February 24, 2008: Moreso is in the Dictionary

Shortly after going [back] to bed last night Oreo decided that he needed to do his now common living room bone check. Never any sleep for me. So it was around two in the morning when I finally got off to bed. I got up this morning and was paged so I had to get right to work. Not a lot of work but it got me out of bed and I quickly determined that I had a migraine. Most likely it is due to a combination of too much caffeine, too many late night interruptions and too much time staring at a computer monitor. I have barely had a moment to look away from one for several days now. This term paper is really killing me in addition to all of the normal stuff.

We were both up on the early side today. We had to go out to Military Park a few times today so that Dominica could take some GPS measurements for her “GPS and the New Geography” course. She is really getting into the class. It turns out to have been a really good choice for her.

I went down to the deli in our building to pick up breakfast. We ate and watched an episode of Family Ties and then Dominica went off to work on her homework. I decided to take a nap as my migraine was pretty bad and I was not going to be able to get any work done unless I was feeling better. I lay in bed with my eyes covered listening to the News from Lake Wobegon on my iPod for an hour or more. I didn’t really sleep but I felt a bit better after that.

For years I have used the word moreso always believing that that was the standard spelling. Apparently “more so” is more common. However it would appear that the OED (the Oxford English Dictionary – considered the standard for the language) includes it. So I am going to keep right on using it. Possibly even moreso.

This afternoon was spent almost exclusively doing homework for Min and the term paper for me.  I found the topic very challenging but I am hopeful that I have come up with a decent paper.  It is hard to do a paper for a class that you have not done a paper for previously because you are never sure of the expectations and by the time that you know it is too late.

Dominica had to go out to Military Park three times to take her GPS readings and she had to do a lot of mapping with Google Maps.  But the work that she is doing is really interesting and I think that she is learning a lot about GPS and Web 2.0 technologies.  This course that she is taking appears to be relatively writing intensive and seems to really push a lot of though provoking topics.  I think that Dominica is getting a lot out of it.  More than just the value that appears to exist on the surface.  This seems to be one of those highly valuable liberal courses that people talk about but rarely get to take.  So I am excited for her.  It is a lot of work, and she seems to have to work harder for this, her “easy” class than she has to do for most of her advanced standing classes.

My evening was also busy with page-outs to the office.  I was pages several times and had to keep my email on all day to deal with things as they came in addition to the tiny “check out” work that has to be done on Sunday afternoons.  That only takes a few minutes but I did spend a bit of time on conference calls and talking to the support teams at the call center.  Nothing disastrous or stressful.  But a lot of hand-holding and double checking things.  It was a pretty busy Sunday night.

I wanted to go to bed early tonight but Dominica and I did homework until after eleven thirty and after all of that work neither of us was ready to fall asleep yet.  So I decided, since I kept getting paged anyway, to just wait out until midnight logged in to the office watching my email (my “on call” shift ends at midnight when the normal overnight shift begins) and then we would watch an episode of Family Ties so that we can get off to sleep.

Dominica did manage to sneak in some more Christy today.  She finished the television series either last night or this morning and today she managed to watch the first two made to television movies and to start the third.

I did get a chance to learn a bit more about using Handbrake today to do MPEG2 to h.264 conversions.  There is a new version of Handbrake out that is a big improvement over the last (.9.2 now instead of .9.1.)  I am getting the hang of making some good quality compressions.  I have so far discovered in my first test that I can compress a standard size MPEG2 compressed television episode of approximately one gigabyte to less than one third of its original size while actually improving the quality through high quality deinterlacing and deblocking algorithms.  And acceptable quality compressions can be made at closer to one tenth the original size.  I am really impressed with h.264.  I am surprised that there has not been a movement to use h.264 on the DVD carrier media as a stop-gap before BluRay.  A DVD carrying h.264 could carry twice as much content, roughly, as current Video DVDs.  That means that you could have average length movies at extremely high quality or have a single DVD contain ten or fifteen television episodes at the same quality as the originals.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I have been thirty-two years old for the last three minutes as I write this.  Time for bed.  I can’t stay up late.  I am not as young as I used to be (like when I started today’s post.)

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