Vacation: Family, Books, Thomas Jefferson, & Puzzles

For a few days, the family and I drove up to Lake George swam in the swimming pool at the motel, and at the lake, took an adventure to Ft. Henry William, and did some pirate mini golf.

Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America (2012) by Thomas J. Craughwell

Creme Brulée

I enjoy knowing about the American Revolution, the founders/framers, the political & cultural thoughts/values of that period.

In high school, we are painted the picture of the founders and framers that they were gods, and do no wrong. In college, there were particular professors who would pain a much different picture. The founders and framers were in a complex conspiracy to keep the soon to be freed American citizens subjected not by King George, but by them. There was another professor in the same department, and he did not refer to them as either gods, or as tyrants, but as people.

This particular book is a great companion piece to Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (2002) by Joseph J. Ellis.  In both works they discuss the greatness and the awe that inspired many, but also the hypocrisy, and the not-so-good, such as with the issue of slavery. In both they refer to the dinner between James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams to create a compromise.  The main part of the meal was macaroni & cheese, which was one of the recipes that James Hemings learned, and perfected. The other popular recipe, pommes de frites, aka skinny french fries.

Action Bible Jigsaw: “David & Goliath”

Action Bible: "David & Goliath" from TDC Games. The image was obtain from TDC Games.

Action Bible: “David & Goliath” from TDC Games.

This was the second puzzle that I have completed during those few days.  I found this at one of those re-sale stores like Big Lots. Hey, why not, better than the floral arrangements, and fifty shades of red.

Notes:

Wizard of OZ Universe Flow Chart (Canon)

A flow chart for the   novels, play (musicals), poems, etc.... for the Wizard of OZ Universe.

A flow chart for the novels, play (musicals), poems, etc…. for the Wizard of OZ Universe.

Quick Tip for Finding Books

Amazon, Abe Books, Albris are the three main sites that I use.  Amazon is usually the cheaper one, but not always.

rose_and_thorns_one rose_and_thorns_four

Roses & Thorns: Beauty and the Beast Retold is a book that my wife wanted for either her birthday or some holiday.  The initial search took me to the first image.  For now, I will not shell out 235.91 or 85.21 (maybe later in life) for one book.

I then decided to try Abe Books, and Albris, but no luck.  Abe Books was the same price, and Albris (they did not have it).

I went back to Amazon, and clicked the Author’s name.  That is where I stumbled upon the second image.  Yes, the images show the same cost, but I did not have an idea for a segment of my blog until after the fact.  There was one copy, used, for 18.00 (3.99 Shipping), so the overall price 21.99.

Remember to click all links such as the author because something that is hidden can be found. (This could be a form of Browsing and Berry-picking (a research method, more on that to come.))

 

 

The Might Tower of Binders!

Searching, Collecting, & Maintaining DVDs!

I like to collect stuff. I have a card collection (all sorts), lapel pin collection, and a DVD collection.

When in search of DVDs, I look for the rare, the vintage, the common, the interesting, the blockbuster, the “diamond in the rough”, and/or childhood/new memories.

Each person’s motive is different.  This is just my personal account of how I research to add to my living collection.

Step One: Know the product.

What is the format?

An avid searcher for DVDS I came across out dated formats such as VHS, Beta, Laser Disk, and HD, of course I have also come across DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital.

What is the Region?

There are six regions (Go to  Amazon for a full list) for a regular DVD, and three regions for blu-ray  The standard DVD for the United States and Canada  is region one (U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda), and for blu-ray the region is A/1 (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia).

I once bought a region 6 of  a season of Deep Space 9 through Amazon.

Some movies or TV shows can be released in one region and not another.  A short live show from the 90s that I saw on Netflix, Space Rangers, is released for VHS, and Region 4 (only in Australia).

Amazon and other sites that sell used (or new) DVDs will primarily sell region 1, but one will find other regions, so be careful.

Step Two: Know, Store and Maintain the Existing Collection

CD & DVD Wallets

I have DVDs.  I have a lot of DVDs.  Within the last year and a half, I started to store DVDs in binders.  Yes, a binder full of DVDs (Memorex Travel Case Active CD & DVD Wallet 256-ct).  I like this one the best.  I bought one with a fancy design for my audio CDs, and that fell apart.

tower_of_binders

The problem is that I can only find these at Target, and they are around 32 dollars.  I have eight to ten of them.

Do not make the mistake that I did when transferring each DVD from the case to the binders.  One  movie might not mean one DVD.  A TV series does not equal one DVD, more like for to seven discs.    I easily own over three hundred to four hundred titles.

The majority of one binder will cover my Star Trek Collection alone.  I have also kept space open, just in case I get the titles I do not have.

I find when going through my existing collection that I start thinking if there are holes to fill, and then I list them.

Maintenance

I found that some of the disks were thrown across the room by small children, and did not work as they should.   I finally took the plunge and did some research online.

Can You Fix a Scratched DVD with a Banana?
Fix a Scratched DVD

These were the two best articles that I found.   Over vacation, I took a couple of my DVDs that did not work, bought some car wax, and they worked.

Step Three: Listing and Finding Part One

How to do what?  Make a list?  Just write down what you want.  Is that simple?  I don’t know, maybe?  Or maybe not?   This is up to your ambition.

I have too many family members.  I don’t mind shopping for people.  That is fun, and I do not care about the cost.

Because of the family (by birth and in-laws) a listed needed to be created any way  This list has also other items, but mainly DVDs.

I have no idea what I want, so first I go through my binders and look at the franchises I own (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Wizard of Oz, Highlander…) and started to do some searches online to see if there were other versions or different stories.

There are many websites that will help in this process.  Part of this is to remember what they are and their functions.  Amazon is my go to, but they are not always the cheapest, nor do they have everything.

Netflix & Amazon Prime & The Internet Movie Database

Netflix and the Prime well they let me watch movies, and then I go “hey; I like this movie. I think I want this movie.”

Then I go online to IMDB to do a little, simple research on the movie, and maybe a Google search.

Amazon, Half.Com,  & Albris

Of course, there are other sites as well, but these are the ones that I like for a mix of new and used.

Step Four: Listing and Finding Part Two

Going to Netflix, Amazon, Albris, Half.com, etc….. Even to Google for a movie, and to see if it is anywhere.  That is one thing, and a basic search is of course a necessity.

Let us break the walk.

I had an epiphany one day.

I look at my one dollar DVDs, and I wondered why they are not around any more and why were they a dollar.  I was in college when they first came out, and have obtained some of the Cartoon Craze, Warriors of the Wasteland and The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz.

The company is Digiview, and the movies they sold were all Public Domain movies.  Digiview did go out of business, and that is a shame.

However, I use this technique to look for other publishers of DVDS, and producers.

Magnet Releasing | WB Shop | Funimation |Discotek Media |Sony Pictures| CBS Store | Disney Store: Movies |

There are so many other sites that sell their product, or list their product to give you ideas.