Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One of the headlines next to my googlemail last night concerned the movements of “ex-president Bush”. Oh, sweetest of phrases!

The British television presentation of the Inauguration concentrated too much on race for my liking, but what could they do? You can’t stand in the Mall and ask a passer-by, “What’s it like to have an intelligent president?” or “What’s it like to have a president who doesn’t smirk?” but you can say, “What does this mean to you as an African-American?” so that’s what they did. If it had been Hillary, it would have been all about women.

That old boy who did the Benediction was sensational (probably someone unspeakably famous whom I haven’t heard of).

I would love to have heard a million voices raised from the Mall, singing the Star Spangled Banner along with the Obamas at the end. Maybe they were, and the open-air acoustics swallowed it. Or maybe the song is just too complicated. See my sister’s Inauguration Day comment.

We went up to the Dovecot Gallery yesterday to see the exhibition of Henry Moore textile designs, and thought it very dull. The Economist, of all magazines, had devoted a whole page to it. I then walked home fast, in bitter cold, to be here in time for the Inauguration, and the experience left me too breathless all evening for much knitting. The sleeve made small advances, however.

I overspent on low-fat oven chips at Waitrose the other day, with the result that I had to take the Princess out of the freezer drawer to make room for them. I had the wit, uncommon in me, to unfold her, in case the freezing process had trapped some ice crystals. She’s looking good. There aren’t many moths about in January, and it won’t be long anyway. The other thing I did right was to put on point protectors before I froze her.

Am I right in thinking that a DVD is a DVD the world over? Now that we have a DVD player, can I buy an EZ DVD? (I am remembering, of course, the way video tapes moved at different speeds in the US and UK.) If so, which should I got for?


  1. I think you have geographical areas for DVD players, you should be ok if you buy the DVD player and disc in this country, they should be compatible. I think Amazon has a good explanation

  2. Jean "most" DVD players in the UK only play region 2 DVD's. The USA has region 1 You do need to check when buying from Amazon that it is the correct region. My daughters tell me you can "often" play region 1 on your laptops but if you do this there comes a point where is gets set and you cannot play region 2 on your laptop. Also they tell me some DVD's have switches for region. I cannot find one on ours and am not prepared to fiddle with the settings on my laptop so I only play region 2. So not much help really!

  3. Quite a lot of DVD players sold in the UK are actually multi-region. If it doesn't say on the box or the instruction book, I can lend you a Region 1 (American) DVD if you want to try one in your player before you buy an EZ.

    It's nothing to do with copyright, just a way of controlling markets, which I think one should resist as a matter of principle :)

  4. I heard one of the commenters on public television say he has never heard so many people singing the national anthem and he was just blown away by it, so maybe it was the sound set up. Rev. Lowery is about 90 - he is the founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and an early civil rights leader. His benediction was great, and I loved Obamba's reaction that the camera's caught here.

  5. Jean, if you watch the DVD on a computer, you can purchase software that will play DVDs from any region without getting stuck on a given region after 5 plays. You can also purchase a multiregion player, but they can be a bit pricey. I'm a music librarian, so I've dealt with this in my library (we now purchase DVDs from any region and have players to support them) and on my home laptop. PM me if you need more info.

  6. Anonymous3:01 PM

    I just purchased an all region DVD player on Ebay for a reasonable price.
    As others have said your computer will play other regions but there is a limited number of times that the player will make the switch.

  7. Anonymous3:20 PM

    I've been told that virtually all DVD players will play all regions; they just add software to block some of them, for places that enforce that. Mainly it's just Region 1 that is fussy that way. I bought an "adjusted" player that is region free so I could play UK DVDs; the player was actually manufactured to be sold in the UK. I'm also told that the cheaper ones tend to have left off the restrictions; they just don't mention it. Take Helen's offer; it's worth testing a Region 1 DVD in any player you are considering.

  8. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Thinking about the gansey neckline, I realized that working the bindoffs and then doing the gussets would allow you to work short rows around the back (before doing the gussets) so as to adjust the neckline forward a little. One of these days I may yet knit a gansey.

  9. I've bought a couple of EZ DVD's from I Knit London and they play fine on my DVD player and laptop.

    I really must buy some more!

  10. Anonymous1:32 AM

    I am delurking to answer your question about Rev. Joseph Lowery. He worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and has been active in the Atlanta area for many years.

    By the way, I love reading your blog, especially since I have a daughter who is now living in Edinburgh.

  11. Tamar is correct about DVD players having blocking software installed. For some models, there are available hacks online to change them to all-region players. Mine is one of them, so I installed the hack, though I rarely have occasion to play any DVD's from overseas. It can take a bit of work to sort out whether one is available for your machine, though, not to mention sorting out how to get it installed. You'd be best to get a 12-year-old boy to do it for you.