In defense of DVDs

I’ve just re-enabled my Netflix DVD service for the umpteenth time. Streaming is usually enabled (though it’s of dubious usefulness), and whether I’m getting DVDs is a matter of how much time I’m spending on movies at all. As a general rule, DVDs are the only way for me to watch the movies I want. I use various movie recommendation sources and my wishlist is filled with things that are not available on streaming services, at least not Netflix nor Amazon.

So Mad Men is done. I’m glad. I didn’t think the show was nearly as good as others did. I started becoming increasingly bored around season 3 or 4. Now I don’t have to think about it. But this really isn’t about Mad Men, but rather time and entertainment. I watch very little of anything. What I do watch (usually a couple hours per week, tops), has for a long time been a mix of movies and TV series.


Federal Judge Paul Cassell, on administering a mandatory minimum sentence to a 24 year old for three marijuana sales: “If he had been an aircraft hijacker, he would have gotten 24 years in prison. If he’s been a terrorist, he would have gotten 20 years in prison. If he was a child rapist, he would have gotten 11 years in prison. And now I’m supposed to give him a 55-year sentence?

I’m usually the last to see viral videos, and even later to pass them on, but this battle of train vs. snow must be shared. It’s so good, Peter Jackson stole the idea in The Lord of the Rings (2001). It does prompt the question: why do locomotives need windows?

Infant car seats

Make no mistake: installing an infant car seat can be strenuous work. You need to achieve a fair amount of compression for the seat to stay put. This will probably require sitting or standing on the seat while pulling hard on the belt strap. If it seems easy, you’re probably not putting the seat in firmly enough. Besides adjusting your expectation of work, here are a couple of tips I’ve discovered over the years:

The Chrome browser on Nexus 7 has never had the Close All Tabs function like its brother on the phone. This made no sense, was annoying, and dragged on forever. Fortunately, the end is near. You can now download Chrome version 40 via the Chrome Beta app on Google Play. Close All Tabs is accessed by long-pressing the usual tab close X.

I’m in the process of taking a hard look at Fossil for source control. I’d heard of it a long time ago, but only briefly considered it before getting swept up in the rise of Mercurial and git. The only thing that put it back on the radar was a brief mention in some Hacker News discussion, and a recent FLOSS Weekly episode. I used git daily at work and at home, and I know it well.

As a long-time consumer of RSS feeds, I was shocked along with many others at the fairly sudden termination of Google Reader. Though there wasn’t anything extraordinarily special about GR for me, it did offer a clean, simple way to browse feeds and have the status sync across devices. Like everyone else, I set about finding a replacement, and was pretty sure I’d find one in short order that met my expectations.

Why Jekyll?

I was recently asked why I switched from Octopress to Jekyll. I don’t have an interesting answer, because there weren’t any particularly strong reasons. The overarching goal was that of simplifying. For this blog, the idea of going with stock Jekyll hosted on Github pages is about the simplest way to write and publish a static blog. It certainly isn’t the easiest way to have a blog, but for me, “simple” includes the idea that the blog content and structure is stored simply and accessibly.