June 13, 2018

Video Players Gone Bad

On the Sunday after the Australian Grand Prix, in an attempt to figure out just what the hell happened with the virtual safety car (and to watch the race in a form that wasn't ESPN's first try), I yarrrr'd the broadcast.  It was a 5GB file, nothing at all out of the ordinary and actually somewhat smaller than either Kimi No Na Wa or the KanColle film.  No huhu, in other words.  Which is why it came as such a surprise to me when my video player grabbed its throat, choked, and died when I tried to watch it.  And froze, then crashed, Windows.


My software of choice, ZoomPlayer, hasn't worked since.  Oh, it will eventually load any video you throw at it, but only after about five minutes of frozen computer.  Then it stutters until you back the video up, at which point it plays okay.  But god help you if you want to watch the video again immediately because nothing else will.  I've moved to my backup viewer, Media Player Classic which comes with CCCP, but only for viewing.  For the life of me, I cannot make subtitles go away in MPC, which makes screenshotting a little difficult.

So here's my question to y'all: what program do you use to watch stuff?  I used ZoomPlayer for at least a decade, I have no idea what-all is good anymore.  So help me out here, and maybe I'll have more lobsters on the face pictures!

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June 11, 2018

F1 Update!: Canada 2018

A warm, partly cloudy day greeted the F1 Circus as they pulled up to the starting grid on the Ile Notre-Dame's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  Ferrari's Seb Vettel was on pole, but the Merc of Valterri Bottas and the surprisingly quick Red Bull of DH Verstappen were clearly about to go hard at him from the start, hoping to steal a march on the red car.  So what happened and how did it happen?  THIS is your F1Update! for the 2018 Grand Prix of Canada!


*THE START WAS INTERESTING: When the red lights extinguished Vettel got away clean, but Bottas had Verstappen all over him for the first few turns.  It took the oomph of the Merc power unit to get the Finn clear, but the Red Bull stuck all over his diffuser.  Until the safety car was called out a few seconds later when Pleasant Stroll got a touch squirrelly and bumped into the Toro Rosso of Brendan Hartley.  

Just for the record, this is not an angle you want to be seeing from this camera.  Unsurprisingly, both cars were out of the race and Berndt Maylander was roused from his ancient slumber to take the safety car for a spin.  He was out for four laps before he was sent back to whence he came.  Seb Vettel handled the restart pretty much flawlessly and the race continued on.

*THE MIDDLE NOT SO MUCH:  Tires.  Everybody was protecting their tires and hoping for another safety car because it's just too damn hard to pass in F1 right now.  You need a massive speed advantage, more than just the DRS, to make a pass and have it work.  So in lieu of that, everybody protects their tires, trying to stretch them as far as possible and hope for a break somewhere.  The drivers hate it, of course, and so do the fans.  This went on for lap after lap after lap, until the race was almost done.

*THE END WAS... INTERESTING: The laps counted down, and Seb Vettel was never challenged.  On Lap 69, he came through the final chicane and onto the pit straight to take the checkered flag.  Which is fine and good, but for one thing: the race is 70 laps long.  As a result of this gaffe, per regulations the standings devolve back two laps, so the 2018 Grand Prix of Canada was actually 68 laps long officially.  Oy.  Vettel led the entire race, and it never looked like he was ever concerned.

*WHAT NEXT?:  What's next is the 2018 24 Hours of LeMans, featuring Fernando Alonso driving for the LMP1 favorite, Toyota.  Gunning for the triple crown (LeMans, Indy 500, Monaco) no doubt.  For the first time ever in the US, the entire race will be shown on ONE channel, Velocity.  Look for it on your satellite feed!  It starts at 9am Central on Saturday.

*NO REALLY... WHAT'S NEXT?:  Still France.  F1 returns to France for the first time since Mangy-Curs went away, heading off to Paul Ricard Circuit.  While it's been a long time, F1 has raced there before and it's often been a testing location as well.  Should be fun, I guess!  See ya then!

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June 10, 2018

"...And THAT Will Retire The Side."

Submitted without comment.

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June 09, 2018

F1 Quals: Canada 2018

Wow, hey, look at the time!  Huh.  Took me long enough.  For that, I apologize... I didn't get home from lunch until nearly 4pm, watched the quals, and then it was, like 645pm and I was exhausted.  So I took a nap, and now here we are.  But enough of this, you're not here to revel in the mundane existence that is the life of a Wonderduck, you want to know about the exciting times of the F1 Circus!  Well, here's the provisional grid for the 2018 Grand Prix du Canada:


