Sunday, January 14, 2007

Surrounded By the Sound

Last night Jill & I watched the 2004 DVD release of "Star Wars: A New Hope." This might seem like a small thing, and rather ordinary. But what you may not know is that we experienced the beloved sci-fi classic with the best possible sound and picture available to the consumer at the present time. How was that accomplished, you might wonder? (Of course you wonder.) Well, I spent a large chunk of the day installing our rear surround sound satellite speakers on the walls in our living room. I took care to hide and route the cables underground, under carpet, behind obstacles and mouldings, and generally make the hideous white (and of sufficient thickness to supply a superior signal) cables invisible to the public eye. By public eye I mean the eye of Jill. The Great Eye of Jill stands, ever vigilant, lidless, wreathed in flame, scanning the landscape for unnecessary clutter. But my wiring job passed the test. The two (rather heavy) black satellite speakers will remain on the two walls, as uneven as they are, producing surround sounds for all who choose to watch a DVD at our house.

Allow me to describe the visual component of this prosumer-level Star Wars viewing experience. First off, the TV. We have a 34 inch Sony 1080i-capable CRT HD TV, which may weigh 200 lbs, but the picture... boy howdy. The blacks, so dark black. The whites, so white (yet not so white that the many subtle levels of whiteness are blown out). Our new DVD player, capable of upscaling standard DVDs into 1080p resolution, performs miracles with this digitally enhanced and restored version of "A New Hope." I've never seen Jawas or Sand People with greater clarity. The HDMI and optical audio outputs of the DVD player, combined with the newly mounted surround sound satellites, made my whole night. Such nerdery.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Marketing Cross-Promotion

I realize that if you're actually here reading my blog, you've probably already received an email apprising you of the Barson Family 2006 Year-In-Review page. But in the spirit of crass self-promotion, and the desire to see all those hours working on it not spent in vain, I'd like to cast as wide a net as possible. Here it is again:

A big BTW to all those who actually click on the link: the little thumbnail pictures you see on the left hand side of the page are actually clickable, and will take you to a larger version of the picture.

Barsons: 1, Year of the Anvil: 0

We won. It's finally over. We made it through 2006 without dying. We're looking forward to a 2007 where no more giant figurative anvils fall out of the sky and crush our comfortable lives. You know what they say; what doesn't kill you, turns you into an insecure paranoid with a victim complex. You try to do the right thing and let the falling chunks of blacksmith's metal make you stronger, but who really know what will happen next time? Am I really a wuss at heart? I'm going to move forward under the assumption that I'm not, and go to bed earlier. It's a New Year's Resolution. An HD 1080P resolution. I think if everyone went to bed on time every night, there would be no more war.

Here's to a much, much better 2007.