Thursday, May 29, 2008

All BD'd Up!

With the loss of MovieBeam, I've been without good HD content, except that which TWC sends down the cable. To be sure, the NFL in HD, and even the MLB in HD is really nice. And the PGA in HD is beautiful, as anyone that's been to a nice golf course would expect. But HD movies on the cable just don't "pop". So we took the plunge and entered the world of BluRay in force this past week.

First, I got a BluRay burner for the computer. The 50 GByte storage capacity in a disk is impressive, though at today's prices it's probably cheaper to buy what's now a small hard drive and use it for permanent off-line storage.

For a player, we opted to get a Playstation3. Why? Well, when it became obvious that BluRay won the format war, I wanted to join the club. But it was well know that "BD Live", or BluRay 2 was due out soon and that most currently marketing players were not upgradable. But Sam learned that PS3 was BD Live compatible and at a price of $400 its BD feature, game play ability, and other on-line features make it a pretty compelling option today. Maybe I'll get Guitar Hero or something that our family can enjoy later on.

So we got the PS3 this week and watched our first full length BluRay movie last night. It really was awesome. As I'd hoped, there was none of the motteling or contouring that I could see in DVD and cable HD. Sam noted that there was no stall switching between VOB files that we saw on the DVD player.

The negatives are that the PS3 has an RF remote, and my Logitech universal remote will never be able to control it without some RF to IR help. Also, the PS3 runs pretty warm, but not much more than the MovieBeam box did. It does has an "off" button, and there's no reason to leave it on when I'm not using it.

BluRay: good PS3: good

Trap and 5-Stand

With my son having presented me with a Mossberg 535 at Christmas we joined the San Diego Shotgun Sports club. Many weekend mornings now we spend a couple of hours "breaking some clay" at their Trap and 5-Stand ranges. It's a very nice experience. You can look them at on the net at

Sam is a far better shot than I. But he's a good sport about it, and we have a great time on those mornings participating in the sporting games. They frequently run events and tournaments at the club in Trap and Skeet but neither of us have participated in any of them so far.

Many people there reload their own shells. They report that it costs them about $4 per box of 25 shells doing that. We've found that we can get a box of 100 shells at Walmart for $21 plus tax, which comes to about $5.50 per box. So I think I'll hold off on reloading for now. It looks like a lot of work for very little savings.

Update: The USMC at Miramar closed the range and threw the SD Shotgun Sports club out after 40 years on the base. Thanks for being true jerks, Marines.