Sunday, August 22, 2010

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...

...I'm considering purchasing my first DVD recorder in the next six months. I would appreciate recommendations, or even better, links to recommended models, from anyone currently using a DVD recorder.

...New Book: WHY? BECAUSE WE STILL LIKE YOU: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB will be published on October 29, 2010. The author is Jennifer Armstrong. I recommend two earlier books on this topic, THE OFFICIAL MICKEY MOUSE CLUB BOOK by Lorraine Santoli (2005) and THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB SCRAPBOOK by Keith Keller (1977). A fun bit of trivia: My dad and aunt went to elementary school with Bobby Burgess. (Update: My dad adds that not only did they attend school together, they were next-door neighbors! Somehow that part of the story had escaped my attention till today.)

...Another Disney book which came out last year just showed up in my Amazon recommendations: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CUSTOMER SERVICE AT DISNEY by J. Jeff Kober.

...The Errol Flynn Adventures DVD set recently received positive reviews from Raquelle at Out of the Past and Glenn Erickson at DVD Savant.

...I enjoyed this Q&A with commentator Kirsten Powers of Fox News Channel. Although I rarely agree with Powers, I respect her and the way she approaches political debate.

...The Five Guys burger chain is slowly moving into Southern California. I doubt anything could replace In-N-Out -- or even the underrated Fatburger -- in my estimation, but I'm looking forward to trying it. Another good burger restaurant in the area is always welcome!

...Last week Ann Rutherford made a personal appearance in Santa Monica at a double bill of ORCHESTRA WIVES (1942) and WASHINGTON MELODRAMA (1941). An interview was published by Susan King in the L.A. Times. Rutherford will be 90 in November.

...This week Trojans were cheering the news that the University of Southern California has surged past crosstown rival UCLA in the national college rankings. USC now ranks 23rd in the nation. UCLA holds the No. 25 position.

...I recently came across this blog on the Iverson Movie Ranch.

...This marvelous video clearly demonstrates why President Reagan is beloved by so many of us. The juxtaposition of his prescient comments about liberal government encroaching on freedom with recent statements by Democrat politicians is terrific...and scary.

...Kevin's Movie Corner reviews Cornel Wilde and Anita Louise in THE BANDIT OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1946). It's available on DVD.

..."Playing With Fire": Melissa Clark of the New York Times on how to make your own hot sauce.

...Here's a fun video of a man effortlessly making a barehanded catch of a foul ball...while walking with a tray of drinks!

...Dave Kehr of the New York Times recently reviewed the new Kim Novak Collection.

...I think I may have noted this before, but I think it's sad that when a man as busy as the President goes on vacation he spends endless hours, day after day, on the golf course away from his wife and daughters. It's a cliche, but childhood flies by in an instant, and I wonder if one day he'll wish he'd devoted more vacation time to family activities and enjoying his kids while they're little. The golf course will still be there when they're older and he's retired.

...Here's an interesting video from last summer on registering for background player work at Central Casting.

...This is the week for Disney books: an updated edition of Bob Sehlinger's THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO DISNEYLAND PARIS was released this summer. As I noted just about a year ago, a good guidebook on Disneyland Paris is very much needed. Perhaps this will prove to fill in that information gap.

...This Big Hollywood article envisions a DVD-less world of movie streaming...but it neglects some key issues, such as the quietly brewing war between Internet service providers and content providers. Our family, especially my children, uses Netflix Instant Play, but I'd just as soon own a permanent DVD collection and not have to rely on others for the titles I want to see being available at all times.

...Alert for Southern Californians: There's a fabulous 75th Anniversary of Republic Pictures celebration coming up in Studio City on September 25, 2010. Joan Leslie, Coleen Gray, Peggy Stewart, Anne Jeffreys, Jane Withers, Hugh O'Brian, and Jimmy Lydon are among the actors who will be appearing that day. I have tickets to attend Destination D in Anaheim that day or I'd definitely make plans to check it out!

Have a great week!


Blogger Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I recommend two earlier books on this topic, THE OFFICIAL MICKEY MOUSE CLUB BOOK by Lorraine Santoli (2005) and THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB SCRAPBOOK by Keith Keller (1977).

I have the Santoli book sitting on top of my dresser drawer by my computer in my guest room. I got it free with a DVD purchase from (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Peter’s Friends, The Chocolate War, The Howling, Palookaville and The Knack…and How to Get It) but I haven’t opened it up yet. The Keller book I owned when I was but a tadpole, and I leafed through it so much it eventually fell apart. (Sadly, its whereabouts today are unknown.)

I would appreciate recommendations, or even better, links to recommended models, from anyone currently using a DVD recorder.

I’m not a technophile—though I did play one for a season on a now-forgotten sitcom entitled That’s My Geek!—but the recorder I use is a Toshiba D-VR610KU, which I’ve owned since January 2009. It’s a good machine, one that I would heartily recommend and as I stated on the blog when I got it they must be making them easier to operate because I had no problem getting it set up…and I know I’m not getting any smarter.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Our family, especially my children, uses Netflix Instant Play, but I'd just as soon own a permanent DVD collection and not have to rely on others for the titles I want to see being available at all times.

Oh, I agree 100%. As a collector, I’m much more likely to want to hang onto something in a physical sense. DVD streaming is convenient for a lot of folks, but there have been a number of times when I’ve been watching a movie online and have stood around tapping my foot impatiently for that sucker to stop buffering.

