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2008/06/21 Above & Beyond at Ruby Skye
π 2008-06-21 23:51 by Merlin in Clubbing

I managed to miss a few events at Ruby Skye this year unfortunately, but was at least able to make it for Above&Beyond this time.
This time it was actually Paavo and Tony who came to play (so far I had only seen Jono and Tony). While they had to start a little bit late, probably due to the backlog of people waiting outside to get in (yes, they still draw a good crowd), they played a great set.
Hours later they were still rocking the place, playing great tune after other great tune when we were feeling beat and were trying to go home, keeping us inside instead :)
It was definitely a great time, looking forward to the next.












Here are the other pictures and videos of Above & Beyond at Ruby Skye .
2008/06/13 Comcast's HD is a total Scam
π 2008-06-13 23:36 by Merlin in Public

Now that I can record SciFi in HD, I got my first episode of Battlestar Galactica. Boy, was that disappointing. Now I see why they show almost nothing in true HD on that channel, it's because it compressed to death, to the point that outputting 1920x1080, or around 6GB for 1H of video, is a total joke.

First, to get that out of the way, there is nothing wrong with my mythtv setup: it gets raw mpeg2 and saves raw mpeg2, nothing is lost in the process. Also, the jepgs below are compressed at 85% or better to make sure they would not worsen the picture quality (trust me, it's hard considering how bad it is to start with).

Comcast's picture quality for HD on Scifi is so bad that you can see major picture quality faults without even pausing the picture. So Xav, stick to Satellite, cable HD quality is indeed totally pathetic.

Hell, this is not new but here are a few samples to see what I mean:



So, this frame looks bad, but it's a 5th of the size it's actually broadcast in


Now, this is a portion of the full size frame that is actually displayed. Yes, it's that bad




and another portion of a full size frame, lovely...


Yes, it is really that bad. Good job comcast, I'm happy I pay for this shit and that I have no incentive to download much better quality copies of the show off the internet.
2008/06/05 action marc: improving running time to work
π 2008-06-05 11:11 by Merlin in Exercising

While I won't be doing this every day, I ran to work today.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the magic time under 1h, it was only 1:02:22 for 7.29m (11.7km).
At least, I maintained a 8:33mn/mile for the whole distance, which is respectable I guess. (average heart rate 156bpm).
At least my average speed for each subsequent mile didn't vary too much along the run: 8mn10, 8m08, 8mn12, 8mn49, 8mn59, 8mn37, 8mn58, 8mn21. I guess you can see that I'm used to running 3 miles, not 7 :)
Still, let's see if I can get this down under 1h next time :)
2008/06/02 Biking to work
π 2008-06-02 11:14 by Merlin in Exercising

I've been biking to work on and off as time and wheather permits (and when I don't have to bring back a huge box of toys Patrick shipped to my work address :) )
Because google is about at sea level and our house at 280ft altitude (80m), biking to work with the extra weight I carry on me (typically around 20kg/42lbs) is a lot easier and faster on the way down than the way back (even if I typically have a pretty strong headwind when biking to work, it somehow doesn't push my fat ass back up the hill on the way home :) ).

I think this morning I scored my best time to work so far:
12km/7.56miles in 27mn12s, or 27km/h / 16.7mph average with an average heartrate of 140bpm and a max speed of 35kph/22mph

Times home haven't been as stellar so far, all over 30mn, but I'll see what I can do tonight if boot camp doesn't entirely kill me :)
Just got home: 30mn34s. I suppose I can get that under 30mn if I don't come out of 1h of bootcamp where I already ran 3 miles plus sprinted, lunged, and some other fun stuff, but I'm not sure I'll get much below 30mn with the weight of my backpack.

Then again, the goal is not to get home 1mn earlier, but to burn calories, so I guess it's ok :)

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