three guilty pleasures

Two of which are meat-related.

One of which are rhythm-less feet with a heavy conscience.

Let’s start with that one. Sarah was placing a catalog order this evening and got a Wham! song as her hold music. Which reminded me of this:

Meat Point #1:

We bought a KitchenAid mixer a while back and have been experimenting in the meat grinding arena.

Weber baby q100That was great and all, but we really needed a way to grill our ground meat creations. Pan-frying wasn’t cutting it. We bought a small portable gas grill. We tried it out today on one of our town’s several islands in the Danube with great success. There were lots of people out enjoying the weather and grilling their dinner along with plenty of dogs pleased by all the resulting smells. Which brings me to…

Meat Point #2

Thanks Aunt Julie for sending this video our way. We’ve been watching it (and emulating it) for days now and it hasn’t gotten old yet.


If you’ve got about 4 and a half minutes and have seen any pictures of ours since about September 2007, take a look at this. You might catch a fleeting glimpse of yourself or someone you know.

My Pummelvision from Cliff 1976 on Vimeo.

Pummelvision made this video for me at Vimeo based on images from my flickr photostream. I think it’s pretty neat. Just three steps:

1. I created a free account at Vimeo, and gave Pummelvision permission to use it.

2. I told Pummelvision to go check out my flickr photostream and make the Vimeo video.

3. Then I waited about a day for an email to arrive notifying me that the video is complete.

Details on the entire process are at, but there’s really nothing more to it than that. In future versions you might be able to customize the music or select sets or collections for pummeling, but at the moment it’s one-size-fits-all.

“Do you think we’re ready for that kind of commitment?”

New York State Senator Savino’s case for same-sex marriage rights might be old news by now for some of you — apparently she voted in December 2009, and this clip was posted online at in August 2010, but it was new to me today.

I like this take on it; anyone screaming about the sanctity of marriage needs to whip out their sanctimeter at the local administrative offices and make sure all marriage license applicants measure up. Or just butt out.

Fast Track to Rockstardom

Q. Who knew it was that simple?

A. Everyone who wrote a pop/rock hit you’ve heard, apparently.

So, uh…where’s Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’? Oh, here it is:

Normally children singing ranks up there with nails on chalkboards for me, but this chorus is really something special.

Fun a cappella takes on songs you’ve probably heard

Is there anyone with access to any sort of electronics who hasn’t heard the original version of this song?

Compare to Christopher Walken’s rendition:

The original Knights of Cydonia by Muse (this song rocks):

…and this outstanding one-man a cappella cover of it:

For this last one, be sure check out the original first, if you don’t already know it (and everyone in Germany, if not Europe, already does, since it’s the Eurovision 2010 contest winner):

I like this guy’s version so much better! Also, he’s got better moves than she does.

VLC + Handbrake + DVDs = iPod/iPhone video joy

I’m leaving tomorrow on a business trip to Iași. It will be my first trip there in over a year, and a bit longer than my normal trips (a full work week; something I don’t normally do).

Now that I’ve got this iPod touch thing though, and it has injected itself into many aspects of my life, I decided to try to take advantage of its 32GB storage capacity. I have several DVDs sitting around waiting to be watched. Why not watch them on the plane on my iPod tomorrow? But how can I rip the DVDs (something I’ve never done before) to a format my iPod touch can handle?

I downloaded a few trial versions of payware DVD rippers, and they didn’t work so hot (wrinkly distortions in the final product, plus the watermarked logo until you cough up for the software registration). My favorite geek reference site — ISCABBS, a place so geeky you have to use telnet to get in there — came to the rescue with a recommendation to use Handbrake together with VLC. At least on Mac OS X and Linux, having these together on your computer will allow you to rip right from a DVD into an iPod/iPhone compatible format — for free. Handbrake also nicely converts other video formats — apparently pretty much all of them — into a few of the more modern ones, like MP4 via the H.264 codec. I ripped the DVDs (and converted a few other video files I had lying around) in Handbrake and then dragged the converted files from the Finder windown onto my iPod in iTunes.

Works like a champ — love that.



I read’s feed for good deals on stuff — typically electronics, but not always (and I rarely buy anything, but enjoy their product descriptions).  Now and then they also put together excellent collections of content for pure entertainment’s sake.

I saw this page today (linked above):  Nicholas Cage, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Krazy Kiefer Sutherland shilling for the Japanese market, and some true-to-form Kyle MacLachlan Twin Peaks canned japanese Coca-Cola-company-produced coffee weirdness*.  Enjoy.