...The Five Guys burger chain is slowly moving into Southern California.

Five Guys does a great burger…but I think their fries are even more spectacular. I could walk in and purchase a small order and have enough for two meals at the least.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

The Keller book was something I picked up as a teen, Ivan. Beautiful photos. Sorry yours disappeared! The Santoli book is worth picking up for a read.

Thanks for the DVD recorder recommendation! I appreciate it. I've been doing a little reading up on Amazon, and my husband visited Best Buy, but we really wanted some feedback from actual users.

Thanks for the recommendation on the Five Guys fries too! I'll keep that in mind. :)

Best wishes,

4:21 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I bought a Panasonic DVD recorder a few years ago. At the time, it got the top ratings every where I looked. The reviews liked the picture quality (both recording and playing), that it recorded in all DVD formats, and its Flexible Recording. The latter means the unit adjusts the quality of the recording to the remaining or programmed time. Most DVD recorders, when I purchased, only recorded set times/quality. So if you wanted to record a 90-minute show, on most DVDs you'd have to pick the 2-hour quality and have 30 minutes left over. My DVD recorder, adjusts to the best quality for the 90 minutes and no time left on the DVD. (Or you could choose to do the 2-hour quality and put something on the remaining space.) My dislikes are that the menus, while easy, are not arranged the best, and it doesn't show remaining time when it is playing a DVD.

Five Guys came to my area this year. The burgers are very big and pretty good, but I'm in the rare that I don't like the fries.


8:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the DVD recorder info, Missy! A Panasonic is one of the models I have bookmarked.

I've wondered if I'll like the Five Guys fries since they're done in peanut oil and I don't like peanuts...but maybe I won't be able to tell.

Best wishes,

8:30 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I don't know anything about DVD recorders; everything I burn is via my computer. From bitter experience, however, it's imperative to advise you to use nothing but the best quality DVD blank discs. I consider Verbatim to be the best I can get in my country - if I could get Taio Yuden here (the best of the best) I would.

But perhaps DVD recorders don't even use blank disks - I really don't know. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Kino said...

hey Laura--
i heartily second Missy's panasonic recommendation. i have collected a few of them, (yay reward points!)since 04 & they all work wonderfully, still! after many movies recorded. best results for me on memorex dvd-r's.
faithful reader,

4:26 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

DVD recorders - There is something else to consider besides brand name when buying or just using a DVD recorder. They seem to be all different in terms of what kind of discs will work best (or work at all) in different machines. You need to read the manual (and some of this info will be on the outside of the box) to be sure you are using discs that will be compatible.

I don't know how much you may already know about this, so I'm going to start at the basics. Some recorders require "minus" and others "plus" discs. In other words "DVD-R" or "DVD+R". If you buy a recorder which requires "minus", the "plus" discs may not do you much good.

Then there is the matter of the "R" versus the "RW". RW is for rewrite, these can be recorded over and over.

The "R" is more permanent. However, you can take an RW and play it in a computer, but an R must be first "finalized" before it will play either in your computer or another recorder.

I've discovered "plus" DVDs will play on my computer (say, to obtain screen captures), but "minus" discs will not.

Someone else could probably give you more technical detail as to the functions of these aspects. What little I know has been through trial and error.

Upshot: follow the manual's recommendations, which will note not only what kind of discs you need, but also which brand names. Generics usually do not work.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

When I said my Panasonic "records to all DVD formats" I was referring to the -R, +R, -RW, and +RW. I don't know if current models still record to all those formats and if other brands now record to all formats also.

I like +R, I think the plus formats are newer, and I think the image looks better. Since the -R format is older I started with it because I thought it had the best chance of playing back on all my other devices. (In other words, in addition to knowing which format your DVD recorder will write need to know what format will play on your other devices . That's why having a recorder that writes to all formats of discs is an advantage.) I saw a small case of +R discs on sale once and grabbed that and they read fine on all my devices too and, as I said, I liked the picture better so I stuck with +R.

I've not tried any of the RW discs. They cost more and I was worried about a disc going bad after writing to it several times...that's me being paranoid, but you know if a disc is going to go bad, it will go bad on something important. ;-)

My Panasonic, which also has a video player/recorder, can record from home videos, but not store-bought videos since there's a copyright issue.

On the downside with my Panasonic: the remote doesn't have an eject button (I know this is odd to complain about, but it is annoying), it doesn't tell how much time is left when playing a DVD, and my unit loses time. It's actually nine minutes slow right now because I haven't reset the time in months.

Also, when I purchased there were no HD recorders...I have no idea if this is still true.

Hope this helps.


12:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I really appreciate everyone pitching in with their experiences and knowledge of DVD recorders! I'm taking notes. :) This is all new info to me, and I'm glad to have the benefit of everyone's advice.

My biggest concerns, and the main reasons I've been slow to move on trying a DVD recorder, is either discs going bad or the DVDs not being playable on all players. I've always been able to play DVD-Rs, but my parents' DVD players have not always played "home recorded" DVDs which are in my collection thanks to friends. (My dad has also had trouble with a significant number of Warner Archive DVD-Rs.) If DVD recorders are trustworthy enough, it would be nice in terms of DVDs taking up less storage space than videos, and it would be easier to make it possible for friends to watch titles in my collection.

Best wishes,

1:29 PM  

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