck in the Giggle Loop

That syncing feeling

An object lesson in frustration. As I've said, just recently I've been ripping a whole load of DVD-Rs to divx, so as to back up the divx files on our external hard drive and then dispose of the DVD-Rs (because, quite frankly, we have loads of the perishing things and they're cluttering up the house)*.

Just got to The Unique Dave Allen, and...five episodes of it were fine, absolutely dandy.

One episode, though...I've had some rips with sync problems. Most of them, are fine up to a particular point, and that point is normally characterised by some sort of video offlock - the whole screen dissolves into static for a couple of frames, and once the image recovers the sound is out of sync by a handful of frames, so in iMovie I can just detach the audio, split it at the offlock point, and then drag it to the right until the sync locks back in. Simple, more or less.

Not this one, though. It started off in good sync, but by the end of the episode, it was...I lost count by the end, but I reckon at least a dozen frames out of sync. No noticeable point at which it happened, it just gradually worsened as the episode progressed. In the end, all I could do was break it down scene by scene (shot by shot would have been just too tedious...) and every so often think, "ooh, it's got worse," and change the sync slightly from that point on...

If it turns out it's a.) on DVD, b.) on Youtube or c.) on a torrent site, I won't be amused after putting that effort in... (Actually, maybe that should have been the first thing I thought to check...)

* On which note - does anyone want a whole load of slimline jewel cases?
Extant - Halle Berry

The last two posts brought to you...

...by the fact that I'm currently reading (and indeed on the brink of finishing) Hugh Aldesey-Williams' rather fascinating book, Periodic Tales - The Curious Lives of the Elements.

In a book which tells the stories of pretty much most of the elements on the periodic table - their discoveries, their uses, the stories of the people who found them - Dysprosium merits one mention, just its name, in a list of the rare earth metals. Talk about obscure...
Extant - Halle Berry

I'm not saying...

...that I'm easily pleased, but right now bits of our stair carpet are starting to look the colour of stair carpet rather than the colour of dirt and dust. Man, I love our hoover. Vacuum cleaner. Well, it's a Dyson, actually - that's technically neither a hoover nor a vacuum cleaner, is it? But anyway, I love it.
Me and Sarah

Ten years on and still going strong.

Ten years ago today, I went to Barking, to the Tenth Planet shop (RIP), bought a couple of items, and then sat down outside in the queue of people waiting to get their purchases signed by the various Doctor Who-related celebs inside the shop at one of Tenth Planet's frequent signings.

Among the items being signed that day were the Lost in Time DVD set and the Cybermen tin, and amongst the celebs were the late great Nicholas Courtney.

Normally, in those queues, I would tend to sit by myself and mind my own business, but this time, unusually, I got chatting to the young lady who was sitting in the queue next to me. We got talking ahead to the imminent Dimensions convention, organised by the Tenth Planet team, which was a couple of weeks away in Stockton-on-Tees. Was she going there? Yes, she was. How was she travelling, I asked, figuring that - as I hadn't made any definite plans yet - if she was going by train or coach we could travel up together. By car, she said. Erm. Could I cadge a lift, I asked her. Yes, why not, she said.

So two weeks later, we went up to Stockton and had a great weekend there, both at the convention itself and also on the local trading estate where we braved the wintery weather in the queue for Pizza Hut whilst chatting about historical inaccuracies in films. The journey up and back down was spent listening to this, and discovering a mutual love of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (we must have quoted large chunks of the radio series at each other during the journey!). The journey back was also spent (by me, at least) staring in the Mini's rearview mirror at the young lady's eyes and realising, by the end of it, that I really had something of a crush on her. In the words of Hugh Grant's character in Love, Actually - that is so inconvenient.

Except it wasn't - I plucked up the courage to ask her out (well...by email) and on the final weekend in November, after she'd been helping her friends at the Barking Salvation Army with the putting up of their Christmas tree, we spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon in London, popping by Trafalgar Square and ending up in a cinema in Finchley watching The Incredibles.

By the end of the evening, we were officially an item. (And the following day, after a morning spent at the Oasis Church in Chelmsford, I went back up to Barking for another afternoon with her.)

The young lady in the queue was, of course, Sarah. My wife, my love, my life, my everything. I love you darling. Happy 10th anniversary of our first meeting. :-)