Monday, 30 June 2008

I'm not sure it's meant to look like this

I am trying to teach myself to crochet.  Currently not going so well.  Pictured above is a book - the cunningly titled "Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller, of 'Stitch 'N' Bitch' fame, which should be teaching me how to crochet with confidence.

Suffice is to say that I don't think that the end product is supposed to resemble a mutant prawn.

Home Cinema blues

Ever tried to set up a Home Cinema system?  As experiences go, it rivals few for sublimely melding exasperation and elation in roughly equal measure.

We have a Yamaha RX-V2600 AV receiver which acts as the hub for our system, handling the expected audio duties with aplomb and also serving double duty as a video switching and processing centre.

In theory, this should make for plug-and-play simplicity.  The end result is occasionally somewhat different.  And it's all down to "Doctor Who".

You see, your bloggers are inevitably fans of the Davies-era series and have been enjoying the odd mini-marathon of DVD box set episodes on our projection screen.  The visual scale is obviously much bigger when watching in this fashion and the sound is great.

We decided - after seeing this season's penultimate episode on Saturday night - to see out the series on the big screen without waiting for the DVD.

This would involve finding a suitable video source.  Lacking the inclination to line Rupert Murdoch's pockets by ordering Sky HD, and not yet being sold on grabbing a FreeSat set-top box, we looked into the possibility of utilising the Sky Minidish on the side of our house with an old Sky box to do the job.

After some judicious searching - thank you AV Forums - we hit on using a cruddy composite cable to connect up to our Yamaha receiver.

The results?  Not pretty, but perfectly watchable.  What some would call a grainy picture, and certainly not HD in any sense, but certainly okay.

Inevitably, though, I was after more.

Cue a lunchtime jaunt to electronic hobbyist store Maplins - picture a clientele who really, really know their networking cables and despise you for not caring about that - and a purchase of a Scart to Component cable thingy to try and improve the picture.

The only problem with that?

A connection which doesn't appear to work unless you hook up with the composite cable that we're supposed to be getting rid of.

I'm going to hit my Yamaha manual for more clues - hopefully Boo will be along to fill the void with crafty goodness...

This is where the blog goes schizophrenic...

...and I start posting about craft and stuff.  I am an irregular poster over at Wardrobe Refashion and now that I have here to prattle on about things as well, I will hopefully post more often.  

This is a bag I have just made for my lovely Mother in Law; made from a pair of jeans and big enough to hold a heck of a lot.  I'm still a novice when it comes to applique, but I like how it turned out and I hope she does as well.

 Blogger and me may fall out about positioning images!  I now realise why my other half does mostly textual blogs, trying to get an image where YOU want it to go is a nightmare.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

This week's best T-Shirts Ever!

A lamentable fact about your author is his predilection for cool t-shirts - I have a comparably miniscule number of dress shirts hanging in my wardrobe, but can hardly move for logo/graphic shirts of varying degrees of wit.

Courtesy of the fine folks over at the new DVD & Blu-Ray Review magazine blog comes a post on just such garments - for the original blog post see our blog links or go directly to the source.

Being from the North of England, and having an abiding love for Sheffield's finest (sorry Jarvis)
I was particularly drawn to the DePalma shirt, although there's something about the Von Trier shirt, wouldn't you say?

Clearly the ideal gift for the ironic, independent film-loving, unrepentant metal head in your life (and who doesn't have one of those?)

In case you were wondering...

The header image is taken from a photo taken on one of our summer holidays from a few years ago - it's the view from the decking balcony of the Dutch apartment we were lucky enough to stop in.

Haarlem is a very pretty and wholly delightful small town in the North of Holland, around twenty minutes away from Amsterdam.

Well worth your time and energy to visit if you happen to be in the neighbourhood...

Being the first in a series of posts about insomnia...

For reasons which are not entirely clear (my caffeine consumption is scrupulously policed during the day, I'm physically tired and wholly ready to lay my head down, so I'm at something of a loss), I find myself awake again at Stupid O' Clock and traversing the Internets in search of distraction.

What better way to do that, gentle reader, than to commence posting on a blog which has been in stasis for many a long month? It sure beats watching cable at this ungodly hour.

The plan is that this blog will feature regular contributions from my better half and yours truly - not so much a division of content bisected crudely down gender lines but a view of how we see the lines in terms of personality and individual interest.

And because we're probably too accursedly lazy to maintain individual journals for your viewing pleasure - never rule out sloth as an odd motivator in anything that we do.

More to follow - perhaps, even, interesting and of worth?
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