Archive Page 2

20
Jul
14

An Observation While Re-Ripping My DVDs

DVDs

“The way I see it, if you raise three children who can knock out and hog tie a perfect stranger, you must be doing something right.” – Marge Simpson

A few months ago I stopped resisting and finally got a smart phone.  It’s very snazzy and does lots of things my beloved old flip phone couldn’t do, including play video.  Naturally, this got me to thinking about how I could get The Simpsons on there.  Way back in 2006, I ripped all my DVDs to .avi files that came in at ~183MB each.  (These are the files from which I get pretty much all of the screen grabs on this site.)  For the 203 episodes that comprise Seasons 1-9, that’s a total of 37.2GB.  My new phone, snazzy though it is, has only 32GB of space, a mere 26.8GB of which is available for media storage.  To paraphrase Hermes Conrad, if I know anything about which number is bigger than the other number, those files won’t all fit on the phone.  Ergo, time to re-rip the DVDs to smaller files.

Now, ripping teevee show DVDs is boring, repetitive and time consuming, so I put it off a good long while.  But on Friday I finally got off my duff and figured out the right settings in HandBrake for a good balance between quality and file size.  For the curious, I settled on H.264 at 320kbps video and 96kbps audio in a .mkv file to preserve the DVD chapters.  More importantly, each episode runs just ~73MB, and once I’m done they should come in just under 15GB total.  These won’t look or sound great on my television, but on a tiny phone screen with headphones, they’re just fine thank you.

One of the annoyances of all this is making sure each file gets named correctly.  HandBrake can’t automatically add the titles to the filenames (you have select “Title1″ and so on), and after each disc is done I’m left with something like this:

Simpsons – 401 – .mkv
Simpsons – 402 – .mkv
Simpsons – 403 – .mkv
Simpsons – 404 – .mkv

Since I’ve never watched these files before and it’s always possible that I goofed and picked the wrong part of the disc or made some other mundane mistake, I check them after I add episode titles.  I don’t need to watch the whole thing, just play the file real quick, skip to the somewhere past the credits, and make sure that the file I’ve just called “Simpsons – 403 – Homer the Heretic.mkv” is, in fact, “Homer the Heretic”.  I finished through Season 4 yesterday, and I just started ripping Season 5 today.  So I have popped open and seen a few random seconds from a lot of episodes this weekend.

Doing so has served as yet another reminder (not that I needed one) of how astonishingly dense this show is.  You can skip to almost any part of an episode and see something that is laugh out loud funny.  Boop, there’s Bart thinking they can’t afford all the library books in “Dead Putting Society”.  Boop, there’s the casino reverend handing Homer ten dollars worth of chips and telling him to kiss the bride.  Boop, there’s “The Erotic Adventures of Hercules”, with Normal Fell as Zeus!  Whether you land in an A-plot, a B-plot, or even just a cutaway or flashback, there’s something memorable and funny.

I have no real point here, it’s just amazing, especially when you remember that these episodes are all 20+ years old.

20
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Krust8

“Wow, a clown!  Do you think he’s evil?” – Todd Flanders
“He smells evil.” – Rod Flanders
“Should we tell Daddy?” – Todd Flanders
“No,  let’s poke him a little while longer.” – Rod Flanders

19
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

The Call of the Simpsons10

“Mr. Simpson, you’re never gonna own a better RV, and I don’t mean that in a good way.  I mean, literally buddy, this is it for you.  You know?  It’s this or a wagon.” – Cowboy Bob

18
Jul
14

Reading Digest: Fun for All Ages Edition

Lisa the Vegetarian15

“I think it’s nice we’re doing something Maggie will enjoy for once.  Besides, I’m sure Storytown Village is also fun for everyone, from eight to . . . God only knows.” – Marge Simpson

There are more than a few things that make The Simpsons unique, even when compared to other hit programs.  Close to the top of that list, and this is borne out more and more with each passing year, is the damned near agelessness of it.  At some point, the world is going to tire of the Simpsons family and it’ll become a part of history, but that point seems to keep receding into the future rather than coming closer.  This week we’ve got a couple more links about that very adult play positing that the culture of the show would survive the apocalypse, and in a nice contrast to that we’ve also got glowing write ups of old episodes from a teenager (who wasn’t even born when the episodes he’s watching were made) and even younger kids who dress up and act out the show.  We take that persistent interest for granted, but it’s pretty damned mind blowing when you take a second to think about it.

In addition to that we’ve got a couple of people who agree with us, the most detailed Lego breakdown yet, Lego Gorilla the Conqueror, shameless Buddha merchandise, and some excellent usage.  Enjoy.

The Simpsons Lego House - I’ve linked a few people assembling the Simpsons Lego set before, but nobody’s taken this many pictures and gone into this much detail.  If you want an up close look at what’s in that box, this is the link for you.

The Simpsons: “Dog of Death” - Young, soon to be college student takes a look at some of Season 3 that he’s never seen before and comes away impressed . . .

The Simpsons: “Colonel Homer” - . . . particularly with this one:

Hilarious, emotional, and wonderfully paced, it doesn’t get more classic The Simpsons than “Colonel Homer.”

The Simpsons: “Black Widower” - These episodes were made before he was born, hard to see anyone doing the same for Season 23 in two decades or so.

Truro school celebrate end of summer term with unusual school production - And speaking of the kids being alright, here’s some even younger ones dressed up as the “Sampsons” for a play.

