February 10, 2006

I had to be up and out the door before Dominica was out of bed this morning. We had two snow days this week so today is the only day that the computer lab is going to be open at the school and we have at least one class that never managed to get in for their regular class so we are hoping to get everyone caught up today.

I got to the school around 9:30. I didn’t miss anything so I am glad that I didn’t rush to get in any earlier. We ended up having a packed lab in the afternoon with one class coming into have their “make up” class and another coming in just to get some time on the computer. Dad taught class and I spent most of the day updating all of the computer with the Scribus, TuxPaint, TuxType and KDEedu3 packages that we have decided to add.

While we were at the school I discovered two title in the school’s library: “Wisdom and the Millers” and “Prudence and the Millers”. Apparently there is an entire Miller Family Series of books written by Mildred A. Martin. I pulled the first book off of the shelf and showed it to dad. We had a good laugh. What a funny title. We started looking at the book and realized that the name of the author was a family name. The name of the illustrator was also a family name. Then we realized that it was published by Green Pastures Press which is an Amish/Mennonite Press. And then we saw that it was printed in Minerva, Ohio – just one town away from the towns where both of my parents grew up: Louisville and East Canton. Minerva is in Stark County along with both of them. So there is a very good chance that the books are written by someone in the family. Pretty weird.

We did our usual and got lunch at Lorraine’s in Castile. They have the best country fried fish sandwich. And their prices are awesome.

Dad ordered his new Westinghouse LCD 37″ 1080p television today. He has been wanting one for months and finally decided to take the plunge. It will be several weeks before the television actually ships but since dad does not yet have anything to connect the television too it doesn’t matter so much. He has to get the basement ready for it anyway. That is a much bigger screen than he is used to having in his television room. It is really going to change the way that it feels in there.

While he was doing some research today for his television he came across an article in the Crutchfield Advisor that said that there were currently no 1080p sources. Well, just to prove him wrong I went and did some research. Not only can just about any computer video game output in 1080p these days (and have been able to for many, many years) but there are all ready WMVHD DVDs being sold through tons of outlets that are in 1080p. Plus the upcoming (okay, technically not available yet) Sony Playstation 3 is going to be 1080p. And, of course, there are lots of scalers out on the market that produce 1080p. But the big thing is that most computers produce 1080p and computers are the source of the next generation of signals because everyone is tired of the old format wars. We want centralized, integrated video sourcing. No more DVD player for one thing, VHS VCR for another and LaserDisc for the previous collection. We want all of our video stored in one single location so that we need only one machine and one interface. And we don’t want to paw through huge collections of discs to find the one that we want. We want it all on hard drive in a single location that we can watch from anywhere. We want our video collections to be like our audio collections now. And now that I get a significant amount of what I watch off of the web it makes no sense at all to be putting things onto disc after downloading them just to be able to watch them on a computer again later.

I was doing some searching online today and discovered that Microsoft has a site where you can download high definition trailers made using their WMV9 HD technology. You can also buy HiDef DVDs right from there as well. Amazon is starting to carry WMVHD discs too. I will be getting one or two soon. They are not expensive at all. As long as you have a 1280×1024 monitor you should be able to watch 720p videos just perfectly. 1080p requires a higher resolution to watch without scaling down. You can also find WMVHD stuff like Lewis and Clark at National Geographic.

Andy came down around 5:00 so that we could do some work. We worked until 6:15 and then took a break to go down to my aunt and uncle’s house so that we could go through my grandmother’s books to see if there was anything that Dominica or I might want out of the piles. I did end up taking four bags or so of books. Not a ton but at least we were able to find some stuff that looked interesting. I definitely got my book interest from my grandmother. We have always ended up reading a lot of the same books.

After book filtering, Andy and I went to Mama Mia’s on Main Street and got us some dinner. Dominica doesn’t really like Mia’s so we have to go when she isn’t home. We went back to the house after eating and worked for several more hours.

Oreo was pretty sick tonight. He was visibly not feeling well and he ended up throwing up too. He kept coming up to me and pawing at me but I didn’t know what to do for him. Dominica reminded me that we had given him his Interceptor worm medicine yesterday and that he always ends up getting sick the day after we give it to him. So we are hoping that that is all that it is. Poor little boy. He is very sad tonight.

Dominica got home later than usual. She didn’t get a chance to leave work until 10:15 and then had to go out and clean the snow off of her car. She called the house to see if we would go and pick her up a pizza but we didn’t think that it would be wise to leave Oreo home alone when he was feeling so poorly so I ordered her a pizza from Pizza Paul’s. She got home around 11:00. She has been having a tough time at work because the work has really turned into a lot of repetiveness and the cool troubleshooting that she used to be able to spend her time doing has been moved to another company so it is a lot more boring than it used to be. Hopefully things will be changing there soon but with the company losing so much money it isn’t all that likely.

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