Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.


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» Sunday, June 29, 2008
Busy Sunday
I asked James this morning, "Why is the door to the spare room closed?"

He explained that he couldn't sleep last night and had been online researching places to find converter boxes where we could use our coupons before they ran out on Wednesday. Since we had gone to bed at 3 a.m., he had been up in the really wee hours of the morning. I asked, "Well, if we can't find one with an analog pass-through, what's the best one we can find that doesn't have it? And can we buy it online or do we have to go out and look for it again?"

So as we were waking up this morning, he bounced around a little on his computer and discovered some likely prospects at Best Buy and H.H. Gregg, so even before we ate breakfast, we went there. Both were out of boxes, but at Best Buy I did get a copy of Disney's Johnny Tremain to watch on the Fourth (or the night before).

Then we went down to Ikea as planned and had lunch. I was feeling a bit "blah" and ate my chicken marsala without thinking about it much. We were here to buy a "Benno" CD/DVD organizer, which we did get to replace a "Billy" of the same two out of three dimensions (15 inches wide and 42 inches high) but with a greater depth which is set between the two wider but lower Target CD/DVD shelving units (unfortunately not made anymore).

James had found online that the Target stores around us did not have converter boxes, but the Target in Buckhead had some in stock, one which had gotten a "B" type review, and another, a GE, which was more of "B-." As we emerged from Ikea he asked if I wanted to try and I said I was feeling quixotic, so, sure.

Traffic in Buckhead hasn't changed, but the neighborhood sure has! The big Colonial and ranch-style homes on West Paces Ferry are slowly being knocked down to make room for McMansions. There are more "English manor homes," "Italianate executive homes," and "Neoclassical estates" than ever. When we reached the corner of West Paces and Peachtree Road, my jaw dropped. The line of bars that used to stretch from East Paces Ferry to Buckhead Avenue have been mowed down except for the building on the corner where the newsstand used to be when we worked there and which is now the home of "the Geek Squad." The property is being reconstructed as luxury condos. More restaurants down East Paces were gone, too, like the Rose and Crown. People just aren't going bar-hopping anymore and the people in Buckhead were getting tired of the drunks and the occasional murder.

Anyway, we did get the boxes, but a woman had beat us out of getting both of the same kind. There was only one left of the box that had gotten the better rating; the rest were GEs. So we got one of each.

On the way home we stopped at Costco for me to indulge myself. Last week when we were in Sears I saw the new Panasonic DVD recorder/VHS combo, the DMR-EX485V. It does all what my existing unit does, and it also plays all DVD formats, plays DivX format disks, USB devices and SD disks. Best of all, it it is supposed to play via HDMI and upconverts all DVDs to 1080p format. We have noticed how bad some of our older DVDs look on the new television. They looked fine on the other TV, which was also 1080i, but this one is more sensitive. Even with component cables, many of the professional movies look terrible—The Rocketeer is particularly bad, although reviews of the DVD state that. Anyway, Costco's price was much less expensive than Sears, plus I had a $40 off coupon.

We arrived home wiped out from the humidity (we had some rain later in the evening, but nothing major except a killer sunset—see photo!), but set to work at once. I assembled the Benno and emptied out the Billy and put the Benno in its place and restocked it. Plenty of room for our documentaries and Rick Steves travel videos and the few special videotapes: our wedding, some censored wartime cartoons, Star Trek bloopers, etc., plus the unit does not stick out as much as the Billy did. I moved the Billy into our bedroom next to my 15" wide, 72" tall Billy where I keep my favorite books: all my Madeleine L'Engles, Gladys Tabers, Mary Stewart's Merlin books, The Open Gate, and the Harry Potter and Owly books. This re-purposed bookcase now holds all my to-be-read books—and it's full! I had to put the three annotated Sherlock Holmes books under my nightstand.

While I worked at this, James set up both of the converter boxes, one on the television in the guest room and the other on the television in his hobby room. The pictures are spectacular compared to what we get on regular antenna. He also mounted the behind-the-door rack on the closet door downstairs.

We had "pot lucks" for supper and watched part 2, "Independence," of John Adams. We're great fans of 1776, but of course that is a stage musical with all the trappings of a stage musical, and this was a much more accurate and inevitably engrossing look at how the decision for independence might have gone. I also liked the way they juxtaposed the debate over independence against scenes of Abigail running the farm alone, watching the battle "from atop of Penn's hill," and having herself and the children inoculated against smallpox.

In addition, the score is wonderful. We looked for the CD today at Best Buy, but did not see it.

I haven't done anything with the Panasonic yet, but I have read the manual. Hope it's as good as the one I have.

Anyway, I have finished doing my part in stimulating the economy! It's someone else's turn now.

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