Producers Endorse New Fox Presidents: ‘They Really Know What They’re Doing’ - Al Jean knows where his bread is buttered:

“I’ve worked with them both for a while, and they really know what they’re doing,” said “The Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean, who pointed to their long string of successes with comedies like “How I Met Your Mother.” “I think of the 23 network presidents ‘The Simpsons’ have had, they’ll be the best.”

Meet the new monkey bosses, same as the old monkey bosses.

ELEVEN PARIS x The Simpsons x colette - Promoting the high fashion merchandise means opening up a Simpsons themed something or other in Paris for a little while:

If you are a Simpsons fan and in Paris over the coming weeks, do try and make the effort to go and see the fun and loud Simpsons lair lurking under the super chic glass, chrome interior of colette. It’s the closest you may get to Springfield on this side of the Atlantic, until they open a Euro Universal Studios

Hello? Euro Universal Studios open for business!

The Simpson Family & the Respective Strains of Weed That Match Their Characters (You’re Welcome!) - The weirdness of the Homer_Marijuana twitter account continue to echo.

WWLSR: Seasons 7-9 - The Lisa reading project rolls on, including through the book heavy “Summer of 4 Ft. 2″.

Bunch of bloody clowns… - Fan made collage that includes a rather Mr. Sparkle looking Homer.

The Simpsons - The “25 Years Comic Con” poster.

Flashback: ‘The Simpsons’ Turn ‘Planet of the Apes’ Into a Musical – Video - There’s video, and there’s this:

As awesome as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes may be, it’s definitely not the best resurrection of the franchise. That honor still goes to the 1996 Simpsons episode “A Fish Called Selma,” which featured Troy McClure (voiced by the legendary Phil Hartman) reviving his stalled career by appearing in a musical adaptation of The Planet of the Apes entitled “Stop the Planet of the Apes. I Want To Get Off!”

And he’s starring as . . . the human!

Celebrate 25 Years of The Simpsons with 7″ Silver Homer Buddha - He is not forgetting the first two Noble Truths!

Tritone-Based Songs: The Devil’s Music - I did not know this:

It’s the very first notes you hear: “The Siiiiiimmmm-” form a tritone, before “-mmpsons” resolves back to a perfect fifth. The bass notes you can hear poking through now and again also follow a pattern that’s based around the Devil’s interval.

If you play the close credits backwards, there’s a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup.

Brilliant and Bonkers… ‘Mr Burns’ at The Almeida Theatre - The play’s got just over a week left in London, so here’s another happy review.

Review – Mr Burns by Anne Washburn at the Almeida Theatre - And here’s another “good, but…” review:

As a result, I’m not sure whether I’d recommend Mr Burns or not! If you prefer your theatre to be safe and comfortingly familiar, stay away. However if you’re willing to embrace something bravely different and take a risk, then give it a go. Although you have been warned about that third Act!

Futurama 3D - The Forrest Gump song is a little out of place, but that is very impressive visually:

The ad for Mom’s robot oil is a nice touch.

VIDEO: See The World ‘Futurama’ Rendered In 3-D - Some more stills and some extra video from the above.

Max’s Tavern named “best bar in the world” by Bar and Restaurant Magazine - It does bear a little resemblance to Moe’s, at least from the outside.  Not sure how that would help in a ranking, Moe’s is a dump, after all, but I’m not in charge of “Bar and Restaurant Magazine”, so what do I know?

People, like animals, are sometimes just jerks - Excellent usage:

Eventually, for everyone’s sake he was moved on to an animal reserve where he immediately picked up where he left off in Evergreen Terrace.

“Why is he attacking all those other elephants?” Marge asked the head ranger.

“Animals are a lot like people, Mrs. Simpson,” he replied. “Some of them act badly because they’ve had a hard life or have been mistreated. But, like people, some of them are just jerks.”

Mick Malthouse was moved onto the game reserve we know as Princes Park at the end of 2012 and picked up where he left off at Collingwood.

The game preserve guy actually says “Well” before “Animals”, but that’s nitpicking.

My Top 10 Favourite Television Opening Credits - The show comes in at #4 here.

Marge Attacks - Not sure of the source here (comic book, maybe?), but it’s Marge as the victim of a Kang & Kodos experiment.

Gorilla the conqueror! - The granddaddy of them all in simple Lego form.

Who Still Watches The Simpsons? - And finally, I get to end the way I like, with some people who agree with us.  A local sports radio guy in Kentucky asks:

Half a dozen of us would spend entire weekends watching episodes old and new on TV or DVD or VHS(!), bickering over which ones were funnier, cobbling together conversations entirely from Simpsons quotes. We played Simpsons boardgames. We destroyed local Simpsons-themed bar trivia nights. Yet all of us, every single one, stopped watching almost a decade ago. Come to think of it, literally not a single person I regularly speak with watches The Simpsons anymore.

No one in the comments watches it either.

18
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice13

“Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up two percent, and it’s all because of my motivational techniques, like donuts, and the possibility of more donuts to come.” – Homer Simpson

17
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

Two Dozen and One Greyhounds13

“We can’t lose!  Look at the name of the dog I bet on!” – Homer Simpson
“She’s the Fastest?  Homer, I don’t think that means necessarily-” – Marge Simpson
“And they’re off!  She’s the fasted jump out to an insurmountable lead!” – PA Announcer
“You’re lucky you’ve got looks, Marge.” – Homer Simpson

16
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

Homer and Apu13

“Apu, if it’ll make you feel any better, I’ve learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.” – Homer Simpson




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