Pos
Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:11.710 1:11.524 1:10.764
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:11.950 1:11.514 1:10.857
3 DH Verstappen Red Bull Racing
1:12.008 1:11.472 1:10.937
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:11.835 1:11.740 1:10.996
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:11.725 1:11.620 1:11.095
6 Smiley Ricciardo Red Bull Racing
1:12.459 1:11.434 1:11.116
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:12.795 1:11.916 1:11.973
8 False Esteban! Force India Mercedes 1:12.577 1:12.141 1:12.084
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:12.689 1:12.097 1:12.168
10 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:12.702 1:12.395 1:12.671
11 DP Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:12.680 1:12.606
12 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso
1:12.587 1:12.635
13 Charles AMX-30 Sauber Ferrari 1:12.945 1:12.661
14 LeMans Alonso McLaren Renault 1:12.979 1:12.856
15 Stoffelwaffle McLaren Renault 1:12.998 1:12.865
16 Pierre Ghastly Scuderia Toro Rosso
1:13.047

17 Pleasant Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:13.590

18 Sergey, Sir Otkin Williams Mercedes 1:13.643

19 Sony Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:14.593


I never thought I'd say this, but "poor Lettuce."  You'll note there's only 19 cars listed... the Haas of Lettuce Grosjean never made it to the track in Q1, having had the most impressive dose of power unit problems we've seen in a long time.  He was smoking as he pulled out of the garage, and once he turned onto pit lane headed for the exit, he managed to lay down just an epic smoke screen.  No worries about mosquitos for the rest of the weekend, that's for sure.  But he hits a marmot on Friday, now this happens on Saturday... I'm terrified for what'll occur in the race.  We may see the first F1 car in the St Lawrence Seaway tomorrow.

As far as the rest of Quals went, do you realize that this is the first time in four years that Lewis Hamilton isn't on pole?  Say what you want about the guy, and plenty of people have, but he owns this track.  He never got hooked up today though, never managed anything but scruffy lap after scruffy lap.  He knew it, too.  The two Ferraris looked amazing, clearly the class of the session.  The only thing that kept us from an all Red Car front row was a brief moment of lost grip early in Kimi Raikkonen's last try.  

DH Verstappen has to be muttering to himself.  After leading the timesheets in all three practice sessions, the newly upgraded Ferrari engine and the Mercedes Party Mode proved too much for the Red Bull to deal with.  It's fast in the corners and under braking, but that advantage is nullified by the lack of power down that long, long back straight.  Still, they'll be starting on the hypersoft tires while Merc and Ferrari are on the harder ultrasofts, so they'll have the grip advantage.  The ultras do seem to be the tire of choice though... 

Race is in the afternoon... weather permitting, we'll be watching it live for once!

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June 07, 2018

F1 on TV: Canada 2018

So, so late!  Sorry folks, I've been on overtime this week, and it's been playing hob with my existence.  This is gonna have to be a quick one, here's the track map for the 2018 Grand Prix of Canada: 


I do love this circuit.  It's what Monaco would be if it was, y'know, fast and stuff.  And had marmots.

Here's the broadcast calendar:
Friday
Practice 1: 9a - 1030a  live on ESPNU
Practice 2: 1p - 230p  live on ESPNU
Saturday
Practice 3: 955a - 11a live on ESPN2
Quals: 1255p - 230p  live on ESPNews
Sunday
2018 Grand Prix of Canada: 1230p - 3p  live on ABC

All over the damn place this weekend!  Quals report sometime that afternoon (I might be having lunch with the folks), F1U! sometime after the race.  See ya then!!!

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June 06, 2018

Ubu, I Also Accept Credit Cards, Amazon Gift Cards, And Rye Bread

"I would pay good money to see a train do that in real life."

-Ubu

At no time did you say it had to be successful real-life multi-track drifting.

Y'know, if it wasn't for the train the cameraman is on, that looked like it was going to work.

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June 04, 2018

Midway 2018

For this, the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, I had in mind the sixth of my "What If?" series, in this case what might have occurred if the Japanese submarine picket line had actually gotten into position on time, instead of just doing the submarine equivalent of sauntering, thus letting the US carriers sail without notice.  The catastrophic error that took mu/mee.nu down on Sunday put paid to that idea, alas. 


This left me scrambling for ideas, and to be honest I haven't come up with any.  So instead, here's the best (only?) song about the battle of Midway I've ever heard.
Footage is from two Japanese feature films, *The Admiral*, about Yamamoto, and *The Eternal Zero*.  I've actually seen *Eternal Zero*... unsubbed.  Honestly had a problem figuring out what was going on.  Looked fantastic though.

One bit of good news I recently discovered: a new Midway movie is in production, filming beginning in August. Fingers crossed, we'll finally see a **good** film about this rich topic, as opposed to that late '70s ball of dreck we've currently got.  I rewatched *Midway* two Saturdays ago... it was on SUNDANCE or some channel like that... and I kept saying "that's wrong", "that's wrong too", "that's a Hellcat", "why does that Japanese carrier have an angled flight deck?", and so on and so forth.  If anybody had been watching it with me, I'm not sure I would have lived through it... they'd beat me to death with my own cane just to shut me up.

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June 03, 2018

Test Test This Is A Test

I think we're back!

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