IMG_4742I rather like reading books, but I have this absurd sense of accomplishment whenever I finish something. Anything. “Wow, I managed to finish eating that hamburger! USA! USA!” Finishing something you like doing isn’t really something to brag about, but that’s the way I feel.

So a couple of years ago I started putting books I’ve read recently in a smaller book case where I can stare at them while I’m on the couch, reading other books.  It’s a kind of ludicrous feedback loop.

At the end of the year, I empty the book case and put the books away in less accessible areas, but I thought it’d be fun to measure the books first:

Taller than me!
Oops. Fall down go boom
Another year starts

Anyway.  This year I’m going to watch more movies.  I used to be a movie fanatic, but I kinda just stopped.  Inspired by this, I’m going to start a Movie Watching Project later this year.  After I get back from the holidays.  Perhaps…  watch all Criterion Collection movies or something?  Something.

Funniest Comic Book of 2013

The funniest comic book of 2013 must be Lisa Hanawalt’s My Dirty Dumb Eyes.


It covers all of life, like movies:



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Movie reviews.  She points of that the sign language in the latest Planet Of The Apes looks oddly obscene:


Actually, this is a test post to see how WordPress works.  I’ve moved from Blogger, because I don’t really want to be part of the Grand Google Empire.  Google were trying to get me to use their single sign on for years, and I avoided doing so.  It became more and more intrusive, and I guess I must have clicked on the wrong link at some point, because there I was, suddenly.  So I left.

So, WordPress…  Well, the HTML editor is really crappy.  Kinda surprising for a firm that has as the main business idea to, well, make it easy to blog.  It’s a nightmare of too-small frames, awkward image editing tools, and impossible to make anything insert where you want it to without dropping into “raw” HTML editing.

I am disappoint.

Detecting Youtube Movies

I play Youtube movies as background noise on a small USB monitor in the hall.  However, there seems

to be no way to determine whether a Youtube clip is a “still image” thing or a real moving clip.  Lots of people just show a still image of an album cover and put some music on top.

That’s really boring to look at.

So I wondered whether there’s an easy way I could filter out still images.  I could download them before playing, and check whether they’re “big enough” to seem to be movies, but some clips are so long that that’s not practical.  I could alter mplayer to monitor the video bit rate…  or I could just dump the USB bus and see whether there’s anything transferred to the USB screen.

The latter solution sounded more fun, so I wrote a script to make this more convenient

It turns out that most “still image” clips still output a bit of video data on the USB bus (probably due to Youtube post-processing or something), but it seems to be at least a factor of 100 difference, so it should be no problem to use, I think.

I just have to hook this up to the flutter script and maintain a blacklist of Youtube clips not to display.

I should patent this revolutionary technology and license it to Google!  Then they could offer filtering!  Yeah!  That’s the ticket.


Last night I dreamt that I was mentioned in the index of Martin Aston’s 4AD biography “Facing the Other Way”.  Which I bought a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t looked at yet.  So I just checked…

… and I’m not.

But it turns out that I’m on the akwnowledgement page.  (With a mention of

So!  Does this mean that I’m clairvoyant or not?  In any case, I’ll have to read the book now.  I mean, I would have anyway, but it’s 640 pages long.  C’mon! 

I mean, great! 

Meh. Amazon.

I was reading yet another story about how Amazon working conditions totally suck, so I thought it was about time to ditch Amazon.  And I’m someone who orders stuff from Amazon like every other day.

But the question remains, as ever: Why do all non-Amazon web shops suck?  Badly?

For books I’ve now used for a week.  Amusingly enough, the name of the site doesn’t resolve.  You have to put www in front.  And the search engine is so slow that it’s not even funny.  (I just can’t understand how you make a book search engine slow.  The number of books in the world fits into the RAM of the cheapest phone you can buy, these days.)  But I’ve managed to order a few books from them nevertheless. used to be a bigger company that sold DVDs, but these days it’s a portal.  Which is nice.  I can imagine the DVDs being packed by nice grannies in Wales.  And it has a nice search engine.  The sign-on thing is kinda odd.  When registering, you have to give a “description” for your credit card and your address.  I tried using “Wat?” as a description, but it wouldn’t accept that until I deleted the question mark.

Now I just need to find a DVD and book supplier in the US, and I should be set.

Free range DVDs and books!