tger greenhaddock: February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Goofing around

Since returning from our Florida holiday at the start of the year I have been struggling to edit the video I took there. Before the trip we purchased a Panasonic DVD camcorder. It’s a simple to use device, and is great as to can just take the DVD out of the camera and play it in a normal DVD player. However if you want to edit you video it is not quite so simple.

Firstly you need to rip the video onto your hard drive. If your recorded DVD disc has no errors this is straight forward enough, but if there are errors on the disc you need software that will ignore these errors.

Secondly you need video editing software that edits VOB files and doesn’t recode it to MPEG2. Else you lose quality and sync between video and sound. A loss of quality really shows up on a 42 inch TV.

Thirdly a straight forward DVD burning program is required. You won’t believe how many man hours were required to figure this all out. But I finally achieved it. Many thanks to the follow software – Alcohol 120%, Womble DVD Wizard, & DVDClone.

Above is a little YouTube clip of the Juniorette with Pluto, her favourite Disney character.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Knife Lady

Whilst on the tram to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof after my last night shift a mad lady wearing a very bright pink hat got onto the tram. She sat down and then started to talk to her self. Fellow passengers left her immediate area rapidly. It wasn’t the hat, or her ramblings that unsettled everyone it was the king size hair spray can and the big kitchen knife that she was waving around.

Some people looked quite scared, but nobody said anything, in fact most people seemed to try and pretend she wasn’t there. I didn’t find her threatening at all. It seemed to me as if she was carrying her can and knife for protection. I felt quite sorry for her really.

At the next stop she left the tram, and a few minutes later the tram driver walked through the tram trying to locate her. Nobody said anything, so in the end I told him the lady had left the tram. I guess nobody wanted to get involved.

It did remind me of another incident many years ago when a dodgy bloke pulled a knife on me on a tube train in London. Again it was after a work shift, but I must’ve given him a ‘I don’t give a shit look’ as he soon moved on to threaten other commuters instead. I left the train at the next available station. It wasn’t my stop, I didn’t want to get involved, and I definitely didn’t want to get stabbed.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Doing swimmingly well

A couple of weeks ago the Juniorette enquired at her swimming club if they could enter her in for some swimming competitions. She was told that her club do not swim competitively but to do so she would have to join a different club. Fortunately the head trainer/instructor overheard the conversation and said that if she was serious about swimming competitively he would help train her. He trains a lot of disabled swimmers and has been quite successful with his blind swimmers in the German disabled championships. The Juniorette would do extra training with the disabled swimmers. Both Mrs H & I think this is an excellent idea as many children grow up with little or no experience with being with disabled people.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spring is in the air

The past few days have been warm and sunny in Marburg. The birds are pairing up, and the Daffodils are not too far away from flowering. Spring is in the air. But for me one of the defining signs that spring is slowly on its way is when migratory birds start heading north again. A couple of nights ago I heard Cranes flying overhead on their way to their summer breeding grounds. They are certainly earlier this year than last, but as a rule of thumb I generally expect to see them around Mrs H’s birthday, which incidentally is tomorrow. So I expect with continued good weather to see a lot more Cranes heading north in the next few days.

Of course with all this spring activity I wouldn’t be surprised if winter turns up in a big way some time to spoil it all.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Top of the class

Earlier this week Mrs H & I had an appointment with the Juniorette’s school teacher/head mistress to discuss how she is doing at school. In our part of Hessen children receive their first school report in the summer term of their second year. The Juniorette so wants to have an official report, but she will have to wait a few more months yet.

Personally I believe the chat could not have gone better. The teacher said that she had nothing negative to report about our daughter. In fact she said that at the moment the Juniorette is the top student in the class. Apparently she even has her temper under control. She does well at maths, reading and dictation and most importantly of all has a desire to learn. We were very happy with the feedback and were extremely pleased with the progress that she has made.

The Juniorette was obviously very curious to what was said about her in our meeting. So we basically told her what was said, but we omitted the fact that she is top of her class, instead we told her that she is in the top group of her class, as we do not want success to go to her head. We told her how happy and proud we were of her, and of her achievements so far.

Also this week my Dad had a Stent Procedure performed in hospital in the UK. All went well and he is back home recoving.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Skoda Family

On Friday Mrs H picked up the new car which is the new model from Skoda called the Roomster. It’s a cross between a standard car and a van, with it being a bit higher at the back. The rear seats can be easily removed for transporting larger items, and this suits our needs perfectly. There is a lot of room inside compared to the Octavia which we just traded in. Mrs H gets to drive the new car and I now get to drive her old one (Skoda Fabia).

The Juniorette is very happy, especially as we managed to incorporate her initials into the registration number of the car. She is also very taken with the type of blue that the car is painted in. I’m just happy that it works. For me a car is a tool and as long as it works and doesn’t break down I am happy.

Today the Juniorette played her first football tournament of the year. I couldn’t attend as I am currently working nights and need to sleep during the day, but Mrs H reports that the Juniorette played very well, but most importantly she had a lot of fun.

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