"Fantastic!" Every once in a great while, I dive deep down the rabbit hole of media formats and the codecs 1 that encode and decode them. Sometimes it's photos, sometimes it's audio, and this time it's video. I'm no expert in these things, but rather an enthusiast who (a) likes to create and organize digital media and (b) likes knowing that the formats I'm choosing are going to meet my present and future needs. In the past few months I've been adding Blu-ray movies to my media server. I've relied on H.264/AVC as my video format for a long time (more than a decade, maybe?), but with H.265/HEVC now pretty mainstream and AV1 emerging, I figured it was time to refresh my knowledge and get to know how these different tools might serve me. This is going to be a long post, so I'm going to take a moment here to establish the four considerations I make whenever I'm encoding media, whether it's video, audio, or photos. The four consider
The first president I ever knew was Ronald Reagan, so his death today and the accompanying media coverage held my interest for most of the day. I don't know where I place him on the list of great presidents, but he certainly had some admirable qualities - the eloquence, the charm, the humor, and the ability to get Americans to believe in their country. I've recently read some about Watergate, and am currently reading David Gergen's Eyewitness to Power , and am gaining a better understanding of those times and how Americans had lost faith in their leaders. Reagan's stability and longevity in office helped restore confidence in the system, even for those who didn't believe in his policies.
I expected to spend most of the day watching D-Day specials. I remember the 50th anniversary of D-Day, but with this, the 60th anniversary, and the recent dedication of the World War II Memorial, I'm enjoying the focus we seem to be placing on those WWII vets still with
In January of 2020, I set my sights on riding Ride the Rockies. After finishing my 5th RAGBRAI in 2019 and riding both the Buffalo Bicycle Challenge and Pedal the Plains that fall, riding the premiere bicycle tour in Colorado was something I wanted to do. As spring approached, I trained, kept my weight down, and then saw my plans change as the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the cancellation of all the summer bicycle tours. Given the choice of a refund or moving my registration to 2021, I moved my registration. Riding the Rockies would have to wait another year. As it turned out, even if the organizers hadn’t postponed RTR in 2020, I wouldn’t have done it. In April, I had shock wave lithotripsy to break up a kidney stone, and in May, I got a deep vein thrombosis in my left calf. (These were unrelated. I’d had bouts with kidney stones for a few years, and, the best I can tell, the DVT was triggered by the abrupt transition from a super-hard Zwift ride in the late evening to sleeping wit